US racing tips: Tom Collins suggests you stay up late to watch the Gamely Stakes
9.52 Gulfstream Park
March To The Arch
12.38 Santa Anita
1.39 Santa Anita
May 25 marks Memorial Day in the US this year and thenational holiday is celebrated by Santa Anita hosting two Grade 1 contests– the Shoemaker Mile and Gamely Stakes– on a red-hot card.
The California track often saves the best until last and given they are eight hours behind on the west coast you will have to stay up late to watch the action. I promise it will be worth it!
The Shoemaker Mile (12.38) is scheduled to be race nine on the card, by which time the turf will be scorched in the hot sun and like a road– officially described as firm.
That will play into the favour of the Mark Casse-trained March To The Arch, who looks to have been underestimated with a morning line price of 6-1.
Arguably the second string from the barn with Casse also running last year's Preakness Stakes winner War Of Will, who is now back on turf on his seasonal reappearance and pitched in the deep end, March To The Arch can be forgiven for initially being overlooked by punters.
However, this five-year-old gelding is well capable of striking at Grade 1 level and has just proved consistently unlucky on his last couple of outings in Florida.
On the back of a strong performance to win the Sunshine Millions Stakes at Gulfstream in January, March To The Arch was sent to Tampa Bay fora Grade 3 contest and looked all over the winner swinging for home but was badly chopped in between rivals and lost a lot of momentum.
He regathered his stride when switched to the inside by Tyler Gaffalione and briefly hit the front inside the final furlong, only to be run down by two rivals in the dying strides. He should have won that race.
Next up was the Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream. Again, he showed good tactical speed to get into a challenging position but ran into trouble as Gaffalione looked for a gap. He was forced to switch no fewer than three times, and when he finally got space to run he was hamperedby two hanging rivals.
March To The Arch could easily be entering this race off the back of three consecutive successes and the fact Casse ships him out here is a sign of intent.
His work at Palm Meadows Training Centre on May 9 wasterrific (5f breeze in 58.35) and I expect a big run despite his wider-than-ideal draw in gate nine.
The Grade 1 Gamely Stakes (1.39), which is for fillies and mares over 1m1f, closes the card and the most interesting runner in the race is undoubtedly Etoile.
Formerly based in France with Jean-Claude Rouget, Etoile made a good start to her racing career with back-to-back successes at Cagnes-sur-Mer at the start of last year, before landing the Group 3 Prix Cleopatra and finishing fourth in a competitive edition of the Group 1 Prix de Diane.
She didn't show up well on her last two outings in top company, but was subsequently sent to the Tattersalls December Mares Sale and fetched just over $1 million.
Now with Chad Brown, who does incredibly well with his European purchases, Etoile has been confidently shipped to the west coast and receives Lasix for the first time.
Her insidedraw in gate one will suit, especially given the likely leader Ollie's Candy is pitched directly outside of her, and her recent works have been impressive.
Brown wouldn't put her straight into this contest if she hadn't been showing up well in her training and although this contest has Grade 1 status, she isn't facing the best horses of the generation in this race.
Joel Rosario will hopefully stalk the pace on the rail before pulling her out and nailing the leaders in the stretch.
Racing continues at Gulfstream and although I don't have any strong fancies, I'm tempted by the chance ofSeptemberten in the $25,000 claimer (9.52).
Trained by Rohan Crichton, this four-year-old has won just once from 11 outings but had racked up multiple placed efforts in maiden special weight company before striking when dropped into a claimer in March.
He was well fancied that day and showed good early zip to make the front under Luis Saez, who just had to nudge him out for a comfortable seven-length score.
Septemberten was entered in an allowance optional claimer last time and ran well to take fourth behind some smart individuals, beating a couple of well-bred and highly regarded opponents in the process.
This is a much more feasible contest for this gelding, who can build on that effort from gate three under Nik Juarez. The Larry Rivelli-trained duo on the outside will likely take a big chunk out of the market, which should enable Septemberten to go off around 5-1, which looks tasty.
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