$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.
Players trying to look beyond prohibitive favorite Tepin in the September 17 Woodbine Mile will surely have their work cut out for them as the superstar mare tackles seven rivals on the grass.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday night from Fort Erie race track, where Sir Dudley Digges will try to take another step toward Canadian racing history.
On Sunday, Woodbine will host the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes, Canada’s most prestigious race. Restricted to horses foaled in Canada, the classic mile and a quarter contest has drawn a field of thirteen three-year-olds.
A spectacular card of graded stakes action has been assembled for Saturday at Belmont Park and the $1 million Ogden Phipps is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the day. The Grade 1 event for fillies and mares will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.