Friday, May 17, 2013

Preakness Pick 4

Had another modest score at Arlington last weekend in the late P4. The early one fizzled out early.

Preakness Day is the only day of the year I even look at Pimlico so I am not going to get crazy here and play a huge ticket.

Race 9 - Gallorette Handicap Grade 3

Samitar, Old Tune, and Hard Not to Like exit the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley last month with Samitar being the only one of the 3 that showed anything that day. That is why she is the 5/2 ML fav. I'll use her but I am not in love with her at all. Even though they didn't show much that day I'm also including the other two based on their back form.

The wildcard factor here is Silver Screamer. As of this writing there is still no jockey listed for some reason. I'm going to add her because of her trainer stats, she has won 2x at the distance, runs good fresh and will be a decent price.

Selections: 1 4 5 9

Race 10 - Maryland Sprint Handicap Grade 3

I really like Hardened Wildcat in this spot.  The race should set up nicely for him but I'm going to use a couple others in case he doesn't fire. Candyman E is one of those, should get a good trip drawn outside. Same with Laurie's Rocket who I admit is more of a play because who is riding her. Joel Rosario is red hot and this colt does have talent.

I'll let the ML fav beat me. I don't get 5/2 on Sage Valley. Same trainer as the aforementioned Silver Screamer but this is a totally different scenario. This horse has never faced other horses of this caliber, is coming off a 5 month layoff, and gets the 10 hole in a 10 horse field. Maybe there's something that I don't know and he'll run off like Ruffian but not with my money.

Selections: 4 7 8

Race 11 - Dixie Stakes Grade 2

I know a lot of people will be singling one of Shug's horses in this sequence but doubt many of them will be doing it here. This race is a great betting race. There's 3 horses I would auto-toss (6 8 11) the rest would not shock me if they won.

I just think Shug has Imagining primed and ready for a huge effort and the price is right. I don't get Optimizer, ok he ran 2nd to Wise Dan but somebody had to right? Swift Warrior seems ok but nothing special. I'll take my chances and single here.

Selection: 4

Race 12 - Preakness Stakes Grade 1

I said I wasn't going to single Orb but I am def going to use him and as a fan I'm rooting for him through and through. As a bettor I want a 'what if' in case he doesn't fire. That 'what if' is Departing.

I don't want any of the Derby horses. Slop, fast pace, whatever else happened in the Derby doesn't matter to me. Orb is better than they are period and nothing has happened in the last two weeks to change that.

Governor Charlie has potential but with the other speed in the race, pass. Departing is the one that I think will be running with Orb late. He probably isn't good enough but we don't really know how good he is. We'll find out tomorrow.

Selections: 1 4

Pick 4 ticket: 1 4 5 9 / 4 7 8 / 4 / 1 4

Playing this one for $1 = $24 total.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Arlington Park - May 11th - Early & Late P4

Finally posted a winning ticket last week, it wasn't a huge score but was enough to show an overall profit on here to date. At the end of the year I'll tally up my total ROI.

I don't have time to have a full write up for today so I'm going to just post my plays. I wouldn't normally do this but 1) first time going to Arlington this year and 2) tomorrow is my Bday so hopefully the racing gods will be on my side.

These are after scratches which knocked both plays down, more so the late P4. Both are the $0.50 variety.

Race 2 - 5 8 / 2 5 7 / 1 2 4 / 1 3 4 = $27

Race 8 - 1 2 3 7 / 4 5 8 9 12 / 4 5 / 6 10 = $40

Next week I'll have something for the Preakness.

Friday, May 3, 2013

KY Derby Day

It does not look like Mother Nature is going to play nice this year which is a shame. I'm hoping worst case the turf and main track are listed as good. Yielding and sloppy and this ticket won't get punched.

Race 8

Distaff Turf Mile for fillies and mares 4 years old and up.

Marketing Mix is the favorite and on numbers she should be as hers tower over the field. The problem with Marketing Mix is she hasn't raced since the Breeders Cup. I saw this interesting stat on Twitter posted by Nick Tammaro () "Food for thought when handicapping Distaff Turf Mile. Tom Proctor just 7% with a $0.49 ROI on turf with 180+ day layoff returnees." Does that mean I'm going to toss her? Nope. But I am not going to single her either.

