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10.1.2020:

Jon White's Preakness Stakes Selections

Trends or angles sometimes can grab one’s attention when it comes to sports in general or horse racing in particular. How about this trend? Prior to last Saturday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggetts, whenever the Lakers had the lead going into the fourth quarter in a playoff game, their win-loss record was 68-1. And now it’s 69-1. The Lakers had the lead going into the fourth quarter last Saturday, but not by much. After three quarters, the Lakers led by just three points. The young, talented and scrappy Nuggets were, not surprisingly, giving the Lakers a battle. But the Lakers went on to win by a score of 117-110, propelling the great LeBron James and superstar Anthony Davis to the NBA Finals. When the Lakers have had the lead entering the fourth quarter in a playoff game, they now have won that game 98.5% of the time going into the NBA Finals. There is a trend in horse racing that has an even higher percentage of success. It’s a trend that so far has been successful 100% of the time! Do you want to know what trend in horse racing has succeeded 100% of the time? Okay, here it is. A Bob Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winner running in the Preakness has won the Preakness 100% of the time. All five of Baffert’s Run for the Roses victors -- Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, War Emblem in 2002, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018 -- also got the job done in the Preakness. I’m of the opinion that Authentic is going to make it six for six in terms of Baffert pulling off a Kentucky Derby-Preakness parlay. These are my Preakness selections for Saturday’s 145th running of the $1 million Preakness at Pimlico Race Course (it’s the same Top 4 as on my Top 10 last week): 1. Authentic2. Art Collector3. Swiss Skydiver4. Pneumatic AUTHENTIC IS MORNING-LINE FAVORITE Pimlico oddsmaker Keith Feustle has installed Authentic as the 9-5 favorite on his Preakness morning line. I do not relish saying this, but I have to call them as I see them. I think the 9-5 morning-line price is too high. I say this knowing full well that it is not easy to go lower than 9-5 on the favorite when the field is this big. That’s because the more Authentic’s price is lowered from 9-5, the higher the prices for some of the others in the field of 11 would need to be adjusted higher. Fuestle has Authentic close to 2-1. I would make Authentic close to even money. He is a Kentucky Derby winner who is one loss away from being undefeated and is trained by Bob Baffert. As such, I am expecting Authentic to get quite a bit more betting support than 9-5, which is why I would make him 6-5. The Preakness morning line is listed below, followed by my odds: PP Horse (ML) My Odds 1 - Excession (30-1) 50-12 - Mr. Big News (12-1) 12-13 - Art Collector (5-2) 5-24 - Swiss Skydiver (6-1) 6-15 - Thousand Words (6-1) 8-16 - Jesus’ Team (30-1) 50-17 - Ny Traffic (15-1) 20-18 - Max Player (15-1) 20-19 - Authentic (9-5) 6-510 - Pneumatic (20-1) 15-111 - Liveyourbeastlife (30-1) 30-1 DRF WRITER’S INACCURACY CONTINUES Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee, who typically does excellent work, has been getting something wrong for years. “Authentic was assigned post 9 as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in a field of 11 3-year-olds entered Monday for the 145th Preakness Stakes, to be run Saturday at historic Pimlico Race Course as the final leg of the 2020 Triple Crown,” McGee wrote. Assigned post 9? Just who did the assigning? Were the post positions for the Preakness assigned by the post-position fairy? No, the Preakness post positions were not assigned by anyone. They were determined by a random draw. Pimlico got it right. In a story posted on the track’s website, it said Authentic “drew post No. 9 for the Preakness.” The word “drew” is correct. BloodHorse likewise got it right. “Authentic Draws Post 9 for the Preakness,” was BloodHorse’s online headline. In Bob Ehalt’s story under that headline, it said that “the son of Into Mischief landed post nine.” To say “landed” is accurate. Ron Flatter is yet another who got it right for horseracingnation.com. “Made a 9-5 favorite on the morning line after being bet to 3-2 in futures markets, Authentic drew post 9 in the field of 11.” For McGee to write that Authentic was “assigned” post 9 is akin to saying a lucky lottery winner was assigned those numbers. No, those lottery numbers weren’t assigned. They were determined by a random draw. To further illustrate the incorrect usage of “assigned” by McGee, a racing secretary “assigns” stalls to a trainer. The stalls are not determined in a random draw. The DRF editors also deserve some blame regarding this. They have been allowing this mistake by McGee to appear in print for many years. Look, we are not talking about some small stakes race at minor track, though even then it still would be incorrect to say a horse’s post position was assigned. We are talking about the Preakness Stakes, one of the most important races in the sport. RECALLING BAFFERT’S “BIG THREE” EARLY IN YEAR Hall of Famer Baffert had not one, not two, but three strong Kentucky Derby candidates. They were, alphabetically, Authentic, Charlatan and Nadal. On March 17, Churchill Downs announced it was moving the Kentucky Derby from its original date of May 2 to Sept. 5 because of the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, Baffert’s “Big Three” occupied the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 spots on my Kentucky Derby Top 10: Top 10 for the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby on March 17: 1. Charlatan2. Nadal3. Honor A.P.4. Authentic5. Maxfield6. Tiz the Law7. Ete Indien8. Sole Volante9. Thousand Words10. King Guillermo Charlatan and Nadal finished first in their respective divisions of the Grade I Arkansas Derby on May 2, the original date of the Kentucky Derby. It’s not outlandish to think Baffert might have won the Kentucky Derby with either Charlatan or Nadal if the race had been run on the first Saturday in May. (Personally, I think it would have been Nadal. But we will never know.) On May 19, the New York Racing Association announced a change in the date and the distance for the Belmont Stakes stemming from the pandemic. The Belmont would be run on June 20 at 1 1/8 miles rather than on June 6 at its traditional 1 1/2-mile distance. At that time, two of Baffert’s “Big Three” ranked No. 1 and No. 2 on my Belmont Stakes Top 10. Nadal was No. 1. Charlatan was No. 2. Authentic was not on the Top 10 because he was going to run in the June 6 Santa Anita Derby instead of the June 20 Belmont. Unfortunately for Charlatan and Nadal, they both were unable to race again after the Arkansas Derby. On May 28, it was announced that Nadal had emerged from a four-furlong workout in :48.80 at Santa Anita with a condylar fracture in his left foreleg. He was retired from racing. After Nadal’s retirement, Charlatan ascended to the top spot on my Belmont Stakes Top 10. But then on the morning of June 6, it was announced that Charlatan not only would miss the June 20 Belmont, he also would not be running in the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby due to an ankle injury. With Charlatan sidelined, Tiz the Law took over the top spot on my Belmont Stakes Top 10. Tiz the Law won the Belmont by 3 3/4 lengths. On the afternoon of June 6, Authentic finished second, 2 3/4 lengths behind Honor A.P., in the Santa Anita Derby. In mid-June, the once-rosy picture for Baffert’s “Big Three” had deteriorated. Nadal’s racing career was over, Charlatan was on the shelf following ankle surgery, while Authentic no longer was undefeated. A NEW “BIG THREE” FOR BAFFERT IN THE SUMMER Following the setbacks to Nadal and Charlatan, the remarkable Baffert managed to come up with what some called another “Big Three,” this time consisting of, alphabetically, Authentic, Cezanne and Uncle Chuck, though this trio never seemed nearly as powerful as the triumvirate of Authentic, Charlatan and Nadal. On July 2, Cezanne, a highly regarded $3.65 million auction purchase, was two for two after winning an allowance/optional claiming race. On July 4, long-striding Uncle Chuck was two for two after the Grade III Los Alamitos Derby. On July 18, Authentic won the Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. But then Cezanne and Uncle Chuck fizzled. On Aug. 1, Cezanne finished fourth in Del Mar’s Shared Belief Stakes (won by the Baffert-trained Thousand Words). On Aug. 8, Uncle Chuck -- thought by many to be Arrogate-like -- finished sixth, 11 lengths behind Tiz the Law, in the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Consequently, in mid-August, of Baffert’s new “Big Three,” only Authentic was headed to the Kentucky Derby, along with a rejuvenated Thousand Words. But as it turned out, after all the twists and turns, ups and downs, all Baffert needed in order to win the Kentucky Derby was Authentic. It was Baffert’s sixth Kentucky Derby victory, which tied Ben Jones’ longstanding record. Jones saddled his six winners from 1938 to 1952. AUTHENTIC FIRES BULLETS IN PRE-PREAKNESS DRILLS Authentic has recorded a couple of sharp workouts at Churchill Downs since his Kentucky Derby triumph. On Sept. 19, Authentic worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.20 on Sept. 19. It was the fastest of 38 works at the distance that morning. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.20, then went on out seven furlongs in a splendid 1:25.20. On Monday, Authentic had another sharp workout, four furlongs in a bullet :47.60. It was the fastest of 37 works at the distance that day. His internal splits were :12.20, :24.00, :36.00 and 1:00.00. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.00, then went on out six furlongs in 1:13.40. Jockey Martin Garcia was aboard Authentic for Monday’s workout. “He’s such an amazing horse,” Garcia said. “He worked awesome.” Garcia noted that he has “worked a lot of nice horses” for Baffert in California through the years. “This horse is just as special,” Garcia said. “He’s doing amazing for the Preakness.” American Pharoah, who swept the Triple Crown in 2015, is one of those “nice horses” Garcia worked on numerous occasions for Baffert. John Velazquez rode Authentic in the Kentucky Derby. Johnny V. again has the call for the Preakness. Based on Auenthic’s workouts since the Kentucky Derby, it appears to be all systems go for the Preakness. Additionally, I think Authentic will appreciate the shorter 1 3/16-mile distance of the Preakness vis-a-vis the 1 1/4 miles of the Kentucky Derby. I am expecting Authentic to snag a second jewel in this year’s Triple Crown by capturing the Preakness. BAFFERT SEEKS EIGHTH PREAKNESS WIN In addition to Authentic, Baffert is running Thousand Words in the Preakness. If either Authentic or Thousand Words wins this Saturday, Baffert will become the first trainer to win the Preakness eight times. Baffert and R. Wyndham Walden currently share the record of seven Preakness victories. Wyndham saddled seven Preakness winners from 1875 to 1888. Baffert’s seven Preakness winners have been Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018). Justify, like American Pharoah, was a Triple Crown winner for Baffert. THOUSAND WORDS LATEST WORKOUT BETTER On Sept. 19, Thousand Words worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 at Churchill Downs. “That clocking not only was nothing to write home about, the video of it is far from anything to rave about when viewed on HRTV,” I wrote in the Los Angeles Times’ horse racing newsletter. Thousand Words did have a much better workout at Churchill last Saturday, five furlongs in 1:00.60. The Florida-bred Pioneerof the Nile colt did not work with blinkers on Sept. 19. He did have blinkers on last Saturday. Jockey Florent Geroux was aboard Thousand Words for both workouts. Geroux pilots the colt Saturday. “I thought he worked a lot better today with the blinkers,” Geroux said after last Saturday’s drill. “Last week was his first work over the track so he didn’t wear them but went very easy. It was a bit more of a serious work today.” A $1 million yearling, Thousand Words won his first three career starts, then lost his next three starts, then regained his winning form by taking Del Mar’s Aug. 1 Shared Belief Stakes at the direct expense of big favorite Honor A.P. In the paddock prior to the Kentucky Derby, Thousand Words reared, lost his balance and fell on his side. He was automatically scratched as a precaution. ART COLLECTOR APPEARS MAIN THREAT I see Art Collector as the main threat to Authentic. I also respect Swiss Skydiver. If one these three do not win, I will be shocked. Art Collector, trained by Tommy Drury Jr., and Swiss Skydiver, conditioned by Ken McPeek, finished one-two in the Grade II Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on July 11. Art Collector prevailed by 3 1/2 lengths at odds of $2.30 to $1. Swiss Skydiver ran second as the slight favorite at $2.20 to $1. After the Blue Grass, Art Collector won the Ellis Park Derby by 3 1/4 lengths. However, he was not entered in the Kentucky Derby after he nicked the bulb of his left front heel with a hind hoof while galloping at Churchill Downs five days before the race. According to Drury, the heel issue was nothing major, just bad timing. Art Collector, like Authentic, appears to be coming up to the Preakness in fine fettle. On Sept. 19 at Churchill Downs, Art Collector worked five furlongs in :59.40. The only faster clocking at the distance that morning was Authentic’s :59.20. Last Saturday at Churchill, Art Collector worked four furlongs in :48.00. It was the seventh-fastest of 78 works at the distance that morning. He reportedly recorded fractions of :12.40, :24.40 and :35.80 en route to his :48.00 clocking, then galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.40, then went on out six furlongs in 1:13.60. Daily Racing Form’s McGee quoted Drury as saying Art Collector is a “twelves kind of horse,” meaning a horse who often goes furlong after furlong in about 12 seconds. Drury said “it looks like that’s exactly what we got” in last Saturday’s five-furlong workout. Swiss Skydiver had a five-furlong workout in 1:00.80 at Churchill Downs last Saturday. Her early fractions were reported to be :12.00, :23.60 and :35.80. The Kentucky-bred Daredevil filly galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.20. “Two horses in there look pretty formidable,” McGee quoted McPeek as saying in reference to Authentic and Art Collector. “Beyond that, we ought to be tough. The filly sure is doing good.” Swiss Skydiver certainly has logged many miles traveling. She’s won stakes races this year in Louisiana (Rachel Alexandra), Florida (Gulfstream Park Oaks), California (Santa Anita Oaks) and New York (Alabama), while finishing second in a pair of stakes races in Kentucky (Blue Grass and Kentucky Oaks). Five fillies have won the Preakness: Flocarline (1903), Whimsical (1906), Rhine Maiden (1915), Nellie Morse (1924) and Rachel Alexandra (2009). The last filly to compete in the Preakness was Ria Antonia, who finished 10th in 2014. PNEUMATIC MIGHT MAKE SOME NOISE Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen is seeking his third Preakness victory after having won it with Curlin in 2007 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009. Asmussen’s 2020 Preakness entrants are Pneumatic, Max Player and Excession. I look at Pneumatic as a candidate to be part of the superfecta at a juicy price (20-1 on the morning line). I thought Pneumatic ran well in defeat when he finished third behind Maxfield and Ny Traffic in the Grade III Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 23. Pneumatic vied for the lead from the beginning and weakened slightly late to lose by 1 3/4 lengths, a fine try inasmuch as he went into the Matt Winn with just two races under his belt. Pneumatic then ran fourth in the June 20 Belmont. Again, I thought it was a good effort in the context that he was so lightly raced. After the Belmont, Pneumatic won Monmouth’s 1 1/16-mile Pegasus Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths on Aug. 15. It was decided to have him skip the Kentucky Derby and take aim on the Preakness. It appears to me that Pneumatic has upside. If I’m right and we have not seen the best from him yet, he might run his way into the superfecta Saturday. MEMORIES OF A RACETRACK CONCERT Singer Helen Reddy, probably best known for her song “I Am Woman,” a No. 1 hit in 1972, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 78. The first year I worked as a steward for the Washington Horse Racing Commission was at the 1979 fall meet at Yakima Meadows. The Central Washington Fair was held simultaneously at that same site during a portion of the race meet. One evening after the conclusion of a 10-race card, Reddy gave a concert in front of the grandstand in conjunction with the fair. I simply remained in the stewards’ stand, which afforded me a wonderful view of the concert. As for my two fellow stewards, Russ Lawler and Joe Wittman, they had no such interest in staying for the concert. They both left after we posted the “official” sign for the final race. Reddy put on a good show. It remains one of my fondest memories from that particular race meet 41 years ago. BAFFERT-TRAINED PAIR STILL ATOP NTRA POLLS In light of Improbable’s impressive 4 1/2-length victory at odds of 9-5 in last Saturday’s Grade I Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita, he has taken over the top spot in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. He ranked No. 5 last week. Bafferet trains Improbable. Maximum Security, also conditioned by Baffert, finished second in the Awesome Again as the 1-2 favorite. He slides down a notch to No. 2 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll after being No. 1 for several weeks. The Baffert-trained Authentic again is No. 1 in the NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll this week. I am thinking he probably needs to win the Preakness in order to hold onto the top spot next week. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 354 Improbable (28)2. 277 Maximum Security (3)3. 246 Vekoma (3)4. 228 Tom’s d’Etat (2)5. 195 Monomoy Girl (1)6. 153 By My Standards7. 139 Midnight Bisou8. 108 Tiz the Law9. 99 Authentic10. 71 Rushing Fall The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 356 Authentic (23)2. 347 Tiz the Law (14) 3. 269 Art Collector4. 176 Swiss Skydiver5. 162 Honor A.P.6. 149 Thousand Words7. 116 Shedaresthedevil8. 96 Max Player9. 90 Gamine10. 62 Mr. Big News  

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10.1.2020:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: October 2 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee, and a prospective pool that should far surpass that. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors. *** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. *** Leg 1: Pimlico R8 (4:40 ET) – 3upfm 25k starter-allowance at 5 furlongs (turf) A great race to start the sequence, as the favorite could be 4-1 and there’s no one to lean on, which means a lot of tickets will hit the ground, no matter who the winner is. I’ll blanket it and go with the logicals, as #4 BATH AND TENNIS (8-1), #10 FOGGY DREAMS (10-1), #9 UNAQUOI (9-2), and #2 TOO MUCH TIP (6-1) all seem a slice above, so hopefully one of them will carry me through. Pk5 A horses: 4,10,9,2 (listed in order of preference) Being that she’s back on turf and second-off the long break, #12 WHY NOW (8-1) isn’t impossible, and some added maturity from last year would help, and her best in 2019 wasn’t too far behind these, so I’ll use her as a supporting actress. Pk5 B horses: 12 Potential B add-ins: #5 Dance Or Stroll (6-1), #1 La Piu Bella (12-1) Leg 2: Santa Anita R4 (5:10 ET) – 2yof Ca-bred MSW at 5 � furlongs I’m hoping for some contested speed, as #10 SQUARED SHADY (3-1) and #8 LUXURY LINER (4-1) both want to come from off it a bit, and the former was a solid 3rd on debut, while the latter broke slow in her debut on dirt, and has been turfing since, so she could be a lot tighter now. Pk5 A horses: 10,8 If #1 ALLIE’S PAL (5-2) gets loose it may be over quickly, but there is speed to her outside, and as solid and fast as that debut 2nd was, it came in is a 50k MCL’er, so she does step up here. Pk5 B horses: 1 Potential B add-ins: #9 Dylans Wild Cat (7-2), #3 Complete Control (12-1) Leg 3: Golden Gate Fields R3 (5:30 ET) – 3up 8k claimer at 6 furlongs Arguably the second toughest race of the sequence has more than a few who can win, and a lot that look the same on paper. I’m trying to blow this up with #4 PEPPERS ACE (15-1), who drops stiffly, goes second-off the layoff, and was a close 4th against eons better two-back. The more logical winners are #5 TINA’S EXCHANGE (2-1), who easily won last time and drops slightly, and #7 MALIBU ALEX (5-2), who hasn’t missed the EX in six starts and goes off the claim for France, a 20% move. Pk5 A horses: 4,5,7 He’ll need to work out a trip, but #1 UNPOSSIBLE (5-1) should like getting back to the Tapeta and has some solid back form, though this could be a bit too sharp, hence he’s o the B-level. Pk5 B horses: 1 Potential B add-ins: #2 Midnight Destiny (7-2) Leg 4: Santa Anita R5 (5:44 ET) – 3f 40k claimer at 1-mile (turf) This has the look of a match race, as #4 A G INDY (2-1) and #3 COLUMBIAN GOLD (8-5) just way better than the res to of these. I’ll use them both, but the former has a lot more tactical speed than the latter, so she’s preferred, if you need to cut hairs, and she also should improve off the neck loss last time, as it came off a nine-month layoff. Pk5 A horses: 4,3 No one else looks at the level of the top-2, and since I have it bookended with the best speed and best stretch runner, there will be no backups. Potential B add-ins: NONE Leg 5: Pimlico R1 (5:51 ET) – 3up 25k starter-allowance at 1 1/16 miles (turf) It looks like Maker has this group over a barrel, as both #4 TEMPLE (5-2) and #10 HIEROGLYPHICS (9-2) are best on paper, but also have a stalking style in a race that looks like it should have a ton of speed, so I’ll use both equally, though if you’re on a budget you can single the former. Pk5 A horses: 4,10 There’s no doubt #7 ABIDING STAR (7-2) is the best of the speeds, and maybe the speed of the speeds too, so I’ll use him as a backup, as we know a hot pace in 2020 can often never materialize. Pk5 B horses: 7 Potential B add-ins: #8 Patriot Drive (12-1), #1 Fast Fire (10-1) The tickets: Main Ticket: 4,10,9,2 with 10,8 with 4,5,7 with 4,3 with 4,10 =$96Leg 1 B Backup: 12 with 10,8 with 4,5,7 with 4,3 with 4,10 = $24Leg 2 B Backup: 4,10,9,2 with 1 with 4,5,7 with 4,3 with 4,10 = $48Leg 3 B Backup: 4,10,9,2 with 10,8 with 1 with 4,3 with 4,10 = $32Leg 5 Backup: 4,10,9,2 with 10,8 with 4,5,7 with 4,3 with 7 = $48

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9.30.2020:

Preakness Pace Forecast: Cloudy

The skies are expected to be clear at Old Hilltop on Saturday as Pimlico hosts the Preakness for the 145th time. But forecasting the pace of the race figures to be more dicey. The merry stroll Authentic went on in the Kentucky Derby remains one of the possibilities in the encore, but it’s one of many plausible looks. Pace makes the race; and if you figure this one out, you likely get the financial prize.Here’s how I see the contenders on preferred running styles.Speed: AuthenticPress: Art Collector, Swiss Skydiver, Ny Traffic, Thousand WordsMiddle: Jesus’ Team, Liveyourbeastlife, PneumaticCloser: Excession, Mr. Big News, Max PlayerThat rundown looks a lot like the Kentucky Derby, where Authentic was the only horse committed to the front. And both races start at the far end of the homestretch with a massive run to the clubhouse turn, providing ample time for a horse with Authentic’s speed to overcome a less-than-perfect start and still wrestle command – precisely what happened in Louisville.But three members of the ‘press’ corps here, all but Ny Traffic, are new to the scene at Pimlico.It’s the biggest Triple Crown mount of Brian Hernandez Jr.’s life aboard Art Collector and he could be tasked with doing the dirty work in attacking Authentic. Trainer Tommy Drury says the horse’s pace versatility could come in handy, and that’s true. It also could lead to indecision.We’ve seen Ny Traffic twice try to chase to no avail in the Haskell and Derby when ridden by the hyper-aggressive Paco Lopez. Now local veteran Horacio Karamanos takes over, and while a strong speed jock as well, you can’t see him being even more Paco than Paco.Meanwhile, Thousand Words and jockey Florent Geroux can’t be expected to attack Baffert stablemate Authentic … especially if you recall the blocking formation that pairing provided Justify in the 2018 Belmont. Plus, Thousand Words simply isn’t as naturally fast or brilliant as Authentic. It would take a kamikaze mission, or an adverse reaction to going blinkers on (which I completely don’t understand here), for Thousand Words to be the pace thorn for Authentic.And then there’s the filly Swiss Skydiver, whose jockey Tyler Gaffalione didn’t want to give up opening weekend at Keeneland. She winds up with the oft-aggressive Robby Albarado, years removed from relevance in racing’s big events. Does Albarado want to go out in a blaze of glory in attack mode (and finish first or last), or try to resurrect his waning career by riding conservatively and giving his filly every chance to be good enough if she can?So where does the pressure on Authentic come from? I mentioned earlier this was Brian Hernandez’s biggest Triple Crown ride, but not in his career. That came in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic of 2012 when piloting Fort Larned. When faced against heavily favored Bob Baffert speedster Game On Dude, Hernandez aggressively sent Fort Larned to the lead, and when Game On Dude broke poorly, it led to a wire-to-wire upset on the big stage. Art Collector is in a similar post, similar field size and similar pressure cooker to what Hernandez experienced with Fort Larned the last time he was in this type of situation. He didn’t back down then, and my guess is that he won’t on Saturday.I look for Art Collector to go after Authentic from the start, and may the best horse win. This does not compute to a 3,4 or 5-way pace scrum in my projection. The top 2 will duke it out, which sometimes welcomes a closer to split them late in the exacta when 1 wanes. But I’ll be surprised if it melts down and compromises both, who appear to have a solid gap between them and the rest of the field on talent.The Preakness rarely ever melts down to a deep closer. In the last 20 years, the only way-back types to win this race were Point Given, Curlin and Exaggerator, the latter freaking in the mud in 2016. When you look at the horses from the middle or back of this pack, none of them come close to warming up those kind of names.

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9.29.2020:

1/ST Look: Santa Anita Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Santa Anita. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Southern California. And be sure to support Santa Anita by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Santa Anita.HeadlinesWeek 2 of the Santa Anita autumn meet continues the Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule … Santa Anita’s Jackpot Pick 6 carryover into the week stands at $128,195 … Turf milers are in the spotlight this week with Saturday’s Grade 2 City of Hope Mile, as well as Sunday’s co-features for the 2-year-olds, the Surfer Girl and Zuma Beach … Last week’s launch of the daily Golden Hour Pick 4, matching the final 2 races daily at SA and Golden Gate, saw $1 returns of $4606, $187 and $2066 (average pool approximately $60,000) …. Santa Anita Derby runner-up and Kentucky Derby hero Authentic headlines Saturday’s Preakness at Pimlico, where he’ll meet Santa Anita Oaks heroine Swiss Skydiver in a unique clash.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 paid $5,248.90 last week to 26 winning tickets with no winner over 6-1 odds. The Oct. 2 Stronach 5 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern):Leg A – Pimlico Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:40Leg B – Santa Anita Race 4 with an approximate post time of 5:10Leg C – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 with an approximate post time of 5:30Leg D – Santa Anita Race 5 with an approximate post time of 5:44Leg E – Pimlico Race 10 with an approximate post time of 5:511/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Santa Anita last week, each winning 30% of more with a flat-bet profit.In-The-Money (ITM) %Best Speed DistanceBest Speed Last 3Trends Last Week--As expected in last week’s 5 Keys to Watch blog, trainer Peter Miller got off to a fast start at the meet. He went 15: 4-1-1, going 3-for-4 with favorites and adding $18 winner Get Her Number in the Grade 1 American Pharoah.--Bob Baffert, no stranger to SA success, got off to a 13: 4-4-2 start. But he was only 1-for-6 with favorites, owing to 3 seconds and 2 third-place finishes. All 4 of his winners were 2-1 or less.--Surprising slow starts to the meet for John Sadler (0-10), Doug O’Neill (1-16) and Richard Baltas (1-15) are of note.--Jockey Flavien Prat had the best opening week with a 24: 7-7-1 mark, winning 29% and 58% in the exacta. He was 6: 3-2-0 aboard favorites, and 2-for-2 riding for trainer Leonard Powell.--Jockey Juan Hernandez scored 25% wins and a $1.49 ROI for every $1 bet. He won for 5 different barns and boasted $15 and $22 winners.--Favorites dominated turf races at 8-for-15 (53%), particularly strong in grass routes at 4-for-6.

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9.29.2020:

1/ST Look: Golden Gate Fields Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Golden Gate Fields. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Northern California. And be sure to support Golden Gate Fields by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Golden Gate Fields.HeadlinesGolden Gate Fields will have a mandatory payout in its jackpot Pick 6 this Sunday, Oct. 4. The pool has a $199,480 carryover going into this racing week, Thursday through Sunday … Last week’s launch of the daily Golden Hour Pick 4, matching the final 2 races daily at GG and Santa Anita, saw $1 returns of $4606, $187 and $2066 (average pool approximately $60,000) … 2020 El Camino Real Derby winner Azul Coast bypassed this Saturday’s Preakness in favor of last week’s 12-furlong Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita against elders, where he finished last of 7. Cupid’s Claw, who spent the first half of 2020 at Golden Gate Fields, romped to the victory.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 paid $5,248.90 last week to 26 winning tickets with no winner over 6-1 odds. The Oct. 2 Stronach 5 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern):Leg A – Pimlico Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:40Leg B – Santa Anita Race 4 with an approximate post time of 5:10Leg C – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 with an approximate post time of 5:30Leg D – Santa Anita Race 5 with an approximate post time of 5:44Leg E – Pimlico Race 10 with an approximate post time of 5:511/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Golden Gate Fields last week, each winning at a 31% or greater win rate and showing a flat-bet profit. For the third straight week, speed-related factors swept the top-3 at Golden Gate.Best Speed Fast TrackBest Speed Last 3Best Speed TrackTrends Last Week--Favorites won 12 of 25 on the Tapeta to score at 48%.--Trainer Quinn Howey went 8: 5-1-0 on the week, headed by career-day Sunday when sending out 5 winners from 5 starters (3 of those favored).--Trainer Victor Trujillo was 11: 3-3-0 on the week, ending a September slump. Of his 6 exacta finishers, 5 were at odds of 5-2 or less. With jockey Bryan Pena, they were a near-perfect 4: 3-1-0.--Trainer Sergio Ledezma posted a 5: 2-1-0 mark that boasted $13 and $14 winners, along with a 17-1 runner-up. The barn is hitting 31% in September with a $2.08 ROI for every $1 bet.--Trainer Manuel Badilla went 5: 2-2-0, including a $14 winner, and was 4-for-4 in the exacta with horses of single-digit odds.--Jockey Frank Alvarado tallied a 9: 3-2-1 record with a $1.67 ROI for every $1 bet, popping with $6, $9 and $14 winners. He was 2: 1-1-0 with Manuel Badilla trainees.--Jockey Francisco Monroy went 9: 3-0-2 on Tapeta with a whopping $6.09 ROI for every $1 bet. He booted home a $91 winner as well as a $13 winner, while hitting the board at 31-1.Trends Last 2 Weeks--Jockey Francisco Monroy is 6 for his last 19 on Tapeta with a crazy $5.16 ROI for every $1 bet. He’s boasted $91, $20, $20, $13 winners to go along with 2 favorites. He also has 23-1, 31-1 and 41-1 shots in the money.--Favorites are winning just a shade under 50% on Tapeta over the past 2 weeks.

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9.29.2020:

1/ST Look: Maryland Jockey Club at Pimlico Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Pimlico Race Course. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Maryland. And be sure to support Pimlico by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Maryland Jockey Club.HeadlinesPreakness Week has finally arrived with live racing Thursday-Friday-Saturday to complete the 6-day Pimlico meeting … Thursday’s card features a trio of stakes, Friday will be headlined by the Pimlico Special and Claiming Crown prep races, and Saturday’s Preakness card is comprised of exclusively stakes, 12 in all … First race post times are 12:40 pm ET weekdays and 11 am ET on Preakness Day …There will be a Pimlico Special-Preakness daily double offered Friday-Saturday.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 paid $5,248.90 last week to 26 winning tickets with no winner over 6-1 odds. The Oct. 2 Stronach 5 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern):Leg A – Pimlico Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:40Leg B – Santa Anita Race 4 with an approximate post time of 5:10Leg C – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 with an approximate post time of 5:30Leg D – Santa Anita Race 5 with an approximate post time of 5:44Leg E – Pimlico Race 10 with an approximate post time of 5:511/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Pimlico, each posting at least 33% winners and a flat-bet profit. Early pace ability was on high display.Avg. E1 PaceTrainer Current YearLast E1 PaceTrends Last Week--Favorites went 14-for-29 opening week, batting near 50% with 61% finishing in the exacta.--Jockey Trevor McCarthy got off to a 17: 5-3-1 record at the Preakness meet. Of his 17 mounts, 11 were 7-2 or less and he was 11: 5-2-1 with those runners.--Jockey Daniel Centeno was 10: 3-2-1, including 6: 2-2-0 on turf. Centeno had a $26 winner and an 11-1 price player on the bottom of the trifecta.--Jockey Katie Davis continues to be precise with her mounts, posting a 9: 3-1-0 mark. She scored a $16 winner. Davis is 10-for-31 in September at Laurel/Pimlico, including 6: 4-1-0 with trainer Annette Eubanks.--Trainer Claudio Gonzalez went 7: 3-1-0 with a perfect 3-for-3 mark when saddling the favorites. All 3 winners appeared for claiming tags (2 claiming, 1 maiden claiming).--Trainer Jamie Ness, who historically has a strong Pimlico Preakness meet hand to play, went 4: 2-1-0 while hitting the exacta with all 3 favorites among those. He scored a pair of 1-1/8 miles turf claimers.

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9.28.2020:

Captain ‘First’ In Little Brown Jug

The ‘Captain’ came calling at the right time to be first in line in harness racing’s 3-year-old pacing division. Captain Barbossa won for the first time in 13 starts this year in Thursday’s $335,400 Little Brown Jug final, giving trainer Tony Alagna and driver Joe Bongiorno their first win in the Pacing Triple Crown race at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. “He’s been a really hard-luck horse this year,” Alagna said. “He’s drawn a lot of bad posts … and he finally gets his due.” He finished second in his last three starts, including the Jug elimination heat. But he left little doubt in the Jug final, finishing one-fifth of a second off the world record for sophomore pacers on a half-mile track in 1:49.1. He brushed past elimination winner Sandbetweenmytoes (Scott Zeron) after a steady, third-quarter advance, then held off late-running Cattlewash (David Miller) for a 1-1/2-length victory. Catch The Fire (Mike Wilder), the even-money favorite off his win in the other elimination, finished third. Bongiorno was extremely confident heading into the Jug because “my horse had the most pace finishing in the second elimination.” Captain Barbossa more than doubled his lifetime earnings to $414,288 for owners Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson, and the partnership of Alagna, Martha Frank, John Fodera, and Steven Wienick. Venerate Trots To Mohawk Million Win Venerate negotiated a second-tier starting spot and rallied past undefeated favorite Donna Soprano to win the inaugural Mohawk Million for 2-year-old trotters Saturday at Woodbine-Mohawk Park. The race shaped up perfectly for the 2-1 second choice and driver Andrew McCarthy.  Altar (Jody Jameison) emerged from a four-way battle to lead after an opening quarter mile in :27 but yielded to half-mile leader On A Streak (Scott Young). Insta Glam (Yannick Gingras) brushed strongly to the front entering the final turn at the 7/8-mile oval but had to brace for the oncoming favorites. Donna Soprano (Bob McClure), out and moving near the half, loomed boldly for the stretch drive, but Venerate followed a couple lengths farther back. Donna Soprano, the 4-to-5 favorite and perfect in five starts, led in mid-stretch, but Venerate surged past for a ¾-length victory in 1:53.2. He paid $6.80 to win. “The speed was pretty tough early, so it worked out where I could end up getting a pretty good trip, but when I looked up at the eighth pole I was a long way back,” said McCarthy. Julie Miller trains Venerate for Pinske Stables and the Andy Miller Stable.

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9.28.2020:

Preakness Stakes Post Position Draw Rapid Reaction

The final jewel in the 2020 Triple Crown assembled a field of 11 Monday, led by Kentucky Derby victor AUTHENTIC. The 145th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico headlines a dozen races Saturday at Old Hilltop, all stakes. AUTHENTIC and stablemate THOUSAND WORDS seek to give trainer Bob Baffert a record-breaking eighth career win in the Preakness, while SWISS SKYDIVER will try to become just the second filly to win this race since 1924.AUTHENTIC won the Kentucky Derby wire-to-wire and his Preakness post 9 is a favorable draw given his pace style, his jockey and where the others have drawn. Jockey John Velazquez aboard Authentic loves to stay a few paths off the rail with speed horses and force others wider around him. Potential pace players ART COLLECTOR, SWISS SKYDIVER and THOUSAND WORDS (who races with blinkers on) are new to the Triple Crown series and all line up together in posts 3-5. It’s good news that AUTHENTIC wasn’t stuck inside all of that heat. NY TRAFFIC chased AUTHENTIC to no avail in the Haskell and Kentucky Derby, but can be counted on for some pressing presence from post 7.There is potential for the trip to offer challenges to AUTHENTIC if that inside speed hooks up and riders get aggressive. AUTHENTIC could lose some ground on the clubhouse turn or be forced to either expend more energy to clear or decide to tuck in behind the speed. That scenario after a poor break in the Santa Anita Derby resulted in his only career loss. The late additions to this field of SWISS SKYDIVER and NY TRAFFIC certainly have the ability to increase the previously expected Preakness pace.Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions to and from major racing jurisdictions, several Maryland-based jockeys will be in the Preakness spotlight.The full field for Preakness 145 with track linemaker Keith Feustle’s morning line odds:1 // EXCESSION (Sheldon Russell) 30-12 // MR. BIG NEWS (Gabriel Saez) 12-13 // ART COLLECTOR (Brian Hernandez Jr.) 5-24 // SWISS SKYDIVER (Robby Albarado) 6-15 // THOUSAND WORDS (Florent Geroux) 6-16 // JESUS' TEAM (Jevian Toledo) 30-17 // NY TRAFFIC (Horacio Karamanos) 15-18 // MAX PLAYER (Paco Lopez) 15-19 // AUTHENTIC (John Velazquez) 9-510 // PNEUMATIC (Joe Bravo) 20-111 // LIVEYOURBEASTLIFE (Trevor McCarthy) 30-1

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9.28.2020:

Monday, September 28: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis

Tonight, there are 10-races on the Woodbine Mohawk program. The feature comes in Race 5, an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final with a $158,000 purse. The 0.20 Pick 5 opens the card, it has a $100,000 guaranteed pool and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 12-Prayerforthewicked (3-1)-Gets a new pilot tonight and Roy will probably look to get a close-up seat. Alagna trainee will need the right trip, and is in a spot to get sucked around and shake loose late.5-No Free Lunch (7/2)-Had been facing Gold company in June and July until scratched sick and then missed over a month. Returned last week, raced from the back while starting from post 8 but rolled the last half in 54.2. Could be sitting on a big try.7-Socrates Blue Chip (5/2)-Drops but hasn't raced since 9/5. Has been cashing checks versus top 2-year-olds here and at GrVr. Probably the fastest freshman in the field and can grind its way around if ready to go after the time-off.Race 23-Arcanum (8-1)-Slow starts are an issue but may have met a beatable field. Comes off a nice try and if MacDonell can get into a live cover flow the fractions might be swift enough to roll by the leaders at a nice price.6-Fortune Starlet (5-1)-Comes off a 4th place finish to Romona Hill and should relish the company. Ought to get a good seat from this post and be in striking range down the lane.8-Nimbus Deo (4-1)-Winner in 3 of 4 starts all happening at Wbsb and now seeks 4th straight picture. Baillargeon barn has cooled off some in the past 30 days but best to respect connections here.Race 33-Pikachu Hanover (3-1)-Has had some issues this year but does have 5 wins in 17 races. This will be the 4th start since some time off after a sick scratch. Gets a little post relief, McClure sticks and has won 8 of 21 starts at Wbsb.5-Cool Muscle (5/2)-Consistent 6-year-old has finished 2nd in the last 5 starts and those winners are not in this field. Looks like a major player, could be put in play sooner and take 1st picture since 8/3.Race 45-Moneymakehersmile (3-1)-Has been 1st or 2nd in last 3 starts and figures to be a threat versus this crew but is only 1-17 at Mohawk. Main nemesis starts outside from post 9 and that could be a big edge.7-Miss Rockadali (8-1)-Was used hard from the 8-hole and did get the point but the 55.4 half did take its toll. Faded badly but was off for 17 days and it was the 1st start for new barn. McNair sticks and will look for a return to recent form and a big effort at a juicy price.9-Vines To Heaven (7/2)-Won last in a claim and 1st start for Moreau angle. Has won 8 of 45 races at Wbsb and tonight makes the 1st start for the Fritz barn. That conditioner is about as successful as Moreau with 1st time starters after a claim, so best to respect.Race 56-HP Royal Theo (3-1)-Gets a little post relief and will probably have a better trip than in last 2 starts. Did break late in the mile on 9/19 and will write that off due to a tough trip. This is a competitive group, but Roy might blast out and get the top. That seems to be the recipe for a winning formula as there isn't much gate speed inside.8-Hot Wheelz (9/2)-Has been racing well and Jamieson has some options from this post. My guess is he won't look to get on the engine but could find a good seat. Can win this at a square price coming off cover and it wouldn't be a surprise if a sub .56 half is in the cards.My TicketRace 1) 2,5,7 Race 2) 3,6,8 Race 3) 3,5 Race 4) 5,7,9 Race 5) 6,8Total Ticket Cost) $21.60 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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9.28.2020:

Most Valuable Pony (Sept. 21-27): Improbable

Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.September 21-27, 2020MVP: ImprobableOwner: WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International Ltd. and SF Racing LLCTrainer: Bob BaffertJockey: Drayden Van DykePerformance: In a stable showdown with Maximum Security in the Sept. 26 Grade 1 Awesome Again, Improbable dominated Santa Anita’s top autumn race in the handicap division. The 4-year-old cruised to a 4-1/2 length victory in 1:49.01 while never in doubt from the top of the stretch home. If there’s any hesitation about this last-to-first victory, it was that the race shape set up with a fast-early, slow-late tempo.On Tap: The Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 7 at Keeneland will be next so long as Improbable is healthy. The son of City Zip figures to be one of the favorites and has vaulted himself into the Horse of the Year discussion with victories in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Whitney and Awesome Again. Last year, Improbable was fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at the end of a tough sophomore campaign. He’s fresher in 2020 and proven over the Classic distance in the Gold Cup.Honorable Mentions: Oklahoma-bred legend Welder added a feather to his impressive cap Sept. 26 when he rallied late to win the Remington Park Turf Sprint. It was the first grass attempt for the 7-year-old millionaire, and resulted in his 23rd win from 35 lifetime starts. Shared Sense also made noise at Remington Park last week, winning the Sept. 27 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby in very handy fashion. The Brad Cox trainee added to his Grade 3 Indiana Derby score this summer. At Santa Anita on Sept. 26, United and Princess Noor delivered as heavy favorites in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship and the Grade 2 Chandelier Stakes. Both head to the Breeders’ Cup, in the Turf and Juvenile Fillies divisions, as horses to watch.

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9.27.2020:

Sunday, September 27: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily 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 confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 6-Spanish Count; 7-GregdarKeys to the Race: (view video)Forecast: Gregdar was nosed out in his only outing in 2019 – a productive maiden $25,000 sprint at Golden Gate Fields 11 months ago – and returns in a below standard maiden $50,000 sprint that should be within his capabilities. The work tab that includes a bullet half mile drill (:48 flat, fastest of 24) earlier this month for new trainer P. D’Amato should have him fit and ready, and the presence of U. Rispoli in the saddle indicates that the Greydar colt is well-meant off the layoff. At 5/2 on the morning line we like him on top but we’ll also include Spanish Count, shortening up to a sprint for the first time. The R. Baltas-trained gelding adds blinkers, retains A. Cedillo, and can be expected to produce a forward move in his second start off a layoff and just his third career start overall.RACE 2: Post: 1:01 PT Grade: XSingle: 3-Flash MagicKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Flash Magic had the misfortune of hooking North America’s best 2-year-old filly, stable mate Princess Noor, in her debut at Del Mar last month but displayed extreme promise even in defeat when a game runner-up while almost five lengths clear of the rest in a fast, highly-rated affair. She returns with blinkers on while switching to L. Saez and looks every bit the 4/5 that she’s listed on the morning line. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile won’t be offering any wagering value in this five runner affair but can be used as a short-price rolling exotic single in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.RACE 3: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: BUse: 5-Conquest Cobra; 7-El HuerfanoKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Old pro El Huerfano has been popular at the claim box of late and is back in M. Glatt’s barn after being haltered for $12,500 in early August at Del Mar. The eight-year-old gelding is double jumped in class in this main track miler in what we’ll take as a sign of confidence, and with five career wins over the local main track he appears perked up for a major effort following a bullet three furlong drill (:36 1/5, fastest of 21) earlier this month. F. Prat stays aboard and should have him in a comfortable pace-stalking position outside throughout. Conquest Cobra might be worth including on your ticket as well. Always most effective when on or near the lead, the V. Belvoir-trained gelding returns to dirt (his preferred surface) and should get the aggressive ride he needs from L. Saez. First or second in nine of 19 career starts over the Santa Anita dirt surface, he’s a fit on recent numbers and more than capable of winning at this level when he’s on his game.RACE 4: Post: 2:07 PT Grade: XSingle: 1-Fighting MadKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Fighting Mad is listed at 2/5 on the morning line in this four-runner edition of the Zenyatta S.-G2, a race that serves as the final West Coast prep to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff-G1 at Keeneland next month. She’s the controlling speed from the rail, and anything close to her best race will be more than sufficient for this B. Baffert-trained daughter of New Year’s Day to maintain her winning form. She’s a logical, no-value, rolling exotic single.RACE 5: Post: 2:39 PT Grade: BUse: 4-Cal Caliente; 5-Fly to Mars; 7-Three Ay EmKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Cali Caliente is a progressive gelding making just his sixth career start, and after dismantling a first-level state-bred allowance field with a career top speed figure at Del Mar earlier this month the son of Unusual Heat appears capable of continuing his winning ways today when facing open company. The E. Kruljac-trained 4-year-old employs an effective stalking style that can adjust to any type of race flow, and with J. J. Hernandez staying aboard we’re expecting a repeat score at or near his morning line of 7/2. Fly to Mars clearly is the proven class of the field – he’s a stakes winner and has placed in multiple graded events – but the P. Miller-trained gelding has had just one start in nearly two years and today shows up for a $40,000 tag in what has to be considered a somewhat unhealthy pattern. The son of Ministers Wild Cat had a run last month at Gulfstream Park in his first start since the fall of 2018 and was below form when fading to fifth but based on the possibility that he’ll move forward today you have to use him somewhere. Three Ay Em also should be included on your ticket. A winner of two of three over the local lawn and making his first start since being claimed for $25,000 out of a win at Del Mar three weeks ago, the E. Truman-trained colt can turn it on late and with some help up front should make his presence felt in the final furlong.RACE 6: Post: 3:10 PT Grade: C+Use: 1-Appreciated; 5-Devil Made Me Doit; 7-Brickyard RideKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Here’s a difficult entry-level allowance sprint that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep but you should use as much coverage as your budget allows. Devil Made Me Doit was highly impressive in his debut win last December, scoring like a future star, but came out of the race with an issue and had to be stopped on. The son of Daredevil returned in challenging turf sprint at Del Mar last month and faded in the drive while perhaps needing the race (or maybe he just didn’t act on grass). We’ll find out more about him today when he returns to the track and distance of his maiden score, and with a solid five furlong workout (1:00 3/5, third fastest of 58) just eight days ago the D. O’Neill-trained colt should be set for his best. Brickyard Ride, a very quick colt, was fourth in the same race that our top selection finished ninth in and both were below form over a grass course that they may not have cared for. The C. Lewis-trained son of Clubhouse Ride is a two-time winner over the Santa Anita main track and will try to be on the lead for as far as he can carry his speed. The weight break he receives due for being ridden by a bug boy won’t hurt. If the pace types go too fast (certainly a possibility), the late-running sprinter Appreciated could do some damage in the final furlong, though he’ll need some racing luck from his rail post. His win two races back earned a career top speed figure, one that’s good enough to beat this field, but the son of Acclamation is winless in four starts over the Santa Anita main track. He was 31-1 in a similar spot last time; today he’s listed at 3-1 on the morning line.RACE 7: Post: 3:41 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Le Tub; 9-Shes’a PerfectladyKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Shes’a Perfectlady received very little action (22-1) in her debut at Del Mar last month and was badly out-footed to the top of the lane while tenth and last with a quarter of a mile to go in that five furlong dash. However, she took hold after straightening in the lane and closed fastest of all to wind up fourth in traffic (subsequently moved up to third), beaten less than two lengths, and then galloped out far in from of the pack. Today she gets an extra half-furlong to work with, so if the daughter of Carpe Diem can get somewhat involved earlier today she could prove troublesome for new trainer J. Sadler, who takes over from C Gaines. At 6-1 on the morning line she’s worth a bit of a gamble. Le Tub finished first in that race but was dq’d and placed eighth, so she’s back in the same spot while making a significant rider switch to U. Rispoli. She’s the logical top pick and one to beat.RACE 8: Post: 4:12 PT Grade: C+Use: 3-Flagstaff; 4-C Z RocketKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: C Z Rocket and Flagstaff meet again, this time in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship after finishing one-two in the recent Pat O’Brien S.-G2 at Del Mar last month. They were tough to separate then (‘Rocket prevailed by a half-length) and they look evenly matched again. C Z Rocket is a perfect four-for-four since being claimed by P. Miller for $40,000 last spring and picks up L. Saez after F. Prat, who rode him last time, apparently opted for Collusion Illusion. In a race without much pace, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Saez aggressively ride the son of City Zip from the gate and perhaps try to make the lead, though the gelding’s preferred style always has been to stalk in the second flight and then produce a run. Falstaff used to show good gate quickness but now prefers to gather himself and build up steam. He’s a four-time winner over the Santa Anita main track and was third in this race last year behind Omaha Beach. These are the two we’ll be including in our rolling exotics – if you feel the need to toss in Collusion Illusion as well we certainly wouldn’t talk you of it – in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.RACE 9: Post: 4:43 PT. Grade: B-Use: 4-Althea Gibson; 5-Win OftenKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Althea Gibson is improving with racing and looked fairly decent beating state-bred maidens sprinting on grass at Del Mar last month. This will be just her fourth career start, and with another forward move the daughter of Grazen should be capable of handling this raise in class. Win Often has been away since February, but she was a debut winner so we know she can fire fresh and her one prior outing over the local lawn produced a good runner-up effort under these conditions. The work tab isn’t flashy but should have her fit enough for a barn that can get them ready off the bench, so at 5-1 on the morning line she has to be used. These are the two we’ll be including in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Althea Gibson.RACE 10: Post: 5:14 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Cupid’s Claws; 2-CombatantKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Cupid’s Claws has never raced over a conventional dirt surface but he displays easy, efficient action when he trains on the main track so we suspect he’ll handle the surface switch just fine. The son of Kitten’s Joy won’t have any issue with the marathon 12-furlong trip in this year’s renewal of the Tokyo City Cup-G3, so in his first start since being claimed for $50,000 by C. Dollase out of a winning performance at Del Mar earlier this month, with the blinkers-off angle to consider, and with F. Prat staying aboard we’re going to put this veteran gelding on top and hope to get close to his morning line of 6-1. It’s hard to believe that Combatant won the ‘Big ‘Cap earlier this year – the son of Scat Daddy hasn’t gotten close in three subsequent outings – but his recent workouts indicate he may be perking up for J. Sadler, so with the switch to U. Rispoli we’re going to give him a chance to bounce back. He’s a grinder and thus should have no difficulty handling the marathon distance.RACE 11: Post: 5:45 PT Grade: B-Use: 8-Constantia; 9-ViazarKeys to the Race (view video)Forecast: Eight of the 12 original entrants to this maiden turf miler for fillies and mares exit the same August 30 race at Del Mar. Viazar, second in that affair while well clear of the others, logically is the top pick today in what will be her fifth career start in a form cycle that shows steadily improving speed figures. M. Smith stays aboard and should have the daughter of Tapizar along in time. Constantia exits a series of high priced maiden claimers but is competitive at this supposedly tougher level based strictly on speed figures and is worth including on your ticket, at least as a back-up. She should be forwardly placed throughout in a race that probably will have modest early splits and be in the thick of the battle from the top of the lane to the wire.

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9.27.2020:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket Sunday at Santa Anita

Graded stakes races make up half of the challenging Late Pick 4 on Santa Anita’s card for Sunday.The sequence kicks off in the eighth race with the Grade 2 Santa Anita Sprint Championship and includes the Grade 3 Tokyo Cup as the third leg and 10th race on the program.The Sprint Championship brings out a short, but talented field of five for the six furlongs, and the Tokyo Cup, which will be raced at 1.5 miles, lured a field of seven.The suggested Pick 4 this week totals $67.50. Here’s a look at the races in the sequence:Race 8 (7 p.m. ET, Santa Anita Sprint Championship)COLLUSION ILLUSION was eased in the American Pharoah last year. Not to worry, he’s the rest of his races. The 3-year-old has won five of six and was up in the final inch or two for a memorable Bing Crosby. Can adjust to any pace.Still clearly on my mind is FLAGSTAFF’s remarkable second-place finish to Whitmore in the G3 Count Fleet. He closed with a rush, going from 11th to second. He barely lost the G2 Pat O’Brien to C Z Rocket and turns back from seven to six furlongs.C Z ROCKET has won four straight since being claimed for $40,000. He carved out a perfect trip and was up in time in the Pat O’Brien and seems to have forgotten how to lose. He can give it his all when asked and he’s been as game as they come as he’s perfect in his four starts for trainer Peter Miller.Race 9 (7:30 p.m. ET, optional claiming)SOFI’S GOLD made her first turf start and got her first win. She set the pace and drew off, and while she takes a step up here, she can be in the mix from the word ‘go.’NONE OF YOUR BIZ gave way in the CTBA Stakes last out and moves her speed over to the turf. She has a good pedigree for grass sprints.SHYLOCK EDDIE has a lot of experience and made a nice move to second at the end of his latest. Fits well with the Cal-bred crowd.WIN OFTEN has done well with two wins and two seconds in four starts and stays on the turf after a runner-up finish. Can stay in range throughout.CONCISE ADVICE was up in time in her only start, which was 13 months ago at Del Mar. Has plenty of works and can make an impact in her return.Race 10 (8 p.m. ET, Tokyo City Cup Stakes-Gr.3)CUPID’S CLAWS was an even third in each in his last two races and was claimed in his last three – most recently by Craig Dollase. Steps up into a graded event but has good enough form to consider.COMBATANT has only four wins and $1 million in earnings, which means he’s chased some lucrative purses. His last win came in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap and anything close to that gets him back to the winner’s circle. Consistency is something he hasn’t achieved and he’s in trouble if he doesn’t bring his best.AZUL COAST was outrun in his last two but without a great deal of speed in here he should very close to the lead, if not right there. The 1 1-2 miles will be the big test, as it will with the others.Race 11 (8:30 p.m. ET, maidens)WIND AND HOPE comes off her best effort, can stay in range early and slight improvement here will put her in the mix late in the game.DISAPPEARING ACT ran an even fifth and would be more effective in races with a quicker pace that she followed last time. She’s without his blinkers today and that could make a difference.BRISTOL BAYOU ran on well last out and checked in at fourth. She’s had plenty of chances but it lookslike she has a good chance to be more effective on the turf in the long run.My TicketRace 8) #1 Collusion Illusion, #3 Flagstaff, #4 C Z Rocket.Race 9) #1 Sofi’s Gold, #2 None of Your Biz, #3 Shylock Eddie, #6 Win Often, #7 Concise Advice.Race 10) #1 Cupid’s Claws, #2 Combatant, #7 Azul Coast.Race 11) #1 Wind and Hope, #2 Diasppearing Act, #10 Bristol Bayou.Total Ticket Cost) 1,3,4/1,2,3,6-7/1-2-7/2-6-10 = $67.50 for $0.50

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9.27.2020:

1/ST INDEX Picks for Gulfstream's $745K Carryover Rainbow 6

It’s closing day of the Gulfstream Park spring-summer meeting, which means a mandatory payout in the Rainbow 6. The $745,397 carryover will attract a multi-million dollar pool and create overlay payoffs for those lucky enough to take down the 20-cent base wager.Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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.Race 7 (3:22PM ET) // claiming // 5 furlongs (turf)7 – Fort King (29% W)6 – I’m Cardinal (14% W)4 – Mar Vista Miguel (13% W)1 – Earth (6% W)Notable: At 7-2 in the morning line, Fort King is a much stronger selection by the 1/ST INDEX than the price indicates, 15 points higher than any other runner. These connections (Jaramillo/Baxter) are superb in local turf sprints.Race 8 (3:55PM ET) // claiming // 7 furlongs7 – Witch Hunter (30% W)3 – Panarea (16% W)2 – Chez Paree (12% W)5 – Bibiana (10% W)Notable: Panarea is a strong 8-5 morning line favorite, but 12-1 Witch Hunter gives a price alternative for those not convinced. And it’s a stark choice by the 1/ST INDEX by 14 points.Race 9 (4:27PM ET) // allowance // 1 mile (turf)7 – Aerodynamic (30% W)2 – Dynatown (13% W)3 – Centsless Drama (13% W)15 – Free to Fly (8% W)1 – Bajan Girl (7% W)Notable: The top pick offers a nice 6-1 price and 17-point spread to the 9-5 morning line favorite Dynatown. That’s the largest spread for a top pick in the Rainbow 6 today.Race 10 (4:59PM ET) // allowance // 6 furlongs6 – Frosted Grace (31% W)4 – Yodel E.A. Who (21% W)3 – Royal Squeeze (14% W)7 – Travy Boy (14% W)Notable: Morning line favorite Frosted Grace is a pretty solid choice, and in a field of 7 this could be a place to narrow the ticket. The 31% rating is tied for highest in the sequence of any top choice.Race 11 (5:29PM ET) // allowance // 1 mile (turf)3 – Lovely Luvy (31% W)6 – Great Sister Diane (15% W)7 – Remarkable Soul (15% W)8 – Bienville Street (9% W)Notable: Rarely to you get 6-1 on the Zayas-Joseph tandem, so top choice Lovely Luvy likely drops in price. The 16-point spread is second-largest in the Rainbow 6 sequence today. The 31% rating is tied for highest in the sequence of any top choice.Race 12 (5:59PM ET) // claiming // 5 furlongs turf7 – Gran Diamond (27% W)13 – Two Cents Worth (13% W)3 – More Diamonds (12% W)1 – Lecomcita (6% W)14 – Dinner at Five (6% W)16 – Reiterate (6% W)Notable: Large field turf sprints can be scrambles, so this isn’t a bad place to consider some depth. However, Gran Diamond offers a 5-1 morning line proposition for top connections in Jaramillo and Barboza.

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9.26.2020:

Saturday September 26: Woodbine Mohawk Park Stakes Analysis

The headliner at Woodbine Mohawk Park is the Mohawk Million which is carded as Race 10. Ten freshmen trotters will be competing for an actual purse of $1,320,000. Besides the Million there are three other big money stakes with a cumulative $1.39 million in purses, which makes this the biggest night of racing at Mohawk.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 5-Shes A Great Lady-Final-Purse $455,0004-Caviart Audrey (8/5)-Audrey came 2nd in her baby race debut, since then is 5 for 5 and has been unstoppable. Gingras has some options and will look to keep her record in Milton a perfect 4 for 4.5-Notorious Pink (3-1)-Pink suffered her 1st loss at Wbsb in the last start coming 2nd to #4. This should be a great race. McClure could be on the lead or in the 2-hole and looks like a major threat.3-Scarlett Hanover (5/2)-This is another fine filly who is seeking her 4th straight win. Gingras picks #4 so McCarthy is between the pipes. Has won 2 of 5 starts here and it would be no surprise if she finishes higher.Race 7-Milton Final-Purse $215,0003-Kissin In The Sand (3-1)-Rates a slight edge coming off a nice win in the Milton Elim. Had a sick scratch on 8/29 and last week was the 1st start since 8/8. Being fresh at this time of year could make a big difference.6-So Much More (9/2)-Versatile and consistent describes this mare. Should be a square price and if the steer is top notch could pull off an upset.2-Warrawee Ubeaut (5/2)-Has lost the lead down the lane in last 2 starts. Best to respect but have to wonder if bouncing back and forth over the border in the last 6 weeks has taken its toll a bit.$5 Exacta Box 3-6, $5 Exacta Box 2-6, Total Bet=$20Race 8-Metro Final-Purse $720,0003-Abuckabett Hanover (6/5)-Betting Line colt has been dialed on high in every start winning 4 of 6 starts. The Alagna trainee gets a favorable post draw and is a perfect 3 for 3 at Wbsb. Should be taking another picture if brings his "A" game.8-Lawless Shadow (7/2)-Home town favorite is no slouch and appears to be the biggest threat to the top choice. The outside post may hinder chances for a win. But has the gate speed to get a good early seat. Could be a threat late in the mile if lands in the 2-hoel without draining his tank.6-No Better Joy (12-1)-JMac takes a seat for the 1st time and he likes to be patient and roll late. That style fits this freshman. Looks like a use underneath to spice up the gimmicks.$5 Exacta 3-6, $2 Exacta 8-6, Total Bet=$7Race 10-Mohawk Million-Purse $1,320,0003-Donna Soprano (2-1)-This filly could not possibly look any better. The Blais trainee could be an odds-on choice and McClure will likely make an early move to take control. Should be a clean trip away from a big payday and a perfect 6-6 record.6-Tokyo Seelster (12-1)-Likes the track winning 3 times in 9 starts and has 3 third place finishes as well. Filion should have this Kadabra colt in striking range to be in the hunt for a 2nd place check.10-Venerate (3-1)-Comes off a sharp win at the Red Mile and would have been rated higher if started on the gate. McCarthy takes over for Andy Miller and could hit the board with the right trip.$10 Exacta 3-6, Total Bet=$10Check me out on Twitter!

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9.26.2020:

Saturday, September 26: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily 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 confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play. RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 3-Aqua Seaform Shame; 4-Bulletproof One; 5-Biddy Duke; 7-Moonhall Millie Keys to the Race: (view video) Forecast: An excellent turf sprint for 3-year-old fillies – the listed Unzip Me S. – kicks off an outstanding Saturday program and has several legitimate contenders. Aqua Seaform Shame was out of her element when sent nine furlongs in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 and carried her speed as far as she could before running out of petrol approaching the quarter pole. She’s back sprinting where she belongs and in a considerably softer spot, so the daughter of Kantharos should rebound with a big effort. Her first-level allowance win at Del Mar two runs back was visually quite pleasing and produced a speed figure that makes her a solid fit in this league. The switch to F. Prat is another positive factor, so from a second flight, stalking position the R. Baltas-trained filly should have every chance from the quarter pole home. Bulletproof One is at this stage of her career much more dependable on grass, and after flopping as the 6/5 favorite in a dirt sprint at Del Mar she returns to the lawn and looks to be the most dangerous of the pure speed types. A repeat of her highly-rated score two runs back probably beats this field, but she’s winless in three starts over the local lawn, though to be fair in two of those losses she managed to hit the board in stakes company. The route-to-sprint angle can be a powerful tool in these abbreviated sprints and Moonhall Milly, a winner of a good turf miler last month down south, shortens up over a course and distance that produced her maiden win in June. She’s a tad shy in the speed figure department but with some help up front could land a blow in the late stages. Biddy Duke is razor sharp and improving but is unproven on grass. First or second in 11 of 18 career starts, the D. O’Neill-trained filly can at least be used as a back-up or a saver on a ticket or two. RACE 2: Post: 1:01 PT Grade: B-Use: 4-Sheza Girly Girl; 5-Cheap Cheap Cheap; 6-Kristi’s Tiger Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: First-level state-bred fillies and mares sprint six furlongs on dirt in a race that requires a bit of a spread in rolling exotic play. Cheap Cheap Cheap looked good winning a state-bred sprint last spring on turf and returns today against opening company while trying to prove she can handle dirt just as well. She’s very strong in the speed figure department based on her last race but she’ll have to duplicate the number on the main track. Despite the layoff she’s clearly fit and ready based on her San Luis Rey Downs work tab and if she can secure her coveted front-running trip in a field without too much other zip she could take control early and never look back. Kristi’s Tiger turns back from a mile after a clever starter’s allowance score at Del Mar that produced a career top speed figure, but she’s equally effective sprinting and certainly will get the patient ride she needs from U. Rispoli. Sheza Girly Girl, out of her element two-turning in the Torrey Pine S.-G3 last month, shortens to her preferred trip, returns to the allowance ranks, and will be doing her best work late. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying Cheap Cheap Cheap on top. RACE 3: Post: 1:35 PT Grade: XSingle: 1-Princess Noor Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: Princess Noor is listed as the 2/5 morning line favorite and may even go lower than that in this year’s five-runner edition of the Chandelier S.-G2, which should serve as an ideal prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies S.-G1 at Keeneland a few weeks down the road. Both of her wins at Del Mar were accomplished without being asked for anywhere near her best, and this stretch-out to a middle distance should easily be within her scope. In a race that offers no wagering value, she’s a logical short-priced free bingo space in rolling exotic play. RACE 4: Post: 2:07 PT Grade: C+Use: 5-Question Authority; 6-Hapi Hapi; 9-Kazansky Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: Here’s a messy bottom-rung maiden claiming main track miler that has a chaotic look to it. We’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics but if you find the need to spread even more, go right ahead. Question Authority didn’t receive any action (39-1) in his debut vs. tougher maiden $50,000 types but though he was well-beaten actually earned a decent “buried” number. The Lucky Pulpit colt seems certain to improve with that bit of experience behind him, a significant drop in class, and with the switch to F. Prat. Let’s just say that If he can run, this will be a good place to show it, especially at 6-1 on the morning line. Hapi Hapi is a first-off-the-claim for P. Eurton and is capable of stepping forward following a rather nice recent workout since joining his new stable. The son of Clubhouse Ride, a runner-up at this level over this track and distance two runs back, really won’t have to improve much to win based on that effort. Kazansky has gradually improving speed figure and is another that can be a strong threat if he continues his upward mobility. The E. Truman-trained gelding makes a monumental jockey change to U. Rispoli and projects to enjoy a comfortable pace-stalking trip. RACE 5: Post: 2:39 PT Grade: B-Use: 5-Amanzi Yimpilo; 6-Fury Kap; 7-Wyfire Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: This year’s edition of the Speakeasy Stakes is a non-graded affair but a “win and you’re in” race for Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf sprinters. It looks very much like a grass grab bag affair with several possibilities and a few unknowns. Wyfire, privately purchased by shrewd clients of trainer Peter Miller after an authoritative maiden win at Del Mar, moves to the lawn today while picking up F. Prat. While we can’t say he’s loaded with turf breeding the son of Dominus is a nice mover with good athleticism and tactical speed, so we suspect he’ll handle the surface change just fine. He’s 7/2 on the morning line and seems as good as any. New York shipper Amanzi Yimpilio, third in a listed stakes race at Saratoga following a nice debut maiden at Gulfstream Park, makes her third start in her third state for W. Ward and picks up top grass rider U. Rispoli. She has the blinkers off angle that always catches our eye and the tactical speed to land her in an ideal stalking position. Fury Kap probably didn’t have much behind him when graduating by more than nine lengths at first asking at Tampa Bay Downs in late May but he did enough to impress J. Sadler and be acquired via private purchase after that race. At 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth including somewhere on your ticket. RACE 6: Post: 3:10 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Overdue; 4-Express Train; 6-Kershaw Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: Express Train may be the heir apparent to the recently retired Honor A. P. for the J. Shirreffs barn, and if he’s going to develop into the type of colt he should be capable of winning on the raise after a sharp sprint score his comeback at Del Mar last month. This stretch out to a mile is just what he wants – the son of Union Rags broke his maiden at this distance last year by 14 lengths – so let’s expect another big effort today and hope to get close to his morning line of 5/2. For those wanting to protect a bit in rolling exotic play you should consider as backs-ups or savers Overdue and Kershaw. Overdue exits a pair of graded stakes and makes his first start over conventional dirt in his second start off a layoff while switching to F. Prat. If he handles the surface switch he’ll be formidable. Kershaw fits well on numbers, switches to U. Rispoli, and projects to be forwardly placed throughout. RACE 7: Post: 3:41 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Tonahutu; 3-Bodhicitta; 6-Lady Prancealot Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: Trainer R. Baltas holds the aces in this year’s Rodeo Drive S.-G1, an important springboard to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf-G1. Lady Prancealot, winner of the American Oaks-G1 over this course and distance last December, missed by a neck in the J. C. Mabee S.-G2 at Del Mar in her most recent appearance and with today’s extra furlong to work with the Irish-bred mare should be hard to contain. She’s a deserving favorite at 2-1 on the morning line but we’ll give top preference on top to stable mate Bodhicitta, winner of the Yellow Ribbon S.-G2 at Del Mar in early August while continuing her rapid improvement. She’s been primarily a miler throughout her career, but the English-bred filly gives every indication that this 10 furlong trip will be right up her alley. With regular pilot F. Prat staying aboard, the daughter of Showcasing should be tactically placed throughout and then have her chance to seal the deal when the pressure gets turned on from the quarter pole home. You probably should consider using Tonahutu as well, at least as a saver. In a race that should be slowly run early, the D. O’Neill-trained mare might fall into the lead and inherit the role as the controlling speed from her inside draw, though that’s not normally her style. She was nosed out by Bodhicitta in the Yellow Ribbon and then franked the from with a smart allowance win from slightly off the pace earlier this month. RACE 8: Post: 4:12 PT Grade: B+Use: 5-Spielberg; 8-Waspirant Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: Spielberg is a maiden after two starts but with his chief nemesis Dr. Schivel on the farm for some R & R the son of Union Rags should be set earn his diploma in the American Pharoah S.-G1, a top prep race leading up to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The B. Baffert-trained colt was well clear of the rest when going down by less than two lengths in the Del Mar Futurity-G1 earlier this month and with this stretch out in trip we’re expecting him to be comfortably placed on or near the lead throughout. There’s value here at 3-1 on the morning line if you can get it. Waspirant isn’t quite as far along as Spielberg but is a talented colt fresh from a maiden win at this one mile distance, and with that bit of experience behind him plus the addition of blinkers the J. Shirreffs-trained colt can be expected to step forward significantly. At 6-1 on the morning line you have to toss him in at least as a saver. RACE 9: Post: 4:43 PT Grade: B+Use: 3-United; 5-Salavator Mundi Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: United is listed at 6/5 on the morning line in the John Henry Turf Championship-G2 after just missing as the 3/5 choice in the Del Mar H.-G2 last month. He’s usually along in time but always makes hard work of it, as his last five wins were accomplished by a grand total of slightly more than three lengths. In a field without pace and from a good inside draw, the R. Mandella-trained son of Giant’s Causeway could find himself on the lead if he wants to be, or at least no worse than in a comfortable stalking spot behind slow fractions. In any case, he’ll have every chance to make amends. Certain to offer better wagering value is the rapidly-developing Salvator Mundi, who has performed like an entirely different horse since being claimed for $40,000 just over a year ago. Gelded during his vacation and sporting a sharp record of two wins and a second in three starts in 2020, the P. D’Amato-trained son of Artie Schiller still has some work to do in the speed figure department to worry the favorite but after a visually impressive performance last month at Del Mar he’s appears ready to tackle the big boys. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics while hoping to get the much better price of the two home. RACE 10: Post: 5:14 PT Grade: XSingle: 5-Maximum Security Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: Maximum Security has crossed the wire first in 11 of 12 career outings and his facile score in the Pacific Classic clearly established that he’s the number one older horse in North America. Drawn outside and therefore able to dictate his trip, the son of New Year’s Day should have clear sailing throughout and go about his business, though at 3/5 on the morning line there’s really not much we can do with him. Stable mate Improbable is on top of his game but was the beneficiary of two very soft trips in his recent back-to-back Grade-1 victories. He’ll have to earn this one. RACE 11: Post: 5:45 PT Grade: C+Use: 2-Ingest; 10-Thisluteismine Keys to the Race (view video) Forecast: We’ll use the two favorites in the nightcap, a maiden juvenile state-bred grass miler. However, this is a race that should be treated with caution. Ingest is a first-time gelding coming off a solid third place effort in a similar affair at Del Mar and probably won’t need to improve much - if at all - to earn his diploma. The son of Square Eddie projects to be prominent throughout from his inside draw and should have no excuses as the 9/5 morning line favorite. Thisluteismine, from the P. Miller barn (20% with debut runners), is stuck outside and shows only a moderate set of works, but he’s bred for grass, comes from a top barn, and attracts L. Saez. He certainly won’t have to be a world beater to act with these.

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9.25.2020:

Saturday, September 26: Eddie Olczyk's Belmont Park Spot Plays

Xpressbet and NBC Sports analyst Eddie Olczyk is back for another big Saturday at Belmont Park. Edzo's key spot plays on the 10-race program take flight in a pair of maiden turf events. Last Saturday's Belmont spot plays doubled their money with Mind the Coin ($8.60) delivering off a 9-2 morning line. Race 2 // 1:33PM ET // Maiden Special Weight // 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) #4 Silver Token (4-1 ML) Proven turf runner has been in the superfecta in all 6 tries sprinting on grass. He looks like a stretch-out type and capable first time going long. Trainer Horacio DePaz wins 33% with these types. Win play. Race 6 // 3:36PM ET // Maiden Claiming// 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) #4 Wicked Happy (8-1 ML) After trying tougher at Saratoga, she’s back with friends at the maiden claiming $40,000 level. This filly is a one run-type closer under apprentice Luis Cardenas and gets a 7-pound weight break. Win play, but only settle for 3-1 odds or better.

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9.25.2020:

Saturday, September 26: Santa Anita Late Pick 4 Analysis

Smoke has cleared, literally, and racing at The Great Race Place returns this weekend with gusto. The 11-race Saturday card features 7 stakes races--4 graded and 5 that carry ‘Win and You’re In’ Breeders’ Cup fees-paid berths to respective championship races at Keeneland Nov. 6 & 7. Saturday afternoon’s gem figures to be the Grade 1 Awesome Again (10th race) which features a heavyweight battle between 2 of trainer Bob Baffert’s best: Maximum Security and Improbable. The Gr. 1 American Pharoah (8th race), for 2-year-olds, features another Baffert runner in Spielberg as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite on Jon White’s morning line. The Gr. 2 Chandelier (3rd race) is topped by…you guessed it, another Baffert runner in the electric Princess Noor at 2/5 odds. The Gr. 1 Rodeo Drive (7th race) for fillies and mares on turf features a pair of Richard Baltas runners Lady Prancealot and Bodhicitta listed as 2-1 and 5-2 top choices, respectively. The Gr. 2 John Henry Turf Championship (9th Race) is topped by 6/5 favorite United from the Richard Mandella stable. The 5-year-old gelding finished third in this race last year and then missed by a mere head to Bricks and Mortar in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Horseplayers have usual wagering options as well as a new $1 Pick 4 that combines racing in Arcadia with heats in Northern California at Golden Gate Fields. First leg of the new wager is Santa Anita’s 10th race, followed by the 9th at Golden Gate, the 11th at ‘Anita and the 10th by the Bay. The popular $5 Double, that combines Santa Anita’s final race with the last race at Golden Gate, also returns with the new season. In addition to Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Superfecta and Super Hi 5 wagering, rolling Doubles and never-ending Pick 3s, Santa Anita kicks off the card with an Early Pick 5 on the first quintet of races. That’s closely followed by the Early Pick 4 on races 2 through 5. The $.20 Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot begins with race 6. The popular $.50 Late Pick 5 begins one race later. Below is one man’s opinion of the Santa Anita’s Saturday Late Pick 4. The wager seems approachable, so we’ll offer analysis, rankings and a suggested wagering strategy to, hopefully, help horseplayers to a great finale to this action-packed afternoon. Race 8 (7:12PM ET) // G1 American Pharoah S. // 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt) The winner of this race will be the top West Coast representative in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile next month at Keeneland. Bob Baffert has 3-1 morning-line favorite #5 Spielberg and the colt ought to appreciate trying two turns for the first time. 1. Touchdown Brown is a talented Cal-bred stepping up to face open company for the first time. He’s also stretching out to two turns for the first time. His last race, a losing effort to Good With People in the I’m Smokin at Del Mar, was extremely fast. For that reason, he must be respected. Blinkers added last out will come off for this. Contender – B 4. Notable Exception visits from Arlington Park where he won a 7-furlong maiden race over a synthetic surface. He won that race as ‘much the best,’ according to Equibase comments. How he will react to a dirt surface is the main question. In general, evaluating competition is difficult with lightly raced 2-year-olds, so there’s no real clue there. Don’t think this Street Sense colt will be able to set or force the early pace as easily as he did in his Arlington debut. They go faster earlier in California. He’s a bit of an unknown. Reach – C 5. Spielberg makes his third start for trainer Bob Baffert and both prior starts were solid but losing efforts—both to the talented and now resting Dr. Schivel. Baffert is quoted as saying that this son of Union Rags should be better going a distance of ground and we’ll believe him. Spielberg’s got speed and can be expected to use it. It is unusual for Baffert to have a top 2-year-old lose his first 2 races, but this guy ran into a good one in Dr. Schivel. One to Beat – A 6. Get Her Number starts for the always dangerous Peter Miller outfit. He also has the services of top jock Flavien Prat. Miller and Prat combined to win 26% based on 339 races, according to Thoro-Graph statistics. This son of Dialed In made his first 2 starts on turf—a maiden win at 5 furlongs and a close 4th in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf at one mile. Respect – B 7. Weston won his first two starts for low-profile trainer Ryan Hanson before finishing a well-beaten third in the Del Mar Futurity. He needs to make up nearly a 4-length losing margin to Spielberg from that race and that prospect seems daunting as Baffert’s runner is most likely to improve off his Futurity effort. Probably Not – C 8. Waspirant seems a bit of a sleeper in here. He adds blinkers for trainer John Shirreffs (a 17% winning move) off a one-mile maiden win. Before that he was beaten more than 13 lengths in a maiden race that included Dr. Schivel and Spielberg. The outside post isn’t a bonus for him, but he should handle the distance and is the only starter in the field with two-turn dirt experience. Sleeper B Race 9 (7:43PM ET) // G2 John Henry Turf Championship // 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) #3 United seems to hold most of the cards in this mile and one-quarter turf event. He likes the course, has faced top competition and, most importantly, seems to hold a significant pace advantage. His speed figures don’t tower over these, but he’s most likely to have the cleanest trip. 2. Originaire doesn’t win often (3-for-19) but is consistently in the money (13-for-19). Another nibble seems most likely. A late-running style causes this colt problems—either ground loss or traffic issues and he can’t afford to make a mistake in here. However, he has finished within the shadow of favored United on a few occasions—most recently last out in the Gr. 2 Del Mar Handicap. Those efforts give him hope. Respect B 3. United is the most consistent of this group. He owns 6 wins in 15 starts—3 of those at Santa Anita and 2 of those on this course at this distance. He finished third in this race last year and then nearly upset the Breeders’ Cup Turf field at 51-1 odds over this course at a mile and one-half. He’s trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella and ridden by SoCal’s reigning top jock Flavien Prat. Perhaps more important than any of that is the expectation that United ought to have a pace advantage over his most dangerous challengers. He may or may not have the early lead in here, but he won’t be far back and that ought to enable him to save precious ground. One to Beat A 5. Salvator Mundi was claimed for $40k in October at Keeneland and has improved quite a bit for trainer Phil D’Amato. He’s a clever 4-year-old that will need to move forward a bit more to win this one. He’s sharp—won a $40k optional claimer last out at Del Mar—and is 1-for-1 at Santa Anita. Unlike others in this field, he doesn’t get too far back in the early going. Turf master jockey Umberto Rispoli is up and he’s been aboard for all three of this colt’s best efforts. Price Play B 7. Next Shares is a 7-year-old that has run races with speed figures that fit in here and he’s posted them mainly against Gr. 1 competition going one mile. He’s 0-for-2 at today’s distance. Unfortunately for him, his win record at Santa Anita is dismal at 1-for-9. An in-the-money finish seems more likely, as he’s 7-for-9 in that department at ‘Anita. He has no early speed and probably will be forced to lose precious ground. Reach C Race 10 (8:14PM ET) // G1 Awesome Again S. // 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt) Trainer Bob Baffert has the top 2 runners in here and we’d be surprised if one of them didn’t win this race. Improbable always has been a talented horse. Remember, he was favored in both last year’s Kentucky Derby (4-1) and Preakness Stakes (5-2). Amazingly, he won just 1 race in 2019—the Shared Belief at Del Mar—so we forgot all about him. This year, he’s returned with a vengeance…and a bit of luck. Maximum Security has been outstanding since his first start for a maiden $16k claiming tag at Gulfstream Dec. 20 ’18. He’s had the most interesting career of any horse in recent memory and he’s not finished yet. A Breeders’ Cup Classic victory would add another amazing chapter to this colt’s improbable story that in addition to a maiden claiming first-out tally includes the first-ever on-track disqualification of a Kentucky Derby winner, victory in the World’s Richest Race in Saudi Arabia and a former trainer currently under federal indictment. Wow! 2. Improbable returned to the races this year in the Oaklawn Mile and ran his heart out to be a close second to the streaking Tom’s d’Etat. Shipping back to Santa Anita, Improbable romped in the Gr. 1 Gold Cup, to extend his record over the Arcadia strip to 2-for-3. In the Gr. 1 Whitney at Saratoga, Improbable took advantage of a horrible start by favored Tom’s d’Etat to come home 2 lengths clear of next out winner By My Standards. Improbable has run races that are as fast as Maximum Security’s best and he may enjoy a fabulous stalking tip in here. He can’t be ignored. Respect A 5. Maximum Security is all racehorse. If you don’t like him, you don’t like racing. He gave everything he had in winning the Gr. 1 Saudi Cup over a determined Midnight Bisou. Following a trainer change from Jason Servis to Bob Baffert, he’s returned to win the Gr. 2 San Diego and the Gr. 1 Pacific Classic and is on course to enter the Breeders’ Cup Classic at the top of his game…and that’s a very good game. He’s got speed, never quits and has failed to cross the finish first in just 1…count it…just 1 of 12 lifetime starts, mostly against Gr. 1 competition. He’s an absolute star. Enjoy him while you can. One to Beat A Race 11 (8:45PM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 1 Mile (Turf) The Pick 4 concludes with an absolute grab-bag event including 10 Cal-bred or Cal-sired 2-year-old maidens going one mile on the turf. #2 Ingest is the 9/5 morning-line favorite after blowing a stretch lead to the talented Big Fish. Fair enough, he deserves another shot. But Ingest also lost ground in the stretch of his previous race, too. He’s newly gelded and that could help. However, those looking to juice this Pick 4 will point to a plethora of unknown factors in this race (first time routers and turfers) and suggest a bomb is lurking. Use as many of these as you can afford. 1. Teton Valley has speed and turf route experience. He was a well-beaten fourth last out—over 4 lengths behind favored Ingest. The rail will encourage him to show his early speed. Toss In B 2. Ingest is favored at 9/5 on the morning line and that makes sense. He finished third last out going a mile on Del Mar turf and since has been gelded. He’s posted improved Beyer Speed figures in each race and that’s a good sign. What’s not as positive a marker is that he’s lost ground in the stretch of both tries at one mile on turf. He’s got speed, so he should be in a good position turning for home. Who might run him down this time? Use for Sure A 3. Stars of Bluegrass has the most experience in this field with 5 outs. He’s been pretty consistent in those starts with three runner-up efforts. He has made 2 starts for a state-bred $50k tag. This will be his first try going longer than five and one-half furlongs. Can Be Used C 4. Alexander’s Dream took serious money first out with Prat in the saddle but disappointed with a third-place finish. Next out he had a very rough start, so that than be discounted. There’s limited data on sire Gervinho, so it’s ‘roll the dice’ time with this one. Toss ‘Dem Bones B 5. J C Express is another in here with plenty of question marks. He’s made one start and was off a bit slow. Sire Jeranimo has little data to parse. Trainer Peter Eurton is 10% with 2nd Time Out Maiden 2-year-olds. Lots of Unknowns C 6. Investment Account has made 4 starts and needs to move a bit to be competitive in here. He has tried one mile on turf and was a well-beaten sixth. Blinkers go on for this. No worries about distance or turf with sire Acclimation. Reach C 7. Blue Star hails from the Doug O’Neill barn along with favorite #2 Ingest. He’s making a second start and first at a distance on turf. O’Neill is 12% with 2nd out maiden 2-year-olds, according to Thoro-Grpah stats. Reach C 8. Warren’s Candy Man makes a second start for trainer Craig Lewis and there are some stats to suggest this one might run well. He was eighth beaten 10 lengths without a rally going a mile on turf first out, but Lewis is 24% out of 37 2nd out maiden 2yo starters, according to Thoro-Graph stats. Sire Clubhouse Ride has been outstanding with 2-year-olds cashing at 20% out of 101 starts and batting 17% with turf runners. One drawback is most of that success has come at less than a mile. Use B 9. Detective Bernardo seems least likely to win in here. He was eased first time out and then managed a well-beaten third going five and one-half furlongs. His sire is unproven on turf and at a distance. Don’t Need This One X 10. Theluteismine is trained by Peter Miller. That’s enough for us to include him in a big way. Miller is 17% with first out 2-year-olds (MSW), according to Thoro-Graph. Sire Boisterous is 13% on turf and 6% with first-time turf. He’s 8% winners first out overall. This is a difficult post to win from, especially for a first-time out 2-year-old on turf. However, we’d hate to lose the Pick 4 to a winning trainer like Miller. Use B Suggested $.50 Pick 4 Ticket All Runners $108: Adjust to Suit Your Bankroll and Remember: You can lose your money. You can lose your clothes. But don’t ever lose that sparkling personality! Race 8: A- #5 B-#1, #6, #8 Race 9: A-#3 B-#2, #5 Race 10: A- #2, #5 Race 11: A-#2 B-#1, #4, #8, #10 C-#3, #5, #6, #7 Race On!

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9.25.2020:

Friday, September 25: Hoosier Park Stakes Analysis

Hoosier Park has a star-studded 15-race card ready to roll this evening. Some of the top trotters and pacers in North America will be competing for over $1,237,000 in purses.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 10-The Jennas Beach Boy-Purse $100,0007-Allywag Hanover (3-1)-Not a stranger to racing on a big track and Tetrick has options. Possesses big gate speed and could leave or come off cover. Shows multiple sub-.27 last quarters and should relish the giant stretch.5-The Greek Freak (5-1)-Makes HoP debut and has been very consistent hitting the board in 9 of 11 with 4 wins. Does have a start on a larger oval on 9/12 at Wbsb and was a game 4th. That line is better than it looks. Raced near the top into a very fast pace and it was the 1st start on a big track all year. Has top gate speed and could catch a great trip at a square price.4-No Lou Zing (2-1)-Pennsylvania invader is as fast as a jet and comes off 2 nice wins. But will Lou take to the HoP surface and the awfully long stretch? Could finish higher but others will offer more value.$5 Exacta Box 5-7, Total Bet=$10Race 11-The Elevation-Purse $120,0004-What's Your Beef (3-1)-Indiana bred has won 5 of 7 and has hit the board in the other 2 starts. Gets a very good post so Tetrick can work a favorable journey and take 6th picture at HoP.5-Southwind Gendry (8/5)-Burke trainee has won 5 of 7 out East on the 5/8's and makes his big track debut. Will respect connections and has high speed but offers no value plus there are some concerns.1-Almanac (7/2)-Winner of 2 straight at the Red Mile meets a tough crew here. Dunn should keep in the mix and could get a very efficient trip.$6 Exacta 4-5, $4 Exacta 4-1, Total Bet=$10Race 12-Hoosier Park Pacing Derby-Purse $140,0003-This Is The Plan (12-1)-Raced here in the Dan Patch and was rank behind the gate and through the 3/4's. Started to get into gear and then was blocked down the lane. The draw is fine, Dunn steers tonight and will take a swing for a price. Raced well in the Pacing Derby at Wbsb but started in the 2nd tier. Does have a win and a 2nd place finish in 4 starts here. Has had a rough year but winner of >$778K in 2019 might be turning the corner.8-Century Farroh (3-1)-Consistent 4-year-old has Dave Miller back between the pipes and is a perfect 2 for 2 at HoP. The start could be interesting, might leave or come off cover and should be a player either way.6-Dancin Lou (4-1)-Raced big in the Canadian Derby and has beaten #8 in the past. Regular pilot Brain Sears is back and should be forwardly placed at a nice price.$10 to Win on 3, $2 Exacta Box 3-6-8, Total Bet=$22Race 13-The Caesars Trotting Classic-Purse $150,0008-Atlanta (8/5)-Comes off a dominant win in the Maple Leaf Trot and will string along. Hasn't hit the board in 2 tries at Hoosier but that should change tonight.6-Gimpanzee (9/5)-Winner of 5 of 7 in 2020 makes 1st start at HoP. Gets a post edge over #8 and could get the top and not look back.2-Crystal Fashion (6-1)-May get overlooked at the windows, and from this post might get sucked around. Barn has been hot, and Stratton knows well. Could add some juice to the gimmicks and has 1 win in 3 starts here.$5 Exacta 8-2, $5 Exacta 6-2, Total Bet=$10Check me out on Twitter!

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9.25.2020:

Friday, September 25: Santa Anita Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily 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 confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play. RACE 1: Post: 12:30 PT Grade: B-Use: 1-Watch Me Burn; 2-Fantasy Heat; 5-Mischiffie Keys to the First Race (view video) Forecast: We’ll triple the opener, a turf sprint for second-level allowance fillies and mares. Fantasy Heat is perfect (1-for-1) over the course and has the tactical speed to secure a good stalking position behind the likely controlling speed (Watch Me Burn). Second in a race in which five of the six entrants participated in at Del Mar in August, the M. Glatt-trained filly knows where the wire is (3 wins in 9 starts) and may be the most dependable in the field. Mischiffie was out of her element when unplaced in the Daisycutter S. in July but is back where she belongs today and is a two-time winner over this course and distance. The switch to F. Prat certainly won’t hurt and the Irish-bred filly is a versatile type that has shown the ability to win on the lead or from a second-flight position. Watch Me Burn always is suspect in the final furlong but she’s clearly the quickest in the field, and with the rails up and from an inside draw she’s likely to take this field a long way. Though both of her prior outings over the local lawn were lackluster, she may be worth tossing in as a saver or a back-up. RACE 2: Post: 1:05 PT Grade: BUse: 5-Dehydration; 6-TrouvilleKeys to the Second Race (view video)Forecast: Dehydration, claimed in her last pair and now in the J. Metz barn, shortens a half-furlong and makes her first start over the Santa Anita main track, which traditionally is a bit more kind to the speed types than Del Mar. The figure she earned two runs back when winning a restricted (nw-3) $20,000 claimer makes her a major player despite the class hike, and with the switch to A. Cedillo we’re expecting to see this sophomore daughter of Stay Thirsty on or near the lead throughout. Trouville, drawn directly outside Dehydration, was below form when facing older runners at Del Mar in a starter’s optional claimer, but this drop in class combined with the 3-year-old only restriction should get this daughter of Will Take Charge back on track. In the frame in all three of her prior starts over the Santa Anita main track, the L. Powell-trained filly makes a monumental jockey switch to F. Prat and should have dead aim from a second flight, stalking position. Both should be included in rolling exotic play. RACE 3: Post: 1:38 PT Grade: B-Use: 5-Psycho Dar; 7-Ultimate Bango Keys to the Third Race (view video) Forecast: Top-to-bottom a chance in this $40,000 claiming turf sprint, so perhaps the best advice is to include as many as you can afford to. Smaller ticket players may try to survive and advance using the two we’ve listed above. Psycho Dar is a prior winner over the local lawn and catches considerably less early heat than he’s used to seeing, so we’re expecting the Storm Wolf gelding to be a strong threat from start to finish. He’s reunited with “win rider” E. Maldonado and could find himself on or near the lead through comfortable early fractions. Ultimate Bango has been stale in two 2020 outings, so this class drop into a seller for the first time is warranted. The B. Heap-trained gelding is back sprinting where he belongs, and as a three-time winner over this course and distance he’ll have every chance to return to winning form, assuming he’s not past his prime. RACE 4: Post: 2:10 PT Grade: BUse: 3-Signofthetimes; 4-Polar Wind Keys to the Fourth Race (view video) Forecast: Polar Wind has faced older horses in all five of his career starts but today faces 3-year-olds only while returning to the high-priced claiming ranks. He also adds blinkers for the first time, retains U. Rispoli, and won over this main track when breaking his maiden in sharp style last spring. The son of Super Saver should draft into a comfortable stalking position and then have his chance when the pressure is turned on. Signofthetimes was a much-the-best winner of a $16,000 claimer at Del Mar in mid-August and today is boosted way up in class in what we’ll take a sign of confidence. The son of Cross Traffic has numbers that make him competitive and has every right to continue his improving pattern in what will be just his fourth career start. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with Polar Wind the logical top pick and one to beat. RACE 5: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: B+Single: 1-Eddie’s Sister Keys to the Fifth Race (view video) Forecast: Let’s zero in on Eddie’s Sister in this state-bred maiden turf sprint for fillies and mares. The daughter of Square Eddie turns back from a route, lands the good rail (always the place to be on this course when the rails are up) and shows a couple of nice, easy training track drills to have her on edge. In a race with suspect early speed, the P. D’Amato-trained 3-year-old could be hard to catch if she leaves cleanly from her inside post, so let’s make her a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 6: Post: 3:12 PT Grade: BUse: 2-Qahira; 7-Amuse Keys to the Sixth Race (view video) Forecast: A respectable second in the Rancho Bernardo H.-G3 at Del Mar in her most recent outing, Amuse faces what appears to be an easier task in this year’s edition of the Chillingworth S.-G3 (formerly the L. A. Woman S.) for fillies and mares. A two-time winner over the Santa Anita main track, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro lands the cozy outside post in a race that projects to have moderate early splits, so D. Van Dyke has the option of popping and going or stalking and pouncing. On pure speed figures she’s the one to beat. Qahira, in her first outing in almost a year, trounced a second-level allowance field in gate-to-wire fashion at Del Mar for her fourth win in six career starts. Both of her defeats have come over the Santa Anita main track, so there’s that to consider along with the very soft front-running trip in her most recent victory that might have flattered her just a bit. Yet, with rising speed figures and in a field without too much speed she could shake loose once again. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then have an extra ticket or two keying Amuse on top. RACE 7: Post: 3:43 PT Grade: B+Use: 6-El Tigre Terrible; 7-Big Runnuer Keys to the Seventh Race (view video) Forecast: We’ll go with the best speed and the best closer in this year’s renewal of the Eddie D. S-G2 over five and one-half furlongs on grass. Big Runnuer has really gotten good of late and may be fast enough to wire the field after winning the listed Siren Lure S. over this course and distance in June. Freshened since then and training in spectacular fashion for V. Garcia, the son of Stormy Atlantic has blistering early speed but can settle and pounce if required, so from his outside draw jockey J. J. Hernandez can access the race flow and choose his strategy. El Tigre Terrible offers danger from off the pace. Though shy in the speed figure department and tackling older horses for the first time, the P. Miller-trained gelding is a stakes winner over the local lawn and should have enough heat up front to compliment his style. The edge on top to Big Runnuer but we’ll include both on our rolling exotics. RACE 8: Post: 4:14 PT Grade: B+Use: 1-Nesbitt; 5-Fratelli Keys to the Eighth Race (view video) Forecast: Fratelli is a first-off-the-claim play for P. Miller (35% with a massive flat-bet profit with this angle), so the raise in class from $16,000 to $32,00 isn’t an issue at all. The son of Munnings has numbers that fit in this restricted (nw-2) affair, picks up L. Saez, and sports the high-percentage blinkers off angle. A nice breeze at San Luis Rey Downs last week should have him primed for a career top performance. Nesbitt returned off a 14 month layoff to finish a respectable second in a (nw-2) $25,000 dash at Del Mar recently and if he moves forward at all he’ll be the one to fear most. The son of Curlin might have to be used early to gain position from his inside draw, so you should probably reference the earlier dirt races to see how the rail is playing and then adjust your analysis if necessary. RACE 9: Post: 4:45 PT Grade: BUse: 1-Gypsy Spirit; 3-Kitty Boom Boom Keys to the Ninth Race (view video) Forecast: Here’s a tough, competitive first-level allowance turf miler for fillies and mares. Kitty Boom Boom, a stakes-winner during her 3-year-old season and making her second start off a layoff, is likely the controlling speed, and with the rails up and a prior win over the course the R. Baltas-trained filly could take some catching if not respected. Gypsy Spirit, a beaten choice in her last pair and perhaps not one to trust, lands the good rail and should draft into an ideal second flight, ground-saving trip position and have every opportunity to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. She didn’t have a good trip in her last start – some of her issues were self-caused – but if she can switch off early and relax, she’ll be the most dangerous of the second-flight stalkers and be heard from in the final furlong. RACE 10: Post: 5:16 PT Grade: C+Use: 7-Enriched by Deb; 14-Scream and Shout Keys to the Tenth Race (view video) Forecast: Scream and Shout shows up in a bottom-rung maiden claimer after finishing fifth in straight maiden state-bred company at Del Mar last month. She has numbers that beats this field but has backed up from the furlong pole to the wire in each of her three starts, so for protection we’ll also toss in Enriched by Deb, the possible pacesetter getting a significant break in the weights with the switch to bug boy A. Centeno. The daughter of Munnings continues to train fairly well for R. Baltas and may have a bit of improvement in her. In a race that should be treated cautiously, we’ll try to get by in rolling exotic play using just these two.

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9.24.2020:

THE LITTLE BROWN JUG ANALYSIS - DELAWARE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

The 75th running of The Little Brown Jug takes place today at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. There will be seven 3-year-old pacers competing in Race 15 and Race 16. The top four finishers in each elimination will return in the Jug which is carded as Race 20. This is a solid group but there is not a truly dominant colt, especially on a half-mile track. The advantage of winning the elimination is drawing for the rail in the Jug. But there are horses competing who have never raced on a half-mile track. So, it will be interesting to see how hard they will be used in the eliminations. Comments and selections below are based on a fast track. Race 15-1st Division-Purse $111,800 5-Catch The Fire (5/2)-Sizzled a 26.2 opening quarter in the Adios Elimination and may need a similar burst off the gate to get the top. This is the 2nd start on Lasix but the 1st race at Delaware. Should be a major player as long as the trip is fair. But will probably be bet hard coming off a 2nd place finish to Tall Dark Stranger. 2-Chief Mate (7/2)-Had a big try in the Milstein on the 1/2 at Nfld on 8/15 from the 7-hole. Zeron should be able to get the early lead and either play hardball with #5 or take the pocket trip. 1-See You At The Beach (9/2)-This will be the 5th start for the Burke barn and the first time with an inside post. Since switching barns they have tinkered with equipment changes and Dunn should be able to put into striking range. Is not new to the Delaware turns as has trained here in the past. 6-Genuis Man (8-1)-East coast invader has faced speedy foes on the Yonkers oval. It would not be a surprise if the Erv Miller pupil hits the board at a price. Does need a trip and there is gate speed inside so Marcus Miller may have to grind it out. Race 16-2nd Division-Purse $111,800 5-Sandbetweenmytoes (9/2)-Somebeachsomewhere gelding does most of his work on the 5/8's and has very good gate speed. This will be his 1st start here. Taking a swing he handles the corners better than #2 and #3 who usually race on larger ovals. The #1 has very good gate speed but is coming off a break. Maybe Zeron blasts out and gets the point or the 2-hole and pops at a square price. 2-Capt Midnight (5/2)-The Capt is the slight program favorite and deserves respect coming off a lifetime best score at Wbsb in 148.3. But this will be the 1st time on a half mile track. Dunn may look to safely get into the final and not put the hammer down here. 3-Warrawee Vital (3-1)-This colt also comes off a career best mile at Wbsb stopping the clock in 148.2. Ontario bred earns his keep on the 7/8's and is another who tries the 1/2-mile oval for the first time. Tetrick take over from Trevor Henry as this colt goes for its 4th straight picture. Similar to #2, will be a short price and might be handled more cautiously than usual. 7-Cattlewash (10-1)-Has hit the board in last 5 starts and has recorded 2 wins. Doesn't possess big gate speed but Dave Miller can figure a way to get this Burke trainee into striking range. Best to not overlook if makes the final and draws well. Race 17-Ms. Versatility Final-Purse $87,500 5-Manchego (7/5)-Champion mare can leave as fast as the gate car. Unusual, but has faded in the lane in the last 3 starts. Has been off for 18-days and if 100% should be difficult to beat. 3-Kenziesky Hanover (25-1)-Cullipher trainee raced here once finishing 2nd and also shows a nice try at Yonkers versus Preferred company. Callahan needs to work a good steer but will respect chances of hitting the board and adding some juice to the gimmicks. 2-Plunge Blue Chip (5/2)-One of only 3 from this field who has a race over the track. Went gate to wire in the 2019 Ms. Versatility at 1-2. That script probably will not work if #5 is on her game. But could get the 2-hole trip behind Manchego and if she stumbles down the lane again it could be picture time. Race 20-The Little Brown Jug-Purse $335,400 The top four finishers in each elimination will face-off in Race 20. Check me out on Twitter!

