Thursday was a good day for some of the horses we flagged — just not in the Race o’. There’s probably a lesson there somewhere.
- Striking a blow for old-timers everywhere, ten year-old Let Me Be Frank dominated a field of nickel claimers in the first to win his 23rd career race in his 112th start. Track announcer Dave Rodman suggested that the old boy looked “half his age” after watching him grab the early lead and never give it up en route to an easy three-length score.
- In his second career start, Warrioroftheroses joined the ranks of winners with a gate-to-wire score in the fourth. He opened up a three length lead, then had enough to hold off Tim Keefe firster Connemara Coast. The well-regarded son of A.P. Warrior paid $3.60 to win.
- It was a day for speed on the main track. Horses that led at the first call won four of six dirt races and came in second in one of the other two.
- Even so, I sure didn’t like Reckless Runner, who took our Race o’. He led every step of the way to triumph at 7-1. Zarroc (9-2) came in second; we’d said he “ought to have a chance to be in the mix.” Mild favorite Royal Straight (“a lot to like about him in this spot”) earned the show spot. I Know Why (“expecting improvement”) was just nosed out for fourth and finished fifth, a length ahead of Key to a Cure (“certainly fits with the likes of these”). Second favorite Sun Dance Moon (“one I’m less enthralled with”) showed little and ended up seventh. Zarroc and Sun Dance Moon both were claimed out of the race.
For today’s Race o’, let’s turn our attention to the seventh, a first-level allowance test for three-and-up fillies and mares going 5 1/2 furlongs on the lawn. There are a whole bunch of ways you could go in this race — four public handicappers who picked this race had virtually no overlap in their selections, including nine different horses in their top three — and so it’s no surprise that the favorite, #14 Seeyouinthetown, is just 7-2. She’s been in the money in all four of her grass starts, most recently third, beaten half a length in an allowance at Parx. The winner that day, Dove Season, returned to lose by less than one in the Klassy Briefcase at Monmouth and subsequently won a second level allowance. Her last two starts have been taken off the turf. She could win, but, I dunno, I’m not super-excited about her. A horse I am more excited about is Buleria (#1, 5-1), assuming she can work out a trip from the rail. This one won her first grass try at Gulfstream and then backed out in the Calder Oaks, likely done in by the route distance. She returned to grass sprinting in her most recent try, an allowance at Saratoga. She came in fourth that day, but that was after getting bumped and stumbling badly leaving the gate, running into traffic on the backstretch, and then hitting more traffic in the lane. She still edged 3-10 favorite Stopshoppingmaria for fourth, and the winner of that race, Madame Giry, has now won four straight including a stake. Elvis Trujillo has the mount. Hidden Ball Trick (#4, 9-2) has a win from three starts and came in second in her one grass try. The winner that day, Softly Lit, had already won two stakes, so this one gave a more than commendable effort. She’s been away since September, though, and is showing works that are OK but not great; demand value. Terralba (#10, 10-1) is a little bit interesting. Though she’s coming off a poor outing at Parx, she’s run plenty of good races in her career, including a second and a third in stakes company. This will be her first time on the lawn, but the daughter of Langfuhr is a half to six-time grass winner Live from Appollo. And then there’s Lion Down by Me (#12, 10-1), who’s been first or second in all three of her grass starts. She finished second to Heaven Knows What in her first grass try, and that one went on to win the Oakley at Colonial and run credibly in two stakes in New York. Most recently, this horse broke her maiden at Colonial in the easiest way, cruising to a six-length score over Virginia-bred maidens. She’s showing just one work since that late July score, but it was a bullet five-eighths at Laurel.