I really want to use Daisy Devine especially after meeting her in person on the Keeneland backside last month. I just think the filly to her direct outside, Frontside, is going to be a major thorn in her side. If for some reason she would scratch I would add Daisy.

The two that I am using along with Marketing Mix are Hungry Island and Stephanie's Kitten. Part of me wants to add Stopshoppingmaria as she is sort of a wildcard factor but I don't think she is good enough here, super trainer or not. My best guess is Repole wanted another horse running on Derby Day.

Selections: 5 6 8 (3 if 4 scratches)

Race 9 

Churchill Downs Stakes for four year olds and up.

Trinninberg is the 8/5 fav and in my opinion (and a lot of others that I've seen) is a complete toss. Off since the Breeders Cup sprint he shipped to Dubai in the end of March and ran a complete clunker and now lands here. That is a lot to ask and I don't think he has it in him. Pass.

Delaunay is a head scratcher to me. Listed as the 2nd choice at 2/1 he draws outside Trinninberg and will no doubt be forwardly placed with him. He is 3/3 at Churchill, 8/10 in the exacta at the distance, and has won 5 straight at the Fairgrounds. All of that is very nice but I am not in love here and it is becasue of the class jump. He's facing much tougher here than the cupcakes he's been beating up on in the Big Easy. He's also from what I can see in my Brisnet PP's never won a Graded Stakes before. I want to toss him too but he's in too good form to do that.

I'm using 3 others with him:
Hierro - price is right on this one, is 2/2 at Churchill and gets the aforementioned super trainer tacking him up.
Unbridled's Note - another one 2/2 at Churchill and is in great form.
Politicallycorrect - this one hasn't won at Churchill but Wesley Ward trained, Ramsey owned, Rosario up at 15/1 on the morning line. Yes please. Rosario with Ward are winning 42% of their last 26 races together, yes please. This gelding has talent too, having won over 400k in his career and Ward has had 4 months to get him ready for this.

Selections: 2 5 7 9

Race 10

Turf Classic at 1 1/8 for four years old and up.

I'm  not wasting a lot of words here. You have the two best turf horses we have to offer squaring off against each other. I looked and tried to make a case for at least one other horse in here and can't. The handicapper in me wants to use somebody else because anyone but Wise Dan or Point of Entry win and you are definitely going to the IRS window to cash, regardless of the other legs. No case could be made though so I'm using the 2 free squares and hoping the race lives up to the hype. Supposedly Point of Entry doesn't like the wet going so a yielding turf course would be to Wise Dan's favor. As a fan I like Wise Dan a lot more so I hope he romps.

Selections: 8 9

Race 11

Kentucky Derby.

I'm also not going to say a lot here because nothing I say will be anything you haven't already read. I really like two horses to win: Goldencents and Orb and originally I was going to only use those two. In the end I decided to use two others: Revolutionary and Itsmyluckyday. I never got the hype on Normandy Invasion and while I think Verrazano is a nice colt, I don't think this is his race.

Selections: 3 8 12 16

Pick 4 ticket: 5 6 8 / 2 5 7 9 / 8 9 / 3 8 12 16 = $48 for $0.50

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3/29 - Gulfstream Park Pick 3

I'm giving the P4's a break this week and focusing on a P3 early in the card at Gulfstream.

Race 3

Three years old and up maiden claimers (50k) going 6 furlongs. Let's look at the morning line fav first:

Sense of Peace

Dropping to the claiming ranks off a nice last race in NY. Obviously if he runs back to that race he will be tough. Notice the trainer also owns him so IMO he's asking somebody to take him from him, why? The 4 posted works don't look like much. Kimmel is only winning at 6% on the meet. 10% on these kind of layoffs and a measly 9% from maiden to maiden claiming. Two words for you: NO THANKS. I'll let this horse beat me all day long at those short odds.

Here's one I like:

Tale of the Dance

Toss all the turf tries. They mean nothing here. His dirt races fit and he will be an ok price. He is also getting blinkers which should help.

I also like the 3, King Solomon. Races for relatively unknown connections (1 start for the trainer on the meet, 0 for the jockey) but ran well last out in the OBS sprint 50k race. Also using the 7 Tizrobertcharles. He's also dropping from maiden to maiden claimers, comes off a 2 month layoff, gets a bugboy weight break, and should get a perfect trip from that post.