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9.24.2020:

Friday, September 25: Santa Anita Opening Day AI Picks

Santa Anita’s anticipated autumn meet opens Friday. Whether you’re a regular to the circuit or dropping by for the big weekend cards, the 1/ST BET app can help you bridge the gap with a data-driven process. Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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. Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for the Santa Anita Opening Day card.   RACE 1 (3:30PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) #6 Lucky Peridot (4/1) // 31% Win#2 Fantasy Heat (5/2) // 21% Win#1 Watch Me Burn (7/2) // 19% Win#5 Mischiffie (2/1) // 14% Win Jeremy’s Take: The 31% win rate for Lucky Peridot is second-highest on the program. She’s got a great post for a small field, and trainer Peter Miller has exceptional numbers at the Santa Anita autumn meet historically and in turf sprints here. Plenty to like. Rail speed of Watch Me Burn also intrigues in a race surprisingly short on early speed. RACE 2 (4:05PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #6 Trouville (4/1) // 27% Win#5 Dehydration (3/1) // 23% Win#3 High On Gin (6/5) // 14% Win#1 La Rosa Drive (12/1) // 13% Win Jeremy’s Take: The algorithm snubs 6-5 morning line choice High On Gin, who won last out on a big class drop and now takes a minor rise. Shorter distance may favor Dehydration in a rematch between those two, but there’s a decent amount of pace pressure. Flavien Prat takes over Trouville, which never hurts. No strong opinion here and a spread for me if playing multi-race bets.   RACE 3 (4:38PM ET) // CLAIMING // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) #7 Ultimate Bango (5/2) // 23% Win#6 Oil Can Knight (10/1) // 21% Win#5 Psycho Dar (6/1) // 13% Win#2 Blackout (3/1) // 11% Win Jeremy’s Take: There’s not much separating Ultimate Bango and Oil Can Knight in the 1/ST INDEX, but the latter’s morning line price makes him the more attractive option, though mostly unproven on grass. Blackout should factor with a good draw for aforementioned SA autumn/turf sprint ace barn of Peter Miller and is my pick.   RACE 4 (5:10PM ET) // CLAIMING // 1 MILE (DIRT) #4 Polar Wind (9/5) // 25% Win#5 Promise Nothing (8/1) // 20% Win#7 The Stiff (5/1) // 15% Win#1 Race Home (10/1) // 14% Win Jeremy’s Take: The horse who sits third behind speedsters Bronn and Promise Nothing should get a dynamite trip. Polar Wind or Big Hoof Dynamite appear most likely to be in that spot, and both broke their maiden over the SA main track. Comes down to the better price on those two for me.   RACE 5 (5:41PM ET) // MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) #9 Cassie Belle (5/2) // 32% Win#8 Rickie Nine Toe’s (6/1) // 14% Win#4 Bella Chica (5/1) // 11% Win#2 Spanish Channel (20/1) // 11% Win Jeremy’s Take: The 32% win rate for Cassie Belle is highest on today’s card and the 18-point spread to the second choice also is a daily high. This appears a solid single by the 1/ST INDEX and the 5-2 morning line price would be attractive. Big rider upgrade to Prat and will be rallying wide from tough post. If she’s beaten, it’s likely by early speed, so rail heat from Eddie’s Sister would be an alternative.   RACE 6 (6:12PM ET) // CHILLINGWORTH STAKES (G2) // 6 1/2 FURLONGS (DIRT) #2 Qahira (2/1) // 30% Win#7 Amuse (5/2) // 18% Win#1 Message (7/2) // 17% Win#5 Hang a Star (4/1) // 15% Win Jeremy’s Take: The 12-point spread between Bob Baffert-trained Qahira and the rest of the field is the third-highest on today’s program, and yet the top four in the morning line for the Chillingworth are rather compact prices. She and stablemate Message appear to control the speed in a race not as fleet early as you’d expect for a sprint stakes. One of them should deliver.   RACE 7 (6:43PM ET) // EDDIE D STAKES (G2) // 5 1/2 FURLONGS (TURF) #4 Grit and Curiosity (6/1) // 28% Win#7 Big Runnuer (3/1) // 22% Win#6 El Tigre Terrible (4/1) // 13% Win#2 Give Me the Lute (12/1) // 11% Win Jeremy’s Take: At 6-1 odds, Grit and Curiosity is the second-highest morning line price offered on top today by the 1/ST INDEX. He’s one of 2 interesting players for the aforementioned turf sprint powerhouse of Peter Miller, along with El Tigre Terrible. The price will be more attractive on the former, while the local experience sides to the latter. I’m in the El Tigre Terrible camp after his last impressed this eye. Curiously, the computer shows no love for 5-2 morning line chalk Wildman Jack under Abel Cedillo, who was a stakes star here in the 2019 SA autumn stand.   RACE 8 (7:14PM ET) // CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #5 Fratelli (3/1) // 25% Win#1 Nesbitt (4/1) // 15% Win#3 Sly (6/1) // 13% Win#11 Zorich (7/2) // 9% Win Jeremy’s Take: Fratelli is a pretty solid choice and could add to a monster opening day for Peter Miller. He goes first off the claim, but looks like a good fit at the class/trip. Nesbitt likely the one to catch from the rail also playable. Don’t sleep on Bedrock, whose maiden win last out was a breakout performance for a horse whose dirt form has been clouded by poor turf results.   RACE 9 (7:45PM ET) // OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 1 MILE (TURF) #1 Gypsy Spirit (GB) (3/1) // 25% Win#6 Awesome Drive (5/1) // 20% Win#5 Unicorn (10/1) // 15% Win#2 Avenue de France (FR) (5/1) // 14% Win Jeremy’s Take: Gypsy Spirit merits respect, but has been the beaten favorite at 6-5 and 7-5 in her last 2 races. You’re free to shop a little. Speedball Kitty Boom Boom will be the one to catch, and the 1/ST INDEX dismisses her as the 5-2 morning line favorite. That said, perhaps this is a race for a price. Unicorn’s 10-1 price attracts after racing farther in her last 2 starts and returning to a winning distance for her 3 starts back. Avenue de France gets a positive pace set-up for what looks to be the race’s best finishing kick.   RACE 10 (8:16PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT) #9 Suezaaana (8/1) // 26% Win#14 Scream and Shout (3/1) // 11% Win#7 Enriched by Deb (10/1) // 10% Win#13 Into Victory (4/1) // 10% Win Jeremy’s Take: The 15-point spread between Suezaana and her rivals is the second-largest on today’s card. If it’s not her, then it’s open season, and that’s usually a solid place to focus, much less at an 8-1 morning line price (the best price on a top choice today from the 1/ST INDEX). Fair to be reserved on one that’s 0-15 lifetime, however, so demand a fair price, which I’d set around 6-1. Speedster Scream and Shout has some stamina questions, but just might run most of these off their feet. Into Victory could be the best finisher in the bunch and looks reliable for a top-3 finish.

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9.23.2020:

No Preakness for Tiz the Law

The sun will come up tomorrow morning. I’m guessing this does not come as a surprise to you. Nearly just as predictably, Tiz the Law is not running in the Grade I Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Oct. 3. Consequently, Tiz the Law has exited my Preakness Top 10 this week. He ranked No. 2 last week, just below Authentic. This means there will be no rematch in the Preakness between Authentic and Tiz the Law, who finished first and second, respectively, in the Grade I Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Sept. 5. Tiz the Law reeled off four consecutive wins in his first four starts of 2020. He did so in emphatic fashion, winning those races from three to 5 1/2 lengths. In Florida, Tiz the Law won the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes by three lengths at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 1, then the Grade I Florida Derby by 4 1/4 lengths at 1 1/8 miles on March 28. Tiz the Law then trounced his foes in a pair of races in New York. He won the Grade I Belmont Stakes -- first leg of the Triple Crown -- by 3 3/4 lengths at 1 1/8 miles on June 20. That was followed by a 5 1/2-length victory in the Grade I Travers Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 8. But Tiz the Law’s winning streak was snapped when he finished second, 1 1/4 lengths behind Authentic, in the Kentucky Derby. Both times Tiz the Law has raced in the Bluegrass State, his connections and fans have come away feeling blue. He’s zero for two at Churchill Downs, six for six elsewhere. After two wins in New York at 2, Tiz the Law ventured to Louisville and finished third in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Favored at 3-5, he had a troubled trip on a sloppy track and lost by three-quarters of a length. Backed down to 7-10 favoritism in the Run for the Roses, Tiz the Law looked like a lock when he rolled up to take on Authentic turning into the stretch. But despite considerable skepticism concerning Authentic’s stamina in his first try at 1 1/4 miles, he came home better than the big favorite. Not only did Tiz the Law get beat, he did not come out of the race as well as trainer Barclay Tagg and assistant trainer and exercise rider Robin Smullen had hoped. According to Smullen, the only two races that Tiz the Law did not come out of in fine fettle were the two he lost at Churchill. Tiz the Law had four weeks between the Travers and Kentucky Derby. He’d had more time than that between all of his previous starts. By not running in the Preakness, he will get nine weeks between the Kentucky Derby and his first race vs. his elders in the Grade I, $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 1/4 miles at Keeneland on Nov. 7. “Since we have no shot at winning the Triple Crown, our big goal with this colt is of course the Breeders’ Cup with a fresh, happy horse,” Tagg said Tuesday in a Daily Racing Form story written by David Grening. “He came out of his last race a little stiff, no real physical problems, but a little stiffness. We’ve taken our time coming back with him. Now he seems just right.” Grening reported that Tiz the Law galloped 1 1/2 miles on Belmont Park’s main track Tuesday morning. “Tagg and Smullen agreed that it was the colt’s best day of training since the Kentucky Derby,” Grening wrote. Tagg said that Tuesday “was the first really good day that we felt comfortable about him.” But without any workouts yet since Tiz the Law’s last race, “we’re going to skip the Preakness and concentrate on the Breeders’ Cup,” Tagg added. According to Tagg, Tiz the Law might have a workout Saturday morning at Belmont. Unlike Tiz the Law, Authentic bounced out of his Kentucky Derby triumph “very, very well,” according to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Because of the shuffling of the dates for this year’s Triple Crown series due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be four weeks between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness rather than the usual two weeks. Interestingly, Baffert said Authentic came out of the Kentucky Derby so well that he “would have been ready to go” even if the Preakness had been just two weeks later. Authentic looked sharp when he worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.20 last Saturday at Churchill. It was the fastest of 38 works at the distance that morning. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.20, then went on out seven furlongs in an excellent 1:25.20. “Authentic is a big, strong horse and is handling things very well since the Derby,” Baffert said. When Authentic got the job done on Sept. 5, the Kentucky-bred Into Mischief colt became Baffert’s record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby winner. Ben Jones also has six Kentucky Derby victories to his credit. All five of Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winners prior to this year -- Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, War Emblem in 2002, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2015 -- were victorious in the Preakness. Baffert and R. Wyndham Walden share the record for most Prreakness wins by a trainer. They have each won the race seven times. Point Given in 2001 and Lookin At Lucky in 2010 were Baffert’s two other Preakness winners. Point Given ran fifth as the 9-5 favorite in the Kentucky Derby, the only time in his 13-race career he did not finish first or second. Lookin At Lucky ran sixth as the 6-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby when he got mugged early. The way I see it, Authentic has an excellent chance to make it seven for seven for Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winners in the Preakness. I think the main threat to Authentic is Art Collector, who is four for four this year. He was not entered in the Kentucky Derby after nicking the bulb of his left front heel with a hind hoof while galloping at Churchill Downs five days before the race. According to trainer Tommy Drury Jr., the heel issue was nothing major, just bad timing. Art Collector won Keeneland’s Grade II Blue Grass Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths at 1 1/8 miles on July 11. It was his first stakes victory. The Kentucky-bred Bernardini colt then won the 1 1/8-mile Ellis Park Derby by 3 1/4 lengths on Aug. 9. Last Saturday, Art Collector worked five furlongs in :59.40 at Churchill. The only faster work at the distance was Authentic’s :59.20. Art Collector galloped out six furlongs in a splendid 1:11.60. BloodHorse’s Bob Ehalt reported Tuesday that in a text message to him, trainer Ken McPeek said he is considering the Preakness or one of two stakes in October at Keeneland for the talented filly Swiss Skydiver. On Wednesday, McPeek said he probably would wait until Monday morning before deciding whether or not to run Swiss Skydiver in the Preakness, according to Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee. McPeek said a scheduled workout Saturday at Churchill Downs would factor into his Preakness decision for Swiss Skydiver. The Kentucky-bred Daredevil filly worked four furlongs in :48.00 last Saturday at Churchill. Entries will be taken and post positions drawn for the 145th Preakness on Monday. Swiss Skydiver finished second to Art Collector in the Blue Grass, then won Saratoga’s Grade I Alabama Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths on Aug. 15. After that, Swiss Skydiver ran second to Shedaresthedevil in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill on Sept. 4. One of the two Keeneland races under consideration for Swiss Skydiver is the Grade I Spinster for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt Oct. 4. The other is the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the turf Oct. 10. Here is my current Preakness Top 10: 1. Authentic2. Art Collector3. Swiss Skydiver4. Pneumatic5. Thousand Words6. Ny Traffic7. Mr. Big News8. Max Player9. Mystic Guide10. Country Grammer A CONTROVERSIAL PREAKNESS 40 YEARS AGO The 1980 Preakness was, without question, one of the most controversial races in this country’s history. It’s famous for an incident between Codex and the filly Genuine Risk turning into the stretch. Just before they straightened away in the stretch, Codex and jockey Angel Cordero Jr. had a narrow lead while racing to the inside of Genuine Risk. Jacinto Vasquez rode Genuine Risk. Two weeks earlier Vasquez and Genuine Risk had won the Kentucky Derby. Genuine Risk became only the second filly to ever win the Run for the Roses and first filly to do so since the Regret in 1915. (How great was Regret? She won the May 8 Kentucky Derby while making her first start since Aug. 22!) In Richard Sowers’ book “The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes,” he wrote the following of the 1980 Preakness incident turning for home when Codex already was racing wide: “When Angel Cordero glanced over and saw Genuine Risk coming, he guided Codex even wider toward the center of the track. Vasquez had no choice but to take Genuine Risk even wider, momentarily checking his mount, then pointing her almost at the grandstand. Depending on the source, Codex never actually touched Genuine Risk, violently slammed into her, or lightly brushed her -- the most likely scenario. Regardless, the filly lost all momentum. “Codex reached the furlong pole a length ahead of Genuine Risk with the rest of the field nowhere in sight, then coasted home 4 3/4 lengths in front.” “Vasquez quickly filed a foul claim against Cordero, who was greeted by vociferous boos by the record crowd of 83,455 and by two agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he returned to the jockeys’ quarters. While those who bet on Genuine Risk no doubt would love to have seen Cordero arrested, the FBI agents actually were on hand to protect Cordero after the FBI had received threats that the jockey’s home was going to be bombed. “The stewards disallowed the foul claim, and Genuine Risk’s owner, Diana Johnson Firestone, filed a formal complaint with the Maryland Racing Commission, which like the stewards, upheld Codex’s triumph.” AN EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE 50 YEARS AGO Of the thousands and thousands of races I have witnessed in person, it was as sensational a burst of speed as I’ve ever seen. It happened at Playfair Race Course, a cozy little track in Spokane, Wash. The horses do not race there anymore. The very last card there was on Dec. 17, 2000. An industrial park now is on that site. Playfair was a five-eighths oval. As such, the far turn was much sharper and shorter than on a one-mile oval. It was 50 years ago this Sunday that I saw a horse go so fast on that far turn it literally gave me goosebumps. Yes, it was half a century ago. But if I close my eyes, I can still vividly picture this particular race. The race in question was the Washington State Breeders Handicap. It was a one-mile race restricted to Washington-breds. But what made the 1970 edition of this race so special it was Turbulator’s homecoming. As a rising star, Turbulator had won the 1969 Washington State Breeders Handicap by 4 1/2 lengths while carrying 114 pounds. It was one of Turbulator’s seven straight victories -- from six furlongs to two miles -- at that 1969 Playfair meet. When Turbulator returned to Playfair to run in the 1970 Washington State Breeders Handicap, he did so as a conquering hero. At Yakima Meadows in the spring of 1970, Turbulator set a track record that would last for 23 years. At Longacres near Seattle during the summer of 1970, he not only broke a world record and a track record, he managed to turn countless doubters into diehard fans. After Turbulator was retired from racing following his 1974 campaign at the age of 9, The Seattle Times’ Bob Schwarzmann wrote about him for the 1975 Longacres media guide. Above Schwarzmann’s story, it said: “Bob Schwarzmann has covered Longares for The Seattle Times for the past 14 years. Like most Longacres regulars, Bob became an avid fan of Turbulator. He has pieced together some of the episodes of this local turf hero’s incredible career in the following story.” Schwarzamann began his story this way: “There were those enchanted evenings, that Longacres summer of 1970, when Chick O’Neall relaxed. “The track announcer knew long before the week’s featured stakes race started, what his exact words would be as the field neared the quarter pole. So did the crowd. It was ritual. “O’Neall blared out the names of the front-runners. The noise in the stands swelled. After he had positioned all of the contenders but one, the crescendo reached the full scream of delighted anticipation. “In his best dramatic style -- it was needless information but Chick stuck to the script -- he would deliver: ‘…And here comes Turbulator.’ “Most times, O’Neall’s final call flip-flopped when the Thoroughbreds streaked under the wire. He led off the order of finish with: “Turbulator…” “During that fiction-like summer, a leather-covered bundle of aches and pains grew to legendary status. The 5-year-old Washington-bred became the most popular horse ever to race in the Pacific Northwest.” After Turbulator’s stellar 1970 campaign at Longacres, his return to Playfair for the Washington State Breeders Handicap was a huge deal. “Wash. Breeders ’Cap at Playfair Headed by Fabulous Turbulator,” was the headline in the Daily Racing Form. How often have you seen the word “fabulous” used to describe a horse in a DRF headline? As expected, Turbulator was a heavy favorite, going off at 3-10. His nine opponents all had more money wagered on them to place or show than to win. It’s believed to be the first and only time that has ever happened at a track in that part of the country. Turbulator had to pack a staggering 134 pounds (20 more than when he had won the same race a year earlier). His jockey was Larry Pierce. Pierce was content to let Turbulator lope along in last place through the early stages. With four furlongs to go, Turbulator was still last, 20 lengths off the pacesetting Fosket. Not only that, Turbulator was eight lengths behind the next-to-last horse, Lora’s Pal. Could Turbulator win from that far behind with four furlongs left to run while encumbered with so much weight on a track with a stretch run to the finish of just 704 feet? You bet he could…and did. He blew past horses so fast on the far turn I thought he might cause a sonic boom. It’s a sight that I will never forget. This was how track announcer Jim Price described the final four furlongs: “Fosket is in front by half a length, Knute K. is second, Feed King is third, then it’s Melmitch, followed by First Pop and I. Aylmer. And now, swinging to the outside, there he goes! “Around the far turn, it’s Fosket in front by a length and a half. Feed King is second a head on the outside. Knute K. is third, Melmitch is fourth, and now Turbulator is sixth, he’s fifth, he’s fourth, he’s third, he’s second and going for the lead. “They’re into the stretch. It’s Fosket in front by two lengths. Turbulator is flying on the outside! It’s Turbulator now in front, Fosket and Melmitch. Down to the wire, it’s Turbulator!” With many, if not most, of the 7,257 racegoers on hand screaming until they became hoarse, Turbulator won going away by two lengths. “When we were turning for home, I could really hear the crowd,” Pierce would tell me years later. “I’d never heard anything like it before.” STARSHIP JUBILEE BEATS MALES IN WOODBINE MILE The tremendous $16,000 claim Starship Jubilee came from two to three lengths off the early pace to win last Saturday’s Woodbine Mile by one length on the grass. It was the 19th victory from 38 career starts for the remarkable 7-year-old Florida-bred mare. Owned by Blue Heaven Farm and trained by Kevin Attard, Starship Jubilee was claimed for $16,000 at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 4, 2017. Since then, Starship Jubilee has earned in excess of $2 million. She was the 2019 Canadian Horse of the Year. This brings to mind another terrific recent claim. Vasilika was claimed for $40,000 at Santa Anita on Feb. 11, 2018. After that, Vasilika earned $1,722,320 before being retired after losing by a neck when second at age 5 in last year’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. After last year’s Breeders’ Cup, Vasilika sold for $1.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. ASMUSSEN REACHES 9,000 VICTORIES When Troy Ounce was victorious in last Friday night’s second race at Remington Park, Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen achieved the significant feat of 9,000 career wins. Through Tuesday, Asmussen had won 9,006 races, according to Equibase. The 54-year-old trainer ranks only behind the late Dale Baird’s 9,445 victories on Equibase’s all-time North American list. Asmussen is 439 wins behind Baird. It is only a matter of time before Asmussen becomes the North America’s winningest trainer. Asmussen has trained three Thoroughbreds who were voted Horse of the Year – Curlin (2007 and 2008), Rachel Alexandra (2009) and Gun Runner (2017). RICARDO ON BRINK OF 13,000 WINS The world’s winningest jockey, Brazilian icon Jorge Ricardo, is on the brink of a monumental milestone. Ricardo is just one victory shy of 13,000. He almost certainly will get No. 13,000 in one of the 25 races he is scheduled to ride in Brazil from Friday through Monday. And then next Wednesday, Ricardo will celebrate his 59th birthday. America’s Russell Baze called it a career after he finished in a dead heat for second on Wahine Warrior in the 10th race at Golden Gate Fields on June 11, 2016. When Hall of Famer Baze retired, he did so as the world’s winningest jockey with 12,842 victories, according to Equibase. Baze (whose father, Joe Baze, was a successful jockey who rode six winners in one day at Golden Gate on April 12, 1965) won his first official Thoroughbred race aboard Oregon Warrior in the sixth at Yakima Meadows on Oct. 28, 1974. I was there that day. I had started working for the Daily Racing Form that year. Prior to Russell Baze’s retirement, he and Ricardo had alternated a number of times as the world’s leading jockey in career wins. Ricardo has held the No. 1 spot ever since he overtook Baze for the last time early in 2018. Through Tuesday, Ricardo and Baze had won a mind-boggling 25,841 races combined. BAFFERT-TRAINED PAIR STILL ATOP NTRA POLLS As was the case last week, Pacific Classic winner Maximum Security is No. 1 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, while Kentucky Derby victor Authentic is No. 1 in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll. Maximum Security heads a field of five entered in Saturday’s Grade I Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. One of his opponents in the 1 1/8-mile affair is Improbable, also trained by Baffert. Improbable is ranked No. 5 in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. He goes into the Goodwood off back-to-back Grade I wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 6 and Grade I Whitney Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 1. It’s kinda weird that Authentic is ranked higher than Tiz the Law in the Top Three-Year-Old Poll, but Tiz the Law ranks higher than Authentic in the Top Thoroughbred Poll. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 349 Maximum Security (26)2. 272 Vekoma (9)3. 240 Tom’s d’Etat (3)4. 209 Monomoy Girl5. 193 Improbable6. 159 By My Standards7. 153 Midnight Bisou8. 134 Tiz the Law9. 122 Authentic10. 85 Rushing Fall The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 365 Authentic (23)2. 357 Tiz the Law (15) 3. 272 Art Collector4. 191 Honor A.P.5. 161 Swiss Skydiver6. 146 Thousand Words7. 107 Shedaresthedevil8. 90 Gamine9. 83 Max Player10. 74 King Guillermo  

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9.23.2020:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: September 25 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, after we hit the late Pk4 last week on a backup ticket that paid a healthy $196.45 for just an $8 play. This week the Stronach 5 welcomes back Santa Anita, once again has a 100k guarantee, and a prospective pool that should far surpass that. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors. *** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. *** Leg 1: Laurel Park R8 (4:20 ET) – 2yo MSW at 6 furlongs An impossible to decipher—on paper at least—MSW kicks off the sequence, so make sure you check the toteboard to see who is live and taking money, as it could provide some important clues, especially since it looks like the firsters will dominate. I’m spreading deep in the hopes of surviving, with the dart landing on #7 TRIPLE TITOS, who drew a nice outside attack post and has a slew of sharp works showing for Farrior, who is 21% on debut, and may have found a bargain with this 2.5k purchase. I think you have to use firsters #4 JAXON TRAVELER, #2 SPEIGHTSTER ROAD, and #1 IRON PEARLS, who hail from strong connections and have several snappy works showing too, while there are some big stats for #6 LUGAMO, as trainer Sanchez-Solomon is 3-for-5 with firsters and 3-for-9 with 2yos, so I’ll toss him in too. Pk5 A horses: 7,4,2,1,6 (listed in order of preference) Both #3 SOME MO and #9 LAMARKABLE have some pedigree power, but with Motion and Trombetta calling the shots they may need one, and there’s turf in the pedigree of both, so I don’t want to be too aggressive with either, though they would also be no surprise. The experience of #10 KING ALAN is worth something, even though he needs to improve on the class rise off that debut 3rd. Pk5 B horses: 3,9,10 Potential B add-ins: NONE Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:27 ET) – 3upfm 10k MCL at 1-mile It kind of looks like the winner has to come from the group of #7 BENNY’S GIRLFRIEND, #8 NEW YORK COMMANDER, or #9 CAPTURED LIGHT, and that’s the order I’ll play them too, as they just look a cut above a group that doesn’t inspire, to say the least, especially on dirt. Pk5 A horses: 7,8,9 The only horse I’m slightly interested in is #6 CAPTIVANT, who is just 0-for-2, which is a big deal here, and has yet to run on dirt either, so on the drop, with some upside, maybe she can wake up. Pk5 B horses: 6 Potential B add-ins: NONE Leg 3: Santa Anita R3 (4:38 ET) – 3up AOC (62k/N2X) at 6 � furlongs Santa Anita returns with a tough nine-pack, but one without a ton of speed, which makes #2 BLACKOUOT interesting, especially since Saez is up and will be aggressive after this one was a dueling 2nd against lesser. An outside attack post and some tactical speed with help #5 PSYCHO DAR, who should like the drop in class too, while #7 ULTIMATE BANGO is 5-2-2-0 at the distance and lures Van Dyke. Pk5 A horses: 2,5,7 If #8 ABOUT OUR TIME makes the class leap from LS and RP then he’s a big player, as his figures fit with these, and he should trip out too, but I’m just not sure how he’ll stack up on a big circuit, so I can’t pull the trigger with him on the top line. Pk5 B horses: 8 Potential B add-ins: #9 Seven Scents, #3 Never Easy, #1 Shane Zain, Leg 4: Pimlico R9 (4:58 ET) – 3up AOC (35k/N2X) at 1 1/8 miles (turf) I think we can be aggressive here, as #9 GUNNISON just didn’t fire in the Henry Clark last time but his prior runs were simply much better than these, so I’m giving him a pass and coming back to him in a spot where it looks like one or all, and I always advise to side with the former. Pk5 A horses: 9 Both #8 SOMEKINDOFMAGICIAN and #7 TAXABLE GOODS have the tactical speed to trip out, and the former hasn’t missed the board in five turf starts since the Ness claim, while the latter beat ‘Gun last time, and his other turf run this year puts him in the mix too. Pk5 B horses: 8,7 (Please note to keep the cost of the backup ticket down, I’ll be only using #2 and #5 in Leg 3, and #6 in Leg 5) Potential B add-ins: #12 Clear Vison, #2 Nick Papagiorgio, #6 Howman, #5 Skyscanner, #3 Dream Doctor, #11 Cannon’s Roar Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R3 (5:15 ET) – 3upfm 6.25k claimer at 1 1/16 miles (turf) The slight drop in class, a race with some pace, and going off the claim for Tamayo (34%) says #6 SHARI is going to improve in a big way after some decent but non-threatening form against better and if that’s the case it may be too much for a group like this. The race flow today should be a bit better today for #4 NORTHERN ROSE, who was a meek 3rd at odds-on behind a pair here last time but will get a better pace scenario to track, which can make a big difference late. A drop in class, return to turf, and more patient ride will all help #3 TINK’S TWIRL, who has the best turf form here and should get helped by the expected aggressive pace. Pk5 A horses: 6,4,3 I’m playing against the speeds, as class dropper #2 Side Effect might be off-form for Trujillo, who is 2-for-40 here, while #5 PURE PERFECTION got back to turf and beat ‘Rose in fast time, but with plenty of other speed signed on, doubling up won’t be easy, and she may bounce, and #9 Lacey’s Rainbow, 2nd to ‘Pure last time, is wide and looks like another bounce candidate. Pk5 B horses: NONE Potential B add-ins: #2 Side Affect, #5 Pure Perfection, #9 Lacey’s Rainbow. The tickets: Main Ticket: 7,4,2,1,6 with 7,8,9 with 2,5,7 with 9 with 6,4,3 = $135Leg 1 B Backup: 3,9,10 with 7,8,9 with 2,5,7 with 9 with 6,4,3 = $81Leg 2 B Backup: 7,4,2,1,6 with 6 with 2,5,7 with 9 with 6,4,3 = $45Leg 3 B Backup: 7,4,2,1,6 with 7,8,9 with 8 with 9 with 6,4,3 = $45Leg 4 B Backup: 7,4,2,1,6 with 7,8,9 with 2,5 with 8,7 with 6 = $60

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9.22.2020:

Pimlico Preview: 5 Things to Watch

We drove the 1/ST Technologies database at Betmix to look at the last 5 Preakness meetings at Pimlico. Here are the stats and trends to put you on a winning path, beginning with opening day, Thursday. The 2020 Pimlico meeting runs Thursday-Friday-Saturday over the next 2 weeks, culminating Preakness Day, October 3. 1. Beware anything sired by Curlin on the local main track. His offspring are 47: 16-8-5 for 35% wins, 51% in the exacta and a $1.41 ROI for every $1 bet. They include Preakness winner Exaggerator, Pimlico Special champs Irish War Cry and Tenfold, and Black-Eyed Susan heroine Point of Honor. 2. Horses who exited runs at Oaklawn won nearly 26% on Pimlico dirt in previous springtime appearances. While we won’t see that direct move now in September, look for horses who have had success at Oaklawn in the past to transfer that form. 3. Local trainer Charles Frock has been notorious for dropping some Pimlico bombs. His 15% win rate is solid (20% on dirt), but of those 10 winners, consider his average win odds is 13-1. Those big payers include $30, $32, $51, $52 and $57 lobsters (not to mention 45-1 and 27-1 runner-ups). 4. Trainer Michael Matz has been sharp with his Pimlico turf runners, winning 23% with a $1.46 ROI for every $1 bet. He’s 11: 4-1-2 when paired on the local lawn with jockey Alex Cintron, including a $24 winner. 5. Of the potential out-of-town jockeys, keep tabs on Javier Castellano (63: 19-6-10, 30% wins and $1.52 ROI for every $1 bet) as well as Ricardo Santana Jr. (28: 9-5-6, 32% wins, 50% exacta and $1.37 ROI).

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9.22.2020:

Santa Anita Preview: 5 Things to Watch

We drove the 1/ST Technologies database at Betmix to look at the last 5 autumn meetings at Santa Anita. Here are the stats and trends to put you on a winning path, beginning with opening day, Friday. The 2020 autumn meeting runs Friday-Saturday-Sunday through October 25. 1. Peter Miller tops active trainers with a $1.33 ROI for every $1 bet, and ranks second in wins (54) and win percentage (21%). Miller hits almost 31% with maiden claimers and 27% in claiming heats during the meet. 2. Trainer Doug O’Neill leads all conditioners with 63 wins, clicking at 19%, and sports a $1.17 ROI for every $1 bet. But his SA autumn turfers have been even better at 20% wins and a rousing $1.82 ROI (including $2.74 in maiden turf races). He and jockey Rafael Bejarano have teamed for 24% wins at this meet (30% on turf). O’Neill’s most successful classes have been in maiden special weights and stakes races. 3. Bob Baffert is 36: 21-7-2 with his 2-year-old favorites during SA autumn. That’s 58% wins and 77% in the exacta; that jumps to 62% wins in maiden special weight races. 4. Jockey Abel Cedillo was a Santa Anita autumn stakes whiz last year with a 16: 6-3-2 record. Those 6 wins came for 6 different trainers and produced a whopping $3.44 ROI for every $1 bet ($6, $9, $12, $12, $20, $52 winners). 5. Maiden turf races have been the place to search for prices. The average winner from the 101 races has been more than 7.3-1 odds. Favorites have underperformed at 27%.

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9.22.2020:

1/ST Look: Gulfstream Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Gulfstream Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in South Florida. And be sure to support Gulfstream Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Gulfstream Park. Headlines Closing week of the spring-summer meet hits Gulfstream Park with a crescendo. Saturday’s card features the series finale in the Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds, headed by the $400,000 My Dear Girl and In Reality divisions as part of a 6-stakes card … Sunday’s closing day before shifting to Gulfstream Park West will feature a mandatory payout in the Rainbow 6, which begins this racing week with a $592,479 carryover … Liveyourbeastlife, who wintered in the Gulfstream allowance ranks and was most recently second in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, has been supplemented to the Preakness Stakes on Oct. 3 at Pimlico. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid $294.50 to 300 winning tickets last week. The Sept. 25 Stronach 5 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Pimlico Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:20Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:27Leg C – Santa Anita Race 3 with an approximate post time of 4:38Leg D – Pimlico Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:58Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 with an approximate post time of 5:25 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Gulfstream Park, all showing a positive ROI and at least a 36% win rate last week. The factors in the ‘speed’ category swept the top-3 for the second straight week. Speed Last RaceBest Speed TrackBest Speed Last 3 Trends Last Week --Trainer Rohan Crichton led the way with an 8: 3-3-0 week and a whopping $3.19 ROI for every $1 bet. He flashed $15 and $31 winners along with a 12-1 runner-up. All 3 wins came in dirt sprints.--Trainer Amador Sanchez posted a 10: 3-1-2 record with a $1.24 ROI for every $1 bet. Hector Berrios rode all 3 winners that returned $4, $10 and $10.--Trainer Jorge Delgado went 2-for-2 on the week, notable after he had finished second with 4 of his first 6 starters in September. Trainers nibbling around the winner’s circle often are the ones who go on a hot streak.--Jockey Christian Torres was 13-for-27 in the exacta last week, managing 4 wins in a hard-luck run. Trends Last 2 Weeks --Trainer Victor Barboza has gone 12: 5-0-3 over the past 2 weeks with a $1.63 ROI for every $1 bet. Among horses 6-1 or less odds, he’s 5-for-9. Of his 5 wins, 4 came in 1-turn dirt events.--Jockey Alberto Burgos continues to be a rider to watch at a price. He’s 20% wins and 43% in the exacta the past 2 weeks with a $1.79 ROI for every $1 bet. He has $21 and $51 winners, as well as a 37-1 runner-up during that time.

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9.22.2020:

1/ST Look: Golden Gate Fields Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Golden Gate Fields. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Northern California. And be sure to support Golden Gate Fields by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Golden Gate Fields. Headlines Fans of the $5 minimum Golden Hour Double between Golden Gate and Santa Anita’s last race each day now can attack the $1 minimum Golden Pick Four each racing day between the 2 tracks. The Golden Pick Four will be conducted on the final 2 races at both GG and SA … The racing week opens with a $153,158 carryover in the jackpot pick 6 … Last Sunday’s 1-day carryover in the early pick 5 netted a $455,639 pool of fresh money. Congrats to track handicapper and announcer Matt Dinerman’s public ticket that returned $1,962.80 … El Camino Real Derby winner Azul Coast reportedly will bypass the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes in lieu of Sunday’s Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita. Trainer Bob Baffert already has Kentucky Derby winner Authentic and Shared Belief winner Thousand Words aimed for Baltimore. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid $294.50 to 300 winning tickets last week. The Sept. 25 Stronach 5 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Pimlico Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:20Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:27Leg C – Santa Anita Race 3 with an approximate post time of 4:38Leg D – Pimlico Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:58Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 with an approximate post time of 5:25 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Golden Gate Fields last week, each winning at a 30% or greater win rate. Avg Best 2 of 3 Speed has been a top-3 category the past 2 weeks, and once again speed-related factors swept the top-3 for the second straight week. Best Speed Last 3Avg Best 2 of 3 SpeedSpeed Last Race Trends Last Week --Favorites dominated with 51% wins on the week, hitting 50% on Tapeta and 53% on turf.--Jockey Kyle Frey was on fire with a 28: 10-2-3 record and was 9: 6-1-0 riding favorites. Still, he produced a $1.81 ROI for every $1 bet behind $22 and $27 victories.--Jockey Francisco Monroy made the most of limited mounts, going 8: 3-0-2 with a pair of $20 winners ($2.83 ROI for every $1 bet). He also lit the bottom of trifectas at 23-1 and 41- odds.--Jockey Bryan Pena was a rock-solid 14: 3-1-1 that netted a big $2.33 ROI for every $1 bet. His average mount was 20-1 odds, so he did the most with the least that included a $51 winner.--Trainer Reina Gonzalez was 2-for-2 and included a 38-1 longshot winner and a 6-5 chalk. Both wins came in allowance company. The infrequent barn’s last win had come August 8 with only 5 starts in-between. Trends Last 2 Weeks Since racing was cancelled 3 days the prior week, we’ll extend this query back to racing the week of Sept. 3. --Favorites are hitting 50% (41-for-82) with a reliable 65% finishing in the exacta. Leading trainer Jonathan Wong’s chalk has underperformed ever-so-slightly to that rate at 10-for-22 (46% wins, 59% exacta).--Trainers Ed Moger Jr. (26%) and Blaine Wright (29%) have put up similar numbers with 6 winners apiece. Moger has a $1.37 ROI for every $1 bet during that time, while Wright checks in at $1.32.

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9.21.2020:

Most Valuable Pony (Sept. 14-20): Starship Jubilee

Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.September 14-20, 2020MVP: Starship JubileeOwner: Blue Heaven FarmTrainer: Kevin AttardJockey: Justin SteinPerformance: The 7-year-old mare turned in one of the best performances of her remarkable career on Sept. 19, capturing the $1 million Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in her homecoming. Canada’s 2019 Horse of the Year defeated a cast of male rivals that included last year’s Preakness winner War of Will. The victory marked her 19th from 38 career starts and pushed her earnings over the $2 million plateau. Snagged for $16,000 on Feb. 12, 2017, this daughter of Indy Wind has gone on to become of the most successful claims in North American history.On Tap: Trainer Kevin Attard mentioned his decision will come down to the Breeders’ Cup Mile vs. the boys or the Filly & Mare Turf against Starship Jubilee’s own peers, but at a trip three-sixteenths of a mile farther. While she’s yet to compete in a Breeders’ Cup race, the past success of Woodbine Mile alumni in the BC Mile might be the best barometer of which direction to turn next.Honorable Mentions: French Oaks alumnae Magic Attitude displayed an eye-catching turn of foot in winning the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational on Sept. 19. The Arnaud Delacour trainee could have the Grade 1 QE2 at Keeneland on her radar or the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf … The Breeders ‘Cup Turf Sprint division got a wildcard addition Sept. 20 at Belmont Park when Fiya streaked straight into consideration. The sophomore advanced to 3-for-3 on the season with a blistering allowance win (6 furlongs in 1:06.70) for Tom Albertrani … Millionaire West Virginia-bred Runnin’toluyva registered his 15th win from 24 tries in the Sept. 19 Frank Gall Memorial at Charles Town. The 6-year-old also won that race in 2018 and was runner-up a year ago.

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9.21.2020:

Watch & Wager On The Little Brown Jug Online

Fans will not be allowed at harness racing’s largest spectator event, but they will be able to watch and wager on the action during Little Brown Jug week online via their Xpressbet account. The 5-day meet began Sunday and a full slate of races and race previews can be found on harnessracingohio.com or at ohha.com/livestream. Each day will begin with “Trackside Live,” a 30-minute interview show, followed by “Countdown to Post Time,” an inside look at the day’s races at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, home of the Little Brown Jug. “This is an opportunity for fans to watch one of the greatest events in harness racing,” said publicity coordinator Frank Fraas. The $700,000 Jug, part of the Pacing Triple Crown that usually draws 40,000-plus fans, will go postward at the half-mile oval Thursday, Sept. 24. The $375,000 Jugette for sophomore fillies is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 23. Post time for the first race on both days is noon. A total of 96 sophomore pacers are eligible for the 75th running of the Jug, while 69 are eligible for the Jugette. Southwind Ozzi and Hall of Fame driver Brian Sears won the 2019 Jug. On Sunday’s opening day card, favorites won in 10 of the 18 races.  Brett Miller and Kayne Kauffman posted driving triples and Donald Irvine Jr. guided First You Dream ($20.20) to the biggest upset to cap a driving double. Little Brown Jug merchandise is available by calling 614-840-0599.

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9.21.2020:

Monday, September 21: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park starts the week with an 11-race card. The consistently popular 0.20 Early Pick 5 begins the program. That 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-Sonadora Deo (8/5)-Tossing last when used hard against top filly trotters and broke. Now back in against Grassroots company and beat this kind by >4 lengths on 9/11.3-Pier Ho Kado (2-1)-A consistent threat at this class and has been in the money in 4 of 5 starts here with 1 picture. Filion will put this filly in play in a tough race.7-Moana (5/2)-This a very consistent filly at this level too. Has the gate speed to get the top or a 2-hole trip. Because of the outside draw should offer the most value and best to not overlook.Race 21-Up And Ready (5/2)-Should like the company after battling some top 2-year-old fillies and holding her own. McNair ought to be able to find live cover and get her into the mix at the top of the lane, similar to 7/31 win.5-You Will Be Queen (2-1)-Barn has been cold in last 30 days but this gal consistently hits the board and should be a major player versus this kind. Has hit the board in 4 of 5 Wbsb starts and notched 1 win.Race 34-Major Bean (5/2)-Jamieson worked a nice trip in the Champlain but the competition was too tough and couldn't close in the lane. This is a better spot to break maiden.5-Lincoln Boulevard (4-1)-Closed in .56 in last which was only the 2nd lifetime start. Now makes 2nd Wbsb start and 3rd for new barn. Could be better tonight so will use at a square price.7-Prayerforthewicked (7/2)-Got the top and fractions were swift in last and faded to finish 2nd as the 3-2 choice. McClure takes over and my guess is there will be a different type of trip this time. Price should be better and has the speed to be in the hunt.Race 44-Yen (6/5)-Comes off a win at the Grassroots level and appears to be a cut above this field as well. Filion closed off cover into a dull fractions last week and he has options this time. Has been the odds-on choice in last 3 starts and should be bet down again.Race 54-Vines To Heaven (5-1)-This is 1st time Moreau after a claim and that angle is clicking at 30%. That stat isn't a secret but this mare could go off at close to the program odds.5-Fern Hill Bella (9/2)-Spreading out in this leg, Roy takes a seat and that is a positive driver change plus gets some post relief. Will toss the 9/15 start from the 7-hole at Flmd and comes right back to the big track looking for an overdue win.6-Moneymakehersmile (4-1)-Only 1-16 at Wbsb but that win came in the last start off a nice trip. Drury can work another smooth journey and should be in the hunt tonight.8-Miss Rockadali (7/2)-McNair steers and has 1 win in last 5 starts but hasn't missed by more than 1 1/2 lengths. The post helps the price, has the gate speed to get the top and should be blasting out.My Ticket Race 1) 1,3,7 Race 2) 1,5 Race 3) 4,5,7 Race 4) 4 Race 5) 4,5,6,8Total Ticket Cost) $14.40 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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9.20.2020:

Sunday, September 20: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis

Hawthorne Racecourse concludes the 2020 harness racing season with a 15-race card. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 12. The sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus. The Race 15, Jackpot High 5 has a $44,820 carryover and there will be a mandatory payout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 127-Velocity McSweets (7-1)-Beat #10 on 8/9 in a condition race when that mare had the 10-hole and she finished 2nd. If Husted can work the same type of trip and be within 3 lengths or so at the top of the lane the same finish can happen.10-Tempus Seelster (4-1)-This is the only true Open horse in the race and has multiple wins at this level including the last 2. Seekman has been steering well and knows when to push the button on this mare. Pace should be honest, so the 3rd straight win at this level could happen.Race 137-JK Newera (7/2)-Still trying to break her maiden but has hit the board in all 3 starts here. Couldn't close fast enough in last but did pace the 2nd half in 57.1 and should be in the mix at the wire versus this crew.9-Pretty Boy Shooter (7-1)-Leonard was trying to roll off cover in last but the opening half went in only .59. This time the pace should be quicker and that should help in passing foes down the lane.10-Pro Time (5-1)-Two-year-old gelding makes 4th start and has a win and 2-second place finishes. Left from the 7-hole last week and it was the 1st time Bates gunned for the top but ended up fading down the lane. Could leave again, find a good seat and brush by down the lane.Race 142-Girls Girls Girls (25-1)-Stayed inside last week and the pace collapsed in the lane and was behind a wall of horses. Might get sucked around and if shakes lose late could roll by at a price. Smolin's choice over #1.6-Model (9/5)-Drops to a soft spot but that doesn't guarantee anything when 1-23 on the year. Barn has been going well but Seekman needs to work a good trip. Will respect and look to shoot against for some juice in the Pick 4 payout.8-Unbroken Circle (8-1)-Leonard trainee won in a drop and pop situation with a good steer by Husted. Steps-up but this isn't a group of All-Stars. Best to respect at a square price because the same script could be followed tonight.10-Sweetshadyshark (12-1)-This mare is far from perfect and Wilfong will need to figure out a way to put her in play without draining her tank. Was used hard to get the top last week, so maybe will duck and rally late. At the program odds or higher the risk reward is fair.Race 151-Stella Kemp (7-1)-Stella is only 1-20 and has had a breaking issue but her last race was the best since 7/18. Recorded a win in that start and left from the rail. Should be worth a swing and may offer a square price.5-Big Man Forever (5-1)-Raced well at this level last week and was used a couple of times. Now gets some post relief and could be sitting on a big try.7-Captainblacksparrow (4-1)-Camera shy 4-year-old did come up with a strong effort to take a picture at this class last time. Rogers should be able to leave to get a good seat again, and then could brush by for another win.My Ticket Race 12) 7,10 Race 13) 7,9,10 Race 14) 2,6,8,10 Race 15) 1,5,7Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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9.20.2020:

Sunday September 20: National Best Plays for Sunday

Belmont Park – 3rd race. Post time: 2:04 ET7 – Chasing Fame (3-1)In what appears to be an unusually strong maiden special weight grass sprint for juveniles, let’s try to get home a first-time starting colt that gives every indication of possessing extreme speed. The D. O’Neill-trained son of Tapiture was impressive at the May Timonium 2-year-old in training sale, where he previewed on the bullring in a blistering :10 1/5, and his drills after returning to training in early August have consistently caught the eye. There are other highly-regarded colts in the field, among them the C. Brown-trained Realm of Law and T. Pletcher-trained Fighting Force, but if he performs as well in the afternoon as he has in his a.m. trials this grey rocket ship may take control early and be very tough to catch. At 3-1 on the morning line he’s a gamble in the win pool and in rolling exotic play.Woodbine – 9th race. Post time: 5:35 ET6 – Lady Speightspeare (5/2)Graduated at first asking in a very fast seven furlong turf affair like a filly with a huge future and gets the acid test while moving up into Grade-1 company in this year’s powerful edition of the Natalma S.-G1. By Speightstown from the high-class turf mare Lady Shakespeare, the R. Attfield-trained filly may be quick enough to lead from the bell and if not pressured early should have no trouble carrying her speed an extra furlong. A bullet five furlong drill over the grass training track in :58 3/5 last week indicates she came out of her debut in fine fettle and is set to produce a forward move. She’s third choice on the morning line at 5/2 and at that price she’s worth strong consideration as a win play and rolling exotic single.

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9.19.2020:

Sunday, September 20: Gulfstream Park Late Pick 4 Ticket

Gulfstream Park puts out some inviting Late Pick 4 action on Sunday, and it’s hard not to accept that invitation.Maidens, starter allowance runners and two sets of claiming races make up the sequence, which has its challenging leg right off the pace. Maidens going long on turf in the seventh race bring a lot possibilities, and that’s the biggest spread on this week’s card, which follows a 5x2x3x3 plan for a $45 total on the 50-cent exotic play.Here’s how I see it playing out:Race 7 (3:22 p.m. ET, maidens)LIAMS STAR is a first-timer with plenty of works and heads in looking like he has a good chance in the career curtain raiser. The Mike Maker barn wins everywhere and is 21 percent here.RAULITO ran evenly, where is fairly common for horses that debut in two-turn races. The experience should help and he’ll probably show a good late run.KING BUDDHA ran evenly in his debut, which was at five furlongs. He’ll be tested to get the distance but is bred to go on the front end and could be the one to catch.CALLSUMONEWHEOCARES was a beaten third on dirt going short, is bred to run much longer and should be able to handle the turf.GOLOVKIN ran a solid third under these conditions last time after having an uneventful run on dirt. Tough if he runs back to his latest.Race 8 (3:55 p.m. ET, claiming)SAYS ADIOS was claimed by Bob Hess, Jr., off a runner-up finish at this same level last time and has been on the board in seven straight. Loves the front end and have the target on her back throughout.SOLID AS A ROCK is rapid and if circumstances put her on the front end, that would make her difficult to catch. Could be the one to take over if the top one falters.Race 9 (4:27 p.m. ET, starter optional claiming)GRAN OLD PARR showed speed in all of her races except her last one, when she was left far back and make a strong run for fourth. Makes her second off the claim by Maker and the ability to be a factor off the pace if needed can only help.SASSY BUT SMART was fourth in the Grade 3 Palm Beach two back and fits well at this level.REMASTER ran on well last out and has been very effective at this distance. Can carve out a good trip, as usual.Race 10 (4:59 p.m. ET, claiming)TREVESS tired from early efforts on turf last time and returns to the turf, where he was a contender at higher levels than this.REITERATE was claimed by Sanchez and takes a slight drop for this first for the new barn. Has exceptional speed for this level and can take it to them early.MATRACA stalked throughout and couldn’t get the leader last out and should get a good pace setup here.My TicketRace 7) #4 Liams Star, #6 Raulito, #7 King Buddha, #9 Callsumonewhocares, #11 Golovkin.Race 8) #3 Say Adios, #6 Solid as a Rock.Race 9) #3 Gran Old Parr, #5 Sassy But Smart, #9 Remaster,Race 10) #2 Trevess, #6 Reiterate, #7 Matraca.Total Ticket Cost) 4,6,7,9,11/3,6/3,5,9/2,6,7 = $45 for $0.50

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9.19.2020:

Saturday, September 19: Hawthorne Racecourse Night of Champions Analysis

It is time for the Night of Champions at Hawthorne Racecourse with more than $970,000 in purses spread out over a 12-race card. The number one event in Illinois harness racing comes at the end of the Hawthorne meet. Tomorrow will be the final harness program in 2020 and that signals mandatory payouts.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 6-Beulah Dygert Memorial-Purse $98,0008-Lous Abigail (6/5)-This gal has been on fire, and unless the trip is awful it should be the 6th straight picture for the Searle trainee. Leonard should find a decent seat, is likely to make an early move and not look back.5-El Oh Govner (10-1)-Marcus Miller grabs the lines which is a ++ driver change. The #1 should get the top or the 2-hole but if fractions are honest this filly will be passing foes down the lane. Using underneath in gimmicks.1-Fox Valley Extacy (5/2)-The logical 2nd choice usually stays trotting. Probably the case tonight unless there is an issue with starting inside. May want to control the race but that probably won't happen and will be hard pressed to overtake Abigail down the lane.$10 Exacta 8-5, Total Bet=$10Race 7-Erwin Dygert Memorial-Purse $109,0006-Fox Valley Quest (3/2)-Odds-on favorite may have had his hands full if drew the 9 or 10 hole. But with this post draw there should be no excuse and Leonard can provide a good steer.5-On Higher Ground (7/2)-Brink trainee is a consistent check casher and has finished in the money in 10 of 11 starts with 3 wins. Should be battling #1 for the 2nd place check and will give this 3-year-old a very slight edge.1-Crooked Creek (5/2)-Comes off a 6-length romp in the slop and has also been very consistent hitting the board in 10 of 11 starts with 8-wins. Warren should keep the other Brink pupil in play throughout.$5 Trifecta 6-5-1, $5 Trifecta 6-1-5, Total Bet=$10Race 8-Kadabra Championship-Purse $118,0004-Lousrolando (2-1)-The breaking issues seem to have been cured and will be trying for its 3rd straight trip to the winner's circle. Beat 5 from this field on 9/11 and expecting the same as long as minds manners.8-Fistfullofdollars (5/2)-Came 3rd to the morning line choice on 5/2 but appears to have the best chance of any to knock-off the Husted trainee. Will probably need to trot faster than ever before to take top honors.6-I'mnotalocaldude (12-1)-2-year-old is only 1-15 but has hit the board 8 times and comes off an improved effort. Should race close to the top of the stack and could hit the board if keeps trotting.$4 Trifecta 4-8-6, $2 Trifecta 4-6-8, Total Bet=$6Race 11-Plum Peachy-Purse $108,0009-Fox Valley Exploit (3-1)-On the downside starting from the 9-hole will make the task more difficult. On a positive note this filly has been an odds-on chalk in the last 8 races and tonight the price will be better. This is my pick despite the post, it's the best horse with a stronger driver and is in top form.1-Sign Her Up (2-1)-Did knock-off my top choice on 8/22 and took full advantage of a nice trip. Should be a major player, probably garnered the morning favoritism due to the post draw and it could make a difference.4-Double Parked (6-1)-Looking to use in gimmicks and can hit the board with a decent journey. With a quick start could get the top and surprise if Seekman can steal a quarter.$8 Exacta 9-1, $4 Exacta 9-4, $2 Exacta Box 4-9 & 1-4, Total Bet=$20Check me out on Twitter!

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9.19.2020:

Saturday, September 19: Jeff Siegel's National Best Plays

CHURCHILL DOWNS // RACE 6  (3:16PM ET) #6 SARANYA (7/2)Was very impressive in the OBS April sale preview session breezing a furlong in :10 flat after which the daughter of The Factor brought $320,000 through the ring. Out of a stakes-winning Mizzen Mast mare, she’s clearly bred for grass and makes debut going long on the lawn for the powerful B. Cox/F. Geroux trainer/jockey team in what appears to be a below standard maiden race for juvenile fillies The local work tab should have her fit and ready, so let’s try her at or near her morning line of 7/2.CHURCHILL DOWNS // RACE 9 (4:53PME T) #4 SIAMESE (6/1)Makes her U.S. debut in a soft entry-level allowance affair for fillies and mares and should be capable of springing a mild surprise with a repeat of her sharp runner-up at The Curragh two races back in a valuable handicap that earned a career-top Timeform rating. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy attracts T. Gaffalione (22% with a significant flat-bet profit for this barn), and after a couple of easy breezes over the local track the B. Walsh-trained filly should be primed and ready. The first-time Lasix user likes to settle early and kick home late and is listed at 6-1 on the morning line.GOLDEN GATE FIELDS // RACE 3 (5:21PM ET) #1 A LITTLE BIT LUCKY (7/2)Cruised to an easy victory in his debut over the Golden Gate Fields all-weather surface in June and then finished well but too late when a respectable fifth in a stakes race for 2-year-olds at Pleasanton the following month. Dropping into a softer starter’s allowance sprint over a surface we know he likes, the E. Miranda-trained juvenile projects be forwardly placed throughout from his cozy outside draw in race that seems likely to have modest early fractions. There’s good value to be found at his morning line of 8-1 if you can get it.GOLDEN GATE FIELDS // RACE 4 (5:55PM ET)#3 WINNING APPEAL (3/1)Progressing with experience and with another forward move today the daughter of Grazen should be capable of earning her diploma in this five furlong grass sprint for juvenile fillies. Exits a decent (and already productive) maiden dash over the all-weather surface last month and with the shortening to five furlongs and the switch to grass the E. Moger, Jr.-trained filly projects to be on or near the lead throughout. At 3-1 on the morning line she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.GOLDEN GATE FIELDS // RACE 7 (7:28PM ET) #7 EMERALD MAGIC (6/1)Added blinkers for the first time in his 11-race career and ran lights out when narrowly missing at 65-1 in a tough starter’s allowance sprint at Del Mar last month, earning by far a career top speed figure while winding up almost three lengths clear of the rest. Returns to his home base where he’s a two-time winner over the Tapeta surface, and with a clean break from his favorable outside draw and a repeat of his most recent outing he may be good enough to pull off at 5-1 on the morning line.GOLDEN GATE FIELDS // RACE 8 (7:57PM ET) #2 BLAKEFORD (4/1)Has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern while switching to a surface he’s bred to love, so this juvenile son of Mr. Big looks quite intriguing from a good inside draw while retaining high-percentage jockey K. Frey. Was recently scratched out of a maiden $32,000 to be protected in today’s straight maiden race in what we’ll take as a sign of confidence. We’re expecting the J. Josephson-trained juvenile to settle into a comfortable second flight, ground-saving trip and then have every chance to fire his best through the lane. He’s listed at 4-1 on the morning line and we should be able to get every bit of that on the tote.GOLDEN GATE FIELDS // RACE 10 (8:53PM ET) #3 ALICE MARBLE (8/1)Though winding up a non-threatening ninth, this daughter of Grazen ran far better than the line will show when finishing fastest of all (and galloping out in front) in her debut in June at Santa Anita in a fairly competitive maiden special weight sprint on turf. Was entered but scratched at Del Mar in early August and finally makes it back to the races for clever S. Miyadi, who has been on a tear of late in the Bay Area. With the barn’s “go to” rider A. Gomez taking the call, this state-bred 3-year-old filly is listed at 8-1 on the morning and has a chance to pull off an upset if she leaves with her field and finds room to rally from the quarter pole home.

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9.18.2020:

Saturday, September 19: Eddie Olczyk’s Belmont Park Spot Plays

Xpressbet and NBC Sports handicapper Eddie Olczyk is back to provide a pair of best bets on Belmont Park’s opening weekend Saturday, September 19 card. Race 4 (2:35PM ET) // Claiming // 6 Furlongs (Dirt) #8 MINE THE COIN (9-2 ML)The turn-back in distance should be key after a 1-1/8 miles try at Saratoga that resulted in a solid third-place finish. He’s back to sprinting and proven over the Belmont track in June in a similar assignment. Win bet.Race 9 (5:14PM ET) // Optional Claiming // 7 Furlongs (Turf) #4 OPT (8-1 ML)This elongated turf sprint sets up nicely for Opt’s closing kick. There’s a lot of pace in the race with Call Me Harry, Fast Getaway, Noble Emotion, Bustin Shout and Shiraz all battling for the lead. Opt is a course winner and 3-for-3 in the money on the Belmont turf. Win bet. (turf-only pick)

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9.18.2020:

Saturday, September 19: Johnny D's Woodbine Late Pick 4 Ticket

As Santa Anita connections await clear skies and the cessation of damaging fires in the nearby areas, Belmont and Churchill carry the late-September banners as the most popular tracks operating in the US this weekend. However, Saturday, north of the border in Toronto, Canada, Woodbine has an outstanding card highlighted by the Grade 1, $1 million Ricoh Mile. Below is one man’s opinion of the Late Pick 4. Horseplayers have plenty of options throughout the 12-race card that beings at 1:10 pm with a final post scheduled for 6:45 pm. The Woodbine Mile will go as the 9th race at approximately 5:39 pm (All Times Eastern). The main event is included in two Pick 4s—one worth a guaranteed $100k that begins with the 7th race and another worth at least $200k that begins with the Woodbine Mile. There’s also another $100k guaranteed Pick 4 that begins in race 4 and there are two Pick 5s—one that starts with the 2nd race and another launching with the 6th. Additionally, Xpressbet is offering a 1-million-point split on each of 3 Pick 4s Saturday and two others on Sunday. Make certain to register to be eligible for the promotion. While the payoffs are extremely attractive, nothing requires players to wager on Pick 4s and Pick 5s. Those bets often pay extremely well, but they are commensurately difficult to hit and often drain bankrolls. Besides those wagers there are many other options, including Win and Exacta wagering on every race! For our purposes, we’ll take a look at the late Pick 4 but, if you’re interested in having some fun without risking a bundle, then think about playing our Pick 4 selections in Win and Exacta wagers. You probably won’t hit a home run but a double in the gap ain’t a bad way to go. Race 9 (5:39PM ET) // G1 RICOH Woodbine Mile // 1 Mile (Turf) 1. March to the Arch (Casse/Husbands) - 5/2 This 5-year-old ran the best race of his life last out to win the Gr. 2 King Edward at this track and distance. He’s 2-for-2 here on turf. While racing predominately in graded company, he wins a race about every 6-8 months. Rafael Hernandez, who rode March to the Arch to victory last out moves to favored War at Will. Both horses race for trainer Mark Casse. He needs to be respected in here off that strong last out and will be closing late. 2. Armistice Day (Minshall/Moran) - 20/1 Blinkers come off for this 4-year-old gelding but he seems overmatched in here. 3. Shirl’s Speight (Attfield/Kimura) - 8/1 Winner of 2 in as many starts, this 3-year-old is being thrown to the wolves for his third start. He was slated to try the Kentucky Derby but became sick before the race and didn’t enter. He broke maiden going 7 furlongs over this layout and then won the Gr. 3 Marine in his next against fellow sophomores. This field is much tougher. 4. Starship Jubilee (Attard/Stein) - 4/1 If you can’t appreciate this Gr. 1 winning mare, then you’re not a true racing fan. She’s 18-for-37 lifetime, 6-for-13 over Woodbine turf and 5-for-8 with 2 seconds at the distance. This is the kind of horse that if you were in a foxhole, you’d want beside you. She’s 7-years-old now but has won 4 of her last 5 and 7 of the last 9! Expect her to be about mid-pack early. Despite that awesome record at the distance she hasn’t tried a mile since blowing a 3-length lead in the stretch here over a yielding surface in the Gr. 2 Nassau in May of ’19. Consider this professional a contender in here and possibly an exotics key. 5. Olympic Runner (Casse/Fukumoto) - 15/1 The least fancied of 3 Mark Casse-trained runners, this 4-year-old gelding closed well to be second at six furlongs on the main track in the Gr. 3 Vigil last out. He’s fit but this appears to be a big step up in class. He usually comes from well off the pace in sprints but should be a bit closer to the early pace at one mile. 6. Admiralty Pier (Minshall/Bahen) - 10/1 This 5-year-old gelding is an interesting proposition in here, especially in vertical exotic plays like exactas and trifectas. He figures as the speed and will be the main target for favored War of Will. How long will this guy hang around? That’s the one you need to answer when you decide where to use him. Message here is don’t dismiss this guy at anywhere near 10-1 odds. 7. Value Proposition (Brown/Contreras) - 6/1 This is a lightly raced 4-year-old ridgeling shipping north from New York for trainer Chad Brown. Anything from that barn has to be considered but this guy will need to run better than he ever has before. That’s not impossible, especially for these connections, but he may be overbet because of those same connections. 8. War of Will (Casse/Hernandez) - 2/1 Last season’s Preakness winner returned to turf to win the Gr 1 Maker’s Mark at Keeneland last out July 10. He has worked well since including a bullet :59 1/5 five furlongs at Churchill Downs. He began his career with a quartet of turf races but didn’t break maiden until on a sloppy Churchill main track going a mile and one-sixteenth. He then annexed the Gr. 3 Lecomte and Gr. 2 Risen Star in his next two starts. Eighth in the Kentucky Derby after a puzzling dud in the Gr. 2 Louisiana Derby as heavy favorite, this son of War Front captured the Preakness next out. This guy is a Gr. 1 winner on both turf and dirt and that’s a rare combination. He’ll be favored in here and has every right to fire another big race but there are reasons to go against him. First, his turf speed figures really don’t dominate in here. Second, his best races have come on the turf. We’d love to bet against him, but he’s got a license to improve because he’s making just his third start as a 4-year-old, is fresh and has a trainer who knows how to win this race. He must be used and because of the difficulty of the late Pick 4 we’ll single him in our suggested wager so the ticket isn’t too large.   Most Likely Winner: #8 War of Will (2-1)Should Run Well: #4 Starship Jubilee (4-1) #6 Admiralty Pier (10-1) As mentioned earlier the 9th race is part of two Pick 4s—one that begins with the 7th and one that starts with the 9th. The latter is a difficult animal because there are a pair of 2-year-old grass races in the sequence—a five-furlong stakes race for fillies and a restricted maiden race at six and one-half furlongs. Two-year-old races often are unpredictable, toss in the turf factor and things become even scarier. Bombs may be bursting in air!   Race 10 (6:14PM ET) // Woodbine Cares S. // 5 Furlongs (Turf) #2 Dirty Dangle (10-1) has a five-furlong turf maiden victory in solid time. Must be respected. #4 Chatelet (6-1) didn’t win her only maiden turf start but ran well enough to be considered in here for a winning barn. She’s got speed. #5 Souper Munnings (2-1) switched to turf after two decent main track tries. She’ll probably stalk the early pace. #7 Illegal Smile (8-5) is trained by Wesley Ward, who’s great with this type of runner. Lasix was added and blinkers removed last out and she showed speed and was passed late in a stakes race. That was an improvement over her second outing at Belmont in a maiden turf race when second. She remains a maiden.   Race 11 (6:45PM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) This is an absolutely wide-open mess. Use as many of these as you can. We’ll list a few with comments but have no real opinion. Bombs away! #12 Lucky Score (6-1) has some things in his favor. According to Thoro-Graph statistics, trainer Ralph Biamonte hits at 27% with all 2-year-olds and is 36% with 2-year-olds 2nd time out. Those are some gaudy numbers and can’t be ignored. This son of Lookin At Lucky has worked every 7 days and has a :35 2/5 from the gate bullet August 30. #6 Saturday George (3-1) finished second in his only start on main track. #2 Derzkii (20-1) has 2 fair races under his belt—the most recent in a restricted stakes. If he takes to the turf, his steady style may work well. #7 Justintimegosnorth (12-1) has a nice stamina building three-quarter work for this. #8 Keep Grinding has been working every 6-8 days and has a bullet five-furlong move September 7.   Race 12 (7:15PM ET) // Optional Claiming // 6 Furlongs (All Weather) #9 Last American Exit 9 (12-1) A repeat of either of Last American Exit’s first two races would put him in the mix. He’s worth a shot at anything close to 12-1 odds. #7 Speedy Moonlite (3-1) has a pair of races that fit in here. Last out in a stakes try he wasn’t competitive. These are easier. #5 Bend in the River (4-1) has several races that make him competitive in here, in fact, all of his starts except for his only turf try fit. #11 Executive Search (6-1) ought to be close early and has a race two back that makes him competitive. Before his last out on turf he showed solid improvement. If that improvement resumes, he’s got a solid chance.   Suggested $.50 Pick 4 Ticket ($40 Total) There’s no way to approach this particularly difficult Pick 4 sequence without spending a decent amount of money. There are other ways to attack Saturday’s Woodbine races. We’ll construct a Pick 4 opinion below, but don’t neglect Win and Exacta wagering. Race 9: #8 War of WillRace 10: #2 Dirty Dangle, #4 Chatelet, #5 Souper Munnings, #7 Illegal SmileRace 11: #2 Derzkii, #6 Saturday George, #7 Justintimegosnorth, #8 Keep Grinding, #12 Lucky ScoreRace 12: #5 Bend in the River, #7 Speedy Moonlite, #9 Last American Exit, #11 Executive Search Race On!

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9.18.2020:

Friday, September 18: Meadowlands Late Pick 4 Analysis

The Meadowlands has a competitive 13-race card ready to go this evening. There will be two carryovers which bettors will focus on and both should lead to large pools. One is in the 0.20 Late Pick 5 and the other is in the 0.50 Late Pick 4. My focus will be on the Late Pick 4 which begins in Race 10 and it has a $38,390 carryover.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 106-Aquaman Hanover (10-1)-Looking for a price to kick things off with #9 coming off a break at PcD. Loses Dunn who picks Takter's #9. But Todd McCarthy can put in play and with an advantageous trip could surprise at a big price.8-Summa Cum Laude (3-1)-Won here on 7/31 from the 7-hole in gate to wire fashion in 151.4. Dave Miller takes a seat and he will steer the only one in this field to record a win at the Big M.9-Always A Miki (5/2)-Dunn sticks here and made a costly miscue in the Pass final on 9/5. Best to not overlook this Takter trainee but Dunn will need a to work a smooth trip.Race 113-Fifty Cent Piece (8-1)-Has 2 Big M starts, both were from the 9-hole and showed good gate speed to finish 2nd each time. This is a bigger test but has a post edge over the 2 program chalks. Could trip out and best to consider at this price.6-Kings County (8-1)-Started 3 times at Plainridge Park as an odds-on chalk and broke in the last 2 starts. 1st time Todd McCarthy which also adds to the risk, but this race is a head scratcher. 4-year-old has the speed to beat this crew and will use at this price. Has hit the board 3 times with a win here and shows no breaks at the Big M.7-Thunder (3-1)-Broke on 8/20, then on 9/5 qualified with hopples in 153.1 and missed beating Ramona Hill by a neck. Conway Hall 4-year-old has big speed and can take a picture if minds manners.9-HL Revadon (10-1)-The post makes the price and is super consistent at the Big M, has 3 wins in 13 starts and has only been off the board once. Mark Mac needs a big-time steer and some luck but here is another price shot worth using.Race 121-Heart Of Mine (5/2)-This filly is too good to leave out from the rail but is only 1-6 lifetime. Makes her Big M debut and should be bet hard.4-Think Of Galaxies (5-1)-Returns to a 1-mile oval and might be sitting on a big try. Was hung out to dry at YR last week and could be overlooked at the windows tonight. Has the gate speed to be on the point or in the 2-hole, best to respect.6-Fire Start Hanover (3-1)-Will probably be fine on the big track, if doesn't work too hard to get the top. Maybe Dunn takes back as there is some speed inside. Should be a major player but not sure how the trip will work out and may not offer any value.Race 132-Gamblin Mo (6-1)-Has only 1 win in 7 starts but has faced some very tough company. This colt has the motor to roll by late and should be a square price. If the pace is solid a picture could be in the cards as long as Callahan can put into striking range.4-Crunch Hanover (7/2)-Crunch might be the fastest colt in the field and has the gate speed to control the race. Should have a good shot to cash the biggest check but has never raced on a larger oval.My Ticket Race 10) 6,8,9 Race 11) 3,6,7,9 Race 12) 1,4,6 Race 13) 2,4Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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9.18.2020:

Friday, September 18: Jeff Siegel's National Best Plays

Belmont Park – First Race. Post time: 1:00 ET1 – Zainalarab (8/5) Diminutive daughter of War Front was a $1 million Keeneland yearling purchase and makes her debut in this six furlong sprint that ushers in the fall Belmont Park season. She’s done everything asked in the morning for a barn that hits at a strong 21% with first-timers while displaying excellent quickness, so we’re expecting a winning effort first crack out of the box from this War Front filly out of Monmouth Oaks winner Delightful Joy. At 8/5 on the morning line we can use her in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single. Belmont Park – Sixth Race. Post time: 3:36 ET6-Lowcountry (8-1) Here’s a good price chance in this maiden special weight juvenile filly turf miler. This Frosted filly from the Grade-2 placed Lemon Drop Kid mare Kiawah Cat has done all of her preparation at Fair Hill training center, and based on her consistently good workout times she may have enough ability to spring a surprise in this wide open affair. The M. Stidham barn has solid stats with first-timers, and the barn’s go-to rider K. Carmouche takes the call, so let’s try the Godolphin homebred at or near her morning line of 8-1. Golden Gate Fields – Seventh Race. Post time: 4:15 PT5-Scherzo (5/2) English-bred filly makes her U.S. debut after a couple of promising all-weather runs overseas, and if she duplicates either one of those efforts today the daughter of Golden Horn should earn her diploma in this one mile grass affair for distaffers. She gets Lasix and high-percentage jockey K. Frey following a relatively brief work tab that indicates the M. Padilla-trained sophomore arrived in the Bay Area fit and ready. The barn does very well with these types of imports, so at 5/2 on the morning line she should be able to outclass the competition.

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9.17.2020:

Friday, September 18: Gulfstream Park Late Pick 4 Ticket

With the Stronach 5 potentially canceled this week due to the wildfires in California, let’s focus our attention at Gulfstream Park and look at Friday’s late Pk4(R6-R9), which looks like the perfect example of the “less is more” play that you might be able to hit several times. *** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. *** Race 6 (2:50PM ET) // 2yof MSW at 6 furlongs A modest group of juveniles means #5 SPEEDING (5-2) is going to be tough to beat, as she was a close 3rd on debut on the turf when bet to 9-5, is bred to love the main (Into Mischief out of a Tapit mare), and has a big experience edge over what looks like her main rival. And that brings us to #10 GLADYS (7-2), who is a full-sister to the immortal Rachel Alexandra and has some decent works for her debut, though note her dam Lotta Kim is now 19 and hasn’t really produced anyone else of consequence, so you might want to tab the tote on this one (as with any of the other firsters). Pk4 A horses: 5,10 (listed in order of preference) Barboza isn’t really known for his debut runners but he’s a decent enough 13%, so #6 STRONG AZTECA (5-1) is worth a look off a slew of works, and with main Zayas (40% here for the barn) riding. Let’s also use #9 PENS STREET (15-1), who has a quartet of sharp works for Crichton, who is a solid 17% on debut, and this outside attack post helps too. Pk4 B horses: 6,9 Potential B add-ins: #7 Make a Scene (12-1), #4 Najwa (8-1), #2 Toolegittoquit (12-1), and #8 Mastering Bella (6-1) Race 7 (3:22PM ET) // 3up AOC (25k/N1X) at 5 furlongs (turf) If there’s a spread race in the sequence this is it, as several have shown enough firepower to be a player on their best day. With that being said, I’ll go with the class and price of #2 IKEISGREAT (8-1), who has been at CD and Kee on the turf and run well, and should like this summer GP group a lot better. Clearly the horse to beat is #9 FULLY LOADED (5-2), who shows two very fast wins since the Sanchez claim and drew the perfect outside attack post for his pressing style. You get upside and a price with #1 GETTHE MUNY BERNIE (9-2) and heavy speed with #5 GO GONE GONE (7-2), so let’s use them on the top line as well. Pk4 A horses: 2,9,1,5 I’m a bit against the fast 8/16 race that #6 SOLDOLLIE (8-1) and #7 SUBLIE APPEAL (5-1), as both might regress off what were out of the ordinary runs, and don’t have a lot of speed either. The cutback might be too sharp for #10 JOYFUL HEART (6-1), but he has some back class and has been running well, so he’s worth inclusion too. Pk4 B horses: 6,7,10 Potential B add-ins: NONE Race 8 (3:55PM ET) // 3up 6.25k claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs It looks like Barboza has #5 JAMAICAN (3-1) after a fast chasing 2nd at the level last time, and a repeat would make him tough from close range. If he doesn’t get it done then #3 STARSHIP APOLLO (5-2) is next in line, as he was just a head back last time, will be closing, and might like the extra half-furlong a bit more. Pk4 A horses: 5,3 The secondary contenders seem a cut below, though #2 STAR JUANCHO (6-1) would be a player off his last dirt run, which came against better, while #1 KAREN’S COVE (5-1) wasn’t too far behind the top pair last time. Pk4 B horses: 2,1 Potential B add-ins: #9 Spa Jazz (15-1) Race 9 (4:27PM ET) // 2yof 40k MCL at 1-mile (turf) The finale looks like easy pickings for #3 YAKA (2-1), who was 2nd, beaten just a neck, in an MSW last time and meets a terribly weak crew (on paper) while taking the biggest drop in racing. Pk4 A horses: 3 There are two firsters who you have to use, as neither #6 SILVER SKY SMOOTH (5-1) or #11 MS. MELANIA (4-1) will have to be stars to have a say, though the former has some slow works, and the latter drew terribly, which is why they are on the second line. The experience of #8 LEARNT (15-1) makes her worth a look, and that debut 5th at the level wasn’t that bad, in a race about as fast as Yaka’s on figures. Pk4 B horses: 6,11,8 Potential B add-ins: NONE The tickets: Main Ticket: 5,10 with 2,9,1,5 with 5,3 with 3 = $8 (play multiple times)Leg 1 B Backup: 6,9 with 2,9,1,5 with 5,3 with 3 = $8Leg 2 B Backup: 5,10 with 6,7,10 with 5,3 with 3 = $6Leg 3 B Backup: 5,10 with 2,9,1,5 with 2,1 with 3 = $8Leg 4 B Backup: 5,10 with 2,9,1,5 with 5,3 with 6,11,8 = $12

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9.16.2020:

Will There Be a Rematch in the Preakness?

Is Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law going to run in the Grade I, $1 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Oct. 3? Or will he bypass the final leg of this year’s coronavirus-related revamped Triple Crown series and start next in the Grade I, $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Nov. 7? Owned by Sackatoga Stable and trained by Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law had his four-race winning streak snapped when he finished second as a 7-10 favorite in the Grade I Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Sept. 5. After winning the Grade I Belmont by 3 3/4 lengths at 1 1/8 miles on June 20, Tiz the Law registered a 5 1/2-length victory in Saratoga’s Grade I Travers Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 8. When the New York-bred Constitution colt did not get the job done in the Kentucky Derby, it meant there is not going to be a Triple Crown winner in 2020. Tiz the Law had four weeks between the Travers and Kentucky Derby. He’d previously had more time between his races. With that in mind, it would seem to make sense not to run him back in the Preakness, which would be four weeks after the Kentucky Derby. The way I see it, if running Tiz the Law back in four weeks didn’t work in the Kentucky Derby, then why do it in the Preakness? Why not run him next in the BC Classic, which would afford him nine weeks between races? Nevertheless, Jack Knowlton, Sackatoga’s operating manager, said last Saturday that the Preakness “is still an option” for Tiz the Law. Knowlton said that Tiz the Law will “be doing his regular gallops as long as everything continues along well.” Tiz the Law then will have a workout this weekend “to assess where we are,” Knowlton added. “We want to make sure he comes out of the race well and acts like he did after the Travers,” Knowlton said. “That’s what we’d like to see moving forward.” The vibe as to Tiz the Law’s Preakness status was not encouraging in a Daily Racing Form story written by Mike Welsch. “He’s come out of most of his other races better than he came out of this one,” Tagg said with regard to the Kentucky Derby. “It’s pretty obvious he doesn’t really care for that track. He’s also never had to come back in four weeks before.” Tagg said that “this time we had no choice” but to come back in four weeks. “And give the winner his due, he ran a great race,” Tagg continued. “But you always question if [Tiz the Law] came back in four weeks at Belmont or Saratoga, tracks he’s really shown a fondness for, things would have been different.” Assistant trainer and exercise rider Robin Smullen also did not paint the rosiest of pictures of how Tiz the Law has been doing since the Kentucky Derby. “He’s very stiff galloping right now,” Smullen said. “It’s nothing to worry about. He came out of his previous race in Kentucky [the 2019 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes] the same way, and I think that racetrack has a lot to do with it. He’s an easy horse to train because either he takes a hold and drags you around there or he doesn’t. And when he doesn’t, it’s because he’s feeling a little stiff. It’s not a big deal. He’ll tell us when he’s ready to do more than canter around there like he has the last few mornings. And right now, he’s not telling us he’s ready to do more.” If Tiz the Law does run in the Preakness, it would add pizzazz to the race in being a rematch between the first two finishers in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is targeting the Preakness with Authentic, who won the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/4 lengths. The Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief now has four wins and a second from six career starts. Tiz the Law has six wins, a second and a third from eight lifetime starts. I will continue to keep Tiz the Law on my Preakness Top 10 until it’s announced that he definitely will not be running. Baffert intends to also run Thousand Words in the 145th Preakness. The trainer said Sunday that both Authentic and Thousand Words are on course for the race. According to Baffert, Authentic came out of the Kentucky Derby “very, very well,” adding that the colt “would have been ready to go in two weeks” after the Run for the Roses. Baffert has never lost the Preakness with a Kentucky Derby winner, having done so with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018). American Pharoah and Justify were Triple Crown winners. In the five times that Baffert has pulled off the Kentucky Derby-Preakness double, there was two weeks between the two races. It will be four weeks this time. As for Thousand Words, he became irked in the paddock prior to the Kentucky Derby when the saddling process took longer than he would have preferred. He reared, lost his balance and fell on his side. He knocked Jimmy Barnes, Baffert’s longtime assistant, to the ground hard. Because of what Thousand Words did, he became an automatic scratch as a precaution. But Baffert said Sunday that the Kentucky-bred Pioneerof the Nile colt “was okay and was checked out. He’s doing well.” Baffert said that Barnes required nine screws and a plate to repair his right wrist. Art Collector is scheduled to run in the Preakness. He was not entered in the Kentucky Derby after nicking the bulb of his left front heel with a hind hoof while galloping at Churchill Downs five days before the race. According to trainer Tommy Drury Jr., the heel issue was not major, just bad timing. The Kentucky-bred Bernardini colt worked four furlongs in :48.10 last Saturday at the Skylight Training Center in Kentucky. Art Collector won the Grade II Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on July 11 and Ellis Park Derby on Aug. 9. SWISS SKYDIVER A PREAKNESS POSSIBILITY The filly Swiss Skydiver finished second in the Blue Grass. The Kentucky-bred Daredevil filly then won Saratoga’s Grade I Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 15 before finishing second to another Daredevil filly, Shedaresthedevil, in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Sept. 4. Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee reported Wednesday that Swiss Skydiver is “under serious consideration” for the Preakness. The filly’s trainer, Ken McPeek, told McGee that she is “maybe 50-50 at this point.” McPeek indicated that there is a better chance of Swiss Skydiver running in the Preakness if Tiz the Law skips the race. If Swiss Skydiver does not run in the Preakness, other possibilities for her are a pair of Grade I races at Keeneland, the Spinster on dirt Oct. 4 or Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on turf Oct. 10, according to McPeek. With Swiss Skydiver now listed as possible, she moves onto my Preakness Top 10 this week at No. 4. Ny Traffic also moves onto my Preakness Top 10 this week at No. 5 after word came from Florida that he is possible for the race. In the Kentucky Derby, Ny Traffic raced forwardly early, but then he faltered and finished eighth. Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. reported that Ny Traffic “got a couple of cuts” and lost his right front shoe. “He has a staple in his [left front] ankle from a cut he got,” Joseph said. “It looks like he should be okay…The main thing is the staple and when it gets taken out, how he’s going to be. “Would I say he ran his best race [in the Kentucky Derby]? No,” said Joseph. “I don’t know when he lost his shoe. When you’re at that level, you need everything to go right. He wasn’t the best horse in the race to begin with. So he can’t afford to give away advantages.” Ny Traffic had finished third or better in all five 2020 starts prior to the Kentucky Derby. The New York-bred Cross Traffic colt lost Monmouth Park’s Grade I, 1 1/8-mile Haskell Invitational by a scant nose when he finished second to Authentic. Exiting my Preakness Top 10 this week is the one-eyed gelding Finnick the Fierce, who races for Arnaldo Monge and trainer Rey Hernandez. The Kentucky-bred Dialed In colt was withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby because of what was said to be an abundance of caution. Monge had been quoted as saying that Hernandez felt Finnick the Fierce “was fine,” but that the official “vets had been keeping an eye on the horse.” Monge went on to say that if Finnick the Fierce checked out physically, the Preakness “could be a consideration.” In a press release from Monge last Monday, the co-owner disclosed that Finnick the Fierce was found to have a minor suspensory strain that is not career-threatening. The diagnosis of “a slightly enlarged proximal suspensory ligament with no fiber disruption” was made by the highly respected Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. Finnick the Fierce was said to have undergone complete diagnostics at the medical facility. Monge is a veterinarian. He’s a member of the practice at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, also in Lexington. “In layman’s terms, it’s a strain, not a tear, and his prognosis is good for a full recovery,” Monge said. This seems to be an example of the system in which horses now are under increased scrutiny works. Inasmuch as it turned out that Finnick the Fierce did have an issue, it’s a good thing that he did not start in the Kentucky Derby. Finnick the Fierce has won once in nine career starts. In his most recent race, he finished seventh in Keeneland’s Grade II Blue Grass Stakes on July 11. He finished third in a division of the Grade I Arkansas Derby won by Nadal at Oaklawn Park on May 2. Here is my current Preakness Top 10: 1. Authentic2. Tiz the Law3. Art Collector4. Swiss Skydiver5. Shirl’s Speight6. Ny Traffic7. Thousand Words8. Pneumatic9. Mystic Guide10. King Guillermo SANTA ANITA DERBY WINNER HONOR A.P. RETIRED There will be no Preakness Stakes for Grade I Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A.P. after he finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Not only that, there will not by any more races for the Kentucky-bred Honor Code ridgling trained by John Shirreffs. It was announced Monday that Honor A.P.’s racing days are over. Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen reported that Shirreffs said Honor A.P. has been retired because of a tendon injury. “He strained his left front tendon and it would take too long to heal and bring him back,” Shirreffs told Andersen. “It’s very minor. With his size, it would take a long time. We had hoped to have a 4-year-old year with him.” Earlier this year, Honor A.P. finished second to Authentic in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 7. When Honor A.P. won the Santa Anita Derby by 2 3/4 lengths, Authentic finished second. That has been Authentic’s only defeat. Honor A.P. and Authentic had their rubber match in the Kentucky Derby. Authentic won, while Honor A.P. ran fourth in the field of 15. Honor A.P. broke half a step slow and was slammed in the opening strides by Ny Traffic. At one point, Honor A.P. was 13 1/4 lengths off the lead. Prior to that, he had never been farther back early than 2 1/2 lengths in his four starts in races around two turns. With four furlongs left to run, Honor A.P. was dead last in the Kentucky Derby. It actually was to his credit that despite being so far back in the early stages and racing wide throughout, he came on to finish fourth and lose by five lengths. How wide was Honor A.P.’s trip? He lost by five lengths. According to Trakus data, he traveled 49 feet, or approximately 5.4 lengths, farther than Authentic. An $850,000 yearling purchase, Honor A.P. retires with two wins and three seconds from six lifetime starts and earnings of $532,200 for Lee and Susan Searing’s CRK Stable. Honor A.P., whose dam is the multiple Grade I winner Hollywood Story, already is at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky. His sire also resides there. According to BloodHorse’s Eric Mitchell, Honor A.P.’s new home at Lane’s End is the former stall of his paternal grandsire, A.P. Indy, the 1992 Horse of the Year and one of the all-time great sires. A.P. Indy died at Lane’s End on Feb. 21 due to the infirmities of old age. That stall had remained empty following A.P. Indy’s death until Honor A.P. began occupying it this week. ANOTHERTWISTAFATE TAKES LONGACRES MILE Despite not having raced in 16 months, Anothertwistafate powered away from his foes in the stretch last Thursday to win the most important race in the Pacific Northwest, the 85th running of the Grade III Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. The Longacres Mile was first run in 1935. This was the first time that the Longacres Mile was run under the lights at night. It also was the first time the race was held without general public spectators. According to Emerald Downs television commentator Joe Withee, Anothertwistafate became the first-ever winner of the Longacres Mile who had not previously started in the calendar year. To have Anothertwistafate ready for such a stellar performance off such a long layoff was an outstanding training job by 46-year-old trainer Blaine Wright. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Scat Daddy colt had recorded a number of excellent workouts on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta surface, most notably a sizzling six furlongs in 1:10.40 on Aug. 16. According to Daily Racing Form’s George Cottrell, that 1:10.40 drill by Anothertwistafate was equal to the fastest time at the distance since Golden Gate switched to a Tapeta surface in 2007. Anothertwistafate won last year’s El Camino Real Derby by seven lengths at Golden Gate on Feb. 16. He then ran second in both the Grade III Sunland Derby at Sunland Park and Grade III Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. After finishing 10th in the Grade I Preakness, he did not start again until the Longacres Mile. Anothertwistafate’s class and works were why I said on an Emerald Downs podcast that I liked him to win the Longacres Mile as much as I had loved Point Piper in the 2016 renewal. I similarly had felt that Point Piper was by far the class of that field. In the 2016 Longacres Mile, Point Piper won by 4 3/4 lengths when he completed one mile in 1:32.90 to break the track record. He paid $12.20 for each $2 win wager, compared to $4.40 for Anothertwistafate, who was sent away as the favorite. Fourth in the early going under jockey Juan Gutierrez, Anothertwistafate took command coming into the stretch and kicked away from his eight rivals. His final time was 1:34.10. Anothertwistafate was credited with a 92 Beyer Speed Figure. The Longacres Mile was run at Longacres from 1935-1992, then at Yakima Meadows from 1993-95. It has been run at Emerald Downs from 1996 to this year. Below are the Beyer Speed Figures recorded by Longacres Mile winners going back to 1992 (the figures prior to 2020 are listed in the American Racing Manual, which is now digital only): 2020 Anothertwistafate (92)2019 Law Abidin Citizen (96)2018 Barkley (94)2017 Gold Rush Dancer (97)2016 Point Piper (103)2015 Stryker Phd (99)2014 Stryker Phd (97)2013 Herbie D (100)2012 Taylor Said (98)2011 Awesome Gem (96)2010 Noosa Beach (99)2009 Assessment (94)2008 Wasserman (90)2007 The Great Face (91)2006 Flamethrowintexan (101)2005 No Giveaway (93)2004 Adreamisborn (99)2003 Sky Jack (105)2002 Sabertooth (96)2001 Irisheyesareflying (100)2000 Edneator (104)1999 Budroyale (106)1998 Wild Wonder (111)1997 Kid Katabatic (105)1996 Isitingood (105)1995 L.J. Express (94)1994 Want a Winner (87)1993 Adventuresome Love (93)1992 Bolulight (106) “The Mile,” as it’s affectionately referred to by folks in the Northwest, is the race everyone involved in the sport in that part of the country wants to win. Wright is no different. He finally got his first Longacres Mile victory with Anothertwistafate, a race that had eluded his father, Richard Wright, both as a jockey and trainer. What made the win last Thursday extra sweet for Blaine Wright and owner Peter Redekop was they had finished second in the Longacres Mile the last two years. Alert Bay, the 9-5 favorite, ran second to Barkley in 2018. Anyportinastorm, the 7-10 favorite, came in second to Law Abidin Citizen in 2019. This also was Redekop’s first Longacres Mile victory. For Gutierrez, it was his third win in the Mile, following No Giveaway in 2005 and The Great Face in 2007. EQUIBASE’S LONGACRES MILE CHART INNACURATE? I was a chart-caller for the Daily Racing Form from 1974-80 and from 1986-93. I called charts at the 1986 Breeders’ Cup held at Santa Anita and the 1987 Breeders’ Cup held at Hollywood Park. This includes the official chart for the 1987 BC Classic in which Ferdinand nosed out Alysheba, a clash between two Kentucky Derby winners, with the 1987 Horse of the Year title on the line. Those are my bona fides to question the accuracy of the Equibase chart for this year’s Longacres Mile. The chart shows Papa’s Golden Boy in front by 2 1/2 lengths at the three-quarter call. This is the call at the quarter pole, three-quarters of a mile after the start. In watching the replay, it appears Papa’s Golden Boy is in front at the quarter pole, with Anothertwistafate second. It looks to me that the chart does have that right. But is Papa’s Golden Boy leading by 2 1/2 lengths at the quarter pole? I don’t think so. It looks like Papa’s Golden Boy and Anothertwistafate were racing side-by-side at that point. So how can the chart say they were separated by 2 1/2 lengths? It should be a smaller margin, something less than one length. Additionally, I question the chart’s comments (or footnotes). It states that Anothertwistafate “reached the fore with a quarter to run and drew off with complete authority.” I agree with the “drew off with complete authority,” but not with the “reach the fore with a quarter to run.” A quarter to run means the quarter pole. Thus, there is a conflict. While the chart shows Papa’s Golden Boy leading by 2 1/2 lengths at the quarter pole, it says in the comments that Anothertwistafate had “reached the fore” at that point. Such a problematic Equibase chart for the biggest race in the Pacific Northwest is a disservice to the umpteen horseplayers who rely on this information being accurate. RETIRED TRAINER BEN HARRIS PASSES AWAY It was with much sadness that I learned that Ben Harris, one of the most successful trainers in the history of racing in the Pacific Northwest, passed away on Sept. 2 in Selah, Wash. He was 82. Inducted into the Washington Racing Hall of Fame in 2014, Harris won training titles at Longacres in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992. In the history of that track from 1933-92, he was the only trainer to win four straight titles. He won a record 92 races at the 1991 Longacres meet. All told, he won 31 stakes races at that picturesque track. I first got to know Harris at Yakima Meadows in 1975. It was my first full year as a chart-caller and writer for the Daily Racing Form. Harris’ obituary that appeared in the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association newsletter said that he “was known for his easy-going and likeable personality and strong work ethic.” I can attest to that, especially in terms of how friendly he was. At the aforementioned 1975 Yakima meet, I had many conversations with Harris. When he would pop into the racing office, I’d say “good morning” to him. And without fail, he would always say, “Good morning, chief.” It did not take me long to realize that he did not know my name. I thought it was rather clever on his part that since he did not know my name, he would call me “chief.” As time went on, Harris did learn my name. In fact, when I formed an ownership partnership called Media Madness Stable in 1977, he became one of our trainers. Media Madness Stable consisted of eight people, all who were members of the media. The other members of the partnership were Jim Price, Playfair’s track announcer and director of publicity; Dick Cottam, who worked at KHQ-TV; Bruce Brown, a columnist for the Spokane Daily Chronicle (and total horse racing nut); and four people who worked at KREM-TV -- Terry Mauer, Richard Soss, Wes Lynch and anchorwoman Jane Crawford. Harris was one of three trainers for Media Madness Stable along the way. The other two were A.J. “Dutch” Branenburg and Dan McCanna. Branenburg trained Media Madness Stable’s first horse, Political Pull. We claimed him at Longacres for $3,200 on July 22, 1977. We took Political Pull to Playfair. He won his first start for us, a $4,000 claiming race. He then won again for $5,000. Next, he ran second for $5,000 and was claimed off us. It was a terrific beginning for our stable. One of my all-time favorite horse racing memories occurred when Harris trained a horse by the name of Pat’s Commander for Media Madness Stable in 1978. We claimed Pat’s Commander off trainer Kathy Walsh for $4,000 at Longacres on May 11 of that year. We then ran Pat’s Commander in the sixth race at Longacres on May 24 for a $6,250 claiming tag. While I was growing up, Longacres was my favorite place on earth. For me to be part owner of a horse running there was a dream come true for me. One of Pat’s Commander’s opponents in that May 24 race was Golden Norm, owned by Media Stable, a large group of Seattle-area media people. Media Stable had been the inspiration for me to form Media Madness on the other side of the state in Spokane. “The flak will be flying in this race,” Daily Racing Form handicapper Dennis Dodge wrote regarding the clash between Pat’s Commander and Golden Norm. For Seattle’s Media Madness and Spokane’s Media Stable to go against each other in the same race was somewhat akin to the Apple Cup football rivalry game between Western Washington’s University of Washington Huskies and Eastern Washington’s Washington State Cougars. Mike James rode Pat’s Commander. James had won the riding title at Longacres the year before. Ten-pound apprentice Ralph Pauline was Golden Norm’s pilot. I considered this a huge advantage for Pat’s Commander, who was the 4-1 third choice in the wagering. Golden Norm started at 10-1. I made a modest across-the-board wager on Pat’s Commander. I also had some personal wagers with several of Golden Norm’s owners. These bets were head-to-head. I would win those wagers as long as Pat’s Comannder beat Golden Norm, even if they finished next-to-last and last. I was in the paddock to watch Harris saddle Pat’s Commander. When the riders came out to the paddock, I saw Golden Norm’s trainer, T.D. McLaughlin, put his arm around Ralph Pauline. “Son, I want you to let this horse just relax early, then make your move at the quarter pole,” McLaughlin said to the young apprentice. Pauline had a puzzled expression as he looked up at the trainer.“The quarter pole? Where’s that?” Pauline asked.McLaughlin couldn’t believe what he had just heard. “You’re riding races and you don’t know where the quarter pole is?” the trainer asked. “No, sir,” Pauline said. “I’d been riding Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos before I came here.” McLaughlin then asked his assistant to get him a piece of paper, on which the trainer drew a diagram of a racetrack. “Here is the finish line,” the trainer said. “Here’s the sixteenth pole. Here’s the eighth pole. Here’s the three-sixteenths pole. And here is the quarter pole. You can’t miss it. It’s red and white.” “Thank you,” Pauline said sincerely. “But will they let me take this map with me?” By then McLaughlin was starting to lose his patience. “Okay, look,” he said. “You’re going to go around two turns. Just let this horse relax early and ask him when you get on the second turn. Can you do that?” “Yes, sir,” Pauline said. Meanwhile, I was thinking to myself, “How great is this? I have all these head-to-head bets, at even-money, on a horse who is 4-1 against a 10-1 shot whose rider doesn’t even know where the quarter pole is.” Pat’s Commander had drawn the rail. He was the first horse loaded into the starting gate. When the final horse, Daunt Do It, was put into the gate, Pat’s Commander became very fractious. Track announcer Gary Henson, a member of Seattle’s Media Stable and one of those I had a personal wager with, really played it up, announcing to the crowd of 7,104, “That is Pat’s Commander delaying the start…Pat’s Commander is continuing to delay the start…We are STILL waiting for Pat’s Commander to settle down!” As I watched Pat’s Commander throw a fit in the starting gate, it was like a nightmare. Because of his bad behavior in the gate, I didn’t see any way that he could win. But I still had hopes that he could beat Golden Norm and save all of my head-to-head wagers. But much to my dismay, Golden Norm beat Pat’s Commander. Not only that, Golden Norm won the race. Pat’s Commander finished ninth. Golden Norm paid $23.90 to win. I had to pay off all those head-to-head bets that I had made. If that wasn’t bad enough, there was all the ribbing I received from various members of Media Stable. I must say that it is humbling experiences like getting beat by a jockey who did not even know where the quarter pole was that teaches us that anything can happen in racing. RAMS WIN ON FORMER HOLLYWOOD PARK SITE Woodmans Luck achieved a measure of notoriety when he won the 11th race at Hollywood Park on Dec. 22, 2013. That was the final race ever run at that track. On that site now is SoFi Stadium, home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. Last Sunday night, the Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys in a 20-17 season-opening game to christen spectacular SoFi Stadium, which cost $5 billion (up from the estimated $2.8 billion price tag early in 2018). During the NBC Sunday Night Football telecast, Al Michaels talked about how his mother would sneak him out of high school and take him to Hollywood Park for the daily double. “The mother of the century,” Michaels said with a chuckle. “She trained you well,” said fellow broadcaster Cris Collingsworth. Michaels then told viewers that the other member of the Sunday Night Football broadcast team, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, said Sunday on her way into SoFi Stadium that as a youngster, her mother took her to Hollywood Park and won a pick six “in the four to five figures.” Hollywood Park certainly will always hold a special place in my heart. That’s because when I was there as a Daily Racing Form writer and saw John Henry win the Grade I Hollywood Turf Invitational on May 17, 1981, I met my future wife, Tracy Gantz. SoFi Stadium is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2022, the college football championship game in 2023 and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics. But for me personally, there will never, ever be an event on that site more important than what happened on May 17, 1981. BAFFERT RUNNERS TOP NTRA POLLS The Baffert-trained Maximum Security, winner of Del Mar’s Grade I Pacific Classic in his most recent start on Aug. 22, again sits atop this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll, while the Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winner Authentic again holds the top spot in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 347 Maximum Security (27)2. 263 Vekoma (7)3. 227 Tom’s d’Etat (3)4. 211 Monomoy Girl5. 197 Improbable6. 180 By My Standards7. 156 Midnight Bisou8. 131 Tiz the Law9. 116 Authentic10.85 Rushing Fall The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 356 Authentic (23)2. 347 Tiz the Law (14) 3. 263 Art Collector4. 262 Honor A.P.5. 140 Swiss Skydiver6. 139 Thousand Words7. 97 Shedaresthedevil8. 86 Gamine9. 78 King Guillermo10. 77 Max Player

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9.16.2020:

1/ST Look: Gulfstream Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Gulfstream Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in South Florida. And be sure to support Gulfstream Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Gulfstream Park.HeadlinesThe Rainbow 6 jackpot carryover into Thursday’s week opener is $375,348 and the pool is guaranteed at $600,000 … Gulfstream Park-based trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. could have 3-year-olds for Pimlico’s October 3 Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. The trainer reported that Ny Traffic, who exited the Kentucky Derby with a minor cut, could be aimed at the final jewel in the Triple Crown if healed. Meanwhile, multiple GP stakes winner Tonalist’s Shape is training locally with an eye toward the fillies’ undercard feature … Nominations closed Sunday for the September 26 quartet of stakes now a week away, featuring the $400,000 In Reality and $400,000 My Dear Girl divisions of the Florida Sire Stakes series.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 was cancelled September 11, but will return Friday, September 18, and will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern):Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:40Leg B – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:19Leg C – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:27Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:58Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 with an approximate post time of 5:251/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Gulfstream Park, all showing a positive ROI and at least a 35% win rate last week. The factor “Avg Speed” was a top-3 factor for the third straight week.Avg Best 2 of 3 SpeedBest Speed Last 3Avg SpeedTrends Last Week--Trainer Saffie Joseph continued his recent tear with a 9: 4-3-0 week. All but 1 runner went off at odds of 3-1 or less. Teamed with Edgard Zayas, they went 4: 3-1-0. Joseph was nearly unbeatable in 1-turn dirt races.--Trainer Victor Barboza was on point at 6: 3-0-2 and netted a $2.13 ROI for every $1 bet. While 5 of his 6 entrants were hammered to 2-1 or less odds, he did win with a $15 horse who slipped by the public. Barboza was 2-for-2 with Edgard Zayas riding, and that duo has inexplicably posted a 12: 7-5-0 record in tandem (100% exacta) since April 1.--Jockey Miguel Vasquez was 25: 8-0-2 on the week, but didn’t turn a profit even at 32% winners. He was 0-13 with horses 7-2 or more and didn’t hit the exacta with any of those prices.--Jockey Alberto Burgos was 8-16 in the exacta and his ROI was $2.13 for every $1 bet. He had a $51 winner and a 9-1 runner-up among his charges.Trends Last 2 Weeks--Trainer Saffie Joseph has gone 23: 10-3-2 over the past 2 weeks with a $1.46 ROI for every $1 bet. Joseph went 11: 7-1-1 with jockey Edgard Zayas.--Jockey Alberto Burgos has been out of this world with prices. He’s 32: 7-8-1 over the past 2 weeks with 22% wins, 47% in the exacta and a $2.94 ROI for every $1 bet. His winners include $35, $51 and $66 whoppers, along with a 26-1 runner-up.

