Not A Great Day


Assistant trainer Dani Griggs with the red claim tag 

As the headline says, not a great day at the races Sunday.

E Z Larry finished a so-so fourth in Race 5 for $5,000 claiming 3-year-olds. Larry ran evenly around the racetrack, never really a threat for the victory, and afterward we learned that our horse was claimed by trainer Rigoberto Velasquez for owners Rancho Viejo and Pam Tumminello.

In fact, three of the seven horses in Race 5 were claimed–Rojo  Bou Peep, Shot Gun Gary and E Z Larry.

So we can tally up the score for E Z Larry. We claimed him for $15,000 on July 3 and lost him via claim for $5,000 on September 10. In three starts for ERC he earned $5,290 in purses ($340 on July 21, $4,290 on August 11, and $660 Sunday).

So on a $15,000 investment, we earned back $10,290 before expenses. Certainly not great, but remember that our earlier horse this year with trainer Mike Puhich, Distinguishable, had a much better outcome. Distinguishable we bought for $10,000 privately and lost her via claim for $25,000. She also earned $8,680 in three starts for ERC, so on that $10,000 investment we earned $33,680–a profit of $23,680 before expenses.

I have mixed thoughts on E Z Larry. Although he obviously isn’t a superstar, I still think he could be a decent horse. He’s struggling to put it all together, racing erratically and not switching leads on cue, but he’s only raced four times. E Z Larry’s new trainer is a perennial top gun at Portland Meadows, so I’m sure that’s where we’ll see Larry racing this fall and winter. E Z Larry might even have one more shot at Emerald Downs on closing weekend.

Believe it or not, E Z Larry was the good news Sunday.

In Race 8 for $10,000 claiming fillies and mares at one mile, McDove finished last in the eight-horse field and was eased by Javier Matias in the final furlong.  It was a virtual repeat of the Boeing Stakes two months ago. McDove was sitting in fourth going into the far turn, and then faltered so badly that Matias and Sharon Ross both suspected McDove might have bled again.

But–as the 15 or so of you who went back to watch her being scoped learned–McDove did not bleed Sunday.

“No specks of blood, no mucus, no coughing,” Sharon Ross said. “(McDove) drank a normal  amount of water, and she was walking OK.

“We’ll have to wait a couple of days, and then see if we can come up with an answer.”

Ross said that McDove will have her blood tested, to see if there’s either an infection or low red or while blood cell count ailing her. And then Dr. Stenslie will examine the legs to see if there’s any issues there.

Hopefully we can find out what’s bothering her. I wish there was better news to report!


Sunday ERC Double-header!


Matt Dinerman

-It’s time for track announcer Matt Dinerman to look at Sunday’s Emerald Racing Club races: E Z Larry, Race 5, 3:44 p.m. McDove, Race 8, 5:11 p.m.

Take it away, Matt!

“Thanks Vince! This is the first time in Emerald Racing Club history where both ERC horses are entered on the same day…what a treat!

I’ll start off by saying that E Z Larry and McDove are spotted well Sunday. Both conditions which they are running in this Sunday seem like the appropriate levels they should be competing at. That’s the good news. The thing is…the races came up strong for their respective conditions, which means both horses will need to bring their “A” game to take home the gold medal.

We’ll discuss E Z Larry‘s race first. He is the second choice on the morning line at 3-1. There appears to be plenty of speed signed on, which makes E Z Larry’s versatile running style even more desirable in a race like this. Here are some projected pace players:

  • #1 Hart Mountain has shown front running speed in the past and draws the rail; if you have a horse that possesses early speed and that horse draws the rail in a sprint race, many more times than not you are going to see that horse use that speed. Also, keep in mind that his rider (Leonel Camacho Flores) is known for his aggressive style; he is very good at getting horses out of the gates quickly and getting them to the lead. So, I would expect Hart Mountain to be sent hard to get forward position and he’ll likely find himself up on the pace.
  • #3 Snow Zone broke his maiden last week when dueling on the lead with another rival. The fractions in that race weren’t all that quick, though, and I’m not sure this horse is fast enough to be up with a couple of the other speed balls entered. Nonetheless, if he was close to the pace it wouldn’t be a surprise.
  • #4 Shot Gun Gary has plenty of early speed. His only two career in-the-money efforts came when he set the pace.
  • #5 Assetts Included is another that has shown front running dash in the past but I’m inclined to believe this guy will probably stalk the pace. He has a little more versatility than some of the others on this list.
  • And of course, #7 E Z Larry, who broke his maiden last month in gate to wire fashion.

