National Racing Rundown
Monday, February 12, 2018
by John Piassek
After the hubbub of the weekend, it’s a quiet Monday in the racing world, with only three thoroughbred tracks scheduled to go. Next Monday, of course, will be President’s Day, and that ought to be pretty exciting. In the meantime…
TRACKS RACING MONDAY
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE: 8 races, 73 horses, first post time 12:45 PM EST
PARX RACING: 9 races, 85 horses, first post time 12:55 PM EST
TURF PARADISE: 8 races, 64 horses, first post time 2:55 PM EST
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE (YOUNGSTOWN, OH): 32*F, Sunny
PARX RACING (BENSALEM, PA): 49*F, Sunny
TURF PARADISE (PHOENIX, AZ): 69*F, Mostly Cloudy
CARRYOVERS OF NOTE
TURF PARADISE: $16,443 carryover in pick 6, starts in race 3, post time 3:55 PM EST
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE: $14,251 carryover in buckeye pick 6, starts in race 3, post time 1:40 PM EST
SPOTLIGHT RACES OF THE DAY
PARX RACING RACE 7
POST TIME: 3:37 PM EST
This race features a field of ten starter allowance fillies and mares, going seven furlongs. The favorite will be on the far outside, and features a Maryland-based owner-trainer-jockey trio. That would be the 10, Candycoated Dame, who exits a n/w1x allowance, where she finished a good second. Two races ago, she dominated a starter optional claiming field by 2 1/4 lengths, earning a big brisnet figure of 91. Kevin Gomez has been aboard her for each of her last five races, and he’ll head up to Philly for the mount.
Among the local horses, the 9, Sally O’Prado, has the best chance. She cuts back from one mile and seventy yards and drops from the n/w1x allowance level. Last out, she battled through the stretch and ended up a game third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths. In her last try at seven furlongs, she crushed a n/w4L claiming group by almost six lengths. The 3, Mother Ginger, presents an intriguing longshot possibility. She also has a Maryland-based jockey, but one with Parx experience: Jorge Vargas, who recently shifted his tack southward, and has been dominating Laurel Park all meet long. She ran a big race at a mile last out, finishing second at 19/1 and earning a sharp 88, the best last-out figure in the field. Making her third start off the layoff and cutting back in distance, she must be respected.
TURF PARADISE RACE 3
POST TIME: 3:55 PM EST
This one is notable for two reasons: one, it begins the aforementioned pick 6 carryover, which is more than $16,000, and two, it is the only grass race anywhere in the country on Monday. It’s a $8,000 claiming race going a mile, and it drew a field of seven. The 1, Willing to Travel, is the morning line favorite at 2/1. He’s making his first start off the claim for trainer Jay Krujiac, who is 37% with that angle. Last out, he came from behind to win at the $6,250 level, earning a figure of 85. Since shipping to Turf Paradise from California, he hasn’t been worse than second in three races, and has gone off as the favorite in every one. I would not expect anything less here.
The 2, Docs Legacy, ships in from Golden Gate Fields, by way of Aqueduct. He won at Saratoga last summer, beating a $32,000 claiming field at 31/1. Since then, his form has not been nearly as good, and such a steep drop in price from his peak is never a good sign. When last seen on turf, he was a middling fifth against $25,000 horses at Aqueduct back in December. A big drop in class may do the trick for him. The 5, Kiss Sin Goodbye, has won his last two races over the Turf Paradise grass, with figures just a hair below those of Willing to Travel. He gets a jockey switch to Leslie Mawing, who is hitting at 18% on the season.
TURF PARADISE RACE 6
POST TIME: 5:23 PM EST
The feature from Phoenix is a n/w2x allowance optional claimer for 4-year-olds and up going 6 1/2 furlongs. The very slim morning line favorite in a very wide-open race is the 1, Blame the Trainer. He just graduated from the n/w1x allowance condition, in his first race since April 3 of last year. He also loves the Turf Paradise track, with five wins from eight starts over this surface. Look for him to sit mid-pack and then pounce on the turn.
The 6, Ziptime, runs for the powerhouse Justin Evans barn, which has been hitting at a 35% rate so far this meet. Last year, he won three races in a row in New Mexico, and last out won against $20,000 claiming horses, finishing ahead of two of his rivals here. One of those rivals was the 8, Blue Law, who missed a career-high figure by two points in that last race, and won for $16,000 two races ago.