We start Thanksgiving Week at a place we have yet to visit: Mahoning Valley Race Course in Youngstown, Ohio. The $250,000 Steel Valley Sprint Stakes is for 3-year-old over 6 furlongs on the dirt and is featured as race 7 of a 9-race card with an approximate post time of 3:33 p.m. ET.
#1, Bourbon Calling, Julien Leparoux, 4-1
Bourbon Calling comes into this race winning two straight, three of his last four and four of his last six races. Squeezed in among those is a sixth-place finish to winner Shancelot in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga on July 28. In his last start, he closed from fifth to first by a neck to take home an allowance optional claiming race at Keeneland on Oct. 20. Julien Leparoux rides for the fourth straight time for trainer Ian Wilke and in this jockey race, I’ll take mine with a price. The pick.
#2, Call Paul, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 5-2
Call Paul has finished in the money in 11 of his 13 career starts (6-2-3) and is 3-2-1 in eight starts this year. Two starts ago, he won by three lengths to win the New Castle Stakes at Delaware Park on Sept. 28 and in his last, finished second by ¾ of a length in the Maryland Million Sprint Handicap at Laurel Park on Oct. 19. His resume includes seven graded stakes starts (2-0-3) and with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard for trainer Jason Servis, she have to love the way he comes in here. Runner-up.
#12, Preamble, Florent Geroux, 5-1
Preamble makes just his fifth career start today (3-0-0) and his second this year (1-0-0). He won three straight races, two at Keeneland, datiung back to Sept. 15, 2018, but in his last finished a disappointing 9th in the Grade 3 Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18. This will be his first start in a little more than six months. This will be Florent Geroux’s fourth straight start aboard for trainer Rodolphe Brisset and that should pay dividends. I’m scared about the layoff, but he should be right there. Contender.
#9, Get Hammered, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 8-1
He finished first or second in his first four career starts (2-2-0), but in his last finished fourth in an allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs, just nine days ago, on Nov. 16. Jose Valdivia Jr., returns to the mount after riding Get Hammered to a first and second place start in his first two career starts at Arlington Park. That should serve well for trainer Larry Rivelli. In the mix.
We’re giving away 2 tickets, flights & accommodation for the big football game in Miami on Feb 2, 2020!
It's free to enter and takes just 30 seconds. Click this link to get started!
By Lou Monaco