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12.6.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, December 6

Northfield Park has a 14-race program scheduled with the first post coming at 6:00 PM EST. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Dancin Doug (5-1)-This is a race devoid of form but in context Doug could be the best in here if ready for a big try. Came back with 2 dull efforts after being off about a month, and then took off a couple of weeks and requalified. Drops here and this is the level for success if brings a good try.3-HP Patriote (12-1)-Ships in from the Meadows and should offer a big price. Has been an all or nothing type when racing here. Has 4 wins in 19 NFLD starts and has missed the board otherwise. Had a 153.4 mark on this oval in 2021.4-Brother Dick (9/5)-Has been on Lasix for 8 starts without a win. Last picture was back on 9-2 but this HoP invader is still the morning line choice. That tells you something about this field but Merriman steers and that might be enough to get top honors in its NFLD debut.Race 121-Jet J (7/2)-Paced the 2nd half in 58.1 to sweep by down the lane on a sloppy track at this class on 12-1. Has won 2 of 4 on an off-track and will need an alert start but will respect chances of an encore. This 4-year-old may have his way with younger foes.3-Utica Kid (7/2)-Is often in the mix at the Pomp but this 3-year-old needs a good steer and that doesn't happen on a regular basis. Maybe Lake will work an efficient trip and be fastest down the lane.7-Marcia (3-1)-Jones the Troyer barn after arriving from Hoosier and will make its NFLD debut. Appears to fit, this conditioner has won 7 of 15 starts the past 30 days and Wrenn should have in play.Race 131-Pound Sign (7-1)-Went off at 6/5, bet down from a 6-1 morning line and burned a lot of cash in last. Caught a pocket trip and the pace collapsed but didn't have strong brush when using the passing lane. The price should be better, and this isn't a loaded field. If brings the same effort as 2 back it could be picture time.2-Music Is Art (3-1)-Has been in too deep in the last 4 starts but now drops to a spot to shine. Should leave and could take charge and not look back.Race 144-Sawyer's Desire (7/5)-Burke trainee takes a big drop after a start in DTN and will debut at NFLD. Should be a player but the price will be small and has only 2 wins in the last 25 starts. Has a 149.0 mark at HoP and has big gate speed to be put in play early.5-Wagon Master (5-1)-Had been facing $25-$30K claimers out East and should relish the company. Merriman steers, has raced on 1/2-mile ovals and could offer a fair price. Off-track record is only 1-24 so keep in mind if the weather comes into play.My Ticket Race 11) 1,3,4 Race 12) 1,3,7 Race 13) 1,2 Race 14) 4,5Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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12.5.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Pompano Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, December 5

Pompano Park has a 12-race card set to go tonight and it features two Pick 4 sequences with $15,000 guaranteed pools. My focus will be on the Late Pick 4 which starts in Race 9 and has a low 12% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 94-My House (9-1)-Here is the wild card and should offer a solid price. Hoosier Park invader fits with this group and can leave as fast as the gate car. Doesn't show a small oval start but have to think the connections aren't afraid of the turns. Could get the top and not look back.5-Actor Hanover (5/2)-Here is another with good gate speed and if #4 isn't on his toes this Wallis trainee should be no worse than in the pocket after the 1st turn. Might get the jump on #6 in a contentious affair.6-Maxdaddy Blue Chip (2-1)-Plano trainee is also in from Indiana and has raced well in all 3 Pomp starts. Should be following the same plan as in last, get on the engine and make every call a winning one. The 2 above could be thinking the same so the start will be key in an interesting race.Race 102-Brilliant Strike N (3-1)-Was claimed from Plano for $10K on 11-14 and in the next start returned to the same barn off a $15K claim. Back in tonight at the same $15K tag and should be dialed on high to cash the biggest check.5-Racksmach N (5/2)-This was Hennessey's choice over the #3 and #4. Takes a needed drop in the 4th PPk start and may make its 1st trip to the winner's circle. Won't offer much value but should be racing close to the top throughout.Race 112-Panocchio (3-1)-Old timer moves up after getting on the point, stealing the 2nd quarter, and cruising home in 151.4. Fits with this crew and Chindano will be looking to work the same trip here. This veteran can stay good for another picture.6-Rocksapatriot (5-1)-Gets needed class and post relief plus this race could set-up nicely for the 6-year-old. Ingraham should be rolling late, and the fractions could be lively. Has finished in the money in 19 of 35 Pompano starts and has bagged 5 wins.Race 123-Hard Rock Hulk (4-1)-Raced well versus better in last. This 4-year-old knows how to win and does its best work on a 5/8's oval. The pace could be hot, and Wallis can work a nice trip to be in range to close fastest of all.5-Hot Art (3-1)-Winner in 2 of the last 3 starts hasn't been able to close the deal versus $20K claimers. But draws well and this field isn't very deep, so best to respect.9-Mac Anover (7-1)-The post makes the price and has enough gate speed to race near the top of the stack. The two above may leave but with a sharp steer a picture versus this field isn't out of the question.My Ticket Race 9) 4,5,6 Race 10) 2,5 Race 11) 2,6 Race 12) 3,5,9Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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12.5.2021:

Jeff Siegel: What You Need to Know | Sunday, December 5

Jeff Siegel’s “What Your Need to Know”Gulfstream Park – December 5, 2021THIRD RACE – Here’s an intriguing race over a mile on turf for juvenile fillies that offers several possibilities and plenty of question marks. High percentage trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. has two bullets two fire, and both have shown enough in the a.m. to warrant strong consideration. Bravo Kitten has never recorded an official workout on grass, but she’s bred to move up a ton on the lawn (Kitten’s Joy x Dynaformer) so she’s likely to be much more comfortable under these conditions than she’s been when breezing on the main track. She attracts the barn’s “go-to” rider E. Zayas, so on that angle alone we must assume she’s considered the better of the two with Bellwether, herself with a heavily-influenced turf family (Point of Entry x Giant’s Causeway and looking decent in the morning in dirt drills alongside ‘Kitten. In a race in which the known element doesn’t impress, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a first-timer win and both of these two have credentials to do just that, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then press in the win pool with Bravo Kitten on.FOURTH RACE – We’ve seen Fulton Market breeze on video, and she looks like a very nice prospect that may be capable of winning at first asking in an unclassified maiden race such as this. There’s doesn’t appear to be any champions in this main track sprint for juvenile fillies, so let’s focus on the daughter of Candy Ride. The concern, of course, is that the T. Proctor barn has weak stats with the debut runner angle so perhaps this filly will need a race, but while there’s no guarantee that she’s totally cranked up she appears to be a filly with good size and athleticism and certainly seems more formidable than her 6-1 morning line might lead you to believe.SEVENTH RACE – This one mile grass event for maiden two years old is similar to today’s second race, which is carded for fillies. The first-timers don’t inspire, so let’s try to project who among those that have raced can produce the strong forward move. Assuming the logical top choice Men On The Hill doesn’t draw in from the also-eligible list, the one that catches the eye is Never Say Know, a first-off-the-claim play for a barn that has superior stats with this angle. The Irish-bred colt was haltered for $50,000 when worn down late to be second (well-clear of the rest) in an all-weather affair here last month that earned a speed figure good enough to beat this field. Apparently most effective when. Held up early and allowed to produce a late run, the R. Crichton-trained son of No Nay Never switches to one of the stable’s main riders C. Sutherland and should get the patient, one-run ride that he requires. He’s worth a play at or near his morning line of 9/2.TENTH RACE – This first-level allowance main track one-turn miler for juveniles offers the same conditions that produced a 10-length maiden win for Skippylongstocking, who subsequently finished a well-beaten fourth over a distance of ground in the much-tougher Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs in late October. This is where he belongs, so we’re expecting the son of Exaggerator to regain his best form and be a major player at 7/2 on the morning line. He appears to be cut in the mold of a one-paced grinder, so we’re hoping T. Gaffalione sends him aggressively from the gate to secure a good pace-stalking position in a race that should have a soft opening quarter and half.Strike Hard adds blinkers, has numbers that fit, and graduated over this track and distance three runs back with speed figures that makes him the one to fear most. It’s difficult to have trust in an eight percent outfit, butTwo recent local maiden winners – So Determine and A. P.’s Secret – made hard work of it in their respective scores but both have the proper style for this trip, and both have every right to step forward under these conditions. Given their connections, they’ll both receive plenty of action on the tote and probably should be included on your rolling exotic ticket, at least as back-ups.

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12.5.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Gulfstream | Sunday, December 5

Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet began this week, and what a perfect time to set our sights on south Florida for Sunday’s Late Pick 4.The sequence runs from races 8-11 and shows that the big stables are back and will make for a good show on a daily basis.Here’s a look at the suggested play, which amounts to $75 on 50-cent tickets, and the main combatants:8th Race (3:23 p.m. ET, claiming)EXPRESS PHAROAH comes off his first try over the all-weather surface and ran fairly well considering there was absolutely no pace in the race. He was part of the lead and finished fourth.He’s more comfortable from just off the pace, will have a better pace setup here and can improve in his second attempt over the Tapeta.It’s a contentious crew in this one and is a ‘spread’ race with five legit candidates.Also on the ticket: MR. AXEL, MARISA’S MISSION, BUFFALO MAX, PAPA HONOR.9th Race (3:53 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)MISS AURAMET is always in the hunt going five furlongs on turf and has a class edge here as most of her past performances are in stakes races.She hasn’t won since a stakes score at Monmouth in May and hasn’t run since August. She is back in the Edward Plesa, Jr., barn after four in the Kathleen O’Connell barn on the Jersey shore and in the Kathleen O’Connell barn. She has some good works and is in a good spot for her return.Also on the ticket: MUMBAI.10th Race (4:23 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)SKIPPYLONGSTOCKING weakened to fourth going two turns in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs, and is back to where he broke his maiden.In September, he got that maiden score when he put away an early challenger and ran off to a 10-length win. He’s built for the one-turn mile and rates an edge in his return to Gulfstream.This is a wide-open race and it’s another where you’d probably need plenty of backup on the ticket.Also on the ticket: SO DETERMINED, LUNI SIMA, A.P.’S SECRET, STRIKE HARD.11th Race (4:53 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)EUPHORIA STARRan a solid second in his second attempt over the Tapeta. He made a strong run off the pace and lost by a neck last out and looks like he’s found a running style to his liking. Look for another big run from him here.Also on the ticket:My Ticket Race 8) #4 Mr. Axel, #6 Express Pharoah, #9 Marisa’s Mission, #10 Buffalo Max, #11 Papa Honor. Race 9) #2 Mumbai, #6 Miss Auramet. Race 10) #1 So Determined, #2 Luni Sima, #6 A.P.’s Secret, #8 Skippylongstocking, #9 Strike Hard. Race 11) #1 Winter’s Ghost, #7 Euphoria Star, #9 War Strategy. Total Ticket Cost) 4,6,9,10,11/2,6/1,2,6,8,9/1,7,9 ($75) for $0.50

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12.3.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Cal Expo Pick 4 Analysis-$25,000 Guaranteed Pool | Friday, December 3

Cal Expo has a compact 9-race program ready to go tonight. The 0.20 Pick 4 starts in Race 6. the sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 64-Bobs Time (8-1)-Qualifier was good with the trainer between the pipes. Should be in the mix if minds manners and has won 4 of 12 at CalX.5-Fast Track (9/5)-Won its 2nd start off the bench last week and now bumps up in class. Roland worked a nice trip but was used a couple of times in last. Fits but price will be small and has only 1 win 28 starts over the last 2 years.7-Dream Chasin (3-1)-This will be the 3rd start of the meet and the 3rd lifetime start at CalX. Has been facing tougher and loses Plano as he steers #2 from his barn. Svendsen should get a good seat and be in striking range turning for the money.Race 71-Chase The Gold (9/2)-Comes off a nice win versus this kind last week and should be in line for another good trip. Probably won't be 12-1 but could take another picture.2-Ivar (9/2)-Like the one above this another from the Schneider barn who won last, and it was the 1st start on Lasix. Could look to get on the point as in last and make every call a winning one.8-Believe In Dragons (4-1)-This is 3rd Schneider entry and has had 2 nice starts after being off since May. The post helps the price and will take a swing Plano provides a sharp steer. Best to not overlook, may close fastest of all.Race 83-Delightfully Wild (6-1)-This 8-year-old came out ready, posted an easy win and now moves up. Should be a solid price and has done well at CalX. Posted a 152.2 mark in the summer and has won 26 of 72 starts here.5-Go Away N Play (6-1)-Has a win and a close 2nd place finish in 2 CalX races this meet. The last start was at this level and almost popped at 43-1, won't be that price here but should provide value.6-River Lassena (4-1)-Came off the bench, raced inside and then was blocked down the lane. Not sure the tough trip cost a win but figures to be a player tonight.Race 91-Dark Horse Wine (12-1)-This is a soft group, and this mare drops. Appears more competitive than most and is worth a swing at this price.5-Skyway Raider (9/5)-Comes off an even 1st local start. Had been facing better at HoP and Haw but is only 1-23 this year. Should like the company but probably won't offer any value.My Ticket Race 6) 4,5,7 Race 7) 1,2,8 Race 8) 3,5,6 Race 9) 1,5Total Ticket Cost) $10.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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12.3.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Gulfstream What You Need to Know | Friday, December 3

Jeff Siegel’s “What Your Need to Know”Gulfstream Park – December 3, 2021FIFTH RACE – Here’s a second-level allowance/optional claiming turf sprint that showcases the California invader Tilted Towers, a second-off-the-claim play for M. Maker exiting a stronger race at a similar level at Del Mar last month. A relatively lightly-raced five-year-old gelding (just 12 starts), the son of Atreides broke a step slow and lost his chance to keep pace early with the extremely quick course specialist Mikes Tiznow but stayed on well to finish a respectable fourth in a race that produced a solid speed figure. With a better break today, he could be on the lead, though he’s shown in the past the ability to successfully stalk and pounce when the situation requires it. Also worth noting is his recent main track drill since arriving at Gulfstream Park – a bullet half mile in :47 flat breezing, fastest of 150 for the distance – that should have him on edge.Worth considering in the various exotics is The Virginian, not quite as fast on numbers as our top selection but dangerous nonetheless over a course (first or second in five of 10 starts) that he clearly appreciates. The S. Klesaris-trained gelding likely will be doing his best work from off the pace but with some help up front could be heard from in the closing stages. As for Shekky Shebaz, he’s been a beaten choice in four of his last five starts and clearly isn’t one to trust. A Claiming Crown winner over this course in distance two years ago, the Capo Blanco gelding vans down from New York showing a brief and sketchy work tab, so we’ll take a stand against him and if he beats us, he beats us.SIXTH RACE – The Wait A While Stakes is a turf miler for juvenile fillies and appears fairly competitive with several possibilities. Sister Lou Ann gets the worst of the draw (nine of nine) but may be a filly of some quality. Second sprinting on dirt in her debut after blowing the start and then getting tagged close home, she stretched out successfully over the Tapeta surface when relaxing beautifully on the lead and then kicking home with authority when given her cue at the head of the lane. By Frosted from a Kitten’s Joy mare, she’s clearly bred to improve with distance and maturity, and while a change in style will be required considering her poor draw and the projected race flow, the S. Joseph, Jr.-trained filly strikes us as a versatile type that should be able to rally from anywhere. She’s already won on dirt and synthetic and should love turf, too, owning to the bottom side of her pedigree. For a video analysis of her chances, Click HereLia Marina was a visually pleasing third in a strong maiden turf sprint at Saratoga in her debut in August and then was predictably hit hard on the tote when knocked down 4/5 in her most recent start last month at Belmont Park. The C. Clement-trained filly delivered but was hard pressed to do so, actually earning a lower speed figure in victory than she did when finishing third (beaten almost four lengths) in her first outing. Despite here pedigree (Uncle Mo x Giant’s Causeway) she’s a short-striding type and therefore not a slam dunk to improve over a distance of ground, though she’s likely to settle somewhere in mid-pack behind a projected quicker-than-par early pace and then have every chance to pick up the pieces close home.English invader Sunstrike has been facing infinitely tougher foes in her most recent four starts – all legitimate stakes races – and while she’s failed to land a blow since winning an all-weather maiden sprint last June, the daughter of Dark Angel should fit very nicely on this circuit at this level. The B. Walsh-trained filly looked decent in a team drill around dogs at Palm Meadows Nov. 28, and as the most experienced filly in the field must be given serious consideration.TENTH RACE – Here’s a good place to take a shot. The Pulpit Stakes is a one mile turf event for juvenile colts, and much of the action – and deservedly so – will go to Red Danger, already a grass stakes winner (at Kentucky Downs) and most recently a respectable runner-up on dirt in the Street Sense S. at Churchill Downs in late October. His numbers have been steadily rising, he’s back on what probably is his preferred surface, and he had a nice recent breeze at Palm Meadows since shipping to South Florida. It all adds up to his favorite’s role, but a decent colt can beat him and we’re wondering if there’s one in here that offers a better price.Perhaps Always Gambling fits the bill. Listed at 12-1 on the morning line, the son or Tamarkuz from a mare by Exchange Rate has the pedigree to run long on the lawn, and with two very good outings over the local Tapeta surface he’s half-way there to success on grass. With the always-popular two-sprints-and-a-route pattern for a barn that has solid stats with this angle, he has the expectation that that he’ll move forward under these conditions and already is competitive based on his one-turn speed figures. Likely to settle off the pace and do his best work form the top of the lane to the wire, the J. Avila-trained sophomore will have his chances increase if the early pace is quick and competitive.

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12.3.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Gulfstream Stakes Picks | Friday, December 3

Friday’s opening day card at Gulfstream Park for the Championship Meet includes a pair of stakes co-features. To assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Gulfstream Park // Race 6 // 2:28 pm ET // $75,000 Wait A While Stakes // 1 mile (turf)#3 Last Leaf (12-1) // 28%W#8 Lia Marina (7-2) // 21%W#1 Gun Boat (4-1) // 10%W#4 Lemieux (5-2) // 10%WGulfstream Park // Race 10 // 4:32 pm ET // $75,000 Pulpit Stakes // 1 mile (turf)#3 C My Meister (8-1) // 29%W#2 Eldon’s Prince (6-1) // 16%W#12 Speaking Scout (10-1) // 13%W#5 Red Danger (5-2) // 10%W

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12.1.2021:

Jon White: 2021 Cigar Mile Picks | Saturday, December 4

In what will be the final big day of racing in New York this year, Aqueduct presents a 10-race card this Saturday topped by the Grade I Cigar Mile. The $750,000 Cigar Mile is named in honor of the 1995-96 Horse of the Year and 2002 Hall of Fame inductee. This year’s renewal has attracted a field of eight. The Cigar Mile is a handicap, a type of race that has become a racing rarity these days. Of the 22 nominees, Happy Saver was assigned top weight of 124 pounds. But he was not entered. Happy Saver carried 121 pounds and, in a splendid try, finished second in last Friday’s Grade I, $750,000 Clark Stakes at Churchill Downs. Off at odds of 12-1, Happy Saver lost by only a half-length to Maxfield, who was appearing under silks for the final time before heading off to a new career as a sire. Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher trains Happy Saver. Pletcher told me that the Grade I winner will continue racing in 2022. Aloha West was handed 123 pounds for the Cigar Mile. The 4-year-old Maryland-bred Hard Spun colt won the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar on Nov. 6 for owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trainer Wayne Catalano. On Nov. 24, Aloha West worked four furlongs in :49.40 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. However, Aloha West, like Happy Saver, was not entered in the Cigar Mile. Aloha West will focus instead on a 2022 campaign, BloodHorse’s Bob Ehalt reported. Eclipse president and founder Aron Wellman said that he is not interested in shipping and running Aloha West so soon after his Breeders’ Cup victory, according to Ehalt. “The horse always comes first and we don’t want to ask too much of him,” Wellman said. “We don’t want to compromise what we anticipate being a huge season in 2022 by traveling and running again in such close proximity. We have no plans at this time other to hopefully work our way backwards from next year’s Breeders’ Cup.” Ginobili is being sent to New York from Southern California to accept the 122 pounds he is being asked to carry in the Cigar Mile. Below are my Cigar Mile selections: 1. Independence Hall2. Ginobili3. Americanrevolution4. Following Sea To be perfectly frank, I have never been an Independence Hall fan. He generated much hype after recording a 101 Beyer Speed Figure when he won the Grade III Nashua Stakes by 12 1/4 lengths as a 2-year-old at Aqueduct in 2019. Ever since the Nashua, I have always looked at Independence Hall as being overrated. I’d say that the record indicates I was correct to have that view of him in that he’s lost eight of 11 starts since the Nashua. But a primary reason Independence Hall is my top selection in the Cigar Mile is it appears to me that trainer Michael McCarthy has him primed for a big performance that could land him in the winner’s circle. I am not going to hold Independence Hall’s defeat in Del Mar’s Grade I Pacific Classic on Aug. 21 against him. It was asking a lot of him to run in that 1 1/4-mile affair when he had not raced since April 17. Independence Hall finished fifth at odds of 11-1 and logged a 95 Beyer Speed Figure. In his next start, Independence Hall encountered an equine buzzsaw in the form of Knicks Go in the Grade III Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs on Oct. 2. A two-turn win machine, Knicks Go won that 1 1/8-mile race by four lengths. Independence Hall finished second and came away with a 98 Beyer, an improvement off his 95 in the Pacific Classic. After the Lukas Classic, Independence Hall ran what I believe might well have been the best race of his career to date. Competing on a sloppy track, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Constitution colt splashed his way to a 2 1/4-length win in Keeneland’s Grade II Fayette Stakes on Oct. 30. He recorded a robust 105 Beyer Speed Figure. And so Independence Hall heads into the Cigar Mile off a career-best Beyer. Perhaps his impressive Fayette victory was fueled by the sloppy strip. After all, that made him three for three on wet tracks. But I also think there is a chance that Independence Hall is just really on his game right now. McCarthy is demonstrating time and again that he is adept at having a horse ready for a peak effort in an important event. A recent example of this was how McCarthy had Ce Ce so finely tuned to run a winning race in the Grade I BC Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar on Nov. 6. This will be Independence Hall’s final start before he goes to stud. I very nearly made Ginobili my top pick in the Cigar Mile. I may regret not doing that. Trained by Richard Baltas, Ginobili won only one of his first 11 career starts, all without blinkers. His top Beyer during that time was a 90. Since having blinkers added to his equipment, Ginobili has improved significantly. In his first race with blinkers, Ginobili won a Del Mar allowance/optional claiming race by 9 3/4 lengths at one mile on July 27. The Kentucky-bred Munnings colt registered a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. Proving the 104 was not a fluke, Ginobili recorded a 102 Beyer when he moved up substantially in class and won Del Mar’s Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes with blinkers at seven furlongs on Aug. 28. After the Grade II victory, Ginobili wore blinkers again when he started in the Grade I BC Dirt Mile at Del Mar on Nov. 6. Life Is Good won with authority by 5 3/4 lengths. Many felt that win by Life Is Good was the best performance in any of this year’s 14 Breeders’ Cup races. Ginobili actually did well to finish second behind such a beast. I also gave serious consideration to making Americanrevolution my top pick in the Cigar Mile. I certainly will not be surprised if he wins. Americanrevolution, trained by Pletcher, has won four of five starts this year. The Constitution colt is coming off a scintillating 11 3/4-length win against New York-breds in the 1 1/8-mile Empire Classic Handicap, which was contested on a sloppy track Oct. 30 at Belmont Park. In his lone defeat this year, Americanrevolution finished third in the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing on Sept. 25. He faced a couple of tough foes on that occasion in the victorious Hot Rod Charlie and runner-up Midnight Bourbon. Hot Rod Charlie ran fourth in the subsequent Grade I BC Classic. Midnight Bourbon went on to finish third as the 6-5 favorite in last Friday’s Clark. I was sky high on Following Sea earlier this year. In fact, he was my top pick in Monmouth Park’s Grade I Haskell Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on July 17. But Following Sea let me down that day by finishing a well-beaten third. Following Sea went back to sprinting after the Haskell. He finished third to Jackie’s Warrior and Life Is Good in Saratoga’s Grade I H. Allen Jerkens Memorial at seven furlongs on Aug. 28, then cruised to a 4 3/4-length win vs. his elders in the Grade II Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 9. After the Vosburgh, Following Sea had a troubled trip in the Grade I BC Sprint when he was steadied at the top of the lane. Would Following Sea have won that race without the trouble? Maybe. At the very least, I think he would have ended up closer to one-two finishers Aloha West and Dr. Schivel. A reason that I’m rather reluctant to pick Following Sea to win the Cigar is I’m still stinging a bit from how he ran when asked to race farther than seven furlongs in the Haskell. But in fairness to him, the one-turn one-mile Cigar Mile might well be a better fit for him than the two-turn 1 1/8-mile Haskell. Also, Following Sea just might be a better, more mature racehorse now than he was in July. If you are a horseplayer, you know full well how it often goes. When I loved Following Sea in the Haskell, he finished a bad third. Now, when I am trying to beat Following Sea, he’s eligible to go out there and drill them in the Cigar Mile while figuratively thumbing his nose at me. “ALL OTHER MALES” ODDS-ON IN FUTURE WAGER Not surprisingly, the “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” option closed as an overwhelming favorite last Sunday in Pool 1 of the 2022 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) conducted by Churchill Downs. “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts & Geldings” was reported by Churchill to have “closed as the 3-5 favorite.” More specifically, this option closed as the 7-10 favorite, meaning that you would win $70 for a $100 wager. In addition to the “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” option, the “Any 3-Year-Old Filly” option closed at 41-1. Those who bet the “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” option in Pool 1 of the 2021 KDFW at odds of 6-5 cashed when Medina Spirit finished first in the Kentucky Derby. Media Spirit was 12-1 on race day. As for the 22 individual horses in Pool 1 of the 2022 KDFW, Smile Happy was 20-1 last Saturday prior to winning the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths later in the day to remain undefeated in two starts. Smile Happy then was 15-1 last Sunday afternoon before Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale plunked $10,000 on him. Following McIngvale’s wager, Smile Happy’s odds plummeted and the colt closed as the 8-1 favorite among individual horses. McIngvale raced Smile Happy’s sire, the 2015 Eclipse Award-winning male sprinter Runhappy. As Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee noted, McIngvale “is widely known in the racing industry as a tireless promoter of Runhappy” as a sire. Kenny McPeek trains Smile Happy. McPeek also conditions Tiz the Bomb and Rattle N Roll. Tiz the Bomb, runner-up in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, was scratched from the Kentucky Jockey Club due to an infection in his left foreleg. The Kentucky-bred Hit It a Bomb colt closed at 24-1 in Pool 1 of the KDFW. Rattle N Roll won Keeneland’s Grade I Breeders’ Futurity by 4 1/4 lengths on Oct. 9, but then missed the BC Juvenile due to a hind foot setback. The Kentucky-bred Connect colt is to resume training within the next couple of weeks, according to McPeek. Rattle N Roll closed at 21-1 in Pool 1 of the KDFW. Meanwhile, before wagering in the KDFW began last week, a Churchill Downs news release stated that “Pool 1 assumes the horses under the care of trainers suspended from competing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby will not be under consideration. To that end, prospects Corniche, Messier, Pinehurst and Rockefeller are not among the 22 individual betting interests and are included in the pari-mutuel field” also known as the “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts & Geldings” option. Corniche, a $1.5 million auction purchase, is three for three. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert trains the BC Juvenile winner and odds-on favorite to be voted an Eclipse Award as 2-year-old male champion. Baffert also trains Messier, Pinehurst and Rockefeller. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman reported Monday that Corniche has been sent to WinStar Farm in Kentucky for a brief freshening, but the plan is for him to return to trainer Bob Baffert, according to Marette Farrell, who purchased the colt for owners Speedway Stable. Corniche was sent to Kentucky on Nov. 24. After his time at WinStar, Farrell said he will return to Baffert’s barn at Santa Anita. “Baffert is barred from Churchill Downs, including the next two Kentucky Derbies,” Privman wrote. “If Corniche is to be pointed to the May 7 Derby, and if there is no change in Baffert’s status with Churchill Downs, Corniche will have to be moved to another trainer in order to accumulate qualifying points to earn a berth in the field. No points were awarded to Corniche for his wins in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile or American Pharoah owing to Baffert’s status.” Speedway Stables is owned by Houston residents Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner. “Peter wants to be loyal,” Farrell said in an obvious reference to Baffert. “Corniche won the Breeders’ Cup, and he’s a possible 2-year-old champion. No decisions have been made -- there hasn’t even been any talk about another trainer, or who he’d go to if he needs to go to another trainer. If the time comes that a decision needs to be made, if it needs to be made that way, we’ll put our heads together and make a decision.” As of Monday, Corniche was listed as the 6-1 favorite for the 2022 Kentucky Derby by Caesars Sportsbook at William Hill Nevada. Messier was 16-1. Jack Christopher and Smile Happy were each 20-1. Jack Christopher was the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the Nov. 5 BC Juvenile, but he was scratched on the advice of the veterinarians due to a left shin issue. BloodHorse’s Byron King reported Nov. 16 that Jack Christopher “had a screw inserted in his left shin by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Larry Bramlage, said Bradley Weisbord, racing manager for the colt’s co-owner, Jim Bakke.” Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud and Peter Brant are also members of the Jack Christopher ownership group. “Due to a couple areas lighting up [on a bone scan], mainly the left shin, he had a procedure done on that shin and he’s going to be out for two months,” said Weisbord, a bloodstock agent whose clients include Bakke and Isbister. “So we will start him back [training] in early 2022 at WinStar Farm and then ship him to Palm Meadows and start his campaign in South Florida.” Chad Brown trains Jack Christopher. The Kentucky-bred Munnings colt won a six-furlong maiden race by 8 3/4 lengths when unveiled at Saratoga on Aug. 28, then took the Champagne by 2 3/4 lengths. There will be four more KDFW pools (Jan. 21-13, Feb. 11-13, March 11-13 and March 31-April 2. A 2022 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will be offered March 11-13. Below are the final odds reported by Churchill Downs for Pool 1 of the 2022 KDFW: 3-5 “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts & Geldings”8-1 Smile Happy10-1 Jack Christopher21-1 Rattle N Roll23-1 Pappacap24-1 Tiz the Bomb25-1 Gunite31-1 Comandperformance37-1 Giant Game37-1 Mo Donegal41-1 “All 3-Year-Old Fillies”43-1 Howling Time43-1 Major General44-1 Classic Causeway52-1 Epicenter54-1 Varatti56-1 Zandon66-1 Ben Diesel72-1 Double Thunder87-1 Oviatt Class98-1 Trafalgar133-1 Graphic Detail138-1 Forced Ranking155-1 Tapiture KENTUCKY DERBY SIRE WAGERING The 2022 Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager once again was offered at the same time as Pool 1 of the KDFW. In terms of sire wagering, the “All Others” option closed as the 7-2 favorite. Runhappy was 7-1, lowest odds among the 23 individual sires. The DRF’s McGee reported that McIngvale made a $3,000 wager on Runhappy. Gun Runner was the third choice in the sire wager at 9-1. He was the only other sire to close at lower than 10-1. Below are the final odds for the 2022 Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager: 7-2 “All Others”7-1 Runhappy9-1 Gun Runner10-1 Quality Road14-1 Into Mischief16-1 Empire Maker17-1 Curlin18-1 Munnings18-1 Tapit20-1 American Pharoah23-1 Not This Time24-1 Giant’s Causeway25-1 Uncle Mo29-1 Union Rags32-1 Medaglia d’Oro33-1 Practical Joke37-1 Candy Ride40-1 Nyquist41-1 Street Sense45-1 Violence48-1 Twirling Candy53-1 Pioneerof the Nile75-1 Speightstown76-1 Mastery  

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11.29.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, November 29

Northfield Park has a 14-race card scheduled with the $1.00 Late Pick 4 starting in Race 11. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 112-Tump That (5-1)-Won and then faced tougher than this crew and had an even effort. Could make the most of the drop and there isn't a true standout in this group.5-Beauty Desires (5/2)-Trip dependent 5-year-old can take a picture but needs to be put in play early. Should be tough to catch if Davis can get on the lead before turning for the wire.6-Midnight Matt (6-1)-Made every call a winning one when dropped to this level last week. Having a recent win at this class is something no one else in this field can claim.Race 121-Rose Run Wassup (9/5)-Raced on Wednesday night and broke stride at the start at 1/9. Trainer takes the lines here and the short price is hard to swallow but should be a player versus this group if minds manners.2-Lady Fireworks (5-1)-Lost as an 8/5 chalk in last and that was on 11-15. Now makes the 1st start for the Kreiser barn and has hit the board in 4 of 8 here with 1 win. Will look for improvement in a race without much form.8-From Now On (20-1)-Price shot had a nice effort versus this kind and then bumped up and broke stride. Had a big try in the last start from the 2nd tier and did stay trotting. Can challenge if Lems provides a sharp steer.Race 132-Dragon Ruler (8/5)-Drops to the level of the last picture which came on 10-3 from the rail. Merriman has the gate speed to get on the engine and could steal a quarter. No excuses allowed, this should be go-time.Race 142-Priceless Shadow (3-1)-One of 2 from the Clegg barn with Merriman steering #6. This post helps the cause, should be on the point or sitting right behind the morning line choice #5.5-Feverslastcruise (9/5)-Camera shy filly is only 1-25 this year but comes off a win. Wrenn should be looking to get on the point again and to not look back.6-The Kings Queen (9-1)-Ontario bred makes the 2nd local start and tries Lasix for the 2nd time. Comes back at the same level and some money showed in the last start from the 8-hole. Could offer a nice return here and it's best to respect.7-Sunshine Queen (6-1)-Has been 1st or 2nd in all 5 starts since going on Lasix. Moves-up, Merriman takes a seat and has good gate speed. Will look for an aggressive steer and should offer a solid price.My Ticket Race 11) 2,5,6 Race 12) 1,2,8 Race 13) 2 Race 14) 2,5,6,7Total Ticket Cost) = $36 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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11.28.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, November 28

Pompano Park has a 9-race card set to begin the week. The popular 0.50 Pick 4 starts in Race 6. The sequence has a $15,000 guaranteed pool with a low 12% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 65-Maxdaddy Blue Chip (2-1)-Hoosier invader has been very good in both local starts. Took control into a 53.4 1st half last week and never looked back. Steps-up up but so does the entire field and should be battling #6 for top honors.6-Double Metal (5/2)-Fled the scene in last to draw-off by 8 lengths and notched the 7th win in 24 starts. Finished the mile in the same time as the one above but was in softer. Now faces tougher in an interesting "match" race.Race 72-Warrawee Veloce (9/5)-Raced well in last but Double Metal was a standout winner. Hennessey should leave and either be on the point or in the 2-hole, and either trip could lead to a picture.8-Trashytonguetalker (3-1)-Moves up after an impressive win and Plano should have the pedal down and look to land on the engine. The start will be key, and this 9-year-old could stay good again.Race 84-Lincolnjames (2-1)-Was used hard into a 53.4 opening half and faded down the lane. Hennessey sticks and the trip should be kinder this time. But will likely be a small price and this is a bump up in class.5-Busboy Hanover (5-1)-Came off the bench to face a 149.4 winner and should fare better here. Could land in the pocket behind the one above and the price should be right.7-Prairie Panther (4-1)-This is a scattered bunch and technically this is a move-up in class but has beaten this kind before. Was in versus a run-away winner in last and best to respect tonight.Race 91-Brilliant Strike N (3-1)-Makes the 1st start for the Tee Wine barn after a claim and lands in a nice spot. Fits here and should make the most of this post draw so an encore could happen.4-Rockntouch (8-1)-Came off a sick scratch, raced well at this level and then moved up and was in too tough. This veteran drops and might be sitting on a big try. Could post an overdue win at a big price.8-Saulsbrook Deputy (4-1)-Makes its 3rd local start and fits with this group. This was Boyd's choice over #3, does need an honest pace and should get one. Paced the 2nd half in 55.2 last week and there is speed inside so could finish fastest of all.My Ticket Race 6) 5,6 Race 7) 2,8 Race 8) 4,5,7 Race 9) 1,4,8Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.28.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Sunday, November 28

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Big Mama Sue; 2-Taming the Tigress; 6-Big ClareForecast: The Sunday opener matches state-bred fillies and mares who are quite familiar with each other. There’s very little to separate the three listed above, so in a race that we’re not planning to play, all three should be used in rolling exotic play. Based on today’s nine furlong trip, we’ll give a very slight edge on top to Big Clare, a one-paced grinding type whose best career effort – a runner-up performance two races back – was accomplished at this nine furlong distance. F. Prat rode the P. D’Amato-trained filly on that occasion and is back aboard today, so at 5/2 on the morning line she may be the one that deserves the closest look.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: XSingle: 3-Today’s FlavorForecast: Today’s Flavor is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite in this main track miler, but we have a hard time believing he won’t be odds-on. An excellent runner-up in his recent comeback in a fast, highly-rated sprint, the son of Laoban stretches out to a distance he’s bred to enjoy and projects to be the controlling speed, though if Vetoed is committed to the front end the D. O’Neill-trained colt should be able to draft in behind him and bide his time. If he winds up being too short on the tote, you can at least use him as a short-priced, rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Optimizing; 3-Derecho Dandy; 9-Get Back Goldie; 10-VerbalForecast: As is typical for a two-year-old turf stakes race this time of year, the Cecil B. DeMille S.-G3 brings together a number of highly-regarded prospects that are at various stages of development. What you see in the past performance charts may not be what you get, so we’ll spread the race in rolling exotic play while hoping to get a price horse home. Verbal won his debut over a mile on grass at Belmont Park last month in stylish fashion, settling off the pace and then easily taking control when given his cue. The son of Flintshire should have plenty of pace today to compliment his closing style, so under the assumption that he’ll move forward with that bit of experience behind him the C. Brown-trained colt logically deserves top billing. Optimising, a good second in the Qatar Golden Mile S. over this course and distance three weeks ago, is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from his favorable rail draw and should have every chance if good enough. Derecho Dandy graduated cleverly in his first grass try last month, and though able to make the running in that race before kicking home, the son of Connect strikes us as one that can be taken back if the pace flow dictates. Get Back Goldie earned a big figure when graduating as much best at this distance on grass at Santa Anita but did so in a maiden $50,000 claiming affair. Clearly, this is a much more difficult spot but based strictly on numbers he’s got a chance, so we’ll toss him in.Notable Workouts:Derecho Dandy (November 21, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1h TT). Grade: B-Steady, even-keeled solo training track drill for Sadler, splits of :24.2, :36.3 and 1:01.1, niggled at a bit through the lane but never really asked. Improving with racing, doesn’t have a great turn of foot but should improve as the distances increase.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Got Thunder; 5-NewgrangeForecast: Maiden juveniles sprint six furlongs in a field that includes two very highly-regarded first time starters. Got Thunder is a strong, powerful colt with plenty of natural talent, though we suspect he’ll eventually do his best work over a distance of ground. The J. Sadler-trained son of Arrogate, a half-brother to the multiple Grade-1 stakes winning turf miler Heart to Heart, brought $750,000 in the OBS April Sale, where he previewed in 10 seconds flat, and has displayed enough early speed and athleticism in local morning drills to be extremely competitive sprinting on dirt. Newgrange, a debuting son of Violence trained by B. Baffert, is another that has caught the eye in workouts and seems fit, ready, and extremely talented. There are others in the field that can run as well, but these are the two that stick out and both should be included in rolling exotic play, with a very slight edge on top to Got Thunder.Notable Workouts:Got Thunder (November 20, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.4hg). Grade: B+Wasn’t particularly quick leaving the gate but displayed good speed once in motion while in company with older stable mate Southern Horse (5f, 1:00hg) for J. Sadler, never really asked much while clearly best with splits of :24.2, :47.4 and 1:00.1 on our watches, a couple of ticks slower than given but nice nonetheless, then galloped to the wire in 1:14.3. Plenty of ability, strikes us as a colt who will eventually show his best with experience and distance.View Workout VideoNewgrange (November 17, Santa Anita, 4f, :47hg). Grade: B+Very impressive gate drill for B. Baffert while even but best with Montebello (same time), splits of :24.2, :35.4 :47 flat and :59.3 while galloping out five furlongs and then up at the wire in 1:13.2. Colt by Violence looks like a real prospect and seems plenty fit.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Dancing Rinca; 3-Shut Up Michael; 8-Crosby BeachForecast: Maiden juveniles compete over a mile on grass in what appears to be a below average race for the level. Time will tell. Shut Up Michael makes his U.S. debut for trainer P. D’Amato (powerful stats with Euro shippers) and the gelded son of Galileo displayed enough ability in his only outing overseas to indicate he’s good enough to be a major player against this group. A series of solid workouts on dirt since arriving in the West should have him plenty fit, so at 4-1 on the morning line he looks as good as any and better than most. Dancing Rinca has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out angle and a bullet five furlong workout (:59.2h) since raced to make him quite dangerous, especially from his good rail post position. The son of Practical Joke exits a pair of very tough races and should find this bunch within his range. Crosby Beach needed the outing when a non-threatening fifth, beaten less than five lengths, in his debut at Santa Anita over this trip and surface. Second-time starting maidens from the M. McCarthy barn usually improve and we’re expecting this son of Gormley to do as well. He’s trained forwardly since raced and lands J. Ortiz, so at 8-1 on the morning line he looks intriguing.Notable Workouts:Crosby Beach (November 20, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade: BVery nice drill without being asked to prove clearly best over Piroli (5f, 1:00.4h) in main track team drill for M. McCarthy, splits of :23.4, :35.3 and 1:00.3, plenty left late. Seems certain to improve after having a race under his belt.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Cosmo; 5-Big Scott DaddyForecast: Cosmo has never been big on winning – he’s 1-for-15 – but in his first start following a $32,000 claim by D. O’Neill, the four year old gelding may be ready for a breakthrough performance. A bullet workout (5f, 1:00.3h) over the Santa Anita training track earlier this month seems significant, his one prior dirt track race (a distant third in the Los Alamitos Derby-G3 behind Uncle Chuck) wasn’t that bad, and his recent numbers are superior to par for this starter’s allowance main track miler. With Johnny V. taking the call and at 5/2 on the morning line, the son of Distorted Humor appears to have found his proper spot. Big Scott Daddy is worth including on your ticket as well. Third in his last pair, the son of Scat Daddy stretches out in his fourth outing following a long layoff, retains F. Prat, and has several back numbers that make him dangerous.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Viadera; 6-Regal GloryForecast: This year’s renewal of the Matriarch S.-G2 drew just six entrants, topped by a pair of Eastern shippers from the C. Brown barn. Regal Glory, first or second in 12 of 15 career outings (including eight wins), most recently finished an excellent runner-up in the First Lady S.-G1 at Keeneland in a performance that produced a career top (103) Beyer speed figure. Regular pilot J. Ortiz most likely will have her settled just off what projects to be a modest pace and then have every opportunity when the pressure is turned on. Brown’s other entrant, Viadera, won this race last year, though she may not quite as sharp now as then. Still, over a course she clearly likes, the English-bred mare has a legitimate look in her first start under turf master F. Prat.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: CUse: 4-Fowler Blue; 6-Heaven’s Music; 8-Indio Mo MoForecast: This maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for state-bred juveniles is a treacherous affair with nothing to trust. Those that project to be well-backed on the tote have holes in their past performance charts, but the long shots have nothing to offer. Tread lightly. Fowler Blue is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite by default. He’s a first-time gelding dropping into a seller for the first time and receiving a break in the weights with the switch to competent bug boy D. Herrera, so there are three positive angles that are apparent to the handicapper. Last spring, he was fairly well regarded but never followed through; perhaps he’ll be better this time around, especially against this softer competition. Heaven’s Music and Indio Mo Mo, two-three finishers in a similar affair here earlier this month, should be in the battle once again. The former, a beaten odds-on favorite in that race, removes blinkers and figures to be prominent throughout, while the latter is a second time starter from a barn that is currently mired in a zero-for-34 streak with this angle (ugh!), but he did close a gap through the lane in his debut while giving hope that he’ll appreciate today’s extra half-furlong.Notable Workouts:Fowler Blue (November 14, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h). Grade: B-In blinkers, chirped to and ridden through the lane, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :36.4 for Mendez. Not bad but needs a drop into the maiden claiming ranks this time around.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Charges Dropped; 7-Tony AnnForecast: The finale is a first-level allowance turf event over nine furlongs for fillies and mares that offers a full field of 12. There are two logical main contenders. Tony Ann was visually impressive graduating in her third career start last month at Santa Anita, winning a grass sprint with complete authority while earning a powerful speed figure that is better than par even for this tougher level. In addition to stepping up in class, she’s being asked to try her luck over a distance of ground, so the task won’t be easy, but the daughter of Cairo Prince has improved dramatically in each of her three career starts, so another forward move hardly would be surprising. She projects to be the controlling speed or at the worst a strong pace presser. Charges Dropped is a Midwest invader with some ability and the one to fear most. In the frame in her last two starts, most recently at Keeneland when earning a career top number, the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid attracts J. Ortiz, is comfortably drawn inside, and is likely to inherit a lovely ground-saving, stalking trip and have every chance from there.Notable Workouts:Charges Dropped (November 13, Santa Anita, 5f, 101.3h). Grade: BCaught her from the half mile pole to the seven furlong pole inside and slightly best with Global Brand (same time), splits of :23.4, :48.3 and 1:01.4, easy early, light coaxing late. Seems in good shape, clearly prefers turf.View Workout Video

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11.28.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Golden Gate | Sunday, November 28

Golden Gate Fields makes for a good stop on my virtual Sunday tour, and it is bookmarked by a pair of strong maiden races that will probably produce from local stars of tomorrow.Featured on the card is a solid starter allowance, which goes as the eighth.The suggested ticket this week amounts to $72, and there are plenty of price plays weaved in with those those that will get a lot of play.Here’s a look at the chosen combatants in the Late Pick 4 that goes from races six through nine.6th Race (6:15 p.m. ET, maiden special weight)PRAYER OF JABEZ barely missed in his only start and the Jonathan Wong stable continues to keep up its 24-percent success rate. Has enough speed to take the fight to them early and has the closing move to be a serious player late.Gets a return engagement from jockey Evin Roman, who has had a good year with his 20-percent winning clip.Also on the ticket: ROYAL ‘N RANDO, WILL IS CHILL, FLOYD KNOWLES.7th Race (6:45 p.m. ET, claiming)MALIBU JEWEL is a price play here as she comes in from a fourth-place finish.Has had a good effort in three of her last four races over Tapeta and has the talent to be in the mix. Goes with ‘blinkers off’ and that could help her relax and retreat from the early pace. Others have a legit chance here, and she could big boost to a Pick 4 payoff.Also on the ticket: BOLD ARTICLE, A J ROCK.8th Race (7:15 p.m. ET, starter allowance)MISS EVER READY weaved through traffic for a solid second-place finish last out in a race that came off the turf. Hasn’t won on this main track but has run well with four seconds in five starts.Gets a good pace setup and can make a strong late run. Trainer Steve Sherman has her running well and can improve on his already impressive 19-percent success rate.Also on the ticket: SKY ON ICE, LA REINE’S LEGACY, MISS EVER READY.9th Race (7:45 p.m. ET, maiden special weight)SQUARE FUN had a pair of thirds in three starts combined at Santa Anita and Del Mar and goes ‘blinkers off’ for her first at Golden Gate Fields.Tired last time out after pressing early. Has been in one 4.5-furlong race and two at five furlongs and could get a more relaxed run going six furlongs. Trainer Doug O’Neill is 19 percent in horses going from dirt to an all-weather surface and is 27 percent here from three wins in 11 starts.Also on the ticket: POWER SURGE, PRAY TO AN ANGEL.My Ticket Race 6) #5 Prayer of Jabez, #6 Royal ‘n Rando, #7 Will Is Chill, #8 Floyd Knowles. Race 7) #1 Malibu Jewel, #3 Bold Article, #6 A J Rock. Race 8) #1 Sky On Ice, #2 La Reine’s Legacy, #4 Torquay, #6 Miss Ever Ready. Race 9) #3 Power Surge, #9 Pray to an Angel, #10 Square Fun. Total Ticket Cost) 5,6,7,8/1,3,6/1,2,4,6/3,9,10 = $72 for $0.50

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11.27.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Meadowlands Late Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, November 27

Tonight, the Meadowlands has a 13-race program with the first post coming at 6:20 EST. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 10. The sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 102-Let It Ride N (3-1)-Nifty Norman 8-year-old doesn't race often but is usually ready to battle when he does. Scorched the 2nd half in .53 and still fell short by a 1/2 length in last. Fits well with this group and Dunn should have him in play when the gate opens.4-Workin Ona Mystery (2-1)-Comes off a big effort with a late charge to finish 2nd in the TVG Open. Tetrick will not be too far back when he gets rolling and has a big shot to take a picture here.Race 111-Darkrshadeofpale N (6-1)-Needs a top try at this level but there isn't a standout in this bunch and is TMac's choice over #2. Could benefit from an efficient trip and use one big move down the lane to roll by.3-Alicorn (7/2)-Returns to M1 and drops into a soft spot. AMac picked over #7 and had an excuse last week. Has won 2 of 8 here and with a big effort a trip to the winner's circle could happen.Race 123-Bettor Notbitter A (6-1)-This veteran doesn't make many visits to the Big M but cashes checks when there. Has hit the board in 9 of 12 with 3 wins and gets needed class relief tonight. Should race near the top of the stack and the price should be right.6-Thndrfrmthethron N (3-1)-Ships in from Philly and Gingras has gate speed to work with to get a good early seat. Has 3 wins in 17 M1 starts, and this Burke trainee is here for a reason.7-Luck N Roll K (4-1)-Raced okay with Dunn from the 9-hole in last and had missed a start. That was the 1st race at the Big M with a professional driver since coming back to town. Has done good work here hitting the board in 15 of 30 starts with 6 wins. Should be put in play early on, and best to not overlook.Race 134-Mr D's Dragon (9/2)-This race is a real taffy pull and Gingras takes seat after 3 straight amateur driver races. If there is an honest pace this 8-year-old could roll by down the lane.5-Our Regal Idea N (5-1)-Makes the 2nd start in the Blumenfeld barn which has been as cold as ice all year. But comes off a Big M race and showed more form than the rest of the field. TMac steers and is worth a swing at the morning line odds.7-Bay Brute (5/2)-Not crazy about the price but this is a soft spot and could easily win if stays on stride. Has broke in the last 2 starts which were at Phl and didn't hit the board in both M1 races. But versus this crew this 3-year-old still merits morning line favoritism.8-Rise Up Now (8-1)-Makes the 3rd start in the Eldred barn which is posting 25% winners over the past 30 days. Usually races on the half in Batavia but did show a 153.3 mile on a larger oval at VD. Dunn steers, and looks to be in the mix at a nice price with the right trip.My Ticket Race 10) 2,4 Race 11) 1,3 Race 12) 3,6,7 Race 13) 4,5,7,8Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.27.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Saturday, November 27

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Li Mu Bai; 4-Gregory’s Pride; 10-AppreciatedForecast: The Saturday opener is a challenging first-level allowance optional claiming turf miler with lots of possibilities. Let’s shoot for a price. Li Mu Bai, listed at 10-1 on the morning line, makes his U.S. debut for R. Baltas and shows a bullet five furlong main track drill (58 4/5 seconds) earlier this month that catches the eye. Just before being imported, the Irish invader earned a career-top Timeform rating when pulling off a 9-1 upset in a 15-runner handicap at Navan in August, overcoming traffic trouble to produce a good turn of foot to win in good style. He’ll race with blinkers and Lasix for the first time and will be piloted by V. Espinoza, who has gotten some live calls from this barn of late. Gregory’s Pride stretches out for the first time and has the pedigree to handle the trip. His numbers are gradually rising, and in a field lacking in early speed the son of Tamarkuz projects to be comfortably placed on or near the lead. He’ll need to produce another forward move to win but with just six career starts the P. D’Amato-trained gelding could have plenty more to give. Additionally, the barn’s “go-to” rider U. Rispoli (35% this meeting) takes the call. Appreciated is hung out much wider than we’d prefer from the 10-hole, but the D. O’Neill-trained gelding is in good form and will be dangerous if he can get over before the clubhouse turn to avoid losing ground. The son of Acclamation is a versatile type and has shown he can be tough on the front end or from a mid-pack early position.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Little Miss Ellie; 5-With This VowForecast: With This Vow has trained like she’s fit and ready for her first start in 15 months and in a sign of confidence returns protected in this starter’s allowance extended sprint for fillies and mares. The barn has had a slow year, but this daughter of Broken Vow is good enough to win with anything close to her best stuff and should enjoy a pristine trip from her cozy outside draw. Little Miss Ellie deserves strong consideration as well, though her morning line of 6/5 seems a little short. She was three lengths clear of the rest when second vs. similar at Santa Anita last month and a repeat of that race today makes her a major player.Notable Workouts:With This Vow (November 19, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:14.1h). Grade: BSolo six furlong drill on the comeback trail for R. Ellis, slow early but strong late, splits of :26.2, :38.2 :49.4 and 1:14.1, ridden a bit through the lane while responding well enough. Off the track since August of 2020 but is returning in good health and seems fairly fit. Has starter’s allowance conditions.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Lucky Girl; 3-Sterling Crest; 5-Duvet Day; 8-Annie’s SongForecast: This grass grab bag for maiden juvenile fillies over a mile requires as much coverage in rolling exotic play as your budget allows. Annie’s Song, in the frame when facing much tougher winners at Newmarket in her two most recent outings prior to importation, has looked quite good in the a.m. for M. Glatt, and with F. Prat taking the call looks extremely well-meant in her U.S. debut. She displayed improvement in each of her four starts overseas and should be ready to pick up where she left off, so at 4-1 on the morning line, we’ll put her on top. Sterling Crest appears the one to fear most. A strong runner-up in her debut before finishing a respectable fourth in the Surfer Girl S. at Santa Anita, the R. Baltas-trained filly returns to the maiden ranks, sports a steady, healthy work tab at San Luis Rey Downs, and retains U. Rispoli. Lucky Girl ran below expectations when a non-threatening seventh in her U.S. bow last month but picks up Johnny V., lands the good rail and has worked well in the interim, so she’ll have no excuses today. Duvet Day, second in both of her starts in Ireland, is yet another foreigner with credentials to be competitive. With J. Ortiz taking the call for M. McCarthy, the daughter of Starspangledbanner is worth using somewhere on your ticket.Notable Workouts:Duvet Day (November 20, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.1h). Grade: B-Mostly on her own while even but a tad the best with Girl Ranger (same time) for M. McCarthy, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :37.1. Showed some ability in a pair of outings last summer in Ireland and may be a useful type of maiden juvenile filly on this circuit. Probably prefers turf.View Workout VideoAnnie’s Song (November 22, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.1h TT). Grade: BWorked outside Cuban Crisis (same time) in training track drill for M. Glatt and was a bit the best without urging, final three furlongs in a solid :35.4 (may have gone a bit faster than official clocking). Seems to have some ability, placed in good company in England and should be extremely live vs. maidens when making her U.S. debut.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Miss Alegria; 5-DozoForecast: Dozo was a voided claim when winning a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming sprint at Santa Anta last month, so she was returned to the S. Knapp barn and recently looked quite sharp in a half mile drill (47 2/5 seconds, fourth fastest of 47) that should have her ready for another good effort. A winner of three races from just seven career starts, the daughter of Coil may have her issues, but she knows where the wire is and projects to be the controlling speed in a race that is likely to produce soft early fractions. Class-dropper Miss Alegria switches to F. Prat and has previous speed figures that put her squarely in the hunt. At 9/5 on the morning line, the P. Miller-trained daughter of Munnings is the likely choice and one to beat.Notable Workouts:Dozo (November 21, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.2h). Grade: BWas a voided claim last time out but looked fine here in solo half mile main track drill for S. Knapp, splits of :23 flat and :47.3 on our watches, mild urging only. Should be set for a good effort based on this move.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Flop Shot; 7-Sacred LifeForecast: C. Brown holds the aces in this year’s renewal of the Seabiscuit S.-G3 over a middle distance on grass for older runners. Stable mates Sacred Life and Flop Shot both have credentials to win, with ‘Life listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite. The French-bred veteran captured the Knickerbocker S.-G3 at Belmont Park last month with a strong late surge and nothing more will be needed today for a repeat score. First or second in 14 of 21 career starts, he’s always been thoroughly genuine and consistent. Flop Shot was a Group-3 stakes winner in France in his younger days and appears to be rounding back to top form, although still seeking his first victory in the States. He’ll race without blinkers while retaining I. Ortiz, Jr. and likely will receive the patient ride he prefers. Sacred Life gets top billing, but both should be included in rolling exotic play.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Awesome Taylor; 6-YouteyourhonorForecast: Awesome Taylor is a maiden tackling winners, but she earned a speed figure in her debut when a close runner-up that far exceeds the competition in this starter optional claimer for juvenile fillies. The P. Miller-trained daughter of Classic Empire switches to I. Ortiz, Jr. and should improve a ton with that race under her belt and today’s extra furlong to work with. There’s value here at 2-1 on the morning line, though we suspect she’ll go lower. Youteyourhonor probably is worth including as protection on a ticket or two. Much slower on numbers than our top pick but adding blinkers and landing the cozy outside draw, the daughter of Danzing Candy seems certain to improve; the question is how much?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Awake At Midnyte; 3-Tezzaray; 11-Helens WellForecast: Awake At Midnyte was a visually pleasing winner in her debut sprinting on dirt at Santa Anita last month and today moves into stakes competition, stretches out to a mile, and switches to grass. She appears to be a decent sort of filly but certainly will have to be in order to take this much more difficult task in stride. A good-moving, athletic daughter of Nyquist, the D. O’Neill-trained juvenile could inherit the role as the controlling speed from her favorable rail post position and given that type of trip could take this field a very long way. At 10-1 on the morning line, she offers a reasonable gamble. After displaying some quality in a pair of third place finishers in England during the summer, Tezzaway uncorked a strong late kick when winning a representative maiden race over this course and distance in her U.S. debut. The P. Miller-trained daughter of Bated Breath retains I. Ortiz, Jr., and with some help up front she should make her presence felt in the final furlong. Helens Well is poorly drawn in the 11-hole and likely will face a stiff task from the quarter pole home. The late-running Irish-bred filly was beaten less than three lengths over the local lawn when eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1 earlier this month and clearly is facing an easier group today. Toss her in.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: BUse: 3-California Street; 4-Teton Valley; 6-Escape Route; 10-SumoForecast: Sumo ran a winning race at this level earlier this month when pressing a blazing pace, striking the front entering the stretch but then getting worn down late by stable mate Triple Tap in a fast, highly-rated affair. Purchased for $700,00 at the 2020 OBS April Sale, the son of Not This Time remains well-regarded by his connections and looks ready to get back on the winning track with the switch to F. Prat from a comfortable outside draw in this extended sprint that came up unusually deep and contentious. We’ll stick with the B. Baffert-trained colt on top but include a few back-ups just in case. Escape Route is extremely fast on numbers and missed in a photo at this condition last month at Santa Anita in a career top effort. He’s trained well since and very likely has another forward move or two in him. Teton Valley improved a ton in his first start since being claimed for $20,000 two races back when toying with a starter’s allowance field last month by five lengths while earning a Beyer number (95) that actually exceeds Sumo’s last figure by three points. This is a far deeper and more difficult affair but who knows how good this Tapiture gelding will become? California Street has won his last three starts impressively but against lesser foes. If they go too fast too early, the P. Miller-trained gelding could produce a dangerous late kick.Notable Workouts:Teton Valley (November 12, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: B-Easy to the top and then was urged through the lane, decent response, final three furlongs in :36 flat. Maintains his form, comes off sizzling win and should get tested on the raise.View Workout VideoSumo (November 17, Santa Anita, 4f, :49h). Grade: BFinished a neck in front of Varda (same time) while under stout restraint much of the way, quite sharp in easy breeze for B. Baffert. Strong colt, a $700,000 OBS April purchase, has plenty of improvement in him, still has a chance to be a decent type of colt.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Caithkin Peak; 6-Public Sector;12-SubconsciousForecast: Public Sector has won four of his last five starts, each with a stronger Beyer speed figure than his previous race, so we’re expecting the C. Brown-trained colt to produce another major effort in this year’s edition of the Hollywood Derby-G1. A winner of three consecutive graded stakes races in New York, the son of Kingman has good tactical speed and a knack to do just what’s required from the furlong pole to the wire. Turf specialists form the East always seem to do well in California and we suspect this English-bred colt will do the same. Subconscious and Caithkin Peak look like the two best among the local contingent, though the former is drawn farther out in the 12-hole than is ideal. Himself a winner of three straight, including the Twilight Derby-G2 at Santa Anita, the rapidly-developing son of Tapit has a good stalking style that usually produces a clean trip. On pure numbers, he’s actually a point or two better than Public Sector, so there’s that. ‘Peak can turn it on late and switches to F. Prat, so after finishing a close second in the Twilight Derby the Irish-bred gelding won’t have to improve too much to get his first stakes victory since last winter.

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11.27.2021:

1/ST BET AI PIcks: National Stakes | Saturday, November 27

Saturday’s national stakes lineup is loaded with intrigue. To assist your handicapping with a few of the main events, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Laurel Park // Race 6 // 2:51 pm ET // City of Laurel Stakes // 7 furlongs#9 Pickin’ Time (5-1) // 31%W#3 Everett’s Song (7-2) // 12%W#1 Boldish (5-1) // 12%W#5 Kenny Had a Notion (10-1) // 10%WAqueduct // Race 8 // 3:14 pm ET // Discovery Stakes // 1-1/8 miles#3 Speaker’s Corner (4-5) // 30%W#2 Bourbonic (5-1) // 20%W#6 Miles D (9-5) // 19%W#5 Vindictive (8-1) // 14%WLaurel Park // Race 7 // 3:22 pm ET // Safely Kept Stakes // 7 furlongs#6 Street Lute (3-1) // 31%W#10 Malibu Beauty (5-1) // 12%W#7 Princess Kokachin (6-1) // 12%W#11 Happy Constitution (8-1) // 10%WLaurel Park // Race 8 // X:XX pm ET // Richard W. Small Stakes // 1-1/8 miles#4 Shackqueenking (9-2) // 25%W#1 Tappin Cat (5-1) // 24%W#7 Cordmaker (4-1) // 12%W#10 McElmore Avenue (8-1) // 10%WChurchill Downs // Race 11 // 5:56 pm ET // Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes // 1-1/16 miles#10 White Abbario (8-1) // 26%W#5 Howling Time (7-2) // 17%W#13 Mannix (20-1) // 9%W#8 Smile Happy (12-1) // 9%WGolden Gate Fields // Race 8 // 7:15 pm ET // Grade 3 Berkeley Stakes // 1-1/16 miles#1 Extra Hope (8-5) // 28%W#4 Jungle Cry (4-1) // 21%W#3 Camino Del Paraiso (2-1) // 13%W#6 Freeport Joe (20-1) // 13%W

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11.26.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Cal Expo Pick 4 Analysis-$25,000 Guaranteed Pool | Friday, November 26

Tonight, Cal Expo has a 9-race card ready to roll which includes a 0.20 Pick 4 that begins in Race 6. The sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool with a 16% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 64-Northbrook Ron (6-1)-Comes off a decent Hawthorne meet and paced the back half in 56.4 in its CalX qualifier with a 27.3 last quarter. Should be forwardly placed and can be in the mix at a fair price.5-Contemporay Legend (7/5)-Raced well in a needed start but was parked for the 2nd half of the mile and faded down the lane. Should be better tonight at a small price, and if speed isn't holding backers may not be rewarded.6-Dislocator (5-1)-The Plested barn has been batting 44% winners and this 5-year-old came off the bench with aa nice victory. Steps-up after getting only the 1st win in 29 starts but best to not overlook after being used hard into a quick 1st half.Race 75-May Day Maggie (9/5)-Roland entry has won 11 of the last 35 starts but is a small track specialist. This will be the CalX debut and what separates this filly from the rest is not being camera shy. This is a suspect bunch and should be bet hard.7-D Vigilante (5-1)-Will take a swing that Plano has good reason to choose this Rios entry over the 1-2-3. Has only 1 win in 23 CalX starts but finished 2nd in 7 of those races. Comes off an even effort in the 1st start since 4-24 and should be forwardly placed tonight.Race 83-This Dog Wont Hunt (6/5)-This six-year-old has won 2 of 3 at CalX but has only 8 career starts. Paced the 2nd half in 56.1 to finish 3rd in a needed a start. Beaten even-money chalk does its best work racing near the top of the stack. Kennedy sticks and will probably be more aggressive from the start.5-Believe In Dragons (9/5)-This Schneider pupil paced evenly after a 6-month hiatus and did finish the mile with a 27.2 last quarter. Plano should have the 3-year-old in striking range turning for the money and could leave to get the pocket behind the one above.Race 92-Frewil Dakota Sven (5/2)-Shipped in from Kentucky and raced a big mile from post 8 to score at 1/2. Now steps-up after taking the long way around to win handily. With this post draw its best to not overlook chances for an encore.4-He Grins Again (5-1)-Was used hard early in its CalX debut which was the 1st start in 2 months. Plano steers his own this time and should be tighter. Could surprise at a fair price if speed is holding. Was the pilot's choice over the other stable entry #6.7-Its Pointless (2-1)-Closed the meet in April with 3 straight pictures. Came back last week and made another trip to the winner's circle. Svendsen stays loyal to Plested and steers #1, so Kennedy will be in the bike. Winner of 14 in 19 CalX starts deserves respect, so will use but hope for those above with more value.My Ticket Race 6) 4,5,6 Race 7) 5,7 Race 8) 3,5 Race 9) 2,4,7Total Ticket Cost) $7.20 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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11.26.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Friday, November 26

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Whooping Jay; 4-Media BlitzForecast: The Friday opener is a stronger-than-par second-level allowance middle distance turf event offering two main contenders that are both, surprising to us, listed at 7/2 on the morning line behind Red Storm Rising (2-1) and Eastern Ocean (5/2). Whooping Jay, never worse than second in four career starts over the Del Mar grass course, stretches out after a series of strong sprint tries and always has been just as effective going long as short. Drawn perfectly inside, the M. Glatt-trained gelding seems certain to be the controlling speed and given that type of trip the son of Square Eddie should be hard to run down. Two bullet workouts since raced indicate he’s a sharp as ever. Media Blitz rallied strongly against soft fractions to be a close second at this level last month at Santa Anita in an effort that produced a career top speed figure. He’s won over the local lawn in the past and projects to enjoy a comfortable pace-stalking trip. We’ll give the edge on top to Whooping Jay but include both in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:Whooping Jay (November 19, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.4h TT). Grade: B+Looked quite good without ever being asked, final three furlongs in :36 flat, plenty left late. On top of his game and can sprint or route equally well.View Workout VideoMedia Blitz (November 12, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.4h TT). Grade: BVery light coaxing late to finish in full stride, final three furlongs in :36 flat. Maintains his sharp edge.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: XSingle: 5-She’s So ShinyForecast: She’s So Shiny is re-equipped with blinkers while dropping into a seller for the first time, and from her cozy outside draw the daughter of Capo Bastone seems likely to dictate the race flow. She’s a standout on speed figures and projects to be on the lead without having to produce quick fractions. She’s the 7/5 morning line favorite and could easily go lower, so we’ll make her a short-priced rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Darling Donna; 6-Champagne CamieForecast: Darling Donna produced a significant forward move in her second career start when a strong runner-up (well clear of the rest) in a maiden special weight main track sprint at Parx in late September. She makes her West Coast debut in a below average turf dash for juvenile fillies that should be within her capabilities for the always-powerful V. Cerin/K. Desormeaux trainer-jockey combo, so at 4-1 on the morning line we’ll put her on top. This same owner-trained combo is represented by the 3-1 morning line favorite, Champagne Camie, a Saratoga invader with form that makes her strictly the one to beat. The daughter of Speightster finished in the frame in her first two outings but then disappointed when off the board, though earning a career top number when fading to fifth last time out. We’re expecting the winner to be one or the other and both should be included in rolling exotic playNotable Workouts:Champagne Camie (November 14, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.4h). Grade: B-Slightly best inside Little Lara (same time), splits of :22.4 and :48 flat und mild late coaxing. Seems in good enough shape, has her speed.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: BUse: 5-Mongolian Wind; 6-SynthesisForecast: Scratched yesterday when 30-1 on the morning line for this more realistic spot, Mongolian Wind debuts for R. Baltas following a $25,000 claim in this middle distance main track affair. We’re expecting a significant forward move by the lightly-raced gelding, who projects to settle nicely somewhere in the second flight behind what should be a contested pace. The son of Mucho Macho Man, listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite, is a solid fit on speed figures and switches to V. Espinoza, who has ridden a lot of live runners for this barn of late. Synthesis is the one to fear most. Overmatched in a tougher first level allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita last month, the son of First Samurai is strong on numbers, returns to his claim level, and is guaranteed a nice stalking trip from his outside draw. We’ll prefer Mongolian Wind on top but include both in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:Synthesis (November 19, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h). Grade: B+Under wraps while appearing quite sharp in easy breeze for J. Mullins, final three furlongs in :36.2. Appears on edge for a major effort.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 2-Midnight SpecialForecast: Let’s take a stand with Midnight Special as a single in this allowance optional claiming turf sprint for older horses. A clever winner last month on turf at this five furlong trip at Golden Gate fields, the son of Vronsky moves up from $20,000 to $40,000 following a R. Hess, Jr., claim, switches to the barn’s “go to” rider K. Desormeaux and catches a field that surprisingly doesn’t have a whole lot of early speed signed on. Quick enough to be on or near the lead from the get-go, this hard-knocking gelding should have every chance to pay a quick dividend for his new connections while offering wagering value at or near his morning line of 4-1.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Honor Among Men; 6-Gerlach’sForecast: Honor Among Men, claimed last month for $16,000 when second while more than five lengths clear of the rest, should be too quick for this group in his first start for M. Maker. The pace scenario in this abbreviated dash looks fairly soft, so with the switch to U. Rispoli the son of Bayern should have every chance to wire the field as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Gerlach’s, fresh from a confidence-building maiden $20,000 score that produced a career top number three weeks ago, can be dangerous if he can duplicate that performance in this tougher spot. The Grazen gelding seems likely to inherit a good stalking position outside and then have dead aim on the favorite from the top of the lane to the wire.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Friar’s Road; 3-Say the Word; 7-RockemperorForecast: Rockemperor didn’t have much of a chance in the Breeders’ Cup Turf S.-G1 three weeks ago after being buried on the rail most of the way and then getting shuffled back at a critical stage entering the far turn. He wound up a non-threatening eighth (beaten under seven lengths) but today gets a much easier assignment while switching to turf master F. Prat in this year’s renewal of the Hollywood Turf Cup-G2. Friar’s Road, a lightly-raced son of Quality Road from the M. McCarthy barn, finished strongly to be third when beaten a head in the John Henry Turf Cup-G2 last time out and before that crushed an allowance field in a mini-marathon affair over the Del Mar lawn during the summer season. He’s had only 10 career starts, and his numbers continue to rise, so with another bit of improvement today he’ll have a legitimate shot at it. Say the Word has a chance off his best effort as well. Freshened since mid-August, the More Than Ready gelding is a genuine stayer with a good turn of foot, so with a bit of help up front and good racing luck he’s likely to make some noise close home.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Quick Finish; 7-Brace for ImpactForecast: Brace for Impact has been away since February but there a couple of bullet workouts on his tab about a month ago that indicates he’s fit enough to fire a big shot in this first-level allowance sprint. A winner over this track and distance last year following a similar vacation, the K. Headley-trained gelding projects to be on or near the lead under regular pilot E. Maldonado. He’s 8-1 on the morning line and represents a reasonable gamble at that price. Quick Finish is another layoff runner worth considering on your ticket. Second in all three starts at Del Mar, the D. Blacker-trained gelding is just 2-for-20 during his career but has numbers that are competitive and recent drills that should have him plenty fit.Notable Workouts:Brace for Impact (November 3, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: BSplits of :23.2 and :48.3 from the half mile pole to the wire, mild ridden late, solid drill on the comeback trail for K. Headley. Seems pretty fit and has fired fresh in the past.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 5-Witch Moon; 7-Air Force Woman; <8-Bowl of CherriesForecast: The finale is a messy $50,000 maiden claiming turf miler for fillies and mares. We’ll try to get by using just three. Bowl of Cherries stretches out for the first time and is bred to handle the mile, so we’re anticipating the daughter of Speightster will have a strong pace presence throughout. Her sprint numbers are a fit this level, so her morning line of 6-1 seems about right. Air Force Woman was given a race sprinting in her debut and finished evenly without posing a threat. She switches to F. Prat, stretches out to a distance her pedigree okays, and shows two easy five furlong drills at San Luis Rey Downs that should help her move forward. With the addition of blinkers, the daughter of Air Force Blue likely will display improved early speed. Witch Moon is an 11-race maiden and was a beaten choice in a similar affair last month at Santa Anita, missing by a half-length when second despite having every chance from the furlong pole to the wire. She’ll more than likely be in the thick of things again today and in a soft field has to be considered a threat.

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11.24.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Black Friday Stakes Races | Friday, November 26

Black Friday for holiday shoppers is also one of the biggest racing days of the year. To assist your handicapping with a few of the main events, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner. Laurel Park // Race 4 // 1:52 pm ET // Politely Stakes // 6 furlongs #1 Hello Beautiful (1-2) // 32%W#3 Street Lute (5-1) // 20%W#2 Princess Kokachin (10-1) // 16%W#8 Never Enough Time (8-1) // 10%W // Aqueduct // Race 9 // 3:43 pm ET // $200,000 Grade 3 Comely Stakes // 1-1/8 miles #6 Army Wife (7-5) // 25%W#5 Played Hard (3-1) // 20%W#4 Crazy Beautiful (3-1) // 17%W#3 Shalimar Gardens (6-1) // 13%W // Laurel Park // Race 8 // 3:55 pm ET // Howard & Sondra Bender Memorial Stakes // 7 furlongs #3 Double Crown (7-2) // 31%W#6 Galerio (9-2) // 12%W#7 Whereshetoldmetogo (3-1) // 12%W#1 Alwaysmining (10-1) // 10%W// Churchill Downs // Race 11 // 5:56 pm ET // $750,000 Grade 1 Clark Handicap // 1-1/8 miles #8 Maxfield (6-5) // 32%W#4 Happy Saver (8-1) // 24%W#1 Midnight Bourbon (8-5) // 10%W#3 Dr Post (5-1) // 10%W  

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11.24.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Laurel Park Thanksgiving Day | Thursday, November 25

A truly Happy Thanksgiving includes great food, great company, a little football and some outstanding racing action to overstuff the balance in your wagering account. The Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park has a special holiday card beginning at 11:25 am ET to get your day rolling. To assist your handicapping with a couple of the main events, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner. Laurel Park // Race 1 // 11:25 am ET // claiming // 5-1/2 furlongs #3 Where U B (6-1) // 24%W#9 Zen Pi (6-1) // 21%W#2 Algebraic (2-1) // 14%W#8 Zorb (9-2) // 12%W // Laurel Park // Race 2 // 11:53 am ET // claiming // 5-1/2 furlongs #3 Nashvegas (3-1) // 30%W#6 Fort Fortitude (2-1) // 17%W#7 Baptize the Boy (9-2) // 16%W#1 Bull Shark (3-1) // 14%W // Laurel Park // Race 3 // 12:21 pm ET // maiden claiming // 5-1/2 furlongs #9 Treat for the Eyes (3-1) // 25%W#8 Safe Reezan (15-1) // 17%W#10 Caribbean Flow (6-1) // 15%W#1A Hit a Homer Honey (5-2) // 11%W // Laurel Park // Race 4 // 12:50 pm ET // starter allowance // 1-1/8 miles #1 Lost My Vowcher (5-2) // 26%W#3 Titan’s Will (2-1) // 19%W#6 Manicomio (9-2) // 14%W#7 Brickbat (12-1) // 14%W // Laurel Park // Race 5 // 1:19 pm ET // maiden special weight // 7 furlongs #9 Heaven’s Got Fire (9-2) // 32%W#10 Bakeneko (8-1) // 11%W#4 Mohaafeth (8-1) // 10%W#8 Flying With Angels (5-1) // 10%W // Laurel Park // Race 6 // 1:49 pm ET // claiming // 1 mile #3 Late Breaking News (1-1) // 20%W#10 Blue Danube (30-1) // 14%W#7 Always Forgiven (20-1) // 12%W#8 Percher (5-1) // 9%W // Laurel Park // Race 7 // 2:20 pm ET // maiden claiming // 7 furlongs #6 Dry Well (7-2) // 22%W#11 Sea Pines (4-1) // 22%W#5 Date Night Kisses (10-1) // 14%W#9 Good Story (9-2) // 11%W // Laurel Park // Race 8 // 2:50 pm ET // allowance // 1-1/16 miles #2 Whatchasaid (8-1) // 29%W#7 Reassured (5-1) // 17%W#4 He’s a Shooter (9-5) // 16%W#6 Ink (9-2) // 14%W // Laurel Park // Race 9 // 3:20 pm ET // claiming // 5-1/2 furlongs (turf) #3 Big Tall Dawg (5-1) // 24%W#1 Tyreek (20-1) // 17%W#8 Bam Bam Blue (4-1) // 15%W#4 Count the Shells (20-1) // 11%W

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11.24.2021:

Jon White: Life Is Good is #1 Pick in Fantasy Draft | Wednesday, November 24

Our horse racing fantasy league held its annual draft this past Monday. It’s called the Fantasy Stable League (FSL). Daily Racing Form handicapper Michael Hammersly began this league all the way back in 1986. I joined it in 1990 while I was working for the DRF. I have been the league’s commissioner since 2000. How long did Monday’s draft take? It began at 6 a.m. PT and concluded a little less than nine hours later. This fantasy league consists of eight members. Each member drafts eight horses. Our league begins each year on Thanksgiving and continues through the final Breeders’ Cup race the following year. With eight members, there were eight horses drafted in the first round. Tiz the Law was the No. 1 overall pick in the FSL draft for 2021. However, he did not earn a single point in 2021 after being retired from racing last year on Dec. 30. Life Is Good was the No. 2 overall pick for 2021. The Kentucky-bred Into Mischief colt was drafted one day after his dazzling 9 1/2-length victory at first asking in a 6 1/2-furlong Del Mar maiden race. After being taken at No. 2 for 2021, Life Is Good was the first pick in last Monday’s FSL draft for 2022 following his emphatic 5 3/4-length win in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar on Nov. 6. In terms of FSL scoring, only races in the United States, in Canada, on the Dubai World Cup card and the Saudi Cup count. The Saudi Cup is considered a Grade I race for our point-earning purposes. This is how our scoring system works: --A Grade I race is worth 12, 6 and 4 points for first, second and third. --A Grade II race is worth 8, 4 and 2 for first, second and third. --A Grade III race is worth 6, 3 and 1 for first, second and third. --An ungraded stakes race is worth 4 for first. --All other races are worth 2 for first. --All Canadian races are downgraded one level, except the Woodbine Mile, Northern Dancer Turf, Canadian International and E.P. Taylor. --The most valuable bonus races are the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic (36, 18, 12). The other bonus races (24, 12, 8) are the Apple Blossom, Kentucky Oaks, Met Mile, Sword Dancer Stakes, Diana Stakes and all of the other Breeders’ Cup races. Since the beginning of this league, the Arlington Million and Beverly D. were bonus races. But they were not run this year. With Arlington Park’s situation rather shaky these days, I made the decision to make the Sword Dancer and Diana bonus races in 2021 rather than the Arlington Million and Beverly D. As the commissioner, I am the one who has composed all of the current FSL rules. And the possibility of a situation like Medina Spirit’s controversial Kentucky Derby victory is why I came up with FSL rule 11. Medina Spirit tested positive for having an overage of the legal therapeutic medication betamethasone in his system during the Run for the Roses. Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby win is up in the air as of this writing. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has not even held a hearing yet with respect to the colt’s positive test. FSL rule 11 covers a situation like this by stating in part: “Drug positives and overturning of DQ’s will have no effect on our league. Our results will be what they are deemed to be at the time the race is declared official.” In terms of making claims, each FSL league member can make two claims per month along with two “super claims.” When someone makes a claim, they must drop one horse from their stable. One “super claim,” which is simply an additional claim to the two each month, can be made through the traditional day of the Belmont Stakes in June. The other “super claim” can be made after that. I used my first “super claim” for 2021 to get Knicks Go. In the first round of last Monday’s draft, I had the last pick. I was elated to have the last pick. Why? Because it meant that I won the 2021 FSL title! Our draft order is determined by reversing the order of the previous year’s final standings. This was my fourth FSL title. It seems that I win it about every 10 years. My previous FSL titles were in 1992, 2003 and 2013. Needless to say, I’m hoping that it does not take another 10 years or so before I snag another FSL title. As for the 2022 FSL draft, Chad Brown regained the distinction of being the trainer to have the most horses taken. Eight of the 64 horses drafted last Monday are conditioned by Brown. Bob Baffert, Brad Cox and Todd Pletcher each had seven horses drafted. These have been the leading trainers in terms of horses drafted going back to 2016: Year Trainer (Horses Drafted) 2022 Chad Brown (8), Bob Baffert (7), Brad Cox (7), Todd Pletcher (7)2021 Brad Cox (10), Chad Brown (8)2020 Chad Brown (11), Bob Baffert (7)2019 Chad Brown (12), Bob Baffert (11)2018 Bob Baffert (11), Chad Brown (9)2017 Chad Brown (11), Bob Baffert (8)2016 Chad Brown (9), Todd Pletcher (7) The leading sire for the 2022 draft is a tie between Into Mischief and Tapit. They each had four horses drafted. Into Mischief’s Life Is Good was the No. 1 overall pick. The other sons or daughters of Into Mischief taken were Mandaloun (No. 20), Overstep (No. 39) and Gamine (No. 57). The Tapits drafted were Flightline (No. 4), Triple Tap (No. 34), Subconscious (No. 41) and Tap the Faith (No. 54). Here, in order, were the 64 Thoroughbreds drafted Monday (my selections are capitalized): 1. Life Is Good2. Echo Zulu3. Corniche4. Flightline5. Hot Rod Charlie6. Shedaresthedevil7. Midnight Bourbon 8. MEDINA SPIRIT I felt good to get a horse of this quality with the final pick in the first round. After all, Medina Spirit ran well this year in the two biggest FSL bonus races, the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, each of which offers 36-18-12 points to the first three finishers. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, the Florida-bred Protonico colt earned 36 FSL points for his Kentucky Derby victory, plus 18 more for finishing second in the BC Classic. Knicks Go won the BC Classic this year as a member of my FSL roster. He is scheduled to be retired after making his final career start next Jan. 29 in the Grade I Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. That means there will be no Knicks Go in the 2022 BC Classic. Hopefully for me, 2021 BC Classic runner-up Medina Spirit will be back for the 2022 renewal. This strategy of getting the BC Classic runner-up has worked nicely for me in the past. The main reason I acquired Mucho Macho Man in 2013 was he had finished second in the 2012 BC Classic. Mucho Macho Man did win the 2013 BC Classic. That BC Classic victory by Mucho Macho Man enabled me to edge BloodHorse’s Byron King for the 2013 FSL title. (Don’t feel sorry for King. He has six FSL titles to his credit.) 9. MESSIER Messier looks like he is going to be one of the leading 3-year-olds in 2022. Adding to his appeal to me in the draft is he is supposed to run in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 11. That means he can get me some FSL points before the end of the year. I drafted Messier despite the Baffert situation in which he is banned from running horses in 2022 Kentucky Derby. Not only that, any horse trained by Baffert is ineligible to earn points toward the 2022 Kentucky Derby. But I’ve been impressed enough with what I’ve seen by Messier to go ahead and draft him at No. 9 despite there being some uncertainty concerning his Kentucky Derby situation. Messier finished second when unveiled in a five-furlong maiden race at Los Alamitos on June 27. He then effortlessly won a six-furlong maiden contest by 6 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita on Oct. 22, followed by a 3 1/2-length victory in Del Mar’s Grade III Bob Hope Stakes at seven furlongs on Nov. 14. It appears that Messier will relish going a mile or longer. There’s also an element of sentimentality involved in my drafting Messier, whose sire is Empire Maker. I took Empire Maker with the No. 5 pick in the FSL draft for 2003. All he had done up to that point was win a one-mile Belmont Park maiden race by 3 1/2 lengths at first asking. The horses drafted before I took Empire Maker were Vindication at No. 1, Azeri at No. 2, Storm Flag Flying at No. 3 and Composure at No. 4. Empire Maker didn’t win the Kentucky Derby for me, but he did finish second to Funny Cide. Empire Maker did win the Belmont Stakes, while Funny Cide had to settle for third when thwarted in his bid for a Triple Crown sweep. I won the 2003 FSL title after drafting Empire Maker. Now I’m hoping to win the 2022 FSL title when drafting Messier, a son of Empire Maker. 10. Malathaat11. Following Sea12. Clairiere13. Famed14. Regal Glory15. Letruska16. Eda17. Maxfield18. Pappacap19. Americanrevolution20. Mandaloun21. Knicks Go22. Juju’s Map23. Classic Causeway 24. TIZ THE BOMB People have raved about Modern Games’ performance to win the controversial BC Juvenile Turf, a race in which he raced for purse only. I don’t think Tiz the Bomb has received the credit he deserves for his runner-up effort in that race. Ninth at the eighth pole, Tiz the Bomb charged home to finish second and defeat 12 foes. I was also impressed by Tiz the Bomb when he won the Grade II Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland from post 12 despite breaking through the gate prior to the start. Horses rarely win after doing that. Tiz the Bomb, trained by Kenny McPeek, is entered in Saturday’s Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs. That’s a 1 1/16-mile race on the dirt. The last time that the Kentucky-bred Hit It a Bomb colt raced on the dirt, he won a one-mile maiden race at Ellis Park by 14 1/4 lengths on July 2. I also decided to take Tiz the Bomb at this point in the draft because if it’s decided not to go forward with him in dirt races, he will begin 2022 as this country’s top 3-year-old male grass runner on the basis of finishing second in the BC Juvenile Turf. And if Tiz the Bomb does go forward in dirt races, he could be a Kentucky Derby candidate for me, giving me some insurance if it turns out Messier does not run in the 1 1/4-mile classic. 25. SANDSTONE Sandstone, like Tiz the Bomb, is trained by McPeek. There is a similarity between Sandstone and my earlier draft pick Messier in that both lost their first race. They both then won a maiden race by a big margin, Sandstone by nine lengths, Messier by 6 1/2 lengths. And then they both won a stakes race. Sandstone won Churchill’s Rags to Riches Stakes by 10 3/4 lengths. Messier won Del Mar’s Grade III Bob Hope Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths. There really is no telling how good Sandstone is at this point off her two dominant victories. I love her pedigree, too. She’s by a Kentucky Derby winner (Street Sense) out of mare who’s by a Triple Crown winner (Seattle Slew). Sandstone is entered in Saturday’s Grade II Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill. My hope, of course, is that she turns out to be a Kentucky Oaks filly, though undefeated BC Juvenile Fillies winner and likely Eclipse Award recipient Echo Zulu looms large in that particular division. 26. Bonny South27. Rockemperor28. Bella Sofia29. Speaker’s Corner30. Public Sector31. Crystal Ball32. Ginobili33. Howling Time34. Triple Tap35. Rocket Dawg36. Shantisara37. Going Global38. Grace Adler39. Overstep 40. PRINCESS GRACE My thinking in taking Princess Grace here at No. 40 was to get a contender for Sunday’s Grade I Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar. Michael Stidham trains the Kentucky-bred Karakontie filly. Princess Grace had a four-race winning streak snapped when she finished third as the 11-10 favorite in Del Mar’s Grade II Goldikova Stakes on Nov. 6. But I’m thinking she might regain her winning ways in the Matriarch due to a deviation from her usual running style in the Goldikova. In the Goldikova, Princess Grace set the pace for the first time in her eight-race career. I think it’s clear that she would prefer to come from off the pace. Princes Grace rallied from fifth when she won Del Mar’s Grade II Yellow Ribbon Handicap on Aug. 7. 41. SUBCONSCIOUS Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Subconscious is entered in Saturday’s Grade I Hollywood Derby. It’s a tough race with a big field, but what I like about Subconscious is the Kentucky-bred Midnight Lute colt is a possibly to also run in the Grade II Mathis Brothers Mile at Santa Anita on Dec. 26. Subconscious is going into the Hollywood Derby off a win in Santa Anita’s Grade II Twilight Derby, just like Smooth Like Strait last year. Smooth Like Strait ran second in the Hollywood Derby, then won the Mathis Brothers Mile. Smooth Like Strait was a good horse to have in the FSL for 2021. He finished a close second to Space Blues in the BC Mile. That brought Smooth Like Strait’s FSL point total for 2021 to a robust 60. That shows me what kind of FSL point potential Subconscious has for 2022. 42. Smile Happy43. Dr. Schivel44. Camp Hope45. Olympiad46. Luck47. Friar’s Road48. Hit the Road49. Zofelle50. Verbal51. Mystic Guide52. Viadera53. Zandon54. Tap the Faith55. War Like Goddess56. HAPPY SAVER I’m taking a shot here in the seventh round with Happy Saver. I debated between taking either Happy Saver or Dr Post. They are both entered in Friday’s Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill. They’re both also trained by Todd Pletcher. Maxfield is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the Clark, which has attracted a field of eight. Midnight Bourbon is the 8-5 second choice. The only other horses listed at under 10-1 on the morning line are Dr Post at 5-1 and Happy Saver at 8-1. Hope I did not zig when I should have zagged in choosing between Happy Saver and Dr Post. 57. GAMINE When recapping the 2021 FSL draft, I wrote that I “was beyond ecstatic to get Gamine at No. 14.” I was shocked that she was still available in the second round. Now I am thrilled to get her back with my eighth and final pick of the 2022 FSL draft. This definitely is a gamble. Maybe Gamine will be retired. But, heck, I am willing to roll the dice in the eighth round. I have not read or heard of anything about her being retired or continuing to race. But my speculation is that if Gamine were done racing, she most likely would have been put in one of those sales held right after the Breeders’ Cup (and someone from Japan probably would have bought her for a zillion dollars). If it does turn out that I don’t get any starts from Gamine, that’s okay. It’ll just mean that I will be using one of my claims to replace her at some point. In other words, by getting Gamine so late in the draft at No. 57, there really is no downside. All in all, I was very happy with how the 2022 FSL draft turned out for me. 58. Code of Honor59. Giant Game60. Jackie’s Warrior61. Dr Post62. Epicenter63. Sacred Life64. Army Wife

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11.24.2021:

Frank Carulli: Stronach 5 Picks & Preview | Friday, November 26

It's Black Friday and you can be in the black if you correctly pick five winners in the Stronach 5 cross-country wager. The average payout for a $1 play the first three Fridays of November was $40,650. Here's an early look at this week's Stronach 5 with an update to follow after scratches Friday morning. LEG A // LAUREL, RACE 7 (3:22PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) HAND GESTURE pressed the 3-to-1 winner into the turn, then stayed on willingly for third in a well-bet debut. He is by Divining Rod, who was a Grade III winner and ran second in the Grade I Cigar Mile for the same barn. ONE TEN advanced inside to the quarter pole on the stretch-out from 6F to one mile, then swung 5-wide and closed with a rush to finish second to the favorite. The fourth-place finisher came back to win next out.  LEG B // LAUREL, RACE 8 (3:53PM ET) // HOWARD & SONDRA BENDER MEMORIAL S. // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) DOUBLE CROWN stumbled at the start in the 6F Maryland Million Sprint, trailed into the turn and gobbled up ground while 5-wide in the stretch on a day when the inside was the place to be. WHERESHETOLDMETOGO is 5-for-7 at Laurel Park and won stakes races the last three times he returned from a 2-month plus layoff. LEG C // GOLDEN GATE, RACE 2 (4:18PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER) MISS SKI sustained a 3- and 4-wide rally and lunged late while in tight between rivals to finish second as the 4-to-5 favorite. She was claimed by leading trainer Jonathan Wong and figures close up in a paceless race. LYRICALLY VIOLENT launched an inside rally on the final turn and caught the tiring co-favorites to win off an 11-month layoff. The extra half furlong suits her well.    LEG D // LAUREL, RACE 9 (4:25PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT)  Take a cue from HAND GESTURE'S performance in today's 7th race when assessing ROYAL SPY, who finished second in that heavily-bet debut and worked well since that start. RED MESA broke last, was held up in traffic to the quarter pole and raced very wide in the stretch. He could awaken for his new connections. BLO MY BUDGET shows a series of solid workouts for an 18-percent barn and brings Penn National's third-leading jockey to ride.  LEG E // GOLDEN GATE, RACE 3 (4:48PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER) BETTER TOMORROW awakened with blinkers, shaking a duel with the 2-1 second favorite on the turn and leading clear until deep stretch before the 3-to-2 favorite and MR. BOTANICALS passed by. He's live 8-1 on the morning line with a duplicate effort but is too risky to single out in a crowded field with several class droppers and first-time starters. Go deep in the final leg of the Stronach 5. STRONACH 5 TICKET   Leg A: 2, 11Leg B: 3, 7Leg C: 2, 6Leg D: 3, 6, 11Leg E: 1, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 Cost for a $1 ticket: $144

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11.23.2021:

Jeremy Plonk: Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 Preview | Tuesday, November 23

The first of five 2022 Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools will be held Thursday-Sunday this holiday week, adding more than leftovers to the Thanksgiving menu. The pari-mutuel offering once again will include 22 individual betting interests with a pair of multiple-horse interests for all other 3-year-old fillies and all other 3-year-old males. Xpressbet will offer KDFW wagering all four days. The “all other males” category tends to dominate the earliest KDFW annual action, and this year should be even more so. That’s because of Churchill Downs’ current ban of trainer Bob Baffert and its subsequent impact on horses that he trains. Baffert’s current 2-year-olds include Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Corniche as well as graded stakes winners Pinehurst, Rockefeller and Messier. That 10-1 leading individual option Jack Christopher is currently on the mend from surgery (and not expected back into training until after the New Year) raises even more doubt about the solo entries. Baffert’s absence leaves only the Keith Desormeaux-trained Oviatt Class representing California among the individual entrants. Instead, the lineup is stuffed with New York and Kentucky-based runners, many of which will wind up wintering in Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas. This far out, it’s difficult to accept anything less than 50-1 odds in my estimation. Given the weight the “all other males” option will take, that mathematically pushes prices up on the others in this pari-mutuel exercise and makes 50-1 a possibility. As always in KDFW pools no matter the time of year, important stakes held that same weekend typically have a major underlay and overlay impact. Horses who run well in Saturday’s Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs are likely to be overbet; those who are defeated with a reasonable excuse are worth a glance at what should be an inflated price. My most interesting price plays among the individuals are horses expected to be competing Saturday, which could work against a price pursuit. Keep your eyes on: 18-Smile Happy (50-1 ML) | One of the most impressive Keeneland Fall Meet maiden breakers I’ve seen in a decade, if not the most impressive. 10-Howling Time (20-1 ML) | Finish in the Street Sense Stakes indicated he’ll handle more. The KDFW also includes a sire wager in the same application as a 24-option, pari-mutuel bet. The respective sires of our horses to watch are Runhappy/Smile Happy (20-1 ML) and Not This Time/Howling Time (15-1 ML). It may be beneficial to watch those price fluctuations in the event a sire could go off higher than those individual horses in their respective pools and potentially provide more value.

