Maiden America Thursday 12.9: The Hooptie Handicapper picks 2yo races at Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park
Racing at Fair Grounds.fairgroundsracing.com

Maiden America Thursday 12.9: The Hooptie Handicapper picks 2yo races at Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park

Both races are routes, so RT is looking for a router with a winning signal.

Maiden America

Thursday, 12.09.21

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Two plays today worth handicapping on Thursday

Race 6 Fair Grounds – $40K Maiden Special

2yo’s going 8.5 furlongs on turf

I am looking for a horse that has their first or second race as a route, without bouncing from six furlongs to a mile and back to another sprint. This indicates trainers intentions all along. In other words, the first race can be a sprint if they start the next in a route and stay with it. This leads me to six of the eight entries. Starting with the first timer, 5-Practice Squad (6/1), can easily be eliminated for two reasons. 1) California Chrome 2yos as turf routers are not a good choice and 2) this race has an Equibase rating of 80 and there are entries in this race that project past that and this horses’ pedigree does not. 1-East Of India (8/1) is by Bal A Bali who had a killer career in Brazil and when moved here, he scored two G1’s and a G3, yet all at a mile. His 44 progenies have accomplished more in dirt sprints than other distances or surfaces. So, I pass on him. 8-Rule The Empire (6/1) Although many are, I am not a fan of Deshawn Parker with this level of jockey colony. He has not hit home with me as a big time player getting up in big time games, so given my favoritism of jockey’s importance as much as the horse, I pass. 3-Minnesota Ready (4/1) has raced twice getting a 66 and 79 Equibase speed numbers and has not even sniffed near the leaders. There’s early speed in this with 6-Baltic Fleet (5/1), so horses who lose their first two by a combined 19 lengths tend to demoralize early, so pass. I am choosing 2-Words Of Wisdom (3/1) over 7-Faith Runner (9/2) and 6-Baltic Fleet, because repeatedly, I have seen horses in the Godolphin world not be pressed in their first outing and set out for business in their second. The easy explanation is they do not need the money; they do need to know if a Tapit/Street Sense colt is going Varsity or JV soon.

Race 5 Gulfstream Park - $60K Maiden Special

2yo’s going one mile and seventy yards on synthetic

This is another maiden race where you want to see horses routing early. 1-Men On The Hill (5/2) is by Starspangledbanner who stands in Ireland and is from Australia. Yes, a turf bred horse racing on synthetic. Many thoroughbred handicappers ascribe to the notion of running on synthetic is closer to turf and I am not one of them. I have no empirical evidence to support that, however, I have witnessed time and again that horses racing against each other who have the same level of talent and ability, have had more success leaving dirt in its last race than turf. That said, 1-Men On The Hill left Curragh in Ireland in June, quarantined, returned to the work tab and raced a heady 77 Equibase speed figure, just missing by a neck and this location and surface. Look for him to take a lot of money today and deservedly so. Three to contend with 1-Men On The Hill are 4-Grand David (3/1) 8-Dream Of A Day (5/1) and 7-Father Glado (7/2). 8-Dream Of A Day and 4-Grand David both posted a 91 Equibase score in their last. Now, we have forty, two year olds with 88-92 last Equibase scores. Of those, nine have returned to the winners circle and none of those had more than two races under their belts. This now eliminates 8-Dream Of A Day and given his last two works, would have been eliminated. 7-Father Glado had a tough trip in his debut getting blocked when he was full of run down the stretch. Samy Camacho was on board and Irad Ortiz is listed, so it is tough to guess who will ride this Declaration Of War colt. I do like this colt because of his game run and more importantly, he came right back to the training track and hit a 1:00 work for five furlongs. He is jonesing to get back in the battle. I cannot say the same for 1-Men On The Hill. I am going with 4-Grand David due to his last Equibase number jumping over this surface and distance. He ran a great race last out leading before tiring and he will be the speed and will be tough to shag down.

Happy Hunting!

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