Monday Horse Racing: The Hooptie Handicapper picks low-level races at Parx, Will Rogers Downs, Indiana Grand
Hooptie Handicapper 5.03.21
Spring Edition, Volume 4
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Now that the Derby is over and our rows on social media about the beginning, middle and end of the race are complete, it's time to get back to the normalcy of horse racing. Then again, handicapping hoopties is not part of normalcy. 😊
Let's start off with the 4th at Parx. Equibase has this rated as a 46. This is unusual, since Parx has a solid purse structure for weekday racing.
Today's race is a $10,000 maiden claimer, for 3yo fillies, going seven furlongs.
#5 Wham Bam Shrimp (8/1) tested well for her breeze fig’s. She has a 25-foot stride length and ended up in Group 2, which fits well for this distance. With Liam's Map as her dad and Tiznow as her grandfather, she has a fantastic lineage. She recently clocked a 1:00.9 work and her sire, Liam’s Map, was known for being a speed horse. If the track gets nasty, front speed will bode well for her. On the negative side, she was sold at auction last spring for $25,000 to her current connections. This means that her current ownership has had to endure a years’ worth of stabling costs, veterinary bills, insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses. Doing some quick math, that comes to approximately $14,000. This means that they have approximately $40,000 into this filly, and today, they are putting her out for a $10,000 claim. This sounds like, in the words of Jerry Garcia, ‘trouble ahead, trouble behind.’ Michael Pino will saddle #2 Mo Party (6/1) after claiming her on March 24. Michael is an excellent 24% with first off the claim horses. She seems to be thriving at this barn with workouts of :36.2, :48.1 and :48.9. #2 Mo Party (6/1) is a NY bred 3yo filly out of Uncle Mo, who was an early speed type as well. Her momma, Girlaboutown, had a respectable career, earning $194,000 on ten starts with four wins and a place. She won two sprints and two routes, so it is tough to tell. whether her kids will fare better at one or the other. Girlaboutown has one other foal, Get Around Town, sired by Empire Maker, who won on debut at Finger Lakes and raced three more times with awful results. She is only four years old, so we'll probably see her at Finger Lakes again this spring/summer. #6 Shetalkstomuch (5/2) is the favorite because she is taking a radical drop in class. She's dropping from $30,000 to $10,000 today. Other than the class drop, I see no redeeming reason to bet on this horse. In her six races to date, she has lost by an accumulated 129 lengths. Her last workout on March 15 was marginal at best. Her subsequent race on March 31 was awful and I see no reason to bet on a horse who has shown little to no inspiration to compete. Pass. #7 Irish Jumper (4/1) on April 12, she went off at 6/1 odds on debut which seemingly was predicated upon her last workout before the race. That was a :48.6 and she put in a very dull effort. Back three weeks later, with the second dose of Lasix and the last best Equibase number, and a class drop, she will be a factor in this race. It would not surprise me if she won. #11 Smart Tart (15/1) how that name reminds me of the woman who represented my now ex wife in our divorce. I digress. She has had two races, one on March 31, a 30K mcl, and one on 4/13 a 25K mcl. Both with bad results. Today she gets a class drop and first time Lasix. Look for her to shoot out of the gate and become an outside factor. My choice for this is #10 Sweet Savage (6/1) has shown game efforts in her last two. She got nosed at the wire on January 25, shelved until April 19, was passed late by #3 Misbehaving Lady (5/1) who ran her best race to date and it is doubtful she’ll get better, and she’s back today at the same level. She retains the services of second leading rider, Frankie Pennington. Post position 10 will be an advantage at this distance because it will allow her to relax and utilize her skills in the stretch.
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.
