Check out this week’s TimeformUS Race Preview, and look for more previews Wednesday to celebrate Opening Day at Santa Anita.
Fair Grounds, Race 9
The Letellier Stakes
Saturday’s late pick four sequence at Fair Grounds is a very interesting one and it kicks off with the $60,000 Letellier Stakes for two-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs on the main track.
In her most recent start, Assets of War earned a Performance Figure of 89 even though she was soundly defeated in an entry-level allowance race at Churchill Downs. The winner Pure Fun’s final time of that race was a sparkling 1.34.91. On the very same day at Churchill, the promising colt Gulfport won a similarly-paced entry-level allowance in a final time just over a full second slower. Pure Fun’s final time seemed almost unbelievable, but she quickly backed it up when she shipped across the country, winning the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes in scintillating fashion at 6/1 odds on just two weeks’ rest.
Not only is Assets of War competitive on Performance Figures, but the pace dynamics are absolutely perfect for her running style. Five different horses in this race are speedy, front-end types, a pace meltdown seems almost inevitable and Assets of War is the closer most likely to benefit.
For exotic wagering purposes, neither of the expected favorites Coastal Sunrise and Brotherhood Singer should be tossed out. Brotherhood Singer should also benefit from the pace dynamics and is the main danger to Assets of War. Coastal Sunrise will undoubtedly by hindered by the pace pressure, but she should prove the speediest of them all and her most recent Performance Figure of 93 is four points faster than Assets of War.
The most attractive exotic wagering propositions available are the pick 3 and pick 4. In race #11 at Fair Grounds, first-time starter Stourbridge Lion is 9/2 on the morning line in a maiden special weight race for trainer Steve Asmussen. Stourbridge Lion fetched $560,000 at public auction after an impressive 20.40 seconds quarter mile over the polytrack at Keeneland. His sire is champion sprinter Speightstown and his dam won her racing debut in wire-to-wire fashion at 4.5 furlongs. This potentially speedy colt can be singled in the Pick 3 and Pick 4 sequences that start with Assets of War’s race.