There’s an old axiom that a horse has every right to improve off of a first time start. The unfamiliarity of a race day routine and being asked for speed – or to rate that speed – over more ground than ever before amongst up to a dozen other horses can be jarring. Especially to a young 2-year old. We’re going to see just how much improvement E Sveikata can make as she takes the track for the second time at Calder Race Course in Florida this afternoon in the second race.
The conditions are very similar to her first race: Maiden Claiming, $32,000, going five and a half furlongs over the dirt. The race only drew a field of six and our gal drew the rail – another bit of a concern for a 2-year old who didn’t seem to like the feel of dirt being kicked up at her.
Here is the field:
1 – E SVEIKATA (O’CONNELL/NUNEZ) 4:1
2 – Ariel’s Flyer (Warren/Monterrey) 3:1 – Had a nice first start, finishing third in a field of eight in a $16,000 maiden claiming race. Doubles the claiming price here which means a bit more challenging company but her 39 Beyer fits in just fine.
3 – Seretaria (Duco/Elver Nunez) 8:1 – Five starts, all Maiden Specials none of them competitive. In fact, she seems to be regressing over time rather than improving. Possibly a function of being run over her head and her giving up. The drop should help but if others improve, she may be out of luck.
4 – Analogy (Fawkes/Leyva) 9:5 – morning line favorite with one start under her belt as well, but it was a fast Maiden Special over the turf where she finished 5th but posted a field best 46 Beyer. She improves off of that and this race is entirely hers.
5 – Smoking Coyote (Homiester/Bain) 15:1 – All Maiden Special starts but much less impressive than Seretaria and was beaten too badly to even earn a Beyer in two of her four starts. She probably needs to drop even deeper.
6 – Esperanza Latina (Garoffalo/Saez) 5:2 – Interesting first timer with solid works and a jockey trainer combo that wins at a 45% clip. Garoffalo is only wining at a 8% ate with first time starters, though (25 starts).
At first blush, our gal got smoked by 13 ¼ lengths last out but when you see that the winner cruised to win by 11 ¼, it doesn’t seem as bad. Two lengths out of second for an inexperienced racehorse who needs a race or two to tighten up isn’t bad at all. I’m not thrilled with a 33 Beyer, but we’ve all seen horses improve greatly off a race like that in their second start.
Last race she broke okay but took back to the middle of the pack before she started making up ground again then fading. She was just caught for third in the final strides as she let up off the gas. The first timer on the outside is a real unknown quantity and you never know how she might handle the experience. Analogy looks like she could blow to the front and not look back with us and Ariel’s Flyer chasing.
I can’t say that I would truly be disappointed if we lost to a streaking Analogy but I will be if we fail to hit the board. And races aren’t won on paper so we’ll step in the starting gate, look ‘em all in the eye, and give it our best shot.