Mountaineer, Claiming 8:32 ET

Race of the Day, May 11, 2014

Mountaineer Race TrackChester, WV, Race 5, 8:32 ET

5 1/2f, Claiming $5K, Restricted to Fillies and Mares, non-winners of 2 races in six months, Purse $9.7K

We return to Mountaineer racetrack for one of their specialties — a conditioned claiming race.  Most horses at Mountaineer always run for a $5,000 tag (there are exceptions primary with allowance horses and younger maidens).  To maintain parity, they run a number of conditioned levels, typically based on either lifetime wins or wins in a preceding time period (usually either six months or a year.)  The horses in today’s race are better than most — they have each won a race — at any level — in the past 6 months.  Some of them, however, aren’t fast enough to win at this level and will race here until they can drop into a lower level (winners of no races in six months, winners of 1 race in a year), and we typically can find a few eliminations.  Distance is always an important factor at Mountaineer, with horses quite sensitive to the difference between 5 and 6 furlongs.

Waltzing Time (#1, 4-1) won on the lead at this level on April 22.  Last year, she raced in 5K claiming races, but they were unrestricted (any number of wins in any period) and she managed to win one last fall.  She’s had a long career at the Mountain (57 of her 76 lifetime starts) and has one 1/4 of all her starts at this distance.  Acacian Spice (#2, 3-1) won last time out, but at a lower level (horses that hadn’t won even one race in 6 months).  She is 0 for 6 at this distance.  This Cats On Fire (#3, 6-1) won at the harder non-winners of three level after the layoff, but seemed to fall off form against these last time.   A turnaround labels him a strong contender.  Sweet Moonbeam (#5, 12-1) is a notch below the others, but won at this level two back.  French Dawn (#6, 8-1) won at this level before, but seems to need another race or two to get back in racing form. Angel of Fire (#7, 5-1) has been solid since arriving at Mountaineer.  She changes barns, but is certainly fast enough to win here.  Shock Me (#9, 9-2) seems to have lost her best days. Sunday Choir (#10, 8-1) is a contender as well.  She switches to a lower percentage barn,  but gets some class relief, moving from open $5K claimers.  She starts on the way outside, though.


  1. WIll Angel of Fire maintain his form for the new barn?  The barn wins less, but does well with them the first time.  If he does maintain his form, and there’s pace, he should win easy.
  2. Will This Cats on Fire rebound, or did she go off form?
  3. How will the outside post affect Sunday Choir?


This race seems to begin and end with Angel of Fire. The trainer switch from Brent Angelle raises some questions that demand that you get some bit of a price. Past Angel of Fire, the race is very deep, and certainly could be a place to find a price.  Sunday Choir shoes some promise and may offer the price that we’re looking for.

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Good pace, and Angel of Fire was the answer, paying $6.00 for a $2.00 win bet.  Sunday Choir looked sharp, but wilted in the stretch.  This Cats on Fire ran a solid race, but was never in real contention.  Waltzing Time was sharp, but Angel of Fire has a better set-up and was just a bit better.