Maiden America Monday: Hoop Tea's Hooptie Handicapper picks races at Delaware Park and Lone Star Park
Today we have two races at Delaware and one at Lone Star. Before doing that, I have to mention that Baffert has a tough contender in his barn named Brutto. Brutto is a three year old Nyquist colt out of the dam Rhineshark, and she is out of Fusaichi Pegasus. So, he is bred to go longer. The broodmare Rhineshark has been bred to a veritable who’s who of studs. This includes Giant’s Causeway, Into Mischief, Violence, Hard Spun, et al. However, none of them showed this sort of promise this early. This was his third race. In his first race, he was ridden by Abel Cedillo and got summarily smoked by 13.5 lengths. In his second race, at .05 odds, Baffert switched to Flavien Prat and Prat wrested the lead in the stretch and he ended up getting caught late by oncoming Kahuna Magic. Baffert had to be pissed at how Prat was so laissez-faire with Brutto that race, so he returned to Cedillo, who rode him much more aggressively in his bow. This time it took no prompting on Cedillo’s part to get Brutto to run as he dispensed easily with one of our long striders and horses to watch, Trainer Please, at the top of the stretch. During the entire race, not once did Abel Cedillo go to the whip; a few times, he prompted him and that was it. It was a hand ride the entire way. I mention this horse for those reasons, and for the reason that 3yos who are maidens and in their third race, typically digress. Brutto ran two Equibase 87’s in his first attempts and Saturday hit a 98. Is he ready for a run at the BC Classic in the fall? Of course not. However, I would have no problem betting him stepping up into allowance company and stretching out.
Delaware Park Race 3 - $38K Maiden Special Weight
3yo’s↑ going one mile and seventy yards on the turf.
Twelve horses are slated for this and one of them is on our horses to watch list, #5 Everett’s Song (7/2) whom is listed as Main Track Only. So, if this race is taken off the turf, bet him. In the event (ae) #14 Prayer Hope (7/2) gets in, stay away. This 6yo gelding is a jumper. He's better at that than flat racing. In the event this stays on turf and #13 Common Bond (6/1) gets in, he’ll be the choice. Trained by Michael Stidham, he is a 3yo colt out of The Factor, who has had graded turf stakes prodigies such as Charmaine’s Mia, Cistron and Factor This. He has raced twice this year, putting up low 80’s Equibase numbers, which is far and away greater than the rest of this field. In the event none of those things happen, I'm going to look for #12 Flight Map (10/1), #10 Mohs (10/1), #8 McCovey Cove (8/1) and I am going to veer from the false fave #9 Union General George (9/2) because his last two workouts on poly have been subpar after his only race at Delaware on May 21. Flight Map is an interesting sort who ran an excellent race getting to the lead in the slop at Laurel back in early January before tiring to second place. Put on the bench for five months, trainer Kelly Rubley came right back with him on dirt and again he chased up to the lead before tiring in a mile-and-a-16th at Pimlico. More than likely using the axiom that good mud runners make good turf runners, Kelly has him entered today at this distance and surface. I would look for him to either take the lead or be on the pace early. Mohs is third of a layoff after debuting once as a 2yo in September and returning in early May. This Hard Spun colt showed improvement last out and the change to turf with Mychel Sanchez may be the tonic. #8 McCovey Cove (8/1) is a rarity as you can see below his stride length is highlighted. Since doing this, I've only seen one other horse with over 27 and that one is named Reinagol. Now, Reinagol debuted at 5 furlongs on turf, so this choice of a debut at a mile and seventy yards means score one for the @GrahamMotion camp for paying attention to technology. His workouts have been very pedestrian, yet in spots, he has flashed some signs of speed – 1:01 breeze on 5/7, 1:01 as a 2yo in September, so they may be just looking to uncork him here today. After tracking this for awhile, long striders like this tend to fare better on turf than dirt. Since there's been very few that have gone long, must less in their bow, it’s tough to statistically comment on his chances. Like Reinagol, I’ll be tracking him.
My plan is for this race is to bet a long bomber, #6 Iron Pearls (15/1). He has run six races, four on dirt and two on turf. The four on dirt have been just ok or worse, yet the two turf races, he has put up solid numbers. Today, he gets 2nd Lasix and with six races under his belt, he is going to be a force.
Delaware Park Race 4 - $38K Maiden Special Weight
2yo’s going five furlongs
We have 14 entered up in this race with four of them on the also eligible list. So, we will see how they pare it down. This is a first for me as each entry that is on the also eligible list, is an entry from the same owner/trainer. So, whomever scratches from this, will be worth paying attention to both in the betting today category and in the future. Pay attention to what happens with # 1A Too Much Action (3/1), #2B A Dangerous Guy (9/2), and #3 Heartness (7/2). Those three horses have all raced, with 1A putting up a 76 Equibase number and the others put up a 52 each. Their moves today will tell you quite a bit about how they feel their chances are. It may not matter as they are all going to have to catch #2 Rich’s Way (9/2), pending any gate mishaps. He has put up a 1:00.7 gate work on 5/26, a :48 breeze on 6/8 and a :46.4 on 6/16, all from the less forgiving dirt at Parx. His mamma, Halo Humor, won her first two races and one of her first three foals win in its debut. Black type winner Bodemeister is his poppa, who only ran six times and earned $1.3 and has earned much more in his aftercare program. #4 Fight Your Corner and #4X He’s Got Jump both raced yesterday at Monmouth, so they will both scratch today. Incidentally, Fight Your Corner won, and He’s Got Jump missed by ½. #1 Up For The Chance (3/1), tested well for his BreezeFigs, yet has done poorly in his workouts. Maybe he is just that type?
I am going with #3 Heartness
Lone Star Park Race 4 - $40.8K Maiden Special Weight
3yo’s↑ going five furlongs on turf.
#3 Mister Mmmm (7/5) was sent off at 14/1 in his debut, caught the lead by three lengths before succumbing to Bordeaux Red late, posting a 90 Equibase number. Benched for six weeks, he returned to sub even odds and summarily bounced. Today, bettors will be singing "Glory Days" from The Boss’ album "Born in the USA" in hopes of getting that first race ju ju back. Be assured of this, he has good early jump and a change of jockey to David Cabrera. That may make the biggest difference. If there is a threat, it’s going to be #6 He’s A Bomb (8/1). My father taught me 100 years ago that betting a maiden race where the horse who held the lead past the 2nd call, is the one to bet. This happened to him on May 15 at Evangeline and when moved to Lone Star on June 4, he chased the leaders to end up second. Today, he is third off the layoff and improvement is likely with a race over the track.
The jockey change to Cabrera is the critical difference in this race and at the odds listed, I am going to pass. He will likely go off at 3/5.