Brilliant Belle: Race Preview

For those of you new here, before each race I will post a preview that gives a little something about each entrant in the race and then my opinion on how we can win the race.  Let’s get right to it!

Atlantic Slew (Cox/Court) – Morning line favorite after a clear win for Canterbury stalwart the last few years, Robertino Diodoro.  Claimed by Brad Cox and laid off for 7 weeks, she’s back at the claim level without any works but a trainer that’s 40% first off the claim and wins a third of the time off a break.  Will be prominent early.

Gratzie (Robertson/Canchari) – Canterbury connections coming back since being seen last just missing in a Penn National starter allowance.  Work pattern a bit sporadic.  Another speedster.

Dancing Dove (Contreras/Clawson) – Off the pace type with a pair of tough outs at Oaklawn this season.  Another freshened since mid-February.  Has had a couple of solid works for the return.  Barn does well with returners (21%).

Run Away’s Sis (Richard/Contreras) – Recent speed figures are remarkably low for this race but does figure to prompt the pace as well, which I think we’ll enjoy.

Blake Beauties (Caldwell/Santana) – Tough trip when claimed last out.  Yet another who looks to want to be close early.

BRILLIANT BELLE (LITFIN/FRANCO)

Ol Sanish (Villafranco/Vazquez) – Solid class drop from a good barn, albeit one that has been a little cold.  Mare has never started this low and does her best work going longer.  That said she could be a factor late on class alone.

Ice Goddess (Broberg/Eramia) – Claimed from owner/breeder/country superstar Toby Keith  by a top claiming trainer who is 30% first off the claim.  Comes off a front-running win and pushes up a bit in class.

One Minute (Chleborad/Birzer) – Rough two starts at the meet at $25,000.  A winner at Saratoga and ran in some very nice races earlier in her career (Grade 3 Schylerville at the Spa), she’s had a rough go of it recently, missing at $10K at Remington to end last year when claimed.

That’s Exciting (Puhl/Parker) – Another one dropping in here, hitting the lowest level of her career.  If she comes, she’ll be coming late which is probably a good thing given her far outside post.

Our girl has her work cut out for her for sure.  She’s moving up in class and that is never an easy assignment.  However she improved dramatically from her first start of the year to the last and the third start off the layoff tends to be when a horse gets into stride.  She’s shown speed in the past but rated well in her last which may be her best option in this race with so much speed in the race.  She may be able to settle in behind the early pace and be able to make a solid run at the early leaders on the turn for home.  Franco has been riding the best of his career and is only a win off the leading rider title heading into the last couple of weeks into the season. Quite a few positives in a relatively open race with several question marks w/ several speedsters, class droppers and first-off-the-claimers all in the mix.

Admittedly I anticipated that we would be outclassed in this race and was pleasantly surprised to see that we really aren’t but will need equal parts luck and skill to prevail.  The best thing we have going for us is that Heather and I will be in the middle of the desert between Las Vegas and Reno come race time which can only mean good things – especially if we can’t get any signal to watch the race!

Good luck everyone!!

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Vanderboom Ridge: Race Preview

Vanderboom Ridge heads out for us for the first time Saturday night in a $16,000 claiming race going a mile over the main track with Denny Velazquez on board.

We knew stepping up in class a bit could be done – he was competing effective, though not winning, at $20,000 after all – but this is far from a normal $16,000 claiming race. Several droppers from as high as allowance company makes this race a bit stiffer than a “normal” $16,000 race.

Here’s a look:

Go Gold (Westermann/Hernandez) – Off the pace type that just hasn’t been able to quite get there.

Charlie Again (Van Winkle/Ramgeet) – First off the claim for Van Winkle was 3rd in his last out at this level. Definitely has some early speed.

Tap the Admiral (Arnett/Butler) – First time out at Canterbury, his last race was a very gutsy 2nd at Prairie Meadows in a $15,000 optional. May not be a speedster but will like to be close.

Vino Limbo Tango (Becker/Castro) – Been running at a higher level but almost exclusively on the turf. Should be part of the mix early.

Deadly Truth (Diodoro/Vegara) – This miler is coming off a win in a $10K optional claimer with an 80 Beyer and late running style.

Caleb’s Comet (Rarick/ACanchari) – Six year old has been competitive at this level for a while but unable to win since Tampa in January.

Sammy’s Mineshaft (Padilla/DeLorme) – Dropping in from allowance company, her race two back is all you need to know about her: She’ll try and get to the front and run away from the field as she did then while picking up a eye-popping 90 Beyer.

