Paul Quigley's US Racing Preview

A rail bias on a wet track forms part of the conundrum US expert Paul Quigley seeks to solve in Wednesday's anaylsis for Finger Lakes - see how the track plays live on Sky Sports Racing.

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It’s back to Finger Lakes for Wednesday’s Stateside Preview. The anti-rail bias that has been there for a couple of weeks now seemed to be evident on Tuesday’s card. I thought with rain forecast and some kind of off track, it may have disappeared or even been reversed. Not so, with most jockeys on inside drawn runners manoeuvring to about the three path early on. It’s hard to say the track was anti-speed favouring. What tended to happen was jockeys on pace horses, when they clear naturally, drop down to the inside to save ground and stop runners poking up their inner. That meant they were racing on the slower ground and a few speed horses were collared late on.  

Last night’s bias did rather make a mockery of some of my early selections although I managed to adjust my betting accordingly for the later races. More showers are forecast to hit the track before and during racing today. It will be interesting to see if it’s more of the same, or if the dirt is more speed-favouring and rail friendly. And remember, you can watch the action live on Sky Sports Racing.            

The Stateside Preview - Finger Lakes Races 1 to 8 for Wednesday 30 September 2020

Finger Lakes Race 1 (6.10pm)

Maiden Claiming $12,500 – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 5 ½ Furlongs - Dirt

The local standard setter is PIPPI (4). She has gradually improved since coming here from Belmont in the summer. Just over three weeks ago, she ran second in a similar event to this. Off that run, she holds Inhonorofowenjr (2) and Modern Steel (3) who gave the form a solid look to it. She has run poorly on wet tracks but that was early in her career.

Cross Keys(7) ran a decent fourth on her debut at Belmont in July. She was claimed next time and ran nowhere near that in both subsequent starts. Trainer Jeremiah Englehart, never one to call his geese swans, dispatches her here and plunges her in class. She could rebound in blinkers first time.   

Skylight (1) debuts for a very capable trainer and is worth keeping an eye on in the market. Palaceofresentment (8) ran well for a long way on debut and a near eight-length beating doesn’t do that run justice. She is of interest from the bigger priced fillies in here.     

Selection: Pippi (4)
No exotics

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Finger Lakes Race 2 (6.37pm)

Maiden Claiming $7,500 – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 Mile 70 yards - Dirt

Backers have a choice between runners with solid form locally or a couple who have shown promise in better maidens at bigger racetracks. BUBBA CHUCK (2) is the latter category. His latest run at Saratoga can be ignored as he was badly bumped. Being beaten eight lengths in a $30,000 maiden claimer at the same venue prior to that looks contending form now running here in this low grade affair.  

Beach Pass (7) comes off a career best when runner-up at his level a fortnight ago. That level of form puts him on the podium at least here. Lake Rudolph (5) who is lightly raced and unexposed at today’s trip may be more of a danger. He improved to run third second time at the races and is bred to handle a mile.      

Otter (8) ran well on the turf at Saratoga two starts back. His two runs on dirt (both here) were in maiden special weights. He shaped well in the first. The five-year-old could be very competitive on his local return.

Centre Street (1) and J D's Victory (6) both run first time for sale today. Both could wake up at a price, especially the first named who’s only had a couple of starts.            

Selection: Bubba Chuck (2)
Exotic Play: Reversed Exacta/Forecast (2 Bets): Bubba Chuck (2) and Lake Rudolph (5)

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Finger Lakes Race 3 (7.04pm)

Allowance (second level) – 3 year olds and upwards – Non winners of 3 races lifetime – 1 Mile 70 yards - Dirt

This is a deep race for the level but Villainous (5) is the one to beat. He had form at Oaklawn and Belmont before making his local debut last month. The three-year-old landed the odds with the minimum of fuss beating Odin's Steed (1) by five and a half lengths. He won’t mind if the track is wet, although the late runner could be vulnerable to a horse who can get the jump on him.

