Edison Hatter — Twitter: @Edison_1999_
Most Likely Winner:
Race 1: (6) NELLIE MAC is the closer with the best speed figures, which is the kind of runner you want to be on here as (3) VINTAGE GIN and (4) FRENCH NOUGET did battle on the front end in their last race and weakened late to finish third and fourth. They are likely to do similar here, but still look to be strong enough in this field to finish second and third, with a slight advantage given to FRENCH NOUGET who likely gets the better trip flanking the leader on the outside.
Race 2: (2) CAYENNE CREEK simply towers over this field on paper and should get the job done with ease if he runs back to any of his three most recent efforts. (4) ELLIE’S LIL MAN had a strong effort last time out and he’s been putting in okay efforts lately when you consider all the ground loss he’s experienced by being wide in many of his recent races- hopefully he can get a cleaner trip here. (7) WILLIAM AND MARY rounds out formful selections here as he comes back from a bit of a layoff for a trainer hitting at 26% in such spots.
Race 3: (5) ZEHAVI could be worth a little bit of a gamble at a price; he’s shown little in his last two starts, both of which led to a layoff for him, but if he returns to his past form, he could be the early controlling speed here and steal this one on the front end. (1) MELDON has been close in recent efforts at the level and gets the services of top jockey Arnaldo Bocachica again tonight- the only potential knock is that he will have to be sent a little from the rail out of the gate to avoid getting shuffled back. (2) GRECIAN ADMIRAL returns to state-bred company and should be given an excuse for that effort last time out against open company where he misbehaved throughout the entire process.
Race 4: (4) LIKE ME OR NOT finds a softer bunch tonight that what she’s been seeing recently; as usual, she should set up shop on the front end and will look to go all the way from there. (6) MACKENZIE’S STAR moves back to state-bred company and finds a pretty soft here; nonetheless, she has had some tough trips lately coming from off the pace and could be in trouble again here. Certainly a contender, but tough to use at a short price. (3) LIL SWEETHEART has been very competitive at this level recently, but the turn back to 6.5 furlongs is a negative here as it appears she wants to go longer.
Race 5: (6) JUST KIDDING just won over this trip in his Charles Town debut a few weeks ago and will look for a repeat effort here for new connections. (3) SOUTHSIDE WARRIOR is the other obvious choice with his superior speed figures from Pimlico in recent efforts; he’s had some experienced at Charles Town in the past and has hit the board in both tries. (5) FLY E DUBAI was a winner at this distance a few starts ago, but most recently faded badly over this trip, but was extremely wide for the journey. He could be worth another try tonight in exactas to try to break up the two favorites.
Race 6: (7) ROSAS WAY should appreciate the turnback in distance tonight and should be well within range late if good enough. (3) ASTRO RIDER has sporadic wins, but does consistently run a solid race and hits the board a lot; he should get a nice trip settled off of the pace and will hopefully come with the late kick that he lacked last time out. (4) CREEKMORE is best of the rest on form ratings and he could very well find himself on the front end in this race with little early speed.
Race 7: (2) SHOWTIME CAT turns around on two weeks rest and will look to repeat his last effort, where he won in gate-to-wire fashion. He could face some other early pace pressure here though. (3) RIVER CROSROAD RVF is in with a chance, but he will need to work out a trip. This is the famous bolting Charles Town horse and it appears the plan recently for him has been to make sure he isn’t on the lead, where he appears to bolt from the most. He has plenty of early speed here, but may have to let one or two go early to find a spot just off of them. Very talented horse, but definitely has his quirks! (5) NICO is one of the horses that could end up on the lead and he would be a serious contender if he ran back to his last race, but he returns off of a year and a half layoff for a trainer only hitting at 8% in such spots.
Race 8: (3) BABY MELISSA and (5) RACHEL’S WISH are the two obvious top choices here; both start for new connections tonight and both start for trainers hitting at over 20% in such spots. Slight edge here to BABY MELISSA who has experience over the Charles Town track and had minor trip issues last time out in a neck loss as the 2-5 favorite. (1) GRANDMA SCHNUR has some upside as a potential long shot to include in exotics. She is very capable of improving tonight in her second career start and she gets Lasix for the first time.
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