A View from the Bottom: Lower-level maidens to watch from races at Delta Downs, Parx, Will Rogers & Gulfstream
Four races from March 29 through April 1.
A VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM
2 April 2021. Edition 3
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Once more unto the breach, dear friends, as we review a few of the lower-level maidens that are surely not going to make a Kentucky Derby futures pool and many unlikely to leave the claiming ranks.
From one of the all-time great saves from a jockey, is the fifth race at Delta Downs on March 29. This was a $40K maiden special weight for Louisiana breds. With high praise to jockey Jorge Guzman, he had the first time starter Keen On Keenan enjoying an insurmountable seven length lead heading down the stretch. She started running green, throwing her head to the right, and when Jorge tried to right her and get her attention by giving her an urging with the whip, it spooked her. Scared, she stepped on the curb just underneath the railing, jumped and reared at the same time, and whew, Jorge managed to stay on her. When they landed, Jorge pointed her toward the finish line and she ended up finishing, remarkably, a game second. Remarkably, because after all of that, she hauled ass back after the leader like she wanted to catch her. Put her in your virtual stable. She’s a keeper.
Our next race was the 5th at Will Rogers on Wednesday the 31st, a 5.5 furlong, $23,000 maiden special weight race. In our hooptie handicapping column on Wednesday, we had chosen the number one horse, Spent It At Harrys. Unfortunately, Harry decided he wanted no part of todays’ race and jumped the infield fence straight out of the gate. The hooptie we’ll focus on is the third-place finisher, Gospel Carlotta. Halfway around the turn, by our count and certainly not the chart makers, Gospel Carlotta was 15 lengths back. When asked to run, Gospel Carlotta put it into gear around the turn, became a little green at the top of the stretch, was straightened out and blasted it for the final paces. Had this race been another one-half furlong, she should have won going away. Added to her woes, as you can see in the picture, she's in the five path and ended up racing the entire race through the five path. Given this was her first race since mid-December and her third race overall, along with the long trip she got, Gospel Carlotta is worth keeping an eye on for the next time.
On Tuesday March 30, American Money won the second race at Parx, a $10K maiden claimer going one mile around two turns. Out of the gate and headed to the first turn, Mnemosyne, Page Eleven and American Money pinched, smacked, nailed one another with American Money (in the middle with the black silks) getting the worst of it, having to take up sharply.
Not panicking, jockey Adam Bowman settled her in two wide along the backstretch, moved near the leaders at the turn, came three wide into the stretch, and let it rip. Kudos to both horse and rider as they relaxed, showed patience, and stayed focused on the goal. Another to keep it eye on is the five horse, Page Eleven. She ran far at the back of the pack coming into the far turn. Luis Rivera moved her in and out of traffic and when she came to the stretch, she fought like crazy. You could tell she was completely exhausted, yet she kept battling on to get up for 3rd.
Our final race this week was the 4th at Gulfstream on Thursday, April 1, a one mile, $12,500 maiden claiming event. #5 Enano Astray is one of those horses that whenever challenged, she becomes more game and determined. Coming around the turn, she came face to face with Happy Champ, dispensed with her, took a two-length lead into the stretch, and sensing the 2nd place finisher, Mr. Tito’s, nearing, she dug in and found more; as if to say, don't bother. Enano Astray is a fighter.
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Have a great Easter weekend 😊