Maiden claiming $25,000, 6-1/2 furlongs, 4-yo’s and up, f&m
Possible overlays Morning line
#3 Raise Again 4/1
#4 Secret Potion 5/2
#6 Connie the Queen 4/1
#7 Black Point 15/1
#8 Natpolean 3/1
Coming off a recent long layoff has been a great money-making move for trainer Rafael Becerra in this type of race. In 2008, he did it three times: the first, on March 14 paying $23.60, then on April 24 at $10, and the third time on Oct. 3 paying $15 . In 2007, it was Becerra again with the same move on Jan. 24 paying $19.20 and on Aug. 30 at $19.80.
Today, he has #3 Raise Again who ran OK at the level in Spring 2007 and can run the 65-70 Beyer Speed Figure necessary to win. Breaking beside her will be #4 Secret Potion, who ran a 57 Beyer in her debut for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer before he shipped her south from Golden Gate Fields.
Connie the Queen, #6, is another off a long layoff. She last ran July 16 in a Suffolk Downs turf race at 1-mile and 70 yards. In addition to traveling to lowly Suffolk, this mare’s seven races included stops at Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga, the Meadowlands and Finger Lakes.
If she gets bet, I will like her more.
It seemed to me that jockey Victor Espinoza steadied #8 Natpolean at the break during her first race on Nov. 29. She trailed for most of the way, but got more involved the next time she ran on Dec. 20. Her trainer Patrick Gallagher does better, I believe, with horses that have had at least two starts.
I will bet $300 on #3 Raise Again at 2/1 to 7/2, but only $200 if she drifts to 4/1 or higher.
Also, if #3 Connie the Queen is 2/1 to 7/2, then I’ll bet $100 to win on her, and I’ll put $150 on #4 Secret Potion at 3/1 to 7/1 only.