On Thursday at Saratoga, Bee Charmer ($2.80 show) actually went off as the 2-1 favorite in the hurdle race, and finished nicely in third, less than a length behind The Price of Love ($15.80 win) and Be Certain ($4.00 place). A good effort. In race 2, it was a chalkfest with 9-5 Valiancy defeating 8-5 Keep’em Movin Dan, with 3-1 Fast Draw rounding out the $44.40 trifecta. However, my “gut” pick Insider—at 31-1—finished in fourth, over 5 lengths ahead Tapit’s Brew and the rest of the field. Insider was no threat to the leaders, but a nice enough first-time out.
A possible longshot flyer for Friday...
Arlington Race 7: #6 De La Fleur (20-1 ML)
Not much about this 3-year-old daughter of Albert the Great indicates she should succeed here, from her initial $1,200 Keeneland purchase price in 2005 to her three races thus far. Last out she tried turf over 9f, but finished well back. Trainer Bob Holthus ships her to Arlington from Churchill to try Polytrack, stepping back slightly to 8f.
Several others in here look more promising at first glance, including Elusive Sparkle, whose claim to fame is her half-brother—Street Sense. Yet, this 3-year-old filly hasn’t exactly torn up the track this year, plus she switches to a low % jock.
So, why De La Fleur? In addition to Holthus shipping her in, you have to ask why she gets Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires up today. In his final season of racing, Fires has been very judicious about what horses he rides, usually only a couple per day and, in addition to 4-year-old filly Thousandkissesdeep for Wayne Catalano in race 8, De La Fleur is his only other ride on Friday. Fires has ridden 28 winners in 97 rides at Arlington this summer—that’s a 29% strike rate! He must think he can do something with De La Fleur.
UPDATE: After taking the early lead, De La Fleur (17-1) was passed by Awesome Moment (5-2), but hung in for a clear second-place over Elusive Sparkle (6-5). Nice $12.60 place payout.