Yesterday didn’t quite pan out the way I had hoped. A few of the horses I liked ran well, but not quite well enough. I’m not as enamored with Friday’s card though I do like a few races towards the end of the day.
Race 7: Claiming $12,500 at one mile for fillies and mares
If Bargaining Table (#1) breaks cleanly today, she should be able to control this race on the front end. However, even if she gets away a step slowly, which she is known to do from time to time, I’m not concerned about her ability to come from off the pace. She’s more of a turf horse, but her last few races are better than they may look at first glance. She set two fast paces that collapsed on both December 31st and January 17th. She was much more relaxed last time after the removal of blinkers, but a very slow pace and a far superior winner in Casual Elegance make the effort look worse than it actually was.
$15 Win 1
Race 8: Optional Claiming $30,000/N2X at six furlongs for NY-bred fillies and mares
I don’t want the horses coming out of the March 3rd race at this level. Run a Dubb Dubb was able to get up that day after a perfect trip, but those she defeated had their chances to beat her then, and now land in a tougher spot. Pennymine did have some trouble at the top of the stretch, but a lot of things also went her way and she still came up empty late.
My top pick is Bird House (#1) since I believe she’s the best horse in the race. Sh held her form well though the end of 2013, but probably needed a break after being campaigned straight though the year since last March. She has run well fresh in the past and it’s encouraging to see Irad Ortiz, Jr. jump off Irish Whisper to get back on this mare, with whom he’s developed quite a rapport. I expect there to be a decent pace up front with Your Time Is Up and Pegasus Diamond both likely to show speed. Bird House should get a great trip up the rail and if the good Bird House shows up I think she’ll win.
I’ll also use a slightly longer price in Dee Dee’s Comet (#2), who is coming out of what I believe to be a tougher race. We’ve already seen Haldane and My Donny Jean exit that race to return and improve their figures next time and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dee Dee’s Comet follow suit. She was forced to come very wide into the stretch to find running room that day whereas third place finisher Haldane got a perfect trip up the rail. Dee Dee’s Comet has steadily improved throughout the winter and if the pace sets up for her I believe she can make an impact here.
$15 Win 1
$10 Win 2
Race 9: Maiden Special Weight at 1 1/16 miles for NY-breds
Royal Posse (#1) did not have an ideal trip last time as he was away slowly and then spent too much time getting sent up along the rail by his rider despite the fact that the horse seemed reluctant to cooperate. When he finally squeezed through at the top of the stretch and found some open space to run to he was actually finishing best of all through the final quarter mile. I recall that Maggie Wolfendale had loved the way this horse looked in the paddock last time, and all things considered, he actually did show up with an improved effort. He may need another slight step forward today to win, but I’m willing to bet on that at what should be a decent price. I’ll use him to win and will box him in the exacta with the very logical favorite John’s Island (#3), who has decent pedigree for the stretch out.
$10 Win 1
$5 Exacta Box 1/3