The following are trip notes for horses who had tough trips the week of August 8-11 at Arlington, and/or who figure to improve in their next races. Add these runners to your horses to watch list, and bet them back next time out if they land in a reasonable spot.
Racing for the week of August 8-11 at Arlington was run under very nice weather conditions, with extremely firm turf due to the lack of rain. Due to the baked rock-hard course, speed horses and front-runners on the turf tended to enjoy an advantage. Many front-runners won or ran on for in-the-money finishes, even at big odds all week long, particularly on Friday and Saturday (Aug. 9-10).
ANDRONIKOS: Needed the lead, but stumbled, veered out and got bumped hard out of the gate and couldn’t get to the front and then packed it in. Try again as a live overlay.
FACE OF VICTORY: Invaded from out of town with good-looking form but got hooked in a four-length-gap battle for the lead. Put away the challenger but just missed holding off the stalkers to settle for third, beaten just a head and a neck.
IN THE CHAMBER: Sent for the lead but got hooked and percolated into a six-length-gap speed duel until tiring due to those efforts. Can shake loose up front.
LIVELY SPELL: Speed horse blew the break and got off to a disastrous start to lose all chance. Toss out the last-place finish and try again.
MYSTERIOUSLY: Godolphin first starter needed a race just like all Eoin Harty trainees, and then he stumbled badly out of the gate and lost all chance. Will be cranked up for second start and just needs a clean start to win.
READY’S MISSION: One of the fastest horses on the grounds never gets bet, in part because of jockey Nick Meza, but this horse won wire-to-wire and will repeat at five furlongs and perhaps 5 1/2 furlongs too.
ROOM TO FINISH: Made a good stretch rally to pass horses behind a slow pace on a speed-favoring firm turf to get up for second. Looks ready to win.
RUN YOUR RACE: Made a run at catching a horse that shook loose up front in the stretch at five furlongs and narrowly came up short in a solid effort. In fine form at present.
SAKONNET: Hit the gate at the break and was squeezed back at the start, but then recovered to outrun 16-1 odds for third and just needs a clean start.
SMOKEY ROW MAC: Pressed the pace and was the only speed horse still around at the finish in a race where closers/stalkers finished 1-3-4-5.
(c) Coady Photography