The season is wrapping up here in Shakopee but TENS is just starting to heat up! He goes again in a $16,000 claiming race at 7 1/2 furlongs over the turf with Dean Butler aboard. The race is the third. He drew post eight and the race starts in the stretch as opposed to the chute, which I think is better for us, not having to negotiate two turns from the outside. The rail is out 30 feet so that does mean that the course will be a bit narrow and it makes it tougher for closers.
We go into the race the 5/2 morning line favorite off of our last win and I think that is probably justified. I think our boy looks good in here and we also stand better than 50/50 chance of getting claimed. I say that because he is obviously in good form and showed he can handle a group like this. The other side of that, though, is that $20,000 may be too much for him and buying him at $16,000 could be the top – or at least very close. I guess we’ll know at the end of the race!
We have a spot set aside for us inside of Silks and we’ll see you over there before the race.
Here is a look at the field.
1 Hunterwood (Biehler/Velazquez) – We got this one by 3 lengths last out and we were both in a position to pounce on the frontrunners. We did and he did not.
2 Two Chance (Kirby/Delorme) – Minnesotan had a rough time in his last two but did beat an open first level allowance field at this distance 3 starts back at generous odds. He’ll want to come off the pace.
3 Affirmed Cure (Peters/Vergara) – Another Minnesotan, this one came up and just got CITRON KID near the wire and edged us for 3rd. His fourth rider in four starts with a mishmash of styles, it’s hard to predict which way he’ll run tomorrow.
4 Moon Gun (Ledgess/Carreno) – Came up to run in the John Bullit and found himself overmatched. He only has one turf start and didn’t hit the board. He was wildly successful at Lone Star, winning three of six and not missing the board. He’ll want to stalk the pace very similarly to us.
5 Why Frank (Oliver/Richard) – Hit the front a bit prematurely in the CITRON KID race, he did manage to hold on for a solid second. Another one who will need some pace to run at.
6 Vino Limbo Tango (Becker/Franco) – Has run at Canterbury but not over this turf course. He comes up from Chicago having had a hard time finding the winners’ circle. It doesn’t get any easier for him here. He may, by default, end up providing some of the pace.
7 Kipson (Scherbenske/Sanchez) – Minnesotan cleared his conditions last out taking a field of $20,000 non-winners of 3 claimers by a half length under a very well-timed ride. Stepping up against multiple winners is tough and he may be a cut below these right now.
8 TENS WILD (BRINSON/BUTLER)
9 Zeki (Arnett/Canchari) – Iowan has been toiling at Prairie Meadows and is trying the turf for the first time. This can be a recipe for success for some of these types. Had a magnificent 2014 that saw him earn well over $150,000, winning five races – two of them stakes. He has not had the same type of success this season at the higher levels and is dropping back into claiming company. Should be able to revert back to his speedy ways here and could be dangerous if he A – takes to the turf and B – is left alone on the lead.
By the numbers we fit very well in here. TENS has been improving steadily since returning to the races and right now we don’t know where his peak is. It is going to be tough for us to get the stalking trip we want, especially from the outside. If we’re lucky, we’ll clear most of the inside and be able to tuck in behind the 9 and 6, sitting right where we want to be. If we find ourselves in a race developing like last out, we are going to be super dangerous. A serious lack of pace or Alex getting loose with Zeki early could end up causing us trouble.