Vanderboom Ridge heads out for us for the first time Saturday night in a $16,000 claiming race going a mile over the main track with Denny Velazquez on board.
We knew stepping up in class a bit could be done – he was competing effective, though not winning, at $20,000 after all – but this is far from a normal $16,000 claiming race. Several droppers from as high as allowance company makes this race a bit stiffer than a “normal” $16,000 race.
Here’s a look:
Go Gold (Westermann/Hernandez) – Off the pace type that just hasn’t been able to quite get there.
Charlie Again (Van Winkle/Ramgeet) – First off the claim for Van Winkle was 3rd in his last out at this level. Definitely has some early speed.
Tap the Admiral (Arnett/Butler) – First time out at Canterbury, his last race was a very gutsy 2nd at Prairie Meadows in a $15,000 optional. May not be a speedster but will like to be close.
Vino Limbo Tango (Becker/Castro) – Been running at a higher level but almost exclusively on the turf. Should be part of the mix early.
Deadly Truth (Diodoro/Vegara) – This miler is coming off a win in a $10K optional claimer with an 80 Beyer and late running style.
Caleb’s Comet (Rarick/ACanchari) – Six year old has been competitive at this level for a while but unable to win since Tampa in January.
Sammy’s Mineshaft (Padilla/DeLorme) – Dropping in from allowance company, her race two back is all you need to know about her: She’ll try and get to the front and run away from the field as she did then while picking up a eye-popping 90 Beyer.
VANDERBOOM RIDGE (BRINSON/VELAZQUEZ)
No sense sugar-coating it, this one is going to be a tough one. He’s been training well and even though he’s run mostly over the turf, he can run on the dirt. A couple of hurdles to overcome here: the 8 post with a short run into the first turn and a horse that likes to be up close/on the lead.
My fear is that he goes out, can’t tuck in behind the speed to let Vino Limbo Tango and Charlie again soften up Sammy’s Mineshaft. Then we’d be carried wide through that firs turn and have a much tougher row to hoe.
Admittedly, on paper our best doesn’t stack up to Sammy’s Mineshaft and Deadly Truth but then they don’t run the races on paper. With unpredictable weather ahead and some potential scratches because of it combined with racing luck could give us the opportunity we need to get that elusive win for the Club.
Again, group 4 is in the paddock: Connell – Erickson with Sheggeby – Zenner. While it doesn’t appear that we’ll have a spot together, we’ll meet you over at the paddock after the photos for race 5.