Turfway Park Spot Plays for 03-23-23 By Jackson Muniz

Race 4: #8 Jackie’s Love (8-1) to win/place

Will mostly be playing the pick 4 but might take a small stab at the pick 5 singling #8 Jackie’s Love (8-1) in the opening leg. When I watched the replay of her last race against straight maidens, it looked like a prep to me. She wasn’t asked for any speed, was parked 4 wide on both turns despite her trailing the field and it being a relatively small field, and basically galloped around the racetrack. She now drops in for a tag and she’s been pretty competitive when racing against maiden claimers, hitting the board in both attempts. The group she faces today leaves plenty to be desired and a quick blowout last week should have her ready to go at a decent price. 

Late Pick 4 (races 5-8)

Race 5: 5,11

A bit chalky but I only need two runners in this spot. #5 Justa Simple Girl (3-1) is in career form having won four of her last five and three in a row right here at Turfway. She already beat several of today’s rivals at this level last time out and she very much looks like the controlling speed. 

I also need #11 Talk Radio (7/2) on the cutback. All meet long we’ve seen the cutback be super effective at Turfway, especially at 6.5 furlongs, and her last race was a textbook example of needing a cutback. She sat midpack early, made a big move into contention to the eighth pole and flattened out late. 6.5 furlongs should be perfect for her, and her trainer is a ridiculous 12 for 25 on the route/sprint angle with a $5.10 ROI. 

Race 6: 8,9,10

Really competitive race. Three contenders exit a 02/25 race where Blessing the Flag clearly ran best, but she’s an 0 for 16 nibbler. Aunt Nelda is an interesting stretch out-candidate, but she didn’t show me enough in a race that hasn’t been very productive since. Backups only.

My top pick, begrudgingly, will be the #8 Autism Community (5-1). At this point in the year, I hardly ever take three year olds facing older as they simply aren’t as fast yet. The counterargument to that is that three year olds have more upside, which is true, but in my experience they don’t get bet like they have more upside. They get bet like they’ve already made the jump in figures to be competitive with older runners. So why would I take a shorter price on a horse that may or may not be fast enough to win, when I can take a bigger price on a horse that might be a nibbler but is definitely fast enough on figures? 

Autism Community will be the exception because as a two year old she ran just as fast as most of these have run in their entire lives. So if she just runs back to those performances, she’s fast enough to be competitive. And if she improves even just a little bit she should run away with this one, particularly with the addition of lasix. She will also be a strong win play at 5-1, if you can get it, but I have a feeling she’ll take a lot of money (especially since Jonathan Wong has gotten hammered all meet). 

#9 Mindful (12-1) is interesting on debut for Cherie DeVaux. The trainer stats on debut are below average, but at least the work tab looks okay. They also paid $250k for her, so she must’ve been able to run a little bit. Obviously a lot has gone wrong since then, but the fact that they’re still willing to give her a shot as a racehorse makes me think she still has some ability. Similar case for the #10 Jungle Cat (4-1). She didn’t make a start for over two years (!), but it’s encouraging that they bothered to bring her back to the races and aren’t risking her for a tag. Her numbers from when she was younger make her competitive. 

Race 7: 8

I respect the comebacker Nobals but ultimately #8 Night Time (2-1) is in career-best form and will be a single. He barely missed in a couple of stakes and returns to the level of his last victory. Outside draw so he should be able to avoid trouble and he’s versatile enough to adapt to any pace scenario. Quick turnaround for Romans indicates he’s feeling pretty good and will be extremely tough to beat. 

Race 8: 6,10 w 7,8 as backups

Can’t believe I’m ignoring my own advice twice in a single day, but my top pick will be another three year old #10 Dang It Cain (8-1). I think there is more here with this guy. His last race is much better than it looks on paper. I think it was mostly a circumstance of the post position, but he was just impossibly wide on both turns, especially the final turn. He tried to advance nearing the quarter pole and got within a couple lengths of the leaders before calling it quits in the stretch. He now has the cutback angle that’s been so successful at this meet and not only is he carrying over 10 pounds less than his main rivals, but the hottest jockey in the colony picks up the mount. His Beyer figures are light, but his Timeform US figures make him competitive with just a little improvement. Again, if he gets hammered I wouldn’t bet him to win, but I don’t have a problem using him strongly in horizontals. 

Obvious contender #6 Roan for the Rose (5/2) has run really well in three straight starts, just barely missing the W each time. He’s definitely the horse to beat in here from just off the pace and is a must-use. 

Same case for both #7 Hillbillie Logic (6-1) and #8 Bodieful (10-1). Both exit races where they ran super on the lead, disposing of pace rivals before getting caught late. Both cut back half a furlong today and could be dangerous, the problem is they will probably get in each other’s way early and that’ll soften them up late. I still want to use both as backups in case one gets loose unexpectedly. 

$5 Pick 4                                                $0.50 Pick 4

5: 5,11                                                       5: 5,11

6: 8,9,10                                                   6: 2,3,8,9,10,11

7: 8                                                            7: 8

8: 6,10                                                      8: 6,7,8,10

$60                                                           $24

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