Maiden America Friday: Hoop Tea's Hooptie Handicapper picks 2-year old races at Churchill Downs, Santa Anita
RT's first race goes off at 1:14 pm EDT.
Maiden America 5.21.21
By the Hooptie Handicapper
Brought to you by Hoop Tea.
Yesterday, as suspected, our choice, #5 Gata Runz, in the first at Churchill, ran well, albeit green in the stretch, getting up for second at 23/1 paying a handsome $13.40 to place. She is going to be worth keeping an eye on next time as she learned how to encounter traffic, pass horses and fight for position. Also, once cleared in the stretch, her ears were perked up and tail was swooshing, as if she were gaining pleasure from running. The favorite, Gimmick, broke poorly from the gate and had no chance after that. In the 3rd at Churchill, our selection, #1 Rock Along, did exactly as hoped, bolting to the lead, and forcing green horses to catch her. She paid a handsome $10/win and $5.80/place. Our original selection, Artos, who was on the AE list, scratched and is entered in today’s second at CD. In the first at Belmont, the selection of #1 She’s A Fast One, proved anything but that as she jumped out to the lead through the second call and was bested by the favorite Miss Alacrity, who won by 10 lengths. Miss Alacrity scored an 88 Equibase number, which is stout for a 2yo debut on dirt.
Today, we have a couple of two year old races. One from Churchill and another from Santa Anita. We are also throwing in a maiden claimer from Churchill.
Churchill Downs Race 2 - $30K Maiden Claiming
3yo↑ fillies and mares going six furlongs
#1 Polyester Bride (3/1) is a filly out of Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, whom is sire to 8 crops and 28 black type winners including Runhappy and Letruska. She is first off the claim for trainer Danny Peitz, who has no starts in this situation. Seven days ago, she turned in a solid 48.2 breeze and has two races under her belt. She has shown some promising jump at the beginning before giving out the rest of the way. There are three negative factors with her. 1) why do you claim a horse for $50,000 and a month later, run it for a $30,000 claiming price? 2) third time starters are only an 8% proposition yet dropping in class is always noteworthy. 3) according to our records, first off the claim maidens are 14 for 89, or 16%. You would have thought that number would have been higher. #6 Run Cookie Run (3/1) is a 4-year-old filly out of multiple graded stakes winner Elusive Quality, who’s last four races were on turf where she put up better numbers. According to today’s PP’s, she looks more suited for that surface than today's dirt. #4 Fortuna Adiuvat (5/2) is the front runner that has had three tries at this level. Why should I trust her now at such low odds? Pass. #5 Beyond A Million (4/1) is a second time starter and first Lasix filly out of $14.7M winner California Chrome. Under normal circumstances, a second time starter is a live play. In this case, dropping from an open company bracket into claiming after just one race, is a big red flag. Furthermore, her odds in that debut race were 49/1. Horse racing is unique that you do not necessarily fool the public. Unlike sports betting, where people will bet on their hometown team, this takes more effort in handicapping the race, therefore, when you see low odds on a debut horse it shows you that the sharp money feels the horse worthy.
Not necessarily the best angle to take, though given the level of competition in this, I am, with trepidation, going with the first time starter #3 Coinmaker (4/1) whom is out of black type winner Goldencents, a progeny of Into Mischief. Her workouts have been stellar leading up to this race, including a :47.2 from the gate. There truly is not a whole lot to hang your hat on in this race.
Churchill Downs Race 4 - $100K Maiden Special Weight
2yo’s going 5.5f on turf
Sparing us all a lot of reading time, I am going to cut to the chase and go with #2 Artos (6/1), the same horse that bested Rock Along in their debut and we know how Rock Along did yesterday.
Santa Anita Race 2 - $61K Maiden Special Weight
2yo’s fillies running 4.5 furlongs
#3 Distorted Diva (6/1), has a race under her belt where she showed some jump at the beginning and an impressive 71 Equibase score on debut. She is going to have a lot of pressure in this race. Except for #4, Charlotte Harbor (6/1), every one of the remaining five horses have excellent lineage and all have worked well from the gate. I am keen to #1 Royal O’haigain (3/1) the second foal of sire El Deal, a black type winner out of Munnings. El Deal went 17/9-3-1 and won the G1 $350K Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap. Her mom, Dreaming Of Susie, went 7/3-3-0 who just missed by a neck to Wildcat Lily in the G3 Azalea at Calder. Royal O’haigain is her first foal, and she has worked excellently, including a recent :34 flat from the gate and a scorching :46.4 for four furlongs. Trainer Luis Mendez and jockey Alexis Centeno 33% when paired and Alexis is 15% at this distance/surface. Being on the rail may be an asset rather than a liability, as most of the horses are going to surge out, therefore forcing the jockey to be patient and wait for them to burn out.
Have a great weekend everyone
Happy Hunting 😊