Belle is in tonight in race 7. She’ll break from the middle of the field in post position 4. It’s a salty little $20,000 claiming race and we could finish anywhere in this field. Justin Shepherd will again take the controls for the quick 5 furlong sprint over the main track. There is not a seating location this evening as the track has sold out it’s group areas. We’ll meet Group 2 at the paddock after the replays of Race 6.
Approximate post time is 9:22 PM. Here is a look at the field:
Earsahead (Applegate/Loveberry): Had a solid 2016 hitting the board in all three races run here at Canterbury. She came back after her winter break at Will Rogers to hit the board twice in a $17,500 claimer and $12,500 starter allowance, albeit in 5 horse fields. Worth noting that her wins have come wire to wire.
It’s the Swede (Broberg/Sanchez): Another with a good 2016 with a pair of stakes wins for Iowa breds. First two starts of 2017 were also at Prairie Meadows and while not stellar, they were also in a $45,000 allowance and the Mamie Eisenhower stakes. Her three wins last year came…wire to wire…
Annoy (Heitzmann/Velazquez): You’ll recall we handled this one in the last race, though you may also recall that we got a perfect trip while she had to swing wide which may have been the difference. She’ll break inside of us and have the speed to her inside which should clear her a path to rail in a nice stalking position.
BRILLIANT BELLE (LITFIN/SHEPHERD)
Stella’s Princess (Bravo/Mojica): Minnesotan finished 2016 with a flourish winning at pair of nice state bred sprints. The Minnesotan started the year in a Will Rogers stake and a pair of open allowances here at Canterbury. This spot may only be slightly lighter than those…maybe.
Gratzie (Robertson/Canchari): Soundly defeated us in her last start at Oaklawn before taking a break. She’s put in a pair of nice of solid works and should want the lead as well.
Seams Discreet (Arnett/Butler): One of the leading trainers in Iowa sends this one up after having been training consistently since arriving in Altoona. My guess is that they couldn’t get the race they wanted and found these conditions to their liking. That alone makes him dangerous. Reeled off 3 consecutive allowance and optional claiming wins before faltering in a pair of stakes in New Mexico. Another to sit off the pace.
As mentioned, this is a salty group of seven and there are surely some unknowns: Just how good is Seams Discreet? Can Stella’s Princess handle open? How will the shippers take to Canterbury? Are we really as good as our last race or what that a fluke?
The race will be quick, no question about that. There are enough in here that are going to want to go that if we try and wire the field this time, we could be in for trouble. While two of her three wins have been on the engine, she broke her maiden rating of the pace. That may be the tact we’ll have to take in this one to avoid burning and fading – especially with the speed on the inside that could keep us wide throughout. With Annoy on our inside, the likelihood of us being able to get to the rail early this time is going to be tough.
I’m also concerned about the “bounce” factor. The “bounce” theory is that thoroughbreds that run a career race – a superior race than they have ever run before – tend to run a poor race next or “bounce”. She’s had a nice maintenance work in between races and last week she got really keen to go to the track when one of her stablemates was heading out for a race. Hopefully these are indications that she is ready to go without issue.
We will see tonight just how good she is. She’ll have to track some quick horses early and outkick a pair of really good ones late. She repeats her last performance, she can win. She falters a little and we could be 7th. It should be a good one to watch for the crowd – and a bit of a nerveracker to be involved in!
Good luck and we’ll see you tonight!