Friday Dec. 20 – Betfair Hollywood Top Play
Scheduled Local Post Time – 4:07 pm PT
Selection: Artic Warrior, the 4 horse.
Artic Warrior received a rip-roaringly awful trip in his last race. He broke slowly. Then he made up a lot of ground very quickly while running in a race that was color-coded red for fast pace. He earned a pace figure of 132 for his opening quarter, trouble notwithstanding. Eventually, he put away the frontrunner to his inside and got the lead in the stretch, and then hit a wall and lost the 7F race by almost seven lengths. This Pearl Harbor Day performance was vastly better than it looks on paper, and it doesn’t look all that bad on paper. He received a speed figure of 65, an improvement of eight points over his debut effort.
Artic Warrior’s trainer, Bobby Wayne Grayson, has no trainer stats that are worth looking up, but he’s a competent trainer who can get it done with the right horse. Apprentice jockey Gonzalo Nicolas has been a favorite of ours for some time, but if he wishes to keep his place in our heart, he would be well-advised to get this colt a trip that looks nothing at all like his last one.
Let’s hope that Artic Warrior gets a less-awful trip today because at morning line odds of 8-1, he is our selection.
We will protect in exotics with America Rising (who ran a strong speed figure of 75 in his last start), Indygo Andy, and, to a lesser extent, Burlister (who was sandwiched at the start last time and seems as likely to finish last as first today).