Last week's selection came up a bit short as Laura's Light got a great trip sitting second and capitalized on the fast pace that Mike Smith set on Parkour to take home the Grade III honeymoon Stakes. Speaking of Mike Smith, he will be the jockey on this week's play.
I will head to the Grade I Runhappy Santa Anita Derby for my sheets play with Honor A. P. for trainer John Shirreffs at 9/5 on the morning line. I usually don't like to give out horses this low in odds on the morning-line but I do believe we will get 9/5 or greater due to Authentic being in this field.
This play is contingent upon not only Honor A. P.'s sheets figures, he had an 8 last out matching Authentic's number, but also the pace scenario I envision. If Abel Cedillo gets Shooters Shoot to the lead and does not let Authentic get an easy lead without pressure, as is typical of most Baffert horses running on the West Coast, then I do believe Honor A. P. is by far the best horse in this race.
Trainer John Shirreffs has been adamant that he is confident about this horses preparation and readiness for this race and that the foot bruise he was dealing with heading into the San Felipe Stakes is now behind him (you can read John's comments on the great Trainer's Corner blog by Millie Ball on Xbtv.com).
If you add that to the fact that Honor A. P. still has room to improve off of his last out 8 and the fact that he has been working spectacularly for this race, 9/5 or greater may end up being a gift in this spot. Mike Smith should be able to sit right off this pace and if he comes head-to-head with Authentic down the lane, I believe he is the type of horse who will grind out a win at a mile and an eighth and longer.
My play of the day on Runhappy Santa Anita Derby day will be $100 win on Honor A. P. and singling him in all tickets.
Good luck to all !