National Racing Rundown
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
by John Piassek
The racing week continues with the usual eight-pack of racing action on this Wednesday, including the return of racing to Florida and Louisiana. To give you an idea of how much things pick up on Wednesdays, more tracks will run today than on Monday and Tuesday combined.
TRACKS RACING WEDNESDAY:
GULFSTREAM PARK: 10 races, 94 horses, first post time 12:35 PM EST
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE: 8 races, 77 horses, first post time 12:45 PM EST
TAMPA BAY DOWNS: 8 races, 60 horses, first post time 12:50 PM EST
SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK: 9 races, 78 horses, first post time 1:20 PM EST
TURF PARADISE: 8 races, 71 horses, first post time 2:40 PM EST
PENN NATIONAL: 8 races, 62 horses, first post time 6:00 PM EST
DELTA DOWNS: 10 races, 94 horses, first post time 6:40 PM EST
CHARLES TOWN: 8 races, 69 horses first post time 7:00 PM EST
GULFSTREAM PARK (HALLANDALE BEACH, FL): 78*F, Partly Cloudy
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE (YOUNGSTOWN, OH): 27*F, Cloudy (snow in morning)
TAMPA BAY DOWNS (OLDSMAR, FL): 77*F, Partly Cloudy
SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK (HOUSTON, TX): 51*F, Thunderstorms
TURF PARADISE (PHOENIX, AZ): 78*F, Sunny
PENN NATIONAL (GRANTVILLE, PA): 34*F, Cloudy (snow/freezing rain in day)
DELTA DOWNS (VINTON, LA): 48*F, Showery
CHARLES TOWN (CHARLES TOWN, WV): 38*F, Cloudy
CARRYOVERS OF NOTE:
GULFSTREAM PARK: $222,967 carryover in rainbow pick 6, starts in race 5, post time 2:35 PM EST
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE: $9,987 carryover in Buckeye pick 6, starts in race 3, post time 1:40 PM EST
TURF PARADISE: $4,687 carryover in pick 6, starts in race 3, post time 3:36 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:
MAHONING VALLEY RACE 5
POST TIME: 2:36 PM EST
The late pick 4 at Mahoning Valley kicks off with a n/w3L allowance race going six furlongs, featuring a field of nine betting interests. There’s a lot of inconsistency in the field, but a few of them have displayed steady ability. The 2, Elkhorn Poet, is coming into the race in good form, having won his last two races, both times going gate-to-wire, both times showing early speed. His last two races have also been lifetime tops, having run a brisnet figure of 77 two races ago and an 83 last out. With the inside post position, he’ll be in a great spot to go straight to the front and keep going.
The Charlie Williams coupled entry of the 1, Little Tricks, and the 1A, More than Good, both have strong cases for winning. The former cuts back in distance from one mile and seventy yards, in a race where he battled gamely, but ended up second, losing by less than a length. His entrymate has lost at this level many times in a row, having hit the board in his last two spots. Both times, he led in the stretch, only to fade. He’ll also cut back around one turn.
TAMPA BAY DOWNS RACE 7
POST TIME: 3:50 PM EST
This race features eight three-year-old fillies going one mile on the turf. The morning line favorite, at 5/2, is the 4, Jehozacat. She’ll run under the Lael Stables colors, and is trained by Arnaud Delacour. This race will mark her debut on the lawn, after four races on dirt. Most recently, she was sixth in the Smart Halo Stakes, behind recent Forward Gal Stakes winner Take Charge Paula. Delacour hits at 32% with first-time turfers, and this filly will hope to continue that trend.
Among horses with experience on grass, the 2, Passion Plus, has the best form. She’s undefeated on turf, having won her debut at Indiana Grand back in September, followed by a win at this level back in December. Her style calls for rating off the pace, then pouncing on the turn and kicking away. Manoel Cruz will ride her on turf for the first time. The 1, Lenamarie, will also get some play. She ships in from Gulfstream, having finished fifth at this condition at that track last out. Most recently, she turned in a bullet four-furlong workout at Palm Meadows on January 31. She hopes to recapture the good form she showed when breaking her maiden on turf at Keeneland back in October.
GULFSTREAM PARK RACE 9
POST TIME: 4:37 PM EST
The feature from south Florida is a n/w1x allowance race for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the grass. The likely favorite, interestingly, is a horse who has never won before. The 4, Quality Time, has raced nine times, five times in the United States, without notching a victory. Even more interestingly, she’s never raced against maidens, trying this level again and again. Three times in a row, she’s gone off as the favorite. Her brisnet figures are consistently in the mid-80s, making her look like the best option in the field. Taking low odds on a horse who keeps disappointing at this level, however, may not be a wise proposition.
The 2, Sound Defence, has the best numbers among those with a win. She’s won three times over the Gulfstream turf, showing speed every time out. Last out, she led almost the entire way around, only to get run down and finish fourth. With a post close to the inside, she should fire right to the lead and go as far as her speed can take her. The 8, April Rose, has the best last-out figure in the field, with an 87. She outfinished both Quality Time and Sound Defence last out, finishing second at this condition. Making her fourth start since last January, she should be in peak condition for this one.