Here's something I've never seen before; below are the conditions for the 1st race at Fair Grounds. See if you noticed the peculiar nature of the race:
5 ½ furlongs; The 6th Running of the Kudzu Juvenile; Purse $30,000 for Two Year Old, Registered Alabama Breeds
Really, a stakes race in Louisiana for Alabama bred horses? I guess they have to have somewhere to race. As for the race itself, we are basically faced with a collection of extremely low-level two year olds, half of which are still looking to break their maiden. I think this is a race to watch instead of bet.
Okay, getting away from state-bred stakes races we've got a couple of events on the Friday card that look enticing from a betting perspective. Up first is the 3rd race featuring a field of seven two year old colts going six furlongs in a $40,000 Maiden Claimer. The #4 horse, Park Rules, looks like he's got the speed edge on most in here but it's the first time starter, 2 – Speedy Solution, that caught my eye. First, the jockey/trainer combination of Merrill Scherer and Robby Albarado is currently hitting at an insane 41% for the meet. Second, while Afleet Alex hasn't set the world on fire with first timers this colt looks to be ready after a long series of consistent works for a barn that knows how to get it done at first asking.
Speedy Solution draws inside the potential speed, which isn't the greatest set-up, but if he can sit and stalk right off of the lead he should have plenty of chances as they come into the lane. Morning line says 9/2 on this colt but we'll see where that drifts to once the pools open. I'd like to see a bunch of money come in early and then have him drift up to the 4/1 to 5/1 range.
The 6th race is a one mile N3L $30,000 Claiming event for fillies three and up on the lawn. 6 – My Little Dancer is my value play in this spot at 15/1 on the morning line. This filly's speed figures and class are definitely a notch below the rest of the field but she's got a couple of things going for here that I really like in this spot. First, the best race of her career was her only other start on the grass – a win in a $16K Claimer at Ellis Park in late August. Second, she clearly runs her best when she's able to get out on the lead, where she should easily be today as there just aren't any other fillies in this race that consistently go to the lead. Throw in the fact that Lanerie gets back in the irons (he piloted this filly in her grass win), and you've got a lot of factors that suggest she could put up a solid performance at a big price.
UPDATED 10:39 AM: In-card commentary is posted in the Twitter feed on the left sidebar.