Striking While Iron is Hot With Sharp Racehorse

Looking at a horse’s previous performance when they are coming back quickly can pay dividends. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

These days, it’s routine for horses to get four or more weeks of rest between starts.

Yet that doesn’t mean that horses should be tossed out if they return in quicker fashion, say a week’s time.

In two recent races, ignoring two horses coming off sharp races just a week earlier proved costly to handicappers.

Let’s start with a major Grade 1 race, the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 10.

Looking over the field of 10, one of the most interesting starters was Got Stormy, a filly who was tackling males.

Got Stormy came into the race off a sharp win the previous Saturday, winning the De La Rose Stakes for fillies and mares by four lengths in the blazing time of 1:33.15 for the same one-mile distance at the Spa as the Fourstardave.

It seemed as if trainer Mark Casse was rushing Got Stormy back into a spot that was a formidable challenge, but her connections knew better. They had a filly in great form coming off a fast race, and they believed she could turn in a similar effort – and they were right.

Well, they were partially right.

Got Stormy turned in an even better race off the week’s rest as she won the Fourstardave by 2 1/2 lengths in a track record time of 1:32.

And she paid $12 to win for her trusting backers who were not scared off by the quick return to the races.

Got Stormy winning Fourstardave. (Derbe Glass/NYRA)

Then on Aug. 18, in the eighth race at Saratoga, a 3-year-old filly named Jennemily was among a field of seven.

The race originally was scheduled to be run on the turf but was switched to the main track due to a heavy rain storm the day before.

The switch in surface surely worked out for Jennemily, who had never started on the turf. All six of her career starts had been on dirt.

In this instance, Jennemily was coming off a good effort seven days earlier on Aug. 11 at the Spa. Dropped into a claimer for the first time, she set the pace but weakened in the final furlong and finished third. She was also claimed for $35,000 by trainer Carlos Martin.

Now, she was running in a starter allowance race for fillies and mares who had previously raced for a claiming tag of $50,000 or less.

Like Got Stormy, she was returning quickly, and while her previous race was not as good as Got Stormy’s victory in the De La Rose, Jennemily was exiting a good performance.

While Martin may or may not have known that rain was in the forecast, what is clear is that his filly came out of her last race in good form and he wanted to strike while the iron was hot.

And like Got Stormy, Jennemily won. She held on to prevail by a half-length after grabbing the lead at the start.

She was also overlooked a bit in the wagering as she was sent off at 6-1 odds.

The payoff for her victory was $14.60, a very nice price for believing that rest is for the weary and that a horse in good form who returns quickly to the races may be ready for another solid effort.

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