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Maiden Claiming Monday

This week's Maiden Claiming Monday takes us to the City of Brotherly Love and the fifth race at Philadelphia Park.

From this week forward I'm going to change the format for this weekly post.  I started Maiden Claiming Monday with the idea of getting some practice handicapping these types of races in the hopes that I could tackle them better when they are part of a Pick 3 or Pick 4.  With that in mind, at the end of the analysis I won't be selecting the horse that I think is the winner.  Instead I'm going to determine how deep I think I need to go in order to get through the race along with which horses I would play.  I'm going to track my results from week to week, keeping track of how deep I go in a race, if I got the winner or not, and what the final odds are on the horse.  Obviously, the goal is to pick the winner, get a decent price, and try to avoid having to go deep.

Philadelphia Park
Race 5
1 1/16 miles
$25,000 Maiden Claimer
Four and Five Year Olds








Shepherd J

Lawrence, II James L



Touring Pro

Mariano A

Jeannont Diane




Rocco J

Boniface Kim



Domestic Brew

Vega H

Salzman Timothy



Molten Lava

Wales G

Lynch Cathal



Credit Squeeze

Mello D

Correnti Armand W



Sovereign Fund

Arroyo A S

Lynch Cathal


1-Cashby drops in from Md $35K company and hasn't shown a lick of running ability in either of his two lifetime starts.  He's an immediate toss for me.

2-Touring Pro will try $25K company for the fourth time and he looks to have popped up in the perfect spot to finally grab the top prize.  The problem (and there's always a problem in these Maiden Claimers) is that he's 1) never tried to go past six furlongs, and 2) he's run out of gas in all his previous starts.  Trainer takes the shades off for the try today but at 2/1 on the, do we really think this one can go the whole way?  I don't know.

3-Hawser ran the best races of his career on the lawn and then was switched back to the main track for his last two efforts.  He broke poorly in that last try at Aqueduct, so we can probably give him a pass for that.  If he were to run back to his form in his last race at Philly he'd be a tough horse to beat.  His last race at Philly Park two back saw the 2nd and 4th place horses win at next asking.  The 4th place horse, Jayden's Hope, put up a 92 Beyer in the process.

4-Domestic Brew is a Laurel shipper that is dropping in from the MdSpWt ranks.  His last two were not that bad; the race at Charles Town saw the fourth place finisher win a MdSpWt next time out at the same track and the race at Laurel saw him close faster than any other horse in the field.  There's not a lot of speed in this race for him to run at but there are also a lot of horses that haven't even sniffed the finish line.  Domestic Brew appears to have a good shot.

5-Molten Lava lost his last race by 53 lengths...but that was in a MdSpWt at Belmont, a much tougher spot than this race.  His other four races were MdStWt events at Belmont, Santa Anita and Hollywood Park.  What do you do with this horse?  He's clearly been running way over his head but he's been getting beat so bad that I have no clue how he wants to run.  Tough call.

6-Credit Squeeze ran once at Philly back in November and put in what  I would call an even performance, at best.  He seems an unlikely winner given the shippers/droppers in this race.

7-Sovereign Fund has been something of a world traveler during his seven race career with stops at Belmont, Woodbine, Del Mar, Santa Rosa, and Hollywood Park.  This marks his second attempt at a two turn race here at Philadelphia Park and this matches the lowest tag he's ever been entered for.  His other $25K Maiden Claimer? A 1 1/16 mile event at Del Mar where he finished 2nd by a neck; that is the best performance of his career. (Oddly enough, Domestic Brew was in that same race.)  I'm hesitant to play a horse that had his best performance on Polytrack when he's on dirt today but at the same time, that performance might have been entirely due to the class relief.  He also ran in that same race at Philly that Hawser did that produced two next out winners.  Difficult to toss this guy.


I'm going to go three deep in this race but I'm not going to play the 2/1 ML favorite, Touring Pro, as I'm not convinced this gelding wants the distance.  Instead, I'm going to play the 3, the 4, and the 7, and I'm going to leave out the 5 and take my chances.  

3, 4, 7