…So, we took the duffel bags full of money, put them in the back of a vintage red and black Ford Lightning, took beer, whiskey and other implements of consumption, and headed on toward the cities’ local racetrack.
Well, we got there and there was a big sign posting a newly passed Amendment at the track stating, “This track is Closed on Thanksgiving. Now we’d never heard of a track being closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes, we drove off into the sunset looking for another place to bet our money, drink our beer , whiskey and other implements of consumption…Happy Thanksgiving All
A field of Twelve Three Year Old Fillies will occupy the Big Apple starting gate in the $100,000 ESR Gobbler Stakes. The race will be run at Six Furlongs over the Dirt Course.
SQUALL ON ICE – the trotter1 trained 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Bahamian Squall has finished first or second in 12 of her 15 career starts posting seven victories, including two stakes wins and a third and second place finish in the G3 Old Cap and G3 Warfare Farm Stakes respectively; the FL-bred doesn’t flash the lofty speed figures that one might associate with the success she has achieved to this point of her career, nor does she even possess one of the top three speed figures in this field, she does however know her way around the winner’s circle, and that’s what earns the top check in a horse race…one to beat
NIGHT SEEKER – the MD-bred 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Bourbon Courage has never been off the board in 8 career starts including four wins and a victory in the Local Megalopolis Miss Freakness Stakes in May; the nextbonus trained Free Stater is making her fifth consecutive stakes appearance, and like her above mentioned adversary, she too doesn’t flash those eye-popping triple digit speeds often associated with a filly of her accomplishments, yet she still ranks among the well-regarded fillies in her division…main rival
FOR ASHLEYS LOVE – representing the top training connections of the kingab racing stables is this 3 Year Old Brown Filly by Uncle Mo; the Ky-bred enters the field off a pair of im[ressive Allowance victories and attempts to translate the fields top speed of 106 LTO into her first stakes victory in her first stakes appearance; after struggling to break out of the NW2L conditions through 11 consecutive starts, the daughter of the Stakes winning multi-graded stakes producing KISSES FOR ASHLEY appears to have figured things out and should be considered a serious threat off her two-race winning streak…dangerous
MALIBU VIXEN – the casino trained 3 Year Old Brown Filly by Malibu Moon has already achieved a measure on success in ESR races when, in her second career start, she finished second in the ESR Work Song Nanocluster defeating several fillies that went on to become graded and stakes winning runners; the KY-bred boasts a three-race winning streak as she returns to stake level competition for the first time since her 2yo campaign; expect the early pace setter to be at the top of her game at a level where she is more than capable of succeeding…major player
MY EX – the frankster trained 3 Year Old Light Grey Filly by Exaggerator has proven to be a versatile performer winning over both the Turf and Dirt Course, but there is no doubt her best races have come over the Turf Course where she finished first and second respectively in her last two outings while matching her career best 100-speed figures in each event; her lackluster performance in the They Call Me Magic Dirt Filly Dash three races back, her last dirt appearance suggests that this start might be a roll of the dice by her connections before this filly takes on a serious Turf campaign…your call
EXCITABLE EXCHANGE – the 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Boisterous turned out to be quite the claim for the sremel racing stables when they snatched this CA-bred for $7.5k back in November of 2017; six consecutive stakes appearances since the claim has netted the shrewd connections $145k in earnings, more than a 19% return on their investment; the versatile performer wanted nothing to do with the two turns of the Tintoretta Turf Filly Route in her last start and should establish herself a formidable opponent while turning back into a sprint in the ESR feature…chance on best
SMART SINGLE – the irisharse trained 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Not A Single Doubt has established her prowess over the Grass Course and will be making her first career start over the Dirt surface; the AUS-bred, winner of six of her eleven career starts, is making her third stakes appearance, the last an 8th place finish in the ESR Monster Stakes in May; this filly has talent, whether that talent translates over the Dirt Course remains to be seen…might surprise
SUPER COOL PARTY – the spinround trained 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Distorted Humor turns back into a sprint after a pair of two-turn Allowance events where she earned a first place finish before turning in a career best 103-speed figure while finishing a wearying fifth in her last start; the well-bred filly struggled with consistency in her four starts after winning her maiden debut but has since established form over her last three appearances after abandoning the Turf Course during her reformation; while I am not necessarily convinced her best form will come at six panels, I am confident a victory here is well within the scope of her ability…never better
PUNKIN NUNAVIK – yes, it’s not too often you see a filly win a 15-furlong marathon and then turn back into a sprint, but the success rate of the ace racing stables speaks for itself as this 3 Year Old Light Grey Filly by Frosted makes her first stakes appearance in her first career sprint race; although it took a few races for this KY-bred filly to find her best stride, her last three starts indicate she is in top form and although she is an unlikely candidate to take down the top prize in this ESR feature, I wouldn’t put anything past her unpredictable connections…would surprise
CIRCLE OF BLUE – the jastables trained 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Air Force Blue has struggled in recent outings but a switch to the Dirt Course in her last outing injected new life in the KY-bred where she finished a determined third place in her best race since July; the improved filly will travel six panels for the first time in her career as she hopes to capitalize on that dirt effort in her second stakes appearance…must show more
FOREST CADET – the 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Forestry is a winner in three races, all on the turf, in her last six starts but may have failed the dirt litmus test LTO when she finished far back in her first try over the Dirt Course; the cadet trained ARG-bred steps well out of her comfort zone exiting the Local scene, racing over a non-preferred surface, while making her first stakes appearance over a distance she has never competed at…look elsewhere
ORBITED – making her second start since April and only the fifth start of her career is the balata trained 3 Year Old Bay Filly by Orb; expected to do her best racing at a distance of ground, the KY-bred filly has displayed exceptional closing ability in her first three appearances, and although the pedigree on the Dam side suggests marathon ability, her last start at 10-furlongs left her looking for more pace to run at leaving her lingering during her stretch run; she will get plenty to run at in the ESR feature as she turns back into a sprint for the first time in her career…stretch threat
Handicapping the Field
This week’s ESR feature is a race where you can make a case for almost every horse entered into this field. Certainly, SQUALL ON ICE and NIGHT SEEKER are standouts from an achievement point of view, but have they reached their peak, and will they become victim of their slower speed figures and Local Bred tags?
Frequently these Three Year Old races run at this time of year often fall conquest to the improving race horse, the horse finding its’ best stride or taking a step forward. FOR ASHLEYS LOVE and MALIBU VIXEN headline that category with the former topping out the field with her 106-speed figure in her last start while the latter boasts a three race win streak and a proven ability to beat some of ESR’s best 3yo’s in the past. SUPER COOL PARTY qualifies here also having improved considerably since returning to the Dirt while notching a 103-speed figure in her last start but might be just a notch below the above mentioned while sprinting.
Always in the back of a bettor’s mind is the horse changing surfaces for the first time or returning to a preferred surface. MY EX, EXCITABLE EXCHANGE, and SMART SINGLE might leave you full of regrets for failing to include them in your exotic wagers.
PUNKIN NUNAVIK and ORBITED qualify as the unknown factors, neither appearing to excel while sprinting but both capable in their own right.
CIRCLE OF BLUE came to life in her last start while FOREST CADET might be faced with the toughest task of all.
MALIBU VIXEN – lightly raced, while racing in top form, defeated some of ESR’s best fillies in the ESR Work Song Nanocluster
FOR ASHLEYS LOVE – last speaks volumes, just listen
SQUALL ON ICE – still the one to beat