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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


With rare exception, our charter is to find the classiest race on the card and analyze it. That choice was easy today. Only the day’s finale, the eighth race, qualifies, and it’s a tricky short-field allowances. Just a heads-up…

The problem with these kinds of events is knowing how the race will unfold, what tactics the jocks will use, and the condition of the animal. The horses in the best form here are slower than others which, should they run their ‘A’ race, will win.

We started building cases and we didn’t just throw up our hands and took Lunar Rille (8-5), from 2019’s leading trainer, Claudio Gonzalez. The truth is that she has more going for her based on an allowance placing last summer. Check the Laurel Live Video on the HRI homepage, RACE 5 from AUG 17.

First note how Alex Cintron rode her as if she were 6-5, not 6-1. With some overconfidence, he steered her out into the clear, made a mid-race move while widest on the turn in the fastest quarter-mile of the race. That tack doesn’t work very well, especially at demanding Laurel.

Not only was she wide but her move was premature. Her wins came when she made the last run. On this occasion, she opened three lengths between calls and was run down late by Bilal beneath the forever patient Trevor McCarthy.

She won twice and was second three times since the Gonzalez claim then was freshened nearly three months. She was non-competitive in her return at Parx, then caught slop when she came back home–not her best surface.

The track has been wet in recent days but with predicted sunshine, the surface should dry sufficiently by post time at 4 pm. The clincher is that her good streak came with Victor Carrasco in the boot, who reunites with her today.

We’re going on record with Lunar Brille to win and will key her in exactas with Esterina (8-5), who owns the fastest race on the page given today’s dynamics, and with Our Star (4-1), a late developing four-year-old getting a confident rise in class.

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