We’re sure today’s Laurel feature, an optional high class claimer going a mile, could have been more open; we’re just not sure how.
So we’re playing the percentages. After reviewing the key players on video, we thought we’d keep this as simple; taking a horse that loves the strip, the trip, and most of all, should appreciate the drop in company.
Check out RACE 6 on NOV 30 (Laurel Park Video on the HRI homepage). I think you’ll see that Jefazo (7-2) ran a lot better than the running line of the 1-1/8 miles Richard Small Stakes suggests. “Empty” just doesn’t get it.
The effort was the contrary of empty. To wit: The pace was laughably slow, allowing the horses that raced on or near the pace to share the exacta. Pace notwithstanding, it would have taken Secretariat-like effort to make up ground in a final eighth in 11 3/5–against a multiple stakes winner yet.
But the story for us was the fact this gelded four-year-old raced 3- to 4-wide throughout a two-turner, wound up surrounded on the final turn, yet kept digging down through mid- and late stretch, relentlessly gaining inch by inch. So much try…
Now he’s back to a one-turn mile. He’s 3-for-4 lifetime at the trip and also is 4-for-9 on this surface–2-for-17 doing anything else.
Alex Cintron rides him back for Kioran Magee, who engineered three victories since he made the April 28 claim. He’s lugged 124 pounds successfully in the past, too.
Early line odds would be fair in the straight pool, and we’ll try to optimize with exacta key-boxes including improving three-year-old Tappin Cat (3-1) and live-looking Degrom (5-1), adding price shot Bustoff (8-1) to the super-exotics mix.