With regards to the post position, E Z Larry drew a great spot. Notice that all of the other speed horses are drawn inside of ‘Larry. That means Isaias (Enriquez) can look inside of him, see what the others are doing and play it from there. He does not NEED the lead and Isaias can put him in a stalking spot if a couple of aforementioned rivals decide to go a little too quick. That’s one thing E Z Larry has going for him: he is versatile.

Now, E Z Larry is facing horses that have a little more class than him. He will need to improve to get the win. This is not an easy field and some handicappers (including myself) strongly believe that in cheaper races, the biggest step up in class for a horse is from facing maidens (non-winners) to competing against winners. You’ve got horses in here like #4 Shot Gun Gary, #5 Assetts Included and #7 Rojo Bou Peep who have faced much tougher company than E Z Larry and are dropping in class, which should help them. You’ve also got a horse (#1 Hart Mountain) that has won at this level before, indicating he possesses the class to be competitive in this race.

Keep in mind, too, that the second place finisher in E Z Larry’s last race (Myt Fine) has since come back to run very poorly against 5k maiden claimers. You have to ask yourself, “Exactly who did E Z Larry beat? Were any of the horses in that race good?” This is a question that most handicappers try to answer when analyzing the strength of a race, but this is especially prominent when analyzing maiden races.

As an unbiased handicapper, I would play against E Z Larry, but remember: I picked against him last time and he won. So…I could be wrong again. And for all of you, I hope I am wrong. 🙂

Before we get to McDove, it’s good to note that running E Z Larry in a non-winners of two lifetime race (for the $4,000 claiming tag) would be an easier spot. HOWEVER, the races at that level are not filling. We’ve got to let Larry run and this 5k condition is adequate.

McDove drew post 5 of 8 in Race #8, a one mile event. Another race that came up tough, but McDove absolutely fits this condition. Remember…earlier in the meet she lost by a head to Exit Sixty Slew, who beat one of the top fillies and mares on the grounds, Citizen Kitty, in The Washington Cup a couple of weeks ago!!! That’s pretty darn good.

As you all know, McDove is versatile like E Z Larry. #3 Justitia is a very quick filly and will be sending to the lead in this race; she NEEDS the front. So, I would have to imagine McDove is going to take back and stalk the pace. #6 Live Like Mike is going to be close to the speed as well but I think she, too, will relax and sit right off of Justitia. I wouldn’t be surprised to see McDove third or fourth for most of the way before Javier (Matias) decides to let her loose. Hopefully, she has enough in the tank to run by the early front runners down the lane and hold off the fillies and mares trying to race by late. McDove has a great “stalk and pounce” style that fits well in a race like this, which looks pretty tactical on paper.

#2 First Heritage is the 9-5 morning line favorite. McDove is 6-1. Interestingly, McDove finished ahead of First Heritage in the race where Exit Sixty Slew won. First Heritage is 2 for 2 since joining the barn of Blaine Wright, though, and is in peak form right now…in better form than when she placed behind McDove three starts ago. Her last two races resulted in wins and even though both starts were sprints, she has had plenty of success in the past going two turns. In fact, Blaine believes this filly is best going a route of ground and I agree with him.

I think McDove is in with a great chance. I am still figuring out who my top picks are in the race and will make my final decision tomorrow. However, McDove will absolutely be in my top three selections and she might even be my top pick when all is said and done. She has the class to win this, is getting back to routing (which is what she is best at) and has a good running style that suggests she should sit a good trip.

One more thing: we’ve got to let McDove run. In my 100% honest opinion, last time out she was given way too much to do. She is not a filly that likes to come from too far out of it; she needs to be put into the race. But I think she’ll be able to sit a good trip this time.

Both E Z Larry and McDove are feeling good in the barns. I have visited them both many times over the past couple of weeks and it looks like both ERC equine stars are in good spirits & ready to roll this weekend!








McDove Finishes Sixth


Kiss My Lulu

McDove struggled Friday night at Emerald Downs. She never really got going and finished sixth in a seven-horse field of $15,000 claiming fillies and mares.

Kiss My Lulu, the 6-to-5 betting favorite, led all the way and won easily by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:16.93 for 6 1/2 furlongs. The official order of finish: 1st-Kiss My Lulu, 2nd-Listo, 3rd-Our Silver Lining, 4th-Trinni, 5th-Guardian One, 6th-McDove, 7th-Justitia.

McDove was next to last on the backstretch, raced four-wide through the turn, and made up virtually no ground in the stretch.

