With many of the main contenders so close on performance figures, and even certain trips, the big tie-breaker for us is today’s nine furlong distance.
And that’s what allowed us to have so much that, i.e., taking Small Hope (4-1) over Hope Again (7-2). Of course, a little class drop can go a long way, too, from secondary allowances to a starter handicap at the $16K level.
HIs most recent trip, while not overly problematic did have it’s moments, like when he tried to surge between rivals in upper stretch but was caught in a bit of a sandwich. Additionally, the hole might have been going a little faster than he was.
But he kept chugging, never in danger of winning but his gallop showed more energy than we expected to see. With more favorable dynamics, he could be right at at this today’s trip. And his connections, Kent Sweezy and Pablo Morales are having solid meets and then some.
Check out his race on the Tampa Bay Today Video on our homepage. The race in question is RACE 8 on FEB 9. Under the circumstances, his early line seems fair and wouldn’t want any shorter. We’ll take him straight and an exacta box with Hope Again. Yes, small hope again…