Saturday Race Previews

Santa Anita, Race 8, 7:07pm ET
The Echo Eddie Stakes, Six and One-Half Furlongs, Dirt

The Echo Eddie presents an opportunity for three-year-old sprinters bred or sired in California to chase a purse of $200,000. This is the type of opportunity that can fill a starting gate. The race attracted 12 entrants, and the morning line reflects a contentious field, with the favorite, Omega Star, listed at 7-2.

If her toteboard odds end up resembling her morning line odds of 4-1, Could Be Trouble, a filly running against males, is the key. In her most recent start, she made a nice run late on the turn, splitting horses in fine fashion, took command of the race, and earned an excellent speed figure of 106, a faster number than any of her competition has ever run. That was her first start for trainer Peter Miller and represented an improvement of 16 points over the best number she ran for her previous trainer, low-profile Danny Velasquez. Could Be Trouble has a nice, stalking style, and her rider, Garrett Gomez, can usually be counted on to find good early position and then squeeze the utmost out of his mounts. The biggest concern with Could Be Trouble is that she is returning on only 15 days of rest as she steps up in class following such a strong performance. However, Peter Miller is an astute trainer who is well aware of all the theories regarding big performances and rest. He has had success with moves similar to today’s. He likes to find good spots and take his shots. He seems to take some joy in being a bit unorthodox.

Could-be-Trouble

In the event that Could Be Trouble proves too popular at the betting windows, a case can be made for checking to see whether Follini or Indian Classic has reached double-digit odds. Both are talented, lightly raced horses with solid speed figures and license to improve, and Follini might be able to steal away to a clear early lead.

Fighting Hussar will be a big price and is usable on the bottom of exotic wagers.

But the inclination here is to sink or swim with the filly.

Fair Grounds, Race 9, 6:44pm ET
The Louisiana Derby, Grade 2, One mile and 1/8, Dirt

ppj-lad

Funny things can happen sometimes when a lot of inexperienced horses get together. The local prep for this race, The Risen Star Stakes, was won by the now-sidelined 135/1 shot I’ve Struck A Nerve, who rallied from twelfth position to score. The 2012 edition of the Louisiana Derby was won by Hero Of Order at odds of 109/1.

bs-la-derbyThe key horse, Mylute, certainly won’t be that kind of price, but he should offer very generous odds. Most recently, he finished seventh in the Risen Star off a 59-day layoff. Mylute was ridden with unusual aggressiveness through the early stages and made a menacing wide move on the far turn without being asked, but he had no response at all when called upon in the stretch. Trainer Tom Amoss removes the blinkers for the first time, which should enable Mylute to settle off what figures to be a quick early pace. Amoss has an excellent overall strike-rate, and his strike-rate is even better with horses making their second start following a significant layoff. In a race in which the highest last-out speed figure is just 102, Mylute’s most recent figures of 98 and 107 make him very competitive, and he has a good chance to break through and run a new lifetime best if he is able to take advantage of the favorable pace dynamics.

mylute

For exotic wagering purposes, the expected favorite, Revolutionary, is a must-use after his visually-impressive victory while overcoming trouble in the Withers last time out. His speed figure two starts back is a field-best 113.

Code West also deserves respect. He was pressed throughout in the Risen Star, with Proud Strike, Oxbow and Mylute all taking their shot. Code West was at one point shuffled back to fourth, but did well in the circumstances to be just nosed out by I’ve Struck A Nerve.

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