National Racing Rundown
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
by John Piassek
For the first time in forever, there will not be a rainbow pick 6 carryover at Gulfstream Park, thanks to the mandatory payout that emptied the entire pool on Sunday. As such, that wager will start fresh for Wednesday’s racing. Gulfstream’s just one of eight tracks to offer wagering on this hump day, let’s go through them all:
TRACKS RACING WEDNESDAY:
TAMPA BAY DOWNS: 10 races, 108 horses, first post time 12:25 PM EST
GULFSTREAM PARK: 10 races, 94 horses, first post time 12:35 PM EST
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE: 8 races, 81 horses, first post time 12:45 PM EST
SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK: 9 races, 78 horses, first post time 1:20 PM EST
TURF PARADISE: 8 races, 68 horses, first post time 2:40 PM EST
PENN NATIONAL: 8 races, 60 horses, first post time 6:00 PM EST
DELTA DOWNS: 10 races, 106 horses, first post time 6:40 PM EST
CHARLES TOWN: 8 races, 72 horses, first post time 7:00 PM EST
TAMPA BAY DOWNS (OLDSMAR, FL): 67*F, Sunny
Note that Tampa Bay has already announced they will be off the turf for Wednesday’s card
GULFSTREAM PARK (HALLANDALE BEACH, FL): 69*F, Partly Cloudy
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE (YOUNGSTOWN, OH): 42*F, Partly Cloudy
SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK (HOUSTON, TX): 68*F, Partly Cloudy
TURF PARADISE (PHOENIX, AZ): 79*F, Sunny
PENN NATIONAL (GRANTVILLE, PA): 30*F, Partly Cloudy
DELTA DOWNS (VINTON, LA): 59*F, Partly Cloudy
CHARLES TOWN (CHARLES TOWN, WV): 38*F, Partly Cloudy
CARRYOVERS OF NOTE:
MAHONING VALLEY RACE COURSE: $2,927 carryover in Buckeye pick 6 (starts in race 3, post time 1:40 PM EST)
SPOTLIGHT RACES OF THE DAY:
TAMPA BAY DOWNS RACE 3
POST TIME: 1:23 PM EST
This race features a short but stout field of six n/w1x allowance horses, all fillies and mares, going one mile and forty yards on the main track. The favorite is the 2, Special Event, a lightly raced filly for the Shug McGaughey barn, making her fourth lifetime start. She’s coming off a maiden score at Tampa Bay on December 23, a race where she was hung wide throughout, yet still drew off to win by three lengths. This will be her first time going two turns, and will be an interesting test for her as such.
The 6, Glittering Jewel, also figures to get some action. This Godolphin-owned filly made her dirt debut last time out, at this same track, at this level, and at this distance. That came after a string of races in Europe, and a third-place finish at this condition on grass in her American debut. The result was a second-place finish as the 7/5 second favorite, after racing wide throughout. I would be surprised if she went off at those low odds again, given the presence of the aforementioned Special Event.
GULFSTREAM PARK RACE 9
POST TIME: 4:37 PM EST
The feature from south Florida is a field of nine n/w2x allowance fillies and mares at 7 1/2 furlongs on the lawn. The 1, Vendita, has the best last-out brisnet figure in the field, a 94, earned when finishing fifth in the Claiming Crown Tiara Stakes. Last year, she racked up four consecutive wins over the Gulfstream turf, showing early speed in all of them. She has been lacking a pace presence in most of her last few races, and will have to show early speed to have a great chance here.
The 3, My Sistersledge, is a stakes winner, having won the Maryland Million Lassie Stakes two races ago. She finished a dull seventh in the Tropical Park Oaks last time out, and hopes to rebound while facing slightly easier. The 7, Bernadiva, was fifth in that same race, after setting the early pace. She gets a jockey switch from Paco Lopez to Javier Castellano for this one. Other headliners include the 5, Noble Ready, who cleared her n/w1x allowance condition back in early November, and has been stakes-placed three times in her career, and the 6, Dawn the Destroyer, who was third in the grade 2 Prioress Stakes back in August, and will run on grass for the first time in this spot.
SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK RACE 8
POST TIME: 4:57 PM EST
A field of eight horses will run under general allowance conditions at one mile on the Texas turf. The favorite at 9/5 is the 4, Lawless West, who won twice in a row on the grass in Texas last year. He wrapped up his grass racing for 2017 with a fourth-place finish in the Unbridled Stakes and a fifth-place effort in the Remington Green Stakes.
Other horses of note include the 7, King Ptolemy, who makes his first start off a ten-day layoff. He finished up the track against tougher at Oaklawn Park, but hit the board in three races in a row on turf at Lone Star Park last year. The 8, Runningfromthefeds, is also one to consider. He’ll stretch out from 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt, and makes his second-ever turf start. In his first one, he finished fourth in the Toronto Cup back in July 2016.