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Using Brisnet Pedigree Stats for an off-track on Churchill's Memorial Day card.
With overnight rain and an off-track expected for Churchill's Monday card this is a good opportunity to look at Brisnet's Pedigree Ratings and sire and damsire statistics to find runners that are bred to appreciate these conditions.
Race 1. In the opener Steve Asmussen saddles the first-time starter Louisvilleluminary, a well-bred son of Pulpit. A look at the Pedigree Ratings in the Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances shows that Louisvilleluminary has a high rating of 111 for a fast track. However, he scores a 112 for off-tracks suggesting that he will be even more suited to these conditions. This is backed up by Pulpit whose offspring win a strong rate of 19 percent on the mud, and his damsire, Copelan who has a strike rate of 16 percent. The Pedigree Ratings also suggest that Buckwild, who at 10/1 on the morning line may offer value, will be effective on a sloppy or muddy track scoring a 109 off-track rating versus 107 on fast. His sire, Successful Appeal also scores at a 19 percent rate on wet surfaces.
Race 3. Button Dancer is by Runaway Groom, whose off-track runners win at a decent 16 percent while starters by Salt Lake, the sire of his dam score 18 percent of the time. Button Dancer's Pedigree Ratings are 105 for off and 104 for fast so one may assume that he will adapt successfully in his first start over a wet main track.
Race 4. Although winless in four starts on wet tracks, Power Surge has finished in the top three each time. The offspring of his sire, Holzmeister win at a high rate of 21 percent in wet conditions and the Pedigree Ratings for the five-year-old hint that he maybe better on off-tracks.
Race 5. Storming Maggy, a half-sister to 2005 Preakness S. (G1) and Belmont S. (G1) winner, Afleet Alex makes her debut here for Steve Asmussen. She is by Storm Cat whose runners win at 19 percent on wet surfaces. However, her dam-sire Hawkster only shows a 7 percent win rate and the filly's Pedigree Ratings do lead one to believe she will be better on dry dirt. However, it must be pointed out that Afleet Alex won both his starts, including the Futurity S. (G1) on tracks labeled sloppy proving that superior talent can often overcome adversity.
Race 6. At 10/1 on the morning line, Bridal Path may be worth keeping an eye on in the wet conditions. Recently claimed by Donald Habeeb, Bridal Path is by Forest Camp whose starters have a 24 percent win rate on mud. His Pedigree Ratings show him at 108 and 106 on off versus fast tracks and he won his last race here over a sloppy track.
Race 7. The young sire Chapel Royal has quickly made a name for himself as a sire of off-track runners. His son Chapel By The Sea is the likely favorite in this competitive event and the Pedigree Ratings allude to his being a much better runner on muddy and sloppy surfaces.
Race 8. The lone "Main Track Only" entrant is Real Appeal. He will be making his first off-track start but his Pedigree Ratings lead one to believe he will adapt successfully. He is another son of Successful Appeal whose mud runners win at 19 percent.
Race 9. Several of the runners in today's feature should relish today's conditions, but none more that Tar Heel Mom who is a tempting 15/1 on the morning line. A daughter of Flatter, who rates as a 19 percent mud sire, Tar Heel Mom's Pedigree Ratings are 108 and 103 for wet versus dry surfaces. The four-year-old's record of two wins and a second in three starts has proved her liking for off-tracks.
Tim Holland 5-25-09.