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Pete's Picks: Let Em Shine in King's Bishop, Palace Malice Travers

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 8/23/2013 7:56:11 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds ??? Forty Tales, Mentor Cane, Declan???s Warrior, Overanalyze, Let Em Shine, Orb, Verrazano, Will Take Charge, Palace Malice, Transparent

What: Horse Racing Betting Tips ??? The King???s Bishop, The Travers

Where: Saratoga

When: Saturday, August 24th

A deep and talented field of 14 three-year-olds will contest the 29th Running of The King's Bishop (Grade 1) at Saratoga on Saturday. That race will serve as a prelude to the 144th Running of The Travers (Grade 1), which has attracted one of the strongest contingents in decades, including Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby winner Orb, Wood Memorial and Haskell Invitational winner Verrazano, and Belmont Stakes and Jim Dandy winner Palace Malice. We'll take a closer look at these races below.

#2-Forty Tales (5-2)is the deserving morning-line favorite in The King's Bishop. He's on a 3-race winning streak, all of which were graded events, including the Grade 2Amsterdam at Saratoga last out. There's ample speed in this race to set up Forty Tale's late charge, but with a field of 14, he'll need some racing luck to avoid traffic. The Todd Pletcher trainee has improved on the Beyer scale in his last four starts dating back to early March, so it's not clear where his ceiling is just yet. He could face a late challenge from classy stablemate 9-Overanalyze (12-1), winner of a pair of Grade 2 events as a 2YO, as well as the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby earlier this year. However, Overanalyze has been rather dull of late, so he'll need a form reversal. #8-Declan's Warrior (5-1) is another who could make some noise in the late going. I'll take my chances with the speed-of-the-speed. While #7-Mentor Cane (8-1) is quick, I'll be shocked if he can deal with the early heat that #10-Let Em Shine (6-1) brings to the table. This colt carved out fractions of :21 and :43 1/5 on the Santa Anita main track in just his second career start, defeating maidens. He followed that up with splits of :21 1/5 and :43 4/5 in his next start, a blowout win at Santa Anita vs. entry-level allowance types. He finds himself outside the other speed in this race, and gets a rider switch from Edwin Maldonado to the ever-patient Mike Smith. Let Em Shine had a nice spin over the Spa main oval on Monday, and should be ready to roll. I'll bet on #10-Let Em Shine across the board (win, place and show) at odds of 9-2 or better.

In a very contentious Travers, I'm siding with #8-Palace Malice (5-2) for several reasons, both pro Palace Malice and anti the other main contenders. Palace Malice has come to hand beautifully for trainer Todd Pletcher since his Kentucky Derby misadventure, in which he wore blinkers for the first (and probably last) time. He has the stamina to handle the mile-and-a-quarter of the Travers, by virtue of his Belmont Stakes victory. He's 2-for-2 at Saratoga, including a win last out in The Jim Dandy, in which he earned a career-best Beyer of 107. He's situated outside the other speed, which gives regular rider Mike Smith some options. #2-Orb (4-1) is returning from a 2 ??-month break, and may not be fully cranked for this.#3-Verrazano (2-1) was spectacular in The Haskell, but must answer the distance question, and finds himself inside the speedy #6-Moreno (12-1), who could keep him pinned down on the fence. #5-Will Take Charge (10-1), runner-up last out to Palace Malice, has the look of a live longshot. I???ll bet on Palace Malice to win at odds of 8-5 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for what could shape up as a Mike Smith Saturday. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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