Friday, August 22
Race 2: Maiden Claiming $50,000 at six furlongs for two year-old fillies
4 – My Eastern Beauty
Know It All Anna (#8) is the horse to beat as she drops in class after two decent efforts against maiden special weight company. While she is going to be a short price, I don’t have anything particularly negative to say about her, and she has to be considered the most likely winner. That said, I want to take a small shot with a big price that intrigues me.
MY EASTERN BEAUTY (#4) has had the misfortune of running into two very nice fillies in her first couple of starts. She did no running in her debut as she wasn’t any match for a field led home by Adirondack runner-up Angela Renee. Then last time, after getting away from the gate awkwardly and dropping far back, she entered the stretch very wide under only mild encouragement from Rajiv Maragh. Yet once she got set down, she was actually doing some running through the lane. Condo Commando drew off by a dozen lengths, so My Eastern Beauty actually finished only five lengths behind the second place finisher. She gets blinkers today and needs to step forward again, but I don’t think she’s any worse than horses like No Shanks and Nejma, who are going to take a lot more money.
$10 Win 4
$5 Exacta 8-4
Race 4: Maiden Special Weight at 6 1/2 furlongs for fillies and mares
6 – Savvy Star
Judy Legend and Running Wild can certainly win this race at relatively short prices, but I thought that maiden field on July 18th that they’re both exiting was lacking in quality, so I’m looking for a new face here.
Of the firsters, I’m most interested in SAVVY STAR (#6). I know that Bill Mott has a reputation for not being able to win with first time starters, and it’s mostly true—with the notable exception of one subset of horses with which he excels: 3 year-old filly first time starters. If you think about it a bit, it does make some sense. There’s less of a rush to get fillies to the races early because there isn’t as much emphasis on making the classics with a well-bred filly as there is with a colt.
Compare Bill Mott’s numbers over the past five years with 3 year-old filly first time starters in dirt sprints with Todd Pletcher’s and I think you’ll be quite surprised:
|Todd Pletcher||Bill Mott|
$10 Win 6 (Payout: $30.00)
Race 8: Optional Claiming $62,500/N2X at 1 1/8 miles
9 – Away Game
I normally shy away from horses like AWAY GAME (#9), who were big prices last time and will be much shorter prices now that they’re good form is exposed, but I just don’t see anywhere else to go in this race. Sinistra (#4) makes plenty of sense, but he’s probably going to be the favorite, and I’m not sure he’s the sort of horse that you want to rely on at a short price. After all, he isn’t exactly a winning type, and he’s really just another contender unless he repeats his last race. As for the others, I don’t think that Smooth Bert really wants to go this distance, Crushing seems to run his best races out of town, and Gotham News might just not be this good.
Away Game loves this distance and relishes getting to go two turns. He appears to have stepped forward since the winter at Aqueduct, and Bay of Biscay returned to validate the improved Beyer speed figure that he was assigned last time. I just think he makes a lot of sense here, and the price should be in the 5-1 to 6-1 range, which I believe is fair enough.
$10 Win 9 (Payout: $61.00)
$5 Exacta Box 4,9 (Payout: $78.00)
Race 9: The Personal Ensign (G1) at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares
2 – Stanwyck
This year’s edition of the Personal Ensign is a fantastic one. All of the major players in the East Coast older filly and mare division have shown up to participate.
I do not have to extol the virtues of the favorites, as they are obvious. If I’m going to nitpick, I do think there is a slight question about whether Close Hatches is better going a mile and a sixteenth than she is going a two-turn mile and an eighth, but she is clearly the horse to beat. Her chief rival Princess of Sylmar did not get the right trip last time at Delaware, but ran well in her two prior starts this year, and loves this distance and surface.
I’ll be using both of those runners in any multi-race wagers that I get involved in, but as far as my pick in this race is concerned, I’m going to take a shot against them with STANWYCK (#2). This five year-old mare has ever so slowly been climbing the ranks as she seems to take a small step forward with each race. She’s going to have to improve once again today to beat the two aforementioned fillies, but I think that this is the day to take a shot with her at a price.
As Maggie Wolfendale pointed out in the paddock last time, Stanywck probably needed a race going into the Shuvee, and she should have gotten a lot out of that effort. It’s not much of a stretch to say that she was probably best that day after launching a four-wide run around the far turn before flattening out late. She’s likely to get some pace to run into today with Antipathy, Majestic River, Belle Gallantey, and Close Hatches all preferring to be forwardly placed early, and the nine-furlong trip really suits her.
$15 Win 2
Race 10: Claiming $50,000N3L at 1 1/8 miles (off the turf)
8 – Beamer
I don’t have very much to say about this one. I just feel that many handicappers will probably take a glance at BEAMER’s (#8) last few running lines and dismiss him as a turf horse, when he actually ran some decent dirt races earlier in his career. The distance should be no problem for him and he figures to get some pace to run into. At around 5-1, I think he’d be a bettable price.
$15 Win 8