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Violence, Departing the Plays at Gulfstream, Fair Grounds

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 2/22/2013 4:49:28 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Orb, Violence, Normandy Invasion, Oxbow, Departing
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Fountain of Youth, The Risen Star
Where: Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds
When: Saturday, February 23rd

One’s the chalk, the other’s a bomb…cash on the first and the other’s a freebie. Cash on the bomb and it’s party time! The highly-regarded Violence will be tough to beat in Saturday’s Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park if he’s even close to ready after a two-month freshening. Departing, however, may be overlooked in The Risen Star at Fair Grounds, and will be a juicy overlay. Let’s take a closer look at these Kentucky Derby prep races below.

Thus far, #3-Violence (9-5) has handled progressively longer distances and progressively tougher company, looking better each time. Most recently, he shipped cross-country to win the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity in his two-turn debut over Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track…no small feat for a two-year-old! His tractable running style should serve him well in a race loaded with front-runners, and with a short run to the first turn, he shouldn’t lose much ground breaking from Post 3. #1-Orb (12-1) will come running late…he could round out a decent exacta. I’ll bet on #3-Violence to win at odds of 6-5 or better, and a straight exacta, #3-Violence over #1-Orb.

The merits of #14-Departing (12-1) in The Risen Star are concealed by his relatively low Beyer Speed Figures and his outside post. I’m willing to overlook both, and believe this colt could be special. This Claiborne/Dilschneider homebred passed his two-turn debut easily, finishing very strongly while under a hand ride. It’s not his fault that the pace was so slow. You’ll note he had no trouble attending a fairly quick pace (:22 flat) in his six-furlong career bow. His Beyer that day (82) is the best career debut winning Beyer in the Risen Star field…an indication that he’s got real talent. He’s got the home-field edge over several major contenders, including #2-Code West (6-1), #6-Palace Malice (8-1), and #9-Normandy Invasion (5-2), which never hurts. Departing is in good hands, too, with the trainer/jockey combo of Stall/Hernandez posting super numbers in 2012-13, winning with 10-of-34 starters for a lofty ROI of $3.89. True, his post isn’t the best, but there’s a good chance he’ll move in a few spots due to defections. He’s got enough tactical speed to grab a decent position in the second flight heading into the first turn, and will avoid most of the kickback. He’ll appreciate the 3-lb. drop in weight as well. I’m looking for #14-Departing to take a big step forward in his second two-turn try, and win the Risen Star with a strong late run. I’ll bet on him across the board (win/place/show) at odds of 6-1 or better.

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

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