Maiden America Wednesday: Hoop Tea's Hooptie Handicapper picks 2yo races at Saratoga and Colonial Downs
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Maiden America Wednesday: Hoop Tea's Hooptie Handicapper picks 2yo races at Saratoga and Colonial Downs

First post is 3:21 pm EDT.

Maiden America 7.28.21

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Relax with a Hoop Tea on the beach this weekend.
Relax with a Hoop Tea on the beach this weekend.@Hooptea

Yesterday at Indiana Grand, Mamala Kamala finally decided to run in the stretch after draggin’ ass behind the field - she got up for 2nd. The place bet paid $3.00, making it a push for that race. At Hastings, struggling with the choice between the eventual winner, Vancouver’s Hunter and the last place finisher, Country Cowboy, I elected to go against the claiming grain and took Country Cowboy, making that race a total loss. The words of an early mentor kept running through my head during that race – "a claimer is a claimer and a class horse is a class horse.’ Some lessons are learned the hard way.

Today we have one from Saratoga and two from Colonial Downs

Saratoga Race 5 - $85K Maiden Special

State bred two year olds going a mile and a sixteenth on turf

Two main track only horses look good in this, #13 Bointheback (3/1) and #14 Spettro (5/2). Of course, as of this writing, it's difficult to tell whether this will be moved to the main track. #3 Timbuktu (2/1) is trained by Brad Cox, who is 16% with first time starters and 36% with the jockey. A son of Munnings, who is a black type stud, never raced on turf, he has had a steady diet of works including a :48.1 breeze on July 24. With Luis Saez in the irons, you can count on him going to the lead straight away. Munnings progeny are only 6% winners in first routes and with some in this race having experience, the price on him is not worth the risk. I wrote a few months back that trainer intention with first routing horses is pervasive and when you see horses like #1 Raw Courage (4/1) try sprinting twice before trying a route, this can be a red flag, indicating that the trainer is somewhat mystified whether the horse is a sprinter or a router. This excludes him from my list as well as #7 Heart Of Salvino (15/1), #9 Kingdom On Paws (50/1) and Stop The Spread (30/1). This leaves #4 Resilient Courage (10/1) who didn’t show much fight in his debut yet scored the highest Equibase number of this group with a 61. His last work of :50 was a dullard, and I am going to pass and side with #5 Achilles Heel (8/1) who showed even worse than Resilient Courage in his bow yet has returned with six workouts since. That said, Rob Atras 27% with horses off 2-6 months and the four runners in his last race have all returned to increased Equibase numbers and a much improved look.

Colonial Downs Race 5 - $50K Maiden Special

2yo’s going one mile on the inner turf

#8 Barberini (9/2) is out of Euro sire Flintshire, a 23/8-11-1 winner of $9.6M. His works have been solid, however, of his 29 foals, only two have won at first asking. This is the dam’s first foal, so this will be a pass for me. #6 Jardani (10/1) gets Lasix for the first time after debuting at Parx a month ago. He has had two marginal works at Delaware before shipping to Colonial. It would be a big ask for him to make par (78) this race. #4 Electrostatic (9/2) fired a bullet 1:00 on July 6 and has been working forwardly for his first race. His sire Midnight Storm was a $1.2M turf winner who ran his best in routes. #9 Red Label (6/1) kept near the lead before tiring in his first race and scored a 62 Equibase number, which means with improvement today, he should project to par. That was just eleven days ago and at seven furlongs. Since then, he’s had a leisurely refreshing since, makes this colt a serious contender. #10 Curly Tail (4/1) is a son of Curlin, who we all know his young un’s can go longer, scored a 68 Equibase 68 at 5.5 furlongs and since has put in two terrific works of 1:00.8 and :48.6. He will be my choice. I will also box him with Red Label in an exacta.

Colonial Downs Race 6 - $40K Maiden Claimer

2yo fillies going five furlongs on turf.

The good news is none of these will beat #1 Tough Enough (2/1) and the bad news is she’ll likely be below even odds at the gate opening. If she stays at even or better, I’ll bet her.


Saratoga 5th – Achilles Heel if main track, Bointheback or Spettro

Colonial 5th – Curly Tail and Curly Tail/Red Label exacta

Colonial 6th – Tough Enough at odds of even.

Happy Hunting 😊

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