Log In

XB Blog

12.12.2019:

December 14: Free Gulfstream Park Stakes Picks + Rainbow 6

The Saturday December 14 Gulfstream Park card is a massive prep day for the Pegasus World Cup card in just six weeks. Good performances by horses like Channel Cat, Bodexpress, Prince Lucky or Admission Office could push their owners ‘all in’ on North America’s richest dirt and turf races on Saturday, January 25, 2020.And from a betting perspective, Saturday’s card couldn’t be better. The 20-cent Rainbow 6 is back and that wager is my focus this weekend. You can find my picks below. It won’t be an easy sequence whatsoever, but anyone talented – and lucky – enough to navigate all six legs should be rewarded handsomely at the end with an inflated Xpressbet balance.Plus, speaking of big stakes, Xpressbet is hosting another Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship feeder tournament this Saturday. Put up a $500 Buy-In ($300 Bankroll, $200 Entry Fee) and out-handicap fellow contestants to compete for seats in the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship (PWCBC) on January 25, a $6,000 value each, as well as big cash prizes. In a similar tournament last Saturday, we gave away a pair of tickets and $7,800 cash as 99 contests played. Let’s eclipse 100 this time!Now, back to the picks. Here’s how I’m playing:Race 6 (2:30PM ET) – Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3)Is it time for #6 STORMY EMBRACE (6/1) to re-position herself as a player in the Florida filly/mare sprint division? This race is loaded with speed and would play perfectly with her stalking style. #3 A BIT OF BOTH (3/1) and #4 LADY’S ISLAND (5/2) are ‘need the lead’ types, and #9 HEAVENHASMYNIKKI (5/1) will also want to be in the leading vanguard. I’ll use the former two as they are razor sharp along with ‘EMBRACE, but this will be a nailbiter in the P6.Pick 6 Horse(s): #3 A Bit of Both, #4 Lady’s Island, #6 Stormy EmbraceRace 7 (3:00PM ET) – My Charmer StakesDespite losing three straight races, #1 MITCHELL ROAD (9/5) is probably still the class of this field. The water in the G1 Diana and G1 First Lady was a little deep, so this ungraded stakes field is more to her liking. Let’s also consider using Chad Brown’s #6 ALTEA (3/1). She’s allergic to winning (2-for-15 lifetime) but did just win a race solidly and she figures to get ample pace to run into. Ultimately she is a cut for me as I need to keep my ticket cost a bit more manageable.Pick 6 Horse(s): #1 Mitchell RoadRace 8 (3:30PM ET) – Rampart Stakes (G3)These one-turn mile races often present a grueling test and, with a bunch of speed horses drawn to the outside, this race could unfold any which way. #11 COOKIE DOUGH (7/2) should flash speed, especially with Paco Lopez in the irons, and #8 TWEETING (6/1) and #9 BACCARAT FASHION (5/2) should be close in tow. I’m going to lean aggressive in this race, as I could see this event falling apart late. Even a horse like #1 UNHOLY ALLIANCE (15/1), who was beaten 15+ lengths last out, deserves a look.Pick 6 Horse(s): #1 Unholy Alliance, #3 Perspire, #4 Pink Sands, #6 Molto Bella, #8 Tweeting, #9 Baccarat Fashion, #10 Cairenn, #11 Cookie DoughRace 9 (4:00PM ET) – Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G2)Using as many horses as I did in the Rampart requires a bit of precision in other legs. #5 CHANNEL CAT (3/1) is the classiest of these, but he’s been a little anemic as it comes to hitting the wire first. His only win this year came when he surprised a field in the G2 Bowling Green at Saratoga with a gate-to-wire blitz. He’s the best horse and possibly the likeliest winner, but not a slam dunk. #6 UP THE ANTE (6/1) gets Paco Lopez which is always a plus at Gulfstream and I’m going to assume #3 FLAVIUS (6/1) gets a better start in his second try off the pine. I’d love to use #8 ADMISSION OFFICE (9/2) but he’s too pace dependent and this race doesn’t figure to be fast up front. You could talk me into #7 CROSS BORDER (7/2), though…Pick 6 Horse(s): #3 Flavius, #5 Channel Cat, #6 Up the Ante, #7 Cross BorderRace 10 (4:30PM ET) – Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (G3)To me, this is a two-horse race and it comes down to #1 PRINCE LUCKY (2/1), a Gulfstream lover that finally gets away from the likes of Maximum Security and Mitole, and #6 BODEXPRESS (4/1). He has been a buzzsaw since coming back off his post-Preakness layoff. #3 RED CRESCENT (6/1) would be a player based on current form but his Gulfstream Park races have just never been as good as similar tries at Gulfstream Park West.Pick 6 Horse(s): #1 Prince Lucky, #6 BodexpressRace 11 (5:00PM ET) – ClaimingThe last leg is a decent $16K claiming event going 1 1/16 miles on the lawn and I’m going to use four of these. #2 DAKOTA’S DUDE (4/1) is making his first start with Robert Falcone. He gets Irad and seems very logical. #8 KING ORB (3/1) has won all three of his turf claiming races since moving to Rohan Crichton’s barn, while #11 MY POINT EXACTLY (10/1), a major pace player with Paco in the irons.Pick 6 Horse(s): #2 Dakota’s Dude, #8 King Orb, #11 My Point ExactlyTicket Cost: $115.20 for 20-cents

Read Article
12.12.2019:

Game Over

The tournament director sheepishly approached the podium, cleared his throat and adjusted the microphone, eliciting a screech of feedback in return. “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my duty to inform you and the handful of competitors still out on the course that, in an unprecedented occurrence, the leader in the clubhouse, somehow, has just registered a hole-in-one eagle. His lead now is insurmountable. Game over. Thank you for your interest and see you next year!” ‘Unprecedented.’ Yep, that pretty much sums up Maximum Security and his year-long journey from bottom to top. Nothing about this colt went by the book. Only thing he did easy was win races. Nearly all of them. Maximum Security, a homebred colt owned by Gary and Mary West, began his career for a $16K tag in a Gulfstream maiden race. Turns out that was no ordinary maiden claimer. This year, the race has produced not one, but TWO, Grade 1 winners (Math Wizard finished third and later won the Pennsylvania Derby)! Maximum Security then won two Gulfstream starter allowance races before winning the Florida Derby. He then crossed the finish first in the Kentucky Derby only to be disqualified for interference. Quick, name the last horse to take the maiden-claiming/starter allowance/Florida Derby road to the Kentucky Derby? I can’t. ‘Max also is the first ever to be disqualified from victory in the Kentucky Derby. And in Louisville beneath the twin spires, ‘ever’ spans 145 years. ‘Unprecedented,’ for sure. Beginning to get the picture? ‘Max wasn’t bred in the purple. His father New Year’s Day spent a few years in the big leagues of bluegrass breeding, but his batting average wasn’t good enough. Three months before ‘Max’s debut, his old man was sold and shipped to Brazil for stud duty. Made sense at the time. Save some bread. Send him to the minors for seasoning.  Since Max’s Derby success, New Year’s Day has been sold again, and will begin 2020 as a sire in the Japan league. Max’s mother also was a bit of a castoff, peddled over a year ago for just $11K—about the price of a high-mileage 2012 Ford Focus. What a difference a year makes! We’ve all heard how famous parents provide offspring a leg up in the world. In this case, it’s the other way around. Maximum Security’s success has led to increased respect for his family, especially his mother Lil Indy and unnamed sister. In early November, Lil Indy sold at Keeneland for $1.85 million, boasting a cover by well-regarded sire Quality Road. Minutes after Max’s mom sold, a reserve of $190,000 kept Max’s weanling full sister from trading hands.        See what I mean. You can’t make this stuff up. Unless, of course, it’s the plot of a picture show that stars Elizabeth Taylor as the beautiful young girl who ultimately rides ‘Max to momentary glory in the Kentucky Derby; Walter Brennan stars as the cagey, unorthodox trainer; and Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed play caring, doting owners and parents. Had the controversial Kentucky Derby disqualification been the only blemish on Maximum Security’s 2019 race record, he would have been better appreciated more quickly. Unbeaten horses are easy to support. But, as mentioned earlier, ‘Max doesn’t do ‘easy.’ In his next start, following the Kentucky Derby, in the ungraded Pegasus at Monmouth, he stubbed his toe--no, really, he actually stubbed his toe when he stumbled badly at the start).  He lost by a length to King for a Day and the defeat further diminished an image already scarred by sentiment that he and jockey Luis Saez had ‘cheated’ to win the Derby. ‘Max redeemed himself next out in the Haskell, succeeding from multiple graded-stakes winner Mucho Gusto and eventual Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Spun to Run.   The Pennsylvania Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic were intended ports of call, but ‘Max suffered a serious case of colic and missed the boat. Away from the races from July until October, his stock price slid. Out of sight, out of mind. Meanwhile, Code of Honor, third to Maximum Security in the Florida Derby, dominated Dwyer foes, roared home to win the Travers and was elevated to victory via disqualification in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. It was an impressive string of wins for a colt owned and trained by racing royalty—W. S. Farish and Shug McGaughey, respectively. Understandably, the popular colt rocketed to the front of the sophomore class.   Finally, July 20th, ‘Max returned to win the seven-furlong Bold Ruler at Belmont over older foes. Most were impressed, but not overwhelmed. After all, it merely was a Grade 3 sprint.’ Max’s prospects of winning the sophomore Eclipse seemed tenuous, especially without a scheduled Breeders’ Cup appearance on the horizon. To complicate matters, the connections of Maximum Security didn’t scream ‘warm and fuzzy.’ The colt’s owners Gary and Mary West, generous philanthropic people, refused to accept the Kentucky stewards’ Derby decision and continued to drag the matter through court. The colt’s trainer Jason Servis, who wins at an incredibly high percentage no matter where he races, has unorthodox training methods and in interviews is about as forthcoming with information as Bill Belichick. And racing doesn’t do ‘unorthodox’ well. On the first Saturday in November, the 3-year-old male Eclipse Award was Code of Honor’s to win. An in-the-money finish in the Classic, presumably, would seal the deal. Before that race was run, however, a new candidate tossed his hat into the ring. Sophomore Spun to Run, third to ‘Max in the Haskell and an ultra-impressive winner of the M. P. Ballezzi Appreciation Stakes at Parx, dominated elders in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. That performance caused voters to rub chins and mutter, ‘Hmm.’ When Code of Honor finished a disappointing seventh in the Classic behind Vino Rosso divisional honors went up for grabs. Last Saturday, in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, Maximum Security snatched the brass ring. And looking back, perhaps, he always was the top 3-year-old without a serious rival. This year, he had crossed the finish first in all of his Grade 1 races—four of them—Florida Derby, Haskell, Cigar Mile and Kentucky Derby. He’s also never been worse than third at any call in nine career races and registered seven Beyer figures over 100! Code of Honor and Spun to Run have two each. For the first time in his life, Maximum Security made something ‘easy.’ Easy for voters to cast Eclipse ballots in his favor as Outstanding 3-year-old Male. It should have been easy all along. However, as we’ve learned, Maximum Security doesn’t do ‘easy.’ Race On!

Read Article
12.12.2019:

Baffert Wisely Studied Esteemed Colleague

Bob Baffert, who won five races in a single day last Saturday at Los Alamitos, graduated from the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Baffert later continued his studies at WU. “WU?” you ask? Yes, WU…Whittingham University. In the 1990s, after Baffert switched from training Quarter Horses to Thoroughbreds, his Santa Anita barn was located right next to Whittingham’s. Baffert wisely took advantage of this situation as much as he possibly could. It would be like an up-and-coming football coach being able to observe and pick the brain of Bill Belichick, who has won professional football’s most coveted game, the Super Bowl, six times. Whittingham twice won American racing’s most coveted race, the Kentucky Derby, saddling Ferdinand in 1986 and Sunday Silence in 1989. Lenny Shulman took a look back at the life and career of trainer Charlie Whittingham in a wonderful story that appeared in a recent issue of BloodHorse magazine. Whittingham died 20 years ago. “Inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1974, Whittingham was far more than a compiler of lofty achievements,” Shulman wrote. “He was a larger-than-life racetracker, for all intents and purposes an orphan who hit the racetrack before his teens, and a Marine the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His hardscrabble beginnings made him a no-nonsense businessman who on the one hand charmed a series of celebrity clients and on the other never hesitated to boot out even the most well-heeled patrons should they question his judgment.” Of Whttingham’s “California statistics,” Shulman wrote, they “are so gaudy as to suggest a Big Leaguer playing T-ball against third graders.” One of Whittingham’s gaudy stats: Nine wins in the prestigious Santa Anita Handicap. A few years ago, after the Baffert-trained Game On Dude became the first horse to win the Santa Anita Handicap three times (2011, 2012 and 2013), I mentioned to Baffert that I felt that it was a Whittingham-like accomplishment. “You know, I studied Whittingham a lot back when my barn [at Santa Anita] was next to his,” Baffert told me. “I learned a lot by watching him closely and talking to him all the time.” No doubt helped at least to some extent by all that he learned when studying at WU, Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby five times -- with Silver Charm in 1987, Real Quiet in 1988, War Emblem in 2002, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018. American Pharoah and Justify not only won the Kentucky Derby, they both swept the Triple Crown, horse racing’s Holy Grail. The Triple Crown was something that eluded Whittingham, though he did take a good run at it when Sunday Silence won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before finishing second to Easy Goer in the Belmont Stakes. Last Saturday, Baffert won five of the nine races on the daytime Thoroughbred card at Los Alamitos to equal a SoCal record. Three trainers now have achieved the feat of five victories in one day at a SoCal track. And Whittingham is not one of them. According to Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen, Allen Drumheller Sr. set the SoCal record when he won five races at Hollywood Park on July 4, 1955. Doug O’Neill tied the record when he won five races at Del Mar in 2015 and again this year on July 31. No trainer has ever had a five-win day at Santa Anita. Baffert’s streak last Saturday began in the fourth race with Thousand Words ($5.40) in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity, followed by Speed Pass ($4.40) in an allowance/optional claiming race, Message ($4.60) in an allowance/optional claiming race, Bast ($6.40) in the Grade I Starlet Stakes, then Ra’ad ($3.40) in a maiden special weight contest. Speed Pass and Ra’ad were the only two of the five winners that were favored. The wet, sealed track was listed as good. Baffert does recall having won five races in a single day once before. He said he won five Quarter Horse trials one afternoon at Arizona’s Prescott Downs in 1983. But unlike last Saturday, those five victories were not in a row. “The purse was $300” in all of those Prescott races, Baffert added. BAFFERT’S DOMINATION CONTINUES Thousand Words continued Baffert’s remarkable success in the Los Alamitos Futurity. He’s now won it 12 times. Baffert has won all six editions of this race since it was switched to Los Alamitos in 2014 following the closure of Hollywood Park. He also won this race six times when it was run at Hollywood Park. Baffert has even more Del Mar Futurity victories to his credit. He’s won that race 14 times. No trainer has dominated any of this country’s current Grade I races to such an extent as Baffert with his 14 Del Mar Futurity wins. Baffert also has had much success in the Grade I Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. He’s won that race eight times. According to my research, fellow Hall of Famers D. Wayne Lukas and Whittingham are the two trainers closest to Baffert in terms of dominating any of this country’s current Grade I races. Lukas has won both the Grade I Del Mar Debutante and Grade I Chandelier Stakes (formerly Oak Leaf Stakes) at Santa Anita nine times. As mentioned earlier, Whittingham won the Santa Anita Handicap nine times. Below are Lukas’ nine Del Mar Debutante winners: 1996 Sharp Cat1989 Rue de Palm1988 Lea Lucinda*1987 Lost Kitty1995 Arewehavingfunyet1994 Fiesta Lady1993 Althea1982 Landaluce1978 Terlingua *Placed first through the disqualification of Approved to Fly. Below are Lukas’ nine winners in the Chandelier (formerly the Oak Leaf): 1996 City Band1995 Tipically Irish1994 Serena’s Song1988 One of a Klein1987 Dream Team1986 Sacahuista1985 Arewehavingfunyet1983 Althea1982 Landaluce Below are Whittingham’s nine winners in the Santa Anita Handicaps: 1993 Sir Beaufort1990 Ruhlmann1986 Greinton1985 Lord at War1975 Stardust Mel1973 Cougar II1971 Ack Ack1967 Pretense1957 Corn Husker Below are Baffert’s 14 Del Mar Futurity winners: 2018 Game Winner2016 Klimt2014 American Pharoah2012 Rolling Fog2011 Drill2009 Lookin At Lucky2008 Midshipman2002 Icecoldbeeratreds2001 Officer2000 Flame Thrower1999 Forest Camp1998 Worldly Manner1997 Souvenir Copy1996 Silver Charm Below are Baffert’s 12 winners in the Los Alamitos Futurity (formerly the Hollywood Futurity and CashCall Futurity): 2019 Thousand Words2018 Improbable2017 McKinzie*2016 Mastery2015 Mor Spirit2014 Dortmund2011 Liaison2009 Lookin At Lucky2008 Pioneerof the Nile2000 Point Given1999 Captain Steve1997 Real Quiet *Placed first through the disqualification of Solomini. FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT FOR THOUSAND WORDS Thousand Words now is two for two. He came from a bit off the pace to win a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special race by a half-length at Santa Anita on Oct. 26. A pace factor from the outset in the 1 1/16-mile Los Alamitos Futurity, he prevailed by a neck in 1:43.19 while racing with blinkers for the first time. A $1 million yearling purchase, Thousand Words races for Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm. In terms of the Kentucky Derby, Thousand Words certainly is highly regarded heading into 2020. So is Dennis’ Moment, who also is owned by Albaugh Family Stable. Dennis’ Moment, who finished eighth as the 4-5 favorite after stumbling badly at the start in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1, is scheduled to make his 2020 debut in Gulfstream Park’s Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 29. Thousand Words, like American Pharoah, is by Pioneerof the Nile. Pioneerof the Nile in 2008 won the Los Alamitos Futurity when it was run at Hollywood Park and known as the CashCall Futurity. After Thousand Words was credited with an 88 Beyer Speed Figure for his first race, he recorded a 91 for his Los Al Futurity victory. Below are the Beyer Speed Figures recorded by winners of the Los Alamitos Futurity as it is now known going back to 1992 (this race was run at Hollywood Park prior to 2014): 2019 Thousand Words (91)2018 Improbable (96)2017 McKinzie (91)+2016 Mastery (91)2015 Mo Spirit (88)2014 Dortmund (91)2013 Shared Belief (106)*2012 Violence (92)*2011 Liaison (91)*2010 Comma to the Top (95)*2009 Lookin At Lucky (83)*2008 Pioneerof the Nile (86)*2007 Into Mischief (95)*2006 Stormello (94)*2005 Declan’s Moon (96)2004 Brother Derek (102)2003 Lion Heart (99)2002 Toccet (102)2001 Siphonic (104)2000 Point Given (101)1999 Captain Steve (101)1998 Tactical Cat (93)1997 Real Quiet (102)1996 Swiss Yodeler (92)1995 Matty G (104)1994 Afternoon Deelites (111)1993 Valiant Nature (106)1992 River Special (96) +Solomini finished first by three-quarters of a length and was assigned a 92 but was disqualified and placed second. McKinzie, who finished second and recorded a 91, was moved up to first via disqualification. *Run on a synthetic surface. MAXIMUM SECURITY SPARKLES IN CIGAR MILE One streak of Baffert’s that we now know is going to come to an end this year is he will not be the trainer of the Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old male of 2019. In light of Maximum’s Security’s three-length victory in last Saturday’s Grade I Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, he now is a slam-dunk to get that award. Jason Servis conditions Maximum Security, who is going to snap Baffert’s streak in this Eclipse Award category at three. Baffert has trained a total of nine Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old male champions -- Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010), American Pharoah (2015), Arrogate (2016), West Coast (2017) and Justify (2018). Maximum Security received a career-best 111 Beyer Speed Figure for his Cigar Mile triumph. The Kentucky-bred New Year’s Day colt has won six of eight starts this year. The Cigar Mile was his third Grade I win of 2019 to go along with the Florida Derby and Haskell Invitational. His only two losses this year came in the Kentucky Derby and Monmouth’s Pegasus Stakes. He finished first in the Derby, but then the stewards disqualified him and placed him 17th for causing interference. “Max” finished second in the Pegasus after stumbling at the start. REMEMBERING WILLIAM LEGGETT A day after Servis won the Cigar Mile with Maximum Security, the trainer sent out 7-1 Happy Farm to take the rescheduled Grade III Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct. It was final stakes race of the fall meet at the Big A. The Fall Highweight was supposed to have been run on Nov. 28, but the card was canceled that day due to high winds. The race then was rescheduled for Dec. 1, but it was not run that day, either. The jockeys refused to ride the final five races on the Dec. 1 program. Each year when the Fall Highweight is run, I can’t help but think of the late William Leggett. I have saved, for all these many years, what Leggett wrote in 1991 for the Racing Times about the Fall Highweight Handicap, which had a Grade II ranking back then. Leggett, you may know, was an acclaimed Sports Illustrated writer for many years prior to his stint with the Racing Times. “Fall Highweight should be extinct” was the headline on Leggett’s 1991 Racing Times piece. “NYRA loves the Fall Highweight Handicap, or the FHHzzz as some of us call it,” Leggett wrote. “To be gentle about the FHHzzz, it is the dumbest event in Thoroughbred racing.” You think that was being tough on the Fall Highweight Handicap? Leggett was just getting started. “This year, the FHHzzz will have its 78th running, but just because something has been around a long time certainly doesn’t make it correct,” he wrote. “In the FHHzzz, horses which should be carrying 110-122 pounds end up carrying 128-140. That’s a lot of dead weight. So is the race. We will now attempt to answer your questions about the FHHzzz. “Does the Fall Highweight have a bearing on anything? Nothing whatsoever. Is it a factor in voting for champion sprinter? It’s the first race one throws out. How many other tracks have a FHHzzz? Zero. Are other tracks contemplating adding a FHHzz to their schedules? Not if they are a private enterprise which wants to remain in business. Why is a Grade II race? The Flat Earth Society decides that.” And now for my favorite part of what Leggett wrote. “How are weights determined for the FHHzzz? Thought you would never ask. The Weight Bird decides the weights. Once a year, the Weight Bird flies into Belmont from his cave in Montauk. Corn is spread out on an ermine blanket and a horse’s name is screamed at the Weight Bird. The number of kernels the Weight Bird gathers in its beak is then multiplied by 37, which is the number of weeks Wayne Newton works a year.” I have rarely laughed as much as I did when reading that for the first time. Handicap races in North America have pretty much disappeared. There are very few of them anymore. Consequently, most people do not pay any attention to the weight horses carry these days. Weight, though, remains a key component of the Fall Highweight Handicap. The word “weight” even is part of the name of the race. But one would not realize weight mattered at all when reading the stakes recap disseminated by the NYRA press office. In the recap’s 11 paragraphs, you will not find out how much weight the winner or anyone else in the race carried. At least in David Grening’s Daily Racing Form recap, he noted that the victorious Happy Farm carried 125 pounds. Wonderful Light, who packed 127 pounds, finished second. Recruiting Ready, encumbered with 132 pounds, ended up third as the 1-2 favorite. The Weight Bird obviously was not very kind to Recruiting Ready.  

Read Article
12.12.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: December 13 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee. 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 45 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 (3:52 ET) – 3upfm 5k N3L* at 6furlongs The 13-horse opener really boils down to what you want to do with #11 LADY KIM (9-5), who is supposed to win, but we also said that last time, and she couldn’t get it done. She’s a must-use A, but I can’t trust her, so in a race that looks to have an honest pace, I’ll also use the class-dropping #2 THE BAY EXPRESS (15-1), who was in for 10k last time from an outside draw, can settle a bit early, and has never been in this low in here life. Pk5 A horses: 11,2 (listed in order of preference) I don’t know where that fast 3rd from #8 TOWSON (7-2) came from, but if she ran run back to it she’s a big threat, especially since she too can settle and get first run on the pick. The cutback and drop in class should help #5 R True Sensation (12-1), but she hasn’t won in 12 starts, while #6 Flirtatious Walk (6-1) seems in the mix, but was 3 lengths behind ‘Kim last time and offers no reason she can bridge the gap. Pk5 B horses: 8 Leg 2: Laurel Park R9 (4:22 ET) – 3up 25k SOC at 6 furlongs Maybe the fact there are 14 entered means we can get a bit of value by singling #2 FACTOR IT IN (5-2), since he looks like a real standout here, as he just won comfortably over a few here at this level over the track and distance, now goes off the claim for Mancilla (17%), and has worked lights out in two subsequent drills. Pk5 A horses: 2 Considering the strong opinion I have on Factor It In, and the fact no one else here inspires at all, I’ll go it alone, which will allow for more coverage in the more competitive races. If you are looking for some additional coverage, then #8 Rip Rap Riley (8-1) and #1 Successful Zip (15-1) will be prices off sharp wins against lesser, while #14 Like What I See (10-1) and #9 Spicy Meatball (6-1) has a few races to fall back on that would play here. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:30 ET) – 2yo 50k SOC at 1-mile This looks like a tricky race because several here are better on turf, with little to no dirt form, and the seemingly best dirt horse, #2 LURE HIM IN (9-2), hasn’t been out since a debut MCL win in May. I’ll put him on top, since he took money that day (5-2), returns in a spot where he can’t be claimed, runs as a first-time gelding with first-time Lasix, and could be the controlling inside speed, plus Nicks is a strong 19% off this extended layoff. He’s also an unknown, so I’ll also use #3 PLATO (3-1), who looked good breaking his maiden two-back on the dirt and was in too tough in a turf stakes last time, and #8 DRAMA IN DIXIE (7-2), who might be pressing the pick early and therefore in the right spot off the far turn if he’s not ready, and got some foundation off the two-turn turf run last time. Pk5 A horses: 2,3,8 I’ll use two underneath—#1 PERFECT REVENGE (8-1) and #6 I’M MORE READY (8-1)—and while neither has run on dirt, both are bred for it and have been running two turns of late, the Ortiz brothers are here, and the former invades from Woodbine, where horses have had success from early during this meet in the past, while the latter looked good in a breakthrough turf win last time and has plenty of upside off just three starts. Pk5 B horses: 1,6 Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:45 ET) – 2yof MSW at 5 furlongs I’ve got the ability to use several here, and that’s a good thing, as this is the definition of a spread, with all but three of the 10 entered being first-time starters. I think you have to use the trio with experience—#5 LADY CROCKER (5-1), #1 LA CROIX (3-1), #9 CHARMING LASS (20-1)—as they get a big edge for having met the starter, and the former sure improved with Lasix at Del Mat last time, while ‘Crocker should improve off a middling debut for a 31% France barn, and the latter adds Lasix off a better-than-it-looks 6th on debut. With that being said, the firsters won’t exactly have to be freaks to win this, so I’ll also use #7 DON’T UNZIP ME (7-2) and #6 ANATOLIA (5-2) for top local barns Wong and Wright, respectively, and also #4 GO VAIDAGIRL (15-1), who has some fast works sprinkled in and Tekos and Duran are 15% for a $2.58 ROI together, while #8 BISCOTTINI (10-1), who shows a slew of works for Amescua, who is 2-for-18 with firsters and reaches for 16% jock Couton. Pk5 A horses: 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 With seven of the 10 covered above, there’s no reason to use the other three, who looks a cut below. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:00 ET) – 3upfm 16k N2L at 1-mile (turf) The finale is riddled with 1’fers, and if you’ve followed me in this space before you know I don’t want anything to do with you if you’re over 1-for-15, so this one, at least for me, is a bit cut and dried. I’m using a trio of 1-for-10 runners—#5 FANTASTIC KINGDOM (7-2), #8 REGAL ROMANCE (8-1), and #4 TAILADIOS (6-1)—since the former drew much better than last time and has by far the best figures here, and the latter two are tactical enough to sit a nice trip in what looks like a paceless race, and have been knocking on the door at the level of late. PLEASE NOTE that if #15 Chasing Helicity 10-1) draws in, she’ll be an A as well, horrific post and all. Pk5 A horses: 5,8,4 The post is brutal for #11 ELITE APPEAL (4-1), but she has been in good form and has some tactical speed, so she’s worth inclusion underneath, and would also go to the A-line if one of the top trio scratches. There’s a chance that #2 Speed too Tume (15-1) gets loose here, but she still looks too slow, while #10 Tennessee Cotton (9-2) just missed at the level last time but is another who is slow, and dre poorly as well. Pk5 B horses: 11 The tickets: Main Ticket: 11,2 with 2 with 2,3,8 with 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 with 5,8,4 = $126Leg 1 B Backup: 8 with 2 with 2,3,8 with 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 with 5,8,4 = $42Leg 3 B Backup: 11,2 with 2 with 1,6 with 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 xxx with 5,8,4 = $84Leg 5 B Backup: 11,2 with 2 with 2,3,8 with 5,1,7,6,9,4,8 with 11 = $42

Read Article
12.11.2019:

Harness Highlights: Ohio Drivers Support Disaster Relief Fund

Top drivers from Northfield Park and Dayton Raceway will compete for bragging rights in the inaugural “Battle Of The Buckeyes” this Friday, Dec. 13 at Dayton, but they will unite to support a common cause. Northfield’s Aaron Merriman, Kurt Sugg, Chris Lems, Greg Grismore and David Lake, as well as Dayton’s Brett Miller, Jeremy Smith, Tyler Smith, Kayne Kauffman and Josh Sutton have agreed to donate the $3,000 in prize money from the eight-race competition to the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund. The fund benefits the neighborhoods that were devastated by a Memorial Day tornado. Post time for the Friday card is 6:15 p.m.   IN THE XPRESSLANE: Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 Horse of the Year, is scheduled to return from a lengthy layoff and run in the 12th race this Thursday, Dec. 12, at Dover Downs. The 7-year-old pacer with nearly $4 million in earnings qualified in 1:54.4 after a final half-mile in :55.4. … Monticello Raceway will hold its annual Au Revoir races Friday, Dec. 27, featuring soon-to-be 14-year-old pacers and trotters who will be forced into mandatory retirement at the end of the year. The purse for each race is $5,000. Call Eric Warner at 845-794-4100 extension 557 for more info. … Tim Tetrick, the top money-earning driver in North America this year, is headed to Finland this week for the inaugural Arctic Horse Race at Mantyvaara Racetrack in Rovaniemi, a three-race competition against drivers from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Italy. … The Harness Youth Foundation’s Harness Heroes trading cards are available just in time for the holidays. Send your name, address and a (suggested) $20 donation to the HHYF, 2711 Friar Tuck Road, Anderson IN 46013 to order your set. The set includes 2018 champions: Ariana G, Atlanta, Captain Crunch, Dorsodoro Hanover, Emoticon Hanover, Exhilarated, Forbidden Trade, Gimpanzee, Homicide Hunter, Illusioneesta, Jimmy Freight, Kissin In The Sand, McWicked, Run Director, Shartin N, Shower Play, Six Pack, Stag Party, Tall Drink Hanover, The Ice Dutchess, Warrawee Ubeaut, Will Take Charge, Woodside Charm and Foiled Again. The featured humans include: Blair Burgess, Ray Cotolo, Ted Gewertz, Mark Hall, Joe Holloway, Dave Little, Marcus Melander, Marlys Pinske, Jerry Silverman, Linda Toscano, and Ted Wing.

Read Article
12.9.2019:

Monday, December 9: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis

The Pompano Park 0.50 Pick 4 starts in Race 5 and will be my focus. The sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool and a low 12% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 52-Team Captain (4-1)-This is a spot to shine for the Captain. May go out, get the top and try to control the race and not look back.3-Fritzie Pic Up Man (7/2)-Form has been flat but at this class and from this post it's probably best to not overlook.6-Andreios Kardia (7/2)-Seems to need the top and from this spot that could happen. A player if Fern provides a good steer.Race 63-Freak On A Leash (7-1)-Looking for 1st PPk win but can be in the mix from this post and could pop at a nice price.4-Donegal Jim (9/2)-Knows how to win and fits well at this class. Could be sitting on a big try and will probably be driven aggressively.6-IRA Chief (7/5)-Not totally sold on this chalk but if Hennessey is allowed to get the top and slow the pace down, chances for a win go up.Race 71-Danza (10-1)-Makes 3rd start for new barn and could get the 2-hole behind #5. Has done well at the Pomp and will use looking for a better Pick 4 payout.5-Grantor Hanover (1/1)-Winner of 2 straight at this class, will get the top and if no one challenges could make it a 3-peat.Race 84-Hypnotic Racer (7-1)-Raced a good 2nd half from the 9-hole but wasn't rewarded. Plano could work a trip and surprise at a square price.5-Caroline GR (6-1)-Will toss last from the 7-hole, should be better with this post draw. Form was good in previous 3 races and will look for a rebound tonight.6-Elm Grove Nellie (10-1)-Makes 4th start for new barn and I'll take a swing here. Leaving both program chalks #2 and #8 off the ticket, last effort was better and Wallis sticks.My Ticket Race 5) 2,3,6 Race 6) 3,4,6 Race 7) 1,5 Race 8) 4,5,6Total Ticket Cost) $27 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
12.9.2019:

Triple Crown Prospects Remain in the Weeds

I’ve written nearly 1.5 million words about the 3-year-old trail since the start of Countdown to the Crown in 2006. But somehow I’m at a loss to write much definitive at this point about the 2020 crop as we’re just 3 weeks from the New Year and the start of the 15th season of my scouting report.The last few years have seen a spark in late bloomers with success in the Triple Crown. Country House was an 0-2 maiden at this stage a year ago, while Maximum Security still was about 10 days away from his $16,000 maiden claiming debut. We all know Justify was only a name on a halter at this point 2 years ago, and Always Dreaming the year prior had not been seen since Saratoga and was 0-2 in the maiden ranks. Cloud Computing wouldn’t debut until February of his ’17 season that resulted in a Preakness score.So forgive me if the Monday after the Remsen that I’m not going all in for Shotski, the front-end winner at 8-1 on the usual 9-furlong carousel this time of year. Apologies if the wiseguy horse isn’t yet runner-up Ajaaweed, the only closer to make a dent in the top-5 at the Big A. Meanwhile, it’s a no-can-do banking your aspirations on a 4-horse, wet-track Los Alamitos Futurity (won by Thousand Words). And, nope, I’m not willing to commit my letter jacket and go steady with Kentucky Jockey Club winner Silver Prospector or the dispatched and ballyhooed beaten favorite in that race Tiz the Law.The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile didn’t lend clarity and trustworthiness with its 3,900-1 trifecta of bombs. Storm the Court was 45-1 when he won that one; he wound up 41-1 in the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool. That was no better than 14th choice among 22 individual pari-mutuel interests. No, this Breeders’ Cup Juvenile didn’t continue a seemingly solid run of results that gave us sophomores-to-be like Nyquist, Classic Empire, Good Magic and Game Winner in succession.Like most things in life, we wind up with a good news, bad news situation. The bad news is that this 2-year-old crop has done absolutely nothing to distinguish itself or any of its members. The good news is that the last few years has shown that it doesn’t really matter as much as it once did.We will wind up at the first Saturday in May with horses who won or ran well in the Florida Derby, Santa Anita Derby, Arkansas Derby and more. We always do. But in a society that wants its news now – and its hot takes even faster than that – we’re going to have to exercise patience.As D. Wayne Lukas famously said, “People have questions. Horses have the answers.”

Read Article
12.8.2019:

Sunday, December 8: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis

Tonight, Pompano Park offers a $20,000 guaranteed pool for the 0.50 Pick 4. The sequence starts in Race 5, it has a very low 12% takeout and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 55-Panocchio (8/5)-Just missed in last as an odds-on chalk and will be heavily bet tonight. Bumps up a notch and is a threat at this class too but offers no value.6-American Chrome (10-1)-Makes 3rd start for new barn that has been going well and has a positive driver change. May offer a nice price and could land on the engine or in the 2-hole, best to not overlook.8-Music Is Art (3-1)-Raced well at this class in first PPk start but now draws outside. Speedy and should be tighter tonight, using but needs live cover.Race 62-Man Of Mine (6-1)-Last week #5 got rolling early and set a fast pace, and there was no catching the leader. Did race the last half in 56.1 and now makes 4th start at the Pomp. Looking for better and could trip out from this post.5-Mach West (1-1)-Made it look easy in last and will likely be an odds-on favorite here and many will single. Best to respect but 3-year-old isn't the most consistent.Race 74-American Hustle (8-1)-Even effort in 1st PPk start but loves this track and is (13-26) lifetime here. Makes 2nd start after being off since 10/12 and will hope the trip isn't kind to #7.7-Prairie Panther (3/2)-Drew off by 3 1/2 versus many of these in 1st start off the bench. This is another PPk vet who does great work here (20-27). Looks solid as long as the trip isn't an issue.Race 83-Late Night Joke (8-1)-Drops to a better level but needs to avoid a slow start. Is trip dependent and might be overlooked. Pace could be hot and if so chances for a late rally go up.6-Mikado Blue Chip (12-1)-Drops in 2nd local start and has the gate speed to end up in the 2-hole behind #7.7-Feelin Lika Winner (9/5)-Steps-up after just missing from the 8-hole and Hennessey sticks. Was used hard in the 1st half and couldn't rally in the last quarter. 9-year-old knows how to win and could be a popular single but will need a top effort versus this crew.My Ticket Race 5) 5,6,8 Race 6) 2,5 Race 7) 4,7 Race 8) 3,6,7 Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
12.8.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Day Makers for Dec. 8, 2019

Every racing day Jeff Siegel offers two “Day Makers” while specifically concentrating on racing from Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate Fields, Laurel Park, and Aqueduct These are “cream of the crop” selections and offer the horse player a unique insight into the process behind the analysis.Day Makers for Sunday, December 8, 2019: View VideoDay Makers for Saturday, December 7, 2:019: View VideoDay Makers for Friday, December 6, 2019: View VideoDay Makers for Thursday, December 5, 2019: View Video

Read Article
12.7.2019:

December 7-Meadowlands Pick 4 Analysis

The feature at the Meadowlands goes in Race 2, a Preferred Pace with a $30,000 purse. The 0.50 Pick 4 begins in Race 8, it has a $50,000 guaranteed pool and a 15% takeout. That competitive sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 81-Ocean Colony (10-1)-Will need a top effort but counting on a smart steer by McCarthy. Leaving from the rail might be the edge to win at a nice price.3-Incredible Shark (10-1)-Has been facing better and is competitive. Looks to be worth a swing at 10-1 in the ML.4-Pacing Major N (8-1)-This is another who has been facing better but not sure a larger oval suits. Dunn should keep Yonkers regular in play, seems to have the speed to be a player.9-Trump Nation (3-1)-Gingras blasted out, got the top and faded last week. This is the 2nd start off the bench and could be tighter and better tonight.Race 91-Campora N (6-1)-Dave Miller takes a spin on Yonkers invader who fits with this group. This is the 1st Big M appearance in a difficult race to predict.5-Thespywholovedme (15-1)-Got on the engine from the 9-hole and didn't last. Usually comes off cover and may go back to that plan. Andy Miller has some options with this post.9-American Sara (9/2)-This is the 3rd Big M start and comes off a win. This won't be as easy and wasn't Gingras choice, but McCarthy can work a trip.Race 103-Wild Goose Chase (15-1)-Will respect connections and drops to the level where best finishes have happened.5-Melodies Major (8-1)-Another who is in a spot to shine. Took the long way around last week and may find a smoother journey here.9-Rock Three Times (7/2)-10-year old still has the gate speed to be put in play from this post. Could be over bet but is a player versus this crew with a top effort .Race 111-Nascar Seelster (9/2)-Tetrick takes a seat and he had success with this Cullipher trainee in November, best to respect.4-Griffon Hanover (3-1)-Wasn't Tetrick's choice but form is sharp and McCarthy can give the 6-year-old a chance for a picture.5-Ever Again (8-1)-Knows how to win and likes the track. Should be in the hunt from this post and could be overlooked at the windows.0.50 Pick 41,3,4,9/1,5,9/3,5,9/1,4,5Total Bet=$54Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
12.7.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Gulfstream Wagering Strategies - 12/7/19

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 11:50 ET. Grade: BUse: 4-Mo Clare’s; 5-Hurricane Breeze; 7-Osaka GirlForecast: Mo Clare’s was given a run sprinting on turf at Keeneland in her debut last month and today will get serious when stretching out to a mile. She’s a fit on numbers based on that one race but seems likely to produce a significant forward move with C. Landeros riding her back for I. Wilkes. Hurricane Breeze had every chance when establishing a clear lead in a maiden turf router at Keeneland last time but couldn’t quite seal the deal, getting worn down late. She earned a decent figure in the process, so if she doesn’t go backward today the daughter of Summer Front should be a major player. Osaka Girl is gradually improving with experience – she’s increased her speed figures in each of her three career starts – and with another bit of improvement she should at least hit the board. Toss her in on a ticket or two.**RACE 2: Post 12:18 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Travy Boy; 7-Tale of Fire; 9-WhyruawesomeForecast: Trainer J. Navarro has two bullets to fire in this six furlong sprint to kick off the Claiming Crown series and are tough to separate. Whyareuawesome is thoroughly genuine and consistent – he’s been first or second in 21 of 54 career starts – and after a bit of freshening from late September the Monmouth Park shipper seems to have found a proper spot to regain his winning form. He’s a previous winner over the Gulfstream Park main track, is drawn comfortably outside, and should find himself on or near the lead throughout. Stable mate Tale of Fire, perfect in two starts over the local main track, missed at 40 cents on the dollar in his most recent outing in New Jersey in early October but on pure numbers he’s a strong fit at this level and a “must use.” Travy Boy seeks her third straight win and earned a career top speed figure when capturing a Florida-bred stakes race at Gulfstream Park West last month. He’s plenty quick but doesn’t need the lead to win and is worth including in rolling exotic play at 6-1 on the morning line.**RACE 3: Post 12:47 ET. Grade: B-Use: 1-Make a Stand; 6-Leading West; 9-Dr. DoyleForecast: Make a Stand is a first-timer from the T. Pletcher barn with a good inside draw in this maiden special weight turf miler for juveniles. The works are strong, so we suspect this son of Union Rags is cranked up and ready to go. It’ll be interesting to see if he leaves lower than his morning line of 6-1. Leading West also presents value at or near his 6-1 morning line. A closing second in his third career start (but his first for J. Servis) in a two-turn main track maiden affair at Monmouth Park in late September, the Distorted Humor colt should be within striking range throughout and have every chance when it counts. Dr. Doyle, runner-up in a Meadowlands turf sprint in his debut last month while more than four lengths clear of the rest, earned a competitive figure and has a right to improve stretching out. He’s another at a decent price (5-1) that you have to include.**RACE 4: Post 1:17 ET. Grade: B-Use: 2-Liza Star; 5-Cuddle Kitten; 7-Potra LIzaForecast: Cuddle Kitten was transferred to the J. Navarro barn four races back and hasn’t lost since, most recently winning a listed stakes at Parx in mid-September with a career top speed figure. The daughter of Kitten’s Joy has a good stalking style that ensures a clean trip but it’s hard to be sure how she’ll react to this turn back to a one-turn mile. Let’s assume she’ll adapt just fine. Her Navarro-trained stable mate Potra Liza couldn’t handle Cuddle Kitten when they squared off at Parx, but the daughter of Graydar is a perfect two-for-two over the Gulfstream Park main track and should produce a dangerous late kick. Liza Star is a seven-time winner over the local main track has improved vastly since being claimed by P. Walder back in May. Her recent numbers are strong and if she can shake loose early as the controlling speed she could prove hard to catch. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Cuddle Kitten.**RACE 5: Post 1:47 ET. Grade: BUse: 3-Thinkin Cowtown; 4-Band of AngelsForecast: Band of Angels earned a career top speed figure when demolishing an $8,000 claiming field at Meadowlands in her most recent outing and J. Navarro-trained mare can win right back with a similar effort today. She has 11 wins and no seconds in her career and always seems to find something extra under pressure in the final stages. Thinkin Cowtown has won four races from 16 career starts, all of her wins coming over the Gulfstream Park turf course. She’s a late running sprinter by trade and could be a threat if she can get some help up front. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Band of Angels on top.**RACE 6: Post 2:20 ET. Grade: B-Use: 6-Yodel E. A. Who; 8-First Deal; 9-BenefactorForecast: Once again J. Navarro has the two main players. Benefactor is very fast on numbers and shows prior winning form over the Gulfstream Park main track. Freshened since September but with a bullet recent workout at Palm Meadows to have him fit and ready, the More Than Ready trained gelding projects to be on or near the lead throughout in the seven furlong affair. Stable matFirst Deal doesn’t quite have the speed figures that Benefactor shows but is lightly-raced and seeking his fourth straight win, so it’s entirely possible he hasn’t yet reached his ceiling. The three-year-old colt has the perfect style for this extended sprint trip. Yodel E. A. Who is another on a hot streak – he’s won his last three in thoroughly convincing fashion – and may be the quickest of the quick. He’s worth including at least as a saver or a back-up.**RACE 7: Post 2:52 PT. Grade: XUse: 3-Shekky Shebaz; 5-Tiger BloodForecast: Shekky Shebaz just finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and has earned triple-digit Beyer speed figures in his last three starts. Logical top pick, right? Well, he’s 7/5 on the morning line and certainly the one to beat, but Tiger Blood is too good of a racehorse to completely eliminate. A perfect four-for-four over the Gulfstream Park turf course and a winner of 15 races from 40 career starts, the tough-as-nails gelding will never back down from a fight. Clear preference on top goes to Shekky Shebaz, but you should have a few save on at least a few tickets with Tiger Blood in rolling exotic play.**RACE 8: Post 3:24 PT. Grade: C+Use: 3-Dizzy Gillespie; 6-Sensational Ride; 7-Salsa’s ReturnForecast: J. Navarro once again is well represented with the 9-year-old Salsa’s Return, away since mid-September but a tough old pro with 15 career victories on his resume. The son of Olmodavor has a good stalking style and always lays his body known when the pressure is turn on in the final furlong. Based purely on speed figures he rates top billing. Sensational Ride, now in the P. Walder barn, looks like the speed of the speed based on his Thistledown form. This is a tougher group than he’s been used to seeing, but the son of Dunkirk may get brave if he can shake loose early. The Walder barn has another front-running type in the field, Dizzy Gillespie, who may this time employ rating tactics (he’s won stalking in the past). A seven-time winner over the Gulfstream Park main track, the South Carolina-bred gelding is better than his 12-1 morning line and is worth tossing in somewhere.**RACE 9: Post 3:56 ET. Grade: BUse: 7-Vip Nation; 9-Una LunaForecast: Una Luna, first or second in 11 of 16 career starts, has been second in each of her last four outings and is due to get back on the winning track. She likes to settle early and then produce a late run and with clear sailing and decent fractions to run at the daughter of Dunkirk may be able to produce the last run. Vip Nation appears the best of the front-running types and just earned a career top speed figure when nosed out in a good New York-bred allowance event over the Aqueduct turf course three weeks ago. A similar effort today may be good enough. Let’s try to survive and advance using just these two, with preference on top to Una Luna.**RACE 10: Post 4:28 ET. Grade: B+Use: 3-Forest Fire; 5-LeitoneForecast: Leitone demolished a $50,000 claiming field with a superior, career-top speed figure at Belmont Park in late October and if the J. Servis-trained horse duplicates that type of performance today he’ll be very hard to beat. The son of Dunkirk always been a need-the-lead type, so if he can clear the field without too much effort the others may be running for second money. Servis’ other starter, Forest Fire, has good early speed as well, but he can be equally effective as a stalker/pouncer so we suspect that strategy will be employed. It won’t be too much of a surprise if the stable mates finish one-two; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Leitone on top.**RACE 11: Post 5:00 ET. Grade: BUse: 5-Muggsamatic; 7-DontblamerocketForecast: Dontblamerocket packs a powerful late kick and knows where the wire is, having won six of 13 during his career including his last pair with authority. Fast on figures and with a healthy work pattern to have him fit and ready following a three month layoff, the son of Blame offers value at or near his morning line of 4-1. Muggsamatic, claimed in his last three and now in the J. Servis barn (35% with a strong flat-bet profit with this angle), could improve a ton, as many first-off-the-claims do for this outfit. He’s similar on speed figures to Dontblamerocket and also has been known to produce a strong late kick, so with good racing luck he seems certain to be a major player, if not the one to beat. We’ll use both in rolling exotic play.

Read Article
12.6.2019:

Picks for Saturday’s Aqueduct Mandatory Payout Pick 6

It’s another Mandatory Payout Day in racing, this time at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack.  On top of a phenomenal card that includes six stakes races (four graded) and horses like Maximum Security and Spun to Run, they’re also offering a mandatory payout in their 20-cent Empire 6, which has been growing for weeks.  Heading into today, the ‘everything must go’ carryover is $585,943.The sequence starts with Race 5 at 1:35PM ET. Here’s my ticket: Race 5 (1:35PM ET) – Maiden Special Weight The sequence starts with maidens and I love when that happens.  At least we can see the toteboard and identify horses that are/aren’t being bet.  #1 DEFAULT RATE (3/1) is a Klaravich/Chad Brown horse that hasn’t been backed at the windows in either race, but ran well both times.  He was DQ’d from first in a maiden race at Monmouth at 5/1 odds and ran 3rd in a similar race at Belmont at 6/1.  When Chad Brown horses are paying $10+, that’s generally not a great sign but perhaps this is a field he can handle?  Todd Pletcher’s #5 FARMINGTON ROAD was the less exciting half of a heavy-favorite entry in his debut but he switches to Castellano.  #9 OR’EFFICE (4/1) has been working well and is so well bred that you have to think he’s great if he takes money.  Blinkers go on #2 TAPAGE (9/2).  He’s so well bred but never really gets involved.  Might be worth giving him one more try, but I don’t blame anyone that doesn’t want to.   Race 6 (2:09PM ET) – Go for Wand Handicap (Gr III)We need a single in this sequence and for many, it’ll come in the form of #3 SPICED PERFECTION (3/5).  She’s a millionaire and has won 8-of-19 starts and most recently finished 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.  She is far from a lock and I don’t think she’s as likely as her 3/5 morning line price suggests, but it’ll take a solid effort to beat her.  The two likeliest upsetters are #1 NEEDS SUPERVISION (10/1), #5 SAGUARO ROW (6/1) and #6 OUR SUPER NOVA (6/1) and all offer great value.  If you like something elsewhere and have the budget to spread here, beating SPICED PERFECTION would make potential payouts skyrocket.Race 7 (2:41PM ET) – Maiden Special Weight We won’t be able to leverage the toteboard in this MSW as it falls mid-sequence so we’ll have to get a little creative with the horses we use.  #12 TWO POINT OH (3/1) is trained by Jeremiah Englehart who has had a great year and excels in races like this.  #10 TRASH TALKER (7/2) is the best of these that have run and #6 HEDONISTIC (8/1) had a rough trip in his first start in the slop.  He should do better here.  Throw in the Steve Asmussen and Bill Mott firsters, #9 ASTRONAUT (12/1) and #1 KING KHOZAN (8/1), respectively, and we see why finding a single or two is so imperative.Race 8 (3:13PM ET) – Demoiselle Stakes (Gr II) I really liked #5 ALANDRA’s (4/1) debut in Saratoga but I thought her trip in the G1 Alcibiades couldn’t have been worse.  She lagged behind early and by the time she got to running, British Idiom was already at the top of the Keeneland short stretch.  #12 LAKE AVENUE (9/2) ran off the screen in her maiden win and while 12 3/4-length wins are as much about competition as they are the winner, Bill Mott jumps her right up in class which is a good sign.  Plus she’s beautifully bred, by Tapit out of G1 winner Seventh Street.  Might as well include local horses #6 CRITICAL VALUE (8/1) and #2 MAEDEAN (7/2).  Race 9 (3:43PM ET) – Remsen Stakes (Gr II)This is always a fun race with so many horses either routing for the first time or coming back off losses that escluded them from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  I don’t have a strong opinion in this race, but I will use #1 CHASE TRACKER (7/2), #3 CLEON JONES (6/1), #4 AJAAWEED (9/2), #7 PRINCE JAMES (15/1) and #8 ALPHA SIXTY SIX (4/1).  I don’t see a lot of pace in here and that could make PRINCE JAMES interesting as he adds blinkers and could forget he’s supposed to stop.  He’s a son of Tiznow and out of a Super Saver mare and has already won around two turns.  Race 10 (4:16PM ET) – Cigar Mile Handicap (Gr I) I’m going to bet this as a two horse race and only use #5 MAXIMUM SECURITY (3/2) and #6 SPUN TO RUN (5/2) on my ticket.  I think SPUN TO RUN, who won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last month, got the best of the draw (being outside of MAXIMUM SECURITY) and if I had to pick one horse to bet here, it would be him.  ‘MAX is in ‘must send’ mode from that post and the target is on his back.  But hey, it was last time out too in the G3 Bold Ruler when he drew the rail and he battled inside and kicked away from a solid field.  My TicketRace 5: 1, 2, 9Race 6: 3Race 7: 1, 6, 9, 10, 12 Race 8: 2, 5, 6, 12 Race 9: 1, 3, 4, 7, 8 Race 10: 5, 6Ticket Cost: $120 for 20-cents You could also cut this ticket in half (to a more manageable $60) by picking a single in the Cigar Mile.  My lean is SPUN TO RUN but I also like what MAXIMUM SECURITY has done throughout his career.  There’s a reason he’s crossed the finish line first in 7-of-8 career starts. 

Read Article
12.6.2019:

Competitive Sprint Starts Off Gulfstream 'Crown,' Early Pick 4

The Claiming Crown has the spotlight Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and the 11-race card including nine of the stakes races for horses that have run for claiming prices. Since being eligible for the races, some of the contestants have turned into graded stakes competitors.This week’s target here is the early Pick 4 in races 2-5, and three of the events within the sequence are part of the Claiming Crown. The suggested ticket cost is $36 with a 4x3x3x2 pattern.There will be some short-priced favorites scattered about, and if you can beat them, some attractive payoffs will occur.It begins in the second race with the Claiming Crown Express for older sprinters. Whyruawesome, a Jorge Navarro performer who came into his own when he won three straight and then was second in the Mr Prospector, is the 8-5 favorite and is usable in the sequence but in no way faces pushovers. Harryhee is a 20-1 shot but has been a stalwart in optional-claiming sprinters and occasionally wins stakes races. He’s a nine-time winner of the strip, and while it will take the perfect storm to get him to lead gate-to-wire, he’ll be a strong pace factor. If allowed to clear this group, he could be very difficult to catch.Travy Boy won the Millions Sprint Preview at Gulfstream West in his latest and seeks a third straight win. He has come up the claiming ladder and is a viable candidate in this six-furlong rush to the wire. Another strong contender is Fast Pass, who has been outstanding at GP lately, with a stakes win and a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Smile Sprint. He’ll likely benefit from the fast pace in front of him.The opening leg could be the best race on the card. Others on the ticket including Make a Stand, Majestic Ro and Leading West in the third race; Picasso Moon, Cuddle Kitten and Kodiak Katie in the fourth; and Unaquoi and Dance Till Dawn in the fifth race and final leg of the early Pick 4.Here’s the suggested play for the early Pick 4 Saturday at Gulfstream Park: Race 2) #1 Harryhee, #2 Travy Boy, #4 Fast Pass, #9 Whyruawesome. Race 3) #1 Make a Stand, #3 Majestic Ro, #6 Leading West. Race 4) #1 Picasso Moon, #5 Cuddle Kitten, #6 Kodiak Katie. Race 5) #1 Unaquoi, #9 Dance Till Dawn. Total Ticket Cost) 1,2,4,9/1,3,6/1,5,6/1,9 = $36 for $0.50

Read Article
12.6.2019:

Friday, December 6: Cal Expo Pick 4 Analysis

Cal Expo has a 12-race card set to kick-off the weekend. The feature comes in Race 9, the Alan Horowitz Final with a $20,000 purse. The 0.20 Pick 4 begins in Race 8, it has a $30,000 guaranteed pool with a 16% takeout and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 84-Coz And Effect (7/2)-Come off a tough trip, draws inside and can be forwardly placed from here. Kennedy should put in play early and that improves chances.6-Heza Real Diamond (3-1)-3-year-old should like the company and is a player if ready off the bench. Short price most likely and this is the 32nd start of the year. This isn't the most formful race so will respect chances.7-Senga Nitro (6-1)-Will string along as steps-up again after 2 sharp wins. Best to respect chances for a 3-peat.8-Five Card Draw N (6-1)-Hasn't raced since 9/8 but qualifier was good. If 10-year-old is ready to go this is a soft spot and should be a decent price.Race 91-Deweydiddonegood (5/2)-Loses Roland but Svendsen has steered before and last 3 have been strong efforts. Draws the rail and the inside starting spot may be enough to take top honors.5-Mystic Ruler (8-1)-Interesting play, has won over 25% of lifetime starts but 7-year-old has never taken a picture at the Pomp. Seems worthy of a swing and could be overlooked at the windows.7-Al's Brief (3-1)-Strong efforts in last 3 and has been bet. Looks like a major player again and will likely be a short price.Race 101-Villa For Rent (6-1)-Has lacked a closing punch since coming back to CalX. But last was better and could be in line for a ground saving trip at a nice price.2-Joker John (6-1)-2nd time Lasix and gets post relief. Roland could trip out here and sweep by late.3-Na Na Na Baatman (5-1)-Longo trainee flattened out after going 1st over. Could take a picture in an open race but will need a good trip.8-Lodi Eat My Dust (6-1)-Last start was in the slop and looking for an aggressive steer in 3rd start off the bench. Not much gate speed in here and this guy does good work on the engine.Race 112-Tiyaga (5/2)-Program chalk raced better in the slop last time and has no excuses tonight. Draws well and fits with this crew.4-Therealgoods (6-1)-Was used aggressively in the slop and faded, but is only 1-14 on an off track. Could be sitting on a big try at a square price. Has the gate speed to get on the engine or a 2-hole trip behind #7.7-Cenalta Dragster (7/2)-Winner of last 2 starts at this level and is too sharp to leave out. Plano should have him forwardly placed early on.My Ticket Race 8) 4,6,7,8 Race 9) 1,5,7 Race 10) 1,2,3,8 Race 11) 2,4,7Total Ticket Cost) $28.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
12.5.2019:

Plenty of Weekend Stakes: Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Los Al & More

The stars are out this Saturday and Sunday at tracks around the country, with names like Maximum Security, Whitmore, Spun to Run, Shekky Shebaz, Anneau d’Or and Bast running on Saturday and one of horse racing’s most colorful and enjoyable events, the Caribbean Classic, taking place Sunday at Gulfstream Park.  And at Xpressbet, we’re getting in on the action in a big way.  Check out these stellar promotions:Xpressbet $500 Handicapping Tournament: Punch your ticket to the Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship (a $6,000 value) on Saturday, January 25, 2019 by playing in our tournament this Saturday.  Put up the $500 Buy-In ($300 Bankroll & $200 Entry Fee) and bet races from Gulfstream and Aqueduct to win PWCBC Seats and cash prizes! Gulfstream Park Saturday 1 Million Point Split: Hit 1 Million Points Saturday at Gulfstream Park when you hit Exacta bets ($2 base minimum) on four different races.Aqueduct Cigar Mile 1 Million Point Split: Hit Aqueduct’s Late Pick 4 (Races 7 – 10) on Cigar Mile Saturday to Split 1 Million XB Rewards Points.Gulfstream Park Sunday 1 Million Point Split: Hit Gulfstream’s Caribbean Classic Late Pick 4 this Sunday to Split 1 Million XB Rewards Points.  But hey, enough commercials.  Let’s get into some previews.Saturday, December 7 – Gulfstream ParkSaturday is Claiming Crown Day at Gulfstream Park.  That’s the day on the calendar where current and former claimers step up into restricted stakes company and compete for more than $1.1 Million in purses across nine stellar races.  This year’s entrants include Claiming Crown Canterbury runner SHEKKY SHEBAZ, third-place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, and 16-time winner SPRING UP in the Claiming Crown Emerald.  Racing at Gulfstream on Saturday has a special first post of 11:50AM ET and their wager menu includes all of your favorites, including the Rainbow 6, a pair of Pick 5’s and multiple Pick 4’s.  Saturday, December 7 – AqueductCigar Mile Day at Aqueduct is always a winner and this year is definitely no exception.  The field for the Grade 1 ‘Mile includes Haskell and Xpressbet Florida Derby victor (and Kentucky Derby first place finisher) MAXIMUM SECURITY, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner SPUN TO RUN and Breeders’ Cup Sprint third-place finishers WHITMORE, along with last year’s Cigar Mile runner-up TRUE TIMBER and a duo of Chad Brown horses, LOOKING AT BIKINIS and NETWORK EFFECT.  The card also includes the Grade 2 Remsen, starring Todd Pletcher’s ALPHA SIXTY SIX, Shug McGaughey’s AMENDS and Kiaran McLaughlin’s AJAAWEED.  The Grade 2 Demoiselle, also on the docket, attracted a field of 12, headlined by 12-length maiden winner LAKE AVENUE and stakes winner CRITICAL VALUE.  First post at Aqueduct on Saturday is 11:30AM ET, so be sure to get up early and be ready to fire!Saturday, December 7 – Los Alamitos (TB)Saturday’s big races continue in California as Los Alamitos (TB) gets underway at 3:30PM ET and features the Grade 1 Starlet and Grade 2 Futurity for two-year-olds.  The Starlet attracted the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, DONNA VELOCE and BAST, while the Futurity nabbed the Juvenile 2nd and 3rd place runners, ANNEAU D’OR and WRECKING CREW, as well as Bob Baffert’s highly-regarded maiden winner THOUSAND WORDS and G3 Bob Hope winner HIGH VELOCITY.  Saturday, December 7 – Sha Tin (HK)I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Saturday night is the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s prestigious Hong Kong International Races, with four major events for some of the top horses in the world.  Horses scheduled to compete are Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year, BEAUTY GENERATION, in the Hong Kong Mile, while a strong international contingent, including MAGIC WAND (Ireland), ANTHONY VAN DYCK (Ireland), DEIRDRE (Japan), PRINCE OF ARRAN (Great Britian) and ADMIRE MARS (Japan) offer a stiff challenge to the ‘home team.’  Racing from Sha Tin gets underway at 11:00PM ET on Saturday night with the International Races going as Race 4 (Vase), Race 5 (Sprint), Race 7 (Mile) and Race 8 (Cup).Sunday, December 8 – Gulfstream ParkThe biggest racing event in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Classic, brings its act to Gulfstream Park for the third straight year!  This is always an event that showcases plenty of passion, as fans cheer on horses from Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Jamaica and more.  First post at Gulfstream Park on Sunday is 11:40AM ET. 

Read Article
12.5.2019:

Betting on the Future

Thanksgiving turkey gravy had hardly congealed when a mature man’s attention turned toward spring and the first Saturday in May. If you think late November is too early to begin analyzing that race’s outcome, you probably aren’t interested in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager presented by Churchill Downs and available at Xpressbet. That’s how the majority of US-based horseplayers can get down early on which horse will win the run for the roses. Thanksgiving weekend was the first of four opportunities to dive into such pools. Additional action will be presented Feb. 7 – 9; March 6 – 8 and April 3 – 5. All pools open at Noon and close at 6 pm on each final day. Pool 1 wagering began the day after Thanksgiving and concluded Sunday, with closing pari-mutuel odds, as usual, established by the public. Derby future investments, however, unlike most pari-mutuel wagers, pay off at fixed odds—sort of. We say ‘sort of’ because, while prices can change as long as each individual Derby wagering pool remains open, when wagering closes, punters are guaranteed payoffs at the odds they’ve secured, no matter the ultimate final mutuel return on Derby day. In that sense, future players are able to ‘lock in’ wagers at particular prices. Future wager pools also are offered on the Kentucky Oaks (March 6 -8); the sire of the Derby winner (Nov. 28 – Dec. 1) and the Oaks/Derby Double (March 6 – 8). Exacta wagering for runners and sires also is offered. Personally, I’m not a Derby future wager guy. I like to study 2-year-old form and future odds, but rarely get involved financially. Which may be foolish because I’m actually ahead of the ‘future’ game. As I’ll Have Another (15.30-1) won the 2012 Kentucky Derby, I desperately scanned numerous failed exacta and trifecta wagers. Nothing. An empty wagon. Dejected, I then turned my attention to handicapping the next race at Churchill Downs. Suddenly, I remembered that earlier in the year I had made a decent-sized future wager on the Doug O’Neill-trained Derby winner. I accessed my Xpressbet account balance and voila! Despite several Derby day misfires, it had grown! So, you see, I should be a huge fan of the future wager. But I’m not. Never have been. So, why did I make that winning wager? Opportunity smiled; I remember because it seldom does. I happened to be on a hot streak at the time and my wagering account was flush. I watched I’ll Have Another win the Robert Lewis at Santa Anita and thought, ‘Man, that horse sure looks good.’ I consulted his future odds and found a fair price, so I made the bet. Next out, I’ll Have Another battled Creative Cause to a mere nose victory in the Santa Anita Derby and I cooled on his Derby chances. I didn’t have anything on him Kentucky Derby day, but that two-month old future wager was in pocket. You might wonder, if it worked so well eight years ago, why haven’t I done the same thing since? Well, to be honest, these days, my account balance seldom is ‘flush,’ and I don’t like tying up bread for months at a time. I know, a ‘future wager’ is supposed to be an investment in the ‘future.’ I get it. However, I have enough difficulty picking the winner of the next race with 2 minutes to post—let alone 2 months out. Plus, I figure if a player’s going to take a swing at naming the Derby winner several months beforehand, he ought to get an extremely healthy reward. With just 24 wagering interests in each Churchill pool it’s difficult to garner massive odds on a legitimate outsider. First of all, for a horse even to be included in Churchill’s 24 wagering interests, he has to have done something to put him on the map. And that means most of the ‘value’ is gone. Vegas used to be the US-based place where a player could parlay a correct early Derby opinion into a real score. Now, not so much. Following master oddsmaker John Avello’s Wynn departure, William Hill appears, to my knowledge, as the only game in town with a true Kentucky Derby Future Book that offers 89 wagering options instead of Churchill’s 24. My favorite Kentucky Derby future wager tale occurred a few years ago and features a mid-February $500 wager at 300-1 odds on an unraced 3-year-old colt. Although trained by Bob Bafffert, this colt wasn’t on anyone’s Derby radar. It actually could be argued that 300-1 odds may even have been too short a price! After all, at that time, no horse since Apollo in 1882 had won the Kentucky Derby without starting as a 2-year-old—one of the longest, if not the longest curse in sports. Of course, Justify not only succeeded in Kentucky, but he also took the Triple Crown. The winning ticket holder, a friend of mine who had shown me a snapshot of the wager on his cell phone two months earlier, collected $150,000! Clearly, making correct future wagers can be rewarding…extremely rewarding. And they can be fun, too. We’d all like to predict the future. In some ways, horseplayers are like fortune tellers. We use past performances, sheets, Beyer Speed Figures, etc. instead of crystal balls, wrinkled palms and Tarot cards to see down the road. One huge difference, though, between fortune-tellers and gamblers is that is that soothsayers are paid in advance, gamblers collect only when they’re correct. Race On!

Read Article
12.5.2019:

December 7: Hong Kong International Races - Free Picks & Analysis

Betting the Hong Kong International Races (HKIR) this Saturday night at Sha Tin? Here are full card picks for the races from Hong Kong Jockey Club Racing Correspondent and Handicapper, Declan Schuster.  Saturday nights card starts at 11:00PM ET and is available for wagering and live video at Xpressbet.SHA TIN SELECTIONSRace 1: #1 Emerald Spur, #7 Triple Triple, #3 All Wongchoy, #8 Bright KidRace 2: #6 Champion Supreme, #10 Cinquante Cinq, #8 I Do, #5 Vincy Race 3: #14 Prince Of Gems, #3 Be Ready, #8 High Rise Soldier, #7 Magic SupremeRace 4: #10 Deirdre, #1 Exultant, #11 Lucky Lilac, #7 Prince Of ArranRace 5: #14 Aethero, #4 Hot King Prawn, #2 D B Pin, #11 Full Of Beauty Race 6: #9 Monica, #8 Lakeshore Eagle, #7 Star Of Yuen Long, #2 Super Star Race 7: #2 Indy Champ, #1 Beauty Generation, #10 Normcore, #4 WaikukuRace 8: #8 Edisa, #1 Win Bright, #6 Furore, #2 Rise High  Race 9: #7 Raging Storm, #2 Thanks Forever, #4 Fat Turtle, #12 AerohappinessRace 10: #4 More Than This, #7 Nicconi Express, #8 Super Oasis, #10 Star Performance Race 1 (11:00PM ET): Jim And Tonic Handicap#1 Emerald Spur is looking for the hat-trick of wins. He’s racing in career-best form now for the in-form Ricky Yiu and although he has top-weight duties to shoulder, he does shape as the one they have to beat. #7 Triple Triple’s debut run was a total forgive and last-start he ran a competitive third. Further improvement can be expected here and with even luck, he’s going to be in the finish. #3 All Wongchoy has done nothing but impress across his short three-start career in Hong Kong. He’s likely to roll forward and make his own luck for Zac Purton. #8 Bright Kid is next best, especially from the inside draw.  Race 2 (11:30PM ET): Fantastic Light Handicap#6 Champion Supreme flashed home from the tail of the field first-up before finishing only fairly last start. He can find his best stepping up to 1800m and with James McDonald engaged he should go close. #10 Cinquante Cinq rarely runs a bad race. He’s finished runner-up in his last three outings and his consistency warrants respect. He’s never been worse than two lengths off the winner and this is unlikely to change here. #8 I Do narrowly missed two starts ago before he was withdrawn from his latest due to a blood abnormality. He’s since trialled impressively on the dirt and if he can translate that form to the turf, he’ll be in the thick of it. #5 Vincy gets the services of Joao Moreira. He’s drawn to get the right run. Race 3 (12:05AM ET): Able Friend Handicap#14 Prince Of Gems gets in light with only 114lb to carry. He’s drawn a touch awkward but his last two runs have been excellent and if he finds the front he’s capable of pinching this. #3 Be Ready trialled well before his debut sixth. He can bounce back from that run as he’s shown plenty in training and he commands respect. #8 Rise High Soldier closed for a competitive third on debut. He displayed plenty of early talent then and with even luck, he’s going to figure in this affair for the dynamite combination of Vincent Ho and Francis Lui. #7 Magic Supreme is next best. He’s been training well and shouldn’t be too far away. Race 4 (12:40AM ET): LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (G1)#10 Deirdre comes into this following a successful British campaign which resulted in G1 Nassau Stakes victory at Goodwood in August. She overcame the testing undulations to score the second G1 of her career, following her 2017 Shuka Sho success. She flies into Hong Kong following a last-start third behind Magical in the G1 British Champion Stakes and although her recent form has been over 2000m, she appears ready for the step up to 2400m here, especially as she has gotten older and she slots in on top. #1 Exultant is looking for back-to-back wins in the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase. His two runs this term have been excellent and his win last start in the G2 Jockey Club Cup rates highly for this. His form ahead of Lys Gracieux has been franked with her winning the G1 Cox Plate, however, he’s more than likely not going to be under the odds and from the widest stall he could find a bit of trouble. He’s worth opposing here as his last two runs may have taken it out of him. #11 Lucky Lilac is the last-start winner of the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Kyoto finishing ahead of the Japanese Oaks winner, Loves Only You,  Crocosmia as well as Chrono Genesis; who won the G1 Shuka Sho the start prior. She rates highly for this, especially with the current form under her belt. #7 Prince Of Arran comes into this following a promoted runner-up effort in last month’s G1 Melbourne Cup. This is a weaker edition than what he contested last year and his current form suggests that he’s going to be in the finish.  Race 5 (1:20AM ET): LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (G1)#14 Aethero is the new kid on the block and he was utterly dominant last start when winning the G2 Jockey Club Sprint, defeating the majority of this field with ease. He appears to be the real deal, both visually and on the clock and if he manages to bring his best this Sunday, he’s going to take a power of beating. #4 Hot King Prawn was super impressive in his return to racing last start behind Aethero following a bout of colic. He’s seemed to have gotten over that issue following nearly five months on the sidelines and his best is up to this. Last season he came into this following three wins and was sent around as favourite, now, he’s a five-year-old and it’s going to be a test for him but, eight five-year-old’s have won this race since the races inception - the most of any age group. He’s the main danger to Aethero and if he does manage to win, it will be a spectacular training performance by John Size. #2 D B Pin has finished runner-up in the last two editions of the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint. He’s a rising seven-year-old now but each and every year he finds a way to peak for this and if he does the same again, he’s going to be sent around at a massive price. He’s the value proposition of the race and he’s worth backing on an each way basis, especially if he goes around higher than 40/1. #11 Full Of Beauty ran a blinder last start. He’s constantly improving and his consistency warrants respect. Race 6 (1:55AM ET): Highland Reel Handicap#9 Monica has been in excellent form of late, falling short in her latest to Lakeshore Eagle. He was arguably the run of the race that day, closing strongly from the tail of the field to just miss. He can turn the tables here and the strong booking of James McDonald signals intent, primarily as the Kiwi rider has won on him previously. #8 Lakeshore Eagle was that horse who defeated Monica last start. He’s racing in top form also and in his favour is that he remains in Class 3 following that success. #7 Star Of Yuen Long grabbed second last start. He’ll roll forward for Vincent Ho and with even luck, find himself in the finish. Tony Millard and Joao Moreira have been in excellent form together and they combine again here with #2 Super Star. They warrant respect.     Race 7 (2:30AM ET): LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (G1)#2 Indy Champ comes into Sunday’s LONGINES Hong Kong Mile having claimed both of Japan’s premiere G1 mile races, the Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo, followed by the Mile Championship at Kyoto. He lowered Almond Eye’s colours in that Yasuda Kinen and if that’s any form to go off, then he’s going to prove difficult to get past. As well, his Mile Championship win was visually impressive and if he’s held his condition and travelled well, he’s going to give this race a big shake. #1 Beauty Generation’s win streak was snapped two starts ago when he gave away 20lb to the lowest rated horse, though, he then came out and struggled again, hinting that his era of invincibility was now over. Still, he’s shooting for his third LONGINES Hong Kong Mile in a row and if he recaptures his blistering best, he’s going to take beating. He’s still close to the same horse and he warrants respect. #10 Normcore claimed the G1 Victoria Mile two starts ago at Tokyo. She was excellent that day and her work all week at Sha Tin has been visually impressive. #4 Waikuku has come out of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series nicely, winning his latest at G2 level ahead of Beauty Generation. He’s a talent and in a competitive race, he’s going to be in the thick of it all. Race 8 (3:10AM ET): LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (G1)The withdrawal of Almond Eye has thrown the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup wide open and of the field, #8 Edisa catches the eye. She won the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational Oaks two starts ago at Belmont, New York in impressive fashion and although this is a sharp step up in grade, she might be worth taking a chance on at a big price. #1 Win Bright is 1/1 over 2000m at Sha Tin after claiming the QEII Cup late last season. He commands respect once again as he regularly peaks for his grand final following two mediocre runs, which he comes into this with under his belt. His best is more than up to this and he’s going to be a threat in the finish. #6 Furore is the Hong Kong Derby champion who last start, turned his form around to finish runner-up behind Exultant. He’s primed for this with three runs under his belt but he’s going to need to be at his best if he’s going to fend off the international challengers. #2 Rise High looked a touch flat last start but, he’s shown previously that he can mix it at this level. Race 9 (3:45AM ET): Lord Kanaloa Handicap#7 Raging Storm won twice in Class 2 last season over this course and distance and a third win here would not surprise. He’s been racing well considering where he’s been settling in the run and if Ryan Moore can slot him in a touch closer to midfield, he’s going to get his chance. #2 Thanks Forever struggled last start. He’s drawn a touch awkward but dropping back to Class 2 grade here suits for him. #4 Fat Turtle is consistent. He won’t be too far away although the gate makes things tricky. #12 Aerohappiness is next best.  Race 10 (4:20AM ET): Eishin Preston Handicap#4 More Than This is on a Four-Year-Old Classic Series trail and he seeks his fourth consecutive win. He’s a serious talent on the rise and although this will be his toughest test to date, he’s going to be right there in the finish. #7 Nicconi Express was an eye-catching victor last start. He displayed an excellent turn of foot that day which could see him cross the line in first again. #8 Super Oasis placed in the G1 Australian Derby pre-import and also brings some high class New Zealand form to Hong Kong. He won a trial recently and the booking of Zac Purton on debut signals intent. #10 Star Performance is next best with Frankie Dettori aboard.

