A logical horse won the Hawthorne finale on Saturday. Silver Saver had to run a huge race to do it: few horses not named Runhappy manage to blow the break, rush to the lead, and still win the race, and such a feat is almost unheard-of in a $5,000 N2L claimer. But? Coming off an opening day win Silver Saver made sense on paper, and she went off the third betting choice in a field of twelve.
Underneath Silver Saver, though? Chaos reigned.
The race ended in a blanket finish, with first place and fifth separated by half a length. Favoured Bubble Time was nowhere to be found, after breaking slowly and running an even eighth. Second-favourite Greeleys Delight, who sat an extremely wide trip, checked in only sixth. Jose Lopez picked up the ride on 80/1 outsider Starship Brooklyn, and as he so often does, he brought out the best in her. They finished second: just missed wearing down Silver Saver, but fought off the late bids from 9/1 shot Waddle, 12/1 Midnite in Miami, and 10/1 Ahniwake.
It was no surprise to see no winning tickets in the jackpot Super High Five. We’ll keep an eye on that pool, and if there’s a nice carryover into Saturday’s closing day, we’ll shine a light on that race.
However, more surprising was that no one who played the superfecta even had Silver Saver, Starship Brooklyn, Waddle, and Midnite In Miami in that order. So, there’s a $9,693 carryover in the superfecta pool. It goes right into the superfecta pool for Wednesday’s opener, and any and all players with a winning ticket can reap the benefits.
Wednesday’s opener is a turf dash for open $10,000 claimers. This analysis is focused on the turf, since the weather is slated to be clear until late in the week, perfect for this Wednesday race to stay on the grass.
Hawthorne Racecourse – Wednesday, April 25
Race 1: $10,000 claiming, four-year-olds and up, five furlongs on the turf, post time 3:10pm CST
- MEAN INTENTIONS (8/1) – This insonsistent son of Munnings is probably best at extended sprints on the polytrack, but at times he’ll run on for a share over any surface, and at any sort of sprint distance. He won’t be near the pace early, but if he wants to run on Wednesday, one of his better races could get him up for third or fourth as one of the longer shots on the board.
- OFFLEE FUN (6/1) – Offlee Fun has been the claim box darling this meet: he was taken for $4,000 out of a win on opening day, then scooped up for $5,000 from a third-place finish two weeks later. Now, he’s in for twice the price, a positive sign that new trainer Shana Scheimann wants to keep this sassy son of Offlee Wild. It’s also a positive that rider Javier Diego, his regular pilot since last fall, sticks with him through yet another barn change. But? The major question here is turf. Offlee Fun has only tried grass twice, and neither were great outings. His pedigree doesn’t scream grass, either. The field isn’t tough for the open $10,000 level, he comes third off the lay, and his recent form good enough to use him fourth or even third here. But, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about using Offlee Fun higher than that.
- MADE TO FIT (5/2) – Underneath Key – Made to Fit finished a solid second last out, staying on the best of the pace horses. It’s hard to like him more than the horse Murrill defects to ride, Jive Daddy. But? He gets a solid replacement in Sophie Doyle, who has been riding well this meet. The biggest worry is that Made to Fit hasn’t been much of a win type lately — his only recent win came when dropped to the very bottom, a state-bred $5,000 claimer back in March. But, as inclined as I am to stand against him on top, he is fast enough and consistent enough in turf dashes to key second, third, and fourth.
- ROSKILDE (8/1) – Longshot Special – Roskilde made his first start in three months on April 12, and had some serious trouble: he’s a need-the-lead type, but got bumped early, had to be rushed up to the lead. That’s usually a recipe for coming up empty late, and this time, it was. Roskilde should be a pace factor, and with a better break, he could factor for even longer. The question for him is whether he’s going to be good enough, as he has yet to finish better than third since being claimed by Jon Cowan from the barn of Scott Becker. But? The only time he has been in this easy is last out, when he had that trouble, and his best races suggest he merits another try in a turf dash at this level. At the price, Roskilde belongs in all four rungs of the superfecta.
- JIVE DADDY (4/1) – Top Selection – Oaklawn was a little over Jive Daddy’s head, but the son of Scat Daddy has been a consistent turf dasher. He won’t be right on the lead, but with tactical speed, he’ll be right in range turning for home. The connections appeal strongly, too. Mitchell Murrill has been hot this spring at Hawthorne, and he hops off a live one in Made to Fit to ride Jive Daddy instead. Though trainer Steve Manley may be better known for his main-track runners, one of the key takeaways of last summer’s Arlington meet is that he can be dangerous on the grass, too. Between his running style, his turf dash acumen, and the people behind him? He deserves a prominent spot at the top of any superfecta ticket.
- WAY (9/2) – Way also hails from the Steve Manley barn. He does his best work on the front end — but has route speed, not necessarily five-furlong dash speed. He’s also better on dirt and synthetic than he is on the grass. The only way I’d use Way in a superfecta is on a ticket that goes narrow on top, and hits the ALL button for the fourth rung.
- BOOTLEGGIN (7/2) – He comes second off the lay, and his return over a sloppy track at Oaklawn wasn’t bad, given that he now moves to a bit softer circuit. He’s never been much of a win type, but he ran on to be not well beaten in some turf dashes last year against far better horses than he faces in this spot. He also put forth two good efforts with Constantino Roman in the irons late last fall at Hawthorne, and Roman returns here. A win seems like too much to ask, but Bootleggin makes a lot of sense to rally late for an underneath share.
- GREEN MEANS GO (6/1 – MTO) – Green Means Go is entered for main track only. With little to no rain likely until the end of the week, he’ll likely have to wait for another day.
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