Player Quick Pick for 2/17/2014
This is a really interesting field of 12 horses (11 betting interests), so how would we play it?
1-Tanzanite Cat: speed is bred to stretch 1A-Paganol: steps up v. good foes off debut win for hot connections 2 - Tapiture: has done nothing wrong & finally put it together last out 3-Coastline: in off tough outside draw in the Smarty Jones 4-Louies Flower: taking the Will Take Charge route & has answered every call 5-Kendall's Boy: speed hung on last out 6-Walt: nice last work & has 1 bad (forgivable) race on his resume 7-Strong Mandate: has to prove 2 good Saratoga races weren't a fluke 8-Ride On Curlin: well-bred with win over the strip & doesn't need a clean trip 9-Son of Dixie: good efforts but hasn't quite put it together v. this caliber yet 10-Fire Starter: maiden win was freaky but trouble-prone Tapit has to settle 11-Bourbonize: can't get better than undefeated, but what has he beaten?
Strong Mandate is back off a solid third place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with a string of good works for D.Wayne Lukas. Coach is having a good meet in terms of hitting the board, even if his win percentage isn't stellar at 9%.
If the rule is Always Bet An Entry (it's 2 for the price of 1!), then definitely use Tanzanite Cat: a speedy son of Graeme Hall looking for his third straight win after breaking his maiden then taking the Smarty Jones last out; his entry-mate is Paganol, an impressive debut winner. Tapiture draws the rail and is back off a freshening since breaking his maiden (finally!) in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club at the end of the Churchill Downs fall meet.
Honorable mentions go to Coastline, a talented colt who overcame a tough outside post in the Smarty Jones to run a good enough third; Walt, who crushed the workmate in a between-the-races workout on Thursday and hasn't done much wrong; and Ride On Curlin, a really well-bred bay whose proven he doesn't need a clean trip to win.
My wagering advice: 8 - 6 - 2 - 4 - 1