First post time is 7:40 pm EDT
Like every horseplayer on this continent, we are looking forward to tomorrow, which is opening day at Saratoga. Pandemic or no pandemic, opening day at the Spa is one of the very best days of racing all year.
But that’s tomorrow, and until then, we have three plays, all in stakes races, at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota, which puts on the Canterbury Turf Festival this evening. As the name suggests, this is an all-grass affair, and we expect the turf at Canterbury to be firm. Let’s go.
We say this regularly, but there is value in every winner, and we mention it again because it looks to us like the 9/5 favorite in this race, 4-Angelus Warrior, is going to have to fall down to lose. His pace and speed figures make him a clear standout, and we think the shape of the race will favor him, as there appears to be enough early speed in the field to set up his late run. This is an obvious pick, but again, there is value in every winner. We will bet him to win. The bet: Canterbury Park, Race 5, $50 to win on 4-Angelus Warrior.
The Lady Canterbury is a very good betting race, with a pretty evenly matched group of eleven females going to the post. We like the filly all the way on the outside, 12-Fool’s Paradise. She runs for high-percentage trainer Robertino Diodoro, and her last race, a win in a minor stakes at Lone Star Park, was very, very good. Breaking from the outside, she will need to avoid getting hung wide around the first turn, but we think jockey Francisco Arrietta will be able to negotiate a good trip for her. Look for her to be midpack early,and flying late. We will bet her to win at 5-1. The bet: Canterbury Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 12-Fool’s Paradise.
This is a fascinating matchup between the top two betting choices, 6-Wellabled, who’s 7/5, and 9-Chief Cicatriz, who’s 5/2. Both are turf sprint specialists, and both are very, very fast. We think they will run 1-2, but we are not sure in which order -- we think Wellabled will get the lead, with Chief Cicatriz right on his flank, and they may run 1-2 all the way around the track, or Chief Cicatriz could wear down the pacesetter. Rather than agonizing over this, we will take the easy way out, and bet them in an exacta box. The bet: Canterbury Park, Race 8, $15 exacta box, 6/9. This will cost $30.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.