USTA Play of the Day
by Michael Carter
Batavia Downs Gaming Race 1 (Pick 5)
Date: 8/11/2018 Carryover: $1,248 Guarantee: $2,500
Ticket: –1,3,5/4/3,4,5,7/2,3,5/2 Cost: $18.00 (.50 base)
Yesterday’s Recap – Last night Lazarus lived up to the hype and scored to complete the Superfecta which actually paid very well considering his odds. Lazarus won the Dan Patch Stakes after fending off pressure from every which way to win by a length and a half. The official superfecta was 9/3/6/5 and returned $28.65.
Race 1: DIAMOND J has had a run of seconditis as of late, but seems to be improving since coming to Batavia from Buffalo. The rail draw has to help his position early and he should be forwardly placed. #3 BUGGER JERRY made a break two starts back at Tioga and was shut down for a little bit to get the kinks worked out. He came back on August 4 and qualified decently, the layoff is the only stressor here. #5 FREAK ON A LEASH handled post seven with complete class last week coming from way back and racing very well as the favorite. Tonight he draws much better and should be able to rebound off of that effort.
Race 2: #4 DAVID THE SAINT had broken equipment last week and still managed to finish a strong third just getting nailed at the line. He has a good amount of early speed and normally when he is on the engine, he is not easy to catch.
Race 3: #3 LENNY MAC is a nice gelding that has been racing in the upper-level claimers and now against Open company for the third time this year. Last week he got the perfect trip and had absolutely no excuse, not being able to get out in the stretch. If he can make a move early he could be tough to beat. #4 SNAPSHOT SPRINGS showed a good amount of speed last week and never looked back drawing off to win easily against these. In a race that has a lot of speed to the outside, you have to think Monti will want to be in a good striking spot. #5 THERESNOWAY seems to be getting better and better as of late. Last week was impressive, but the two starts before that are what jump off the page at me. He had the outside and still managed to close home from off the pace and narrowly missed. Looking for a big effort. #7 NORTHERN MATADOR has won three of his last five starts the only question is the post position.
Race 4: #2 CATCH THE WAVE closed gamely against the lower level condition last week and drew off in the stretch at decent odds. You may get the same kind of odds scenario tonight and that could play to the non-chalk players in the Pick 5. #3 SOUTHWIND TORQUE didn’t get the best trip from post eight last week, throw that race out. He drops down to face easier for trainer Maria Rice and could hit the board with a better draw. #5 ROCK THE DREAM is another interesting horse that I think could be sneaky. He doesn’t have a lot of speed, but his final times could beat these and may be worth a spot on your ticket.
Race 5: #2 BOLD AND BRASSY is the speed of the race and should have no issues against this group. He draws the inside and if he makes the top he is a very tough horse to catch. Not going to get a lot of value to close the Pick 5, but this one should bring home a winner.