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Predicting the Pace

In light of my latest column for TwinSpires.com, “How to Determine the Pace of Today’s Race,” I’ve examined some of the later races at Aqueduct on Saturday, March 2, 2013 — including the Grade III Gotham. Here’s a what I found:

Aqueduct (03/02/13)

Race 7 * 8.5 furlongs * Dirt
Projected Pace (Quirin Speed Points): -10
Top Average ESRs: -6.2

Tough call on the pace here, given that NATALIE VICTORIA has the best overall ESRs (-9.4), but has a new, low-percentage rider. The other speedster, SISTERLY LOVE (-4.6 average ESR), could well be in the catbird’s seat and, in fact, might be the one ultimately dictating the fractions:

Pace Prediction: Moderate.

Advantage: 1-TWICE THE LADY and 8-SISTERLY LOVE.
Disadvantage: 4-SUMMER APPLAUSE, 7-WITHGREATPLEASURE and 6-ROYAL LAHAINA.

Race 8 * 6 furlongs * Dirt
Projected Pace (Quirin Speed Points): -10
Top Average ESRs: -9.3

Looks like the pace will probably be “brisk” in this affair, with a trio of horses — DARK ROAST, NIGHT EDITOR and SNEAKY FREUD — that have proven early speed and a number of first-time starters that may have early foot.

Pace Prediction: Brisk.

Advantage: 8-DARK ROAST may be the quickest of the quick.
Disadvantage: 2-SNEAKY FREUD.

Race 10 * 8.5 furlongs * Dirt
Projected Pace (Quirin Speed Points): -10
Top Average ESRs: -8.1

Although the Quirin Speed Points indicate a relatively fast pace, I’m not so sure. Personally, I think a lot depends on what ESCAPEFROMREALITY does. The switch to noted gate rider David Cohen makes me think that he might run back to his Dec. 28 effort, in which he recorded a -10 ESR in an allowance sprint. However, he rated — effectively — last time in the Withers. If he does so again, there’s a good chance that ELNAAWI could set a moderate-brisk pace, which would make the son of Street Sense ultra-tough. As it is, Elnaawi posted ridiculously good early and late pace figures last time (-14 ESR, -4 LSR). I’m also very intrigued by WEST HILLS GIANT, who dons blinkers for the first time after a career-best effort in his three-year-old debut.

Pace Prediction: Moderate-Brisk.

Advantage: 5-AMERIGO VESPUCCI and 10-WEST HILLS GIANT.
Disadvantage: 1-TRANSPARENT (8-1), 2-CHAMPION BOY, 4-ORE PASS and 11-OVERANALYZE.

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March 2, 2013 - Posted by | Horse Racing | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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