$100,000 Spectacular Bid, a Wide-Open Affair
Category : News
Fri 02/01/2015 - 16:00 EST
The $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes January 3 at Gulfstream represents a serious handicapping puzzle for horse players who enjoy a formidable challenge.
With eleven three year-olds signed on to contest the six furlong event on dirt, there are few throw-outs in the race and the possibility of a blistering early pace. 5/2 morning line favorite Ready for Rye earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure in his last start – the second of his career – beating maiden special weight foes by seven lengths at Aqueduct in front-running fashion. Both the second and third-place finishers from that race were next-out winners, but it’s worth questioning how much Ready for Rye benefitted from a sloppy track. In his debut, Ready for Rye earned a 77 Beyer while still running a very respectable second behind eventual Grade 1 Stakes winner Carpe Diem.
Pace makes the race
Toasting Master (7/2) and Its’ Not Me (5/1) are also early-speed horses who have combined for five wins –all in gate-to-wire fashion. With Toasting Master breaking from post number 2, jockey Corey Lanerie will likely use the inside post to outbreak his main pace rivals. That could leave It’s Not Me (post 11) and Ready for Rye (post 12) wide and chasing rapid fractions early. Ready for Rye could prove to be the most tractable of the three with Javier Castellano in the irons.
Late-runners represent good value
Both Morgans Harbor (12/1) and Barbados (6/1) have posted victories from off-the-pace, and should benefit from the likely set-up. Barbados posted a bullet work December 28 at Gulfstream for trainer Michael Tomlinson.
Mighty Heart will attempt to become the first Canadian Triple Crown winner since Wando in 2003 when he runs in the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine on October 24. The 1 1/2-mile race drew a field of 12.
Six group 1 races top a brilliant card at Longchamp in Paris, France on Sunday, October 4, headed of course by the 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The great mare Enable is seeking to win her third Arc, a feat which has never been accomplished, after she ran second last year.
Free expert picks for the 2020 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine Racetrack on September 19. Preakness winner War of Will takes on unbeaten Shirl’s Speight in the one-mile turf race worth $1 million.
The 161st Queen’s Plate will be run September 12, 2020, after originally being scheduled for June. Clayton and Curlin’s Voyage are the favorites in a 14-horse field set to go 1 1/4 miles for $1 million.