It centers on "common races" -- a concept that I hear a lot in passing, usually on TVG or the NYRA show that's playing in the background at home while making dinner or doing chores. Often those shows are good for mental notes.
Hannah's Smile, a three-year-old filly, was competing in a $50,000 starter-allowance against seven others at seven furlongs on turf. She wasn't a horse that I had ID'd pre-contest, but in four starts -- all turf sprints -- she was keen, including a loss by a neck at the same level on Aug. 3 in Saratoga to First Appeal. As that name rang a bell, I quickly researched that, on Aug. 27, First Appeal won a $75,000 starter allowance at Saratoga.
In short, Hannah's Smile appeared extremely playable at 4-1, especially after taking a lot of early money and at one point earnings 8-to-5 favoritism.
|First Appeal, a positive force|
for NJ Horseplayer in Oct. 15
Monmouth Park NHC contest
Belmont's finale was a mile-and-a-sixteenth $25,000 claimer on turf, featuring three-year-olds and up who've never won two races. The 20-to-1 morning line and 1-for-26 lifetime record on Nile Princess clearly made that five-year-old mare and outlier, and ultimately she drifted up to 35-to-1.
Yet, in a turf sprint on July 13 at Belmont -- sent off at 43-to-1, Nile Princess at least made up a lot of late ground against a winner of two later allowance events at the prestigious Saratoga meeting, and so I thought she'd appreciate the added distance and was playable, even at almost double the morning line.
Unfortunately, my $100 win-$40 place play on Fourstar Crook in the EP Taylor at Woodbine did not pan out (he finished third). Neither did my $104 investment in Enterprising in the Canadian International -- won by a different long-shot, $49 winner Bullard's Alley.
The point of this write-up isn't moot, however.