Wednesday Hooptie Handicapping: RT picks the slowest of the slow at Will Rogers, Delta Downs and Penn National
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Hooptie Handicapping 4.7.21
Spring Edition, Volume 2
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Greetings from our second spring edition of the lively, loquacious, occasionally lucky, and never lascivious, hooptie handicapper. This is where you will get the rare glimpse of how the other half of thoroughbreds’ live. Assuredly, you will never see one of these in a derby, a stakes race, or it is quite possibly none will even run in an allowance race. Oh, and in case you have not heard of it, in my home state of Minnesota, a hooptie is a car that runs, yet not particularly well, and you would never take a first date out in it.
My life got easier when I stopped accepting and stopped giving excuses, so in two words about last week, it sucked. There is one exception with an explanation, it was the 5th race at Will Rogers Downs on 3/31. If ever there was a horse that fits the category of a hooptie, it was the one we rolled with, #1, Spent It At Harrys. As soon as Harry bolted from the gate, he took a radical turn left and jumped the inner fence. Luckily, horse and rider are OK.
To qualify as a hooptie race, we are looking for an Equibase number of 50 or below. These types of races are typically maiden claiming races, the occasional maiden special weight race, and the select few claiming races.
We are starting off today at sunny, beautiful Claremore, Oklahoma, home of Will Rogers Downs. The 4th race is a $7500 maiden, claiming event going one mile on the dirt for Oklahoma bred fillies and mares. There are five in here worth mentioning. #2 Jollyville (5/2) took a three month respite, entered a $15,000 state bred maiden claiming race, ran up to the leader by 3/4 of a length, passed some horses in the interim, and eventually gave way for a fifth place finish, Today, she retains rider Floyd Wethey, who is clipping along at 40% winners in route races, and is trained by Francisco Bravo, (bred and owned by him, too) who thus far this meet is 2/4 in maiden claiming races. #1 Watermelon Kizs (5/1) 8 days ago she went off as the favorite at this level and stumbled at the start and lost her jockey. She comes right back eight days later and. Is stretching out to one mile, a distance which she seems to have run better at. #8 Saturday Service (7/2) given her drop in class, second time Lasix, second race at the track, and best last Equibase score she is going take a lot of money. However, as regular readers know, a third time starter entering any maiden race is a bad proposition. Less than 9% winners. The only exception to this rule is if their last Equibase number is far and away better than the remainder of the field. That is certainly not the case here as her last number was a 40 and there is a 39 and a 34 racing today - not enough disparity to take her. Maybe hearing the wakeup call today will be #5 Sheknowssheissexy (6/1) given the fact that her daddy was multiple G3 winner Northern Afleet and her momma was 8/3-1-0 in her running days. Today will be her second race off a layoff from August, when she was entered into open company and directly thereafter a state stakes race. I will use her underneath. #6 Ms. Wild Argument (10/1) gave notice last out that the drop in class was no fluke. After having run against open company, as opposed to state breads, she stalked the lead on the notoriously dead WRD rail before tiring to collect a show check. Today, she gets more class relief, so look for her to jump to the lead on the backstretch, control the tempo, and turn it into a one furlong race.
For our next race, we are going to make our way to I-75 south toward Beaumont, Texas, head east on I-10 toward Vinton, Louisiana and beat feet to Delta Downs for their 6th race. This is a $5000 maiden claimer going one mile and there are only two horses that can beat the #6 My Call (8/5) and even those are doubtful. #1 Flashlightsecurity (3/1) and #4 Too Tuff To Cry (10/1) have both shown late kick and in the event any of the others in the field could get into a speed duel with the #6, then those two have a chance. I would not mortgage the house on that though. Also, if this horse goes off at above even odds, grab it.
On our last stop tonight, we are going to make our way through the Appalachian Mountains to Grantville, Pennsylvania for Penn National's 9th race, a $12,500 maiden claimer for 3 yo fillies and mares. This has an Equibase rating of 48. Of the six entered in this race, four of them come from Parx. Now, whereas it is generally an awfully bad idea to bet against Jaime Ness, Parx horses that come to Penn usually do not fare well. Parx horses usually do great at Aqueduct, but for some odd reason, Penn is not the place. So, my choice of hooptie is #5 Bella Bay (8/1), who gets second Lasix today, had a freshening on March 27, is taking a steep class drop. She also gets jockey Joel Cruz in the irons who has been on a tear of late, hitting 33% winners.