2018 Valedictory Stakes Betting Picks
Woodbine stalwart Kevin Attard will saddle three runners in this event, including the 8/5 morning line favorite Melmich. Also from the Attard barn, A.A. Azula's Arch (10/1) and Pumpkin Rumble (5/2) will join the fray, giving the trainer a very live hand.
Analyzing the field
While Attard certainly has the goods in this year's Valedictory, there are several runners that could add value to the tri and super wagering. Here's a glance at the field:
- English Illusion 4/1
- Bowsprit 30/1
- Bangkok 25/1
- Vintage Matters 15/1
- A.A. Azula's Arch 10/1
- Seeking Albert 15/1
- Melmich 8/5
- Ethical Funds 12/1
- Pumpkin Rumble 5/2
Melmich is pure class and always seems to give a good account of himsel. The 7 year-old gelding won an allowance race Nov.10, and should move forward in this race. He's won 17 of 41 lifetime starts and has proven to relish this type of marathon trip over the Polytrack.
Stablemate, Pumplin Rumble is thriving right now and looms a major threat in this race. The son of English Channel has reeled off back-to-back allowance wins, including a 1 5/8-mile score last-out. He has plenty of crusing speed, which should make him particularly dangerous in this relatively paceless race.
This looks like the kind of race where anyone could run second or third, but I like Vintage Matters to hit the board at a reasonable price. Trainer Michael Dickinson connects at a 20% clip with runners returning from 31-60-day layoffs, and he'll remove the blinkers for this start.
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Bottom line pick
I'll take the improving Pumpkin Rumple here. He likes the surface as well as the distance and his last two starts produced superior Beyer Speed Figures compared to any last-two efforts of the rest of the field. Attard has this guy going very well and it could come down to a stretch battle between Pumpkin Rumble and Melmich. I'll play Pumpkiin Rumble to win, but I'll also bet exactas and trifectas using 7,9 with 4,7,9.