Selections for $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes

Best Bets Comments Off on Selections for $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes

By Frank R. Scatoni, editor of The HorsePlayer Magazine.

THE RACE $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes Aqueduct Racetrack Race 8 (Saturday, February 5, 2011: post time: 3:49 p.m./EST; 12:49 p.m./PST) 1-1/16 miles on the inner-dirt track (3-year-olds) The Triple Crown subway train heads into the Big A station this Saturday with the thirty-second running of the Whirlaway Stakes, a traditional prep for both the Gotham Stakes (G3) and the Wood Memorial (G1), New York's key races on the Derby Trail. This looks to be a pretty evenly matched race, so we need to find a separator, and for me that separator is to stand against the New York–breds facing open company. Of those horses, two look pretty good to me: #1 TOBY'S CORNER, a Laurel invader that has dominated Mid-Atlantic competition in his last two starts, and #6 J J'S LUCKY TRAIN, second-place finisher of the Count Fleet on New Year's Day. Of the two, I'm leaning slightly toward "JJ" because of his early speed and the removal of blinkers—I expect a perfect tracking trip—but I think "Toby" has the potential to be a very nice runner. #3 RESCIND THE TRADE is undefeated in two starts and attracts the services of Alan Garcia. If he's healthy (check out the two layoff lines), then he should have a say in the outcome. #2 ARTHUR'S TALE was just handled by "JJ" in the Count Fleet, but that was his first start against winners, and he just looks like the kind of horse that should improve in his third race of the current form cycle. Of the two New York–breds, #5 PREACHINTOTHEDEVIL has #7 SKY MUSIC on form, but I'm not crazy about either of them. The remaining runner, #4 NORMAN ASBJORNSON, ships in from Pennsylvania and looks too slow on paper. SELECTIONS 1. #6 J J'S LUCKY TRAIN – Former maiden claimer is too sharp to ignore. 2. #1 TOBY'S CORNER – Gets a class test today, but trainer Graham Motion knows how to spot his horses. 3. #3 RESCIND THE TRADE – Lightly raced colt could make a big statement today if he's right. LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #2 ARTHUR'S TALE – Needs a form reversal to "JJ" and a big step forward, but that's possible with any improving 3-year-old. WAGERING STRATEGY Even though I picked #6 J J'S LUCKY TRAIN on top, I think the value of the race goes through #1 TOBY'S CORNER. Let's do an exacta box ($10 exacta box: 1,6) and play "Toby" on top of #2 ARTHUR'S TALE and #3 RESCIND THE TRADE, as well as the Pletcher (#7 SKY MUSIC)—just because it's Pletcher! The ticket should look like this: $10 exacta: 1 with 2,3,7. BANKROLL PLAY $50 win #1A CALIBRACHOA ((Bankroll at +$63.75 after Week Five Based on $50 Wagers)


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