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11.22.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Yonkers Raceway Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, November 22

Yonkers Raceway has a 12-race program to start the week. The feature comes in Race 9, an Open Handicap Pace with a $43,000 purse. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 7, and the sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 71-Walkinshaw N (5-1)-Nine-year-old is in good form and Zeron should have him near the top of the stack. Comes back in sequence and the last time that happen he took a picture versus this same class on 11-1.6-Whitecookie (3-1)-Has been in fine form in the last 3 outings but was hurt last week by a dull pace and didn't leave. My thinking is Brennan will look to get on the point and not look back.Race 84-Can B Perfect (4-1)-Comes off a disappointing effort as a 2-1 chalk when dropped to this level but was off 3 weeks between starts. This 4-year-old has banked over $96k this year which leads this field by a lot. Will overlook the last dull try, using and the price should be better.7-Globaldomination N (6-1)-Steps-up and moves outside after winning at 3/2 on 11-9. This 6-year-old has been camera shy but so have others in this group. Willing to use at a solid price, and might have the best gate speed here if dialed on high. Stratton may look to blast out and get the jump on the field. Six-year-old has won 8-30 at YR.Race 92-Splash Brother (4-1)-Splash is usually in the mix hitting the board in 14 of 16 at YR. Should be in line to get a pocket ride behind the morning line choice and look to roll by late.7-Tatoo Artist (8/5)-Dunn was between the pipes last week, got the point off the gate from post 6 and didn't look back. Should try to follow the same script tonight.Race 102-Davids Coming Home (12-1)-Gingras grabs the lines, and he could make a difference. Does need the right trip to take a picture at this class. This 6-year-old likes to win and could get a jump on others with this post draw. Looks worthy of a swing at the morning line price.4-Elwell (3-1)-Race well when dropped to this class in last and that was coming off a sick scratch. Has been cashing checks versus better and Bartlett may look to get on the engine versus this kind.6-Bravo Tex N (6-1)-There isn't a standout in this field and maybe Lasix will kick in tonight. Zeron is in the bike for the 2nd straight time. Will use and try to beat the tepid program chalk #8. Makes the 2nd start for the Fusco barn and has cashed checks in the last two races which were at this class.My Ticket Race 7) 1,6 Race 8) 4,7 Race 9) 2,7 Race 10) 2,4,6Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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11.22.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Mahoning Valley Sprint | Monday, November 22

Today’s $250,000 Mahoning Valley Sprint boasts a field of 12 and a fantastic feature race for a Monday. To sweeten the pot, 1/ST BET and Xpressbet are offering up to a $10 money-back special on win bets throughout the entire Mahoning Valley card today. If your win bet finishes second or third, you’ll get up to a $10 refund in the form of wagering credits.To assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Mahoning Valley// Race 8 // 4:07 pm ET // $250,000 Mahoning Valley Sprint Stakes // 6 furlongs#4 Baby Yoda (3-1) // 30%W // 41%P // 49%S#2 Beren (6-1) // 17%W // 32%P // 52%S#5 Newbomb (5-1) // 9%W // 21%P // 31%S#7 Real Talk (4-1) // 7%W // 13%P // 28%S#6 Mister Luigi (8-1) // 6%W // 23%P // 35%S#8 Channel Fury (15-1) // 5%W // 19%P // 24%S#10 Timeless Bounty (30-1) // 5%W // 12%P // 15%S#3 Jaxon Traveler (7-2) // 3%W // 9%P // 18%S#9 A Few Too Many (20-1) // 3%W // 6%P // 10%S#1 Kiltoom (50-1) // 3%W // 6%P // 10%S#11 Ahimelech (50-1) // 3%W // 6%P // 10%S#12 Insofar (30-1) // 2%W // 7%P // 12%S

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11.21.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Pompano Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, November 21

Pompano Park has a 12-race card scheduled with the 0.50 Late Pick 4 starting in Race 9. The sequence has a $15,000 guaranteed pool with a 12% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 93-Prairie Panther (7/2)-This 7-year-old ships in for the winter from HoP and has won 27 of 42 PPk starts. Does its best work on the 5/8's and could be a main player if dialed on high. Boyd should have the 7-year-old in play from the start.4-Warrawee Veloce (3-1)-Hiteman will steer again and this 4-year-old raced well in 3 of 4 recent PPk starts. Best to respect, gets some needed post relief and was off a month before its Pompano debut.6-Double Metal (8/5)-Betting Line 3-year-old has won 2 of the last 4 taking pictures versus Open III company. Drops and this was Hennessey's choice. Should be a main player and chances go up with a quick pace.Race 103-Pine Knot Tuff (5-1)-Beaten chalk makes his 2nd PPk appearance and was off a couple of weeks before finishing 2nd in the last start. Looking for more tonight and should race near the top of the stack.4-Big Mach (15-1)-Beat better than this on 11-7 at odds of 23-1 and then didn't fare well versus $15,000 claimers. Fits better here and should offer a juicy price.7-Mach West (3/2)-Hoosier Park shipper is Hennessey's choice over #6. Has hit the board in 19 of 33 starts at the Pomp and has taken 8 pictures. Has the gate speed to get a good early seat but will be a tiny price and hasn't raced since 11-5.Race 111-Trashytonguetalker (5/2)-Drops after a needed start and can leave quickly so Plano can work a nice trip. Made its Pompano debut last week and should be in the mix from start to finish.3-Windemere Ryan (4-1)-Trip dependent 4-year-old needs a good steer but has been facing better and has a lot of experience on smaller ovals. Has been dropping looking for an elusive win and this might be night.Race 122-Gold Star Barron (3-1)-Has the gate speed to be on the point and faces a group where that should be a tactical advantage. This was Ingraham's choice over #6 and will look for a big try versus a field without a standout.4-Born Desire (4-1)-This 3-year-old finally gets some needed post relief and tries Lasix for the 1st time. Willing to take a swing that both will help and could end up in the pocket behind the one above.My Ticket Race 9) 3,4,6 Race 10) 3,4,7 Race 11) 1,3 Race 12) 2,4Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.21.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Sunday, November 21

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 7-Donner Lake; 9-Suzie Qzz BrotherForecast: Los Alamitos from doesn’t always transfer to Del Mar, so we’re not confident Suzie Qzz Brother will run as well today as he did when earning a career top speed figure in a strong runner-up effort last time out almost two months ago. He’s drawn comfortably outside and shouldn’t have any excuses as the 9/5 morning line favorite in this maiden special weight sprint for older horses. Donner Lake tries dirt for the first time and there’s no reason he won’t handle it. Freshened since August and showing the route-to-sprint angle, the R. Baltas-trained colt has numbers that fit and bullet recent five furlong workout (:59 1/5, fastest of 29) at San Luis Rey Downs that catches the eye.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Kennebec; 5-Steak and CheeseForecast: Kennebec is re-equipped with blinkers after finishing willingly but too late when a close fourth in a slightly tougher spot at Santa Anita last month. He’s likely to enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip from his good rail draw, so let’s give the J. Wong-trained colt a slight edge on top with “win rider” B. Pena flying down from his home base at Golden Gate Fields to pick up the mount. Steak and Cheese looked pretty good winning a much softer restricted (nw-2) $25,000 seller last month at Santa Anita in a race that earned a career top speed figure, one that makes him dangerous despite the class hike. The M. Maker-trained gelding wants to be held up and allowed to produce a late kick. Regular rider U. Rispoli stays aboard and knows him well.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Playin in the Band; 6-Straight Up GForecast: Straight Up G was bet like he couldn’t lose in his debut (even money) but had no visible excuse in a six-runner affair from a cozy outside post and wound up a disappointing fourth, beaten more than six lengths. The San Luis Rey Downs-based colt continues to produce strong workout times, so in a below average field the R. Baltas-trained son of Straight Fire probably deserves another chance. Playin in the Band is bred for speed (Stanford) and seems to be working pretty well for M. Glatt. With hot riding J. Hernandez taking the call and at 3-1 on the morning line, he’s worth including on your ticket as well.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: BSingle: 7-Pop Pop’s DreamForecast: Pop Pop’s Dream was visually quite pleasing in victory over the Del Mar turf course when last seen in a maiden $50,000 middle distance affair in late August. Haltered by M. Puype from the race, she makes her first start for her new connections after being a late scratch Oct 8 and then not working again until two weeks later. If ready, and if she runs back to her last performance, the daughter Paynter should be capable of winning on the raise. With just two starts on her resume, she has plenty of room for improvement and at 4-1 on the morning line looks like a reasonable gamble in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Artisan Dancer; 8-Surely SpectacularForecast: We’ll double this bottom-rung maiden $20,000 sprint for two-year-old fillies but not with any degree of confidence. Big ticket players should spread as deeply as they can afford to. Artisan Dancer has some early speed and could get brave at this level if she breaks running and become the controlling speed. She’s not particularly strong in the speed figure department but none of these are, and in this league, she could easily improve a bunch. Surely Spectacular moves to the B. Koriner barn and has a number three races back over this main track that makes her a major player. She’s likely to settle in a stalking position and then have her chance from the quarter pole home.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 5-Provocation; 8-Bristol BayouForecast: Provocation can fire fresh (she won her debut) and her recent workouts should have her fit enough for a big effort off the bench for B. Baffert in this first-level allowance optional claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Away since last December, the daughter of Into Mischief could easily be a better type now as a 4-year-old, so we’ll give her a very slight edge on top over Bristol Bayou, a winner of three of her last four starts with solid speed figures and likely to enjoy an ideal second flight, stalking trip outside.Notable Workouts:Provocation (November 10, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:12.2h). Grade: B+In blinkers, caught her a bit slower on our watches but still looked quite good for B. Baffert, splits of :36.4, 1:00.4 and 1:13 flat while working from the five furlong pole out to the seven furlong pole, never really asked and finishing with plenty left. Coming back better than she left.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BSingle: 2-InvincibellaForecast: Let’s take a stand with Invincibella, a winner over this course and distance during the summer meeting with numbers that are good enough to handle this $25,000 claiming field of older fillies and mares. The P. Miller-trained Irish-bred likes to settle in the second flight and then produce a late kick, so with good racing luck and a decent pace to chase she should be good enough to tag the speed close home. At 3-1 on the morning line, she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.Notable Workouts____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Fashionably Fast; 2-None Above the LawForecast: The main contention in this year’s renewal of the Cary Grant S. is drawn inside, with both Fashionably Fast and None Above the Law having the ideal style for this seven furlong distance. ‘Fast, first or second in six of eight career starts over the Del Mar main track, won a listed stakes at Fresno last month to indicate there’s still plenty of life in the old legs, while ‘Law, winner of the Del Mar Derby-G2 running long on the lawn two races back, shortens in trip, faces state-bred rivals, and won the Real Good Deal S. over this track and distance in July in such a manner that suggest that this extended sprint trip might bring out his best stuff. We’ll give the older Fashionably Fast a very slight edge on top but include both in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:Fashionably Fast (November 14, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: B+Full of run through the lane without being asked, final half mile in :24 flat and :47.3 on our watches. Razor sharp and always gives his best.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:30 PT Grade:Use: 5-Buy American; 7-Buzz of New York; 11-Laura MarsForecast: The extreme outside post is no bargain but if Laura Mars can reproduce the form she displayed in two starts over the all-weather surface at Chantilly in France last spring in her U.S. debut the daughter of Elusive Quality should be capable of handling this middle distance turf maiden affair for older fillies and mares. The R. Baltas-trained filly – a first time Lasix user - has been burning up the track at San Luis Rey Downs to indicate she is fit and ready, so let’s put her on top at 4-1 on the morning line. Buy American has been her own worst enemy so far in her career, but the removal of blinkers could help her relax and not get rank, and if so, she should be dangerous from a stalking position. The B. Koriner-trained daughter of American Pharoah is intriguing at 5-1 on the morning line. Buzz of New York isn’t one to trust, having burned money in her last pair vs. similar, but she’s a fit on numbers, switches to J. Hernandez, and should be running on late.Notable Workouts:Buy American (November 5, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h). Grade: B+No blinkers, went off quickly and then was allowed to finish on her own, quite nice for a grass specialist working on dirt, splits of :23.2, :35.1 and 1:00.4 for B. Koriner. Looks quite sharp and is overdue for a maiden win.View Workout Video

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11.21.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Gulfstream | Sunday, November 21

Gulfstream Park’s Sunday activities culminate with a Pick 4 that features the $60,000 Opa-Locka Handicap, a mile race over the main track that attracted a good field of fillies and mares. It goes as the 10th race and the third leg of the sequence.This week’s suggested ticket amounts to $80, and here’s a look at the main players:8th Race (3:23 p.m. ET, maiden special weight)MR RUM RUNNER has thrown a scare into all three fields of horses he’s faced, and he looks primed to get his maiden win in his fourth start.He has two seconds and a third thus far and stepped it up to minor stakes company in the Juvenile on the Tapeta. That was his first two-turn attempt and he was ready for it. He set the pace and finished second.Also on the ticket: DOMINICAN ICE, POSEIDON’S SON, URANIUM.9th Race (3:53 p.m. ET, claiming)SUMMERFEST didn’t fire in his first one here, which came in an optional claiming race on the main track. He moves over to Tapeta for this, and that’s a good thing as he won three of his last four on the all-weather strip at Presque Isle.He prefers sprints and has had a solid kick on several occasions.Also on the ticket: LAUDA SPEED, DIMENNA, MILITARY DRILL, INDY LYON.10th Race (4:23 p.m. ET, Opa-Locka Handicap)DANCE D’ORO isn’t accustomed to the stakes or handicap ranks, but her latest was enough of an eye-opener to give her a big chance. She blasted out of the gate and opened a clear lead and just never faltered at any point.When it was all said and done, she won in easy fashion, and a similar run will make her very tough against these capable distaffers.Also on the ticket: QUEEN NEKIA, HELPING LISA D, COMPETITIVE SPEED.11th Race (4:53 p.m. ET, claiming)DESIGNED BY KITTEN has been away for a year and resurfaces for a $10,000 claiming price.She won a maiden special weight race at Woodbine for her career debut and was fourth in the Hollywood Beach Stakes on turf here in September 2020.She makes her first start for the Saffie Joseph, Jr., which is not a bad place to be with its 24-percent successful rate (150 of 633 this year), and he has a long list of works for this.Also on the ticket: SHE’S CLASSY.My TicketRace 8) #1 Dominican Ice, #4 Poseidon’s Son, #5 Mr Rum Runner, #7 Uranium.Race 9) #2 Summerfest, #4 Lauda Speed, #5 Dimenna, #6 Military Drill, #8 Indy Lyon.Race 10) #1 Dance d’Oro, #2 Queen Nekia, #3 Helping Lisa D, #5 Competitive Speed.Race 11) #3 She’s Classy, #8 Designed by Kitten. Total Ticket Cost) 1,4,5,7/2,4,5,6,8/1,2,3,5/3,8 = $80 for $0.50

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11.20.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Meadowlands Early Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, November 20

The Meadowlands has a star-studded 14-race program set to go tonight. The all stakes Early 0.50 Pick 4 begins in Race 6. The sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 67-Venerable (1/1)-Romped in the Matron at Dover after making a rare break in the Crown Elimination. Winner of 9 in 10 starts will be posing again unless the trip is very bumpy. This 2-year-old filly has been a trotting machine.Race 71-Atlanta (2-1)-Gingras has options, but my guess is he won't be hell-bent on leading the field from the start of the race. This champion mare likes a target, and she should be in striking range at the head of the lane. The top foes will be leaving from the outside. A more efficient trip could be difference to seal the deal for the 7th win in 12 starts this year.8-When Dovescry (4-1)-This mare is as tough as nails and has the ability to win even with this post draw. Miller knows how to steal a quarter but first needs to get the point without burning a lot of gas. The other option would be to duck and look to come off cover, but either way an aggressive steer is needed.Race 84-Hammering Hank (9/5)-Hank is in sharp form, even the 4th place finish in the Crown Final from post 8 in the slop was impressive. Winner of 2 straight as an odds-on choice has looked the part and should continue rolling here.Race 94-Forbidden Trade (5/2)-Dube takes the lines for the injured McClure, and he knows how to come with speed and race on the point. This Blais trainee has been idle since a rough trip in the Crown Final. Will be tough to catch if ready for a top effort.5-Beads (8-1)-Gingras should have this Engblom trainee forwardly placed and could take advantage of a pocket ride behind the one above. Winner of 5 in 18 Big M starts should be in the mix at a solid price if minds manners.7-Ready For Moni (5-1)-Comes off a big try from post 8 in the Crown Final and that was the 1st start on Lasix. This Takter trainee has hit the board 11 times in 12 starts at M1 with 5 pictures. Could be sitting on a big try and might be overlooked at the windows.8-Back Of The Neck (7/2)-Here is another that comes off a monster effort in the Final from post 10. Sizzled the last quarter in 26.2 to cash a 2nd place check. Not sure what plan Zeron will follow tonight and won't be 62-1 but should be a player in a completive affair.My Ticket Race 6) 7 Race 7) 1,8 Race 8) 4 Race 9) 4,5,7,8Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.20.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Saturday, November 20

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Cali Bay; 2-Square CatForecast: Cali Bay earned a career top speed figure when missing by a neck in a similar five-furlong turf dash at Santa Anita last month and today shows up as a first-time gelding while drawing the coveted inside post position. He’s worked well in the interim and should be primed for another forward move, though his lack of tactical speed over a course and distance that heavily favors the speed makes his quest for a diploma-producing victory somewhat challenging. Square Cat is worth including on your rolling exotic ticket as well. The son of Square Eddie, a somewhat respectable third in his debut at 17-1, has a right to step forward with that bit of experience behind him, and with a healthy series of workouts since that race for trainer B. Koriner (solid stats with the second-time starter angle) he should have a decent price chance at 6-1 on the morning line.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 6-T Bones Trick; 7-Family BizForecast: T Bones Trick joins the high-percentage J. Wong barn for his first start since mid-September and the veteran gelding shows a recent solid series of drills to indicate he’s ready for a major effort for a barn that hits at a strong 24% with the layoff angle. A prior winner over the Del Mar main track, the son of Midnight Lute should settle nicely in the second flight and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Family Biz plummets in class to his cheapest level ever ($16,000) after being claimed for $40,000 by J. Mullins two races back. Obviously, this is not the healthiest of patterns but if the son of Fed Biz has one good one left, he could easily snap back to form against this group. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to T Bones Trick.Notable Workouts:T Bones Trick (November 13, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.2). Grade: BIn blinkers and shadow roll, finished in a breeze outside Barbiere (same time) for J. Wong, splits of :23.3 and :47.3, a tick slower than given on our watch but quite nice, nonetheless. Freshened since mid-September and looks sharp and eager.View Workout VideoFamily Biz (November 6, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.2h TT). Grade: B+May have gone a tad slower than given but was under cruise control throughout in solo bullet training track drill (fastest of 9), final three furlongs in 12 flat and :36.1, plenty left while looking like his old self. Perked up and ready to snap back to good form.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Trickle In; 5-Zero ToleranceForecast: Zero Tolerance is listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite in this five-furlong optional allowance claiming turf sprint for fillies and mares and looks very much like an odds-on choice on paper. A smart winner down the Hillside Course in the Unzip S. in early October, the daughter of Mizzen Mast failed to stay a mile when weakening under pressure to wind up fourth in the subsequent Autumn Miss S.-G3 three weeks ago. Back sprinting and dropping into the second-level allowance ranks, the P. Miller-trained filly should outclass this group. Trickle In may be worth using on a ticket or two as a back-up. She’s a quick sort, and over a course that heavily promotes speed the D. Blacker-trained filly could get loose early and take this field a long way.Notable Workouts:Trickle In (November 5, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.1h TT). Grade: B-Was under stout restraint throughout in solo training track drill, final three furlongs in :37.3 looking fine but never changing leads. Seems to have all of her speed, probably more comfortable on grass.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Head for Business; 4-WearenotbadpeopleForecast: Wearenotbadpeople, a first-off-the-claim play for Bay Area-based trainer Q. Howey, finished a close fourth over this track and distance last month in his second career start and won’t really need to improve much to graduate in this soft maiden $50,000 abbreviated sprint for older state-bred runners. A beaten choice in both starts, the son of Clubhouse Ride so far has trained a bit better than he’s run and may not be one to trust, but with plenty of room to improve the sophomore gelding deserves one more chance. Head for Business already has had eight races without winning but has hit the board on four occasions and has speed figures that are tops in the field. He’s never been one to fight back in the final furlong when put to pressure but against this group he might be able to open up and then hang on. In a race that otherwise should be left alone, both should be included in rolling exotic play.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Hail Freedom; 3-Prince AbamaForecast: Prince Abama missed at 4/5 in a similar two-turn maiden turf affair last month at Santa Anita but earned a better than par speed figure in the process and today adds blinkers, so the Irish-bred gelding seems likely to be a relatively short price once again. A bullet half mile training track drill (:47 4/5, fastest of 15) catches the eye, and from a cozy three-hole position regular rider U. Rispoli should be able to dictate his trip. Hail Freedom is slower on numbers than our top pick but has hit the board in his last six starts and could find himself as the controlling speed if rating tactics are employed by the sprinter-stretching-out Sai Con. Even if relegated to a stalking position, the California-bred son of Box Score projects as a major player every step of the way. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics and then press in the win pool with Prince Abama on top.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Adare Manor; 4-Micro ShareForecast: Unless there is a top prospect among the first-time starters, Adare Manor should be set to graduate at a short price in this extended sprint for maiden juvenile fillies. The daughter of Uncle Mo displayed good speed under pressure throughout and then just failed to last when second, beaten a neck, in a strong maiden special weight sprint at Santa Anita late last month. With that race behind and for a barn that has superior stats with the second-time starter angle, the B. Baffert-trained filly is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite but seems likely to go shorter. Among the newcomers, Micro Share may be the most dangerous and probably is worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up. A $450,000 OBS April sale graduate, the daughter of Upstart smoked a quarter of a mile in :20 4/5 in a breeze during the preview session that led to her expensive purchase, and a recent gate drill in company with impressive debut winner Unbridled Mary was pretty decent as well.Notable Workouts:Adare Manor (November 12, Santa Anita, 4f, 47.2h). Grade: B+Just galloping in effortless drill, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.2 (probably went a couple of ticks slower than given). Uncle Mo filly seems certain to improve with experience and distance.View Workout VideoMicro Share (October 24, Santa Anita, 3f, :36.1hg)In blinkers, was slightly second best with Unbridled Mary (5f, 1:00.3hg) and Cardoza (4f, :48.3hg), mild some coaxing in useful drill while in company with a subsequent impressive first out winner. Appears to have some speed, recorded three fast drills following this late October drill. Would have to think she can be competitive first time out.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Big Coupe; 4-Secret Club; 11-Midnight JostarForecast: Secret Club looks well-spotted for a winning effort after stringing together three straight third place finishes in similar first-level allowance competition, most recently as the 6/5 favorite in a 10-furlong affair at Santa Anita. His numbers are strong, and with regular pilot F. Prat serving a suspension good grass rider J. Bravo picks up the mount and should give him the patient ride he requires. This will be his first race in blinkers, so perhaps the son of Clubhouse Ride will show renewed spark, so at 4-1 on the morning line there’s value to be found in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Big Coupe has won his last pair in convincing fashion and could be this good if his improvement continues. The lightly raced son of Lakerville has rising numbers but needs another forward move to make him a threat in this league. Never off the board in seven starts, the L. Powell-trained gelding should be prominent throughout. Midnight Jostar gets the worst of the draw but is another with steadily improving form and a prior win over the Del Mar turf course. He’ll need some help up front to have his best chance, but the P. D’Amato-trained gelding continues to impress in the a.m. and is worth including somewhere at 6-1 on the morning line.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: 4:00 PT Grade:Use: 2-Midcourt; 5-Azul Coast; 6-Eight RingsForecast: We’re not really sure if Eight Rings wants to go nine furlongs but he certainly has the pedigree to get the distance and based on his recent races the B. Baffert-trained colt seems to be returning to his Grade-1 winning form of his 2-year-old season. A distant but respectable fourth behind Life Is Good in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-G2 two weeks ago, the son of Empire Maker is wheeled back quickly in this year’s edition of the Native Diver S.-G3 and offers a good gamble at 7/2 on the morning line. Del Mar specialist Midcourt, virtually eased in the Awesome Again S.-G1 in early October, has bounced back successfully in the past after a poor run and is more than capable of winning at this level with his best effort. The son of Midnight Lute is most comfortable on the front end, so we suspect gate-to-wire tactics will be employed. Azul Coast is a fit on numbers based on his clever overnight win over the local main track two races back. He’s reunited with “win rider” F. Prat and project to enjoy a good second flight trip and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home.Notable Workouts:Eight Rings (November 15, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.2h). Grade: B+In blinkers, broke off several lengths behind Crew Dragon (4f, :49.1h) and rallied inside to prove much best while breezing through the lane, splits of :23.4 and :36 flat from the three furlong pole out to the seven furlong pole. On top of his game.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 2-Dixie’s Two StentsForecast: Dixie’s Two Stents drops to the bottom-rung maiden $20,000 level and appears to have found a proper spot to graduate. His close fourth place finish over the Del Mar main track two races back in a maiden special weight sprint earned a speed figure that should allow him to outdistance his modest foes, and while this class drop indicates the son of Quality Road is being culled from the stable the move seems reasonable. At 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, the D. O’Neill-trained gelding looks like a logical short-priced rolling exotic single.

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11.20.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: National Stakes | Saturday, November 20

Saturday’s stakes lineup features important races from coast to coast. To assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Aqueduct // Race 9 // 3:43 pm ET // $200,000 Grade 2 Red Smith Stakes // 1-3/8 miles (turf)#7 Channel Cat (4-1) // 27%W#3 Soldier Rising (5-1) // 13%W#4 Serve the King (3-1) // 12%W#8 Sanctuary City (20-1) // 9%WChurchill Downs // Race 10 // 5:36 pm ET // $300,000 Grade 2 Chilukki Stakes // 1 mile#7 Obligatory (5-2) // 30%W#1 She Can’t Sing (5-1) // 20%W#3 Matera (3-1) // 10%W#4 Miss Bigly (3-1) // 9%WGolden Gate Fields // Race 7 // 6:46 pm ET // $50,000 Oakland Stakes // 6 furlongs#6 Border Town (5-2) // 32%W#1 In Our A (2-1) // 21%W#4 Ultimate Bango (3-1) // 13%W#5 Papa’s Golden Boy (9-2) // 11%WDel Mar // Race 8 // 7:00 pm ET // $100,000 Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes // 1-1/8 miles#6 Eight Rings (7-2) // 25%W#2 Midcourt (4-1) // 21%W#4 Bal Harbour (8-1) // 18%W#5 Azul Coast (5-1) // 13%W

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11.20.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Gulfstream Rainbow 6 Mandatory | Saturday, November 20

Saturday’s Gulfstream Park program includes a mandatory payout in the Rainbow 6 pool. To assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Gulfstream Park // Race 5 // 2:34 pm ET // claiming // 1 mile 70 yards (Tapeta)#12 Tudox Roadster (8-1) // 21%W#1 Theuncapturedlady (10-1) // 16%W#10 Flying Black (5-1) // 13%W#3 Toolegittoquit (10-1) // 10%WGulfstream Park // Race 6 // 3:07 pm ET // maiden claiming // 6 furlongs#2 Dignified (7-2) // 20%W#9 Miss Youniverse (20-1) // 16%W#1 Ines’s Hats (12-1) // 10%W#4 Powder My Nose (15-1) // 9%WGulfstream Park // Race 7 // 3:40 pm ET // maiden claiming // 1-1/16 miles (Tapeta)#5 Midnight Bella (7-2) // 27%W#6 Diamond Play (5-1) // 17%W#1 Tilsa (12-1) // 12%W#8 Pearlescent (3-1) // 8%WGulfstream Park // Race 8 // 4:10 pm ET // claiming // 1 mile#5 Malibu Max (6-1) // 19%W#4 Benefactor (15-1) // 12%W#12 Dark Ages (8-1) // 10%W#8 Here Comes Bullet (12-1) // 8%WGulfstream Park // Race 9 // 4:40 pm ET // optional claiming // 1-1/16 miles (Tapeta)#1 Centsless Drama (3-1) // 21%W#7 Appointed (9-2) // 20%W#3 Village Queen (8-1) // 15%W#2 Feets of Feather (12-1) // 13%WGulfstream Park // Race 10 // 5:10 pm ET // claiming // 1 mile 70 yards (Tapeta)#7 Flowmotion (4-1) // 21%W#4 Backwoods Boogie (5-1) // 16%W#2 Digital Footprint (5-1) // 12%W#8 Golden Decision (5-1) // 10%W

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11.20.2021:

Race of the Week: Oakland Stakes at Golden Gate Fields | Saturday, November 20

$50,000 OAKLAND STAKES AT GOLDEN GATE FIELDSSaturday, November 20, 2021The Lead:We venture to Northern California for this week's action and the 6-furlong Oakland Stakes for elder sprinters on the Tapeta surface. Golden Gate Fields' Saturday feature lured a field of 7 that includes 5 locals and a pair of shippers based at Santa Anita. The Oakland will go as Race 7 on a 9-race card.​Field Depth:PAPA'S GOLDEN BOY is the lone stakes winner in the field, while BORDER TOWN is Grade 3-placed and the likes of IN OUR A and ULTIMATE BANGO are stakes-placed. Three others are out to prove their class worth. BORDER TOWN has kept the classiest running lines in the field, mostly in turf routes.Pace:For a 6-furlong sprint, there's little determined early speed. Couple that with a modest field size of 7, and this race likely will be taken by a horse on the front end. With few quality and quantity challenges, it sets up for early speed. IN OUR A from the rail and PAPA'S GOLDEN BOY appear to have the most early interest, while I'MGONNABESOMEBODY could be forwardly placed. PAPA'S GOLDEN BOY should be fastest early.Our Eyes:SoCal shippers ULTIMATE BANGO (Mark Glatt) and BORDER TOWN (Richard Mandella) will garner much attention from the national simulcast audience. ULTIMATE BANGO exits a late-running third at Del Mar in a turf sprint allowance behind the win machine Mike's Tiznow, a quality effort despite a troubled trip. It's his second start off a layoff and should improve, but he's not won a race in more than 2 years and that included a flat third of five over this surface in his only local try in last fall's El Dorado Shooter Stakes. BORDER TOWN cuts back to 6 furlongs for the first time in his 18th career race. Sire War Front gives him some brilliance up top, but he's bred all route on the damside and his rallying route past performances are questionable at this trip...particularly with a lack of early pace to set the table.PAPA'S GOLDEN BOY wired the Budweiser and Governor's Stakes this summer at Emerald Downs on dirt while sprinting and represented himself well enough in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile when fourth on the stretch-out. His Nov. 7 try at Del Mar was compromised by a trouble start when last of four in a turf sprint allowance behind graded stakes winner Beer Can Man, who would be odds-on vs. this group. PAPA'S GOLDEN BOY has never run on the GGF main track, but has been here since September and a bullet workout Oct. 30 for this indicates he can get over it well enough.IN OUR A is the other early pace threat to fear. He's never missed an exacta in 10 starts with 5 wins and 5 runner-up finishes. All of those have come sprinting on the Tapeta; this is what he's cut out to do. Jockey Pedro Terrero is riding lights out and expect him to put this one right into the mix from the rail draw. This will be a class test for the former claimer and Cal-bred stakes performer, but the makeup of the field doesn't overwhelm him on credentials.Others include the former SoCal claims RAGER and ITALIANO in a 2-3 rematch from their recent $40,000 claiming showdown, as well as ex maiden claimer I'MGONNABESOMEBODY off back-to-back route victories in starter allowance an allowance company.Most Certain Exotics Contender:IN OUR A is within his element and has not missed an exacta in 10 tries. The pace seems manageable as well.​​Best Longshot Exotics Contender:No big prices are expected, but I'MGONNABESOMEONE could sit a nice trip outside within reach of the front and have some staying power while turning back from route to sprint. That's a good recipe to keep punching for a share.​Sending it in ($100 bankroll):Lean to the early speed horses, which may still offer value if we knock off both SoCal shippers. $50 exacta box PAPA'S GOLDEN BOY and IN OUR A ($100).

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11.19.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, November 19

Hoosier Park has a 13-race card on tap to start the weekend. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 10, and the sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 101-Ima Diamond Babe (9/5)-Has faced some tough Indiana bred 3-year-olds and should relish the company. Beat this kind on 10-27 as an odds-on choice. Can be forwardly placed from the start and won't offer any value but should be tough to beat.7-Sister Jean (6-1)-Sister came off a sick scratch and started from the 2nd tier versus this kind and cashed a 2nd place check. Was defeated by #4 who was repeat winner. If the morning line choice doesn't bring her fastball this gal should be in the hunt at a solid price. Came the back half in 57.1 and this race could set-up for a closer.Race 112-Stright Cool Up (15-1)-Looks like a live longshot with the right steer. Putnam should provide an efficient trip with this post draw. Could get sucked around and use a nice brush down the lane to surprise.5-Ana Afreet N (3-1)-Raced gamely to the wire but was nipped by an odds-on chalk, and the trip could have been better. Was caught 1st over on the backside into a .28 third quarter and will rely on Widger working a smoother journey tonight.6-Little Rocket Man (3/5)-Raced big again to capture its 3rd straight on 11-5. Did fade near the wire and De Long was after him down the stretch. Offers a very short price and deserves respect but will look to others to be better down the lane this time.Race 123-Bold And Brassy (4-1)-Went off at 17-1, took advantage of a sizzling 1st half and went by foes in the late going. The trip could be different here but Leonard should have this 7-year-old in striking range. The program chalk drops into a soft spot but has been camera shy, so best to not overlook.5-Kneedeep N Custard (2-1)-Should be a main player here but has trouble producing a complete effort. Hasn't sealed the deal since 7-30 versus Open II company. Should wake up tonight but can't completely trust.Race 131-Gazing Start (2-1)-The field has tallied a total of 16 wins this year and this 5-year-old has taken 2 of the pictures. Has been facing better and Tetrick takes the lines, This smells like a drop and pop situation.6-America's Fleet (5/2)-Only 1-31 in 2021 and this will be the 1st time for Widger to take a seat. This is another short price and the change in pilots could be the difference.My Ticket Race 10) 1,7 Race 11) 2,5,6 Race 12) 3,5 Race 13) 1,6Total Ticket Cost) $12 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.19.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Friday, November 19

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: BSingle: 3-Map to My HeartForecast: Map to My Heart has been away for more than a year but the daughter of Liam’s Map shows a work tab at Los Alamitos that should have her fit enough and based on the ability she displayed over this course and distance as a 2-year-old she appears to have landed in a winnable spot. This maiden special weight turf sprint came up softer than par, so at 3-1 on the morning line let’s go with the B. Koriner-trained filly as a win play and rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-California Kook; 4-Velvet SlippersForecast: California Kook was out of her element in the Zenyatta S.-G1 at Santa Anita last month but returns to her favorite dirt surface while dropping back into the first-level allowance ranks so we’re expecting the daughter of Boisterous to regain her winning form. She does her best running from off the pace and should get the patient ride she requires with the switch to U. Rispoli. Velvet Slippers is lightly-raced with rapidly rising Beyer speed figures, continues to impress in the morning, and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. In a field that should produce a modest early pace, she could inherit the role as the controlling speed and be very tough to catch given that type of trip. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a very slight edge on top to California Kook.Notable Workouts:Velvet Slippers (Nov. 7, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h). Grade: B+Always going the better of the two inside Enbarr (same time) while finishing a long neck in front at the wire without every really being asked, final quarter mile in :24 flat. On the upgrade for B. Baffert and has all of her conditions.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 6-Hay Juan; 7-TizlightningForecast: Tizlightning won at first asking in clever fashion with a solid speed figure at Los Alamitos in September. He returns protected in a starter optional claimer, lands the cozy outside post, and will be tough to beat if he duplicates his maiden performance. Hay Juan is the quickest in the field and will take them as far as he can for new trainer D. O’Neill. The Danzing Candy colt was straight as a string to hang on when beating maiden $50,000 foes over this track and distance in early September and shows a bullet local workout (5f, 1:00h) seven days ago to indicate that further improvement is probable. We’re expecting the winner to be one or the other, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics with a very slight edge on top to Tizlightning.Notable Workouts:Tizlightning (November 13, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.3h TT). Grade: BEasy move, just galloping along looking fine, final three furlongs in a breezing :12.1 and :37.4. Freshened since good maiden claiming debut win and should be quite competitive with starter’s allowance foes.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Barristan The Bold; 4-Mr Vargas; 7-First PrezForecast: We’ll spread the fourth race, a $25,000 claiming turf sprint for older horses. Barristan The Bold made the running but faded late in a similar affair down the Hillside Course at Santa Anita last month in what was a fairly strong race for the level. This shortening in trip should help, and a repeat of his troubled third over this course and distance three runs back probably would be good enough to win. At 4-1 on the morning line, he’s worth a play in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics Mr Vargas finished a good third in an allowance $40,000 optional seller sprinting on this turf course in late August. The layoff is concerning and so is the drop in class, so we have to wonder what kind of condition he’s in. Clearly, on best day he can win against this group but it’s entirely possible he’s seen better days. First Prez has a prior win over the local lawn and could snap to life in his first-off-the claim for J. Mullins. The First Dude gelding projects to enjoy a nice pace-stalking trip outside and then have every chance from the quarter pole home to take control. At 6-1 on the morning line, you have to include him somewhere.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Riviera Champ; 7-Town BoyForecast: Town Boy seems fairly solid in this maiden $32,000 claiming sprint for juveniles. Runner-up in his last pair with rising speed figures that are stronger than par for the level, the son of Speightstown returns to the level at which he was claimed, switches to A. Cedillo, and should be on or near the lead throughout from a comfortable outside draw. Riviera Champ, a $50,000 M. Maker claim at Santa Anita, has two-turned on grass in all three of his career starts and today shortens to a sprint, switches to dirt, and reappears in a softer $32,000 affair. If he can run, this would be a good spot to show it. Two very sharp workouts over the local main track since joining this barn are quite encouraging. We’ll give Town Boy top billing but include both in our rolling exotics.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Fly to Mars; 8-Absolute UnitForecast: Fly to Mars draws a much better post today and should draft into an ideal stalking, ground-saving position and then have every chance to regain his winning form when the pressure is turned on. The veteran gelding always has run well over Del Mar turf course but has failed as the favorite in each of his last four starts, though not running badly at all. Today looks like his day. Absolute Unit, drops below his claim level in his second start since joining the M. Maker barn, has a prior win over the local turf course and is a strong fit based on his clever win two races back. He looks better on form than his 8-1 morning line, so we’ll toss him in on a few tickets as a back-up or a saver.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BSingle: 4-Delta WindForecast: Not sure what happened to Delta Wind when she flopped badly at 60 cents on the dollar in a similar spot for first-level allowance fillies and mares at Santa Anita last month. She appeared hot and bothered in the post parade and then seemed totally disinterested while earning a Beyer speed figure 26 points lower than her maiden win over the Del Mar main track two runs back. She was very impressive in that 11 length romp while turning in a performance that would bury this group, so let’s give her a chance to make amends and hope she shows up with her best stuff today. At 5/2 on the morning line. she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.Notable Workouts:Delta Wind (November 11, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: B+Appeared to lose focus a bit and was a tad green through the lane but still turned in solid five furlong main track drill without being asked, splits of :23.3, :35.1 and 1:00.1 for J. Sadler. A bit quirky but has plenty of ability and will be tough to beat vs. non-winners of two types if she performs up to potential.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 5-Bonnie Brae; 10-La Deuxieme EtoileForecast: Bonnie Brae was quite unlucky when well-backed (5/2) on the tote and then winding up fourth in her debut sprinting on dirt last month at Santa Anita. She broke slowly, fell far back, then took hold and finished with good energy but too late. Yes, her late kick was race-shape aided and may have flattered her performance, but the daughter of Grazen should benefit greatly from the outside and has the pedigree to handle grass and move up over a distance of ground. A bullet recent five furlong workout (:59 1/5) is another positive factor. La Deuxieme Etoile was overmatched in the Zuma Beach S. last month at Santa Anita but isn’t today and is strictly the one to beat. The D. O’Neill-trained filly adds blinkers for the first time and has previous form over this course and distance at this level that makes her strictly the one to beat.

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11.18.2021:

Johnny D: Del Mar Late Pick 4 Ticket | Saturday, November 20

Below is one man’s humble opinion of how Del Mar’s Saturday Late Pick 4 might shake out. The opening leg looks like another Bob Baffert 2-year-old success story. #3 Adare Manor will be difficult to deny. There are some interesting first-time starters in #9 Empire Gal and #4 Micro Share, and #2 Little Lara had an interesting effort first out at Keeneland. For these races, XBTV workout videos are helpful and Xpressbet Race Replays are invaluable. This player used both to hopefully successfully sort out Del Mar race 6. The second leg features a sharp pace play with a comfortable inside draw going one mile and one-sixteenth on the Del Mar lawn. There doesn’t seem to be any other speed in the race to challenge #2 Big Coupe early and that should tell the story. Many in the field are ‘win-averse’ with few scores out of many tries. If it’s not #2 on the front end all the way…it could be just about anyone. Race 8 is a Grade 3 stakes race where trainer Baffert holds all the aces—a set of them, actually. One wonders if he will start all three, especially since two of them have the same front-running style. Look for Baffert to scratch at least one of his runners out of this race. #2 Midcourt has the best credentials on paper, except for that last out dud in the Awesome Again where he was eased. He’s been around the oval with some top runners over the years and been competitive, especially at Del Mar. He’ll be a short price and probably worth playing against. In our experience, eased horses do not bounce back easily to win, especially in graded stakes. If all three Baffert runners stay in the race, the pace could get hot up front. If that happens, #8 Kiss Today Goodbye returns from a layoff with a nice closing style. He’s a real reach, so demand a decent price.  The Pick 4 finale seems to have a couple of obvious plays: #2 Dixie’s Two Stents drops into a likely spot for trainer O’Neill and #6 Fenestra attempts to use his speed to dominate a race that’s a furlong cutback in distance. #5 Warfront Fighter attempts to win his first race in 19 tries and avoid making it 6 second place finishes. #8 Mad Catter reversed form to show speed and finish second last out at 17-1. As for value in this wager, we don’t see it in the first leg, unless #3 Little Lara can improve, or #9 Empire Gal can fire first time out. The second leg hinges on #2 Big Coupe. If not him, who knows? The Native Diver has #2 Midcourt as best on paper, but his last race isn’t encouraging. Scratches may help clarity this picture. The finale seems a 2 to 5-deep runner event. Saturday’s wager probably won’t pay boxcars, so players might want to consider punching a favored ticket several times. RACE 6 (6:00PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Peripheral makes a second start for Baltas after a poor turf mile try. Baltas solid 19% second time out. Blinkers go on (13%), turf to dirt (7%) and Cedillo rides (16%) for the trainer. Rail going six and one-half furlongs is no bargain. Would be a surprise in the win position but could improve with route conditioning cutting back to six and one-half furlongs. #2 Little Lara comes here from Keeneland where she closed ground after a slow start. Outrun early, the first-time starter made a notable middle move and kept trying until the end. She was lugging in a bit and didn’t change leads, so she’s got to improve, but the effort shows she has talent. Six and one-half furlongs should favor her. She was nearly 30-1 in that 12-horse field. Trainer Cerin is just 8% with maiden second-time starters, according to DRF stats. Hernandez has been solid with the trainer 28% overall. Things to like.  #3 Adare Manor makes a second start for trainer Bob Baffert and the trainer’s 26% in that scenario. This Uncle Mo filly finished second by a neck in decent time. She has speed, gets off the rail and clearly is the one to beat in here. #4 Micro Share has a decent training schedule with a pair of recent solid gate drills and two nice six-furlong breezes. Mandella is solid 18% with first-time starters. The filly is by Upstart and was purchased for $450k as a 2-year-old. She has some early speed. #5 I Got a Gal has speed and makes a third start for trainer Eurton. Jockey Rispoli understandably stays with #3 Adare Manor instead of here. Fading performances suggest that six and one-half furlongs won’t be a benefit. #6 Lonely On Top moves from turf to dirt for O’Neill after showing some pace going six furlongs before a fade to better than just one foe. Herrera gets in seven pounds lighter than others and that should help.  #7 Side by Side is a first-time starter for Karen Headley with three consecutive six furlong works. The $35k Keeneland September yearling should be fit enough to give a fair account. #8 Princess Caterina is a first-out daughter for low-profile 1 for 19 trainer Silverio Martinez. The Cal-bred daughter of Prince of Love will be considered later. #9 Empire Gal goes first time for Michael McCarthy, a top trainer who’s not known for winning first out. This daughter of Empire Girl has a pair of serious gate drills: 1:00 2/5 and :59 4/5 on her resume and they’re notable. McCarthy doesn’t usually work charges fast, so those moves are doubly impressive. In the latter drill, she broke a step slow and was asked for speed by the rider. She responded and then settled off workmate Macarena until passing her with ease off the turn and galloping home under wraps. Based on video of works available on XBTV, she looks like she can run, and distance won’t be an issue. #10 Coloratura is a first-time starter for trainer Yakteen, who’s just 3% with first-time starters. Her last work 1:00 3/5 at Santa Anita is interesting and the post is perfect for a debut runner, but she could be overmatched. BEST: #3UPSET FIRST-TIME STARTER: #9OTHER CHANCES: #2, #4 RACE 7 (6:30PM ET) // STARTER ALLOWANCE // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) #1 Jack Sprout has two career wins and they both came at Del Mar at this distance. His last two tries haven’t been great and trainer Mendez mostly is known for success with 2-year-olds. #2 Big Coupe has speed and showed it to win last out going one mile on turf at Santa Anita. His second consecutive victory—both by more than 3 lengths. Such winning margins are notable, particularly on turf. Inside speed always is dangerous going a route on turf and this 3-year-old is in top form. Catch him to win. #3 Liar Liar has no speed and has just about split fields in three recent tries at this level—twice with top jock Prat calling the shots. Hernandez takes over in the saddle for trainer Miller, who’s having a relatively slow meeting with just 2 wins in 27 starts. 10 additional in-the-money finishes for the trainer suggests that Miller has been a bit unlucky. #4 Secret Club also had the services of top jock Prat in his last two turf starts without success for Miller. Bravo is the new pilot. This guy was claimed for $40k out of a third-place finish and has been third twice since for current connections. Blinkers go ‘on’ and Miller is 19% with the move.  #5 Ronamo is a 5-year-old with just 2 wins in 22 starts. He starts for hot trainer D’Amato and jockey Rispoli—a 23% combo. He’s only zero for 2 on turf, so there’s obviously hope the surface makes a winning diference. Like many of these, he has no early speed.  #6 East Rand is a 6-year-old with just 2 wins in 28 starts. One of those wins came over this course and at this distance. He has little early speed in a race without much of that commodity. #7 Foothill is a 4-year-old with 2 wins in 16 starts, one of those at Del Mar. Trainer O’Neill and jockey Cedillo are just 11% together. Gelding doesn’t have much early speed, has mostly been running at one mile on grass and also has a win going one mile and one-eighth on turf at Santa Anita. #8 Epimythium is a new face, fifth at this distance over a ‘good’ Keeneland turf course last out. He’s a 3-year-old gelding with one win and 5 seconds from 12 starts. Only score came at Ellis Park going on mile on turf at the maiden $16k level. He’s another that prefers to run from off the pace. #9 Best Chance is a 4-year-old colt from the Sadler barn. Seven-pound apprentice Herrera takes over from Bravo, who moves to #4 Secret Club. This colt closed ground to miss by just a neck two races back going one mile on turf at Del Mar, so he fits with these and likes the lawn. He’s been no worse than fourth in three recent tries at the level. Again, he has no early speed in a field lacking pace. #10 Sly comes out of a recent turf sprint and has just 2 wins in 15 starts. His best effort came going one mile and one-eighth on turf immediately after being claimed by Metz from Mandella. He was a close fourth that afternoon.  #11 Midnight Jostar is a second entrant from the hot D’Amato barn (24% at Del Mar) and was second last out at this level going one mile on grass at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old is 2 for 17 with a win at this distance over this layout. A nice :59 3/5 bullet move suggests fitness. A deep closer breaking from this far outside post, he’ll need to get very lucky under Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux. CATCH HIM TO WIN: #2 CHANCES: #4, #5, 11 RACE 8 (7:00PM ET) // G3 NATIVE DIVER S. // 1 1/8 MILES (DIRT) #1 Established comes off a pair of upset wins sprinting against lesser and is in sharp form. This is a big step up in class but trainer Baltas doesn’t mind taking a shot with a sharp horse. This 4-year-old has a win over this track at seven furlongs and is making just a second try at the one mile and one-eighth distance. Speed and the rail help, but there’s other speed in here. #2 Midcourt has the most impressive resume in here, according to Beyer Speed Figs. The 6-year-old gelding is a Gr. 2 winner, has never been off the board in 5 starts at Del Mar and has 2 wins and a second in 5 starts at the distance. His last race—eased in the Awesome Again--was the worst of a long and fruitful career. If players can swallow that poor effort, he’s a definite ‘fit.’ Trainer Shirreffs is conservative so you know nothing is seriously wrong with the gelding but that last out is tough to take. Before that race, Shirreffs was quoted as saying he probably would only run barnmate Xpress Train in the Awesome Again. Turns out he was right. #3 Wicked Trick is fit off a recent one mile Del Mar try. He was second in an $80k allowance/optional claimer. The 6-year-old probably will need more than that to win in here. Rispoli replaces Maldonado (latter returns aboard #3 Midcourt) in the saddle for trainer Hess. This guy has raced mostly in New York and was claimed for $100k at Saratoga three races back. #4 Bal Harbour invades from the east coast for this and hasn’t won a race since 2019. The 6-year-old would be surprise. #5 Azul Coast is one of 3 Baffert runners entered in this race. The 4-year-old colt has 3 wins in 9 starts and is 1 for 2 at Del Mar and 1 for 3 at the distance. He won two of his first three starts—one at Los Alamitos and one at Golden Gate, including the El Camino Real Stakes. Three subsequent graded-stakes tries were unsuccessful before a nearly 10-month layoff. He won an $80k optional claiming race at Del Mar going one mile in August before, similar to Midcourt, faring poorly in the Awesome Again at Santa Anita. Top jock Prat takes over and he was aboard for the seaside optional claiming/allowance victory. He races from off the early pace. #6 Eight Rings is a front runner and all three of his wins have been wire-to-wire efforts—one of those at Del Mar, first-out, going five and one-half furlongs. Most recently, he was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile after forcing a torrid early pace. He’s plenty fit off that. Before that he went wire-to-wire to win an $80k optional claiming race—his third win in 11 starts. It will be interesting to see if Baffert runs all three entrants since this guy and barnmate #7 Ax Man both have speed. #7 Ax Man is a 6-year-old gelding with 7 wins out of 17 starts and a fading fourth (and last) finish in the six and one-half Gr. 3 Kona Gold in April. Before that he went wire-to-wire to win the Santana Mile at Santa Anita. Mike Smith will ride the speedy steed that has 3 of 4 wins in wire-to-wire fashion. Baffert won’t have #6 Eight Rings and #7 Ax Man fighting for the lead, so let’s see if he runs both horses. This gelding seems to have more early speed than the others. #8 Kiss Today Goodbye hasn’t raced since July when last of 8 in the Gr. 2 San Diego Handicap. Blinkers will be added to the 4-year-old colt’s equipment by trainer Kruljac who is 20% off 61-180 days layoffs. He’s worked every 7 days with a pair of bullets in his holster. He got good last fall when he won an allowance/optional claiming race going one mile at Del Mar. He parlayed that into a December Gr. 2 San Antonio victory at Santa Anita. He doesn’t have any early speed, so he’s always up against things late. If all 3 Baffert runners start, there should be a strong early pace. That will help this guy’s chances of success. In a field of foes who have seen better days, perhaps this steadily training soph can make some noise. BAFFERT'S CHOICE: #5, #6, #7POSSIBLE PACE PLAY: #8BEST ON PAPER: #2 (but that last one…)NOTE: Check Scratches. If Baffert scratches either #6 Eight Rings or #7 Ax Man the chances of the one that remains are enhanced. If Baffert’s three runners all start, give #8 Kiss Today Goodbye a shot at exotics at a price. RACE 9 (7:30PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Rocketcent hasn’t impressed in three starts at this level. #2 Dixie’s Two Stents figures to be live at this level on the drop from M50k and a return to dirt for trainer Doug O’Neill. Connections actually tried this one in two stakes races at 2 and almost got the maiden broken in September at Del Mar against allowance-level maidens when fourth, beaten less than 2 lengths. #3 Annie’s Chief has been working steadily at Los Alamitos—every 7 days—for low profile trainer Milton Pineda. A 1:00 1/5 work from the gate is notable. Los Al works do clock a bit faster than those at other tracks. #4 Misawa takes a drop from a good try in a state-bred maiden $50k going five and one-half furlongs at Los Alamitos. Two previous state-bred maiden allowance tries didn’t turn out well in the end, although he did show some speed before fading. There is a gap in the workout pattern from Oct. to Nov. #5 Warfront Fighter, three back, was claimed for $20k after 15 maiden race misfires. He was claimed out of his last start, but that transaction was voided, and trainer Hess will reload with jockey Maldanado returning in the saddle. While this 4-year-old is missing a win in 18 starts, he has 5 seconds and 3 thirds. Exotics possible.  #6 Fenestra is fit off a Nov. 4 speed and fade effort at this level as the odds-on choice. That try matches a first out speed and fade effort at Oaklawn Park in maiden allowance company. A cut back in distance from six and one-half furlongs to five and one-half ought to help this one’s cause. Cerin/Desormeaux team is 22%. #8 Mad Catter may offer a slight early challenge, but Fenestra seems quicker than that one. #7 Wiskey Vision has yet to impress in 6 starts—beaten double digits in last 4. This will be the 3-year-old gelding’s first since May and at the lowest level ever. The latter angle always is worth a second look. Still, this one’s form is difficult to digest…and that’s where bombs live. #8 Mad Catter turned things around last out just over a month ago when second at this level at 17-1. The 4-year-old showed improved speed (second time blinkers) and just missed. It should be noted that in that race he also blew a 4-length lead going six furlongs. Cut back to five and one-half will help. Seven-pound bug Herrera in the saddle for Leonard Powell.#9 Drew Big makes first start for 3% angle trainer Yakteen. Seven-pound apprentice Ellingwood handles the reins. A :48 1/5 gate blowout is best credential. #10 Lantern Prince starts for 0-57 trainer Dunham. Don’t see a lot in San Luis Rey work resume. MOST LIKELY: #2, #6EXOTICS: #5, #4, #8COMPLETE REACH: #7 SUGGESTED LATE PICK 4 TICKET Race 6: #3Race 7: #2Race 8: #2, #5, #6, #7, #8 (Could be reduced by scratches)Race 9: #2, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8Cost: $15.00 for 50-cents Race On!

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11.18.2021:

Frank Carulli: Stronach 5 Picks & Preview | Friday, November 19

Fueled by 45-1 winner Shanghai Mist at Golden Gate, one bettor correctly picked all five winners in last week's Stronach 5, taking home $99,519. Will history repeat itself in this Friday's Stronach 5 that spans five races at three tracks in less than an hour? Join the excitement for as little as a $1 wager, or play multiple combinations to increase your chances. Here's an early look at this week's sequence, with an update to follow Saturday after scratches: LEG A // LAUREL, RACE 7 (3:34PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 1 MILE (DIRT) GALE WINDS gained after a bumpy start two back in allowance company but raced evenly in a fast-paced follow-up try on the grass. MUTAKAAMIL plunged to the bottom level and defeated four rivals at 1-to-9 odds for his first win in 20 attempts, now he starts for high-percentage new connections. DREAMING OF CARATS showed good zip in his last two starts, a point magnified in a field that is a combined 5-for-89 on the main track. The connections see something they like in DAPER'S DRINK, a lightly-raced 5-year-old with a 1-23 record this year, so use him at 12-1 off the claim.  LEG B // GULFSTREAM, RACE 8 (3:53PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) GITANA, first or second in 9 of 17 starts, chased odds-on repeater Bramble Berry (8-22, $216k) through a :45.2 half mile on a day when the track played very slow. He bid 3-wide at the top of the stretch but settled for second best in the long sprint. He is today's solo play on the cutback to 6F. LEG C // LAUREL, RACE 8 (4:02PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) POWERFUL ALLY summoned his back class and blazed through the claiming ranks at Parx after a 14-month layoff, winning three times by a combined 12-1/2 lengths and holding second in a long sprint two back. AMEN CORNER packs late kick, should get a lively pace flow and offers good value at 8-1. HIS NAME IS SUE is a model of ultra consistency for a barn that keeps them sharp, but he offers little value, having been dismissed as a prohibitive favorite in 8 of his last 10 starts.  LEG D // GOLDEN GATE, RACE 2 (4:18PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER)    Battle of Memphis broke slowly and rallied 4-wide to win off a seven-month layoff, but he has raced exclusively on turf, caught a 3-for-49 rival and is 7-to-5 on the morning line. HARBOR KITTY rallied 4-wide and came up a neck short in his bid for three consecutive photo-finish victories on the Golden Gate main track. FLICFLAT is usable at 8-1 after he rallied for third as the favorite and second in a race dominated by closers the last two times at 6 furlongs.  LEG E // GULFSTREAM, RACE 9 (4:23PM ET) // 1 MILE, 70 YARDS (ALL WEATHER) Good recent form abounds in this route race as 8 of 9 fillies go postward with $44,000-plus in earnings. We'll go six deep in Leg E on the ticket in hopes that it is still alive.   STRONACH 5 TICKET Leg A: 1, 2, 7, 9Leg B: 5Leg C: 1, 5Leg D: 1, 3, 7Leg E: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 Cost for a $1 ticket: $144

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11.17.2021:

Jon White: Riva Ridge, A Champion Overshadowed | Wednesday, November 17

On Nov. 5 at Del Mar, Corniche won the nation’s richest race for 2-year-olds, the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Owned by Speedway Stables, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, Corniche registered a 1 3/4-length victory in front-running fashion as the 7-5 favorite to remain undefeated in three starts. Corniche completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.50. A $1.5 million auction purchase, the Kentucky-bred Quality Road colt is a slam-dunk to be voted a 2021 Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male. It was 50 years ago this month that Riva Ridge won what at the time was the nation’s richest race for 2-year-olds, the $293,890 Garden State Stakes, which was contested at New Jersey’s Garden State Park. Owned and bred by Meadow Stable, trained by Lucien Laurin and ridden by Ron Turcotte, Riva Ridge lurked within close range of the early pace, came on to get the lead at the eighth pole and drew clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths. The Kentucky-bred First Landing colt completed his 1 1/16-mile journey in 1:43 3/5. Riva Ridge was this country’s top money-winning Thoroughbred of 1971, having accumulated earnings of $503,263. Adjusting for inflation, that sum would be the equivalent to earning $3,436,963 in 2021. In balloting for Thoroughbred racing’s inaugural Eclipse Awards in 1971, Riva Ridge was voted champion 2-year-old male. Also at the first-ever Eclipse Awards dinner honoring the sport’s outstanding horses and humans of 1971, the announcement was made that Ack Ack had been elected 1971 Horse of the Year. At 2, Riva Ridge made nine starts (three times more than Corniche’s number of starts at 2), winning seven. Prior to his season-ending victory in the Nov. 13 Garden State Stakes, Riva Ridge won the Flash Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 2, the Futurity at Belmont Park on Sept. 18, the Champagne Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 9 and the Pimlico-Laurel Futurity at Laurel on Oct. 30. Riva Ridge’s 2-year-old title in 1972 kicked off a remarkable run for Meadow Stable, Laurin and Turcotte. The owner-trainer-jockey team might well have swept back-to-back Triple Crowns if not for the sort of weather that makes umbrellas important turning the track to a sea of slop for the 1972 Preakness Stakes. To illustrate how times have changed, when Laurin early in 1972 announced that Riva Ridge would be making “only” three starts before the Kentucky Derby, “disbelief set in among seasoned turf writers and fellow trainers, who were used to seeing Derby hopefuls run several more times than that,” David Schmitz wrote in BloodHorse’s book “Thoroughbred Champions: Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century.” Nowadays, making three starts earlier in the year prior to the Kentucky Derby would be viewed as a robust schedule. For example, only one of the 19 starters in this year’s Run for the Roses made more than three starts earlier in 2021. Who was that one horse? It was none other than Medina Spirit, who finished first. With “only” three prior 1972 races under his belt, Riva Ridge led from start to finish in the Kentucky Derby. He won the roses by 3 1/4 lengths as the 3-2 favorite. Riva Ridge then was sent to the post as an overwhelming 1-5 favorite in the Preakness. He finished fourth on the sloppy track. Bee Bee Bee splashed his way to a $39.40 upset victory. After the Preakness, Riva Ridge rebounded when back on dry land to win the Belmont Stakes by seven lengths. Following Riva Ridge’s dominant victory in the June 10 Belmont, he was sent to Hollywood Park to run in the July 1 Hollywood Derby at 1 1/4 miles on dirt. Backed down to 3-5 favoritism, Riva Ridge won the Hollywood Derby by only a neck while having to run extremely hard to edge Bicker. That battle seemingly took such a physical and/or mental toll on Riva Ridge that he went off form, losing his remaining five 1972 starts. At age 4, Riva Ridge was voted a 1973 Eclipse Award as champion older male. He won the Grade I Brooklyn Handicap, Grade II Massachusetts Handicap and Grade II Stuyvesant Handicap. “Who ever saw it will never forget his Brooklyn,” Charles Hatton wrote in the American Racing Manual. “He turned imminent defeat into victory when he condescended to get on the bit in the final frenetic strides, setting a world 1 3/16-mile mark of 1:52 2/5. He carried 127 pounds and repulsed True Knight a thrusting head in a desperate finish, conceding his rival 10 pounds. “His campaign was punctuated also by a front-running success in the Massachusetts Handicap, in which he tied Whirlaway’s 31-year-old track mark. And he established an Aqueduct course record of 1:47 for nine furlongs in the Stuyvesant under 130, his maximum impost during the season.” Despite his many accomplishments and accolades, Riva Ridge spent most of his life living in the shadow of his magnificent stablemate, Secretariat. When Riva Ridge was the champion 3-year-old male of 1972, Secretariat, in a classic case of one-upmanship, not only received a 1972 Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male, Secretariat was voted Horse of the Year, a rarity for a 2-year-old. The shadow Secretariat cast over Riva Ridge grew even larger in 1973. That was the year in which Secretariat’s spectacular 31-length Belmont Stakes triumph followed wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness to bring an end to a 25-year Triple Crown drought. As an indication of Secretariat’s greatness, all these years later, he is credited with having run the fastest Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont of all time. Secretariat was voted a second Eclipse Award Horse of the Year title in 1973, plus he garnered yet another Eclipse Award that year as champion 3-year-old male. Riva Ridge even found himself having to take a back seat to Secretariat the one time they clashed on the track. Riva Ridge finished second to the famous Triple Crown hero in the 1973 Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park, a 1 1/8-mile race in which seven accepted invitations to participate. “Performing generously, [Riva Ridge] wheeled past the quarter pole in front, in a hand-picked field including three other champions,” Hatton wrote. “But he finished a receding second to his stablemate Secretariat, the champion of champions.” Riva Ridge finished 3 1/2 lengths behind Secretariat, whose final time of 1:45 2/5 sliced two-fifths off the world record set by Pink Pigeon on Santa Anita’s turf course in 1969. In terms of BloodHorse’s list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century, Secretariat ranked No. 2, behind only Man o’ War. Riva Ridge ranked No. 57. On my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century, I likewise have Secretariat ranked No. 2. I have Riva Ridge at No. 56. Below is my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century (in parentheses, when applicable, is where the horse ranked on BloodHorse’s list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century): 1. Man o’ War (1)2. Secretariat* (2)3. Citation* (3)4. Kelso (4)5. Spectacular Bid (10)6. Native Dancer (7)7. Dr. Fager (6)8. Seattle Slew* (9)9. Count Fleet* (5)10. Affirmed* (12)11. Ruffian (35)12. Swaps (20)13. Forego (8)14. Phar Lap (22)15. Buckpasser (14)16. Damascus (16)17. Round Table (17)18. Seabiscuit (25)19. War Admiral* (13)20. Tom Fool (11)21. Colin (15)22. John Henry (23)23. Regret (71)24. Exterminator (29)25. Whirlaway* (26)26. Sunday Silence (31)27. Cigar (18)28. Nashua (24)29. Alydar (27)30. Easy Goer (34)31. Alysheba (42)32. Bold Ruler (19)33. Personal Ensign (48)34. All Along (68)35. Equipoise (21)36. Gallant Fox* (28)37. Sysonby (30)38. Gallant Man (36)39. Assault* (33)40. Armed (39)41. Sir Barton* (49)42. Northern Dancer (43)43. Omaha* (61)44. Ack Ack (44)45. Discovery (37)46. Majestic Prince (46)47. Arts and Letters (67)48. Stymie (41)49. Challedon (38)50. Pan Zareta51. Noor (69)52. Busher (40)53. Gallorette (45)54. Coaltown (47)55. Sword Dancer (53)56. Riva Ridge (57)57. Grey Lag (54)58. Devil Diver (55)59. Dahlia (50)60. Zev (56)61. Ta Wee (80)62. Twilight Tear (59)63. Native Diver (60)64. Holy Bull (64)65. Precisionist66. Inside Information67. Shuvee (70)68. Twenty Grand (52)69. Skip Away (32)70. Sham71. Alsab (65)72. Lady’s Secret (76)73. Genuine Risk (91)74. A.P. Indy75. Landaluce76. Silver Charm (63)77. Susan’s Girl (51)78. Cicada (62)79. Go for Wand (72)80. Slew o’ Gold (58)81. Bald Eagle (74)82. Exceller (96)83. Tim Tam84. Top Flight (66)85. Manila86. Johnstown (73)87. Lure (85)88. Princess Rooney89. Two Lea (77)90. Gallant Bloom (79)91. Miesque (82)92. Eight Thirty (78)93. Fort Marcy (86)94. Hoist the Flag95. Cougar II96. Gamely (87)97. Carry Back (83)98. Ancient Title99. Bayakoa (95)100. Formal Gold *Triple Crown winner Below is my list of the Top 25 Racehorses of the 21st Century so far to have raced in North America: 1. American Pharoah*2. Zenyatta3. Justify*4. Curlin5. Arrogate6. Shared Belief7. California Chrome8. Rachel Alexandra9. Barbaro10. Tiznow11. Wise Dan12. Ghostzapper13. Point Given14. Invasor15. Gun Runner16. Beholder17. Smarty Jones18. Azeri19. Lava Man20. Goldikova21. Bernardini22. Rags to Riches23. Candy Ride24. Kona Gold25. Xtra Heat *Triple Crown winner BREEDERS’ CUP FIGS: THORO-GRAPH VS. BEYER I have stated many times that I believe Beyer Speed Figures are a valuable tool for horseplayers. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t list Beyers as often as I do. But I consider Thoro-Graph figures to be vastly superior to the Beyers. That’s why I do not hesitate to recommend that a serious horseplayer should put Thoro-Graph figures to use whenever possible. The higher a Beyer figure is, the better it is. The opposite is true for Thoro-Graph figures. Thoro-Graph takes many more factors into account than the Beyers. According to Thoro-Graph, “each number on a sheet represents a performance rating arrived at by using time of the race, beaten lengths, ground lost or saved on the turns, weight carried, and any effects wind conditions had on the time of the race.” In terms of the Beyers, the winner of a race will never get a smaller figure than the horse who finished second, the horse who finished second will never get a smaller figure than the horse who finished third, and so on down through the order of finish. With Thoro-Graph, a winner does not necessary get the best figure in a race. This, in my opinion, is one of the reasons that a Thoro-Graph figure reflects reality more than a Beyer. Any horseplayer knows that a winner does not necessarily always run the best race. How many times have you bet a horse who lost, yet you feel that the horse you bet actually ran the best race? Below is the Beyer Speed Figure for the winner in each of this year’s 14 Breeders’ Cup races at Del Mar: 112 Knicks Go (Classic)105 Yibir (Turf)103 Marche Lorraine (Distaff)106 Space Blues (Mile)100 Aloha West (Sprint)102 Loves Only You (Filly & Mare Turf)109 Life Is Good (Dirt Mile)107 Golden Pal (Turf Sprint)100 Ce Ce (Filly & Mare Sprint)87 Modern Games (Juvenile Turf)91 Corniche (Juvenile)79 Pizza Bianca (Juvenile Fillies Turf)94 Echo Zulu (Juvenile Fillies)84 Twilight Gleaming (Juvenile Turf Sprint) Below is the Thoro-Graph figure for each of the 14 races: NEG 3 Knicks Go (Classic)1 1/2 Yibir (Turf)2 Marche Lorraine (Distaff)1 1/4 Space Blues (Mile)0 Aloha West (Sprint)1 1/2 Loves Only You (Filly & Mare Turf)0 Life Is Good (Dirt Mile)NEG 1/2 Golden Pal (Turf Sprint)NEG 1 1/2 Ce Ce (Filly & Mare Sprint)7 Modern Games (Juvenile Turf)4 1/2 Corniche (Juvenile)8 1/2 Pizza Bianca (Juvenile Fillies Turf)4 1/4 Echo Zulu (Juvenile Fillies)7 3/4 Twilight Gleaming (Juvenile Turf Sprint) The winner did not receive the best Thoro-Graph figure in eight of the 14 races. Below are the horses who did not win a Breeders’ Cup race, yet received a Thoro-Graph figure better than or equal to the winner: --Broome’s figure was a 1/2 in the Turf. --Dunbar Road’s figure was a 1 3/4 in the Distaff, while Clairiere and Royal Flag each matched Marche Lorraine’s 2. --Ivar’s figure was a 0 in the Mile. --Dr. Schivel’s figure was a negative 1/2 in the Sprint. --Lieutenant Dan’s figure was a negative 1/2 in the Turf Sprint. --Grafton’s Street’s figure was a 6 1/2 in the Juvenile Turf. --Pappacap’s figure was a 4 1/4 in the Juvenile. --Vertiginous and One Timer each received a figure of a 7 in the Juvenile Turf Sprint. Kaufymaker and Averly Jane each received a 7 1/4. Interestingly, even though Twilight Gleaming won the Juvenile Turf Sprint, Thoro-Graph has four of the vanquished getting a better figure!  

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11.16.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Five Takeways from the Week Concluding November 14, 2021

Five Takeways from the Week Concluding November 14, 20211 – Regular readers of this space probably are aware of our previously stated expectations that Messier - and not undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 and slam dunk 2021 Eclipse Award winner Corniche – will eventually prove to be trainer Bob Baffert’s leading member of the stable’s Spring Classics contingent in 2022, an opinion expressed after the son of Empire Maker taunted a maiden field on Oct. 22 at Santa Anita when strolling home by more than six lengths in an eased-up victory that held value for at least twice the winning margin.Thus, we eagerly anticipated what surely we expected to be another superior performance when he returned last weekend in the Bob Hope S.-G3 over seven furlongs at Del Mar in a four-runner affair that was designed to tick him over for next month’s Los Alamitos Futurity-G2, a middle distance event that Baffert has owned for seven consecutive years, his winners including such future stars as Improbable, McKinzie, Mastery, and Mor Spirit.And Messier didn’t disappoint. Or did he? The 6/5 favorite settled off the pace and then rallied wide to gobble up the leaders to win going away by more than three lengths. Nothing wrong with that.But given our high expectations, the performance was something of a letdown. Yeah, we know, tough crowd, but still.It must be stated that we can’t verify the race’s official final time of 1:22.74. Due to Del Mar’s thoroughly erratic and untrustworthy timing system and the inability to accurately hand time a seven furlong race because a building that blocks the view of the start requires the video replay to begin with a head-on shot, there’s no way of knowing for sure whether the absurdly fast early fractions (:21.40, :43.23) are accurate. But we can manually clock the final quarter of a mile, and despite a picture perfect, in-the-clear trip behind three dueling leaders, Messier big late kick was an optical illusion, according to the watch. We caught him coming home in a mediocre :26 2/5 seconds, with a winning margin that was “only” three and one-half lengths.A truly exceptional colt, given the pristine trip, would have annihilated his foes, not just outstayed them.The Beyer speed figure came up 86, just two points better than what was assigned for his maiden win. The number is okay, not great, but okay. There’s still hope for better, because based on pedigree, he shouldn’t be expected to show his best stuff until he stretches out around two turns, and that opportunity presents itself at Los Alamitos Dec. 11.We’ll be watching.2 – Baffert also had the goods in the Bob Hope’s filly equivalent, the Desi Arnaz S.-G3, at Del Mar on Saturday, with odds-on Eda performing up to standard when winning by herself in a career top performance (83 Beyer fig) that seems likely to lead to success in bigger and better things, specifically the Starlet S.-G1 December 4. That race will be her first around two-turns, but there are expectations that the daughter of Munnings will stay, as she was produced by the Lemon Drop Kid mare Show Me, a debut winner over a distance of ground on grass during her 3-year-old season at Gulfstream Park. Additionally, from a visual standpoint, Eda gives every impression that her easy pace-stalking stalking style will translate well on the stretch-out.She’s no Echo Zulu but nothing else in the division is either, and there will be plenty of good races for her to choose during the winter and perhaps the spring, as well.3 – Trainer John Sadler knows what do with a good filly and he may have one with a 2-year-old daughter of Maclean’s Music named Unbridled Mary, a five-furlong debut winner on turf at Del Mar last Friday. The margin was just a nose and the assigned Beyer figure of 59 wouldn’t win some maiden claiming races on this circuit, but you can forget thr number, this might be a decent prospect. Originally a $39,000 Keeneland yearling purchase when appearing deep in the catalogue, she was pinhooked for $155,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Santa Anita two-year-old in training sale in June and had done everything asked in the a.m. leading up to her first start. After a bit of a slow break, she settled nicely in the second flight, accelerated when set down, and despite being two lengths off the lead at the furlong pole displayed a superior turn of foot after angling to the rail to be up in time in race in which the final furlong was clocked in :11.55. She had to go her final eighth in somewhere around :11 1/5.Out of an unraced Tale of the Cat half-sister to Personal Ensign S.-G1 winner Persistently and with champion mare Heavenly Prize as her third dam, Unbridled Mary has a right to be more than just a sprinter, though we suspect Sadler will keep her around one corner for now. Her dirt works were good but not flashy (hence her overlay 4-1 closing odds), so we’re not going to pigeon-hole her as a grass-only type just yet. We suggest you put her in your stable mail and keep close tabs.4 – Sadler’s undefeated Malibu S.-G1-bound 3-year-old Tapit colt Flightline always puts on a show in the morning and turned in another “wow” performance on Sunday at Santa Anita when working a bullet half mile in :46 3/5 seconds. The association clockers assigned the drill an “h” (handily, or maybe they really meant hammerlock) because the boys upstairs never utilize “b” for breezing, but if you haven’t checked out the workout on our website at xbtv.com, do yourself a favor and click on the following link: Flightline Workout VideoA winner of both of his career starts by a combined 26 lengths, Flightline was assigned an Equibase speed figure of 130 for his allowance win at Del Mar Sept 5. The Equibase number given to Aloha West when he won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1 over that same track and distance two weeks ago was 110. Make of that whatever you will.5 – Trainer Todd Pletcher told Daily Racing Form that Following Sea, third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1 in a much-better-than-looked performance that was discussed in this column last week, will either run next in the Cigar Mile-G1 Dec. 4 at Aqueduct or return to the West Coast for the Malibu S.-G1 at Santa Anita Dec. 26.If he stays in New York, Following Sea will face older horses, but he’s already proven he can do that, having won the Vosburgh S.-G1 while defeating among others Firenze Fire.“We’ll assess the fields and see how he’s doing,” said Pletcher in the article.Here’s our assessment. Flightline runs in the Malibu. Stay home. Five Takeaways from the Week Concluding November 7, 20211 – Knicks Go was a very nice horse right from the beginning for trainer Ben Colebrook. He won the Breeders’ Futurity-G1 at Keeneland, after which he finished a commendable second to Game Winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. But things suddenly went south for the Maryland-bred colt, and after failing to hit the board in seven of his next nine starts, he was transferred in the winter of 2020 to the barn of trainer Brad Cox, for whom he has now started 10 times and has won eight races, including the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1 and, on Saturday, the Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1.In his thrashing gate-to-wire victory at Del Mar that produced a 112 Beyer speed figure (one point shy of the career-top number he was assigned in his 10-length romp in the Corn Husker S. at Prairie Meadows in July), the 5-year-old horse wrapped up an Eclipse Award in the older division along with Horse of the Year honors that normally (and in most cases deservedly) comes with it. There could be one last dance for the son of Paynter before he goes off to stud at Taylor Made in Kentucky, in the Pegasus World Cup-G1 January 29, a race that he dominated in typical gate-to-wire fashion earlier this year.Our initial reaction with regards to his people’s interest in the Pegasus World Cup was that it should be a case of been-there-done-that, and that there’s no way he could top the hype and good will earned in his Breeders’ Cup Classic win, so why would this final hurrah even be necessary? What’s to gain, other than the winner’s purse of nearly $1.8 million which gets sliced to considerably less after all of the help gets paid.That said, for racing fans, it really would be neat if he runs, if for no other reason that Life Is Good reportedly has been targeted for the same race. You think there might be a contested early pace? About such a prospect, Life Is Good’s trainer Todd Pletcher told Daily Racing Form “they won’t be going in 23-and-one.”2 – Yes, Knicks Go was superb in victory, but Life Is Good registered the higher number on our Goose Bump Scale. On twitter, we referred to his winning performance in the Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1 as “breathtaking,” but it was more than that, so much so that the son of Into Mischief really deserves some consideration for an Eclipse Award in the 3-year-old division. Remember, winners in each championship category are determined by a vote that offers no clearly defined rules or guidelines. Media members who participate can select the horse with the best resume, or they can vote for whatever horse they believe to be the fastest or most talented using whatever metrics they desire.Let’s not forget that last winter Life Is Good - at the time trained by Bob Baffert - twice defeated (easily) subsequent Kentucky Derby-G1 and Awesome Again-G1 winner Medina Spirit, himself a colt that has a rightful claim to the title after finishing in front of Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie when winding up second in the B.C. Classic.Those who tally Grade-1 wins as the prime component for determining a champion won’t consider Life Is Good, as the BC Mile was his only such win (so far) of that quality. Voters who prefer to reward what they believe is the best colt of his crop – one that was forced to miss the prestigious Triple Crown races due to injury – will opt for Life Is Good and be thoroughly convinced that they are right.3 – The inside lanes on Breeders’ Cup Friday were fine. On an overcast day, the dirt strip was fairly glib and the final times (including the ones that had to be manually corrected) were within the range of normal. Everybody had their fair shot.However, the following day on Saturday, the rail was dead, certainly not quite as deep as it was when the Breeders’ Cup was staged at Del Mar in 2017, but dead, nonetheless. We can’t say for certain that the track bias altered any of the winning results, but we’re fairly convinced that at least a few horses that got mired down near the fence could easily have finished closer or achieved a better placing had they been able to maneuver to the faster part of the track.Among them were:Cupid’s Claws (Thoroughbred After Alliance S.-G2) – Loomed a strong threat inside entering the lane but then spun his wheels and lost his punch, eventually winding up third behind Lone Rock, who was wisely kept in the middle of the track throughout the mile and five-furlong marathon.Edgeway (BC Filly & Mare Sprint) – Wound up second to powerful rally-wide winner Cee Cee while scraping the paint throughout. Had this race been run on Friday, such a trip would have made it a lot closer. Not on Saturday.Following Sea (BC Sprint) – Buried on the rail from the 1-hole while taking dirt behind Jackie’s Warrior throughout and then was forced to steady and alter course after straightening for home before finishing with purpose when clear. Have to think he’ll show up for the 7F Malibu Stakes-G1 for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Dec. 26. Dr. Schivel should be there, too, along with the incredibly gifted Flightline and maybe even American Pharoah’s undefeated half-brother Triple Tap.Malathaat (BC Distaff) – Broke from post position three and was never able to extract herself from the deep rail. Was beaten a nose and half-length, and is another that probably would have won had this race been contested over Friday’s surface.Hot Rod Charlie (BC Classic) – Wound up fourth, beaten more than fourth lengths, after racing along the fence throughout. Maybe the trip cost him a placing, but he was never going to worry Knicks Go.4 – Echo Zulu and Corniche completed their respective juvenile campaigns undefeated and will be unanimous top vote-getters for Eclipse Awards in their categories (that’s assuming a first place vote or two doesn’t surface for Jack Christopher from a New York honk). Top class two year old colts and fillies don’t always train on, so what we see now may not be what we get next spring, but our impression is that Echo Zulu is a superb filly, and as a daughter of Gun Runner has every right to be just as good if not better as she matures and will continue to dominate her division as a 3-year-old.Corniche? We’re not quite sure. All three of his wins were accomplished gate-to-wire, and after watching him train for months in California we’re not convinced he’ll be as effective in any other role other than as the controlling speed.Actually, in terms of long range success, we like his Baffert-trained stablemate Messier better. The Canadian-bred son of Empire Maker has no hardware - just a maiden win – but after seeing him breeze six furlongs yesterday at Santa Anita just galloping on our watches in 1:12 3/5 while using about 10 percent of his energy, he’s the one we’ll hitch our wagon to.5 - We don’t think Jackie’s Warrior cost himself an Eclipse Award despite flopping badly at 50 cents on the dollar and finishing sixth in the BC Sprint. Had Dr. Schivel been able to hang on, yes, that colt probably would have vaulted to the top of the division, but the rally-wide upset winner Aloha West isn’t going to be voted the title, and the older sprinters just don’t have the credentials. The victory by Jackie’s Warrior over Life Is Good in the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S.-G1 at Saratoga, to our eyes, was the definitive sprint race of the year.However, his female equivalent, Gamine, is on treacherous footing. Yes, she did defeat Ce Ce on the square in the Ballerina S.-G1 at Saratoga but wound up a soundly beaten third by more than three lengths without apparent mishap in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint, as Ce Ce swept on by outside in the better part of the track to draw clear with complete authority. The Michael McCarthy-trained daughter of Elusive Quality finishes the year with four wins in five sprint races (the same as Gamine) but the tie-breaker has to go to the winner on Championship Day. That’s Ce Ce.6 - Here’s a bonus takeaway. When the Breeders’ Cup was held at Santa Anita in 2019, the following attendance figures were announced:Friday, November 1, 2019 – 41,243Saturday, November 2, 2019 – 67,811Last weekend at Del Mar, here were the equivalent attendance numbers:Friday, November 5, 2021 – 20,536Saturday, November 6, 2021 – 26,553You think that maybe the next time the Breeders’ Cup brass chooses Southern California to stage the event they might consider going back Santa Anita? Just askin’.

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11.15.2021:

Monday Myths: Are the Late-Season 2-Year-olds Dilluted?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:The best 2-year-olds already have debuted and won by the time November rolls around.Background:Post-Breeders’ Cup, there’s some natural thought among those who follow the game that the 2-year-old scene has already seen its generational best. The $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies, as well as $3 million worth of 2-year-old turf races already are in the rear-view mirror. Surely, the assumption, is that the best already were unveiled to aim at those prizes. But are rookies in November and December any less potent than their summer/early fall classmates?Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database to look at the win rates of first-time starting 2-year-olds by month of the year.2021 April debut 2-year-olds won 14.3% with a $0.47 ROI.2021 May debut 2-year-olds won 16.7% with a $0.75 ROI.2021 June debut 2-year-olds won 12.4% with a $0.60 ROI.2021 July debut 2-year-olds won 11.2% with a $0.80 ROI.2021 August debut 2-year-olds won 11.1% with a $0.79 ROI.2021 September debut 2-year-olds won 10.2% with a $0.79 ROI.2021 October debut 2-year-olds won 9.3% with a $0.79 ROI.2021 November so far debut 2-year-olds have won 8.7% with a $0.69 ROI.Last 3 years April debut 2-year-olds won 14% with a $0.59 ROI.Last 3 years May debut 2-year-olds won 15.1% with a $0.86 ROI.Last 3 years June debut 2-year-olds won 12.8% with a $0.71 ROI.Last 3 years July debut 2-year-olds won 11.2% with a $0.79 ROI.Last 3 years August debut 2-year-olds won 10.5% with a $0.74 ROI.Last 3 years September debut 2-year-olds won 9.8% with a $0.76 ROI.Last 3 years October debut 2-year-olds won 9.0% with a $0.78 ROI.Last 3 years November so far debut 2-year-olds have won 8.5% with a $0.86 ROI.Last 3 years December debut 2-year-olds won 8.7% with a $0.87 ROI.Overall Findings:May is the month most likely for first-time starting 2-year-old success and the percentages drop consistently throughout the summer and fall. Whether you’re looking at the current year or the last 3-year average, the pattern remains similar. The ROI rises significantly late in the year among the 2-year-olds in the 3-year average despite the drop in win percentage.Bottom line:While there are more first-time starters by nature at the beginning of the season, the win rates for those are unarguably in a pattern that shows it's more and more unlikely to debut a winner as the season goes on. This perceived handicapping axiom is validated as true by the numbers, even if the occasional star is unveiled later in the year. The 3-year-range’s November-December ROI rise may indicate the public’s perception of this trend to avoid first-time starters actually creates some overlay prices. You’re less likely to find them, but when you do, they are worth the dig.You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, analyze these juvenile debut stats by your favorite tracks to see how they hold up.

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11.15.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, November 15

Northfield Park has a 14-race card scheduled with the $1.00 Late Pick 4 beginning in Race 11. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Y S Joe (4-1)-Davis has been on this veteran enough to know what type of trip he needs to negotiate for a picture. Should be in the hunt with an efficient journey.3-A Farm Boys Success (2-1)-Has been facing better and should be a player. The best plan for success will probably be to get on the point. Should be a short price and is camera shy, has only 4 wins in 50 starts the past 2-years.Race 124-Dylans Future (7/2)-Raced on the engine at this class last week and faded late. The result is not noteworthy as this 3-year-old is only 1-24 this year, but doesn't normally race on the point. He did race well and it wasn't the normal plan, so should be braver this week and best to respect.6-Silent Splendor (2-1)-Raced big to win from post 9 on 10-26 and then missed a couple of starts. Expecting this 3-year-old to be ready for battle and will look for a big try.Race 133-Dragon Ruler (4-1)-Merriman had the pedal down versus this kind last week and fell short. This is another case of trying something different, usually isn't on the lead early in the mile. Could finish better this time and no one from the last field is racing here.6-A J Morelli (9/2)-Drops into a good spot but needs a sharp steer and an honest pace. Fisher should be rolling late, or he could leave and get in line near the one above.Race 141-Totally Kissed (12-1)-Winner of 9 in 41 starts this year has the speed to make some noise but Lems will need to work an effective trip. Should have enough gate speed to race near the top of the stack.2-Caviart Val (7/2)-Usually Merriman would be pedal down and look to get the point but not sure that's the best plan for this 4-year-old. Looks like a player and has a pilot who usually finds a way to be in striking range turning for the wire.3-Victor Hick (9-1)-Loney trainee has beaten better than this at NFLD back in September. The driver change to Myers should help and is worth a swing at the morning line price.My Ticket Race 11) 1,3 Race 12) 4,6 Race 13) 3,6 Race 14) 1,2,3Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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11.14.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Rosecroft Raceway Potomac Pace Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, November 14

There is a chill in the air and that means it is time for the signature race at Rosecroft Raceway, the $100,000 Potomac Pace. Allywag Hanover, who disappointed as an odds-on choice in the Breeders Crown Final is the 6/5 morning line favorite. With a win tonight, Aged Pace of the Year honors should belong to the Brett Pelling trainee.The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 11, which is also the Potomac Pace and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Allywag Hanover (6/5)-Last year's race set-up perfectly for a closer, which happened to be #2 who rolled by down the lane from the back of the pack. The difference tonight is this 4-year-old will be tough to beat off the gate. If not on the lead from the start McCarthy will likely get on the engine early in the mile. This morning line choice could lose. But it would take some very hot fractions from the word "go", and if on his game that may not matter.6-Nandolo N (10-1)-Willing to take a swing with this sharp 7-year-old that will have Dunn between the pipes. If someone wins with a 3-wide move around the last turn, my money is here. This small track specialist has won 11 of 20 this year and will be making its Rosecroft debut.Race 124-Starship (5/2)-Raced well versus this kind for team Roberts on 10-31 but Rocktavious wasn't going to be denied. Has the gate speed to get the jump on the 2 below and in the end that might be difference.6-Shim (3-1)-This American Ideal 5-year-old has been handicapped with post 7 in the last 2 starts. Moving inside 1 spot could be beneficial. Looks to be in line for a pocket ride behind #4 or to land on the engine.7-JJ Flynn (7/2)-This 8-year-old gets the services of Tim Tetrick and has banked over $138,000 this year winning 10 of 33 starts. Does its best work on smaller ovals and has good gate speed. But not sure if it is enough to blast out to the lead. Has the pilot in place to work a smooth trip and should be in the hunt to take a picture.Race 132-Costello (3-1)-Has been battling Open company without much success but fits well with this crew. Knows the way to the Rosecroft winner's circle taking picture in 9 of 37 starts.4-Cruise Control (5/2)-Took the long way around in last and that didn't work out but now drops to a more comfortable spot. Could leave and get a close-up seat which should make this veteran a main player.Race 142-Lyons Coppertop (9/2)-This will be the 5th start at RcR and finally draws inside. Tonight, will be a test but should offer a fair price and Morand can be aggressive from this post.5-Derby Dog Hanover (3-1)-Dropped and popped in last with a strong effort stopping the clock in 151.3. If the trip is kind, it could result in cashing the top check again.7-Ilderton AM (5/2)-Might be bet down off the morning line but would likely be an odds-on choice with a better post draw. Will respect chances and hope for a decent price. Foster is a top pilot here and he will need to provide a good steer but hasn't started this far outside since mid-July.My Ticket Race 11) 1,6 Race 12) 4,6,7 Race 13) 2,4 Race 14) 2,5,7Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.14.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Sunday, November 14

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Bestrella; 3-Rev Rita; 5-Del Mar DramaForecast: Bestrella returns to her proper level, draws a good inside post, and with some help up front could be capable of producing the last run in this restricted (nw-2) $32,000 claiming turf miler for fillies and mares. The P. Gallagher-trained Irish-bred is winless in five starts since being imported from Europe but she’s a fit on numbers and makes a positive jockey switch to U. Rispoli. Del Mar Drama exits an open $40,000 claimer and faces considerably softer company today while returning to the course that produced her only victory. She’s a one-paced grinding type but should be heard from late. Rev Rita projects as the controlling speed in her first try around two turns. The pedigree suggests she should be okay handling the extra ground so at 8-1 on the morning line the lightly-raced daughter of Orb is worth tossing in.Notable Workouts:Del Mar Drama (November 8, Santa Anita, 4f, 48h TT). Grade: BLooked nice in solo training track drill without ever being asked, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :35 flat. In good shape and has a chance to improve with a class drop.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 5-Bold Choice; 7-Professor’s PrideForecast: Bold Choice was overmatched when unplaced in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies S. just nine days ago but isn’t today with the return to the state-bred maiden ranks. The short rest is of some concern, but if the daughter of Grazen can duplicate her good second place performance at this level two races back she may be able to tag the speed close home. Professor’s Pride has recorded some good workout times in the a.m. for trainer E. Truman and may be able to run enough to be competitive first time out at 6-1 on the morning line.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Sumter; 3-ApprehendForecast: Apprehend had the misfortune of catching Corniche when the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner made his debut during the summer meeting and under the circumstances did extremely well to finish a clear second (almost four clear of the rest) while earning a powerful speed figure. The son of Arrogate switches to grass, and if he handles the lawn as well as the main track, he could earn his diploma despite the shortening in trip to five furlongs. Interestingly, F. Prat, who rode the P. Miller-trained colt in his debut, opts for Sumter, the R. Mandella-trained colt who failed to draw into the field in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf sprint. The son of War Front missed by a nose against a similar group at Santa Anita last month and seems very likely to be the controlling speed once again. We’ll still prefer Apprehend on top but include both in our rolling exotics.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Doc Adams; 5-Rookie YearForecast: This $16,000 claiming main track miler restricted to 3-year-olds appears to have two main players. Rookie Year is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite based on a big class drop, a perfect one-for-one record over the Del Mar main track, and the switch to F. Prat. He’s not entirely trustworthy (off the board in seven of 10 career starts) but if he shows up with his best stuff the P. Miller-trained gelding probably will win. Doc Adams stretches out for the first time and has sprint numbers that make him competitive. Overmatched in a starter’s allowance dash last month at Santa Anita, the son of Vronsky should be on or near the lead throughout against this softer band, so at 5-1 on the morning line he’s worth including on your ticket.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Sugary; 2-Freedom Lass; 8-Over AttractedForecast: Several of these are familiar with each other and are tough to separate, so we’ll go three-deep in this turf miler for $25,000 claiming fillies and mares and hope that’s sufficient. Sugary is fresh from a solid vs. similar last month at Santa Anita and returns at the same level for new trainer J. Wong following what may prove to be a timely claim. The barn hits at a powerful 26% with a massive ROI with this maneuver, so from her good inside draw the eight-year-old mare should have every chance to secure her eighth career victory. K. Desormeaux stays aboard and knows her well. Freedom Lass, drawn right alongside our top pick in the 2-hole, exits a series of stronger starter’s allowance events and is realistically spotted today while searching for her first 2021 victory. She’s competitive on speed figures, has run well over the Del Mar lawn in the past, and with the switch to F. Prat the M. Puype-trained filly should get the patient ride she prefers. Over Attracted, a solid runner-up behind Sugary last time out despite a less than ideal trip, looks the most dangerous of the deep closing types and with clear sailing should be in the fray in the final furlong.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: XSingle: 6-DuranteForecast: Durante was more than nine lengths clear or the rest when a big-figure runner-up to Barossa in a maiden main track miler at Santa Anita last month. The son of Distorted Humor increased his Beyer speed figure by 25 points off his maiden sprint effort the previous month, and while we don’t expect anywhere near the same type of forward move today the D. O’Neill-trained juvenile will have to regress considerably to get beat in this spot. At 6/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, he’ll not offer any real wagering value other than as a short-priced rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Dancing Crane; 5-She’s DevotedForecast: Early speed more often than not is dominant in these five furlong turf sprints, and from her good inside post position Dancing Crane looks quickest of the quick. The light-raced daughter of Tapiture has been away since March but she can run well fresh (she won her debut), is a fit on numbers, and hails from a stable that has excellent stats with layoff runners. She should take them a long way under F. Prat. She’s Devoted, away since January, is another that won her career debut and therefore can be trusted to produce a big effort off the bench. She’s most effective as a late-running type and that style is up against it according to the course profile but we’ll have her on a ticket or two as a back-up for trainer R. Baltas, whose numbers with comebackers are off the charts.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: XSingle: 1-MessierForecast: Messier broke his maiden by six lengths last month and the margin could have been double (triple?) that amount had F. Prat let him run. The Empire Maker colt has since breezed flawlessly while preparing for today’s Bob Hope S.-G3 while giving every indication that the longer they go, the better he will be. Seven furlongs in the logical steppingstone to his year-end goal of the Los Alamitos Futurity-G2 next month, so we’re expecting the B. Baffert-trained colt to settle behind his stable mates Kamui and Winning Map and then go on with it when given his cue. At 6/5 on the morning line, he’s a logical rolling exotic single.Notable Workouts:Messier (November 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00h). Grade: A-Did not wear blinkers and actually worked a full six furlongs from the five furlong pole out to the seven furlong pole, breezing every step of the way with splits of :24.3, :36.2, 1:00.3 and 1:12.3, a ton left late for B. Baffert. Definitely strikes us as a route type, even though he broke his maiden at six furlongs. So far, he’s just scratching the surface.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B+Single: 2-BasiliaForecast: Basilia looks very much like the controlling speed in this $40,000 claiming turf miler restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Given her projected trip from a comfortable inside draw, the P. Miller-trained filly seems like a solid gamble in the win pool and as rolling exotic single. Reunited with “win rider” F. Plat, the daughter of Cinco Charlie is a fit on speed figures and shows a bullet five furlong drill (59 seconds flat) at San Luis Rey Downs nine days ago to have her right on edge.