Read Article
12.4.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: December 6 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee and will include the Opening Day card at Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet. 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 45 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: Gulfstream Park R8 (4:00 ET) – 3upfm Florida-bred AOC (16k/N1X) at 5 furlongs (turf) You could do worse than single #8 SWEET YARE N DIRA (XXX), who might be best to begin with but now goes off the claim for Navarro, from 1-for-19 trainer Crowell, and this outside attack post will help too, but there’s a ton of speed signed on here, so I want someone else in case it falls apart in the lane. That leads me to #7 TRUE HEIRESS (XXX), who aired in a N3L last time and will need to step up on the rise, but will love the race flow, which will aid her stretch run. Pk5 A horses: 8,7 (listed in order of preference) It looks like Klesaris might have #2 BRIGHT VENEZUELAN (XXX) going right again, as she looked good winning off the claim last time, and she’s another with a running style to take advantage of the pace, so if she improves again there’s a chance for an upset. Both #4 Vilaro (XXX) and #6 Distinctly Blue (XXX) are players on the best day, but the former might get caught up in the pace and the latter is 0-for-7 on turf, so let’s make them prove it. Pk5 B horses: 2 Leg 2: Laurel Park R9 (4:20 ET) – 3up 10k MCL at 6 furlongs We’ve got a universal stand alone single here in #4 CAST THE LOT (3-5), who lays over this field off his last, when 2nd and well clear of 3rd at the level, and meets an even weaker cast here, so this looks like name the score time. Pk5 A horses: 4 I’ll have no backups, as ‘Lot looks in the 2-5 range, but if you’re looking for value or something out of the box, then #2 Tom Terrific (10-1) and #5 Perfect Heir (8-1) are next up on the totem pole, should the favorite falter. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 3: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:30 ET) – 3upfm AOC (25k/N1X) at 1-mile In a race that just doesn’t have much, you could probably single #5 QUEEN NEKIA (XXX), who should be just off a likely inside pace duel, has by far the best figures and races of anyone here, and gets a giant jock upgrade to Irad Ortiz, not to mention she was a good 2nd in both starts here last winter. However, I’m also going to use #7 TALKTHETALK (XXX), since she too fits the race profile and may move up on the added ground, as she was running out of room in her last two going 6Fs. Pk5 A horses: 5,7 No one else here merits a backup role, since they are either too slow on paper, like #2 Hunting Season (XXX) and #4 The Gospel of John (XXX), or seem pace compromised, like #1 Sister Gema (XXX) and #3 Sammie Sunshine (XXX), so let’s go it alone on the A-line. Pk5 B horses: Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:45 ET) – 3up 12.5k N2L at 1 1/16 miles We got a free square last week at GG, with a 1-5 winner who couldn’t lose, but things are a lot more difficult in this seven-pack this week, which isn’t a bad thing as we can spread and look for some value after being condensed in the first three legs. I’m going to use them all, in some way shape of form, as it looks like that type of race, so let’s use #1 VAN CORTLANDT (5-2), #7 UNCONTAINABLE (3-1), #4 ELEVATE (9-2), and #2 SAYIN GRACE (6-1) on the top line, as they have the best recent Tapeta form of the group. Pk5 A horses: 1,7,4,2 I’ll use the other three—#3 WILSHIRE DUDE (12-1), #5 I’M AN EIGHT (8-1), and #6 AIGLE (7-2)—as backups, since none of them are too far behind the top quartet, and won’t have to improve much to be in the picture, at nice prices too. Pk5 B horses: 3,5,6 Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:00 ET) – 3upfm 16k claimer at 1-mile (turf) Good luck in the finale, as it looks impossible and a must spread, since they all look about the same on paper and trips will be paramount at this distance. The inside draw and tactical speed of #3 ISADORABLE AIDA (XXX) makes her my top choice, and the drop in class won’t hurt either, though you have to go a lot deeper to feel safe. I’ll take the bait and use #6 FOUR K’S (xxx), who hasn’t been out since December and was off-form when last seen, but she gets a huge trainer switch from Campitelli to Ward (42% with newcomers and 23% off this extended layoff) and lures Jose Ortiz too, so just maybe she can reclaim her best form. both #7 COLONELS DAUGHTER (XXX) and #9 TRILBY (xxx) have had success here and seem tactical enough to be close early, so they too make the cut at what should be fair prices. On the face of it #10 PAINT THE CORNERS (XXX) might be the horse to beat, as she’s 4-for-8 over the local turf course and has been facing better of late, but those big runs were with Navarro and Joseph and Sancal isn’t quite as potent, plus this is a tough post, so she’s down on the list, but still make the top line cut Pk5 A horses: 3,6,7,9,10 I feel pretty confident with the top group, but I’d like a bit more coverage and the ticket can afford it, so I’ll also use #1 BIG DARLING (XXX), who was awesome winning two-back and likely bounced last time, and #5 SWEET STORY (XXX), a class dropper who isn’t far from the top quintet and is 8-for-18 in the EX here. Pk5 B horses: 1,5 The tickets (I would advocate playing the All-A ticket for $2): Main Ticket: 8,7 with 4 with 5,7 with 1,7,4,2 with 3,6,7,9,10 = $80Leg 1 B Backup: 2 with 4 with 5,7 with 1,7,4,2 with 3,6,7,9,10 = $40Leg 4 B Backup: 8,7 with 4 with 5,7 with 3,5,6 with 3,6,7,9,10 = $60Leg 5 B Backup: 8,7 with 4 with 5,7 with 1,7,4,2 with 1,5 = $32

Read Article
12.3.2019:

Tiz the Law Gets Derby Respect Despite Loss

Even though Tiz the Law was upset as a big favorite in last Saturday’s Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs, he nevertheless ended up being the 11-1 favorite among 22 individual horses in Pool One of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) that closed last Sunday. Next at 12-1 was Dennis’ Moment, who was followed by both Independence Day and Maxfield at 13-1. No other individual horses were lower than 24-1. Pool Two of the 2020 KDFW is set for Feb. 7-9, Pool Three for March 6-8 and Pool Four for April 3-5. The 2020 Kentucky Derby will take place May 2. In last Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club, which was contested on a sloppy track, Tiz the Law had to settle for third at odds of 3-5. But in his defense, not only was he racing on a wet track for the first time, the New York-bred Constitution colt had far from the best of trips. Tiz the Law was bottled up all the way until in the vicinity of the eighth pole. A seam then finally did materialize. But when jockey Manny Franco hit the gas pedal and asked Tiz the Law to scoot through between rivals, the colt simply did not produce the needed punch. It was Silver Prospector who emerged victorious in the 1 1/16-mile KJC. Never far back in the field of eight 2-year-olds, he advanced on the far turn while wide. Silver Prospector then resolutely kept to his task in the lane and won by three-quarters of a length at 7-1 with Ricardo Santana Jr. in the saddle. Finnick the Fierce outran his 87-1 odds to finish second. Tiz the Law came in third, a head behind Finnick the Fierce. Time of the race was 1:45.94. Tiz the Law, coming off a win in the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 5, was two for two going into the KJC. If Tiz the Law had won the KJC to keep his unblemished record intact, I think he would have become the favorite to be voted a 2019 Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male. But Tiz the Law’s chances for that award took a severe blow when he was defeated last Saturday. Storm the Court, winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in a 45-1 shocker at Santa Anita on Nov. 1, now appears to be in the driver’s seat to get the Eclipse Award in the 2-year-old male category. The Kentucky-bred Court Vision colt, conditioned by Peter Eurton, is scheduled to make his 2020 debut in Santa Anita’s Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 1. Someone else who might get a good deal of Eclipse Award support in the 2-year-old male category is Structor. The Kentucky-bred Palace Malice colt won the Grade I BC Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita for trainer Chad Brown to remain undefeated in three starts. However, in terms of Pool One of the 2020 KDFW, neither Storm the Court nor Structor proved very popular with bettors. Structor ended up at 24-1, while Storm the Court closed at 41-1. Silver Prospector, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, now has won two of five starts. In his most recent race prior to the Kentucky Jockey Club, the Kentucky-bred Declaration of War colt had finished third in Churchill’s Street Sense Stakes on Oct. 27. But even though Silver Prospector lost, Asmussen felt that the colt actually ran well in defeat in the Street Sense because he was coming back rather quickly -- in just two weeks -- after a strong maiden win at Keeneland in which he recorded a 91 Beyer Speed Figure. By the way, Asmussen and Santana also collaborated to win last Saturday’s Grade II Golden Rod Stakes for 2-year-old fillies with Finite. Backed down to 4-5 favoritism, Finite -- like Silver Prospector -- prevailed by three-quarters of a length. The Kentucky-bred Munnings filly completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.99. That was nearly identical to Silver Prospector’s final time in the KJC. The way I see it, it’s to Finite’s credit that she essentially ran 1 1/16 miles as fast as Silver Prospector, Finnick the Fierce and Tiz the Law. Silver Prospector was credited with an 81 Beyer Speed Figure for his KJC victory. Finite received an 80 Beyer for her Golden Rod win. Dennis’ Moment received much respect from those playing Pool One of the 2020 KDFW despite his Breeders’ Cup debacle. He stumbled badly at the start of the BC Juvenile and was never a factor, finishing last as a 9-10 favorite in the field of eight. According to trainer Dale Romans, Dennis’ Moment is fine physically after having been checked out thoroughly after the Breeders’ Cup. Gulfstream Park’s Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 29 is being targeted as the 2020 debut for the Kentucky-bred Tiznow colt. When all was not well with Maxfield, he was withdrawn from the BC Juvenile. BloodHorse recently reported that Maxfield “is expected to return to racing in early in 2020 after having surgery Nov. 18 to remove a mildly displaced chip from an ankle, according to [the colt’s owner] Godolphin.” Maxfield won the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity this year at Keeneland. Brendan Walsh is sky high on the Kentucky-bred Street Sense colt. Maxfield’s team is hoping he can emulate his sire by becoming a Kentucky Derby winner. Street Sense won the Run for the Roses in 2007. Independence Hall, two for two, is headed to Aqueduct’s Jerome Stakes on New Year’s Day. His camp decided to bypass this Saturday’s Grade II Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct in order to give the Kentucky-bred Constitution colt more time to recover from his lights-out victory in the Grade III Nashua Stakes at the Big A on Nov. 3. Independence Hall won the Nashua by 12 1/4 lengths and received a 101 Beyer Speed Figure. The 101 is the highest Beyer recorded by a 2-year-old so far in 2019. Michael Trombetta trains Independence Hall. The Jerome “falls well on the calendar” for the colt, Trombetta explained in Sunday’s Aqueduct notes disseminated by NYRA. “Off such a big win, the Remsen was a little close,” Trombetta added. “The Jerome allows us to run over a track and distance [one mile] that he’s familiar with.” “ALL OTHER 3-YEAR-OLD MALES” OPTION FAVORED Not surprisingly, the “All Other 3-Year-Old Males” option ended up being the favorite in Pool One of the 2020 KDFW. It closed at even money. Keep in mind that the last three Kentucky Derby winners -- Always Dreaming in 2016, Justify in 2017 and Country House in 2018 -- weren’t one of the individual horses in Pool One of the KDFW. Silver Prospector and Finnick the Fierce, who finished one-two in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, have already added to the appeal of the “All Other 3-Year-Old Males” option in Pool One of the 2020 KDFW. If you went ahead and took the short price on “All Other 3-Year-Old Males,” Silver Prospector and Finnick the Fierece are two of the very many horses you are banking on to win the 2020 Run for the Roses. Below are the final odds for Pool One of the 2020 KDFW: 1-1 “All Other 3-Year-Old Males” 11-1 Tiz the Law 12-1 Dennis’ Moment 13-1 Independence Hall 13-1 Maxfield 24-1 Eight Rings 24-1 Structor 25-1 Honor A.P. 29-1 Gouverneur Morris 31-1 Anneau d’Or 34-1 Thousand Words 38-1 Basin 39-1 Three Technique 40-1 High Velocity 41-1 Storm the Court 46-1 Green Light Go 50-1 Authentic 54-1 American Theorem 57-1 “All 3-Year-Old Fillies” 60-1 Great Power 64-1 Answer In 72-1 South Bend 85-1 Scabbard 86-1 Wrecking Crew KENTUCKY DERBY SIRE WAGERING The Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager once again was offered this year at the same time as Pool One of the KDFW. In terms of sire wagering, the “All Others” option closed as the 9-2 favorite. Constitution had the lowest odds among the 23 individual sires at 5-1. Constitution is the sire of three of the 22 individual horses in Pool One of the KDFW -- Gouverneur Morris, Independence Hall and Tiz the Law. Below are the final odds for the 2020 Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager: 9-2 “All Others” 5-1 Constitution 9-1 Curlin 11-1 Tiznow 12-1 American Pharoah 12-1 Uncle Mo 14-1 Street Sense 17-1 Into Mischief 19-1 Honor Code 20-1 Tapit 21-1 Medaglia d’Oro 26-1 Liam’s Map 28-1 Empire Maker 30-1 Quality Road 31-1 Hard Spun 32-1 Pioneerof the Nile 37-1 Bernardini 37-1 Declaration of War 38-1 Candy Ride 49-1 More Than Ready 54-1 Union Rags 62-1 Bodemeister 73-1 Speightstown 77-1 Shackleford NAKATANI ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT Corey Nakatani, a winner of nearly 4,000 races, including 10 Breeders’ Cup victories, recently announced his retirement as a jockey last week. He was honored in a winner’s circle ceremony between races at Del Mar last Saturday. The news of Nakatani’s retirement at the age of 49 came via a press release issued by his son, Matt, a jockey agent. “The time has come to officially announce my retirement from the sport of horse racing,” Nakatani said in the press release. “Although I never imagined this was how my career would end, I am very proud of my accomplishments and know that I competed at the very highest of levels, which gives me a sense of satisfaction.” A native of Covina, Calif., Nakatani demonstrated at an early age that he was a terrific athlete. He was a champion wrestler in high school and would become an excellent golfer. Nakatani rode his first winner as a jockey when aboard Blue King at Caliente on Oct. 2, 1988. He would go on to win a combined 10 riding titles at Del Mar, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita while competing against a slew of jockeys who currently are in the Hall of Fame. In all, Nakatani won 3,909 races, including 120 Grade I events. His mounts earned more than $234 million in purse money. Nakatani ranks 12th on the all-time money list. All 11 jockeys ahead of him on that list currently are members of the Hall of Fame. Below, according to Equibase, are North America’s 12 all-time leading money-winning jockeys through Dec. 2: $414,597,532 John Velazquez $341,628,072 Javier Castellano $327,610,507 Mike Smith $297,914,839 Pat Day $296,113,529 Jerry Bailey $285,495,347 Kent Desormeaux $269,226,750 Edgar Prado $263,986,005 Chris McCarron $258,217,768 Gary Stevens $238,405,472 Alex Solis $237,120,625 Laffit Pincay Jr. $234,554,534 Corey Nakatani Serena’s Song and Lava Man were two of the many top horses ridden by Nakatani. Serena’s Song was voted a 1995 Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly. Lava Man, one of the greatest claims in the history of the sport, joined Native Diver as the only two horses to ever win the prestigious Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup three times. Pat Valenzuela guided Lava Man to his first Gold Cup triumph in 2005. Nakatani then rode Lava Man to his 2006 and 2007 Gold Cup victories. Native Diver won the Gold Cup in 1965, 1966 and 1967 with Jerry Lambert aboard. Nakatani was seriously injured in the last race on the card at Del Mar on Aug. 4, 2018. He rode Irish Spring, who clipped heels, unseating Nakatani. It turned out to be the final race of Nakatani’s riding career. In 1996, Nakatani won a pair of Breeders’ Cup races, the Sprint with Lit de Justice and the Distaff with Jewel Princess. Nakatani’s subsequent Breeders’ Cup victories were aboard Elmhurst in the 1997 Sprint, Reraise in the 1998 Sprint, Silic in the 1999 Mile, Sweet Catomine in the 2004 Juvenile Fillies, Thor’s Echo in the 2006 Sprint, My Miss Aurelia in the 2011 Juvenile Fillies, Regally Ready in the 2011 Turf Sprint and Tapizar in the 2012 Dirt Mile. Below are the Top 10 all-time leading Breeders’ Cup jockeys in wins through 2019: 26 Mike Smith 16 John Velazquez 15 Jerry Bailey 14 Frankie Dettori 13 Garrett Gomez 12 Javier Castellano 12 Pat Day 11 Joel Rosario 11 Gary Stevens 10 Corey Nakatani A GRADE III WIN FOR $8,000 CLAIM ZUZANNA There have been a number of extremely shrewd claims made in Southern California in the last 15 years. One thinks of the likes of Lava Man, Soi Phet and Vasilika. And this year Zuzanna has proven to be yet another marvelous claim on the Southern California circuit. Lava Man was claimed for $50,000 at Del Mar on Aug. 13, 2004. The California-bred Slew City Slew gelding subsequently earned $5,170,103 while trained by Doug O’Neill. At Hollywood Park on May 23, 2013, Soi Phet was claimed for $16,000. Leonard Powell trained him after that. After Powell took over the training duties, Soi Phet earned $986,486. Soi Phet was retired from racing earlier this year. Vasilika was claimed for $40,000 in a race at Santa Anita on Feb. 11, 2018. After that, Vasilika earned $1,722,320 through this year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. As icing on the cake, after this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Vasilika sold for $1.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. Zuzanna, an $8,000 claim, won last Saturday’s 1 3/8-mile Red Carpet Handicap, a $100,000 grass race at Del Mar with a Grade III ranking. Virtually ignored in the wagering, Zuzanna got the job done by 1 1/4 lengths for trainer Bob Hess Jr. and paid $48 for each $2 win ticket. One of Zuzanna’s current owners is Kurt Hoover, a longtime racing broadcaster in Southern California. I spent many years working alongside Hoover in television at Santa Anita. Another person involved as an owner of Zuzanna is Brian “Ferg” Ferguson, one of the most enthusiastic racing fans I have ever known. Hoover and Ferguson have been friends since the seventh grade. Hoover has participated in racing as an owner off and on for many years. This is the first time Ferguson has had an ownership interest in a Thoroughbred. Members of Zuzanna’s current ownership group claimed her for $8,000 at Los Alamitos on Sept. 13, 2018. Since then, the mare has earned $143,851. The day after the Red Carpet, Hoover was effusive in his praise for Hess’ training job with Zuzanna, saying it was “off the charts.” Hoover made the comment on Mike Willman’s radio program Thoroughbred Los Angeles. Hoover said it took a lot of work “to get her right” after they claimed her, a process that included tie-back surgery to address a throat issue. “It was a long journey to even get her to a race,” Hoover added. Early this year it appeared Zuzanna might not make it back to the races. “Bob and I had a long conversation and I said, ‘Look, if you can’t get her right, I’ve got some friends, we’ll give her away and make her a riding horse or whatever,” Hoover said. “We’ll find a home for her. Up to that point she was battling a lot of stuff. So it was a lot work. And Bob’s dad [trainer Bob Hess Sr.] did a lot of work with her too when we sent her up north [to Golden Gate]. He’s an outstanding, old-school horseman.” Zuzanna finally did return to the races at Golden Gate last March 29. She won for an $8,000 claiming price at one mile on synthetic footing by 1 1/2 lengths. For Hoover and company prior to the Red Carpet, Zuzanna won three times from eight starts. Bob Hess Jr. conceded Hoover “pushed him” to run Zuzanna in the Red Carpet. The trainer admitted that he felt it would be more prudent to send Zuzanna to Gulfstream Park for this Saturday’s Claiming Crown. Hess said that he was reluctant to run the mare in the Red Carpet “because I’ve never trained an $8,000 claimer to win a Grade III.” Well, Hess now can say he has trained an $8,000 claimer to win a Grade III. That’s because the trainer wisely acquiesced to Hoover’s suggestion to take a shot in the Red Carpet. Hoover believed the Red Carpet presented a golden opportunity for Zuzanna to enhance her residual value as a broodmare by possibly hitting the board in a Grade III race. Through the years as a broadcaster, Hoover typically has been quick to recognize the enhanced value of a filly or mare whenever they have won or placed in a graded stakes race for the first time, especially if the filly or mare had done so after being claimed. When that’s happened, Hoover often will say something like “they hit a home run with that claim.” And now that $8,000 claim Zuzanna has become a Grade III winner, I am tickled to say that this time it is none other than Kurt Hoover who has hit a home run with this 5-year-old Kentucky-bred Wilburn mare. Hess said Monday to Steve Byk on his SiriusXM radio program At the Races that Zuzanna will be campaigned at Gulfstream this winter.

Read Article
12.3.2019:

Harness Highlights: Natasha ‘Super’ In Florida's Night Of Champions

Natasha extended her winning streak to 15 races with a lifetime-best 1:53.4 performance in Florida’s Super Night of champions for 3-year-old filly pacers Sunday at Pompano Park.   Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey was in the bike as Natasha blasted to the lead from the outside post and never looked back despite setting fast fractions of :26.2 to the quarter, :57 for the half and 1:24.3 through three-quarters of a mile. She finished 2 lengths clear of runner-up Prairie Cougar (Peter Wrenn).   “I have always said this filly is a freak and she really proved her merit tonight after facing tough rivals like this, the outside post and a trying first quarter,” Hennessey said in a post-race interview with Pompano Park publicist John Berry.   But the Super Night joy ride was just beginning for Hennessey and Natasha trainer Kim Sears, who won four stakes races each with an average purse of more than $50,000.   The dynamic duo teamed to win the 2-year-old filly pace with Laurie Lee, a 3-1/2-length winner in 1:56.4.   Hennessey drove back-to-back winners for trainer Jim McDonald as 2-year-old filly Prairie Delight trotted to a 3-1/4-length score in 2:03.4 and sophomore colt trotter Damien Hall wired the field by 5 lengths in 1:58. Damien Hall has led at every call in his six wins this season.   Sears sent out Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micaleff) to a 2:01 victory in the 2-year-old colt trot and Proud Sophie (Dave Ingraham) to a 2:00.4 win in the 3-year-old filly trot. Rhinestone Cowboy appeared hopelessly beaten when he broke stride on the backstretch, but he recovered in time, making up 10 lengths to win by 3/4s of a length.   Hurricanekingjames (Carl Garofalo) became the night’s fourth wire-to-wire winner with a 1:53.4 score in the 2-year-old colt pace, but he had to survive a stirring stretch battle with Repeal or Replace (Andy Santeramo) to win by a half length.   In the night’s lone pari-mutuel event, Zaza Boy ($6.20, Micallef) brushed past odds-on favorite Mister Marvalous (Hennessey) and held safe 26-1 longshot Gold Star Yoder (James Yoder) for a 1-1/4-length win in 1:53.4      

Read Article
12.2.2019:

Monday, December 02: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis

Pompano Park has an 8-race card set to roll tonight. The 0.50 Pick 4 sequence begins in Race 5, it has a $10,000 guaranteed pool with a 12% takeout, and it will be my focus.The driver with the hottest hands on Sunday was Wally Hennessey with two winners. The top conditioner on the card was Michael Deters who made two trips to the winner's circle.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 53-Fritzie Pic Up Man (6-1)-May leave and follow one of the 2 chalks and look to roll by late. 8-year-old likes to win and will respect chances although Paquet chose #4.4-Pointsman (2-1)-Figures to be in the mix but will look to others as well. Faded in last off a good trip, so needs to be better.7-Sporty Redhot (5/2)-Was driven very aggressively last week and was hung to a 26.3 opening quarter. Hennessey may try a different strategy with a better result.Race 61-Gigi From Fiji (2-1)-This mare steps-up after a nice score from the 8-hole but wasn't Hennessey's choice. Best to respect 10-time winner in 2019.2-Tay Tay M (8/5)-Hasn't raced since 9/17 but was Hennessey pick off an okay qualifier, will use and also shoot against.5-Roll With Faith (7/2)-Dropped and popped in last and should be in the mix here. Makes only the 4th start of the year and if ready to go again this is a spot to shine for 13 time winner in '18.Race 75-Doo Wop Hanover (3-1)-Steps-up but comes off 2 good efforts from the 8 and 9 hole, should relish the post relief.6-Gibbs (12-1)-Makes 3rd local start and fits well with this crew, using at a price.8-Feelin Lika Winner (9/5)-Dropped to a softer spot in 2nd PPk outing and drew off by 3 lengths. Faces tougher and Hennessey will probably be out and winging. The start could tell the story.Race 81-Terlingua (2-1)-Finished behind #9 who was a strong winner in last. Now gets a more significant post advantage.2-Drive 'Em Cowboy (5/2)-Hennessey sticks and piloted a win from the 7-hole last week. Looks like a player again.9-Rockin Away (5/2)-Comes off an easy win and this will be tougher but has the gate speed to get a good early seat. Likes the track (5-14), and post helps the price.My Ticket Race 5) 3,4,7 Race 6) 1,2,5 Race 7) 5,6,8 Race 8) 1,2,9Total Ticket Cost) $40.50 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
12.2.2019:

Kentucky Derby Contenders Fill Up Excuse Cards

Back in my public school days, we had a thing called excuse cards. They were 3x5 notecards that were required to be filled out by parents on any missed day of school, therefore becoming an excused absence. Sometimes I was, in fact, ill; sometimes I was visiting Laurel, Pimlico or Bowie with my Dad for a matinee. It was a perfect or imperfect childhood, depending on your perspective.Of course the reason for absence never mentioned the daily double or a hot 10-1 shot we liked in the Form. No, our standbys were the usual: headache, stomach ache, fever. The point was that an excuse was required, and sometimes the most honest one simply can’t be scribbled.Following Saturday’s disappointing third-place finish by Tiz the Law in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, handicapping parents are left with some uncertainty as to what to put on the excuse card this Monday morning. After all, this was supposed to be the Kentucky Derby winter book favorite after a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile that left the favorites’ tongues wagging and horseplayers’ heads scratching.The first option could be the sealed sloppy track. Both of Tiz the Law’s opening victories were on fast tracks and all of his published works dating back to Saratoga this summer had been on fast tracks. “Didn’t get ahold of the track,” often is first on the trainers’ playbook of post-race losing quotes. Perhaps it applies here.Option two could be that this was the first road trip for Tiz the Law. He ran out of his home stall at Saratoga and at Belmont in his maiden and Champagne victories. The travel to Louisville, new surroundings and situations (such as racing under the lights) were a first for him. He’ll get to develop that travel skill in Florida over the winter.The previously listed excuses are speculative at best. Who really knows how the horse handled the sloppy track or the environmental factors? Unless you are a horse whisperer, there’s really no way to be certain. Handicappers sometimes resort to accepting the uncertain with no other place to turn. But there are more conclusive evaluations worth exploring in this case.Consider the trip. Stuck down inside on a wet track behind horses is a certain recipe for taking a lot of mud. Midway on the clubhouse turn it became apparent Tiz the Law and jockey Manny Franco were having words with one another. The colt said ‘go’ and the rider said ‘whoa.’ Tiz the Law remained covered up behind 3 horses the entire backstretch run and with pressure to his outside and behind him. When the opportunity to fire presented itself with about 3/16ths of a mile to run, Tiz the Law just ran evenly and didn’t do much with it. He galloped out decently in his first try around 2 turns, just behind the winner Silver Prospector, a former turfer who has found his groove on dirt like War of Will and Omaha Beach a year ago.The trip wasn’t great for Tiz the Law, but it wasn’t awful either. If that’s THE Kentucky Derby favorite, he probably should win with that journey. On a similar thought, the bobbling start for Dennis’ Moment in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was plenty reason for his defeat. But if he is THE Kentucky Derby favorite, he has to at least run a little bit after the initial trouble.What we’ve last seen from Eight Rings, Dennis’ Moment and now Tiz the Law takes us into winter without a standout favorite in the crop. The likely 2-year-old champ defaults to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 45-1 longshot winner Storm the Court. Of course, there’s not a long list of Juvenile winners with massive success in the Triple Crown series, so that position is about as secure as the opening round of musical chairs. The best 2-year-old I’ve seen remains the since-sidelined Breeders’ Futurity winner Maxfield, and we’re not even sure what’s really on his excuse card.

Read Article
12.1.2019:

Sunday, December 01: Northfield Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

Tonight, Northfield Park has two Pick 4 sequences with $10,000 guaranteed pools scheduled on a 15-race card. My focus will be on the Early 0.50 pick 4 which begins in Race 7.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 72-St Lads Mystic (3-1)-Makes 3rd start in new barn that has a good batting average in last 30 days. Tossing last in the slop and will put on the ticket but is 1-29 and will use others as well.3-It's Gest Me (9/2)-Makes 3rd start in new barn and beat easier in last. This will be a more difficult task but will use at a square price from this post.4-Ravishing Virgin (9/2)-Has been off for 2-weeks but now drops to a live spot to snatch 9th win of the year. Might be overlooked at the windows, could cash the biggest check with a good steer.9-Melanie's Filly (5/2)-Only 1-25 this year but drops to a soft spot. Could get an overdue win if Allard can work a trip from the 2nd tier.Race 81-Rosie Kit (6-1)-Only 1-20 on an off-track, so will toss last. Makes 2nd start off a sick scratch and has a chance to post a win if gets the right trip.7-Chitty Bang Bang (3/2)-Morning line chalk looks the part. Should like the company and beat $8k claimers on 11/16.Race 93-Mr Nixon (2-1)-Raced well coming off a sick scratch to be 2nd. Should be tighter now and is 2nd time Lasix. Looks like a major player.5-Me And Mrs Jones (8/5)-Likes to finish 2nd more than 1st but this isn't a deep group and may have found a field to beat.Race 101-The Kop (4-1)-This is the right level to take a picture and the driver change to Smith shouldn't hurt.2-Montero Blue Chip (5/2)-Veteran has been off since 8/17 but qualifier was fine. This is a soft spot if 9-year-old can fire off the bench.4-Maradona (3-1)-Sharp win from the 7-hole at this level and best to respect chances for an encore.5-Four Diamonds (6-1)-Tossing last from the 8-hole and previous efforts put this guy in the mix and the barn has been doing well.My Ticket Race 7) 2,3,4,9 Race 8) 1,7 Race 9) 3,5 Race 10) 1,2,4,5Total Ticket Cost) $32 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
12.1.2019:

Sunday, December 01: Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Big Runnuer; 3-Wound Tight; 4-Colosi; 11-HermaphroditeForecast: The opener is a deep and contentious first-level allowance turf miler that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Hermaphrodite is an intriguing French invader still eligible to non-winners of two despite having several stakes placings in her resume and with Timeform ratings that are superior to par for this level. She makes her U.S. debut facing the boys for J. Sadler with Johnny V. taking the call, and although her extreme outside draw is less than ideal she might simply out class this field. Wound Tight keeps firing bullets and can be relied on for another honest effort. Beaten in photo finishes in each of his last two starts, the R. Hess, Jr.-trained gelding is fast on figures and overdue for some luck. Big Runnuer has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern and lands the rail, so we suspect the lightly raced son of Stormy Atlantic will be forwardly placed throughout while benefitting from a ground saving trip. His speed figures are strong and there’s a possibility that he’ll route better than he sprints. Colosi is a first-off-the-claim for D. O’Neill and may improve enough to at least get a piece of it. Toss him in somewhere on a ticket or two.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: XSingle: 4-Sunny DaleForecast: Sunny Dale is back in the J. Hollendorfer barn and should finally find the winner’s circle in this maiden special weight sprint for older fillies and mares. Freshened since July, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro was worn down late in a fast, highly rated affair by next out (and future stakes performer) First Star when last seen and if she returns in that kind of form she should be home free. At 8/5 on the morning line and liable to go lower, she may be too short to play in the straight pool, but we can use her as a no-value, rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Hit the Road; 3-Kanderel; 7-Goliad; 11-Smooth Like StraitForecast: Here’s another difficult affair with several possibilities. We’ll use four and hope to get a decent price home. Kandereland Goliad give trainer R. Mandella two bullets to fire and both must be considered major players. When they breeze together on the main track in the morning Goliad always looks much the best, but Kanderel clearly is much more effective on turf than he is on dirt and showed it with a romping, highly rated debut maiden win in late September. Bug boy J. Velez retains the mount and should have the son of Candy Ride in the second flight within striking range throughout. Goliad missed in a photo in a good overnight event over this course and distance two weeks ago and today will race with Lasix while being reunited with “win rider” F. Prat. The son of War Front, like his stablemate, should draft into a good spot behind the leaders and then have his chance to quicken through the lane. Hit the Road was well-backed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf but simply couldn’t kick it in when set down in the final furlong. This is an easier spot, and a repeat of his win in the Zuma Beach Stakes two races back puts him right there. Smooth Like Strait is improving with racing and has the pedigree to get a mile, though the outside post does him no favors. He’ll need another forward move to be a threat, but at 12-1 on the morning line the son of Midnight Lute is worth including at least as a backup.RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: XSingle: 3-InstagrandForecast: Instagrand returns to competition for the first time since failing at even money in the Pat Day Mile-G3 at Churchill Downs in early May. He’s had more than his share of issues, but his recent works indicate that he’s back on the beam for new trainer D. Chatlos (a former assistant to the colt‘s previous trainer, J. Hollendorfer) and over a track the saw him win the Best Pal S.-G2 by more than 10 lengths last year the son of Into Mischief should completely out class this second level allowance field. There’s really not much we can do with him at 6/5 on the morning line other than to make him a short price rolling exotic single.RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: BUse: 6-Cleopatra’s Strike; 10-UnitedForecast: United missed by a head to leading Horse of the Year candidate Bricks and Mortar in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last month and if he can come close to repeating that type of performance today he’ll win the Hollywood Turf Cup-G1. Regular jockey F. Prat stays aboard the son of Giant’s Causeway, who showed a liking for the local lawn when winning his only previous outing at Del Mar during the summer season. Cleopatra’s Strike returned to winning form with a victory in the John Henry Turf Classic-G2 at Santa Anita in late September and a strong, healthy series of workouts in recent weeks should have this veteran son of Smart Strike primed and ready for another career-top effort. We don’t quite see him beating United, but if that one for whatever reason fails to fire his best shot the P. D’Amato-trained gelding can provide a bit of insurance as a back-up or a saver.RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 4-Tiz Toffee; 5-Road TestForecast: Tiz Toffee exits a series of tougher races and appears to have found a proper spot to regain her winning form in this $12,500 main track claiming miler for fillies and mares. The daughter of Sidney’s Candy is most effective on the front end but can press and pounce if the race flow dictates. The concern is her failure to deliver the goods as the favorite in her last two outings, so as a backup we’ll also use Road Test. The veteran mare actually finished third in the same race that Tiz Toffee was fourth in last time out and she’s a prior winner over the Del Mar main track while also arguably being the most dangerous of the closing types.RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Significant Form; 5-Toinette; 7-Got StormyForecast: Got Stormy missed as the favorite in her last pair but certainly performed admirably in defeat, a second-place finish in the Woodbine Mile-G1 and then a runner-up effort to Uni in the Breeders’ Cup Mile Turf last month. Back with fillies and mares today and obviously tackling an easier group, the M. Casse-trained filly deserves top billing and at 5/2 on the morning line actually may offer good wagering value at that price if you can get it. Significant Form, winner of three of her last four though not against Grade-1 competition, seems ready to tackle the big girls following a triple-digit Beyer score in the Noble Damsel S.-G2 in late September at Belmont Park. She has an ideal stalking style and Johnny V., who fits her perfectly, flies out to ride her. Toinette always has been a cut below the best in her division but she earned a career top number when winning a lesser affair at Santa Anita last time out and should fire another big shot again today.RACE 8: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Chipper; 6-Summer FireForecast: This juvenile sprint restricted to state-bred runners didn’t come up particularly strong, so we’ll include the two most logical contenders in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race. Chipper displayed promise when an excellent second in his debut in early October but was far back when, as a maiden, was pitched too high in the Golden State Juvenile Stakes the following month. Back where he belongs today, the son of Street Boss looks hard to beat if he repeats the quality of his first outing. Summer Fire, a solid runner-up vs. similar over this main track three weeks ago, can be a major threat if he produces any kind of forward move. The R. Hess, Jr.-trained son of Creative Cause switches to P. Lopez and with continued improvement could earn his diploma without causing much of a stir. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Tiger Dad; 7-Blackout; 11-Wildman JackForecast: Wildman Jack has fired big shots in each of his four career starts and the son of Goldencents should be formidable again despite his extreme outside draw in this five-furlong dash for first level allowance sprinters. The D. O’Neill-trained gelding has been quite unlucky – he missed by a nose vs. similar competition in his last two starts – but he’s very fast on numbers and really won’t have to improve at all to beat this field. R. Bejarano stays aboard and knows him well. Blackout is reunited with “win rider” F. Prat and could be dangerous from off the pace. Tiger Dad removes blinkers after finishing in the frame in each of his five most recent starts. Not nearly as fast on pure numbers as Wildman Jack, the son of Smiling Tiger nonetheless appears to be a genuine type and is worth including on a ticket or two.RACE 10: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 5-Big Time Grammy; 7-Reducta; 8-Awesome EllaForecast: Reducta makes her U.S. debut for high-percentage connections and rates top billing based on her second place finish (in a 21-runner field) at Cork in Ireland in mid-August in a race that earned her a pretty decent Timeform rating, one that is good enough to beat maidens on this circuit. F. Prat, who we assume had his choice of at least two other logical contenders, opts for the English-bred daughter of Kodiac. We’re going to assume that she’s fit and ready. Awesome Ella is progressing nicely with experience and seems likely to produce another forward move. A closing second over this course and distance last month, the daughter of Mr Speaker picks up P. Lopez and should be running on strongly late. Big Time Grammy is getting the hang of things and is another likely to continue her improving pattern. A willing third vs. similar last time out, the T. Yakteen-trained filly switches to J. Talamo and should make her presence felt from off the pace in the final furlong.

Read Article
11.30.2019:

November 30-Meadowlands Pick 4 Analysis

The Meadowlands has a 13-race card set to go this evening. The 0.50 Pick 4 starts in Race 8, it has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout. That competitive sequence will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 82-Americanprimetime ( 8-1)-Tossing last race from the 9-hole and looking for much better tonight. Can be a factor from an inside post draw and could be overlooked at the windows.5-Harmabe Deo (6-1)-The driver change to Dave Miller won't hurt and either will this starting spot. Recent form has been very good and it's best to not overlook versus this crew.6-Statement Made A (5-1)-Barn has been going well and this horse usually gives an honest effort. McCarthy could leave or look to follow cover, either way can be a player at a square price.9-Trump Nation (9/2)-Burke trainee makes first start since 9/28 but qualifier was sharp. Gingras may blast out andif it dialed on high could be a big threat in a contentious race.Race 91-Sports Column (5-1)-Has raced well since coming off the bench and shouldn't blush at the competition. Dave Miller takes a seat and could be aggressive in this spot.2-Winning Linc (5/2)-Rolled home in last 2 and now moves up again, but this field doesn't seem that much tougher. The post draw shouldn't hurt and it's best to respect chances of a three-peat.8-Whittaker N (7/2)-The question is will Dunn work the same trip as in last week's win? If so, another picture is a possibility and will lean that Dunn will put him in play.Race 102-Jeremes General (5-1)-The General knows his job, comes off a nice win and was Dave Miller's choice. Seems like a live play at a square price from this post but will need a top effort for an encore.3-Seeing Eye Single (8-1)-Tuned-up at Phl after being off since 8/10. Burke trainee could be ready to roll and if so, this is a beatable field.6-Rock Lights (3-1)-Steps-up after a sharp effort in a fast mile. Should be in the mix again and if McCarthy works a similar trip it could be another picture.Race 112-Santafe's Coach (3-1)-Moves up as do others and what makes this one appealing to me is the post draw. Should have an easy time getting the top or the 2-hole and could benefit from a perfect trip.3-Wild Goose Chase (6-1)-This will be start #7 at the Big M and last week sat and came on late. Dave Miller takes a spin for the first time this meet and could follow the speed and be the best late.4-Thisbeachrghterea (9/2)-Makes 3rd start in a row in sequence and that hasn't happened for a while. Speed isn't an issue but has been handled cautiously since beating cheaper on 10/12 in 1:50.4. Could be sitting on a big try.0.50 Pick 42,5,6,9/1,2,8/2,3,6/2,3,4Total Bet=$54Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.30.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies for 11/30/19

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.**RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B-Use: 5-Knifes Edge; 8-Color WarForecast: Color War was eight lengths clear of the rest when second with a career top speed figure vs. similar at this one-mile trip last month at Santa Anita. A repeat of that race today probably lands the A. Sherman-trained gelding in the winner’s circle. The main concern is that he’s drawn outside of eight, and with the short run into the clubhouse turn there’s a distinct possibility that he’ll have to overcome a wide trip. Knifes Edge drops from maiden $50,000 to this maiden $32,000 level following a distant third place effort over this track and distance 15 days ago. He switches to M. Gutierrez and projects to be close up throughout. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with Color War the preferred top pick.**RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-Alms; 6-Overjoyed; 12-Princesa CarolineForecast: Princesa Caroline was so impressive breaking her maiden at first asking for C. Brown in New York that we thought she had an excellent chance to step up and win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. A minor issue surfaced and she wasn’t able to make the race, but we assume she’s fit and ready today following a cross country flight for this Grade 3 turf stakes with J. Castellano making the trip to keep the mount. She’s drawn a bit farther outside than we’d prefer, but if the daughter of American Pharaoah is a good as we think she is the poor post won’t get her beat. Overjoyed is progressing very well for N. Drysdale, and like Princesa Caroline should be a major player following a visually pleasing maiden grass victory over a distance of ground. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has good tactical speed and should draft into an ideal second-flight trip under M. Smith and have every chance kick on from the quarter pole home. Alms is an unbeaten City Zip filly fresh from a grass sprint win in the Matron S.-G3 at Belmont Park in early October. There’s no reason she won’t handle a mile, and the first-time Lasix user projects to be prominent throughout from her comfortable inside draw. In a deep, competitive affair, these are the three we’ll be including in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Princesa Caroline.**RACE 3: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Shuster; 5-Square Deal; 9-Riding With DinoForecast Shuster won at first asking in strong fashion and earned a speed figure that makes him tough right back. The L. Powell-trained son of Curlin to Mischief didn’t break too well in his debut but flashed good zip to establish the running and then provided a second move when asked, winning like a useful type. F. Prat rides him back, so we’ll put him solidly on top. Riding with Dino is comfortably drawn outside and is in good form, having broken his maiden for a $50,000 tag over this main track three runs back and then finishing second in two first-level allowance sprints as the favorite. He’ll be on or near the lead throughout again today but based on his most recent two starts may be suspect under pressure in the final furlong. Square Deal was a two-time stakes winner over the Del Mar main track during the summer meeting but didn’t progress in a pair of subsequent outings while earning numbers that have stagnated. We’ll include him on a ticket or two in rolling exotic play due to the horse-for-course angle but there are others in here - specifically Shuster - that may have a more upside.**RACE 4: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-Lostintranzlation; 6-Keeper Ofthe StarsForecast: Keeper ofthe Stars outclasses this field but she’s unproven over a mini-marathon trip, so it’s hard to take a short price on the daughter of Midnight Lute in this this year’s edition of the Red Carpet H.-G3. A smart winner from off the pace in the Autumn Miss S.-G3 over a mile at Santa Anita last month, the J. Wong-trained 3-year-old continues to impress in the morning and will beat this field if she can drop her head, switch off, get some cover and then show her exceptional turn of foot from the top of the lane to the wire. There’s value at or near her morning line of 3-1, but we suspect she’ll go lower. Lostintranzlation has won over this course and distance in the past (though not at this level) and seems certain to be the controlling speed. If not respected, the daughter of Lucky Pulpit could take this field a very long way. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Keeper ofthe Stars on top.**RACE 5: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: B-Use: 5-Cabin John; 6-Platinum EquityForecast: Platinum Equity is a tough, durable gelding exiting a starter allowance/optional claimer at Santa Anita last month in which he finished second at 40 cents on the dollar despite having every chance when it counted in the final furlongs. On pure numbers he should be able to make amends today in this similar affair, though low-profile connections may be a cause for some mild concern. Cabin John isn’t as fast on speed figures as ‘Equity but he’s a perfect one-for-one over the Del Mar main track and has been popular at the claim box lately, changing hands in three of his last five starts. The Gio Ponti gelding has a good stalking style that ensures a smooth, easy trip, and a healthy series of workouts since his most recent outing to indicate that he’s ready for a top effort. We’ll try to survive and advance using just these two in rolling exotic play with Platinum Equity getting a very slight edge on top.**RACE 6: Post 2:33 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Om; 5-Sacred Life; 7-Prince EarlForecast: Sacred Life, never worse than second in three starts since joining the C. Brown barn from France, most recently was quite impressive winning an overnight affair at Keeneland last month and based on speed figures appears more than capable of standing a successful raise in class to this Grade 2 middle distance grass affair for older horses. He’ll get the patient ride he needs from J. Castellano and with a decent pace and good racing luck should be along in time. Prince Earl shows back-to-back triple-digit Beyer speed figures since returning off a layoff for P. D’Amato and is strictly the one to beat. Winner of the Del Mar Mile over this turf course in August and then running equally as well when the third nose on the wire in the City of Hope Mile-G2 in early October at Santa Anita, the son of Paddy O’ Prado seems better than his morning line of 5-1 and is a “must use” in your rolling exotics. Om, a fast-finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-G1, probably is most effective around one turn but is good enough on his best day to act at this level at this distance. At 8-1 on the morning line he’s another that might leave at a bit of an overlay and is worth tossing in somewhere.**RACE 7: Post 3:03 PT. Grade: B+Single: 9-Golden PrincipalForecast: Golden Principal has trained like an excellent prospect for B. Baffert and looks fit and ready to win at first asking, assuming she breaks with her field (debut runners don’t always do). From the first crop of the exceptional young stallion Constitution, she was purchased for $200,000 at the OBS April Sale and hasn’t missed a beat since shipping west to join the B. Baffert barn, which hits at an amazing 42% with first time starters. Drawn comfortably outside and at a reasonable 3-1 on the morning line, she’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.**RACE 8: Post 3:33 PT. Grade: B+Use: 1-Mo Forza; 9-Standard DeviationForecast: Mo Forza was a little late figuring things out, but after breaking his maiden in fast time two runs back in his sixth career start, the son of Uncle Mo has really gotten his act together. There was nothing flukish about his highly rated 18-1 upset victory in the Twilight Derby at Santa Anita earlier this month and we’re expecting a similar effort today from the P. Miller-trained colt. From the rail ‘Forza should be able to secure an ideal ground-saving, pace-stalking trip under P. Lopez. Standard Deviation, winner of the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park in August and an excellent third (beaten less than a length) at 11-1 in the Hill Prince S.-G1 at Belmont Park last month, arrives with good credentials for the always-potent C. Brown/Johnny V. team. If he can continue to progress, the son of Curlin can outrun his morning line of 6-1. In a tough, deep, and highly competitive edition of the Hollywood Derby, we’ll use both in our rolling exotics, but if you feel the need to spread a bit deeper, go right ahead.**RACE 9: Post 4:05 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Eskimo Roses; 4-Saddle Bar; 5-ReedleyForecast: Here’s a spread race, a $16,000 restricted (nw-2) claimer at the abbreviated sprint distance of five and one-half furlongs. Saddle Bar may be as good as any; the lightly raced Tapizar gelding has steadily rising speed figures and most recently finished second in a similar spot after pressing the pace throughout. Freshened since early September and showing an excellent series of recent workouts, the R. Hess, Jr.-trained 3-year-old graduated over the Del Mar main track two runs back, so we know he likes the track, and probably has further improvement in him. Reedley turns back in trip, returns to the main track (over which he broke his maiden) and makes a major switch to F. Prat. He’ll probably draft into a good pace-stalking position and have dead aim when it matters. Eskimo Roses shows up in a seller for the first time after a series of turf sprint and should greatly appreciate the class drop. He’s a fairly quick type and will take them as far as he can.**RACE 10: Post 4:33 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Eddy Forever; 5-Forever Poe; 13-TizamagicianForecast: This highly competitive turf miler for 2-year-olds has a number of possibilities. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Eddy Forever continues to look terrific in the morning for B. Baffert and should enjoy this return to grass. The son of Medaglia d’Oro projects to inherit a perfect ground-saving position and have every chance to display his excellent late kick from just off the pace. If he’s going to develop into a good colt, today would be a good day to show it. Forever Poe arrives from Belmont Park where he finished a solid runner-up in his debut sprinting on grass last month. We’re expecting he’ll produce a forward move with that effort behind him and this stretch out in trip. The son of Colonel John brought $850,000 at Timonium in May and is bred to improve with experience and distance, so his connections have reason to be optimistic. Tizamagician is drawn farther out than we’d prefer but still must be considered a major contender. He’ll add blinkers for the first time after finishing second at 60 cents on the dollar in a main track miler earlier this month at Santa Anita and while he was disappointing last time out his speed figures remain strong. The R. Mandella-trained son of Tiznow isn’t necessarily bred to improve on grass but you might as well give him a chance.

Read Article
11.30.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Gulfstream Park Wagering Strategies for 11/30/19

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.**RACE 1: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-La Flamenca; 2-Debbies Utube Diva; 9-LemoncitaForecast: Lemoncita passed a few tired horses in her debut without threatening but in doing so earned a speed figures that makes her highly competitive in this maiden $25,000 claiming turf miler for juvenile fillies. It’s not really a good sign that T. Pletcher is giving up on the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid after just one outing but she’s a homebred from a stable that has little interest in carrying cheaper stock, so the class drop is understandable. La Flamenca stretches out for the first time, lands the rail, and seems likely to be prominent early. Her one prior turf outing was poor, but it was against tougher. Debbies Utube Diva flashed some improvement when closing with interest in a slow heat to be second last time out and if she can produce another forward move the daughter of Verrazano may be capable of at least hitting the board again.**RACE 2: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B+Single: 5-Kozy KatForecast: Kozy Kat was nailed on the money when missing at even money in a similar maiden claiming sprint for juvenile fillies at Gulfstream Park West last month. More importantly, she finished nearly 14 lengths in front of the others while earning a speed figure that is considerably stronger than par for this level. We suspect she’ll go lower than her morning line of 7/2, but at anything close to that price she’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.**RACE 3: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B+Use: 5-Tonalist’s Shape; 6-Power MoveForecast: Tonalist’s Shape is unbeaten in two starts with rising speed figures and should be a short price to extend her streak in this overnight Stakes for juvenile fillies. The stretch out to a mile shouldn’t be an issue – she’s from the first crop of Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist – and given her deep closing style she really should be much more comfortable going long than short. Power Move , a first-time Lasix user, broke her maiden at first asking with a good number at Belmont Park and then was a respectable runner-up (beaten five lengths by Maedean) in the Tempted Stakes at Aqueduct at a one-turn mile. Lightly raced with plenty of upside, the daughter of More Than Read could give the favorite some competition and is worth including somewhere in your rolling exotics.**RACE 4: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: C+Use: 6-He’s Super Lucky; 8-Blazing DesireForecast: In this completely unclassified maiden claiming turf affair for juveniles, anything goes. We’ll use two in our rolling exotics, but you should probably use as many as your budget allows. He’s Super Lucky missed by a neck over this course and distance in his second career outing in September and sports a healthy work pattern since to indicate further improvement is likely. He should be forwardly placed throughout and have every chance. Blazing Desire surfaces in a seller for the first time while also being re-equipped with blinkers. His previous grass form isn’t too bad, in fact, on pure numbers he’s the one to beat.**RACE 5: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B+Use: 4-Complexifier; 5-Went WestForecast: Complexifier seeks his third straight score after breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs and then repeating on the raise in a solid allowance sprint at Keeneland. This overnight Stakes race should be within his capabilities, though the impressive debut winner Went West may have something to say about that. ‘West earned a big figure when graduating at first asking at Parx, beating two next out winners in the process, and the J. Servis-trained son of Union Rags should get nothing but better with experience and – later on – distance. Complexifier has a bit more impressive resume at this stage so we’ll put him on top but Went West may have a higher upside and is a “must use” as well.**RACE 6: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-The Big Kahuna ; 8-Well ConnectedForecast: The Big Kahuna, from the first crop of Bayern, has done some good work in the morning for T. Pletcher and looks cranked up and ready to win at first asking in this abbreviated maiden sprint for juveniles. He’ll have to contend with Well Connected, a debuting Distorted Humor colt from the same connections that brought you Maximum Security. The J. Servis-trained colt has been training slowly and easily leading up to his first outing, but that’s a typical pattern from this stable, which hits at 23% with first-time starters. Both should be used in your rolling exotics; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying The Big Kahuna on top.**RACE 7: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Fujairah; 6-American GiantForecast: American Giant just won a listed Stakes two-turning on grass at Gulfstream Park West with authority and that performance makes the daughter of More Than Ready the logical top choice in this mile grass added money affair for juvenile fillies. She likes to settle off the pace and blast home, and that’s the way L. Saez most likely will ride her. Fujairah was overmatched in the Jessamine Sttakes-G2 at Keeneland last time out but her race before last – a solid runner-up effort in a listed turf Stakes over this turf course - charts well in this spot. From her good inside draw, the daughter of Ghostzapper should be prominent throughout, maybe even in front. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to American Giant.**RACE 8: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Spanish Point; 8-Sound MachineForecast: Spanish Point graduated for fun when risked for a $50,000 tag (she wasn’t claimed) at Belmont Park in late September and looks capable of taking on this tougher assignment despite drawing the disadvantageous rail. The daughter of Creative Cause sports a bullet workout at Palm Meadows just seven days ago to indicate she’s doing well and likely to produce a forward move. She’ll be tough if she breaks well and avoids early traffic trouble. Sound Machine won her debut by a pole over this track in July but then disappointed badly when unplaced at 60 cents on the dollar in a first-level allowance sprint at Keeneland nine weeks later. We’ll assume that she’s much better than that race shows and the daughter of Into Mischief will have every chance to prove it as the 8/5 morning line favorite. Let’s go with Spanish Point on top – she’ll be the better price – but include both in our rolling exotics.**RACE 9: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B+Use: 4-King Guillermo; 8-Graceful Kitten; 10-Captain DForecast: King Guillermo was given a race sprinting on dirt in his debut and then got serious when stretched out on grass in his most recent outing, winning by more than six lengths with complete authority while earning a powerful speed figure. Anything close to that effort today will make him tough to beat. The son of Uncle Mo is listed at 3-1 on the morning line, but we don’t expect to get it. Graceful Kitten is the likely pacesetter and already two-time stakes winner, though his bubble was burst when he faded readily in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in his most recent outing. Obviously, this is a much easier spot and if he can shake loose early without pressure he could get very brave. Captain D likes to settle and make a run and with some help up front could be heard from late. His numbers are just okay, but he’s genuine and consistent and must be respected.**RACE 10: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B+Use: 4-Fort McHenry; 10-PoeForecast: Fort McHenry broke his maiden by a distance two-turning at Gulfstream Park West with a powerful speed figure – by far a career top – and today the T. Pletcher-trained colt will try to repeat on the raise in this one-turn miler. The son of Tapit, a $1.1 million yearling purchase, has the makings of a very nice prospect and at 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower California Chrome’s half-brother looks very much like the one to beat. Poe deserves some consideration in rolling exotic play, at least as a backup. Drawn comfortably outside, the son of Brethren has competitive speed figures but certainly not the upside that Fort McHenry has. Give his projected trip, the S. Gold-trained colt should have every chance to at least make a race of it.**RACE 11: Post 5:00 PT. Grade: CUse: 2-Unlimited Data; 4-Bad to the Core; 5-Third ArmyForecast: The finale is a grass grab bag for restricted (nw-2) $16,000 claiming turf routers. Spread as deeply as you can afford to. Bad to the Coe may be as good as any; the French-bred gelding missed by nose in a similar affair at Gulfstream Park West three weeks ago and if he can turn in two alike he’ll be right there. Unlimited Data, third beaten a head in the same race ‘Core exits, should be in the fray once again as well. Third Army plummets in class and almost certainly will go much better at this level. The Hess, Jr.-trained son of Declaration of War has good tactical speed and at 8-1 on the morning line should stick around for a long time against this moderate group.

Read Article
11.30.2019:

Late Pick 4 Targeted Saturday at Gulfstream Park

There’s a lot going on Saturday at Gulfstream Park on the second day of the Championship Meet – so much that it’s difficult to pinpoint a single sequence in which to take aim. There are six stakes races on the 11-race card. Three of those are in the late Pick 4, which is where we’re looking today. The sequence begins in the eighth with the House Party Stakes. It’s at six furlongs for 2-year-old fillies, and such races are always a good challenge and often come up with a decent payer. Lavi, Sound Machine and Kimura are on the suggested ticket, which totals $54 this week. Lavi comes with a perfect record in one start and her performance came in at Gulfstream Park West when she came from well off the pace and pulled away by 2.5 lengths at the end. Sound Machine, the probably favorite, was outrun in an optional claiming race at Keeneland in October and returns to where she broke her maiden by 8 1-4 lengths. Kimura is the price play in this one. She broke her maiden in her debut in July 7 and was outrun in a Monmouth stakes race in September. The ninth is the Pulpit Stakes at a mile on the turf for 2-year-olds and looks like the most wide-open of the four races. Four runners made the ticket: Irish Mias, Nettleton, Fame to Famous and Graceful Kitten. Graceful Kitten is the favorite but several have a chance and will be a true scramble to the wire. The Smooth Air Stakes is the 10th race and is a mile, and a three of them make the ticket. Fort McHenry is the favorite and comes off an easy win at Gulfstream West. The company will be considerably stronger in this spot, and Gangly and Peruvian Boy have a chance to connect at a price. Gangly in July broke his maiden at Gulfstream and since then has been fourth and fifth in stakes at Monmouth and Gulfstream West. He has a good chance to be overlooked here. Peruvian Boy was third in the Arlington Washington Futurity and fourth in the G2 Saratoga Special. He has shown late interest and could be set up nicely by the pace here. The finale is for claimers on the turf and Unlimited Data, Bad to the Core and Malibu Music will be in the hunt and look like big players going the 1 1-16th miles. Here’s the suggested play for the Late Pick 4 Saturday at Gulfstream Park:Race 8) #3 Lavi, #8 Sound Machine, #9 Kimura.Race 9) #1 Irish Mias, #5 Nettleton, #7 Fame to Famous, #8 Graceful Kitten..Race 10) #4 Fort McHenry, #5 Gangly, #9 Peruvian Boy.Race 11) #2 Unlimited Data, #4 Bad to the Core, #7 Malibu Music.50-cent Late Pick 4 ticket: 3-8-9 with 1-5-7-8 with 4-5-9 with 2-4-7 ($54).

Read Article
11.29.2019:

Friday, November 29: Cal Expo Pick 4 Analysis

Tonight, Cal Expo has a 12-race card scheduled with the 0.20 Pick 4 starting in Race 8. That sequence has a 16% takeout with a $25,000 guaranteed pool and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 84-Sir Mammo (5/1)-This will be the 1st start off the bench but raced a quick back half in a qualifier and will bet that he is ready to roll. If so, fits well versus this group and could be a square price.5-Bettor's Outlaw (3-1)-Lukewarm program chalk should be in the hunt with this crew and Magee can put in play early from this post.8-Coz And Effect (7/2)-Will leave the #1 off the ticket and go to this dropper. 5-year-old knows his way to the winner's circle at CalX and could be sitting on a big try in 3rd start back.Race 96-Shock N Awe (8-1)-Looking for a price, gets a post edge on top foes and the two starts at CalX have been sharp.8-Delightfully Wild (4-1)-Aggressive try in 1st local start and was off 21-days. This mare knows how to win and should be tighter tonight.10-Dancingonthesand (4-1)-This gal is a cut above everyone else, winner of 9 of 15 here and 10-26 lifetime. The post should help the price but will make it more difficult.Race 104-Dontcloseyoureyes (6-1)-A solid threat at this level and has raced well in last two starts. Could be forwardly placed from this post and Magee should keep in play.5-Gordy Again (3-1)-Came off cover to beat #4 who had the 8-hole in last. Now makes 2nd start at CalX and should be in the mix for an encore with the right trip.6-Prairie Cowgirl (6-1)-Beaten favorite gets some post relief as last start was from the 9-hole. This is the 4th start off the bench and has raced well in last 3. Best to not overlook and could be a better price this week.Race 115-Buzz Light (3-1)-This will be the 3rd start since coming to town and both efforts were okay. Gets post relief and was facing better this summer at Aces. Barn has been going well and should be in the hunt for a picture.7-Senga Nitro (15-1)-Got the jump on the field in a 1.5-mile race last week and never looked back. Actually, has improved in all 3 CalX starts and at 15-1 in the ML is well worth a swing.8-Bunkerhill Bill (8-1)-Doesn't win much but comes off a victory when drawing off by over 4-lengths. Steps-up a notch but best to not overlook. In a new barn now and hadn't raced since 7/28, could be even better this time so will string along.My Ticket Race 8) 4,5,8 Race 9) 6,8,10 Race 10) 4,5,6 Race 11) 5,7,8Total Ticket Cost) $16.20 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.29.2019:

Friday, November 29 Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Cardiff Cay; 3-Paint Me LuckyForecast: Cardiff Cay makes his first start on dirt after displaying an improving pattern in three grass outings to begin his career. A closing third when favored in a maiden special weight turf outing in his local debut three weeks ago, the son of Medaglia d’Oro has the pedigree to run just as well on the main track, if not better. M. Smith got to know him last time out and stays aboard. Paint Me Lucky makes his first start since June of last year and it is encouraging that as a first time gelding he remains protected by B. Baffert in straight maiden company. Recent works are pretty good, so we’ll assume he will return as least as well as he left. Let’s try to get by using just these two in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Cardiff Cay.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: XSingle: 3-AggressivityForecast: Aggressivity was a respectable but distant runner-up in a maiden special weight sprint last month at Santa Anita and today drops into the maiden $40,000 ranks while trying to break his maiden late in his 4-year-old campaign. This seems like a logical spot, so there should be no excuses for the R. Ellis-trained gelding, who based strictly on speed figures lays over this modest field. At 2-1 on the morning line and likely to go lower, the son of Dialed In isn’t likely to offer much in the way of wagering value but if nothing else we can use him as a no-value rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Don’tteasethetiger; 4-More Honor; 6-WhatsittoyaForecast Here’s a spread affair, a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 claiming extended sprint for older horses. Whatsittoya earned a career top speed figure when crushing a slightly softer field in early August over the Del Mar main track but hasn’t been out since. The R. Hess, Jr.-trained gelding shows a spotty recent work tab, so this unhealthy pattern makes backing the son of Atta Boy Roy somewhat problematic. Certainly, he can win if he repeats his last outing but that may be a big if. More Honor plummets in class seeking his proper level for the always-dangerous M. Glatt/F. Prat team and may have found his friends. All of his recent efforts have come on grass, but the son of More Than Ready did run well on dirt early in his career, so we’re thinking the surface switch won’t be an issue. He’s a fit on numbers and should get the second flight, stalking trip that he desires. Don’tteasethetiger was all out to beat a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 field at Santa Anita earlier this month and better will be needed for a successful repeat on the raise. We’ll include the G. Vallejo-trained gelding in our rolling exotics on a few back-up tickets because he’s won over this track and distance in the past and shows two good workouts since his victory which gives hope that he can produce another forward move.RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Impression; 6-Dukes UpForecast: Impression looked good beating a $20,000 claiming group over this track and distance earlier this month and this double jump in class is a sign of confidence from his high percentage connections that the veteran Smart Strike gelding came out of the race in peak condition. On numbers alone he belongs at this tougher level, so we’ll put him on top while also including Dukes Up in our rolling exotics. He’s a first-off-the-claim for P. Eurton, retains A. Cedillo, and always has been thoroughly genuine and consistent, having finished first or second in 15 of 31 career starts.RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Secret Square; 5-La CroixForecast: Secret Square stumbled badly at the start when a runner-up at 50 cents on the dollar in a similar maiden $50,000 maiden claiming sprint for state-bred juvenile fillies last month at Santa Anita but it was a decent race for the level and not much more should be needed for the daughter of Square Eddie to make amends in this moderate event. Her speed figures have risen with each of her three starts, so with another forward move the J. Sadler-trained filly should be able to earn her diploma. La Croix is an intriguing Bay Area shipper that is worth including on a few tickets in rolling exotic play. A non-threatening fifth in a better-than-par straight maiden juvenile filly dash at Golden Gate Fields earlier this month, she projects as a strong fit at this level on this circuit, and with the addition of blinkers the daughter of Congrats seems likely to produce a forward move.RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Trouville; 6-It’s a RiddleForecast: Trouville flashed improvement to finish second while more than five lengths clear of the rest at this level last month at Santa Anita and today will race with blinkers. With F. Prat riding her back for the L. Powell barn, she seems the logical top pick and we suspect she’ll go lower than her morning line of 5/2. It’s a Riddle is a bit faster on pure numbers than Trouville and should get plenty of play as well. Though missing at even money when second while more than five lengths clear of the rest last time out, the daughter of Merit Man actually ran a winning race, one that if repeated today could easily be good enough. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with a slight preference on top to Trouville.RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: B-Use: 4-Unbroken Star; 6-Canadian Game; 7-MutineerForecast: Mutineer drops from a first-level allowance main track miler to a starter’s allowance affair and against this easier group the D. O’Neill-trained gelding looks well-spotted to regain his winning form. Twice second in four prior outings over the Del Mar main track, the son of Into Mischief picks up R. Bejarano and projects to enjoy an ideal second flight trip and have every chance from the quarter pole home to wear down the leaders. Unbroken Star got lost on grass when finishing far back in a similar starter’s race last month but remains protected by M. Puype, switches to F. Prat, and broke his maiden over this course and distance during the summer meeting. He definitely can bounce back. Canadian Game, in the money in his last three starts with speed figures that make him a solid fit, returns to dirt after a couple of okay tries on grass and should be set for a forward move. The main concern, of course, is that he’s always preferred to run second or third (10 times) rather than win (once) in 16 prior outings.RACE 8: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Truck Salesman; 7-Top Brass; 10-MadmanForecast: Top Brass missed at 6/5 vs. $20,000 sellers in his last start but earned a strong figure and may prove to be a timely claim by R. Hess, Jr., who protects him today in a first-level allowance sprint while switching to V. Espinoza. A four-time winner at this six-furlong trip and an admirable seven-for-16 overall, the hard-knocking son of Arch likes to settle in mid-pack and then kick it in late, a style that usually works very well over the Del Mar main track. There’s some value to be found at or near his morning line of 9/2. Madman won for fun in his debut last May at Santa Anita while earning a good speed figure but then, according to Daily Racing Form, went to the sidelines with a chip in an ankle. He returns for R. Baltas (a strong 25% with layoff runners) while switching to F. Prat, so the gelded son of Violence is a major contender and a “must use.” Truck Salesman is buried on the rail but a recent outing on grass can be dismissed and a repeat of his runaway starter’s allowance score two runs back charts very well with these. He’ll also be adding blinkers (though he’s worn them in the past). Toss him in on a ticker or two.RACE 9: Post 4:34 PT. Grade: C+Use: 6-Promise Nothing; 8-EustaceForecast: Eustace drops to his lowest level ever and returns from the Bay Area after a couple of non-productive outings over the Golden Gate Fields all-weather surface. His two races at Del Mar during the summer meeting chart quite well in this maiden $32,000 sprint for juveniles, so at 5-1 on the morning line he’s worth consideration both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play. Promise Nothing drops again in class while seeking his proper level and based on numbers he’s found it today. A respectable third in a maiden $50,000 sprint at Santa Anita last time out, the son of Street Boss was almost three lengths clear of the rest while finishing with interest, and not much more should be needed to make him a major player. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but feel free to include as many as you can afford to in a race that contains a lot of question marks.

Read Article
11.28.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: November 29 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee and will include the Opening Day card at Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet. 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 45 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 (3:50 ET) – 3upfm 5k N2L at 7 furlongs It seems like we start off every week with a horse that is suppose to win and looks about 7-5 to do so, and this week is no exception, as #4 CHICKEN DINNER (9-5), who just beat a few of these last time, looks best and the controlling speed to boot. I’ll take the bait and single her, since she’s also lightly raced and has more upside than anyone, and #1 Alphabetting (9-2), who she beat by just a half-length last time, seems a lot tougher to trust. Pk5 A horses: 4 (listed in order of preference) The aforementioned #1 ALPHABETTING got back untracked last time and warrants inclusion, but she still couldn’t win after sitting a dream trip stalking, while ‘Dinner dueled on the lead, and the prospective race flow doesn’t look as cozy for her today. I suppose #8 Priss (5-1) is worth a look, but she got the dream set up last time too and couldn’t get there when 4th, and at 1-for-17 with six 3rds, you know her m.o., which is the same for #3 Wekeend Flyer (3-1), who is 1-for-18 with six underneath finishes, and, while she’s got tactical speed, none of her last five dirt starts give her a winning chance. Pk5 B horses: 1 Leg 2: Golden Gate Fields R2 (4:18 ET) – 3up 3.2k N2L* at 1-mile I’m not sure if they wanted to throw us a bone or this is just the way things sussed out on this particular Friday, but this small six-pack looks like a name the score type of race for #5 TASTE’S LEGEND (1-1), who might be 1-5 on the class drop for Herbertson, who is 6-for-17 on the meet, so I’ll just take the perceived free square and try and use it to my advantage elsewhere. Pk5 A horses: 5 This one looks like such a cinch that I’ll go it alone, though if you’re looking for a bit more coverage then #1 Zippin Wine (6-1) could surprise on the slight class drop, while #2 Charlie Cowden (5-2) was just all-out to wire lesser last time and could potentially get brave if he clears. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 3: Laurel Park R9 (4:20 ET) – 3upfm 40k MCL at 6 furlongs It looks like we’ll have another strong favorite in Maryland with #1 SILENT FLUIDITY (8-5), who win this with her best, but also seems a bit tough to trust and has a descending figure pattern, and got no help from a tricky rail draw. I’ll use her, but I’ll try for a slight upset with #6 KICKSTARTMYHEART (4-1), who drew a nice attack post, will (hopefully) run for the first time on a fast track with blinkers, and fits off that good 3rd two-back at the level. Pk5 A horses: 6,1 The term “tread lightly” immediately comes to mind with #3 GOTTAHAVEAHOLIDAY (5-2), who didn’t fire in her comeback at Parx, while dropping in for a tag for the first time too. However, she was eligible to need that run, and she wouldn’t be the first horse to not handle the Bensalem surface, and that prior trio of NY races wins this, so she needs to be used in some context. Some will argue #4 Dajem (8-1) needed her last too, but she also blew a 4-length late lead and has basically been running the same race every time, so the thinking here is she is who she is, and that’s not good enough here. Pk5 B horses: 3 Leg 4: Gulfstream Park R9 (4:30 ET) – 3up 16k claimer at 1-mile (turf) The good thing about being tight early is you can be a little expansive late, and that’s what we have here, as this looks like the typical tough GP open claimer. I have a trio of A’s, with #6 PHILO (10-1) on top, as his price will be right, he drew well, and Crichton is a ridiculous 41% off the claim, while #7 POWER WALKER (4-1) is the horse to beat with a much better post this time, and #9 MISSION DRIVEN (7-2) will roll late, which means his running style might negate this wide draw. Pk5 A horses: 6,7,9 The B’s are a group of wildcards, and all have their merits, but their warts too, which is why they didn’t make the cut on the top line; #1 GRAY DUDE (8-1), #3 LOVE NEST (8-1), #10 DALARNA (6-1), #8 FLOWMOTION (5-1), and #4 CAN’T TRUMP KITTEN (10-1). Pk5 B horses: 1,3,10,8,4 Leg 5: Gulfstream Park R10 (5:00 ET) – 3upfm 16k N2L at 1 1/16 miles (turf) This one looks a bit more cut and dried than the other GP race, as #9 LA INCONDICTIONAL (7-2) should be a solid favorite on the class drop and figure edge she owns, over a group that has gone out of their way to show they don’t want to win a horse race (see more on that below). However, the post and tactical speed that #3 ALGODONAL (10-1) has makes her interesting, and she comes in off an MCL win, and I don’t think that’s a negative in these modest N2L’s. Pk5 A horses: 9,3 We have the ability to use a few B’s here, so I’ll do it, but this list is littered with lifetime one times, so tread very lightly, as #1 PARTY DANCER (4-1), #4 FOR KICKS (12-1), and #10 HENRY’S TREASURE (5-1) are a combined 3-for-40. I could have also used #2 Karenina (6-1), but when you’re 1-for-23 lifetime, with 14 underneath finishes, you can beat me. Pk5 B horses: 1,4,10 The tickets (I would advocate playing the All-A ticket for $2): Main Ticket: 1 with 5 with 6,1 with 6,7,9 with 9,3 = $12Leg 1 B Backup: 5 with 5 with 6,1 with 6,7,9 with 9,3 = $12Leg 3 B Backup: 1 with 5 with 3 with 6,7,9 with 9,3 = $6Leg 4 B Backup: 1 with 5 with 6,1 with 1,3,8,10,4 with 9,3 = $20Leg 5 B Backup: 1 with 5 with 6,1 with 6,7,9 with 1,4,10 = $18

Read Article
11.28.2019:

Maximum Security No. 1 Pick in Fantasy Draft

My horse racing fantasy league held its annual draft this past Monday. Daily Racing Form handicapper Michael Hammersly started this league in 1986. I joined it in 1990 when I also was working for the DRF. I have been the league’s commissioner since 2000. This fantasy league consists of nine members. Each member drafts eight horses. Our league begins each year on Thanksgiving and continues through the final Breeders’ Cup race the following year. Only races in the United States, in Canada, on the Dubai World Cup card and now the Saudi Cup count. I added the lucrative Saudi Cup, new in 2020, to our list of races in which points can be earned. The Saudi Cup is considered a Grade I race for our point-earning purposes. This is how our scoring system works: --A Grade I race is worth 12, 6 and 4 points for first, second and third. --A Grade II race is worth 8, 4 and 2 for first, second and third. --A Grade III race is worth 6, 3 and 1 for first, second and third. --An ungraded stakes race is worth 4 for first. --All other races are worth 2 for first. --All Canadian races are downgraded one level, except the Woodbine Mile, Northern Dancer Turf, Canadian International and E.P. Taylor. --The most valuable bonus races are the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic (36, 18, 12). The other bonus races (24, 12, 8) are the Apple Blossom, Kentucky Oaks, Met Mile, Beverly D., Arlington Million and all of the other Breeders’ Cup races. Each league member can make two claims per month along with two “super claims.” When someone makes a claim, they must drop one horse from their stable. One “super claim,” which is simply an additional claim to the two each month, can be made through the day of the Belmont Stakes. The other “super claim” can be made anytime following the day of the Belmont Stakes. Hammersly, the “father of our league,” won the 2019 title, thanks in large measure to having Midnight Bisou and Bricks and Mortar. As for the draft held this past Monday, Chad Brown again led all trainers with 11 of his trainees among the 72 drafted. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert was next best with seven, followed by Brad Cox with six. These have been the two leading trainers in terms of horses drafted going back to 2016: Year Trainer (Horses Drafted) 2020 Chad Brown (11)Bob Baffert (7) 2019 Chad Brown (12)Bob Baffert (11) 2018 Bob Baffert (11)Chad Brown (9) 2017 Chad Brown (11)Bob Baffert (8) 2016 Chad Brown (9)Todd Pletcher (7) The leading sire for the 2019 draft was More Than Ready with four horses taken. What a difference a year makes. No sons or daughters of More Than Ready were drafted for 2020. The leading sire for the 2020 draft was a five-way tie with three each: --Hard Spun (Hidden Scroll, Lucullan and Spun to Run) --Into Mischief (Authentic, Covfefe and Major Cabbie) --Scat Daddy (Daddy Is a Legend, Toinette and Valid Point) --Tapit (Lake Avenue, Maedean and Tacitus) --Uncle Mo (Bast, Donna Veloce and Mo Forza) The order for the draft held this past Monday was determined by the reverse order of this year’s final standings. This meant that I had the No. 4 pick in the first round. Here, in order, were the 72 Thoroughbreds drafted Monday (my selections are capitalized): 1. Maximum Security 2. Tiz the Law 3. Honor A.P. 4. DONNA VELOCE I debated long and hard between Donna Veloce and Dennis’ Moment. There were two primary reasons why I opted for Donna Veloce. One, the 2-year-old Kentucky-bred Uncle Mo filly is scheduled to run in an upcoming Grade I race, the Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on Dec. 7 for trainer Simon Callaghan. It would seem Donna Veloce has an excellent chance to earn me 12 points in that race. Two, while I think Dennis’ Moment is extremely talented and a definite Kentucky Derby contender, my thinking in the draft was that even if I did not take Dennis’ Moment in the first round, I still might be able to get a good 2-year-old colt in the second or third round. I was not surprised when Dennis’ Moment was the very next pick in the draft. 5. Dennis’ Moment 6. Got Stormy 7. Code of Honor 8. Independence Hall 9. Omaha Beach 10. McKinzie 11. Midnight Bisou 12. Spun to Run 13. Anneau d’Or 14. Auberge 15. BELLAFINA As I had hoped there still were good 2-year-old colts available here in the second round. I seriously considered taking either Thousand Words or Maxfield. But then I thought that maybe one of those two still would be available in the third round. So instead of taking a 2-year-old colt, I selected Bellafina. The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred Quality Road filly is headed to Santa Anita’s Grade I La Brea Stakes on Dec. 26 for trainer Simon Callaghan. Bellafina ran a giant race in defeat when she finished second, three-quarters of a length behind the outstanding sprinter Covfefe, in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. Bellafina recorded a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure at the Breeders’ Cup. She has a stellar record on Santa Anita’s main track (five starts, four wins and a second). It would seem she has a very good chance to earn me 12 points in the La Brea. Interestingly, the aforementioned Covfefe was the very next pick in the draft. 16. Covfefe 17. Thousand Words 18. Toinette 19. Three Technique 20. Eight Rings 21. Tom’s d’Etat 22. MAXFIELD Well, the bad news for me at this point in the draft was Thousand Words had been taken. But the good news was Maxfield still was available. So it turned out that I was right that I could get a good 2-year-old in the third round. Maxfield is two for two. I thought the Kentucky-bred Street Sense colt was very impressive when he won the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland by 5 1/2 widening lengths on Oct. 5. When all was not well with Maxfield prior to the the Grade I BC Juvenile, he was withdrawn from the Nov. 2 race. BloodHorse recently reported that Godolphin’s Maxfield “is expected to return to racing in early 2020 after having surgery Nov. 18 to remove a mildly displaced chip from an ankle, according to Godolphin.” Jimmy Bell, president and director of racing for Godolphin in the U.S., said Maxfield is expected to return to training in about 60 days at Palm Meadows with trainer Brendan Walsh. I am hoping that I have a big threat for the Kentucky Derby with Maxfield. 23. South Bend 24. United 25. First Star 26. Cleopatra’s Strike 27. British Idiom 28. Monomoy Girl 29. Mo Forza 30. Storm the Court 31. Valid Point 32. Answer In 33. FINITE I was disappointed when Valid Point, one of Brown’s trainees, was taken at No. 31. I really thought I might get him here for Saturday’s Grade I Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. But it turns out that I already have had some very good luck in this draft. That’s because two days after our draft, the DRF’s Brad Free reported that Valid Point would not be entered in the Hollywood Derby. Valid Point “was a late defection,” Brown told Free. “He didn’t come out of his last work 100 percent, and I’m going to have him checked out and just point to next year. I don’t think it’s anything serious, but he just wasn’t 100 percent.” Thank goodness Valid Point already had been taken before it was time for me to make my fourth-round pick. Even though I already had drafted a 2-year-old filly in Donna Veloce, I chose Finite, another 2-year-old filly, here in the fourth round. She is one of eight entered in this Saturday’s Grade II Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill. Finite, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Munnings, won the Rags to Riches Stakes by six lengths at Churchill on Oct. 27 for trainer Steve Asmussen. Between Donna Veloce and Finite, I’m hoping that I have the winner of the 2020 Kentucky Oaks, one of our bonus races. I gave serious consideration to taking New and Improved instead of Finite here at No. 33. New and Improved is entered in Friday’s Grade II Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs. She also reportedly is a candidate for the Grade I American Oaks at Santa Anita on Dec. 28. New and Improved was the next pick in the draft. 34. New and Improved 35. Street Band 36. Serengeti Empress 37. Significant Form 38. Bast 39. Guarana 40. HIGH VELOCITY Considering Maxfield underwent ankle surgery Nov. 18, I thought it might be prudent to take another 2-year-old colt here in the fifth round at No. 40. I selected High Velocity. I thought he might still be available later, but I decided not to take any chances and went ahead and took him here. It is my understanding that trainer Bob Baffert thinks a lot of High Velocity, who is two for two. The Kentucky-bred Quality Road colt won the Grade III Bob Hope Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths on Nov. 16. 41. Analyze It 42. Complexity 43. Major Cabbie 44. Authentic 45. Juliet Foxtrot 46. Looking At Bikinis 47. Midcourt 48. Baja Sur 49. Alandra 50. Arklow 51. SEEKING THE SOUL Man, oh, man. I really did not know what to do at this point. To be perfectly frank, I am not a Seeking the Soul fan. Nevertheless, I decided to roll the dice and take a chance on him in Friday’s Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill. His last three races leave a lot to be desired, but perhaps a Nov. 21 bullet drill is a sign that the 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Perfect Soul will perk up Friday. Another reason I chose Seeking the Soul at No. 51 is he has done well at Churchill Downs. He won the Grade I Stephen Foster Stakes last June 15 at Churchill when Tom’s d’Etat finished third. Tom’s d’Etat was the 21st pick in the draft. Seeking the Soul won the Clark in 2017. He finished third in the 2018 renewal. We shall see if he can hit the board and get me some fantasy points in the 2019 Clark. He is listed at 12-1 on the morning line, while Tom’s d’Etat is the 8-5 favorite. 52. Starship Jubilee 53. Without Parole 54. Structor 55. Higher Power 56. Princesa Caroline 57. Imperial Hint 58. TACITUS I confess that this, my penultimate pick in the draft, was something of a sentimental selection on my part. I once had Tacitus’ dam, Close Hatches, on my team in this fantasy league. Even though Close Hatches let me down when she finished seventh in the 2013 Kentucky Oaks, she really was one of my favorites. While I was unable to get Tacitus in this league for 2019, I decided to take him here at No. 58 for 2020. Tacitus disappointed many horseplayers on a number of occasions last year, such as when he lost the Grade I Kentucky Derby at 5-1, Grade I Belmont Stakes as the 9-5 favorite, Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes as the 8-5 favorite, Grade I Travers Stakes as the 2-1 favorite and Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup at 5-2. But the 3-year-old Kentucky-bred Tapit colt did run in all of those races. He finished fourth and was moved up to third via Maximum Security’s disqualification in the Kentucky Derby, then ran second in the Belmont, second in Jim Dandy, second in the Travers and third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. I’m hoping that with maturity, Tacitus might become a terrific 4-year-old for trainer Bill Mott in 2020. 59. Hidden Scroll 60. Basin 61. Country Grammer 62. Lake Avenue 63. Maedean 64. Sacred Life 65. Clayton 66. Performer 67. Tax 68. Sally’s Curlin 69. DADDY IS A LEGEND Even though this Sunday’s Grade I Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar is shaping up to be a salty race topped by Grade I winner and No. 6 draft pick Got Stormy, I elected to take Daddy Is a Legend with my final pick in the draft. Daddy Is a Legend won an allowance affair by 2 3/4 lengths at Keeneland on Oct. 24. I am hoping that Oct. 24 effort will serve as a springboard to a good performance by her in the Matriarch. George Weaver trains Daddy Is a Legend, a 4-year-old Pennsylvania-bred Scat Daddy filly. Daddy Is a Legend finished second to the explosive Uni in the 2018 Matriarch. Uni won this year’s Grade I BC Mile, a race in which Got Stormy finished second. 70. Lucullan 71. Mr. Freeze 72. Arrifana  

Read Article
11.27.2019:

Xpressbet Race of the Week: Clark Handicap

GRADE 1 $600,000 CLARK HANDICAP AT CHURCHILL DOWNSThe Lead:It may be Black Friday for holiday shoppers, but why can't we color it green or gold for horseplayers? Friday's Grade 1 Clark Handicap has attracted a dozen runners and should be an outstanding betting race if you can mold an opinion. The 1-1/8 miles event goes as Race 11 with post time just before 6 pm ET.Field Depth:SEEKING THE SOUL is a G1 winner. BRAVAZO is multiple G1-placed. TOM'S d'ETAT is a recent G2 winner. OWENDALE, MOCITO ROJO, MR FREEZE and DRAFT PICK are G3 winners. No doubt SEEKING THE SOUL has consistently kept the best running lines in terms of competition, and he's the most accomplished.Pace:MAJOR CABBIE, FACT FINDING, MR. BUFF, MR FREEZE and PIONEER SPIRIT all will contend for the front based on their preferred styles, while DRAFT PICK and TOM'S d'ETAT also are plenty fast. This should be a hot pace and give come-from-behinders a good chance to strut their stuff.​Our Eyes:BRAVAZO and SEEKING THE SOUL are back from last year's Clark 2-3 finish behind City of Light. They arrive at the rematch after vastly different seasons. BRAVAZO has been sidelined since January's Pegasus World Cup, while SEEKING THE SOUL has gone to Dubai and back for the Breeders' Cup Classic with a victory in Churchill's Stephen Foster in-between. BRAVAZO was a workhorse when in his form cycle, one of his most endearing traits was the ability to push through the seasons more capably than others of his generation. He's training like he means business and you have to think this gets him back to the Pegasus World Cup path and the rich date in January. SEEKING THE SOUL didn't fire in his 2 tries over the deep Santa Anita autumn surface. At age 6, there's some question whether he's still a top-rated puncher; but there's no doubt about his affinity for Churchill Downs.TOM'S d'ETAT, MR FREEZE and MOCITO ROJO rematch from Keeneland's Fayette, where TOM'S d'ETAT dominated in the slop after pressing MR FREEZE on a weak pace. You have to think this pace shakes out way faster than that one. Perhaps the wet track did in MOCITO ROJO who absolutely wasn't himself that day. This is a tougher field for sure than he faced when winning the G3 Lukas Classic at Churchill, so maybe it's equal parts strength of schedule and track condition. Either way, TOM'S d'ETAT is the most attractive of this trio, and he'll have his pace work cut out for him if he's going to repeat stakes wins.SNAPPER SINCLAIR exits a distant fourth in a BC Dirt Mile edition that lacked depth. Spun to Run was awfully good while Omaha Beach was the only real hammer in the field. This has always been a listed-stakes type and I think a cut below the best in here. Still, he's an honest sort for a respected barn.OWENDALE is the 3-year-old representative in this field and should appreciate the fast pace in front him. The Preakness third-place finisher has added the Ohio Derby and Oklahoma Derby, but didn't get a clean run at all in the Breeders' Cup Classic when first testing older horses. Trainer Brad Cox has been dominant most everywhere, especially Churchill Downs, and OWENDALE is 5: 3-1-0 with Florent Geroux aboard. He should be the better price compared with SEEKING THE SOUL and both need the same kind of trip.DRAFT PICK represents the west coast, which was down this year in the handicap ranks and still managed the Breeders' Cup Classic 2-3 finishers with McKinzie and Higher Power. While you might think he has to send from the rail, there's too much other speed to get caught up into that. This is an even-paced type who will see if his :24s can manage to coax the field back to him and hold off the closers.FACT FINDING and MAJOR CABBIE exit sharp Keeneland allowance scores. If not for a wicked pace scenario, you'd consider either of these dangerous on the class rise. MAJOR CABBIE's trainer Peter Miller has been beyond hot with his Churchill runners at the current meet. Of the duo, you'd have to lean toward Miller's player based on recent results.Most Certain Exotics Contender: SEEKING THE SOUL is 10-for-12 in the trifecta at Churchill and gets the right pace set-up for his close.​Best Longshot Exotics Contender: DRAFT PICK has been 13-1 and 14-1 in his last 2 and doesn't need the front to be successful. He could slip under the partimutuel cracks and factor on his best.Sending it in ($100 bankroll): ​​$100 win OWENDALE.

