EDDY will have nearly a full house to contend with when he takes to the track Friday night in the 5th race, his last in front of the hometown fans. You wouldn’t necessarily think that a $5,000 claiming group would be overly contentious for EDDY, but it has certainly come up that way. Here’s a look at the field.
1 – Peaks of Legend (Hemba/Shepherd): Was claimed 3 starts back at Prairie Meadows, came back and won going away moving into state bred company and then was 6th in his Canterbury and turf debut at $7500. Drops in at his claim price in this one.
2 – ASK EDDY (BRINSON/HERNANDEZ)
3 – Geocache (Pfeifer/Shino): Speedster rounded back into form with two starts under Denny Velasquez. With Denny out he gets Ken Shino, his 4th pilot in 5 races. He does his best running on the front end, which we would like here.
4 – Jack and Max (Scherer/ ): Minn bred moving out of a conditional $5000 claimer to an open. He’ll be closing from deep.
5 – Don’t Bluff (Robertson/Canchari): Morning line 2nd choice is dropping to his lowest level in a year after two solid efforts over the turf in $7500 claiming races. Alex chooses this guy over EDDY.
6 – Joshua’s Journey (Lund/Escobar): Another one who wants to flash some early speed, he’s tired late in his last few attempts with a running style akin to MUNDY.
7 – Seeking the Reward (Rengstorf/Ocampo): Winner of 2 in a row in $6250 (conditioned) company, he faces open company for the first time here. Another who will try and come from far back
8 – Awesome Year (Van Winkle/Barton): Winner of 3 in a row (though was DQ’d in one) and 4 of last 5, including two over ASK EDDY, he drops a class level after a win. Usually this is a sign of a problem but in this case I think they just want another win before the end of the meet. He may just get one.
9 – Magnet Cove (Hemba/Martin Jr): A nice off the pace win at Prairie Meadows two back at the unusual distance of 2 miles. His first Canterbury start this year was over the turf where he closed well but needed more distance. His only Canterbury appearance this year over the main track was a win in a $4000 conditioned claiming event in July.
10 – Syd Licious (McShane/Butler): Winner of two in a row over the Canterbury surface since coming up from Iowa, this guy will want to stay close to the pace and make a late run.
Can EDDY win here? To be honest, I’m hoping to hit the board and grab a check. This is a tough group with horses that should be moving up in class moving down and really making things difficult.
I will say, the pace is going to be honest. With Joshua’s Journey and Geocache setting the fractions, I’m hoping that the other stalkers (not us!) get burned out trying to stay close and we get to pick up the pieces at the end. What may be more likely, however, is that the field let’s those two fry each other up front and have the rest of the field play out a ‘race within a race’ waiting for the leaders to back through the field. If this happens, I do like our chances of hitting the board, but I’m much less sanguine about the possibilities of us winning.
This is a tough one to be sure. I will drop a note on here tomorrow if we have a spot in Silks for the finale.