TROTTERS CLIMBING THE CLASS LADDER IN THE $16,000 FEATURE
Though again only 13 races could be gathered for today's racing at Harrah's Philadelphia (be assured more and more horses are qualifying and shipping, especially north), the quality is high through the first Wednesday card of the year. The upwardly-mobile "nw 5 races" class for young trotters, going for $16,000, is the feature in the fourth slot, with EDINBURGH, a winner last week, moving from post four to seven and quite possibly having a harder time to repeat, especially with sharp Rosecroft invader ROCK THE GAME getting post two. The pacing feature is an $11,500 conditioned event in race 9 ... Remember, NO LIVE RACING THIS EASTER SUNDAY (16th)!
1st race:MAJOR BUBBLES N might be a little bit of a price in starting off the week (although after reading WATCH OUT FOR, below, you may wonder if that's a good thing -- but in the long run it is). Note the relative performance of our choice vs. the morning life favorite in their 3-11 race at M(1) -- and note the chalk comes off an 18-day layoff.
2nd race:We usually like younger horses that show a good last quarter, so you may wonder why SUPERIOR LAKE is our pick in the second half of the Double. But the 32 kicker in his last race can be excused by the hard first-over trip he had to go in a quick mile for this type. And five other foes come to this race off of qualifiers. Seems worth a chance.
5th race:NO EXCUSES shows the fastest 2017 race times among these entrants, but note they came when she was racing in the Weiss Series at Pocono, not in contention, in what are sometimes called "suckalong miles." On the other hand, we like the promise shown by WHATALUCKYGUY in his bow, closing for second. Another good one for the Wiest barn?
8th race:SHEEZ ON A CRUZE didn't seem to have mastered staying flat until her last start, when she added trotting hopples -- and she went on to a sharp engine win, with the last quarter in 28.1, almost unheard-of late speed for maiden trotters. This one got checks in 2016 stakes despite breaks, and if she's learned how to trot -- she can be very tough!
WATCH OUT FOR: The favorites "came away from the gate" well during the first four cards at the 2017 Harrah's Philadelphia season -- especially during the mid-week cards. The overall win favoritism rate was 47.3%, and the average win price was $7.32, with fans picking out the sharp horses, most of them coming off of good races at nearby tracks. And the Thursday and Friday cards were especially chalk-laden -- 18 of 27 favorites got to the winners circle first, making up in quantity cashing what they lacked in individual high payoffs, as the heavy form spree generated a mere $5.09 average win ticket midweek. Let's see if this short trend will be continuing!