The Spotlight turns back on and shines in West Virginia where the focus is on a $4,000 claiming race open to 4 year olds and up. This is a local bred race which will be run on the dirt track going a seven furlong distance.
1 Clever For Love 6/1-Transfers back to dirt for first time in nearly two years. 2017 season was a checkered season hitting the board in four of eight starts with one win all at mile distance. 2018 debut race was poor, finishing last when running 7.5f. Trims distance back a hair to 7f in this one and this home time runner hopes the surface switch will create a spark.
2 Jesse White 4/1-Raced over West Virginia oval four times last year with a win and a third. Three of these races were in allowance and the win came in the low end claiming category. 2017 was a lukewarm season where he was able to earn a paycheck each start with seven of nine starts resulting in third to fifth place finishes. Raced allowance last three outings and returns to cheaper claim class which should provide a nice benefit.
3 Kris’s Image 78/1-Will give the dirt surface another try. She ran twice in ’17 on dirt with a pair of 68 speeds. Speed is a factor here and this is lower than the competition, the main reason for the high odds. Also working against her is she’s taking on a field loaded with boys. Looks like a difficult spot this time out.
4 Humo Negro 5/2 -Has generated 100 and up speeds in three of last five races, two coming at distances of 7.5 furlongs, a distance that tends to have inflated speeds. He won on Christmas day in a $12.5k claiming race and bumped up to the allowance group, finishing fifth. He drops back to claiming where he has won 5 of 7 races at this level, a much better fit
5 Green Bay Week 31/1-Racing three times in January has taken a toll on this runner. Speed numbers have descended from 86 to 66 in his most recent outing. He has one win this year in four starts which came in a HOT race which was half filled with CPU runners. While he has had success at this track, winning two of three starts (both wins in Hot races, a third in claiming), his form is currently questionable.
6 Garden State Pkwy 3/2-Speeds of 91 through 108 have been scored since the start of 2017 and the bettors seem to like this as this one goes to the gate as the favorite. He has had issues in hitting the board as he has made 12 starts since the beginning of 2017 and has won twice with a third. One of the wins came at the beginning of December in a similar $4k claiming race. He returns to this level with hopes of picking up an easy win.
7 Wolf Peak 21/1-You have to go back to the end of 2016 to find the last time this guy has hit the board. Things have been really tough for this horse who hasn’t showed much spark or enthusiasm in any of his starts of late. Speeds are generally in the 80-range and he just seems to be a lazy runner on the track. Not sure what it will take to liven him up but he is in need of something.
8 Jump Over Chachin 45/1-Has raced in claiming level twice with a third that came in October. Rejoins this class after a pair of failed efforts in starter allowance. This time he drops to the lowest claim level he’s competed in and he’s largely raced with local breds. The lower claim ranks look to be the right place for him but a mile distance is where his best speeds have been earned.
9 Umpteen Postino 27/2-This runner likes to go out to the lead and will most likely make a bid to get there. He’s looking for a better spot and has dropped from $20k in his last start to this $4k tag. 86 speed in his 2018 debut race matched his high for 2017. He needs to pump -that up to be a contender here.
10 Cubpan 10/1-Another one who likes the lead and I think she may get it. This lady is pretty demanding when it comes to leading the races in the early stages and makes it tough on her foes to get by her. She moves to claimers after spending a good chunk of time in the allowance/starter allowance levels. She’ll take on the boys for the first time and that could make things a bit tougher.
Garden State Pkwy is my top pick but this gelding doesn’t have as strong of an edge as the odds may show.
Humo Negro I feel has the best shot to take the favorite down and is not out of the picture.
Cubpan has some front speed and has hit 90-speed before, it may not be enough to beat this bunch but maybe she can last long enough to snag something.