MARYJEAN looks to run her personal winning streak to three and the Club streak to four in the opener at Hawthorne this afternoon. Post time is 12:55 PM and the race is another $5000 claiming race over the main track, this time going 6 1/2 furlongs. Emmanuel Esquivel is again in the irons.
Here is a look at the field.
1 – Russian Rhapsody (Becker/Ocampo): the only speed in a short field could make her very dangerous. If no one goes with her she could shake lose, slow the pace and make it very difficult for anyone to close – provided she’s good enough and that is debatable.
2 – MARYJEAN (BRINSON/ESQUIVEL)
3 – Lydia’s Angel (Mathews/Perez): Though we soundly beat her last out, she had some trouble at the start and was able to make up a lot of ground. A clean break and we could be battling this one down the lane.
4 – Ridgeway Angel (Seagle/Sanjur): This one had no trouble in the last and was only second best to MJ.
5 – Uptown Babe (Reavis/Colvin): After a long string of starter allowance appearances, she shows up in a conditioned (non-winners over time) $5000 and couldn’t get there, though had some trouble. Now she goes in a straight $5000 race which shapes up to be a bit tougher for the older mare.
6 – Harborton (Brueggermann/Thornton) – Midwest runners are always tough and well placed. She’s want to come off the pace, like most of these, but there may not be much pace to run at.
The short field makes me a bit nervous. With 8 or 9 runners you’re almost ensured a fair pace or, at the least, make it tough for a front runner to spurt away. Russian Rhapsody is lone speed in here but she’s done most of her damage at Fairmont Park, a clear step below Hawthorne and she couldn’t hold her speed in a $4000 race. The rest of us, for the most part, are competitive in here and all will want to be slightly off of that pace.
Uptown Babe and Harborton look like they are going to want to come from further out of it and that may be a difficult chore with no real pace scenario developing. That being said, sometimes you see some of the stalkers beat each other up which could open the way for a deeper closer – and the 6 1/2 distance helps them out some.
Being optimistic that we can get a 4th win in a row and a Club record 5th seasonal win, I’m going to think Esquivel will be able to save ground with the one heading out fast, stay about 4 – 5 lengths off that pace and get first run at the leader heading through the turn and then turning back any late challenge!