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11.14.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Golden Gate | Sunday, November 14

My Sunday virtual travels land me firmly at Golden Gate Fields, where the last four on the card have reeled me in.The sequence makes a challenging start in the fifth race – so challenging that it looks like utilization of “ALL” looks like necessity, and with seven horses in it, it’s not a bank breaker.Here’s a look at my suggested ticket, which amounts to $63, and the combatants in play:5th Race (5:45 p.m. ET, claiming)The biggest handicapping challenge in this sequence hits you right at the beginning.The conditioned claiming race at a one mile attracted seven horses that deserve attention off recent outings. It’s one rare of the rare occasions when I use them all.SOUTHEAST ASIA has kept good form all year, showing up on the board in 10 of 12 races. He’s traveled well and has kept that form at the various track. However, he doesn’t stand out enough to use alone, and several others will take a case for themselves once set free.Also on the ticket: (ALL) FOUR O’ FIVE, DI LAURIAN, MEGAMEISTER, SECOND BOLD, STORMING WARRIOR, CURRY NATION.6th Race (6:15 p.m. ET, maidens)HALF HOPING was competitive in four starts at Santa Anita and ran evenly in her first one over the Tapeta surface after a four-month break. She probably needed one over the strip, and her second back from her vacation should put her in a good position.Also on the ticket: ZAFFERANA, ACCORDING TO JUDY.7th Race (6:45 p.m. ET, starter allowance)RED HOT LASS moves up in class, but her maiden win last out makes her a valid threat in this sprint.She stalked the leaders in a professional run and drew off to an easy win in a time of 1:03 2-5 for 5.5 furlongs that matches up nicely with any of these over the strip. She can be in close attendance from the outside and can respond when called upon.Also on the ticket: SHOUT IT OUT, PHANTOM INDIAN.8th Race (7:15 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)OF GOOD REPORT comes in off a fast-closing fourth against similar company and is showing signs of returns to good form.He'll get a good pace in front of him and should be able to rally strongly in the final quarter. Jockey Pedro Terrero has done well (18 percent) and it’s a good sign that he gets the return riding engagement. A similar run as last time will make him tough to hold off.Also on the ticket: FRIDAY’S AT SHADY.My TicketRace 5) ALL (7 horses)Race 6) #4 Zafferana, #5 According to Judy, #6 Half Hoping.Race 7) #4 Shout It Out, #5 Phantom Indian, #6 Red Hot Lass.Race 8) #7 Friday’s At Shady, #10 Of Good Report.Total Ticket Cost) ALL/4,5,6/4,5,6/7,10 = $63 for $0.50

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11.13.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Meadowlands Early Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, November 13

The headliners at the Meadowlands are 2-year-old pacers and trotters battling in Kindergarten Classic Series Finals. The 0.50 Early Pick 4 begins in Race 6. The sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 62-Dorsoduro Hanover (3-1)-Odds-on winner steps-up after getting his 1st win in 5 starts this year. Classy veteran should have his way with this crew but often disappoints. Maybe this time the upswing will continue.7-Letsgotobrazil A (4-1)-Comes off a sharp effort in M1 debut and that was the 2nd consecutive win for this Aussie invader. Appears to be rounding into top form. Not sure how much more this 6-year-old can give, but probably best to not sell short.Race 71-Palermo Hanover (9/2)-Father Patrick filly is a nice one and does it the hard way without much gate speed. Loses Dunn to #7 but TMac has driven before. Will need a sharp steer and this post might not help but the price should be right to take a swing.5-Misswalner Fashion (3-1)-This filly has won 4 of 5 M1 starts and Tetrick should have her forwardly placed. Looks like a player and could land in the pocket behind the morning line choice.7-Lilbitalexis (5/2)-Dunn picked this Norman pupil who is the morning line chalk. Disappointed in the Crown Final but that was on a sloppy track. Could get back on the winning side of the ledger here.Race 82-Semi Tough (7/2)-Has been facing better and this could be a good spot to cash the top check in the 3rd start back at M1. The issue that causes me to pause is the 0-14 record at the Big M and has only hit the board 4 times.5-Italian Delight N (9/2)-AMac drives as Gingras sticks with the Burke entry #2. Back in town after battling on smaller ovals and has the gate speed to be put in play early. Big M record is solid, has hit the board in 16 of 25 starts with 6 pictures.6-No Lou Zing (3-1)-Lou has been on the shelf for much of the year but comes off a double qualifier at M1. The 2nd tune-up was a 150.3 mile with a 26.3 last quarter which could be a sign of a big try coming. It might be picture time if dialed on high.Race 92-Niki Hill (7/5)-Draws well and the Breeders Crown champ should handle this crew. Won't offer any value but appears solid and this winner in 7 of 8 should make it 8 of 9 in 2021.My Ticket Race 6) 2,7 Race 7) 1,5,7 Race 8) 2,5,6 Race 9) 2Total Ticket Cost) $9.00 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.13.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Saturday, November 13

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: XUse: 2-Supersonic Flyer; 4-Roses R BlueForecast: Roses R Blue finished more than five lengths clear of the rest in a promising debut at this maiden $50,000 level last month at Santa Anita in a race that earned a decent number. The L. Mendez barn has strong stats with the second-time starter angle, so we’re expecting the daughter of Bluegrass Cat to produce a forward move, one that should be good enough to win. However, at 4/5 on the morning line there really isn’t any wagering value to be found. Supersonic Flyer, a distant third in the same race as ‘Blue exits and already with eight races on her resume, has far less room to improve but may be worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up or a saver.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Love My Jimmy; 5-SurplusForecast: Here’s a fairly competitive $50,000 claiming turf sprint restricted to 3-year-olds with several possibilities. We’ll try to survive and advance using just two, but if you feel to need to spread a bit deeper, go right ahead. Surplus shows up in a seller for the first time and at this level can win with a repeat of his nice maiden tally over this course and distance two races back. With the switch to F. Prat, the Fed Biz gelding should have his best chance from a stalking position outside the likely front-runner Love My Jimmy, a first-off-the-claim play for H. Palma (always strong with this angle) fresh from a win in a similar affair in late August and with a healthy series of workouts in the interim.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Try to Capture; 4-FunkensteinForecast: Try to Capture stretches out for the first time while also removing blinkers, two angles that always catch our eye. The P. Miller-trained gelding has burned money as the favorite in his last two starts but with a good break in the weights received with the switch to bug boy D. Herrera the son of Uncaptured seems set to produce a career top performance in this modest $20,000 claiming main track miler. Funkenstein plummets to the bottom and may have found his friends. With several previous speed figures that are good enough to win at this level combined with the pivotal jockey switch to F. Prat, the M. Puype-trained gelding should be a major player from off the pace. We’ll give Try to Capture the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Divine Armor; 4-Arham; 5-Phantom DanceForecast: This is a stronger-than-average first-level allowance optional claiming main track miler for older horses and requires some coverage in rolling exotic play. Arham is fast on numbers and this Saratoga shipper appears extremely live and well-meant while seeking some of that valuable ship-and-win money for new trainer V. Cerin. He’s a one-paced grinder but his local works are solid, he can fire fresh (won his debut) and attracts the barn’s go-to rider J. Hernandez, all of which makes him the logical morning line favorite at 9/5. Divine Armor is winless in three starts this year but should benefit immensely from the switch to F. Prat. The J. Sadler-trained colt projects to secure a comfortable ground-saving mid-pack early position and then have his chance to grind away from the quarter pole home. Phantom Dance has won his last three starts in convincing fashion and projects to be on or near a comfortable pace (his chances increase if he becomes the controlling speed). On pure numbers he’s a tad slower than our top selection but with continued improvement he should be able to act at this level.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: BUse: 6-Kitten’s Kid; 7-Issa CourtForecast: Kitten’s Kid and Issa Court, two-three finishers sprinting on grass at Santa Anita last month, meet again in this one mile grassy affair for older maiden fillies and mares. ‘Kid was on the pace in that sprint and was nosed out right on the wire; today stretching out for the first time - and with a pedigree that suggests the added distance will be well within his range – the P. D’Amato-trained filly is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite and likely will go lower. ‘Court displayed promise in her debut with a less than ideal trip and seems certain to improve with distance and experience. The D. Blacker-trained filly shows a nice half mile breeze since raced, retains J. Hernandez, and is squarely priced at 5-1 on the morning line. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with Kitten’s Kid the logical top choice.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: A-Single: 5-Sir LondonForecast: Sir London caught a buzzsaw in his debut and ran very well to be a clear second after a slow start and some traffic trouble along the rail in the opening quarter mile. He’s trained splendidly since, so we’re expecting the son of Malibu Moon to step forward in a big way and graduate from what looks to be a decent field of maiden juveniles. The S. Callaghan-trained colt retains F. Prat and while he’ll probably will go lower than his morning line of 5/2, we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.Notable Workouts:Air Combat (November 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2hg). Grade: B-Wesleyan (November 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2hg). Grade: B-Stable mates in B. Baffert’s barn went stride-for-stride in gate drill with ‘Combat maybe a tad quicker in the early stages while going a bit easier, splits of :24.2, :35.4, :47.3 and 1:00.2, steady drill with both under mild coaxing late. Both have some ability, but we’d tend to want to see a race first.View Workout VideoSir London (November 6, Santa Anita, 4f, :48h). Grade: B+Just coasting under a stout hold every step of the way, smoothly changing leads (stayed on left lead his debut), splits of :23.3 and :48 flat, able to go considerably faster if permitted. Caught a tough customer in his debut and finished a promising second; have to think he’ll step forward in a bit way next time.View Workout VideoNewgrange (November 6, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: BIn blinkers, in company with Doppelganger (same time) for B. Baffert and wasn’t really asked with steady splits of :12 flat, :23.3, :35.3 and 1:00.1, decent enough while head-and-head the wire. Colt by Violence has some speed, may need an outing before being totally cranked up.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Riding With Dino; 5-AlligatoForecast: Alligato was given a run in his debut and then, as expected, stepped forward considerably in his next outing. Despite severe traffic trouble on the turn and again approaching the stretch, the son of Kitten’s Joy produced a serious late bid to win going away while visually much more dominant than the length-and-one-quarter margin of victory might indicate. The late-to-the-party 4-year moves up a level that should be well within his abilities but shortens to five furlongs over a course that promotes speed, so his task certainly won’t be easy. That said, the M. Glatt-trained gelding has much more upside than the others. Riding With Dino has rising numbers and good tactical speed that should allow the R. Hess, Jr.-trained gelding to have a strong presence every step of the way. In the frame in all three starts since returning from a nearly two year layoff, the son of Vronsky shows three nice breezes since raced to indicate another forward move is likely. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with Alligato receiving the bulk of the action.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Under the Stars; 5-EdaForecast: The listed stakes winning and graded stakes-placed Eda, fresh from a clever score in the Anoakia S. at Santa Anita, draws the lovely outside post, retains F. Prat, and is listed as the 3/5 morning line favorite in this five-runner renewal of the Desi Arnaz S. for juvenile filly. She’s the logical short-priced favorite and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play, but we’ll prefer stable mate Under the Stars on top. A closing third vs. maidens in her debut just two weeks ago, the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile gets an extra half furlong to work with, adds blinkers, and seem sure to improve a ton with that bit of experience behind her. Fact is, she always struck us as the better of two fillies based on her morning workouts and today, she gets a chance to verify that initial impression. Listed at 5/2 on the morning line, she’s our top pick and win play at anywhere near that price.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Ottawa Fire; 8-Bud Knight; 9-CosmoForecast: We’ll go three-deep in the nightcap, but this race is a grass gab bag for restricted (nw-2) claimers, so best advice is to include as many as your budget allows. Ottawa Fire drops considerably in class and appears to have found his proper winning level. The P. D’Amato-trained gelding made the running and weakened late in a 10-furlong allowance affair last time out but might employ a patient style against this group. On pure numbers he’s good enough to win. Bud Knight retains F. Prat after rallying to be second in a similar restricted claimer in mid-October at Santa Anita. He’s just 1-for-19 and certainly not one to trust, but if he can turn in two alike, he’ll be in the battle. Cosmo has the first-time-in-a-claimer angle and earned a career top speed figure when a closing fourth sprinting at Golden Gate Fields in his most recent outing two months ago. He’s 6-1 on the morning line and is worth including at that price.Notable Workouts:Cosmo (November 6, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h TT). Grade: BGood maintenance drill for N. Drysdale, splits of :36.3 and 1:00.3, never really asked much in smooth drill while remaining on edge. In good shape and is worth a look with a class drop.View Workout Video

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11.12.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, November 12

Tonight, the feature at Hoosier Park rolls in Race 11, an Open Pace with a $22,000 purse. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 10, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 101-Big Chief Arrow (12-1)-Price shot has struggled versus this kind at HoP but comes off 3 good efforts and draws inside. Krueger came keep this 3-year-old in the hunt and be within reach of the leader down the lane.5-Rockin Sandsave (8-1)-Here is another who has raced better in the last 2 starts and now returns from Dayton. Gets a positive driver change in Casey Leonard who steers for his brother Ross, and should be a solid price.8-JK Rockin Roll (20-1)-Price shot tries Lasix for the 2nd time and Widger makes his 2nd straight appearance between the pipes. Paced the 2nd half in 56.2 and could be sitting on a big try at long odds.9-Just Wanna Roll (2-1)-Will probably be a single on many tickets and makes the 1st start for the Essig barn. Looks the part of a morning line chalk so will respect but will lean to others who may get a smoother journey.Race 116-He'zzz A Wise Sky (4-1)-Has hit the board in 11 of 15 at HoP and has finished 2nd in the last 2 starts after doing the heavy lifting. This is an honest 4-year-old who should be in the hunt for top honors again.7-Tellmeaboutit (5/2)-Was used early and then stayed inside in last and now makes the 2nd start off of a judges scratch. This Alvin Miller trainee has big gate speed and Oosting could have the pedal down from the word "go".9-Sonny Weaver N (7/2)-Sizzled the 2nd half in 52.4 to take a picture versus this kind last week. If they go to the half in .54 again, the same could happen. The pace should be lively and will likely need hot fractions to make another trip to the winner's circle.Race 123-Townline Shady Boy (8/5)-Comes off a win at OakGr in Kentucky and hasn't been in this cheap at HoP this season. There isn't much form in the entire field, and this looks like the winner with a decent trip.Race 131-Ourrhythmnblues N (9/2)-Has been facing straight Open company and fits better here. Macomber should be within striking range turning for the wire and could be overlooked at the windows.4-Tivo Hanover (3-1)-Pet Rock 6-year-old beat Open company here in October and fits well with this crew. Gets a positive driver change with De Long taking the lines and he was hot on Thursday. Draws well to get a stalking trip and could close fastest of all.My Ticket Race 10) 1,5,8,9 Race 11) 6,7,9 Race 12) 3 Race 13) 1,4Total Ticket Cost) $12 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.12.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Friday, November 12

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Unbridled Mary; 5-PhenomForecast: Phenom performed well in her debut under similar conditions at Santa Anita last month, finishing a willing third in a five-furlong turf sprint for juvenile fillies while easily outrunning her 19-1 odds. The P. D’Amato barn has excellent stats with second time starters (21% with a powerful ROI), so with that race under her belt combined with the addition of blinkers the daughter of Midnight Storm can be expected to run at least as well and probably better today. She’s listed as the 5/2 morning line favorite and that looks about right. Unbridled Mary is a first timer bred for intense early speed (Maclean’s Music) and has done some excellent work in the a.m. trainer J. Sadler, whose stats with debut runners is solid (18% with a strong flat-bet profit). It would not be surprising if she’s the quickest of the quick, and at 4-1 on the morning line looks enticing. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to the longer priced ‘Mary.Notable Workouts:Unbridled Mary (November 7, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.4hg). Grade: BA bit slow to get in motion leaving gate but then displayed good speed without need of pressure to prove much best over Abadon (4f, :49.2hg) for J. Sadler, splits of :24 flat, :35.2 and :47.4 on our watches, nice drill by juvenile daughter of Maclean’s Music. Had a solid series of workouts at Los Alamitos before joining the main string and looks to have enough ability to be a live first time out.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Signofthecross; 5-KershawForecast: This $50,000 middle distance maiden track claimer attracted just five entrants, so we don’t really have much to work with. Signofthecross was awful in his last two starts but after a brief freshening and a return to a main track we know he likes the L. Powell-trained gelding should be capable of snapping back to good form. The son of Cross Traffic projects to settle into a good stalking position and then have his chance to wear down the leaders from the quarter pole home. Kershaw, away since May but with an excellent record over the Del Mar dirt oval, shows a healthy series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs to have him plenty fit for trainer P. Miller, whose stats with layoff runners always are better than average. Off his best day, the veteran gelding is more than good enough to handle this assignment. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Kershaw on top.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:33 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Fore Flag; Bally’s CharmForecast: Four of the seven starters in this one-mile state-bred turf event for juveniles exit the same race, with Fore Flag, the runner-up in that Oct. 15 event at Santa Anita, likely to be the favorite again despite having failed as the public choice in his last two starts. Drawn perfectly along the rail and assured a ground-saving trip, the M. McCarthy-trained colt isn’t one to trust but seems the logical favorite once again almost by default. His numbers are well below par but are gradually rising, so with another forward move he’ll have every chance to earn his diploma. Bally’s Charm, fourth beaten less than four lengths in his debut behind Fore Flag, arguably has more room to improve and therefore is the one to fear most. The J. Mullins-trained gelding hit the front at the furlong pole before weakening; he’ll be fitter and stronger today and may be a more attractive gamble at 5/2 on the morning line. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play with Bally’s Charm, based on price, the preferred top pick.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:03 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Today’s Flavor; 2-Essential WagerForecast: This is a better than par maiden sprint for older horses, with the main contention drawn inside (not always the place to be sprinting on this track). Essential Wager was unlucky in his recent debut at Santa Anita, winding up an admirable second with a strong speed figure after stumbling at the start, rushing up inside to make the pace and then understandably weakening late. The B. Baffert barn hits with a powerful 26% with second time starters, so with two very sharp drills since raced the son of Honor Code looks ready to graduate. Today’s Flavor was extremely well-meant in his debut at Santa Anita in April when finishing second to the talented Laurel River, but then went to the sidelines. The D. O’Neill-trained colt returns with a series of exceptional workouts, including a bullet :58 3/5 five-furlong drill over the local main track Oct. 30. If he can avoid trouble from the rail, the son of Laoban should give our top pick plenty of competition. We’ll have a few extra tickets keying Essential Wager but include both in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:Today’s Flavor (October 24, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01h TT). Grade: BSolo training track drill for D. O’Neill, well in hand throughout, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.2, plenty left and galloping out strongly past the wire. Coming back extremely well, always trained like a very good prospect.View Workout VideoEssential Wager (November 1, Santa Anita, 4f, :46.3h). Grade: AIn blinkers, terrific drill for Honor Code colt in company and much best over Velvet Slippers (4f, :46.4h) while working from the three furlong pole out to the seven-furlong pole, never asked at any stage, splits of :11.1, :35 flat (to the wire) and then full of run in the final stages, up in :46.3. Was an unlucky runner-up in his debut; should produce a significant forward move with that race before him.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:33 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Comedic; 4-Granola Girl; 7-ShoppingforpharoahForecast: The first leg of the late Pick-4 is a stronger-than-par maiden turf sprint for two-year-old fillies with three legitimate contenders. Shoppingforpharoah displayed excellent speed in her first career outing three weeks ago before being worn down late and finishing second in a six-furlong affair over the Santa Anita turf course. She shortens up a furlong today and should be on the lead again, so we’re expecting the J. Wong-trained filly to move forward and be tough to run down. Comedic was supposed to win her debut (she went off at 6/5) under similar conditions last month at Santa Anita but was simply second best after leading the way into the lane. She figures to improve based on trainer S. Callaghan’s stats with second time starters, which is quite strong (25%). A bullet five-furlong training track drill since raced (1:00 1/5, fastest of 12) catches the eye, so we’ll give the daughter of Practical Joke a reasonable chance to make amends. The improving Granola Girl looks to be the most dangerous of the closing types, and with the switch to F. Prat the Jack Milton filly is a “must use” as well.Notable Workouts:Comedic (November 5, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h TT). Grade: BBreezing every step of way, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :35.3, very sharp through the lane while displaying easy action with plenty of power. Hard to believe she got beat in her debut based on this drill. Have to think she’ll step forward vs. maiden juvenile fillies next time.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:03 PT Grade: B-Single: 11-ChollimaForecast: The sixth race is a bottom-rung $8,000 claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. Big ticket players may decide to go fishing and spread deeply but we’ll try to save money, single Chollima, and simply hope to be right. Claimed in five of her last six starts and back in the barn of trainer S. Knapp, who won with her at Del Mar during the summer meeting, the daughter of Paddy O’Prado has the route-to-sprint angle that we like while being reunited with “win rider” A. Cedillo. Though drawn a bit farther out in the 11-hole at this five and one-half furlong distance, she should have enough tactical speed to secure a reasonable second flight, stalking position and then have dead aim from the head of the lane to the wire. First or second in nine of 13 career starts and a two-time winner over the local main track, she’s well-spotted to return to winning form at a reasonable 5/2 on the morning line.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:33 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Lava Lane; 6-Hot RageousForecast: Hot Rageous shows up for a $20,000 tag (her first start in a claimer) after winning a pair of decent allowance sprints over the all-weather surface at Golden Gate Fields in late summer. This is an optional state-bred affair offering a lucrative $72,000 purse (she’s only eligible because she was entered to be claimed), so we suspect trainer P. Miller probably expects to lose her but won’t mind if she can take home the winner’s 60% share of the pot. At 2-1 on the morning line and with F. Prat taking the call, the sophomore daughter of Idiot Proof has speed figures that make her the one to beat. Lava Lane, a sharp runner-up over this course and distance last time out, projects to be in the second flight while saving ground from her rail post position. She’s lightly raced and improving and is guaranteed a good trip, so with another forward move the P. D’Amato-trained daughter of Unusual Heat seems sure to make a serious run for it.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:03 PT Grade: B-Use: 5-La Pulcinela; 7-ZahraForecast: We’ll double the finale, a restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming main track miler for older fillies and mares. La Pulcinela drops to her lowest level ever after a series of strong, consistent recent outings vs. slightly tougher foes. The J. Wong-trained daughter of Flatter earned a career top number when a distant second in an optional claiming/starter’s allowance affair last month at Santa Anita, and while the class drop might appear a tad suspicious, we’re assuming the barn is simply trying to win a race. Zahra adds blinkers for the first time after finishing a respectable runner-up at this level last month. She’s not as fast on numbers as our top pick and is just 1-for-30 in her career but she can be used as insurance in a saver role in case the favorite, for whatever reason, fails to fire.Notable Workouts:Zahra (November 4, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1h). Grade: B-In blinkers, asked a bit late and did okay for a cheap type in solo five-furlong main track drill, splits of :23.3, :35.3 and 1:01.1 while appearing to hold her form. Not keen on winning (1-for-30) but usually gets at least a piece of it.View Workout Video

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11.11.2021:

Jon White: 2021 Breeders' Cup Recap | Wednesday, November 10

VENUE: Del Mar on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 Main Track: dirt, fast Friday and Saturday; Turf Course: firm Friday and Saturday. $6 MILLION CLASSIC (NOV. 6) Results: (1) Knicks Go, who paid $8.40, (2) Medina Spirit, (3) Essential Quality. Winner: Owned by Korea Racing Authority; trained by Brad Cox; ridden by Joel Rosario. Distance: 1 1/4 miles on dirt. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 112. Authentic won the 2020 BC Classic at Keeneland with a 111 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Classic: 124 (Sunday Silence in 1989 at Gulfstream Park, Ghostzapper in 2004 at Lone Star Park). Recap: Knicks Go again utilized his natural early zip to his best advantage. He darted immediately to the front and stayed there all the way to the end of the 1 1/4-mile, his first race going this far. Many had expected Medina Spirit to either vie for the early lead or, at the very least, push Knicks Go in the early going. But that didn’t happen. You can’t say that you weren’t warned this was a possibility. Two weeks before the Breeders’ Cup, I wrote this for Xpressbet.com: “Through the many years that I’ve been analyzing races, I have learned that it can be tricky to try and forecast pace. That’s because the pace situation can change considerably if an early speed horse does not have a good start. For example, if Medina Spirit does not have an alert beginning in the BC Classic, it would help Knicks Go. And the same goes for Medina Spirit if Knicks Go happens to have a tardy start.” Knicks Go did not have a tardy start. Quite the opposite occurred. He exited the gate quickly. Medina Spirit? He began sluggishly for Hall of Fame jockey Johnny Velazquez. Medina Spirit seemed to hesitate just a bit when the outstanding starter Jay Slender pushed the button. This forced Johnny V. to make a split-second decision. Should he hustle Medina Spirit early or not? After the slow start, Velazquez chose to not put the pedal to the metal, so to speak. He thought that if he gunned Medina Spirit early to go after Knicks Go, who already had the jump on Medina Spirit, it could take a toll on Medina Spirit toward the end of the 1 1/4-mile journey. No one else in the field of eight was quick enough to go with Knicks Go early. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman put it well when he wrote: “The race was 1 1/4 miles, but it was over a quarter-mile into it. No one went with Knicks Go, and when he gets to rock along with his high cruising speed, he’s unbeatable going two turns.” Indeed, Knicks Go now is eight for eight in two-turn races for Cox. Despite this splendid streak and despite Knicks Go boasting the highest speed figures in the field, be they Beyers or Thoro-Graph, he was not sent away as the favorite, but rather a 3-1 co-second choice with Hot Rod Charlie. I make the Del Mar morning lines. In this capacity, I was responsible for this year’s Breeders’ Cup morning lines, a daunting task for sure. I made Knicks Go a 5-2 morning-line favorite for the BC Classic. I pegged Essential Quality as the 3-1 second choice. I put both Hot Rod Charlie and Medina Spirit at 4-1. The bettors then backed Essential Quality to the tune of 9-5 favoritism. Did this surprise me? No. On the radio program “Inside Churchill Downs” two weeks before the Breeders’ Cup, I said that I expected Knicks Go would be sent away as the favorite. But I also said I thought it was possible that Essential Quality could end up being the favorite. This belief is one reason why I had Knicks Go and Essential Quality as close as possible on the morning line, putting them at 5-2 and 3-1, respectively. By contrast, Daily Racing Form’s early odds, crafted by Brad Free, had Knicks Go a 5-2 favorite, with Essential Quality two notches higher at 7-2. I thought that Essential Quality might end up being the BC Classic favorite because he had been the favorite in eight of nine career starts. In his only loss, Essential Quality was the 5-2 favorite in the Grade I Kentucky Derby. A 5-2 favorite in a race with 19 betting interests is a very strong favorite. Essential Quality experienced a wide trip and finished fourth. As for the BC Classic, Knicks Go won by 2 3/4 lengths. So much for the concern some had that the 5-year-old Maryland-bred son of Paynter might not be able to win going 1 1/4 miles. Knicks Go was two lengths in front with a furlong to go. Once again he increased his lead in the final furlong, just as he had done when reeling off three consecutive victories in 1 1/8-mile races going into the BC Classic. In terms of Knicks Go’s dominance in those three 1 1/8-mile races, he won the Grade III Cornhusker Handicap by 10 1/4 lengths, Grade I Whitney Stakes by four lengths and Grade III Lukas Classic by 2 3/4 lengths. Knicks Go is one of only four horses to win the BC Classic without having previously raced 1 1/4 miles, joining Ghostzapper in 2004, Raven’s Pass in 2008 and Zenyatta in 2009. Additionally, Knicks Go became the sixth horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races, joining Zenyatta, Beholder, Stephanie’s Kitten, Secret Circle and Golden Pal. Golden Pal, like Knicks Go, achieved the feat this year. Golden Pal won the BC Turf Sprint this year and the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint last year. Again, a couple of weeks before the Breeders’ Cup, I wrote this for Xpressbet.com: “I believe what makes Knicks Go such a tough dude to beat in two-turn races is his ability to exhibit both early and late speed in a race. That produces a lethal one-two punch to his foes.” In the BC Classic, Knicks Go recorded individual splits of :23.16, :22.61, :24.27, :25.24 and :24.29. Check out how fast he went early, especially his second quarter in :22.61. Yet he still had plenty of gas left in the tank to run his final quarter in :24.29. That strong :24.29 final quarter by Knicks Go set the bar too high for Medina Spirit, Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie or anyone else to reel him in. Medina Spirit had to settle for second. Essential Quality came in third, three-quarters of a length behind Medina Spirit. Hot Rod Charlie ran fourth, one length behind Essential Quality. Completing the order of finish were Stilleto Boy, Art Collector, Tripoli and Max Player. Knicks Go’s final time was an excellent 1:59.57. It was faster than Gun Runner’s 2:01.29 when he won the 2017 BC Classic by 2 1/4 lengths at Del Mar. In fifths, Knick’s Go’s final time was 1:59 2/5, faster by four-fifths of a second than Gun Runner’s 2:01 1/5. In spite of that, Knicks Go’s Beyer Speed Figure of 112 for his BC Classic was lower than the 117 Gun Runner received for his triumph in the 2017 renewal. This makes me wonder if perhaps Knicks Go’s Beyer should be higher than a 112. This was the second straight year in which the BC Classic was won in front-running fashion. Authentic led past every pole in the 2020 edition of this race at Keeneland. This year’s BC Classic nearly produced a Cox-trained exacta in that he also was the conditioner of Essential Quality. Considering it appears that Essential Quality has no physical issues, I am very disappointed that Godolphin has decided to retire him. Why the rush to pull the plug on the racing career of the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2020 and the winner of this year’s Grade I Belmont Stakes and Grade I Travers Stakes? Essential Quality certainly was not retired because Godolphin needs the money. Then why do that? Essential Quality, it seems to me, might have had a terrific campaign next year at the age of 4. Knicks Go has not quite been retired from racing. He might make one more start. If all is well, Knicks Go will go in the Grade I, $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park next Jan. 29. The Pegasus has the mouth-watering possibility of being a clash between Knicks Go and 2021 BC Dirt Mile winner Life Is Good, who also is said to be a candidate for the 1 1/8-mile race. It will be wonderful if that does happen. FINAL NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL As an indication that Knicks Go is an odds-on favorite to be voted Eclipse Awards as 2021 Horse of the Year and champion older male, he received all 36 first-place votes in the final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Knicks Go finished No. 11 in the final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for 2020. Ranking second in the 2021 poll was 3-year-old star Essential Quality. That means Brad Cox trained both the No. 1 and No. 2 horses in this year’s final poll. Below is the final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for 2021: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 360 Knicks Go (36)2. 270 Essential Quality3. 265 Life Is Good4. 242 Medina Spirit5. 205 Letruska6. 126 Hot Rod Charlie7. 67 Golden Pal8. 64 Yibir9. 59 Jackie’s Warrior10. 55 Gamine Also receiving votes: Echo Zulu (51), Malathaat (47), Corniche (36), Ce Ce (32), Domestic Spending (21) Aloha West (12), Maxfield (12), War Like Goddess (10), Art Collector (10), Dunbar Road (8), Dr. Schivel (8), Colonel Liam (4), Loves Only You (4), Space Blues (3), Echo Town (2), Ginobili (2), Smooth Like Strait (2), Jack Christopher (1), Pizza Bianca (1), Shedaresthedevil (1). Note: I attributed the two points listed for “War Goddess” in its final poll to War Like Goddess. $4 MILLION TURF (NOV. 6) Results: (1) Yibir, who paid $19.00, (2) Broome, (3) Teona. Winner: Owned by Godolphin; trained by Charles Appleby; ridden by William Buick. Distance: 1 1/2 miles on turf. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 105. Tarnawa won the 2020 BC Turf at Keeneland with a 109 Beyer. Top Beyer in the Turf: 118 (Daylami in 1999 at Gulfstream Park). Recap: The Tarnawa who showed up for this race at Del Mar was not the same Tarnawa who won the 2020 BC Turf at Keeneland. Tarnawa finished 11th this time. Her trainer, Dermot Weld, believes the probable reason that the classy mare did not fire this time is she was coming back too soon after running hard on an extremely soft, testing course at ParisLongchamp in the Oct. 3 when runner-up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Facing his elders for the first time, 3-year-old Yibir was next-to-last in the field of 14 with a half-mile to go. The Great Britain-bred Dubawi gelding unleashed a furious late rally to win by a half-length in 2:25.90. This made Yibir two for two in this country. At Belmont Park on Sept. 18, he won the $1 million Jockey Club Derby going away by 2 1/2 lengths. Domestic Spending and United were scratched due to both geldings having inflammation in a front leg. That opened the door for Bolshoi Ballet and Channel Maker to get into the starting gate from the also-eligible list. Channel Maker finished fifth. Bolshoi Ballet ran sixth. $2 MILLION DISTAFF (NOV. 6) Results: (1) Marche Lorraine, who paid $101.80, (2) Dunbar Road, (3) Malathaat. Winner: Owned by U Carrot Farm; trained by Yoshito Yahagi; ridden by Oisin Murphy. Distance: 1 1/8 miles on dirt. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 103. Monomoy Girl won the 2020 BC Distaff at Keeneland with a 100 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Distaff: 120 (Princess Rooney in 1984). Recap: Talk about a pace meltdown. Private Mission, off at odds of 10-1, set a blistering pace for a 1 1/8-mile race while being pushed by 8-5 favorite Letruska. The fractions were a scorching :21.84, :44.97 and 1:09.70, a tempo that took a toll on the duo. Letruska finished 10th in the field of 11 to snap her five-race winning streak. Private Mission capitulated and ended up last. Japan’s Marche Lorraine, ninth early, charged to the front coming to the top of the stretch. She opened a two-length lead in upper stretch, then had to desperately hold on to eke out a nose win over Dunbar Road (12-1). Dunbar Road narrowly lost despite encountering her share of traffic trouble. Malathaat (7-2), who did not have the best of trips, rallied to finish third, a half-length behind Dunbar Road. Clairiere (10-1), fanned seven wide into the lane, also rallied and lost by only three-quarters of a length while finishing fourth. Marche Lorraine, whose final time was 1:47.67, is a 5-year-old Japanese-bred Orfevre mare. I was at the Group I, $6.5 million Japan Cup in 2012, a race Orfevre was very unlucky to lose. He finished second, a scant nose behind the filly Gentildonna. Gentildonna swerved out during the stretch run to avoid running over a faltering Beat Black. When Gentildonna did that, she solidly bumped Orfevre. Only a nose separated them at the finish. After a lengthy stewards’ inquiry, there was no change made to the original order of finish. In my opinion, Orfevre got robbed in that Gentildonna should have been disqualified. Orfevre, a Japanese Triple Crown winner in 2011, also was unlucky not to have won the Group I Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2012. Many, including yours truly, believe jockey Christophe Soumillon moved Orfevre too soon in the Arc. Orfevre blew by several opponents, including Solemia, and opened a clear lead late in the race. Solemia then came on to win by a neck. Even though Orfevre was unlucky in 2012 to lose a pair of lucrative events, the Arc and Japan Cup, the grandson of the great Sunday Silence (winner of the 1989 BC Classic) managed to amass lifetime earnings of $19,005,276. And now Orfevre also is the sire of a Breeders’ Cup winner. $2 MILLION MILE (NOV. 6) Results: (1) Space Blues, who paid $6.20 as the favorite, (2) Smooth Like Strait, (3) Ivar. Winner: Owned by Godolphin; trained by Charles Appleby; ridden by William Buick. Distance: 1 mile on turf. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 106. Order of Australia won the 2020 BC Mile at Keeneland with a 105 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Mile: 119 (Miesque in 1987 at Hollywood Park). Recap: When I watched the video of Space Blues’ win in the Group I Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp on Oct. 3, I had no doubt that I was going to install him as the morning-line favorite for the BC Mile. His late kick in the Foret was breathtaking. I listed him at 5-2 on the BC Mile morning line. In the BC Mile, Space Blues enjoyed a perfect trip early when nice and relaxed in third while within close attendance of the pace. It was a flawlessly executed ride by Buick. When Space Blues was asked the question in the stretch, the 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Dubawi responded readily to prevail by a half-length in 1:34.01 as the 2-1 favorite. Smooth Like Strait, a gem of consistency throughout 2021, set the pace and finished second at 10-1 when not quite able to stave off Space Blues. Smooth Like Strait lost a shoe during the race, according to trainer Michael McCarthy. Smooth Like Strait might well have won the Grade I Turf Classic instead of finishing second if his saddle had not slipped. In seven 2021 starts through the BC Mile, Smooth Like Strait won the Grade I Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita on May 31 while losing his six other races by margins of a neck, a neck, a head, a half-length and a half-length. Mo Forza, the 3-1 second favorite, never threatened after getting mugged early and finished last in the field of 13. $2 MILLION SPRINT (NOV. 6) Results: (1) Aloha West, who paid $24.60, (2) Dr. Schivel, (3) Following Sea. Winner: Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners; trained by Wayne Catalalano; ridden by Jose Ortiz. Distance: 6 furlongs on dirt. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 100. Whitmore won the 2020 BC Sprint at Keeneland with a 104 Beyer. Top Beyer in the Sprint and the top Beyer in Breeders’ Cup history: 125 (Precisionist in 1985). Recap: A lot of people thought Jackie’s Warrior was a sure thing. But in yet another example that there is no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to horse racing, Jackie’s Warrior vied for the lead to the top of the lane, then weakened and finished sixth as the 1-2 favorite. I thought 4-1 Dr. Schivel was a sure thing at the sixteenth pole. But he got nailed right on the finish line by 11-1 Aloha West. A 4-year-old Maryland-bred Hard Spun colt, Aloha West completed this race in 1:08.49. For Catalano, this was his fourth Breeders’ Cup win, following Dreaming of Anna (2006 BC Juvenile Fillies), She Be Wild (2008 BC Juvenile Fillies) and Stephanie’s Kitten (2011 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf). This also made it back-to-back years in which a Midwest trainer saddled the BC Sprint winner. In 2020, Ron Moquette sent out the popular Whitmore, who won in come-from-behind fashion a la Aloha West. $2 MILLION FILLY & MARE TURF (NOV. 6) Results: (1) Loves Only You, who paid $10.60, (2) My Sister Nat, (3) War Like Goddess. Winner: Owned by DMM Dream Club; trained by Yoshito Yahagi; ridden by Yuga Kawada. Distance: 1 3/8 miles on turf. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 102. Audarya won the 2020 BC Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland with a 103 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Filly & Mare Turf: 112 (Banks Hill in 2001). Recap: Japan made history by winning this race with Loves Only You. This was despite some taking a dim view of all Japanese horses competing at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. For instance, I received an email from a very sharp horseplayer, who wondered why Jasper Great was not higher than 15-1 on the morning line in the BC Juvenile. The horseplayer correctly pointed out that Jasper Great was going into the BC Juvenile off only a maiden win in Japan. “The Japanese have never done well in America in dirt races, or any other BC races for that matter,” the horseplayer again correctly pointed out. On Nov 1, the day I had to submit the Breeders’ Cup morning lines even before the post positions were drawn, Jasper Great was listed at 20-1 on David Aragona’s DRF early line. “While Japan has historically not done well in the Breeders’ Cup, they have been doing extremely well on the world stage in recent years, winning many of the biggest races in the world,” I responded to the horseplayer. “Yes, Jasper Great won only a maiden race. But he won ‘easily’ by 10. He’s by a BC Classic winner [Arrogate] out of a mare by a BC Classic winner [Wild Again]. Who knows how good Jasper Great is off only one 10-length win? What if he’s a superstar? He probably isn’t, but what if he is? “Sure, I could have made Jasper Great 20-1 or 30-1. But what if it turns out he’s some sort of monster and a bunch of money comes pouring in on him and drives him down to under 10-1?” For the record, Jasper Great was sent away by bettors at 14-1. “Ignore the Japanese BC raiders at your own peril,” was the headline in an Oct. 20 story written by Nicholas Godfrey for the website Thoroughbred Racing Commentary. “In years to come, we might look back at the 38th Breeders’ Cup as the one in which Japan finally started to take it seriously. Ignore them at your own peril,” Godfrey wrote. Talk about prophetic. Loves Only You this year became Japan’s first Breeders’ Cup winner. And then later Saturday, Japan celebrated another victory when Marche Lorraine pulled off a 49-1 shocker in the BC Distaff. Loves Only You was a far cry from 49-1 in the BC Filly & Mare Turf. I made her 4-1 on the morning line. Bettors sent her off at 4-1. Never far back, the 5-year-old Deep Impact mare (a granddaughter of 1989 BC Classic winner Sunday Silence) surged late to win by a half-length in 2:13.87. Deep Impact swept the 2005 Triple Crown in Japan. My Sister Nat finished second in the field of 12. She is a half-sister to Eclipse Award champion and 2018 BC Filly & Mare Turf winner Sistercharlie. Ending up third in this year’s BC Filly & Mare Turf was 2-1 favorite War Like Goddess, whose four-race winning streak came to an end. $1 MILLION DIRT MILE (NOV. 6) Results: (1) Life Is Good, who paid $3.40 as the favorite, (2) Ginobili, (3) Restrainedvengeance. Winner: Owned by CHC Inc. and WinStar Darm.; trained by Todd Pletcher; ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Distance: 1 mile on dirt. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 109. Knicks Go won the 2019 BC Dirt Mile at Keeneland with a 108 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Dirt Mile: 119 (Corinthian in 2007). Recap: Life Is Good was the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby in Churchill Downs’ future wager prior to an injury that knocked him out of the Triple Crown races. Life Is Good emerged from a marvelous six-furlong workout in 1:11.40 at Santa Anita on March 30 with a hind ankle injury that required surgery. When he returned to equine combat, he suffered his only loss so far, though he even ran admirably in defeat. Life Is Good lost by a neck when he finished second to the crack sprinter Jackie’s Warrior in a rousing renewal of the Grade I H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 28. After the Jerkens, Life Is Good resumed his winning ways. He cruised to a 5 1/2-furlong victory in the Grade II Kelso Handicap on Sept. 25, which really was nothing more than paid workout for him. He faced older foes for the first time in the Kelso. Life Is Good then trounced his elders again as the 3-5 favorite in the BC Dirt Mile. The Kentucky-bred Into Mischief colt won in front-running fashion by 5 3/4 lengths in 1:34.12. Will Life is Good follow in the footsteps of 2020 BC Dirt Mile winner Knicks Go and capture the BC Classic the following year? Don’t rule it out. $1 MILLION TURF SPRINT (NOV. 6) Results: (1), Golden Pal, who paid $7.00 as the favorite, (2) Lieutenant Dan, (3) Charmaine’s Mia. Winner: Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg; trained by Wesley Ward; ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Distance: 5 furlongs on turf. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 107. Glass Slippers won the 2020 BC Turf Sprint at Keeneland with a 104 Beyer. Previous top Beyer in the BC Turf Sprint: 119 (Stormy Liberal in 2018). Recap: Ward has been sky high on Golden Pal ever since the Kentucky-bred 3-year-old Uncle Mo colt was a yearling. The trainer felt that Golden Pal possessed the look in his eye and demeanor to possibly be something special. Living up to his trainer’s high expectations, Golden Pal won the 2020 BC Juvenile Turf Sprint despite breaking from post 14. Golden Pal once again lived up to Ward’s high opinion of him by winning the 2021 BC Turf Sprint. Few Quarter Horses have ever started as fast as Golden Pal last Saturday at Del Mar. He was two lengths in front quicker than you can say his name. He prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths in : 55.22 as the 5-2 favorite. $1 MILLION FILLY & MARE SPRINT (NOV. 6) Results: (1), Ce Ce, who paid $14.40, (2) Edgeway, (3) Gamine. Winner: Owned by Bo Hirsch; trained by Michael McCarthy; ridden by Victor Espinoza. Distance: 7 furlongs on dirt. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 100. Gamine won the 2020 BC Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland with a 110 Beyer. Top previous Beyer in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint: 108 (Groupie Doll in 2012 at Santa Anita). Recap: Oops. I made Gamine my “most probable winner” at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. She finished third as the 2-5 favorite, losing for just the second time in 11 career starts. My most probable Breeders’ Cup winner now has won in 13 of the 18 last years. Below is a list of my most probable Breeders’ Cup winner for each year going back to 2004: 2021 Gamine in the Filly & Mare Sprint (finished third)2020 Golden Pal in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (won)2019 Midnight Bisou (finished second)2018 Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (won)2017 Bolt d’Oro in the Juvenile (finished third)2016 Dortmund in the Dirt Mile (finished fourth)2015 Songbird in the Juvenile Fillies (won)2014 Goldencents in the Dirt Mile (won)2013 Wise Dan in the Mile (won)2012 Groupie Doll in the Filly & Mare Sprint (won)2011 Goldikova in the Mile (won)2010 Goldikova in the Mile (won)2009 Zenyatta in the Classic (won)2008 Zenyatta in the Ladies’ Classic (won)2007 Midnight Lute in the Sprint (won)2006 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won)2005 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (finished second)2004 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won) In this year’s BC Filly & Mare Sprint, Ce Ce raced in fourth early, made a four-wide move to take the lead at the top of the stretch, then drew away to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:21.00. The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred Elusive Quality mare was sent away at odds of 6-1 from a 4-1 morning line. She had finished third, three lengths behind Gamine, in the Grade I Ballerina Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 28. Bo Hirsch, who has been going to the races at Del Mar for more than 70 years, bred and owns Ce Ce. Hirsch’s father, Clement Hirsch, has a Grade I race for fillies and mares named in his honor that is run each year during Del Mar’s summer meet. Clement Hirsch, who died in 2000, organized the group that took control of Del Mar in 1969 as a non-profit operation. That group continues to operate the track “where the turf meets the surf” to this day. It is understandable that Bo Hirsch was especially ecstatic to win his first Breeders’ Cup race. “I can tell you, by experience now, that when you win your first Breeders’ Cup, you’re on cloud million!” Hirsch said in the post-race ceremony in which one Bo (Bo Derek) presented a trophy to another Bo (Hirsch). $1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF (NOV. 5) Results: (1) Modern Games, who raced for purse only, (2) Tiz the Bomb, who was the winner for wagering purposes, paying $17.60, (3) Mackinnon. Winner: Owned by Godolphin; trained by Charles Appleby; ridden by William Buick. Distance: 1 mile on turf. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 87 for Modern Games (84 for Tiz the Bomb). Fire At Will won the 2020 BC Juvenile Turf at Keeneland with a 90 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile Turf: 93 (Donativum in 2008, Outstrip in 2013, Oscar Performance in 2016). Recap: Below are words that have been used to describe the 2021 BC Juvenile Turf: AbominationAwfulDebacleDisasterEmbarrassmentFiascoSnafu Let’s just say that all of those words are appropriate to describe what happened in what no doubt is going to be regarded as one of the most controversial races in the 38-year history of the Breeders’ Cup. Keep in mind controversy is nothing new when it comes to the Breeders’ Cup. There was controversy going all the way back to the first Breeders’ Cup held at Hollywood Park in 1984. The BC Classic that year had a $3 million purse, making it the richest horse race that had been ever run up to that time. Wild Again won a wild three-way deep-stretch battle with Gate Dancer and Slew o’ Gold. Following a stewards’ inquiry, Gate Dancer was disqualified and placed third for causing interference during the stretch run. There was Breeders’ Cup controversy as recently as last year. Authentic won the BC Classic. His final time for 1 1/4 miles was originally posted as 1:59.19. This also was the final time listed in the original Equibase chart. The chart, though, had no fractions. In the chart’s comments, it said: “Due to a timer malfunction, the fractional times were timed manually using video.” Many questioned the official final time of 1:59.19. Even the Trakus system used by Keeneland disagreed with that clocking. The Trakus system timed the race in 1:59.82. Ultimately, yet another clocking, 1:59.60, became the official final time for the 2020 BC Classic. Keeneland and Equibase issued this statement last year on Nov. 11: “Prior to the running of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (Gr. 1) on November 7, 2020, at Keeneland, a photo eye at the start of the race originally was tripped, which resulted in an error when attempting to operate the timing system manually causing inaccurate timing for all fractions and the final time of the race. A final time of 1:59.19 was initially provided by Equibase using the available video replay. After subsequent and more detailed review and timing of the race from multiple sources and camera angles, Keeneland and Equibase have determined the fractional times for the Classic (:23.20, :46.48, 1:10.32, 1:34.64) and confirmed a final time of 1:59.60. The Classic chart has been updated and the running of Authentic in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic is now the official track record for the 1 1/4-mile distance at Keeneland.” I think it’s fair to say that this year’s Breeders’ Cup had a race that was considerably more controversial than either the 1984 BC Classic or 2020 BC Classic. What occurred at this year’s BC Juvenile Turf was a comedy of errors, though there was nothing funny about it. “The Friday running of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar has left bettors once again infuriated by the racing industry’s procedures and protocols, with social media abuzz with claims from longtime horseplayers that their confidence and enthusiasm for the sport has been irretrievably shaken,” Daily Racing Form’s Matt Hegarty wrote. To begin with, No. 2 Albarh, owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, flipped in the gate. He was scratched by the stewards on veterinary advice. No. 1 was Modern Games, the betting favorite, also owned by Godolphin and trained by Appleby. Modern Games “was freed by a member of the gate crew in order to remove the horse from any danger as Albahr struggled on the ground in his own stall,” wrote Hegarty. “William Buick, the rider of Modern Games, quickly restrained the horse after he was released.” An assistant starter had allowed Modern Games to come out the front in order for the colt to extricate himself from the gate. Hindsight always is 20/20, but it probably would have been better to back Albahr out of the gate. That would have better enabled veterinarians to inspect him. I say this because what happened next was what really set off the chain of events that caused such an outcry from horseplayers. One of the track veterinarians, Dr. Chuck Jenkins, prematurely recommended to the stewards that Modern Games was to be scratched. Jenkins mistakenly thought Modern Games had busted through the front of the gate when the colt actually had been let out of the gate by an assistant starter. It is inexcusable that Modern Games was not closely inspected by a veterinarian or veterinarians at the starting gate before the stewards were contacted to recommend that Modern Games be scratched. “After an additional examination and assessment of Modern Games by the attending veterinary team, track veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead concluded that the horse had not been injured and communicated to the stewards that the horse was cleared to run,” according to a joint statement issued Saturday by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Breeders’ Cup. By the way, a CHRB statement issued Friday said in part that “Modern Games reared up and hit the back of the gate; Albahr flipped over and became lodged underneath the starting gate.” However, the CHRB issued the following statement on Monday to correct the record regarding Modern Games: “Concerning the 10th race at Del Mar on Friday, November 5, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf: Upon review of available videos showing the horses in the gate prior to the start of the race, the CHRB has determined that Modern Games did not rear up in the gate, as was initially reported by the CHRB and the veterinarians at the gate. The starter and assistant starter took protective steps by leading the horse out of the front of the gate. The horse did not break through the gate on its own, as was originally thought. The CHRB is conducting a full investigation of this matter.” The joint statement issued Saturday by the CHRB, Del Mar and Breeders’ Cup provided a timeline: “The CHRB determined that, as discussed in the aftermath of the race, Modern Games was scratched by the stewards on the recommendation of one of the track veterinarians, Dr. Chuck Jenkins, at the starting gate at 17:35.35 PT,” the statement said. “After additional examination and assessment of Modern Games by the attending veterinary team, track veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead concluded that the horse had not been injured and communicated to the stewards that the horse was cleared to run. “Due to a miscommunication between the stewards and the Del Mar mutuels department, Modern Games was reinserted into the pari-mutuel wagering pools at 17:37.01 PT.” “At 17:43.49 PT, after it was made clear to the mutuels department that Modern Games was competing for purse money only, the horse was again removed from the wagering pools. “The race went off at 17:47.34 PT. “Per CHRB rules, all wagers on Modern Games in the win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, superfecta and super high five pools are subject to refund. Daily double and Pick 3 wagers to Modern Games receive a consolation payment. Per CHRB rules, in all other multi-leg wagers ending on the 10th race, bettors with tickets including Modern Games and Albahr received the post-time favorite, Dakota Gold, unless they designated an alternate for the race.” The next paragraph in Saturday’s joint statement is important. That’s because it addresses an issue that seemingly triggered the whole mess by not having one veterinarian in charge to recommend a scratch to the stewards. “As a result of a review, the CHRB, Del Mar and Breeders’ Cup are modifying their injury management communications protocols, so that Dr. Stead will make the final determination with respect to scratches at the starting gate and has sole authority to communicate those recommendations to the stewards.” Oh, if only that already had been the case. Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch wrote: “Modern Games won the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. But if you bet on him, you didn’t.” It is clear that much needs to be addressed going forward, especially regarding bettors. That’s because there should never, ever be a situation in which a person has bet on a horse who wins, but the bettor loses. That’s why it’s understandable that many of the 26,553 in attendance at Del Mar understandably booed loudly, while many others elsewhere likewise were irate. Some have wondered why Modern Games ran for purse only. Once he was removed from the betting pools, there was no other option, as specified by CHRB rule 1974 (b). The rule states: “If a horse is removed from the wagering pool due to totalizator error, or due to any other error, and neither the trainer nor the owner is at fault, the horse shall start in the race as a non-wagering interest for the purse only and shall be disregarded for pari-mutuel purposes.” “Shall” is the key word in that rule. The word “shall” ties the hands of the stewards. The stewards have wriggle room if it says “may,” but not when it says “shall.” When I worked as a steward at Golden Gate Fields in 2017 with John Herbuveaux and Richard Lewis, we had to invoke CHRB rule 1974 (b) due to totalizator error in the fourth race on Sept. 10. This is the relevant item dealing with that from the stewards’ minutes under the headline TOTE ERROR: “Tote operator notified this Board [of Stewards] at 12:21 that they had mistakenly withdrawn #5 STOCKED from the betting pools for the 4th race. In accordance with California Horse Racing Board rule 1974 (b) the horse ran for ‘purse money’ only and remained out of the betting pools. “All departments and the trainer were notified of this decision. Announcements were made throughout the day and TV was running information on screens up until the race time. Refund: $601.89. An investigation into this matter is ongoing.” Stocked finished second, a neck behind River House. A day after the BC Juvenile Turf controversy Friday, Master of The Seas reared in the gate prior to the start of the BC Mile. He was backed out, then inspected, then recommended by Dr. Stead to be scratched, then scratched by the stewards, then unsaddled. Like Modern Games and Albahr, Master of The Seas is owned by Godolphin and trained by Appleby. Godolphin and Appleby won the BC Mile with Space Blues, as noted earlier. Fifth to sixth in the early going, Modern Games was quite impressive in winning the BC Juvenile Turf by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:34.72. Tiz the Bomb ran second, but he finished first at odds of 7-1 for wagering purposes. Tiz the Bomb was coming off a win in the Grade II Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland, a performance that was all the more impressive because, prior to the start, he had busted through the gate (not led out of the gate like Modern Games at the Breeders’ Cup). An Irish-bred Dubawi colt, Modern Games now has rattled off four consecutive victories. He came into the BC Juvenile off a Group III win in England on Sept. 23. $2 MILLION JUVENILE (NOV. 5) Results: (1) Corniche, who paid $4.80 as the favorite, (2) Pappacap, (3) Giant Game. Winner: Owned by Speedway Stables; trained by Bob Baffert; ridden by Mike Smith. Distance: 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 91. Essential Quality won the 2020 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland with a 95 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile: 113 (War Pass in 2007). Recap: The complexion of this race changed significantly one day beforehand due to the 11-hour defection of undefeated Grade I winner Jack Christopher. I had installed Christopher Jack as the 9-5 morning-line favorite. Winner of the Grade I Champagne Stakes, he was withdrawn from the BC Juvenile due an issue with his left shin, a development that no doubt turned his trainer, Chad Brown, into Chad Frown. Corniche, breaking from the outside post in the field of 11, was hustled to the front at once. He led all the way and got the job done by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:42.50 as the 7-5 favorite. With this victory, the $1.5 million auction purchase remained undefeated in three career starts. Hall of Famer Baffert trains the Kentucky-bred Quality Road colt. $1 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES TURF (NOV. 5) Results: (1) Pizza Bianca, who paid $21.80, (2) Malavath, (3) Haughty. Winner: Owned by Bobby Flay; trained by Christophe Clemente; ridden by Jose Ortiz. Distance: 1 mile on turf. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 79. Aunt Pearl won the 2020 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland with a 91 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf: 96 (Lady Eli in 2001, Sharing in 2019). Recap: This was a wide-open race. An indication of that is I made Pizza Bianca a tepid 5-1 morning-line favorite. Wild Beauty was shipped from England to win Woodbine’s Grade I Natalma Stakes on Sept. 19. She generally had been listed as the favorite by bettors in England for the BC Juvenile Fillies. But the decision was made to run Wild Beauty in a Group I race at Newmarket on Oct. 8 and not send her to the Breeders’ Cup. She finished fifth in the Oct. 8 race. Pizza Bianca had some trouble in the Natalma before rallying to finish second behind Wild Beauty. The BC Juvenile was an inscrutable race in terms of trying to forecast favoritism. Mainly off Pizza Bianca’s Natalma effort, I decided to make her the lukewarm BC Juvenile morning-line favorite. Owner and celebrity chef Bobby Flay pretty much had to talk Clemente into running Pizza Bianca in the BC Juvenile Fillies. “To think we had a chance, we weren’t going to be 30-1 at the Breeders’ Cup,” Flay said Tuesday to Steve Byk on his SiriusXM radio program At the Races. “Actually, she was the morning-line favorite. So, you know, when I saw that, I said, ‘Somebody else thinks she should be here, too.’ ” Turning for home, Pizza Bianca was last in the field of 14. And then, in what many regard as the finest ride at this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Ortiz masterfully negotiated his way through traffic while rallying and got up to win by a half-length at odds of 9-1. The Kentucky-bred Fastnet Rock filly completed her journey in 1:35.36. It turned out the actual betting favorite was just under 5-1. That was Koala Princess, who finished seventh. $2 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES (NOV. 5) Results: (1) Echo Zulu, who paid $3.60 as the favorite, (2) Juju’s Map, (3) Tarabi. Winner: Owned by L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds; trained by Steve Asmussen; ridden by Joel Rosario. Distance: 1 1/16 miles on dirt. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 94. Vequist won the 2020 BC Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland with a 93 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile Fillies: 107 (Tempera in 2001). Recap: No one has come close to defeating Echo Zulu yet. Making it four victories by margins from four to 7 1/4 lengths, Echo Zulu led from start to finish in the BC Juvenile Fillies. She was 5 1/4 lengths clear of her nearest pursuer at the end of 1 1/16 miles while completing her trip in 1:42.24. Hall of Famer Asmussen trains Echo Zulu, who made it three Grade I wins in a row. The Kentucky-bred filly previously had walloped her rivals in Saratoga’s Grade I Spinaway Stakes and Belmont’s Grade I Frizette Stakes. Echo Zulu is by Gun Runner, who won the 2017 BC Classic at Del Mar by 2 1/4 lengths to complete a Horse of the Year campaign. $1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF SPRINT (NOV. 5) Results: (1) Twilight Gleaming, who paid $12.40, (2) Go Bears Go, (3) Kaufymaker. Winner: Owned by Stonestreet Stables; trained by Wesley Ward; ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Distance: 5 furlongs on turf. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 84. Golden Pal won the 2020 BC Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland with a 90 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint: 90 (Bulletin in 2018, Golden Pal in 2020). Recap: Twilight Gleaming won this year’s edition of the Wesley Ward Juvenile Turf Sprint. Okay, that’s not the real name of this race. But it might as well be in light of Ward’s dominance. The BC Juvenile Turf Sprint was first run in 2018 at Churchill Downs. Todd Pletcher trained the victorious Bulletin. Ward finished second with Chelsea Cloisters. Twilight Gleaming provided Ward with his third straight win in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. Four Wheel Drive won in 2019 at Santa Anita, Golden Pal got the job done in 2020 at Keeneland, then Twilight Gleaming blasted to the front at once and went on to prevail by a half-length when able to hold off a host of late challengers. The Irish-bred National Defense filly completed five furlongs in :56.24. This was Twilight Gleaming’s third win from five starts. This victory made her two for three on turf. She went into the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint off a win in France at Deauville on Aug. 7. She also won a five-furlong grass sprint against maidens at Belmont Park on May 9. Her lone defeat on turf was far from a disgrace. She ran second among 21 starters in the Group II Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in England on June 16. Why in the world is this BC Juvenile Turf still a Grade II? This is the only Breeders’ Cup race that does not have a Grade I ranking. It’s ridiculous this isn’t yet a Grade I race. The Juvenile Turf Sprint kicked off this year’s Breeders’ Cup action at Del Mar. The 39th Breeders’ Cup will be held next year at Keeneland on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5.

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11.11.2021:

Johnny D: Del Mar Late Pick 5 Ticket | Saturday, November 13

With Breeders’ Cup in the rear-view mirror, now’s a good time to revisit our analysis of the Late Pick 4. Why bother? you ask. Cat’s already out of the bag. Races ‘Official.’ Money lost. We can learn a lot by comparing predictions to what actually happens in races--both with horse-by-horse analysis and ticket construction. Losing Pick N wagers usually come from mistakes in one or the other category. Then again, sometimes a losing ticket is the result of an unforeseen upset. Race 9, Breeders’ Cup Mile, went to favored #3 Space Blues. On one ticket we took a stand and singled #6 Mo Forza. He finished last. Were we completely wrong? Not exactly. #2 Smooth Like Straight set the Mile pace and missed by one-half length at 12-1. #6 Mo Forza handled #2 Smooth Like Straight on several occasions in SoCal. What might the Mile result have been had #6 Mo Forza not been ‘roughed between foes early,’ according to the Equibase chart? Who knows? Guess that’s why they call it ‘gambling.’ We included #3 Space Blues on a spread ticket along with #2 Smooth Like Straight but our other sheet with #Mo Forza singled was dead right out of the box. Race 10, Breeders’ Cup Distaff, produced the biggest upset of the 2-day event when Japanese invader #10 Marche Lorraine got home by a nose at nearly 50-1 odds. The bomb keyed $4,391 Pick 4; $48,292 Pick 5 and $513,085 Pick 6 payoffs! We didn’t have #10 Marche Lorraine on any of our tickets, but we did use nose-loser #11 Dunbar Road at 12-1. On one ticket we used frontrunners #1 Private Mission, a possible upsetter, and favored #6 Letruska. We figured they would battle on the lead early. On another ticket we spread the net, just in case the early pace battle left them empty and vulnerable to closers. The latter scenario occurred and in the ‘you’re-right-but-you’re-wrong’ category our closer missed by a nose. Nobody ever said this game was easy. Lesson learned: When a race figures to fall apart…anything can happen! Don’t get caught without having the bomb! Race 11, Breeders Cup Turf, we completely missed the winner #10 Yibir on both tickets. Poor handicapping. No other excuse. Going in the trainer was as hot as any in the nation and he already had shipped and won races in the US this season, including one with this horse, as well as previous Breeders’ Cup events. Our analysis reported the following: “#10 Yibir scored a powerful romp in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational at Belmont last out for trainer Charlie Appleby. His figs are a bit light for this, so he’d need to do better, but the 3-year-old gelding has won 5 of 11 and 2 of 3 at the distance. The post is a concern.” What is a real concern is how the heck we did not include this guy on our tickets? In the future, more attention needs to be paid. Race 12, Breeders’ Cup Classic, was taken by #5 Knicks Go and as poorly as we handicapped Race 11 is about as good as we doped out the Classic. We had #5 Knicks Go singled on both of our defunct tickets. Credit where credit is due. We saw him as a single and he paid $8.40! We didn’t think #8 Medina Spirit or any other runners in the race could press #5 Knicks Go early and when Medina broke a bit slowly, it was all over but the ‘Official.’ Hope you enjoyed Breeders’ Cup. We did and look forward to next season and shots at those huge wagering pools once more. Racing continues at Del Mar and below is one man’s opinion of Saturday’s Late Pick 5. DEL MAR // RACE 5 (5:30PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 MILE (TURF)    Please note that the turf course rail is at 30 feet and the configuration favors inside speed and hampers deep closers. #1 Spanish Channel emerges from a race common to several of these. In fact, she comes out of two races common to several of these. Her last wasn’t good but she did manage to finish third before that. She’s a 5-year-old with 27 winless starts. #2 Austin James will stretch out from three-quarters on turf to one mile on grass. She was a big price and will need to improve to threaten here. #3 Chao Mar hasn’t been better than fifth in five starts since an initial maiden voyage when third, beaten more than five lengths. #4 Big Bell has tried hard in three career starts—the first sprinting on dirt and the last two one mile on turf, including a half-length defeat last out at 16-1 odds. That she started for M32k first out may have fooled folks into discounting her, but she’s moved up on turf and that makes her live in here. #5 Renegade Princess has not fired in three starts, two of them in claiming races. #6 Kitten’s Kid has speed, top connections in trainer Miller and jockey Prat, and finished a dirty nose behind the winner of a common race to many of these. She stretches out from six and one-half furlongs to one mile on grass and she ought to have the lead most of the way. She’s the one to beat. #7 Issa Court tried hard from the rail in her only start at six and one-half furlongs on turf when third, beaten less than 3 lengths. She had trouble in the race behind #6 Kitten’s Kid and couldn’t get through inside in the lane. Trainer Dan Blacker is just 5% second time out, but it’s clear this filly can run some. She deserves a look. #8 Piazzetta also comes out of the Big Summer/Kitten’s Kid race and was nearly 4 lengths behind those two. That was her third start and second sprinting on turf. She will appreciate the added distance and should be good price worth consideration in exotics. #9 Finney’s Kitten broke from post 12 of 12 last out going one mile on turf and now finds herself breaking 9 of 9! Blinkers were added for a try last out in August. She responded with another evenly run race. Top jock Prat moves to #6 Kitten’s Kid and Rispoli replaces. BEST: #6 TRIES: #4 EXOTICS PROBABLES: #7, #8 DEL MAR // RACE 6 (6:00PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Pec Tacular ran OK despite trouble first time out. Trainer Hess is just 9% second time out and the colt has drawn the rail after having post 8 out of 9 first time out. Exotic consideration seems best for this guy if he can save ground and gain ground inside under jockey Van Dyke. #2 Air Combat is one of 3…that’s right 3…loaded Bob Baffert runners in this race. A 1:00 2/5 gate work preceded by a :58 4/5 five-furlong move scream ‘talent.’ Baffert’s barn is an embarrassment of riches, that’s for sure, all three of his runners in here are talented. Let’s see if he ultimately runs all three. If he does, why split hairs? Use ‘em all. The ‘other’ Baffert wins often at a price…not to mention the ‘other, other’ Baffert. #3 Kid Corleone moves from turf to dirt for his second start. He had trouble first out on the inside in a field of 11 and ran well to finish fourth, just 3 lengths behind the winner and next-out winner Cabo Spirit. #4 War At Sea cuts back from a one mile try. That effort looks horrible on paper, but he had trouble at the start. Before that he moved along to be a well-beaten third first out sprinting behind BC Juvenile winner Corniche. A return to that form puts him in the exotic picture. #5 Sir London broke slow from the rail first time/last time under Prat and finished second, beaten over 4 lengths. It was a good try and a bit of improvement puts him in the picture.  #6 Newgrange is one of Baffert’s 3 runners. The son of Violence has a :59 4/5 gate work on his resume. He doesn’t appear as good as stablemate #2 Air Combat but with Baffert, it’s best not to split hairs. He’s got too many good ones. Perhaps additional clocker report info can help sort them out. My experience, use ‘em all. #7 Weslyan is the third of 3 Baffert runners in here and topped off his morning work with a 1:00 2/5 from the gate. That’s a nice move on top of a :59 1/5 and :46 4/5 moves. Son of Curlin sold as yearling for $250k at Keeneland September. Breezed in company with #2 Air Combat Nov. 8. Can’t ignore. #8 Bron and Brow makes a first start for Peter Miller, an 11% trainer first time out. The Louisiana-bred son of Gormley been training steadily at San Luis Rey and has two nice 5-furlong gate moves sandwiched around two six-furlong moves. This guy won’t be short on conditioning. #9 Brady Boy makes a first start for trainer Peter Eurton and he’s worked like he can run some. The Washington-bred son of Twirling Candy has a steady 6/7-day work pattern, including six consecutive impressive five-furlong moves. Nice outside draw for debut. Jockey Baze can be counted on to ‘send’ one away from the gate.   LOADED RACE: #2, #6, #7 (Check Clocker Reports including Jeff Siegel’s Workout Analysis)POSSIBLE ADDITION: #9 DEL MAR // RACE 7 (6:30PM ET) // ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (TURF) #1 Crossword has one career win and that came over Del Mar turf about a year ago. That was a state-bred, 2-year-old maiden score. The bad news is that 8 more races have passed like water under a bridge and this 3-year-colt has yet to win another heat. He did run well last out going six furlongs over Santa Anita turf. #2 See Through It won at this level at Los Alamitos last out. It was an explosive 4-length score. He’s made just one start on turf, so there’s a question, but you can’t argue with his current form. #3 Riding With Dino adds more speed to what should be a fast early pace. He’s been competitive at this level—in the money in his last 3 starts—two of those at five furlongs over Del Mar turf. He’s blown stretch leads in his last 3 races, too. So there’s that. #4 El Tigre Terrible was claimed last out from Peter Miller by Ed Moger, Jr. Current trainer is 0-11 off recent claims. 4-year-old gelding was lukewarm favorite last out at this level going one mile at Santa Anita on dirt. #5 Aligato is a lightly raced 4-year-old with just 2 starts. He ran well in both races—a troubled, fast-closing five furlong Del Mar debut and a troubled, fast-closing winner going six and one-half furlongs at Santa Anita. He’s got to be appreciated in here and anticipated to be in trouble at some point. #6 Austin’s Boy has raced 3 times at this level and needs more ‘stick’ to go with his early ‘lick.’ #7 Bound to Bet has two recent starts at this level and hasn’t impressed much. We’ll look elsewhere until this guy turns things around. #8 Too Late is an interesting 4-year-old with 4 out of 8 turf starts in the money. Draw a line through his last race on Los Al dirt when he was hooked in an early speed duel from the rail. One back finds a neck defeat from off the pace going five furlongs at this level over the Del Mar course. Keep him around even though he’s 1-13 overall. Also Eligible: #9 Bench Judge is 0-5 on Del Mar Turf and 1-5 at the distance. He comes off two unsuccessful Golden Gate races—one main and one turf. The 5-year-old will need to turn things around to threaten in here. #10 Psycho Dar is a 6-year-old with speed, 3 wins in 12 turf starts and 0 wins in 7 outs over the Del Mar lawn. Veteran Eddie Truman claimed this one two back out of a neck loss in a $32k 5 furlong turf sprint. Even if this one gets to start, the outside post will be a challenge and there’s plenty of other speed. The urge under the circumstances (5 furlong Del Mar Sprint, Rail at 30 feet) is to embrace a speed horse. However, there’s so much speed in this race that bettors may lean toward closers who may need luck to find a way home. LEANS: #5, #8 DEL MAR // RACE 8 (7:00PM ET) // $100K DESI ARNAZ S. // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Lady T is a maiden but she’s been second best twice. Unfortunately for her, one of her runner-up efforts came against #1 Lady T last out in the Anoakia Stakes at Sant Anita. This filly draws inside that foe again and will need to work out a trip from behind. #2 Endless Thirst cuts back from one mile and moves from turf to dirt. She broke maiden against fellow Cal-breds at Los Alamitos going five and one-half furlongs. She has no early speed and would need to greatly improve in here.  #3 Under the Stars is a maiden but didn’t miss by much in her only start when third by less than one length. She’s trained by Bob Baffert…enuf said. She took big money and closed well from off the pace so the extra half furlong should be to her liking. Can’t leave home without her on your ticket. #4 Tonito’s was bumped at the start in her debut to break slowly but she rolled wide into the stretch and won nicely by one length. That was at one mile on grass. This is six and one-half furlongs on turf. She caught a really hot pace first out that helped. Can she transfer that turf form and set up to the dirt? Not for us. #5 Edna finished second in her first two starts for Bob Baffert—one in a maiden, the other in a Gr. 2 stakes race. She then was cooked on a hot pace in the Gr. 1 Del Mar Debutante as favorite. Last out she showed good speed from the rail and then drew off to win the Anoakia at Santa Anita at 20 cents to the dollar. This cozy outside box ought to be just what the doctor ordered for her to run well. Gotta have her. USE: #3, #5 DEL MAR // RACE 9 (7:30PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) Reminder that rail is scheduled to be set at 30 feet. #1 Muay Thai drops to the lowest level of his career and has apprentice Herrera up for trainer John Sadler. Hronis Racing claimed this one for $40k in July. Drawback is the filly’s 0-6 turf record. #2 Inch changes trainers and stretches out from six furlongs to one mile on turf. 0-7 turf record is one of the discouraging factors. #3 Ottawa Fire goes for a tag for the first time and that’s always a dangerous move. Rispoli and D’Amato are strong 33% together at Del Mar. Cut back from one mile and one-quarter to one mile should have him fit. One to beat. #4 Ox Bridge tries again at about this level and figures with this group. He set the pace last out and probably will attempt similar tactics, although he’s had difficulty sealing the deal 1-10 lifetime. #5 Cool Your Jets makes an appearance for a tag for the first time in an 18-race career. He’s a 6-year-old with no speed but he likes Del Mar—that’s where he earned the only win of his career.Trainer Shelbe Ruis does a fine job. Exotics possible. #6 Good Bye Putin’s last race can be tossed because it came on Santa Anita dirt. Trouble is he’s just 1-11 on turf. He did finish third at this level two back. He’s another one in here with no early speed. #7 Rocks and Salt has no speed but finished third, less than two lengths from victory last out at about this level. 1-10 record overall and on turf is off-putting on the win end. #8 Bud Knight has won just 1 of 19 starts. He came close last time when second, less than 2 lengths back in a race common to several of these. Jockey Prat has had success with this 5-year-old and was aboard for the gelding’s only win. They’ve teamed up for 3 runner-up finishes, including last time out. This guy’s tough to back on the win end but he’s most likely to be second.#9 Cosmo’s like many in this race with just 1 win out of 14 starts. He has no speed. A positive is that he will start for a tag for the first time and that’s often a key to an improved performance. He’s tried NoCal, SoCal, dirt, turf and synthetic. He’s got competitive Beyer figs but still, 1 for 14 and 1 for 12 on turf. #10 Bold Voyager has speed, is drawn outside and must ‘go’ under jockey Cedillo if he’s to add win number 2 to his resume. He was claimed for $20k out of a maiden race and has a win, a second and a third to his credit since in just four starts. ONE TO BEAT: #3WHERE'S THE SPEED?: #4, #10 MY TICKET Race 5: #4, #6Race 6: #2, #6, #7, #9Race 7: #5, #8Race 8: #3, #5Race 9: #3, #4, #10 Cost: $48.00 for 50-cents Race On!

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11.11.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: MJC at Laurel Park Stakes Races | Saturday, November 13

Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park features a trio of Saturday stakes races. To assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections. 1/ST BET and Xpressbet players can enjoy up to a $10 Money-Back Special on these stakes races Saturday when you bet on our platforms. If your win bet finishes second or third, you'll get a refund in wagering credits up to $10 spent. You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner. Laurel Park // Race 6 // 3:09 pm ET // $100,000 Smart Halo Stakes //6 furlongs #5 Buy the Best (7-2) // 31%W#8 Buff My Boots (5-1) // 21%W #3 Luna Belle (6-1) // 12%W #1 Trade Secret (3-1) // 11%W Laurel Park // Race 7 // 3:39 pm ET // $100,000 James F. Lewis III Stakes //6 furlongs #7 Local Motive (7-2) // 31%W#8 No Sabe Nada (9-2) // 21%W #2 Run to Daylight (5-2) // 12%W #5 Cynergy’s Star (12-1) // 11%W Laurel Park // Race 8 // 4:09 pm ET // $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes // 1-1/16 miles #7 Josie (9-5) // 33%W#5 Miss Leslie (4-1) // 17%W #9 Artful Splatter (9-2) // 13%W #6 Scatrattleandroll (8-1) // 13%W

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11.11.2021:

Frank Carulli: Stronach 5 Picks & Preview | Friday, November 12

If you're not betting on the Stronach 5, you don't know what you're missing. Since Friday, Oct. 8, the average payout for the $1 wager is $7,618 -- not counting the $98,311 carry-over payout Oct. 22. What's more, the highest odds on any winner during that span was 12-1. Last week's $8,826 payout featured four winners at 5-2 odds or less. Here's an early look at this Friday's races, with an update to follow after scratches. LEG A // LAUREL PARK // RACE 7 (3:40PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) C TWO improved off a 3-month rest two starts ago, then raced close-up for a half-mile in a faster-paced long sprint. MOON BIZ got caught 6-wide on the backstretch in a turf sprint, ranged up 3- and 4-wide on the turn, then flattened out in mid-stretch. He takes a magnified class drop in a field that has no seconds in 51 starts combined. SCARLET'S SONG, well-bet in three starts to begin her 5-year-old season, returns from a nine-month layoff.    LEG B // GULFSTREAM PARK // RACE 8 (3:53PM ET) //  OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 MILE, 70 YARDS (ALL WEATHER)  PETER D looms a strong favorite in this 2-year-old optional claimer. He weaved through stretch traffic two back against winner Last Leaf (3-6, $113k), then rallied from up close to a slow pace to win a Florida-bred stakes race in his first start on the Tapeta surface. He could be a solo play, but the steadily improving EYE OF THE TEMPLE is worth using as a backup. He set a pressured pace to the sixteenth pole and just missed at 7F, then won in a photo-finish at this distance in his Tapeta debut. LEG C // LAUREL PARK // RACE 8 (4:10PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) MIDDLE ISLAND was fractious in the paddock but made a good middle move after a slow start into contention, before flattening out. ESTATE launched a rally from a ground-saving position in the same race, but raced erratically in the stretch and finished third in her debut.  LEG D // GOLDEN GATE // RACE 2 (4:18PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (ALL WEATHER) The main contenders in this bottom-level maiden claimer drop out of the same $12,500 race won by pace-controlling favorite Bandeena, who set a pressured pace and tired for $20,000 in her previous start out of town. That being said, use QUICK TIME, who stalked the pace from mid-pack and tired late and STEIN'S GIRL, who raced evenly but rallied strongly for second in her previous two starts at this level. LEG E // GULFSTREAM PARK // RACE 9 (4:23PM ET) // 1 MILE, 70 YARDS (ALL WEATHER) We're going seven deep in the final leg of the Stronach 5. NEVER SAY KNOW is a deserving favorite but has raced exclusively on the turf. SOLAR TAP rallied after he was bumped and shuffled back at Delaware Park but couldn't reach the 28-1, first-out winner; stablemate ASTRAL WEEKS took some money but was no factor at Belmont for a high-percentage barn with class droppers. CALIFORNIA FROLIC just missed as the favorite in a one-mile $50,000 claimer in his second start for Joseph. OCTOBER TIME was no match for Peter D (see Leg B above) in stakes company. LUIGI'S SPIRIT is a well-bred firster for a trainer-jockey duo that is 3-7 at the current meet. STRONACH 5 TICKET   Leg A: 1, 5, 7Leg B: 1, 7Leg C: 7, 10Leg D: 1, 3Leg E: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 Cost for a $1 ticket: $168  

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11.8.2021:

Monday Myths: Is Aqueduct a Bettors' Letdown?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:The opening of Aqueduct is a letdown for bettors of the New York circuit.Background:The year-round racing schedule in New York shifts to Aqueduct on Thursday and will continue at the winter stomping grounds until next spring. Sure, it’s not the coliseum at Belmont nor the cathedral at Saratoga in terms of a physical plant. And while the racing product, too, is an obvious drop-off, the real question poised to those betting the horses here: Is the betting also a letdown?Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database for the past 5 years and looked at all results at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga to get a feel for just how similar or different the results are between the NYRA circuit locales. I wanted to see the average win odds, percentage of winning favorites and likelihood of longshots (10-1) on the racing product. The everyday racing notwithstanding, I wanted to see how stakes races also compared at these betting markers since Belmont and Saratoga are so renowned for their championship quality.The average win odds at Aqueduct has been 4.89-1.The average win odds at Belmont has been 5.08-1.The average win odds at Saratoga has been 5.00-1.Favorites win 35.6% at Aqueduct.Favorites win 35.6% at Belmont.Favorites win 34.2% at Saratoga.Horses 10-1 or more have a 3.3% win rate at Aqueduct.Horses 10-1 or more have a 3.5% win rate at Belmont.Horses 10-1 or more have a 3.5% win rate at Saratoga.The average win odds at Aqueduct in stakes races has been 5.22-1.The average win odds at Belmont in stakes races has been 4.51-1.The average win odds at Saratoga in stakes races has been 4.65-1.Stakes favorites win 36.8% at AqueductStakes favorites win 40.6% at BelmontStakes favorites win 38.5% at SaratogaStakes horses 10-1 or more have a 4.0% win rate at Aqueduct.Stakes horses 10-1 or more have a 3.7% win rate at Belmont.Stakes horses 10-1 or more have a 4.1% win rate at Saratoga.Overall Findings:Aqueduct produces a slightly lower average win payout than Belmont or Saratoga, but only .11 and .19 lower per odds point, meaning 22 cents and 38 cents per $2 wager. The percentage of winning favorites at Belmont and Aqueduct is identical with Saratoga 1.4% less likely for favorites. When it comes to upsets, Aqueduct is slightly less likely to produce an upset winner by .2% compared to Belmont and Saratoga. In the stakes races, Aqueduct has produced slightly higher average payoffs and a corresponding lower rate of winning favorites.Bottom line:The aesthetics are different, the quality of horses different, and more dirt racing than turf, but the results the past 5 years at Aqueduct mirror what we see on the NYRA circuit at its sister tracks, Belmont and Saratoga. There’s no massive shift in results at any of these three venues. From a betting standpoint, there’s no letdown at the Big A.You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, are there particular class levels at Aqueduct that are more attractive to bet than at the other NYRA venues?

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11.8.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, November 8

Northfield Park has a 14-race program to start with the first post coming at 6:00 PM EST. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 114-Get The Cash (3-1)-Beat this kind on 9-12 and since then has been facing better. Has the gate speed to be forwardly placed. This 6-year-old is no stranger to the NFLD winner's circle, has won 26 of 85 starts here.6-Enforce The Law (7/2)-Recent form has been dull but Wrenn returns. He hasn't driven this 4-year-old when in this cheap and this could be a wake-up call. Has won 7 of 24 in 2021 and like the one above, can leave to get a good early seat.Race 122-He Can Fly N (4-1)-Comes off a nice try at this level from the 8-hole and should make the most of this post draw. Could get the jump on others off the gate and land on top or in the pocket.4-Tick's A Yankin (7/2)-Winner of 2 straight and 8 of 33 at NFLD has the services of Merriman again. Will likely follow the same script and rally off cover. This is a tougher test but best to not overlook.Race 133-Dragon Ruler (3-1)-Rhoades claimed on 9-19 for $17,500 and now drops in for $12,500. Merriman as usual will be steering and this 5-year-old could be dialed on high tonight.5-Gotti (4-1)-Claimed in last at this class and now comes right back in versus the same. Clegg steers his own and should be a player versus this field.Race 141-The Next Triumph (9/2)-Gets needed class relief, draws the right post to be a threat and should offer a fair price.4-Seal Sniper (7/2)-Started the year out well but has been sliding down the class ladder for a few months. But finally, may have found a beatable field.5-Dance Withsomebody (3-1)-This is another who should relish the company in a wide-open affair. Has hit the board in 29 of 58 starts at NFLD with 12 pictures.9-Cherry Peep (2-1)-Winner of over $71,000 this year drops to a spot to shine. Would be an odds-on choice with a favorable post. The price will be better, and the trip will be a challenge, but Merriman knows how to win from this starting spot. Will respect but look to others to spice up the Pick 4 payout.My Ticket Race 11) 4,6 Race 12) 2,4 Race 13) 3,5 Race 14) 1,4,5.9Total Ticket Cost) $32Check me out on Twitter!

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11.7.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, November 7

Tonight, Pompano Park has a compact 8-race card scheduled. The 0.50 Pick 4 begins in Race 5. The sequence has a $15,000 guaranteed pool with a low 12% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 51-CC Big Boy Sam (7/2)-Raced big last week versus this kind, needed to go 1st over and was game to the wire. Starts from the same post and Chindano might be able to work a pocket ride and seal the deal down the lane.2-Terlinga (7/2)-Going to leave the 6/5 program favorite with Hennessey off the ticket and hope the trip doesn't set up perfectly like in last. Willing to give this 14-year-old beaten chalk another chance. Was driven aggressively to get the top but it took its toll down the lane. This time Boyd may work a different trip and use one big move later in the mile.Race 64-Sports Teen (3-1)-Going with 2 Pocono invaders in this leg. This was Hennessey's choice over the 6 & 7. The Tee Wine entry has hit the board in 17 of 31 with 10 wins. Should have enough gate speed to get the point and this pilot knows how to sleepwalk a quarter.8-Actor Hanover (4-1)-Hasn't done as well at PcD but should be a player here if Wallis works a decent trip. The advantage over #4 is this 5-year-old has a race over the track and won at this class. Also, has good gate speed so it should be an interesting start.Race 71-Spirit Shadow (3-1)-Rallied with a .55 last half versus better but was too far back off the gate. Should be a player versus this crew and drawing the rail won't hurt.5-Rockin Mercedes (3-1)-Ships in from Hoosier after qualifying there on 10-30. Has shown the ability to win at first asking off the bench. Does have a 153.4 mark here in 2020 and this race doesn't have a standout.Race 81-O'Sundland (9/2)-Left from the 4 hole in last, got the top and then was in the pocket but faded down the lane. That was the 1st Pompano race this year and was off a month before that start. Wallis sticks and could get a pocket ride behind the odd-on chalk. If the trip is smooth this 11-year-old should be tighter tonight and could surprise.6-Harry Terror (3/2)-Hennessey takes the lines after a couple of local starts versus better. This could be a drop and pop situation but can't completely trust at a tiny price.My Ticket Race 5) 1,2 Race 6) 4,8 Race 7) 1,5 Race 8) 1,6Total Ticket Cost) $8 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.7.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Sunday, November 7

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Count of Amazonia; 3-Midnight Team Time; 6-Red KingForecast: The Sunday opener is a mini marathon for second level allowance horses in a race that appears to have a fair amount of speed signed on. Count of Amazonia and Red King both exit the much tougher John Henry Turf Cyp-G2 and should appreciate this easier task and the added distance, so they’ll be the ones we’ll concentrate on. ‘Amazonia ran into a roadblock in the upper stretch and lost whatever chance he may have had, eventually winding up 10th of 12. Though a miler most of his career, he should be well-suited by today’s 11-furlong journey, and with the switch to J. Bravo we’re expecting the Irish-bred colt to return to top form. ‘King is winless in six starts this year but has been in some tough spots, so today’s class relief could help him turn things around. Eastern shipper Midnight Tea Time always has liked to finish second or third (19 times) than win (four times) but his numbers are strong, and he’s run well at this distance in the pass. Toss him in somewhere, at least as a saver.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Spoiled Rotten; 4-Bonita Leona; 7-Quick TakeForecast: We’ll go three-deep in the second race, a modest state-bred maiden $50,000 claimer for juvenile fillies. Quick Take exits a productive race in which she displayed good zip to make the pace before weakening late. She has a right to be fitter today and gets a break in the weights with the switch to bug girl J. Pyfer. The shortening in trip to five and one-half furlongs won’t hurt, either. Bonita Leona and Spoiled Rotten, two-three finisher last month at this level at Santa Anita, should be part of the pace as well and neither would have to improve much to be in the thick of it again. We’ll give ‘Take the edge on top in a race that we’ll probably not get too involved with.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: BSingle: 5-The Critical WayForecast: The Critical Way didn’t draw into the field yesterday for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-G1, but things have a way of working out, and we’re expecting the Eastern shipper to pay for his trip and then some in this third level allowance sprint over five furlongs on grass. He’s crossed the wire first in his last three starts, including the valuable Parx Dash-G3 last time out, so we’ll give him top billing as a rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Agusta Melody; 6-Big Scott DaddyForecast: Four of the six entrants in this starter’s allowance extended sprint exit the same race on October 10 at Santa Anita. They’re hard to separate in a race that projects to be slowly run early. Doncic may be the controlling speed today, but he finished a fading seventh (beaten eight lengths) in that common race, so he’s a tough one trust. Let’s settle on Big Scott Daddy as our top pick primarily due to his cozy outside post, which will allow F. Prat to dictate his own trip. The gelded son of Scat Daddy lacks tactical speed but in a small field he shouldn’t have any traffic troubles, and on his best day he may be capable of producing the last run. August Melody was the beaten choice in that same when fading to fifth, but he has prior from that makes him a major player so if the T. Yakteen-trained gelding runs back to his sharp runner-up effort two races back over the Del Mar main track he could easily make amends. Let’s try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics in a race that probably should be handled with care.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:34 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-Prince Ziggy; 7-Eagle Chief; 10-CircumventForecast: Eagle Chief is a 10-race maiden and certainly not one to trust, but the son of Into Mischief may finally have found a field he can beat in this middle-distance maiden claimer on grass. Runner-up in a similar affair last time out, the J. Sadler-trained gelding will be running on late and with some help up from could produce a winning late kick. Circumvent, third in the same race ‘Chief exits, is drawn farther out than we’d prefer but if he can get over and secure a pace-prompting trip without being used hard he should stick around for a long time. Prince Ziggy has had just three starts and may have more upside than the other two main contender. In the frame in his last two outings with rising speed figures, the sophomore son of Cairo Prince shows a healthy, steady series of workouts for E. Kruljac since raced to indicate another forward move is likely. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Lunatic; 2-Philly Lishes; 10-Dorita’s HappyForecast: This looks like a decent spot for Dorita’s Happy, as the class-dropping sophomore filly appears to have found her friends in this bottom-rung maiden $20,000 sprint for fillies and mares. With a good stalking style and speed figures that fit, the daughter of Runhappy should fold into a comfortable spot from her outside draw and then have every chance to take control when given her cue. Philly Lishes, runner-up vs. similar when favored at 7/5 at Los Alamitos off a long layoff in late September, was more than three lengths clear of the rest in a race she possibly needed. With a forward move today, she’ll be in the thick of it again. Lunatic, claimed for this price last time out when nosed out at 4/5, figures in the fray again but must overcome the inside post. He’s going from the P. Miller stable to the G. Papaprodromou barn, and the analytics will say that’s a negative trainer change.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:40 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Roses’s Crystal; 3-Fearless GirlForecast: Fearless Girl had excuses when finishing a close fifth at 4/5 in a similar entry-level allowance event over nine furlongs on grass at Santa Anita and with a cleaner trip today at this shorter one-mile trip the P. D’Amato should have every chance to make amends. Her strong runner-up performance two races back over this course and distance should be good enough, and she is reunited with U. Rispoli, who was aboard in that race. Rose’s Crystal, a relatively close sixth in the same race our top pick exits, is another that should appreciate this turn back in distance. She lacks tactical speed, but if the early fractions are honest, she should be heard from late. We’ll yse these two in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Fearless Girl.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:13 PT Grade: B+Use: 5-Bella Vita; 6-Warren’s Showtime.Forecast: Let’s give Bella Vita a chance to make amends in this extended main track state-bred sprint after a dull run at even money when facing a similar field in a Hillside Turf Course added money event at Santa Anita last time out. A repeat of her fast, highly-rated open allowance win over this Del Mar main track two runs back would be more than good enough today, and with “win” rider F. Prat back aboard, the daughter of Bayern seems likely to bounce back in a big way. Warren’s Showtime is probably better on turf than dirt, but she can handle the main track well enough to be dangerous against similar California-bred company sprinting or routing. Second in last year’s edition of the Betty Grable S., she figures to settle early and launch her rally when asked at the quarter pole and make her presence felt late.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:50 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Maynard; 7-Wellswort; 10-PicotaForecast: Picota had no visible mishap when finishing second in a similar maiden grass miler for 2-year-olds at Santa Anita three weeks ago, but his previous outing was good, so perhaps the P. D’Amato-trained import deserves another chance. He’s been in the money in all five starts so we can expect him to have dead aim from the quarter pole home. The “other” D’Amato in the field is Wellswort, fourth in the same race without being knocked about. We suspect he’ll step forward today with that tightener under his belt. Maynard has been training at San Luis Rey Downs so we have nothing to go on other than pedigree (by Animal Kingdom, so he should like a mile and grass), his workout times (several decent long works), and his trainer’s ability to win with a first timer (excellent from a small sample). He’s nicely drawn in an open affair, so we’ll include him on our ticket.