Read Article
11.27.2019:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. And, by extension, the day also launches my top-ranked weekend. By stroke of pure genius, Thanksgiving always lands on Thursday. Convenient, don’t you think? Unlike other holidays, Thanksgiving doesn’t occupy different days of the week in seemingly random fashion like alien targets in a video game.Thursday, as we all know, is dutifully followed by Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The four-pack forms a perfect stretch, in this case, collectively known as Thanksgiving weekend.The day following Thanksgiving has a proper name: Black Friday. That’s because it’s the day when merchants hope to push earnings ‘well into the black,’ signifying a successful holiday season. That’s fine, I suppose. But haven’t we already mortgaged Christmas with commercialism? Must we sell out Thanksgiving Weekend, too?This Saturday and Sunday don’t have established nicknames and go by generic labels of Thanksgiving Saturday and Thanksgiving Sunday. The day after the weekend has a proper name, though, and it’s also sales related. We call it Cyber Monday and, while it hasn’t been around all that long, it’s grown up fast. Predictions are that someday it will eclipse Black Friday in total sales. Already has in my house.Name another weekend on the calendar that spans four consecutive days with two of the four boasting proper names? You can’t. Two come sort of close: Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. But only on rare occasions do either of those celebrations enjoy four-day runs. Thanksgiving manages that yearly, with rave reviews.If there are better eats than a leftover plate of Thanksgiving food, I haven’t tasted them. Seriously, I’ve experienced all sorts of international cuisine, but I’ve never sampled any of it while on the couch, in my pajamas and slippers, in front of the television watching football and handicapping horse races!Thanksgiving. The mere word waters my mouth. It’s a feast. Says so right in the brochure.Thanksgiving also is family time--when we gather to share love for each other, or to feign a close approximation. Sometimes, Turkey Days go sideways. What should we expect to happen when we gather, in a room overheated by an actual fire, with a group of sweater-wearing relatives and friends, dizzy from ingesting alcohol, tryptophan, coffee and sugary baked-goods, while harboring competing ideologies fueled by decades of pent-up resentment?Don’t know where you spend this holiday, but I’m at my mother-in-law’s place for the feast. And she does the holiday proud. Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, biscuits, brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, apple and pumpkin pie. My brother-in-law, who’s been around the clan nearly as long as I have, is a young, sturdy fellow capable of devouring a Fred Flintstone-sized steak in one of those roadside joints, thereby getting it for free. Great news this year is that he and the wife have gone vegan. Besides improving their health, the switch means that there will be even more leftovers for yours truly to doggie-bag! I absolutely love Thanksgiving leftovers…and I don’t have a dog.Del Mar has cancelled Thanksgiving Day racing as a precautionary measure in anticipation of a rainstorm. This Turkey Day, the turf won’t meet the surf. That’s too bad, on several levels. I get why they’re doing it. Still, I’m disappointed. Normally, I advance wager and then, at my mother-in-law’s, watch the races on my phone. It serves as entertainment and as a suitable diversion from conversation with the wife’s family. Well, that and plenty of vodka.This year, according to the heart doctor, no vodka! And now, no Del Mar, either. Thankfully, at least, I can anticipate an uptick in leftover volume to make up for it.Still, by darkness Thanksgiving night, the only one at my mother-in-law’s dinner table to have had a more trying day than me will be the turkey.There are so many things for which I am grateful. In fact, my world is an embarrassment of riches. Not the financial kind, you understand. I’m a working stiff, relying a bi-weekly paycheck. But I’ve got way more than money. I’ve got people I love and those who love me. Multi-decade friendships from coast-to-coast, forged over a nearly 40-year racing career—half on the racetrack in various capacities: publicity, racing official, jockey agent, tip sheet operator, etc.—and half in the Advance Deposit Wagering game—Youbet and now Xpressbet. Racing’s been good to me—calloused my baby fat with tough-love and given me a grandstand-full of amazing experiences.Overall, this has been a challenging year for racing and, particularly, for the racetrack I love most—Santa Anita. It’s impossible to be thankful for what happened there last winter. However, what I am grateful for, as it relates to 2019 racing, is that out of the mess stories have emerged about dedicated people who work with racehorses and treat them better than family. I knew they were there; good people who work long hours for not much money partly because they want what you and I want—better lives for our children—and partly because they care about the animals. I hope the spotlight continues to shine on those who live to groom, ride, train and feed horses--backstretch workers, jockeys, trainers and owners. I’m also thankful that out of an awful situation came heightened awareness regarding veterinary inspection and track condition and maintenance. Great change often requires a significant catalyst.Personally, 2019 has been a bit of a troubled trip because I had two heart procedures--January and November. And for a guy who hates doctors almost as much as slow horses, that’s tough. No big deal, though, really. I’m fine and so much better off than those with serious health issues.I’m grateful for my wife Gail. We’ve been together 20 years and, every time I complain about losing a tight photo, she reminds, “You used up all your luck when you met me.” And she’s right! She’s the best in so many ways. She knows me better than I know myself and loves me double on days whose names end in a Y.This year, though, I’m most grateful for the healthy birth of my granddaughter. It’s been one of the most emotional experiences of my life. She’s absolutely amazing and I wish I could share the love, joy and anticipation I feel each day because of her. Words fail. And for a guy who’s attempted to put them in a somewhat cohesive order for 50 years, that’s saying something.Thank you for reading this, and for wagering with Xpressbet. I work with some wonderful people and we appreciate your business. When it comes to playing the races, you have choices. We’re happy you choose Xpressbet. From our families to yours, we wish you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Enjoy!Race On!

Read Article
11.27.2019:

Harness Highlights: Shartin N On Opposite End of Photo Finish

Shartin N fell a nose short of becoming the first mare ever with back-to-back $1 million seasons when archrival Caviart Ally defeated her in the $175,000 TVG Mare Pace last Saturday at the Meadowlands. But Shartin N built a strong enough 2019 resume with a 15-19 record to hold the No. 1 spot in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 poll – a major indicator for Horse of the Year – after the final major stakes race of the season. Caviart Ally ($8.80, Andrew McCarthy) sat a pocket trip and got up in the final yards for her third recent win over Shartin N that included a Breeders Crown championship. Caviart Ally moved up to No. 7 in the poll with her ninth win of the year and a $672,215 bankroll. In other stakes action:   ·         Always a Prince ($12) went wire-to-wire from post 8 in 1:48.2 to win the $350,000 TVG Open Pace, one of four winners on the night for driver Yannick Gingras. Reigning Horse of the Year McWicked finished fifth, but a retirement ceremony was held in the winners’ circle after the race for the 8-year-old gelding, who finished his career with 40 wins and $4.9 million in earnings. ·         Six Pack is headed for a career at stud, but not before he trotted to a track-record 1:50 victory in the $350,000 TVG Open Trot. He defeated Manchego, the Breeders’ Crown Mare Trot champion, by ¾ of a length to go out with a 19-35 record and $1.9 million in earnings for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. ·         Emoticon Hanover ($16.40, Dan Dube) surged late in a :26.2 final quarter-mile to catch 1-to-9 favorite Atlanta in the $175,000 TVG Mare Trot in 1:51.4. ·         More than $400,000 was on the line in each of four 2-year-old stakes events. El Ideal ($8, Andy Miller) seized the moment when odds-on favorite and Breeders Crown champion Amigo Volo went off stride at the break, leading throughout in the Valley Victory. Senorita Rita ($4.20, Scott Zeron) lived up to favoritism with a head victory in 1:53 in the Goldsmith Maid for filly trotters. Papi Rob Hanover (David Miller) cracked the national Top 10 with a 1:51.4 win in the Governor’s Cup for freshman pacers. JK First Lady (Yannick Gingras) paced to a track-record 1:49.2 in the Three Diamonds pace for fillies. 

Read Article
11.25.2019:

Thanksgiving Week Stakes Picks

I’m most thankful for the horseplayers who make this game go. So as we approach one of the year’s most treasured holidays this week, let us share our handicapping passion. Here’s how I see a series of Thanksgiving weekday stakes races, and hope you cash a cornucopia of your own.WednesdayBesides the Penn Mile in June, Thanksgiving Eve is Penn National’s only other day on the calendar where the national interest grows. Races 2-3-4 are stakes with some serious New York influence and get you out before 7:30 pm ET on a card that begins at 6 pm ET. In the $100,000 Swatara (Race 2), Name Changer returns from a nearly 1-year layoff and likely will be under-laid with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle. The play is Monongahela, runner-up in this race a year ago and capable vs. these after being overmatched in his last pair. In the $100,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies for Pennsylvania-breds, Chad Brown’s Nov. 3 Aqueduct debut winner Autunomous and John Servis’ 14-length debut Parx winner Precious should dominate the tote. But the value will be with Ebo Special, and who wants to bet against a 2-year-old by Constitution right now … especially at what figures to be an overlay? The featured $200,000 Fabulous Strike (Race 4) would seem to be an easy check for Breeders’ Cup Sprint fifth-place finisher Firenze Fire. He will go much shorter than the 8-5 morning line under Irad Ortiz, Jr. if he runs; but note he’s cross-entered in the Fall Highweight at Aqueduct on Thursday. Inside-speed Midtowncharlybrown is a threat to wire this race for the second straight year and the key rival to the favorite even if Firenze Fires shows up. ‘Brown is the play for sure in the chalk’s absence.ThursdayThanksgiving Day at Aqueduct includes an 11:50 am ET early first post time. The feature is the 6-furlong Fall Highweight Handicap (Race 7). Under 134 pounds, Firenze Fire carries top weight but could opt to run at Penn National the night before where cross-entered. In a race with a ton of speed, the lighter-weighted, closer No Distortion is an Aqueduct horse-for-course who will be a big price on the class rise. He could be key to exotics in the underneath positions. The program also features the $100,000 Winter Memories (Race 8), where I’m very interested in Keeneland import allowance winner Tuned, a daughter of star turf mare Zagora.It’s opening day at the venerable Fair Grounds in New Orleans (first post 1 pm ET). The traditional feature is the 6-furlong Thanksgiving Classic (Race 7) for a purse of $100,000. With just a field of 5, it’s not a 5-star kind of betting race to say the least. But 8-5 morning line favorite Bobby’s Wicked One has had more troubled starts than wins in his career and might not be a rubber-stamp to the winner’s circle. But the outside draw in a tiny field gives him every chance to overcome his gate issues and improve to 4-for-5 at Fair Grounds.Churchill Downs’ traditional Turkey Day card includes the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap (Race 9) and has 3-1 morning line co-favorites in Chilukki winner Sally’s Curlin and Locust Grove heroine Go Google Yourself. The former has established herself as a potent closer in 1-turn miles, while the latter comes in fresh and more accomplished in 2-turn affairs. But it’s New York-bred Ratajkowski who looks to be potential lone speed and the one to beat/catch off sharp local workouts to get accustomed to the CD footing. Julien Leparoux rides this lightly raced Drosselmeyer mare in search of her fourth straight win.FridayBlack Friday annually has a golden feel on the stakes calendar. Major races at Aqueduct, Golden Gate and Churchill Downs are on the marquee.The Grade 3 Comely at Aqueduct (Race 8) is a great stakes jumping-on point for unbeaten Maryland raider Arrifana. The Curlin filly is 4-for-4, including an allowance roadtrip win at Saratoga and has been handled very patiently by Kelly Rubley. Remington Park Oaks 2-3 finishers Gold Standard and Classic Fit re-match and are win contenders. We’ll get the benefit of seeing how RP Oaks winner Lady Apple runs in Wednesday’s Zia Park Oaks for Steve Asmussen for some additional strength-of-schedule quality.The $50,000 Golden Gate Debutante (Race 7) puts 2-year-old sprint fillies in the spotlight. Bob Baffert sends Eclair north for the first time. Misirlou has won all 3 starts on the Tapeta at Golden Gate since debuting second on dirt at Santa Rosa. The fleet local debut winner Mischievous Curlin should offer another big price after that 19-1 score vs. Cal-breds. She’s capable.Churchill Downs’ Friday card is topped by the Grade 1 Clark Handicap (Race 11), which includes the likes of Seeking the Soul, Tom’s d’Etat, Mocito Rojo and Owendale. Last year’s runner-up Bravazo makes his first start since the Pegasus World Cup in January. There appears plenty of early speed in here to give Churchill-loving Seeking the Soul a chance to launch his late rally like he did in the Stephen Foster. Owendale is the other beneficiary of such a set-up. The Grade 2 Mrs. Revere (Race 9) boasts Chad Brown’s Grade 2 Sands Point winner New and Improved. Give a longshot look to Winter Sunset, an impeccably bred filly who just didn’t fire at Keeneland and is better than that last effort suggests.

Read Article
11.25.2019:

Monday, November 25: Woodbine Mohawk Park Pick 4 Analysis

There is a 10-race card set to go at Woodbine Mohawk Park tonight. The 0.20 Pick 4 starts as usual in Race 4. That sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 45-Cross My Mind (4-1)-Camera shy 4-year-old draws well and may catch a jewel of trip in 3rd start back since a sick scratch.7-Barn One (8-1)-Needs a top effort and a good start. Likes to roll late and might find some live cover. There might be a few leavers and pace could be brisk.8-Go Rrrilla (2-1)-Winner of 3-straight since being claimed, moves outside but should be bet hard again. Deserves respect, has owned this class lately.Race 52-Rye N Clyne (10-1)-Took the long way around and took top honors at Flmd. Starts inside and may get sucked around to get a rare win on the big track at a price.4-Bringhome Theblue (8-1)-Usually is a slow starter but last finish was better than recent tries. Jamieson steerstonight and that may help chances.5-EL Wild Spirit (2-1)-Almost has to get a better trip than in last and has burned a lot of money in past two starts. Should be pounded again but looks like a major player.Race 62-Superlative (8-1)-This mare has had some issues but knows how to win. Taking a swing for a price, should be in the mix from this post if minds manners in a tough race.3-Odds On Amethyst (4-1)-Fits much better at this level and can win this if Hudon works the right trip.6-Sortie (2-1)-This is a spot to shine but the breaking problems need to stop. Using and thinking Vanderkamp will keep him trotting.Race 73-Stelios (7/2)-Makes 4th start for Auciello, draws inside and is still looking for first picture in new barn. Needs a top effort but appears to have the best chance to knock off #6.6-Julerica (2-1)-Drew off by 7-lengths when dropped to this level. This crew is similar and with a decent trip should score an encore.My Ticket Race 4) 5,7,8 Race 5) 2,4,5 Race 6) 2,3,6 Race 7) 3,6Total Ticket Cost) $10.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.24.2019:

Sunday, November 24: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis

Pompano Park begins the week with a 9-race card and the 0.50 Pick 4 starts in Race 6. That sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool with a low 12% takeout and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 65-Cartier Zette (7/2)-Nine-time winner this year should like the company and pilot is one of the better amateurs in the field. Big try in last race from the 9-hole and looks like a major player here.8-Jurgen Hanover (2-1)-Amateur driver is also the trainer and thinking that helps the cause from this post. Could be a clean trip away from a second straight picture.Race 73-Rock N Fantasy (3-1)-Steps-up after a win on the engine at 4/5. Can get the top again and does know how to win, so best to respect.6-I'vegotagirlcrush (7/2)-Hoosier invader fits with this bunch in first start at PPk. Shows good speed on smaller ovals and looks like a real threat to get the biggest check.7-Mc Mach (5/2)-Has been sharp since coming to the Pomp and now gets class relief. Plano's choice over #1, his other stable entry, could get top honors in 3rd local start.Race 82-Hot Art (8-1)-One of two Plano entries, does lose regular pilot but could trip out and surprise at a square price.3-American Chrome (7/5)-First start at the Pomp and should be bet hard with Hennessey. Does get an inside post draw for a change and fits, using but not as confident as the line maker.5-Late Night Joke (3-1)-Slow start hurt in last but now faces an easier group and drew well. This horse knows how to win and with a top effort he could be first under the wire.Race 91-Thatsjusthowiroll (9-1)-Come off a nice win and draws better than main foes. Wrenn has options and might be able to work the right trip.5-Hesallaboutdabass (9/2)-Just missed in last as an even money favorite. Is only 1-24 and obviously that isn't a plus, but versus this crew will use and hope for a square price.8-Man In Black (10-1)-3-year-old takes on some older foes like the ML chalk #10 but comes off a sharp win from the 8-hole. Steps-up to NW3 but will string along.10-Mach West (6/5)-Starting in 2nd tier might be a problem but drops and should be in the mix with a clean trip. Not a 6/5 chalk in my view but this isn't an easy race to predict.My Ticket Race 6) 5,8 Race 7) 3,6,7 Race 8) 2,3,5 Race 9) 1,5,8,10Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.24.2019:

Sunday, November 24: Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.Today’s Day Makers: View VideoRACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Stealthediamonds; 2-Kentan RoadForecast: The main contention is drawn inside in this five-furlong turf sprint for second level allowance fillies and mares. Stealthediamonds, a recent $80,000 claim by M. Puype, was a sharp winner in her only prior outing over this course and distance during the summer meeting, a race that earned her a career top speed figure. She’s always been pretty much a need-the-lead type and with Kentan Road (who might be tad quicker) breaking right alongside, the daughter Unusual Heat may have to employ stalking or pressing tactics. In the frame in 11 of 15 career starts, she’s thoroughly genuine and consistent, and it will be interesting to see if she can adjust her style successfully. Kentan Road has been in front at the first call in each of her last seven starts and won’t be waiting around for anybody. A two-time winner over the local lawn, the J. Sadler-trained mare was pitched too high in the Ken Maddy S.-G3 and faded late under pressure, but at this level she should be able to stick around a long time. We’ll give Stealthediamonds a very slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: BSingle: 9-ImperatorForecast: The known element doesn’t impress in this bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint so let’s try the sneaky Bay Area shipper, Imperator, on top. The son of Elusive Warning has done some good work in the a.m. over the all-weather Golden Gate Fields surface and we doubt trainer R. Amescua would have vanned him 500 mile south if he didn’t think he could compete on this circuit (there are plenty of similar opportunities on his home track). The barn’s go-to rider (A. Gryder) takes the call, so at 4-1 on the morning line we’ll make him a straight play and rolling exotic single in what amounts to slightly more than an educated guess.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Excellent Sunset; 3-Maxim Rate; 4-Don’t Blame JudyForecast: Here’s a grass grab bag for second level allowance fillies and mares over a mile on grass. We’ll go three-deep but if you find the need to spread even more, go right ahead. Excellent Sunset adds blinkers for the first time while seeking her first win since she finished first but was disqualified over this course and distance more than a year ago. Third beaten a head in her most recent start in listed stakes company, the Irish-bred mare will leave from a good inside post while retaining F. Prat and is the logical favorite at 8/5 on the morning line. But she’s been beaten twice in her last three starts as a heavy favorite, so she’s probably not trustworthy. Maxim Rate may offer better wagering value at 5-1 on the morning line. She also will be racing with blinkers for the first time in her career and will appreciate the class drop, having competed in graded stakes races in every start since breaking her maiden in her debut earlier this year. The S. Callaghan-trained filly should be rolling in the final furlong. Don’t Blame Judy has a prior win over the Del Mar turf course and is fast on figures. On her best day, she’s right there.RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Win Often; 5-Biddy DukeForecast: Win Often was a clever debut winner with a nice speed figure last month at Santa Anita while competing for a $50,000 tag and is protected today in this starter’s allowance sprint for juvenile fillies. The daughter of Vronsky seems to be made of the right stuff and with expected improvement could score right back in this competitive affair. Biddy Duke has been badly overmatched in her last pair but if her confidence hasn’t been diminished she certainly can act in this much more realistic spot. A nearly six length maiden claiming winner over the Del Mar strip in late August, the daughter of Bayern may be the quickest in the field and could get brave if she can establish a clear early lead. Let’s go with Win Often on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: XSingle: 5-ShandlingForecast: This maiden turf sprint should be Shandling’s show. The son of Distorted Humor was shuffled back soon after the start and lost position but then rallied strongly to be second in a promising debut vs. similar last month at Santa Anita., With better racing luck today, the P. D’Amato-trained colt should be able to handle this assignment in a field lacking in depth, so at 8/5 on the morning line he’s a logical no-value rolling exotic single.RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: BUse: 8-Gate Speed; 10-Next GenForecast: Next Gen graduated in sharp style with a good speed figure in just his second career start last May and was promptly claimed by J. Sadler. The Super Saver colt makes his first start since and is protected in this starter’s allowance race, so we’ll assume he remains well-liked by his connections. The workouts – including a bullet gate drill (fastest of 30) last week at Santa Anita - indicate he’s fit and ready, so with F. Prat riding him back let’s use him strongly both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Gate Speed also is worth including somewhere on your ticket. The M. Glatt-trained gelding ran away and hid from a maiden $40,000 group last time out and did so with a monster speed figure. If he can repeat that type of performance again, he’ll be dangerous.RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Red King; 2-Crystal Tribe; 5-Buckstopper KitForecast: This mini marathon has a number of possibilities in an evenly matched affair. Best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. Crystal Tribe lost early position and appeared a tad erratic through the lane yet was beaten just over two lengths in a similar event earlier this month at Santa Anita. The long-fused Irish-bred colt gets an extra furlong to work with today, and if he moves forward at all the J. Mullins-trained colt could pull off a mild surprise. D. Van Dyke knows him well and stays aboard. Buckstopper Kit, third in the same race Crystal Tribe exits, is a two-time winner over the Del Mar turf course and in a galloper’s race may inherit the role as the controlling speed. He’s reunited with “win rider” A. Cedillo and at 9/2 on the morning line is a “must use.” Red King, in the frame in his last three starts and nosed out over this course and distance in late August, has trained steadily of late and should be set for another typical honest effort. He’s guaranteed a ground-saving trip from the rail and is solid in the speed figure department, but if there is a concern it’s that he’s winless in seven previous outings over the Del Mar lawn.RACE 8: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Ultimate Bango; 3-Fashionably Fast; 5-OliverForecast: Oliver dislikes this Santa Anita main track but at Del Mar it’s a whole different story. The son of Papa Clem turns back to an extended sprint, switches to A. Cedillo, and projects to enjoy a perfect pace-stalking trip outside. Fashionably Fast, the morning line favorite at 8/5, seeks his fourth consecutive win, two of which were accomplished over the Del Mar main track. Oliver is a tad faster on pure numbers, but this son of Lucky Pulpit continues to improve and has the perfect pressing style for this seven-furlong trip. Ultimate Bango was visually very impressive beating a lesser field on grass last time out, a race that produced a career top speed figure. Today he must show he can be just as effective on dirt, and after drawing the rail his task was made tougher, but we’ll toss him in on a ticket or two in our rolling exotics.RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: C+Use: 3-Push Through; 4-Cono; 8-Perfect WagerForecast: The nightcap is a total mess, a state-bred grass miler that we find inscrutable. The three listed above should run well, but none are what you’d call trustworthy. Push Through likes to finish second or third more than he likes to win, but after being freshened since late August the San Luis Rey Downs-based gelding – who has a history of running his best fresh – could be set for a major effort. In the money in his last two and a prior winner over the local lawn, the son of Square Eddie has good tactical speed and should have dead aim and every chance from the quarter pole home under regular pilot M. Gutierrez. Cono lacks a winning punch but did finish second in a similar affair at Santa Anita last month while earning a career top speed figure. If he can repeat that effort today he’ll be right there. Perfect Wager, third in that same race, does his best running when held up early and allowed to run late. With a decent pace to compliment his style, the J. Mullins-trained gelding might make some noise in the final furlong.

Read Article
11.23.2019:

Saturday, November 23: Meadowlands Pick 4 Analysis

There's a star-studded cast ready to roll at the Meadowlands. This is the last night for big stakes in 2019 and it figures to be a very competitive 13-race card. The Pick 4 begins in Race 8, the sequence has a $75,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 81-American History (9/2)-Overlooking last at RcR when faded down the lane. Breeders Crown winner can get a similar trip as he got back at Wbsb on 10/25. This race may come down to the best drive and Joe B needs to be sharp again.5-Dealt A Winner (10-1)-Avoided a speed duel at the start of the Potomac in last start and came on late. Could use the same script here and pop at a price. Dave Miller should have 7-year-old in play again to rally late and pace could be hot.6-Dorsoduro Hanover (8-1)-Faded in the Potomac but was used very hard at the start. Could get the top tonight or may let #7 and #1 battle into the first turn. Another who will be dependent on the trip but could be overlooked at the windows.7-Bettor's Wish (3-1)-3-year-old takes on a tough group of older foes but has been sharp all year and shouldn't be overlooked. This post could be an issue as Dunn will likely leave and hope for the best, should be some start.Race 93-Hen Party (10-1)-Looking to spread a bit to shoot against the chalk as in Race 8 and this filly is an interesting play. Likes to race close to the top and finally draws inside. Not crazy about this being her 18th start but does look like a live price shot.4-Marloe Hanover (9/2)-In a spot to get a 2-hole trip behind #6 the program chalk who has ruled this class. Best to respect connections and this gal is in sharp form. Figuring last week was a typical Dave Miller tune-up and now could be sitting on a big try.5-Jk First Lady (7/2)-Took the long way around to win last week's elimination. Gets a good post draw and Gingras could benefit from a sizzling pace and finish fastest of all.6-Lyons Sentinel (2-1)-Winner in 9 of 13 and was a runner-up in the other four starts. This filly is as tough as nails and comes off a track record score at Dover Downs. Tetrick may shoot for the top but that's not the only way she can win. Deserves respect no doubt but will look to shoot against in a tough race.Race 101-Six Pack (3-1)-One of a few retiring to stud after tonight and now finally gets a rare inside post draw. Should be forwardly placed and will be very tough to beat with a clean trip.5-Manchego (2-1)-Muscle Hill mare isn't afraid to take on the boys and can beat them. Program chalk has won 8 of 12 at the Big M and looks to be a major player once again.Race 111-Shartin N (9/5)-Horse of the Year honors is hers to lose and a win here should seal the deal. If fires her best shot and avoids a poor trip it's probably picture time again.7-Caviart Ally (7/2)-This is a fine mare who unfortunately has had to bump heads with Shartin but has beaten her twice. The post draw doesn't help her chances but still figures to have the best shot of an upset.My Ticket Race 8) 1,5,6,7 Race 9) 3,4,5,6 Race 10) 1,5 Race 11) 1,7Total Ticket Cost) $32 for 0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.22.2019:

Firing Away at Mandatory Rainbow 6 Payout at Gulfstream Park West

Players will find it easy to jump into the pool Sunday as Gulfstream Park West heads into the final day of its season with a mandatory payout on the Rainbow 6.Gulfstream Park West hands the south Florida racing reins back to big sis Gulfstream Park, which begins its Championship Meet next Friday.Never one to shy away from such things, here’s my suggested tickets, which totals $67.20 for the sequence.Race 4 The suggested ticket will be perfect after one race. ALL is the choice in this one, which is a mile race for fillies and mares. These are non-winners of three fraces, and most have been working at it for a while. Some of the runners that are fresh off ‘non-winners of two’ triumphs look just as tough as their more-experienced rivals.Race 5Milkah and Golden Nole will be popular selections in this sequence. Milkah is likely to be short on the board was second against a higher level last out. The biggest hope for those against the Palace Malice filly will be that she will not get her legs fully beneath her going only five furlongs. Her three races on the turf were twice at a mile and once at 7.5 furlongs. She’ll be urged to get into the game earlier. Golden Nole failed last time in a race that came off the turf and was contested in the slop. She has shown excellent speed in turf sprints, and while Milkah will attempt to catch up, this one will be winging in on the front end.Race 6 In the sixth, it’s either take a couple or take a bunch. In the interest of keeping the ticket price from getting away from us, the former is the way to go here. Deal With It Duke was third against much better and the question is why he’s dropped to the bottom. This gelding was on the board in allowance race last year at Santa Anita. Cabre didn’t do well in his debut last November, but his three well-spread-out starts this year has been good. He broke his maiden in each fashion and lost photos in his last two. This will be his first try at a mile.Race 7Southern Sea and Eric the Salesman are the two we’re counting on going the 7.5 furlongs on the turf. Southern Sea is in good form with on-the-board finishes in five of his last six and will be in the hunt throughout. He’s not been to the winner’s circle in his last four and is overdue to finish the job again. Eric the Salesman showed interest in his last two but can be very close to the lead throughout this one. He hasn’t won since May but appears to have found a race flow that should work in his favor.Race 8Noncents rarely runs a bad one and has been very consistent while jumping around various class levels, and the daughter of Goldencents will be the one to run down in this seven-furlong sprint for $16,000 claimers. She’s won for $25,000, $35,000 and optional $35,000 levels, was second at this distance last year and fits well here. Shessuchaknockout comes off a win going five furlongs on the turf and broke her maiden on the dirt last year. She’s developed a stalking style recently and can make first move at the leaders. She should be able to get the distance.Race 9A trio of fillies and mares make the ticket in the final leg. Blue Songs, Tennessee Cotton and Tailadios have a good chance to advance from this ‘non-winners of two’ level. Blues Song just missed last out and will be rolling at the end, while Tennessee Cotton just missed by a neck last the time and figures to be a pace factor. Tailadios is a closer and could benefit from a fast pace.Here’s the suggested play for the Rainbow Six Sunday at Gulfstream Park West: Race 4) ALL (7 horses)Race 5) #8 Golden Nole, #9 Milkah.Race 6) #3 Deal With It Dude, #5 Cabre.Race 7) #6 Southern Sea, #8 Eric the Salesman.Race 8) #3 Noncents, #8 Shessuchaknockout.Race9) #4 Blues Songs, #5 Tennessee Cotton, #7 Tailadios. 20-cent Rainbow Six ticket: ALL (7 horses) with 8-9 with 3-5 with 6-8 with 3-8 with 4-5-7 ($67.20)

Read Article
11.22.2019:

November 22: Cal Expo Pick 4 Analysis

Cal Expo starts the weekend with a 9-race card. The 0.20 Pick 4 begins in Race 6 and will be my focus. The sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool and a 16% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 67-Mr Varsity (7/2)-Plano trainee had a quick back half but couldn't catch the leader. Barn has been doing well and looking for an aggressive move to get the top.8-Rockin Eddie (8-1)-Looking for a price shot, that mile in Kentucky was a stunner. Anything close to that effort puts this gelding in line for another picture.9-Bettor In The Bank (5/2)-Usually would pass a short price, winner of two straight taking a double bump up from the 9-hole. But this 9-year-old is the class of the field, has won 20 of 45 in Sacramento and could stay good in 3rd start off the bench.Race 71-Surprisingly Sweet (9/2)-Makes second start of the meet and from this post could hang around and make one big move to sweep by late. Best to respect and is no stranger to the CalX winner's circle.2-No Gurantees (12-1)-Taking a swing although moves up in class and is only 1 for 21 this year, also ML chalk #5 is 1-25. Has raced from the back in two starts here and paced a big second half last week. Might surprise with the right trip.5-Marilyn (5/2)-Beaten chalk hasn't been used hard in either start here. Maybe tonight is the time for a big try and will respect connections.7-Getter Queen Flush (9/2)-Plano is in the bike for this contest and that should help. The Queen is trip dependent and now has a pilot who can work the right trip.Race 81-Crusin For You (6-1)-Failed as a well bet chalk last time but Svendsen does stick. This is a 1 1/2-mile race, should be forwardly placed and could be rolling late.7-Al's Briefs (4-1)-Plano trainee improved in second start at the meet. Paced a big last half and just missed catching a sharp winner. Another strong effort wouldn't be a surprise.8-Blue Star Maverick (3-1)-Got on the engine and didn't look back in last. May need to follow a different script this time but best to not overlook.9-Buzz Light (9/2)-Drops and might be able to overcome the outside post with the added distance. Team Roland trainee can pass foes down the lane and could find some live cover.Race 97-Panedictine (6-1)-Magee's choice over #10 has never raced at CalX. 9-year-old should like the company and could win at a square price if fires hot off the bench.9-Giggle Monster (9/2)-Has only one win this year but that came off a sharp effort right here on 11/9. Fits well with this crew and post makes the price in a race without a standout.0.20 Pick 47,8,9/1,2,5,7/1,7,8,9/7,9Total Bet=$19.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.22.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Del Mar Analysis & Wagering Strategies for 11/22/19

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis and Wagering StrategiesDel MarFriday, November 22, 2019Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.*Today’s Day Makers: View Video*RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Miracle March; 6-PurianoForecast: Puriano drops to the bottom, removes blinkers, stretches out for the first time and has better than par speed figures for this level. If he can act around two turns, this would be an ideal spot to show it. Miracle March returned off a long layoff and flashed good early speed before fading in a sprint two months ago. The recent work tab is encouraging and from the rail the J. Sadler-trained gelding seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics, though on this track inside speed over a distance of ground isn’t necessarily a good thing. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics with slight preference on top to Puriano.**RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: C+Single: 3-The StiffForecast: This race originally was scheduled for turf but has been switched to the main track. The Stiff has the first time-for-a-tag angle, switches to A. Cedillo, and has the pedigree to handle dirt, though all of his previous outings have been on grass. The son of Danza will be doing his best work late and rates top billing in a race that – due the surface switch – probably should be approached with caution. You can use him as a rolling exotic single or simply sit it out.**RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: XSingle: 6-SaralinForecast: Saralin was well-backed in her debut but was worn down late by the more experienced Gingham and settled for second while five lengths clear of the rest in a promising effort at this distance at Santa Anita last month. The daughter of Curlin seems certain to benefit from that effort and as a first time Lasix user with F. Prat staying aboard the S. Callaghan-trained filly seems set to graduate. At 6/5 of the morning line she’ll be unplayable in the straight pool, but we can use her as a no-value rolling exotic single.**RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: C+Use: 5-Go Time; 6-CommanderForecast: This race originally was scheduled for turf but has been switched to the main track. Best advice is to tread lightly. Go Time seeks some of that valuable ship and win money in his first start since joining the P. Miller barn, and the Florida invader gets A. Cedillo and Lasix while stretching out from five furlongs to a flat mile. His maiden debut score in mid-August was solid and after subsequently producing a series of workouts at Churchill Downs the son of Fed Biz arrives fit and ready for a repeat score. His pedigree suggests the added ground and the switch to dirt won’t be an issue. Commander has been chasing tougher since arriving from France and may have found his proper level today. The P. D’Amato-trained colt is wheeled back in eight day after finishing a no excuse third in a first-level allowance affair and may find this easier gang with his capabilities. Of course, he’s abilities on dirt are unknown.**RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Carnelian Hero; 6-ExtractorForecast: Carnelian Hero, in the money in both of his starts and beaten a nose last time out in a similar maiden $50,000 maiden claiming sprint, rates top billing after raising his Beyer speed figure 17 points between his first and second start. R. Bejarano stays aboard the Old Topper gelding who seems the logical top pick, though at 7/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower there’s really not too much we can do with him. Extractor is an intriguing first-time starter from the B. Koriner barn (strong stats with debut runners) and shows a series of workouts at Los Alamitos that should have him fit enough. We’ll toss him in on a ticket or two as a back-up or a saver.**RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Kookie Gal; 5-KynanceForecast: Kynance has rising speed figures and earned a career top number when a close fourth in a tougher affair over the all-weather track at Golden Gate Fields last month. From a high percentage outfit, the Irish-bred filly has run well over conventional dirt in the past and arrives fit and ready for the money run while realistically dropping into the optional $40,000 claiming ranks. G. Franco should have her in a comfortable stalking position outside throughout. Kookie Gal has two prior starts on dirt, and both were quite good. In her second off a long layoff for P. Miller she should be set for a forward move after a solid third place performance on grass at this level at Santa Anita earlier this month. We’ll try to get by using just these two with Kynance, at 6-1 on the morning line, getting top billing.**RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Velvet Queen; 3-Claudelle; 8-CatorcaForecast: Catorca makes her first start since being claimed for $35,000 by J. Mullins and the daughter of Lemon Drop Kid sports the route-to-sprint angle (always effective over the Del Mar main track) while making a major jockey switch to F. Prat, so we’re expecting a significant forward move. Though strictly a route-type throughout most of her career, she does have the proper style for this extended sprint trip and a bullet half mile workout in 47 seconds earlier this month for her new connections gives indication that she’s spot on. Claudelle seeks her third straight win, though her Beyer speed figure dropped 13 points between her most recent victory and her race before last. She’ll be part of the pace throughout and could score again if not pressured early. Velvet Queen easily won a $50,000 seller restricted to 3-year-olds two-turning on turf last month at Santa Anita, but this will be her first career start on the main track, so its unknown whether she can repeat that type of effort under these conditions. We’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying Catorca on top.**RACE 8: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Big Time Grammy; 3-California Kook; 5-Ride Sally RideForecast: Big Time Grammy is improving with racing and appears set for another forward move but may prefer turf to dirt and this race has been switched to the main track. The daughter of Mr. Big found her best stride too late when third in a similar affair last month at Santa Anita and land a good inside post while switching to F. Prat. Basically, it all comes down to her ability to handle the main track. California Kook was bet down to favoritism in her debut in the same race Big Time Grammy exits but was never a factor while finishing a well-beaten sixth. Today she gets Lasix and blinkers for a barn that has superior stats with second-time starters (23% with a significant flat-bet profit). Ride Sally Ride was fourth in that common race Oct. 19. She retains T. Baze, and after pulling hard last time out seems likely to be more relaxed today with the removal of blinkers. At 8-1 on the morning line she’s worth including somewhere, especially since her pedigree suggests that she may prefer dirt to grass.

Read Article
11.21.2019:

Saturday, November 23: Del Mar Early Pick 5 & Late Pick 4 Selections

Will he or won’t he?  Bob Baffert has entered his G1 winner, Roadster, in the G3 Native Diver Stakes Saturday at Del Mar.  They’ve also mentioned Churchill Downs’ G1 Clark Handicap next Friday as potential next start.  So where will he go?If he goes this Saturday at Del Mar, it would add significant appeal to a solid 9-race card that kicks off at 3:30PM ET.  After all, this race could well prove to be an essential step on Roadster’s path to races like the $9 million G1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 25, 2020.  Also scheduled to race Saturday is the aptly named Del Mar May in Race 4.  While she’ll never race at Del Mar in May, she does have solid back class, including a runner-up performance behind Bellafina in the G2 Sorrento here last August.  But regardless of the caliber of competition, Saturday’s card at Del Mar is one worth playing.  Their Early Pick 5 features a reduced 14% takeout, while the Late Pick 4 includes the aforementioned Native Diver Stakes.  Here are my thoughts on both sequences, along with race-by-race analysis: Early Pick 5 – Races 1 – 5 The opener is a solid field of mid-level claiming horses and they’ll all need to catch #6 ROYAL INSIDER (Carava/Cedillo).  Tactically you have to expect Cedillo to play ‘catch me if you can’ with him.  I’m also going to use #2 BIRD (Hess/Prat).  He would benefit from a fast pace in his first start off the claim for Bob Hess Jr.  #5 ZORICH (Glatt/Talamo) has a good stalk-and-pounce style that works here.  I’m not a huge fan or Race 2, which attracted six maidens entered for a claiming price and #6 MONGOLIAN LEGEND (Ganbat/Gutierrez) is probably the horse to beat despite his 0-for-5 lifetime mark.  He’s been beaten twice by a neck at a lower level but has been consistent.  #5 THE LONGEST NIGHT (D’Amato/Baze) drops out of maiden special weight races and should be the favorite.  It’s hard to not use #2 C FALLS (Ruis/Cedillo) and #3 CHALLAH (Baltas/Prat).  If we’re 3x4 to start this bet we’ll need to find some quantity relief at some point.  Race 3 might be a tough place because this is a big (10) field of maiden claimers on the turf.  I’ll roll the dice with #2 MAGICALLY HONORED (Lerner/Cedillo) on a slight class drop.  He’s the one they’ll need to catch on the front-end.  I don’t love anyone else in this field - #6 DIPPING IN (O’Neill/Gutierrez), #3 ESTABLISH JUSTICE (Puype/Baze) and #5 LACE (Mandella/Pereira) were all considerations – but that lack of confidence makes me want to single MAGICALLY HONORED.  Race 4 is an allowance race for fillies and mares and #1 ROAD RANGER (Koriner/Gryder) and #1A ANDYOUSHALLRECEIVE (Koriner/Cedillo) are coupled for wagering purposes.  All eyes will be on #3 DEL MAR MAY (Baltas/Prat) here.  Her 2018 resume includes bouts in the G1 Chandelier (5th) and the G2 Sorrento (2nd) before finally breaking her maiden in April 2019 at Keeneland.  She ran 7th in the G2 Eight Belles at Churchill.  She’ll be very heavily bet here.  Nobody else in this field shows much solid recent form (ROAD RAGER is the lone last-out winner and nobody else finished better than 3rd in their most recent start).  I will use the entry, assuming ROAD RAGER stays aboard.  She’s the ‘speed of the speed’ here.Nothing looks easy about Race 5, a turf claiming race, so my ticket will include #4 SEASIDE DANCER (O’Neill/Cedillo), #5 QUERELLE (Cassidy/Espinoza), #7 CLOCKSTRIKESTWELVE (Gallagher/Smith), #9 FACTOR OF TWO (O’Neill/Gutierrez) and #10 POSH HOLLY (D’Amato/Franco).  Hopefully if we get this far we can slam the door and cash the ticket.Pick 5 Ticket: 2, 5, 6 / 2, 3, 5, 6 / 2 / 1, 3 / 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 = $60 for 50-centsLate Pick 4 – Races 6 – 9 In Race 6, a maiden special weight, I’m going to use #7 GARTH (Baffert/Van Dyke) and #1 ANCIENT WARRIOR (Hollendorfer/Prat) and reserve the right to add #8 SNAP CHAP (Chatlos/Smith) if that one takes money on the toteboard.  GARTH was bet like a sure thing in his debut (1/5 odds) but he ran into eventual G1 BC Juvenile winner Storm the Court.  ANCIENT WARRIOR has been working bullets in the AM.  This looks like a great spot for #2 RIJEKA (Baltas/Cedillo).  He’s been facing tougher horses in stakes events for the last five starts and just hasn’t been on par with that competition.  The step back in class today should suit him very well.  Let’s also use #8 MORE ICE (Hollendorfer/Van Dyke) and #9 SHINING THROUGH (Hollendorfer/Prat) in a race that figures to have plenty of early pace, assuming no major scratches.This is the G3 Native Diver and the question is whether #4 ROADSTER (Baffert/Van Dyke) runs here or next week at Churchill Downs in the Clark.  Reports have them leaning to the Clark but he’s entered here, so there’s that.  He’s a single in the Pick 4 if he runs here, but if he doesn’t, let’s use #3 ZESTFUL (Glatt/Roman) and #2 MIDCOURT (Shirreffs/Espinoza).  ZESTFUL has been a win machine this year, scoring in 7-of-12 races.  He has a 6-race win streak snapped in the G2 Marathon last out.  The nightcap is a tricky maiden claiming race on the turf and in this type of race I’m usually on the lookout for horses dropping from maiden special weight events.  That list includes #2 FIVESTAR LYNCH (Baltas/Prat) and he’s the likeliest winner.  I’ll also use #6 CAMPS BAY (Sadler/Baze) as his best races could win this and #9 FRIENDLY OUTTHEDOR (Eurton/Cedillo) in his second start off the pine.Pick 4 Scenario 1 (Roadster Scratches):1, 7 / 2, 8, 9 / 2, 3 / 2, 6, 9 = $18 for 50-centsPick 4 Scenario 2 (Roadster Races): 1, 7 / 2, 8, 9 / 4 / 2, 6, 9 = $9 for 50-cents

Read Article
11.21.2019:

Sharing The Love

Bill Lyon passed Sunday night. Perhaps, fittingly, news of his death arrived as the Eagles played the Patriots in South Philadelphia. I didn’t know him. Not personally, anyway. Never met the man. Yet, somehow, he knew me. Knew what made me tick—as a teenager to almost 60 years old--what made me smile, cheer, sigh and cry. And he could make me feel, if not better, at least understood. We shared both good and bad times and he always was there. The day after and the day after that. Like the sun. For over 40 years. Praising, soothing, criticizing, chiding, complementing…whatever the situation required. And there were some sticky situations. From the introduction to his Deadlines and Overtimes, Collected Writings on Sports and Life Lyon wrote: I toiled in the vineyards in the Midwest—three papers in 16 years in Illinois and Indiana, and then, in the summer of ’72 was lured to Philadelphia. “The Big Time,” I crowed to the family. “You’re gonna love it. Great sports city. Just great. Winners everywhere.” So we arrived in this promised Big Time just in time to see Steve Carlton win 27 games and the rest of the Phillies combined only 32. The Eagles would conclude another season of spectacular failure, going 2-11-1. The Flyers would be eliminated from the playoffs on the very last game of the regular season. And the 76ers established a record for futility and ineptitude that remains to this day: nine wins and 73 defeats. Good God, I thought, what have I gotten us into? But it got better. Really it did. Lyon wrote about sports and life for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Often at the same time. But that description is partially inaccurate. Lyon didn’t just ‘write’—the way Picasso didn’t just ‘paint’ or Michelangelo merely ‘sculp.’ He delivered masterpieces. Regularly. And on deadline. As fellow Philly area journalist Dick Jerardi explained, “Bill was a poet that happened to write about sports.” His talent is no secret. Credits include seven books, a National Headliner Award, a place in the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, two Emmy Awards and six Pulitzer Prize nominations. Perhaps, Bill’s greatest achievement was his ability to repeatedly strike the perfect chord in a town that treats local wins, losses and ties as serious as a heart attack. Lyon sensed our raging emotions and deftly delivered descriptive slivers that mirrored them. His writing style is crisp and direct--well-suited to readership of a similar ilk. He could turn a phrase on a dime and elicit a smile or a wince—sometimes in the same sentence. Here are a few examples of Lyon’s writing on Philly topics: Day of Destiny Feb. 6, 2005 (12 years before the Eagles finally won a Super Bowl) Forty-four years. That’s how long we’ve kept the candle in the window. Forty-four years. Six hundred ninety-two games. Eleven coaches. Five owners. Forty-four years. Sons have become fathers, and fathers have become grandfathers. Women have married and had babies, and those babies have had babies. Forty-four years. And now the Birds are teasingly, tantalizingly, enticingly, seductively close. All that lies between them and victory in Super Bowl XXXIX is a lionhearted opponent that exhibits clinical precision and has unshakable confidence. Vet II: It Was Made for Us Jan. 16, 2003 A dump. He called it a dump. Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the Eagles, called Veteran’s Stadium, the arena in which his very own team plays all of its home games, a dump. He is right, of course. But he misses the essential point, which is the Philadelphia point, which is: Yes, it is a dump, but it is our dump. And for all its inhospitable and cheerless cold, for all its crumbling concrete and flaking paint, for all its leaks and stark lack of architectural soul, for all its dank, foreboding gothic grimness, it has, throughout its 32-year-life, served a most useful, if vaguely ignoble, purpose. It has redefined what is meant by home-field advantage. Because opponents would rather play in the Black Hole of Calcutta. And the Eagles will tell you that the Vet is worth points. Yes, sir. At least a field goal. More if the playing surface is as slick as an ice float and the seams frayed and the sinkholes collapsing. A Fine Madness November 1, 2008 It was one of those pristine, crystalline, sun-splashed, green-and-gold shadow-streaked days that October, the best month of the year, favors us with from time to time: a day perfect for, say, a parade. By happy circumstance, we just happened to have one scheduled. And, oh, was it glorious. Well worth the wait, and no matter that the wait had felt like forever and a day. The Phillies, you may have heard, won the World Series the other day. As earlier noted, Lyon didn’t just cover Philly sports. Here are some excerpts from columns dealing with national sports figures and events. From A Fat Chance in Paradise Dec. 10, 1981 Paradise Island, Bahamas—To describe Muhammad Ali as merely fat and 40 is not totally accurate. He will not, after all, turn 40 until next month. As for the weight, well, he tries to camouflage that with bulky, loose-fitting sweat suits. They may have come off the rack of the nearest maternity shop. From Without a Victory, But Winners Anyway Dec. 4, 2003  To play football for Army or Navy is to be told this: All we want is all that you have. On Saturday, near sundown, they will play each other for the 104th time. There’s no other rivalry quite like it.  From the playing field, they will go to a higher calling.  They know the drill, understand the inevitability of the oath they have taken: All will give some, some will give all. No Division I team has ever lost 13 times in one season. Army goes into this game 0-12. You might think by now that they would be numb and couldn’t feel the losing. You would be wrong. You might think that all that losing makes them losers. You would be grievously wrong. Barry Bonds: A Joyless Pursuit Aug. 12, 2007 At nine minutes to midnight in the East, on Tuesday, August 7, in a major-league baseball park with all the splendor of San Francisco, its home, a bloated, gimpy-legged slugger works the pitch count to 3-and-2 and then turns on a fastball with a pristine, measured, disciplined stroke, and drives it well beyond the field of play, 435 feet being the consensus estimate. And with that thunderclap, Barry Lamar Bonds, 43 years old and looking it, who has an ego to match his extravagant talent, a confounding contradiction of incandescent skills and surly temperament, became the most prolific producer of home runs in big-league history. Not all were thrilled. Bill’s final journalistic contributions to the City of Brotherly Love and its citizens is his serial accounting of a personal battle with Alzheimer’s. Anyone with a current or past loved one suffering from this disease knows how insidious it is. Lyon wrote about his war with Alzheimer’s, his wife’ passing and his own mortality, as only he could. My Alzheimer’s fight: Never, ever quit June 4, 2016 In the winter of 2013, with the February cold bone deep, I sat in one of those cramped and sterile little examining cubicles in the Penn Memory Center and listened to the man in the white lab coat ask if I knew what Alzheimer's was. Death by inches, I said. And you have it, he said. I'm pretty sure the world stopped at that moment, and then there was a roaring sound, like a freight train barreling through my brain pan. I sat there, frozen, and I remember thinking what a crummy job this poor guy's got. I call him Al, for short. We've been joined to each other for going on three years now. We're a popular couple - more of us elders join the ranks every year, Alzheimer's being the name that we used to use to describe "natural causes." Or, as my grandmother used to say: "Parts just wear out." (Maude Murphy's parts lasted 95 years, and I hope fervently that she has passed along that DNA.) Al is an insidious and relentless little bastard, a gutless coward who won't come out and fight. Instead, he lies in ambush in my brain, and the only way I can put a face on him is to look in the mirror. Life after Ethel, and why I’ll never, ever give in to Alzheimer’s May 4, 2018 …My wife is gone now, and I struggle with what I am supposed to do. Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no manual for grief. What you should do, I am told, is to go ahead and mourn. Then celebrate the good times, and we had a lot of those. So, I'm going to resume my crusade against Alzheimer's in her memory, and remember the mantra we shared: resist, persist and never, ever give in …This is what Al has taken from me. When I try to read something, I have to go back and reread it two or three more times. I am no longer able to write. I used to have cursive handwriting that I was vain about. Now it looks like something out of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Simple acts have become frustrating. Reading a newspaper befuddles me. One thing you learn about here is dying. No one shies away from that. They've made their peace with this, so let's get on with it. And the roll call changes fast. One day you wake up, and there is an empty chair. But there is frank discussion here about death. And on occasions, you get a laugh out of it. I found it helps to have a sense of humor. Initially, I thought this was grim. But the people I'm with now, well, they resist, persist, and don't ever give up. For a complete look at Bill Lyon’s Alzheimer’s battle, please visit: https://pennmemorycenter.org/news-events/bill-lyons-battle-al/ Finally, as usual, Bill Lyon wrote it best: PhillyBall Feb. 6, 2002 …Like most things Philadelphian, we like out basketball on the grimy side. We like scabby knees and long, angry, red splotches caused by floor burns. Noses permanently bent by bayonet elbows. Lumps and knots, fat lips and fingers disjointed. …There used to be a sign in the Palestra that summed up PhillyBall: To win the game is great. To play the game is even greater. But to love the game is the greatest of all.”   Bill, thanks for sharing the love. Race On!

Read Article
11.20.2019:

Several Noteworthy Breeders' Cup Defeats

Is every race won by the horse whose performance was the best? Any seasoned horseplayer can tell you that certainly is not the case. There are a great many examples in which the horse who ran the best race did not win. Take, for example, the recent Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1-2. In six of this year’s 14 Breeders’ Cup races, the winner did not get the best Thoro-Graph figure. It puts a spotlight on a number of horses who, according to Thoro-Graph, ran a better race in defeat than the horse who won. I find the differences between the Beyer and Thoro-Graph figures in this year’s BC Juvenile and BC Juvenile Turf to be especially interesting. Storm the Court came away with the money and glory for winning the BC Juvenile. But according to Thoro-Graph, Anneau d’Or’s performance in defeat was considerably better. Structor was victorious in the BC Juvenile Turf. But according to Thoro-Graph, nine of the vanquished ran as well as, or better than, Structor. Decorated Invader, who finished fourth, posted the best Thoro-Graph figure in that race. Many horseplayers find Beyer Speed Figures to be very helpful. I do think they have value. I would not refer to them as often as I do if I believed otherwise. But as I have stated 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.” Let’s take a look at all six of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup races in which, according to Thoro-Graph, a horse or horses who lost ran as good as, or better than, the winner: BC FILLY & MARE TURF AT 1 1/4 MILES ON TURF. Iridessa won by a neck. Vasilika finished second. Sistercharlie came in third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Vasilika. According to the Beyers, the performances by Iridessa and Vasilika were equal, with a gap of 5 points back to Sistercharlie. According to Thoro-Graph, the performances by both Vasilika and Sistercharlie were better than Iridessa’s. These were the Beyers for those three: 105 Iridessa105 Vasilika100 Sistercharlie These were the Thoro-Graph figures for those three: 2 Vasilika2 3/4 Sistercharlie3 1/4 Iridessa BC DIRT MILE AT ONE MILE ON DIRT. Spun to Run won by 2 3/4 lengths. Omaha Beach finished second. According to the Beyers, Spun to Run’s performance clearly was better than Omaha Beach’s. According to Thoro-Graph, Omaha Beach’s performance was equal to Spun to Run’s. These were the Beyers for those two: 109 Spun to Run104 Omaha Beach These were the Thoro-Graph figures for those two: negative 1/2 Spun to Runnegative 1/2 Omaha Beach BC TURF SPRINT AT FIVE FURLONGS ON TURF. Belvoir Bay won by 1 1/4 lengths. Om finished second. According to the Beyers, Belvoir Bay’s performance was better than Om’s. According to Thoro-Graph, Om’s performance was better than Belvoir Bay’s. These were the Beyers for those two: 107 Belvoir Bay103 Om These were the Thoro-Graph figures for those two: 1/2 Om1 Belvoir Bay BC JUVENILE AT 1 1/16 MILES ON DIRT. Storm the Court won by a neck. Anneau d’Or finished second. According to the Beyers, Storm the Court’s performance was slightly better than Anneau d’Or’s. According to Thoro-Graph, Anneau d’Or’s performance was considerably better than Storm the Court’s. These were the Beyers for those two: 87 Storm the Court86 Anneau d’Or These were the Thoro-Graph figures for those two: 3 3/4 Anneau d’Or5 1/2 Storm the Court BC JUVENILE FILLIES TURF AT ONE MILE ON TURF. Sharing won by 1 1/4 lengths. Daahyeh finished second. Sweet Melania came in third, a neck behind Daahyeh. According to the Beyers, Sharing’s performance was better than both Daahyeh’s and Sweet Melania’s. According to Thoro-Graph, Sweet Melania’s performance was better than Sharing’s. These were the Beyers for those three: 86 Sharing82 Daahyeh82 Sweet Melania These were the Thoro-Graph figures for those three: 7 1/2 Sweet Melania7 3/4 Sharing9 1/2 Daahyeh BC JUVENILE TURF AT ONE MILE ON TURF. Structor won by three-quarters of a length. Billy Batts finished second. Gear Jockey came in third, a neck behind Billy Batts. They were followed across the finish line by Decorated Invader (fourth), Arizona (fifth), Proven Strategies (sixth), Fort Meyers (dead heat for seventh), Hit the Road (dead heat for seventh, disqualified and placed 14th), Our Country (ninth), Andesite (tenth), War Beast (eleventh), Peace Achieved (twelfth), Graceful Kitten (thirteenth) and Deviant (fourteenth). According to Thoro-Graph, six horses who lost ran a better race than the victorious Structor, plus two horses who lost ran as well as Structor. These were the Beyers for the 14 starters: 79 Structor77 Billy Batts76 Gear Jockey75 Decorated Invader75 Arizona75 Proven Strategies74 Fort Myers74 Hit the Road74 Our Country72 Andesite71 War Beast67 Peace Achieved67 Graceful Kitten40 Deviant These were the Thoro-Graph figures for the 14 starters: 8 3/4 Decorated Invader9 Hit the Road9 1/2 Gear Jockey9 1/2 Fort Meyers10 Arizona10 1/4 Proven Strategies10 1/2 Structor10 1/2 Billy Batts10 1/2 War Beast10 3/4 Andesite12 Our Country12 1/2 Peace Achieved13 3/4 Graceful Kitten18 Deviant  

Read Article
11.20.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: November 22 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle in this week’s Stronach 5, which once again has a 100k guarantee. 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 45 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 (3:39 ET) – 3up 10k N2L at 6 � furlongs I often advocate singling a strong favorite in the opening leg of a horizontal sequence, since the betting public doesn’t want to go out early, and therefore they are apt to go deeper than they should. And I think that’s the right move here, as #6 ALWAYS FOREIGN (2-1), who drops from a 40k in NY after catching slop off the Sharp claim, while catching a solid field in fast time. There’s also no one here to be scared off, and even slight regression should get the job done, though I think he’s apt to move forward off that run, especially on dry land. Pk5 A horses: 6 (listed in order of preference) The other reason I think you should be singling is that the perceived main danger, #4 Bucked Tooth (9-2), got beat 4 1/2 lengths last time and was a neck in front of 35-1 shot #9 Seany P (8-1), so that just doesn’t look like a strong race/effort to me. You could also give a look to #13 Call Triple A (8-1), who probably needed his comeback last time off the 15-month break, but couldn’t beat Pa-bred allowance runners at Parx and now plunges in for 10k. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 2: Gulfstream Park West R6 (3:52 ET) – 3up AOC (25k/N1X) at 1-mile (turf) I’m just going to try and blanket this race, as I don’t really have a strong opinion and I think you’re supposed to get through by using #5 NAVY ARMED GUARD (9-2), who drops in class off an impossible spot at Keeneland, #6 CAUSE FOR PARDON (5-2), a sharp winner here off the Hess claim last time, #1 FACE OF VICTORY (3-1), another Kentucky class dropper, and #7 NOTORIOUS NICK (7-2), who just stormed home here to beat Florida breds for Joseph. Pk5 A horses: 5,6,1,7 I could use #8 The Mighty Judge (10-1), but he’s lost six straight, drew worst of all, and that close 5th last time was at 26-1, so it looks a little fluky to me. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 3: Laurel Park R9 (4:10 ET) – 3up 16k MCL at 1-mile Tough sledding here, as the favorites all look the same and no one remotely stands out. I’ll go with the upside of #3 GOODLUCKCHUCK (9-2), since he’s run just twice and the group he was just 4th to last Friday was better than this one. It looks like a spread race though, so #2 BAYANO (3-1) is a must-use on the drop, #9 DYNA’S KNIGHT (5-1) has been knocking at the door and has run just four times, and #5 DAPER’S DRINK (6-1) was run well enough in his last two on the dirt to be given a big shot. Pk5 A horses: 3,2,9,5 Those four should get you through, but #10 UP AGAINST IT (6-1) didn’t run terribly in his first three starts on dirt and has been on the turf since, so if he’s simply a better horse now then he’s in with a price chance. Pk5 B horses: 10 Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:48 ET) – 2f MSW at 5 1/2 furlongs I don’t know who’s going to win this one, but I think you want to remember the names of the gals that don’t, as this looks like a really good heat and has the makings of a key race. As for today, I’ll go with #2 MISS RYLEIGH (9-2) on top for a Delia barn that is having a good meet and is 16% with firsters, though #1 KAYLA’S COWGIRL (4-1) is a serious player for Wong, who himself is 16% on debut and the works here sure whisper ready. The other Wong firster, #6 DYNASTY OF HER OWN (2-1) drew better and has also worked well, so she needs to be used, as does #5 MYLITTLERUNWAY (5-2), who really improved last time and has what can be a key experience edge here. Pk5 A horses: 2,1,6,5 The works are slow on #3 LADY CROCKER (6-1), and France is just 0-for-2 with firsters, but Alvarado is here, this miss has a big pedigree, and this is a barn that is 9-for-31 on the year, so let’s at least sneak her in as a backup. Pk5 B horses: 3 Leg 5: Gulfstream Park West R8 (4:54 ET) – 3up 8k claimer at 1 1/16 miles (turf) In what seems like an impossible race, I’ll take the two MSW droppers, #7 QUEEN OF GOD (4-1) and #9 BEE WINGS (9-2), as they might be best anyway, before taking into account the big drop, which could really put them over the top against a group like this. The former chased and tired here going a mile in his debut and should only improve off that, while the latter was in a good race in her debut at Indiana Grand and should relish the added ground and turn she gets. Pk5 A horses: 7,9 The backups are a problem, as you could literally use about eight here, but that’s not working on a budget, so we’ll have to narrow a bit. I’ll go with three; #1 MARICOPA (7-2), who really improved in her turf debut and drew perfectly; #2 I’LL DO IT MY WAY (6-1), who could be the controlling speed in her turf debut for Spatz, who is 6-for-18 at the meet; and #6 ROYAL CHANT (10-1), an MSW dropper who could move forward in her second start off the Maragh claim. You could also give a look to #11 Silver Palms (6-1), but this wide draw isn’t ideal. *** Please note that to keep the cost down, I’ll single #3 Goodluckchuck in Leg 3. *** Pk5 B horses: 1,2,6 The tickets: Main Ticket: 6 with 5,6,1,7 with 3,2,9,6 with 2,1,6,5 with 7,9 = $128Leg 3 B Backup: 6 with 5,6,1,7 with 10 with 2,1,6,5 with 7,9 = $32Leg 4 B Backup: 6 with 5,6,1,7 with 3,2,9,5 with 3 with 7,9 = $32Leg 5 B Backup: 6 with 5,6,1,7 with 3 with 2,1,6,5 with 1,2,6 = $48

Read Article
11.18.2019:

Monday, November 18: Pompano Park Pick 5 Analysis

The Pompano Park Pick 5 was not hit on Sunday night. That will lead to a $8,533 carryover for tonight's sequence and a $30,000 guaranteed pool.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 11-A Farmboys Success (5-1)-Took advantage of a great trip in first start for new barn. Gets another inside post draw and could score an encore.5-Alway'syourway (5/2)-Climbs up the claiming ranks after two nice wins. This will be tougher but is having a big year and will respect connections.6-Grantor Hanover (7/5)-Drew off by 5 lengths in 153.3, 9-year-old knows his job and should be in the hunt for another picture.Race 24-Prairie Westerngal (2-1)-3-year-old can leave in a hurry, has finished second in four starts here and could get a picture with a clean trip.5-Rock My World (7/2)-Likes to race on the lead, start will be key as there is other gate speed in the field.8-Galarina (8-1)-Loves the Pomp and last two starts have been sharp after coming off the bench. Fits here and could win at a nice price despite the post.Race 33-Donegal Jim (8/5)-Moves in from post 8 and comes off a tough trip, Hennessey sticks and best to respect.5-Rocky Regal (5/2)-Showed improvement in second start of the meet and this could be go time for 11-time winner in 2019.Race 47-Drive'em Cowboy (3-1)-Hennessey's choice is a beaten chalk who gets some post relief in third local start.8-Rockin Away (7/2)-This will be the third start back after a rest and last was better, looking for upswing to continue.Race 51-Itsnoproblemman (5/2)-This isn't a group of all-stars and this guy shows speed on smaller ovals, looks like a player.2-Rock N Fantasy (8/5)-Hennessey's choice over the 1-6-7, like #1 has never raced at the Pomp before but should be in the mix. Comes by way of HoP, not sure if he is 8/5 worthy but fits.7-Dee's Rocketman (9-1)-7-year-old has had issues and has been off since 8-4 but qualifier looked good. Will take a swing for a price with a horse who has done well at the Pomp.My Ticket Race 1) 1,5,6 Race 2) 4,5,8 Race 3) 3,5 Race 4) 7,8/ Race 5) 1,2,7Total Ticket Cost) $54 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.18.2019:

Meet America's Winningest Horses

Heavens Whisper runs Wednesday night at Remington Park, and most all of the Thoroughbred community won’t find anything special about it. But a victory would make this 4-year-old filly the nation’s first runner in 2019 to reach 9 victories. In an era of limited starts by the game’s best runners, let’s celebrate the year’s top win machines.Heavens Whisper won’t have a waltz in starter allowance company Wednesday night in Oklahoma City. Tapindeed also is in the field, and she’ll be trying to reach the 8-win mark and join the national leaders for 2019. Heavens Whisper has won at Fair Grounds, Oaklawn, Prairie Meadows and Remington Park this year while changing hands from Steve Asmussen to Karl Broberg to Luis Villafranco. She has won from 5-1/2 furlongs to 1 mile and 70 yards.Nationally, 14 different horses have won 8 times this year. None are perfect, but 4 of them boast 8-for-9 records: West Virginia-breds Penguin Power for Jeff Runco and Cuttin Edge Tech for Kevin Patterson at Charles Town (and both are by sire Fiber Sonde); Ohio-based, Georgia-bred Sensational Ride for Jeff Radosevich; and Exclusivo on the island of Puerto Rico. The West Virginia-breds have been prolific as noted and also include multiple stakes winner and 8-win club member Anna’s Bandit (pictured above) for Jerry Robb in Maryland. She’s bagged more than $350,000 this year to lead the earnings among the most prolific winners on the year.Other 8-time winners on the year include the Anthony Farrior-trained Lonely Drifter, a South Carolina-bred who has canvassed the mid-Atlantic; Mr. Benz, victorious at Oaklawn, Canterbury and Zia Park; New Jersey-bred Phonemyposseagain, a second Kevin Patterson trainee on the list based in West Virginia; Cal-bred Insubordination, a well-traveled winner at Delta, Fonner, Columbus, Prairie Meadows and Zia Park; Golden Gate Fields-based Amber Louise reached the mark with a win Sunday; General Mach Four, Cantchaco and Masters Bluff all have ran up their totals in the Pacific Northwest.Just below the 8-win club comes the first of the nationally recognized runners, Midnight Bisou, who had won all 7 starts on the year before a belated rally for second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. And next among the national players would be Bricks And Mortar at a perfect 6-for-6 on the year, and Mitole at 6-for-7. But those runners are finished for the campaign. From here out, the fun comes at the lower levels as we see who can sprint to the finish first the most times in 2019.Every year since Equibase's seasonal standings began in 2000 includes at least one, most times multiple, winners of 10-plus races. So chances are, these win machines aren't done yet.

Read Article
11.17.2019:

Sunday, November 17: Pompano Park Pick 4 Analysis

The feature at Pompano Park rolls in Race 8, an Open II Pace with a $9,000 purse. The 0.50 Pick 4 begins in Race 5, it has a $10,000 guaranteed pool with a low 12% takeout and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 53-Beatrice (3-1)-Amateur driver's race starts the sequence and this mare comes off a break. Fits better here and now the trainer steers which may help her stay trotting.5-Phoenician (4-1)-Won last time in second start off a break with a nice trip. Could be a player again and best to not overlook.6-Verdi D Em (7/2)-Improved in second start for Hennessey and second time hoppled. Looking for upswing to continue but must mind manners.7-Miss Flora (4-1)-Raced here in Open II company and looks to be a major player versus this crew with a decent trip.Race 61-Imagineuwithoutme (5/2)-Plano trainee came off the bench in fine form. Now draws the rail which shouldn't hurt and could be dialed on high in third start back.3-Mach West (7/5)-Hennessey's choice over #6 and #8 deserves some respect but is a 3-year-old taking on older. Using but will shoot against.4-Rockntouch (9/2)-Drops, gets post relief and likes the Pomp. Barn has been doing well and should be in the hunt.7-Mcjagersonthemove (15-1)-Raced big on 11-4 with a sizzling win on the engine, then stepped-up and was hung-out from the 9-hole. Looks like a live price shot as there isn't much gate speed inside.Race 72-Sporty Redhot (5-1)-Sharp effort from the 8-hole last week. Loses Hennessey but Fern is familiar and should be in the hunt.3-Feelin Lika Winner (1-1)-ML chalk did have a 1:52.4 mile at PPk earlier this year and should get a trip from this post. There are a couple of concerns...Is just 3-17 here and HoP invader hasn't raced since 10-25.Race 81-War-N-Munn (7-1)-Should be on the lead or in the two hole at the 1/4 pole and could get sucked around. Has good speed and might be able to hang in and surprise at a price.8-Rebellious (7/5)-Consistent 5-year-old was doing some good work at the Big M and likes to win in general. Also, has won 10 of 23 at the Pomp. Likes to race near the top so is a major player with a fast start.My Ticket Race 5) 3,5,6,7 Race 6) 1,3,4,7 Race 7) 2,3 Race 8) 1,8Total Ticket Cost) $32 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.17.2019:

Sunday, November 17: Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.Today’s Day Makers: View VideoRACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Bellazano; 6-CoiletteForecast: Coilette moves up a notch following a claim by a high percentage outfit and a repeat of her race before last for her new connections should be good enough to beat this field. Based on analysis of her interior fractions, the daughter of Coil appears quick enough to be on or near the lead throughout. Her only win came in gate-to-wire fashion. Bellazano, in the money in her last three with competitive speed figures, should be within range throughout and really won’t have to improve much to win. Her lone score came at this extended sprint trip. We’ll prefer Coilette on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Lighthouse; 4-Nu Pi Lambda; 8-She’s So SpecialForecast: She’s So Special is better than her only prior outing in July shows and the daughter of Hard Spun gets a chance to show it while switching to what should be her preferred surface. Drawn comfortably outside and picking up F. Prat, she’s from the P. Miller barn, which has exceptional stats with second-time maidens and layoff runners. Nu Pi Lambda, a good runner-up in both of her starts, probably can’t beat a real good maiden but should be in the fray throughout and is a “must use.” Lighthouse loses Prat but picks up D. Van Dyke and has a right to improve off a fairly decent debut performance sprinting on grass at Santa Anita. She figures to be in the first flight throughout assuming she leaves cleanly from the rail.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Eddie’s Sister; 3-Elgofranco; 4-Jodie FasterForecast: Trainer P. D’Amato has two bullets to fire and either one can win. Eddie’s Sister has been working out of sight of the private clockers at San Luis Rey Downs, so we really don’t have much to go on other than the presence of F. Prat in the saddle. He’s this barn’s go-to guy so let’s put her on top in what appears to be a below standard race for state-bred juvenile fillies. Stable mate Jodie Faster displayed some ability in her debut when second beaten a neck in a low-rated affair and then was no factor when tried over a distance of ground on turf next time out. Back sprinting on the main track, she must be given a look based on her first try and G. Franco, who knows her well, stays aboard. Elgofranco finished an okay second in a moderate race in her debut, adds Lasix today, switches from grass to dirt, and has a right to produce a forward move. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Eddie’s Sister.RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Murad Khan; 6-ForayForecast: Foray returns to a flat mile after getting nailed right on the money in a highly rated nine-furlong affair at this level last month at Santa Anita. A prior winner of the local lawn, the J. Sadler-trained gelding projects to enjoy his coveted front-running trip and will be tough with anything close to his best effort. Murad Khan, now in the P. Miller barn following a $40,000 claim, seeks his third straight score while being wheeled back in just a week. If the short rest doesn’t affect his current form, the French-bred gelding will be dangerous once again from off the pace. Fray gets top billing, but we’ll use both in our rolling exotics.RACE 5: Post 2:33 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Time for Suzzie; 5-Busy Paynter; 7-Portal CreekForecast: Portal Creek is winless in five starts at Del Mar, but the daughter of Shanghai Bobby is currently in sharp form and is drawn perfectly outside, so we’ll give a chance to break on through. She’s most effective when held up early and allowed to run late and given that type of ride from J. Valdivia she should be able to produce an effective rally-wide move. Time for Suzzie had the misfortune of drawing the disadvantageous rail but she knows how to win races and has scored over this main track in the past. Busy Paynter beat a softer restricted (nw-2) $12,500 field last month at Santa Anita and earned a competitive speed figure, so with only slight improvement the B. Koriner-trained filly has a chance to score right back. At 8-1 on the morning line you have to use her somewhere.RACE 6: Post 3:03 PT. Grade: B+Use: 3-Teachers Big Dream; 6-Madam Bourbon; 7-Peaches and NutsForecast: Peaches and Nuts offers an interesting gamble in this starter’s optional claimer over a mile on grass for 2-year-old fillies. A clever winner sprinting from off the pace in her debut, the daughter of Take Charge Indy was pinched back at the start, lost early position, and was never a factor in a similar starter’s allowance affair at Keeneland in most recent outing. She’s bred to run long, gets her chance, and picks up skilled grass rider D. Van Dyke, who will give her the patient ride that she needs, so at 5-1 on the morning line we’ll put her on top. Madam Bourbon was stakes placed on grass in late September at this trip in her most recent outing at Gulfstream Park after capturing a maiden $50,000 turf affair 13 days earlier. She arrives fit and ready for new trainer M. Glatt, picks up F. Prat, and is the logical favorite and one to beat. Teachers Big Dream broke her maiden in stylish fashion at first asking two-turning on dirt at Santa Anita and her pedigree (Mr. Big) suggests she should be even better on grass. At 6-1 on the morning line she definitely worth including in rolling exotic play.RACE 7: Post 3:33 PT. Grade: B+Single: 5-Mo See CalForecast: Mo See Cal bit off more than she could chew when a well-beaten sixth in the Breeder’s Cup Distaff, but this group is well within her range and the daughter of Uncle Mo should be able to regain her winning form over a track she’s shown a distinct liking for. A. Cedillo, who was aboard the P. Miller-trained filly in an easy allowance win two runs back, returns and seems likely to have her in an ideal pace-stalking position. There’s value here at 5/2 on the morning line if you can get it, so let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 8: Post 4:03 PT. Grade: B-Use: 6-Our Romance; 7-Scarlet Heat; 9-TizzyForecast: The finale is a state-bred maiden turf miler for older fillies and mares. Our Romance, in the money in her last pair against similar competition, looks slightly best in an open fray. She’s never been one to find extra under pressure in the lane but might get brave in this below average affair. Her morning line of 7/2 seems about right. Scarlet Heat, away since February, returns with F. Prat in the saddle and could easily be a better type this time around for D. Blacker. She sprinted in both of her two previous races but shouldn’t have an issue with this trip based on pedigree. Tizzy seems to lack a winning punch but has hit the board in each of her last five starts and figures to at least clunk up for another minor award. You can include her on a ticket or two for protection.

