It will be fun to be able to watch ASK EDDY run without the risk of a claim looming over the race. As you all know, I have no problem losing a horse but sometimes it’s nice to sit back and watch the race without wondering if you’re going to need to go shopping just after your trainer got the horse right.
There is a certain amount of joy you can take in a short field as well – especially when you have a horse that’s fit and going well. The odds of a bill-paying payday get much better in a shorter field.
As comforting as both of these aspects of racing tonight are, this short field is a tough one and will go a long way in telling us how far EDDY has come and what he still has left in his tank.
1. ASK EDDY (BRINSON/GOODWIN)
2. Seven Tuff (Rarick/Stevens) – Don’t let his last race fool you, this 6-year old gelding has some talent. Stakes placed in Arizona and an allowance winner in Canada in the last year, his recent starts may not be stellar but there is some back class there and if you can get a classy horse relatively right, they can occasionally throw a big race again. Don’t overlook him, especially with the crafty Hall of Famer aboard.
3. Magic Bullet (Van Winkle/Rivera) – Horse is a big fan of trying to get out early, something that no one else in this field can boast. And we all saw how early speed did last night… Closed out the 2012 Hawthorne meet with a win at $14,000 claiming before running in mostly starter allowances and starter handicaps. Was 4th last out behind a dominating performance by the morning line favorite in here.
4. Tigerstark (Suter/Hernandez) – Hasn’t won in a very long time and his best efforts have been on the turf.
5. Dontlaffhespaidfor (Troche/Escobar) – The 8-year old had virtually a career best performance last time out, dominating a field at this level by 8. He had been running at considerably higher levels – and hitting the board – prior to that start and just lit it up that day. That said, at 8-years old it’s hard to find the consistency to put together back to back performances like that…but not impossible. The one to beat.
6. Raton Pass (Rarick/A Canchari) – Had a bit of a tough trip against the favorite last time but still finished 2nd. The connections must have sighed when they saw they were up against him again today! Horse is a consistent sort and solid in that $5000 – $8000 range.
What chance does EDDY have? Not a bad one, really. Clay has said that if EDDY is going to step up and take on a tough field, this is the time because he is training so well and appears to be really feeling good. There are concerns, of course. If Magic Bullet shakes loose on the lead, everyone could be in trouble. EDDY isn’t one to wire a field but he’s going to need to be close after what we saw last night with speed prevailing and the difficulty closers had bridging any gap in the lane.
Heck, it’s possible that if Magic Bullet doesn’t break well that EDDY inherits the lead by default. In his last two starts, EDDY has been away very well and with the rail and a race void of speed, he and Nik could find themselves on the front end. If Nik can then control the pace it will be very tough for anyone to get by EDDY in the lane. Ideally we’d like to stalk an move through the turn but I’m not sure that the complection of this field is going to allow it.
Jilique should be there for you all in the paddock before the race, Group 1, and there is space reserved at Wild Horse Saloon for the Club this evening. I hope Group 1’s luck can carry through to another win!
Good luck and safe travels!