Today we feast on a buffet of Polytrack at Turfway Park. I must say that the quality of racing today at Turfway Park is really unprecedented in the history of the Road to Kentucky contest. The “breakeven” score today is 780 and our target will be 1,170. I’m sticking with my plan of not picking anything below 5-1 Morning Line. Good luck with your selections! Note: the Santa Anita card was cancelled due to inclement weather so there will be no bonus race from Santa Anita.
Race 1: This is a Clm5000N2L for 3+ f&m at 6f. I chose Mecke Me Music (ML 12-1). This mare is making her first start on a synthetic surface and gets a trainer change to Jevon Crumley who does well under this scenario. She had some good turf runs at Calder back in 2008 so I’m hoping the form transfers to synthetic.
The Result: Ancient Future (9/5) closed for the win over Creative Dawn (14-1) and A June Affair (6/5). My selection stalked and faded at 11-1. Creative Dawn got the most contest points for her second place finish.
Maximum Points: Creative Dawn 142
Maximum Score: 142
My Score: 0
Race 2: This is a Clm7500N3L for 3+ f&m at 6.5f. I selected Queen Gracie (ML 5-1) who closes from off the pace and won her race two starts back at 35-1 against N2L company. She closed for 3rd in her last start from far back after a trouble line that reads “unprepared start” and appears to be in pretty good form.
The Result: Favored Twice Punched (4/5) scored easily over Caspia (5-1) and Consumed by Jewel (9-1). My selection ran an even 4th at 5-1.
Maximum Points: Twice Punched 96
Maximum Score: 238
My Score: 0
Race 3: This is a Clm5000N3L for 3+ f&m at 1m. I selected Ginger Sea (ML 12-1) who finished 2nd at this level in her last start at 31-1 while showing good early speed. She’s run 1-2 in 6 of 12 at Turfway Park.
The Result: Stacie’s Smile (2-1) wins her second straight from off the pace over Through the Clouds (5/2) and Ginger Sea (7-1). Speed hasn’t been too good so far. Another formful result!
Maximum Points: Champagne D’Oro 130
Maximum Score: 368
My Score: 34
Race 4: This is a mcl5000 for 3+ at 6.5f. I selected Final Rule (ML 12-1) on the class drop and short layoff with 3 workouts on form. He showed speed going 2 turns in his last start at 24-1.
The Result: Bombs away in all three spots as Make Me Salvadoran (40-1) won it over Trouble Free Tripp (19-1) and Scrivener (45-1)! The winners’ points are capped at 600. He was 0 for 17 and had been beaten soundly at this level in his last ten starts. He was 4th in his last race and it was his best finish in quite a while. Very tough to find but you’re going to need that one to win this week.
Maximum Points: Make Me Salvadoran 1,002
Maximum Score: 1,370
My Score: 34
Race 5: This is a Clm12500 for 3+ at 1m. I selected Vintage Dave (ML 12-1) who was claimed by Engler out of his last race. He has a win at Turfway and 3 wins at the distance from 8 starts. He’s returning on 7 days rest.
The Result: Formful result as Catman Running (4/5) won it over Berlioz (3-1) with a dead heat for third between Letthebigtimesroll (6-1) and Curly (7-1). My selection was nowhere at 16-1. I need to do better; I’m starting to think this might be my throw out week!
Maximum Points: Catman Running 85
Maximum Score: 1,455
My Score: 34
Race 6: This is a Clm5000 for 3+ at 1m. I selected Bred to Win (8-1) with seven 1-2 finishes at Turfway from 14 starts and eight 1-2 finishes from 12 starts at the distance.
The Result: Cosmic Star (8-1) closed strongly for the win over Marco Blanco (8-1) and Bred to Win (9-2). The favorites were nowhere! Cosmic Star had been closing in sprints and successfully stretched out today at a nice price…
Maximum Points: Cosmic Star 350
Maximum Score: 1,805
My Score: 76
Race 7: This is a mcl7500 for 3yo at 6.5f. I selected Win It (ML 12-1) who takes a drop in class after being outrun in his last start. He posted two decent speed figures going two turns in December that fit with this group. There is no clear favorite on the board.
