Horses to watch from Opening Weekend – 5/20-5/22
by Angela Hermann
Francie’s Chromee – Race 2, #3, 5/20 – This Jim Cook trainee had all the worst of it in his first outing over the Canterbury oval, sitting between rivals in a speed duel. These three put together solid fractions for the surface, and Francie’s Chromee held on bravely while leaving his two challengers in the dust. Though he was caught in the stretch by Slew City Storm, watch for this animal to move up on a fast track with a bit less pace pressure.
Somerset Mariton – Race 5, #7, 5/20 – Larry Donlin and John Walsh got some nice runs out of their horses this weekend, though this one may have flown under the radar behind his 20/1 stablemate taking down the previous race. Somerset Mariton made a mid-race move while very wide, and though he kept up his rally it floated him out badly in the stretch. SM ended up around the 7 path as the approached the wire, while both the winner and runner up enjoyed shorter trips toward the inside of the track. He did not give up, however, and may prove a force next time around.
Alex’s Tomcat – Race 3, #1, 5/21 – ‘Tomcat made another solid appearance at Canterbury Park, his favorite venue by far. He just happened to run into Seattle Sal, who now owns a 6-2-2-0 record over the strip. SS got first run on Alex’s Tomcat as well, but add another 20 yards onto the race and it certainly becomes a headbob. We may not get a great price on him next time around but if Seattle Sal decides not to show up they will have AT to hold off down the lane.
Vini Vidi Vinci – Race 4, #2, 5/22 – I’ll try not to make it a habit of giving you horses that won at 2/1. However, this horse did it so impressively that I must advise keeping an eye on him. People may criticize the fact that the win came in the mud, who did he beat?, etc. The fact of the matter is this animal spotted the field 3-4 lengths out of the gate (which he typically does), fell far further than that amount of lengths behind, and still ran down a leader who ran a brave race for the place spot. Mind you, the front runner slowed down the fractions handily in the slop but they were still fast. This is a very live horse for the future should he stay healthy…maybe taking a jump in class will yield the price we need to bet this one next time around.
Silent Copy & Tapitintime – Race 5, #5 & #3, 5/22 – There are a lot of live fillies that ran in this race, but I picked out two that encountered a bit of trouble commencing their rallies. Tapitintime simply had nowhere to go, and when guided out made a decent run but should appreciate the experience over the track. Silent Copy didn’t have quite as much trouble, but had to go quite wide in her first outing, no doubt an educational trip. Keep an eye on a lot of the runners from this bunch!
Keep in mind, all of this weekend’s races were run in the mud. An unbelievable ONE favorite came home in front opening night, and closers seemed to relish the mud far more than usual. It was an odd weekend overall, but the horses above should move up no matter what next time around. We’ll see if my hindsight’s as hit & miss as my foresight! Good luck to all!