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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Maybe not even the connections of some major Native Dancer Stakes players on Saturday’s stakes-laden program at Laurel Park have considered it but, given the new conditions, could one of these horses consider going for a mere $3 million at Gulfstream Park on JAN 25 next time out?

Of the older campaigners in this 1-1/8 miles test for three-year-olds and up, Monongahela (8-5) and Someday Jones (3-1), the 1-2 finishers in Penn’s Swatara Stakes last month, are very logical entrants from the brothers Servis.

Monongahela was a clearly best, perfect trip, three-length winner, hitting the wire with a bit in reserve in a solid 1:43.01. But it was Someday Jones which, after trailing badly, came with a furious late run way out in the middle of the course and impressed more. Neither has won at the trip.

But three-year-old Alwaysmining (8-1) has. That victory came here–along with six other scores–in the Federico Tesio of spring. The win was good enough to springboard him into the Grade 1 Preakness. He was humbled in that spot, as he was in the Indiana Derby. Subsequently, he was sidelined.

Alwaysmining returned with a Good News/Bad News/Not-Sure effort sprinting here on DEC 7, RACE 8 (see Laurel Park Live Video on HRI homepage). The good news is Kelly Rubley is profitable going sprint to route and using Julian Pimentel but is only 8% effective in LAY-2 scenarios.

The Don’t-Know portion was the prep itself. Bettors need to watch the video and make the decision for themselves. He appeared to be a tad short of condition, was not abused late when apparently beaten, but I would have liked to see him hold just a little better, especially given today’s trip.

Rubley was happy with the effort, said the horse came back great and that he used that race as a prep. All well and good but perhaps trainer-speak, too. I will say this: Before tiring he showed good life throughout and the race was strongly run; 1:09 4/5. His style ensures a viable stalking trip.

It’s a gamble but at 8-1 on the early line, it’s worth taking a positive guess. But the absolute best one could hope for is 4-1 straight, and that would be more than fair. We’re “alwaysbetting” value to win when available and here we’ll also key-box exactas with the Servis brothers.

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2 Responses

  1. John, Please don’t take this comment the wrong way but I am beginning to suspect that the three horse trifecta box may very well be the better approach to wagering on your handicapping skills. I often skip the suggested Win & KB tickets, and focus on the minimum expense tri for a $3 investment. You might find you may end up cashing more often. I know I have had sucess playing the wider range of opportunity, as played out today once more. Your top three boxed so often comes in. Learn something new, share something new. Riders Up!.

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