The 49th Donn Handicap
9th @ Gulfstream 5:23pm Eastern
2. Halos Sailing Sain...Bravo...He's had some decent works here but he is way overmatched. I'm not real sure he'll care for the distance anyway. Orseno 0 for 12 for the meet.
3. A.P. Arrow...Desormeaux...Hasn't really improved since Pletcher took over for his old boss. Most likely he's a cut below these, though still a nice one. I'll leave him out of my wagering plans.
4. Chatain...Velasquez C....Just off of a monster effort in the Hal's Hope while stepping into graded company. That all out effort should have taken a toll but he bounced right back with a strong work on Monday. It might be too much to ask for the win, but he could get a share.
5. Tap Dancing Mauk...Nunez...I try to avoid dismissing without at least some positive comment, but he is way over his head and has no business here.
6. Hesanoldsalt...Bejarano...He's run his two best dirt route efforts over an off track. He won't get that here. He's been burning it up in the mornings at Palm Meadows. He still looks a cut below the top ones here. Zito has a habit of knocking me out of exotics lately, so I won't be shocked if he does it again.
7. Magna Graduate...Velasquez J....Just ran a whale of a race in the Queens County on the inner at Aqueduct. How he'll recover from that will decide how he fares here. He has had 8 weeks since and that was only his second start since returning from a decent 4th place finish in the Dubai World Cup last March. Wonder what happened between the Ack Ack at Churchill on BC day and the QC?
8. Barcola...Castellano...Bounced last time after the effort at Aqueduct in the previous race, but he didn't bounce too far. I like to see this and it possibly means he is ready for another top effort. That would get him close, and possibly into the exacta at a very nice price. I will use in Straight exactas and tris.
9. Strong Contender...Prado...Every time it looked as though he was going to string a nice campaign together last year, something would happen to prevent it. Namely, an off effort. Ward tried to shoehorn him into the Triple Crown trail at first, but realized it was too ambitious. A Super Derby like effort here will get him second, and being second off the long layoff he couldn't be set up better for it. A couple of strong works as well, don't hurt. Second choice.
It looks as though we'll have to accept a very short price on the winner. 2-5, 1-5, somewhere in that neighborhood. Invasor should prove too tough for these even off the layoff.
I'll use Strong Contender in 2nd and pound this likely $5 exacta.
Barcola could add some jingle to the exotics if he's up to it. Straight tris using him in 2nd as well.
2. Strong Contender
Best of luck everyone!
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