Ron Uchman’s Hawthorne analysis for Friday, January 3rd
This track has been fairly speed-favoring lately and 1-MIKALYA ATTACK races from off the pace but most of her rivals in here could wind up fighting for the lead and set things up for her late run. 3-MY WIFE IS BOSS just graduated but she’s lightly raced compared to most in here and she won last easily when finally dropped to the right level. She might be able to wire them again. 6-SAINT ALEXIUS is a 6-year-old with only three races to her credit. She didn’t beat a rival in her first start of the meet but she was taking on better and racing for the first time in a year. Could be more effective this time.
Tough race than any in her can win. So, might as well go with a longer-priced horse. 6-FRENCH MINDED meets rivals that are in better form, not that he’s in bad form, but all of them have been racing at a lower level. His main obstacle could be that he likes to come from far off the pace and he’s going to have a hard time doing that if the track is favoring early speed. 1-AMAROQ has speed and the inside post. He finished second in his last two races. He might be able to take it all the way in this one. 3-HAWK’S IMAGE had some trouble in last and finished a non-threatening fifth but he had finished in the money in his previous nine starts last year. He’s always a threat here. Can run by them all.
4-MEADOWLEE’S AFLEET just missed. If that race would have been at today’s distance, he most likely would have won it. Could get his revenge in this one. 2-FLYINGBYU tends to tire late in his races but the cutback to this distance could be just what the doctor ordered. There’s no guarantee that he’ll get to the lead early but he might be able to put the rest of the speed away and finish with something left. 5-YOUNG CORBETT will be coming late. He would seem to need more distance but most of his success came in these short sprints. Can be taken lightly.
2-JOHNNY CHADDA looks mighty tough in this spot. He broke his maiden two starts back and finished second against better in last. Should earn a trip back to the winner’s circle with the drop to this level. 5-STANDFORTHEANTHEM drops and turns back in distance. Not sure how he’ll fare with the turn back, he did finish third in his lone sprint showing, but he should appreciate the drop in class. 4-TSALI just graduated. He has improved with each passing local appearance. Could be right there at the finish.
It looks like the front end of this race is going to be a very busy place. Six of the eight runners in here like racing on the lead. But 3-STORMY EMPIRE, who wired the field in her last race, came from off the pace to score in her previous start. She isn’t the quickest in here anyway, so she probably wouldn’t make the early lead but her natural speed allows her to race right off the pace and maybe run by them all when they turn for home. 7-LAPIS STORM moves up a couple levels but she does look like she could be the quickest member of this field. She won her last two by daylight. Might be able to do it again. 5-BELLA CHELITA displayed speed in all three of her races this year but she didn’t tire in last the way she did in her first two starts of the meet and she ran on to win by seven lengths. This will be her first test versus winners but she could be up to the challenge.
1-JIMMY AT LAST stretches back out. He was narrowly defeated at Churchill in his last race. In his lone local start, a race that was moved to the main track, he beat all but Slick Silver who has gone on to win his next two by daylight. This isn’t an easy spot but guessing he’s going to be ready for them. 4-BOOKIE’S BLUES, stablemate of top choice, could be the main competition. He dominated maidens in his local debut. He wired the field in that race but he has a history of running well from off the pace and that might be the trip he gets today. 7-POWER SONG likes the front end. He narrowly missed in his last two races. Could be right there throughout despite taking on better.
11-BAHNKE just missed at this level. He took a brief late lead but got passed late and missed by a half length. He does have a history of finishing second on this track, seven times in 19 races compared to one victory, but his speed figures show an upward trend. Could make amends. 6-MALIGATOR will try to fly by late. He finished second in his last three, coming from far back in all those seconds. He could get the same kind of trip today. 1-ZANFORCE is worth another look. He’s probably the best of the speed in this race, especially with the rail draw. He tired fighting for the lead in last but he could have an easier time on the front end today. Might last longer.
2-SLICK SILVER has been on some kind of roll. He won all four of his races since getting claimed by this barn, taking on better with each passing start, and will his speed figures increasing each time. Takes on his best field so far but, if runs the way he has been, it won’t make any difference. 4-FULL OF RUN can’t be ignored. He hasn’t won four in a row like top choice…he only won his last three. Unlike Slick Silver, he does his best running late. Could make it interesting late in the stretch. 8-BAREFOOTBOOTLEGGER beat all but top choice in his last race. That was his first start in two months and his first on this track. Could be a factor again after benefitting from that last start.
12-FORT RAMSEY wheels back quickly and drew the dreaded 12 hole but he was a powerful winner just last Saturday. Takes on better here and has to overcome the challenges mentioned above but believe he’s capable of doing it. 6-SYRUP, stablemate of top choice, keeps Chris Emigh in the irons and he had been riding both Perez-trained runners. He apparently chose this one for a reason. We could find out why. 5-BEHIND ENEMY LINES just finished third in similar. He’s been coming from far off the pace lately but showed speed in the past. Could be a factor either way.