10/02/2010 4:44PM

Hawthorne: Wind, slow track for Hawthorne Gold Cup Day

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I see no bias to the Hawthorne main track today, but the surface, rated fast, is just as slow-playing as it was on Friday's first card of the meet. Two six-furlong races -- neither high class, but still -- had winning times just faster than 1:15. $5K route claimer did go one and one-sixteenth miles in 1:48.85 in race 4, which is not relatively as slow as the sprints, but the sprint times should be slower than routes because of the wind today. The stretches of the Hawthorne oval run exactly east-west, and a strong 20-30 mile-per-hour wind today is coming from the north, ever so slightly tuiled to the east. It wraps arounde the HAW grandstand and is at the horse's back from upper stretch until the end of the backstretch, but around the far turn, they're head-on into the maelstrom. Since a greater percentage of sprint races are into the wind than in the route races, the sprint times figured to be relatively slower.

What's this mean for race 8, the Hawthorne Gold Cup? I have no idea. But anyone thinking that the HAW surface would be carrying speed, and that Redding Colliery would skip around in front after breaking from post 1 probably needs to reconsider.

Just had day's first turf race, a $30K claimer/N2X allowance won by Tazz, who broke from post 12, but rallied up the fence for Tim Thornton/Christine Janks. Turf, just like yesterday, is firm and fast, with winning time here 1:42 and change for 8.5 furlongs.