We finally got into a race. Sort of. Actually, we’ll be scratching out of it I’m nearly 100% sure. We made the list of a $16,000 claiming race over the turf as an “Also Eligible” and since we’re third on the list and forecast doesn’t call for any rain, it appears very unlikely that we’ll be racing on Sunday.
Tabby Lane is 12-1 in the morning line and that’s probably very fair against this group. I’m not going to break down the entire race like I usually do considering the unlikelihood that we’re actually going to get into the race but I will give you my thoughts on how it appears to shape up.
The morning line favorite is the mare in the one hole, Butterdish. Butterdish took on some tough horses in a turf handicap at Tampa last out and had her head handed to her, however when she has run at $16,000 she has won and won convincingly – at this distance, surface and course.
Morningside Heights is another mare that has experienced success at the $16,000 claiming ranks and has had issues trying to step up into tougher company. She’s 2 – 4 this year with her wins at $16,000 and her losses against allowance fields.
Monstrip is right where she belongs in this type of field and Adreamfordarlene is dropping way down from $32,000 claiming.
The top four in this race are tough and there are a few others that have notched wins at this level as well. Where Tabby fits is anyone’s guess and I’ll go ahead and take one!
Tabby is coming off two successive wins at $8,000 and $12,500 and was really sharp exiting that last race. I say “was” because it’s now been six weeks since the last race and the gap is now starting to look more like an extended layoff as opposed to her traditional 3 – 4 week break between races. She may not be as fit as sharp as she was in early April.
Her best Beyer last year was a 72 and that was accomplished over the Canterbury turf. In her three turf races her speed figures were 68, 54 and 72 with the 54 being earned in a race where she was checked hard. By way of comparison, her dirt win at Canterbury in the same summer was rated a 58. She may be a better turf runner than dirt. She’s tried the turf 8 times, scoring twice and finishing in the money twice more earning $19,598 which is why we wanted to give her the opportunity over the grass as she makes her way up the class ladder.
There is some early speed in the race and possibly enough of it to ensure an honest pace on the front end. The question mark is whether or not Tabby Lane can run with the late running favorites when the cavalry charge begins after the turn for home.
In the very likely event that she doesn’t get into the race tomorrow I’ve started pondering our next step. If we can’t find a race in this last book at Tampa that looks promising – and I’m not betting that we won’t be on the AE list again in a $16,000 turf race – we may need to move. The downside of that is where do we move? The Canterbury book has zip for her until maybe June 2 and even then at a level that I may not be comfortable with. The Prairie Meadows experience went horribly awry two years ago but at least there I can run her at a level that may be a bit below her actual class but have the increased purse money to make it worth taking a chance.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings and then decide from there.