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Picking Winners for the Iowa Sprint, Iowa Derby, Iowa Oaks, Cornhusker Handicap and Nightcap
SUNDAY, JULY 5, 2020
by: Rich Bieglmeier
BONUS: It's a two-day celebration (Saturday and Sunday) of horse racing at Prairie Meadows Racetrack. In this Player's Edge podcast, on-air analyst and Prairie Meadows host John Hernandez shares his thoughts on the races, the kind of horses that dominate Prairie Meadows, how to play quarter horses, some great grub and more... give it a listen.
Let's try to join in on the festival with five winners and hopefully a fistful of dollars with Sunday's, 50-cent Pick 5 at Prairie Meadows.
The IOWA SPRINT in race seven starts the ticket.
A skinny field of five are going to sprint 6 furlongs and like track announcer, John Hernandez said in our podcast, straight and fast wins.
So far, 91% of the winners at the distance/surface were labeled early speed with 14 of 23 leading every step of the way.
Although the favorite WELDER (PP: 2 ML 9/5) is likely to push the pace, we are going to fade him. Instead, we'll start our pick 5 with #3 CHIEF CICATRIZ (ML 5/2) and defending champion, #5 D'RAPPER (ML 5-1).
D'Rapper – defending Iowa Sprint Champ
CHIEF CICATRIZ is the one most likely to wire'em and D'RAPPER has raced at PM three times and, oh by the way, 3 Ws, including one against WELDER and CHIEF SISATRZ.
Race 8 and the second leg of the Pick 5 is the IOWA DERBY, once again, speed, speed, and more speed. Meet to date, there have been 9 races of a mile or more, 100% of them won by early speed types with a five running wire to wire into the winners' circle.
The IOWA DEBRY has a history of upsets. Looking at the last decade, the favorite has won that time, which is about average for the chalk. Since 2010, most of those who sported the IOWA DERBY crown went off at more than 7/2 post-time odds.
We'll hunt for value and speed.
We have our eye on a pair of speedsters, #2 HONDO LANE (ML 8-1), and #3 PRODIGOUS BAY (ML 4-1). The two, HONDO LANE has run four times, he either crushed the comp winning by 10 and 11 lengths or got crushed, losing by 11 and 17 lengths. PRODIGOUS BAY is the one we believe will take charge early and may never give up the lead.
IOWA OAKS and the ladies have run more to form than the boys in the DERBY. Only two of the last 10 OAKS champs left the gates with post time odds above 7/2. At morning line odds of 6-1, FLAT OUT (PP: 3) SPEED could make it three as she's won four of five on the front end. We expect she'll try for the lead at the jump but will have to carry her speed past 6 furlongs for the first time.
#7 DYNASTY OF HER OWN (ML 7/2) has also won four of five, her last two-wire to wire. She came off the bench to record a personal best speed number in her last; expect her to take a step forward today.
A 40% angle, 40%, you just can't overlook that high of a number. Trainer Rodolphe Brisset has #5 AURELIA GARLAND (ML 4-1) making her second route run. Brisset hits at 40% with horses taking on a mile or more for the second time. 40%? Crazy!
Race number 10, the CORNHUSKER HANDICAP, we are going to just two in the fourth leg of the Pick 5. The favorite, #3 NIGHT OPS (ML 5/2). He was awful in his last, the Oaklawn handicap, but even then, his numbers were on par or better than most in this field of nine. His typical race makes him a top contender.
DUNPH (PP: 9 ML 5-1) has the look of a horse that's figuring it out. After waddling around inconsistent mediocrity, he's really upped his game in his two efforts, including the highest, last race speed figure. He'll be the one to beat if can repeat his last race.
To finish out the final leg of the Pick 5, we go from the Grade III, $100,000 Cornhusker Handicap to a $3500 Claimer with a $10,000 purse. It's the sort of race where you feel compelled to hit the ALL button and hope the longest on the board comes home.
Instead, we won't take the easy way out and do the responsible thing with two selections.
MAJOR PERFECTION (PP: 2 ML 5/2) should get out of the box in a hurry and has won two of three at Prairie Meadows. ORANGE (PP: 6 ML 7/2) has a race over the course, third last out, and has room to be better in round two. He should be close to the front from the bell and his best efforts have come as a leader and not a follower.
Our Festival of Racing Pick 5 ticket looks like this:
Race 7: 2,5
Race 8: 2,3
Race 9: 3,5,7
Race 10: 3,9
Race 11: 2,6
That's a $24 wager for every 50-cents. There is enough value plays in there to produce a nice payout, provided we have the winners.
Have a question for Rich Bieglmeier? Email him at email@example.com.
Good luck at the races!
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