Picks for three races from Sunland Park in New Mexico
It's slim pickings today in the Thoroughbred world. Between the deep freeze in the East, which caused a spate of cancellations in recent days, and the usual midweek dark days at the major tracks in Florida, and California, there are few available cards for the earnest punter. But don't worry: we can always manage to find some race, somewhere.
And to do so Tuesday, we will head to a familiar oval: Sunland Park in New Mexico. The early part of the card is mostly a pass, but we can take a shot at a couple of races toward the end.
The 5th is a straight maiden race for three-year-old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. We like 1-Shesa Goldigger, at 3-1. She finished a close 4th in her last race, and appears to be the lone runner intent on controlling speed. Breaking from the rail, we thinks she goes right to the front and never looks back. We will bet $20 on Shesa Goldigger to win, and we'll also throw a fiver on a cold exacta ,with #1 on top, and #6, Tell Me Nightly (5/2) in second.
The 6th race is a 5 1/2 furlong dirt affair for hard-knocking, New Mexico-bred $6,250 claimers. We are again going to the rail, to 1-Solid Convictions, at 2-1: he has the best last race Beyer Speed Figure, is in good form, and has the tactical speed he'll need from the inside. We'll bet $15 to win on Solid Convictions.
In the 7th, another dirt sprint $6,250 claimer for older horses, we like 9-Ekati Wildcat. He's making a drop in class -- from $10k optional claiming to a straight $6,250 tag -- and appears to be the class of the race. Moreover, recent races are probably better than they appear in the past performances: He was way wide in each of his last six races -- yes, he was wide in six straight races, including an absurd 8-wide trek two back -- and we think that all he needs to win this one is a reasonably clean trip. While another wide trip is a possibility -- he's breaking from the 9 hole -- we think he stalks the pacesetters, takes the lead at the top of the stretch, and goes on to win the race. We'll take his 5/2 morning line, and we'll bet $25 to win on Ekati Wildcat.
We'll be back later this week, hopefully with better weather. Until then, good luck at the windows.