Maiden America: Hoop Tea's Hooptie Handicapper picks Tuesday at Will Rogers, Belterra, Indiana Downs
There were no plans on writing until later this week, until I saw it - the coup de grâce of hooptie days.
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. Let’s get to it.
Race 1 Will Rogers Downs - $7.5K Maiden Claimer
3yo↑ fillies and mares going one mile
Equibase has this rated as a 45 and believe it or not, that is our top rating for today. Yes, it digresses from here. #8 E Ticket Ride (7/5) has tried 15 times and today she will be expected to perform at the same level that she has performed over the last four races. Frankly, having four second place finishes in a row is a cause of concern. Losing can be just as big of a habit as winning, so peering through her running lines, she really has not done a good job of passing other horses. She did make a run towards the wire while stretching out on April 21, so perhaps this longer distance would be more to her advantage. It is worth noting that she is taking a step down in Equibase numbers. #9 Watermelon Kizs (5/1) had a good outing at this level on May 12, where she got to the leader within a head before fading off to second. That was against state breds and today she faces tougher challengers. #7 Ms Wild Argument (6/1) exits the same race as Watermelon Kisz had an identical trip, except she faded to third place. I am going to take a shot with class dropper #3 Cherokee Rose (8/1). Today, she gets jockey Ronald Richard back and he got more out of her than the previous four. Why not? Sometimes you get a hit like this on these lower level races lol
Race 3 Belterra Park - $10K Maiden Claimer
Ohio bred fillies and mares 3yo↑ going 5.5 furlongs
With an Equibase rating of 33, this is one of the lowest rated races we have seen, yet not the lowest. That distinction is a 22 at Thistledown on April 26.
It is almost comical that #5 Mystic Magic (3/1) has those low odds. This horse has run nine times with eight of those races she put up a zero Equibase rating. In one race, after a 60 day sabbatical, she rallied and hit a 31 number. Her last two since? Zeros. #4 Opha May (2/1) had two races in her 2yo campaign, has been benched since mid-December, and has had several workouts that are hard to interpret since that time. I suppose at this level the workouts are fairly good. She is dropping out of open company and in for a tag. There really isn't much else to look at. The other four in this race have not come remotely close to getting near the leader. It may be worth taking a shot on #1 Chillville (9/2), a first time starter. At least she has yet to develop bad habits.
Race 3 Indiana Downs - $10 Maiden Claimer
Hoosier Bred fillies and mares 3yo↑ going one mile
We perk up a little bit in the hooptie meter. This one is rated a 43. Now that #1 Perfect Smokey Eye (1/1) scratched, #5 Princess Lenny (9/5) appears to be the one to beat. However, in the words of Lee Corso, ‘not so fast my friend.’ I like #8 Lightupjustice (10/1). Of her five races, four of them have been against MSW types. The one time she dropped down to this level, she put up a big Equibase number, comparatively speaking. We will draw a line through her last race because of her bad start, and today you will get a good price.
Happy Hooptie Hunting 😊