It’s a bit disappointing. McDove is a better filly than she showed Friday night–she was competitive with Exit Sixty Slew and Jerre to Carrie earlier in the season, and both of those horses are four-time winners at the meet. And she also finished right behind Kiss My Lulu back on April 22.

Sharon Ross and jockey Javier Matias expressed disappointment with McDove’s unwillingness to settle off the pace (which is called being “rated” in the vernacular) Friday. McDove was very aggressive early and wanted to rip, but she doesn’t have the natural speed to keep up in a race like Friday’s. Had Matias let McDove go early, she would have run out of gas in the stretch.

Also, McDove was racing with a different bit in her mouth Friday. She wore what’s called an elevator bit, which is used on horses that frequently leans into the bit or pulls against the reins. McDove’s been a handful for both jockeys and exercise riders this year, and the hope was that she would settle nicely with the different equipment.

Sharon is fairly certain McDove didn’t bleed Friday, so that’s good news.

We’ll have to let the dust settle and regroup. We should be able to get another race out of McDove this year, and hopefully we can get the racing secretary to work on filling a route race (one mile or longer) for fillies and mares in McDove’s category.

I’ll check in with Sharon tomorrow and send out an update Saturday night.

Thanks for hanging in there!




McDove Set For Friday Night

McDove officially is a go for Friday night. The Sunday race drew only two entries and was called off, so instead of running one mile on Sunday she runs 6 1/2 furlongs Friday.

McDove is actually the 3-1 second choice on the morning line (I thought we’d be a bit higher) with post time 9 p.m. The purse is $13,600, the claiming price $15,000.

As usual, track announcer Matt Dinerman is here to offer his analysis of our race. Take it away, Matt.

“Hi everyone! Only five weeks left until the 2017 Emerald Downs meet ends…time has flown by!!!

First of all, a BIG congratulations to each and every one of you for E Z Larry’s big win! He sure ran his heart out that day and big props go to Mike (Puhich) for a job well done, getting him ready to run his “A” race. ‘Larry is “feeling his oats” (no pun intended) at the barn and has been spoiled with treats and pets (by Vince, yours truly, and of course, many of you!) Make sure to tune in to the first race tomorrow night. Myt Fine, who finished second in E Z Larry’s race, is the 7-5 morning line favorite. If he wins, that makes ‘Larry’s race look even better!

Before discussing McDove’s voyage tomorrow, I wanted to let you all know that I observed her August 18th workout in person (5 furlongs in 1:01 flat) and she looked terrific. She quickened when asked down the stretch, had plenty left in the tank at the wire and galloped out strong on the clubhouse turn. The first part of her work was fairly slow…but don’t worry: that was 100% by design and she was just cruising.

TEACHABLE MOMENT: Time is not everything in a workout. What is most important is HOW a horse works. I would rather take McDove’s work (1:01 flat, nice and easy, with an energetic gallop out) over a filly who worked :59 flat and was all out at the wire, with not much left in the tank by the gallop out.

Now…time to talk about the race. Even though eight fillies and mares are entered for Race 6 tomorrow night, expect #4 Sugarseeker to scratch: she re-entered in one of the Washington Cup stakes races this Sunday.

Your girl #5 McDove is 3-1 on the morning line and she’s got a decent shot to win this race (in my opinion, anyway.) In fact, I made her my top pick! That’s a knock though, as my top picks have yet to win when handicapping a race on this blog. 🙂 Maybe we can turn that luck around!!!

What I like about McDove is that she can sit off what is projected to be a fast pace, so the race should set up well for her midpack/stalking style. #6 Justitia is a very fast filly and MUST have the lead; that is the only way she can win. #7 Kiss My Lulu, who is the 2-1 morning line favorite, also does her best running on the lead. #3 Listo won in a gate to wire romp on August 11, but I don’t think she is quick enough to go out with #6 Justitia or #7 Kiss My Lulu (unless she wants to be a sacrificial lamb, so to speak.)

Remember: McDove sprinted in her first start for the Emerald Racing Club on April 22 and finished third behind Jerre to Carrie, who went on to win four races in a row after winning that night, and Kiss My Lulu, who of course, is also entered back in this spot. So, even though many believe McDove may be best routing, she can also be effective sprinting. McDove will need to turn the tables on Kiss My Lulu, yes, but it’s not an impossible task considering the race shape will probably favor McDove’s running style over ‘Lulu’s.

