Hopefully not too late to hop on the Grum/Pitts bandwagon

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

September 25th, 2016

Is it too late to jump on the Grum/Pitts maiden claiming bandwagon?

I'm hoping it's not the case as Sunday's fifth race at Churchill Downs approaches. Owner-breeder Clifford Grum and trainer Helen Pitts have already struck twice this week with longshot maiden claiming winners. On Thursday, Ours to Run scored on debut and paid $25.60 with Calvin Borel in the irons. Saturday night, Senor Guitar gave his sire, Louisiana-bred legend Star Guitar, his first winner with a $51 upset, Ricardo Santana up.

Borel will be back in the saddle on Star Too, a first-time starter by Star Guitar, in Sunday's fifth. After Ours to Run's win but before Senor Guitar's, I went back and compared the workout lines between Ours to Run and Star Too. While Ours to Run outworked Star Too on a couple occasions, early on in their worktabs I noted Star Too had posted a three-furlong breeze in :37 the same day Ours to Run had gone in :38.60. Star Too's five-furlong bullet :59.80 on August 7 over the Churchill strip was also appealing.

Another interesting angle is that while Ours to Run ran and won for a $30,000 tag, Star Too is entered today for $50,000. Perhaps it's a tip-off of what Grum and Pitts feel about the relative merits of the two fillies.

Star Too is the way I'm leaning in a contentious race with several other nice first-time starters and as well as capable class-dropper Friend of Liberty. Here's hoping there will be more wedding to come rather than the proverbial funeral.