Race of the Day, May 20.
Mountaineer Race Track, Chester, West Virginia.
Race 1, Maiden Special Weight, Turf, 3 and up, 1 mile and 70 yds. Purse: $19,400
We’re returning to Mountaineer for our customary early week visit with a deep field of maidens routing on the turf. None of these horses have won a race before, but every one has raced before. While this helps to reduce some of the unknowns, several horses are trying the turf for the first time. There’s always a chance that Mountaineer won’t run on the turf because of the weather. We’ll talk about that contingency at the end.
Prince Zurs (#9, #4-1) should be your rightful favorite. He’s run fast enough on the turf before, and he’s yet to run a bad race in his short career. Lotta Heat (#4, 3/1) ran well in his debut in early 2013 on turf, but hasn’t been back since, opting for polytrack. Despite the nice debut, Lotta Heat has stuggled in every outing since. Mr. North Woods (#5, 5-1) and Dramatist (#1, 9/2) have competitive turf performances in their past. Dramatist is lightly raced and is making his second start of a very long layoff. It would seem he’s at least one more away. Mr. North Woods has raced 10 times and earned 3 seconds and a third. He has ample turf experience, racing six times previously. But he’d need to recapture his old form having not raced since the December. Again, that seems unlikely in this situation. Of the horses who have never tried turf, Lucky Luminaire (#8, 8-1) has the most upside, although he would need to improve substantially on the new surface. Deshawn Parker, who was injured on Sunday and is the best turf rider on the ground, was slated to ride.
- How low will the price be on Prince Jurs? He should be the favorite, but he won’t be 4-1.
- Is Lotta Heat off form, or does he just want to get back to the turf? If he thrives on the turf, he is a real threat to Prince Jurs.
- Can Mr. North Woods or Dramatist recapture old speed?
If the race is run on turf, Prince Jurs is a well-deserving favorite. If he doesn’t like the course or otherwise doesn’t run his race, it becomes a wide-open affair, which could yield a price. If the race is moved to dirt, there will be several scratches which will change the race, and I’ll update the post (and on twitter) accordingly. Tune in at 6:45 Eastern Time on Twitter @alldayracing.
The race has been moved off the turf, which adds some risk to Prince Jurs. He’s fast on turf, but never run on dirt. Scat Daddy has shown propensity with turf runners, so there might be some risk with a move to dirt. Scratch Lotta Heat and Mr. North Woods If Prince Jurs doesn’t like the dirt, Lucky Lumiere is your likeliest winner. After that, it becomes slim pickings. Ten Tequilas (#3, #10) is a factor returning to routing. Taylor’s Point (#2, 8-1) probably wants a wet track, Dramatist stays in, and while probably needs a race, may still be fast enough to claim this one if Prince Jurs and Lucky Luminaire falter.