Closers had no chance today. The average winning pace average, 0.18, was the lowest recorded this season. The rail was scrapped just before the first post and those lanes help up well.
Race 1 – Beaten last time by EIGHTTHEHARDWAY who has won his next race against Ohio allowance company, it would seem that today is the day for TALK TOUGH (Second) to break his maiden. CRANBERRY RUN (Third) was matching strides with the selection in that 11Feb race, but might be trailing a loose leader in this one. BOOT LEGGER (Winner) displayed a late kick 10Feb against open maidens that makes him dangerous stretching out. Beware of the track surface early today. The exacta paid $7.20
Race 2 – It will be interesting to seethe odds on the lightly raced KING ARIEN (Winner $4.80), shipping from Charles Town and dropping a couple classes. Ed Clouston’s stable has been red hot since 17Feb. Possible pay: Win (#1) at odds 3/1 up.
Race 3 – They don’t get much slower or less dependable than this group. The best that can be said is that they are, as a group, fairly lightly raced (eligible to improve).
Race 4 – Many of these faced off on 11Feb. On that day SMOKE EM CHARLIE (winner $4.60) set the track record on a blazing fast surface that allowed 4 of 8 sprint winners to wire their fields. Second place finisher HEHAZ GIVEN (second) was in striking position but hung. His previous win came over a track that was allowing more winners from off the pace. On paper they are the best of these. Watching the first three races might give a clue to which horse gets a bias advantage today. BRASS BUCKLE (didn’t lift a foot, 6th) is a moderate upset possibility if somebody (URBAN RENEWAL?) could challenge SMOKE EM CHARLIE for a half mile. Possible play: 1,3,4 exacta box if there is surprising value or Win (#3) at 4/1 or up. The exacta paid $12.60
Race 5 – SEATTLE PROSPECT (Third) and READY TO TAUNT (fourth) both closed into winner SAMBUCCA STEVE (winner $6.40) on a speed favoring surface 13Feb. BURNAWAY (8th) shows the fastest raw time here at today’s distance as he returns to six furlongs today. I am against BENNYFAX (5th) moving up in class. Possible play: 2,4,5 exacta box or 4,7/2,4,5,7 if front runners are winning today. By this time I knew that the track was playing fast and betting against SAMBUCCA SAM was foolish. However, EASY ERNIE rolled from last to capture second and should be watched the next time that he shows up on a fair track.
Race 6 – SWIFTY UNEAUX (6th – might have been compromised by the bias, try on a fair track) lands in the winners circle today after overcoming a some trouble and staying on in his last trip. The addition of Tracey Hebert is a plus. BEAU TOP QUALITY (Second) also profited from that trip and today’s cutback in distances. DONMINATION (winner $9.00) is fit. PEAT BAY (Third) is well spotted but might need a race. Possible play: Win (#2) and 1,2,3 exacta box if including BEAU TOP QUALITY brings some value. The exacta paid $49.40
Race 7 – CLEVER CHAT (4th – no factor) won at first asking on the sluggish December surface and could repeat at a decent price today. There are no world beaters in here, he might get some pace to run into. Maybe: Win (#7)? Taking the 3yo that had just broken his maiden over the winner who had experience in n2l races may have been an $18.80 mistake.
Race 8 – The Delta Downs (TUPELO PLAYBOY – won in spectacular fashion $13,20) shippers are always appealing, but none have won at first asking yet. RED OCTOBER (3rd), with an even trip here is interesting. PRIVACY INVASION (8th) appears to be the fastest of the regulars Can we put a line through
OVERSIZED, scratched last effort?. If a 3,4,6 exacta box got home it might bring some $$.