Jetin’ or Walkin’? – De Francis Memorial Dash
By: Dylan Jarmulowicz, Wire Players
The third busiest racing day of the year in Maryland, and by far the biggest day of the Laurel Park fall meet coincides with the 25th running of The Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash. While racing tends to take a little break after the Breeders’ Cup, this race always boasts a solid field of horses looking to end the year with a graded stake win. This year is no exception; this field of nine is diverse and features three top horses and others who will bring plenty of speed to the party.
Laurel Park Race 9 – Grade III 6 Furlongs - Post Time – 3:35pm (Eastern)
Advance Weather: Sunny, 60s
I mentioned above that there is plenty of speed in this race. #3 POMEROYS’S PACKAGE (20-1), #4 WEEKEND HIDEAWAY (6-1), #2 IVAN FALLUNOVALOT (5-1) and #8 XY JET (9-5) all are speed horses and have run their best races while on the lead. That should ensure a quick early pace for the race.
#8 XY JET is the one horse who looks like he needs the lead to win and has to use his high cruising speed to get into the winners circle. After running in Dubai last March, he was giving a lengthy vacation and came back to work last month at Belmont Park, running a disappointing fifth at short odds. He clearly needed a race after the almost seven month layoff. He is a good horse but with so much speed in this race, he may be up against it again in this spot and at a short price, he can beat me.
The other speed horse that should take some money is #2 IVAN FALLUNOVALOT. Rider Calvin Borel jumps back aboard after Lindy Wade rode him to consecutive victories at Remington Park. Borel has had a decent year since returning to the saddle after a brief retirement but he’s never been a favorite jockey of mine and combine that with being up against it tactically in this race, I do not like his chances to win.
My play will be #9 STALLWALKIN’ DUDE (5/2). This veteran horse should be in the perfect spot for trainer David Jacobsen. He likes to come from off the pace, has beaten rivals in the race previously and he has run some of his best races in his last four efforts including two stakes wins (one graded stake). He usually gets hug out wide and has overcome it before so the outside post isn’t much of a concern. I think he is the best bet of the day anywhere!