I Never Give Up makes her first start for the Club Wednesday afternoon at Oaklawn in the 3rd race. She drew post 11 in the six furlong sprint for 3-year old maidens running for a tag of $16,000. Alex Birzer has the ride. Approximate post time is 2:25 CT.
Soaring Lil Sass (McBride/St. Julien) – In two starts she’s finished 7th and 8th and no closer than 9 lengths. She did show speed in her last when she dropped in class but she’s rising a bit today.
Sweet As Caroline (Gleason/Wethey) – 0 for 5 maiden coming off both her best race and a claim. Gleason is 33% first off the claim this year but she’s also moving up from the $12,500 ranks (as our we, for that matter). In her last, she came from well off the pace but was also traveling a mile.
La Tell (Villafranco/Thompson) – First time starter from a barn that is winning with firsters at a 20% clip. Works have been fair but have to respect the connections.
Baby Collette (Hartman/Cabrera) – Comes in with the biggest class drop in racing: maiden special weight to maiden claiming. Showed a little speed early over the Fairgrounds turf. Tries the dirt off a nice work returning after a couple of month layoff.
It’s Springtime (Mason/Morales) – Two starts have been even but non-descript: hasn’t been quick nor has closed.
Valiant Lady (Mason/Felix) – Has been running at a higher claiming level all meet and looks like she’s taking the plunge to get a win in here. Generally pretty quick early, Felix may look to get ou, try and control the race and play “catch me if you can”.
Alex’s Bourbon (Catalano/Hill) – Another first timer and another trainer that clicks with them at 20%. Works have been consistent and improving.
Her High Road (Dixon/Court) – Two starts and finished relatively far back though showed considerable early speed in her last before tiring late.
Baroness Juliette (Stuart/Canchari) – Dropping in claiming price by more than half, she was only beaten 3 3/4 lengths last out and the class drop should help her considerably.
Sunny’s Funny (Asmussen/Santana) – Top connections behind this morning line favorite. Hasn’t hit the board since her 3rd place debut – all four of her races have been maiden special weights – and her last hasn’t shown a lot but she gets back on the dirt as she tries Oaklawn for the first time
I NEVER GIVE UP (LITFIN/BIRZER)
This race is a real interesting mix and is very much representative of an “end of the meet” race – horses dropping in from the sky, skipping several claiming levels, trying to get a win to get out of town with some cash.
Can we win this race? Maybe. It’s a tough one when you have a predilection for speed and drew the far outside post. Part of the upside is that Birzer wanted to stay on the mount even when she shifted barns. Her speed figures are not out of line here either. I don’t think we can get an uncontested lead but she may be quick enough to get decent position behind the inside speed…IF she can be rated. If we find ourselves sitting sweetly a few lengths behind the leaders heading down the lane, we may get first run at the leaders and who knows what can happen then?
It won’t be easy but we’ll be looking for a good run here that will set us up nicely for a good summer here at home.