Wesley Ward trainees are key to Turfway's $75,072 Single 6 carryover

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 18th, 2021

Trainer Wesley Ward has been on fire at Turfway Park this winter. Since the start of the year, Ward has gone 14-for-44 (32%) to sit clearly atop the local trainer rankings.

On Thursday at Turfway, Ward will saddle three of the six morning line favorites in the Single 6 (Pick 6) sequence, which boasts a jackpot carryover of $75,072. Ward’s 32% win rate suggests we can expect at least one of his favored runners to visit the winner’s circle, but the question is—which one?

Let’s review the Ward trainees and rank them from most reliable to most vulnerable:

Most reliable

Race 6 ($15,000 Maiden Claiming): #1 Lucky as a Seven (7-5)

What’s not to like about Lucky as a Seven? The three-year-old gelding enters off a runner-up effort for a $30,000 tag over at Turfway and figures to relish facing easier $15,000 company. Ward wins at a lofty 41% rate with horses descending two or more levels down the class level, and in terms of Brisnet E1 and E2 Pace ratings, Lucky as a Seven looms as the “speed of the speed” in a race where the favorites are all pace players. The way I see it, Lucky as a Seven can duel his rivals into submission while breaking from the rail, then kick clear to give Ward a short-priced winner.

Most unpredictable

Race 3 ($5,000 Claiming): #4 Ice Blink (3-1)

At first glance, Ice Blink should be a lock to win this low-level claimer. The five-year-old daughter of Magician was sharp in her debut for a $7,500 tag at Turfway, leading all the way to win by three-quarters of a length. This effort produced a solid 69 Brisnet Speed rating, and as the only clear speed horse in Thursday’s field, Ice Blink figures to shake loose on an easy lead.

But here’s the problem—Ice Blink hasn’t run in 13 1/2 months, and she’s yet to race over the new Tapeta track at Turfway. These unknowns make Ice Blink a wildcard. If she fires off the layoff and handles the surface, she can win. But if either obstacle trips her up, there are plenty of other runners capable of springing an upset.

Most vulnerable

Race 8 ($5,000 Claiming): #7 Clan Cara (1-1)

Many bettors will place their faith in Clan Cara, who is dropping down out of a $50,000 allowance optional claiming race at Turfway. But Clan Cara never factored in that event, posting a modest 63 Brisnet Speed rating while finishing seventh by 9 3/4 lengths, and she previously benefited from a significant pace meltdown when rallying to victory in her debut on dirt at Belterra Park.

Clan Cara is a deep closer without any tactical speed, so I’m concerned cutting back from one mile to 6 1/2 furlongs will leave her with too much to do in her second start at Turfway. Several of her rivals have posted faster Brisnet Speed ratings, so taking all these factors together, I view Clan Cara as the most vulnerable of the Ward trio. Opposing Clan Cara in the Single 6 (and in the $1,475 Super Hi 5 carryover) might be the way to play.

Good luck!