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Pete’s Picks: Riposte in Sheepshead Bay, Quick Casablanca in Charles Whittingham Handicap

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 5/23/2014 10:13:39 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Riposte, Fitful Skies, Abaco, Viva Rafaela, Quick Casablanca, Bright Thought, Fire With Fire, Segway, Joelito

What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Sheepshead Bay, The Charles Whittingham Handicap

Where: Belmont Park, Santa Anita

When: Saturday, May 24th

Long-distance turfers are in action this Saturday on both coasts. At Belmont Park, older fillies and mares will contest The Sheepshead Bay at 1 3/8 miles. At Santa Anita, The Charles Whittingham Handicap at 1 1/4 miles for three-year-olds and upward tops the card. Both are Grade 2 events. Let’s take a closer look at these races below.

Trainer Bill Mott has a pair of uncoupled runners in The Sheepshead Bay in #2-Riposte (3-1) and #8-Modernstone (8-1), with the former being more highly-regarded. Risposte is a four-year-old Juddmonte Farms homebred who has shown promise from the beginning. She broke her maiden at Newmarket in her second start going 1 ½ miles, and followed that up with a Group 2 score in The Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot. She has a pair of seconds and a third in three starts stateside at shorter distances, so the extra ground should help. She’ll be reunited with the talented Joel Rosario, and also benefits from the second-time Lasix angle. #2-Riposte is my pick at odds of 5-2 or better. #3-Fitful Skies (7-2) lost the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor last fall by a head, but was dull in her 2014 debut in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. #6-Abaco (5-2) always tries hard, but finished a half-length behind Riposte at Gulfstream Park in early February. #10-Viva Rafaela (5-1) has speed, but tends to weaken when the real running starts. However, her recent Beyer Speed Figures (90, 91, 93) put her squarely in the mix.

The Charles Whittingham Handicap looks like a perfect setup for the improving #2-Quick Casablanca (7-2). The six-year-old Ron McAnally trainee is a multiple Grade 1 winner in South America, and in his 2014 bow got up to win the Grade 3 Last Tycoon by a head, earning a lifetime-best Beyer of 94 in the process. He should appreciate the stretchout. His main opposition comes from #3-Bright Thought (3-1), #6-Fire With Fire (4-1) and #7-Segway (7-2), all of whom have high speed. They could compromise one another’s chances, paving the way for Quick Casablanca to swoop by them in the late stages. #8-Joelito (9-2) has the right running style for this event, but he weakened in The Last Tycoon, and has never been this far. I’ll bet on #2-Quick Casablanca to win and place at odd of 3-1 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for this weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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