Group 4 is up Saturday afternoon as MUNDY heads postward in a $7500 claiming clash going 7.5 furlongs over the turf. Yes, this is the lowest tag she’s been offered for. Is she worth more? Probably, but not to us. She has hard a tough time dealing with the heightened competition and greater early speed here at Canterbury and there is no reason to expect that she will do any better at Hawthorne. Should would, however, be a nice pick up for an outfit heading to Arizona where she has shown she really enjoys the Turf Paradise surface.
Needless to say, I would be okay with a win and a claim here.
Win. Can she win? Let’s take a look:
1. SMARTY PRANCE (Rhone/Hernandez) – MN bred has shown decent early speed in her longer efforts but as she has shortened up she’s found it harder to keep up. Drawing the rail is nice if she breaks well; problematical if she doesn’t.
2. I’VE HEARD RUMORS (Becker/Martin Jr) – Making her 2013 debut. She ran competitively at a much higher level last year before tapering off. As she dropped down the ladder the worse she got before being badly beaten in a $5000 claiming race at the end of the Hawthorne meet. She’s been off ever since.
3. DINA’S TYPHOON (Spencer/Stevens) – She drops back in class after taking a huge leap to try the HBPA Distaff in her first lawn attempt. Hard to tell if the lawn was the issue or the class hike. Competitive at this level on the dirt.
4. NEVERRGUEWITHRICHIE (Riecken/C Goodwin) – Two seconds over the Canterbury turf. 1 for 3 this season, but at $5000 over the dirt going long.
5. MUNDY (BRINSON/RIVERA)
6. MORGANS A BLUMIN (Robertson/Shepherd) – a very potent combo late this season, Morgan will be coming hard late from the clouds.
7. HUSKER RIDGE (Liftin/Velasquez) – Huge winner last out, albeit in a $2500 claiming race in Columbus, Nebraska. Comes to Canterbury to try the turf for the first time. Has some breeding for it but a big step up in competition.
8. BUCCELA (Lund/Escobar) – First try over the turf and at the distance. Winner two back sprinting in a conditioned $6250 claiming race.
9. LADY JORBURG (Rhone/Olesiak) – Would automatically be considered a front runner if not for the lack of speed in her last three. However this was against higher class competition and maybe she needed this type of relief to perk back up?
10. PASSION TALK (Rengstorf/Butler) – A very competitive turfer at this level, this race can be hers if the pace is right for this deep closer.
11. MOONSHINE PROMISE (Rarick/A Canchari) – Bat this group last out so she’s certainly capable of doing it again. Post 11 could be a big hindrance for a horse that likes to stalk the pace.
12. PEARLOFTHEORIENT (Biehler/Keith) – This oft claimed mare was just claimed off of Clay the last start and returns at this level. Likes to be close to the pace, but coming in from the way outside.
ALSO ELIGIBLE: SERA’S TUNNEL (Cole/Ocampo) – If she goes, she’ll be on the far outside. Had some speed and likes to be near the pace. Dropping in here and should figure if she gets in.
So can our girl win? That’s always the question I try and answer and the answer in here is certainly yes. There appears to be some speed other than her in here, but they all have questions: Does SMARTY PRANCE have speed when going shorter? Is NEVERARGUEWITHRICHIE going to have speed over the grass and up a level? Will HUSKER RIDGE have speed moving way up from $2500? Can the speed on the outside get over in time to make a difference?
Now all these answers have to be “no” but they very well could be. She’s breaking from a nice spot in the middle/inside and should be able to get to the lead – hopefully with enough cushion to allow Juan to slow it down and then let the closers try and close futility while our mare has plenty left in the tank to ward ’em off.
Group 4, I will see you before the race. If I’m not mistaken we will have Silks from coffee and donuts through racing that day. Also, you will all be a witness to history as Angela becomes the first woman in North America to ever call an entire thoroughbred race card. Let’s hope we hear her calling our name!