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11.7.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Belmont | Sunday, November 7

Hard not to notice anyone or anything named Rockefeller in New York, and the four-legged Rockefeller is the favorite for Belmont Park’s Grade 3 Nashua Stakes on Sunday.Rockefeller will be the center of the grid for the mile event, and he comes in off a fourth-place finish behind Corniche in the Grade 1 American Pharoah at Santa Anita.The Medaglia d’Oro colt (a $750,000 yearling buy) won his other start in easy fashion at Del Mar. It looks like a good move to keep Rockefeller away from some of his uber-talented stablemates, and this option looks like a good one. The Nashua drew only six horses, and Rockefeller is the reason. And for that, he’s a single in the suggested Late Pick 4 ticket. That opens it up for the other races, which look like they necessitate multiple inclusions. We’re going with a $70 suggested Late Pick 4 ticket, and here’s a look at the combatants:7th Race (2:43 p.m. ET, claiming)HEAVY ROLLER beat bottom claimers two back and has shown signs of staying in good form. He was an even third vs. similar as this last out and is a solid campaigner, especially at this distance of one mile.There are plenty of legit options in this claiming event.Also on the ticket: DARK STORM, DADDY KNOWS, HAMMERIN AAMER.8th Race (3:14 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)BUY LAND AND SEE drops out of the G3 Belmont Turf Sprint and prior to that was fourth in the G2 Hill Prince. He’s had other good appearances at Belmont, including a win in the Awad Stakes last year. He should be able to show significant improvement as he steps down to allowance optional claiming.They’ll travel in a pack, and this is too tough to pin hope on a single. In fact, if you do five deep, you’ll have a decent shot to advance.Also on the ticket: DURESS, GUILDSMAN, ARTEMUS CITYLIMITS, TURN OF EVENTS.9th Race (3:43 p.m. ET, Nashua S.-G3)ROCKEFELLER (see above).Also on the ticket: None (single)10th Race (4:13 p.m. ET, maiden)PARATUS gets a slight edge in what looks like the most difficult of the four races.He comes in off a closing fourth, losing a maiden race by just a half-length. That was the first start for the More Than Ready colt, and he doesn’t have to improve a lot for this. However, there are several in here that have shown some talent in previous starts, and some first-timers will get their share of support. In all, the suggested ticket has seven runners on the ticket from this race.Also on the ticket: MISBEHAVED, CITY AT NIGHT, STREET VENDOR, RIDLEY’S MAJOR, NYQUEST NIX, RUTHENIAN.My Ticket Race 7) #3 Dark Storm, #4 Daddy Knows, #6 Heavy Roller, #8 Hammerin Aamer. Race 8) #1 Buy Land and See, #2 Duress, #7 Guildsman, #9 Artemus Citylimits, #11 Turn of Events. Race 9) #1 Rockefeller. Race 10) #3 Misbehaved, #4 City At Night, #5 Street Vendor, #6 Paratus, #8 Ridley’s Major, #9 Nyquest Nix, #11 Ruthenian. Total Ticket Cost) 3-4-6-8 with 1-2-7-9-11 with 1 with 3-4-5-6-8-9-11

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11.6.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Meadowlands Early Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, November 6

The Meadowlands has a 13-race program set for tonight and the 0.50 Early Pick 4 begins in Race 6. The sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 61-Captain Cowboy (7/2)-Winner in 5 of 8 this year has been idle since returning from Lexington after racing on 10-9. Not sure if this gelding will be dialed on high but it's risky to leave off the ticket. Drawing the rail shouldn't hurt and Zeron can work an efficient journey.8-Hammering Hank (9/5)-Raced big in the BC Final from post 8 to finish a close 4th and now drops into a more comfortable spot. Won the last 2 times versus this kind as an odd-on choice. Pelling trainee rolled the back half in 55.1 in the Final and that was the 1st time racing on a sloppy track.Race 72-Valentina Blu (5-1)-Was scratched sick before the BC elims and laid an egg in that race and the Final. Before that, raced well against tough customers and will look for a rebound here at a solid price.3-Danznqueen Hanover (7/2)-Hasn't sealed the deal in 3 M1 starts this year but comes into the race off a sharp effort on 10-28 at Phl. Coming off a recent race could be an advantage versus this group.4-Misswalner Fashion (3-1)-Didn't do well in either Lex start and now returns to the Big M where she has been very good hitting the board in all 4 starts with 3 pictures. This looks like a bounce back opportunity.5-Little Pink Lies (6-1)-Winner of 2 straight should be in the hunt for a 3-peat. Won at this level on 9-17 and that was her only series start, so could be sitting on a big try.Race 83-Captain Barbossa (3-1)-Alagna 4-year-old was the beaten favorite in 4 of 12 starts, as was the case last week. Tough to leave out and should be bet down again but can't fully trust.4-Workin Ona Mystery (4-1)-Was in tall cotton in the Crown races but this is a spot to post only the 2nd win in 13 tries this year. Tetrick should be out and rolling and have this Burke trainee forwardly placed.8-Shoobee Doo A (7/2)-Has raced 3 times at the Big M and has done well hitting the board in each start. Every M1 race has been on an off-track. The post helps the price, and this is a beatable field. Callahan will have the pedal down and he could land on top or get a pocket ride.Race 95-JL Cruz (7/2)-Raced well in the 2nd start off the bench to finish 2nd from post 10 last week. Losses Dunn to #3, a Norman entry but that horse is 0-14 at M1. Will use Cruz coming off a nice try and TMac can provide a good steer. This veteran loves the Big M winning 26 of 76 starts.6-Ab'sattitudexpress (8-1)-This race isn't easy to untangle. Trixton mare has won 5 of 16 here and this is the best post draw in a while. Lands in a softer spot and was Tetrick's pick over the Cullipher entry #1. Often Tetrick leans toward Cullipher so maybe that choice is one to take notice.My Ticket Race 6) 1,8 Race 7) 2,3,4,5 Race 8) 3,4,8 Race 9) 5,6Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.6.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Wagering Strategies | Saturday, November 6

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 10:15 PT Grade: BUse: 1-One Fast Bro; 7-Via EgnatiaForecast: One Fast Bro has never been off the board in five starts over the Del Mar turf course and has been no worse than second in each of his last four starts, including a solid runner-up try at this level last month at Santa Anita to subsequent Twilight Derby winner Subconscious. Drawn nicely inside and therefore guaranteed a ground-saving trip, the California-bred son of Coil is fast on figures and projects to settle somewhere in mid-pack and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. Via Egnatia is raised in class following a pair of recent mid-level claiming victories that earned decent speed figures. He’ll have to step forward to seriously challenge top pick but if the R. Baltas-trained gelding isn’t policed on the front he could take this field a very long way. His record over the local lawn – two wins in four starts – is another positive factor. The bulk of our action will go to One Fast Bro, but we’ll have tickets using both in rolling exotic play.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 10:50 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Lone Rock; 3-Cupid’s Claws; 4-TizamagicanForecast: These main track marathons are few and far between, but they’re always fun to watch, if not wager on. Lone Rock, listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite, was beaten at 10 cents on the dollar in the Grand Prix American Jockey Club S. at Belmont Park in mid-September, going down by length to his same-owner stable mate, the 18-1 long shot Locally Owned. The veteran son of Majestic Warrior and had no visible excuse, but he had won his previous four outings in dominating fashion so let’s operate under the assumption that he’ll bounce back today, though at 6/5 on the morning line he’ll offer little wagering value. Tizamagician, a proven marathoner and especially fond of the Del Mar main track, turned in a career top performance when runner-up to Tripoli in the Pacific Classic and then was below form when fifth after rating tactics were employed in the Awesome Again S.-G1 earlier this month. The son of Tiznow is more than capable of returning to winning form in this lesser assignment and likely will be on or near the lead throughout. Cupid’s Claws appears to be rounding back to form after finishing a close sixth (beaten less than two lengths) in the John Henry Turf Cup-G2 last month. A quality dirt marathoner when he’s on his game, the Kitten’s Joy gelding switches to L. Saez and offers decent price value at 6-1 on the morning line.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:25 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Princess Grace; 7-Going GlobalForecast: Princess Grace and Going Global are difficult to separate. They’re both high class, thoroughly professional race mares who loved to win races, though on pure numbers a very slight edge might have to be given to ‘Grace. The daughter of Karakontie has been beaten just once in seven starts – she was second in the Valley View S-G3 at Saratoga after a premature move – and she’s already ventured to Del Mar once this year, having taken the Yellow Ribbon H.-G2 with a career top speed figure. K. Desormeaux, who was aboard in that win, reprises his role and most likely will have the M. Stidham-trained filly settled comfortably in the second flight before setting her down when the time is right. Going Global, a 3-year-old filly tackling older foes for the first time, has won five of six starts since being imported from Ireland. Most recently, she produced a strong victory in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 and has done extremely good work in the a.m. since that score to keep her right on edge. In a race we’d rather watch than wager on, both should be included in rolling exotic play, with a narrow edge on top to Princess Grace.Notable Workouts:Going Global (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.1h). Grade: B+Broke off several lengths behind Coulthard and Hollywoodhellraisr (both 5f, 1:00h TT) and closed the gap through the lane to finished lapped on the other two without ever being asked in a highly-impressive training track drill for P. D’Amato, splits of :24.1, :36 flat and :59.3, full of run late. Razor sharp and ready to fire another big shot.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Post: 12:05 PT Grade: XSingle: 5-GamineForecast: Gamine almost certainly will be the shortest-priced favorite in the two-day, 14-race Breeders’ Cup carnival. The public choice in every one of her races, never having closed at odds higher than even money. she’s a winner of nine of 10 outings, the defending race champion, perfect in four starts at this seven-furlong distance, and the likely controlling speed, though she can just as easily stalk and pounce if required. When last seen in late August at Saratoga, the daughter of Into Mischief captured the Ballerina H.-G1 despite wanting to lug out through the lane, and the B. Baffert-trained filly might be vulnerable if she pulls the same stunt at Del Mar, though it should be noted that in her recent workouts she has breezed straight and true for the most part. Simply put, the only way she loses is if she somehow beats herself.While Bella Sofia usually appears somewhat ordinary in her morning trials, the bargain basement $20,000 Ocala June Sale purchase is an entirely different performer when the lights go on. Successful in five of six career starts and a facile winner of the Test S.-G1 in her only prior outing at seven furlongs, the R. Rodriguez-trained filly isn’t nearly as fast as Gamine on pure numbers, but her figures continue to rise with each start, so a career top performance (which she will need to make a race of it) seems possible. We suspect she’ll wind up a distant second choice in the wagering over Ce Ce, a genuine and versatile West Coast Grade-1 winner but a non-threatening third behind Gamine in the Ballerina S.-G2 two races back and with just one triple-digit Beyer speed figure in her 15-race career.Notable Workouts:Gamine (October 30, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade: BEasy work, breaking off several lengths behind Ginja (5f, 1:01.4h) and going on by when ready under very light coaxing only, splits of :24.2, :48 flat and 1:00.3 for B. Baffert. Not a scintillating work but more than good enough; will be odds-on in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Post: 12:40 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Lieutenant Dan; 5-Arrest Me Red; 6-A Case of You; 10-Gear JockeyForecast: Races at five furlong over the Del Mar turf course that offer a short run in from the top of the stretch to the wire present a near impossible task for the deep closers and an extremely difficult one for those not able to be within striking range right from the bell. Traffic can be a huge issue in a 14-runner field. Horses that save ground somewhere in mid-pack and wait for an opening must possess an electric turn of foot when the opportunity presents itself. Taking the overland route isn’t necessarily advised either, though at least those rallying wide have the opportunity to build momentum. Jockeys who are not accustomed to the short stretch often wait until the field straightens for home to make their move, but by then it’s often too late. Best place to be? On a clear early lead (that would be lovely), in a pace-stalking position, or in the second flight in the middle lanes, where a jockey can choose a viable path - either inside or outside - depending upon where and when room develops.It’s more than likely that the group with finish in a heap, so a spread strategy in rolling exotic play is required. Whether or not he’s good enough remains to be seen, but the lightly raced and rapidly improving Arrest Me Red has the style and profile for the course and upside that some of the others might not have. A winner of four of six career starts, including the recent Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational-G1 with a career top 100 Beyer speed figure (making him a solid threat based on that number alone), the son of Pioneerof the Nile can win on the lead or from a stalking position, so if he has the good fortune to break running the W. Ward-trained sophomore will almost certainly have every chance to fire his best shot. We actually like him quite a bit better than his lower-priced stable mate Golden Pal, who is the quicker of the two but is slower on speed figures and vulnerable under pressure in the final furlong.A Case of You arrives fresh from a career top performance when winning the prestigious Prix de l’Abbaye-G1 over the five-furlong straightaway course at Longchamp. Very much like Arrest Me Red, he’s a 3-year-old with rapidly improving form. Interestingly, he was assigned a Timeform rating of 122 in that victory, eight points better than what Glass Slipper earned in her win in that same race last year. He’s not particularly quick during the early stages of his races and as such may be taking the worst of it at Del Mar, but it’s safe to say that his closing kick matches anything in the field and with good racing luck the Irish-bred colt has a chance to make some serious noise in the final furlong.Lieutenant Dan is a perfect two-for-two over the Del Mar course and distance, and while we’ve never considered him to be a world class grass sprinter, this California-bred gelding is a winner of four of his last five starts and has speed figures that fit. He’s proven to be quick enough to secure a favorable early position and generally provides a second move under pressure close home, so we’ll respect the S. Miyadi-trained gelding enough to include him on our ticket.Gear Jockey earned a career top speed figure winning a Grade-3 sprint stakes at Kentucky Downs in mid-September, but the Del Mar course and distance couldn’t be more different, so we really can’t use that race to promote his chances under these conditions. However, the son of Twirling Candy has a dangerous late kick and could make an impact if the pace types falter and he get the opportunity to build up his moment with clear sailing from the head of the lane to the wire. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him at least hit the board.As for Glass Slippers, she reproduced the same electric closing kick that had resulted in her 2020 victory at Longchamp when pulling off a 10-1 surprise in the B.C. Turf Sprint last year. She’s back to defend her crown, but she had an extra half-furlong and a longer stretch to work with at Keeneland and benefitted from a rather fortunate journey to register the upset from off the pace. Winless in three starts this year and under the conditions that really don’t suit her style at Del Mar, the English-bred mare is bet-against.Notable Workouts:Lieutenant Dan (October 29, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.4h TT). Grade: BUsually a lazy sort in the a.m. but went well (for him) in this solo half mile training track drill, late changing leads but finishing with a bit more interest than usual, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :36.2. Always fires his best shot when it counts and is perfect over the Del Mar turf course.View Workout VideoArrest Me Red (October 31, Keeneland, 4f, :51.4b TC DU). Grade: BBreezing work around dogs over soft course stalking Kaufymaker (4f, :52b, TC DU) and finishing down the lane with that one, both under a tight hold with both appearing to be eager and have plenty of energy. Sharp breeze despite slow final time.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Post: 1:30 PT Grade:Use: 3-Ginobili; 5-Life Is GoodForecast: It appears that Life Is Good has no chinks in his armor. Perhaps for the purpose of finding “value” you may be inclined to try to beat the obvious heavy favorite in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but as hard as we’ve looked, we can locate nothing on his resume that suggests he won’t fire his best shot. Clearly the speed of the speed, this gifted front-runner showed in his 2-year-old debut last year that he can easily cope with Del Mar’s main track when he crushed maidens by more than nine lengths. During the winter, he won both of his two-turn races - each at the expense of subsequent Kentucky Derby-G1 first place finisher Medina Spirit – before suffering an injury that prevented a Triple Crown campaign. Beaten in a photo in a superlative effort off the bench by Jackie’s Warrior in the H. A. Jerkens Memorial S.-G1 at Saratoga in August in his first start in almost six months for new trainer T. Pletcher, the son of Into Mischief didn’t have any negative reaction from that tough, grueling effort. He returned to toy with his outclassed foes in the Kelso H.-G2 in late September in a race that was strategically chosen to easily tick him over for this much more important event.Ginobili was always cut out to be a decent sort of racehorse – he finished a close second to undefeated Nadal in the 7F San Vicente S.-G2 as a 3-year-old – but it’s only been in his last two starts that the son of Munnings has truly become a legitimate top-class main track miler. Both of those outstanding victories, a runaway allowance win followed by an equally sharp performance in the Pat O’Brien S.-G2, were accomplished over the quirky Del Mar dirt surface. Local players know that there is no track on the West Coast in which the horse-for-course angle plays a more significant role in the handicapping process than at Del Mar. For that reason alone, you have to afford the R. Baltas-trained gelding something of a legitimate look and therefore use him as a small saver or a back-up in rolling exotic play.Notable workouts:Life Is Good (October 29, Belmont Park, 4f, :49.3b TT). Grade: B+Under a stout hold throughout, full of run for T. Pletcher while being kept on edge for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Ready for a career top performance, it would seem.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Post: 3:37 PT Grade: B+Use: 4-Rougir; 6-Love; 7-War Like Goddess; 8-Love Only You; 12-AudaryaForecast: There have been several excellent renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, but none as deep and contentious as this one, at least in recent years. There are at least five in the field that could, or should, be favored and are very difficult to separate. Love, believed to be only a small notch below Breeders’ Cup Turf-G1 favorite Tarnawa, was pre-entered in that race as well as the B.C. Filly & Mare Turf-G1, with trainer Aidan O’Brien ultimately opting to keep the daughter of Galileo with the girls. A five-time Group-1 winner in England but somewhat disappointing in her last three winless starts, she nonetheless is more than capable of winning a race of this quality with her top performance. The $1.8 million earner (and a winner of seven of 14 career starts) has the type of tactical speed that should keep her within striking range no matter how the pace flow unfolds, and while she was tagged right on the wire when nosed out as the favorite in the Blandford S.-G3 at The Curragh last time she hit the front too soon and probably doesn’t even know she lost. If there is a concern, is that her blood wasn’t right earlier in the month, necessitating her withdrawal from a scheduled appearance on Champions Day at Ascot earlier this month. She’s been deemed healthy enough by trainer A. O’Brien to have made the trip the Del Mar, so we’ll approach this race under the assumption she’s set to perform to high her standards.War Like Goddess can’t quite boast the glitzy resume that Love can, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not just as good. Successful in six of seven career starts, her last three by daylight with ease and confidence, the daughter of English Channel owns an intense turn of foot that can neutralize any type of pace flow. According to her speed figures, she has produced a forward move in every one of her career starts and may need another one to defeat Love. But there’s no reason to believe she can’t rise to the occasion.Audarya is the defending B.C. Filly & Mare champion, having won this race at Keeneland last year at odds of 17-1. She won’t be that price today. Her extreme outside post position number 12 is of no concern for a filly that will lag early and explode late, and though she was a close fourth to Rougir in the Prix de l’Opera-G1 in France last month over heavy ground, today’s firm grass course should bring out her best. Winless in five starts this year but with Timeform ratings that say she’s every bit as good now as ever, the French-bred filly is a “must use” at 5-1 on the morning line.Love Only You showed her quality last winter on the world’s stage when finishing a superb third – beaten just a half-length – behind Mishriff in the Dubai Sheema Classic, then went to Hong Kong to win a Group-1 race less than a month later. The pride of Japan, a winner of six of 14 races arrives fresh after 10 weeks of vacation time and if she brings her best stuff she’s more than capable of winning.If you have room on your rolling exotic ticket, you probably should consider including Rougir, at least as a back-up or a saver. Her recent win at Longchamp was well-earned, though a case could be made that the deep going promoted her chances. She’s listed at 6-1 on the morning line, a decent sort of price for a Group-1 winning French filly who has won or been beaten a neck or less in each of her last four starts.Notable Workouts:War Like Goddess (October 31, Del Mar, 4f, :48.1h). Grade: B+Worked alone on main track while displaying plenty of energy and looking as good as ever, final quarter mile without being asked in a sharp :23.3. Has never taken a backward move according to her speed figures and looks ready for another career top in the B.C. Filly & Mare Turf.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Breeders’ Cup Sprint Post: 2:38 PT Grade:Use: 2-Jackie’s Warrior; 9-Dr. SchivelForecast: After a brief flirtation with distance racing early in 2021 to determine his viability for the spring classics, Jackie’s Warrior was returned to his roots as a dominating one-turn specialist and is every bit deserving of his 6/5 favorite’s role in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1. Thoroughly impressive when earning terrific speed figures in each of his last three outings, all wins, the S. Asmussen-trained colt most recently was assigned a career top 110 Beyer number when capturing the Gallant Bob S.-G2 under wraps. However, it was his performance two runs back that was his most impressive. In stalking and then out-finishing the brilliant Life Is Good in the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S.-G1 at Saratoga, the son of Maclean’s Music displayed championship qualities that are expected to continue under regular rider J. Rosario in a race that he projects to control from gate to wire.Dr. Schivel is comfortably drawn on the far outside, which means the gifted son of Violence can pop and go or stalk and pounce. He’ll need a significant amount of improvement to put a scare into Jackie’s Warrior, but the twice-beaten in seven starts sophomore is a perfect three-for-three over the Del Mar main track and thus owns the home court advantage. Whether or not he’s good enough can be questioned but from all indications – including his appearance and his workouts – the M. Glatt-trained colt is prepared for a career top effort. He is worth including somewhere on your ticket for protection.Notable Workouts:Jackie’s Warrior (October 31, Del Mar, 3f, :36.4h). Grade: B+Under a hammerlock through the lane while appearing ready to explode, final quarter mile in :24.3. Should handle the Del Mar main track without any issues.View Workout VideoDr. Schivel (October 30, Santa Anita, 5f, :58.2h). Grade: B+Broke off behind Deservedly (5f, :58.3h) and finished down the lane with workmate to be head-and-head at the wire, splits of :23.2, :34.3 and :58.2, niggled at late, solid work for high class sprinter who always seems to save his best for the afternoon. Loves the Del Mar main track and will lay his body down when trying to stay with Jackie’s Warrior.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Breeders’ Cup Mile. Post: 3:20 PT Grade: A-Single: 3-Space BluesForecast: Simply stated, European invader Space Blues is an exceptional racehorse and is superior to his North American counterparts. A winner of 10 of 18 career starts, including seven of his last 10 (all in top class stakes company), the five-year-old son of Dubawai will be stretching out to a mile for the first time following a recent series of outstanding seven furlong performances, but he should have no problem with today’s extra distance and in fact gives every indication that he’ll be quite comfortable over the Del Mar turf course’s tight layout and the extremely firm ground that it offers. From a good inside draw, world class jockey W. Buick can settle somewhere in mid-pack with cover and sit still to the far turn, at which time he’ll need to find room to allow the C. Appleby-trained horse to uncork the type of acceleration than none of his rivals can match. He’s the morning line favorite at 3-1 and deservedly so. Somewhere along the sequence we have to take a stand, and it’s in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Mile that we will do just that. There’s always a traffic issue to worry about in a 14 runner event over a course with a short run to the wire after the field straightens for home but with any degree of good racing luck, we’re confident the Irish-bred veteran will deliver the goods in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 10: Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Malathaat; 6-LetruksaForecast: Letruska has won 17 of 22 races during her career, including six out of seven in 2021, and will deserve plenty of support in the year-end voting for Horse of the Year. She is as genuine and consistent as they come and is the deserved 8/5 morning line favorite for this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff-G1. Always most effective as the controlling speed, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Super Saver will once again be on the front end, though there are others in the field, such as Private Mission, Horologist, and Shedaresthedevil, that will allow no breathers along the way. She will have to earn it.Malathaat, clearly the best 3-year-old filly in North America, steps out of her comfort zone as she faces older mares for the first time, and, yes, she will need a career top effort to defeat Letruska and the others. We think she is capable of doing just that. A winner of six of seven career outings including three Grade-1’s, she has been freshened since winning the Alabama S.-G1 at Saratoga in August and has trained like a filly that is both physically and mentally ready to take on the new challenge. Most of Curlin’s offspring get better with age, maturity, and distance, and this T. Pletcher-trained 3-year-old seems primed to make the next leap. Based on the projected race flow, Johnny V. can settle somewhere in the second flight behind those that will be dealing with Letruska during the early stages of the race. He’ll move closer as the field enters the far turn. Then he’ll push the button. We’ll be gambling that she’ll provide the proper response.Notable Workouts:Malathaat (October 29, Belmont Park, 5f, 1:01.1h TT). Grade: B+Breezing throughout outside Vindictive (same time) for T. Pletcher, never asked a drop while proving best late by a long head. Couldn’t be looking any better, ready for a career top performance.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 11: Breeders’ Cup Turf. Post: 4:40 PT Grade: B+Use: 7-Walton Street; 8-Broome; 13-TarnawaForecast: European shippers have won 17 of the past 22 renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Turf, so it makes perfect sense to first focus on the foreign contingent in researching and handicapping this $4,000,000 mile and one-half marathon. Defending race champion Tarnawa returns to defend her crown and based on her current form appears to be every bit as good this year as last. She’s fresh, too, having had just three starts in 2021. A winner of a Group-3 affair in Ireland in early August in her seasonal bow, she next ran arguably the best race of her career when narrowly missing to likely European Horse of the Year St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion S.-G1 the following month. Then, most recently, the D. Weld-trained mare lost nothing in defeat when second, beaten less than a length, in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-G1 at Longchamp three weeks ago. Effective on any ground but quite comfortable over the extremely firm, pool table-type grass track at Del Mar, the five-year-old mare is blessed with an intense turn of foot and can be expected to produce a winning late kick, assuming she has the good fortune of to avoid traffic trouble from the top of the stretch to the wire.At seven years of age, the English-based Walton Street has never been better. His 119 British Race Form figure earned in his nearly six-length romp in the Canadian International S.-G1 at Woodbine in mid-September was a career top, and to place that in context with our top pick, that rating was just three points below the one assigned to Tarnawa in her recent ‘Arc runner-up performance. The C. Appleby-trained gelding is hardly out of his element against world class competition and is a “must use” somewhere on your ticket.Price players may want to toss in Broome. Why not include a European-based, Group-1 winning millionaire trained by A. O’Brien and ridden by Frankie? Originally listed at 20-1 on the morning line (he may go lower after the scratch of the major contender Domestic Spending), the five-year-old stayer has Timeform ratings that fit with most of these and will offer value in the vertical exotics even if he just manages to hit the board.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 12: Breeders’ Cup Classic. Post: 5:40 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Hot Rod Charlie; 4-Essential Quality; 8-Medina SpiritForecast:This much we’re certain of: Knicks Go will attempt to employ his usual gate-to-wire tactics in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1. How many of his nine wins were accomplished when he failed to make the early running? That number would be zero.But unlike in his three most recent dominating front-running victories - the Corn Husker H.-G3, the Whitney S.-G1, and the Lukas Classic-G1 - the other main players in this race aren’t simply going to hand him the front end on a silver platter. This time, he’ll have to work to get the lead and work even harder to keep it. Medina Spirit, himself victorious in five of nine career outings, each in wire-to-wire fashion, may not be as committed to the front as Knicks Go, but there’s no way he’ll be backing off early. In fact, if Medina Spirit can somehow outrun Knicks Go early as his connections certainly hope he can, the B. Baffert-trained colt may be quite capable of reproducing his runaway score in the Awesome Again S.-G1, the race last month that produced his highest-rated victory in a career that remains highlighted by his first place finish in the Kentucky Derby-G1.Where does the projected race flow leave Hot Rod Charlie? Probably in an ideal second flight, stalking position, similar to the trip he enjoyed when crossing the wire first in the Haskell Invitational G-1, a victory that was taken from him due to the carelessness of his jockey, F. Prat, who caused a mid-stretch spill. ‘Charlie returned to win the Pennsylvania Derby-G1 in September with a career top 111 Beyer speed figure that Knicks Go has exceeded just once in his 23-race career and four points better than anything Medina Spirit has ever achieved. A string of typically strong recent workouts suggests the D. O’Neill-trained colt still has additional improvement in him, and at anywhere near his morning line of 4-1 the son of Oxbow offers excellent wagering value in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.Essential Quality, the colt that edged Hot Rod Charlie in the Belmont S.-G1 and then subsequently won both the Jim Dandy S.-G2 and Travers S.-G1, remains the leader for an Eclipse Award in the 3-year-old colt division, but in his first start since late August the son of Tapit surely will need a career top effort to win what is expected to be his final career race. He’s been beaten just once in nine lifetime outings – he was fourth without mishap behind Medina Spirit in the Kentucky Derby-G1 – and while we may question the ceiling of his natural talent there’s no doubting his will. Our first inclination was to leave him off our ticket, but we’re doing that with Knicks Go., so for now, he’s on. He’s simply too good of a racehorse.Notable Workouts:Hot Rod Charlie (October 30, Del Mar, 7f, 1:26.4h). Grade: B+Broke off behind Khantoro d’Oro (5f, 1:01.2h) and after using that one as a target easily drew clear through the under mild coaxing before traveling out all the way around to the six furlong pole, :24.3, :36.3, 1:00 flat (to the wire) and 1:12.3 to the seven furlong pole before galloping out in 1:26.3. Coming up to the Classic as good as one would want.View Workout VideoMedina Spirit (October 29, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:11.3h). Grade: B+In company inside Ax Man (same time) for B. Baffert while working from the five furlong pole around to the seven furlong pole, splits of :24.1, :35.3, :59.2 and 1:11.3, easy to the top then mildly coaxed through the lane to prove a tad the best in yet another strong drill. Comes up to the Classic with a strong foundation and is plenty fit for his best effort.View Workout Video

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11.5.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, November 5

The headliner at Hoosier Park rolls in Race 12, the Monument Circle Final for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers with a $220,000 purse. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 112-High Minded (12-1)-Toscano pupil has been consistently in the hunt all year hitting the board in 10 of the last 12 with 3 pictures. Raced well to come 2nd to #4 last week on a sloppy track. AMac gets the call, and he should keep this filly in striking range.4-Hot Mess Express (8/5)-Winner in 12 of 17 at HoP and has taken top honors in 13 of 15 in 2021. Should be bet down and has a big chance to capture the top check with a decent trip. Looking for the 5th straight win and is a must use but will look to others for some value.6-Oakwoodanabella (5-1)-Lightly raced Brown trainee is in sharp form and makes HoP debut. The last start as an odds-on chalk in the slop at the Big M was impressive. Meets tough foes and this is a test but is a perfect 3 for 3 on a fast track.8-Scarlett Hanover (5/2)-Raced big to finish 2nd to Test Of Faith in the Breeders Crown Final from post 10. Has been 1st or 2nd in 10 of 14 starts in 2021. Also, hit the board twice at HoP this year and could make its 1st trip to the winner's circle with a strong Tim Tetrick steer.Race 125-Virgo (6-1)-Has battled tough company all year and came 2nd to the chalk in the slop last week. Winner of 4 in 14 starts in 2021 should be in the hunt if #7 has an off night. None of the 10 winners that have topped this Dylan Davis trainee are in the field except for Bulldog.7-Bull Dog Hanover (7/5)-Comes off 148.0 win on a sloppy track, which was a new lifetime mark. That was the 1st win in 4 starts and his Hoosier Park debut. Could win right back unless too far back at the top of the lane. De Long will be looking to be close to the top at the 3/4 pole.Race 132-Jk's Champ (6-1)-Last start was an even try on a sloppy track but likes to win (6-18). Had missed time coming off a sick scratch, and went off at 31-1. Was used hard and raced well for missing a start and hasn't hit the board on a wet surface in 2 tries. Could be overlooked at the windows and can surprise from this post.5-Big Gulp (2-1)-Took advantage of an efficient trip and some hot fractions to roll by down the lane. Should be in the mix but needs a lively pace to close in to.10-DD's Big Joe (7/2)-Winner in 4 of the last 5 and would probably be an odds-on chalk with a decent post draw. Trace Tetrick will need to provide a good steer as the usual plan to is to get on the engine and not look back. The George barn is batting 40% over the last 30 days and this colt has won 7 of 24 starts in 2021.Race 146-Evergreen Elite (4-1)-This is a camera-shy field that has a total of 13 wins and this 9-year-old has 4 to his credit. Wilfong can get a good early seat and be in position to roll by down the lane. Has finished in the money in 26 of 70 Hoosier starts.9-Stonedust (3-1)-Cullipher 7-year-old makes the 2nd start off the bench and is in against a soft bunch. Widger steers again and did come the back half in 55.1 in last. Should be driven more aggressively and be forwardly placed.My Ticket Race 11) 2,4,6,8 Race 12) 5,7 Race 13) 2,5,10 Race 14) 6,9Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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11.5.2021:

Brent Musburger: 2021 Breeders' Cup Classic Betting Strategy | Saturday, November 6

Knicks Go is the best horse in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but I am picking Essential Quality to take him down in the stretch. He loves to control the pace under jockey Joel Rosario, but he has never gone 1 1/8 miles. I believe he will hold off Medina Spirit in the first half-mile, but Essential Quality will track him into the stretch and win the race. Hot Rod Charlie is always a contender and should finish in the trifecta or superfecta, and I will go with Art Collector, who is capable of an upset, to finish fourth. MY PICKS 1 - #4 ESSENTIAL QUALITY2 - #5 KNICKS GO3 - #3 HOT ROD CHARLIE4 - #6 ART COLLECTOR MY BETTING STRATEGY $50 EXACTA BOX, ESSENTIAL QUALITY & KNICKS GO    

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11.5.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Breeders' Cup Saturday Picks & Analysis | Saturday, November 6

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play RACE 1: Post: 10:15 PT Grade: BUse: 1-One Fast Bro; 7-Via Egnatia Forecast: One Fast Bro has never been off the board in five starts over the Del Mar turf course and has been no worse than second in each of his last four starts, including a solid runner-up try at this level last month at Santa Anita to subsequent Twilight Derby winner Subconscious. Drawn nicely inside and therefore guaranteed a ground-saving trip, the California-bred son of Coil is fast on figures and projects to settle somewhere in mid-pack and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. Via Egnatia is raised in class following a pair of recent mid-level claiming victories that earned decent speed figures. He’ll have to step forward to seriously challenge top pick but if the R. Baltas-trained gelding isn’t policed on the front he could take this field a very long way. His record over the local lawn – two wins in four starts – is another positive factor. The bulk of our action will go to One Fast Bro, but we’ll have tickets using both in rolling exotic play. RACE 2: Post: 10:50 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Lone Rock; 3-Cupid’s Claws; 4-Tizamagican Forecast: These main track marathons are few and far between, but they’re always fun to watch, if not wager on. Lone Rock, listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite, was beaten at 10 cents on the dollar in the Grand Prix American Jockey Club S. at Belmont Park in mid-September, going down by length to his same-owner stable mate, the 18-1 long shot Locally Owned. The veteran son of Majestic Warrior and had no visible excuse, but he had won his previous four outings in dominating fashion so let’s operate under the assumption that he’ll bounce back today, though at 6/5 on the morning line he’ll offer little wagering value. Tizamagician, a proven marathoner and especially fond of the Del Mar main track, turned in a career top performance when runner-up to Tripoli in the Pacific Classic and then was below form when fifth after rating tactics were employed in the Awesome Again S.-G1 earlier this month. The son of Tiznow is more than capable of returning to winning form in this lesser assignment and likely will be on or near the lead throughout. Cupid’s Claws appears to be rounding back to form after finishing a close sixth (beaten less than two lengths) in the John Henry Turf Cup-G2 last month. A quality dirt marathoner when he’s on his game, the Kitten’s Joy gelding switches to L. Saez and offers decent price value at 6-1 on the morning line. RACE 3: Post: 1:25 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Princess Grace; 7-Going Global Forecast: Princess Grace and Going Global are difficult to separate. They’re both high class, thoroughly professional race mares who loved to win races, though on pure numbers a very slight edge might have to be given to ‘Grace. The daughter of Karakontie has been beaten just once in seven starts – she was second in the Valley View S-G3 at Saratoga after a premature move – and she’s already ventured to Del Mar once this year, having taken the Yellow Ribbon H.-G2 with a career top speed figure. K. Desormeaux, who was aboard in that win, reprises his role and most likely will have the M. Stidham-trained filly settled comfortably in the second flight before setting her down when the time is right. Going Global, a 3-year-old filly tackling older foes for the first time, has won five of six starts since being imported from Ireland. Most recently, she produced a strong victory in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 and has done extremely good work in the a.m. since that score to keep her right on edge. In a race we’d rather watch than wager on, both should be included in rolling exotic play, with a narrow edge on top to Princess Grace. Notable Workouts: Going Global (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.1h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Broke off several lengths behind Coulthard and Hollywoodhellraisr (both 5f, 1:00h TT) and closed the gap through the lane to finished lapped on the other two without ever being asked in a highly-impressive training track drill for P. D’Amato, splits of :24.1, :36 flat and :59.3, full of run late. Razor sharp and ready to fire another big shot. RACE 4: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Post: 12:05 PT Grade: XSingle: 5-Gamine Forecast: Gamine almost certainly will be the shortest-priced favorite in the two-day, 14-race Breeders’ Cup carnival. The public choice in every one of her races, never having closed at odds higher than even money. she’s a winner of nine of 10 outings, the defending race champion, perfect in four starts at this seven-furlong distance, and the likely controlling speed, though she can just as easily stalk and pounce if required. When last seen in late August at Saratoga, the daughter of Into Mischief captured the Ballerina H.-G1 despite wanting to lug out through the lane, and the B. Baffert-trained filly might be vulnerable if she pulls the same stunt at Del Mar, though it should be noted that in her recent workouts she has breezed straight and true for the most part. Simply put, the only way she loses is if she somehow beats herself. While Bella Sofia usually appears somewhat ordinary in her morning trials, the bargain basement $20,000 Ocala June Sale purchase is an entirely different performer when the lights go on. Successful in five of six career starts and a facile winner of the Test S.-G1 in her only prior outing at seven furlongs, the R. Rodriguez-trained filly isn’t nearly as fast as Gamine on pure numbers, but her figures continue to rise with each start, so a career top performance (which she will need to make a race of it) seems possible. We suspect she’ll wind up a distant second choice in the wagering over Ce Ce, a genuine and versatile West Coast Grade-1 winner but a non-threatening third behind Gamine in the Ballerina S.-G2 two races back and with just one triple-digit Beyer speed figure in her 15-race career. Notable Workouts: Gamine (October 30, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade: B | VIDEO Easy work, breaking off several lengths behind Ginja (5f, 1:01.4h) and going on by when ready under very light coaxing only, splits of :24.2, :48 flat and 1:00.3 for B. Baffert. Not a scintillating work but more than good enough; will be odds-on in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint. RACE 5: Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Post: 12:40 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Lieutenant Dan; 5-Arrest Me Red; 6-A Case of You; 10-Gear Jockey Forecast: Races at five furlong over the Del Mar turf course that offer a short run in from the top of the stretch to the wire present a near impossible task for the deep closers and an extremely difficult one for those not able to be within striking range right from the bell. Traffic can be a huge issue in a 14-runner field. Horses that save ground somewhere in mid-pack and wait for an opening must possess an electric turn of foot when the opportunity presents itself. Taking the overland route isn’t necessarily advised either, though at least those rallying wide have the opportunity to build momentum. Jockeys who are not accustomed to the short stretch often wait until the field straightens for home to make their move, but by then it’s often too late. Best place to be? On a clear early lead (that would be lovely), in a pace-stalking position, or in the second flight in the middle lanes, where a jockey can choose a viable path - either inside or outside - depending upon where and when room develops. It’s more than likely that the group with finish in a heap, so a spread strategy in rolling exotic play is required. Whether or not he’s good enough remains to be seen, but the lightly raced and rapidly improving Arrest Me Red has the style and profile for the course and upside that some of the others might not have. A winner of four of six career starts, including the recent Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational-G1 with a career top 100 Beyer speed figure (making him a solid threat based on that number alone), the son of Pioneerof the Nile can win on the lead or from a stalking position, so if he has the good fortune to break running the W. Ward-trained sophomore will almost certainly have every chance to fire his best shot. We actually like him quite a bit better than his lower-priced stable mate Golden Pal, who is the quicker of the two but is slower on speed figures and vulnerable under pressure in the final furlong. A Case of You arrives fresh from a career top performance when winning the prestigious Prix de l’Abbaye-G1 over the five-furlong straightaway course at Longchamp. Very much like Arrest Me Red, he’s a 3-year-old with rapidly improving form. Interestingly, he was assigned a Timeform rating of 122 in that victory, eight points better than what Glass Slipper earned in her win in that same race last year. He’s not particularly quick during the early stages of his races and as such may be taking the worst of it at Del Mar, but it’s safe to say that his closing kick matches anything in the field and with good racing luck the Irish-bred colt has a chance to make some serious noise in the final furlong. Lieutenant Dan is a perfect two-for-two over the Del Mar course and distance, and while we’ve never considered him to be a world class grass sprinter, this California-bred gelding is a winner of four of his last five starts and has speed figures that fit. He’s proven to be quick enough to secure a favorable early position and generally provides a second move under pressure close home, so we’ll respect the S. Miyadi-trained gelding enough to include him on our ticket. Gear Jockey earned a career top speed figure winning a Grade-3 sprint stakes at Kentucky Downs in mid-September, but the Del Mar course and distance couldn’t be more different, so we really can’t use that race to promote his chances under these conditions. However, the son of Twirling Candy has a dangerous late kick and could make an impact if the pace types falter and he get the opportunity to build up his moment with clear sailing from the head of the lane to the wire. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him at least hit the board. As for Glass Slippers, she reproduced the same electric closing kick that had resulted in her 2020 victory at Longchamp when pulling off a 10-1 surprise in the B.C. Turf Sprint last year. She’s back to defend her crown, but she had an extra half-furlong and a longer stretch to work with at Keeneland and benefitted from a rather fortunate journey to register the upset from off the pace. Winless in three starts this year and under the conditions that really don’t suit her style at Del Mar, the English-bred mare is bet-against. Notable Workouts: Lieutenant Dan (October 29, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.4h TT). Grade: B | VIDEO Usually a lazy sort in the a.m. but went well (for him) in this solo half mile training track drill, late changing leads but finishing with a bit more interest than usual, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :36.2. Always fires his best shot when it counts and is perfect over the Del Mar turf course.View Workout Video Arrest Me Red (October 31, Keeneland, 4f, :51.4b TC DU). Grade: B | VIDEOBreezing work around dogs over soft course stalking Kaufymaker (4f, :52b, TC DU) and finishing down the lane with that one, both under a tight hold with both appearing to be eager and have plenty of energy. Sharp breeze despite slow final time.View Workout Video RACE 6: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Ginobili; 5-Life Is Good Forecast: It appears that Life Is Good has no chinks in his armor. Perhaps for the purpose of finding “value” you may be inclined to try to beat the obvious heavy favorite in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but as hard as we’ve looked, we can locate nothing on his resume that suggests he won’t fire his best shot. Clearly the speed of the speed, this gifted front-runner showed in his 2-year-old debut last year that he can easily cope with Del Mar’s main track when he crushed maidens by more than nine lengths. During the winter, he won both of his two-turn races - each at the expense of subsequent Kentucky Derby-G1 first place finisher Medina Spirit – before suffering an injury that prevented a Triple Crown campaign. Beaten in a photo in a superlative effort off the bench by Jackie’s Warrior in the H. A. Jerkens Memorial S.-G1 at Saratoga in August in his first start in almost six months for new trainer T. Pletcher, the son of Into Mischief didn’t have any negative reaction from that tough, grueling effort. He returned to toy with his outclassed foes in the Kelso H.-G2 in late September in a race that was strategically chosen to easily tick him over for this much more important event. Ginobili was always cut out to be a decent sort of racehorse – he finished a close second to undefeated Nadal in the 7F San Vicente S.-G2 as a 3-year-old – but it’s only been in his last two starts that the son of Munnings has truly become a legitimate top-class main track miler. Both of those outstanding victories, a runaway allowance win followed by an equally sharp performance in the Pat O’Brien S.-G2, were accomplished over the quirky Del Mar dirt surface. Local players know that there is no track on the West Coast in which the horse-for-course angle plays a more significant role in the handicapping process than at Del Mar. For that reason alone, you have to afford the R. Baltas-trained gelding something of a legitimate look and therefore use him as a small saver or a back-up in rolling exotic play. Notable workouts: Life Is Good (October 29, Belmont Park, 4f, :49.3b TT). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Under a stout hold throughout, full of run for T. Pletcher while being kept on edge for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Ready for a career top performance, it would seem. RACE 7: Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Post: 3:37 PT Grade: B+Use: 4-Rougir; 6-Love; 7-War Like Goddess; 8-Love Only You; 12-Audarya Forecast: There have been several excellent renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, but none as deep and contentious as this one, at least in recent years. There are at least five in the field that could, or should, be favored and are very difficult to separate. Love, believed to be only a small notch below Breeders’ Cup Turf-G1 favorite Tarnawa, was pre-entered in that race as well as the B.C. Filly & Mare Turf-G1, with trainer Aidan O’Brien ultimately opting to keep the daughter of Galileo with the girls. A five-time Group-1 winner in England but somewhat disappointing in her last three winless starts, she nonetheless is more than capable of winning a race of this quality with her top performance. The $1.8 million earner (and a winner of seven of 14 career starts) has the type of tactical speed that should keep her within striking range no matter how the pace flow unfolds, and while she was tagged right on the wire when nosed out as the favorite in the Blandford S.-G3 at The Curragh last time she hit the front too soon and probably doesn’t even know she lost. If there is a concern, is that her blood wasn’t right earlier in the month, necessitating her withdrawal from a scheduled appearance on Champions Day at Ascot earlier this month. She’s been deemed healthy enough by trainer A. O’Brien to have made the trip the Del Mar, so we’ll approach this race under the assumption she’s set to perform to high her standards. War Like Goddess can’t quite boast the glitzy resume that Love can, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not just as good. Successful in six of seven career starts, her last three by daylight with ease and confidence, the daughter of English Channel owns an intense turn of foot that can neutralize any type of pace flow. According to her speed figures, she has produced a forward move in every one of her career starts and may need another one to defeat Love. But there’s no reason to believe she can’t rise to the occasion. Audarya is the defending B.C. Filly & Mare champion, having won this race at Keeneland last year at odds of 17-1. She won’t be that price today. Her extreme outside post position number 12 is of no concern for a filly that will lag early and explode late, and though she was a close fourth to Rougir in the Prix de l’Opera-G1 in France last month over heavy ground, today’s firm grass course should bring out her best. Winless in five starts this year but with Timeform ratings that say she’s every bit as good now as ever, the French-bred filly is a “must use” at 5-1 on the morning line. Love Only You showed her quality last winter on the world’s stage when finishing a superb third – beaten just a half-length – behind Mishriff in the Dubai Sheema Classic, then went to Hong Kong to win a Group-1 race less than a month later. The pride of Japan, a winner of six of 14 races arrives fresh after 10 weeks of vacation time and if she brings her best stuff she’s more than capable of winning. If you have room on your rolling exotic ticket, you probably should consider including Rougir, at least as a back-up or a saver. Her recent win at Longchamp was well-earned, though a case could be made that the deep going promoted her chances. She’s listed at 6-1 on the morning line, a decent sort of price for a Group-1 winning French filly who has won or been beaten a neck or less in each of her last four starts. Notable Workouts: War Like Goddess (October 31, Del Mar, 4f, :48.1h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Worked alone on main track while displaying plenty of energy and looking as good as ever, final quarter mile without being asked in a sharp :23.3. Has never taken a backward move according to her speed figures and looks ready for another career top in the B.C. Filly & Mare Turf. RACE 8: Breeders’ Cup Sprint Post: 2:38 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Jackie’s Warrior; 9-Dr. Schivel Forecast: After a brief flirtation with distance racing early in 2021 to determine his viability for the spring classics, Jackie’s Warrior was returned to his roots as a dominating one-turn specialist and is every bit deserving of his 6/5 favorite’s role in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1. Thoroughly impressive when earning terrific speed figures in each of his last three outings, all wins, the S. Asmussen-trained colt most recently was assigned a career top 110 Beyer number when capturing the Gallant Bob S.-G2 under wraps. However, it was his performance two runs back that was his most impressive. In stalking and then out-finishing the brilliant Life Is Good in the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S.-G1 at Saratoga, the son of Maclean’s Music displayed championship qualities that are expected to continue under regular rider J. Rosario in a race that he projects to control from gate to wire. Dr. Schivel is comfortably drawn on the far outside, which means the gifted son of Violence can pop and go or stalk and pounce. He’ll need a significant amount of improvement to put a scare into Jackie’s Warrior, but the twice-beaten in seven starts sophomore is a perfect three-for-three over the Del Mar main track and thus owns the home court advantage. Whether or not he’s good enough can be questioned but from all indications – including his appearance and his workouts – the M. Glatt-trained colt is prepared for a career top effort. He is worth including somewhere on your ticket for protection. Notable Workouts: Jackie’s Warrior (October 31, Del Mar, 3f, :36.4h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Under a hammerlock through the lane while appearing ready to explode, final quarter mile in :24.3. Should handle the Del Mar main track without any issues. Dr. Schivel (October 30, Santa Anita, 5f, :58.2h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Broke off behind Deservedly (5f, :58.3h) and finished down the lane with workmate to be head-and-head at the wire, splits of :23.2, :34.3 and :58.2, niggled at late, solid work for high class sprinter who always seems to save his best for the afternoon. Loves the Del Mar main track and will lay his body down when trying to stay with Jackie’s Warrior. RACE 9: Breeders’ Cup Mile. Post: 3:20 PT Grade: A-Single: 3-Space Blues Forecast: Simply stated, European invader Space Blues is an exceptional racehorse and is superior to his North American counterparts. A winner of 10 of 18 career starts, including seven of his last 10 (all in top class stakes company), the five-year-old son of Dubawai will be stretching out to a mile for the first time following a recent series of outstanding seven furlong performances, but he should have no problem with today’s extra distance and in fact gives every indication that he’ll be quite comfortable over the Del Mar turf course’s tight layout and the extremely firm ground that it offers. From a good inside draw, world class jockey W. Buick can settle somewhere in mid-pack with cover and sit still to the far turn, at which time he’ll need to find room to allow the C. Appleby-trained horse to uncork the type of acceleration than none of his rivals can match. He’s the morning line favorite at 3-1 and deservedly so. Somewhere along the sequence we have to take a stand, and it’s in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Mile that we will do just that. There’s always a traffic issue to worry about in a 14 runner event over a course with a short run to the wire after the field straightens for home but with any degree of good racing luck, we’re confident the Irish-bred veteran will deliver the goods in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single. RACE 10: Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Malathaat; 6-Letruksa Forecast: Letruska has won 17 of 22 races during her career, including six out of seven in 2021, and will deserve plenty of support in the year-end voting for Horse of the Year. She is as genuine and consistent as they come and is the deserved 8/5 morning line favorite for this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff-G1. Always most effective as the controlling speed, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Super Saver will once again be on the front end, though there are others in the field, such as Private Mission, Horologist, and Shedaresthedevil, that will allow no breathers along the way. She will have to earn it. Malathaat, clearly the best 3-year-old filly in North America, steps out of her comfort zone as she faces older mares for the first time, and, yes, she will need a career top effort to defeat Letruska and the others. We think she is capable of doing just that. A winner of six of seven career outings including three Grade-1’s, she has been freshened since winning the Alabama S.-G1 at Saratoga in August and has trained like a filly that is both physically and mentally ready to take on the new challenge. Most of Curlin’s offspring get better with age, maturity, and distance, and this T. Pletcher-trained 3-year-old seems primed to make the next leap. Based on the projected race flow, Johnny V. can settle somewhere in the second flight behind those that will be dealing with Letruska during the early stages of the race. He’ll move closer as the field enters the far turn. Then he’ll push the button. We’ll be gambling that she’ll provide the proper response. Notable Workouts: Malathaat (October 29, Belmont Park, 5f, 1:01.1h TT). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Breezing throughout outside Vindictive (same time) for T. Pletcher, never asked a drop while proving best late by a long head. Couldn’t be looking any better, ready for a career top performance. RACE 11: Breeders’ Cup Turf. Post: 4:40 PT Grade: B+Use: 7-Walton Street; 8-Broome; 13-Tarnawa Forecast: European shippers have won 17 of the past 22 renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Turf, so it makes perfect sense to first focus on the foreign contingent in researching and handicapping this $4,000,000 mile and one-half marathon. Defending race champion Tarnawa returns to defend her crown and based on her current form appears to be every bit as good this year as last. She’s fresh, too, having had just three starts in 2021. A winner of a Group-3 affair in Ireland in early August in her seasonal bow, she next ran arguably the best race of her career when narrowly missing to likely European Horse of the Year St Mark’s Basilica in the Irish Champion S.-G1 the following month. Then, most recently, the D. Weld-trained mare lost nothing in defeat when second, beaten less than a length, in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-G1 at Longchamp three weeks ago. Effective on any ground but quite comfortable over the extremely firm, pool table-type grass track at Del Mar, the five-year-old mare is blessed with an intense turn of foot and can be expected to produce a winning late kick, assuming she has the good fortune of to avoid traffic trouble from the top of the stretch to the wire. At seven years of age, the English-based Walton Street has never been better. His 119 British Race Form figure earned in his nearly six-length romp in the Canadian International S.-G1 at Woodbine in mid-September was a career top, and to place that in context with our top pick, that rating was just three points below the one assigned to Tarnawa in her recent ‘Arc runner-up performance. The C. Appleby-trained gelding is hardly out of his element against world class competition and is a “must use” somewhere on your ticket. Price players may want to toss in Broome. Why not include a European-based, Group-1 winning millionaire trained by A. O’Brien and ridden by Frankie? Originally listed at 20-1 on the morning line (he may go lower after the scratch of the major contender Domestic Spending), the five-year-old stayer has Timeform ratings that fit with most of these and will offer value in the vertical exotics even if he just manages to hit the board. RACE 12: Breeders’ Cup Classic. Post: 5:40 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Hot Rod Charlie; 4-Essential Quality; 8-Medina Spirit Forecast: This much we’re certain of: Knicks Go will attempt to employ his usual gate-to-wire tactics in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1. How many of his nine wins were accomplished when he failed to make the early running? That number would be zero.But unlike in his three most recent dominating front-running victories - the Corn Husker H.-G3, the Whitney S.-G1, and the Lukas Classic-G1 - the other main players in this race aren’t simply going to hand him the front end on a silver platter. This time, he’ll have to work to get the lead and work even harder to keep it. Medina Spirit, himself victorious in five of nine career outings, each in wire-to-wire fashion, may not be as committed to the front as Knicks Go, but there’s no way he’ll be backing off early. In fact, if Medina Spirit can somehow outrun Knicks Go early as his connections certainly hope he can, the B. Baffert-trained colt may be quite capable of reproducing his runaway score in the Awesome Again S.-G1, the race last month that produced his highest-rated victory in a career that remains highlighted by his first place finish in the Kentucky Derby-G1. Where does the projected race flow leave Hot Rod Charlie? Probably in an ideal second flight, stalking position, similar to the trip he enjoyed when crossing the wire first in the Haskell Invitational G-1, a victory that was taken from him due to the carelessness of his jockey, F. Prat, who caused a mid-stretch spill. ‘Charlie returned to win the Pennsylvania Derby-G1 in September with a career top 111 Beyer speed figure that Knicks Go has exceeded just once in his 23-race career and four points better than anything Medina Spirit has ever achieved. A string of typically strong recent workouts suggests the D. O’Neill-trained colt still has additional improvement in him, and at anywhere near his morning line of 4-1 the son of Oxbow offers excellent wagering value in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics. Essential Quality, the colt that edged Hot Rod Charlie in the Belmont S.-G1 and then subsequently won both the Jim Dandy S.-G2 and Travers S.-G1, remains the leader for an Eclipse Award in the 3-year-old colt division, but in his first start since late August the son of Tapit surely will need a career top effort to win what is expected to be his final career race. He’s been beaten just once in nine lifetime outings – he was fourth without mishap behind Medina Spirit in the Kentucky Derby-G1 – and while we may question the ceiling of his natural talent there’s no doubting his will. Our first inclination was to leave him off our ticket, but we’re doing that with Knicks Go., so for now, he’s on. He’s simply too good of a racehorse. Notable Workouts: Hot Rod Charlie (October 30, Del Mar, 7f, 1:26.4h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Broke off behind Khantoro d’Oro (5f, 1:01.2h) and after using that one as a target easily drew clear through the under mild coaxing before traveling out all the way around to the six furlong pole, :24.3, :36.3, 1:00 flat (to the wire) and 1:12.3 to the seven furlong pole before galloping out in 1:26.3. Coming up to the Classic as good as one would want. Medina Spirit (October 29, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:11.3h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO In company inside Ax Man (same time) for B. Baffert while working from the five furlong pole around to the seven furlong pole, splits of :24.1, :35.3, :59.2 and 1:11.3, easy to the top then mildly coaxed through the lane to prove a tad the best in yet another strong drill. Comes up to the Classic with a strong foundation and is plenty fit for his best effort.

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11.5.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Breeders' Cup Friday Picks & Analysis | Friday, November 5

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play RACE 1: Post: 11:55 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-I’ll Stand Taller; 4-Triple Tap; 11-Sumo Forecast: Trainer Bob Baffert has two major players in this first-level allowance sprint, and both are well-regarded colts with plenty of upside. American Pharoah’s half-brother Triple Tap was late to the party when finally making his debut in mid-March earlier this year. He won nicely over seven furlongs with a strong speed figure, but then disappeared. The son of Tapit returns almost nine months later following a string of sharp workouts while appearing at least as good and perhaps better than he did prior to his first start, and likely will settle in the second flight and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Stable mate Sumo was a short horse and a tad disappointing when fading to fifth in his debut in early September at Del Mar but left that form behind with an authoritative maiden score at Los Alamitos two weeks later, winning in good style with a sharp number. Comfortably drawn outside and likely to produce another forward move, the son of Not This Time picks up Johnny V. and should find himself in a soft stalking position and then be ready to pounce when called up on. Worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up is I’ll Stand Pat, a progressive son of Square Eddie with rising numbers, a good prompting style, and prior win over the Del Mar main track. Notable Workouts: Triple Tap (October 29, Santa Anita, 5f, 5f, :59.2h). Grade: B | VIDEO In blinkers, in company outside Rockefeller (same time) while under a nice hold throughout, splits of :24.1, :35.2 and :59.2 before being allowed to gallop out strongly to the 7/8 pole, up in 1:12 flat on our watches for a full six furlongs. Coming back extremely well, seems fit, and may be an even better type now than he was breaking his maiden at first asking in March. Sumo (October 31, Santa Anita, 5f, :59h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Slightly second best but did quite well working outside Breeders’ Cup-bound Private Mission (5f, :58.4h) for B. Baffert, mostly in hand and never really set down, splits of :23.1, :34.3 and :59 flat, sharp move by lightly-raced son of Not This Time. Plenty of improvement in him with added experience. RACE 2: Post: 12:25 PT Grade: BUse: 7-Birth of Cool; 8-Ready to Purrform Forecast: Ready to Purrform arrives with a perfect record (two-for-two), graduating at first asking at Ellis Park by a nose in early September and then improving significantly when scoring handsomely in the Laurel Futurity by more than three lengths despite breaking awkwardly and then being forced to rally far wide from the the three-furlong pole to the wire. The son of Kitten’s Joy picks up J. Rosario for this mile grass event for juveniles that serves as a consolation prize for those not quite up to the B.C. Juvenile Turf. This could be a very nice colt down the road, especially when the distances increase, but for now the B. Cox-trained colt is being allowed to step forward at a proper rate. There’s plenty of early speed signed on to compliment his late-running style so with good racing luck he should be capable of producing the last run. Worth tossing in on a ticket or two at a big price is the maiden Birth of Cool. Unplaced in two career outings but encountering significant trouble in both, the son of Karakontie has much more ability than he’s been able to show and with clear sailing today could easily make his presence felt. The P. Gallagher-trained colt has a good turn of foot, picks up Frankie, and seems a bit better than his morning line of 12-1 gives him credit for. Notable Workouts: Birth of Cool (October 17, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.3h). Grade: B- | VIDEO A little late changing leads in solo half mile main track drill for Gallagher but did well enough without every being asked, splits of :24.3 and :49.4 on our watches. In good shape but is a much better mover on turf. Has some upside. RACE 3: Post: 12:55 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Big Novel; 6-Big Switch; 9-Vivacious Vanessa Forecast: Two fillies by Mr. Big from the J. Sadler barn rate a big look in this year’s edition of the Golden State Juvenile Fillies S. over seven furlongs on the main track. Big Novel continued her improving pattern with a pleasing maiden win at Santa Anita last month, showing good tactical speed to the head of the lane and then drawing clear with authority when asked to quicken. On pure numbers she’s the best in the field and likely will continue to step forward, so at 3-1 on the morning she’s clearly the top pick. Her stable mate, Big Switch, won at first asking over the Del Mar main track in late August, doing so from off the pace like a filly that will do nothing but improve with experience and distance. She doesn’t quite match up with Big Novel based on numbers, so it’s understandable that J. Bravo jumps off to ride the favorite, but I. Ortiz, Jr. takes the call and, yes, he’s a pretty good replacement rider. We’ll also toss in the recent debut grass winner Vivacious Vanessa, thoroughly professional in victory three weeks ago but switching surfaces and shortening up while moving into stakes company. She’s another that had J. Bravo in the saddle for her race and today will be accompanied by the highly-capable J. Hernandez, one of trainer G. Mandella’s “go-to” riders. She should be running on strongly late. RACE 4: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Hear My Prayer; 8-Superstition Forecast: While this year’s renewal of the Senator Ken Maddy S for fillies and mares sprinting five furlongs on grass is highly contentious, we’ve boiled it down to two main contenders. It’s hard to get past Superstition as the top pick and one to beat. A perfect three-for-three over this course and distance, the daughter of Ghostzapper has an excellent stalking style that keeps her free of trouble and a highly-effective closing kick that makes her difficult to contain during the critical late stages of the race. Her victory two runs back in the Daisycutter S. probably beats this field, and with regular pilot F. Prat staying aboard we’re expecting the R. Mandella-trained filly to fire her best shot. Hear My Prayer, a winner of five of 10 career starts, shipped in from Florida during the summer meeting and was quite convincing in victory sprinting on grass in a good allowance race that earned a stakes-quality speed figure. She has enough early speed to turn her rail post position into a positive and can be effective on the lead or from a stalking position. A recent bullet half mile main track workout at Santa Anita in 46 1/5 seconds indicates she’s spot on for a career top effort. Notable Workouts: Superstition (October 27, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Worked in the dark in team drill for R. Mandella inside Sumter (same time) and was under a nice hold throughout while finishing with plenty left while breezing out to the 7/8 pole. On top of her game.View Workout Video RACE 5: Post: 2:05 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Joker Boy; 11-Slow Down Andy; 12-Finneus Forecast: Slow Down Andy ran to his good workouts in his smart debut win last month at Santa Anita, employing a pace-pressing style before coming away with authority to register a nearly five length victory while earning a strong speed figure. Two easy breezes since that race should tick him over nicely for this tougher assignment, and with the likelihood that he’ll step forward with that experience behind him the son of Nyquist appears quite capable of winning right back in the Golden State Juvenile S. for California-bred two-year-olds. He’s drawn nicely outside and should have no issue with today’s extra three-sixteenths of a mile. Joker Boy was eliminated at the start when stumbling badly and subsequently was eased in the American Pharoah S.-G1 last month at Santa Anita. Prior to that outing, the son of Practical Joke won his first two starts sprinting over the Del Mar main track, including the I’m Smokin’ S. in a race that produced a strong speed figure, one good enough to make him a major player despite today’s disadvantageous rail post. He adds blinkers, picks up Johnny V., and seems likely to have a strong pace presence throughout. Finneus was another that was overmatched in the American Pharoah S.-G1 when well-beaten by Corniche but shortens to one corner and faces considerably easier state-bred foes, so we’re expecting the son of Stay Thirsty to regain his best form. During the summer season he was a distant but decent runner-up in the Del Mar Futurity-G1 over this track and distance, and with the switch to J. Rosario he should be able to produce a sufficient late kick to at least hit the board. Notable Workouts Joker Boy (October 17, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1h). Grade: B- | VIDEO In blinkers, broke off a few lengths in front of Touchdown Brown (5f, 1:00.3h) and was ridden some in the closing stages to wind up head-and-head at the wire, splits of :24.3, :36.3 and 1:01.1, okay move, nothing flashy. Sprints only at this stage for stakes winning juvenile.View Workout Video RACE 6: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. Post: 2:50 PT Grade: BUse: 8-Averly Jane; 9-One Timer; 11-Derrynane Forecast: Based on the nature of the Del Mar turf course in five-furlong sprints that presents a quick run from the starting gate to the far turn and an extremely short stretch (817 feet), handicappers must identify those horses with excellent early speed along with those that can be within range and then produce the quick turn of foot required to maneuver through heavy traffic in the final furlong. Deep closers have an almost impossible task, so we’ll concentrate on those with tactical speed. Two proven abbreviated sprint specialists with the proper style for the race are a pair of unbeatens, the W. Ward-trained filly Averly Jane and One Timer, conditioned by L. Rivelli. Averly Jane, perfect in four starts and most recently a winner of the listed Indian Summer S. at Keeneland in her first try on grass, is quick but can produce a second move when challenged in the stretch. Furthermore, she’s shown she’s not a need-the-lead type, having won the Kentucky Juvenile S. in her second career outing from a stalking position. Her numbers are solid – not brilliant, but good enough – and she won coasting to the wire in the Indian Summer while giving indication that she could have reached back for something extra had it been required. One Timer is three-for-three, having won at Arlington Park and Woodbine (both all-weather races) and then most recently at Santa Anita, where he captured Speakeasy S. with a Beyer speed figure (70) that doesn’t do him justice. The running line suggests that he barely held on in the Speakeasy but in truth he was waiting on his competition and actually galloped out far in front after re-breaking past the wire. The Trappe Shot gelding has shown he can dish out heat and take it as well, and everything he has done in the morning since his last race indicates he has plenty more to give. Derrynane, like Averly Jane a filly tackling the boys, perhaps is the most dangerous of the closers. She’s likely going to have plenty to do from the top of the stretch to the wire will need good fortune to secure a clear path through traffic, but if the leaders do each other in this daughter of Quality Road had a chance at what should be a substantial price. At least she’s worth including underneath in the horizontal exotics. Notable Workouts Averly Jane (October 31, Keeneland, 4f, :53.2b TC DU). Grade: B + | VIDEO Broke off a length in front of Golden Pal (4f, :53.1b TC DU) for Ward and finished down the lane head-and-head over soft going, both under wraps while appearing sharp and eager. Undefeated filly looks terrific and may be the one beat in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. RACE 7: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Post: 3:30 PT Grade: XUse: 2-Hidden Connection; 6-Echo Zulu Forecast: Undefeated in three starts, each by daylight and each more impressive than the previous race, two-time Grade 1 winner Echo Zulu tries two-turns for the first time, but based on running style, pedigree, and everything else we can throw in the hopper this terrific 2-year-old filly shouldn’t be the least bit inconvenienced by today’s longer distance. While she gives the impression of being a quick-actioned, sprinter type, the S. Asmussen-trained filly can switch off early and explode late while always providing regular jockey R. Santana, Jr. with the easiest of rides. The daughter of Horse of the Year and leading first-crop stallion Gun Runner has trained like she’ll have plenty more to give whenever asked. She’ll be a logical short-priced favorite to win this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Hidden Connection has won her first two outings by a combined 17 lengths, most recently the two-turn Pocahontas S.-G3 two-turning at Churchill Downs. We can question the quality of the competition she has beaten so far while recognizing that the B. Calhoun-trained daughter of Connect has a dangerous second flight, stalking style that should she keep her trouble free and give her every chance to show what’s she’s made of. We have to think she has the best chance among the others to provide Echo Zulu with some competition. Notable Workouts: Echo Zulu (October 31, Del Mar, 4f, :50.1h). Grade: B | VIDEO Never asked at any stage in easy solo breeze, final quarter mile in :24.3. Plenty fast but not speed crazy and should stay a middle distance in her present mindset.View Workout Video   RACE 8: Breeders’ Cup Fillies Juvenile Turf. Post: 4:10 PT Grade: B+Use: 6-Hello You, 9-Koala Princess; 13-Mise En Scene Forecast: The European contingent for this year’s renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf is reasonably formidable but you may be surprised to know that over the years foreigners have badly underperformed in this particular race. Only two overseas shippers have been successful in the 13-year history of the event, though Mise En Scene, a Group-3 stakes winner in three career starts and an unlucky fourth last time out in the Fillies Mile-G1, has credentials to be quite dangerous. The English-bred daughter of Siyouni lacked a clear path when attempting to rally at Newmarket yet still finished a strong fourth in a race that produced a career top Timeform rating. She should easily handle Del Mar’s firm ground while the race’s two-turn trip should be of no concern, either. That said, we’ll stick with the North American-based Koala Princess as our top pick. Thoroughly convincing in both of her wins, a runaway maiden score on the front end at Monmouth Park followed by an off-the-pace victory (rallying from eighth of 11) in a valuable listed sprint stakes at Kentucky Downs, the daughter of More Than Ready is genuine and versatile. She switches off beautifully in the early stages of her races and then quickens instantly when called upon, so we’re expecting she’ll be even more comfortable as the distances increase. While Koala Princess and Mis En Scene will receive the bulk of our action, we’ll have a saver ticket or two that includes Hello You, a seasoned European import fresh from a noteworthy score in the 7F Rockfel S.-G2 over the testing (uphill late) Newmarket straightaway course on firm ground in late September. She has plenty of experience (six starts) and Timeform ratings that our fairly decent. Not much improvement, if any, will be needed to make her dangerous right off the plane. RACE 9: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Post: 4:50 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Oviatt Class; 10-Commandperformance; 12-Corniche Forecast: The scratching of Jack Christopher changes our entire outlook of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Obviously, the race loses one of its star attractions while making the pace scenario much more comfortable for Corniche, who will be sent from the bell over a track that played quite kindly to speed yesterday. Yes, he’s a fast colt, most likely a need-the-lead type, and trainer B. Baffert won’t be doing any experimenting. The son of Quality Road, a $1.5 million purchase at the OBS Sale in April, sizzled in his debut sprinting over the Del Mar main track while recording a sensational 98 Beyer speed figure but came back to earth somewhat when scoring in gate-to-wire fashion over a strongly biased pro-speed track at Santa Anita in the American Pharoah S.-G1 in his next appearance, earning a pedestrian 85 Beyer in that victory. Still, we still like Corniche, but he needs to come out running from his outside draw. Originally, we really believed Oviatt Class had a legitimate long shot chance, and we still expect him to run very well, though the help he needs up front now may not materialize. A four-length maiden winner at Del Mar at mile during the summer meeting, he made up a ton of ground against the bias to finish a better-than-looked third in the American Pharoah and has trained extremely well since. Is he good enough? On paper, maybe not yet, but he is a son of Bernardini, whose offspring generally mature with experience and distance. You should also include on your ticket Commandperformance, a twice-started maiden that closed with courage to finish second to Jack Christopher in the Champagne S.-G1. He seems certain to improve with age, experience, distance, and development, as one would expect from a son of Union Rags. However, like Oviatt Class, he’ll need a pace meltdown to have his best chance. Notable Workouts: Oviatt Class (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Broke off a few lengths behind Miss Everything (5f, 1:01.3h) and inhaled workmate in the final furlong while under some coaxing, plenty left late splits of :23.4, :35.3 and 1:00.1 for Desormeaux. Stretch runner appears to be improving all the time and broke his maiden over the Del Mar main track during the summer season. Will be rolling late in the B.C, Juvenile. Corniche (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade: B+ | VIDEO In company inside Enbarr (same time) and did nicely without being asked, splits of :23.1, :48 and 1:00.3 while traveling from the half mile pole to the seven furlong pole, solid work. Maintains his form, probably a need-the-lead type at this stage of his career. RACE 10: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Post: 5:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Modern Games; 3-Dakota Gold; 6-Mackinnon; 10-Potfolio Company Forecast: Modern Games is listed at 5-1 on the morning line and represents an excellent gamble at that price. The tight Del Mar turf course with a short run-in from the top of the stretch to the wire always is problematic and it never should be surprising when the best horse is beaten due to traffic, but this European colt has the type of natural talent and acceleration to win this year’s renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, His rail post position will allow for a ground-saving trip, but he’ll need to be extracted somewhere during the running – preferrable before the field heads up home – to secure his best chance. The C. Appleby-trained son of Dubawi was scintillating in victory at Newmarket in late September when winning the Sommerville S.-G3 while earning an outstanding Timeform rating of 102, and while today will be his first try over a mile the extra distance should only make him more formidable. Dakota Gold appears to be the most dangerous of the North American contingent. Undefeated in two starts and highly impressive in both, the New York-bred son of Freud won the listed Nownownow S. over a mile on grass at Monmouth Park in his most recent appearance, drawing away with authority despite losing ground while wide most of the way. The D. Gargan-trained colt is drawn comfortable in the three-hole and with a clean break should find himself much closer to the pace than last time, perhaps even as a pace-stalker or presser. He’s highly-competitive on numbers and has plenty of further improvement in him. Mackinnon, trained locally by D. O’Neill, has won his last three starts in visually pleasing style, with two of those victories accomplished over the same course and distance as today’s race. Not quite as fast on speed figures as Dakota Gold but developing with each outing, the son of American Pharoah likes to settle in mid-pack and then blast home, and with clear sailing from the head of the lane to the wire he’s certain to have a say in the matter in the closing stages. He’s looked terrific in the a.m. in recent weeks, so it’s not likely we’ve seen anything close to his best quite yet. Notable Workouts: Mackinnon (October 30, Del Mar, 6f, 1:14.4h). Grade: A- | VIDEO Can’t verify the official final time but we caught him from the quarter pole to the wire in a sparkling :22.4 without really being asked, full of run while gobbling up the ground in the late stages. Gets better every time we see him.

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11.4.2021:

Johnny D: Breeders' Cup Saturday Late Pick 4 Ticket | Saturday, November 6

Breeders’ Cup is the annual time to take your best shot at some deep fields of talented horses. Horseplayers don’t get chances like this very often, so we’d love to take advantage of a limited opportunity. For certain, there’s nothing easy about handicapping BC races. Horses arriving from around the world make sorting out Cup contenders a bit like trying to find matching socks in the dark. There’s lots of touch and feel, some guessing, but little clarity and no certainty. Best advice? Fine one or two runners that you really like. Hang your hat on them and spread in races where you feel unsure about outcomes. One thing’s for sure, there will be surprise winners. Always are. If you can be skilled and lucky enough to create tickets that lean on your best opinions and also include aggressive winners at big prices, riches can be yours. A life changing score? Well, guess that depends on your life, doesn’t it? From this corner of the room we’ll be happy cashing a ticket or two Friday and Saturday. We’ve spent past BC Sunday’s licking wounds. We’ve also spent some celebrating in another country after a big hit. Know what? We don’t remember any of the wound-licking specifics, but we sure do recall how sweet the margaritas tasted by that private pool. Below is one man’s humble opinion of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Late Pick 4 and suggested tickets. Drink up! DEL MAR // RACE 9 // BREEDERS' CUP MILE (G1) // 1 MILE (TURF) Overview: Last year, for only the second time in history, Euro-based runners finished 1-2-3 in this race. Don’t think that will happen again in this talent-rich, deep renewal. A couple of locals must be considered, especially since there doesn’t seem to be an abundance of early speed. North American-based runners, as reported in Xpressbet’s Free Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide, hold a 22-15 edge over invaders and there have been 10 filly or mare winners. #1 Master of the Seas is a 3-year-old colt that hails from the recently torrid Charlie Appleby outfit. He was seventh in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October at 11-1. He’s only started twice since May—also third in the Gr. 2 Unibet Joel Stakes in September. We know enough not to lightly dismiss anything trained by Appleby. The rail should guarantee a ground saving trip for this guy and if he should get through on the inside…? In a wide-open race he should be considered. #2 Smooth Like Straight is a Cal-based 4-year-old who’s finished second to #6 Mo Forza in his last two races. Like ‘Mo, this guy is a tough competitor with 7 wins in 18 starts, 6 seconds and 2 thirds. He’s been first or second in 5 out of 5 Del Mar starts and 8 of 9 first or second at the distance! You may beat him, but you’ll know you’ve been in a fight. This colt also has some early speed in a race without much of that and with this post position should be in a great spot throughout. #3 Space Blues is a Charlie Appleby runner (also #1 Master of the Seas) that won his last start—Group 1 Quatar Prix de la Foret at Longchamp by 2 lengths. That was over a ‘heavy’ course and Del Mar’s layout will be the opposite of that. No matter, this 5-year-old horse is in great form—he won the race before that, too—so he has to be considered in the Mile. He races from off the pace, so he’ll need a trip and he could get overplayed based on his recent success in Europe. A winner of 10 of 18 with 3 seconds and 1 third, he can’t be dismissed but may not be a great bargain is he takes too much money. #4 Raging Bull is a 6-year-old trained by Chad Brown. Normally, that’s enough for anyone to include this horse on their tickets. The complete horse has 1 win this year and 1 last year against top stateside competition. He comes from off the pace and will need to get lucky with a clear trip. Rolling the dice with this 1 for 1 at Del Mar runner isn’t the worst idea but he’ll need things to break well for him. #5 Vin De Garde arrives from Japan to find a deep field of foes. This 5-year-old horse was second in the Gr. 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan in March going one mile and one-eighth. He’s more familiar with the one-mile trip and has 4 wins in 10 starts there. He would be surprise winner…and we know BC has had those. #6 Mo Forza is a pro with 8 wins in 14 starts, 3 seconds and 1 third. He’s had physical issues and only started twice this year—both wins. He loves Del Mar – 3 for 6 with 2 seconds and the distance 6 for 8 with 1 second. He’s got a 4-race winning streak that stretches to August of ’20. A defeat in the one mile and three-sixteenths Gr. 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (too far) is the only blemish on what could be an impressive 8-race winning streak! There are so many things to like about this guy that we’ve got him as our top pick and a ‘must use’ in here. #7 In Love was razor sharp in winning the Gr. Keeneland Turf Mile last out at 12-1. This 5-year-old gelding has now won 3 in a row for low-profile trainer Paulo Lobo and comes from well off the pace. He will need to get lucky turning for home to find room for his late kick. Along with others, he may find the short-ish Del Mar stretch a challenge. #8 Hit the Road has won 6 of 12 overall, 2 of 4 at Del Mar and 6 of 11 at the distance. He’s got a nice style, too, that should find him just off the early pace. He’s been trouble prone and a clear trip would enhance his chances. Mile foes #6 Mo Forza and #2 Smooth Like Straight have gotten the best of him in the last 2 but by slim margins. If one likes either ‘Mo or ‘Smooth, and we do, we’ve got to give this fellow some consideration. #9 Mother Earth is a 3-year-old filly making her ninth start of ’21. That’s quite a bit of racing for a young Euro-based lady. Facing older foes is nothing new for her—her last five races have been in open competition and her most recent—fifth in the Gr. 1 Queen Elizabeth II came against older males. Overall, she’s just 3 for 16 and at the end of a long season. #10 Blowout is a front-running Chad Brown-trained 5-year-old mare who took the Gr. 1 First Lady at Keeneland in wire-to-wire fashion. She’s won 5 of 14—2 of those wins this year after 3 second-place finishes in as many tries last year. There’s not a lot of speed in here and that gives her a bit of a puncher’s chance to hang around. #11 Got Stormy is a 6-year-old mare who’s won 2 of 5 this year. She has some tactical pace in a race without much of that. She defeated males most recently in the Gr. 1 Four Star Dave at Saratoga. She’s 1 for 1 at Del Mar and 10 for 20 at the distance. At six, we’re not in love with her chances but contention runs deep in this race and she’s a pro. #12 Pearls Galore stretches out from a runner-up finish in the Gr. 1 Prix de la Foret against males last out to this one mile journey at Del Mar. That’s nice progression for this 4-year-old filly with 4 wins in 11 starts. That race was over ‘heavy’ ground and the firm Del Mar course could be more suitable to the multiple Gr. 3 winner. She just missed in the one-mile Gr. 1 Justify Matron Stakes in Ireland. She’s under the radar in here but we like that prep. The post does her no favors, however.   #13 Casa Creed has no speed and last won the six-furlong, Gr. 1 Jaipur in June at Belmont. He was also pre-entered in the Turf Sprint and often falls between route and sprint cracks. Just 2-12 at the distance. #14 Ivar is one of two Lobo-trained runners in here. This 5-year-old horse hasn’t won since taking the Gr. 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last year, just before finishing fourth in the BC Mile. He was just two lengths behind upset winner Order of Australia. He’s made just two starts this year, so one wonders if he’s as good as he was last season. Also Eligible #15 Real Appeal needs a defection to draw into the race and this post will be a ‘killer’ going one mile on turf at Del Mar. #16 Queen Supreme is a 5-yearold mare that was well beaten last out in Great Britain. She is a Group 1 winner in South Africa and would have her hooves filled in the Mile while breaking from this outside post position. MUST USE: #6CHANCES: #1, #2, #3, #7, #8 DEL MAR // RACE 10 // BREEDERS' CUP DISTAFF (G1) // 1 1/8 MILES (DIRT) Overview: The Distaff could be the crowning of Letruska as the top filly or mare in North America…or, the race could produce a stunning upset of the top ranked mare. #1 Private Mission will have oodles to say about how this one turns out. 24 of 37 winners of this race have been 3-1 odds or less, including in 9 of 14 events in California. Kentucky-based trainers have won the last 4 Distaffs and 3-year-olds have win the race 11 times. #1 Private Mission is a 3-year-old filly from the Bob Baffert stable with early speed and the rail. That’s a dangerous combination. Add to the mix that this filly has won her last 3 starts—most recently a pair in graded races—and you have the makings of an upset possibility. This filly needs to improve to defeat #6 Letruska, for sure, but she’s young, sharp, CA-based and in the hands of a Hall of Fame trainer. If she doesn’t win, she at least will make #6 Letruska work early. #2 Royal Flag is a 5-year-old, Chad Brown-trained mare coming off a strong win in the Gr. 2 Beldame. She’s won 6 of 12 lifetime and been a victim of Letruska's twice before, although she’s been close to the favorite. A sharp filly or mare always is a danger and if #1 Private Mission can make #6 Letruska hustle up front…maybe it sets up for this mare. #3 Malathaat is a 3-year-old filly with 6 of 7 wins to her credit. She’s likely to be reasonably close to Letruska in the early going as jockey John Velazquez won’t want to let the favorite get too far away. Malathaat will need to continue to improve to topple the giant and probably need help up front to soften up #6 Letruska. #4 Blue Stripe makes a first US start in here from native Argentina. She’s a mystery horse who’s been in the country for a long while, training in California and pointing for this race. If she can win the Distaff of an extended layoff…salute! #5 Clairiere exploded with her best race ever when winning the Gr. 1 Cotillion at Parx last out. That effort either was a one-off performance or the start of something big. She comes from off the pace and would appreciate an up-front melt down. This field is much better than the one she faced outside of Philly but a sharp 3-year-old filly is not to be trifled with. #6 Letruska is a deserving favorite and is expected to make it 6 wins in a row and 7 of the last 8. She’s a speedy mare who dares foes to either run with her early or catch her late. She’s had a long season—7 races this year with breaks in Feb., May, July and September. She’s clearly the one to beat and, while there are suitable challengers with upset-minded connections, she’s probably going to be a handful. #7 Horologist is a 5-year-old mare with speed that will hound favored #6 Letruska early. That strategy may not help this runner, as she gets a bit late in races, but it may help some of the others in here. #8 Shedaresthedevil is a 4-year-old filly with 9 wins in 16 starts, a Del Mar victory in 2 tries and a win at the distance in 2 attempts. She’s trained by Brad Cox, the man of this year and last. She’s got speed and will stalk #6 Letruska and #1 Private Mission early, waiting for one or both to crack. If they do…she’ll attempt to pounce like she did in winning the Gr. 1 Clement Hirsch here at Del Mar in August. #9 As Time Goes By is trained by Bob Baffert and appears to be headed back toward her best. She finished second to stablemate #1 Private Mission last out. She’ll need to keep progressing to win this. #10 Marche Lorraine invades from Japan and would surprise. #11 Dunbar Road closed well to be second to #6 Letruska last out at Keeneland. She also was unable to run down the Distaff favorite in the Gr. 1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga. To this 5-year-old mare’s credit she’s been close. She’s another that would appreciate a hot pace battle up front. PACE MAKES THE RACE: #1, #6LATE: #2, #5, #8, #11 DEL MAR // RACE 11 // BREEDERS' CUP TURF (G1) // 1 1/2 MILES (TURF) Overview: There’s not much speed in this race, but what’s there should keep things honest enough up front. 9-5 favorite and defending champ Tarnawa is drawn in the 13 hole and that could pose a problem for her. Euros have won 17 of the last 22 Turfs, 5 of the last 6 and 7 of 14 in California. Race favorites have been in the top 3 finishers the last 6 years. 5 fillies or mares have won the race, 3 of the last 6.  #1 Rockemperor probably will save ground from this rail position for trainer Chad Brown. He’s a 5-year-old with a sharp last out Gr. 1 Turf Classic win that fits pretty well in here. It was the best race of a 20-start career, so he’s either back on track or knocked out by the run. In Brown’s hands he could just be finding his best stride again. He’s 1 for 3 at the distance and a big price. #2 United loves Del Mar – 3 wins, 2 seconds in 6 starts and has 1 win and 2 seconds at the distance.  Most recently he earned a nose victory in the Gr. 2 John Henry Turf Cup. That was a good effort and at 6-years-old is still posting relative numbers in every other race. This is not one of the ‘other’ races. He was eighth in this event last year but nearly shocked the world when second at 50-1 in the Turf in ’19. #3 Domestic Spending is a 4-year-old from the Chad Brown stable with 6 wins in 8 starts. This guy’s always right there and can’t be dismissed, even at a new distance. He has a win in his only Del Mar turf start. He’s earned the right to be on your Turf ticket. #4 Astronaut has advanced steadily for trainer John Shirreffs and won the Gr. 2 Del Mar Handicap last out. He comes from off the pace and will need to improve more to have a big say in here. He’s one of those you could use in exotics in case he makes another forward step. #5 Tribhuvan is a 5-year-old Chad Brown-trained performer with 5 wins in 20 starts. He’s got some pace in a race without much of that other than from #6 Acclimate. Expect these two to lead the field as far as they can go. Left alone on the lead this gelding is dangerous, but he should have company early. #6 Acclimate will set the pace for the Turf but it’s doubful he can last at this distance where he’s 0-3. The 7-year-old is just 1 for 6 over the Del Mar turf. #7 Walton Street scored a huge win for hot trainer Charlie Appleby last out in the Gr. 1 Canadian International. That was the 7-year-old’s first race in North America, and he was a short-priced favorite. Recent Timeform Ratings suggest he fits on his best day, and he’s clearly feeling well. This season he’s had the best form in a long time. He’s 5 of 13 at the distance and a victory would strike a blow for greybeards everywhere. #8 Broome exits a poor finish in the Gr. 1 Arc and has had a long season with 9 starts. Obviously, the 5-year-old horse is hickory, but it’s asking a lot to cross the pond for the Turf after such a long campaign. Still, it’s Aidan O’Brien and he knows what’s what. #9 Sisfahan is an interesting option based on a runner-up effort in the Gr. 1 Preis von Baden behind eventual Arc winner Torquator. This 3-year-old French-bred and mostly German-raced colt has 2 wins in 6 tries and has never been worse than third. He comes from well off the pace, so he’ll need some luck but his form is interesting. #10 Yibir scored a powerful romp in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational at Belmont last out for trainer Charlie Appleby. His figs are a bit light for this, so he’d need to do better, but the 3-year-old gelding has won 5 of 11 and 2 of 3 at the distance. The post is a concern. #11 Gufo disappointed as favorite last out in the Gr. 1 Turf Classic at Belmont. Before that he won two races, including the Gr. 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga. He’s won 2 of 3 at the distance and was third in his only Del Mar appearance. He’s a fit on his best day, but that last effort isn’t inspiring for the 4-year-old. #12 Teona is a 3-year-old filly with a pair of wins over her elders in the ungraded August Stakes at Windsor and in the Gr. 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp. Her figs are slow (although the last was a Timeform Rating of 110. Favored Tarnawa hits in the 125 range.) She’s young, lightly raced and sharp so she’s worth a look at a price. That 12-hole is no bargain. #13 Tarnawa won this race at nearly 5-1 odds last year. The 5-year-old mare has raced just 3 times since, with a Gr. 3 win and a pair of Gr. 1 near misses, including last out in the Arc. She’s tough and so is the #13 post going around 3 turns at Del Mar. That’s a challenge she didn’t have last year when drawn inside. At a short price, she’s worth trying to beat. #14 Japan is from Great Britain and starts for Aidan O’Brien. He was second to #11 Gufo in the Gr. 1 Sword Dancer and then didn’t fire in the Turf Classic behind #1 Rockemporer. Tough post for him going around 3 turns. Also Eligible #15 Bolshoi Ballet will need help to draw into the race and will be up against it from this post going three turns. He won the Gr. 1 Belmont Derby in July but hasn’t scored in two US tries since.#16 Channel Maker is a 7-year-old who’s been off his best for a while. #17 Mogul will need several defections to find himself up against it from an outside post.#18 Friar’s Road needs help to make the starting lineup. USE: #3, #9OTHERS TO CONSIDER: #4, #7, #10, #12 DEL MAR // RACE 12 // BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC (G1) // 1 1/4 MILES (DIRT) Overview: Who can run with #5 Knicks Go early? Answer that question and you’ll have a better idea of what might happen at the finish of this race. We think he’s the fastest early and late in here and something will need to go very wrong for him to lose. Cal-based runners have won 7 of the last 14 Classics on the west coast…but not the last 2. 8 consecutive winners have been 6-1 or less. #1 Tripoli came to life when moved from turf to dirt. He’s another example of a horse who clearly appreciates one surface over the other. He was capable on the turf, but is a Gr. 1 Pacific Classic winner on dirt—over the surface and at the distance of the BC Classic! Runners he will face Saturday are much stronger than those he defeated here in August and he was over 8 lengths behind Medina Spirit in the Gr. 1 Awesome Again last out. #2 Express Train likes Del Mar—3 wins in 5 tries—and often finds the top three in races—11-14 at least third. His best races are a smidge below what he’ll need to win this one and he was 7 lengths behind Medina Spirit last out. #3 Hot Rod Charlie has developed wonderfully for trainer O’Neill and won the Gr. 1 Pa Derby last out. He’s one of the leaders of a strong 3-year-old division and would bolster his case for divisional honors with a win here. He’s usually close to the early pace and that’s probably where he’ll be again with local leading rider Prat. This colt has been beaten by two of these foes twice each, so he’ll need to turn the tables on them and defeat some strong older horses. That’s a lot to ask but this guy’s development and running style give him some chance to win and make him a probable in-the-money player. #4 Essential Quality is the current top 3-year-old on the basis of 5 out of 6 wins this season. His only loss came when fourth, beaten one length, in the Kentucky Derby. He’ll again face 2 that finished in front of him—8 Medina Spirit and 3 Hot Rod Charlie. This colt has enough speed to sit just behind whatever early pace might develop. Jockey Luis Saez will ask the question turning for home and expect a response similar to the one he’s gotten in five races and not the one he experienced at Churchill Downs.    #5 Knicks Go has speed and, while others in the lineup have gas, no one has enough to really run with him. That’s where this race will be decided. How fast will Knick’s Go need to go to keep clear of the early competition? If he does what he’s done in 4 of 6 starts this year and get a clear early lead, he’s going to win. If he’s hooked, he’s shown to be vulnerable. While several in here are successful front runners, we don’t see another horse with his kind of speed. If we’re right about that, he’ll race home well in front to conclude BC festivities.  #6 Art Collector has won 3 consecutive races since moving to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s barn. He’s won those races on or near the lead and pretty much been a front-running type of horse. He’ll be facing more quality early speed in this race than he has in any of his 8 lifetime victories, so there’s a question how he’ll respond to the challenge. #7 Stilleto Boy was second and third behind #8 Medina Spirit in his last two starts. This is a deeper field so he will be challenged like never before. #8 Medina Spirit is the Kentucky Derby winner who’s been able to continue to win for Bob Baffert, defeating older in the Awesome Again at Santa Anita last out. He’s 1 for 1 at Del Mar and won the Shared Belief in his next-to-last start. He’s been most successful taking the early lead and grinding foes into submission. He’s not as fast early as Knicks Go, so he’ll probably sit second behind that one and they could go 1-2 around the oval. Of course, if Knicks Go stubs his toe, Medina Spirit will be in a perfect spot to pass him late. #9 Max Player is an improving 4-year-old colt that won the Gr. 1 Jockey Club last out for trainer Asmussen. He’s much better this year than last when fifth in the postponed Derby and Preakness. Has he improved enough to challenge in here? Maybe. He’s run the kind of races recently that suggest he at least fits. He should stalk the early pacesetters and have his chance to close in the lane. Mostly, his improvement has us interested in him as an exacta chance. CATCH HIM TO WIN: #5SHOULD RUN WELL: #3, #8, #9 MY LATE PICK 4 TICKETS RACE 9: #1, #2, #3, #6, #7, #8RACE 10: #1, #6RACE 11: #3, #4, #7, #9, #12RACE 12: #5COST: $30 for 50-cents RACE 9: #6 RACE 10: #1, #2, #5, #6, #8, #11RACE 11: #3, #4, #7, #9, #12RACE 12: #5 COST: $15 for 50-cents Race On!