#7 Kiss My Lulu is definitely the one to beat. She has finished first or second in 7 of her past 8 races. In her most recent afternoon appearance, she ran fourth and threw in a clunker, but keep in mind that she was facing a much tougher group: the top two finishers are in a stakes race on Sunday and the third place finisher would be the favorite if she were to compete in this race.

My top pick: #5 McDove. Second pick: #7 Kiss My Lulu. Third pick: #2 Trinni, who comes off a nice win at the 10k claiming level and takes a bump up in class for this. Her best race makes her competitive against this field.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping all 200 of you will get the chance to add another win photo to your collection tomorrow night! GOOD LUCK!!!!”




McDove Race Friday, August 25

McDove returns to action Friday night at Emerald Downs.

That is, she probably returns to action Friday. Sharon Ross entered McDove in Friday’s feature race (Race 6) for $15,000 claiming fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs. She drew the No. 5 post-position with Javier Matias our rider.

McDove is what’s called  a “conditional” entry, meaning we can scratch her no questions asked, IF we instead run in the one-mile race for $15,000 claiming fillies and mares on Sunday, August 27. We will enter that race Thursday. The one-mile distance would be the better distance for McDove, but longer races have struggled to fill all season for fillies and mares in McDove’s class range. So it would be no surprise if this one also failed to fill, and in that event we would remain in Friday’s race at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Sorry if this is a bit confusing. Basically by entering Friday’s race we ensured that McDove will run next weekend.



E Z Larry Victorious!



E Z Larry and Isaias Enriquez

That was more like it!

In his second race for Emerald Racing Club, E Z Larry led gate-to-wire and scored a one-length victory Friday in 1:03.91 for 5 1/2 furlongs. Ridden by Isaias Enriquez, E Z Larry paid $3.60 to win as the betting favorite.

The final time was pretty darned good, and I imagine Larry will easily top his previous Beyer figures of 44 and 48. A race later, Let’s Mambo won a $15,000 maiden claiming race for fillies and mares in 1:05.06–over a full second slower than E Z Larry’s winning time.

E Z Larry was not claimed, which was a relief since we were dropping way down to $8,000 claiming Friday.

E Z Larry earned $4,290, meaning we still have quite a ways to go to recoup our investment in the horse. But Larry should fit very nicely in a race for non-winners of two races lifetime, which is a pretty common condition at Emerald Downs.

So assuming E Z Larry comes out of the race in good shape, and he walked back to the barn just fine, we should be able to look for another race fairly soon.

There were a couple of anxious moments Friday. E Z Larry ran a very fast opening quarter-mile (:21.88 seconds) and opened a three-length lead on the turn for home. As I watched the race with trainer Mike Puhich we saw that Myt Fine and jockey Kevin Orozco were rallying strongly from the back of the back. Enriquez, meanwhile, took a confident peak back into the stretch, and E Z Larry was up to the challenge and turned aside Myt Fine through the lane for the victory.

E Z Larry and Myt Fine dominated the race. E Z Larry was the winner by one length, and Myt Fine was 6 3/4 lengths ahead of Trust in the Stars in third place. Galeforce Nine, the horse Matt Dinerman feared in his pre-race analysis, finished fourth, and Parker’s Prince and Buckpeak rounded out the order of finish.


E Z Larry (right) with Mike Puhich and groom Dani Griggs. Can you find yourself?


E Z Larry 5/2 Morning Line Favorite

E Z Larry-8-11

E Z Larry 5/2 morning line

As you can see, E Z Larry is the 5/2 morning line favorite in Friday’s 3rd Race at Emerald Downs. Post time is 7:36 p.m.

The race is 5 1/2 furlongs for 3-year-old maidens (non-winners) with an $8,000 claiming price.

I think we have a great chance to win. Isaias Enriquez–who rides morning line favorite Mach One Rules Sunday in the Longacres Mile–can get the weekend off to a great start with a victory in the ERC silks. Isaias was up for the five-furlong workout last weekend and was very happy with the horse’s performance.

Track announcer Matt Dinerman, also an excellent handicapper, takes a closer look at the race. Take it away, Matt!

“Hello all! Surely you’re excited about the Longacres Mile this Sunday, but the bigger race for you all is Friday night: The E Z Larry Classic.

That’s right…E Z Larry is back in! The good news is that ‘Larry is in a much easier spot this time, so it looks like he should be much more competitive. I think he fits in well with this group.