Read Article
11.16.2019:

Saturday, November 16: Del Mar Analysis/Wagering

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.Today’s Day Makers: View Video RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B+Single: 4-DubnationForecast: Dubnation earned a career top speed figure when breaking his maiden for $20,000 last time out and is realistically spotted in this restricted (nw-2) $16,000 affair. Second in his only prior outing over the Del Mar main track, the P. D’Amato-trained gelding probably will go lower than his morning line of 5/2 as a logical top pick and rolling exotic single.**RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-King Abner; 4-Jalen JourneyForecast: Jalen Journey wasn’t quite up to graded stakes company in his first two local outings but shows up today in a second level allowance main track miler for hot trainer P. Miller and projects to be the controlling speed. Untested around two turns (he did win a one-turn mile in Florida), the son of With Distinction is very fast on speed figures so we suspect he’ll get the trip, but as protection we’ll also include on a ticket or two King Abner, a two-time winner over the local main track and a willing third in a state-bred turf stakes at Santa Anita last month.**RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: XSingle: 5-Zipper MischiefForecast: Zipper Mischief had no visible excuse when missing at 40 cents on the dollar in a similar first-level allowance turf sprint at Santa Anita last month but both of his efforts over the Del Mar course during the summer meeting were quite good, so we’re expecting the B. Heap-trained colt to regain his top form. The pace flow looks comfortable, so a gate-to-wire result seems quite plausible, but at another short price. We’ll make him a no-value rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.**RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Luck Is My Name; 6-Brazilian SummerForecast: Brazilian Summer finished a solid second in a similar maiden $20,000 claimer last month at Santa Anita and with further improvement the lightly raced gelding should be able to earn his diploma today. With just three lifetime outings, the M. Chew-trained son of Gervinho has upside the others don’t, so we’ll put him on top while also including in our rolling exotics Luck Is My Name, a Bay Area shipper trying conventional dirt for the first time. He’s a fit on speed figures and has a one-paced, grinding style that might work well over the deepish Del Mar main track.**RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-French Getaway; 5-Moonlight Drive; 9-OffshoreForecast: Offshore missed at even money in a similar mid-level claiming turf event at Santa Anita last month but we’ll give him a chance to make amends over a turf course he’s previously won twice on. The R. Baltas-trained gelding switches to A. Cedillo and looks capable of producing the last run, his outside draw notwithstanding. Moonlight Drive won the race that Offshore just finished third in and must be given a look right back, though the veteran Italian-bred gelding is winless in six previous outings over the Del Mar turf course. French Getaway lands the good rail while dropping in class and should fit nicely at this level. A win over this course and distance during the summer meeting is a positive factor and two subsequent failures on dirt probably can be excused. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with a slight preference on top to Offshore.**RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 5-Night On the Town; 7-Parkour; 8-Paige AnneForecast: The R. Mandella barn holds the aces here. Parkour chased home a very good filly in her debut when a distant second and with that effort behind her looks primed for a winning effort in a competitive maiden special weight sprint for juvenile fillies. This trainer is solid with second time starters, so we’ll expect the daughter of Carpe Diem to produce a forward move, one that earns her top billing. Stable mate Night on the Town is the one to fear most and attracts F. Prat, so she must be respected. A series of sharp drills should have her fit and ready, so she’s a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Paige Anne, with the always dangerous route-to-sprint angle in her chart, is drawn comfortably outside and adds blinkers. With the cut back in trip, the daughter of Take Charge Indy could be a serious late threat, so be sure to include her as a back-up or a saver.**RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Kitty Boom Boom; 5-SedamarForecast: Kitty Boom Boom hasn’t been out since winning a state-bred stakes at Golden Gate Fields last spring but if she’s ready she can return a winner in this entry-level allowance middle distance turf event restricted to 3-year-old fillies. The works are steady but unspectacular, so there’s a question as to how cranked up she is, but the R. Baltas barn has superior stats (25%) with layoff runners so we’ll assume that she’s fit enough. Sedamar is racing in good, consistent form and shows rising speed figures, so the daughter of Richard’s Kid, with two prior wins over the Del Mar turf course must be considered a major player. She’ll likely fold into a good second flight early position and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with slight preference on top to Kitty Boom Boom.**RACE 8: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: XUse: 5-High Velocity; 6-StrongconstitutionForecast: This is a race we’ll pass, as the two listed above are hard to separate and both will be a short price in a small field. High Velocity won at first asking like a good colt and has trained well since, so the B. Baffert-trained colt should be tough to deny despite the raise into graded stakes company. Strongconstitution lands the cozy outside post and has two excellent races under his belt, including a narrow defeat in the Sunny Slope Stakes last month at Santa Anita. On pure numbers these colts are equally fast, so rather than split hairs we’ll double the race in our rolling exotics but otherwise sit it out.**RACE 9: Post 4:34 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Abusive Gary; 8-Play MoneyForecast: Play Money is overdue for a win and gets ideal conditions to break through. After knocking on the door in his last four starts, the D. Hofmans-trained colt should settle into a soft pace-stalking trip and then be able to seal the deal. Abusive Gary returns as a gelding in his first start since New Year’s Day. The works are solid, though his numbers are average at best. The bulk of our action goes to Play Money, but we’ll have a ticket or two backing up with Abusive Gary.

Read Article
11.16.2019:

Saturday, November 16: Cal Expo Pick 4 Analysis

Cal Expo has a 10-race card set to roll this evening. The 0.20 Pick 4 begins in Race 7 and will be my focus. The sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool with a 16% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 74-Cenalta Glory (2-1)-3-year-old could be ready to roll in first start back in town. Record here is good and connections know the way to the winner's circle.6-Rocket Power (8-1)-Last week had a 57.2 back half in first start off the bench. Should be tighter and might be sitting on a big try.8-Villa For Rent (15-1)-Swinging for a price and is second time Lasix. Last start, off a layoff was not bad and now Svendsen steers. Can rally off cover but could also leave and race close to the top.Race 81-Joltin Joe (4-1)-Nice effort in first start back and now is second time Lasix. Kennedy should put in play early and looks to be a player.3-California Rock (3-1)-Loses Plano as he drives his own. Comes back after an easy win as an odds-on favorite with Svendsen in the bike. If duplicates the same effort it could be enough for another picture.8-Rue Hanover (7/2)-Lackey owns, drives and trains and he had his filly ready to roll in last. Best to respect after a sharp win but post is a challenge.Race 92-Zachariahs Honor (5-1)-Didn't get used in first start of the meet but now drops in for a tag. This could be go time for 8-time winner in '19.4-Western Devil (9/2)-Similar to #2 but also gets a positive driver change and has won 11 of 55 at CalX. My two plays have the longest odds in this short field.Race 104-Relentless Dancer (5/2)-Won last week with a 57.1 back half and this crew isn't any better.6-Lookslikewemadeit (6-1)-Lasix has not kicked in yet but was driven aggressively in last and faded. Comes off a rough trip and now gets a boost because Plano will steer. Useable and should be a square price.7-No Guarantees (3-1)-Took the long way around in last and still past horses down the lane. Did face tougher at Aces and best to respect versus this crew.My Ticket Race 7) 4,6,8 Race 8) 1,3,8 Race 9) 2,4 Race 10) 4,6,7Total Ticket Cost) $10.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.16.2019:

Promising Juveniles Surface Saturday In GP West Early Pick 4

The Gulfstream Park Championship Meet is getting closer, and some of those with intentions on that impressive season are getting a head start during the current Gulfstream Park West. A good example of that occurs in Saturday’s second race – the first leg of the early Pick 4 – when a promising group of well-bred and well-meant 2-year-olds get to show what they have. Trainer Jason Servis unveils News Break, an American Pharoah colt with the usual Servis slow works. Paco Lopez, who is riding at a 29-percent win clip at the current meet, is lined up for the mount. But News Break is not alone when it comes to promise. Sagamore Mischief, an Into Mischief colt trained by Timothy Hills, ran fourth in a fast maiden race at Belmont and followed with a second at Laurel. Edgar Prado is aboard the speedster. Sir Kahn, trained by Daniel Pita, adds intrigue as he only has one start to his credit, which came at Gulfstream. He broke dead last and went from 13th to fourth in a quick 5.5-furlong race. Jesus Rios gets the recall on Sir Kahn, who this time has a set of blinkers that could help move in along earlier. Sir Kahn has had five straight bullet workouts – the latest since he started on Sept. 29. That trio is worthy of appearing on the suggested Pick 4 ticket, which amounts to $36, which has a 3x4x2x3 approach. The fourth race – the third leg of the sequence – includes a group of bottom-level claimers and a couple of mares in that sprint have a better chance for success than most. Memorize, running for trainer Jennifer Hayford-Quinones, ran third vs. similar last time despite a wide trip and has an excellent shot in which to turn the tables this time, and Simply Great comes in from Monmouth and Parx, where she won a couple of races for trainer Jorge Navarro. Here’s the suggested play for the early Pick 4 Saturday at Gulfstream Park West:Race 2) #3 News Break, #7 Sagamore Mischief, #12 Sir Kahn.Race 3) #2 Macho Mania, #3 Steadily, #4 Perfect Enough, #6 King of Leinster.Race 4) #4 Memorize, #6 Simply Great.Race 5) #3 Tennessee Cotton, #8 Miss Aliphant, #9 Karenina.50-cent early Pick 4 ticket: 3-7-12 with 2-3-4-6 with 4-6 with 3-8-9 ($36).

Read Article
11.15.2019:

Friday, November 15: Meadowlands Pick 4 Analysis

The Meadowlands has a big 13-race card scheduled and the 0.50 Pick 4 begins in Race 8. That sequence will be my focus and it has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a low 15% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 84-Brooklyn Lilacs (8-1)-Lost the lead down the lane in last but hasn't thrown two clunkers in a row for quite a while. Best to respect with this post draw and could pop at a price.5-Shezza GNP N (6-1)--Drew off in last and now steps-up. This won't be as easy, but Dunn should have her forwardly placed again. Winner of two of three at the Big M could score an encore at a square price.6-Skater Chick (3-1)-Idle since 10-25 but comes off a nice qualifier for hot barn. Dave Miller takes a seat, 3-year-old has been facing tough foes and best to respect.9-Thrillonthebeach (9/2)-Last race at DD was a nice effort and this is a better big track horse. Post is a concern but might be overlooked at the windows and does like to win.Race 93-Max Volo (9/2)-Dunn sticks and will look for better in second start off the bench. This is a spot to shine.4-Starsaboveallerage (3-1)-Returns to the Big M but hasn't won here in two years. Not crazy about the 3-1 ML but is tough to leave out at this level.5-Crazshana (7/2)-Takes a drop and has been facing much better on the 5/8's. It's been a while since he has seen the Big M winner's circle but Marcus Miller could work a trip from here.7-Life Well Lived (5-1)-Last two off the bench have been sharp efforts and Auciello can keep them good for a while.Race 103-Piercewave Hanover (3-1)-Got on the engine but couldn't hold a lead in last. Comes back in seven days and draws well. Barn has been hot and best to not overlook.5-Kadabra Queen (9/2)-Makes second straight drop and tries Lasix for the first time. Did go off as chalk in NW10kL5 last week and is dangerous with a trip.Race 115-Oberto (3-1)-Sharp try in last coming off of two breaks. This is a great spot for a picture if minds manners and Dunn can work a smooth journey from this post.8-Grandma Heidi (7/2)-Heidi went off as chalk at this class last week and finished third. Post makes the price, does likes the track and has been consistent this year.My Ticket Race 8) 4,5,6,9 Race 9) 3,4,5,7 Race 10) 3,5 Race 11) 5,8Total Ticket Cost) $32 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.15.2019:

Friday, November 15: Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Hartel; 5-Swamp SouffleForecast: Hartel has rising speed figures for the hot P. Miller barn and though winless in seven starts in 2019 rates top billing over a course he’s shown he likes. Not necessarily a need-the-lead type but probably most comfortable on the front end, the son of City Zip should be tough to run down given the projected pace scenario. Swamp Souffle just won a $50,000 claimer and drops to the $40,000 level today, not necessarily a suspicious move as this is restricted to 3-year-olds and not many more of those will be available as the year concludes. The son off Bodemeister is the most dangerous of the closing types and with a little bit of help up front could produce the last run. We’ll give Hartel the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Love of Art; 5-Heart’s PassionForecast: Love of Art drops to her lowest level ever and the Bay Area shipper seems to have found a proper spot to return to winning form. Her recent speed figures are solid for this level, and with the switch to A. Cedillo the daughter of Declaration of War should be along in time. Heart’s Passion, away for seven weeks after finishing second in her first outing in nearly 10 months, obviously has a spotty pattern but she’s stretching out to her preferred trip and shows a bullet six furlong workout at Los Alamitos two weeks ago for the J. Hollendorfer barn, so we’ll assume she’s doing well. Off her best race, she’s right there.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-Venetian Harbor; 4-Beguiled; 6-Morning AddictionForecast: The main contenders in this five-furlong grass dash for juvenile fillies are first-time starters from capable outfits, so we’ll spread the race in rolling exotic play while giving preference on top to Morning Addiction. The P. Eurton-trained daughter of Carpe Diem has done plenty right in the morning and appears blessed with excellent speed, so in an open affair let’s put her on top and hope to get close to her morning line of 4-1. Her dam was a highly capable turf sprinter and maybe this filly will be, too. Venetian Harbor and Beguiled have done all of their preparatory work out of sight at San Luis Rey Downs, so we’re largely guessing with both. ‘Harbor, from the R. Baltas barn, lands F. Prat and has several workout times that indicate plenty of talent, while Beguiled, a daughter of Orb from the P. D’Amato barn, sports a healthy work tab for a trainer whose first-timers often outrun their workouts.RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Eternal Endeavor; 3-D’s Lovely Sophia; 7-Rizzi’s HonorsForecast: Here’s a spread race for starter’s allowance ($32,000) fillies and mares sprinting six furlongs on the main track. D’s Lovely Sophia seems as good as any, so we’ll give her a slight edge on top. Both of her prior races over the Del Mar main track – a starter’s allowance win and a runner-up effort in a first-level allowance sprint - earned very strong speed figures and a repeat of either one of those outings today should be good enough. Eternal Endeavor returned off a long layoff and crushed restricted (nw-2) $25,000 foes with a sharp speed figure last time out and if she can duplicate that performance today she’ll be right there. Rizzi’s Honors lands the cozy outside post and is a perfect two-for-two over the Del Mar main track. She has issues – she was a voided claim for $8,000 three runs back – but has run well in two subsequent starts and is protected by M. Glatt, so we’ll assume she’s doing well and will fire her best shot.RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Red Bunting; 2-Saburai; 9-Flying to the LineForecast: This restricted (nw-2) turf miler for $25,000 claiming fillies and mares is another event requiring a spread in rolling exotic play. Flying to the Line gets the worst of the draw but she’s won over this course in the past and may have enough early speed to get over and secure her coveted front-running trip. Fresh from earning a career-top speed figure, she switches to A. Cedillo, one of this barn’s go-to jockeys, and sports a bullet workout at San Luis Rey Downs since raced. We’ll give her the edge on top. Red Bunting drops to her lowest level ever, lands the good rail, retains D. Van Dyke, and will be a strong late threat if she gets a decent pace up front and good racing luck from the quarter pole home. She’s strong in the speed figure department and has run well over this course in the past. Saburai is a one-paced grinder with just won victory from 18 career outings, so she’s certainly not one to bank on, but t he V. Cerin-trained mare is competitive on numbers and projects to be in a good pace-stalking position from her inside draw and have every chance when the pressure is turned on.RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Temple Bar; 6-Knifes Edge; 7-ItsthattimeForecast: Temple Bar has steadily rising speed figures, stretches out for the first time to a distance he’s bred to like, is comfortably drawn inside and exits a strong, productive heat. The son of Temple City shows a good, healthy work pattern for J. Hollendorfer and seems primed to produce another forward move, one that may land him in the winner’s circle. Knifes Edge exits a series of maiden special weight events and certainly should appreciate this drop into the maiden $50,000 ranks. On numbers he’s a fit and we suspect the son of First Samurai will find himself in an ideal pace-stalking position outside. Itshattime is slower on numbers than the other two main contenders but has an improving pattern and is bred to handle a mile. The J. Bonde-trained gelding switches to R. Bejarano and at 8-1 on the morning line is worth including on a ticket or two.RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: B+Single: 1-Doc Yco CheeksForecast: Doc Yco Cheeks looked quite good beating state-bred maidens on turf at this mile trip in just her second career outing at Santa Anita last month and seems more than capable of repeating on the raise from her comfortable inside draw. The daughter of Unusual Heat earned a good speed figure in victory and there doesn’t appear to be any reason why she can’t come right back and add to her resume. At 5/2 on the morning line with R. Bejarano staying aboard for P. Eurton, she’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 8: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Tigre Di Slugo; 5-Loafers Boy; 9-Grandpa LouieForecast: Tigre Di Slugo was a $190,000 yearling purchase back in 2016 and finally makes it to the post for M. Puype in this state-bred maiden special weight sprint. The son of Smiling Tiger is bred for much speed, gets F. Prat, and has worked well enough to be live at first asking. Additionally, this barn has terrific stats with debut runners. Loafers Boy has shown some ability in the morning for A. Lerner and is worth some consideration in rolling exotic play. A bullet six-furlong workout in 1:13 3/5 over the deep Santa Anita main track nine days ago is hard to ignore. Grandpa Louie, away since March, gets the favorable outside draw and should be part of the pace throughout. The P. Miller-trained gelding, second twice in three outings vs. similar competition, could easily be a better type this time around and is a “must use” in rolling exotic play.

Read Article
11.14.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies for 11/14/19

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis and Wagering StrategiesDel MarThursday, November 14, 2019Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: BSingle: 3-Harper’s GallopForecast: Harper’s Gallop ran well when second at this level over this track and distance two runs back and a repeat of that race today probably gets her a diploma. The J. Carava-trained filly was pulled up when her saddle slipped in a two-turn grass event last time out, so toss that race out. She’s back where she belongs today, so in a dreadfully weak maiden $20,000 claimer for fillies and mares we’ll make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: XSingle: 4-HaribouxForecast: Hariboux adds Lasix for his second start since being imported from England and after finishing fifth in the Zuma Beach Stakes last month at Santa Anita the J. Mullins-trained gelding tackles an easier group today and should make the most of it. His form overseas was fairly solid and will beat this field if repeated in this five-runner affair. At 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, he won’t offer much value other than as a short price rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Dr. Bagley; 4-Fast as CassForecast: Dr. Bagley has rising speed figures and rates top billing in this modest restricted $16,000 claiming main track miler. In a race without a true front-runner, the J. Mullins-trained gelding could easily find himself as the controlling speed and if not pressured early should be capable of holding sway. Fast as Cass is just 1-for-17 during his career so he’s not one to trust, but the S. Knapp-trained son of Unusual Heat has speed figures that put him in the fray, and he projects to enjoy a good stalking trip outside and have every chance. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics with slight preference on top to Dr. Bagley.RACE 4: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B+Single: 5-Speedy JusticeForecast: Speedy Justice is a first timer from the B. Baffert barn (42% with debut runners) and sports a pair of impressive 59 3/5 workouts, the most recent of which was accomplished from the gate in a team that what was visually quite impressive. The son of Dominus has the type of early speed that should be quite effective at this abbreviated sprint trip, and if he handles the grass the son of Dominus could be hard to beat. Too Late and Prince Magician both have shown good ability and will take some beating, but we’ll go with ‘Justice as a straight play and rolling exotic single and hope to get close to his morning line of 5/2.RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: XSingle: 6-Oil Can KnightForecast: Oil Can Knight moves up a notch after winning a $20,000 claimer restricted to 3-year-olds at Santa Anita just 11 days ago. He lands the cozy outside draw while shedding four pounds, so there’s every reason to believe he can score right back at what should be a fairly short price. With a prior win over the local main track and with M. Garcia staying aboard, the son of Can the Man looks like another logical short price rolling exotic single.RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Trust Fund Kitty; 7-Kittyhawk LassForecast: Kittyhawk Lass and Trust Fund Kitty finished second and third, respectively, in a similar starter’s allowance event at Santa Anita last month and they meet again as the major players in this mile grass affair. ‘Lass earned a career top speed figure in that race and with just seven lifetime starts probably has a bit more upside than ‘Kitty, who is just 1-for-16 in her career but projects to enjoy an ideal ground-saving trip from her rail post position. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have an extra ticket or two pressing with ‘Lass on top.RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Awesome Anywhere; 3-ThreefiveindiaForecast: Threefiveindia just crushed a softer field by seven widening lengths in his first-off-the-claim for P. Miller and should get plenty play off that impressive performance despite the relatively quick 13-day turnaround and the raise in class. The other concern is his shortening from seven furlongs to three-quarters, a distance he’s a career 0-for-7, so we’ll use him but certainly not single him. Awesome Anywhere loves to win (he’s 6-for-13) but has been away since January and must leave from the rail, a difficult post at this distance. His workout at Los Alamitos for J. Hollendorfer indicate fitness and he does have a triple-digit Beyer speed figure to go back two, so we’ll include him as well.RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B+Single: 2-Lightning FastForecast: Lightning Fast has the classic two sprints and a stretch-out pattern and a pedigree (Violence) that should allow him to handle two-turns and grass. The W. Spawr-trained colt is comfortably drawn inside, catches a field without much pace and could easily find himself on the front end without much pressure. In a race in which the main contenders look suspect, we’ll make him a straight play and rolling exotic single at or near his morning line of 9/2.

Read Article
11.14.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: November 15 Stronach 5 Play

Big doing in this week’s Stronach 5, as there is an over $91,081 carryover, which means the pool should swell to well over $500,000, if not $750,000. 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 45 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: Gulfstream Park West R6 (3:51 ET) – 2f 35k starter-optional claimer at 7 1/2 furlongs (turf)The opening leg is a real puzzle, so spreading as deep as possible seems like a prudent move, since no one stands out and several are slow on figures. I think you have to start with the “fast” MCL winners #3 BEASAICHI (8-1) and #2 TEACHER DRAMA (9-2), especially since they are drew perfectly, but contention certainly doesn’t end there. A drop in class and good post should agree with #1 LITTLE MARIA (10-1), while getting to the turf and dropping in class might help to wake #5 LUCKY MILADY (8-1) up, especially since she has shown she can pass horses and there looks to be a lot of speed in here. The wildcard is #10 RAIN (5-1), who is the class and has been facing tons better, but has never run on turf and drew poorly, but, in a spot like this, she has to be used.Pk5 A horses: 3,2,1,5,10 (listed in order of preference)The rest are up for debate, but winning on debut from the outside draw at this trip isn’t easy, so I think you need to include #6 LA VENEZOLANA (6-1), who closed nicely too, while two turns seemed to agree to #7 BABYBEL (12-1), who is another who should be flying late. There’s a chance that #8 PRINCESS CARRIGAN (8-1) is the speed of the speed, so I’ll toss her in, since she wired sprinting two-back and was in way over her head in a stakes last time.Pk5 B horses: 6,7,8Leg 2: Laurel Park R8 (4:10 ET) – 3upfm N1X at 1-mileIn a race where there’s not much, it looks like #3 WARM (5-2) is a single, as she enters off three straight, showed she can beat allowance foes last time, and has a big tactical edge over her main (and seemingly only) rival, #1 Indy Union (2-1); yes she rises in class, but there’s just not much here to oppose here and she looks like the “now” horse and then some.Pk5 A horses: 3I have to admit I’ve never thought much of Indy Union, who I’ve used on several occasions only to be disappointed. No one has more respect for Jeremiah Englehart than I do, but ‘Union looks to be pace compromised, will be overbet, and just doesn’t look all that good, plus, her only good run this year came in the mud at the Spa. So in a sequence where I want a lot of coverage in some of the races I think can be chaotic, I’ll be a bit bold and go it alone with Warm.Pk5 B horses: NONELeg 3: Laurel Park R9 (4:40 ET) – 3up 25k MCL at 1-mileA tricky race, as some of the better runners are turfers, which makes it a bit tougher to decipher. I know #4 BOLD TREK (6-1) didn’t fire in his lone dirt start, but that was early in his career and it was a very fast race won by an easy winner, and he seems a better horse now, so I’m going to put him on top, albeit with little conviction. A slight drop in class and a clean trip might be all #3 GALERIO (3-1) needs, as he was in good form before being blocked and stymied last time, though he was also never close to the winner in that trio of 2nd-place finishes.Pk5 A horses: 4,3What you see is what you get from #1 JUNIOR SENATOR (5-2), who is 0-for-5 and has basically run the same race every time, so there’s no reason to think he’ll improve here, but that also doesn’t make him impossible with any of those runs either. I don’t know what to make of #2 Go Lover (12-1), who had some trouble last time but didn’t run an inch and now tries dirt, but if you want to spread a bit deeper he’s not without hope, especially if he can reproduce that turf 3rd from two-back. As for #6 Snidely (7-2), he looks off-form and has finished behind several here, and would be a huge underlay at this ML price, while Penn National invader #10 Goodluckchuck (10-1) has upside off just two starts, but also seems to slow to make a real dent.Pk5 B horses: 1Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:45 ET) – 3up 12.5k N2L at 1-mileWe’ve got one of those races where everyone looks the same on paper, which makes things difficult to narrow down, but with the way I’ve got the tickets constructed I can spread here, which seems like the right play, so here goes. The drop in class should makes #2 VAN CORTLANDT (5-2) a player, as he’s been facing better on turf; #4 SOONER BETTER (6-1) has really picked up his game in his last two and will be rolling through the lane; #9 UNCONTAINABLE (10-1) looked good winning in fast time off the break last time and will offer value again; and #5 I DECLARE WAR (12-1) has been doing the turf thing but should trip out nicely just off what looks like an honest pace.Pk5 A horses: 2,4,9,5The trio of #7 GET LIKE ME (8-1), #8 LEADVILLE (4-1), and #1 IRON ALEX (7-2) have prior form that can win this, and the former has been in solid form on dirt and turf, while ‘Lead drops in class, and the latter stretches out and drops, so while none are the most likely winner, they deserve a spot on the B-line, in case they wake up.Pk5 B horses: 7,8,1Leg 5: Gulfstream Park West R8 (4:54 ET) – 3up 8k claimer at 1 1/16 miles (turf)You could do worse than singling #6 BOW TIE AFFAIR (9-5), who just beat 12.5ks for fun and is by far the best here, so if you’re on a budget there’s something to be said for having an anchor on the end, which will allow for more coverage early, and you’ll also be able to hedge if need be. However, I’ll also use #9 COULD BE (6-1), since he has a lot more tactical speed than the favorite and won’t have to duel on the lead like last time, when he tired and was a distant 3rd to ‘Affair, as the race flow looks a bit kinder today.Pk5 A horses: 6,9The top pair look a cut above, so I’ll go it alone, though if you’re looking for some other ideas, then #4 Unlockthepotential (9-2), #2 The Dow (12-1), and #8 Animal Trick (6-1) aren’t without hope if they deliver their best.Pk5 B horses: NONEThe Tickets:Main Ticket: 3,2,1,5,10 with 3 with 4,3 with 2,4,9,5 with 6,9 = $80Leg 1 B Backup: 6,7,8 with 3 with 4,3 with 2,4,9,5 with 6,9 = $48Leg 3 B Backup: 3,2,1,5,10 with 3 with 1 with 2,4,9,5 with 6,9 = $40Leg 4 B Backup: 3,2,1,5,10 with 3 with 4,3 with 7,8,1 with 6,9 = $60

Read Article
11.14.2019:

Eclipse Award Thoughts After the Breeders' Cup

Now that the Breeders’ Cup has come and gone, many racing fans are looking ahead and contemplating which horses stand a good chance to be honored with a 2019 Eclipse Award.This is the 49th year of the Eclipse Awards. Voting closes on Dec. 31. The 2019 recipients will be announced at Gulfstream Park early next year on Jan. 23.There still is some important racing to be conducted during the remainder of 2019, which could conceivably impact 2019 Eclipse Award voting. This is how I see the Eclipse Award situation at this time in various equine categories, including Horse of the Year.2-YEAR-OLD MALE: This is up for grabs. Storm the Court certainly is a contender after winning the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, though he did so in a 45-1 upset. Tiz the Law, undefeated in two starts and a four-length winner of the Grade I Champagne Stakes, might well snag this award if he wins the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30, a race in which he no doubt will be the favorite.2-YEAR-OLD FILLY: British Idiom, undefeated in three starts, appears to have this award locked up following her win in the Grade I BC Juvenile Fillies. She also won the Grade I Alcibiades.3-YEAR-OLD MALE: It appears this one is coming down to either Maximum Security or Code of Honor. Code of Honor could have pretty much wrapped it up if he had won, or at least hit the board, in the Grade I BC Classic. Code of Honor won the Grade I Travers Stakes and Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup (via the disqualification of Vino Rosso). Code of Honor defeated older horses in the Gold Cup, but wound up seventh vs. his elders in the BC Classic.Daily Racing Form’s David Grening reported that trainer Jason Servis said Maximum Security is going to run against older foes in Aqueduct’s Grade I Cigar Mile on Dec. 7. It seems to me that this award quite likely will go to Maximum Security if he wins the Cigar Mile to go along with his Grade I victories in the Florida Derby and Haskell Invitational. Maximum Security also did finish first in the Grade I Kentucky Derby, though he was disqualified and placed 17th for causing interference. Maximum Security most recently won Belmont Park’s Grade III Bold Ruler Handicap against older horses.3-YEAR-OLD FILLY: It looks like there are three top candidates -- Covfefe, Guarana and Serengeti Empress. Covfefe captured the Grade I Test Stakes and Grade I BC Filly & Mare Sprint. Guarana won the Grade I Acorn Stakes and Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks. Serengeti Empress won the Grade I Kentucky Oaks and also finished third against older rivals in the Grade I BC Distaff. Right now, I’d say maybe Covfefe will get this award. But I honestly think it’s possible it will go to any one of these three.OLDER DIRT MALE: Vino Rosso almost certainly clinched this award when he won the Grade I BC Classic with authority by 4 1/4 lengths. He also won the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita, plus finished first but was disqualified and placed second in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup.OLDER DIRT FEMALE: Even though Midnight Bisou ran second to Blue Prize in the Grade I BC Distaff, I believe Midnight Bisou is a slam-dunk to get the award in this category. This was Midnight Bisou’s only 2019 loss. And even though she did not win the BC Distaff, Midnight Bisou acquitted herself well in defeat. She won all seven of her other 2019 starts, including Grade I triumphs in the Apple Blossom Handicap, Ogden Phipps Stakes and Personal Ensign Stakes.MALE SPRINTER: Mitole undoubtedly will get this award following his stellar 2019 campaign in which he won six of seven starts, capped by a victory in the Grade I BC Sprint. He posted four Grade I wins during the year. In addition to the BC Sprint, he took the Grade I Churchill Downs Stakes, Grade I Met Mile and Grade I Forego Stakes.FEMALE SPRINTER: The aforementioned Covfefe is odds-on in this category.MALE TURF: Bricks and Mortar also is odds-on to be voted champion in this category. He won all six of his 2019 starts. Racing from Jan. 26 to Nov. 2, he registered five Grade I victories, all in a different state (Florida, Kentucky, New York, Illinois and California).Bricks and Mortar won the Grade I Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park in January, Grade I Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in May, Grade I Manhattan Stakes at Belmont in June, Grade I Arlington Million at Arlington Park in August and Grade I BC Turf at Santa Anita in November.FEMALE TURF: I see Sistercharlie as the favorite even though she finished third in the Grade I BC Filly & Mare Turf. Sistercharlie did win three Grade I races during the year (Diana Stakes, Beverly D. and Flower Bowl). Uni also figures to get plenty of support from voters due to having won a pair of Grade I races this year (First Lady, BC Mile). It appears to me that Sistercharlie and Uni are the two main contenders in this category.HORSE OF THE YEAR: Will it be Bricks and Mortar or Mitole?“Both would be deserving winners,” Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman wrote.I agree with that. Nevertheless, I see Bricks and Mortar as an overwhelming favorite to get the most coveted of all equine Eclipse Awards.“But while Bricks and Mortar is the acknowledged favorite, a deeper dive into their campaigns might find this choice should be closer than it first appears,” Privman wrote.Privman noted that “an argument could be made that the level of competition Mitole ran against was superior to what Bricks and Mortar beat.”Mitole not only “beat a top-class field” in the BC Sprint, he most notably “won a Met Mile whose next across the finish line were McKinzie, one of the best older runners in the nation and a top-class miler, and Thunder Snow, who was coming off his second straight win in the Dubai World Cup.”Privman wrote that “Bricks and Mortar for much of the year faced a group of older North American-based turf horses who were not considered world-class talents.”On the plus side for Bricks and Mortar, he “never lost a race, won more Grade I’s than Mitole, and ran longer distances, an aspect visitors usually prefer,” Privman added.In the final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll of the year following the Breeders’ Cup, Bricks and Mortar ranked No. 1 and received 42 first-place votes. Mitole, who was No. 2, garnered just two first-place votes. No other Thoroughbred received a single first-place vote.Privman characterized the 42-2 tally between Bricks and Mortar and Mitole as “a shockingly lopsided margin.”But even though Mitole received only two first-place votes in the final poll on Nov. 4, it was two more first-place votes than he received in the NTRA poll of Oct. 28 leading into the Breeders’ Cup when he got none.In the Oct. 28 poll, No. 1 Bricks and Mortar received 27 first-place votes, followed by No. 2 Midnight Bisou’s 11 and No. 3 Sistercharlie’s single first-place vote.Bricks and Mortar then built on his support of 27 first-place votes on Oct. 28 by increasing the total to 42 in the final NTRA poll on Nov. 4. When both Midnight Bisou and Sistercharlie lost at the Breeders’ Cup, they also lost out in the final Nov. 4 poll in terms of first-place votes when they each got none.While Mitole did win at the Breeders’ Cup, he simply was unable to attract much in the way of first-place support from the voters in the final NTRA poll.If the Eclipse Award voters do decide to go for Mitole as Horse of the Year, would I be upset? Nope. But I will be casting my Horse of the Year vote for Bricks and Mortar. And I will be shocked if he does not receive the Horse of the Year trophy as a reward for his unblemished 2019 campaign that included five Grade I victories.Below is the Top 10 in the Oct. 28 NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll just prior to the Breeders’ Cup, followed by the Top 10 in the final NTRA poll of 2019 on Nov. 4 after the Nov. 1-2 Breeders’ Cup held at Santa Anita.The Top 10 in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll on Oct. 28:Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)1. 378 Bricks and Mortar (27)2. 348 Midnight Bisou (11)3. 283 Sistercharlie (1)4. 263 Mitole5. 191 McKinzie6. 168 Code of Honor7. 126 Imperial Hint8. 91 Omaha Beach9. 85 Vino Rosso10. 71 Catalina CruiserThe final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll of 2019 on Nov. 4:Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)1. 438 Bricks and Mortar (42)2. 388 Mitole (2)3. 332 Vino Rosso4. 297 Midnight Bisou5. 157 McKinzie5. 157 Sistercharlie7. 151 Uni8. 109 Covfefe9. 102 Blue Prize10. 90 Maximum Security

Read Article
11.12.2019:

Harness Highlights: Huston Calls it a Career at The Meadows

To put Roger Huston’s race-calling career in perspective, it would take 40 years of calling 10 races per day, five days a week, to reach 100,000. But as the decades passed, it became increasingly clear that the numbers would need drastic reconfiguring. Huston was inseparable from the announcer’s booth and estimates having called more than 188,000 harness races when he announced his retirement this month after a 44-year stint at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania. The “Voice” began his career in 1960 and worked at Lebanon Raceway in Ohio, the Red Mile in Kentucky, Pompano Park in Florida, to name a few venues, before he took up residency at The Meadows, some 25 miles west of Pittsburgh. In all, he has called races at 144 tracks in 20 countries. “Roger has been a mainstay and a voice not just of The Meadows but all of harness racing for over 50 years,” said Mark Loewe, vice president of racing at The Meadows. “His dedication to the sport of harness racing is unparalleled and his voice will be missed by many.” Huston, 77, will continue his Hall of Fame career at the annual fall meeting at the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio, where he began calling the third jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown in 1968.  “I am not retiring, just cutting back on the day-to-day announcing,” Huston said. Huston called Breeders Crown races three times at the Meadows in the 1980s, including the 1984 classic when locally-based Dragon’s Lair upset Nihilator, the first Standardbred to earn $3 million. He was behind the mic for four decades of the Adios Pace and surely can recount Barberry Spur’s 1986 victory for local trainer-driver Dick Stillings, Hall of Fame driver John Campbell’s four-year winning streak in the early 1990s and 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked’s Adios win four years earlier. Huston was there for Dave Palone’s historic run to becoming the winningest driver of all-time, a fact not lost on Palone. When Palone guided Windsong Leo to victory in the $20,000 Roger Huston Farewell race November 2, he raised the lines and looked up at the announcer’s booth as he crossed the wire as a tribute to Huston. “He’s been there for all of my milestones,” Palone told harnessracing.com. “It won’t be the same here without him. He’s going to be missed, not just announcing but in the backstretch community here at The Meadows. He’s like a member of everyone’s family.”

Read Article
11.11.2019:

Monday, November 11: Mohawk Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park starts the week with a 10-race card. The 0.20 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 7 and will be my focus. Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 72-Charlie Is A Joker (9/2)-Made a rare break at FlmD and will overlook the miscue. Fits well at this class and could pull off a mild upset in a race without a real standout.4-Oh So Pine (3-1)-Would beat this field no problem on his best days. Still should be in the hunt at this level but best days were last year.5-Setanta (4-1)-Wasn't Filion's choice (#2) but still can grind it out from a good post against this field.8-Irish Thunder (10-1)-Probably needs a few breaks to win. Jamieson could leave and if finds a close-up seat he could be in the hunt at the wire.Race 83-Stolen Art (5-1)-Makes third start for small barn with a high batting average. Last was better and could trip out from here.5-Allstar Seelster (9/5)-Since being claimed by Auciello has booked three wins and a second-place finish against this kind. No reason to think this won't be another big effort.Race 92-Dream Together (2-1)-Beat this class in back-to-back tries in October and then faced Breeder Crown mares. Looks to be the spot to continue winning ways.3-Free Willy Hanover (8-1)-Honest horse who fits here, will need the right trip for top honors and Drury could work a favorable journey.Race 102-Rub Ofthe Green N (8-1)-8-year old has been popular at the claiming box and makes second start for the Budd barn. Faded after a tough trip in an extra distance race, looking for better at a decent price.3-Sports Authority (12-1)-Makes second start for a small barn that is rolling, and this is the first race at Wbsb. Appears to have the speed to stay in the mix and Jamieson could put in play early.6-Midway Island (5/2)-Drops to a spot to shine and might be bet down. Still looking for first Wbsb win (0-7), should be a player but others could have a say.8-Leafs And Wings (10-1)-Comes off a sharp effort at Lon and knows how to win here also. This is another price shot with a chance to take a picture.0.20 Late Pick 4 Race 7) 2,4,5,8 Race 8) 3,5 Race 9) 2,3 Race 10) 2,3,6,8Total Ticket Cost) $12.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.11.2019:

Juvenile Calendar Just Warming Up

I dig the 2-year-old stakes late in the season, post-Breeders’ Cup. We put so many eggs into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile basket, but in reality most years that accounts for only 8-12 contenders in the freshman class. The feel in recent years is that top juveniles aren’t being thrust into action as early as the summer boutique meets as once predicated.The November-December calendar leaves plenty of juvenile stakes action still in 2019 before we welcome the 3-year-olds of 2020. Every weekend between now and the end of the calendar year has a race for the 2-year-old colts that I’ll be watching. Here’s the rundown:Nov. 16 Grade 3 Bob Hope at Del MarBob Baffert has won this race 3 of the last 4 years and was runner-up in the other bid. It’s not always an A-lister, but usually gives us something toward the early season SoCal stakes like Mucho Gusto a year ago; and Mastery in 2016 sure had the meteoric potential before sidelined. The November 16 schedule also includes the James F. Lewis at Laurel Park.Nov. 23 Jean Lafitte at Delta DownsSince the lucrative Delta Downs Jackpot went away after 2016, the mid-south has had some void in the juvenile ranks. The Jean Lafitte is a $100,000 opportunity over a 2-turn mile to see what Steve Asmussen, Tom Amoss, Joe Sharp and the like may have toward Fair Grounds’ Lecomte and beyond.Nov. 30 Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill DownsWith Tiz the Law perhaps the most promising member of this freshman class, the 1-1/16 miles Kentucky Jockey Club could have championship implications this year. It’s been since Super Saver in 2009-’10 that the Derby winner played a home game in this event, but it’s always attention-worthy.Nov. 30 Smooth Air at Gulfstream ParkOpening weekend of the Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park offers a couple of 2-year-old stakes at various distances, surfaces and genders. But it’s the Smooth Air for the colts at a 1-turn mile that interests the trail most. It’s a prelim toward the Mucho Macho Man in January and the lucrative Xpressbet Florida Derby series. This weekend’s action also includes the Dec. 1 Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille at Del Mar on turf.Dec. 7 Grade 2 Los Alamitos FuturityThis is the big one left for the year on the west coast. The Santa Anita Derby series’ top contender or two often emerges here. Baffert has won the last 5 with Dortmund, Mor Spirit, Mastery, McKinzie and Improbable. Not a bad lineup.Dec. 7 Grade 2 Remsen at AqueductA Super Saturday for the juveniles continues with New York’s top 2-year-old route offering of the season. The Champagne and Hopeful are around 1 turn. The 1-1/8 miles Remsen is our first regional sense for distance. Its race winner often is over-inflated in the public eye, but we’re still glued to watching. It’s been a long time since Thunder Gulch (1994-’95) sweeping the Remsen and Derby. The December 7 action also includes the Gold Rush at Golden Gate Fields and the Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel ParkDec. 15 Springboard Mile at Remington ParkThe south’s richest 2-year-old test at $400,000 sets the table for Oaklawn’s Arkansas Derby series, influences the Louisiana Derby trail and has become a more popular stop for California, Kentucky and New York outfits. Recent history tells us to keep an eye not necessarily on the winner, but those showing distance potential underneath.Dec. 21 Sugar Bowl at Fair GroundsWhile only 6 furlongs and for $75,000, the Sugar Bowl can serve as a pseudo non-winners of 2 allowance for autumn maiden breakers looking for something developmental towards the Louisiana Derby series. Jinks Fires has gotten some mileage out of this race with the likes of Archarcharch and Gray Attempt last year with transfer success to Oaklawn. And a good sprinter can emerge here like Hog Creek Hustle a year ago.Dec. 28 Heft Stakes at Laurel ParkLaurel Park gets last call on the 2-year-old division in the final weekend of 2019. This $100,000 event at 7 furlongs rose its profile last year. Alwaysmining began his march toward a Preakness berth in this race when holding off Win Win Win, who would make a name for himself at Tampa on the trail and wind up in the middle jewel as well.

Read Article
11.10.2019:

Sunday, Novemeber 10: Rosecroft Raceway-Potomac Pace Analysis

Tonight, the fourth annual Potomac Pace Invitational is the headliner of a 13-race card at Rosecroft Raceway. The $100,000 stake features 2018 Horse of the Year McWicked as well as American History and Dorsoduro Hanover. The eight-horse field contains a total of four millionaires and there is also a $10,000 bonus up for grabs. If the track record of 1:47.3 set by Keystone Velocity in the 2017 Pace is broken the new record holder pockets and extra $10,000.Xpressbet account holders who register will receive a $5 bonus for every $50 win or place bet made on the Rosecroft card. Show betting is excluded but there is no limit on how many $5 bonuses you can receive!Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 9-Potomac Pace Invitational-Purse $100,0001-Dealt A Winner (10-1)-Does fine work on the 5/8's but issue is this post might not be an advantage. Probably won't be able to leave a fast as a few others. That spells trouble but does have Dave Miller between the pipes.2-American History (3-1)-Most likely will blast out just like in the BC Open Pace and get the top or the two-hole. This is the first start at Rosecroft and if takes to the surface should be a major player.3-Dorsoduro Hanover (4-1)-Runner-up to #2 in last, did a lot of work to grab the lead into 53.3 half and ended up fading down the lane. May duck in behind #2 and take a two-hole trip. Looks dangerous and the trip could be the difference.4-Endeavor (12-1)-Hoosier Park invader usually has a problem stepping up to face top company. Maybe Tetrick works a great trip and hits the bottom of the Superfecta.5-This Is The Plan (5-1)-The start of this race should be something to see. If Burke trainee brings his "A" game, he could be the fastest off the gate. Has had excuses in last couple, but best to not overlook now and could take a picture at a square price.6-Courtly Choice (6-1)-Hasn't been in top form but as a 4-year old winner of >$1.3 million there is no need to apologize for being here. But would need a form reversible to be a main player tonight.7-McWicked (5/2)-One of my all-time favorites gets a tough post draw but has been known to grind out big wins. The pace should be very quick and that could put the champ in play down the lane.8-Slick Tony (15-1)-Local favorite has a four-race win streak and has won four of five at RcR. That's all good but from this post, against this field, the deck is stacked against Tony.My play is to use #5-This Is The Plan up and down in exactas with #2, #3 and #7. I would also consider betting #5 to win if he is overlooked at the windows.Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.10.2019:

Sunday, November 10: Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in boldface.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: B-Use: 5-Octopus; 6-Mahi Mahi; 7-Nonno’s PolarisForecast: Mahi Mahi was as flat as a pancake in his local debut at Santa Anita, failing to pick up the bridle at any stage and winding up a non-threatening fourth, beaten 10 lengths, as the even money choice in a maiden $50,000 affair last month. A strong runner-up in a Bay Area maiden $25,000 event two runs back charts well here, so we’ll give the J. Wong-trained colt a chance to make amends under the assumption that he’ll handle the Del Mar main track a lot better than he did the one in Arcadia. Nonno’s Polaris, beaten a head in his debut with a competitive speed figure vs. softer, moves up a notch while adding blinkers and landing the favorable outside draw. If he produces a forward move as expected, the H. Palma-trained col will be right there again. Octopus drops to his lowest level ever for P. Eurton and is the likely choice and one to beat. A repeat of his race before last – a decent third place effort vs. straight maidens at Los Alamitos – probably will beat this field if repeated. This race requires a spread, for sure, so we’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics and then press a bit keying Mahi Mahi on top.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Empress of Lov; 3-Princess DorianForecast: This extended claiming sprint for fillies and mares should boil down to two main contenders. Princess Dorian just won for $10,000 and today shows up in a bottom-rung $8,000 affair, not a healthy sign, but if she has at least one good one left she can score again. The Andrew Lerner-trained mare is winless in five prior starts over the Del Mar main track, but those outings came against much tougher foes. Empress of Lov seeks her fourth straight win but her last two scores came at Los Alamitos, and form from there doesn’t always translate to Del Mar’s deeper strip. However, she’s always been genuine and versatile and can win on the front end or from off the pace. We’ll give a very slight edge on top to Princess Dorian but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+Use: 1-Da Kine; 3-Ghost StreetForecast: Ghost Street is lightly raced with plenty of improvement in him, and the Ghostzapper gelding gets ideal conditions to step forward in a big way in this nine-furlong turf affair for older maidens. A close fifth with trouble in his most recent outing in a hot pace miler, he’ll thoroughly enjoy the softer splits that he’ll likely face today, and with his kind of tactical speed the P. Gallagher-trained four-year-old should have every chance to earned his diploma at a nice price. Da Kine is worth a ticket or two as a saver or back-up in your rolling exotics. The Will Take Charge colt continues to train sharply at San Luis Rey Downs for high-percentage trainer R. Baltas and finally gets a chance to show his stuff over a distance of ground (and grass). From the rail there’s a likelihood that he’ll inherit the role as the controlling speed, and if not respected could take the field a very long way.RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: C+Use: 4-Mike Operator; 5-Lord Adare; 6-Silver FuryForecast: Lord Adare, a first-time blinker play, is certain to attract plenty of play as he plummets from straight maiden company all the way down to the maiden $20,000 level for the always dangerous Hess-Desormeaux team. He has back numbers that are more than good enough to beat this field, and a repeat of his race-before-last likely will get the job done. But with this pattern, you can’t fully trust him, so we’ll be backing him up with two others in our rolling exotics. Silver Fury is an 11-race maiden and perhaps not one to trust, but this is first start in a day short of one year and he could be a better type this time around for B. Heap, who has solid stats with layoff runners. The son of Old Fashioned should be running on late, a style that is often promoted by the local main track, and at 20-1 on the morning line he offers excellent long shot value. Mike Operator, in the money in his last three, has the route-to-sprint angle that we like, and his race over this track in August – a good runner-up performance at this level – charts very well in this modest event.RACE 5: Post 2:33 PT. Grade: BUse: 5-Red Livy; 7-Miss Hot LegsForecast: Miss Hot Legs is overdue for another win and shouldn’t have any excuses from her cozy outside draw in this abbreviated turf sprint for first-level allowance fillies and mares. Second after a poor start in a similar grass dash at Santa Anita last month, the daughter of Verrazano projects to secure a nice stalking spot and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. Red Livy is a sharp Bay Area invader with three straight wins at Golden Gate Fields. She’s fast on numbers and has moved all the way up the ladder since being claimed here during the summer meeting for a paltry $8,000. The B. McLean-trained mare is winless in five career starts over the Del Mar turf course but she’s clearly better now than she’s ever been. We’ll give Miss Hot Legs the edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 6: Post 3:03 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Prayer Warrior; 4-Tiger StrikeForecast: Tiger Strike was simply second best in a similar allowance optional claiming sprint for state-bred horses at Sant a Anita last month, but it was just his third career start and the son of Smiling Tiger has plenty of room for further improvement. The C. Dollase-trained gelding should be within striking range throughout and rates a slight edge in a competitive dash that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Prayer Warrior, versatile, genuine, and consistent, returns to dirt, probably his preferred surface. The J. Metz-trained son of Ministers Wild Cat has a right to return to winning form from a second flight, stalking position. The winner should be one of these t wo, so we’ll double the race in our rolling exotics and then press with Tiger Strike on top.RACE 7: Post 3:33 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Murad Khan; 4-Wound TightForecast: Wound Tight earned a career top speed figure when nosed out in a similar first-level allowance turf miler at Santa Anita last month and nothing more will be needed for the Coil gelding to return to winning form today. Regular rider R. Bejarano should have him in an ideal pace-stalking position every step of the way. Murad Khan was visually quite impressive beating a restricted $32,000 claiming field in August over this course and distance and looks live on the one-level raise for new trainer J. Sadler. If he can turn in two alike the French-bred gelding will be heard from in the final furlong. This race should come down to these two and both are “must uses” in rolling exotic play. We’ll have a few extra tickets keying Wound Tight on top.RACE 8: Post 4:03 PT. Grade: XSingle: 4-LeucotheaForecast: Leucothea, a 14-length winner over high priced maiden claimers here in August and most recently very impressive dominating her outclassed rivals in the Anoakia Stakes by more than eight lengths at Santa Anita, seems well-spotted for another runaway score in this year’s edition of the Desi Arnaz Stakes for juvenile fillies. However, she’ll be a very short price – deservedly so – and won’t offer any real wagering value. You can use her a rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.RACE 9: Post 4:33 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-Much More Halo; 8-Frasard; 11-Royal ActForecast: This maiden turf event miler for juveniles came up usually strong and it will take a pretty good colt to win it. Frasard makes his U.S. debut for L. Powell (good stats with European imports) and the English-bred colt brings with him form that should be good enough to beat this field. Second vs. winners in his last pair, most recently when 13 lengths clear of the rest in a 10-runner field, he’ll race with blinkers following a nice series of local workouts that should have him primed and ready for a winning effort in his first outing since early July. Royal Act is a very well-regarded son of American Pharoah in the P. Eurton barn. His works have been excellent, but he had the misfortune of drawing the extreme outside 11 post position, so his task won’t be easy. Make no mistake, though, this colt can run, and you have to use him somewhere. Much More Halo closed a gap but too late in a turf sprint at Santa Anita while needing the experience and seems certain to improve on the stretch-out for B. Baffert. The barn hits at 24% with second timers and this son of More Than Ready could easily take a giant step forward today.

Read Article
11.9.2019:

Novemeber 9-Cal Expo Pick 4 Analysis

It's opening night of the fall/winter meet at Cal Expo and there are 12 races scheduled to roll. The 0.20 Pick 4 begins in Race 8. That sequence has a $25,000 guaranteed pool with a 16% takeout, and it will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 82-Miss Sassy Pants (6-1)-Roland's choice over #3 makes first career start at CalX. Taking a stab this barn will have her ready to go and Roland can work a favorable journey.5-Magnifique (3-1)-8-year-old is no stranger to Sacramento and has picked up checks at Haw and HoP this summer and fall. Could be more race ready than others as last outing was <3 weeks ago, should be a player.6-Peekaboo Tattoo (5/2)-Kennedy's choice over #8 has won 6 of 21 here and could take a picture in local debut.Race 95-Lookslikewemadeit (4-1)-Edmonton invader makes 3rd start on Lasix and has a pilot who has won 21% of his drives this year. Last pari-mutuel start was on 10/27 which is the most recent in the field and has won here in the past.6-Relentless Dancer (5-1)-Drew off by 7-lengths in a sharp qualifier. Kennedy's choice over #5 hasn't raced here before but looks ready to contend in first start since 9-8.7-Duet (12-1)-Price shot is a fixture at CalX. Could be an interesting play as barn and driver know their way to the winner's circle.Race 102-Usgeneral WA Mann (5-1)-Comes off a nice qualifier and came the last half in 58.2, appears to have the best shot of beating #7.7-Al's Brief (2-1)-Morning line chalk had a down year in '19 but shows enough speed in past lines for this to be his race to lose. Fits well with this group, has been off since 10-17 but should be tough to beat if fires.Race 113-Sing Along (5/2)-Racing well in the claiming ranks at Aces, now makes 1st start at CalX. Using and hoping will go off above program odds.4-Marilyn (4-1)-Also comes from Aces and was facing easier company than #3. Does come off a decent qualifier on 11-2 and will respect connections.5-Dancingonthesand (9/5)-ML chalk looks the part, comes off a nice qualifier and has won 7 of 13 at CalX. Svendsen knows well and looks like a major player.6-Sweet One (15-1)-First start since 4-27 but comes off a decent qualifier. Looking for some pop in the Pick 4, knows way around Calx and will respect this Plano-Cisco combo.0.20 Pick 42,5,6/5,6,7/2,7/3,4,5,6Total Bet=$14.40Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.9.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Del Mar Analysis/Wagering Strategies for 11/09/19

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis & 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 exact 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.The selections are available every racing day no later than 9 a.m. (PST). For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.Top selection indicated in bold-face.A=Highest degree of confidence.B=Solid Play.C=Least preferred, or pass.X=likely winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.*RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: CUse: 3-Potantico; 7-Via EgnatiaForecast: The Saturday opener has the look of a chaotic affair, as the favorites seem a bit suspect on paper and probably shouldn’t be trusted. Via Enatia is a first-time gelding returning to the main track with no history of success on dirt, yet he’s the 2-1 favorite by default based purely on speed figures. Certainly, he could win because he’s a need-the-lead type in a race that doesn’t appear to have too much other zip. Potantico was a sharp maiden winner over this track and distance two runs back at 34-1 but then reverted to his previous form when far back and never a threat vs. first-level allowance company. He’s not as fast on numbers as Via Egnatia but we know he can handle the track and at Del Mar sometimes that’s half the battle. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics but not with any degree of confidence, and if you’d prefer to spread the race or pass it altogether that’s fine, too.**RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B+Single: 7-Gold ArrowForecast: Gold Arrow trained well for her comeback but then spun her wheels over the deep Santa Anita main track and finished far back in a maiden affair last month. She did show enough last winter to indicate she has enough ability to win a race like this, and with the switch to turf the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro should be given another chance to display her best form. With F. Prat under suspension, D. Van Dyke takes over and will likely have this N. Drysdale-trained 4-year-old on or near the lead throughout. At 5/2 on the morning line she’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.**RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Papa Turf; 3-Fast CottonForecast: This race boils down to two main contenders, with slight preference on top to Fast Cotton. Up a notch on the class ladder after a sharp score vs. $10,000 foes at Santa Anita last month, the D. O’Neill-trained gelding is comfortably drawn just outside his chief rival and can be on the pace or just off it depending upon the race flow.. A prior winner over the Del Mar main track and retaining A. Delgadillo, the veteran son of High Cotton seems well-placed for a repeat score. Papa Turf woke up and ran his best race in years when crushing $10,000 foes by almost 13 lengths while earning a powerful speed figure last time out. He’s protected today under the starter’s allowance conditions of the race – a good sign – and if the J. Mullins-trained gelding can turn in two alike he’ll be tough right back. Both should be included in rolling exotic play, with Fast Cotton, the slightly more trustworthy of the two, getting top billing.**RACE 4: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Savvy Gal; 6-GuittyForecast: Guitty broke her maiden in her U.S debut over this course and distance in early September and a similar effort today will make her tough to beat right back in this first-level allowance grass miler for juvenile fillies. She packs a powerful late kick and in a race that should have a normal to fast early pace the French-bred filly seems capable of producing the last run once again. Savvy Girl lands the good rail and will take them as far as she can on the front end. A respectable fourth in the Surfer Girl Stakes last month at Santa Anita, the daughter of Street Sense graduated over this course in her debut, switches to R. Bejarano, and has three recent easy workouts at San Luis Rey Downs to tick her over. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have extra tickets keying Guitty on top.**RACE 5: Post 2:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Jeffnjohn’sthundr; 5-Absolute Unit; 6-AuthenticForecast: Absolute Unit has done everything like a quality colt for P. Eurton and though his work tab doesn’t show any fancy fast drills, the son of Will Take Charge is a beautiful mover with plenty of speed and will get a chance to show it when it matters in the afternoon. The barn doesn’t have a great record with debut winners, but this colt may prove the exception to the rule. Authentic has shown enough in the a.m. for B. Baffert to expect a good effort in his debut and due to his connections and the two recent bullet gate works the son of Into Mischief is certain to get plenty play on the tote. We doubt he’s any kind of world beater, but he should be competitive, so we’ll toss him in. Jeffnjohn’sthundr has the benefit of a prior run, having finished an okay third in his debut in a strong race at Santa Anita. The son of Union Rags has every right to produce a significant forward move with that bit of experience behind him, so we’ll include him on a ticket or two in the rolling exotics.RACE 6: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Overjoyed; 3-Beautiful Thunder; 9-LookingtogetevenForecast: Lookingtogeteven flashed plenty of promise in her debut when rallying from far back into the teeth of a modest pace to finish third, but then missed the entire Santa Anita fall meeting (and went a month without a workout) due to some undisclosed physical ailment. She’s had two recent moderate drills, so we can’t be sure how cranked up she is, but if the J. Cassidy-trained daughter of Ghostzapper returns as well as she left she’ll be tough to contain. Overjoyed ran reasonably well when debuting in a turf stakes here during the summer meeting and then failed to threaten when apparently uncomfortable over the Santa Anita main track last month. Back on grass today, the N. Drysdale-trained filly should be heard from in the final furlong. Beautiful Thunder has the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern for B. Koriner and may be quick enough to be the controlling speed from her favorable inside draw. On pedigree she should enjoy the added distance and seems likely to produce a forward move in the speed figure department. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics while preferring Lookingtogeteven slightly on top.**RACE 7: Post 3:30 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Principe Carlo; 3-Union Ride; 6-PosterizeForecast: Principe Carlo missed by a neck as the favorite in a recent $40,000 claiming sprint but ran well enough to expect a similar effort despite the slight raise in class. He was a voided claim two runs back in a dominating victory over this main track, so if he has another good one in him the M. Polanco-trained colt should be in the battle once again. Union Ride just edged ‘Carlo by a head in that common race at Santa Anita Oct. 18 and must be given a good look right back. Though fourth in his only previous outing over the Del Mar main track, the H. Palma-trained gelding actually earned a career top speed figure in that event, one that would be good enough to beat this field. Posterize, the third head on the wire in the same race that the other two main contenders exit, is drawn nicely and should be part of the pace throughout. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics – they’re very tough to separate – with a slight preference on top to Principe Carlo.**RACE 8: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: C+Use: 1-Proud Pedro; 3-Ocean Fury; 5-Bob and JackieForecast: There are several question marks surrounding the main contenders in this listed grass stakes for 3-year-olds, so tread lightly. Bob and Jackie, away since winning the Eddie Logan S. at Santa Anita last December and a successful over Omaha Beach when breaking his maiden over this course as a 2-year-old, returns for R. Baltas (a strong 24% with layoff runners) and will be dangerous if fit and ready. The work tab looks okay, not spectacular, so he’s a hard one to gauge, but certainly a “must use” in rolling exotic play. Ocean Fury is wheeled back in a week after finishing unplaced in the Twilight Derby-G2 at Santa Anita. This is a considerably easier spot, and the drop back to a mile won’t hurt, so the D. O’Neill-trained colt will be a major player if the short rest isn’t an issue. Proud Pedro, freshened since July, may find a mile a tad sharp for his liking, but on numbers he’s a fit and the works indicate he’sbe ready for a good effort. Look for this L. Powell-trained French-bred to be running on late.**RACE 9: Post 4:30 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Defense Wins; 5-Uncaptured HeroForecast: The finale in an expensive maiden claiming sprint for juveniles that didn’t come up particularly strong. Defense Wins, third in the Del Mar Futurity-G1 three runs back as a maiden but non-competitive in his last pair, drops to a realistic spot and seems like the logical top pick. Based on speed figures and company lines, he’ll be hard to beat. Uncaptured Hero flashed good speed before weakening in the final furlong when finishing fourth in a maiden special weight affair at Los Alamitos in September. It was a decent race for that track and he has every right to step forward with that effort underneath him. The R. Baltas-trained could get brave if he can shake loose early and is worth including at least as a back-up or a saver.

Read Article
11.8.2019:

Friday, November 08: Meadowlands Pick 4 Analysis

To start the weekend's harness action the Meadowlands has a 13-race card set to roll. The 0.50 Pick 4 will be my focus. That sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool and a 15% takeout.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 83-Brooklyn Lilacs (9/2)-3-year-old zipped home with a 54.2 last half for a nice win. Fits here too and now Dunn steers. The Jen B. barn is still rolling along, so can score again at a square price.4- Juxta Cowgirl (8-1)-Yonkers invader won't blush at this crew and should be a nice price. Callahan could put in play early and does have a 1:51.4 win at the Big M last year.7-Rockin The Boys A (7/2)-Will use this 6-year-old mare ahead of #8, a 3-year-old filly who is the 3-1 ML chalk. Should like the company and if can avoid being too far back early has a shot to win a competitive race.Race 93-Misslarose (15-1)-Don't know if post time odds will be 15-1 but she still could be a value. Likes the track and will toss last start from post 10. This is the spot to get a trip behind #6 and roll late.6-JL Cruz (3-1)-Will be out and winging and versus this group could wire the field. Will be using but not with the confidence to single even on the drop.7-Very Very Fast (9/2)-Barn has been cold but does get a positive driver change as McCarthy steers. Should be able to get a good seat and find some cover to challenge late. The pace should be quick so best to not overlook.Race 104-Glenferrie Bronte N (5-1)-Will toss last, expecting a quicker pace tonight. Pilot should have a better chance of staying in striking range from this post. Could surprise at a nice price.5-The Lady Sheriff (7/2)-Barn is 0-22 but Zeron will stick and last was a better effort. Needs to be closer to the pace and this is 2nd time Lasix. Gets some post relief and it could be time for a more aggressive steer.9-Rosy Outlook (3-1)-Using because D. Miller is back between the pipes. Last outing with Miller was an on the engine win and probably will try a similar script here.Race 111-Piercewave Hanover (6-1)-Doesn't race at the Big M often but has visited the winner's circle. Parked out from the 10-hole in last outing here but hung in and now the trainer hands the lines to Callahan. Looks to be worthy of a swing.5-Magic MVP (7/2)-Drops and starts from post 5 instead of post 9 and Callahan sticks. This will be the 2nd start for new barn and it could be go time.8-Lucky Sheila (3-1)-Has been competitive at this level although faltered down the lane in last. McCarthy takes a seat and can win from this post but needs the right trip.My Ticket Race 8) 3,4,7 Race 9) 3,6,7 Race 10) 4,5,9 Race 11) 1,5,8 Total Ticket Cost) $40.50 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.8.2019:

Friday, November 08: 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.RACE 1: Post 12:30 PT. Grade: C+Use: 1-Summer Fire; 5-I Will NotForecast: We’ll be watching closely to see if the regular anti-inside bias of the Del Mar main track – which was so prevalent during the summer meeting – returns for this 15-day boutique season. Assuming it remains in effect, we’ll give I Will Not a slight edge on top over Summer Fair primarily because of the draw. The son of Square Eddie tries dirt for the first time while returning to a sprint and adding blinkers, so we’re expecting improvement by the D. O’Neill-trained juvenile colt. If he can run, this would be an ideal time to show it. Summer Fire had the misfortune of drawing the rail but the R. Hess-trained colt switches to F. Prat, shows a bullet workout since raced, and has enough early speed to gain a favorable position. In a race that might otherwise be best left alone, we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Big Runnuer; 3-Wildman Jack; 7-General InterestForecast: Here’s a spread race, a first-level allowance turf sprint that has at least three main contenders among the seven entered. Wildman Jack is quite fast on speed figures and all three of his career outings have been excellent. Nosed out in a hot race in his most recent appearance at Santa Anita under similar conditions last month, the Goldencents gelding graduated over this course and distance during the summer meeting and can be expected to fire a similar shot with regular rider R. Bejarano staying aboard for D. O’Neill. Big Runnuer won easily in his debut last month at Santa Anita and while he probably didn’t have a whole lot behind him he did it stylishly while earning a better than par speed figure. We’ll see what he’s made of today. General Interest is the best of the closers, and if there’s a pace meltdown he’ll be heard from late. Toss him in as a saver or a back-up.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Kenzou’s Rhythm; 5-BrimstonedForecast: Let’s try to get by using just two horses in the third race, a mid-grade claiming main track miler for older horses. In a race loaded with speed-types, Brimstone is intriguing at 5-1 on the morning line. The veteran gelding will get the patient ride he needs from regular pilot B. Blanc, and two of his four career victories were accomplished over this main track. His recent form is just so-so, but under these conditions the son of Unusual Heat seems likely to bounce back. Kenzou’s Rhythm was rusty and far back in his recent comeback in a starter’s allowance event but the J. Mullins-trained gelding certainly can do better and has several back numbers that would fit very well in this field. We’re going to assume he’s okay, otherwise, the barn would be running him considerably cheaper than $20,000.RACE 4: Post 2:03 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Golden Melodie; 6-It’s a Riddle; 7-ChieftessForecast: Maiden claiming $32,000 juvenile fillies sprint five and one-half furlongs in a fairly wide open affair that requires a spread. It’s a Riddle, overmatched in straight maiden state-bred company last time out, drops for the money run today and appears to have found her proper level. The R. Hess. Jr.-trained daughter of Merit Man finished a strong runner-up in a maiden $50,000 affair in her debut over this track and distance two runs back and a repeat of that effort today should be good enough to earn her a diploma. Chieftess, in the money in her last pair, has rising speed figures and with another forward move should be in the fray throughout. Golden Melodie adds blinkers for the first time, shortens up a furlong, and displayed sufficient early speed in her four prior runs to project expect that she’ll have a strong pace preference from the start. However, she has only one way to go from her two-hole post, and if the early races on today’s program suggest that track may be biased against inside runners her chances will diminish.RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Hootie; 2-Storm the Bastille; 8-VolubileForecast: Volubile makes his first start since being haltered for $50,000 by R. Hess, Jr. (strong 20% with this angle) and makes a major jockey switch to F. Prat. The son of More Than Ready broke his maiden over this turf course during the summer meeting and with only mild improvement looks capable of producing the last run. Storm the Bastille has speed figures that are rising with every outing and from where he’s drawn projects to enjoy an ideal ground-ground-saving trip. He remains protected in a sign of confidence by W. Spawr and may find himself in a good pace-stalking position in a race that isn’t likely to have fast early splits. Hootie got burned up pressing a 45 seconds half mile in a similar starter’s grass affair at Santa Anita last month and did very well to battle back through the lane and wind up third, missing by only a neck. He’s winless in five career starts over the local lawn – that’s a concern – but if the M. McCarthy-trained gelding is allowed to establish his own pace he may prove tough to catch. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Volubile.RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Adorably Sweet; 4-Too Hot for Curlin; 7-Stormin RangerForecast: Too Hot for Curlin shortens from a series of grass route events to a dirt sprint and we suspect the change in trip and surface will bring our her best. The P. D’Amato-trained filly figures to settle early and then rally late, a running style that during the summer meeting proved quite effective. Adorably Sweet must overcome the dreaded rail in this abbreviated sprint for maiden state-bred fillies and mares but if the track appears to be playing fair – pay close attention to the early races – she should be a major contender. Off the board and vanned off when favored in her only prior start last December over this main track, the daughter of Richard’s Kid has trained nicely for her return, and it seems significant that she returns protected, not in a high price maiden claimer. Stormin Ranger represents stranger danger as a first-time starter from a capable barn with some decent drills at Los Alamitos on her resume. The daughter of U S Ranger won’t have to be a world beater to act with these, so we’ll include her on a few tickets in our rolling exotic play.RACE 7: Post 3:34 PT. Grade: B+Single: 3-Poster GirlForecast: Poster Girl earned a graded stakes-quality speed figure in the best race of her career when winning an optional claimer over a mile on grass in her most recent outing. Claimed out of that race for $62,500 by W. Spawr, the veteran English-bred mare sports a healthy work pattern since that early October score, and with strong previous form over the local lawn she appears capable of taking this raise in class to overnight stakes company in stride. T. Pereira, who knows her well, stays aboard and should have her in an ideal pace-stalking position, ready to pounce when called upon. At 3-1 on the morning line she’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 8: Post 4:04 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Tiz Toffee; 5-Road TestForecast: Tiz Toffee, never worse than second in four career outings over the Del Mar main track, should be the controlling speed in this starter’s allowance main track miler for fillies and mares and is reunited with A. Delgadillo, who was aboard the daughter of Sydney’s Candy when she last won three races back over this track and distance. A similar effort today should be good enough, so we’ll put her on top but also include Road Test in our rolling exotics. Better known for finishing second or third (17 times) rather that winning (four times), she goes for a small but capable outfit in her first off the $12,500 claim and could be a strong late threat if she can settle in the second flight behind the speed types. She’s run well at Del Mar in the past (a win and two seconds in five prior starts) and retains good bug boy J. Diaz, Jr., who has won on her in the past. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Tiz Toffee.