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11.4.2021:

Jeremy Plonk: Laurel Early Pick 4 Analysis w/ $10 Free Bet | Friday, November 5

A big-time Friday of racing coast-to-coast surrounds the opening day of the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. Get your TGIF off to a flying start with a $10 Free Bet in the Laurel Park early pick four when you play on the 1/ST BET or Xpressbet platforms. That’s right, you’ll get up to a $10 refund in wagering credits – win, lose or draw. LAUREL PARK // RACE 2 (1:04PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 1/8 MILES (TURF) Class-dropping Narmer should improve second off the layoff and taking on easier foes; that was no easy task going 1-1/8 miles vs. maiden special weights after a 12-month absence. Graham Motion trainees win 25% on the MSW to MCL class drop. At 7-2 morning line, this is the top pick. The 9-5 morning line favorite Surfing leaves restricted New Jersey-bred company for the red-hot jockey/trainer combo of Johan Rosado and Claudio Gonzalez. They teamed to win 3 of 4 tandem starts last week at Laurel. INCLUDE: #4 Narmer, #8 SurfingALSO CONSIDER: Also-eligbles #12-#16 all are considerations if drawn in. LAUREL PARK // RACE 3 (1:42PM ET) // CLAIMING // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) In a race for non-winners of 3 lifetime, 3-year-olds are eligible to run despite their level of prior success. Five-time winner Mi Cleopatra and I stands out while making her second start since coming to trainer Keiron Magee. She exits a fast 6-furlong race for the level, takes a class drop and should handle these. The only caveat is the 7-furlong distance, which she’s yet to try, but there’s nothing in her pedigree to think she can’t handle a bit more. INCLUDE: #4 Mi Cleopatra and IALSO CONSIDER: #5 Supreme Blessing, #1 Walk It Out Nanny LAUREL PARK // RACE 4 (2:16PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) Big Tall Dawg has been facing tougher in recent starts and knocking on the door. While it’s only 5-1/2 furlongs here, there’s a lot of cheap speed that will be fading and Big Tall Dawg consistently finishes stronger than these. Absent a troubled trip, which should not be a big deal with only 6 rivals, expect this one to finish the deal. INCLUDE: #1 Big Tall DawgALSO CONSIDER: #3 Belmullet, #4 Pepe and Heywood LAUREL PARK // RACE 5 (2:48PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (DIRT) Big field of 11 has only one obvious toss-out. This will be the spread race to try and catch a bit of a price. For those looking to narrow, preference goes to Gulfstream transfer Power G (15-1 ML), who arrives in Maryland for a high-percentage barn. Axxetator makes plenty of sense off a Delaware third behind a horse who came back to win a Laurel maiden claiming $16,000-level race a notch below this one. Class dropper Natagar goes for a hot barn, Damon Dilodovico (7: 3-1-1 last week at Laurel), while Auction Kingdom makes the often advantageous move from maiden special weight to maiden claiming. INCLUDE: All except #4 Made to Be Lucky (10 runners)ALSO CONSIDER: None PICK 4 TICKET Race 2: 4, 8Race 3: 4Race 4: 1Race 5: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Ticket Cost: $10 for each 50-cent play NOTE: Our weekly Stronach 5 handicapping blog from Frank Carulli returns next week upon his return from vacation.

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11.4.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Betting Strategy | Thursday, November 4

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: BUse: 7-Big Clare; 8-Taming the Tigress Forecast: Familiar faces tangle in the Thursday lid-lifter, a state-bred turf miler for first-level allowance fillies and mares. Big Clare earned a career top speed figure when runner-up vs. similar at Santa Anita last month and not much more will be needed to handle this task. She’s a one-paced grinder and may lack a winning punch, but most of the others in the field aren’t all that keen on winning, either. J. Rosario will give her the patient ride she requires, so we’re expecting the P. D’Amato-trained daughter of Mr. Big to be along in time. Taming The Tigress stretches out for the first time, and if she’s ever going to stay a mile it’ll probably be in her first attempt. Bred to sprint but capable of inheriting the role as the controlling speed, the daughter of Smiling Tiger ran quite well in her grass debut last time out at Santa Anita when a willing but troubled runner-up and it may be significant that F. Prat, who has been riding Big Clare, jumps off to pilot this P. Miller-trained sophomore. RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Defense Wins; 5-Adens Dream Forecast: We’re normally don’t take Emerald Downs form at face value, but Adens Dream, a Pacific Northwest invader now in the J. Wong barn, always has been a hard-knocking, genuine sprinter and appears well-placed to pick up where he left off in this $16,000 claiming dash for older horses. In a small field of six without much early speed signed on, the veteran son of Wildcat Heir should be quick enough to establish the pace and keep on going while seeking his fourth win from his last five starts. On pure numbers he’s a fit on this circuit at this level. Defense Wins must leave from the rail (again) but drops below his claim level, retains F. Prat, and has never been off the board in five career starts over the Del Mar main track. He’ll be doing his best work late. We’ll give Adens Dream a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics. RACE 3: Post: 1:31 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Tilted Towers; 5-Mikes Tiznow; 8-Texas Wedge Forecast: Here’s a highly-competitive turf sprint for second-level allowance $80,000 optional claimers that drew a field of eight, most of whom have a legitimate look with their best race. Tilted Towers makes his first start following a M. Maker claim for $50,000 and moves up in class following a clever win three weeks ago sprinting on turf at Santa Anita. He projects to be in a good stalking position (behind the speedier Mikes Tiznow) and has shown in the past the ability to win with this type of trip. He’s a fit on numbers, picks up I. Ortiz, Jr., and offers some value at 6-1 on the morning line. Mikes Tiznow has been away for almost a year but his work tab at Golden Gate Fields should have him fit enough and the veteran gelding shows a prior win over the course for a trainer who has superior stats with layoff runners. Additionally, the son of Slew’s Tiznow has a proven record of firing fresh and regular rider R. Gonzalez stays aboard and knows him well. Texas Wedge may have lost a step or two but he’s exiting better races, is guaranteed a clean trip from his outside draw, and is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat. The ex-classer should have no excuses today. RACE 4: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-Rish and Reward; 6-Zestful Forecast: Risk and Reward earned a giant speed figure when easily handling first-level allowance foes at Los Alamitos in late September and looks dangerous on the one-level raise in this six-runner field. While form at Los Alamitos doesn’t always translate to the big tracks, this B. Baffert-trained sophomore shows a prior win over the Del Mar main track, picks up F. Prat, and seems certain to attempt gate-to-wire tactics once again, especially if he doesn’t have to be sent hard to make the running. The pace of the race certainly will be impacted if Zestful turns up as a late scratch. He’s entered back on Friday in the Thoroughbred Alliance Aftercare S.-G2 over a marathon trip but could stay put in this race, where he is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite. He goes runs in this spot he’ll ensure a rapid early pace that won’t do Risk and Reward any favors. The P. Miller-trained gelding was extra game when prevailing in the Bull Dog S. at Fresno three weeks ago for career victory number 11 (from 37 starts) and we suspect that new rider L. Saez will be aggressive with the Ghostzapper gelding, who’s always preferred to get it on early. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but based on the volatile pace flow we can’t play with any real degree of confidence. RACE 5: Post: 2:33 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Tezzaray; 3-Gimme Mo Baby; 6-Hemmerle Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the fifth race, a middle distance affair on grass for juvenile fillies. Hemmerle is the logical top pick after finishing a decent third in the much stronger Surfer Girl S. at Santa Anita last month. She remains well-regarded by trainer R. Mandella, and with rising numbers and an improving pattern this daughter of Tapit seems set to earn her diploma. Gimme Mo Baby is an intriguing shipper from Kentucky, where she hit the board in both of her starts, most recently when getting nosed out in a similar maiden grass affair at Keeneland while earning a speed figure very close to our top pick’s. The daughter of Jimmy Creed appears to lack tactical speed but her steady, grinding style should make a threat in the final furlong, especially if a decent early pace materializes. Tezzaray represent stranger danger from England in her North American debut. Third in both of her starts with respectable Timeform ratings, the P. Miller-trained daughter of Bated Breath shows a steady series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs that should have her fit. With I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call, she looks extremely live at 7/2 on the morning line. RACE 6: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: BSingle: 5-Fenestra Forecast: Fenestra was entered and withdrawn at Santa Anita on October 15 (it was a stewards’ scratch, not a vet scratch), worked two days later, and is back in the entries today for the powerful V. Cerin/K. Desormeaux team in his second career start and his first since July of 2020. The five-year-old gelding displayed good speed before weakening when facing much tougher straight maidens at Gulfstream Park in that race and returns at the bottom while showing a bullet five furlong work (5f, :59.1h) last week to have him fit and ready. He’ll also be racing with Lasix for the first time, so we’re expecting the son of Street Sense to bust out and go and hopefully wire the field at 9/2 on the morning line as a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 7: Post: 3:40 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Crew Dragon; 6-Team Merchants; 7-Coulthard; 9-Man Friday Forecast: Crew Dragon was a clever winner over this course and distance three runs back and a repeat of that effort today should be good enough to take this restricted stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile on grass. The son of Exaggerator earned a career top speed figure when a strong runner-up in a Hillside turf dash at Santa Anita last month, has trained well since, and picks up L. Saez. Coulthard stretches out for the first time, attracts J. Rosario, and projects to be forwardly placed throughout and have every chance. He was fourth in the same race Crew Dragon exits and with only slight improvement today the P. D’Amato-trained colt should be right there. Team Merchants adds blinkers for the first time and has a chance to wire the field if he’s permitted to show his natural speed. Rating tactics in his last pair failed to produce the desired results but with aggressive handling today the son of Nyquist has a chance to get loose on the lead and take this field a very long way. Worth tossing in as well is the steadily improving Man Friday, a winner of his last pair against lesser competition but with rising speed figures and a strong closing kick that will be dangerous if the race flow plays in his favor. Notable Workouts:Team Merchants (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h TT). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Broke off several lengths behind Happy Jack (5f, 1:01h TT) and motored on by approaching the finish while well in hand throughout, splits of :24.2, :36.3 and 1:00 flat on our watches, quite sharp as usual. No blinkers in this drill but is scheduled to add them in his next start. Always impressive in the a.m., still hasn’t put it together in the p.m. Coulthard (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00h TT). Grade: B+ | VIDEO Led early in training track team drill with Hollywoodhellraisr (same time) and Going Global (5f, :59.2h TT, closed big gap, never asked, sharp+) and maintained his advantage to the wire without being asked in sharp style for P. D’Amato, final half mile in :11.4, :23.4 and :47.2, plenty left late. Acts like he’ll handle a distance of ground if given the chance. Had a right to need his last start but should be sharper and fitter next time. RACE 8: Post: 4:13 PT Grade: B-Single: 8-Big Stretch Forecast: The finale is at first glance a treacherous affair for restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming fillies and mares. Big ticket players may choose to buy the race, but we’ll take a stand and ty to be right using Big Stretch as a single. It’s not that she’s any great shakes, but the P. D’Amato-trained filly has been out of her element chasing much better foes going long on the lawn. Her one-turn dirt outings aren’t half bad, so at this extended sprint trip facing much softer company the daughter of Mr. Big has a reasonable chance to wear down the leaders. At 7/2 on the morning line, we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.

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11.3.2021:

Jon White: 2021 Breeders' Cup Picks | Friday, November 5 & Saturday, November 6

$1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF SPRINT (FRIDAY // RACE 6 - 5:50PM ET) 1. AVERLY JANE (5-2 on my official BC morning line) // Undefeated filly with 4 wins by combined 22 1/4 lengths2. ONE TIMER (4-1) // Undefeated gelding with 3 wins by combined 17 lengths3. TWILIGHT JET (15-1) // Drew rail (morning line made before post-position draw) Nice-price danger: TIME TO PARTY (15-1) // Interesting at a nice price, especially with Prat aboard $2 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES (FRIDAY // RACE 7 - 6:30PM ET) 1. HIDDEN CONNECTION (5-2) // Her Thoro-Graph figs are similar to Echo Zulu’s2. ECHO ZULU (4-5) // Big favorite is trying two turns for the first time3. JUJU’S MAP (5-2) // Sparkling 4 1/4-length victory in G1 Alcibiades Nice-price danger: TARABI (12-1) // Finished second at 19-1 to Echo Zulu in Spinaway $2 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES TURF (FRIDAY // RACE 8 - 7:10PM ET) 1. PIZZA BIANCA (5-1) // Not the best of trips in G1 loss at Woodbine2. CALIFORNIA ANGEL (8-1) // Closed with a rush to win G2 Bessamine3. MALAVATH (8-1) // Runner-up vs. males in G2 race in France Nice-price danger: HAUGHTY (10-1) // Conditioned by red-hot Chad Brown $2 MILLION JUVENILE (FRIDAY // RACE 9 - 7:50PM ET) 1. COMMANDPEFORMANCE (5-1) // Another maiden wins this BC race at Del Mar?2. JACK CHRISTOPHER (9-5) // Champagne victory produced a 102 Beyer3. CORNICHE (5-2) // $1.5 million buy is 2 for 2 and a G1 winner Nice-price danger: OVIATT CLASS (20-1) // Sneaky good third in G1 American Pharoah $1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF (FRIDAY // RACE 10 - 8:30PM ET) 1. DUBAWI LEGEND (4-1) // Runner-up in G1 in England (post here concern)2. MODERN GAME (5-1) // Merits much respect off G3 triumph in England3. ALBAHR (6-1) // Stylish come-from-behind score at Woodbine Nice-price danger: DAKOTA GOLD (8-1) // Excellent Thoro-Graph fig at Monmouth $1 MILLION FILLY & MARE SPRINT (SATURDAY // RACE 4 - 3:05PM ET) 1. GAMINE (3-5) // She’s 7 for 7 when going 7 furlongs or shorter2. BELLA SOPHIA (5-2) // Sharp 3-year-old has best shot to upset favorite3. CE CE (4-1) // Had to settle for third behind Gamine at the Spa Nice-price danger: NONE Note: Gamine is my choice as the “most probable winner” at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. My most probable Breeders’ Cup winner has won in 13 of the 17 last years. I also gave some consideration to making either Life Is Good in the Dirt Mile or Jackie’s Warrior in the Sprint my “most probable winner.” But I ultimately decided Gamine is the right way to go. I know there are those who think Gamine could be vulnerable this Saturday. Some believe that she is not as good this year as she was last year. But even if that’s true, I would not go so far as to say that the 2021 Gamine is significantly slower than the 2020 Gamine. Keep in mind no one has been able to beat Gamine in 2021. Her closest call so far this year, such as it was, came when she won the Grade I Derby City Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 1 by “only” 1 1/2 lengths. Two of her four victories this year have been by margins of five and 10 lengths. This year’s Filly & Mare Sprint field was reduced to five with the defection of Estilo Tarentoso. Daily Racing Form’s David Grening reported Tuesday that Estilo Talentoso would not run Saturday “due to an issue with her right fore, according to trainer Juan Arriagada.” As for Gamine’s remaining four opponents Saturday, she already has defeated two of them. Ce Ce is a multiple Grade I winner. Gamine outran Ce Ce by three lengths in the Grade I Ballerina Stakes this year at Saratoga. Edgeway is a very nice filly. She’s won this year’s Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn Park and Grade III Rancho Bernardo Stakes at Del Mar. But in between the Carousel and Rancho Bernardo, Edgeway finished 11 1/4 lengths behind Gamine in the Grade II Great Lady M. Stakes at Los Alamitos. Sure, Bella Sofia is a talented 3-year-old filly who looks capable of possibly giving Gamine a serious run for her money. Bella Sophia looked terrific when winning the Grade I Test Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths at Saratoga. She then cruised to a 3 1/2-length win against her elders in the Grade II Gallant Bloom Stakes at Belmont on Sept. 26. But while I think Bella Sofia should be taken very seriously Saturday, I still find it hard to envision her defeating Gamine. By making Gamine my “most probable winner,” I can’t help but have one little concern due to how poorly favorites fared at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup held at Del Mar. Not a single favorite won any of the seven Breeders’ Cup dirt races in 2017. Only two favorites won the 14 Breeders’ Cup events in 2017. Those two winners were Mendelssohn at 9-2 in the Juvenile Turf and World Approval 5-2 in the Mile. One of the shortest-priced favorites that lost at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup came in the Filly & Mare Sprint. Unique Bella finished seventh at odds of 11-10. But while the overall record of favorites and Unique Bella’s performance in the Filly & Mare Sprint left much to be desired, I expect Gamine to take care of business as the heavy chalk in this year’s Filly & Mare Sprint. Below is a list of my most probable Breeders’ Cup winner for each year going back to 2004: 2020 Golden Pal in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (won)2019 Midnight Bisou (finished second)2018 Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (won)2017 Bolt d’Oro in the Juvenile (finished third)2016 Dortmund in the Dirt Mile (finished fourth)2015 Songbird in the Juvenile Fillies (won)2014 Goldencents in the Dirt Mile (won)2013 Wise Dan in the Mile (won)2012 Groupie Doll in the Filly & Mare Sprint (won)2011 Goldikova in the Mile (won)2010 Goldikova in the Mile (won)2009 Zenyatta in the Classic (won)2008 Zenyatta in the Ladies’ Classic (won)2007 Midnight Lute in the Sprint (won)2006 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won)2005 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (finished second)2004 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won) $1 MILLION TURF SPRINT (SATURDAY // RACE 5 - 3:40PM ET) 1. GOLDEN PAL (7-2) // Early zip + desirable post = second BC win?2. GEAR JOCKEY (5-1) // Gaudy 105 Beyer at Kentucky Downs3. KIMARI (6-1) // Fresh filly should not be taken lightly Nice-price danger: FAST BOAT (12-1) // Surges late to get into superfecta? $1 MILLION DIRT MILE (SATURDAY // RACE 6 - 4:19PM ET) 1. LIFE IS GOOD (4-5) // His Kelso was pretty much a paid workout2. GINOBILI (4-1) // Big figs w/ blinkers in Del Mar summer wins3. SILVER STATE (7-2) // Met Mile winner could prove tough customer Nice-price danger: EIGHT RINGS (10-1) // Perked up with 4-length SA win for Baffert $2 MILLION FILLY & MARE TURF (SATURDAY // RACE 7 - 4:59PM ET) 1. LOVES ONLY YOU (4-1) // Descendant of 1989 Classic winner Sunday Silence2. LOVE (4-1) // Major player here after having to miss the Arc3. WAR LIKE PRINCESS (7-2) // Seeking to extend her winning streak to 5 Nice-price danger: POCKET SQUARE (15-1) // Juddmonte filly seems to be blossoming $2 MILLION SPRINT (SATURDAY // RACE 8 - 5:38PM ET) 1. JACKIE’S WARRIOR (6-5) // Terrific 3yo sprinter looks formidable2. DR. SCHIVEL (4-1) // Won G2 SA sprint despite no right rein3. SPECIAL RESERVE (6-1) // A $40,000 claim is now a BC contender Nice-price danger: FIRENZE FIRE (10-1) // Infamous savager might finish 1-2-3-4 $2 MILLION MILE (SATURDAY // RACE 9 - 6:20PM ET) 1. SPACE BLUES (3-1) // Rocketed home to G1 win at ParisLongchamp2. MO FORZA (5-1) // This dude just loves to win races3. MASTER OF THE SEAS (12-1) // A 1-2-3-4 finish possible on firm ground? Nice-price danger: HIT THE ROAD (15-1) // Troubled trip in City of Hope Mile $2 MILLION DISTAFF (SATURDAY // RACE 10 - 7:00PM ET) 1. LETRUSKA (8-5) // Win machine choice despite messed-up workout2. SHEDARESTHEDEVIL (4-1) // Edged top pick in two-turn Azeri on March 133. PRIVATE MISSION (8-1) // Watch out for this up-and-coming 3yo filly Nice-price danger: AS TIME GOES BY (15-1) // Last more like it for regally-bred miss $4 MILLION TURF (SATURDAY // RACE 11 - 7:40PM ET) 1. TARNAWA (9-5) // Won this race in 2020 for fab horseman2. DOMESTIC SPENDING (4-1) // Excuse narrow AP defeat due to slow pace3. WALTON STREET (8-1) // Loved the way he won for fun at Woodbine Nice-price danger: SISFAHAN (12-1) // German ran second vs. future Arc winner $6 MILLION CLASSIC (SATURDAY // RACE 12 - 8:40PM ET) 1. KNICKS GO (5-2) // He’s 7 for 7 in two-turn races for Cox2. ESSENTIAL QUALITY (3-1) // Classy 3yo is 8 for 9; dandy Oct. 31 drill3. HOT ROD CHARLIE (4-1) // Snazzy 111 Beyer in Penn Derby triumph Nice-price danger: TRIPOLI (15-1) // Pac Classic victor makes noise with Irad?  

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11.3.2021:

XBTV Expert Eyes: Who's Tipping Their Hand for the Breeders' Cup | Wednesday, November 3

We tasked our expert analysts at XBTV to give us the names of the horses who have caught their eyes as Breeders' Cup approaches Friday and Saturday at Del Mar. Who has stood out in training and/or on video for our crew?‍ JEFF SIEGELOviatt Class (Juvenile, Friday Race 9)Dakota Gold (Juvenile Turf, Friday Race 10)Malathaat (Distaff, Saturday Race 10)‍ ZOE CADMANKaufymaker (Juvenile Turf Sprint, Friday Race 6)Juju's Map (Juvenile Fillies, Friday Race 7)Loves Only You (Filly and Mare Turf, Saturday Race 7)Art Collector (Classic, Saturday, Race 12)‍ MICHELLE YUArmor (Juvenile Turf Sprint, Friday Race 6)Tarnawa (Turf, Saturday Race 11)Gufo (Turf, Saturday Race 11)Max Player (Classic, Saturday Race 12)‍ For more handicapping assistance from the XBTV.com team, check out the Day Makers library of Breeders' Cup race previews.

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11.3.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Del Mar Picks & Betting Strategy | Wednesday, November 3

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. Grade Descriptions: Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid PlayGrade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Starship Chewbacca; 5-Honorary Degree Forecast: We’re flying blind as to how the quirky Del Mar main track will be playing on opening day of the fall season, so the best advice is to go to school during the early races of today’s program and try to identify whatever track bias might exist. In the opener, Starship Chewbacca has been facing much quicker types since his maiden $50,000 win back in March. Finally, he’s realistically spotted in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 sprint and should be able to take full advantage of the opportunity. Based on our pace projection he should be on or near the lead throughout. Honorary Degree switches to A. Cedillo and is another that charts as a strong pace contender. He’s a fit on speed figures and won for fun over this main track three races back. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play. RACE 2: Post: 1:03 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Liam’s Dove; 5-Sparkle Blue Forecast: Liam’s Dove won the Juvenile Fillies Turf as a maiden over this course and distance and then got burned up pressing suicidal splits from a disadvantageous outside post in the Surfer Girl S. at Santa Anita last month. This first-level allowance event offers a considerably easier pace scenario, so we’re expecting the P. Miller-trained filly to regain her winning form. The switch to F. Prat doesn’t hurt, either. Eastern shipper Sparkle Blue is the 9/5 morning line favorite and represents the best of the closing types. She ran a bit better than the line will show when fourth in the Selima S. at Laurel five weeks ago and arrives fresh off the plane for G. Motion with speed figures that fit and room for plenty of further improvement. We’ll give ‘Dove a very slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics. RACE 3: Post: 1:34 PT Grade: C+Single: 10-Dadstar Forecast: Maiden claiming juveniles sprint five and one-half furlongs in the first leg of the Pick-6. It’s a borderline inscrutable affair, but rather than spread deeply (which might be an option for bigger players) we’ll take a stand and hope to be right. Dadstar received a bit of action in his debut (6-1) at Los Alamitos in late September in a similar affair and flashed good speed from the rail to the turn, whereupon he took up sharply, lost his action while racing greenly, and quickly fell out of it. Today, the M. Puype-trained gelding lands the cozy outside post, adds blinkers, retains J. Hernandez, and shows a steady series of workouts since raced. If he can run – and we’re not entirely convinced he can - this would be a good spot to show it. A relatively short price 4-1 on the morning line because the competition is so weak, we can make him a win play and rolling exotic single, or better yet simply pass the race. RACE 4: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Anitanewmercedes; 7-Wilder than Most Forecast: Wilder than Most has improving speed figures, exits a hot race, and was a clever winner over this course and distance during the summer meeting. The lightly-raced son of Vronsky retains F. Prat and projects to enjoy a comfortable second flight, stalking trip and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Anitanewmercedes is an intriguing Bay Area shipper with numbers that fit and an impressive career resume seven wins from 19 career outings. A tad more comfortable on grass than synthetic, the son of Haynesfield does his best work as the controlling speed and from where he’s drawn he’s like to inherit that type of trip. RACE 5: Post: 2:34 PT Grade: C+Use: 5-Active Account; 6-Next Revolt; 8-Charge Cash Forecast: Here’s a messy affair offering a field of class droppers, distance switchers, layoff runners and a pace scenario that looks muddled and unpredictable. Anything goes. Charge Cash is 3-year-old tackling older but looks capable of making the lead without having to be used hard, so if he can shake loose early he might get brave late. His form over the Del Mar main track is hardly inspiring (four starts, one third) but he shows a bullet work over the Santa Anita training track since his last race and there’s no panicky class drop so let’s assume he’s in good enough shape for D. O’Neill to fire his best shot. He’s 7/2 on the morning line; in a race like this we wouldn’t be thrilled with anything lower. The “other” O’Neill entrant, Active Account, has a reasonable look as well. The Clubhouse Ride gelding exits a tougher starter’s allowance turf miler, and a return to his winning form two races back sprinting over the local main track certainly is possible. He has a good stalking style that should fit the race flow and with just four career starts has room for improvement that some of the others might not have. R. Santana Jr. almost certainly will put him in the race early. Next Revolt is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat and, like Active Account shows the always-dangerous route-to-sprint angle for a barn that has superior stats with that angle. He’s just 2-for-18 during his career but one of those wins was accomplished over the Del Mar main track and he did finish first at this level two races back but was disqualified. RACE 6: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Nazuna; 5-Carpe Fortuna Forecast: The two major players listed above in this first-level allowance turf miler restricted to 3-year-old fillies are pretty solid and we’re expecting the winner to be one or the other. The New York invader from C. Brown’s barn, Nazuna, is a first-time Lasix user exiting a pair of infinitely tougher races after being imported from England, where she was multiple group stakes placed, and anything close to her European form against this field should be more than good enough. With F. Prat taking the call, she’s the logical 8/5 morning line favorite and may even a bit lower. Carpe Luna doesn’t quite have the resume of our top pick but she’s genuine and consistent at this level and shows speed figures that are rising with each start. With a prior win over the local lawn and good stalking that ensures a clean trip, the P. Eurton-trained daughter of Carpe Diem seems certain to fire another big shot stretching out again and finishing an excellent second in the down-the-hill Unzip Me S. last month at Santa Anita. RACE 7: Post: 3:40 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Moonlight d’Oro; 6-Livingmybestlife Forecast: Moonlight d’Oro is the class of the field and more than good enough to win this restricted main track stakes for fillies and mares in her first start in 10 month layoff but we’re not convinced she’s 100% ready based on what we’ve seen of her in the morning. Fact is, she needed a couple of outings last year before being fit enough to break her maiden and then win the Las Virgenes S.-G2 in a race that stamped her as one of the better prospects in her division. Unfortunately, she suffered an injury and had to be stopped on, and while she may be rusty off the bench it’s possible that her pure talent will be enough to carry her through. Livingmybestlife is clearly the controlling speed on paper, and while she may be suspect at this one mile distance she’ll have every chance to wire the field in her first try around two turns. Her pedigree says sprints only, but her numbers are strong, and she continues to impress in the a.m., so we’ll respect her enough to include her on our ticket. Notable Workouts: Moonlight d’Oro (October 21, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:13h). Grade: B | VIDEO Solo main track work on the comeback trail for R. Mandella, mostly on her own to the top of the stretch before being asked and ridden through the lane, splits of :24 flat, :35.3, :47.4 and 1:13 flat, doing her best to the end. Previous works weren’t impressive, this one was better, but strikes us as one that might need some racing before she’s totally cranked up. Was a Grade-3 winner earlier this year and has the pedigree to improve with maturity and distance. Livingmybestlife (October 11, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01h). Grade: B | VIDEO Breezing throughout, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :36.3, strictly on her own through the lane. Hard to say if she’ll be able to stretch out if asked but she’s not a puller so a mile might be within her range.   RACE 8: Post: 4:13 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Lil Nas; 9-Hail Freedom Forecast: Hail Freedom is drawn farther out than we’d prefer in this one mile turf event for state-bred older horses but in a lackluster affair t he D. O’Neill-trained colt appears to have finally found a field he can beat. In the frame in five of six career starts and with decent form over this course and distance during the summer season, the son of Box Score retains K. Desormeaux and projects to settle into a second flight, stalking position and then be able to wear down the leaders when the pressure is turned on. Lil Nas, away for more than a year and now in the J. Sadler barn, tries two turns off the bench following a useful series of workouts and could be a better type this time around after showing some ability as a 2-year-old in a couple of outings. He’ll race with Lasix from a comfortable inside draw while attracting F. Prat, so there are enough positive factors in his chart to warrant inclusion in our rolling exotic ticket. Notable Workouts: Lil Nas (October 29, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT). Grade: B- | VIDEO Solo five furlong training track drill for new trainer J. Sadler, a tad erratic through the lane while being ridden hard through the lane, final three furlongs in a strong :34.4. Away for about a year and still a bit green but has some ability and may do okay with older maiden state-bred competition. Hail Freedom (October 27, Santa Anita, 4f, :49h). Grade: B- | VIDEO Never asked but never changed leads, final three furlongs in :12.4 and :36.4, good energy through the lane. Has had six chances but should find a maiden state-bred field he can beat eventually.

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11.1.2021:

Jeremy Plonk: Breeders' Cup Post Position Draw Reaction | Monday, November 1

A total of 169 horses entered 14 championship races this afternoon for Friday and Saturday's 38th edition of the Breeders’ Cup. The two-day soiree at Del Mar culminates with the $6 million Classic that stars Pegasus World Cup winner Knicks Go as the 5-2 morning line favorite vs. seven rivals. Del Mar’s second go as Breeders’ Cup host, having presented the event also in 2017, should be under ideal conditions with partly cloudy skies and temps just above 70 degrees forecasted both days.Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET and Xpressbet platforms can take advantage of up to a $10 money-back guarantee on win bets on every Del Mar race held Friday and Saturday. If your win bet finishes second or third in any race, you’ll get a $10 refunded wagering credit for each.Future Stars Friday opens the event with five races for the 2-year-olds. Unbeaten Echo Zulu (4-5) tops the Juvenile Fillies, which attracted just 6 starters, while the Juvenile matches an east-west showdown between far-inside Jack Christopher (9-5) and far-outside Corniche (5-2) among a field of 12. Friday’s trio of turf races include the Juvenile Turf Sprint (12 entered, Averly Jane 5-2 ML favorite), the Juvenile Fillies Turf (14 entered, Pizza Bianca 5-1 ML favorite) and the Juvenile Turf (14 entered, Dubawi Legend 4-1 ML favorite).Friday’s most intriguing post-draw element has to be extremes for the favorites in the Juvenile and Juvenile Turf. With front-runners Corniche (12) and Jack Christopher (1) book-ending the Juvenile field, that should turn up a potentially hot pace even more. The Juvenile Turf extemes won’t be as impactful on pace, but potentially trip with European rising stars Dubawi Legend (14) and Modern Games (1) having to negotiate tricky starting points.The nine-stakes Saturday lineup features big fields in the grass tests: 12 in the Turf Sprint (Golden Pal 7-2 ML favorite), 12 in the Filly and Mare Turf (War Like Goddess 3-1 ML favorite, defending champ Audarya 5 -1 ML from post 12), 14 in the Mile (Space Blues 3-1 ML favorite) and 14 in the Turf (defending champ Tarnawa 9-5 ML favorite from post 13). A new, all-turf pick four will be offered on Saturday’s quartet of grass races.Saturday’s five dirt stakes include the aforementioned Classic, in addition to the Filly & Mare Sprint (6 entered, Gamine 3-5 ML favorite), Dirt Mile (8 entered, Life Is Good 4-5 ML favorite), Sprint (9 entered, Jackie’s Warrior 6-5 ML favorite) and Distaff (11 entered, Letruska 8-5 ML favorite).Notable among the Saturday post draws are the potential speed clash between Gamine and Bella Sofia breaking side-by-side in the Filly and Mare Sprint; defending champion Glass Slippers starting from the rail in the Turf Sprint; and the speedy Private Mission luring the rail in the Distaff and potentially locking up with heavily favored front-runner Letruska.Be sure to download the free 1/ST Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide update, available Thursday, that will include new content from our Oct. 29 initial release. Fresh analysis includes Eddie Olcyzk’s Hat Trick of best bets, a Classic look by legendary sportscaster Brent Musburger of VSIN, the historical Betmix ‘Angler’ best-fit contenders in each division and the full-card Del Mar artificial intelligence picks from the 1/ST BET app for both days.

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11.1.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis | Monday, November 1

Woodbine Mohawk Park starts the week with an 11-race card. The popular 0.20 Pick 5 begins the program. The sequence has a $100,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 14-Droptherakefreddy (8-1)-Comes off a sick scratch which is a concern, hasn't raced since 9-28. But should be a player if ready for a big try. Showed good speed in the previous 2 starts. This is a softer spot, faced Beach Glass twice, and is worth a swing at this price.7-Slick Richard (10-1)-This another from the Byron barn who also has missed some time, has speed and should be a solid price. Willing to look for value in race where the morning line chalks are 0-32, 0-13 and 0-20.10-Katies Bet (6-1)-Betting Line colt was 15 lengths back at the 1st call and raced big in the slop to finish 2nd. That effort was worth respecting, went the back half in 56.2 with a 27.2 last quarter. Roy should get him off the gate tonight.Race 22-Quebecoise (5/2)-Raced large from post 9 in the slop versus this kind but was no match for #4. Before that was a winner of 2 straight and should have the best chance of an upset if the chalk has a bumpy journey.4-Day To Party (7/5)-Bulldozed this field last week drawing off on a sloppy track by almost 6 lengths. This 2-year-old has the best speed and should win again with a decent trip.Race 31-Never Mind N (10-1)-Takes a good step up in class after drawing off by 4 lengths on 10-23. Took control after going 1st over and sped away to win in 153.4. Not feeling a 10-1 morning line but should offer a solid price.2-Threefiftytwo (3-1)-Has been trying hard and comes off a big try from the 9 hole in the slop. Fits well with this crew.8-Gp Dreamin (4-1)-Could leave and get a good seat. The pace should be lively and if so, Jamieson can have this mare in striking range at the top of the stretch.Race 47-Major Hill (3-1)-Won in 151.1 a couple of starts back and was claimed. Hasn't had the same vigor since then but has drawn poorly in both starts. Did go the last half in 55.2 last time and JMac should have him much closer to the lead tonight.8-Quan Blue Chip (7/2)-Will toss the last start from post 10 in the slop. Has the ability to grind his way around and beat this group. Has won 12 of 48 at Wbsb, will respect the Filion-Moreau combo and look for a big try.Race 53-Ladyflix (3-1)-Tries hopples after suffering a break at the wire which cost a 2nd place check. Went off at 4/5 and looked the part until breaking and will use thinking she will mind her manners.5-Global News (7/2)-Had an impressive win on 10-18 and then was a judges scratch. Should be a main player if 100% and probably best to lean that way.My Ticket Race 1) 4,7,10 Race 2) 2,4 Race 3) 1,2,8 Race 4) 7,8 Race 5) 3,5Total Ticket Cost) = $14.40 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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10.31.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, October 31

Pompano Park has an 11-race card ready to go with the 0.50 Pick 4 starting in Race 6. The sequence has a $15,000 guaranteed pool with a low 12% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 61-Villiam (5-1)-Raced a solid back half last week and now moves in a few spots and that could help the cause. Chindano has enough gate speed to work with to come away with a close-up seat. This 4-year-old likes to take pictures and has 6 wins in 17 PPk starts. Could be sitting on a big try and should offer a fair price.4-Actor Hanover (5-1)-Ships in from PcD, likes to race close to the top of the stack and has the gate speed to get there. This will be the 1st race at PPk but is no stranger to smaller ovals and could be a player versus this crew.6-WarraweeVeloce (3-1)-Took a picture last week versus this kind in its Pompano debut. Hennessey worked a smooth trip but that was from the 2 hole. Did pace in 151.4 and was off a month so deserves respect but may need to work harder with this post draw.Race 72-Forbidden Song (7/2)-Amateur driver race and those are always a pleasure to handicap, but this 6-year-old has been cashing checks versus better company. Draws inside and hopefully will be in striking range at the top of the stretch.4-Absolut Uncertenty (9/2)-Walker is one of the better drivers in the race but this 6-year-old is camera shy, 1-21 this year. But hit the board in 6 of 12 at the Pomp with 1 picture and will take a swing in a toss-up race.6-Explosive Motion (9/2)-Has been facing better at Harrington and comes off an even race in the 1st try at the Pomp to finish 2nd. Looking for a stronger effort in the 3rd start for the Mungillo barn.Race 83-Red Dirt Rocknroll (7/2)-Drew off by over 5 lengths in its Pompano debut and now steps-up. The Lareau barn is off to a hot start and Hennessey will likely have the pedal down and look to control the pace.7-Khun Ratha A (9-1)-Got on the engine last week in its 1st PPk start and faded down the lane versus better. Should benefit from a race over the track. Could leave, land in the pocket behind #3 and look to fly by down the lane.Race 92-Terlingua (3-1)-Veteran is coming close to the end of his racing career and has hit the board in 28 of 61 starts at PPk with 9 wins. Makes the 2nd local start and drops in for only a $4,500 tag so benefits with this post and a top effort could be coming.3-Freaky Flyer (9/5)-Broke 5th starting from the rail in last but Hennessey was able to work a trip to be in striking range at the top of the lane. Same script could play out here and encore could be in the cards.My Ticket Race 6) 1,4,6 Race 7) 2,4,6 Race 8) 3,7 Race 9) 2,3Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.31.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Sunday, October 31

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Big Strike; 4-Ready Jet Go; 6-Bowl of CherriesForecast: Maiden claiming fillies and mares sprint five furlongs on grass in the closing day opener. The first-timer Big Strike has done some good work in the a.m., is bred to enjoy grass, and looks like a live item in a field in which the known element doesn’t particular inspire. She’s hardly a single but we’ll put the daughter of Mr. Big on top at 4-1 on the morning line. Ready Jet Go, away for more than a year, returns for the always-potent P. Miller/F. Pat trainer-jockey combo. The work tab at San Luis Rey looks decent and the daughter of More Than Ready showed enough ability last year to expect a major effort at this level. She’s a first-time Lasix user that could be a better type this time around. Bowl of Cherries is an eight-race maiden and perhaps not one to rely on, but she’s run well over this course vs. tougher in the past and on pure speed figures may be the one to beat. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets keying Big Strike on top.Notable Workouts:Big Strike (October 10, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.2hg). Grade: B-Did okay in three horse team drill with Big Flame (4f, :49.2hg) and Cal Rough (4f, :49.3hg) and was far in front throughout with splits of :24.1, :48.1 and 1:01.3 on our watches, ridden some on the turn and into the stretch to be doing her best. No world beater but has some run and based on pedigree should be better on grass. Seems fit by now and should make the entries soon vs. maiden-claiming types.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Sadie Bluegrass; 2-Bye Bye BertieForecast: Sadie Bluegrass earned a huge speed figure when outrunning starter’s $12,500 allowance foes at Pleasanton in mid-June and returns protected for J. Wong in this tougher starter’s $25,000 affair that she can win with a repeat of that effort. The daughter of Bluegrass Cat will relish the role as the controlling speed from the rail and is a win-machine (nine victories from 16 starts) who has proven to be very difficult to catch under the race’s projected race flow. Bye Bye Bertie pulverized a first-level allowance field over a mile in her first start since being claimed by L. Powell, and if she duplicates that effort at this shorter six furlong trip she’ll certainly have a major look. F. Prat stays aboard and will have the daughter of Alternation running on strongly late. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the main punch going to Sadie Bluegrass.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Ready Soul; 3-Red Storm RisenForecast: Ready Soul was overmatched in the John Henry Turf Cup-G2 earlier this month but had traffic trouble and probably should have finished closer. Today, against this much lesser field, the son of More Than Ready looks well-spotted to regain his best form while being reunited with “win rider” F. Prat. He’ll likely settle in the second flight and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home. Red Storm Risen is another exiting a graded stakes race – he was fourth (beaten less than three lengths) in the City of Hope Mile-G2 in an effort that produced a career top speed figure – and is the one to fear most. Today’s nine-furlong trip might be stretching his limit, but the P. D’Amato-trained gelding should be able to settle in a comfortable pace-stalking position (behind Margot’s Boy) and have his chance when the pressure is turned on. We’ll prefer Ready Soul on top but include both in our rolling exotics.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:01 PT Grade: B+Single: 8-Under the StarsForecast: Under the Stars has done everything in the a.m. like a high-quality prospect and from her cozy outside draw the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile should be a short price to graduate at first asking. The B. Baffert-trained juvenile appears to have plenty of early speed so F. Prat can assess the race flow and then pop and go or stalk and pounce. She’s 9/5 on the morning line and likely will go lower, so her best value might just be as a rolling exotic single.Notable WorkoutsUnder the Stars (October 14, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:12.4hg). Grade: B+In blinkers, in company outside Murray (same time) in team gate drill for B. Baffert, splits of :23.4, :47.4 and 1:13.2 on our watches, a few ticks slower than given but very nice nonetheless, actually eased up just past the sixteenth pole yet still proving best by a long neck. Plenty fit, has good early speed, excellent prospect is ready to run.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:33 PT Grade: BUse: 9-Mesut; 10-BrixForecast: We’ll double the fifth race, a six-furlong turf sprint over the flat course. Mesut was beaten just two lengths when fifth behind Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1-bound Lieutenant Dan in the Eddie S. S.-G2 down the Hillside Course earlier this month and takes on a significantly easier task in this restricted (nw-3) starter’s allowance $50,000. He’s found his niche as a late-running sprinter and today’s conditions suit him perfectly. Both of his career victories have been accomplished over the Santa Anita turf course so with patient handling he should be along in time. Brix, freshened since February, is another that does his best around one-corner when held up early and allowed to blast home. Although his work tab at San Luis Rey Bounds looks unspectacular, the R. Baltas-trained gelding has a history of firing fresh, so we’re expecting a major effort from the son of Twirling Candy.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:03 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-Dynamite Queen; 8-B’esame Me MuchoForecast: This bottom-rung maiden claiming main track miler for fillies and mares is a below par event with little to embrace. We’ll try to get by using just two in our rolling exotics, but you should probably include as many as your budget allows. B’esame Me Mucho has the prerequisite two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out patten for her first outing around two turns, and the daughter of Mucho Macho Man certainly has the pedigree to improve over a distance of ground. A closing third in a decent sprint at this level with a vastly improved speed figure last time out makes her attractive in a field that contains very little spark among the other entrants. Dynamite Queen is steadily improving with racing, most recently finishing a willing third over this track and distance at this level three weeks ago. With another forward move today, she’ll be a major player.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:35 PT Grade: C+Use: 4-Floral Essence; 5-Mongolian MissionForecast: Floral Essence makes her first start since being claimed by J. Mullins for $50,000 out of a turf miler at this level three weeks ago, and while she ran fairly well in that race (she was worn down late to be second at even money) today’s extra furlong may be problematic. She’s yet to really show she can punch it in under pressure but if the pace is slower today, she may be able to stick it out. Mongolian Mission is the one to fear most in her second start since being haltered for this price by good claiming trainer M. Maker. Freshened since mid-August, the daughter of Noble Mission has natural early speed but might be better served if taken back and allowed to make one run. It’ll be interesting to see if a change in tactics will be employed. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but in a race with plenty of question marks we suggest you tread lightly.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:07 PT Grade: BUse: 8-Town Boy; 10-Big Creek: 12-Handy DandyForecast: This maiden claiming sprint for juveniles is an intriguing affair thatrequires some coverage in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Town Boy, first off a $32,000 claim by D. O’Neill, was six lengths clear of the rest when second as the favorite in a fast, highly-rated race and has returned to work quite well for his new connections while serving notice that improvement is likely. The son of Speightstown should be part of the pace throughout and figures to stick around a long time. Big Creek is a first-timer by American Pharoah that sold for the proverbial ham sandwich ($20,000) as a yearling. He’s actually displayed pretty good speed in morning workouts and is realistically spotted for a good effort first crack out of the box at 8-1 on the morning line. Handy Dandy was far back against Corniche in the fastest maiden sprint of the year, displaying some early speed before packing it in. He’ll stick a whole lot better at this level and projects to enjoy a good stalking trip outside under F. Prat. The P. Miller barn hits at a terrific 27% with a massive ROI with the second-time starter angle, another reason this son of Fury Kapcori is a “must use.”Notable Workouts:Town Boy (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02h). Grade: B-Used as a workmate for Hot Rod Charlie (6f, 1:14h, out to 7/8 pole), breaking off a few lengths in front and then proving no match late but was not asked and did okay under the circumstances, a little more than length back at the wire with splits of :24.3, :37 flat and 1:02.2. In good shape and should fire a good shot if properly spotted.View Workout VideoBig Creek (October 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4hg). Grade: B-Decent sort of gate drill while much best over an outclassed workmate, splits of :24 flat, :48 flat and 1:00.4 before coasting out six furlongs in 1:15.2, decent enough for maiden claimer in Hanson barn. Should have enough ability to act with moderate types in his upcoming debut. Worth a look in a soft spot.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:39 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-C Falls; 2-Vantastic; 8-CotopaxiForecast: Vantastic turns back from a mile after a clever score vs. starter’s allowance foes at Del Mar when equaling his career top speed figure. The son of Vronsky has run well down the hill in the past and has speed figures that make him a strong fit in this first-level allowance event. We’re expecting this P. Eurton-trained gelding to be rolling in the final furlong. Catopaxi also shows the route-to-sprint angle and he was victorious the last time he ran short in an allowance race in England over an all-weather surface. He’s a non-winner since being imported to the States but all of his races on this side of the pond have been over a distance of ground. Perhaps he prefers to sprint? C Falls draws the disadvantageous rail post position, but he prefers to show speed and may find himself on or near the lead if he’s sent hard from the bell. A winner of two races from three career outings over the Santa Anita lawn, the son of Shackleford is yet another shortening from a router and in his present form is worth including on your ticket.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 10: Post: 5:10 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Subconscious; 4-Hudson Ridge; 8-Rock Your WorldForecast: Though he hasn’t yet figured out how to consistently change leads, Subconscious improves with every outing and has proven to be a versatile sort that can win on the lead or from off the pace. He’s fast on figures, continues to train very well and appears ready for another forward move for R. Mandella. He’s 6-1 on the morning line in this year’s edition of the Twilight Derby-G2 and is worth a gamble at that price. Rock Your World returns to what we believe is his preferred surface – grass – and adds blinkers for the first time after finishing a strong second to Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1-bound Medina Spirit in the Shared Belief S. at Del Mar in late August. A stakes winner over the lawn last winter that preceded his victory in the Santa Anita Derby-G1, the son of Candy Ride should be prominent throughout and have every chance to regain his winning form. Hudson Ridge had a rough trip as the favorite in the Del Mar Derby-G2 and wound up ninth, beaten less than four lengths. The son of American Pharoah is better than that, and with F. Prat riding him back the B. Baffert-trained colt can be dangerous over the same course and distance that saw him win the Cinema S. last spring.Notable Workouts:Subconscious (October 18, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: BIn blinkers, ridden some but did well from the half mile pole to the 7/8 pole with splits of :22.4, :47 flat and 1:00 flat. In good shape, better on turf than dirt, gets tested for class next time.View Workout VideoHudson Ridge (October 27, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h TT). Grade: B+Breezed through the lane with power in solo training track drill, final three furlongs in :12.2 and :36 flat, quite sharp. Better than his last (troubled) race shows, can bounce back.View Workout VideoRock Your World (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01h). Grade: B-Inside Dubby Dubbie (same time), ridden through the lane to be head-and-head, splits of :23.1 and :48.4 from the half mile pole to the wire. Not terribly exciting, still think he’s much more comfortable on grass than dirt.View Workout Video

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10.31.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 5 Ticket at Golden Gate Fields | Sunday, October 31

It’s a good day to go hunting for a Pick 5, and Golden Gate Fields looks like the perfect place for it this Sunday.The sequence begins with 7th and ends with the 11th, and it starts off with a short, but select field of California-bred or California-sired sprinters in the $75,000 El Dorado Shooter Stakes.Only five runners are in it, and each has a good chance at it. The trio of Top Harbor, In Our A, and War Games are represented on the suggested Pick 5 ticket, which amounts to $54.Here’s a look the top selections and others used on the ticket:7th Race (6:15 p.m. ET, El Dorado Shooter S.)TOP HARBOR is no stranger to the world of stakes races, and for him, it doesn’t matter if it’s a wide-open event or one restricted to state-bred or state-sired company.He gets the latter today, and either of his last two races would make him very difficult for others to handle handle. Has responded to veteran reinsman Frank Alvarado and can track a fast pace. Could get an ideal setup.Also on the ticket: IN OUR A, WAR GAMES.8th Race (6:45 p.m. ET, maidens)LEMON DROP SHOT was a solid second here two races back and most recently was second at Los Alamitos. He turns back to 5.5 furlongs, and he’s already shown he can be a contender at this distance.Has two seconds in two trips over this Tapeta and is in a good spot for graduation from the maiden ranks.Also on the ticket: LUCAS MCCAIN, BRAZENLY.9th Race (7:15 p.m. ET, allowance)DYNASTY OF HER OWN is back to where she does her best.She tried Fresno last out but finished seventh after prompting the pace. She’s back home, where she is a perfect 7 for 7 over the Tapeta. Her last win came two back, when she set the pace and was all out for a narrow allowance win.There are others with good credentials and are usable, but the unblemished local main track record gives her an edge.Also on the ticket: DAFFODIL SWEET, NORTHWEST FACTOR.10th Race (7:45 p.m. ET, allowance)MADDIE’S MOJITO is lightly raced but has easy wins in two of her four races. The first came against at Santa Anita, and she had no problems in switching to Golden Gate as she was a sharp winner in 1:09 4-5 and was three lengths ahead at the end.Catalino Martinez was aboard last out and keeps the engagement, and this one is back to tougher company after the score vs. claimers.Also on the ticket: CHIEFTAIN’S LADY.11th Race (8:15 p.m. ET, claiming)TEMBO broke his maiden over the Del Mar turf last year and took 10 months off before resurfacing there. She ran fifth at Del Mar, and then was eighth at Santa Anita in his most recently try.He can improve in his third start off the layoff and is well spotted in this one. Has a good closing move and could be too much for them to handle late in this contest.Also on the ticket: MOUNT PELLIAR.Golden Gate Fields 50-cent Late Pick 5: Race 7) #1 Top Harbor, #4 In Our A, #5 War Games. Race 8) #4 Lemon Drop Shot, #5 Lucas McCain, #7 Brazenly. Race 9) #1 Daffodil Sweet, #3 Northwest Factor, #4 Dynasty of Her Own. Race 10) #3 Maddie’s Mojito, #10 Chieftain’s Lady. Race 11) #3 Tembo, #8 Mount Pelliar. Total Ticket Cost) 1,4,5/4,5,7/1,3,4/3,10/3,8 = $54 for $0.50

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10.30.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Saturday, October 30

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Mucho Unusual; 5-She’s Our CharmForecast: Mucho Unusual exits a series of six graded stakes to return to this second-level allowance event following a five month vacation and if she’s anywhere near fit the daughter of Mucho Macho Man should simply outclass this group. The work tab indicates that trainer T. Yakteen has given her a solid foundation that should have her tight enough and from her inside draw the California-bred five-year-old mare projects to enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip either on the lead or from a pace-stalking position. She’s listed at 9/5 on the morning line and probably will go lower. She’s Our Charm is worth using as a back-up or a saver in rolling exotic play. The victim of a nightmarish trip in a similar affair at Del Mar in mid-August, the R. McAnally-trained daughter of Empire Maker is reunited with “win rider” J. J. Hernandez and shows a close third place finish behind our top pick over this course and distance in the Robert J. Frankel S.-G3 last December.Notable Workouts:Mucho Unusual (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h). Grade: B-Breezing and looking fine while best over Big Bell (5f, 1:01.1h) for T. Yakteen, breaking off a length behind and finishing a length in front at the wire while going much slower than given, splits of :24.2, :36.2 and 1:02 flat on our watches before galloping out six furlongs to the 7/8 pole in 1:15 flat. Nothing flashing for grass specialist, just doing what was asked of her. Should return as good as she left.View Workout VideoShe’s Our Charm (October 16, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:12.2h). Grade: B-Can’t really confirm official final time (may have gone slower) as she came the final three furlongs on our watches in :12 flat and :37.4, never really asked through the lane looking decent enough for R. McAnally. Grass specialist had rugged trip last time out and can do better.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: XSingle: 4-SmileformeForecast: Smileforme returns to his winning level and looks every bit the 8/5 favorite that he’s listed on the morning line. A distant second in a fast, highly-rated sprint behind next-out winner California Street earlier this month, the J. Wong-trained gelding equaled his career top number in that race and nothing more will be needed to handle this easier assignment. We’ll make him a short-price rolling exotic single but otherwise sit it out.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Thrilling; 6-TrouvilleForecast: Thrilling flashed good speed but weakened late when sixth of seven (beaten less than three lengths) in the Unzip S. earlier this month. She returns in a much more realistic spot in this first-level allowance affair and seems the solid choice over a course she broke her maiden on last spring. In a field lacking quickness, we’re expecting the M. McCarthy-trained daughter of Uncle Mo to be the controlling speed. Trouville looked good winning a two-turn main track starter’s allowance affair at Los Alamitos with a career top speed figure last time out but has prior form that indicates she can be just as effective sprinting on grass. Winless in five outings over the local lawn but in the frame in four of those races, the L. Powell-trained daughter of Will Take Charge should be doing her best work late. Preference on top goes to Thrilling but we’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:01 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Let’sgetlucky; 2-First Prez; 5-Principe Carlo; 6-NichirenForecast: Truthfully, any one of the six entrants in this state-bred entry-level allowance sprint can win and the safest way to survive and advance is simply to buy the race. We’ll go four-deep while slightly preferring Nichiren on top. Drawn comfortably outside and therefore guaranteed a comfortable pace-prompting trip, the M. Glatt-trained gelding shows a strong, healthy work tab for his first outing in nearly two months and appears to have plenty of room for further improvement. First Prez, listed at 5-1 on the morning line, has a legitimate look even though both of his career victories were accomplished on grass. The son of First Dude may be as quick as anything in the field and if he can shake loose early he might get brave late. Let’sgetlucky, third as the 4/5 favorite in the same race Nichiren exits, can fire fresh, as indicated by his debut maiden win over this track and distance earlier this year. Principe Carlo protected in his first start following a $20,000 claim more than a year ago, has back numbers that make him dangerous and a work tab at Los Alamitos that might be better than the final times would indicate.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Fly the Sky; 6-Elusive Treat; 8-Uncle AddoumaForecast: This downhill turf sprint is another wide open affair that offers several possibilities. Elusive Treat was a closing second in a fast, highly-rated race in his U.S. debut and with any kind of forward move today the English-bred gelding should be capable of producing a winning late kick. The J. Mullins-trained sophomore was a decent handicapper overseas while racing primarily on synthetic but based on the positive impression he provided earlier this month we’re expecting him to be quite useful on this circuit. Fly the Sky is a two-time winner on grass over the flat course and as a proven late-running turf sprinter should thoroughly enjoy this unique layout. He’s reunited with “win rider” U. Rispoli and most likely will be heard from in the final furlong. Uncle Addouma has the route-to-sprint angle that has proven to be quite effective with down-the-hill types and in fact this son of Uncle Mo might be more effective sprinting than routing based on his sharp one-turn maiden score over the local lawn during the spring. He’s a fit on numbers and shows a healthy recent series of workouts for M. McCarthy. Toss him in at 8-1 on the morning line.Notable WorkoutsUncle Addouma (October 14, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.1h). Grade: B-Ridden a bit through the lane in solo half mile main track drill, splits of :23.4 and :48.1, solid drill for grass specialist in M. McCarthy. Maintains his form, may appreciate a turn back in trip.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-I’m the Boss of Me; 7-Brilliant CutForecast: I’m the Boss of Me is the quickest filly in this starter’s optional claiming field but other than her runaway 11-length maiden win at Los Alamitos four races back she’s always been suspect under pressure in the final furlong. She’s turning back from a route for trainer P. Miller and switches to F. Prat, so if he can shake loose early she may be able to roll all the way to the wire. For protection, we’ll also include Brilliant Cut, who projects to be in an ideal stalking position outside and then be ready to pounce should our top pick shortens stride when it matters. The D. O’Neill-trained filly is quite fast based on grass speed figures but something less than that on dirt. At 6/5 on the morning line she won’t offer much wagering value but can be considered a “must use” in rolling exotic play.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 3:37 PT Grade: B+Single: 2-Head StartForecast: Head Start showed a bit of ability in a pair of maiden sprints at Indiana Downs last summer, her best effort coming in her debut in a dirt dash in which she finished a solid runner-up after pressing the pace throughout. A subsequent grass sprint when leaving as the 6/5 favorite was disappointing, so she shows up in California for new trainer M. Glatt in a $50,000 maiden claimer that looks modest at best. A recent gate workout (4f, :47.3hg) was visually pleasing, so let’s go with the daughter of Upstart on top in the win pool and in rolling exotic play and hope to get close to her morning line of 5/2.Notable Workouts:Head Start (October 24, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.3hg). Grade: BWent nicely in solo half mile gate drill for M. Glatt, splits of :24 flat, :35.3 and :47.4 on our watches, never asked much, mostly on her own. Arrives from the Midwest in good shape and trains like a better type than her form might indicate.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:08 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Burgoo Alley; 7-Spanish Loveaffair; 8-Zero ToleranceForecast: Zero Tolerance is improving with racing and was especially impressive winning the listed Unzip Me S. sprinting on grass earlier this month, her second victory from three career starts (she was nosed out in her debut). The P. Miller-trained daughter of Mizzen Mast tries two-turns for the first time and on pedigree should get the trip, though from her outside draw she’ll need to get over and secure a decent early position to avoid losing ground. We’ll gamble that she’ll be able to duplicate her strong sprint form around two turns. New York invader Spanish Loveaffair was 30-1 when she defeated an excellent field of sophomore fillies in the Pebbles S. at Belmont Park in mid-September. She has an effective pace-stalking style, much prefers firm ground, and has been here almost a month while preparing for this engagement. Burgoo Alley, a close third behind Zero Tolerance last time out, stretches out to a mile and was a clever winner at this trip two runs back. She’ll be prominent throughout and have every chance from the quarter pole home.Notable Workouts:Burgoo Alley (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.3h TT). Grade: B+Sharp as a tack in solo five furlong training track drill for P. D’Amato, splits of :35.3 and :59.3, plenty left in the tank while strictly on her own. On top of her game.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 4:40 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Creative Peak; 3-Moose MitchellForecast: The two main contenders in this maiden special weight sprint for California-bred juveniles exit the same race on October 9, with Moose Mitchell, who finished second in that race when beaten almost five lengths, listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite while Creative Peak, a weakening third (beaten six lengths) priced at 5/2. We’re expecting the winner to be one or the other while actually preferring ‘Peak on top. The son of Creative Cause adds blinkers and may be a tad quicker of the two, so if he can leave cleanly from the rail the V. Cerin-trained colt may be able to lead throughout . ‘Mitchell likely will draft into a stalking position and then have his chance to go on by when the pressure is turned on. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 10: Post: 5:10 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Blossoming; 3-Travel Smart; 5-French Franc; 10-Set the ToneForecast: The nightcap is a chaotic maiden claiming turf miler for juvenile fillies. Anything goes, so we’ll spread hoping to get a decent price home. Travel Smart had an outing sprinting on dirt vs. maiden special weight foes at Del Mar in July and returns facing a significantly weaker competition under completely different conditions. The daughter of Gormley has the pedigree to enjoy this two-turn trip, attracts F. Prat, and shows a work tab at San Luis Rey downs that should have her sufficiently fit for this distance. French Franc wasn’t knocked about when a non-threatening ninth (beaten seven lengths) while facing much tougher straight maiden types over this course and distance earlier this month. We expect she’ll be much more serious today with this dramatic drop in class. She’s a fit on numbers and may have found her friends. Blossoming is another showing the straight maiden to maiden-claiming class drop angle, and in her second start and switching to U. Rispoli the P. Gallagher-trained filly seems very likely to improve. She’s bred to run long on the lawn, gets a good break in the weights, and projects to enjoy a comfortable second flight, ground-saving trip. We’ll also include the first-off-the-claim play Set the Tone, now in the B. Hess barn and the top figure filly in the race following her runner-up effort for maiden $30,000 (while 13 lengths clear of the rest) at Los Alamitos last month. She’s poorly drawn in the 10-hole but has the pedigree to move up on the sod and makes a favorable rider switch to D. Van Dyke.

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10.30.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Breeders Crown Early Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, October 30

This is Breeders Crown Day at the Meadowlands with the first post coming at 12:00 EST. The Breeders Crown Finals are carded in races 4-11. The 0.50 Early Pick 4 starts in Race 6. The sequence will have a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.Don't forget to register for the money back promo on all Breeders Crown races today. Get back up to $10 on win bets when your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd. Refunds are for win bets only, $10 limit per race.Race 6-BC-3-year-old colt & geldings pace-Purse $600,0001-Southwind Gendry (5-1)-Burke trainee has struggled for a good portion of the year but comes off 3 straight sharp efforts which hasn't happened in a long time. Should be a solid price so best to take notice.2-Charlie May (3-1)-McCardle gelding has a giant heart and has won 9 of 18 this year. This will be the 2nd consecutive race on Lasix after returning from Lexington. Comes off a nice win and could be even better tonight. Brett Miller should have Charlie in play at the top of the lane.5-Perfect Sting (5/2)-This colt is as consistent as they come and has banked over $973,000 in 2021 but #2 has had his number. Should be right there at the wire in what could be a great race.Race 7-BC-3-year-old filly trot-Purse $600,0003-Bella Bellini (9/5)-Took the long way around in the elimination, was bet down to 3/5 and wouldn't be denied. Bella is the queen of this class, hasn't been worse than 2nd in 15 of 16 races and has 9 wins. She has had a great year and Dunn will do his part to end on a high note.5-Altar (3-1)-Gingras got the nod from Takter last week and did what he does. Scored an impressive victory after taking control early and not looking back. Has high end speed and likes to be in control, appears to have the best chance of an upset if the trip is to her liking.Race 8-BC-3-year-old colts & gelding trot-Purse $600,0002-Ambassador Hanover (4-1)-Comes off a confident win and has hit the board in 4 of 6 at the Big M with 2 trips to the winner's circle. Svanstedt should have this colt dialed on high for another big try.4-Cuatro De Julio (9/2)-Comes off a nice win and has hit the board in 6 of 7 at M1 with 2 pictures. Rolled the back half in 55.2, draws well again and best to not overlook.6-Jujubee (2-1)-Trainer Greg Wright Jr commented his colt wasn't at his best last week as the track was deep. Lost by a neck after winning 7 in a row, so not a big deal. There could be a shoeing change coming and could start a new streak here.Race 9-BC-3-year-olds & up fillies & mares pace-Purse $600,0001-Rocknificent (3-1)-This is a very fine mare and if it weren't for Lyons Sentinel she would have taken many more pictures. As it stands, she has banked almost $1 million and appears to be at the top of her game right now.2-Peaky Sneaky (5-1)-Just missed last week in a fast mile and that was her 1st race on Lasix since 9-25. Draws well, Dunn should have her in play from the start and might be better in the 2nd consecutive Lasix start.3-Lyons Sentinel (5/2)-Had an 8-race win streak snapped last week finishing a close 3rd off a rough trip from post 7. That streak went from the beginning of July to the start of October and not many can stay that good for so long. Tetrick will make the most of this post draw and this winner of over $1.8 million is the one to beat.My Ticket Race 6) 1,2,5 Race 7) 3,5 Race 8) 2,4,6 Race 9) 1,2,3Total Ticket Cost) = $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.29.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Breeders Crown Early Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, October 29

Tonight, top two-year-olds are the headliners in the Breeders Crown Finals at the Meadowlands. The 0.50 Early Pick 4 starts in Race 6 and each leg is a $600,000 Final. The sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.The weather is likely to be an issue. Rain and gusty winds are expected so an off-track was taken into consideration for the selections below.Don't forget there will be a Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout in the final race at the Meadows this afternoon.Race 6-BC-2-year-old colt trot-Purse $600,0001-Cool Papa Bell (15-1)-Will take a swing for a price with a freshman that usually is in the hunt and drew off in the only start on an-off track. Sears should keep him in play and has hit the board in 7 of 8.3-Branded By Lindy (9/5)-This morning line chalk has looked the part winning 8 of the last 9. Should be tough with a smooth trip. Has won 3 of 3 on an off-track and is 1 for 1 at the Big M.6-Double Deceiver (6-1)-A David Miller usual drive, which comes off a solid elimination race in which he finished well and didn't use up much gas, is one to circle. Has hit the board in 8 of 9 and should be a good price.Race 7-BC-2-year-old filly pace-Purse $600,0004-Teeacherous Dragon (10-1)-Pellling trainee has only 6 starts this year, the least in the field, was rested and raced well last week. The last line is better than it looks as the post 10 starting slot didn't help the cause. Best to respect and the price should be right.5-Queen Of Success (4-1)-Alagna pupil pulled off an upset last week and won't be 23-1 tonight but Niki Hill won't be 2/5 either. Regardless of not being a juicy price this time there is no reason to discount chances of an encore.7-Niki Hill (2-1)-Lost for the 1st time in the elimination but did pace the back half in .54 and this is the race that matters. It would be no surprise if a new winning streak starts tonight.Race 8-BC-2-year-old filly trot-Purse $600,0002-Selfie Queen (10-1)-May not be at quite the same level as the 2 below since breaking on 9-29 in the Mohawk Million. But draws well and likes to be on the engine or close to the top. Zeron knows well and he can win a big race. Has banked more money than anyone except #10 and could trip out at a price.3-Lilbitalexis (5/2)-Made the most of an efficient trip to roll by #2 down the lane last week. Dunn could work that same trip again.5-Raised By Lindy (3-1)-Gingras got on the engine in the elimination, went to the half in 58.3 which led the way to a picture. That same script has little chance of working this time but should be in the hunt at the wire anyway.Race 9-BC-2-year-old colts & gelding pace-Purse $600,0002-Monte Miki (7/2)-Held off the odds-on chalk in last, now has won 5 of 6 and has never missed the board. This Evers pupil is versatile and Zeron has options from this post, best to not overlook.3-Pebble Beach (3-1)-This colt is another who can win on the point or coming off cover. Has won 7 of the last 9 and hasn't finished worse than 2nd on a 1 mile over. Form is razor sharp, TMac should work a smooth trip and be in striking range turning for the money.4-Six Feet Apart (9/2)-Dave Miller had the choice of 3 Brown trainees and landed here. Took down Beach Glass, the big chalk last week and might be peaking at the right time.My Ticket Race 6) 1,3,6 Race 7) 4,5,7 Race 8) 2,3,5 Race 9) 2,3,4Total Ticket Cost) = $40.50 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.29.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: National Stakes Races | Saturday, October 30

We’ve got another big Saturday of intriguing stakes races across the nation. To assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Gulfstream Park // Race 6 // 3:30 pm ET // $60,000 Brethren Juvenile Fillies // 1 mile and 70 yards (Tapeta)#3 Lemieux (7-5) // 33%W#4 Fish Mooney (4-1) // 16%W#6 Brittiz (9-2) // 14%W#1 Yes I’m Spiteful (8-1) // 14%WGulfstream Park // Race 8 // 4:34 pm ET // $60,000 Ocala Stud Juvenile Sprint // 7 furlongs#1 Make It Big (8-5) // 35%W#3 Clapton (12-1) // 21%W#4 The Green Crusader (6-1) // 14%W#2 Just Leo (3-1) // 12%WKeeneland // Race 9 // 5:16 pm ET // Grade 2 $200,000 Fayette // 1-1/8 miles#7 Code of Honor (3-1) // 32%W#1 Sleepy Eyes Todd (3-1) // 17%W#4 Night Ops (6-1) // 15%W#5 Independence Hall (5-2) // 11%WGolden Gate Fields // Race 7 // 6:52 pm ET // $75,000 Pike Place Dancer // 1 mile (turf)#3 Wishing On a Star (9-5) // 34%W#1 Code Ribbon (2-1) // 21%W#4 Sen Sen (8-1) // 14%W#5 Irish Wahine (9-2) // 12%WSanta Anita // Race 8 // 7:08 pm ET // Grade 3 $100,000 Autumn Miss // 1 mile (turf)#6 Madone (7-2) // 22%W#7 Spanish Loveaffair (7-2) // 17%W#4 Javanica (8-1) // 17%W#8 Zero Tolerance (3-1) // 14%W

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10.29.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | October 29, 2021

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Grit and Curiosity; 4-Fight OnForecast: The Friday opener is a $40,000 claiming turf sprint for older horses that offers two main contenders. Grit and Curiosity is a first-off-the-claim play for a stable that has superior stats with this angle, and after being freshened since late August the J. Mullins-trained gelding should be primed for a major over a course he’s run well over in the past. With the switch to one of the barn’s “go to” riders (T. Pereira), the son of Macho Uno projects to settle behind the leaders and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Fight On has been off his best form of late but this class drop from the first-level allowance optional claiming ranks gives him a strong reason to improve. The M. Maker-trained son of Into Mischief is a strong fit on speed figures and with some help up front projects as the most dangerous of the deep closing types. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the edge on top to Grit and Curiosity.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-Bronn; 4-Scary Fast Smile; 5-Herd ImmunityForecast: This restricted (nw-3) starter’s allowance main track sprint drew just five entrants. We’ll pass the race and go-three deep in our rolling exotics. Herd Immunity lost his best chance at the tart in a $50,000 claimer earlier this month and did well to stay on through the lane to secure second money while earning a career top speed figure. From his cozy outside draw and with a clean start the P. Aguirre-trained gelding projects to enjoy a soft stalking trip and have every chance to regain his winning form. Scary Fast Smile, freshened since mid-August, looks like the potential controlling speed and given that type of trip the M. Glatt-trained gelding could be hard to catch. He’s quite fast enough on speed figures to wire the field off his best effort and he’s never been off the board with two wins in five career starts over the local main track. Recent sharp works give strong indication that he’s spot on for a top effort. Bronn has been away since last December and returns protected in a sign of confidence. The B. Baffert-trained colt is a first-time gelding with a strong recent work tab and could be a better type this time around.Notable Workouts:Bronn (October 22, 6f, Santa Anita, 1:12.2h). Grade: BStrong solo main track drill for the B. Baffert-trained gelding, mostly on his own while coming from the half mile pole to the 7/8ths pole with splits of :23.3, :48 flat and 1:00.1 on our watches, mild coaxing only in the final stages. Looks a bit better now than last year, has been away since December but seems plenty fit and has starter’s allowance conditions.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:02 PT Grade: BUse: 4-No Hang Charlie; 5-Primer DimerForecast: No Hang Charlie finished far back in is debut sprinting on the main track at Del Mar in early August vs. tougher foes but over a distance of ground today the R. Baltas-trained sophomore seems very likely to produce a significant forward move in this bottom-rung maiden claimer for older horses. K. Frey stays aboard, and with a sharp series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs for a clever outfit the son of Oxbow likely will employ gate-to-wire tactics. Primer Dimer, a non-threatening fifth in a similar affair at Del Mar last month, removes blinkers, regains G. Franco, and is another that is quite likely to improve a bunch after breaking slowly and racing wide in his debut. If the son of Haynesfield can run at all, this would be an ideal spot to show it. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics with the main gamble going to No Hang Charlie.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: XUse: 1-Park Avenue; 2-Dream of JeanneForecast: Park Avenue was a bit disappointing when a well-beaten second as the 7/5 favorite in a similar maiden main track miler for fillies and mares at Del Mar last month but the J. Sadler-trained daughter of Quality Road lands an ideal spot to make amends in a shallow affair that drew just a field of five. From her rail post under F. Part she’ll most likely employ gate to wire tactics. Dream of Jeanne, fourth in her debut in the same race our top pick exits, wound up three lengths behind ‘Avenue but with that bit of experience behind her as every right to step forward and pose a threat. The J. Shirriffs barn showed good stats with the second-time starter angle, and with the addition of blinkers and with V. Espinoza riding her back the daughter of American Pharoah looks like the one to fear most. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:Park Avenue (October 17, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01h). Grade: BWas far off the rail while breezing throughout to be even but best with older stable mate Southern Horse (same time) for J. Sadler, plenty left late, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.3. Has shown a tendency to lose her steam in the final furlong of her races so far but appears to be improving on that front based on recent workouts and could be set for a career top effort vs. older maiden fillies and mares.View Workout VideoDream of Jeanne (October 18, Santa Anita, 4f, :50.4h). Grade: C+No blinkers (scheduled to add them in next race) but apparently needs the hood based on this half mile drill. Was pulling early and getting out most of the way (similar to her debut) while hard held, splits of :24.3 and :50.4 on our watches. Daughter of American Pharoah has plenty of natural ability but needs to figure things about. Perhaps the addition of blinkers will help her focus.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:05 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Sauls Call; 6-TizlightningForecast: Trainer S. Miyadi holds the aces in this starter optional claiming turf sprint for juveniles, with Sauls Call the likely choice and one to beat event though he just failed at 40 cents on the dollar in a similar affair on the main track three weeks ago. The son of Stay Thirsty had a terrific training track workout since raced, and most horses that breeze well on that surface like grass, so this juvenile gelding should, too. He looks like the controlling speed and will take some catching if he shakes loose early without pressure. Tizlightning won at first asking in good style with a number that compares favorable with Sauls Call and if he can produce any kind of forward move the son of Stanford could be a threat right back. Drawn comfortably outside, he projects to enjoy a soft stalking trip, though it must be noted that K. Frey, who was aboard in his debut win, jumps off to ride Sauls Call.Notable Workouts:Sauls Call (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.3h TT). Grade: A-Terrific work, best we’ve ever seen him look in solo five-furlong training track drill, breezing to the top in :23.3 and :36.1 before finishing strongly down the lane without undue pressure, up in :59.3, something left late. Good mover should handle the turf if asked (most good workers on the training track do). Juvenile colt has starter’s allowance conditions.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:34 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Convince; 4-Perfect Ice Storm; 5-Lady RobinForecast: We’ll spread three-deep in this $12,500 claiming main track miler for older fillies and mares but otherwise sit it out. Bay Area shipper Convince is a first-off-the-claim play for J. Wong (as massive 33% with this angle) and gets a huge break in the weights with the switch to good bug boy D. Herrera while showing speed figures that make her a solid fit against this group despite the two level raise in class. Drawn comfortably inside, the daughter of Liaison has a good stalking style and a prior win over the Santa Anita main track, so we’re expecting a major effort from the veteran six-year-old mare. Perfect Ice Storm and Lady Robin also are making their first starts for new connections and could produce a forward move as well. The former, a two-time winner over this track and with back speed figures that are good enough to win at this level, was a beaten choice for $10,000 when a distance second last time out but should enjoy an ideal stalking trip in a race that projects to have very soft early splits. The latter, in the frame in 12 of 18 career starts, is an honest sort that seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics. If not respected, the P. Aguirre-trained filly could take this field a very long way.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:02 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Bold Voyager; 3-Harbor SkyForecast: Harbor Skye is lightly-raced with improving form and rising speed figures for the hot D. O’Neill outfit, and after a sharp maiden $20,000 victory over this track and distance three weeks ago the son of Majestic Harbor looks well-spotted to win right back in this restricted (nw-2) S16,000 seller. Based on our pace projection he’ll likely settle in an ideal stalking position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Bold Voyager returns to dirt, takes a realistic class drop and is solid in the speed figure department. The S. Knapp-trained gelding should be prominent throughout and will be quite dangerous with a repeat of his maiden claiming win two races back.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:29 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-Liberal; 6-Luck of the Draw; 8-Irish Heatwave; 9-Fly to MarsForecast: Any one of the five listed above can win this starter’s allowance turf miler with their best effort, so we’ll pass the race other than to spread heavily in rolling exotic play. Fly to Mars may deserve a very slight edge on top, but with some reservations. We’re not crazy about the extreme outside draw with the rail at 30 feet, so F. Prat will have to work out a trip, but if he can mange to drop over, tuck in, get some cover and produce him late this veteran son of Ministers Wild Cat can regain his winning form. Irish Heatwave lost a toughie when worn down late in a $32,000 claimer at Del Mar last month and today goes for new connections while being protected in a sign of confidence. The M. Puype-trained gelding can win on the front end but might be most effective if held up early and likely will get that type of ride from U. Rispoli. Luck of the Draw looked quite sharp winning from a lesser field on dirt here just six days ago and is wheeled back by hot trainer D. O’Neill while moving up in class and switching to turf. The quick turnaround is a bit concerning but this son of Lookin At Lucky can handle the law and just earned a career top speed figure ,so we’ll consider him dangerous and include him on our ticket. Liberal is worth tossing in somewhere as well. Twice a winner over the Santa Anita turf course and reunited with “win rider” D. Van Dyke, the P. Gallagher-trained gelding has been on the lead and fading in recent races but with patient handling today could easily return to top form at a decent price. Stage Ready is a first-off-the-claim for J. Mullins and turned in a very nice workout on the training track six days ago for his new connections. He’ll be a good price and is worth including somewhere on your ticket.Notable Workouts:Stage Ready (October 23, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h TT). Grade: BLooked quite good for new trainer J. Mullins in solo training track drill, splits of :23.3, :35.2 and 1:00.1 on our watches while holding an unidentified shorter worker (joined in at the top of the lane) at bay before galloping out with something left. Appears to have perked up following the $40,000 claim and should produce a forward move next time out.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:02 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Lilly Babe; 4-Sally Stanford; 5-Half Past TwelveForecast: The finale is a starter optional claiming sprint for juvenile fillies. Lilly Babe, undefeated in two starts with rising speed figures, looks well-spotted to continue her winning ways in a race that sets up nicely for her off-the pace style. She’ll likely get outrun again in this event but with the quick but fainted-hearted Sally Stanford ensuring a fast pace this daughter of Empire Way should have every chance to wear down the leaders in the final stages. Half Past Twelve didn’t break that well and then, after moving up to press the pace, weakened in the lane to wind up a disappointing third as the odds-on favorite vs. similar at Los Alamitos last month. She’s trained well since and has a big look if she can repeat that quality of her runaway maiden claiming score two races back. Sally Stanford will have the lead and take them as far as she can. It’s always hold-your-breath time with her in the final sixteenth of a mile but a recent training track workout was good and provides hope that she’ll finish better than she has been.Notable Workouts:Sally Stanford (October 24, Santa Anita,4f, :48h TT). Grade: B-Broke off a couple of lengths behind Miss Bellatrix (4f, :48.2h TT) and managed to prove best under mild coaxing through the lane, winding up a neck in front with splits of :24.2 and :47.4 on our watches, rather nice in the closing stages. Though she’s always been suspect under pressure in the final furlong, perhaps she’s learning to relax a bit. Will be curious to see how much improvement, if any, she displays next time out.View Workout VideoHalf Past Twelve (October 22, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h). Grade: B-In company inside Bold Choice (5f, 1:00.2h), breaking off a few lengths in front and then holding that one off by more than a length while being ridden through the lane, decent enough for S. Knapp, final half mile in :24 flat and :48.3 on our watches. Disappointed at Los Alamitos when a weakening third at 4/5 but is better than that and is worth another look in a similar starter’s allowance sprint at Santa Anita.View Workout Video

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10.28.2021:

Johnny D: Santa Anita Late Pick 4 Ticket | Saturday, October 30

Time’s running out for you to hit the Late Pick 4 at Santa Anita and to earn a share of a $2,000 Daily Bonus from Xpressbet and 1/ST BET. Just three days remain in the meet before action shifts to Del Mar next Wednesday and the Breeders’ Cup there Friday and Saturday. Last week successful registered Santa Anita Late Pick 4 players earned the following: Friday 51 winners earned $39.22 each. Saturday 75 winners collected $26.67 each.Sunday 38 winners banked $52.63 each. If you’re planning to play the Santa Anita Late Pick 4, you might as well do it with Xpressbet and 1/ST BET. Register to get in on the bonus and the difficult work is done. All you need to do then is to simply hit the wager. Wink, wink. In an effort to help account holders find the Late Pick 4 winner’s circle, we’ve analyzed the wager horse-by-horse. Hopefully, below you’ll find a smidgen of handicapping info to move your game forward. It’s great to know which runners fellow players favor but it’s even better to understand why they feel that way. Our goal below is to not only to attempt to provide you with a winning wager, but also to educate and inform players regarding angles and observations we’ve come to appreciate over decades of handicapping. And don’t discount what your own handicapping unveils. Mixing and matching thoughts is a great way to create a ticket that combines points of view. No one handicapper or bettor dominates this game. It’s way too challenging a past time. Some do it more often and better than others, and you want to join that club. RACE 7 // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)   #1 Beachgrass drops Maiden Allowance to Maiden $50k, moves from turf to dirt and cuts back from three routes to a sprint. A close second last out with a late kick going one mile on turf at Golden Gate has connections immediately willing to part ways with this $50k purchase. Desormeaux brothers ride and train. A hot pace and some improvement would help a late run. #2 Head Start makes a first local appearance for trainer Glatt off a couple of Maiden allowance tries (one good, one bad) at Indiana Downs for Brad Cox. Good news is that the poor effort was on turf and the good one was on dirt. Current trainer has strong numbers with horses starting for the first time in his care at 26%. Note that this filly was favored in both previous starts. #3 Big Mama Thornton is a Nick Alexander homebred with a limited work tab for 21% first time out trainer Steve Miyadi. Miyadi works ‘em slowly in the AM but we need to see a bit more on the paper before we back her. Since this is the first leg of the Pick 4 a check of the tote board might help evaluate this one. #4 Awesome Taylor has a few nice five furlong works along with a six furlong move at San Luis Rey—home base for trainer Peter Miller. Issue is that there’s a suspicious 22 day work gap that may or may not be important. We don’t like to see that. Bug Ellingwood rides. #5 Sangre Azul made one start for Maiden $32k and it was a recent OK third. The step up in class is not one of our favorite moves. She was 13-1 in that race and closed some ground to be third, nearly 4 lengths back. #6 Kobe in Motion is the most interesting runner in the field. She’s a first-time starter from the Pete Eurton barn with two interesting five-furlong gate drills in 1:00 4/5 and 1:00 1/5. While the trainer’s not known for winning first time out (2%), he appears to have this homebred in the right spot drawn one from the outside. #7 Talkative Gal is the most experienced in the field and that’s both a positive and negative. She’s raced at levels from Maiden $50k to Maiden Allowance and been short and long. Her two best races came sprinting at Los Alamitos—at this level and in Maiden Allowance company. She’s got an even running style that should have her around at the finish. BEST: #6NEXT MOST POSSIBLE: #2, #7 RACE 8 // G3 AUTUMN MISS STAKES // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 Eddie’s New Dream is a red-hot Cal bred with back-to-back wins—one at a mile on dirt and the other going one mile and one-eighth on turf. She’s been improving with each season and has been first or second in 6 of 8 starts. The competition in here is deeper than what she’s faced but she’s in solid form. #2 Freedom Flyer is one of trainer Callaghan’s two runners in here. She’s been away since beating three in the Gr. 2 San Clemente in July. She’s just 2 of 11 overall and would need to run her very best to impact this race. #3 Burgoo Alley has been a steady performer since arriving in this country from Ireland. She broke maiden, was second in an allowance race before winning one next out and finished a troubled close third in the Unzip Me won by #8 Zero Tolerance. She’s been favored in three of her last four starts. A nice :59 4/5 five furlong Santa Anita training track move suggests she’s still doing well. #4 Javanica, Gr. 3 placed, set some slow route paces in her last two races—one of which she won, and in the other, the Gr. 1 Del Mar Oaks, she faded. She’s not been big on winning with just 2 scores in 10 starts, but she has 4 runner-up finishes. She probably will not be on the early lead in here and will try to close from just off the pace.  #5 Ego Trip is still a maiden but is Gr. 2 placed—third last out in the Gr. 2 Lake Placid at Saratoga. Why ship a maiden across country to run in a stakes race? Because it’s an attractive Gr. 3 event against fellow 3-year-olds and winning a race like this would greatly increase her value. It would be easy to dismiss a maiden in a graded stakes race (we routinely do it) but this one has a hint of talent. In just three starts, she’s shown ability. There could be more in the tank…but we’ll probably still pass on her. #6 Madone, trainer Callaghan’s other runner in here, returns to California after a ship to Belmont for the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational at Belmont. That race was one mile and three-eighths and she beat just one. This filly began her career by winning four of her first 5 starts—only loss coming in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. She also won the Gr. 2 San Clemente at Del Mar. Her late-running style fits perfectly at the mile distance where she’s 5 for 6! It also should be noted that she runs well off short layoffs, like the one she’s just had. We just wish track announcers would properly pronounce her name. It’s Italian-American slang for ‘Madonna,’ used as an exclamation and often accompanied by an open-hand wave. For example, ‘Your filly just won the Autumn Miss? Madone!’  #7 Spanish Loveaffair ships west for this graded stakes attempt. She’s used to facing that level of company--7 of 10 lifetime races have come against graded stakes foes. She’s a Gr. 3 stakes winner at Gulfstream and just missed in the Gr. 3 Regret at Keeneland. Last out she stalked a slow pace and then kicked away to win a $150k stakes race. She’ll encounter a quicker early pace than she’s used to in the Autumn Days so it’s fair to wonder if she’ll have the same kick.    #8 Zero Tolerance has 2 wins out of 3 starts, improving Beyer figs that fit, a recent good stakes race over the surface and the circuit’s top jock and trainer combinations. She’ll be stretching out to one mile today, but the six and one-half downhill course where she won her most recent race plays like a one-mile distance. The outside post shouldn’t be a problem because she has enough early speed to get to or near the front and save ground. #3 Burgoo Alley appears as the only other real early speed in here. ONE TO BEAT: #8 CHANCES: #1, #3, #7 RACE 9 // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Creative Peak has speed and adds blinkers. He was a well-beaten third last out after showing speed from the rail. Rispoli returns in the saddle and he’s 23% with trainer Cerin. #2 Tribal Dancing returns off a one-mile turf effort where he showed speed and faded. He also showed speed in a five and one-half furlong dirt sprint at Maiden $50k level, so he should be near the early pace.  #3 Moose Mitchell is another drawn inside with early speed. He and #1 Creative Peak battled early last out and figure to do so again. ‘Moose, who stumbled at the start, got the better of ‘Peak to finish second. Apprentice Herrera rides back with a 7-pound weight break. This colt has improved with each race for trainer Papaprodromou and the colt’s last race Beyer fig is best in the field. He has stakes experience from a fourth in the I’m Smokin at Del Mar.  #4 Mr Bug Z had a poor effort first out at a big price at this level. #5 Grazen in the Park is one of two in here for trainer D’Amato. He was off ‘very slow’ first time out at nearly 10-1. D’Amato is 21% second time out and is 29% with jockey Gonzalez, so this one has some stats in his favor. Blinkers go on and D’Amato is a solid 17% with the move. All considered, this one should improve markedly. #6 Star Entry is one of two for low-profile trainer Periban. This first-time starter has a steady work pattern, every six or seven days with several five-furlong moves. The trainer is 11% first time out. #7 Straight Up Lov is the other Periban first-time starter in here and he seems to be the better of the two. He has a similar six to seven-day work pattern with five and six furlong moves. Jockey Baze is up here and he’s a respectable 17% with the trainer. #8 Jack Sixpack is the other D’Amato in here, a first-time starter with a series of Los Alamitos works and one important five-furlong gate move at Santa Anita. The trainer is most effective with second-time starters but this Nick Alexander home bred might be OK in a lackluster field. He may have speed and the outside draw is helpful. BEST SO FAR: #3SHOULD IMPROVE: #5, #8 RACE 10 // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 I’m a Giraffe is one of two Peter Miller runners in here. She’s trying turf and two turns for the first time off a quartet of previous starts—three for a claiming tag. She loses the services of top jock Prat but has speed and the rail—both pluses. Joe Bravo is up. She failed as favorite in her last two starts. #2 Blossoming drops from Maiden Allowance to this $50k test. Her only start wasn’t special as she beat just one home. Interesting jock switch here to Rispoli--a high-percentage jock for trainer Gallagher. Took no money in first start and trainer is 11% with second-time starters. Other than the jock switch and class drop there’s not a lot to endorse. #3 Travel Smart is Peter Miller’s second starter and she attracts Prat from Miller’s other one. She beat just one in July in a 6-horse field first out sprinting on the main. It was an even effort behind the talented Grace Adler and the stretch out and surface switch make sense. A pair of six-furlong San Luis Rey works suggest this one will run better than before.  #4 Charlotte Harbor hasn’t fared well in four Maiden Allowance starts and takes a drop into the Maiden Claiming ranks. Desormeaux brothers call the shots. She was favored going five and one-half furlongs on synthetic at Golden Gate. #5 French Franc was second sprinting first out on turf at Gulfstream Park and a well-beaten third sprinting on turf at Del Mar. Last out she had a troubled trip going one mile on turf at Santa Anita. Her races have all been at the Maiden Allowance level. She’s taken fair money in each start and was favored in the Del Mar effort. She should be near the early pace. #6 Abhita has been well beaten in three previous starts against fellow Cal bred Maiden Allowance runners. Blinkers added last out were removed. She’s had issues with breaking slowly. #7 Malibuena stretches out and moves to turf for trainer Bob Hess off a recent poor effort. She also moves from Maiden $40k to $50k. On the positive side, jockey Maldonado has a good winning percentage with Hess at 21%. #8 K P Krypton returns off a poor effort against Maiden Allowance foes. Trainer Mullins switches to high percentage combo jock Tyler Baze. They win at 22%. No money behind this one first time out and she’d really need to turn things around second time out. #9 Macrelletta is another dropping from Maiden Allowance to Maiden $50k and she’s been well-beaten in three starts. #10 Set the Tone was claimed for $30k from a close runner-up finish at Los Alamitos. That followed a troubled, poor effort first out going one mile on turf. This race is a real scramble with several runners dropping from poor Maiden Allowance efforts to Maiden Claiming tries. There are distance and surface switches galore. A ‘spread’ approach seems most appropriate in here. OPEN PLAYERS: #1, #3, #5  REACH: #2, #10 MY PICK 4 TICKET Race 7: #2, #6, #7Race 8: #8Race 9: #3, #5, #8Race 10: #1, #2, #3, #5, #10Ticket Cost: $22.50 Race On!