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9.16.2020:

1/ST Look: Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Laurel Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Maryland. And be sure to support Laurel Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Maryland Jockey Club.HeadlinesA field of 12-14 is being considered possible for the Oct. 3 Preakness, headlined by Kentucky Derby winner Authentic. A decision on Belmont champ Tiz the Law remains up in the air for another week, according to his connections, though trainer Tom Drury Jr. said Blue Grass victor Art Collector appears to be on track to compete at Old Hilltop … Happy Saver earned a “Win & You’re In” berth to the Preakness with his Labor Day Monday score in the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park for trainer Todd Pletcher. Tesio runner-up Monday Morning QB is under consideration for the Preakness as well as the same-day Jimmy Murphy at a mile on grass for 3-year-olds … The jackpot pick 6 pool heading into this week’s racing is $16,669.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 was cancelled September 11, but will return Friday, September 18, and will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern):Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:40Leg B – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:19Leg C – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:27Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:58Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 with an approximate post time of 5:251/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Laurel Park, each showing a 28% win rate or higher with its top-rated contender. The factor Earnings at Distance provided a whopping $68.60 profit if you bet a $2 win play on each of its top contenders at Laurel for the week.Earnings at DistanceIn the Money %Trainer 6 Month Win %Trends Last Week--Jockey Trevor McCarthy went 9: 4-1-1 last week as he eases back into his top spot in the colony. He went 3-for-3 on favorites, but also scored a $25 winner for good measure.--Jockey Jorge Ruiz was a precision 6: 3-1-1 in limited bids. He piloted winners at 4-5, 5-2 and 7-1 odds, while hitting the board for 5 different trainers.--Trainer Rodolpho Sanchez-Salamon had a big week at 4: 3-1-0, including $13 and $20 winners. That resulted in a $4.65 ROI for every $1 bet.Trends Last 2 Weeks--Jockey Katie Davis boasts a 15: 7-0-2 record (47% wins) and a $2.24 ROI for every $1 bet. She’s 4: 3-0-1 with trainer Annette Eubanks.--Favorites on dirt have won at 47% over the past 2 weeks and are 67% in the exacta.--Trainer Claudio Gonzalez has a 19: 6-3-3 mark over the past 2 weeks with all 6 winners 3-1 or less. He’s 6: 0-0-0 with horses at 9-2 or more odds during that time.

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9.15.2020:

$202K Mandatory Payout Alert: Assiniboia Pick 5 Selections from 1/ST BET

It’s closing night at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg. And for the third time this season, there’s a large mandatory payout in play for the jackpot pick five wager, which boasts a $202,318 carryover. The 20-cent base wager lured $2.7 million in new money into a $447K carryover in July. Just under $2 million was bet into August’s $420K carryover. Look for at least $1 million of new money tonight, and these are much bigger fields than we saw in July and August. Not familiar with Assiniboia Downs? No worries. The 1/ST BET app can help you bridge the gap with a data-driven process. Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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. Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for big jackpot pick five sequence on the final night of the Assiniboia Downs meeting. Race 4 (10:05 PM ET) // Claiming // 7 1/2 Furlongs 9 – Bear Me a Moment (30% W // 46% P // 58% S)8 – Captain John (15% W // 37% P // 52% S)10 – Double Time (10% W // 24% P // 36% S)6 – Millslocal (9% W // 15% P // 20% S) Jeremy’s Take: The 30% total and 15-point spread for Bear Me a Moment both are highs among any contender in this pick five sequence. He’s twice been beaten favorite the only 2 times dropped in for a claiming tag, but looks appealing at the 8-1 morning line price. Double Time will be ridden by Rafael Zenteno Jr., who is 11: 4-1-1 over this distance in the past month. I’ll try to escape the opener with those two, 9-10. Race 5 (10:35 PM ET) // Claiming // 7 1/2 Furlongs 4 – Button Mushroom (29% W // 45% P // 56% S)8 – Storm Stride (14% W // 36% P // 50% S)9 – Swear Vengeance (9% W // 23% P // 35% S)3 – West Princess (8% W // 15% P // 19% S) Jeremy’s Take: The 15-point spread for Button Mushroom matches the highest in the pick five races, and his jockey Rafael Zenteno Jr. has been riding this 7-1/2 furlong trip with great success in the past month. He is a 4-time winner at the meet and the one to beat at this class level and distance. Trainer Jared Brown (Storm Stride) has had the most successful claiming barn at ASD the past month (25% wins, 50% in exacta). Jockey Shawn Samuel (Swear Vengeance) has a low percentage for the meet, but has been riding this trip to an 7: 3-1-0 mark ($4.05 ROI for every $1 bet!) since August 19. Eye Catching is worth a look as the jockey-trainer tandem of Richard Mangalee & Steven Gaskin is 3-for-5 together since August 26. Mangalee is 20% and a $1.76 ROI for every $1 bet for all barns over the past month, riding as well as anyone on the grounds. Trainer Tom Gardipy (Mizzenhower) is 7: 2-2-1 with claimers over this 7-1/2 furlong distance since August 18 and has a class riser looking for 5 wins in a row. This is a classic single or spread, either taking the 4 solo or using 4,1,2,8,9. Race 6 (11:05 PM ET) // Claiming // 5-1/2 Furlongs 9 – Dad’s a Gambler (17% W // 32% P // 49% S)4 – Dixie Pulpit (15% W // 31% P // 41% S)12 – Disco Cat (10% W // 16% P // 25% S)8 – Walking Solo (10% W // 15% P // 27% S) Jeremy’s Take: 1/ST INDEX choice Dad’s a Gambler offers a teasing 8-1 morning line on the class drop and likely will be bet down some off this price. Dixie Pulpit goes first off the claim for trainer Mike Taphorn (barn’s only starter on the card), and note this outfit is 6: 3-2-1 locally since August 5. Let’s use the top trio – 9,4,12. Race 7 (11:35 PM ET) // Claiming // 5-1/2 Furlongs 7 – Bye Y’all (18% W // 33% P // 50% S)11 – Twisted Sensation (17% W // 33% P // 40% S)1 – Vallentay (16% W // 31% P // 42% S)5 – Coco Padrino (11% W // 17% P // 26% S) Jeremy’s Take: The top 3 contenders all within a single point make this the most contentious race in the pick five, according to the 1/ST INDEX. The 9-5 morning line chalk Bye Y’all takes a suspicious class drop off a 2-month layoff and at the end of the meet. Vallentay should appreciate the reduced distance. Trainer Jared Brown (Coco Padrino) has had the most successful claiming barn at ASD the past month (25% wins, 50% in exacta). I’m rolling the dice here two-deep with 5,1 in a race where folks might tend to spread wider. Race 8 (12:05 AM ET) // Claiming // 6 Furlongs 6 – Kats Second Silver (23% W // 39% P // 52% S)4 – Honour Road (17% W // 36% P // 47% S)7 – Sheer Prince (13% W // 27% P // 41% S)10 – Cecil the Cat (9% W // 16% P // 25% S)(AE) 14 – Candy Con (7% W// 17% P // 29% S)12 – Warbridge (7% W // 14% P // 22% S)2 – Eye Cloud (6% W // 15% P // 22% S) Jeremy’s Take: This race also has an $81,338 carryover into the jackpot super high 5 wager, which must be paid out in this, the meet’s final race. So we’ve included a few more contenders deeper into the 1/ST INDEX run-down. Kats Second Silver and Honour Road look classier than most of these and fit very well. Trainer Jared Brown (Sheer Prince & Cecil the Cat) has had the most successful claiming barn at ASD the past month (25% wins, 50% in exacta). Let’s finish four-deep with 6,4,7,10. Jeremy’s Pick Five Ticket(s) Smaller budget:9,10 with 4 with 9,4,12 with 5,1 with 6,4,7,10 ($9.60 for each $.20) Larger budget:9,10 with 4,1,2,8,9 with 9,4,12 with 5,1 with 6,4,7,10 ($48 for each $.20)

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9.15.2020:

Kentucky Downs Full-Card Picks with 1/ST BET Assistance

Kentucky Downs moved its Sunday card to Tuesday due to wet weather, and we benefit from what is now a fantastic weekday offering. The short, all-turf boutique meeting is a handicapping challenge, so the 1/ST BET app can help you bridge the gap with a data-driven process.Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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.Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for the next-to-last day of the Kentucky Downs meet, which will then wrap Wednesday.Race 1 (1:15 PM ET) // maiden // 6-1/2 furlongs7 – Telephone Talker (26% W // 44% P // 64% S)4 – Bakers Bay (19% W // 38% P // 55% S)1 – My Boy Blue (12% W // 27% P // 40% S)5 – Joyful Suprise (10% W // 21% P // 37% S)Jeremy’s Take: The 8-5 morning line favorite Telephone Talker and 9-2 third choice Bakers Boy give the Ortiz Brothers a stranglehold on the 1/ST INDEX. Telephone Talker has been the beaten favorite in 3 straight races, so you’re allowed to consider Bakers Bay, whose trainer Shug McGaughey has a $22 winner at the meet.Race 2 (1:47 PM ET) // claiming // 1 mile8 – Barrel of Destiny (20% W // 37% P // 54% S)6 – Gamblin Train (19% W // 36% P // 51% S)3 – Color Me Pretty (17% W // 32% P // 48% S)1 – Gianna’s Gift (14% W // 27% P // 40% S)Jeremy’s Take: Trainer Mike Maker has the 1/ST INDEX top choice and morning line favorite in both halves of the opening daily double. There’s not a wide margin among the computer selections here, and given the two favorites were beaten 12 and 17 lengths last time out (and now drop in class), value shoppers might be well-served. Color Me Pretty is 8-1 morning line and in good form vs. lesser.Race 3 (2:19 PM ET) // maiden // 6-1/2 furlongs9 – Becca’s Rocket (20% W // 38% P // 57% S)8 – Naughty Nellie (14% W // 29% P // 40% S)7 – She’s So Cali (12% W // 22% P // 35% S)2 – Blue Grass Anna (11% W // 23% P // 35% S)Jeremy’s Take: The algorithm’s blindspot with first-time starters must be considered here with Wesley Ward’s Epicurean) among several rookies worth a look, including Golden Glow. 1/ST INDEX respects Louisiana/Texas raider Becca’s Rocket a bit more than the public might.Race 4 (2:51 PM ET) // allowance // 6-1/2 furlongs8 – Jades Gelly (24% W // 41% P // 57% S)9 – Sugar Love (13% W // 24% P // 35% S)5 – Zero to Sixty (12% W // 25% P // 37% S)7 – Moravia (10% W // 25% P // 40% S)Jeremy’s Take: The 11-point spread in the 1/ST INDEX is second-largest on the card. The 6-1/2 furlong distance might be a shade far for Jades Gelly, so late-running Zero to Sixty looks like the logical threat with a strong finish. It should come down to this pair, early and late.Race 5 (3:23 PM ET) // claiming // 1 mile5 – Cashanova (20% W // 37% P // 50% S)2 – Kurilov (17% W // 37% P // 48% S)7 – P Club (15% W // 28% P // 37% S)9 – Basha (11% W // 20% P // 32% S)Jeremy’s Take: Cashanova takes a big class drop for a Brad Cox barn that’s a strong 10: 3-1-1 at the meet, and 7: 3-1-1 with horses 7-1 or less. Cox and Florent Geroux have teamed for 2 wins at the meet, including the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup with Arklow on Saturday. Cashanova rallies from far back, so if you’re going to beat him, it’s probably with an early speed-type, which in this race would be Firewater Jake or longshot P Club as most likely for a front-end heist. The 1/ST INDEX is against 5-2 morning line favorite Armchair Jockey.Race 6 (3:55 PM ET) // maiden claiming // 7 furlongs6 – Copper King (29% W // 49% P // 68% S)5 – Suggested (20% W // 35% P // 49% S)2 – Tiz Light the Way (15% W // 31% P // 46% S)3 – Autopilot (11% W // 24% P // 47% S)Jeremy’s Take: The 29% top choice is the largest of the card with Copper King – but he’s never run on turf and trainer Steve Asmussen is 1-for-21 at the meet. He’s bred fine for grass and could just lay over these, but 2-1 on the morning seems no bargain. Tiz Light the Way should be well-suited for 7 furlongs on grass and is my choice, while including the top runner in multi-race bets.Race 7 (4:27 PM ET) // optional claiming-allowance // 7 furlongs5 – By Your Side (26% W // 51% P // 70% S)7 – Power End (21% W // 32% P // 46% S)1 – Mishko (18% W // 30% P // 43% S)4 – Hay Dakota (15% W // 30% P // 40% S)Jeremy’s Take: 8-5 morning line chalk Hay Dakota doesn’t get the same respect from the algorithm, but I disagree. He looks rock-solid after a strong finish behind a slow pace last time. The 7-furlong distance may be shorter than his best; so if you beat him, it’s from the front end. Respect connections with By Your Side, who isn’t sell-out speed, but should get first run on the pace ahead of Hay Dakota.Race 8 (4:59 PM ET) // maiden // 6-1/2 furlongs6 – Miss Adeline (20% W // 38% P // 57% S)1 – Baytown Emmalee (14% W // 29% P // 40% S)5 – Train to Artemus (12% W // 22% P // 35% S)2 – Bee Fast (11% W // 23% P // 35% S)Jeremy’s Take: None of the experienced runners in this field have impressed, so the first-timers should have the most say. They’re underrepresented in the algorithm, but my focus will be on Train to Artemus, Persevering and Palm Court.Race 9 (5:32 PM ET) // stakes // 1-5/16 miles3 – Mrs. Sippy (28% W // 56% P // 68% S)5 – Siberian Iris (19% W // 33% P // 55% S)6 – Over Thinking (18% W // 30% P // 46% S)4 – English Affair (17% W // 38% P // 58% S)Jeremy’s Take: Even-money morning line favorite Mrs. Sippy stands out off her Grade 1 form. She needed her last start after a long break perhaps, but trainer Motion has been struggling this summer at just 7% since July 1 and 0-19 at the meet. Give an upset shot to Over Thinking, who broke her maiden here in 2017 at 45-1 and whose form cycle has improved around this time of year in past seasons. Her last was promising.Race 10 (6:04 PM ET) // stakes // 6-1/2 furlongs11 – Emro (25% W // 43% P // 53% S)10 – La Libertee (13% W // 18% P // 27% S)8 – Lady Edith (12% W // 24% P // 35% S)6 – Kewpie Doll (10% W // 21% P // 30% S)Jeremy’s Take: 12-point spread is the day’s largest and it comes with a 6-1 morning line proposition in Emro. Likely favorite Red Ghost gets snubbed by the 1/ST INDEX, despite the fact that trainer Wesley Ward’s last 5 two-year-olds at the meet have run first or second, including a 1-2 stakes finish on Saturday. Give a longshot consideration to 20-1 morning line prop Fouzia via Gulfstream. Her last race was good, and sire Sky Mesa gets rock-solid results at KD historically. Red-hot Florida trainer Saffie Joseph gets veteran Julien Leparoux, a nice KD pairing.Race 11 (6:36 PM ET) // stakes // 6-1/2 furlongs7 – She’s So Special (23% W // 38% P // 45% S)6 – She’s My Type (12% W // 15% P // 22% S)14 – Evil Lynn (10% W // 20% P // 28% S)11 – Miss J McKay (9% W // 17% P // 24% S)Jeremy’s Take: The 11-point spread is second-largest of the card, and you get a 12-1 morning line shot with it by way of She’s So Special. Kimari merits a ton of respect and must be used, despite no love from the 1/ST INDEX. Enola Gay, a course and distance winner here last year, could be the bet. Trainer Shug McGaughey is 1-for-43 with debut turf sprinters since 2013, and that 1 is Enola Gay’s unveiling over this same course and distance a year ago. She could be a special horse-for-course considering that initial outing and how it was so out of character for the barn. Longshot look to 20-1 morning line price Outburst for high-percentage KD connections Florent Geroux and Eddie Kenneally, who rarely team up, but are 33% together on turf since 2018 and nearly 50% in the exacta. Finite is a course winner returning to turf and was on the brink of being one of the Kentucky Oaks favorites this spring.

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9.14.2020:

Monday, September 14: Yonkers Raceway Pick 5 Analysis

Yonkers Raceway has a 9-race card to kick-off the week. The 0.50 Pick 5 begins in Race 5. That sequence has a $15,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 51-Western Vacation (7/2)-Has been competing at this level and falling short. Draws inside again and may have met a field that can be beat if Brennan gets the top and steals a quarter.2-Rollinwithambition (8-1)-Ships in from The Spa and has hit the board in 12 of last 13 races. Makes only the 2nd Yonkers starts and should stay in the hunt at a nice price.3-Rolling With Same (7-1)-3-year-old has taken only 2 pictures in 17 starts but from this post Buter should be able to work a good trip. Using instead of the chalk #6 who steps-up and starts outside of main foes, and #7 who is 0 for the last 22.Race 63-Stone In Love (7/2)-Drew the 7 hole in last when stepped up to this level. Did keep trotting to the wire and passed a few down the lane, although was off for 2 weeks. Bartlett steers tonight and will look for a big try.6-Pilgrims Tide (5-1)-Has taken a picture versus better at Pocono so should like the company. Brennan steers and that shouldn't hurt plus the Tritton barn has been rolling along. Should be forwardly placed and offer a fair price.Race 73-Maroma Beach (3-1)-Easily beat the NW5kL4 on 9/4. That victory was keyed off a 26.4 opening quarter and the 6-year-old never looked back. Steps-up but the same script and ending could happen tonight.4-Dark Energy N (5-1)-Even effort in last on a good track when raced 3rd over but did pace the 2nd half in 56.2. This time the pace should be quicker, and Bartlett could find live cover and be in the mix near the wire.5-Zach Maguire N (10-1)-Zach is trip dependent but will bank on the pace to be honest. Gets some needed post relief, Dube is between the pipes again and has been facing better. Looking for a solid try at a nice price.Race 81-Mostinterestingman (7/5)-The morning line chalk should be a player and Brennan is back so will be looking for an alert start. Likes Yonkers, has won 22 of 113 starts, using but not as a single.2-Secret Bro (3-1)-Drops to a soft spot and Zeron picks up the drive. Is winless in 2020 (0-13) and has notched only 4 wins in the last 42 tries. But this looks like wake-up time.Race 93-Provocativeprince N (5-1)-Back down to the level of last win which was back on 6/23. Left from the 4 hole, got on the engine and was a winner at 1-2. Recent form has been dull, but this is a spot to shine.4-He's Electric (5/2)-Captured 1st win of the year on 8/31 and now steps up. This won't be as easy but has the gate speed to get a good seat and can beat this crew with a top try.My Ticket Race 5) 1,2,3 Race 6) 3,6 Race 7) 3,4,5 Race 8) 1,2 Race 9) 3,4Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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9.14.2020:

Most Valuable Pony (Sept. 7-13): Jackie's Warrior

Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.September 7-13, 2020MVP: Jackie’s WarriorOwner: J. Kirk and Judy RobisonTrainer: Steve AsmussenJockey: Joel RosarioPerformance: On a Labor Day that opened last week with a bevy of big races coast-to-coast, the juvenile Jackie’s Warrior stole the show. He dominated Saratoga’s Grade 1 Hopeful to advance to 3-for-3 lifetime, easily dispatching the very highly regarded Reinvestment Risk for Chad Brown’s barn. Jackie’s Warrior, the Grade 2 Saratoga Special winner, outgunned Reinvestment Risk early in the Hopeful and zipped 22.56, 22.27, 23.50 and 12.96 splits for 7 furlongs in a stakes-record 1:21.29. The top pair were more than a dozen lengths clear of the rest.On Tap: A 2-turn prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile could loom, which most likely would fit best in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Breeders Futurity on October 3. The connections could opt to stay around 1 turn for now and proceed to the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont on October 10. Distance will be a big question for this talented son of the fleet, but fleeting, Maclean’s Music. The dam of Jackie’s Warrior, Unicorn Girl, was a blue-collar sprinter in the Mid-Atlantic.Honorable Mentions: Spanning the continent this week, Imprimis won a fantastic renewal of the Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint on September 12, perhaps the strongest grass dash field in America this year. The Joe Orseno trainee has risen to the top of that division nationally. Anothertwistafate returned from 16 months away to win the Sept. 10 Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. Last year’s Preakness alum was never in doubt in a 4-length victory that could put him on the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or Classic path. Mighty Heart dominated the September 12 Queen’s Plate, Canada’s answer to the Kentucky Derby. The Josie Carroll trainee drew away by 7-1/2 lengths while making his stakes debut, leading a 1-2 sweep for the barn over Belichick.

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9.13.2020:

Sunday, September 13: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis

Hawthorne Racecourse has a 15-race card set to begin at 7:10 CST. The Late Pick 4 starts in Race 12, it has a $25,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus.The driver with the hottest hands on Saturday was Casey Leonard with 3 pictures. The leading conditioners, with 2 wins each, were Hector Herrera and Steve Searle.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 123-Misscanfly (4-1)-Broke in last at 2-1 but regular pilot returns tonight. Hard to tell when this mare is race ready but is a threat with a top effort.7-Big Man Forever (3-1)-Searle trainee has been competitive in most starts but has been burned a lot of money. Was an odds-on chalk in last and has a chance to make amends at a better price.9-Gogo Riches (5-1)-Got on the engine and didn't look back in breaking maiden on 8/29. Team Wilfong entry steps-up and will be tested with this post draw. Can be in the hunt if minds manners and the post makes for a better price.Race 134-Fox Valley Lizzy (12-1)-Makes 4th start on Lasix and Bates sticks after an even effort in last. Looking for a price and Lizzy should get a cozy trip from here.9-Locked On It (3-1)-Program chalk gets a new pilot as Stewart chooses #5, but that may help chances. My guess is Warren leaves and could get sucked around and use one big move down the lane.10-Peace Time (7/2)-Had a nice effort from the 10-hole at this class on 8/30 to come 2nd. Wilfong left off the gate and landed in the 2-hole. Maybe he looks to come off cover this time?Race 143-Gamblinforalivin (5-1)-Broke and had a bumpy trip in last start versus better. Gets a new set of hands in Bates and should like the company. Can get a good trip from here and take a picture at a square price.6-Babyface (4-1)-Won last at Nfld on 2nd try with Lasix. Hasn't won in Stickney (0-12) but has cashed a 2nd place check in last 2 starts here. Could be set for a big try and does fit with this crew.7-Beat The Devil (5-1)-Makes 3rd consecutive start here and was driven more aggressively in last. This 3-year-old might be getting better and has a shot to finally post a win in 2020.Race 151-Look Kimbo (5/2)-Bet hard and has failed as a big chalk in last 2. This guy finds ways to lose and the drive is not always a help but has battled better. No excuses allowed here but is 0-12 and that merits caution.4-Spee Dee Shark (4-1)-Dropped and popped in 1st start on Lasix. Steps up but was facing better and this a suspect group. Best to respect as the Shark has banked more cash over the past 2 years than anyone in this field.My Ticket Race 12) 3,7,9 Race 13) 4,9,10 Race 14) 3,6,7 Race 15) 1,4Total Ticket Cost) $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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9.12.2020:

Saturday, September 12: Jeff Siegel's National Best Plays

Jeff Siegel’s National Best PlaysSaturday, September 12, 2020(Listed in chronological order)Monmouth Park – 5th race. Post time 2:29 ET3 – Queen Street (4-1)Debuting daughter of Speightster trained like a very quick filly at Saratoga but didn’t quite make the meeting so she shows up in a maiden special weight sprint at Monmouth Park that should be well within her capabilities. The C. Brown-trained juvenile, a $90,000 OBS March sale purchase after previewing in 10 1/5 seconds, seems fit and ready for a major effort first time out, so let’s use her as a win play and rolling exotic single and hope to get close to her morning line of 4-1.Kentucky Downs – 7th race. Post: 3:27 CT3 – Tapit Today (5-1)Had a right to be a tad short when a close fourth in the Matchmaker S.-G3 in first start in five months when last seen in July and returns in a similar type race while projecting to enjoy an easy pace-stalking trip. Though she missed a scheduled start a couple of weeks ago in the Eatontown S. at Monmouth Park when the race came off the grass, the lightly-raced daughter of Tapit sports a healthy series of recent drills that should have her primed and ready. With rising speed figures in each outing, the C. Brown-trained mare has a chance to upset her stable mate Regal Glory (the 9/5 morning line favorite) , so at 5-1 on the morning line she may offer value in the win pool and in the vertical and horizontal exotics.Gulfstream Park – 10th race. Post time 4:48 ET9 - Isolate (5/2)Juvenile colt in the K. Ritvo barn should have won by much more than official three-quarters of a length margin of victory over the local main track in his visually pleasing debut early August. Was forced to check sharply in traffic into the turn, remained behind a wall of horses entering the lane, then displayed moxie when rallying between horses to be up in time while earning a fairly decent speed figure for a 2-year-old. Comfortably drawn outside in this first-level allowance sprint, the son of Mark Valeski should have clear sailing throughout and will offer good value right back at or near his morning line of 5/2.Golden Gate Fields – 6th race. Post time 3:45 PT1 – A Little Bit Lucky (7/2)Cruised to an easy victory in his debut over the Golden Gate Fields all-weather surface in June and then finished well but too late to be a respectable fifth in a stakes race for 2-year-olds at Pleasanton the following month. Dropping into a much softer starter’s allowance sprint over a surface we know he likes, the E. Miranda-trained juvenile projects be forwardly placed throughout and have every chance in race that seems unlikely to have quick early fractions. Today’s extra half-furlong won’t hurt his chances, either. There’s good value to be found at his morning line of 7/2 if you can get it.Golden Gate Fields – 7th race. Post time 4:15 PT3 – Alice Marble (6-1)Though finishing a non-threatening ninth, this daughter of Grazen ran far better than the line will show when finishing fastest of all (and galloping out in front) in her debut in June at Santa Anita in a fairly competitive maiden special weight sprint on turf. Was entered but scratched at Del Mar in early August and finally makes it back to the races for clever S. Miyadi, who has been on a tear of late in the Bay Area. With the barn’s “go to” rider A. Gomez taking the call, this state-bred 3-year-old filly is listed at 6-1 on the morning and has a chance to pull off an upset if she leaves with field and finds room to rally from the quarter pole home.Golden Gate Fields – 8th race. Post time 4:45 PT1 – Emerald Magic (6-1)Added blinkers for the first time in his 11-race career and ran lights out when narrowly missing at 65-1 in a tough starter’s allowance sprint at Del Mar last month, earning by far a career top speed figure while winding up almost three lengths clear of the rest. Returns to his home base where he’s a two-time winner over the Tapeta surface, and with a clean break from the rail and a repeat of his most recent outing he may be good enough to pull off a mild surprise in this first-level allowance affair at 6-1 on the morning line.

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9.12.2020:

Al Cimaglia: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

Tonight, Woodbine Mohawk Park has a stake heavy 13-race card set to go. The 0.20 Early Pick 4 begins in Race 4 and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 41-Lauras Love (2-1)-Did get bothered in the lane last week but the winner was probably not to be denied anyway. Program chalk is a serious threat and drawing the rail shouldn't hurt chances.4-Karma Seelster (3-1)-Still looking for 1st win since adding Lasix back on 7/17. Has been competitive but is only 1-16 here. Using at a fair price and may benefit from a pocket trip and roll by late.6-Perfect Storm (7/2)-Will need a slick drive to win but that isn't out of the question with Henry in the bike. Does like the track hitting the board in 9 of 14 starts with 5 wins, best to not overlook.Race 57-Donna Soprano (7/5)-Winner of 4 straight was the odds-on choice in last 2 and has looked the part. McClure has options as this filly appears to be a cut above the rest and is probably a decent trip away from another picture.Race 62-Voelz Delight (7/2)-Seems to be on the improve although couldn't seal the deal in last but it wasn't a great trip. Gets post relief and Filion should have an easier path toward a well-timed move than from the 7-hole at GrVr. Has hit the board in all 3 starts here and has a win over this surface.3-Scarlet Hanover (2-1)-Big effort for another Grand River win and should be bet down off that effort. Best to respect but is 0-3 at Mohawk and won't offer any value. Using but will look to others to punch up the Pick 4 payout.5-Twin Be Sunkissed (6-1)-Broke maiden in last at GrVr and had an nice try from the 7-hole at Wbsb to come 2nd on 8/29 in the Eternal Camnation. Sunshine Beach filly is getting better and if pace is hot JMac will be rolling late at a nice price.Race 72-HP Napolean (5/2)-4-year-old takes a good drop in class and should have no excuse as long as Filion works a decent trip. Beat better here on 7/4 and this is a spot to shine but is only 5 for 39 at Mohawk.4-The Downtown Bus (3-1)-Took a big drop to this level in last and came up short. Is winless in 6 tries this year but had been facing better. McClure steers again, this could be wake-up time and has won 8 in 25 starts here.$1 Early Pick 41,4,6/7/2,3,5/2,4Total Bet=$18Check me out on Twitter!

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9.12.2020:

Jerry Shottenkirk: My Late Pick 4 Ticket Sunday at Gulfstream

My weekly Pick 4 Tour returns to Gulfstream Park on Sunday and we’re faced with a particularly challenging Late Pick 4, led by a solid allowance optional claiming race at a mile around the turn.My suggested $60 ticket features five horses chosen in the ninth race, which is the third in the sequence. The seventh race also necessitated a spread as four were deemed worthy of inclusion on the Pick 4 card.Here’s a look at this week’s suggested ticket: Race 7 (3:06 p.m. ET, maidens)BIG VENEZUELA has a nice drill after a series of works and is ready for his debut. DOO WOP DON pressed for a half-mile and tired late in his debut. Eligible to improve. CARSON CITY KID had the lead in each of his two races and can mix it up early. MASTER OF DISASTER has worked well for his debut and is bred to scoot. Race 8 (3:40 p.m. ET, claiming)STARSHIP TAXI is going to get past this non-winners of two condition at some point, and today looks like a prime spot for him. Always seems to be the hunt and he just needs to finish the deal. YES FOR LESS rallied boldly for second at this level two races back, fizzled for a bigger price on turf and is now back to a bottom sprint. Take seriously. ACASEADAY showed speed at a higher level in Tampa. Comes back off a six-month vacation and can be a big threat for this claiming tag. Race 9 (4:14 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)INDIMAAJ moves over to the main track after a couple of attempts at this level. A stalking run could be the ticket for this one. CREA’S BKLYN LAW made a solid move from off the pace and just missed last out and had won two straight going into that one. Doesn’t have many bad ones on his form. FIFTH TITLE beat Crea’s Brkyn Law two back and was second to tough Glory of Florida last out. At the top of his game. LIKE YOU has been in good form since March and has the talent to mix it up throughout. Has been in fast races and his efforts should transfer nicely into this spot. YOUCANTCATCHCURLIN moves into stronger company after an easy win. Has taken two of his last three and can run into contention.Race 10 (4:48 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)ANIMA D’OR has been impressive in the late going as he transferred his game to the turf. Gets his first opportunity going two turns, which should work out well. UNCAGE THE CAT had a lead in a similar situation last out and stuck around for second. Capable of dictating the terms of this one. Here’s the suggested ticket for Saratoga’s Late Pick 4 on Sunday:Race 7) #3 Big Venezuela, #4 Doo Wop Don, #7 Carson City Kid, #9 Master of Disaster. Race 8) #3 Starship Taxi, #4 Yes for Less, #8 Acaseaday.Race 9) #1 Indimaaj, #2 Crea’s Bklyn Law, #3 Fifth Title, #5 Like You, #6 Youcantcatchcurlin.Race 10) #2 Anima d’Or, #6 Uncage the Cat.50-cent Late Pick 4: 3-4-7-9 with 3-4-8 with 1-2-3-5-6 with 2-6 ($60).

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9.11.2020:

Friday, September 11: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis

The Friday card at Hawthorne Racecourse features elimination races for the Saturday, September 19th Night of Champions. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 9. 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 93-Maximus (3-1)-Beaten favorite in last 3 could be dismissed as a follower but may have enough in the tank to make amends. All but 2 make the final and this guy could get the deck thrown at him and trip out to take a picture.4-Fox Valley Hijinx (5-1)-Steps up after an advantageous trip to beat easier. Winner in 3 of 12 this year can pass foes down the lane. Could get overlooked at the windows and should offer a nice price.5-Royalle Big Guy (4-1)-1st local start was fine and now makes 2nd try for the Johnson barn. Leonard is back aboard and here is another who can't be counted out in a race without a standout.7-Youmakemyheartsing (5-1)-Just missed as an odds-on chalk, was impeded at the start from the 8-hole. Team Wilfong should have this 5-year ready but will need a trip. Usually best when is on the lead at the top of the lane.Race 101-Princess Mooss (3-1)-This filly comes off 2 dull races but has a post edge over #7 who finished a couple of lengths better in last. The winner of last 2 races is out of this contest so will respect chances of a better finish.6-Clearly The Bomb (15-1)-Hasn't shown the speed of some others yet but comes off a nice effort to take a picture. This will be tougher but Husted provided a perfect steer in last and price will be right if same happens tonight.7-Bootsy Bombay (3-1)-Has raced from the back and has been trip dependent hitting the board in 4 of 8 with one win. Maybe, tonight is the time Seekman will a try a more aggressive steer to capture 1st Haw win.Race 112-Hot Rod Dylan (4-1)-0-12 in 2020 but drops to a spot to shine. Should be put into play with a better steer as Wilfong returns. Looks like a major player and could benefit from an inside post draw.4-Trashytonguetalker (7/2)-Nosed out in last in what was the best effort in a couple of months. Should be in the hunt with this crew.6-Jersey Jim (4-1)-Has been close versus better and now tries Lasix for the 2nd time. Had a tough trip in last and fits better with this group. Looking for a big try at a square price.Race 124-Lousraptor (7/2)-Drew off with a 56.2 back half to win by 3 lengths and paid a nice 7-1 price. The value won't be the same here but has been consistent and deserves respect for an encore.8-Annas Lucky Star (3/2)-Was 10-lengths back at the half, which was too big of a hurdle to overcome and lost for the 1st time in 5 tries. Looking for rebound tonight and should be much closer to the lead throughout.My Ticket Race 9) 3,4,5,7 Race 10) 1,6,7 Race 11) 2,4,6 Race 12) 4,8Total Ticket Cost) = $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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9.11.2020:

‘Tiz Rolled a Seven

Tiz the Law’s luck finally ran out. Rabbit’s foot rubbed raw. Held the wrong end of the wishbone. Drew the short straw. Too bad, Tiz the Law was on quite a roll. Held the dice all year; pass after pass, point after point. Finally, Saturday, in the Kentucky Derby ‘Tiz rolled a seven.During an extended winning streak, he’d played conservatively. Was managed expertly by 82-year-old Barclay Tagg. Spots were selected judiciously, and wagers doubled down only when 10s and face cards stuffed the shoe. Until Saturday, that is.Tiz the Law had enjoyed nearly two months rest between each of his previous races, before he attempted to parlay an August 8, Gr. 1 Travers victory into a Sept. 5, Gr. 1 Kentucky Derby. That’s less than a month between rolls of the dice. Too soon to visit the well? Maybe. Rest seems key to ‘Tiz’s success. And there was plenty of it. Favored in every start except the first two against top competition in 4 Grade 1s, a Grade 2, a Grade 3 and a state-bred maiden his lifetime average winning margin was over 4 lengths.Tiz the Law’s good fortune continued Derby week when a grabbed quarter forced Art Collector, the number one contender, to not enter. Next, after the post-position draw, King Guillermo, a wise-guy threat that had worked fast at Churchill and figured to be part of the early pace, was withdrawn because of fever. A depleted gathering of an original 18 shrunk once more to a possible starting 16 when one-eyed longshot Finnick the Fierce also exited stage left.Just before the bugler played a lyric-less version of My Old Kentucky Home, in the paddock, on the move to be saddled, a finicky Thousand Words, a legitimate, pace-pressing contender from the dangerous Bob Baffert barn, decided he, too, wasn’t playing. Spooked, he reared sideways and crashed to the ground. Providing a human cushion of sorts for the colt was Baffert’s stalwart assistant Jim Barnes, breaking a wrist in 8 places. Surgery for the assistant. A vet scratch for the colt.That untimely defection further trimmed Tiz the Law’s foes to a mere 14— 5 less than recent Derby favorites had opposed. Because most of the defections were contenders with serious pace implications and not hopeless also rans it appeared as if Lady Luck was working overtime to clear the favorite’s path toward roses. The green felt table was set for another Tiz the Law payday. Numbers covered, bets pressed, pass line and odds in play. Anything but a…nooooo!!!‘7 out!’Technically, it was an 18. The saddlecloth number attached to Authentic, a speedy, talented, once-beaten son of Into Mischief. He broke slowly from the far outside post, used natural speed without much encouragement from Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez to get to the early lead while racing in the middle of the track. From then on, as the old adage goes, he ‘improved his position.’Tiz the Law broke well and was confidently settled behind the early leader while racing 3-wide much of the way. Off the final turn jockey Manny Franco glanced behind to survey the field and found no mounting threats. He then turned ‘Tiz loose to pursue Authentic in earnest. In the stretch, the favorite actually gallantly stuck more than a nose in front of Authentic. However, that’s when the red die with 3 white dots settled on green felt alongside the other showing 4 white dots. The top 3-year-old in the nation’s luck had finally run out.Turns out that in horseracing, as in life, one man’s (or horse’s) misfortune is another’s opportunity. At first, it seemed as if the rash of race defections had tipped the scales toward the heavy favorite—less challengers, weaker foes, slower early pace, etc. But a post-race review of the 2020 Kentucky Derby suggests that circumstances actually may have aided the eventual winner even more.No doubt the presence of King Guillermo would have gigged the early pace, which was reasonably quick anyway. Authentic then might not have had such an easy time up front, especially after breaking slowly. Art Collector and Thousand Words probably wouldn’t have been interested in contesting the early lead, but both would have added heat from just behind the leaders.In the end, though, Tiz the Law just didn’t have it. The breaks went Authentic’s way and the smart money on ‘Don’t Pass’ cashed at juicy 8-1 odds. Trainer Baffert tied Ben Jones’ record at 6 Kentucky Derby winners. But that’s not the only all-time Derby record the white-haired conditioner tied Saturday. Baffert’s roughly half-hour long emotional swing, from disturbing paddock scratch of Thousand Words to winner’s circle body block by roses-clad Authentic, equaled the all-time Derby record for an emotional roller coaster. The mark was established in the 2019 edition by the connections of Maximum Security when they tumbled from Derby elation to disqualification depression in nearly the same timeframe.Attention now turns toward Preakness. Baffert’s already committed Derby winner Authentic with enthusiasm. What have they got to lose? The trainer knows Authentic can’t beat stablemate Maximum Security in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so why not fire off another quick round against fellow sophomores in Baltimore? What’s happening with Tiz the Law isn’t quite as clear. He wasn’t sharpest in the Derby, perhaps dulled by his Travers experience followed by just a few weeks rest. To return in the Preakness October 3, and then to race again in the Breeders’ Cup Classic November 7, doesn’t seem ideal. And yet, at this writing, no decision has been made. The trainer favors rest. The owner is thinking crab cakes. It’s a tough call. The colt’s best chance is with his age group, however, that means racing in a month after back-to-back Gr. 1 one mile and one-quarter races. Skip Preakness and take time to recover and he’ll have to face solid older handicap foes in the B.C. Classic. Ye olde rock and a hard place.Either way, when the gates open Saturday, October 4, at Pimlico, it will be ‘New Shooter, coming out!’ and everyone will want to see if the Derby winner can hold the dice for more than one roll. Tiz the Law may attend, and possibly Art Collector, King Guillermo and Thousand Words, too, among others.In a game of ‘What have you done for me lately?’ Tiz the Law’s early soph season domination quickly has shifted to the rear-view mirror and with just four pages left on the 2020 calendar Authentic is in a position to steal divisional honors.Let’s see if he can get lucky.Race On!

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9.10.2020:

Saturday, September 12: Kentucky Downs Late Pick 4 Ticket

It’s a rare weekend where the Southern California tracks and New York Racing Association tracks are both on a break, so primary focus for horseplayer this weekend is on Kentucky Downs and Woodbine. Kentucky Downs has five stakes races on Saturday, headlined by the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup and the Grade 3 $500,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf. Both their Pick 5 and Pick 4 feature 14% takeout and massive pools are expected this weekend.  Woodbine’s card is headlined by the $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate – Canada’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby – and my colleague, Jeremy Plonk is ‘all in’ on that race. He made it this week’s Xpressbet Race of the Week and his analysis and $100 Wagering Strategy are available free.  Here is my take on Kentucky Downs’ Late Pick 4 on Saturday.  Got a little unlucky last week with Newspaperofrecord losing at Churchill and rendering our Pick 4 useless in the first leg.  Let’s hope for more luck this time around. Race 8 (4:59PM ET) // Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint // 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) I’ll start my ticket with a three-pronged approach here as #8 GOT STORMY (2/1) took a gigantic step back to her top form in her last race in the G1 Fourstardave at Saratoga. Can we trust her in this race?  I think the jury is still out and I’ll also use #11 KIMARI (4/1) and #7 CARIBA (8/1) on my ticket. CARIBA is a big price but she’s coming into top form for Christophe Clement and can be a big player if GOT STORMY brings her B-game. Same is true for #9 INTO MYSTIC (6/1). She ran a monster race at Ellis Park on August 2 and is in the best form of her life.  Race 9 (5:32PM ET) // Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes // 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) Wesley Ward is a wizard in races like these and he’s got two entered here - #9 OUTADORE (2/1) and #10 FAUCI (5/2). Each ran well at Saratoga and both merit being on the ticket. #6 BODENHEIMER (6/1) ran a gigantic turf race when he broke his maiden at Canterbury but there’s a lot of speed signed on and these horses that are extending from 5 1/2 or 6 furlongs to 6 1/2 won’t have it easy. #5 BOSS BEAR (20/1) could be a horse worth having. He lost all hope at the break in his debut but he was well backed that day for Mike Maker and gets another shot here. Race 10 (6:04PM ET) // Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup // 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) #10 ZULU ALPHA (7/5) won this race last year and is in great form in 2020, having won 3-of-4 races this year including the G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf. If he brings that form back to Kentucky Downs, he should win. The only major threat I see is #12 HEIRARCHY (10/1). He has run huge races in his last two starts and is getting good for trainer Joe Sharp. Race 11 (6:36PM ET) // Grade 3 Turf Sprint // 6 Furlongs (Turf) This is probably the most competitive race of the sequence and I’m going to load up my ticket with possible winners.  I’ll use #2 STUBBINS (6/1), #3 FRONT RUN THE FED (5/1), #4 TOTALLY BOSS (9/2), #6 KANTHAKA (5/1), #9 IMPRIMIS (8/1), #11 ARCHIDUST (12/1) and #12 BOUND FOR NOWHERE (5/1).  That’s a heck of a mouthful and I generally don’t love using seven horses, but this race is that competitive and if I don’t want to miss out in the payout leg. My Ticket Race 8: 7, 8, 9, 11Race 9: 5, 9, 10Race 10: 10Race 11: 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12 Ticket Cost: $42.00 for 50-cents

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9.10.2020:

Emerald Downs: Longacres Mile Night Picks with 1/ST BET Assistance

Emerald Downs’ premier night of racing shines Thursday in Washington State. Whether you’re a regular to the circuit or dropping by for the huge card, the 1/ST BET app can help you bridge the gap with a data-driven process. Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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. Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for the Longacres Mile Night card. Race 1 (8:03PM ET) // claiming // 6 furlongs 2 – Buckley Bay (26% W // 56% P // 74% S) 3 – Legitimate Cause (23% W // 42% P // 65% S) 5 – Docktarri (19% W // 34% P // 50% S) 1 – Capital Expense (12% W // 28% P // 41% S) Jeremy’s Take: Capital Expense probably can’t beat Buckley Bay, but he sure can make the early pace a tough battle from the rail. Docktarri benefits if they go too fast. The 1/ST INDEX starts out chalky with an 8-5 morning line choice, but the 3-point spread indicates this is no free pass. Race 2 (8:32PM ET) // maiden claiming // 1 mile 2 – Sherm (28% W // 53% P // 69% S) 6 – Mensch (17% W // 37% P // 59% S) 3 – Goboldly (17% W // 30% P // 47% S) 4 – He’s Bandido (15% W // 27% P // 42% S) Jeremy’s Take: 13-race maiden Sherm has a history of minor placings, but has never really been close to the win. He and Mensch exit the same race and are the top pair on the 1/ST INDEX. Goboldly stretches out in trip and has the right pilot as Alex Cruz leads the colony in 1-mile wins (6) and win percentage (23%). Goboldly gets my mild endorsement. Race 3 (9:00PM ET) // claiming // 6 furlongs 1 – Seattle Smoke (29% W // 44% P // 55% S) 2 – Dyf (18% W // 35% P // 51% S) 4 – Sleet Afleet (13% W // 26% P // 39% S) 6 – Gallant Heat (13% W // 38% P // 56% S) Jeremy’s Take: It’s a surprising 11-point pick in Seattle Smoke, who exits a disastrous race and has lost 13 in a row dating back to 2018. At 7-2 in the morning line, I’ve got to shop elsewhere. The Jorge Rosales barn is 4-for-9 with fresh claims at the meet, and 3-for-5 when riding Cerapio Figueroa on those new recruits. They team with Dyf, and that’s the play. Race 4 (9:28PM ET) // claiming // 6 furlongs 3 – Rocket Power (29% W // 44% P // 55% S) 2 – Jimjimmyjames (18% W // 35% P // 51% S) 5 – Irish Swing (13% W // 38% P // 56% S) 6 – Pamper Me Now (13% W // 26% P // 39% S) Jeremy’s Take: Trainer Frank Lucarelli is a stout 17: 7-4-1 at the meet when extending the trip from 5-1/2 furlongs to 6 furlongs like he does with Rocket Power. He’s 5: 3-2-0 when making that move with favorites. I’ll lean heavily with this one, as does the algorithm as an 11-point pick. Race 5 (9:56PM ET) // claiming // 6 furlongs 4 – Doubleshotofheaven (28% W // 42% P // 51% S) 1 – Dazzling Debi (17% W // 33% P // 47% S) 3 – Gold Supply (13% W // 36% P // 52% S) 7 – Sassy Edie (13% W // 24% P // 36% S) Jeremy’s Take: I struggled to find any strong opinion in this race, but the 1/ST INDEX has Doubleshotofheaven as a solid, 9-point pick at a juicy 8-1 morning line price. I do like seeing top rider Alex Cruz staying with Salty Little Lass though the claim and move to a lesser barn. Race 6 (10:24PM ET) // claiming // 1 mile 7 – Anna Lee Encore (27% W // 46% P // 55% S) 4 – Veraaj (18% W // 46% P // 65% S) 2 – Early Morn (15% W // 27% P // 38% S) 5 – Calese (15% W // 26% P // 44% S) Jeremy’s Take: The Blaine Wright barn is 6: 3-1-2 at the meet with favorites shipping in from Golden Gate Fields like Anna Lee Encore. She’s a solid 8-5 morning line favorite and looks tough on paper if she handles dirt for the first time. Most of these are $2,500 claimers posing for $5,000. Race 7 (10:52PM ET) // Emerald Distaff Handicap // 1-1/16 miles 4 – Killarney Lass (30% W // 48% P // 59% S) 5 – Alittlelesstalk (20% W // 33% P // 48% S) 7 – Amazonian (16% W // 33% P // 50% S) 2 – Dontkissntell (14% W // 32% P // 47% S) Jeremy’s Take: A rematch with the 1-2-3 finishers of the Boeing Stakes includes 5-length winner Killarney Lass, the 9-5 morning line favorite. She’s a 10-point pick on the 1/ST INDEX and the one to beat. Amazonian could give trainer Glenn Todd his second Emerald route stakes win of the meet invading via Hastings Park, following an $11 victory in his only other such attempt of the season. It should come down to those two. Race 8 (11:30PM ET) // Grade 3 Longacres Mile // 1 mile 4 – Anothertwistafate (21% W // 37% P // 51% S) 3 – The Press (19% W // 32% P // 40% S) 1 – Elliott Bay (12% W // 34% P // 48% S) 5 – He’s the Reason (12% W // 25% P // 37% S) Jeremy’s Take: Trainer Blaine Wright (Anothertwisafate) was second with the favorite in the last 2 Longacres Mile editions at 4-5 and 9-5 odds. The last favorite to score was Stryker Phd in back-to-back runnings of 2014-’15. So while the 8-5 chalk is the horse to beat, Anothertwistafate hasn’t run since the 2019 Preakness and is a surprising 2-point pick in the 1/ST INDEX. Last-out $20,000 claiming winner The Press at 20-1 morning line is next up in the algorithm, which seems like a reach. Well-drawn #2 Five Star General has back class and doesn’t merit the respect by the computer that I think he deserves. Race 9 (11:59PM ET) // claiming // 6 furlongs 6 – Battle Point Red (28% W // 40% P // 48% S) 7 – Emily’s Gold (17% W // 32% P // 44% S) 3 – Gentle Prince (12% W // 35% P // 48% S) 4 – Omanche Kid (12% W // 23% P // 33% S) Jeremy’s Take: Trainer Bonnie Jenne’s runners have excelled in 6-furlong sprints at the meet, going 10: 5-0-2 with a $2.77 ROI for every $1 bet. She saddles Battle Point Red, 2-for-2 at the trip this meet, and a solid 11-point pick in the 1/ST INDEX. The 7-2 morning line price might hold on the natural class rise. Omanche Kid has previously fit well at this level, but drops after a mystifying non-effort last time. Race 10 (12:27AM ET) // claiming // 6-1/2 furlongs 8 – R B Eye (21% W // 39% P // 57% S) 4 – Freestone (20% W // 36% P // 52% S) 3 – Aero Street (14% W // 25% P // 34% S) 5 – Norski (13% W // 30% P // 46% S) Jeremy’s Take: The Howard Belvoir barn is only 1-for-9 at the meet with last-out winners in their return, so Norski could be a beatable favorite at 3-1 on the morning line. The 1/ST INDEX gives a nice 8-1 price player R B Eye, and I like the strong BRIS late pace figure going 6 furlongs last time with the additional distance tonight. He doesn’t win often (1-for-23), but fits well with these at a nice price as the ‘other Belvoir’ to the favorite. Race 11 (12:54AM ET) // maiden claiming // 6-1/2 furlongs 3 – Chante (32% W // 52% P // 69% S) 4 – Miss Calculation (17% W // 40% P // 58% S) 7 – Lirio Tigrado (12% W // 20% P // 35% S) 1 – Merry Marie (11% W // 35% P // 51% S) Jeremy’s Take: 15-point spread and 32% rate are both tops on the card. Trainer Frank Lucarelli netted a win and a runner-up with his 2 Emerald Downs maiden claims upon their returns in August. He’ll try to keep that going with Chante, who seems like a reasonable, final-race single in the multi-race bets.

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9.10.2020:

Authentic Comes Away With the Roses

“He’s the real deal.” That’s what Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert wrote in response to my text congratulating him for his record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby victory last Saturday with Authentic. Come to think of it, how could a horse with the name Authentic be anything but the “real” deal, right? Baffert has now won the Kentucky Derby with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002), American Pharoah (2015), Justify (2018) and Authentic (2020). American Pharoah and Justify did not just win the Kentucky Derby. They both swept the Triple Crown. With Authentic, Baffert tied Ben Jones’ record for the most Kentucky Derby wins by a trainer. Jones’ six winners were Lawrin (1938), Whirlaway (1941), Pensive (1944), Citation (1948), Ponder (1949) and Hill Gail (1952). Whirlaway and Citation both were Triple Crown sweepers, though Citation’s Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes victories were credited to Jones’ son, trainer Jimmy Jones. Keep in mind a scant nose is all that separates Baffert from having seven Kentucky Derby wins. The first horse Baffert ever ran in the Kentucky Derby was Cavonnier, who lost by a nostril to Grindstone in 1996. Baffert recalled years later why it was such a bitter pill to swallow. “It was tough to get beat like that because I thought that I might never get another chance to win a Kentucky Derby,” Baffert told me years afterward. Baffert also told me that not long after the Kentucky Derby, he received a note from William T. Young (Overbrook Farm), owner of Grindstone. Young said to Baffert that it was understandable for the trainer to be disappointed that Cavonnier lost by only a nose, but that Baffert should be proud of the race his horse had run. “That was class,” Baffert said. ADDS TO LEAD IN TRIPLE CROWN RACE STANDINGS When Baffert won last Saturday’s 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby with Authentic, the white-haired horseman proved yet again that he is “the real deal” himself when it comes to training racehorses. By adding another jewel to his gaudy collection, Baffert increased his total of wins in Triple Crown races to a record 16. The trainers with seven or more such wins are listed below: Total (Ky. Derby, Preakness, Belmont wins) Trainer 16 (6-7-3) Bob Baffert14 (4-6-4) D. Wayne Lukas13 (3-4-6) “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons11 (2-1-8) James Rowe11 (0-7-4) R. Wyndam Walden9 (3-2-4) Max Hirsch9 (6-2-2) Ben Jones8 (2-1-5) Woody Stephens7 (0-0-7) Sam Hildreth7 (2-4-1) Jimmy Jones PRAISE FOR JOHNNY V.’S RIDE Baffert raved about the ride fellow Hall of Famer John Velazquez gave Authentic last Saturday. For Velazquez, this was his third Kentucky Derby victory. He previously had won it with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and Always Dreaming in 2017. This also was the 200th Grade I win of the rider’s career. DEFECTIONS REDUCE FIELD TO 15 Authentic originally was to have started from the outside post in a field of 18. But due to three defections, Authentic began from post 15. King Guillermo was the first to come out of the race due to a fever. Finnick the Fierce then also was withdrawn because of what was said to be an abundance of caution. Arnaldo Monge and trainer Rey Hernandez are co-owners of the one-eyed Finnick the Fierce, who was withdrawn from the race due to what was said to be an abundance of caution. Because Finnick the Fierce only can see from his left eye, “he carries himself a little funny,” Monge said the day before the Kentucky Derby. “And we always knew that. But ever since he arrived, the vets have been keeping an eye on the horse…We’re always trying to do the best for the horse so we made the decision [to scratch] because we don’t want to go tomorrow and we’ll get all excited and then he gets scratched at the post.” Monge went on to say that Hernandez, who exercises Finnick the Fierce, said “this horse is fine and that he didn’t feel anything. I don’t know. I know horse racing is under scrutiny all the time so I understand not trying to risk that publicity.” According to Monge, “we’ll probably send him to Rood and Riddle and get an independent opinion on the horse.” If Finnick the Fierce checks out physically, the Grade I Preakness at Pimlico Race Course on Oct. 3 “could be a consideration,” Monge said. “It’s a bummer. But we’ll be back.” The third Kentucky Derby defection was the Baffert-trained $1 million yearling Thousand Words. In the paddock before the race, Thousand Words reared, lost his balance and fell on his side. When that occurred, Thousand Words became an automatic scratch as a precaution. Thousand Words can be “tricky to saddle,” according to Baffert. As the saddling process for Thousand Words began to go longer than the colt was willing to tolerate, he “got mad,” Baffert said. Fortunately, Thousand Words was reported to have emerged from the incident unscathed. But the same could not be said for Jimmy Barnes, Bafferts’ longtime assistant, who had been attempting to control the colt. When Thousand Words acted up, Barnes got knocked to the ground hard and was said to have broken his wrist in eight pieces. Barnes had to resort to watching the Kentucky Derby on his phone while on his way to a local hospital. (Being the “trooper” that Barnes is, as Baffert put it, Barnes was on hand at the barn the next morning at Churchill before flying back to Southern California.) From his outside post, Authentic did not break sharply, then got bumped by Tiz the Law. But at least Authentic did not veer outward in the first few strides as he had done when he had started from the outside post in the Santa Anita Derby on June 6. Authentic finished second to Honor A.P. that day. It remains Authentic’s only defeat to date. After Authentic veered outward in the initial few strides in the Santa Anita Derby, his rider, Drayden Van Dyke, hustled him early. Authentic then found himself three-wide while vying for the lead from the clubhouse turn all the way to the head of the stretch, a trip that certainly did not help his cause. Even after Authentic did not come out of the gate alertly last Saturday, Velazquez felt that he should not step on the gas pedal early. Consequently, as Authentic passed opponent after opponent while coming down the stretch the first time, he did it pretty much all on his own, without being pushed by the rider. It was Authentic’s natural quickness that carried him to the lead just before reaching the finish line the first time. Authentic stepped the opening quarter in a sprightly :22.92. Velazquez then was able to slow the colt down while leading the pack around the clubhouse turn. The half-mile split was :46.41. Meanwhile, 7-10 favorite Tiz the Law and jockey Manny Franco were in a perfect spot as they lurked a close-up fourth while they made their way around the first turn after exiting the starting gate from post 14. Authentic rolled along smoothly on the backstretch while leading through six furlongs in 1:10.23. Up to that point, Franco had been sitting patiently on Tiz the Law. As the field negotiated the far turn -- the very same far turn that became the scene of such controversy last year -- Tiz the Law advanced willingly to collar Authentic turning into the stretch. The one-mile fraction was 1:35.02. “When Tiz the Law came up to Authentic and Franco looked over his shoulder, I thought, ‘Oh oh. He must have a lot of horse,’ ” Baffert said. At the top of the lane, with Tiz the Law side-by-side with Authentic, no doubt just about every person watching the race thought the big favorite probably was going to draw away to yet another dominant victory. Tiz the Law had won all four of his previous 2020 starts by at least three lengths. In his two most recent starts, he had won the Grade I Belmont Stakes on June 20 by 3 3/4 lengths at 1 1/8 miles and Grade I Travers Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths at 1 1/4 miles. A major reason practically everybody was expecting Tiz the Law to draw away in the stretch was the 1 1/4-mile distance of the race. Whereas Tiz the Law already had impressively won the Travers at 1 1/4 miles, Authentic had not previously raced this far. Not only that, in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby and Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 18, both 1 1/8-mile races, Authentic had not exactly inspired confidence that going 1 1/4 miles would be in his comfort zone. When Authentic finished second in the Santa Anita Derby, he did not have the needed response in the final furlong. Honor A.P. won going away by 2 3/4 lengths after sweeping past Authentic early in the stretch run. What happened in the Haskell also was considered by many to be a sign that going farther than 1 1/8 miles might be a hard nut for Authentic to crack. In the Haskell, Authentic managed to turn a 2 1/2-length lead with a furlong to go into a desperate nose victory. Many knocked Authentic for nearly blowing it in the Haskell. But not Baffert. “Authentic did not get tired at the Haskell,” Baffert said. The trainer further explained that before the Haskell, he had told Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith to get after Authentic left-handed when they got into the stretch. Baffert said that if Smith did that, Authentic would find another gear. “But Mike didn’t do that,” Baffert said. After Authentic opened a clear lead in upper stretch and appeared to have put Ny Traffic away, it seemed that Smith figured the Haskell was in the bag and he could just let Authentic coast home. “Mike just hand-rode him in,” Baffert said, “and he almost got caught. Authentic just shut it down.” With Authentic losing focus in the final furlong, his lead dwindled and he darn near got nailed by Ny Traffic at the finish. When Authentic returned to Del Mar after the Haskell, Baffert said he “really got serious” with him. “I really got on him and had him ready for the mile and a quarter,” Baffert said. Indeed, what Baffert did with regard to Authentic’s workout regimen between the Haskell and Kentucky Derby is the umpteenth example of his prowess as a horse trainer. There were six drills at Del Mar during this period. The first couple of works were relatively slow. Authentic worked four furlongs in :50.20 on Aug. 1, then five furlongs in 1:03.00 on Aug. 8. On Aug. 18, Authentic worked six furlongs in a sharp 1:12.60. That was followed by another six-furlong work on Aug. 19, this time not as fast, in 1:13.40. What Baffert did with Authentic on Aug. 25 brought back memories of how the late, great trainer Charlie Whittingham sometimes would prepare a horse for a 1 1/4-mile race like the Santa Anita Handicap or Hollywood Gold Cup. It was not unusual for Whittingham to work a horse one mile in order to build stamina for a 1 1/4-mile race. On Aug. 25, Authentic worked one mile in a sparkling 1:38.60. While Authentic was en route to that 1:38 and change clocking, Baffert timed him in 1:24 for seven furlongs. “Seven-eighths in 1:24 is hard to do at Del Mar,” Baffert said. Finally, Authentic worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 on Aug. 30. After that, Baffert felt he had done all he could to have Authentic as ready as he could be for his first 1 1/4-mile race. “He was training the best he had in his life,” Baffert said. AUTHENTIC PASSES TEST IN THE FINAL FURLONG As mentioned earlier, Tiz the Law and Authentic were virtually on even terms at the head of the stretch. It looked like Tiz the Law had the momentum, but Authentic was not done yet. When Velazquez came off the turn, he knew what he needed to do stemming from what Baffert had told him. Baffert had told Velazquez the same thing he had told Smith prior to the Haskell. “I told Johnny that you need to get after him left-handed and he will find another gear,” Baffert said Sunday morning to Mike William on the radio program Thoroughbred Los Angeles. Baffert added that he emphasized to Velazquez that it needed to be left-handed, not right-handed. Heeding Baffert’s advice, almost immediately after straightening away in the stretch, Velazquez roused Authentic with the stick once left-handed, then continued to do so from time to time during the remainder of the run home. And what happened? To the surprise of many, it was Authentic rather Tiz the Law in front by one length at the eighth pole. Authentic then continued to hold off Tiz the Law all the way to the finish. Authentic prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths at odds of 8-1 while posting a final time of 2:00.61. Tiz the Law ran admirably in defeat. Though he tried hard, he had to settle for second. Mr. Big News, dismissed at 46-1 in the wagering, rallied from 10th to finish third, two lengths behind Tiz the Law. It wasn’t Honor A.P.’s day. Sent off as the 7-1 second choice, he broke half a step slow and was slammed in the opening strides by Ny Traffic. In Honor A.P.’s previous four starts in races around two turns, he had never been farther back early than 2 1/2 lengths. How far back was he early last Saturday? He was 13 1/4 lengths off the lead at one point. With four furlongs left to run, Honor A.P. was dead last in the field of 15. Talk about having way too much to do. It’s actually to Honor A.P.’s credit that despite being so far back in the early stages and racing wide throughout, he came on to finish fourth and lose by five lengths. FINAL QUARTER NOTHING TO BRAG ABOUT Even though Authentic won, he did not power home. His time for the opening quarter was :22.92. From there, the pace in the race steadily slowed. His subsequent quarters were run in :23.49, :23.82 :24.79 and :25.59. In fifths, Authentic ran each quarter in :22 4/5, :23 2/5, :23 4/5, :24 3/5 and :25 2/5. (In the 1973 Kentucky Derby, Secretariat ran his final quarter in :23 flat.) But while Authentic came home relatively slowly, no one else in the field was able to capitalize, not even Tiz the Law. Again, from where Tiz the Law was at the top of the lane, he really should have won, especially when Authentic did not come home any faster than he did. TIZ THE LAW LOST FOR WHAT REASON(S)? Why did Tiz the Law get beat? Is Authentic just a better horse? Was it because Tiz the Law just is not at his best on Churchill’s main track? He’s now 0 for 2 on that track and 6 for 6 on other surfaces. Did Tiz the Law get beat because he was running back in four weeks after his emphatic win in the Travers? He’d previously had more time between races. Did Tiz the Law not have more punch in the stretch last Saturday because he “bounced” or regressed off the Travers in which he had recorded a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure? He dropped to a 103 in the Kentucky Derby. Was it a combination of all those things? Or was it something else? Was it because of what Andrew Beyer did? I wrote last week that Tiz the Law was, in a way, carrying “a ton” of weight because Beyer had said that he was picking him to win. Yes, Beyer has picked the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes from time to time. But even Beyer has acknowledged that his record through the years is woeful in terms of trying to pick the winner of those races. I honestly can’t help but wonder if Beyer might miss picking the winner of a Triple Crown race even it was a walkover. In 2015, Beyer took a stand against American Pharoah in all three Triple Crown events. He picked Upstart in the Kentucky Derby, Firing Line in the Preakness Stakes and Materiality in the Belmont Stakes. While American Pharoah swept the three races to become a Triple Crown winner, the horses that Beyer picked lost the Derby by 60 1/2 lengths, the Preakness by 45 lengths and the Belmont by 22 1/4 lengths. Ouch! “This is why it gives me pause to pick Tiz the Law to win the Kentucky Derby after learning he’s also Beyer’s selection. But I will stick with Tiz the Law anyway.” I wrote. My mistake. DEFECTIONS, NO HUGE CROWD HELPED AUTHENTIC Art Collector, who likely would have been the second choice in the betting, was not entered in the Kentucky Derby. He was forced to miss the race after nicking the bulb of his left front heel with a hind hoof while galloping at Churchill last week on Monday. After Art Collector was not entered, the aforementioned defections of King Guillermo, Finnick the Fierce and Thousand Words followed. This all worked in Authentic’s favor. It’s possible that Art Collector and/or King Guillermo could have put pressure on Authentic during the early and/or middle portions of the race. That would have made it more difficult for Authentic to have enough gas left in the tank to outrun Tiz the Law in the final furlong. The Kentucky Derby was first run in 1875. This was the first year that there were no paying customers on hand to see the Run for the Roses. Churchill Downs was virtually empty because of the coronavirus pandemic. This also probably helped Authentic. Do you remember Authentic’s behavior in Santa Anita’s Grade III, one-mile Sham Stakes on Jan. 4? There were 7,145 fans on hand that day, a far cry from the throng that would have been at Churchill Downs last Saturday if not for the pandemic. Coming down the stretch in the Sham, Authentic ducked in sharply and nearly hit the inside rail, then ducked in again while on his way to a 7 3/4-length win. After what happened in the Sham, Baffert decided it would be a good idea to have Authentic race with earplugs. I sent Baffert a text the day after the Kentucky Derby. “Did Authentic race with earplugs again?” I asked. “Yes,” Baffert replied. But while Authentic did indeed race with earplugs again last Saturday, one can only wonder what he might have done if there had been 150,000 or more screaming people in attendance. Crowd noise may have played a role in the mess on the far turn in last year’s Kentucky Derby. Jockey Luis Saez said immediately after the race that when Maximum Security veered out on the far turn, the colt had “shied away from the crowd noise.” The stewards disqualified Maximum Security from first and placed him 17th for causing interference on the far turn. And so it’s probably just as well for Authentic that, even with earplugs, he did not have to deal with the deafening noise from a huge crowd last Saturday. Besides, Authentic caused enough of a ruckus after the race in the winner’s circle due to the traditional blanket of roses. According to Baffert, Authentic spooked from ribbons that been added to the bottom of the garland of roses. “Authentic, he’s a high-strung horse anyway. He’s always on his toes,” Baffert said. “And when the ribbons came apart and wrapped around him, it just scared the hell out of him. Authentic whipped around there and bowled us all down.” That made for quite a sight. There was the victorious Kentucky Derby trainer on the ground in the winner’s circle, thanks to the victorious horse. But Baffert was back on his feet in no time. After he hit the ground, he stuck out his right hand. Darren Rogers immediately grabbed the trainer’s hand and pulled him up. The track’s senior director of communications and media services deserves kudos for getting Baffert off the ground so quickly. In the span of about a half-hour, Baffert went on an emotional roller-coaster ride deluxe. It began with Barnes seriously injuring his wrist in the paddock and having to leave the track for the hospital. A few minutes later, Baffert watched Authentic win and defeat Tiz the Law (something Baffert admitted that he did not think could happen). And a few minutes after that, Authentic caused his trainer to take a tumble in the winner’s circle. “It was the craziest 30 minutes I’ve had in racing,” Baffert said. NEW TOP IN BEYER DEPARTMENT Authentic recorded a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his Kentucky Derby victory. This stacks up well against the Beyers for the two Triple Crown winners trained by Baffert. American Pharoah’s Kentucky Derby figure also was a 105, while Justify’s was a 103. These were the Beyer Speed Figures for the other Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winners: Silver Charm a 115, Real Quiet a 107 and War Emblem a 114. Authentic’s 105 Beyer for the Kentucky Derby was his second straight triple-digit figure. He received a 101 Beyer for his Haskell victory after originally receiving a 100 for that race. That 101 Beyer was an indication that perhaps Authentic did not get enough credit for his Haskell performance. His 101 nearly matched Maximum Security’s 102 Beyer when he won the 2019 Haskell. Below are the Beyers for Kentucky Derby winners going back to 1989 (the figures prior to 2020 are listed in the American Racing Manual, which is now digital only): 2020 Authentic (105)2019 Country House (99)+2018 Justify (103)2017 Always Dreaming (102)2016 Nyquist (103)2015 American Pharoah (105)2014 California Chrome (97)2013 Orb (104)2012 I’ll Have Another (101)2011 Animal Kingdom (103)2010 Super Saver (104)2009 Mine That Bird (105)2008 Big Brown (109)2007 Street Sense (110)2006 Barbaro (111)2005 Giacomo (100)2004 Smarty Jones (107)2003 Funny Cide (109)2002 War Emblem (114)2001 Monarchos (116)2000 Fusaichi Pegasus (108)1999 Charismatic (108)1998 Real Quiet (107)1997 Silver Charm (115)1996 Grindstone (112)1995 Thunder Gulch (108)1994 Go for Gin (112)1993 Sea Hero (105)1992 Lil E. Tee (107)1991 Strike the Gold*1990 Unbridled*1989 Sunday Silence (102) +Country House finished second but was placed first through the disqualification of Maximum Security *No Beyer Speed Figure listed 2020 GRADE I WINNERS FARE WELL There were three horses in this year’s Kentucky Derby who had won a Grade I race this year. Tiz the Law had four such victories to his credit, while Honor A.P. and Authentic had one such win each. How did the three 2020 Grade I winners do in the Kentucky Derby? Authentic won, Tiz the Law finished second and Honor A.P. came in fourth. THE FAVORITE GETS BEAT AGAIN After Churchill Downs introduced its points system in 2013 to determine starting eligibility, six straight favorites won the Kentucky Derby. The streak then came to a screeching halt when Country House won last year in a 65-1 upset while the 4-1 favorite, Improbable, finished fifth and was elevated to fourth via the DQ of Maximum Security. With Tiz the Law finishing second last Saturday, the Kentucky Derby favorite now has been defeated in back-to-back years. THE “EIGHTH POLE ANGLE” COMES THROUGH Prior to this year, 54 of the last 57 Kentucky Derby winners were either first or second with a furlong left to go. The only three who were not one-two a furlong out were Grindstone (fourth at that point in 1996), Giacomo (sixth at that point in 2005) and Animal Kingdom (third at that point in 2011). Where was this year’s Kentucky Derby winner a furlong from the finish? Authentic was in front. Thus, now 55 of the last 58 Kentucky Derby winners have been first or second a furlong out. ANOTHER NOTEWORTHY BAFFERT ACHIEVEMENT While the fact that Baffert’s sixth Kentucky Derby win tied the race’s record by a trainer, the following day he won the Grade I Del Mar Debutante for the ninth time when Princess Noor proved a punctual 7-10 favorite. Princess Noor cruised to a 6 1/2-length victory. She’s now two for two. As a result of Princess Noor’s triumph last Sunday, Baffert is now the only trainer to have won three of the current Grade I races nine times or more. Baffert has won the Grade I Del Mar Futurity 14 times, the Haskell nine times and the Del Mar Debutante nine times. Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas is the only trainer to have won two of the current Grade I races nine times. Lukas likewise has won the Del Mar Debutante nine times. He’s also won Santa Anita’s Chandelier Stakes (formerly the Oak Leaf Stakes) nine times when it had a Grade I ranking. The Chandelier now is a Grade II. Still another Hall of Famer, the late Charlie Whittingham, is the only other trainer to have won any of the current Grade I races at least nine times. Whittingham won nine Santa Anita Handicaps. PREAKNESS TOP 10 When Tiz the Law did not win the Kentucky Derby after having captured the Belmont Stakes, that meant there will be no Triple Crown on the line in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes on Oct. 3. Baffert has said he plans to run both Authentic and Thousand Words in the Preakness. Tiz the Law’s Preakness status seems up in the air. I am going to put him on my Preakness Top 10 until it’s announced that he definitely is not running. The way I see it, now that there is no possibility of a Triple Crown sweep for Tiz the Law, I would be tempted to skip the Preakness and go directly to the Grade I, $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Nov. 7 with him. Why run him back in four weeks in the Preakness after running him back in four weeks in the Kentucky Derby didn’t work? Here is my current Preakness Top 10: 1. Authentic2. Tiz the Law3. Art Collector4. Shirl’s Speight5. Thousand Words6. Pneumatic7. Mystic Guide8. King Guillermo9. Finnick the Fierce10. Happy Saver BAFFERT RUNNERS TOP NTRA POLLS The Baffert-trained Maximum Security, winner of Del Mar’s Grade I Pacific Classic in his most recent start on Aug. 22, again sits atop this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 340 Maximum Security (26)2. 260 Vekoma (8)3. 232 Tom’s d’Etat (3)4. 198 Improbable5. 197 Monomoy Girl6. 150 By My Standards7. 146 Midnight Bisou8. 128 Tiz the Law9. 111 Authentic10. 78 Rushing Fall Kentucky Derby winner Authentic has overtaken Tiz the Law for the No. 1 spot in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll. Tiz the Law slips to No. 2 this week after having been No. 1. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 354 Authentic (21)2. 349 Tiz the Law (16) 3. 259 Art Collector4. 258 Honor A.P.5. 134 Swiss Skydiver6. 131 Thousand Words7. 90 Shedaresthedevil8. 85 Max Player9. 79 King Guillermo10. 72 Gamine  

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9.10.2020:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: September 11 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee, and a prospective pool that should far surpass that. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors.*** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. ***Leg 1: Laurel Park R7 (3:58 ET) – 2f 40k MCL* at 6 furlongsThey better have their running shoes on to beat #1 BUCKLY’S CHARM (3-1), who was a good 2nd on debut against maidens and gets to run here without a tag because she’s a Md-bred, which gives her a big edge. You have to use #10 MISCHIEFS MODEL (4-1), since Gonzalez is 32% on debut and there’s a slew of works here, from the perfect attack post too. lastly, I’ll also use #12 JUROR NUMBER FOUR (12-1), who was bet hard on debut at Del Park and was a distant 3rd in the slop, but could move up on a fast track for Russell.Pk5 A horses: 1,10,12 (listed in order of preference)Two firsters intrigue me, as #9 CHAMPAGNE TOAST (6-1) shows several encouraging works for Rubley, who is 12% on debut, while #2 WONDERWALL (10-1) goes for a crafty O’Dwyer barn that is 13% on debut.Pk5 B horses: 9,2Potential B add-ins: #11 Why Not Tonight (6-1)Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:14 ET) – 3up 25k MCL at 1-mile (turf)As always, post is key here, which makes #1 CROI MOR (5-2) and #2 ROCKET BLAST (5-1) heavy hitters, as they drew best of all, and both have form good enough to beat what looks like a modest crew, and if the former improves in his second start off the break and for Falcone, the rest of these are in deep water.Pk5 A horses: 1,2The post isn’t dreadful for #7 SULEMAN (7-2), and he has a lot of upside too off just two starts, so I’ll use him, but I’m not sure Arias will improve him off the claim from Sano, which is a worry. The post is a major concern for #10 ROBIN TEAM SHOW (3-1), however, which is why he’s a B, even though he’s as good as the top-2 on paper.Pk5 B horses: 7,10Potential B add-ins: #6 Diligent (15-1), #8 Broadcast Legend (8-1)Leg 3: Laurel Park R8 (5:01 ET) – 3up N1X* at 5 � furlongs (turf)Tom Proctor is a very patient trainer, so the fact that #6 FLY THE W (4-1) won off a 366-day layoff says he can run, and while facing winners is never easy, I’m going to assume he’s moving forward in a big way off the Cnl comeback MSW win, and it’s not like there are any great shakes in here either. Clearly the one to beat is #5 HE’S ONE WILD DUDE (5-2), and the fact he owns eight lifetime wins only adds to his appeal, not to mention either of his last two turf sprints wins this too.Pk5 A horses: 6,5He’s going to have to move forward a bit to win, but the speed of #8 CARBON DATA (9-2) always makes him dangerous, and if he clears, then just maybe he can get brave enough to move up the few lengths he needs. I don’t like the post of #13 XMASINTHECITY (6-1), but the dirt comeback was a means to an end, he’s speedy enough to potentially negate the wide draw, and his turf races last year make him a fringe player, so with the added maturity, he’s not impossible.Pk5 B horses: 8,13Potential B add-ins: NONELeg 4: Laurel Park R9 (5:02 ET) – 3upfm 25k MCL at 5 � furlongs (turf)It’s time for a single, and time to narrow down what was getting to be an expensive ticket, so #2 WHISPURRING KITTEN (9-2) is it, provided this is on turf, as her grass runs are simply better than a weak group, and any of her three career (turf) runs wins this, and probably comfortably too.Pk5 A horses: 2No one else comes close to the pick’s form, though #3 Sea Storyand #4 Patriotic Punch (3-1) would be the logical alternatives, though after seven and 11 starts, respectively, it’s tough to see why today would be the breakthrough.Pk5 B horses: NONEPotential B add-ins: #3 Sea Story (4-1), #4 Patriotic Punch (3-1)Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R3 (5:25 ET) – 3up 20k MCL at 1-mile (turf)Getting back to the local oval and running for a tag over it will really move up #1 KALINE (7-2), who drew perfectly as well and could have his coming-out party here, after a facing eons tougher at Dmr last time. I wouldn’t want to single or take a short price on #8 CAPE POINT (9-5), though obviously he’s a big threat off the head 2nd at the level over the course last time, and his tactical speed will ensure a good trip too. I’m also going to toss in Dmr shippers #10 NEWELL (10-1) and #9 PERSEVERANCE (5-1), as this is a drop in class for both, they still have upside, and will be square prices too.Pk5 A horses: 1,8,10,9The widest draw worries me with #11 QUAZE VIPER (6-1), but his form is solid, and he wasn’t too far behind ‘Point last time, which is enough to warrant inclusion underneath.Pk5 B horses: 11Potential B add-ins: NONEThe tickets:Main Ticket: 1,10,12 with 1,2 with 6,5 with 2 with 1,8,10,9 = $48 (can be played for $2)Leg 1 B Backup: 9,2 with 1,2 with 6,5 with 2 with 1,8,10,9 = $32Leg 2 B Backup: 1,10,12 with 7,10 with 6,5 with 2 with 1,8,10,9 = $48Leg 3 B Backup: 1,10,12 with 1,2 with 8,13 with 2 with 1,8,10,9 = $48Leg 5 B Backup: 1,10,12 with 1,2 with 6,5 with 2 with 11 = $12

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9.9.2020:

Rosen Has Most Fun in the Sun

Robert Rosen turned a $318.50 mutuel total -- based on ‘live’ $10 win wagers on one horse in each of 10 competition races Monday — into a $16,308.25 payday in Xpressbet’s 2020 Fun in the Sun Handicapping Tournament. Play was offered each Saturday in August for just a $25 entry fee, and the top two weekly earners — 10 players total — qualified for Final Table action Monday based on the last five races from Saratoga and the first five from Del Mar. Rosen outlasted Richard Powers at $296.50 and Anthony DeCaspers $206. Powers, who led the contest until the next-to-last race, collected $4,659.50 and DeCaspers pocketed $2,329.75 in additional prize money. Also playing at the Final Table were Phillip Gordon, Aner Carlstrom, Kevin Lynn, Mathew McAleer, Howard Bolte, John Velguth and George Chute. Rosen scored with five winners overall, three at Saratoga and two at Del Mar, including Cem Sultan ($17.40) in the second and Harper’s Gallop ($15.80) in the fifth. Powers had four winners, two at the Spa and two Where the Turf Meets the Surf, including Moonoverthebayou ($28.80) in the first and Tarantino ($14) in the third. DeCaspers also broke alertly by tabbing Moonoverthebayou in Del Mar’s first race but could only add Proven Strategies ($12.60) in Saratoga’s 12th to his total. Rosen vaulted to the lead with Harper’s Gallop’s triumph in the next to last competition race and Powers and DeCaspers couldn’t manage a rally in the 14th at the Spa. As for his horseplaying experiences, Rosen shared with Xpressbet: "I remember being 10 years old and my dad taking me to Laurel Park where I hit my first exacta, 10-8, with Mario Pino riding. You can say I was hooked from that day forward. I grew up 20 minutes from Monmouth Park in Central New Jersey and now live in Orlando. Saratoga will always be my favorite track. I would even argue that Saratoga is the greatest town in the country for about 6 weeks every year. There is nothing like the feeling of watching a horse you bet come around the final turn and into the stretch." Xpressbet congratulates all Fun in the Sun prize winners—16 players earned over $50,000 in prizes—and thanks everyone for playing with us. See you next summer for more Fun in the Sun!

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9.9.2020:

Wednesday Kentucky Downs Picks with 1/ST BET Assistance

Kentucky Downs' mini-boutique meet provides unique handicapping challenges. The 1/ST BET app can help you bridge that gap with a data-driven process.Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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.Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for the Kentucky Downs Wednesday card.Race 1 (1:15PM ET) // starter allowance // 1 mile (turf)11 – Bonita Springs (27% W // 46% P // 56% S)1 – Jordan’s Kitten (14% W // 19% P // 27% S)8 – Four K’s (14% W // 25% P // 42% S)7 – Double Oaked (10% W // 24% P // 38% S)Jeremy’s Take: 13-point spread is second-largest on the card and you get it with a 6-1 morning line price. Jordan’s Kitten appears to have a class edge and a good second over the course, always a positive at KD.Race 2 (1:47PM ET) // claiming // 7 Furlongs (turf)2 – Sniper Kitten (22% W // 35% P // 47% S)1 – Stormcoast (16% W // 42% P // 54% S)8 – Royal Blue Boy (16% W // 29% P // 45% S)9 – Vivid Verse (11% W // 15% P // 30% S)Jeremy’s Take: The 1/ST INDEX isn’t keen on 3-1 morning line chalk Knights Key on the class rise going for 3 in a row. Sniper Kitten has a good performance over the course and a pedigree, trainer and jockey that’s been successful here. Exotics longshots Stormcoast and Royal Blue Boy could spruce up the gimmicks if the machine is right.Race 3 (2:19PM ET) // maiden special weight // 6-1/2 furlongs (turf)12 – Royal Approval (20% W // 36% P // 52% S)1 – Class Riot (12% W // 23% P // 35% S)11 – Flutiste (10% W // 21% P // 32% S)7 – Bluegrass Belle (10% W // 25% P // 37% S)Jeremy’s Take: 2-year-olds with experience have a strong historical edge over first-time starters at KD, so the 1/ST INDEX blind spot to horses without data might not be an issue here. Royal Approval looks right after the trip to Royal Ascot for Wesley Ward. One trainer who has done well with KD firsters is Brad Cox, who has Demeter worth a look. Risky Reward debuts and lures Tyler Gaffalione, who has strong marks riding juveniles here and gets on good mounts.Race 4 (2:51PM ET) // allowance // 6-1/2 furlongs (turf)1 – Well Concocted (21% W // 38% P // 48% S)8 – American Mandate (14% W // 26% P // 37% S)9 – Untraceable (10% W // 21% P // 35% S)4 – Turn of Events (9% W // 19% P // 25% S)Jeremy’s Take: Wide-open group with 4-1 morning line favorite Smile Bryan dismissed by the algorithm. Well Concocted has yet to try turf and had made all his impression on dirt; I’m not totally sold, but respect connections. Untraceable at 15-1 morning line is the value play on the cut-back in distance. Uncapped was stakes-placed here last year and adds more value at 10-1 morning line.Race 5 (3:23PM ET) // maiden special weight // 1-5/16 miles (turf)11 – Fortuna (19% W // 45% P // 50% S)12 – Longpants Required (18% W // 33% P // 44% S)2 – Three Flamingos (12% W // 22% P // 32% S)9 – USS Lexington (12% W // 18% P // 30% S)Jeremy’s Take: Most highly contested race on card by the percentages, yet the top choice settles on the 3-1 morning line favorite who didn’t run well here in last year’s appearance. Feel free to shop some. Three Flamingos interests me most, along with Longpants Required and Champagne Diet.Race 6 (3:55PM ET) // allowance // 6 1/2 Furlongs (turf)1 – Lady Worthington (21% W // 38% P // 48% S)6 – Whimsical Muse (14% W // 26% P // 37% S)8 – Regal Retort (10% W // 21% P // 35% S)10 – VJ’s Bet (9% W // 19% P // 25% S)Jeremy’s Take: Inside speed with Irad Ortiz and Wesley Ward teamed with Lady Worthington certainly interests at 8-1 morning line. VJ’s Bet at 12-1 morning line narrowly missed in a similar race here last year when runner-up and lures Flavien Prat, a better fit in the saddle. Yes It’s Ginger is 2-for-2 since changing barns and fits.Race 7 (4:27PM ET) // maiden special weight // 6 1/2 Furlongs (turf)10 – Born Great (21% W // 37% P // 54% S)5 – Ghost Fighter (13% W // 24% P // 36% S)8 – Red Storm Risen (11% W // 22% P // 33% S)11 – Fugitive (10% W // 26% P // 39% S)Jeremy’s Take: Born Great at 6-1 morning line jumps off the page to me after a solid debut in a productive race at Churchill, but mostly because of KD super-sire Scat Daddy. His offspring relish this place. I’m lockstep with the logarithm in this one.Race 8 (4:59PM ET) // allowance // 1 mile (turf)4 – Kroy (27% W // 47% P // 57% S)1 – Sueno (15% W // 26% P // 43% S)7 –Big Agenda (15% W // 20% P // 28% S)2 – Marza (10% W // 24% P // 39% S)Jeremy’s Take: 12-point spread between Kroy and the rest, and you get 5-1 morning line. This one should fit well for potent claiming trainer Robertino Diodoro, but the gelding will be making his first local start and the pace will be hot. Bizzee Channel has run well twice at KD for a Larry Rivelli barn that strikes at a high rate everywhere, including here. The pace cooks with Mick’s Star also up front, a local course winner. Sentry is my top choice from off the pace.Race 9 (5:32PM ET) // $300,000 Tapit Stakes // 1 mile 70 yards (turf)5 – English Bee (32% W // 42% P // 59% S)2 – Get Western (11% W // 22% P // 36% S)9 – Empire of War (11% W // 12% P // 25% S)12 – Temple (11% W // 12% P // 14% S)Jeremy’s Take: The 21-point spread, the day’s biggest by far, belongs to 5-1 morning line proposition English Bee. This is easily the highest % on the card at 32% for any top choice even though English Bee is 0-for-5 on the year. He’s faced much stronger competition in his last pair, however. Morocco at 15-1 morning line interests by sharp KD sire Pioneerof The Nile and with local stakes-riding phenom Jose Ortiz up for Mike Maker. Stablemate Hembree has run big races over this course in the past. Horses like Empire of War and Big Score also merit much respect. This race looks much deeper than 1/ST INDEX suggests. We’ll see, but you should find value in singling the top pick if you agree as many will spread deeper in multi-race bets.Race 10 (6:04PM ET) // allowance // 1-5/16 miles (turf)11 –Cambeliza (24% W // 44% P // 57% S)1 – Lady Oxbow (12% W // 22% P // 31% S)2 – Blame Debbie (8% W // 22% P // 34% S)3 – Enjoyitwhilewecan (5% W // 12% P // 27% S)Jeremy’s Take: Another solid, 12-point spread and 6-1 morning line in the finale with Cambeliza, who broke her maiden at 13-1 in her only prior KD appearance. She’s the only course winner in the field. Morning line 3-1 favorite Blame Debbie drops out of the stakes ranks after losing her last 5, and adds blinkers in what seems a bit of a desperate double-move for a cold barn. Sursum Corda is getting really good, and very strong late, in her last few. She’s the late threat under Julien Leparoux and the one I like with Cambeliza.

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9.8.2020:

1/ST Look: Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park Stats

Headlines We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Laurel Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Maryland. And be sure to support Laurel Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Maryland Jockey Club. The undefeated Todd Pletcher-trained Happy Saver earned an expense-paid spot in the Oct. 3 Preakness with his handy victory in Monday’s $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes, one of 9 stakes held over the holiday weekend as part of a Preakness Preview. Leading rider Trevor McCarthy, who returned last Friday from a sprained ankle, piloted Happy Saver ... A large potential field for Preakness could be building with Kentucky Derby winner Authentic and third-place finisher Mr. Big News expected. Runner-up Tiz the Law is possible, while the field should get a boost from Blue Grass victor Art Collector … Unbeaten Grand Cru Classe earned an automatic bid into the Oct. 3 Grade 3 Black-Eyed Susan with her front-running victory in Monday’s Weber City Miss Stakes. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid $4,690 last week. The Stronach 5 for Friday, Sept. 11 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:58Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Laurel Park, each showing a 34% win rate or higher with its top-rated contender. Last Late PaceBest Speed Fast TrackBest Lifetime Speed Trends Last Week --Favorites struck at 44% last week on a schedule that included 9 stakes races, but where even more dominant at 17: 10-3-2 in claiming and allowance races. That’s 59% wins and 77% in the exacta.--Trainer Claudio Gonzalez went 11: 4-0-2 on the week, the only barn to win more than 2 races. He was 6-for-6 in the money with horses 3-1 or less and off the board with the other 5 at higher odds. Gonzalez teamed with jockey Angel Cruz to go 3-for-5.--Trainer Annette Eubanks was 3: 2-0-1 with limited tries, delivering $6 and $15 winners with a 7-1 shot on the board. Her ROI was $3.33 for every $1 bet. The barn is now 10: 4-2-2 since July 25 at Laurel with precision strikes.--Jockey Katie Davis posted an 10: 4-0-2 mark to top the colony and a $1.65 ROI for every $1 bet. She was 7: 4-0-2 with horses 6-1 or less odds, including 2 wins with trainer Annette Eubanks.--Jockey Weston Hamilton was 10: 3-0-0 for a huge $3.20 ROI for every $1 bet. He boasted $12 and $46 winners among his scores while riding horses at average odds of 22-1 on the week. Trends Last 2 Weeks --Jockey Yomar Ortiz has made the most of limited mounts, posting an 18: 4-2-2 record the past 2 weeks. That 22% win rate includes a $2.26 ROI for every $1 bet. He’s 2-for-2 during that span with trainer Mario Serey.

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9.8.2020:

1/ST Look: Golden Gate Fields Stats

Headlines The pick six carryover will be $88,170 when racing resumes Friday, along with a super high five carryover of $1,552 … Golden Gate Fields-based Anothertwistafate, the 2019 El Camino Real Derby, makes his long-awaited return Thursday night in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. The Blaine Wright trainee has not started since lthe 2019 Preakness … 2020 San Francisco Mile third-place finisher Camino Del Paraiso, trained by O.J. Juaregui, got his stakes victory in Monday’s $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes to top the Labor Day holiday card. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid $4,690 last week. The Stronach 5 for Friday, Sept. 11 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:58Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Golden Gate Fields, each winning at a 35% or greater win rate. Avg SpeedAvg Best 2 of 3 SpeedBest Lifetime Speed Trends Last Week --Favorites dominated the races on the Tapeta last week, hitting 56% (18-for-32).--Trainer Blaine Wright had a big week with a 9: 4-0-1 record. All 4 winners were well-backed at 2-1, 2-1, 5-2 and 3-1 odds. Wright posted a 4: 3-0-1 record in the claiming ranks.--Trainer Samuel Calvario went 6: 3-1-0 on the week and flashed a $2.17 ROI for every $1 bet. Winners returned 4-5, 3-1 and 5-1 prices, scoring twice in main-track claiming races.--Trainer Billy Delia was a rock-solid 8: 2-1-2 on the week, but produced a rousing $3.34 ROI for every $1 bet. He boasted 9-1 and 15-1 winners, along with a 13-1 runner-up, teaming nicely with jockey Santos Rivera.--Trainer Jose Bautista made the most of limited bids, winning 2 of 3, including a $24 allowance winner. He won both bids on the Tapeta.--Jockey Julien Couton went 12: 4-3-1 last week, and better yet, produced a $3.00 ROI for every $1 bet (popping $24 and $33 winners). Couton won 3-of-4 on the turf in precise strikes.--Jockey Alejandro Gomez was 15-4-2-0 with a $1.58 ROI for every $1 bet. His 4 wins were for 4 different barns and included $13 and $24 scores. Of his 6 exacta finishes, 5 came in sprints at 6 furlongs or shorter. Trends Last 2 Weeks --Favorites are 27-for-53 (51%) on the Tapeta. Jockey Frank Alvarado is 5: 4-1-0 delivering on the public choices during that time.--Jockey Julien Couton has a massive $2.99 ROI for every $1 bet, winning at a 32% rate and landing in the exacta at 55%.

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9.8.2020:

Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park has an 11-race card ready to roll tonight. The 0.20 Early Pick 5 starts the program, it has a $100,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus. Last night, the Early Pick 5 pool was over $130,000.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 12-Emotions Riches (7/2)-Raced well versus better and now faces a bunch of new faces. May have a case of 2nd-itis. But this could be the field to break through and take a picture.3-Harry (9/2)-Sluggish starts against tougher, so has had trouble putting things together for a victory but Henry sticks. Could be a player with an alert start.6-Highland Mowgli (4-1)-Gingras takes over from Henry and this 2-year-old has three 2nd place finishes in 6 starts. Maybe tonight a new set of hands will do the trick and lead to a picture. The past winners are not in this field.Race 22-Zephry Seelster (4-1)-Seemed to be improving and was bet down to 9/5 at this class last week and caught a bad shuffle. Jamieson should have this filly no worse than 2nd at the first call and can be there at the wire.4-Saulsbrook Flashy (3-1)-Has had excuses in last couple, now drops and draws well. Appears to have the speed to be a player as long as the trip is smooth.8-Sure Do Love You (7/2)-Has been off since 6/23 but did qualify well on 9/1. Roy tuned-up this well bred filly in 156.2 and it wouldn't be a surprise if she fired hot off the bench.Race 32-Adrenaline Rush (9/2)-Comes off 2 nice wins, 1 here the other at Sarnia and McClure will be aboard again. In the 7/20 win at Mohawk this 2-year-old rolled the back half in 56.2, so best to respect.7-Metallica (3-1)-Broke at Sar in a Grassroots race and before that did well here. Has enough gate speed to get a good early seat and should be in the hunt throughout.10-Big Bang Bang (6-1)-Another who comes off a break this time at GeoD. Does have good speed and has been rolling late in the mile. Could pop at a nice price if Drury can put in play by the top of the lane and pace is honest.Race 44-Cool Music (7/2)-Had a nice try at this level on 8/24 but has been starting slowly in recent races. Draws well and makes 1st start for new barn. Using and will hope for a smooth journey.5-Only Take Cash (5-1)-4-year-old mare fits with this group. Henry has options from this post, should be a main player and the morning line might be generous.8-Villefranche As (4-1)-Stepping-up after losing as a post-time favorite is not a usual go-to. Roy got her going off cover at the tune of 55.3 for the 2nd half, but it was too little too late versus a strong winner. Looking for an earlier move and should be a solid price.Race 53-Mustang Beach (7/2)-Gets post relief after starting the last 3 races from post 8. Did manage to win here back on 8/6 at 41-1. Last start was at Sarnia on 8/22 when they went to the half in 53.3 and this 2-year old did hold position to the wire. Is off 17-days but seems to be a cut above the rest.0.20 Early Pick 52,3,6/2,4,8/2,7,10/4,5,8/3Total Bet=$16.20Check me out on Twitter!

