Wednesday Hooptie Handicapping: RT picks the slowpoke races at Will Rogers, Mahoning Valley and Indiana Grand
Hooptie Handicapping 4.14.21
Spring Edition, Volume 3
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Happy Spring 😊 (except for us Minnesotans who woke to snow on the ground) and with just 16 days until the Kentucky Derby, we bring you a look from how the lower half lives; those hooptie ponies that we all love to loathe (and quietly bet to have a little skin in the game). Yes, yes, these are shades of the dog days of Fonner last year.
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, some claiming races and the rare allowance race.
Today, we had to stretch our line of demarcation. The choices were minimal.
Starting with the 2nd at Will Rogers, this is a six furlong, $7.5K maiden claiming race for 3yo’s↑ and how it received an Equibase rating of 54 is a total mystery. The #2 Mr. Black Gold is 9/5 and he appears to have decent numbers…. from 2017. This is a 7-year-old gelding who raced 12 times (and poorly at that), was benched for four years, then brought back to Fonner at the end of March. If, and I kindly say this because at 9/5 it is a big ask, he runs back to his numbers from four years ago, he should win this with ease. Noticing that he received bute, a common pain killer for horses, in his last race, tells you that this is an ailing old man who should not have been brought back and is better off frolicking in nature. #3 Special Fortune (2/1) and #4 Bud Minister (3/1) have both shown a little bit of good early jump, However, neither has ever passed a horse in a race. I am going to take a shot with #1 Navajo Rug (15/1) who gets first Lasix today. He has shown very little, however, with the edge of the drug giving him the burst of wake up that's needed, he could get to the front immediately. With the remainder of these being perennial give up horses, he can take it gate to wire.
Next up is the 4th at Mahoning Valley. This is a 56 rated Equibase number and a six furlong, first level allowance race for Ohio bred 3yo’s↑. #1 Macadooo Kid (7/2) came out with the best overall numbers yet has a 17/0-4-3 record at Mahoning and 17/0-4-5 at the distance. With seven previous tries to win at this level, why tempt fate? Looking elsewhere, #3 Nevus (3/1) just posted the best last figure of 60 and missed by a nose. That was at one mile and you would think the connections would come right back to that distance. There are a few here with early speed and he could get the pace setup that's needed for him. #2 Run Bubba Run (5/2) has been relaxing for the last month after an abysmal showing as the odds on in early March. He has a 5/1-1-1 record at the track for $28K and the last time he was benched and returned, just missed by 3/4 of a length. He did have a freshening between those races, and this time has not. My choice in this is the speed horse, #7 Goes Too Fast (4/1). Normally, betting a Thistledown horse that ships into Mahoning Valley is a recipe for disaster. However, his last race was in August of last year as a 3-year-old. You could tell by his workouts, a recent :48 from the gate, that the level of maturity he has gained over the last eight months has been exponential. This is akin to shooting hoops with your 12-year-old son and then giving him the keys to the car when he's 16. The difference is incredible. This horse is going to take the lead today and not be caught.
Last is the 9th at Indiana Grand, a five furlong, first level allowance race for Indy bred stallions, fillies and mares that are 3yo’s↑. Except for one horse in this race, none of the other seven have had a race this year…and that horse is the #1 Natty Nora (15/1) who is my choice. Watching the sixth race yesterday at Indiana Grand, #4, Tuffer Than Tough, was moving up in class, had been working well and was a speed horse coming off a layoff. As expected, he took off from the gate and didn’t look back. With this mare's proclivity to get to the front and open up, I believe she will return the same result today.
Until next week.