Race of the Day, June 18
Mountaineer Race Track, Maiden Claiming $5K, 6F, 3 and up.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the Race of the Day.
- Diamond Mind finds his way to the racetrack for the capable Jeff Radosevich barn. Good breeding for these and certainly figures against a lackluster group.
- Pekaboo Vision is the possible favorite, but has some risk as he tries six furlongs – not his best distance. He might be on form and best all (but Diamond Mind) easily. Speed and rail bias can be huge at Mountaineer, so it makes sense to watch at least a few races (or replays) to get a sense of how the track is playing. Also the excellent track handicappers usually tune you in to this fact on the live feed from Mountaineer.
- Dark Winter comes off a short layoff – something his trainer excels at. He would need to improve and likely needs longer. Note: nothing on the worktab since coming into the barn. Likely not reported – perhaps a late workout will be added.
- Imperial George gets a long look. Too slow at Charles Town is meaningless for the Mountaineer surface. A horse can hate Charles Town, but can love Mountaineer. If anything, hating Charles Town makes it more likely that you will at least like Mountaineer. Rarely do horses like both, but sometimes they like neither, which could be the case here (absent bias).
- Hezabelfast is 0 for 26. But along the way he’s had six second and nine thirds. This is a horse that does not want to cross the finish line first. Very little value on top.
The rest all have longshot chances, but no likely value.
- Is Diamond Mind ready to go? If so, he should win easily against all but an improved Dark Winter or Pekaboo Vision.
- Is Pekaboo Vision improved out of that last race? If so, then the extra furlong might not be a huge challenge. This is about form – a difficult handicapping factor to discern on paper.
- How is the track playing? Speed and/or rail bias – different at different distances at Mountaineer can be strong, but often difficult to predict.
- Is Dark Winter in shape of the layoff? If so, he still needs improvement, which still means he should be in the middle-range odds (6/1 – 10/1). Ultimately, this need for improvement makes his value questionable.
What I’m thinking of playing:
Diamond Mind is probably my pick up top, unless he hovers too low. I’d play him at 4-1 or higher; there are always reasons a horse debuts for $5k at Mountaineer. I’ll also take a look at how the track is playing. As said, bias can be huge at Mountaineer, in which case I’d probably go with Pekaboo Vision down to 5-2.. I’d take stands against Hezabelfast winning for those who play vertical exotics or, better yet, in exchange betting. That might be the safest pick with the best return of them all.
Tune in @alldayracing on twitter beginning at 8:40 P.M. ET for live coverage of the race of the day. See you then!