Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.” – Charles Dickens

For the Brisnet ‘Race of the Day’ Contest, I guess we’ll pass on the former and go with the latter on Grove City (Beulah) and New Orleans (Fair Grounds) as there have been two successive days of cancellations, making it the age of foolishness, epoch of incredulity, the season of Darkness, and the winter of despair with nothing in front of us (I’ll pass on speculation on where I am directly going)!   I do seriously wonder if the folks who select the races for these contests actually check the weather first.  It does remind me of a NHC freebie event over a year ago where they had included the Fair Grounds with a nasty weather forecast and the last 3 legs (of the 4 legs carded from FG) were cancelled due to weather – poor planning.  Granted not as much is riding on the line here, but on a positive note I have worked out a few glitches with my blog formatting.
Back to the Fair Grounds for Friday’s Contest Race – again originally slated for the turf, but I’ll figure this one over the main track.
Friday 1/11 - FG – Race 7 – AlwN1X – 4yo&up – 5-1/2f (originally scheduled for the turf)
1 Bravo Habibi (5-2) – he has been knocking around with higher priced claimers with moderate success, however I see him getting caught up in a speed duel on the frontend and not having much left late.
2 Purgenality (12-1) – Unsuccessful in advancing from this condition, should run if this comes off the turf.  Big effort in the slop at Ellis seems to be a bit of a fluke, not likely here.
3 Royal Production (6-1) – Will show some early speed and tire by the stretch, not likely to hang on long enough to hit the board.  May be a negative factor on the early pace.  PASS.
4 Ali Maccool (8-1) – Late bloomer as a 4yo who didn’t hit the track until November.   Last race was a solid pressing effort and does show a couple of solid works since.  Breeding suggest some ability over an off track.  Definite contender as the early speed will be challenged here and likely fail.
5 Make A Fortune (9-5) – has two solid polytrack efforts to his credit and will be looking to make a big late run here.  Definite contender.
6 Alumni (8-1) – outclassed as he switches back to the dirt.
7 Harbor Junior (10-1) – needs to be loose on the lead, not likely to get that here as he figures to try to be part of the early pace and fades away.

8 Darkness Love (10-1) – outclassed.  PASS.

9 Hudson’s Creed (8-1) – outclassed speedster who likes to be loose on the lead.  PASS.

This race looks to set up with a lot of early speed battling it out early.  The winner is likely to come from just off the pace of make a closing move late.  The horses that fit this style are 2, 4, 5, & 8.  8 appears to be outclassed and 2 does not seem likely.  Of the remaining two selections, I am going to go with the likely value on #4 Ali Maccool to sit right off the pace and be around late. 
Probable plays:  WP4; Ex 4,5 with 1,4,5
Confidence:  Assuming there aren’t too many important scratches here, 3 of 5.  Pace and class appear to be fairly apparent and most of the field looks likely to remain despite the surface switch.

Good luck all!

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