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10.27.2021:

Johnny D: Pre-Entries Launch Breeders' Cup Handicapping Process | Wednesday, October 27

Horseplayers, start your engines! Or, at least sharpen your pencils. Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entries are out and we have our first look at who might run against whom in which races. We don’t have post positions yet. We’ll get those Monday, so it’s still difficult to completely embrace the handicapping process and to form rigid opinions. However, pre-entries in hand, players desirous of a running start from the gate for the two-day Breeders’ Cup event, can dig in fairly deeply starting now. Not only do we have an idea as to who might run where, we also know Friday and Saturday’s race order. That’s critical in mapping out winning multi-race wager strategies. Clearly, there will be several ‘singles’ on the BC program and savvy players will want to key those seemingly ‘unbeatable’ runners with attractive longshots in surrounding races. The bold will take a stand or two against the ‘chalk,’ in an effort to score. Friday’s card begins at 11:55 am Pacific with an allowance race followed by the Golden State Juvenile Stakes. The third race is Qatar Golden Mile. The Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes is next, just before the Senator Ken Maddy Stakes. The Late Pick 5 begins with the first Breeders’ Cup race--Juvenile Turf Sprint at 2:50 pm Pacific. 19 are pre-entered and trainer Wesley Ward seems to hold aces in Averly Jane, Kaufymaker and Twilight Gleaming. Unbeaten One Timer is another likely to take money. Race 7 is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies with 9 pre-entered. Only Cairo Memories is cross entered, with first preference in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Race 8 is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with 18 pre-entries. Baby Steps has first preference in the Juvenile Turf Sprint. This appears a completely wide-open event with an assortment of talented fillies vying for favoritism. Race 9 is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 14 are pre-entered with Jasper Krone having first preference in the Juvenile Turf. Chad Brown-trained Jack Christopher is the probable favorite over Bob Baffert’s unbeaten Corniche. Day one of the 2021 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar concludes with Race 10 and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. 20 are pre-entered with Todd Pletcher-trained and unbeaten Annapolis as the probable favorite. Charlie Appleby’s Albahr and Chad Brown’s Portfolio Company figure to get some action.       Saturday’s card begins at 10:15 am Pacific with an Allowance race, followed by the Grade 3 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes. The Grade 2 Goldikova Stakes is next as race 3. Actual Breeders’ Cup events begin with Race 4--the Filly & Mare Sprint at 12:05 Pacific. That race features everyone’s potential ‘single’ in Gamine. Only 6 are expected to face her. Race 5 is the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and that appears a wide-open event. 19 are pre-entered and Daily Racing Form’s Brad Free has Golden Pal, Gear Jockey and Emaraaty Ana ranked at odds from 7-2 to 5-1. Not far behind them in price are Lieutenant Dan, A Case of You and Casa Creed—who has first preference in the Mile. Race 6 is the Dirt Mile and probable favorite Life is Good will be a handful at a short price. 11 are pre-entered but a pair of runners likely will end up elsewhere. C Z Rocket has first preference in the Sprint and Stilleto Boy has first preference in the Classic.  Next on the docket is Race 7, Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf topped by the Bill Mott-trained War Like Goddess. Several pre-entered in here are looking at other spots. Love, Tarnawa and Teona have first preference in the Turf. Queen Supreme has first preference in the Mile. The Late Pick 5 launches with Race 8, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, followed by the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The former is topped by heavily favored Jackie’s Warrior and the latter is a wide-open affair with Space Blues as the possible favorite, chased in the wagering by Mo Forza and Smooth Like Straight. 24 are pre-entered in the Mile with the following runners with first preference in other races: Channel Cat has first preference in the Turf and Snapper Sinclair has first preference in the Dirt Mile. Race 10 is the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, featuring short-priced favorite Letruska against 10 pre-entered foes. Race 11 is the Breeders’ Cup Turf and 22 runners have pre-entered with connections of Loves Only You declaring first preference in the Filly & Mare Turf. Defending champ Tarnawa could go favored in here, but the Chad Brown-trained Domestic Spending appears a likely alternative. Euro-invaders almost always have something big to say about the outcome of this race and Aiden O’Brien-trained Love and Charlie Appleby’s Walton Street and Yibir deserve respect. The two-day extravaganza concludes with an interesting Breeders’ Cup Classic that matches 5-year-old Knicks Go, the nation’s number one horse, against top-ranked 3-year-olds Essential Quality, recent Pennsylvania Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie, controversial Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and others. 10 are pre-entered to race for the winner’s share of a $6 million purse. ####      

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10.27.2021:

Jon White: Brad Cox-Trained Stars Headline Breeders' Cup Classic Pre-Entries | Wednesday, October 27

Pre-entries for all 14 of this year’s Breeders’ Cup races at Del Mar on Nov. 5-6 have been announced. This will be the 38th Breeders’ Cup, which was launched at Hollywood Park in 1984. Del Mar, known as the track “where the turf meets the surf,” is playing host to the equine extravaganza for the second time, having previously done so in 2017. A total of 196 individual horses have been pre-entered, with 16 cross-entered in two races, bringing the total number of pre-entries to 212. They will be doing battle for a total of $31 million in Breeders’ Cup purses. The richest Breeders’ Cup event is the $6 million Classic on Nov. 6, which has attracted 10 pre-entries. It will be carded as the last of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races to be decided. Heading the BC Classic are Knicks Go and Essential Quality, a pair of equine stars conditioned by Brad Cox, the Eclipse Award-winning trainer of 2020. Knicks Go won the 2020 BC Dirt Mile. Essential Quality captured the 2020 BC Juvenile. Knicks Go and Essential Quality are two of eight 2020 Breeders’ Cup winners pre-entered this year. However, trainer Adian O’Brien said that even though 2020 BC Mile winner Order of Australia had been pre-entered, the 4-year-old colt will not be going to Del Mar for this year’s BC Mile because his racing career has come to an end due to an injury. Golden Pal won the 2020 BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. He is pre-entered in this year’s BC Turf Sprint. The four 2020 Breeders’ Cup winners returning to defend their title in the same race are Gamine (Filly & Mare Sprint), Glass Slippers (Turf Sprint), Audarya (Filly & Mare Turf) and Tarnawa (Turf). IS 1 1/4 MILES TOO FAR FOR KNICKS GO? Pace makes the race, as the adage goes. Well, get ready to hear a lot of talk regarding pace when it comes to this year’s BC Classic. Knicks Go is expected to be the favorite in the BC Classic, which will be contested at 1 1/4 miles and around two turns on the dirt. This will be the farthest that he has ever raced. He’s taking a three-race winning streak into the BC Classic. Those three victories all came in 1 1/8-mile races. Back on July 2, Knicks Go registered a scintillating 10 1/2-length triumph as the 3-5 favorite in Prairie Meadows’ Grade III Cornhusker Handicap. The 5-year-old Maryland-bred Paynter colt then won Saratoga’s Grade I Whitney Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths when favored at slightly more than even money on Aug. 7. That was followed by a ridiculously easy four-length win in Churchill Downs’ Grade III Lukas Classic as a 1-10 favorite on Oct. 2. In terms of Beyer Speed Figures, Knicks Go recorded a 113 in the Cornhusker, 111 in the Whitney, then a 104 in the Lukas Classic. The 113 is the highest Beyer recorded this year on dirt or turf in a race at longer than one mile. Has there ever been a BC Classic winner who had not previously raced 1 1/4 miles? Yes, there have been three, as noted by Carolyn Greer of horseracingnation.com. The three are Ghostzapper, Raven’s Pass and Zenyatta. Ghostzapper, trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, went into the 2004 BC Classic off back-to-back victories at 1 1/8 miles in the Grade III Iselin Handicap on a sloppy track at Monmouth Park and Grade I Woodward Stakes on dry land at Belmont Park. He won the Iselin by 10 3/4 lengths, the Woodward by a neck. Despite the 2004 BC Classic being the farthest that Ghostzapper had raced, he won by an emphatic three lengths as a 5-2 favorite at Lone Star Park. Ghostzapper retired with nine wins from 11 career starts after winning the Grade I Met Mile at Belmont in 2005 in his final race. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012, he ranks No. 12 on my list of the Top 25 Racehorses of the 21st Century so far to have raced in North America. Raven’s Pass in 2008 and Zenyatta in 2009 both won their BC Classic on synthetic footing at Santa Anita. The highly respected John Gosden trained Raven’s Pass, who was sent away at 13-1 in the 2008 BC Classic. Prior to that race, Raven’s Pass had raced exclusively on turf and never farther than one mile. The great Zenyatta was 13 for 13 going into the 2009 BC Classic, which was her first attempt to go farther than 1 1/8 miles. Zenyatta was last early in the field of 12. When she was ninth at the quarter pole, it appeared she was about to lose for the first time, as articulated by Trevor Denman during his call of the race. “And let’s see, Zenyatta has a lot -- a LOT -- of ground to make up,” said Denman as the field turned for home. “If she wins this, she’ll be a super horse.” In a rally for the ages, Zenyatta electrified the 58,845 people in attendance and thousands more watching on television. She won by one length as the 5-2 favorite in what Denman so beautifully characterized as an “un…be…lieve…able” performance. Zenyatta became the first and so far only female to win the BC Classic. She also became the first horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races. Zenyatta won the 2008 BC Distaff when it was called the Ladies’ Classic. How strong was the 2009 BC Classic? Zenyatta defeated eight Grade I winners that day. Zenyatta returned to the races in 2010. She ran her undefeated winning streak to 19 before finishing second in the 2010 BC Classic, which she lost by a head as the even-money favorite to Blame. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012, Zenyatta ranks No. 2, behind only Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, on my list of the Top 25 Racehorses of the 21st Century so far to have raced in North America. Interestingly, Greer listed 13 BC winners who had raced 1 1/4 miles prior to the BC Classic without having previously been victorious at this distance: Proud Truth (1985), Skywalker (1986), Concern (1994), Alphabet Soup (1996), Cat Thief (1999), Volponi (2002), Pleasantly Perfect (2003), Saint Liam (2005), Blame (2010), Fort Larned (2012), Mucho Macho Man (2013), Bayern (2014) and Gun Runner (2017). A.P. Indy, Greer added, “had not won at 1 1/4 miles prior to his 1992 Breeders’ Cup Classic victory, but he did win the Belmont Stakes that year at 1 1/2 miles.” While Knicks Go has not yet raced farther than 1 1/4 miles, several of his BC Classic opponents already have won at this distance. Below, in alphabetical order, is the record in 1 1/4-mile races for the horses pre-entered in the BC Classic: 0-0-0-0 Art Collector2-1-0-0 Essential Quality3-0-1-1 Express Train1-0-0-1 Hot Rod Charlie1-1-0-0 Idol0-0-0-0 Knicks Go4-2-0-0 Max Player1-1-0-0 Medina Spirit0-0-0-0 Stilleto Boy1-1-0-0 Tripoli Essential Quality, also trained by Cox, is coming off a win in Saratoga’s Grade I Travers Stakes as a 2-5 favorite at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 28. The Kentucky-bred Tapit colt also succeeded in a race longer than 1 1/4 miles when victorious as the 13-10 favorite in the Grade I Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on June 7. The only time Essential Quality has lost in nine career starts came in Churchill Downs’ Grade I Kentucky Derby at 1 1/4 miles on May 1. Sent away as the 5-2 favorite in the 19-horse Run for the Roses, he finished fourth. Essential Quality lost by one length, which actually was quite respectable considering the wide trip he experienced. Medina Spirit, Tripoli and Idol are each one for one when racing 1 1/4 miles. Medina Spirit finished first in the Kentucky Derby. Tripoli won this year’s Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Idol won this year’s Grade I Santa Anita Handicap. Max Player has the distinction of being the only horse pre-entered in the BC Classic to have won more than once at 1 1/4 miles. He’s a two-time winner at this distance. Max Player took Belmont’s Grade II Suburban by a neck on a sloppy track July 3. He then won Saratoga’s Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup by four lengths on dry land Sept. 4. Max Player will try to make it three straight victories at 1 1/4 miles in the BC Classic. Hot Rod Charlie lost his only start so far at 1 1/4 miles, but he finished a commendable third (behind Medina Spirit and in front of Essential Quality) in the Kentucky Derby. Art Collector and Stilleto Boy, like Knicks Go, will be racing 1 1/4 miles for the first time in the BC Classic. WINNING STREAK AROUND TWO TURNS Cox took over as Knicks Go’s trainer prior to the horse’s 2020 campaign. For Cox, Knicks Go is seven for seven when racing around two turns. I believe what makes Knicks Go such a tough dude to beat in two-turn races is his ability to exhibit both early and late speed in a race. That produces a lethal one-two punch to his foes. Knicks Go has been quick enough to get the early lead in all seven of his two-turn races last year and this year. Despite running so fast early, he’s managed to come home strongly enough to win all seven of those races by margins of 7 1/2, 10 1/4, 3 1/2, 2 3/4, 10 1/4, 4 1/2 and 4 lengths. Consider what happened in last year’s Grade I BC Dirt Mile at Keeneland. It was Knicks Go’s third start for Cox. It also was Knicks Go’s first start in a stakes race for Cox. Even though Knicks Go zipped the opening quarter-mile in :21.98, he came home strongly enough to win the BC Dirt Mile by three lengths. He wasn’t finishing on fumes, either. Knicks Go’s final time was an excellent 1:33.85, which broke Keeneland’s track record of 1:34.54 established by Liam’s Map when he won the 2015 BC Dirt Mile. I think another reason for Knicks Go’s perfect record in all of his two-turn races in 2020 and so far in 2021 is his prowess when running on a turn. Knicks Go is able to negotiate the clubhouse turn so rapidly, yet so effortlessly, that he seizes control of the pace and, by extension the race, before reaching the backstretch. There also is the dilemma that Knicks Go’s running style poses to his opponents. If no one is aggressive and tries to go with him early, it risks handing the race to him on a silver platter. But if someone is bold enough to take it to Knicks Go early, they just might be committing suicide. The way I see it, the one horse who might try to take it to Knicks Go early in the BC Classic is probably Medina Spirit. That’s because all four of Medina Spirit’s victories around two turns have come when he took the early lead. Also, Medina Spirit is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who has won so many important races through the years by having a horse show early speed, such as Authentic in the 2020 BC Classic. Could an early tussle between Knicks Go and Medina Spirit prove costly to them both? It does seem a possibility. I think it pretty much hinges on how hard Medina Spirit is ridden early. I also can envision a scenario in which Knicks Go and Medina Spirit do vie for the lead to the first turn, but then Knicks Go “does his turn thing” and takes control of the pace before reaching the backstretch. Through the many years I’ve been analyzing races I have learned that it can be tricky to try and forecast pace. That’s because the pace situation can change considerably if an early speed horse does not have a good start. For example, if Medina Spirit does not have an alert beginning in the BC Classic, it would help Knicks Go. And the same goes for Medina Spirit if Knicks Go happens to have a tardy start. For anyone trying to beat Knicks Go on Nov. 6, you can bet that it would not break their heart if he just so happened to not break alertly. GREATEST BC TRAINING FEATS Joe Nevills of the Paulick Report contacted four current or former trainers to get their choice for the most impressive training feat in the history of the Breeders’ Cup. Three opted for what a trainer did vis-a-vis an individual horse’s performance, while the other choice was a trainer’s dominance on a single Breeders’ Cup card. Elliott Walden and Chad Summers both selected the job trainer Michael Dickinson did to win the 1998 BC Mile with Da Hoss. “After winning the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Woodbine, Da Hoss didn’t race for 715 days, hampered by recurring injures that kept halting his progress on the comeback trail,” Nevills wrote. “Dickinson finally got the horse right for a return start in a Colonial Downs allowance less than a month before the 1998 Mile at Churchill Downs. [Da Hoss] won the race at Colonial Downs, then won by a head in the Breeders’ Cup; an effort billed by announcer Tom Durkin ‘the greatest comeback since Lazarus.’ ” Steve Asmussen’s choice was what trainer Vincent Timphony did with Wild Again to win the inaugural 1984 BC Classic at Hollywood Park. Wild Again was allowed to run in that $3 million race only because a steep supplemental fee of $360,000 was paid to make him eligible. Ridden by Pat Day, Wild Again was victorious by a head in a 31-1 upset and earned $1,350,000. Day once told me that his win in the first BC Classic was extremely important as far as his career was concerned. “It put me on the map nationally,” Day said. Kenny McPeek’s choice as the greatest Breeders’ Cup training feat was Richard Mandella’s four Breeders’ Cup victories in one day at Santa Anita in 2003. Mandella’s four winners on that occasion were Halfbridled in the Juvenile Fillies, Action This Day in the Juvenile, Johar (who dead-heated with High Chaparral) in the Turf and Pleasantly Perfect in the Classic. “I was there that day and I think even Dick was in shock,” McPeek said to Nevills. A great Breeders’ Cup training feat not mentioned was the tremendous job Ross Fenstermaker did to win the 1985 Sprint with Precisionist at Aqueduct on Nov. 2. Precisionist had not raced since June 23. Despite the layoff, Precisionist was credited with a 125 Beyer Speed Figure. It’s the highest Beyer in the history of the Breeders’ Cup. Below are all of the Beyer Speed Figures of 120 or higher by a Breeders’ Cup winner from 1984 through 2020: Beyer Winner (BC Race, Track) 125 Precisionist (1985 Sprint at Aqueduct)124 Sunday Silence (1989 Classic at Gulfstream Park)124 Artax (1999 Sprint at Gulfstream Park)124 Ghostzapper (2004 Classic at Lone Star Park)122 Alysheba (1988 Classic at Churchill Downs)121 Very Subtle* (1987 Sprint at Hollywood Park)120 Princess Rooney* (1984 Distaff at Hollywood Park)120 Proud Truth (1985 Classic at Aqueduct)120 Black Tie Affair (1991 Classic at Churchill Downs)120 Skip Away (1997 Classic at Hollywood Park)120 Cajun Beat (2003 Sprint at Santa Anita Park)120 American Pharoah (2015 Classic at Keeneland)120 Arrogate (2017 Classic at Santa Anita) *Filly BC SELECTIONS NEXT WEEK My selections and “nice price dangers” for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races will be posted on the Xpressbet website next week. As usual, I also will be disclosing my choice as the “most probable winner” at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. My most probable Breeders’ Cup winner has won in 13 of the 17 last years. Many understandably would have expected me to choose the undefeated Jackie’s Warrior in the Juvenile as the most probable winner at last year’s Breeders’ Cup. However, in addition to my decision to not make Jackie’s Warrior my most probable Breeders’ Cup winner, I didn’t even pick him to win his race. Essential Quality was my top pick in the Juvenile. He got the job done at just under 2-1. Jackie’s Warrior finished third as the 9-10 favorite. My most probable winner at the 2020 Breeders’ Cup was Golden Pal, who won the Juvenile Turf Sprint by three-quarters of a length as the 4-5 favorite. Below is a list of my most probable Breeders’ Cup winner for each year going back to 2004: 2020 Golden Pal in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (won)2019 Midnight Bisou (finished second)2018 Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (won)2017 Bolt d’Oro in the Juvenile (finished third)2016 Dortmund in the Dirt Mile (finished fourth)2015 Songbird in the Juvenile Fillies (won)2014 Goldencents in the Dirt Mile (won)2013 Wise Dan in the Mile (won)2012 Groupie Doll in the Filly & Mare Sprint (won)2011 Goldikova in the Mile (won)2010 Goldikova in the Mile (won)2009 Zenyatta in the Classic (won)2008 Zenyatta in the Ladies’ Classic (won)2007 Midnight Lute in the Sprint (won)2006 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won)2005 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (finished second)2004 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won) RACING MOURNS DEATHS OF NEUMEIER & SPEAR Last Saturday certainly was a sad day in Thoroughbred racing when two media giants, Bob Neumeier and Sam Spear, passed away. Known as “Neumy,” Neumeier was a longtime TV sports anchor and co-host of a radio sports talk show on Boston stations. He also became the play-by-play announcer for the Hartford Whalers and then the Boston Bruins. Neumeier did an outstanding job during his many years as an expert handicapper and reporter for ESPN and NBC. He was a member of the broadcast team for such big events as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Breeders’ Cup. Along with his horse racing role for NBC, he worked on the network’s Olympics broadcasts. I crossed paths with Neumeier a few times through the years. Chatting with him, even if just briefly, was always a pleasure. His love of horse racing was unmistakable. Just this past April 19, I received an email from Neumeier. “I was reading your column on Derby strikes,” Neumy wrote. “I am a sponge for any data, analysis, concepts, et al. Thus I find your Derby ‘strike’ stuff most interesting.” I came up with the Derby Strikes System (DSS) years ago to try and determine a horse’s chances to win the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May from both tactical and historical perspectives. The DSS consists of eight categories. When a horse does not qualify in one of the categories, the horse gets a strike. When the race was switched from May 2 to Sept. 5 in 2020 due to the pandemic, it rendered the DSS unworkable. That’s because a number of the categories in the DSS are associated with the Kentucky Derby being run in May. The DSS returned this year when the Kentucky Derby again was run on the first Saturday in May. The vast majority (81%) of the Kentucky Derby winners have had zero strikes or one strike going back to 1973 and excluding the Kentucky Derby of 2020 when the race was run in September. The DSS can’t go any further back than 1973 because a number of the system’s categories are linked to graded races. Races in the U.S. were first graded in 1973. Going back to 1973 and again excluding 2020 when the race was run in September, 39 out of the 48 Kentucky Derby winners had zero strikes or one strike prior to this year’s Run for the Roses, while seven had two strikes and only one (Mine That Bird) had more than two strikes. Medina Spirit finished first in this year’s Kentucky Derby. He had zero strikes. If Medina Spirit is ever disqualified as a result of testing positive for the banned therapeutic medication betamethasone, Mandaloun then would be declared the winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Mandaloun had one strike. In Neumy’s email to me prior to this year’s Kentucky Derby, he passed along an interesting observation regarding my Derby Strikes System. “Since I am a numbers freak with a bent toward curiosity, I noticed that going back to 1990, a Kentucky Derby runner with ZERO strikes has won 60% of the time,” Neumeier wrote. “I find this stat somewhat amazing, especially given the complete unpredictability of this sport, especially concerning this race.” As noted by the Paulick Report, Neumeier “had two publicized health setbacks, the first coming in 2009 when he was taken to a Louisville hospital after collapsing at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week. Five years later, he suffered a stroke just days before the 2014 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita. He recovered from both incidents, most notably coming back from the stroke to win an NTRA-sponsored media handicapping tournament held in conjuction with the National Horseplayers Championship in 2015. Neumeier was back on the air for the 2015 Triple Crown.” American Pharoah in 2015 became the first horse to sweep the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Neumeier had been in hospice care the last two months, according to the Boston Globe’s obituary. NBC Sports reported that Neumeier passed away peacefully last Saturday at home with his wife, Michele Ucci, by his side. He was 70. Sam Spear died last Saturday from complications of sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease, according to multiple media reports. He was 72. Spear was the longtime director of media relations at Golden Gate Fields and the now-defunct Bay Meadows. His influence in the San Francisco Bay Area as a horse racing publicist was gigantic. Spear produced and was the host of a television racing replay show for 39 years. He also was the host of the weekly radio program “At the Races with Sam Spear” for many years until health issues forced him to step away not too long ago. Yet another of his many roles was to interview winning connections after a stakes race for the track’s television simulcast broadcast. I was a guest a number of times on Spear’s radio program. I also enjoyed talking with him at Golden Gate when I worked as a steward for the California Horse Racing Board in 2017 and 2018. How about this? Guess who I saw when I was at the Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin in 2006? Yep, none other than Sam Spear was there Spear was a close friend of legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio. Spear often drove DiMaggio to Golden Gate or Bay Meadows. “The Golden Gate Fields racing community will never forget Sam Spear and the countless contributions he made to Northern California horse racing and the community at large,” said a statement issued by the track. The National Turf Writers and Broadcasters’ Mr. Fitz Award honors someone for “typifying the spirit of racing.” Neither Neumeier nor Spear ever received this award. As someone who knew both gentlemen, I think it’s fair to say nobody ever typified the spirit of racing any more than Bob Neumeier and Sam Spear. THIS WEEK’S NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL There are no newcomers in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll this week from last week. Knicks Go is No. 1 for the 12th consecutive week. This week’s Top 10 is listed below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 339 Knicks Go (23)2. 313 Letruska (6)3. 299 Essential Quality (7)4. 163 Hot Rod Charlie5. 159 Jackie’s Warrior6. 130 Gamine7. 122 Medina Spirit8. 92 Art Collector9. 83 Max Player10. 70 Domestic Spending

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10.25.2021:

Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Northfield Park has a 14-race card slated for tonight with the first post at 6:00 PM EST. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11. That sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 112-Uncle Reimus (7-1)-This is the 2nd start since a sick scratch, gets post relief, and drops. Has enough gate speed to be on the point or in the pocket and should offer a solid price.3-Andale Andale (6-1)-Beat better than this on 9-12 and should relish the company. Like #2, has the gate speed to be forwardly placed. Does its best work racing near the top of the stack.7-Diesel Accelerator (7/2)-Comes off an even effort at DTN from post 8 but did pace the back half in 54.3. This 5-year-old likes to win (8-33) in 2021. Merriman needs to provide a sharp steer from this post and could have the pedal down. This is a pilot who knows when to push the button at the right time. Could win getting on the point early on or coming off cover.Race 121-Stonebridge Gamble (9/2)-Drops into a more comfortable spot and drawing the rail shouldn't hurt. Can be forwardly placed and might be overlooked at the windows.2-Next Woman Up (9/2)-Wrenn returns, and he has had success in the past. This mare fits and takes a meaningful drop. Could get on the engine and not look back.8-Fashion Chocolate (8-1)-Will take a swing for a price with a veteran that knows how to win. Was on the bench since 7-23 and wired the field from post 4 last week. Steps-up but if dialed on high has the gate speed to get a good early seat. Best to respect, barn is batting 33% winners over the last 30 days and this 9-year-old has won 35 of 121 at NFLD.Race 133-Executive Dash N (9/2)-Makes 2nd start off a claim for the Farmer barn and drops into a spot to shine. Speedy 7-year-old has won 13 of 36 this year and 14 of 41 at Northfield. Looks like a main player tonight.9-Missile J (5/2)-Drew off by over 6 lengths in the 1st start for the Robinson barn as an odds-on choice. Wrenn will be back between the pipes and will need to be sharp from the 2nd tier. Has been off 2 weeks and not crazy about the short price but this 8-year-old paced in 150.2 in last after being off 3 weeks.Race 144-Cheyenne Jeffrey (4-1)-Tossing last from post 8, before that cashed checks versus better than this crew. Needs an efficient trip and the morning line could be low. Should offer a decent price in a race without a standout.7-Matt's Choice (9-1)-Has had lameness issues but has raced well in the last 3 starts. Raced from the back on 10-4 and paced the 2nd half in 56.1 to come a close 2nd. Should be in the hunt if Grismore can provide a sharp steer.$1.00 Late Pick 42,3,7/1,2,8/3,9/4,7Total Bet=$36Check me out on Twitter!

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10.24.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, October 24

Tonight, the "Winter Capital of Harness Racing", Pompano Park begins a 100-day meet which runs through April 17. As someone who has seen too many harness tracks close, I don't like writing this will be the final meet for the South Florida track which opened in 1964.My focus this evening will be the 0.50 Pick 4 which begins in Race 6. The sequence has a $15,000 guaranteed pool with an industry low 12% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 63-Captain Malicious (7-1)-Makes the 3rd start for Wallis who also steers and has the gate speed to be on the point or in the pocket throughout. Has hit the board in 4 of 9 at PPk with 2 wins. Should be forwardly placed without using up much gas and that could lead to upsetting the chalk at a nice price.6-Double Metal (6/5)-Betting Line colt has been doing good work on smaller ovals out East. Faces older here but this was Hennessey's choice and he recently sat behind #5 for a winning effort. Will be a tiny price, should be a major player and has the gate speed to be put in play early.Race 71-Agedchedar Hanover(2-1)-Winner of 2 straight always seems to be in the hunt but has only won 2 of 22 at the Pomp. Hennessey's choice will be bet hard and best to respect. Could be content to sit in the pocket and doesn't need to be on the engine to win.4-Villiam (5-1)-If this 4-year-old is dialed on high Chindano may look to leave and get on the point. But could win coming off cover if the pace is lively. Enjoys the Pomp, has hit the board in 13 of 16 here with 6 wins and should offer a fair price.Race 81-Spirit Shadow (5/2)-Lareau trainee doesn't win often but Hennessey can get the best out of this 8-year-old. Tough to leave off the ticket, shouldn't have an issue racing on the engine and has the right pilot to steal a quarter.3-Team Captain (3-1)-Comes off a win in Virginia on a sloppy track and has 22 wins in 114 races in South Florida. Can win coming off cover if Braden provides a sharp steer.Race 91-Casie's Believer (5/2)-This mare is searching for an overdue win but does try hard and should fit well with this crew. Could yield the point to the morning line choice, then enjoy a 2-hole ride and try to sweep by down the lane.6-Jagger Rocks (1-1)-Has been facing tougher company on the East coast and now makes the 1st start in the Blood barn. Hennessey will take the lines and will likely be an odds-on choice. Has hit the board in 10 of 18 here with 4 wins. The only drawback might be the last start was back on 10-2 and there should be a few others looking to leave.My Ticket Race 6) 3,6 Race 7) 1,4 Race 8) 1,3 Race 9) 1,6Total Ticket Cost) = $8 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.24.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Sunday, October 24

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Grandcourse Guy; 5-Dixie Two StentsForecast: Grandcourse Guy and Dixie Two Stents finished three-four in a tougher straight maiden dirt sprint at Del Mar and they meet again on the drop to the maiden $50,000 level while switching to grass. ‘Guy is the quicker of the two but ‘Stents should be running on late. They’re hard to separate so both should be included in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to the speedier Grandcourse Guy.Notable Workouts:Dixie’s Two Stents (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.2h TT). Grade: BRidden through the lane and finished strongly in solo training track drill for D. O’Neill, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :35.1, very sharp approaching the wire. Appears on edge for a big effort, most effective as a late-running sprinter.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Vegan; 5-Flat Out JoyForecast: Flat Out Joy returns to her claim level and looks well-spotted to regain her winning form in this six-runner restricted (nw-3) $20,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. In the money in seven of eight career outings over the Santa Anita main track, the S. McCarthy-trained mare projects to enjoy the pace-stalking trip that she prefers, and at 4-1 on the morning line she’ll offer a bit of value in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics. Vegan also should be included on your ticket. We like the blinkers off angle and the switch to F. Prat, so the M. Glatt-trained filly may be capable of improving enough to win her first race since July of 2019. On pure numbers she’s a good fit in this league and always has done her best work over the local dirt surface.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:01 PT Grade: BUse: 3-First Premio; 6-Southern HorseForecast: In a race that should be slowly run early, Southern Horse projects to be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout in this turf miler for $40,000 older claimers. The J. Sadler-trained veteram is winless in four starts since being imported from Ireland, but his numbers are strong, and the race flow should be in his favor. With the switch to F. Prat he appears the one to beat. First Premio returns to his proper claiming level and rates a big look with a repeat of his sharp runner-up effort vs. similar two races back. The veteran gelding has a touch of past class and can beat this type of field with his best effort.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: B-Single: 2-Smilin EvieForecast: The known element isn’t much so let’s take a stand with a fresh face. Smilin Evie looked decent in a recent gate drill while proving best of a three-horse team without undue pressure, so the daughter of Tom’s Tribute should be fit enough for a winning effort in this soft maiden special weight sprint for Cal-bred juvenile fillies. The R. Baltas-trained filly attracts F. Prat, so at 3-1 on the morning line she may offer decent value both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.Notable WorkoutsSmilin Evie (October 17, Santa Anita, 4f, :48hg). Grade: B-Was best inside in a team gate drill with Vulin (same time) and Candy for Caramel (4f, :48.4hg), moderate coaxing most of the way but finishing with something left following splits of :24.1, :35.4 and :48 flat. Has a good way of going and seems fit enough.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: XSingle: 5-Fantasy HeatForecast: Fantasy Heat shows strong and consistent form vs. tougher foes, including a win in a $62,500 affair at Del Mar in mid-August. She shows up in a $40,000 seller today following a nine week layoff and that’s not a healthy pattern, but If she fires her best shot she’ll beat this field, though that may be a big “if.” The M. Glatt-trained mare is listed at 9/5 on the morning line and probably will go lower. You can use her as a rolling exotic single and hope that she has one good left or better yet just pass the race.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:37 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Ascot Storm; 2-Joe Don LooneyForecast: Ascot Storm crushed a $20,000 field in gate-to-wire fashion at Del Mar last month while earning a career top speed figure, and today is double-jumped to the $32,000 level off a M. Glatt claim while facing a field restricted to 3-year-olds. If he breaks running from the rail, the Shackleford gelding projects to control this race from start to finish. The switch to F. Prat doesn’t hurt, either. Joe Don Looney isn’t as fast on speed figures as our top pick but he’s finished in the money in four of his last five starts and could be a strong threat if ‘Storm fails to fire his best shot.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:08 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Laker Mamba; 6-Big CoupeForecast: Big Coupe wired a maiden field at Del Mar last month while continuing his improving pattern, and in a race without much speed the L. Powell-trained gelding projects to employ front-running tactics while seeking a repeat score in this starter optional claimer over a mile on grass. Laker Mamba is a fit on figures and represents a legitimate late threat. If he can get some help up front, the M. Casse-trained gelding should be heard from in the final furlong. We’ll prefer Big Coupe on top but include both in our rolling exotics.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:40 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Eda; 2-Lady TForecast: Eda is listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite in this year’s renewal of the Anoakia S. for juvenile fillies, and though she was far back in the Del Mar Debutante-G1 in her last start a repeat of her narrow defeat in the Sorrento S.-G2 at Del Mar two races back would be more than good enough to handle this task. She picks up F. Prat and should be within range throughout from her rail post. We’ll also toss in Lady T. , beaten a nose in her only outing last month at Del Mar in a good maiden special weight sprint. Young runners from the J. Shirreffs stable usually improve with experience so we’re expecting this daughter of Into Mischief to produce a significant forward move, one that could make her a serious threat. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:Eda (October 18, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.2h). Grade: BCaught her from the half mile pole to the wire with splits of :23.3 and :48.2, never asked and finishing with good energy. Got burned up in a speed duel in the Del Mar Debutante and faltered but is much better than that race shows. Might prefer to be held up a bit.View Workout VideoLady T (October 18, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.3h). Grade: B-Hard held throughout while showing a slight tendency to get out, final half mile in :11.4, :24.1 and :49.1 on our watches. Has plenty of talent and should improve with experience. Nice prospect by Into Mischief.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:12 PT Grade: BUse: 7-Facetious; 9-Wall Street Trader; 10-Dancing RincaForecast: Dancing Rinca flashed good speed before understandably weakening in the hottest, fastest maiden sprint for 2-year-olds this year (a race taken by subsequent Grade-1 winner Corniche) and today faces a considerably easier assignment in this six furlong grass sprint. The son of Practical Joke finished fifth, beaten more than 11 lengths, but still earned a strong speed figure in the process. Maidens from the P. Eurton barn usually step forward in their second starts and we suspect this colt will as well. Facetious was off slowly and then closed with courage to wind up a respectable fourth (beaten less than three lengths) in his debut on turf last month and certainly should appreciate today’s extra furlong. If he can leave with his field, the M. Puype-trained son of Distorted Humor may have a big say in the outcome. Wall Street Trader is a first-timer by Vancouver with a grass pedigree and a decent series of drills for S. Callaghan. With F. Prat taking the call, this $155,000 yearling purchase has a right to be competitive and is worth using somewhere on your ticket.Notable Workouts:Facetious (October 18, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.3h TT). Grade: BA tad late changing leads but was never really asked and finished strongly, final quarter mile in :23.2. Definitely has room for improvement and development.View Workout VideoWall Street Trader (October 17, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.2hg). Grade: B-Even but slightly second best from gate outside Micro Share (5f, 1:01.1hg) for S. Callaghan, splits of :36.2 and :48.3 on our watches, never asked in easy half mile spin. Has some ability and probably will do his best on grass based on peditree. Somewhat intriguing.View Workout VideoDancing Rinca (October 3, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.4h TT). Grade: B+Asked a bit through the lane and responded nicely while best over Me B Bubba T (5f, 1:00h TT), breaking off about a length behind and then finishing a half-length in front at the wire, splits of :24 flat, :35.4 and :59.4 on our watches, quite nice. Exits a monster race and seems sure to improve. Seems likely to improve in his second start, as most maidens do from this stable.View Workout Video

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10.24.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Belmont | Sunday, October 24

Belmont is the Sunday stop this week, and the Late Pick 4 (races 7-10) features the $100,000 Point Of Entry Stakes, which is a free-for-all at 1.5 miles on the turf.The sequence has a claiming, a starter allowance and a maiden-claiming race, in addition to the headliner.This week’s suggested ticket amounts to $54, and here are the players in use on the tickets:7th Race (3:47 p.m. ET, claiming)EAST WING gave a decent effort for a half-mile against a higher level in her first Belmont, and her claiming price is cut in half for this second.Not only should having had a start over the track help, but the class level should give her a solid chance. Eric Cancel keeps the mount, and that is a good sign.Also on the ticket: MISS PEPPINA8th Race (4:21 p.m. ET, starter allowance)OCEAN AIR closed fourth lengths in the stretch but didn’t improve position in his first here, which came at this level. Closed it out nicely in his last race at Saratoga two back and he’ll be tough at this starter level.Is 0-for-3 at Belmont but has been close for this price and can benefit from a stalking inside trip. Rates the edge, but this is a wide-open race, and several runners are used here.Also on the ticket: LIDO KEY, GAMBLIN CAT, COMMAND POINT, EXOTIC WEST, GREY CHARLOTTE.9th Race (4:52 p.m. ET, Point Of Entry S.)BEACON HILL ran a bad one in the first of his career, and that was it as far as bad marks go.In the six races since then, he’s won three, placed second in one and third in another. He’s never been in a stakes race, and it looks like his connections have picked out a good spot for his first one at this level.Has excellent form and his first chance at 1.5 miles should cause headaches for others.Also on the ticket: TIDE OF THE SEA, SHAMROCKET.10th Race (5:23 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)KISSES FOR VAL is the slight favorite in the final race of this sequence. He comes out of an open race in which he battled for the lead for a half-mile and faltered to eighth late.He gets appreciate Ramos after carrying some veterans, and that could be a good thing here as appreciate riders let them roll – which is what this horse could need.This is a pick ‘em between the three listed here and a trip on the outside and away from traffic can make him a big threat.Also on the ticket: SUIT OF ARMOR, DISTRACTANDATTACK,KISSES FOR VAL.My Ticket Race 7) #7 East Wing, #8 Miss Peppina. Race 8) #1 Lido Key, #2 Ocean Air, #7 Gamblin Cat, #8 Command Point, #11 Exotic West, #12 Grey Charlotte. Race 9) #1 Tide of the Sea, #2 Shamrocket, #5 Beacon Hill. Race 10) #4 Suit of Armor, #8 Distractandattack, #11 Kisses for Val. Total Ticket Cost) 7,8/1,2,7,8,11,12/1,2,5/4,8,11 = $54 for $0.50

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10.23.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, October 23

Woodbine Mohawk Park has an 11-race program scheduled for this evening. The 0.20 Early Pick 4 begins in Race 4, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 41-Siddhartha (4-1)-Drops, gets much needed post relief, Roy sticks and that's reason enough to use versus this field. Looking for a nice trip and to be in striking range at the top of the lane.3-Beachin Lindy (3-1)-Six-year-old doesn't win often but this is the class it could happen. Was used hard off the gate when facing better and that didn't end well. But versus this kind that plan could play out.5-Prestige Seelster (9/2)-Was used very hard in a race when claimed and now makes the 1st start for the Moreau barn. Drops to a spot to shine and will respect connections.Race 55-Pointomygranson (4-1)-Scored off a perfect trip from the 9-hole and now returns at the same class. MacDonell takes the lines, and he has steered for a win in the past. Looking for a similar trip and best to respect for an encore.7-Respect Our Flag (6-1)-Left from post 10 in last and that made it a rough go, despite pacing the back half in 54.1. Will take a swing for a solid price and look for Cullen to be close to the top turning for the wire.8-Rockme Rollme (3-1)-Was driven aggressively versus better in the slop to finish 4th. Now drops to a more comfortable level and will look for the same gate speed to be put in play early.Race 62-Wheels On Fire (2-1)-Has lost to some tough winners and should relish the class relief. McNair should have the pedal down and could be difficult to collar at a short price.Race 71-Snow Shark (3-1)-Cashed a 3rd place check versus tougher, that was on an off-track and hasn't won on a wet surface in 6 tries. This gal is not easy to figure but has tossed hints in the last couple and should get an efficient trip from this post.6-Lady Arthur (9/2)-Stepped-up off an impressive 151.2 lifetime mark versus similar and faded on a tiring track which was rated "good". Now returns to a better spot for success and should offer a fair price.My Ticket Race 4) 1,3,5 Race 5) 5,7,8 Race 6) 2 Race 7) 1,6 Total Ticket Cost) $3.60 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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10.23.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Saturday, October 23

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Riviera Champ; 8-State of the Union; 10-Roy CForecast: Maiden claiming $50,000) juveniles compete over a mile on grass in the Sunday opener. This is an exercise in educational guessing, as most of the these either haven’t run long, haven’t run on grass, or haven’t run at all. Roy C has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern combined with the first-time-for-a-tag angle while also making the monumental jockey change to F. Prat. If the son of More Than Ready can run, this would be a good place to show it. The P. Miller-trained gelding has okay numbers and a steady, even style of running so let’s assume he’ll enjoy today’s distance. Riviera Champ has form that looks the same as our top pick. The son of Nyquist shows two sprints vs. straight maidens and today tries two-turns with a class drop that makes him a major contender. The M. McCarthy-trained ridgeling projects to be forward placed, perhaps even on the lead. Price players should consider tossing in State of the Union at 12-1 on the morning line. Bred to run long (Union Rags) and with rising speed figures through three previous starts, the first-time gelding shows a recent sharp half mile work (:47 2/5, second fastest of 66) that signals possible improvement. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but if you may decide the race requires additional coverage.Notable Workouts:Roy C (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.3h TT). Grade: B-Broke off two lengths in front of Optimistic Valor (5f, 1:02.1h TT) and finished head-and-head at the wire without really being asked, splits of :38 flat and 1:02.3, moderate final time but a decent work, nonetheless. Should be able to handle a distance of ground based on this drill.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: XSingle: 3-California StreetForecast: Six furlongs might not be his preferred distance but in his present form this shorter trip probably won’t matter to California Street. He’s being protected in his first-off-the-claim for P. Miller (a powerful 26% with this angle) after earning a stakes-quality speed figure when winning by eight and one-half lengths vs. $20,000 sellers here earlier this month. The concern is his lack of tactical speed, but anything close to his last race, or even the one before that should be more than good enough as the 4/5 morning line favorite. In a race that offers little wagering value, you can use him as a short-priced rolling exotic single or better yet simply pass the race.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:01 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Ottawa Fire; 7-Secret ClubForecast: We’ll double the third race, a 10-furlong first level allowance turf affair that projects to be run at a crawl for at least the opening half mile. Secret Club has enough tactical speed to find himself in a good stalking position or perhaps even on the front end if his connections so choose. The son of Clubhouse Ride earned a career top speed figure when a closing third in a hot turf miler earlier this month, and while he’s never been a mile and one-quarter there’s no reason he won’t handle this longer distance. F. Prat stays aboard for P. Miller – they’re a whopping 34% as a team – and with two previous wins over the local lawn he seems likely to leave at a shorter price than his morning line of 5/2. As a back-up or a saver, you may want to toss in Ottawa Fire. He’ll be comfortably placed from his good inside draw just off whatever speed might materialize and then have ever chance to offer a threat from the quarter pole home.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Invictatatus; 2-Mongolian WindForecast: Invictatatus scored gamely with a good speed figure when facing $16,000 foes at Los Alamitos last month and a similar effort today on the two-level raise will make him dangerous right back. From his rail post the son of Strong Mandate projects to be on the lead or no worse than in a second flight, stalking position, and with a sharp gate-to-wire win on his resume last May the A. Marquez-trained gelding seems certain to be a major player. Mongolian Wind has low percentage connections and is winless in five starts over the Santa Anita main track but he’s the fastest in the race based on speed figures, has a touch of back class, and has run decently in the past off a layoff. He’s a strong threat at this $25,000 claiming level with anything close to his best race. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to Invictatatus____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: BUse: 6-Big Summer; 7-Feeling GrazefulForecast: Big Summer has hit the board in all four career starts, but she’s also been a beaten choice in her last three, so it may be a bit difficult to have full trust in the daughter of Mr. Big even though that on pure numbers she’s a stick out in this extended turf sprint for older state-bred maiden fillies and mares. Feeling Grazeful may be the one to fear most. Second in both of her career starts but away since early June, the daughter of Grazen tries grass for the first time (bred for it) and goes for a barn that has strong stats with layoff runners. The W. Spawr-trained filly is listed at a generous 6-1 on the morning line and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play at anywhere near that price.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:37 PT Grade: XSingle: 1-Big SweepForecast: Big Sweep is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite in this first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares and on paper looks it, though she has failed as the favorite in the last two outings that she left as the public choice. Still, in this six runner field, the daughter of Mr. Big looks clearly best, having a decided edge in speed figures, so if she leaves cleanly from the rail the M. Glatt-trained filly should have no excuses. Still, there is no real wagering value to be found, so you can pass the race while using her as a rolling exotic single or better yet simply sit it out entirely.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:08 PT Grade: XSingle: 1-Neptune’s StormForecast: Neptune’s Storm was out of his element in the 10-furlong John Henry Turf Cup-G2 earlier this month but today returns to his favorite distance (a flat mile) while landing the good inside draw so we’re expecting the P. Miller-trained son of Stormy Atlantic to regain his winning edge. Successful four times over the Santa Anita turf course and a winner on five occasions at this one mile trip, he’s reunited with “win rider” F. Prat and should draft into a comfortable pace-prompting position (stalking the likely leader Lambeau) and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on to exert his superiority. However, at 6/5 on the morning line there’s not much we can do other than to use him as a short-priced rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:52 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Divine Armor; 3-SynthesisForecast: Synthesis looks very much like the controlling speed in this first-level allowance main track middle distance affair and given that type of trip the J. Mullins-trained gelding should be pretty tough to catch. A three-time winner over the local main track, the son of First Samurai missed by a head in a starter’s allowance affair at Los Alamitos last time out and after a six week freshening should return to his best form under conditions that are made to order. Divine Armor had the misfortune of chasing a couple of monsters in his last two starts (Laurel River, Ginobili) and was beaten 11 lengths in both starts, though at least hitting the board. This group should be within his range, so we’re expecting the J. Sadler-trained son of Include to be the most dangerous of the late-runners. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the main punch going to Synthesis.Notable Workouts:Divine Armor (October 10, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.1h). Grade: B+Inside Edgeway (same time) for J. Sadler and stayed with that classy sprinting filly throughout in a sharp style with splits of :35.1 and :59.2. Excellent drill considering the competition and appears primed for a major effort vs. first-level allowance foes.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:12 PT Grade: B-Use: 5-Shoppingforpharoah; 8-Tonito’s; 12-UrbanForecast: Urban finished a respectable fourth in the one mile Juvenile Fillies Turf S. at Del Mar last month, rallying strongly from last to be beaten just two lengths. A similar effort today may be good enough against this maiden field, especially with the switch to F. Prat, though her extreme outside post position in this 12-runner field and her lack of gate speed at this sprint trip makes her task a challenging one. Tonito’s has done some good work in the a.m. for D. O’Neill and acts like a filly with a nice late kick. The daughter of Blame probably won’t show her best stuff until sent long but she could be good enough to make some noise sprinting from off the pace in her debut. Shoppingforpharoah is bred for grass (American Pharoah) and shows a steady series of workouts leading up to her debut. She’s an “X” factor worth including on your ticket at 6-1 on the morning line.Notable Workouts:Tonito’s (October 9, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h). Grade: BBroke off about three lengths behind Lonely On Top (5f, 1:01h) and rallied nicely through the lane under light coaxing only to finish head-and-head at the wire, splits of :35.2 and 1:00.2 on our watches, solid drill for D. O’Neill. Has some run, might be route type.View Workout Video

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10.22.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, October 22

The headliners on the Hoosier Park 14-race card are 3-year-old pacers and trotters. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11, and the sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Baron Chancey (15-1)-Raced okay in the slop in last but has never won in 26 tries on an off-track. Fits well with this post and Bates should have enough gate speed to protect the rail position.3-Light Up The Park (12-1)-Camera shy 4-year-old should offer a good price and drops to a level where he can compete. Needs to avoid a tardy start and might be driven more aggressively versus this kind.4-Mc Mach (9/2)-Dropped to face similar in last and got on the engine but faded down the lane to lose by a length. Comes right back here and was off 3 weeks before the last start. Has been searching for an overdue win and could be sitting on a big try.6-National Sport (5/2)-Makes HoP debut arriving from Ohio to make the 1st start for the George barn. Has been racing on smaller ovals but owns a 150.3 mark at Wbsb and will respect connections.Race 122-Swingforthefences (2-1)-Made it look easy in an impressive Sires Stakes Final win and now will look for its 3rd straight score. Should be a short price chalk and if dialed on high another picture is likely.Race 132-A Fair Ol Dance N (5-1)-Has been cashing checks versus straight Open company. Faces Open 2 foes now and beat this kind for its last win on 9-3.5-Kneedeep N Custard (7/2)-This will be the 3rd start after a sick scratch and wasn't driven aggressively in the last 2 races. Tetrick is between the pipes again and has a shot for the top check if lands a good early seat.6-Ana Freet N (5/2)-Beaten 6/5 favorite should be a short price again and figures to be a main player.Race 141-Jaffa Josh N (3-1)-New Zealand invader makes its US debut and comes off a nice qualifier here on 10-16. This a race without a standout, so will take a swing with a fresh horse and Wilfong had a nice night on Thursday.2-Hello Sweetie Boy (6-1)-Looking for some value and this Hawthorne shipper makes his 3rd straight HoP start and faces easier. Has the speed to compete and could come out on top at a nice price with an alert beginning plus a sharp steer.My Ticket Race 11) 1,3,4,6 Race 12) 2 Race 13) 2,5,6 Race 14) 1,2Total Ticket Cost) = $12 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.22.2021:

Frank Carulli: $76K Carryover Stronach 5 Picks & Preview | Friday, October 22

The stakes are always high for the Stronach 5, but they're higher for this Friday's cross-country wager with $76,000 in the carry-over pool. It only costs $1 to play and it all happens in less than 45 action-packed minutes, spanning four tracks. Here's an early look at Friday's races, with an update to follow after scratches. LEG A // LAUREL, RACE 8 (4:40PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 7 FURLONGS (DIRT) OUTKISSED swung 4-wide off a contested duel but couldn't get past the stubborn 2-1 pace setter in an otherwise promising debut at 5-1/2F. He is the son of Outwork, whose 2-year-old offspring are 27-163 (16%). CAMINERO should show good zip in his debut for Trombetta. His sire, Lord Nelson, won the 6F Bing Crosby at Del Mar in a stakes record 1:07.65 during an unprecedented Grade 1 three-peat. LEG B // SANTA ANITA, RACE 3 (5:02PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) WHAT AN IDEA'S dam was a speedy, first-out runaway winner and $300k earner, while his only sibling also won in his debut by 7-1/2 lenghts. Prat rides for Miller, so he gets top call. MIDNIGHT SOMEWHERE dueled with Baffert-trained winner Sumo in MSW company before back-pedaling, but should last longer in this spot after a series of workouts since that race. DEVIL BE ME broke a step slow and never factored in a MSW sprint, but he finished behind a next-out, maiden $20k winner.  LEG C // GULFSTREAM, RACE 9 (5:06PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT) This race belies the 'non-winner in six months' condition. The nine entrants are a combined 0-for-44 on turf this year. GRAN MALBEC, UHTRED and GOLDEN DECISION arrive off solid, runner-up finishes at this level, so a breakthrough victory by one of them appears imminent. But use late-running TIL THE END on the ticket, as well as KATIE'S COWBOY, who steps up in class and stretches out for connections that are 6-26 at the current meet.  LEG D // LAUREL, RACE 9 (5:12PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) Trainer Frank Russo shipped in back-to-back winners from Monmouth on the October 10 Laurel Park card. He returns with longshot UNPRECEDENTED, who finished in the money in 3 of his last 5 short sprints on the grass, all at different tracks. One of Russo's runners, Belgrano, defeated odds-on NOBLE COMMANDER, who dueled and gave way in the six-horse field but has license to go non-stop in this spot. CHARMED could sit an identical trip to his victory with first-time Lasix last out. He stalked speedy repeat winner High Limit Room, angled out at the top of the stretch and won going away. That performance got upgraded when High Limit Room came back with a 4-1/2-length allowance victory. LEG E // GOLDEN GATE, RACE 3 (5:20PM ET) // STARTER ALLOWANCE // 1 1/16 MILES (ALL WEATHER) IZ INVINCIBLE raced in-hand until the 3/4-mile mark, was blocked behind a wall of horses on the final turn and made a late surge at BABY FRANKIE, who got the jump on him. He can turn the tables in here with a livelier pace flow, too. RIDEO starts fresh for a 34-percent barn and, like many of these, simply loves to win. He notched two victories at one mile on the Golden Gate main track early in the year when he last raced on it.  STRONACH 5 TICKET Leg A: 5, 6Leg B: 1, 4, 6Leg C: 3, 6, 7, 8, 9  Leg D: 1, 2, 4 Leg E: 2, 4 Cost for a $1 ticket: $180

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10.22.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Friday, October 22

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Kennebec; 6-Optimistic ValorForecast: The Friday opener is a $50,000 claiming turf miler restricted to 3-year-olds. There’s a strong likelihood of a faster-than-par pace scenario that theoretically should help the closers, but there’s always a possibility that one of these need-the-lead types gets loose without pressure and never looks back. Under the assumption that there will be enough early heat to compliment his style, Optimistic Valor receives top billing. Taken back and allowed to produce one late kick, the P. Miller-trained gelding was an impressive two-turn grass winner at Del Mar vs. slightly softer foes in a highly rated affair two races back but then had a rough go of it when overmatched in much tougher first-level allowance company and finished far back. Returning to his proper level today, the son of Optimizer switches to F. Prat and looks capable of wearing down the leaders close home. Kennebac is guaranteed an ideal ground-saving trip from his rail post, and with rising speed figures and an effective mid-pack stalking style the J. Wong-trained colt seems certain to fire another big shot. A clever winner with a career top number in a competitive starter’s allowance turf miler up north three weeks ago, the son of Lookin At Lucky can cope with any type of pace flow and hails from a stable that has superior stats (30%) with the repeat winner angle. We’ll give Optimistic Valor the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.Notable Workouts:6-Optimistic Valor (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.1h TT). Grade: B-Maintenance training track drill for sophomore gelding, breaking off a couple of lengths behind Roy C (5f, 1:02.3h TT) and then finishing head-and-head with barn mate at the wire with neither one being asked, splits of :25.1, :37.3 and 1:02.1, steady and even throughout. Maintains his form, now officially trained by P. Miller though he was in his barn when listed under W. Morey’s care during the Del Mar season. Can snap back with a class drop.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: B+Use: 4-Colosi; 5-Red ValorForecast: The two main players in this five-runner starter’s allowance ($12,500) extended sprint are drawn outside, with the versatile Colosi the one to beat in his first start following a facile two-turn mile score last month at Del Mar. Protected in a sign of confidence in his first start since being claimed by W. Spawr, the veteran gelding is a perfect one-for-one at this extended sprint distance, retains F. Prat, and should settle just off what projects to be soft early splits and then have his chance when called upon. The one to fear most is the razor sharp Red Valor, very dangerous as the likely controlling speed and a winner of his last four races with better than par speed figures for this level. He’s just one-for-11 during his career over the Santa Anita main track – all of his recent wins were earned either at Del Mar or Los Alamitos – but the S. Knapp-trained son of To Honor and Serve seems a much better type now and retains A. Cedillo, who has won five in a row when teaming up with ‘Valor. Colosi will get the edge on top, but both are “must uses” in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:5-Red Valor (October 10, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: BStrong work for S. Knapp, under a strong hold early and then under mild coaxing late, splits of :23.3, :35.1 and 1:00.2 on our watches. Loves to win races and prefers a role as the controlling speed. On edge while seeking his first straight win.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 4-What an Idea; 10-Good Vibes OnlyForecast: The known element isn’t much so let’s sink or swim using a couple of fresh faces in this below par maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for older state-bred horses. What an Idea debuts for the always-powerful P. Miller/F. Prat team (30%) following a string of fair-to-moderate workouts at San Luis Rey Downs. The son of Shackleford certainly should be fit, and with the presence of the meet’s leading rider and win-early breeding the sophomore gelding is a major contender by default. Good Vives Only, a Ruis Racing homebred by the outstanding speed sire Maclean’s Music, has looked okay on occasion in his a.m. preps and may be a bit faster than his workout times indicate. Drawn comfortably outside, he has a chance to load last, break first, and then have his chance to show what he’s capable of. In a race that might otherwise be best left alone, we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: XSingle: 3-MessierForecast: Messier somehow managed to get himself beat at 50 cents on the dollar in his debut at Los Alamitos in late June, going down by a length after racing greenly much of the way. The son of Empire Maker returns three months later and seems certain to be fitter, stronger, and more professional this time around. In a six runner field that doesn’t appear to have a whole lot in it, the B. Baffert-trained 2-year-old projects to be odds-on again, and this time we’re expecting the Canadian-bred colt to deliver the goods as a short-priced, no value rolling exotic single.Notable Workouts3-Messier (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h). Grade: B+Best with unnamed workmate working under the dam Nurse Donna (4f, :48.3h) in very sharp fashion for B. Baffert while working from half-mile pole to the seven-furlong pole, striding out wonderfully in the latter stages while earning splits of :23.2, :48.3 and 1:00.2 on our watches. Seems certain to display his best stuff next time out.View Workout Video4-Blackadder (October 6, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00h). Grade: B-Was outside unnamed stablemate working under the dam’s name Untouched Talent in drill from half mile pole to the seven-furlong pole, appearing slightly second best, splits of :24.1, :48.1 and 1:00.1 on our watches, some restraint early but ridden in the late stages. Quality Road colt has some run, but we’d tend to want to see a race first.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 4-Freedom Lass; 5-Cinnte WinnteForecast: Cinnte Winnte has produced a forward move in each of her five starts since being imported from Ireland and the P. Gallagher-trained filly returns to her proper distance of a mile over which she produced two sharp victories prior to winding up a strong third behind subsequent stakes winner England’s Rose in a mini-marathon allowance affair at Del Mar last month. The Irish-bred daughter of Born To Sea likes to settle early and blast home, and under regular rider U. Rispoli she should be along in time in this starter’s allowance affair for fillies and mares. Freedom Lass isn’t quite as fast on speed figures as our top pick, but she just missed by a neck in a similar affair last month at Del Mar, and in a field without pace she should close up throughout if not actually controlling proceedings on the front end. The M. Puype-trained filly has worked well since raced and could be primed for a career-top effort.Notable Workouts:4-Freedom Lass (October 8, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1h TT). Grade: BNever really asked much in solo training track drill for M. Puype, splits of :24.3, :36.2 and 1:01 flat on our watches, nice drill. Turf specialist looks good and appears ready for another good effort.View Workout Video5-Cinnte Winnte (October 14, Santa Anita, 4f, :50.1h). Grade: BWas eager in the opening stages but then just coasted through the lane, splits of :23.3 and :50 flat for grass specialist in P. Gallagher barn. Lightly raced and improving, looks good.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: XSingle: 3-Delta WindForecast: It’s tough to get past Delta Wind in this first-level allowance state-bred main track sprint for older fillies and mares. The daughter of Square Eddie annihilated a maiden-special-weight Cal-bred field by more than 11 lengths at Del Mar in late August and runner-up So Very Smart came back to graduate by more than six in her next start to frank the form. With a series of sharp recent a.m. drills in the interim, the J. Sadler-trained filly seems primed for another major effort and projects as an obvious short-priced rolling exotic single.Notable Workouts:3-Delta Wind (October 14, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h). Grade: BBreezing through the lane while clearly best over Comradery (same time) for J. Sadler, final half mile in :23.4 and :48.3. Put it together in her most recent race with a runaway maiden win and has further improvement in her.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:00 PT Grade:Single: 2-DenderaForecast: Dendera drops into a first-level allowance turf miler for juvenile fillies, is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat, and seems certain to be an odds-on choice based on her impressive maiden tally two races back. She projects to be the controlling speed, and given that type of trip the J. Sadler-trained daughter of Shaman Ghost should have no difficulty wiring her four rivals. She’s another logical, no-value, rolling exotic single.Notable Workouts:2-Dendera (October 16, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h). Grade: B-Easy to the top and then asked through the lane, final half mile on our watches in :24.1 and :49.3, laboring a bit in the late stages. Much better mover on turf and most likely will stick the lawn in the afternoon.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Naughty Evelyn; 5-Brittle and YouForecast: The R. Ellis barn has been ice cold all year (3-for-58) but Brittle and You could help things turn around a bit in today’s nightcap, a starter optional $25,000 claimer for fillies and mares over a mile on the main track. She remains protected in her second start after being haltered for $32,000 in a sign of confidence, and after a respectable third sprinting at Los Alamitos last month the daughter of Include stretches out to a surface and distance she’s proven she can handle. She’s likely to enjoy a good second flight, stalking trip behind what should be a better-than-average early pace that will compliment her style. Naughty Evelyn got loose on the lead and ran weak maiden claimers into the ground at Del Mar last month, with the result being a confidence-building 10 length victory. Similar tactics will be employed today, and another forward move is possible, though this group is significantly tougher. Preference on top goes to Brittle and You but we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.Notable Workouts:5-Brittle and You (October 1, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.4h). Grade: BAppeared quite sharp in solo main track drill, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :36.4, breezing throughout for R. Ellis. Much better on dirt than turf, it would appear. On edge.View Workout Video

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10.21.2021:

Johnny D: Santa Anita Late Pick 4 Ticket | Saturday, October 23

Xpressbet and 1ST BET continue to offer a daily sweetener to account holders who hit Santa Anita’s Late Pick 4 and are registered for a $2,000 Bonus. For the most part, these added-money kisses aren’t life-changing scores, you’ll still need to find those in the main arena, but who doesn’t mind a little extra cash? For example, last week’s payoffs and bonuses look like this: Friday, Oct. 15 (Wager Paid $132.50) 83 winners earned an additional $22.47 eachSaturday, Oct. 16 (Wager Paid $217.20) 46 winners earned an additional $43.48 eachSunday, Oct. 17 (Wager Paid $6,001.55) 2 winners earned an additional $1,000 each Not bad, not bad at all. Of course, the real trick is to first hit the wager. And, as you can tell by last Sunday’s numbers, that’s not always an easy road to travel. Nice to know that, if you’re right, there’s an added bonus waiting at the finish. You know you’re going to play the Late Pick 4 at Santa Anita. Why not register for the $2,000 bonus and collect a little more cash if you’re right? Registration is a snap, do it once and you’re covered for the entire season.  Below is one man’s attempt at guiding account holders toward successful Saturday Santa Anita Late Pick 4 plays. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pluck an informative gem or two from the horse-by-horse analysis. Analysis is designed to permit players to grasp reasoning behind each horse’s pros or cons. On the sport’s larger scale, Breeders’ Cup looms large just a few weeks from today. You can be certain that Xpressbet experts are burning the midnight oil in anticipation of delivering players a fun and informative edition of the Breeders’ Cup Wagering Guide. Stay tuned for information regarding guide availability online and free from Xpressbet! RACE 6 (6:37PM ET) // ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 FURONGS (DIRT) #1 Big Sweep won 3 of her first 5 races, including 2 state-bred stakes races. That all was at 2. At 3, she’s been close a couple of times at around this level. She continues to produce fast Beyer Speed Figures and will be a short price in here. She has failed as favorite in 2 of 3 2021 starts and must flee the challenging rail post position going six furlongs at Santa Anita. Perhaps, contemporaries have caught up to her in maturity? The main challenge for anyone attempting to beat her is that she’s just faster than everyone else. She tries, takes money every time, deserves respect and may just be the best of a so-so bunch. #2 Maxim Strider has been gone a year since finishing sixth in the grassy Surfer Girl at one mile in her second race. She won maiden first out going five furlongs on turf by closing from just off the pace. Trainer Miller is 18% with runners off long layoffs. She will race with Lasix for the first time in her switch to the dirt. #3 Honor America has been off since Feb when last in the Gr. 3 Las Virgines at one mile at Santa Anita. Before that she broke maiden in her second career start at six furlongs. She has some speed and ought to be in the early mix. Trainer Shelbe Ruis has good stats from limited tries in bringing runners back from layoffs. #4 Founder’s Day did her best to be a close second last out at Los Alamitos. She finished two lengths in front of #5 Queengol that afternoon. That was her third and best effort for new trainer Bob Hess since coming from Churchill Downs. Was that race a preview of things to come or her very best not likely to be immediately repeated? Victor Espinoza replaces Van Dyke in the irons. The latter moves to #3 Honor America. #5 Queengol was tried in 3 stakes races out of her first 4 starts and she managed 2 second placings. Off January to August, she’s started 3 times at about this level and hasn’t done a lot. She’s been out finished by #1 Big Sweep in two of those and by #4 Founder’s Day in the other. Interesting that Prat takes over today and he’s 28% for Sadler over a 32-race sample. A second-best of 22 half-mile blowout for this helps the cause. #6 Full of Grace is a 5-year-old new face on the SoCal circuit. She was claimed last out for $20k at Canterbury. Connections appear to be looking for a suitable spot and offer her up for $50k in here. BEST N PAPER: #1 REACHES: #4, #5 RACE 7 (7:08PM ET) // $70K LURE STAKES // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 Neptune’s Storm is a 5-year-old gelding who loves Santa Anita turf (4 for 11) and the distance on the lawn (5 for 11). He’s faced top competition for much of his career and usually run well when facing lower than Gr. 2 company. He comes out of the mile and one-quarter Gr. 2 John Henry Turf Cup where he was close to the early pace and faded. That race was Oct. 2, so he should be fitter for the effort and appreciate the return to his favorite distance and the class drop. He’s the one to beat but we doubt top jock Prat will be able to ‘walk the dog’ on the front end in here. There’s other speed that could make his job difficult. Still, he’s best on paper. #2 Order and Law is the kind of project trainer Mike Maker does well with—an older horse claimed and trained to win a stakes race… somewhere. This one was taken two back for $80k and pitched in the Gr. 2 City of Hope where he finished last. This is a better spot for the ridgeling, but his front-running style may not comfortably fit this race. He’s just 1 for 9 on SA turf and 2 for 10 at the distance on the lawn. Maker’s a magician with this kind but maybe later. #3 Shooters Shoot is a 4-year-old gelding who will try turf for the first time and race around two turns for the fifth time. Following back-to-back wins in his first four starts, this guy was 20-1 in the Santa Anita Derby where he set the early pace and faded to a well-beaten fifth. He’s tried a couple of sprint stakes and was second in the Gr. 2 Triple Bend at Santa Anita in May. It appears connections are still trying to figure out what this guy wants to do and a mile on grass is the latest guess.  #4 Lambeau is a 5-year-old who’s made just 8 career starts. Good news is that at that pace he’s not burned out. Bad news is that it means trainer Shirreffs has had a difficult time getting this one to the races for 3 wins. The intact horse will try turf for just the second time. His first out over the lawn was a poor race in his first career start and that can be forgiven. He’s a speedster who ought to heat up the early pace. Lots of guess work as to whether this one can handle the weeds. Probably will make him beat us.   #5 Dubby Dubbie is a 6-year-old who won his last start in August at Del Mar. He went wire-to-wire to take a $40k claiming race off an extended layoff for trainer John Sadler. These are tougher and there is other speed in here. He has been versatile in his career with his last 4 wins coming at 4 different tracks over synthetic and turf courses. #6 Majestic Eagle is a 6-year-old that has finished second in every other race for 6 starts since last October when he was second in this very race! He’s just 3 for 31, lifetime, 2 for 16 at Santa Anita and 1 for 13 at the distance on turf. On the other hand, he has a very healthy 7 and 5 seconds, respectively, in those categories. PACE-CHALLENGED BEST: #1MELT DOWN SPECIAL: #6 RACE 8 (7:40PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT) #1 Willy the Cobbler has done his best running at Los Al and Del Mar but has a runner-up finish at Santa Anita. He has little speed in a race without much pace. He was optimistically placed in the Shared Belief Stakes two back and that didn’t go well. He was third at about this level last out but 18 lengths behind the winner after a wide trip. #2 Divine Armor is a 4-year-old with no speed in a pace-less race. He has just 1 win in 9 starts but has 6 other in-the-money finishes. He keeps coming at the end of races and has been third and second, respectively, to runaway winners in his last two races. Count on him to gain another slice of the purse.  #3 Synthesis finished second, beaten just a head Sept. 17, so he’s in acceptable form. He has the best Beyer Speed Figures in the race and also should enjoy a pace advantage. He’s won 3 of 8 races at the distance. He was claimed for $32k by current connections and he’s been cleverly managed. He always is well bet and should be again in this race. He’s the one to beat. #4 Barbwire is an interesting lightly raced 3-year-old colt from the Richard Baltas barn. He’s got room to improve off a Maiden score in early Sept. Top jock Prat retains the mount and they should be sitting just off pacesetter #3 Synthesis. A bullet best-of-39 five-furlong work at San Luis Rey in :59 1/5 announces that this one is the major threat to the top choice. #5 Family Biz is a 5-year-old gelding making his first start at Sant Anita. He’s won 6 of 35 races with the majority of his success coming on the New York circuit. Two tries in Cali haven’t produced much. #6 Jack Sprout has 2 wins and they both came on turf. Even if he handles dirt, he’ll need to go faster than he has before. #7 Touchdown Brown is a 3-year-old with plenty of stakes experience—6 out of 8 races were for added money, including 4 against fellow Cal-breds. The gelding’s in decent form and won his most recent race—a state-bred Allowance/$20k optional claimer. This is a step up the class ladder but, perhaps, trainer Brian Korner and jockey Kent Desormeaux have found the key to him? BEST CHANCES: #3, #4NEXT: #7 RACE 9 (8:12PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 6 FURLONGS (TURF) #1 Silent Beauty did not finish in front of anyone in her first race at five furlongs. She’ll add blinkers and try again with Baze aboard. #2 Booze Runner improved for trainer Eric Kruljac in her first start for the trainer. She showed good speed and faded going five furlongs. That race should do her some good and Desormeaux replaces Frey in the saddle. Still, she’ll need to make substantial improvement again. Not impossible. #3 Lonely On Top is a first-time starter by Big Brown for Doug O’Neil. She has a couple of notable five furlong works—3 of them at San Luis Rey and 1 at Santa Anita. O’Neill has 2 runners in the body of the race and one on the Also Eligible list. She deserves some consideration. #4 Vulin makes a second start for Richard Baltas. She beat just 2 others at 2.80-1 in her first out at one mile on turf. Top jock Prat rode her that day. He moves to #12 Urban for this race and Rispoli will take over. Blinkers go on and that could wake this filly up a bit. She’s worked steadily for this since her disappointing first out. She’s a bit of a guess in here but the money she took in her first start with Prat pings the radar. #5 Shoppingforpharoah is a first-time starter for Jonathan Wong. She’s a daughter of American Pharoahwith some decent moves for this start. She’s trained at Golden Gate and Santa Anita and the trainer is 23% with first-time starters, most of those stats accumulated at the ‘Gate. #6 Ayellowroseoftexas makes her second start for trainer Peter Miller and he’s top notch in that situation at 27%. She beat just 1 first out at 28-1. A move to turf could help but she’ll really have to turn it around. Trainer’s stats best endorsement. #7 English Meadow made a first start at Emerald Downs and now is trained by Alana Greenfield. She would surprise with a strong race. #8 Tonito’s is one of 2 (3 including Also Eligibles) trained by Doug O’Neill. Like #3 Lonely On Top, this filly shows a few interesting five-furlong workouts. The former has a bit more impressive work tab than the latter but Tonito’s brought $90k as a 2-year-old. #9 Miss Mattie B switches to turf after a pair of dirt sprints. The daughter of Tonalist will need to improve on grass to threaten and we don’t see it. #10 Kjos Kid is a first-time starter and one of 2 starters for Richard Baltas. She has an OK series of works but nothing special. #11 One Arrow is a daughter of Munnings that starts first time for trainer Neil Drysdale, a Hall of Fame member not known for having runners cranked to win first time out. #12 Urban is the one to beat off a pair of late-running efforts—one at five furlongs and the other at one mile, both on turf. Her last start was in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar. Top jock Prat moves to her saddle. That’s important because, from the 12-post position, Prat will need to use all of his skills to get this one successfully rolling from behind. A bullet, best-of-23 five-furlong workout Oct. 17 reinforces this one’s bona fides. #13 She’s So Shiny must draw into the race. If she does, she’ll add early spice to the mix, based on the speed she’s shown in four previous dirt sprints. ONE TO BEAT: #12 FILLIES OF INTEREST: #3, #4, #8 MY BETS $5.00 Pick 4 ($30) Race 6: #1Race 7: #1, #3, #6Race 8: #3, #4Race 9: #12 $.50 Pick 4 ($36) Race 6: #1, #4, #5Race 7: #1, #6Race 8: #3, #4, #7Race 9: #3, #4, #8, #12 Race On!

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10.20.2021:

Jon White: Two Hall of Famers Top Breeders' Cup Classic Figs | Wednesday, October 20

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar is fast approaching. With that in mind, it’s interesting to examine the history of the Beyer Speed Figures for the richest of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races, the $6 million Classic. Sunday Silence and Ghostzapper share the distinction of having achieved the top Beyer Speed Figure in the 37 editions of the BC Classic. They each registered a 124 Beyer in the 1 1/4-mile event. One morning years ago at Santa Anita, I asked trainer Charlie Whittingham who was the best horse he ever trained. He told me it was Sunday Silence. The 1989 edition of the BC Classic was a race for the ages. It featured a showdown for the 1989 Horse of the Year title between Triple Crown combatants Sunday Silence and Easy Goer, two of the best Thoroughbreds to appear on the American racing stage during that decade. Sunday Silence and Easy Goer finished one-two in all three legs of the Triple Crown. Sunday Silence zigzagged his way down the stretch on a muddy track and won the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths. Easy Goer finished second. In an epic renewal of the Preakness Stakes, Sunday Silence eked out a nose victory at the end of a furious stretch battle with Easy Goer, who again had to settle for second. Easy Goer then won the Belmont Stakes by eight dominant lengths to spoil Sunday Silence’s bid for Triple Crown glory. This time it was Sunday Silence who ran second. The 1989 BC Classic at Gulfstream Park featured a showdown for the Horse of the Year title between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer. In one of the most thrilling Breeders’ Cup races of all time, Sunday Silence prevailed by a neck when able to stave off runner-up Easy Goer in the final strides. Sunday Silence was indeed elected 1989 Horse of the Year. Victorious in nine of 14 lifetime starts, Sunday Silence was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996. The Kentucky-bred son of Halo ranks No. 26 on my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century to have raced in North America. One morning years ago at Santa Anita, I asked Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel who was the best horse he ever trained. He told me it was Ghostzapper. In a sparkling performance, Ghostzapper won the 2004 BC Classic by three lengths at Lone Star Park. Roses in May ran second. Roses in May would go on to take the Group I Dubai World Cup in 2005. Prior to the 2004 BC Classic, Ghostzapper won that year’s Grade I Woodward by a neck over Saint Liam. Saint Liam would go on to capture the 2005 BC Classic. Ghostzapper was voted 2004 Horse of the Year. Victorious in seven of nine career starts, Ghostzapper was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. The Kentucky-bred son of Awesome Again ranks No. 12 on my list of the Top 25 Racehorses of the 21st Century to have raced in North America. Below are the Beyers for BC Cup Classic winners going back to its inaugural running in 1984, listed in order from the highest to lowest: 124 Sunday Silence (1989)124 Ghostzapper (2004)122 Alysheba (1988)120 Proud Truth (1985)120 Black Tie Affair (1991)120 Skip Away (1997)120 American Pharoah (2015)120 Arrogate (2016)119 Pleasantly Perfect (2003)119 Curlin (2007)118 Skywalker (1986)118 Cat Thief (1999)117 Ferdinand (1987)117 Cigar (1995)117 Tiznow (2001)117 Fort Larned (2012)117 Gun Runner (2017)116 Unbridled (1990)116 Awesome Again (1998)116 Tiznow (2000)116 Volponi (2002)116 Invasor (2006)115 Concern (1994)115 Alphabet Soup (1996)114 A.P. Indy (1992)114 Arcangues (1993)113 Wild Again (1984)113 Bayern (2014)112 Zenyatta (2009)*112 Saint Liam (2005)112 Mucho Macho Man (2005)111 Blame (2010)111 Accelerate (2018)111 Vino Rosso (2019)111 Authentic (2020)110 Raven’s Pass (2008)*104 Drosselmeyer (2011) *Run on a synthetic surface BEST BEYERS BY A BC WINNER Now let’s take a look at the highest Beyer Speed Figures ever record by a Breeders’ Cup winner. At the top of the list is Precisionist’s 125 Beyer when he won the 1985 BC Sprint at Aqueduct. Chris McCarron rode the handsome 4-year-old colt for owner-breeder Fred W. Hooper and trainer Ross Fenstermaker. Precisionist’s victory in the 1985 BC Sprint on Nov. 2 was all the more impressive in that he had not raced since June 23. It’s also mighty impressive, to say the least, that in all the Breeders’ Cup races since 1984, no Breeders’ Cup winner has been able to tie or top Precisionist’s 125 Beyer when he won the Sprint. Below are all the Beyers of 115 or higher recorded by a winner in the history of the Breeders’ Cup: 125 Precisionist in the 1985 Sprint at Aqueduct 124 Sunday Silence in the 1989 Classic at Gulfstream Park124 Artax in the 1999 Sprint at Gulfstream Park124 Ghostzapper in the 2004 Classic at Churchill Downs 122 Alysheba in the 1988 Classic at Churchill Downs 121 Very Subtle* in the 1987 Sprint at Hollywood Park 120 Princess Rooney* in the 1984 Distaff at Hollywood Park120 Proud Truth in the 1985 Classic at Aqueduct120 Black Tie Affair in the 1991 Classic at Churchill Downs120 Skip Away in the 1997 Classic at Hollywood Park120 Cajun Beat in the 2003 Sprint at Santa Anita Park120 American Pharoah in the 2015 Classic at Keeneland120 Arrogate in the 2017 Classic at Santa Anita 119 Miesque* in the 1987 Mile at Hollywood Park119 Inside Information* in the 1995 Distaff at Belmont Park119 Squirtle Squirt in the 2001 Sprint at Belmont Park119 Pleasantly Perfect in the 2003 Classic at Santa Anita Park119 Corinthian in the 2007 Dirt Mile at Monmouth Park119 Curlin in the 2007 Classic at Monmouth Park 118 Smile in the 1986 Sprint at Santa Anita Park118 Skywalker in the 1986 Classic at Santa Anita Park118 Daylami in the 1999 Turf at Gulfstream Park118 Cat Thief in the 1999 Classic at Gulfstream Park 117 Miesque* in the 1988 Mile at Churchill Downs117 Ferdinand in the 1987 Classic at Hollywood Park117 Cigar in the 1995 Classic at Belmont Park117 Fantastic Light in the 2001 Turf at Belmont Park117 Tiznow in the 2001 Classic at Belmont Park117 Fort Larned in the 2012 Classic at Santa Anita Park117 Gun Runner in the 2017 Classic at Del Mar 116 Gulch in the 1988 Sprint at Churchill Downs116 Safely Kept* in the 1990 Sprint at Belmont Park116 Unbridled in the 1990 Classic at Belmont Park116 Tiznow in the 2000 Classic at Churchill Downs116 Volponi in the 2002 Classic at Arlington Park116 Thor’s Echo in the 2006 Sprint at Churchill Downs116 Invasor in the 2006 Classic at Churchill Downs116 Conduit in the 2008 Turf at Santa Anita 115 Theatrical in the 1987 Turf at Hollywood Park115 Personal Ensign* in the 1988 Distaff at Churchill Downs115 Bayakoa* in the 1989 Distaff at Gulfstream Park115 Dancing Spree in the 1989 Sprint at Gulfstream Park115 Concern in the 1994 Classic at Churchill Downs115 Pilsudski in the 1996 Turf at Woodbine *Filly or mare A 117 TOP BEYER OF 2017 BC WINNERS Current hot sire Gun Runner was credited with a 117 Beyer Speed Figure when he won the BC Classic at Del Mar in 2017. That ranked as the highest Beyer recorded by a winner at that Breeders’ Cup. Below are the Beyers for the winners of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup races, listed from the highest to the lowest: 117 Gun Runner (Classic)111 Roy H (Sprint)108 Battle of Midway (Dirt Mile)108 Talismanic (Turf)107 World Approval (Mile)104 Wuheida (Filly & Mare Turf)103 Stormy Liberal (Turf Sprint)100 Good Magic (Juvenile) 99 Forever Unbridled (Distaff) 94 Bar of Gold (Filly & Mare Sprint) 86 Mendelssohn (Juvenile Turf) 85 Rushing Fall (Juvenile Fillies Turf) 82 Caledonia Road (Juvenile Fillies) Gun Runner won the 2017 BC Classic by 2 1/4 lengths at Del Mar, but it was no walk in the park. While he was showing the way through the early stages, he had Collected breathing down his neck. On the far turn, Gun Runner and Collected were well clear of the other nine starters. Coming into the stretch, it appeared that Gun Runner and Collected were going to slug it out all the way to the finish, as Trevor Denman noted during his call of the race when he said, “It looks like we’re in for a classic in the Classic.” But before Denman could finish that sentence, just as they were approaching the eighth pole, Gun Runner began to put away Collected. Gun Runner increased his advantage to a length with a furlong to go, then gradually increased his lead the rest of the way to win by 2 1/4 lengths in 2:01.29. Collected had to settle for second. West Coast finished third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Collected. War Story came in fourth. Arrogate and Gunnevera finished in a dead heat for fifth, followed in order by Churchill, Mubtaahij, War Decree, Pavel and Win the Space. It was Arrogate’s third straight defeat after he had put together a fantastic four-race winning streak. The streak began in the 2016 Travers in which Arrogate smashed Saratoga’s 38-year-old 1 1/4-mile track record by four-fifths of a second. Next, Arrogate won the 2016 BC Classic with a powerful late surge that carried him to victory over California Chrome at Santa Anita. Arrogate made it three straight wins in the 2017 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, a race in which he broke Gulfstream Park’s track record for 1 1/8 miles. Arrogate’s triumph in the subsequent 2017 Dubai World Cup was nothing less than sensational. He overcame a horrible start to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths. During Terry Spargo’s call of the race, he said of Arrogate that “we’ve seen the anointing of the Man o’ War of the 21st century.” However, after the Dubai World Cup, for whatever reason or reasons, the so-called “Man o’War of the 21st century” lost his next three starts -- all on Del Mar’s main track -- before heading off to stud. Following Arrogate’s sensational victory in Dubai, he lost the Grade II San Diego Handicap by 15 1/4 lengths as a 1-20 favorite on July 22 at Del Mar. He then finished second, a half-length behind Collected, in the Grade I Pacific Classic on Aug. 19 at Del Mar when he was a 3-5 favorite. Despite Arrogate’s losses in the San Diego and Pacific Classic, he was a slight $2.10 to $1 favorite in the BC Classic. Gun Runner was sent away at $2.40 to $1. But Arrogate could do no better than finish 6 1/4 lengths behind Gunner Runner. When Gun Runner ran second in the Dubai World Cup, he had been no match for Arrogate. But Gun Runner would not lose again for the rest of the year. He reeled off four consecutive Grade I victories. In Gun Runner’s first start after his trip to Dubai, he won the Stephen Foster Handicap by seven lengths at Churchill Downs on June 17. That was followed by a 5 1/4-length victory in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 5. Gun Runner then continued his winning ways on Sept. 2 in Saratoga’s Woodward Stakes, in which he was 10 1/4 lengths in front at the finish in his final start before the BC Classic. MAN O’ WAR POSTCARD SENT TO KHRC I came across an interesting story written by Michael Berk that appeared earlier this month on the lex18.com website regarding a 1938 Man o’ War postcard. Berk is a news anchor and reporter for WLEX TV in Lexington, Ky. According to Berk, Marc Guilfoil received the Man o’ War postcard out of the blue at his office in Lexington, Ky. Guilfoil is the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The postcard had been sent to the KHRC office by 93-year-old Lowell Joerg. “Joerg has a retirement hobby that he calls ‘a redistribution of happiness.’ He finds things at antique stores, or wherever he might be, and sends them to people or places he feels will most benefit from having the item,” Berk wrote. “Too much misery in the world. Might as well make someone happy,” Berk quoted Joerg as saying from his assisted living facility in California. When Berk came across a 1938 postcard with Man o’ War pictured on the front, Berk felt the need to buy it and send it “home” to Kentucky. Jeorg was tickled to learn that he had chosen well in terms of where to send the postcard in that “Man o’ War was buried near the Commission’s office,” Berk wrote. Guilfoil was touched by what Joerg had done. “It just floored me that somebody would take the time to do something like this,” Guilfoil said. “Normally, when we get something like this, I think of sending it to the Keeneland Library or the Derby Museum at Churchill Downs,” Guilfoil added. “But this one is staying right here!” Guilfoil said he will have the postcard and Joerg’s letter framed, then put on display in a prominent place at the KHRC office. Guilfoil and his staff also will be sending Jeorg “a very thoughtful gift” as a gesture of gratitude. “There’s another part of this story that’ll floor most anyone who continues reading,” Berk wrote. Appearing with Man o’ War on the postcard is his longtime groom, Will Harbut, who famously called Man o’ War “de mostest hoss that ever wuz.” Greg Harbut, who currently is a member of the KHRC, is a grandson of Will Harbut. How great was Man o’ War? He tied or broke world, American or track records at seven different distances: one mile, 1 1/16 miles, 1 1/8 miles, 1 1/4 miles, 1 3/8 miles, 1 1/2 miles and 1 5/8 miles. Man o’ War ranked No. 1 on BloodHorse’s list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century. He also holds the top spot on my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century to have raced in North America. Below is my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century (in parentheses, when applicable, is where the horse ranked on BloodHorse’s list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century):    1. Man o’ War (1)   2. Secretariat* (2)   3. Citation* (3)   4. Kelso (4)   5. Spectacular Bid (10)   6. Native Dancer (7)   7. Dr. Fager (6)   8. Seattle Slew* (9)   9. Count Fleet* (5) 10. Affirmed* (12) 11. Ruffian (35) 12. Swaps (20) 13. Forego (8) 14. Phar Lap (22) 15. Buckpasser (14) 16. Damascus (16) 17. Round Table (17) 18. Seabiscuit (25) 19. War Admiral* (13) 20. Tom Fool (11) 21. Colin (15) 22. John Henry (23) 23. Regret (71) 24. Exterminator (29) 25. Whirlaway* (26) 26. Sunday Silence (31) 27. Cigar (18) 28. Nashua (24) 29. Alydar (27) 30. Easy Goer (34) 31. Alysheba (42) 32. Bold Ruler (19) 33. Personal Ensign (48) 34. All Along (68) 35. Equipoise (21) 36. Gallant Fox* (28) 37. Sysonby (30) 38. Gallant Man (36) 39. Assault* (33) 40. Armed (39) 41. Sir Barton* (49) 42. Northern Dancer (43) 43. Omaha* (61) 44. Ack Ack (44) 45. Discovery (37) 46. Majestic Prince (46) 47. Arts and Letters (67) 48. Stymie (41) 49. Challedon (38) 50. Pan Zareta 51. Noor (69) 52. Busher (40) 53. Gallorette (45) 54. Coaltown (47) 55. Sword Dancer (53) 56. Grey Lag (54) 57. Devil Diver (55) 58. Dahlia (50) 59. Zev (56) 60. Ta Wee (80) 61. Twilight Tear (59) 62. Riva Ridge (57) 63. Native Diver (60) 64. Holy Bull (64) 65. Precisionist 66. Inside Information 67. Shuvee (70) 68. Twenty Grand (52) 69. Skip Away (32) 70. Sham 71. Alsab (65) 72. Lady’s Secret (76) 73. Genuine Risk (91) 74. A.P. Indy 75. Landaluce 76. Silver Charm (63) 77. Susan’s Girl (51) 78. Cicada (62) 79. Go for Wand (72) 80. Slew o’ Gold (58) 81. Bald Eagle (74) 82. Exceller (96) 83. Tim Tam 84. Top Flight (66) 85. Manila 86. Johnstown (73) 87. Lure (85) 88. Princess Rooney 89. Two Lea (77) 90. Gallant Bloom (79) 91. Miesque (82) 92. Eight Thirty (78) 93. Fort Marcy (86) 94. Hoist the Flag 95. Cougar II 96. Gamely (87) 97. Carry Back (83) 98. Ancient Title 99. Bayakoa (95)100. Formal Gold *Triple Crown winner Below is my list of the Top 25 Racehorses of the 21st Century so far:  1. American Pharoah* 2. Zenyatta 3. Justify* 4. Curlin 5. Arrogate 6. Shared Belief 7. California Chrome 8. Rachel Alexandra 9. Barbaro10. Tiznow11. Wise Dan12. Ghostzapper13. Point Given14. Invasor15. Gun Runner16. Beholder17. Smarty Jones18. Azeri19. Lava Man20. Goldikova21. Bernardini22. Rags to Riches23. Candy Ride24. Kona Gold25. Xtra Heat *Triple Crown winner THIS WEEK’S NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL Knicks Go again holds the No. 1 spot in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll this week. This is the 11th consecutive week he has held the top spot in the poll. This week’s Top 10 is listed below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)  1. 339 Knicks Go (23) 2. 312 Letruska (6) 3. 299 Essential Quality (7) 4. 158 Jackie’s Warrior 5. 149 Hot Rod Charlie 6. 129 Gamine 7. 125 Medina Spirit 8.   95 Art Collector 9.   83 Max Player10.   68 Domestic Spending  

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10.18.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, October 18

Northfield Park has a competitive 15-race card set for this evening. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 114-Two Of Hardts (25-1)-Going to spread here with the chalk starting in the 2nd tier and will look for a price. This 3-year-old has enough gate speed to race near the top and Sugg can provide a good steer.6-Heerz Hoosierhunny (20-1)-Here is a longshot from team Kash that has hit the board in 5 of 10 here with 2 pictures. Makes the 2nd start in a new barn and has been tossing hints, looks worthy of a swing at a juicy price.7-One Last Laugh (6-1)-Last start was the 1st time in 9 races this 4-year-old didn't hit the board, so willing to excuse. Does best when racing near the top and Wrenn could leave. There isn't much gate speed inside and should offer a fair price.9-Out On Bail (2-1)-Four-year-old sports a perfect 2 for 2 record at NFLD but those wins didn't come from the 2nd tier. Will respect connections but may have issues getting into striking range.Race 122-Chasin' Dreams (9/2)-Dropped to this level but couldn't get into the race from post 8 as the pace was slow. Fits with this kind and the trip should be better.4-Robin Banks(2-1)-Shipped in from ScD and dropped and popped at .50 on the $1.00. Has hit the board in 8 of 12 at NFLD with 5 pictures. Program chalk looks the part.Race 133-Lyons Snyder (9/2)-Has been in the mix but lately, hasn't showed enough pop late in the mile. This is a beatable group and may get an efficient trip from this post.7-Music Is Art (9/5)-Just missed from post 9 and now drops a notch. Wrenn should have the pedal down and if he lands on the point in good shape it could be a long night for the others. Looks like a real threat but can't completely trust.Race 141-Y S Joe (9/2)-Using from this post and Davis Jr seems to get along well. Needs to be on the point, and should be there if dialed on high.6-Imideal Hanover (4-1)-Has not seen real action since 8-23 but did qualify twice at NFLD in October. Appears ready for a big effort and the Rhoades-Merriman combo merits respect.My Ticket Race 11) 4,6,7,9 Race 12) 2,4 Race 13) 3,7 Race 14) 1,6Total Ticket Cost) $32 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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10.17.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Rosecroft Raceway Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, October 17

Rosecroft Raceway has 13 races set to roll this evening. The feature is carded as Race 11, a Preferred Open Handicap with a $12,000 purse. The 0.50 Pick 4 begins in Race 9, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast trackRace 95-Tellitlikelynn (5/2)-Steps-up in the 2nd RcR start after taking a picture as an odds-on choice. Best to respect chances of another trip to the winner's circle, was off a month before the last race.7-Racer Pacer (4-1)-Comes off a big try from the 9-hole last week to finish 3rd. This will be the 3rd start here and has shown the ability to win with an outside post. Should be a player and might get overlooked at the windows.Race 101-Panther's Pinot (9/2)-Drops after racing well and finishing 2nd in its RcR debut. This post draw should help the cause and has the gate speed to be put play in early in the mile. Using and hoping the morning line odds hold up.2-Better Than Some (4-1)-Comes off a double qualifier at RcR and should relish the company in 1st start here. Hasn't raced since 6-5 but if dialed on high should be a threat. Likes to race near the top of the stack and Moyer can follow that plan.4-Dance On The Beach (3-1)-Recent form has been dull but was facing Open company. Morand should be able to work an efficient trip and make a well-timed move to get an overdue win. Has hit the board in 24 of 48 RcR starts with 9 wins.Race 111-Volley Ball Beach (4-1)-Couldn't get on the engine from post 7 and lost all chance. This time the rail should take care of that problem. Has the gate speed to be put in play and race near the lead at a fair price.4-Derby Dog Hanover (8-1)-Took the long way around from post 9 and still cashed the top check. Steps-up but so do 3 others. Should offer a nice price, best to respect and has hit the board in 7 of 9 with 4 wins at RcR. Will look for some value and play against the 2 morning line chalks who start outside.Race 121-Manaccount (7/2)-Makes the 3rd start at RcR, raced well from the rail and then got stuck with post 9 in last and had no chance. Could be sitting on a big try and should have enough gate speed to come away on the point or in the pocket.5-Dirt On My Boots (3-1)-Makes the 2nd start in town and drops. Starts in a good slot to find some live cover and that type of trip may work well. Should be better with a race over the track and has hit the board in 14 of 20 at RcR with 6 pictures.My Ticket Race 9) 5,7 Race 10) 1,2,4 Race 11) 1,4 Race 12) 1,5Total Ticket Cost) $12 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.17.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Sunday, October 17

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Tony Ann; 6-AnnaghlasaForecast: Tony Ann encountered a bit of trouble when forced to alter course in mid-stretch and wound up a close third in a similar maiden turf sprint for fillies and mares at Del Mar in late August, an effort that earns her the role as the short-priced (6/5 ML) choice in today’s opener. Truthfully, the running line flatters her but unless her European import stable mate is at least better than average for this level (and we think she is), the daughter of Cairo Prince probably graduates at a short price. Annaghlasa gives the barn a powerful one-two punch and a legitimate chance – based strictly on her only start overseas – to spring a mild surprise at 4-1 on the morning line. A respectable fourth of 16 at Gowran Park in early May in a race in which she lacked a clear path when full of run midway, the 3-year-old Irish-bred filly stayed on reasonably well and was subsequently imported. She has trained quite well and should be plenty fit to fire a big shot in her U.S. debut. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics but reserve the main punch for the better-priced Annaghlasa.Notable Workouts:2-Tony Ann (October 10, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.3h TT). Grade: B-In blinkers, broke off several lengths in front of She’s So Nice (5f, 1:02h TT) and Gold Dragon Queen (5f, 1:02.1h TT) and received the slowest of the three final times but actually worked fine while crossing the wire first along the rail and doing so without undue pressure, splits of :37.4 and 1:02.3, plenty left late. In good shape has room for further development.View Workout Video6-Annaghlasa (October 11, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.3h TT). Grade: BIn company inside Gold Phoenix (same time) in training track drill for D’Amato, proving slightly best without being asked, final half mile in :23.4 and :48.4, solid drill. Ran well in only outing last spring in Ireland and appears to have acclimated well. Seems fit, should be live vs. older maidens in her first local appearance.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: B-Single: 3-Horse GreedyForecast: Let’s take a stand in this $10,000 claiming sprint for older horses while trying to beat the first two morning line choices. Alleva (9/5) drops to the bottom after a disappointing run in a starter’s allowance sprint at Los Alamitos last month, but a repeat of his restricted (nw-3) $20,000 win two races back – an effort that produced a career top speed figure - would make him the one to beat. However, the D. O’Neill-trained gelding was able to quickly establish the pace in that race and today he’ll have to cope with Bibleman (2-1), who is drawn outside and is the quicker of the two, though not particular generous under pressure, himself. The way we see it, the race could easily set up nicely for Horse Greedy (7/2), the ex-classer who went stale in the spring and was stopped on. The P. Miller-trained gelding returns showing a bullet six furlong drill at San Luis Rey Downs earlier this month and goes for a stable that has strong stats with layoff runners. The eight-year-old gelding has run well off the bench in the past and does his best work from off the pace, so if the speed caves in, he’ll be in the right spot to produce the last run.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: XSingle: 3-PicotaForecast: Picota performed admirably when third in his U.S. debut in the Zuma Beach S. over this course and distance earlier this month and anything close that effort in this maiden event should be more than good enough. In that race the P. D’Amato-trained colt steadied in traffic early, found room to rally through the lane and finished with interest before galloping out nicely. A bullet three furlong blowout (:36 4/5) over the training track since that race indicates he came out of the race in good order and is ready to step forward. At 6/5 on the morning line the English-bred colt is a logical, short-priced rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: C+Use: 4-Yellow Dress; 5-Sweet Soulmate; 7-RighteouslyForecast: Here’s a toughie, a $25,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Sweet Soulmate has rising speed figures and projects as the best of the speed types. She’s won three out of seven career starts – all in gate-to-wire fashion – and if she can make the lead over this speed-favoring track the daughter of Twirling Candy might be able to stick it out. Righteously returns to her proper level and may regain her best form after not being quite up to first-level allowance competition at Los Alamitos in her last two outings. She might be most effective with a patient ride and given that there’s other speed in the field waiting tactics probably should be employed. Yellow Dress, away a couple of months but a solid runner-up at this level last time out at Del Mar, should be running on late and rates a good look if a pace meltdown materializes. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.Notable Workouts:5-Sweet Soulmate (October 9, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.2h). Grade: B-Steady work without much pressure, splits of :24.3, :36.3 and 1:01.2, solid drill for this level of filly. Has some improvement in her and looks ready for good effort.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Ingest; 3-Crossword; 9-Ka’nahForecastThis grass grab bag for restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming older sprinters looks chaotic with nothing to trust, and no result would be surprising. We’ll try to survive going three-deep but the only safe way to advance is to “buy” the race. Ka’nah was awful at 40 cents on the dollar eight days ago and wound up sixth of seven beaten more than eight lengths, but new trainer D. O’Neill wheels him back quickly and moves him to grass, so there’s a reasonable possibility that the son of Gio Ponti will bounce back with a good effort. The veteran gelding has run well over the local lawn in the past, is assured clear sailing from his outside draw, switches to J. Hernandez, and projects to enjoy an ideal pace-stalking trip in a race without much early speed signed on. O’Neill’s other entrant, Ingest, drops to his lowest level ever and may be able to secure the role as the controlling speed. Given that type of trip over a course he’s won on in the past, the son of Square Eddie could get brave. Crossword is a fit on speed figures but has never had any success on this grass course. The sharp drop in class certainly should help and his runner-up effort two runs back sprinting on turf at Del Mar gives him something of a look.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:48 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Burnin Turf; 5-Big Story; 6-BetitoForecast: Yet another challenging affair, this one for California-bred first-level allowance optional claimers over a mile on the main track. Betito, away for more than two months following a pair of poor performances, could easily snap back over his favorite dirt surface. He’s proven to be a need-the-lead type and probably will be fully committed to the front-end leaving the gate, a logical strategy in a race in which the closers are highly suspect. The son of Heat Shield exits a pair of races in open company and should greatly appreciate this return to the state-bred ranks. Burnin Turf shows a significant edge in the speed figure department, but all five of his career outings have come on turf and there’s no real assurance, at least based on pedigree, that those efforts will be duplicated on dirt. The D. Blacker-trained gelding projects to be close up throughout and have every chance, but his lack of proven form on dirt makes him suspect. Blacker’s other starter, Big Story, isn’t as fast on numbers as Burnin Turf but at least we know he can handle the Santa Anita main track. Freshened since mid-August, the son of Mr. Big stretches out again and seems likely to be forwardly placed throughout. A maiden seven furlong win two runs back was reasonably decent and with just six career starts he should still have plenty of room for improvement.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:19 PT Grade: BUse: 4-North County Boy; 6-Unbridled Ethos; 7-Whooping JayForecast: Here’s a treat, a rare race carded for the downhill turf course featuring state-bred older sprinters in the California Flag Handicap. Whooping Jay, first off an $80,000 claim by M. Glatt, is a tough and genuine grass sprinter returning in two weeks following a troubled trip sprinting on the flat course when third after lacking room on the turn and then getting clear too late. The son of Square Eddie can be tough on the front end or rallying from mid-pack so new trainer J. Brave can assess the pace flow and choose his strategy. North County Guy always is tough to beat, whether he’s sprinting, routing, or marathoning. The R. Baltas-trained gelding looked quite good winning his last start two-turning at Del Mar with a powerful figure, one that makes him the one to fear most despite this shortening in trip. U. Rispoli will have him settled early and then produce him when the time is right. Unbridled Ethos was a late scratch out of an allowance race here on Oct. 2 and didn’t work back until Oct. 10, so his condition is (or was) a question. But a troubled third (beaten a length) behind our top pick in a race in late August at Del Mar makes him a contender on paper, so we’ll include the J. Mullins-trained gelding on a ticket, at least as a back-up or a saver.Notable Workouts:6-Unbridled Ethos (September 26, 5f, 1:00.1h TT). Grade: BBreezing along in easy fashion, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :36.2 in very nice training track drill. Appears on edge.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:40 PT Grade: B-Use: 6-Scream and Shout; 9-LunaticForecast: The P. Miller barn is strong with layoffs, which is why we’re giving Lunatic top billing in this bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for older fillies and mares. Off the track since February but with a healthy recent series of drills at San Luis Rey Downs, the class dropping daughter of Mshawish removes blinkers, gets a break in the weights with the switch to 7-lb. bug rider D. Herrera, and has back numbers that are good enough to win this modest affair. Scream and Shout probably is the quickest in the field and if she can shake loose early without pressure the T. Yakteen-trained 4-year-old could prove troublesome. She’s a bit suspect in the lane (they all are in here) but over a track that promotes her style the daughter of Blame could get brave. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to Lunatic.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:12 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Another Eddie; 5-September Secret; 6-Miss Carousel; 10-Greg’s DivaForecast: The Sunday nightcap is a wide-open turf sprint for entry-level allowance fillies and mares that offers several price possibilities. In her first outing since the previous November, September Secret had a nightmarish trip in a similar affair at Del Mar last month and seems certain to run better today with good racing luck. The P. Miller-trained filly was in heavy traffic down the backstretch, was shuffled back and steadied to lose her position, t hen raced in traffic in the upper stretch before finding room inside and coming home strongly to finish sixth, beaten five lengths, and then galloping out in front around the clubhouse. We’re expecting she’ll be fitter and sharper today, so at 6-1 on the morning line daughter of Grazen offers a reasonable gamble. Also listed at 6-1 is Miss Carousel, who was no factor in an all-weather sprint up north last time out but could easily return to top form with return to grass. Most effective as a late-running sprinter, the E. Freedman-trained filly was a good winner of two turf sprints at Del Mar during the summer meeting and is reunited with “win rider” G. Franco. Another Eddie (15-1) is another long shot that might outrun her price. With two wins and a second in three career starts over the Santa Anita turf course, the B. Cecil-trained sophomore has a number back in the spring that makes her dangerous and with some help up front could be heard from late. Greg’s Diva is the quickest in the field and will take them as far as she can. She had a right to need her last outing (her first since November) when worn down late but with the break in the weighs with the switch to bug girl J. Pyfer the daughter of Shackleford may prove an elusive target.

