Tag Archives: Handicapping

Assume The Position

Friesan Fire has the best PP of the possible favorites, breaking from the 6 hole. It also looks like a rainy Derby Day (again), which will be even better for the Larry Jones trainee.

In post 15, Dunkirk will have a lot of work to do, but the auxillary gate won’t hurt his closing style too much, that is, if he isn’t the overrated allowance winner I think he is.

I Want Revenge will break from the “lucky” 13 hole, not where I’d like him. Young jock Joe Talamo will have his work cut out guiding the colt through the 20-horse gauntlet.

Pioneerof The Nile breaks from gate 16. Only 3 other winners have started at that spot, that last being Monarchos in 2001. Charismatic and Thunder Gulch are the others.

General Quarters got post #12. I like this horse; he is versatile on a variety of surfaces and has a great story with his retired HS teacher owner.

Horses with good posts that I will have to take another look at include Advice in #3, Papa Clem in #7, Regal Ransom in #10 and Chocolate Candy in #11.

Desert Party got shafted with the #19 post — no horse has ever won from that piece of gate real estate.

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Elvis Presley Day Special PICKS

Happy Birthday, Elvis

Happy Birthday, Elvis

Tomorrow would have been Elvis Presley’s 74th birthday.  What does this have to do with thoroughbreds, you ask?  Not much, really, except that I wouldn’t have the financial resources to play my favorite game or attend my favorite races without him.  Plus, Elvis liked horses.

In honor of EAP’s birthday celebration (free cake & coffee if you’re in Memphis that day) here are the PICKS!!

There are 2 really great 3yo allowance races at Gulfstream tomorrow, featuring some promising maiden winners who could show up later on the Derby trail.

GULFSTREAM #6: $42,000 Allowance 3yos, 1 1/8 miles, dirt

PP:

1. FREE COUNTRY
2. BOUNISSIMO
3. SINCERO
4. ATOMIC RAIN
5. DA GULLAH
6. STATELY CHARACTER
7. PRESSURE POINT
8. STORMALORY

I like ATOMIC RAIN in this race.  His last out was a second to Old Fashioned in the Remsen, a big deal 2yo race in which Atomic Rain gave a good run in his 2nd place finish.  Next, I see STATELY CHARACTER finishing well, having won a minor stakes already in his career.  For the show spot, STORMALORY looks good to complete my ticket.  PRESSURE POINT will gain some experience in his 2nd start, as will FREE COUNTRY.  Either one will be in my EX/TRI boxes, too.  It is amazing to see Repent and Big Country listed as the sires of these colts, because it seems like just a year ago, I was handicapping *them* in these same Derby trail races!!  Gaahh I’m getting old!

 4|6|7/8/1

GULFSTREAM #8, $42,000 Allowance 1 1/8 miles, 3yos, dirt

1. IDOL MAKER
2. DANGER TO SOCIETY
3. D.C.’S LEGACY
4. AWESOME MITCH
5. AP CARDINAL
6. BRUCE N AUTUMN
7. THEREGOESJOJO
8. THEY’RE LATE
9. ABE IS HONEST

Another great group of sophomores!  IDOL MAKER and AP CARDINAL are tough to beat in here, coming into the race off good workouts and losing efforts against Old Fashioned.  IDOL MAKER was 4th in the Remsen, AP Cardinal was 4th to him in an allowance race.  AWESOME MITCH is also coming out of the Remsen, a dull 7th but he has been working well for this race.  BRUCE N AUTUMN is an interesting son of Lemon Drop Kid, in my picks, too.

5|1|4/6

Tomorrow’s races will do a lot to confirm the quality of the Remsen.  If none of the horses coming out of that race run like I think they will, then Old Fashioned may have to drop in my Derby list.  But we’ll see.

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

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Filed under Derby Prepes, Gulfstream Park, Handicapping, Kentucky Derby

Infield Favorite Wins!

MY LITTLE CONNOR just won moments ago at Hawthorne.  He set the pace and held off a tough challenger in the 1 1/4 mile starter handicap.  My Little Connor is a longtime favorite of mine, having first jumped into my picks in January 2007.  The son of Petionville went off at 6-1 and paid $10.20. 

Now if Mr. Franks and Mo Terms can win soon…

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Filed under Handicapping, results

Saturday Breeders’ Cup Selections

I haven’t had a selections post since SAUHBR ended.  It sucks sometimes to have a normal job and not be a professional handicapper 24/7.  Totally missed Ladies’ Day picks, but I think my only exacta picks would have been Stardom Bound and Zenyatta.  But I’ll discuss the racing action further in another post.  This one’s for the BC Boys Races!

BC MARATHON:

1)MUHANNAK (IRE)
2)Sixties Icon (GB)
3)Big Booster

BC DIRT MILE

1)WELL ARMED
2)Mast Track
3)Two Step Salsa

BC SPRINT

1)STREET BOSS
2)Cost of Freedom
3)Midnight Lute

BC TURF SPRINT

1)DIABOLICAL
2)Only Answer
3)Mr. Nightlinger

BC MILE

1)GOLDIKOVA
2)Kip Deville
3)Thorn Song

BC JUVY TURF

1)BITTEL ROAD
2)City Style
3)Vaquero

BC JUVENILE

1)STREET HERO
2)Terrain
3)Midshipman

BC TURF

1)SOLDIER OF FORTUNE
2)Winchester
3)Eagle Mountain

BC CLASSIC

1)CURLIN
2)Go Between
3)Duke of Marmalade

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Filed under Breeders' Cup, Handicapping

BIG BROWN vs OLDER HORSES & and OFF TRACK

Big Brown is such a star that Monmouth Park has carded a race just for him, the Monmouth Stakes at 11/8 miles on turf.  I suppose the idea was to get an easy prep in for the BCClassic, but this has turned out to be anything but for the presumptive 3yo champ.  The half-million dollar purse has attracted a full field of Graded stakes winners, older turf specialists itching for the chance to take down the Derby winner. 

