DAK’s Daily Diary houses Joe Kristufek’s independent, day-by-day view of Hawthorne’s individual race cards. Handicappers’ perceptions often vary, and this diary offers one man’s opinion.
Weather: 38 degrees, light easterly winds
Multiple Win Day:
Jockeys – Emigh (3)
Trainers – None
A racetrack that favored speed and inside runners the first week of racing became much more fair on Friday, and Saturday’s track may have actually favored horses who ran away from the rail. The addition of more cushion also increases kickback, and horses pinned on the inside certainly don’t like feeling that stuff hitting them in the face. Two of the nine winners did manage to wire the field, and Spin Time did close up the wood to gain his win. Six of victors either pressed, stalked, or closed ground on the outside part of the racetrack.
Their were two very impressive winners on the Saturday card, and both horses could go on to bigger and better things . In race two, Rochester Cat, a 3-year-old Illinois-bred gelding trained by Andy Hansen, stalked the pace while in hand, before taking complete control at the top of the stretch. He extended his lead under a hand ride, and stopped the timer in 1:10 3/5 – a very impressive clocking when compared to the rest of the day’s times. Brian Williamson’s 5-year-old Illinois-bred router Air Academy fired fresh four-wide, and drew off as much the best in the 7th race optional claimer. He’s done much of his work on turf, but the way he ran Saturday, his team may have to consider pointing him for the Milwaukee Ave. Handicap on Illinois Champions Day (4-29).
Horses to Watch:
Mz. Winjum – closed into moderate pace; ready to stretch out
Rochester Cat – impressive win with plenty left
R.T Gulch – broke very slow, quick move 3-wide turn
Tee Lak – rail, dirt in face, hard try
Smoke N Magic – looking around stretch, room to mature
Timeworld – loping stride, grinding close, may want added distance
Mr. Otis – steadied top of the stretch, finished willingly
Air Academy – huge 4-wide move, easily best
Dress For Success – off step slow, 4-wide first turn, bold move early backstretch
Restless Mon – bumped repeatedly stretch, hard try