Thistledown was a profitable day for the second straight day Tuesday, as Three Illusions and Lovely Heir came through for us and both landed in the winner’s circle. I thought they both ran a similar race and were never in danger of giving up their lead. Three Illusions won by 1 ½ lengths, while Lovely Heir followed up in Race 4 with a 3 ¾ length win.
Our third and final selection of the day was unable to cash, but I will gladly take the two plus money winners to make it a successful effort in Cleveland. Indiana Grand garnered the same result, with two winners going to the winner’s circle for us for an overall record of 4-2 on Tuesday.
Some big horse racing news recently, as the House approved an anti-doping bill named the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. This will provide a national medication and safety standard across the country. The intent is to discourage use of PED’s on horses, and set up a nationwide standard for trainers and other personnel to follow. That’s good news for the industry. Not only does it promote a fairer playing field, but better health and safety standards for the horses.
We’re back at Thistledown on Wednesday looking for another winning day. There are eight more races on the docket today with a total of $151,900 available in prize money. Head below for our free Thistledown picks for September 30, 2020.
Post Time: 1:20 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
We will get going at Thistledown with Race 2 in Cleveland. This is 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt for a $21,500 purse. The No. 1 and No. 2 horses will start next to one another and may very well be near each other in the stretch as well. Tiz What is 3 for 10 in her career and was looking good before an appearance in the $100,000 Best of Ohio Pay the Man Stakes (Black Type) on August 8.
Tiz What finished 1st, 1st, 3rd before getting tripped up in that race. In her last win, Tiz What won by 12 ¼ lengths in a blowout over My Little Lily in a $31,700 event. That prompted an entry into the $75,000 Tomboy Stakes (Black Type), which was a fine effort to show 3rd on July 17. Prior to the $100,000 race, Tiz What went 1st, 3rd, 4th, 1st, 1st, 3rd. Expect Tiz What to compete in this race and be near the front.
Diva Power did just about the same in her most recent performances. She was a back-to-back winner on July 13 and August 4 in a $29,300 and $31,700 event. In her most recent win, Diva Power beat Swindle by 1 ¼ lengths on August 4. Diva Power followed up to finish 7th in the $75,000 Miss Southern Ohio Stakes. She has looked better in the morning leading up to this race and likely has the edge here.
Post Time: 1:50 p.m. EST
Race 3 features a mile on the dirt for a modest purse of $8,500. The two horses on each side of the gate should be strong runners in this event. Trap and My Friend Buddy are expected to be in the stretch and competing for a win here. With seven horses in the field, Trap won’t have to fight through much traffic to get to the front over the course of a mile.
Trap has finished 7th, 7th, 5th, 3rd in his previous four races. Trap showed 3rd in a $8,500 event on September 17. That was the first time that Trap finished in the top-3 since October of 2019. Trap has been able to compete in this class, but hasn’t been able to compete when he goes over the $10,000 level. This is another $8,500 event for Trap, so expect him to be competitive throughout this contest as well.
My Friend Buddy has gone 2nd, 4th, 4th in his previous three performances. They’ve met before on the track, with My Friend Buddy coming off a 4th place performance on September 5. It wasn’t the best run by My Friend Buddy, but he did manage to finish a half length ahead of Trap. My Friend Buddy was the favorite in that race, but got too wide and was unable to make up from the No. 8 post position. My Friend Buddy gets a much better draw from the No. 1 spot on Wednesday. I think he can get this assignment done.
Post Time: 3:20 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Race 6 is another 5 ½ furlong event at Thistledown on Wednesday afternoon. This race carries a purse of $15,000 for 5 ½ furlongs of racing. I’m expecting a really good duel between Shadow Tracer and Sal the Turtle.
These are two very strong horses that should put a charge into this race. Sal the Turtle returns to the track after a layoff since November. He was great before going on the lengthy break. Sal the Turtle finished 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st in four straight performances. In his latest outing, Sal the Turtle won by ¾ lengths in a $19,000 event.
Sal the Turtle has finished in the top-3 in 8 of his previous 9 entries. While Sal the Turtle hasn’t been participating in events recently, he’s been quick in the morning with times of 47, 47.60, and 47.40 seconds at 4 furlongs in three straight workouts. That is incredibly encouraging for Sal the Turtle.
Shadow Tracer is on a massive tear with six straight wins. He hasn’t lost since February 3 at Mahoning Valley. Since transferring to Thistledown, Sal the Turtle has gone a perfect 6 for 6. Most recently, Shadow Tracer won by 2 ½ lengths in a $16,400 event on September 16.
Before that, Shadow Tracer was a 5 ¼ length winner for a $15,000 purse. If it wasn’t for the layoff, I’d probably be on board with Sal the Turtle, but it’s hard to ignore what Shadow Tracer has been doing recently. I think both horses are going to run strong races here, with Shadow Tracer having more in the tank for the final furlong.