Alameda County Fair Picks – Saturday, June 25

Alameda County Fair Picks – Saturday, July 25


First race (1:45 p.m.)

Picks: Gallant Oak, Unusual Code, Charlie the Gent

Analysis: Gallant Oak was putting together a nice series of races before taking on the turf in his last start. That went over like a led balloon as the horse finished seventh. Now to the dirt for the first time and it looks like he is the speed of the field, always a good thing in Pleasanton. The last two races were two turns – two back as a second place finish – so the distance won’t be an issue. Unusual Code has hit the board five of six starts this year from his closing style. Don’t think there is enough speed here to set it up perfectly, but he will be coming late. Charlie the Gent is from a strong barn and has put together two strong races. A step up but does have two turn experience.


Second race (2:15 p.m.)

Picks: Imperial Creed, Creative Romance, Joymaker.

Analysis: Imperial Creed has been knocking it out of the park with four straight big efforts. In her last start she battled on the front end throughout and just got nosed out. The three previous starts we a pair of wins sandwiched around a second place. Has showed she can get out on the pace or sit and pounce. Creative Romance ran second here last year, and has turned around a solid year, not running a bad race in much better company. Joymaker has shown speed in almost every race and now gets the dream track for that style. Has stakes experience and although not well bet for the most part, she has a shot here.


Third race (2:45 p.m.)

Picks: Maxinamillion, Full of Luck, Paint Me Lucky

Analysis: There is speed with Maxinamillion and he has shown it winning twice in four starts at Pleasanton. He has speed but doesn’t need the lead to have a shot over the surface. There is cause for pause in that he has burned money in the last two starts as the favorite. At the end of the day, I feel his running style fits perfectly. Full of Luck has put together a decent series of races against tougher fields that he will face here. In the money in three of his six starts this year. Comes off the pace more than finds the lead early. Coming from a turf to dirt, where the barn is solid at 22 percent and drops in price for this race. Paint Me Lucky is coming off a break with a barn that is -13 and has only hit the board in two of five starts this year. On the positive side he is cutting his tag in half and his form seems well set for this race – and I don’t need him to win, just to run third!


Fourth race (3:15 p.m.)

Picks: Our Empire, Prince Cinderella, Drumadoon.

Analysis: Our Empire is a curious runner. Last year the horse ran in the Grade II Best Pal but was eased in the August race. He was off until May 28, where he was eased again, but this time he was walked off the track. Now he is running for a $4,000 claimer less than a year removed from a Grade II event at Del Mar. Perhaps a fire sale or maybe trying to build the confidence. Prince Cinderella is horse that was bred for speed but has never really shown it in his 12 career starts except for those here at Pleasanton. In the first two starts of his career were over this surface last summer and he got out good twice. Since then he has been mostly on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields. Now we are back on the dirt, and I am thinking we will see a different horse. Probably will be the first of two starts here. Drumadoon is out of a barn that is 2-for-54 this year, has one win in ten starts, and has not been in single digits on the tote board since his third career start. Yet here he the morning line favorite. Beat this horse in this spot.


Fifth race (3:45 p.m.)

Picks: Hula King, Hawk Hill, Zero Bucks Given.

Analysis: Time for a value play. Hula King comes in 10/1 on the morning line and looks much better than that. He goes hard out the gate and is always one of the pace setters. He has given way in the lane in the last three races, but that stops today on the speed favoring Pleasanton track. I would be happy to get 10/1, but don’t think I will. Hawk Hill has hit the board twice in four starts at Pleasanton taking well to the surface. Takes yet another claiming tag drop making a big effort more likely. Zero Bucks given is without a doubt my favorite name of any horse racing presently. He is the deserving morning line favorite at 9/5 based on his past performances. My main concern is that his best running has come on the synthetics, not on the dirt where he is 0-for-2. Does have speed so warrants consideration.


Sixth race (4:15 p.m.)

Picks: Creative Motion, Orissa, Soo Brooklyn.

Analysis: There are two first-time starters in the race, and I am going with one of them – Creative Motion. The horse comes from a solid barn with first-timers at 22 percent. She also comes with a solid work tab for the debut. Big worry in drawing the rail for her first start. If the horse gets out clean, I am liking my chances. Orissa has seen two better fields than this one and goes from a strait maiden race to an open maiden tag. The concern here lies with the solid barn the horse comes from is 0-for-7 with that move. Soo Brooklyn makes the same move and should be happy with that. In seven career starts the horse has never been close to sing digit odds. Obviously, things have to change here, and facing open maidens may make it easier in this spot.


Seventh race 9 – She’s A Tiger stakes (4:45 p.m.)

Picks: Anthonys Cleopatra, Assignation, Day Plan.

Analysis: There is a lot of speed in here and Anthonys Cleopatra appears to be the speed of the speed. The Tim McCanna runner is 3-for-4 this year with the first two wins coming wire-to-wire, and the final one from off the pace in winning the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields as the favorite. No starts on the dirt but did have a bullet drill over the track on June 18, registering the fastest 5-furlong workout out of day out of the 28 worked the distance. Assignation is a closer that has hit the board three times in five races this year. With a race loaded with speed, it should give a closer a great pace to run at. The question – can she catch the best speed? Day Plan wired the field here in a race last year and had a near front-winning score in her last race, the second off a break. A bullet work over the track in Sacramento recently shows the horse is muscled up and ready to roll.


Eighth race (5:15 p.m.)

Picks: Born to Reign, Sugar Kisses, Bandeena.

Analysis: Born to Reign wired the field here last week and wheels right back for another go of it. The horse got out early and then dug in to hold off a big challenger at the end. The connections are back at it, and I am liking her chances. Sugar Kisses is back at the spot of her last win, has a tactical running style and is a good fit in this group. Bandeena has a load of past speed which she got away from in her last two starts. Only hit the board in two of her six dirt starts. Does find the board, finishing in the money 6-of-8 times this year. Don’t need this one to win, just run in the top three!


Ninth race (5:45 p.m.)

Picks: Morning Addiction, Running Luck, Big Chick.

Analysis: Morning Addiction returns after her last race was on April 15. Also takes a drop in class and has shown some fondness for dirt, hitting the board 6-of-9 starts over the surface. She has shown speed over the surface and should find the Pleasanton track to her liking. It took Running Luck 13 starts before she won a race, but she has shown speed and finished second in her one start over the track. Big Chick takes a notable drop in class and has shown closing speed in case a speed duel develops out front. Has not done well on the dirt, but these is not a lot of dirt experience in this field.