Monday Hooptie Handicapping: RT picks 'horse races' at Will Rogers and Thistledown, notes slowest of the slow
An Equibase figure of 22? The next race may start before the last horse finishes.
Hooptie Handicapper 4.26.21
Spring Edition, Volume 4
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We have some true hoopties today. Including, the mother of them all, which we will get to later.
Thistledown opens today and they have three hooptie races. Two of the three have the biggest purse on the card. Go figure. We will look at two of them
Let’s get to it and start with Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma.
Race 4 – $23,760 Maiden Special Weight
There are seven fillies and mares slated for this 49 rated Equibase, Oklahoma bred maiden race going one mile.
#1 River Charmer (2/1) will take the quan and have lower odds at post time, which is good. She's third off a layoff, has good front speed (for this class) and has two in the money finishes of late. In her 3-year-old debut, March 30, she ran well, took the lead, and eventually gave way at the end. She came right back less than two weeks later, took the money, and put in a pressing effort, fell short and digressed in her Equibase number. Every horse in the race on March 30 improved; she was the only one to take a hit. Yes, horses who are in their third race tend to take a hit. In this case, she had a race in the latter part of the year as a 2-year-old, to return three months later and put in a solid race, then ended up with a downward trend in Equibase figure. This is, again, after every horse in the race previously ended up improving. Finally, given her age, it appears she's picked up the habit of getting beat. #2 Battleship Mary (3/1) is coming off a four month layoff and has put in two solid works of late going 1:01 in both. She shipped in from Remington where she's raced against tougher and showed a good pressing style in her last outing on December 11. A six year old mare out of Midshipmen, she seems to be the type who works out well in the morning yet doesn't put it all together during a race. Her trainer, Joe Offolter, is 11% bringing horses back after 2-6 months; not the greatest number, still he has done it 28 times. She may need this race today to re-acclimate. Use her underneath. #6 Smoky Reflection (8/1) gets a big lift in jockey today with Albert Triana, who is a 30% winner in route races at WRD. This will be her third race at Will Rogers Downs in less than four weeks. She has stretched out to this one mile distance, twice, with abysmal results - total lengths lost by = 55. You would think this trainer would get a clue about that. Pollard’s Vision filly #3 Excetera (5/1) and #5 Gospel Gina (4/1) are the two that appear to be the ones to win this. Excetera is running in her third race at WRD and third race off a layoff. She appears to be rounding into form, however, in her last two races, has shown little proclivity to passing horses. She has the best last Equibase number, which is a good reason to bet her, and she gets a positive jockey change to Obid Sanchez, who is 21% in route races. My father, with all his idiosyncrasies at the track, such as betting his age in the daily double, betting a horse that poops before racing (states that he feels better after, so why shouldn’t the horse?) and always, betting on a relative or friends name, would likely press his bet on Gospel Gina, given that's my mother's name. Notwithstanding this being my mother's name, she is the one I'm going to take for these reasons - this will also be her third race at Will Rogers Downs. This time, however, she is dropping out of open maiden company to state bred maiden company, which is an easier spot for her. She has shown good early jump and her jockey, Curtis Kimes, is a 23% route racer and it is his third time riding her. He will be much more tactical this time.
Race 1 - $23K Maiden Special Weight
49 Equibase rated 5.5f event for Ohio bred fillies and mares
#7 Highly Explosive (2/1) is likely going to go off at below even. Players are going to make a come bet that she will return to the 60 figure she did two back. This 4-year-old granddaughter of City Zip, has blown through a lot of cash in the last two races going off at 1.3 and .09 odds, only to fold like a $99 Sears suit in the stretch. She does cut back ½ furlong and of course, this surface will play differently than Mahoning Valley. Given her habit of giving up whenever she is challenged, laying anything less than 3/1 is crazy. #5 Augmenting Assets (7/2) is out of the Jeff Radosevich barn and can pose some challenges, yet it’s tough to see this filly take this. #2 St. Patty’s Song (3/1) is a first time starter out of the sire Itsthesameoldsong, who has two foals and one of them won their first time out. She has dusted her workouts hitting :35.6, :48.7 and 1:01.8 from the gate, which is quicker than most have raced in this. Getting her first dose of Lasix today, and pending there are no gate issues, she is going to explode to the lead, which will make the favorites cower. It would not be surprising to see her take this gate to wire. Whenever you have a 20% first time starter winning trainer, you must pay attention. Such is the case with Robin Schuster, who is saddling. #6 Mini Takeover (10/1) has not been the Queen of the crushing workouts. The true reason to take a flyer on this horse is her jockey, Erik Barbaran. With Thistledown no more than Mahoning Valley northwest, and Erik, being one of the top jockeys at Mahoning Valley, may sit on this filly until late before expending her energy. With all the front speed in this race, this is an excellent spot for a longshot. #2 and #6 are the plays.
Saving the best for last is race 3 at Thistledown, a 6f event for Ohio Bred fillies and mares attempting to run this in faster time than most thoroughbred do in 6.5 furlongs.
With that, about a month ago, we handicapped a race that I wrote was the lowest that I've ever seen. That race had a 32 Equibase rating. In this race, we have hit the mother of all hoopties, the little kahuna, the lowest of the low, a 22. To give you an idea of how bad this is, one of the favorites, #6 Carolina’s Thing (3/1) was 10 lengths back to the winner in a six furlong race where the winner locked in at 1:16.1. Her final time was 1:17. Your dog is likely to run faster than that. The 5/2 favorite, #3 Lemon Slush, is out of the Richard Zielinski barn and appears to be the only one in this race who has shown any signs of wanting to race….at least in her last one. The last time she was in this form cycle, they stuck her in a one mile race, and she bombed. This time they’re staying at the same 6 furlong level and taking a class drop. That'll be my choice, however, you could throw a dart at these and pick where it hit, and that’s just as effective. You never know. One of these may wake up and decide to become a racehorse today.
Happy Hunting 😊