Colonial Downs | Full Card Expert Selections
by Merv Huber-Calvo
SWEETER SURPRISE (9) closed a lot of ground late in the race three-back in most recent jump race for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who won an opening weekend steeplechase event. THAT’S THAT (3) finished ahead of top pick in that same race when second and followed with two solid flat races. CHOKLITCOVERDONUT (10) has run several credible steeplechase races over the last year.
TOP PICKS: 9-3-10-6
COLOUR GUARD (2) faltered last out on the turf but should run better now back on the dirt. JOHN JONES (1) shows good dirt races earlier this year and can be competitive at his best. BRIGHTON LANE (6) has been second in each of last three and may benefit from the pace scenario at an attractive price.
TOP PICKS: 2-1-6-3
AV A WORD (9) comes into this race on the strength of two open-lengths steeplechase wins. BALISTES (4) was leading most recent race until falling on last fence. SHORELINE (7) has won each of his last two races, including one flat and one jump race.
TOP PICKS: 9-4-7-8
SIMMARD SHENANIGAN (7) drops in from the $25k claiming level after running a credibly good race last out and should fit well at this level. A LITTLE INFO (6) ran into traffic trouble last out at a higher level and would benefit from a cleaner trip this time. P. SOUP (1) backs out of a tough maiden special weight race and should be much more competitive at this $10k claiming level.
TOP PICKS: 7-6-1-5
MR. JAGERMEISTER (2) makes first start off four month layoff with zippy final workout and could offer some value. LEWISFIELD (3) should benefit shortening back up to six furlongs after tiring last time out. Likely favorite PETROV (6) failed to fire last out but has the best back class in this field.
TOP PICKS: 2-3-6-4
CONTRARITY (6) has been white hot recently since switching to turf, with three consecutive wins and a close second place finish last out. FAME FEATHER (2) shows four good recent turf races, including a win versus open allowance company and a close defeat in restricted stakes versus males. ELLYB (4) exits a trio of sophomore restricted stakes at Monmouth Park but has defeated older foes previous to that; turns back in distance.
TOP PICKS: 6-2-4-1
I’D LIKE TO KNOW (4) ships in for Saratoga and takes a big drop in class from the $40k claiming level to $16k today. SIN BIN (8) also takes a significant class drop after a couple of dismal efforts at the $25k level. THE FRANCHISE (5) has a pedigree that suggests the switch to turf may agree with him.
TOP PICKS: 4-8-5-6
KATHAK (3) looks like a standout in here off the strength of two solid races at Monmouth, including a narrow defeat at this level last out. LOST IN LIMBO (6) broke through the maiden ranks last out and makes turf debut in this event. TIZANOXBOW (1) was in over his head last out but has put up impressive speed figures that stack up to this group.
TOP PICKS: 3-6-1-2
EXTRAVAGANT KID (5) likely to be a heavy favorite exiting a narrow defeat versus G1 company last out. JUSTAHOLIC (3) is two-for-two since switching to the grass, including a new stakes win last out. DIRTY (10) has been racing in some of the toughest turf sprints as well but came up short in an easier race last out.
TOP PICKS: 5-3-10-8
AMERICAN GIANT (7) ran deceptively well last out, beaten just about 3 lengths after a wide trip and is eligible to improve. IN A HURRY (11) makes her debut for solid connections which have already tallied a win here on opening weekend. ZOYSIA (4) enters debut off three consecutive bullet workouts for top connections.
TOP PICKS: 7-11-4-5
Value Plays By Race Caller Jason Beem
Race 4 – #10 MOSSY CHICK – Morning Line Odds: 15/1
Race 9 – #7 DUBINI – Morning Line Odds: 8/1