Race 8 – Cardinal S.
Today’s stakes race features a “Yellow” PlotFit, in this case changes from Standard to Surface/Distance, a PlotFIt that does not offer a straight forward pace picture. The additional information on OptixPLOT utilizing the “Fire” Contention paired with a lower SpeedRate will be used to assess pace. This combination of “Fire” and SpeedRate is shown on OptixRPM without an “E” runner and just two “EP” in that RunStyleMatch. It is also clear on both Standard and Surface/Distance with the presence of four to seven runners in Quad I/III and with those horses primarily sitting below the Par Line.
This race also features a likely heavy favorite in #7 PIEDI BIANCHI where the handicapping begins assessing her as the favorite. While this pace scenario upgrades Quad I Squares, to which Piedi Bianchi is one, though she does not hold much of an edge to rival #5 FIREBALL BABY to compensate in terms of value justifying that projected short price today. Fireball Baby holds that Quad I Square pace edge as well as recency over this course and distance. In addition to current form (Standard), Fireball Baby fits in terms of speed with OptixFIG in RANGE shown in the Past 3 Runlines.
#10 WELLINGTON WONDER is also shown as a Square in Quad I/III and can be upgraded on the Plot. She has OptixFIG in ran as well as class (OptixGRADE) keying off her stakes races last season as a sophomore. She will have to run a new top for this season to compete against both Piedi Bianchi and Fireball Baby, though price compensation should be there.
#8 MAGICAL PEAPOD has the 84 OptixFIG from Sept. 17 at Churchill Downs in Range for this race. She has some stakes experience at this statebred stakes level and with Grades slightly below average is tougher to support as a contender, though capable to hold for a minor share. That is similar for #4 TUCKYOURTALEANDRUN in terms of a minor share upgraded as a Quad III Square on Surface/Distance.
A longshot case can be made for #2 PRETTY ASSETS, one that does require price compensation for her running style in today’s race shape. Pace and trip is crucial for her and while she will have the “Fire” Contention in her favor the lower SpeedRate will be a hurdle. She has some upside based on her stakes races this season as well as holding OptixFIG in RANGE. Parker has been key rider for her and was aboard in her stakes win last season. There could be some confidence here with this pair returning in this spot coming off the B- OptixGRADE effort in the Hoosier Heartland S. last month.
#6 BUMBLE OF LOVE holds a similar spot on the Plot and some confidence from the connections to run in this stakes. She will have to step up in this spot in terms of OptixFIG and will have to do so with the surface switch today shifting back to the main track.