Day One: Maiden Races at the Mountain

Today is the first day of my value-driven dozen maiden races that I described here.  I chose a variety of maiden races from “other” tracks (not Saratoga/not Del Mar) — looking for a few cards that had several. I haven’t previewed the races before selecting them, so we’ll see if there’s value. Based on the type of race, however, I’m hopeful that we’ll find it.

8:32 ET:

Race 5: $5K Maiden Claiming, Purse: $8.1K, 5.5f, Older, Fillies


Pencil Pusher (#2, 6/1) returns to the right level and surface after a conditioning foray for trainer Edward Clouston. It’s a weak race and should fit well with a fit horse. Should be a nice price.  Distinct Spirit (#3, 7/2) is 0 for 34 and has already spent significant time at this level. Certainly possible, but these types are terrible bets. Heat Box (#7, 3/1) drops from showing from brief speed against allowance maidens. A contender, but the merits are obvious to the public.

Selection: Pencil Pusher at 7/2 or better.

8:55 ET:

Race 6: Maiden Allowance, Purse: $19.4K, 6f, 3 year olds, Fillies.


Harold Jordan seems to have a two-horse stable, and both are entered here.  Of the two, Harlan’s Affair (#1, 9/5) has shown decent enough speed to win here. He’s the fastest so far in the field, but I’m not sure the distance is right. Still a strong chance, however. Guera Rachera (#3, 10/1) woke up in her last start, making a nice middle move at Belterra Park. Lacey the Spartan (#7, 5/1) makes the second start off the claim for Israel Garcia. Might be a tad bit too slow, but certainly figures with these connections. Brooks Gift (#8, 2/1) was sharp first time for Burley Clouston. A bit easier pace today should find the winner’s circle.

Selection:  This is a race that is very odds dependent. I expect the public to bet Brooks Gift heavily, although Lacey the Spartan could get a large amount of support. It’s also difficult to predict what the public will do with the entry — and which one goes. That said, I’ll play Brooks Gift at 5/2 or greater, which I don’t expect. I might also look at playing Guera Ranchera underneath, depending on payouts.

Update: Scratch Guera Rachera.  I’ll single Brooks Gift in the P5.

9:18 ET

Race 7: Maiden Allowance, Purse: $19.4K, 8f, Older.

Tiztactical (#1, 5/2) ran a solid race off the long layoff last time out.  The trainer’s percentages are low, but it’s a small sample, and his horse’s typically run well. Il Mangia Troppo (#2, 7/2) adds blinkers, but has been a bit short at this level. Prestigious Cat (#3, 6-1) moves off the turf after his debut. Throw out the last — this horse very well may be much better than we saw. Also throw out the last for Cute Boy (#4, 3-1), who figures on the return to dirt. Still, it’s quite difficult to claim at $5K and win at the maiden allowance level. Twisted Zing (#5, 12-1) has reason to improve with the stretchout and had an excuse with his bad start last race at the wrong distance. He may very well be over 20-1. Tip of the Hat (#6, 9/2) has sufficient back speed, but hasn’t shown anything in the Clark barn. Most likely, he’ll be overbet.

Selection:  This is the deepest race of the three and multi-race wagers should probably reflect this fact. I don’t think I’ll find value on Tiztactical, even with the plethora of contenders.  Instead, I’ll split a win bet between two likely longshots — Prestigious Cat and Twisted Zing.

Update: Twisted Zing is scratched. On another look, I’ve really warmed to Tiztactical as a legitimate favorite and will also single him in a P5. 

Image: Robert Hensley, “DSC_4693e.” Copyright 2010.

Delaware Park, Race 7, 3:45 P.M. ET

Race of the Day, June 12

Delaware Park, Race 7, 3:50 P.M. 6f, Dashing Beauty Stakes, 3 and Up, Fillies & Mares, Purse: $50K

Off the turf at Delaware, so I’ll be covering the 7th race, an overnight stakes for sprinting fillies and mares on the dirt. The 5 and the 7 are scratched. Here’s what you need to know:

Five Facts:

  1. This is a particularly deep field for a weekday feature at Delaware who has an average field size of under seven runners. Bigger fields can typically (but not always) yield better opportunities, despite the added risk.
  2. Geeky Gorgeous (#10, 7/2) is a lukewarm favorite.  A NJ-bred, she’s been tearing up open company at Monmouth.  She’s love this distance, but is taking her show on the road to another speed-favoring track in Delaware Park.  She’s a presser — a good style here – and should get a good pace.
  3. She’s Ordained (#9, 9/2) is stakes-winner sprinting mare. She’s been a tad less competitive lately and it’s possible she’s lost a step.
  4. Quiet Hour (#6, 10-1) has been a monster since finding a fast dirt track (3 for 4 lifetime).  This lightly raced filly moves into the Navarro barn and rates an solid chance.
  5. There are several horses who will gun for the lead. Clear Pasaj (#4, 12-1), Crazy About Me (#1, 6-1) and Wardelle (#8, 15-1) comprise this group.  The two scratches were also frontrunners, so there was some concern about too much pace.