Icy Dude (3) has found his niche since moving here from the big New York tracks. He has won two from three and was narrowly denied at this level earlier this month. Bozzini (7) finished only a head behind him. He improved a ton second time back. He’s interesting, as he has speed in what may be a paceless race. That is also the case with The Grand Canal (4). He’s not raced since November, but his trainer has a fine record with long-term absentees.       

Wow Brown (8) and FINANCIALSTABILITY (6) step up from sprints. Both are bred to need more ground and are worth a look here. The first named is improving and beat a couple of fair types last time. Financialstability has been a tad disappointing since coming here bearing in mind his sharp form at Saratoga. The step up to a mile could see him get over the hump.          
 
Selection: Financialstability (6)
Exotic Play: Reversed Exacta/Forecast (2 Bets): Villainous (5) and Financialstability (6)  

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Finger Lakes Race 4 (7.31pm)

Maiden Claiming $7,500 – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – 6 Furlongs - Dirt

The market may have a lob-sided look to it with it being 10/1 bar three of these gals. Truly Funny (4) was supposed to win last time but found one too good. She was dropped in class into a maiden claimer for the first time and was made odds-on. In fairness, the winner showed improved form and Truly Funny was a mile clear of the remainder.  

Astarte Gold (9) will be at the head of the betting with Truly Funny (4). She drops a notch in class after fading to be fifth early this month. That looked a good race for the level with runner-up Pipi and both the third and fourth re-opposing in race one today.    

HELMERS RUN (12) is likely to be a price off a par of shockers. They were in much better maidens and both times she raced on the worse part of the track. Off a less than six length beating in a maiden special weight on her comeback, she can go close here.      

Care About This (3) is exposed and modest. A place seems her ceiling. Come On Babe (6) broke slowly and raced on a dead rail on her debut. She was beaten the length of the straight and is hard to endorse with any sort of confidence. She is hard to write-off too.    

Selection: Helmers Run (12)
No exotics

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Finger Lakes Race 5 (7.58pm)

Claiming $5,000 – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – Non winners of 3 races lifetime – 6 Furlongs - Dirt

The former Big Apple based Chasing Losses (10) fluffed her lines on her local debut. She made amends second time here, wiring a field of one-time career winners. This is a step up in class but she draws well for her pacey style and may have improvement to come. She will have a rival in the market in Easy Banker (4) who may go off as favourite. Despite being away over a year, she was well backed on her comeback. She won by almost ten lengths. Chris Englehart‘s filly only beat two rivals but the winning time was fast for the level.

In contrast to the two favourites, Fearless Diva (5) has questions to answer after a bad loss on her comeback. She has worked well since so may run more like she did when slamming a field on her final start of 2019. She’s likely to be part of a crowded front end. That pace scenario makes Playin Disco (7) and STEFANIA (9) chances at big prices. The first named is a consistent, if hard to win with mare. Stefania faded over a mile last time, but was placed at this level when sprinting prior to that. She excels on wet tracks and may get ideal underfoot conditions here.   

Tribeca Girl (8) is a lightly-raced improver who only needs to take another step forward to be a player here.       

Selection: Stefania (9) Each-Way
No exotics

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Finger Lakes Race 6 (8.25pm)

Maiden Special Weight – 3 year olds and upwards – 1 Mile 40 yards - Dirt

Height (6) had some strong back form and was claimed at Saratoga last month. He was supposed to win on his local debut a fortnight ago but was a well held second. The winner was no more than an average type for the level. Maybe he improves second time here. However, he meets two newcomers to Finger Lakes who may be more than a match for him.     

Make Motime (7) tried the turf at Saratoga last time and ran no race. Prior to that, he shaped well in a strong maiden special weight on dirt at the same venue. He ran similar big races before and also ran the odd shocker. He’s dangerous, but preference is for the once-raced OPEN LENGTHS (4). He set the pace and kept on to be third on debut at Saratoga in July. It may not have been much of a maiden, taken off the turf and with only four rivals. It looks good enough to contend in this race. He’s been gelded since then.    