E Z Larry looks like the one to beat on paper, but the horse you should be worried about, in my opinion, is #4 Galeforce Nine. Both of his past sprint races were solid and he just ran third going one mile. The cut back from a route to a sprint is a very profitable angle for horse players. Essentially, horses that cut back in distance are very fit and show much better stamina after running in a longer race.

More good news, though: E Z Larry finished in front of Galeforce Nine in his first career start on July 2.

Trust in the Stars is another main contender. Like E Z Larry and Galeforce Nine, Trust in the Stars drops in class. In fact, earlier in the meet he was hitting the board against maiden 15k claimers. Just three starts ago, he only lost by a head at this maiden 8k claiming level going one mile. So, he has shown ability in past starts.

There is no confirmed front runner in this race, which makes things interesting. Who will go to the lead? #1 Parker’s Prince is probably going to be sent hard by his rider, Rocco Bowen, who is known to be aggressive out of the gate. Parker’s Prince went to the lead in his first two starts, so he has shown front running sprint speed in the past. If ‘Prince has the lead to himself, then I’d expect Galeforce Nine and E Z Larry to get a perfect stalking trip off the aforementioned pacesetter. Both ‘Nine and ‘Larry have very similar stalking running styles.

The Emerald Racing Club should hope that Parker’s Prince DOES NOT get loose on the lead. In your preferred racing scenario, someone goes out to pressure Parker’s Prince and E Z Larry can get the dream “stalk and pounce” trip.

Good luck!!!”

E Z Larry Race, Friday, August 11

E Z Larry is a go for Friday, August 11.

His race drew seven entrants and goes as Race 3, post time 7:30 p.m. The weather is expected to remain hot through next weekend, so racing at night should be comfortable.

As I said in yesterday’s email, E Z Larry’s workout Saturday morning went very well. He worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 (second fastest of eight at the distance) and that should have him ready to roll Friday. We’re also taking a significant drop in class, and I think we’re the horse to beat.

We’ll take a closer look at the race Wednesday, with analysis by Matt Dinerman.

Can’t think of a better way to begin Longacres Mile weekend than with a victory.

Here is the field for Friday’s Race 3 at Emerald Downs (maiden claiming, 3-year-olds, 5 1/2 furlongs, claiming price $8,000): 1-Parker’s Prince, Rocco Bowen, 122 lbs; 2-Myt Fine, Kevin Orozco ,119; 3-Trust in the Stars, Julien Couton, 122; 4-Galeforce Nine, Erick Lopez, 122; 5-E Z Larry, Isaias Enriquez, 122; 6-Snow Zone, Eswan Flores, 122; 7-Buckbeak, Luis Gonzalez, 122.

E Z Larry 5th in ERC Debut

In his first race for the Emerald Racing Club, E Z Larry finished fifth in the third race on Friday at Emerald Downs. All things considered it was an OK effort by our 3-year-old gelding, but certainly not great.

E Z Larry was facing tougher horses than he raced against 19 days ago in his debut. But after reaching a striking position on the the turn he got a bit tired and was never a threat to win. Boo Boo Bear, the 6-to-5 favorite, was the winner under Rocco Bowen in 1:09.99 for 6 furlongs.

Here is the official Daily Racing Form chart (sorry for the blurriness, I will email it out in a higher resolution).

download (2)

As you can see, E Z Larry was the fifth choice in the wagering at 8.30-to-1. In fact, the race went almost exactly to form: the betting favorite won, the second choice finished second, the third choice finished fourth, the fourth choice finished third, and the fifth choice finished fifth. Kid Trickey, Trust in the Stars and Snow Zone all went off at very high odds and finished sixth, seventh and eighth.

“The three horses that looked toughest on paper finished one, two, three,” trainer Mike Puhich said. “It was a pretty tough race, quite a bit tougher than his first race.”

Boo Boo Bear’s winning time was only one-fifth of a second slower than Wine At Nine’s time in the Friday feature race, and Wine At Nine is a tough 5-year-old gelding with four wins this season, so Larry’s competition Friday certainly was legit.

But still, we were a little bit disappointed with Friday’s race. Mike said that jockey Isaias Enrqiuez offered no excuses, other than a bump at the break and racing a bit wide on the turn, E Z Larry had a good trip. Isaias added that E Z Larry was trying, but he just wasn’t able to really get going and make an impact.

Puhich texted me that E Z Larry cooled out fine after the race, so that’s good news.

Where does this leave us? The good thing about owning a maiden is that it’s easy to find another race. Unlike with McDove, where we’ve been handcuffed by a dearth of $20,000 fillies and mares, there is no such shortage with maidens. In our post-race huddle, Puhich said his goal is to get three wins this season with E Z Larry, and I appreciate his boldness.

