Spring has sprung – the grass is blue in kentucky

Now that Spring has sprung and sport stops swimming in water worldwide, there’s hope in the heart that this will be the year……………..

For example, the MLB Season has begun in the good ol’ U. S. Of A, and it’s looking to me (again) like this is definitely the year that my beloved Cubs will win the optimistically named “World Series”.  Considering that the USA have been thrashed in the last two World Cup style international baseball tournaments, you would think that they might by now have seen the light and withdrawn that arrogant Title.  Anyhoooooooooooooo

Both Guineas have been run in Jamaica and a smashing performance from the Spencer Chung trained filly Saint Cecelia, named after his sainted Grandmother, was the big event.  She effortlessly brushed aside the “can’t lose” favourite, Miss Ruth, in the stretch (could have taken control of the race whenever Shane Ellis wanted) and clocked a time faster that the 2000 Guineas run on the same day and which featured a terrific stretch duel between Bruceontheloose and The Gummer which the former won by a head-bob.  Suppose Saint Cecelia had been pressured?

Today, the road to the Roses continues with two events namely the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keenelend (9f; polytrack; 4:15 p.m. local time) and the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park (9f; Dirt; 5:41 Jamaica Time).  Despite being a Grade 2 race, it is the Arkansas Derby that we expect to be a better pointer to Churchill Downs in May because it is run on dirt.  The betting on that race will centre around Win Willy and Old Fashioned who occupied the first two places in the Grade 2 Rebel at the track on March 14.  Of the two Old Fashioned is confidently expected to turn the tables on Win Willy who was a shock 56/1 winner that day (rec 5lbs) and, with the swing in the weights for a 2 1/4 length defeat; fitter for the run; and over 100 metres longer, I just can’t see Win Willy anywhere but third.

The problem is that both are very poorly drawn and could fall victim to PAPA CLEM who, on his two starts for 2009 has been second to Pioneer of The Nile on the pro-ride at Santa Anita (current ante-post Derby Favourite I Want Revenge third) and second to Friesan Fire on the dirt at Fairgrounds in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.  This is better form that the Rebel and so, at generous odds, PAPA CLEM is the value across the board bet but Old Fashioned will prove very hard to beat.

In the Blue Grass, Kiaran McLaughlin’s Derby hopeful, Charitable Man (unbeaten in two 2 yo starts including the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont) makes his seasonal reappearance.  This is a very smart prospect by Lemon Drop Kid out of the Saint Ballado mare Charitabledonation but he has been off 210 days and tries the polytrack for the very first time and will probably need the run so HOLD ME BACK (nap) is the pick.  This is an imposing looking colt by Giants Causeway out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Restraint who could not have been more impressive winning the Grade 2 Lane’s End at Turfway Park (polytrack) by 10 lengths from Flying Private.

Need I say anything more?  Get in early and often!!

The Easter Stakes at Kempton used to be a useful Guineas guide but, since the polytrack has been constructed, it has not been much of a guide.  However, it is the feature race in the U.K. today (Kempton; Listed; 1m; polytrack; 3:10 p.m. GMT; 9:10 a.m. Jamaica Time).  The one I like is SAINT ARCH who should have improvement in him after finishing very strongly over course and distance in a 0-90 handicap.  This is a step up for him but he is now unbeaten in three starts and progressive so he should handle it.

Refgarding our own Easter Carnival, tune in to KLAS FM (89 MHz Band; or http://www.klasfm.com) at 9:00 a.m. this morning (3:00 p.m. GMT) when I give Lindy and Dr Paul another free lesson in making money at the races as they preview Monday’s programme at Caymanas Park.  Today’s meeting was previewed on Thursday evening and I hope you all were listening as some very valuable tips were passed on.

Good Luck!

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