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