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10.17.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 5 Ticket at Woodbine | Sunday, October 17

The Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes and Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes are enough of a lure at Woodbine on Sunday, and those two in the 20-cent Late Pick 5 make the day all that much more alluring.The sequence runs in races 7-12. The E.P. Taylor goes as the eighth and the Nearactic is the ninth.Here’s a look at this Sunday’s play, which amounts to $76.80:7th Race (4:04 p.m. ET, allowance)ANTIGONE had a three-race winning streak in July and August and most recently lost an optional claiming race by a nose. She displayed eye-catching late moves in her last two turf races – most recent a fourth going seven furlongs and a win going a mile two races back.The 1 1-16th-mile distance on the turf should play well for her.Also on the ticket: #2 ADMIRING, #4 A LITTLE VOODOO, #6 TRANSIENT.8th Race (4:37 p.m. ET, G1 E.P. Taylor S.)LA DRAGONTEA takes on a legit Grade 1 field here and goes for her third straight victory.Her most recent came in the G2 Canadian Stakes and she’ll probably benefit from having had that start here. Has a good thing with jockey Joel Rosario, who is three of four aboard her, and she’s three of five since arriving from Great Britain this year.Trainer Christophe Clement has the filly at the top of her game and ready for his spot.Also on the ticket: #2 ETOILE, #3 COURT RETURN, #4 KALIFORNIA QUEEN, #6 MUTAMAKINA, #8 GREAT ISLAND.9th Race (5:09 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)LOOKIN TO STRIKE was third in the G3 Bold Venture last out and has significant stakes experience that will make this veteran a strong player in this allowance race.Will have a fast pace to chase and he can bring his best in the final furlong. He comes out of a race in which he was third all the way around and because of being close-up lacked late energy. Opponents at this level likely will back up to him.Also on the ticket: ARTIE.10th Race (5:44 p.m. ET, G2 Nearctic S.)ADMIRALTY PIER has been in front of Grade 1 competition going longer distances but his connections have found a new approach: Sprints. He was far back early in the six-furlong, G1 Highlander Stakes and rallied from last to second, beaten a half-length by Silent Poet.It marked the first time he’d been ridden by Antonio Gallardo, who gets the return call for trainer Barbara Minshall. The Highlander was raced in 1:07 4-5, and a return to the six furlongs should play in his favor.Also on the ticket: OLYMPIC RUNNER, AVIE’S FLATTER, TOWN CRUISE.11th Race (6:16 p.m. ET, claiming)FRAME THIS has toiled against much tougher since being claimed last year by the Tiller barn, and he drops to his lowest level since breaking his maiden for $10,000 last year.He was second by a head and third by 4 1-4 against $40,000 optional claimers this year and most recently was unplaced for $25,000. He gets back to the purchase price today and should show significant improvement.Also on the ticket: WIDE AWAKE.My Ticket Race 7) #1 Antigone, #2 Admiring, #4 A Little Voodoo, #6 Transient. Race 8) #2 Etoile, #3 Court Return, #4 Kalifornia Queen, #6 Mutamakina, #8 Great Island, #10 La Dragontea. Race 9) #2 Lookin to Strike, #8 Artie. Race 10) #1 Admiralty Pier, #3 Olympic Runner, #5 Avie’s Flatter, #9 Town Cruise. Race 11) #3 Frame This, #13 Wide Awake. Total Ticket Cost) 1,2,4,6/2,3,4,6,8,10/2,8/1,3,5,9/3,13 = $76.80 for $0.20

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10.16.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Pick 5 Analysis | Saturday, October 16

The main events at Woodbine Mohawk Park feature two-and three-year-olds competing in Ontario Sires Stakes-Gold Super Finals. The 0.20 Early Pick 5 starts the program. The sequence has a $100,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 13-Always A Hotshot (9/2)-Makes only the 4th start this year, so there have been issues. But drops after racing in 151.1 and this is soft spot if close to 100%.5-Play Jet ray (5/2)-Has only 1 win in 19 starts in 2021 but comes off the best race in quite a while on 10-11. Returns quickly at the same class and will look for the upswing to continue.Race 27-Prohibition Legal (4/5)-Winner of 7 in 8 starts looks to be a clean trip away from cashing the top check. This filly has been dominant and that shouldn't change tonight at a tiny price.Race 37-Mischevious Rose (3-1)-Will be using a couple to try to take down the morning line choice #7 who has been the queen of this class. McClure will need to provide an efficient steer and hope for a bumpy journey by the chalk to take a picture.8-Adare Castle (7/5)-Hasn't lost to this kind all year and it would be no surprise if that streak stays intact. My gut says there could be an upset but can't leave off the ticket.10-Dabra Day (6-1)-Willing to take a swing because the price should be right, and my take is this filly is talented enough to beat the chalk. Does show some breaks but could leave fastest of all if stays flat. If she lands on top without using much gas it could be an interesting finish.Race 41-Scarlett Hanover (5/2)-Finished a fast-closing 2nd after being off over 2 weeks and facing older. Gingras takes the lines and that won't hurt. This filly has been tough when facing classmates and should be a major player again.3-Dabarndawgswatchin (3-1)-Has hit the board in 12 of 13 and missed last week after taking the long way around in the same race as the 2 mentioned here. That was probably a tune-up and would expect Jamieson to be closer to the lead throughout.8-Voelz Delight (7/2)-Beaten chalk was far back early and the pace was slow, willing to toss that as a tune-up for the big money. There should be a lively pace so figures to be in the hunt at the wire.Race 58-Fashion Frenzie (8/5)-Morning line chalk was caught by #9 on 10-4 after leading throughout and has a chance for revenge here. Roy will probably look to take the point and control the mile.9-Logan Park (2-1)-Flew home with a 26.3 last quarter and that was the 1st time for Lasix. MacDonald should have the son of Archangel within striking range at the top of the lane. It's best to respect the chances of closing fastest of all.My Ticket Race 1) 3,5 Race 2) 7 Race 3) 7,8,10 Race 4) 1,3,8 Race 5) 8,9Total Ticket Cost) $7.20 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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10.16.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: National Stakes | Saturday, October 16

It’s another big Saturday of racing around the country, and to assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Belmont Park // Race 6 // 3:15 pm ET // Grade 3 Sands Point // 1-1/8 miles (turf)#5 Higher Truth (2-1) // 30%W#8 Our Flash Drive (12-1) // 17%W#7 Fluffy Socks (7-2) // 14%W#1 Third Draft (30-1) // 13%WKeeneland // Race 8 // 4:44 pm ET // Grade 2 Jessamine Stakes // 1-1/16 miles (turf)#4 Empress Josephine (3-1) // 24%W#7 Lady Speightspeare (8-1) // 13%W#3 Shantisara (7-2) // 13%W#1 Burning Ambition (6-1) // 13%WSanta Anita Park // Race 7 // 7:08 pm ET // California Distaff // 6-1/2 furlongs (turf)#1 Warren’s Showtime (9-5) // 31%W#5 Bella Vita (5-2) // 29%W#3 Pulpit Rider (7-2) // 15%W#6 Sedamar (9-2) // 11%W

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10.16.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Saturday, October 16

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Feathers; 4-Ivy LeagueForecast: The Saturday opener is a nine furlong allowance optional claimer on grass restricted to 3-year-old fillies. Feathers, the 9/5 morning line favorite, earned by far her career top Beyer speed figure (88) when an excellent fourth (beaten less than three lengths) at 69-1 in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 in late August and anything close to that type of performance today in this much softer spot gets her back into the winner’s circle. The lightly-raced Irish-bred filly seems effective when held up early, though in race lacking in pace she might find herself close up throughout. The P. Miller-trained ex-claimer sports a solid, healthy recent work tab at San Luis Rey Downs so we’re not anticipating any regression. Ivy League, seventh in the same race Feathers exits, is another that should appreciate today’s easier assignment. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro shows good form over the local lawn, including a nice maiden win over at this trip last winter, and is a grinding type that projects to be comfortably placed on or near a modest early pace. These are the two we’ll be including in rolling exotic play with the edge on top to Feathers.Notable Workouts:4-Ivy League (October 10, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:14.4h. Grade: BEven but best outside Wicked (same time) while working from the furlong pole out to the seven furlong pole, some restraint to mid-stretch and then proving slightly best late while mildly coaxed, splits of :25.1, :37.1, 1:02 flat and 1:14.4, solid work for a filly that’s done all of her racing on grass. Has some improvement in her, especially if returned to the first-level allowance ranks.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Escape Route; 4-The Great OneForecast: Escape Route had the misfortune of facing Flightline in a non-winners of two sprint at Del Mar last month and never had a chance, though to his credit he wound up a distant second (beaten nearly 13 lengths) while still earning a fairly decent speed figure despite the margin of defeat. The lightly-raced son of Hard Spun had won his previous two outings in good fashion with strong numbers so against this five-runner allowance optional field the M. Glatt-trained colt should have every chance to return to winning form. The Great One, nosed out in the Los Alamitos Futurity-G1 last December and then a 14 length maiden winner over the Santa Anita main track the following month, subsequently ran two dull races when overmatched and was given several months off. The D. O’Neill-trained colt finished a respectable fourth behind Medina Spirit in the Shared Belief S. at Del Mar in late August upon his reappearance and today shortens to a sprint while facing considerably easier foes. This seven furlong trip should be ideal for his pacesetting/stalking style. We’ll give Escape Route a very slight edge on top but include both in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:4-The Great One (September 25, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.2h). Grade: B-In blinkers, under heavy restraint throughout while pulling on the turn but finally settling late while traveling out to the seven furlong pole, splits of :24.1, :49.3, and 1:02.2. Obviously could have gone much faster if permitted. Exits a tough race and can do much better with a proper drop in class.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:01 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Savvy Gal; 4-Invincibella; 5-NightlifeForecast: Here’s a tough, contentious affair requiring a three-runner spread in rolling exotic play. Invincibella won a turf sprint at Del Mar at this level in mid-August and seeks a repeat score in this seven-runner $25,000 claimer for fillies and mares. Today’s extra furlong shouldn’t bother her in the least, so this two-time winner over the local lawn should once again be able to settle early and tag the leaders late. Nightlife, first off the claim for J. Mullins (powerful stats with this angle), has looked sharp in the a.m. in recent weeks and appears cranked up for a major effort. Freshened since July, the veteran daughter of Into Mischief projects to enjoy an ideal stalking trip and have every chance from the head of the lane to the wire. Savvy Gal is worth including on your ticket somewhere as well. She’s a class-dropper with the route-to-sprint angle in her second start off a layoff, and with a prior win over the course and two strong recent five furlong workouts at San Luis Rey Downs she appears set to produce a significant forward move.Notable Workouts:5-Nightlife (October 6, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.4h TT). Grade: BNice and relaxed while on her own courage throughout in solo training track drill for new trainer J. Mullins, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36 flat. Freshened since July and appears perked up off the layoff. Dangerous on dirt or turf when she’s on her game.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-Established; 6-I Got No MunnyForecast: I Got No Munny was well below his best form when third at 4/5 in a similar second-level allowance sprint at Del Mar in late August, but the M. Glatt-trained gelding draws the cozy outside post today and seems likely produce his best stuff over a main track that he clearly prefers (three wins in four starts). A bullet five furlong workout (:58 4/5) tells us he’s doing very well and on pure numbers he’s simply faster than these. For protection, we’ll also include Established on our rolling exotic ticket. A winner against lesser at this seven furlong trip last time out at Del Mar. the R. Baltas-trained gelding should be on or near the lead throughout in a race that projects to have soft early splits. He’ll need another forward move to worry our top pick but may have it in him.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Fearless Girl; 6-Rose’s Crystal; 9-Ultimate HyForecast: Fearless Girl missed as the favorite when runner-up in her U.S. debut last month at Del Mar but actually ran quite well when finishing strongly after running into a roadblock entering the lane. A similar effort with good racing luck likely lands the P. D’Amato-trained Irish-bred filly in the winner’s circle. Ultimate Hy, a respectable third (beaten two lengths) in the same race our top pick exits, moved prematurely into a hot pace and then paid the price late, so with a properly-timed ride today the B. Heap-trained filly may be able to offer a serious threat. She’s a two-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course and is lightly-raced with further improvement in her. Rose’s Crystal, twice a winner in her last three outings and with speed figures that are gradually rising, exits state-bred races and will tackle tougher open company today. This nine furlong trip should be well within her range, especially if sufficient early pace materializes to compliment her late-grinding style. At 8-1 on the morning line, she’s worth including on your ticket, at least as a back-up or a saver.Notable Workouts:3-Fearless Girl (October 9, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h TT). Grade: B-Broke off a couple of lengths in front of Going Global (5f, 1:00h TT) in training track drill for P. D’Amato and was no match for her classy barn mate in the final stages while being ridden a bit in the final furlong while ‘Global was under cruise control, final half mile on our watches in :24.1 and :48.1. Decent work under the circumstances, looks fine, and should fire another good shot vs. allowance foes next time out.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:37 PT Grade: CUse: 2-Roses R Blue; 3-So Very Smart; 8-Supersonic FlyerForecast: This maiden claiming $50,000 sprint for older state-bred fillies and mares looks treacherous and chaotic, so the best advice is to spread as deeply as your budget allows. Supersonic Flyer and So Very Smart have plenty of zip but not a lot of stick, and both have been vulnerable under pressure in the final stages of their respective races. If one can clear the other in the opening stages we might see a gate-to-wire winner but if they hook up early there’s a reasonable chance that both will fall apart. First-time starter Roses R Blue has trained okay for L. Mendez, and in a soft spot such as this might be reasonably competitive. She lands the capable seven pound bug rider D. Herrera and clearly won’t have to be a world beater to act with this group.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:19 PT Grade: B+Single: 5-Bella VitaForecast: Bella Vita was scratched out of last week’s Chillingworth S.-G3 but worked the following morning so she’s fine, and against this Cal-bred group of fillies and mares the daughter of Bayern seems properly spotted for another top effort. She earned a career top speed figure when dismantling a first-level allowance field at Del Mar in August and her second flight, stalking style should work quite well in this downhill grass dash. There’s plenty of wagering value in the win pool and in rolling exotic play at or near her morning line of 5/2 if you can get it.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:40 PT Grade: CUse: 6-Respect the Ride; 7-Unwritten Code; 10-Spoiled RottenForecast: Maiden claiming $50,000 state-bred juvenile fillies sprint six furlongs in another race that on paper appears borderline inscrutable. Spoiled Rotten has plenty of early speed but has faded readily in her first three starts while facing much tougher straight maiden foes. Against this group she could get loose early and brave late, so at 4-1 on the morning line we’ll put her on top but certainly not with a great degree of confidence. Unwritten Code is another sporting the maiden-to-maiden claiming class drop angle while also removing blinkers, so this second-time starter is another likely to improve a bunch in a weak affair. She trained okay leading up to her debut, so at 15-1 on the morning line the daughter of Desert Code is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Respect the Ride is a debuting daughter of Boat Trip with a work tab that doesn’t look half-bad, so at 8-1 on the morning line the L. Mendez-trained filly can be tossed in as well.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:12 PT Grade: B+Use: 2-Vivacious Vanessa; 9-Candy On TopForecast: Candy On Top just failed at 40 cents on the dollar when missing by a neck (and two lengths clear of the rest) in a similar maiden turf miler for juvenile fillies at Del Mar so she may be a hard one to trust, but the daughter of Twirling Candy doesn’t appear to have much to beat, so she’ll likely to be a short price once again.. Her speed figure did improve eight Beyer points in what was just her second career outing, so and with a similar bit of improvement today she’s very likely to graduate. Long shot players should find a spot on their ticket for the debuting Vivacious Vanessa, a debuting daughter of the hot second-crop stallion Not This Time A $90,000 auction purchase as a yearling, the G. Mandella-trained filly has done some good work in the a.m. and should be capable of at least outrunning her 15-1 morning line odds.Notable Workouts:2-Vivacious Vanessa (October 9, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:13h). Grade: BPretty nice work in company inside Micro Share (same time) for G. Mandella, neither one really being asked much while stride-for-stride throughout, splits of :24 flat, :35.4, 1:00.4 and 1:13.2 on our watches from the five furlong pole out to the seven furlong pole. Daughter of Not This True acts like she’ll enjoy a route of ground and seems fit enough by now. Okay sort, maybe.View Workout Video9-Candy On Top (September 22, Santa Anita, 4f, :49.3h). Grade: B-Breezing in easy drill for Gaines, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :37.3, a simple maintenance drill for juvenile daughter of Twirling Candy. Looks fine and should be a short price vs. California-bred maiden juvenile fillies again next time out.View Workout Video

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10.15.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, October 15

Indiana bred two and three olds are the headliners on the Hoosier Park 15-race card. They will be competing in Sires Stakes Super Finals which have a $250,000 purse. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 12. The sequence has a $20,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 121-Thunder Country (6-1)-Winner in 2 of the last 4 should enjoy this post draw. Has hit the board in 9 of 13 at HoP with 6 wins and De Long could keep this Rockin Image gelding in play.7-Fulfullnmydestiny (4/5)-Winner of 5 straight has been dominant versus this kind. Appears to be a clean trip away from another appearance in the winner's circle.Race 131-Rockin On Venus (20-1)-Stayed inside in the 1st start on Lasix but did pace the 2nd half in .55 and lost by <3 lengths. This price shot has hit the board in 12 of 17 starts here and could be in the hunt once again.4-Roll Em (5/2)-Came off the bench and took advantage of a nice trip plus hot fractions to roll by down the lane. Looks like a player but probably won't offer any value.7-Virgo (2-1)-This is the best post draw in the last 3 starts and has managed to cash 3rd place checks starting from post 10 and post 8. Tetrick should be able to leave and land a decent seat, so it's best to not overlook chances for a picture tonight.9-Goldie's Legacy (7/2)-Winner of 4 straight and 5 of the last 6 has the gate speed to leave and get on the point. Gingras is in the bike and will likely follow the same plan of getting on the engine. It should be noted this is by far the worst post draw since at least the beginning of June.Race 142-Ponda Hawk (9/2)-Comes off a sharp win from post 8 and now steps up to face a tougher task as De Long steers again. Should be forwardly placed throughout and another picture could happen with an efficient trip.3-Iwannabewithyou (5-1)-Slows starter needs honest fractions to close into and that's possible here. That wasn't the case in last, but Gingras might be able to coax enough speed off the gate to get a decent seat. This will be 3rd start on Lasix and best to respect chances for an improved effort.8-Trey's Charlie (5/2)-Morning line chalk is consistently in the hunt at the wire. Has hit the board in 10 of 11 this year with 2 wins. The Hollenback barn has been cold over the last 30 days but that could change here.Race 153-Saddle Up (7/2)-More of a 1-move type who should be forwardly placed with this post draw and fits well with this crew. Tim Tetrick grabs the lines, so will look for this 3-year-old to be in striking range turning for the wire.5-Big Gulp (5-1)-Comes off an improved effort and should offer a solid price. Won from the 2nd tier with a .54 back half and will look for the upswing to continue.My Ticket Race 12) 1,7 Race 13) 1,4,7,9 Race 14) 2,3,8 Race 15) 3,5Total Ticket Cost) $24 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.15.2021:

Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Friday, October 15

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Kuora; 6-Del Mar DramaForecast: Kuora moves up a notch to the $40,000 claiming level after rallying with the help of the race-shape to win going away with a career-top equaling figure in a one miler turf event at Del Mar in late August. Successful in five of 12 starts but with no seconds or thirds, the Peruvian-bred mare has been all or nothing in her career so far but if she’s given the patient, waiting ride that she requires the R. Baltas-trained import should be capable of scoring right back. Her rail draw guarantees a ground-saving trip and J. Bravo, who got to know her last time out, stays aboard. Del Mar Drama is worth including somewhere on your ticket as well. The daughter of Shackleford exits tougher allowance/optional claiming company, adds blinkers, and shows a sharp recent breeze that tells us she’s doing well. She’s another that prefers to be held up early and cut loose late and may offer a bit of wagering value at 8-1 on the morning line.Notable Workouts:6-Del Mar Drama (October 4, Santa Anita, 4f, :47h TT). Grade BIn blinkers, quick drill while mostly on her own, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :35.1, quite sharp for E. Kruljac. Seems to have perked up with hood on. Worth a close look in the proper spot.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:31 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Essential Quality; 6-Affable; 8-Disco BallForecast: Affable returns to sprinting on dirt, and a rep[eat of his solid third place performance in a similar affair at Del Mar two races back in which he earned a career top speed figure makes him the one to beat. The M. Glatt-trained son of Flatter removes blinkers (like that angle), retains A. Cedillo, and should find himself comfortably positioned on or near the lead in a race that projects to have soft early splits. He’s listed at 5-1 on the morning line and that seems like a square price. Disco Ball lands the cozy outside draw after finishing a good runner up in a hot maiden sprint at Los Alamitos last month in a race that produced a career top number. The son of Orb has been an underachiever throughout his career but may finally be figuring things out. There should be no excuses today. Essential Wager is a first-timer from the Baffert with a decent series of drills that should have him fit enough to be a legitimate contender in this seven furlong event for older maidens. He’s been working evenly with stable mate Miacomet – both are listed at 4-1 on the morning line – but we suspect ‘Wager is slightly the better of the two so he’s the one we’ll include in our rolling exotics.Notable Workouts:1-Essential Wager (October 9, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.2h). Grade: BStride-for-stride with B. Baffert-trained stablemate Miacomet (same time), splits of :23.3, :47.1 and :59.1 while working from the half-mile pole to the 7/8 pole, easy to the top and then ridden some through the lane, solid work for both. Been in training a long time and should be more than fit enough by now. No champion but should be competitive with maiden special weight foes first time out. Workmate kept on nicely under light pressure and can run some, too.View Workout Video7-Thales (September 25, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01h). Grade: B-Finally makes it to the post after bringing $1,250,000 in the 2020 OBS April sale and looks to have some ability following this solo five furlong drill, splits of :25 flat, :36.4 and 1:01 flat, ridden a bit through the lane after going off slowly. Would be inclined to see one first.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:05PT Grade: B-Use: 1-New Drama; 6-Sweet Devil; 7-Miss TokyoForecast: We’ll go three-deep in the third, a six furlong turf sprint for restricted (nw-2) $25,00 claiming fillies and mares. New Drama takes a significant class drop from the starter’s allowance $50,000 ranks into this modest affair and may have found her friends. Winless in seven starts (with three placings) over the local turf course but with a good inside draw and enough speed to wire the field with her best effort, the T. Yakteen-trained daughter of Declaration of War is reunited with “win rider” J. Pyfer and is fairly-priced on the morning line at 7/2. Sweet Devil has the route-to-spring angle that we like and is adding blinkers for the first time, so the daughter of Daredevil has a right to step forward significantly over a course and distance that produced a good win three races back. It’ll be interesting to see if the addition of the hood adds a bit more tactical speed to her repertoire. Miss Tokyo, away since June of last year, returns for new trainer L. Powell with the first-time-for-a-tag angle but at a sprint distance that may be a bit too sharp for her liking and with a somewhat uninspiring work tab. It’s possible she’s being raced into a shape, but she picks up “win rider” U. Rispoli for a trainer that has good stats with layoff runners, so we’ll toss in her on a ticket or two for protection.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Sir Flatter; 4-Try to Capture; 10-FenestraForecast: Fenestra flashed good speed before fading when facing straight maiden company in his only prior outing a year ago July at Gulfstream Park and today resurfaces in a bottom-rung maiden claimer for a clever outfit with a superb record with layoff runners. The V. Cerin-trained gelding shows a reasonably decent work tab to have him fit and ready, and this first-time Lasix user will be ridden by the barn’s “go to” guy K. Desormeaux, so everything seems aligned for a major effort in a soft affair. Try to CaptureSir Flatter, in the frame in his last pair, is slow on numbers and lacks tactical speed but should be running on late and may get at least get a piece of it.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:05 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Toeris; 7-Ballet DancingForecast: Toeris is a New York invader eligible for valuable ship-and-win money in this maiden special weight juvenile filly turf miler and the daughter of Tourist doesn’t appear to have a whole lot to beat, hence her morning line of 9/5. Drawn ideally on the fence with the rail setting 20 feet out, the M. Casse-trained daughter of Tourist figures to be outrun early while saving ground and then have every chance to produce a winning late kick when called upon. Perhaps the most dangerous of the newcomers is Ballet Dancing, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who brought $800,000 as a yearling. The S. Callaghan-trained filly is a full sister to Foolish Living, who only raced four times but was a smart debut winner over a mile on grass at Belmont Park a few years back. The work tab is solid if not spectacular but should have her fit enough to a produce a good effort, perhaps even a winning one.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:34 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Lightning Fast; 6-Exalted Joy; 7-Direct LineForecast: This restricted (nw-2) $32,000 claiming miler contains several big class droppers and we’re expecting the winner to be among that group. Direct Line broke his maiden two runs back at Del Mar in a $40,000 seller with an off-the-charts 91 Beyer speed figure but then was virtually eased when overmatched in a first-level allowance event three weeks later at the same track. The Liam’s Map gelding is realistically spotted today while being reunited with “win rider” T. Baze and should draft into an ideal stalking position outside then be able to kick on when given his cue. Lightning Fast, freshened since June, shows up in a seller for the first time after being able to land a blow in a series of state-bred first-level allowance events in the spring. The son of Violence sports a healthy series of recent workouts that should have him ready for an optimum performance for a barn that has strong stats with layoff runners. A prior winner over the Santa Anita main track, the W. Spawr-trained gelding projects to enjoy a forwardly-placed ground-saving trip and looks very much like a live item at 6-1 on the morning line. Exalted Joy graduated by six lengths over this track and distance last spring but found starter’s allowance company out of his reach in a pair of subsequent outings at Delk Mar. With back numbers that make him a strong fit, the son of Exaggerator should go much better in this league____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:02 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Barristan The Bold; 5-Via Egnatia; 9-CastleForecast: Older $25,000 claiming turf sprinters collide in a tough race that offers several contenders and requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Castle, first-off-the-claim for K. Mulhall, is a three-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, moves up a notch from the $20,000 level, retains regular rider A. Cedillo, and has the ideal pace-stalking style for this extended sprint distance. The barn has powerful stats with recent claims (24%) and a sharp, healthy recent work tab that should have the veteran Slew’s Tiznow gelding cranked up for a return to winning form. The form suggests that Via Egnatia is most effective on the lead going long but he’s sprinted well in the past and record a bullet five furlong training track drill last week to catches the eye. The R. Baltas-trained gelding projects to enjoy a comfortable stalking trip and then have dead aim and every chance with the pressure is turned on. Barristan the Bold, claimed in his last pair and back sprinting where he belongs, earned a good speed figure despite a troubled trip two runs back in a race that if repeated today puts him right there. The English-bred gelding gets a break in the weights with the switch to competent bug boy D. Herrera and also adds blinkers for the first time, so at 8-1 on the morning line he’s certainly worth including on your ticket.Notable Workouts:6-Via Egnatia (October 7, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT). Grade: B-Rank and running off down the backstretch, settled midway, and the cruised through the lane without being asked, splits of :11.4 and :36.3 for the final three furlongs. Not always the easiest of rides, can be effective sprinting or routing on his best day.View Workout Video9-Castle (September 19, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00h). Grade: BFinal half mile in a solid :24.1 and :48.1, easy to the top and then asked and ridden through the lane looking fine for new trainer K. Mulhall. Maintains his good form.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:29 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Breakfast Ride; 6-War At Sea; 8-BarossaForecast: Here’s a fairly strong maiden dirt miler for 2-year-olds that should take a pretty good colt to win it. War at Sea and Breakfast Ride, the three-four finishers behind subsequent Grade-1 winner Corniche in the fastest maiden sprint for juveniles in North America so far this year, return on the stretch-out with credentials to improve considerably in their second career start A $525,000 son of War Front, War At Sea finished a respectable third while staying on creditably without threatening the winner and has trained nicely since while giving the impression that he’ll be able to handle today’s two-turn trip. The barn has had a very slow year, but this colt can run and appears to be capable of significant forward move. Breakfast Ride produced a solid mid-race move while widest of all in that race and kept on reasonably while clearly needing the outing. The J. Sadler barn has excellent stats with the second-time starter angle, so we’re expecting this son of Distorted Humor to be fitter, tighter, and more dangerous. Barossa, the morning line favorite at 3-1, finished a distant third at this distance in his second career outing while earning a vastly improved speed figure. The son of Into Mischief has trained quite well since for B. Baffert, should be prominent throughout and may stick a whole lot better today over a main track that has consistently favored the early pace types.Notable Workouts:1-Durante (October 2, Santa Anita, 5F, :59h). Grade: B-In company with B Dawk (5f, 1:00h), breaking off about a length behind at then going by with authority from the top of the to the wire wile being ridden out, splits of :23.2, :34.4 and :59 flat, doing his best to the end. A bit too high-headed for our liking but has some speed and has room to improve.View Workout Video6-War At Sea (October 4, Santa Anita, 6f, 1:14.1hg). Grade: BIn a three horse gate drill with Miss Everything (5f, 1:02hg) and Solitaire (5f, 1:03hg) and was much best while head-and-head with ‘Everything to the top and then responding to urging from the quarter pole home, splits of :24.2, :48.3 and 1:14.1 on our watches, ridden to the wire and responding well enough. Juvenile colt by War Front exits a hot race and seems likely to improve with distance and experience (and probably turf, too).View Workout Video8-Barossa (October 10, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: BIn company with Midnight Mammoth (same time) for B. Baffert and was even but noticeably best while breezing through the lane in good style, final half mile in :23 flat and :48.1 from the three furlong pole to the seven furlong pole on our watches. Has an improving pattern but no sure thing to go farther than a mile.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:05 PT Grade: BSingle: 8-Bally’s CharmForecast: The nightcap is a maiden special weight turf miler for state-bred 2-year-olds that has the makings of a chaotic affair. Let’s take a stand with a price horse. Bally’s Charm is a dangerous first-time starter for a barn that doesn’t win often with debut runners but has looked fairly athletic in morning trials and just might be able to run some. The J. Mullins-trained gelding breezed well while easily handling a workmate in a strong training track drill earlier this month and with Arch on the bottom side of his pedigree should be able to handle a distance of ground first time out. The numbers among the known element are considerably below par for the level, so we’ll gamble in the win pool and in rolling exotic play with a fresh face at 6-1 on the morning line.Notable Workouts:8-Bally’s Charm (October 3, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01h TT). Grade: BDid well in team drill on training track with K P Krypton (5f, 1:01h TT) for J. Mullins, pressing that one outside and then coming away in the closing stages without undue pressure, final quarter mile in a sharp :25.2. California-bred gelding has some talent, seems fit, and should handle any surface and stay a middle distance if asked. Intriguing.View Workout Video

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10.14.2021:

Johnny D: Santa Anita Late Pick 4 Ticket | Saturday, October 16

This week’s Santa Anita Late Pick 4 sequence could come back a bit ‘chalky.’ Then again, if players can find a way to beat #1 Warren’s Showtime in the seventh race, resulting returns could be acceptable. #9 Candy On Top figures to be a short price to get the job done in the afternoon’s finale so, if the above mentioned pair come home on top, the wager’s not going to pay much. We see the eighth race as a wide-open affair and a bomb there could pad payoffs a bit, so there’s some additional hope. Don’t forget that Xpressbet and 1/ST players who hit Santa Anita’s Late Pick 4 sequence can earn a split of an extra $2,000 if they register for the promotion. An additional financial kiss is always welcome and, heck, if you’re going to play the wager anyway, why not register and collect a little extra cash if you’re correct? Below is one man’s humble opinion on how Saturday’s Santa Anita Late Pick 4 might turn out. We offer analysis of each horse in each race to, hopefully, help your handicapping efforts. We also offer up a suggested Pick 4 wager that you’re encouraged to add to or subtract from, depending on your opinions. Remember, we’re all in this together. Best of luck and don’t forget to register for that daily $2,000 Santa Anita Late Pick 4 Split Bonus. RACE 6 (6:37PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Dual Reality (12/1) has no speed and has closed well twice against weaker to just miss. This 4-year-old filly gets in light with 7-pound bug Ellingwood but this filly would be a surprise winner. #2 Roses R Blue (4/1) makes a first start for a 15% outfit in that role. She has plenty of gate drills in her pocket, including a 1:00 4/5 gate move Oct. 10. She appears to have some speed. Workout reports (not available at posting) may provide more clues, but she seems on edge for a barn that wins with 2-year-olds and is capable with others. #3 So Very Smart (8/5) has finished second in her last two starts, well beaten though by more than 5 and more than 11 lengths. Which one of these fillies will conquer So Very Smart today or will she finally be a bridesmaid no more? She’s worth strong consideration, but probably not a single. #4 Nan Elizabeth (6/1) races for a tag for the first time and that’s often something to watch for. She comes out of a common race with #3 So Very Smart and was 4 lengths behind that one. Prefer that one instead of this one. #5 Platonic (10/1) makes a first start for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale who’s not known for cranking runners up to win first time out. She’s also got a workout gap between Aug. 30 at Del Mar and Sept. 27 at Santa Anita. #6 Sheila’s Charlie (12/1) drops into a claiming race off a poor first out against Cal Bred allowance foes. She makes a first start for trainer Lisa Bernard and adds blinkers and Lasix. Need to see more. #7 Tiz My Princess (12/1) hasn’t shown much in two starts and hasn’t attracted much money either. We’ll pass on her. #8 Supersonic Flyer (3/1) is 0-7 and has failed as favorite in her last 3 starts. The 3-year-old filly’s liable to be favored again because she appears to be the only speed and has drawn a cozy outside box. She’s been second twice and third three times, so she can’t be ignored, but her losing streak is discouraging. This is a race where something interesting could happen, mostly because the likely favorite is 0-7 with most of those losses coming at this level. Bold players could take a stand against #8 Supersonic Flyer with other less-proven players. Besides, if #8 Supersonic Flyer wins and #1 Warren’s Showtime takes the 8th Race, the Pick 4 payoff will be small. USE: #2 #3 #4SOMEWHAT AGAINST: #8  RACE 7 (7:08PM ET) // $75K CALIFORNIA DISTAFF HANDICAP // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DOWNHILL TURF) #1 Warren’s Showtime (9/5) is a ‘Pro’ and we don’t use that term lightly. She gives what she’s got every time and is most dangerous over Santa Anita turf where she’s scored 5 of 7 lifetime wins. She’s Grade 1 stakes placed against open company and is a multiple Grade 3 winner. No one else in this field can claim that resume. She’s also a capable miler and that’s what works best over the downhill course. She’s the one to beat, for sure. #2 Cassie Belle (6/1) is a 5-year-old mare with just 3 wins in 21 starts. 7 seconds and 2 thirds preach reliability in hitting the board. All 3 of her career wins have come at Santa Anita over turf, so that’s a plus, but she’s not nearly the caliber of #1 Warren’s Showtime. #3 Pulpit Rider (7/2) is a bit of a Solana Beach stakes specialist. She’s won that race the last two years—her only wins in 4 starts each season. She’s just 1 for 13 over Santa Anita turf. Clearly, she’s likes Del Mar even more than the rest of us do…and we love it! #4 Anna Fantastic (8/1) stretched out passed six furlongs for the first time in her career. She won her last start at Del Mar in a six-furlong allowance/$40k optional claiming race. That was against open company but still is below the talent level she faces in #1 Warren’s Showtime. However, there’s appears to be little speed in this race and #4 Anna Fantastic might hang around a while longer than most might be comfortable with. That speed edge gives her a puncher’s chance against a heavy favorite. #5 Bella Vita (5/2) is a 4-year-old filly coming off a strong win at six and one-half furlongs on Del Mar dirt. A repeat of that effort would make her tough in here. She hasn’t been quite as good on turf as dirt, but she has a win, 2 seconds and 1 third in 4 tries over the Santa Anita lawn. She should be closest to #4 Anna Fantastic early and ought to get first run on the closers. She’s not without a shot if the favorite dawdles. #6 Sedamar (9/2) is a 5-year-old mare with 1 win in 9 races over Santa Anita turf. She finished a reasonable fourth behind #3 Pulpit Rider last out in the Solana Beach. She’s finished close to the top ones in this lineup on several occasions but seems to be a slight notch below the best. #1 Warren’s Showtime will get most of the Pick 4 play as a single on most tickets. That respect is well deserved. Her victory would turn this sequence into more of a Pick 3 wager. Those willing to venture outside the box for an upset might hope for lone speed in #4 Anna Fantastic or a repeat blockbuster performance on turf from #5 Bella Vita. SINGLE: #1OUT OF THE BOX: #4, #5  RACE 8 (7:40PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Big Seven (20/1) makes a first start for low-profile but 19% connections in trainer Sergio Morfin. A series of unimpressive Los Al works and a 2-for-20 bug rider guarantee a big price. #2 Flame McGoon (4/1) is a first-time starter for Mark Glatt (12%). A couple of interesting half-mile gate drills are buoyed by a relatively slow five-eighths move. Probably needs better. #3 Miss Malia (12/1) is one of 2 Eric Kruljac runners in here. This one makes her third career start and second for Kruljac. She was third at this level recently at Los Al in an improved performance while closing from off the pace after a bit of a slow start. #4 Artisan Dancer (8/1) was second last out at Los Al in a closing effort at five and one-half furlongs. That was the second start of her career for trainer Luis Mendez and she is one of two runners in this race for the notable (21% winner) 2-year-old trainer. In her first start against maiden $40k company, she had trouble at the start and closed some ground late to finish well behind #8 Sue Ettas Ghost. Note that blinkers were added last out in an improved performance.    #5 Scat Attack (12/1) is the ‘other’ Kruljac who finished behind both #8 Sue Ettas Ghost and #3 Miss Malia last out at Los Al. That was her second start and first for Kruljac. She showed good speed and weakened late. Improvement noted in the drop from Cal Bred Maiden Allowance to State Bred Maiden $50k. #6 Respect the Ride (8/1) is the ‘other Mendez, a first-time starter with decent works, including a 1:00 3/5 gate move Oct. 10. The trainer is 15% with first time starters and 25% with Maiden Claimers. There is a puzzling workout gap between Aug. 30 at Del Mar and Sept 27 at Santa Anita. This one also gets a weight break with 7-pound apprentice Espinoza aboard.  #7 Unwritten Code (15/1) takes a drop from a very recent Oct. 2 State Bred Maiden Allowance to this Cal Bred Maiden $50k. Blinkers come off, but the ship really would need to turn around in a hurry. She showed some speed first-time out against a hot pace and we love runners coming back quickly… The trainer is good with 2-year-olds (20%) and blinkers off (20%). May get some love from us in a pretty open race. #8 Sue Ettas Ghost (7/2) has been second in her last two starts. She’s fit, coming off the common Los Al race Sept. 18 and has been second at the level. What’s not as encouraging is that she’s had 5 tries at the brass ring and failed to connect. Also, she has little early speed. She’s fit and she fits but… #9 Bonita Leona (4/1) cuts back from a mile on turf against State Bred Maidens to six furlongs on dirt. Trainer Hess switches to Desormeaux--his main man. This filly was claimed out of a poor performance at this level and may be improved. Still, the ugly running lines are a bit too much for us to accept. #10 Spoiled Rotten (4/1), in her fourth career start, drops from State Bred Maiden Allowance to State Bred Maiden Claiming. She has some speed and has drawn a cozy outside box that ought to help her chances. Trainer Doug O’Neil is hot with 7 wins in 34 starts at the meeting. She has shown speed to better and that’s always an encouraging sign with droppers. O’Neill is 21% with Maiden Allowance to Maiden Claiming runners. This race is where a player might get a Pick 4 price boost. It seems like a wide-open affair where a bomb could explode. BEST IN A SPREAD RACE: #10THE OTHER BUTTER: #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9 RACE 9 (8:12PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 Infinite Love (6/1) has no speed but did improve last out in a switch to the turf and a stretch-out to one mile. She circled the field from last and ran on well. She wasn’t that close to favorite #9 Candy On Top at the finish and will need to do better in her second try at the distance on the turf.  #2 Vivacious Vanessa (15/1) has a notable work tab for low-profile trainer Gary Mandella. Works spaced every 6-8 days, including a 1:00 2/5 gate move and a six-furlong jog in 1:13 (best of 9). The filly will enjoy a 7-pound weight break with apprentice Ellingwood. Those are all things to like in this first-time starter. It should be noted that it’s difficult for a first-time starter to win going one mile on turf.  #3 Precious Insight (12/1) has speed and has used it in two one-mile turf races. Her issue has been finishing. She faded to next-to-last one back and was fourth-of-nine last out.   #4 Peacehaven (5/1) didn’t run that badly against males last out at this distance and surface. She’s had two tries at one mile on grass and should be ready to show her best—whatever that is—under apprentice Pyfer for trainer D’Amato. #5 Ball Lass (8/1) showed speed first out and then gave way readily late to finish fifth for trainer Hanson who’s just 8% with second time starters. Victor Espinoza takes over for Rispoli and will attempt to better ration this filly’s speed. #6 Surely Spectacular (15/1) stretches out and moves to turf for here fifth career start. She has a second at the $50k state-bred level going five and one-half furlongs and then was fractious and troubled last out. #7 Warren’s Showgirl (6/1) makes her second start for trainer Craig Lewis as she tries turf and a route of ground. Here first start in July wasn’t notable. #8 Abhita (12/1) adds blinkers and took a bit of money in her first two starts. She’ll need to do better. #9 Candy On Top (8/5) just missed last out at a very short price and figures best in here on paper. She loses Pratt but Hernandez should be suitable replacement. Trainer Carla Gaines seeks her first win in 7 tries at the young meeting. Expect this filly stalking the early pace. #10 Keeping Tradition (20/1) about split the field first out at Los Al for maiden $50k. She would need to improve on that race. #11 Roubaix (50/1) has 3 poor outings and is not for us in this spot. #12 Workin Ninetofive (20/1) adds blinkers in second start for Hanson. She was well-back in a decent six-furlong sprint where the first two finishers came back to win their next starts. Interestingly, this filly took respectable money at 7-1 in that race.  Tough post here and only for bomb-seeking Pick 4 players. Also Eligible #13 Smilin Evie (6/1) has been working every 7 days and has a few solid works on the tab. If she draws into the race, she will be saddled with a poor post position that will make it difficult for her to win. Trainer Baltas is solid with jockey Franco (22%) so this filly is well-meant. It’s a wide-open race so….maybe?  #14 Ghostem (15/1) has slow works for this and must draw in and then score from a terrible post. Obviously, #9 Candy On Top deserves prime consideration off a heartbreaking second at Del Mar. Some will single her and hope for the best. Those with contrarian views have several to choose from but the top choice will take some beating. BEST: #9INTERESTING: #2, #4, #13 LATE PICK 4 TICKET Race 6: 2, 3, 4, 8Race 7: 1, 5Race 8: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10Race 9: 9 Cost for $0.50: $32.00 Race On!

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10.14.2021:

Frank Carulli: Stronach 5 Picks & Preview | Friday, October 15

Big fields, big payoffs. That seems to be the norm for the Stronach 5 national Pick 5 wager, with an industry low 12 percent takeout. The action is fast, spanning three tracks in 75 minutes, so here's an early look at this week's lineup. Be sure to check for updates after scratch time Friday. LEG A // LAUREL PARK, RACE 8 (4:27PM ET) // ALLOWANCE // 1 1/8 MILES (TURF) RUNAWAY MONET, her rider content to save ground and track the clear leader, angled out at the 1/4-mile pole, quickly widened on the field and kept going strong on the gallop out. She was entered three times on turf in the two months leading to her maiden-breaking score and projects an ideal stalking trip with more speed types in front of her. MO NORMAL stalked 4-wide, advanced on the final turn and settled for third after repeat winner Dream About Me passed by in a crowded 7-1/2F turf race at Delaware Park. LEG B // GULFSTREAM PARK, RACE 8 (4:38PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) VINNIE VAN GO, first or second in 12 of 22 starts at the distance, was re-claimed by Joseph off a near miss against hard hitting Mister Luigi (3-6, $104k) in 1:09.4 last out. ROYAL SQUEEZE, idle since an August 20 claim by Walder, finished in the money in four consecutive starts at four distances with about a month off between starts. LEG C // LAUREL PARK, RACE 9 (4:59PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) DIVINING STONE shows a solid work tab in his debut for a good first-out barn. His dam was unraced but his sire, Divining Rod was 5-17, an $882k earner and 11/1-4-3 in graded stakes races. BUST 'EM KURT just missed in his 6F debut after a stretch-long duel with a rival who tested stakes company next out. He led to the stretch and held second at one mile last out and runs first time for a claiming price today. LEG D // SANTA ANITA PARK, RACE 3 (5:05PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (TURF) REV RITA was 'confidently handled on the turn' in a smashing maiden win at Del Mar two starts ago but faded behind Miss Fia (4-11, $137k) in a follow-up try at Los Alamitos. She tries turf for the first time, but her dam, Grassy Nellie, was a maiden special weight and allowance victor on the lawn and a $100k earner. NEW DRAMA blew stretch leads in 5 of her last 7 starts on the turf but could go the distance in a field that is a combined 4-44 on the lawn. LEG E // SANTA ANITA PARK, RACE 4 (5:35PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) FENESTRA debuted as a 4-year-old, led to the stretch at 6-1/2F at 44-1 and tired in MSW company. But that was 15 months ago at Gulfstream Park. He returns for a barn that is going well and is eligible for the ship-and-win bonus. He is the top pick, but if he doesn't win, the possibilities abound, so I'm going eight deep in hopes that the Stronach 5 ticket is still alive.  STRONACH 5 TICKET Leg A: 1, 3Leg B: 2, 8Leg C: 5, 9  Leg D: 1, 5Leg E: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12 Cost for a $1 ticket: $128

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10.13.2021:

Jon White: Early Look at the 2021 Breeders' Cup Juvenile | Wednesday, October 13

The 38th annual Breeders’ Cup, a 14-race extravaganza topped by the $6 million Classic, will be held at Del Mar on Nov. 5-6. I, like many others, am looking forward to seeing what happens in the $2 million BC Juvenile, a 1 1/16-mile race on the main track for 2-year-olds. No doubt many are going to be on the Jack Christopher bandwagon. He’s two for two and looked marvelous when victorious in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. Jack Christopher kicked off his racing career with an 8 3/4-length Saratoga win as a 1-2 favorite in a six-furlong maiden race when unveiled on Aug 28. He received a 92 Beyer. After earning his maiden diploma, Jack Christopher won the one-mile Champagne by 3 1/4 lengths as a 2-5 favorite on Oct. 2. Jack Christopher’s final time in the Champagne originally was reported to be 1:37.31. He originally was credited with a 93 Beyer Speed Figure for his Champagne performance. But his Beyer Speed Figure subsequently was raised substantially to 102. “Crucial information about the race may have been wrong,” Andrew Beyer wrote of the Champagne and Jack Christopher’s original 93 figure. “The posted time of the Champagne evidently was in error. After exhaustive efforts to clock the video of the race, the Beyer Speed Figure team credits Jack Christopher with a final time of 1:36.48, which translates into a figure of 102. “The official charts of Belmont’s races have acknowledged numerous timing errors since the track’s fall meeting opened in mid-September. In the first three days of October, footnotes of the charts cite eight races where the timing was incomplete. (In most cases, certain fractional times were missing. In one, the timer failed entirely and no times were published.)” Beyer, like so many horseplayers, has been frustrated by horse racing’s ongoing difficulty in timing races accurately. One would think that with advances in technology, this would not be a problem. Unlike horse racing, there never seem to be any timing issues in the Olympics. “Some people in the sport may not appreciate the significance of a mere 0.83 of a second [between 1:37.31 and 1:36.48],” Beyer added. “But [the final time of a race] is a meaningful number in speed figures that attempt to define a Thoroughbred’s talent. If Jack Christopher ran a mile in 1:36.48 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102, this was the best performance by any 2-year-old since 2017. It would be good enough to win any running of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile during this period. It suggests that Jack Christopher is an exceptional talent and the outstanding member of his 2-year-old generation.” 2020 BC CLASSIC TIMING SNAFU RECALLED The Champagne timing controversy brings to mind what occurred in last year’s $6 million BC Classic at Keeneland. Authentic won the 2020 BC Classic. Many questioned the original official final time of 1:59.19. Even the Trakus system used by Keeneland disagreed with the 1:59.19 clocking. The Trakus system timed the race in 1:59.82. And then on Nov. 11, four days after the race had been run, the official final time for the 2020 BC Classic was announced to be 1:59.60. Keeneland and Equibase issued this statement on Nov. 11: “Prior to the running of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (Gr. 1) on November 7, 2020, at Keeneland, a photo eye at the start of the race originally was tripped, which resulted in an error when attempting to operate the timing system manually causing inaccurate timing for all fractions and the final time of the race. A final time of 1:59.19 was initially provided by Equibase using the available video replay. After subsequent and more detailed review and timing of the race from multiple sources and camera angles, Keeneland and Equibase have determined the fractional times for the Classic (:23.20, :46.48, 1:10.32, 1:34.64) and confirmed a final time of 1:59.60. The Classic chart has been updated and the running of Authentic in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic is now the official track record for the 1 1/4-mile distance at Keeneland.” Acccording to Keeneland and Equibase, Authentic broke American Pharoah’s track record of 2:00.07 that had been established by the Triple Crown winner when he won the 2015 BC Classic by 6 1/2 lengths. It took Keeneland and Equibase four days to finally come up with fractional times and a final time for last year’s BC Classic (a race ironically sponsored by a company that makes watches). I called that “ridiculous, embarrassing and inexcusable” in the Breeders’ Cup recap that I wrote for Xpressbet. “Humans can control a rover 48 million miles away on Mars, but seemingly can’t time the 2020 BC Classic without problems,” I wrote. “It would be one thing if the timing problem with the 2020 BC Classic was an isolated case. But it’s not.” Jack Christopher’s revised 102 Beyer for the Champagne will be the only figure of 100 or higher among this year’s BC Juvenile contestants. This triple-digit figure most certainly is going to be a factor in a lot of wagering dollars going in his direction on Nov. 5. WILL HE BE ANOTHER JACKIE’S WARRIOR? Don’t forget what happened in the 2020 BC Juvenile at Keeneland. Jackie’s Warrior, like Jack Christopher, was undefeated going into the BC Juvenile. Jackie’s Warrior was four for four, winning those races by 3 1/2, three, 2 1/4 and 5 1/2 lengths. Jackie’s Warrior, like Jack Christopher, went into the BC Juvenile off a victory in the Champagne. Jackie’s Warrior, like Jack Christopher, recorded a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure in the Champagne. Jackie’s Warrior’s Champagne figure was a 100. In some respects, Jackie’s Warrior’s Champagne was even more impressive than Jack Christopher’s. Jackie’s Warrior won by a bigger margin, 5 1/2 lengths, compared to Jack Christopher’s 2 3/4 lengths. Perhaps more importantly, Jackie’s Warrior drew away from his opponents after being three lengths clear at the eighth pole. Jack Christopher’s lead diminished the rest of the way home after he had a 5 1/2-length advantage a furlong out. The contrast in the manner in which Jackie’s Warrior and Jack Christopher came home in the Champagne is noteworthy. That’s because the Champagne is a one-mile race around one turn. The BC Juvenile was a 1 1/16-mile race around two turns last year at Keeneland and will be again this year at Del Mar. After the Champagne, Jackie’s Warrior was being asked to go a sixteenth farther in a two-turn race. That was among the reasons I went against him in my Breeders’ Cup selections for Xpressbet. Essential Quality, my top pick, already had proven that he could win a 1 1/16-mile race around two turns, having captured the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. Jackie’s Warrior finished fourth in the BC Juvenile as the 9-10 favorite. Essential Quality won at odds of just under 2-1. Is Jack Christopher, a la Jackie’s Warrior, vulnerable in the BC Juvenile because he has not yet raced farther than one mile and around two turns? Maybe. Is Jack Christopher’s shrinking margin toward the end of the Champagne cause for concern? Again, maybe. Or maybe Jack Christopher is such a brilliant 2-year-old colt that he not only is going to win the BC Juvenile, but perhaps succeed by a big margin. The way I see it, inasmuch as bettors figure to send Jack Christopher away at w short price, especially in light of his revised 102 Beyer Speed Figure, I can’t blame any horseplayer for trying to beat him in the BC Juvenile, just as I did last year when I went with Essential Quality against Jackie’s Warrior. RATTLE N ROLL INTRIGUING (IF HE RUNS) One youngster who interests me a lot as a possible alternative to Jack Christopher in the BC Juvenile is Rattle N Roll, a decisive winner of last Saturday’s Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. But the problem with liking Rattle N Roll in the BC Juvenile at this point is he might not be running in that race. According to trainer Kenny McPeek, Rattle N Roll’s next start is up in the air. “I am not going to commit yet,” McPeek said Sunday in Keeneland’s barn notes in terms of which race will be next for Rattle N Roll. “My first instinct is to wait for the Kentucky Jockey Club [at Churchill Downs] on Nov. 27. The Breeders’ Cup is an ‘away game’ and I know he likes Churchill a lot.” I love the way Rattle N Roll seems to be getting better and better. When he won a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Churchill on Sept. 23, he rallied from sixth and won by three widening lengths. He recorded a modest 69 Beyer, though, which had a lot to do with his odds not being lower than 8-1 in the Breeders’ Futurity. If he had received, say, a Beyer in the 90s at first asking, his odds last Saturday undoubtedly would have been much lower. Consider how strongly Classic Causeway was supported in the Breeders’ Futurity off a 90 Beyer in his 6 1/2-length debut win in a seven-furlong maiden race at Saratoga. Despite having to break from post 13, Classic Causeway was backed down to 9-5 favoritism in his stakes debut. Hustled to the front early, he weakened in the stretch and finished third, 4 3/4 lengths behind Rattle N Roll. If Rattle N Roll is sent to the Breeders’ Cup, he will go into his race with a couple of similarities to what Essential Quality had done prior to his victory in last year’s BC Juvenile. Rattle N Roll recorded a 69 Beyer in his maiden win. So did Essential Quality. Rattle N Roll won the Breeders’ Futurity by 4 1/4 lengths. Essential Quality won the Breeders’ Futurity by 3 1/4 lengths. Granted, Essential Quality’s 88 Beyer for his Breeders’ Cup Futurity was quite a bit higher than Rattle N Roll’s 81 for his win in this year’s renewal. But keep in mind that Rattle N Roll’s final time in the Breeders’ Futurity (if accurate) was 1:43.78, faster than Essential Quality’s 1:44.37 clocking (if accurate) in last year’s renewal. In fact, Rattle N Roll’s 1:43.78 clocking is faster than that in the last three editions of the Breeders’ Futurity. Maxfield won the 2019 running in 1:44.21. Knicks Go, the 2018 winner, logged a final time of 1:44.23. How about this? Breeders’ Futurity winners Knicks Go, Maxfield and Essential Quality all are scheduled to run in the upcoming BC Classic. In my early BC odds for Xpressbet last week, I made Knicks Go the 5-2 favorite, followed by Essential Quality a close second choice at 3-1. I listed Maxfield at 12-1. Rattle N Roll is a Kentucky-bred son of Connect and the Johannesburg mare Jazz Tune. Talk about a Breeders’ Cup pedigree. Connect is a son of 2007 BC Classic winner Curlin. Johannesburg won the 2001 BC Juvenile. McPeek’s keen eye for a Thoroughbred’s potential bought Curlin as a yearling at Keeneland in 2005. With McPeek taking time away from training, his former assistant Helen Pitts was the trainer of Curlin when that colt registered a 12-length debut victory as a 3-year-old at Gulfstream Park in 2007. Secretariat.com’s Steve Haskin this week provided more detail on McPeek’s purchase of Curlin. “Kenny McPeek picked out Curlin as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale for $57,000,” Haskin wrote. “The son of Smart Strike had an OCD lesion removed from his left ankle as a weanling, and it wasn’t a pretty sight at the sale. Although it turned off most buyers, McPeek felt it would be a non-issue. But his clients, Shirley Cunningham and Bill Gallion, became furious with McPeek for spending $57,000 on a horse with physical issues that no one wanted, especially after they were told he would never make it to the races. “McPeek tried to assure them that the colt would be fine, but got nowhere and offered to take the colt back and find another client. He felt he was a steal at that price and believed he would have gone for $300,000 if his ankle didn’t look so unappealing. Eventually, Cunningham and Gallion began to have second thoughts and decided to keep him. “McPeek at the time had actually given up training for a while to concentrate on bloodstock work, mainly in the U.S. and South America. Also, his mother was terminally ill. He contacted his owners and convinced them to keep the horses with his longtime assistant Helen Pitts and that he would always be close by.” McPeek told Haskin that even though he had stepped away from training at the time, he “still was around Curlin a great deal during the winter of his 2-year-old year” in Ocala, Fla. “He was a man among boys even then,” McPeek recalled. “I’m very proud to have found him and it was great visiting him at the farm several years ago. I have mixed emotions because any normal year I would have trained him, but my mother was terminally ill and the time away and how the events unfolded kept me from [training] him.” McPeek did say that if he had not stepped away from training and gone into bloodstock work, he probably would not have been able to buy a historic 115-acre farm in Kentucky outside Lexington, renaming it Magdalena Farm. “Everything happens for a reason,” McPeek said. According to Haskin, that farm, which dates back to the Revolutionary War, has been home to many top horses, such as Tomy Lee and Devil Diver. Tomy Lee won the 1959 Kentucky Derby. Devil Diver, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980, is the only horse to have won three straight Met Miles (1943, 1944 and 1945). Devil Diver ranks No. 57 on my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century. After Curlin’s scintillating debut victory, he was sold privately to Stonestreet Stable. Future Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen took over as the colt’s trainer. Curlin would win two Horse of the Year titles and $10,501,800. In a Daily Racing Form story written this week by Nicole Russo, McPeek said he sees mental and physical qualities in Rattle N Roll that remind him of Curlin. “He’s very easy to be around,” McPeek said of Rattle N Roll. “I went back [Saturday] afternoon to check on him pre-race, and you know how a horse has the look of eagles in him? He was just, like, intense. He was checking everything out and he was interested. He’s smart, for sure. “It’s the Curlin in him, I think -- that top line. He looks a lot like Curlin, in a sense. I wasn’t around Connect. But [Rattle N Roll] understands how to sit behind horses and finish, and he can do that.” McPeek also has said Rattle N Roll reminds him of Tejano Run. McPeek trained Tejano Run, who won the 1994 Breeders’ Futurity. After that triumph at Keeneland, Tejano Run finished third to Timber Country and Eltish in the BC Juvenile at Churchill Downs in his final start at 2. At 3, Tejano Run was good enough to finish second behind Thunder Gulch in the Kentucky Derby. All in all, I have a feeling that Rattle N Roll just might be capable of running big in the BC Juvenile. Unfortunately, I also have a feeling he will not be participating. By the way, McPeek has yet to win a Breeders’ Cup race. He’s 0 for 36, according to the stats on the Breeders’ Cup website. Whether or not McPeek starts Rattle N Roll in the BC Juvenile, the trainer said he does plan to run Tiz the Bomb in the Grade I BC Juvenile Turf after the colt won last Sunday’s Grade II Bourbon Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Keeneland’s grass course. What made Tiz the Bomb’s Bourbon victory all the more impressive is he broke through the gate pre-start. Horses rarely win after doing that. But Tiz the Bomb nevertheless proved a punctual 5-2 favorite, coming from off the pace on a wet turf course termed “good” to prevail by three-quarters of a length in 1:43.69. Tiz the Bomb is a Kentucky-bred son of Hit It a Bomb and the Tiznow mare Tiz the Key. Once again, talk about a Breeders’ Cup pedigree. Hit It a Bomb won the 2015 BC Juvenile Turf. Tiznow is the only two-time winner of the BC Classic. OTHER POSSIBLE OPTIONS Corniche definitely is going to have a great many backers in the BC Juvenile. Like Jack Christopher, Corniche is two for two. A $1.5 million auction purchase trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Corniche recorded a robust 98 Beyer Speed Figure when he won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race by 4 1/4 lengths at Del Mar on Sept. 4. The only higher Beyer by a 2-year-old this year is Jack Christopher’s 102. Corniche then won Santa Anita’s Grade I American Pharoah Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths on Oct. 1. But this time the Kentucky-bred Quality Road colt received a much lower 85 Beyer. Even though Corniche regressed to an 85 Beyer in his second start, who knows how good the undefeated Grade I winner is? Off his two victories to date, it’s not out of the question that Corniche is going to be a superstar. It’s also probably not a good idea to cavalierly dismiss the Baffert-trained Pinehurst in the BC Juvenile. Like Jack Christopher and Corniche, Pinehurst is two for two. After winning a five-furlong maiden race by a half-length at Del Mar on Aug. 1, Pinehurst took the Grade I Del Mar Futurity by 4 1/2 lengths at seven furlongs on Sept. 6. He recorded an 86 Beyer Speed Figure in his debut, then dropped to a 79 in the Del Mar Futurity. One good thing about Pinehurst’s Beyers not being higher is it will help his BC Juvenile price. But while his Beyers will cause some bettors to shy away from him in the BC Juvenile, he has yet to lose a race, which means, like Corniche, we really don’t know how good Pinehurst is at this point. I’m seriously looking at Commandperformance as a possible top pick in the BC Juvenile. Yes, I know that Commandperformance is a maiden. But as recently as 2017 a maiden, Good Magic, won the BC Juvenile. Good Magic went into the BC Juvenile off a second in the Grade I Champagne, a race won by future savager Firenze Fire. Commandperformance likewise ran second in the Champagne. I really liked the energy exhibited by Commandperformance when coming down the lane in the Champagne. It’s not out of the question that the Kentucky-bred son of 2012 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags will like competing in a 1 1/16-mile race around two turns more than Jack Christopher. And Commandperformance’s odds in the BC Juvenile most assuredly are going to be more enticing than Jack Christopher’s. When Jack Christopher’s Beyer in the Champagne was elevated from 93 to 102, the figures for the vanquished also were raised. Comandperformance’s Beyer in the Champagne was increased to 97, which certainly makes him a threat in the BC Juvenile despite being a maiden. Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher trains Commandperformance. I believe three others who should not be ignored in the BC Juvenile are Classic Causeway, Pappacap and Oviatt Class. If Classic Causeway had won the Breeders’ Futurity, he would be viewed as a strong BC Juvenile contender. And I think it is fair to say that it’s possible that he might have won the Breeders’ Futurity if not for drawing the 13 post. Because of having to start from post 13, Classic Causeway was hustled early by jockey Jose Ortiz. The Kentucky-bred Giant’s Causeway colt might have had more gas left in the tank late if not ridden so aggressively in the early going. Classic Causeway recorded a 90 Beyer in a 6 1/2-length maiden victory when kicking off his racing career Sept. 4 at Saratoga. He regressed to a 73 in the Breeders’ Futurity. Might he rebound big-time in the BC Juvenile? You bet he might. Pappacap and Oviatt Class finished two-three behind Corniche in the American Pharoah. Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse has been sky high on Florida-bred Pappacap even before his first race. Pappacap, winner of the Del Mar’s Grade II Best Pal Stakes, is one of many talented runners this year from the first crop of 2017 BC Classic winner Gun Runner. Watch out for Oviatt Class, who likely is going to be a juicy price in BC Juvenile wagering. The Virgina-bred Bernardini colt trailed early in the American Pharoah and never threatened, but he did come on in the stretch to finish third on a track that was not kind to come-from-behind types that day. AN OPINION REGARDING THE BELDAME STAKES I will never get used to the Beldame Stakes being a Grade II. I just don’t get how the American Graded Stakes Committee (AGSC) could overlook the tremendous history of the Beldame to downgrade it from a Grade I in 2019. The AGSC wields great power. Whatever the AGSC does can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By downgrading the Beldame to a Grade II, it causes some people to shy away from running in it instead of in a Grade I. And that weakens the Beldame. A prime example of this syndrome is Santa Anita’s Santa Monica Handicap. Many years ago, the AGSC upgraded Santa Anita’s Santa Monica Handicap to Grade I status when I did not believe it deserved it. But after the AGSC made the Santa Monica a Grade I, it then started attracting better fields. The move by the AGSC to upgrade the Santa Monica to a Grade I essentially turned it into a Grade I race for many years. I once blasted the AGSC for downgrading Saratoga’s Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds to a Grade II in 2012. That mistake, as I saw it, lasted just one year before the Hopeful was restored to a Grade I. For years on HRTV and in print, I strongly criticized the AGSC for the Arkansas Derby’s Grade II status. After several years, the Arkansas Derby finally properly received its Grade I ranking in 2010, which it has retained ever since. I believe the AGSC does a fine job overall in terms of grading stakes races. But from time to time, I think they blow it, such as with the Beldame, Hopeful for one year, Arkansas Derby and the Santa Anita Oaks. The AGSC for downgraded the Santa Anita Oaks to a Grade II in 2020. Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes is a Grade I race. The Santa Anita Oaks, like the Ashland, is an important prep race for the Kentucky Oaks. Why is the Ashland a Grade I and the Santa Anita Oaks now a Grade II? In 2020, the first year the Santa Anita Oaks was a Grade II, it was won Swiss Skydiver, who would go on to win the Grade I Preakness Stakes while defeating Grade I Kentucky Derby winner and future Grade I BC Classic winner Authentic. Swiss Skydiver was voted a 2020 Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly. Finishing second to Swiss Skydiver in the Santa Anita Oaks was Speech. Yet another indication that the AGSC made a mistake when downgrading the Santa Anita Oaks to a Grade II is Speech subsequently won the Ashland. In other words, Speech was unable to win the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks, yet she did win the Grade I Ashland. The Santa Anita Oaks has been won in the last decade by such champions as Beholder (2013), Stellar Wind (2015), Midnight Bisou (2018) and the aforementioned Swiss Skydiver. Does that look like a Grade II race to you? THIS WEEK’S NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL No newcomers in the Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Letruska retained the No. 2 spot following her victory in the Grade I Spinster at Keeneland. The Spinster extended Letruska’s winning streak to five. She has not been defeated since finishing second in the Grade II Azeri Stakes last March 13 at Oaklawn Park when she lost by a head to Shedaresthedevil. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll is listed below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 340 Knicks Go (23)2. 310 Letruska (6)3. 300 Essential Quality (7)4. 156 Hot Rod Charlie5. 154 Jackie’s Warrior6. 130 Medina Spirit7. 127 Gamine8. 98 Art Collector9. 85 Max Player10. 70 Domestic Spending

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10.11.2021:

Monday Myths: Quick Claim Returns, Good Bets?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:Horses who return quickly after being claimed are live bets.Background:There’s a school of thought that when a horse is claimed, often the new connections already have a race in mind for that runner. The sooner they return, the better, in terms of intent. A horse claimed and then put away for an extended period is assumed to have some physical issues the new barn is working out. After all, the claiming game is about acquiring, earning and moving runners in and out of your barn.Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database to look at all horses claimed across North America in 2021. I then set the fliters for the amount of time it took to return to the races, separating them in week increments. The study found just over 9,400 horses to peruse the data.All horses claimed last out returned to win their next start 15.9% with a $0.75 ROI for every $1 bet.Horses claimed last out and returned within 0-13 days win their next start 17.1% with $.80 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 14-20 days win their next start 15.0% with $.76 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 21-27 days win their next start 14.9% with $.73 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 28-34 days win their next start 16.5% with $.75 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 35-41 days win their next start 16.9% with $.77 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 42-48 days win their next start 16.7% with $.78 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 49-55 days win their next start 19.1% with $.81 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 56-62 days win their next start 16.1% with $.70 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 63-69 days win their next start 12.8% with $.56 ROI.Horses claimed last out and returned within 70 or more days win their next start 15.5% with $.74 ROI.Overall Findings:The optimum timeframe for success after the claim was 49-55 days both in terms of win percentage (19.1%, more than 2 percent better than any other layoff) and ROI ($0.81 for every $1 bet, slightly better than 0-13 days). The 0-13 day timeframe was second-highest in win % and in ROI. The weakest areas were in the 2-3 week range after being claimed at around 15.0%.Bottom line:Wheeling a horse back extremely quick off the claim is a positive sign, but once past that immediacy, the success actually builds to a best plan at the 7-week mark. This handicapping axiom is only somewhat true, but leans predominantly false.Additional Details:You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, see which trainers have success off the claim at various times between the return, or how each of these time slots may change by the tracks you handicap.

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10.11.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Monday, October 11

Northfield Park has a 15-race Monday night card set to go with the first post at 6:00 PM EST. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 has a $10,000 guaranteed pool. The sequence begins in Race 11, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 113-Pc's Alleyway (6-1)-Has 2 wins in 20 starts at NFLD, comes off a sick scratch and the field is full of horses that don't like to win. So, this 8-year-old should hang around and be in the mix if 100% healthy.8-Compass Rose DC (2-1)-Took the long way around in the 1st start back at NFLD and Davis Jr will need to figure out how to put this mare into play. But versus this crew, if a sharp steer can happen it could be time for the 2nd picture in 20 starts this year.9-Show Em All Lindy (4-1)-This 6-year-old does pass horses down the lane on occasion and thus wins more often than most of these. Has an 0-7 record at NFLD and the post will make it a challenge, but Merriman could make a difference. Willing to take a swing this top pilot will find a way to be forwardly placed turning for the wire.Race 121-Bourbans Best (9/5)-This 14-year-old has moved back and forth between the Rhoades barn and the Kreiser stable since 8-9. Claimed back by Kreiser in last and should be a threat. Merriman is sticking with #5, so Davis Jr takes the lines.5-If You Want Fire (2-1)-Makes the 1st start for Rhoades after zipping home in 56.3 to take a picture at this class. Merriman should have this 9-year-old in play when the wings fold.Race 136-Rockn Motion (5/2)-Faded after being used hard versus better to get the top. Drops to a spot to shine and Stahl has options with this post draw. Finishing miles has been an issue but hasn't been in this soft in quite a while.7-Qulaity Closer (15-1)-Faced better in 1st start back in town and raced near the back throughout. Should relish this company and Wrenn could get a close-up seat. Winner of 2 in 6 starts at NFLD could be sitting on a big try at a solid price.8-Caviart Val (7-1)-Joins the Olivero barn for its NFLD debut and Merriman is between the pipes. Makes the 3rd start off the bench, appears to fit with this crew and could cash the top check with a smooth trip.Race 142-Fly Charlie Fly (2-1)-Has been camera shy this year but did face some tough 3-year-olds. Should have enough gate speed to get an up-front seat. Usually is in the hunt at NFLD hitting the board in 6 of 10 with 1 picture. Looks like a player at a short price.3-Wenistopdreaming (7/2)-Took a trip to DTN and that didn't work out well, but now is in a more comfortable spot. Had success here versus similar in July and has enough gate speed to race close to the lead. NFLD record is good, has hit the board in 3 of 4 with 1 picture and looks like a main player tonight.My Ticket Race 11) 3,8,9 Race 12) 1,5 Race 13) 6,7,8 Race 14) 2,3Total Ticket Cost) =$36 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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10.11.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Monday, October 11

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Billy’s Bet; 2-Oubabe; 8-Vanisky; 9-Liberty ForeverForecast: The Monday opener for state-bred maiden juveniles sprinting five furlongs on grass is a messy affair full of question marks. Best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. Oubabe showed some ability in his debut at Los Alamitos when a close third in a similar Cal-bred dash that earned an okay speed figure. If he can repeat that type of race on the sod, he can win. Billy’s Bet has trained like he has a bit of ability for his debut and has a grass pedigree, so this newcomer from the A. Barba barn may be competitive if he leaves running from the rail. Liberty Forever represents stranger danger from the San Luis Rey Downs. The work tab isn’t fancy but the P. Miller barn can be clever with these newcomers so we’ll take an educated guess (emphasis on guess) that he can run some, while Vanisky, a son of good grass sire Vronsky, shows a modest series of workouts but is another who could be considerably better on turf.Notable Workouts:1-Billy’s Bet (September 15, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.4hg). Grade: B-Second best in a three-horse gate drill with Roses R Blue (same time) and Fluent (5f, 1:01.3hg), ridden along most of the way while a length behind ‘Blue when eased up after a half mile, splits of :23.4, :35.3 and :47.3 on our watches, not bad for maiden juvenile. Gelded son of Unusual Heatwave seems like a fair to moderate type on dirt but is bred for grass and may eventually due his best on the lawn.View Workout Video5-Outta Hand (October 4, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.2hg). Grade: C+In blinkers, in a three-horse gate drill outside with Loma Vista (5f, 1:01.1hg, slightly best) and Altruist (5f, 1:01.3hg) and was under some coaxing most of the way with steady splits :36 flat and :48.1. not particularly impressive. Let’s see one first.View Workout Video7-Synnin and Winnin (October 3, Santa Anita, $f, :49h). Grade: B-In blinkers, broke off two lengths behind and was urged and ridden hard through the lane to be even to the wire with Quincey (4f, :49.2h) for P. D’Amato while gearing up for debut. Mr. Big gelding acts like a fair sort at best right now but may do better when given a chance on grass.4f, :49.2h),View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: CUse: 4-Warrens Candy Man; 5-FunkensteinForecast: We’ll pass this race but for rolling exotic purposes include the two listed above on our ticket. Neither one is trustworthy, so tread lightly. Warrens Candy Man is a 13-race maiden but has numbers that can win this weak affair, so he’s sure to get plenty of play. Funkenstein ran well at this level earlier in his career before being raised to maiden special weight company in his last four starts. Against this bunch he’s a contender with anything close to his best race and he should be forwardly placed and have every chance.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:01 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Sugary; 3-Star of Africa; 8-Over AttractedForecast: This is another open affair requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. Star of Africa is a two-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course and drops to her proper level after facing considerably tougher foes in her last four starts. She’s most effective on the lead and if not pressured early could take this field gate-to-wire. Sugary is another with multiple wins over the Santa Anita lawn and projects to earn a good stalking, ground-saving trip. Over Attracted exits a much tougher event when overmatched and never a threat but her win two races back charts well against this group, so we’ll toss her in as well.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:32 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Mr. Dougie Fresh; 5-Sayin GraceForecast: Mr. Dougie Fresh was a voided claim for $16,000 in late August at Del Mar and today returns to the bottom $10,000 level while retaining F. Prat. We have to think that whatever was bothering him has been taken care off. The P. Miller-trained veteran stretches out to a mile, which used to be his favorite trip, so we’ll put him on top in a lackluster affair. Sayin Grace won an $8,000 seller at Los Alamitos with decent number, so if he can reproduce that form on the big track the J. Wong-trained gelding should be quite competitive right back. However, he’s always preferred to run second or third (18 times) rather than win (four times). We’ll try to survive and advance using just these two in our rolling exotics.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:04 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Ox Bridge; 6-Streak and CheeseForecast: Steak and Cheese was a voided claim for $32,000 when a good runner-up at this level on grass at Del Mar last time out, so he goes again for M. Maker barn while dropping a level and retaining U. Rispoli. If healthy, he’s the one to beat and has shown he can be effective on the front end or if held up early and allowed to run late. Given the pace projection of this turf miler, the son of Mizzen Mast probably will settle in the second flight and then launch his bid when called upon. Ox Bridge is most comfortable on the lead, so we’ll assume he’ll be sent from the bell to establish the running. His form over this grass course is quite good and he’s dropping out of tougher starter’s $50,000 allowance races to a level that should be much more agreeable to him. Preference on top goes to Steak and Cheese but we’ll include both in rolling exotic play.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:36 PT Grade: B-Single: 9-RattrapanteForecast:Let’s take a shot with the sprinter-stretching-out angle and put Rattrapante on top. This will be her first try around two turns, so we expect to see her on the lead as the controlling speed and given that type of trip in a race without effective closers she could get brave and keep on going. At 4-1 on the morning line she’s as good as any, and if it’s not her, it could be anybody.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:08 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Cucina; 3-Little JuanitoForecast: Cucina seems interesting in this first-level allowance optional claiming turf sprint for older horses. He’s a first-off-the-claim for J. Sadler, he’s backing up from a mile, and his best form seems to be as a late-running sprinter. A prior winner sprinting on grass and picking up U. Rispoli, he’s sure to receive the patient ride he prefers, so at 3-1 on the morning line we’ll put him on top. Little Juanito shows up in a claimer for the first time after being pitched too high when unplaced in the Green Flash H.-G3 last time out. He’s won over this course in the past and should be dangerous while on or near the lead throughout.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:40 PT Grade: C+Single: 1-Dark Prince; 10-Defense WinsForecast: Defense Wins, drops a notch below his claim level and is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat, so this M. Maker-trained gelding should regain his best form after failing to land a blow in a starter allowance dash at Los Alamitos last time out. He’s never been one to trust but if he can get some help up front the son of Flatter should be heard from late. Dark Prince will bust out from the rail and go and if he can shake loose early he could get brave late. The barn doesn’t win many, but this Cairo Prince gelding has numbers that fit and a win two races back at Del Mar that charts quite well with these.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:12 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Solo Animo; 10-RosenquistForecast: Solo Animo drops into a maiden claimer for the first time and seems sure to improve in his second start off a long layoff. The P. D’Amato barn is overdue for some winners and this lightly-raced son of Carpe Diem may have found his friends. He’s run well on grass in the past and earned a number in his only prior route try that is better than par for this level. Rosenquist makes his first start since June and this Midwest invader should be quite competitive on this circuit for this $50,000 maiden claiming price. He’s worked well in the a.m. for new trainer K. Mulhall and though poorly drawn this first-time gelding could be better than shown. At 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth tossing in somewhere.Notable Workouts:10-Rosenquist (October 3, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:03h). Grade: BIn blinkers, breezing through the lane, never really asked at any stage, final half mile in :24.3 and :50.2. Looks fine off the bench for K. Mulhall; Midwest invader is a first-time gelding and appear to be a happy sort.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 10: Post: 5:42 PT Grade: BUse: 6-Moraz; 9-Velvet SlippersForecast: Velvet Slippers is drawn farther out than we’d prefer but the B. Baffert-trained filly has rising numbers and switches to F. Prat, so if she can navigate a decent trip the daughter of Quality Road should be hard to beat. She’s won on the lead but can stalk and pounce if asked, so at 2-1 on the morning line she deserves top billing. Moraz returns to dirt after just missing as the favorite at this level on grass at Del Mar last month. She earned a big figure when narrowly missing in the Santa Ysabel S.-G3 over the local main track last winter and if she can repeat that performance today she’ll be major player. Preference on top goes to Velvet Slippers but both should be included on your rolling exotic ticket.

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10.10.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Rosecroft Raceway Pick 4 Analysis | Sunday, October 10

Rosecroft Raceway has 13 races set to roll with the first post coming at 7:15 EST. The 0.50 Pick 4 begins in Race 9, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 92-Spinout (5/2)-Finished 2nd in last after running into a buzz saw winner who blitzed the field from post 9. Probably will be on top or in the pocket after the 1st turn and should be tighter in the 2nd start since 7-14.3-Manattack (4-1)-This 7-year-old raced well at this class and was just nipped in its 1st race since 8-4. Will need another big effort to win and has the gate speed to get the jump on others.5-Lil Johnny (3-1)-Veteran knows how to win, (7-23) in 2021, and probably needed last after being off almost a month. Fits with this crew and looking for a big try. Foster takes the lines and that's a positive driver change.Race 104-Rocktavius (7/2)-Fired hot off the bench, wired the field and now steps-up. This 8-year-old has won 26% of his starts at RcR and the Roberts barn is batting 25% winners over the last 30 days. Roberts steers #5 but Thompson can get the job done.5-Starship (3-1)-This is the other Roberts entry and comes off an even effort versus straight Open company. This 4-year-old son of Captaintreacherous has 8 pictures in 21 RcR starts with a 150.2 mark this year and should be in the hunt.7-Volley Ball Beach (4-1)-Comes off a big try at this class at long odds. Needs a sharp steer but was used a couple of times in last and might be able to roll late off cover tonight.Race 115-I'm No Pansy (4-1)-Has won 5 of 18 at RcR, including last week in the 1st local start this season. Can be forwardly placed with this post draw and best to respect chances for a repeat.8-Mittnite Delight (3-1)-Foster has enough gate speed to work with to claim a close-up seat. Comes off a sharp effort at this class and the post makes the price.Race 124-Diamond Cowboy (5/2)-Drew-off by over 7 lengths last week to beat 6 from this bunch and looks like a must use tonight.5-Twomickeytrip (7/2)-Well traveled veteran makes its RcR debut and did tune-up with a couple of starts in Woodstock. Might be able to fall in right behind the one above and make the most of an efficient trip.My Ticket Race 9) 2,3,5 Race 10) 4,5,7 Race 11) 5,8 Race 12) 4,5Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.10.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 5 Ticket at Belmont | Sunday, October 10

Much of the Late Pick 5 Sunday at Belmont Park looks good – good enough to take a pop at it and move up from my usual weekly Pick 4 journey.Three graded stakes races – the G3 Futurity Stakes (5th), the G2 Beldame Stakes (6th), and the G3 Knickerbocker Stakes – make up the heart of Belmont’s Late Pick 5, and I’m jumping in with a suggested ticket that totals $108.Here’s the strategy for the day:5th Race (2:43 p.m. ET, G3 Futurity S.)SLIPSTREAM has taken a big step up in performance in his last two races and looks ready for this level of competition. He comes in off a front-running maiden score but likely will be forced to do this one from off the pace, which seems to be fine. He improved position in his first two races and is in with runners that are just quicker than he is. That probably plays in his favor as he will be set up for a solid run.Also on the ticket: MIDNIGHT WORKER, CHI TOWN LADY, POPPY FLOWER.6th Race (3:15 p.m. ET, G2 Beldame S.)ZAAJEL moves up to older fillies and mares and returns to where she had her finest triumph. The Street Sense filly came into her own when she scored a big-time upset over Always Carina and Clairiere in the Grade 2 Mother Goose over this strip. She tried sprinters in the Grade 1 Text but never got involved and is back to a longer distance.Also on the ticket: ROYAL FLAG.7th Race (3:49 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)HOBOKEN JACK ran evenly vs. open maiden special weight company at Monmouth, which is probably a tougher spot than $50,000 maiden-claiming New York-breds. A good sign is a switch to hot-riding Paco Lopez, and the move to restricted company should be enough. It’s not a gimme by any means, but he looks to have an edge.Also on the ticket: RED ROCK BAY, KONG LOVES A FIGHT.8th Race (4:21 p.m. ET, G3 Knickerbocker S.)SACRED LIFE has consistently shown late interest in his races, and that will comes in handy going 1 1-8 miles here. He was fourth the only time he tried this distance when he ran fourth as the 9-5 favorite in a Grade 1 at Keeneland. He tuned up for this with a fast-closing second to Breaking the Rules, a combatant today but not a choice on this ticket. That race was a mile, and the French-bred gets a distance more conducive to his running. He’s one of two talented Chad Brown runners in here, the other being L’IMPERATOR.Also on the ticket: FIELD PASS, L’IMPERATOR.9th Race (4:52 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)MY BOY COLTON got on the front end and ran a good second in his latest, and a repeat of that will probably get it done for his in this one. The pace will be quicker and he might not get to the lead, but the turn back to a mile should help him with some late pop. The Pioneer of the Nile colt looks ready for graduation from the maiden ranks.Also on the ticket: DEFERRED TAXES (1-1A entry), BAIL OUT.My TicketRace 5) #2 Midnight Worker, #4 Slipstream, #5 Chi Town Lady, #8 Poppy Flower. Race 6) #3 Zaajel, #8 Royal Flag. Race 7) #1 Red Rock Bay, #2 Hoboken Jack, #7 Kong Loves a Fight. Race 8) #1 Field Pass, #3 Sacred Life, #4 L’Imperator. Race 9) #1 Deferred Taxes, #3 My Boy Colton, #8 Bail Out.Total Ticket Cost) 2,4,5,8/3,8/1,2,7/1,3,4/1,3,8 = $108 for $0.50

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10.9.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis | Saturday, October 9

Tonight, Ontario Sires Stakes action is featured on the 12-race Woodbine Mohawk card. The Early 0.20 Pick 5 kicks-off the program. The sequence has a $100,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 11-Wind Blown (3-1)-Drops back to a level for success. Does the best work racing near the top of the stack and Henry should have no issue getting there.4-Highlandbeachlover (5/2)-Gets a ++ driver change with JMac getting the call tonight. Only 4 for 42 in the past 2 years but should be in the mix versus this group. The pilot change could be the difference.5-Lets Get Pickled (8-1)-Filion sat behind this 5-year-old last week and the effort was better than the line looks. Ran into a sharp winner and did pace the 2nd half in 54.1. Should be forwardly placed and has a shot for an upset at a price.8-The Greek Freak (4-1)-Dropped to this level in last and Roy had the pedal down. Did get on the point but faded late. This is another who has trouble winning, 1-16 in 2021, but best to respect here.Race 23-Portofino (5/2)-Winner of 2 straight made its debut in September and finished 2nd twice. The last 2 starts have been dominating wins and right now looks a cut above the rest.Race 32-Game Of Shadows (3-1)-Rolled the back half in .55 and Roy sped away down the lane drawing off by almost 4 lengths. That win shouldn't be discounted, and the same effort could lead to the same result.4-Voluptuous (5/2)-This Alagna trainee is no slouch. Beaten chalk lost all chance after being 10 lengths back at the half. McNair should work a better trip this time and may have enough early speed to get the jump on #2.Race 45-Archery Seelster (3-1)-Odds-on winner sure looked the part on 9-30 drawing off by over 5 lengths. Raced most of the mile on his own and that probably won't be as easy tonight. But Roy knows well, and he should put this colt in play early in the race.9-HP Maestro (9/2)-The post will help boost the price and didn't have much chance in last. Filion could look to follow a live cover flow and the fractions should be honest. Has hit the board in 6 of 8 at Wbsb with 1 picture, and could be a player tonight.Race 52-Dynomites Peak (5/2)-Winner of 2 in a row and 3 of the last 4 looks like a major player once again. Hasn't had any breaking issues since its initial 2 starts, but this will be the 1st time with an inside post draw.5-Macho Phil (3-1)-Started from post 10 in last and lost by a half-length to #10 who benefitted from a smooth trip. This is a competitive affair, JMac can make the most of this starting slot and should be in the hunt at the wire.7-Century Iglesias (6-1)-Has hit the board in 5 of 7 at Mohawk with 1 picture. Jamieson needs to provide a sharp steer and find some live cover. There should be an honest pace and could finish fastest of all.My Ticket Race 1) 1,4,5,8 Race 2) 3 Race 3) 2,4 Race 4) 5,9 Race 5) 2,5,7Total Ticket Cost) $9.60 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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10.9.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Saturday, October 9

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Buzz of New York; 5-TakemebythehandForecast: 2-Buzz of New York wasted a perfect trip when failing to change leads the length of the lane and then just failing by a head to catch Summer Daisy in a similar maiden route affair for fillies and mares at Del Mar last month. Not much more will be needed to beat this field, though the loss of F. Prat (who is out of town) won’t help matters, Also, as an eight-race maiden, she’s probably not one to trust. Takemebythehand was given too much to do when a non-threatening fourth (beaten two and one-half lengths) in her U.S. debut at Del Mar in mid-July. The J. Mullins-trained English-bred sophomore gets an extra furlong to work with today, sports a healthy series of recent workouts, and should be heard from in the final furlong. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll otherwise not get too involved with.Notable Workouts5-Takemebythehand (September 22, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02.4h TT). Grade: B-Easy solo training track breeze for J. Mullins, just galloping while coming the final three furlongs in :12.3 and :38.1. Long-winded English-bred maiden filly should improve as the distances increase and has a right to step forward following an okay U.S. debut in July at Del Mar.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:32 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Silver Moon Road; 5-Rookie YearForecast: Silver Moon Road has won two of his last three races with strong figures, the victories sandwiching a last place two-turn performance behind Breeders’ Cup-bound Ginobili routing at Del Mar in a race in which the T. Yakteen-trained gelding was fried on a blistering pace and was virtually eased late. A 12-length maiden claiming win over this track and distance in June charts extremely well in this $50,000 claimer restricted to 3-year-olds, and with good bug girl J. Pyfer riding him back the son of Secret Circle appears well-placed to continue his winning form. Rookie Year broke his maiden by more than nine lengths at this trip over this distance in early May and has two-turned in each of his four races since. Back sprinting, the P. Miller-trained gelding isn’t as fast on numbers as our top pick but projects to draft into a comfortable stalking/pressing position and then have his chance to produce a career top performance. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with the main push going to Silver Moon Road.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:04 PT Grade: BSingle: 9-KazuhikoForecast: Kazuhiko was given a run in his U.S. debut sprinting on turf at Del Mar in early August, failing to change leads in the stretch (typical for him) but coming home strongly without being knocked about to wind up third, beaten just over a length, and then galloping out well while clearly finding the five furlong trip a bit too sharp. The son of Deep Impact should be much more serious today today while greatly appreciating today’s extra furlong, so from his outside nine-post draw we’re hoping the 4-year-old Australian-bred colt can produce the last run. In a race in which no attractive alternates exists and at 5/2 on the morning line, we’ll take a stand and make him a win play and rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:35 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Creative Peak; 6-Straight Up GForecast: Straight Up G is a first-timer from the R. Baltas barn with win-early breeding from a comfortable outside draw in a juvenile sprint that drew just six entrants. The workouts at San Luis Rey Downs jump off the page, so in a race that came up light the son of Straight Fire seems well-placed to score at first asking. Creative Peak was eliminated soon after the start as the even money favorite in a Los Alamitos maiden special weight sprint and today makes a positive barn change to V. Cerin. The son of Creative Cause, a respectable runner-up two races back in his debut at Santa Anita in a fairly fast race, is the best of the known element and is worth including in rolling exotic play either as a back-up or a saver.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:06 PT Grade: B+Use: 5-Let Freedom Rein; 8-Lucky GirlForecast: Let Freedom Rein gained valuable experience in her debut when winding up a willing third while on her own courage behind subsequent stakes winner Cairo Memories in a similar maiden turf miler for juvenile fillies and caught the eye galloping out full of run entering the clubhouse turn. R. Gonzalez got to known her in the race, stays aboard, and should have this $190,000 daughter of Constitution within range throughout and with every chance to produce a winning late kick. There’s excellent wagering value here at 4-1 on the morning line for a barn that has solid stats with the second-time starter angle. Lucky Girl displayed considerable promise when third of 14 in her debut in Ireland in July despite a very slow start and an extremely wide trip and gives every indication of being a well-meant European invader for R. Baltas following a strong series of workouts since arriving in California. She will be dangerous if she switches off behind horses and then produces a similar late run to the one she manufactured in her debut.Notable Workouts:Lucky Girl (October 4, Santa Anita, 4f, :48.2h TT). Grade: BEven with Gold Dragon Queen (same time) for R. Baltas, splits of :24.1, :36 flat and 1:00.3 on our watches in solid training track drill while gearing up for U.S. debut. Steady, grinding sort will need a distance of ground on this circuit to show her best stuff. Looks fit, should be a live item when facing maiden juvenile fillies on grass.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:48 PT Grade:Use: 4-Ka’nah; 5-Cunning MunningsForecast:This restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming sprint doesn’t have a whole lot in it, so we’ll double the race using the two main contenders. Ka’nah ran quite well when runner-up at this level two runs back, finishing second while more than four lengths clear of the rest, and repeat of that effort today should be sufficient. The Gio Ponti gelding has run well over this main track in the past and projects to settle in the second flight and then have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home. Cunning Munnings, away since November but returning for a barn that has strong stats (20%) with layoff runners, has been given a solid foundation of workouts both at San Luis Rey Downs and at Santa Anita to be fit and ready. The M. Glatt-trained gelding has back numbers that are good enough to win at this level, though his lack of tactical speed is a bit concerning. We’ll prefer Ka’nah on top but have tickets using both in our rolling exotics.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:08 PT Grade: B+Single: 4-Ippodamia’s GirlForecast: Ippodamia’s Girl needs to be held up early and produced late and given that type of trip the veteran mare should regain her winning form in this year’s renewal of the Swingtime S. over a mile on grass for fillies and mares. A bullet half mile training track drill (:46 2/5, fastest of 16) eight days ago is significant, as is the switch to one of the barn’s “go-to” riders, M. Gutierrez, so at 7/2 on the morning line we’re going to play the daughter of Stormy Atlantic with confidence in the win pool and in the various rolling exotics.Notable Workouts:4-Ippodamia’s Girl (October 1, Santa Anita, 4f, :46.2h TT). Grade: B+Was let run through the lane and responded well with quick splits of :23 flat and :46.3, full stride late while appearing quite sharp. Has plenty of speed but form suggests she’s most effective when held up early and allowed to blast home. Happiest at a mile.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:40 PT Grade: B--Use: 4-Test Drive; 6-Honor Among Men; 9-Sometimes AlwaysForecast: We’ll triple this low level restricted (nw-2) $16,000 sprint for older horses that offers three main players and a few others with a look as well. Sometimes Always is guaranteed a lovely stalking trip outside and should have dead aim on the leaders every step of the way. The route-to-sprint angle is in full effect for this son of Morning Line, who was a clever winner around one corner two races back with a similar type of journey that he’ll enjoy today. Quite popular at the claim box, he’s changed barns in five of his seven career starts and retains U. Rispoli for new trainer J. Gutierrez while showing a steady, healthy work tab for his first race since mid-August. Honor Among Men missed in a photo as the favorite vs. similar at Los Alamitos last month after stumbling at the start and then getting worn down close home despite digging in gamely. He’ll need to navigate an extra half-furlong today but with a clean start the son of Bayern appears the most dangerous of the front-runners. Test Drive, in his first start following a claim by J. Wong (33% with this angle), is lightly-raced with a closing kick that could make him dangerous if a pace meltdown materializes. He picks up the stable’s “go to” rider A. Cedillo (24% with a massive flat-bet profit) and is worth using somewhere on your ticket at 5-1 on the morning line.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:12 PT Grade: BUse: 1-I’ll Stand Taller; 2-Clem Labine; 4-SurplusForecast: I’ll Stand Taller is back sprinting where he’s always been most comfortable and at 6-1 on the morning line represents a reasonable gamble in this extended turf sprint for first-level allowance state-bred older horses. The D. O’Neill-trained colt has rising speed figures, a strong recent training track drill to have him on edge, and a stalking style that should have give him every chance to tag the leaders close home. Surplus continued his improving pattern by graduating from California-bred company over five furlongs on grass at Del Mar in late August. The P. Miller-trained gelding earned a career top speed figure in victory and a similar performance today makes him dangerous right back. Ex-Dodger reliever and three time World Series champion Clem Labine is a deep closing sprinter trying grass for the first time. As a son of Grazen, the Northern California-based gelding should have no difficulty adapting to the change in surface, and with good racing luck and some help up front he could pose a serious threat once again in the late stages.

