In the latest edition of our weekly feature with Maryland racing analyst Gabby Gaudet, we discuss the seventh, a maiden special weigh event.
The skinny: Maiden special weight for two-year-olds going one mile; originally scheduled for the turf, rain has forced it to the main track.
Notably: Even with five scratches, the race includes a sizable field, including two stakes-placed runners.
Gabby’s bottom line: “There are some totally viable options in a wide-open race.”
- #6 OUR RJ
- Son of The Cliff’s Edge ran fourth last time out at Laurel.
- Comment line: “Led 2 wide, weakened.”
- Gabby’s take: “He was part of a cluster of horses towards the front, and he kind of got shuffled around. He was pressured inside and outside.”
- Traffic report: Breaking from the seven-hole in a 1 1/16 mile race at Laurel (as he did last out) can be a major challenge because of the short run to the first turn; many horses either are hung out wide or too keen and unable to settle after being encouraged out of the gate. Going one mile, Our RJ should find a better trip.[/boxify]
> #4 SYLVAN HILLS BOY presents a mixed bag. On the one hand, we saw something similar the other day at Laurel with a horse coming out of a maiden special weight race at Louisiana Downs, and that horse was kind of a flop. I think that’s something you really have to pay attention to, that it’s not necessarily the best quality of horses in maiden races down there. But this horse kind of proved himself stretching out last time. He really had no room for the majority of the stretch run, but he was very game for it being just his third time out. And he really had no breather on the inside, so I thought that was a particularly game effort for a two-year-old; that said, I think he ‘s facing a tougher field here than he did then.
> #6 OUR RJ is one I really want to see since they’re off the turf (see spotlight box). In that last race, he was coming off a little bit of a layoff, stretching out, and getting Lasix for the first time. I honestly think he’ll run a better race today.
> #12 KILLING IT was just run down by a better horse in his debut, in my opinion. He was bumped, but one factor that I think had more of an impact on his race was that he was extremely wide into the first turn. I think the winner got a perfect trip that day, too.
> #2 WILLISVILLE had some trouble in his debut, and the two that beat him (Moon River and John’s Kitten, in the Brookmeade) look to be very talented horses. And he gets the bug boy Tyler Conner aboard; he rode a longshot winner at Laurel the other day.
(Featured image, of Ben’s Cat, by Laurie Asseo.)