Saturday, July 25, 2009

Claiming Crown Day 2009 - Canterbury Park

The day has arrived and before I head out to the track I'll briefly recap the week's previews taking into account some of the scratches from the early entries as well as the post position draw on Wednesday. If you click on each race it'll take you to my complete preview of the race from earlier in the week. A couple of no entries caused me to make changes but only one at the top (Iron Horse). Other than that and moving Ready's Rocket in the money in the Express, all my picks have stayed the same.

From here I'll be heading down to the track to visit with Fizzy Pop on the backside and then over to the front to get set up for the live blogging today. I hope that I'll be able to bring you some of the sights, sounds and feel from Claiming Crown Day if you can't be there yourself. Please check in often or hit refresh on your browser. You can also catch frequent shorter updates on Twitter (

Iron Horse:

My choice, Sumacha'hot did not enter and that means my choice devolves onto Calm and Collected. My concern about this horse is the early speed. It's important to be close at Canterbury, but he can be pushed by any several others in here causing him to fry early and set the stage for more of a just off the pace type like Roboponi. I'll stick with him, but only tepidly.

1. Calm and Collected
2. Bright Hall
3. Roboponi


No real changes here except that the more and more I look at ML favorite Ready's Rocket, the more I like his last two races heading into here. I'm sticking with my top choice based on a slight class advantage, however I am replacing my second choice, Stormin' Sox with the Rocket. Then again, maybe it's just a hunch. I'm keeping Norjac third.

1. Chasing the Prize
2. Ready's Rocket
3. Norjac

Rapid Transit

The one thing that makes it hard to be too much in love with Grand Traverse is that the last out wasn't a bit of a better effort. Through that one out, though, and he is too much for those in here with Max Ahead too much for the rest. My third choice, My Private Lake, did not enter so I had to find a replacement there, but tough to beat these top two.

1. Grand Traverse
2. Max Ahead
3. All Joking Aside

Glass Slipper

Speed, speed, speed, speed and speed. Several of these want the lead early but not all of them can have it. Miranda Diane may have a class advantage over these, but those have been at Will Rogers Downs while Met A Miner has been coasting to easy wins at Delaware and Pimlico. No change in here.

1. Met A Miner
2. Miranda Diane
3. Thunder and Belle


A small but very competitive field. I loved the way Mizzcan'tbewrong professionally dismantled the HBPA Mile field here last out and like her to repeat that effort. Love to Tell, Grade III placed, will push the pace but I don't think she can repeat her effort in the Bayou at the Fairgrounds where she beat Mizzcan'tbewrong. This one will be a good one.

1. Mizzcan'tbewrong
2. Love to Tell
3. R Vicarious Girl


A large and tremendously competitive field. There are no less than five reasonable favorites in this group all capable of winning. In fact, even more than that could step up and surprise the field - at nice odds - that could make sense on paper. I'm sticking with my original top three in here as well, but this should be a beauty and potentially lucrative.

1. Drivingmaxandmitzi
2. T Harry
3. Gran Estreno


Small field that is very competitive. Several have pointed out that all the Beyers seemed bunched together by this group so with Antrim County and Furthest Land being the horses most likely to rate and hold their speed, I have them one, two in this one with Furthest Land getting the nod on what I believe to be a slight class advantage.

1. Furthest Land
2. Antrim County
3. Repenting

The Lady Canterbury Stakes

Not a Claiming Crown event, but still a star on a stellar card it features two Grade III winners which probably accounts for the dearth of entries. Euphony and Lady Carlock are the class of the field and I give the nod to Euphony - certainly at a short price - based upon stellar recent form over the Lady who has struggled a bit in her last few, even when stepping out of graded company in her last. In fact, to try and grab a little value, I like Happiness Is to hold her speed to the end a bit and hold off Lady Carlock - especially if the latter really is in decline.

1. Euphony
2. Happiness Is
3. Lady Carlock

Best of luck to you all and see you at the races (or later in the day blogging live from there!)

No comments: