No, I’m not taking another trip to Parx today, but I do have to handicap one of the races there since my “Horse to Watch” Indy Tune was entered in the third race:
Parx, Race 3: Claiming $25,000-$20,000 N4L at one mile
I do not profess to know anything about trainer trends or track biases at Parx, but I do know how to assess class, and if Indy Tune (#1) runs back to his most recent race at Aqueduct, I think he will beat this field. Last time, when facing N1X New York breds, he was taken back off a fairly quick early pace by regular Parx rider Angel Arroyo. Even though he would have had a clear run through on the rail, it appeared that Arroyo forgot he was not riding at Parx where the rail is usually dead. He attempted to wheel Indy Tune to the outside, but instead ended up riding him right into the back of some fading stragglers. Indy Tune was stymied for a good sixteenth of a mile before extricating himself from that position at the top of the stretch. Despite losing all his momentum, he regathered himself and came with a huge late run to get third. I have to think that he would have challenged the winner, Pearl of Wisdom, who is a pretty nice horse in his own right, if he had been ridden better.
Now Indy Tune is back at Parx and is reunited with his regular rider, R. Montanez, who has been aboard for all of his wins. Furthermore, taking a look at Indy Tune’s lifetime past performances, I think there is a greater story unfolding here. Perhaps this is a horse who has just been crying out for distance races his whole life. After trying routes twice early in his career before he had matured, he was not given another chance at a mile on the dirt until three races back and he exploded with a huge win that day at 23-1. Next time he was over-matched versus much tougher competition, but I think he reaffirmed his affinity for more ground in that race at Aqueduct. It’s going to take a number in the high 70s to win this race, but I think that is within Indy Tune’s capabilities now that he’s figured out what he wants to do. His 8-1 morning line would be a real bargain.
$15 Win 1 (WINNER; Payout: $76.50)
[3:04 p.m. update] – When I started writing this blog, I envisioned situations like Indy Tune‘s race at Parx today. Having seen his last race at Aqueduct and knowing the trouble he had, I thought there was a good chance the public wouldn’t realize that he was in excellent form. Even though the Beyer for that race came back only a 66, I knew that he could have won with a different trip and was running some of the best races of his life coming into today’s contest. With not a lot of speed in the race, he was sent to the front and wired the field to pay $10.20, which was still a good price considering I thought he was the most likely winner.