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10.8.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: SA, Kee, Bel Stakes | Saturday, October 9

It’s another big Saturday of national stakes races, and to assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Belmont Park // Race 7 // 3:47 pm ET // Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic // 1-1/2 miles (turf)#3 Gufo (8-5) // 30%W#5 Cross Border (8-1) // 18%W#2 Arklow (6-1) // 18%W#4 Rockemperor (10-1) // 10%WKeeneland // Race 9 // 5:15 pm ET // Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity // 1-1/16 miles#1 Double Thunder (4-1) // 20%W#5 Don’t Wait Up (9-2) // 14%W#13 Classic Causeway (5-1) // 12%W#12 Kevin’s Folly (12-1) // 10%WSanta Anita Park // Race 7 // 7:08 pm ET // Swingtime Stakes // 1 mile (turf)#5 Brooke (4-1) // 26%W#7 Norma Jean B (6-1) // 17%W#10 Quiet Secretary (6-1) // 14%W#6 Ellie Arroway (15-1) // 9%W

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10.8.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, October 8

The headliners on the 14-race card at Hoosier Park are 3-year-olds competing in Indiana Sires Stakes action. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 11, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 114-Crooked Smile (9/2)-Made his way to the top at this same class in last and just missed. A similar script can happen and maybe this time so will a picture. Spreading out in this leg and hoping for a price to pump up the payout.5-Sonny Weaver N (6-1)-Winner in 8 of 15 this year has the speed to beat this crew but will need a sharp steer. Widger is at the controls and should be forwardly placed throughout.7-Mac's Big Boy (2-1)-Stepped-up to this level in last and had the gate speed to land a pocket ride to win for the 4th straight time. Tetrick should have the pedal down again.8-Tivo Hanover (8-1)-Came off a sick scratch with a nice trip win at 17-1 and is back in at the same class. This is a deeper group and the price should be right again.Race 124-Whata Swan (3/5)-Has 8 wins this year but hasn't been able to seal deal in the last 6 starts. Has been facing tough company all season so best to respect. Will also use one more, due to recent efforts, who will offer more value.5-Dg's Caviar (8-1)-This 5-year-old has won 11 of 40 at HoP and has the gate speed to get the pocket behind the choice or Shetler might hop on the engine. Either way, appears to have the tactical speed to possibly trip out.Race 131-Swan In Motion (7/5)-Back from M1 after finding the water too deep. Should be in the hunt every step of the way versus this kind.5-Flagman (7/2)-Has been facing Open company and can be a player here. Plano will probably be leaving and shouldn't be far from the morning line chalk turning for the wire.Race 142-T'S Raider II (7/2)-Even effort in last but did roll the back half in 54.2 and gets a new pilot tonight. Oosting should be closer to the lead throughout and it's best to respect.4-Madelines Blk Jack (5-1)-Recent form has been dull but this smells like an opportunity for Bates to get the top and steal a quarter. Has a shot for the top check with the right trip and looks like a use in gimmicks.5-Jk Objection (6-1)-Comes off a nice try from post 10 versus better. Has been a bit camera shy and the Reeser barn has been cold. But Widger can work a smooth journey with this post draw and might be overlooked at the windows.8-Ike's Panther (3-1)-The George barn is batting 30% winners over the last 30 days and Tetrick is back between the pipes. The post makes the price and is usually right there at the wire versus this kind.My Ticket Race 11) 4,5,7,8 Race 12) 4,5 Race 13) 1,5 Race 14) 2,4,5,8Total Ticket Cost) $32 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.8.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies | Friday, October 8

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For added commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Pistachio Princess; 7-Go GretaForecast: The Friday opener is a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming turf miler for older fillies and mares that has a strong potential for a chaotic result. Go Greta takes a significant drop in class and has numbers that are better than par for this level, but she’s winless in the U.S., with her only prior victory earned over an all-weather surface in England. At 9/5 on the morning line, she’s the one to beat but perhaps not one to trust. Pistachio Princess has a few angles in her chart that make her intriguing at 15-1 on the morning line. She’s stretching out from the rail, removes blinkers, switches to J. Hernandez, and shows a strong, healthy series of workouts that should have her cranked up for a major effort off a seven week vacation. She’s also dropping to her lowest level ever and projects as the controlling speed, though her ability to get the trip is unknown. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play; if you find the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.Notable Workouts:1-Pistachio Princess (September 19, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade: B-No blinkers, okay drill for moderate claiming sophomore filly in the J. Periban barn, responding to some urging through the lane to finish reasonably well, final half mile in :23.2 and :48.3. Bred for turf and should improve when realistically spotted.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: BSingle: 1-RowangoestohollywoodForecast: Here’s another restricted claimer, this one for $16,000 (nw-3) fillies and mares over a mile on the main track. Rowangoestohollywood moves up a notch for new trainer A. Sherman after missing by a neck when well-clear of the rest at Los Alamitos last month. A similar effort today should be good enough over a track that has played quite kindly to her pace-setting/forcing style so far this meeting. Additionally, she gets a break in the weights with the switch to promising bug boy D. Herrera, so at 7/2 morning line the daughter of Bayern is our top pick and rolling exotic single in a race that doesn’t appear to offer a viable alternative.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Liar Liar; 5-Best Chance; 6-Bee CatcherForecast: We’ll spread the third race, a starter’s allowance turf miler that projects to have a faster-than-par early pace. Best Chance likes to lag early and then finish late and will get the patient ride he needs from J. Bravo. The J. Sadler-trained colt has two career victories – both over the Santa Anita turf course - and after narrowly missing in a similar starter’s allowance race at Del Mar last time out with a career top number the son of Quality Road shows a healthy series of recent workouts to have him primed for a major effort. Liar Liar never really has been our kind of horse – he’s been a beaten favorite a number of times – but this will be his first start since being gelded so improvement is possible. The switch to F. Prat always must be considered a positive and from the rail the Irish-bred in P. Miller’s barn should settle into an ideal mid-pack ground-saving trip and then have every chance to tag the speed. Bee Catcher, away after being claimed out of a winning effort in a restricted (nw-2) $35,000 seller at Gulfstream Park in January, returns protected in a sign of confidence by new trainer D. Blacker, and given the likelihood of a fast pace he should be heard from late. These are the three we’ll be including in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Best Chance.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Perfect Ice Storm; 5-Lady O’Prado; 10-ChollimaForecast: Bottom-rung $10,000 claiming fillies and mares occupy the first leg of the Pick-6, a contentious main track miler that requires some coverage in rolling exotic play. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. Perfect Ice Storm returns to her winning level, switches to F. Prat, lands a good inside post position, and can improve at Santa Anita, where she’s a two-time winner with speed figures good enough to beat this field. At 4-1 on the morning line she may offer some wagering value. Chollima is the one to fear most. Her outside post does her no favors, but she’s always been genuine and consistent, having finished first or second in nine of 12 career outings. Also, she finished well ahead of our top pick when they met at Los Alamitos two weeks ago and. Lady O’Prado crushed a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 field at Del Mar in early September in a career top performance and is realistically lowered to this $10,000 open affair. She projects to settle in the second flight and then have dead aim from the quarter pole home.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Viazar; 5-Shizaam; 6-Deise DelightForecast: Shizaam strikes us as a progressive filly, and while she’ll need to step forward again following a win over a maiden $50,000 filed at Del Mar in early August the J. Sadler-trained import is lightly-raced with upside that most of the others in here don’t have. This starter allowance/optional claiming turf miler should within her scope so at 5-1 on the morning line we’ll give her top billing. Deise Delight was out-footed in a recent turf sprint vs. tougher but stretches out to a distance she can handle, is reunited with F. Prat, and shows the blinkers off angle that we always like. If not pressured up front, the D. O’Neill-trained filly could take this group a long way. Viazar didn’t get the best of runs when runner-up at 40 cents on the dollar vs. similar at Del Mar in August and certainly is capable of better. She’s won over this course and distance in the past and projects to be running on strongly late.Notable Workouts:5-Shizaam (October 2, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT). Grade B-Solo training track drill while under mild coaxing through the lane, final three furlongs in :36.4, useful move though failing to change leads through the lane. Been away for two months following a maiden claiming turf win at Del Mar but seems fit enough and should have another forward move in her.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-I Know Cash Flow; 7-Sauls CallForecast: After winning a similar starter’s allowance sprint at Los Alamitos as an odds-on favorite, Sauls Call is wheeled back on short rest in this six furlong main track dash that likely will see him leave at lower than his morning line of 8/5, The only concern is the quick turnaround for a colt that was a voided claim out of an easy maiden claiming win two runs back. On the plus side, he’s being protected, so let’s assume he will fire another good shot while seeking his third straight score. I Know Cash Flow finished eight lengths behind our top pick when third in his debut at Del Mar in mid-August but then added blinkers and improved to break his maiden with a 15 point Beyer speed figure increase in his most recent outing at Los Alamitos. He’ll likely settle in the second flight and then have his chance to pick up the leaders under F. Prat. Preference on top goes to Sauls Call but both should be included in rolling exotic play.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Gidgetta; 3-Bruja Escarlata; 4-Beautiful BalladForecast: Bruja Escarlata had her unbeaten streak snapped in the Daisycutter H. at Del Mar in a race in which her far outside 10-hole post position proved too much to overcome. Better drawn today in post three and facing an easier second-level allowance field, the daughter of Street Boss is a perfect one-for-one over this course and distance, can fire fresh, and should regain her best form in her first outing since late July. Gidgetta has a prior win over this course and distance and has looked good in recent drills, so we’re expecting a major effort from this prototype late-running turf sprinter. F. Prat, who has won on her in the past, stays aboard, knows her well, and will produce the R. Baltas-trained mare when the field straightens for home. The versatile Beautiful Ballad has two very good recent races following a long layoff and clearly has found her niche as a turf sprinter. An excellent $32,000 claim by P. Aguirre two runs back, the daughter Maclean’s Music won on the lead the day she was haltered and then rallied wide from the back of the field to just miss by a neck in the same race Gidgetta exits. Perhaps most effective when held up early, the 5-year-old mare gets an extra furlong to work with today, switches to J. Hernandez, and looked fine in an easy recent training track drill to have her set for another big effort.Notable Workouts:1-Gidgetta (October 2, Santa Anita, 4f, :48h TT). Grade: BSolo training track drill for R. Baltas, in hand through the lane, final quarter mile in a smart :23.2 while holding her sharp, consistent form. She’s most effective as a late-running turf sprinter and has second-level allowance conditions.View Workout Video3-Bruja Escarlata (October 3, Santa Anita, 4f, :48h). Grade: B-Team drill for J. Sadler outside Five Pics Please (same time), breaking off a length behind and then though late changing leads finishing head-and-head at the wire under a nice hold, splits of :23.2 and :48 flat. Handles any surface.View Workout Video4-Beautiful Ballad (September 24, Santa Anita, 4f, :49h TT). Grade: B-In blinkers, breezing throughout finishing with plenty left, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :36.4 while ticking over for P. Aguirre. Versatile sort can be tough on the front end or from off the pace and seems set for another good effort vs. second-level allowance/optional claiming fillies and mares.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:30 PT Grade: BUse: 6-I Got a Gal; 8-Aqua JulieForecast: Juvenile fillies sprint six furlongs in an open affair dominated by several first-time starters that have trained well enough to be considered contenders. That said, I Got a Gal has the benefit of a prior run and displayed enough quickness in her debut last month at Del Mar to make her the one to catch and perhaps the one to beat. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile was inside behind a wall of horses when full of run entering the lane and then lost her steam in the final furlong to wind up fifth, beaten seven lengths, but with that bit of experience behind her the P. Eurton-trained filly should be able to step forward considerably for a stable that sports superior stats (26%, massive ROI) with the second-time starter angle. Aqua Julia represents stranger danger from the R. Baltas barn. The daughter of Exaggerator worked half in a bullet 47 1/5 seconds at San Luis Rey Downs six days ago and attracts F. Prat, so at 4-1 on the morning line she’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play. We’ll sink or swim using just these two while trying to beat the B. Baffert-trained morning line favorite Brocade, a $750,000 debuting daughter of Into Mischief who has trained just okay leading up to her debut.Notable Workouts:2-So It Would Seem (October 2, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1hg). Grade: B-A tad the best in gate drill with Phenom (same time) for P. D’Amato, hustled a bit early before finishing under mild coaxing, a long neck in front when eased up after five furlongs, early splits of :24.1 and :48 flat. Has bit of run but doesn’t seem to be particularly quick based on this drill.View Workout Video9-Brocade (September 24, Santa Anita, 4f, :47hg). Grade: B-In company from gate with unnamed B. Baffert-trained stablemate (Brooklynsway, dam’s name) and finished almost a length in front after spotting her mate a few lengths at the break following a slow start. It must be noted that in previous gate drills she seemed to break just fine. Into Mischief filly was an expensive ($750,000) yearling purchase but probably isn’t one of the barn’s top prospects and may not be one to trust coming out of the gate.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Badger Kitten; 4-Floral Essence; 5-QuinevereForecast: The three listed above look pretty similar and are hard to separate in this maiden claiming $50,000 turf miler for fillies and mares, so we’ll include all three in our rolling exotics while otherwise sitting out the race. Floral Essence makes the always-significant class drop from maiden special weight company and has numbers that are slightly above the other contenders. The C. Sise-trained filly is a one-paced type but should draft into a comfortable stalking position and have every chance to grind out a win.. Quinevere and Badger Kitten were two-three finishers in a similar affair at Del Mar at Del Mar in August and neither has to improve much to win today.

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10.6.2021:

Frank Carulli: Stronach 5 Picks & Preview | Friday, October 8

The Stronach 5 paid $29,000 with a 4-to-5, 2-1 and 4-1 winner in the five-race sequence last week. The $1 bet encompasses five races nationwide in a 90-minute span and it offers a low, 12-percent takeout. Here's an early look at this week's lineup, but be sure to check for updates after scratches Friday morning. LEG A // LAUREL, RACE 8 (4:18PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) ROSELBA shook a duel on the inside, braced for the challenge of stakes-winning tuf sprinter Bramble Bay (22/5-6-6, $305k) and dug in resiliently for a neck victory at 5F. MISS MAJORETTE packs late wallop but couldn't reach the trip-sitting second favorite last out after she brushed with a rival at the top of the stretch. HYDRA is winless on the turf, but she made a middle move into a fast pace to lead at the stretch call in a stakes race at Colonial Downs in her first turf start this year. She was no factor on a recent visit to Saratoga, but held solid form on the Laurel main track in the spring and can sit a good stalking trip at a big price. FLYINGONTHEGROUND, a lightly-raced 7-year-old, means business when she shows up to race. She finished first or second in 9 of 15 starts on the grass at various venues, though she was no factor off a layoff on soft footing last out. LEG B // GULFSTREAM, RACE 8 (4:40PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) MISTER LUIGI returned home from a near miss at Saratoga, to rally past statebreds at 6F and win in 1:09.4. RESERVENOTATTAINED has speed, loves to win and starts fresh for new, high-percentage connections. FRONT LOADED earned most of his $550k bankroll with ultra-consistent form and a 37/9-9-7 Gulfstream record despite frequent barn changes. LEG C // LAUREL, RACE 9 (4:53PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 1 1/16 MILES (TURF) Going 4-deep in this leg, with several longshots. SCAREDY CAT, a beaten favorite first out in a race that could turn up strong, is ambitiously spotted off the claim but should appreciate the added ground. AMARILLO, a half brother to multiple graded stakes-placed grass router Fredericksburg, finished third in his debut and can move forward for a 20-percent, second-out barn. THE MAN TO SEE, hard ridden to keep up in a debut sprint, showed some late interest while 4-wide and could awaken on the stretch out. CANDY COOL, out of Grade II winner Dixie City, tries the lawn for McGaughey after he was outrun in two well-bet starts on dirt. LEG D // SANTA ANITA, RACE 3 (5:05PM ET) // STARTER ALLOWANCE // 1 MILE (TURF) BEST CHANCE threw his head at the break, spotted the field 10 lengths, rallied 5-wide in the stretch to engage the winning favorite and finished second by a neck. He benefited from a lively pace but could get faster fractions to run at as today's solo play. LEG E // SANTA ANITA, RACE 4 (5:35PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (DIRT) DESTINY'S JOURNEY carried her speed to a win and a second going a route of ground at Santa Anita in January and is working forwardly for her return at a proven level. MONGOLIAN WINDOW fired a blank on short rest at Los Alamitos, but with a field-leading seven wins and $186k bankroll and a victory at Del Mar at this level, she is worth using as a price play on the ticket. LADY O'PRADO benefited from a lively pace duel and a troubled favorite to spring a 13-1 upset at one mile, but she 'powered away' from the field when asked and can't be discounted to string together two good races for the first time. STRONACH 5 TICKET Leg A: 2, 7, 9, 11Leg B: 1, 4, 6Leg C: 4, 9, 11, 12  Leg D: 5Leg E: 4, 5, 9 Cost for a $1 ticket: $144

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10.6.2021:

Jon White: Early Breeders' Cup Classic Odds | Wednesday, October 6

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar on Nov. 5-6 is just around the corner. As Del Mar’s morning-line oddsmaker, I thought this would be a good time to come up with a list of early odds for the $6 million BC Classic. Of course, the actual field for the Grade I BC Classic is far from set in stone. Who will start in the 1 1/4-mile contest is a guessing game at this point. These early odds no doubt will be different closer to the Breeders’ Cup as a consequence of a number of factors, such as who actually ends up being entered and how well (or not) each horse seems to be training up to the race. With all that in mind, my early odds for a dozen BC Classic candidates are listed below: 5-2 Knicks Go3-1 Essential Quality5-1 Hot Rod Charlie6-1 Medina Spirit10-1 Art Collector10-1 Max Player12-1 Maxfield15-1 Tripoli20-1 Dr Post20-1 Happy Saver30-1 Idol30-1 Stilleto Boy I expect Knicks Go and Essential Quality to receive the most support from bettors. Brad Cox trains both. Knicks Go will be taking a three-race winning streak into the BC Classic. Last Saturday at Churchill Downs, he cruised to a four-length victory in the Grade III Lukas Classic. With jockey Joel Rosario peeking back so many times in deep stretch that he looked something like a bobblehead, Knicks Go completed his 1 1/8-mile journey in 1:47.85. This clocking was not far off the track record of 1:47.28 set by Victory Gallop in 1999. In terms of fifths, Knicks Go was just two-fifths off Victory Gallop’s clocking. Knicks Go was assigned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure for his Lukas Classic triumph. The Maryland-bred Paynter colt does own the highest Beyer recorded in a two-turn race this year, a 113 that was achieved when he won the Grade III Cornhuster Handicap by 10 1/4 lengths at Prairie Meadows on July 2. Knicks Go also posted a 111 Beyer when a 4 1/2-length winner of Saratoga’s grade I Whitney Stakes on Aug. 7. It is noteworthy that when trained by Cox, Knicks Go now is seven for seven in races around two turns. Knicks Go is a front-runner. Medina Spirit won Santa Anita’s Grade I Awesome Again Stakes in front-running fashion by five lengths last Saturday. Also last Saturday, Art Collector led past every pole when he took Belmont Park’s Grade I Woodward Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths. Will Medina Spirit and/or Art Collector push Knicks Go early in the BC Classic? Could that be a recipe for Knicks Go to lose his first two-turn race for Cox? Or will Knicks Go prove to be just too fast early? Can Knicks Go seize control of the race early and, despite setting what likely will be a brisk pace, do it comfortably enough that he has plenty left in the tank for the stretch run? Brad Free, like yours truly, has Knicks Go listed as a 5-2 favorite in Daily Racing Form’s BC Classic odds. I have Essential Quality currently pegged at 3-1. Is that a tad too low? Perhaps. Free has Essential Quality a notch higher than I do at 7-2. One of the main reasons I have Essential Quality at 3-1 instead of 7-2 is he has been the favorite in all nine career starts to date. In other words, he has been strongly backed by bettors every single time he has raced. Then there is Essential Quality’s stellar resume in that he has won eight of nine lifetime starts. Also, it appears that this is a fine group of 3-year-old males. An indication of this was how Medina Spirit trounced older foes in the Awesome Again. I look for Hot Rod Charlie to get quite a bit of respect as far as BC Classic wagering is concerned. Hence, I have him at 5-1. Hot Rod Charlie ran a splendid race in defeat in the Grade I Belmont Stakes on June 5. Hot Rod Charlie’s performance was so impressive on that occasion because, despite running the fastest opening quarter-mile in the history of the Belmont when run at 1 1/2 miles, he managed to finish second to Essential Quality. In the Belmont, Hot Rod Charlie zipped the first quarter in :22.78 or :22 3/5 in fifths. Prior to this year, the quickest initial quarter in the Belmont when run at 1 1/2 miles had occurred all the way back in 1945. That’s when The Doge covered the initial quarter in :22 4/5, a torrid pace in such a long race on what was then a deep track. The Doge paid the price for his early efforts. He faltered and finished seventh in the field of eight. Pavot won by five lengths, while The Doge lost by a little more than 24 lengths. The Belmont has been run at 1 1/2 miles a total of 95 times. Hot Rod Charlie ran the opening half-mile in :46.49 or :46 2/5 in fifths. The only horse to ever record a faster time for the first half-mile was the great Secretariat, who was clocked in :46 1/5 en route to his spectacular 31-length victory to complete a Triple Crown sweep. After the Belmont, Hot Rod Charlie finished first in Monmouth Park’s Grade I Haskell Stakes on July 17 for trainer Doug O’Neill. However, the Kentucky-bred Oxbow colt was disqualified and placed last for causing Midnight Bourbon to clip heels and unseat jockey Paco Lopez during the stretch run. When last seen under silks, Hot Rod Charlie won the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby by 2 1/4 lengths on Sept. 25. He received a robust 111 Beyer Speed Figure for that effort. Below are the Beyers of 105 or higher by a 3-year-old this year at one mile or longer: BSF Horse (Finish, Race, Track, Date) 111 Hot Rod Charlie (Won, Pennsylvania Derby, Prx, Sept. 25)109 Essential Quality (Won, Belmont, Bel, June 5)108 Hot Rod Charlie (2nd, Belmont, Bel, June 5)107 Medina Spirit (Won, Awesome Again, SA, Oct. 2)107 Essential Quality (Won, Travers, Sar, Aug. 28)107 Life Is Good (Won, San Felipe, SA, March 6)107 Midnight Bourbon (2nd, Pennsylvania Derby, Prx, Sept. 25)107 Midnight Bourbon (2nd, Travers, Sar, Aug. 28) I have Medina Spirit at 6-1 for the BC Classic following his Awesome Again victory in which he was hammered down to 13-10 favoritism despite facing older foes for the first time. The 3-year-old Florida-bred Protonico colt now has finished first or second in eight of nine career starts. Back on the first Saturday in May, Medina Spirit crossed the finish line first in this year’s Grade I Kentucky Derby. Mandaloun was the runner-up. Hot Rod Charlie edged 5-2 favorite Essential Quality (who experienced a very wide trip) by a head for third. As of right now, I could see Art Collector going off at anywhere from 8-1 to 12-1 for the BC Classic. I opted to make him 10-1 at this point. Art Collector is three for three since Hall of Famer Bill Mott took over the training duties. For Mott, the 4-year-old Bernardini colt has won Saratoga’s Alydar Stakes on Aug. 6, the Grade II Charles Town Classic on Aug. 27, then last Saturday’s Woodward. It is to Art Collector’s credit that he has shown that he can win even if he does not get the early lead. At Charles Town, he raced in second early, a length off the pace, before getting the job done. He also won Keeneland’s Grade II Blue Grass Stakes last year after stalking in third early. A major reason why I do not have Max Player’s BC Classic odds lower than 10-1 is the fact that his top Beyer Speed Figure is not higher than 102. Free has Max Player at 9-2. I think the DRF’s Jay Privman makes an astute observation in his comment for Max Player when stating that he “earned career-best Beyer in last, will need better still vs. these.” As for the dozen BC Classic candidates that I listed earlier, this is their top Beyer Speed Figure to date: Beyer Horse 113 Knicks Go111 Hot Rod Charlie109 Essential Quality107 Art Collector107 Medina Spirit105 Maxfield104 Dr Post104 Tripoli103 Happy Saver103 Tizamagician102 Idol102 Max Player Below are the Beyers for BC Classic winners going back to its first running in 1984: 2020 Authentic (111)2019 Vino Rosso (111)2018 Accelerate (105)2017 Gun Runner (117)2016 Arrogate (120)2015 American Pharoah (120)2014 Bayern (113)2013 Mucho Macho Man (112)2012 Fort Larned (117)2011 Drosselmeyer (104)2010 Blame (111)2009 Zenyatta (112)*2008 Raven’s Pass (110)*2007 Curlin (119)2006 Invasor (116)2005 Saint Liam (112)2004 Ghostzapper (124)2003 Pleasantly Perfect (119)2002 Volponi (116)2001 Tiznow (117)2000 Tiznow (116)1999 Cat Thief (118)1998 Awesome Again (116)1997 Skip Away (120)1996 Alphabet Soup (115)1995 Cigar (117)1994 Concern (115)1993 Arcangues (114)1992 A.P. Indy (114)1991 Black Tie Affair (120)1990 Unbridled (116)1989 Sunday Silence (124)1988 Alysheba (122)1987 Ferdinand (117)1986 Skywalker (118)1985 Proud Truth (120)1984 Wild Again (113) *Synthetic surface MUCHO GUSTO WORKOUT AT GRANTS PASS? I could not help chuckling when I was notified of a workout in Oregon on Sept. 29 via Daily Racing Form’s stable mail. The email stated that Mucho Gusto had worked four furlongs that day in :50.60 at Grants Pass Downs. Say what? It was announced last January that Mucho Gusto had been retired from racing due to a soft-tissue injury. In what turned out to be his final start, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of 2013 BC Classic winner Mucho Macho Man finished fourth in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Antonio Stakes late last year on Dec. 26. Mucho Macho Man won six of 13 career starts while earning $3,943,800. His biggest victory came in the Grade I, $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in 2020. Did Mucho Gusto really have a workout last Friday at Grants Pass Downs? Of course not. It turns out that it was Mucho Runner who worked four furlongs in :50.60 at Grants Pass on Sept. 29. Mucho Runner, like Mucho Gusto, is by Mucho Macho Man. That’s just about all that Mucho Runner and Mucho Gusto have in common. A 4-year-old filly, Mucho Runner hasn’t raced this year. She has won one of four lifetime starts while earning $7,950. Her lone win came in a maiden $8,000 claiming race at Golden Gate Fields on May 24, 2020. Mucho Gusto’s highest Beyer Speed Figure was the 107 he was credited with when he won the Pegasus. Mucho Runner’s top Beyer so far is the 49 in her lone victory. The Sept. 29 workout originally attributed to Mucho Gusto has been corrected. It now properly has been attributed to Mucho Runner. This brought back memories of my very first day on the job in the summer of 1974 after being hired by the Daily Racing Form. The man responsible for the DRF hiring me was Bud Lyon, who was the national supervisor of the DRF’s chart-callers. Lyon called a great many Kentucky Derby charts for the DRF. He was calling charts at Playfair that summer until Dick Cartney would take over calling the charts at Playfair following the close of Longacres in September. After I was hired, Lyon instructed me to report to the racing office the next morning to learn the ropes of what the DRF needed from a track on entry days. Lyon’s call-taker was longtime DRF employee Wilbur Brooke. While we were waiting for Lyon’s arrival at Playfair that morning, I stood near Brooke as he was typing away on the teletype machine. From a handwritten list of all the workouts at Playfair that morning, Brooke was sending this information to the DRF’s Seattle office via teletype. When I happened to see the name of one of the horses on the handwritten list of workouts, I thought I should bring it to Brooke’s attention. “If I were you, Wilbur, I would not send in that workout,” I said, pointing to the name of one of the horses. Since this was my first morning on the job, I did not want to make a big deal of it. I tried to be as low-key as possible. Even so, Brooke did not take kindly to my suggestion. “This is your first day on the job and you’re telling me to not send in one of these workouts,” Brooke barked at me. “Who do you think you are? These are OFFICIAL workouts. Who are you to tell me to not send in one of these workouts?” “Sorry. Sorry,” I said. “I was just trying to help.” Brooke went back to typing away. But after a few minutes, he stopped typing. “Just out of curiosity, why did you tell me to not send in that workout?” Brooke asked. “Well, anything is possible,” I said. “So, I can’t be 100% sure. But I am 99.9% sure that Little Current, winner of this year’s Preakness and Belmont Stakes, did not work four furlongs this morning at Playfair.” “What? That’s the name of the Preakness and Belmont winner? Well, in that case I guess that I won’t send it in,” Brooke said. When I showed up in the racing office the next morning, Brooke thanked me and explained what had happened. “When the clocker asked the trainer for the name of the horse that had just worked a half-mile, the trainer said it had been Little Current,” Brooke said. “The trainer just wanted to see that if he did that, would Little Current’s name show up on the work tab in the Racing Form. And it almost did. Thanks again for catching that.” I thought that, all in all, this was a pretty good way for my DRF career to begin. THIS WEEK’S NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL In the wake of Medina Spirit’s Awesome Again victory, he moves into the Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Art Collector also enters this week’s Top 10 following his win in the Woodward. Maxfield and Malathaat dropped out of the Top 10 this week. The Top 10 is listed below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 323 Knicks Go (22)2. 312 Letruska (6)3. 383 Essential Quality (6)4. 137 Jackie’s Warrior5. 128 Hot Rod Charlie6. 124 Gamine7. 121 Medina Spirit8.   92 Art Collector9.   80 Max Player10.   65 Domestic Spending  

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10.4.2021:

Monday Myths: Do Downhill Turf Sprints Play Like Routes?

Welcome to a continuing handicapping series for our Monday blog space, “Monday Myths.” Each week I’ll use the power of the Betmix database to take common handicapping assumptions and either support or dispel them with data. Betmix data powers the 1/ST BET app and its features like Angler and Birddog give data-minded horseplayers a treasure trove of information in which to query your own curiosities.Assumption:Santa Anita’s downhill turf sprints at 6-1/2 furlongs play more like routes than sprints.Background:You’ll often here handicappers and pundits talk about the unique, downhill turf sprints at Santa Anita and how much they like to find a route runner with enough speed to compete. Horses cutting back in distance in theory can be expected to sustain their stamina at the shorter distance. With the return of the downhill sprints last week at Santa Anita after being stopped in April 2019, how to play the course is back in the discussion.Data Points:I dialed up the Betmix database to look at every downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita from 2013 through April 2019. I analyzed the distances they raced prior to the turf sprint, and also the impact of those distances at various class levels.All SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 5-1/2 furlongs or less won 11% with a $0.88 ROI.All SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6 furlongs won 9% with a $0.72 ROI.All SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6-1/2 furlongs won 14% with a $0.77 ROI.All SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 1 mile won 11% with a $0.75 ROI.All SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at longer than 1 mile won 11% with a $0.89 ROI.Maiden SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 5-1/2 furlongs or less won 13% with a $1.21 ROI.Maiden SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6 furlongs won 10% with a $0.82 ROI.Maiden SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6-1/2 furlongs won 13% with a $0.72 ROI.Maiden SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 1 mile won 11% with a $0.85 ROI.Maiden SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at longer than 1 mile won 17% with a $1.89 ROI.Claiming SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 5-1/2 furlongs or less won 15% with a $1.07 ROI.Claiming SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6 furlongs or less won 12% with a $0.85 ROI.Claiming SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6-1/2 furlongs or less won 14% with a $0.78 ROI.Claiming SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 1 mile won 10% with a $0.60 ROI.Claiming SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at longer than 1 mile won 3% with a $0.25 ROI.Allowance SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 5-1/2 furlongs or less won 8% with a $0.64 ROI.Allowance SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6 furlongs won 7% with a $0.68 ROI.Allowance SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6-1/2 furlongs won 14% with a $0.77 ROI.Allowance SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 1 mile won 12% with a $0.78 ROI.Allowance SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at longer than 1 mile won 12% with a $0.86 ROI.Stakes SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 5-1/2 furlongs or less won 7% with a $0.37 ROI.Stakes SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6 furlongs won 9% with a $0.37 ROI.Stakes SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 6-1/2 furlongs won 17% with a $0.84 ROI.Stakes SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at 1 mile won 11% with a $0.65 ROI.Stakes SA downhill turf sprinters exiting races at longer than 1 mile won 14% with a $1.10 ROI.Overall Findings:Horses returning at the same 6-1/2 furlong distance had the highest win rate by 3 full percent over those adding or subtracting distance when you look at all downhill turf sprints – and the win rates for other distances are nearly identical. Among the maiden ranks, clearly the best situation is to be cutting back from races at longer than 1 mile – with a survey-best win rate and ROI. The claiming races tilted the other direction with horses stretching out in distance having the superior results. Finally, racing at 6-1/2 furlongs or farther in the allowance and stakes races proved more fruitful than adding distance.Bottom line:The importance of distance in your most-recent race very much appears to be class-enabled. With the better allowance and stakes horses, it’s statistically better to cut-back than stretch-out. With the cheaper claimers, the stretch-out takes precedence. That makes some logical handicapping sense when you consider the quality of animal and how speed typically dominates in the lower races. I wouldn’t go as far to say the downhill turf sprints in general play more like routes, but at the classier levels, the numbers say they do.Additional Details:You can go into Betmix and run your own queries for a deeper dive into this theory and any that you can create. For instance, see which jockeys and trainers have had the most success with distance changes going into downhill turf sprints at Santa Anita.

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10.4.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis | Monday, October 4

Tonight, the headliners on the 12-race Woodbine Mohawk card are 2 and 3-year-olds battling in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold action. The 0.20 Pick 5 begins in Race 1. The sequence has a $100,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 14-GP Dreamin (9/2)-Has been racing well and could benefit from a 2-hole trip behind #5. At the very least should be a gimmick possibility and a win could add some juice to the Pick 5 payout.7-Memo (5/2)-McNair should leave and probably only has to tackle the one above to claim the point. That's the usual game plan and fits well with this crew but hasn't sealed the deal in a long time. Went off at 7/5 in last and seeing similar here.8-Dream Nation (3-1)-Got the top early in the mile but faded versus better. This is a more comfortable spot and could beat this group coming off a helmet.Race 21-Dabra Day (4/5)-Odds-on choice should be bet down off the morning line. Has the look of a winner unless a break happens. But will bank on Roy being able to keep the young filly on a path to the winner's circle.Race 31-T C Scandal (6-1)-Gets post relief, a new set of hands in McNair and should offer a solid price. Looking for an alert start and to be in the hunt at the wire.5-Celia Bayama (9/2)-Back in town and back in the Moreau barn with Filion steering. That's a nice combo plus should enjoy the company. Has hit the board in 6 of 9 here with 1 picture and best to not overlook.8-Tuggingoncredit (3-1)-Needs the right trip from this post but the last line was better than it looks. McClure should be leaving and can land on top or in an up-close seat. Looking for a big try and could take its 7th picture in 25 Wbsb starts.10-Hallsglensmavis (5/2)-Likes to finish 2nd as that happened 9 times this season and 5 in a row until winning the last start. That score was the 1st race for the Barrington barn since being claimed. Will offer a better price from this post and does figure to be in the mix but it won't be as easy to land on the point this time.Race 46-Timestorm (7/2)-Drops, 2nd time Lasix and looking for only the 3rd win this year plus the Auciello barn has been cold. So, there are some cross currents but should be forwardly placed and can be there at the wire.7-Darkangeldesbois F (15-1)-Has been on the shelf since 8-15 but did have 2 nice qualifiers here at the end of September. Makes its Mohawk debut, Roy will be steering and looks like a play at long odds.10-HP Royal Theo (3-1)-Raced well versus better and now makes a meaningful drop. The 0-10 record this year is an issue but can top this group and the post helps the price.Race 57-Spicey P (8-1)-McNair returns, he has had success in the past and should leave to be forwardly placed. Getting on the engine without using much gas could be the ticket to a picture. Might get the jump on the field and be tough to catch.10-Take A Gamble (3-1)-Comes off a couple of quick miles and will likely be bet off those lines despite the post draw. Can handle this crew with a sharp steer, rolled the back half in 54.3 in last.My Ticket Race 1) 4,7,8 Race 2) 1 Race 3) 1,5,8,10 Race 4) 6,7,10 Race 5) 7,10Total Ticket Cost) $14.40 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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10.3.2021:

Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

The Northfield Park feature rolls in Race 13, an Open Trot with a $20,500 purse. The $1.00 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 11. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Betcha Didnt Know (4-1)-Has been in too tough in the last 4 starts and now takes a drop to the same level as the last picture. Meyers should get away well, then follow the one below and look to pounce late.4-Impulse Buy (6/5)-Wired the field at 4/5 in last and now is back in at the same class. Merriman should be following the same script tonight and there isn't much gate speed in this field.Race 123-Authentic Hanover (3/2)-Was claimed in last, took the lead near the 1/2 and sped away to draw off by 6 lengths at 4/5. Has raced well the last 2 times when claimed. The question is whether the new addition to the Kreiser barn can repeat the same effort. Will respect chances of another trip to the winner's circle at a tiny price.4-Gotti (9/2)-Comes out of the same race as the choice but started slowly and had no chance. Tonight, this race could set-up differently. Merriman will probably leave and could get the point early on. The chalk might take over the lead, but this 8-year-old could make the most out of a pocket ride.Race 133-Mac Deeno (6-1)-Winner in 10 of 29 starts this year could be overlooked at the windows. Comes back in sequence and should be forwardly placed or might get on the engine. This 8-year-old has won 17 of 51 at NFLD, the barn is batting 26% winners in the last 30 days and best to not overlook versus this crew.7-In Secret (20-1)-Wrenn chooses the Burke trainee over #5 as the two swap drivers. This 9-year-old is making only his 5th NFLD start and has hit the board in 3 of 4 with 2 wins. Broke last week but Wrenn knows well and should offer a juicy price. Has the gate speed to get a good seat and will take a swing with another long shot in a difficult race to read.Race 143-Cross Country (5/2)-Since being a sick scratch on 8-29 form has been dull. If right, this team Ebersole trainee can leave in a hurry and get the jump on others. Willing to use and looking for better odds than the morning line.5-Dragonology (2-1)-Not excited about the program price but does take a significant drop. Wrenn returns, he knows well and will probably be bet down.6-Whos Better (10-1)-Won with Wrenn steering in gate to wire fashion at this class on 8-29. Stahl takes the lines and that should help the price. Has the gate speed to get on the engine, and this winner in 3 of 5 NFLD starts looks worthy of a swing.$1.00 Late Pick 41,4/3,4/3,7/3,5,6Total Bet=$24Check me out on Twitter!

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10.2.2021:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket at Golden Gate | Sunday, October 3

Golden Gate Fields pumps up its Sunday card to 12 races, and the Late Pick 4 for races 9-12 gives reason to give it a long look.That’s what I’ve done this week with an $84 suggested Pick 4 ticket, which is a little higher than usual but seems necessary in this sequence that includes a maiden race, a starter allowance, an allowance, and a claiming race.Here’s a look at the combatants I’m using on the ticket:9th Race (7:15 p.m. ET, maiden special weight)LMLOOKNFORMISCHIEF was runner-up in both starts, first by 2.5 lengths and most recently by a neck.Faith Taylor’s Curlin in Mischief colt is sitting on a win and keeps jockey Pedro Terrero, who is knocking them home at a 19-percent rate.He has been close to fast fractions and put himself into the game at the start, and a ground-saving trip will help.Also on the ticket: BRITTANY BREEZE, NUESTRO ENGREIDO, COWBOY CHARLIE.10th Race (7:45 p.m. ET, starter allowance)ANITANEWMERCEDES has changed his ways lately, most notably because of a change to the turf.Trainer Isidro Tamayo claimed the son of Haynesfield in June and his last two wins have been at the starter allowance level. He’s found a knack for getting to the lead and has held up well in the drive.He’s in a wide-open event, and there are many legit options.Also on the ticket: MISS SUPER SAINT, NOWHERE MAN, RESPECT THE HUSTLE, DIAMOND BLITZ, HONORS MAN, REV REE.11th Race (8:15 p.m. ET, allowance)COOL MOUNTAIN LAD coasted home impressively last out and has taken three of five starts, all for trainer Victor Trujillo.He has a three-for-three record over the strip and has won at 5.5 furlongs (twice) and six furlongs.Will have to tune it up early going five furlongs today, but he’s been close to the pace and can dig in when asked.Also on the ticket: R M C HOOK’EM, SILVER CLAIM.12th Race (8:45 p.m. ET, claiming)CONQUEST COBRA keeps on getting after it and was claimed for $16,000 three races ago and is in today at $4,000, which is unusual since he was second for $8,000 last out at Los Alamitos.He’s won two of seven on All-Weather tracks overall but is winless in two starts over this track. He’s clearly the class, but the drop in price can be reason for concern. In other words, I’m not prepared him to do it alone on the ticket today.Also on the ticket: PURR CAT.Golden Gate Fields 50-cent Late Pick Four:Race 9) #2 Lmlooknformischief, #5 Brittany Breeze, #6 Nuestro Engreido, #9 Cowboy Charlie.Race 10) #1 Miss Super Saint, #2 Nowhere Man, #3 Respect the Hustle, #5 Anitanewmercedes, #6 Diamond Blitz, #7 Honors Man, #8 Rev Ree.Race 11) #1 R M C Hook’em, #4 Cool Mountain Lad, #6 Silver Claim.Race 12) #2 Conquest Cobra, #4 Purr Cat.Total Ticket Cost) 2,5,6,9/1,2,3,5,6,7,8/1,4,6/2,4 = $84 for $0.50

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10.2.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Yonkers Raceway Late Pick 4 Analysis | Saturday, October 2

Yonkers Raceway has a rare Saturday night card scheduled for this evening. The features goes in Race 9, an Open Handicap Trot with a $48,000 purse. The $1 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 7, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 72-Mostinterestingman (3-1)-Stepped-up to this class in last and faded late after being used early and was off 2 weeks. Willing to give this beaten even money chalk another chance.6-No Mas Drama (4-1)-Drew poorly and didn't fair well versus top mares in Delaware. Back to the level of recent success. The last 2 starts at Yonkers versus this kind netted a win and a loss by a nose, best to respect.Race 82-Walkinshaw N (5/2)-Recent form has been dull but this could be a drop and pop situation. Hasn't been in this cheap since 7-12 and that night, led gate to wire.3-Ideal Star N (7/2)-Hasn't raced since 5-10, tuned up with a decent qualifier on 9-22 at PcD and this is a suspect field. This 7-year-old also drops to the level of his last picture at Yonkers which came on 2-23.6-Our Majordan A (4-1)-New pilot tonight as Brennan takes a seat. Races better when put in play early in the mile. This looks like a spot to blast out to get on the engine and this is a driver that likes to play that way.Race 93-Chaptima (9/2)-Has hit the board in 7 of 11 here with 5 pictures but hasn't been sharp recently. Has been bet in the last couple and couldn't finish off the mile. In the last 3 starts with Brennan between the pipes the trips have been bumpy. Looking for a smooth steer versus a beatable bunch.6-Missippi Storm (7/2)-Has been trying hard and gets a post draw that could work well if Stratton can light this 6-year-old up to blast out. If gets the top, needs to get past #5, chances for success go up. Could be difficult to collar if leading turning for the wire.Race 102-Lifeonthebeach A (9/2)-Back from M1 and drops into a nice spot to get top honors for the 1st time in 4 tries at YR. Two of the 3 starts have been versus better. This time Kakaley could provide an aggressive steer and be in the hunt at the wire.3-Globaldomination N (7/2)-Has drawn the 8 hole in 3 of the last 4 and now starts inside which may better suit this grinders style. Drops to a spot to shine and has won 7 times in 25 starts at YR.6-Sumthinboutim (5/2)-Recent form hasn't been great but was facing tougher and now gets some needed class relief. Brennan could leave and has the gate speed to land on the point at this level.My Ticket Race 7) 2,6 Race 8) 2,3,6 Race 9) 3,6 Race 10) 2,3,6 Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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10.2.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies | Saturday, October 2

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: BUse: 6-Fluent; 10-Music FestivalForecast: Let’s go with a couple of newcomers in the Saturday opener, a five furlong turf dash for juvenile fillies. Fluent shows a solid series of main track workouts that should have her plenty fit and ready and a pedigree that suggests she’ll be most effective on grass. The R. Mandella-trained daughter the South American champion Bal a Ball is a good mover with plenty of speed, so if she leaves with her field she should be in the fray throughout. Music Festival has trained like she owns plenty of early speed and looks like a very live item despite her extreme outside draw. The barn has modest stats with first-timers, but this daughter of Vancouver may prove the exception to the rule. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with ‘Festival, the quicker of the two, getting a slight preference on top.Notable Workouts:6-Fluent (Sept. 15, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.3hg). Grade B-In a team drill from gate with Roses R Blue and Billy’s Bet (4f, :47.4hg) and trailed early while being taken in hand, was asked for a bit of run midway on the turn and accelerated inside in sharp style to quickly close the gap on her workmates and then finish out nicely without ever really being asked for her best, splits of :24.1, :36 flat, :48.1 and 1:01 flat on our watches (galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.4h). Certainly not a flashy work but we liked the way she did it. Nice mover seems plenty fit.View Workout Video10-Music Festival (Sept. 25, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.3h). Grade B+Tons best in training track drill with Pop Pop’s Dream (4f, :48h TT), breaking off a length in front and then finishing well clear at the wire without every being asked to show her best speed, final three furlongs in :35 flat. Quick-actioned filly looks like very much like a win-early sprint type for M. Puype and should be plenty fit by now. Very live at first asking.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: XUse: 3-Arthur Spooner; 4-Velvet GhostForecast: Arthur Spooner has an improving pattern and a pedigree that should allow for another forward move in his first try around two turns. The Gemologist gelding has little to beat in this five-runner maiden claiming miler for juveniles and should be a very short price to graduate. Velvet Ghost shows up in a seller for the first time, switches to dirt, and makes his first start since being gelded. The son of Shaman Ghost received some play in both of his prior outings so maybe there’s some ability to work with that hasn’t been displayed so far. By default, he’s a contender. Arthur Spooner will get the main push in rolling exotic play but will have tickets using both in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 1:30 PT Grade: XSingle: 2-Mo ForzaForecast: The first three finishers in the Del Mar Mile S.-G2 meet again, and it won’t be surprising to see another bunched-up finish. Mo Forza, away for more than 10 months, came back as well as he left to produce an exciting turn of foot and secure the win close home, and if duplicate that performance today he should find a way to win his eighth race from his nine previous starts. The P. Miller-trained gelding picks up four lbs. off that win while major player Hit the Road, who finished third beaten a length behind our top pick, drops two, thus creating a six pound shift in the weights. Will it matter? Possibly, but we’ll stick with Mo Forza on top as a rolling exotic single.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Big Novel; 6-Unwritten Code; 7-Kiss My KatForecast: Big Novel, in the frame in both career starts and most recently a respectable third in the Generous Portion S. at Del Mar, returns to the maiden Cal-bred ranks and is the one to beat in this maiden six furlong dirt sprint for California-bred juvenile fillies. She’s a one-paced grinding type that must avoid trouble from the rail, so doesn’t qualify as a single in a race that has two first-time starters showing pretty good morning workouts. Kiss My Kat worked five furlongs from the gate in 1:00.1hg a couple of weeks ago while displaying decent speed, though she failed to change leads and may have suspect stamina. Unwritten Code looked fairly decent in a half mile gate work (:47.3hg) Sept. 19 that makes her a fit in this league. All three should be included in rolling exotic play with the main push going to Big Novel.Notable Workouts6-Unwritten Code (Sept. 20, Santa Anita, 4f, :47.3hg). Grade B-In blinkers, did pretty well in gate drill with Star Entry (4f, :48hg) for J. Periban, never really asked much and proving best by a couple of lengths with splits of :23.3 and :47.3. Juvenile state-bred filly has enough natural speed to be dangerous at first asking in the proper spot.View Workout Video7-Kiss My Kat (Sept. 19, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1hg). Grade B-Far in front of workmate Above Suspicion (5f, 1:01.4hg) from gate while displaying excellent speed for a California-bred juvenile filly by Curlin to Mischief, splits of :23.2 and :47 flat before galloping out five furlongs a bit slower than final time without changing leads. Plenty of zip but not quite sure how far she’ll carry it. Mulhall barn has excellent stats with first-time starters, for what it’s worth.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Commander; 5-Unbridled Ethos; 8-CoulthardForecastThis Hillside Turf sprint for second-level allowance older horses came up fairly contentious with a number of legitimate possibilities. We’ll use three and hope that’s enough. Commander has developed into a genuine and consistent late-running turf sprinter and should thoroughly enjoy this unique course. First or second in nine of 18 career starts with strong, consistent speed figures that are better than par for this level, the P. Miller-trained gelding was nosed out in a similar event at Del Mar last time out and today gets an extra three-sixteenths of a mile to work with. With some help up front and clear run through the lane the son of War Dancer should be along in time. Unbridled Ethos has a similar late-running style that makes him quite dangerous over this course and distance. Third in the same race Commander finished second in, the son of Mizzen Mast encountered trouble at the head of the lane then got clear too late. With clear sailing today, he’ll be right there. Coulthard, perfect in two starts since being imported from Ireland but away since March, has trained like he’s plenty fit to resume where he left off and is guaranteed a clear run from his outside draw. The P. D’Amato-trained sophomore colt steps up in class while tackling older foes for the first time and he’s a tad shy in the speed figure department but if he can improve off the bench he’ll have a decent look at it.Notable Workouts:5-Unbridled Ethos (Sept. 26, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h TT). Grade: B+Breezing in solo training track drill, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :35.4 looking quite nice. ON top of his game, should fire another big shot next time out.View Workout Video8-Coulthard (Sept. 20, Santa Anita, 4f, 48.3h TT). Grade BIn blinkers, coasting through the lane while slightly best over Hollywoodhellraisr (same time) for P. D’Amato, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :36 flat, plenty left. Coming back as well as he left and won his both local starts on grass in good style earlier this year.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: XUse: 3-Eight Rings; 4-ClassierForecast: Trainer B. Baffert holds the aces in this five-runner second-level allowance two-turn event for older horse. Eight Rings, winner of the American Pharoah S.-G1 in 2019 over this track and distance but winless in the two years since, stretches out again and should find himself as the controlling speed, though stable mate Classier has a major say in the pace flow. The son of Empire Maker exits a series of graded stakes sprints and clearly is facing softer foes today and based purely on speed figures he should be capable of wiring the field. Classier, winner of the Los Alamitos Derby-G3 two runs back but winding up five lengths behind third-place finisher ‘Rings when winding up fifth in the Pat O’Brien S.-G2 last time out, gets Lasix for the first time, is reunited with “win rider” M. Smith and projects to enjoy an ideal stalking trip outside. A recent half mile bullet workout in :46.4h should have him on edge for a career top performance but on pure numbers he has some ground to make up. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Eight Rings.Notable Workouts:3-Eight Rings (Sept. 10, Del Mar, 5f, :59h). Grade: A-Looked very much like his old self in this solo five furlong drill at Del Mar, final three furlongs in :35.1, breezing through the lane. May finally be coming around; is winless since his American Pharoah S.-G1. Ready to stretch out again and win.View Workout Video4-Classier (Sept. 10, Del Mar, 5f, :59.3h). Grade: B+Cruise control in solo drill at Del Mar for B. Baffert, splits of :24 flat, :47.2 and :59.3 from the half mile pole to the 7/8 pole and pulled up six furlongs in 1:14.1 out to the six furlong pole. Ready for his best effort on the stretch out.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:19 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Lincoln Hawk; 5-One Fast BroForecast: Lincoln Hawk earned a career top number when a respectable fifth (beaten less than two lengths) in the Del Mar Derby-G2 last month and today shows up in a first-level allowance. Theoretically, this is a significant class drop but not really - he’s taking on older horses today, so the competition isn’t that much softer, if at all. The R. Baltas-trained colt won a maiden race over this course and distance in mid-June and is a better type now, so in a race that has plenty of early speed signed on the Irish-bred colt may be able to produce the last run with a trouble-free trip. One Fast Bro raced in heavy traffic much of the way, got clear inside the furlong pole and produced a good late kick when a fast-finishing but unlucky runner-up vs. similar at Del Mar last time out and with better luck today the son of Coil swill be in thick of it once again. The concern is that he’s winless in six starts over the Santa Anita turf course, but it appears he’s a better type now, so in a field loaded with pace types that will compliment his style the S. Ruiz-trained gelding is a “must use” in rolling exotic play. on top. In a very contentious affair, these are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but if you find the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.Notable Workouts:1-Lincoln Hawk (Sept. 25, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.2h TT). Grade: A-Under a nice hold through the lane while finishing with a ton left, final half mile on training track in :23.4 and :47.1, outstanding. Holds his edge, will be dangerous with a return to the allowance ranks.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:52 PT Grade: CUse: 1-Dr. Schivel; 2-Vertical Threat; 4-C Z Rocket; 5-FlagstaffForecast: We’re going to use four of the six entrants in rolling exotic play in this year’s renewal of the Santa Anita Sprint Championship-G2 in a race that we’ll otherwise pass. The old pros Falstaff and C Z Rocket will get plenty of play and deservedly so, as both are more than capable of winning this type of event with their best effort. Falstaff always has liked the Santa Anita main track (four wins from nine starts) though he’s never been particularly fast on speed figures. C Z Rocket has been a beaten choice in his last three starts, the last two without the Lasix that he reportedly needs to show his best form (none of the entrants will be treated with the bleeder medication in this race). The P. Miller-trained gelding is nonetheless a major player and must be respected. Dr. Schivel defeated a similar field in the Bing Crosby S.-G2 at Del Mar, but a case could be made that the others ran down to his level, rather than vice-versa. The son of Violence never trains like much but seems to rise to the occasion when the money is down, and if he can secure a decent pace-stalking trip from his rail post the M. Glatt-trained colt should be in the thick of it. On paper, Vertical Threat seems in tough but he’s very possibly the controlling speed in a race that figures to produce soft early fractions. If he can clear early without pressure the son of Tapiture may get brave and never look back.Notable Workouts:1-Dr. Schivel (Sept. 25, Santa Anita, 5f, 59.4h). Grade: B-In blinkers, picked him up five lengths behind Katerini (5f, 1:00.2h) at the quarter pole before the talented sprinting sophomore closed the gap under some coaxing to wind up a neck back at the wire, final quarter mile in :23.4. Not always the most willing worker but raises his game in the afternoon when it counts.View Workout Video2-Vertical Threat (Sept. 25, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.3h). Grade B+Breezing inside Taishan (same time) for Baltas, never asked while winding up a neck in front at the wire, splits of :24.1, :35.4 and 1:00.3, very nice. Lightly-raced 4-year-old has never been better and will get tested for class in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Will fire his best shot.View Workout Video5-Flagstraff (Sept. 26, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.2h). Grade B-Worked outside Divine Armor (same time) for J. Sadler and did well enough while stride-for-stride most of the way, eventually edging clear by a half-length at the wire, light coaxing only, final quarter mile in :24.4. Not always the most enthusiastic worker but seems to be holding his good form over a main track he’s always liked.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:26 PT Grade: B+Use: 4-Going to Vegas; 8-LuckForecast: Stable mates in R. Baltas’ barn should slug it out in this year’s edition of the Rodeo Drive S.-G1 over 10 furlongs on grass. Going to Vegas likely will inherit the lead in a race without pace and given that type of trip the daughter of Goldencents could take this field gate-to-wire. A winner of three of her last four starts including the Santa Ana S.-G2 in front-running style over this course and distance in the spring, she’s fast on numbers, thoroughly genuine and consistent, and has trained recently like she’s ready for yet another forward move. The Kentucky-bred but European-raced Luck is Baltas’ other major contender, and while she doesn’t quite have the resume of Going to Vegas she could easily be just as good. The lightly-raced (just five starts) daughter of Kitten’s Joy displayed plenty of promise early in her career in France and then was visually quite impressive in her U.S. debut when producing an electric turn of foot to defeat a first-level allowance field at Del Mar with a stakes-quality speed figure. Though the pace scenario may not be in her favor, she’ll love this 10 furlong trip and is another that has been highly impressive in the a.m. leading up to this event. We’ll give Going to Vegas a slight edge on top due to the projected race show but include both in our rolling exotics.Notable Workouts:4-Going to Vegas (Sept. 25, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00h TT). Grade: B+Solo training track drill while looking sharp as a tack, splits of :35.4 and :59.4, light late coaxing while coming home with plenty left. Maintains her edge.View Workout Video8-Luck (Sept. 22, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.3h TT). Grade: A-Broke off a couple of lengths behind Disappearing Act (5f, 1:00h TT) and easily went on by in the final sixteenth while under a nice hold, a half-length best at the wire, final quarter mile in a terrific :23.3. Looks the part of a potentially high class long distance turf performer.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 10: Post: 5:50 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Tizamagician; 7-TripoliForecast: The first two finishers in the Pacific Classic-G1 face off again in this year’s renewal of the Awesome Again S.-G1, a pivotal West Coast prep race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic in four weeks at Del Mar. Tripoli, a thoroughly convincing winner over Tizamagician (pair well clear of the rest) at the seaside oval in mid-August, should enjoy a similar stalking trip and then have every chance to exert his superiority when the pressure is turned on from the quarter pole home. Bred for turf (Kitten’s Joy) but vastly improved since being switched to the main track, the J. Sadler-trained colt has trained as well as ever in recent weeks, so we’re expecting another top quality performance, one that should be good enough to win right back. Tizamagician is most effective as the controlling speed and from his rail post position seems certain to employ front-running tactics under regular rider F. Prat. The son of Tiznow earned a career top 103 Beyer speed figure when runner-up in the Pacific Classic and it’ll probably take something similar if not slightly better to turn the tables on Tripoli, but if not policed up front he R. Mandella-trained colt should make a race of it. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then press with extra tickets keying Tripoli on top.Notable Workouts:1-Tizamagician (Sept. 26, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:02h). Grade: BBroke off a length in front of Explosive (4f, :49.1h) and was ridden in the final furlong to open up approaching the wire before continuing out to 7/8 pole, not a “wow” work but good enough. Holds his form, pointing for the Awesome Again S.-G1, may be most effective as the controlling speed.View Workout Video5-Medina Spirit (Sept. 25, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.4h). Grade: BWorked inside Ax Man (same time) for B. Baffert and went nicely (better than usual), while traveling out to the 7/8ths pole stride-for-stride, up in 1:13 flat on our watches, mild coaxing only. Appears back on the beam, will be facing older horses for the first time in the Awesome Again S.-G1.View Workout Video7-Tripoli (Sept. 26, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: B+Much best in team drill with Dubbie Dubby (5f, 1:00.4h) and Bella D (5f, 1:02.1h) for J. Sadler, lengthening out nicely when let run inside the furlong pole, :24.1 from the top of the lane to the wire. Appears as good now as he was prior to his Pacific Classic-G1 win.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 11: Post: 6:26 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Neptune’s Storm; 4-United; 6-AcclimateForecast: Several of these have the credentials to win this year’s edition of the John Henry Turf Champioship-G2; we’ll try to survive using just three, with a very slight preference on top to Neptune’s Storm. Primarily a miler, the P. Miller-trained Neptune’s Storm shows up in this 10 furlong event probably to avoid stable mate Mo Forza, the favorite and likely winner in the eight-furlong City of Hope Mile S.-G2 earlier on the program, but this distance might be within his range, over a turf course he loves and one that has a downhill run during the opening furlong. The son of Stormy Atlantic projects to enjoy an easy, ground-saving, stalking trip, and as a four-time winner over the local lawn the 5-year-old gelding should have every chance to pull off a mild surprise. United is clearly the one to beat, though he may have lost a step or two this year, having finished off the board in two of his last three starts when facing similar competition as the favorite. Still, the veteran son of Giant’s Causeway – a five time winner at Santa Anita and successful in nine of 21 career outings - always has to be respected. Acclimate does his best running on the front-end, and while there are other speed types in the field the P. D’Amato-trained gelding could be dangerous under these conditions if he can make the running without undue pressure. Give the possibility of that scenario, we will toss him in a few tickets in rolling exotic play.Notable Workouts:4-United (Sept. 23, Santa Anita, 7f, 1:25.3h). Grade: BBest over Ivy League (6f, 1:13.2h) for R. Mandella, breaking off several lengths behind and then responding to urging through the lane to be a head in front at the finish before continuing out to 7/8 pole under urging, final six furlongs in :23.4, :36 flat, 1:01 flat and 1:13.2 on our watches. Workmanlike at best but prefers turf and seems in good enough shape.View Workout Video

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10.1.2021:

Al Cimaglia: Hoosier Park Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, October 1

Hoosier Park begins the weekend with a 14-race card. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 11, and that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 111-Bobcat Bay (12-1)-Hawthorne invader should fit versus this group and offers a nice price. Bates could use the rail for an efficient trip near the top of the stack. HoP record is 9 of 12 in the money with 5 pictures.7-Louie The Horse N (6-1)-Stayed inside last week versus better in 1st start on Lasix and closed nicely with a 26.3 last quarter. Oosting is between the pipes again and could be sitting on a big try in 4th local start.8-Rockie Got Framed (7/2)-Another in from Stickney and in his last start finished 2nd as an odds-on choice against Open company. Looks like a player, Tetrick will steer for Erv Miller and has 9 wins in 42 starts here.Race 124-Skyway Victor (2-1)-This 3-year-old has battled tough foes and drops to a spot to shine. Tetrick should be looking to take control early in the mile. This was the pilot's choice over the other Miller entry #5.6-Big Gulp (4-1)-There should be a lively pace and that helps the chances of this Cross barn pupil who has been trying hard. Gets class plus post relief and this might be the spot to snag the 2nd win of the year.8-Betterrock (9/2)-Widger will be in the bike and if he can avoid a slow start this is another sophomore who could score at a solid price. Closed in 54.1 from post 9 in last and best to respect chances here.Race 135-Crook Boyzz (5/2)-Raced well last week in the 1st start since 6-13 but could not catch a well-meant winner. Bumps up but if tighter tonight, it might not matter.9-Dont Say Goodby (12-1)-Comes out of the same race as the one above and lost a place photo to him. But this 13-year-old started from post 11. Maybe Oosting can work a good trip for this veteran and pop at a price in a race with many question marks.Race 145-Jet Rock (2-1)-Drops to a soft spot after facing $50k and $65k claimers. Draws well and has won 4 of 11 at HoP. Looking for Miller to leave and try to control the pace.8-Clever Character (5/2)-Burke trainee has 10 wins in 38 starts at HoP and should be a main player with a smooth trip. Rolled the last half in 55.2 to finish 4th versus better. That start came from the 2nd tier. Now Widger steers and he had success here versus better back on 7-23.My Ticket Race 11) 1,7,8 Race 12) 4,6,8 Race 13) 5,9 Race 14) 5,8Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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10.1.2021:

1/ST BET AI Picks: Santa Anita Stakes | Friday, October 1

It’s opening day at Santa Anita for the autumn meet, and the Great Race Place features 4 stakes races with Breeders’ Cup implications. To assist your handicapping, key stakes selections provided by the 1/ST BET app measure each contender against the 10 leading factors for each race. The 1/ST BET app looks at 52 handicapping factors and more than 200,000 past races to determine its AI selections.You can use the automated handicapping factors, or create your own factor filters to incorporate angles you prefer. Full-card selections can be found in the 1/ST BET app. We’ve included the official track morning line odds with each runner.Santa Anita Park // Race 5 // 6:00 pm ET // Speakeasy Stakes // 5 furlongs (turf)#2 One Timer (5-2) // 31%W#1 Rock The Belles (20-1) // 18%W#6 Blame It On Rose (20-1) // 18%W#7 Time To Party (4-1) // 11%WSanta Anita Park // Race 6 // 6:30 pm ET // Grade 2 Chandelier Stakes // 1-1/16 miles#4 Grace Adler (9-5) // 27%W#1 Electric Ride (3-1) // 21%W#7 Censorship (12-1) // 13%W#6 Elm Drive (8-1) // 13%WSanta Anita Park // Race 7 // 7:00 pm ET // Grade 2 Eddie D. Stakes // 6-1/2 furlongs turf#9 Snapper Sinclair (4-1) // 28%W#2 Caribou Club (6-1) // 23%W#4 Charmaine’s Mia (10-1) // 13%W#7 Lieutenant Dan (7-2) // 12%WSanta Anita Park // Race 8 // 7:30 pm ET // Grade 1 American Pharoah // 1-1/16 miles#1 Corniche (6-5) // 31%W#6 Rockefeller (3-1) // 24%W#7 Pappacap (8-1) // 10%W#3 Finneus (12-1) // 10%W

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10.1.2021:

Jeff Siegel: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies | Friday, October 1

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s Daily “Workout Report, Analysis, and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Grade Descriptions:Grade A=Highest degree of confidenceGrade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred or passGrade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play______________________________________________________________________________RACE 1: Post: 1:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Ferrariano; 6-Viking PlunderForecast: The Friday opener is a challenging affair for older first-level state-bred allowance runners over a mile on grass. We’ll try to survive and advance using just two in our rolling exotics. Though he recorded several workouts while stabled on track in July and August, Ferrariano failed to participate at the Del Mar meeting and will be making his first start since June when finishing a willing third (beaten a neck) vs. 3-year-olds in the Snow Chief S. His recent workouts have been uninspiring but the son of Mshawish is a grass specialist who has never been all that willing in the a.m., so his current fitness is tough to gauge. On the plus side, his numbers are gradually rising, he’s drawn comfortable inside, and his stalking style should keep the B. Koriner-trained colt free of trouble. Viking Plunder has developed into a genuine and consistent performer with recent numbers that make him the one to beat. Claimed out of a maiden $16,000 affair at Gulfstream Park in April, the P. Capestro-trained gelding has improved considerably for his new connections since arriving in the West, and a healthy, recent work tab at San Luis Rey Downs provides indication that another forward move is imminent. In the frame in his last five starts, the son of Creative Cause shortens to a mile and projects to enjoy a comfortable, second flight trip and then have every chance from the quarter pole home.Notable Workouts:2–Ferrariano (Sept. 19, SA, 5f, 1:03.2h). Grade: C+Went without blinkers (wears them in the afternoon) and earned splits of :25.2, :37.3 and 1:03.2, easy to the top before being asked and ridden through the lane. Not impressive, but never is in the morning and clearly wants grass to show his best.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 2: Post: 1:28 PT Grade: C+Use: 4-You’re My Boy Kat; 6-Bright LeafForecast: In a race that might be best left alone, those who wish to participate may consider taking a flyer with Bright Leaf in this modest six-runner maiden $32,000 claimer for 2-year-olds. Claimed for $80,000 in his debut in August at Del Mar, presumably because he had trained pretty well, the son of Dialed In closed a gap but much too late when finishing a distant fifth before galloping out with some interest. However, his next outing was a disaster, as the J. Sadler-trained colt added blinkers, lugged out early and was always a sixteenth of a mile behind the pack when overmatched vs. much tougher straight maiden foes. Today, he drops to the bottom, removes blinkers, is drawn comfortably outside, gets a break in the weights, and shortens to a sprint after recording a bullet :59 flat gate work at Los Alamitos eight days ago, so if he can run at all this is the spot to show it. The likely choice and one to beat is the money-burning You’re My Kat, in the frame in four of five career starts but beaten without mishap in two of his last three starts as an even money favorite. He’s re-equipped with blinkers and should be prominent throughout; maybe today against this group he’ll be able to punch it in.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 3: Post: 2:00 PT Grade: B-Use: 2-Sumter; 8-Elevado; 10-Fight On RonForecast: Maiden juveniles sprint five furlongs on grass in a race that came up a bit light in quality. Sumter improved a bunch off a poor dirt debut when switching to the lawn and finishing a willing runner-up under these conditions at Del Mar earlier this month. He’s trained well since, so another forward move is likely, though the son of War Front isn’t particularly fast on a numbers and a good colt probably can beat him. Fight On Ron and Elevado, third and fourth, respectively, when debuting in a fairly competitive maiden dirt sprint at Los Alamitos three weeks ago, both have a right to step forward and are “must uses” in rolling exotic play. Fight On Ron ran okay without mishap, was subsequently gelded, and goes for an outfit that hits at 29% with a significant profit with the second-time starter angle. Elevado flashed good speed before weakening, shortens up, tries grass, and picks up J. Rosario, so the $190,000 son of Street Boss looks dangerous while projected to be on or near the lead throughout.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 4: Post: 2:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 5-Platinum Equity; 6-P R StarForecast: Platinum Equity shortens in trip, exits a tougher starter’s allowance race, loves the Santa Anita main track (six career wins), and is reunited with “win rider” E. Maldonado in this $20,000 claimer for older horses at seven furlongs. The Stay Thirsty gelding has the proper stalking style for this trip, and in a race that should have a modest early pace he should be well-placed and ready to pounce when called upon. P R Radio Star is dropping a level in his first start following a claim by G. Pappaprodromou, not a healthy sign, and the veteran gelding is winless in six starts this year, so his current condition must be questioned. A tough old pro, the veteran son of Warrior’s Reward seemed okay in a recent workout, and is cozily drawn outside, so we’ll include him on a few tickets while reserving the main punch for Platinum Equity.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 5: Post: 3:00 PT Grade: BUse: 2-One Timer; 4-Forbidden Kingdom; 5-Miss AlacrityForecastMidwest invader One Timer arrives with a pair of fast, highly-rated all-weather wins on his resume and today will try to earn his way into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint in this year’s edition of the Speakeasy S. over five furlongs on grass. The Trappe Shot gelding was scratched out of the Arlington-Washington Futurity in late August (he was 4/5 on the morning line) and didn’t record a workout until 12 days later but he does show a half mile bullet gate drill in :45 3/5 at his home base at Arlington Park before hopping on a plane to California so we’ll assume he’s fit and ready. Based strictly on speed figures, the L. Rivelli-trained juvenile is the one to beat but must prove he can act equally as well on the lawn. Miss Alacrity also is perfect in two career outings, most recently winning the Colleen S. at this trip on turf at Monmouth Park while employing a pace-pressing style. The W. Ward-trained filly took heat and then came away with authority in a visually pleasing performance, and while her numbers aren’t quite as fast as our top pick, she certainly could be capable of better if required. J. Velasquez, who was aboard her in a 10 length debut maiden win at Belmont Park in early May, returns. Forbidden Kingdom may have been a tad fortunate when winning his debut sprinting on dirt at Del Mar (the much-troubled third place finisher Rhetoric was best) but the speed figure was strong, the runner-up came back to win, and as a son of American Pharoah has a right to be better on grass than dirt. The R. Mandella-trained colt has been impressive in the morning in the interim, so a step in the right direction can be expected.Notable Workouts:4–Forbidden Kingdom (Sept. 24, SA, 6f, 1:12.4h). Grade: BBroke off several lengths behind Micro Share (5f, 1:00.3h) and then rallied inside to prove clearly best through the lane, :24 flat, :35.3 and 1:00 flat to the wire before continuing out to 7/8 pole under mild pressure in 1:12.4. Flashed good speed when winning his debut on the lead but displayed versatility and a willingness to settle early and finish in this drill.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 6: Post: 3:30 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Electric Ride; 2-Ain’t Easy; 7-CensorshipForecast: Admittedly, Grace Adler looks impressive on paper; she’s unbeaten in two starts and is fresh off an 11-length romp in the Del Mar Debutante-G1. Furthermore, she’s bred to improve with experience and distance, so there’s no reason to believe she won’t step forward in her first try around two turns. That said, we’re not totally sold. Average at best in the speed figure department and unimpressive when easily outworked by stable mate Censorship (see below), the daughter of Curlin won’t offer any real wagering value and could be vulnerable, so let’s try to beat her. Censorship is a maiden in three starts and her numbers, while rising, aren’t particularly fast. Still, the daughter of Tonalist continues to impress in the morning, most recently when toying with Grace Adler in a drill last week, and after finishing a remarkable second after being eliminated at the start with a horrific stumble last time out the B. Baffert-trained filly picks up Johnny V. and seems ready to put her best stuff on display. Whether that will be good enough remains to be seen, but at 12-1 on the morning line she offers a chance at a gamble. Electric Ride won at first asking with a big number and did it the right way, pressing the pace and then coming away with authority. From her inside draw the daughter of Daredevil likely will employ gate-to-wire tactics and if she can clear her rivals entering the first time without undue pressure, she could be hard to catch. Ain’t Easy is another first-out winner getting tested for class. The daughter of Into Mischief projects to settle into the second flight and then launch her bid and based on her recent drills the P. D’Amato-trained filly won’t be bothered by today’s extra distance.Notable Workouts:1–Electric Ride (Sept. 25, SA, 5f, 1:00.1h). Grade: BIn outside in company with stakes-placed older stable mate Crew Dragon (same time) and held her own while going stride-for-stride most of the way, splits of :36 flat and 1:00.1, a neck at the wire under mild coaxing, solid drill. Hard to say that she’ll improve routing but if she’s ever going to handle two-turns it’ll probably be in her first try.View Workout Video2–Ain’t Easy (Sept. 20, SA, 6f, 1:16.1). Grade: B-Slow but steady throughout without ever being permitted to show her speed to be even but best inside Desert Dawn (same time) for P. D’Amato, splits of :26.2, :38.3, 1:03.4 and 1:16.1 while breezing from the 5/8ths pole to the 7/8ths pole. Should handle two-turns no problem.View Workout Video7–Censorship (Sept. 19, SA, 6f, 1:13h). Grade: B+Breezed inside Grace Adler (5f, 1:00.2h) and was noticeable best, well in hand from the quarter pole to the wire (workmate asked) to about a length clear before continuing out under some coaxing to the 7/8 pole, :23.4 and :36.1 for the final three furlongs. Still a maiden after three starts but remains highly-regarded and deservedly so.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 7: Post: 4:00 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Gregorian Chant; 5-Law Abidin Citizen; 7-Lieutenant DanForecast: Welcome back, Hillside Turf Course! This year’s edition of the Eddie D. S.-G2 is a highly-contentious affair with several contenders. We’re guessing how the course will play, but there appears to be plenty of early speed signed on to promote the chances of the late-runners. Gregorian Chant should be well-suited by the race flow and after finding five furlongs a bit too sharp when a too-little-too-late third place effort in the Green Flash S.-G3 at Del Mar last time out the English-bred gelding gets an extra three-sixteenths of a mile to work with and should make the best of it. He’s certain to get the patient ride he requires from regular pilot J. Hernandez and if he gets enough help up front the P. D’Amato-trained gelding should be able to produce a winning late kick. Lieutenant Dan, a clever winner of the Green Flash H.-G3 in late August while earning a career top speed figure, is a versatile type that can pop and go or stalk and pounce. The Grazen gelding lands the good outside draw and should fire another huge shot. Law Abidin Citizen, a respectable close fourth in the Bing Crosby S.-G1 on dirt at Del Mar, can be equally effective on turf and the son of Twirling Candy projects to settle in a stalking position and then have every chance from the head of the lane to the wire. A recent bullet five furlong workout (:59.3h, fastest of 19) should have him primed and ready.Notable Workouts:Lieutenant Dan (Sept. 27, Santa Anita, 5f, 1:01.1h TT). Grade BSolo training track drill while ticking over for S. Miyadi, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :35.4, very nice without being asked. Really has improved following an 11 month layoff and recently earned a career top speed figure when winning the Green Flash H.-G3.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 8: Post: 4:29 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Corniche; 6-Rockefeller; 7-PappacapForecast: This could turn out to be a very strong edition of the American Pharoah S.-G1, but with juveniles stretching out for the first time you can never be sure which ones will handle the extra distance and which ones won’t be able stay the trip. Corniche was awesome when breaking his maiden at first asking at Del Mar in a race that earned a monster speed figure, the best in North American to date, but he hasn’t been impressive in the morning since that race (see below), so we’re not sure if he’ll be equally effective routing. We suspect the son of Quality Road will be let roll from the gate to take advantage of his inside draw in an attempt to wire the field. Maybe he can, but at 6/5 on the morning line he won’t offer any real wagering value. Rockefeller outworked Corniche last week and looked very good doing it. In his debut maiden win at Del Mar, the son of Medaglia d’Oro failed to change leads through the lane, though he did switch over smoothly in his recent workout. This could be a very good colt so it’s not surprising that F. Prat picks up the mount. Pappacap tried to make the gap from his rail post in the Del Mar Futurity-G1 and lost all chance; he had won his first two starts like a legitimate top class prospect and as a son of Gun Runner seems certain to handle extra distance. His most recent workout (see below) was mouth-watering good and if there’s a quick enough pace to compliment his style the M. Casse-trained colt could easily produce the last run. We’ll have tickets including all three in our rolling exotic play, but at 8-1 on the morning line Pappacap represents the best gamble in the win pool.Notable Workouts:6-Rockefeller (Sept. 24, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.4h). Grade B+Breezed inside Corniche (5f, 1:00h) and was always going the better of the two, finishing in hand to be a length clear at the wire (workmate asked but made no impression), splits of :35.3 and :59.4. Failed to change leads in debut win but switches over nicely today and appears to be a colt that will step forward considerably with distance and experience. Workmate was highly impressive breaking his maiden at Del Mar but was far less than that today.View Workout Video7-Pappacap (Sept. 24, Santa Anita, 5f, :59.3h). Grade: A-Worked outside older Laker Mamba (5f, :59.4h) and was much the best under a nice hold throughout, exerting his superiority in the final furlong to be a length clear (could have been more) while earning splits of :34.2 and :59.3 on our watches. Much better than his troubled Del Mar Futurity-G1 race indicates (had self-caused trouble) and seems very likely, as a son of Gun Runner, to improve stretching out.View Workout Video____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________RACE 9: Post: 5:00 PT Grade: C+Use: 6-Big Summer; 12-Self IsolationForecast: The nightcap, a maiden-special-weight turf sprint for older state-bred fillies and mares, came up soft, so we’ll go two-deep and hope that’s enough. Big Summer is the logical top pick, having finished in the frame in all three starts, so she may be hard to trust, having been a beaten favorite in her last two. A decent sort of filly will beat her, but there may not be one in her. Her numbers are okay but we’re just not sure how much improvement she has in her. Self Isolation is a bit intriguing and should be included as well. Away since May of last year when an okay third while well-backed (5/2) in her only outing, the daughter of Square Eddie certainly is bred for turf and returns with Lasix and a decent series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs that should have her plenty fit for this six furlong dash. The D. O’Neill-trained sophomore must overcome the extreme outside draw, but against this group she should be able to do so – assuming she’s good enough.

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9.30.2021:

Frank Carulli: Stronach 5 Picks & Preview | Friday, October 1

The road to hitting this week's Stronach 5 goes through the turf . Three of the five legs in the cross-country sequence drew fields of 10 or more to run on the grass. Here's a first take of the action: LEG A // LAUREL, RACE 8 (4:19PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) Several well-bred, first-time starters line up in this full field with three others who finished second in recent turf sprints. FULL OF MISCHIEF, by 2021 leading North America sire Into Mischief, leads off the ticket. His dam, Hillhouse High (27/4-6-6, $456k), was a MSW winner on the Belmont turf and a Grade II winner of the Royal Heroine on the Santa Anita lawn. Godolphin LLC's HOLIDAY HOUSE is by More Than Ready, a Top 5 turf sire in 2021, and out of the dam Glorietta Bay, a second-out MSW winner at Aqueduct. RADICAL RIGHT chased a loose leader, didn't change leads in the stretch and finished second to a troubled, 8-1 first-time starter. He fired a :47.2 bullet workout on the main track since his grassy debut. LEG B // GULFSTREAM, RACE 8 (4:30PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) Morning-line favorite DEM A WONDER is a late scratch, making this race more wide open. ACTING LUCKY has two wins, two seconds and solid numbers in four starts this year. Her jockey lost the whip inside the 1/8th pole while dueling with the winning favorite last out. TRUE ATKA loomed boldly for the stretch drive at 6-1/2F in her second start off the layoff, only to flatten out in the long stretch at Colonial Downs and finish third. She won her prior two short sprints on the main track. LEG C // LAUREL, RACE 9 (4:49PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 1/8 MILES (TURF) MINISTER'S STRIKE rallied to win going away the last time he ran at this level and distance on the turf, but he could be compromised by a slow pace. CRAZY CATER avoided a wide trip from post 10, tracked comfortably before launching a rally at the 3/8 pole, but flattened out late when the deep closers passed by. SOLOMONIC should get the jump on the main contenders from up-close and is a usable longshot. LEG D // SANTA ANITA, RACE 3 (5:00PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 5 FURLONGS (TURF) Going three deep in this leg of the Stronach 5 but could go deeper. ROY C raced evenly in his debut, but the race produced two next-out winners from four starters. ELEVADO showed good zip in his debut on the Los Alamitos dirt, now gets Rosario for his first turf test. SUMTER awakened on the switch to turf, chasing the 3-to-5 winner while 4-wide and finishing second in a photo finish. His dam was a $300,000 grass earner. LEG E // GOLDEN GATE, RACE 4 (5:14PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (ALL WEATHER) PLUM WILD backed off a contested, 4-way duel, then swung 6-wide for the stretch drive and finished okay for third. She raced close up in two starts at Golden Gate this spring and could change tactics in a paceless race. Either way, she's a good value play in her second start for the track's top barn. ALWAYS IN VEGAS, last seen winning a turf route race as a 3yo, makes her seasonal debut off a series of slow workouts. Must respect the connections, though, who are 13-36 with a +$1.32 ROI in the last year. STRONACH 5 TICKET Leg A: 5, 6, 8 Leg B: 2, 3Leg C: 2, 7, 9  Leg D: 2, 8, 9Leg E: 1, 4 Cost for a $1 ticket: $108

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9.30.2021:

Johnny D: Santa Anita 'Super Saturday' Late Pick 4 Ticket | Saturday, October 2

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve been away for the last two Thursdays. Then again, if you hadn’t noticed, chances are you’re probably not reading this now. As the kids these days say, ‘Whatever.’ The next two weekends are huge on the racing landscape. Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In events, plus assorted other graded stakes races that serve as suitable preps for Del Mar-based championships dot the landscape from coast to coast. The return of racing to Santa Anita always is a special occasion, made even more notable by the recent announcement that racing will return to the unique hillside turf course at about six and one-half furlongs. Fittingly, Friday’s Eddie D. stakes will break the seal on the re-invigorated downhill grass sprint course that actually plays more like a one-mile turf test. The stakes race is named in honor of Eddie Delahoussaye, a Hall of Fame jockey and one of the greatest riders in the history of the game. We had the pleasure of working around Eddie D. for years in Southern California and he’s as genuine a person as you’ll ever find; one of the best in an ‘80’s SoCal jockey colony that had so many fine riders that it was a living, breathing wing of racing’s Hall of Fame. Shoemaker, Pincay, Delahoussaye, McCarron, Hawley, Stevens, Pierce, Solis, and we just might be forgetting someone. As a racing fan, it will be nice to tune in Friday and, hopefully, see Eddie D. in the Santa Anita winner’s circle greeting successful connections. As a horseplayer, it will be challenging to once more attempt to solve puzzles that unfold on a course that used to lay claim to the only right-hand turn in North American racing. Could still be true but that Kentucky Downs course has some funky corners to it.  Saturday we look forward to an outstanding afternoon of racing at Santa Anita, concluding with a Late Pick 4 that could offer twists and turns worthy of a best-selling novel. Medina Spirit, tainted Kentucky Derby winner, makes his second afternoon appearance since Preakness in the Gr. 1 Awesome Again stakes where he will meet elders for the first time. Is he up to the challenge or was there a more pressing issue for last week’s defection from the Pennsylvania Derby than merely a distasteful post position? And what about United, the on again off again SoCal turf star who nearly won the ’19 BC Turf at 51-1 and then returned to finish eighth in the ’20 event? Is he ready to repeat as best in the John Henry Turf Championship and have another swipe at the BC Turf brass ring? What about Luck, the filly not the ill-fated HBO show? Can she immediately parlay a first level allowance/$40k claiming Del Mar romp into a Gr. 1 Rodeo Drive title? It’s asking a lot, but she appears sharp as a knife. Dr. Shivel, a 3-year-old who bested elders twice already this year, will attempt to do it again from the dreaded rail post position going six furlongs. Four-year-old Collusion Illusion, drawn outside in the field of six, seems ready to improve on his close third-place finish in the ’20 edition of the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Those are just some of the questions that will be answered Saturday in Santa Anita’s Late Pick 4. Below you will find one man’s humble opinion of how that wager might unfold, including a suggested Pick 4 ticket. Happy opening weekend at The Great Race Place! Race On!      RACE 8 // G2 SANTA ANITA SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #1 Dr. Schivel is a 3-year-old, multiple Gr. 1 winner (Del Mar Futurity & Bing Crosby) seeking a fifth-consecutive triumph. He’s got the top jock Prat, which is nice, but he’s drawn the rail and that could be challenging. Note: this colt already has won from the Santa Anita inside post and his rating style should have him sitting just behind the early leaders. He’s as game as Dick Tracy with a pair of neck decisions in his last two, so he loves a fight. He’s worked steadily for this, including a best of 36 bullet five-eighths in :58 1/5 Sept. 4. #2 Vertical Threat likes to ‘get it on’ right out of the gate and, for a grade 2 California sprint stakes, this field doesn’t have much early speed. Could the 4-year-old winner of 4 of 7 starts steal this one on the front end? He looked good winning the Russell Road at Charles Town last out and when romping at Mahoning Valley. He didn’t look so good when cooked up front in the Bing Crosby that went to #1 Dr. Schival, 21 lengths better than afternoon. That would be some reversal of fortune, for sure, but, if this colt can walk early…maybe.  #3 Colt Fiction is a 6-year-old who hits hard against allowance foes—fellow Calbreds and otherwise. He went wire-to-wire to win last out at Del Mar and is as good as he’s ever been. Can he duplicate that effort right back? Asking a lot. #4 C Z Rocket was a mere neck behind #1 Dr. Schivel in the recent Bing Crosbly and barely missed in the Gr. 2 Pat O’Brien last out going seven furlongs. This gelding is now 7 but still gives it all he’s got. He’s not the dominating factor he was last year, but he’s still a ‘tough out’ with a pair of stakes wins, including a grade 2 at Oaklawn this winter. Will he get the early pace heat he needs to do his best in here? #5 Flagstaff is a 7-year-old with 4 wins in 9 starts at Santa Anita. He’s probably better at 7 furlongs than at six where he’s won just 1 of 8 starts. Still, he’s remarkably consistent—been better than fourth in 10 of his last 12 starts, including 2 wins—both at seven furlongs. Last out he was a head behind #4 C Z Rocket for third in the Gr. 2 Pat O’Brien. #6 Collusion Illusion loses the services of top jock Prat and picks up the hustling JJ Hernandez. This 4-year-old colt has won 5 of 10 lifetime, including 2 of 5 at Santa Anita and 3 of 5 at the distance. Off since last year’s Malibu Stakes, where he was third behind Charlatan and Saturday’s Awesome Again participant Express Train, he didn’t fire in an August turf sprint at Del Mar. With that race under his belt and this cozy post position, expect this guy to show something with blinkers added for the first time. At 3, he was third, beaten just over 1 length in this race last year when breaking from the rail. He has a bullet, best of 67, half-mile gate workout in :47 2/5 to conclude a series of 4 works every 7 days since his Del Mar turf outing. Top Two: #1 Dr. Schivel, #6 Collusion IllusionReach: #2 Vertical Threat RACE 9 // G1 RODEO DRIVE S. // 1 1/4 MILES (TURF) #1 Dogtag has finished second in here last 4 races and that just might be her fate again Saturday. She gamely chased #4 Going to Vegas home in the John C. Mabee last out but was making little headway in the final stages. That foe might again have a pace advantage in here and that will make this 5-year-old mare’s challenge difficult. She’s doing well, so expect another solid effort, but the pace picture seems against her. Joe Bravo takes over for Rispoli who moves to #4 Going to Vegas and the new jock might attempt to keep Dogtag closer in the early going. Still, if #4 Going to Vegas gets the kind of trip we envision, she’ll be very tough to catch. #2 Fast Jet Court is a multiple Gr. 1 winner in her native Brazil. She’s had just one race stateside in the John Mabee at Del Mar when fourth, beaten nearly 4 lengths by #4 Going to Vegas and by over one length by #1 Dogtag. Improvement with a race under her belt might move her ahead of #1 Dogtag, but #4 Going to Vegas is going to be difficult to flip the script on. #3 Neige Blanche is a 4-year-old filly that’s been pitched against some serious foes in US battles. Finally, she won the Gr. 3 Santa Barbara in May, just missed in the Possibly Perfect in June and then won the CTTOC last out at Del Mar. These seem like they ought to be tougher than what she’s been successful against most recently. #4 Going to Vegas appears to have a pace advantage in here and that just might be enough to get her home on top. She’s been solid in her last two races when stalking a pacesetter, but she might have to make all the pace in here because there isn’t much early speed. That ought to be fine with this 4-year-old filly and jockey Rispoli who knows her well. She’s won 6 of 21 and 4 of 10 at Santa Anita with 3 seconds. She’s also been first and second in 2 tries at the distance. She’s the one to beat in here. #5 Rideforthecause is a 5-year-old mare with 5 wins in 16 starts. She finished second to #3 Neige Blanche by a head in the Gr. 3 Santa Barbara and was nearly two lengths behind that foe last out in the CTTTOC. Time before that, she won the Possible Perfect over #1 Dogtag and #3 Neige Blanche. You get the idea that there’s not much separating this trio. #6 Crystalle is a 4-year-old filly that will add blinkers for this race. She’s just 2 for 13 lifetime and hasn’t proven herself at this level since she finished second in the Gr. 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont two years ago. She’s started twice for current trainer Peter Miller and needs to do more. #7 Magic Attitude in an interesting prospect. She ships here from the righthand coast abd ghas been training at Fair Hill for 21% conditioner Arnaud Delacour. This 4-year-old filly hasn’t been out since July 17 when outrun in the Gr. 1 Diana at Saratoga. She dominated the Gr. 2 Sheepshead Bay at Belmont in May and a repeat of that performance probably fits very well in here. She also won the Gr. 1 Belmont Oaks last year, solidly defeating #3 Neige Blanche, and was not disgraced in a pair of Group 1 tries in France. Don’t know if she’s ready to fire her best but her best would be very dangerous in here. #8 Luck looked absolutely sensational in winning a first-level allowance/$40k optional claimer at Del Mar. Runner-up Engl