Kentucky Derby dreaming stakes picks

Iliad (Courtesy of Santa Anita Park)

As stated a year ago, the collection of stakes at Keeneland Race Course (stakes picks), Aqueduct Racetrack and Santa Anita Park — highlighted by Kentucky Derby preps — might be the best multi-track day of racing on the American calendar. (Obviously, bigger days exist, but most effectively have a stage unto themselves.) Here are picks for selected stakes.

AQU Race 6 | Grade III Bay Shore Stakes | 7 furlongs 

1. Theory
2. Caledonian
3. Long Haul Bay
4. Miggsy

Comment: Theory has a class edge. Caledonian could provide value to the exacta. Long Haul Bay may look best on paper, but will try to beat coming out of a state-bred race.

AQU Race 8 | Grade III Excelsior Stakes | 1 1/4 miles

1. Hereditary
2. Send It In
3. Doyouknowsomething
4. Admiral Blue

Comment: Hereditary looks bred for the distance. Send It In can improve with a better break.

AQU Race 9 | Grade I Carter Handicap | 7 furlongs 

1. Unified
2. Tommy Macho
3. King Kranz
4. All Star Red

Comment: Unified is a very deserving favorite in his second start of the year and with a win over the course at the distance last spring. Tommy Macho has a win over the course and at the distance two years back.

AQU Race 10 | Grade II Wood Memorial Stakes | 1 1/8 miles 

1. Irish War Cry
2. Cloud Computing
3. Mo Town
4. Battalion Runner

Comment: No outcome would surprise here. If Irish War Cry’s last was a throw-out, he can prevail. But would use several for multi-race exotics.

AQU Race 11 | Grade II Gazelle Stakes | 1 1/8 miles 

1. Miss Sky Warrior
2. Aspen Hilltop
3. Lockdown
4. Yorkiepoo Princess

Comment: Miss Sky Warrior is the bet of the day. Aspen Hilltop could provide value to the exotics and has just as good a shot for second as the others.

SA Race 5 | Grade II Royal Heroine Stakes | 1 mile turf 

1. Lady Valeur
2. Harmonize
3. Pretty Girl
4. Juno

Comment: Lady Valeur is fast enough to compete with the older gals in her 4-year-old debut and offers value. Harmonize would not surprise.

SA Race 6 | Grade I Santa Anita Oaks | 1 1/16 miles 

1. It Tiz Well
2. Abel Tasman
3. Majestic Quality
4. Princess Karen

Comment: Giving the edge to It Tiz Well though it’s a slight one. Multi-race tickets shouldn’t need to go deeper than the pair.

SA Race 8 | Grade I Santa Anita Derby | 1 1/8 miles 

1. Term of Art
2. Gormley
3. Iliad
4. American Anthem

Comment: There’s a reason 13 entered; it’s wide open and all the major contenders have chinks in their armor. Term of Art would be an upset but could improve with a better trip. Any multi-race ticket will have to use several.

SA Race 9 | Grade III Providencia Stakes | 1 1/8 miles turf 

1. Sircat Sally
2. Beau Recall
3. Emphatically
4. Princess Roi

Comment: The undefeated Sircat Sally looks to be a couple steps better than the others.

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