Selections for $150,000 Hendrie Stakes (G3)

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

THE RACE $150,000 Hendrie Stakes (G3) Woodbine Race 8 (Saturday, May 14, 2011: post time: 4:35 p.m./EDT; 1:35 p.m./PDT) 6.5-furlongs on the Polytrack (fillies and mares aged 4-years-old and upward) This year’s renewal of the Hendrie Stakes (G3) is inscrutable—I can make cases for every horse in the race, since they all look pretty equally matched. But let’s see if the pace can be the key with a bunch of confirmed frontrunners entered. #6 ARIANA D looks to have the right running style for this race. She knows how to rally from way off the pace, but she also doesn’t have to be too far back if the pace is slow. She’s a 6.5-furlong specialist, and her second-place run in the 6-furlong Whimsical (G3) should have her primed for a top effort today. #5 INDIAN APPLE IS is another one that should benefit from a speed duel. She was actually favored in the Whimsical (G3), but her late rally only got her third. She too likes today’s distance, and her Woodbine record of 16: 6-5-2 is pretty impressive. #7 DR. ZIC is a Grade One winner that finished second in this race last year, setting the pace on a closer-friendly track. Her recent form isn’t the greatest, but she’s speed on the outside and should get a very good tracking trip. Speaking of Grade One winners, #1 HOOH WHY has earned more than $760,000, and she’s only finished out of the money twice in nine starts at Woodbine, so you know she likes it here. Her seasonal debut in the Whimsical (G3) wasn’t very good, but loyalists can forgive her off the layoff. If she doesn’t fire today, however, she could be a case of when good mares go bad. #2 EMBUR’S SONG does her best running on the lead, and there is other speed in here. Given the fact that she’s been routing, she may find herself chasing the pace, and that’s a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, if she can rate, she’ll certainly have the foundation to outstay them all in the final half-furlong. #3 WILDCAT MARIE, a former claimer, is more speed, and she should be on the lead after exiting a series of shorter races. She’s a nice filly, but I’m not sure she wants the extra half-furlong. #4 SHUKRIYA was in a great spot in the Whimsical (G3) before evening out late. You can forgive her that effort off the layoff, but even still, I’m not sure she’ll have the kick to outrun some good fillies in deep stretch. SELECTIONS 1. #6 ARIANA D – Pace makes the race, and she should benefit the most from a brisk pace. 2. #5 INDIAN APPLE IS – Whimsical (G3) favorite out to make amends. 3. #7 DR. ZIC – Grade One winner is very dangerous on her best day. LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #1 HOOH WHY – She might have lost a step, but she’s got a lot of class and could luck into a good trip at the rail. WAGERING STRATEGY #6 ARIANA D will be my key horse on top and bottom of the exactas, along with my other top contenders—#5 INDIAN APPLE IS and #7 DR. ZIC—as well as #2 EMBUR’S SONG: $15 exacta 6 with 2,5,7; $5 exacta 2,5,7 with 6. BANKROLL PLAY $25 win/place #6 ARIANA D (Bankroll at +$780.50 after Week Eleven Based on $50 Wagers)

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