The Result: Favored Seeking the Orange (5/2) closed to win over Championship Point (6-1) and Naiche (5/2). The speed continues to fade over the Polytrack. My selection ran 5th at 16-1.
Maximum Points: Seeking the Orange 140
Maximum Score: 1,945
My score: 76
Race 8: This is a Clm30000N3L for 3+ f&m at 1m. I selected Queen of Arts (ML 15-1) taking a slight class drop. She is a sprinter with good tactical speed. I’m not too optimistic that the speed angle will hold after seeing the results today.
The Result: The speed did hold but it was the favorite Vegas Wedding (4/5) who sprinted wire to wire over Slick Miss (7/2) and Queen of Arts (11-1). The first three finishers ran 1-2-3 around the track.
Maximum Points: Vegas Wedding 92
Maximum Score: 2,037
My Score: 122
Race 9: This is a Clm5000N4L for 3+ at 6f. I selected Katzmetic (ML 12-1) making his third start off the layoff after two extremely wide trips. He closes from off the pace.
The Result: Another favorite won as Scrimp N Onthenews (5/2) won over Service Corps (50-1) and Katzmetic (9-1). The longshot 2nd place finisher had never finished ITM on synthetics in 9 starts. He closed from far back. Another difficult one to have!
Maximum Points: Service Corps 452
Maximum Score: 2,489
My Score: 194
Race 10: This is a Clm5000N2Y for 3+ at 6f. I selected Jamie’s Mambo (ML 8-1) who is an even runner with a decent closing kick. He finished 2nd at 13-1 three starts back and has 6 wins from 34 starts on synthetic tracks.
The Result: Weather Heather (8-1) closed for the win over Scara Brae (9/5) and Studio One (15-1). The winner was another deep closer who was wide with trouble in her last start. My selection was no factor at 5-1.
Maximum Points: Weather Heather 284
Maximum Score: 2,773
My Score: 194
Race 11: This is the featured John Battaglia Memorial100K for 3yo at 1m1/16. No graded earnings available in this race so it’s really not a Kentucky Derby prep. Several of the runners are from the WEBN50K run at Turfway on January 30. I selected Fish (ML 8-1) who was checked in trouble in his last start. He has the rail and early speed which doesn’t appear to be the right formula on today’s race track! Favored Kera’s Kitten is pure speed so it will be interesting to see what happens here.
The Result: The runner up Vow to Wager (23-1) was interfered with in the stretch and moved into first place ahead of Codoy (7/2) and In the Paint (11-1). Vow to wager was the longest shot on the board! Here was another opportunity for big points in the double point bonus race. Codoy was the original winner but drifted in to Vow to Wager inside the 16th pole. Vow to Wager is trained by Dale Romans and has now won 2 in a row at Turfway. My selection rallied wide on the turn but faded with no excuses at 9-1.
Maximum Points: Vow to Wager 1,488
Maximum Score: 4,261
My Score: 194
Race 12: This is an Msw21K for 3+ f&m at 1m. I selected Go Get Lost (ML 12-1) who should be a huge price in this race because there really isn’t anything positive to say about him! He shows a bullet work since his last start and stretches out to 2 turns.
The Result: Hyperion’s Star rallied from far back and wide to win the nightcap at 13-1 over Victorian Lady (18-1) and Fillazzene (7/2). The track profile today was favoring wide closers. That is tough to figure from a handicapper’s perspective. You hope a few of your horses run to the bias but it didn’t happen for me today. My selection tracked along the inside and stopped at 15-1.
Maximum Points: Hyperion’s Star 524
Maximum Score: 4,785
My Score: 194
Summary: Congratulations if you had one of the two big bombers today! Both horses were the 6 so maybe somebody played the 6 horse in every race. Perhaps somebody got to 3,000 points today which is really outstanding. It was a tough track to figure when you have to turn everything in ahead of time. I probably should have done a bit of homework, maybe the track has been playing this way for awhile but I rarely follow Turfway. The good news for this weeks strugglers such as me is that we can throw out our lowest score. I’ve definitely exercised that option at this point.