Selections: 3 4 7

Race 4

5F turf sprint for beaten claimers (30k). This race produces another morning line fav that I don't like and this one will def take money considering the connections.

Majestic Number

Why the drop Todd? Why the change from dirt to turf? His pedigree doesn't scream turf to me. Been off for over a year. Will be overbet. PASS.

Have to use the 1/1A entry. The owner likes to win races and puts his horses in spots where they win. Noway I'm letting Frank beat me here.

The 4 is going to be the speed, two back he went 20.4 and 43.2 which is moving. His problem is he doesn't finish, but 3rd off the layoff is a good thing, maybe he has the fitness to get home first today.

I'm also using this horse:

Camp Party

Notice the comment: "Rider stood up early" ....I've looked at a lot of races and that is one you rarely see. You won't have to worry about that with Paco up and this horse will get first run at the speed. I wouldn't be surprised if they ran 1,2 all the way with hopefully this one edging him out since he's a better price.

Selections: 1 4 8

Race 5

This one gets a bit chalky but there isn't much here to use. Using the 4 Backstairs Gossip and the 8 Le Grand Fromage. The 4 gets a weight break with a bugboy up and a trainer change (although the trainer in question doesn't exactly exude confidence). The horse will be forwardly placed and will try for the wire job.

Right behind him (hopefully they don't get into a dual) will be the fav. He should be good enough to ovetake the speed at some point and win but he isn't exactly a standout either. Has never raced 6f before, and is staying at the same level he failed at with 1.10 odds last out. His trainer Linda Rice is also only winning at 7% on the meet.

The problem is the rest of the field is pretty bad. It is the kind of race people might try to go ALL in and hope to catch a price but that isn't how I roll.

Selections: 4 8

$1 Pick 3 ticket:  3 4 7 / 1 4 8 / 4 8 =  $18

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gulfstream Park 3/15 Early P4

Back at Gulfstream Park this week for the early Pick 4. Would prefer the late action but have to settle with what is available on this site.

Race 2

Statebred maiden race for 42k. Not the best looking bunch of those that have ran already so I'm going to try some firsters and a longshot making a first run on dirt after a bad turf try. The 2 is the ML favorite at 5/2 and is a half to G2 winning Birdrun. Good trainer/jockey, good enough works, dam has 2 winners from 2 starters, would be foolish to leave off.
The 3 is the other firster, shows some zip including one bullet work at Calder in preparation. Only best of 12 that day at 4 furlongs and 48 and 3 at that but hey a bullet is a bullet right. Lures Rosario which is never bad.
Here is the longshot play, click me
Orseno is winning at a 21% clip in 2nd races and 18% turf to dirt. Maybe they were entered in that race last out just to get a race in, who knows. But the horse has showed some speed in the morning, you could do worse off with a 15/1 shot (although I would be surprised if he goes off that high)

Selections: 2 3 4

Race 3

1 mile on the dirt for 30k claimers with a bunch of conditions I don't feel typing out. You can go two ways with this one. You can either trust that Pro d'Oro is going to handle this bunch this time or you have to spread. I say this time because last race he handily beat 4 others in here and the other ones aren't much. Julio Garcia and Ward team up here with one of those horses, they broke slow and never made a run finishing almost 10 lengths back but their backform shows nothing compared to Pro d'Oro. There are some other ones you can dig deep and make a case for but I'm not doing that here. I'll live and die with the chalk.

Selection: 6

Race 4

25k maiden claimers going 6 panels. This is a tough group to decipher. There are 9 horses in here and I think 6 of them could win so I'm using all 6 and hoping for the best. With that being said either the 8 (the chalk) or one of the 3 I left off will sprout wings and fly home first.

