Mountaineer Park takes its usual post in the evening in West Virginia during the week tonight. There are nine races with a total of $101,700 on offer at Mountaineer Park on Wednesday. Kentucky Downs is the big newcomer of the day, as they’ll turn up the heat with plenty of stakes racing on the agenda over the next few weeks.
We’ll get to Kentucky Downs in the near future, but we’re trying to do some damage at a couple of the smaller tracks at Canterbury and Mountaineer. The Preakness Stakes is less than a month away at Pimlico.
Bob Baffert has indicated that Authentic will be pointed to Pimlico to participate in that race. We aren’t so sure what Barclay Tagg is going to do with Tiz the Law, though. He has had a poker face regarding the status of Tiz the Law. A rematch would be the best-case scenario for horse racing, but his status is currently unlikely to run.
That’s not to say it wouldn’t be a competitive race. Art Collector, who was scratched from the Kentucky Derby, is expected to be in the Preakness. Baffert will likely go with Thousand Words in the Preakness after he was scratched on Derby Day.
As long as he isn’t acting up before the race, Thousand Words will probably be in the gate. In the meantime, let’s try and find two or three winners on Wednesday night at Mountaineer. Head below for our free Mountaineer Park pick for September 9, 2020.
Post Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Distance: 5 Furlongs
We will get started at Mountaineer Park with the first race of the day in West Virginia on Wednesday. Race 1 covers 5 furlongs on the turf for a $20,200 purse. Honorable Lilly and Twirling Owen should be in the mix late in this contest.
Honorable Lilly draws the No. 1 post position as a 3/1 horse. She has some momentum going into Wednesday after placing in back-to-back events following a layoff. Overall, Honorable Lilly is 2 for 10 in her career. Honorable Lilly finished 4th on March 11, went on a layoff, and then returned to place 2nd on August 1 and August 28 at Charles Town and Laurel Park.
In the first August race, she finished 4 ¾ lengths behind Fender Baby in a $24,300 race, and then ¾ lengths behind Algodonal on August 28 in a $28,129 event. Honorable Lilly is down in class for Wednesday, so this event should be manageable.
Twirling Owen is 5 for 10 in her career, and feeling good recently with a record of 3 for 4. In 2020, Twirling Owen has gone 1st, 8th, 1st. Her latest race was a success, as Twirling Owen won by a half length over My Lovely Girl by ¾ lengths.
She left the door open after gaining a 4 length lead at the start of the stretch, though. Twirling Owen is the most accomplished horse in this event with two stakes wins valued at $50,000 each. As long as Twirling Owen doesn’t get unlucky here, she should be able to run past the field and secure her 6th win in 11 races.
Post Time: 8:06 p.m. EST
Race 4 will feature a mile on the dirt for a $15,500 purse. Northern Ridge and Touch of Energy are on my shortlist in this one. Touch of Energy is getting more on the morning-line than I would have anticipated. I think she’s more of a 7/2 horse rather than 6/1.
Touch of Energy looked fine in her last entry on August 25. She was able to get into the top-3 for the third time in her six-race career. Strong Heart blew everyone away, as she cleared the field by 8 ½ lengths. There wasn’t much hope for Touch of Energy in that one.
However, she was able to hang with Northern Ride, who goes into this race as the favorite. That is encouraging for her going into Wednesday. Touch of Energy finished 1 ¾ lengths behind Northern Ridge in that race. I think if she can run a similar race and get a bit lucky, then a win isn’t out of the question.
Northern Ridge has shown great strides forward after finishing 6th as a rookie on July 26. He finished well behind, but moved up to 4th in his next entry, and then came much closer in his most recent outing on August 25. This isn’t the most difficult field that Northern Ridge must navigate through here. Based on that, he should have a good chance to hit the winner’s circle.
Post Time: 8:50 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Our night will end at Mountaineer Park with a 5 ½ event for a $6,900 purse on the dirt. Race 6 is expected to include seven participants. Caterina Iano and Teaspoon of Pepper are on my shortlist here. Caterina Iano is down in class following a sloppy performance on August 26 to finish 9th.
There was just nothing in the tank for Caterina Iano against those opponents. She ultimately ended the day well out of the frame in the $12,000 event for dead last. Prior to that race, Caterina Iano finished 5th in another $12,000 event on July 30.
Caterina Iano located the winner’s circle three races ago at the $13,500 level, so she has been capable in the past in a higher class. She won that race as a heavy underdog. It was the first time in eight races that Caterina Iano was able to finish in the top-3. She is 2 for 23 in her career overall.
I think with Caterina Iano down in class for this one, she should be able to make a race out of it on Wednesday night. That mare will face a lot of pressure from the No. 7 horse, Teaspoon of Pepper. Teaspoon of Pepper hasn’t been at her best recently, either. She finished 4th and 5th in two August races at Golden Gate and Albuquerque. In her most recent entry, Teaspoon of Pepper was 5th in a $17,000 race, and preceding that effort, she was 4th in a $15,000 race.
Her last win was just before that on July 26 in a $9,000 race. Teaspoon of Pepper beat Eddie’s Princess by 1 ¼ lengths, which was the third straight event that she was in the top-2. We should be able to get a better price on Teaspoon of Pepper than the morning-line indicates at post time. In any case, she looks like the horse to beat in Race 6.