Monthly Archives: June 2016

Down the Stretch with Mike Mills

Mike takes us the rest of the way with the start of six thoroughbred races at Canterbury today.

Take it away Mike!  Please give this talented handicapper a follow @M_Mills21.

Race 7: Sioux Appeal has been around two turns twice and hit the board both times, the return race wasn’t pretty but we can forgive that effort after a long layoff, expect Butler to be aggressive here. You have to go back to 2014 to the last time Stellabrini went around two turns on a fast main track and she ran well that day, just like our top pick he return race wasn’t pretty but the return to a route should help. Blues Edge is a proven router and returns to state bred ranks off the bench, she has a fine record over the Canterbury main track and anything close to her best will make her a player in here.

Race 8: Charlie Again was placed first last time out after encountering trouble, he takes a drop off that win into the claiming ranks and anything close to his last will make tough to deny, best bet. Purimeter made a nice late run last out going 5/8th on the grass, he’s bred to handle the extra distance, should be right there if the favorite falters. Cernobbio broke his maiden here last summer on the turf and has a fine 5 for 10 ITM turf record, the drills in the morning have been consistent off the 6 month break.

Race 9: Handsome Roy has been a nice claim for the Broberg barn, he’s the speed of the race and from a great attack post Canchari will be able to put him wherever he needs to be, Nicolas Cajun takes a slight class drop and should be gunning from the rail, second time back for a trainer due for some racing luck. Paradise Rock returns from the layoff to a track he has been ITM 7 of 13 tries but with no wins he is hard to back on the win end, should be flying late.

Race 10: Bluffs Edge made a nice appearance in his first start of the year and with that race behind him he should be ready for a top effort today, his pace pressing style and outside post will give Escobar options and if he can avoid trouble he will be tough. Streakin Schiller didn’t do much running in his career debut but that race was washed off the turf which if the surface he is bred for, and many times a horse will improve the most between starts one and two. Kilarney Blarney takes a drop from MSW to maiden claiming and stretches out around two turns, the even style he has shown suggests he will appreciate the extra ground today.

Race 11: Wishihada drops from a small stakes race into the allowance ranks, pace presser should sit a nice trip and be tough to hold off in the lane. Honey’s Sox Appeal just crushed MN bred allowance foes and not takes on open allowance foes, sib to 127k earner Thunder and Honey, lots to like. My Winchester Lady caught a muddy track in her seasonal debut, she ran some really nice races last year here at Canterbury and will flying late.

Race 12: Todays finale takes us to the lawn, Solamate takes a slip class drop and tries the grass for the second time in his career, the form isn’t good but first time gelding combine with expert connections make him playable. Doughboy Bay makes his career debut for Bravo who wins with 21% of his first time starters, bred ok for the lawn but is bred to really like two turns. Italian Ballet made a nice impression first time on the grass last out, takes a drop from MSW to maiden claiming, could be the longshot in the gimmicks.

Saturday Feature: Playing the Quarters at Canterbury

This Saturday Mike and Miz are back at our home track after stepping away to cover Creator’s exciting win in the Belmont Stakes.

Saturday’s card at Canterbury opens up with six quarter horse trials, followed by six thoroughbred races.

Let’s begin with the quarters:

Race 1:  Kt Perry exits a second place finish at Remington Park and was gaining ground in that first time effort and Stacy Charette-Hill and Jorge Torres are a winning connection at Canterbury.  Chrism is a first time starter for Ed Ross Hardy and with leading quarter horse jockey Nik Goodwin in the irons, you can’t overlook this first-timer.  Lithe is the outside horse and will be trying the 350 yards for the first time but put in a game finish behind Kt Perry in his last race and came up just short in his first race at Remington Park.  Will keep this one in the trifecta.

Race 2:  The slight cutback for Damn Fast Wagon will only help this speedy horse in the number 1 gate.  Damn Fast Wagon impressively broke the maiden first time out and maintains the winning connections.  Damn Fast Wagon is my number one pick in the trials. Two Timin Suzy on the outside is coming off a win at Remington Park at 300  yards which seems to be her favorite distance.  The pedigree (One Dashing Eagle/Suzy Cartel) and the post position on this one deserves a look. Streakin Folly has hit the board in two of his last three starts and hasn’t raced since April.  Fresh legs and recent work at Canterbury and the help of veteran quarter horse rider Stormy Smith gives this filly the warranted 3-1 morning line.

