FIRST RACE: Time to get back on track. The ECHR’s been fantastic at Gulfstream, and we’ll certainly be looking for similar as the WCHR resumes here from The Great Race Place. Okay, things begin with a 25,000 claimer at 1 ⅛ miles on the TURF. So first things first. How do we look at the turf course early on at the Meet? We always prefer to look from just off the pace, why? In the beginning of any Meet, the turf is usually fresh, not matted down, not as hard. A course with more ‘give’ is known in race terminology as having “bounce,” which directly affects front runners more than those from off the pace. When the course isn’t as hard, the conveyor belt effect isn’t as prevalent, forcing front runners to earn the win, and IF that front runner gets eyeballed by another, they’re not only dealing with a quick heart rate, but also the fair racetrack. IN A NUTSHELL - EARLY AT THE MEET FROM OFF THE PACE, WHILE LATER IN THE MEET, THE COURSE BECOMES HARDER, AND FRONT RUNNERS HOLD AN ADVANTAGE. This opener though isn’t a good group, and as we remind members almost daily - races and horses should be backed based on positive attributes and not as a result of who’s the best of the worst. For those proceeding, top selection would be COMES THE DREAM (#7). First off, it’s December, so we’re looking for runners who are either fresh, or, handled well in previous months, and that’s the case with this one, with starts early in the year, a brief freshening prior to the summer, followed by nearly two months off in the Fall, now stringing three races, that’s called responsible placement. Class wise, this group RIGHT NOW is closer to 16,000 to 20,000 bunch, so yes, he fits well, over this longer distance which should aid his plodding style. We like the two slow works, telling us they’ve needed little while awaiting this next outing, and Quinonez is a good fit, with his strength being from off the pace. TAELYNS PRINCE (#4) is just fine from his placement this year, missing the summer months but returning now with his fourth straight effort, telling us good health has returned, opening the door to a good effort, facing a bad group while going ultra long. It’s likely he’ll be progressing into a sea of stagnating runners the final ⅛.
Hot / Cold Race Trends: none
Win Contenders (order of preference): 7-4
X Out Runners (eliminating on the win end): none
1 Fritz Johansen - Hard to find him on the lead or even from off the pace, no significant style to offer here.
5 Twentytwentyvision - Despite Rosario taking over, we’ll look to beat, as Van Dyke couldn’t find any run from him last time out, and nobody really moves a horse up when Drayden leaves, that’s a fact. Earlier this year, we tracked 74 runners where Drayden rode and left, and only 1 returned to win.
8 Crown the Kitten - Gus Headley rarely seems in touch with regards to where and how to place his runners.
TOP PICK: COMES THE DREAM (#7 6-1 Quinonez)
SECOND CHOICE: TAELYNS PRINCE (#4 8-1 Pereira)