VANDERBOOM RIDGE (BRINSON/VELAZQUEZ)

No sense sugar-coating it, this one is going to be a tough one. He’s been training well and even though he’s run mostly over the turf, he can run on the dirt. A couple of hurdles to overcome here: the 8 post with a short run into the first turn and a horse that likes to be up close/on the lead.

My fear is that he goes out, can’t tuck in behind the speed to let Vino Limbo Tango and Charlie again soften up Sammy’s Mineshaft. Then we’d be carried wide through that firs turn and have a much tougher row to hoe.

Admittedly, on paper our best doesn’t stack up to Sammy’s Mineshaft and Deadly Truth but then they don’t run the races on paper. With unpredictable weather ahead and some potential scratches because of it combined with racing luck could give us the opportunity we need to get that elusive win for the Club.

Again, group 4 is in the paddock: Connell – Erickson with Sheggeby – Zenner. While it doesn’t appear that we’ll have a spot together, we’ll meet you over at the paddock after the photos for race 5.

Good luck!

Miz Owell: Race Preview

If all goes well we will be racing tomorrow night in the 5th. There is a chance she scratches if the race comes off the turf. She’s tried a wet surface twice and she missed the board each time. We’ll have to wait and see what develops.

First a bit of a comment about the race selection. I know that there is a chance we lose her in the race – and for $2500 less than we bought her for – but we have to run. We had to scratch out of the last race, the $10,000 claimer, because of the tummy ache and, even though all is well now, if we wait for the next one of those, then we may have to wait another few weeks and she’s been on the bench long enough. There hasn’t been much between this and $20,000 and $20,000 may be a bit much for her, so we’ll go in here and take our chances.

Here is the field:

My Crazy Dayse (Riecken/Hernandez) – hasn’t won since Fonner but was certainly competitive at this level on the grace in her Canterbury debut.

Warrensmysterydice (Hop/Coddington) – Made her Canterbury debut last out at this level and was a little flat. Could improve second over the surface though.

Strength N Beauty (Lund/Butler) – Minnesotan is dropping in class into this one and certainly can play a major role. She’s improved with each start and will be coming late.

Spell Winder (Donlin/Delorme) – Sprinter stretching out to 7 1/2 could certainly prompt the pace and the way speed has been holding on turf, who knows how far she can carry it?

MIZ OWELL (BRINSON/VELAZQUEZ)

Dakota Peach Pie (Rickert/TBA) – Trying to win 3 in a row, which is a tough feat for any horse. First try over the turf and does not appear to be bred for it, but the sample size it small.

Make Money Honey (Diodoro/Ramgeet) – Another trying to win her 3rd straight from the always dangerous Diodoro barn. She’ll be tough anyway, but particularly so if it comes off the turf.

Sweet Tango (Bethke/Bethke) – Dropping down, she won here at $12,500 and was certainly competitive at $16,000. Should be just off the pace and will probably be the one to beat.

If your a Beyer Speed Figure aficionado, we certainly look good in here. We should be able to sit off the early leaders, probably 6 – 8 lengths back and there should be enough pace to run at late. The question in my mind is if Sweet Tango has enough late, she may be tough to get past in there lane. We will certainly have some company late as Make Money Honey will probably look to take the same route home as we will.

This is, however, a winnable race, and I am hoping for the best – as well as the race staying on the turf!

We have a spot in Silks (Canterbury Racing Club will be on the tables) and we will look to meet Paddock Group 2 over there and head over for the race. You can also meet us at the paddock gate as well.

Good luck and keep an eye on Twitter and this spot tomorrow for any scratch information!

Kipper Key: Race Preview

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

TENS WILD Race Preview

Tomorrow afternoon TENS WILD heads to the post in the 3rd race at Hawthorne Race Course. The race is a $12,500 claiming race going a mile and a sixteenth over the main track. Jockey Denny Velazquez, who guided TENS to his last victory, has already left Chicago to set up shop in Louisiana for the Fair Grounds meet so Julio Franco takes the reins. We drew post position 6 in the six horse field and have been crowned the 2-1 morning line favorite.

MARTY WHO (M Perez/E Perez) – He was a good second to TENS in their last race. He kept trying to come at him but TENS would not let him by and eventually drew off a bit.

DANDYMAN (Manly/Mello) – This is not the same horse that rang up four wins and $53,000 in earnings in 2014. He’s starting to drop through the ranks and this may not be his last stop down the ladder.

