We'll head to the Southwest today, to Sunland Park in New Mexico, where there's a very playable 10-race Tuesday card. It should be an ideal early spring afternoon there, mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-70s, and the dirt should be fast. Let's go.
Sunland Park, Race 3, 3:54 pm ET
$8,000 Claiming, 5 furlongs, Dirt, New Mexico-Bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Seven hard-knocking state-bred claimers will go to the post in this race. We like a filly coming off a poor race, 4-Cees Smoken. Her last was disastrous: she stumbled at the start and was very wide around the turn, which blew any chance she had to win the race. We're willing to overlook that as an isolated incident, however, as it was her first start since July, and she does not have a history of breaking from the gate poorly. High-percentage trainer Justin Evans jumps her slightly in class here, from $5k to $8k, and that is a sign of aggressiveness that we like. We think she should get a good stalking trip, and take over when the pacesetters falter down the stretch. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Sunland Park, Race 3, $35 to win on 4-Cees Smoken.
Sunland Park, Race 7, 5:45 pm ET
Allowance, 6 furlongs, Dirt, illies & Mares 4 & Up
This is the only allowance race on today's Sunland card, and it's a good one, with seven older females going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Racing in the Southwest is all about speed, and the field here is a good example: there's quite a bit of early zip in the field, especially 2-Miss Kitty Mae, a lightly-raced 4-year-old filly who has the kind of early speed we'd expect to see in a graded stakes race. She is the speed of the speed, as the old saying goes, and we are going to try to ride that speed: if she breaks cleanly, she is a cinch to get the early lead, and we think she is going to stay in front all the way around the track. Her silks are black and silver, but you won't need to strain your eyes to find her: just look at the horse in front. We will bet her to win at 7/2. The bet: Sunland Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 2-Miss Kitty Mae.
Sunland Park, Race 8, 6:13 pm ET
$8,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 1/2 furlongs, Dirt, New Mexico-Bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
This race has 10 state-bred maidens going 6 1/2 furlongs on the Sunland dirt. They're pretty slow, as a group, with some of them appearing to be unable to run much at all, but that's OK, for two reasons: one is that winnings from these lower-level races count just as much as in a Grade 1 stakes, and the other is that our pick, 10-Specialkindofcrazy, is not going to have to be the second coming of Ruffian to win this. She's dropping in class here, from a $12.5k maiden claimer to $8k company, has tactical speed, and should get a good stalking trip from her advantageous outside post position. We think she gets her picture taken this afternoon, and will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Sunland Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 10-Specialkindofcrazy.
That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.