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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo courtesy of Four Footed Photos

The notion of a maiden beating allowance horses requires a vivid imagination.

Simply running a maiden in a stakes race takes a good sense of humor.

There are some exceptions, though, to that rule of thumb, especially at an early age in a horse’s career.

Though added money races for 2-year-old are called stakes, in some cases they are little more than glorified allowance races in which most or all of the participants have won only a maiden race.

In races like that, the gap between the winners and a maiden could be relatively small. Sometimes, the maiden could be the best horse.

One those instance took place Sept. 7 in the Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park.

The field of seven featured six horses with just a maiden win to their credit and one maidens.

The winless Solitary Ranger had last raced on April 26 when he finished second in a maiden race on Keeneland’s Polytrack main track. While Solitary Ranger had not raced then, the winner of the race, No Nay Never, shipped overseas for his next two starts and won a minor stakes at Ascot and then a Group 1 stakes at Deauville.

Solitary Ranger had clearly faced a better horse than any of his rivals met in their victories, making him a contender in the race at the very least.

Having a sharp trainer in Wayne Catalano also helped Solitary Ranger’s cause. If Catalano thought enough of Solitary Ranger to enter him in a stakes off a four-month layoff, he certainly seemed worthy of a long look in a field filled so many inexperienced horses.

Those who looked closely enough and liked what they saw in Solitary Ranger were treated to a $9 payoff when he won by 5 ½ lengths as the 7-2 third choice in the wagering.

THE LESSON: Backing a maiden against winners is usually foolish, but in allowance and stakes races for 2-year-olds the overall lack of experience in the field can help even the playing field for the maiden.

SOLITARY RANGER IN THE ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON FUTURITY

AWF-Inside

Photo courtesy of Four Footed Photos

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Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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