TERICE takes the track today at Hawthorne about 2:55 PM CT in the 5th race, a $5000 claiming affair going a mile and 70 yards over the main track.
This looks like a stouter group than in her last and while I was hoping that coming right back at this level would get us the claim that we are looking for, there are others in here that seem a bit more likely.
Here is the field:
1 Nikaluk (Reavis/Colvin) – Your morning line favorite. Has a pattern I HATE to see when betting a race: a steep class drop after a claim. No one likes to lose money and claiming for $12,500 and running back after a poor effort and 6 week layoff at $5,000 raises too many red flags for me to count. Could be a tweaked ankle and a ploy by the trainer to try and get a quick win before we figure out we were duped, but I’m very suspicious.
2 Cash in a Shoebox (Holder/Thornton) – She hasn’t graduated from the conditioned claiming ranks yet and now steps in against multiple winners.
3 Sweet Jess (Block/Felix) – Won at higher on the turf and also broke her maiden over this racetrack on the dirt. She’s shown good early speed as well as the flexibility to try and close. She would have been my choice for favoritism.
4 Geneva Lake (Rivelli/Sanjur) – An off the pace type whose class level fits very well in here. Beat $10,000 claimers two starts back though faltered at $8,000 in a pace scenario that I would have thought would have been right for her, though it could have been the extra distance. A heated battle up front and she will be dangerous late.
5 TERICE (BRINSON/ESQUIVEL)
6 Jardenia (Cox/
MontalvoCosme) – Won her last in much the same way Terice did, though we came from slightly further back. They bring her right back at this level after the win. She really wasn’t competitive in her races leading up to the win so we’ll have to see if it was a fluke or a turning of the corner.
7 Wildcat Devil (Cristel/Lantz) – While she was second to us last out, it “wasn’t as close as the score indicated,” though it wasn’t a bad effort. Her early speed cold be a real asset for her since the race has scarily little.
8 Wild Luna (Turco/Emigh) – An old friend from Canterbury this summer, she has been thrashed soundly in her last few including by Terice in her last.
Our girl won’t be too far off the pace this race, where she does her best running. We’ve seen throughout this streak that Esquivel will put her in the best spot so we know that we’re going to have a chance. I have concerns about the lack of speed in the race. I guess that Sweet Jess could make a go of it early and perhaps Wildcat Devil will go as well, ensuring an honest pace, but that’s an iffy proposition. The upside to me is that there aren’t any in here that are monsters and the couple that may like to run in front aren’t really speedballs.
The race could come down to the stalkers that have the best trip that are able to lay closer to an anticipated slower pace and being bale to run late. With Emmanuel, I like our chances but she will have to dig deep to hold off a big class dropper like Sweet Jess. The last two races I felt very confident that we could win ’em pretty easily. For this race, I think we can do it, but it will be anything but easy.