Race 3:  This is the most difficult race to find one winner.  Eklypz, Matts Corona, Mrs Aqua Perry, Cr Game Changer and Bp Painted Valentine all have a shot at the wire, and all have hit the board at this distance, or close to it.  Matts Corona and Mrs Aqua Perry both finished third in their last efforts and will have to do more in this competitive field.  Eklypz has all the things you look for in a quarter horse past performance.  She had a very bad break her first start, but came back and broke clean winning her second race at Remington.  Cr Game Charger had to grind out a win by a neck in her last time out.  She gets the help of Denny Velazquez’s brother, Brayan Velazquez, who is making his debute at Canterbury Park this season.  The distance won’t be an issue but the horse to her right will be.  The Torres/Charette-Hill connections on Bp Painted Valentine will help the maiden get closer to the winner’s circle.  Valentine just missed on her last effort at this distance.

Race 4:  I Put It On Ya had an impressive first start at Canterbury on June 5.  A quick start and avoiding traffic is everything in quarter horse races.  But June 5 is a little too soon to come back, and I’m looking elsewhere.  B a Mighty Dream faltered from previous performances in her last races, but fresh legs from Remington Park will help.  Get There gets the nod in this one with the Goodwin/Hardy connection.  Get There had a bad start in the futurity on March 16, but again, fresh legs and a fairly good work at Canterbury are all keys.  Interesting jockey switch as Stormy Smith picks up the mount on Hals Flying Eagle.  Hals broke his maiden on May 28 at 300 yards over the Canterbury dirt.  Stormy rode this horse prior to his win at Canterbury and gets back on a horse with a taste of victory.  Should be good if the break goes well.

Race 5:  A field of nine looking for their first win.  Pyc Jess Bite Mydust is the only horse in the field to make any money, having finished third in his last (and first) race.  The aforementioned Brayan Velazquez and Pyc Jess Bite Mydust could both break their maiden at Canterbury Park in this race.  The rest of the field is very underwhelming.  Xcentrick and Haynes Blue Boy have both raced at 350 yards but didn’t do well at all.  Royal Dashof Diamond has trouble in the gate, and that’s not good either.  The Torres/Charette-Hill connections are on Aregal Rainbow but is not the best horse in this field, but at least had a work at Canterbury.  Giant James finished four back in his first race and hasn’t had a work at Canterbury.  A very lackluster field.

Race 6:  Now, this trial is more interesting.  Mary Paintyourwagon and Mascoutah are the two best horses in this field.  Mary is coming off a powerful finish and victory at 250 yards.  I’m hoping that late momentum will help propel her the next 100 yards.  Mascoutah also has a victory at 250 but came back and failed to hit the board at 350 yards on May 14.  Okey Ivory has finished second in both of her starts, and the extra 50 yards may be just what she needs.

Saturday Feature: Betting Belmont with Mike and Miz

We look to the East Coast this Saturday for the Belmont.  Mike and Miz have given analysis for races 3 through 11 on Belmont’s big day.  Race 11 is the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes and the return of Exaggerator to the big stage.  Its big card and big money to made!  Good Luck!

Race 3: The BIG 3 will be ultra tough here, Carina Mia had a smashing win last time out in the 8Belles at Churchill, she had every excuse to get tired when facing Sophia at Keeneland two back so this time she should give a better account of herself vs. that rival. Speaking of Cathryn Sophia she has been ultra impressive winning 5 of her 6 career starts, the Keeneland race was a bit of a puzzler but she made amends when taking the G1 Kentucky Oaks, strictly the one to beat.  Paola Queen doesn’t have near the credentials of the big 3 but looks to be the speed of the race and if the big 3 spend too much time worrying about each other she may be able to take them a long way on the front.

Race 4:  Kid Cruz comes into the Brooklyn Invitation with a two-race winning streak.  The mile and a half will be the longest distance most of the horses in this race will travel but it should be no problem for Kid Cruz who is racing at his best as of late.  The top jockey at Belmont Jose Ortiz keeps the mount and should have the Kid coming up late down the stretch.  The Chilean Turco Bravo exits the $100,000 Flat Out Stakes on May 15 narrowly defeating Securitiz who is also in the Brooklyn.  This should be a good rematch as both will try the lengthy distance.  Javier Castellano will stay aboard Turco Bravo.  Securitiz had the momentum in the May 15 race with Turco Bravo traveling well down the stretch.  Jockey Irad Ortiz gets back aboard.

Race 5: Carrumba has never missed the exacta in 8 career tries, she needs to make up some ground on a couple of today’s rivals and has never been in this kind of company but have a feeling the connections wouldn’t be taking this shot if they weren’t confident she would give a good account of herself. Classy mare Stopchargingmaria took last year G1 Breeders Cup Distaff and narrowly missed in her return at Keeneland, she should be ready to fire a big shot today with improvement from the return race. Wow! is all you can say about Curalinas romp in the La Troiene at Churchill last out, it’s very tough to come out firing after an extended layoff and crush the way she did, however, with such a big performance off a layoff and a career best Beyer there is a real regression possibility, be careful here.