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9.8.2020:

1/ST Look: Gulfstream Park Stats

Headlines A $178,536 Rainbow 6 carryover welcomes horseplayers back Thursday for this week’s racing … Trainer Terri Pompay not only own last Saturday’s Grade 3 Smile with Cool Arrow, but she also added Sunday’s Sheer Drama Stakes with Heiressall … 2020 Gulfstream Park Oaks and Florida Derby winners Swiss Skydiver and Tiz the Law both finished second in their respective Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby bids last week. Also at Churchill, Gulfstream-based Diamond Oops won the Grade 3 Turf Sprint Stakes to close the Oaks Day card … Three-time Gulfstream winner Global Campaign notched the biggest win of his career in last Saturday’s Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid $4,690 last week. The Stronach 5 for Friday, Sept. 11 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:58Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 3 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Gulfstream Park, all showing a positive ROI and at least a 33% win rate last week. The factor “Avg Speed” was a top-3 factor for thesecond straight week. The factor “Speed Last Race” produced a whopping $62.20 profit if making a $2 win bet on every Gulfstream race last week. Avg SpeedAvg Best 2 of 3 SpeedSpeed Last Race Trends Last Week --Trainer Saffie Joseph went on one of his customary tears with a 14: 6-0-2 record. Four of his winners were 2-1 or less, but he did boast $11 and $12 scores. Joseph went 7: 4-0-1 with jockey Edgard Zayas.--Trainer Jose Francisco D’Angelo made the most of limited starts, going 4: 3-0-1. Winners were well-backed at 6-5, 3-2 and a solid 4-1 price, two ridden by Emisael Jaramillo.--Trainer Terri Pompay, in addition to her 2 stakes wins noted in the Headlines section, was 6: 3-0-0 on the week. All 3 winners were hard-bet at 6-5, 9-5 and 5-2 odds and all came in 1-turn dirt races.--Veteran jockey Edgar Prado had a strong week with a 20: 5-2-1 mark and $1.34 ROI for every $1 bet. He won races for 5 different barns and boasted $18 and $24 maiden claiming victories as well as 2 stakes.--Jockey Alberto Burgos lit the board with a 16: 4-3-1 week that included $12, $35 and $66 beauties. It all added up to a $3.74 ROI for every $1 bet. Burgos also had a 26-1 runner-up in that mix. The average of his mounts was 16-1 odds. Trends Last 2 Weeks --Favorites are 25: 12-4-3 in 2-year-old races in recent weeks, winning 48% with 64% in the exacta. Those numbers rise to 54% and 69% when you factor out the maiden claiming juvenile races.

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9.7.2020:

Harness Highlights: Burke Sweeps Maple Leaf, Pacing Derby

Atlanta etched a new chapter in her storybook career when she won the C$560,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine-Mohawk Park last Saturday. She upstaged a runner-up finish in last year’s Maple Leaf, won by four lengths in a stakes record-equaling 1:50.4 and topped $2.5 million in earnings for owners Brad Grant, Howard Taylor and Crawford Farms Racing. North American leader Ron Burke trains Atlanta and Dorsoduro Hanover, who sprung a major upset in the C$540,000 Canadian Pacing Derby later on the card. Atlanta was dismissed at 5-2 odds after she broke stride as the favorite in the Armbro Flight Stakes in her previous start. She sat fifth while Manchego (Louis Philippe Roy) set a :54.3 half-mile pace and accelerated through a 1:22 third-quarter split. Atlanta picked up cover from defending champ Guardian Angel As (Jody Jamieson) into the far turn and blew past the leaders in the stretch to become the third mare in the last six years to win the Maple Leaf Trot. Lindy The Great (James MacDonald) finished a clear second, four lengths ahead of even-money favorite Gimpanzee (Doug McNair). “(Atlanta) felt so strong and I had a handful of trot in the last turn and when I tipped her she came off cover like a sports car,” said winning driver Yannick Gingras. “I knew right then even though (Manchego) was up by five that I’d catch (her), she was tremendous.” The same could be said for Dorsoduro Hanover, who sat 5-deep in the outer flow off a fast pace, swung 6-wide for the stretch drive and powered clear to win The Canadian Pacing Derby by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:48.4. Dancin Lou (Doug McNair) rallied third-over to finish second and complete an $869 exacta.  It was déjà vu all over again for driver James MacDonald, who guided the 43-1 longshot to the winners’ circle for owners Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi and Wingfield Five. MacDonald won the 2019 Derby with 34-1 Courtly Choice. Dorsoduro Hanover paid $88 and keyed an $869 exacta with Dancin Lou (Doug McNair), who rallied third-over to finish second.

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9.7.2020:

Monday, September 07: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

The Monday night card at Woodbine Mohawk Park will have 11 races set to roll. The 0.20 Early Pick 4 begins in Race 4 and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 45-Never Mind N (5/2)-Won last start with a 56.3 last half and was off over a month. It was a perfect trip, but it was also the 2nd start on Lasix so could be even better tonight. Best to respect lightly raced 7-year-old.6-Angry Eyes (3-1)-Father Patrick mare won 2 in a row and then took the long way around from the 7-hole. Filion takes a seat and he should work a nice trip from here and could be fastest of all down the lane.Race 53-Rock This Way (3-1)-Hasn't taken a picture since 6/20 and now drops to a soft spot. Slow starter should be able to get into the mix at this level but is only 2-20 this year.8-The Regulator (10-1)-Gingras takes a seat and he will probably have the pedal pushed down. Should be able to get the top or the pocket behind #1 and shake loose late.9-Dreamfair BJ (8-1)-Broke slowly from the 7 hole when dropped to this level in last. Went the last half in 53.3 to finish 4th and can be a player with a better trip.Race 61-Warrawee Windsor (3-1)-McClure takes the lines and this 2-year-old may have found a field to break his maiden. Started very slowly in last and if comes off the gate in good shape and handles the 1 post it could be picture time.4-Eighteen Wheelin (5-1)-Trotted through the wire in last and has been handled conservatively so far. Filion is back in the bike and he knows well. Versus this crew it might be time to take the wrapper off and try a more aggressive steer.Race 74-Always Flashing A (3-1)-Was used early into a quick opening quarter and advanced in the stretch in a 151.4 mile. Can be a player if upswing continues.5-Icy Blue Scooter (5-1)-Drops and regular driver is back between the pipes. There should be an honest pace and JMac can come rolling off cover.8-Military Secret (6-1)-Started in the 2nd tier and was claimed in last. Fits with these and will look for a big try in 1st start for Team Cullen.My Ticket Race 4) 5,6 Race 5) 3,8,9 Race 6) 1,4 Race 7) 4,5,8Total Ticket Cost) = $7.20 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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9.7.2020:

Monday, September 07: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.RACE 1: Post 11:30 ET. Grade: XUse: Pass/No PlayForecast: The first race is carded for hurdlers. We will pass the race.RACE 2: Post 12:00 ET. Grade: XSingle: 3-Fort WorthForecast: Fort Worth returned off a 16 week vacation to register a smart first-level state-bred allowance win here last month and should be capable of repeating on the one-level raise with an anticipated forward move. The City Zip colt has the perfect stalking style for this seven furlong trip, shows a strong, healthy work tab since raced, retains I. Ortiz, Jr., and seems certain to go lower than his original morning line of 8/5. He’s a logical short-price rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post 12:33 ET. Grade: B+Use: 4-Editor At Large; 5-Ready Seeker; 9-Domain ExpertiseForecast: This maiden two-turn juvenile grass affair for fillies has the makings of a pretty nice race, with at least three well-regarded newcomers among the nine entrants. Editor At Large, an Irish-bred filly by the top sire Lope de Vega, has done everything in the morning like a top turf prospect for C. Brown and appears fit and ready for a big try first time out. There aren’t any fancy workout times that jump off the page but she’s a smooth mover that does things effortlessly. Brown has another starter, Domain Expertise, that also has been fairly impressive in the a.m. trials. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy, a $200,000 weanling purchase, is a half-sister to the 2-year-old Saratoga stakes winner of a couple of years back, Sombeyay, and shows a work tab that should have her fit enough, though her outside draw is a bit problematic. Ready Seeker has been burning up the Belmont Park training track for T. Pletcher, and as a daughter of More Than Ready can be expected to relish the lawn, though all of her preparation has been accomplished on dirt. A bullet :47 1/5 breezing gate drill (fastest of 28) just six days ago should have her right on edge. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit keying Editor At Large on top.RACE 4: Post 1:04 ET. Grade: XSingle: 2-Road to MeathForecast: Road to Meath is listed at 4/5 on the morning line and looks like it on paper, but there are concerns. Despite a recent series of solid races, the C. Brown-trained gelding clearly is for sale, having dropped from first-level allowance, to restricted (nw-2) $40,000, and now all the way down to the $16,000 level. If he has one good one left, the Quality Road gelding surely can beat this field, but when you’re taking a short price you really don’t want to deal with that kind of uncertainty. You can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or better yet, just pass the race.RACE 5: Post 1:35 ET. Grade: XSingle: 4-Per CapitaForecast: Per Capita earned his diploma during the spring meeting at Churchill Downs in good style while earning a powerful speed figure, one that if repeated today will make him very hard to beat in this entry-level allowance affair. While today’s nine furlong trip might be something of a concern, the son of Tapit has trained in sharp style in recent weeks for new trainer T. Pletcher and projects to be on the lead or in a comfortable outside stalking position throughout. There’s probably not much value to be found at 7/5 on the morning line but you can use him a short price rolling exotic single.RACE 6: Post 2:06 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2b-Wegotoldyougotsold; 8-AristocraticForecast: Wegotoldyougotsold, claimed back by Rudy for $32,000 in May, makes it back to the races while dropping to the $25,000 level, not normally a good sign but an acceptable pattern from this stable. First or second in nine of 14 career starts, the genuine and consistent son of The Factor should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position outside and have his chance when the pressure is turned on. He’s run well off layoffs in the past and the local work tab is healthy. Aristocratic, another with the first-off-the-claim angle, returns for the price he was taken for and will bust out and try his usual gate-to-wire tactics. The veteran Malibu Moon gelding has been first or second in 14 of 36 starts, so we’ll include him as well in rolling exotic play.RACE 7: Post 2:37 ET. Grade: BUse: 8-Julie Bird; 9-Army WifeForecast: Julie Bird has trained like a very promising sort for C. Brown and looks fit and ready for a major effort first time out in this two-turn maiden turf affair for juvenile fillies. The Irish-bred daughter of Lope de Vega, a $225,000 Tattersalls October yearling purchase, appears to be a quick type, so it will be interesting to see if she’s allowed to show speed or be taken back behind cover and then asked to produce a late run. Army Wife has the benefit of a sprint prep over this course last month and should move forward after finishing evenly to be the fourth while giving indication that added distance won’t be an issue. The daughter of Declaration of War shows a bullet :45 3/5 half mile main track breeze (fastest of 30) last week, so she clearly is stepping forward for a barn that has strong stats with second-time starters. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Julie Bird.RACE 8: Post 3:08 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Devamani; 5-Breaking the Rules; 6-OlympicoForecast: This is a contentious middle distance stakes for older turf runners and offers a few possibilities. We’ll pass the race other than to go three-deep in our rolling exotics. Olympico exits a series of tougher graded added money events and will appreciate this drop into listed company. It’ll be interesting to see what affect if any the addition of blinkers will have on his style and whether he’ll lay closer to the pace than he normally does. This will be his second start off a layoff – his recent fifth place finish in the Bernard Baruch H.-G was respectable – so we’ll give him the edge on top. His C. Brown uncoupled stable mate Devamani missed as the favorite when third in a strong allowance race here in late July but is another adding blinkers for the first time while landing the rail. We’re thinking he might draft into a favorable second flight, ground-saving position and then have his chance from there. Breaking the Rules comes off a nice score in the same race Devamani just finished third in while earning a career top triple-digit Beyer speed figure. This is a tougher group, but in his present form the son of War Front is a solid contender.RACE 9: Post 3:39 ET. Grade: B+Use: 3-Speaker’s Corner; 9-SavoyForecast: There are at least two exceptional prospects in this hot maiden sprint for juveniles (maybe three if we include Ten for Ten, a down-the-road sort), with top billing and certain favoritism going to the much-whispered-about Speaker’s Corner. The debuting son of Street Sense has trained like a rocket ship for W. Mott and will take an immense amount of beating if he performs in the afternoon like he has in his a.m. drills. In a :59 4/5 gate work August 24 he left barn mate Jane Grey far behind, and that filly won her debut yesterday vs. maiden special weight company. Then, last Monday, ‘Corner breezed a half in :46 flat under wraps, a bullet drill that was fastest of 109 for the distance. Savoy is a son of Honor Code making his first start for C. Brown, and while he hasn’t been quite as flashy in the morning as Speakers’ Corner, he’s looked outstanding as well through a series of smart drills without being asked for anything close to his best. He could be a very good one, but we suspect it will take better than just good to cope with the favorite.RACE 10: Post 4:15 ET. Grade: BSingle: 1-Ima PharoahForecast: Ima Pharoah is a progressive son of American Pharoah fresh from a clever maiden win five weeks ago with a career top speed figure and may be capable of winning right back on the raise despite shortening to six furlongs and drawing the rail. The T. Pletcher-trained colt has a good stalking style, a healthy work pattern, and, with the scratching of the original 8/5 morning line favorite Binkster seems the solid pick in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.RACE 11: Post 4:48 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Mystery Bank; 6-Mr. Kringle; 7-HardredcandyForecast: We’ll go three-deep in this starter’s allowance middle distance turf affair but not with any great degree of confidence. The best advice is to include as many as you can afford to. Mystery Bank comes off a nice maiden score but it was mini-marathon affair and we’re not quite sure how it translates to this short trip. From the red-hot O. Noda barn, the Florida-bred colt draws the good rail and should enjoy a ground-saving trip while prominent throughout. On pure numbers, he’s the one to beat. Mr. Kringle, third in a similar affair in mid-July over this course and distance, has been kept on edge with a healthy series of workouts in the interim and though beaten as the odds-on favorite last time out does exit a productive race. He’ll have his best chance from a second flight, stalking position. Hardredcandy, nosed out in a $40,000 claimer at Monmouth Park in late July, earned a speed figure that makes him a fit in this league and picks up I. Ortiz, Jr. He may be most dangerous as the controlling speed and in a field that doesn’t have much early zip it wouldn’t be surprising to see front-running tactics employed.RACE 12: Post 5:19 ET. Grade: BUse: 3-Lonesome Fugitive; 8-SucceedandsurpassForecast: Del Mar shipper Succeedandsurpass joins the G. Motion barn and arrives in good form following a sharp runner-up effort in what was a strong race for the level. He’ll race without the blinkers that he wore for the first time in that race, picks up J. Ortiz, and with a decent pace and good racing luck seems capable of producing the last run. Lonesome Fugitive fell far back and then had too much ground to make up when a rallying second in a similar first-level allowance middle distance turf event in late July. With the addition of blinkers, he may display a bit more tactical speed. The lightly-raced Irish-bred colt has solid speed figures for the level, continues to train well, and at 2-1 on the morning line is the one to fear most.RACE 13: Post 5:50 ET. Grade: B+Use: 5-Reinvestment Risk; 6-Jackie’s WarriorForecast: Reinvestment Risk could not have been more impressive winning his debut by more than seven lengths in a fast, highly-rated race here last month, doing so like a colt that will easily handle today’s extra furlong. The C. Brown-trained colt is listed as the 8/5 second choice but is faster on numbers than his chief rival Jackie’s Warrior, so we’ll put him slightly on top in this year’s edition of the Hopeful S.-G1. Jackie’s Warrior is undefeated in two starts, winning his maiden at Churchill Downs and then capturing the Saratoga Special-G2 last month. Both were visually very impressive performances, but if there’s a concern it’s that he beat Therideofalifetime in both races and that colt was off the board in yesterday’s Iroquois Stakes in Kentucky. Let’s go with Reinvestment Risk on top but use both in our rolling exotics.RACE 14: Post 6:21 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-Vicarage; 9-MohjesticForecast: Maiden $40,000 claimers meet two-turning on turf in the season finale. It’s a grass grab bag in which nothing would surprise; we’ll double the race but those with bigger bankrolls can use as many as they feel necessary. Vicarage shows the first-time-for-a-tag angle and goes for the powerful C. Clement/J. Rosario team, so we’re expecting a much improved performance from the son of Medaglia d’Oro. A repeat of his race-before-last, a runner-up try at Tampa Bay Downs, charts very well in this moderate spot. Mohjestic, off the track since finishing a reasonable fourth in his debut 18 months ago, shows up as a first-time gelding for G. Weaver (fair stats with comebackers) and the once-promising son of Uncle Mo is a strong contender based purely on speed figures under the assumption that he returns as well as he left.

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9.6.2020:

Sunday, September 6: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.RACE 1: Post 12:45 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Jordan’s Leo; 7-BellamoreForecast: Bellamore has trained like a very nice prospect and the daughter of Empire looks plenty fit and ready for a major effort first crack out of the box. A $350,000 OBS April sale purchase (where she previewed in :21 2/5), the C. Brown-trained juvenile should eventually be most comfortable around two turns but may have the quality to win at first asking at this extended sprint trip. Jordan’s Leo has been burning up the Belmont Park training track lately and could be dangerous if she breaks running from the rail. The daughter of Malibu Moon hails from the T. Pletcher barn (21% with first-timers) and seems certain to receive plenty of play. Both should be included in your rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post 1:19 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-Bad Beat Brian; 5-Bourbon CurrencyForecast: Here’s a restricted (nw-3) $35,000 claiming turf sprint for older horses with a low degree of predictability. We’ll double the race, but we suggest you use as many as your budget allows. Bourbon Currency seems most effective when held up early and allowed to run late and should get his preferred trip/ride from regular jockey J. Ortiz. A willing runner-up over this course and distance at this level last time out, the son of Speightstown needs help up front and good racing luck to have his best chance, and since the J. Kimmel-trained gelding is just 2-for-20 in his career he needs all the good luck he can get. Bad Beat Brian, nosed out in a $40,000 turf router in late July in a race that was restricted to 3-year-olds, faces older today but has the route-to-sprint angle in his corner and speed figures that fit very well with this group. It’s hard to say what kind of style he’ll employ but there’s other speed in the field so perhaps the Jack Milton gelding will find a good stalking spot and then turn it on late.RACE 3: Post 1:51 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-Blood Moon; 4-Cold Hard Cash; 5-Majestic WestForecast: Here’s another challenging affair, a starter’s allowance event over nine furlongs on the main track. Majestic West makes his third start off a layoff and has the two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern that always catches the eye. The son of Quality Road shouldn’t have any difficulty with the two-turn trip, and with rising speed figures and the switch to J. Rosario the P. Bauer-trained 4-year-old may deserve a very slight edge on top. Cold Hard Cash has gradually improving speed figures and with another forward move should be capable of regaining his winning form. Second in a tougher first-level allowance race over this track and distance last month, the L. Rice-trained gelding projects to settle in the second flight and then produce his best bid from the quarter pole home. The other major player from the Rice barn, Blood Moon, is a first-off-the-claim play for a stable that has superior stats (23%) with this angle. In the frame in four of his last five starts and switching to Rice’s “go-to” rider J. Lezcano, the Malibu Moon colt can be dangerous on the lead or from a stalking position.RACE 4: Post 2:23 ET. Grade: XSingle: 1-Price TalkForecast: By all rights Price Talk shouldn’t be eligible this maiden two-turn turf affair; he actually finished first in his debut over the local lawn in mid-July but had his number taken down, so here he is, back with maidens again hoping this time to run straight and true. From the good rail, the son of Kitten’s Joy should be close up throughout while saving ground and then have his chance to kick clear when set down at the top of the lane. At 6/5 on the morning line the J. Abreu-trained 3-year-old will be heavily favored to do just that. He’s a logical short price, no value, rolling exotic single.RACE 5: Post 2:55 ET. Grade: XSingle: 5-Mo DeanForecast: It wasn’t a particular fast race but Mo Dean certainly ran well in her debut when a fast-finishing second here last month and today gets an extra furlong to work with for the C. Brown barn that hits at a remarkable 35% with second-time starters. The question isn’t whether this daughter of Uncle Mo will improve, but rather by how much? At 6/5 on the morning line she’ll no doubt be too short to play the win pool, but we can still use her as a short price rolling exotic single.RACE 6: Post 3:31 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-A Little Faith; 3-Bean Counter; 8-KeotaForecast: We’ll spread the sixth race, a first-level allowance turf dash for fillies and mares. Keota is the 2-1 morning line favorite and the one to beat following a clever starter’s allowance score over this course and distance last month. The veteran mare is fast on figures and shows two easy recent breezes to tick her over, so we’ll assume she’ll fire a similar shot today from her typical second flight, stalking position. A Little Faith also comes off a nice win, hers earned at the expense of state-bred entry-level allowance foes in late July in her first outing since November. She accomplished a career top speed figure in the victory and returns after a six week vacation during which she was kept on edge with a healthy work pattern. Bean Counter seeks her third straight win, is strong in the speed figure department, and is shortening up from a series of solid two-turn efforts. Tough at any distance but moving up from the restricted claiming ranks, the T. Pletcher-trained daughter of Into Mischief switches to J. Rosario and seems likely to make her presence felt every step of the way.RACE 7: Post 4:03 ET. Grade: C+Use: 5-Calidad; 10-Chocolate CookieForecast: Chocolate Cookie was nowhere in her debut last month over this course when favored, but the daughter of Declaration of War wasn’t knocked about and seems quite capable of improving with that trial run under her belt. The main issue in her poor outside draw, but if I. Ortiz, Jr., who rides her back, can negotiate a decent trip she should produce a significant forward move. Calidad tries two-turns and grass for the first time in her first outing since early July and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the daughter of Quality Road employ front-running tactics. On pure numbers, she’s a fit. We’ll go with just these two in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to include a few more, go right ahead.RACE 8: Post 4:37 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Thomas Selby; 5-Tiz He the One; 7-Malibu ProForecast: Tiz He the One drops well below his claim level (from $62,500 to $40,00), not normally a healthy sign but a maneuver that is acceptable from the M. Maker stable, which plays the claiming game aggressively. The Tiz Wonderful gelding, a winner of five races from 15 starts (but unplaced in seven other outings) is kind of a hit-or-miss type but this seven furlong trip always has brought out his best (two wins), so we’re expecting to see him in mid-pack early and then taking hold from the head of the lane to the wire. Thomas Selby is very ambitious placed after winning a modest $14,000 seller last time out, but W. Ward usually runs them where they can win so we’ll take this placement as a sign of confidence. Fresh from a highly-rated score, the son of Curlin retains I. Ortiz, Jr. and may offer some real value at 8-1 on the morning line. Malibu Pro, claimed in his last pair and moving way up from the $20,000 level by new trainer A. C. Avila, is a 7-year-old gelding in good form right now and on numbers could be quite competitive despite the substantial class hike. He should be within striking range throughout and could make some noise late at or near his morning line of 10-1.RACE 9: Post 5:11 ET. Grade: BUse: 4-Esplanande; 5-Beautiful MemoriesForecast: Beautiful Memories won her debut by 10 lengths at Churchill Downs in her debut in late May and was impressive enough to warrant odds-on favoritism in the Schuylerville S.-G3 in July. She stumbled badly at the start, tried run off early and then was understandably spent and was eased. The daughter of Hard Spun gets a chance to make amends today and if she leaves cleanly this time she’ll have every chance to repeat her maiden performance, which should be good enough in today’s six-runner Spinaway S.-G1. Esplanande is a two-time stakes winner from the minors in Ohio and today shows up against the big girls in a race that truly will test her quality. The daughter of the red hot (but exported to Turkey) young stallion Daredevil is competitive on numbers, so we’ll include her on a ticket or two as well.RACE 10: Post 5:45 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Come Dancing; 2-Blamed; 7-Lady’s IslandForecast: Come Dancing may have lost a step or two but after exiting the blazingly fast Ballerina S.-G1 won by Serengeti Empress, the 6-year-old mare gets a much easier assignment in this year’s edition of the Honorable Miss H.-G2 and should make the most of the opportunity. She’s a perfect two-for-two at this exact six furlong trip, so if the daughter of Malibu Moon breaks cleanly from the rail she’ll have every chance to return to winning form. Blamed, drawn right alongside in the 2-hole, has won nine of 16 career starts but isn’t nearly as fast on pure numbers as Come Dancing is (or was), yet we have to include her because this turn back to six furlongs (she’s perfect in one start) could bring out her best. She can be very tough on the lead or from a stalking position, so J. Rosario can assess the race flow and employ whatever strategy he desires. Lady’s Island is a Florida shipper with only one way to go, on the front end for as far as she can carry her speed. She earned a triple digit Beyer speed figure in her only prior outing at Saratoga, a starter’s allowance affair last year that she won by more than 13 lengths when she was trained by D. Gargan. The daughter of Greatness is back in the Gargan barn, so lookout.RACE 11: Post 6:17 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Shekky Shebaz; 8-PulsateForecast: Today’s secondary feature, the Lucky Coin S., a listed affair for older turf sprinters that finds Shekky Shebaz the morning line favorite at 8/5. Crossing the wire third but moved up to second in the recent Troy S.-G3 over this course and distance last month, the speedy Cape Blanco gelding lands the rail and projects to secure a good ground-saving position either on the front end or just off it. He’s the defending race champion and will handle this group if he brings his best stuff. Pulsate, fifth in the same race ‘Shebaz exits, likes to settle early and produce a late kick. He didn’t get a clear run in the Troy, but with better luck today he could be heard from in the final stages. We’ll use him in a ticket or two as a back-up.RACE 12: Post 6:49 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Leeway; 3-TatterazziForecast: The nightcap is a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming turf miler for fillies and mares that appears to have two main players. Leeway, in her second start off a layoff and dropping out of a tougher starter’s allowance affair, retains J. Rosario and seems certain to attempt the same front-running strategy that produced her maiden claiming win 11 months ago. But even if she isn’t quite quick enough to make the running, the daughter of Stroll should be within striking range throughout and have her chance when it matters. Tatterazzi, also making her second start off a layoff after chasing first-level allowance state-bred foes last month, is a strong candidate to step forward for the J. Terranova barn, which has superior stats with this angle. She’s another that might be most comfortable on the front end, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see L. Saez aggressively send her from the gate.

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9.6.2020:

Sunday, September 06: Scioto Downs Pick 5 Analysis

It is Ohio Super Night at Scioto Downs with the best state-bred 2 and 3-year-old trotters and pacers competing in 8 stake races each with a $300,000 purse. The 0.50 Pick 5 with a low 14% takeout begins in Race 5 and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 53-McMarkle Sparkle (9/2)-Raced the back half in 54.4 from the 9-hole on a good track in a condition race last week. Appears ready for a big try here. Trainer has won 20% of starts in last 30 days, Brett Miller returns, should be a square price, and likes the track.4-Crowntimerockette (2-1)-Comes into this affair in good form and figures to be a player at a short price. Does have only 1 win in 7 starts at ScD. But should be forwardly placed and can take a picture, especially if gets the top without using up much gas.5-Artful Dancer (3-1)-Winner in 5 of 10 Scioto starts could beat this field without getting the top by the opening quarter. Noble has some options and if he finds a live cover flow chances for success go up.Race 62-Winning Ticket (2-1)-This colt has lost twice in 5 starts and both times it was due to an interference break. Could lose this race but most likely it will be because of bad luck once again. Looking for a smooth trip and will make this my single.Race 72-Uncle Peters Love (10-1)-Looking to spread out a bit in this leg with the big chalk leaving from post 8. This gal is a risky play because she shows 4 breaks in the past 2 months but 2 were on a fair track. Can stay in the mix at long odds if minds her manners.4-Delovely Hall (8-1)-Comes off a nice effort versus #8 at the Red Mile and is often close. Merriman steers again and last race came off a 16-day gap. Now comes back in 7-days and could be sitting on big try at a nice price.6-A Fancy Face (9/2)-Burke trainee has 3 wins and 2-second place finishes in 6 starts at ScD. Starts inside of the morning line choice, should be a major player and is a use in gimmicks.8-Guinevere Hall (1/1)-This is the best filly in the race, many will likely single and I will respect but look to others. Comes off a big effort at Lex from the 8-hole last week but maybe this time the trip won't work out as well.Race 81-Four-Star Flash (8-1)-May not have the gate speed to have the lead at the 1/4 pole but Wrenn should be able to keep this colt involved. Might be overlooked at the windows and the Brown trainee could be getting better. Faces a tough group but did have a sharp win at Nfld on 8/17.2-Charlie May (3-1)-Has been 1st or 2nd in all 6 starts and has enough gate speed to be on the engine or in the 2 hole. My guess is the odds-on choice gets the top and Charlie catches a sweet pocket ride.3-Heart Of Chewbacca (1/1)-This colt has been a perfect 4 for 4 since joining the Burke stable. But now tries Lasix for the 1st time, so will use and look to the 2 above for a better Pick 5 payout.Race 92-Action Uncle 1/1-Has been a dominant 6 for 6 versus 3-year-olds this year and most wins were by open lengths. Morgan trainee is probably a clean trip away from another picture.6-Yanks Dougout (8-1)-Didn't do much as a 2-year-old but has been very good as a sophomore going 8 for 12. Finished 2nd to Uncle on 8/15 after getting the top but only to fade down the lane. This time Sugg may come off cover and if the chalk doesn't bring his A-game this could be the winner at a juicy price.My Ticket Race 5) 3,4,5 Race 6) 2 Race 7) 2,4,6,8 Race 8) 1,2,3 Race 9) 2,6Total Ticket Cost) $36Check me out on Twitter!

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9.5.2020:

My Late Pick 4 Ticket Sunday at Saratoga

The Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes) is the headliner on the Sunday program at Saratoga. It’s also the kickoff race to the Late Pick 4, which includes two other stakes (G2 Honorable Miss and Lucky Coin Stakes) and a conditioned claiming race to end the day.The suggested ticket is for $72 and follows a 3x4x3x4 pattern.Here’s how I see it:Race 9 (5:11 p.m. ET, G1 Spinaway Stakes)LADY LILLY was all out and lasted for a victory in her career debut. Will take a leap to Grade 1 company but this is not a horribly difficult spot and it’s tough to question Steve Asmussen’s top juveniles at this point. The Hall of Fame trainer’s success with newcomers has been phenomenal this year.BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES stumbled at the start and was pulled up shortly after the G3 Schuylerville. That’s clearly a throw-out race. Look at the 10-length win in her five-furlong debut at Churchill and you see something special.GUANA CAY is a maiden, but she’s a Wesley Ward maiden. She improved in her second start and could benefit from the additional distance.Race 10 (5:45 p.m. ET, G2 Honorable Miss Stakes)COME DANCING is a millionaire and has won two of four over this strip. She was a non-threatening fourth in the G1 Ballerina and fits with these.BLAMED set the pace and tired late in the G1 Phipps. Just missed in the Shine Again last time out and turns back to six furlongs. She’ll likely be strong on the front end at the distance.BYE BYE J will play the role of stalker and has won three of her last five. Was impressive in the Saylorville at Prairie Meadows last out, stopping the timer in 1:08 4-5.LADY’S ISLAND’s only Saratoga appearance produced a 13-length win. That came against starter allowance company and she has long moved on from that level. She’s a graded winner and just hasn’t run a bad one over the past few years.Race 11 (6:17 p.m. ET, Lucky Coin Stakes)SHEKKY SHEBAZ is well traveled and generally runs well almost everywhere he goes. Might be overplayed in the straight pool here but is worthy of inclusion in this sequence.READYFORPRIMETIME is extremely fast but doesn’t need the lead to win, and that makes this truly dangerous in this spot.GIDU got carried away early last time and weakened going longer, and by the looks of her form this 5.5 furlongs should work in her favor.Race 12 (6:49 p.m. ET, claiming)LEEWAY never got untracked last out against a better level and can be closer to the early action in this one. Can be a force in the stretch today.FUN FINDER’s connections have tried to run her on turf but those scheduled races were washed off the grass and onto the main track. She should like the grass and can close to the pace.SUPER CUTE fizzled in her last one, but was claimed by Maker, and that usually means improvement. Can make a run today.POSITIVE SKEW closed mildly for fifth last time and likely will be pushed to get closer early. Was second two races back.My TicketRace 9) #3 Lady Lilly, #5 Beautiful Memories, #6 Guana Cay. Race 10) #1 Come Dancing, #2 Blamed, #5 Bye Bye J, #7 Lady’s Island. Race 11) #1 Shekky Shebaz, #7 Readyforprimetime, #9 Gidu. Race 12) #2 Leeway, #4 Fun Finder, #7 Super Cute, #10 Positive Skew. Total Ticket Cost) 3,5,6/1,2,5,7/1,7,9/2,4,7,10 = $72 for $0.50

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9.5.2020:

Saturday, September 5: Woodbine Mohawk Park Stakes Analysis

There is a big night of racing on tap at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The headliners include the Goodtimes Final, the Maple Leaf Trot and the Canadian Pacing Derby. Those three stakes will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 3-Goodtimes-Final-Purse $215,0005-Ready For Moni (3/5)-This colt deserves the 3/5 morning line favoritism as only loss came to Ramona Hill in the Hambo Final. It would be a huge surprise if this Takter trainee doesn't take another picture tonight. Trixton set the Canadian track record in 2014 with a 151.3 mile in the Goodtimes and that mark could be in jeopardy tonight.3-Play Trix On Me (5-1)-Did come 2nd to the chalk last week and gets the services of McClure this evening. Toscano trainee was off 3 weeks before last start. Has been in the money in 12 of 14 and recorded 7 wins.4-HP Royal Theo (9/2)-Raced well from the 9-hole to win his elimination easily and now should be in the hunt to cash a 2nd place check. Roy steers for the Baillargen barn who has been sending them out ready to win all year.$10 Exacta 5-3-Total Bet=$10Race 5-Maple Leaf Trot-Purse $560,0009-Gimpanzee (5/2)-The temptation is to look to beat the Breeders Crown Champ without his regular connections able to cross the border and from this post but that's not my choice. My guess is McNair won't try to win the race in opening 1/4 and will look to come off cover and sweep to the top later on. That was basically the script last October in the BC Final and will look for similar with the same outcome.10-Manchego (3-1)-Has 3 wins in 8 starts here and although last couple haven't been as sharp Roy should put this mare in play this week. Starts in the 2nd tier but could line up behind #3 Guardian Angel As who will probably blast out, so the trip may not be too bad.9-Atlanta (9/2)-This multi-million dollar winner has tailed off in last 2 and made a rare break in the Armbro Flight. Does good work at Wbsb and it wouldn't be a shock if she finished higher so best to not overlook. Does have 3 wins in 10 starts at Mohawk and has only missed the board once.$10 to Win on 9-Total Bet=$10Race 9-Canadian Pacing Derby-Purse $540,0007-Century Farroh (4-1)-Comes into the Derby razor sharp and benefited from a patient drive by Dave Miller to win the Dan Patch. Loses Miller but gets the services of the meets leading driver Sylvain Filion. Should be able to find live cover and roll late. The pace should be quick and this 4-year-old can dial up one big brush.4-Sintra (9/2)-Jamieson should provide a good steer for this veteran as both have connected for some big wins here and 3 years ago combined for a Derby victory. Winner of 13 of 24 starts at Wbsb is in fine form and is a live gimmick play.3-Backstreet Shadow (3-1)-Gingras takes over for Tetrick on this Burke trainee who has been in the money in 12 of 13 here with 7 wins. This is a competitive, versatile 5-year-old who has the gate speed to get a close-up seat and could trip out.$10 Exacta Key 7/3,4$5 Exacta 3,4/7Total Bet=$30Check me out on Twitter!

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9.5.2020:

Saturday, September 5: Saratoga Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level. Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.   Jeff Siegel’s Best Plays for Saturday, September 5, 2020 Churchill Downs 1st race – Post Time: 11:00 ET4 -Midnight Sands (4-1) After ripping apart good competition in Dubai when reeling off five straight impressive wins, the son of Speightstown makes his U.S. debut as a first-time Lasix user in this extended allowance sprint that should be well within his capabilities. A series of sharp workouts at Ellis Park should have him fit and ready for good trainer B. Walsh (strong stats with overseas shippers), and with the barn’s “go to” rider T. Gaffalione taking the call we’re expecting this talented and blossoming colt to pick up where he left off last winter. At 4-1 on the morning line he’s a strong win play and rolling exotic single. Churchill Downs 2nd race – Post Time: 11:30 ET5 – Idol (5-1) Expensive ($375,000) Curlin colt ships in from Southern California to make his debut on the big stage and this highly-promising 3-year-old is here to win. The R. Baltas-trained sophomore had been working lights out over the deepish Del Mar main track before arriving in Kentucky, where he got a feel of the track with a five furlong drill in :59 4/5 (fourth fastest of 36) last week to have him right on edge. At 5-1 on the morning line he’s worth a gamble in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Churchill Downs 13th race – Post Time: 5:50 ET8 – Sacred Life (6-1) Left his previous form behind with a career top performance when winning the Oceanport S. at Monmouth Park last month while producing an electric turn of foot from furlong pole to the wire. The C. Brown-trained import clearly is tackling a tougher bunch today in this year’s edition of the Turf Classic-G1 but the genuine and consistent French-bred horse (first or second in 12 of 15 career starts) could easily be up to the task while offering excellent wagering value at 6-1 on the morning line.   Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies: RACE 1: Post 11:45 ET. Grade: XUse: 1-Kaz’s Beach; 3-Tackle Forecast: Tackle made good headway into slow fractions when a very promising runner-up in his debut last month, and with any kind of forward move today the W. Mott-trained colt will earn his diploma in this middle distance grass affair for older maidens. Two easy breezes since raced will have him on edge. Kaz’s Beach may be worth including on your ticket as well. Runner-up in his debut at Penn National while more than eight lengths clear of the rest in a race that produced a good speed figure, the son of Karakontie actually has just as much right to improve as our top pick and from the rail projects to earn a good ground-saving trip.RACE 2: Post 12:18 ET. Grade: XSingle: 1-Win With Pride/1a-Wegotoldyougotsold Forecast: Assuming they both enter the starting gate, the M. Repole entry could run one-two in this $16,000 sprint for older horses, but at an extremely short price. Win With Pride drops to his lowest level ever while obviously being culled from the stable but a repeat of his race before last at Gulfstream Park will bury this field. Entry-mate Wegotoldyougotsold, claimed for $32,000 in March and returning for half that amount today, shows the kind of pattern that is best avoided, but if the veteran gelding has one good one left he’ll be hard to beat. You can use the entry as a no-value rolling exotics single or better yet just pass the race.RACE 3: Post 12:53 ET. Grade: C+Use: 4-Fractorzation; 6-Magnolia’s Lady; 7-Silky Blue Forecast: This state-bred turf sprint is fairly contentious and requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Each of the three listed above has credentials to win and are “must uses” on your ticket. Magnolia’s Lady has improved in each of her three starts and figures to continue her upward mobility after graduating in good style over this course and distance in late July. The daughter of Freud has an effective stalking style, speed figures that fit, and rates a slight edge on top. Silky Blue is right there on numbers and has never been worse than second in three career starts. She’s turning back from a route and projects to be outrun early but very dangerous late. Fractorzation has only one way to go – on the lead – and actually defeated our top pick when graduating gate-to-wire at Belmont Park in early July. The layoff is a bit troubling but she’s competitive on numbers and like the others is eligible to improve with experience and maturity.RACE 4: Post 1:26 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Civil Union; 4-My Sister Nat Forecast: Civil Union appears to have found her niche as a mini-marathoner and at this 11-furlong trip the lightly-raced mare, with rising speed figures in each of her six career starts, looks quite capable of winning this year’s renewal of the Glens Falls S.-G2. Her victory at 12 furlongs in the listed River Memories S. at Churchill Downs in July was excellent, and although this is a tougher assignment she seems capable of handling the task. My Sister Nat was visually quite pleasing when winning the Waya S.-G3 with a career top speed figure last month and not much more will be needed for a repeat score. It may be significant that J. Ortiz, who rode them both, opts for ‘Nat over ‘Union. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with slight preference on top to Civil Union.RACE 5: Post 2:01 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Caddo River; 5-Olympiad; 6-Greatest Honour Forecast: Olympiad finished a distant third in a fast, highly-rated race in his debut here last month and seems certain to use that outing as a springboard for a significant forward move in this seven furlong maiden special weight sprint for 3-year-olds. The son of Speightstown finished willingly without being knocked about while giving indication that today’s extra furlong will suit him just fine. Caddo River has moved like a nice sort in morning breezes and is a dangerous first-timer from the B. Cox barn. The son of Hard Spun hasn’t really been asked for much in his works leading up to this race, but he should have enough of a foundation to perform well enough to make his presence felt. Greatest Honour is a first-timer by Tapit with a decent series of works on his resume. He’s probably not totally cranked up by Shug but seems to have some promise and is worth including somewhere on your ticket.RACE 6: Post 2:38 ET. Grade: BUse: 4-Pop a Choc; 5-Timely Tradition; 7-Say Moi Forecast: Say Moi has the route-to-sprint angle that we like so much and this turn back to seven furlongs – which may prove to be her favorite trip – can propel this daughter of Union Rags back into the winner’s circle in a strong first-level allowance main track sprint for fillies and mares. She should be able to secure an ideal pace-stalking trip and then have every chance to seal the deal just as she did in her maiden win at Churchill Downs last spring. On pure numbers she’s plenty fast enough to win. Pop a Choc, third as the favorite in a similar affair last month, has plenty of room to improve and may find herself as the controlling speed. She was forced into some wicked fractions last time out and understandably weakened late to be third, but this pace flow seems likely to be more comfortable. Timely Tradition is a tough-as-nails mare with 10 career victories and speed figures that are solid for this level. She’s won at Saratoga in the past and projects to be comfortably placed in a pace-pressing position and then have every chance from there.RACE 7: Post 3:11 ET. Grade: B+Use: 1-Restored Order; 9-Hidden Enemy Forecast: Hidden Enemy ran fairly well in his debut when finishing a close fourth here last month and seems certain to be fitter, sharper and more serious in this maiden two-turn grass affair for juveniles. The son of Galileo has the makings of a good colt, especially as the distances increase, and the S. Asmussen barn hits at a strong 23% with second-timers. The switch to J. Rosario is another plus. Restored Order is the one to fear most. With the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern, the son of Frosted lands the rail and almost certainly will find himself as the controlling speed. I. Ortiz, Jr. stays aboard the $420,000 OBS March sale purchase who has a pedigree that suggests he’ll easily handle the added distance.RACE 8: Post 4:21 ET. Grade: B+Single: 3-Good Old Boy Forecast: Good Old Boy has plenty in his favor in this state-bred entry-level allowance two-turner on grass. The veteran gelding returned off a year layoff to register a smart victory in a $25,000 claimer over the local lawn last month and in a sign of confidence is protected today after earning a career top speed figure in that clever win. Drawn nicely inside and likely to enjoy the same type of stalking trip that produced his recent victory, the M. Maker-trained son of Freud will offer value at or near his morning line of 4-1. Let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 9: Post 4:21 ET. Grade: B+Use: 1-Happy Saver; 6-Dr Post Forecast: This year’s renewal of the Jim Dandy S.-G2 serves as a Preakness prep and has a few very nice prospects in the field. Happy Saver is undefeated in two starts and truly gets tested today. After winning his debut sprinting at Belmont Park with a powerful figure, the son of Super Saver stretched out over this track and distance to win a first-level allowance event vs. older horses with stakes quality speed figure, one that makes him a major player despite the raise into graded stakes company. He’ll more than likely settle into a ground-saving, stalking position and then do his best work from the quarter pole home. Mystic Guide performed like he desperately needed blinkers when third in the Peter Pan S.-G3 here in mid-July and we anticipate a career top effort today with the addition of the hood. He’s a bit slower on speed figures than our top pick but the son of Ghostzapper hasn’t come close to showing his best stuff just yet. We’ll sink or swim using just these two in our rolling exotics; if you feel the need to add Dr Post (the 7/5 morning line favorite) go right ahead.RACE 10: Post 4:57 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Kimari; 5-Frank’s Rockette Forecast: The Prioress S.-G2 is a salty sprint for sophomore fillies topped by Frank’s Rockette, a thoroughly genuine and consistent sprinting sophomore who has been first or second in all eight of her career outings, seven of them stakes. Winner of the Victory Ride S.-G3 at Belmont Park in early July, she returns off a two month respite with a series of slow and easy local drills that we’re going to assume will have her fit and ready. The projected pace flow looks favorable so the the W. Mott-trained daughter of Into Mischief surely will be on or near the lead throughout. Kimari, back from Royal Ascot where she finished an admirable second (of 16) in the Commonwealth Cup-G1, can handle any surface but had the misfortunate of drawing the rail and may encounter severe traffic along the way due to her lack of gate quickness. Nonetheless, she’s a high-quality type and needs to be included somewhere on your rolling exotic ticket.RACE 11: Post 5:30 ET. Grade: XSingle: 2-Tacitus Forecast: Tacitus earned a confidence building win when blasting his rivals by more than eight lengths in the Suburban S.-G2 at Belmont Park in early July and has been kept on edge with a healthy series of drills in the interim that should have him primed and ready for a similar run in this year’s edition of the Woodward S.-G1. Even money on the morning line and looking every bit of it on paper, the son of Tapit displayed an affection for the Saratoga main track last year when second in both the Jim Dandy S.-G2 and Travers S.-G1 at Saratoga, races that quite frankly were tougher than the one he’s in today. The W. Mott-trained colt is a logical short priced rolling exotic single. RACE 12: Post 6:08 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Our Country; 8-Life On Top; 9-Traffic Pattern Forecast: We’ll spread the nightcap, a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claimer for older horses over a distance on ground on grass. Life On Top adds blinkers for the first time and certainly should improve while showing up in a seller for the first time. The Carpe Diem gelding has speed figures that make him a legitimate fit in this softer affair and looks to be the most dangerous of the deep closers. Traffic Pattern earned a number when breaking his maiden at first asking two runs back that makes him a fit in this league. The son of Temple City was out of his element in a first-level allowance race last time out but this class drop while being reunited with “win rider” I. Ortiz, Jr. makes him a “must use.” Our Country is another dropping into a claimer for the first time and in this league the Constitution gelding may be able to get back on track. Drawn nicely inside, the G. Weaver-trained 3-year-old has earned solid speed figures, so at 6-1 on the morning line he’s worth tossing in as well.

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9.4.2020:

Kentucky Derby Late Pick 4 Betting Strategy

It’s Kentucky Derby Day and that means huge pools to take advantage of. And while there are some heavy favorites in the sequence (lookin’ at you NEWSPAPEROFRECORD, TIZ THE LAW and SERENGETI EMPRESS), I think I’ve built a strategy where we can maximize returns, even if two of those three horses lose. Let’s get to it: Race 11 (4:39PM ET) // G2 Longines Distaff Turf Mile S. // 1 Mile (Turf) It’s amazing the difference a year makes. This time in 2019, I had written off #4 NEWSPAPEROFRECORD (4/5). She and I were done. Broken up. On the outs. But now we’re back again. Talk about an on-again/off-again relationship. As a 2YO she shined bright, winning 3-of-3 starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. As a 3YO she was 0-for-3 with losses at 1/5, 1/5 and 8/5. But she’s back in fine form, including two huge wins at Belmont (including a dominating score in the G1 Just a Game) and looks like a fair single in your Late Pick 4. Race 12 (5:17PM ET) // G1 Derby City Distaff S. // 7 Furlongs (Dirt) I really like this field. At one end of the spectrum, you have ’19 KY Oaks Winner SERENGETI EMPRESS (9/5) who will be gunned from the start. She’s going to benefit from the scratch of #7 LADY KATE (she ran Friday in the La Troienne) and if all goes according to plan, there may not be anyone to run with SERENGETI EMPRESS early. #1 MIA MISCHIEF (6/1) has speed but she generally prefers a stalking trip while #9 BELLAFINA (3/1) hasn’t shown a ton of early foot lately, but she does get a jockey change to Mike Smith. #10 CE CE (3/1) ran so well in the G1 Apple Blossom in April at Oaklawn but she has been a disappointment in two starts since. Perhaps that race took too much out of her? Race 13 (5:50PM ET // G1 Old Forester Turf Classic S. // 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) Chad Brown is the top turf trainer in the US and he sends out three horses in here - #3 ROCKEMPEROR (7/2), #4 DIGITAL AGE (6/1) and #8 SACRED LIFE (6/1). In my eyes, all three are ‘must use’ horses. I could regale you in their accolades, but they’re all trained by Brown for successful owners and all are more than capable of winning this race. I’ll also toss in #6 MR DUMAS (12/1). He loves racing at Churchill and switches to an inside post. His last race at Saratoga was good enough to win this. My colleague, Jeremy Plonk, has sold me on #2 BOWIES HERO (6/1). He seems to relish the more lush turf courses of Kentucky (as compared to the rock hard strips in California). Race 14 (7:01PM ET) // G1 Kentucky Derby // 1 1/4 Miles (Dirt) This is where we’re met with a question and I’ll play two separate approaches. On one hand, I’ll single #17 TIZ THE LAW (3/5). He’s a short price but he’s the best horse in the field (maybe the best dirt horse in the country?) and if he’s even close to as good as he was in the G1 Travers on August 8, he’ll win this for fun. Let’s play a ticket with a big(ger) base with him on top. And let’s also take advantage of the money on him – and these huge KY Derby Day pools – and throw in a ticket with some longshots. I’ll play a ticket with #7 MONEY MOVES (30/1), #13 ATTACHMENT RATE (50/1), #15 NY TRAFFIC (20/1) and #16 HONOR A. P. (5/1) on top for a smaller base. The good news? It’ll pay better than the primary ticket with TIZ THE LAW if we win. My Tickets ($120 Total)  Primary Ticket Race 11: 4 Race 12: 1, 8, 10 Race 13: 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 Race 14: 17 Ticket Cost ($4 Base): $60.00 Backup Ticket Race 11: 4 Race 12: 1, 8, 10 Race 13: 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 Race 14: 7, 13, 15, 16 Ticket Cost ($1 Base): $60.00  

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9.4.2020:

Friday, September 4: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis

Hawthorne Racecourse starts the weekend with a 10-race card. The 0.50 late Pick 4 will be my focus. That sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool and will start in Race 7.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 76-Mr Three Quarters (7/2)-Rolled the back half in 55.4 last week for a win versus $4k claimers. This will be the 3rd local start and has done well at Haw. Best to respect chances tonight although stepping up, was Seekman's choice over the #5, and #8 the other Gilerman entry.7-Shadyman (5-1)-Won at 10-1 in a drop and pop situation on 8/15 at this class while smoking the 2nd half. But is off for almost 3 weeks so will use and hope is ready for a top try.8-Impressive Cowboy (7-1)-Here's another who dropped and popped at 75-1. Beat 5 from this field last time and now Ridge Warren takes the lines. Outside post helps the price and likes Haw, winning 6 of 21.Race 81-Fox Valley Triton (2-1)-4-year-old is at a low enough level it should be time for a picture. But has gone off at 2-1 four times since 6/12 and has only won once and that was versus non-winners in 2020. Using but will need one other for support.9-Lucky Crusader (5-1)-Old timer is trip dependent, one move horse these days. But still has the speed to beat this crew if Husted works a good steer. The start will be important and will use over #3, the 2nd program chalk who has 2 wins in the last 40 starts.Race 92-Not Me Gram (9/2)-This race is about as formless as could be and the entire field has only 18 wins over 2 years.5-Canadian Mountie (3-1)-4th start on Lasix and in the first 3 the improvement wasn't very noticeable. But did improve a bit when dropped to this class in last. Will respect connections and take a swing with Team Leonard.10-Fox Valley Lincoln (25-1)-Out of the 18 wins over 2 years for the field this longshot owns 3. This is the 3rd start off a sick scratch and drops to the lowest level of the meet.Race 101-Silverstar's Flash(6-1)-Needs a trip but comes right back after racing Sunday and last 2 are the best efforts since the beginning of June. Should be a square price, has hit the board in 4 of 10 Haw starts and has 2 wins.2-Western Perch (8/5)-Makes 2nd start on Lasix and should like the company. Trainer usually sends them out ready and Wilfong can work an up-close trip.6-One R Two (6-1)-Continues to stay in fine form. Loses Wilfong but Ridge Warren has steered in the past. Has hit the board in 9 of 13 in Stickney with 3 wins and should be a fair price.My Ticket Race 7) 6,7,8 Race 8) 1,9 Race 9) 2,5,10 Race 10) 1,2,6Total Ticket Cost) = $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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9.4.2020:

Friday, September 4: Saratoga Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.RACE 1: Post 12:20 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Make Mischief; 2-Rossa Veloce; 5-Summer BrewForecast: The Friday opener drew six runners, half of whom have a legitimate claim, so we’ll pass the race while going three-deep to kick off our rolling exotics. Rossa Veloce scored at first asking in game style last month while earning a very strong speed figure for a New York-bred race for 2-year-olds. The daughter of Girolamo has been given enough to time to recover from what had to be a fairly taxing effort, and with two galloping breezes since that race to tick her over the R. Handal-trained juvenile should be set for a similar, if not better, try today. Summer Brew, a solid runner-up in that same race while beaten just a half-length, has just as much right to step forward as ‘Veloce and looms the one to fear most right back. She didn’t break all that well in her debut yet to stayed on nicely after quickly moving up to press the issue, and with the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr. the daughter of Summer Front could easily turn the tables. Make Mischief was a nice debut winner at Belmont Park in June and then stepped into open added money company to finish second in both the Schuylerville and Adirondack Stakes over the local main track. She returns to face state-bred foes while switching to J. Rosario, and if she leaves cleanly from the rail the daughter of Into Mischief might find herself on the front end and be tough to catch from there.RACE 2: Post 12:55 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Work Out; 5-Saratoga Flash; 8-Judge N JuryForecast: There aren’t any world beaters among the known element so let’s go with a fast-working first-timer on top in this state-bred maiden special weight juvenile extended sprint. Saratoga Flash, from the B. Tagg barn (modest stats with first-timers), sports a bullet :59 2/5 solo work in blinkers under mild coaxing only over the local main track last week to indicate he has the kind of ability that must be respected. From the first crop of the promising Uncle Mo stallion Leoban, the $60,000 Saratoga yearling (New York-bred session) purchase looks fit and ready. Work Out and Judge N Jury, two-three finishers in a maiden sprint here in late July, both have a reason to step forward with that bit of experience behind them and both are “must uses” in rolling exotic play. Both are adding blinkers and both are pretty quick, though at this six and one-half furlong distance they could be susceptible to a late-runner in the final stages.RACE 3: Post 1:28 ET. Grade: XSingle: 6-City ManForecast: City Man has much in his favor in the Albany S., a nine furlong main track affair with six starters. The son of Mucho Macho Man adds blinkers for the first time in his eight-race career and with a perfect 2-for-2 record over the Saratoga main track that includes a win in last year’s Funny Cide S. the C. Clement-trained sophomore retains regular pilot J. Rosario and should be on the lead or in a cozy stalking position outside and have every chance when he’s asked to quicken. At 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 4: Post 2:01 ET. Grade: B+Single: 6-HalpertForecast: Here’s a reasonable gamble on a first-timer starter showing slow and easy workouts leading up to this middle distance turf event for state-bred 2-year-olds. Halpert has done everything asked in the morning and more, breezing in recent drills while easily getting the best of his workmates. Don’t let the lackluster final times fool you; this colt can run. The son of More Than Ready goes for a barn that has strong stats (20%) with debut runners and we suspect this colt is fit enough to win at first asking over a distance of ground. The J. Englehart-trained colt picks up L. Saez and it won’t be surprising to plenty of support on the tote. At 5=1 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 5: Post 2:24 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Myhartblongstodaddy; 4-Classic Lady; 6-War CanoeForecast:With the scratching of Fifty Five, this year's edition of the Yaddo S. takes on a different look, one that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Classic Lady and War Canoe, the one-two finishers in the Dayatthespa S. earlier this season, meet again and are tough to separate after finishing a neck apart in their most recent encounter. 'Lady has a bit more tactical speed than her main rival, so we'll give her a very slight edge on top again. Myhartblongstodaddy is a lightly-raced Scat Daddy mare currently on a roll and could be this good with continued improvement. She's a little shy in the speed figure department but looked good beating a lesser field in her first start since November over this course and distance earlier this meeting, has trained steadily since, and is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from the rail so we'll include her on our ticket as well.RACE 6: Post 3:16 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Advanced Strategy; 5-Papa Luke; 8-TerceroForecast: Older state-bred maidens sprint six furlongs in the sixth race, with the main contention coming from those that raced. Advanced Strategy is solid in the speed figure department and adds blinkers for the first time, so we’ll give the J. Jerkens-trained colt top billing in a race that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. The son of Karakontie returns to the main track after a pair of decent grass sprint efforts but his debut outing – last December over the Big A main track – resulted in a solid third place effort in a race that was stronger than par. Papa Luke also adds the hood and is strictly the one to beat even though he failed at the favorite in his last two races while having his chance but failing to punch it home late under pressure. We’ll also toss in Tercero, away since January after finishing second to a next-out winner at Aqueduct and training well for his comeback for W. Mott. With I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call, the son of Majestic City seems better than his morning line of 8-1.RACE 7: Post 3:50 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Eagle Orb; 4-Lookin for TroubleForecast: Eagle Orb was a clever winner over six furlongs here a couple of weeks ago and shouldn’t have an issue with today’s extra half-furlong in this year’s renewal of the Funny Cide S. for 2-year-olds. The R. Rodriguez-trained son of Orb showed he could stalk, pounce, and draw off in his initial outing and that style should work very well against this group, assuming he can negotiate a decent trip from the rail. Lookin for Trouble didn’t run particularly fast when breaking his maiden over the local main track in late July but was visually pleasing in victory and certainly has every right to step forward with experience and distance. We’ll see what the son of Into Mischief is made of for the powerful team of M. Maker/J. Ortiz. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Eagle Orb on top.RACE 8: Post 4:25 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Light in the Sky; 6-Astoria’s Kitten; 8-Summer At the SpaForecast: Light in the Sky,runner-up in her last three starts, has burned money in her last pair but encountered rough trips in both and may have had legitimate excuses. This will be her first try around two turns (bred for it) and with a ground-saving trip and clear sailing through the lane, she may be capable of producing a winning late kick. Astoria Kitten does her best running as the controlling speed and if she can secure that type of trip today she’ll be hard to catch. Sprinter-stretching-out Drynachan, drawn just inside ‘Kitten, may spoil those plans. If ‘Kitten can accept a stalker’s role she’ll be fine, but she’s yet to show she can finish with that type of strategy. Summer At the Spa, a closing third in the same race Astoria Kitten exits, has room to improve and will be especially dangerous if the early pace winds up being contested. The daughter of Summer Front switches to L. Saez and could make some serious noise in the final furlong.RACE 9: Post 5:00 ET. Grade: B+Single: 8-FreewheelerForecast: Freewheeler was nowhere near cranked up for his first outing in almost nine months when second at 4/5 in a recent first-level allowance state-bred turf sprint but with that tightener behind him the son of City Zip should be primed and ready to regain his best form. The T. Pletcher-trained sophomore is wheeled back in two weeks, retains I. Ortiz, Jr., and catches a field that is well within his capabilities. Listed at 2-1 on the morning line but likely to go lower, he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 10: Post 5:34 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Ice Princess; 5-Critical ValueForecast: Ice Princess was out of her element when last seen in the Fantasy S.-G3 at Oaklawn Park in May but she’s back with state-bred foes today and should be capable of returning to winning form. The Palace Music filly is a fit on numbers and projects to enjoy an ideal second flight trip before being asked for her best from the top of the lane to the wire. Critical Value trounced a similar New York-bred stakes field in her seasonal bow at Belmont Park in late June while earning a career top speed figure and will be tough once again if she can project that sprint form to nine furlongs. She’s “iffy” to do so based on pedigree, and her one prior attempt at this trip when fourth in the Demoiselle S.-G2 last year wasn’t inspiring. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics while preferring Ice Princess on top.RACE 11: Post 6:07 ET. Grade: BSingle: 7-TherapistForecast: Therapist earned a career top speed figure when a strong-finishing runner-up in an open allowance middle distance turf affair here in late July and today shows up in a state-bred stakes that sets up nicely for his closing kick. The C. Clement-trained gelding, a winner of eight of 18 career starts and a stakes winner over this course last year, should be able to settle off the pace and then wear down the leaders late based on this projected race flow that promises a contested early pace. I. Ortiz, Jr. stays aboard, knows him well, and should have this C. Clement-trained son of Freud along in time. At or near his morning line of 2-1, he's a play in the win pool and a single in the rolling exotics.RACE 12: Post 6:40 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Boom Boom Kaboom; 4-SmiteForecast: We'll double the nightcap, a turf sprint for older state-bred maiden claimers. Smite shows up in a seller for the first time and against this group seems the logical top pick after finishing a close third vs. tougher over this course and distance earlier this season. The son of Congrats has been vulnerable under pressure in the final furlong of his races but should be able to see out the trip today. Boom Boom Kaboom, third vs. similar with a career top number two weeks ago, lands the rail, projects to settle into the second flight while saving ground, and with good racing luck he'll be bearing down late. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we'll press with extra tickets on top keying Smite.

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9.4.2020:

Ky Derby Day Full-Card Picks with 1/ST BET Assistance

Churchill Downs’ 14-race Kentucky Derby Day card provides its annual place among horseplaying households and the general public at-large. You can bet the entire Kentucky Derby Day program with the 1/ST BET app and at Xpressbet.com.Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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.Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for the Kentucky Derby Day card.Race 1 (11:00AM ET) // Allowance // 7 Furlongs (Dirt)5 – HOG CREEK HUSTLE (30% W // 53% P // 77% S)1 – HOME BASE (25% W // 48% P // 67% S)3 – BOURBON RESOLUTION (18% W // 40% P // 58% S)2 – SEVEN TRUMPET (16% W // 34% P // 60% S)Jeremy’s Take: #1 Home Base has a real chance to win this race wire-to-wire from the rail with a serious pace advantage. #5 Hog Creek Hustle has faced outstanding competition, but has been a long time between victories.Race 2 (11:30AM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 6 Furlongs (Dirt)1 – THRILL RIDE (31% W // 50% P // 70% S)3 – QUALITY WARRIOR (14% W // 38% P // 55% S)7 – KADRI (14% W // 29% P // 46% S)4 – PROUD VETERAN (13% W // 24% P // 37% S)Jeremy’s Take: #1 Thrill Ride’s 17-point spread is second-largest on the card. First-time starter #5 Idol is under-valued by the algorithm because of lack of data, but will be a serious contender in this race.Race 3 (12:00PM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 1 Mile (Dirt)4 – ONE NATION (35% W // 47% P // 59% S)6 – PIT BOSS (13% W // 30% P // 43% S)9 – SPEIGHTSTOWN AGAIN (11% W // 42% P // 66% S)1 – STORM KING (11% W // 28% P // 47% S)Jeremy’s Take: #4 One Nation has the largest margin, 22 points, of any top contender today. And he’s 5-1 on the morning line and doesn’t figure to be hammered by the bettors. His late-running sprint style should adapt well to the 1-turn mile. This could be a spot to single in multi-race bets even if not at low odds.Race 4 (12:35PM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 6 Furlongs (Dirt)12 – KING’S MISCHIEF (29% W // 43% P // 54% S)11 – RYE SENSE OF HUMOR (14% W // 25% P // 38% S)8 – T MONEY (11% W // 25% P // 37% S)1 – BIG LAKE (11% W // 18% P // 25% S)Jeremy’s Take: Again a race with many first-time starters that land in a data blind spot for the 1/ST INDEX, so keep an eye on how the public bets this race. #12 King’s Mischief is the clear choice of those who have raced. #1 Big Lake is a debut runner by Derby and Triple Crown champ American Pharoah for a Steve Asmussen barn that has dominated the 2-year-old races this year at Churchill Downs.Race 5 (1:10PM ET) // Allowance // 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)10 – PARKLAND (16% W // 29% P // 47% S)4 – TRIDENT HIT (16% W // 27% P // 37% S)8 – ON A SPREE (14% W // 25% P // 37% S)5 – SPANISH KINGDOM (10% W // 19% P // 26% S)Jeremy’s Take: The most contentious race of the day, according to the 1/ST INDEX, has several quality options. #10 Parkland is the only of the leading trio of have raced on the Churchill turf previously, and it was a good second, which might be the separator. #5 Spanish Kingdom is the 3-1 morning line favorite, which means there could be decent value at the top here.Race 6 (1:45PM ET) // Allowance // 7 Furlongs (Dirt)11 – COWBOY DIPLOMACY (25% W // 37% P // 49% S)6 – COOL BOBBY (13% W // 29% P // 41% S)7 – STREET CLASS (12% W // 25% P // 32% S)12 – ALEX JOON (9% W // 18% P // 28% S)Jeremy’s Take: Cowboy Diplomacy came back from a year-plus layoff and steamrolled maidens at Ellis Park. The Brad Cox trainee is a 12-point pick in the 1/ST INDEX, but this race looks a bit trickier than that. #5 Wild Popit is inconsistent, but his best can be a factor and he’s 10-1 ML.Race 7 (2:20PM ET) // Allowance // 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)9 – AURELIUS MAXIMUS (28% W // 51% P // 56% S)1 – AWARD WINNER (22% W // 34% P // 49% S)12 – LOCALLY OWNED (12% W // 19% P // 25% S)6 – SAGAPONACK (8% W // 15% P // 25% S)Jeremy’s Take: #1 Award Winner at 15-1 morning would be excellent value based on the computer numbers. He’s done most of his work on turf, but his dirt form and inside post position are attractive enough at those odds. The other speed in this race early on is drawn wider and the short run to the first turn may be a rodeo for them.Race 8 (2:55PM ET) // G2 American Turf S. // 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)5 – SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT (26% W // 48% P // 60% S)4 – FIELD PASS (22% W // 39% P // 55% S)8 – FANCY LIQUOR (20% W // 36% P // 50% S)1 – TAISHAN (8% W // 19% P // 33% S)Jeremy’s Take: The top three morning line choices are far and away the 1/ST INDEX consensus with more than 68% between them. #4 Field Pass might have the tactical edge rallying late in a race that will be heated early among several front-running types.Race 9 (3:35PM ET) // G2 Pat Day Mile S. // 1 Mile (Dirt)2 – ECHO TOWN (27% W // 48% P // 57% S)9 – RUSHIE (15% W // 34% P // 53% S)1 – CEZANNE (15% W // 27% P // 45% S)6 – TAP IT TO WIN (13% W // 25% P // 40% S)Jeremy’s Take: In a race that looks way more competitive on paper that the algorithms suggest, #2 Echo Town is a solid 12-point pick. He is a capable sprint finisher who should fare well over the 1-turn mile and 7-2 in the morning line doesn’t strike me as wildly under-laid. Speedballs #7 No Parole and #4 Vertical Threat are threats to speed away if the other doesn’t fire. #5 Digital may finish best over the distance.Race 10 (4:07PM ET) // G3 Iroquois S. // 1 Mile (Dirt)10 – THERIDEOFALIFETIME (24% W // 45% P // 56% S)6 – BELAFONTE (16% W // 26% P // 36% S)3 – SUPER STOCK (11% W // 22% P // 30% S)4 – ULTIMATE BADGER (11% W // 19% P // 32% S)Jeremy’s Take: A bit surprising that 7-5 morning line favorite #10 Therideofalifetime was only an 8-point spread in this one. The only horse to beat him in 3 starts has been Jackie’s Warrior, the most impressive 2-year-old in America so far this year. #6 Bellafonte is 20-1 morning line and great value via the 1/ST INDEX. He hails from no-name connections, and on a big race day, those kind often are overlooked on the tote.Race 11 (4:39PM ET) // G2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile S. // 1 Mile (Turf)4 – NEWSPAPEROFRECORD (IRE) (29% W // 46% P // 62% S)3 – JULIET FOXTROT (GB) (16% W // 34% P // 54% S)1 – SHE’SONTHEWARPATH (15% W // 25% P // 43% S)6 – BEAU RECALL (IRE) (11% W // 25% P // 35% S)Jeremy’s Take: Front-running #4 Newspaperofrecord has been machine-like when on her game and no doubt the one to beat as a 13-point pick. She’s 4-5 in the morning line and looks it, though #5 Harmless could pressure her throughout the running and make things tougher.Race 12 (5:17PM ET) // G1 Derby City Distaff S. // 7 Furlongs (Dirt)8 – SERENGETI EMPRESS (28% W // 46% P // 58% S)4 – BELL’S THE ONE (13% W // 27% P // 37% S)1 – MIA MISCHIEF (11% W // 19% P // 31% S)6 – SALLY’S CURLIN (9% W // 24% P // 37% S)Jeremy’s Take: Last year’s Kentucky Oaks winner #8 Serengeti Empress obviously loves the track and she caught some pace break when the connections of Lady Kate opted to run Friday and scratch from this race. #1 Mia Mischief might be the only one who can run with her early, and I don’t see it. The 15-point spread here looks legit if the top pick runs her race.Race 13 (5:50PM ET) // G1 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic S. // 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)4 – DIGITAL AGE (23% W // 44% P // 58% S)2 – BOWIES HERO (20% W // 36% P // 57% S)8 – SACRED LIFE (FR) (10% W // 25% P // 33% S)5 – DONTBLAMEROCKET (10% W // 17% P // 22% S)Jeremy’s Take: Two-horse race based on the 1/ST INDEX between #4 Digital Age and #2 Bowies Hero, the latter the only Grade 1 winner in the field. I’m on Bowies Hero and #8 Sacred Life in the 1/ST Race of the Week analysis, and will be boxing that pair in exactas. #1 Factor This looks vulnerable at 3-1 in the morning line to this eye and the computer.Race 14 (7:01PM ET) // G1 Kentucky Derby // 1 1/4 Miles (Dirt)17 – TIZ THE LAW (28% W // 36% P // 42% S)18 – AUTHENTIC (12% W // 26% P // 39% S)15 – NY TRAFFIC (12% W // 24% P // 40% S)16 – HONOR A. P. (9% W // 21% P // 32% S)7 – MONEY MOVES (5% W // 11% P // 15% S)2 – MAX PLAYER (5% W // 6% P // 7% S)8 – SOUTH BEND (4% W // 16% P // 32% S)10 – THOUSAND WORDS (2% W // 6% P // 18% S)1 – FINNICK THE FIERCE (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)3 – ENFORCEABLE (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)4 – STORM THE COURT (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)5 – MAJOR FED (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)9 – MR. BIG NEWS (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)11 – NECKER ISLAND (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)12 – SOLE VOLANTE (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)13 – ATTACHMENT RATE (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)14 – WINNING IMPRESSION (2% W // 5% P // 7% S)Jeremy’s Take: #17 Tiz the Law will be a far shorter price than the percentages project, and deservedly so to this eye. The algorithm short-changes #16 Honor A.P. as fourth choice. Some of the recent pace defections should help #15 Ny Traffic’s style near the front, so he could be the value play based on the 1/ST INDEX. Exotics players for trifectas and superfectas note #8 South Bend rates high marks to finish in the money, but not to win. The algorithm was dismissive of my longshot player #3 Enforceable.

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9.3.2020:

Podcast: Kentucky Derby Handicapping with Jeff Siegel & Jeremy Plonk

Listen as Jeff Siegel and Jeremy Plonk handicap the races from Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day (Friday, September 4) and Kentucky Derby Day (Saturday, September 5).     LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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9.3.2020:

Johnny D's 2020 Kentucky Derby Analysis + Superfecta Strategy

Revised based on Scratch of #6 King Guillermo. It figures. As soon as the package from Amazon hits the doorstep you realize you don’t need the product after all. At least not right now. That’s sort of how the folks at Churchill Downs feel. They ordered a brand-spanking new 20-stall starting gate, custom made especially for them, only to find out that this year’s Run for the Roses has attracted just 18 runners. Therefore, their new purchase isn’t really required--at least not this year. That disappointment is so 2020, don’t you think? After all, at least 20 horses have entered the race every year since 2004, and in 17 of the last 19 years. Who could have imagined that probable second choice Art Collector, contenders Caracaro and Dr. Post all would miss the race? As the kids say, ‘Whatever.’ We’ve got a field of 18 runners with a prohibitive 3-5 favorite to boot. Below is a horse-by-horse analysis of this year’s Kentucky Derby followed by one man’s suggested superfecta plays.    1. FINNICK THE FIERCE (HERNANDEZ/GARCIA) - 50/1 It’s difficult for us to make too much of a case for this son of Dialed In. He’s crossed the finish first just once—first time out in a maiden race at Indiana Grand and he was placed first via disqualification in an Oaklawn Park optional claiming $80k/allowance race. He was third in the Gr. 1 Arkansas Derby behind Nadal and #6 King Guillermo. He’ll need to step up his game in here from the tricky rail post. Blind in his right eye, all he’ll see early is that long stretch of Churchill rail. Don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. Either way, we suppose he could be used in the final slot of the superfecta at huge odds. 2. MAX PLAYER (ASMUSSEN/SANTANA JR.) - 30/1 Trained by the capable Linda Rice for all 5 starts, this colt will run in the Derby under the banner of Hall-of-Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen. Don’t know about you, but we consider changing trainers right before the Kentucky Derby bad juju. It’s understood that Asmussen has a string at Churchill and Rice is based in New York and, furthermore, that we’re dealing with pandemic-restricted travelling routines for equines and humans. Still, Rice knows enough about the game to have worked things out. Don’t know the entire story but dislike the optics. Max Player has a suitable running style for this race—from off the pace. In 5 career races, he’s improved Beyer Speed Ratings each time by at least 4 points. If he has another forward move in the tank, he could find the bottom rung of exotics. He was no match for Tiz the Law in the last 2 races— more than 5 and more than 7 lengths behind ‘Tiz in the Gr 1 Belmont and Gr. 1 Travers, respectively. Doubt he can turn those shortcomings around, but he’s never been off the board and may finish strong enough again to get a check. He was doing his best with high-knee action going 5 furlongs in :59 3/5 on 8/24 at Churchill—out in 1:25 3/5. He figures to hit the board but we’re rooting against him doing that because of the trainer change and he’ll be overplayed in the lower rungs of exotics. 3. ENFORCEABLE (CASSE/BESCHIZZA) - 30/1 He’s a rare bird in this Derby—a horse that comes from far back. Things could set up for him with a few Derby runners with ‘go’ on their minds. If not outright frontrunners, there are certainly plenty of entrants that would like to lay ‘close’ early and that could gig up what happens just behind the leaders. Next question: Is Enforceable talented enough to take advantage of a favorable pace scenario should it develop? No doubt, he’ll need to run much better than he ever has before. This son of Tapit ought to appreciate the mile and one-quarter distance. Just 2 wins in 10 starts isn’t ideal, but he could be one of those late-developing types. Trouble is, for him, some of the early developers are pretty good. We’ll use him because he’s likely to be overlooked in the wagering, he’ll be a huge price and he should have something left for the finish. 4. STORM THE COURT (EURTON/LEPAROUX) - 50/1 He’s was the 2-year-old champ last season but hasn’t lived up to that title this year. He’s been around—fourth in the Gr. 2 San Vicente; third in the Gr. 2 San Felipe; third in the Gr. 3 Ohio Derby and 2nd in the Gr. 3 LaJolla on turf at Del Mar last out. His last win was the BC Juvenile at nearly 46-1. He’s about that price again to win this race and we don’t see that happening, but he could fill the bottom of the superfecta. 5. MAJOR FED (FOLEY/GRAHAM) - 50/1 He’s never been fast enough to threaten in here. He finished second in the Gr. 2 Risen Star and Gr. 3 Indiana Derby, as well as fourth in the Gr. 2 Louisiana Derby. He has worked well at Churchill for this, including a bullet :59 (best of 36) August 28. This son of Ghostzapper will be a huge price and will come from off the pace. He could be used in the bottom rungs of exotics on tickets searching for a bomb with a long fuse. 6. KING GUILLERMO (AVILA/CAMACHO) - 20/1 - SCRATCHED King Guillermo did not visit the track Thursday morning and is scratched from the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Juan Avila brings this colt into the Derby off an extended layoff since a runner-up finish to Nadal in the Gr. 1 Arkansas Derby May 2. It’s an ambitious venture to enter the Kentucky Derby off such a long layoff but Avila is no Johnny-come-lately; he’s trained thousands of winners in native Venezuela. With just 5 starts under his girth—3 on dirt--King Guillermo is a real question mark in here. He absolutely romped at nearly 50-1 to win the Gr. 2 Tampa Bay Derby. That was in March and he had been off since November before that, so you know he can run well fresh. August 22, at Churchill, he worked a sparkling five furlongs in :58 1/5—eagerly pulling early and going out a mile nicely in 1:40. Before that, also at Churchill, he sped five furlongs in a bullet ‘best-of-46’ :59 2/5. He’s fresh, should show early speed and actually could settle into a cozy, rail-skimming position behind #18 Authentic into the first turn. If that’s the case, #6 King Guillermo could hang around until the finish. 7. MONEY MOVES (PLETCHER/CASTELLANO) - 30/1  With just 3 starts under his girth, this son of Candy Ride is the most lightly raced runner in the field.  This is a huge ask off a sloppy track sprint maiden win, a $75k optional claiming/allowance race mile score at Gulfstream Park and a neck defeat at the $62.5k optional claiming/allowance race going a mile and one-eighth at Saratoga. The most recent race was against older foes and he’s the only runner in the field to have done that. The Pletcher name will draw some support, but this guy really seems overmatched at this stage of his career. As of Thursday, of Derby week, trainer Todd Pletcher had not yet arrived at Churchill Downs and has left the training of this guy in the capable hands of his Hall-of-Fame mentor and recent COVID 19 survivor D. Wayne Lukas. Looks like this camp is merely ‘taking a shot’ at the Derby. 8. SOUTH BEND (MOTT/GAFFALIONE) - 50/1 He leads the field with 12 lifetime starts and has 3 wins--all coming at age 2, in his first 3 races! He’s 0-for-8 this year, including 0-for-5 on turf, but has 2 seconds and 2 thirds this year. He closed ground late to just miss in the Ohio Derby and then was a well-beaten fourth behind #17 Tiz the Law in the Travers. This son of Algorithms could pick up a few pieces late but that seems about the best that can be expected from him. He was a late addition to this race and that’s usually not a successful maneuver. It should be noted that he is 2-for-3 at Churchill, so he likes the track. We’ll use him at a huge number to clunk up and juice the exotics. 9. MR. BIG NEWS (CALHOUN/SAEZ) - 50/1 Here’s another late-running colt that seems too slow to win, but deserves a longshot look in the bottom rungs of the exotics. He’s 2-for-7 with a Fair Grounds maiden win and a tally in the Oaklawn Stakes. He’s usually a big price and that trend will continue in here. He’s best on turf and those types sometimes handle Churchill Downs dirt well. He’s another clunk-up type at a monster number. 10. THOUSAND WORDS (BAFFERT/GEROUX) - 15/1 Five-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert sends this one out following a wire-to-wire score in the Shared Belief at Del Mar. That afternoon he outran #16 Honor A. P. to regain some of the luster he had lost since earlier in his career. #10 Thousand Words won his first 3 races, including the Gr. 2 Los Alamitos Futurity at 2 and the Gr. 3 Robert Lewis at 3. A pair of losses, including a stumbled start fade job in the Oaklawn Stakes in April, sent connections back to the drawing board. If any horse has benefitted from a delayed Kentucky Derby, this guy has. He returned July 4 to finish second in the Los Alamitos Derby before his Shared Belief triumph. He’s another Derby starter that would like to be close early…and that position figures to be crowded. A mile and one-quarter doesn’t seem like the ideal trip for this son of Pioneerof the Nile out of a Pomeroy dam and, except for his last race, he seems a bit below the top ones. He will be over bet in exotics but we’ll use him defensively. 11. NECKER ISLAND (HARTMAN/MENA) - 50/1 He was claimed for $100k at Churchill in June. Blinkers, worn in each of his 10 starts will be removed for the Derby in hopes of reclaiming the form that led to victories in 2 of his first 3 starts. The cupboard is bare since then—about a year. We’ll pass on him. 12. SOLE VOLANTE (BIANCONE/PANICI) - 30/1 This guy added front wraps last time out and has been working exclusively on the turf course at Gulfstream Park. Obviously, he likes turf better than dirt—he’s 2-for-2 on the green stuff. Last time we checked; however, the Derby is contested on dirt. However, it should be noted that turf horses often like the Churchill main track. A repeat of his Sam F. Davis in early February would put him in the mix. His last race in the Belmont was poor and an immediate turnaround is required. He should get some exotic play off his earlier successes but, off the addition of front wraps and a poor Belmont performance, we’re inclined to look elsewhere.  13. ATTACHMENT RATE (ROMANS/TALAMO) - 50/1 Annually, it seems, trainer Dale Romans is quoted saying that his current Derby entrant is, ‘one of the best horses I’ve ever trained.’ This year, he hasn’t said a word about Attachment Rate except that, “It’s 2020, anything can happen.” Last out, in the Ellis Park Derby, this son of Hard Spun finished second to Art Collector in the best performance of his career. He could react from that effort. However, if you’re looking for a late-developing colt with a chance to juice the exotics at a big price, this just might be your guy. Churchill is his home base but he’s 0-for-2 there—showed speed and stopped first out in a 6-furlong maiden race and had a troubled trip in the Gr. 3 Matt Winn. Forgive his troubled Blue Grass and you might have something here. While Romans has yet to win the Derby, he recently reigned as the winningest trainer in Churchill Downs history (now Steve Asmussen) and has saddled some bombs that have finished in Derby exotics. 14. WINNING IMPRESSION (STEWART/ROCCO JR.) - 50/1 He sports 1 win from 9 starts and that came in a sloppy $80k optional claiming/allowance race at Oaklawn Park. His last two races have not been good. Trainer Dallas Stewart has exploded exotic bombs in the Derby before so there’s that. However, that’s about all there is. Pass on him. 15. NY TRAFFIC (JOSEPH JR./LOPEZ) - 20/1 Since his last win—an optional claiming/allowance race at Gulfstream in January—this Joseph Saffie, Jr. trainee has been no worse than third in four starts (Gr. 2 Risen Star; Gr. 2 Louisiana Derby; Gr. 3 Matt Winn and Gr. 1 Haskell). His last race, a game nose loss to Authentic in the Haskell, was the best of his 9-race career and he’s improved Beyer Speed Figures in 7 consecutive starts, always a good sign. This grey or roan son of Cross Traffic may not relish a mile and one-quarter, but he’s got enough speed to be prominent early and is game enough to fight at the finish. He’s a reach to improve enough to win this, but he could easily hang around for a piece of the exotics. 16. HONOR A. P. (SHIRREFFS/SMITH) - 5/1 Trainer John Shirreffs (Giacomo) is one of four trainers in this year’s Derby that has previously won the race: Baffert (Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem, American Pharoah and Justify), Barclay Tagg (Funny Cide), Todd Pletcher (Super Saver, Always Dreaming). This ridgeling son of Honor Code counts the Gr. 1 Santa Anita Derby as his prime sophomore achievement to go along with a one-mile maiden race tally. He has three runner-up finishes to his credit. #16 Honor A. P. is a big, long-striding type that takes a while to get into high gear. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will need to keep this mount in the clear because if they are stopped at any point in the race it will take Honor A. P. some time to get that massive frame going again. Shirreffs is a patient trainer and he’s brought this guy along perfectly—no backward Beyer Speed Figure step in 5 starts. Is he good enough to win? Maybe, but he’ll need to run the race of his young life and at least one other horse (Tiz the Law) will need to go backwards. Still, he’s one of the few that could win if the favorite stubs his hoof. 17. TIZ THE LAW (TAGG/FRANCO) - 3/5 He’s the deserving 3-5 morning-line favorite in this year’s Run for the Roses. He’s won 6 of 7, including all 4 starts this year. Since he won the Belmont in June, he’s the only runner in the field with a chance to collect this unique Triple Crown that reads Belmont, Derby, Preakness. No doubt, this will be the toughest race of his career—that’s true for everyone in this field—but he’s won all six of his races by at least 3 lengths, a sign of complete domination. Those wagering against this son of Constitution may be banking on the fact that his lone loss came at Churchill Downs over a sloppy track. That afternoon, he had some traffic trouble and still missed by a mere three-quarters of a length. Detractors also might point to a shorter rest period between races than ever before and that his facile victory in the Travers was more of an effort than it seemed. He’s also facing a deep group of competitors, something he’s never experienced before. He’s drawn in post 17 for this race and no horse has ever won the Derby from that slot in the starting gate. Of course, that was out of the old starting gate…or gates. Maybe that new package from Amazon will come in handy after all? Tiz the Law should show good speed from the gate and settle into a close-up position on the outside. How wide he is forced to travel early in this race will tell the story. He’s clearly the one to beat but at 3-5 he’s got enough vulnerability for us to attempt to beat him on some tickets. 18. AUTHENTIC (BAFFERT/VELAZQUEZ) - 8/1 Like Tiz the Law, Authentic has just one blemish on his record—he finished second to #16 Honor A. P. in the Santa Anita Derby when that one flipped the San Felipe script on him. He’s won 4 of 5, including the Haskell Stakes last out by a diminishing nose. He’s got speed and should improve off the Haskell for trainer Bob Baffert, who’s won 5 previous Kentucky Derbies, although none in September. Interesting to note that jockey Mike Smith, normally a ‘go-to’ guy for trainer Bob Baffert, departs #18 Authentic to ride #16 Honor A. P. There is some concern that a mile and one-quarter may be a bit further than Authentic wants to go—and his close call Haskell at one mile and one-eighth only adds to that suspicion. It’s likely Baffert didn’t have Authentic fully cranked for the Haskell and the trainer has continued to push the pedal to the metal since. According to Thoro-Graph speed figures, Authentic never really has taken a backward step—always a great sign for a 3-year-old. He’s got to ‘go’ from the #18 post position and then see who else shows speed. #15 Ny Traffic has some speed, but isn’t quite as quick as #18 Authentic.  #16 Honor A. P. and #17 Tiz the Law shouldn’t be too far behind but if they leave this colt alone too long, he may be tough to catch…even at a mile and one-quarter.   BOTTOM LINE:  Watch the start of this race carefully and focus your attention on horses in post positions #15 through #18. That’s where this Derby could be won or lost early. We suspect that #18 Authentic will be sent for the lead. It’s his best chance for success. Trainer Baffert wasn’t happy with the far outside post because he knows jockey John Velazquez’s hand is forced. Look for #18 Authentic to ‘haze’ #17 Tiz the Law leaving the gate. Any ‘pause’ they can cause to the favorite is a bonus. #10 Thousand Words, #15 Ny Traffic, #16 Honor A. P. and #17 Tiz the Law could all be shuffling for position just behind the leader. If that’s the case, favored #17 Tiz the Law could get the worst of it and be forced extremely wide around the first turn. That’s going to sap energy he might need later and open the door to a possible upset. If #17 Tiz the Law can save some ground around the first turn without losing touch with the leaders, it’s game over, he wins. But, if things unfold the way we think they might, look out for an upset by any one of four colts in order of preference: #18 Authentic, #16 Honor A. P., #13 Attachment Rate or #15 Ny Traffic.  This year Churchill will offer $.10 cent superfecta wagers. Now, before you go dancing in the streets, realize that the small minimum means that every player and his uncle can now spread out like a California wildfire. In other words, if you hit the superfecta, chances are that you will share it with the world. So, if you’re thinking of sending in any superfecta tickets with #17 Tiz the Law on top, think of them less as superfectas and more as trifectas. Don’t expect to make much money unless: A) You can beat #17 Tiz the Law or B) He wins and a few bombs round out the super and you have it several times.    Most Likely Winner:#17 Tiz the Law Could Upset (in order of preference):#18 Authentic, #16 Honor A. P., #13 Attachment Rate, #15 Ny Traffic Lower Rung Bomb Exotic Considerations:#3 Enforceable, #5 Major Fed, #8 South Bend, #9 Mr. Big News   The Tickets ($105.60 Total) #17 Tiz the Law is the most likely winner and will anchor most tickets. He does, however, have slight vulnerability—poor post position; possible traffic issues; ground loss; shorter rest since his last race; coming off a taxing mile and one-quarter race; only loss at Churchill Downs. We’ll key him in the first position and punch the $.10 cent superfecta 5 times. Let’s hope our bombs fill the remaining slots. Should things go a bit sideways and #17 Tiz the Law runs second, surrounded by our selections, we’ll have that dime super twice. That payoff will be much better than if the heavy favorite wins. Finally, in the least likely scenario, we’ll put #17 Tiz the Law in the third position for a dime. If that one hits, we’ll collect a bundle. $.50 Superfecta ($66) First: #17Second: #13, #15, #16, #18Third: #13, #15, #16, #18Fourth: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #8, #9, #10, #12 #13, #15, #16, #18 $.20 Superfecta ($26.40) First: #13, #15, #16, #18Second: #17Third: #13, #15, #16, #18Fourth: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #8, #9, #10, #12 #13, #15, #16, #18 $.10 Superfecta ($13.20) First: #13, #15, #16, #18Second: #13, #15, #16, #18Third: #17Fourth: #1, #2 #3, #4, #5, #8, #9, #10, #12 #13, #15, #16, #18 Race On!  

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9.3.2020:

Eddie Olczyk's 2020 Kentucky Derby Picks

Bet the 2020 Kentucky Derby with 1/ST BET and Xpressbet on Saturday, September 5. The race is scheduled for 7:01PM ET.  UPSETTER MAY 'ENFORCE THE LAW' Analysis: The date may be different, but the Kentucky Derby most years, including this one, most often comes down to pace. All eyes will be on TIZ THE LAW after convincing wins in the Belmont and Travers. Tuesday’s post position draw with Haskell winner AUTHENTIC landing the far outside spot could have a major impact on the pace. He’s going to be sent hard to clear some of the other speed. And the way KING GUILLERMO has been amped up and breathing fire in the morning, this could be a very fast pace. Art Collector was going to be my Derby pick, but his injury defection just prior to entries being taken has sent me back to the past performances. Get Eddie Olczyk's Kentucky Derby Day Undercard Spot Plays Main Contenders: TIZ THE LAW deserves to be a heavy favorite, but at 2-5 or 3-5, I just can’t bet him no matter the respect for his credentials. Can he stalk such a fast pace and still finish at a mile and one-quarter? They could go 1:10 for six furlongs on Saturday (vs. the 1:11-4/5 in the Travers). Maybe he can. But not at such short odds for me. Second morning-line betting choice HONOR A.P. is solid and in my mix. I’ll stand against the speed players AUTHENTIC and KING GUILLERMO and take my chances. Value Plays:  Of those near the early pace, the best price player will be NY TRAFFIC. He was just off AUTHENTIC in the Haskell and getting to him. He’s improving, but doesn’t get the most favorable race shape. That won’t be the case for deep-closing ENFORCEABLE, who will be my upset play. He finally draws inside, post 3, after 4 times this year being stuck outside. I’m not 100-percent sure he can get the mile and one-quarter, but he’s shown good finishing kick and gets the right set-up. At 30-1 or more, the rewards will be great if he can get the distance faster than the rest. $100 Wagering Strategy:  $18 Win-Place-Show: ENFORCEABLE ($54) $1 Trifecta Box: ENFORCEABLE, TIZ THE LAW, HONOR AP, NY TRAFFIC ($24) $5 Exacta Box: ENFORCEABLE with TIZ THE LAW ($10) $3 Exacta Key-Box: ENFORCEABLE with HONOR AP, NY TRAFFIC ($12) Top 4 Picks:  1. ENFORCEABLE2. TIZ THE LAW3. HONOR A.P.4. NY TRAFFIC    

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9.3.2020:

Eddie Olczyk's Kentucky Derby Day Spot Plays

 Looking to bet Churchill Downs races other than the Kentucky Derby? Here are a few other horses on the Saturday, September 5 card that look like good bets to Xpressbet handicapper, Eddie Olczyk. Get Eddie Olczyk's Kentucky Derby Picks Race 9 (3:35PM ET) // G2 Pat Day Mile // 1 Mile (Dirt)#5 DIGITAL (12/1) The mile distance could be perfect for him as he’s raced between 6 furlongs and 1-1/8 miles in recent starts. The pace should be swift to run at, and he’ll be a solid price over a distance that suits. Race 12 (5:17PM ET) // G1 Derby City Distaff // 7 Furlongs (Dirt)#4 BELL'S THE ONE (10/1) Blazing-fast Serengeti Empress is the speed of the speed, but there are some other quality sprinters in this group to set it up for a closer. Bell’s The One loves it in Kentucky and will be flying late with a chance to step up at a nice price. I’ll bet her to win and in exacta boxes with Serengeti Empress. Race 13 (5:50PM ET) // G1 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic // 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)#8 SACRED LIFE (FR) (6/1) Trainer Chad Brown has 3 in the Turf Classic and this is the most attractive at the best price. Stablemate Rockemperor is always hanging around, but has won just 1 of his last 11. Digital Age hasn’t beaten older horses in stakes company yet. Style-wise, Sacred Life fits in a race where several of these want to be near the front. His strong finish at Monmouth last time indicates more distance is a plus.

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9.3.2020:

Thursday, September 3: Saratoga Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level. Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value. The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. Churchill Downs Best Plays: Churchill Downs 7th race – Post Time 4:16 ET3-Mystical Man (3-1) Was given an easy race in his debut on turf at Saratoga and should be much more serious today when switching to the main track in this maiden two-turner for juvenile colts. The son of Mucho Macho Man closed ground into the teeth of slow fractions when winding up a respectable fifth (beaten 3 lengths) without being knocked behind just ahead of yesterday’s With Anticipation Stakes winner Fire at Will behind him. The A. Stall, Jr. barn has powerful stats with the second-time starter angle so we’re expecting this $155,000 OBS March sale purchase to step forward and graduate while offering good value at 3-1 on the morning line. Churchill Downs 10th race – Post Time 5:58 ET6-Crazy Beautiful (2-1) Could not have been more impressive winning the 7-furlong main track Debutante S. at Ellis Park last month after graduating at first asking two-turn on grass the previous month, both victors accomplish by daylight and with ease. Steps into graded stakes company today in the Pocahontas S.-G3 but has the perfect style for this one-turn mile distance and should be able to handle the class hike in stride. The daughter of Liam’s Map is listed at 2-1 on the morning line and we’ll take that price if we can get it both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies: RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1a-Lokoya Road; 9-Lost in Rome Forecast: This race has been transferred to the main track. Lokoya Road, away since February, returns in a soft spot for M. Maker/J. Ortiz and will try dirt for the first time after a couple of runs on grass during the winter at Fair Grounds. He can win if he returns with the type of form previously displayed but, of course, that’s question mark. Lost in Rome gets in as an MTO in his first off the claim for B. Brown. He’s up from $30,000 to $75,000 but has earned speed figures that fit at this league and certainly can handle dirt. RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: XSingle: 3-Long Term Thinking Forecast: Away since last November and returning in a maiden claiming $20,0-00 extended sprint, Long Term Thinking must have a hole in him the size of the Grand Canyon. He’s listed at even money on the morning line but there’s no guarantee he’s even close to the same colt that displayed ability in three maiden special weight races last year, one of which he actually won before being disqualified. You can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or better yet simply pass the race. RACE 3: Post 2:17 ET. Grade: B-Single: 6-Con Lima Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf and will be contested at seven furlongs. Not sure how good Florida shipper Con Lima is, but she’s a dirt specialist in a race in which the other contenders prefer grass, so on that basis we’ll give her the edge on top. Her maiden win at Gulfstream Park at this seven furlong distance was impressive, so in a race reduced to just five runners we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 4: Post 2:51 ET. Grade: C+Use: 4-Blunt Force; 5-I’ll Take the Cake Forecast: Blunt Force blew a clear lead in mid-stretch when runner-up in a similar spot in late July in a race that didn’t earn much of a number, but a repeat of her race before last – a good win in a restricted (nw-3) $10,000 seller at Churchill Downs – makes her the one to beat in this modest claiming sprint for fillies and mares. I’ll Take the Cake takes a nosedive in class after displaying good early speed but then faltering badly in the final furlong vs. much tougher $40,000 foes. At this level, the old pro (11 wins, 7 seconds in 48 starts) must be given a chance to bounce back. She’s a stakes winner of nearly $300,000 and you’d think she’d be worth the money as a broodmare prospect if nothing else. RACE 5: Post 3:25 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Mendham; 9-Big Time Lady; 12-Sweeter Forecast: This race has been taken off the turn and will be run at seven furlongs. It’s a spread race matching maiden state-bred juvenile fillies, so tread lightly. Big Time Lady has the benefit of a prior run and should stick better today for a barn that has solid stats with second-timers. Mendham, a first-timer from the T. Pletcher barn, is a daughter of Munnings with a fair to moderate work tab and in an open fray is worth including. We’ll also toss in MTO entrant Sweeter, favorably drawn outside and with good :47 2/5 drill over the local main track last month that was the second faster of 34 for the distance. Maybe she can run some. RACE 6: Post 4:01 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Nicky Scissors; 3-Spin a Yarn; 7-Officer Hutchy Forecast: Officer Hutchy left her previous form far behind when earning a monster speed figure in victory over a restricted (nw-3) $25,000 claiming field here last month and may pay quick dividends for new trainer R. Atras, who appears to have made a shrewd and timely claim. Drawn comfortably outside, retaining D. Davis, and with a nice recent breeze to tick her over, the daughter of Boys at Toscanova could bounce to the moon or come right back and win again. Spin a Yarn, unbeaten in four starts at Finger Lakes, moves into the major leagues today to get tested for class in this New York Stallion Series stakes race for 3-year-old fillies. She’s coming back off short rest – the Forty Tales filly just won an added money event eight days ago – but she’s won with just nine days of rest in the past so perhaps the quick turnaround won’t bother her as much as the tougher competition might. What we like the most is her ability to win on the lead or as pace-stalker, so J. Lezcano can break running and then assess the race flow. Nicky Scissors, third in a state-bred stakes going long on the lawn in late July in her first outing in five months, puts on blinkers today for the first time, shortens up to what probably is her preferred distance, and has every right to produce a forward move for high percentage connections. All three should be included in rolling exotic play with a slight preference on top to Officer Hutchy. RACE 7: Post 4:37 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1a-Team Win; 2-Sky Kitten Forecast: This race has been taken off the turf and will be contested at seven furlongs. It’s a chaotic affair for $35,000 claiming fillies and mares, so the best advice is to go as deep as your budget allows. Team Win looks a bit intriguing; she’s adding blinkers, shortening in trip and has main track form that charts well against this group. She’s by no means a single or anything like that but she’s worth using, as is Sky Kitten, a winner of an off-the-turf maiden race in her debut in the only dirt outing of her career. As a daughter of Sky Mesa, maybe she’s always wanted to be a main-track type of runner and gets a chance to show it today. RACE 8: Post 5:12 ET. Grade: BUse: 3-Palace Avenger; 6-Fair Regis Forecast: This competitive second-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares has a few possibilities; we’ll go two-deep and hope that’s enough. Fair Regis is winless this year but her recent speed figures are rising so let’s give the tough-as-nails veteran mare a chance to regain her winning form. She shortens up to six furlongs (her best trip) and retains I. Ortiz, Jr., who should have the daughter of Bustin Stones in an ideal second flight, stalking position with dead aim on the leaders at the head of the lane. Pace Avenger moves up a level after a game win over this track and distance in mid-July. She’s been kept on edge with a series of sharp recent drills, including a bullet :47 4/5 breezing drill (fastest of 21) last week and with rising speed figures and ready for another step forward the W. Ward-trained 3-year-old filly is the logical top pick and one to beat. RACE 9: Post 5:45 ET. Grade: XSingle: 1-Niko’s Dream Forecast: This race has been transferred to the main track and has been reduced to three runners. Niko’s Dream has never raced on anything but turf but she’s bred to handle the main track and if she can duplicate her grass form in this event she can be along in time. You can use her as a single, buy the race, or simply sit it out. RACE 10: Post 6:18 ET. Grade: CUse: 1-Ms Boombastic; 4-Harlem Heights; 5-Yes to Mischief; 6-My Sweet Wife Forecast: This race has been transferred to the main track. Spread as deeply as you can afford. My Sweet Wife is a daughter of Candy Ride trying dirt for the first time, and after finishing a close fifth two-turning on the lawn while beaten just a length with an improved speed figure she may be set to earn her diploma. Yes to Mischief, a moderate fourth in her first start in mid-July, has a right to step forward today, though the barn (1-for-35 at the meeting at last count) is hard to back with confidence. Harlem Heights earned a speed figure two races back that probably wins this race but a decent filly can beat her. Not sure if there is one in this field, though. Ms Boombastic had a run routing on grass in her debut that wasn’t bad and in which she got some play, so with the addition of blinkers today, the switch to dirt and the shortening in trip improvement is likely.  

