by Al Cimaglia
May 16, 2021
Three and four year olds are the headliners on the 10-race card at Hawthorne Racecourse. The Tony Salvaro Final with a $17,100 purse and the Phil Georgeff Final with a $18,600 purse are the features and are carded in Race 7 and Race 8 respectively. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 7. The sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus.
On Saturday, the leading drivers with two wins each were Casey Leonard, Kyle Wilfong and Juan Franco. The top conditioner on the card was Terry Leonard with two pictures. Every winner was on top or within three lengths of the leader at the head of the stretch.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
1-Always B Mimi (3-1)-Beat 4 from this field last week and took advantage of an efficient trip from post 7. Will respect chances of following the same script tonight.
5-Martha Max (4-1)-First try on Lasix was in last and showed good improvement over previous races. Max has hit the board in all 3 starts in Stickney with 2 wins. Leonard steers, he will have in play and is a threat if upswing continues.
6-Shameful Eyes (7/5)-Made it look easy in last at 0.40 on a buck and is difficult to leave off the ticket as the Dillon barn has come out swinging. Using, but looking to others to press the pace when a big payday is on the line.
2-Rock This Town (9/2)-Comes off a gate to wire score and rolled the 2nd half in .57. Leonard takes the lines from the trainer, that won't hurt. Could be overlooked at the windows because the 2 below went faster in their last wins.
3-Fox Valley Sampson (5/2)-Comes off a sharp win with a 55.2 back half and Wilfong steers as Bender chose #10. The post edge over the 2nd chalk is significant.
10-Southern Road Trip (7/2)-Went off at .30 on a $1 and drew off by over 3 lengths. The post makes the price but
poses issues. It will be up to Bender to get into striking range at the top of the lane and could win again if the pace is honest.
2-Mudville (1/1)-Didn't break a sweat in last and took a picture. Could do the same if gets the top and goes to the half in 58.2. Brink trainee will likely be a single on many tickets and was the choice of Ridge Warren over #4.
4-Reverend Scott (5-1)-Makes 2nd start since 10-14 and tuned-up last week with a 57.1 back half. Might be a trip-out candidate here. Will take a swing at a square price that Todd Warren leaves and lands in the pocket behind the morning line choice.
7-Fox Valley Liza (3/2)-Was facing tough 2-year-olds at Wbsb and M1 in 2020. Banked over $120k with a Gold Division Final win up north and thus the 3/2 morning line. Could roll over this field but recent form has been dull. Using but not overly confident and will look for some value.
8-Justa Hintof Spice (9/2)-Cashed checks versus top 2-year-olds at Hoosier and makes 1st start this year after a decent qualifier at Haw on 5-8. Warren could find some live cover and may like the long stretch.
9-World On Fire (9-1)-Appears to have the gate speed to get a good early seat and makes 1st start as a camera shy 5-year-old. Last week's qualifier was decent and this is a big oval horse. My thinking is the price will be much better than the morning line and is worth a swing.
Race 7) 1,5,6
Race 8) 2,3,10
Race 9) 2,4
Race 10) 7,8,9
Total Ticket Cost) $27 for $0.50
Check me out on Twitter!