Read Article
11.7.2019:

Johnny D's 2019 Breeders’ Cup Recap

For two magnificent days, at the foot of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains under warm Southern California sunshine, Santa Anita Park played the perfect Breeders’ Cup host. That’s not surprising. I love Santa Anita. Spent 30 years there, even lived in a condo on Huntington Avenue directly across from the track. Will always call it my ‘home away from home,’ rich with history, beauty and memories. The place and people mean a great deal to me. For many reasons, it’s the perfect track to host Breeders’ Cup. And few could have argued with that…right up until the last 300 yards of Saturday’s finale. That’s when Mongolian Groom, last out winner of the Awesome Again Stakes over this very track, went wrong, was pulled up and later euthanized. Just writing about the incident develops a pit in the stomach. Because a horse died? Yes. But also, because extensive protective measures didn’t pitch a perfect game. No runs, no hits, one error. And that was one too many. Make no mistake, as long as horses run there will be injuries and deaths. At the track, on the farm and in the wild. This weekend, however, under the most intense scrutiny ever, the game, the track, the sport wanted and needed to jump clean. And they did…right up until the very last unfortunate hurdle. One could argue that a single incident can’t erase two days of magnificent racing. And that’s partly true. Sensational media coverage and unfair demands to close the track from politicians and radical animal rights activists mean that only part of the story is being told. Below is some of what else happened Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita, in a recap of the outstanding performances, triumphs and defeats overlooked by many. FridayRace 5 – Juvenile Turf Sprint In just the second edition of this race Four Wheel Drive, from the Wesley Ward barn, made all the running to win in style. Going in, he seemed the speed of the race and that proved to be a correct assumption. Two editions, two American speedsters as winners. An early trend? Perhaps. This race isn’t suited for the Euros at all as five furlongs around a bend usually is a speedy affair that they’re just not trained to win. Race 6 – Juvenile TurfDon’t know how I missed a Chad Brown turf winner. Guess I got caught looking too far east…Europe instead of New York. Americans dominated the race with Structor in first; Billy Batts, a local Peter Miller bomb, second; Gear Jockey, saddled by Rusty Arnold, third and Decorated Invader, one of trainer Christophe Clement’s hopes to crack his 0-36 BC slump, fourth. Best the Euros could do was Arizona, from the Aidan O’Brien outfit, fifth. Race 7 - Juvenile FilliesBritish Idiom validated her Alcibiades victory and moved her unbeaten string to three races with a win in the BC Juvenile Fillies. This could be the beginning of one of those dominant careers. She’s got a nice combination of speed and stamina. Donna Veloce made a race of it and appeared for a moment as if she just might successfully make that grand leap from first-out maiden sprint victor to Grade 1 BC route race queen. In the end she just couldn’t contain the more experienced ‘Idiom. ‘Veloce’s certainly got a bright future. Bob Baffert’s Bast finished third, less than two lengths back in a good try. Race 8 – Juvenile Fillies TurfSharing parlayed a Selima triumph at Laurel into a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies score. She’s a mere neck away from being unbeaten in four starts for trainer Graham Motion. Blinkers were added in the Selima, the filly’s second turf start. Euro invader Daahyeh, from Roger Varian’s stable, transferred decent Euro form to Santa Anita and finished second. She’s quality and never been worse than second in six lifetime starts in Group 1, Grade 1 and Group 2 company. Nice stuff. Chad Brown’s selflessly, first and second in two previous starts wasn’t able to transfer that good firm to Santa Anita. Race 9 – JuvenileSometimes things just go your way. Saturday was that kind of day for Storm the Court. BC Juvenile favorite Dennis’ Moment went to his knees out of the gate and second choice Eight Rings didn’t show. That left Storm the Court to seize the moment in an upset of the BC Juvenile at a whopping $93.80! Third last out in the American Pharoah behind Eight Rings, over eight lengths in arrears, Storm the Court stormed to the Juvenile lead and battled tenaciously through the lane to keep a head in front of 28-1 shot Anneau d’Or. The latter runner had started once previously in a turf race at Golden Gate for trainer Blaine Wright. It was at a mile around two turns and he won by 8 lengths. Still, a switch to dirt against much stronger made 28-1 a fair price. Wrecking Crew, runner-up in the bolting incident-marred Del Mar Futurity behind stablemate Nucky, finished third, well in front of the rest. Dennis’ Moment never recovered and was last. SaturdayRace 4- F&M SprintI thought Covfefe was worth going against at a short price. Boy, was I wrong. A 3-year-old against older, plenty of other early speed, a huge, possibly bounce-inducing pre-BC effort and a rail draw…none of that mattered. She rated nicely for jockey Joel Rosario and won definitively. She’s fast and talented, which we knew before the race. Now, we can add versatile to the mix. That’s a powerful combination. Bellafina returned to her best form and ran very well to be second. Dawn the Destroyer finished late, as expected, to round out the top three. Bottom line: a race that seemed to this horseplayer to be wide-open turned out fairly formful, although Come Dancing did disappoint. Race 5 - Turf SprintBefore this race, I noted that there wasn’t much speed in this five-furlong dash. Turns out, there was. It all belonged to Belvior Bay. Right out of the gate, she left foes wondering where she went. She cleared from the far outside 12-hole, got to the rail and kept going. Om, previously known to be effective in longer races, fired well to finish second. Trainer Peter Miller trained both the first and second-place finishers and had developed a reputation for cultivating top sprinters, grass and dirt. Pure Sensation, an expected speed factor, didn’t break well and lost his best chance. Shekky Shebaz, also a speedy entrant, did his best to be third but couldn’t match Belvoir Bay’s early foot. Race 6 Dirt - MileThere were two questions that needed to be answered in the Dirt Mile: Could Omaha Beach duplicate his outstanding comeback effort? And, if not, who could upset him? The answer to the first question was compromised immediately out of the gate when Omaha Beach stumbled a few times for several strides. The misfire cost him his early position in the race and he had too much to do to make up ground. The answer to the second question clearly was Spun to Run. Hats off to the Parx-based colt that went to the front and improved his position while validating his stunning 110 Beyer Speed Figure victory in a $106k stakes at Parx. Omaha Beach ran well to be second, and one wonders if the outcome would have been reversed had the favorite not been handcuffed. But ‘wonders’ don’t spend at the grocery store. Spun to Run got the money for the third time in five starts since blinkers were added. Blue Chipper, forging new ground by from Korea to SoCal, showed speed and held third in a creditable performance. Race 7 - F&M TurfJoseph O’Brien became only the second person to both train and ride BC winners and also the youngest to accomplish each feat. Makes sense. He’s bred for it. Sired by Aidan O’Brien, one of the world’s top trainers, young Joe finally had to give up the saddle when his body outgrew that profession. Following the race, the clean-cut young man who looks about a day over 12 dutifully thanked owners, lads at the barn and Irish-bred Iridessa, the winning mare, as an Irish flag floated in the background. Iridessa has now won 4 Group or Grade 1s. Impressive. She rode the rail under jockey Wayne Lordan, angled out for the stretch drive and outlasted a determined Vasilika. As always, Vasilika ran her heart out. She loves the Santa Anita course and now is an incredible 11-for-13 over it. She’s been an absolute joy to watch both this winter and last. As honest as a saint and as determined as an ant. She’s a true pro. Also proudly wearing a figurative ‘P’ on her chest signifying ‘Pro’ was beaten favorite Sistercharlie. She had no real excuse in the race, except that she may not have enjoyed the firm Santa Anita course. She certainly got the pace she required, even without pacesetter Thais in the lineup, but she didn’t quicken enough late to get the job done. Still, she’s been a star for the last two years, winning 7-of-9 starts, including last year’s edition of this race. Race 8 - SprintOnce Imperial Hint scratched, on paper this looked like a two-horse race. Turned out that way on the track, too. Love when that happens. Shancelot figured to make the lead and Mitole was expected to stalk. The question going in was would Mitole be able to run Shancelot down? The answer was a definitive ‘yes.’ Mitole has had a tremendous season, is a cinch to earn an Eclipse Award as Outstanding Sprinter and his name is prominent in the Horse of the Year conversation. It’s a bit strange, too, because earlier this season Mitole was hailed as a superhorse. He won the Met Mile, but post-race conversation predominantly revolved around how much trouble runner-up McKinzie had experienced. A loss next out in the Vanderbilt really sucked the bloom from the rose. He bounced back to take the Forego before winning the Sprint, but his bandwagon never was quite as full as it was earlier in the year. This writer can’t remember a horse running as well as Shancelot has in in three consecutive races…and losing them all. Coming off a scintillating 121 Beyer figure in the Amsterdam, the son of Shanghai Bobby fired a reactionary 96 Beyer to finish third, beaten a head by Mind Control and Hog Creek Hustle, in the Jerkens at Saratoga; he then was nailed by Omaha Beach in the Santa Anita Sprint Special, despite a 102 Beyer, and was caught by Mitole in the Sprint. Tough stuff.Race 9 - MileI could use one of about a million canned lines about ‘Girl Power’ to describe the conclusion of the Mile, but I won’t. Uni, a 5-year-old mare who has now won 3 of 4 starts this year and 10 of 18 lifetime, and Got Stormy, a 4-year-old filly who claims 3 wins in 7 starts this year and 4 of 14 lifetime, finished one-two in the Mile. Success in this race has been a fairly common experience for females, but a cold all distaff exacta was a minor surprise. Without Parole, bred in Great Britain by John and Tanya Gunther who brought us Triple Crown winner Justify, began his career across the pond and won his first 4 starts. He then lost his next five before being moved to the US-based barn of Chad Brown. ‘Parole, reportedly, had trained very well for the BC Mile, in company with eventual Turf winner and probable Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar. Notable money showed early and steadily for Without Parole and he ran well to be third. Keep an eye on him going forward.Race 10 - DistaffYours truly got drunk on Midnight Bisou and it cost him. Going in, I thought she was the most probable winner on the BC card. I was wrong. No disrespect to Blue Prize, but this horseplayer considered that her best races had come in Kentucky and that she already had had her sunny moment at Keeneland in the Spinster. Wrong again. That I was wrong about both Midnight Bisou and Blue Prize’s chances definitively proves the adage that two wrongs don’t make a right. If I had more accurately estimated Blue Prize’s chances of victory, I would have elevated her from a ‘C’ to a ‘B’ on my pick six sheets and collected $55k instead of a measly $650 for four consolations. Ouch!Race 11 - TurfBricks and Mortar proved once more that he doesn’t need to take his turf course with him. Over a rich, bright green, Santa Anita swath that seemed to favor those most familiar with it, the son of Giant’s Causeway—a confirmed closer—mounted another strong finish to triumph in the shadow of the wire. It is the sixth different turf course he has won on this year! The victory solidifies the Chad Brown-trained 5-year-old’s case as Horse of the Year and caps an outstanding unbeaten season that began with victory in Pegasus World Cup Turf and ends triumphantly in the Breeders’ Cup Turf--at a mile and one-half, a distance he’d never tried. Lifetime, he has won 11 of 13. United, a 51-1 shot trained by Hall-of-Famer Dick Mandella and ridden by local star Flavien Prat, seemed to have made a first run, winning move in the Turf until Bricks and Mortar came calling in the final jumps. United rallied back on the inside but missed by a head. An improving 4-year-old, United really hadn’t done much beforehand to suggest he was ready for this type of challenge. Such is the case, though, with improving horses: they sometimes surprise with explosive positive efforts. Top Euro prospect, 3-year-old Anthony Van Dyck, finished third. Old Persian, another Euro that had attracted this horseplayer’s attention (and money) pulled against the rider throughout and faded into oblivion when the real running began. Race 12 - ClassicTrainer Todd Pletcher, a certain Hall-of-Fame occupant the minute he becomes eligible, added an important missing piece to his incredible resume when Vino Rosso charged home best of all in the 2019 BC finale. It was Pletcher’s first victory in the race. The trainer has done an outstanding job with Vino Rosso, permitting him to develop into a much better horse at 4 than he was at 3. In the future, when folks say, ‘Curlin’s get better with age,’ think Vino Rosso as an example. It would be fine to see the horse continue to develop, but that’s not in the cards. After the race, before anyone could say Pegasus World Cup, he was whisked-away to the stud. Bob Baffert-trained McKinzie finished second, tail swishing his way home under new rider Joel Rosario. It’s probably true that a mile and one-quarter is not his favorite distance, but he really never seemed at his best. Higher Power was a well-beaten third, never a threat to the winner. Elate finished an unremarkable fourth. As previously mentioned, my Breeders’ Cup wagering experience came down to a share of four Pick 6 consolation payoffs totaling roughly $650. Compared to the $55k that went to those who had all six winners, they really didn’t provide much consolation. Nine Xpressbet account holders correctly turned the pick-six carryover trick Saturday. Winning sheets ranged in cost from $216 to $15,750. Other successful Xpressbet weekend hits included several Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge contest wagers: A cold $2k exacta in the 11th race with Bricks and Mortar over United was worth $137,200; A $32,500 win wager on Bricks and Mortar returned $65k and a $10k win wager on Covfefe in the 4th race earned $25k. A 9th race non-contest $5,500 win and place wager on Uni collected $38,500. Nice to hear. At least some of my fellow Xpressbet account holders emerged victorious. I got next! Race On!      

Read Article
11.7.2019:

Sunshine Millions Preview Day Saturday - Top 5 Plays for Gulfstream Park West

Saturday is Sunshine Millions Preview Day at Gulfstream Park West, showcasing Florida-bred runners in nine stakes races worth a combined $675,000.The Sunshine Millions, a concept in existence since 2002, was originally a California vs Florida showcase of the top Florida and California-bred animals, with races held at Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park.  I remember watching the races on NBC a few times.  Pretty big deal.   The series has changed significantly in the last decade, but it remains an important player on the Gulfstream Park stakes schedule.  Between this Saturday’s Preview event at Gulfstream Park West and the Sunshine Millions ‘main event’ at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 18, $1.275 million in purses will be doled out to Florida-bred horses.  And with so many solid stakes performers on one card this Saturday, it’s going to be hard to for handicappers like me to pass things up.  Couple that with a $575,659 Jackpot Pick 6 Carryover (heading into Thursday’s races) and this is a card I’ll be playing.  Here are my top 5 plays on the card:Race 1 (12:00PM ET) – Millions Turf Preview Stakes#7 Galleon Mast (5/2) The stakes action kicks off early on Saturday – Race 1 in fact – with the Sunshine Millions Turf Preview Stakes.  Any my eyes are on GALLEON MAST, who won this race last year by a nose and seems to be rounding back into form for David Fawkes.  He was beaten last out at 9/5 odds by DRIVEN BY THUNDER, but he was extremely pace compromised that day.  It’s just hard to close from last when they go :25 4/5, :51 1/5 and 1:14 3/5 in a 1 1/16-mile race.  That’s just too slow.  I expect SWAGGER JAGGER and FREEDOM MATTERS to put a little pressure on DRIVEN BY THUNDER early, which would set this up just right for GALLEON MAST, who also gets a positive jockey upgrade to Paco Lopez (the top jock at GP West), who was aboard him last year for his win in this race.  Race 4 (1:26PM ET) – Millions Classic Preview Stakes#4 Art G is Back  (2/1)  The day’s ‘biggest’ race – at least in the sense that the Classic is the premier division – is the Classic Preview Stakes, which goes as Race 4 on the card, probably to keep it out of the Late Pick 4 and Rainbow 6 due to a small field size.  Only five horses have entered this, but one of those is the extremely well-regarded MR. JORDAN.  He’s a perfect 5-for-5 at Gulfstream Park West and leaned on all of his class to win this race by a nose last year.  Unfortunately, he’s 0-for-7 in ’19 and it seems Father Time has caught up with him.  The heir apparent to this throne would be ART G IS BACK.  He’s a 3YO facing older which gives me significant pause, but he’s beaten older horses twice at Gulfstream and once of those was by 13-lengths in an off-turf allowance.  If the chips break the right way, this is the horse trending way up in this division.  My colleague, Jeremy Plonk, made this race his Xpressbet Race of the Week.  Here’s how he’s betting it.    Race 6 (2:26PM ET) – Millions Sprint Preview Stakes#6 He Hate Me (9/5) HE HATE ME has developed into a sharp allowance sprinter, having won races at Gulfstream and Saratoga in the last year, and looks like a good bet in this field.  JACKSON is a solid runner but he’s a 3YO facing older horses and FRONT LOADED hasn’t won on a fast track since July 2018 (he’s 2-for-2 in the slop since then, though). HE HATE ME has the versatility to adapt to any pace scenario and he’s easily the class of the field.  Race 7 (2:56PM ET) – Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes#7 Our Little Jewel (3/1)  Another race and another Paco Lopez-ridden top pick.  Might just be a trend.  OUR LITTLE JEWEL debuted in New York for Mike Trombetta and while she wasn’t quite good enough to win races on the NYRA circuit (she finished 7th, 2nd and 5th in turf races at Saratoga and Belmont), a trip down the highway to Maryland was enough for her to get her first win.  She scored on the Laurel turf with a big closing kick despite a wide trip.  She’s going to need some pace and racing luck, but her ceiling appears to be the highest of anyone in this field.  Race 9 (3:56PM ET) – Millions Filly & Mare Turf Preview Stakes #6 Bienville Street (8/1)  This is strictly a pace play but this year’s Filly & Mare Turf Preview Stakes is loaded with speed and horses like DADDY’S BOO, MISS DEPLORABLE, PICARA (defending champion) and SOUPER ESCAPE are all most comfortable when put into the race early.  And with that much speed signed on, I’ll take a closer with a penchant for winning and a top jock (Paco Lopez) on her back.  She’s won three of her last eight starts after beginning her career 0-for-11 and she placed in a pair of stakes race in September at Gulfstream. 

Read Article
11.7.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: November 8 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle with this week’s Stronach 5, which continues to be one of the best bets on the track. 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 45 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 (4:10 ET) – 3up N2L at 6 furlongs The opener is deep, though I’m not sure how competitive, as there are several who can’t win. Of those who can, I prefer #9 AWESOME AGENDA (12-1), since it’s never a bad thing to be a rousing MCL winner in a race like this, and #10 MAKE THE RULES (5-1), who drops in class and goes third-off a long layoff. I’ll also add in #13 BARAVELLI, who just missed at the level last time, though this wide draw did him no favors. Pk5 A horses: 9,10,13 (listed in order of preference) I don’t necessarily trust #3 BEEN REDEEMED (5-1), but the drop in class is significant and that slow 2nd for 14k last time might play here, while #6 HEY PREZ (10-1) is another dropper and the barn change to Morris could be a sneaky wake up. Pk5 B horses: 3,6 Leg 2: Gulfstream Park West R7 (4:21 ET) – 3up ALW at 7 ½ furlongs (turf) I’ll stab a bit with #5 BLOCKBUSTER (8-1), who hasn’t been out since January, though Casse is 16% off this break, and with expected improvement he’s got every right to make a dent. The more logical is #9 BELGRANO (5-2), even from this tough post, as he’s a better, faster horse than the rest, and has been facing better in NY as well. I’ll also toss in #7 MANTRA (6-1), who gets a big jock upgrade to Bravo and that close 2nd last time makes him a player. Pk5 A horses: 5,9,7 The rail and that fast race last time says you have to look at #1 MOROCCO (10-1), even though he could bounce, but the price will be right if you believe he’s running back to that fast 2nd last time. Pk5 B horses: 1 Leg 3: Laurel Park R9 (4:40 ET) – 3up 10k N3L at 6 furlongs I’ll take the class dropping #4 SUNMAN (5-1) over #8 ZITARROSA (7-2) and #10 FACT OF WAR (9-2), though all three are very logical, as the former has been facing better while the latter two go off the claim for Farrior and Ness, which are 27% and 26% moves, respectively. Pk5 A horses: 4,8,10 You might be able to go it alone on the top-3, though #6 HARGUS (8-1) and #5 NAUTICAL NATURE (8-1) both drop and will offer value, and aren’t too far behind on paper, so if they wake up against this reduced group, I want to be there. Pk5 B horses: 6,5 Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:48 ET) – 3upfm 4k claimer* at 1-mile Budget players will single #4 FRUITFULLY (1-1), and I get it, but she nibbles more than she wins and note the big win two-back was on dirt, so she’s a little sketchier than the ML says to me. With that being said, I’ll go with #7 MOONLIGHT MYSTIQUE (5-1), who will offer value, has run well here before, and should like getting off the dirt. Pk5 A horses: 7,4 With just seven entered, and a heavy, heavy favorite, I can’t use two on top and then anyone else down below, especially since the gap seems like a seismic one. If you want a name or two then it’s #1 Warrens Lil Margie (4-1) and #3 Euphemistic (6-1), though neither seem all that trustworthy. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 5: Gulfstream Park West R8 (4:51 ET) – 2yo 20k MCL at 1-mile (turf) I’ve ranted plenty of times about post position in these races, but it just seems like #9 DELIA’S PRIDE (3-1) just has to win this off her last race, as this is a wretched crew and that 3rd last time makes her look imposing here. With that being said, I’ll also use the well-drawn #2 CAT CAY (8-1), who gets a huge trainer change to De La Cerda, who is 17% first-turf, and a few of her dirt runs would give her a puncher’s chance here. Pk5 A horses: 9,2 I’m probably supposed to use someone else, but I just can’t come up with one, since they look terrible on paper and the best other turfer, #11 Debbies Utube Diva (15-1), drew very poorly and was 34-1 last time. I guess #5 Queenoftheminstrel (9-2) and #6 Wonder Blondy (4-1) wouldn’t make me faint if they win, but they can do it without me off their previous runs. Pk5 B horses: NONE The Tickets: Main Ticket: 9,10,13 with 5,9,7 with 4,8,10 with 7,4 with 9,2 = $108 Leg 1 B Backup: 3,6 with 5,9,7 with 4,8,10 with 7,4 with 9,2 = $72 Leg 2 B Backup: 9,10,13 with 1 with 4,8,10 with 7,4 with 9,2 = $36 Leg 3 B Backup: 9,10,13 with 5,9,7 with 6,5 with 7,4 with 9,2 = $72

Read Article
11.7.2019:

Jon White's 2019 Breeders' Cup Recap

VENUE: Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1-2. Main Track: dirt, fast Friday and Saturday; Turf Course: firm Friday and Saturday. $6 MILLION CLASSIC (NOV. 2) Results: (1) Vino Rosso, who paid $11.20, (2) McKinzie, (3) Higher Power. Winner: Owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable; trained by Todd Pletcher; ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 111. Accelerate won the 2018 BC Classic at Churchill Downs with a 105 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Classic: 124 (Sunday Silence in 1989 at Gulfstream Park, Ghostzapper in 2004 at Lone Star Park). Recap: The final race of Vino Rosso’s career quite probably was his finest. Fourth early in the 1 1/4-mile BC Classic, he surged to the front with a little more than a sixteenth to go, then drew away to win with authority by 4 1/4 lengths in 2:02.80. This actually was an excellent final time on a main track that many deemed to be deep and quite tiring during both days of this year’s Breeders’ Cup. In my Breeders’ Cup selections for Xpressbet.com and the official Santa Anita program, I picked Vino Rosso to win, McKinzie second and Higher Power third. They finished one-two-three in that order. The 50-cent trifecta paid $98.50. This win meant a lot to Pletcher, who is a slam-dunk to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible for the first time in 2021. Pletcher has won the Kentucky Derby twice (Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming in 2017), but the BC Classic had eluded him until this year. Like a fine wine, Vino Rosso has seemed to get better as he has aged. He was a pretty good 3-year-old in 2018, highlighted by a victory in the Grade II Wood Memorial during the spring. But he clearly has been better this year at 4. In his BC Classic win, Vino Rosso was credited with a career-best 111 Beyer. It was his fourth straight triple-digit figure. He did not record a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure in any of his races prior to this year. It hardly seems a coincidence that Vino Rosso’s first triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure came last spring in a race run over the same surface and at the same 1 1/4-mile trip as this year’s BC Classic. He posted a 105 Beyer when victorious in the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May 27. In between the Gold Cup during the spring in Southern California and the BC Classic in SoCal during the fall, Vino Rosso raced twice in New York. He recorded a 100 Beyer in the Grade I Whitney Stakes and a 106 in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup. Vino Rosso ran third behind McKinzie and Yoshida in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 3. Vino Rosso then finished first by a nose in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Sept. 28, but the stewards disqualified him and placed him second for causing interference, which elevated Code of Honor to first in that 1 1/4-mile event. Code of Honor went into the Gold Cup at Belmont off a win in Saratoga’s Grade I Travers Stakes against fellow 3-year-olds. Vino Rosso, off at 9-2, avenged his Whitney and Jockey Club Gold Cup losses in the BC Classic by outrunning both 5-2 favorite McKinzie and 7-2 second-wagering choice Code of Honor. Vino Rosso followed in the footsteps of his sire, Curlin, as a BC Classic winner. Curlin, voted Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008, won the 2007 BC Classic on a sloppy track at Monmouth Park by 4 1/2 lengths, almost the same 4 1/4-length margin as Vino Rosso in this year’s BC Classic. As for McKinzie, many have expressed the thought that he probably is at his best when racing from seven furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. But despite being no match for Vino Rosso in the final sixteenth last Saturday, McKinzie did manage to beat everyone else in this particular 1 1/4-mile race. Not only that, it’s to McKinzie’s credit that even though he did not win the BC Classic, he ended up 4 1/4 lengths clear of third-place finisher Higher Power. It is true that McKinzie now is winless in three starts at 1 1/4 miles. But it should be remembered that he did run well enough to lose the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap by a only nose when second to Gift Box in that prestigious 1 1/4-mile affair last April 6. This year’s BC Classic unfortunately was marred by an injury sustained by Mongolian Groom. After winning Santa Anita’s Grade I Awesome Again Stakes on Sept. 28 in a 25-1 upset, he was made eligible to compete in the BC Classic when his owner, Mongolian Stable, paid a nomination fee of $200,000. After racing just off pacemaker War of Will through the early furlongs last Saturday, Mongolian Groom began to retreat after going one mile. Jockey Abel Cedillo then pulled up Mongolian Groom in the stretch when the 4-year-old Hightail gelding was in distress. He was vanned to the equine hospital at Santa Anita. What happened to Mongolian Groom cast a pall over what had been an extremely entertaining two days of Breeders’ Cup competition until that sad incident. The Breeders’ Cup issued a statement Saturday evening, which said in part: “Mongolian Groom sustained an injury in the Breeders’ Cup Classic today and was immediately attended to by an expert team of veterinarians, led by board certified veterinary surgeon Dr. Ryan Carpenter. During their evaluation at the equine hospital at Santa Anita, they observed a serious fracture to his left hind limb. Radiographs were taken and a complete evaluation was performed. Given the extent of the injury, Dr. Carpenter, in consultation with Dr. Wayne McIllwraith, veterinary surgeon and professor emeritus at Colorado State University; Dr. Rick Arthur, Equine Medical Director of the California Horse Racing Board; and attending veterinarian Dr. Vince Baker recommended humane euthanasia of Mongolian Groom.” $4 MILLION TURF (NOV. 2) Results: (1) Bricks and Mortar, who paid $4 as the favorite, (2) United, (3) Anthony Van Dyck. Winner: Owned Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence; trained by Chad Brown; ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 104. Enable won the 2018 BC Turf at Churchill Downs with a 114 Beyer. Top Beyer in the Turf: 118 (Daylami in 1999 at Gulfstream Park). Recap: With this win, Bricks and Mortar completed his racing career with an unblemished 2019 campaign. He was six for six this year while racing from January to November. Five of his 2019 victories came in Grade I events. There are 14 Breeders’ Cup races, yet none were considered to be in Bricks and Mortar’s comfort zone in that it was evident that Brown preferred to run him in races at 1 1/8 miles or 1 1/4 miles. Consequently, for a time during the summer, Brown indicated that Bricks and Mortar might not even be seen at the Breeders’ Cup. The 1 1/4-mile Arlington Million was under consideration to serve as Bricks and Mortar’s Breeders’ Cup race, so to speak, according to Brown. But after Bricks and Mortar won the Grade I Arlington Million on Aug. 10 to solidify his position as a leading Horse of the Year candidate, it was decided that a trip to the Breeders’ Cup was in order. But which Breeders’ Cup race should Bricks and Mortar run in, the Mile or the 1 1/2-mile Turf? Brown had been leaning to the Mile. But then a couple of weeks or so before the Breeders’ Cup, he let the cat out of the bag that, based on how Bricks and Mortar had been training, he now was thinking seriously of opting for the longer Turf. It actually made sense that if Bricks and Mortar were to stretch out to 1 1/2 miles for the first time, Santa Anita was an ideal place to try it inasmuch as the first part of the race would be run downhill. As it turned out, Bricks and Mortar did not have the best of trips in the BC Turf. He pretty much was bottled up through most of the race. After Bricks and Mortar continued to be bottled up on the far turn, Ortiz seized the opportunity to maneuver him toward the outside turning into the stretch to give them a clear run at the top of the lane. “Bricks and Mortar now gets a seam and he’s going to be cut loose with a furlong to go,” said track announcer Frank Mirahmadi during his call of the race. “Here comes Bricks and Mortar on the outside. And he is finishing with a flourish! Bricks and Mortar STORMS to the front! United running a giant race. But it’s Bricks and Mortar bringing his brilliance to the biggest stage to win the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf!” By the way, while Bricks and Mortar no doubt was impressive in taking this year’s BC Turf, his performance is an indication of just how great Enable is. Bricks and Mortar was credited with a 104 Beyer Speed Figure for his BC Turf win. When Enable won the 2018 BC Turf, she recorded a 114 Beyer. After Bricks and Mortar’s BC Turf victory, accomplished in 2:24.73, he will race no more. He heads off to stud having won 10 of 12 lifetime starts. Bricks and Mortar is odds-on to be voted a 2019 Eclipse Award as champion male turf horse. He also is a heavy favorite to be voted 2019 Horse of the Year. An indication of the support Bricks and Mortar is going to get from Eclipse Award voters for the Horse of the Year title is he was the overwhelming choice as the top-ranked horse in the final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for 2019. He received 42 first-place votes, compared to only two such votes for Mitole. No one else received a single first-place vote. Bricks and Mortar, I believe, would be a very deserving Horse of the Year in that he ranked No. 1 in the poll for most of the year. When he ranked No. 1 this week, it was the 32nd consecutive week that he had held the top spot. Here is the final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll of 2019: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 438 Bricks and Mortar (42)2. 388 Mitole (2)3. 332 Vino Rosso4. 297 Midnight Bisou5. 157 McKinzie5. 157 Sistercharlie7. 151 Uni8. 109 Covfefe9. 102 Blue Prize10. 90 Maximum Security Also receiving votes: Code of Honor (50 points), Omaha Beach (34), Imperial Hint (18), Higher Power (16), Spun to Run (15), Got Stormy (14), Elate (10), Iridessa (10), British Idiom (8), Vasilika (7), Belvoir Bay (4), Storm the Court (2), World of Trouble (2), Four Wheel Drive (1). This was the ballot that I submitted for the final NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll of 2019: 1. Bricks and Mortar2. Mitole3. Vino Rosso4. Midnight Bisou5. Sistercharlie6. Uni7. Maximum Security8. Omaha Beach9. McKinzie10. Code of Honor A Paulick Report poll is another indication that Bricks and Mortar is going to be the 2019 Horse of the Year. The last time I checked, Bricks and Mortar was receiving 68% of the vote, followed by Mitole at 14%, Vino Rosso at 11% and Midnight Bisou (7%). $2 MILLION DISTAFF (NOV. 2) Results: (1) Blue Prize, who paid $19.80, (2) Midnight Bisou, (3) Serengeti Empress. Winner: Owned by Merriebelle Stable; trained by Ignacio Correas; ridden byJoe Bravo. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 103. Monomoy Girl won the 2018 BC Distaff at Churchill Downs with a 96 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Distaff: 120 (Princess Rooney in 1984). Recap: After losing her first 3 starts of 2019, Blue Prize reeled off three straight victories. Blue Prize won the Summer Colony Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 18. Next, she took the Grade I Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 6, a race she also had won in 2018. And then Blue Prize, in the biggest triumph of her career, rallied from 10th to win the 1 1/8-mile BC Distaff by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:50.50. Midnight Bisou, toward the back of the pack going into the far turn when seeming to struggle on the track, rallied belatedly to finish second in the field of 11 when well clear of everyone but the winner. Serengeti Empress held on for third after leading to the final furlong in her bid to add a BC Distaff win vs. older rivals to her resume after having become a Grade I Kentucky Oaks winner back on May 3. Midnight Bisou went into the Breeders’ Cup with seven wins this year from seven starts, a record that made her a Horse of the Year candidate. But her Horse of the Year hopes took a major hit with her defeat in the BC Distaff, a race she had finished third in as a 3-year-old in 2018. As for Blue Prize, who was bred in Argentina, the 6-year-old Pure Prize mare came away with first prize in the 2019 BC Distaff. $2 MILLION MILE (NOV. 2) Results: (1) Uni, who paid $9.20, (2) Got Stormy, (3) Without Parole. Winner: Owned by Head of Plaines Partners, Michael Dubb, Robert LaPenta and Bethlehem Stables; trained by Chad Brown; ridden by Joel Rosario. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 106. Expert Eye won the 2018 BC Mile at Churchill Downs with a 101 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Mile: 119 (Miesque in 1987 at Hollywood Park). Recap: This race was all about girl power. Uni unleashed a devastating late kick, as she had done a number of times before, to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:32.45. The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred More Than Ready mare was 7-2 in the betting. Got Stormy, the 3-1 favorite and the only other distaffer in the field, had a slight lead with a furlong to go. But Got Stormy had to settle for second in the field of 13. European shipper Without Parole nosed out Circus Maximus, also a Euro invader, for third. With this victory by Uni, she turned the tables on Got Stormy. They had met previously in the Grade I Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 10, a race in which Got Stormy won, while Uni wound up third. In Uni’s only start between the Fourstardave and the BC Mile, she rocketed home to win Keeneland’s Grade I First Lady Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths on Oct. 5. $2 MILLION SPRINT (NOV. 2) Results: (1) Mitole, who paid $5.60, (2) Shancelot, (3) Whitmore. Winner: Owned by William and Corinne Heiligbrodt; trained by Steve Asmussen; ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 112. Roy H won the 2018 BC Spint at Churchill Downs with a 111 Beyer. Top Beyer in the Sprint and the top Beyer in Breeders’ Cup history: 125 (Precisionist in 1985). Recap: This ride by Santana was a masterpiece. Shortly after Mitole broke alertly, Santana took a peek to his right. Toward Santana’s outside, the speedy 3-year-old Shancelot and Japan’s Matera Sky were dashing for the lead with the kind of speed similar to the Road Runner zooming away from Wile E. Coyote. Sensing it would not be a good idea to get embroiled in what seemingly was going to be a wicked pace, Santana took a light hold on Mitole, who cooperated to his rider’s cue while proving amenable to being rated. This put Mitole 3 1/2 lengths off the early lead. It might not seem like much, but this meant Mitole was farther behind early than he had ever been in his previous 13 lifetime starts. Shancelot would go on to complete the opening quarter in :21.47, extremely swift on this track. At that point, he was 1 1/2 lengths in front of Matera Sky, who was the same margin in front of Firenze Fire, who was a half-length in front of Mitole. A decision to rate a horse early, whether made by a jockey spontaneously or whether a jockey is riding as instructed, can be very significant. A prime example of not rating a horse when it would have been prudent to do so took place in the 2016 Preakness Stakes. Think of what might have happened if Nyquist had been rated early by Mario Gutierrez in the Preakness. Nyquist would have had a much better chance to win rather than running out of gas late and finishing third after getting cooked in a wicked pace duel with longshot Uncle Lino. How wicked was that pace? It was the fastest opening quarter, :22.38, in the history of the Preakness. In the Daily Racing Form, Andrew Beyer slammed Gutierrez for his ride. “It’s not as if Nyquist is a one-dimensional horse,” Beyer wrote. “He did win the Breeders’ Cup coming from eighth place. So he’s a tractable horse when they want him to be. When the gate opened, Gutierrez just put him in a drive, going head-and-head with a 40-1 shot, Uncle Lino. It was reminiscent of Ronnie Franklin [on Spectacular Bid] hitting the gas in the middle of the Belmont to put away a 40-1 shot.” However, in Gutierrez’ defense, he was riding to the instructions that had been given to him by trainer Doug O’Neill. O’Neill did admit that Gutierrez was only doing what he had been told to do. Not only did Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist get beat for the first time in his life when he lost the Preakness, he was never the same after that race. He ran fourth and sixth in his next two starts before being retired to stud. What happened to Nyquist in the Preakness illustrates what a brilliant move it was on Santana’s part to take a light hold early on Mitole in the six-furlong BC Sprint. Shancelot flirted with going the half in :43 and change, a sizzling pace on any surface, let alone on this one. When Shancelot blazed the initial half in :44.04, Mitole had moved closer to get within 2 1/2 lengths of the lead while racing in fourth. At the eighth pole, Mitole got even closer to the leader, who still was Shancelot. Mitole now was second, just 1 1/2 lengths off Shancelot. In the final furlong, Mitole charged past Shancelot to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:09.00. Shancelot held on for second in the field of eight as the 3-2 favorite. It was an admirable effort by Shancelot considering the rapid pace he had set. Whitmore ended up third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Shancelot. This completed an outstanding 2019 and a stellar racing career by Mitole. The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Eskendereya colt goes off to stud having won 10 of 14 lifetime starts. He won six of seven this year, highlighted by Grade I victories in the Churchill Down Stakes, Met Mile, Forego Stakes and BC Sprint. Mitole’s 112 Beyer was the highest figure by a winner at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. He is almost certainly will be voted a 2019 Eclipse Award as champion male sprinter. $2 MILLION FILLY & MARE TURF (NOV. 2) Results: (1) Iridessa who paid $28.40, (2) Vasilika, (3) Sistercharlie. Winner: Owned by Mrs. C.C. Regalado-Gonzalez; trained by Joseph O’Brien; ridden by Wayne Lordan. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 105. Sistercharlie won the 2018 BC Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs with a 103 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Filly & Mare Turf: 112 (Banks Hill in 2001). Recap: Move over Craig Dollase. O’Brien, 26, became the youngest trainer to win a Breeders’ Cup race with this victory. He broke the record held by Dollase, who at the age of 27 saddled Reraise to take the 1998 BC Sprint. In 2011, O’Brien became the youngest jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race. He guided St. Nicholas Abbey home first in the 2011 BC Turf for his father, trainer Aidan O’Brien. Close up when third early in the 1 1/4-mile BC Filly & Mare Turf, Iridessa responded when the real test came to win by a neck in 1:57.77. Vasilika finished second in the field of 10. Sistercharlie came in third as the 4-5 favorite, 2 1/4 lengths behind Vasilika. Iridessa won two of seven 2019 starts prior to the Breeders’ Cup while racing in Ireland and England. The 3-year-old Ruler of The World filly was victorious at the Group I level in Ireland this year in June and September. Vasilika could not quite win, but a splendid try was nothing unusual for her on this grass course. Including this race, Vasilika’s record on the Santa Anita turf course is nothing less than remarkable: 13 starts, 11 wins, 2 seconds. Unquestionably one of the greatest claims in the history of the sport, Vasilika was taken for $40,000 in a race at Santa Anita on Feb. 11, 2018. After that, Vasilika would win 13 of 18 starts while earning $1,722,320 through the BC Filly & Mare Turf. By finishing third in this race, Sistercharlie was unable to defend her title after winning the 2018 BC Filly & Turf. This defeat also brought an end to Sistercharlie’s streak of six straight victories, all in Grade I events. $1 MILLION DIRT MILE (NOV. 2) Results: (1) Spun to Run, who paid $20.20, (2) Omaha Beach, (3) Blue Chipper. Winner: Owned by Robert Donaldson.; trained by Juan Carlos Gonzalez; ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 109. City of Light won the 2018 BC Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs with a 110 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Dirt Mile: 119 (Corinthian in 2007). Recap: Spun to Run won in wire-to-wire fashion by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:36.58 while defeating nine foes. This proved his 6 3/4-length victory in the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile at Parx Racing on Oct. 12 was not a fluke. Spun to Run recorded a career-best 110 Beyer Speed Figure in the Parx race. He came very close to duplicating that number at the Breeders’ Cup by posting a 109. This was Spun to Run’s fifth win from eight starts this year. It was his first victory in a Grade I race. The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred Hard Spun colt’s only other win in a graded race came in the Grade III Smarty Jones at Parx on Sept. 2. Omaha Beach, also 3, was sidelined following an operation for an entrapped epiglottis that caused him to be withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby on May 4. He returned to competition by winning the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5, a race in which he defeated the speedy Shancelot by a head in a terrific 1:08.79. That six-furlong clocking was faster than Mitole’s 1:09.00 to win the BC Sprint. Sent off as the even-money favorite in the BC Dirt Mile, Omaha Beach did not break sharply. He was 7 1/2 lengths off the lead at the quarter pole. Making up that kind of ground in the final quarter on the main track proved problematic for everyone during this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Omaha Beach kept trying and did gain in the lane, but lost by 2 3/4 lengths when unable to close the gap on Spun to Run. Blue Chipper, the first Korean-raced Thoroughbred to ever participate in a Breeders’ Cup race, finished third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Omaha Beach. It was a fine effort at 16-1 by Blue Chipper, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by two-time Grade I BC Classic winner Tiznow. $1 MILLION TURF SPRINT (NOV. 2) Results: (1), Belvoir Bay, who paid $31.60, (2) Om, (3) Shekky Shebaz. Winner: Owned by Gary Barber; trained by Peter Miller; ridden by Javier Castellano. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 107. Stormy Liberal won the 2018 BC Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs with a 119 Beyer. Previous top Beyer in the BC Turf Sprint: 119 (Stormy Liberal in 2018). Recap: Trainer Peter Miller, in quite an accomplishment, won this race for the third straight year. Additionally, Miller finished one-two in this race, also sending out runner-up Om. The $1 Peter Miller exacta paid $133.70. Miller won this race in both 2017 and 2018 with Stormy Liberal, who finished eighth in this year’s renewal. Stormy Liberal seemed to have lost a step this year at the age of 7. He had lost six in a row going into last Saturday’s BC Turf Sprint. Belvoir Bay darted immediately to the front and won by 1 1/4 lengths to outrun 11 opponents while completing five furlongs in :54.83. Though Belvoir Bay went into this race having lost three straight, she figured to appreciate a return to this grass course. This was her seventh win from 10 starts on the turf at Santa Anita. The 6-year-old Great Britain-bred Equiano mare also showed she should not be taken lightly in this race by finishing second to the marvelous sprinter Blue Point in the Group I, $2 million Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai last March 30. Om, now 7, once again had to settle for second in the BC Turf Sprint. He also was the runner-up in the 2016 edition, losing by a scant nose to Obviously when the race was contested at about 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill at Santa Anita. $1 MILLION FILLY & MARE SPRINT (NOV. 2) Results: (1), Covfefe, who paid $5, (2) Bellafina, (3) Dawn the Destroyer. Winner: Owned by LNJ Foxwoods; trained by Brad Cox; ridden by Joel Rosario. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 106. Shamrock Rose won the 2018 BC Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs with a 92 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint: 108 (Groupie Doll in 2012 at Santa Anita). Recap: Unlike the last couple of years, this race was not won by a huge longshot this year. Bar of Gold paid $135.40 for a $2 win ticket when she took this race in 2017 at Del Mar. Shamrock Rose returned $53.80 for a $2 win wager when she was victorious in this race in 2018 at Churchill Downs. This time it was the favorite, Covfefe, who got the job done and paid $5 to win. Covfefe raced third early in this seven-furlong sprint while within close attendance of the early pace after breaking from the inside post. She grabbed the lead nearing the quarter pole, shook well clear in upper stretch, then held off Bellafina late. Covfefe won by three-quarters of a length in 1:22.40. Three-year-old fillies finished one-two. Dawn the Destroyer, a 5-year-old, trailed early in the field of nine and ended up third, 7 3/4 lengths behind Bellafina. This was Covfefe’s fifth win in six 2019 starts. It was the third time this year that she recorded a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure. For this race, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief received a 106 Beyer. She previously had recorded a 107 when she won the Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs on Sept 21 and also a 107 when victorious in the Grade III Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 17. $2 MILLION JUVENILE (NOV. 1) Results: (1) Storm the Court, who paid $93.80, (2) Anneau d’Oro, (3) Wrecking Crew. Winner: Owned by Exline-Border Racing, David Bernsen, Susanna Wilson and Dan Hudock; trained by Peter Eurton; ridden by Flavien Prat. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 87. Game Winner won the 2018 BC Juvenile at Churchill Downs with a 93 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile: 113 (War Pass in 2007 at Monmouth Park). Recap: This was a record-breaking victory. Virtually ignored in the wagering, Storm the Court returned $93.80 to win. This broke the record for the biggest upset in the 36-year history of the BC Juvenile. The highest win payout in this race previously had been $63.20 when European shipper Vale of York took the 2009 renewal by a head on a synthetic surface over 2-1 favorite Lookin At Lucky. The complexion of this race changed dramatically at the beginning. Dennis’ Moment, the 9-10 favorite, stumbled badly at the start. He trailed throughout. Considering what happened to Dennis’ Moment at the start, many no doubt then thought 3-2 second favorite Eight Rings had a golden opportunity to win. Eight Rings sat just slightly off pacesetter Storm the Court through the early furlongs. But on the far turn, Eight Rings began to retreat and eventually finished sixth in the field of eight. Storm the Court, a Kentucky-bred son of Court Vision, won by a neck while completing his 1 1/16-mile journey in 1:44.93. Anneau d’Oro, 28-1 in the wagering, finished second. Wrecking Crew, 39-1, came in third, 3 1/4 lengths behind Anneau d’Oro. Court Vision once scored an even bigger upset in a Breeders’ Cup race than Storm the Court. Court Vision paid $131.60 when victorious in the 2011 BC Mile at Churchill Downs. Storm the Court now has won two of four starts. He won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race by 1 1/2 lengths at first asking Aug. 10 at Del Mar. But in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs on Sept. 2, 14-1 Storm the Court was an innocent victim when 1-2 favorite Eight Rings took a left-hand turn shortly after the start and bumped Storm the Court, causing Storm the Court to unseat Prat. In Santa Anita’s Grade I American Pharoah Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 27, Eight Rings won by six lengths. Storm the Court finished third, 8 1/4 lengths behind Eight Rings. Eurton added blinkers to Storm the Court’s equipment for the BC Juvenile. This time, Storm the Court not only won, he beat Eight Rings by 12 1/4 lengths. $1 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES TURF (NOV. 1) Results: (1) Sharing, who paid $29.60, (2) Daahyeh, (3) Sweet Melania. Winner: Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gainesway Stable; trained by Graham Motion; ridden by Manuel Franco. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 86. Newspaperofrecord won the 2018 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs with a 96 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf: 96 (Lady Eli in 2014 and Newspaperofrecord in 2018). Recap: Talk about a young filly with a Breeders’ Cup pedigree. Sharing’s sire is 2004 BC Sprint winner Speightstown. Sharing’s dam is 2010 BC Filly & Mare Turf winner Shared Account. Sharing’s maternal grandsire is 2003 BC Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect. Motion trained Shared Account, who won the BC Filly & Mare Turf in an even much bigger Breeders’ Cup upset than Sharing. Shared Account paid $94 for a $2 win ticket when she captured the BC Filly & Mare Turf by a neck at Churchill Downs. How shocking was Shared Account’s BC Filly & Mare Turf win in 2010? At the time, the only bigger longshot to win in Breeders’ Cup history was Arcangues, who paid a rags-to-riches $269.20 for each $2 win wager in the 1993 Classic at Santa Anita. Fourth early last Friday in the field of 14, Sharing generated the necessary rally to win by 1 1/4 lengths while completing one mile in 1:34.59. Daahyeh, the 7-2 favorite, finished second. Sweet Melania came in third, a neck behind Daahyeh. $2 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES (NOV. 1) Results: (1) British Idiom, who paid $7.40, (2) Donna Veloce, (3) Bast. Winner: Owned by Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables; trained by Brad Cox; ridden by Javier Castellano. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 79. Jaywalk won the 2018 BC Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs with a 94 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile Fillies: 107 (Tempera in 2001). Recap: British Idiom now is three for three following this hard-fought, narrow victory at 5-2 over 2-1 favorite Donna Veloce. Bast finished third, 1 3/4 lengths behind Donna Veloce, in the field of nine. British Idiom and Donna Veloce played bumper cars going into the first turn. After that, Donna Veloce lurked in fourth on the backstretch, while British Idiom was three lengths or so farther back. Donna Veloce moved up readily to take command turning into the stretch. British Idiom came on to challenge Donna Veloce a furlong out, with just a half-length separating the pair at that point. These two then battled it out fiercely all the way to the finish. British Idiom won by a neck while completing 1 1/16 miles in an unimpressive 1:47.07. Donna Veloce had to settle for second while making only her second career start and racing around two turns for the first time. In British Idiom’s first career start, she won a six-furlong maiden special weight race by 3 1/2 lengths at Saratoga on Aug. 15. The Kentucky-bred Flashback filly then took Keeneland’s Grade I Alcibiades Stakes by 6 1/2 lengths when stretched out to 1 1/16 miles. $1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF (NOV. 1) Results: (1) Structor, who paid $12.60, (2) Billy Batts, (3) Gear Jockey. Winner: Owned by Jeff Drown and Don Rachel; trained by Chad Brown; ridden by Jose Ortiz. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 79. Line of Duty won the 2018 BC Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs with an 83 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile Turf: 93 (Donativum in 2008, Outstrip in 2013, Oscar Performance in 2016). Recap: Sixth early in the field of 14, Structor got shuffled back to 11th, then came on strongly in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length while completing one mile in 1:35.11. Billy Batts, off at odds of 55-1, finished second. Gear Jockey, an even bigger longshot at 67-1, came in third. Arizona, 12th in the early stages after a sluggish start as the 2-1 favorite, did rally late to end up fifth, though he never threatened. With this victory, Structor remained undefeated in three starts. He won a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race on the grass Aug. 31 at Saratoga. Next, he won Belmont’s Grade III Pilgrim Stakes by a head at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Sept. 20. Structor is a Kentucky-bred Palace Malice colt. Palace Malice won the Grade I Belmont Stakes in 2013 and Grade I Met Mile in 2014. According to Brown, dirt racing likely is in Structor’s future in terms of seeing if he could be a candidate for the Grade I Kentucky Derby next year. $1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF SPRINT (NOV. 1) Results: (1) Four Wheel Drive, who paid $5 as the favorite, (2) Chimney Rock, (3) Another Miracle. Winner: Owned by Breeze Easy; trained by Wesley Ward; ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Winning Beyer Speed Figure: 86. Bulletin won the 2018 BC Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs with a 90 Beyer. Top Beyer in the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint: 90 (Bulletin in 2018). Recap: This was just the second running of the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. Remaining undefeated in three starts, Four Wheel Drive dashed immediately to the front and went on to prevail by three-quarters of a length in the field of 12. The Kentucky-bred American Pharoah colt got the job done as the favorite by holding off a late challenge from 12-1 Chimney Rock. It was an Oritiz brothers exacta, with Irad winning and Jose finishing second. The $1 exacta paid 23.10. Four Wheel Drive, who won the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint by completing five furlongs in :55.66, has never run in a maiden race. He won the 5 1/2-furlong Rosie’s Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths on the grass as a first-time starter Aug. 31 at Colonial Downs when defeating six opponents who all had raced previously. Four Wheel Drive then won Belmont’s Grade III Futurity by three lengths at six furlongs on the turf Oct. 6 prior to his BC Turf Sprint triumph. The Juvenile Turf Sprint kicked off this year’s Breeders’ Cup action at Santa Anita. The Breeders’ Cup will be held next year at Keeneland on Nov. 6-7.  

Read Article
11.5.2019:

Harness Highlights: Team Alagna 2-Year-Olds Double Up In ‘Crown’

Trainer Tony Alagna and driver Andrew McCarthy stole center stage at this year’s Breeders Crown, teaming for three wins in the two-day, 12-race championship lineup at Woodbine-Mohawk Park. The dynamic duo was rivaled only by the 2-year-old fillies that got the party started. Ramona Hill trotted to a 14-1 upset and Reflect With Me paced to a 27-1 shocker in back-to-back $600,000 finals. “It just goes to show that the barn has matured,” said Alagna, who joined Jimmy Takter, Ron Burke and Bob McIntosh as the only trainers in history to win at least three Breeders Crown trophies in the same year. “The owners kept the faith, the drivers had confidence, and everything came together.” Ramona Hill, the beaten favorite in her Crown elimination the previous weekend, negotiated post 10 at the 7/8-mile oval to earn her crown for co-owners Bradley Grant, Robert Leblanc, Crawford Farms Racing and the The Gym Partners. She blasted off the gate to the lead, yielded to a first-over brush by favorite Hypnotic AM, then pulled from the pocket in early stretch, proving best by ¼-length over late-running Sister Sledge in 1:53.2. “Ramona Hill, even though she had the 10-hole, I still considered her one of the better shots I had throughout the weekend because I know how talented she is,” McCarthy told Ken Weingartner of the U.S. Trotting Association. “She wasn’t herself the week before, but I knew Tony would get on top of that and have that figured out.” Reflect With Me took an opposite route to victory. She dropped back from post 8, while even-money favorite Lyons Sentinel worked to clear second choice Priceless for the lead through a sizzling :53.3 opening half mile. Reflect With Me was fourth-over but sustained a 4-wide rally to prevail by a neck over a stubborn Lyons Sentinel in 1:50.3, missing the Crown record by one-fifth of a second for co-owners Bradley Grant and Brittany Farms. McCarthy was on his way to becoming the eighth driver in Breeders Crown history with four winners in the same year. The only ones as happy as Team Alagna were the bettors who keyed Ramona Hill and Reflect With Me for $1 superfecta payouts of $4,918 and $6,042, respectively. Multiple stakes winner Captain Midnight gave Team Alagna a live shot at a third 2-year-old Crown title, but he finished fourth in the $600,000 Colt Pace that featured its own share of drama. Elimination winner Papi Rob Hanover (David Miller) was a head in front at the wire after a stretch-long duel with Tall Dark Stranger, but Tall Dark Stranger avenged the only loss of his career when driver Yannick Gingras’ objection for interference was upheld and the order reversed. Nancy Johansson trains Tall Dark Stranger for Howard Taylor, Marvin Katz, Crawford Farms Racing and Caviart Farms. There was no such drama in the $600,000 2-Year-Old Colt Trot. Amigo Volo, who broke stride as the odds-on favorite but recovered in time to qualify for the finals, was sent to the lead by driver Dexter Dunn and cruised to a 4-length victory in 1:54.3. Nifty Norman trains Amigo Volo for David J. Miller and Pinske Stables.

Read Article
11.4.2019:

Monday, November 4: Mohawk Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park has an 11-race card set to kick-off the week. The feature comes in Race 9, a Preferred Trot with a $34,000 purse. The Late Pick 4 begins in Race 8 and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 81-Dress To The Nines (7/2)-Might be a shade below #4 and #6 but Roy has a way of making a difference and will use from the rail. But 2-21 is a cause for concern.4-Betsea (4-1)-Gets a positive driver change and shouldn't be 15 lengths back at the 1/4 pole, could get some revenge on #6.6-Esprit Dequipe (2-1)-Winner of 2 straight deserves respect and if gets the top without much trouble it could be 3 in a row. But it may not be smooth sailing with main foes starting inside.Race 91-Dunbar Hall (10-1)-Was in tall cotton facing Breeder Crown foes but can make some noise with this field. The post draw should help and Hudon could work an advantageous trip and surprise.8- Emoticon Hanover (9/5)-Looks for an overdue win and has been facing some tough foes. McClure probably will be blasting out and could be put in play early. Program chalk looks the part and should be tough to beat will a decent trip.Race 103-Free Exchange (3-1)-Beat a couple in this field last week as an odds-on favorite from the 8-hole. It appears like #6 should get the jump and be in front at the top of the stretch. This filly will need to grind it out and if cover flow is good should be heard from late.6-Lady Driver (5/2)-Impressive win in last as the 2-1 chalk in 1st start for Auciello. Looks like a major player again off that confident win.Race 113-Knight Angel (15-1)-Comes off a win and now steps-up, will look to string along at a nice price.6-On The Ropes (7/2)-Keeps winning and moving up the class ladder. Drury will likely leave and can get on the engine and not look back.9-B Yoyo (3-1)-Raced big in last and was bet, this looks like a spot for an overdue win if trip doesn't take its toll.My Ticket Race 8) 1,4,6 Race 9) 1,8 Race 10) 3,6/ Race 11) 3,6,9Total Ticket Cost) $7.20 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.4.2019:

Bettors Get Breeders' Cup Saturday Right

The public didn’t miss by much at the 2019 Breeders’ Cup. While the pick six didn’t go quite as scripted on Saturday as it did a year prior – when first or second public wagering choices won each race – it was not far off. And overall favorites on Saturday performed awfully well given the competition level, where few toss-outs appear in any field.Saturday’s chalk went 9: 2-5-1 with only 7-2 shot Pure Sensation in the Turf Sprint missing the money (and he had an extremely troubled trip when fifth, beaten just over 3 lengths). Shockingly, the only other favorite to finish outside the exacta was 4-5 hammer Sistercharlie in the Filly & Mare Turf. She wound up third and almost universally was respected as the favorite with the least questions to answer in the entire Breeders’ Cup.Favored Covfefe delivered at 3-2 in the Filly & Mare Sprint to open Saturday’s action. And Bricks and Mortar likely sealed a Horse of the Year campaign in the Turf as the even-money chalk. Favored runners-up included Omaha Beach (1-1) in the Dirt Mile, Shancelot (3-2) in the Sprint, Got Stormy (3-1) in the Mile, Midnight Bisou (1-1) in the Distaff and McKinzie (5-2) in the Classic.With the favorite running second five times on Saturday, you’d hope those were chances to find a price. But those five were beaten by two public second choices, two third choices and a fourth choice. All five were single digits, topped by 9-1 Spun to Run as fourth choice in the Dirt Mile.The two price shots on Saturday came in the races where the favorites delivered the worst performances. The $31.60 return on Belvoir Bay in the Turf Sprint came in the event where Pure Sensation missed the superfecta altogether. Iridessa paid $28.40 in the wake of Sistercharlie’s lackluster, one-paced F&M Turf performance while not threatening in third. Outside of catching a big win mutuel on that pair, in order to take down the exotics you had to stand pretty hard against the favorites. But even without Sistercharlie in the F&M Turf, the $2 exacta paid just $130 to Vasilika. If you caught the pair of Peter Miller trainees (both virtually 15-1) from posts 12-11 in the Turf Sprint, the $2 exacta was worth $267.40.Yes, the public had this Breeders’ Cup pretty well dialed in for the second straight year. It may not feel that way as you’re swimming through difficult race after difficult race. I cast my line and came back without a bite on a seemingly endless pattern over the weekend, so I know how you feel.The public also didn’t misread much on Saturday. Come Dancing underperformed at 2-1 in the F&M Sprint, but that was hardly a bettors’ underlay; Old Persian beat just one runner in the Turf as the 7-2 second choice, joining a long list of second-off-the-plane runners who just regress for some reason; and Code of Honor didn’t factor at all when seventh in the Classic as the 7-2 second choice. And throughout Saturday's 9 championship races, only 2 horses 20-1 or more lit the trifecta, the closer Dawn the Destroyer in the F&M Sprint who was very usable underneath, and Richard Mandella's 51-1 Turf runner-up United.

Read Article
11.3.2019:

Sunday, November 03: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Northfield Park has 15-races set to roll with the feature coming in Race 10, a condition pace with a $20,000 purse. There are two Pick 4 sequences on the card, both with $10,000 guaranteed pools. My focus will be on the $1 Late Pick 4 which begins in Race 11. The driver with the hottest hands on Saturday was Aaron Merriman with four wins. Conditioners Sam Schillaci, C. Brian Loney and Chris Short led the trainers with two trips to the winner's circle.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 113-And We'll See Ya (8/5)-Gets post relief and Merriman sticks, should be in the mix at a short price.5-Big Place (7-1)-Last start was back in March and hasn't had a win in a long time. Even though he is 0-20, his first start off the bench was good. Should be tighter here and could beat a suspect field at a nice price.8-The Kop (20-1)-10-year-old has the gate speed to be put in play, this is a soft bunch and if trip works out he could light up the board.Race 124-Rushing Reba (15-1)-Price shot makes 4th local start, last was better and draws well, will use at this price.8-Dawnna Marie (7/5)-Came off a lame scratch with 2 nice efforts, post is a concern but on paper, her race to lose.Race 137-Bourbans Best (3-1)-Merriman has had success steering this 12-year-old so will respect chances. But will need a top effort to take a picture.8-Dance Life Well (9/5)-First start for new barn after a big win, program chalk looks the part and has the gate speed to get the top.Race 141-Wanderer (5/2)-Even efforts in DTN but this is a spot to shine, was good at this class back in August. One issue is not racing since 10/3.2-Blooming Genuis (9/2)-Grismore needs to work a good trip, if so, can win at a square price.3-Lovedancinwithyou (15-1)-Last was better and now draws inside. Also, since missing about 3 weeks between races now makes 3rd start since 10/21. That could mean this 9-year-old is sitting on a big try at a big price.$1 Pick 4 Race 11) 3,5,8 Race 12) 4,8 Race 13) 7,8 Race 14) 1,2,3Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.3.2019:

Sunday, November 03: Santa Anita 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 PT. Grade: BSingle: 3-Single Me OutForecast: Single Me Out is an eight-race maiden and probably not one to trust, but the j. Cassidy-trained gelding has rising speed figures and shouldn’t be bothered by the surface switch to grass. In the money in his last three, the four-year-old gelding surfaces in a below par maiden $50,000 claimer and with a repeat of his most recent start should be set to graduate. At 5/2 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single; if he goes appreciably lower, we’ll tread lightly or perhaps sit it out altogether.RACE 2: Post 12:00 PT. Grade: C+Use: 1-Zucchera; 6-Flying BlueForecast: The two main players in this maiden $30,000 claiming main track affair for fillies and mares are both dropping sharply in class and are trying the main track for the first time, so this race could easily turn out chaotic. Zucchera exits a productive race at Del Mar and has winning connections, so if will be surprising if she isn’t a strong factor against this modest group. Same can be said for Flying Blue, who actually has a dirt pedigree and may appreciate the switch to the main track after finishing a fair fourth in straight maiden company over the Golden Gate lawn in her most recent outing. Both have speed figures that are better than par for this level but, again, those numbers were earned on turf. You can double the race in your rolling exotics and simply pass.RACE 3: Post 12:31 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Tyrannical Rex; 2-Cape Point; 4-TorosayForecast: The third race is a grass grab bag for older maidens sprinting five and one-half furlongs on grass. Tyrannical Rex ran quite well under these conditions in his debut but then was far back when stretched out over a distance of ground. Back around one turn today, the son of Fed Biz figures to be heard from in the final furlong. Torosay flashed good speed before fading in the same race that Tyrannical Rex finished second in. Blinkers go on today, so the son of Goldencents has a right to produce a forward move in this, his second career start. Cape Point is bred for turf (Temple City) and has shown some ability in workouts at Los Alamitos. It’s somewhat encouraging that J. Sadler chooses to debut the gelding in a straight maiden rather in a claimer, so on that basis alone he’s probably worth including in rolling exotic play in what on paper appears to be a modest affair.RACE 4: Post 1:03 PT. Grade: XSingle: 1-Oil Can KnightForecast: Oil Can Knight off slowly and never in the hunt when pitched too high in a strong first-level allowance sprint on grass last month but a repeat of his race before last – a highly-rated score vs. starter’s allowance foes – will be more than good enough to handle this $20,000 claimer restricted to 3-year-olds. The concern is the class drop – obviously his connections aren’t protecting him with this placement – and at 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower the son of Can the Man won’t be offering any wagering value. Single him in rolling exotic play of you like or just wait for better opportunities.RACE 5: Post 1:34 PT. Grade: B+Use: 3-Crystal Tribe; 8-Real Master; 9-UnapologeticForecast: Crystal Tribe was given a run in his U.S. debut when fifth without being knocked about in a similar first level allowance affair at Del Mar in late August and should be tighter and much more serious today. The well-bred son of Dansili retains D. Van Dyke and based on pedigree will appreciate this 10-furlong trip. If the J. Mullins-trained 3-year-old improves as much as well expect him, the Irish-bred colt, at 6-1 on the morning line, can be along in time at a nice price. Another ex-Euro, Real Master, puts on blinkers and has a right to continue to improve after earning a career top speed figure when a close fifth in a mini marathon at this level at Del Mar. His French form wasn’t great but good enough to make him competitive on this circuit at this level, and at 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth including in your exotics. Unapologetic removes blinkers in his second off-the-claim for hot trainer P. Miller while also benefiting from a break in the weights with the switch to good bug boy J. Velez. Three of his seven career wins have been accomplished over this turf course, so while his past pair of been below standard he does have some good races to go back to.RACE 6: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: BUse:3-Tizamagician; 5-TaishanForecast: Taishan split the field in an uneventful debut at Del Mar in mid-August but has trained quite a bit better since so improvement is likely in this maiden special weight miler for two-year-olds. The son of Twirling Candy should handle two turns and be close up throughout with every chance. Tizamagician is the logical favorite (he’s 4/5 on the morning line) following an excellent runner-up effort to the highly regarded Honor A. P. over this track and distance last month. The son of Tiznow wound up 10 lengths clear of the rest in what certainly was a winning effort; not much more should be needed today. Taishan clearly will be the better price of the two so we’ll put him on top but use both in our rolling exotics.RACE 7: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: XSinglee: 4-Morning CynnForecast: With very little to beat in this bottom-rung maiden claimer for older fillies and mares, Morning Cynn really shouldn’t miss this opportunity. The daughter of Paynter just failed as the even money favorite in a similar affair when winding up second, though she was more than nine lengths clear of the rest while earning a Beyer speed figure that if repeated today most likely would land her in the winner’s circle. At 2-1 on the morning line and likely to go lower, the D. O’Neill-trained filly won’t offer any real wagering value so you can use her a rolling exotic single or just pass the race.RACE 8: Post 3:12 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Richmond Avenue; 5-ToinetteForecast: Toinette is highly logical in the featured Goldikova S.-G2 over a mile on grass for fillies and mares, hence her morning line of 6/5. The N. Drysdale-trained filly has won three of her last four starts, including the recent Swingtime Stakes over this course and distance and this step up in class from listed to graded stakes won’t be an issue for the classy daughter of Scat Daddy. Richmond Avenue probably is worth using somewhere on your ticket as a saver or a back-up. She has performed consistently well in listed stakes company in England and France this year and is fresh off the plane with rising, competitive Timeform ratings. If she gets cover and settles, the daughter of Invincible Avenue has really turn it on late.RACE 9: Post 3:47 PT. Grade: B+Single: 5-Don’tteasethetigerForecast: The season finale is a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claiming sprint that appears made to order for Don’teasethetiger. Dropping a notch on the class ladder after encountering a bit of a rough go in a $16,000 affair last month, the Vallejo-trained gelding has a series of recent speed figures that are good enough to beat this field and if he breaks with his field he’ll be on or near the lead throughout. At 4-1 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

Read Article
11.3.2019:

Sunday, November 03: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.SECOND RACE1-ZuccheraSept. 20, 20195f, 1:03.1hGrade: CSecond best under urging through the lane with A G Indy (same time), not impressive for Baltas. Needs soft maiden claimers to be competitive on this circuit.THIRD RACE3-Magic RateOct. 19, 20195f, 1:02.4hgGrade: CWorked from gate with older turf router Ronald R (6f, 1:15.2hg) and was under some coaxing most of the way while a tad second best, slow early and not particularly fast late, either, splits of :25.4, :L49.4 and 1:02.4, up at the eighth pole while workmate continued to the wire. Hard to endorse right now, should make the entries soon.3-Magic RateSept. 27, 20195f, :48.3hGrade: C+No match for Omaha Beach (4f, :46.3h), breaking with classy stable mate and going fairly quick early (:11.2, :22.4) before fading in the lane while very late switching leads. Exchange Tate unraced 3-year-old colt should make the entries soon, probably a maiden claimer.4-TorosayOct. 19, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: BBest by a couple of lengths inside Factor of Two (4f, :49.1, up at wire) and went pretty well throughout without being asked much, splits of :24.1, :48.1 and 1:01.1 out to 7/8 pole. Flashed good speed before weakening in debut, has a right to improve.FOURTH RACE5-Concord JetOct. 20, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: BLooked good for a cheap type, breezing throughout and coasting home while much best over Cocoa Cents (5f, 1:03.2h), splits of :24.4, :36.3 and 1:02.1, Perking up, should be dangerous in a modest claiming sprintFIFTH RACE7-Buckstopper KitOct. 21, 20195f, 1:04h TTGrade: B-Broke off five lengths in front of Mirth (5f, 1:03h) and managed to hold that one at bay through the lane, not really asked much (workmate asked), finishing well after going off slowly. Comes off restricted $32,000 claiming win and holds that form.8-Real Master-FRSept. 13, 20194f, :51.3hGrade: C+French-bred worked solo in training track move, going off slowly but picking it up a bit through the lane while being let run, final three furlongs in :38.2 for Bell. Marathon-type has all of his conditions.SIXTH RACE5-TaishanOct. 20, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: B+Twirling Candy colt worked extremely well for Baltas in company with BC Distaff-bound Secret Spice (5f, 1:00h), breaking off in front of that one and then holding her at bay under mild coaxing only, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.1, plenty left late. Had an outing at Del Mar and certainly can improve with that race behind him, expecting a nice forward move next time out.5-TaishanOct. 13, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: BMostly on his own, final half mile in :24.2 and :48.4, solid drill. Had an even run when fifth in his debut at Del Mar and has a right to improve with experience.5-TaishanOct. 6, 20195f, 1:02.2hGrade: B-Ridden through the lane to finish about a half-length in front of Two Thirty Five (same time, not asked much), final half on our watches in :49.4. Twirling Candy juvenile colt may have a bit of improvement in him.EIGHTH RACE1-Don’t Blame JudyOct. 21, 20195f, 1:01.3h TTGrade: B-Ridden through the lane, fair to okay in solo training track drill, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :37.3. Probably needs turf to show her best stuff.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Saturday, November 02: Meadowlands Pick 4 Analysis

The Kindergarten Classic Finals are the headliners on a 13-race card at the Meadowlands tonight. The 0.50 Pick 4 starts in Race 8, it has a $50,000 guaranteed pool and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 82-Rocknificent (3-1)-Winner of 2 straight and last was in 1:51.1 drawing off by 6+ lengths. If races back to last it should be another picture but with big money on the line it probably won't be so easy.5-Hen Party (7/2)-Also, has made it looks easy in last 2 but those were while racing on the lead with 56.3 first half, pace should be quicker tonight.6-Sail By (10-1)-McCarthy returns, that should help and has had excuses. Maybe a 2-hole trip behind #2 or #5 is in the cards and then rolls by late.Race 92-Another Daily Copy (7/2)-This will be 3rd start off the bench and showed improvement in last, comes home with big last quarters and best to respect.3-Annihilation (8-1)-Steps-up after a win and will need best at this class. But will use at 8-1 with Dunn taking a spin from this post in an interesting race.5-Quality Bud (6-1)-Drops, gets post relief and likes the track. Fits with this bunch and can win at a square price.Race 104-Ideal Perception (4-1)-Got on the engine and didn't look back in last, tough to leave out after that effort. But did miss a start and that's curious, but should be a player if ready.5-Major Betts (12-1)-Taking a swing after racing up north versus Breeders Crown foes, fits much better here and did win only start at the Big M.8-Keystone Dash (15-1)-Gingras takes a seat and my guess is this colt blasts out, could get the engine or 2-hole behind #4. Will use at 15-1 and hope the trip works out.Race 113-Buschwacker (9/2)-First start since 4/28, may need one or two, but if fires this is a field that can be beat from this post with Dunn.6-Solo Story (7/2)-Drops to a spot to shine and was A. Miller's choice over a couple of others. This looks like go-time but 2 for 38 is cause for pause.7-City Hall (3-1)-Steps-up after a sharp win from post #8 and has won 20 of 43 at the Big M. Does have good gate speed but others can leave too, will respect chances in a tough race.My Ticket Race 8) 2,5,6 Race 9) 2,3,5 Race 10) 4,5,8 Race 11) 3,6,7Total Ticket Cost) $40.50 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Saturday, November 02: Santa Anita 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 10:07 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Just Grazed Me; 8-Girls Know Best; 9-EscapadeForecast: The opener is a highly competitive turf sprint graded stakes for fillies and mares with at least three strong possibilities. Give the projected pace flow, we’ll put Just Grazed Me slightly on top in a race that may very well set up beautifully for a second-flight stalker. The daughter of Grazen just won a nice state-bred stakes over this course and distance with a career top speed figure, and with plenty of speed signed on she may inherit the same type of trip that she capitalized on last time out Girls Know Best and Escapade will ensure a blazing pace and could do each in, although both are high quality types so if one manages to shake loose from the other this race could turn in to a parade. ‘Best has won 12 of 23 during her career and consistently earns strong speed figures while Escapade, drawn comfortably outside, has the luxury of stalking and pouncing if J. Castellano chooses that strategy. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics in a race might depend on how fast the opening quarter of a mile is run.RACE 2: Post 10:42 PT. Grade: A-Single: 3-RoadsterForecast: Roadster won the Santa Anita Derby-G1 last spring but has been started and stopped on a couple of times since and today returns in the listed Damascus Stakes over a seven furlong trip that he absolutely should love. The son of Quality Road won his debut sprinting so we know he can fire fresh, and his workouts in recent weeks have been the best of his career. The B. Baffert-trained colt gets blinkers and I. Ortiz, Jr. and is more than fast enough on speed figures to win in his first try vs. older horses. He’s the second choice on the morning line at 7/5 (Flagstaff is 6/5) but we wouldn’t be surprised if he goes favored. We’ll make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post 11:17 PT. Grade: BUse: 8-Neptune’s Storm; 9-KinglyForecast: This looks very much like a carbon copy of the Del Mar Derby-G2, a race in which Nolde won in a cavalry charge over Originaire, Neptune’s Storm, Hakberry, and Kingly, the two-through five finishers in that race, all within a length and one-half of each other at the wire. So, what will be different today? Kingly is intriguing, he’s the controlling speed, removes blinkers, and exits the tougher City of Hope Mile-G2 when fourth, beaten a neck, against older horses after leading the way until the final strides. We love the blinkers off angle that B. Baffert is using and given the lack of pace in this race we’re expecting the son of Tapit to take control early and never look back. Neptune’s Tune returns from New York after capturing the Hill Prince S.-G3 with a similar pace-stalking trip that he’s liable to inherit today. A winner of four of six starts over the Santa Anita turf course, the R. Baltas-trained gelding should draft in behind Kingly and then have every chance to wear that one down in the final stages. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Kingly.RACE 4: Post 11:55 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Covfefe; 4-Come Dancing; 9-Spiced PerfectionForecast: Covfefe is strictly the one to beat in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint – she has two wins on her resume that earned speed figures good enough win this race – but the daughter of Into Mischief must leave from the rail, not the best place to be in an extended sprint. If she breaks running she’ll be forced to commit to a pace duel, and if she takes back she’s liable to encounter traffic trouble along the rail. Give the projected trip, she’s a vulnerable 2-1 morning line favorite, but you still have to use her. Come Dancing leaves the comforts of own backyard in New York for the first road trip of her career, and it’s anybody’s guess if she’ll be able to duplicate her outstanding Eastern form at Santa Anita. The daughter of Malibu Moon likes to stalk and pounce and projects to enjoy that type of trip. Her career top Beyer speed figure of 114 was earned when winning the Distaff H.-G3 earlier this year at Aqueduct at today’s distance of seven furlongs. Spiced Perfection is slower on speed figures that her two main rivals but she overcame a ton of trouble to win the TCA S.-G2 at Keeneland last month and today should have clear sailing outside to compliment her good late kick. She’s been first or second in five of seven career starts over the Santa Anita main track, another positive factor. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics.RACE 5: Post 12:33 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Pure Sensation; 4-Shekky Shebaz; 5-Stubbins; 9-Final FrontierForecast: The fifth race, the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, is a mad dash over five furlongs that borderline inscrutable. We’re going to go four-deep but not with any great conviction; best advice is to include as many as you can afford to in rolling exotic play. Pure Sensation is an eight year old tough-as-nails gelding 11 career wins at this abbreviated sprint distance. He’s fresh from a facile score in the Turf Monster S.-G3 at Parx in early September while earning a legitimately strong speed figure, and if he duplicate that effort today he could very well win. The C. Clement-trained gelding will bust out and go from his inside draw and hope to shake loose early and hold on late. Shekky Shebaz might not be quite as quick at ‘Sensation but he’s fast enough to be in the first flight from the get-go and in two starts since joining the high percentage J. Servis barn the Cape Blanco gelding has registered a pair of triple-digit speed figures, most recently just missing as the favorite in the listed Belmont Turf Sprint when worn down late by Final Frontier. The latter has a big look in this race as well; the son of Ghostzapper is genuine and consistent and should be heard from in the final furlong from slightly off the pace. Stubbins appears to have found his niche as a late-running turf sprinter and returns home after springing a mild surprise in the Woodford S.-G2 at Keeneland last month. He’s reunited with F. Prat, who has won on him in the past, and with good racing luck the son of Morning Line figures to bearing down dangerously in the final stages.RACE 6: Post 1:10 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Improbable; 4-Mr. Money; 5-Omaha BeachForecast: Omaha Beach came back better than he left when winning the Santa Anita Sprint Championship last month in what was his first outing since going to sidelines with a throat issue on the eve of the Triple Crown. The R. Mandella-trained colt opts for the BC Mile rather than the Sprint, which on paper appears to be the correction based on field strength. The son of War Front has trained nicely since his win, so we expected he’ll run at least as well if not better on the stretch out. Mr. Money is most effective as a miler but has been competing – mostly successfully – in longer races due to the lucrative purses offered to 3-year-old in the late summer and fall. At this distance, the son of Goldencents should fire his best shot, and his best surely will give Omaha Beach considerable competition. Improbable has trained better than he has since the winter, but his issue always seems to surface before the race, in the starting gate, where the son of City Zip has been known to get restless and off balance which leads to poor starts. If he just stands still and then breaks with his field, the B. Baffert-trained can run with anybody. On the chance that he does, you have to include him in rolling exotic play.RACE 7: Post 1:54 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Sistercharlie; 4-Billesdon Brook; 12-Fanny LoganForecast: Sistercharlie has won seven of eight starts in her two campaigns and is the defending Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf champion. There is little reason to believe she won’t repeat, as the Irish-bred mare has been sparingly raced this year and enters today’s championship event fresh, sharp, and on top of her game. She’s won on five different turf courses since being imported from France, so we suspect she’ll have no difficulty handling Santa Anita’s firm ground. The danger, if any, comes from a couple of European imports. Billesdon Brook won the Sun Chariot S.-G1 at Newmarket last month with a career top Timeform rating, so if she can turn in two alike (not always her strong suit) the English-bred filly may give the favorite something to worry about. Fanny Logan, top trainer J. Gosden’s only entrant in the two day festival, is untested in Grade 1 company but the daughter of Sea the Stars has won three straight with rising ratings and will get Lasix and F. Dettori for her U.S. debut. The daughter of Sea the Starts must overcome the extreme outside draw (not where you want to be at 10 furlongs on this course) but at 15-1 she has to be tossed in somewhere.RACE 8: Post 2:36 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Mitole; 6-Shancelot; 9-Imperial HintForecast: Imperial Hint may have won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at the drawn. He’ll leave outside the two other main speeds, which will afford him to the luxury of settling early, advancing in the clear wide when ready and then pouncing when called upon at the top of stretch, very similar to the trip he enjoyed in his career top winning performance in the A. G. Vanderbilt S.-G1 at Saratoga in late July, The son of Imperialism may be small in stature but he’s all racehorse, having won 14 of 23 career stars, and the way this race shapes up he should reproduce his best form and be very hard to beat., Mitole, a top class sprinter in his own right but beaten more than seven lengths by Imperial Hint in the Vanderbilt, has no option but to bust out and go after drawing inside of Shancelot (arguably the quickest sprinter leaving the gate) and Imperial Hint. A winner of nine of 13 during his career including the Forego S.-G1 at the Spa in his most recent appearance, the S. Asmussen-trained colt has been training over the deep Santa Anita main track for about a month and recently turned in a sizzle gate drill to indicate he’s fit and ready. Shancelot was nailed in the final jump in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship last month and before that was third in a photo in the Jerkens S.-G1 – both losses at 30 cents on the dollar – but with that race over the track and the switch to J. Ortiz, the son of Shanghai Bobby could come close to his freaky runaway victory in the Amsterdam S. (by 12 lengths with a 121 Beyer speed figure) that would make him almost impossible to catch.RACE 9: Post 3:20 PT. Grade: BUse: 6-Got Stormy; 9-Circus Maximus; 10-Without Parole; 11-UniForecast: The Breeders’ Cup Mile is another deep and contentious affair requiring a deep spread in rolling exotic play. Circus Maximus is a two-time Grade-1 stakes winner from England, most recently winning the Prix du Moulin de Longhamp in early September with a career-top Timeform rating in an effort that, if repeated today, makes him the logical top pick. The son of Galileo has excellent tactical speed, should have no difficult with the from ground of the local course, and always has been a relentless bull dog under pressure in the final furlong. If he can secure a decent early position, he’ll be hard to contain in the lane, Got Stormy is a Grade-1 winner vs. the boys this year and is very fast and tactical when she’s on her game. Her win in the Fourstardave S.-G1 at Saratoga was a career top performance and puts her right in the thick of it today. Uni will be rolling late and if she gets some help up front and good racing luck along the way the C. Brown-trained will be the most dangerous of the deep closing types. Price player should consider the other C. Brown entrant, 20-1 Without Parole, in exotic play. A Group-1 winner at Royal Ascot as a 3-year-old, the son of Frankel has been stale and off form ever since, but he’s making his first start since the spring, his first start in the States, his first with Lasix, and his first since for this terrific barn. Recent workouts have been outstanding, so beware.RACE 10: Post 4:00 PT. Grade: B+Use: 4-Midnight Bisou; 5-Dunbar RoadForecast: Midnight Bisou very possibly will be the shortest price favorite in the entire two-day Breeders’ Cup festival. Perfect in seven starts this year and a legitimate Horse of the Year candidate, the daughter of Midnight Lute is almost impossible to find fault with. Although eastern based in the past two years for S. Asmussen, she actually began her career on the West Coast and won three of our starts over the Santa Anita main track before being sent East for greater glory. She’s been training her for the better part of a month, has looked terrific, and should settle in the second flight and then exert her superiority when called upon. We’ll make her a logical short price rolling exotic single for small ticket players; if you can afford to toss in Dunbar Road as a back-up or saver, you might consider doing so just in case ‘Bisou, for whatever reason (none that we can think of) fails to fire. The Alabama S.-G1 stakes winning daughter of Quality Road may have been victimized by a lack of pace when narrowly missing in the Spinster S.-G1 last month but is reunited with “win rider” J. Castellano and should show up with her best stuff today.RACE 11: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-Acclimate; 9-Bricks and MortarForecast: Bricks and Mortar, like Midnight Bisou in the previous race, is attempting to complete the year undefeated and there’s little reason to be believe he won’t, even though the Breeders’ Cup Turf, at 12 furlongs, will be the farthest race of his career. Shouldn’t matter, especially at Santa Anita, where the first quarter mile of a race at this distance is downhill. The son of Giant’s Causeway most recently won the Arlington Million-G1 in mid-August so he’s fresh, training well, and ready for another explosive performance. He’s 9/5 on the morning line but we suspect will go lower. On paper, Acclimate looks overmatched, but he’ll be the controlling speed over a course he loves and given the easy front-running trip that we envision the P. D’Amato-trained gelding could take this field a very long way. He’s 20-1 on the morning line for a reason, but the veteran gelding is razor sharp and his recent form indicates he’s ready for a possible career top performance. You should find room on your ticket for him somewhere.RACE 12: Post 5:44 PT. Grade: B-Use: 6-Elate; 7-Higher Power; 10-Vino Rosso; 11-Code of HonorForecast: This hasn’t been the strongest year for the older horse division, so nothing would surprise us in the one of the most wide open and challenging Breeders’ Cup Classics in recent memory. Vino Rosso shows a win over this track and distance during the summer meeting when he captured the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, and most recently he crossed the wire first in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, only to be disqualified on a controversial call in a race that awarded to Code of Honor. The latter also has on his resume victories in the Travers S.-G1 and two other graded events, and, as a 3-year-old, appears to be improving and maturing with every start. Higher Power won the 10 furlong Pacific Classic stylishly two runs back and then lost his best chance when stumbling at the start in the Awesome Again S.-G1 here last month. He can bounce back. Having said all that, let’s go with the mare, Elate, on top. She’s perfect in three starts at the classic American distance of a mile and one-quarter, looks marvelous on the race track since arriving locally last week, and has the kind of grinding style that almost always is effective over this very deep Santa Anita main track. It would be quite a story that on the 10-year anniversary of Zenyatta’s storied win in this race on the track, another mare could win it. And she could.

