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Juvenile Turfers Take Center Stage at Woodbine

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 9/14/2012 5:27:34 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Coconut Shrimp, Archer Hill
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Natalma, The Summer Stakes
Where: Woodbine
When: Saturday, September 15th

It’s ladies first this Saturday at Woodbine, as a full field of juvenile fillies will line up to contest the 48th Running of The Natalma (Grade 2) going a one-turn mile on the lawn. Three races later, 2YO males will head postward in the 59th Running of The Summer Stakes (Grade 2), also at a distance of one mile on the grass. It’s likely that a few of these youngsters will show up at Santa Anita on the first weekend in November in search of Breeders’ Cup glory. Let’s look at the top contenders below.

It’s hard to separate the major players in the Natalma based on Beyers, as the top turf figs range from 69-76. Four promising fillies in that narrow Beyer range have won their only grass start…#1-Summer of Fun (10-1), #7-Spring Venture (8-1), #9-Kitten’s Dumplings (8-1) and #11-Coconut Shrimp (4-1). I find Coconut Shrimp to be the most interesting of that quartet. By Giant’s Causeway out of a Distorted Humor mare, she’s bred to go longer. Her training has gone well since the debut win, with a pair of bullets on display. Her connections are top-notch, and Pletcher excels on the stretchout (28%, $2.11 ROI). Coconut Shrimp exits a key race, in which the 3rd, 4th and 5th-place finishers won their next start. The runner-up from that race shows up here as well. I noticed that Coconut Shrimp changed to wrong lead in mid-stretch of her debut, but she galloped out well nevertheless. With that race under her belt, she could move forward in a big way here. I’ll bet on #11-Coconut Shrimp to win at odds of 3-1 or better.

In the Summer Stakes, I like NY-bred #4-Archer Hill (5-2). Granted, he only beat state-breds in his debut, and didn’t earn a particularly high Beyer (65). Still, there’s plenty to like about this colt. He’s by Big Brown, who was a pretty nice turf horse, despite earning the lion’s share of his lofty reputation on the Triple Crown trail. Also, I noticed that in Archer Hill’s Saratoga bow, when another horse blew by him on the backstretch, he didn’t take up the chase…he let him go and bided his time. That demonstrates maturity. When jockey Alex Solis did ask him for run, he made a wide, eye-catching move on the turn, and kept on going for the 1 ½-length score, which was followed by a strong gallop-out. The second-place finisher in that race won his next start. You’ll also notice that Archer Hill has done most of his training at Woodbine, so he’s familiar with the surroundings (which is especially important for young horses). I’ll bet on Archer Hill to win at odds of 2-1 or better.

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

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