National Racing Rundown
Thursday, February 1, 2018
by John Piassek
February kicks off with 9 tracks going, including the start of new race weeks at six of them. Let’s see what it’s store:
TRACKS RACING THURSDAY:
GULFSTREAM PARK: 11 races, 91 horses, first post time 12:25 PM EST
AQUEDUCT: 8 races, 57 horses, first post time 12:50 PM EST
FAIR GROUNDS: 10 races, 89 horses, first post time 2:00 PM EST
OAKLAWN PARK: 9 races, 95 horses, first post time 2:30 PM EST
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS: 7 races, 47 horses, first post time 3:45 PM EST
SANTA ANITA PARK: 8 races, 71 horses, first post time 4:00 PM EST
PENN NATIONAL: 8 races, 69 horses, first post time 6:00 PM EST
TURFWAY PARK: 8 races, 71 horses, first post time 6:15 PM EST
DELTA DOWNS: 10 races, 107 horses, first post time 6:40 PM EST
CHARLES TOWN: 8 races, 71 horses, first post time 7:00 PM EST
GULFSTREAM PARK (HALLANDALE BEACH, FL): 74*F, Partly Cloudy
AQUEDUCT (QUEENS, NY): 44*F, Cloudy
FAIR GROUNDS (NEW ORLEANS, LA): 70*F, Cloudy
OAKLAWN PARK (HOT SPRINGS, AR): 54*F, Cloudy
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (ALBANY, CA): 67*F, Partly Cloudy
SANTA ANITA PARK (ARCADIA, CA): 80*F, Partly Cloudy
PENN NATIONAL (GRANTVILLE, PA): 39*F, Showery
TURFWAY PARK (FLORENCE, KY): 34*F, Cloudy
DELTA DOWNS (VINTON, LA): 66*F, Showery
CHARLES TOWN (CHARLES TOWN, WV): 44*F, Showery
CARRYOVERS OF NOTE:
SANTA ANITA PARK: $93,342 carryover in pick 6 jackpot, starts in race 3, post time 5:00 PM EST
GULFSTREAM PARK: $16,591 carryover in rainbow pick 6, starts in race 6, post time 3:05 PM EST
FAIR GROUNDS: $4,744 carryover in black gold 5, starts in race 6, post time 4:35 PM EST
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS: $3,766 carryover in golden pick 6, starts in race 2, post time 4:15 PM EST
SPOTLIGHT RACES OF THE DAY:
GULFSTREAM PARK RACE 9
POST TIME: 4:37 PM EST
Filly and mare $16,000 claimers will go five furlongs on the grass in Gulfstream’s feature race of the day. The slight morning line favorite is the 4, Cordele, at 3/1. All three of her wins have come at this distance, and ran a career-high speed figure after a rocky third-place finish last out. She’ll be making her second start off the layoff in this spot. The 3, Awesomendensome, figures to be the primary early speed in the group, having been in the top two in the first call in five of her last six races. She won at this level last out, stalking the leader and pouncing three-wide to draw off and win. She’ll get a challenge on the lead from the 6, Meant Tobe Mine, who won against restricted claimers in her most recent affair. She’s won three of her last four races, all of them against easier competition than today.
OAKLAWN PARK RACE 7
POST TIME: 5:14 PM EST
On the surface, this race looks like a non-descript maiden special weight affair for three-year-old fillies going one mile. However, there is a very noteworthy horse in the race: the 2, Song of Mine. She’s the half-sister of champion filly Songbird, and she’ll be making her career debut in this spot. Her workouts coming into this race have been sharp; most recently, she went four furlongs in an impressive 48 seconds.
If Song of Mine wants to win at first asking, she’ll have to deal with some stiff competition, primarily from the heavy morning line favorite, the 5, Eskimo Kisses. She was a solid-closing second in her first start of the meet last time out, earning a career-high brisnet figure of 84. She had to deal with heavy favorite Mia d’Oro in that race; there’s no one of that caliber in here. As such, as long as she can run similarly to last time, this should be an easy victory.
SANTA ANITA PARK RACE 7
POST TIME: 7:10 PM EST
The feature in Southern California is a n/w1x allowance optional claiming race going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. The morning line indicates that this will be a wide-open betting race; the favorite is 7/2, and three more horses are 4/1. We’ll take a look at all of them here:
The 5, Pantsonfire, is the slim favorite. She was a non-factor in the American Oaks last out, finishing sixth. Two races ago, she competed at this level at Del Mar, and was a promising second, closing from ten lengths out of it to miss by a nose. The strong company that she kept in that last race ensures that she’l be overbet, but she nevertheless must be respected as a contender.
The 2, Bombilate, has lost at this level five times in a row since coming to Southern California from England. She’s shown better form in her last three, losing by less than a length in all of those races, going off at no higher than 4/1 every time. She’ll get a jockey change from Gary Stevens to Kent Desormeaux. Based on her last few races, in which she has stalked the pace and pounced in the stretch, only to hang, she seems like the type to put in your exacta or trifecta plays, but betting her to win may be a dicey proposition.
The 4, Scandal, has a similar profile, with nine seconds and three thirds from sixteen lifetime starts. She broke her maiden against winners in her last race, scoring at 3/1 odds while going gate-to-wire. Mike Smith retains the mount, and should put this mare on the lead once again. The 7, The Tulip, made her first start in the United States last out, after previously being based in Ireland. She closed from last to finish fourth, beaten less than two lengths. Smith jumps off this mare, so Drayden Van Dyke will pick up the mount.