It’s a classic question, brilliance vs. experience, in a stakes for young horses but that’s the scenario in Saturday’s co-featured Game Face for three-year-old fillies going 7 furlongs.
Freedom Speaks (2-1) is the early line favorite despite never having run beyond 5 furlongs or on dirt, for that matter, but what an impressive debut it was, showing uncommon turn of foot in her Tapeta debut.
She always looking the winner and drawing out at the end, all on her own. (see GP, MAY 12, Race 5).
Then check out Rapturous (7-2), going turf to dirt for Kathleen O’Connell. A blowout 7-furlong allowance in slop three back, she was a game second in a state-bred stakes in fast going at the same trip next out.
But it was the turf race on which we’re hanging our handicapping hat, and our dollars. She was well back in her one mile debut on turf, never had clear running, yet she closed a gap late to share down a share.
The important aspect is she held form and on the turnback to her optimal distance and preferred surface–three wins and a second on dirt–she will have more than enough conditioning at this tough hybrid distance going 6-1/2 panels.
Check out that turf race in the Going Gulfstream Video section of HRI’s lead page and note her very energetic finish: Gulfstream Park, MAY 7, Race 11.
Taking Rapturous to win at 3-1 or greater and key-boxing exactas with the favorite and fast-working Last Leaf (5-2).