K2 gets his first start in front of the home fans today and while it’s a short field it is by no means an easy race. It’s a $10,000 claiming race going six furlongs over the main track. We will have a spot signed off for us at Silks so Heather and I will meet the gang there for Race 1 and then any group 1 folks can head on over to the paddock. The past performances for the race are below.
Here is a look at the field:
KIPPER KEY (BRINSON/FRANCO)
Tester (Diodoro/Carreno) – He is 3 of 6 in 2016 with a stalking running style. His figures and connections are solid and in his most recent start he scored at Turf Paradise at this level.
Red N Black Attack (Diodoro/Rosier) – Recent claim by the Jacobson barn has made his way into the Diodoro fold and is moving from California. He had a tough first out after the claim in a conditioned $10K at Los Alamitos. This may be a bit of a softer spot but will still need a better effort. Also will want to stalk the pace.
De Facto (Ashford/Canchari) – Winner of two in a row in New Mexico prior to his claim. Outclassed in his lone run at Prairie Meadows in an optional claimer/starter. He may be a notch below these but what he DOES have is a unique and possibly deadly running style in this race: lone speed.
Moon Gun (McKinley/Hernandez) – He was a solid router in 2015 taking a Lone Star allowance as well as a $20,000 claimer at Remington. HIs 3 Canterbury starts were not impressive, but two were on the turf and one a stake. Coming in of the long layoff could be problematic and team could be prepping for longer later.
For those of you new to the Club, I try and use this space to talk a bit about how we can win this race. My hope is that Moon Gun will be a little keyed up and raring to go which could give De Facto some pressure up front. Clay mentioned in his interview yesterday that he’d like Geovanni to keep K2 a little closer than he was in his last – no more than 6 or 7 behind. We all know how hard it is to close into sprints here so we don’t want to be too far off.
The inside may be a bit of an advantage which could help us save some ground and keep the stalkers wide. He’ll be coming late but I am concerned that nothing will melt down in front of him.
The wildcard will be the weather. It’s been a bit rainy and there is a chance of thunderstorms tomorrow with an 80% chance of rain. Our boy has one win in five starts over a wet track and his PPs also show a good 4th in a Remington Park allowance over a sloppy course. Only Moon Gun shows a win over an off track.
Rain or shine it is paddock group 1.
Here is the track analysis of the race from their website:
Tester has won his last two sprint starts at this claiming price at Turf Paradise. Overall, he has won three of his last four starts. The only loss came in a race in which he went up in class and finished 6th as the favorite. There is not a lot of pace in this race so I would expect him to be close to the lead here and should be good enough to pass any horse in front of him.
De Facto has won two of his last three starts after a short layoff. Both of those victories did come at lower claiming prices than he will be at today. He was claimed two starts back for $5,000 and was moved to starter allowance company but did not fair too well with the bump up in class. I would expect him to take the lead early but concerned that his wins lately have been at one mile and this race just might not be long enough for his best.
Kipper Key will drop down for a price after facing starter allowance at Oaklawn Park last time. He finished a respectable 5th considering that he was last by 10 lengths early in the race and was able to rally to improve his position. He was third at this claiming price three starts back and runner-up at the $7,500 price two starts back.
May 5 28 race 2