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Using Brisnet Ultimate Past Performance statistics for maiden races.

With often little form to base decisions on, maiden races can often be the biggest challenge for horseplayers. However, for those prepared to dig deeper, rewards can be substantial and the pedigree and trainer statistics found in the Brisnet Ultimate Past Performances can be the key to success. A few examples are found in the Arlington and Calder cards on Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, Calder race 2. In this six furlong event #7 FREEDOM LAND, at 4/1 on the morning line, might be worth taking a close look at. In her lone start, in March at Gulfstream, the filly took little action at the windows and, after breaking slowly from the widest post, made little impact in the race. However, Freedom Land has potential being by Smart Strike who has a SPI of 3.25 and out of a mare by Pleasant Colony whose SPI is 4.05. Furthermore, the three-year-old's trainer, Michael McDonald wins with 24 percent of his runners that are making their first start in over 90 days and Freedom Land has shown her readiness with a series of bullet workouts.

Thursday, Calder race 3. James Hatchett has won with three of his last eight first time starters according to the trainer statistics in the Ultimate Past Performances. Here he saddles the debutant  MAD MAMBO who is by Black Mambo whose runners have won at a respectable 10 percent first time out. A closer look at Mad Mambo's pedigree reveals that his dam was stakes placed and has been represented by two runners who both won as two-year-olds and, of which, one was a stakes winner. In this low level maiden claimer the 8/1 odds on the morning line of Mad Mambo look generous.

Thursday, Calder Race 6. Wildcat Heir is currently the leading freshman sire in North America with 15 winners and here he is represented by the debuting #11 MY GOOD FRIEND who is tabbed at 4/1 on the morning line. Being out of a mare that has produced three winners from four starters, including one that won as a juvenile, My Good Friend should be paid attention to despite his trainer''s slightly low eight percent strike rate with firsters.

Thursday, Arlington race 8. The pedigree of #1 TIFF'S PRINCESS towers over this field of low level maiden claimers being by Monarchos, who has a SPI of 1.64 and out of a mare by Affirmed whose SPI is 2.93. In addition the dam of Tiff's Princess has a DPI of 2.16 being responsible for 10 winners, including three that won in stakes company. Although unraced since early July, the three-year-old has been working well, and trainer Andrew McKeever has been winning at a 20 percent rate with horses returning from a break of between 46 and 90 days. At 15/1 on the morning line, Tiff's Princess is worth a look.

Friday, Calder race 1. Although drawn all the way on the outside, the first time starter #9 ARI might be worth a play in this seven furlong maiden claimer. By Forest Camp whose debutants have been winning at a 12 percent clip, Ari is out of a mare who has produced two juvenile winners from three that started at that age. The two-year-old's trainer, Herman Wilensky is having a strong Calder meet and wins with 17 percent of his first time starters.

Tim Holland 8-26-09.

BRISNET'S full range of handicapping products, including the Ultimate Past Performances, are now available for Saratoga's Travers Day.