Read Article
11.2.2019:

Saturday, November 02: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE3-Kentan RoadOct. 12, 20194f, :49.2hGrade: B-Hard held leaving the pole and was never asked to show speed, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :37.1. Much better mover on grass than dirt, comes off career-top win at Del Mar and holds that form.3-Kentan RoadSept. 28, 20194f, :49hGrade: B-Hard held while rank leaving the pole, then settled a bit and came the final three furlongs in :37 flat, never asked. Was hoping to see her relax early but she would have none of that. Very quick turf sprinting mare has all of her speed.SECOND RACE3-RoadsterOct. 22, 20195f, :59.3hGrade: B+Went a couple of ticks slower on our watches but looked good nonetheless, splits of :36.3 and 1:00 flat while inside Leading Score (5f, :59.4h), finishing about a length in front under mild urging in the final furlong. Plenty fit for Baffert, half-past ready by now.3-RoadsterOct. 16, 20195f, :58.3Grade: A-Terrific work, best in the sequence, while much best over Leading Score (5f, :58.4h), breaking off a couple of lengths in front and then leaving ‘Score behind when challenged into the lane, splits of :23.2, :34.3 and :58.3 to the wire, then up at the 7/8ths pole in 1:11.3, mild coaxing late, full of run throughout. Santa Anita Derby winner is sitting on tilt, can be equally effective sprinting or routing.3-RoadsterOct. 9, 20195f, 1:00hGrade: B+Very nice work in a string of strong, solid drills for Baffert, in company with Leading Score (same time) and was a bit the best at the wire while ridden some in the final furlong, splits of :12.2, :24.3, :36.1 and 1:00 flat. Plenty fit by now.3-RoadsterOct. 3, 20196f, 1:13hGrade: B+Went from 5/8ths pole to the 7/8ths pole with splits of :25 flat, :36.3 and 1:00.3 to the wire before finishing out without pressure in 1:13.1 on our watches. Looks like his old self, plenty fit, seeking a spot.3-RoadsterSept. 25, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: B+Broke off a length or so behind Anuket (5f, 1:00.3h) and finished down the lane with plenty left in breezing fashion, splits of :35.3 and 1:00.3 on our watches, sharp drill. Santa Anita Derby winner looks on edge. Workmate was going easily as well.5-Comical GhostOct. 17, 20195f, 1:00.3hGrade: B+Sharp as usual for Baffert, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.1, light coaxing only and finishing with plenty left. Both career wins were impressive, may get tested vs. stakes types next time out.5-Comical GhostOct. 9, 20194f, :50.4hGrade: BWent off very slowly and was coasting throughout, never asked a drop, sharp as usual, final three furlongs on our watches in :12 flat and :37 flat. Good sprinting colt will get tested for class next time out. Very nice sort.THIRD RACE2-HackberryOct. 19, 20195f, 1:02.4hGrade: BBreezed home nicely, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :37.1, never asked. Has all of his conditions and will run all day, bred for turf but handled the main track fine here.2-HackberryOct. 10, 20194f, :50hGrade: B-Got a tad warm but was breezing in easy half mile spin for Blacker, final three furlongs in :12.1 and :37.3. Has all of his conditions, the longer the better.3-NoldeOct. 18, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: C+Final three furlongs in :11.4 and :37 flat, asked late, fair to moderate response. Certainly prefers turf, pointing for the Twilight Derby, seems in good enough shape.3-NoldeSept. 25, 20194f, :49.2hGrade: BFinal three furlongs in :36.2 after merely galloping in the opening furlong, breezing to the wire. Del Mar Derby winner holds his form.5-SucccessandsurpassOct. 22, 20195f, 1:02.4Grade: B-Never really asked much at any stage, splits of :25.2, :37.3 and 1:03 flat on our watches, nice and steady. Grass specialist has room to improve with experience and maturity.7-Ocean FuryOct. 19, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: BPrefers turf but handled the main track well enough in this solo half mile drill, never asked, splits of :23.2 and :48.2 while looking fine. Sprung an upset in a tough allowance race earlier this meeting, likely to be seen next in the Twilight Derby.7-Ocean FuryOct. 12, 20194f, :47.3hGrade: BSome coaxing through the lane, :47.4 on our watches while in full stride to the wire with something left. Better on turf than dirt, continues to improve and is ready to tackle stakes-types on grass next time out.FOURTH RACE6-BellafinaOct. 19, 20194f, :47.1hGrade: B+Solo gate drill with splits of :24.1, :35.3 and :47.1, picking it up mostly on her on into the turn and finished smoothly. Pointing for the BC Filly & Mare Sprint and appears in good enough shape to be competitive.6-BellafinaOct. 11, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: A-Breezing throughout, stout hold late, extra sharp with splits of :12.2, :24 flat, :35.4 and 1:00.2, able to go much faster if turned loose. Freshened and appears to be coming up to the BC Filly & Mare Sprint in peak form.FIFTH RACE5-StubbinsOct. 19, 20194f, :48.4hGrade: BLooked fine going a tad faster than given on our watches, :48.2, never asked, full stride late with plenty left. Probably pointing for the BC Turf Sprint, though five furlongs on grass on this track might be a tad sharp for him.8-Legends of WarOct. 18, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: B-Went from half mile pole out to 7/8 pole, easy to the top, then asked pretty hard through the lane, splits of :23.4 and :48.1 to the wire, up in 1:00.4. Good enough work but is a much better mover on grass, won a Grade 3 turf sprint stakes in Kentucky last time out.SIXTH RACE1-Giant ExpectationsOct. 12, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: B+Went off slowly, then finished strongly without being asked to drop, a typical impressive work for veteran sprinter/miler, splits of :25 flat, :37 flat and 1:01.1 on our watches. Always tries hard when not pitched too high.1-Giant ExpectationsOct. 5, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: B+Was joined by I Can Do This (same time) and was best by about a length through the lane without being asked, final quarter mile in :24.3, strictly on his own. Always looks sharp in the a.m.1-Giant ExpectationsSept. 28, 20194f, :48.1hGrade: B+Sharp as usual in solo move, final three furlongs in :36 flat, never asked while breezing well off the rail. Always dangerous as a late-running sprinter in top company.2-ImprobableOct. 14, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: A-Went off slowly in hand, then took hold through the lane and finished like a freight train, splits of :25.2, :37.3 and 1:01.2 on our watches, straight and strong to the wire while mostly on his own. Pointing for the BC Dirt Mile, plenty talented but always has been his worst own enemy.2-ImprobableOct. 7, 20194f, :46.4hGrade: B+In blinkers, straight and true under mild coaxing through the lane, splits of :23.2 and :46.3 on our watches, extra sharp. Had a simply dreadful trip in the Pennsylvania Derby, pointing for the BC Dirt Mile.5-Omaha BeachOct. 16, 20194f, :48.1hGrade: B+Never asked a drop, final three furlongs in :11.3 and :36 flat before galloping out with plenty left. Appears to have come out of his comeback win in fine shape, pointing for the BC Dirt Mile.10-Snapper SinclairOct. 21, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: B-Not bad for a grass horse working on dirt, splits of :12.3, :24.3, :36.1 and 1:01.2, light coaxing in the final furlong. Listed stakes winner at Kentucky Downs in last start and seems to be doing well enough.10-Snapper SinclairOct. 14, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: BA tad rank leaving the pole under a tight hold, then settled and went smoothly without any coaxing, splits of :13 flat, :25.2, :37 flat and 1:01.2. Doing very well, had nice stakes win at Kentucky Downs last time out but his Breeders’ Cup competition surely will test him.SEVENTH RACE5-MirthOct. 21, 20195f, 1:03h TTGrade: C+Broke off about five lengths behind Buckstopper Kit (5f, 1:04h) and was under some coaxing through the lane but couldn’t quite catch workmate (not asked), splits of :25.2, :38 flat and 1:03.1 on our watches, not terribly inspiring. Sprung a major upset in the Rodeo Drive Stakes that earned her a start in the BC Filly & Mare Turf, will be a huge price.EIGHTH RACE1-Catalina CruiserOct. 19, 20195f, 1:00.3hGrade: BLooked fine in solo spin, splits of :24.3, :36.1 and 1:00.2 on our watches, mostly on his own. Connections have opted for the BC Sprint over B C Dirt Mile, will be facing a ton of speed in the former and it might be a bit challenging for him to have to deal with it.1-Catalina CruiserOct. 12, 20196f, 1:12.4hGrade: B+Some light coaxing in the final furlong but wasn’t really asked for much, final three furlongs in a strong :36.2. Dead fit, coming up to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in fine fettle.1-Catalina CruiserOct. 5, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: B+Went off slowly, then finished strongly, very light coaxing only in the final stages, splits of :13 flat, :25.3, :37 flat and 1:00.4. Maintains his edge, pointing for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Sprint.1-Catalina CruiserSept. 28, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: B+Went off slowly, was never asked and finished smoothly looking quite sharp for Sadler, splits of :25.1, :36.3 and 1:00.2 on our watches. Ticking over for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.4-MitoleOct. 22, 20195f, :58.4hgGrade: A-Solo gate work, splits of :23 flat, :34.1, :45.3 and :58.2 on our watches before coasting to the wire in 1:11.4. Was late changing leads but other than that was impressive displaying his intense speed without really being asked for it. Blazing drill should have him on edge for the BC Sprint.4-MitoleOct. 4, 20194f, :50.2hGrade: B+Was throttled down early and then allowed to stride out just a bit late, looking sharp and eager in slow move while just getting his feet wet over the surface. Gearing up for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.5-EngageOct. 21, 20195f, 1:03hGrade: BWent a bit faster than given and was never asked, a tad rank approaching the half mile pole but then settling and working smoothly, splits of :24 flat and :49.2 to the wire before finishing out nicely to 7/8 pole sin 1:02.1 on our watches. Recently arrived and seemed healthy and happy, pointing for the B C Sprint.5-EngageOct. 14, 20194f, :50.3hGrade: B-View WorkoutHard held and a bit rank leaving the pole, then was under stout restraint to the head of the lane before being allowed to coast home, splits of :12.2, :24.3 and :50.2 on our watches. Just getting his feet wet over the surface, should have a more serious drill next week. Grade-2 winner at Keeneland last time out; will get the acid test in the BC Sprint.6-ShancealotOct. 19, 20194f, :46.4hGrade: BWent well without being asked, splits of :22.4 and :46.4, solid work for sure but not scintillating. May not be terribly fond of the deep Santa Anita main track, perhaps wants to hear his feet rattle. We’ll get one more look at him next week.NINTH RACE7-BoloOct. 19, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: CBroke off a few lengths in front Smokey Image (5f, 1:01h), was ridden through the lane and then out to 7/8 pole to be doing his best, splits of :23.4, :48.4 and 1:01.4 on our watches, ordinary as usual for turf specialist. Pointing for BC Mile; appears overmatched. Workmate was under some restraint to stay behind Bolo but failed to change leads and didn’t look so hot, either.14-Bowies HeroOct. 19, 20194f, :50.2h TTGrade: BBroke off behind Mischiffie (4f, :50.3h TT) and was under no real coaxing through the lane while just failing to catch workmate at the wire, typical move for him. Pointing for the BC Mile after winning a Grade 1 race in Kentucky; workmate finished without pressure and looked good.TENTH RACE1-Paradise WoodsOct. 20, 20196f, 1:13.3hGrade: BWorked freely early while being allowed to display her speed in :23.3 and :47.2 to the top, then slowed up a bit through the lane but wasn’t really asked, up in 1:13.3, good final time over this deep track. Maintains her top form, hoping to give Midnight Bisou some competition in the BC Distaff.2-Ollie’s CandyOct. 12, 20194f, :47.1hGrade: B+Breezing and looking sharp, splits of :23 flat and 47 flat on our watch, plenty left while appearing on top of her game. Pointing for the BC Distaff.4-Midnight BisouOct. 21, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: BWorked outside Comedian (same time) and was under mild coaxing through the lane to prove slightly best (workmate not asked), splits of :25.2, :37 flat and 1:01.3. Certainly nothing to knock but this drill didn’t knock our socks off, either. Will be a short price favorite in the BC Distaff.4-Midnight BisouOct. 14, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: B+Even but slightly best over Comedian (same time) while finishing in hand and looking sharp and fit. Will be a short price favorite – and deservedly so – the BC Distaff.4-Midnight BisouOct. 7, 20194f, :51.3hGrade: BNothing more than an open gallop while getting here feet wet over the track, splits of :12.4, :25.2 and :51.3. Horse of the Year candidate will be a short price favorite in the BC Distaff.7-Secret SpiceOct. 20, 20195f, 1:00hGrade: B-Broke off a couple of lengths behind maiden Taishan (5f, 1:00.2h), had dead aim on that one at the furlong pole but could never get by under mild coaxing, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.1. Wasn’t bad but expected better for the BC Distaff-bound stakes winner.7-Secret SpiceOct. 13, 20194f, :47.3hGrade: B+Broke off several lengths behind cheap workmate My Journey (4f, :48.4h) and was under wraps throughout while closing the gap and finishing head-and-head with that wire, :24 flat and :47.4 on our watches. Pointing for the Breeders’ Cup, either the Filly & Mare Sprint or Distaff. 8-La Force-GEOct. 17, 20196f, 1:14hGrade: C+Splits of :12.2, :24 flat, :35.4, :47.4 and 1:14 flat, asked some in the final furlong, fair to moderate under the circumstances. Looks to be in very tough in what will be her final career start in the BC Distaff.ELEVENTH RACE2-AcclimateOct. 19, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: B-Went slower than given, from the half mile pole to the wire on our watches :24.4 and :50 and small change, then continued out to 7/8 pole in 1:02.3, very light coaxing only, solid drill while maintaining his edge. Will take them as far as he can on the front end in the BC Turf.TWELFTH RACE2-Seeking the SoulOct. 11, 20194f, :48.4hGrade: B-Went okay, nothing special, :11.4, :23.3 and :48.4, never really asked much through the lane. Pointing for BC Classic, best form always has come at Churchill Downs.4-War of WillOct. 16, 20195f, :59.2hGrade: A-As good as we’ve ever seen him, splits of :22.4, :34.1 and :59.2 to the wire (breezing in the final furlong), then galloped out to 7/8ths pole in 1:12.4. Seems to like this deep surface and whether or not it’s good enough he should fire his best shot in the BC Classic.7-Higher PowerOct. 19, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: B+Broke off behind Foxtail (5f, 1:02h) and after going off slowly easily handled that one through the lane, never asked, then continued out with plenty left to 7/8 pole, :24.1 from the quarter pole to the wire. Better than last shows, hope he leaves cleanly in the BC Classic.7-Higher PowerOct. 12, 20194f, :47.1hGrade: B+Very light coaxing only in solo half-mile spin, splits of :23.1 and :47.1. for Sadler. Probably lost his best chance at the start in the Awesome Again S.-G1 and should fire his best shot in the BC Classic-G1.8-McKinzieOct. 22, 20197f, 1:24.2hGrade: A-Went from 5/8ths pole all the way around to the 6f pole and earned splits of :24.3, :36.2, and 1:00.1 to the wire, then finished out in 1:24.3 on our watches to complete strong work while being ridden hard into and around the clubhouse turn. Testing drill under the circumstances but a superior move, to be sure. However, he still has to prove he can handle a mile and one-quarter.8-McKinzieOct. 10, 20194f, :49.2hGrade: BBreezing in easy half mile solo spin, splits of :12.3, :24.3 and :49.2, never asked a drop. Looks fine but is questionable at the 10-furlong trip of the BC Classic.9-Mongolian GroomOct. 19, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: BCruised in easy half mile drill, :23.2 and :48.4 on our watches, a tad faster than given, never asked. Out to prove that his win in the Awesome Again S.-G1 wasn’t a fluke, pointing for the BC Classic.

Read Article
11.1.2019:

Friday, November 01: Meadowlands Pick 4 Analysis

The Meadowlands has 13 races set to roll tonight with the feature coming in Race 2, a Preferred Trot with a $30,000 purse. The 0.50 Pick 4 begins in Race 8. The sequence has a $50,000 guaranteed pool with a 15% takeout and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 81-New Heaven (8-1)-Has been facing tough foes at Yonkers all year and from this post, class may show at a square price.6-Pat Matters (3-1)-4-year-old mare has had a nice year and has only made 11 starts, looks to be in the mix.7-Top Flight Angel (7/2)-Should like the company, not so sure I will like the price and is 0-12 at the Big M. But tough to leave out versus this crew.10-Misslarose (10-1)-Post makes this a difficult task but has gate speed to repeat and this barn can keep them going.Race 92-Waiting On A Woman (6-1)-Drops in 2nd Big M start and fits, 11-year-old has won 9 of 54 here.6-Lucky Sheila (9/2)-Got a nice drive and made 2-moves to win last, looks like a major player again.7-Muscle High (3-1)-Made a big brush and couldn't hold a 5 length lead 2 weeks ago. That's not great but barn has been rolling and does well at the Big M. Using and hoping 2nd start at this level and 3rd for this trainer will be better.Race 106-Top Of The Mark (7/2)-Even effort in last, now makes 2nd start for Harris and gets a positive driver change.9-Winning Linc (3-1)-Comes off a sharp win but this field might be tougher and so is the post. Does come out of 2 quick miles and can score an encore with a good trip.Race 116-Credit Fraud (8-1)-Comes off a nice win in 2nd start off the bench. Likes to win and does well at the Big M, best to respect for another picture.8-Say You Do (2-1)-Winner this year of >$98k tops the field by a wide margin and has won 5 of 7 here. Question marks are the start from this post and if can mind manners.0.50 Pick 4 Race 8) 1,6,7,10 Race 9) 2,6,7 Race 10) 6,9 Race 11) 6,8 Total Ticket Cost) $48 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
11.1.2019:

Friday, November 01: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita 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 10:45 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Zestful; 5-CampaignForecast: Campaign is listed at 4/5 on the morning line for today’s opener, the listed Marathon Stakes over a mile and three-quarters on the main track. The son of Curlin doesn’t get many opportunities to compete under conditions that are made to order for his long-winded abilities, so he must make the most of the chances that are available. A respectable third in the 12-furlong Kentucky Turf Cup-G3 when last seen in early September and pointed specifically for this race ever since, the J. Sadler-trained colt has been kept fit with a steady series of local workouts that should have him primed for his best effort. Zestful, listed at 8-1 on the morning line, is worth consideration if you’re inclined to try to beat the favorite. The son of Ghostzapper, a former modest claimer, is vastly improved and was an easy winner over a slightly shorter marathon trip (not at this level, of course) last spring. Currently in the midst of a six race winning streak, the M. Glatt-trained gelding will need a career top effort to continue his winning ways, but at this stage of his career who knows where his ceiling is?RACE 2: Post 11:20 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Rayana; 4-Opus Won; 9-Heathers Grey; 11-Tiger SilkForecast: Here’s a grass grab bag for entry-level allowance fillies and mares over a mile. We’ll spread four-deep but the best suggestion is to include as many as you can afford to. Rayana broke her maiden at first asking in September of her 2-year-old season and then was off until mid-June, when she returned sprinting on grass and was never factor while finding the five furlong trip too sharp. Off again for more than four months, the daughter of Scat Daddy has trained like she’s fit and ready for B. Baffert (31% with layoff runners) and gets the rail and J. Rosario. On numbers she’s a strong fit and with just two career outings likely has potential most of the others don’t have. She’s certainly playable at 4-1 on the morning line, but there are others in here that are almost as appealing. Heathers Grey has produced a forward move based strictly on speed figures in every one of her six career starts and if she improves again – or even just repeats her recent starter’s allowance score over this course and distance – the M. McCarthy-trained filly will be hard to deny. She has the type of tactical speed that always seems to result in a good stalking trip and then from the quarter pole home she’s as tough as nails. A. Gryder fits her well and stays aboard. Opus Won isn’t as fast yet on figures as Rayana or Heathers Grey but she’s another with constantly rising numbers and shows excellent form over the Santa Anita turf course with a win and a second at this one mile trip. Freshened since a gate-to-wire state-bred allowance win in July at Del Mar, the daughter of Eddington acts like she’s fit and ready following a solid series of workouts at San Luis Rey Downs. Though she’s drawn farther out than we’d prefer, the New Zealand invader Tiger Silk represents stranger danger. She’ll be making her U.S. debut while adding Lasix and removing blinkers for the R. Mandella stable and gets a break in the weights with good bug boy J. Diaz, Jr. taking the cal.RACE 3: Post 11:55 PT. Grade: BUse: 5-Stradari; 10-Warm Summer; 11-Been Studying HerForecast: Trainer O. J. Juaregui has a couple of intriguing long shot Bay Area shippers in today’s third race, the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes at the extended sprint distance of seven furlongs. Stradari (10-1) won at first asking with a strong speed figure in an all-weather dash at Golden Gate Fields and should be capable of transferring that form to conventional dirt. The daughter of Square Eddie picks up F. Prat, shows a bullet six furlong drill since race, and has all the makings of a filly of some quality. Her stable mate Warm Summer (15-1) appears to have the proper style for this distance, shows rising speed figures in each outing, and will race with blinkers while teaming up with I. Ortiz, Jr. Look for her to be doing her best work from off the pace. Been Studying Her began her career with a highly-rated maiden score at Sacramento, was a legitimate winner of the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar, and then finished a respectable fourth in the Chandelier S.-G1 here last month. This return to California-bred competition combined with the shortening in trip should make this Fast Anna filly extremely dangerous. Let’s put Stradari slightly on top but include all three in our rolling exotics.RACE 4: Post 12:32 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Cali Dude; 5-Doc Tommy; 7-ChipperForecast: Cali Dude and Chipper finished one-two when debuting in a fast, highly-rated Cal-bred maiden sprint here earlier this month and they both return in this restricted seven furlong stakes affair for juveniles. The J. Sadler-trained ‘Dude was under pressure throughout and held sway gamely, while Chipper overcame a bit of trouble in the upper stretch to loom a strong threat before settling for second while five clear of the rest. Both are eligible to improve with experience and should be tough despite the class hike. In addition to Cali Dude, Sadler has another legitimate contender (at 12-1 on the morning line) in Doc Tommy, who earned his diploma up north in August and then was purchased privately. A speedy son of Comic Strip with a healthy series of recent workouts since arriving down south, he picks up J. Rosario and projects to have a strong pace presence throughout. We’ll give Cali Dude a very slight edge on top but include all three in our rolling exotics.RACE 5: Post 1:12 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-Band Practice; 7-Kimari; 9-Four Wheel DriveForecast: Four Wheel Drive is unbeaten in two starts and appears to be colt with significant ability. From the first crop of American Pharoah, the W. Ward-trained colt has plenty of speed but has shown a willingness to settle early and explode late, a style that was employed in his highly-rated victory in the Futurity S.-G3 at Belmont Park earlier last month. He’s backing up to five furlongs today, and although he gives the impression that he’ll actually be more effective when stretched out, appears to have enough quality to be remain unblemished at this abbreviated sprint trip. Ward’s other main contender, Kimari, won a listed stakes at Saratoga gate-to-wire but then rallied from far back to capture the Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland while displaying her versatility. A head away - in the 25-runner Queen Mary S.-G1 at Royal Ascot - from being undefeated in four career outings, the daughter of Munnings will be hard to deny if she fires her best shot. Band Practice is a progressive invader from Europe with three successful victories on her resume, including a listed stakes at Chantilly in late September. Her Timeform ratings continue to rise with each start and she should be quick enough to secure a good early position from her inside draw. Toss her in at 12-1 on the morning line.RACE 6: Post 1:52 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Decorated Invader; 12-Arizona; 14-Hit the RoadForecast: British invader Arizona has the best credentials and may deserve top billing but this is a tough, deep race featuring two impressive North American-based runners with improving patterns and strong closing kicks. The A. O’Brien-trained Arizona, winner of the 17-runner Coventry S.-G2 at Royal Ascot in June and most recently an admirable second to the unbeaten and certain-to-be European champion Pinatubo by two lengths while almost three clear of the rest in the Dewhurst S.-G1, earned a terrific 108 Timeform rating in that race three weeks ago and anything close to that today should be good enough. However, he’s drawn pretty far outside and needs to leave cleanly or risk getting parked out into the first turn. It may be worth nothing that O’Brien, considered the premier trainer in Europe, is 1-for-48 with North American starters in the past two years. Hit the Road could not have been more impressive when winning the Zuma Beach Stakes over this course and distance last month. The rapidly rising son of More Than Ready has a wicked turn of foot, and if top grass rider F. Prat can negotiate at least a decent trip from his extreme outside post position the D. Blacker-trained colt could mow them all down in the final furlong. Decorated Invader, improving with racing, has looked terrific in the morning for outstanding grass trainer C. Clement. Winner of the Summer S.-G1 at Woodbine in his most recent outing, the son of Declaration of War should be able secure a nice mid-pack position from his favorable post position four in his first race with Lasix. Good racing luck will be at a premium in this 14-runner affair but with proper trips we’re expecting the winner to be one of these three.RACE 7: Post 2:32 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Donna Veloce; 4-British Idiom; 7-Wicked WhisperForecast: Wicked Whisper has won both of her starts by daylight, including the Frizette S.-G1 at Belmont Park last month. She’s proven at a mile (but not two turns); and while both of her wins have been visually very impressive on the lead throughout, today she’ll probably have to show she can stalk and win due to the presence of speedy Donna Veloce. The quick daughter of Uncle Mo broke her maiden for fun on the lead in a highly-rated sprint last month and surely will be gunned to the front end from the rail. Meanwhile, ‘Whisker likely will be quick enough to secure a good forward position and have every chance when it counts, but ‘Veloce could be any kind and may never look back, her lack of seasoning and experience notwithstanding. Truthfully, they’re hard to separate. British Idiom is a bit slower on speed figures then the two other main players but she’s also undefeated in two starts and has the benefit of having already won a Grade-1 event around two turns. She has a good stalking and will be tough if the top two contenders soften themselves up on the front end.RACE 8: Post 3:12 PT. Grade: B+Use: 3-Shadn; 5-Daahyeh; 12-Sweet MelaniaForecast: We’ll try to survive and advance using just three in this highly-contentious 14-runner turf miler for juvenile fillies. Sweet Melania is preferred on top, though from the 12-post position she’ll have to be used leaving the gate to secure a reasonable early position. The daughter of American Pharoah has stepped forward in each of her five career outings, including a thoroughly dominating 5 and one-half length romp in the Jessamine S.-G2 at Keeneland last month. She made the lead in that race in hand and then exploded late; today the pace projects to be considerably quicker, but she strikes us as a high potential sort who should be able to handle the task. She’s 5-1 on the morning and that’s probably about right. Daahyeh and Shadn are a couple of dangerous European group stakes winners and both certainly appear to have the quality to be strong threats. Daahyeh won the Rockfel S.-G2 at Newmarket last time out and earlier this year was victorious at Royal Ascot in the Albany Stakes. Regular jockey W. Buick flies over to ride her. Shadn is a daughter of No Nay Never from a mare by Sadler’s Wells so while she’s never won beyond six furlongs her pedigree suggests she should be able to handle a mile, especially over top of the ground conditions. The A. Baldwin-trained filly will race with Lasix and brings with her from Europe rising Timeform numbers. You have to use her at 10-1 on the morning line.RACE 9: Post 4:03 PT. Grade: B+Use: 1-Dennis’ Moment; 5-Scabbard; 7-Annau d’OroForecast: Dennis’ Moment is an exciting prospect and brings from the Midwest credentials that make him the one to beat the BC Juvenile. The rail draw may be of some concern, but if he leaves cleanly the son of Tiznow should enjoy a perfect stalking, ground-saving trip and then be on top of the leaders when the pressure is turned on at the head of the lane. Since his eased-up victory in the Iroquois S.-G3 at Churchill Downs in mid-September, the D. Romans-trained colt has looked superb in the morning to indicate he’s ready to step forward once again. Scabbard was a troubled runner-up to Dennis’ Moment in that race in Kentucky and while its clear he was no better than second best the son of More Than Ready turned in an excellent performance and gives every indication that he, too, will continue to progress with experience. The switch to M. Smith certainly won’t hurt, so at 8-1 on the morning line he’s worth some consideration. Long shot players might want to toss in on a ticket or two Anneau d’Oro, a beautifully-bred son of Medaglia d’Oro who toyed with outclassed rivals in a modest maiden turf affair at Golden Gate Fields in his debut in late September. He’s trained impressively since and must be considered an “X” factor for trainer B. Wright, having never raced or even trained on conventional dirt. But his pedigree says he should like it, so who knows? Toss him in on a ticket or two.*RACE 10: Post 4:43 PT. Grade: B+Use: 1-Rogallo; 8-Threefiveindia; 11-JustinianForecast: Unlike most sons and daughters of Curlin, Rogallo gives every indication that he’s more comfortable sprinting than routing. Both of his one-turn races were quite good, a debut maiden win at Santa Anita last April and then a sharp runner-up effort in a similar first-level allowance race that produced by far his career top speed figure. The J. Sadler-trained colt picks up J. Rosario, and if he can avoid trouble from his rail draw he may be along in time at 6-1 on the morning line. Threefiveindia, first off the claim for P. Miller (26% with this angle), has the proper stalking style for this extended sprint trip and with the switch to A. Cedillo could easily improve for his new connections. Though a winner of just three races from 18 starts, the son of Street Hero is fast on figures and in his second off a layoff could step forward considerably. Justinian graduated nicely in his second career start recently while earning a good figure, and the horse he defeated, Soldier Boy, came back to frank the from with an easy maiden win last week. R. Bejarano stays aboard for B. Baffert and should have this son of Justin Phillip well-placed outside while pressing or stalking the pace. With the expected forward move, he can be right there at 6-1 on the morning line.

Read Article
11.1.2019:

Friday, November 01: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE1-ItsinthepostOct. 9, 20196f, 1:13.3h TTGrade: B+Mild coaxing only, final 5/8ths in :24.1, :36.2 and 1:00.4, something left, nice move. Many miles on the veteran stayer but remains eager and should be set for one of his better efforts.1-ItsinthepostSept. 30, 20196f, 1:14.3h TTGrade: BCame the final five furlongs in solo training track drill in :36.3 and 1:01.2, mild pressure through the lane, solid work. Many miles on veteran turf marathoner, seems in good enough shape.2-American TattooOct. 25, 20194f, :50.2b TTGrade: BBreezing inside Marconi (same time) in training track drill at Belmont Park, slow, easy, and happy. Questionable at the trip but arrives in good shape and finally seesm to have acclimated following importation from South America.5-CampaignOct. 18, 20196f, 1:15.1hGrade: C+Ultimate plodder was ridden along early and asked a bit through the lane, splits of :36.4, :49.1 and 1:15.2 on our watches, not terribly exciting. The really don’t write races long enough for him on this circuit.SECOND RACE1-RayanaOct. 20, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: B-Went off slowly, was asked pretty good in the final stages and responded with interest, splits of :12.3, :24.3, :36.4 and 1:01.2. Sparingly-raced filly has all of her conditions, been away since June, will do her best over a distance of ground.10-An Eddie SurpriseOct. 18, 20194f, :49.2hGrade: B-Under a nice hold throughout while even but a bit the best with Homehome (same time), easy throughout, splits of :25 flat and :49.3. Doing well, holds her form, should make the entries again soon.11-Tiger SilkOct. 20, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: B-Received the slower time while in company with Tinnie (5f, 1:00.1h) but was slightly best to the wire, some coaxing throughout the lane, splits of :23.3 and :48.3 for the final half mile, okay work. Australian-bred filly showed some talent in New Zealand, should make U.S. debut soon, probably needs turf to do her best work.THIRD RACE1-HomehomeOct. 18, 20194f, 49.2hGrade: B-Maybe a tad second best in company with An Eddie Surprise (same time), easy most of the way, never really asked, splits of :25 flat and :49.3 on our watches. Won at first asking but the next step up the class ladder should test her.FOURTH RACE2-Cali DudeOct. 18, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: B-Mostly in hand throughout, final quarter mile in :25.1. Clever win in debut but the next rung up the class ladder will test him.5-Doc TommyOct. 9, 20195f, 1:02.2hGrade: B-Went off very slowly, was asked a tad approaching the quarter pole and then finished smoothly without pressure, splits of :13 flat :26 flat, :38.1 and 1:02.4 on our watches, nice move despite modest final time for Sadler. Comic Strip colt graduated nicely up north and has further improvement in him.SIXTH RACE1-Our CountryOct. 26, 20194f, :48.3b TC DUGrade: B+Solo turf breeze around dogs at Belmont Park for talented son of Constitution in the G. Weaver barn. Beautiful mover with a long, athletic stride had plenty left without being asked, sharp as a tack. Likely to continue to improve with experience and distance and isn’t without a chance in the BC Juvenile Turf.4-Decorated InvaderOct. 20, 20195f, 1:00.4b TC DUGrade: B+Rolled on by Up the Ante (5f, 1:01.2b tc du) after breaking off behind, finishing without coaxing with plenty left in the tank. Grade-1 winning son of Declaration of War is improving with every race and workout and should be a serious player in the BC Juvenile Turf.6-War BeastOct. 19, 20194f, :49.2hGrade: B-Was asked through the lane and responded well enough, splits of :24.2 and :49.3 on our watches while holding his form. Strictly a turf horse, was good second in Zuma Beach Stakes and has further improvement in him.14-Hit the RoadOct. 26, 20194f, :49.4h TTGrade: B+Strictly on his own in solo training track breeze for D. Blacker, final quarter in :24.4. Loved his recent turf stakes course and certainly has further improvement in him. Big chance in the B C Juvenile Turf if he can work out a decent trip.14-Hit the RoadOct. 19, 20194f, :50.1h TTGrade: B+Broke off behind Live It Well (same time) and breezed through the lane to appear much best in the final stages, final three furlongs in :37.2 in training track drill, quite sharp following impressive recent grass win. Could be the real deal, we’ll find out in the BC Juvenile Turf.SEVENTH RACE1-Donna VeloceOct. 25, 20195f, 1:00.3hGrade: B+View WorkoutOn her own throughout in smooth drill while gearing up for the BC Juvenile fillies, splits of :24 flat, :35.3 and 1:00.2 on our watches to record bullet drill (fastest of 27 for the distance). Was a tad late changing leads, other than that looked excellent. With her natural speed, daughter of Uncle Mo will be the one to catch.1-Donna VeloceOct. 18, 20195f, 1:00hGrade: A-View WorkoutEffortless drill, breaking off a few lengths behind Stretford End (5f, 1:00.4h) and easily going past workmate in the final furlong while well in hand, splits of :12.1, :24.2, :36 flat and 1:00 flat, plenty left without being asked a drop. Couldn’t have been more impressive while preparing to take the lead from a debut maiden win to the BC Juvenile Fillies.1-Donna VeloceOct. 10, 20194f, :49.2hGrade: BView WorkoutNever asked a drop looking sharp in what was nothing more than a gallop, splits of :24.2 and :49.1 on our watches. Will have a more serious drill next week as she prepares for the BC Juvenile Fillies.5-Lazy DaisyOct. 18, 20194f, 48.3hGrade: B-View WorkoutRidden a bit through the lane and responded okay, splits of :23.3 and :48.2 on our watches while maintaining her form. Gets the acid test in the BC Juvenile Fillies.5-Lazy DaisyOct. 11, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: B+Never asked in easy half mile breeze for O’Neill, final three furlongs in :11.2 and :35.3 (suspect she might have gone faster than official final time). Winner of the Pocahantas Stakes gets the acid test in the BC Juvenile Fillies.6-BastOct. 22, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: B-Actually worked a full seven furlongs from 5/8ths pole all the way around to the six-furlong pole, inside with Hot Sean (5f, 1:01.3, not asked much through the lane, up at wire), while earning splits of :24.3, :36.3 1:01 flat, 1:14.1 and up in 1:28.1, tiring as expected after losing her company. Has a Grade-1 win around two turns over this main track, but probably will have to produce a forward move to win the BC Juvenile Fillies.6-BastOct. 9, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: B+Breezing outside older Hot Sean (same time, asked through the lane), splits of :23.4 and :48.3 on our watches, never asked, sharp and eager. Pointing for the BC Juvenile fillies and must be considered a strong contender based on proven form over the track.7-Wicked WhisperOct. 23, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: B+Even outside BC Juvenile-bound Shoplifted (same time), never really asked much (workmate breezing), final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.1, solid clocking (second fastest of 35 for the distance) over deepish main track. Smart winner in both starts on the lead, may be forced to stalk in the BC Juvenile Fillies but shouldn’t be bothered at all with that type of trip.9-ComicalOct. 18, 20195f, 1:03.4hGrade: CWorked from half-mile pole out to 7/8 pole, splits of :25.1 and :51 flat to the wire before finishing out under urging in 1:03.4, a tad unfocused entering the lane (drifted out) and then not having a whole lot of pick up late. Has looked better, for sure. Question mark pointing for the BC Juvenile Fillies.9-ComicalOct. 11, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: B-No real pressure in solo half mile move for O’Neill, splits of :12.1, :24 flat and :48.4 on our watches, a tad slower than given. Maintains her form, best races have been over this main track.EIGHTH RACE10-Fair MaidenOct. 13, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: BBroke off behind Union Station (5f, 1:02.1h) and cruised on by through the lane without being asked at all, :25 flat, :36.4 and 1:01.4 on our watches looking good. Stakes winner from Woodbine is a possibility for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.NINTH RACE1-Dennis’ MomentOct. 25, 20194f, :46.3hGrade: B+Light coaxing through the lane while finishing strongly, final quarter in :23.4 for Romans. Seemed to handle the deep track just fine, arrives dead fit and is the likely choice for the BC Juvenile.3-ShopliftedOct. 23, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: B+Improved in this sharp move, breezing inside Wicked Whisper (same time), well in hand late while earning excellent final time over deep main track, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36.1. Have to think he’s better than his disappointing in the American Pharoah Stakes last month. Can show more early speed in BC Juvenile.3-ShopliftedOct. 13, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: B-Okay work, certainly not scintillating, splits of :25 flat, :36.3, :48.3 and 1:01 flat in solo gate drill for Asmussen, some light coaxing most of the way. Was no factor in the American Pharoah Stakes in local bow, probably not quite up to that standard.4-Storm the CourtOct. 18, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: BWent off slowly in hand, picked it up midway and finished without need of pressure, solid work with splits of :24.3, :36.1 and 1:00.3 on our watches. Doing well but will be faced with a tough task in the BC Juvenile.4-Storm the CourtOct. 11, 20195f, :59.4hGrade: B+Broke off in front of Draft Pick (5f, 1:01.1h) and left that one far behind, cruising through the lane while appearing sharp and with plenty left, final half mile on our watches in :11.3, :23.2 and :48 flat. Pointing for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.6-Eight RingsOct. 21, 20196f, 1:14.2hGrade: B+Never asked a drop while outside Qahira (6f, 1:14.4h), going off easily and then finishing with plenty left, splits of :25.4, :37.4, :49.2 and 1:14.3 on our watches, eager to the wire. Arguably Baffert’s best chance for a Breeders’ Cup win.6-Eight RingsOct. 14, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: B+Caught him from the half-mile pole to the wire in :24 flat and :48.2, never asked while even but best with Qahira (same time) before galloping out strongly a few lengths in front at the 7/8 pole. Couldn’t be coming up to the BC Juvenile looking any better or sharper.6-Eight RingsOct. 7, 20193f. :37.1hGrade: BUnder wraps through the lane, final quarter in :24.4. First workout back since last race, came out of the American Pharoah Stakes in fine shape, next stop Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.TENTH RACE2-Candy CornellOct. 9, 20194f, :49.3hGrade: B-No real pressure through the lane, final quarter in :25.2. Seems the same, has all of his conditions, might appreciate an extended sprint.5-ParsimonyOct. 18, 20195f, 1:03hGrade: B-Broke off a few lengths in front of Landeskog (5f, 1:03h), allowed that one to come through inside into the lane and finished stride-stride with that one before both continued out to the 7/8 pole under light coaxing and then coasting out to six furlong pole. Slow work, but well in hand and looked fine. Got a confidence building maiden win (finally!) sprinting and probably should be kept around one turn for now.10-ComedianOct. 21, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: BInside Midnight Bisou (same time) and was under a nice hold throughout while ‘Bisou was under mild late coaxing, both going off slowly and then finishing well, splits of :25.2, :37 flat and 1:01.3 on our watches. Oklahoma shipper arrives in good form and has all of his conditions.10-ComedianOct. 14, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: BSlightly second best being used as a workmate inside Midnight Bisou (same time) but went nicely while finishing without any pressure. Remington Park shipper has all of his conditions, tough to gauge how he’ll fit on this circuit but is doing well.

Read Article
11.1.2019:

My Sunday $436K Santa Anita Rainbow 6 Mandatory Payout Ticket

The Breeders’ Cup is in the books but Santa Anita has taken steps to ensure that doesn’t mean the phenomenal betting at the Great Race Place doesn’t stop on Saturday.Their 20-cent Rainbow Pick 6 has been on hiatus since Thursday (the Breeders’ Cup runs their own P6) and that means there’s a $436,837 carryover into Mandatory Payout Day on Sunday.  And that’s enough to catch my eye.  Here’s the ticket I’m playing.  Also, please note, Santa Anita has a special early first post on Sunday (2:30PM ET) so the Pick 6 gets underway with Race 4 at 4:00PM ET.  Race 4 (4:00PM ET) – Claiming – 6F on Dirt The kickoff leg is a solid claiming sprint for three-year-olds and I think this field is a good mix of speed and closers that should open things up for any type.  The best of the speed is #2 OIL CAN KNIGHT, but his inside draw isn’t ideal.  If two or three horses outside of him have designs on leading, he’s going to face pressure from the start.  Also, the steep class drop off a layoff and subsequent poor performance, is a big worry.  #4 TOOTHLESS WONDER drops in class but he’s been up and down the ladder before and he can sit, stalk and pounce.  #6 MO DINERO will be forwardly placed but ‘won’ the draw from the perspective that he can stalk the pace from the outside of the other speeds.   Race 5 (4:30PM ET) – Allowance OC – 1 1/4 Miles on Turf You don’t often see 1 1/4-mile races in this country and the attracted field of 9 seems to support that.  All things considered this may be the best betting race of the day, with plenty of logical candidates to get the job done.  I’m going to go forward with the following horses on my ticket, in order of preference - #7 BUCKSTOPPER KIT, #6 CHOSEN VESSEL, #1 M TOWN GEM, #3 CRYSTAL TRIBLE and #8 REAL MASTER.  Race 6 (5:00PM ET) – Maiden – 1 Mile on Dirt Race 6 is a head-scratcher of a maiden race and the question facing handicappers is how legit was #3 TIZAMAGICIAN’s last race?  The 82 Beyer he earned towers over this field, but it was also a career top by 18 points.  Is he improving…or was that just a quirky race?  Speed figure jumps for young horses aren’t uncommon but it’s not wrong to view them skeptically.  I’ll use him along with #2 CALL ME DADDY.  He was well bet in his debut but trailed a field going 5 1/2-furlongs.  He should improve stretching out.  Also tossing in #6 COOL RUNNINGS, just in case he takes to the dirt better than he did turf.  His breeding suggests he should.  Race 7 (5:30PM ET) – Maiden Claiming – 6 Furlongs on Dirt This isn’t the world’s deepest maiden special weight so a horse like #3 TINSEL TOWN QUEEN catches the eye.  Kristin Mulhall is a capable conditioner and I love that she tagged Joel Rosario to ride.  That’s a big vote of confidence for a firster because you have to think Rosario isn’t going to pick up a mount in a cheap claiming race unless it has a shot.  #4 MORNING CYNN ran second at this level in her last race and makes my ticket even though she had a clean trip that day with no excuses.  On larger tickets you could push for #5 INFO’S TREASURE or #6 SUEZAAANA but they exit the same race and I just don’t think either is that good.    Race 8 (6:00PM ET) – G2 Goldikova Stakes – 1 Mile on Turf #5 TOINETTE has been a win machine in her career (6-for-9) and she’s a perfect 3-for-3 at Santa Anita.  Her only turf defeats came in the G1 Belmont Oaks and the G2 John C. Mabee against Vasilika.  Nobody in here is at that level, making her a clear single for me.  Race 9 (6:30PM ET) – Claiming – 6 Furlongs on Dirt The nightcap (meetcap?) is a claiming dash for horses that haven’t won two races and, as you can imagine, this field is pretty low on quality but high on quantity.  #10 BULLY FOR ERIC ran OK in a one-mile turf race off a layoff to start the meet and that should have him geared up for this race.  He’s ‘must use’ in my eyes.  #1 TEMPLE KNIGHTS is in good form (in the Tri in his last four races) and #5 BUCK DUANE is likely the speed of the speed.  His 1-for-21 record is a worry, though.  My TicketRace 4: 2, 4, 6Race 5: 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 Race 6: 2, 3, 6Race 7: 3, 4Race 8: 5Race 9: 1, 5, 10Ticket Cost (20-cent Base): $54.00  

Read Article
10.31.2019:

Johnny D's 2019 Breeders’ Cup Analysis & Picks

Sometimes I need to be reminded of how beautiful Santa Anita really is. Mission accomplished. Here, at the foot of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains, racing has been regularly conducted, more or less, since Christmas Day 1934. It’s been a glorious run, highlighted by hosting racing’s biggest day or two—Breeders’ Cup—on nine previous occasions. To anyone who loves watching Thoroughbreds race and humans eat, drink and wager, Santa Anita is a cathedral. And when some of the world’s best equines, most talented jockeys, sharpest horseplayers and richest owners congregate there it’s racing’s equivalent to a Vatican mass served by the Pope. Here’s a look at one man’s Breeders’ Cup opinions. $1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF SPRINTFriday - Race 5- 4:12PM ET Last year, in the race’s initial presentation, Todd Pletcher-trained Bulletin wired the field at Churchill Downs. I like trends, but there’s not much one can cull from one sample. Here’s what I think I think: This race, at five furlongs on grass around a turn doesn’t play to the strengths of Euro runners. Also, speed is at a premium. Just about every season Wesley Ward takes a US-trained 2-year-old across the pond to contend with Euros on their ground and he does well. Why? Partly because going fast at 2 is more of a US thing than a Euro thing. So, I look for a speedy, US-based runner in here, as well. 9-Four Wheel Drive2-Band Practice3-Encoder $1 MILLION JUVENILE TURFFriday - Race 6- 4:52PM ET While I favor US-based horses in the Juvy Turf Sprint, I’m looking for a Euro-based runner in the Juvenile Turf. Euros have won 9 of the last 12 editions and 7 of the last 8. At Santa Anita, the winner of this race has exited a race at Newmarket in 3 of the last 6 times. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won 4 of the last 8 and has had 2 runners in the exacta. Jockey Ryan Moore is 9: 4-1-0. So, that makes things easy: Find a Euro trained by Aidan O’Brian and ridden by Ryan Moor. 12 -Arizona2 – Peace Achieved3 -Hit the Road $2 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIESFriday - Race 7 - 5:32PM ET There have been some huge prices in this race at Santa Anita—3 of the last 5 times--$66.60, $125.40 and $69.20, in fact. Runners exiting the Frizette have done well in the last 2, 4 of the last 8 and 12 overall. 2- Two Sixty4- British Idiom7-Whicked Whisper $1 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES TURFFriday - Race 8 - 6:12PM ET Euros haven’t done as well with fillies in this race as they have with males in the other division. North American-based runners have won 9 of 11 and 4 of the last 6. Mostly that’s because trainer Chad Brown has scored in 5 of 11, including the last 3. Only 2 of 5 were favored. Albigna, a Euro, is the lukewarm favorite at 9-2 and Euro runners are 0 for 6 as favorites. Belmont’s Miss Grillo has produced 5 of 11 winners and 2 of the last 3. Put it all together and you got 13 Selflessly, winner of the Miss Grillo trained by Chad Brown. 13 – Selflessly7 -  Crystalle11 – Sharing $2 MILLION JUVENILEFriday - Race 9 - 7:03PM ET Favorites do well in this race and are 6 out of 6 in the exacta at Santa Anita. Trainer Bob Baffert is king of this country with 26 starts, 4 wins and 4 seconds. No pacesetter has been in the money since 2011. 1 – Dennis’ Moment6 – Eight Rings2 – Wrecking Crew $1 MILLION FILLY & MARE SPRINTSaturday - Race 4 - 2:55PM ET Favored Covfefe has so many strikes against her that it’s a wonder why she should even bother to show up. She’s 3 and that age has won 1 out of 34 of these. She’s a speed filly drawn on the rail. That means she’s got to go very fast early and that may leave little for the end. There’s a ton of other ‘speed’ fillies in the race and they will be more than happy to force the favorite to go faster than usual. Covfefe also ran a huge race last out at Keeneland and that might have been too big an investment for a 3-year-old filly. I’m looking forward to leaving her out of multi-race wagers and using some bombs in here. 9 – Spiced Perfection8 – Dawn the Destroyer4- Come Dancing $1 MILLION TURF SPRINTSaturday - Race 5 - 3:33PM ET This race’s history is clouded because 5 of 6 times it’s been run at Santa Anita it was over the unique downhill turf course at six and one-half furlongs. Saturday it will be five furlongs on flat turf around a bend. Of note: No exclusively overseas-based runner has been in the money and 7 of 11 versions have been won by a 5-year-old or older. 1 – Totally Boss7 – Leinster9 – Final Frontier $1 MILLION DIRT MILESaturday - Race 6 - 4:10PM ET This is an interesting race that includes the 2019 morning line Kentucky Derby favorite—Omaha Beach--and the actual starting choice -- Improbable. The former got lots of press for winning a Grade 1 Sprint in his comeback race off a 6-month layoff. The latter cuts back from troubled mile and one-eighth fourth in the PA.  To Omaha Beach or not, that is the question. Favorites have not done well in this race. Last 3 have been off the board and 9 of 12 have been out of the trifecta. Will Omaha Beach fire another big shot second off a layoff or react from his huge performance? Please Note: In 8 lifetime starts he’s never taken a backward step, according to Thoro-Graph speed figures—and that’s very rare. Bob Baffert has been crowing about how well Improbable has been training, but the colt has had gate issues in the past. 3-year-old Mr. Money has been exceedingly sharp until his last. Spun to Run romped at Parx. 5 – Omaha Beach 8/52 – Improbable 3-14 – Mr. Money 6-1 $2 MILLION FILLY & MARE TURFSaturday - Race 7 - 4:54PM ET Foreign-breds swept the top 6 finish spots last year and 16 of the last 24 trifecta placings the last 18 years. That eliminates four of 12 lined up. North American-based runners have held their own over Euros 12 – 8 and won 6 of the last 9. Belmont’s Flower Bowl has produced 6 winners and Keeneland’s First Lady 4. That’s half as many as all other venues. Inexplicably, world-class trainer Aiden O’Brien is 13 : 0 – 2- 2 in her and Cal-prepped fillies and mares are 0 for 44 with 5 in the money finishes. 2 – Sistercharlie 8/59 – Villa Marina 8-112 – Fanny Logan 15-1 $2 MILLION SPRINTSaturday - Race 8 - 5:36PM ET This may be the most loaded race I’ve ever seen. Seriously, this race has runners from top to bottom. Mitole is the 9-5 favorite, but there are three contenders listed at 4-1 odds. The win percentage for favorites in this race is 23%--lowest of any of the 7 original BC events. Shancelot is a speed burner, very fast. Mitole won’t be far behind and neither will be Imperial Hint. If they get crazy up front something wild could happen late. Imperial Hint is in his third BC Sprint and this one could be the charm. He drew outside of other speed horses and that’s a great place to be. 9 – Imperial Sky 4-14 – Mitole 9-51 – Catalina Cruiser 4-1 $2 MILLION MILESaturday - Race 9 - 6:20PM ET Always one of the most entertaining BC events, the Mile has been a great spot for females against males. This year, two fillies—Got Stormy and Uni—are in the spotlight as 7-2 co-second choices behind Euro invader Circus Maximus at 3-1. While those three clearly are the main contenders, no one would argue with a choice outside that box. For instance, 8-year-old Suedois is in solid form. El Tormenta, winner of the Woodbine Mile, is 12-1 and has a chance if he repeats that effort. 11 – Uni 7/28 – El Tormenta 12-16 – Got Stormy 7-2 $2 MILLION DISTAFFSaturday - Race 10 - 7:00PM ET If Midnight Bisou loses this race, I’ll be surprised. She’s fast, consistent and has enough speed to be close early. Might want to look at some price runners for underneath the 6/5 favorite and most logical winner of the entire Breeders’ Cup program. 4 – Midnight Bisou 6/56 – Wow Cat 15 - 18 – La Force  30-1 $4 MILLION TURFSaturday - Race 11 - 7:40PM ET Euros are bosses in here with 16 wins out of the last 20, 4 in a row and 5 of the last 7 at Santa Anita. 4 of the last 6 fillies have been in the money with 3 wins. Favorites are 1 for the last 9. Aden O’Brien has won 4 of the last 8, 3 of the last 7. No Cal-prepped runner has won since 2003 and the last in the money was in 2013. For more analysis of this race and a complete wagering strategy check out the Turf Xpressbet’s Free Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide. 10 - Old Persian 4-19 – Bricks and Mortar 9-55 – Anthony Van Dyck 3-1 $6 MILLION CLASSICSaturday - Race 12 - 8:44PM ET Am I the only horseplayer having difficulty finding a horse to like in the Classic? No, I’ve got plenty of company. The fastest horse with the best credentials is McKinzie. Trouble is I hated his last race, as he swished his tail through the stretch. Plus, a mile and one-quarter isn’t his favorite distance. The default play is Vino Rosso. Not only has he won here going a mile and one-quarter, but he gamely won his last race (before disqualification) and has trained well since. Higher Power has some cache because of his triumph at Del Mar one back, but nothing else he’s done fits. Code of Honor has backers, but he’s not even the best 3-year-old. That’s Maximun Security and he’s not in the race. War of Will, Preakness winner, should set the pace and adds blinkers. Great, a horse that pulls early is adding blinkers. That should make him nearly unmanageable. Yoshida always is around with good company and might get overlooked, but he seldom wins. Seeking the Soul also knocks, but seldom enters. Elate may be good at a mile and one-quarter, but two of her races at the distance were in the Delaware Handicap against short, overmatched fields. Mongolian Groom shocked everyone from here to Genghis Khan by winning the Awesome Again. A win here would do the same, but he won’t need to do much more than he did last time. 10 – Vino Rosso 4-18 – McKinzie 3-15 – Yoshida 8-1 Race On!

Read Article
10.31.2019:

Teeing it up for the Pick 5 on Breeders' Cup Saturday

The Filly and Mare Sprint and Turf Sprint are two Breeders’ Cup throwdowns that are part of the opening Pick 5 at Santa Anita on Saturday, and you have to feel your way through three good undercard stakes races before you even get to the beginning of the main block of races.The Breeders’ Cup races on Saturday run from races goes from races 4-12, and the first three on the card give an opportunity to get the day off to a profitable start.Here’s a look at the Pick 5 races:1st (Senator Ken Maddy S.)The argument can be made for the all button in the opener, but with good balance throughout the sequence, it necessitates some difficult exclusions on the ticket. The slight edge goes to morning line favorite Just Grazed Me, who seeks her third straight in and fourth in her last five. She comes off a win in the California Distaff for state-breds.Apache Princess and Escapade are also on the ticket. Again, whittling down in the first makes it possible to have a ticket that doesn’t soar into the hundreds or even thousands. It adds up in a hurry. The suggested ticket here is $90 with only three in the opener.2nd (Damascus S.)This is where you take your shot with a lower number. Roadster and Flagstaff will battle for favoritism and ultimately should battle down to the end.While Roadster didn’t pan out in the Triple Crown series (16th in the Kentucky Derby), he’s been impressive over the Santa Anita strip, where he won an optional claiming race and then took the G1 Santa Anita Derby and he most recently was second to Mucho Gusto in the G3 Affirmed. He’s 3 facing older horses but has a rather significant class edge.Flagstaff is actually the slight favorite over Roadster. He was third behind Omaha Beach in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship and this late bloomer clearly has talent and will bring his best.3rd (Twilight Derby)Like the first race, this one could go many different ways, and the suggested ticket has five runner on it: Originaire, Nolde, Succeedandsurpass, Neptune’s Storm and Gray Magician. The 7-2 odds on morning line odds on favored Nolde says something about this lineup. There aren’t many toss-outs and this has more than any on the ticket.Nolde won the G2 Del Mar Derby last out and has won three of four turf races. He just plain likes running on the greensward and is a nose away from being unbeaten on it. Plenty of contenders in this one will have decent odds and are in good form. With the evenness of the field, there are many legit reasons to shop around.Originaire is as intriguing as any. He is much-improved over his last three and in two races back lost to Nolde by just a neck in the Del Mar Derby. He recently adopted a closing style and it has paid off.4th (BC Filly & Mare Sprint)Covfefe, Come Dancing and Bellafina are on the ticket in the 4th, and a strong case can be made for each.Covfefe and Come Dancing are the obvious inclusions based on the many triumphs they’ve have this year, but hometown heroine Bellafina has won all four of her attempts over this strip. She’s been running longer distances this year but is a graded winner at six furlongs and might be overlooked.5th (BC Turf Sprint)This is another that you could find reasons for almost all of them, but this is whittled down to two on this ticket: Pure Sensation and Eddie Haskell.Pure Sensation is 8 years old and is having one of his better years despite only five starts. He won the G3 Turf Monster at Parx in his latest and has three others wins and a third to his credit for the year. He has had his post-race picture taken 14 times.Eddie Haskell is a Cal-bred and just doesn’t run any bad ones. Most of his races have been in open company and was a fast-closing second to Pee Wee Reese in the G2 Eddie D. Familiarity with this setting and current form give this local hero a chance. Here’s the suggested play for the early Pick 5 Saturday at Santa Anita:1) #4 Just Grazed Me, #5 Apache Princess, #9 Escapade.2) #3 Roadster, #4 Flagstaff.3) #1 Originaire, #3 Nolde, #5 Succeedandsurpass, #8 Neptune’s Storm, #10 Gray Magician.4) #1 Covfefe, #4 Come Dancing, #6 Bellafina.5) #2 Pure Sensation, #10 Eddie Haskell.50-cent Pick 5 ticket: 4-5-9 with 3-4 with 1-3-5-8-10 with 1-4-6 with 2-10 ($90).

Read Article
10.31.2019:

Thursday, October 31: Santa Anita 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 1:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 5-Smooth Like Strait; 9-Phast PharoahForecast: The Thursday opener in an abbreviated turf sprint for maiden two-year-olds that should set up nicely for a stalker or a closer. Phast Pharoah was wiped out in the upper stretch and had no chance when far back in a grass miler last time out. The son of American Pharoah turns back to a sprint in a field with some suspect early speed in the field, so if given the patient ride he prefers the J. Bonde-trained colt may get up in time. Smooth Like Strait, a solid third in a similar spot earlier this month, seems likely to continue his improving pattern and projects to enjoy an ideal second-flight, stalking trip. We’ll prefer Phast Pharoah on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+Single: 2-SaralinForecast: Saralin brought $1.3 million in the Fasig-Tipton March 2-year-old in training sale and has done everything like a high quality prospect leading up to her debut for a barn that has superior stats with first-time starters. The daughter of Curlin acts like a route type (she’s certainly bred to be) so it’s not surprising that she’s making her first start over a distance of ground. Though it’s never easy to win first crack out of the box in a two-turn event, this filly seems capable of doing just that. Let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-Include the Tax; 7-Governor CinchForecast: Govenor Cinch was nosed out while almost four lengths clear of the rest when facing a similar maiden $50,000 field of two-year-olds earlier this month, earning a nice speed figure in the process, and won’t have to improve much at all to graduate today. Today’s extra furlong shouldn’t be an issue for the T. Yakteen-trained colt, who projects to settle in behind the leaders and then have every chance when it matters in the lane. Include the Tax drops from straight maiden state-bred company into a logical spot and the late-running M. McCarthy-trained colt should have the perfect style for this seven furlong dash. He’s considerably slower on speed figures than ‘Cinch, but with a forward move might make a race of it. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Governor Cinch.RACE 4: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Vastly Deep; 3-Absolute WeaponForecast: Absolute Weapon was overmatched in the Speakeasy Stakes when never a threat in in that five furlong turf sprint but this starter optional claimer is a much more logical spot for the son of Oxbow, who stretches out to a distance he’s bred for while returning to the main track. A. Cedillo stays aboard and should have him on or near the lead throughout. Vastly Deep, a solid third in a similar affair sprinting earlier this month, stretches out for the first time and has a pedigree should allow him to handle the trip. On pure numbers he’s a legitimate threat. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics and then press with extra tickets keying Absolute Weapon.RACE 5: Post 3:10 PT. Grade: BUse: 5-Tig Tog; 6-Candy SwirlsForecast: This $32,000 grass miler is restricted to fillies and mares that have not won a race in 2019, so if it looks like it came up soft, it did. Tig Tog, now in the J. Sadler barn, returns to her claim level in her first outing since early August and lands J. Rosario, so we’re expecting a top effort, though with a lifetime record of one-for-18 she’s hardly one to trust. The Irish-bred filly has no tactical speed but should be running on late and off her best effort looks good enough to wear down the speed types. Candy Swirls, freshened since late July, is a two-time winner over the local lawn but is a need the lead type so those tactics likely will be employed by the always-potent Spawr/Pereira combo. If she clears without pressure against this group, the daughter of Twirling Candy could get very brave. We’ll give Tig Tog a slight edge on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 6: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: B+Single: 1- K P Cats WildForecast: K P Cats Wild lost position and pretty much all chance when breaking slowly and then being forced to steady at the gap in a recent six furlong maiden $50,000 sprint but she did flash ability in her debut when claimed for $32,000 and returns to that level today while stretching out to a mile, a distance she’s certainly bred to enjoy. From the rail and with A. Cedillo riding her back, the daughter of Tale of the Cat is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip and then have her chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. The barn has good stats with the sprint-to-route angle, another plus. Let’s make her a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 7: Post 4:10 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Saving Sophie; 5-AmataraForecast: Saving Sophie is improving with racing and should stretch out nicely for R. Ellis in this maiden special weight main track miler for fillies and mares. The daughter of Creative Cause finished with interest when a strong second while almost four clear of the rest in a solid sprint three weeks ago and shows a nice, easy half mile breeze since that race while retaining D. Van Dyke. We’re expecting her to produce the last run. Amatara is faster on pure numbers than Saving Sophie but tossed in a clunker when a well-beaten fourth at 30 cents on a dollar in a maiden affair at Los Alamitos last month. She did earn a big figure two runs back when second sprinting at Del Mar and today picks up F. Prat, so she could easily return to her best form today. We’ll prefer Saving Sophie on top but use both in our rolling exotics.RACE 8: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Double Touch; 6-Ritzy A. P.; 8-Ronald RForecast: This overnight stakes for older turf milers looks deep and competitive, so we’ll spread going three-deep while preferring Double Touch on top. The English-bred remains protected by J. Sadler in his second-off-the-claim (for $40,000) in a sign of confidence, and we expect the veteran gelding is primed for a top effort. A closing fourth in the Eddie S. S.-G2 last month, he’s facing an easier bunch today while stretching out to his preferred trip, so with good racing luck he should be capable of producing the last run under Johnny V. Ritzy A. P. doesn’t win very often but he usually gets at least a piece of it and is exiting a series of tougher Grade 3 events at longer trips. He’s more than capable at this mile trip at this level and switches to F. Prat, who has gotten good run out of him in the past. Ronald R has been sparingly raced this year but is a perfect two-for-two since returning off a long layoff for R. Ellis, most recently wearing down subsequent stakes winner Cleopatra’s Strike in a good race at Del Mar. He’s winless in four prior outings of the local lawn but could easily be a much better type now.RACE 9: Post 5:10 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Busy Paynter; 3-Coilette; 5-Tribal DanceForecast: The finale is a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claiming sprint for fillies and mares that appears to have three main players. Busy Paynter takes a sharp drop in class while seeking her proper level and may have found it based on the speed figure she earned when breaking her maiden at Los Alamitos two races back. The rail is no bargain but if the B. Koriner-trained filly comes out cleanly she could find herself on or near the lead throughout. Coilette exits a live race when second in a $16,000 seller three weeks ago and probably won’t need to improve much at all to be right there throughout. Tribal Dance drops to her lowest level ever and the lightly-raced daughter of Tribal Rule, in her second start off a long layoff and switching to A. Cedillo, seems very likely to produce a forward move. She broke her maiden with a stalking trip way back in December of 2017 and has a right to approach that form for the solid M. Glatt barn.

Read Article
10.31.2019:

Thursday, October 31: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE1-DrasarioSept. 28, 20194f, :49.2h TTGrade: CBlinkers on, ridden through the lane to be even but second best inside Super Patriot (same time, not asked much). Needs a class drop.8-NineeleventurboOct. 10, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: B-Worked inside Drysdale barn mate Winners Club (same time) and responded to coaxing in the final furlong to edge clear late, final three furlongs in :37.3. More Than Ready juvenile colt has bit of run, getting fit.NineeleventurboSept. 12, 20194f, :49.4hGrade: CBlinkers, shadow roll, second best with Drysdale barn mate Winners Club (same time), under pressure outside through the lane while finishing a half-length back at the wire. More Than Ready colt brought $300,000 as a weanling, needs to show more.SECOND RACE2-SaralinOct. 13, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: B+Liked this work, as she broke off a couple of lengths behind Antigone (5f, 1:01.3h) and cruised on by without a drop of ask, plenty left late, easy early in :13 flat, :25 flat, and :36.3 before breezing through the lane to be more than a length clear at the wire. Curlin juvenile filly brought $1.3 million as a yearling, getting fit, certainly not a sprint type but is a very exciting prospect for Callaghan.2-SaralinSept. 23, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: B-$1.3 million 2-year-old filly by Curlin went off slowly, was asked into the lane and was ridden out to the wire, splits of :13.1, :26 flat, 37.3 and 1:01.4 on our watches. Not a quick type but is getting fit for Callaghan, acts like a filly being trained to run long right off the bat.3-AntigoneOct. 20, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: BA tad the best inside Loafers Boy (same time), light coaxing only, splits of :24 flat and :49.2 for the final half mile. Looks okay, may be capable of improving her last outing.AntigoneOct. 13, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: B-Broke off a couple of lengths in front of Saralin (5f, 1:01.1h) and was out finished by that one in the final stages, not really asked while finishing mostly on her own. Okay work under the circumstances, disappointed last trip after showing promise at Del Mar.FIFTH RACE5-Tig TogSept. 8, 20194f, :48.1hGrade: B-Maintains her form while under light urging most of the way, final quarter in :25 flat. In good shape and should make the entries soon for new connections.5-Tig TogSept. 2, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: B-Now in the Sadler barn following a $32,000 claim, not asked in smooth drill, final three furlongs 11.4 and 36.3. Probably has some room to improve, seeking another restricted turf claimer.SEVENTH RACE5-AmataraOct. 17, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: BWent fairly easily throughout while a tad the best over Liar Liar (same time), final half mile in :24.2 and :49.2, solid drill. Probably can improve her last try but will have after failing at odds-on.5-AmataraOct. 10, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: B-Easy early, asked in the late stages and responded well enough, splits of :12 flat, :24 flat, :36.3 and 1:01.3 for Baltas. Burned money at Los Alamitos, looks good but may be a hard one to trust.EIGHTH RACE8-Ronald R-IreOct. 19, 20196f, 1:15.2hgGrade: C+Worked from gate with Magic Rate (5f, 1:02.4hg) and did okay for turf router, slow early and moderate late, splits of :25.4, :49.4 and 1:15.4 on our watches, mild coaxing in the final furlong while appearing willing enough. Sparingly raced but got good over the summer. May have his problems but should return soon and can fire fresh.NINTH RACE1-Busy PaynterOct. 18, 20194f, :48.1hGrade: B-Not really asked much, splits of :23.2 and :48.1 looking reasonably well. May be worth some consideration with a class drop.

Read Article
10.31.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: Friday’s Early Santa Anita Pk5 Play

Let’s step away from the Stronach 5 for a week, since all eyes will be on Santa Anita and this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup, and take a look at the early Pk5 sequence on the Friday card, which has a 50-cent base minimum, a low takeout, encompasses races 1-5, and ends with the first Breeders’ Cup race of the weekend, the Juvenile Turf Sprint. Please note the earlier post times as well. *** 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 (1:45 ET): GII Marathon for 3&up at 1 3/4 miles (1:45 ET) We have an overwhelming favorite in #5 CAMPAIGN (4-5), who has excelled in these dirt marathons and beat his main rival, #1 ITSINTHEPOST (5-2), comfortably three-back in Del Mar’s GIII Cougar II at 1 1/2 miles, however, I’m going to try and see if the latter can post the mild surprise. The reason is two-fold; first, Itsinthepost has a lot more tactical speed than Campaign and will get first run, and second, the Cougar II was his first dirt start in ages and only second lifetime, so I would think he’ll get a lot out of it and can cut into the 1 1/2-length gap, at what will be a better price too. Campaign is clearly the one to beat and a logical single if you’re on a budget, but his lack of speed is a bit of a worry, and I see no reason he can improve off his form, as he basically runs the same race every time. Pk5 A horses: 1,5 (listed in order of preference) It’s tough to see anyone else upsetting the top pair, especially since the other four all want to be involved up front to some degree. If #2 American Tattoo (4-1) can settle a bit he’ll have a chance, but his only two competitive races in the US have been over off tracks when he’s pressing the pace, and the former isn’t in play here and the latter seems a recipe for disaster, so I’ll leave it in the hands of the two favorites and call it a day. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 2 (2:20 ET): – 3upfm AOC (40k/N1X) at 1-mile (turf) This one looks like a spread, as there are a lot that seem within a length or two of each other, but there also looks like there’s going to be an aggressive pace, so I’ll tier my plays that way. Both #2 QUERELLE (15-1) and #10 AN EDDIE SQUARE (8-1) fit the profile, and they ran 4th and 3rd, respectively, in the same race last time but I’ll side with the former, as she’ll be a better price and drew much better as well. The outside draw will help #9 HEATHERS GRAY (7-2), who wants to be involved but may be able to settle a bit, but she does rise in class, so tread lightly. I’ll also use #8 ZUZANNA (5-1), since she was facing better in Kentucky in her last two and will be rolling late also. Pk5 A horses: 2,10,9,8 I’ll have two underneath—#4 OPUS WON (8-1) and #3 KOOKIE GIRL (10-1)—since the former still has upside and the latter might be the best of the speed, but neither are close to the top line, so play accordingly. If the money shows in the double on #11 Tiger Silk (8-1) you might want to include her, but Mandella is a combined 0-for-26 with first-time imports, Lasix, and in his barn, so you probably want to watch one first. Pk5 B horses: 4,3 Leg 3 (2:55 ET): – Golden State Juvenile Fillies for Cal-bred 2-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs It looks like we have a standout in #11 BEEN STUDYING HER (5-2), who was 9-2 in the GI Chandelier and ran well to 4th, and beat Cal-bred stakes foes at Del Mar two-back, and seemingly meets a modest crew filled with speed, which will only flatter her stalking style, so she’s a single for me. Pk5 A horses: 11 I’ll use a few prices underneath—#9 CHOLULA LIPS (12-1) and #12 SMILING SHIRLEE (8-1)—since both have shown they can settle and pass horses, though if you’re on a really tight budget you could do worse than singling ‘Her. I don’t want a short price on #8 Bulletproof One (3-1), especially since she bombed at odds-on behind ‘Her at Del Mar and might get fried on the pace here, so she can beat me if she feels like rebounding. (Please note that, to keep the cost of the backup ticket down, I’ll only be using my top two choices, #9 Four Wheel Drive and #10 A’Ali, in the final leg). Pk5 B horses: 9,12 Leg 4 (3:32 ET) – Golden State Juvenile Cal-bred 2-year-olds at 7 furlongs The brother race to the Juvenile Fillies looks a bit tougher so I’ll use four on the top line—#8 GREAT ULYSSES (8-1), who has faced open foes in the Midwest for Cox, #7 CHIPPER (8-1), a troubled 2nd on debut, #11 SQUARE DEAL (7-2), a two-time Cal-bred stakes winner, and #2 CALI DUDE (4-1), who beat Chipper on debut and but looks like an underlay as the inside speed. Pk5 A horses: 8,7,11,2 There’s a lot of speed here, which means #4 DAPPER (12-1) could be a player late, as he’s shown a rating gear and should like getting out of the shadow of Raging Whiskey, who he was 2nd to last time in a state-bred stakes, while well clear of 3rd. Pk5 B horses: 4 Leg 5 (4:12 ET) – GII Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for 2yos at 5 furlongs (turf) I don’t have a strong opinion here, other than I don’t think the favorites have to win, so I’m going to spread deep, which is easily doable with a single earlier in the sequence and a 50-cent base wager. My top pick is #9 FOUR WHEEL DRIVE (3-1), who was sharp winning at Belmont, but Euros #10 A’ ALI (6-1) and longshot #11 KING NEPTUNE (15-1) both intrigue and will offer more value. I have no knocks on #7 KIMARI (7-2), though I think she’ll be overbet and meets way tougher than who she beat at Keeneland, while #1 CHIMNEY ROCK (10-1), #12 CAMBRIA (12-1), and #5 ENCODER (15-1) will all be closing and (Please note that, to keep the cost of the backup ticket down, I’ll only be using 9,10,11,7 on the other two backup tickets). Pk5 A horses: 9,10,11,7,1,12,5 Euros #2 BAND PRACTICE (12-1), #8 DR SIMPSON (15-1), #4 DREAM SHOT (15-1), and #6 ALLIGATOR ALLEY (12-1) all appear to have talent and have been group tested overseas, though I worry the faster pace they’ll see here will be tough to adjust to, so I’ll use them underneath. Finally, should #3 Another Miracle (15-1) for an ice cold Gary Contessa barn beat me, welllllllll, so be it. Pk5 B horses: 2,8,4,6 The tickets: Main Ticket: 1,5 with 2,10,9,8 with 11 with 8,7,11,2 with 9,10,11,7,1,12,5 = $112Leg 2 B Backup: 1,5 with 4,3 with 11 with 8,7,11,2 with 9,10,11,7 = $32Leg 3 B Backup: 1,5 with 2,10,9,8 with 9,12 with 8,7,11,2 with 9,10 = $64Leg 4 B Backup: 1,5 with 2,10,9,8 with 11 with 4 with 9,10,11,7 = $16Leg 5 B Backup: 1,5 with 2,10,9,8 with 11 with 8,7,11,2 with 2,8,4,6 = $64

Read Article
10.30.2019:

Jon White's 2019 Breeders' Cup Picks

Here are my picks for all 14 Breeders' Cup races this Friday and Saturday, November 1 & 2, at historic Santa Anita Park.  $1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF SPRINTFriday - Race 5- 4:12PM ET1. FOUR WHEEL DRIVE (3-1 on the morning line): Ward-trained colt has won by daylight both starts2. KIMARI (7-2): Ward-trained filly is 3 for 3 in United States3. A’ALI (6-1): Euro youngster is 3 for 3 when ridden by DettoriNice-price danger: CHIMNEY ROCK (10-1): Son of BC Mile winner Artie Schiller$1 MILLION JUVENILE TURF Friday - Race 6- 4:52PM ET 1. ARIZONA (5-2): Will appreciate not facing Pinatubo this time2. DECORATED INVADER (4-1): Won Woodbine's Summer, but trainer 0 for 36 in BC3. STRUCTOR (5-1): Logical contender off Grade III Pilgrim triumph Nice-price danger: ANDESITE (12-1): Narrow loss in Pilgrim at 10-1; Rosario a plus$2 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES Friday - Race 7 - 5:32PM ET 1. DONNA VELOCE (3-1): Her debut was a jaw-dropper; now goes longer2. BRITISH IDIOM (7-2): Dominant 6 1/2-length win in Alcibiades3. WICKED WHISPER (7-2): Contender following Frizette triumphNice-price danger: COMICAL (10-1): Tried hard in narrow Chandelier defeat$1 MILLION JUVENILE FILLIES TURF Friday - Race 8 - 6:12PM ET1. CRYSTALLE (8-1): Miss Grillo runner-up choice in wide-open affair2. ALBIGNA (9-2): Warrants respect following Group I win in France3. DAAHYEH (5-1): European shipper first or second in all five startsNice-price danger: SHADN (8-1): Looks capable of making noise against these$2 MILLION JUVENILE Friday - Race 9 - 7:03PM ET 1. DENNIS’ MOMENT (8-5): He’s displayed brilliance in a.m. and p.m.2. EIGHT RINGS (2-1): Big Santa Anita win after Del Mar debacle3. SCABBARD (8-1): Fine try vs. top pick in Churchill’s IroquoisNice-price danger: ANNEAU D’OR (15-1): Romped on Golden Gate turf; bred to like dirt$1 MILLION FILLY & MARE SPRINT Saturday - Race 4 - 2:55PM ET1. COVFEFE (2-1): Should win if runs best; must deal with inside post2. COME DANCING (5-2): Only 2019 defeat came against Midnight Bisou3. SPICED PERFECTION (4-1): Won at Keeneland despite stumbling at startNice-price danger: BELLAFINA (6-1): 6-1-ish odds + 4 for 4 on SA oval = bargain?$1 MILLION TURF SPRINT Saturday - Race 5 - 3:33PM ET 1. EDDIE HASKELL (9-2): Consistent Cal-bred gets the slightest of nods2. PURE SENSATION (5-1): Venerable 8-year-old warrior in good form3. TOTALLY BOSS (5-1): Totally a tough dude (5 starts, 4 wins in 2019)Nice-price danger: BELVOIR BAY (12-1): Dandy record on SA turf (9 starts, 6 wins)$1 MILLION DIRT MILE Saturday - Race 6 - 4:10PM ET1. OMAHA BEACH (8-5): This is one very talented equine athlete2. IMPROBABLE (3-1): Gets revenge for Arkansas Derby defeat?3. SPUN TO RUN (6-1): Trounced Parx foes and earned 110 BeyerNice-price danger: DIAMOND OOPS (15-1): Pulls off upset at juicy price for shrewd trainer?$2 MILLION FILLY & MARE TURF Saturday - Race 7 - 4:54PM ET 1. SISTERCHARLIE (8-5): Appears ready to make it 7 straight Grade I wins2. VASILIKA (8-1): Epic $40,000 claim is 11 for 12 on SA lawn3. FLEETING (6-1): Nightmarish trips lately; big threat if avoids troubleNice-price danger: FANNY LOGAN (15-1): Terrific jockey & trainer team (Dettori & Gosden)$2 MILLION SPRINTSaturday - Race 8 - 5:36PM ET 1. MITOLE (9-5): Scintillating Oct. 22 workout by this win machine2. CATALINA CRUISER (4-1): Lone loss in 8 career starts in 2018 BC Dirt Mile3. IMPERIAL HINT (4-1): Another BC Sprint try (ran 2nd in 2017, 3rd in 2018)Nice-price danger: WHITMORE (15-1): Could benefit from rapid pace; has big-money rider$2 MILLION MILE Saturday - Race 9 - 6:20PM ET 1. CIRCUS MAXIMUS (3-1): A Group I winner in England & France this year2. UNI (7-2): Ability to rocket home can be breathtaking3. GOT STORMY (7-2): Wonderful filly for trainer of mighty TepinNice-price danger: TRUE VALOUR (20-1): Won at 11-1, then 16-1; posts another upset?$2 MILLION DISTAFF Saturday - Race 10 - 7:00PM ET 1. MIDNIGHT BISOU (6-5): Completes perfect 8-for-8 campaign in 2019?2. PARADISE WOODS (5-1): Inconsistent mare could win if runs her best3. DUNBAR ROAD (6-1): Not on best part of track in Spinster defeatNice-price danger: SERENGETI EMPRESS (12-1): Steals race on front end a la Kentucky Oaks?Note: Midnight Bisou is my most probable winner at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. My most probable winner has won at 12 of the 15 last Breeders’ Cups. These are my most probable Breeders’ Cup winners going back to 2004:2018 Newspaperofrecord in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (won)2017 Bolt d’Oro in the Juvenile (finished third)2016 Dortmund in the Dirt Mile (finished fourth)2015 Songbird in the Juvenile Fillies (won)2014 Goldencents in the Dirt Mile (won)2013 Wise Dan in the Mile (won)2012 Groupie Doll in the Filly & Mare Sprint (won)2011 Goldikova in the Mile (won)2010 Goldikova in the Mile (won)2009 Zenyatta in the Classic (won)2008 Zenyatta in the Ladies’ Classic (won)2007 Midnight Lute in the Sprint (won)2006 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won)2005 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (finished second)2004 Ouija Board in the Filly & Mare Turf (won)$4 MILLION TURF Saturday - Race 11 - 7:40PM ET 1. BRICKS AND MORTAR (9-5): Going downhill early helps him win at 1 1/2 miles?2. ANTHONY VAN DYCK (3-1): Won the 240th running of the prestigious Epsom Derby3. OLD PERSIAN (4-1): Rallied to win 1 1/2-mile Native Dancer in CanadaNice-price danger: ZULU ALPHA (20-1): Maker one of the best at upsets in big races$6 MILLION CLASSIC Saturday - Race 12 - 8:44PM ET 1. VINO ROSSO (4-1): Won Gold Cup in May and might be even better now2. MCKINZIE (3-1): Does my top 2018 BC Classic pick win it this year?3. HIGHER POWER (6-1): Probably wins if duplicates Pacific Classic effortNice-price danger: SEEKING THE SOUL (20-1): See comment for Zula Alpha in BC Turf and replace 'Maker' with 'Stewart'

Read Article
10.30.2019:

Eddie Olczyk’s 2019 Breeders’ Cup Horses to Watch

With more than 160 horses entered in 14 Championship races across two phenomenal days of racing, handicapping and betting, there really is something for everyone at the Breeders’ Cup.  I’ve scoured the Friday and Saturday cards and identified a handful of horses that have the potential to jump up and make your day. Check them out and be sure to bet them with my friends at Xpressbet.    Looking for even more picks and analysis?  You know where to find me on Friday and Saturday.  Watch the Breeders’ Cup broadcast Friday on NBCSN (4:00PM ET – 8:00PM ET) and on Saturday on NBCSN (3:30PM ET – 8:00PM ET) and NBC (8:00PM ET – 9:00PM ET).  Here are the horses I like:Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Saturday, Race 5; 3:33PM ET)#7 Leinstar (8/1)This is a significant step up in class for him, but his stalking/midpack style suits perfectly for this race and he seems to have ‘won’ at the draw, nabbing post #7.  There seems to be plenty of speed drawn to his inside (Shekky Shebaz, Pure Sensation) that a cozy stalking trip isn’t out of the question.  Plus, all of his best races came in these short turf dashes, so the five furlong distance should be right up his alley.  Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Saturday, Race 6, 4:10PM ET) #5 Omaha Beach (8/5) and #9 Diamond Oops (15/1) Let’s establish that Omaha Beach is the one to beat in the Dirt Mile, especially with his tactical speed and his ability to run from anywhere in the field.  That will come in handy because, on paper, there is plenty of speed in this race.  Diamond Oops is another horse to keep an eye on.  He ran huge sprinting around one-turn in the G1 Vanderbilt at Saratoga on July 27 and then just as big around two-turns in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile on grass at Keeneland on October 5.  Now he's racing two-turns on dirt for the first time and I think this is his preferred surface.  He should be able to follow Coal Front out of the gate, save ground around the first turn and make one big run.  With all of the money going to Omaha Beach and Improbable, you have to think this horse can hit the board at every bit of his ML price, 15/1.  Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Saturday, Race 7, 4:54PM ET) #3 Fleeting (IRE) (6/1)  She’s winless this year (0-for-8) and was beaten 6-lengths by Sistercharlie when they squared off in the G1 Beverly D at Arlington Park in August.  Those two statements alone should ensure there is value galore on this filly on Saturday.  But hey, there are worse places to go for value than the all-world trainer/jockey combo of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.  Plus, I thought Fleeting endured some traffic in the Beverly D and her recent races in France and Great Britain have been solid.  She was beaten by super filly Star Catcher four times this year, but good news…that one skipped the Breeders’ Cup.  Breeders’ Cup Classic (Saturday, Race 12, 8:44PM ET) #10 Vino Rosso (4/1)Like a fine wine, Vino Rosso continues to get better with age.  He has run the best three races of his career in his last three starts and one of those was a victory in the G1 Santa Anita Gold Cup over this track and distance.  His outside draw is perfect and it should allow Irad Ortiz a clean trip.  His latest workout, going 4F at Belmont on October 25 (watch here, courtesy of XBTV), was stellar and tells all systems are ‘go’ here.    That covers it for the Breeders’ Cup.  Enjoy the races and best of luck with all of your bets!

