A LOOK AT some of the important races around the country today:
Philadelphia Park Race 9 - Post 3:50 p.m., $250,000, 6 furlongs, 3YO & up, fillies & mares
1. Bedside Story, (No rider), odds: 20-1
2. Fancy Diamond, jockey Cornelio Velasquez, odds: 5-1
3. Dream Rush, jockey Eibar Coa, odds: 3-5
4. Jet Away Jane, jockey Angel Rodriguez, odds: 8-1
5. Wild Gams, jockey Alan Garcia, odds: 9-2
6. Sheets, jockey Kendrick Carmouche, odds: 12-1
In the first open stake of the year at the Pha, Dream Rush will be an overwhelming favorite, if she runs. She could run in tomorrow's Vagrancy at Belmont Park. If she does run here in her first start of 2008, the multiple Grade I winner should overwhelm this field with her speed. Fancy Diamond is unbeaten in three races for trainer Tony Dutrow, but this will be her first stakes start. Wild Gams is a 6-furlong specialist who has won more than $600,000 at her specialty. Jet Away Jane has been first or second in 16 of her 20 starts at the Pha, but this is not limited to only Pennsylvania-breds.
DJ's picks:1. Dream Rush. 2. Fancy Diamond. 3. Wild Gams.
Belmont Park Race 9 - Post 5:15 p.m., Grade II, $150,000, 1 3/8 miles turf, 3YO & up, fillies and mares
1. Leap in the Sun, jockey Rajiv Maragh, odds: 20-1
2. Hostess, jockey John Velazquez, odds: 4-1
3. Ochre, jockey Channing Hill, odds: 15-1
4. Herboriste, jockey Garrett Gomez, odds: 6-1
5. Rising Cross, jockey Edgar Prado, odds: 10-1
6. J'ray, jockey Eibar Coa, odds: 5-2
7. Flawless Treasure, jockey Javier Castellano, odds: 12-1
8. Mauralakana, jockey Kent Desormeaux, odds: 2-1
J'ray has been first or second in 13 of 17 grass starts. She figures much closer to the pace than usual in a race devoid of early speed. Mauralakana has won more than $750,000 and also should be a lot closer to the pace than usual. Leap in the Sun might have an upset chance if her connections decide to change her running style and send her to the front.
DJ's picks:1. J'ray. 2. Mauralakana. 3. Leap in the Sun.
Arlington Park Race 8 - Post 5:36 p.m., $150,000, 1-1/16 miles turf, 3YO
1. Amazing Results, jockey Eddie Razo, odds: 8-1
2. Mr. Mischief, jockey Chris Emigh, odds: 20-1
3. Sebastian County, jockey Larry Sterling, odds: 10-1
4. Blue Lion, jockey Jesse Campbell, odds: 10-1
5. Gangbuster, jockey James Graham, odds: 12-1
6. Free Fighter, jockey Ramsey Zimmerman, odds: 10-1
7. Prime Realestate, jockey Earlie Fires, odds: 5-1
8. Meal Penalty, jockey Jose Velez, odds: 7-2
9. Sporting Art, jockey Rene Douglas, odds: 2-1
10. Strait of Mewsina, jockey Jerry La Sala, odds: 20-1
Sporting Art is a neck away from a perfect three-race run in America. He raced last year in Great Britain. Prime Realestate will be coming from far back with a hot rider. Gangbuster has been second in both of his grass starts. Meal Penalty tries to transfer synthetic form to the grass and his speed may take him a long way.
DJ's picks:1. Sporting Art. 2. Prime Realestate. 3. Gangbuster.
Churchill Downs Race 10 - Post 5:51 p.m., $150,000, Grade III, 1 1/2 miles, 3YO & up
1. Lattice, jockey Robby Albarado, odds: 5-1
2. Biggerbadderbetter, jockey Corey Lanerie, odds: 10-1
3. Spider Power, jockey Jesus Lopez, odds: 10-1
4. Transduction Gold, jockey Miguel Mena, odds: 15-1
5. Brass Hat, jockey Calvin Borel, odds: 7-2
6. Save Big Money, jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, odds: 6-1
7. Pickapocket, jockey Elvin Trujillo, odds: 8-1
8. Birdbirdistheword, jockey Jesus Castanon, odds: 15-1
9. Silverfoot, jockey Jamie Theriot, odds: 9-2
10. Lord Carmen, jockey Larry Melancon, odds: 10-1
11. Fireock Base, jockey Julien Leparoux, odds: 10-1
Pickapocket might turn out to be the only speed in a race without an obvious pacesetter. Even if he does not make the lead, this is a two-way horse that can also win from off the pace. Brass Hat has won $1.7 million, but his best races were on dirt and a few years ago. Silverfoot won this race last year, but has not won since.
DJ's picks: 1. Pickapocket. 2. Brass Hat. 3. Silverfoot.
$100,000, Arlington Park Race 9 - Post 6:08 p.m., Grade III, 1 mile, 3YO & up
1. Stonehouse, jockey James Graham, odds: 8-1
2. Spotsgone, jockey Earlie Fires, odds: 5-2
3. Fort Prado, jockey Eddie Razo, odds: 9-2
4. Steve's Double, jockey R Zimmerman, odds: 4-1
5. Throng, jockey Jesse Campbell, odds: 8-1
6. Coragil Cat, jockey Diego Sanchez, odds: 10-1
7. Morada Key, jockey Larry Sterling, odds: 15-1
8. Lovango, jockey Rene Douglas, odds: 3-1
Lovango exploded last summer in his only start on a synthetic surface. If there is a duel up top as seems possible, this colt will deliver a huge performance. Spotsgone has run several giant races when loose on the lead, but that might not be easy with Stonehouse and his speed just inside him in the gate. Steve's Double had to chase the crazy-fast Commentator in March, but should find the pace scenario a little more rational here.