Fast and firm for the nine race Friday card from New Orleans. The programs here continue to be decent and worth your wagering attention as the meet starts to wind down. With this post coming a little later than usual today, I have adjusted my analysis for the first round of scratches.
State bred fillies and mares that have never won three races compete with a $5,000 tag in the Friday opener. No one in this spot is in great current form, but perhaps there’s a little bit of upside with Brooklyn Baby (1) who is probably is more effective on the grass, but she’s probably going to have wait for Evangeline to open before getting a race at her level of competition to go on the lawn. Her race two back on this course, wasn’t awful at 30-1, and the horse who beat her, Lucky Linz, has come back to run a few nice races. Toss her last effort where things didn’t go her way, and she could fit in this spot. I like that Beschizza gets the call for Austin Gustafson, who hasn’t done a lot with nine starters at the meet, but is very successful, winning 24% of his races in 2020. Tuffology (6) will be the short priced favorite off the Broberg claim. A few years ago, this kind of horse would have been a slam dunk 3-5 free square, but that hasn’t exactly been the case for Broberg at this meeting. Her last four efforts have been solid, and this isn’t the strongest bunch she’s faced, so she still makes a lot of sense.
The first turf contest of the day is an optional $10K claimer/or $5K starter allowance. I think this a good rebound spot for Hotfoot (6), who had very good turf form sprinting this summer at Canterbury and continued running well in the fall at Hawthorne. He’s been popular at the claim box, which is no surprise, as he’s won 12 of his 49 career races, and finished on the board in 14 more. He looked like he needed his last race, and may not have loved the good footing. He could be overlooked in the wagering off his last effort, but I think he’s very live. Just Blaze (10) may be another one that could offer some value, as he almost pulled off the 26-1 shocker at this level last out. He’s another professional turf sprinter that always shows up in these races. I like the outside draw for him as well. Corruze (3) was second last out with $12,500 claimers while taking a fairly steep drop. He’s in for the $10K tag today and will likely be favored again based off his efforts this past summer. He’s clearly not the same horse, but he’s still probably good enough to be a factor here.
N3X fillies and mares running with a $5K claiming tag sprint in the third race. I think this a race where you’ll need a little bit of coverage. D’wild Baroness (5) has won three of four races at the meet and she had an obvious excuse in her lone loss. She, beat N2X claimers at this tag last out, but remains eligible for this condition as two of her last three wins have come against state bred foes. Delhomme is working the conditions well, and keeping this mare in good form. Get Directions (6) might be the best of the speed horses in here, and she might be able to get the jump on the others who like to be forwardly placed. She was competitive at this level last out. Bar Tap (7) was the one I was trying to beat off the claim here. I think she beat a weak field two back, and has had advantageous pace scenarios in her last two. I think this will be prove to be a tougher spot, but with the scratch of Orb’s Soul (1), she may be the one that is finishing the strongest here. I don’t love her, but I’ll cover with her here.
We’re back on the turf with horses running that have never won three races, starting for a $15,000-$10,000 tag. There’s a decent amount of early pace in here, so I’m looking to Curlington (1) as the more desirable half of the Steve Asmussen owned and trained entry, to run them all down. He only has two wins and two second place finishes in twelve career starts, but he finished twice two other times, but was DQ’ed and three of the times he finished second, the losses were by a nose and two necks. His only poor efforts were against superior fields, so I think he’ll be live today, moving up slightly to face N3L company. This looks like the right level for Tapage (4), despite his blue-blooded pedigree (Tapit out of G1 winner Hystericalady). He beat N2L horses handily at this tag three back, but came up short with better in his last two.
