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Pete’s Picks: Regally Ready in Firecracker, Kathleen Rose in Royal Heroine

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 6/27/2014 10:31:07 PM

Who: Guys Reward, Free World, Nikki’s Sandcastle, Silver Max, Regally Ready, Stormy Lucy, Wishing Gate, Moone’s My Name, Habibi, Kathleen Rose, Parranda

What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Firecracker, The Royal Heroine

Where: Churchill Downs, Santa Anita

When: Saturday, June 28th

We’ll be looking at a pair of Grade 2 events at one mile on grass this weekend, starting with The Firecracker at Churchill Downs for three year olds and up, and finishing with The Royal Heroine at Santa Anita for fillies and mares, three year olds and up. Both races are highly competitive…let’s take a closer look at the major players below.

The fast and classy #5-Silver Max (8-5) is likely to go favored in The Firecracker, but there are significant obstacles. He’s returning from a 7 ½-month layoff, and will be facing another speedster to his inside in #2-Free World (10-1), who has led at every call in his last five starts…all wins. Those two could cook one another, which might set things up for #8-Regally Ready (5-2), if that one is able to employ stalking tactics from his outside post. He’s fast, but has shown he can win from just off the pace. The millionaire has won his last pair, drops two pounds off his latest effort, and has won 5-of-7 on the Churchill lawn. If the race falls apart, #1-Guys Reward (10-1) could pass them all late, but bear in mind he’s won just 1-of-10 starts since taking this event back in 2012. #4-Nikki’s Sandcastle (6-1) is a hard-knocking 7YO gelding, but his last turf score came in December, 2012. He too will be running late. I’ll bet on #8-Regally Ready to win at odds of 2-1 or better.

Contention runs deep in The Royal Heroine as well, but the race sets up much differently, with #9-Kathleen Rose (6-1) looking like the lone speed. The 4YO has won three straight vs. open company in the optional claiming ranks, and her latest Beyer Speed Figure of 93 suggests she fits at this level. Also note that her Beyers have risen with every start, so why not again here? Lukewarm morning-line favorite #10-Parranda (3-1) may have to alter her tactics a bit in order to keep pressure on Kathleen Rose early, but appears to have the versatility to do so. She’ll spot that rival two pounds as well. Several others figure to make a late run, especially #1-Stormy Lucy (4-1) and #6-Moone’s My Name (9-2), but the mystery runner in here is the New Zealand-bred #7-Habibi (6-1), winner of the Group 1 New Zealand Derby vs. males in March, 2013. She has been away from the races for more than a year, and will be making her first start on a course with left-hand turns. Still, she merits respect and makes this a difficult race to take a strong stand. I’ll make a modest bet on #9 Kathleen Rose to win at odds of 9-2 or better.

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

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