SOLID LINEUP OF DIAMONDGAITERS ON "TROTTIN' THURSDAY" CARD AT PHILLY
The highest levels of classes for trotters available for this afternoon's "Trottin' Thursday" card at Harrah's Philadelphia are all filled with competitive horses (side benefit: this will give fans a chance to check classshifters against their recent opposition here). The $17,500 fifth race event, for the highest of the non-winners and "nw 9 races" horses, is an extremely tough group to sort out (note that the morning line favorite is 4-1!), but it does contain the familiar face of MARKET SHARE, two-time divisional champion, winner of $3.77 million -- and a winner the last two times he didn't face the Open horses at Dover. Good luck solving this race!
6th race: IHOLDON has been slow in 2017 to regain the form that last year saw him finish 1-2 in nine of ten starts, but we think he may be in a good spot. This is a nine-horse field, which means that many horses may be leaving, which may mean a more contested pace, which may set things up for the closer that he is. Who's hotter than David Miller?
10th race: KOLBEE'S STAR had a solid third behind two good horses upon coming to Philly and this level last time out. He should profit from that race over the track as well, and could work out a good journey from on or off the pace. UVA HANOVER also returns here, but he's 0-for-2017, and has been known to be overbet (see 3-15 and 4-7).
12th race: We were impressed by the qualifier of ARNOLD, who walked to the half, then came home in a sharp 57.4. This horse is used to race higher-quality opposition, and this is only his third Lasix start. The two most-likely favorites are stepping up in company here, and are no locks; maybe ARNOLD can provide players with good mutuel value.
14th race: It looks like LIFE IS A BEACH may benefit from joining AAA, because she sure has not been able to work out any kind of good trip in her three 2017 starts. She drops in class today as well. Nobody is a standout, but a few mares show "obviously-decent" lines; lines showing much energy usage but unlucky finishes often return a good mutuel.
WATCH OUT FOR: Other than the high percentage of favorites to be winning in the early portion of the 2017 meeting here at Harrah's Philadelphia, the most-pronounced trend of the meet has been the domination of the post position win statistics by POST FIVE. Post five is usually the leader at Philly, or at least neck-and-neck with post four -- has to do with the departure of the starting gate and also the track "crown" (the slight hump that causes proper drainage) -- but through the end of last week it has produced at a frightening 31.3% -- almost 1 winner in 3! -- with PP1 and PP4, next in line, only half as productive. Post 8 is only 1-for-60 early on.