Three reasons why last year’s Turf Sprint winner is a play-against
Around this time last year at Keeneland, GOLDEN PAL absolutely demolished his rivals to win the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2). He was 8-5 that day and won like a heavy favorite should, drawing off on his rivals and winning by a convincing margin.
A truly unforgettable performance which will affect his odds next Saturday without a doubt.
Should you play him or play against him?
GOLDEN PAL has won 2 of 3 races this year and exits an impressive G2 victory at Keeneland last time out.
Horse Racing Nation assigned him early odds of 5 to 2.
Bovada lists him just under 2 to 1.
And yet, I say he’s a play against.
Before I offer you reasons, let’s look at the probable field, courtesy of HRN.
The $1 million Breeders Cup Turf Sprint (G1) — 5 Furlongs, Turf, Three-year-olds and upward.
- GOLDEN PAL: 5-2
- STARMAN: 5-1
- CAMPANELLE: 8-1
- KIMARI: 8-1
- LIEUTENANT DAN: 8-1
- GEAR JOCKEY: 9-1
- GLASS SLIPPERS: 10-1
- SUESA: 9-1
- CASA CREED: 12-1
- FAST BOAT 14-1
- DRAGON SYMBOL: 16-1
- IMPRIMIS: 16-1
- EXTRAVAGENT KID: 20-1
- SOMBEYAY: 25-1
- BOMBARD: 33-1
- SUPREMACY: 33-1
- FAIRYWREN: 66-1
- EMARAATY ANNA: 12-1
- THE CRITICAL WAY: N/A
GOLDEN PAL is owned by: Magnier, Mrs. John, Tabor, Michael B., Smith, Derrick and Westerberg. He was bred by Randall E. Lowe and trained by Wesley A. Ward.
A three-year-old son of UNCLE MO out of LADY SHIPMAN by MIDSHIPMAN, he’s got 4 wins and 2 seconds out of 7 lifetime starts. And he’s banked $779,056 in earnings for his connections.
He’s a three-time graded stakes winner but is searching for his first Grade 1 of his career.
Three horses that could beat GOLDEN PAL:
By the supremacy of Thorograph figures, which will govern our present discussion, this race is much more wide open than the public betting odds suggests.
#1 FAST BOAT
The first horse I’m looking to beat GOLDEN PAL with is FAST BOAT, the Joe Sharp trained gelding by CITY ZIP who will be making his first start at the Surf.
FAST BOAT has 3 wins from 6 starts this year. In two of his losses, he had legit excuses. He suffered bumping in one, and traffic trouble in the other.
To win last year’s Breeders Cup Turf Sprint, a horse needed to run a 2.5 Thorograph figure. Well, FAST BOAT’s has recorded a series of 3.5, 1.25, 2.5 (Thoro Pattern) to suggest he’s more than capable of winning the race. Plus, he’s quite dependable for bringing his A game.
A downside is that he’s had six different riders in all six last races. But at least he was victorious on three of those occasions.
If top rider Joel Rosario comes back on the saddle, I’ll like FAST BOAT even more. If FAST BOAT goes off at double digit odds, I’ll probably wager daily-doubles around him.
GOLDEN PAL has a last-out Thorograph figure of 3.5, which is impressive in and of itself. But he hasn’t recorded anything below that number, which several of his rivals have.
That means he’ll have to run a better race than anything he’s accomplished before. And I’m not anxious to bank on that, at super low odds.
#2 LIEUTENANT DAN
My next candidate is the Steven Miyadi-trained LIEUTENANT DAN. He’s a five-year-old gelding by GRAZEN out of EXCUSABULL by INDIAN CHARLIE. He’s a perfect 3 for 3 this year and has scored two consecutive graded stakes victories. Thorographically, he’s impressive! His Thoro-Pattern consists of a 2, 2.75, 2.25 progression. He’s got good early speed and loves the Del Mar Turf course; he’s 2 for 2 at theSurf.
Del Mar-based jockey Geovanni Franko will be in the irons, and owns three wins and two third-place finishes aboard LIEUTENANT DAN. They’re fast leaving the gate together. In all five races they teamed up, they successfully broke out on top (top three) before the first call. He’s projected by Bovada to have 8-1 odds, but that should inflate to double digits, due to the sentimental betting on GOLDEN PAL, methinks.
#3 EMARAATY ANA
Finally, my third horse to beat GOLDEN PAL is a European G1 winner whose Thorograph figures grabbed my attention. I’m talking about EMARAATY ANA, for trainer Kevin A. Ryan and owner Sheikh Mohammad bin Obaid Al Maktoum. He captured the Sprint Cup (G1) two months back, defeating a top horse STARMAN, and was a runner-up in the Nunthorpe (G1) one race prior.
He’s a 5-year-old son of SHAMARDAL out of SPIRIT OF DUBAI by CAPE CROSS. He touts Thoro-Pattern of 3.75, 3.50, and 2.50; a steady improvement to a figure that is more than good enough to take down this race.
The fact that he beat STARMAN, who oddsmakers believed was the second-best horse to GOLDEN PAL, makes him all the more attractive.
I’m going to spread out and try to beat Golden Pal with: FAST BOAT, LIEUTENANT, and EMARAATY ANA. If Rosario returns to ride FAST BOAT, I’ll make him my top pick for when I need to single a horse.
LIEUTENANT DAN is my next pick. At this time, I don’t find it easy to separate these two.
EMARAATY ANA will be my third choice.
One more insight. BOMBARD as a long shot play to blow up the tote board.
He’s trained by the great Richard Mandella, who you can never count out on Breeders Cup Day.
BOMBARD runs well over the Surf, has good early speed, and his Thoro-pattern suggests that he can certainly run with this group and step up to win.
If BOMBARD is still on the lead turning for home, while carrying odds of 60-1, he just might sneakily prevail and hold off the closers.
Let’s not forget, he was beaten only half a length by the talented GREGORIAN CHANT three starts back.It was the same race he finished ahead of CHAOS THEORY.
The talent in BOMBARD is there, and so will be the value. What I’m hoping for is a perfect trip for him to run his best race.
Author: Frisco Bash