Race of the Day, May 15, 2014
Pimlico Racecourse, Baltimore, Maryland
Race #2, Claiming $7.5K, Non-winners of 2 races lifetime, Purse $16K
1:38 P.M. ET
We’ll kick off the next three days from Pimlico as we try to get a bead on the track condition for the Preakness. Track Bias — whether the track’s surface favors early speed — is a huge factor, and one that is often incorrectly applied by the public. We’ll be looking for any that could affect our play for the Preakness Stakes of Saturday.
A lower level affair, a compact field of six horses will go two turns. With only six horses, we won’t expect too much of a price, but hopefully can still find good value. The favorite is Sachicomula (#2, 7/5), a speed horse who is trying routing for the first time and always returns to a class level he did well at previously. He has a bevy of second place finishes, and is 1 for 16 in his career, and has been off form lately. Be careful here — horses are 1 for 16 for a reason, although the drop in price is welcoming. Those are still many questions for a 7/5 favorite.
Paycheck (#4, 2-1) has been putting close but losing efforts at this level at the distance and at this track. Those are all good signals. He’s consistent and improving in the Kathleen Dibben barn. Moravitz (#5, 3-1) moves to the Javier Gonzalez barn, where he ran slightly worse than Paycheck last time out. Moravitz has a higher ceiling than Paycheck—both of them required the lead to win their maiden race. It is most likely a question of which horse is in better shape. Flattering (#6, 6-1) will come late with a mild kick. He’s 1 for 21 and has been doing most of his running already at this level. Lord Earl Grey (#3, 15-1) is bit slower and does his best work on turf. Blinkers off is always intriguing — its unsure how a horse will react. Stockton Bad Ben (#1, 30-1) has been simply terrible lately and would need a monumental reversal of form. Unlikely.
- How low a price would you take a Sachicomula? He’s dropping and consistently faster than many of these. But he’s had trouble finding the winner’s circle — will that be a habit today?
- How will Moravitz react to the new barn? The talent is there and with some improve, it’s his race.
- Will no one else improve and give the race to Paycheck? Will there by a decent price for this?
Several risk factors and probably not great prices with the smallish field. Paycheck catches my eye the most for his consistency. He’s making his fourth start and has shown good early speed and final times. Both Moravitz and Sachicomula have not raced particularly sharp lately. Both horses can improve, but this is a risky business, especially if you are not getting a good price. Good luck and see you on twitter @alldayracing.