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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Handicapping regulars know this axiom, “beware the one-number” horse, a debut winner that won and ran out of its mind.

Enter Great Valenzuela (8-5) in the Saturday feature in Hallandale. This was actually his second start but the move up from his debut was huge.

The reason one-number horses can be risky is because no one knows–including the trainer–how they will react to a very fast race. Why?

Because unless they’re champions, a regression is far more likely than a forward move. Great Valenzuela ran an ‘8’ on the Thoro Graph scale which indicates huge ability. But that was 21 days ago. Too soon?

Normally our knee jerk would be yes, but here’s the thing. ‘Valenzuela’ earned that figure on Tapeta Track and the disparity in figures is so disparate that–and I hate this expression–he could bounce and still win easily.

The Victor Barboza barn is on a recent roll and his outside draw should ensure another winning stalking trip.

Taking Great Valenzuela to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with forward looking Heaven in Mind (5-1) for Sano/Zayas team.

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