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9.3.2020:

Jon White's 2020 Kentucky Derby Picks

The 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby will be contested Saturday at Churchill Downs. Tiz the Law no doubt will be an odds-on favorite in the field of 18 entered in the 1 1/4-mile classic. This is going to be the first time in the long history of the Kentucky Derby that it will be contested without paying customers on hand. I would like to be daring and pick someone to win other than Tiz the Law. Even though I was very tempted to go with Honor A.P., I’m going to go ahead and be a chalk-eating weasel, as they say. I am picking Tiz the Law to win. The way I see it, Tiz the Law just has too much going for him to do otherwise. My Kentucky Derby selections are: 1. Tiz the Law2. Honor A.P.3. Attachment Rate4. Authentic HORSE-BY-HORSE ANALYSIS (IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE, NOT POST POSITION ORDER) 1. TIZ THE LAW (3-5 morning-line favorite): This really is not complicated. The 2020 Kentucky Derby is his race to lose. What makes Tiz the Law look so formidable? It’s primarily his class, dominance so far this year, speed-figure advantage, stamina, running style, trainer and jockey. Tiz the Law has four Grade I victories to his credit (Champagne Stakes, Florida Derby, Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes). The rest of the Kentucky Derby field has only three Grade I wins among them. The other Grade I winners facing Tiz the Law are Honor A.P. (Santa Anita Derby), Authentic (Haskell Invitational) and Storm the Court (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile). Not only is Tiz the Law undefeated this year, he has won each of his four races in dominant fashion, from three to 5 1/2 lengths. Tiz the Law owns the highest Beyer Speed Figure in the Kentucky Derby field, a 109 for his Travers triumph. He has three triple-digit Beyers to his credit. Honor A.P. has two such Beyers, while Authentic and Ny Traffic have one each. We already know that Tiz the Law can win going 1 1/4 miles. He just did that in the Travers. Tiz the Law’s running style is a plus in that he’s not a front-runner or a come-from-the clouds type. He typically races from one to three lengths off the early pace. His running style increases the chances that he will be first or second with an eighth of a mile to go in the Kentucky Derby. This is important. That’s because 54 of the last 57 winners of the Kentucky Derby have been one-two a furlong out. Tiz the Law’s trainer, Barclay Tagg, knows how to win the Kentucky Derby. Tagg did so in 2003 with Funny Cide. Jockey Manny Franco seems to make a wonderful partner with Tiz the Law. The 25-year-old Franco knows the New York-bred Constitution colt extremely well and rides him with much confidence. Some are concerned that Tiz the Law is returning to Churchill Downs, the site of his lone defeat in seven career starts. He finished third in last year’s Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes when he had a troubled trip on a sloppy track. And then there is Tiz the Law’s post position. He will begin from post 17. No horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby from post 17. Indeed, since the starting gate was first used in 1930, post 17 is 0 for 41. Only three horses have even finished second or third from post 17 (Reaping Reward third in 1937, Hampden third in 1946 and Forty Niner second in 1988). Just two favorites have started from post 17 since the starting gate was introduced in 1930. Both lost. Arazi broke from post 17 and finished eighth as a 9-10 favorite in 1992. Point Given ended up fifth as a 9-5 favorite in 2001, the only time in his 13-race career that he finished worse than second. I am not worried about Tiz the Law running at Churchill or breaking from post 17. What I am very worried about is the weight that he must carry. “What?” you ask. “Isn’t Tiz the Law, like everyone else in the Kentucky Derby, carrying 126 pounds?” Well, yes, that’s technically true. But the problem for Tiz the Law is, in a way, he is carrying “a ton” of weight. That’s because Andrew Beyer said recently that he is picking Tiz the Law to win the Kentucky Derby. Look, Beyer deserves considerable credit for being the father of the Beyer Speed Figures. These figures have become such a useful tool for many. But even Beyer himself has acknowledged from time to time that his record through the years is woeful in terms of trying to pick the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Take 2015, for instance. Beyer took a stand against American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby. Beyer picked Upstart to win. But Upstart was eased and finished 60 1/2 lengths behind American Pharoah. Beyer then picked Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line to win the Preakness. Firing Line stumbled at the start, was eased and finished 45 lengths behind American Pharoah. After what happened in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Beyer finally decided to pick American Pharoah to win the Belmont Stakes, right? Nope. Beyer picked Materiality, who finished last, 22 1/4 lengths behind American Pharoah. That means that while American Pharoah was running his way into the history books by sweeping the Triple Crown, Beyer’s picks lost the three races by a combined 127 3/4 lengths. This is why it gives me pause to pick Tiz the Law to win the Kentucky Derby after learning he’s also Beyer’s selection. But I will stick with Tiz the Law anyway. 2. HONOR A.P. (5-1 morning line): As stated earlier, I was very tempted to pick him to win the Kentucky Derby. I see him as the biggest threat to Tiz the Law. I saw him as that even if Art Collector had run. (Art Collector was not entered Tuesday after his trainer, Tommy Drury Jr., reported that the colt had nicked the bulb of his left front heel with a hind hoof while galloping Monday at Churchill.) I believe Honor A.P. is a talented equine athlete. I also do not think we have seen his best yet. I also have tremendous respect for Honor A.P.’s trainer, John Shirreffs, and jockey, Hall of Famer Mike Smith. Shirreffs and Smith won the 2005 Kentucky Derby with 50-1 longshot Giacomo. Smith also won the 2018 renewal with Justify, who would go on to become the 13th horse to sweep this country’s Triple Crown. Honor A.P. won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby going away by 2 3/4 lengths at 1 1/8 miles on June 6. That suggests he might relish Saturday’s 1 1/4-mile trip. Additionally, his Santa Anita Derby effort was flattered when runner-up Authentic then won the Grade I Haskell Invitational. True, after the Santa Anita Derby, Honor A.P. finished second as a 1-5 favorite in Del Mar’s Shared Belief Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Aug. 1. But it should be remembered that the Shared Belief was not an end in itself for the Kentucky-bred Honor Code ridgling, but rather a means to an end. Much like the late Charlie Whittingham, Shirreffs is someone who is masterful in terms of having a horse ready for a peak effort in an important race. I believe Honor A.P. is a better horse than Giacomo, maybe even a much better horse. If Shirreffs and Smith could win Kentucky Derby with Giacomo, it will not be surprising to me to see Honor A.P. draped in roses Saturday. 3. ATTACHMENT RATE (50-1 morning line): This is my live longshot. And there is no doubt that his odds are going to be gigantic. While Attachment Rate has won only once in eight career starts, I’ve had my eye on this guy ever since he closed with a gusto from 12 lengths off the pace to finish second at Gulfstream Park last Jan. 25. Flavien Prat was aboard the Virginia-bred Hard Spun colt in that seven-furlong maiden race. I went so far as to text Prat’s agent, Derek Lawson, to tell him how much Attachment Rate had impressed me. At the time, I had visions of Attachment Rate being Prat’s 2020 Kentucky Derby horse after the rider had won the 2018 edition at odds of 65-1 on Country House, who was placed first via the disqualification of Maximum Security. But Prat has not ridden Attachment Rate again since that Jan. 25 race. Joe Talamo will be Attachment Rate’s pilot in the Kentucky Derby. Back in 2009, a 19-year-old Talamo was supposed to ride 3-1 morning-line favorite I Want Revenge in the Kentucky Derby. But I Want Revenge was scratched the morning of the race due to an ankle injury. It was the first time since the morning-line odds were put in the Churchill Downs program in 1949 that a Kentucky Derby morning-line favorite had been scratched on race day. Attachment Rate has improved considerably from the inexperienced 3-year-old who was on his left lead down the lane in that Jan 25 maiden race. He ran by far his best race thus far last time out when finishing second to Art Collector in the Ellis Park Derby. After losing the Blue Grass to Art Collector by 8 1/2 lengths, Attachment Rate lost to that same foe at Ellis by 3 1/2 while finishing 5 1/4 lengths clear of Necker Island in third. In Attachment Rate’s race at Ellis, he recorded a career-best 95 Beyer Speed Figure. He’s come a long way from the 27 Beyer in his lone race last year when he finished 11th at Churchill and the 82 Beyer in the aforementioned Jan. 25 race at Gulfstream when a fast-closing second. I believe Attachment Rate is even more dangerous in the Kentucky Derby off his Thoro-Graph number at Ellis. I do think Beyer Speed Figures have value or I would not refer to them as often as I do. But as I have stated many times before, I also believe that Thoro-Graph figures are much better than the Beyers. In terms of Beyer Speed Figures, a higher number is better than a lower one. The opposite is true regarding Thoro-Graph figures. The winner of a race will never get a lower Beyer Speed Figure than the horse who finished second, the horse who finished second will never get a lower Beyer than the horse who finished third, and so on down through the order of finish. In the case of the Thoro-Graph Figures, a horse who finishes second, or even lower, can get a better figure than the winner. This is one of the things I love about Thoro-Graph. I consider a Thoro-Graph figure to be a much more realistic evaluation of a horse’s performance. Thoro-Graph’s approach reflects the reality that the winner is not necessarily the horse who ran the best race. Beyer Speed Figures are based primarily on the time of the race relative to the track variant. The variant is an assessment of a track surface. Was the surface on which the race was run normal? If not, how much faster or slower than normal was the surface? The variant is a tool in which one can put the time of a race into perspective as opposed to raw time. The Beyer-makers will adjust as they deem necessary in order to come up with what they feel is the most accurate figure possible to reflect a horse’s performance. One way the Beyer-makers do this is by keeping an eye on how each horse’s figure in a race compares to its previous performances. When a figure looks out of whack, it will be tweaked in order to make it more realistic in their judgment. A major reason I believe a Thoro-Graph figure is superior to a Beyer Speed Figure is the Thoro-Graph figure takes many more factors into account. 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.” As far as Thoro-Graph, after Attachment Rate posted numbers of from 4 to 5 in his five races from Feb. 15 to July 11, he showed considerable improvement when credited with a 1/2 at Ellis. His 1/2 Thoro-Graph indicates he’s capable of making a lot of noise in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Art Collector received a 100 Beyer and 1/4 Thoro-Graph at Ellis. Louisville native Dale Romans trains Art Collector. Romans has finished third in the Kentucky Derby twice (Paddy O’Prado in 2010 and Dullahan in 2012). Romans also sent out Shackleford to finish fourth in 2011 Kentucky Derby before that colt went on to win the Preakness Stakes. Can Romans pull off an upset in a big race? Yes, as he showed when in 2015 he sent out 16-1 Keen Ice to upset Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes. American Pharoah finished second as a heavy favorite at 35 cents to the dollar. Attachment Rate reminds me of a late bloomer in 1999. Charismatic did not set the world on fire in his first 13 career starts, then suddenly posted his first triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure, a 108, when he won the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland by 2 1/2 lengths. Thirteen days later, Charistmatic won the Kentucky Derby at odds of 33-1 when he duplicated that 108 Beyer. 4. AUTHENTIC (8-1 morning line): Count me among those thinking 1 1/4 miles is beyond his comfort zone. Authentic is coming off a win in Monmouth Park’s Grade I Haskell Invitational at 1 1/8 miles on July 18. But he darn near blew it by turning a 2 1/2-length lead with a furlong to go into a nose victory. While there are those who have knocked Authentic for winning by such a small margin, it should be noted that he did receive a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure. I do like the way Authentic has been training. Not only that, considering his trainer, Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, has won the Kentucky Derby five times, it does not seem a good idea to underestimate Authentic, even in a 1 1/4-mile-race, especially since he does have a fine record of four wins and a second from five lifetime starts. Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winners have been Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018). Justify, like American Pharoah, swept the Triple Crown. Authentic’s jockey, John Velazquez, helps the cause. The Hall of Famer has won the Kentucky Derby twice (Animal Kingdom in 2011 and Always Dreaming in 2017). If either Authentic or Thousand Words wins Saturday, Baffert will tie Ben Jones’ record for most Kentucky Derby victories by a trainer. 5. THOUSAND WORDS (15-1 morning line): The $1 million yearling purchase trained by Baffert was two for two last year, highlighted by a win in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity. Consequently, he was considered to be one of the leading Kentucky Derby candidates at the beginning of 2020. After Thousand Words won Santa Anita’s Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 1 in his first start at 3, he ranked No. 2 on my Kentucky Derby Top 10, behind only Tiz the Law. However, Thousand Words then went off form. According to Baffert, the Florida-bred colt “got sour.” Thousand Words lost Santa Anita’s Grade II San Felipe Stakes by 11 1/4 lengths on March 7, then stumbled at the start and lost the Oaklawn Stakes in Arkansas by nearly 30 lengths on a sloppy track. But to Baffert’s credit, he somehow managed to get Thousand Words to snap out of his slump. Thousand Words finished second to the highly regarded Baffert-trained Uncle Chuck in the Grade III Los Alamitos Derby on July 4, then won the Shared Belief Stakes by three-quarters of a length on Aug. 1 at Del Mar when defeating 1-5 favorite Honor A.P. In the Los Al Derby, Thousand Words recorded a serious Beyer Speed Figure, a career-best 104. But one of the reasons I have Thousand Words ranked No. 5 rather than higher is his Thoro-Graph number in the Los Al Derby was a far-less impressive 3 1/4. If Thousand Words gets the job done Saturday, he will be the second Baffert-trained Pioneerof the Nile colt to win the Kentucky Derby. The Baffert-trained American Pharoah, also a son of American Pharoah, won the 2015 Run for the Roses en route to his Triple Crown sweep. 6. KING GUILLERMO (20-1 morning line): Talk about a layoff. This is ridiculous. He’s coming into the Kentucky Derby without having started in four months. If he wins Saturday, it unquestionably will be one of the greatest training feats on the part of Juan Carlos Avilia in the long history of the race. I think it’s important that King Guillermo’s long layoff was planned rather than forced through circumstances such as an injury or an illness. It’s also noteworthy that probably his best race did come following a layoff. He won the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby by 4 3/4 lengths on March 7 while making his first start since Nov. 30. A couple of King Guillermo’s workouts at Churchill had people buzzing. The Kentucky-bred Uncle Mo colt worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.60 there on Aug. 15. It was the fastest of 46 at the distance that morning. He drilled five furlongs even faster when he zipped the distance on Aug. 22 in a bullet :58.20. It was the fastest of 40 at the distance that day. In his Aug. 22 work, he galloped out six furlongs in a sparkling 1:10.80. I just can’t get on the King Guillermo bandwagon to win the Kentucky Derby because of the long layoff. That being said, I also feel that he should not be taken lightly. 7. NY TRAFFIC (20-1 morning line): I do admire him for his consistency. The New York-bred Cross Traffic colt has finished third or better in each of his five this year. Saffie Joseph Jr. took over as Ny Traffic’s trainer prior to his 2020 debut. In Ny Traffic’s recent start, he finished second when he lost the Grade I Haskell by only a nose at 1 1/8 miles on July 18. Was Ny Traffic really coming back on to nearly win the Haskell after being 2 1/2 lengths off the lead a furlong out, or was the close finish more a consequence of Authentic goofing off in the lane? My opinion is it was more of a case of the latter than the former. 8. MAX PLAYER (30-1 morning line): I will not be surprised if he finishes in the superfecta. I think he even has a puncher’s chance to win. I have said for years that I think there is a Kentucky Derby trophy with trainer Steve Asmussen’s name on it. Maybe this will finally be the year. According to Equibase statistics through Tuesday, Hall of Famer Asmussen ranks second (behind only Dale Baird) on the list of all-time wins by a trainer (8,978). He also ranks second (behind only Todd Pletcher) on the list of all-time purse earnings by a trainer ($336,660,321). But how many times has Asmussen won the Kentucky Derby? Zero. He’s 0 for 20. If Asmussen does win the Kentucky Derby with Max Player, I will be happy for him to get the monkey off his back. But I will have sympathy for trainer Linda Rice. That’s because after Max Player’s last race, Rice lost him to Asmussen. For Rice, Max Player never finished worse than third in five career starts. For Rice, he won the Grade III Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 1. For Rice, he finished third in both the Grade I Belmont Stakes and Grade I Travers Stakes. And yet Rice had the Kentucky-bred Honor Code colt taken away from her. 9. ENFORCEABLE (30-1 morning line): This long-fused runner is another one who just might get into the superfecta. And if the pace is fast, who knows? Maybe then the Kentucky-bred Tapit colt will mow them all down. The word is Enforceable has been training strongly up to this race. And don’t forget, his Hall of Fame trainer, Mark Casse, has won two of the last three Triple Crown races (2019 Preakness with War of Will and 2019 Belmont with Sir Winston). 10. STORM THE COURT (50-1 morning line): Granted, the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2019 has been a disappointment so far in 2020. He has lost all five of his races this year. The last time Storm the Court was victorious was when he took the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in a 45-1 upset at Santa Anita last Nov. 1. Mainly because he was the champ, I had him ranked No. 1 on my first Kentucky Derby Top 10 in early January. In time, though, the Kentucky-bred Court Vision colt dropped off the Top 10. He deserves credit for at least climbing back up to No. 10 in my final Kentucky Derby rankings. Storm the Court could be dangerous Saturday off some recent snazzy workouts at Del Mar, such as five furlongs in a bullet :59.00 on Aug. 21. It was the fastest of 74 works at the distance that morning. There are a couple of other reasons to suggest Storm the Court might outrun his huge odds Saturday. When Storm the Court ran third in the Grade III Ohio Derby at Thistledown on June 27, he received an excellent Thoro-Graph number of 1. That number stacks up pretty well against most of his Kentucky Derby opponents. And in Storm the Court’s most recent race, he actually acquitted himself well by finishing second in Del Mar’s Grade III La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 9. That grass contest was won by a razor-sharp Smooth Like Straight, who is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s Grade II American Turf Stakes on the turf at Churchill. 11. SOLE VOLANTE (30-1 morning line): His situation is similar to Enforceable’s in that if there is a fast pace, Sole Volante might come charging late to finish in the superfecta. And while a victory is unlikely, it’s not an absolute impossibility. Sole Volante’s most recent performance left much to be desired. Far back early, as usual, the Kentucky-bred Karakontie colt never threatened and lost by 15 3/4 lengths while finishing sixth in the 1 1/8-mile Belmont. But perhaps that race can be tossed out the window because he was running back in just 10 days and had shipped from Florida to New York after winning an allowance/optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park. Patrick Biancone trains Sole Volante. Biancone is quite capable of winning the Kentucky Derby. He would have won it in 2004 with Lion Heart if not for a beast by the name of Smarty Jones. Lion Heart ran a heckuva good race, but had to settle for second to Smarty Jones, who nearly swept the Triple Crown. What Biancone did in 1983 with All Along was tremendous. All Along was more than America’s 1983 Horse of the Year. She was the Horse of the World. She won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France on Oct. 2, Canadian International in Canada on Oct. 16, Turf Classic in New York on Oct. 29, then Washington, D.C., International in Maryland on Nov. 12. 12. MAJOR FED (50-1 morning line): There are those who were talking about Major Fed being someone who had a bright future after his sparkling 4 1/4-length maiden win at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in his 3-year-old debut on New Year’s Day. When Major Fed rallied to finish second to Modernist in a division of the Grade II Risen Star Stakes in New Orleans on Feb. 15, the future looked even brighter for the Kentucky-bred son of 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper. But Major Fed is going into the Kentucky Derby having lost four in a row since his maiden triumph, though his most recent effort to finish second in the Grade III Indiana Derby on July 8 probably was much better than it appears at first glance. He managed to finish second that day despite not having the best of trips. Two splendid workouts at Churchill since the Indiana Derby could be a sign that he will make some noise in the Kentucky Derby at juicy odds. He worked four furlongs in a bullet :46.80 on Aug. 9 at Churchill. It was the fastest of 58 works at the distance that morning. Then last Friday at Churchill, he drilled five furlongs in a bullet :59.00. It was the fastest of 36 works at the distance that day. 13. FINNICK THE FIERCE (50-1 morning line): It’s easy to root for him. He’s missing his right eye, the result of a congenital cataract. Nevertheless, he’s managed to win two of nine career starts and make it into the Kentucky Derby. Finnick the Fierce actually beat mighty Tiz the Law on one occasion last year. When Tiz the Law finished third in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill, Finnick the Fierce ran second to Silver Prospector. The last time Finnick the Fierce finished first was all the way back when he kicked off his racing career in a five-furlong maiden race at Indiana Grand on June 14 of last year. All in all, it’s difficult to envision the one-eyed Kentucky-bred Dialed In colt winning the Kentucky Derby. 14. MONEY MOVES (30-1 morning line): His trainer, Todd Pletcher, has won the Kentucky Derby twice (Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming in 2017). His jockey, Javier Castellano, is one of the best, though the Hall of Famer does happen to be 0 for 14 in the Kentucky Derby. Pletcher had kept saying all the way up to the last minute that Money Moves probably would not run in the Kentucky Derby. But then it was decided to “take a shot” with the Kentucky-bred Candy Ride colt. Can Money Moves win the Kentucky Derby while making his stakes debut with just three career starts under his belt? I seriously doubt it. The word is that Pletcher will be staying at Saratoga rather than going to the Kentucky Derby. That’s not exactly a sign of confidence. On the other hand, looking after Money Moves at Churchill for Pletcher is none other than one D. Wayne Lukas, a four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer (Winning Colors in 1988, Thunder Gulch in 1995, Grindstone in 1996 and Charismatic in 1999). 15. SOUTH BEND (50-1 morning line): Country House was 30-1 on the morning line for the 2019 Kentucky Derby. He was virtually ignored in the betting, going off at 65-1. The Bill Mott-trained colt won via the disqualification of Maximum Security. Now Hall of Famer Mott is back for the 2020 Kentucky Derby with South Bend, an even bigger price on the morning line than Country House last year. South Bend did win the Street Sense at Churchill Downs last year on Oct. 27. However, the Kentucky-bred Algorithms colt has lost nine straight since the Street Sense. South Bend’s name was tossed into the entry box for the Kentucky Derby at the very last moment. That does not inspire confidence. 16. MR. BIG NEWS (50-1 morning line): If Mr. Big News somehow wins the Kentucky Derby, you really can understand it if there will be those wondering if it’s fake news due to his less-than-stellar resume. His connections probably are praying for rain. Mr. Big News’ most significant victory to date came April 11 when he rallied from 11th to win the Oaklawn Stakes by a half-length on a sloppy track in a 46-1 stunner. In Mr. Big News’ lone start since his April 11 victory, he lost by 10 1/4 lengths when he finished sixth at 34-1 in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on July 11. But don’t judge him too harshly for his Blue Grass. The Kentucky-bred Giant’s Causeway colt stumbled badly at the start, then had a nightmarish trip. Will Mr. Big News run his way into the superfecta at a giant price in the betting Saturday? It’s very unlikely, but not impossible. 17. WINNING IMPRESSION (50-1 morning line): Trainer Dallas Stewart is one of the best at being able to get a longshot to run well in an important race. But it will take practically a miracle for Stewart to get Winning Impression into the superfecta Saturday off his last couple of races. Winning Impression finished seventh in the Grade III Indiana Derby on July 8. The Kentucky-bred Paynter gelding then ran seventh again in the Ellis Park Derby on Aug. 9. 18. NECKER ISLAND (50-1 morning line): He’s winless in seven starts this year. I just can’t see the Kentucky-bred Hard Spun colt getting his first 2020 victory against Tiz the Law and the others in the Kentucky Derby.

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9.2.2020:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: September 4 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee, and a prospective pool that should far surpass that. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors. *** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. *** Leg 1: Laurel Park R7 (4:05 ET) – 3up 10k MCL at 6 furlongs With a very modest group signed on, you have to think #7 ELUSIVE MOTION is going to hit hard off his form and the cutback too, and with just five starts he’s not the confirmed refuser a lot of these have proven to be. I’ll also use the class rising #5 G MAN, who woke up in the mud for 5k last time but has some decent enough form at this level in some key races, which make him a player against a group like this. There’s not a ton of true sprint speed signed on, and #3 WHATS THE CHANCES should be in front, and that’s not a bad spot to be in when you’re talking about cheap MCL’ers, so let’s toss him in too. Lastly, I thought #9 FAVOR MAKER ran well to be 4th for 14k in his dirt debut, and if he builds on that effort and things get too heated early, he’ll be in the mix late. Pk5 A horses: 7,5,3,9 (listed in order of preference) It’s tough to get excited about anyone else, as they would be a real surprise off what they’ve shown so far, so let’s go it alone on the top line, with a quartet that are clearly the best of a mixed bag. Pk5 B horses: NONE Potential B add-ins: #6 Day of Honor, #4 Created Special Leg 2: Laurel Park R8 (4:40 ET) – 3upfm Md-bred N1X at 5 � furlongs (turf) Maybe the wide post beats #1a A GREAT TIME but it’s tough to think anyone else in here does, as her last four lay over this field and the dip into the state-bred ranks will only help too, so she’s the single in a race where potential upsetters are few and far between. Pk5 A horses: 1a If #6 LADY BOSS shakes loose early she could get brave, but facing winners is never easy, especially since ‘Time owns a huge class edge, so as sharp as her turf bow was at GP, she’s still up against it. If you toss her seasonal bow, which came off an eight-month layoff, then #7 EPIC IDEA shows two solid turf sprints, and the stalking win last time would give her a chance here—if the chalk should come stub her toe. Pk5 B horses: 6,7 (Please note, to keep the cost of the backup tickets down, I will be singling #3 Uncle Renny in the final leg. This will also allow for some hedging, should I be alive to a big score.) Potential B add-ins: NONE Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:01 ET) – 3up 12.5k N3L at 1 1/16 miles (turf) I don’t think rising in class off a win in these low-level claimers is a bad thing, and the post and cutback that #2 DANVILLE gets is a good thing, so let’s see if he can double up at a nice price, in a race where most of these all look the same on paper, and some of the main contenders are drawn wide too. The speed of #7 SMELL OF ROSES should make him a major player, and he won’t have to improve much off that close 5th in his first try at the level to have a say either. The drop in class might help #10 DRILLOMATIC overcome a bad draw, as he’s been facing better and running well, so this modest group might be just what he needs. *** Please note if #13 Speed Franco draws in he’s an obvious A, and would probably relegate one or two of the above to the B-line, as he’ll be that tough. *** Pk5 A horses: 2,7,10 The widest draw of all really hurts #12 SHENDAM, so I’m going to leave him off the top line, though obviously he’s a major player on the drop and gets moved up if one of my top-3 come out. Getting back to two turns should really help #8 YOUSHOULDBESOLUCKY, who was oddly spotted in a turf sprint last time, now goes off the claim for McGoey (12%), and has plenty of solid route form showing too. Pk5 B horses: 12,8 (Please note, to keep the cost of the backup tickets down, I will be singling #3 Uncle Renny in the final leg. This will also allow for some hedging, should I be alive to a big score.) Potential B add-ins: #9 Budget Buster Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R2 (5:15 ET) – 3up 5 MCL at 1-mile Maybe a drop in class and getting away from the classier So Cal circuit wakes up #3 AGENT ZERO, and while he’s an unknown on the Tapeta, it’s a great sign of intent that Powell reaches for local ace Frey, and this post won’t hurt either. The house horse is #5 SWIFT CHANNEL, who was a close 2nd last time and still has some upside off just four starts, while #8 PREMIER LEAGUE is another who was a close 2nd here last time in an improved effort. Let’s also use another So Cal runner, #9 MY SUNSHINE, who didn’t fire from a bad draw last time but has some turf form earlier in his career, which says he may like the Tapeta today. Pk5 A horses: 3,5,8,9 I’ll stubbornly use #6 MATSON, who keeps burning money and is now 11-0-3-2, but is close enough to the rest on paper to be in the mix, and just maybe the blinkers-off gets him over the hump, though I won’t hold my breath. Pk5 B horses: 6 (Please note, to keep the cost of the backup tickets down, I will be singling #3 Uncle Renny in the final leg. This will also allow for some hedging, should I be alive to a big score.) Potential B add-ins: #4 Insaniamania Leg 5: Laurel Park R9 (5:22 ET) – 3up 25k MCL at 1-mile (turf) This is a surprisingly deep field for the level, with several sharp invaders in the mix, and that’s how I’ll play it, as #3 UNCLE RENNY, #4 FOOD AND WINE, and #8 HARD STING have all faced much better than they meet here on bigger circuits and look poised to battle it out. The former gets a slight nod as he drops out of an MSW and will run for a tag for the first time since Lasix and blinkers were added, while ‘Food showed good form at Ellis Park, and ‘Sting runs as a first-time gelding, adds blinkers, and makes his first start for Capuano (21% with newcomers) off a November layoff (16% for the barn), while dropping out of a slew of NYRA MSWs. Pk5 A horses: 3,4,8 It sure looked like getting to the turf woke up #6 BALLYHOO PRINCE at Colonial last time, so if he can run back to that 2nd, he’s a player here, but the top-3 make this a class rise, so I’m a bit leery he can reproduce that effort. Pk5 B horses: 6 Potential B add-ins: #5 Silent Malice The tickets: Main Ticket: 7,5,3,9 with 1a with 2,7,10 with 5,3,8,9 with 3,4,8 = $144Leg 2 B Backup: 7,5,3,9 with 6,7 with 2,7,10 with 5,3,8,9 with 3 = $96Leg 3 B Backup: 7,5,3,9 with 1a with 12,8 with 5,3,8,9 with 3 = $32Leg 4 B Backup: 7,5,3,9 with 1a with 2,7,10 with 6 with 3 = $12Leg 5 B Backup: 7,5,3,9 with 1a with 2,7,10 with 5,3,8,9 with 6 = $48

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9.2.2020:

Wednesday, September 2: Saratoga Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.RACE 1: Post 12:45 ET. Grade: XUse: Pass/No PlayForecast: The Saratoga Wednesday opener, carded for hurdlers, has been cancelled due to weather.RACE 2: Post 1:18 ET. Grade: B-Use: 5-Madam Deputy; 6-Hey It’s TatiForecast: Madam Deputy and Hey It’s Tati will get almost all of the serious play in this maiden claiming extended sprint for fillies and mares with ‘Deputy having a very slight edge on top in her first start off the claim for Rudy (19% with this angle). A distant third in a better-than-par race for the level in her debut, the daughter of Constitution adds blinkers, shows a healthy work tab since raced and switches to L. Saez. We’re expecting her to settle early and rally late. Hey It’s Tati, comfortably drawn outside, is also adds the hood while returning to the maiden claiming ranks and rates a big shot with a repeat of her runner-up effort on dirt in her debut two races back. The daughter of Big Brown may be the controlling speed in a field with little of it. Both should be used in rolling exotic play.RACE 3: Post 1:49 ET. Grade: XUse: 4-Nashville; 5-BreithornForecast: This race has been reduced to just four runners. Nashville, a first-timer by Speightstown that brought $400,000 at Keeneland as a yearling, finally makes it to the race in September of his 3-year-old season and is expected to win first crack out of the box, at least according to his morning line (4/5). A :58 4/5 solo gate drill over the local main track last month catches the eye and based on that drill alone the S. Asmussen-trained colt should get hammered on the tote. For protection, we’ll also include Breithorn, a first-off-the-claim play for L. Rice, who protects the acquisition after the son of Into Mischief missed in photo in a maiden $30,000 event here last month. He’s not impossible on numbers and this will be his first start with Lasix, so from his outside post the sophomore colt should draft into a stalking position and have ever chance from there.RACE 4: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: C+Use: 5-Twelfth Labour; 9-Malthael; 11-Castle CasanovaForecast: This race has been transferred to the (sloppy) main track and will be contested at seven furlongs. Nothing would surprise. Malthael seeks his third straight win and is realistically spotted after going to Monmouth Park to win a first-level allowance race in late July. Both of his wins came in off-the-turf events, so why stop now? The Noble Mission gelding has been successful on the front end but could draft into a second flight, stalking spot and be effective with that kind of trip as well. The Clement/Rosario teams always has to be respected. Castle Casanova, away since mid-June, shows up in a seller for the first time with a sketchy work tab that hard inspires confidence. However, his form on off tracks certainly makes him dangerous, especially at this extended sprint trip. Twelfth Labour, claimed in his last pair and now in the M. Maker barn, drop from $50,000, not a healthy pattern, but the Quality Road appears to move up in the slop and could so in this softer spot while switching to I. Ortiz, Jr. He’ll be within range in the second flight and having every chance from the quarter pole homer.RACE 5: Post 2:52 ET. Grade: BSingle: 5-BrunateForecast: This maiden claiming extended sprint for older state-bred runners lacks depth, so let’s try to survive and advance by taking a stand with Brunate. The Normandy Invasion gelding was more than three lengths clear of the rest when a solid runner-up in a similar affair last month while earning a career top speed figure. The switch to the barn’s “go-to” rider L. Saez is another plus, so there’s value to be found here at his morning line of 5/2 if you can get it. Hopefully, he’ll handle the wet surface.RACE 6: Post 3:26 ET. Grade: B-Single: 4-DollForecast: This restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming fillies and mares sprint has been transferred to the sloppy/muddy main track. It’s a total mess, so we’ll try to get by as cheaply as possible, but for those with a larger budget you should go as deep as you deem necessary. Doll, freshened since mid-July and now in the R. Rodriguez barn, adds blinkers, has won over a wet surface in the past (a maiden score at the Big A in January) and has speed figures good enough to beat this field if she shows up with her best stuff. In the frame in eight of her 10 career starts, the daughter of Verrazano switches to L. Saez and may get brave if she can shake loose early.RACE 7: Post 4:00 ET. Grade: XUse: 1-Unrighteous; 10-Willing to SpeedForecast: With this race transferred to the main track and shortened to 10 furlongs, there are only four in the original field left standing. Unrighteous in lightly-raced MTO with steadily rising speed figures for T. Pletcher and his only win – and best performance – came in an off-the-turf maiden race at Gulfstream Park last spring. He’s out of a mare by Tapit so we suspect the son of Medaglia d’Oro will handle the going. Willing to Dance, first off the claim by R. Atras, should love the distance and surface and is strong in the speed figure department as well. What makes him a tad untrustworthy is his overall record (three wins, 11 seconds/thirds, in 22 career starts) but he hit the board in his only wet-track outing so we suspect he’ll fire his best shot.RACE 8: Post 4:34 ET. Grade: XSingle: 3-Control GroupForecast: Off-track freak Control Group seems like a stick-out in this state-bred main track nine furlong first-level allowance affair. Listed at 7/5 on the morning line for the high-percentage O. Noda barn, the veteran son of Posse seeks his third straight score after winning over this track and distance last month with a good stalking trip and career top speed figure. Successful in 13 races from 35 career starts, he’s always been a genuine and consistent pro and with regular rider I. Ortiz, Jr. staying aboard he’s a logical short-priced rolling exotic single.RACE 9: Post 5:06 ET. Grade: XSingle: 1-Blame the BoozeForecast: Blame the Booze won at first asking in an off-the-turf muddy track sprint at Belmont Park in mid-July, doing so with a good speed figure like a decent sort of prospect for W. Ward, and should be a very short price to score again in a race that has been reduced to just four runners and shortened to seven furlongs. He’s a logical short price, no value, rolling exotic single.RACE 10: Post 5:38 ET. Grade: C+Use: 5-Nightspot; 7-Diannesimpazible; 11-K. K. IchikawaForecast: The nightcap, a maiden claiming state-bred affair, has been shortened to seven furlongs and switched to the main track. K. K. Ichikawa routes like he wants to sprint and today, thanks to Mother Nature, he’ll get his chance to prove it. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Twirling Candy gelding on or near the lead throughout. Diannesimpazible has run well under these conditions in the past while hitting the board in four of eight career starts. His resume stacks up pretty well with these rest of these, so he’s a contender. Nightspot represents stranger danger from Fair Hill. The debuting son of Orientate has the pedigree to handle a wet surface and a work tab that indicates at least some ability. Toss him in somewhere.

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9.2.2020:

Kentucky Oaks Day Friday Full-Card Picks with 1/ST BET Assistance

Churchill Downs’ 13-race Kentucky Oaks Day card on Friday provides a major lead-in to Saturday’s “Run for the Roses.” Six consecutive stakes races complete the card, beginning in Race 8. You can bet the entire Kentucky Oaks Day program with the 1/ST BET app and at Xpressbet.com.Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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.Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for the Kentucky Oaks Day card.Race 1 (11:00AM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 7 Furlongs (Dirt)1A – MOVIE MOXY (32% W // 58% P // 62% S)9 – WHISPERING PINES (13% W // 21% P // 31% S)5 – FINANCIAL ONE (13% W // 21% P // 31% S)7 – NORMA JEAN B. (12% W // 18% P // 30% S)Jeremy’s Take: Financial One, a half-sister to $2.7 million earner Close Hatches, and Whispering Pines, out of 2-year-old stakes winner Walkswithapurpose, are both live first-time starters. Movie Moxie’s 19-point spread in the 1/ST INDEX is most in any race today, but the debut runners are under-accounted by the algorithms.Race 2 (11:30AM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 6 Furlongs (Dirt)7 – QUICK MUNNY (29% W // 46% P // 56% S)2 – MALIBU BIRD (15% W // 26% P // 40% S)4 – LADY TRAVELER (11% W // 19% P // 26% S)10 – AUNT JOIE (11% W // 26% P // 39% S)Jeremy’s Take: Dozen juveniles have just 3 starts between them, so the numbers have to be kept in check. Quick Munny and Malibu Bird ran well enough in their only tries to warrant long looks. Sianara’s dam Just Louise started 2-for-2 at Churchill and won Debutante Stakes in second start as 2-year-old. Her trainer Steve Asmussen won 9 of the 21 juvenile races here during spring/summer meet. Rookie Super Sport is by redhot juvenile sire Not This Time (30% winners so far this year).Race 3 (12:00PM ET) // Allowance // 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)5 – BEAUTIFUL TRAUMA (26% W // 48% P // 64% S)4 – POSITIVE SPIRIT (25% W // 44% P // 63% S)2 – JEWELED PRINCESS (18% W // 36% P // 53% S)6 – RESURRECTION ROAD (12% W // 26% P // 35% S)Jeremy’s Take: Beautiful Trauma won her last by 16 lengths on a wet track, but it was in December. She’s training fast for the return. Positive Spirit was well-beaten in her only start of 2020, but is a former Grade 2 stakes winner. Jeweled Princess runs her best on wet tracks. No real consensus here, as the numbers bear out.Race 4 (12:35PM ET) // Allowance // 6 Furlongs (Dirt)6 – OCEAN BREEZE (31% W // 46% P // 60% S)3 – MISS T TOO (15% W // 32% P // 47% S)2 – MISTY BLUE (11% W // 25% P // 39% S)1 – SHE CAN’T SING (11% W // 27% P // 39% S)Jeremy’s Take: Ocean Breeze is highly regarded and ran her career-best over the Churchill track this summer. Her 16-point spread to Miss T Too looks like a legitimate place to single in multi-race wagers. Palamito is a 4-year-old of some repute against 3-year-olds and can be the threat to the favorite.Race 5 (1:10PM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 6 Furlongs (Dirt)6 – PRINCESS LEA (29% W // 43% P // 54% S)11 – HONORIFIQUE (14% W // 25% P // 38% S)2 – GOOD WITH NUMBERS (11% W // 18% P // 25% S)7 – MEJTHAAM (11% W // 25% P // 37% S)Jeremy’s Take: Another full field of 2-year-olds with only 5 starts among the dozen entrants. Those who have raced underwhelm this eye. Travel Column is an $850,000 purchase who is half-brother to $2.2 million earner Neolithic, though trainer Brad Cox underperformed the past month with first-timers at Ellis Park. Peace Broker intrigues as a half-sister to Kentucky Oaks starter and Grade 1 winner Donna Veloce, who was awesome out of the box at age 2. Good With Numbers represents the aforementioned Steve Asmussen barn that dominated the summer juvenile races here. Longshot rookie Three Tipsy Chix (20-1 ML) is out of Grade 1-winning millionaire On Fire Baby, who was a debut winner in her own right.Race 6 (1:45PM ET) // Allowance // 6 1/2 Furlongs (Dirt)5 – HONEST MISCHIEF (29% W // 48% P // 61% S)2 – MOJO MAN (15% W // 30% P // 43% S)8 – STRIKE THAT (15% W // 30% P // 43% S)7 – LASTING LEGACY (12% W // 30% P // 48% S)Jeremy’s Take: Graded stakes-quality allowance sees Honest Mischief a big, 14-point play over a tough field. He’s dynamite when his best. Strike That has an apparent pace edge in a race lacking much early speed.Race 7 (2:20PM ET) // Allowance // 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)6 – FLABBERGASTED (17% W // 35% P // 42% S)9 – ELLA BRILLA (14% W // 22% P // 46% S)2 – URBAN FAIRYTALE (11% W // 22% P // 31% S)14 – LADY OXBOW *AE* (12% W // 19% P // 30% S)Jeremy’s Take: One of the most competitive races by the numbers on the card, Flabbergasted is one of 4 last-out maiden breakers taking on winners this time. The slow early projected pace does favor Flabbergasted as well as Sense You Left, who will be a much bigger price. French Group 3-placed Sicilia chased a very fast pace at Del Mar in her US debut and should be more at home against this softer pace.Race 8 (3:05PM ET) // G2 Eight Belles S. // 7 Furlongs (Dirt)1 – MUNDAYE CALL (30% W // 45% P // 60% S)7 – FOUR GRACES (19% W // 35% P // 43% S)4 – PURRFECTLY CLAIRE (15% W // 29% P // 54% S)2 – NEVER FORGET (11% W // 25% P // 36% S)Jeremy’s Take: Mundaye Call dazzled at Ellis Park against easier last time and gets the class test against Four Graces, a proven stakes commodity. These two should control the pace throughout in a great matchup. The 1/ST INDEX doesn’t think it will be much of a showdown, heavily leaning to Mundaye Call.Race 9 (3:40PM ET) // G2 Edgewood S. // 1 Mile (Turf)3 – SHARING (29% W // 46% P // 62% S)2 – HENDY WOODS (17% W // 34% P // 54% S)5 – OUTBURST (GB) (15% W // 25% P // 43% S)4 – LUCKY BETTY (11% W // 25% P // 35% S)Jeremy’s Take: Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner and local course stakes winner Sharing is a 12-point pick. She returns from a Royal Ascot jaunt, but gives significant weight to her rivals. She’s 6-5 in the morning line, but the suspicion here is she may be vulnerable, and I won’t be singling in the multi-race wagers.Race 10 (4:15PM ET) // G2 Alysheba S. // 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)2 – MCKINZIE (26% W // 45% P // 66% S)6 – BY MY STANDARDS (20% W // 39% P // 52% S)1 – SILVER DUST (13% W // 30% P // 47% S)3 – OWENDALE (13% W // 30% P // 43% S)Jeremy’s Take: Hard to look past the 1/ST INDEX top duo of McKinzie and By My Standards. There’s not much of any early pace, which could give McKinzie a pace edge. He wired this race at 3-5 last year. By My Standards has held strong form all year vs. top-class foes. Both are working bullets. Silver Dust at 15-1 in the morning line could be the value play if trying to separate the favorites in the exacta.Race 11 (4:50PM ET) // G1 La Troienne S. // 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt)8 – MONOMOY GIRL (31% W // 55% P // 70% S)2 – VEXATIOUS (25% W // 41% P // 55% S)1 – HOROLOGIST (10% W // 25% P // 44% S)6 – SHE’S A JULIE (10% W // 16% P // 31% S)Jeremy’s Take: Another either-or kind of race by the numbers and to this eye as champion Monomoy Girl re-matches with Vexatious in a replay of July’s Ruffian at Belmont. Vexatious beat star Midnight Bisou most recently, so she’s absolutely on her game. Monomoy Girl is 4-5 on the morning line, and Vexatious 4-1; the though here is they’re closer than that, but Monomoy Girl prevails.Race 12 (5:45PM ET) // G1 Kentucky Oaks // 1 1/8 Miles (Dirt)5 – GAMINE (32% W // 46% P // 55% S)1 – SWISS SKYDIVER (21% W // 42% P // 60% S)3 – DONNA VELOCE (12% W // 34% P // 40% S)4 – SPEECH (10% W // 24% P // 44% S)Jeremy’s Take: The Oaks showdown between Swiss Skydiver and Gamine has been anticipated for weeks, but the algorithms aren’t buying the hype. It’s Gamine by an 11-point margin, and 20 points higher than anyone else in the lineup. The equalizer could be the 1-1/8 miles distance, which is a new hurdle for the favorite, but a been-there/done-that for Swiss Skydiver. I can’t see anyone else winning, but multi-race bettors might want to make a stand on one or the other, providing a chance to double the ticket weight for the same cost by doing so.Race 13 (6:20PM ET) // G2 Turf Sprint S. // 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)1 – DIAMOND OOPS (25% W // 36% P // 50% S)4 – BOUND FOR NOWHERE (15% W // 29% P // 38% S)2 – WELLABLED (14% W // 25% P // 35% S)5 – EXTRAVAGANT KID (8% W // 20% P // 27% S)Jeremy’s Take: Diamond Oops is a surprisingly dominant points-pick by the 1/ST INDEX in a race that looks more competitive on paper – especially in a turf sprint. I like him at the 8-1 morning line price, but it will be interesting to see the off odds. Extravagant Kid has been strong on the local turf and has a more favorable post draw than some of the other leading contenders. Wellabled is as fleet as they come in America for the opening half-mile.

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9.2.2020:

Final Table is Set for Fun in the Sun Feast

The table is set for 10—those players who’ve qualified to enjoy a Fun in the Sun Final Table feast worth $23,297.50. Dinner is served Monday, Labor Day, as a scrumptious, celebratory 10-course meal that includes the last five races at Saratoga and the first five at Del Mar. Players will make ‘live’ $10 win wagers on one horse in each event. The top earner will collect $16,308.25 and the runner-up will pocket $4,659.50. Show finisher bags $2,329.75.The invitation list includes the following individuals: Phillip Gordon; Aner Carlstrom; Kevin Lynn; Robert Rosen; Anthony DeCaspers; Mathew McAleer; Richard Powers; Howard Bolte; John Velguth and George Chute.Actually, they’ve all boldly invited themselves by finishing first or second in five weekly Fun in the Sun competitions. The group already has collectively pocketed $30,771.75 in prize money. Phillip Gordon is the top earner, enjoying a $4,137 ‘kiss hello’ in the first week. In the final week, John Velguth and George Chute tied for the top spot while posting the season’s best weekly mutuel total of $406.The seasonal average winning margin between weekly first and second finishers is just $24.10. Besides the final week deadheat, the closest conclusion came in the initial competition when Phillip Gordon outlasted Aner Carlstrom by just $6.50. The largest margin of victory belonged to Richard Powers over Howard Bolte at $52.50. Obviously, actual mutuel payoffs in competition races affect final scores, but overall weekly Fun in the Sun winning totals averaged $322.20. Now the scores reset and everyone begins anew at the Final Table.As anticipated, Final Table guests aren’t handicapping newbies. They’re not all are grizzled veterans, either, but to a man they’ve all been attempting to solve equine puzzles for at least several decades. We’re proud to say between the 10 finalists, there are 99 combined years of loyalty as Xpressbet customers.At one end of the experience spectrum, George Chute, 69, is a retired businessman who’s been an avid Thoroughbred fan since the mid-sixties. Mike McAleer is the ‘rookie’ in the group and “really started my love of racing/handicapping” in the mid-90s. Out of the gate a decade before McAleer was Howard Bolte, who has been playing the horses since the early 80s and has been an Xpressbet account holder since 2005.Other experienced horseplayers seated at the Final Table are tournament veteran Steve De Caspers, who has been mining for winners for 25 years and was “...taught to read the Racing Form by (my) high school biology teacher Glenn Stevens…” Rob Rosen hit his first exacta at Laurel Park at age 10, compliments of Mario Pino in the winning saddle, and Phillip Gordon was raised in Lexington, KY and has been handicapping for 30 years. Assembly line workers at General Motors taught Rick Powers the Xs and Os of handicapping as an impressionable 22-year-old and he’s been “analyzing it” ever since.Follow along Monday by watching and wagering on the races from Saratoga and Del Mar with Xpressbet and by checking the Fun in the Sun Final Table leaderboard. ‘Dinner’ is served in the afternoon and dessert comes at night (ET). Can’t wait to see who ends up with the largest slice of the pie.

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9.1.2020:

1/ST Look: Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Laurel Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Maryland. And be sure to support Laurel Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Maryland Jockey Club.HeadlinesA massive Preakness Preview stakes weekend is on deck Saturday and Labor Day Monday in this holiday weekend. Nine $100,000 events will be split among the two cards, including the Preakness “Win & You’re In” Federico Tesio Stakes on Monday… In all, 16 stakes races Oct. 1-3 have been set for Pimlico’s Preakness meet, this year’s final jewel in the Triple Crown. Among the changes are the Black-Eyed Susan and DeFrancis Dash being held on Saturday’s undercard, and the Pimlico Special and Claiming Crown Preview comprise the Friday features ... Local star Hello Beautiful will travel to Saratoga for Saturday’s Grade 2 Prioress. The Brittany Russell trainee worked a half-mile here Aug. 30 in 47.70 … Jockey Trevor McCarthy took off his mounts last weekend for a sprained ankle, and his hopeful to return riding this week.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 paid $27,631 last week on Aug. 28, following the $47,117 payout on August 21. The Stronach 5 for Friday, Sept. 4 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern):Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 4:05Leg B – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:40Leg C – Gulfstream Park Race 10 with an approximate post time of 5:01Leg D – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:15Leg E – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:221/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Laurel Park, each showing a flat-bet profit and at least 27% wins with its top-rated contender.Jockey 6 MonthsDistanced WorkedJockey MeetTrends Last Week--Trainer Jose Corrales led the circuit with a 7: 3-2-0 week, including a $60 longshot bomber and a 14-1 runner-up effort. He went 2-for-2 teamed with Charlie Marquez.--Trainer Cal Lynch made the most of limited chances with a 2-for-4 effort. He’s now 5-for-12 over the past 3 weeks.--Jockey Lauralea Glaser went 2-for-3 on the week and now has amassed an 11: 6-2-1 record since August 8. During that run, 10 of the mounts have been 9-2 or less odds.--Claiming route races (mile or longer) were longshot havens last week with $61, $60 and $42 winners – from just 6 such race offerings.

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9.1.2020:

1/ST Look: Golden Gate Fields Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Golden Gate Fields. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Northern California. And be sure to support Golden Gate Fields by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Golden Gate Fields.HeadlinesA $58,404 Golden Pick Six jackpot carryover welcomes horseplayers back this week for Thursday-through-Labor Day Monday racing … The week’s feature race will be Monday’s $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes for middle-distance turf performers. Among the nominees is last year’s El Camino Real Derby winner Anothertwistafate and the multiple stakes-winning filly Sloane Garden (GB) … Jockey Ryan Barber has moved his tack to Golden Gate Fields from Arizona.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 paid $27,631 last week on Aug. 28, following the $47,117 payout on August 21. The Stronach 5 for Friday, Sept. 4 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern):Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 4:05Leg B – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:40Leg C – Gulfstream Park Race 10 with an approximate post time of 5:01Leg D – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:15Leg E – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:221/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Golden Gate Fields, each showing a major flat-bet profit ($48-$83) with its top-rated contender and a 36% or greater win rate. The “Trainer Meet” factor was a top-3 performer for the second straight week.Last E2 PaceTrainer MeetTrainer 1 YearTrends Last Week--Trainer Steve Miyadi has the hot barn with a 6: 4-1-1 mark. He employed 4 different jockeys on his winners, all returning 2-1 or less prices. All 6 starters came in sprint races.--Jockey Bryan Pena was a profitable follow with a 12: 4-1-1 record and $1.81 ROI for every $1 bet. His winners came for 4 different trainers, and 3 of them were on turf from only 6 grass mounts.--Jockey Julien Couton also had a massive $2.98 ROI for every $1 bet, making the most of limited mounts, His 10: 3-2-0 record boasted winners at $11, $13 and $35.--Favorites were strong on the Tapeta at 43% winners on the week, including 4: 3-0-1 from trainer Steve Miyadi.

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9.1.2020:

1/ST Look: Gulfstream Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Gulfstream Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in South Florida. And be sure to support Gulfstream Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Gulfstream Park.HeadlinesSaturday’s Kentucky Derby features 3-5 morning line favorite Tiz the Law (Manny Franco), who will try to become the record-padding 25th Florida Derby alum to wear the roses. Other prominent Gulfstream runners in Derby 146 include Sole Volante (Luca Panici), Ny Traffic (Paco Lopez), King Guillermo (Samy Camacho) and Attachment Rate (Joe Talamo) … Gulfstream Park Oaks winner Swiss Skydiver tries to add the Kentucky Oaks to her impressive 2020 resume on Friday … Venezuelan trainer Enrique Amado, 75, won with his first US starter Sunday, 7-2 proposition Markistan … Last Saturday’s mandatory Rainbow 6 pool lured nearly $2.5 million in new money, and the chalky sequence netted a whopping 10,271 winning tickets that paid $228.40 for each $.20 play.Stronach 5The Stronach 5 paid $27,631 last week on Aug. 28, following the $47,117 payout on August 21. The Stronach 5 for Friday, Sept. 4 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern):Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 4:05Leg B – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:40Leg C – Gulfstream Park Race 10 with an approximate post time of 5:01Leg D – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:15Leg E – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:221/ST BET Top Factors Last Week:Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Gulfstream Park, all showing at least a 24% win rate last week. The factor “Last Purse” produced a $24 profit on all wagers for the week, while “Best Speed Last 3” was a top-3 factor for the second straight week.Best Speed Last 3Avg SpeedBest PurseTrends Last Week--Favorites were a strong 14: 7-2-2 in 2-year-old races on the week, including 3-for-4 in last Saturday’s stakes quartet.--Jockey Hector Berrios continued a sustained run of profitability last week when going 18: 5-1-1 and producing a $2.44 ROI for every $1 bet. All 5 of his winners came for different trainers.--Trainer Mike Maker led the colony with 3 winners on the week, going 3-for-8 and delivering a $13 winner among those. Edgard Zayas won aboard all 3 of the money Makers.--Trainer Juan Arriagada only started a trio of runners but made the most with a 3: 2-1-0 mark. All were well backed, including 4-5 and 3-1 winners and a 1-5 runner-up.

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9.1.2020:

Yonkers Raceway Pick 5 Analysis

Tonight, Yonkers Raceway has a $7,500 guaranteed pool in place for its 0.50 Pick 5. That sequence starts in Race 5 and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 52-Western Beachboy (5/2)-This race is a real taffy pull and will take a swing with Brennan on a DiDomenico trainee who makes his 3rd start since a trainer change. Should get a good trip and may enjoy returning to YR. Connections had this 5-year-old racing better in January so will look for similar tonight.4-Mr Wiggle Pants (2-1)-The entire field has missed time and Pants has been off since 8/7 but has faced better. Harris trainee has hit the board in 4 of 10 YR starts and has two wins. Hasn't been the same since a sick scratch on 7/11. Fits and can take a picture with a return to better form.Race 61-Windfall Profits (2-1)-Makes YR debut coming off a winning effort at Phl and now steps up. Should be forwardly placed throughout and another picture could be in the cards.2-Lady Maya (6-1)-Beat $12k claimers on 8/20 and came the back half in 56.1. This is a good step up but there aren't any monsters in this field. Can win at a square price and is 1-1 at Yonkers.6-Sporty Juliana (9/2)-Will use expecting this filly gets overlooked at the windows and goes off above the morning line. Marohn needs to work a trip but if pace is decent may come off cover and surprise. Faces tougher now but did win here on the engine in 53.1 on 7/27.Race 71-Orillia Joe (5/2)-Old-timer has won 21% of Yonkers starts and drops to a spot to shine. Should like the company but might be used hard to protect the rail. Will use and look to others for more value.3-Mach West (8-1)-Made 1st YR start on 8/21 but was off 19 days. Raced from the back and sizzled the 2nd half in 54.2 on 8/21 and could be ready for a more aggressive try here. Loses Stratton to #1 as Marohn takes a seat and that will probably help the price.6-Abraxas Blues A (7/2)-Seems to be rounding into form and makes 2nd start at this level after dropping. Needs a trip but last start was the best effort since starting up again. Veteran likes the oval and there could be an honest pace which should help chances.Race 81-Vettel N (8/5)-Drops to a more comfortable spot and has the gate speed to protect the rail. Will likely blast out as Joe B. will look to control the fractions. Will be tough to beat with a top effort.5-Our Correlli N (2-1)-Like #1, will be making Yonkers debut. 6-year-old has the gate speed to leave hard and get a good seat and then battle the program chalk down the lane.Race 91-Somebaddude (7/5)-Cruised home by almost 4 lengths versus easier in 1st local race since the restart. Steps-up but has performed well against better than this at YR and should be a big threat tonight.4-Caviart Reagan (7-1)-Won at this class on 7/24 and will toss last start from the 8 hole. Should like the post relief and it should be noted paced a .54 last half in the 8/20 start. Has the gate speed to be in the pocket behind the morning line choice or on the engine.0.50 Pick 52,4/1,2,6/1,3,6/1,5/1,4Total Bet=$36Check me out on Twitter!

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9.1.2020:

Most Valuable Pony (Aug. 24-30): Sleepy Eyes Todd

Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.August 24-30, 2020MVP: Sleepy Eyes ToddOwner: Thumbs Up Racing LLCTrainer: Miguel SilvaJockey: Carlos DelgadoPerformance: Sleepy Eyes Todd led every step of the 1-1/8 miles Grade 3 $600,000 Charles Town Classic on Aug. 28. How good was he on the front end? His early two-three pursuers wound up last and next-to-last, including 5-2 favorite Mr. Money. Sleepy Eyes Todd has become America’s king of the bullring racetracks, also winning the Bosselman Gus Fonner in Nebraska in April. On the mile ovals, he’s been runner-up in the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park and in the Lone Star Park Mile.On Tap: Perhaps Sleepy Eyes Todd may fit better in the Breeders’ Cup Mile division than a run toward the Classic at 1-1/4 miles. He could conceivably look that route without a prep to early November. The Grade 3 Ack Ack at Churchill on Sept. 26 could be a good spot, or perhaps the fellow 1-turn mile of the Grade 2 Kelso at Belmont on Oct. 3. The 1-1/8 miles Grade 2 Fayette on Oct. 10 at Keeneland would provide a 2-turn opportunity.Honorable Mentions: At Saratoga, Win Win Win sling-shot from far back in last to motor by the field in the Aug. 29 Grade 1 Forego. He proved to be a bona fide contender in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint or Dirt Mile divisions. Channel Maker took advantage of a paceless race in the Aug. 29 Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga and never looked threatened in a nearly 6-length victory. The Bill Mott trainee may have run his best race at age 6. Selflessly ran down Sweet Melania by a nose in a thrilling Aug. 29 rendition of the Grade 3 Lake George for 3-year-old filly turfers. Jack and Noah opened up an unfathomable 8-length lead in a Saratoga turf sprint Aug. 26 and coasted home easily in the $85,000 Mahony Stakes. The Mark Casse trainee covered 5-1/2 furlongs in 1:01.28 while never in doubt. At Gulfstream Park, Breeze on By advanced to 3-for-3 with a blowout win in the second leg of the Florida Sire Stakes series on Aug. 29. The Ralph Nicks trainee could earn a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile date with a stretch-out score next in the FSS.

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8.31.2020:

Tall Dark Stranger Adds 'Cup' To Trophy Case

With more than 7,500 wins and $186 million in purse earnings, Yannick Gingras knows a good harness horse when he drives one. But Gingras shed the highest praise on Tall Dark Stranger, who dominated in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup last Saturday at Woodbine-Mohawk Park.   “He’s the best pacing colt I’ve ever driven, there’s no doubt in my mind,” Gingras said in a post-race interview with Chris Lomon of Woodbine Communications.   Tall Dark Stranger did the talking in the one-mile race for 3-year-olds. He tracked early leader Tattoo Artist (Bob McClure) through a :25.4 opening quarter mile, pulled out of the pocket to the lead before a :53.3 half and repelled a stretch challenge from the 5-1 second favorite with ease in what amounted to an uneventful, two-horse race. Tall Dark Stranger won by 2 lengths in 1:48.2, bumping his record to 15-for-17 with a North America-leading $879,131 bankroll this year for owners Marvin Katz, Crawford Farms Racing, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. He paid $3.20 to win as the 3-to-5 favorite and triggered a $476 triactor payout after 127-1 longshot Moneyman Hill (Jonathan Drury) got up for third behind Tattoo Artist in the 10-horse field.   “I rolled him by three-quarters pretty hard, but he just never quits,” said Gingras.   New Jersey-based trainer Nancy Takter could not watch her second consecutive Cup victory in-person because of COVID-19 border restrictions. But she can revel in the fact that Tall Dark Stranger completed what is believed an unprecedented run through four of the sport’s biggest races – the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown as a 2-year-old, and the Meadowlands Pace and Pepsi North America Cup this season.   It’s not recognized as the Grand Slam, per se, but if Gingras had a vote, it probably would be.   PARTY GIRL HILL REMAINS PERFECT IN FAN HANOVER   Tom Hill’s Party Girl Hill remained at the top of the hill for 3-year-old filly pacers with a 2-3/4-length victory in the $400,000 Fan Hanover Stakes on the North America Cup undercard. Doug McNair asked Party Girl Hill for run before the half-mile marker and she took command from there, winning in 1:49.2 for her eighth win in as many starts.   Warrawee Ubeaut (Gingras) was queen of the $290,000 Roses Are Red for fillies and mares, pacing home in 1:49.3.   Hey Livvy (Trevor Henry) seized the moment when odds-on favorite Atlanta broke stride, winning the $220,000 Armbro Flight trot in 1:51.2.   Driver Bob McClure swept the $117,029 Nassagaweya stakes for 2-year-olds, winning with Abuckabett Hanover ($5.10) from post 7 and Lawless Shadow ($15) from post 9. 

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8.31.2020:

Kentucky Oaks Post Position Draw Reaction

Nine fillies entered Monday for Friday’s 146th running of the Grade 1 $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks, setting the stage for an epic matchup between 3-year-old fillies Gamine and Swiss Skydiver. Churchill Downs’ longtime oddsmaker Mike Battaglia slotted Gamine the 1-1 favorite with Swiss Skydiver at 8-5. The Oaks goes as Race 12 of 13 with Oaks-Derby daily double wagering available for Saturday’s ‘Run for the Roses.’Swiss Skydiver starts in post 1, while Gamine drew the 5-hole. The Kentucky Oaks pace likely runs through Gamine, who has led every call of her 4 starts. Donna Veloce also is fast and drawn between the favorites. The run to the clubhouse turn will be interesting to see how the pace shakes out with Grade 1 Ashland heroine Speech in post 4 likely to be just off the first flight. Trainer Kenny McPeek indicated after the draw that he and Tyler Gaffalione won’t be taking back and rationing the speed of Swiss Skydiver, “letting her run to the first turn.”From this eye, Gamine in post 5 could be hard-sent to clear Swiss Skydiver, Donna Veloce and Speech. If she had drawn inside, the other riders may have let her send away and be less aggressive. She’ll earn this Kentucky Oaks over 1-1/8 miles if the trio inside of her are hustled.Bob Baffert aims for a fourth Oaks title with Gamine. He’s one of three Oaks-winning trainers in the lineup along with Brad Cox (Shesharesthedevil) and Dallas Stewart (Tempers Rising). No trainer has won the Oaks and Derby the same year since Ben Jones (1952) with Real Delight & Hill Gail. Baffert also will have Authentic and Thousand Words expected to enter Tuesday (11 am ET) for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.The complete field for Friday’s 146th Kentucky Oaks:1-Swiss Skydiver (Tyler Gaffalione) 8-52-Tempers Rising (Julien Leparoux) 50-13-Donna Veloce (Ricardo Santana) 15-14-Speech (Javier Castellano) 5-15-Gamine (John Velazquez) 1-16-Bayerness (Rafael Bejarano) 50-17-Shesharesthedevil (Florent Geroux) 20-18-Hopeful Growth (Manny Franco) 30-19-Dream Marie (Joe Talamo) 50-1

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8.31.2020:

Monday, August 31: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park starts the week with an 11-race card. The popular 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 43-Trina (4-1)-Lost as an odds-on favorite and then came back to win from post 10 in dominant fashion. Banking on the 8/13 Gold win wasn't a fluke.7-Angry Eyes (5/2)-Winner of 2 straight loses Jamieson to #8 and now McNair takes a spin. This looks like a stiffer challenge but will respect chances of a 3-peat.8-Massive Flirt (5-1)-Gillis trainee is a nice filly doing well versus tough foes. Will need a top effort to beat older tonight but it's best to not overlook even from this post.Race 53-Always Flashing A (8-1)-Aussie invader was racing out east this summer and has shown good speed. Probably fits better here and had a tough journey in 1st local start. Should be better acclimated with a race over the track and trip should be better.4-Cinnamack (5-1)-One of 3 who drop in here and Henry can put in play in a difficult race. Does have speed but is camera shy. Looking for better and should offer a square price.6-JM Jack Of Harts (3-1)-Tried a different formula and got on the engine in last but faded late. Filion is back and that should help. Could be sitting on a big try and may roll by coming off cover.Race 66-LMC Mass Oak (3-1)-Appears to be in a good spot but is only 1 for the last 15 so will use and hope isn't over bet.8-Its Huw You Know (9/2)-Makes 1st start for new barn that has been winning at a 25% clip and Filion takes the lines. That's 2 positives and should offer a fair price.Race 71-Allstar Seelster (8-1)-Returns to Wbsb and fits with these. Makes 3rd start for new barn and has won 6 of 18 on this oval. Could offer a nice price.2-Arukidinme Cabbie (7/2)-Gets some needed post relief and probably will be forwardly placed. Looks like a player and should be in the hunt at the wire.7-Rootin Tootin (8-1)-JMac returns and he knows this MacIntosh trainee who has had a tough year so far. Beat similar with these connections on 7/9 and can get the same type of trip this time.My Ticket Race 4) 3,7,8 Race 5) 3,4,6 Race 6) 6,8 Race 7) 1,2,7Total Ticket Cost) $$10.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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8.30.2020:

Al Cimaglia: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis

Hawthorne Racecourse has a 16-race card scheduled for this evening. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 13. That sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus.The driver with the hottest hands on Saturday was Kyle Wilfong with five trips to the winner's circle. Conditioners Mike Brink, Steve Searle and Brett Wilfong led the trainers with two pictures each.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 132-Like A Captain (5/2)-Beaten chalk flattened out down the lane on 8/16. Seems to have turned the corner after a sick scratch on 7/19. Will look for more improvement for Team Wilfong in a wide-open affair.4-Master Ken (4-1)-Team Leonard pupil is 1-8 and is a tough one to figure. Will use from this post, did pace the 2nd half in 55.3 coming home in 27.3 and the trip wasn't great. Like #2, will look for upswing to continue.7-Incredible Bombay (12-1)-Was off almost the entire month of July and seems more determined in last 2 starts. Went a long mile in last start and did keep coming. Should offer a nice return and Warren may work a more efficient trip.8-Da Peoples Panther (3-1)-Makes 2nd start for new barn and stayed on stride in last to finish 2nd by a noise. That was by far the best of 3 starts and was used a couple of times. Paced in 1.55 so could be over bet and it remains to be seen if minds manners again.9-Heartland Dandy (15-1)-Makes 1st start after a sharp qualifier in 1.54.3 and raced close to the lead throughout. Post draw doesn't help chances but will improve the price. Will take a swing with a fresh horse who could surprise versus this crew.Race 144-All Profit (9-1)-One of 2 Brink trainees (4-7) and this 3-year-old steps up after a nice win in a NW2. Will use here and leave the program chalk #9 off my ticket. Will look for more value as the morning line choice looks vulnerable.7-Pick Me Upper (12-1)-Broke maiden in 5th try and had suffered from breaking issues but hopples appeared to help in last. Drew off by 9-lengths and was wrapped up. Maybe there is more in the tank and should be a solid price.8-Rockyroad Aldo (7/2)-Drops out of straight Opens and lands in a spot to shine. Although this post will make it more of a challenge, 4-year-old looks like the one to beat.Race 152-Pootie Cat (5-1)-Finished 3rd to #8 last week starting from post 7 and taking the long way around. Now gets the post edge and that should make some difference. Camera-shy filly is only 2-20 lifetime and 1-13 here, but should be in the hunt throughout.8-Cassie Marie's T T (5/2)-Drew off by almost 4 lengths last week at this class from post 4 at odds of 1-2. This post draw will make it more difficult but did beat 6 from this crew in last. A major player with a smooth journey and should be bet hard again.Race 161-Rollin Coal (6-1)-Often disappoints, whether it is a questionable drive or just lacking the will to cross the wire first. But this appears to be a simple recipe. If #2 is bet down Wilfong may look to get the top early. In that case Franco could get a 2-hole ride and be able to rally late.2-It's Time For Fun (5/2)-Went off at 2/5 last week versus better and broke while following a 21-1 shot around the last turn. The longshot seemed to stall and Wilfong had a lot of horse and couldn't check him. Drops here and will probably look to get the top sooner. Usually minds manners but will likely be bet hard and offer little value.0.50 Late Pick 42,4,7,8,9/4,7,8/2,8/1,2Total Bet=$30Check me out on Twitter!

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8.30.2020:

Jeff Siegel's Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies - 8/30/20

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.*It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.**Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.*The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.**Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-Sam and Sy; 8-What’s My CategoryForecast: The opener – a five and one-half furlong sprint for maiden state-bred 2-year-olds, has been transferred to the main track and should be treated with caution. Sam and Sy has done some good work in the a.m. for B. Cox (average stats with first-timers) and seems as a good as any in what amounts to an educated guessing game. A $75,000 OBS April sale purchase where he previewed in 10 1/5 seconds, the son of Speightster shows two recent local half-mile bullet works should have him on edge. What’s My Category flashed good speed before fading in his debut but with that race under his belt and this shortening in trip the son of Competitive Edge should stick a lot better. We’ll try to get by using just these two but if you can afford to spread deeper, go right ahead.**RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: CUse: 2-Blood Moon; 6-Fried Rice KingForecast: This restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming main track router drew just six entrants, with Blood Moon listed as the 3/5 morning line favorite. Yes, he should win, but as odds-on favorites go, we’ve seen more dependable. The 3-year-old son of Malibu Moon is a “need the lead” type and probably will get it, although Mucho Bay may have something to say about that. The D. Gargan-trained colt has a clear advantage over his weak foes in the speed figure department but only when he gets his way. If he gets pressured early by ‘Bay, Fried Rice King, dropping drastically in class very much like Blue Moon, could come running late. The Bernardini gelding broke his maiden two runs back by more than seven lengths before displaying nothing in a starter’s allowance race, so this class drop is warranted. In a race that probably is best left alone, we’ll go two-deep in our rolling exotics but that’s about it.**RACE 3: Post 2:18 ET. Grade: BUse: 4-No Mo’ Spending; 6-Elusive SiteForecast: No Mo’ Spending has the benefit of two races under her belt and unless there’s a good thing among the first time starters the daughter of Uncle Mo should earn her diploma today in this extended sprint for maiden-special-weight juvenile fillies. Today’s extra furlong should promote her chances significantly after she earned a better than par speed figure when third in a tougher spot earlier this month. Elusive Site has some talent, though we suspect she’ll eventually do her best going long on grass. We’ll include her on a ticket or two as back-up while reserving the main punch for No Mo’ Spending.**RACE 4: Post 2:51 ET. Grade: CUse: 3-Siding Spring; 5-MillsForecast: This race has been taken off the turf, extended to a mile and one-eighth, and will go with just five runners. Siding Spring is capable on dirt and should find himself on or near the lead throughout, while MTO entrant Mills is an old pro capable of winning as a stalker or a closer and in a small field should have every chance to tag the leaders. In a race that we’ll otherwise leave alone, both should be included in rolling exotic play.**RACE 5: Post 3:24 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1a-Traffic Lane; 5-Red Ghost; 13-Split Then Double; 15-Cease and DesistForecast: This maiden juvenile sprint race for fillies has been transferred from turf to the main track. Red Ghost, from the W. Ward barn, has three local works that have been slow and easy but at Keeneland last month the daughter of Ghostzapper registered a bullet half mile gate drill in :46 1/5 seconds to indicate she has plenty of speed and ability. She should be cranked up and ready to roll. Split then Double, Cease and Desist and Traffic Lane draw in from the also-eligible list and hail from top stables, so they’re probably worth including somewhere on your ticket as well.**RACE 6: Post 3:57 ET. Grade: CUse: 2-Summer Bourbon; 3-O Shea Can U See; 5-Zinbuce; 7-Local HeroForecast: Here’s a messy $12,500 claimer that requires a significant spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go four-deep but you should use as many as your budget allows. Summer Bourbon plummets from $25,000 after three consecutive substandard efforts and may return to life against this group. The veteran gelding likes to settle in the second flight and produce a late kick and given that type of trip today he should have every chance. O Shea Can U See exits the same race as Summer Bourbon and is another that should appreciate this easier assignment. He’s a deep closer with a very good lifetime record at this six and one-half furlong trip (four wins in 10 starts) so with some help up front he should be heard from late. Zonic is another that likes to produce one late run and though he usually settles for minor awards the son of Ghostzapper hails from a barn that’s been red hot all meeting so we’ll list him a legit contender. Local Hero is worth tossing in somewhere as well; he’s been away since February and is waiver protected and returns after earning a career top speed figure in a runway win at the Big A that he may (or, may not) be able duplicate under these conditions.**RACE 7: Post 4:32 ET. Grade: B-Use: 4-Pecatonica; 12-Blue AtlasForecast: Blue Atlas is drawn outside but is good enough to win this allowance optional claimer for fillies and mares if she can negotiate a decent trip. She’s capable of winning on the lead or from off the pace, so the options are there for J. Ortiz to play it by ear depending upon the race flow. Pecatonica, third in the same race Blue Atlas finished second in last month, had a rough trip and should have been a lot closer. A two-time winner (in three starts) over the local lawn, the Temple City filly goes for the Clement-Rosario team and seems the one to fear most. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.**RACE 8: Post 5:07 ET. Grade: BUse: 4-Gandy Dancing; 8-Harris BayForecast: Harris Bay may have been a tad rusty when a troubled third in his first outing since January four weeks ago in similar state-bred first-level allowance sprint and seems very likely to produce a significant forward move today. Most comfortable as a late-running sprinter, the sophomore son of Carpe Diem retains J. Alvarado and with good racing luck will make his presence felt in the final furlong. Gandy Dancing, second in the same race ‘Bay exits, will help ensure a decent pace and if he can shake loose early he may get brave and keep on going. The lightly-raced son of Flatter should continue to improve with experience and is properly listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Both should be included in you rolling exotics.**RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Letruska; 5-Golden Award; 6-Nonna MadelineForecast: Letruska stretches out and tries an easier assignment after pressing a blazing pace and then paying the price when weakening to be fifth in the Ballerina S.-G1 earlier this month. She’s clearly the controlling speed in this nine furlong Grade-3 event and if she clears without undue pressure (as projected by our pace scenario) the daughter of Super may roll all the way to the wire. Nonna Madeline and Golden Award, first and second in the listed Summer Colony S. over this track and distance in early August, are dangerous right back despite the step up in class to graded stakes company. Both prefer to stalk and pounce and based strictly on speed figures are both competitive with our top pick. We’ll give Letruska the edge but include all three in rolling exotic play.**RACE 10: Post 6:16 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-Modern Science; 4-ShirelleForecast: Modern Science has the benefit of a couple of runs on his belt and the improving son of Galileo should be set to graduate unless there’s a better than average first-timer in the field. Shirelle has looked decent in a series of grass works for C. Brown and may be the most dangerous of the newcomers. In what amounts to a grass grab bag, these are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics.

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8.29.2020:

Saturday, August 29: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Del Mar Best Plays:Del Mar 5th race – Post Time: 4:10 PT5 – Fierce for Sul (5/2)This blazingly quick filly set sizzling splits before being worn down late by next-out winner Secret Keeper while well clear of the rest in a promising debut performance at Santa Anita in May. She’s been entered twice and scratched since then, but the daughter of Speightstown has looked very sharp of late while breezing without blinkers while appearing sharp and relaxed. Bred for grass on both sides, the B. Baffert-trained sophomore should excel at this abbreviated sprint trip, so at 5/2 on the morning line she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.Del Mar 6th race – Post Time: 4:40 PT6 – Vittorio (2-1)Promising juvenile colt lost all chance at the start in his debut earlier this month and then displayed excellent mid-race speed while wide to enter contention into the lane before racing greenly and then coasting home to finish fifth, beaten eighth lengths in a hot race for maiden 2-year-olds. This highly-regarded son of Ghostzapper should be much more professional today with that bit of experience behind him, so if leaves with his field he can be expected to make short work of his rivals and then go on to bigger and better things. He’s win play and rolling exotic single at or near his morning line of 2-1.Del Mar 7th race – Post Time: 5:10 PT1 – Beguiled (6-1)This P. D’Amato-trained filly was victimized by a brutal trip in a similar one mile grass event here three weeks ago and wound up fourth beaten a half-length after being blocked badly throughout most of the stretch and then getting clear too late to make up the needed ground. She galloped out in front of the pack to indicate she was best, so today, with the switch to the A Cedillo and from the rail post position, the daughter of Orb needs only to find room to run to handle this task. There’s plenty of value here at her morning line of 6-1 if you can get it.Del Mar 9th race – Post Time: 6:10 PT3 – One Bad Boy (4-1)The 2019 Queen’s Plate winner makes his first start in more than a year and has trained like he’s returning better than he left while dropping into this second-level allowance grass event for a trainer that has off-the-charts statistics with layoff runners. The high-class son of Twirling Candy won his only prior grass start all by himself and his comeback workouts have been extraordinary. Drawn comfortably inside and with the kind of tactical speed that should place him a good pace-stalking position, the R. Baltas-trained 4-year-old is generously listed at 4-1 on the morning line.Del Mar 10th race – Post Time: 6:38 PT5 – C Z Rocket (4-1)The veteran gelding is vastly improved since being claimed by red-hot trainer P. Miller last spring and is a perfect three-for-three for his new connections with a trio of fast, highly-rated victories against lesser foes in the Midwest. He’s tackling Grade 2 company today but should be up to the task at this seven furlong distance that is ideal for his second flight, stalking-style. With F. Prat pick up the mount and with a nice easy breeze over the track to have him on edge, the son of City Zip appears capable of wearing down the leaders late while offering good wagering value at 4-1 on the morning line.Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: B-Use: 6-Happy Sophia; 7-Enough LoveForecast: Handicappers are at the mercy of a wet/sloppy/muddy surface that some horses will love and others will flounder over. Enough Love finished a willing runner-up in a slightly tougher spot here last month while earning a career top speed figure and a repeat of that effort in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 sprint for fillies and mares should be good enough. She’s late-running sprinter and a perfect one-for-one at this six and one-half furlong trip. Let’s hope she handles the wet track. Happy Sophia plummets in class in her first outing for a tag and may have found her friends. Very competitive in this league based strictly on speed figures, the Flat Out filly projects as a strong pace presence and could get very brave if she can shake loose early. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with perhaps a very slight edge on top to Enough Love.RACE 2: Post 1:43 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-I Love Jaxson; 10-Wn Wye CeeForecast: This race has been transferred to the (sloppy) main track and will be contested at a mile and one-eighth. MTO entrant I Love Jackson has a history of handling a wet surface, exits a series of strong races, and projects to enjoy a comfortable second flight, ground-saving trip and have his chance to wear down the leaders in the lane. En Wye Cee returned off a long layoff and earned a career top speed figure when missing by a neck at this level on grass earlier this month. If he builds on that performance today – and handles the off track – he’ll be the one to beat. Tread lightly here.RACE 3: Post 2:18 ET. Grade: B+Use: 1-Vanzzy; 4-L’Imperator; 5-Don Juan KittenForecast: L’Imperator was a three-time winner over soft ground in France in good company while racing in the provinces and though making his first start since March the French-bred colt has worked like he’s fit and ready for C. Brown. The son of Holly Roman Emperor might be more effective at a long distance but he did graduate at this one mile trip and should be able to settle within range and then kick home when asked. The bulk of our action will go to this highly-promising import, but for protection we’ll also include on a back-up ticket Vanzzy and Don Juan Kitten. The former represents dangerous inside speed and comes off a nice score in the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park while the latter is a lightly-raced and improving Kitten’s Joy colt fresh from a career-top score here from first-level allowance company here last month and could easily be this good.RACE 4: Post 2:51 ET. Grade: BUse: 1a-Tied Up; 2-Bustin PleaseForecast: The fourth race is a better-than-par extended sprint for $20,000 claiming fillies and mares. Tied Up looked quite sharp winning a $12,500 affair two weeks ago and is double-jumped in class by a barn that has terrific stats with repeat winners. Though relatively cheap on paper, the daughter of Even the Score has compiled a remarkable record of 12 wins from 23 starts (with five seconds and thirds). Additionally, she’s a perfect two-for-two at this six and one-half furlong trip, and an off-track freak (five wins in eight starts). Bustin to Please is another win machine, having won six of 12 lifetime outings. Today she drops below her claim level for the money run after being pitched a tad too high when unplaced in a state-bred optional $40,000 affair last month. Most effective on or near the lead, she needs to break cleanly from the rail and if she’s able to establish the running inside she could be hard to run down. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 5: Post 3:24 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Letmetakethiscall; 2-My Roxy Girl; 4-ArchumybabyForecast: Archumybaby, a real pro (14 career wins) and fresh from a game win for $25,000 here earlier this month, is protected on the raise by new trainer R. Rodriguez, retains her favorite pilot L. Saez, and seems capable of paying a quick dividend for her new connections in this state-bred second level allowance optional claiming ($40,000) extended sprint. Never worse than second in six career starts (with four victories) at this exact seven furlong trip and a three-time winner on an off track, the daughter of Archarcharch has an ideal stalking style and should be able to wear down the leaders when it counts. Letmetakethiscall lands the rail and seems certain to be sent from the gate to establish the pace. Always dangerous when she can shake loose early, the L. Rice-trained mare doesn’t figure to have much pressure during the early stages so if she can get away with a comfortable opening quarter and half, she may never look back. My Roxy Girl, first or second in 19 of 39 career starts (and in the frame in seven of eight wet track outings), is a dependable sort that could improve with today’s extra furlong to work with. She figures for at least a piece of it. All three should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 6: Post 3:57 ET. Grade:Use: 1-Newcomb; 4-Highly MotivatedForecast: This maiden special weight sprint for juveniles is comprised entirely of first-time starters. Newbomb has trained like a quick colt for T. Pletcher, and as a son of Speightstown from the dam of graded stakes winner My Happy Face he looks very much like a win-early type. With a clean break from his rail draw, this $155,000 Fasig-Tipton fall yearling purchase should find himself on or near the lead throughout. Highly Motivated is another very promising newcomer with every right to run to his pedigree and good works. The son of Into Mischief was produced by Strong Incentive, a stakes-winner in her one and only start in Canada and brought $240,000 as a weanling at Keeneland. The local works have been strong for C. Brown and should have this colt plenty fit and ready. Let’s try to survive and advanced using just these two in rolling exotic play.RACE 7: Post 4:32 ET. Grade: XUse: 2-Yaupon; 3-Long WeekendForecast: Long Weekend projects as a strong favorite in this year’s renewal of the Amsterdam’s S.-G2 , though he’s perhaps a little less trustworthy after failing at 20 cents on the dollar in the listed Gold Fever S. at Belmont Park last month. The track was listed as sloppy for that race, perhaps giving him a legitimate excuse, but faces a similar very wet surface today based on the weather forecasts. Also, his only truly poor run in his career was here last year when he was a fading sixth in the Saratoga Special S. despite being well-backed on the tote. Finally, this will be his sixth different rider in his seven-race career. Yaupon earned a giant speed figure when beating first level allowance runners over this track and distance and last month and takes on much tougher and more experienced foes today. Unbeaten in two starts with the kind of early speed that could find him on the lead today, the son of Majesticperfection retains J. Rosario and shows a healthy series of recent workouts to indicate another forward move is likely. In a race that we’ll otherwise pass, both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 8: Post 5:07 ET. Grade: BUse: 2-Whitmore; 6-Complexity; 10-Mind Control; 11-Fortin HillForecast: The Forego S.-G1, the premiere sprint stakes at the Saratoga meeting, came up very competitive while lacking a true star, so there’s a good chance a nice price in this seven furlong affair. Complexity, not normally a front-runner, catches a field with very little zip in it so it’s entirely possible the lightly-raced son of Maclean’s Music finds himself on the front end. Given that type of trip, he could be hard to beat. Fresh from a facile (and highly-rated) allowance win at Belmont Park in early July, the C. Brown-trained colt has been kept on edge with series of easy, steady workouts, and so we’re expecting a career top performance from this 4-year-old colt who won his debut over the Saratoga main track as a 2-year-old a couple of years ago. Whitmore and Mind Control, two-three finishers behind North America’s top sprinter Volatile, won’t have that one to worry about today and both are tough-as-nails competitors with proven winning form over wet surfaces. Fortin Hill has something to prove at this level – this will be his first stakes outing in just his fifth lifetime start – but the Mucho Macho Man colt is drawn comfortably outside and earned a sharp triple-digit Beyer speed figure in winning a strong allowance race at Belmont Park in early July at this exact extended sprint distance. He’s also won over a sloppy track. We’ll find out how good he is today.RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: C+Use: 5-Corelli; 6-Cross Border; 8-Sadler’s JoyForecast: Cross Border and Sadler’s Joy meet again in what looks to be a repeat of the Bowling Green S.-G2, this time at a mile and one-half in the Sword Dancer S.-G. ‘Joy finished first last time out but was disqualified for causing interference to the fourth place finisher in mid-stretch, and while the number had to come there was no doubt he was best. How he’ll handle the soggy ground is a concern, though. Cross Border backed into the win – he’s now officially perfect in five career starts over the Saratoga turf course – and there’s really no reason why won’t fire his usual best shot once again. Sadler’s Joy actually drops two pounds off that race while Cross Border has the same impost, for whatever that’s worth. We’ll also toss in Corelli, a soft turf specialist in Europe and rounding to form after finishing a close third in the United Nations S.-G1 last month. In a race that we have no plans on playing, these are the three we’ll be including in our rolling exotics..RACE 10: Post 6:16 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Always Carina; 3-Jouster; 5-ZainalarabForecast: The known element seems average in this maiden juvenile filly sprint but there are a number of promising first-timers in the field and its among that group that we expect the winner to come from. Always Carina has trained like a nice filly for C. Brown and seems plenty fit following a string of solid drills in a somewhat brief but healthy series that began in mid-July. She appears to have good speed, but if there’s anything to be concerned about its her lack of consistency in changing leads in her drills. She was pretty much stride-for-stride with stable mate Zainalarab (both 4f, :47.1bg) in a gate drill last week with both able to go faster if turned loose. The latter is a $1 million daughter of War Front from Monmouth Oaks-G3 winner Delightful Joy and definitely has some run as well. Jouster is bred more for grass (Noble Mission) on the top side of her pedigree but her female family is strictly dirt and we suspect she’ll be live and well-meant in in her debut for T. Pletcher. A recent :59 4/5 gate drill (second fastest of 20 just five days) ago catches the eye.RACE 11: Post 6:49 ET. Grade: BUse: 3-Elonquent Speaker; 5-Flashpackinbarbie; 7-Midnight SurpriseForecast: Midnight Surprise won her debut in clever fashion, not breaking any stopwatches in the process but showing a bit of moxie while winning with plenty after being geared down near the wire. She gets an extra half furlong to work with today and should enjoy the trip, so at 7/2 on the morning line the daughter of Flatter may be capable of repeating on the raise. Flashpackinbarbie, runner-up in a similar first-level allowance state-bred sprint for fillies and mares last month, makes her third start off a long layoff and we suspect it will be her best. She should find herself in a good pace-stalking/pressing position and have every chance from the quarter pole home. Eloquent Speaker has produced a forward move in each of her three career starts based strictly on speed figures and also shows the route-to-sprint angle that we like. The daughter of Flatter may get outrun early but should be heard from in the final furlong. Let’s use all three in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Midnight Surprise.

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8.29.2020:

Saturday August 29: Woodbine Mohawk Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

It is a huge night of racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park featuring the $1,000,000 North America Cup and a mandatory Jackpot Hi-5 payout. The Late Pick 4 begins in Race 10 and it will be my focus. Part of the sequence includes the Roses Are Red Final, the North America Cup, and the Eternal Camnation for 2-year-old fillies.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 10-Roses Are Red Final-Purse $290,0003-Major Occasion A (9/2)-Comes off an even effort at Tioga but this mare can go from looking okay to great. Gets a good post draw and should be forwardly placed throughout. Looks like a player at a fair price and does good work on a big oval.6-Warrawee Ubeaut (7/2)-Winner in 3 of 5 starts at Wbsb and Gingras could be flying off the gate. Won the Breeders Crown here last year and should be in the hunt once again.7-So Much More (5-1)-Steps-up to meet some tough mares but this gal loves taking pictures. Has won 16 of 34 at Wbsb and 26 of 52 lifetime. The pace could be hot and that helps, so best to respect at a nice price.Race 11-Pepsi North America Cup Final-Purse $1,000,0004-Tall Dark Stranger (7/5)-Makes 3rd start on Lasix and wasn't dominant in last week's elimination but Gingras said there was an issue with pulling the ear plugs. Also, that was the 1st start since 8/8 and should be even better coming right back. Many will single and that is understandable, should be tough to beat with a decent trip but will likely be tested.5-Capt Midnight (9/2)-Alagna trainee has no excuses starting next to the Stranger from a good post. If McNair pushes the button at the right time this colt may finally get some revenge over the odds-on favorite.Race 12-Eternal Camnation-Purse $71,6385-Best Head West (3-1)-Has hit the board in 3 of 4 starts at Wbsb with 2 wins. Hasn't shown much gate speed but can roll late and short field won't hurt chances.6-Scarlett Hanover (2-1)-It's best to respect the program chalk with Gingras taking a seat tonight. Will toss last when a poor start hampered any chance of winning. Can take a picture with a top effort but not sure gunning out for the lead at this track leads to a picture.7-Lady Midnight (5/2)-Another Alagna pupil that appears to be getting better and maybe will show some gate speed here. McClure is back aboard after a nice 2nd tier win versus easier.Race 135-Traceur Hanover (3-1)-Classy veteran takes a good drop in class. $1,000,000 earner isn't dominant very often but if he gets the top and sets his own pace his determination can become evident. Roy will probably be on the engine or in the pocket.7-Sports Column (12-1)-Started from the 2nd tier and did pace the last half in 53.3 on 8/22. McNair can put in play from this post and get a good early seat. Using and looking for a price to pump up the Pick 4 payout.9-Points North (6-1)-Winner of 6 in 25 starts at Wbsb was part of very quick mile last week and raced well after stepping-up to this level. Drury may blast out, this 6-year-old has big gate speed and could trip out at a solid price.My Ticket Race 10) 3,6,7 Race 11) 4,5 Race 12) 5,6,7 Race 13) 5,7,9Total Ticket Cost) $10.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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8.29.2020:

Gulfstream Mandatory Rainbow 6 Picks with 1/ST INDEX Assistance

Saturday’s mandatory payout in the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream is part of a 4-stakes card that’s one of summer’s best in South Florida. Races 7-12 comprise the sequence and the kickoff leg is slated to begin around 3:06 pm ET with a carryover of $349,328. You can bet the Gulfstream Park full-card and Rainbow 6 on the 1/ST BET app and at Xpressbet.Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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.Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for the Gulfstream Park Rainbow 6. All contenders who received a 10% or higher chance from the 1/ST INDEX in each race were included.Race 7 (3:06PM ET) // Claiming // 6 Furlongs (Dirt) 1-Itsmyluckygirl (25% W // 40% P // 52% S)6-Ima Daredevil (15% W // 32% P // 45% S)5-Poseidon’s Princess (11% W // 29% P // 44% S)12-Lemoncita (10% W // 18% P // 25% S)Jeremy’s Take: This is a balanced race to start, so get some coverage. The algorithm and I agree on 1-6 at a minimum, but I’ll take 1-2-3-6-11.Race 8 (3:40PM ET) // $75,000 Proud Man S. // 1 Mile (Turf) 7-Fulmini (21% W // 28% P // 42% S)1-Hot Blooded (19% W // 47% P // 57% S)3-Hail Rich Legacy (14% W // 30% P // 42% S)6-Savatiano (14% W // 30% P // 53% S)Jeremy’s Take: Man and machine agree on 1-7 at the top of this ticket. But the percentages show it’s balanced with only a 2-point spread on the top pair and only 7 points among the top four – the closest margins in the Rainbow 6. I’ll spread a bit in this race with a quartet, 1-7-8-9.Race 9 (4:14PM ET) // $200,000 Susan's Girl S. // 7 Furlongs (Dirt) 5-Princess Secret (33% W // 55% P // 68% S)6-Oh Deborah (22% W // 49% P // 73% S)1-Freak (17% W // 35% P // 52% S)3-Alluramore (11% W // 23% P // 31% S)Jeremy’s Take: The 1/ST INDEX gives a surprising snub to 4-Go Jo Jo Go, 21-1 upset winner of the Desert Vixen. Perhaps the data agrees that lightning doesn’t strike twice? I’ll go 3-deep with 5-4-3.Race 10 (4:48PM ET) // $75,000 Sharp Susan S. // 1 Mile (Turf) 5-Spanish Loveaffair (30% W // 44% P // 55% S)4-Director’s Cut (14% W // 23% P // 40% S)2-Can’t Buy Love (12% W // 25% P // 36% S)1-Special Inclusion (10% W // 25% P // 29% S)3-Beach Chick (10% W // 16% P // 34% S)Jeremy’s Take: The 16-point spread from first to second is the widest in the Rainbow 6, and I’m in total agreement with the algorithm here. This is all about 5-Spanish Loveaffair. Single 5.Race 11 (5:21PM ET) // $200,000 Affirmed S. // 7 Furlongs (Dirt) 6-Breeze On Bye (32% W // 51% P // 58% S)1-Gatsby (17% W // 33% P // 45% S)4-Big Daddy Dave (12% W // 24% P // 37% S)5-Seazan (12% W // 27% P // 42% S)Jeremy’s Take: While many may be singling the favorite morning line favorite 6-Breeze On By, and the 15-point spread in this race is a solid endorsement of that, I’ll be using a trio of runners. Give 4-Big Daddy Dave an upset shot as the distance here at 7 furlongs could be the tripping point for the favorite. Use 4-6-1.Race 12 (5:54PM ET) // Claiming // 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) 9-Duchossois (23% W // 43% P // 47% S)7-Policy Option (17% W // 24% P // 37% S)10-Atakan (13% W // 26% P // 37% S)6-Time for Trouble (12% W // 24% P // 32% S)Jeremy’s Take: With a 12-1 choice on the artificial intelligence top pick 9-Duchossois, you can’t argue with a price to close the card. My handicapping focus was on the top pair in the morning line, 6-Time for Trouble and 7-Policy Plan, a less creative decision. My plays amount to a $72 ticket if there are no scratches.

