Friday, July 5, 2013

Maiden Win is Only Step One

It’s going to be quite the hour at Canterbury Park on Saturday afternoon.  In the 5th race, a first level allowance, our very own Bourbonology is going to try for two in a row against a tough field including some shippers from Chicago.  Then in the 6th race, the Canterbury Racing Club stalwart, Ask Eddy, will step up one notch and take on $5,000 claimers in search of his 2nd win in a row.  Near the top and near the bottom, but it’s all racing and all very exciting.

There is some fear involved in Bobo’s race.  Not by her…I can’t believe our daughter of Gulch is scared of anything at all…but from me.  We had another option coming out of her Maiden Special Weight win – a $20,000 non-winners of 2 claiming race which would have certainly been an easier spot.  She had a bit of a troubled trip: blocked down the backside and bumped in the lane which probably makes the race look a bit less than what it was, but still, as you’ll see, this race came up tough.
The only thing I really try to do is not to run horses where they do not belong.  I don’t want to run in a stake to be an entry – I want to have a chance.  I look at some running lines and I see the winner of a MSW end up 6th, beaten 17 lengths in a first level allowance and I don’t want Bobo to be THAT horse.

Let’s take a look at the field and then I’ll stress some more:
She’s Mighty Fast (Padilla/Eikleberry): First 3-year old start, maiden breaker was at Remington in a maiden special on the turf and came back in the Mistletoe Stakes where she was clearly beaten from the first step back on the dirt.  Works have been nice and steady for her return, though not particularly quick.

De Novo (Robertson/A Canchari): Two allowance tries at Canterbury have been challenging over a yielding turf course and then an off the turf affair over a sloppy racetrack.  She still acquitted herself well and is eligible to improve over a firm course and third out after her layoff.
Miss Amelia (Suter/Rivera): In the same two allowance races as De Novo but hardly the same result finishing some distance behind her younger rival.

Seeking Luck (Stidham/Stevens): Her 3-year season began in America after racing as a 2 in her native Ireland.  Both tries on the turf here (out of 4 efforts) landed her on the board in an allowance at the Fairgrounds and Arlington.  It seems like she has a tougher time the longer she goes so a mile and 16 may not be her forte, but she is a classy individual.
April (Lund/Vergara): Ran a very nice 2nd in a Canterbury allowance over the turf at the beginning of the meet over the dirt and then a bit distanced in her next but a sloppy racetrack could have been the culprit.  The filly has been very consistent.

Vertical Lift (Rhone/Butler): Dean chose to ride Lifty in this race and I don’t really blame him.  She’s an older mare with more experience and she knows how to win (3 wins, all claiming which keeps her eligible).  She’s going to be tough.
Mia Bee A (Robertson/Bell): Broke her maiden first out last year, topping Bluegrass Lucy, the filly that Bobo ran neck and neck with down the lane last out.  (3rd place finisher?  De Novo)  Six furlongs in her 3-year old debut may not have been her cup of tea.  She should take to the turf and the distance should be more to her liking.  You can never count out the Robertson/Bell duo.

Banded (Scherer/Martin): Richie Scherer brings up from Chicago a filly who’s been close in four straight allowances at the Fairgrounds, Hawthorne and Arlington.  She was a solid 2nd in the Northbound Pride Oaks last year at Canterbury and her Beyer figs are clearly tops in this group.  She has been sprinting and the distance may be too much without6 one under her belt but Scherer is a good 13% off of layoffs.
Street Savvy (Diodoro/Franco): She closed very insistently at 7 ½ furlongs in her Canterbury debut but fell short and then just missed by a neck over a sloppy track to the talented Quinichette.  Obliterated De Novo by 14 in that race.  Could be the one to beat in here.

Getting Birdie (Biehler/Keith): Been doing everything right since turning 3: broke maiden and then finished third in this type of race, though going much shorter.  Only bad race has been at a route and has never been on the turf.

Yes.  You read that correctly.  Bobo is mired out in post 11 coming out of the chute for the about a mile and 70 yard affair.  Reason #1 for concern.  Nik Goodwin aboard concerns me a little, not because of his ability – Nik is having a great year – but because Dean chose Vertical Lift.  The two worked so well together in her maiden breaker and it’s a bit unnerving to have a new rider aboard after experiencing success.  That said, I have faith and confidence in Goodwin and know he’ll give her a shot to win – which is all you can ask.
The race shapes up interestingly since I can find no real speed in the field.  Bobo has stayed close but won from off the pace.  She’s Mighty Fast has shown early speed on the turf but another who did better while rating.  I just don’t see anyone shaking loose which could make this a cavalry charge at the end after horrifically slow fractions.  I’d like to think that we could get out to a lead and get over but out of the 11 spot down the chute…I just don’t see that happening.  If someone does decide to go, I hope that more than 1 do – that could help weaken things up front but certainly make it no less of a charging finish.

I really don’t know how she’ll do.  Street Savvy looks great as does the Irish lass, Seeking Luck.  Several are coming in having not seen a firm turf course in a while and that SHOULD be what we’ll get tomorrow, so you don’t know how much those ladies will improve.  So many unknowns and a filly who appears to do whatever you ask – but you HAVE to ask…she won’t do it on her own.
Win, lose or draw, though, I’ll have to even out after the race and meet the Canterbury Racing Club group in the paddock for the next race.  What a day…it’s absolutely why I do what I do!

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