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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


We normally avoid maiden races with first-time starters for obvious reasons: There’s often no trip video to refer to. With limited interesting races for us on Thursday, we opted for a $50,000 maiden claimer for juveniles because the fifth race ends the Early P5, and begins the Late P4.

To make matters worse, we’re leaning on a first time starter on which we have no special insight. But we know this about the early line favorite newcomer, Amazing Trip (9-5). First, he’s a son of The Big Beast whose newcomers, despite a sizable sample size, win at a 25% rate.

In today’s parlance, that stat is sick. But wait, there’s more, as they say. Trainer Gilberto Zerpa is a profitable 24% with first-time starters, even better with maiden claimers at 27%,

In addition, he’s won 32 of 100 starts with maiden claimers of all ages. He shows a series of bullet moves at his Palm Meadows base and Emisael Jaramillo wins with 24% of his sprint rides.

The form of the contenders is ordinary, the best race by any having come on a sloppy surface. Handicappers don’t need to bet on the ironically named Amazing Trip, but he needs to be included in all horizontals.

We’ll take Amazing Trip to win at 8-5 or greater, and key quinellas with speed-and-stopped first-time-claiming dropdown Makin It Look Easy (8-1), and slop runnerup, Arete’s Chalice (2-1). The latter was narrowly beaten by a perfect tripper on that occasion [see Gulfstream Park replay, SEP 17, Race 4].

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