I recently posted on the boards that I would write coverage of a race for the first person to respond. Nextbonus was the first and after some tweeking of the request, we are looking at an allowance race in Delaware which is open to fillies and mares age 4 or older. The race is on the dirt and is restricted to non-winners in the past nine months. A field of 10 are entered, of which four have won listed stake races and another is a G3 winner. Fast conditions are expected for the 8.5 furlong race and here’s the field:
1-CK URSUS MAJOR 5/1-This mare has been running 8.5 furlongs over her last dozen starts with a record of 3-4-2 and never finishing worse than fourth. Speed numbers have been 100 or better in 11 of these races but have been slowly dropping in the most recent outings. I don’t think this is a major concern, at least not yet as she has a good steady performance record and the conditions of NW over last 9 months maybe a bit more accomodating.
2-IMA CREEP 7/1-After testing the turf for a handful of starts in the first half of 2016, this lady came back to the dirt and results spiked. Speed increased from 86 in her last start on the grass to 106 in her return to the dirt. She won three of her first four dirt starts in allowance and listed stake with the only failure with a trial run in graded stakes. Despite decent speeds in her last three races, the results have not been there, finishing off the board in each run going in a mix of stake races. She drops back to allowance looking to get things straightened out and the odds may proof to be generous.
3 SUING FOR PEACE 37/1-This longshot brings in a big question mark as to how she will fare. She’s raced 11 times on the grass wit hone run on the dirt. The dirt was a spring claiming race that she got beat rather bad. She will be giving the soil another tryout and that is where the questions begin. She’s done fairly well on the turf with three wins and 5 ITM finishes, but speeds have not hit that triple digit level. She’ll need to do that big time in this race to break the peace.
4 MISS AMERICAIN PIE 7/2- The favorite in the race is also reader Nextbonus requested horse for coverage. A sharp spike in speeds in mid-2016 came when she moved to dirt from the turf, winning a listed stake followed by a second in the G3 Vogue Handicap with speeds of 112 and 111. Two following grade races were not fruitful so she dropped down to allowance racing where she has earned a win and finished second three times. Her form is very good, the allowance level benefits her nice and she looks well placed in this field.
5 SILENCE INCLUDED 9/2-Since October 2015, this mare has been alternating listed stake/grade stake races with allowance races. She will race in the softer allowance level and then follow up with a more demanding stake race. Allowance races have worked well as she’s been ITM each time with this strategy. The stake racing was working well with similar results until her last pair or outings at this higher level. She’s back to the allowance group and is a gal who runs late. Results will improve off of the last place finish in the Orange Blossom (G1), her last start, and I believe she had a good shot of hitting the board.
6 CARA AGAIN 8/1-A nice dirt running filly who has been ITM 7 of 9 races with 5 wins. Being off the board twice came in her only pair of listed stake tries. She enters off a three month rest and she kicked 2017 off with a 110 speed when she missed in a photo to finish second and this came after a 4 month recess. Looking back to last summer, she struck 107 speed (first time over 100) in a winning effort after a 3 month break. The breaks have been beneficial and Cara can again hit another big number.
7 OPEMEYER T 15/1-This will be the twelve start since this five year old last won, which came in last August. It’s also the twelve race since she last topped the 100-speed line when she ran a 106 in that winning effort. She has hit a wall since that win and has finished in the money only once. She doesn’t look like she’ll be a threat in this race and she may be in need for a vacation.
8 VITAMIN D 12/1-Mostly a stake runner during 2016 with a sprinkle of allowance races during the season may have worn this lady down. She peaked with a career best speed of 104 when she snagged a win last September with the allowance runners. Things have rotated in the opposite direction since then and she has not been formidable since that win and off the board in each subsequent outing. She’s not consistent with hitting 100 speeds and I believe she’ll need to be better than her career best to win this one. Might not be enough vitamins to get her to that level.
9 MOON SPARKLE 5/1-Between her allowance win in January, 2016 and her last outing in April, an allowance second place finish, she has sandwiched 10 stake/graded races. She had one win in that series of stake races which made her a G3 winner in the South Bend Oaks with a 116 speed. This race took a toll on her as the following three grade races found her finishing in the back tier of the fields. Moving to allowance last month has found some life with that previously mentioned 2nd place finish and staying within this level can be a confidence builder for her as she has a class advantage
10 AWESOME ADVENTURE 5/1-A front runner who has a very good shot at setting the pace in this race. She won a listed stakes last season which followed a third place finish in a similar stake race, both with 112 speeds. She has two starts this year which came after a break of about 3 months. The first in March was on the dirt where she finished a midfield 6th. She enters off a turf off-track try where she was also dropped back to the midfield finish, this time 7th. She’s back to the soil and dry track and should find favor with this setting. With her, it’s all about what her form is. I’m willing to throw out her last start and hope that this start will fire her up and get her going on a new adventure.
I’m going with 8/1 Cara Again. She has a pattern of success of taking a rest and running her heart out. The odds will be the reward.
Miss Americain Pie has been dangerous in the allowance company since returning to this level. No reason to think that danger will disappear and she’ll get a piece of the pie.
The stake-allowance alternating starter Silence Included has made this strategy work with the allowance races and should be included in the exotics.