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Daily Racing Form: Wet Track A Question Mark For Big Birthday In Allowance

Though Big Birthday has never raced over a wet surface, her sire, Mineshaft, won a Grade 1 over a sloppy track.

The uncertainty regarding how she’ll handle a wet track – if only because she’s never raced over one – may be the biggest hurdle Big Birthday faces Sunday at Aqueduct when she tries to clear the second-level allowance condition.

Rain and warm temperatures are forecast for Sunday’s eight-race card, which drew only 52 horses.

Big Birthday, a 4-year-old daughter of Mineshaft trained by Chad Brown was a sharp winner of a first-level allowance race here at 4-5 on Jan. 18. That day, she was widest of all as part of a four-ply speed duel, then kicked on when asked to run by jockey Manny Franco turning for home. She earned a career-best 85 Beyer Speed Figure.

Though Big Birthday has never raced over a wet surface, her sire, Mineshaft, won a Grade 1 over a sloppy track. It’s Tricky, a half-sister to Big Birthday’s dam, Jellicle, also won a Grade 1 over a wet surface.

Sunday, Big Birthday breaks from post 4 in a six-horse field in a race where the speed is drawn to her inside.

Trainer Linda Rice sends out the uncoupled entry of D J’s Favorite and Picture Day, both of whom are multiple winners over a wet surface.

D J’s Favorite is wheeling back just nine days after finishing third in this condition over a fast track going a mile. This will be her first start at seven furlongs.

“D J loves a wet track, which is the reason I put her back on short rest,” Rice said. “I think she’s okay at seven-eighths. I think Chad’s horse looks real tough in there.”

Picture Day has not run since finishing second in this condition on Sept. 9 when not offered for the optional claiming price of $62,500. She is one of two horses in this field in for the tag Sunday.

“She came out of her last race a little crabby, so I gave her some time,” Rice said. “Seven-eighths might be a little far for her off the layoff.”

Kendrick Carmouche, who has not ridden in a race since breaking a leg in a spill on Sept. 8 at Kentucky Downs, makes his return to the saddle here. He rides Short Kakes for trainer David Cannizzo.

Mid-Atlantic shippers Celesse and Hailey’s Flip – the latter in for the tag – complete the field.

KEY CONTENDERS

Big Birthday, by Mineshaft
Last 3 Beyers: 85-84-77

◗ Finished third in a key first-level allowance here Dec. 8.

◗ Not only did Big Birthday win next out, but fourth-place finisher Bluegrass Jamboree came back to win her next start by 8 1/4 lengths with a career-best 95 Beyer. Sixth-place finisher Aunt Babe came back to record a career-high Beyer next out when second.

D J’s Favorite, by Union Rags
Last 3 Beyers: 71-79-82

◗ Two of three career wins have come over a sloppy track.

◗ Has finished third twice in this condition in New York.

Short Kakes, by Kodiak Kowboy
Last 3 Beyers: 71-43-74

◗ Has finished second in this condition twice. In between, she reared at the start when she finished seventh of eight in the Interborough Stakes.

This story originally appeared on DRF.com


Visit DRF.com for additional news, notes, wagering information, and more.

David Grening, Daily Racing Form
David Grening, Daily Racing Form

David Grening covers the New York Racing Association circuit of Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga plus such national events as the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup. He is a contributing author to "Champions" and joined Daily Racing Form in 1998.

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