MJ Takes on Five This Afternoon

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!

Good luck!!

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9 thoughts on “MJ Takes on Five This Afternoon

  1. Some Hawthorne analysis:

    Jim Miller

    Race 1

    1st – #5 – Uptown Babe (Presser) – Tough trip early on in her last. Likes this track and looks to get be into form. I expect to see more speed today.

    2nd – #2 – Maryjean (Stalker) – A winner of two straight, she has rallied strongly in her last couple. Only concern is the added eighth today.

    3rd – #6 – Harborton (Stalker) – This distance suits her nicely as she makes her second start off the layoff. I worry that she won’t pace to chase.

    Ron Uchman’s

    Race 1

    2-MARYJEAN has been on quite a tear for most of the year. She’s been racing in shorter sprints but she won her last two going away and it would seem that the extra distance of this race would pose no problems. Keeps the top jock. Makes it three in a row. 6-HARBORTON has been very consistent. Hasn’t finished out of the money so far on 2014 while winning two of his six races this year. He barely lost last when coming off a layoff. Could run by all of them today. Would love 1-RUSSIAN RHAPSODY at five and a half furlongs, maybe even at six, but he does tend to tire late. On the other hand, he’s likely to grab an unchallenged lead in this race. If his rider can get him to relax early, they might not be able to catch him late.

  2. Knew it had to happen (claimed) but still hated to lose her. Thanks for the win and good luck MJ. Great job Clay and staff. Great ride by Emmanuel

  3. Fantastic race – she made it look so easy! (Thank goodness for TVG) Sorry to see her go but it was a great ride. Thanks to all who made it possible!

  4. I know this is a little soon but when the “Club” reforms next year and if MJ is still in form and depending on the level can she be reclaimed by the club?

  5. Agree with all the sentiments. Had my Twinspires up at work (shhhh) and even though we knew this was the endgame, I have to say it was very bittersweet to hear “there was a claim in the first race”. 9 races in our colors: 4 wins, 2 place, 2 show (and a 5th) – and ran her heart out every time. Great job by Team Brinson and Manny Esquivel, who can feel free to wear our silks whenever he’d like, thank you very much.

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