2018 Commonwealth Turf Stakes
From a wagering standpoint, the Commonwealth looks straight-forward enough as Hot Springs (2/1) and March to the Arch (5/2) hold an edge over their five rivals. Sniper Kitten (7/2) would need a return to his previously good form after two uninspiring losses, and the rest would need career-best efforts to seriously contend.
Here's a look at the field:
- 1-Reride 4/1
- 2-Marzo 12/1
- 3-Sniper Kitten 7/2
- 4-March to the Arch 5/2
- 5-Year of the Kitten 15/1
- 6-Zero Gravity 6/1
- 7-Hot Springs 2/1
Analysis and Picks
As a handicapper, it's occassionally refreshing to look at a race like this and simply conclude that there are only two horses that can win the race. To me, March to the Arch looks to have more upside and maybe slightly more ability than Hot Springs at this stage in their careers.
March to the Arch has run faster, recording a field-best Beyer Speed Figure of 93 two races back in a race where Hot Springs finished over a length behind him.
It's also worth considering that March to the Arch has yet to catch a firm turf course in his last three starts. Jockey Julien Leparoux should fit this colt nicely, but he will have to run down Hot Springs to win. If the morning line odds stick, this bet is a no-brainer as March to the Arch provides more value and wagering intrigue.
Ways to bet this race
If a good old-fashioned win wager isn't appealing, this is the kind of race where a little strategy and creative thinking could help coax value. Marzo (12/1) and Sniper Kitten (7/2) are logical "underneath" plays, so I like the idea of keying my top pick, March to the Arch in the first rung of the trifecta, with these two and Hot Springs underneath.
Here's that trifecta at a glance:
Feeling a bit more adventurous, one could easily extend this play as a superfecta: 4/237/237/227.
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