Although Laura Ray was 6th last night, we’re less disappointed with her performance than it looks on paper.
She broke a bit slower than we would have liked so it was difficult for Eddie to get her into good position with the rail out 30 feet (more on that below). He angled her out to get a good run late but by the time she was able to unwind it was too late. She did make up some ground and was slightly bothered by the six which halted any late momentum. She obviously wasn’t going to win, but she may have been able to pick up a place or two.
She got back to the barn and drank down a full bucket of water and was pretty tired. The race probably served as a nice tightener for her. She certainly wasn’t outclassed and should give us a good run next time out (which I would anticipate would be about 3 weeks).
What does the rail being at 30 feet mean?
The turf course has a temporary rail that is moved in and out throughout the season. When it is at 0 feet, the course is at it’s widest. When it is at 30 feet, it’s narrowest.
The reason for this movement is that, unlike the dirt course, the turf course cannot just be harrowed after the races. It gets torn up by the hooves and needs some recovery time. By moving the rail out and then back in again, the inside paths around the track get a chance to grow back in and “heal”, keeping the track smoother and safer.
The movement of the rail does affect certain running styles, though. When the track is at it’s widest, there is more real estate available for maneuvering, finding position and swinging wide in the lane. At it’s narrowest it is much more difficult for a jockey to find room and harder for closers to get into position to make a run. Horses with speed have a more distinct advantage.
This time we faced a solid group with the rail out as far it can be. We’ll go after ’em next time!
Ender in Thursday Night
Ender came out of his race well and Karl entered him for Thursday night. It’s a $15,000 optional claiming race over the main track at 6.5 furlongs with a purse of $30,000. Quincy Hamilton will be on board and will break from the rail in race 7. Paddock group 3 will be leading the charge! We’ll be covering this more beginning next week.
We will be discussing plans for the backside tours this weekend and will hope to have a couple of dates for you by the end of the weekend.