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8.29.2020:

My Late Pick 4 Ticket Sunday at Saratoga

Fillies and mares have the spotlight Sunday at Saratoga in the Grade 3 Shuvee, and the 1 1-8th-mile race on the main track could go many different ways.But in the interest of staying away from a cost-prohibitive Late Pick 4 ticket, the list of contenders is trimmed down to three on this $72 suggested ticket.Nonna Madeline, Another Broad and Royal Flag appear to be headed in the right direction in their career and should be able to mix it up nicely going the nine furlongs.The Late Pick 4 runs during races 7-10, and the Shuvee is race nine on the card and the third in the sequence.Here’s a look at the Late Pick 4 races:Race 7 (4:40 p.m. ET, allowance optional claimingSHORT POUR lacks consistency but her best races make you take notice. Saez on the front end is a plus and we know can happen under that circumstance.BARREL OF DESTINY tired in his first one here but had won three straight going into that one. Does well playing the role of stalker.PECATONICA was up in time two races back and then racing a credible third. She improved position against a slow pace. She could get a better scenario here.Race 8 (5:14 p.m. ET, allowance)INSIDE INFO ran fourth but dug in after losing the lead. Worth a look after that effort.GANDY DANCING was runner-up in a decent race last out and can improve with experience.HARRIS BAY Came off a second in a stakes race with a third here in his first in seven months. Has a decent closing move and likely will improve of his first off the layoff.MIDNIGHT WHISKEY can get brave on the front end and doesn’t have many options other than going for the lead from the outside. Could carry his speed today, much like he did in a maiden win two races back.Race 9 (5:46 p.m. ET, Gr. 3 Shuvee Stakes)NONNA MADELINE was a clear winner in a restricted stakes race and steps into Grade 3 territory. She’s graded stakes-placed and can fire a decent shot on the front end of this one.ANOTHER BROAD made a belated move for third and can be close to this pace. Well-connected mare is a legit player.ROYAL FLAG won three straight and then was third in the G3 Molly Pitcher. Troublesome on or near the front end and usually has some closing punch.Race 10 (6:18 p.m. ET, maiden special weights)MODERN SCIENCE moved strongly for a narrow lead and then was caught late. Will be a battler in his second local start.SOL DEL SUR rallied mildly in his first one and Mott runners usually improve after their initial appearance. Royally bred and a late threat.MILLEAN made his first start and had a strong work last week. Braced for his first one and likely will be a player on the front end.My Ticket Race 7) #1 Short Pour, #2 Barrel of Destiny, #4 Pecatonica, #12 Blue Atlas. Race 8) #3 Inside Info, #4 Gandy Dancing, #8 Harris Bay, #9 Midnight Whiskey. Race 9) #6 Nonna Madeline, #8 Another Broad, #9 Royal Flag. Race 10) #3 Modern Science, #5 Sol Del Sur, #6 Millean. Total Ticket Cost) 1,2,4,12/3,4,8,9/6,8,9/3,5,6 = $72 for $0.50

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8.28.2020:

Saturday Saratoga Late Pick 4 Analysis

Saturday, August 29 Saratoga Late Pick 4 Analysis The final four Saturday Spa races provide a challenging sequence. Two Grade 1 stakes races—a loaded 7-furlong sprint and a collection of familiar faces going a mile and one-half—offer plenty of options to horseplayers. A maiden 2-year-old heat and a first level, state-bred allowance race, with 9 and 12 runners, respectively, don’t make things any easier. Of course, hitting Pick 4 wagers never is easy. This one, though, ought to reward those that can bring it to its knees. Below is one man’s humble attempt at a knockout punch. At best, perhaps, we can put you on a four-bagger. At worst, you might extract a handicapping nugget or two that aids your construction of a winning Pick 4 wager. Race 8 – Forego StakesThis is a loaded race with some real tough competitors signed on to exchange blows over seven furlongs. If you don’t like #2 Whitmore, then you don’t like horseracing. He’s a pro that shows up every time. He’s not always good enough to win but he’s always trying. Including the 2018 BC Sprint, #2 Whitmore has made 12 starts and has won 3 races with 4 seconds. He’s lost to the following foes: Roy H; Mitole (3 times); Maximum Security and Volatile! This is a tough race and #2 Whitmore is 7 years old and needs some pace to run at, so he’s no cinch. But we’d hate for him to beat us. #3 Lexitonian shipped to California and nearly won the Gr. 1 Bing Crosby with a powerful late kick. This field is tougher than that one was but the 4-year-old clearly is in good form. #6 Complexity is a sharp allowance winner for Chad Brown. He’s won 4 of 7 starts, is 1-for-1 at Saratoga and 1-for-3 at the distance. He cuts back from a one-turn mile win at Belmont. His past performances are nearly schizophrenic as his losses are complete blowouts. He’s got a Gr. 1 win, but it came at 2 in the Champagne. #8 Firenze Fire has had a nice career with a reputation somewhat diminished by guilt by association. He transferred from federally indicted trainer Jason Servis’ barn to Kelly Breen’s outfit three races ago. He’s won one of those starts—Gr. 2 True North. Overall, he’s racked up 11 wins in 27 starts and that’s against quality foes, too. He’s earned nearly $2 million! Like #2 Whitmore, he’s been beaten by the very best—Volatile, Vekoma, Mitole, Imperial Hint—and none of those monsters are in here, so he’s got to be respected. #10 Mind Control (pictured above) won the Gr. 1 Allen Jerkens at Saratoga last year against fellow 3-year-olds and then added a pair of Gr. 3 Aqueduct scores to his resume in January and March. He appeared to not like a sloppy track in the Gr. 1 Carter but bounced back with a solid try in the Vanderbilt against #2 Whitmore and #8 Firenze Fire. Seven wins in 14 starts, plus 2 out of 3 at the Spa and 4 of 7 at the distance make this guy a ‘must use.’ This outside post position also should help matters. #11 Fortin Hill is a wild card in this race. He’s won 3 of 4 starts for Chad Brown and, therefore, can’t be ignored. He has no stakes experience and, obviously, has lingering physical issues—he’s raced in Oct. ’18; June ’19; April ’20 and July ’20. Perhaps Brown has him finally healthy enough to put two races back-to-back, but what a bunch of pros to have to defeat in your first stakes try! Race 9—Sword DancerFive of these 8 runners come out of the same race—Bowling Green, Aug. 1—and 4 of those finished within 2 lengths of each other. That afternoon, #8 Sadler’s Joy closed well, arrived first, but was disqualified for drifting in and causing interference. That’s a shame because the 7-year-old produced one of his best races in a while and the win would have snapped a winless streak that extends back to November of ’19. Can he duplicate the effort? He’s got to stay wide, in the clear, so he can launch his closing charge. #6 Cross Border ran as well as #8 Sadler’s Joy and was bothered by the original winner. He was a mere neck back at the finish and may have been best. By virtue of a stewards’ decision he kept an amazing Saratoga turf course streak alive with 5 wins in as many tries. That’s impressive, even if he needed help from above in the stews stand to keep it going. These two runners--#6 Cross Border and #8 Sadler’s Joy must be respected right back in the Sword Dancer. #1 Highland Sky closed reasonably well on the outside of all the commotion and was not hindered at all. He ran well, but he’s 1 for his last 9 and that win came in a restricted stakes race. He’s also never hit the board in 4 tries at the distance. #5 Channel Maker originally was fourth in the Bowling Green and was moved to third via disqualification. He did not appear to be going as well late as the first three finishers. He’s now 1 for his last 13, with his previous tally in May of ’19. #3 Marzo and #2 Aquaphobia are examples of Mike Maker claims that have done well in graded distance turf races under the new trainer’s care. The former set the pace in the Bowling Green and should do the same in here. He’s a Grade 3 stakes winner at the Sword Dancer distance. #2 Aquaphobia won the Grade 1 United Nations in fine style last out and gets Irad Ortiz in the saddle. He’s certainly going great at the moment but is 0-4 over the Spa green and 0-2 at the distance. The latter would be the only one of the two we would consider using. Race 10—MaidenIt doesn’t take a genius to assume that discussion of a 2-year-old maiden race at Saratoga ought to begin with runners trainer by Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown. We’ll start with #2 Always Carina by Malibu Moon. She’s worked out at Saratoga every 6-8 days since July 10, with 3 three-eighths of a mile works, 2 half-miles, a five-eighths and another half-mile. The last in the series was from the gate in :47 1/5 and appears to have been in even company with Brown’s other starter in the race #5 Zainalarab. She also has worked steadily—every 6 or 7 days since July 15—including 2 half-mile gate drills, two five-eighths works and a bullet half and a bullet three-eighths. She seems the better of the two Browns that are ridden by Irad and Jose Ortiz, respectively. Difficult to ignore any Brown/Ortiz brother combination. #3 Jouster hails from the Pletcher barn and has a shorter work tab than either Brown runner but has a :59 4/5 gate drill—a serious sign of intent. John Velazquez rides. For ticket building purposes, we’ll go against the grain a bit and use fillies with acceptable previous racing experience and hope to connect on a price. #6 Peachy Queen has a race under her belt and that’s often a plus, especially when it’s a decent try—third, beaten less than four lengths—while running till the end. Trainer Danny Gargan is 30% with 20 maiden 2-year-old second time starters, according to ThoroGraph stats. An extra half furlong ought to be acceptable to her highness. Plus, with all the advertising Mattress Mac has done, you’ve got to root for Runhappy to sire a Spa winner for a $100k bonus. #7 O’Gotten Girl has a turf start under her belt and it was a decent effort. Her trainer is 22% with runners going turf to dirt. #8 Spun d’ Etat has been third in two previous six-furlong tries—one at Keeneland and one at the Spa. She’s not without a chance and draws a nice outside box for this. Hustling Luis Saez takes over in the saddle, so expect early fireworks. #9 Rookery, a Pennsylvania bred, had a decent start for trainer Tom Amoss, as she closed for trainer Wayne Catalano to miss by a mere neck. Jockey Jose Lezcano moves from #8 Spun d’Etat to #9 Rookery for this and he’s 21% with Catalano. Race 11—State-Bred AllowanceWe conclude the Pick 4 sequence with a first-level, state-bred allowance race. There’s an interesting handicapping angle at play in here. #8 Miss Jimmy invades from Finger Lakes, a lesser New York track. Normally, she’d be a pretty quick toss. However, she’s won 6 races out of 11 starts and that’s 3 more than everyone else in the field (#1 Kinky Sox has 3 wins in 15 starts). Because those victories came in races with smaller purses they don’t count against #8 Miss Jimmy and she qualifies for this condition and she’s 15-1 on the morning line. Now, she may not be good enough at the Spa but her affinity for winning is something worth attention in a race where others seem allergic to it. #7 Midnight Surprise has Pletcher/I. Ortiz power working for her off a solid state-bred maiden score as favorite. Back-to-back wins wouldn’t be out of the question. #6 Flashpackinbarbie has good speed, 2 wins in 4 tries and experience at this level—a well-beaten second last out. #5 Firenze Freedom, making her first start for Kelly Breen after switching from Jason Servis, broke her maiden against state-bred foes and then sandwiched a couple of stakes tries around a try at the optional $80k/n1x level. She wasn’t close in those races but wasn’t completely dusted either. She may go much better in here. #3 Eloquent Speaker cuts back from a mile and one-eighth attempt last out where she stumbled at the start, recovered and then led into the stretch. That effort ought to have her legged up sufficiently for this. She’s got a win in 3 tries, a second and a third last out. #4 Bustin Scones finished second at this level last out and also on June 13 at Belmont. Trouble with her is that she has just 1 win in 13 tries with 4 seconds. Suggested $.50 Late Pick 4 Ticket ($72)8th Race: 2, 6, 8, 109th Race: 2, 6, 810th Race: 6, 7, 8, 911th Race: 3, 7, 8 Race On!

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8.28.2020:

Friday, August 28: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Today’s Del Mar Best Plays:Del Mar – Race 7: Post Time 5:09 PT.5 – Carpe Fortuna (6-1)Let’s take a gamble with this first-time starting juvenile filly in a five furlong turf dash that on paper looks fairly wide open. The daughter of Carpe Diem out of a half-sister to Lucky Pulpit breezed a sizzling quarter mile in 20 4/5 seconds at the OBS April sale preview session while displaying quick action and super speed and should be plenty of fit after a healthy recent series of easy drills for trainer P. Eurton. If she breaks with her field, she can win, so at 6-1 on the morning line let’s use her in the win pool and in all of our rolling exotics.Del Mar – Race 8: Post Time 5:39 PT5-Message (7/2)Freshened since May, Message has been looking quite sharp in morning drills for B. Baffert and should fire a big shot in the five-runner edition of the Tranquility Lake S. for older fillies and mares. Most effective when on or near the lead, the daughter of Warrior’s Reward catches a field without too much speed, so we’re expecting F. Pat to employ front-running tactics and coax her along from there. Her best effort is good enough, so at 7/2 on the morning line she’ll offer value as a win play and a potential rolling exotic single.Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: XUse: 2-Captain Bombastic; 5-Dream BiggerForecast: The Friday opener features three-year-olds competing in a 100K New York Stallion S. series race at six and one-half furlongs on the main track in a race that drew just five starters. Captain Bombastic finished a respectable fourth in the H. Allen Jerkens S.-G1 earlier this month and today returns to state-bred company and is listed as the 3/5 morning line favorite. A winner of a similar affair two runs back at Belmont Park, the son of Forty Tales has the proper stalking style for this extended sprint trip and seems likely to produce the last run. Dream Bigger finished third to our top pick in the Mike Lee S. in June and then was out of his element when unplaced in a two-turn turf stakes here earlier this month. He’ll have every chance with a pace-pressing trip outside to turn the tables on ‘Bombastic and must be given a legitimate chance to do so. In a race that we’ll otherwise pass, both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: B-Use: 4-Princess Fawzia; 5-Hurricane BreezeForecast: This race remains on grass but has been switched from the inner course to the Widener (outer) track. Princess Fawzia has improved with each start and after a couple of brutal beats vs. similar starter’s allowance company should be able to seal the deal today. The lightly-raced daughter of Cairo Prince can win on the lead or as a stalker depending upon the race flow so I. Ortiz, Jr. can play it by ear. Hurricane Breeze, a closing fourth in the same race our top pick exits, may be the one to fear in the final furlong if the pace turns up better than average (it might) and is worth including on your ticket as a back-up or a saver.RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: C+Use: 4-Rejected Again; 6-Principal DancerForecast: This race has been significantly impacted with the overnight scratching of two main players, Wardenofthenorth and Swordsman, leaving a field of just six. Principal Dancer has a solid runner-up effort over the local main track under these conditions last month while earning a career top speed figure and a repeat of that race today makes him the one to beat. Rejected Again, freshened since March, shows up cheap for G. Gullo, so he may have issues. The son of Tapizar projects to be part of the pace throughout and against this group could stick around long enough to survive. We’ll try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic playRACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Cobble Hill; 2-Stage LeftForecast: The contention is drawn inside in this starter’s allowance sprint for $50,000 claimers with Stage Left clearly the fastest of the sixpack based strictly on numbers. The W. Ward-trained gelding was in a tad tough when fourth in first-level allowance company earlier this month but a repeat of his sharp, highly-rated score two runs back will be more than good enough to win. The son of Congrats is most effective when on or near the lead throughout and in a field without any blazers he should draft into a comfortable pace-stalking position. Cable Hill is protected in a sign of confidence by R. Rodriguez after being claimed out of a seven length win for $16,000 two runs back and then finishing a strong runner-up on the raise to $35,000 with a career top speed figures when wheeled back last month. If he can avoid trouble from the rail, the late-running sprinter by Verrazano will be heard from in the final furlong.RACE 5: Post 3:30 ET. Grade: BSingle: 2-Party At Page’sForecast: This state-bred maiden juvenile filly sprint has been switched from turf to the main track. Party at Page’s was more than eight lengths clear of the rest when nosed out in her debut over this track and distance last month and a repeat of that effort today should be good enough to land her in the winner’s circle, unless there’s a hot shot first-timer in the field (and we’re not seeing one). The daughter of Gemologist must leave cleanly from the rail but if she does she should be on or near the lead throughout. In the absence of any specific knowledge regarding the first-timers, we’ll settle on this J. Englehart-trained filly as a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 6: Post 4:06 ET. Grade: BUse: 2-Dovima; 6-Back ChannelForecast: Dovima appears set to graduate after missing in two photo’s in a pair of grass route affairs to begin her career. Today she shortens to a sprint, switches to the main track and shows an impressive bullet workout (5f, 1:00b, fastest 17) over the local main track to indicate she’ll handle the change in surface just fine. The filly that edged her last time, In Front, came back to verify the strength of the race by repeating on the raise vs. first-level allowance competition. Back Channel, in the money in both of her starts, most recently produced an improved speed figure when third in a hot race last month at Belmont Park and should manufacture another forward move after a recent bullet five furlong drill (1:01 3/5, fastest of 14). The L. Rice-trained filly is worth using on a ticket or two, with the main punch going to Dovima.RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Battle Station; 2-Sayyaaf; 3-Matta; 5-New York’s FinestForecast: This is a messy affair requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go four deep but if you find the need to use more, go right ahead. Battle Station is a late-running sprinter in a race that has plenty of front-running types and could produce the last run with clear sailing in the lane. He’s a winner of two of three career starts over the Saratoga turf course and his good recent form at Delaware Park and Parx shows he’s doing well and ready for another top effort. To us he looks more dangerous than his morning line of 10-1 gives him credit for. New York’s Finest is a real pro and will take them on the front end for as far as he can. A winner of 10 of 24 career starts and five of seven over the local lawn, the R. Rodriguez-trained son of City Zip is moving up in class but has numbers that fit well in this league. Matta is lightly-raced and improving and produced speed figures at Laurel Park that make him competitive on this circuit. At 10-1 on the morning line, the Tale Charge Indy gelding lands Johnny V. and offers a decent look at a price. Sayyaaf was a beaten choice when facing many of these same faces over this course and distance last month while encountering a rough trip but if he can secure a clean journey from the rail the C. Brown-trained colt may have a good look in a total scramble of a race. He’s likely to have to deal with plenty of early heat and hasn’t always been generous in the final furlong.RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: BUse: 2-Irish Front; 4-Blindwillie McTellForecast: Irish Front is a promising colt making just his third career start and after crushing a maiden field over this track and distance last month and seems quite capable of repeating on the raise. The son of Summer Front earned a giant speed figure in victory and sports a steady, healthy work tab since for T. Pletcher. He’s 8/5 on the morning line and it would be surprising to see him go a couple of ticks lower. Blindwillie McTell, a recent third in a hot race at this level in his first outing since February, should produce a forward move with that effort behind him and is the one to fear most. A multiple stakes winner in New York bred company, the son of Posse hasn’t quite showcased similar talents in open company but has speed figures that fit and has the proper stalking style for this extended sprint distance. We’ll have tickets including both in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Irish Front.RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: XSingle: 1-Sweet MelaniaForecast: Sweet Melania is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite and we suspect she’ll go even lower than that in this year’s edition of the Lake George S.-G3 for 3-year-old fillies over a mile on grass. She’s the best filly in the race, is fastest on speed figures, proven over the course, and is the controlling speed in a race that has little of it. The daughter of American Pharoah, fresh from a gate-to-wire win in the Wonder Again S.-G3 in June in her season debut and training steadily in the interim, is a logical short-priced rolling exotic single.RACE 10: Post 6:16 ET. Grade: C+Use: 5-Madam Deputy; 8-CainudothetwistForecast: This maiden claimer for fillies and mares has been transferred to the main track and will be contested at nine furlongs. Tread lightly. MTO entrant Madam Deputy is a first-off-the-claim play for Rudy and seems sure to improve after finishing a distant but respectable third in her debut at this level in a better than average affair at Belmont Park last month. The daughter of Constitution should enjoy today’s longer trip and really doesn’t have a whole lot to beat. Cainudothetwist, a solid runner-up in her only outing, is another likely to step forward; however, she’s bred more for grass than dirt so we’re just hoping she can run as well on the main track as she did over the Belmont Park lawn in early July. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics but the best advice is to include as many as your budget allows.

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8.28.2020:

Charles Town Pick 6 Analysis with 1/ST INDEX Assistance

Friday’s mandatory payout in the jackpot Pick 6 literally adds juice to the Charles Town Classic card that features the track’s Grade 2 $600,000 annual main event in Race 11 of 12. The jackpot Pick 6 carryover of $121,973 provides extra incentive and value to horseplayers.Selections provided by the 1/ST INDEX 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.Xpressbet and 1/ST handicapper Jeremy Plonk provides his human insights to the AI picks for the Charles Town jackpot Pick 6. All contenders who received a 10% or higher chance from the 1/ST INDEX in each race were included.Race 7 (8:14PM ET) // $150,000 Dance to Bristol S.2-Please Flatter Me (33% W // 56% P // 67% S)6-Lady TNT (23% W // 40% P // 55% S)3-Queen Nekia (15% W // 31% P // 48% S)5-Figure it Out (10% W // 31% P // 48% S)Jeremy’s Take: 6-Lady TNT won the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks here last year, and trainer Joe Sharp is a Charles Town native son who has done remarkably well (16: 8-3-2) with his return trips since 2017. 7-A Bit of Both is classy and fast and should be able secure at least the 2-path from her outside draw going into the clubhouse turn. I would go 4-deep in the pick six, 2-5-6-7.Race 8 (8:44PM ET) // $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial S.6-Little Menace (33% W // 56% P // 67% S)4-Jack the Umpire (23% W // 40% P // 55% S)7-Code Runner (15% W // 31% P // 48% S)3-Paradise Pride (10% W // 31% P // 48% S)Jeremy’s Take: 5-Relentless Dancer and 4-Jack the Umpire’s experience on a small track at Delta Downs and in tight-turn turf sprints could help their cause on Charles Town’s 6-furlong ‘bullring’ track. 1-Lebda’s jockey Luis Batista has strong numbers riding the rail post at 7 furlongs locally (16% wins, $1.78 ROI for every $1 bet). Jockey Christian Hiraldo wins 31% with horses shortening from 1-1/8 miles to 7 furlongs at Charles Town like 7-Code Runner. This is a spread race for me in the pick six, going 5-deep, 1-4-5-6-7.Race 9 (9:14PM ET) // $100,000 Russell Road S.2-Lewisfield (33% W // 55% P // 62% S)5-Clubman (20% W // 36% P // 48% S)8-Overdeliver (13% W // 27% P // 41% S)Jeremy’s Take: Lewisfield trains daily at Charles Town, but rarely runs here (Maryland-bred a regular at Laurel for purse bonuses). His inside draw and early speed gives him an advantage over the late-running shippers. He’s the pick six single to this eye, and the 13-point spread in the 1/ST INDEX squares with that.Race 10 (9:43PM ET) // $200,000 Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks9-Gifted Heart (26% W // 43% P // 56% S)11-Call on Mischief (16% W // 20% P // 35% S)3-Tonalist’s Shape (10% W // 24% P // 35% S)10-Hopeful Growth (10% W // 22% P // 29% S)Jeremy’s Take: The algorithm gave 2-Boerne the snub. I think she’s more talented than many of these, but there is a tremendous early pace expected. That should set it up for strong finisher 10-Hopeful Growth under ace local pilot Arnaldo Bocachica, who should be midpack turning onto the backstretch. Call on Mischief will need someone to scratch as she’s stuck on the also-eligible list. This is a tough call between 3 and 4 deep in the pick six, taking 2-3-9-10.Race 11 (10:18PM ET) // $600,000 Grade 2 Charles Town Classic 9-War Story (29% W // 43% P // 53% S)4-Math Wizard (14% W // 29% P // 38% S)10-Multiplier (11% W // 32% P // 43% S)3-Mo Don’t No (10% W // 19% P // 31% S)7-Sleepy Eyes Todd (10% W // 20% P // 28% S)Jeremy’s Take: 9-War Story’s 15-point spread from first to second is the most from the 1/ST INDEX in any race of the pick six. Favorites have lost this race 6 straight years with an average winner at 10-1 odds, so favorite 4-Math Wizard’s deep-closing style may be played against with some confidence. Despite the 1/ST INDEX’s lack of love for 6-Mr. Money, I give him a big chance. Defending champ and local star 5-Runnin’toluvya doesn’t seem as strong this year as last, but is a danger. I’ll try to survive in the pick six with just 2-deep, 6-9.Race 12 (10:48PM ET) // $50,000 Sylvia Bishop Memorial S. 2-Star of Night (33% W // 55% P // 64% S)6-Twirling Owen (21% W // 38% P // 52% S)3-Boundtobebad (14% W // 29% P // 44% S)Jeremy’s Take: The jockey-trainer tandem of Arnaldo Bocachica and Jeff Runco win 52% together with favorites in Charles Town stakes races since 2015, going 15-for-29. They’ve got the favorite here with 2-Star of Night. Trainer Anthony Farrier is only 1-for-11 over the last 5 years stretching out runners from 4-1/2 furlongs to longer Charles Town trips. He’ll try that with both 6-Twirling Owen and 4-Evan’s Chile. Let’s try to close the pick six with a second single, 2.

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8.28.2020:

Friday, August 28: Hoosier Park Pick 5 Analysis

Tonight, Hoosier Park has a 14-race card set to go which will feature Indiana Sires Stakes action. The 0.50 Pick 5 starts in Race 10, that sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 105-Captain Zamperini (3-1)-Winner of only 3 in the last 41 but one victory came on 8/21 in a condition-claiming event. Since being claimed by the Ode barn, has faced better and gone faster than in recent starts. Moves up but will string along with connections.6-The Candyman Can (2-1)-Burke trainee is only 2 for 16 lifetime but takes a good drop tonight. Raced the last half in .54 last time but was too far back versus a solid field. Should like the company and best to respect.Race 112-PBR Street Gang (4-1)-Broke in last start in the Fox Stakes from the 2nd tier but that was the 1st miscue since on 6/29 in a qualifier. Tetrick was not in the bike in last, he returns and knows well. Looking for a rebound at a square price.8-JK Going West (7/2)-This 2-year-old has had 5 starts with 4 second place finishes and has been driven fairly conservatively. Maybe it's time to get more aggressive and previous winners are not in this field.9-Madelines BLK Jack (3-1)-Lost for 1st time in 3 starts on 8/4 to Virgo the program chalk in the next leg who won by 5 lengths. In that race was use hard for the lead and now has been off for over 3 weeks. The rest may help and doesn't need to get on the engine to win.Race 123-Virgo (5/2)-Dominated in the Fox Stakes and is shooting for 3rd straight picture and Tetrick sticks. Likes to sizzle the back half and could find some live cover to do the same this time.5-What's Your Beef (7/2)-Has been off since 8/4 but did qualify well at ScD on 8/18 and now tries Lasix for the 1st time. Brown trainee is a perfect 4 for 4 but may need this start. Hoping will be ready for a big try and will use in case #3 doesn't have his fastball.Race 132-Rockinbeach (7/2)-Has begun slowly in last 5 starts but now draws back inside and regular pilot returns. Likes the track, winning 10 of 44 at HoP.5-Ballerat Boomergang (4-1)-This is the 4th start for the Simmons barn and they have won their share. Stayed inside at this class last week starting from the rail but did pace the last half in 54.2. Bates may look to roll off cover and sweep by late for 1st win of 2020.7-Sawyer's Desire (9/5)-Might have been a single if drew better but not sure if a picture is happening coming off cover. This colt is facing older foes and may not land on the top without a struggle, so will use and look to others for more value.Race 14Looking for a fair price in a race where #1 the 5/2 choice is 0-16 this year. The program chalk has faded down the lane in all 9 starts since returning to action. Plus, the last start was at this same level, so will look to beat.4-Shadyjake (9/2)-Jake drops to a comfortable spot and should be more forwardly placed than in recent starts. Tetrick should have in striking range at the top of the lane. Has won 9 of 63 at HoP and looks to offer a square price.6-Dont Say Goodby (6-1)-12-year-old drops to a spot to shine and could add some pop to the Pick 5 payout. Miller should be able to put in play in a race without a standout.My Ticket Race 10) 5,6 Race 11) 2,8,9 Race 12) 3,5 Race 13) 2,5,7 Race 14) 4,6Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.28.2020:

Thursday, August 27: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Majestic View; 2-Posse Can DiscoForecast: The known element isn’t much, so if newcomer Posse Can Disco can run just a little he can win. Bred for speed on both sides of his pedigree and from an outfit that has reasonable stats with first-timer starters, the G. Gullo-trained gelding has shown enough in the a.m. to believe he can be competitive in a weak maiden $40,000 state-bred claimer such as thisMajestic View has shown early speed vs. tougher, adds blinkers, and could prove to be an elusive target if he can leave cleanly form the rail. In a race that we’ll otherwise not get too involved in, we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: BUse: 2-Prairie Wings; 6-All Others FollowForecast: Prairie Wings missed by a neck in a mini-marathon over this course last month and a shortening in trip shouldn’t be an issue in this maiden special weight grass affair for older fillies and mares. The daughter of Tapit, runner-up in all four career starts while earning okay numbers, could find herself as the controlling speed in this six-runner affair and given that type of trip should be hard to overhaul. All Others Follow shows rising numbers with each outing and is strictly the one to beat. The daughter of Sea the Stars lacks tactical speed but can turn it on late and picks up J. Rosario. We’ll give Prairie Wings a slight edge on top but use both in rolling exotic play.RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Seismic Wave; 4-Value PropositionForecast: Seismic Wave didn’t show his best stuff when a non-threatening sixth in the Bernard Baruch F.-G2 here last month while being somewhat victimizes by the race flow but after 11 consecutive outings in stakes competition this return to the allowance ranks represents welcomed class relief. From the rail the W. Mott-trained son of Tapit can settle in the second fight and produce his run when called upon. Value Proposition, third in the Poker S.-G3 in early July, tries as easier bunch today and is a perfect one-for-one over the Saratoga lawn, so we’re expecting the C. Brown-trained 4-year-old to return to his best form. Seismic Wave gets a slight edge on top but both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: XUse: 2-Judicial Restraint; 4-HeightForecast: Height doesn’t have much to beat in this maiden $30,000 nine furlong main track router. Second in his last pair, most recently over this track and distance earlier this month, the Union Rags colt was more than four lengths clear of the rest last time out and nothing much more than a repeat of that race should be required today. He’s listed at 9/5 on the morning line while the other main contender, Judicial Restraint will add blinkers today for just his third career start after finishing a distant runner-up at this level his most recent outing in mid-June at Belmont Park. The Tonalist colt certainly has a right to improve. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics while giving Height a very slight edge on top.RACE 5: Post 3:30 ET. Grade: BSingle: 1-Dowse’s BeachForecast: Dowse’s Beach seems fairly solid in this $25,000 claiming turf sprint even though he’s been beaten as the favorite in each of his last two starts. Against this group, we’re expecting the veteran son of Disco Rico to get back on track. A good runner-up to Shiraz under similar conditions earlier this month, the M. Maker-trained gelding owns six wins from 11 career stars over the local lawn the M. Maker-trained gelding, a record that certainly qualifies him as a “horse for course.” We’re expecting to see him on or near the lead throughout, so at 8/5 on the morning line we’ll make him a rolling exotic single.RACE 6: Post 4:06 ET. Grade: BUse: 1a-Little Red Frog; 2b-Mosienko; 4-Glass CeilingForecast: This inner turf course mile grass affair for $32,000 claiming 3-year-old fillies has several possibilities. Glass Ceiling shows up in a seller for the first time since an easy maiden $40,000 claiming win last fall and the drop in class combined with the switch to L. Saez makes this D. Gargan-trained daughter of Constitution the top pick and one to beat. This we’ll be her first start on grass but there’s no reason she won’t handle it. Mosienko remains well above her claim level in a sign of confidence while stretching out again and retaining J. Rosario. She’s winless in five career starts on turf but on pure numbers she’s competitive so at 6-1 on the morning line she’s worth using. Little Red Frog, in the frame in her last pair, should settle into a comfortable ground-saving, mid-pack position and have every chance. She’s been flattening out in her recent races but perhaps the one-level class drop will make some difference.RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: BUse: 4-A Great Time; 6-IntroducedForecast: A Great Time is in good form and solid in the speed figure department so despite the fact that she’s just 2-for-17 in her career the veteran mare seems as good as any in this year’s edition of the Smart N Fancy S. for older fillies and mares sprinting on grass. A good third in the License Fee S. in early July, the daughter of Street Magician shows a strong, healthy series of drills at Fair Hill that should have her cranked up and ready to show her best stuff. Introduced, fourth in the much tougher Caress S. over this course and distance earlier this month, likes to settle early and produce a late kick and with good racing luck should make some serious noise in the final furlong. She’s a tad light on numbers but always has been genuine and consistent, having finished first or second in eight of 12 career starts. These are the two we’ll be including in our rolling exotics.RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: XSingle: 2-Texas SwingForecast: Texas Swing, freshened since finishing a respectable third to King Guillermo in the Tampa Bay Derby-G3 in just his third career start in March, returns for T. Pletcher in a first-level allowance nine furlong main track affair and will outclass this group if he’s anywhere near fit enough. The barn hits at a strong 24% with layoff runners and the work tab, while not flashy, is steady, consistent, and healthy, so let’s expect the Curlin colt be fit and ready. He’ll be a very short price on the tote, so the best we can do is to use him as a no-value rolling exotic single.RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: XUse: 3-Robin Sparkles; 4-Mo Me Mo My; 5-Saratoga Love;Forecast: Robin Sparkles pulverized a maiden $40,000 claiming field with a stakes quality speed figure earlier this month over this course and distance, and while she could bounce to the moon following just two weeks of rest the daughter of Elusive Quality will simply way too fast for this group if she can turn in two alike. She’s 6/5 on the morning line for that very reason. If the B. Brown-trained filly falls back to earth, then both Mo Me Mo My and Saratoga Love, dependable types in good form, have something of a look and can be considered as back-ups or savers in rolling exotic play.

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8.27.2020:

Jon White's Current Kentucky Derby Top 10

The $3 million Kentucky Derby looms. Delayed from its traditional date on the first Saturday in May due to the coronavirus nightmare, this year’s 146th running of the 1 1/4-mile classic is scheduled to be held at Churchill Downs a week from Saturday on Sept. 5. This will be the first time in the storied history of the Run for the Roses that customers will not be in attendance. A crowd of 150,729 roared as Maximum Security led 18 pursuers down the stretch to what initially was thought to be a 1 3/4-length triumph in last year’s Kentucky Derby. But Country House was declared the winner after Maximum Security was disqualified and placed 17th. The stewards ruled that Maximum Security committed a foul by causing interference turning for home. It was the first time in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby that a winner had been disqualified for an incident during the running of the race. Unlike last year, there will be no deafening Niagara Falls-like roar from 150,000 fans or so during the stretch run at this year’s Kentucky Derby. There instead eerily will be relative peace and quiet beneath the Twin Spires. Here is my current Kentucky Derby Top 10: 1. Tiz the Law 2. Honor A.P. 3. Art Collector 4. Caracaro 5. Thousand Words 6. Authentic 7. Dr Post 8. King Guillermo 9. Ny Traffic 10. Max Player A NEW NO. 1 IN NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL After Maximum Security won Del Mar’s Grade I Pacific Classic by three lengths in front-running fashion last Saturday, he climbs to No. 1 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. He was ranked No. 4 last week. Met Mile winner Vekoma was No. 1 last week. He moves down a notch to No. 2 this week. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 343 Maximum Security (16) 2. 297 Vekoma (8) 3. 250 Tom’s d’Etat (3) 4. 232 Improbable 5. 228 Tiz the Law (11) 6. 204 Midnight Bisou 7. 109 Zulu Alpha 8. 102 Rushing Fall 9. 96 Monomoy Girl (1) 10. 81 By My Standards Tiz the Law once again received all 39 first-place votes in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll. This is the third consecutive week that he has garnered all of the first-place votes. The outstanding 3-year-old fillies Gamine and Swiss Skydiver were tied for fifth last week. Gamine is alone in fifth this week due to having one more point than Swiss Skydiver. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 390 Tiz the Law (39) 2. 320 Art Collector 3. 274 Honor A.P. 4. 249 Authentic 5. 207 Gamine 6. 206 Swiss Skydiver 7. 138 Thousand Words 8. 102 King Guillermo 9. 77 Ny Traffic 10. 60 Caracaro VARIOUS KENTUCKY DERBY TEXT MESSAGES Considering how many hours racehorses spend each day standing in a stall in a barn at the track, it’s understandable that they get bored. It is a well-kept secret, but in order to deal with the boredom, many racehorses actually text. That’s why I decided to send a text to this year’s Kentucky Derby candidates. Amazingly, they all replied. This was the one question that I texted to each of them: How do you feel about your chances of winning the Kentucky Derby? These were their responses, listed in order of their eligibility ranking as determined by points and non-restricted stakes earnings: TIZ THE LAW (Ranked No. 1 in eligibility): I am VERY confident that I am going to win the Kentucky Derby. Just look at what I’ve done this year. If you ask me -- and you did -- I am a force to be reckoned with! Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- has been a match for me in any of my four races this year. My closest call this year was when I won the Holy Bull by three lengths in my first start of the year. I proved in the Travers earlier this month that I have what it takes to win at 1 1/4 miles. And I didn’t just win the Travers. I won it for fun (by 5 1/2 lengths). I would be thrilled to win the Kentucky Derby for my trainer (Barclay Tagg). He’s done such a terrific job keeping me in winning form this year from the Holy Bull (on Feb. 1) to now. I know my trainer already has won a Kentucky Derby (in 2003 with Funny Cide). I’d sure be tickled if I could win another Kentucky Derby for him. And I think I will. But you know what? What I’d really love to do is win the Triple Crown! I honestly think I have a shot at it. My trainer took a good run at it with Funny Cide (who finished third in the Belmont Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness). I know some people are going to worry that I am going back to Churchill Downs, the track the only time I ran there (when finishing third in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes). And I realize there will be those who will be worried about me if the track happens to be wet since that’s how the track was the only time I’ve ever lost. But I did not have the best of trips that day at Churchill. Plus, it wasn’t as if I ran horribly that day. I finished third and didn’t lose by all that much (three-quarters of a length). I actually am looking forward to getting back to Churchill and avenging my only defeat. By the way, another reason I am confident that I am going to win the Kentucky Derby is I feel I have an excellent chance to be first or second with an eighth of a mile left to run. This is important (because 54 of the last 57 winners of the Kentucky Derby have been first or second a furlong out). I have been in front with a furlong left to go in six of my seven races. In the Travers, I not only was in front at that point, I had a commanding lead (4 1/2 lengths). The only race in which I haven’t been first or second a furlong out was in that race at Churchill last year. I was third at the eighth pole in that Churchill race (a half-length off the lead). But I was younger and less experienced. Considering I’ve been able to be in front with a furlong left to run in all four of my races this year, I will be shocked if I’m not one-two a furlong out in the Kentucky Derby. I’m telling you right now that not only am I going to win the Kentucky Derby, I am going to break the track record! Okay, okay, okay -- I’m kidding. LOL Nobody will be getting anywhere close to Secretariat’s track record. AUTHENTIC (No. 2 in eligibility): I know just about everybody wonders if I can win a race going 1 1/4 miles, which will be farther than I’ve ever gone. It won’t be easy, but I believe I can do it. I had a good lead (in upper stretch) last time, but then I got to goofing around and almost got beat (when winning the 1 1/8-mile Haskell Invitational by a nose). But the thing is, I did win that race, didn’t I? How many horses do you see goof around and still win a Grade I race? Don’t forget, my trainer (Hall of Famer Bob Baffert) is pretty darn good at winning a 1 1/4-mile race called the Kentucky Derby. He’s done it five times (Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998, War Emblem in 2002, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018). I will be honored if it turns out that I’m the one who gets my trainer a sixth Kentucky Derby victory to tie the record (held by Ben Jones). My trainer gave me an excellent, stamina-building workout Tuesday here at Del Mar (one mile in 1:38.60). Mike Smith rode me when I won the Haskell. Yes, he’s sticking with Honor A.P. (in the Kentucky Derby). Fine. I’m going to show him that he made a big mistake by jumping ship. And, hey, it’s not like my Kentucky Derby rider (John Velazquez) is a bum. He has won the Kentucky Derby twice (aboard Animal Kingdom in 2011 and Always Dreaming in 2017). ART COLLECTOR (No. 3 in eligibility): Even though I’ve won all of my races this year, I won’t be the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. It will be Tiz the Law. And that’s OK with me. It really is nothing too unusual for me not to be the favorite. In my nine career starts, I’ve only been the favorite three times. Twice this year I haven’t been the favorite and I won both times. When I wasn’t the favorite in the Blue Grass Stakes, what happened? I won by 3 1/2 lengths and beat a darn nice filly (Swiss Skydiver). Can you imagine how wonderful it would be for my trainer (Tommy Drury Jr.) if I do win the Kentucky Derby? And I know I can win it. I am four for four this year and feeling like a million bucks. I am warning Tiz the Law and everybody else that they better have their running shoes on if they’re going to beat me. HONOR A.P. (No. 4 in eligibility): The Kentucky Derby is what I have been waiting to run in for months. And I feel that I am ready to run the best race of my life so far! I really liked my workout last Saturday at Del Mar (five furlongs in 1:00.20, then galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.20 and on out seven furlongs in 1:25.40). I did get pretty sweaty, but it was a very muggy afternoon. Pretty much everybody was sweating at Del Mar that day. I am really looking forward to finally get the chance to go 1 1/4 miles. I expect to run even better than when I won the Santa Anita Derby (going away by 2 3/4 lengths). My trainer (John Sherriffs) has brought me along to have me peak on the first Saturday in September. And this is a trainer who knows how to win the Kentucky Derby. He did done it once before (in 2005 with 50-1 longshot Giacomo). My jockey (Mike Smith) knows how to win this race, too. He’s won it twice (aboard Giacomo in 2005 and Justify in 2018). It would be extra special for me to win the Kentucky Derby because of what happened to my grandfather (A.P. Indy). He didn’t get his chance to run it. He was scratched (due to a blind quarter crack when Lil E. Tee won it in 1992). My grandfather went on to win the Belmont and Breeders’ Cup Classic. He not only was my grandfather Horse of the Year that year, his rider, Eddie Delahoussaye, thought he would have won the Triple Crown with him. NY TRAFFIC (No. 5 in eligibility): I think I have a heckuva shot to hit the board and maybe even win it. I’ve finished third or better in all five starts this year. I ran my heart out in the Haskell. It looked like Authentic had put me away (in upper stretch), but then I was able to make it real close. I lost by just a nose. The only time I raced at Churchill (finishing second to Maxfield), I ran pretty well. I lost to a talented colt that day. And I think I’m doing better now than I was then. So look out! KING GUILLERMO (No. 6 in eligibility): I admit that a lot of people are going to be put off by the fact that I won’t have raced in four months. I haven’t started since I ran second to Nadal (in a division of the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on May 2). Won’t it be kinda weird if I win the Kentucky Derby off such a layoff? But this has been a year for a lot of weird things, right? All I know is I’m fresh and could not be training any better. I had a fantastic workout the other day (five furlongs in :58.20 at Churchill Downs last Saturday). I showed what I can do off a layoff when I won the Tampa Bay Derby (by almost five lengths at 49-1 on March 7 after having not raced since Nov. 30). The Tampa Bay Derby shows it’s not a good idea to take me lightly because of a layoff. THOUSAND WORDS (No. 7 in eligibility): I won my first three races, then got drubbed in my next two (losing by 11 1/4 and 29 3/4 lengths). I just got sour for a while. But then with the help of my trainer (Bob Baffert), I got out of my funk and ran second in the Los Al Derby behind my hyped stablemate Uncle Chuck. And then I ran even better to win my last race (the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar) while beating another hyped horse (Honor A.P). Not only has my trainer won the Kentucky Derby five times, one of those five winners (American Pharoah) was by my sire, Pioneerof the Nile. I’m coming off the best race of my life. What if I run an even better race in the Kentucky Derby? If I do, don’t be surprised if I’m the one draped in roses. DR POST (No. 8 in eligibility): I’m warning everybody not to read too much into my race in the Haskell (when ending up third). I can do better than that. I got shuffled back toward the back of the field early at Monmouth. That was particularly bad because then I had to try to rally into what was not a fast pace being set by Authentic. Authentic and Ny Traffic ran one-two all the way around the track in that race. I’m telling you, just a draw a line through that race of mine. Before that, I ran second (to Tiz the Law) in the Belmont. And that was a good effort for it being only the fourth race of my life. Can I give Tiz the Law more of a run for his money this time? You bet I can. And my trainer (Todd Pletcher) is no stranger to winning the Kentucky Derby. He’s done it twice (with Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming in 2017). It looks like I’m probably not running in the Kentucky Derby. It will be a big disappointment if I don’t run in it. I really, really feel that I would have a chance to win it. But they’re talking about running me instead in the Jim Dandy (at Saratoga the same day as the Derby or maybe training me up to the Preakness (on Oct. 3 at Pimlico). MAX PLAYER (No. 9 in eligibility): I feel that I can make a lot of noise in the Kentucky Derby. I’ve never finished worse than third in five career starts. And check out my Beyer Speed Figure pattern. I ran a 68 in my first race, then 72, then 86, then 92, then 99. Don’t ya love that pattern? Triple-digit Beyer in the Kentucky Derby, here I come! After my last race, I got a new trainer (Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen). I’ve received a lot of texts telling me that it’s only a matter of time before this trainer wins his first Kentucky Derby. That will be a kick when I become the horse who does it for him! CARACARO (No. 10 in eligibility): You know, I feel that I’m only scratching the surface as to what I’m capable of doing. I ran a big race (to win by six) at Gulfstream last winter, then I was off until I almost won the Peter Pan (on July 16). I couldn’t catch Tiz the Law in the Travers, but I galloped out well after the finish and now have that 1 1/4-mile race under my belt. I am looking forward to the rematch with Tiz the Law. I really think I can give him a real big scare in our rematch. ENFORCEABLE (No. 11 in eligibility): If the pace is fast, I’m gonna mow them all down in the lane! OK, if the pace is fast and I don’t mow them all down, I like my chances to finish second, third or fourth. But if the pace isn’t fast, that’s gonna really hurt my chances. My trainer (Mark Casse) has won two of the last three Triple Crown races (2019 Preakness with War of Will, 2019 Belmont with Sir Winston). If they zip along early, I think I can add a Kentucky Derby victory to my trainer’s wins in the Preakness and Belmont. RUSHIE (No. 12 in eligibility): I’m not Triple Crown nominated, but I can still run in the Kentucky Derby if my owners put up the money needed to make eligible. I hope they do put up the money. I really do. Yeah, I know, it’s easy for me to spend someone else’s money, right? But if they give me the chance to compete in the Derby, I really believe that I can make some real noise. Look, I ran a decent third in both the Santa Anita Derby and Blue Grass. In other words, I haven’t been disgraced when running against Honor A.P., Authentic, Art Collector and Swiss Skydiver. From what I understand, instead of running in the Kentucky Derby, most likely I’ll be running in the Pat Day Mile that same day. If that’s what happens, it’ll be a real bummer. MAJOR FED (No. 13 in eligibility): Yep. I’ve won just one race in six career starts. That means I’m still eligible for a race restricted to non-winners of two races lifetime. So what business do I have running in the Kentucky Derby. But guess what? Last year’s Kentucky Derby winner (Country House) also went into it with just one lifetime win. Well, I’m out to make it back-to-back Kentucky Derby winners who previously had won only once. STORM THE COURT (No. 14 in eligibility): They wrote me off in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year. And what happened? I won at odds of 45-1. Now I’m going to be written off again in the Kentucky Derby. Go ahead. Write me off. I have a lot better chance than many people think. Did you know I earned an excellent Thoro-Graph number when I ran third in the Ohio Derby? It’s a number that puts me in the hunt with pretty much everybody other than Tiz the Law. How about my workout at Del Mar last Saturday? I worked five furlongs in :59 flat. It was the fastest of 73 works at the distance that morning! I worked five furlongs at Del Mar faster that morning than Improbable, Gamine, Law Abidin Citizen and Flagstaff. It’ll be a real hoot when I follow my Breeders’ Cup upset with an upset in the Kentucky Derby! ATTACHMENT RATE (No. 15 in eligibility): I admit that it’s taken me a while to get it together. In some of my early races, I ran well despite not changing leads. But I’m finally figuring it out at the right time, in time for the Kentucky Derby. The Ellis Park Derby was my best race yet. True, I was no match for Art Collector in the lane that day. But I think it would’ve been a lot closer if I hadn’t had such a wide trip. I finished well clear of everyone but Art Collector. My Thoro-Graph number in that race not only was my best by far so far, it’s a number comparable to or better than everybody but Tiz the Law. Supposedly they are debating between running me in the Kentucky Derby and the Pat Day Mile on the same card. My hope is that it’s gonna be the Derby. If I won the Derby, it would be HUGE for my trainer (Dale Romans), who was born in Louisville! SOLE VOLANTE (No. 16 in eligibility): I recognize that I’ve fallen out of favor since being considered one of the leading Kentucky Derby candidates earlier this year after I won the Sam F. Davis at Tampa. The worst race of my life was last time out (when finishing sixth in the Belmont). But you can throw that race right out the window. That’s because I was running back in just 10 days and had traveled from Florida to New York after I won at Gulfstream. My trainer (Patrick Biancone) should never, ever be underestimated. He would have won a Kentucky Derby with Lion Heart in 2004 if not for Smarty Jones. And what my trainer did in 1983 with All Along remains one of the all-time great training feats (victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France on Oct. 2, Canadian International in Canada on Oct. 16, Turf Classic in New York on Oct. 29, then Washington, D.C., International in Maryland on Nov. 12). FINNICK THE FIERCE (No. 17 in eligibility): What a great story it will be when I do win the Kentucky Derby as a gelding who has one eye, won’t it? I know most people don’t give me a prayer of winning, but sometimes a big upset does win this race. I mean, there was a big upset just last year (when Country House won at odds of 65-1). That gives me hope! WINNING IMPRESSION (No. 18 in eligibility): Considering I’m one for nine, hardly anyone believes I will be living up to my name in the Kentucky Derby. But after you stop laughing at my chances, keep in mind my trainer (Dallas Stewart) has been probably the best trainer in recent years for having longshots do well in big races. NECKER ISLAND (No. 19 in eligibility): I am not surprised that I’m not getting much respect. Off my record, I get it. But my owners thought enough of me to spend $100,000 to claim me (at Churchill Downs on June 13). I have to admit, it’s pretty cool that they spent so much money for me. And it’s not like my two races since being claimed have been stinkers. I ran third in both the Indiana Derby and Ellis Park Derby. SHIRL’S SPEIGHT (No. 20 in eligibility): Win or lose, they are going to know I’m in the race. I don’t mean to brag, but I can really run. Sure, this is about as unorthodox a way to get to the Kentucky Derby as it gets -- only two starts, a win on turf and a win on synthetic, both at Woodbine. Now I’m being asked to race on dirt for the first time and go 1 1/4 miles when I haven’t gone farther than 1 1/16 miles. I’m sure there will be skeptics that I can win going 1 1/4 miles when my sire (Speightstown) was a champion sprinter. But my dam was good enough to win a Breeders’ Cup race going 1 3/8 miles (the Filly & Mare Turf in 2011 at Churchill Downs). So I have stamina on that side of the family. Some of my workouts have caused a buzz at Woodbine, especially when I worked on the dirt (four furlongs) in :47.60 and (five furlongs) in :57.00. Then I went a mile in 1:39.20 on the dirt (at Woodbine last Saturday) when I worked with five other horses. They kept me behind horses early to get accustomed to having dirt thrown back into my face. I didn’t like it -- who would? -- but it really wasn’t all that rough. I’m glad they did that so I could learn what that dirt kickback is all about. My owner (Charles Fipke) has made millions in diamonds. And now he has a gem in me! MONEY MOVES (No. 21 in eligibility): I’m currently on the outside looking in terms of eligibility to run. I don’t have any (Kentucky Derby) points. Neither does Shirl’s Speight. But Shirl’s Speight is ranked ahead of me in terms of eligibility because he gets preference due to the fact that if two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker is earnings in non-restricted stakes races. He has $55,896 in non-restricted stakes earnings, while I have none. I get the feeling that I’m probably not going to run in the Kentucky Derby even if I can get into the race. If I do get the chance to run, it will be my stakes debut. I’m fully aware that I would be shooting for the moon. I have only three races under my belt, all this year, but my Beyers are rising. I ran a 67 Beyer in my first race, then a 90, then a 98. Before you say I don’t belong in the Kentucky Derby, a 98 Beyer is better than the career-best figure for many of the horses I would be facing if I do get to run.

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8.27.2020:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: August 28 Stronach 5 Play

Another Friday of the Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee, and a prospective pool that should far surpass that. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors. *** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. *** Leg 1: Laurel Park R7 (3:56 ET) – 3up 40k MCL at 7 furlongs I never like to say a horse has to win, but #7 THE CAIRO KID (8-5) has to win the opening leg on the MSW drop, as not only are his last two dirt races a month better than anyone here, but said anyone here doesn’t come close to stacking up to his form, so I’ll take the bait and single a horse that looks about 4-5 when the dust settles. Pk5 A horses: 7 (listed in order of preference) Should ‘Kid falter then maybe #5 MORE TWIRL (10-1) has an upset chance, as he adds Lasix, has run just twice, and once on dirt, and gets off the rail in his dirt debut, when the rider lost the whip too. The MSW drop should also help #6 STASH MY MONEY (9-2), and his stalking style will too, but at 15-0-2-4 he’s very dicey, and came up empty at Parx, and Lake is 0-for-10 here, so tread lightly. Going second-off the layoff could help #3 BARRISTER (8-1), and is best puts him on the line with ‘Kid, but he’s been dreadful in his last two, so he’s impossible to trust and it’s implausible to think he finds that form again either. Pk5 B horses: 5,6,3Potential B add-ins: #2 Royal Thunder (4-1), #4 Maybe Someday (10-1) Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:14 ET) – 2f 35k MCL at 1-mile (turf) A tough race, as there’s little in terms of proven turf form, but firsters #4 VIBURNUM (5-1) and #2 SAMURAI FIGHTER (9-2) both drew well, have a slew of works for solid connections, and sure don’t meet much, so they have to be used in some form. Experienced runners #5 BLUE PAYNT (3-1) and #7 BEACH CHICK (6-1) have an edge because of their runs, and the former has been 3rd twice and the latter drops from the MSW ranks, so I’ll toss them in too. Pk5 A horses: 4,2,5,7 I can’t use #9 ZAP MAMA (7-2) on the top line off that horrific debut, plus this post is brutal, so I respect her on the drop for Maker, but there’s no way I can put her on the main ticket from out here off that unveiling. Pk5 B horses: 9Potential B add-ins: #6 Gulf Coast Gal (4-1) Leg 3: Laurel Park R8 (4:32 ET) – 3up Maryland-bred N1X* at 1-mile (turf) What do you do with the speedy # 10 DUNDALK (5-2), who wins this by 7 if he’s right, but hasn’t been seen since 6/19 and drew worst of all? The awesome works on display say you have to use him, and the fact he’s not entered for a tag off the long break bodes well too, but I’m not sure I can stand alone with him, especially since he meets a lot of other speed, and is off a trainer change (though new conditioner Dilodovio is every bit as good as O’Connell). So, with that being said, I’ll use a few others, as #2 CANNON’S ROAR (4-1) drew perfectly, enters off an open N1X win over the course, and has a stalking gear that should enable him to trip out beautifully off all the speed, while #5 BROKER’S REWARD (6-1) goes for Trombetta, who I have a lot of respect for and is 13% off this extended layoff, and this one shows some big works, shows turf races from last year that fit with everyone but Dundalk, can stalk all the speed, and note McCarthy is 28% when he rides for the barn. *** Please note that I will be singling Dundalk to keep the cost of the backup tickets down. *** Pk5 A horses: 10,2,5 I contemplated singling Dundalk before thinking otherwise, so I won’t be using any other backups with now a trio lined up on the top line. Pk5 B horses: NONEPotential B add-ins: #6 Seville Barber (9-2), #7 Start With Yes (6-1) Leg 4: Laurel Park R9 (5:07 ET) – 3upfm 25k MCL at 1-mile (turf) I don’t like the fact #4 ESTHER’S FORTUNE (5-1) blew a 3 ½-length late lead but it was her turf bow, and she’s run just twice, so off that, with a good post and a ton of upside, she looks primed for a big run. Getting back to the turf and dropping in class will help #9 PERFECT KIND (7-2), but the losses are adding up and she seems to find one or two better, so tread lightly if you’re keying her. Pk5 A horses: 4,9 Both #6 R V TREASURE (4-1) and #12 RAZOR GIRL (4-1) have their merits and need to be used, but the former has seen her form stagnate, and the latter is marooned out wide, so I’ll relegate them to the second tier. Pk5 B horses: 6,12Potential B add-ins: #11 You’re Doing Fine (10-1), #10 Pearlyville (10-1) Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R2 (5:20 ET) – 3upfm 20k MCL at 1-mile (turf) The finale looks like the ole ‘Use one or use them all,” and I certainly can’t do the latter, so I’ll do the former and go with #5 LEMON DROP TINI (5-2), who simply looks better than a muddled group, drops in class off a Dmr MSW, and wins this with ease off any of her previous four runs while facing tons better. Pk5 A horses: 5 I have no clue why #7 SURFACE (2-1) is the ML favorite but she could win if the pick stubs her toe, but the local MSW run was awful and she may be regressing from her Ca. form, while both #3 KAYDA (10-1) and #2 HEATSKY (8-1) drew well and have some solid turf form, so they are worth inclusion on a backup ticket. Pk5 B horses: 7,3,2Potential B add-ins: #1 Foggy Bottom (9-2) The Tickets: Main Ticket: 7 with 4,2,5,7 with 10,2,5 with 4,9 with 5 = $24 (play for $2)Leg 1 B Backup: 5,6,3 with 4,2,5,7 with 10 with 4,9 with 5 = $24Leg 2 B Backup: 7 with 9 with 10 with 4,9 with 5 = $2Leg 4 B Backup: 7 with 4,2,5,7 with 10 with 6,12 with 5 = $8Leg 5 B Backup: 7 with 4,2,5,7 with 10 with 4,9 with 7,3,2 = $24

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8.26.2020:

Wednesday, August 26: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.RACE 1: Post 12:50 ET. Grade:Use: Pass/No PlayForecast: The first race is for hurdlers. We will pass the race.RACE 2: Post 1:21 ET. Grade: XUse: 1-Munnings Muse; 5-SnicketForecast: Munnings Muse showed promise in her debut 14 months ago at Belmont Park when finishing second beaten six lengths while nine lengths clear of the rest in a very fast maiden special weight five furlong sprint. This will be her first start since and if she returns as well as she left the G. Gullo-trained will be very difficult to beat in this six runner affair. She returns as a first-time Lasix user with I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call and shows a work tab that while not fancy should have her fit enough. However, at 6/5 on the morning line she really won’t be offering much value. Snicket, in the money in her last three with steadily rising (but not quite par for the level) speed figures, doesn’t have a whole lot of gate speed and will be doing her best work from the quarter pole home. We doubt she can beat ‘Muse if that one shows up with her best stuff but the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid seems clearly the best of the rest and therefore is worth including on a ticket or two as a back-up.RACE 3: Post 1:54 ET. Grade: CUse: Pass/No PlayForecast: There are five entrants in this 11-furlong inner turf event for entry-level allowance fillies and mares, with the morning line prices ranging from the favorite at 2-1, Cap de Creus, to the longest priced runner in the field, Setting the Mood, at 4-1. Each starter has a legitimate claim, and in race that almost certainly will be a contested at a false pace (with Whatdoesasharksay the certain front-runner), anything can happen and nothing would surprise us. With regards to the rolling exotics, we’ll recommend a “buy the race” strategy and let the cards fall where they may.RACE 4: Post 2:29 ET. Grade: C+Use: 2-Dash to the Top; 4-Katies Courage; 7-DressyForecast: Dressy was well-backed (5/2) in her debut vs. straight maiden foes but never landed a blow while wide and well-beaten, so this drop into the much softer maiden $50,000 level is warranted. She had trained like she could run a bit prior to that mid-July outing and with three works since she’s on a healthy pattern. If she can run at all, this is the right spot to show it, so let’s give the daughter of Air Force Blue another chance in a lackluster affair at or near her morning line of 6-1. Dash to the Top, a fair third in her debut at this level last month while wide into the lane before losing her punch late, certainly has a right to benefit from that outing and may produce a forward move for a barn that’s about average with this maneuver. She may be the one to beat by default. Katies Courage is a first-timer with a decent gate work on her resume earlier this month and on that alone she’s has to be considered something of a contender. The barn’s okay with first-timers so at 6-1 on the morning she’s worth including somewhere on your ticket.RACE 5: Post 3:02 ET. Grade: XUse: 3-Checksandbalances; 9-Kitten’s RomanceForecast: Here’s another maiden claimer, this one for $40,000 fillies and mares going long on the lawn. Checksandbalances has been a beaten favorite in her first two starts but seems to be improving and with another forward move today should be capable of earning her diploma. The C. Brown-trained Irish-bred filly retains I. Ortiz, Jr., so in a soft spot she’ll most likely leave as the chalk once again. Kitten’s Romance must overcome the outside draw but was second (beaten a nose) in the same race Checksandbalances (who missed by a neck) just finished third in, so they’re very hard to separate. Both are from top-quality outfits, both have left town since that race (Checksandbalances to Monmouth Park and back; Kitten’s Romance to Keeneland back), and both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 6: Post 3:37 ET. Grade: XSingle: 3-AssumeForecast: Assume is listed at 6/5 on the morning line in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Up a notch following a M. Maker claim (a little above average stats with this angle), the lightly-raced 3-year-old crushed a maiden $20,000 field with a career-top speed figure in what just her fourth career start over this track and distance last month, and if she can duplicate that type of effort today she’ll pay quick dividends for her new connections. While we expect her to win, the daughter of Candy Ride probably won’t offer any wagering value at her expected price, so you can use her as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.RACE 7: Post 4:12 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Buy Land and See; 8-Maven; 10-Turned AsideForecast: This is a salty overnight stakes for 3-year-old sprinting on grass. Maven in the certain favorite and one to beat. The son of American Pharoah, a Group-3 stakes winner in France last year, returned off a nearly one year layoff and was dominant in a strong allowance race at Keeneland while winning gate-to-wire with a powerful speed figure. Similar pace pressing tactics certainly will be employed today; this time, however, he’ll have to deal with strong pressure from the colt drawn outside him, the stakes-winning Jack and Noah. Actually, at a much better price, we’re most intrigued by the Parx shipper Buy Land and See, a winner of his last three including the Awad S. last fall at Belmont Park. This trip might be a tad sharp for the son of Cairo Prince but he could be dangerous with a hot pace up front and a trouble-free journey from the rail. We’ll double the race using the two listed above and then press in the win pool with Buy Land and See.RACE 8: Post 4:46 ET. Grade: B+Single: 4-BlowoutForecast: Blowout has run in nothing but stakes races since breaking her maiden in her debut, and after a tough 3-year-old campaign that produced a victory in the Pebbles S. last September and a strong runner-up performance in the Valley View S.-G3 at Keeneland in October, she was sent home for a nice vacation. The English-bred filly returns in a three-other-than allowance race when facing a field that she should out-class, and with a work tab that should have her plenty fit for a barn that has superior stats (29%) with layoff runners the C. Brown-trained daughter of Dansili is the logical top pick and one to beat. At 9/5 on the morning line we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 9: Post 5:20 ET. Grade: BUse: 3-Admaa; 7-Dial Me Up; 8-Let Them Eat CakeForecast: The nightcap is a better than average maiden special weight turf sprint for fillies and mares. There are several possibilities; we’ll try to get by using just three. Admaa is an interesting Monmouth Park shipper making her first start for C. Brown after displaying ability in a series of drills, including a bullet half-mile breeze in :48 flat (fastest of 72) earlier this month. She easily could have stayed put and make her first start in a maiden affair in New Jersey but shows up at Sartoga in what we’ll view as a sign of confidence. Certainly bred to win early (The Factor) she offers good gambling value at 4-1 on the morning line. Dial Me Up, runner-up in her first two career outings (both on dirt), projects as a dangerous pace presser/forcer, and if she can produce another forward move and transfer her main track form to grass the C. Clement-trained filly will be a major player at 6-1 on the morning line. Let Them Eat Cake, most effective when held up early and allowed to run late, will receive the patient ride she requires from J. Rosario and with some help up front could make some serious noise in the final furlong.

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8.25.2020:

1/ST Look: Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Laurel Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Maryland. And be sure to support Laurel Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Maryland Jockey Club. Headlines Preakness Prep Weekend is set for Sept. 5 and 7 over the Labor Day holiday at Laurel Park, featuring 9 stakes worth $100,000 each – including the Preakness “Win & You’re In” Federico Tesio … MJC announced last week that the Grade 2 $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes would be contested this year on the Preakness Day undercard Oct. 3. The Grade 3 $250,000 Pimlico Special will anchor the Friday, Oct. 2 card … The Breeders’ Cup announced Aug. 24 that the Oct. 3 Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, this year’s final jewel in the Triple Crown, also would be a “Win & You’re In” qualifier to the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland in November … Rain washed away Laurel Park’s first scheduled 2-year-old turf races of the year last week. Expect to see the juveniles on grass in the coming days. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid a whopping $47,117 for a $1 ticket on August 21, split among 3 winners. The Stronach 5 for Friday, August 28 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:56Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:14Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:32Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:07Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:20 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Laurel Park, each showing a flat-bet profit and at least 27% wins with its top-rated contender. The leading “% Horses Defeated” category was a top-2 factor for the second straight week and produced 35% wins and a $43 profit if you bet $2 to win on each of that factor’s race leader for the week. % Horses DefeatedAvg Best 2 of 3 SpeedWin % Trends Last Week --Favorites went 10: 6-3-0 in maiden races last week at an average price just over 6-5 odds.--Jockey Jevian Toledo led the colony with a 15: 4-6-0 mark, hitting 27% wins and 67% in the exacta. But all 4 of his winners, and 8 of his 10 exacta finishers, were 2-1 or less odds.--Jockey Luis Garcia’s 12: 3-0-2 week including a trio of double-digit winners at $10, $10 and $15. His ROI was $1.51 for every $1 bet. Garcia posted a 6: 2-0-1 record with trainer Bruno Tessore.--No trainer won more than 2 races, though Ricardo D’Angelo went 2-for-2 with $6 and $12 winners of note. The barn is now 6-for-12 with limited attempts since July 10 at Laurel. Trends Last 2 Weeks: --Trainer John ‘Jerry’ Robb has an 11: 4-2-2 mark, including 3 wins in the claiming ranks and the other in a maiden claimer. Winners paid $4, $8, $10, $14 for a $1.76 ROI for every $1 bet.--Trainer Damon Dilodovico continues to deliver with an 11: 4-4-0 record. That’s 36% wins and 73% in the exacta. That run includes a pair of 5-1 winners and an 11-1 runner-up. Trends Last 3 Weeks:--Jockey Angel Cruz has won at 24% with nearly 50 mounts and amassed an awesome ROI of $1.87 for every $1 bet. Along the way he’s posted upsets of $20, $32 and $57.--

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8.25.2020:

1/ST Look: Golden Gate Fields Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Golden Gate Fields. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Northern California. And be sure to support Golden Gate Fields by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Golden Gate Fields. Headlines Former Santa Anita riding champion Evin Roman has moved his tack to Golden Gate Fields and posted a 10: 2-1-2 record here last week in his unveiling. Roman joins a jockeys’ room that added Erick Lopez 2 weeks ago ... The jackpot Pick 6 carryover heading into Thursday’s return to racing will be $35,326 … Nominations close Friday, Aug. 28 for the meet’s next stakes offering, the Labor Day $50,000 Rolling Green for older turf performers. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid a whopping $47,117 for a $1 ticket on August 21, split among 3 winners. The Stronach 5 for Friday, August 28 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:56Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:14Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:32Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:07Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:20 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Golden Gate Fields, each showing a flat-bet profit with its top-rated contender and a 31% or greater win rate. The “Last Late Pace” factor was huge with 41% winners and a $41 profit if you bet $2 to win on each top contender in that category for the week. Last Late PaceLast Race ClassTrainer Meet Trends Last Week --Trainer Jonathan Wong topped the standings at 11: 4-2-1 with all 4 winners well-backed at 5-2 or less. In fact, all 11 starters on the week were 7-2 or less and he went 6: 3-1-0 with favorites.--Isidro Tamayo kept a hot training hand with a solid 10: 3-0-2 week that saw winners at $7, $7 and $9. Tamayo sent out only 1 favorite on the week.--The Andy Mathis barn had a strong week with limited tries, posting a 7: 3-1-0 mark. All 4 of his exacta finishers were 2-1 or less.--Jockey Catalino Martinez had a good week with a 15: 4-0-1 record that was good for a $1.31 ROI on every $1 bet. He went 3-for-8 in Tapeta sprints, including $11 and $15 winners. Trends Last 2 Weeks --Trainer Jonathan Wong boasts a 22: 8-5-2 record with identical 4-for-11 efforts each of the past 2 weeks.--Trainer Isidro Tamayo has gone 24: 9-2-2 with a rock-solid 7: 5-0-1 mark with favorites.--Trainer Andy Mathis has a 17: 6-4-0 record with 14 of those runners bet to 7-2 or less.--Jockey Kyle Frey not only is winning at a 31% rate in recent weeks, he’s 22-for-45 in the exacta, nearly 50%.--Trainer Rene Amescua finished third with his only starter last week, 1 week after he popped 20-1 and 7-1 winners from only 4 starters. Trends Last 3 Weeks: --Over 50 mounts the past 3 weeks, jockey Santos Rivera has a 26% win rate and a rousing $1.51 ROI for every $1 bet. Of his 13 victories, only 3 were favored (3-for-5 on favorites during that span).

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8.25.2020:

1/ST Look: Gulfstream Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Gulfstream Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in South Florida. And be sure to support Gulfstream Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Gulfstream Park. Headlines Gulfstream will have a mandatory payout in the Rainbow 6 on Saturday’s card, which features the Florida Sire Stakes series. This week’s jackpot returns Thursday with a carryover of $284,000 … The Saturday, Aug. 29 card features the Affirmed and Susan’s Girl divisions of the Florida Sire Stakes, as well as the Sharp Susan and Proud Man Stakes for open-company juveniles … 2020 Florida Derby winner Tiz the Law turned in a bullet workout at Saratoga on Aug. 23 for his date next in the Kentucky Derby, zipping 5 furlongs in :59.47 ... Last year’s Florida Derby champ Maximum Security returned Aug. 22 to win Del Mar’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic. Maximum Security was disqualified from victory for interference in the 2019 Run for the Roses, denying the Florida Derby its record-padding 25th winner of the Kentucky Derby. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid a whopping $47,117 for a $1 ticket on August 21, split among 3 winners. The Stronach 5 for Friday, August 28 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:56Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:14Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:32Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:07Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:20 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping filters for Gulfstream Park, all showing a flat-bet profit and winning at 27% or greater last week. The factor “Speed Last Race” continued to be a leader locally for the second straight week. Jockey MeetSpeed Last RaceBest Speed Last 3 Trends Last Week --Favorites hit a strong 41% last week, winning 16 times from 39 starts with 67% in the exacta. They were 7-for-15 in the maiden ranks and 6: 3-2-0 in allowance races. Jockey Miguel Vazquez went 9: 5-2-0 on favorites.--Trainer Antonio Sano led the way with a 14: 5-3-1 week that included a $19 winner and a 17-1 runner-up. He teamed with Edgard Zayas for a 5: 3-1-1 record.--Trainers Gary Jackson (2-for-2) and Larry Bates (2-for-4) had good returns with limited starters. Jackson had a $12 winner among his pair of victories, while Bates scored $16 and $21 winners with Luca Panici aboard both.--Jockey Edgard Zayas lit it up with a 29: 11-4-5 week that included 38% wins and a $1.22 ROI for every $1 bet. He went 5-for-11 on favorites.--Jockey Leonel Reyes had a 5-win day on Sunday, Aug. 23 with all 5 winners returning 5-2 or less prices. Trends Last 2 Weeks: --Trainer David Fawkes has posted a 12: 4-2-2 record that’s 33% wins and 50% in the exacta in recent weeks. He has gone 6: 3-1-1 with Miguel Vasquez.--Trainer Michael Yates owns a 7: 3-1-1 mark with limited strikes. He’s 2: 1-1-0 with his 2-year-olds during that time, including a 4-1 winner and 5-1 runner-up.--Trainer Fernando Abreu has gone 5: 2-0-2 with his 2-year-olds in recent weeks. Those include a 7-1 winner and 14-1 shot in the money. Trends Last 3 Weeks: --Jockey Miguel Vasquez is winning at a 24% rate and has a $1.29 ROI for every $1 bet from nearly 100 mounts. He’s 22: 13-3-1 on favorites during that time for 59% wins and 73% in the exacta.

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8.25.2020:

Fun in the Sun: Open the Door to Opportunity

You know the old adage about opportunity only knocking once? It’s not true. With Xpressbet’s Fun in the Sun handicapping tournament, opportunity has been banging so often this month that his knuckles are raw. Listen! Hear that? He’s at it again: Opportunity knocks for the final time this summer season Saturday. Play FitS to grab the remaining two out of 10 total seats at the Final Table, which will be held Monday, Sept. 7 on Labor Day.Last Saturday, Richard Powers posted a powerful $246 mutuel total based on $10 wagers on the last five Saratoga races and the first five at Del Mar. He earned $3,486 and a Final Table seat. Howard Bolte checked in second with $193.50 in earnings, good for a nifty $1,452.50 prize and an invitation to ‘pull up a chair’ at the main event. William Cox and George Ekaitis dead-heated for third with $182.50 in earnings and each pocketed an additional $435.75.Play Fun in the Sun this Saturday. There’s a $25 registration fee--all money is returned to players in the form of prizes—and players must make a $10 win wager on one horse in each of 10 competition races—usually the last five Spa and first five Del Mar events.Open the door and let opportunity in. Two seats remain and one of them could be yours; but only if you play. The Final Table pot, boosted by $10k from Xpressbet, already is nearly $21,000 and that ain’t hay.See you Saturday!2020 Fun in the Sun Final Table QualifiersWeek 5: to be determined Saturday, Aug. 29Week 4: Richard Powers ($246), Howard Bolte ($193.50)Week 3: Anthony Decaspers ($360), Mathew McAleer ($347)Week 2: Kevin Lynn ($300), Robert Rosen ($275)Week 1: Phillip Gordon ($299), Aner Carlstrom ($292)

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8.25.2020:

Woodbine Mohawk Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

There are 11 races scheduled on the Tuesday night card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 0.20 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 8 and it will be my focus. Looking to stay on a roll as there was a nice payout of $127.13 on our 0.20 Pick 5 ticket last night.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 81-Highland Mowgli (2-1)-Lands in a soft spot after facing very tough company in the last 4 starts. Looks the best but did break stride in one race and starting from the rail can be an issue for a young trotter, so using 2 others as well.3-C My Kicks Hanover (4-1)-Broke in last and might be handled more conservatively. But will respect the McClure-Blais combo.4-Four Wheelin (5/2)-If #1 doesn't mind his manners this is probably the one who will be posing. Has been racing from the back and also has faced some tough foes. This could be the time to leave, sit a 2-hole trip and rally in the late going.Race 91-Walter Mitty (8-1)-Beat easier at GrVr but fits with these. Has faced better and finally draws inside, could be a player at a price.2-Lyons Pegasus (3-1)-Has been used hard off the gate in last few, now drops and Harris should have options. O-13 this year and it's hard to be too confident but this is a spot to shine and take 1st picture of 2020.6-Machin A Trip (5-1)-Another who beat easier and took the long way around to do so. This will be more difficult but should be in the mix. Has good gate speed and McClure can leave or come off cover at a square price.Race 104-Moana (5/2)-Reunited with JMac and has done well facing this kind. Beat #5 when she broke on 8/10 and this looks like a 2-horse race.5-Pier Ho Kado (4-1)-Has made 3 starts this year all at different tracks. Is greener than #4 having made only 6 lifetime starts but shows ability. Should be right there as long as minds manners.Race 112-P L Matt (5/2)-One of only 2 in this field that comes off a win and when Matt gets good he can stay that way for a while. If pilot works a nice trip it wouldn't be a surprise if another picture takes place tonight.6-Hemi Seelster (15-1)-Will take a swing for a big price. Filion may blast out and get a pocket ride. Winner in 9 of 53 starts here will need best but veteran could surprise.9-Derf Hanover (3-1)-Takes a big step down and at this level McNair probably looks to get on the engine and not look back. Should be tough to beat if dialed on high.0.20 Late Pick 41,3,4/1,2,6/4,5/2,6,9Total Bet=$10.80Check me out on Twitter!

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8.24.2020:

Monday August 24: Woodbine Mohawk Park Early Pick 5 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park has 11 races schedule for tonight. The popular 0.20 Early Pick 5 with a $75,000 guaranteed pool kicks off the card and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 11-Docs Harmony (5/2)-Takes a meaningful drop in class and should be able to make good use of drawing the rail. Drury steers for Team Cullen and this filly could be sitting on a big try.3-Lyons Tilt Hanover (5-1)-Last week, was a country mile behind at the 1st call and sizzled the back half in 53.3 to miss by a head. Now makes the 2nd try for the Beaton barn and should be better with an alert start.8-Hit By A Bus (8-1)-Filion takes a seat and the filly has won 2 of 9 at Wbsb and has finished 2nd twice. Looking for an aggressive start and things could set-up nicely for this price shot.Race 26-Its Huw You Know (7/2)-Won for Barrington off the claim and then stepped up and found the going much tougher and it was on an off track where record is 0-17. Now drops down to the same level as the claim and should be a major player.7-Mister Magic (5/2)-Drops to a spot to shine, likes the track (56-16-8-4) but comes off 2 consecutive breaks. Did qualify well and if minds manners could be posing with a big try.8-Marquis Volo (9/2)-Won a condition race on 8/11, then came back on 3 days rest and was bet down to 3/2 but faded down the lane. Now back on a regular cycle and drops in for a tag. Will look for better versus this field and the post makes the price.Race 32-Mach My Kiss (4-1)-Was off 15 days from race date to date of last start on 8/15 and still picked up a 2nd place check. Now goes back in at this class and is a perfect 2-2 at this level. McNair will have this filly racing near the top of the stack, looks like a main player.5-Mary Kat (10-1)-JMac is back and he knows well. Even effort in last but expect more tonight. This is a good post draw to stalk and rally. Competitive filly should be a nice price and it's best to respect.Race 41-Refi (9/2)-Raced well versus better and looking for big effort with an inside post draw. Usually in the hunt, 21-6-3-3 at Wbsb.5-Cool Muscle (4-1)-Has gotten better with the addition of Lasix and this will be the 4th time racing with the medication. Drops to a more comfortable spot, has done well so far this year posting 3 wins and hitting the board in 6 of 8 starts.6-Steuben Hanover (7/2)-Will toss last break at GeoD versus tough company. Last 2 Wbsb starts have been very good and almost won from the 8 hole at this class on 7/28.Race 53-Budha Blue Chip (5/2)-On 8/4 posted a win at this class for Moreau. This will be the 1st start for the same barn after an 8/17 claim and should be bet. Maybe the same script, same outcome?8-PL Idaho (8-1)-Was claimed from Moreau for $25,000 on 7/27 and has been winless in 3 tries for Montini. Now drops in for a $20,000 tag. JMac can work a winning trip from out here if the cover flow is good and the pace is honest.My Ticket Race 1) 1,3,8 Race 2) 6,7,8 Race 3) 2,5 Race 4) 1,5,6 Race 5) 3,8Total Ticket Cost) = $21.60 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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8.24.2020:

Most Valuable Pony (Aug. 17-23): Rushing Fall

Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.August 17-23, 2020MVP: Rushing FallOwner: e Five Racing Thoroughbreds (Bob Edwards)Trainer: Chad BrownJockey: Javier CastellanoPerformance: What looked to be the race of the year so far in the Filly and Mare Turf division lived up to the anticipation in the Aug. 23 Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga. Rushing Fall, the 7-5 favorite in the field of 5, outkicked pacesetter and second wagering choice Mean Mary with a fierce stretch run. The pair came home in :22.40 and :11.58 splits the final 3 furlongs that left superstar Sistercharlie incapable of making up any ground in third. After an opening half-mile in a tepid :48.30, the final three furlongs in sub-:34 was remarkable. Rushing Fall is now a 6-time Grade 1 winner and 11-for-14 overall.On Tap: A 5-time graded stakes winner at Keeneland, her legendary Lexington resume fits snugly into the 2020 autumn calendar. The Grade 1 First Lady on October 3 could be next, where she would have a chance to rebound in the only Keeneland race she’s ever lost (fourth in that event a year ago). The connections could opt to run a quarter-mile longer in the Oct. 10 Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont. The Breeders’ Cup Mile or the Filly and Mare Turf at Keeneland would then be on the table for November 7.Honorable Mentions: At Del Mar, Maximum Security ran his record to 10 for 12 lifetime with a 3-length victory in the Aug. 22 Grade 1 Pacific Classic. The disqualified 2019 Kentucky Derby winner has been beaten to the wire just once in his career and clearly has established himself as one of the Breeders’ Cup Classic favorites. Away since January, Mo Forza returned Aug. 23 to win the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile with a rocketing rally by 4-1/4 lengths. He appears the west coast’s top contender in the Breeders’ Cup Mile division off that effort. Halladay took advantage of a soft pace and wired the Grade 1 Fourstardave on turf at Saratoga on Aug. 22. Among those in his wake were defending race champ Got Stormy and reigning champion turf female Uni. Golden Pal returned successfully from Royal Ascot with an eye-catching win Aug. 21 at Saratoga in the Skidmore Stakes. The son of Uncle Mo-Lady Shipman appears a top contender in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint ranks for Wesley Ward.

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8.23.2020:

Jeff Siegel's Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies - 8/23/20

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis & Wagering StrategiesSaratogaSunday, August 23, 2020*Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.*It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.**Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.*The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.**RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: BSingle: 5-Uptown FlirtForecast: There’s not much depth to the Sunday opener, a six-runner maiden juvenile fillies two-turn turf affair. The first-timers aren’t impressive on paper or on video, so let’s stick with the one with a race over the course, Uptown Flirt. A decent third in her debut, the daughter of Speightster has every right to build on that performance, and while we doubt she’s any kind of world beater she probably won’t have to be. At 5/2 on the morning line we’ll use her in the win pool and as a rolling exotic single.**RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Wicksters Dream; 7-ScoringForecast: Wicksters Dream has improved his speed figures in each of his four career starts, most recently in a sharp win over this track and distance vs. restricted (nw-2) $40,000 foes last month in his first start since last September. At first glance it appeared that trainer J. Englehart made a timely claim, but after four weeks off and just one work in the interim the sophomore colt returns in an open $32,000 seller restricted to 3-year-olds, and that’s not the kind of move you make if you’re happy with the merchandise. Clearly, the son of New Year’s Day wins again if he duplicate’s that last race, but can anybody really be sure that he will? Scoring is worth using as protection in rolling exotic play. Drawn comfortably outside, the Justin Philip gelding should draft into an ideal pace-stalking trip and have his chance, and while he won’t beat Wicksters Dream if that one shows up with his “A” game, he could be dangerous if the favorite fails to fire.**RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: XUse: 5-Fifth Risk; 6-Jade EmpressForecast: With two late scratches, race has been reduced to just four starters. Jade Empress is a quick-actioned, talented, and speedy daughter of Shanghai Bobby making her debut in a fairly decent maiden special weight sprint for juvenile fillies. Dawn nicely outside, the W. Mott-trained filly impressed in her last two recorded drills, most notably a bullet move (4f, :47b, fastest of 26) 10 days ago while in company and going easily throughout (view workout). At 4-1 on the morning line, she’s cranked up and ready. Fifth Risk, listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite, also has plenty of talent, though we suspect ‘Empress may be a tad quicker. From the first crop of the promising Uncle Mo stallion Outwork, this T. Pletcher-trained filly appears to be made of the right stuff but acts like she’ll may be better suited by more distance. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Jade Empress.**RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: XSingle: 2-No SaltForecast: There’s really not much we can do with the 3/5 morning line favorite No Salt in this maiden claiming $40,000 inner turf router for older horses other than to use him as no-value rolling exotic single. Runner-up under similar conditions earlier this month, the lightly-raced son of Tonalist shows a bullet half mile workout (:48 1/5, fastest of 53) over the Belmont Park training track since raced so we’ll assume he’s in good shape and will perform at least as well as last time. It’s hard to make a case for any of the others.**RACE 5: Post 3:30 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Unrelenting Force; 6-Too Early; 7-Cold Hard CashForecast: This race almost certainly will feature a hot early pace due to the presence of a couple of recent maiden claiming $40,000 sprint winners, Cold Hard Cash and Unrelenting Force, who may very well go toe-to-toe from the get-go. Because he’s drawn inside, ‘Force projects as the leader while ‘Cash stalks or presses, but neither one is guaranteed to run as well at this nine furlong trip as they did when breaking their maiden around one turn. If they go too fast early, the race could set up nicely for Too Early, who returned off a long layoff to graduate over this track and distance last month. The Distorted Humor gelding isn’t particularly fast on speed figures but he has every right to produce a forward move with more than a month of rest since his victory. These are the three we’ll use in our rolling exotics with maybe a very slight edge on top to Too Early.**RACE 6: Post 4:06 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Towering Case; 2-High School CrushForecast: Towering Case, listed at 6/5 on the morning line, shows up in a seller for the first time and at this level probably doesn’t have to improve at all to graduate. She’ll have to avoid trouble from the rail, but if she leaves cleanly the daughter of Gio Ponti should have every chance with a pace forcing or stalking trip. You may want to consider using Silent Empress somewhere on your ticket. The First Samurai filly goes for the powerful Clement/Rosario team and had very little chance due to severe traffic trouble in her debut vs. similar last month. It wasn’t much of a race that she exits, but at least today we’ll find out what she’s capable of.**RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Big Engine; 2-Lone Rock; 7-Mount TraversForecast: Here’ a tough, competitive second-level allowance sprint with a few possibilities. Big Engine took advantage of a dream trip when rallying inside to register a highly-rated score over this track and distance in his first outing since January last month and with good racing luck again from his rail post he’ll be tough right back. He’s put good ones back to the back in the past and seems set for another huge effort. ‘Engine’s uncoupled stable mate Mount Travers has numbers that fit and actually is the lower-priced L. Rice entrant ion the morning line (5/2). He may be most effective when held up just a bit early and allowed to finish late and given that type of ride today could make some serious noise in the final furlong. Lone Rock is a first-off-the-claim for R. Diodoro, who’s had a slow meet but always is dangerous with this particular angle. With several back speed figures good enough to win and with the switch to the barn’s “go-to” rider D. Cohen, he’s worth including on your ticket.**RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: XUse: 3-Rushing Fall; 5-SistercharlieForecast: This year’s edition of the Diana S.-G1 promises to have at least a normal pace if not a bit quicker than par and that should help Sistercharlie get back on track. The defending champ was rusty when third in the Ballston Spa S.-G3 last month but shouldn’t have any excuses today. Rushing Fall always is tough to beat – she’s won 10 of 13 career starts – and can be equally effective on the lead or from a stalking position. Truthfully, they’re hard to separate so we’ll use them both in our rolling exotics with a very slight edge on top to Sistercharlie.**RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Allied Invasion; 6-AntitfunkynowForecast: Allied Invasion is the logical top pick at 8/5 morning line favorite in this split of the fourth race, a lackluster state-bred maiden $40,000 claiming turf router. A fair-to-moderate third in his debut vs. similar earlier this month, the son of Normandy Invasion has a right to improve for the powerful C. Clement/J. Rosario combo with that bit of experience behind him and really doesn’t have much to beat. Aintitfunkynow was rank, clipped heels and bore out badly on the first turn, then did no running whatsoever when favored at this level last month. You’d have to think he can do better today if he settles and then produces the kind of late kick that he’s capable of. He’s a seven-race maiden and has less room for improvement that ‘Invasion has but his best effort gives him a look.

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8.23.2020:

Sunday, August 23: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis

Hawthorne Racecourse has a 16-race card set for this evening. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 13. The sequence will have a $25,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus.The driver with the hottest hands on Saturday was Casey Leonard with three wins. The top conditioner on the card was Mike Brink with 4 winners.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 131-Premier Desirey (4-1)-This barn has been going well and can send them out ready to fire hot off the bench.4-Brownielicious (9/2)-Tough race to figure, Leonard steers and will use. May have found a field to beat and break maiden.6-Sherri's Babe (7/2)-Not sure how much is the horse and how much has to do with the driver but this filly never seems to do it the easy way. Seems to have enough speed but pilot needs to use it at the right time.Race 142-Lacarmeliliana (30-1)-Was racing well in 2 starts before a sick scratch on 8/15 and should be a large price. Fits if ready and could be forwardly placed from this spot.4-Bad Medicine (4-1)-Ran off versus $6k claimers and now steps up and loses Wilfong to #10. Should fit with this group and Petrelli barn has been going well.5-Unbroken Circle (4-1)-8-year-old mare has held her own versus 10k claimers having outside post draws. Has won 6 of 23 at Haw and should be in the hunt tonight.10-Barley Nation (3-1)-Had an even effort at the Red Mile versus $12,500 claimers and now drops to level of previous 2nd place finish before shipping to Lexington. Post is an issue as may have to work hard to get on the engine and could be over bet.Race 154-Double A Cash Hall (6-1)-Won last by 5 lengths and steps up like most in this field. Looks like a threat for top honors if within striking range at the top of the lane.5-Pine Dream (2-1)-Drops out of Opens where there were mixed results. Should like the company and has had success here winning in 8 of 23 starts, but will need a good steer.Race 164-Cassie Marie's T T (3-1)-Has finished 2nd in all 3 local starts and in last 2 has been the odds on favorite. First 2 tries were on an off track and last effort was a good one from the 8-hole. Looks like a player versus this crew.6-Metaxas (10-1)-Will swing for a price and this filly has had an excuse in last 3 starts. Likes to come off of cover and Franco can make noise late if the trip is smooth.8-Flirtnwithtrouble (5-1)-Warren's choice over #7 was off almost a month before racing on 8/16. Last line was better than it looked and did pace the last half in .55. This will be the 3rd start on Lasix and should be in the mix at a fair price.My Ticket Race 13) 1,4,6 Race 14) 2,4,5,10 Race 15) 4,5 Race 16) 4,6,8Total Ticket Cost) = $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.22.2020:

Harness Highlights: Ramona Hill Cruises To Zweig Victory

RAMONA HILL CRUISES TO ZWEIG VICTORY Ramona Hill bypassed this year’s Hambletonian Oaks and beat the boys in the Hambletonian. Her anticipated matchup against Oaks winner Sorella last Friday at Vernon Downs never materialized as an epic showdown. Sorella broke stride behind the gate, leaving Ramona Hill in a virtual race of her own in the $160,140 Harry M. Zweig Memorial Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies. She was hustled from the rail to the lead for driver Andrew McCarthy and never looked back, winning in 1:52. Ramona Hill shrugged off a challenged by pocket sitter Hypnotic AM (Brian Sears) on the final turn and won by a measured 1-1/2 length after a :27.2 final quarter mile. She paid $2.40 to win. Her stature in the 3-year-old trotting division was enhanced when Hambletonian runner-up Ready For Moni (Matt Kakaley) ran a lifetime best 1:51.1 to win the $330,000 Zweig for open sophomore trotters later on the card. Ready For Moni, the 1-to-2 favorite, picked up cover behind Back Of The Neck (Scott Zeron) on the backstretch, blew past that rival nearing the far turn and won by 2 lengths as the top pair separated from the field.   IT’S DAVID MILLER FOR THE 13,000TH TIME Hall of Famer David Miller became the fifth driver ever with 13,000 wins when he guided 27-1 Mr Censi to victory in a $10,000 conditioned pace Friday at Harrah’s Philadelphia. The 55-year-old Ohio native joined Dave Palone, Tony Morgan, Herve Filion and Cat Manzi in the elite group. Miller also ranks second to Hall of Famer John Campbell in purse money earned with $244.5 million. Miller drove five Breeders Crown winners in 2015. Miller began driving in 1977, but his 69,236 drives are the least among the all-time Top 5. Miller, Dave Palone, Cat Manzi and Tim Tetrick rank in the Top 10 in wins and earnings. He was once asked his picks for the top five drivers, to which he replied “I’d have to say the top five would be the guys that made the most money.”

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8.22.2020:

Saturday, August 22: Scioto Downs Pick 5 Analysis

Tonight, Scioto Downs has a 15-race card ready to roll. My focus will be on the 0.50 Pick 5 which begins in Race 5. The sequence has a low 14% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 53-Havefaithinme N (7/2)-Usually shows up at this class and hits the board with a good trip. Closed into a brisk pace in last start from the 8-hole. Should be in the hunt from start to finish with this post draw.7-Escapetothebeach (4-1)-Shipped in from the Big M and drew off >5 lengths and was bet like the race was already run. Faces better here but was facing tough foes out East and does fit at a square price.Race 63-Gotti (9/2)-Recent $6k claimer won a $10k claimer last week and best to respect at the same tag tonight. Winner in 5 of 15 starts this year has also won 5 of 8 at ScD.5-J C Onthebeach (2-1)-Morgan claimed this 10-year-old and then lost him the next start and then claimed him back again. Not a fan of the short morning line and has not won here in 25 starts but will use versus a suspect group.Race 71-Black Chevron N (5-1)-After winning 3 straight stepped up to face Open company without success. Now drops to a more comfortable level. Should be forwardly placed and could start a new winning streak.3-Lettucerockthem A (7-1)-Another who drops and should like the company. Needs a top effort to win but gets a good post. Could get sucked around and show up late.5-World Of Secrets (9/2)-Winner of 2 straight has taken a pictures at Nfld and ScD as Noble takes a spin. Deserves respect but only shows 1 victory in 16 starts here. Makes 3rd start for Rhodes so will string along.Race 86-Franzo (5/2)-Makes 1st start for Short off a claim and barn has been doing well. 0-11 this year but has 8 wins in 30 starts, and maybe winner of >$90k in 2019 wakes up in this spot.7-Fool Me Once (7-1)-Winner at this class on 8/8 and then drew the 9-hole and was claimed. Has good gate speed and will look for an aggressive steer in 1st start for the Morgan barn.9-Outrajus Blue Chip (7/2)-Beaten favorite can be a slow starter so will need to find a live cover flow. Price will be better tonight and Miller might be able to get him off the gate and work a good trip.Race 91-Excavator (6-1)-Broke in 1st start for the Rucker barn and Galliers takes the lines tonight. Likes to race on the engine and should be there or in the 2 hole. Taking a swing for a fair price with a horse with speed who is 5 of 17 at ScD.8-Diesel Accelerator (7/2)-Makes 4th start for Burke and is winless in that barn but has hit the board in each start. Sutton will probably blast out and will end up on top or close to it. Should be in play with a good steer.My Ticket Race 5) 3,7 Race 6) 3,5 Race 7) 1,3,5 Race 8) 6,7,9 Race 9) 1,8Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.22.2020:

Sunday, August 23: My Late Pick 4 Ticket Sunday at Saratoga

You’d have to go to Breeders’ Cup Day to see a more compelling race than Saratoga’s Grade 1 Diana Stakes on Sunday. In fact, this is a good fillies and mares turf preview.The 1 1-8th-mile turf race for fillies and mares has only six entrants, but the quality is off the charts. The Chad Brown-trained royalty of Rushing Fall and Sistercharlie will show up, but they will certainly have to work for it. in addition to having to outrun a stablemate, they’ll have to face the likes of the Kevin Attard-trained rags-to-riches success Starship Jubilee, the Graham Motion-trained pairing of Secret Message and up-and-comer Mean Mary, and the Christophe Clement-trained Call Me Love, who lost a photo to Starship Jubilee in her latest attempt.The Diana is the third leg of an interesting Late Pick 4, and while the headliner has a short field, it’ll take a few numbers on the ticket to get that one. This week’s suggested play has four runners from the Diana: Rushing Fall, Starship Jubilee, Sistercharlie and Mean Mary and the cost is $54 with a 3x3x4x3 approach.Here’s a look at the Late Pick 4 races:Race 6 (4:09 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)TOWERING GAZE showed a good closing move in two of three and is usable because of the interest in the stretch. There could be a speed collapse and he could benefit.HIGH SCHOOL CRUSH has had nine changes but comes in off her best performance. He closed well and lost by a head. Don’t think this one is a career maiden; she’s been in some fast races and her day will come. Maybe today’s the day.SILENT EMPRESS has just one start and while she didn’t make an impact, she actually was a length closer at the end than she was at first call. This is not a great spot, so significant improvement is likely.Race 7 (4:43 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming)LONE ROCK was rolling at the end of her last one and just missed against PETE’S PLAY CALL. LONE ROCK’s performance was a big wakeup call and she was claimed by Robertino Diodoro. Continued improvement is very possible with this barn.PETE’S PLAY CALL’s performance in his last start was tremendous and opened up 3.5 lengths and lasted by a half-length in 1:15 2-5. His races all down the line were very quick and he was a strong player in many of them.MOUNT TRAVERS makes his third start off an 11-month layoff and can put up a fight. He was in stakes races last year and fits here.Race 8 (5:18 p.m. ET, Gr. 1 Diana Stakes)RUSHING FALL is back to a two-race winning streak after doing the unthinkable for her: Losing two consecutive races, ending 2019 on a rare note. She’s back to doing what she does best and had a repeat victory in the G1 Jenny Wiley in her latest.STARSHIP JUBILEE has won straight and went over $1 million in earnings when she won the G2 Ballston Spa. She continues to improve and should always be taken seriously. Her beginnings were humble, but she looks as good as they come.SISTER CHARLIE was third to STARSHIP JUBILEE in the Ballston Spa and had won six straight until losing her last two. She was 2-to-5 in the Ballston Spa and hasn’t been above even-money since her win in last year’s Diana. It’s impossible not to know her capabilities.MEAN MARY is the new kid in town and she’s has earned this shot at the best turf distaffers. She enjoys the front end and will attempt to back up the pace. That will be a best test, especially if RUSHING FALL goes with her.Race 9 (5:51 p.m. ET, maiden claiming)ALLIED INVASION was a closing third in his only start and can be expected to improve.RINGGOOD has spent all of his time in maiden special weights races and takes his first drop to maiden claiming. He was close-up in his last one and will probably last much longer in this spot. Legit threat.NERO’S FIDDLE was fourth in both of his races and with a rider change to Luis Saez can be closer to the action early, and that makes her a contender.My Ticket Race 6) #1 Towering Gaze, #2 High School Crush, #5 Silent Empress. Race 7) #2 Lone Rock, #6 Pete’s Play Call, #7 Mount Travers. Race 8) #3 Rushing Fall, #4 Starship Jubilee, #5 Sister Charlie, #6 Mean Mary. Race 9) #2 Ringgood, #3 Allied Invasion, #5 Nero’s Fiddle. Total Ticket Cost) 1,2,5/2,6,7/3,4,5,6/2,3,5 = $54  for $0.50

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8.22.2020:

Saturday, August 22: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Jeff Siegel’s Best Plays for Saturday, August 22, 2020Del Mar 1st race – Post Time: 2:00 PT7 – Flash Magic (5/2)Daughter of Pioneerof the Nile from the stakes winning mare Glinda the Good has done everything like a top prospect in the a.m. for B. Baffert and is plenty fit and ready for a huge try first crack out of the box. She had the good fortune of drawing the cozy outside post, which allows F. Prat to pop and go or stalk and pounce. In a terrific field of maiden juvenile fillies that includes other excellent prospects like Princess Noor and Peachtree Road, we’ll put ‘Magic her the edge on top and hope to get close to her morning line of 5/2.Del Mar 3rd race – Post Time: 3:05 PT7 – Chaos Theory (7/2)Makes his first start since being claimed for $62,500 by J. Sadler following an excellent turf sprint win at Churchill Downs in June and has trained like he’s ready to step forward in a big way for his new connections in this year’s edition of the Green Flash H.-G3. Projects to be in the second flight but within striking range at the head of the lane and then have his chance to wear down the leaders close home under outstanding grass rider U. Rispoli. There’s good wagering value here at 7/2 on the morning line if you can get it.Golden Gate Fields 6th race – Post Time: 4:21 PT6 – Blakeford (5/2)Has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern and seems certain to improve routing on grass while dropping out of a pair of straight maiden sprints into this much softer $32,000 claimer. The J. Josephson-trained gelding retains hot-riding K. Frey and should have enough tactical speed to gain a favorable early position before kicking home from the top of the lane to the wire. At 5/2 on the morning line he’s a strong win play and rolling exotic single.Del Mar 11th race. Post Time - 7:04 ET4 – Shadow Sphinx (7/2)Loved his comeback win at Santa Anita in a fast, highly-rated race and the R. Baltas-trained gelding has looked every bit as good if not better in morning workouts since, giving strong indication that he’s ready for another winning effort. The veteran gelding has excellent tactical speed in a race that projects to have easy early splits, so F. Prat can have him on or near the lead throughout, just where he wants to be. We’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single at or near his morning line of 7/2.Jeff Siegel’s Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies:RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: BSingle: 5-TakeawayForecast: In a maiden turf sprint for juveniles with plenty of question marks, we’re not going to get too involved other than to pay close contention to what might be considered the “other” W. Ward entrant, Takeaway, who strikes us as being the better of the two in the field from this stable (After Five is listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite). She’s a filly tackling boys and has been trained to break off behind horses and go by in the lane (she’s looked good doing it), so there’s a chance today’s dash is merely a prep for a stretch out next time. On the other hand, the barn’s success rate - 29% with first-timers - is off-the-charts, so let’s operate under the assumption that at 4-1 on the morning line she’s live and well-meant. A daughter of Super Saver with a long, athletic stride, she’s a clearly a filly with talent, so let’s put her on top in the win pool and in rolling exotic play and just roll with it.RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: XUse: 2-Macho Jack; 4-AirtouchForecast: Airtouch, a Tapit gelding with plenty of talent but all kinds of issues, has been away since November and returns in this restricted $25,000 claimer while obviously being culled from the stable. His speed figures are far superior than today’s competition but based on his unhealthy pattern he’s no slam dunk to be as good now as he once was. The work tab is okay, nothing fancy, but the barn excels with layoff runners (29%) so if this first-time gelding has at least one good one left he’ll beat this field. But at 2/5 on the morning line he’s a poor gamble. Mucho Jack is the best of the rest and could be dangerous in his first-off-the-claim for A.C. Avila. A sharp maiden $20,000 winner here 16 days ago with a good number for this level, the son of Macho Uno looks like the quickest of the quick and may get brave if he can shake loose early. Tread lightly here.RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: XSingle: 5-French ReefForecast: French Reef was sensational breaking his maiden in his first start since his debut last November over this course and distance last month and did so with a speed figure that makes him tough to beat right back despite the raise to the first-level allowance condition. Two nice workouts since that race (including a bullet :48 2/5 drill on the dirt track training track that was the fastest of 29) indicates the gelded son of New Approach is ready for another top effort. However, at 4/5 on the morning line the C. Brown-trained 4-year-old won’t offer any wagering value other than as a short-price rolling exotic single.RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Thebiigfundamental; 3-Super DudeForecast: The two main players in this $20,000 claiming router are taking big class drops, which makes trusting either one difficult. Thebigfundamental stretches out after a lethargic sprint comeback that we’re guessing he needed badly, so with less rust to deal with today the T. Pletcher-trained gelding should improve with the stretch out to his preferred trip. Now a 7-year-old and with just nine career starts, the son of Uncle Mo obviously has big issues, so while he may have been way better than these earlier in his career, there’s no guarantee he’s even remotely that good now. From the rail, we expect Johnny V. to try to put him on the lead. Super Dude was dull and fading fifth in a $50,000 seller earlier this month, and while the class drop should help we’re not sure how much the son of First Dude has regressed. First or second in 10 of 22 career starts, the M. Maker-trained gelding has a prior win at Saratoga and retains I. Ortiz, Jr., so it wouldn’t be out of the question to see him regain his form. Tread lightly here.RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Sifting Sands; 6-Nautilus; 7-Snow’s IslandForecast: This is more of an educated guess than anything else but we’re going to try the Fair Hill shipper Snow’s Island on top in this maiden juvenile turf router that on paper looks completely wide open. A homebred son of Animal Kingdom and the first foal from the multi-stakes winning turf mare Tuttipaesi, the G. Motion-trained colt appears to have done plenty of good work at the training center but perhaps more telling is that the barn’s “go-to” rider J. Rosario takes the call. There are no grass works showing on his resume but we suspect that whatever this colt can do on dirt or all weather he’ll do better on turf, so at 8-1 on the morning line we’ll go for a bit of a gamble. Sifting Sands will get plenty of play due to his connections (C. Brown/J. Ortiz) and pedigree but his work tab doesn’t point him out as anything special (he may not have to be against this group. We’ll include the son of Dubawi on our ticket but we’re really not sure what he’s capable of doing. Nautilus has three races under his belt, including a second place finish routing on grass here last month. His numbers are ordinary, so a decent colt can beat him but he may be the most likely in the field to at least hit the board.RACE 6: Post 4:04 ET. Grade: CUse: 5-Love Me Tomorrow; 6-Oak Creek Canyon; 7-Shenandoah RiverForecast: Maiden claiming state-bred fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in the first leg of the Late Pick-5 in a modest race that offers three possibilities, none of whom are particularly trustworthy. Shenandoah River hails from an outfit that does extremely well with first-timers (20% with a substantial flat-bet profit) so the daughter of Mission Impazable must be considered dangerous. The barn’s “go-to” rider E. Cancel takes the call, and with a decent if not spectacular series of drills she looks like well-meant in a soft field. Love Me Tomorrow is the best of the known element but already has had nine chances and her speed figures have stagnated. If the two first-timers aren’t all that much she may be able to outlast this field, but at 9/5 on the morning - and always suspect under pressure in the final furlong - she won’t be offering much wagering value. Oak Creek Canyon, from the L. Rice barn, was a $67,000 yearling purchase but debuts for $25,000, not a sign of confidence. Her Belmont Park training track work tab isn’t the worst, so maybe in a weak field she can make some noise.RACE 7: Post 4:40 ET. Grade: BUse: 7-Lonesome Fugitive; 8-KingmeisterForecast: Lonesome Fugitive had a bit of traffic trouble in the upper stretch before finishing fairly well when second in a similar first-level allowance affair here last month but with clear sailing today the C. Brown-trained colt may get up time. Blinkers go on, J. Ortiz stays aboard, and with the hood on the 3-year-old son of Zoffany seems likely to lay closer to the leaders today than he was last time. Kingmeister, third in the same race Lonesome Fugitive exits, ran reasonably well and has a right to improve in his second start off a layoff for Shug (20% with this angle). He should be within range throughout and have every chance. We’ll have tickets including both in our rolling exotics with the preference on top to Lonesome Fugitive.RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: B+Single: 2-Growth EngineForecast: If there’s ever a race that should set up for a closer, it’s this second-level allowance event over nine furlongs on the main track. Several of these need or prefer the lead, so the fractions should be faster than par and create a race flow that compliments the lightly-raced and improving Growth Engine. A visually pleasing winner last month at Monmouth Park in his first outing in more than a year, the son of Tapit earned a career top speed figure in the process and shows a healthy, steady series of workouts in the interim. Never worse than second in five career starts, the C. Brown-trained gelding is reunited with “win rider” J. Castellano and looks capable of producing the last run. At 5/2 on the morning line he’s a win play and rolling exotic single.RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Raging Bull; 6-Uni; 7-Valid PointForecast: Top to bottom a chance in this year’s edition of the Fourstardave H.-G1 over a mile on the inner turf course. We’ll just go with the three best of the four C. Brown entrants (you can toss in Without Parole, too, if you like) and hope for good racing luck with at least one of them. Raging Bull has a good inside draw, excellent form over the local lawn and numbers that are more than good enough to win. The drawback is that he’s trip and pace dependent so he’ll need good-to-fast early fractions and room to rally from the quarter pole home. Uni, the Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1 winner last year, was far below that form in her seasonable debut in late June when finishing a non-threatening third in the Just a Game S.-G1 but had a right to be rusty and certainly can step forward today. However, it may be significant that her regular jockey, J. Rosario, opts for Raging Bull. Valid Point (12-1) offers long shot value in a race that might set up for his pace-stalking style. The Scat Daddy colt had a brutal trip when lacking room in the his 4-year-old bow in the Poker S.-G3 last month in a race that we’ll toss out, and at this flat mile trip – his favorite – the lightly-raced 4-year-old could inherit an ideal trip in a race that might have soft splits early. He seems to be working well, so we’re expecting to see his best shot.RACE 10: Post 6:16 ET. Grade: C+Use: 5-Battalion; 9-TakeezForecast: Rakeez earned a good figure when graduating in his second career start at Gulfstream Park in January but obviously an issue surfaced and he had to be stopped on. The son of Kitten’s Joy returns in a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claimer rather than in a first-level allowance race, so the Shadwell Stable homebred obviously is for sale. On his best day the C. Brown-trained colt would have no trouble with this group but given the question of health and condition taking a short price on the 8/5 morning line favorite might not constitute sound wagering strategy. Battalio is fairly competitive on speed figures and was a reasonable runner-up in a $50,000 starter’s allowance event over this course and distance last month. The steadily improving son of Tiznow probably can’t beat Rakeez if that one produces his best stuff but if not this W. Mott-trained colt is the logical alternative.

