Ransom the Moon the 2017 Bing Crosby Winner
The Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday brings together the kind of outstanding field normally reserved for the Breeders' Cup Sprint. This figures to be a knock down drag out challenge for all involved and it presents as tough a challenge as you'll find in handicapping. Let's look at the field.
1. Annie's Candy
Ran a nice one in the Oak Tree Special while loose on the lead in a five horse field, but this field represents an enormous leap in class for him and let's simply say we don't believe he will be coasting on an easy lead in this one. I give him absolutely no chance!
2. American Pasttime
He has run seven times and has put in seven excellent efforts. He shows up every time. He was not embarrassed in the BC Sprint last year and I don't expect he'll be embarrassed in here. He's been away since November, but he's working like he's ready and he always fires. He is a major contender in here.
3. Roy H
He's been away since the Golden Shaheen in Dubai in March where he ran third. This is certainly one of the premier sprinters in the country and he will take a world of beating in here. I normally throw out these Dubai returnees, but he ran against that crazy front end bias over there and has been given lots of time to recover from that escapade. He will be a short price, but he has the numbers and the class. Look out!
4. American Anthem
He will try to take them all the way around and he certainly has the speed to do it. This is a very fast racehorse, but he will face a ton of front end pressure in here and he will have to be at his absolute best to wire this field. I just can't see him getting away from them or getting any chance to relax on the front. I'm playing against him.
5. Ransom the Moon
The wild card! He won this race last year and I see no reason why he can't repeat. He's been chasing all the best sprinters in the game and coming up a little short, but he can't seem to get the pace setup and trip he needs to win. He will get exactly the kind of pace and trip that he needs here, so it's now or never. I say it's now. He is my pick to win!
6. Tribal Storm
It would be a huge upset, on par with Upset upsetting Man of War, for this horse to find the winners circle against this field. No thanks.
7. Stone Hands
He wasn't embarrassed in the San Carlos, but this field is so much tougher. There are several legitimate killers in here and I can't see him beating them.
8. St. Joe Bay
He will be out there winging, but can he clear American Anthem from this post? I doubt it! His best chance is on the engine, but I don't see him getting the front from here, so I'll pass.
9. Edwards Going Left
Another high quality sprinter who shows up every time. He figures to get the ideal trip in here stalking all the high end speed and is not out of this by any means. I give him and excellent chance and will be using him and Ransom the Moon on all my tickets.
10. Touching Rainbows
Another of the high quality high end speeds in this race that figures to guarantee a most lively pace. All these speeds will be trying to clear and scoot away, but it is highly unlikely. I think they all compromise each others chances.
11. Stallwalkin' Dude
I do love these old war horses, but a combination of the post and possibly a lost step or two will probably hurt his chances. I can't blame anyone who uses him though. He will be the one in the middle of the track flying at the end. He has an outside shot.
This figures to be a doozy of a horse race! It's loaded with outstanding quality. Whether you like pure speed, stalkers, or stone closers, there is something in here for you. I will be using Ransom the Moon and Edward Going Left primarily, and mixing in Roy H and American Pastime. There is an opportunity for a major upset in here and don't forget that sentimental guy on the outside.
Good luck to all who are playing!