World Cup of Amateur racing is coming to Illinois this week. The first two nights of competition for this event will be conducted at Maywood and Balmoral this week Friday and Saturday. This event is held every two years and this being the second time it will be contested in the states, the last being in 1988.
Two pacing events will be held next Friday at Maywood, while Balmoral will host a pace and a trot on next Saturdays live race card. The event will then move to Monticello on May 19, Yonkers May 20, ending with a doubleheader at Freehold and the Meadowlands on May 21. On to the picks.
In addition to the World Cup of Amateur Racing, this Saturday marks the start of both the Cardinal and Violet Elminations. My first selection will be from race four, which is the second of the Violet Elminations carded this evening. Two familiar foes go at it here with Westside Gritty and Kennans Kelli going at it and finishing one/two in there last three meetings. However, Violet winner at Maywood last year was the five, She’s So Hot, who changed barns over the winter and hasn’t really raced since that victory. She’s So Hot was truly dominant in this class in 2007 and if ready will romp here. $50 says She’s So Hot is ready.
Race six looks interesting to me and maybe a chance to get some value on a live horse. Choros C and Mucho Sleazy both posted nice times last week in defeat, with the later shipping back from the Big M. Mucho Sleazy is definitely the one to beat here and I’ll try to beat him with the two, Omaha Survivor. I am assuming Omaha needed last weeks prep for the Cardinal and was beaten up first over with that trip. This classy colt was 7-2 in the Abe Lincoln and favored in the American National Consolation as well in 2007. $50 on Omaha Survivor to win.
In the ninth race a full field of ten pace behind the starting gate looking for the big share of a $6,800 purse. You Rock comes off of a couple of impressive performances and with the same sort of trip as last week will be a factor here. The inside consists of two very strong contenders in Nineyone Hawks and Distinct Color, both of which can save ground and close with a furry to get to the line. Most of the entries look as though they prefer coming from off the pace and that tells me that this race can be stolen. The three, Real Mean Art has had some breaking issues of late but may have corrected them in his last two. I like the driver change and my $50 will be on Real Mean Art to win.
The eleventh race is loaded with pacers racing well right now. Roy Orbisong looks the most impressive to me now as his first start was flawless and I’ll string $50 on Roy Orbisong until he falters. Beware as this colt is moving up in class and paces against some well raced competition. Have we seen enough of Roy Orbisong to know if he is really as good as he has looked?
In race twelve Sailors Sky moves up to take on tougher after a string of wins and is razor sharp right know having won seven of nine contests in 2008. However, Sailors pilot, Mike Oosting is driving his own pacer in the six, Bonn Scott, who should see much of the action. Barchetta and Umoja look like a formidable entry as well. My selection will be Go Warrior Go for $50. I really like this gelding and he is due for a winning performance, he needed cover last week which he did not get, but may here.
You may want to get to your favorite OTB a little early this week as the Preakness goes off at about 5pm and you could be a part of history as Big Brown goes for the Triple Crown. In addition, the Meadolands guarantees a $75k pool for its Pick Four and all the great action from Balmoral make it possible to GET LUCKY…HAVE FUN…and WIN MONEY.