Friday, July 22, 2011

Canterbury is Back and So is Tabby Lane

This is the type of post that I’m happy to be writing again.  Sure, it’s not as sexy as a racetrack closure but it is much happier and it’s always better to be racing.  A crowd of over 6,500 welcomed Canterbury Park back on Buck Night and they were treated to some mind boggling prices.  It started right out of the gate with 23-1 shot Champ Laila charging late and kicked off a pick 4 sequence that went 23-1, 8-1, 7-1 and 14-1!  Needless to say there was a pick 4 carryover to races 5 – 8, which also included a boxcar payoff when Nik Goodwin brought home 34-1 Alex’s Tomcat in the sixth.  However a second carryover was avoided while the second pick 4 paid over $3,000 on a fifty cent wager.

It was great to be back and there was a lot of enthusiasm in the crowd – along with quite a bit of incredulity that this could happen to a private business.  Let’s hope that this type of shutdown will be avoided in the future.

Tonight, Tabby Lane will be taking on eight other fillies and mares in a $7500 Starter Allowance over the turf going about a mile.  There may be some rain later this afternoon that could take the race off the turf, but here is how they line up as written:

1 Jody’s Included (Van Winkle/Eikleberry): She was out quickly in her last two but faded badly in both, the last costing Tabby a chance at 3rd place in a $16,000 Optional Claiming race.

2 So Divine (Rarick/Bell): She hasn’t missed a call since changing barns and shipping to Canterbury winning both her starts by daylight.  The morning line favorite.  The field will need Jody’s Included to engage So Divine early or it could be all over but the shouting.

3 Satin Creation (Silva/Von Rosen): Beaten handily by the top two in here.  She seems to be heading in the wrong direction.

4 Bye Bye Ladies (Hartman/Goodwin): She has not shown much in her last two at a lower level of competition.

5 Five Nations (Scherer/Rivera): Two very good second place finishes to So Divine since coming back to Canterbury. Certainly a threat in here should the speed dual materialize.

6 SS Shelby (Lund/Shaw): She’s been really blistered since coming north from Arizona but she’s also taken on higher classes as well.  The drop in here could jolt her back to life.


8 Hell n’ May (Marble/Prado): Showed some life in her last against $25,000 nw3, her 2nd start back from the layoff, and should be better in this one. Could be a decent price.

9 I’ve Heard Rumors (Becker/Dugas): She’s had a rough go against tougher but did score a nice 3rd in a turf allowance here near the beginning of the meet.

How this race develops early is going to tell us a lot about how well Tabby Lane can do in here.  She obviously belongs and is the 2nd choice in the morning line behind So Divine.  If So Divine gets some real pressure on the front end that will give the closers a chance, but if she’s allowed to lope through 25+ second fractions then there is going to be real trouble.  The tote board may give us an indication of how ready she is.  After thorough trouncings in Arizona she was extremely well bet in her first two races here that she won with ease.  So Divine also had an excellent five furlong work on the 17th and she looks like she’s in a very good spot for this race.  Jody’s Included has some early speed, but just hasn’t shown a lot ion her last few starts to give me any confidence that she can go with the favorite early.

Satin Creation and Five Nations should both take up stalking positions while the remainder of the field should be scattered back with Tabby probably seeing them all for a while, though hopefully not too far back.  If So Divine is softened up on the engine this week, Tabby will be flying late and will need to avoid the traffic problems that plagued her last out to get a clear shot at her late.

This one is winnable, but she’s going to need some help.

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