The Horse Race Insider is a privately owned magazine. All copyrights reserved. “Bet with your head, not over it.”

The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing




The Skinny: Very competitive sprint, a description that could be applied to almost all one-turn races in Hot Springs.

It’s very likely that early line 2-Tejano Twist (3-1) will be the public’s choice, albeit not overwhelmingly. Certainly his late-tunning style should be flattered by the amount of early speed signed on pre-scratches Saturday morning.

The productive Chris Hartman barn, an outfit known for its prowess with sprinters, is having a career season and owns an otherworldly 32% strike rate at the current meet.

Hartman and rider Francisco Arrieta have been doing excellent work recently and that trend is likely to continue. Interesting that Hartman entered an uncoupled mate as well, a very sharp Edge to Edge (4-1), a speedy sort in with a chance but who also might be here to help set the table.

Of particular interest is Karl Broberg trainee 7-Flash of Mischief (9-2). Following a career run in the David Vance at Remington in September, he was pitched too high in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint then caught sloppy tracks in his next two starts. He managed to win that return to Hot Springs despite a figure regression.

Directly outside ‘Flash’, Norm Cash and Steve Asmussen have entered two bullets that figure to vie on the pace; there’s speed to the inside of them, too. But an ‘A’ effort by ‘Flash’ can get it done Saturday afternoon.


VALUE: PLAY: Betting Flash of Mischief to win at 7-2 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box 2-7. Trifecta Key 2 // 4 7-8 [Pirate Rick 12-1]-9 [Cogburn]. Daily Double: 2.7 with 2


The Skinny: A rare handicap event and weight could be a concern for the favorite. Certainly, 10-Last Samurai (5-2) is deserving of the impost given his comprehensive win in the G3 Razorback prep. Picking up four pounds to 121, he’s spotting his main rivals 4-5 pounds and is not helped by his wide draw. Christian Torrez rode him perfectly last out, sitting off the speed with a clear outside run. He finished up well as he outclassed his rivals late but, on balance, this group is a mite tougher.

Price shot 9-Playing Field (15-1) had it much tougher in that race, forced to move up while wide between horses on the backside in uncomfortable surroundings. Committed, he raced three wide to battle for command on the turn but was completely spent when the money run began. He’s worth serious consideration if double-digit odds are available.

The principal rivals are both inside: 1-Silver Prospector (6-1) and 2-Vittorio (3-1). Steve Asmussen has Silver Prospector back in top form; a sharp win last out with a strong gallop-out. The challenge will be stronger rivals and the added sixteenth.

Bill Mott ships Vittorio in from Payson Park. Coming off a lengthy absence, he chased the classy Charge It at Gulfstream who got an easy first run entering the turn and putting Vittorio in chase mode. He finished well through late stretch without challenging and came back with four purposeful works since. He has a touch of back-class which could serve him nicely here. He enters the fray with the most upside.

5-Classic Causeway (15-1), a program scratch at Tampa Bay last weekend, has been training up a storm at his Fair Grounds base. 7-Forza Di Oro (7-2) comes up to this $500K event the right way for Brad Cox.


VALUE PLAY: Betting Vittorio to win at 3-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Key-Box 2 // Trifecta Key 2 //

Suggested exotic players are at minimums available; straight wagers in $2 units

this is a live column, wlll be updated throughout the weekend

Facebook Share
Twitter Share
LinkedIn Share

⚠ Before you comment

Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

6 Responses

  1. Cogburn appears to be in top form. 2 for 3 at Oaklawn. In his last race on Feb 5, regained the lead and was challenged by the 2nd, 3rd & 4th finishers. He has been the favorite in all 6 lifetime starts, if that means anything.

    “COGBURN broke well, showed the way up most of the backstretch in the two path, relinquished the advantage to an inside rival into the turn, dueled with that one into the stretch, disposed of that same rival when straightened for home, enough left to withstand the next two at the wire while fully extended.”

  2. Dan, everything is everything, said the boss, and everything has meaning, so.

    If race stays in tact, three speed types have to ensure a fast pace, IMHO–though all could be won and lost at the break.

    Point is as structured, I want a closer in this spot. Of course, I’ll see how track is playing, etc…

    Have a safe and speedy journey.


      1. Hey Dan, did not. The value play ran poorly and we were split in the exacta, running 1-3. Yeah, quite the day, loomed both “Most Probables” but lost on the day. It happens…

  3. Mott’s horse in the 9th at OP has the biggest upside. Mott’s on fire. 2nd off layoff. In at 116 lbs. 5 years old and lightly raced. Hard to ignore the 1, 7. I would (have) take a shot leaving the favorite out of the first two positions and add the 6.

  4. That’s what I thought, too, but Vittorio was extremely disappointing–needed him for third in saver Tri.

    Mama said there’d be days like this…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *