Though 11/1 shot Bubuzela was the longest shot to win any of the first five races on Saturday at Hawthorne, no favourites crossed the wire first. That was enough to confound the Pick 5 players: no one got the sequence right, so there's a $8,866 carryover into Thursday's sequence. The minimum wager is $0.50, and it's not a jackpot, so the whole pool pays out whether there is one correct ticket or there are many.
The sequence starts in race 1, and first post is at 3:10pm on Thursday, November 30. For future reference, Thursday is the last day of this fall's meet on which first post is that late -- starting Friday, December 1, post time will be at 12:55pm each day through the rest of the meet.
Right here, we provide an ABCX chart to help you plan your tickets, as well as horse-by-horse analysis of each race. Good luck!
Selections in races 1 and 3 are for turf only.
Race 1: Starter optional claiming, three-year-olds and up, starters for a claiming price of $7,500 or less in 2016-2017 OR claiming price $15,000, five furlongs on the turf, post time 3:10pm CST
- Pale Hose (5) - Loves the Hawthorne grass, should get his way on the front end, and the veteran turf dasher finished a legitimate second at this level last out. (Top Selection)
- Hey Pretty Boy (6) - Looms most likely to catch Pale Hose. Toss the last, as it was a stakes race going two turns on dirt. He's fast and tactical in turf sprints, and has been in the exacta in five of six tries at Hawthorne.
- Tyoga Six (7) - Takes a big class rise here, but he has won once in two turf dash tries and may factor at long odds. He can rate -- helpful, since he'll be outgunned early by Pale Hose -- and he gets a red-hot Santo Sanjur in the irons.
- Kyzan (1) - This level may be a little tough for him, but he has good tactical speed and he does his better work with Victor Santiago in the irons.
- Boom Box (2) - Runs far better across town at Arlington -- his 0-7 career line instills little confidence. But, his best races could win this, and the switch to jockey Jose Lopez is a big enough positive not to count him out entirely.
- I Forgot It's Name (8) - Brings a superfluous apostrophe and muddled form lines. She has been off the board in four starts at Hawthorne, but not all of them have been as bad as her last out at this level (also against boys). It was her first start since September, though -- second off the lay, if she's sharper, her tactical speed makes her possible.
- Mean Intentions (3) - Full brother to Powerless H. winner Shar Ran has been in lackluster form lately, and trainer Earl Hughes is 1-52 on the meet. If Hughes turns it around here, it'll be with Kyzan.
Tight Rock (4) - Has shown no form since being claimed to the Jeremy Staley barn, and the cutback to a sprint does him no favours based on breeding.
- Holy Brass (9) - He is 1-38 lifetime, 0-7 on the grass, and too slow to beat these.
Race 2: $5,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, N2L, six furlongs on the dirt, post time 3:38pm CST
- Live Round (10) - Needs a step forward on speed, but in a race so full of career N2Ls, a lightly-raced last-out maiden winner appeals a lot -- particularly since he returns to the Hawthorne dirt and keeps Jose Lopez aboard. (Top Selection)
- Waiting on Thunder (11) - Stretches back out to six furlongs for the first time since his maiden win at Hawthorne, and has proven tactical speed.
- Grandslamsurprise (2) - Has done his best work at six furlongs on the dirt, and should finally catch a dry track again here. It has been a while since he has won, but he has been trying every surface and distance under the sun.
Gangstasperfection (4) - Hard to like given trainer Eduardo Rodriguez's lackluster record with layoff horses, but hard to toss completely given his acumen for the surface and distance. Also stands out that he's running at Hawthorne, given how many horses Rodriguez is already running at Fair Grounds. I'mjustblowinsmoke (7) - Hasn't raced in nigh on a year, and carries an irregular worktab. But, at the likely massive price, his solid form over the course and his passable form at the distance make him worth covering on a big spread ticket.
- Jochero (9) - Has shown his best so far at Fairmount, not Hawthorne, but the stretch to six furlongs has an outside chance to move him up at a long price.
- Barton Attack (1) - Surprised some people at Fairmount this summer, but hasn't cut the mustard in three starts at 35th and Cicero. Also hails from a barn running 0-21 on the meet.
- Blackhawk Warrior (3) - Missed the board in his last nineteen starts, and even with a step forward third off the lay, has too much to make up against this field to rate a win chance. Though, you could do worse than Blackhawk Warrior for a 60/1 goofball to hit third or fourth in a superfecta.
- Ready Poncho (5) - Though the return to a dry track won't hurt, his one-turn form has been dreadful. Save him for a two-turn race on a freezing cold, speed-biased day next month.
- Two Nephews (6) - Competitive at Hazel this year, but not in Chicago. Barn has been off the board in every start so far, and nothing in his recent races suggests this horse will turn the tide.
- Bartbaalu (8) - Six furlongs is perhaps his best distance, but he's 0-28 at Hawthorne, and his best is still too slow here.
Race 3: Allowance, three-year-olds and up, non-winners of $9,800 once other than maiden, claiming, starter, or state-bred allowance OR N2L, one mile on the turf, post time 4:06 CST
- Chantses (1) - Takes a class rise here, but her last two races are right in range with what she needs to win in this allowance race. She has tactical speed, and has won both her starts over a non-yielding Hawthorne grass course. (Top Selection)
Nook (10) - The rare Rivelli horse who has grown into an off-pace style since moving to that normally speedball barn. She has been sprinting on dirt with some success recently, but has plenty of races going two turns on grass that put her in the picture. Call the jockey move from Sanjur to Prescott a lateral one -- Prescott can flat-out ride, and has already won a stakes for Rivelli this meet.
- Quick Study (2) - Live Brian Williamson horse lures Edgar Perez (Williamson's "A" rider) off of Wayaway. Has tactical versatility and a pair of solid turf mile tries at Hawthorne this meet, but also has tables to turn on Chantses.
- Wayaway (3) - Stepped up nicely from a state-bred N1X win to an open allowance last out. Pace is the question, as there's quite a bit of speed here, but she stalked and pounced three back.
- Mission Storm (5) - Not been in the best of form lately, and this is a tough ask. But -- there's so much speed in this race that if it falls apart, she may get the setup. Has whispers of a huge-priced Manny Perez surprise.
- Cowgirl Tyne (6) - Has had the worst luck trying to get on grass, and finally makes her turf debut here. The class makes this a tough ask, but her late pace is excellent and she looks like another who could vie in the lane if this falls apart. She'll be the right price.
- Launch Away (8) - Her third-place finish three starts back suggests she can show the late pace that could make her a factor if this race falls apart, and she reverts to rider Julio Felix for the first time since that outing. Not the kind of horse you can play at chalk -- but she'll be a bomber.
- Lady Temple (11) - Needs her absolute best, but her off-pace running style suits the race, and the post isn't bad. After all, "drop back and make an outside rally" is exactly what her rider Carlos Ulloa did last week to get the improbable Cruachan home last Friday.
- Perfect Diamond (4) - Though Santo Sanjur is a positive, and she has some front-end guts, Mountaineer form just doesn't hold at Hawthorne. Furthermore, her one turf try (also at Mountaineer) was not good enough to put her anywhere near the class of her foes here.
- Cocoa Bandita (7) - Gets a class test here. Does her best work from the front, and on this stretch from a sprint to a route, looks unlikely to be much more than a brief pace factor.
- Banjo Cat (9) - Races for the first time since June, and though her off-pace style may suit, others look primed to outkick her. Also, rider Constantino Roman is 0 for his last 60 starts on the grass.
Race 4: $5,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, non-winners of three races since February 28, claiming races for $4,000 or less not considered in eligibility, six and a half furlongs on the dirt, post time 4:34pm CST
- Francois (8) -Beat similar last out, and looks to win right back. He has long done his best work at an extended one-turn trip, and has the versatility to track near the pace or rally from further back. (Top Selection)
- Jaguar Ridge (4) - Improves on the return to the fast track, and has the proven ability to rate and rally in sprints. The 0-3 record at the specialist distance raises questions, but he hasn't tried it since getting into his strong recent form.
- Shmily (9) - Found open claimers a bit too tough last out, but should benefit from the drop to conditioned company. He has a win in three tries at the distance, and has the tactical abilities to do well here.
- Oltre' Oro (2) - Has been hit-or-miss at this specialist distance. His best puts him in the picture, and he does drop from open claimers, but the question is whether he'll get enough pace to run at.
- W W Distinction (3) - Has found a home going six and a half panels against conditioned claimers like this, and has found the sharpest form of his career this fall. Pace may not be great for his deep closing style, and he more often than not settles for minor awards, but he will be rolling late.
- Greenhorn (5) - Inconsistent runner drops back into conditioned company for the first time since a victory early in the Hawthorne meet. Six and a half furlongs is the question, but he may be the one who gets first run on the speed, and the switch to rider Prescott is a big plus.
- Thats Mybuddy Boy (7) - This is a bit tougher condition than he ran in last out, but he gets a marked jockey upgrade to Edgar Perez, and and he has never been out of the exacta in four tries at the six-and-a-half-furlong distance.
- Swipernoswiping (1) - Has some form at the distance, and takes a drop from open claimers to conditioned -- but the move from Mountaineer last out to Hawthorne here makes up for that, and more. Looks outclassed.
- Grahm From Above (6) -- Full brother to Lady Kelia will be a pace factor early, but will likely find the waters too deep here, as he has not been able to bring his flashes of Fairmount form north with him.
Race 5: $5,000 claiming, three-year-olds and up, N3L, six furlongs on the dirt, post time 5:02pm CST
- Richie Rocks (3) - The best horse here -- when he gets an easy lead. With A J's Posse, My Pal Al, and Savie in the field, he'll be prompted along, making him a bit vulnerable. Still, it's impossible not to use him because he runs faster, race in and race out, than most of these horses run at their recent best.
- My Pal Al (6) - Was beaten as the favourite at this level last out, but trainer Scott Becker excels with last-out beaten favourites. Gets a switch to Victor Santiago for the first time since Santiago guided him to a maiden victory. Likely gets the first run on Richie Rocks, who can crack a bit under pace pressure. (Top Selection)
- Ready Right Now (10) - The second-itis is a concern, as he has left himself too much to do in his last few starts. But, rider Santo Sanjur is riding well in general, as well as specifically for trainer Hugh Robertson, and his late kick should be strongest of all.
- Bootleggin (7) - Has found the right level. If he can stay a bit closer to the pace, as he was able to do in some of his better sprint efforts across town this summer, he has an outside shot. Definite jockey downgrade, however.
- Savie (8) - Dull last out, but probably needed that start, as it was his first in a bit over two months. Dirt is the question, as he has shown his best on polytrack, but his proven tactical speed gives him a shot at a square price.
- A J's Posse (1) - Will try to keep Richie Rocks honest, but tends to need to be right on the front to win. He won't get that here. He also tends to prefer going shorter than six furlongs.
- Kielbasa (2) - Has early speed -- but proven route speed, not proven sprint speed. The class drop will be welcome, but the presence of Richie Rocks to his outside makes it almost impossible for him to get the trip he needs.
- Midnight Now (4) - Fairmount horse proved unable to take his form to Hawthorne last year, and has shown nothing in two starts this fall after a yearlong lay.
- Mr. Thunder (5) - Needs to be forward early to have a shot, and nowhere near as fast early as many of his foes. Fits at Hazel, but outclassed here.
- Britt's Vow (9) - Thus far, has been unable to reproduce his solid Assiniboia Downs form at Hawthorne. Needs to be forward early, but will not be fast enough to do so.
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