Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sapling Stakes, Arlington-Washington Futurity Stakes Picks

Western Smoke heads a field of eight 2-year-old colts and geldings today in the $150,000 Sapling Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Western Smoke is the 2-1 morning line favorite and looks tough in this six furlong race. Western Smoke is coming into the race off a 12-length romp in the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile Stakes. His sire, Smoke Glacken, was 1997 Eclipse Champion Sprinter and he also won the Sapling Stakes in 1996.

Not Macho Any More, trained by Richard Violette Jr. is the 3-1 second choice and Come From Behind, trained by Bill Mott, is the 4-1 third choice.

Daniel J. Ljoka’s Awesome Son is the 5-1 fifth choice and he could be a factor in the Sapling. He broke his maiden last out in a gate-to-wire six and one half length romp at Monmouth Park. His sire, Pure Precision, won the 2001 Sapling Stakes.

At 15-1 morning line odds, Virginia-bred Toccet’s Charm may be a good long shot bet. He’s coming into this race with a two and one half length win in the six furlong Jamestown Stakes at Colonial Downs.

I think that Western Smoke is probably the most likely winner but I may also play a small win/place bet on Awesome Son and Toccet’s Charm and use those three in my exacta’s and trifecta’s


Undefeated in two starts, Dixie Band is the 9-5 morning line favorite and heads a field of seven horses entered in the one mile $150,000 Arlington-Washington Furturity (G3) at Arlington Park.

Trained by Wayne Catalano, Dixie Band is coming into the Futurity with a win in the seven furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes. His sire, Dixie Union, is especially hot this year with 48 percent Graded Stakes winners.

Herecomesbert, trained by Steve Asmussen, is the 3-1 second choice and he comes into the Futurity with a three length win in a one mile maiden special weight at Arlington Park.

U Appeal To Me, trained by Michael Stidham, is the 4-1 third choice. U Appeal To Me comes into the Futurity with a second place finish to Dixie Band in the Spectacular Bid Stakes.

At 6-1 morning line odds, Piscatelli looks intriguing. His sire is Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop and he comes into the Futurity with a one length win in a one mile maiden special weight at Monmouth Park.

At 12-1 morning line odds, Kratisto looks like a good long shot bet. In his most recent outing – the Charles Town Juvenile - he finished second to speedster Western Smoke who is contesting the Sapling Stakes today at Monmouth Park. His sire Afleet Alex won the 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes and his damsire Risen Star won the 1988 Preakness and Belmont Stakes. So the stretch-out to a mile should not be a problem.

I will definitely play a win/place bet on Kratisto. In addition I will use him with Dixe Band, Hercomesbert and Piscitelli in my exacta’s and trifecta’s.

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