Read Article
10.28.2019:

Breeders' Cup Pivots Since Pre-Entry

As we await post position assignments later today, Breeders’ Cup Monday pivots into race-week mode. The important workouts are done, the divisional decisions made and we’ve had some seismic shifts since the pre-entries were announced a week ago. Magical being out of the Breeders’ Cup Turf (or Filly & Mare Turf) due to a fever absolutely solidifies Chad Brown’s hand with the likes of Bricks and Mortar and Sistercharlie in those divisions. Pick six players now have 2 prohibitive American favorites in which to back in the sequence, whereas Races 7 and 11 are now decidedly clearer. Magical’s defection also weakens the Aidan O’Brien stack that already looked a bit softer than usual for the Breeders’ Cup. O’Brien also will be without Turf Sprint pre-entrants Fairyland and So Perfect, which means more to the Americans in that dash than you might think. Blazing speedster Shekky Shebaz adds much pace where the Europeans likely would not have. If you were handicapping for a front-running speed horse, things have gotten tougher. American Theorem has been declared from the Juvenile. While that doesn’t impact the big three favorites – Eight Rings, Dennis’ Moment and Maxfield – it’s a blow to the exotics. This field had no alternates and will go short of maximum, reducing the potential trifecta and superfecta payouts. In a race where it appears the big 3 almost have to have a 1-2 presence, landing value on the Juvenile has gotten tougher. The value here will come in multi-race bets if you can define your opinion on 1 of the big 3 and allow others to over-spend on triple-cost tickets. And with the Juvenile Fillies already well under max in its lineup, intra-race exotics players are low on Friday options and may be best-served to wait for Saturday in those pools. The unfortunate catastrophic breakdown in England of Line of Duty has caused a void in the Mile that also includes the fact that cross-entered Bricks and Mortar won’t be here, but rather the Turf as expected. Without an A-list European or American male in the lineup, Uni and Get Stormy likely will be favorites in their battle vs. the boys. But history says don’t dismiss the ladies; 9 females have won the Mile, most of any open division, most recently Tepin in 2015. And it could mean O’Brien finally gets his first Mile win with Circus Maximus. He’s 0-23 here with 4 runner-ups in an unfathomable figure.

Read Article
10.28.2019:

Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park has a 12-race card scheduled with the features being a pair of Harvest Series Finals. The Early Pick 4 sequence contains the headliners and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 44-Unprecedented (3-1)-Makes 3rd start for new barn, chased a tough winner in last and now McClure should have him in play sooner.6-Toxicity (4-1)-Chased the same winner as #4 last week and raced big. Now makes 2nd start on Lasix and should be a major player.Race 51-Wiggle Delight (8-1)-Drew-off in last and won by open lengths. Now we will find out if last week's effort can be repeated. I don't think it will be as easy but from this post will respect chances for an encore.4-Beach Sports (9/2)-Makes 3rd start off the bench and last two were sharp efforts. McNair may get off the gate and put in play sooner from this post.6-Better Days Ahead (5-1)-McClure takes a spin as Henry chooses #10. This filly could win with the right trip and from this post will take a swing for a square price.Race 62-Trina (6-1)-This gal raced well in last after breaking stride and being off 19-days. Can race near the top of the stack and could get a 2-hole trip behind #3 and use a well-timed move to pop at a nice price.3-Goddess De Vie (5/2)-Looks like the one to beat if minds manners, has a good resume versus others in this field.Race 71-Salutation (8-1)-Last effort was good after returning from the Red Mile, has been facing tough company and will use here.2-Erikas Shadow (6-1)-Has been closing in sub :27 final quarters and this is 3rd time McClure. Pace could be solid and may not be as far back from this post.3-Audi Bayama (8-1)-Has been racing well at FlmD and likes to win, could carry speed on the big track and surprise.7-Fresh Eyes (9/2)-Has been racing well at Lon and is no stranger to a big oval. Shows a 1:53 mark at Haw and may enjoy the company.8-Cafe Society (7/2)-Can get off the gate to get a good seat and has held her own versus older. Could take a picture if Hudon works a good trip.0.20 Early Pick 44,6/1,4,6/2,3/1,2,3,7,8Total Bet=$12Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.27.2019:

Friday, October 27: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Tonight, Northfield Park has an Early and Late Pick 4 sequences with $10,000 guaranteed pools. The $1 Late Pick 4 begins in Race 9 and will be my focus.The driver with the hottest hands at Nfld on Saturday was Aaron Merriman who had five wins. The leading conditioner wasJessica Roegner with two trips to the winner's circle.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 93-Ideal Dragon (5/2)-Gets post relief and has been competitive when staring from the inside.4-Best Choice (9/2)-Has had issues but now comes back in one week and last was better. Makes 2nd start for new barn and maybe Lasix is finally helping.7-Flying Shekel (2-1)-Makes 4th start for new barn and now Wrenn takes a seat, could be sitting on a big try.Race 101-Crazy K (7-1)-8-time winner in '18 is winless in 8 starts but gets needed post relief. Could be put in play from this post and pop at a square price.4-Toneka (3-1)-Makes 5th start of the year and is looking for first win. But has been working hard and will respect chances.7-Janet Hanover (9/2)-Has been bet down to 1/5 in last two starts, won and then broke. Fits here and looks like a major player in 3rd start for new barn.Race 111-Twin B Stingray (5/2)-Drops in 3rd start off the bench and this looks like a spot to get an overdue win.9-McKinley (2-1)-Showed improvement when dropped to this level in last. Post is a challenge but twice beaten favorite has gate speed to be put in play.Race 123-The Big Bay Wolf (7/5)-Merriman's choice is very consistent at this class if minds manners. Will take a swing the journey is smooth.$1 Late Pick 4 Race 9) 3,4,7 Race 10) 1,4,7 Race 11) 1,9 Race 12) 3 Total Ticket Cost) $18 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.27.2019:

Sunday, October 27: Santa Anita 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 12:30 PT. Grade: XSingle: 1-Incredibly LuckyForecast: It’s hard to get past Incredibly Lucky in this restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming sprint for fillies and mares. Second in a similar spot earlier this month when well clear of the others while earning a career top speed figure, the W. Spawr-trained filly is lightly-raced with further improvement in her and needs only to avoid trouble from the rail to handle this task. At 8/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, she’s a rolling exotic single in a race that we’ll otherwise pass.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Y Not Sizzle; 3-Dulverton DarlingForecast: Dulverton Darling acts like she’ll enjoy nine furlongs and gets her first chance at this longer trip in a soft maiden claimer for $50,000 fillies and mares. A repeat of her last race – a closing third at a mile without much help up front, probably will be good enough to beat this group, Y Not Sizzle shows up in a claimer for the first time and should appreciate the class drop. She’s guaranteed a ground-saving trip from her rail draw and seems likely to settle in behind the leaders and then have every chance from the top of the lane to the wire. Both should be used in rolling exotic play with slight preference on top to Dulverton Darling.RACE 3: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: B+Single: 5-AubergeForecast: Auberge has trained like she’s fit and ready for B. Baffert and this barn’s win percentage with debut runners this year (41%) has been nothing short of spectacular. The daughter of Palace brought $570,000 at the Timonium May sale and has done everything right in the morning since arriving locally. She’s 2-1 on the morning line (and possibly will go lower) so let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 4: Post 2:00 PT. Grade: B+Use: 2-K P All Systems Go; 7-Media Blitz; 8-GovernanceForecast: We’ll spread this maiden special weight turf miler for juveniles in rolling exotic play and then press using extra tickets keying K P All Systems Go. The More Than Ready colt was given a run in his recent debut, finishing mostly on his own courage when winding up fifth, beaten less than two lengths. He’ll get serious today with M. Smith riding him back from a nice inside draw at 5-1 on the morning line. Media Blitz was nosed out in his debut at Del Mar despite a slow start and a wide trip and is strictly the one to beat. Similar to K P All Systems Go, there’s no reason he shouldn’t improve with that valuable experience behind him. Governance, a solid third in his last two outings, isn’t particular fast on speed figures but at least he’s improving with racing. A. Cedillo stays aboard for R. Baltas and should have this son of Fed Biz within striking range throughout.RACE 5: Post 2:34 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Message; 6-Uno Trouble Maker; 7-PersepolisForecast: We’ll go three deep in this contentious first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares while giving the improving Persepolis preference on top. Drawn comfortably outside and with enough speed to prompt or press the pace throughout, the R. Mandella-trained filly looked good breaking her maiden at Los Alamitos in just her third career start, and with another forward move today should be capable of scoring right back despite the class hike. Uno Trouble Maker has won six races during her career, each one over the Santa Anita main track. Freshened since Del Mar and dropping realistically in class, the daughter of Successful Appeal could be hard to catch if she can shake loose early. Message has a fast figure over this track last summer to go back to for B. Baffert and recent workouts indicate the daughter of Warrior’s Reward is rounding back to her best. Rail and all, she has to be included somewhere.RACE 6: Post 3:04 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Perfectly Majestic; 7-Winning ElementForecast: Perfectly Majestic drops sharply in class for P. Miller, and if he has at least one good one left the veteran gelding should be tough to beat in this league. From the rail the son of Majesticperfection should settle into a ground-saving position in mid-pack and then have his chance to wear down the leaders when the time is right. Winning Element was beaten a head at this level in his recent comeback and if he can run back to that race today he’ll be right in the thick of things again. The D. O’Neill-barn is solid with second-off-layoff runners and this shortening in trip from nine furlongs to a flat mile shouldn’t be an issue for the son of City Zip, who has a previous win over this course and distance against tougher goes last year. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics while preferring Perfectly Majestic on top.RACE 7: Post 3:36 PT. Grade: B+Use: 1-Oliver; 5-Two Thirty FiveForecast: Oliver continues to improve with each outing – his Beyer speed figures have risen in each of his last seven outing – and with another forward move today the son of Papa Clem can stretch his winning streak to three. He has the option of going to the lead from his inside post or settling and stalking. Two Thirty Five has won three of six career starts over the Santa Anita main track and figures to fire another big shot again after winning the listed Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar. The task won’t be easy – he’s picking up 6 lbs. – but the son of Stay Thirsty is a tough gelding who always gives his best. We’ll prefer Oliver on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 8: Post 4:12 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Miss Hot Legs; 5-StealthediamondsForecast: Stealthediamonds returns to the claiming ranks and seems set to regain her winning form after being in too tough in the listed Unzip Me Stakes over this course and distance last month. The daughter of Unusual Heat does her best running on the lead and appears to have found a race with a favorable pace scenario. Miss Hot Legs removes blinkers after racing with the hood in her last start without much success. She switches to A. Cedillo and should enjoy an ideal, second flight, ground-saving trip. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Stealthediamonds on top.

Read Article
10.27.2019:

Sunday, October 27: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.SECOND RACE6-TinnieOct. 20, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: B-Worked inside Tiger Silk (5f, 1:00.2h), breaking slightly behind and then finishing down the lane under mild coaxing while slightly second best at the wire, final half mile in :23.3 and :48.3. Congrats filly is seeking another maiden claiming router on grass.THIRD RACE2-ParkourOct. 18, 20196f, 1:14.3HGrade: B-Testing work for Mandella-trained maiden, going off quickly and then paying the price late in solo six furlong drill, final half in :24.4 and :51 on our watches. Carpe Diem filly should be fit enough by now, has some speed, at least.2-ParkourOct. 4, 20195f, 1:02.2hgGrade: B-Solo gate drill for R. Mandella, splits of :36.2 and :48.3, not asked, then slowed up in the final furlong while looking around a bit, light pressure only. Carpe Diem juvenile getting fit, worth watching again.2-ParkourSept. 19, 20195f, 1:00.4hgGrade: BSlightly best in team gate drill with older unraced maiden Magic Rate (same time), splits of :24.2, :48 flat and 1:00.4 before coasting to the wire in 1:16 flat. Homebred juvenile filly by Carpe Diem was given a good foundation at San Luis Rey Downs and seems fairly fit. Should make the entries next month for Mandella.5-AubergeOct. 17, 20195f, 1:00.3hgGrade: BIn company from gate outside Paint Me Lucky (same time) and was going the easier of the two most of the way, splits of :24.2, :36 flat and :48.1 to the top, then went well through the lane and actually galloped out a full six furlongs in 1:14.4 while leaving workmate behind in the final stages. Expensive ($570,00) Timonium May sale purchase should be fit enough by now, seeking a spot for Baffert.5-AubergeOct. 10, 20195f, :59.3hgGrade: BFairly decent gate work for Baffert in company with Stone Secret (4f, :47.2hg), sluggish leaving the barrier but showing good speed to quickly catch up with workmate, was under no pressure outside and exerted her superiority late, splits of :24 flat, :35.3, :47 flat and :59.3, fast drill over this surface. Was $570,000 purchase at the Timonium 2-year-old in training sale, getting close to a race.*5-AubergeOct. 3, 20194f, :47.1hGrade: BBroke off a length behind Bronn (4f, :47.2h) and finished evenly with that one to the wire under light coaxing (ditto for workmate), final three furlongs in :11.2 and :35.3. Getting fit, may be a useful type for Baffert. From the first crop of Palace.FOURTH RACE1-Liar LiarOct. 17, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: B-Slightly second best outside Amatara (same time), some coaxing through the lane, final half mile in :24.2 and :49.2. Probably needs turf to show his best, displayed ability when runner-up in a maiden turf affair last month in his U.S. debut and has a right to build on that performance for Baltas.6-Handsome MichaelOct. 14, 20194f, :49.4hGrade: B-Went off slowly, picked up through the lane and finished steadily like a true route type, splits of :12.2, :25 flat and :48.4. Even effort at a big price in debut routing on grass recently and certainly has a right to improve with experience and distance.7-Media BlitzSept. 12, 20194f, :50.2hGrade: BWent off very slowly (:13.3, 26 flat) while in nothing more than a high gallop, then was chirped to entering the lane and picked up very well, finishing smoothly with final quarter in :24.2 for Callaghan. Ran huge in debut (second, probably best) at Del Mar and should be a short price to graduate going long vs. older maidens next time out.8-GovernanceOct. 19, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: C+Came the final half in :23.4 and :49.4, some mild late coaxing, okay to moderate type work. Clearly needs grass for best, shown he can run some and may have further improvement in him.8-GovernanceOct. 12, 20194f, :49.2h TTGrade: B-Well in hand in easy training track move, final quarter mile in :25.2. Looks fine, seeking another turf miler for juveniles.FIFTH RACE5-MulhimaSept. 22, 20194f, :49.1Grade: B-Easy early, ridden through the lane, decent work for invader from Dubai, final three furlongs in :36.3. Getting fit for local debut, has conditions, unraced since the winter.SIXTH RACEArch AnthemOct. 3, 20195f, 1:02.3hGrade: CSecond best under pressure behind Unicorn (5f, 1:02h), under urging through the lane while finishing three lengths back at the wire (workmate breezing). Recent form isn’t much and is hard to endorse despite good connections.Arch AnthemSept. 13, 20194f, :52h TTGrade: CRecent Baltas claim went off slowly, was asked through the lane and produced only a mild response, final quarter in :25.2 in solo training track move. No step up here, needs modest claiming foes.SEVENTH RACE1-OliverSept. 27, 20194f, :51.1hGrade: B-Actually switched leads (never does in the p.m.) and was going easily through the lane, never asked for speed. Cal-bred son of Papa Clem really has gotten good for O’Neill, tough sprinting or routing, turf or dirt.3-Leading ScoreOct. 22, 20195f, :59.4hGrade: BSecond best by a length outside Roadster (5f, :59.3h) while going a couple of ticks slower on our watches, final quarter in :24.2 while being ridden a bit through the lane. Plenty fit, fits best with overnight stakes foes.3-Leading ScoreOct. 16, 20195f, :58.4Grade: B-Broke off a couple of lengths behind Roadster (5f, :58.3h), engaged that one on the turn but was no match in the final furlong while failing to change leads while being ridden through the lane. Workmate a tough customer but this was a bit of a step back despite very fast final time.3-Leading ScoreOct. 9, 20195f, 1:00hGrade: BSlightly second best inside Roadster (same time), easy early, some late pressure, splits of 12.2, :24.3, :36.1 and 1:00 flat. Good drill, plenty fit, seeking a spot.3-Leading ScoreSept. 18, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: B-View WorkoutSecond best with classy Mucho Gusto (5f, :59.3h), breaking off outside about a length behind while going easily to the top of the lane, then was asked some but was no match, finishing a few lengths back. Company was tough, but we were hoping he’d be a bit more competitive. Both of his comeback races were good.3-Leading ScoreSept. 11, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: BPicked him up approaching half-mile breezing outside Mucho Gusto (same time), engaged that one on the turn but was second best without pressure, hitting the wire a neck back with splits of :24.1 and :48.2. Was nosed out in Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar last time out and holds that form.5-Two Thirty FiveOct. 6, 20195f, 1:02.2hGrade: C+Worked inside Taishan (same time) and finished about a half-length behind at the wire, not asked while workmate was ridden out to the wire. Nothing to knock, was a listed stakes winner at Del Mar last time out, probably knows the difference between the morning and the afternoon.EIGHTH RACE4-Factor of TwoOct. 19, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: CSecond best with Torosay (5f, 1:01.2h, out to 7/8 pole) and was somewhat disappointing, even with work mate to the top but then getting outrun in the final furlong while under some pressure, about two lengths back at the wire. May need grass for her best, sprung an upset when graduating sprinting on turf last time out.

Read Article
10.26.2019:

Xpressbet Race of the Week: Fayette Stakes at Keeneland

The Lead:The curtain closes on the Keeneland Fall Meet on Saturday, but not before the stand offers one more graded stakes. The G2 $200,000 Fayette Stakes at 1-1/8 miles on the main track serves as a potential springboard to races like the G1 Clark in November and potentially the G1 Pegasus World Cup in January. It's where Blame in 2009 stamped himself as a 4-year-old to watch. It's been a pretty formful race with all 5 winners since the return to dirt at Keeneland returning 8-1 or less.Field Depth:G2 winner CORE BELIEFS has faced some of the top handicap horses in the nation. BAL HARBOUR and TOM'S D'ETAT comprised half the superfecta in the G1 Woodward. MR. FREEZE recently scored at the G3 level, as did THE GREAT DAY and MOCITO ROJO. EVERFAST was runner-up in this year's G1 Preakness and TENFOLD was third in the 2018 middle jewel of the Triple Crown. While there's not a devastating class edge here, it's hard to argue that CORE BELIEFS hasn't danced the toughest dances along with TENFOLD.Pace:MR. FREEZE stretches out around 2 turns and should be forward with an aggressive gate jockey in Robby Albarado and inside draw. MOCITO ROJO and TOM'S d'ETAT should be a part of a pressing group that also could include CORE BELIEFS and BAL HARBOR. This should be a fair pace for 9 furlongs with no big edges.​Our Eyes:MR FREEZE was impressive in the Ack Ack for his first real test as a 4-year-old. Last year's West Virginia Derby winner showed at 3 that he could handle distance and he's been progressed nicely to this spot. Dale Romans contemplated the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, but the Fayette and Clark Handicap seem to be very smart for this guy. The Cigar Mile also could be in the offing back around 1 turn. Romans won this race in 2014 with Pick of the Litter and MR FREEZE appears more talented than that one. With sophomore uncoupled barnmate EVERFAST such a deep closer, the Romans charges will compliment eachother on style. EVERFAST will try to become the first sophomore to win this since Blame in 2009.TOM'S d'ETAT made a middle-move in the Woodward and came up short in the end. Joel Rosario times moves as well as anyone, winning the Alydar on this runner the last time they paired together. Look for him to be just off the tempo and make them sweat in the lane as a major threat.MOCITO ROJO brings a 5-race win streak from the mid-South that was validated with an 8-1 upset in the G3 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs. Trainer Shane Wilson has spotted him shrewdly all season and this one should stack up with these. Don't be surprised if this one is overlooked on the tote once again for low-profile connections. Anything above 5-1 would be an overlay.CORE BELIEFS is well-traveled and takes his track with him, witnessed by a road win in the New Orleans Handicap and the Ohio Derby the past 2 seasons. He gets away from the faster California action and should be steady-paced throughout this one.Most Certain Exotics Contender: BAL HARBOUR has a win over the track and 8 straight superfecta finishes. Trainer Todd Pletcher won this race in 2015 via Saratoga with Raceday. BAL HARBOUR should get a stalking trip and have every chance to land on the ticket.​Best Longshot Exotics Contender: Pedigree play BIG DOLLAR BILL is by Midnight Lute, whose dirt routers at Keeneland have been dynamite in recent years. BIG DOLLAR BILL is 3-for-3 locally and trainer Ian Wilkes has had success in closing weeks at Keeneland Fall Meets in recent years, saving some good bullets for when things thin out a bit.Sending it in ($100 bankroll): ​​$50 win BIG DOLLAR BILL. $10 exacta part-wheel MR FREEZE, TOM'S d'ETAT, MOCITO ROJO, CORE BELIEFS and BAL HARBOUR over BIG DOLLAR BILL.

Read Article
10.26.2019:

Saturday, October 26: Breeders Crown Analysis

There's a huge night of Breeders Crown racing set to roll at Woodbine Mohawk Park and once again there is an Xpressbet promotion that can save you money. Xpressbet account holders who register will get up to a $10 refund for a win bet in Breeders Crown races 2-9 if their horse finishes in the money but doesn't win.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 23-Caviart Ally (9/5)-Looking for an upset by a filly that has been chasing the great Shartin all year until beating her on 10/6 at the Red Mile. Comes into this race sharp, actually has been better since September and gets my vote.1-Shartin N (4/5)-Most will have this champion as their top choice and if she is at her best it will probably be another trip to the winner's circle.4-Youaremycandygirl (6-1)-Racing well versus older, should be in the mix and could add some pop to the gimmicks.Race 34-Manchego (7/5)-This great mare has been super sharp for over two-months. I can't go against after watching her steam roll the field from the 8-hole last week.3-Plunge Blue Chip (9/5)-This is a top mare who has been overshadowed by #7 but always gives an honest effort and will expect the same tonight.6-Hannelore Hanover (10-1)-7-year-old isn't as consistent as in her younger days but winner of >$3 million can hit the board with a top effort and is worth using underneath.Race 41-The Ice Dutchess (2-1)-Comes off a confident win in her elimination race and was parked through the first turn, top choice should enjoy starting from the rail.6-Winndevie (5-1)-Interesting play who came the last half in 54.1 and looked strong going under the wire. That was the 3rd straight from the 8-hole and can be forwardly placed from the start. Vesrsatile filly can win this and will be using in gimmicks.3-Asiago (9/2)-Rallied nicely last week and might have more to offer. Using and will leave the 9/5 ML chalk off the ticket. When Dovescry could rebound, but did drift out down the stretch last week.Race 55-Warrawee Ubeaut (4/5)-Sweet Lou filly has been on top of her game all year. Looks to be the one to beat and this post helps her chances.4-Tall Drink Hanover (5-1)-Followed #5 around the track in a tune-up for tonight's showdown. Not out of this but will need very best to take top honors.1-Beautyonthebeach (8-1)-This mare likes to leave and this post suits. Did race tough from the 10-hole last week. McNair should keep her alive down the lane and could add some juice to the gimmicks.Race 62-Jimmy Freight (4-1)-14 of 15 in the money at Mohawk with 8 pictures and a very good post draw makes this local favorite my top choice by a narrow margin.7-Dorsoduro Hanover (6-1)-Racing well, worth a good swing if goes off at close to 6-1 and speed is holding. Using on top and in gimmicks.8-McWicked (5/2)-One of my all-time favorites will be looking for third straight picture and probably will be coming off cover. There could be a crazy fast pace and that helps chances because Sears should be rolling late.Race 74-Greenshoe (3/5)-Has been almost flawless and should be a clean trip a way from win #11 in 13 starts.8-Forbidden Trade (10-1)-Hambo winner was the last to beat Greenshoe, it was by a neck back on 8/3. It's not impossible for it to happen again but post draw makes it a bigger challenge. That said, is 13 of 16 at Wbsb and should be in a line for a big piece of this purse.2-Dont Letem (4-1)-Second ML chalk should be in the mix to hit the bottom of the ticket if minds manners.Race 85-Bettors Wish (9/5)-This is another contest where the favorite has been almost flawless. Has 12 wins with 4 second place finishes in 16 starts and should be in line for picture #13.4-Dancin Lou (4-1)-McCarthy had a nice Friday night and he should have this colt in line for a smooth trip. It would be a surprise if gets top honors but looks a shade better than the rest.1-Southwind Ozzi (7/2)-Ozzi likes to win and is 2nd time Lasix tonight. Sears should keep in contention from the rail but usually does best work on smaller ovals.Race 910-Six Pack (9/2)-Post makes the price and has the gate speed to get a good seat. Last outing was at Lexington and it was the most impressive start of the season. This is a tough race but can beat these at a square price with a decent trip.5-Guardian Angel As (7/2)-Winner in 2 of 4 at Mohawk, Tetrick should work a good trip from this spot and figures to be a major player.7-Lindy The Great (3-1)-Lost to Six Pack at the Red Mile but before that was a winner in 5 straight. Winner of 6 in 9 tries at Wbsb. Roy should be blasting out to get on the engine and might be good enough to not look back.Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.26.2019:

Saturday, October 26: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita 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 12:30 PT. Grade: XSingle: 4-Platinum EquityForecast: Platinum Equity is the logical top pick in this nine-furlong main track affair, having just won a similar starter’s allowance $12,500 earlier this month while equaling his career top speed figure. He’s being asked to handle an additional furlong today and primarily has been a miler throughout his career, but in his present form the extra distance shouldn’t be an issue. At 4/5 on the morning line he offers no wagering value but we can use him as a short price rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.RACE 2: Post 1:01 PT. Grade: XSingle: 6-ZorichForecast: Here’s another short price standout that offers no real wagering value at 6/5 on the morning line. Zorich drops to his lowest level ever after finishing a distant second in a maiden $40,000 affair sprinting last month. The son of Hard Spun has speed figures that are better than par for this level, and this stretch-out again to a mile will promote his pace-pressing style. In a race lacking in depth and contention, the M. Glatt-trained gelding shouldn’t miss this easy chance. You can single him in rolling exotic play and simply sit it out.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+Single: 6-Christmas DiamondForecast: Let’s take a shot in this wide open maiden turf miler for juvenile fillies with the English import Christmas Diamond. A fairly promising third in her debut last summer across the pond, the daughter of the very useful stallion Bated Breath has been given a solid series of drills to have her fit and ready for her U.S, debut. She’ll race with Lasix for trainer M. McCarthy, who also saddles the morning line favorite, Convincingly. For whatever it’s worth, Convincingly was actually outworked by ‘Diamond in a team drill on the main track last week, so at 8-1 on the morning line there’s value to be found keying ‘Diamond both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play.RACE 4: Post 2:07 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Thunder Code; 6-Rushie; 8-Thousand WordsForecast: We’ll go three-deep in the fourth race, a maiden special weight extended sprint for two-year-olds. Thousand Words, a $1 million yearling purchase by Pioneerof the Nile, has looked pretty good in a series of workouts leading up to his debut for B. Baffert, though we suspect he’ll need a distance of ground before showing his best. However, from his cozy outside draw he should have clear sailing and every chance to rally from off the pace, so while he’s no single we’ll put him slightly on top. Thunder Code finished in the money in both of his starts and most recently was a strong second in a highly-rated affair while finishing almost seven lengths clear of the rest. Price players may want to find a spot on their ticket for Rushie, a colt that has displayed good speed in morning trials for M. McCarthy and projects to be a strong pace factor in a race that doesn’t appear to contain an unusual amount of early zip.RACE 5: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Colosi; 2-Canadian Game; 3-Blue Skye JadeForecast: The main contention in this restricted (nw-2) $32,000 claimer over a mile on turf appears to be drawn inside, so we’ll triple the race and hope that’s sufficient. Colosi is guaranteed a good ground-saving trip from his rail draw and the M. Glatt-trained gelding looks dangerous after dropping out of a series of much stronger first-level allowance events. Though winless in 2019, his speed figures have been consistently better than par for this level, so while he may be a hard one to trust the City Zip gelding appears to finally have found his friends. Canadian Game was waiver protected when he returned off a layoff to finish a closing third over this course and distance in a similar starter’s affair recently and with any kind of forward move the J. Carava-trained gelding should find himself in the thick of things again. The switch to leading rider A. Cedillo is noteworthy. Blue Skye Jade is a tad slower on numbers that the other two main players but he’s a progressive sort with good tactical speed and should at least get a part of it. Toss him in on a ticket or two.RACE 6: Post 3:15 PT. Grade: C+Use: 6-Mike Operator; 7-Brazilian SummerForecast: This bottom-rung maiden claiming main track miler is a split of the second race and should boil down to two contenders. Brazilian Summer is lightly raced and steadily improving for M. Chew and with forward move should be able to handle this modest task. The Gervinho gelding, a runner-up in a similar spot earlier this month, has good tactical speed and projects to have every chance from a stalking/pressing position. Mike Operator, second in three of his last four starts, stretches out again and seems likely to inherit a good second-flight trip. He may be not be one to totally trust but is a “must use” by default.RACE 7: Post 3:45 PT. Grade: B+Use: 3-Hidden Message; 5-Keeper Ofthe StarsForecast: Keeper Ofthe Stars looks like the controlling speed on paper and given that type of trip the daughter of Midnight Lute just might take this graded stakes field of 3-year-old filly turf milers gate to wire at a nice price. A respectable fourth, beaten three lengths, in the Del Mar Oaks-G1 two races back while having to cope with plenty of heat, she shortens a furlong, draws a nice mid-gate post, and is fresh from a highly-rated overnight allowance win vs. older runners up north last month. The J. Wong-trained filly is a gamble at 5-1 on the morning line. Hidden Message, an excellent second in the aforementioned Oaks in her U.S. debut, has trained quite well in the interim and is the likely choice and one to beat. This return to a mile shouldn’t be an issue for the daughter of Scat Daddy, who won a listed stakes overseas at a mile last summer. If there is a concern, it’s that she is a closer in a big field and most likely will have to deal with traffic and probably will need some racing luck to avoid trouble.RACE 8: Post 4:15 PT. Grade: XSingle: 2-Soldier BoyForecast: Soldier Boy lost a toughie when nosed out by the heavily-favored Justinian in a similar maiden special weight sprint here last month while almost nine lengths clear of the rest in a fast, highly-rated affair. The J. Sadler-trained colt won’t need to improve off that effort to beat this field; however, we suspect he’ll run at least as well and perhaps better, making him a short-price standout at 6/5 on the morning line. There’s really not much we can do with him at those odds, except use him a no value rolling exotic single. Passing the race altogether is another option.RACE 9: Post 4:45 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Violette Szabo; 8-D’s Lovely SophiaForecast: D’s Lovely Sophia has never been worse than second in four career starts but just failed at 40 cents on the dollar in a similar first-level allowance state-bred affair. This will be her first try on grass, and since she has little or no turf breeding it’s unknown how she’ll cope with the switch in surface. Violette Szabo had one prior grass outing, failing to make an impression in a sprint at Del Mar in late August. She didn’t get the best of runs in that race, and after finishing a close fourth in the same race ‘Sophia exits and working quite well since, the daughter of Grazen seems set for an improved effort. We’ll try to get by using just these two in our rolling exotics but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead.

Read Article
10.26.2019:

Saturday, October 26: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.THIRD RACE1-Establish JusticeSept. 28, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: B-Slightly best with Cyrielle (same time), mostly in hand through the lane, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :37.3. Trailed in debut but can do better with a class drop to the maiden claiming ranks.1-Establish JusticeSept. 22, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: B-Wore blinkers, broke off behind Unbreakable (5f, 1:03.3h) and had no trouble going past that one in the upper stretch before drawing clear under urging in the lane, final three furlongs in :38.2. Has a bit of run for Puype.3-Blue JaysSept. 14, 20194f, 49.3hgGrade: C+$170,000 Street Sense colt worked from gate with Doctinaire (4f, :50hg) and was best for Desormeaux under mild coaxing only, :25.1 and :50 flat on our watches. Has a bit of run, worth another look in a more serious drill. Workmate was asked to keep up but couldn’t, not much.FOURTH RACE2-Thunder CodeOct. 11, 20194f, :49.4hGrade: BBreezing throughout, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :37.2. Has further improvement in him with added experience, still a fairly promising sort.5-Friar’s RoadOct. 19, 20195f, 1:01hgGrade: B-Inside Rushie (same time) in team gate drill, splits of :24.1, :35.4 and :48 flat, then was allowed to coast out an extra furlong while even throughout with workmate (who may have been going a tad easier early on). Expensive yearling ($500,000) by Quality Road is getting fit, okay sort, maybe.5-Friar’s RoadOct. 13, 20194f, :48hgGrade: BNever really asked in gate drill with Flat White (asked, same time, second best), splits of :24 flat, :35.3 and :48 flat, able to go faster if asked. Quality Road colt brought $500,000 as a yearling, getting fit, might make the meeting.6-RushieOct. 19, 20195f, 1:01hgGrade: B-In company from gate with Friar’s Road (same time) and may have gone a bit the easier of the two while pretty much even throughout, splits of :24.1, :35.3 and :48 flat (pretty much up there) before easing out five furlongs. Liam’s Map juvenile colt is lgetting fit, definitely has some run, worth a look.6-RushieSept. 28, 20194f, :48hGrade: B+Breezing inside Policy (4f, :48.1h), able to go faster if turned loose, splits of :24 flat and :48 flat, plenty left in the tank. Like the way this one moves, Liam’s Map juvenile is a promising sort, for sure.6-RushieSept. 20, 20194f, :48hGrade: B+Breezing with Fredericktown (4f, :48.2h), nice hold throughout while drawing clear late with plenty left, splits of :23.2 and :48 flat. Like the way this M. McCarthy-trained 2-year-old son of Liam’s Map moves. Was $70,000 OBS March sale purchase.7-Ra’adOct. 10, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: C+$500,000 Twirling Candy colt was second best with Seiche (same time), working outside and finishing slightly less than a length behind at the wire under some late urging, 1:01.1 on our watches. Nothing special at this stage.7-Ra’adSept. 14, 20195f, 1:00.3hgGrade: B$500,000 OBS April 2-year-old in training purchase was sent from the gate in team drill with River Finn (5f, 1:02h) and was best throughout, going off quickly in :23.2 but slowing up late while still much the best. :47.3 and 1:00.3 on our watches. Plenty of zip evident, workmate was no match.8-Thousand WordsOct. 14, 20195f, 1:00hgGrade: BEven but best outside Azul Coast (same time) in team gate drill, splits of :24.1, :35.4 and :47.2, going the better of the two in the final furlong under mild coaxing before galloping out to the wire in 1:15 flat. Million dollar yearling looks the part, nice prospect should make the entries soon.8-Thousand WordsSept. 29, 20194f, :46.4hGrade: BBroke off a length behind Der Lu (same time) and was ridden through the lane but couldn’t close the gap on breezing workmate, finishing about a length back at the wire. Fast time but kinda expected a bit more late punch. $1 million son of Pioneerof the Nile might be a route type.8-Thousand WordsSept. 8, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: BJuvenile son of Pioneerof the Nile colt broke off in front of American Code (4f, :48.2h) and finished stride-for-stride down the lane with that one, well in hand inside and displaying a nice, long, athletic stride for Baffert. Cost $1 million as a yearling. Should make the entries early in the Santa Anita fall season, wouldn’t be surprised to see him debut over a distance of ground (that’s where his future lies).FIFTH RACE7-PolicySept. 28, 20194f, :48.1hGrade: C+Second best outside Rushie (4f, :48 flat), ridden some through the lane but finishing a length back at the wire of breezing workmate. Comeback races have been less than inspiring, needs a class drop.SIXTH RACE2-My JourneyOct. 13, 20194f, :48.4hGrade: C+Broke off several lengths in front of Secret Spice (4f, :47.3h) and finished down the lane with that one, mild coaxing (workmate under wraps), not too bad for a cheap type. Seeking another bottom-rung maiden claimer.SEVENTH RACE3-Hidden MessageOct. 19, 20195f, 1:02.3hGrade: BBreezing every step of the way, splits of :25.2, :37.1 and 1:02.3, looking fine on the main track for Callaghan. High class Scat Daddy 3-year-old filly maintains her edge.9-Mucho UnusualSept. 27, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: B-Broke off behind cheaper workmate Sapori Girl (5f, 1:02.2h) and finished down the lane without that one, easy early, no pressure late, splits of :24.4, :36.4 and 1:01.4 on our watches, a bit faster than given. Prefers turf, just a cut below the really good 3-year-old West Coast fillies.11-Strike at DawnOct. 2, 20195f, 1:01h TTGrade:Ridden a bit through the lane but did well in solo training track move, splits of :24.2, :36.1 and 1:01 flat, full stride to the wire. Declaration of War filly continues on the upgrade.11-Strike at DawnSept. 8, 20194f, :49.4h TTGrade: B-Recent surprise Del Mar allowance winner for Baltas went off slowly and finished without being asked much, final quarter in :24.3. Lightly-raced daughter of Declaration of War wants turf for her best, probably has further improvement in her.EIGHTH RACE1-TromadorOct. 7, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: B-A tad second best but went well enough outside Road Rager (same time), splits of :24.4, :36.3 and 1:01.2, mild coaxing through the lane. Coming around and should make the entries soon.1-TromadorSept. 30, 20194f, :48.3Grade: BBroke off about four lengths in front of Beautiful Thunder (4f, :48.3h), showed some greenness when switching to outside lead before straightening for home and held that one safely in the final furlong, finishing a length clear at the wire under very light coaxing only while looking strong in the final stages. Exchange Rate unraced 2-year-old should be more than fit enough by now.1-TromadorSept. 25, 20196f, 1:15.2hGrade: C+In company with Go Daddy Go (6f, 1:15.4h) and was best by a couple of lengths at the wire, splits of :24 flat, :49 flat and 1:15.3 on our watches, ridden through the lane, fair response. $80,000 2018 OBS April sale colt by Exchange Rate colt still has yet to start in the fall of his sophomore season, nothing special at this stage.2-Soldier BoyOct. 18, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: BNever asked at any stage, easy to the wire, splits of :24.4, :36.3 and 1:01.3 for Sadler. Lost a toughie last time out, should be the one to beat in a similar maiden main track sprint in his next outing.3-Chosen MoonOct. 13, 20195f, 1:01hgGrade: C+Not really impressive in company from gate with Broke Away Grey (same time), slower than given on our watches, :25.3 and :37.4, then was asked pretty hard thereafter and produced only a fair response, :49.3 before being eased up at the furlong pole. Malibu Moon colt should make the entries soon, nothing special at this stage.3-Chosen MoonSept. 12, 20195f, 1:03.1hGrade: B-Final half mile on our watches in 50 flat while coming home well (:24.3) for Ellis, mild coaxing only. $150,000 Timonium 2-year-old in training purchase may have a bit of run but hasn’t been cranked up yet.7-Stretford EndOct. 18, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: B-Used as a target for Donna Veloce (5f, 1:00 flat), breaking off a few lengths in front but proving no match for breezing workmate in the final furlong, winding up about two back at the wire without really being asked much (went a few tickets slower than official final time). Not too bad considering the competition.NINTH RACE2-Violette SzaboOct. 6, 20195f, 1:02.3hGrade: BInside with classy S Y Sky (same time) and actually looked the better of the two throughout, breezing to the wire before continuing out well to 7/8 pole, splits of :49.2 and 1:02.3. May not mean much but daughter of Grazen appeared eager and healthy.4-TakethediamondlaneOct. 13, 20194f, :47.2hGrade: BNo real pressure, sharp through the lane, final quarter mile in :23.3. Won her debut at Del Mar in a moderate maiden special weight affair, probably will improve but will get tested on the raise.

Read Article
10.26.2019:

Stellar Heat In Final Leg Highlights Saturday's GPW Early Pick 4

The anchor race of Gulfstream Park West’s early Pick 4 on Saturday is a $20,000 optional-claiming event that looks like a stakes race.Some quality fillies and mares are set to go 7.5 furlongs on the turf in a race that is the best on the card. The early Pick 4 is for races two through five, and the suggested ticket has a 6x3x2x3 approach for $54.Lady Alida, Colonels Daughter and Una Luna are the distaffers to watch in the fifth.Lady Alida won the In The Breeze Stakes two back and was third last time in the Monroe Stakes. She has won two of her last four and is a solid front-runner on the turf. She's won 4 of 19 and is at the top of her game.Colonels Daughter didn’t have much luck in stakes races but has shown a lot of improvement in the past three months as she has two wins in three starts at this level during that period. She’ll likely be moving the best late, especially if a strong pace develops.Una Luna is the third of the trio to watch, was been second in last three (twice in stakes races) and is next to impossible to leave out of any of the exotics. She hasn't won at Gulfstream West but have won five at the sister track, and the talented daughter of Dunkirk has been on the board in 12 of 15 races.The second race (first of the sequence), is the toughest of the group, and six horses are used, followed by three used in the third, and two in the fourth.My Ticket Race 2) #1 Dominate Themoment, #4 D’archer, #7 Budget Buster, #8 Tolkien, #9 City Park, #10 Maspero. Race 3) #1 Just Kidding, #3 Green Mansions, #7 Vincero. Race 4) #6 He’s Lucky, #9 Smash. Race 5) #2 Lady Alida, #7 Colonels Daughter, #8 Una Luna. Total Ticket Cost) 1,4,7,8,9,10/1,3,7/6,9/2,7,8 = $54 for $0.50

Read Article
10.25.2019:

Friday, October 25: Woodbine Mohawk Park Pick 5 Analysis

It's Breeders Crown weekend and with some outstanding harness racing comes an Xpressbet promotion that can save you money. Xpressbet account holders who register will get up to a $10 refund for a win bet on Breeders Crown races 6-9 on Friday if the horse finishes in the money but doesn't win.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 65-Ms Savannah Belle (4-1)-Looking for an upset with a filly who has gotten better over the last few months. Draws well and could go off at a square price. Gingras stays with Burke, but Tetrick has driven her before and she can come off cover.1-Hypnotic AM (5/2)-Not going to put much emphasis on last week's loss. Sears didn't appear too concerned about getting past by #2 down the lane, should be dialed on high tonight and probably gets away no worse than 2nd.2-Sister Sledge (3-1)-Winner of 8 of 10 can add to that total tonight if gets the top or the two-hole without much strain. Is a must use in the Pick 5 but not sure will get the same kind of trip with a big purse on the line.Race 71-Lyons Sentinel (9/5)-Winner of >$600k gets the slight nod here. Drawing inside of main foes shouldn't hurt and will respect the King-Tetrick connections.4-New Year (7/2)-Makes only the 6th start of the year and has been impressive including last week's win. Draws well and has a big chance for top honors in what looks to be a great race.3-Priceless (2-1)-Indiana Rockin Image filly has been a terror at HoP and is another that could take top honors. Only caution is two breaks in last five outings but is a major player if minds manners.Race 89-Real Cool Sam (3-1)-Winner of >$454k has a perfect 9-9 record. Looks like the one to beat but has been off since 10/3. This post doesn't make it any easier, but two wins have come from the 9-hole, rates an edge.4-Amigo Volo (4-1)-Has gone off-stride in last two but did come back after a break to win on 10/3 at Lex. Draws well and will respect but needs best to take top honors.8-Capricornus (7/2)-Another who has been off since 10/3 and hasn't closed the deal in last three outings. May blast out and look to get a 2-hole trip behind #9 and sweep by down the lane.Race 93-Papi Rob Hanover (8/5)-Impressive effort last week to make it two straight victories and looks the part of an 8/5 chalk. Probably will be put in play early and Miller should be able to work a smooth journey.5-Capt Midnight (3-1)-The Capt is a winner in 5 of 6 at Wbsb but has been off since 10/5. Starts in a great spot to control the race and not look back.7-Tall Dark Stranger (2-1)-Leads the field in earnings with over $542k in the bank but was a beaten odds-on favorite to #3 in the elimination race. Last effort wasn't as crisp, but it was the only blemish in eight starts.Race 109-Lyons Pegasus (2-1)-Winner of 3 straight in fast miles since switching barns. Tetrick takes a seat and has enough gate speed to get a good early seat.2-Cortez The Killer (8-1)-Gets some needed post relief and may like the company. Roy should provide a good steer and could pop at a nice price.5-Atlantis (10-1)-Makes 4th start for new barn, will take a swing for a price and has raced well at Wbsb. Using instead of the ML chalk #8 who has been off since 9/16.My Ticket Race 6) 1,2,5 Race 7) 1,3,4 Race 8) 4,8,9 Race 9) 3,5 Race 10) 2,5,9Total Ticket Cost) $32.40 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.25.2019:

Friday, October 25: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita 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 1:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Kylemore; 3-Dukes UpForecast: The opener drew just five runners, two of which are main contenders. Dukes Up is in solid form and is being raised up to the $32,000 level in a sign of confidence. A. Cedillo stays aboard for M. Glatt and should have this hard-hitting gelding doing his best work from the quarter pole home. Kylemore projects as the controlling speed and if not policed may never look back. His career top speed figure – one that is more than good enough to win here – was accomplished two-turning over this main track earlier this year. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with a very slight preference on top to Dukes Up.RACE 2: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+Single: 1-ElgofrancoForecast: Elgofranco is an intriguing first-time starter in a state-bred turf sprint for juvenile fillies. Bred to win early and love turf, the daughter of Square Eddie has been given a solid foundation of morning workouts to have her fit and ready, and though her times aren’t fast she has done it the right way. With a clean break from the rail, she could be long gone so at 3-1 on the morning line let’s make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post 2:06 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Golden Melodie; 6-TacocatForecast: Here’s another five-runner field, this one for maiden claiming 2-year-old fillies. Tacocat lands the cozy outside post while showing up in a seller for the first time for the Desormeaux brothers. She’s been a disappointment so far, but these appear to be well within her capabilities. Golden Melodie faded in a turf sprint vs. maiden special weight foes last time out but her two prior outings chart quite well with this group. She might be the quickest in the field and could get brave if she can shake loose early. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics and then have an extra ticket or two keying Tacocat on top.RACE 4: Post 2:38 PT. Grade: XUse: 4-Zipper ChipperForecast: Zipper Chipper failed to carry his speed over a distance of ground last time so he’s back sprinting again, this time we assume, for good. The son of City Zip has a distinct advantage in the speed figure department and can win on the front end or from a stalking position. At 9/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower, the B. Heap-trained colt may be too short to play in the straight pool but can be used as a logical rolling exotic single.RACE 5: Post 3:00 PT. Grade: BSingle: 8-NietzscheForecast: Nietzche is comfortably drawn outside, adds blinkers for the first time, and looks much the best of the known element. The V. Belvoir-trained gelding should display improved tactical speed and possibly be on or near the lead throughout, assuming he leaves cleanly for the first time after two prior outings with rugged starts. The danger comes from any one of four first times starters that may, or may not, be able to run some. Let’s take a stand and use this grey gelding as a straight play and rolling exotic single and hope to get close to his morning line of 5/2.RACE 6: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: B+Use:2-Volubile; 8-HarmonForecast: Volubile has much going for him and at 4-1 on the morning line offers value both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play;. The G. Mandella-trained gelding exits a tougher, highly-rated starter’s allowance miler against older foes and today shows up in a $50,000 claimer restricted to 3-year-olds. He’s also back at his “win distance” of nine furlongs, and after earning a career top speed figure in his most recently outing the lightly-raced son of More Than Ready seems primed for another forward move. Harmon is worth including as a saver. Back from the Bay Area where he recently won a first-level allowance all-weather affair, the P. Gallagher-trained gelding picks up F. Prat and looks to be the most dangerous of the closing types.RACE 7: Post 4:10 PT. Grade: XUse: 4-Hard Not to Love; 5-AnuketForecast: Anuket returned better than she left when winning a first-level allowance race here earlier this month with a stakes-quality speed figure. The concern is the quick turnaround – she’s back in 19 days – but if she doesn’t bounce the B. Baffert-trained filly will be hard to beat at 4/5 on the morning line. Hard Not Love has trained like she’s fit and ready for her first start since May, and since the daughter of Hard Spun won her debut we know she can fire fresh. Nowhere near as fast on speed figures as the favorite, she nevertheless deserves a little bit of a look in case Anuket fails to show her best.RACE 8: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: C+Use: 5-An American Jet; 7-Dubnation; 10-NorskForecast: We’ll spread the nightcap, a bottom-rung maiden claiming extended sprint with a few possibilities. Norsk is drawn nicely outside, adds blinkers for the first time, and drops to his lowest level ever. The H. Palma-trained gelding is a one-paced grinder but has numbers that fit and should draft into a nice, in-the-clear, second level position and have every chance from there. Dubnation also is dropping to the bottom for the first time after burning money as the odds-on favorite in a state-bred maiden $50,000 affair at Los Alamitos last month. He has back numbers that make him dangerous but at this stage he’s probably not one to trust. An American Jet is another recent beaten choice – he was second at 9/5 in a similar affair earlier this month – but shows a bullet blowout since raced and really won’t have to improve much to earn his diploma.

Read Article
10.25.2019:

Friday, October 25: Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.SECOND RACEElgofrancoOct. 17. 20195f, 1:02hGrade: B-View WorkoutWent pretty well inside Peedie (same time), never really asked much, final half mile in :23.4 and :49.1. Square Eddie juvenile filly is a good mover and should make the entries soon.SIXTH RACEHarmonOct. 14, 20194f, :49hGrade: B-Not asked in easy half mile breeze, splits of :23.2, :24 flat and :49.1 on our watches, coasting to the wire. Has strong recent Golden Gate Fields form, but this tougher circuit, obviously, presents a challenge.SEVENTH RACEHard Not to LoveOct. 11, 20195f, 1:00.3hGrade: B+Went smoothly throughout without need of coaxing, final half mile on our watches in :23.3 and :48 flat, plenty left late. Doing very well, seeking a spot.Hard Not to LoveOct. 3, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: B-Went off slowly, then was under very light coaxing through the lane and finished willingly, splits of :13 flat, :25.1, :37.2 and 1:02 flat on our watches. Talented Hard Spun filly has conditions and should return soon.Hard Not to LoveSept. 19, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: BWent off easily in :24.4 and :36.4, light pressure through the lane and hit the wire in 1:01 before galloping out nicely to seven-eighths pole in 1:14 and change. A winner of two of three starts and stakes-placed in her most recent start in May, the daughter of Hard Spun is returning in good shape for Shirreffs. Has second-level allowance conditions and should handle any surface.EIGHTH RACEDubnationOct. 12, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: C+Not really impressive while under some coaxing through the lane inside Claim of Passion (same time) and Satchel Paige (5f, 1:01.3h, broke off behind, was breezing outside and best of the trio). Burned money in a high-priced maiden claimer last time out, probably would appreciate a class drop.

Read Article
10.24.2019:

Breeders' Cup Bankroll Boost: Bet these Five Races on Saturday

The Breeders’ Cup is just more than a week away and I know what you’re thinking: This weekend is a good time to sit back, relax and not do anything that would jeopardize my Breeders’ Cup bankroll.Personally, I’m taking the opposite approach.With tracks like Keeneland, Santa Anita, Belmont, Laurel and Gulfstream West in action, there are plenty of chances to hit big and bolster that Breeders’ Cup bankroll.And by the way, speaking of your Breeders’ Cup bankroll, the best way to jumpstart your account balance is our Breeders Crown Money-Back Guarantee.The Breeders Crown is harness racing’s premier year end event, held this Friday and Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and our Money-Back Guarantee puts cash back into your pocket if the horse you bet to Win finishes 2nd or 3rd.  And like all Xpressbet promotions, it’s free to register and easy to play.  Check it out!  These are five races that jumped out at me, complete with my picks for each of them.  What do you think?Bold Ruler Stakes (G3; $200K)Belmont Park (Race 8, 4:40PM ET) The best place to start talking Saturday’s races is with the Bold Ruler at Belmont, which attracted Xpressbet Florida Derby/Haskell winner Maximum Security, as well as G3 Xpressbet De Francis Dash winner Killybegs Captain, G1 winner Knicks Go and G2 Gulfstream Park Mile winner Prince Lucky.  Scratches will play a key role in this race.  If the speed horses stay in, I think Maximum Security is worth playing against.  And it’s interesting that one of the main speed horses, Diamond King, is trained by John Servis.  John Servis is Jason Servis’ (trainer of Maximum Security) brother.  Family reunions may get a little testy if Jason’s “Derby winner” is run into the ground early by John’s speedball.  As of Thursday afternoon, my picks in here are Prince Lucky (3/1) and True Timber (8/1), the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the G2 Kelso Handicap.  Both are proven at Belmont (Prince Lucky is 2-for-5 locally and True Timber is 2-for-6) and both have a stalk-and-pounce style that could give Maximum Security fits.  My Pick(s): #8 Prince Lucky (3/1), #4 True Timber (8/1) Fayette Stakes (G2; $200K)Keeneland (Race 9; 5:30PM ET) I’ve been a big fan of Mocito Rojo for some time.  I guess I’m a sucker for horses that just know how to win races, regardless of location.  He’s won 17-of-25 starts at tracks from Churchill and Remington to Lone Star, Delta and Evangeline.  And in big races, he just doesn’t get a lot of respect on the tote.  When he won the G3 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star in April, he paid $12.40.  And when he won the G3 Lukas Classic at Churchill last month he paid $19.60.  If not Mocito Rojo, I’ll take some chalk with Tom’s d’Etat.  He shows solid form, having just finished 4th, beaten less than 2-lengths, in the G1 Woodward and he was also placed in the G2 Alysheba and G2 Stephen Foster earlier this year.  He’s won 7-of-14 and has earned $766K.    My Pick(s): #5 Mocito Rojo (6/1), #3 Tom’s d’Etat (2/1)Autumn Miss Stakes (G3; $100K)Santa Anita (Race 7; 6:45PM ET) Santa Anita’s Saturday feature is the G3 Autumn Miss and with 13 horses signed on (12 in the main field plus one AE), this is the type of race where the exotic bets can seriously impact your Breeders’ Cup bankroll.I’m putting my money on two horses and crossing my fingers.  Brad Cox ships Solent west and when Brad Cox makes this move, he usually means business.  This daughter of Hard Spun, out of stellar mare Sightseek, has won two in a row, including an allowance at Kentucky Downs last out.  Mike Smith picks up the mount from Florent Geroux, who is out with injury.  That’s kind of like brining Babe Ruth off the bench to pinch hit.  And remember, a similar Cox-shipper, Juliet Foxtrot, almost upset the heralded Vasilika at Del Mar.  So the guy knows how to move horses around the nation.  The other horse I’m watching is the extremely logical Hidden Message.  The Simon Callaghan-trainee was second behind Cambier Parc in her US debut in the G1 Del Mar Oaks and Cambier Parc is arguably the nation’s best sophomore turf filly and this one rallied to finish within a length and a quarter of her.My Pick(s): #3 Hidden Message, #6 Solent Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Filly PaceWoodbine Mohawk Park (Race 5; 8:20PM ET)All of the Breeders Crown races on Friday and Saturday are exceptional, with horses like McWicked, Shartin N, Greenshoe, Southwind Ozzi, Bettors Wish and Atlanta in the entries it’s easy to see why.  Any of these races could make this list, but I’m going with the 3YO Filly Pace, which attracted a field of 10, headlined by Warrawee Ubeaut.  The Ron Burke-trained, Yannick-Gingras-driven filly has really turned a switch in the last few months. She’s a perfect 7-for-7 since a defeat at the Meadowlands on August 3 and those wins include the Jugette Final at the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair, the Glen Garnsey Memorial at the Red Mile and a local elim win for this race.  My Pick: #5 Warrawee Ubeat (4/5) International Gold Cup Stakes ($75K)Great Meadow (Race 6; 4:00PM ET)Once again, Xpressbet is offering the jumps races from Great Meadow in Virginia and the day’s feature race is the $75,000 International Gold Cup, going 3 1/2 miles on the turf over hurdles. The standout here is Andi’amu.  The nine-year-old gelding won the Virginia Gold Cup over this course in May and also won a race here in May 2018.  He’s ridden by Jack Doyle, one of the top steeplechase jocks, and has won five straight races dating to April 2018.  My Picks: #2 Andi’amu (6/5)

Read Article
10.24.2019:

Top 12 Breeders' Cup Performances at Santa Anita

Pre-entries for this year’s Breeders’ Cup, which will be held Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park, have been announced. This will be a record 10th time that Santa Anita is hosting the big event.The Breeders’ Cup began in 1984. Prior to this year, the Breeders’ Cup was held at Santa Anita in 1986, 1993, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.I have come up with my list of the Top 12 Breeders’ Cup performances at Santa Anita.A horse’s performance was chosen for a variety of reasons, such as:--A win by a big margin while showing brilliance.--Recording a fast final time and/or speed figure.--Being especially game in victory or defeat.--Overcoming adversity.--Defeating a particularly strong group of opponents.--Achieving something historic.And now here is my list of the Top 12 Breeders’ Cup performances at Santa Anita:(12) LURE IN THE 1993 MILE. (Owned by Claiborne Farm; trained by Shug McGaughey; ridden by Mike Smith; 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Danzig colt.)After winning the BC Mile by three lengths in course-record time at Gulfstream Park in 1992, Lure registered a 2 1/4-length victory in the 1993 BC Mile on Santa Anita’s turf course.It did help Lure in his 1993 BC Mile victory that a number of his rivals (Flawlessly, Wolfhound, Catrail and Buckhar) were interfered with going into the clubhouse turn when European shipper Barathea bore out badly. Barathea finished fifth and, I believe, should have been disqualified and placed last. Nevertheless, Lure was quite impressive in his 1993 BC Mile performance.After the 1993 BC Mile, McGaughey said Lure ranked “right up there with the best I’ve trained.” At the time, that meant McGaughey put Lure right up there with such champions as Personal Ensign and Easy Goer.Considered to be one of the finest grass milers in American racing history, Lure was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.(11) LADY’S SECRET IN THE 1986 DISTAFF. (Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Klein; trained by D. Wayne Lukas; ridden by Pat Day; 4-year-old Oklahoma-bred Secretariat filly.)A daughter of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Lady’s Secret seized the lead right away and went on to win the 1986 BC Distaff by 2 1/2 lengths. Fran’s Valentine finished second, with Outstandingly third.Nicknamed the “Iron Lady,” Lady’s Secret won 20 races -- all stakes -- during a two-year period. She won 10 stakes races in 1985 and 10 more in 1986.Lady’s Secret ranked No. 76 on BloodHorse magazine’s list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century.“In 1986, Lady’s Secret fashioned one of the greatest single seasons in horse racing history,” Gary West stated in the Lady’s Secret profile he wrote for BloodHorse. “She traveled from California to New York, dominating her division and four times taking on many of the nation’s best males.“The diminutive filly won 10 of her 15 starts that season, all stakes races, and earned $1,871,053 to be named Horse of the Year and champion mare. She scored eight of her victories in Grade I events.”Lady’s Secret was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.(10) KOTASHAAN IN THE 1993 TURF. (Owned by La Presle Farm; trained by Richard Mandella; ridden by Kent Desormeaux; 5-year-old French-bred son of Darshaan.)Kotashaan and Bien Bien clashed four times in 1993. They met for the first time in the Grade I San Luis Rey Stakes at Santa Anita. Kotashaan won by 1 1/4 lengths, with Bien Bien second.They had a rematch in the Grade I San Juan Capistrano Handicap on the same turf course a month later. Kotashaan won again over Bien Bien, but this time the margin was a scant nose.In the fall, Kotashaan and Bien Bien faced each other again in the BC Turf. And again they ran one-two. They battled it out all the way down the stretch before Kotashaan finally prevailed by a half-length.Kotashaan was voted 1993 Eclipse Awards as champion male turf performer and Horse of the Year.The 1993 BC Turf victory by Kotashaan was part of a big day for Mandella, who also won the BC Juvenile Fillies with Phone Chatter and two stakes races on the undercard with Memo (Smile Handicap) and Region (Skywalker Handicap).In 2003, Mandella had an even bigger day when he saddled four BC winners -- Halfbridled in the BC Juvenile Fillies, Action This Day in the BC Juvenile, Johar (who finished in a dead heat with High Chaparral) in the BC Turf and Pleasantly Perfect in the BC Classic.(9) MIDNIGHT LUTE IN THE 2008 SPRINT. (Owned by Watson and Weitman Performances and Mike Pegram; trained by Bob Baffert; ridden by Garrett Gomez; 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Real Quiet.)After Midnight Lute won the 2007 BC Sprint by 4 3/4 lengths on a sloppy track at Monmouth Park, he returned to take the 2008 BC Sprint by 1 3/4 lengths on Santa Anita’s synthetic surface.Midnight Lute’s BC Sprint victory at Santa Anita was truly remarkable in that he had made just one prior 2008 start, finishing 10th in Del Mar’s Grade II Pat O’Brien Handicap.I am of the opinion that the 2008 BC Sprint victory by Midnight Lute off only one 2008 race was without question one of Baffert’s finest training accomplishments.In 2007, Midnight Lute was voted an Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. However, Midnight Lute was not voted champion sprinter in 2008, no doubt mainly due to the fact he had made only two starts and won just the BC Sprint during the year. The 2008 Eclipse Award for champion sprinter went to Benny the Bull.Midnight Lute became the first two-time BC Sprint winner. Roy H then duplicated the feat by taking the 2017 and 2018 renewals.(8) GOLDIKOVA IN THE 2008 MILE. (Owned by Wertheimer and Frere; trained by Freddie Head; ridden by Olivier Peslier; 3-year-old Irish-bred Anabaa filly.)Head became the first person to ride and train a Breeders’ Cup winner. Head won the BC Mile as a jockey in 1987 at Hollywood Park and 1988 at Churchill Downs aboard the brilliant Miesque. In 2008, Head won the BC Mile as a trainer with Goldikova.In the 2008 BC Mile, when a hole opened for Goldikova in the stretch, her acceleration was breathtaking. The burst of speed was such that her rival jockeys did not have any chance to close the hole on her because she was through it and gone in an instant. Goldikova won by 1 1/4 lengths.Kip Deville, the 2007 BC Mile winner, ran well to finish second in the 2008 BC Mile while rebounding off a disappointing effort when fifth in the Grade I Woodbine Mile.Goldikova returned to Santa Anita in 2009 and won a second BC Mile. And then, at Churchill Downs in 2010, she made it a BC Mile three-peat. Goldikova thus became the first three-time winner of the same Breeders’ Cup race.Voted Eclipse Awards in 2009 and 2010 as champion female turf performer, Goldikova was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.(7) ZENYATTA IN THE 2008 LADIES’ CLASSIC. (Owned by Ann and Jerry Moss; trained by John Shirreffs; ridden by Mike Smith; 4-year-old Kentucky-bred Street Sense filly.)Despite racing extremely wide while rallying into the stretch, Zenyatta won going away by 1 1/2 lengths to remain undefeated in nine career starts. This performance put the exclamation point on Zenyatta’s seven-for-seven 2008 campaign.How strong was the field that Zenyatta defeated in the 2008 BC Ladies’ Classic? Her seven victims all were graded stakes winners. Five were Grade I winners: Cocoa Beach (who finished second), Music Note (third), Carriage Trail (fourth), Hystericalady (fifth) and Ginger Punch (sixth). Santa Teresita (seventh) would go on to become a Grade I winner. Bear Now (eighth) was a Grade II winner.Ginger Punch had taken the 2007 BC Distaff on a sloppy track at Monmouth. Ginger Punch was voted a 2007 Eclipse Award as champion older female. The 2008 Eclipse Award for champion older female went to Zenyatta, who would go on to earn more laurels in 2009 and 2010.(6) HOLLYWOOD WILDCAT IN THE 1993 DISTAFF. (Owned by Irving and Marjorie Cowan; trained by Neil Drysdale; ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye; 3-year-old Florida-bred Kris S filly.)Hollywood Wildcat, a 3-year-old trained by Hall of Famer Drysdale, and 6-year-old Paseana, conditioned by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, staged a furious battle to the finish in the 1993 BC Distaff. Adding to the dramatic finish were the two Hall of Fame jockeys involved. Eddie Delahoussaye rode Hollywood Wildcat, with Chris McCarron aboard Paseana.Delahoussaye dropped his riding crop about 70 yards from the finish. When recently interviewed by Santa Anita publicity director Mike Willman, Delahoussaye said that he panicked when the crop was dropped. But you sure could not see any evidence of that when watching the race live. Even when looking at a replay of the race all these years later, it appears that Delahoussaye kept his cool. In any case, Hollywood Wildcat won by a nose.Hollywood Wildcat was voted a 1993 Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly. Paseana earned a second straight Eclipse Award in 1993 as champion older female.(5) WISE DAN IN THE 2012 MILE. (Owned by Morton Fink; trained by Charles LoPresti; ridden by John Velazquez; 5-year-old Kentucky-bred Wiseman’s Ferry gelding.)Wise Dan’s final time of 1:31.78 broke Santa Anita’s course record of 1:31.89 for one mile on the grass set by Atticus in 1997. Wise Dan’s 1:31.78 clocking was faster than such exceptional BC Mile winners at Santa Anita as Lure (1:33.40 in 1993) and Goldikova (1:33.40 in 2008 and 1:32.26 in 2009).In the 2012 BC Mile, Wise Dan defeated the likes of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom; Excelebration and Moonlight Cloud, a pair of multiple Group I winners from Europe; Suggestive Boy, a multiple Group I winner in Argentina; and a razor-sharp, multiple Grade II-winning Obviously.Wise Dan was a six-time Eclipse Award winner. He was voted Horse of the Year in 2012 and 2013. He also was honored as champion older male in 2012 and 2013, plus champion male turf horse in 2012 and 2013. He became the first horse to win the same three Eclipse Awards in consecutive years since the inception of those awards in 1971.(4) BEHOLDER IN THE 2016 DISTAFF. (Owned by Spendthrift Farm; trained by Richard Mandella; ridden by Gary Stevens; 6-year-old Kentucky-bred Henny Hughes mare.)This victory by Beholder makes my list of the Top 12 Breeders’ Cup performances at Santa Anita because she was so valiant.Three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder and 2015 Eclipse Award winner Songbird staged a furious duel all the way down the stretch to a dramatic photo finish. The two champions were bobbing heads for supremacy as the wire loomed, accompanied by a roar from a Breeders’ Cup record Friday on-track crowd of 45,763.Some, including Larry Collmus, who called the race for NBC, thought Beholder had won. Others thought Songbird had won. Michael Wrona, who called the race as Santa Anita’s track announcer, announced it as “a cliffhanger that could go either way.”The photograph went Beholder’s way, but by only the skinniest nose imaginable in what very nearly was a dead heat. Beholder and Songbird ran so hard, both giving it everything they had, it was a shame that either of them lost. But Beholder won it in what turned out to be the final start of her exemplary racing career.Beholder was a four-time Eclipse Award winner. She was voted champion 2-year-old filly in 2012, champion 3-year-old filly in 2013, plus champion older female in 2015 and 2016.(3) MANILA IN THE 1986 TURF. (Owned by Bradley M. Shannon; trained by LeRoy Jolley; ridden by Jose Santos; 3-year-old Kentucky-bred Lyphard colt.)It took an outstanding performance by the extraordinary grass runner Manila to win the 1986 BC Turf. Manila won in a thriller, prevailing by a neck as a 3-year-old over another tremendous turf runner in 4-year-old Theatrical. The marvelous mare Estrapade finished third, with the great Dancing Brave fourth and sometimes-explosive finisher Dahar fifth.Manila was voted a 1986 Eclipse Award as male turf champion. He certainly earned that honor after having defeated so many champions that year in the BC Turf.Theatrical returned the following year to win the BC Turf at Hollywood Park. He was voted a 1987 Eclipse Award as male turf champion.Estrapade had distinguished herself earlier in 1986, taking both the Grade I Arlington Million and Grade I Oak Tree Invitational against male opponents. She was voted a 1986 Eclipse Award as female turf champion.European champion Dancing Brave is certainly one of the finest Thoroughbreds to run in the Breeders’ Cup without winning. He went into the BC Turf off one of the most impressive wins ever seen in the prestigious Group I Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a 3-year-old. With his record at the time of six wins from seven lifetime starts, Dancing Brave was the 1-2 favorite in the 1986 BC Turf. However, hot Southern California weather in the days leading up to the BC Turf took a toll on Dancing Brave, who lost considerable weight. Prince Khalid Abdullah (Juddmonte Farms) considered Dancing Brave the best horse he had ever owned…until Frankel.Dahar, a son of the great Dahlia, was not a champion. But he loved Santa Anita’s turf course. Earlier in 1986, he had taken both the Grade I San Luis Rey Stakes and Grade I San Juan Capistrano for trainer Charlie Whittingham.Manila and Theatrical battled for the lead throughout the final furlong in the 1986 BC Turf. Gary Stevens rode Theatrical. About 40 yards from the finish, Santos dropped his riding crop. But that miscue did not prevent Manila from recording his sixth consecutive victory. His winning streak reached nine before the son of Lyphard finally lost the Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga in 1987. He finished second to Talakeno.After the Bernard Baruch, Manila made only one more start. He won the 1987 Arlington Million (with Sharrood second and Theatrical third).Voted a 1986 Eclipse Award as champion male turf horse, Manila was recognized for his stellar career (13 grass starts, 10 wins, 3 seconds) with induction into the Hall of Fame in 2008.(2) ARROGATE IN THE 2016 CLASSIC. (Owned by Juddmonte Farms; trained by Bob Baffert; ridden by Mike Smith; 3-year-old Kentucky-bred Unbridled’s Song colt.)Most viewed the 2016 BC Classic as a two-horse race between California Chrome and Arrogate. California Chrome was the favorite at slightly less than even money. He was 9-10. Arrogate was the second choice at a bit less than 8-5. He was 17-10. Frosted was 8-1. Everyone else in the field of nine was 17-1 or higher.California Chrome had regular rider Victor Espinoza in the saddle. Mike Smith rode Arrogate. Bob Baffert and Espinoza had collaborated to win the BC Classic with American Pharoah. This time Baffert and Espinoza were BC Classic opponents.Away from the gate alertly, California Chrome showed the way through moderate early fractions of :23.28, :47.15 and 1:10.96 without being hustled at all to do so. Arrogate, fifth early, moved into third approaching the backstretch.Heading toward the far turn and then all the way around that turn, Espinoza intermittently took several peeks back at the competition. Even with Espinoza still not asking California Chrome for run, they spurted away to a daylight lead of about three lengths midway around the turn.Approaching the quarter pole, Arrogate loomed a threat -- indeed, the only threat -- to California Chrome. As Santa Anita track announcer Michael Wrona put it when California Chrome led by 2 1/2 lengths nearing the quarter pole: “Arrogate, the solitary 3-year-old, is sweeping after him in earnest as they race well clear of Melatonin.”The bettors were spot on in that the 2016 BC Classic had indeed become strictly a two-horse race between California Chrome and Arrogate in the final quarter-mile.California Chrome entered the stretch in front and was running strongly. Baffert later admitted that when he saw that, he believed Arrogate was going to finish second. Finishing second to California Chrome, “a great horse,” as Baffert put it, was going to be “no embarrassment” for Arrogate.Once straightened away for the stretch run, Espinoza asked California Chrome for run. And when California Chrome led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong to go, it appeared the 2014 Horse of the Year probably was on his way to a perfect seven-for-seven 2016 campaign.Smith, unquestionably one of the greatest big-money riders of all time, coaxed Arrogate while utilizing his riding crop left-handed from the top of the lane to just outside the sixteenth pole. Arrogate seemed to be responding just enough to be staying about a length or so behind California Chrome. But when Smith switched his stick and employed it with his right hand in the final sixteenth, Arrogate responded immediately and enthusiastically while appearing to find another gear. He surged past California Chrome in the final yards to prevail by a half-length in a thriller witnessed on a beautiful fall afternoon by a throng of 72,811 in attendance at the Great Race Place, the scenic battleground for this year’s Breeders’ Cup.Arrogate completed his 1 1/4-mile BC Classic journey in 2:00.11. He was assigned a 120 Beyer. Only six Breeders’ Cup winners have ever recorded a Beyer higher than 120. Precisionist owns the highest Beyer Speed Figure in Breeders’ Cup history, a 125 in the 1986 Sprint at Aqueduct. Arrogate’s 120 Beyer in the 2016 BC Classic matched that of American Pharoah when the Baffert-trained Triple Crown winner took the 2015 BC Classic at Keeneland.Following Arrogate’s 2016 BC Classic triumph, he was voted an Eclipse Award as that year’s champion 3-year-old male.California Chrome, who had to settle for second in the 2016 BC Classic, was a four-time Eclipse Award winner. He was voted Horse of the Year in 2014 and 2016, plus champion 3-year-old male in 2014 and champion older male in 2016.(1) ZENYATTA IN THE 2009 CLASSIC. (Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss; trained by John Shirreffs; ridden by Mike Smith; 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Street Sense.)This was, without a doubt, one of the greatest performances in the history of the Great Race Place, along with Seabiscuit’s victory in the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap and John Longden’s win aboard George Royal in the 1966 San Juan Capistrano Handicap.Zenyatta put her 14-0 record on the line and faced males for the first time in the 2009 BC Classic. As Trevor Denman noted three times during his call of the race, Zenyatta was “dead last” through the early stages of the race. With a quarter of a mile to go, Denman observed that Zenyatta was still so far behind that she would have to be “a super horse” to win.But in a rally for the ages, Zenyatta electrified the 58,845 people in attendance and thousands more watching on television. She won by one length in what Denman so beautifully characterized as an “un…bah…lieveable” performance.Zenyatta became the first female Thoroughbred to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic as well as the first horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races.In the 2009 BC Classic, Zenyatta defeated 11 male opponents, including eight Grade I winners. Finishing second and third were a pair of 2009 Eclipse Award winners in Gio Ponti and Summer Bird.Gio Ponti was voted both champion older male and champion male turf horse of 2009. He collected yet another Eclipse Award in 2010 as champion male turf horse. Summer Bird was voted champion 3-year-old male of 2009.After Zenyatta was voted an Eclipse Award as champion older female of 2008, she repeated in that category in 2009. However, the 2009 Horse of the Year title went to 3-year-old star Rachel Alexandra in a contentious vote.Zenyatta continued racing in 2010. After compiling a 19-0 record, the big mare lost for the first and only time in her career when she finished second, a head behind Blame, in the 2010 BC Classic at Churchill Downs. But this time Zenyatta did win over a majority of the Eclipse Award voters to garner the 2010 Horse of the Year title, along with being voted champion older female for the third consecutive year.Zenyatta unquestionably ranks as one of the greatest female Thoroughbreds in history. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016 (as was Rachel Alexandra).And Zenyatta’s 2009 Classic victory is my choice as the greatest Breeders’ Cup performance ever seen at Santa Anita.

