The months of build-up are finally over. Race day is here for E Sveikata (Even the Score-MyPhilly-Cimarron Secret) and we get to see what we have under the hood. Prior to the end of the 7th race at Calder tomorrow, everything is possible. Win this race by daylight making very little effort; jump right into an overnight stake because she won THAT impressively; maybe one last start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies before turning out for a few months. ALL of that is possible before the race is run. After the race is finished we’ll know the reality. The dream may still be alive or it may have just changed a bit…or a lot. There is no way to tell until you run with meaning.
Two year old maiden races are always difficult to handicap for me. I’m not a student of pedigree and tend to rely on others for that type of analysis. More than anything, I tend to just pass these races and not even wager. I probably will place a supportive wager on our gal here, though. How can you not? Here is a look at field and what passes as 2-year old maiden analysis for me (sometimes you just have to know what you’re not good at, right?!) for the $32,000 Maiden Claiming race going 5 ½ furlongs at Calder over the main track.
Pure Anticipation (Catanese/Cruz) 8-1 – One of four first time starters in the field. The red hot Cruz aboard (though winless for Catanese this year). Works have been solid though not spectacular. Trainer only 4% with first timers.
Emma’s Image (Rose/Argueta) 15-1 - Two solid early starts but simply blistered after the summer layoff in a Maiden $40,000 losing by over 47 lengths. Drops a bit into here but seems to be less effective the longer she goes.
Classy and Serene (Pinchin/Jara) 8-1 – First time starter, one pedestrian work. Trainer is 22% with first timers, though and 36% with a positive ROI in Maiden Claiming debuts. Off just the single work you’d like to write her off, but hard to ignore those trainer numbers.
Seek the Dream (O’Connell/Galviz) 4-1 – Solid debut at this level on 9/2. Kat’s stablemate is eligible to improve off her maiden effort where she showed some early speed before tiring late. The reduction of a half furling won’t hurt either.
Eva’s Pearl (Gleaves/Jose Garcia) 5-2 – A sharp third at this level last out to repeat winner ($16,000CL nw2) Bel Dancing earned her position as the morning line favorite.
E SVEIKATA (O’CONNELL/NUNEZ) 6-1
Pine Walk (Fawkes/Rios) 8-1 – Badly beaten in a Maiden Special Weight last out, this type of class relief always helps, though there wasn’t much speed shown at all in that debut race.
Maddie O’s Prize (White/Saez) 3-1 – First time daughter of Graeme Hall is the second choice at 3-1. A long, solid work pattern and a trainer that wins at a rate of 19% with first time starters.
Here is where I usually explain how our horse has a chance to win this race and how things need to come together. This is an eight horse race with 4 first time starters and three others making only their second start – I have no idea what the hell is going to happen!
I think that Kat will show some speed. Her mom won at first asking and was “get to the lead and catch me” kind of horse. Eva’s Pearl and Seek the Dream both had reasonable debuts and certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone if they stepped up in this spot. We could have rain tomorrow and that may impact her positively as well, though nearly every horse in the race has a high wet Tomlinson number.
Do I want a win in here? You bet your boots I do! But do I EXPECT a win in here? No – I think that’s too much to ask from any 2-year old doing this for the first time. But she’s proven that she is smart, quick, aggressive and relatively calm by nature so she certainly can’t be ruled out.
Unfortunately I will be on a plane tomorrow as the race goes off. I may hook in to the wifi on board but we may be on our final approach and not be able to boot up the ipad or the computer to watch! Like flying isn’t stressful enough…