National Racing Rundown
Thursday, Februayr 8, 2018
by John Piassek
A host of exciting races for Saturday were drawn on Wednesday, including this weekend’s major Derby prep, the Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, and the grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf. In the meantime, however, there’s plenty of tracks on the docket for Thursday, including a stakes race at Aqueduct and the hopeful return of action at Charles Town and Penn National after Wednesday cancellations.
TRACKS RACING THURSDAY:
GULFSTREAM PARK: 10 races, 93 horses, first post time 12:35 PM EST
AQUEDUCT: 8 races, 50 horses, first post time 12:50 PM EST
FAIR GROUNDS: 9 races, 90 horses, first post time 2:00 PM EST
OAKLAWN PARK: 9 races, 83 horses, first post time 2:30 PM EST
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS: 7 races, 46 horses, first post time 3:45 PM EST
SANTA ANITA PARK: 8 races, 81 horses, first post time 4:00 PM EST
PENN NATIONAL: 8 races, 63 horses, first post time 6:00 PM EST
TURFWAY PARK: 8 races, 69 horses, first post time 6:15 PM EST
DELTA DOWNS: 10 races, 96 horses, first post time 6:40 PM EST
CHARLES TOWN: 8 races, 68 horses, first post time 7:00 PM EST
GULFSTREAM PARK (HALLANDALE BEACH, FL): 79*F, Partly Cloudy
AQUEDUCT (OZONE PARK, NY): 32*F, Sunny
FAIR GROUNDS (NEW ORLEANS, LA): 62*F, Partly Cloudy (overnight rain possible)
OAKLAWN PARK (HOT SPRINGS, AR): 54*F, Sunny
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS (ALBANY, CA): 72*F, Sunny
SANTA ANITA PARK (ARCADIA, CA): 84*F, Sunny
PENN NATIONAL (GRANTVILLE, PA): 25*F, Partly Cloudy
TURFWAY PARK (FLORENCE, KY): 29*F, Clear
DELTA DOWNS (VINTON, LA): 55*F, Partly Cloudy
CHARLES TOWN (CHARLES TOWN, WV): 28*F, Clear
CARRYOVERS OF NOTE:
GULFSTREAM PARK: $276,164 carryover in rainbow pick 6, starts in race 5, post time 2:35 PM EST
FAIR GROUNDS: $12,992 carryover in Black Gold 5, starts in race 5, post time 4:05 PM EST
GOLDEN GATE FIELDS: $11,221 carryover in Golden Pick 6, starts in race 2, post time 4:15 PM EST
PENN NATIONAL: $3,868 carryover in Penn Pick 6, starts in race 3, post time 6:54 PM EST
SPOTLIGHT RACES OF THE DAY:
AQUEDUCT RACE 7
POST TIME: 3:58 PM EST
As alluded to earlier, this is the only stakes race of the day: the Biogio’s Rose Stakes. It attracted a field of six New York-bred fillies and mares going a mile. All eyes will be on two horses: the 1, Frost Wise, and the 3, Holiday Disguise. The former is already a stakes winner in 2018, having won the Bay Ridge Stakes last out against similar by a slender nose. Two races ago, she crushed a field of NY-bred allowance horses by sixteen lengths. Look for her to do her running on the front end.
Holiday Disguise, on the other hand, will make her first start since a victory in the Bouwerie Stakes back on May 29. Prior to that win, she had won a n/w1x allowance plus a maiden race in succession, closing from the back and winning by open lengths every time. Even with the layoff, she looks like a tough one to beat, and will hopefully use this race as a stepping stone to a big 2018 campaign. She’ll try to run down the front-running Frost Wise to claim victory here.
If there is an upset in this race, it will most likely come from the 6, Literata. She won the Saratoga Dew Stakes against state-breds back on August 14, but has been held without a victory since. In her last three races, she has been defeated by a combined 43 lengths (although she did manage a second-place finish last out). She will have to recapture her summertime form to have a hope to upsetting the big two.
OAKLAWN PARK RACE 8
POST TIME: 5:42 PM EST
The feature race from Hot Springs, Arkansas features a field of eight older males racing under allowance conditions at six furlongs. On paper, the race looks very wide-open; five of the seven betting interests are between 5/2 and 9/2 on the morning line. The very slight favorite is the 2, Warrior’s Club, who finished second in the Bet on Sunshine Stakes two races ago. He wasn’t great in his first race back, finishing a flat third against similar horses last time out. Making his second start since November, he drew the inside post and retains the riding of Gary Stevens.
The 5, Blue Wings, ships in from Fair Grounds and is projected to be the early leader. He’s been stakes-placed twice in his last three races, coming in third in the Thanksgiving Handicap and the Duncan Kenner Stakes. David Cabrera, who has been having a fantastic season, picks up the mount. The 1, Operation Stevie, is the only horse in the race to have won last out, coming off a dead-heat win at 1 1/16 miles. Last year, he was stakes-placed twice against Indiana-bred stakes company.
SANTA ANITA PARK RACE 7
POST TIME: 7:10 PM EST
This race is a n/w1x allowance race for 3-year-olds going one mile on the turf. The favorite will almost certainly be the 8, River Boyne. He broke his maiden impressively last out, winning by five lengths going away, earning a brisnet figure of 89. He’ll make his three-year-old debut here, having broken his maiden back on opening day, December 26.
The 9, Buckstopper Kid, makes his American debut, after four races in England. This will mark his first start since October 14. The 3, Move Over, made his first start in the United States, after nine races in England as a two-year-old. He broke slowly and ended up a sharp-closing second, earning a figure of 83. Mike Smith keeps the mount, and should be well bet off a 3/1.