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!!!!”