The Spotlight feature will over races that are of the non-stake variety. In a game where many of the BTB articles cover stake races, there are players in the game that do not have that quality of runner and thus are missing out on having any coverage of their horses. This Spotlight feature tries to fill that gap.
With that said, we are covering an allowance race in Paris that consists of a field of horses age 4 and up that not won two races over their career. Collectively, these horses have raced more than 250 times with a total of 13 wins between them. One of these runners will gain their second career win in this 5.5 furlong turf race. Which one will it be?
1 SHERPA JAHUL 41/1-This five year old has been over raced this year. He has 16 starts and hit the board twice, both occurring in his only two Hot races he appeared in over the year. He’s been outclassed racing in the allowance division and is in need of some rest and may find the claiming level a better place to be competitive. Speeds have topped out in the low to mid 70 range during this season and that pales to a few others that are knocking out 90 speeds.
2 BO OF STARS 19/1-Another runner who has a sizeable number of runs this year (11) and but has not found a top three finish this season. He looks unlikely in this field with best speed of 86 for the season at a mile distance. He has struggled considerably as he has finished 10 or more strides behind the winner in each race this year. Looking at his racing line, he hasn’t been closer than fifth in any stage of the races he’s appeared in during the year. This one could possibly benefit with a class drop to the claiming level as it’s very unlikely he will find a breakout here.
3 SEALNDIA MASTER 7/2-The last three starts have been at the 9 to 9.5 furlong distance and the outcomes have been terrible, finishing a significant distance back in each race. Speeds have been much lower during this stint (72 to 81), where they were 93-99 in the prior three starts at 6.5 to 8 furlongs. He has early speed and he trims way back in distance which could be a nice benefit in this race. I would discard the last three races as he has not performed well at the route distances in the past. Has a shot to right his ways in this one. Also going to toss this in, his only win came in his only start on the dirt, which was a good effort and I think the dirt surface may offer some opportunities.
4 PT’S EFREN REYES 93/1-A lightly raced four year old will be making his 9th career start and sixth one for this season. After breaking his maiden this past February, he has raced three times in Hot Races and once in a claiming event with a second and third pulled out of the Hot Races. In his win earlier this year, he took it with a 77 speed which is his career best. This will be his fourth start within the past month and that will probably have an impact on his performance, however, he still looks over-matched going against a few horses capable of charting speeds in the 90-range.
5 ANGEL OF DOOM 11/1-Dropped into a claiming race in his last start and finished 9th at 7 furlongs with a speed of 81. This came on the dirt and was his second time on the surface. He comes back to the turf and seems to be an outsider. He finished second with a best speed of 89 in his final start of 2018 (October) which is the closest to the top spot he’s been over the last two years. He has had a tough time getting closer than fifth during a race and hasn’t been much of a threat in quite some time. Doom seems to have been plaguing him and he’s hoping an Angel will appear and show him the way here.
6 PERFECTLY FRANK 7/2- A nicely bred horse who raced one time as a two year old 2016 and has been sidelined until April of this year. Upon his return, he raced 9f on the turf and put in a game effort finishing second in a small 4-horse field with an impressive 104 speed. The last two starts bore speeds of 92 in a mix of dirt (11f) and turf (7f) with matching 7th place finishes in each. The dirt race was boring and he ran 7th (and last) throughout and probably did not care for it much. The turf effort had him making a move late, moving from 12th to 7th and trimming 3 lengths off his deficit in the stretch run. A late closer who has a chance.
7 SANDY DANDY 16/1-Has taken a beating all year so far. In four grass starts, he has finished well back in each start and was never a threat in any of the races. A top speed of 81 is his best number for the season and came at 6.5 furlongs. He’ll tail back in distance for this 5.5 furlongs, but that does not look like it will be helpful as he raced this distance in the early half of 2018 and the results were disappointing. Lowe end claiming races may be a better suit for this guy and his chances here are not promising.
8 FRANKLY FRANK 4/1-Found some excitement in his last start on the turf at a mile but it did not come from finishing 7th, rather in the form of a 98 speed. After taking a 6-month rest from the track and coming back in April, this was his third start after the rest break and could be a sign of being ready to run. He looks to drop back in distance and likes to challenge early. The shorter distance may deflect the late race wear and tear a bit This is a bit softer field than his last start and if the last start is any indication, he could land in the top spot in this race.
9 SADDENING 136/1-Racing 18 times this season has only brought 15 last place finishes. He has three third place finishes courtesy of racing in 4-horse fielded Hot Races. Speeds barely hit 70 this year and this 8-year old is past his prime. He does sport Sea The Stars as the sire, but this runner did not get anything favorable from the top sire in his racing ability. Any finish other than last would be an improvement for this gelding.
10 ESPRESSO MAKER TED 6/1-Will be making is 10th start of the year with his best finish being a fifth that came at the start of the current season. He’s nipped at the 90-speed level, hitting it twice with a 94 (end of January at 8f) and 92 (in early April at 7f). He could be one that needs a rest break and I think could find some better outings in the claiming group. His speeds of late have tailed down slightly to the lower 80-range. He doesn’t look like he’ll be a factor for one of the top spots, but picking up some small nibbles in the form of finishing 4th or 5th could be possible.
11 FRANKED DIVIDEND 7/1-A five year old who debuted in one start back in 2016 and has been sidelined until this year. His second career start was at a lengthily 11 furlongs finishing well back. Moving to the dirt this past May at 8.25f yielded in a two stride victory. He returned to the lawn in June at 8.5f and finished a flat fifth. The last two starts came with speeds of 91 & 92. He’ll try the sprint on the turf this time and while I like his win on the dirt, his last start was a bit disappointing. However, this field is pretty weak and if he can run in the low 90′s again, and I don’t see a reason he can’t, he could gain the upset.
12 CHARMYNER 22/1-Took a long break between racing at the end of December and coming back this past May where he broke his maiden in a $60,000 maiden claimer at 5 furlongs. The speed of 84 was just enough to win by nearly a stride and is a continuation of the upward movement in his speed figures since a year ago. This will be his second start back after a break, and some horses get a nice bounce after shaking the cobwebs out in their first start back. This one shook them off and garnered a win. Although he moves up the ladder into allowance, the field is soft and he could light up the board.
13 GENTLE HAFT 7/1-Speed numbers have been in mid to upper 80 range during the 2019 season over 5 races, with four at this races 5.5 furlong distance. This guy shows some late run ability and his best finish this year has been a fourth. In his way, he may be asking for more distance which may be a better place to take advantage of his late run and give him more time to advance on the field. In any event, it may be tough to get to the top spot here, but some minor spoils could come his way.
I think this race could be a bit open and will gamble on Franked Dividend to deliver at a price.
Perfectly Frank has posted some good numbers and is favored in this race and should find a pay check.
Charmyner is a longshot here. I’m taking another gamble that his second race after a break will be even better than the first one waas.