Four Questions:

  1. How does Geeky Gorgeous fare outside of the Garden State?  She’s the best on paper, but there always new track risk (even though the profiles are mostly similar).
  2. Has She’s Ordained lost a step?  On the top of her game, she’s a strong contender.  Make sure you get an appropriate price.
  3. How does Quiet Hour respond to the new barn, and can she keep her top form?
  4. Can Ms. Cruisen’ (#11, 15-1) put together a top lifetime performance?  She looks like she’s sitting on a big one, but it would have to be huge.

Fair Odds:

  1. Crazy About Me: 8/1
  2. Papa’s Forest:  20/1
  3. Galiana: 30/1
  4. Clear Pasaj:  15/1
  6. Quiet Hour:  6/1
  8. Wardelle: 20/1
  9. She’s Ordained: 8/1
  10. Geeky Gorgeous: 4/1
  11. Ms. Cruisen: 10/1

What I’m thinking of betting:

Geeky Gorgeous stands out on paper and, with some other contenders, I’d like to see her price rise to 4/1.  If she’s a heavy favorite (say 8/5), I’d try to beat her, likely with a split win bet between Quiet Hour and Ms. Cruisen.

Tune in @alldayracing for live coverage starting at about 1:45 p.m.!

Presque Isle, Race 1, 5:05 P.M. ET

Race of the Day, June 11

Presque Isle Downs, Erie, PA, 5:05 P.M. ET

Maiden, 1 mile, 3 yr. old, Fillies, Purse: $35K.

Jump on your mobile smartphone (or computer) at the end of the day and watch the 1st from Presque Isle Downs with All Day Racing.  It’s a maiden allowance to kick off the card.  Here’s what you need to know:

Six Facts:

  1. Elysian (#3, 6/5) should be the heavy favorite.  She failed last time out at 1/9, after ducking in and hitting the fence with a clear lead.  Avoiding that sort of trouble should easily find the winner’s circle today.
  2. Stickthelanding (#9, 5/2) ran sharp last time out off the layoff for a trainer who usually gets it done at the maiden allowance level. An improvement is likely, but Elysian would need to falter.
  3. Quiet Elite (#2, 5/1) ships from River Downs — I mean, Belterra Park — where she ran in an Ohio-bred stakes, which may actually be a weaker race than this one.
  4. Street Interest (#1, 8/1) makes the second start of a layoff and should be returning to an ideal distance.  The rail makes this one a tad interesting.
  5. Keystone Kelly (#6, 10/1) debuts for Caruso, a trainer who can get it done with firsters.  Decent turf breeding here, which may translate to the polytrack.
  6. Etna’s Anger (#4, 3-1) should put forth a solid effort, but it is likely to be too slow, unless others do not fire.

Three Questions:

  1. Did that adventurous last race take anything out of Elysian?  It’s doubtful. She’s the fastest and, most likely, will win easily.
  2. What kind of debut can we expect from Keystone Kelly?  She’s the only one who could beat Elysian, if Elysian runs her race.
  3. Will the race set up for Stickthelanding? She should improve, but would need a bit of pace in front of her to get it done.

Fair Odds:

  1. Street Interest:  12-1
  2. Quiet Elite:  6-1
  3. Elysian:  1-1
  4. Etna’s Anger: 6-1
  5. Fairly Lovely: 30-1
  6. Keystone Kelly:  5-1
  7. Cue’s Haven:  75-1
  8. Lady Monarch: 12-1
  9. Stickthelanding:  4-1

What I’m thinking of wagering: 

  1. Play Elysian at even money or higher.
  2. If not, play Keystone Kelly at 5-1 or greater, but not more than 10-1.   
  3. Consider Keystone Kelly and Stickthelanding as straight exactas under Elysian, if total return from both plays is 8-1.