10/20/2010 4:47PM

Hawthorne: No biases to start racing week


Anyone watching the three sprint races on today's card will have noted the quick fractional times posted, especially in two of them. The reason those fast splits aren't translating to fast final times? A moderate to strong west wind, blowing from 15-20 mph down the backstretch. Temp is mid-60s, turf firm, track fast.

Two out of three sprint winners came on lead, but both made sense, and three-wide stalker won the other one-turn dirt race. A closer and a stalker have prevailed in the two dirt routes.

One of those route winners was Wildwood Gold, who gave trainer Frank Kirby two winners on the meet from 31 starters. That's a surprising strike rate. Kirby had a summer at AP filled with second- and third-place finishes, but HAW is his bred and butter. Can't imagine his winning percentage going anywhere but up from here.

We're 15 minutes from race 6, day's first grass race, and for some reason I can't fathom Churubusco is bet to 2-1 off a legit 12-1 morning line. My selection of Blue Lion was based on his inside draw and speed, so far this meet a potent combo on the HAW grass.