This Saturday the Bluegrass Stakes opens Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile and is your next chance to go for $10,000 in the Grand Circuit $1 Million Challenge. We’ve assembled a crackerjack group of experts to help you make an informed pick:
Reminder: If you’ve chosen a few horses that didn’t win so far, you could still win $10,000, $5,000 or $2,500 so keep voting!
Nick Salvi: 4 – 5 – 6
#4 ARTSPEAK is the top freshman pacing colt of the 2014 season thus far. He won the $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes final at The Meadowlands, then swept through the Grand Circuit stakes at Mohawk Racetrack including the $613,000 Metro. He has drawn into a comfortable spot here and will be a very short price, yet it would be folly to pick against him.
That compels a search for value in the exotic wagering pools and perhaps we could pair the favorite with a price horse in exactas. I am intrigued by the past performance on #5 BLOOD BROTHER. He was a 1:51.3 winner at The Meadows in early August and looked sharp in his Red Mile qualifier a week ago. He hails from top connections and has the sport’s leading driver Yannick Gingras to make the decisions. Throw in #6 TRACEUR HANOVER if you care to play the trifecta.
4. ARTSPEAK (4-5 ML) – I know, I know, you are shocked that I had the courage to make such a bold prediction here in this Bluegrass division. As far as this contest goes, we aren’t concerned about price, only selecting a winner and continuing down a successful path. I can tell you that it has been a long while since I have made a horse below even money on the morning line, but this horse truly appears to be the next superstar of our sport. It’s not just the fact that he is a perfect 6 for 6, but it’s how easily he has dispatched his top level stakes rivals to this point. Looks to be TONS the best again tonight, should tack on the extra point here and make it a perfect 7 for 7.
5. BLOOD BROTHER (8-1 ML) – For the sake of argument, we will mention some other contenders. (Btw, if you are picking against Artspeak, how are you still alive in this contest anyway?) This guy has shown flashes of top level speed for Takter barn on the PASS Circuit, and will likely be blasting out for Gingras in search of a perfect trip in behind the big favorite if and when he moves to the lead. Looked sharp in his local AM effort. If you are going to try to slay the dragon, I think this is your best shot.
6. TRACEUR HANOVER (9-2 ML) – Really the only other in here besides the favorite that shows hooking up with Grand Circuit company, finishing a respectable 4th and 5th in behind Artspeak in his Metro Elim and Final. Beaten less than 2 lengths in a close 4th place finish in his $113k Champlain division last time at Mohawk. Appears to be on the improve, but still think it’s asking a bit much for him to hang with #4 at this point.
These statements do not reflect the views of the Harness Racing Fan Zone or the United States Trotting Association