PART’N PARCEL (Dorris/Bielby) – This fella was sharp coming back north to Hawthorne, scoring by a nose in an $8000 claimer last out.

BALLYJAMESDUFF (Haran/Hennesy) – He had some trouble last out but TENS still beat him by 4 1/4. He’ll probably need a blistering pace up front to get there and I’m not sure that it’s here.

MY PAL PAUL (Lynn/Roman) – It’s hard to argue with the trip he got last time out under Sanchez but switches down to a jock having a tough meet. Hard to see him stepping up here.

TENS WILD (BRINSON/FRANCO)

Any speed in here looks to be on the inside. As we know, TENS tends to break well and I can see us settling in third or fourth behind the front runners early. In fact, I’d be looking for a carbon copy of his last race while perhaps being a little further back early. There are never any guarantees and on any given day…but I like us in here.

While I don’t think it is a certainty that we’ll get claimed, I think the odds are better than 50/50 in here so prepare yourself that this may just be our last race of the season.

Good luck!

KID Goes Tonight; Spot in Silks

The CITRON KID makes his debut for the Club this evening and we’ll take a look at the field.

I did want to touch base on the Winners’ Circle, should we be fortunate enough to reach there again. Club members and immediate family are welcome, it’s part of the experience! However in the last photo (which I am trying to no avail so far to put up as our header) there are quite a few folks that I know are not Clubbers (or family) or are former Clubbers that have chosen not to participate this year that were in the photo. If you are amongst this group, please do not ruin the experience for the people that have decided to participate this year. When we are lucky enough to win, the WC is a VERY crowded and potentially dangerous place to be. I do not want to have to limit access for actual members because the photo is being crashed by folks that are not.

Heather and I will stand in front of the horse (if anyone is going to get trampled it may as well be us and not you!) and everyone needs to be to our right, away from where the horse stands (marked by horseshoe prints on the ground). This is to make sure that everyone is out of the way of the animal. Safety is of utmost importance and while I know we all want to be visible, I want us all to be safe.
On to the race!

1 CITRON KID (BRINSON/BUTLER)

2 Bernie the Jet (Ledgess/Goncalves) – early speedster that just won at $20,000 stepping down to $16,000.

3 Ragged Edge (Rhone/Escobar) – Minnesota bred had some trouble at the higher levels but has certainly not embarrassed himself in open company either. Drops down to try and fit in here. Will be coming off the pace.

4 Sound Effect (Diodoro/Vegara) – Beat both Dr Action and Tens Wild last time out. Should be fresh and has a nice come from off the pace style which should suit this race nicely.

5 Affirmed Cure (Peters/Eikleberry) – Another Minnesotan that hasn’t been able to break through yet.

6 Wildcat Moon (Lavanway/Becerra) – Won the 2 furling Dash in a Flash on extreme day but needs to run in a “real” race today. Should have some speed and won at $10,000 before dudding in an allowance. Next logical step was this level.

7 Gentle As A Breeze (Brendt/Velazquez) – A very sharp claim by Joel Berndt at $7500 has gone on to win at $10,000 and finish 2nd in an optional and, last out, behind Tens. He should be close early as well.

8 Why Frank (Oliver/Richard) – Was able to win at $20,000 sitting off the pace and has a second at that level (and this one) earlier in the meet. Last out he was clearly overmatched but back where he belongs in here.

9 Callinghardten (Chambers/Franco) – Owner of a two race winning streak at $10,000 this spot was the next logical step up. Another who is going to come from off the pace.

I won’t lie to you, this is going to be a tough one to win. CITRON’s running style, early speed, matches several in here that are good, competitive horses at this level. You combine that with the likes of Why Frank and Sound Effect that have won at this level or higher recently by coming off the pace and Dean has his work cut out for him.

Clay’s barn has been red hot lately, even winning the Mantioba Derby at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg on Monday, so that can’t be underestimated. Additionally we have the leading rider again who seems to have a pace clock installed in his head, so that helps tremendously.

I can’t see us getting out to an easy lead and when this horse has tried to stalk he doesn’t seem to be able to get there late, however, if anyone can get the Kid to relax and sit a bit behind the other speedsters, it would be Dean Butler.

It’s a full field and a difficult race but those are always the most fun to win – it means you’ve really earned one!

Best of luck everyone. We should have a spot in Silks and we will see you tonight!