Before we dive into Weekend Handicapping, I would like to wish all the readers of the HANA blog site a Happy Holiday. I hope it’s a fun filled weekend of family and good times. One note, there is no racing tomorrow, so there will be no Weekend Handicapping.
Now for Christmas Eve, there is only one stakes race on the calendar and it is at Gulfstream Park. It’s a turf race going a mile and a sixteenth for 2YO fillies. It’s the first running of the Ginger Brew and has a purse of $60,000, and 13 fillies are entered. As of this writing, no scratches have been noted. This is a wide open race; there are no clear cut favorites so price will be the name of the game
#7 Almusafa ML 6/1
Won its debut over on turf going this distance, that in itself is quite accomplishment. Her Beyer was nothing to write home about, but I expect coming right back she will improve. McLaughlin is strong in these events and has had a solid 2YO campaign. There appears to be plenty of upside and will take a shot on her getting better. Having Lezcano today only increases her chances.
#9 Sinister Brew ML 6/1
This filly has seven races under her belt and has won two. Her last outing was her first turf affair and won a $100k stakes race over at Calder. My only concern is if she has been over raced, there seems to be some form issues over the dirt and the last one was against state breds. Can’t ignore her, and Trujillo is aboard, and he is always tough on the grass.
#8 Karlovy Vary ML 7/2
Probably should be the second choice but not sure if she will bounce back from that ugly race at the G2 level on dirt. With 2YO’s I worry about confidence issues and it puzzles me when connections have what appears to be a solid turf horse and then stick them in a high class race on a different surface. Now we have to wonder about her chances here. In her first two turf races showed solid improvement in her Beyer’s (72-77) and Arnold is solid with 2YO’s. You can’t knock the breeding, but just feeling lukewarm on her today.
#4 Welcome Dance ML 5/1
You could say the whole field is dark horses but I’ve picked two and the #4 looks ready to make her move. She has won 2 of 3 over the turf, including her debut at this distance at the Spa. While Matz doesn’t have the strongest stakes record, he is consistent all across the board and brings Bravo to ride her today. Her Beyer’s are consistent and she bounced back nicely after the bad race in the Natalma at Woodbine. I wouldn’t be surprised me to see her take it.
#10 Spirited Miss ML 10/1
First three efforts were over the turf at Woodbine and she showed herself to be a tough filly. Winning her debut in a sprint and then making a good effort in the Natalma with a 4th. Then her last two outings were over the synthetic/dirt. Again I scratch my head. You can’t ignore her turf breeding; Mark Casse has an excellent record with 2YO’s and stakes races. He brings Contreras back, were they have a 23% winning combination. She is the dangerous one today.
#13 Ready Signal ML 20/1
In her first turf start she won going a mile at Belmont. Her workouts have been excellent and this is strictly a trainer angle. Amy Tarrant doesn’t run a big string, but her success can’t be ignored. This filly cost a lot of money, $190,000, and I’m thinking with her last outing a victory on turf they might have found the magic with her. What is interesting is that on dirt she was a mid pack runner, but on turf a wire to wire at a mile. Her Beyer in that race was pedestrian but she might be finding her grass legs, watch out.
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