As the weather is cooling off, our girl has been heating up and MARYJEAN heads postward Thursday afternoon as the 4-1 2nd choice in a large field of 12 fillies and mares. The race is a $5,000 claiming race going 5 ½ furlongs over the main track. She drew the rail but is program #2 thanks to the presence of an entry. Emmanuel Esquivel again takes the mount.
Here is a look at the field (in post position order):
2 MARYJEAN (BRINSON/ESQUIVEL)
3 Ganesha (Perez/Sanjur) – She beat a group like this in October relatively handily while recording a nice 70 Beyer Speed Figure. She rallied from off the pace then but came back a couple of weeks later and had no kick at all. She certainly doesn’t have the consistency of MJ but is obviously dangerous when she’s on.
4 Only Annie Peach (Scherbenske/Thornton) – Not a bad little Minn-bred who knows one way to win: on the engine. We’ll be looking for her to display that early speed in only her 2nd out since the Canterbury meet closed – and hope several go with her!
1 Thundering Hoofs (Retana/Lopez) – Best races have come on or near the lead, which we like to see, but had a very rough first behind Ganesh out after a layoff. She certainly appears to have needed a race and, given that lackluster effort, more than one.
5 Grace of Greatness (Aguilar/Molina) – Another Minn bred, this gal has seen better days – and not so long ago. Mostly a turfer, she won 1st out this season in a non-winners of 1 allowance but since then has had a really rough time. With the cutback in distance and the layoff, I would expect her to revert to her seemingly natural style of getting on the lead.
1A Annie’s Showtime (Retana/Montalvo) – The other half of the entry has also shown speed in the past (not unusual for a short sprint, of course). Her two starts since her summer break haven’t been stellar but in her last she did show that flash of early speed which could indicate that she’s rounding into form. She won’t be loose on the lead, however, and that’s a plus.
6 Patricia’s Image (Tucker/Rose) –Riding a two race winning street at Hazel Park in Michigan, this stalker is going to find the competition a bit stiffer than what she’s used to.
7 Lady Scruffy (Haran/Perez) – Another winner of back to back races at Hazel, she’s finished 9th at Arlington and 4th, well beaten by Ganesh, here at Hawthorne last out. She does like to motor when she can, so hopefully she’ll join the gang early.
8 Our Black Beauty (Holder/Bridgmohan) – Hasn’t been a factor since back to back low level conditioned claiming wins at Canterbury early in the season. Drops to the bottom here trying to regain her form.
9 Lydia’s Angel (Matthews/Ocampo) – The 7/2 morning line favorite, she closed sharply in her last at this level but didn’t have what it took to hold off the top two, losing by only a length. She’s 2 of 15 at Hawthorne but has also hit the board an additional 7 times in those races. She should be a factor in the end and it could very well come down to which of us outkicks the other to the wire – patience and a clean trip may have a lot to do with that outcome.
10 Ridgeway Angel (Seagle/Emigh) – Winner of 4 of 5 off the claim, her last two have been a bit disappointing but they were also at higher class levels. She drops down here and is another with stalking speed and could be there in the end.
11 Aprettyunderstudy (Hellman/Cosme) – Winner of 4 of 8 this season – all at Fairmount – found the allowance waters VERY deep at Hawthorne. Speedster has the far outside and needs the lead. Probably won’t be the winner but she’ll certainly have an effect on the pace of the race.
There is certainly plenty of speed to run at in here. The field is enormous and that does make it a bit tough for anyone coming off the pace because of the traffic issues. You’ll have tired frnt runners backing up and enough horses on the track that will make finding a hole difficult.
All the said, I think we come into this in good shape. MJ shouldn’t be too far off the pace and with her spot on the rail she should be able to settle in a nice spot. When horses get tired they tend to lug out and that will hopefully provide a nice hole that Esquivel can guide her through. This one won’t be easy but I think she’s ready and I really like our chances.