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Alysheba: Donn winner Hymn Book returns
by Geir Stabell ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2013-05-02 09:43:31 (First published: 2013-05-02 09:22:24 )

Churchill Downs Friday

Hymn Book, winner of the 2011 Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park and also a winner over the Churchill Downs main track, returns to action in the Alysheba Stakes (G2) on Friday.

after layoffs before and perhaps ha can do it again, but he is facing stiff oppisition; from the easy Oaklawn Park Handicap (G2) winner Cyber Secret, as well as the familiar foes Take Charge Indy and Bourbon Courage, who both hit the board in last year's Clark Handicap (G1).


Churchill Downs 3 May 2013 1 1/16 miles dirt

Runner presented with best Globeform ratings & jockeys

Top ranked horse on 100, with others ranked down in pounds.
One length equals two pounds over this distance.
Best Globeform rating after name of sire.

100 - CYBER SECRET (Broken Vow) GF 120 / R Albarado
100 - HYMN BOOK (Arch) GF 119 / G Gomez
100 - RICHARD'S KID (Lemon Drop Kid) GF 118 July12 / GF 100 at best last 5 starts / K Krigger
..98 - TAKE CHARGE INDY (A.P. Indy) GF 117 / R Napravnik
..97 - BOURBON COURAGE (Lion Heart) GF 116 / J Castellano
..92 - MACHO MACHO (Macho Uno) GF 111 / C Nakatani
? - PATRIOTICANDPROUD (Proud Citizen) GF ? / J Rosario
..87 - RIGHT TO VOTE (Political Force) GF 106 / R Santana Jr
..85 - LAUGH TRACK (Distorted Humor) GF 104? / M Mena


The Oaks aside
, this is the most interesting betting heat on Friday, as only four names stick out markedly, and one of the four is a clear first choice; the in-form CYBER SECRET, who was very strong in his last start, winning the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) by almost six lengths (with something in hand). That was his fourth straight win, and he has been improving in each of these four races. This 4yo has been campaigned somewhat strangely and now that he has been allowed to race over a mile plus on dirt, he has found a new level of form. In fact, if you take out his four rather wasteful races off the main track, you are looking at a horse whose record is 6-for-10. He was so much the best at Oaklawn Park, where he slammed Taptowne and Sabercat over today's distance, in a good time, and moved up to GF 120. A repeat performance would make him hard to beat here.

HYMN BOOK comes back after a break but has run big races off the bench twice in the past, and he is a danger, though this distance probably is a little bit on the sharp side for him nowadays. He may run up to his best but he can't be expected to, and has probably not been trained with this race specifically in mind.

RICHARD'S KID ran to GF 118 in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) last summer (runner-up to Game On Dude) but his more recents runs have been way below such a level and I am more than happy to drop his number here, even in Superfecta plans.

TAKE CHARGE INDY makes more appeal, having made a most promising comeback in the Skip Away (G3) at Gulfstream Park in late March. Last year's Florida derby (G1) winner was 2 lengths second to Cigar Street, who has since run a good second to Flat Out in New York. You have to respect Take Charge Indy, but note that he was well behind BOURBON COURAGE when they filled second and third behind Graydar in the Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream three months ago. That results points to Bourbon Courage, but on the other hand; Take Charge Indy's career best performance did come here at Churchill last fall, as he was second to Shackleford in the 9-furlong Clark Handicap (G1). Today's distance suits him better.

BOURBON COURAGE was also involved in the Clark, and also ran his career best, finishing just a head behind Take Charge Indy in third spot. Like they will in the Alysheba, they met at level weights that day. Bourbon Courage has run second and third to Graydar this winter / spring, and he is 80% in the top three.

MACHO MACHO needs to improve to match strides with the top contenders, but this 4yo son of Macho Uno looks a likely improver right now, and he must be considered. He improved to GF 111 when fourth to Graydar in the New Orleans Handicap (G2) where Bourbon Courage was a length in front of him and that was a good effort, considering he had trouble start and raced a bit wide.




WIN: 9 Cyber Street


A: 9 with 4, 6, 7, 8 with 4, 6, 7, 8
B: 4, 6, 7, 8 with 9 with 4, 6, 7, 8
C: 4, 6, 7, 8 with 4, 6, 7, 8 with 9


A: 9 with 4, 6, 7, 8 with 4, 6, 7, 8 with 4, 6, 7, 8

Selections and betting plans based on fast to good track conditions and dry weather

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