Race 6:  The Grade 3 Jaipur for four-year olds and up on the turf is a race to look for big payouts.  You cannot overlook French connection of jockeys Florent Geroux and Julien Leparoux on the turf.  I won’t do that here, and go to the outside with Leparoux and the horse in gate 13 Take Cover.  This is a gutsy little horse coming off two wins in a row.  Only downside, those wins weren’t against the best of company.  Guns Loaded on the other hand has been racing with better at Santa Anita.  Had a little trouble in the Grade 3 Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on May 6 but Mario Gutierrez should know how to avoid traffic this time around and if Guns Loaded gets the trip, he could be headed to the winner’s circle for the fourth time in five races.  The Chad Brown-trained A Lot is a horse that I like a lot.  He’s coming into this race taking a slight cutback in distance which he enjoys.  A Lot was in the barn of Bill Mott for his entire career but after being claimed by Chad Brown and cutting back in distance, I’m hoping for A Lot to be winning a lot more. (Editor’s Note:  Take Cover scratched from Race 6.)

Race 7: Counterforce will be going past 6 furlongs for the first time in his career but the extra panel should be just to his liking, when facing Justin Squared last out he was pace compromised and with all the speed signed on today he should get a great trip.  Sharp Azteca attended a blistering pace in the Pat Day Mile and held well for the score, will be forced to use that pace from the rail but with two excellent works since that last win we know he’s feeling good. Awesome Gent didn’t care for the slop in his last two but before that he rattled off three beauties in a row, should sit a nice trip and expect connections add to long shot intrigue.

Race 8:  The Longines Just a Game Turf mile is one of the most difficult races to handicap and one of the best on the card.  Rainha Da Bateria finished second to Tepin in her last race and any horse that can hang with one of the best turf horses in this country deserves the respect in this field.  Javier Castellano will try to keep her a little closer than 6 wide down the stretch, but count on Rainha to be making up ground.  Celestine is 8 of 9 on the turf and is coming out of a solid and impressive victory in the Honey Fox.  She set the pace in the mile distance and kicked clear to win for Bill Mott and Junior Alvarado. Three bullet works should put Celestine in good form for the mile.  Strike Charmer will enjoy the cut back in distance to the mile and always gives a good solid effort from this veteran turf runner.

Race 9: The Metropolitan handicap is known as a sire making race and this year is no exception with the talent signed on. Calculator has been getting to the leaders in the past few at 7 furlongs, the mile trip should be right up his alley and Alvarado should know exactly when to push the button now having ridden him his past two starts. Upstart is the type whose good race will dazzle you and then will throw in a clunker, he has some huge figures that would make him tough in here including a 102 over this trip and course as a two year old, back class play. It will be hard to keep one of the Pletcher trio off the board and of those three we like Blofeld the best, his stalking style should play very well and two back victory at this one turn mile distance was his best yet.

Race 10:  The Grade 1 Manhattan brings the best of the best male turf runners.  Look no further than the number 1 post and World Approval.  The Casse horse doesn’t have the best work tab but is a graded stakes winner and in good form.  Leparoux is hitting 29% for the Casse barn and the mile and a quarter might be the distance World Approval has been looking for.  Big Blue Kitten is a veteran at long distance on the turf.  Multiple graded stakes races make this consistent son of Kitten’s Joy hard not to include on a ticket.  Joe Bravo knows this horse well and has faced the same rivals over and over.  Divisidero at 8-1 is a gift.  In the head-to-head duel with World Approval in the Turf Classic on Derby Day, he prevailed by a neck.  I give the edge to World Approval this time around.  Since Prado got in the saddle, Divisidero has hit the board in his last three races, all graded stakes races.

Race 11:The feature of the day is the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes, Destin ran a respectable 6th is Louisville off an 8 week break, his style should put him in a tracking spot without much pace signed he should get first run on the leaders and that is a great asset in this marathon. Suddenbreakingnews encounter all sorts of trouble in the Derby and still came running to narrowly miss third, gets the hall of fame services of Mike Smith today and if anybody knows how to get a horse to come from the clouds on a big day its him. Lani has been a real interesting horse to follow while making every race in the Triple Crown, his latest works have been much improved and you have to think at some point he will show up with a big effort, flyer.

Down the Stretch with Mike Mills

We are happy to have Mike Mills contributing to the One Lucky Mudder webpage!  Mike will be providing picks and analysis every Saturday on One Lucky Mudder.  Canterbury Park will be our regular Saturday feature track.

