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Pete’s Picks: Sweet Reason in The Frizette, Honor Code in The Champagne, Declassify in The Santa Anita Sprint Championship

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 10/4/2013 5:04:10 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Sweet Reason, Stopchargingmaria, Havana, Honor Code, Strong Mandate, Gonna Fly Now, Declassify, Centralinteligence, Trinniberg, Points Offthebench, Goldencents
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Frizette, The Champagne, The Santa Anita Sprint Championship
Where: Belmont Park, Santa Anita 
When: Saturday, October 5th

We’re focusing on one-turn Grade 1 dirt races this Saturday. First up is the 66th Running of The Frizette for two-year-old fillies at Belmont Park, headed by the impressive Sweet Reason. Immediately following The Frizette is the 142nd Running of the historic Champagne, for 2YO’s of either sex. Finally, on the left coast, a field of eight hard-hitting sprinters, three-year-olds and upward, will contest The Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Let’s take a closer look at these major Breeders’ Cup prep races below.

#1-Sweet Reason (8-5) has been extraordinarily impressive in her first two career starts, the most recent being her Grade 1 Spinaway romp. The extra furlong of the Frizette shouldn’t pose a problem, and her recent works at Belmont Park suggest she’ll handle ‘Big Sandy’ just fine. Both wins came in the slop, but trainer Leah Gyarmati insists that a fast track will suit her as well. #4-Stopchargingmaria (3-1) was no match for Sweet Reason in The Spinaway, and it’s hard to envision her turning the tables on Saturday. Impressive maiden winners #2-Artemis Agrotera (6-1), #3-Tea Time (6-1) and #7-Recepta (5-1) are all making their stakes debut, and will be tested for class. I’ll bet on #1-Sweet Reason to win at odds of 4-5 or better.

The Champagne appears to be a highly-contentious affair on paper, but #5-Honor Code (3-1) looks like he might be the male version of Sweet Reason, having won his debut going away in a last-to-first move in the Saratoga slop. This regally-bred Shug McGaughey trainee is a son of Belmont Stakes winner A.P. Indy, and has been training over the Belmont Park main oval for the past month, so the surface should be to his liking. Grade 1 Hopeful winner #7-Strong Mandate (5-2) will take some catching, as will the quick #3-Havana (7-2), who earned a lofty Beyer Speed Figure of 102 in winning his career debut. That win came at 5 ½ furlongs, however, so the extra distance could prove problematic. It’s not often you see a two-year-old rally from 22-lengths behind at the half-mile mark to win a 7-furlong debut race by 4 ½ widening lengths…Honor Code sure looked good doing it. I’ll bet on #5-Honor Code to win at odds of 8-5 or better.

The Santa Anita Sprint Championship is loaded with quality from top-to-bottom, beginning with defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champ #5-Trinniberg (4-1). He appears to be rounding back into form in what has been a spotty 2013 campaign. Millionaire #8-Goldencents (3-1) is the lukewarm favorite, and could be at his best sprinting on dirt. His outside post should help. #3-Centralinteligence (4-1) exits a Grade 1 score in The Triple Bend Handicap, in which he earned a career-best Beyer of 108, but has been away from the races for three months. I’ll take my chances with the hugely-talented, but lightly-raced #2-Declassify (4-1). The Bob Baffert-trained 3YO demolished a nice field of older sprinters in his second career start, which included rival #1-Gonna Fly Now (12-1), who finished less than a length behind Goldencents in his most recent start. Declassify cost $450K as a two-year-old, and the son of Orientate out of a Tale of the Cat mare is bred to excel at the sprint game. The sky’s the limit for this guy, and you know Baffert wouldn’t throw him to the wolves unless he was the real deal. I’ll bet on Declassify to win at odds of 5-2 or better.

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

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