Maiden $25,000, 6 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up
Possible overlays Morning line
#1 Atlantic Victory 8/1
#2 Fire Scout 9/2
#3 Reiterate 15/1
#6 Jamieson 7/2
#7 Dirt Diver 6/1
#8 El Noche 8/1
Howard Zucker trains #6 Jamieson and if he has this colt at his best off a year layoff then this race will be over very quickly. Jaimeson showed good speed in February of 2008 when he missed by a neck in a maiden claiming $40,000 contest. These days, he’s showing nothing but slow workouts, but Zucker may have intentionally kept things at a snail’s pace to keep away pari-mutuel attention on race day.
Another coming off a recent layoff is #2 Fire Scout, who showed early speed on April 29 before fading in the stretch. Trainer Brian Koriner switches jockeys to Joe Talamo, and together they have an outstanding record. In 2008-09, the Koriner-Talamo team combined for 32 wins out of 141 runners, or 23 percent. Betting all 141 runners yielded $1.24 for every $1 wagered.
Two recently raced maidens who could hit the wire first are #1 Atlantic Victory and #7 Dirt Diver. Atlantic Victory would need to improve by only a length or two off his April 2 Beyer Speed Figure of 66 to win, while Dirt Diver’s debut might be good enough to get the job done.
Longshot possibilities include second-time starter #8 El Noche, who popped out of the gate first in a 7 furlong race on May 16 and he adds blinkers today. Also, low-profile trainer Richard Rosales saddles first timer #5 Reiterate. Rosales doesn’t win many, but when he does the tote board lights up like a Christmas tree.
I will bet $400 on #6 Jamieson at 2/1 to 7/2, but just $300 at 4/1 to 9/1. Also, I’ll take $250 on #2 Fire Scout at 2/1 to 5/1 only.
If either Jamieson or Fire Scout is bet below 2/1, then I will substitute $150 to win on #7 Dirt Diver at 7/2 or greater. Also, only if Jamieson or Fire Scout are below 2/1, I will take $50 longshot plays on #5 Reiterate and #8 El Noche at 6/1 or more.
Maiden claiming $25,000, 6 furlongs, 3yo’s and up
Possible overlays Morning line
#1 Scibelli 3/1
#7 Ask George 4/1
#11 Downtown Banker 5/1
The median winning Beyer Speed Figure for this race is a 71 and #1 Scibelli has exceeded that in seven of his last 10 races.
So what is he doing in here?
This horse has earned $79,300 so far and it seems that the owners want to sell him because he was entered for $22,500 rather than $25,000. If he wins and gets claimed, the owners would get $22,500 plus the $9,000 winner’s share of the purse, which would get them their $100,000 purchase price back, plus $10,000.
Scibelli’s morning line is 3-to-1, but with all of those high Beyer figures showing I believe the public will bet him down to at least 2-to-1. If he’s healthy, this horse will win easily, however he’s also lost nine straight races when he was bet to less than 4-to-1.
A better gamble might be #11 Downtown Banker, who dueled wide on the turn March 15 to just miss at the wire in a three-way photo finish. He only earned a 60 Beyer figure for that race, but he had a wide trip that day while today he’s running a half a furlong shorter. Also, he’s been gelded since he last started on April 9, so he just may be able to run the necessary 71 Beyer needed to win.
Another with a shot is #7 Ask George, who is running back for the second time off a long layoff. He has three good workouts and showed a hint of speed on April 9.
I will bet $200 on both #1 Scibelli and #11 Downtown Banker at 3/1 or greater. If either of those two goes off at less than 3/1, then I will instead substitute a $100 win bet on #7 Ask George at 7/2 or more.