The conditions are the same as the last race, however, the distance and surface are different, as these claimers will go six furlongs on the dirt. Shippingport (1) has always struck me as a horse that has had some potential, and his original connections thought so too, running up against the likes of Art Collector and Kimari earlier on in his career. He was in pretty good form this summer and fall in Kentucky, running four of his best career races in a row. He was claimed after running a dud in November, and his last two at Turfway have been poor. He changes barns, drops, and returns to the dirt today against an average field for the condition. His five career races from November-February all came in Kentucky, and he was off the board, well beaten in all five. I’m wagering that between the new connections, returning to dirt, class relief, and finding warmer weather, he can revert back to his better form. Four of the last six races for Can Imagine (2) have been very solid, with reasonable excuses in the two duds. He faced significantly better sprinting on the turf last time and had problems at the break three back with better. He drops back to a level and surface where he should be comfortable. Discreet Tiger (6) is one of two likely vying for favoritism here. He had trouble last out at the start as well, but his previous two efforts here and at Hawthorne would likely be very competitive at this level. I’m against Declined (3) who is favored on the morning line, dropping and coming off a long layoff for Maker. He hasn’t shown much in his only two dirt starts, so I’m not willing to take the risk, especially at short odds.
Louisiana bred fillies and mares are entered here either with a $35K tag or under the allowance conditions of never winning 4 times or not winning twice in 6 months. None of the seven are in for the tag and half of the field is entered with the N4L condition and the other half under the N2X condition. Mr. Al’s Gal (1A) is definitely the better part of the Camejo entry, winning 15 times in her 39 race career. She’s run 4 times in the last 6 months, winning once at this condition, and finishing second two other times, including a race against open stakes company at Pimlico sprinting on the turf. She’s won three of five races at the distance on the turf, with a second place finish as well. She fits the condition very nicely and looks very tough to beat here. Fame Feather (6) is the other one that is very logical here, making her second start since May today. She was gaining on Mr. Al’s Gal last out at this level and came up just short off the layoff. There’s reason to think she’ll be more fit today, however she’s my B choice here because she hasn’t won in a while. She started her career winning 5 of her first 13 races and hitting the board in four tries in that span. Since then, she’s 0-6, hitting the board only twice. You have to go back to August on 2019 to find her last win. You could argue that she’s been facing much better horses and this level is probably better for her. If the price difference between these two widens, than Fame Feather will be more appealing to me.
We another Louisiana bred allowance race, this one also for fillies and mares, but under the N1X condition, going 1 Mile and 70 yards on the main track. Eileen Alexandra (2) is definitely the one to beat, as her last two races at Delta look like they would be very competitive with this group. She will likely be a short and price and very well could win, but I get nervous with short priced horses with good form at Delta, coming to the mile oval here. I’ll definitely use her, but I’m looking to a pair of recent maiden breakers to try to beat her. Speak To Me (4) may have a future on grass, being sired by Mr. Speaker, but she’s run well enough in three maiden special weight tries on dirt to be considered in this spot. She tries two turns for the first time today after facing some horses that went on to win in their next starts. I think she’ll be forwardly placed and will be better routing than she’s been sprinting. Explosively Hot (3) has made progress while switching to two turn racing. She broke her maiden last out in her best effort yet, and her other two turn dirt try before that was competitive as well. I think she has another forward move in her.
Today’s feature race is on the grass for older horses that are either in for the $40,000 tag or entered under allowance conditions. Spanish Kingdom (1) is very logical in this spot, getting some class relief, after participating in a few strong stakes that were restricted to three year olds in his last two starts. He’s never hit the board in his three career stakes tries, but he also hasn’t finished worse than three lengths behind the winner in those races either. He’s been much more successful in allowance company and this should be a good spot to kick off his four year old campaign. Blue Jays (3) is a little interesting to me in his turf debut. He looked really good, winning a fast off the turf heat here in the mud last out. There is turf influence on both sides of the pedigree, so stepping on the grass for the first time isn’t a huge concern, especially at higher odds. His lone start on synthetic was a win. He’ll have to be able to duplicate his last to be close here, but I think he’s a good price stab.
State bred fillies and mares looking to break their maiden while running for a $10K tag close the Friday card. This race is wide open, so I’m looking for coverage here. Slewalyze (7) gets the top pick after improving in her last three starts. I like the rider switch to Riquelme here as well. Heart That Binds (1) makes sense from the rail after finishing second at this level last time out, when she made her two turn debut. I would expect a forward move from her today, but I am a little weary that she’ll be overbet. Looking Hot (5) regressed in the slop last time, but was making some progress in her previous two tries over a route of ground. Kittenofthe Court (9) was a beaten favorite at this level last out, but still ran well enough to be considered. Fuhrcry (8) beat that one last time out and is usable as well, as this level seems to be where she fits best.