Alameda County Fair Picks – Friday, June 24

*Editor’s note: Please check back here each day of racing for the Alameda County Fair for my analysis of all the races!



Alameda County Fair Picks ā€“ Friday, June 24

First race (1:45 p.m.)

Picks: Fixurhairupretty, Gentle Julia, Madame Gazelle

Analysis: Only half of the six-horse field have had a start, and all three of those have just one, leaving this race as a toss-up. I will go with Fixurhairupretty as my top choice. The debut was dull but was better than the other two in their first race. A bad break was followed by an average race but at least the horse appeared to get some run towards the end. Weā€™ll use that as a tell that he was find a groove and will continue that here. Gentle Julia comes from same barn as Perfectly Julie, a horse that won its first race here last Sunday. Nothing great with that first start but first starts can be thrown out and we will do that in this case. The horse is trained and bred for speed and after cutting their tag in half and moving to open maiden claiming, there is plenty to expect more in this spot. Madame Gazelle is the other horse with a start and in her debut after a good start, she went backwards. One start under her belt and she has every reason to expect improvement here.

Second race (2:15 p.m.)

Picks: Nickel Nickel Nine, Stan the Hot Man, Havakash Ready.

Analysis: Nickel Nickel Nine has hit the board in 5-of-6 starts this year, with four of those second-place finishes. Concern that he is a closer on a track which figures to be speedy Friday. That being said, there looks to be a potential front-end duel which will provide the speed to run at. A hard worker but has yet the find the winnerā€™s circle. Best Beyer figures of this group. Itā€™s a tale of two starts for Stan the Hot Man. He came strong in his debut last July, running an even-second throughout the race and was an easy second at the end. Came back earlier this month for the first start of the year and had a ton of trouble at the start, falling well back at the beginning before charging late and showing some run at the end. A better start, and he figures to be right in the mix. Havakash Ready had a dismal debut, then came back in start No. 2 and showed early speed before falling off at the end. Now gets a track and that make his speed dangerous.

Third race (2:45 p.m.)

Picks: Crown Kitten, Queen of the Track, Cheap Cheap Cheap.

Analysis: Will be looking to the dirt making a difference for Crown Kitten over Queen of the Track who has beaten the horse the last two times they have met. She has been solid throughout the year, hitting the board 5-of-7 starts. Has two starts in Pleasanton, finishing second once. Had a recent bullet work over the track, that while a small sample size, at least shows she still likes the track. Queen of the Track has been popular at the claiming box, getting tagged in two of the last three starts. With three wins in five starts figures to have favorite status when they go to post. Hit the board five times in 10 dirt starts but has never crossed the line first. Cheap Cheap Cheap has been beaten two straight times by my top two choices, so I expect that again here. Does have some dirt experience, hitting the board 5-of-7 starts.

Fourth race (3:15 p.m.)

Picks: Galwalksintoabar, Somara, Gemma Royal.

Analysis: The top barn (Jonathan Wong) using a rider that he wins with 23 percent of the time, and a horse that has won 4-of-6 over the dirt makes for a pretty strong team. Girlwalksintoabar might be 0-for-2 this year, but now gets back to the dirt with speed prevalent in her resume. This one may take off from the start and never look back. Somara has been tough in Pleasanton, hitting the board 5-of-7 starts, including two wins. Does come from off the pace, but there does appears to be enough to ensure a quick pace. Gemma Royal is coming off a wire-to-wire win and has showed speed out of the gate in the last two starts. A little step up here, but speed is speed when it comes to Pleasanton.

Fifth race (3:45 p.m.)

Picks: Here Comes Ralphie, Livinā€™ At the Bu, Sue Ettas Ghost.

Analysis: Here Comes Ralphie comes into race on a consistent effort this year hitting the board in 5-of-7. Doesnā€™t want the lead but has the speed to stick close to the pace, setting up first run in the lane. Livinā€™ At the Bu has been a runner this year, finishing in the money in 6-of-7 starts. Another in this race that prefers to sit just off the lead until the turn for home. Is coming off three turf races and barn hits at 23 percent with the turf to dirt move. Sue Ettas Ghost has been seeing better and now finds herself in the easiest spot since her last maiden race in October of last year. Was well back of my top pick two back. Connieā€™s Promise might be the lone speed here and get an early easy lead, but she will have a lot of speed running at her in the lane.

Sixth race (4:15 p.m.)

Picks: Heaven Shines, Il Capitano, Prayer of Jabez.

Analysis: Heaven Shines decently bet here last year in a 2-year-old stakes race but was badly beaten ninth in the Everett Nevin. This year has seen five starts with a win and four second-place finishes. Has shown great tactical speed all year. Il Capitano has run in a number of races that are tougher than this one. The fourth-place finish in the Cal Derby two back where he led through the first half make the horse very tough here. The next he found trouble in a turf effort and finished 10th. Has yet to start on the dirt but has the best past class in this field. Prayer of Jabez has the least amount of experience here but this runner may turn out to be a good one. Three starts, there times on the board. After a second and a third last year, came off a seventh-month break to win his first start this year on June 4. Some big works led into that win and now wheels back looking strong.

Seventh race (4:45 p.m.)

Picks: Going to Shabooms, Lord Fusaichi, Uncaged Kitty.

Analysis: This a pretty contentious bunch with a good amount of speed, this race normally screams for a closer. But with the weather in the 90ā€™s Friday, I will go with the speed and Going to Shabooms. There may be others that look better, but this one has been facing tougher races where she was still getting out of the gate strong. Is winless in one start at Pleasanton but am looking for the connections to have her ready to roll. Lord Fusaichi is one that looks to be quicker but this one is stepping up and has never started on the surface before. Still, did wire the field in two of the last three starts. Uncaged Kitty has been off since August but that was an impressive front running score in a race where the second and third place horses came back to win. Barn does hit at an insane 41 percent on returns after this long of a break. If you are intent on a closer, take a look at either Red Hot Lass or Benson, as both horses will have some late run.

Eighth race (5:15 p.m.)

Picks: Magical Lady, Bacalar, Lady in a Hurry.

Analysis: Here in the last race, we are going with the horse that came out of the best last race in Magical Lady. In her last effort on May 29 at Golden Gate Fields, she was third in a spot where both the winner and second place finisher came back to win their next starts. She had a shot in the lane but was just outkicked. Not an overly successful barn, but we like the shot here. Bacalar showed speed early in her last start but drifted and faded to fourth. That was the first start after seven months on the shelf so there is every reason to improve. The last effort was also a big drop after running three much bigger races in 2021, including a pair of seconds. Lady in a Hurry is making her debut and may need a race, but solid connections and a good work pattern make this one enticing.