SHakis, trained by Keiran Mclaughlin for Darley, just won the Baruch at Saratoga.  11/8 miles is his bitch. 

Proudinsky was 6th by only 2lengths in a blanket finish to Shakis in the Baruch, and Frankel has him tuned up for a victory this time.  He may get it, too, because along with the older horses and the grass, Big Brown may also have to overcome turf less-than-firm.  Weather predictions are calling for rain saturday, which could even pull the race off the grass and onto the main track. 

Silver Tree has a win over the Monmouth turf course already, and was game in his last narrow win in the Oceanport. 

How sweet would the stretch call be if Fugeddaboudit Sal won? 

Despite his record thus far, Big Brown does not have me wholly convinced of his greatness.  He has been beating a questionable crop all year.  His peers, whom he so thoroughly wolloped, have been barely beating each other (sloowly) .  What will happen when he gets in with the senior class? 

I like Proudinsky and Silver Tree, or Shakis on top if the course is dry.  Drum Major may be a dangerous upset play, after a year layoff and a 7th place finish in the Baruch.  Get Serious, BAllonenostrikes and Kiss the Kid are local Monmouth horses looking for some big-time cred.

If Brown can pull off a win here, it will go a loooong way in convincing me — like Curlin last year.  I was not on the Golden Warrior’s bandwagon until he beat my buddy LAwyer Ron in the JCGC. 

At least Brown is attracting positive attention to the sport.  Memphis is the dead zone of racing coverage, and even people here are talking about him.  They may even flip over from the Southern Heritage CLassic to catch the race on TVG (3:30pm Central).  Who am I kidding?  Memphians skipping a football game?  LOL…

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Filed under Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Monmouth Park, Turf racing

FINAL SAUHBR SELECTIONS!

FOREGO:

1)LUCKY ISLAND
2)FOREFATHERS
3)TASTEYVILLE

alt:First Defence

WOODWARD:

1)CURLIN
2)OUT OF CONTROL
3)DIVINE PARK

alt: Loose Leaf

ONTARIO COLLEEN S:

1)LICKETY LEMON
2)FAREENA
3)FORESTRY’S MAGIC

alt:Sugar Bay

DEL MAR DERBY:

1)KILDERRY
2)GIO PONTI
3)SKY CAPE

alt:TizWest

LINCOLN HANDICAP:

1)PEPPER’S PRIDE
2)SILVER EXPRESSION
3)MISS POSSIBILITY

alt:Letthemusicbegin

PENNSYLVANIA DERBY

1)SMOOTH AIR
2)ATONED
3)READY SET

alt:Numaany

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Filed under Del Mar, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Saratoga, SAUHBR

SAUHBR Week 6: FINAL FURLONG!

Curlin, The Golden Warrior

Curlin, The Golden Warrior

Tomorrow will be the beginning of the end for SAUHBR Round 1.  BT’s Pick Power selections represent the best of the final Summer Stakes from around the country.  It being a holiday weekend, BT has chosen a Monday race to keep the party going just a little bit longer.  After this weekend, most of my faves will be starting in their last BC Preps.  The next edition of SAUHBR should be the Breeders’ Cup itself – 2 days of top-caliber racing on a surface many have not ventured a hoof upon!  Drama, drama, drama!  The opportunities for upsets abound, and then there are the Euros!  But that’s for another blog.  I will post my OFFICIAL SELECTIONS later!

This final slate of SAUHBR stakes are:

Saturday at Saratoga:

FOREGO S. Gr1 — A lot of the excitement got sucked out of this race when Benny The Bull retired, but now Lucky Island and Tasteyville are the headliners.  I like Forefathers and First Defense to show up in there, too.
WOODWARD S. Gr1 — Curlin’s dirt return, his first race at Saratoga…Divine Park is making a race of it, and AP Arrow is in there again…if he runs his race, the Champ is gonna do it easily.  They’re even giving Curlin the Key to the city!

Woodbine: ONTARIO COLLEEN S. — Have no idea who’s running, but the name Lickety Lemon is priceless!

Sunday’s grab bag of tracks:

Ruidoso Downs: LINCOLN HANDICAP — Pepper’s Pride shoots for the moon & her 17th straight victory.

Del Mar: DEL MAR DERBY — Gio Ponti makes a cross-country trip to continue his winning ways on turf.  Tizwest and Nownownow challenge.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY STAKES!!

Philly Park: PENNSYLVANIA DERBY — Perhaps the best of the weekend, with Smooth Air, Ready Set, Two Step Salsa, and Atoned and a bunch of others!  14 entries, that’s truly a “derby”!
 

Also on Manday, a long-lost favorite of mine returns to the track after almost a year off — Mr. Franks!  This colt filled out a nice exacta for me at Oaklawn back in, um…2005?

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Filed under Del Mar, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Saratoga, SAUHBR