Tuesday Horse Racing: RT looks back on 2020 and forward to today's 7th-9th at Parx – plus 2 at Mahoning Valley
Free Picks 01.05.2021
Now that the rest of the world has looked back on 2020, I thought I would give my two nickels.
As the world was in lockdown and major sports sidelined, like many times in our history as a country, horse racing marched on. We bet the likes of bullrings named Fonner and tracks named Will Rogers. We watched the first Saturday in May become the first Saturday in September. The Belmont was on June 20th and it was ratcheted down to nine furlongs. We watched, and heartily cheered, the absolute best race of the season with a spectacular filly named Swiss Skydiver at 11/1 taking The Preakness on October 3rd. We fell in love with a horse named Tiz The Law as he reeled off wins in The Holy Bull, The Florida Derby, and The Travers. We watched his bid in The Kentucky Derby with much anticipation as he came second to a worthy adversary – Authentic. Speaking of which, we saw Bob Baffert be Bob Baffert – dominant as usual. We screamed at our TV’s, computers, smartphones, and every other device that picked up our ADW and we cheered our selections in the best thinking man's game on this planet. As we enter 2021 with a vaccine starting to inculcate our lives, us Americans, as always, will solve our dilemmas and keep on movin’……and so will horse racing.
*Disclaimer – if it is an off track, I do not bet that. That said, by the time the seventh race comes along, the track should be dry with this sunny 45˚day.
If the horse I select has front wraps, I pass that as well.
Parx Race 7 - $27K Starter Allowance S
4yo↑ fillies and mares racing one mile
In her last race, #2 Mabel Island (2/1) won in convincing fashion. #8 Dilly Dilly Philly (4/1) ran third in that race and #5 Always a Queen (7/2) ran second. Of the nine entrants in that race on Nov. 18, seven have returned since and all seven dumped, running lower figures than their respective previous race. Today, Mabel Island is making her first return from that and since she is likely to take a lot of money, and since Parx has a 36% win rate for the chalk, we are willing to side with the 64%. Unfortunately, if she nears her style and effort in her last, there are no entries in this to challenge her on the lead. The pressing style of Always a Queen is the selection in this. She cruised down I83 to Laurel on Dec. 19 and ran in a $25K Starter Optional Claimer and, like the others from the Nov. 18 race, finished poorly. She did ease up near the leaders by a neck and finally let go. Dilly Dilly Philly seemingly will not be a factor today as her form is going in the wrong direction. So, I will put late flyers #7 Like A Pro (12/1), #3 Bella G (12/1) and #6 Sugar Streak (12/1) to mix in underneath.
Race 8 - $22K Starter Allowance S
4yo’s↑ going nine furlongs
Since covering this track, you will see the names repeat like today. #7 Nileator (4/1) #2 Castle Casanova (8/1), #9 Woodbury (8/1), #5 Petulant Delight (6/1), and #3 Terry’s Charm (3/1), all come to mind. #1 Solar Warming (9/2) with Frankie in the irons, scored a win at Penn two back in a $29K allowance, moved here for the first time on Dec. 9 and ran a solid race. He gets a 3 lb. weight break and will take some money in this….not to be excluded from exotic wagers. I am going with Terry’s Charm who is proven at the distance going 4:2-0-0 for $29K and is 28:8-4-5 for $181K at Parx.
Race 9 - $36K Optional Claimer/C
Pa bred 4yo’s↑ running one mile
Four of these are of interest. #7 Dreams Untold (7/2) has hot trainer/jockey Servis/Pennington and a Parx record of 5:3-1-1 for $117K. in his last, he neared winner Air Token, who went on to win the Concern Stakes at Laurel and ran a very sharp fourth in the Native Dancer Stakes on Dec. 26. #3 Admiral Abe (5/1) has all the right numbers, yet was vet scratched on Dec. 7, then put in a marginal work of 1:03.4 two weeks ago. Use underneath. #6 Jump For Alex (4/1) has the 41% winning team of Sanchez/Preciado. Five-year-old from A.P. Indy is 16:5-3-1 for $236K at Parx and 3:2-1-0 for $90K at the distance are all inviting numbers. #5 Irish Cork (3/1) is coming off his highest Beyer on this page and you have to ask whether it is a new trend or an outlier? He just turned four, so you never know. Stellar 2020 never missing the board hitting 9:3-4-2 for $138K. Bounce pattern not in his favor. I’m going with Mychael on Jump For Alex because as Steinbrenner said, “I pay for proven results getters.”
Mahoning Valley Quick Hits –
MVR 4th - #3 Centrist (12/1) gets the green light dropping back to NW2
MVR 5th - #3 Midnight Mickey (4/1) TD Houghton has made a huge difference on this six year olds back.