Selections: 1 3 6 7 8 9

Race 5

5 furlong turf dash for fillies and mares 4 years old and up. The conditions are OC62500n2x. A quick glance at the bottom of the Brisnet PP says that Early speed horses are winning 55% of the 47 races run this meet at this distance. E/P types at 21%, P types at 15%, and the closers are at a measly 9%.
38% of them were wire jobs. So needless to say you want to be on or near the lead. Here is one that will be forwardly placed and will be a price: Diamond d'Oro
She's moving up in class, which I think is a good thing. Jason Servis isn't doing that PLUS bringing her over from Tampa for shits and giggles. Yes she is probably overmatched but she's at the right price to take a shot and if she runs back to that last race, lookout.
I am going to use 1 other horse that I think will be closer to the pace this time. Here she is: Revenue
3rd start off a layoff, check. Gets blinkers, check.  Gets a rider change (who has won on her before) check. Has Bill Mott as a trainer, check. Has 3 works since last start including a nice fast bullet on March 4th, check. And best of all is 6/1 and will be overlooked. You have a 5/2 fav, a Wesley Ward filly that will take $, Rosario and Plesa Jr. at 3/1, Johnny V and Dale Romans at 4/1. And out of all of them including the rest of the field, Revenue is the only filly or mare to have won more than 1x at the 5f distance.

Selections: 6 8

Pick 4 ticket: 2 3 4 / 6 / 1 3 6 7 8 9 / 6 8 = $18 for $0.50

Last week my single screwed me, hopefully that doesn't happen again.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I skipped last week due to lazyness.

This week's sequence was going to be the early Pick 4 at Santa Anita on Friday (I invested 2-3 hours looking at it) only to have Mother Nature take a shit on that idea. They were off the turf today and with more rain tonight into tomorrow will no doubt be off the turf again

Thankfully the late Pick 4 at Gulfstream on 3/8 looks playable too so here goes.

Race 7

3 year old maiden fillies going 1 1/8 on the turf. Not exactly my cup of tea when it comes to handicapping. This is your morning line favorite and with Pletcher that is no big surprise: Click me

Pass. She'll get bet because of the connections but doesn't seem like anything special to me. Notice Pletcher is *only winning at 19% with turf starts. I'm thinking she's in the 81% that lose.

Instead I'll use the 6 who finished a nice 2nd last out going a mile, by Pulpit should like the extra 1/8 and her trainer, Anthony Dutrow wins at 24% with his turf starters. I'll also use the 7 just because it is Rosario/Mott at 5/1. Filly did run some decent races at Saratoga last fall. And last but not least the 8 who might/should go off as the fav. You have the best turf jockey out there right now in Lezcano, trainer Chad Brown, and she beat the Pletcher morning line favorite in her only race to date.

Selections: 6 7 8

Race 8

Talk about a wide open race. Because I don't know how to say the conditions without copying word for word here they are: Conditions

There are 9 horses lined up and I think all but one of them can win. I know that leaving one horse out is a big no no but if this horse beats me than so be it. I'm not going to ditch out any more money than I have to because of some stupid superstition. Here's the pig that can beat me: Piggy piggy

(note by calling a horse a pig I'm not being mean, I love all horses, I'm just saying they are slow on the track)

Selections: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Race 9 

Here are where things slim down.  Another turf route, 1 1/16 this time for 25k filly and mare claimers. I like the 1 horse and only the 1 horse. Here she is: Singleton

Here is what I like about her: She no doubt needed that last race coming off a layoff. She drops in class. Johnny V stays aboard. She should get a good trip from the rail. She's won twice at the distance. She's the morning line fav but she's 7/2 not 9/5. And most importantly the rest of the field isn't much. The 2 horse did finish in front of her before but that was in September, and the 2 doesn't like to win, she's a hanger, she can beat me.

Selection: 1

Race 10

A cheap claiming race going 7 panels on the dirt to close out the card, great. I'm using 3 of the logical horses and hoping one of them wins. The horse I'll play against is actually the ML favorite at 5/2. Take a look here.

Your classic turf to dirt try, don't blame them after those last two races. They have speed (on the turf against the competition they were racing against) and the distance shouldn't be a problem and they are dropping in class but I don't bet these kinds of horses, they can beat me all day long.

I really like the 1a and if he were to scratch then I might have to rethink things. I'm also using the 2 (Woodbine shipper) and the 3 (stretches out, should be on the lead).

Selections: 1 2 3

Pick 4 ticket: 6 7 8 / 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 / 1 / 1 2 3 = $36 for $0.50

That is about as much as I will spend on a ticket, once in a blue moon I might go as high as $48.

