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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


There was a choice of two large Friday purses available and we chose the identical condition optiona- allowances with the larger field, the nightcap in which N3L $25K claimers are sprinting three-quarters of a mile.

What attracts us to Rip Rap Riley (6-1), alliteration notwithstanding, is his last 5-1/2 furlong sprint in which he refused to give up the chase after being forced to steady on the fence at a critical stage [see Laurel Park video from NOV 15-RACE 3 on homepage]. He still nailed the leader at the line.

His early and late pace figures were very solid and his win three starts back at 6-1/2 furlongs shows today’s stretch-out is not beyond his scope. The Capuano outfit is showing confidence with a rise from the $16K level and two works since his last indicates he’s holding condition very well.

Further, the barn is winning at a 25% rate recently and at a similar pace when using live apprentice Avery Whisman; both are profitable categories. It’s no easy spot for sure but should Riley deliver, his backers will be rewarded nicely.

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4 Responses

  1. Speaking of weekday racing, I have been playing a little bit of TP – back half of cards at least – during the week. The 5th race usually starts around 8:10-8:15est. But the biggest draw to me is that the field sizes at TP are incredible. It’s like a flashback to the past. Race after race of 12 horse fields, with 14 entries/2 AEs.

    It seems like it has to be due to a racing secretary who knows the available horse stock & their conditions incredibly well, and/or a secretary who does an amazing job of hustling out there to secure entries. Learning All Weather is an adjustment, but it’s worth the effort due to the great field sizes there.

  2. Doc, a safe surface is always the priority and admittedly handicapping on a synthetic surface, closer to turf than dirt, is an adjustment. I only ask that the surface gives any style of runner a chance, not just off the pace types. We bred for speed in America and some synthetic tracks just cut the speed down. That notwithstanding, your point is very well made. Empirically, synthetics lend themselves to larger field sizes better than dirt tracks.

    Laurel is interesting. Bias is what bias does, environmental and maintenance factors the prime movers. That aside, at Laurel horses seem to win from anywhere and everywhere, at once making the puzzles more interesting but at the same time, harder.

  3. My knowledge of the Baltimore circuit is pretty limited to capping Preakness week. But I do give LRL turf shippers extra consideration when they come up here to run on the grass. They seem to really stack up well when they are sent. So I do have respect for the circuit off that alone.

    TP is definitely not a place you are rushing to send your speedball though -that is for sure. It tends to reward horses that are getting into the mix, around 4-8 lengths off the winner approaching the far turn, and making that wide move on the turn. Last night there were a few horses who made a big move inside around the turn, and when kept inside in the stretch, they just stopped gaining ground.

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