US expert Tom Collins opts for class droppers on a competitive Will Rogers card
7.15 Will Rogers Downs
8.15 Will Rogers Downs
Kats Second Silver
10.45 Will Rogers Downs
Having put all of my focus on Will Rogers Downs for the second day in a row – a phrase I never thought would lead an intro to one of my tipping articles – I have talked myself into fancying three runners on the standard ten-race dirt card, which kicks off with a $9,900 claimer (7.15).
A 6f contest for Oklahoma-bred fillies and mares who haven't won more than one race, this claimer won't take much winning and it looks a great opportunity for the Donald Trett-trained Keanna to get her head back in front.
This four-year-old has to give 6lb to younger rivals Nurse List and Queen Of Alva, but she is open to more improvement than those two rivals after just four starts and will take plenty of stopping if she returns to the form of her fourth in allowance company here last May.
Keanna only made her debut on May 6, 2019, where she finished fifth after showing good pace following a slow break. She returned just eight days later and made amends, making most of the running under Gustavo Herrera, who is back on board here.
Connections clearly wanted to get some quick runs into her as she was back for a third time after just a six-day break and she put in a career-best speed figure when flying home from the rear in a decent allowance contest.
Keanna then had seven months off before never threatening at Remington Park over Christmas in a much better race than this, but she clearly needed that outing and even on her best form probably wouldn't have gone close such was the step up in grade. However, hat should have got her spot on for a crack at this prize and she is a class above her rivals at her peak.
Just for some context, the second favourite on the morning line is Apple County, who has a shocking a career record of just 1-23 and rarely threatens to win.
Trainer Jon Arnett has been a man to follow at the Will Rogers Downs meet so far (2-4) and he appears to have a strong hand in the $12,650 claimer (8.15) with both Award It and stablemate Aubrey holding similar chances.
Although he has booked one of the best riders in Ty Kennedy on the latter-named runner, Leandro Goncalves appears to have had the choice of the duo and the fact he has chosen Award It looks crucial.
Drawn ideally in stall two, Award It has been tried in black type contests at Zia Park and Sunland Park on two of her last three outings and managed to pick up third on one of those occasions, notching $10,000 in the process.
The prize-money for the winner of this race is significantly less than that, plus she is in for a claim of $10,000, so this is a marked drop in class.
Award It, who has an impressive career record of 11 wins from 38 starts, was once good enough to win maiden special weight and claiming contests at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields and although she is now entering the veteran stages of her career, her latest efforts suggest this race should be very winnable if she is ready to go after three months off the track.
The final selection runs in the $17,050 handicap (10.45), as five-time winner Kats Second Silver looks to have a great chance of plundering the prize.
Trained by Karl Broberg, Kats Second Silver has been in the form of his life over the last couple of months at Sam Houston Park, winning two of his last three races and progressing from claiming to allowance races with consummate ease.
He is a versatile sprinter who can race in behind as well as going from the front and his latest victory showed he tenacity as he dueled from the outset, eventually fending off his closest pursuer and running out a game winner.
Runner-up that day, Valiant Appeal, is a horse on the up and a similar performance should see the Paulina Ramirez-ridden gelding go close on his Will Rogers debut.
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