My thought is that a drop in class will help immensely–back down to $15,000 maiden claiming at least–and see if that does the trick. Remember, E Z Larry has only raced twice and I’ve witnessed hundreds of horses that took a little time to get their careers going. The horse that beat us tonight, Boo Boo Bear, was making his seventh start of the year and his 10th overall, so sometimes you have to hang in there with a horse.

E Z Larry in the paddock

E Z Larry is a good-looking animal with decent breeding and a willing attitude. So while Friday’s race wasn’t the grand slam we had hoped to hit, it’s too early to lose faith.

I’ll check in with Mike again Saturday and update any further developments.

We will have our Breakfast at the Wire group outing on Saturday, July 29. We were originally going to have it on July 22, but with E Z Larry running Friday it would have been a quick turnaround to come back to Emerald Downs on Saturday morning.

If anyone would like to attend tomorrow’s Breakfast at the Wire, the free show is from 8 to 10 a.m., with entry via the paddock gate. At 10 a.m., you are welcome to tour the jockeys’ room with valet Al Padilla.

E Z Larry 9-2 in Friday Race


E Z Larry-July 19

E Z Larry on Wednesday

Time for track announcer Matt Dinerman to take a look at Friday’s race in which E Z Larry makes his first start for Emerald Racing Club.

The race is a $25,000 maiden claiming race for 3-year-olds and up at 6 furlongs, with a $13,600 purse. It goes as Race 3 at 7:35 p.m.

1-Mixo, Javier Matias, 120 lbs, 3-/1; 2-Storminside, Eswan Flores, 120, 7/2; 3-Rainrebel, Julien Couton, 120, 8/1; 4-Kid Trickey, Kevin Orozco, *115, 12/1; 5-Boo Boo Bear, Rocco Bowen, 120, 5/2; 6-Snow Zone, Osvaldo Gonzalez, *115, 15/1; 7-E Z Larry, Isaias Enriquez, 120, 9/2; 8-Trust in the Stars, Juan Gutierrez, 120, 6/1.

Take it away Matt. . .

“Hello all! It’s time to get excited for E Z Larry!

Before we get into ‘Larry’s race…I am sorry about what happened to McDove. The good news is that I went back to the barn and she looks really good. Physically she looks very healthy and she was very happy, meaning mentally she is OK too. I understand Vince sent you all an e-mail to explain what has been done with her to get her lungs cleared out. She will be OK and will go on to race another day!

Eight runners to go six furlongs in the third race tomorrow night, E Z Larry’s race! E Z Larry is making his second lifetime start. Sometimes, horses take a step forward in their second career race, so keep that in mind (in fact, ‘second time starters’ was Vince’s handicapping angle in our ‘Angles With Experts’ segment.) Mike Puhich has decided to put blinkers on E Z Larry. He looked green (inexperienced) in his first start, so my guess is those blinkers are being added to try to keep him a little more focused this time. ‘Larry was claimed by the ERC for 15k and is in for a 25k tag this time. The field he faces this time is tougher than what he saw in his career deubt.

When I first heard you had claimed E Z Larry, I was very pleased. E Z Larry has the breeding to be nice; his sire (He’s Tops) has done good work as a sire and his dam (Maker Happy) produced E Z Starmaker, who was a VERY impressive maiden winner last year. He had a few snappy workouts leading up to his debut and, after his first race, he gave me the impression he had a horse who had some ability.

There are three first time starters in this race. The one who scares Vince and I the most is #2 Storminside. He comes from the Blaine Wright barn; Blaine has had an outstanding meet, winning at an eye-popping 37% clip. Storminside is a Kentucky bred by Hansen (who is a son of one of the top stallion’s in the world,  Tapit) and has had some quick works in preperation for this race. Expect him to show speed. Incidentally, Larry and Sharon Ross have a first time starter in the race: #4 Kid Trickey. As much as we all like Larry and Sharon, it would be fine with us if Kid Trickey runs second to E Z Larry tomorrow.

The horses with the most experience that are main threats to E Z Larry are #1 Mixo and #5 Boo Boo Bear. Mixo has hit the board in the majority of his races and has finished behind some really nice horses, including 2015 champion two-year-old So Lucky. Boo Boo Bear is another one that has finished behind solid racehorses in past starts.

I try to be as impartial as possible while calling races…however…if I had to call E Z Larry as the winner of the third race, I’d be pretty darn excited for you all.”