Thursday at the track: RT picks a pair of races at The Fair Grounds in The Big Easy
Fair Grounds 7th - $17K Optional Claimer N1X
Fillies and mares and mares 3yo↑ going one mile and seventy yards
Based on Trackmasters’ report, the rail in dirt routes is golden with front runners and pace pressers getting the advantage. So, whomever can get to that first has a decided advantage. In this race, a fast pace is projected by #7 Tiz Susan Ann (6/1), #3 O Seraphina (4/1) and #2 Diamondcoat (9/2). Tiz Susan Ann has been sprinting mostly and fading in the stretch at that. Diamondcoat is a re-claim to the Bernard Flint barn and he had her on an upward trajectory this spring. This will be his third race with her since returning in August and her two workouts leading up are terrific – 1:01.4, 1:01.2. Jockey Hernandez hitting 27% winners, yet only 15% in routes… not his long suit. O Seraphina is a very logical favorite. Saez/Sharp 21% together, she’s 3:1-0-0 at the distance for $52K and is light years ahead in terms of $$ per race this year at $20.5K per. #5 Goulding (7/2) is a Casse trained $200K Keeneland November sale filly that hasn’t quite shown up yet for her price tag. In her last race, Declan Carroll had her out four wide throughout, she advanced around the turn and neared the pacesetter, to either tire or cower when turned away. Although a vast improvement from her previous, that was a one turn mile and today’s two turns may be daunting. My choice in this is #6 Sweet Blindness (5/1) with Francisco Arrieta getting the return ride today, who had her forwardly placed last time at a little shorter distance at Fair Grounds. Sent off as a 53/1 shot, she pressed the pace and held on for second, paying $29 for place. Arrieta, listed as a cold jockey by Brisnet this week, may have hit a tough patch, however, his 21% winners in route races are stellar.
Fair Grounds Race 8 - $43K Allowance N1X
3yo↑ going 8.5F on turf
Big field of fourteen in this and someone may get a price. #4 Attorney Tim (9/2) put in a helluva race when last seen at Churchill in a $87K allowance. Gelded two days prior, he went off at 17/1 odds, was the first time Gabriel Saez had the mount, and surged in the stretch to just miss by a head. Saez back again today and this gelding has a 4:1-0-0 record on FG grass for $26K. #13 Toma Todo (8/1) raced last in the same as Attorney Tim, set the pace and tired. Asmussen/Santana an 18% prop and a recent bullet work of 1:00 flat makes him a consideration. #9 Warriors Map (15/1) has a trainer not known for his prowess in dirt to turf transitions. That said, this 3yo out of Liam’s Map is 3:1-0-0 for $52K on a wet track and mud runners typically make good turf runners. His late running style can make this interesting. #2 Lemon Kick (15/1) taken off the turf last out versus the same as today, Mitch Murrill stayed neared the lead, closed in the stretch, and gave a game effort to get up for third. Murrill is back today and the weight break for this distance is a plus. #12 Briefcase Bully (4/1) just broke his maiden last out at Churchill in convincing fashion. That was taken off the turf and based on his last three races, the surface is seemingly unimportant. He will take a lot of money and until he’s won against horses that are winners, I’ll watch and see. #11 Benelux (15/1) two races back, he throttled the stretch at Arlington on a soft turf and won by four (and probably could have been more). Brought to Keeneland a month later and he threw in a real bowser. Keeneland is one of those tracks that is either appealing to horses or it isn’t. No gray area. This 3yo son of Will Take Charge has yet to score at FG and just put in a solid :48.2 work. Trainer Christopher Davis is 17% off this period of layoff, 21% on turf and a perfect 1-1 with Declan Carroll. My choice is, of course one with a bigger price, #5 Extraordinary (8/1) a $750K Keeneland September sale gelding, the connections recently changed barns to Edward Johnston. Edward is a 30% bet taking horses from dirt to turf and figuring that he’s struggled lately, let’s see if this is viable. With a prolific turf sire as Speightstown, I believe it’ll be a good move. Today’s turn back of ½ furlong for him will be a plus. Shaun Bridgmohan is in the irons, he’s 1 24% turf router and the trainer and he is a perfect 1/1!