I hope everyone had a good holiday. Back to the grind today.
- 9 Really B Cat – came out last March on the inner as a 9-5 favorite in a $16K maiden. Was claimed out of that one by Linda Rice and she immediately jumped him to a MSW where he didn’t raise a gallop. He took a break until December 15 and came out running, tracking close and finishing 6 lengths back in 3rd. The move from open $12,500 maidens to state-bred $25K really isn’t a class rise. Not the fastest figure in here, but a lot of upside considering it was his first race in 8 months.
- 7 American Hero – where was this guy on Veteran’s Day? Making his 9th start for low percentage trainer Patrick Quick. Ran pretty well in his last, finishing only a head behind the winner but 9 lengths in front of the third place runner. Should be midpack and closing late.
- 5 Blue Collar Cat – represents the best of the speed but has not shown great heart in the stretch, especially at this distance. Still he’s dropping enough that his speed may hold up longer
- 1a Ring Knocker – Came out of the Frizette to finish second on the AQU main as the favorite. First time around two turns but being a Birdstone she shouldn’t have trouble with the distance. Has to overcome the tendency to finish second.
- 7 Doukas – has the top figure at the distance, but is another that seems to have trouble passing the last horse. Has gotten a couple of works since her last and looks competitive here.
- 4 Been Here Before – is first time Lasix for McLaughlin. Had a lot of trouble at the start of her last and a little bit of improvement puts her right in the mix
Race 3 Gravesend Handicap 3-2-4
- 1 Green Grotto – two starts already on the inner dirt this winter. His last was a really good effort dueling all the way around the track and only losing by a length and a quarter. He is the best speed in the race but he is only 3 for 28. If the track is speed favoring it ups his chances but otherwise he looks slated for a minor award at best.
- 2 Dads Caps – will have to deal with the 1 on the front end but he is not a need to lead type. He’s 5 for 5 first or second on the inner, and has looked good in each of his last three. He’s got good sprint breeding, and a useful series of works since his last.
- 3 Mewannarose – best on a fast track and is tough at the sprint distances. Has a win in two tries on the inner. Has shown improvement lately and had a great workout seven days ago.
- 4 Salutos Amigos – the star of the field after a decent run in the BC sprint. Came back to win the Fall Highweight convincingly and drops 9 pounds from that effort. However, that was on a sloppy main and he is 4 for 4 on the wet track. Lots of talent and lately at the top of his game, but I’m looking for a higher odds result.
- 5 Crafty Dreamer – a solid runner but perhaps a bit up against it in this group. Still, only four horses to beat and he has had some success on the inner.
- 8 Socialsaul – has the best figures in the race and is a 30% winner lifetime. Since getting claimed by Jacobson on September 1, he’s raced seven times, with good success. In fact, his worst race was his last when he jumped up to $20K and was soundly beaten. He’s back for $10K today and if he holds together he could start a fresh streak.
- 1 Felons Only – has been hanging around Finger Lakes and Presque Isle this year with moderately good success. He’ll almost certainly be ignored in the betting, but he’s had a win at this distance and at a higher level and isn’t without chances today.
- 4 I Want You to Know – The quality of this field is not high, so you can’t automatically pitch horses with early foot. This pick is listed at 10-1, pretty juicy odds.. This horse has been racing at this level for quite a while now, and although he only has 1 win in 16 races this year, he looks like he is in good condition. He has good figures and a front running style and I’ll give him a shot today.
- 5 Traipse in Utopia – broke her maiden for $40K and jumped up to a state-bred NW1X. She down to a $50K starter today in search of a win. She looks to have far and away the best speed in the race, and there is every reason to expect she’ll establish a lead on her own pace. Her breeding suggested dirt, and once Hennig switched her she woke up. If she is anything close to her 8-1 ML she could be an excellent bet.
- 4 Maura’s Pass – she made a mild improvement when shifted from the turf to a sloppy BEL track, but then took a leap forward when moved to the AQU dirt. None of the races that day were particularly quick and she never had to extend herself, winning easily in hand. Even given the loping way she came home her time is competitive. The fact that Jason Servis moves her up to a $50K starter looks positive.
- 2 Wraith – one of those horses that finishes in the money a lot, but has trouble cracking the winner’s circle. She’s certainly good enough to win the race on figures, but I’m going elsewhere for the win today.
- 9 She’s All Even – Contessa is 13% with 2nd time starters. She broke from the rail and looked good to the stretch, but faded on a rail that wasn’t particularly kind to front speed. She was 31-1 first out and will be substantially less than that today. The rider switch from Serpa to Jose Ortiz is a big plus. She is far and away the best speed and has a figure that puts her on top of this field. Finally, she is dropping to MCL from MSW and that should allow her to carry her speed to the wire.
- 5 Golden Starlet – raced well when switched to the inner dirt and a sprint. Her figure is second only to the 9. A little improvement today puts her on the board.
- 6 Accelebrate – dropped from MSW to $40K claimers but broke last in the field ran fairly evenly around the track. If she breaks this time she should be more of a factor.
- 1 Slan Abhaile – first, kudos to Imbriale for getting a tough pronunciation right (Slawn Awallya). It means “safe home” and I’m looking for this one to make it home first in this race. His maiden start was on a sloppy track that didn’t play well to horses on the inside. He actually broke from the outside post, worked hard to get the lead and faded in the stretch. He has been with better horses recently, dropping from an OC $62 to an open $40K. He looks to be a better fit for the six furlong distance and should be in a good spot turning for home.
- 8 Luckysdream – Pletcher snagged this horse from Jacobson in March for $50K and drops him to $40K today, an interesting move. He is another with a preference to run to the front, and has some massive figures from 2013. Pletcher usually has his horses ready to roll of the layoff, and given the steady workout pattern it looks like this one fits.
- 4 Regulus – he looks ideally slotted for six furlongs and given the surplus of speed in here he may be the one to benefit.
- 2 Misszippityslewda – first off the claim for Jacobson. She fits the distance and the price level and has competitive figures. Pretty much gives a good effort every race. . Six furlongs is probably to her advantage.
- 5 Make the Moment – just missed on the sloppy AQU main last out and should be one of the horses closing in the stretch. She has the best last race figure as well.
- 4 Irish Whisper – dominated a NW1X field last out. Ran well on the inner earlier this year, likes the distance and likes a fast track. should be the front runner today.
- 3 False Positive – ran into wet tracks his last two but has shown enough front running ability to be a factor here.
- 11 Wild Freud – has the best last race figure and a good race over the inner. The outside post could be an issue, but if he gets into the race early he has a good shot.
- 5 Masterkey – first timer for Rudy Rodriguez has a regular set of works on the inner and at 15-1 is worth watching.