The club is shooting for its 3rd win a row tonight with MUNDY facing a small, but tough, field of fillies and mares in a $10,000 starter allowance/$12,500 claiming race. The race is 7.5 furlongs over what should be a firm turf course.
As a refresher, there are 2 conditions to be in the race: you have to have started in a race for a claiming price of $10,000 or less (and then you can avoid being tagged in this race) OR; race for a claiming price of $12,500 in this race.
While it seems odd that we would run her less than her purchase price, she ran third last time at the same level for the 2nd race in a row and, should she be claimed but win, we still come out ahead. Even a second, with 20% of the purse of $20,000, we break about even. You need to place horses where they can win. In theory, before seeing the entries, this would have been a perfect spot for that. As it turns out, a couple of horses that meet condition 1 are pretty tough.
Here is the field.
Fleet Dyna (McKenzie/Martin): A fast closing mare, she got to the front a bit too early last out and was nipped at the wire, dead-heating for second, in a $10,000 claiming race. She has two straight seconds over the Canterbury turf and will be coming off the pace.
Pink Leninade (Shyrock/A Canchari): Mare has been on the board in 3 of 5 turf starts, but it’s been a while since she’s raced on turf. Those efforts were over the Arlington Park turf course last summer going considerably shorter than this race, though in $25,000 conditioned (non-winners of 3 lifetime) claimers. She likes the front end and will be on or near the lead early.
Machorina (Chambers/Bell): The prohibitive favorite has reeled off 3 consecutive wins since returning to Canterbury, beating our gal twice – albeit over soft turf courses. Another who wants to be close to the lead, she just won at $25,000 and meets the first condition having started for $10,000 at Remington Park last fall.
Sera’s Tunnel (C Asmussen/Shepherd): Speedy stakes placed mare that has been running in Texas and Oklahoma after leaving Louisiana. She’s very consistent but also likes to be close to, or on, the lead (sensing a pattern here).
Inside Deal (Brueggemann/Goodwin): Front running speedster that set the pace in MUNDY’s last race before fading to 7th.
As you can see, there is a lot of speed in the race. At first blush that may look problematic for our gal who tends to like the front herself. However, while she hasn’t won from off the pace that we can see in her past performances, I her last race she rated nicely under Juan behind the early speed and was well positioned to close, actually gaining the front before being passed late.
A similar strategy over a firm turf course and the result could be different considering how many will want to go to the lead. The key will be how early Machorina moves and if she has enough pressure to weaken while doing it. MUNDY could be in a perfect position to pick up the pieces while not having to be too far out of it.
In order to win, the race will have to unfold nearly perfectly for us and on paper it looks pretty tough, but they don’t run the races on paper and once the gates open, anything can happen. She’s talented enough to be in with this group and if things can break our way…
Good luck and see you all in Silks before the race tonight!