Sunday, 20 July 2014

Featured Event: The Rainbow Futurity + Ajax Downs Selections

This was a must-do for me as I missed the Ruidoso Futurity. Here we are today with the second leg of Quarter Horse racing's Triple Crown, the Grade I, $900,000 Rainbow Futurity. The top ten fastest qualifiers from the July 3rd & 4th trials line up for a 400 yard dash at Ruidoso Downs. These are some of the best juveniles the sport has to offer, and one superstar makes this a must-watch. Let's take a look.

    The heavy favourite in this race, and a deserving favourite at that, is #10 Kiss My Hocks. You could tell this horse was special right from the beginning, breaking the 330 yard track record at Sam Houston in his first start. He has since gone undefeated in five tries, including wins in the Grade II Sam Houston Futurity and the Grade I Ruidoso Futurity. His win in the Ruidoso made him this year's triple crown contender, and he looks quite tough here in the second leg. He won his trial for this race by an incredibly easy 3 1/2 lengths, earning a 104 speed figure with a final time of 19.481. He's got the outside post today, which gives him a good shot to get away cleanly and win. He looks super tough, and I can't see him getting beat.If he ended up going off at his 7-5 ML, I would think he would be worth a win play, but he's more likely going to be 2-5. However, I do think there's some longshot value in the exotics. There are three horses other than Kiss My Hocks with a ML under 10-1, and of them there one I respect and one I think are worth trying to toss. 3-1 second choice #9 JM Miracle has been very nice in his three career starts, which consist of two trial victories and a runner up finish behind Kiss My Hocks in the Ruidoso Futurity. He's one of two in this field who managed to qualify while running into a headwind. He crushed his trial by 2 3/4 lengths. He's very respectable. Is there any value using him for second in exotics? No, absolutely not, but he's definitely not a toss. The other three horses who figure to take win play, #4 Wild Sixes Cartel, #5 Bodacious Eagle, and #6 Boi George are definitely worth trying to get out of the exotics. Definitely exactor tosses for me.Wild Sixes Cartel held on by only a nose to win her trial, and the horse who almost caught her was not fast enough to qualify. That tells you something right there. Bodacious Eagle finished third in the Ruidoso Futurity, but he was yielding. He drew off in his trial win, but he had a great post, and again, no one he beat managed to qualify, and isn't running in the Rainbow Juvenile. Then there's Boi George, who's claim to fame is winning the West Texas Futurity at Sunland. That was all well and good, but he had the outside post on an extremely outside favouring racetrack that day. He is 0-for-2 since coming to Ruidoso, and doesn't look like a good play at 6-1 whatsoever. So who are the horses who do look to offer value? In 400 yard races at Ruidoso, the inside three posts have won 59% of the races this meet. Out of curiosity's sake, let's look at the three inside runners. #1 Redemption Star broke from the rail in his trial win to hold off Boi George. His only other start was a Maiden at Remington where he was bumped at the start and finished seventh. That's a respectable record, and he's 20-1. To his outside is his stablemate #2 Logans Zoomin,  who was the second fastest qualifier. He outran two fellow qualifiers in his trial, #3 Trendi and #8 Tempting Valor. That means he beat a nice field, and he earned a 100 speed figure doing it. He's also 20-1. Then there's Trendi, who bobbled at the break in that trial and rallied for second. Before the Rainbow Futurity trials, Trendi won a Ruidoso Futurity trial where he was knocked sideways at the break. He's 15-1 today. These are three horses, all at big odds, all breaking from statistically strong posts, and all with logical shots. If you don't think Kiss My Hocks gets beat, these are the horses to play for second in the exactor. If you want to try and beat Kiss My Hocks, these are the logical horses to try and do it with.

Also running today is Ajax Downs. Today we've got a great 10 race card featuring three AQHA Challenge races, the AQHA Maiden Challenge, the John Deere Juvenile Challenge and the Adequan Derby Challenge. The winners of Juvenile Challenge and the Derby Challenge will receive berths to run in the Challenge Championships at Prairie Meadows in October. Here are my program selections for today's races.

Race 1: 8-1-6
#8 Jess Watch Me has finished third in his last two starts, both at the top level. He faces much easier company today and should be quite tough. #1 Cheever started 2014 off finishing fourth behind Mitford. He then dropped to the same condition he faces today, where he got beat a neck after stumbling at the break. There's no reason he can't run well with a clean break. #6 Chiseled in Kisses likes to run game races without being good enough to win. At 10-1 he can round out the triactor.

