Enola Gray Enters Melair Off Huge Maiden Win
Enola Gray Enters Melair Off Huge Maiden Win by Reinier Macatangay: Sixteen-length wins are impressive at any level. With her 16-length win in a maiden race last month, Enola Gray stirred some deserved hype. A few online commenters even compared the Cal-bred to the legendary Ruffian! See Enola Gray Update
On Saturday at Santa Anita Park, trainer Phil D’Amato will put Enola Gray to the test in the $200,000 Melair Stakes. Tyler Baze will take the mount for owner Nick Alexander.
Jeff Siegel wrote about Enola Gray before a scheduled start in an allowance race on May 7 (she scratched).
“Enola Gray turned in a ‘Ruffian-type’ performance in her debut last month … she’s listed at 2/5 on the morning line, and that might even be an overlay,” the longtime-handicapper explained.
If fans browse through Enola Gray posts on Twitter, they will find one person who wrote “I’ve been thinking about Ruffian’s maiden w Enola Gray’s debut yesterday.”
On Horse Racing Nation, one user posted “One word – WOW. My first thing – RUFFIAN.”
The Enola Gray bandwagon seems probable to continue after this weekend, if these fillies run to their paper form. If one obvious flaw exists though, it is her lack of experience around two turns.
Enola Gray’s huge romp, which earned her a 110 on the TimeformUS scale, came in a sprint race. While it will surprise no one to see her perform the same way going a route distance, bettors need to use caution.
Then again, the field is weak enough to allow Enola Gray room for error.
D’Amato also sends out Allsquare, whose highest speed figure of 89 came on turf. She owns one win on dirt.
One-time dirt winner Cheekaboo, sired by Unusual Heat, enters this field for Peter Eurton. Note how she defeated Allsquare in a dirt maiden race. Yet, the sire is respected for his turf winners, and this filly may prefer grass.
Oddly, Hacktivism enters the Melair with mostly turf races on her record too, but unlike the others, she lacks a dirt win. The Irish pedigree influences do not inspire confidence either (because European breeding favors turf).
To add to the lack-of-dirt-experience theme, The Spiral Jetter never even attempted dirt. To be fair, she comes from Golden Gate Fields, which only offers turf and synthetic.
The outside filly Shy Carmelita, the stablemate of Enola Gray and Allsquare, breaks the pattern with four dirt races and two wins. Her highest speed figure of 91 still pales in comparison to Enola Gray. Maybe D’Amato entered the other two fillies in order to help the race fill. Other connections must be scared, as this is a lucrative race.
The Melair may turn out to be another double-digit victory for Enola Gray. But, if show wagering is available, bet one of the other fillies and hope Enola Gray fails to hit the board (from a fan standpoint, that sounds terrible). If Enola Gray is used on top of an exacta, put the longest shot underneath. Single her in multi-race wagers if necessary.
When a gray horse is in the race, the other fillies run for second place.
Melair Stakes 2016 Post Positions & Odds
Race 4 3:30 p.m. PT
1 Enola Gray 2-5 Baze/D’Amato
2 Allsquare 10-1 Talamo/D’Amato
3 Cheekaboo 5-1 Bejarano/Eurton
4 Hacktivism 8-1 Gutierrez/Cecil
5 The Spiral Jetter 12-1 Gonzalez/Mathis
6 Shy Carmelita 6-1 Garcia/D’Amato