Due to time constraints, I was not able to put together a new Horses to Watch entry yet. I’ll try to post something later this week. For now, here are a few opinions about Wednesday’s races:
Race 4: Claiming $12,500 at six furlongs for three year-olds
PACEMAKESTHERACE (#2) never was given a chance to get involved last time after a projected fast pace failed to develop. He drops into a cheaper spot here, but faces fellow dropdowns Bourbon Therapy (#1) and Pete’s Fleet (#6), both of whom would appear to be worth more than the $12,500 claiming tag. I recall that Maggie Wolfendale had loved the way Pacemakestherace looked in the paddock last time and that she thought he was sitting on a big effort. He’s sure to be a very big price today, but I’m hoping that the return to Taylor Rice and a fast track may work to his benefit. A little help up front wouldn’t hurt either.
$10 Win 2
$4 Exacta 1,6 with 2
Race 5: Claiming $16,000 at seven furlongs
Races such as this are often won by the horse who is in the best current form. Many of these older claimers have some back class to them, but the trick is often to figure out which horse is going to put forth that good effort today. For that reason, I’m a little skeptical of dropdowns Reserved Quality and I Want You to Know, who both may be moving in the wrong direction.
I’m taking a shot with STRAIGHT FAX (#2), who ran better than it appears last time when he was the only horse to make up any ground in a race dominated on the front end. He ran into some traffic leaving the backstretch, which put him farther behind than he would have ideally been placed, but once in the clear in the stretch he was really motoring home. This horse does have back races that would give him a big shot here. I think he’s indicating that the layoff has done him well and that he might be ready to start running Beyer figures in the mid-70s again.
$15 Win 2
Race 6: Maiden Special Weight at one mile for NY-breds
Unfortunately we’ll have to wait at least one more day for the first turf race of the season in New York. On dirt, ROYAL POSSE (#4) is the horse I want to bet. He has been steadily improving since being returned from a brief layoff earlier in the year. In his most recent start he was hindered by a very slow start and racing over a surface that he may not have cared for. With a clean break today, I expect Eddie Castro to come out in mid-pack and try to make one run with this horse. I believe that Royal Posse could be sitting on a breakout performance.