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Mountaineer Park: Full fields make for interesting turf allowances Tuesday
By Joe DeVivo
Two full fields of turf sprinters – all seeking their second lifetime victory and most with little or no experience racing on grass – make for a difficult early daily double Tuesday evening at Mountaineer Park.
The first two races on a nine-race card that begins at 7 p.m. Eastern are seven-furlong allowances for nonwinners of two lifetime. Handicappers looking for a simplistic approach might do well by keying the two horses trained by J. Michael Baird – R. J. Says in the opener and Rocko’s Gizmo in race 3.
Although Baird was off to a 2-for-34 start in 2013 heading into Saturday night’s action, his statistics in turf races are impressive. During the past year, Baird’s turf runners have gone 6 for 26 (23 percent), with a return on investment of $2.38.
The West Virginia-bred R. J. Says, a 5-year-old with a 1-for-17 record, will be making his first start for Baird. Last summer, R. J. Says shipped in from Charles Town to finish a close second at the same distance and conditions as Tuesday’s race.
The logical horse to beat in the first race is Flying Corinthian, who won his turf debut sprinting five furlongs two weeks ago and will try to carry his speed an extra quarter-mile.
Two others who have yet to run on turf but do show good form on Polytrack, which often transfers to grass, are Macevil and Holy Moses.
Macevil is trained by the Keeneland-based Doug Adams, who has gone 4 for 13 (31 percent) with the runners he has sent to Mountaineer this season. In mid-March, Macevil beat maiden claimers going six furlongs at Turfway Park with a 62 Beyer Speed Figure that stands out in Tuesday’s field.
Holy Moses just crushed maidens on dirt by 6 1/2 lengths. He finished second with a 55 Beyer in his career debut on Polytrack.
In race 2, the 4-year-old Rocko’s Gizmo makes his first start since December. In his only previous try on turf last June, Rocko’s Gizmo dueled up front for seven furlongs before tiring in deep stretch.
His main rivals appear to be Medieval Sword and Top Pit Boss.
The 5-year-old Medieval Sword outran his 21-1 odds to finish second in his first start on Mountaineer’s turf course two weeks ago. He has had many chances, however, and is just 1 for 25 lifetime.
Top Pit Boss won his maiden sprinting six furlongs on turf at Woodbine in August 2010. That performance, along with a couple of his better races on Polytrack, would be sufficient to stamp him as a contender in this spot.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 2.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
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- 5.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM