Turf Paradise Friday: Cluer Memorial & Queen of the Green Stakes

Chris Adams

Turf Paradise is widely regarded as a lower tier track. These tracks are characterized by larger amounts of low level claiming races. However, on Friday the small Arizona track will host 2 stakes races with purses totaling $120,000.

Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses

Those who only follow major circuits may be unfamiliar with the conditions of the first race on the Turf Paradise card. The race is for quarter horses. The name is derived from the fact that the horse run roughly 1 quarter of a mile. Generally this is the length of the stretch although some tracks will run a slightly longer race around the hook which incorporates the far turn and the stretch run.

Fast Start

There are a couple of differences when handicapping these races. First is the importance of a sharp break. Horses who have a history of breaking poorly or lineup next to a horse that has a tendency to bobble the start can be at a serious disadvantage.

Speed Index vs. Speed Figure

Most commercial speed figures as used in thoroughbred racing use the final time as their starting time. However, that final time is adjusted based on par times for the class level and track. This means that horses could run different times and end up with the same speed figure at the same track. Many of the figures also use subjective measures to determine if figures were accurate.

Inversely, quarter horse racing uses what is called a speed index. Speed index does not use variants or subjectivity. It simply converts the raw time into a easier to digest number. Players used to using speed figures will need to do some of the guess work as to whether two 96’s earned on different days are truly the same or if one performance was better than the other.

Friday Analysis

Turf Paradise Race 1 (Quarter Horses)

Post: 12:40 PM MT; Purse: $15,000 Maiden, 300 Yards on Dirt; Entries: 12

#7 HP JUSTIFIEDS CARTEL (6-1) has good gate speed and should be able to find the front early. #9 FIRE AN RAIN (7-2) has among the top speed index in the field and has been running against tougher. #6 EYESA GOT EASYER (3-1) comes into the race signaling a big performance in the near future. #12 IGOTGOODNEWS (15-1) is an interesting horse at a price. The advantage of the wide post is the ability to avoid bad starts that may occur inside.

Selections: 7-9-6-12

Turf Paradise Race 2

Post: 1:05 PM MT; Purse: $23,800 Maiden Optional Claiming, 7 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 9

#1 CHANTAL (4-1) is worth a look here given edges in stamina & power rating. #2 PLUMA (3-1) makes sense on paper and is a definite win contender. #8 SLEW SOUTH (6-1) has speed figures that make this one a player, especially outside of 5-1 on the tote. #6 PREDETERMINATION (10-1) goes out for connections that have a good record and in this field no result should be surprising.

Selections: 1-2-8-6

Turf Paradise Race 3

Post: 1:30 PM MT; Purse: $11,480 Claiming, 4 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9

#4 LITIGATOR (7-2) has been good at this distance in the past. Often at these short distances that can be more important than speed figures which can have higher variability under 6 furlongs. #7 LIMITED OFFER (4-1) is another with past success at the 4 1/2 furlong distance. #3 MR CHARLIE KING (12-1) has run against better and might enjoy a slightly easier spot here. #6 AUTISM CAN DO (5-1) has to be respected based on the connections.

Selections: 4-7-3-6

Turf Paradise Race 4

Post: 1:59 PM MT; Purse: $18,900 Starter Optional Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 8

#1 FANTASTIC DAY (5-2) looks tough to beat here given the edge in a number of key categories including speed & class. #7 MYSTIC REALITY (4-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done. #2 ARABIAN STORY (7-2) and #8 AZEE RULES (5-1) are the two next likeliest winners, though by my account they are a significant cut below the top selection.

Selections: 1-7-2-8 (Best Bet: #1 FANTASTIC DAY)

Turf Paradise Race 5

Post: 2:30 PM MT; Purse: $60,000 Walter R. Cluer Memorial S., 7 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 9

I like an upset in the first stakes of the day. #4 ZUMURUDEE (10-1) has speed and pace numbers that put this runner up front early and strong enough to finish. It’s worth a shot at the price. #5 MAJESTIC EAGLE (9-2) is in my estimation the horse that benefits the most from the #4 trying to run his race and coming up short. #6 TIGER DAD (7-2) is a definite contender, but the price is too short for my liking. #1 LOOSE DIAMOND (12-1) has to be respected based on the connections.

Selections: 4-5-6-1

Turf Paradise Race 6

Post: 3:00 PM MT; Purse: $11,480 Claiming, 4 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 10

#9 AWESOME GALAXY (2-1) goes out for connections that have to be respected. #2 UH OH LUCY (8-1) has been running well and has the class to suggest she’s found her friends. #5 KEEPINMYPROMISE (7-2) will be forward early and in these short races, that’s never a bad spot to be. #8 WAR MAIDEN (20-1) if you’re willing to trust speed figures at the 4 1/2 furlong distance the 8 is an interesting player.

Selections: 9-2-5-8

Turf Paradise Race 7

Post: 3:30 PM MT; Purse: $11,480 Claiming, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 12

#8 EMPRESSIVE CAT (3-1) should be competitive today based on the horse's speed & power rating. #6 LOVELY LINDA (6-1) is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions. #1 GOODY TWO SIOUX (4-1) has to be respected based on the connections. #5 FINISHED MY P H D (10-1) is a long shot that should be considered for the lower rungs of the vertical gimmick wagers.

Selections: 8-6-1-5

Turf Paradise Race 8

Post: 4:00 PM MT; Purse: $60,000 Queen of the Green S., 7 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 12

The feature is another turf stakes race and once again I’ve landed on a price. The race looks wide open and I don’t trust those at the top of the tote board. #2 MY CRAFTY GAL (8-1) is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today's distance and surface conditions. #1 COVER VERSION (10-1) looks to have to have kept the best company in the previous starts. #10 ZYDECO MAMA (5-1) is worth a look here given edges in stamina & power rating. #11 LADY COMMISSIONER (10-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done.

Selections: 2-1-10-11

More Expert Selections

Turf Paradise is one of many tracks covered by Betting News and runs throughout the work week. Players looking to play earlier in the week may find our free handicapping tools helpful in finding winners when betting an unfamiliar track.

More Articles You Might like

Latest on Betting News

It has been a miserable month for the Seattle Mariners, and things are unlikely to get any better tonight as they welcome AL Cy Young Award favorite Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros to T-Mobile Park. After just missing out on the MLB playoffs last season, the Mariners entered this season with hopes of finally