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Pete’s Picks: Departing in Stephen Foster Handicap

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 6/13/2014 10:46:37 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Revolutionary, Jaguar Paw, Moonshine Mullin, Will Take Charge, Mylute, Departing, Golden Ticket, Long River, Prayer for Relief

What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Stephen Foster Handicap

Where: Churchill Downs

When: Saturday, June 14th

The Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on Saturday has attracted a strong field of nine, with five boasting earnings in excess of a million dollars. Revolutionary, Will Take Charge, Departing, Golden Ticket and Prayer for Relief are members of the millionaire’s club, but there are several others worth a long look for the top prize. Let’s take a closer look at the Stephen Foster field below.

#1-Revolutionary (2-1) : Came from 30 lengths out of it last time to win the Grade 3 Pimlico Special, defeating Prayer for Relief by a neck. He also finished a neck in front of Mylute twice last year, in The Louisiana Derby and The Kentucky Derby. This classy Pletcher trainee may not get the honest pace he needs to make his finishing punch effective in this spot, and the price won’t entice either.

#2-Jaguar Paw (30-1) : He gets in light and should enjoy a ground-saving, stalking trip behind probable pacesetter Moonshine Mullin. Still, it’s hard to see him hitting the board under any circumstances.

#3-Moonshine Mullin (10-1) : Claimed for $40,000 last November by his current connections, the 6YO horse has proven to be a steal, winning his last four on or near the lead, including the Grade 2 Alysheba here. The trainer/rider combo of Morse/Borel has clicked at a 31% win rate in 2013-14, with an ROI of $3.06 for each $2.00 wagered. He’ll take some catching in his current form, especially if Jaguar Paw fails to apply pressure.

#4-Will Take Charge (5-2) : This guy rattled off eight straight triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures before tossing a clunker last out. During that streak he compiled a record of 8-4-4-0 against top competition. That last one bothers me, and trainer Lukas can’t find a reason for it. Is a turnaround immanent? Perhaps, but at underlaid odds.

#5-Mylute (12-1) : The big gray colt has nibbled at a few big purses, but his wins have come in the allowance ranks. Also, I didn’t like his finishes on the wrong lead in his last pair. Pass.

#6-Departing (9-2) : Triple derby winner as a soph wasn’t quite ready for top-level competition…but he could be this year. He overcame some traffic trouble in his 2014 bow locally and drew off nicely. He hasn’t missed a beat in his training since taking some time off at the end of his 3YO campaign, and the recent works have been swift. A mid-pack trip gives him the jump on Revolutionary and Will Take Charge, and note that when this guy gets to the front, he increases his margin without fail. The Pick.

#7-Golden Ticket (8-1) : He’s been first once and second four times in seven starts on the Churchill main track. That runner-up finish behind the swift and classy Fort Larned in this race last year shows what this guy is capable of. He’s a major threat to round out the exacta or tri.

#8-Long River (15-1) : I’m not ready to jump on this guy’s bandwagon based on those two nice efforts on the Aqueduct inner dirt. He made his presence felt in the Charles Town Classic, but ultimately beat two horses.

#9-Prayer for Relief (8-1) : He’s another who picks up a lot of checks, but most are of the listed or Grade 3 variety. One of the reasons I’m against Revolutionary is that he only beat this guy by a neck last out.

I’ll bet on #6-Departing to win and place at odds of 7-2 or better .

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

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