The Princess of Palms for fillies and mares going six furlongs will be run Saturday at Turf Paradise. Trainer Valorie Lund saddles two, but Robertino Diodoro has one entry, Rock and Glory, with Scott Stevens in the irons. Rock and Glory has one start this year and that resulted in a 6th place finish in the Paseana Stakes at Santa Anita. However, this horse has been working lights out at Turf Paradise. Even with the help of the vet Stevens, this daughter of Rock Hard Ten is still green and untested.
Maker Or Breaker is morning line 3/1 with Israel Hernandez getting the mount for Dan McFarlane. Maker Or Breaker is a 5-year old mare out of Empire Maker and has more stakes experience than the rest of the field. She finished 4th in the Gr. 3, LA Woman Stakes at Santa Anita on October 4. She has been in four races this year and three of those were stakes races.
Makinmymark and Love Makor are both sired by Makors Mark. The better of the two is Makinmymark trained by Lund, and in the Princess of Palms she’s on the rail – a good spot for jockey Rocco Bowen. Makinmymark finished third in the Hoist Her Flag Stakes at Canterbury Park last summer. In fact, she only races at Canterbury and Turf Paradise, hitting the board 3 out of her 4 starts in 2014.
The upset in this race could come on the number 2 horse Gracie Grace. She has been racing at Arapahoe with an outstanding five starts, four in the money past performance. In fact, her only time out of the money was a 5th place finish at Turf Paradise, but she has been putting in good works at this level.
Interesting to note, the number 3 horse is Fightin Mean Mad, and according to the sheet is owned by Jeff Bonde and bred by Richard Ravin and Larry Rivelli, Chicago boys. Interesting connections.
As much as I shower the Diodoro barn and Scott Stevens with kudos, I’m going to put Rock and Glory in the bottom of the trifecta and make it a double in the Princess of Palms and take the bookends: Maker Or Breaker and Makinmymark go 1, 2 in the Palms. If jockey “Is-rail” Hernandez can get Maker Or Breaker from the outside post to the rail without too much traffic, it could his chance at the money.
I’ll play the Pick 3 starting with Race 3, only because I am just learning how to handicap the quarters from watching endless footage from Los Alamitos, so I am not familiar with the Turf Paradise quarters yet.
Diodoro has three in Race 3: Harlan’s Vitesse (Stevens), Causeithertz (Franco) and Megastar (Carreno). I’ve got no problems with 8-year old Megastar, the overwhelming favorite, and it’s possible that Diodoro could sweep the board. (I have a feeling a horse called God of War might have a say in that however.) When it comes to turf riding, I will take Franco over Carreno any day, and when it comes to turf experience I’d take Stevens over them both. But, as much as I would love to see Diodoro sweep the tri, I am hoping that he doesn’t as the payout would be paltry. I’ll take the Brazilian, God of War, to spoil it. So I’ll play a superfecta , just to get a price 2, 4, 1, 6.
In Race 4, I have to go with the favorites and Minnesota jockey Patrick Canchari finds himself on the 9/2 morning line favorite. However, Taras Ruler is a tough horse to beat. He is 5 for 5 in hitting the board, unfortunately that’s in Canada where all he does at Assiniboia is win, win, win. Canada is a long way from Arizona though. I also like the number 8 horse – Airborne Mark. If you put a line through only one race in his 2014 campaign, this horse has either landed in the money or just out of it in 6 of his 9 starts. (4,7,8 tri box – boxing it because Patrick just might pull it off!)
Race 5 – Diodoro/Carreno on World Famous Sam T – no contest. Tribal Smoke will be coming though, so 2, 8 exacta box. I looked at Moses On the Mesa and Majorca Sun, neither will go with World Famous Sam T.
Pick 3: 241/748/28
Race 6: See above re: “Is-Rail” Hernandez. Dan McFarlane‘s Red Constitution has mainly been running with good company on the East Coast at Belmont and Aqueduct. Even with the post position and aforementioned jockey, this 3-year old filly will have a task ahead of her, most likely the push coming from the 6-year old beside her, The Grans. Trainer Lund puts Stevens in the irons and I’m taking notice. This Canterbury runner should enjoy the trip on the turf with her stable mate Bear Facts to her right. Trainer Eikleberry has the favorite in the 6th, a 4-year old filly named Peppy Miller. This filly has hit the board 6 times in 8 starts and races solely in the southwest racing circuits. I can’t tell you how many tickets I’ve had The Grans on, so since they say consistency is a key, I’ll put her on again. (6,2,1)
Race 7 Princess of Palms: See analysis above.
Race 8: I’m gonna bounce around the favorite Cara Has It in this one and stay on the rail with a horse I’m also accustomed to watching, Grazen Cold for trainer McFarlane. Diodoro has the 3-year old filly Nevergetsold, so I’ll take both of them to bump Cara Has It from the board. I’m also looking at the lone Minnesota-bred in here, Jumpin Jenny, who is a morning line 5/1. This 5-year old mare has been racing consistently at Assiniboia, but again, it’s a long way from Canada to Arizona. I’m only looking for the Pick 4 numbers so I’ll go with a tri box 1, 2, 5.
Pick 4: 28/126/167/12 – Yes, I’m hoping for a fast inside post on Saturday.
As I’m looking ahead to the card on Monday at Turf Paradise, I see Dan McFarlane has apprentice-extraordinaire Drayden Van Dyke (aka DVD) on all his horses that day. Kinda changes the way I handicap McFarlane horses when he’s got the hottest young rider in Southern California in the saddle. I’ll be watching to see how the skilled young jock does on one of my favorite McFarlane horses, Mancala, in Race 4 at Turf Paradise on Monday. DVD also is also riding one for Diodoro on Monday as well.