Maiden America Memorial Day: The Hoop Tea Handicapper picks Thistledown, Prairie Meadows, stakes at Lone Star
First race at Thistledown is 12:26 pm EDT.
We struck all around it yesterday, yet never hit the bullseye. A few quick notes for today.
Diva Dixie, a horse that ran in the key race with Artos, runs in the first at Churchill. She had an awful outing last time and today she switches back to dirt. Tread lightly.
Promptly Done is entered in the same as Diva Dixie today and reverts to dirt as well. Both horses drop for a tag today. You may get a good price.
One week from today I am leaving the friendly confines of Minnesota and road tripping down to the mid-Atlantic area to visit a few tracks. If any of you are in that area, send me back an email, let’s connect, and I'll buy you a beer…or a Hoop Tea. 😊
Today I am going to briefly go through a few maiden races and cover the stakes races at Lone Star.
Thistledown Race 1 - $30K Maiden Special Weight
Ohio Bred fillies racing 4.5 furlongs
Of the eight entered, it's going to come down to one of these three: #2 Christmas (5/2) a Constitution filly who worked a :47.5 from the gate and then worked a 1:03.1 in what seemingly is an attempt to mask her ability. Again, this filly is out of Constitution and her Grandfather is Unbridled’ s Song. She is owned by Winstar Farm and is trained by 29% winner Tim Hamm. #5 Crossed Up (9/2) has a pair of :47.6 works and a gate work of :35.8. She’ll get a screaming start today. I am going with #6 Bossy Lady (6/1) for two reasons – she comes out of leading trainer by percentage Jeff Radosevich and she gets Lasix. There is only one other horse that gets Lasix and that's the three horse, Candlelight Hours, which I'm less enamored with.
Prairie Meadows Race 5 - $30.5K Maiden Special Weight
2yo’s going 4.5 furlongs
Much hope was placed in the Orb filly #7 Alia Max (5/2) last time as she went post-ward as the 2/1 favorite. She ended up in second place four and a half lengths behind the leader. That was only a two furlong race which was run in a terribly slow 23.02 seconds. She returns today after two weeks and stretches out. I believe her to be a false favorite and will not be betting this filly. #5 The Bondsman (8/1) ran in the same race as Alia Max and was six lengths behind her for third. Usually, it's best practice to bet on horses with experience; however, both horses should have decent workouts or raced well…. these do not. I'm going to pass both. I am going to go with Group 2 Breeze Fig tested and horribly named, #1 Whistlewhileyoumow (5/1) trainer Jon Arnett 19% with first time starters, 30% with jockey Elvin Gonzalez and he just posted a :35.8 from the gate, so he’ll likely get the lead and not look back.
There are a couple of others that I am interested in watching today.
A long stride length is not necessarily a precursor to success, yet our studies show they do break their maiden quicker than lesser length of stride horses. A long stride is so rare that of the 1613 horses that we have tracked thus far, there are just 33 with a stride length of 26’ or greater.
They are –
On a personal note, the horse Reinagol, in his last race, paid for my efforts doing this over the last six months by blowing away the field by 5 and paying $7 on a large wager. Sometimes you just know, and those times do not come often enough 😊
Lone Star Park Race 7 – The $100K Memorial Day Sprint Stakes
3yo↑ fillies and mares going six furlongs
Who will it be? #1 His Glory (6/1), #3 Mundaye Call (1/1), or #2 Ain’t No Elmers (7/2)? According to the numbers in front of me, it is supposed to be one of those three. I am partial to #2 Ain't No Elmers, who gets blinkers, is trained by Bret Calhoun, ridden by Gabriel Saez, and recent works of :46.5, :58, & :47.2 shows he’s champing at it, in shape, and ready to rumble. This sprint is manifest with speed, including the favorite, and I believe that Ain't No Elmers is due for a breakout performance.
Lone Star Park Race 8 – The $100K Chamberlain Bridge Stakes
3yo’s↑ racing five furlongs on turf
It is perplexing to see #4 Tempt Fate going off at 20/1. After all, he has just won a $200,000 Stakes, a $150,000 Stakes, and has peeled off four wins in a row. Of course, none of the wins were on turf, so perhaps that is the reason? Who knows? I see a front runner with that kind of speed, that many wins, a cut back in distance, and switching from dirt to turf. Count me in. Especially at 20/1.
Lone Star Park Race 9 – The $300K Texas Derby
3yo’s racing 8.25 furlongs
As you faithful followers know, I, the Hooptie Handicapper, prognosticated the 12/1 victory of #10 Super Stock (5/2) in the Arkansas Derby. He smoked in the stretch, what we have now come to find out, a very pedestrian Caddo River and Concert Tour. He then went to the Kentucky Derby and doo doo’d the bed. Since that time, he has hung around the stables at Churchill and has worked out well, hitting two 1:00 works. I am not going to bet this horse today. He is a late closer who is better at a longer distance. In three tries, he has never won at this distance. When you see the half clank up under 46.5 today, you know he is going to be out of it. The two horses I’m leaning to are #1 Scarred (5/1) and #5 Warrant (7/2). Yes, #9 Get Her Number (4/1) is going to take a lot of money, and until he wins outside of California, I’ll steer clear. To me, Scarred looks like he’s sitting on a big race. That’s my choice.
Happy Holiday and thank you for your service 😊