2018 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic
The only way to desribe this Hirsch field is evenly-matched. Most of the nine runners are legitimate threats to win and there are three horses which have won a grade one race this year.
Here's a look at the contenders in order of post position:
- 1-Robert Bruce (2/1)
- 2-Hi Happy (6/1)
- 3-Sadler's Joy (5/1)
- 4-Carrick (8/1)
- 5-Teodoro (15/1)
- 6-Spring Quality (4/1)
- 7-Highland Sky (12/1)
- 8-Channel Maker (9/2)
Race betting fans will want to take note of the big day in store Sept.29 at Belmont as the Hirsh is sandwiched between the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes and the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes. Stakes racing days typically mean larger wagering pools and more opportunities to cash. Don't miss the chance to get your bets down at your favorite online racebook.
Sorting out the challengers
In a race where very little separates the top 3-5 contenders, it's critical to find the horse offering the best value.
Much of the money in the Joe Hirsch Classic will settle on Arlington Million winner Robert Bruce, Hi Happy and Spring Quality.
Beginning with the likely favorite, Robert Bruce can simply and most accurately be thought of as a horse that does not like to lose races. He's won 8 of 9 starts including 2 of 3 since coming to the United States from his native Chile. Robert Bruce is trained by the best turf conditioner in the country in Chad Brown who is reportedly ecstatic how his pupil is training for this race.
While the only knock on Robert Bruce may be the price, the favorite will have to have his running shoes on to find the winner's circle.
Hi Happy and Spring Quality will have to round back into form - the former after a mediocre race last out in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga and the latter after missing a scheduled start due to fever - the up-and-coming Carrick heads into the Hirsch with a full head of steam after upsetting the Grade 1 Secretariat field in his last start.
There's certainly a viable case to be made for each of the other four runners I haven't yet mentioned, including the speedy Channel Maker who captured a stakes race earlier this summer at Saratoga.
While multi-race and exotics players will probably spread out with several horses in this race, I'll have to give the nod to Robert Bruce. I like Chad Brown's bullishness about this turf veteran and I like putting my chips on a horse who knows exactly where the winner's circle is.
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