Barn mates Oliver Witha Twist (5) and Lightning Rob (9) were placed at a safe distance in a local maiden just over a fortnight ago. They may need a couple of these to disappoint if making the frame here. Tapit Happy John (1) may outrun his odds if he can clear the other speed in here.          

Selection: Open Lengths (4)
Exotic Play: Reversed Exacta/Forecast (2 Bets): Open Lengths (4) and Make Motime (7)

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
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Finger Lakes Race 7 (8.52pm)

Claiming $5,000 – Fillies and Mares – 3 year olds and upwards – Non winners of 3 races lifetime - 6 Furlongs - Dirt

The principals come out of two races run here earlier in the month. This Cat Can Fly (3) improved massively second time back after a layoff to slam an allowance field. He beat Poker Game (2) and Smooth Operation (11) by six plus lengths. He is the one to beat off that run. His trainer Jeffrey Englehart is having a fine meet. Whether the five-year-old can run as big as that again remains to be seen. He has beaten, and been beaten, by quite of few in here at last year’s meet.

Smooth Operation (saddle cloth 1A) may improve second time back in 2020. RUN FOR BOSTON (6), who was actually made favourite for that race having had form at The Big Apple, while winning on his local debut the time before. He was a one-paced fifth. He’s a dour stayer who could run a lot better with more speed to chase down.   

The other key race to the outcome of this happened a fortnight ago. It was at this level and won by a progressive type. Desert Lights (5) finished second, Gold Cross (9) third, with Paddy All Day (10) and Early Retirement (7) not too far back. Desert Lights is unexposed over two turns. Gold Cross showed improved form since stepped up to a mile.  

Selection: Run For Boston (6) Each-Way
Exotic Play: Reversed Exacta/Forecast (2 Bets): This Cat Can Fly (3) and Run For Boston (6)

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
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Finger Lakes Race 8 (9.19pm)

Claiming $5,000 – 3 year olds and upwards – Non winners of a race since 30 September 2019 (with exceptions) – 6 Furlongs - Dirt

Guick (3) was fancied when dropped to today’s level earlier this month. He finished third and behind runner-up Ultimateenticement (5). A slow break didn’t help his chances. Like a few in here, he stands for better class when on his game. His trainer Jeremiah Englehart is having his usual strong meet.

Guick (3) may head the market but there are others in here worth considering. Special Story (6) is one such. He has been beaten double digit lengths in both starts since he returned. They were when overmatched at Saratoga and in a top-class allowance event here. He meets a horse of a different colour now plunged into a lesser restricted claimer. His trainer is having a lean time at present, though, along with the handler of ZABABA (9). That seven-year-old has finished on the fringes in decent allowance events for New York breds in back-to-back starts. This would normally be a winning drop in class, and while Guick (3) and Special Story (6) could spoil the party, he gets the nod.   

The normally consistent Joe Mooch (4) can be forgiven his run behind Ultimateenticement (5) and Guick (3) as he raced on a deep rail. Too Tough Dave (1) had been away for two years when well held in the same race. For Good Reason (10) has had excuses for both his runs since he returned last month. He’s a price chance. At an even bigger number, Open Book (12) is a possible upsetter as he looks to be lone speed.              

Show King (8) was last seen out over a year ago when campaigned on the turf and/or over hurdles. He’s now back with the trainer who had him going good at Finger Lakes five years ago. Lack of a recent race and this distance appearing too short, seem against him. His rider does jump off Zababa (9), who has obvious claims to renew his association with him. Food for thought.       

Selection: Zababa (9)  
Exotic Play: Reversed Exacta/Forecast (6 Bets): Special Story (6), Zababa (9) and For Good Reason (10)

BET ON US RACING
You can place single and some exotic bets with many of the following UK bookmakers:
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