Tomorrow we head into our first race for the 2016 Canterbury Racing Club. The pertinents and such are: a starter allowance for horses that have started for a claiming price of $7500 or less in either of their last 2 starts. The purse is $26,000. The distance is six furlongs with jockey Glen Corbett riding. We’re starting from post 6 in race 6 with an estimated post time of 3:46 PM Central Time.
Here is a look at the field:
Anteros (Martin/Mello) – A consistent performer in Pennsylvania, he has won over this strip before, albeit in early 2014. He likes to sit off the pace and is coming in off a nearly 6 month layoff for a trainer who’s only 3% in that spot.
Austin’s Argument (Asmussen/Rocco) – winner last out at $15,000 NW2 lifetime with a solid 70 Beyer first off the claim for Steve Asmussen. Will want to be on the lead early.
My Name is Hebe (Shorter/Marquez) – Finished ahead of K2 last out with a really solid trip. It will be interesting to see if he can get the same type of stalking trip he got last time with what looks to be more speed in the race.
Magnum Force (Calhoun/Vazquez) – Just claimed by Bret Calhoun for $5,000, he steps up a bit in this one. Will be coming from far back.
Senor Rain (Matthews/Ocampo) – Another last out winner (at $5000) off a big drop from $12,500. Figures show this one to be a bit behind the rest. He’ll also want to come late.
KIPPER KEY (BRINSON/CORBETT)
Jifquick (Litfin/Suarez) – Another last out claim, this one by stalwart Canterbury conditioner Nevada Litfin. Should want to be on or close to the lead.
E.M. Maximus (Moquett/Franco) -Yes, ANOTHER recent claim (lots of claiming activity at Oaklawn!). He may not need the lead but he’ll like to be close. Won his local debut at $12,500 but has slid down the class ladder to no effect since.
Mahalo Arturo (Compton/Canchari) – He has reeled off 3 straight going back to the end of last year. After closing out 2015 with win at $30,000 and a first level allowance it was interesting to see him in for only $5,000 following his break. Could have been a roll of the dice to try and make him eligible for these lower level starters. Another who wants to be up front and may be the classiest in here.
Apocalypse (Wittek/Birzer) – Another streaker with a 2 race winning streak under way, finishing off his conditions with wins at $7500 non-winners of two, then three. A nice off the pace type who is stepping up a bit here.
Special Jo (Puhl/De La Cruz) – A bit of a speedster who has had his best races from near the front. His outside post and speed to his inside may hinder that.
Half Dome Dude (Diodoro/Santana) – Claimed by Canterbury’s leading trainer two starts back at $5,000 and stepped him up to win at $6250 sitting just off the pace and posting a huge, for that level, 82 Beyer Speed Figure.
For those of you that are new, what I like to do here is try and figure out how we can win.
K2 hasn’t won since August but he’s certainly been competitive. He opened his 2016 campaign off a 2 month break at this level and finished a respectable 3rd. Claimed twice since (last by us at $7500) our boy is sharp and in shape. He’s been training well and is ready to go. While I think that 6.5 furlongs is probably his best distance, he can win at six furlongs with the right trip.
The right trip will be that the number of relatively quick horses in here will need to go at it up front. We’ll need to lay not further back than about 6th or 7th and hopefully Corbett can get a clear line when it’s time to head for home so we don’t have to navigate too much traffic.
The goal is obviously to win every race we enter. That said, there is some back class in here, relatively speaking (Mahalo Arturo), some real solid winners last out (Austin’s Argument and Half Dome Dude) and a mix of speed and closers. This will be a tough one to win but I’m hoping to get a good trip, a chance to win and at the least, pick up a decent check hitting the board!