If you like maiden claimers, you’ll love today’s card at Arlington: out of eight races, five are maiden claimers.
What we don’t have today are two-turn races: the card opens with a pair of one-turn miles, and continues with five to six furlong races. So, sprint lovers get their day today, as well.
We are close to post time already so the analysis is shorter than usual. However, if you have questions about any of my logic, feel free to tweet me at @rogueclown — and I will be doing some Periscopes throughout the day to discuss my picks in further detail.
Let’s get to the picks!
Most Likely: Duel Fool (race 7)
Value Play: Tam (race 4)
Race 1: $7,500 maiden claiming, three-year-olds and up, one mile on the polytrack, post time 1:15pm CDT
Selections: Aggro Crag (4), Le Dimanche (2), A Lucky Dream (5)
Le Dimanche is 2/5 on the morning line, but he does not tower over Aggro Crag. The latter has shown some polytrack form, and keeps Valdivia. A Lucky Dream has never hit the board, but gets a swap to strong maiden rider Edgar Perez, and drops to his lowest class yet.
Race 2: $15,000 maiden claiming, fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up, one mile on the polytrack, post time 1:47pm CDT
Selections: Chicken Noodle (3), Sister Ceari (3), Summer Seashell (7)
I loved Kylers Song today, but she’s scratched. Chicken Noodle is the only one on the drop first time from special weight to claiming, and comes in third off the lay. Her turf try last out was dreadful, but if she handles polytrack better, she should win. Sister Ceari looks the only other real win candidate here, and hit the board over a polytrack mile two starts back. Summer Seashell hardly looks a win candidate, but looks best of the rest, and was second against similar company last time out. If she handles poly at all, she should hit the board.
Race 3: $5,000 claiming, non-winners since January 1, 2016 OR N4L, races where entered for $4,000 or less not considered in eligibility, fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up, five and a half furlongs on the polytrack, post time 2:19pm CDT
Selections: Pinkchampagneonice (1), Kris Road (7), Rocksie Lucie (2)
Fairmount denizen Pinkchampagneonice is first-time polytrack, but has taken her form north to Hawthorne before. She is second off the lay, and fits these conditions cozily. She gets the nod over Kris Road, who has shown excellent form on the polytrack, but is dropping in for $5,000 after defeating $7,500 types last out. Rocksie Lucie has form at a dash distance, and is getting in among the right class.
Race 4: $25,000 claiming, N2L, fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up, five furlongs on the turf, post time 2:51pm CDT
Selections: Tam (6), Acid Rain (7), Quick Study (1)
As long as the rain holds off and Tam gets firm turf, she should be excellently set here. She gets some speed to attack, and does her best in turf dashes. With Meetmeforasmoke likely to take a lot of money, she should be value, to boot. Acid Rain is finally getting a turf dash at the right class level, and Jose Valdivia, Jr. gets off the Rivelli horse to ride her. Quick Study should be a price — and she drops in class, going into a straight claimer for the first time. Her passing gear helps her here.
Race 5: $25,000-$20,000 maiden claiming, fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up, six furlongs on the polytrack, post time 3:23pm CDT
Selections: Little Jig (3), Lady Relaunch (4), Mongolian Shopper (5)
This race is wide open. None of the raced horses appeal all that much, so let’s take a new face in Little Jig. The dam has produced a first-out winner, and Armando de la Cerda does well in maiden claimers. I usually don’t give 12-start maidens any kind of shake, but at least Lady Relaunch is first-time poly, with hot rider Mitchell Murrill, and has a trainer who does very well with small class rises. Mongolian Shopper drops from special weight for the first time, and may be speed of the speed.
Race 6: $25,000-$20,000 maiden claiming, fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up, five furlongs on the turf, post time 3:55pm CDT
Selections: On the Hoofha (3), Sparr Princess (5), Greater (6)
This race goes through the Armando de la Cerda barn, with On the Hoofha and Sparr Princess. Slight edge to On the Hoofha, who gets Jose Valdivia, Jr. in the irons, and finally gets to try a turf dash against easier company than at Fair Grounds. Sparr Princess drops to claimers for the first time, and may be speed of the speed. Greater is also on the drop, and only running second time ever. She has some pedigree to figure it out early, and trainer Doug Matthews has a solid +$1.77 ROI with second-timers.
Race 7: $7,500 claiming, three years old OR N3L, races where entered for non-winners of two and three for $5,000 or less not considered in eligibility, fillies and mares, three-year-olds and up, six furlongs on the polytrack, post time 4:27pm CDT
Selections: Duel Fool (2), Posh Ruler (4), Da’blues Dancer (8)
Sometimes the fastest horse just wins, and that’s Duel Fool. She has won on the lead, but has also been able to sit off and get the job done — with all the speed in here, that versatility means she’s likely not to be enough of a fool to get in a duel. She hasn’t won on poly yet, but hasn’t missed the board in three starts on it, and has a pair of wins at six panels. Posh Ruler has improved on polytrack, though the extra half-furlong is a question. Da’blues Dancer has a spot of second-itis, particularly at the distance, but is in good enough form to contend for a share.
Race 8: $15,000 maiden claiming, three-year-olds and up, five furlongs on the turf, post time 4:57pm CDT
Selections: Hawk Is Ready (5), Ravinator (3), Ripe Attack (2)
My strongest opinion in this race is that Trusty Truman will not win. Going back to trying a turf dash makes sense, but taking a class rise after that terrible outing last out does not, and neither does taking chalk on him. At least Hawk is Ready comes in second off the lay, and is trying grass for the first time. Ravinator is wheeling back in a week for Leonard Slager, something that barn has done with a bit of success. Ripe Attack is a bit of a question mark — the breeding screams poly over poly with a side of poly. But, if that translates to turf, the 2nd place finish in a dash over slop last out is promising.