Clay entered Great Bam for Saturday’s $10,000 claiming race for four-year-olds and upward which have never won three races lifetime or three-year-olds. The race went with seven horses and Great Bam has been named the 5/2 morning line favorite. Jockey Seth Martinez will again have the call. Post time is scheduled for 3:40 p.m.
Here’s a look at the field:
#1 Wild Party (10-1) – The lone three-year-old in the race to make the race with the three-year-old condition, Wild Party hasn’t seen the winner’s circle since early May at Assiniboia Downs. Finished a well-beaten 8th at this level two weeks ago.
#2 Strong Luck (6-1) – Drops out of a $25,000 claimer to a more realistic level, but will need to wake up with that class drop. Defeated by a combined 30 lengths in his last three starts.
#3 Lightning Fir (12-1) – This Iowa-bred has never defeated open company and this doesn’t seem like a place to start. Hasn’t threatened since a victory in early May.
#4 Commando Kat (6-1) – This one has some speed and seems to have some ability on dirt. Trainer has started out on fire early on in this Hawthorne meet and the class drop back down to a realistic level should help. Can be an early speed factor at the very least.
#5 Great Bam (5/2) – You all know him quite well. Has run the same type of race both times out for the group, taking over the lead around the turn. Last time he proved he was more fit running off to win by a dominant eight lengths. He has caught a very reasonable group for the jump up in class and he can be right there yet again with a good trip. A horse’s third start off a layoff can often provide their best effort as they reach peak form. Let’s hope that is the case on Saturday.
#6 Clout (9/2) – Another one dropping in class (notice a theme?) to face easier company. He has run much better over synthetic surfaces than he has on real dirt and has never excelled at today’s distance. Figures to be a closer in this type of sprint and their may not be enough early speed for him to get home.
#7 Aikman (3-1) – A familiar name, Aikman won a $5,000 N3L last time out for Clay but was subsequently disqualified for interference in the stretch. Aikman was claimed that day by a solid claiming trainer, Michael Revis, and runs right back one level up the class ladder. Showed solid speed that day and can be a nuisance having drawn to Bam’s outside. Will be interesting to see where jockey Alex Canchari places this guy early in the race.
On paper, it looks like Bam and Aikman could be set for a nice duel down the stretch. Bam owns the best last out Beyer Speed Figure and is certainly capable of winning this race. As it turns out, the jump up in class yielded an easier field that was expected.
That being said, we are facing four horses dropping in class and a couple of others that ran their last race at this level. We are definitely moving up the ladder and you never know how a horse will respond when facing tougher competition. Additionally, having Aikman drawn to our outside will force Seth to decide where he wants to be so that he doesn’t get pinned in. It should be a good one!
The $5,000 N3L that provided the other option will be run as the fifth race on the card on Saturday and Bam would have been a very heavy favorite against that group. Good to know there are other options available.
Best of luck on Saturday! Hope to see you out here to cheer on Bam. Don’t forget, the 2012 Breeders Cup is next weekend! This is your final chance to win your Breeders’ Cup Bankroll by playing in our Free to Enter Countdown to the Cup Tournament. Check it out at www.canterburypark.com.