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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

LAUREL PARK LIVE – FEB 1

What to do? An interesting field of three year old fillies going a flat mile in an NX1 allowances with five of the fillies recently breaking their maidens on various forms of wet tracks presents an extremely challenging puzzle.

We must do something a little unusual here, however. We’re going with a filly that you can research on your own, the Graham Motion-trained favorite Windy Lane (5-2) [date below] broke maiden in slop on debut.

But you must see this to believe it. Before seeing the Laurel Live Video for DEC 13, RACE 7, I knew she came from last of nine to win. And note how she had to steady briefly before finding a big hole on the rail before entering the stretch. You would never think she could win from there! But win she did.

The negatives are that she was bred very strongly for slop on both sides and needs to stretch out another furlong here. But her mother did produce four winners from six starters, including two stakes winners. So the license for repeating is there. Clearly the line-maker thinks so.

But we’re looking for a minor upset with Miss Tap Dance (4-1), another winner on debut over a good–as opposed to–sloppy track. But she did it completely differently, virtually gate to wire at 7-1/2 furlongs, making today’s stretch-out not as dramatic.

A first foal winner, she’s bred for longer on her dam’s side but it’s not even that. It was her professionalism that impressed. She broke from the gate as as she were doing it all her life, stalking while the rider never moved a muscle. Like the chart-caller’s short comment said: “When ready…”

The race was fast on any speed-figure scale, she’s drawn nicely in midgate, and attracts Trevor McCarthy. We’re betting her to win with no price restrictions. Additionally, we’re boxing the exacta with Windy Lane, adding two pricey super-exotic fillers to the mix; Loa (12-1) and Omni Drive (6-1).

Can’t wait to see what strategy the jockeys employ here and how it will all shake out given the promise of a dry racetrack. Parenthetically, the Miss Tap Dance run came on JAN 18, RACE 2.

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