Another Interesting Race

The 10th race at TP on 2/17 featured inconsistent non-winner of
two races lifetime filly claimers. I've always felt that these
races produce value because of, not in spite of, the in and out
patterns of fillys at the bottom level combined with the difficulty
that DRF readers find in rating horses that don't have established
levels. The initial hook of interest in the race was Coming to Town
being the strong favorite. While the trainer (and hot apprentice
jockey) were strong, CTT had never gone long on the dirt and was
coming back on short rest off a very weak effort--her 3rd poor effort
in her last 4 races. While she did have the rail and a little
weight edge against a few others, 6/5 odds made her a big underlay.

The second attractive feature of the race was that it appeared possible
to separate out the others into contenders and throwouts.
Mount Rose and Miss Holly Lynn hadn't broken 25" lifetime which didn't
figure to be good enough to get into the exotics.
Grecian Rose had an in and out line and was coming off a jumpup
effort 2 points off her top and figured to bounce at least to the
25 level.
Little Ruthie was coming off a 2 point new top in the mud and was
a prime bounce candidate.

On the positive side the 2nd choice Kate Danaher (2-1) had never run worse
than 22-, had recently run a 15" and whose last two races had a
little forward movement that made a 20-17 a likely next effort.

Southern Secrets (6-1) had only two races off a layoff, but her limited
lifetime history was pretty solid. Her second race back definitely
put her strongly in the hunt for the exotics at least and it was
not unreasonable to read her last poor race as an excusable and
irrelevant off effort in the slop.

Chinese Sweetheart had only one recent effort off a short rest, a poor
race in the slop. She had previously had pretty good form and could
be played at generous odds (11-1) to jump forward off the only slop
race of her life.

The final horse, Dirt Dancer (35-1), was another that I thought could
be used in exotics. While she hadn't run better than 27- in her recent
caqmpaign, the 27- in her next to last race was an encouraging 3/4
point improvement over her 27" best a few months before leading me
to think that she had "recovery" potential. DD had shown distance
ability in her previous campaign and while she was a little bit of
a stretch the odds certainly enticed me to use her in the exotics.

While KD may have been the better, more solid key, I think SS who
was getting 1-2 points in weight from the field may have been the
better play. She's a year younger and a fresher horse with only
2 races off a layoff. Her 21+, just 2 points from her top, off the
layoff was a positive sign and the bounce in the slop gave her
nice timing since that effort.

While KD and SS made for nice exacta, racing luck certainly helped
me as Chinese Sweetheart won what was effective a four horse battle
for 3rd making for a nice trifecta while the other "usable" horse
DD trailed badly in last.

Len Friedman

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Turfway Park - Race 10: February 17, 2001