Race 3: #4 Onandonandon (6-1)
This isn’t the strongest race and I’d be shocked if you get the 6-1 offered on the morning line for #4 Onandonandon. But she looks like the speed of the speed and has an excellent chance to steal this one. Her race two back gave her a huge look when she pressed the pace and got up in the final strides, earning a relatively big figure. She faced winners for the first time just two weeks ago and wasn’t disgraced. She drew an inside post in a huge field and could never gain good positioning from that inside slot. She showed speed, but was visibly uncomfortable down the backside and lost all chance when she had to steady in the turn. She could have easily packed it in, but I love that she was able to regroup and finished through the wire. It was a decent fifth place considering the trip and field size, and the stretch-out should only help her chances. I think she’s the most likely winner of this race and offers value at anything over 5/2.
Race 6: #1 Now Is a Breeze (6-1)
#7 Michele M (2-1) will likely be the favorite based on her victory last time when she earned a big figure against restricted claimers. She now leaves the Clement barn and is protected by her new connections that have struggled to find the winner’s circle this year. The figure she earned was a big outlier based on her past performances and she’s stepping up in class so I have enough doubt that I want to try and beat her. This race seems like it’ll be run at a slower clip up front and the two horses most likely to get the lead are #1 Now Is a Breeze (6-1) and #5 English Swirl (3-1). English Swirl will be a shorter price, but she had no excuses last time pressing a slow pace and her form on the turf is vastly superior to her synthetic races.
I’ll take #1 Now Is a Breeze for a minor upset. She has enough speed to flee the rail and is capable of sitting just off a rival if someone else is hellbent on making the front end. Last time out she contested a hot pace going two turns and did well enough to split the field after tiring late. That’s been the theme of her form lately, with all of those races coming around two turns. She finally gets back to a one turn race today, where she had the best performance of her career last December and she should be super fit on the cutback.
Race 9: #9 Bridge to Nowhere (10-1)
Big field to close out Thursday’s card, and this race is begging to be won on the front end. While it’s a big field, there are several plodders and career maidens that don’t like passing rivals which makes it difficult to make a case for the majority of the field. There are a few second time starters that could always jump up and improve, but I didn’t think any of them showed much and I want to look in a different direction. My pick is #9 Bridge to Nowhere (10-1) to be on/near the lead throughout and get the job done. The blinkers are going on today and she’s got the fastest early pace figures. She sometimes has trouble getting out of the gate, but with the three horses to her outside possessing zero early speed, it gives her more room for error with the break. She plummets to the bottom today after a couple of sub-par efforts, but her race three back caught my eye. It came against much tougher competition and she dueled three wide through quick fractions. She hung in tough til the final 100 yards where she did have to steady late. She wasn’t going to win that race, but there’s an argument to be made that she could’ve hit the board if it weren’t for the trouble. 6-1 is a fair price for this filly that should be forwardly placed throughout