With New York-bred Showcase Day on tap for Saturday we’ll bypass the Pick4 handicapping and instead give a brief preview of the card, which came up, as always, balanced and competitive on a great day that helps support New York-bred racing.
Race 1: LIVING FOR THIS just missed at this level in his last and a repeat of that run would be plenty good enough against this weak cast; moisture in the track may only aid his chances. BOCCE BALL returns from a brief freshening and has some solid prior form to make him a threat to the top choice; lone win came over the course and distance in June. THREE BRIDGE ROAD seems to be rounding into form and his last two hint that a big try may be in the works; may get enough early pace to aid his stretch rally.
Race 2: BACKCOUNTRY BOY hails from a classy dam who did good things for these connections earlier in the decade; might get back to a wet track, where he ran a big second in his debut. SAVE TIME FOR ME is coupled with the top choice and rates the main rival; expecting a big improvement off his solid debut. RAPIDE ONE ran big when second in an off-the-turf affair here October 1 and rates a threat if able to reproduce that run; demand fair value if it comes up wet.
Race 3: Turf runner PAUL’S ACE doesn’t have the main track form the main contenders do, but drew well and should benefit from some hotly contested splits up front; could very well be a different horse than the one who tried dirt to no avail last fall. BAWANA JAKE freaked in his maiden win here in the slop last month and will be a heavy favorite to beat winners right back; the most likely winner but he meets a ton of other speed and could get fried. HEAVENLY BLAZE cuts back and his prior 6-furlong runs say he’s the one to fear late; capable of entering the picture at a big number.
Race 4: If this one is rained off to the main, AL’S DEPUTY seems poised to continue up the ladder; well-bred sort hails from a top NYB family and should develop into a stakes performer in the future. Should the rains hold off, MINNIE PUNT has run three big races on the Widener and should enjoy a close up stalking trip from the cozy rail draw; needs only to avoid traffic to score. KARAKORUM LEGEND is logical for Linda Rice but won’t offer much value.
Race 5: Another that looks destined to be washed onto the main, so we’ll look towards BISHOP OF NOLA, who was a good-looking third in a muddy debut at Saratoga; thinking they entered in the hopes the rains hit. On turf, IN TE DOMINE seems to lay over the field based on his two lifetime starts; drawing the rail only adds to the appeal. SOLUTIONFINDERS is progressing nicely for Hushion and needs only minimal improvement to threaten.
Race 6: MINERALOGIST hasn’t exactly been a chalk player’s best friend, but she does look a cut above the competition in here; Grade I connections through and through for this homebred. EMBRACE CHANGE is still a maiden but is heading in the right direction, drew well, and the move to stakes company exudes confidence; threat from just off the pace. SUGAR TRADE would be no surprise but hasn’t had quite the stretch punch you’re looking for when the real running begins.
Race 7: Tough to get past IBBOYE, who enters perfect in three starts and the undisputed leader of the NYB 2yo division; drew extremely well for his first try at a mile and looks set to make it four in a row. MAKE NOTE looked good winning the Bongard here over a sloppy track and it’s entirely possible he gets the same scenario in here; gets bonus points as that win was also his first start versus winners. STRATEGIC MOVE undoubtedly gets the class test but was visually impressive winning his debut in a gallop over state-bred maiden-claimers; Martin hits at a lofty 23-percent with first-time acquisitions.
Race 8: With everyone basically the same horse on paper, let’s try and light up the board with MY DINAH, who should have plenty of bottom after contesting longer routes in her last dozen starts; should be able to sit a nice stalking trip right off the speed. SILVERCUP BABY is another who should benefit from the lively splits expected; 7 furlongs should be right up her alley. RIGHTLY SO will go favored but was all out to get the job done versus lesser off a long layoff and seems a prime candidate for regression.
Race 9: Not crazy about giving out a 7-5 favorite in an 11-horse field but DRIVEN BY SUCCESS simply looks much the best in his return to state-bred competition; projects as the lone speed and looms tough to catch. LEGAL CONSENT has had a useful and versatile year, a trend that should continue here. LAW ENFORCEMENT needs a pace meltdown to get up, a scenario that has happened before; know him late, if at all.
Race 10: SLEVIN got a confidence boost in his last and has been knocking on the door in this type of spot for the last six months; should be rolling late and 9 furlongs is ideal. FUTURE PROSPECT will take them as far as he can on the engine, but at 9 furlongs and with some other speed signed on, you’re allowed to look elsewhere and pass on the short price. WEATHERED tries the boys and is hardly out of her element; hard to fault a horse that has 10 wins from 20 career outs.
Teresa will be back on Saturday morning with a look at Showcase Day, a favorite NY racing day, and yet another premier day that looks to be spoiled by the weather. Just what did the racing gods do to irritate the weather gods this year?