Mr. Ark: Race Preview

It’s time for Mr. Ark to start pulling his share of the weight in the stable Thursday night.  Nevvy has surely been doing her share (and she came out of her race nicely) but Arky just hasn’t gotten it together since the claim though he’s been training pretty well so hopefully he’ll star to run like it!

He goes here in $4000 claiming races for horses that haven’t won a race since September 15 or have started at this Canterbury meet and not finished third or better.  The race is over the main track going a mile with Francisco Arrieta on board.  We’ll break from post 3 and Group 4 will be in the paddock. The group spaces are sold so we’re on our own

Here is the breakdown.

Benny’s Glory (Randy Rarick/Velazquez) – Final race at Tampa Bay wasn’t bad at all but the pair of Canterbury races have been less than terrific.

Houdini Hill (Fields/Eikleberry) – Had a good run over the track three back in a sprint where he finished third.  Qualifies for the race by last winning 13 days prior to the cut off day but has only been close that once since.


Vino Limbo Tango (Becker/Goodwin) – Has spent most of his time at Canterbury – and elsewhere – navigating turf courses or wet dirt courses.  Stretches out to his preferred distance after coming back after nearly 9 months off.  May want to lead the way here.

Express River (Bravo/Gugielmino) – Showed some speed early in the dirt portion of the Battle of the Surfaces but faded.  May help push the pace along for a bit.

Winter Wally (McKinley/Bedford) – Hasn’t shown much yet after 6 months away but was much closer earlier last out.  Stretches out from a sprint to a mile which may be problematic.

Dually Affirmed (Gordon/Samuels) – Another out of the Dual Surface race, surged to the lead and flattened out but the best of his races here this year.  That effort could be enough to win here.

Speed is Life (Rengstorf/Mawing) – Winner of the 2014 Vic Myers and Minnesota Derby as well as the 2016 Minnesota Classic, the horse has not been the same this season but may have enough back class to get it done against this group.

Tempietto (Silva/Hamilton) – was competitive at Tampa until his last race and has a rough go of it since coming north as well. Looks like one that liked to stalk the pace when he was on a solid roll.

Ark had been pretty consistent versus open company in Texas at the lower levels and it was our hope when we claimed him that he would do the same here.  SO far he hasn’t lived up to that promise so it is certainly easy to understand why we are 10-1 in the morning line.

However…(you HAVE to have a however, right?  There always has to be hope in this game!)

He has shown some speed in his starts and, looking back to his win, he was on the lead but much slower than he has been going.  I’m not sure with some of the speed that is in here that he can get to the front and keep the pace slower, but perhaps he can relax a bit and sit behind the pace like he did in wins at Retama and Lone Star and make a move late.  He’ll have to stay close because, as we saw last weekend, it was very hard to close into the speed over this racetrack but these aren’t exactly stakes horses and the pace shouldn’t be more than he can handle.

We’ll see how the race develops and root our boy home.  It won’t be easy, but it’s not an impossible task either.

Good Luck!


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