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8.21.2020:

Del Mar Full-Card Saturday Picks from 1/ST INDEX

Saturday’s huge program at Del Mar gets underway at 5 pm ET / 2 pm PT and features an 11-race lineup. The Grade 1 Pacific Classic is one of five stakes races on the card, and will be Race 10. The 1/ST INDEX artificial intelligence selections throughout the program have been provided to give horseplayers a look how the contenders stack up in each race, using the 10 most-important of 53 analytical factors employed over more than 250,000 past races.Race 1 (5:00PM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 5 1/2 Furlongs (Dirt) #5 Shanghai Groove (28%W // 50%P // 67%S) 6-1 ML #4 Avisse (13%W // 23%P // 37%S) 5-1 ML#1 Frosted Blue (13%W // 34%P // 52%S) 10-1 ML#3 Lady Mo (12%W // 29%P // 45%S) 20-1 MLNotable: The algorithms don’t account as much for first-time starters as experienced horses. The public likely will focus on debut runners #2 Princess Noor, #6 Peachtree Road and #7 Flash Magic. #5 Shanghai Groove has a massive edge in percentages vs. the other experienced runners.Race 2 (5:31PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) #2 Li’l Grazen (32%W // 52%P // 65%S) 8-5 ML#1 Square Peggy (19%W // 35%P // 55%S) 8-1 ML#7 Unchain Her Heart (15%W // 31%P // 48%S) 8-1 ML#3 Noor Khan 14 %W // 29%P // 41%S) 8-1 MLNotable: #2 Li’l Grazen has the third-highest win percentage of any top selection on the program. As the solid morning line favorite, she may be a ‘single’ in the early pick four and pick five.Race 3 (6:05PM ET) // G3 Green Flash H. // 5 Furlongs (Turf) #8 Mikes Tiznow (30%W // 49%P // 66%S) 9-2 ML#1 Sparky Ville (16%W // 33%P // 52%S) 5-2 ML#4 Torosay (14%W // 33%P // 44%S) 8-1 ML#7 Chaos Theory (12%W // 30%P // 45%S) 7-2 MLNotable: The 14-point spread between the top 2 selections is the second-largest on the program. The algorithm’s fair odds on #8 Mikes Tiznow are between 2-1 and 5-2, and he’s an overlay at 9-2 in the track morning line.Race 4 (6:36PM ET) // G3 Torrey Pines S. // 1 Mile (Dirt)  #2 Secret Keeper (35%W // 54%P // 67%S) 7-2 ML#5 Aurelia Garland (23%W // 50%P // 72%S) 4-1 ML#3 Harvest Moon (16%W // 41%P // 57%S) 2-1 ML#6 Provocation (13%W // 22%P // 45%S) 9-2 MLNotable: #2 Secret Keeper has the highest win-percentage on the entire program at 35%. Her fair odds based on the 1/ST INDEX are around 9-5, considerably lower than the 7-2 morning line, making her a potential overlay at that price.Race 5 (7:06PM ET) // Maiden Special Weight // 1 Mile (Turf) #8 Lane Way (27%W // 48%P // 59%S) 5-2 ML#10 Absolute Unit (18%W // 30%P // 44%S) 5-1 ML#12 Divine Armor (8%W // 22%P // 35%S) 5-1 ML#4 Comradery (7%W // 15%P // 26%S) 15-1 MLNotable: The 1/ST INDEX selections line up in accordance with the morning line odds in a race that projects to be formful, though #12 Divine Armor’s fair odds are closer to 12-1 than the 5-1 morning line, making him a possible underlay to avoid at shorter odds.Race 6 (7:36PM ET) // Claiming // 6 Furlongs (Dirt)  #10 Square Deal (24%W // 40%P // 50%S) 12-1 ML#9 Taco Waco (16%W // 32%P // 44%S) 10-1 ML#2 Baby Gronk (10%W // 24%P // 38%S) 7-2 ML#7 Fratelli (8%W // 15%P // 23%S) 3-1 MLNotable: The best overlay value on the program could come in this race as 12-1 morning #10 Square Deal is projected between 3-1 and 7-2 odds in the 1/ST INDEX. #9 Taco Deal also could be an overlay at the 10-1 morning line price, projected closer to 5-1 by the 1/ST INDEX.Race 7 (8:06PM ET) // G2 Del Mar H. // 1 3/8 Miles (Turf)  #1 United (24%W // 45%P // 58%S) 8-5 ML#3 Combatant (17%W // 24%P // 33%S) 8-1 ML#6 Proud Pedro (13%W // 21%P // 30%S) 12-1 ML#2 Another Mystery (9%W // 18%P // 25%S) 20-1 MLNotable: Favorite #1 United is the 1/ST INDEX top choice and looks solid on paper. But his price may be shorter than fair based on the morning line. #3 Combatant might be the value play at 8-1 morning line as his 1/ST INDEX fair odds are 5-1.Race 8 (8:36PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 1 Mile (Dirt)  #5 El Tigre Terrible (26%W // 44%P // 58%S) 4-1 ML#6 Extra Hope (16%W // 38%P // 48%S) 5-2 ML#7 Loud Mouth (13%W // 25%P // 43%S) 8-1 ML#1 Unbroken Star (11%W // 23%P // 37%S) 12-1 MLNotable: Top choice #5 El Tigre Terrible is a 10-point pick in the percentages and projects just under 3-1 odds by the 1/ST INDEX. He would be a solid play at the 4-1 morning line. #6 Extra Hope is an underlay at 5-2 odds in the morning line, given about a 5-1 chance by the algorithm.Race 9 (9:06PM ET) // G1 Del Mar Oaks // 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)  #10 Laura’s Light (24%W // 44%P // 59%S) 3-1 ML#4 Warren’s Showtime (17%W // 35%P // 52%S) 6-1 ML#11 Guitty (11%W // 22%P // 34%S) 8-1 ML#1 Carpe Vinum (10%W // 15%P // 21%S) 15-1 MLNotable: The French imports #3 Miss Extra and #8 Neige Blanche don’t compute as well as the American runners due to some blind spots in the algorithm (speed, pace figures etc. not available for European races). Both would appear to be contenders along with the logical American favorite #10 Laura’s Light, priced right around 3-1 odds.Race 10 (9:36PM ET) // G1 Pacific Classic // 1 1/4 Miles (Dirt) #5 Maximum Security (34%W // 62%P // 71%S) 1-1 ML#2 Higher Power (22%W // 44%P // 69%S) 3-1 ML#1 Midcourt (17%W // 32%P // 41%S) 7-2 ML#4 Dark Vader (15%W // 32%P // 55%S) 12-1 MLNotable: #5 Maximum Security is a solid favorite by 12 percentage points in the 1/ST INDEX, but computes closer to a 9-5 favorite by the algorithm. None of the top 3 choices appear to offer any overlay value based on the morning line, though one of them likely wins. This could be a good race to look at a daily double for value, pairing the winner of Race 10 and Race 11 for that reason.Race 11 (10:04PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)  #12 Kneedeepinsnow (18%W // 26%P // 39%S) 12-1 ML#3 Ostini (17%W // 31%P // 50%S) 15-1 ML#10 Desmond Doss (14%W // 25%P // 32%S) 8-1 ML#4 Shadow Sphinx (12%W // 29%P // 39%S) 7-2 MLNotable: Easily the closest race on the card by the numbers, the top choice is only a single-point best and the top-4 all are within 6 points. Top choice #12 Kneedeepinsnow would be a solid overlay price at the 12-1 morning line, computing in the 1/ST INDEX to around a 9-2 or 5-1 chance. #3 Ostini also could offer overlay value with a similar 5-1 chance by the algorithm and a 15-1 morning line projection.

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8.21.2020:

Friday, August 21: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level. Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value. The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-The Golden Door; 6-Advanced Strategy; 7-Silver Token Forecast: State-bred older maidens sprint five and one-half furlongs on grass in the Friday opener, with Silver Token the one to beat after missing by a nose with a less-than-ideal trip over this course and distance last month. Comfortably placed outside, the Mizzen Mast gelding will have clear sailing while likely to enjoy a pace-stalking trip and have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. Advanced Strategy, a close fourth with no visible excuse in the same race ‘Token exits, adds Lasix for the first time so he has a right to produce a forward move in what will be just his third career start and his second off a long layoff. J. Rosario stays aboard and will produce him late. The Golden Door, a debuting Point of Entry colt from the D. Donk barn, shows a long series of moderate drills at Belmont Park but he actually looked quite good in a :10 1/5 breeze during the preview session of the 2019 OBS April sale, where he brought $90,000 through the ring. At 8-1 on the morning line in a race in which the favorites aren’t world beaters, he’s worth including somewhere on your ticket. RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: B+Single: 5-The Angry Man Forecast: In a below average maiden special weight nine furlong event that drew just six runners, let’s take a stand and single The Angry Man. With rising speed figures in each of his four career starts and returning to the main track, the son of Summer Front could find himself as the controlling speed or at least in a pace-pressing position in a race with soft early fractions. With even a modest forward move, the 3-year-old gelding seems quite capable of earning his diploma, so at 9/5 on the morning line we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: XSingle: 6-Golden Pal Forecast: Golden Pal, an outstanding second (beaten a neck) in the Norfolk S.-G2 at Royal Ascot, returns to the States and is listed at 3/5 on the morning line despite the fact that he’s still a maiden after two starts. We doubt he’ll remain winless after today. By Uncle Mo from the sensational turf sprinting mare Lady Shipman, the W. Ward-trained colt is nicely drawn outside of six and can bust to the front or settle and stalk depending upon what his uncoupled stablemate, Fauci, decides to do while breaking just inside of him. In any case, we’re expecting ‘Pal to exert his superiority when it counts as a short priced, rolling exotic single. RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: BSingle: 8-Citizen K Forecast: Citizen K has done enough in the morning to indicate he’s fit and ready to win first crack out of the box in this state-bred juvenile sprint. The son of Mizzen Mast looks to have plenty of quickness, lands the cozy outside post, and in a field that doesn’t appear all that strong may be capable of taking control right from the start. At 5/2 on the morning line we’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 5: Post 3:30 ET. Grade: B-Use: 5-Unprecedented; 7-Standup; 9-My Man Flintstone Forecast: We’ll spread this starter’s allowance turf sprint going three-deep in our rolling exotics while preferring Standup on top. A late-running sprinter that will need good racing luck and some help up front, the Into Mischief gelding finished a strong third in a similar affair last month, retains J. Rosario, and should be capable of producing the last run. My Man Flintstone so far in his career has preferred to finish second (five times) rather than win but he’ll have clearing sailing with a pace-pressing journey from his outside draw and really won’t have to improve much to beat this field. His only prior grass sprint was trouble-filled so we suspect he’ll handle the surface switch just fine. Unprecedented was a close fourth in the same race Standup exits while earning a career top number and today switches to I. Ortiz, Jr., so we’ll toss him in as well. RACE 6: Post 4:06 ET. Grade: XSingle: 6-Princesa Carolina Forecast: Princesa Carolina, a smart debut winner last fall and then a highly-respectable third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1, makes her sophomore debut in this first-level allowance affair and has trained well enough to pick up where she left off. The daughter of American Pharoah from the C. Brown barn (a superior 29% with layoff runners) has excellent tactical speed and should draft into a comfortable second flight, stalking position and then kick on with it when set down. J. Castellano remains aboard and knows her well, but at 6/5 on the morning line she’ll probably be too short to play other than as a single in rolling exotic play. RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: BUse: 3-Jump for Joy; 4-I’ll Take the Cake Forecast: I’ll Take the Cake is a dangerous Florida shipper in this extended sprint for $40,000 claiming fillies and mares. She remains above her claim level for clever connections and though overmatched and well-beaten last time out can get back on track with a repeat of her race before last. An 11-time winner, the 6-year-old mare has had only two starts this year so she’s fresh and apparently spot on following a recent bullet half-mile workout (:47 2/5, fastest of 36) over the local main track. The barn’s “go to” rider, T. Gaffalione, takes the call. Jump for Joy moves up a notch following a solid win for $32,000 last month and in her present form the veteran mare should be set for another top effort. Always thoroughly genuine and consistent (first or second in 16 of 26 career starts), the daughter of Jump Start has the ideal stalking style for this extended sprint trip and with J. Ortiz staying aboard she should have every chance from a pace-forcing position. RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: BUse: 4-Freewheeler; 8-Noble Emotion Forecast: Freewheeler, away since last November, won his debut over this course and distance so we know he can fire fresh and has done enough in the morning to have him fit enough in this abbreviated turf sprint for first-level state-bred allowance horses. The T. Pletcher barn has a superb record with comebackers (29%) so we’re expecting this son of City Zip to be difficult to deny, but at a very short price. For protection in your rolling exotics, you may want to consider another layoff runner, Noble Emotion, a first-time gelding making his first start since last fall. A smart juvenile maiden sprint winner at Belmont Park, the son of Noble Mission has good connections and a healthy if not flashy work tab. He could easily be a better type now than last year. RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Micromillion; 7-Kept Waiting Forecast: Kept Waiting was worn down right near the wire when a runner-up in a similar maiden special weight turf router here last month but at this slightly shorter trip the daughter of Broken Vow should be hard to beat. With other speed types drawn inside her, the M. Micelli-trained filly likely will settle into a stalking position and then have dead aim when it counts. Micromillion probably is the most dangerous of the closers and could step forward after finishing a willing runner-up in a maiden claimer here last month in her first start since February. Though she’s stepping up in class today, the T. Pletcher-trained filly is a fit on numbers and has hit the board in each of her five career starts.

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8.21.2020:

Friday, August 21: Northfield Park Late Pick 4

Northfield Park has a 16-race card scheduled for this evening. The betting highlight will be the $1 Late Pick 4 which has a $40,000 guaranteed pool. The sequence begins in Race 7 and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 71-Bourbon And Barley (6/5)-1st race back since being pulled up on 5/28. This mare had a lot of success early on and still loves the oval. Fits with this kind if fires hot off the bench. Has won 22 of 69 at Nfld and has banked over $240k.2-She's In For Life (8-1)-Has enough gate speed to get a good seat and drops to a more realistic level. Grismore could leave or come off cover. This is a price shot worth using with a well-timed move and a smooth journey.5-Lakeisha Hall (5/2)-Took the long way around into a 54.3 opening half versus Open company last week. Winner in 8 of 13 races at Nfld should be a major player at this class.Race 83-Doyoudesiremyheart (5-1)-The entire field has only 6 wins in 2020 and this mare is 1-16. Barn is ice cold, makes 4th start since claim but finally draws inside at this class. Could win at a square price if Kash can get her to leave quickly.5-My Hearts Rockin (5-1)-1st start for the Rhoades barn and Hall takes the lines. Will use and respect connections as the barn has won 15 of 75 starts (20%) over the past 30 days.9-Tilly The Filly (8-1)-Will need a break or two from this post but has won twice this year which leads the field in pictures and drops. Won on 7/10 at this level from the rail at 1-2, this will be tougher but price should be much better.Race 94-Canadian Rocker (5/2)-Won in 1st start from the rail for Clegg after the claim, then was off 2-weeks and didn't do well from 8-hole. Did win 4 in a row at this class when drawing well and will respect chances of another picture tonight.5-Battle Of Cannae (10-1)-Makes 4th start for the Meyers barn and improved in last after missing a start. Will look for even better here and if finds live cover could pop at a price.7-IDA Sofia (9/5)-Has either been 1st or 2nd in 4 starts since being claimed. Has the gate speed to get on the engine or in the pocket probably following #4. Looks like a main threat to cash the top check with a decent trip.Race 102-Its A Good Thing (7/5)-On 7/25 beat the 3-4-5-7 from the 9-hole. Then was off almost 3 weeks and came 2nd on 8/14 but the winner isn't in this field. Could get the top off the hop or wait for the dust to settle and make a 1/4 pull and not look back.My Ticket Race 7) 1,2,5 Race 8) 3,5,9 Race 9) 4,5,7 Race 10) 2Total Ticket Cost) $27 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter!

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8.21.2020:

2020 Pacific Classic Contenters, Analysis & Late Pick 4 Ticket

Go ahead. You have permission. Feel free to create a Kentucky Derby Top 10 list. Today. With less than 20 days until the race it’s reasonably clear who’s in and who’s out. Rank them in order of preference. We’ll help: Number 1 is Tiz the Law. There, now you only need to come up with 9 others. It’s always amusing when prognosticators release Kentucky Derby Top 10 lists in January. I get why they do it; because it’s interesting to read an early opinion regarding the abilities of ‘just turned threes.’ But those lists usually have as little to do with what eventually happens on the first Saturday in May in Louisville as a 30-day weather forecast. Rumor has it that Nostradamus once posted a Kentucky Derby top 10 list in January. He missed tabbing the winner and only 3 of his 10 runners even made the race! Santa Anita’s morning-line maker and long-time Xpressbet blogger Jon White fared just as well this year with his January 15 Top 10 Derby list. And he’s not even an astrologer or a physician. In fact, White will do Nostradamus one better if heavily favored Tiz the Law arrives home first on Derby Day. Plus, White’s forecast had to keep from January until the first Saturday in September instead of a similar day in May! Three of White’s original top 10 ranked runners are destined to start in the Kentucky Derby (original ranking in parenthesis): Thousand Words (3), Tiz the Law (5) and Authentic (6). Thousand Words required a Lazarus-like return to form in the Shared Belief at Del Mar to make the big dance. Tiz the Law obviously developed into a monster and Authentic’s blue chip stock dipped in the Santa Anita Derby, but rebounded in the Haskell. Rounding out Juan Blanco’s top 10 were: Storm the Court (1), a possible but unlikely Derby starter; Dennis’ Moment (2); Maxfield (4); Independence Hall (7); Anneau d’Or (8); Untitled (9) and Chance It (10). While you’re in a list-making mood, you might as well layout Saturday’s Del Mar late Pick 4. The main event in the sequence is the Gr. 1 Pacific Classic starring last year’s Kentucky Derby winner (sort of). You recall what happened with Maximum Security in the Louisville stretch? He was accused and ultimately convicted of molesting several foes. And that wasn’t even the most interesting aspect of his short career! In 2020, soon after Maximum Security cleared customs, following a gutsy victory in the world’s richest race in Saudi Arabia, his then trainer Jason Servis was arrested and placed under federal indictment for a variety of offenses. In Maximum Security’s first start for trainer Bob Baffert, he outlasted Midcourt by a nose in the Gr. 2 San Diego Handicap. Baffert says he’s learned a lot more about the 3-year-old champ since then and has him breathing fire. I’ll agree until proven otherwise. Below is a horse-by-horse analysis of the Pacific Classic and a late Pick 4 analysis and suggested play: 1. Midcourt (Shirreffs/Espinoza) - 7/2 This 5-yar-old gelded son of Midnight Lute made the lead in the San Diego Handicap and battled #5 Maximum Security to the finish before losing a desperate nose decision. For fans of weight shifts in this one mile and one-quarter journey Midcout will carry 124 pounds Saturday, two more than he did in the mile and one-sixteenth San Diego. #5 Maximum Security also will carry 124 pounds Saturday. He toted 127 in the San Diego. That means there’s a 5-pound weight shift in Maximum Security’s favor. Midcourt has an excellent record at Del Mar with 2 wins—a first-level allowance win and the Gr. 3 Native Diver at one-mile and one-eighth--and one second in 3 starts. This winner of 5 of 12 lifetime can set the early pace or come from behind, so he’s versatile. From the rail, expect jockey Victor Espinoza to let Midcourt roll away from the gate toward the early lead. 2. Higher Power (Sadler/Prat) - 3/1 A well-beaten third in the San Diego Handicap to #5 Maximum Security and #1 Midcourt last out, this 5-year-old horse will need to find a way to turn the tables on the top pair. He also must endure a 5-pound weight shift in #5 Maximum Security’s favor. Early in the San Diego, Higher Power made an aggressive move to take the fight to #1 Midcourt, but didn’t have enough steam to carry it through. Higher Power has 1 win in 2 Del Mar starts, but it was a big one. He’s the defending Pacific Classic champ as he romped in 2019 by more than 5 lengths. Since then he’s been a non-threatening in the money finisher in 4 Grade 1 events—third in the Awesome Again and BC Classic and second in the Gold Cup. His only dud came in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream in January. Expect him to be just behind the early pace and to put in an even finish. 3. Mirinaque (Munoz/Pereira) - 10/1 An invader from Argentina, this 4-year-old colt has 4 wins and 4 seconds out of 9 starts.  He finished a close second in the Gr. 1 Carlos Pellegrini International going one mile and one-half on grass; and that’s a prestigious race. Still, it’s extremely difficult for an import to ship from South America to win a Gr. 1 dirt race first out in the United States and his workouts have been acceptable but not overwhelming. Based on his record, he should have no problem with the distance of the race. 4. Dark Vader (Eurton/Rispoli) - 12/1 Fresh off a sharp one-mile allowance win at Del Mar, this 5-year-old horse steps into Gr. 1 company for the first time. Time before that he finished second to highly regarded McKinzie in the Gr. 2 Triple Bend at seven furlongs. Since his allowance tally he’s been doing really well, evidenced by two bullet five-furlong breezes one week apart at the seaside oval. He’s only has 2 starts in the last year, so he’s fresh as a daisy. He’ll need to run the race of his 13-start career to have a say in the Pacific Classic, but he’s fresh and fit.  5. Maximum Security (Baffert/Cedillo) - 1/1 This is a great horse in the hands of a great trainer, so we should expect nothing but a great effort from him. Since his Gr. 2 San Diego Handicap nose victory, he’s worked 3 times at Del Mar: 5/8 of a mile in 1:01; 6 furlongs in 1:12 4/5 and 7 furlongs in 1:25 2/5. That final workout was more like a mile than 7 furlongs, so you know he’s plenty fit. You won’t find a more determined horse than Maximum Security. In the stretch of the one mile and one-eighth Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Maximum Security was one tired hombre. Still, he battled to the finish, out gaming the extremely talented mare Midnight Bisou. He’s won 9 of 11 races and banked nearly $12 million, despite being disqualified from first and placed 17th in the Kentucky Derby. In 7 of his last 8 races, he’s earned a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure. The only reason it’s not 8-for-8 is that the Saudi Cup wasn’t given a BSF. Maximum Security also has speed, but he can sit off the pace, as he proved again in the San Diego Handicap when he was shuffled back in traffic. Certainly, you don’t need this horseplayer to list Maximum Security’s advantages. However, sometimes it’s nice to revisit them because he really is a special horse. 6. Sharp Samurai (Glatt/Hernandez) - 8/1 This is a Gr. 1 race with a $500k purse and a short field. Why not take a chance with a 6-year-old turf gelding? Sharp Samurai has 8 career wins from 20 starts and 7 of them have come on turf. Most recently, he was a close second to United in the Gr. 2 Eddie Read at one mile and one-eighth on the Del Mar turf. He’s an honest horse, often in the money, but this dirt venture seems a bit out of his lane. Late Pick 4 Analysis(Runners graded A, B, C according to preference)   Race 8 (8:36PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 1 Mile (Dirt)  This is an interesting one-mile allowance/$62,500 optional claiming race with just 8 runners but a few possible winners. #3 Potantico is fit and fast enough—he was beaten a half-length at this level here last out by Dark Vader, who’s entered in the Pacific Classic. Potantico likes Del Mar--2 wins and a second in 3 tries and he’s 3 for 8 at the distance. The 4-year-old gelding has enough speed to be just off the early pace. He’s the top pick in here. Grade: A.  #4 Take the One O One is a bit interesting. He could be the only speed, gets come class relief from a pair of Cal-bred stakes, likes Del Mar 2-for-2 and is 1 for 2 at the distance. The majority of his races have been against stakes competition, including the Gr. 1 FrontRunner at 2; the Gr. 2 Del Mar Derby at 3; the Gr. 3 Thunder Road at 5. Toss his grass starts and he’s a solid 4-for-9 on fast dirt and 2-for-3 in fast dirt non-stakes races. Grade: B.  #5 El Tigre Terrible is a 3-year-old both facing elders and trying a 2-turn dirt race for the first time. He’s trained by Peter Miller and is a sterling 3-for-4 at Del Mar. He may be best as a late-running sprinter, but you probably need to use him defensively. Grade: C.  #6 Extra Hope enters this off a layoff since November for Hall of Fame trainer Dick Mandella and top jock Flavien Prat. He’s faced graded stakes competition, including Improbable and Mucho Gusto. Last out he was a well-beaten second to Pacific Classic contender Midcourt in the Gr. 3 Native Diver. Despite the lofty connections there are some eyebrow raising stats attached. Mandella is having an unlucky meeting and is just 2-for-29 with 7 seconds. According to Daily Racing Form stats, he’s also just 8% with runners off +180 days. Extra Hope is winless in 4 starts at Del Mar. Grade: B.  Race 9 (9:06PM ET) // G1 Del Mar Oaks // 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)  Discussion of this race must begin with #10 Laura’s Light. Trained by Peter Miller, she’s won 5-of-7 races with a win and a second over the Del Mar turf as well as a 1-for-1 record at the distance. She’s got enough speed to be close to the early pace and she comes home with determination. Last out she took the Gr. 2 San Clemente here over #11 Guitty and #4 Warren’s Showtime. The former ran the race of her career and the latter fired one of her usual consistent salvos. Laura’s Light has defeated just about every runner in this race at least once. There are a few new faces in here and that could be where the danger lies. However, the race goes through #10 Laura’s Light, without a doubt. Grade: A.  #3 Miss Extra is the most interesting of a group of new faces that includes #6 Trickle In, from the east coast, and #8 Neige Blanche from France. #3 Miss Extra was well beaten at 20-1 odds last out in the Group 1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly. That’s usually a very strong race and a 7 ½ length loss is no disgrace. Before that she won the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham, also at Chantilly. Those fillies should be better than what’s lined up here. Turf master Umberto Rispoli will ride the filly that shows no official US workouts. The gamble here is how #3 Miss Extra will adapt to racing around tight turns on a firm US course where speed is dangerous. She mustn’t lose contact with the leaders. Still, her resume is solid, and she must be respected. Grade: B.  #1 Carpe Vinum has some attraction because she’s improved or equaled Beyer Speed Figures in each race. That’s often a solid sign that more could be coming. She should enjoy a rail-skimming trip in here and with a bit of improvement could step with these. She’ll be price and it’s asking a bit for her to jump up to Gr. 1 competition off a fist-level allowance win, but circumstances seem to be in her favor. Grade: B.  #2 California Kook finished second in her last two races and missed by a mere half-length to #1 Carpe Vinum in July. If you like one you have to like the other. Peter Miller saddles but Rispoli moves to #3 Miss Extra. Grade: C.  Race 10 (9:36PM ET) // G1 Pacific Classic // 1 1/14 Miles (Dirt)  See above analysis. Race 11 (10:04PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)  A full field of allowance/$40k optional claimers line up to close out Pacific Classic day and the late pick 4. This horseplayer couldn’t see a real standout in here, so you may need to spread the net a bit to find the winner. #5 Salvator Mundi finished second at this level last out and appears to be going well right now. The 4-year-old is trained by Phil D’Amato (22%) and is ridden by Umberto Rispoli (25%). Claimed for $40k at Churchill, this gelding makes his third start for D’Amato and Rispoli. A nice :47 4/5 turf blowout adds to the attraction. Grade: A.  #8 Southern King already has been successful at this level and will start for the $40k tag. Blinkers were added two back and that seems to have helped, producing an immediate victory and a speed and fade job against better going one mile and three eighths. It took this one a while to break through at this level but he seems on track now. Grade: A.  #2 Tiberius Mercurius is going well for trainer John Sadler. The 4-year-old finished a close third last out as favorite at this level. It took this one a while to break maiden after racing in New York and Florida, but he’s been solid since Sadler took over training two races back. He’s got enough pace to sit just behind the early leaders and an inside post position ought to have him saving ground under Victor Espinoza. Grade: B.  #4 Shadow Sphinx scored last out in June off an extended layoff that saw him racing downhill at Santa Anita in his previous two starts in January and December of 2019. Flavien Prat returns in the saddle for trainer Richard Baltas and they combine to score at 24%. A solid series of works, including a bullet five-furlong drill on turf in :59 2/5 August 2, suggest this guy is locked and loaded.  Grade: B.  #7 Three Ay Em takes a dip in class off two Cal-bred stakes races. He was just 2 ½ lengths behind the winner in the Cal Dreamin and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith returns in the saddle. Trainer Andrew Lerner is 0-15 at the meeting and the 4-year-old colt is 0-4 at Del Mar, but a repeat of his last fits against these. Grade: C.  $.50 Pick Four ($40) Ticket Race 8: #3, #4, #5, #6Race 9: #1, #2, #3, #10Race 10: #5Race 11: #2, #4, #5, #7, #8 Race On!

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8.21.2020:

Eddie Olczyk's Pacific Classic Day Spot Plays

Maximum Security will be a heavy favorite in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic in Race 10 on Saturday, August 22 at Del Mar. Finding prices in surrounding races will be the key to playing wagers like daily doubles, pick threes, fours and fives. I’ve got a best bet early on the card Saturday, as well as a couple of spot plays you can connect with the Pacific Classic favorite in multi-race wagers. Race 3 (6:05PM ET) // G3 Green Flash Handicap // 5 Furlongs (Turf)  #7 Chaos Theory (7/2 morning line) Strong finisher should get a perfect trip with plenty of speed to set the table. This was a great claim in Kentucky for John Sadler and he has exited very live races. I’m hoping for at least 3-1. Chaos Theory is my best bet on the day.  Race 8 (8:36PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 1 Mile (Dirt) #1 Unbroken Star (12/1 morning line) Longshot raced wide throughout July 25 in a race where the pace was modest and the speed controlled things. He should save ground Saturday from the rail and get more tempo in front of him with Take the One O One and others entered. He won at 16-1 at Santa Anita two starts ago and has a chance to light up the toteboard again. Race 11 (10:04PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) #7 Three Ay Em (8/1 morning line) The final race on the card comes immediately after the Pacific Classic, offering an interesting daily double possibility into this solid price. Three Ay Em had finished in the money in all 6 career races on grass until running into some mild traffic trouble in the California Dreaming Stakes. He leaves the state-bred ranks for this allowance race where he still has eligibility.

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8.20.2020:

Podcast: Pacific Classic Day Handicapping with Jeff Siegel & Jeremy Plonk

Listen as Jeff Siegel and Jeremy Plonk handicap the races from Del Mar on Pacific Classic Day - Saturday, August 22, 2020 - and the $100,000 Guaranteed Stronach 5 on Friday, August 21.   LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

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8.20.2020:

Saturday, August 22: Del Mar Pacific Classic Late Pick 5 Preview

Saturday’s G1 Pacific Classic card at Del Mar is one you can’t afford to miss. The card features five graded stakes races, loaded with names like Maximum Security, United, Midcourt, Higher Power and Combatant. Couple the great racing with Del Mar’s popular wager menu and big pools and these races and bets are simply too good to pass up.  Before we look at the Late Pick 5, I did want to throw in three quick Xpressbet commercials: Del Mar Oaks Money-Back Guarantee: Get your cash back, up to $10, if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd in the G1 Del Mar Oaks. 3 Million Point Split: Win huge XB Rewards Point bounties by hitting Del Mar’s biggest bets on Saturday. Fun in the Sun Tournament: Play for massive cash prizes, plus punch your ticket to the Fun in the Sun Final Table on Monday, September 7.  Here’s my take on the Late Pick 5: Race 7 (8:00PM ET) // G2 Del Mar Handicap // 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) What makes this sequence so appealing is the potential single of #1 UNITED (8/5) in the first leg. This horse loves Del Mar (2-for-3 lifetime) and seemingly drew perfectly for his preferred ‘up close’ running style. He’s going to be the one they’ll need to catch late and while he never makes it easy on his backers (the finishes of his last five races were separated by a combined 1 1/4-lengths), he knows how to find the wire and get his nose down on it.  Larger tickets could easily include #7 RED KING (8/1), #10 ORIGINAIRE (5/1) and #5 WARD ‘N JERRY (10/1) (probably in that order).  Race 8 (8:30PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 1 Mile (Dirt) I see the potential for a speed duel in this one between #4 TAKE THE ONE O ONE (8/1) and #8 KERSHAW (9/2), which would open things up for someone from just behind that duo.  #6 EXTRA HOPE (5/2) flirted with the Kentucky Derby Trail in 2019 but was a cut below Improbable, Mucho Gusto, etc. He hasn’t raced since last November, but he has kept good company and might be the one to beat. #5 EL TIGRE TERRIBLE (4/1) probably doesn’t want to go around two-turns, but he’s 3-for-4 on Del Mar dirt and ran big in a state-bred stakes race on July 31 going 7-furlongs.  #1 UNBROKEN STAR (12/1) and #3 POTANICO (7/2) have the tactical speed to sit just behind the pacesetters and both should benefit from inside draws.  Race 9 (9:00PM ET) // G1 Del Mar Oaks // 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) Pace is a bit of a question mark in this race, just as it is in Race 8 so I’m going to hedge a little and attack from multiple angles. #10 LAURA’S LIGHT (3/1) is probably the ‘best’ horse in the field, but she likes to run up close to the pace and there are a few other speedballs in the group that could push this field pretty quickly early. So alongside her I’m going to use #3 MISS EXTRA (9/2), #4 WARREN’S SHOWTIME (6/1), #8 NEIGE BLANCHE (5/1) and #11 GUITTY (8/1).  They all figure to be running from the back of the pack.  Simply put, I see too much pace with #5 AQUA SEAFOAM SHAME (12/1), #6 TRICKLE IN (12/1), #9 PARKOUR (15/1) and LAURA’S LIGHT for them to go slowly.  And while LAURA’S LIGHT may win the battle of those four, can she hold off the closers to win the war? Race 10 (9:30PM ET) // G1 Pacific Classic // 1 1/4 Miles (Dirt) I thought #5 MAXIMUM SECURITY (1/1) showed plenty of guts when he won the G2 San Diego Handicap by a nose on July 25. That was his first race since the G1 Saudi Cup, his first start for Bob Baffert and his first start with Abel Cedillo in the irons. So hopefully they all learned something. He’s once again drawn well and should be able to stalk the pace just off #1 MIDCOURT (7/2). I’m not sure that one wants to go 1 1/4 miles and the only other horse in here that worries me, #2 HIGHER POWER (3/1), has yet to show he’s a threat following last year’s Pacific Classic win. So for me it’s all about MAXIMUM SECURITY in his second start off the layoff. Race 11 (10:00PM ET) // Allowance Optional Claiming // 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) Despite an overflow field for the nightcap, I’m focusing my bet on the two top jockeys at Del Mar – Flavien Prat and Umberto Rispoli.  Prat is on #4 SHADOW SPHINX (7/2) and Rispoli rides #5 SALVATOR MUNDI (9/2). Both horses are incredibly versatile and each is in good form, with ‘SPHINX entering off a win and ‘MUNDI off a runner-up effort.  A potential ‘from the clouds’ type would be #7 THREE AY EM (8/1). My Ticket Race 7 // 1Race 8 // 1,3,4,5,6Race 9 // 3,4,8,10,11Race 10 // 5Race 11 // 4,5,7 Ticket Cost // $37.50 for 50-cents  

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8.20.2020:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: August 21 Stronach 5 Play

We welcome back Golden Gate Fields in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee, and a prospective pool that should far surpass that. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors. *** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. *** Leg 1: Laurel Park R7 (3:58 ET) – 3upfm N1X at 1 1/16 miles (turf) If #8 CAMBELIZA (5-2) is ready off the October layoff she’s going to win the opening leg, it’s that simple, as her last two runs on turf to end 2019 would bottom out this field. The worry, of course, is the October layoff, but Delacour is 16% from a 43-horse sample off a break like this, so that, coupled with such a meek field, says you can lean on the favorite, even if you don’t want to single her. And that’s the approach I’ll take, which is why I’m only going to use one other, and that’s ironically the “other” Delacour, #11 CORRECTNESS (4-1), who has a recency edge on her stablemate, and plenty of upside off just four starts, which includes back-to-back close 6th-place finishes in a pair of 3yo stakes. Pk5 A horses: 8,11 (listed in order of preference) I know #4 SAILINGINTOTHEWIND (10-1) is winless in a pair of turf starts and now faces winners off a muddy off-the-turf MSW romp last time, but she’s another with plenty of upside, and the turf run two-back was solid, plus she drew better than the top pair and is more tactical too, so she has every right to make a big dent here. Pk5 B horses: 4 Potential B add-ins: #9 One Last Trial (6-1), #7 Midship Lady (5-1) Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:14 ET) – 3up 25k MCL at 1 1/16 miles (turf) I’ll side with the MSW drop and go with #5 ALASTOR (4-1), who has plenty of upside off just two starts, should be tighter than he was on debut in his lone turf start, and drew better than his biggest rivals as well. You have to use #10 SULEMAN (3-1), since he closed strongly to be a close 4th in his debut, though his lack of early speed, wide draw, and underlaid price make him a bit tough to trust. A slight drop, good post, and tactical speed say #3 ROBIN TEAM SHOW (9-2) is a player, and that 2nd last time would put him in the mix here. Pk5 A horses: 5,10,3 When you pay 235k for a horse as a yearling the plan isn’t to debut for 25k in the second half of your 3yo year, so I’m against #9 BOURBONROX (7-2) for Pletcher, even though he won’t have to be a freak to have a big chance here. I’m not sure why today would be the day for #8 SOUTHERN POINTE DRIVE (8-1), as he’s leveled off after six starts, but he’s close enough to the top players to be in with a chance, and it’s not like there’s anyone to fear here either. Pk5 B horses: 9,8 Potential B add-ins: #4 Plenum (20-1), #2 Call Bros (20-1) Leg 3: Laurel Park R8 (4:32 ET) – 3upfm Maryland-bred N1X* at 6 furlongs You could do worse than singling #6 QUIET IMAGINATION (3-1), who has never run against Md breds and might simply be a better, faster horse than these, especially if she runs back to the N2L Del Park win last time, but I’ll also use #7 STICKINGTOGETHER (7-2), as she flashed promise as a 3yo filly, and while she hasn’t run since December, Matz is a robust 29% from a 21-horse sample off this elongated layoff, so that, coupled with some added maturity, should have her in with a big say. It’s also worth noting both of these fillies have a rating gear, and the majority of the rest of the field is full of speedy types, so this could also fall into their lap in deep stretch too. Pk5 A horses: 6,7 If you believe #3 BUNTING’S (5-2) big 2nd last time was on the up and up, she’s going to hit hard, but it also came in the mud, and the rest of her recent runs weren’t as good, so I’m a little leery of her reproducing it today, which is why she’s a supporting actress here, though she too should be able to sit just off the speed and make a run. Pk5 B horses: 3 Potential B add-ins: #2 Elegant Gal (8-1), #1a Combat Queen (5-1) Leg 4: Laurel Park R9 (5:07 ET) – 3upfm 16k MCL at 1-mile (turf) You could go one of two ways here; condense and hope you’re right, or spread deep in a race that could be chaotic, which would also force you to be narrower in the other races. I’ll go with the former, since the one the beat, #12 PATRIOTIC PUNCH (9-5), wide post and all, is much better than anyone here off her last two turf runs, and the drop from 40k is also going to make her that much tougher. I’ll also go slim because my top pick, #1 CELEBRE (9-2), seems very live off an icy 12-1 in an MSW off a July break, and trainer change to Motion for her first US start, and ran accordingly when 10th, so this drop really isn’t a worry, as this seems to be the spot where she’s supposed to be, and for a barn that is 37% from a 19-horse sample on MSW-to-MCL move, so you have to believe she’s waking way up today. Pk5 A horses: 1,12 Getting back against 16k foes should help #3 MAYAN QUEEN (9-2), as she was beaten just a neck at the level two-back then found 25k runners too tough last time from bad post, but the top pair seem a bit better than the normal gals you’ll see in a spot like this, so she needs to improve to get there first. Pk5 B horses: 3 Potential B add-ins: #5 Unstopabull Belle (15-1), #6 Catch the Sky (12-1), #7 Hairspray (15-1) Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R2 (5:20 ET) – 3up 20k MCL at 1 1/16 mils (turf) I think the four logical runners—#4 CHASE AND COLORADO (3-1), #5 QUAZE VAPOR )6-1), #7 CAPE POINT (5-2), and #9 ISLAND HEAT (9-2)—are simply better than these, and I like them in that order too, as ‘Chase is the class from Southern California, ‘Vapor exits a very fast 2nd on the turf here last time, ‘Pointe has the speed to be involved throughout, and ‘Heat wasn’t far behind vapor in his turf debut, can improve, and adds blinkers for a bit more focus too. Pk5 A horses: 4,5,7,9 I’ll begrudgingly use #6 JUST LIKE FRED (4-1), since he’s second-off the layoff, takes the MSW drop, and has some speed, but his last two have been rough, so he would fall under the “tread lightly” category here. Pk5 B horses: 6 Potential B add-ins: NONE The tickets:Main Ticket: 8,11 with 5,10,3 with 6,7 with 1,12 with 4,5,7,9 = $96Leg 1 B Backup: 4 with 5,10,3 with 6,7 with 1,12 with 4,5,7,9 = $48Leg 2 B Backup: 8,11 with 9,8 with 6,7 with 1,12 with 4,5,7,9 = $64Leg 3 B Backup: 8,11 with 5,10,3 with 3 with 1,12 with 4,5,7,9 = $48Leg 4 B Backup: 8,11 with 5,10,3 with 6,7 with 3 with 4,5,7,9 = $48Leg 5 B Backup: 8,11 with 5,10,3 with 6,7 with 1,12 with 6 = $24

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8.20.2020:

Jeff Siegel's Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies - 8/20/20

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.*It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.**Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.*The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.**RACE 1: Post 12:50 ET. Grade: XUse: Pass/No PlayForecast: Today’s first race is for hurdlers. We will pass the race.**RACE 2: Post 1:21 ET. Grade: CUse: 1-Simply Sweet; 4-Heavenly Sis; 6-ThankfulForecast: This nine-furlong main track maiden race for fillies and mares drew just six starters, at least three of which have credentials to win. We’ll pass the race and utilize a spread strategy in our rolling exotics. Thankful, a distant runner-up in a hot race in June at Belmont Park, makes her first start in more than two months but has trained right along and should produce another forward move at a distance she’s bred to handle. Scratched as a “main track only” entrant 11 days ago, the daughter of American Pharoah shows a bullet half mile drill last week (:48 1/5, fastest of 21) for T. Pletcher that provides strong indication that she’s progressing with experience, and in a field that came up rather shallow we project her to be on or near the lead throughout. Heavenly Sis is a seven race maiden but has hit the board five times and has numbers that make her a solid contender. Runner-up in her last three while doing her best work from the quarter pole to the wire, the daughter of Hard Spun may be most effective if held up early and allowed to run late. Simply Sweet was given a race in her debut and quite frankly didn’t do a whole lot of running (she wound up a distant fourth) but the race she exits was fairly hot and the W. Mott-trained daughter of Super Saver seems likely to improve with that bit of experience behind her and at today’s two-turn trip. She’s listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite but we suspect she’ll drift a bit from that price.**RACE 3: Post 1:54 ET. Grade: XUse: 1-Out of Trouble; 2-First AppealForecast: Out of Trouble was far below her best form in her most recent two starts and therefore may be a bit shaky in this four-runner inner turf $25,000 claiming miler for fillies and mares, but this drop in class combined with a good inside draw and the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr. could wake her up. The B. Cox-trained mare is most dangerous when able to stalk or press early moderate fractions and given the projected race flow of this affair she should get the trip she needs. On the other hand, at age six and with 32 career outings, the daughter of Into Mischief has to prove she still wants to be a race mare. First Appeal is strictly the one to beat as the 9/5 morning line favorite. She returns to her claim level while stretching out again after a series of turf sprints, and while she may be most comfortable around one-turn the veteran mare always has been a dependable type, having finished first or second in 16 of 33 career starts. Even those she’s never been a pace-presser, against this group she could find herself on or near the lead throughout. These are the two we’ll be including in our rolling exotics in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.**RACE 4: Post 2:29 ET. Grade: C+Use: 6-Boom Boom Kaboom; 7-Disciplanarian; 8-ThreepointninenineForecast: State-bred maiden $40,000 claimers sprint five and one-half furlongs on grass in a race that sees five of the eight runners exiting the same race. Threepointninenine pressed the pace but was swallowed up late in that July 30 affair, winding up fifth but beaten less than two lengths. It was just his second career start, so the son of Jimmy Creed may have a degree of improvement in him that the other more exposed entrants don’t. It’s not difficult to envision the T. Morley-trained gelding getting over from his outside draw to make the running and leading throughout. Boom Boom Kaboom was disappointing when eighth (beaten three lengths) as the favorite in that common race last month but removes blinkers, switches to R. Santana, Jr., and rates a look based on his previous grass efforts that chart pretty well with this modest band. Disciplanarian, in the frame in five of 10 career starts and third in that same race as the others, has a chance as well but shows speed figures that have stagnated of late.**RACE 5: Post 3:02 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Customerexperience; 6-LeaveuwithasmileForecast: Leavuwithasmile won a $25,000 claimer here last month with a respectable speed figure, was claimed by D. Gargan (superior stats with the first-off-the-claim angle) and returns on the one-level drop in a move that normally would be considered suspicious, perhaps even unhealthy. But this barn is very aggressive with its claiming stock, so the class drop off a win can’t really be taken as a negative, especially when a $43,000 purse is being offered. A winner of four of nine career starts, the 3-year-old filly can be effective on the lead or as a second-flight stalker, so the barn’s “go-to” rider L. Saez can play the race flow by ear. Customerexperience, third beaten three lengths by the favorite when they met last month, may be the one to fear most. She’s a late-closing sprinter with an extra half furlong to work with today so if she can negotiate a decent trip from the rail the R. Rodriguez-trained daughter of Cairo Prince could make some noise in the final furlong.**RACE 6: Post 3:37 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-Red Mule; 4-Wild William; 5-Big WonderForecast: There’s not a whole lot to trust in this restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming turf sprint, so you may want to spread as deep as your budget allows. <bwas overmatched in a state-bred first-level allowance affair last month but he has a prior win over this course and distance and is reunited with “win rider” L. Saez, so in an open fray at 6-1 on the morning line he seems as good as any. Big Wonder is 1-for-26 and hardly one to bank on, and the barn doesn’t win many either, but off his best race the son of Big Brown certainly is a fit at this level and should stick better in this softer spot after a disappointing run vs. much tougher starter’s allowance foes here last month. Red Mule finally broke his maiden in his 10th career start last February at Gulfstream Park but then disappeared. Third when waiver protected in a $16,000 seller upon his return at Laurel Park three weeks ago, he moves up considerably in class for clever connections in what we’ll take as a sign of confidence and based strictly on speed figures the son of Red Rocks is competitive at this level. He also has a closing style in a race with several faint-hearted front-running types.**RACE 7: Post 4:12 ET. Grade: XSingle: 2-Stan the ManForecast: It’s pretty hard to get past the 7/5 morning line favorite, Stan the Man, in handicapping this five-runner restricted sprint stakes for older horses. The veteran Broken Vow gelding, a strong runner-up to Firenze Fire in the True North S.-G2 in late June, always has been a highly-dependable type (first or second in 13 of 23 starts) and after a brief freshening and healthy recent work tab he should find himself comfortably placed on or near the lead for the powerful J. Terranova/J. Rosario team. He’ll race without blinkers today – we always like this angle – so let’s make him a logical rolling exotic single.**RACE 8: Post 4:46 ET. Grade: BUse: 2-Fetching; 4-The Important One; 5-Speightstown GalForecast: We’re not sure Lead Guitar deserves to be as short as 6/5 on the morning line in this contentious state-bred second-level allowance turf dash for fillies and mares. She can win, yes, but there are others in the field that are better priced and a bit more appealing. Fetching turns back from a mile and exits the Mt. Vernon S. last month at Belmont Park; we’re expecting the daughter of Afleet Alex to be very effective at this trip in this optional claimer. A prior winner over the Saratoga turf course, she is dangerous as a late-running sprinter and gets ideal conditions for a major effort. The M. Casse barn has been ice all meeting long; maybe it’s time to start turning things around. Speightstown Gal was edged when second as the favorite in a similar affair here last month while on the pace; she might prefer to be held up early and allowed to run late. The Important One is lightly-raced and improving, and while she’s soft in the speed figure department the S. Asmusssen-trained filly is a progressive sort with some upside. At 6-1 on the morning line she’s worth tossing in somewhere.**RACE 9: Post 5:20 ET. Grade: BUse: 5-Eye Luv Lulu; 7-Just RightForecast: The finale is a state-bred $25,000 claiming sprint for older horses; we’ll try to get using just two topped by the old pro Eye Luv Lulu, away since February and now in the R. Atras barn (solid stats with layoff runners). The nine-year-old gelding, first or second in 25 of 56 stats, is realistically spotted after competing in stakes events most of his long career and having run well fresh in the past he certainly deserves the edge on top against this level of competition. Just Right, second off a long layoff for T. Pletcher, finished a close second in a similar sprint last month and will be tough if he runs back to that race or, better yet, if produces a forward move.

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8.19.2020:

A Strong Kentucky Derby Favorite Looms

As it stands right now, Tiz the Law undoubtedly is going to be a strong favorite in this year’s 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs when he resumes his quest to become a Triple Crown winner on Sept. 5. So much has changed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes the order of the Triple Crown events. For the first time ever this year, the Belmont Stakes kicked off this country’s Triple Crown. Also, the Belmont this year was shortened considerably to 1 1/8 miles from its traditional distance of 1 1/2 miles. Tiz the Law won the Belmont on June 20 by 3 3/4 lengths. That was followed by his 5 1/2-length triumph in Saratoga’s 1 1/4-mile Travers Stakes on Aug. 8. At this point, Tiz the Law looks practically unstoppable. The New York-bred Constitution colt, trained by Barclay Tagg, is four for four this year while winning in dominant fashion. Tiz the Law won those four races from three to 5 1/2 lengths. All indications are Tiz the Law is going to be the strongest Kentucky Derby favorite since Point Given was 9-5 in 2001. Point Given did not get the job done in the Run for the Roses. He finished fifth in the field of 17. It would be the only time in Point Given’s 13-race career that he did not finish first or second. Monarchos won the 2001 Kentucky Derby at odds of 10-1. Point Given subsequently won the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, defeating Monarchos both times. Monarchos finished sixth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont. How strong a favorite will Tiz the Law be in this year’s Kentucky Derby? It appears he probably will be in the neighborhood of 4-5 to 6-5. Tiz the Law is the 4-5 favorite in the latest Kentucky Derby odds issued by the William Hill Sports Book. He is the 6-5 favorite for the Kentucky Derby in the latest Daily Racing Form odds. WILLIAM HILL’S KENTUCKY DERBY ODDS Below are the Kentucky Derby odds, as of Aug. 16, listed by the William Hill Sports Book 4-5 Tiz the Law4-1 Art Collector7-1 Honor A.P.10-1 Authentic12-1 Thousand Words22-1 King Guillermo30-1 Ny Traffic35-1 Dr Post35-1 Enforceable40-1 Caracaro40-1 Max Player60-1 Pneumatic60-1 Sole Volante60-1 Storm the Court75-1 Attachment Rate75-1 Major Fed150-1 Finnick the Fierce150-1 Necker Island150-1 Rushie LATEST DRF KENTUCKY DERBY ODDS This list is much more representative of likely entrants in the $3 million Kentucky Derby than the William Hill list. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman and Marty McGee are fastidious in emphasizing likely entrants when they compiled this week’s Derby Watch. “With the points-scoring races now completed, the order of preference is known for the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5, and that will be the overriding factor on who moves onto [the Derby Watch] list of 20,” Privman wrote. “This week, Shirl’s Speight and Winning Impression are the two newcomers.” Below are McGee’s latest DRF odds for the 20 horses on the Derby Watch list: 6-5 Tiz the Law5-1 Art Collector6-1 Honor A.P.10-1 Authentic15-1 Thousand Words20-1 Caracaro20-1 King Guillermo20-1 Max Player30-1 Dr Post30-1 Enforcemable30-1 Ny Traffic30-1 Shirl’s Speight30-1 Sole Volante50-1 Attachment Rate50-1 Finnick the Force50-1 Major Fed50-1 Necker Island50-1 Rushie50-1 Storm the Court50-1 Winning Impression MY KENTUCKY DERBY TOP 10 Tiz the Law took over the top spot on my Kentucky Derby Top 10 last week after he trounced his Travers opponents. He’s again No. 1 this week. In fact, there are no changes to my Top 10 this week. Here is my current Kentucky Derby Top 10: 1. Tiz the Law2. Honor A.P.3. Art Collector4. Caracaro5. Thousand Words6. Authentic7. Dr Post8. King Guillermo9. Ny Traffic10. Max Player TERRIFIC KENTUCKY OAKS SHAPING UP Who isn’t eagerly looking forward to a clash between Gamine and Swiss Skydiver in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Sept. 4? Gamine is expected to be favored in the 1 1/8-mile event. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, the Kentucky-bred Into Mischief filly goes into the Kentucky Oaks off scintillating performances in the Grade I Acorn Stakes and Grade I Test Stakes. Gamine won the one-mile, one-turn Acorn by 18 3/4 lengths and recorded a lofty 110 Beyer Speed Figure. She then won the seven-furlong Test by seven lengths and posted a 108 Beyer. I ranked Gamine’s Acorn victory as the best performance by a Thoroughbred in this country during the first half of 2020. Swiss Skydiver, trained by Kenny McPeek, reaffirmed that she is a special filly by winning Saratoga’s Grade I, 1 1/4-mile Alabama Stakes last Saturday, After opening a 6 1/2-length lead with a furlong left to go, she coasted home to a 3 1/2-length victory. The Kentucky-bred Daredevil filly was credited with a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure. That Swiss Skydiver was able to win the Alabama with something left in the tank was important for her impending showdown with Gamine. That’s because of the extensive campaign Swiss Skydiver has had so far this year. Beginning at Tampa Bay Downs in January, Swiss Skydiver has raced at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in February, Gulfstream Park in March, Oaklawn Park in May, Santa Anita in June, Keeneland in July and Saratoga in August. Now it’s on to a race at Churchill Downs in September. Despite Swiss Skydiver having done so much racing and traveling already in 2020, she has won five of her last six starts. Her only loss during that sequence came when she finished second to Kentucky Derby contender Art Collector in the Grade II Blue Grass Stakes. Though Swiss Skydiver has sufficient points to get into the Kentucky Derby, it was reported in last Sunday’s Saratoga notes that she will contest the Kentucky Oaks instead of the Derby. Some have expressed the opinion that Swiss Skydiver would be better off running in the Derby to avoid Gamine. But I believe opting for the Kentucky Oaks does make the most sense, largely due to Gamine being required to race around two turns in that race. Gamine’s only close call to date came in a two-turn race on May 2 at Oaklawn Park when she finished first by just a neck in a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming race. (Gamine was disqualified from purse money in her May 2 race due to a medication violation.) Two turns certainly is not an issue for Swiss Skydiver. Her last five races, in which she has recorded four wins and a second, have all been around two turns. Similarly, two turns has been no problem for Tiz the Law. All four of his victories this year have come in races around two turns. He won this year’s Grade III Holy Bull Stakes by three lengths, Grade I Florida Derby by 4 1/4 lengths, Grade I Belmont Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths and Grade I Travers Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths. In my opinion, it’s better for Swiss Skydiver to face Gamine in the two-turn Kentucky Oaks than Tiz the Law and other males, such as Art Collector, in the two-turn Kentucky Derby. By the way, I probably should be fitted for those jackets with the sleeves in the back to think Speech can beat both Gamine and Swiss Skydiver in the Kentucky Oaks. But I believe that just might happen. Granted, Speech was no match for Swiss Skydiver in the Santa Anita Oaks on June 6. Speech finished second, four lengths behind Swiss Skydiver. But what I find intriguing about Speech is I don’t think she likes Santa Anita’s main track very much. She has been defeated both times she has raced on that surface. Get Speech away from Santa Anita and she seems to be a much better filly. When Speech raced at Oaklawn, she came close to defeating Gamine. In Speech’s next start, when she again competed somewhere other than at Santa Anita, she won Keeneland’s Grade I Ashland Stakes by three emphatic lengths. I readily admit that Speech is facing a tall task to defeat both Gamine and Swiss Skydiver in the Kentucky Oaks. But I am perfectly willing to stick my neck out and pick Speech to win the Oaks because I think she is a big-time threat at what quite likely will be a very nice price in the betting. $20 MILLION SAUDI CUP UPDATE Gary West, co-owner of Maximum Security, late last year strongly criticized The Stronach Group after the announcement was made that the purse for the Jan. 25 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park would be cut from $9 million to $3 million. In a story written by Bob Ehalt that was posted Dec. 15 on the Bloodhorse website, West said he was “mystified, bewildered and upset” with the timing of the official announcement, coming just 41 days before the race. “Cutting the purse to $3 million is an absolute game-changer,” West said. “I wasn’t thinking of the Saudi Cup, but why should I run for $3 million when I can run for $20 million four weeks later?” Maximum Security did skip the Pegasus World Cup, then ran in and won the Saudi Cup. The $1,662,000 winner’s share of the Pegasus World Cup purse long ago was paid to Mucho Gusto’s owner, HRH Prince Faisal bin Khaled bin Abdulaziz. However, the $10 million winner’s share of the Saudi Cup still is being withheld nearly six months later. As the BloodHorse reported on Aug. 10, The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA) announced it would “award the prize money of horses placed second-10th in the Feb. 29 Saudi Cup,” but that the “prize money of $10 million will continue to be withheld from first-place finisher Maximum Security, who then was trained in the United States by Jason Servis, until the JCSA is able to satisfactorily complete its investigation and any inquiry. Servis has been indicted on federal charges related to performance-enhancing drugs and the JCSA would like to see further information from those legal proceedings before making a final decision.” West responded publicly, calling the decision “unprecedented” and requesting further transparency into the JCSA’s investigation. According to an Aug. 19 story by the Paulick Report, during a conversation with Nick Luck on his daily podcast Tuesday (Aug. 18), HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, chairman of the JCSA, described the process by which Maximum Security would be disqualified from his Saudi Cup victory. “If the results [of the federal investigation into Jason Servis] come out where they have concrete evidence that Maximum Security received performance-enhancing drugs of any kind within the previous six months of the Saudi Cup, then by the race book and our own rules in the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, that is an automatic disqualification of a horse,” Prince Bandar said. According to the Paulick Report story, Prince Bandar said he sympathized with the owners of Maximum Security, but also said the federal indictment, which was announced shortly after the Saudi Cup, “fueled objections from connections of horses finishing below Maximum Security,” which then caused the JCSA to launch its own investigation. The U.S. federal investigation has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Prince Bandar said, according to the Paulick Report story. The JCSA is still awaiting its results [of the investigation] to be publicized before handing down the prize money to Maximum Security’s connections. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. But do you think West is now second-guessing the decision to send Maximum Security to the Saudi Cup? And do you think West will ever be involved with sending a horse to the Saudi Cup in the future? Meanwhile, 2020 Horse of the Year candidate Maximum Security was transferred to Baffert after the Saudi Cup. In the colt’s first start for Baffert, Maximum Security won Del Mar’s Grade II San Diego Handicap by a nose on July 25. Maximum Security heads Saturday’s Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar. The 1 1/4-mile has attracted a field of six. In a bit of irony, after Maximum Security reportedly did not run in the Pegasus World Cup because its purse was reduced to $3 million, he is running in the Pacific Classic even though its purse has been sliced in half from $1 million to $500,000. FOND MEMORIES FROM HALF A CENTURY AGO On March 30, 1970, Secretariat was born in Virginia. Also that year, a postage stamp cost 6 cents. The average price of a gallon of gas was 36 cents. The Beatles broke up. Diana Ross and the Supremes performed their final concert in Las Vegas. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” debuted, as did “Monday Night Football.” I look back on the summer of 1970 fondly. I was in high school. By that time, I had already become fanatical about horse racing in general and a horse by the name of Turbulator in particular. It was 50 years ago this month that Turbulator, a horse whose owner had once unsuccessfully tried to swap for two cows, reached the pinnacle of his remarkable career. As a youngster while on a farm in Montana, Turbulator suffered a serious knee injury. It seemed a longshot that he would ever be able to race. Consequently, Turbulator’s owner-breeder-trainer, Tom Crawford, a one-time used car salesman, tried to unload the damaged Thoroughbred. “Once upon a time, the young son of Cold Command and Fur Piece was romping in a pasture,” the Seattle Times’ Bob Schwarzmann wrote of Turbulator in a recap of the gelding’s career after he was retired in 1974 at the age of 9. “Not paying attention, the frisky bay crashed into a sprinkler and severely cut a knee. “A trade with a neighbor was suggested. Crawford was willing to swap one gimpy horse for two white-faced heifers. The neighbor countered with a straight-up deal, one bovine for one equine. Tom balked, negotiations broke off, and he was doomed to nursing a horse not worth a couple of cows.” On Aug. 14, 1970, that very horse, Turbulator, broke the 6 1/2-furlong world record by two-fifths of a second when he won Longacres’ Governor’s Handicap at odds of 4-1 with regular rider Larry Pierce aboard. Most people had expected Fleet Fair to win that race. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite, Fleet Fair had to pack top weight of 127 pounds, seven more than Turbulator. Fleet Fair went into the Governor’s Handicap having won six straight (three at Golden Gate Fields and three at Longacres). The first part of Fleet Fair’s name certainly was an apt description of him. Consider the scorching early pace he set in the Governor’s. He clicked off fractions of :21 3/5 for the opening quarter and :43 4/5 for the half. Turbulator, eighth early in the field of 10, was “forced to come extremely wide losing considerable ground” coming into the stretch, according to the official race chart. Approaching the eighth pole, Fleet Fair began to weaken, eventually finishing fourth. Kid Cabin took the lead with a little more than a furlong remaining. He led by a half-length with a furlong to go, then opened up a clear advantage of about 1 1/2 lengths at the sixteenth pole. The six-furlong fraction was 1:07 3/5. To put that into perspective, the track record for six furlongs was 1:08 flat. Turbulator roared down the stretch to run down Kid Cabin in the closing yards. Turbulator prevailed by a half-length. Richard Wright rode runner-up Kid Cabin. Years later, I asked Wright what he remembered about the race in which Kid Cabin ran second when Turbulator broke a world record. “At the sixteenth pole, I really thought I was going to win,” Wright said. “My horse had the lead and was running so strong. But then I heard the announcer say Turbulator’s name. When I heard that, I thought, ‘Oh oh.’ I looked over my right shoulder and could see Turbulator was smoking. Then I thought, ‘Where’s the wire?’ I couldn’t hold off Turbulator, but it took a world record to beat my horse. All these years later, I still can’t believe I didn’t win that race as good as Kid Cabin ran.” After the race, Pierce was quoted as saying: “We had clear sailing and, when we moved, I had a lot of horse. I saw the inside was tight, so I went to the outside. But they took me wider than I wanted to go. At the eighth pole, I didn’t think we’d win. But at the sixteenth pole, I knew we’d win.” This is from Daily Racing Form’s race recap: “In a world-record performance, John Farnsworth and Tom Crawford’s wonder horse, Turbulator, came charging from far back to capture the 30th running of the $10,920 Governor’s Handicap as he zipped the 6 1/2-furlong distance in 1:14 flat. “A loud ovation by the 9,548 in attendance greeted Turbulator as he jogged back to the winner’s enclosure. In the post-race ceremonies, both Farnsworth and Crawford were on hand to accept the trophy. Jockey Larry Pierce also took part in the presentation.” Two days after the race, Russell Brown wrote the following in the DRF in his column: “One never really knows where a good horse comes from, but Sunday he came from far back. “In the 31st edition of the Governor’s Handicap, Farnsworth and Crawford’s Turbulator, seemingly out of contention, surged to the front in the final yards to capture the 6 1/2-furlong race and in the process etch his name in the world record book with a clocking of 1:14. “Guided by leading rider Larry Pierce, Turbulator ranged up outside of horses on the turn and flashed down the lane to overhaul Kid Cabin and break the world record by two-fifths of a second. Unlike last year when he won seven straight races at Playfair, the son of Cold Command has had his ups and downs this season. “Sunday’s victory clearly puts him in the driver’s seat as the handicap division girds for the most important race of the meet, the Longacres Mile, in two weeks. Turbulator did not win Longacres Mile that year due to a bad break -- literally. What happened to him in that race was, of all things, a broken stirrup. TURBULATOR: “THE BEST, BY FAR THE BEST” In the Pacific Northwest, the one race that everyone covets is the Longacres Mile. Crawford was no different. This year’s Longacres Mile will be run at Emerald Downs on Sept. 10. The 1970 Longacres Mile was all but conceded to Turbulator after he had lowered the world record for 6 1/2 furlongs. Racing secretary Steve O’Donnell assigned Southern California-based T.V. Commercial top weight of 125 pounds for the Longacres Mile that year, two pounds more than Turbulator. T.V. Commercial, a 5-year-old like Turbulator, was coming off a win in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. As a 3-year-old, T.V. Commercial finished fourth behind Dancer’s Image, Forward Pass and Francie’s Hat in the Kentucky Derby. T.V. Commerical was awarded third money following the disqualification of Dancer’s Image for a medication violation. O’Donnell discussed his Longacres Mile weights in Russell Brown’s DRF column on Aug. 26, four days before the race. At that time, it was known that T.V. Commercial would be staying in California. Without T.V. Commercial, O’Donnell -- like just about everyone -- felt that Turbulator pretty much had his prospective Longacres Mile foes at his mercy. “Turbulator’s the best, by far the best,” O’Donnell said while noting that T.V. Commercial was not going to be shipped to Longacres. “Horses here can’t carry a candle to him. I hope we get some horses from California that would try him, make it some kind of contest. I couldn’t put more weight on him and be fair to him. But I sure think Turbulator is going to beat all the horses on the grounds.” Thirteen started in the 1970 Longacres Mile. The lone California shipper was the Noble Threewitt-trained Traffic Beat, who was coming off a narrow loss when he finished second an allowance race on the grass at Del Mar. Sent away as the 6-5 favorite, Turbulator finished fifth in the Longacres Mile. But the truth is he was fortunate to finish the race. It took a magnificent display of balance and athleticism on the part of Pierce just to stay on the horse all the way to the end. At the start, Pierce’s left stirrup iron got caught on the starting gate and broke into several pieces. “There was a new 14-stall starting gate,” Pierce told me years later. “It was very narrow between the stalls. When I came out of the gate, I could feel that my left foot was not in the stirrup. I just thought my foot had come out of it. I was kind of riding lopsided, a little off balance, but I wasn’t that worried about it right then. I was worried more about my position going to the first turn” in the bulky field of 13. It was a relatively short run to the first turn in a one-mile race at Longacres. “I wanted to get as good a position as I could,” Pierce continued, “and I figured I could put my foot back in the stirrup later. Just before we got to the first turn, I reached down to put my foot in the stirrup, and I realized there was no stirrup! My first thought was, ‘Don’t panic.’ But this was something that had never happened to me before.” Going into the backstretch, Turbulator was ninth. That was when Pierce’s right foot came out of the stirrup. “That scared me,” Pierce said. “But in a split second -- I don’t know whether it was fear or adrenalin -- I got back down in the saddle. I crawled my way back off his neck. As I came to the half-mile pole, I got my right foot in the stirrup. “From about the five-eighths pole, he was running free. He was doing things on his own because I had just lost control of him. He made a move down the backstretch on his own. But then I got trapped on the inside [on the far turn]. The horse had gone through so much already, and now he’s trapped. I kept looking to get him to the outside, but he stayed trapped all the way to the end.” Despite all that had happened to Turbulator after the start, he managed to improve his position from 10th to fifth in the final quarter of a mile. Even though his jockey rode with only one stirrup for the entire race, Turbulator defeated California invader Traffic Beat by a head. “He gave me everything he had,” Pierce said. “I really believe that if I just been able to somehow get him to the outside, he still would’ve won. “You know, there were so many ifs. He wins easy if the stirrup doesn’t break, if my foot doesn’t slip out of the right stirrup, if I don’t almost fall off him, if we’re not trapped -- if, if, if. And he still only got beat 2 1/2 lengths.” Who won the 1970 Longacres Mile? It was Silver Double, who was a nice horse in his own right. Silver Double was good enough to win the Bay Meadows Handicap in 1971. Turbulator and Silver Double met several times. The only race that Silver Double won whenever they met was the 1970 Longacres Mile when he benefitted from Turbulator’s broken stirrup. It was an absolute crime that Turbulator did not win the 1970 Longacres Mile. After all, as O’Donnell said, Turbulator was “the best, by far the best” horse at Longacres in 1970. THIS WEEK’S NTRA POLLS The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 304 Vekoma (12)2. 261 Tom’s d’Etat (3)3. 252 Improbable (5)4. 238 Maximum Security (5)5. 222 Tiz the Law (12)6. 212 Midnight Bisou7. 112 Zulu Alpha8. 106 Monomoy Girl (1)9. 94 By My Standards10. 38 Gamine The most interesting thing to me in this week’s two NTRA polls is that the two outstanding 3-year-old fillies Gamine and Swiss Skydiver finished in a dead heat for fifth in the Top Three-Year-Old Poll. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 380 Tiz the Law (38)2. 303 Art Collector 3. 262 Honor A.P.4. 236 Authentic5. 201 Gamine5. 201 Swiss Skydiver7. 122 Thousand Words8. 86 King Guillermo9. 77 Ny Traffic10. 65 Caracaro  

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8.19.2020:

Jeff Siegel's Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies - 8/19/20

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level. Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. RACE 1: Post 12:50 ET. Grade: XUse: No play/Pass Forecast: The first race is carded for hurdlers. We will pass the race. RACE 2: Post 1:21 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Ruby Stiletto; 4-Sister Kew Forecast: A couple of intriguing first-timers comprise the main contention in this juvenile sprint for New York-bred fillies. Siesta Kew has been doing some good work over the Belmont Park training track for M. Maker, showing a recent pair of fast four-furlong gate drills including a bullet :48 flat (fastest of 39) and a :47 3/5 (second fastest of 63) that probably makes her the one to beat. From the first crop of the promising Uncle Mo stallion Outwork, she lands the barn’s “go to” rider I. Ortiz, Jr. and is listed at 3-1 on the morning line. Ruby Stiletto is a quick-actioned, smallish filly by Maclean’s Music, and while there’s not much to her she appears to have the kind of speed that makes her dangerous first time out. The barn doesn’t often win with debut runners but at 9/5 on the morning line she’s a logical contender in a field that just drew six runners. Preference on top goes to Siesta Kew but both should be included in rolling exotic play. RACE 3: Post 1:54 ET. Grade: A-Single: 1-Ingrassia Forecast: Ingrassia has trained like an exciting prospect for C. Brown, looking very much like a filly with stakes potential. A long-striding, athletic daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, she has handled her work mates with ease, strength, and power, and looks plenty fit to win first time out in this two-turn maiden juvenile grass affair. She might be a short price worth taking, though at 7/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower she’ll likely not offer much wagering value other than as a rolling exotic single. RACE 4: Post 2:29 ET. Grade: CUse: 1-Majid; 2-Hoffenheim; 4-Scarf It Down Forecast: Hoffenheim is listed as the 7/5 morning line favorite in this $12,500 claimer over a distance of ground, and while her certainly looks like the favorite on paper he’s hardly one to trust. You have to go back more than two years to find his last win and though dropping sharply in class to his lowest level ever the ex-classer in W. Potts’ barn was a non-competitive seventh of eight, beaten 17 lengths, over this track and distance last month. Perhaps the trainer change and the easier company will wake him up. Majid represents inside speed and will take this field as far as he can. Winner of the Easy Goer S. last year, the son of Shackleford had faltered badly in five consecutive outings before being stopped on in February, but after a six month vacation and severe drop in class for a barn that has solid stats with layoff runners he has to be considered dangerous under I. Ortiz, Jr. Scarf It Down, a two-time winner at Saratoga, was awful last time out when virtually eased in a $16,000 seller last time out but his sharp runner-up two runs back at this level with a decent speed figure puts him in the hunt. We’re not sure which version we’ll see today. Tread lightly here. RACE 5: Post 3:02 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1a-Zero Gravity; 5-McErin; 8-Financial System Forecast: Here’s a contentious claimer for $40,000 claimers on grass that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Financial System just won a $50,000 affair here last month and is dropping off that victory, not a healthy sign, but if he has one good one left he’ll be tough once again. The 6-year-old gelding has had just 10 career starts (winning five), so the connections obviously won’t mind losing him while perhaps looking ahead to reinvesting in next month’s yearling sales. Never worse than second in three starts over the local lawn, the son of Twirling Candy is a versatile sort that can win on the lead or from a stalking position, so regular rider J. Castellano can play it by ear. Zero Gravity, drawn next door on the far outside, makes his first start on the drop after being haltered for $50,000 in the same race ‘Systems exits, and while he was non-competitive in that race with a less-than-ideal trip the son of Orb could be capable of bouncing back for a barn that has excellent stats (23% with a flat-bet profit) with the first-off-the-claim angle. He’ll be running on late. McErin is the likely pace-setter and could get brave if not pressured early. The T. Pletcher-trained gelding is an ex-J. Servis runner that hasn’t done much since switching barns, but after a bit of freshening he’s not being dropped in class in a sign of confidence and we can envision a bounce-back performance with the return to grass and the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr. RACE 6: Post 3:37 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-In Front; 4-Joyous Times Forecast: Six of the eight projected starters in this first-level allowance inner turf miler for fillies and mares exit the same race, a July 23 affair in which the entire field finished in a heap. Joyous Times finished second in that race when being nailed close home after pressing the pace 1-off-the-rail every step of the way. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy may encounter a similar type of trip today if In Front, drawn just inside of her, is committed to a front-running strategy, but if rating tactics are employed on that filly ‘Sea could find herself as the controlling speed. In Front just broke her maiden over this course and distance last month with a good number, and with another forward move she could be dangerous right back. The daughter of War Front is lightly raced and may have a bit more upside than most of the others. In a race in which nothing would surprise us, we’ll try to survive and advance using just these two, but the best advice is to include as many as your budget allows. RACE 7: Post 4:12 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-Golani Brigade; 5-Quickflash Forecast: Golani Brigade was fairly impressive breaking his maiden over this track and distance more than a year ago but then was sent home. He reappears in this first-level allowance extended sprint for state-bred older horses and can win if he returns as well as he left. The work tab looks very good (two successive bullet half mile drills, including a :47.4b, fastest of 30 here 12 days ago) and the C. Brown barn has superior stats with layoff runners (29% with a large sample) so let’s assume this Maclean’s Music gelding is fit and ready. J. Castellano, who rode him in both of his career starts, stays aboard. Quickflash has improving speed figures and earned a career top number last time out when a solid third at this level in early July at Belmont Park. The Flashback gelding has never finished off the board in six career starts and has the proper stalking style for this seven furlong trip. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Golani Brigade. RACE 8: Post 4:46 ET. Grade: B+Use: 6-Tobys Heart; 8-Amanzi Yimpilo Forecast: Despite a slow start, Tobys Heart ran away and hid in her debut at Churchill Downs in early June, earning a huge speed figure that makes her odds-on to score again in this year’s edition of the Bolton Landing S. for juvenile fillies sprinting on grass. The daughter of Jack Milton has been kept on edge in the interim with a steady series of drills and ships in from Kentucky looking to verify that extremely favorable initial impression. She’ll be a single on many rolling exotic tickets, but we’ll have a saver or two including Amanzi Yimpilo, a clever winner of her debut at Gulfstream Park in a visually pleasing performance that came up light in the speed figure department. She’s 8-1 on the morning, continues to impress in the a.m. for W. Ward, and may be capable of producing a significant forward move. RACE 9: Post 5:20 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Big Al’s Gal; 8-Women Not Easy Forecast: The nightcap is an inner turf maiden claiming miler for $40,000 fillies and mares. Big Al’s Great has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch-out pattern, lands the good rail, and projects to enjoy a ground-saving, pace pressing trip for a barn that is superb (28%) with this angle. J. Rosario stays aboard the daughter of Al Khali, who shouldn’t have any difficulty with the added distance. There’s value here at 5-1 on the morning line if you can get it. We’ll also toss in for protection Women Not Easy, fourth with a rough trip in a similar affair at Belmont Park last month after a good runner-up effort with a career top speed figure two races back. She’ll likely to be on or near the lead throughout.

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8.18.2020:

1/ST Look: Maryland Jockey Club at Laurel Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Laurel Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Maryland. And be sure to support Laurel Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Maryland Jockey Club. Headlines All 14 turf races last week were moved to the main track due to excessive wet weather … The MJC welcomed back an infusion of stakes talent Aug. 14 when 2019 Iowa Derby winner Top Line Growth returned from a 322-day layoff and impressed in a third-level local allowance. The Kelly Rubley trainee ran 1 mile on dirt in 1:34.74, just .67 off his own track record … Jockeys who rode at Colonial Downs will be able to return to Laurel Park only after a 14-day quarantine period beginning Aug. 13 and a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours in hand. Several jockeys who ride regularly at Laurel rode at Colonial before the meet was cancelled, including Trevor McCarthy, Forest Boyce, Charles Lopez, Jorge Ruiz and Avery Whisman … Sheldon Russell, Laurel’s leading jockey at the time of his July 15 gate mishap that landed him a broken wrist, will have his follow-up doctor’s visit Aug. 27 to assess his progress, according to his wife, trainer Brittany Russell. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid $1,733.60 for a $1 ticket on August 14, split among 51 winners. The Stronach 5 for Friday, August 21 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:58Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:14Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:32Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:07Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:20 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping factors for Laurel Park, each showing a flat-bet profit and at least 26% wins with its top-rated contender. Trainer 1 Year% Horses DefeatedJockey Meet Trends Last Week: --Trainer Claudio Gonzalez led the way with a 13: 5-1-2 week, including a 4-for-7 record teamed with jockey Angel Cruz. His barn hit 5-for-10 with runners at 9-2 or less odds.--Trainer Damon Dilodovico continued a strong surge with an 8: 3-3-0 record. That’s 38% wins and 75% in the exacta, including a $12 winner and an 11-1 runner-up.--Trainer Jamie Ness was 5-for-6 in the exacta and 6-for-6 in the money with a series of heavily bet runners. His half-dozen entrants went off an average of 6-5 and none over 2-1.--Jockey Angel Cruz topped the colony with a 15: 5-1-1 record, featuring 4 wins with trainer Claudio Gonzalez. Cruz went 5-for-10 with horses 4-1 or less odds.--Favorites were a strong 26: 11-7-4 on the week, hitting 42% wins and 69% in the exacta. The average win odds for the week were 5-2, and favorites clocked in at an average price of 6-5. Trends Last 2 Weeks: --Trainer Cal Lynch has posted an 8: 3-1-3 record with limited starts. All 3 winners were 2-1 or less, but he does have a 14-1 runner-up among those finishes.--Trainer Wayne Potts has a similar 8: 3-0-2 record with limited bids that includes a 7-1 winner. He’s 4: 2-0-1 with jockey Jevian Toledo during that span.--Jockey Lauralea Glaser has done the most with few mounts, posting a 7: 4-2-1 record, riding primarily for the father-son tandem of Cathal and Anthony Lynch.--Jockey Angel Cruz is 8-for-30 (27%) with a $2.15 ROI for every $1 bet. He boasts $32 and $57 winners during this streak. Trends Last 3 Weeks: --Jockey Jevian Toledo is 15: 9-4-0 (60% win, 87% exacta) when riding favorites.--Favorites are hitting 43% over the past 79 races with 71% finishing in the exacta.

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8.18.2020:

1/ST Look: Gulfstream Park Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Gulfstream Park. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in South Florida. And be sure to support Gulfstream Park by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Gulfstream Park. Headlines Top local 2-year-old Breeze On By, unbeaten winner of the Aug. 1 Dr. Fager to kick off the Florida Sire Series, worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.35 on Aug. 16 for his next engagement – likely the Aug. 29 Affirmed division of the FSS … 2020 Gulfstream Park Oaks heroine Swiss Skydiver added to her impressive ledger in the Aug. 16 Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga and heads to the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks as co-favorite with Gamine … Gulfstream Park winners, headed by 2020 Florida Derby champ Tiz the Law, remain on target for the Sept. 5 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, including King Guillermo, Ny Traffic, Dr Post, Sole Volante, Caracaro, Attachment Rate and possibly Jesus’ Team. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid $1,733.60 for a $1 ticket on August 14, split among 51 winners. The Stronach 5 for Friday, August 21 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:58Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:14Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:32Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:07Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:20 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping factors for Gulfstream Park, all showing a flat-bet profit and winning at 32% or greater last week. In fact, “ITM %” was the leading factor the past 2 weeks and most recently showed a $60.20 profit on betting $2 win on every top choice from that category for the week.ITM (In The Money) %Avg Speed Last 3Speed Last Race Trends Last Week: --Jockey Miguel Vasquez won 6 races Saturday (Aug. 15), 1 off the all-time GP record. He won 12 of the 40 races offered on the week with a 34: 12-2-5 mark. His 35% strike rate netted a $1.70 ROI for every $1 bet and featured 10-1 and 11-1 winners.--Jockey Edgar Prado posted a 5: 1-2-0 record last week in limited tries, scoring a 14-1 victory on Sunday.--Trainer Kathleen O’Connell had a big week with a 7: 4-0-0 mark, going 3-for-3 with red-hot jockey Miguel Vasquez, including a $25 winner Sunday. Maiden claimers provided 3 of her 4 victories.--Trainer Peter Walder was precise with a 4: 2-0-1 record, led by a $22 winner on Saturday, also ridden by Miguel Vasquez (tandem with 2-3 on the week).--Prices clicked last week with 9 of 40 winners paying $20-plus and the average winner ticking over the 5-1 mark. Almost one-third of the claiming race winners paid $20 or more. Trends Last 2 Weeks: --Trainer Carlos David only had 2 starters last week, but his 2-week run at 13: 5-1-2 and a $1.65 ROI for every $1 bet remains stout.--Jockey Angel Rodriguez has gone 20: 5-2-1 with limited mounts, including winners at $12, $25 and $42. That’s produced a $2.20 ROI for every $1 bet. All 5 of his wins have come in 5-furlong dashes.--Jockey Miguel Vasquez is 13: 8-1-1 aboard favorites. That’s 62% wins and a $1.65 ROI for every $1 bet. Trends Last 3 Weeks: --Trainer Mike Maker has gone 7: 4-1-0 with favorites, including 6: 4-1-0 with the chalk in route races.--The jockey-trainer tandem of Samy Camacho and Carlos David are 4-for-6 with winners paying $3, $5, $7 and $11. They did not pair up together last week.

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8.18.2020:

1/ST Look: Golden Gate Fields Stats

We canvass the 1/ST BET statistical database each week to bring you up to speed with racing at Golden Gate Fields. Check back weekly for statistical trends and tidbits for premier racing in Northern California. And be sure to support Golden Gate Fields by betting with 1/ST BET, the official betting app of Golden Gate Fields. Headlines The Jackpot Pick 6 has a carryover of $10,016 heading into this week’s racing … 2019 El Camino Real Derby winner Anothertwistafate, sidelined since last year’s Preakness Stakes, worked a rapid 6 furlongs in 1:10.40 before the Aug. 16 card’s opening race as he readies for a return to the action … Golden Gate-based Mother of Dragons, winner of the Camilla Urso locally and most recently Pleasanton’s California Governor’s Handicap, competes in Friday’s Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo at Del Mar along with GGF allowance winner and stakes-placed filly Mucho Amor … GGF Albany Stakes 1-2 finishers Mikes Tiznow and Baja Sur re-match Saturday in Del Mar’s Grade 3 Green Flash for turf sprinters. Stronach 5 The Stronach 5 paid $1,733.60 for a $1 ticket on August 14, split among 51 winners. The Stronach 5 for Friday, August 21 will be comprised of the following races (all times Eastern): Leg A – Laurel Park Race 7 with an approximate post time of 3:58Leg B – Gulfstream Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 4:14Leg C – Laurel Park Race 8 with an approximate post time of 4:32Leg D – Laurel Park Race 9 with an approximate post time of 5:07Leg E – Golden Gate Fields Race 2 with an approximate post time of 5:20 1/ST BET Top Factors Last Week: Horseplayers using the 1/ST BET app saw the most success with these 3 of the 52 handicapping factors for Golden Gate Fields, each showing a flat-bet profit with its top-rated contender and a 31% or greater win rate. The “Avg Speed Last 3” factor has been a top-3 GGF player each of the past 2 weeks. Trainer 1 YearAvg Speed Last 3Last Turn Time Trends Last Week --Trainer Isidro Tamayo led the way with a 14: 6-2-1 mark that boasted 43% wins and a $1.35 ROI for every $1 bet. He went 8: 5-1-1 when teamed with jockey Kyle Frey and the barn was 6: 5-0-1 with favorites.--High-powered trainer Jonathan Wong continued strong with an 11: 4-3-1 week that featured 36% wins and 64% in the exacta. But his average winner was just 7-5 odds and resulted in a negative ROI ($.87 for every $1 bet). Wong was 2-for-2 with jockey Frank Alvarado.--Trainer Rene Amescua popped 20-1 and 7-1 winners from only 4 starters on the week, creating a whopping $7.65 ROI for every $1 bet. Both came in claiming routes, 1 on Tapeta and 1 on turf.--Jockey Kyle Frey continued his NorCal roll with a 26: 10-4-4 week. That’s 39% wins and 54% in the exacta, creating a $1.55 ROI for every $1 bet. In addition to his above-mentioned success with trainer Isidro Tamayo, Frey also went 3: 2-0-1 for the Steve Sherman barn. His 13: 7-1-2 mark in races at a mile or longer featured an 8: 5-1-1 record in Tapeta routes.--Jockey Frank Alvardo went 13: 5-4-1 with a selective schedule. That’s 39% wins and 69% in the exacta, including an incredible 8: 4-3-0 in Tapeta sprint races and 9: 5-4-0 record with horses at 5-1 or less on any surface. Trends Last 2 Weeks: --Trainer Jonathan Wong has a 25: 9-6-1 record the past 2 weeks. That’s 36% wins and 60% in the exacta. He’s had the most success with jockeys Frank Alvarado (3-5) and Santos Rivera (3-4).--Though he cooled a bit last week, jockey Santos Rivera has a 2-week run of 27: 9-2-1 that includes 7 winners between $11-$19. That’s good for a $2.02 ROI for every $1 bet.--Favorites are hitting 40% on the Tapeta (18-45) and 28% on turf (5-18). Trends Last 3 Weeks: --Trainer Samuel Calvario has an 11: 3-2-1 record with limited bids, including $43 and $19 winners, as well as 16-1 and 19-1 longshots hitting the board this past Saturday. 

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8.18.2020:

August 18: Scioto Downs Pick 5 Analysis

Scioto Downs has a 14-race card ready to roll with the first post at 6:15 EST. The 0.50 Pick 5 begins in Race 5, it has a 14% takeout and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 52-Winna Winna (9/2)-Bumps up after a nice try at Nfld from the 8-hole. Only 1-15 this year but has won 3 of 16 at ScD and fits with this crew. Should be forwardly placed and is a threat for top honors with a good steer.7-Sip And a Bite (3-1)-Takes a good drop and has been stuck with post 10 in 2 of the last 3. Beat NW5000L4 on 7/9 and should be in the mix but Sutton needs to find some live cover.Race 65-Secret Jet (9/2)-Only 1-17 at ScD and this is a field with many who are camera shy, but does pass foes down the lane. Should offer a square price and could be a threat if Presley can provide a good steer.6-Humps Peter (2-1)-Starts with a nose on the gate after last two from the 2nd tier. Comes off a nice win to break maiden and upswing may continue after a confidence booster. Not excited about the short price and needs to mind manners.Race 72-Fools Desire (6/5)-Hoosier shipper has won 6 of 32 at ScD and drops into a soft spot. Noble will want the top and if not pushed there isn't any excuse. Having enough speed isn't a concern but it may come down to catching a breather and being able to seal the deal.3-Town Icon (7/2)-Should be sitting in the pocket behind the program chalk and will use in case #2 doesn't have his fast ball.Race 81-Mj'slibertyvalance (5/2)-Has been competitive but only 2 wins in 23 starts. It's hard to leave off the ticket but Barker needs to provide a sharp drive. Has had the rail in 2 of last 3 starts and doesn't get the top, but now faces a field without a standout.5-Uncle Joe (3-1)-Has the gate speed to get the top. The issue has been fading in the lane. Hasn't won here (0-10) but is another who should like the company.7-Greek Legend (7-1)-Has faced some tough foes and does have the gate speed to get a good seat. Kaufman is back and he knows well. Well worth a swing at this price and race could set-up well for this 3-year-old.Race 92-Swapportunity (5-1)-Drops to the lowest level since the restart and this could be a wakeup call. Should be out and winging and 10-time winner from 2019 could take its 2nd picture in 14 starts this year.6-Volley Ball Beach (5/2)-Drops after flying off the gate and blazing the opening half in 53.3. Makes 3rd start for the Morgan barn and Noble takes a seat. This is another who should like the company.9-Winwood Mac (15-1)-7-year-old has hit the board in 23 of 45 starts at ScD with 8 wins. Sutton is back and that shouldn't hurt. The pace could be quick and with live cover Mac will be rolling late at a nice price.0.50 Pick 52,7,/5,6/2,3/1,5,7/2,6,9Total Bet=$36Check me out on Twitter!

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8.18.2020:

Fun in the Sun: Capped Payoff Boosts Top Finishers

Freedom and Whiskey’s $74 upset in Saratoga’s 11th race Saturday catapulted a trio of contest players into prime winning positions in week 3 of Fun in the Sun. While the contest payoff on the Spa finale winner was capped at $210 (20-1) for scoring purposes, winning wagers on the longshot delivered dynamic knockout blows to competitors.Anthony Decaspers topped all players with $360 in earnings to claim a $3,591 first prize along with a seat at the Fun in the Sun Final Table on Monday, September 7. His winning total was well clear of the top weekly earnings mark of $300 established by Kevin Lynn the previous week. Mathew McAleer checked in second with $347. He collects $1,496.25 plus a seat at the final table. Frederick Cipriano rounded out the list of prize winners with a $305 total and an $897.75 prize.Just four Fun in the Sun Final Table seats out of 10 remain unclaimed. This week’s winners Decaspers and McAleer join Phillip Gordon, Aner Carlstrom, Kevin Lynn and Robert Rosen as the sextet awaits top two qualifiers each from August 22 and 29 action. The Final Table pot has grown to $18,257.50 and will increase in the coming weeks. Xpressbet already has juiced the prize pool with a $10k purse boost.Play Fun in the Sun this Saturday with Xpressbet. There’s a $25 registration fee and players are required to make ‘live’ $10 win wagers on one horse in each of 10 competition races—usually the last five at Saratoga and the first five at Del Mar. All fees are returned to players in the form of prizes. Since contest wagers are ‘live’ players keep what they win. That means participants can come out ahead even if they don’t qualify for a prize.See you Saturday!Register now for this week's Fun in the Sun, and remember that the time of your signup is one of the weekly tie-breakers if necessary. It can pay to get into the game early.

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8.17.2020:

Monday August 17: Woodbine Mohawk Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park has an 11-race card scheduled for this evening with the 0.20 Late Pick 4 starting in Race 8. That sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 85-Fern Hill Bella (6-1)-Nice effort from the 2nd tier in last, actually last 2 starts have been better. Young needs to work a good trip, if so, this mare could surprise at a good price.6-Lydi Lula Belle (7/2)-Had a nice effort from post 7 in 1st start for the Fellows barn. McNair is in the bike again so looking for an aggressive steer and to be put in play early.8-Highmoon Sunshine (5/2)-Another Fellow entry that won last start by taking the long way around and flew home at 4/5 with McClure. Looking for another strong effort and the post helps the price.Race 92-O Narutac Perfetto (5-1)-There are reasons not to use, being trip dependent is a big one. But has been racing well and gets post relief. If Jamieson can provide a better steer than last week this 9-year-old can win at a square price.3-Only Take Cash (5/2)-Can't seem to get on track this year after banking over $500k in 2019. Henry should be able to keep this mare in the hunt and maybe she will finally close the deal.4-Treasured Tee (4-1)-Even effort when dropped to this level last week but that was coming off a sick scratch and being off almost 3 weeks. Winner of >$117k in 35 starts at Wbsb can cash the biggest check with a top effort.Race 101-Memo (5-1)-Even effort on 8/10 but hadn't raced since 7/21. Will need a strong try to win at this class but from the rail McNair can get the top or the 2 hole and trip out. Looking for a price and will use to beat the chalks (4-5).6-Cool Muscle (8-1)-Racing well and will need a to be extra sharp here but this feels like a race where the program favorites can be beat. If that's the case, MacDonell can come off cover and roll by late as the pace could be hot.Race 112-Osborne Seelster (4-1)-Drops to a spot to shine and should be in the hunt from start to finish. McNair will likely get on the engine or will work a pocket trip.3-Sports Authority (5-1)-Henry takes a spin and that could make a difference. Has one 2nd place finish in 3 Wbsb starts but will use in a race that doesn't have a big standout. Banking on favorable trip and should be a price.5-His Boy Elroy (9/2)-Elroy is only 2 for the last 22 but did go by a few down the lane in 3rd race after the restart. If Roy can keep in striking range it could be time for an overdue picture at a fair price.8-Machin A Trick (3-1)-Moreau trainee drops, and McClure grabs the line. This is probably the horse with the most speed but has only won 12% of lifetime starts and could be over bet.My Ticket Race 8) 5,6,8 Race 9) 2,3,4 Race 10) 1,6 Race 11) 2,3,5,8Total Ticket Cost) = $14.40 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter!

