The Dixie: Filled with experience
by Geir Stabell (email@example.com) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2010-05-14 14:07:23 (First published: 2010-05-14 12:45:16 )
Pimlico Saturday: Thirteen winners of 56 races between them will contest the prestiogious Dixie Stakes (G2), leading us up to the 135th Preakness.
The winningmost of them is the six-year-old Rahystrada, with 9 wins to his name, one more than the year older Rockaby Bay. The latter ran third in the Henry Clark over this turf course last month, 3 lengths behind another Dixie contender, the seven-time winner Baltimore Bob. These are tough, experienced and battle hardened performers, all with a chance - in what is a tricky race to solve. Morning line favorite is Just as Well, runner-up last year when he also went close to winning in Grade One company.
THE DIXIE STAKES (G2)
Pimlico 15 May 2010 – 9 furlongs Turf
Top ranked horse on 100, with others ranked down
in pounds. One length equals about 2lb over this distance.
Horses presented with sire, best Globeform rating / jockey
A “p” after the rating indicates improvement expected.
A “P” indicates significant improvement expected.
100 – JUST AS WELL (A.P. Indy) GF 114 / J leparoux
..96 – STRIKE A DEAL (Smart Strike) GF 110 / R Dominguez
..96 – RAHYSTRADA (Rahy) GF 110 / I Karlsson
..95 – WESLEY (El Prado) GF 109 / J Castellano
..94 – PICK SIX (Dynaformer) GF 108 / M Smith
..90 – PICOU (With Approval) GF 104 / E Trujillo
..90 – BALTIMORE BOB (Malibu Moon) GF 104? / V Diaz
..90 – GRASSY (El Prado) GF 104p / G Gomez
...? – FORGOTTEN DYNASTY (Dynaformer) GF ?p / J Velazquez
...? - NICANOR (Dynaformer) GF ?p / R Albarado
..87 – ROCKABY BAY (Sahm) GF 101 / K Desormeaux
...? – LONELY WHISTLE (Say Florida Sandy) GF ? / S Russell
..76 – COOLCULLEN TIMES (Rock Of Gibraltar) GF 90 / E Prado
This is one of the most difficult races on the day, along with the Maryland Sprint the toughest of the stakes races to handicap. Just as Well, a fast finishing second to Parading in the 2009 Dixie, top the rankings but that is not based on his performance over 8.5 furlongs here at Pimlico 12 months ago. True, he ran a game race but he was favored by the weights that day and his performances over 1 ¼ miles and 1 ½ miles later in the season were markedly better. He returned GF 113 – 114 and 114 with three strong runs on the bounce in the Arlington Handicap (G3), Arlington Million (G1) and Canadian International (G1) in July, August and September. Now seven, Just as Well is likely to be more in need of a test of stamina to show his best, and he is a vulnerable favorite.
Grassy gets the narrow vote in this office. This lightly raced four-year-old, trained by Bill Mott and once more to be ridden by Garrett Gomez, might be a big improver. Gomez rode him in an allowance race over this trip at Keeneland in April, when Grassy came with an explosive kick from off the pace to get second, ¾ length behind Unbridled’s Dream. That was his first start since October, when he was a good fourth behind subsequent G1 winner Take the Points, Straight Story and Courageous Cat in the Jamaica Handicap (G1) over 9 furlongs at Belmont Park. He is a bit similar to Just as Well, in that he will need a strong pace. Nicanor, from the wide post, and Rochaby Bay (post 11) are two that may set the pace. Hopefully it will be a good pace and hopefully Grassy can be dropped in off it for a ground saving trip. Then, and hopefully once more, he will find the gaps in the straight. Backing him is risky but we have the best man for the job on his back and 5-1 (morning line) is a fair price.
Others in with a shot are the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) fourth Wesley, another closer and third in this event last year (2lb better off with Just as Well now), Henry Clark winner Baltimore Bob (recent form over the track is always a plus), the lightly raced Forgotten Dynasty (3-for-3 at the Gulfstream meet and open to improvement), Strike the Deal (scary ‘back class’ in his PPs / sixth last year), last year’s River City Handicap (G3) winner Rahystrada (overcame trouble to win at Keeneland last out) and the widely drawn Pick Six (blinkers off and back down in distance after his flop in the Elkhorn). Sentmental players might want to add Barbaro’s brother Nicanor. He is not without a chance but seems well held by Grasso and his prominent style makes breaking from post 13 a disadvantage.
A: 2 GRASSY
B: 1 – 4 – 5 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 12
For betting plan - please see the Globeform Racecard
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