Thursday, September 25
Race 2: Claiming $25,000N2L at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for fillies and mares
8 – Absolute Beauty
I would prefer that this race stayed on the turf, but I would not be at all opposed to backing ABSOLUTE BEAUTY (#8) on the dirt with rain in the forecast. She is supposed to be the main speed in this race on either surface, and I think she can move forward off her return effort two weeks ago. Even disregarding her likely pace advantage, I see nothing wrong with Absolute Beauty’s turf races and they put her squarely in the mix here. Dirt is a bit of a question mark, but she put in a decent effort going a mile in December, and she did break her maiden going wire to wire on that surface.
I also don’t trust anyone else in this race enough to back them at shorter prices. Zafiro Azul is a little dressed up after getting favorable pace scenarios two and three back, Flirtatious Spring has had many chances and was dull last time considering the pace collapse, and Wine Burglar’s drop in class off the claim by Rudy Rodriguez looks a little suspicious.
$10 Win 8
Race 3: Allowance N1X at one mile for NY-bred fillies and mares
2 – Legally Bay
A muddy track certainly wouldn’t hurt since this filly clearly handles moisture in the ground, but I’m interested in LEGALLY BAY (#2) regardless of the conditions. She typically gets ignored on the board due to her low-profile connections, but she has noticeably stepped up her game since breaking her maiden and is plenty good enough to win this race. It also helps that her main rival Annie Walker does not face the easiest task with the speedy Jet Majesty drawn just to her outside. While I believe that Annie Walker (#5) is perhaps the most talented filly in this race, it’s hard to envision the early pace being anything short of honest given that she is a free-running filly who needs to be in front early. Legally Bay should be sitting a few lengths behind the leaders, placed on the fence by Taylor Rice, in a perfect spot. Given the way the track has been playing, I prefer her to deep closers like Maxana and Jcs American Dream, and I have trouble taking Canal Six at a relatively short price after being somewhat disappointed in her effort last time.
$10 Win 2
$5 Exacta Box 2,5
Race 4: Maiden Special Weight at one mile for NY-bred two year-old fillies
4 – Momma Giovanna
MOMMA GIOVANNA (#4) had quite the trip in her debut on the turf, but I’m actually glad to see her show up in a dirt race for her second start. Given her lack of turf pedigree, I get the feeling that Linda Rice was just giving her a race going two turns first time out. This is a big filly who clearly wants a route of ground, so perhaps Linda figured that she’d get more out of a two-turn turf race than she would being outrun in a dirt sprint. After breaking slowly, Momma Giovanna was steadied hard and rated firmly back in last heading into the clubhouse turn. She clearly wanted to do some running on the backstretch, so Jose Ortiz dropped the reins and allowed her to make a middle move into contention. She ended going all the way up to chase the leaders while four-wide around the far turn, and quite predictably came up empty in the stretch.
This filly is out of a dam who has produced two other foals to race, Saturday Appeal and First Ranger, and both are decent winners routing on the dirt. I would expect Momma Giovanna to show more early initiative today if she breaks cleanly, and I have to think that she’ll be fitter for this start. She does have a right to be a decent horse since they did pay quite a bit of money for her.
There are some other intriguing runners in this race, including likely favorite Razia Sultana, who should have no trouble with this distance being a half-sister to Samraat. Building Permit needs to improve quite a bit, but she’s supposed to handle the distance as well. In Spite of Mama figures to show speed, but needs to prove that she can get the mile, and Isthatallthereis and Oohlala didn’t do much running in their respective debuts but both figure to improve second time out.
While there are many ways to go, I have a feeling that Momma Giovanna is going to run much better today and the price figures to be fair so I’m taking a shot.
$15 Win 4