5 key horses to keep an eye on in their next starts

MISS FIA (October 21) Six year old mare for Dave Hofmans, away from the races since March, returned in a $40,000 claimer in Friday’s opener at ¾ on the turf for older runners. Off at 5/1 in a field of 7, she hopped badly at the start, was away last, and was a good dozen lengths behind the leader down the back side. She did not find herself in the race until the 1/8 pole and put in a good rally to get 4th while still beaten five at the wire. She has had her share of issues with only 14 career starts, but she has hit the board in 10 of those and is very capable on the dirt or the turf. She probably needs a slight class drop, but she is worth following for a barn that has been icy yet very capable. Tab and follow.

WYFIRE (October 21) Four year old gelding for Peter Miller, off for 13 months, returned in a $32,000 claimer for non winners of two lifetime at ¾ on the turf Friday. He promptly missed the start under the bug boy Alsagoor and was away last in this field of 9 runners. He was six back down the back side and was kept on the fence the entire trip. He had horse at the 1/4 pole and was waiting for a seam, but one never developed and he just spun his wheels for about a furlong. He finished well to get second and was beaten three at the wire. He can run long or short, turf or dirt, so the new connections have plenty of options as he has plenty of back class to work with. Mark Glatt, who does awfully well with the majority of his claims, won the shake.

RANSOMWARE (October 21) Two year old colt for Phil D’Amato drew in from the also eligible list in Friday’s finale and ran a huge race in his debut at 22/1. He broke OK in this field of 10 going ¾ on the turf in a maiden special weight and sat six lengths off the leaders down the back side. Under leading rider Ramon Vasquez, he made a huge sweeping move around horses at the ¼ pole, came into the lane four wide on the outside and took control of the race at the 1/8 pole. He was an unlucky loser as another 1st time starter just nailed him in the final strides and he lost by a half. He has that quick turn of foot you like to see on the grass and this Kentucky bred was a bargain sale for just $19K at the Santa Anita two year old sale. He won’t be a maiden much longer.

RUNNINWITHTHEBOYZ (October 22) Three year old filly for Jeff Mullins tried the turf for the first time on Saturday in a $50,000 maiden claimer at ¾ on the turf 3 and up. Getting a lot of early action from a M/L of 10/1, she was 5/2 for much of the wagering and ended up going off at 7/2 in a field of 8. She was void of any early speed and sat last down the back side but was never more than 5 lengths back of the leaders. Berrios got her to the outside at the ¼ pole and she started eating up the competition, was four wide into the lane, and ran by all of them late to win by a length with a strong gallop out. She is now eligible for the starter allowance races non winners twice and she will be tough right back. She can also get two turns being by the strong sire Liam’s Map. Be ready.

CUTE KHLOE (October 22) Two year old filly for Shelbe Ruis made her debut on Saturday at ¾ on the turf in a maiden special weight event. Off at 30/1 and breaking from the rail in this field of 8, she broke slowly and was last down the back side six back of the leaders. Berrios kept her on the fence and she was in tight quarters most of the way and was shuffled back some at the half mile pole. She was looking for a seam at the top of the lane, found one at the 1/8 pole, and put in a nice run to get second, beaten only a length by the favorite. It was two and a half back to the third horse. This daughter of Hard Spun is a runner and is bred for two turns as well. She’s a soon winner for an underrated barn. Tab and follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)