When the March Madness picks are set each season, it's never surprising to see the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the shortlist of potential NCAA Tournament champions.
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2017 Bing Crosby Stakes Picks
Bing Crosby Stakes Picks and Preview
Since winnig his second lifetime start at Del Mar in the fall of 2015, Drefong (the 5-2 favorite in the morning line) has been unbeatable, taking five races in a row, the last two at the Grade 1 stakes level including the Breeders Cup Sprint.
The son of three-time Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti, and grandson of 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper, he has never been worse than second at any point in any of his wins, and you can expect jockey Mike Smith will have him out of the gate and immediatley gunning for the lead in the six-furlong Bing Crosby on Saturday.
The concern will be whether he is in top racing shape after a layoff of nine months, and there are a couple others in the field who will likely be pressing hiim throughout.
Following him in the morning line odds list are a pair that have to be considered somewhat as wild cards in Roy H (3-1) and Ransom The Moon (7-2). While both of these horses have had recent success at the graded-stakes level, it took both of them awhile to get to racing's big leagues.
Trained by Peter Miller, Roy H made thirteen starts before his first graded-stakes try, but he made that effort a winning one in taking the (G2) True North Stakes at Belmont in June. He's come from off-the-pace in both of his last two wins, and while that running style has worked against lesser foes, it will be a tougher chore for him to try and run down the likes of Drefong.
Ransom The Moon, meanwhile, is an Ontario-bred who did most of racing on the synthetic track at Woodbine with mixed results. He seems to have loved the switch to California and has had three starts at Santa Anita, winning his debut at the allowance level before stepping up to take the (G2) Kona Gold Stakes in solid fashion, before running second last out in the (G2) San Carlos Stakes, beaten only a neck by multiple graded-stakes winner Danzig Candy.
Among the longer shots on the board, recent results from Moe Candy (20-1) show some signs of promise. He's been second in two of his last three graded-stakes races, in the last of those finishing behind Ransom The Moon in the Kona Gold. As a double-digit longshot, he did very well to battle on the lead early, and then held off the race favorite in the stretch to hang on for the place money.
Never to be counted out of the money, California-bred Big Macher (8-1) might not be as fast as he was when he won the Bing Crosby back in 2014. But he returned to racing this past June after missing the entire 2016 season with an injury, and proved he can still get to the wire first when he won the Thor's Echo Handicap at Santa Anita in his first start in 18 months.
The Bing Crosby Stakes goes Saturday, July 29 from Del Mar Race Track in California, with a post time of 6:10 PM Pacific. You can get in on the action no matter where you are when you make your wagers through one of our recommended racebooks.
Entries w/ ML Odds
1) Denman's Call (20-1)
2) Drefong (5-2)
3) St. Joe Bay (6-1)
4) Ransom The Moon (7-2)
5) Big Macher (8-1)
6) Magic Taste (50-1)
7) Coastline (30-1)
8) Roy H (3-1)
9) Solid Wager (20-1)
10) Kobe's Back (8-1)
11) Moe Candy (20-1)
#1 - Drefong
#2 - Ransom The Moon
#3 - Big Macher
#4 - Moe Candy
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