Race of the Day
Prairie Meadows Racetrack, Altoona, Iowa
Race 8, Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile 70 yards, Purse: $30K
A competitive group of maidens is slated for the 8th at Prairie Meadows Racetrack. The M/L favorite is the entry of Be My Honeycomb/Robinwood (#1, 3/1). Robinwood is the more impressive of the two, having run well at Oaklawn Park last time out. He’s been given a brief rest — a good angle for trainer Doug Anderson and has a solid work tab coming into the race. Pontiff (#4, 6-1) makes his second start of the long layoff and adds blinkers for trainer Kenneth Nolan. He once ran in the Florida Derby against Derby winner Orb as a maiden. His last race was productive, and he looms a very solid threat today. Kerugma (#2, 7-2) draws the advantageous rail and has the speed to win. Hook Em (#7, 8-1) and Sir Smart Alex (#9, 8-1) figure to be likely pace factors, but overall are a bit too slow. Flat On (#5, 5-1) has potential, but faces some stiff competition in his first race. Spotsback (#3, 5-1) stretches out for the first time in eleven lifetime starts. He’s likely in here as a tune up for a return to maiden claiming sprints.
- Will Pontiff realize his early potential? He has more raw potential than any horse in the race. If he’s reaches it — something quite possible in his second start for Nolan — he will be tough to beat.
- How hot will the pace be? There’s a bunch of speed on paper, especially with Pontiff adding blinkers. This could favor Kerugma, but it is very hard to close at Prairie Meadows.
- Will Spotsback enjoy the stretchout? It’s unlikely, but if he does, he could have an ideal pressing style to win.
Pontiff could very well offer some value, depending upon how much the public values the addition of blinkers. I like him on top. There’s too much pace, however, to accept a short price. Outside of Pontiff, on paper it’s a three horse race with the entry and Kerugma rating good chances. Kerugma is plenty fast enough and could get a good trip. may offer still offer some good value.
We’ll take a deeper look at the odds during the livehost on Twitter @alldayracing at 10:20 P.M. ET.