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8.17.2020:

Most Valuable Pony (Aug. 10-16): Swiss Skydiver

Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.August 10-16, 2020MVP: Swiss SkydiverOwner: Peter CallahanTrainer: Kenny McPeekJockey: Tyler GaffalionePerformance: Similar to Tiz the Law’s Travers demolition a week prior, Swiss Skydiver dominated the Aug. 15 Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga over a mile and one-quarter. The well-traveled filly added to her 2020 victories in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, Santa Anita Oaks and Fantasy Stakes by coasting under the wire 3-1/2 lengths to the good. Just like Tiz the Law, Swiss Skydiver sat a first-over trip and pressed a Bob Baffert trainee on the front end, easily putting away Crystal Ball and opening more than 6 lengths on the field in mid-stretch before being throttled down. She solidified her position atop the 3-year-old dirt filly ranks along with Acorn/Test winner Gamine.On Tap: After the Alabama, trainer Kenny McPeek indicated the Sept. 4 Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks would be the next likely landing spot with an eye toward a potential Oct. 3 Grade 1 Preakness date. Expect to see Swiss Skydiver in the Oaks (vs. Gamine) unless something unforeseen happens to Sept. 5 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz the Law’s status. Longer-range, the Alabama was a Win & You’re In for the Nov. 7 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland, meaning we could see quite a historic run of races if this filly maintains her sterling 2020 form.Honorable Mentions: Early Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies favoritism may go to Thoughtfully after her smashing, 5-length win in Saratoga’s August 12 Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes. The Tapit filly is unbeaten in 2 starts for trainer Steve Asmussen. At Woodbine, reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Pink Lloyd continued his sprint dominance August 15 in the Grade 3 Bold Venture. He’s now won 9 straight and 25 of 30 races in his outstanding career. Finally, the versatile 3-year-old filly Antoinette moved dirt-to-turf to win the Aug. 16 $500,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational in her second start of the meet. The Bill Mott trainee finished third in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks prior.

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8.16.2020:

Sunday, August 16: Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: BUse: 1-School of Thought; 4-CantataForecast: Two highly-regarded juvenile fillies comprise the main contention in the Sunday opener, an extended main track sprint that drew just six entrants. Cantata, a $950,000 Keeneland yearling purchase by Medaglia d’Oro from stakes winning Stoweshoe, has been impressive in the a.m. while showing good speed and athleticism in a series of drills that should have her fit and ready. Her Aug. 10 breeze (5f, 1:00.4b, fourth fastest of 14) was accomplished in company with Lutescoot N Boogie, who finished as respectable third in her debut earlier this week, with Cantata going the easier of the two and appearing best. With the barn’s “go to” rider R. Santana, Jr. taking the call, the Stonestreet Stable color bearer is playable at or near her morning line of 5/2. School of Thought, the morning line 7/5 choice, must leave cleanly from the rail but if the daughter of Empire Maker manages to avoid a troubled trip she should be prominent throughout with every chance. Though her pedigree suggests she’ll be better with more ground – and she trains like that will be the case – the $130,000 Keeneland purchase appears to have plenty of class and ability so we’ll include her as well.RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Chocolate Bar; 2-Complex System; 3-Seize the HayForecast: Complex System, in the money in all three career starts when facing straight maiden foes, shows up in a seller for the first time in his first outing since early June, not a healthy pattern for sure. However, a steady, solid workout pattern at Monmouth Park may alleviate some fears that all is not right and the C. Brown barn hits at 25% with layoff runners such as this, so despite the mixed signals this colt – originally a $210,000 yearling purchase – certainly looks like the logical top pick though not offering much value at 8/5 on the morning line. Chocolate Bar has the blinkers off angle we like, is comfortably drawn inside, and should go better with the drop in class from straight maiden company last month at Keeneland. The Cairo Prince colt projects to enjoy a ground-saving trip from his good inside draw and may prefer the patient tactics that resulted in a good runner-up try three races back. Seize the Hay is another class dropper likely to improve against this level of competition. He’s a deep closer with speed figures that fit, and if he can negotiate a clean trip from the rail he should be heard from late.RACE 3: Post 2:18 ET. Grade: CUse: 2-Pick Up the Fone; 5-Lady C; 6-Our Lady of LoretoForecast: We’ll use three of the six entrants in this restricted (nw-3) $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares but otherwise pass the race. Lady C perhaps gets a very slight edge on top at 9/5 on the morning line based on a class drop to her lowest level ever and speed figures that are slightly stronger than the other two. But she doesn’t have to win. Pick Up the Fone, first or second in seven of 11 career starts, was beaten a half-length when runner-up in a similar affair here last month and not much more will be needed to beat this field. She’ll be on or near the lead throughout. Our Lady of Loreto probably is the quickest in the field and will try to take them as far as she can. She’s won two of her last three while on the front end in good style but on pure figures she has some improving to do.RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: C+Use: 2-Lido Key; 6-Skye SnowForecast: Skye Snow, purchased as a yearling for $250,000, is being tossed away in this restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claimer for fillies and mares in her first start since April and just two races removed from a fairly decent maiden-special-weight score at Gulfstream Park in early March. She went a month in between works between late June and July so there may be an issue or two that comes with the package, but the M. Maker-trained daughter of Lemon Drop Kid clearly is good enough to beat this field if she has at least one good one left, so we’ll put her on top but question whether at 2-1 on the morning line she’ll be offering any real wagering value. Lido Key is dropping in class as well, but in her case she’s simply trying to find her proper level. Another daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, she has figures that fit and may be the one to fear most, but as a one-paced grinding closer she’ll need some help up front to have her best chance. In a race that should be treated cautiously, both can be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: XUse: 1-Pillar Mountain; 6-NakamuraForecast: Nakamura finished third in the Elkhorn S.-G2 at Keeneland last month in a strong effort that earned a career top speed figure. He returns to the allowance ranks today over a course and distance that produced a sharp score last year, so we’re expecting the Animal Kingdom gelding to get back on track for the always-potent G. Motion/Johnny V. combo. He’s 9/5 on morning line but we suspect he’ll go lower. Pillar Mountain is another with a win over the local lawn on his resume, and while his recent form is uninspiring the Irish-bred horse is very competitive on numbers and is the one to fear most. Perhaps the switch to I. Ortiz, Jr. will help wake him up a bit. Both should be included in rolling exotics in a race that doesn’t much wagering value.RACE 6: Post 4:04 ET. Grade: C+Use: 2-Lost in Rome; 4-BreithornForecast: Lost in Rome, in the frame in four of five career starts, has steadily rising speed figures and may finally be able to break through with a win after the knocking on the door in his last pair. The sophomore gelding lacks gate quickness but at this extended sprint distance the son of Tale of Ekati might be able to wear down the leaders close home. Breithorn was third in the same race Lost in Rome exits, finishing just a head behind that one. The W. Mott-trained son of Into Mischief had a bit of a rough trip from the rail in that outing and is drawn better today, and in a field without much early speed he should find himself in good stalking spot outside with every chance. In another lackluster betting affair, we’ll include both in our rolling exotics while otherwise passing the race.RACE 7: Post 4:40 ET. Grade: XSingle: 6-La HaraForecast: La Hara is listed as the even money favorite in this first-level allowance miler over the inner turf course and the lightly-raced gelding seems certain to go even lower than that after finishing second in a similar affair here last month in his first outing since October. The C. Brown-trained Irish-bred didn’t get the best of runs when beaten almost three lengths by the promising Colonel Liam in that affair but earned a career top speed figure in defeat, one that if repeated today should be more than good enough to win. We’ll make him a short priced rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Fierce Lady; 5-Letmetakethiscall; 6-BertrandaForecast: Here’s a challenging state-bred first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares with a number of entrants quite familiar with each other. Fierce Lady, a close third as the favorite in a similar spot here last month in her first outing since February, may be a tad fitter today while retaining J. Rosario and rates a slight edge on top at 9/2 on the morning line. A stakes winner at two over the Saratoga main track, the daughter of Competitive Edge projects to be part of the pace, though she has scored from a mid-pack position so that option is available if the race flow dictates. Bertranda just edged Fierce Lady when the met last month and must be given a chance right back, although there’s a four pound shift in the weights in favor of ‘Lady. Letmetakethiscall has hit the board in each of her last six starts and should be in the fray again. She’s a quick veteran mare that probably is most dangerous when she’s on the lead, but she can stalk and pounce if necessary. She remains above her claim level in a sign of confidence and has speed figures that are quite similar to the other main contenders.RACE 9: Post 5:43 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Speaktomeofsummer; 2-Enola Gay; 3-AntoinetteForecast: This year’s edition of the Saratoga Oaks Invitational S.-G1 came up light in number with just seven entrants but it’s an evenly matched group with no real front-running types. Antoinette may fall into the lead whether she wants to or not and given that role the daughter of Hard Spun has an excellent chance to steal the race at 6-1 on the morning line. A respectable third in the C.C.A. Oaks-G1 on dirt last month, she’s back on the lawn today and seems as good as any at the price. Enola Gay returned off a layoff to win the Appalachian S.-G2 at Keeneland in good style with an excellent display of late speed and should have no trouble with today’s extra three-sixteenths of a mile. She’s the logical favorite and one to beat. Speaktomeofsummer, winner of the Lake George S.-G2 at Keeneland last month, is a progressive daughter of Summer Front with a good stalking style. She’ll enjoy a ground-saving trip from the rail and have her chance from the quarter pole home.RACE 10: Post 6:18 ET. Grade: C+Use: 2-Yankee Empire; 3-Southern Bridge; 7-Dangerous EdgeForecast: The finale is a messy restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claiming sprint that offers a number of possibilities. We’ll try to get by using just three, but best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. After nine distance races to begin his career, Southern Bridge runs short for the first time and may enjoy this trip. The class drop into a seller won’t hurt, either, so we’ll put the W. Mott-trained colt slightly on top. Dangerous Edge, an okay third in a tougher starter’s allowance sprint last month, earned his best speed figure to date and retains I. Ortiz, Jr. He’ll be within range throughout in a race that projects to have soft early splits. Yankee Empire broke his maiden for this price last month while earning a career top speed figure and with only slight improvement should be competitive right back.

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8.16.2020:

Sunday, August 16: Hawthorne Racecourse Late Pick 4 Analysis

Hawthorne Racecourse has a big 16-race card set to go with the 0.50 Late Pick 4 starting in Race 13. The sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout, and it will be my focus.The driver with the hottest hands on Saturday was Kyle Wilfong with 6 wins. No trainer on the 16-race card took more than one picture.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 132-Fox Valley Sierra (5/2)-Claimed in last from Terry Leonard and usually that's not a favorable angle for me. But versus this field, from this post, it's best to use.4-Mocking Robin (4-1)-Wilfong chose the #2 instead, but Bates steers, drops from $8k claimers and is 2nd time Lasix so will respect chances. Has won 11 of 42 starts in Stickney.6-Ok Jewel (3-1)-Another from the Herrera barn (2-6), drops and makes 3rd start for new barn. Back in at the same level of recent claim and Warren should put in play.Race 141-He's Masterful (3-1)-Leonard is back tonight and that should help. Could get sucked around and use one brush down the lane to take a picture. This field is full of underperformers.2-Gamblinforalivin (8/5)-Rolled home with a 56.3 back half to break maiden in the slop. Morning line chalk looks to be a player and it would be no surprise if wins right back.4-Ringo Hotspur (10-1)-Had a breaking issue after the restart. Requalified and has had 2 flat lines but has raced from the back. Closed well in last and could be ready for a more aggressive steer at a price with Bates in the bike.Race 151-Jazzie Babe (5/2)-Drops and was Franco's choice over the 6/7. Willis trainee should be in the mix if minds manners. Does like Haw, winning 5 of 15 starts.4-Delightfully Wild (9-1)-This is a spot to shine, has done good work at this level. Could be a player at a nice price but will need the right trip.5-Dee Rocks (4-1)-Was used hard into a .55 half and wasn't able to close in the stretch. Gets some post relief and that should make for a smoother journey. 5-year old has won 4 of 12 at Haw.Race 161-Misscanfly (7/2)-This race appears to be one with a low-priced winner. If this Roberts trainee minds her manners she should be in the hunt at the wire. Stewart could work a ground saving trip from here.3-Big Man Forever (5/2)-Has hit the board in 2 of 3 starts and has taken a picture after a dominant win on 8/9 with the trainer aboard. Leonard gets the assignment tonight and could be sitting on a big try.My Ticket Race 13) 2,4,6 Race 14) 1,2,4 Race 15) 1,4,5 Race 16) 1,3Total Ticket Cost) $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.16.2020:

Sunday, August 16: Late Pick 4 Ticket Sunday at Saratoga

We know the graded stakes races, like any others, can be a guessing game. Some races are underrated and some are given too much stock. Sunday’s headliner at Saratoga is the $500,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational Stakes, which is not graded, and will be contested at 1 3-16th miles, and several of the runners are coming out of graded events, including the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes. However, going in to that 1 1-8th-mile event, it was apparent the runners were not what you’d expect for a Grade 2 in the Lake Placid. Speaktomeofsummer won the Lake Placid after running fourth in the Grade 3 Wonder Again. Enola Gay also comes off a Grade 2 win, this one in the Appalachian at Keeneland. It was her first and only two-turn attempt. Enola Gay’s win probably was better, but Speaktomeofsummer’s was over the Saratoga course, and that can be an advantage, but in this case it may not be. Others have come out of races that were probably as good as the Lake Placid. The lean is away from the Lake Placid in today’s suggested Late Pick 4 ticket ($72). The Oaks is the ninth on the card and the third leg of the sequence. Here’s a look at the Late Pick 4 races: Race 7 (4:40 p.m. ET, allowance) PICASSO is a Tapit colt ready to make his first turf start. He was good in sprints and is a threat to carry his speed on out. LA HARA was second in his initial start of 2020 after a nine-month layoff. Made a serious bid toward the yield, then hung late. DURESS closed in all of his races and just didn’t hold it after he got the lead and was caught late. Looks ready to stretch out again. MO GOTCHA battled out front and faltered to third last time in his first turf effort. Usually a pace factor and this distance effort on grass will give his connections a handle on what he prefers. Race 8 (5:14 p.m. ET, allowance optional claiming) BERTRANDA outgamed a similar group going 6.5 furlongs and will not be hurt by turning back a half-furlong. Was very game in New York-bred races and will battle it out with these. PLAYTONE was fifth in a stakes race in January and has been off since. Capable of mixing it up in this post, and that stakes appearance marked the only time in six starts she hadn’t been first of second. BIG Q was clear second in stakes in her last two races and broke her maiden over this strip last year. She didn’t seriously threaten the winners of those stakes races, but carrying over those efforts to this race will make her a serious contender. Race 9 (5:46 p.m. ET, Saratoga Oaks Invitational Stakes) ENOLA GAY was impressive in her first distance encounter, and while she has raced only three times, she’ll likely get better with even more distance. She was fourth in a sprint stakes at Aqueduct, and the Appalachian was her first in eight months. It was particularly impressive as she kept close to fast fractions and ended the mile in 1:33 4-5. She has a sharp work over the Saratoga turf and is ready for a top effort. ANTOINETTE moves over from the main track, where she was third in the Grade 1 Coaching Club of America Oaks. She broke her maiden on grass at Belmont last fall. RICETTA invades from Great Britain, where she was most recently third in York’s Group 3 Musidora after wins at Newmarket in her first two races. Bill Mott takes over the training and gave the filly a moderate work on the Saratoga turf. Race 10 (6:18 p.m. ET, claiming) SOUTHERN BRIDGE drops to a claiming price for the first time and can get going early as she turned back in distance. INK SPLOTZ tried some tough spots after a maiden-claiming win at Belmont. He’s a threat to shake loose, and rider Saez is strong on the front end. DANGEROUS EDGE should get a favorable pace in front of him and has the late energy to take over if the speed falters. BIG BOY MO faltered from early efforts and you never know what style you’ll see with him. He’s been on the front end but has also come from off the pace. Saratoga Late Pick 4: 7) #3 Picasso, #6 La Hara, #9 Duress, #10 Mo Gotcha. 8) #6 Bertranda, #9 Playtone, #11 Big Q. 9) #2 Enola Gay, #3 Antoinette, #6 Ricetta. 10) #3 Southern Bridge, #6 Ink Splotz, #7 Dangerous Edge, #9 Big Boy Mo. 50-cent Late Pick 4: 3-6-9-10 with 6-9-11 with 2-3-6 with 3-6-7-9 ($72)

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8.15.2020:

Saturday, August 15: Saratoga/Del Mar Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level. Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. Today’s Del Mar Best Plays: Del Mar Race 2 – Post Time: 2:31 PT3 – Disco Ball (4-1)Was well-meant in his recent comeback but lost his best chance at the start with an awkward break and then did well to finish second behind next-out winner Vertical Threat in a fast race for maidens. The B. Koriner-trained 3-year-old continue to impress in the a.m. so at 4-1 on the morning line the son of Orb is worth strong consideration in the win pool and in rolling exotic play Del Mar – Race 3 – Post Time: 3:07 PT6 – Graziano (3-1)Fast-working first timer catches a modest field in this five furlong turf dash for older maidens and should come out firing for a barn that has superior stats with debut runners. As a grandson of More Than Ready this homebred 3-year-old should like the grass, so with top rider F. Prat taking the mount the son of Verrazano looks extremely well-meant. He’s 3-1 on the morning line and should offer excellent wagering value at anywhere near that price. Del Mar Race 4 – Post Time: 3:40 PT3 – Negotiator (8-1)He’s stepping way up in class after beating a bottom-rung maiden claiming field over this track and distance last month but was visually quite pleasing in doing so while giving strong indication that the G. Mandella-trained gelding has found a home on dirt. Today he’ll face a field with plenty of early speed that should set things up nicely for his late kick, so while he’ll obviously need to step forward the son of Awesome Again represents an intriguing long shot gamble at or near his morning line of 8-1. Saratoga Analysis and Wagering Strategies: RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: CUse: 3-Invest; 4-Bebe Banker; 8-Later CatForecast: The Saturday opener, a restricted (nw-3) $14,000 claimer for older horses, looks a bit treacherous and should be treated with caution. Bebe Banker is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite and certainly is good enough on his best day, but he’s just 2-for-22 in his career, was a voided claim two races back, and was off the board as the favorite in his most recent outing vs. state-bred allowance foes last month. Dropping below his $25,000 claim level two runs back, the R. Rodriguez-trained gelding beats these with a repeat of his June 21 romp but the pattern is shaky, so who knows what we’ll get today? Invest, haltered for $16,000 by A. C. Avila two runs back, faded badly on the raise in his first start for his new connections in a poor effort in late June at Belmont Park. After a bit of freshening, a drop in class, and a switch to J. Rosario, the Super Saver gelding is realistically spotted today and shows a recent bullet blowout (3f, :35b, fastest of 33) to have him on his toes, so he could bounce back. Later Cat is comfortably drawn outside in his first start since being eased in early March when claimed for $35,000. He shows up cheap with a somewhat sketchy series of workouts, so his current condition is a big question mark. You can use all three in your rolling exotics, spread even deeper, and perhaps simply pass the race. RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: B+Single: 5-PolinesiaForecast: Polinesia, by American Pharoah and the first foal from graded stakes-winning Super Majesty (a debut winner in 1:08 2/5 at Santa Anita in 2015), has been highly impressive in two recent turf drills over the Saratoga training track so it’s not surprising that he begins his career on the lawn. An $800,000 yearling purchase at Saratoga last year, the C. Brown trained colt appears to have plenty of natural speed - though he really hasn’t been allowed to show it in the a.m. – and it wouldn’t surprise us to see him on the lead from the get-go. With a strong foundation of drills to have him fit and ready for a barn that clicks at 21% with debut runners, he’ll offer plenty of wagering value at or near his morning line of 5/2 if you can get it. Let’s make him a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 3: Post 2:18 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Reed Kan; 5-ChateauForecast: Chateau had a rough trip when well-beaten in a considerably tougher spot here last month but we’ll draw a line through that race and expect the Flat Out gelding to regain his winning from with this sharp drop into the $32,000 claiming ranks. The veteran gelding hasn’t performed up to stuff since being transferred from the suspended J. Servis barn but trainer R. Atras is more than capable of getting this gelding back on the proper track, and with I. Ortiz. Jr. staying aboard he projects to be on or near the lead throughout. Reed Khan seeks his third straight score but isn’t being raised in class and shows just two easy workouts since his most recent win 43 days ago. Obviously, if he fires his best shot he’ll be right there. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with slight preference on top to Chateau. RACE 4: Post 2:51++ ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Farragut; 3-Papa Luke; 8-Eccoci QuaForecast: Let’s take a stab with the debuting Monmouth Park shipper Eccoci Qua in this state-bred maiden special weight sprint. As a four-year-old, he’s a bit late to the party but it may be significant that good trainer K. Breen (strong stats with first-timers) protects this gelding instead of running him for a tag – which he could easily do – so with a pretty decent series of workouts on his resume this son of Freud just might be able to beat what looks to be a moderate group. Papa Luke is listed as the 9/5 morning line favorite and appears to be the best of the known element. Second in his last pair with rising speed figures, the son of Strong Mandate shows a bullet half mile workout (:47 2/5, fastest of 108) six days ago that certainly catches the eye. Farragut, a close third in the same race Papa Luke exits, has hit the board in each of his last four starts and should be in the fray again. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics; we’ll be curious to see how much play (if any) Eccoci Qua gets on the tote. RACE 5: Post 3:24 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-Fevola; 10-Brazen; 11-Beach FrontForecast: After breaking his maiden in early July at Indiana downs and then running well to be second in a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 sprint here last month, Brazen is being tossed away in this $16,000 seller as if to indicate the son of Ghostzapper doesn’t have many left. A first-time gelding with numbers that are considerably better than par for this level, the R. Brisset-trained 3-year-old can beat this field if he shows up with his best stuff, but who knows if he will? Beach Front is a late-running sprinter that usually closes too late, but after a failed grass try when overmatched last month at Belmont Park the Smart Bid gelding returns to his proper level and should have clear sailing outside at this extended sprint distance which may play right into his style. With the switch to the barn’s “go-to” rider I. Ortiz, Jr., the J. Englehart-trained 4-year-old is a “must use” at or near his morning line of 6-1. Fevoda earned a giant speed figure when beating maiden $50,000 foes in February but then wasn’t seen for almost five months and returned in a starter’s allowance sprint that was far below his winning effort. The big drop to this $16,000 level is not a good sign, but the recent work tab looks healthy so perhaps this C. Brown-trained gelding will regain his confidence at this level. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics in a race that probably is best left alone. RACE 6: Post 3:57 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Engrave; 4-Swill; 6-Calibrate; 9-UnitedandresoluteForecast: This looks like one of those Saratoga hot weekend maiden races for 2-year-old that could produce a future star. There are several contenders to consider. Unitedandresolute performed well in his debut at Keeneland in a turf sprint, overcoming some early traffic trouble to rally wide and finish willingly in a promising runner-up effort that earned an okay speed figure. Bred for dirt and switching to the main track today for a barn that has strong stats (20%) with second-time starters, the T. Amoss-trained colt seems likely to produce a significant forward move and may be set to graduate unless there is a real good first-timer in the field. Engrave, a $900,000 Keeneland yearling, is a half-brother to Arlington Million S.-G1 winner Beach Patrol so there’s every expectation that this C. Brown-trained colt will eventually do his best work running long on the lawn. Yet he debuts sprinting on the dirt, which tells you he’s been impressive in his a.m. main track drills while looking like a win-early juvenile. He’ll have to leave cleanly from the rail, but if the son of Flatter can avoid trouble he should be highly competitive first crack out of the box. Swill, a second-timer from the B. Cox barn (superior 26% with this angle), is likely to step forward with a race behind him. Second to subsequent graded stakes-placed Therideofalifetime in a fast dash at Churchill Downs last month, the son of Munnings was well clear of the rest and has to be considered a major player today. Calibrate, a son of Distorted Humor that brought $340,000 as a yearling at Keeneland, has done some very good work in the a.m. for S. Asmussen while looking in team drills like a colt with plenty of ability. He may not be totally cranked up by a barn that doesn’t often ask its young stock for too much in the a.m. but he’s still worth including somewhere on your ticket. RACE 7: Post 4:32 ET. Grade: BUse: 6-Mo Ready; 7-SimplyForecast: Simply switches to the barn’s “go-to” rider R. Santana, Jr. after the 3-year-old gelding ran into repeated road blocks when full of run in a similar first-level state-bred allowance turf event and never had a chance to do any running when ninth beaten five lengths here last month. Hopefully, he’ll get a chance to show his best stuff today. At 6-1 on the morning line (and likely to go lower) he’s a strong win play and key in the rolling exotics. For protection, you may want to consider on a back-up ticket Mo Ready, fifth as the favorite in the same race Simply exits following a troubled trip of his own. A prior winner over the Saratoga turf course and retaining J. Ortiz, the T. Pletcher-trained son of Uncle Mo may have a tad more tactical speed than our top pick and should be the one to fear most. RACE 8: Post 5:07 ET. Grade: XUse: 2-Decorated Invader; 6-Colonial LiamForecast: Decorated Invader is the logical short-priced favorite in this year’s edition of the Saratoga Derby Invitational though he did make hard work of it when winning the recent Hall of Fame S.-G2 over the local lawn last month. The son of Declaration of War clearly is the most accomplished colt in the field, having already won four grass stakes including the Summer S.-G1 as a 2-year-old, but his best effort actually may have come when a much-troubled fourth (beaten just over a length) in the BC Juvenile Turf S.-G1 last year. A recent bullet workout (4f, :48.3b) around dogs on grass was the fastest of 39 for the distance so he’s clearly ready for another winning effort. Colonial Liam is worth consideration as a back-up or a saver. A rapidly progressing son of Liam’s Map who just earned a giant speed figure when beating older horses in a first-level allowance affair, he produced a recent bullet drill on turf (5f, 1:00.4b, fastest of 12) to indicate he’s very likely to continue his improving pattern. Today’s mile and three-sixteenths distance should promote his chances, as well. RACE 9: Post 5:43 ET. Grade: XUse: 3-Crystal Ball; 5-Swiss SkydiverForecast: Swiss Skydiver is listed at even money on the morning line and probably will go lower in this year’s edition of the Alabama S.-G1. She lost little in defeat when second in the Blue Grass S.-G2 to what surely will be the second wagering choice in the Kentucky Derby-G1, Art Collector, and with more than a month to recover from that taxing effort the daughter of Daredevil should be ready to produce her usual stellar performance. This 10-furlong trip may be a bit problematic but we’re guessing her intrinsic class will carry her throughout. Those wishing to protect a bit in rolling exotic play may consider including Crystal Ball on a back-up ticket. Beaten a head in C.C.A. Oaks-G1 over the Saratoga main track last month, she has trained well since and should be set for another forward move. ‘Skydiver will have to regress somewhat to give her a chance but the B. Baffert-trained filly should be capable of at least out-finishing the others. RACE 10: Post 6:16 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Maxwell Esquire; 2-Shiraz; 9-Bustin ShotForecast: Shiraz took a suspicious class drop when dropping to the $25,000 level following a win for $35,000 last time out but today he’s protected by new trainer M. Maker off the claim so we’ll assume he’s okay. Having won his last pair, the son of Tale of the Cat may be shredding his reputation of preferring to run second rather than win and based on the speed figure he earned in his most recent score the veteran gelding should be tough once again. Bustin Shout scored a mild surprise when winning against a slightly softer New York-bred field over the local lawn last month with a race that produced a career top speed figure. He’ll likely pop and go from his outside draw and settle into a good pace-stalking position, so at 6-1 on the morning line he’s usable. Maxwell Esquire was sharp winning a first-level state-bred sprint over this course and distance last month, and with another forward he’ll be very competitive right back. The main concern is his lack of tactical speed, and from the rail he’s probably going to have deal with some traffic. That said, it’s hard to toss anything from the C. Clement barn ridden by J. Rosario. RACE 11: Post 6:49 ET. Grade: C+Use: 4-Bricco 6-Michael’s Bad Boy; 8-Mommie’s JewelForecast: The finale is a rather uninspiring maiden claiming state-bred turf miler. Bricco, in the frame in all three lifetime starts, shows gradually improving speed figures and with another forward move should be capable of earning his diploma. With L. Saez staying aboard, the son of Paddy O’Prado projects to settle into a pace-stalking position and then have his chance to seal the deal when the pressure is turned on. Mommie’s Jewel regains J. Rosario and may have a bit more improvement in him than some of the others, having started just three times. Third after setting the pace in the same race Bricco exits, the R. Falcone, Jr.-trained colt draws a better post today and shows a nice half mile training track breeze last week to indicate he’s doing well and perhaps getting better. Michael’s Bad Boy is another that appears to be gradually improving and will be running on late. With some help up front, the son of Noble Mission should pose a threat in the final furlong.

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8.15.2020:

Saturday, August 15: Scioto Downs Pick 5 Analysis

Scioto Downs has a 15-race card ready to go tonight and the 0.50 Pick 5 begins in Race 5. That sequence will be my focus and it has a low 14% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 53-My Hero Ron (5/2)-Sutton's choice over the 1 and 9 has won over $249K at ScD and drops into a good spot. Was battling Open company and most recent start at this class was in the slop. Could be sitting on a big try.7-Americanfirewater (10-1)-Will toss last versus Open company in a needed start. Likes to win having taken 14 pictures in last 44 starts and can leave in a hurry to be forwardly placed at a price.8-Yankee Boots (5-1)-Morgan stable entry was the choice of Sutton over #7. Drops into a spot to shine, likes to get on the engine and is another who could be flying off the gate.Race 61-Hitman Hill (2-1)-Only 1 for 9 this year but drops, draws the rail and can race at the top of the stack. Not sure this 5-year-old can be trusted but has no excuse.2-My Buddy Ninkster (20-1)-Will toss last from the 9-hole and take a swing for a price. Fits with this crew but the risk is concerning the steer. If Barker can work a decent trip this guy could surprise, likes the track and will use in gimmicks.7-Odds On Delray (7-1)-Not the best of trips in last from the rail but this race could set-up differently. Sutton can find some live cover and pace could be hot as there could be 3 leaving from the inside. Best to respect at a square price.Race 74-Gold Digger King (5-1)-Pet Rock 4-year-old has been in the money in 17 of 22 starts at ScD and is in play with some post relief. May get a win at this class at a square price.5-Stars Align A (5/2)-Steps up off a sharp win and hot barn has been winning at a 30% clip over the last 30 days. Should be in the mix but doesn't offer much value at the morning line odds.8-Havefaithinme N (3-1)-The post helps the price and shows a couple of wins this summer versus Open company. This is a competitive horse that could win from out here.Race 8 (3-1)6-R Bazingga (2-1)-Loses Brett Miller but Smith will be out and rolling as this Morgan trainee looks to snag 4th straight win. The morning line chalk has been really sharp and could get the top without much strain so will string along.Race 91-American Dreamer (9/2)-Will look for some value and my thinking is a great trip could line up following #5. Deaton can take advantage of a ground saving mile and sweep by at a solid price.5-Escaprtothebeach (5/2)-Ships in from the Big M and has done well at ScD hitting the board in 2 of 3 starts with 1 picture. Should enjoy the company, and with a smooth trip will be tough to beat.My Ticket Race 5) 3,7,8 Race 6) 1,2,7 Race 7) 4,5,8 Race 8) 6 Race 9) 1,5Total Bet = $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter!

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8.14.2020:

Friday, August 14: Saratoga (TB) Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level. Grade A=Highest degree of confidence. Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred, or pass. Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value. The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. Today’s Best Plays: Laurel Park – 7th race. Post Time: 3:58 PT 5 – Clear Vision (8-1) Back at the scene of his debut maiden win in his first outing since February, and if the J. O’Dwyer-trained colt returns as well as he left he can spring a surprise in this first-level allowance middle distance affair. The barn’s “go-to” rider J. Toledo takes the call on this lightly-raced son of Artie Schiller, who has figures that fit and enough tactical speed to be within range in a race that should have soft early splits. There’s good value to be found in the win pool in Stronach-5 play (Leg A) at or near his morning line of 8-1. Del Mar – 5th race. Post Time: 4:09 PT 3 – Raymundos Secret (9/5) Makes her first start since last October for new trainer P. D’Amato and has a history of firing fresh, both in her runaway winning debut and in her first California appearance last summer over this course and distance following a six month vacation. Recent works have been superb and indicate she hasn’t lost a step, so this lightly raced but talented turf specialist should be hard to catch under top rider F. Prat in this second-level allowance miler. At 9/5 on the morning line she’s win play and logical rolling exotic single. Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies RACE 1: Post 1:10 ET. Grade: B- Use: 1-Spanish Peaks; 7-Ain’t None Lucky Forecast Indiana Downs shipper Spanish Peaks drops for the money run in this modest maiden $20,000 extended sprint for fillies and mares and catches a field without her kind of early speed. If the B. Cox-trained filly leaves cleanly from the rail, she should be able to establish the pace without pressure and be tough to catch, though at this extended sprint distance that final sixteenth of a mile will be interesting. Ain’t None Lucky is strictly the one to fear in the closing stages. The Maryland invader shows up in a seller for the first time, lands the cozy outside post, and has speed figures that are good enough to win. The daughter of Candy Ride might be most effective if held up early and then turned loose late. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with a very slight edge on top to Spanish Peaks. RACE 2: Post 1:44 ET. Grade: Use: 5-Tiple; 6-Notorious R B G Forecast: We’re not certain Notorious R B G will offer at any real wagering value if she leaves close to her morning line of 7/5 but the race sets up nicely for the lightly-raced 3-year-old representing the powerful C. Clement/J Rosario team and with the class drop from the listed Lady Shipman S. to this first-level allowance event she certainly shouldn’t have any excuses. Apparently most effective when allowed to settle early and produce a late run, the daughter of Speightstown seems likely to enjoy the proper race shape to promote her style. Tiple has numbers that fit and is a perfect one-for-one over the local lawn, having won a restricted claimer last year with a strong late kick. Fresh from a career top score at Belmont Park in a starter’s allowance race, the Irish-bred filly will be motoring late, and with a bit of help up front and good racing luck should be heard from in the final furlong. RACE 3: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: B Single: 7-Mosienko Forecast: Mosienko is a first-off-the-claim from an outfit that does very well with this particular angle, so the daughter of Hat Trick has a reasonable chance to repeat her convincingly win last month at Belmont Park while competing for this price in the softer nw-2 condition. She likes to settle and make a run and as such should be perfectly suited for this extended sprint trip under J. Rosario, who stays aboard for new trainer R. Falcone, and with the other main contender, Hefty G. an off-the-program scratch, we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 4: Post 2:54 ET. Grade: B+ Single: 5-Feel Glorious Forecast: Feel Glorious makes her third start off a layoff and it should be her best. The improving English-bred filly finished a respectable third in the pace-less New York S.-G1 behind the high-class Mean Mary in her seasonal bow in June and then last month finished strongest but too late when third in the Matchmaker S.-G3 at Monmouth Park, a sharp effort that produced a career top speed figure. The C. Clement-trained daughter of Bated Breath has been kept on edge with a couple of slow and easy breezes since that race, is reunited with “win rider” J. Alvarado, and seems capable of producing a surprise at 5-1 on the morning line in this year’s edition of the Perfect Sting S. The pace of today’s race should be borderline creepy-crawler, so hopefully she won’t be given too much to do from the quarter pole home. RACE 5: Post 3:28 ET. Grade: C+ Use: 4-New Frontier; 5-It’s a Wrap Forecast: It’s a Wrap makes the all-important class drop from straight maiden to maiden claiming in his third start off a layoff and appears to have found a proper spot to earn his diploma in this abbreviated turf sprint for older horses. A repeat of his race-before-last when second beaten a neck at Belmont Park should be good enough to handle this lackluster field. New Frontier is a 14-race maiden and certainly not one to trust, but he has back numbers good enough to win and early speed in a race that has little of it. If the M. Maker-trained gelding clears without pressure, he could get brave, so we’ll reluctantly include him in our rolling exotics. RACE 6: Post 4:04 ET. Grade: B- Use: 1a-Clench; 6-Life in Shambles Forecast: Florida shipper Life in Shambles is a popular old pro with a winning spirit and the proven ability to fire a big shot fresh. First or second in 24 of 56 career starts (with 12 wins), the 9-year-old gelding makes his first start for the L. Rice barn while dropping to the $20,000 level. Given his late-running style, the son of Broken Vow should have every chance to tag the speed at this extended sprint trip, so with I. Ortiz, Jr. taking the call let’s put him on top and hope to get close to his morning line of 7/2. Clench is another dangerous class dropper with a strong look off his best effort. Fourth in a hot race here last month,, the B. Cox-trained son of The Factor has only one way to go – on the front end – and appears to be the most dangerous of the pace-types . RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: X Single: 3-Fig Jelly Forecast: At first glance Fig Jelly seems pretty solid in this restricted (nw-3) $35,000 claiming turf sprint; he’s 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower. However, his lifetime record (2 wins in 25 starts with 12 seconds) makes him very difficult to trust. The son of Forestry has never raced this cheaply but you can’t find his last win unless you look it up at equibase.com, (we did, it was July of 2018 at Belmont Park 15 races ago). Stakes-placed twice over this course and distance in his younger days, the B. Cox-trained 5-year-old arrives after missing by a neck in a second level allowance grass dash at Indiana Downs last month while earning a speed figure good enough to win today. The bottom line is that you can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply pass the race. RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: B- Use: 2-Thorny Tale; 4-Tale of the Union; 5-Leaky Cup Forecast: Tale of the Union regained his winning form with a confidence-building score last month at Belmont Park while earning a speed figure that makes him tough right back despite the one level class-hike. The lightly-raced son of Union Rags shook off his pace rivals in that race and likely will have to do the same today in a race that contains other speed types that should keep him occupied throughout. Still well regarded with further room to improve, the B. Baffert-trained colt gets the edge on top but certainly not as a slam dunk single at 8/5 on the morning line. Thorny Tale blew past ‘Union when the met in early June but a sloppy track may have muddled the form. Today, over fast going, the G. Weaver-trained colt should be able to do his best work from a second flight, stalking position, and given the projected race flow may be the last one standing in the final furlong. Leaky Cup has a prior win at Saratoga but it was accomplished over a sloppy track and it may well be that the Central Banker gelding requires a wet surface to maximum his abilities. He will assure a quick pace but we’re not really sure if he can clear the field and may need to do just that to win at this level. RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: B Use: 1a-Value Engineering; 4-Mr. Alec Forecast: The lightly-raced Mr. Alec, a facile winner in a mini-marathon here earlier this month vs. first-level allowance foes, faces tougher while moving up a level on the class ladder while shortening up to a mile and three-sixteenths, but the 4-year-glding seems on the verge of getting very, very good, as his recent stakes-quality speed figure would indicate. The C. Clement-trained son of Mr. Sidney has shown the ability to win as the controlling speed or from a pace-stalking position but given the pace projection we’ll be quite surprised if gate-to-wire tactics aren’t employed. Value Engineering missed at 4/5 when being worn down late while pressing the pace throughout over a mile and three-eighths last time out. He may be more effective at this shorter trip with patient handling so we’ll see if a change tactics is employed. RACE 10: Post 6:18 ET. Grade: C+ Use: 8-Lucky Latkes; 9-Running On Entry; 10-Unicorn Sally Forecast: We’ll go three-deep in the finale, a state-bred maiden claiming turf miler for fillies and mares. Unicorn Sally had all kinds of trouble when eighth but beaten only four lengths in straight maiden company here last month and with a good trip today against this softer group the daughter of Point of Entry should be capable of producing the last run. Running on Entry, another Point of Entry filly and exiting the same race as ‘Sally, makes her second start off a layoff and her first in a claimer, and seems likely to step forward for a barn that has superior stats (from a small sample) with these angles. With decent early fractions to set things up and good racing luck she’ll be heard from late. Lucky Latkes has hit the board in both of her career starts with less than ideal trips and could easily be better than the form shows for C. Clement. While her morning line price (5/2 favorite) isn’t especially attractive, the daughter of Lookin At Lucky is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

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8.14.2020:

Saturday, August 15: Saratoga Late Pick 4 Ticket

Last weekend, in this space, yours truly suggested that Uncle Chuck could make Tiz the Law cry ‘Uncle’ in the Travers. We were half-right. Although there was plenty of ‘Uncle’ crying, unfortunately, most of it was done by Uncle Chuck instead of Tiz the Law. The weeping actually began long before the million-dollar featured race. It commenced in that elegant Spa paddock beneath tall shade-producing trees where Uncle Chuck screamed at foes as if one of them had stolen his favorite blanket. When it comes to equine pre-race behavior, yelling in the paddock is rarely a positive omen. It suggests that the animal in question is distracted; has his mind elsewhere—one can guess at possible topics. Clearly, from the start, Uncle Chuck was unfocused on the task at hand. The race developed early according to Hoyle--Uncle Chuck on the lead attempting his best Arrogate impersonation. Tiz the Law assumed a great position--three-wide and just off the leader. Through a quarter in :23 3/5 and a half in :48 1/5 little changed up front. Uncle Chuck continued comfortably on the lead; Shivaree raced second and Tiz the Law third, both closely staggered off the leader’s flank. A tad past halfway home, Shivaree called it a day and jockey Manny Franco quizzed Tiz the Law about promptly collaring Uncle Chuck. There would be no ‘walking the dog’ on the lead today. As they hit three-quarters in 1:11 4/5 jockey Luis Saez began to scrub a bit on Uncle Chuck’s collar, urging him to repel the favorite’s creeping advance. Uncle Mo’s son did not respond with enthusiasm. Midway around the far turn, the much anticipated Tiz the Law/Uncle Chuck matchup appeared. It was, perhaps, a bit earlier in the running than most expected, but what we had tuned in to see. “And the battle is joined here,” proclaimed veteran track announcer John Imbriale, at NYRA since ’79 and, amazingly, making his maiden Travers-call voyage at 64. Immediately, savvy race-watchers knew what the outcome would be. Uncle Chuck was feeling the heat, about to crack, muttering ‘Uncle.’ In respective cockpits, Saez scoured away like a washerwoman erasing a chocolate stain from a white shirt; alongside, Franco remained as still as the desert night. Only movement in Tiz the Law’s saddle came when Franco, confident he ‘had’ ‘Chuck, turned to scan behind for any potential threats. He saw none. In 1:36 2/5 for the mile, turning into the stretch, as Saratoga sunlight illuminated his splashy blaze, Tiz the Law and Manny Franco possessed, in poker parlance, the ‘stone cold nuts.’ Franco turned his partner loose, gave him an un-cocked backhanded tap and added a ‘smooch’ or two. In response, ‘Law dropped his head, extended his stride and awaited further instructions. None were required, although Franco did administer another un-cocked backhand. The gravity of the Travers stage and an accompanying $1 million purse probably stimulated Franco to un-cock his stick and raise his right arm to deliver a blow. However, a quick underarm glance behind fittingly suppressed the urge. The jock sheathed his sword and hand rodeto the finish in 2:00 4/5, as Imbriale exclaimed, “Here he is, Saratoga’s hometown hero!” The performance was a tour de force. A landslide victory. A proper rout. Tiz the Law will arrive in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in September as the overwhelming favorite to win the postponed Kentucky Derby. California-based Honor A. P. and streaking Ellis Park Derby winner Art Collector appear most logical challengers and distant Louisville co-second choices. Just how good is Tiz the Law? From an historical perspective, a COVID-convoluted sophomore season has made evaluating this colt’s talent level tricky. Earlier this year, when the Gr. 1 stakes batting order was altered to include Belmont, Travers, Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Breeders’ Cup, respectively, yours truly suggested to a compatriot that if Tiz the Law were to run the table, he would hit knees and kiss the colt’s hooves. With two down and three to go, it may be time to pucker up. Probably the most impressive aspect of Tiz the Law is how much he’s developed since his impressive, but not overwhelming, 2-year-old season. The colt has blossomed under the seasoned eye of veteran conditioner Barclay Tagg and his career has been managed expertly for a complete calendar year—coincidentally, his Travers score came exactly one year to the day since he broke maiden first out in a state-bred race at Saratoga. That’s no meager accomplishment. Tiz the Law’s owners Sackatoga Stable, led by Jack Knowlton, teamed with Tagg to campaign Funny Cide to a near Triple Crown that was upended by Empire Maker in the 2003 Belmont Stakes. Tiz the Law is an example of three types of sophomores rolled into one: First, he was an early Kentucky Derby future book contender based on 2-year-old accomplishments. Second, he was a winter/spring Florida Derby-winning sensation. And finally, he also is a continuously developing sophomore that came to hand for the Travers and, apparently, beyond. Based on previous accomplishments Tiz the Law is a star. If he adds the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Classic to his resume, well, he’ll go down in history as one of the all-time greats. Like with everything in 2020, there will be an asterisk beside a possible Tiz the Law Triple Crown. And there should be. The most difficult aspect of turning the Triple is the spacing between races and distance sequencing. If successful, Tiz the Law will have stretched his domination out over several months. Impressive? Absolutely. But not, from this chair, as difficult as rattling them off back-to-back in a few weeks. No matter. As Tiz the Law cantered home to win the Travers Stakes, it was clear we were watching a Thoroughbred at his very best, dominant over inferior foes, over a racetrack with history full of upsets. Again, Travers was fun to watch and it sets the stage for an incredible next act. Below is one man’s view of Saturday’s Saratoga Late Pick 4: This could be a tricky sequence. Great analysis, Einstein, when are they ever easy? We’ve hit a few in this space this season, but they’ve paid little. We’ve missed more than we’ve hit and there’s a reason for that: Pick 4s are difficult! Hope you find the analysis worthwhile. Adding or subtracting a horse sometimes can influence you toward a winning wager. The first question to answer this week is: Do you rate #5 Swiss Skydiver in the second leg as a single? If so, where will the wager’s value appear? #2 Decorated Invader looks best in the first leg, but maybe not a cinch. If you can beat him, the ticket becomes more interesting. If you can beat #5 Swiss Skydiver, and that’s a big ‘if,’ value is yours. Saratoga Race 8—Saratoga Derby Invitational #1 Bama Breeze woke up in his second start for trainer Rusty Arnold at Churchill. He’ll need to improve on that to win this. He finished behind #7 Field Pass in his last 2 races. #2 Decorated Invader can’t be overlooked in here. He’s won 5 of 7, including 2 of 3 at Saratoga. At 2 he won the Gr. 1 Canadian Summer Stakes at Woodbine over yielding turf. Recently, he’s scored back-to-back Gr. 2 wins—one at Belmont and one last out at the Spa. Jockey Joel Rosario is unbeaten on his back, by coming from well off the pace and by stalking leaders. A solid 4-furlong bullet turf breeze is a great sign. He had trouble in his last race and a return to either of his first two this year would fit. #3 No Word is the only runner in the field to have traveled further than the mile and three-sixteenths distance-- next to last time out, third going a mile and one-quarter. He’s looking for his first stakes win for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Jose Ortiz. His best race came last out, as he made a slight forward step through his maiden-breaking figure. He’ll probably need another forward step to win this but it’s not impossible, especially with these connections. #4 Domestic Spending hails from the Chad Brown stable and retains the services of jockey Irad Ortiz. Those are all positives. He’s lightly raced with just 3 starts, but he has 2 wins. His lone loss came last out in the Gr. 2 Hall of Fame at Saratoga when he finished behind a few common foes in this race. He needs to do better than he has before but Brown and Irad work wonders on Spa grass. #5 Gufo, like #2 Decorated Invader, hails from the Christophe Clement stable. That outfit was sizzling hot earlier this meeting but, at this writing, is in a bit of a slump. Like #2 Decorated Invader, #5 Gufo is a win machine. He’s been successful in 4 out of 5 starts, including a win last out in the Gr. 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park. He’s improved a great deal since his 2-year-old season, but one wonders how much more forward movement he’s got left in the tank. A repeat of his last fits but he’s not at Delaware this time. #6 Colonel Liam takes a step up in class after a powerful tally in his first turf start—a Spa first-level allowance win. Trainer Todd Pletcher is on a roll this meeting and Javier Castellano is the jockey. It’s notable that Irad Ortiz moves from here to #4 Domestic Spending. This guy needs to move forward in here to win but improvement isn’t out of the question. He’s sharp and dangerous, even moving way up in class. #7 Field Pass Is a multiple Gr. 3 stakes winner from the strong Mike Maker barn. He won the Transylvania Stakes last out at Keeneland and has a first and second in 2 Spa tries. He’s the most experienced runner in the race with 11 starts and 5 wins. Both his last and next to last races—an ungraded Churchill Stakes—were strong but the rest of his resume is below par in this field. #8 Get Smokin figures to show the way early in here from a far outside post. He hasn’t won a race since breaking maiden nearly a year ago. He’s also been defeated by #2 Decorated Invader in 2 of his last 3 outs and has finished behind both #4 Domestic Spending and #7 Field Pass. Saratoga Race 9—Alabama Stakes—Grade 1 #1 Envoutante hails from the dangerous, bomb-producing Ken McPeek stable. A win by this filly would require a bit of an explanation to certain owners because McPeek also saddles the favorite in #5 Swiss Skydiver. This filly is working well, including a nice bullet :47 2/5 training track blowout. She’ll need to do a bit better than ever before. #2 Spice is Nice ran a corker last out for 33% winning trainer Todd Pletcher, getting back to her best race earlier this year. She’s fast enough to challenge favored #5 Swiss Skydiver, but she lacks seasoning. She’s a slight threat. #3 Crystal Ball is a Bob Baffert trainee who tried hard last out in the Coaching Club Oaks, missing by a mere head to Paris Lights. She’s improved a great deal this season and may not have another forward move in her. Then again, she’s a Baffert and she has speed. #4 Bonny South is improving with each start for trainer Brad Cox, who’s had a great year but not an outstanding Spa season, so far. Irad Ortiz rides this Munnings filly who didn’t fire much in the Gr. 1 Ashland at Keeneland last out. She has won 3 of 5 starts, including the Gr. 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. Could be that she’s sitting on a big one here. #5 Swiss Skydiver is the most accomplished of this bunch with 4 wins in 8 starts, including multiple Gr. 2 scores. She has speed and that usually puts her in a great position. Last out, in the Gr. 2 Blue Grass against males, she finished second to Art Collector, the talented recent Ellis Park Derby winner. Before that she won 3 consecutive graded stakes at Gulfstream, Oaklawn and Santa Anita. She’s clearly the one to beat and those willing to topple her might argue that she’s raced quite a bit already this season and may be ‘over the top.’ The Alabama is a mile and one-quarter, longer than any in this field have travelled. Usually, longer races, especially at classic distances, go to the most talented in the field. If that’s the case, she’s a single. #6 Harvey’s Lil Goil comes into this race off a series of nice works off a Gr. 3 turf victory at Churchill. Her best dirt races, including one that was incredibly fast, came at Aqueduct in December and February. Saratoga Race 10 –Allowance Optional Claiming #1 Maxwell Esquire romped last out in his first start against elders. He has a first and a second in two Spa turf starts. He’s sharp but will need further improvement to win this race on the rise in class. #2 Shiraz was 0 for 9 last season and is 2 for 2 this year—7 furlongs turf at Belmont and 5 1/2 furlongs on turf at Saratoga. He’s got speed and has a win over the Spa turf course. This 6-year-old gelding was claimed for $35k from Mike Maker off a layoff. Maker then promptly claimed him back for $25k in his next start. He’ll need to fire his best to win in here. #4 Call Me Harry has been off since November but ran well first time out so he can run well fresh. He’s a 4-year-old gelding from the lower profile Kelsey Danner outfit. He starts first-time Lasix and is 2 for 2 at the Spa—all positives. He’s been training steadily at Palm Meadows. He’s got lots going on this time out and must be included. #5 New York’s Finest is a 6-year-old gelding facing fellow state-breds for the first time in a long time. He’s run races fast enough to win this and has Irad Ortiz aboard to help him. He loves Saratoga and is 4 for 6 on the Spa lawn and 9 for 17 at the distance. #6 Valmont, #8 Royal Asset and #9 Bustin Shout finished third, second and first, respectively, the last time they ran this type race at Saratoga. Only 2 1/2 lengths separated this trio and they all were relative longshots at 13-1, 13-1 and 6-1, respectively. #9 Bustin Shout made the lead in the common race and held on at the finish. #6 Valmont stalked the pace but couldn’t follow through. #8 Royal Asset closed from fourth to just miss. They all could be used on larger tickets in the following order of preference: #9 Bustin Shout, #8 Royal Asset and #6 Valmont. Saratoga Race 11— State Bred Maiden Claiming #4 Bricco was second at this level last out and hasn’t been off the board in 3 tries, a level of consistency others in here can’t boast. He should be just off the pace and get first run on the leaders. #6 Michael’s Bad Boy was second at this level two back and is a steady campaigner who’s produced similar Thoro-Graph figures in each of 4 starts over 2 seasons. He could jump forward today and that would make him the winner. He doesn’t have much speed, so he often goes wide. That’s a bit of a drawback, but there seems to be some pace in this race to set up a late charge. Both #8 Mommies Jewel and #9 High Tone have run well enough to be added to larger tickets. Prefer the former over the latter based on number of starts. #8 Mommies Jewel has had just 3 outs, 2 on turf, including a close third last out behind #4 Bricco in second. There may be some improvement in him. Less likely to jump forward is #9 High Tone from the Mike Maker barn, ridden by Irad Ortiz. One back he finished third behind #6 Michael’s Boy in second at this level and trip. He’s made 6 lifetime starts. Saratoga $0.50 Late Pick 4 Ticket ($40): Race 8: #2, #4, #5, #6 Race 9: #4, #5 Race 10: #4, #5, #6, #9, #8 Race 11: #4, #6 Race On!

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8.14.2020:

Friday, August 14: Dan Patch Stakes and Hoosier Park Analysis

The headliner of the year at Hoosier Park is the Dan Patch Stakes and tonight it is set to go in Race 11. Bettor's Wish fresh off a Hambletonian day score in the Sam McKee Memorial is the 2-1 morning line favorite. There is a solid field of 10 pacers ready to battle for a share of a $225,000 purse.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 64-Uncmprmising Z Tam (5/2)-Drew off by almost 8 lengths in last and fits well with this field. Should be able to be forwardly placed again and can use a big brush to take another picture.1-Yankee Bounty (8-1)-Veteran doesn't take many pictures these days but has the ability to add some pop to gimmicks. Should be able to stay with the top of the stack from this post and close into a brisk pace.6-Ima Real Ladys Man (6-1)-Winner of 7 of 33 at HoP and dead heated for the win in last with #3. Closed in 54.1, Putnam can put in play and stay in the hunt at a square price.$4 Exacta Box-1-4 and 4-6, total bet=$16Race 99-Hot Rod Dylan (4-1)-Took a picture beating 6 from this field in last and was successful at this class before. Has hit the board in 18 of 25 starts with 5 pictures. De Long can work a trip from out here and price should be better from the 9-hole.3-Tulhurstsantanna A (3-1)-Took advantage of quick fractions and a nice drive to win last start at 1/2. Gingras will steer this time and is a player but likely at a very short price.6-Rockinbeach (6-1)-The Wrenn barn has won at a 24% clip over the last 30 days and this 5-year-old is in at a good level. Does lose Peter Wrenn and has only 3 wins in last 14 starts in 19-20 but has won 10 of 42 at HoP.$4 Exacta key 9/3,6 and $2 Exacta 3,9/6, total bet=$12Race 10-The Gregg Haston Memorial-$35,000 Purse2-GD Western Joe (12-1)-Left from the 8-hole on 8/8 and took off like jet plane to win a condition race at Scioto. Burke trainee is here to win and may offer a big price. Has been in the money in 28 of 46 at HoP with 10 wins.7-Little Rocket Man (2-1)-Seeks 5th in a row at HoP with 4 wins coming in the Open class. Program chalk has won 15 of 22 at Hoosier and should be a major player again.8-Brassy Hanover (5/2)-One of 3 Cullipher trainees (6-8-9) comes off a sharp win versus Open 2 company and can do some damage versus this bunch with a top effort. Zeron steers and he may blast out and look to steal a quarter.$5 win on 2, $2 Exacta box 2-7, 2-8, total bet=$13Race 11-Dan Patch Stakes-Purse $225,000 Purse2-Century Farroh (7/2)-Started from the 10-hole in the Sam McKee Memorial last weekend at the Big M, sizzled the back half to finish 3rd and was off for 20-days before that start. Has had a sluggish 2020, winning only once in 7 starts. But did win the Jenna's Beachboy Pace last September at HoP and should offer a fair price tonight. Best to respect winner of >$573k in 2019.4-This Is The Plan (15-1)-This one piqued my interest because of the price, the connections, and the fact this gelding has been good at HoP. Has a win and a second-place finish here and did capture the HoP Pacing Derby on 9/20/19 in 148.4. Gingras could get the pocket trip behind #3 or find some live cover and roll by late. Looks like a good gimmick option.3-Bettor's Wish (2-1)-Dunn got the top from the 8-hole and lasted to win the Sam McKee. 5-year-old was my top choice last time. It would be no surprise to see him finish higher and can win from off the pace but will look for more value.$10 win on 2, $4 Exacta key 2/4,3 and $2 Exacta box 2-4 and 3-4, total bet=$26Check me out on Twitter!

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8.13.2020:

Saturday, August 15: Free Picks // 3YOs on Display (Again) at Saratoga

Talk about an encore. Last Saturday at Saratoga, Tiz the Law ran them off their feet in the G1 Travers and Gamine decimated her foes in the G1 Test.  At most tracks, that would be the end of their 3YO program. Turn on the lights, play the music…it doesn’t get any better than that.  But most tracks aren’t Saratoga, where major races are the norm, not the exception. This Saturday’s card features a pair of blockbuster stakes races – the G1 Alabama on dirt for fillies and the Saratoga Derby on turf for the boys.  And on Sunday, the female counterpart to the ‘Derby, the Saratoga Oaks, goes on the lawn. Heavy favorites will once again be the talk of the town, as Decorated Invader puts his three-race win streak on the line in the ‘Derby, while Swiss Skydiver, unbeaten by her own gender since February, appears a cut above in the Alabama. For those betting on Saturday, I recommend checking out our Fun in the Sun Handicapping Tournament.  It’s a $25 Entry Fee + $100 Bankroll contest, consisting of the last five races on Saturday at Saratoga and the first five that day from Del Mar.  Prize winners so far have cashed for $4,137 (Week 1) and $3,832 (Week 2) and the top two finishers each week qualify for the Final Table on Labor Day, which has a current prize pool of $15,692. Not bad for a tourney with a $25 entry fee! Also on Saturday, we’re offering a Money-Back Guarantee on the Saratoga Derby and Woodbine Oaks, as well as a 4 Million Point Split consisting of Saturday’s top Pick 4’s.  Register now to play. But enough of the commercials, let’s talk some races. Saratoga // Race 8 // $500,000 Saratoga Derby // 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) DECORATED INVADER has won 5-of-7 races in his career and hasn’t faced defeat since he finished 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November. It’s hard to imagine that this would be the race that would do him in, but he has never raced this far and this is arguably the nicest field he has faced all year.  From eye level it’s hard to envision a fast pace in here – GET SMOKIN is the only confirmed frontrunner – and Decorated Invader’s newfound tactical speed will allow him to get a jump on his primary rivals.  His stablemate, GUFO, is 4-for-5 in his career and won the G3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park last out. Unfortunately, he appears to be extremely pace dependent. The ultra-consistent FIELD PASS has overachieved all year and could hang around for a piece of the purse given his solid tactical edge. 1. DECORATED INVADER2. FIELD PASS3. GUFO Saratoga // Race 9 // $500,000 Grade 1 Alabama Stakes // 1 1/4 Miles (Dirt) A field of seven fillies is attempting the 1 1/4-mile distance in the Grade 1 Alabama and this figures to be the final pre-Kentucky Oaks test for many of these, including SWISS SKYDIVER.  She is 3-for-6 in 2020 and her wins include the G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks and G2 Santa Anita Oaks, as well as a runner-up effort behind Art Collector in the G2 Blue Grass. If anything, you’ve got to commend her for that effort – she’s been closer to Art Collector than nearly any of the boys have been in the last 10 months.  Obviously 1 1/4 miles is a question for her, as is this field.  It’s hard to envision a suicidal pace in here, but both CRYSTAL BALL and SWISS SKYDIVER are frontrunners, which could set this race up for someone coming from further back.  You’ve got to think that BONNY SOUTH needed that race when she finished fourth in the Ashland and HARVEY’S LIL GOIL ran a big effort in the G3 Regret on turf at Churchill. We know the barn has always liked this filly and she is 2-for-3 on dirt. They say Saratoga is the graveyard of favorites – will it claim its next victim on Saturday? 1. HARVEY’S LIL GOIL2. SWISS SKYDIVER3. BONNY SOUTH  Quick Hits: The field for Sunday’s Saratoga Oaks won’t be drawn until Thursday evening, but the list of nominees includes Sweet Melania (Pletcher), Pocket Square (Brown), Speaktomeofsummer (Clement), Ricetta (Mott), Harvey’s Lil Goil (Mott), Antoinette (Mott), Blame Debbie (Motion) and Enola Gay (McGaughey) – pretty much every barn you’d expect to be represented is … Saturday’s big Woodbine card features the Woodbine Oak for Canadian-foaled 3YO fillies and  the Plate Trial Stakes for Canadian-foaled 3YOs. Halo Again and Clayton are standouts in the ‘Trial, while the Oaks attracted an even group of 10 … Del Mar’s Saturday card isn’t loaded with stakes, but they’re saving that for next Saturday as the Pacific Classic is scheduled for August 22 … Del Mar’s Saturday feature is the Solana Beach, topped by 3-time Del Mar turf winner Cordiality. 

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8.13.2020:

Thursday, August 13: Saratoga (TB) Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.*It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.**Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.*The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.**RACE 1: Post 12:50 ET. Grade:Use: Pass/No PlayForecast: The first race is for hurdlers. We will pass the race.**RACE 2: Post 1:21 ET. Grade: BSingle: 8-Malibu LunaForecast: Malibu Luna is wheeled back quickly in 13 days after finishing a fair-to-moderate fourth in her debut in open maiden allowance company. Today’s race – restricted to horses that sold or were bought back for $45,000 or less at auction in their most recent sale – appears on paper to be a decidedly easier assignment, so with a prior run under her belt, a favorable outside draw, and from a barn that is solid with second-time starters this daughter of Orb appears to well-spotted to earn her diploma in a race in which the none of the first-timers have been particularly impressive in the a.m. At 2-1 on the morning line the W. Mott-trained filly looks like a win play, or if she goes lower than that at least a rolling exotic single.**RACE 3: Post 1:54 ET. Grade: C+Use: 1-Olendon; 5-Xanthique; 7-Turf WarForecast: This second-level allowance turf sprint for fillies and mares looks a bit chaotic on paper and therefore requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Truthfully, each of the six intended starters has a right to be competitive, so the best advice is to include as many as your budget allows. Xanthique is intriguing mainly because this will be her the first turf sprint in her career and the turn back in distance for the daughter of Into Mischief might suit her very well. There’s really nothing wrong with her middle distance grass efforts – she’s won three of eight on the lawn and is fresh from a first level allowance win in late June at Belmont Park – but at this trip the T. Morley trained filly looks likely to draft into a second flight, stalking position and then have her chance to blast home from the top of the lane to the wire. Olendon, second in her last pair and still seeking her first U.S. victory after being imported from the France, should be forwardly placed from her good inside draw, and with rising speed figures she has continued to steadily improve. She’ll get plenty of play at 9/5 on the morning line. Turf War is a second-off-the-layoff play for the powerful C. Clement/J. Rosario trainer-jockey combo and seems likely to produce a forward move after finishing a good third under these conditions last month. However, the War Front filly is a late-running sprinter that will need some help up front to be most effective in a race that projects to have a modest early pace. Still, you have to use her somewhere.**RACE 4: Post 2:29 ET. Grade: C+Use: 2-Blood Moon; 6-Grit and GloryForecast: Here’s another challenging affair that has contenders top to bottom in a six runner starter’s allowance event over nine furlongs on the main track. We’ll try to get by using just two; you may find the need to spread deeper. Blood Moon, third in a similar affair last month when cutting out good fractions before weakening in the final furlong, might find himself on the front end again today, and in a race with suspect closers he could roll all the way to the wire. The 3-year-old son of Malibu Moon earned a career top speed figure in that outing and probably has additional improvement in him. Grit and Glory is protected today after winning a restricted (nw-3) $14,000 event over this track and distance last month in his first-start-off-the-claim for L. Rice. The Malibu Moon gelding laid his body down that day and shows no workouts since that race 28 days go and he’s picking up eight pounds with the switch from bug boy Cardenas to J. Lezcano. Truthfully, we’re not quite sure what we’ll see from him today. Tread lightly here.**RACE 5: Post 3:02 ET. Grade: BUse: 3-Robin Sparkles; 7-Frenchie Frou Frou; 12-Dream ChasingForecast: Maiden claiming state-bred fillies and mares meet in a real grass grab bag sprint in which no result should be considered surprising. Robin Sparkles flashed big speed before faltering badly in her debut over a sloppy track last month at Belmont Park and uses that poor run as an opportunity for a class drop into a woefully weak affair. Certainly bred for grass (Elusive Quality) and retaining J. Ortiz, the B. Brown-trained sophomore may be the quickest in the field and should stick a whole lot better at this shorter trip under these conditions. Dream Chasing has rising speed figures with every start and is the likely favorite, and one to beat. Freshened for more than a month but with a bullet drill since raced (:36 3b, fastest of 11 July 26), the C. Clement-trained filly must leave from a challenging outside post but may be quick enough to get over and secure a reasonable early stalking position. Frenchie Frou Frou turns back from a router, adds blinkers for the first time, switches to T. Gaffalione and may be the most dangerous of the closing types. Her third place finish vs. similar sprinting on turf at Belmont Park two runs back wasn’t bad, and really not much more will be needed today, assuming she can avoid traffic trouble.**RACE 6: Post 4:04 ET. Grade: XUse: 1-Risky Mandate; FoxtailForecast: Risky Mandate tries two turns for the first time, and if she’s ever going to stay nine furlongs it will be in her first try. With rising sprint speed figures and a solid effort over the track last month when third in the listed Shine Again S., the T. Amoss-trained 4-year-old filly should out class this second-level allowance field, and after a bullet half mile breezing workout (:46 flat, fastest of 32) in the interim the daughter of Strong Mandate clearly is on top of her game. Foxtail is a perfect 3-for-3 on dirt and just won at this optional $62,500 claiming level in an off-the-turf affair eight days ago when allowed to stroll on the front end as the controlling speed. Similar tactics likely will be employed again but beating the 6/5 morning line favorite will be a challenge. We’ll prefer Strong Mandate on top, but due to the uncertainly of her ability to handle the trip will also include Foxtail on our ticket as a back-up or a saver.**RACE 7: Post 4:41 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-It’s a Gamble; 7-Daggerboard; 8-I’m Blaming YouForecast: Juvenile state-bred maidens sprint five and one-half furlongs on grass. The 5/2 morning line favorite Thin White Duke has hit the board in all three of his starts but has been beaten as the choice in his last pair and his speed figures are decidedly lower than par. If none of the first-timers can run much he could win, but we’re going to try to beat him with a trio of debut runners that have credentials to be at least a little bit better than ordinary. It’s a Gamble certainly is bred for turf (English Channel) but not necessary to sprint (his dam, Yes It’s Pink, was primarily a closing router) so this abbreviated trip might be a bit sharp for his liking, but the barn is excellent with newcomers (18% with a significant flat-bet profit) and with the presence of J. Rosario in the saddle we have a sneaky suspicion that this K. Breen-trained colt is live. Because he’s 6-1 on the morning line, we’ll put him on top. Daggerboard doesn’t show any fancy workout times while preparing for his debut and the B. Cox barn hasn’t set the world on fire so far this season (3-for-23) but a near-bullet gate drill in :47 3/5 (third fastest of 103) in early July catches the eye, so maybe this son of Mizzen Mast can run some. He’s another listed at 6-1 on the morning line and at that price there may be some value to be found. I’m Blaming You is a smallish 2-year-old in the D. O’Neill barn that breezed a furlong in 10 1/5 seconds on his wrong lead at the OBS March before bringing $100,000 through the ring. Based on pedigree and a couple of drills since arriving at Saratoga he gives the impression that his comfort zone lies ahead in races with more distance. Also, the babies from D. O’Neill’s barn haven’t performed up to expectations this season. That said, he’s a half-brother to the recent Christiana S. winner (on turf) Trickle In at Delaware Park and his dam, Knox County Zip, was a quick 2yo five furlong maiden special weight sprint winner at Gulfstream Park and was sired by the City Zip, a superior sire of grass runners. You have to include him somewhere.**RACE 8: Post 5:14 ET. Grade: B-Use: 3-Mandate; 6-BrayForecast: Bray is a first-off-the-claim for Rudy following a good score in a restricted (nw-2) $40,000 claimer last month and is protected today in a sign of confidence while being raised to starter’s allowance company. A healthy series of workouts since raced is another positive sign, so let’s give this son of Shakin It Up a big chance to pay quick dividends for his new connections. Mandate just scored over this course and distance with a career top speed figure; however, the son of Blame is a deep closer in a race that promises to be slowly run early, so his task won’t be easy. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.**RACE 9: Post 5:46 ET. Grade: XUse: 1-Ratajkowski; 6-Newly MintedForecast: This year’s edition of the Union Avenue H. drew six entrants but on paper should boil down to something of a match race. Ratajkowski won the Critical Eye S. in her first start of the year in June at Belmont Park and has been given almost two months to recover from what had to be a hard, taxing effort. The lightly-raced six year old mare by Drosselmeyer shows excellent previous form at Saratoga and this turn back to an elongated sprint should suit her just fine. Newly Minted is a “must include” on your ticket as well. Genuine and consistent and drawn in a comfortable outside post that will assure he an ideal stalking trip, the daughter of Central Banker has been away since March but has a history of fire big fresh and is a perfect one-for-one over the Saratoga main track, having won the Fleet Indian S. by nine lengths here last year. Additionally, she’s unbeaten (in one start) at this seven furlong trip.**RACE 10: Post 6:18 ET. Grade: BSingle: 10-Data AnalyticsForecast: Data Analytics trained very well as a 2-year-old prior to her debut last fall at Belmont Park but after being set off as a strong favorite the daughter of Into Mischief failed to show much and wound up well-beaten, after which she was sent home. A series of solid drills at Monmouth Park should have her plenty fit for her return, so we’re very interested to see how she returns in this modest turf miler for maiden state-bred fillies and mares. The C. Brown barn hits at 29% with layoff runners, so in a field in which nothing else appears attractive let’s go with the fresh face and hope that she performs up to expectations this time around. At 9/2 on the morning line we’ll make her a win play and rolling exotic single.

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8.13.2020:

Tiz the Law Crushes Travers Opponents

Turning for home in last Saturday’s 151st running of the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga, it was odds-on favorite Tiz the Law who made Uncle Chuck “say uncle.” Tiz the Law put away Uncle Chuck at that stage of the race. Indeed, for all intents and purposes, the 2020 Travers then was over in terms of who was going to win. For me, it was the wrong 3-year-old who “said uncle” turning for home. That’s because Uncle Chuck had been my selection to win the Travers. I wrote before the race that there was no doubt that Tiz the Law was the one to beat. I tried to beat Tiz the Law and I paid the price. One of the reasons I opted for Uncle Chuck was the expectation that his odds would be quite a bit better than Tiz the Law’s. That was the case. Uncle Chuck was 5-2 when he exited the started gate, which was much more attractive than Tiz the Law’s 1-2. If you made a $2 win wager on Tiz the Law, your profit was just $1. But guess what? If you bought a $2 win ticket on Uncle Chuck, you collected nothing. Zippo. In “normal times” you might have torn up your $2 win ticket on Uncle Chuck in disgust. But being able to purchase mutuel tickets at a racetrack is virtually nonexistent these days due to the ongoing coronavirus nightmare in which hardly anyone is allowed to attend live racing, As a consequence of the virus, almost everyone must make a bet or bets these days by utilizing an advance deposit wagering (ADW) platform. (And hopefully that means Xpressbet.) Following Tiz the Law’s emphatic triumph in the Travers, the New York-bred Constitution colt ascends to the top spot on my Kentucky Derby Top 10 this week. Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A.P. moves down a notch to No. 2. Caracaro, runner-up in the Travers, is a newcomer on the Top 10 this week at No. 5. Ny Traffic, who lost the Haskell Invitational by a scant nose to Authentic, is back on the Top 10 this week at No. 9. Authentic? He is No. 6. Uncle Chuck and Country Grammer (who finished fifth in the Travers) drop off this week’s Top 10. Here is my current Kentucky Derby Top 10: 1. Tiz the Law2. Honor A.P.3. Art Collector4. Caracaro5. Thousand Words6. Authentic7. Dr Post8. King Guillermo9. Ny Traffic10. Max Player IT WAS ALL TIZ THE LAW IN THE LANE After Tiz the Law and jockey Manny Franco drew well clear in upper stretch to boast a 4 1/2-length lead at the furlong pole, the rider then geared down the big favorite for the final sixteenth. Tiz the Law did not run straight down the lane, but it didn’t matter because he was always so well clear of the other six starters. Allowed to “cruise home,” Tiz the Law won “in impressive fashion” by 5 1/2 lengths, according to the Equibase race chart. Caracaro, who was 11-1 in the wagering, finished second. Max Player, likewise off at 11-1, ended up third. Uncle Chuck came in sixth, 11 lengths behind Tiz the Law. Prior to his defeat last weekend, Uncle Chuck had been compared to Arrogate, the record-smashing 13 1/2-length winner of the 2016 Travers. But Uncle Chuck showed last Saturday that he is no Arrogate, at least not at this point. Tiz the Law now heads to the 146th running of the Grade I Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Delayed by four months from its traditional date due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 1 1/4-mile classic will be held this year on the first Saturday in September. In the Run for the Roses, Tiz the Law will resume his quest to become this country’s 14th Triple Crown winner. I am looking past the Kentucky Derby with anticipatory goosebumps in terms of what could possibly happen on the first Saturday in October. What if Tiz the Law wins the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby, which he will be a strong favorite to do? And what if the filly Gamine, scintillating winner of the Acorn Stakes and Test Stakes, wins the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks, which she likewise will be a strong favorite to do? Imagine the tremendous excitement that would be generated if Tiz the Law and Gamine then clashed in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Oct. 3? Tiz the Law would be seeking a Triple Crown sweep vs. a filly whose trainer, Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, has called a “superstar.” Is this scenario beyond the realm of possibility? At this point it is not. That’s because Baffert has not ruled out running Gamine in the Preakness after the Kentucky Oaks. SPLENDID FINAL TIME AND BEYER SPEED FIGURE Tiz the Law completed his 1 1/4-mile journey last Saturday in a praiseworthy 2:00.95 in hundredths or 2:00 4/5 in fifths. These are the six-fastest editions of the Travers in fifths: Time Horse (Year) 1:59 1/5 Arrogate (2016)2:00 flat General Assembly (1979)2:00 1/5 Honest Pleasure (1976)2:00 4/5 Tiz the Law (2020)2:00 4/5 Thunder Rumble (1992) 2:00 4/5 Easy Goer (1989) Another reason I picked against Tiz the Law in the Travers is he had not ever recorded a Beyer Speed Figure higher than 100. That, to me, suggested he might be vulnerable vis-a-vis Uncle Chuck. But Tiz the Law performed well enough in the Travers to raise his game to a 109 in the Beyer Speed Figure department. It’s the highest Beyer by a 3-year-old male this year and is exceeded only by Gamine’s figure of 110 that the filly received for her dazzling 18 3/4-length win in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont on June 20. These are the 10 highest Beyer Speed Figures by a 3-year-old so far in 2020: Beyer Horse (Finish, Race, Track, Date) 110 Gamine (1st, Acorn, Belmont Park, June 20109 Tiz the Law (1st, Travers, Saratoga, Aug. 8)108 Gamine (1st, DQ’d from purse, alw/opt claimer, Oaklawn, May 2)108 Charlatan (1st, alw/opt claimer, Santa Anita, March 14)106 Charlatan (1st, maiden special weight, Santa Anita, Feb. 16)104 Thousand Words (1st, Shared Belief, Del Mar, Aug. 1)103 Art Collector (1st, Blue Grass, Keeneland, July 11)102 Honor A.P. (2nd, Shared Belief, Del Mar, Aug. 1)102 Art Collector (1st, allowance/optional claimer, Churchill, June 13)102 Honor A.P. (1st, Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita, June 6) Below are the Beyers for the Travers winners going back to 1990 (the figures prior to 2020 are listed in the American Racing Manual, which now can be purchased in a digital format): 2020 Tiz the Law (109)2019 Code of Honor (105)2018 Catholic Boy (104)2017 West Coast (108)2016 Arrogate (122)2015 Keen Ice (106)2014 V.E. Day (102)2013 Will Take Charge (107)2012 Alpha (100)*2012 Golden Ticket (100)*2011 Stay Thirsty (101)2010 Afleet Express (105)2009 Summer Bird (110)2008 Colonel John (106)2007 Street Sense (108)2006 Bernardini (116)2005 Flower Alley (110)2004 Birdstone (108)2003 Ten Most Wanted (112)2002 Medaglia d’Oro (113)2001 Point Given (117)2000 Unshaded (109)1999 Lemon Drop Kid (110)1998 Coronado’s Quest (107)1997 Deputy Commander (110)1996 Will’s Way (114)1995 Thunder Gulch (110)1994 Holy Bull (115)1993 Sea Hero (109)1992 Thunder Rumble (109)1991 Corporate Report (109)1990 Rhythm (104) *Dead heat TRAINER CHANGE FOR MAX PLAYER Max Player continued his improving Beyer pattern when he was credited with a career-best figure in the Travers. The Kentucky-bred Honor Code colt recorded a 68 Beyer Speed Figure in his first start, then a 72, then an 86 when he won the Withers Stakes, a 92 when third in the Belmont, then a 99 for his third in the Travers. I was sorry to see the news Tuesday reported by both the Daily Racing Form and BloodHorse that Max Player has undergone a trainer change from Linda Rice to Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. Max Player is owned by George Hall, plus the racing syndicate SportBLX Thoroughbreds. Hall is the majority owner. I thought Rice had done a fine job with Max Player. Evidently so did Hall, even though he took Max Player away from Rice. “I think she did a good job getting the horse this far and I think it was time for a change,” Hall was quoted as saying in David Grening’s DRF story. Hall, according to Grening, explained that he wanted a trainer based in Kentucky to prepare Max Player for the Kentucky Derby. “I definitely wanted someone with experience and infrastructure at Churchill,” Hall said. “I wanted someone who could take the horse to Churchill right away and to spend some time with the horse prior to the race and give him his best shot at having a good race at that track.” Asmussen also benefitted bigtime when he took over as Midnight Bisou’s trainer from Southern California-based Bill Spawr after the filly finished third in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks in 2018. Under Asmussen’s care, Midnight Bisou was voted a 2019 Eclipse Award as champion older female. Midnight Bisou currently ranks fifth in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. Considering what Midnight Bisou has accomplished for Asmussen, one really can’t knock the change to him by Bloom Racing and partners. But I can’t help feeling bad for Spawr, who is a very good horseman. It is a big blow for a trainer to lose a horse of the quality of Midnight Bisou. And it’s not as if Spawr does not know what to do with a top horse, as evidenced by his work with Amazombie, the Eclipse Award-winning male sprinter of 2011. Similarly, I can’t help feeling bad for Rice. But I learned long ago that any horse can be yanked away from any trainer at any time. I especially learned that with Gato Del Sol. Gato Del Sol, who raced for Arthur B. Hancock III and Leone J. Peters, was a good colt. But he was never, ever a world-beater. In my opinion, Eddie Gregson did a superlative training job to have Gato Del Sol prepared well enough to win the 1982 Kentucky Derby. And the truth is regardless of the job Gregson did, Gato Del Sol might not have pulled off his 21-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby if not for a stellar ride by Eddie Delahoussaye. It turned out that not even winning a Kentucky Derby was enough for Gregson to keep Gato Del Sol. One morning shortly after Gregson lost Gato Del Sol, I visited the trainer at his barn and told him how sorry I was it had happened. “Thank you,” Gregson said. “But it really is okay, Jon. Am I happy about it? Of course not. But a trainer knows it’s something that can always happen.” It was yet another example of what a class individual the late Eddie Gregson was in addition to being a terrific trainer. As for Gato Del Sol, after he was taken away from Gregson, the son of Cougar II confirmed that he was far from a world-beater. Even after Gato Del Sol joined the Charlie Whittingham barn, not even that late, great trainer was able to accomplish much with him. MEL STUTE PASSES AWAY AT AGE 93 Xpressbet is about betting on horse races. On Wednesday came the sad news that a man who felt that betting on horses was just about as important as breathing will not be making any more wagers. Just four days after his 93rd birthday, Mel Stute passed away. Best known as the trainer of Snow Chief, the Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old male of 1986, Stute was a respected and extremely popular member of the Southern California racing community for many decades. “The last bet he made was a winner at Saratoga,” said Mel’s son, Gary Stute, also a trainer, in the Daily Racing Form obituary written by Jay Privman. I am elated to learn that Mel Stute’s final wager was a winning one. Of the hundreds of trainers I have known through the years, I can tell you none has been friendlier than Mel Stute, who died at home in Del Mar, Calif. Born in Fort Wayne, Ind., Stute moved to California at the age of 7. At Covina High School near Los Angeles, he excelled in basketball and track and field. He grew up with his older brother, Warren, a successful trainer in his own right who died in 2007 at the age of 87. Mel Stute began as a groom in 1945. Early in his career as a trainer, he ran horses in the Pacific Northwest. Indeed, he saddled his first winner, Egg Nog, at Portland Meadows in 1947. Stute in 1966 won the biggest race in the Northwest, the Longacres Mile, with Aurelius II, who rallied from 10th to prevail by 4 1/2 lengths. Aurelius II paid $18.70 to win. That no doubt was the icing on the cake for Stute, who most assuredly had paid a visit to the mutuel windows. I once told Stute that I got a chance to see Aurelius II run in the first Longacres Mile that I ever witnessed in 1967. I even told him that my dad bet on Aurelius II that day. Unfortunately for Stute and my dad, Aurelius II finished fifth behind the victorious Kings Favor in that renewal of the Longacres Mile. Stute’s “big” horse, of course, was Snow Chief. I was working as a writer/columnist for the Daily Racing Form in 1985 at Del Mar when 2-year-old Snow Chief took the six-furlong Rancho Bernardo, his first stakes victory. Rafael Meza rode the California-bred Reflected Glory colt. Not long after the Rancho Bernardo, I was at Stute’s barn to ask him how Snow Chief was doing and what the plans were for him. “He’s doing good,” Stute said. “I’m going to run him in the Del Mar Futurity. And this new guy Solis is going to ride him.” Snow Chief and “new guy” Alex Solis finished third behind Tasso and Arewehavingfunyet in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity. But before the year was over, Snow Chief and Solis won the Grade I Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita and Grade I Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park. After Snow Chief and Solis won the Grade I Florida Derby and Grade I Santa Anita Derby the following spring, the colt was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade I Kentucky Derby. But Snow Chief ended up eleventh in the Run for the Roses won by the Charlie Whittingham-trained Ferdinand. Because Snow Chief finished up the track in the Kentucky Derby, Stute had planned to send him back to California and skip the Grade I Preakness. But it was none other than Whittingham who suggested to Stute that he forget what had happened in the Kentucky Derby and go on to the Preakness. Snow Chief rebounded to win the Preakness by four lengths. Ferdinand finished second. “If I hadn’t opened my mouth and told Mel that he should forget all about the Derby and run Snow Chief in the Preaknes, I would have been going for the Triple Crown with Ferdinand in the Belmont," Whittingham said to me years later one morning at Santa Anita when we were talking about the 1986 Triple Crown series. Ferdinand would not have won the Triple Crown anyway. He finished third behind Danzing Connection and Johns Treasure in the Belmont, which was contested on a sloppy track Snow Chief did not run in the Belmont. After the Preakness, he won the Grade II Jersey Derby by two lengths at Garden State Park. All told, Snow Chief won 13 of 24 lifetime starts and earned $3,383,210. Snow Chief’s daughter Anytime Ms. produced the Kris S. colt Brocco, winner of the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Stute also trained a pair of talented fillies in Brave Raj and Very Subtle. Brave Raj won the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in 1986 at Santa Anita. She was voted a 1986 Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly. Very Subtle at age 3 won the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 1987 by four lengths at Hollywood Park when defeating older males. Sprint star Groovy finished second. I called that official race chart for the Daily Racing Form. And this undoubtedly was another betting score for Stute. Very Subtle paid $34.80 to win. The Stute-trained Double Discount set a world record of 1:57 2/5 for 1 1/4 miles when he won the 1977 Carleton F. Burke Handicap on Santa Anita’s turf course. Stute also trained the multiple graded stakes winner Telly’s Pop (owned by TV star Telly Savalas of “Kojak” fame), Grade I winners Right Con and Kool Arrival, plus 1961 Californian Stakes winner First Balcony. Inducted into the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Hall of Fame in 2008, Stute trained through 2011. Stute quite possibly would have been elected to the national Hall of Fame if the voting system was as it is today. These days, more than one trainer can be elected in the same year. This was not always the case. Stute made it onto the Hall of Fame ballot many times. But he had the misfortune of having to compete against other trainers on the ballot at the same time. For instance, Stute was on the same ballot as Richard Mandella in 2001. Mandella got in, Stute did not. Stute was on the same ballot as Bud Delp in 2002. Delp got in, Stute did not. Nowadays, Mandella and Stute both could have been in elected in 2001 or Delp and Stute both could have been elected in 2002. The Hall of Fame finally saw the error in its ways and allowed more than one trainer, more than one jockey, more than one male Thoroughbred and more than one female Thoroughbred to be elected in the same year. If the Hall of Fame had not made this change, Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra would not have been able to go into the Hall of Fame in the same year, which would have been absurd. Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra both were inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2016, their first year of eligibility. There is a possibility that Mel Stute would not have received enough support to be voted into the Hall of Fame even under today’s system. Unfortunately, we will never know. It’s just a shame that for so many years when he was appearing on the ballot so many times that a poor Hall of Fame voting system did, without question, hurt his chances. SHERWOOD CHILLINGWORTH, DAN SMITH HONORED I was tickled to see the memory of racing executive and racehorse owner Sherwood Chillingworth will be honored at the upcoming Santa Anita autumn meeting. The L.A. Woman Stakes has been renamed the Chillingworth Stakes. The Grade III race originally was the Louis R. Rowan Stakes, named after one of the founders of the Oak Tree Racing Association. The Chillingworth Stakes and the Speakeasy headline the opening-day Sept. 19 card at Santa Anita. The Chillingworth is a 6 1/2-furlong sprint on the main track for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up. The Speakeasy is a 5 1/2-furlong grass race for 2-year-olds. Known affectionately as “Chilly,” Chillingworth died last year on Oct. 8. He was 93. Chillingworth became an Oak Tree director in 1989 and was named executive vice president in 1993, just prior to the first of four Breeders’ Cups he oversaw at Santa Anita. He also raced a number of Thoroughbreds in the name of his Paniolo Ranch or in partnerships. Swing Till Dawn, Yashigan, Forzando and Valley Victory were Grade I winners that Chillingworth owned in partnerships. “Chilly was one of the sport’s true gentlemen,” said Aidan Butler, executive director of California racing operations for The Stronach Group. “He was full of life and loved racing. He actually lived here at Santa Anita and was such a part of this place that it is only appropriate for us to honor him with the Chillingworth Stakes. “Santa Anita is about tradition and, especially now during this pandemic when we all long for what has been traditional, we are embracing the importance of our history. That includes examining not only the names of our stakes races, but every little detail that makes Santa Anita so special.” I only wish Chillingworth would have been honored with a stakes race named after him while he was still alive. It would have meant so much to him. Horse racing, I believe, too often waits until someone passes away before honoring them by naming a stakes race after them. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. The New York Racing Association changed the name of the Turf Classic to the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic while the esteemed executive columnist for the Daily Racing Form was still alive. As someone who spoke to Hirsch on the phone from time to time, I can attest to how much that meant to him. Santa Anita’s Eddie D. Stakes (honoring retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye), Churchill Downs’ Pat Day Mile (honoring another retired Hall of Fame rider) and Churchill’s Lukas Classic (honoring the still-active Hall of Fame trainer) are three examples of stakes races that have been named after someone still alive. I sure would like to see horse racing do more of this rather than waiting until after someone has died. I am happy for Dan Smith that he’s still alive to appreciate that the Del Mar press box is being named for the longtime publicist. The Dan Smith press box naming ceremony is scheduled to take place next year. Smith, 83, retired this year following a distinguished 60-year career in racing, including 56 years of working in various capacities at Del Mar. For many years, Smith worked in the publicity departments at all the Southern California tracks. He became Santa Anita’s publicity director in 1972 while continuing to work summers at Del Mar. Suggestion to Del Mar: How about naming a stakes race in Smith’s honor next year? Considering his extensive contributions to the track for so many years, wouldn’t that be appropriate? After all, Del Mar already has the Grade II Eddie Read Stakes (won on July 26 by United), named after the track’s first publicity director. Smith left Santa Anita in 1975 to take over as Del Mar’s publicity director following Read’s death. Smith, as noted by Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman, headed Del Mar’s marketing department for many years in addition to being the publicity director. “In those dual roles,” Privman wrote, Smith “was part of Del Mar’s renovation in the early 1990s to the modern facility it is today. He also came up with the name for the track’s signature race, the Pacific Classic, inaugurated in 1991. His resume includes longtime stints working on the notes team at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby.” Smith also assisted NBC announcers Dick Enberg and Tom Hammond with their Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown broadcasts. In recent years, Smith had worked only the live Del Mar meets after having handed over the reins as publicity director to his assistant for many years, Mac McBride. NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL: TIZ THE LAW IS TOO LOW While Tiz the Law received all 39 of the first-place votes in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll, he is something of an equine Rodney Dangerfield insofar as ranking sixth in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. It states right above the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll that it is the “current Horse of the Year ranking” of Thoroughbreds. You’re going to tell me that if balloting was conducted today for the 2020 Horse of the Year title, five horses would receive more support than Tiz the Law? I don’t think so. Met Mile winner Vekoma received the most first-place votes, 13. Tiz the Law received 12 first-place votes. I believe this is a truer reflection of the “current Horse of the Year ranking.” The problem, as I see it, is not with first-place votes. It’s with too many people not voting for Tiz the Law at all from 1 through 10, which is ridiculous. This is why Tiz the Law is not ranked higher than sixth, as he should be, in my view. For the record, my first-place vote in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll this week did go to Tiz the Law. The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 312 Vekoma (13)2. 271 Tom’s d’Etat (3)3. 268 Improbable (5)4. 239 Maximum Security (5)5. 228 Midnight Bisou6. 215 Tiz the Law (12)7. 115 Monomoy Girl (1)8. 113 Zulu Alpha9. 96 By My Standards10. 42 Gamine The Top 10 this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 390 Tiz the Law (39)2. 296 Art Collector 3. 277 Honor A.P.4. 264 Authentic5. 204 Gamine6. 162 Thousand Words7. 103 King Guillermo8. 99 Ny Traffic9. 78 Swiss Skydiver10. 71 Caracaro  

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8.12.2020:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: August 14 Stronach 5 Play

Weekly Bankroll Builder: August 14 Stronach 5 Play We welcome back Golden Gate Fields in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee, and a prospective pool that should far surpass that. To refresh, the Stronach 5 is a Pk5 wager spread across as many as four tracks and up to three surfaces (dirt, Tapeta and turf), inside of 90 minutes, with a $1 minimum and ridiculously low 12% takeout. I’ll be putting together some prospective tickets in this space each week for a wager that is undoubtedly as good as it gets for the bettors. *** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. *** Leg 1: Laurel Park R7 (3:58 ET) – 3up N1X at 1 1/16 miles (turf) Nothing is easy to kick off the sequence, with a deep and competitive group lined up, and I’m going to spread deep, as no one stands out, and several look within a length or two of each other on paper. I’ll go with the lightly raced #3 MCELMORE AVENUE and #5 CLEAR VISION, who have plenty of upside for sharp young connections, as well as the more proven #4 TOM HAGEN, #9 NICK PAPAGIORGIO, and #8 OLD DOMINION, who have all run well enough both in the past and in the present to win this. Pk5 A horses: 3,5,4,9,8 (listed in order of preference) I’m not really sure when #7 BENNY HAVENS’ last came from, but he was only 1 1/2 lengths behind Nick P, so if he’s up above, this one has to be somewhere, while #10 START WITH YES will run for the first time on turf for Robb, and it would be foolish to leave a 26% barn out altogether, especially with the big turf sprint showing two-back. Pk5 B horses: 7,10 Potential B add-ins: NONE Leg 2: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:14 ET) – 3up 12.5k N3L at 1 1/8 miles (turf) You could certainly do worse than singling #1 MYSTICAL MOON, who simply looks better than what is a very meek group, but the fact he’s run 2nd or 3rd in five straight says to tread lightly, so while I’ll use him, I want someone else, just in case. And that thinking lands me on the lightly raced #6 DEVOTED KITTEN, who had trouble late when 6th behind ‘Moon last time, has upside off just 11 starts, and goes off the claim for a Winebaugh, who rarely dips in for one, so there’s reason to think she likes what she saw. Pk5 A horses: 1,6 The drop in class alone says #8 CRYPTO GOLD is a player, but his two runs against N3L foes have been abysmal, so just because he’s meeting easier doesn’t mean he’s regaining his form, which is why he’s relegated to a supporting actor. Pk5 B horses: 8 Potential B add-ins: #2 Machiavelli, #7 Unlimited Data, #9 Mason’s Song Leg 3: Laurel Park R8 (4:32 ET) – 3up Md-bred N1X* at 6 furlongs A drop in with state breds could make #8 BULLETS CHILD too tough for these, especially from this outside attack post, as he’s never been behind a horse through the third call of ANY of his six races, and there’s not much speed here, so he may be down the road. However, the two-turn foundation and tactical speed that #3 GALERIO brings makes him very interesting, and he enters off a starter-allowance romp at Parx, so I’m going to use him equally and call it a day. Pk5 A horses: 8,3 The top-2 seem like a cut above, and I get all the best of it with the speed of ‘Child and the stalking ability of Galerio, so I’ll call it a day, especially since I spread deep in the opening leg and need to condense somewhere. Pk5 B horses: NONE Potential B add-ins: #1 Tommy Shelby, #4 Whiskey and You Leg 4: Laurel Park R9 (5:07 ET) – 3up 16k N3L at 5 1/2 furlongs (turf) You may be able to lean heavily here too, as there’s just not much, and that means the speed of #6 NAUTICAL NATURE will hit very hard, and either of his last two are probably good enough to win this, as this group isn’t nearly as tough as the pair he just faced. I’m not crazy about the lack of speed from #9 DRAGON MOON, but he just dead-heated with ‘Nature off the trainer change to Mancilla, and there is some other pace, so off that run maybe he gets there this time. Pk5 A horses: 6,9 The only other runners I could possibly see is #7 Red Clay Road, who was a close 4th, just 1 1/2 lengths behind my top pair the last time, he was on turf, but he was also 82-1 that day, so he can beat me if he wants, and #5 Railmaster, but he doesn’t seem to be the same horse in two starts this year, and that form doesn’t warrant inclusion here. Pk5 B horses: NONE Potential B add-ins: #7 Red Clay Road, #5 Railmaster Leg 5: Golden Gate Fields R2 (5:20 ET) – 3upfm 6.25k claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs Golden Gate returns with a toughie, and while #7 NO SPIN ZONE is just 3-for-21 here, she has hit the board in 12 of them, and won here for 5k three-back, plus this outside attack post should work perfectly for her speedy style. If the pace gets heated then #3 OYSTER SHOOTER will be a handful late, especially on the drop from 25k, but yikes, that also makes her tough to trust, as she’s seemingly being given away after some competitive runs at that level this winter. A hot pace would also help #1 C C THE BARTENDER, and though her first off the Mathis claim last time at LRC was a bit of a dud, she’s 4-for-16 here and should improve second-off the long layoff. Pk5 A horses: 7,3,1 I’ll slide in #2 CA DREAMER as a backup, as she aired on the lead for 5k when last seen here in December, but has also stalked and won before as well, for a Miyadi barn that is 20% off this elongated break. Pk5 B horses: 2 Potential B add-ins: NONE The tickets: Main Ticket: 3,5,4,9,8 with 1,6 with 8,3 with 6,9 with 7,3,1 = $120Leg 1 B Backup: 7,10 with 1,6 with 8,3 with 6,9 with 7,3,1 = $48Leg 2 B Backup: 3,5,4,9,8 with 8 with 8,3 with 6,9 with 7,3,1 = $60Leg 5 B Backup: 3,5,4,9,8 with 1,6 with 8,3 with 6,9 with 2 = $40

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8.12.2020:

Jeff Siegel's Saratoga Analysis/Wagering Strategies - 8/12/20

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6. It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level. Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.Grade B=Solid Play.Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value. The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing. RACE 1: Post 12:50 ET. Grade:Use: Pass/No Play Forecast: The Wednesday opener is for hurdlers. We’ll pass the race. RACE 2: Post 1:21 ET. Grade: BUse: 5-Strike That Forecast: This allowance optional claimer at seven furlongs drew just five entrants, so let’s take a stand and single the second choice on the morning line, Strike That (5/2). Drawn comfortably outside in a race that projects to produce very soft early fractions, the lightly-raced 4-year-old can pop and go or stalk and pounce depending upon the break and the race flow, and with a good recent outing over the track in his second off of a layoff for a barn that has superior stats with this angle (28%) he seems set for a breakthrough performance. Slightly slower on pure numbers than the 6/5 morning line favoriteTiz He the One, the R. Diodoro-trained gelding nevertheless has more room for improvement and offers better wagering value as a win play and rolling exotic single. RACE 3: Post 1:54 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Fluent in Sarcasm; 7-Money in the Bank Forecast: Maryland shipper Money in the Bank seems set for a big effort in this modest state-bred maiden $40,000 claiming turf sprint after finishing a solid runner-up in a similar affair at Belmont Park in mid-June and showing three nice breezes since then to have him ready for a forward move in his second start off a layoff. The Central Banker gelding fits nicely in the speed figure department and projects to enjoy a good pace-stalking journey in a race that should develop with a modest early splits. Fluent in Sarcasm may be the quickest of the quick and if he can shake loose early the Kantharos gelding could get brave. The M. Maker-trained 3-year-old is a tad slower on pure numbers than ‘Bank but given the expected race flow seems the one to fear most. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics. RACE 4: Post 2:29 ET. Grade: C+Use: 3-Friend of Liberty; 6-Tied Up; 7-Radiantrithym Forecast: Trainer L. Rice holds the aces here with two uncoupled main players in this $12,500 claiming sprint for fillies and mares, topped by Radiantrithym, the even money morning line favorite. She was haltered for $20,000 last month but today, in her first start for her new connections, drops considerably in class in what can’t be taken as a sign of confidence. That said, the veteran mare, first or second in 22 of 58 career starts though beaten as the choice in two of her last three starts, should enjoy a soft trip outside and is more than good enough to dominate at this level if she has at least one good one left. The “other” Rice entrant, Friend of Liberty, easily won at this level two runs back in March and then was waiver protected when fourth in a $16,000 affair last time out while finishing more than five lengths behind Radiantrithym. The Dominus mare should fire her best shot today but will need the favorite to run below her best. Tied Up is worth considering as a back-up on your rolling exotic ticket. A $10,000 claim by a barn that hits at 24% with this angle, she has form at Finger Lakes that looks decent and also shows a few back speed figures that chart well with these, so at 6-1 on the morning line she may offer a bit of value at or near that price. RACE 5: Post 3:02 ET. Grade: BUse: 1a-Freedom Force; 6-Union Colonel Forecast: Union Colonel shows up in a high-priced maiden claimer for the first time and should thoroughly enjoy the softer assignment and the stretch-out in trip. The M. Casse-trained colt had a speed sharpener when prominent for a half before fading in a quick straight maiden turf dash here last month (his first outing since