Mike is from Savage, Minnesota and was introduced to racing at a young age by his grandfather who owned and trained standard bred horses.  Mike started playing the races before he was a teenager and has been an avid player ever since. He has won multiple handicapping tournaments and last spring won a seat through Canterbury Park to the Horse Player World Series in Las Vegas.

Please give him a follow on Twitter @M_Mills21.

Today’s picks and analysis!  Good luck!

Race 1:  Wallykazam is a first time starter for Ed Ross Hardy and jockey Nik Goodwin is having a great start with his quarter horse mounts.  Wallykazam ships up from Remington Park where he’s put in some good works.  Jess a Chance and One Rare Ivory are the only two in the field with racing experience.  Jess a Chance broke poorly his first time out.  If that can be corrected, he’ll be closing.

Race 2:  The second quarter horse race of the day at 350 yards.  The outside runner Fast Copy Kat has the outside post which should suit him well, and gets the help of Nik Goodwin.  His last race at Remington at 110 was not enough.  Fast Copy Kat needs a little more distance to get into stride. Next to him will be Bella Nona who finished third at this distance in the last race.  Should do well in this field.  Shezawinesnob in the Number 2 post should do well in this spot with a good break.  Has been running at further distances.

Race 3: Harnersbach makes his second start of the year after a respectable third in seasonal debut he should be ready to fire his best today. Sword of David didn’t do much running in his Canterbury debut but with top connections and a couple of nice races down at Oaklawn this winter we should expect a much better effort here.  Vestibule ships in from Tampa for the Padilla barn and with the tough rail draw Butler will be forced to put him in the race early, but that’s not always a bad thing on the main track.

Race 4: Greedy American goes out for the Sharp barn after tiring in his last at a longer distance todays route distance should be more to his liking with sharp efforts at the Fairgrounds this winter. Dorn ran well here last summer on the lawn and if the race is washed off the turf we know he can handle the main track, dual surface threat. Water Issues ran some very competitive turf numbers last spring at Santa Anita but has fallen off form as of late, looking for a wake-up call

Race 5: Aces over Kings has run well since being acquired by the Berndt barn, his last race may have just been too far for him, returns to a sprint today and should get a nice outside stalking trip. Supreme Stature is second off the layoff and ran an even fourth here opening weekend, should be more fit this afternoon and we are still expecting the Brinson barn to heat up. Mr. Megatron should be rolling late after being on a speed favoring track last out we hope todays track plays better to his style.

Race 6: With all of the speed sign on here we will take a shot with Fiona Cat, she comes in off an off an 8 month layoff but if she is ready to fire the race will set up perfect for her. Scent of Gold will be a part of that quick pace but seems to have a bit of tactical ability to go along with her speed, top connections should have her ready to go in her local debut. Prospector d’oro tries turf and two turns for the first time, both are significant hurdles to overcome, know her early not sure about late.

Race 7: Dakotaroan was on a dead rail in his career debut and ran an even third, with second time out improvement expected he should be right in the mix. Pitch Perfection ran second in his career debut at Tampa in a maiden claimer, he joins his MN bred friends in this spot and will be the one to catch and beat when they turn for home, tough. Poverty Flats showed improvement at the end of last season with the addition of blinkers and entices top jock Canchari, sizzling work 5/30 adds to intrigue.

Race 8:  This could be today’s best betting race with many ways to go, we land on Vanderboom Ridge. He ran like a horse who needed his last after the 8 month layoff, made a bid at the leaders and tired late, Bravo barn shows 26% win rate second off the long layoff and he should be right the when the hit the wire. Vino Limbo Tango seemed to have run off a bit last time out but if Canchari can get him to relax on the front end he should be a tough customer to pass in the lane. In a wide open race we take a flyer on Affirmed Cure for third, he ran some very competitive numbers on the Canterbury turf last summer and could be the bomb for the exotics.

Race 9: Pensador should take a lot of money once again, she was beaten at the odds on favorite in her seasonal debut after racing wide, we can give her a pass for that as it was her first race in 8 months. King George is another who was on that dead rail opening weekend, speed of the speed in a wide open race. Darkhorse Ty comes out of the same race as King George but his style is to sit and pounce, with all that speed lined up to his inside Goodwin should get a nice trip and be rolling late.

Race 10: The last of the day takes us around 2 turns, Duty Proper is 2 for 4 over the main track here at Canterbury, his tactical style should suit him very well in this spot and we know Tampa shippers love it here in Shakopee. Denali Success ships in for Diodoro after spending the winter at Oaklawn, this will be his first run over the local track but with a nice work on 5/22 we think he might like it here. Unstoppable Colby is 5 for 7 in the money here at Canterbury and runs third off the layoff after shipping up from Arizona, the Arizona shippers have not done well at the meet so we can’t trust he will fire his best but he is a must include.