Holy Bull, Withers, Bob Lewis RECAPS – Super Screener
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Holy Bull, Withers, Bob Lewis RECAPS

Photo By: Liz Lamont/Eclipse Sportswire

Withers (G3)

According to the Super Screener, no 3 year-old submitted a better Derby prep running line on this day than did Tax.  Compare the BRIS Pace and Speed Rating figures for each of the 3 winners of the Derby preps on Saturday:

  • Tax:              1st Call: 94  2nd Call: 103  Late Pace: 96   Speed Rating: 102
  • Harvey Wallbanger:   1st Call: 74  2nd Call: 88  Late Pace: 100  Speed Rating: 95
  • Mucho Gusto:     1st Call: 82  2nd Call: 92 Late Pace: 95  Speed Rating: 95

Note that with the exception of the Late Pace figure, Tax dominated all other pace/speed slots and earned this going 1 1/8 miles versus the 1 1/16th miles traveled by the other pair. This was the Super Screener top win pick and this is what we had to say about Tax that lead us to putting him on top:

“Despite #5 Lucky Lee and #7 Not That Brady being pace types, the pace here projects to be below par, and this field will be tightly bunched throughout, which will require a horse that can turn it on in the late stages of the race.  #1 Tax has already done that in the G2 Remsen when finishing 3rd against the highly regarded Maximus Mischief in a race with just 7 horses and a very similar slow-paced set up to what he’ll encounter here.”

He was actually much closer to the pace than expected as the top three finishers duked it out with one another throughout. Tax got whacked against the rail mid-stretch but recovered quickly to get back into gear to take the lead back and hold on gamely for the win.

Swale (G3)

While not a Derby points race, this field of 3 year-olds going 7 panels set up to be a very bettable race. It sort of delivered on that, as #5 Call Paul took advantage of the swift and heavily pressured pace (as was projected) and, via the perfect trip, stalked then pounced for the win. The horse that ultimately ran the best race here was the Super Screener top win pick, #9 Zenden, who was closest to that hot pace but dug in and held onto 2nd place very gamely at more attractive odds of 8-1. #3 Topper T bumped up for 3rd , but that effort has to be discounted as he benefited from the pace set up.

The Super Screener suggested $1 ticket returned $141.

Holy Bull (G2)

What the heck was that???  We could see #5 Harvey Wallbanger winning this in an all out pace collapse, which was a real threat here (and it actually happened) though an “under” finish was far more likely (and preferred) outcome. Here’s what we had to say about our Top Long Shot pick, Harvey Wallbanger before the race:

“The hot and heavily pressured pace will very much favor the deep closer #5 Harvey Wallbanger who has a great shot to catch the bottom of the Trifecta or Superfecta at a very square price. This is a typical Kenny McPeek long shot 3-year-old candidate that can run all day and closes into exotics at a big price. Will be far, far back in last during the early going but will start picking up tiring horses as they hit the top of the stretch and then will continue on with interest to grab a piece of the Exotics. If you are looking for a “long shot single” to pump up the otherwise chalky Exotics while keeping tickets narrow, this is your horse.”

So, okay if we used Harvey Wallbanger in first we still wouldn’t have cashed in the Exotics as #4 Everfast finished 2nd at mind-boggling odds of 128-1!!! You could run that race 100 times over and we would have never had that horse anywhere near the Exacta:

#4 Everfast: PRESSER – Owns plenty of 2-turn experience and will certainly advance first race off the layoff but would need about a 10-length improvement to impact here. Will be forwardly-placed pressing the hot pace but will struggle to keep up, late.

This was a classic pace collapse race so give credit to the next 2 finishers (Maximus Mischief and Epic Dreamer) as they did all of the work up front yet held on to finish 3rd and 4th, respectively

Robert B. Lewis (G3)

The Santa Anita track came up sealed/sloppy. Scratches reduced this field to 5 horses, and it was #5 Mucho Gusto’s to lose as he had already demonstrated an affinity for the slop when being evaluated as a 2 year-old. He was an easy top win pick and he delivered with a comfy win. Though others thought it was impressive, the Super Screener did not (see running lines comparison on page 1) as he was the benefactor of a perfect trip… this is clearly a Baffert 3rd stringer. Hard to knock Gunmetal Gray as he was up against it here from both a pace and track surface perspective. If he makes it to the Kentucky Derby, he is looking like a Battle of Midway or Instilled Regard type of bomber long shot that completes the Exotics.

San Pasqual (G2)

Due to the sloppy/sealed surface, this race was reduced to just 5 horses and the Super Screener’s  two “A” horses finished 1-2. #7 McKinzie is a miler… end of story… doubtful now he’ll go on to Dubai though that speed-favoring track may allow him to carry his speed that extra 1/8 of a mile, especially if the competition comes up weak. Next!

Looking ahead to next weekend we have two Kentucky Derby preps in the G3 Sam Davis, which is a prep for the G2 Tampa Bay Derby, and on Sunday the G3 San Vicente going 7 panels at Santa Anita… a race used by Nyquist on the Derby trail. In addition, Santa Anita has a couple of G2 races carded for Saturday so plenty to chose from and just hoping we can get some fast tracks this weekend.

Until this coming weekend, Go Fast and Win!

Mike

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