To summarize, I view these as the likely favorites, and I have separated them by play against or play, or, not play against but not plays either.
RACE 1 9 Keegan Ho
RACE 3 8 Awesomeness
RACE 4 5 Think on It
RACE 6 4 Pink Pistol
RACE 7 7 Carracci Hanover
RACE 10 4 Dreamy Fella
RACE 2 3 Killean Finale
RACE 8 3 D Gs Pesquero
RACE 9 5 Asap Hanover
include but add others.
RACE 5 3 American Virgin
RACE 11 1 Darcee N
My best exotic play, based on the way the races look to me is this:
Late pick 4----3/5/3,6,8/1,2,3,4,5,6
could also be played as a late double, which I might also do if I don't get the first two legs right.
This one is tough. I don't like the 9 for the win, but I could see the 10. I could also see the post position doing in both and creating a longshot. I could see any of 2,5,6 or 7 being that one. I'd use all 5 of them but not the 9.
9 Keegan Ho floated out last time and then sat a trip, slid out mid lane and then picked them all off. He did win 4 in a row before he went down 2 back, but they were soft easy trips, which he wont get from post 9 here. He has also been off a month. That isn't a big deal, but its a factor when you are going to be asked to rough it. He doesn't appear to have a blast move off the gate, so he isn't going to make front at this track from this post without parking a long way to get it. I'd go against him.
10 Sweet Royalty went a big trip off the shelf last time. It looked like he only went as much as he had to, and Mario only urged him when they got near him. I would expect him to be tighter and a bit better here. Post 10 is always a worry, but there isn't much inside him to fear. He will be tough to take down and I wouldn't go against him if he is the chalk. If he is the fave, he is liable to be lukewarm as the 9 will take action.
3 Killean Finale was raced conservatively due to being a month between starts last time, but luckily found the right racing room and she paced strong to the wire for the win. She is back in the same class, and back in 8 days this time. She is very tough to go against and I wouldn't. I think Randy will be much more aggressive here. He usually is when he knows the horse is fit and looks best on paper. I dont see anything that beats her in this field. If the 10 had a better post and wasn't come off a layoff, I might think otherwise. She is not.
8 Awesomeness is on a big roll here and tough to go against. He seems to get better every time, which is what you want to see from a colt. He has his chief rival to his inside, but he beat him last time. His reliance on getting a trip is a bit troubling, and for that reason, I will call him to get beat somehow. We all know Randy will stay in when we think he should be out and going. That could be in play on this one. The goal is to make the final, and if he is 2nd in this leg, that only furthers that cause.
5 Think on It was raced easy last week as he was in with tougher than he has faced before, or he meets here. The goal and target was obviously this series and to stay fit and sharp but not overworked to do so. I like the 2 horse better, and I could see others also stepping up, so I will call him to go down. Its hard to just keep winning at this level unless you tower over them. I don't think he does that.
I found it tough to find a standout favorite to go against. I could see the public picking any of 4. I will pick 3 to rate. The picks by Garnet and Rozema reflect that there is some confusion about this race. If you are playing the pick 4, I'd take all of them except for Vegas Rocks, Cool Rock, Mr Carrots and Daylight Rush and Company Man. That means you go 5 deep.
3 American Virgin was Fillion's choice over the 10. Not any great surprise there. He certainly raced well in a very tough Preferred last week, and his soundness issues have also improved. He is no lock, but only one of many. I suspect he goes off the fave, and I'd only use him as one of many. Not one to try and beat, but not one who can really justify a win price under 2-1.
2 Mach Pride is in the zone right now. I don't think he will be post time favorite, but his very sharp form might sway enough to play him into that position. I know on his best day, at the top of his game, he can go with these. I thought he might have been past that point in his career, but he proved me wrong last week. He can leave like a shot, but will others coming for him here. If he can let one go, but follow him to the lane, he can pop back out. That is his shot.
5 Nirvana Seelster still seems flat and tired to me. He could take favorite money, but he shouldn't. Not that he cant turn it back around, but while this isn't the Preferred, it isn't a soft bunch either. If I were to remove one from my 6 deep strategy, he would be it. He isn't doing enough and it isn't just one week. He has some competition for control here.
4 Pink Pistol wired them last week and is the "now" horse. She has stakes class on her side, and seems to be sorted out. Garnet is listing her his best bet of the night, and Rozema makes a pretty confident call on her also. I could see her being 4-5 or less. She still has troubling signs on the page and didn't parade sound last week either. I would go against her and there are a few here who look capable if she runs or isn't as good as last week. I would take 6,7 and 9, but you could make a case for the 5 also.
7 Carracci Hanover is the probable lukewarm fave. Didn't like what I saw from him 2 back, and didn't like anything better last time. He looks like a candidate to sink all the way to rock bottom before he works his way back up. We see that a lot in the winter with some that race a long season.
4 Paparazzi Hanover looks logical enough on the slight class drop and decent post. He doesnt strike me as that much better than many though, just one that had a good week last time. I think he is 2nd fave, but even if he is the fave, I'd go against him and the one I list as the probable fave.
Garnet likes my pick here, but he is going 4 deep. I would single her. Lets see how it plays out.
3 D Gs Pesquero is listed as 2nd ML, but she clearly looks like the post time favorite to me. She was forced into the Preferred where she was over her head, and took her medicine for two starts. She now gets back in the class she dominated the last time she was there, and gets a solid post. Garnet and Rozema both give her very favorable recommendations. Count me as the 3rd of those. I don't see her going down and she is the most likely favorite on the card to come through.
5 Asap Hanover went a monster half on the engine last week and paid for it in the lane. I expect him to leave as hard, but look to let one go this week. I think he will turns the tables and at a decent price. He is probably 5-2 or 3-1, and a very lukewarm favorite. But, I would think he gets it done.
4 Trashytonguetalker could take favorite money even though he has a high ML and moves up a level off a narrow win. He impressed many and Weller has gotten the bettors attention the last two seasons. These are much tougher. I think he is short on class to the probable favorite.
4 Dreamy Fella is the 4th ML choice, but he looks like he could be the fave here. He meets a mixed bag, and has consistent form for the team of Weller and Henry, who the bettors love. I could see him, but only as one of many in a pretty wide open and contentious dash. When I see a favorite as one of many, I go against them. I'd rather have price value on my side.
3 Quick Fun N made an impressive blast move and opened up last time, only to get a shade wobbly at the wire. He did hold on, and was 5 weeks out of the box for that start. He gets in this race on a special condition, and he also could be the favorite.
I still like him, but not as much as last week. He is one of many in here.
Any of the inside 3 could go off a 7-2 favorite. I only know the ones outside them don't look like favorite candidates. You could make a case against any of these, and one for many of them. That type of class, as usual. I'd just toss anything I think can be tossed, and take all the rest, and hope I get the earlier legs right and get something of a price in this one. I wouldn't even attempt to call an outright winner.
1 Darcee N is the consensus pick if you look at Garnet's and Rozema's comments and selections. I find it hard to back him. Post 1 can hurt one like this.
2 Rise Up Now is hard to take based on what he has turned into this year, which is mostly a chalk burner like in his last two. I wouldn't play him. I'd rather roll the dice and use his multi race slot with a longshot who might have a good night.
3 Single White Sock gets marginal class relief but also is 4 for 50 the last two years.