The Sipp Barn owns and trains this turfer entry (a brief commentary on this phenomenon in next pick section). A colt out of City Zip, he looks fit and capable of handling this class assignment. Though he missed badly at Presque Isle Downs, he has the ability to get back on track at Mountaineer. Maybe he will hover around 3/1 once this goes off. Having capable grass rider Jose Leon will work, if he can stay out of traffic troubles … always a concern.
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #3
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 8: Defender of Faith #5, 10/1):
In this cheap MC4k event we are after a price, and it appears based on the M/L odds that we have some options. This is a perfect example of some trouble that is brewing for this sport. Taking a look at Defender of Faith #5, here is a well-bred filly out of Cairo Prince. The breeder was none other than the former governor of the great state of Kentucky, Brereton Jones. He is top class, and produces some quality runners. Sara Stanoszek not only trains this one, but she owns her too. That is a trend at tracks like Mountaineer where ownership is falling more and more to those that condition. That does not bode well for the future because investment has to come from new blood—not trainers. Let’s back this one because she is clearly fit, and ready to go for her 4th try this cycle.
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 3: Turf, 1 Mile, MSW16.5, 3+):
We have quite a group of males of all ages that are drawn-in for this wide-open race. I know most will back Alpha Dog #7 because he is a gelding that ran previously for Rusty Arnold down at Gulfstream Park. The More Than Ready offspring failed as a heavy favorite last time in his first Mountaineer climb. Why would we think it would be any different for a second time around? I want to take advantage of that 3/5 M/L, and back a better-priced entry, instead. Looking down the list, I really like the look of Aces Up #1 from the barn of Juan Gotera. This 3-yr-old gelding has a “try” over the MNR track, and can use his dam side pedigree to really take to the turf. By way of Unbridled Song, those types are excellent in these situations. Getting Charlie Oliveros to ride once again might be just the ticket, as his lawn jockeying continues to be quite solid. You must wager with those skills in mind, because if you don’t, it can cost you a score.