Imperial Hint wins 2017 Smile Sprint

Photo: Gulfstream Park

Race 1-1 1/16 Miles Turf, 3YO & Up, Optional Claiming

Opening race of the weekend appears to go through trainer
Chad Brown. Graded stakes winner #6 Ticonderoga
steps down in class here, and it looks as if there is enough pace to set up his
late kick. His stablemate #8 Almanaar
make his return to the races after a 16-month layoff. Was last seen winning a
Grade 1, but might need a race to shake the rust off. #5 Aquaphobia is ultra-consistent, whose best effort at this
distance make him contender.

Selections 6-8-5-7


Race 2-6 Furlongs Turf, 3YO & Up Fillies/Mares, Md Sp Wt

In a wide-open race, #4
Barrel of Joy
was a different horse when trying the grass for the first
time. With a hot projected early pace, look for Barrel of Joy to come flying
late at a square price. #12 Shanghai
debuts for trainer George Weaver, who excels with first-time
starters on grass. Working since last summer, something must have gone awry,
but looks to be back to full health based on his recent drills. #6 Mama Mary is out of dam that has
thrown 7 winners (2 stake winners) from 10 runners. Trainer Joe Sharp rarely
runs in New York, but must be respected when he ships in.

Selections 4-12-6-11


Race 3-7 Furlongs., 4YO & Up Fillies/Mares, Bed o‘ Roses
Inv. (Grade 3)

#1 Ivy Bell fell
short of American Gal last out when unable to reel her in over a speed-favoring
track. Her versatility will be a benefit here when getting fast dirt. #5 Divine Miss Gray is another
versatile type that must be included on all tickets. She can battle for the
lead, but pass horses if need be. #8
Highway Star
has never been off the board at Belmont and last fall at the
Breeders’ Cup was only time she was off the board at 7 furlongs. She is not a
win factor, but an obvious candidate to fill out exotics at a huge price.  

Selections 1-5-8-2


Race 4-6 Furlongs Turf, 3YO &
Up, Optional Claiming

In another very difficult race, it
looks like most need the early lead to win. Therefore, #1 Phi Beta Express is the top choice. Though untried on grass, he
is the speed of the speed and his dam has thrown a grass winner. #9 Expected Ruler is light on speed
figures, but should pick up some pieces if the pace collapses as expected. #5 Dowse’s Beach returned from a
6-month layoff going a mile. Look for an improved effort second off the bench
and getting back to a turf sprint.

Selections 1-9-5-8


Race 5-5 ½ Furlongs, 2YO, Tremont

As is the theme with many of the
day’s races, yet another very evenly matched field. #4 Outshine impressively broke his maiden over a sloppy track at
Belmont when rallying from well off the pace. Dam Life Lessons’ 3 winners all
won at the age of 2, so precociousness runs in the family. #6 Sir Truebadour wired a field from the rail at Churchill Downs
upon debut. Expects to face pace pressure, but an outside draw definitely is a
plus. #7 Mae No Never is a filly
facing boys for 2-year-old guru trainer, Wesley Ward.  First out, jockey Gary Stevens (who retains
the mount) traveled cross country for her debut, hinting she showed talent from
the onset.

Selections 4-6-7-1


Race 6-7 Furlongs, 3YO & Up, Md
Sp Wt

#2 Barahin showed extreme speed from the rail in his debut at
Keeneland. Expect improvement as he has been training forwardly for this, and
trainer McLaughlin is 23% with his 2nd-time starters. #6 Illudere debuts for Jimmy Jerkins
and is out of a stakes-placed dam that has thrown 1 winner in as many runners.
She’s been working quickly (all breezing workouts) every 6-7 days since April
in preparation for today. #3 Support the
hails from the powerful duo of Chad Brown & Irad Ortiz Jr., who
are winning at a 37% clip (76% in the money) the last 60 days.

Selections 2-6-3-8


Race 7-1 Mile Turf, 3YO & Up,
Optional Claiming

#8 Raging Bull goes for Chad Brown and was ultra-impressive in his
debut. While this is a big jump in class, speed figures suggest he’s up for the
challenge and there’s plenty of early speed here to set up his late kick. #12 Have it All hasn’t been seen yet in
2018. Working every 7 days and getting Lasix for the first time suggest he’s
ready to fire a big shot. Trainer Clement is 19% off the bench and 21%% first
time Lasix types. #7 War Chest has
caught some slow paces in his last 2 races, so with what looks like a hot early
pace, he should be rolling late at a big price.  

Selections 8-12-7-5


Race 8-6 1/2 Furlongs, 4YO &
Up, True North Stakes (Grade 2)

#3 Imperial Hint got hooked in a speed duel last out at 7 furlongs
when favored on Derby Day. He must contend with some other front runners, but
looks like the speed of the speed while cutting back in distance. #5 Limousine Liberal prefers a wet
track, but does good work on dry tracks too. The 6-year old gelding will set a
good trip laying just off the pace and getting first run on the deep closers. #8 Whitmore has a great shot to round
out exotics at a big price, but would need a complete pace meltdown to find the
winner’s circle.

Selections 3-5-8-2


Race 9-1 1/4 Miles Turf, 4YO &
Up, New York Stakes (Grade 2)

#5 Sistercharlie is the best female turf router in the country and
towers over the competition. She already has experience over the course and
distance. #9 Mom’s On Strike also
has experience over the course and is proven up to 12 furlongs for the
formidable combination of Joe Sharp and Adam Bechizza. #8 Daddys Lil Darling fell to the 2nd pick last out, but
is a Grade 1 winner at the distance. She’s a cut below these, but an obvious
contender to hit the board and must be used in all vertical wagers.

Selections 1-10-3-6


Race 10-2 Miles Turf, 4 & Up, Belmont
Turf Cup (Grade 2)

Marathon specialist #4 Funny Kid invades from France with
regular rider Maxime Guyon. He won last out in a hand ride over the hilly
Longchamp turf at 1 15/16 miles. #1 Call to Mind goes out for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The 4-year-old son of
Galileo hasn’t won at the distance, but has been facing the best marathoners in
Britain. The likely favorite appears to run his best on firmer ground. #8 Postulation appears to be the only
speed in the race. If left alone early, he could take them all the way at long

Selections 4-1-8-5


Race 11-1 3/8 Miles Turf, 3YO &
Up, Md Sp Wt

#10 Hampton Point goes 2nd out for Jimmy Toner, who
isn’t know for winning first out. In his debut at Gulfstream Park, he was wide
and trailed throughout while catching a slow pace. He gained moderate ground in
the stretch, but it was an obvious educational experience. He has worked every
7 days for the last 5 weeks for Toner who hits at 23% with layoff runners. #8 Steeles Run was 2nd first
out at a mile for Todd Pletcher and Javier Castellano. Breeding suggests the
added distance won’t be a problem, but might be overbet considering the
connections and deep field.  #9 Prompt goes out for trainer Bill
Mott and a dam that produced 4 grass winners. He gets the services of top
Gulfstream rider, Luis Saez, who has success with Mott though the sample size
is limited. The price justifies including him in all exotics.

Selections 10-8-9-5



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