In yesterday's Hawthorne 2nd, seven-year-old Vantastic Magic won for the first time in thirty starts. Few expected to see that, as he went off at 52/1 in a field of six.
His massive upset also keyed an $8,918 carryover into today's Pick 5 pool. So, if you're looking to cash a signer on April 15, take a shot at Hawthorne! The wager covers the first five races on the card; first post is at 4:10pm. It has a $0.50 minimum, a 15% takeout, and no jackpot rule -- so whether just one ticket has all five winners or many do, the whole pool pays.
Below you can see my A/B/C/X chart for the Pick 5 sequence. And, below the chart, I have my brief thoughts on each horse in each race. The 4th race was originally scheduled for turf, but moved to the dirt; the horse rankings and comments are for dirt, and are current with scratches.
Good luck today!
Race 1: $5,000 claiming, four-year-olds and up, non-winners of two races since October 15 OR non-winners of three races in 2016-2017 OR N4L, one mile and seventy yards on the dirt, post time 4:10pm CDT
- #2 ROUS - top selection - Rabbit Badger Bay likely dictates terms, but also often stops. ROUS likely gets first run, and comes second off a break.
- #6 CHEROBEN - Third as the favourite last out, but both horses who beat him last out came back to run well yesterday. Forward position will help.
- #1 POKER PLAYER - Solid recent form. Gets a rabbit in stablemate BADGER BAY, but is really hoping CHEROBEN sends instead of sits back. Not likely.
- #3 SGT. GREEN - Comes out of the same well-franked race as CHEROBEN. Hoping for pace, but has back lines where he sits closer. Trainer Don Bentler and rider Victor Santiago are both hot.
- #4 BADGER BAY - He's POKER PLAYER's rabbit. But, with no one-way speed signed on, he likely dictates. He usually stops, but if he forgets to stop this time, he'll be a huge price.
- #5 WICKED CHEER - Makes perfect sense for underneath slots, but has not been much of a win type in recent years, especially on a circuit of Hawthorne's class.
- #7 YANKEE HATER - 0-11 over the track, and 0-11 at the distance. Will likely rally, but rally will be too little, too late to win.
Race 2: $15,000 maiden claiming, Illinois-bred, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, six furlongs on the dirt, post time 4:37pm CDT
- #3 MARNATE - top selection - A close second against open company last out, and drops to state-breds here. Also proved last out that she can run well from a forward spot.
- #5 POSITIONEDTODANCE - Hails from the always-dangerous barn of Scott Becker. Showed some early speed in both starts, and comes here second off the layoff.
- #2 SILVERCITYSHAMAN - Closed well to finish second behind a lone speed last out at the same level. All her other starts were poor, but maybe the light is coming on?
- #1 CAUSING SMILES - Always well beaten. A bit of a class drop here, but hard to see her doing better than filling out a trifecta or superfecta in a strung-out field.
- #6 RAINYINBETWEEN - Has shown little against similarly soft company.
- #7 R FOUR O ONE K - The Terry Young barn has been cold this meet, and the pedigree does not scream precocity.
Race 3: $4,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, N2L, five furlongs on the dirt, post time 5:04pm CDT
- #1 COUGAR CREEK - A new face for trainer Clay Brinson. Did not face any world beaters in a maiden $5,000 at Turf Paradise last out, but won easily at 5F. Light may be on.
- #8 FAVORITE NIECE - Was the Patrick White "B", but QUEEN KITTEN scratched. FAVORITE NIECE also fresh off the lay, like her stablemate, but worktab is solid and her better races contend with this set.
- #3 TASTE OF RAJ - Ran a very nice third at massive odds last out, against a bit tougher field. But, the cut back to five furlongs isn't likely to help her much.
- #6 CROOKED LADY - She needs the lead, and tends to stop. But, the scratch of QUEEN KITTEN helps her immensely, since PRINCESS IZABELLA is not likely fast enough to send with her early.
- #7 MEDIA FORECAST - Inconsistent, even for this notoriously inconsistent level. Her best races contend, however, and she gets a bit more experienced rider.
- #2 DAWNYDAWN - Has shown nothing in two starts off of a long layoff.
- #4 PRINCESS IZABELLA - She needs an easy lead, which she is unlikely to get with CROOKED LADY in the bunch.
Race 4: $25,000 maiden claiming, three-year-olds and up, five and a half furlongs on the dirt (originally carded for turf), post time 5:31pm CDT
- #3 MY PAL AL - The only Scott Becker left after the scratch of GREYT OAK. He drops back to a more realistic class level, had a solid enough debut on dirt, and has some early speed.
- #9 SOLANAIR - top selection - Likely to dictate terms early -- but showed in a start over the Fair Grounds dirt that he can stalk. Drop to this softer circuit should help, and gets excellent maiden rider Edgar Perez.
- #5 YOUNG CORBETT - Re-drops to claiming company after a perfectly fine start last out against state-bred MSW. May have second-itis after 10 starts, but often competitive in dirt sprints against actual, intended dirt fields.
- #4 HANSEN GONE WEST - He will have to take a huge step forward, but hard to dismiss completely since he is the only one in the field on the first-time drop from special weight to claiming.
- #7 SAVIE - He likely needs the lead, but there's a chance he gets it here, and he draws a tactical outside post. He also takes a drop in circuit, as he spent the winter at Oaklawn.
- #1 PURR'S ALONG - Comes from a strong maiden barn, Joel Berndt -- but everything about him screams two turns on the grass and not five and a half panels on dirt.
Race 5: Illinois-bred allowance, three-year-olds and up, non-winners of $9,800 once OR non-winners of a state-bred race other than maiden, claiming, or starter OR N2L, one and one sixteenth miles on dirt, post time 5:58pm
- #5 W W ROYALTY -top selection - Manhandled $4,000 beaten company last out; takes a class jump here. Has some competitive speed figures, and has some fight up front. Helped by the scratch of FORGOT TO FORGET. An ace at the course and distance, and hails from the Scott Becker barn.
- #6 DAKOTA CANDY - He has hit the board twice at this level this meet. Though he was the beaten chalk last out, Berndt fires with 32% with last-out beaten favourites. The key will be making sure he stalks the pace.
- #3 MOONSHINER - Had looked like a career N2L, but has won his last two starts. Showed last out that he doesn't need the mud. Taking a class rise, but likes the course and distance, and rider Chris Emigh is getting the best from him.
- #8 FORGOT TO FORGET - The Berndt "B" to DAKOTA CANDY's "A". FORGOT TO FORGET will not have it easy on the front end, but he does have some guts, and a solid front-end rider in Edgar Perez. Comes third off the lay for a trainer who's 25% in the circumstance.
- #1 WIN D PRADO - Kind of a misnomer, as the horse doesn't like to win. But, he is often competitive here, and should be used liberally underneath in intra-race exotics.
- #2 TWO COSTLY BULLETS - Slow for the field, and 0-15 over the Hawthorne main.
- #4 THE SLIGO POET - Not fast enough compared to these. Could improve from last out as he's second off the lay here, but not likely enough to get him to win at this level
- #7 SUPERMANS CAPE - He needs the lead. His chances for getting it? The Magic Eight Ball says, outlook not so good.
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