In the latest edition of our weekly feature with Maryland racing analyst Gabby Gaudet, she plays a Pick 4 and digs into an allowance race.
RACE 8 — ALLOWANCE N1X
The skinny: 3yo fillies going 6 furlongs
Notably: New York shipper Stormalina figures to get all the attention — but she has questions to answer.
Gabby’s take: “With a vulnerable favorite, there may be value here.”
[boxify cols_use =”3″ cols =”6″ position =”right” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ background_color =”gray” background_opacity =”10″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”solid” height =”220″ ]GABBY’S PICK FOUR TICKET
- Race 6 – 2, 3, 4
- Race 7 – 1, 3, 5, 6
- Race 8 – 2, 5
- Race 9 — 2, 4, 5, 6
- Ticket cost ($0.50 unit): $48[/boxify]
SCOPING OUT THE EIGHTH[su_list icon=”icon: check”]
- The particulars: 3yo fillies, 6 furlongs
- Conditions: Allowance for horses that have never won one other than, or claiming price $40,000
- Post time: 3:57 EST.
- The favorite: #2 Stormalina (1-1) came out running in her debut, jetting to the lead against maiden special weight foes at Aqueduct and cruising to a three-length win while earning a flashy 82 Beyer speed figure. But her follow up, in the Ruthless, was the exact opposite: a slow break that left her at the rear of the pack, a spot she in which she remained for the rest of the race. “The difference in the two races was the break,” says Gabby. “I wasn’t sure if [rider Manny Franco] checked or wanted to take back.” Whichever, the horse didn’t much like it and seemed to struggle with dirt in her face. She may have gotten some experience that will benefit her in that race, and trainer Rudy Rodriguez doesn’t generally ship to Maryland without intending to return home with more money in his pocket (28 percent win rate at Laurel in the last five years). But you have to ask: why has she been away since January 4 (and before that, from November 7)? And why is a horse who dominated Aqueduct maidens shipping to Laurel for a race with a purse of about two-thirds of what she could run for at home? Bottom line: Use, but don’t single.
- One last shot: #5 Mondor (8-1) won by 10 lengths at first asking and followed that up with a bang-up second in the restricted Donna Freyer Stakes at Parx, just nosed out by the very good Miss Bullistic. It’s what’s happened since for the Donald Barr trainee that drives her odds up so high: she’s riding a four-race losing streak into this event. “She has the most legitimate shot to beat Stormalina if Stormalina falters,” says Gabby. So what’s been the problem? Gabby says that Mondor has been very nervous prior to recent races, and she believes that’s sapped the horse’s energy. She ran a disappointing seventh as the favorite in an allowance two back but gave a much improved effort to finish third in her last; notably, she also showed improved speed, running up near the pace for the first time in her career. “I expect more from Mondor,” says Gabby. “I think she might be rounding back into form.” Bottom line: On the ticket.
- Other notables: #3 Jammin With Jamie has competitive speed figs, but Gabby points out, “With these young horses, it’s hard to handicap off the figures — they can improve so dramatically.” Plus, Jammin With Jamie was well-beaten in the Marshua and will need to take more of a step forward than the 3-1 morning line suggests. #6 Blue Hen Madness (6-1) enters off a win at the maiden $40,000 claiming level, which is just a step down from maiden special weight — but, notably, Sheldon Russell, who’s ridden her in all three starts to date, jumps ship to Toast of Mayfair.
STORMALINA BREAKS FROM THE GATE
The video below includes clips of the start of each of Stormalina’s two races; she is number 3 in both. In the first, she breaks well, scoots right to the lead, and never looks back. In the second, she breaks sluggishly, heads to the rear, and goes backwards from there. Which will it be today?[su_video url=”https://www.theracingbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/stormalinareplays_x264.mp4″ poster=”https://www.theracingbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/never-8656.jpg” title=”Stormalina” width=”420″]
(Featured image, of Ben’s Cat, by Laurie Asseo.)