Scratches might knock that down a little, we'll find out tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

First a very quick introduction: I am in my mid 30's and live in the Chicago(land) area. I have been following horse-racing since Smarty Jones was covered in Roses. I pretty much live and breathe horses now and wouldn't have it any other way.
My intent with this blog is to talk about one sequence a week that I am going to be betting. I might also sprinkle in some other plays and opinions too. I don't really have a style to my handicapping. I just take it all in and base my opinion on what I think is going to happen in the race. That is to me the beauty of this game. You can have 10 different people look at the same race and chances are you are going to get 10 different opinions on the outcome.
One thing I need to talk about in this opening post is how the great state of IL has for now outlawed online wagering. This means a trip to an OTB if I want to bet which is a huge pain in the ass. Besides wasting gas and my time I also am not able to download past performances from Their Brisnet PP's are free if you wager at least $2 on the card which is now impossible. All is not lost though as this nifty little site does provide a lot of races: Life Saver. The problem which you can see if you click that is not all the races are there so I have to pick and choose my plays even more than before. I use Brisnet PP's for handicapping. The reason for that is simple: they are free. Hopefully the AWD fiasco gets resolved soon but with IL politicians I am not getting my hopes up.
I will also mention that I don't bet a lot of money. My plays are small. I am not the kind of bettor that is going to spread deep in legs hoping to catch some wild longshot that has no shot on paper. I do play against favorites but prefer more logical choices to beat them. I'll get into this more when I am going through a sequence.

Today's play is the early Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park. The sequence starts with Race 2.

Race 2

I don't add many horses to my Virtual Stable but did exactly that after watching Integrity break his maiden at 6 furlongs last month at first asking. He now stretches out to 7 furlongs and I see no reason why he won't repeat here. He is by Hard Spun out of an Unbridled Song's mare so the added furlong should be no issue. He has 4 solid works since his debut including a bullet work at 5 furlongs, best of 26 that day. Chad Brown who trains this colt has stellar statistics, Castellano stays up, what's not to like besides the price. The only horse that really scares me is sort of a question mark. Click here to see him.
Part of me wants to include this horse but that would mean doubling up on my ticket so I'm going to pass and hope he needs the race. Michael Mareina is an excellent trainer and the horse obviously has talent winning first out odds on like he did. If Integrity flops I won't be surprised to see him crossing the line first.

Selection: 4

Race 3

A mile turf race for 25k claimers. This is a race where I'm going to play against the 5/2 morning line favorite which is the 1 horse. Click here to see what I'm about to talk about. The only thing this horse has going for her is the cutback and she'll get an ok enough trip. I just don't think she's good enough, she doesn't like to win races. She's been at this level for too long not to come up with a win. I'll let her beat me.
The horses I do like are the 2, 2nd time turf, stretching out, has speed so will be forwardly placed. Might not be good enough but at 8/1 she's going on my ticket. I also am including the 4 at 6/1, this hard knocking 9 year old mare ran a nice race two back, a repeat to that should win this. I'm also including the 5 at 8/1, she wanted no part of 1 3/8 last out, but her race two back looks good.

Selections: 2 4 5

Race 4

Statebred allowance race covering 7 furlongs. I'm using 3 of the 7 including the favorite who I like but don't trust to win. This is him. My main concern with him is Catalano is only winning at 17% off a 90+ day layoff. He is probably going to be on the engine too and I just don't know if he's going to have enough left in the tank to cross the wire first. The 5 horse also has speed and I could see them hooking up.
I'm also using the 2 horse and the 6 on the cutback.

Selections: 2 4 6

Race 5

I hate these kinds of races. Cheap (12k) maiden claimers going a mile. These are the kinds of races where you do want to spread a lot because who knows how these horses are going to run. I rely heavy on recent form and trainer stats and with that am using 2 horses in the last leg. They are the favorites and on paper one of them should win. They are the 5 and 6. The danger horse is the 9 who is returning to the dirt after 2 disastrous turf tries. He sprinted on the dirt last year against tougher but didn't run a lick, I'll let him beat me here.

Selections: 5 6

Pick 4 ticket: 4 / 2 4 5 / 2 4 6 / 5 6

That is a whopping $9 for a $0.50 ticket. My ticket really revolves around the 3nd race playing against  not only the 5/2 choice I highlighted, but also the 4/1 second choice that I didn't talk about. I know I won't be going to the IRS window if this hits but I didn't expect that going in.