Race 2: 2-4-7
#2 Kissmyfortunatedash kicked the season off breaking her maiden, then ran in a trial for Picov Derby. He finished 4th in her trial and was fast enough to qualify but was not competitive in the final. This is significantly easier company. #4 Down Town Sugar exits a pair of runner up finishes in this condition. His last race speed figure of 69 makes him look very tough. #7 Waitin for Mama finished second against an open NW2 group last time. This is easier, but he is not particularly consistent.

Race 3: 4-3-7
#4 Cr Blowinbyeyawl showed speed in his June 25th gate workout, 250 yards in 13.78, the 3rd fastest work of the day. I have to respect him. #3 A Mere Outlaw is an Oklahoma bred. His most recent gate workout went in 14.03, not as quick as the top choice but still not bad. #7 Jess Shake Em is the only one in here with race experience, finishing fourth on July 6th. She can improve second time out.

Race 4: 5-6-3
#5 Illbegoneflying has posted two fast gate works getting ready for her debut. She seems worth a shot at 8-1. #6 Down N Tough and #3 Jess as Sweet as You finished very close together in their June 22nd debut. They have race experience and can round things out. I would recommend going deep if you are playing the Pick 4.

Race 5: 5-4-1#5 Eyesa Zoomn is two for two at the meet and is always super tough to beat at Ajax. It will take a bad break to beat him today. #4 Kool N Kinda Special finished third against a very tough bunch in his first start of the season, and then came back to finish second by a neck with a late close. He has an extra 20 yards to work with today which should be beneficial. #10 Jessies Leaving You exits a win against $7,000 claiming NW3. This is a step up, but she ran a good race against allowance company to start the year; she fits in starter allowance company.

Race 6: 2-6-3
The first of three AQHA Challenge races today, this is the $26,970 AQHA Maiden Challenge. #2 Mr Victory Six looks very tough. He showed class in Texas as a two year old and finished second running against a bias in the Picov Derby. #6 Bb Milliondollarbaby was the other trial winner to this exent, going 0.04 faster than Mr Victory Six. She has back class, but I still believe Mr Victory Six has more talent. #3 Lexia finished second to Mr Victory Six in their trial. She has hit the board in half of her starts and qualified to the John Deere Juvenile Challenge last year. I think she is the best of the rest.

Race 7: 7-3-6
This is an open allowance for older horses going 400 yards. #7 Feature My News improved in his second local start, finishing second to Piranhaaa. I still think this horse has potential to be one of the best in Ontario, hopefully today he can put it all together. #3 The Fdd Map won two back, but finished evenly last time. He's a local favourite and can never be totally discounted. #6 McM Tres Episode won a trial to the Picov Maturity and ended up finishing fifth in the final. That was his first time finishing off the board at Ajax. Today he gets in easier and should be a factor.

Race 8: 8-6-2
The second of three AQHA Challenge races today, the is the $24,840 John Deere Juvenile Challenge. #8 Speed of Life was so impressive winning her trial that it's tough to imagine her getting beat. Go watch the replay and see what I mean. #6 Fortune Pending and #2 Waving Sandy Home finished second and third behind the top choice. I don't like the horses coming out of the other trial, so I'm looking for a repeat of the Speed of Life trial.

Race 9: 10-9-2
The third and final of our AQHA Challenge races, the $29,340 Adequan Derby Challenge. #10 Streakinshagginwagon has yet to be defeated this year in three starts, including a win in the Picov Derby. He breaks from the outside post today and will be tough to beat. #9 Zip Kode was dominant as a two year but has not had as much luck this year. She finished second to Streakinshagginwagon in their trial. She's still quite talented and should grab a cheque today. #2 Ivory Injun was the other trial winner. He was a stakes winner at two, has hit the board in six of eight starts, and looks good today.

Race 10: 3-2-9
#3 Dick Greyson raced twice as a two year old, catching tough fields in both tries. This year, he has raced once and ran a good third. With some second time off the bench improvement, he has an upset chance. #2 Everything Fast has hit the board in four of his last five tries. The ability to at least be close is something most in this field do not have. #9 Wild About Nellie is the morning line favourite, but she only hits my top three because she looks better than the rest. She finished fourth last time, catches a soft bunch today and has a decent draw. She could win, but I wouldn't bet her at too short a price.

Good luck to everyone playing today!

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