Race 4 at Will Rogers Downs is a six furlong, $7,500 maiden claimer that is Equibase rated 49 for 3yo’s↑
#3 Seven Visions (7/2) is a 4-year-old gelding out of Pollards Vision. He shipped in from Remington Park, where the bulk of his races were against state breds. He has raced 10 times and to date, has gotten as close as third place, five lengths back. He is back today at a little bit lesser level, and to me, is an underlay/false favorite. Pass. #1 Bent To Win (5/1) is coming back after racing just five days ago, so yes, the connections are living up to his namesake. An angle that is worth pursuing in maiden races is betting the horse who was a favorite on debut. Although he was not the favorite, his odds were only 3/1 five days ago. Frankly, He ran poorly, however, giving him the benefit of the doubt, it was a sloppy day. Today may be no different weather-wise. He has the benefit of one race experience and gets second time Lasix. I'm going to use him underneath. #6 Jittery Tom (5/2) debuted at Will Rogers a year ago, was subsequently claimed after that race, and has run rancid since. The owner has switched trainers, and frankly, I do not see where this is an upgrade. The jockey has not won a race in the past ten days and I do not see why this horse is 5/2. Pass. My primary choice in this is #2 Mr. Black Gold (3/1). I know, I know, it’s crazy for betting on a horse that has run 14 times without a victory. Then again, is it? With his last result of losing by a neck, you could see by the below chart that Maiden Claimers, who finished less than a length last out, are an overall 26 of 99 proposition and at this level, they are 1 in 4. In maiden claiming races getting a 25% advantage is significant.
One more that I am going to throw into the mix is #8 Gentle Rocket (15/1) for this reason - I made a lot of money at this track last year betting the angle of debut horses whose dam won in her first attempt and the trainer has a low win percentage. There is one twist to this horse. Her mother made a dog race out of her first race, they changed barns, then she won for the new barn on her debut there. Yes, it is a stretch, yet I’ll use him in an exotic wager.
Race 7 at Indiana Downs rates a 43 Equibase, is a 5.5 furlong sprint, and is a statie bred race for fillies and mares.
With #10 Pawn (9/2) scratching, there are 13 horses in this race, meaning an opportunity for a longshot to win. Starting with the first timers, we have #1 Moreinthehamptons (20/1) who appears that the ownership group will never be able to afford a house there based on buying this filly who has very dull workouts. Pass. #6 Evie Jean (20/1) is of the same caliber as the previous mentioned. Pass. #9 Beautiful D (20/1) has worked out better than the previous two, yet not good enough to win this race. Pass again. #13 Go Get Em (20/1) has worked well for this level. Her dam ran an excellent race on debut and her sire won his debut race. Use underneath. #14 Dreamers Dream (10/1) is out of Tale of Ekati who smoked his debut by over eight lengths. Taking a cursory look, his progeny has won around 15% of their debut races. On the other hand, her dam has eight foals. One of them won its first race, and two of them came in second. Looking at the level of competition she is faced with today, she may be worth using underneath. #8 Perfect Smokey Eye (8/1) ran three times as a 2year-old, was shelved in November, then brought back to Hawthorne at the end of March. After her April 3 race at Hawthorne, and before her last race on April 13th at Indiana Downs, she clocked a :48 breeze figure. In that April 13th race, she ran evenly and gained a little on the leader down the stretch. She subsequently clocked the best Equibase figure, 43, of her career. Today, she is third off a layoff, is rounding into form, gets a break in the weight, and stretches out. She will be a player. #5 Loona Luv (4/1) has leading trainer Kim Hammond (33%) bringing her in after debuting at Turfway in January. She gets second time Lasix, yet her works have been pedestrian. Additionally, the trainer/jockey combination has 0 for win percentage. She may be worth looking at next time. Pass again. #2 Incredible Justice (7/2) has a carbon copy pattern as Perfect Smokey Eye. She ran three times as a 2 year old, was shelved in November. And came back on April 19th here for her debut. She ran a 46 Equibase figure, which is the highest in this group, and that is a 26% win proposition. As you are aware, there is a huge. Jump in maturity from a 2 year old to a 3 year old. She will improve off that 46 today as will Perfect Smokey Eye improve off her 43 last out. #11 Royal To Be (8/1) is going to round out my trifecta box as she and incredible justice will be the lone speed.
That is it for today.
Happy Hooptie Monday.