Read Article
10.23.2019:

Get the FREE Breeders’ Cup Guide

If you’re a racing fan, Breeders’ Cup resembles Christmas--heaps of anticipation followed by exhilaration. Stuffed stockings and presents beneath the tree become Tri’s and Superfectas accented by Pick 3s, 4s and 5s--all unwrapped with vigor in search of that special Santa delivery. Next Friday and Saturday, some of the best horses in the world will tangle in 14 races over two days at Santa Anita for the 10th time—a record for any BC host track. There will be drama, excitement and historic moments…we just don’t know when, exactly, and in which races. The Breeders’ Cup Sprint has a lineup geared to produce a race for the ages. Several of the fastest sprinters in the world will clash, led by Shancelot, Mitole and Imperial Hint. The first two have one way to go: to the front and at full speed ahead. ‘Hint won’t be far behind them. There’s a feeling here that when speedsters like that engage, something’s gotta give. Catalina Cruiser, who should be suitably placed just off the hot pace, ought to be licking his chops. He’s won 7 of 8 races, is 2-for-2 both at the distance and at Santa Anita. And that’s not all. There are a few other contenders in the race with serious closing ability. Firenze Fire, Whitmore and sophomore Hog Creek Hustle will circle pacesetters like buzzards over carnage. The Breeders’ Cup Classic appears similarly wide-open. The starting favorite at 3-1 could be McKenzie, from the potent Bob Baffert stable racing on his home course. However, the colt didn’t impress last out when wringing his tail while futilely chasing longshot Mongolian Groom home in the Awesome Again. There are other options in the race. Code of Honor and Vino Rosso had a donnybrook in Belmont’s Jockey Club Gold Cup, with the former earning victory via a stewards’ disqualification. Higher Power, also playing a ‘home’ BC game, won the Pacific Classic like a good horse and then broke poorly in the Awesome Again. A summer bounce back puts him squarely in the Classic picture. The BC Distaff may be one of those ‘coronation’ type events for Midnight Bisou. She’s been unbeatable this year—7-for-7, all graded stakes—and as reliable as the sun throughout her career—18 starts, 12 wins and never worse than third. She seems the most likely winner on the Saturday card and a standing ovation ought to welcome her to the winner’s circle as she joins previously dominating Distaff fillies and mares in a race that often develops according to form. Those are just some of the anticipated highlights. And those opinions all could turn out to be completely wrong (although, for my wagering account’s sake, I hope not). In fact, it’s not unreasonable for a horseplayer to go 0-14 in the Breeders’ Cup. I know, I’ve done it. Last year, at Churchill Downs, was an exception. The races were more formful than ever. Chalk came home on top like trained pigs and mutuel prices were more deflated than the Iranian Rial. Think I may have even hit the pick six and lost a few bucks! The $11.66 average win mutuel was the lowest at the BC since going to a two-day format in 2007. Don’t anticipate a similar scenario this year. As evidenced by samples above, 2019 BC races appear much more difficult to handicap. That’s why you’ll need all the help you can get. And one of the best sources for BC race information is Xpressbet’s FREE Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide. The guide, available Free online Friday, Oct. 25, covers all 14 BC races Nov. 1 & 2—Friday and Saturday. The guide includes complete race breakdowns for each race, including Average Payoffs, Expert Analysis and Selections, Suggested Wagering Strategies, Stats & Trends and ‘Know This’ handicapping angles. Some of your favorite writers, broadcasters and handicappers are in the guide, including XBTV’s Jeff Siegel and Millie Ball; Nick Luck of NBC Sports; Steve Byk from At the Races on Sirius, Horseplayernow’s Bob Neumeier and Eclipse Award winner Dick Jerardi. Xpressbet account holders and avid horseplayers will recognize handicappers: Ron Nicoletti, Frank Carulli, Brian W. Spencer, Brian Nadeau, Jerry Shottenkirk, Matt Dinnerman, Stan Salter and Dustin Fabian. Daily guide updates will be posted to the web site beginning Tuesday, Oct. 29 and an updated guide version, including analysis and picks from NBC Sports’ Eddie Olcyzk and VSiN’s Brent Musburger, will be posted Thursday, Oct. 31. Clearly, that’s an outstanding expert starting lineup geared toward making your 2019 Breeders’ Cup the best it can be. However, over the previous 15 years of the guide, one of the most popular guide features is the informative handicapping angles arranged mostly according to race. One of my favorite stats surrounds the BC Filly & Mare Turf, originated in 1999, and involves starters based in California that are a remarkable 0-44 with just 5 in-the-money finishes. An equally astounding stat reminds that Aidan O’Brien, one of the world’s greatest trainers is 0-36 with runners in the Mile (23) and Filly & Mare Turf (13) combined! Other notable trainers with cold BC win stats are Christophe Clement (36-0-6-6) and Kenny McPeek (31-0-6-10). All indications are that this year’s Breeders’ Cup will be one to remember. Let’s hope you remember it as the time you hit that big one! Xpressbet’s FREE Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide is designed to make that happen. And, remember, the Guide’s FREE and worth twice the price! Race On!

Read Article
10.23.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: October 25 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle with this week’s Stronach 5, which continues to be one of the best bets on the track. 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 45 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 (4:19 ET) – 3up ALW at 1 1/16 miles (turf) An awesome opener that could easily play out as a small stakes and is ripe with contenders and a lot of speed, so I’ll look to come from off the pace and go with #8 ENGLISH MINISTER, who saw a four-race winning streak snapped last time, but it came going 1 1/2 miles in the Japan Turf Cup here, from a terrible draw too, so on the cutback, with a better post, he can get back on the beam. Belmont invader #1 DEVAMANI has been facing better and drew perfectly, and also hasn’t missed a beat in two starts since being claimed by Atras, so he looks primed on the drop here. Pk5 A horses: 8,1 (listed in order of preference) I may be asking for trouble playing against #9 O DIONYSUS on top, since he just beat ‘Minister, but he hasn’t been quite as good going this short, plus he could regress, so I’ll only use him as a B. I’m going to play against the three that want to be on or just off the lead, as this looks like it could have a hot pace, which would leave them wanting late, so even though #6 Golden Brown, #3 Saratoga Jack, and #11 Class and Cash have the credentials to win this, the race flow, amongst other things, might prevent it from happening. Pk5 B horses: 9 Leg 2: Santa Anita R2 (4:30 ET) – 2yof Cal-bred MSW at 5 � furlongs (turf) When things look tough to decipher, I’m a big fan of letting proven stats guide my way, and that’s what I’ll do with this six-pack, since there isn’t a lot to go on, in terms of proven afternoon form. In a race with just six, where three come from barns that are a combined 0-for-49 with firsters, I think it’s pretty obvious you have to look at #1 ELGOFRANCO, since Cecil is 2-for-8 on debut, and this Reddam homebred has a slew of works showing for her unveiling. I’ll also give one more chance to #4 SOFI’S GOLD, who didn’t fire at odds-on last time going longer but was 2nd, beaten just a neck, on debut, and Prat says he’ll ride, so a rebound may be coming. Pk5 A horses: 1,4 Most will use #6 Flying Business, as that dirt debut was solid, and she did well to draw outside here, however, back to the stats, it’s a huge worry that Chew is 0-for-12 first-turf and 0-for-16 off this 61-to-180 day layoff, so I’ll make her prove it. You could also use #2 Via Alpina, since Dollase is only 0-for-6 with firsters, but the works here are light, so she may need this. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 3: Gulfstream Park West R8 (4:43 ET) – 2yo 20k MCL at 7 � furlongs (turf) With post position at a premium going this trip, you could do worse than singling #1 RENEESINHEAVEN, since her numbers are much better than these, she drops in class, and won’t have to improve much, if at all, to break through. However, with Ward firster #7 CHEROKEE SOUND showing several promising works for a 30% debut barn, I’ll use two on the top line. Pk5 A horses: 1,7 Normally I wouldn’t use someone from the 10-hole at this trip, but #10 WATERLOO SUNSET was a chasing 3rd going 5Fs last time, so that speed might allow her to clear before the quick run to the first turn, and if that happens she could get brave and prove tough to catch. Others with also use #5 Teacher Drama, who was 2nd at the level last time, but that race was painfully slow and she’ll need to improve, so she can beat me. Pk5 B horses: 10 Leg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:50 ET) – 3up 50k Starter-Allowance at 6 furlongs This is a tricky race, since it all depends on what you think of #5 PASSIONATE REWARD, who beat lesser in very fast time here last month for Mandella and now goes off the claim for Tamayo, which is a big 30% move. I’m taking the trusting approach, and one that says a Hall of Fame trainer just had had better in the shedrow and came north to lose this runner, while not trying to put one over on anyone. And, therefore, I expect another big run, if not improvement, for his new barn, which means the rest of these are all going to be running for second-money. Pk5 A horses: 5 The problem when you single in a deep field is that if the single doesn’t win, then likely countless others could, because things have obviously gone awry with the heavy favorite and the mice can play while the cat is away. The second problem is you just can’t slot the seven next logical contenders in with your others A’s and go on with it, as the ticket would be huge. So, what I’ll do is split the difference and use #2 ELECTORAL, #7 STRETCH RUN, and #3 NOLONGERAHOBBY, who I view best-of-the rest, with my A’s in Leg 1-3 with my top two choices in Leg 5, #4 Bethabara and #5 Patriotic Punch, which will cut the cost of a fringe backup ticket down. Pk5 B horses: 2,7,3 Leg 5: Laurel Park R9 (5:25 ET) – 2yof MSW at 1-mile (turf) It’s a good thing I think the first four legs are going to be relatively formful, as the finale is a nightmare, and looks like the type of race where they are all the same on paper, and therefore anything can happen. And that’s what I hope does, since I’m going to hit the ALL-ball on the main ticket, root to be alive, and then root like heck for utter chaos. Of course, I can’t do that with the backups, so I’ll use a more condensed list led by stretchout sprinter #4 BETHABARA, and MSW droppers #5 PATROTIC PUNCH and #10 FACTORINTHEHEAT, and firster #6 ESPRESSOANDACHECK. Also, should #14 LOA draw in, she too will join this group. Pk5 A horses: ALL (12) The tickets: Main Ticket: 8,1 with 1,4 with 1,7 with 5 with ALL (10) = $80Leg 1 B Backup: 9 with 1,4 with 1,7 with 5 with 4,5,10,6 = $16Leg 3 B Backup: 8,1 with 1,4 with 10 with 5 with 4,5,10,6 = $16Leg 4 B Backup: 8,1 with 1,4 with 1,7 with 2,7,3 with 4,5 = $48

Read Article
10.21.2019:

Monday, October 21: Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park begins the week with a 12-race card. The Early Pick 4 will begin in Race 4, it has a $50,000 guaranteed pool and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 43-Arsenal Seelster-Drury's choice tries this level from a better post, and should be a player. But 1-29 over last 2 years can't be ignored so be careful if overbet.7-Think Again-8-year-old hasn't missed by much and is no stranger to the Wbsb winner's circle. Could win at first asking for new barn.10-EL Wild Spirit-Came off the bench with a win in a much-improved effort. Can leave from here and could be a good trip away from an encore.Race 51-Susies Lady-In good form, now draws the rail and the inside starting spot could make the difference.2-Mybella Angel-Filly has ability but starts poorly at times and that has been costly. A major player if MacDonell can get off the gate in good shape.8-Heid-McClure's choice makes only its 2nd start and came the last half in .58. Looks like a price play to consider and could be driven more aggressively tonight.Race 61-Mystic Shadow-Will use at 10-1 in the ML, with this post draw could follow #2 and trip out for a victory.2-Saulsbrook Raven-Tried a different approach in last, raced near the lead and was a game winner. Best to respect chances of following the same script.6-Ms Brampton Beach-Should be in the hunt if AMac works a good trip, could pop at a square price.Race 72-Red Hot Torch-Rallied nicely after a poor start against better. McClure sticks and this is a spot to shine at a price.7-While Your Up-Needs to mind manners but has faced better and does have decent speed. Risky play and is only 1-20 but might be overlooked and go off higher than the ML of 5-1.8-Warrawee Ultra-Faces easier, Roy is back and finally passed horses down the lane in last outing. Thinking Roy blasts out and tries to take advantage of others who start slowly.My Ticket Race 4) 3,7,10 Race 5) 1,2,8 Race 6) 1,2,6 Race 7) 2,7,8Total Ticket Cost) $16.20 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.21.2019:

Who Has the Friday Breeders' Cup Hype?

The gap between what we know and what we don’t know will be expanded on Future Stars Friday at the Breeders’ Cup. For all the familiarity we have in Saturday divisions like the Classic, Distaff and Sprint, racing’s newcomers give us more air of uncertainty. Hype blurs credentials when it comes to limited past performances. Our job as horseplayers is to cut through the hype. I’ll take a look in this week’s blog at the expected hype horse in each of the Friday divisions of 2-year-olds, and try to determine which runners are, and are not, worthy of the hype.Juvenile Turf SprintKimari lost all chance at the start of her prep at Keeneland, then snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with a stirring rally to advance to 3-for-4 lifetime. Her only loss was by a head at Royal Ascot. She outworked star elder turf sprinter Bound for Nowhere on Sunday at Keeneland for trainer Wesley Ward and looks to have come out of the Indian Summer Stakes better than she went into it. And, she’s beaten the boys twice already in her brief career. Fillies ran second, third and fourth in the inaugural Juvenile Turf Sprint. Hype Meter: Worthy.Juvenile Fillies TurfAlbigna will be a fancied European in this race following her Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac victory at Longchamp. We simply haven’t gotten these runners in the Breeders’ Cup at age 2, but fans will recognize its stellar honor roll of winners with subsequent championship raiders like Six Perfections, Found and Wuheida. Albigna’s Olympic Equestrian trainer, Jessica Harrington, will make her first Breeders’ Cup appearance at the age of 72. The Niarchos Family owns, and their Breeders’ Cup success has been vast with 6 wins in the Mile and another in the Turf. Chad Brown doesn’t look to have the monsters in this division that he’s had in recent years, which is what the Euros likely need to reemerge. Hype Meter: Worthy.Juvenile FilliesThe day after Bast won the Grade 1 Chandelier at 1-5 odds for Bob Baffert and seemingly cemented favoritism in this division, all anyone could talk about was Sept. 28 Santa Anita debut sprint winner Donna Veloce. Smashed to 3-5 favoritism, she rolled by 9-1/4 lengths for trainer Simon Callaghan. The $800,000 juvenile purchase in March delivered on promise. Now she’ll be asked to make the major class and distance rise to Grade 1 company at 1-1/16 miles. Only twice has the Juvenile Fillies been won by fillies making their third career start (Indian Blessing ’07, Caledonia Road ’17), much less a second-timer never winning. Trainer Simon Callaghan is 10: 0-0-1 in the BC and has disappointed twice in this division the past 2 years with favorites who finished off the board (Moonshine Memories ’17 and Bellafina ’18). Hype Meter: Not Worthy.Juvenile TurfVitalogy was the beaten favorite in Keeneland’s Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes and will be a wiseguy horse for trip handicappers and exotics players upon his return. Regardless what his price is in the Juvenile Turf morning line, I fully expect this to be the horse everyone feels cute about. From a rotten 14-post at Keeneland, he dropped back to last, trailed a modest-to-slow pace and rallied greenly to finish second by a neck before galloping out best. Trakus clocked him in a 23.58 fourth quarter and 5.97 final sixteenth, both best in the field. But the BRIS last pace figures, which I adamantly apply and follow, only resulted in a 91 on very firm opening weekend turf, which is good, but doesn’t back up the visual. And further note Vitalogy also found trouble in the Summer Stakes at Woodbine prior, leading to his Bourbon favoritism despite a lead-in defeat. Trouble horses tend to find the trouble due to a lack of gears at their own fault. Plus, the Bourbon hasn’t been a rousing success as a Juvenile Turf prep. Hype Meter: Not Worthy.JuvenileWhile it’s quite possible that Bob Baffert’s Eight Rings goes favored in the Juvenile, the hype behind Dennis’ Moment has been palpable since his Ellis Park demolition on July 27. When you break your maiden by 19 lengths, a Tiznow colt for a Louisville native trainer (Dale Romans) is bound to be colored rosy. With such emphasis placed by these connections on the Kentucky Derby, you wonder about the next few steps, which mirror the 2016 campaign of Not This Time. He, too, won his second start at Ellis (by 10 lengths) after a troubled debut at Churchill. The Albaugh Family Stables runner Not This Time was sent by Romans to the 2016 Iroquois at Churchill and proved easily best late in that Grade 3, opting to pre-empt Keeneland’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity worth more than triple the purse money. Fast forward three years and Dennis’ Moment travels the exact same path. He’ll go from Churchill to Santa Anita, where Not This Time finished second as the 5-2 favorite in his appearance. Not This Time was injured after the Juvenile and didn’t get out of November before being retired. If Dennis’ Moment fits the hype, then the end goal is the first Saturday in May, not the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and a Not This Time encore. My gut feeling here is that he’ll have to be a superstar to win the Juvenile. Baffert has a much stronger foe this time than Klimt in ’16; and note that the Breeders’ Futurity winner (Classic Empire) upended Not This Time in his BC bid … and that prep has another very sharp 2019 contender in Maxfield, maybe equally talented to the shorter-priced Dennis’ Moment. Hype Meter: Not Worthy.

Read Article
10.20.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Wagering Strategies for 10/20/19

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis & Wagering StrategiesSanta AnitaSunday, October 20, 2019 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 12:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Meso; 3-Discreet DivaForecast: The opener, a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claiming router for fillies and mares, drew just five entrants, so there’s not much we can do with it. Meso returns from the Bay Area, takes a realistic drop in class, has won over this main track in the past, and may inherit the role as the controlling speed in a race that has little of it. We’ll also toss in Discreet Diva, much slower on speed figures that Meso but making her third start off a layoff and likely to produce another forward move with F. Prat riding her back.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Bodhicitta; 4-UnicornForecast: Trainer Richard Baltas has this race surrounded. Unicorn appeared to be spinning her wheels over the deep Santa Anita main track when third without mishap in a similar maiden miler just eight days ago and is wheeled back quickly while returning to her preferred surface, turf. The daughter of Bodemeister hit the board in two prior outings over the local lawn and on speed figures simply should be better than these. We’ll prefer her on top but Baltas’ other starter, Bodhicitta, can be included in rolling exotic play as well. The English import can turn it on late and was a close fourth from out of the clouds in her most recent outing in mid-August at Del Mar. She’s a nine-race maiden but seems to be headed in the right direction.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+Single: 3-CambyForecast: Camby has been chasing tougher first-level allowance runners without success recently but today takes a realistic class drop into a restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer and appears to have found his friends. The Candy Ride gelding has placed twice in four previous outings over the Santa Anita main track, has the proper style for this extended sprint trip, and is reunited with “win rider” J. Talamo while owning speed figures that are more than good enough to beat this field. Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 4: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Commanding Chief; 5-Go Daddy Go; 7-Never EasyForecast: Four of the seven entrants exit the same race, the Sept. 29 event won by Mo Forza. Each are in various stages of development so we’ll see if one of them can produce a significant forward move in this maiden turf miler. Go Daddy Go, in his first start in more than a year (and just his second career start), finished seventh, beaten five lengths at 30-1 in that race but appeared a bit green and certainly had a right to need the outing. He’s the type of colt that should benefit greatly with the race under his belt and with the addition of blinkers so with A. Gryder riding him back let’s take a shot with the son of Scat Daddy, who may have more room to improve than the others. Never Easy, second in that Mo Forza race, should be on or near a soft pace and may not have to improve much to win. He’s never taken a backward move in five starts according to his speed figures and as a son of Candy Ride figures to continue to improve with experience and maturity. Commanding Chief has hit the board in four of his five career starts and retains F. Prat. Third in that common race, the son of Will Take Charge is a one-paced grinder but should draft into a stalking position and have every chance. We’ll try to survive and advance using just these three.RACE 5: Post 2:37 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Raging Whiskey; 2-StrongconstitutionForecast: Strongconstitution was very impressive winning his debut at Del Mar in August and has trained nicely in the interim for D. O’Neill. Though his win was accomplished on grass, the son of Constitution actually is bred to prefer dirt, so the switch in surface is of little concern. He’s a fit on speed figures in this sprint stakes for juveniles based on his maiden win alone and certainly is eligible to improve as he gains experience. Raging Whiskey didn’t act at all when tried (again) on turf in the Speakeasy Stakes two weeks ago but he’s back on dirt today, clearly his preferred surface. His runaway win at Los Alamitos in the Capote Stakes in September makes him the one to beat in this affair. We’ll double the race in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying Strongconstitution on top.RACE 6: Post 3:12 PT. Grade: B+Use: 4-Goalie; 5-Much More Halo; 7-Rookie MistakeForecast: The known element doesn’t inspire so let’s use three first-time starters in this wide open turf sprint for juveniles. Rookie Mistake is especially intriguing. As a son of Square Eddie he really should love the grass, and while his workout times haven’t been off the charts he’s done everything in the morning like a nice prospect for the D. O’Neill barn. A healthy series of steady drills should have him fit and ready and a bullet three furlong drill from the gate just four days ago really catches the eye. Much More Halo has done some good work in the morning, and as a son of More Than Ready it makes perfect sense that he’s debuting on grass. A $300,000 OBS March Sales purchase, the B. Baffert-trained colt is certain to attract plenty of play. Goalie has been working nicely for P. D’Amato without being asked for much in a series of easy training track team drills. He might be a down-the-road type but the son of Bodemeister definitely has some ability and may be worth tossing in as a saver or a back-up.RACE 7: Post 3:47 PT. Grade: B+Single: 7-ProverbForecast: Proverb makes his West Coast debut in a first-level allowance race after finishing third in a pair of competitive Midwest stakes events, most recently in the Matt Winn S.-G3 at Churchill Downs in June behind Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-bound Mr. Money. Obviously, this is a considerably softer spot, so the son of Flatter, now in the R. Baltas barn, seems well-spotted to regain his winning form. Though he went six weeks without a workout between mid-August and late-September, three nice recent drills give every indication that he’s fit and ready. Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 8: Post 4:19 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-If Id Told You; 6-One Fast Bro; 8-Tropical TerrorForecast: One Fast Bro was victimized by a brutal trip when fifth across the wire in a similar maiden turf miler for juveniles last month and with clear sailing today the son of Coil should be able to show his best stuff. He was ready to pounce on the leaders at the head of the lane but clipped heels, nearly dropped his rider, lost his action, and then veered out and caused a foul that resulted in his disqualification from fifth to ninth. We’ll give him another chance. If Id Told You is a son of Creative Cause with the classic two-sprints-and-a-stretch out pattern. His pedigree that should allow him to improve going long on the lawn and the G. Mandella-trained colt switches to T. Baze while projecting to be within striking range throughout. Also worth tossing in is somewhere is the first-timer Tropical Terror. He’s bred for grass, shows a healthy work tab, and lands a hot rider in A. Cedillo. The J. Cassidy newcomer won’t have to be a world beater to be competitive in this state-bred affair.

Read Article
10.20.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Workout Analysis - 10/20/19

Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita Workout Report(For Racing on Sunday, October 20, 2019)The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily. SECOND RACE2-BodhicittaSept. 18, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: B-Probably went a few ticks slower than given, final half on our watches in :25.1 and :50.2, late switching leads but breezing most of the way. English-bred filly wants to run long on the lawn, still a maiden for Baltas and should be competitive in the proper spot soon.6-Wicked LiarSept. 20, 20194f, :49.3hGrade: B-Rank and hard held leaving the pole, :23.4 and :24.4 to the top, then was fairly smooth through the lane without urging and finished up reasonably well, up in :49.3 for Cassidy. Has some ability but needs to learn to switch off. Broke slowly and then closed a gap in her Del Mar turf sprint debut and probably will improve with experience.FIFTH RACE2-StrongconstitutionSept. 30, 20194f, :49hGrade: BInside and going best with Vegan (same time), light coaxing through the lane and finishing with plenty left, final three furlongs in :11.4 and :36 flat. Broke his maiden at first asking sprinting on turf at Del Mar like a quality sort and will certainly tackle stakes foes next time out.3-Mo HawkSept. 29, 20194f, :48.1hGrade: B-Finished down the lane with Qahira (same time), a tad the best at the wire but slightly second best while continuing out to 7/8 pole, mild coaxing. Debut winner at Los Alamitos will get tested vs. much tougher non-winners foes next time out.3-Mo HawkSept. 22, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: B-Inside with Bast (same time), slightly second best, breezing to the wire but then under some coaxing while traveling out to 7/8 pole, :25 flat and :37.3 on our watches. Expected a bit more, $925,000 Uncle Mo colt broke his maiden at first asking vs. modest foes at Los Alamitos and will need better at the next level.4-Fore LeftOct. 12, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: BSwitched leads a couple of times through the lane but really wasn’t asked much, final quarter mile in a strong :24.1. Found Grade-1 competition too tough in his last pair, can improve but needs to aim lower.SIXTH RACE3-DrasarioSept. 28, 20194f, :49.2h TTGrade: CBlinkers on, ridden through the lane to be even but second best inside Super Patriot (same time, not asked much). Needs a class drop.4-GoalieSept. 30, 20194f, :50.4h TTGrade: C+Slightly second best outside with Red King (same time), final three furlongs in :37.4, mild coaxing in training track move. Fair to moderate at this stage, juvenile son of Bodemeister was a $195,000 OBS April sale purchase.5-Much More HaloOct. 12, 20194f, :49.2hGrade: B-Best inside War Path (same time), light coaxing through the lane, final three furlongs in :36.4. Was recently entered but didn’t drawn in from the also-eligible, should make the entries again soon. Okay type.5-Much More HaloOct. 4, 20195f, 1:01.1hgGrade: BIn company with Crazy Speighty (same time) and went smoothly from the gate without being asked, splits of :25 flat, :36.4, :48.4 and 1:01.1. Definitely has some run, could have gone considerably quicker if permitted. Both maidens have ability and should be fit enough by now.5-Much More HaloSept. 9, 20195f, 1:00.1hgGrade: B-Decent gate work in company with Heros Reward (5f, 1:00.2hg) and Eel Point (5f, 1:01.2hg), a little sluggish in the opening sixteenth from the gate but then going well while being ridden along between horses, getting the first half on our watches in :47.2. More than Ready juvenile colt brought $390,000 at the OBS March Sale and seems fit enough to debut by now. ‘Reward flashed good gate zip, was taken in hand outside an appeared no worse than equal with ‘Halo, though earning a slightly slower final time. ‘Point was sent hard inside to be even for a half mile, then faded readily in the final furlong.9- Knifes EdgeOct. 11, 20194f, :49hGrade: B-Finished down the lane with American Theorem (5f, 1:01.3g) and did reasonably well under the circumstances (workmate under a hammerlock and appeared much the best), final three furlongs in :36.3. Has found straight maidens too tough so far, might be okay with a class drop.12-NineeleventurboOct. 10, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: B-Worked inside Drysdale barn mate Winners Club (same time) and responded to coaxing in the final furlong to edge clear late, final three furlongs in :37.3. More Than Ready juvenile colt has bit of run, getting fit.12-NineeleventurboSept. 12, 20194f, :49.4hGrade: CBlinkers, shadow roll, second best with Drysdale barn mate Winners Club (same time), under pressure outside through the lane while finishing a half-length back at the wire. More Than Ready colt brought $300,000 as a weanling, needs to show more.SEVENTH RACE7-ProverbOct. 5, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: BPicked her up entering the far turn while five lengths clear of Mixed Emotions (same time) and was strong through the stretch to finish about that same distance clear of workmate at the wire, asked into the lane and then finishing without pressure, final three furlongs in :36.2. plenty left late. Graded stakes-placed last summer in Kentucky and still has all of his conditions.EIGHTH RACE1-Rocks and SaltSept. 18, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: C-Outrun in team drill with Almost a Factor (5f, 1:01h), under pressure but losing ground noticeably in the final furlong. Cal-bred gelding by Acclimation has worked steadily since mid-July and should be fit but isn’t one to endorse at this stage.4-Canyon CrestOct. 13, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: B-Was slightly best with Fredricktown (same time), asked some late and responding decently, final three furlongs in :36.3. Was an okay fourth in a below par juvenile turf affair at Del Mar in his debut and certainly has a right to improve. Bred for grass only.

Read Article
10.20.2019:

October 20: Northfield Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Tonight, Northfield Park has a 13-race card set to roll. The $1 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 9, it has a $10,000 guaranteed pool and will be my focus. On Saturday, the top pilot was Aaron Merriman with five wins. Trainer Jessica Roegner led conditioners with three trips to the winner's circle.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 93-New Number Who Dis-Hasn't won in 8 tries at Nfld but is a 7-time winner in 2019 which stands out in this field. Second morning line chalk looks like the one to beat.4-We Are Dreaming-9/5 ML favorite has finished 2nd in last two outings. Should be a player but has had trouble finishing off miles.Race 101-Dianamight-This is a suspect group and there isn't much form to be recognized. But two-year-old catches a break with a beneficial post draw and should be forwardly placed.4-Blooming Sunflower-3/2 chalk is 2 for 32 lifetime, seems to have speed and will use but can't trust.5-Jessi Joanna-4-year-old has only one win but faces younger and drew well. Merriman steers for the first time and that shouldn't hurt.Race 111-Dancin Fever-Drops to a spot to shine but will need best to knock-off #5. Does like to race close to the lead and this post helps the cause.5-Mckinley-8/5 chalk has speed, drops and makes 4th start off the bench. Merriman should put in play and could be a clean trip away from a picture.Race 121-Maradona-Makes 3rd start for new barn and last 2 were better, may finally snag 2nd win of the year if upswing continues.2-Zone Blitz-Drops in 3rd start off the bench. Wrenn steers and gets post relief but has been camera shy in 2019.6-Fancy Creek Elusiv-9-year-old has been driven aggressively in last two starts. This is the 3rd go for new barn and should be in the mix versus this bunch.$1 Pick 43,4/1,4,5/1,5/1,2,6Total Bet=$36Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.19.2019:

Saturday, October 19: Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

It's a Breeders Crown Elimination night at Woodbine Mohawk Park and 13-races are scheduled. My focus will be on the 0.20 Early Pick 4 with a $50,000 guaranteed pool which begins in Race 4.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 47-Dorsoduro Hanover-May not figure as a prime contender next week but can make some noise here. Sizzled the pace at the Red Mile 2 weeks ago (53.2 to the 1/2). Thinking Kakaley will put in play early and be dialed on high.9-Jimmy Freight-Last two have been good and may not blast out but rather come from off cover at his home track. If #5 leaves as well as #7 the pace could be quick and then Jimmy can come flying late.Race 52-Green Manalishi S-Thinking Tetrick will have this top colt ready to take a picture and go into the Finals on a high note.4-Gimpanzee-This is another colt who could be looking to get a big effort in before next weekend. Could use a strong outing on a larger oval.5-Dont Letem-Looking for a more aggressive start and can beat these with a top performance. Gingras may have this colt ready to take a step forward before next week.Race 62-Darling Mearas S-Had some good efforts on the big track in NJ and should be worth a swing at 8-1 in the ML. Dunn could get on the engine or work a 2-hole trip.3-Custom Cantab-Classy mare makes 1st start on a big track since 8/3 and was a supplemental entry to get into the Open Mares Final. This is a spot to take a picture and could be sitting on a big try.7-Plunge Blue Chip-8/5 program chalk looks the part, has been too good to dismiss but will look to others for some Pick 4 pop.Race 71-Rockme Rollme-Big try from the 8-hole after a win, figures to be a threat and should be bet.2-Sugartown-Sportswriter colt has done well versus tough foes. Could upset at a nice price if Roy works the right trip.4-Better Ops N-7-year-old drops into a spot to shine and I've seen this Auciello-Drury movie before, best to not overlook.5-Casimir Richie P-Similar to #4 except is 5/2 in the ML not 6-1. Can make the best of this situation and 4-year-old has been facing tough company all summer.My Ticket Race 4) 7,9 Race 5) 2,4,5 Race 6) 2,3,7 Race 7) 1,2,4,5Total Ticket Cost) $14.40 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.19.2019:

Saturday, October 19: Santa Anita 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 12:30 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Jodie Faster; 6-Warrior’s MoonForecast: Jodie Faster missed by a neck in decent debut at Los Alamitos last month and has every right to produce a forward move while stretching out and switching to turf, conditions she is bred to enjoy. The P. D’Amato-trained filly sports a healthy if unspectacular series of drills since that race and based on the early zip she displayed in her debut could easily wind up being the controlling speed. Warrior’s Moon has the benefit of three prior outings including a respectable third place (after moving too soon) in a two-turn state-bred maiden grass at Del Mar in her most recent start. She’s not particular fast on numbers but regains F. Prat and with patient handling may be capable of producing the last run. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two, with slight preference on top to Jodie Faster.RACE 2: Post 1:01 PT. Grade: XSingle: 5-Tequila SunriseForecast: Tequila Sunrise looks like the logical winner in the second race, a restricted (nw-2) $12,500 claiming miler for fillies and mares, but in a four-runner field and listed at 4/5 on the morning line the R. Baltas certainly offers little to no wagering value. Though just 1-for-15 in her career, she’s hit the board in five of six career starts over the local main track, and she’s far superior to the other three based strictly on speed figures. This is a good race to pass.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B-Use: 4-Boogalute; 5-Broke Away GreyForecast: Broke Away Grey broke his maiden in his debut by more than six lengths over this main track more than two years ago but has had his issues and been sparingly raced since. Though beaten as the choice in a similar restricted (nw-2) $25,000 claimer at Los Alamitos in his last outing, the son of Broken Vow should be capable of producing the last run with his top effort. We’ll also include in our rolling exotics Boogalute, dropping into a claimer for the first time while also adding blinkers. He’s a fit on speed figures switches to F. Prat, and looked pretty good in a recent workout over this track.RACE 4: Post 2:07 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-California Kook; 6-Navy Queen; 8-Ride Sally RideForecast: We’ll spread the fourth race, a split of today’s opener, a mile turf affair for state-bred maiden juvenile fillies. Ride Sally Ride, third in both of her starts, stretches out for the first time and switches to turf, a surface that with Giant’s Causeway on top of her pedigree and Shakespeare on the bottom should move her up a ton. If she improves at all, the J. Carava-trained daughter of Creative Cause looks quite capable of earning her diploma. Navy Queen, a close second in the same dirt sprint that Ride Sally Ride finished third, is likewise eligible to improve routing on grass. Despite hailing from a low-percentage outfit, she must be considered a contender. California Kook is a first-timer from San Luis Rey Downs from the clever P. Miller barn and also has a nice turf pedigree. The works are nothing special but from the rail and with good bug boy J. Velez aboard the daughter of Boisterous represents stranger danger and is worth including somewhere on your ticket.RACE 5: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Claim of Passion; 5-Satchel PaigeForecast: Trainer Phil D’Amato holds the aces with the two main contenders in this state-bred maiden special weight sprint. Satchel Paige is long overdue for a win and gets his easiest chance yet in a field of just a field of six runner. The gelded son of Grazen has no early speed but often produces a better-than-average late kick and with some help up front could be capable of wearing down the leaders late. Claim of Passion is strictly the one to beat based on his strong runner-up effort in a similar affair at Del Mar two runs back. A rough trip in his most recent outing – a dull try as the favorite at Los Alamitos – probably can be forgiven. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Satchel Paige on top.RACE 6: Post 3:15 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-What a View; 2-TribalistForecast: Tribalist is winless in five prior outings over the Santa Anita turf course but that’s the only real concern in this state-bred stakes for older turf sprinters. The son of Tribal Run was a bit below form when unplaced in the recent Eddie D. S.-G2 in open company but against Cal-breds the B. Heap-trained gelding should be able to exert his superiority. What a View may have lost a step now that he’s eight-years-old, but the classy gelding, after a two month vacation and returning in a rare sprint, could snap back to life over a course he’s been known to love. He’s always been most effective on the lead but could be asked to stalk and pounce today. We’ll prefer Tribalist on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 7: Post 3:45 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Totally Tiger; 4-Papster; 5-Flat WhiteForecast: Papster has been burning up the Los Alamitos main track in the morning, though fast workout times at that track don’t always hold up over the much deeper Santa Anita surface. However, the son of Munnings is bred to win early and should be fit enough, so we’ll put him on top but not with a great deal of confidence. Flat White has looked okay in drills leading up to his debut and should be included as well. A recent gate drill (4f, :48hg, fourth fastest of 50 for the distance) should make him a fit in this state-bred juvenile dash. Totally Tiger is improving with racing and with another forward move today the A. Lerner-trained gelding should prove best of the known element. The son of Smiling Tiger isn’t real quick leaving the gate but has a bit of a late kick that could be effective if the first-timers aren’t all that.RACE 8: Post 4:15 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Blue Sky Baby; 9-Bruja Escarlata; 11-ReductaForecast: Here’s another contentious maiden special weight juvenile sprint, this one on turf for fillies. Reducta had the good fortune of drawing in from the also-eligible list and despite her extreme outside draw the Irish-invader looks to have an edge based on her most recent race, a second place finish in mid-August in a 21-runner affair at Cork that was assigned a respectable 72 Timeform rating. She gets Lasix and A. Cedillo for her U.S. debut and shows a couple of short local easy breezes for M. Glatt to have her on edge. Bruja Escarlata brought $185,000 in the OBS March Sale where she previewed impressively in a quick 21 2/5 seconds and her works at Los Alamitos indicate she’s fit and ready. The J. Sadler barn is solid with first-time starters. Blue Sky Baby has done some solid work in the morning for the P. D’Amato barn and looks dangerous as well, though her pedigree suggests she’ll do her best work over a distance of ground. In her preview at the OBS April sale and prior to be purchased through the ring for $140,000, the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile breezed a furlong in 10 seconds flat while displaying a nice way of going. With F. Prat taking the call, she has to be included.

Read Article
10.19.2019:

Saturday, October 19: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE2-SassyserbOct. 3, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: C+Under urging thru the lane, final half on our watches in :23.4 and :49.4. Wants to run long on the lawn, looks the same.4-LakayaOct. 11, 20195f, 1:03.3h TTGrade: CIn blinkers, under urging through the lane in solo training track drill, final three furlongs on our watches in :38.3. Nothing much to endorse. Needs a substantial class drop.SECOND RACE3-Shanghai BarbieOct. 12, 20194f, :51h TTGrade: C+Broke off behind Bravo (4f, :51.2h TT) and got the best of workmate in the final stages under some coaxing, final three furlongs in :38.1. Probably needs a drop to the bottom-rung claiming level, workmate isn’t much.THIRD RACE2-Lagoon MacaroonOct. 10, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: CView WorkoutUnder some urging through the lane while second best with You Must Chill (same time), final half mile on our watches in :24 flat and :49.3. Seeking another soft restricted claimer.3-Union StationOct. 13, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: C+Broke off in front of Fair Maiden (5f, 1:01.3h) and was under some coaxing through the lane but was match for breezing (and talented) younger workmate, fair move at best. Needs modest restricted (nw-2) claimers on this circuit.4-BoogaluteOct. 14, 20194f, :48.4hGrade: BIn blinkers, not asked while coming from the 3/8ths pole to the wire in :12 flat and :36.1. Seems in good shape and may be worth a look if dropped into the claiming ranks.5-Broke Away GreyOct. 13, 20195f, 1:01hgGrade: C+Even with Chosen Moon (same time) while going slower than given on our watches, fair to moderate gate work. Broke a little slowly and then went without early pressure in :25.3, and :37.4, was asked pretty good thereafter (to the top in :49.3h) and seemed a tad the better of the two when pulled up at the eighth pole. Was a beaten choice at Los Alamitos last time out, probably would benefit from a class drop.FIFTH RACE3-Claim of PassionOct. 12, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: BIn between horses while in company with Dubnation (same time, inside, asked, not impressive) and Satchel Paige (5f, 1:01.3h, broke off behind, breezing throughout). Was under a nice hold most of the way and could have gone faster, decent move, may be perking up. Disappointed as the favorite in a maiden special weight sprint at Los Alamitos last time out.5-Satchel PaigeOct. 12, 20195f, 1:01.3h)Grade: BBreezing outside Dubnation (5f, 1:02h) and Claim of Passion (5f, 1:02h), the three hitting the wire together with ‘Paige was going the easiest of the three after breaking off behind. Looks good, seems to be doing well and is seeking another maiden state-bred sprint.SIXTH RACE3-King AbnerOct. 13, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: B-Not bad for D’Amato, splits of :36.3 and :48.2 under mild coaxing before finishing with something left. Graded stakes-placed gelding has been freshened since June, getting cranked up again.5-CastleOct. 4, 20194f, :49.3hGrade: B-Went off slowly, then finished with interest without pressure, splits of :12.4, :25.1 and :49.3, eager to the wire. Veteran gelding does his best sprinting on turf for a high-priced tag.SEVENTH RACE5-Flat WhiteOct. 13, 20194f, :48hgGrade: B-Even but second best in gate drill with Friar’s Road (same time), asked some most of the way with splits of :24 flat and :35.3 (workmate going easily). Juvenile colt by New Year’ Day should make the entries soon, okay type at best right now.7-Whispering FlameSept. 28, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: C+Mild coaxing thru the lane, splits of :12 flat, :24 flat and :49.1. Needs to show more vs. state-bred juveniles but has a bit of room to improve. Bred for (and probably prefers) turf.

Read Article
10.19.2019:

Fast Trio In Gulfstream West Feature; Key Event In Late Pick 4

Gulfstream Park West’s late Pick 4 on Saturday will probably come down to which runner can handle allowance opponents in the 8th race, the 3rd leg of the sequence.Any of these could get it done in the seven-furlong free-for-all, but this week’s suggested $54 late Pick 4 whittles the race down to three – Gnarly, Empire Power and Zorb.Gnarly buried a state-bred optional claiming group by four lengths just after running 2nd in a similar race. Talented apprentice Cristian Torres broke him to victory in June and gets the back aboard after a couple of starts away. The Shanghai Bobby gelding has speed to burn and if he runs back to his last one could shake loose in the stretch.Empire Power was 3rd in an allowance last out and the Antonio Sano charge has been in good form all year. The Bodemeister colt has shown interest late in one-mile races and there’s a good chance he’ll finish well going seven furlongs.Zorb doesn’t have the experience of others but has been a solid speed factor and most recently was 2nd in an allowance. The Orb gelding has the talent to run well against these rivals.The suggested ticket uses a 3x4x3x3 approach and opens in the 6th race with Hollywood Overdogs, Soupery Dupery and Rising Storm rating the edge in a contentious sprint, and it’s even more wide-open in the 7th with Hire the Lady, Alpilles, Beating the Odds and Gilda F. on the ticket. It wraps up in the 9th with Trinni Sunshine, Infinitypowersiwin and Fury Song worthy of inclusion.My Ticket Race 6) #7 Hollywood Overdogs, #8 Soupery Dupery, #9 Rising Storm. Race 7) #1 Hire the Lady, #4 Alpilles, #11 Beating the Odds, #12 Gilda F. Race 8) #6 Gnarly, #7 Empire Power, #8 Zorb. Race 9) #2 Trinni Sunshine, #3 Infinitypowersiwin, #4 Fury Song.Total Ticket Cost) 7,8,9/1,4,11,12/6,7,8/2,3,4 = $54 for $0.50

Read Article
10.18.2019:

Xpressbet Race of Week: Maryland Million Classic

The Lead:The 34th Jim McKay Maryland Million, the first of the state-held championship cards inaugurated in 1986, returns to Laurel Park on Saturday in a celebration of all things Maryland. Sure, there will be crabcakes, but the feast also includes 7 stakes and total purses topping $1 million. The 12-race program gets underway at noon ET.Field Depth:Maryland Million-accredited runners are given preference, which likely will keep those runners on the also-eligible list out of the action. Among the 11 expected to start, returning champion SARATOGA BOB has been racing in open company allowance races throughout 2019. The '18 third-place finisher CLUBMAN has a pair of open company stakes wins this year. TRIFOR GOLD was runner-up in the Federico Tesio for open 3-year-olds at Pimlico. And PRENDIMI is a New Jersey-bred stakes winner (by Maryland Million-accredited sire Dance With Ravens, thus eligible). There's not an overwhelming class edge anywhere here, so other handicapping elements are more in play.Pace:At 1-1/8 miles, one lap around the expansive Laurel oval, you don't expect anything wild early and you don't expect an express train late. SARATOGA BOB pressed the leader throughout last year in victory and this race often is won on or near the front. PRENDIMI should be among the pace on the stretch-out in distance, as will sprinter TAPPIN CAT, shipper FOREST FIRE and the sophomore TRIFOR GOLD.​Our Eyes:SARATOGA BOB benefits from the rail draw on a 9-furlong oval like Laurel Park even though statistically there's not a discernible edge in the numbers. It's not advantageous, per se, but you have to do a lot less to get where you want to go, and that helps over this long trip. The initial run to the first turn is where he'll benefit most. He's had a lighter campaign this year than last and hasn't raced since June, trainer Katey Voss saying that SARATOGA BOB doesn't respond well to intense heat. But he was unable to make an autumn prep for this, and the trainer has contemplated the Sprint or Turf at shorter trips. That's not a rousing endorsement.PRENDIMI is drawn well in post 3 while making his first start at Laurel Park. The 1-1/8 miles distance will be his hurdle as he's done most of his best work sprinting. Monmouth shippers haven't lit Laurel afire this year (4-30 heading into the weekend, winless in 12 races at a mile or more). While capable of just speed-popping this field and having winded chasers not good enough to close late over 9 furlongs, it's plausible PRENDIMI wins this. But I'd have to see about 8-1 to get enticed.Sire Not For Love was responsible for 3-time Maryland Million Classic winner Eighttofasttocatch and will be represented with a trio of contenders this year. CLUBMAN leads that triumvirate and will be finishing fastest of all. He's earned big BRIS late pace figures in nearly every start regardless of distance, from the bullring at Timonium to 2-turns at Laurel and Delaware Park. TORCH OF TRUTH has to overcome post 11 after being defeated as the 3-5 favorite in a local allowance prep. He's got a good late run if timed right and will need a masterful ride from local top pilot Trevor McCarthy. And longshot LEGEND'S HOPE appears overmatched.FOREST FIRE ran well at Laurel in Spring 2018, winning an allowance and finishing second in the Private Terms on the local Preakness path. That Parx-based runner has been all-or-nothing of late for John Servis, winning 4 of his last 7. Aggressive gate jockey Paco Lopez rides and that means this speedster will be part of the early mix.TRIFOR GOLD is the real X-factor in the field. He's the 3-year-old vs. elders and the new face to the division. He's 0-for-4 in allowance company against older horses and will be challenged by a likely quick pace. There's definite talent here, but it seems like a very tall order in 2019. He could be the horse we talk about in the Maryland Million Classic at age 4 or 5, or be turned back to sprinting.Most Certain Exotics Contender: CLUBMAN gets the pace set-up and will be running best at the end when others may be searching for more.​Best Longshot Exotics Contender: TATTOOED goes for a Tim Keefe barn that has to be respected and owns a 9-for-18 record in the exacta on the Laurel Park main track. This barn won the Maryland Million Classic 3 times with Eighttofasttocatch and this is a 4-year-old with some ceiling to grow.Sending it in ($100 bankroll): ​$50 exacta CLUBMAN over PRENDIMI. $25 exacta part-wheel CLUBMAN over TATTOOED and TORCH OF TRUTH.

Read Article
10.18.2019:

Precisionist Still Owns Breeders' Cup Record

Talk about a Breeders’ Cup record that has stood the test of time.Thirty-five years ago, Precisionist won the second running of the six-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint by three-quarters of length at Aqueduct. He was credited with a 125 Beyer Speed Figure. It remains the highest Beyer ever posted by the winner of a Breeders’ Cup race.Chris McCarron rode Precisionist for owner-breeder Fred W. Hooper and trainer Ross Fenstermaker.Precisionist not only could run faster than most, he was a grand-looking individual. The renowned artist Fred Stone, who died in 2018, once paid Precisionist a tremendous compliment. In the 2010 book “Reflections on a Golden Age: The Racing Art of Fred Stone,” Stone said this about Precisionist:“I was awestruck when I saw him. He was the most beautiful horse I have ever painted.”That was quite a statement when you consider that Stone painted such superstars as Kelso, Secretariat, Ruffian, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Cigar, Zenyatta and American Pharoah.When Precisionist won the Grade I BC Sprint in 1985, the race was run on Nov. 2. This year’s Grade I BC Sprint also will be run on Nov. 2. Among the candidates for the upcoming renewal is Omaha Beach. For many, Omaha Beach has conjured up memories of Precisionist.Precisionist was an exceptional equine athlete in that he had both the speed to win the BC Sprint in 1:08 2/5 and the stamina to win a pair of Grade I races at 1 1/4 miles.Omaha Beach likewise is an exceptional equine athlete in that he had both the speed to win the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs in 1:08 3/5 and the stamina to win the Grade I Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles.That’s not all that Omaha Beach and Precisionist have in common.When Precisionist won the 1985 BC Sprint in early November, he had not raced since June 23. It was, without question, a fantastic training job on the part of Fenstermaker.When Omaha Beach won the 2019 Santa Anita Sprint Championship in early October, he had not raced since April 13. It was, without question, a fantastic training job on the part of Hall of Famer Richard Mandella.RACING INACTIVITY FOLLOWING GOLD CUPMany questioned whether Precisionist could get the job done in the 1985 BC Sprint in early November at the Big A because he had not started since the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup in June.Six competed in the 1985 Gold Cup at Hollywood Park, but most observers felt it was strictly a two-horse race between Precisionist and Greinton, as reflected by the betting. Precisionist was backed down to even-money favoritism, while Greinton left the gate as a close second choice at 6-5.Precisionist set the pace before yielding the advantage to Greinton just a little past the eighth pole. Greinton went on to win by nearly two lengths. Precisionist finished second, though it should be pointed out that he did have to spot five pounds to Greinton.In the book “Breeders’ Cup: Thoroughbred Racing’s Championship Day,” Jay Privman wrote: “Few horses were as fast, versatile, or talented as Precisionist, who was quick enough to win going seven furlongs, yet had enough stamina to win going 1 1/4 miles, as he showed when sweeping Santa Anita’s three-race Strub Series during the winter of 1985. But that summer at Hollywood Park, he bruised his feet after the Hollywood Gold Cup, and went to the sidelines.”Precisionist’s Strub Series sweep consisted of victories in the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes, 1 1/8-mile San Fernando Stakes and 1 1/4-mile Charles H. Strub Stakes.Unfortunately, Santa Anita does not have the Strub Series anymore. The Malibu is the only one of the three races that still is being run these days.Just five horses ever swept the Strub Series: Round Table in 1958, Hillsdale in 1959, Ancient Title in 1974, Spectacular Bid in 1980 and Precisionist in 1985.After Precisionist completed his Strub Series sweep, I spent a considerable amount of time the next morning at Santa Anita with Hooper. At one point, I asked Hooper what he planned to do after he left the track that morning. He told me that he would be heading off to play a round of golf. I was stunned. That’s right. He would be playing a round of golf at the age of 87! Hooper was truly amazing.As for the 1985 BC Sprint, in the recap of that race written by BloodHorse’s Deirdre Biles, Fenstermaker elaborated on the trouble Precisionist had with his feet after the Hollywood Gold Cup.“His feet just wouldn’t grow very fast,” Fenstermaker said. “They kept getting bruised, and pretty soon they wouldn’t grow out fast enough to grow the bruises out.”According to Biles, after the decision was made to take Precisionist out of training following the Gold Cup, the Florida-bred Crozier colt did not do anything more than walk for some three weeks, then just jogged and galloped lightly for most of the Del Mar summer meeting.“Fenstermaker said that he was not worried about the lack of a prep race because Precisionist can be worked as fast as most horses race,” Biles wrote. “The serious work began when Fenstermaker’s stable returned to Santa Anita for the Oak Tree meeting, which began in early October.”On Oct. 12, Precisionist worked six furlongs in a sensational 1:10 flat at Santa Anita.On Oct. 18, Precisionist worked five furlongs from the gate at Santa Anita. Again, the time was fast, :57 4/5.On Oct. 26, Precisionist drilled six furlongs in 1:11 2/5 at Aqueduct, an excellent time for a workout on that surface.On Nov. 1, the day before the Breeders’ Cup, Precisionist worked two furlongs in :23 flat.And then, on Nov. 2, Precisionist won the BC Sprint.A BIG SCARE AND A FAST WORKOUTRaised on Hooper’s farm near Ocala, Fla., Precisionist was involved in a scary incident as a youngster one morning.“Precisionist ran off the training track after losing his rider,” Biles wrote. “Instead of taking the safe path to his barn, he opted for a different route. He ran into the back of a Honda.”The brand new car had been parked near the training track by a farm employee.“Precisionist miraculously was unscathed,” Biles wrote. “The Honda, however, was much the worse for the crash, its problems including a broken taillight and tailpipe.”Biles had learned of Precisionist’s collision with a car from Robert Williams Jr., the Hooper Farm manager.Williams also told Biles about the day that both he and Hooper witnessed a terrific workout on the farm by Precisionist. It was the second time the chestnut colt had ever worked as far as three furlongs. When the workout was over, Williams looked at his stopwatch, as did Hooper. Each man could not believe the time they saw. Precisionist had zipped three furlongs in :34.“We thought we had something then,” Williams told Biles.Hooper loved to bet. No doubt he contributed monetarily to Precisionist being sent away as an even-money favorite when the colt debuted in a six-furlong maiden special weight race at Hollywood Park on July 13, 1983.Precisionist dashed immediately to the front and quickly opened a three-length lead. Turning for home, he had increased his advantage to six lengths. He still had a commanding six-length lead at the eighth pole. Even though jockey Terry Lipham was restraining the youngster toward the end of the race, Precisionist won by 7 1/2 lengths.While the final time of 1:10 1/5 for Precisionist’s maiden victory was not sensational, to this day I regard it to be one of the most impressive debut victories I have ever seen.RETIRED FROM RACING TWICEPrecisionist was retired from racing early in 1987 after he emerged from a five-furlong workout in 1:00 2/5 at Santa Anita on Jan. 9 with a fractured cannon bone in his left front leg. The fracture required surgery for the insertion of a pin to stabilize the fracture.Arthur Appleton spent $4 million to purchase a half-interest in Precisionist for stud purposes. Appleton stood Precisionist at his Bridlewood Farm in Florida for the 1987 breeding season.However, Precisionist proved nearly infertile. When Precisionist exhibited a serious fertility problem, Hooper refunded Appleton’s $4 million. Precisionist then stood the 1988 breeding season at Hooper’s farm in Florida.Precisionist sired only a total of four fouls (one in 1989, two in 1990 and one in 1991). Two of his progeny were winners, Presailist and Classy Rate. Precisionist’s other two offspring were Personalized and Preciseness. They both raced, but neither won.When Precisionist resumed his racing career for Hooper in the summer of 1988, he had a new trainer, John Russell. But the comeback certainly did not begin well. Entered in a one-mile allowance race on June 29 at Hollywood Park, Precisionist stumbled badly at the start, unseating jockey Chris McCarron.Precisionist “went all the way down on his nose and pulled Chris over his head,” Russell was quoted as saying in BloodHorse magazine. “When he recovered, he was 10 lengths behind the field.”The riderless Precisionist not only made an electrifying move to catch up with the field, he actually crossed the finish line first. It was an impressive effort by Precisionist despite not actually winning the race due to not having a rider aboard. The winner was Epidaurus, whose final time was 1:34 3/5.Precisionist then was shipped to Belmont Park for the Grade II Tom Fool Stakes at seven furlongs on July 16. He finished fourth.In his third start of 1988, Precisionist won a one-mile allowance contest at Del Mar by four lengths. His final time of 1:33 1/5 shaved two-fifths of a second off the track record set by Pirate Cove in 1963.That the one-mile track record set by 7-year-old Precisionist in 1988 still stands 31 years later is yet another example that he was a special racehorse.Precisionist won three of 10 starts in 1988. In his final race that year, he ran 12th as a 3-5 favorite in the Sunny Isle Handicap at Calder on Dec. 24. Bill Donovan was listed as Precisionist’s trainer for that one race. After Precisionist’s poor performance in the Sunny Isle, Hooper came to the conclusion that his accomplished Thoroughbred should race no more. Precisionist again was retired from racing. He was returned to Hooper’s farm in Florida.In 1996, Hooper sent Precisionist to Dr. Siobhan Ellison at her farm in Florida. Precisionist lived in retirement at Ellison’s farm for the next decade. In 2006, Ellison donated Precisionist to Old Friends, an equine retirement home in Kentucky.But less than four months after Precisionist’s arrival at Old Friends, he was found to have a cancerous tumor in his sinus passage. It was a virulent malignant tumor that was growing very quickly, according to Michael Blowen, the founder of Old Friends. As a result of the inoperable tumor, Precisionist was euthanized at about 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 27.“This horse had so much class,” Blowen, said after Precisionist’s death. “He just exuded it.”Precisionist was buried at the Old Friends cemetery.During his racing career, Precisionist won 20 of 46 starts and earned $3,485,398. Voted an Eclipse Award as champion sprinter in 1985, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2003.Precisionist was not included in the BloodHorse magazine’s Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century. I firmly believe he belonged somewhere on that list.On my list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America, which I last updated late in 2018, I have Precisionist ranked No. 76.KENTUCKY DERBY SUCCESSThere is no question that Fred Hooper, who was born in 1897, is one of the most interesting individuals to ever participate in Thoroughbred racing.The first time Hooper had a starter in the Kentucky Derby, he won it with a horse named after his son, Hoop Jr. That was in 1945.Hooper later would be voted the Eclipse Award as outstanding breeder in 1975 and 1982.Moreover, Hooper was honored with the prestigious Eclipse Award of Merit in 1992.In “The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes: A Comprehensive History,” Richard Sowers wrote in his recap of the 1945 Kentucky Derby: “Hooper was born on a Georgia farm and dropped out of school in the eighth grade. Hooper was, among other things, a barber, boxer, carpenter and farmer before he founded Hooper Construction Company in Montgomery, Ala., in 1923. Hooper’s company built roads, bridges and airports all over the South, enabling him to buy a 5,000-acre Alabama farm and the 1,100-acre Circle H. Farm in Ocala, Fla., where he became one of the pioneers of the Florida breeding industry.”According to Edward L. Bowen, Hooper had gone into the construction business after a stint as a potato farmer.In “Legacies of the Turf: A Century of Great Thoroughbred Breeders, Part 2,” Bowen wrote: “After Hooper’s mother died, he moved to Florida and went into potato farming, making money for a couple of years before a fungus wiped out his crop and left him in debt. Operating on credit, he put together a crew of a couple of hundred laborers and bid on a job to lay some road bases. Figuring out a way to use local quarry materials, he completed the job. Suddenly, in the mid-1920s as Florida boomed, he was a contractor. With no partners or shareholders, he flourished and eventually merged Hooper Construction with General Development Company.”Bowen noted that Hooper also raised Herefords, some of them champions, in Alabama.An early Florida Thoroughbred breeder, Carl Rose, sold Hooper a half-breed horse named Prince. That horse proved so fast and adept at turning cattle that Hooper decided to run him in match races.“We ran him 55 times and he won 49 races, in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, so he was what actually got me into the racing business,” Hooper told Bowen.Hooper first got involved with Thoroughbreds at a 1943 yearling auction in Kentucky.“I went to the sales in Kentucky -- nobody knew me -- but I knew something about horses and breeding,” Hooper said in a 1996 story in The Washington Post written by Andrew Beyer. “I saw this colt and fell in love with him.”Hooper told Bowen that when he attended that yearling sale, he especially was looking to acquire offspring of Sir Gallahad III.“Well, I saw this Sir Gallahad III colt that didn’t have much flesh on him,” Hooper said. “I just liked his walk, and his looks, and the smartness of his eye and all, so I bought the horse for $10,200.”Two years later, Hoop Jr. and legendary jockey Eddie Arcaro collaborated to defeat 15 opponents on a muddy track to win the $75,000 Kentucky Derby by an emphatic six lengths under Hooper’s red, white and blue silks.Hoop Jr. “was the best racehorse I ever owned,” Hooper was quoted as saying in Hooper’s obituary that appeared in The New York Times following his death in 2000.Until the day he died, Hooper felt that winning the Kentucky Derby with Hoop Jr. was the most exciting moment among his many thrills in racing.You think winning the Triple Crown is difficult these days? When Hoop Jr. won the 1945 Kentucky Derby for trainer Ivan Parke, the three Triple Crown events that particular year were scrunched into a three-week window stemming from the United States being deeply immersed in World War II.“Despite Hoop Jr.’s runaway Derby victory, neither Parke nor anyone else was discussing Triple Crown possibilities because of a war-mandated compact schedule that not only had the Preakness scheduled one week after the Derby, as was then customary, but the Belmont Stakes a week after the Preakness,” Sowers wrote.After Hoop Jr.’s victory in the Run for the Roses, he finished second to Polynesian in the Preakness. Polynesian would go on to sire one of the all-time greats in Native Dancer.As for Hoop Jr. and the Preakness, he “came out of the race decidedly lame,” according to the chart. Hoop Jr. bowed a tendon and never raced again.A LUCRATIVE MATCH RACE VICTORYArcaro warned Hooper in 1945 that winning the Kentucky Derby with the first horse he ever ran in it was the worst possible thing that could have happened to him. Arcaro predicted to Hooper that he would spend millions trying to win another Kentucky Derby.While it is true that Hooper never did get a second Kentucky Derby trophy, he did manage to win a pile of money when one of Precisionist’s ancestors, Olympia, beat a Quarter Horse in a 1949 match race.I had lunch with Hooper at Hollywood Park on a number of occasions in the early 1980s. Once, with a gleam in his eye, he told me about the famous match race between Olympia, a Thoroughbred, and Stella Moore, a champion Quarter Horse filly. Olympia and Stella Moore faced each other between races at Florida’s Tropical Park on Jan. 5, 1949. Olympia had just turned 3, while Stella Moore had just turned 4.Olympia had been precocious, winning four races as a 2-year-old, highlighted by a victory in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland when it was a six-furlong race. But while Olympia had exhibited early speed in his races as a 2-year-old, he certainly had not demonstrated that he possessed the sheer zip that would be necessary to beat a Quarter Horse in a match race at 440 yards.“A lot of people thought I was crazy to agree to the match race,” Hooper told me. “But I knew Olympia was fast, really fast. He hadn’t shown just how really fast he was [in his races at 2] because we were trying to teach him to rate. We were doing that because we wanted him to be able to go a mile and a quarter in the Kentucky Derby.”Many also thought Hooper was totally off his rocker when he agreed to bet Quintas Roberts, Stella Moore’s owner, $25,000 on the outcome of the match race.But Hooper was as game as they come. He did not just bet Stella Moore’s owner. Hooper did not back away from anyone wanting to make a bet with him on the match race. Hooper told me that he ended up with a total of $93,000 riding on Olympia in the match race.That would be slightly over $1 million riding on Olympia in today’s dollars adjusted for inflation.“And I’ll tell you that with so much money at stake, I was not about to get suckered, either,” Hooper continued during one of the most memorable lunches I have ever had. “I was confident that Olympia was going to win, but I didn’t want that match race to be one inch shorter than 440 yards. I had worked in construction. So, early one morning, I went out there and had the distance of the match race measured precisely. I had it measured from the exact place where the starting gate would be put in the chute all the way to the finish line. And guess what? It turned out to be 73 feet shorter than 440 yards. I made them change where the finish line would be for the match race so it would be run at the entire 440 yards. I made it clear that Olympia would not run unless they did that.”Olympia and Stella Moore broke nearly even. At the eighth pole, Stellar Moore led by about two lengths, according to Hooper. But Olympia came on strongly and got up to win by a small margin.The match race was such a big deal that there was this big headline in the sports section of the Jan. 6 New York Times: Olympia Beats Stella Moore, Star Quarter Horse, in Tropical Match RaceThe margin of victory was a head. Time of the race was :22 3/5.“I asked the Quarter Horse’s owner if he wanted a rematch,” Hooper told me. “He said, ‘No, sir.’ And I asked some of the other Quarter Horse people if they had any other Quarter Horses they would like to match against Olympia. And they all said, ‘No, sir, Mr. Hooper. We’re fine.’ And so then we concentrated on getting Olympia to the Kentucky Derby.”Later in 1949 after the match race, Olympia won the Wood Memorial at 1 1/8 miles. He did indeed make it to the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby in which he started as the 4-5 favorite. He set the pace to the top of the stretch in the Derby, but then weakened and finished sixth. Ponder won the roses that year for the powerful Calumet Farm.After Olympia’s racing career was over, he sired three champions in Decathlon (sprinter of the year in 1956 and 1957), Pucker Up (older female of the year in 1957) and Top Bid (America’s top steeplechase horse in 1970).HIGHEST BEYERS IN BREEDERS’ CUP HISTORYAs mentioned earlier, Precisionist’s 125 is the record for the biggest Beyer Speed Figure in the history of the Breeders Cup.Stormy Liberal’s 119 for his victory in the BC Turf Sprint was the highest Beyer recorded at the 2018 Breeders’ Cup held at Churchill Downs.Below are all of the Beyer Speed Figures of 115 or higher by a Breeders’ Cup winner:125 Precisionist (1985 Sprint at Aqueduct)124 Sunday Silence (1989 Classic at Gulfstream Park)124 Artax (1999 Sprint at Gulfstream Park)124 Ghostzapper (2004 Classic at Lone Star Park)122 Alysheba (1988 Classic at Churchill Downs)121 Very Subtle* (1987 Sprint at Hollywood Park)120 Princess Rooney* (1984 Distaff at Hollywood Park)120 Proud Truth (1985 Classic at Aqueduct)120 Black Tie Affair (1991 Classic at Churchill Downs)120 Skip Away (1997 Classic at Hollywood Park)120 Cajun Beat (2003 Sprint at Santa Anita Park)120 American Pharoah (2015 Classic at Keeneland)120 Arrogate (2017 Classic at Santa Anita)119 Miesque* (1987 Mile at Hollywood Park)119 Inside Information* (1995 Distaff at Belmont Park)119 Squirtle Squirt (2001 Sprint at Belmont Park)119 Pleasantly Perfect (2003 Classic at Santa Anita Park)119 Corinthian (2007 Dirt Mile at Monmouth Park)119 Curlin (2007 Classic at Monmouth Park)119 Stormy Liberal (2018 Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs)118 Smile (1986 Sprint at Santa Anita Park)118 Skywalker (1986 Classic at Santa Anita Park)118 Daylami (1999 Turf at Gulfstream Park)118 Cat Thief (1999 Classic at Gulfstream Park)117 Miesque* (1988 Mile at Churchill Downs)117 Ferdinand (1987 Classic at Hollywood Park)117 Cigar (1995 Classic at Belmont Park)117 Fantastic Light (2001 Turf at Belmont Park)117 Tiznow (2001 Classic at Belmont Park)117 Fort Larned (2012 Classic at Santa Anita Park)117 Gun Runner (2017 Classic at Del Mar)116 Gulch (1988 Sprint at Churchill Downs)116 Safely Kept* (1990 Sprint at Belmont Park)116 Unbridled (1990 Classic at Belmont Park)116 Tiznow (2000 Classic at Churchill Downs)116 Volponi (2002 Classic at Arlington Park)116 Thor’s Echo (2006 Sprint at Churchill Downs)116 Invasor (2006 Classic at Churchill Downs)116 Conduit (2008 Turf at Santa Anita)115 Theatrical (1987 Turf at Hollywood Park)115 Personal Ensign* (1988 Distaff at Churchill Downs)115 Bayakoa* (1989 Distaff at Gulfstream Park)115 Dancing Spree (1989 Sprint at Gulfstream Park)115 Concern (1994 Classic at Churchill Downs)115 Pilsudski (1996 Turf at Woodbine)*filly or mareTHIS WEEK’S NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLLBricks and Mortar again is atop the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll this week. It is the 29th consecutive week that he has been atop the poll.Interestingly, even though he did not race last week, Omaha Beach moved up in this week’s poll from No. 10 to No. 8.Here is the Top 10 in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for this week:Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)1. 413 Bricks and Mortar (27)2. 379 Midnight Bisou (13)3. 311 Sistercharlie (1)4. 290 Mitole (1)5. 208 McKinzie6. 198 Code of Honor7. 162 Imperial Hint8. 103 Omaha Beach (1)9. 99 Catalina Cruiser10. 96 Vino Rosso

Read Article
10.18.2019:

Friday, October 18: Meadowlands Pick 5 Analysis

There's a big 13-race card set to roll at the Meadowlands. From a betting interest the highlight kicks-off the program and will be my focus. The 0.50 Pick 5 has a $20,922.81 carryover and a $75,000 guaranteed pool.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 12-Fox Valley Bailey-From this post, best to respect connections, should be able to get a trip and be in the mix late.4-Jackamino-Does have enough gate speed to be put in play early, has been facing tougher and looks like a player.5-Bank Sea-Probably needs to leave and like #4 should be able to get a good seat, has the speed to beat this field.Race 21-She Rocks Kemp-Interesting play who has been facing tough foes up in Canada. Could pop at a square price if gets away from the gate in good shape.7-Creature Of Habit-ML 9/5 chalk should be bet hard off last week's big win, will be using but won't single.Race 37-Checkmate Time-Competitive here in a few starts this summer. This is 2nd time Lasix and last was better, can roll late if DuPont works a good trip.9-Miss Ruby-Only 2-27 this year but knows how to win and is no stranger to the Big M. Even effort in last but was off 21 days, should be better tonight, can leave and be put in play early.Race 45-Racing For Rick-Has had trouble finishing miles but shouldn't blush at this group, a player if Merton works the right trip.6-Givemeyourheart-Having a rough year but has posted quick miles at the Big M in the past. Didn't fire in last but this is a suspect crew, best to not overlook.9-Gracie G-May have been in too tough at Yonkers and Freehold. This is a better spot, shows some gate speed andgood performances at VD on a larger oval. Berry can get this mare in play at a price.Race 53-JacksTo Open-The added distance may not be an issue and can get off the gate and race up front. H. Miller has driven before and should be able to work a smooth journey.4-Revrac Harbour-Looks like a live play at 8-1 in the ML. May try to duck behind #3 and take a 2-hole ride and trip out.6-Roundtown Rocker-Should like the company and 6-year-old has cashed checks at the Big M. Can follow a similar script as #3 and #4 but might be able to close fastest of all.My Ticket Race 1) 2,4,5 Race 2) 1,7 Race 3) 7,9 Race 4) 5,6,9 Race 5) 3,4,6Total Ticket Cost) $54 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.18.2019:

Friday, October 18: Santa Anita 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 1:00 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Music to My Ears; 4-Noble PursuitForecast: Noble Pursuit is a fit on numbers, improving with racing, and sports a bullet six furlong drill two weeks over this deep main track that should have him fit and ready for another forward move . We’re expecting this late-developing son of Curlin to be along in time under good bug boy J. Velez. Music to My Ears may be suspect around two-turns (he pressed the pace and then faded in a grass router at Del Mar) but the son of Goldencents on paper appears to be the clearly the controlling speed and he could be dangerous if not pressured early. Preference on top goes to Noble Pursuit but we’ll include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: XSingle: 3-Color WarForecast: Color War appears well-spotted for a maiden win in this six-runner $30,000 claiming miler for 2-year-olds. The A. Sherman-trained gelding adds blinkers for the first time, has rising speed figures, and after being overmatched on grass vs. straight maidens last time out returns to reality with little to beat. The A. Sherman-trained son of Declaration of War is listed at 8/5 morning line and could go lower, so we’ll make him a no-value rolling exotic single but otherwise pass the race.RACE 3: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Savagery; 6-Principe CarloForecast: The Pick-6 kicks off with a $40,000 claiming sprint restricted to 3-year-olds. Savagery has the blinkers off angle that we like in his first start since April and his first outing for at tag since breaking his maiden by 11 lengths in a maiden $62,5000 seller a year ago at Del Mar. The P. Miller-trained colt has a touch of back quality (he was Grade-3 placed as a two-year-old), lands one of this barn’s go-to jockeys (A. Cedillo) and should be more than fit for a good effort based on his San Luis Rey Downs work tab. Principe Carlo was a voided claim after handling a $50,000 field at Del Mar in mid-August and makes his first start since after being returned to the M. Polanco barn. The son of Coil has the proper style for this extended sprint distance, retains regular rider T. Pereira, and sports a healthy recent work tab to indicate he’s ready to resume where he left off. A previous victory over the Santa Anita main track is another plus. We’re expecting the winner to be one of these two, so we’ll double the race in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Savagery on top.RACE 4: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: BUse: 5-Fun Coupons; 6-Three FooterForecast: Three Footer is realistically dropped into a maiden $50,000 claiming sprint after chasing home much tougher straight maiden foes in his first two career starts. On numbers the D. O’Neill-trained colt looks very difficult to beat at this level, and an easy breeze over the track since raced plus the switch to A. Cedillo are additional positive factors that could lead to lower post time odds than his morning line of 9/5. Fun Coupons was well-beaten in his debut against straight maidens on grass but is very likely to improve with the switch to dirt combined with a class drop into a seller for a barn that has excellent stats with second-time starters. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Three Footer.RACE 5: Post 3:10 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Secret Square; 5-Nikkileaks; 7-Win OftenForecast: Here’s a potentially chaotic maiden $50,000 claiming sprint for maiden 2-year-olds that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s sufficient. Secret Square must avoid trouble from the rail but if she leaves cleanly from the rail the J. Sadler-trained filly should be hard to beat primarily due to the always-potent maiden-to-maiden-claiming drop in class. She gets a break in the weights with the switch to talented bug boy J. Velez and has numbers that are heading in the right direction. Nikkileaks, a distant third in a similar event at Los Alamitos last month, retains A. Cedillo and certainly has a right to improve with that bit of experience behind her. The Glatt barn is very strong (24%) with second-time starters. Win Often is a debuting daughter of Vronsky from a capable outfit and lands the cozy outside draw. The works aren’t too bad and a little will go a long way in this modest affair.RACE 6: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Carnivorous; 7-Tiger DadForecast: Carnivorous didn’t run badly when fifth in a strong allowance turf miler last month and today returns to an $80,00 optional claimer and shortens to a sprint, so we’re expecting the D. O’Neill-trained colt to regain his best form. He’s a strong fit in the speed figure department, switches to A. Cedillo, and should draft into an ideal pace-prompting position. His main competition should come from Tiger Dad, a strong third when facing older horses in a hot first-level allowance sprint here just 13 days ago. Against his own age group today, the son of Smiling Tiger should be able to dictate the pace flow from his outside draw. Additionally, his numbers are gradually rising with every step and V. Espinoza stays aboard and knows him well. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets keying Carnivorous on top.**RACE 7: Post 4:10 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Eternal Endeavor; 4-Catoca; 5-Mongolian EmpireForecast: Here’s another fairly contentious affair, a restricted (Nw-3) 35,000 claiming miler for older fillies and mares. Eternal Endeavor may deserve a very slight edge on top after crushing a $25,000 non-winners of two field at Los Alamitos last month in her first outing since March of 2018. This is a realistic class hike for the English-bred mare, who retains bug boy J. Diaz, Jr. and shows two excellent prior outings over the Santa Anita main track. Catoca has been chasing considerably tougher foes of late and should greatly appreciate this softer assignment. On pure numbers she’s a fit and in a field without too much early speed she should be able to secure a nice pace-stalking early position. Mongolian Empire was out of her element when well-beaten in a much tougher first-level allowance race won by Der Lu 12 days ago but she’s another that fits well at this level based strictly on speed figures. With A. Cedillo riding her back and with a prior win over the Santa Anita main track, the E. Ganbat-trained daughter of Americain deserves a little bit of a look.**RACE 8: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Drift Away; 5-Swirling; 7-Bako SweetsForecast: The finale is a grass grab bag for $25,000 sprinting fillies and mares on turf. Let’s prefer Bako Sweets, away since December and returning for new trainer B. Heap. The daughter of Twirling Candy has run well fresh in the past and has back form that puts her right there, assuming she’s cranked up. The work tab isn’t terribly exciting but her best effort can win, so at 5-1 on the morning line there may be some value to be found. Swirling disappointed in a $40,000 seller over this course and distance two weeks ago but in this league deserves a chance to bounce back. She gets in relatively light with the switch to bug boy J. Velez and may be most effective if held up early and allowed to run late. Drift Away, away since April after being stopped on following a voided claim, hails from a clever outfit but may need two-turns to show her best. However, due to the presence of F. Prat in the saddle, we’ll toss her in on a ticket or two.

Read Article
10.18.2019:

Friday, October 18: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE4-Noble PursuitSept. 7, 20195f, 1:02.3hGrade: C+One-paced grinder when :36.4 and 1:02.2 on our watches, some late urging, fair pick-up. Still a maiden, has no real acceleration, the longer the better for him.FOURTH RACE3-DoctrinaireOct. 5, 20196f, 1:14.4hgGrade: CSecond best with Muskoka (6f, 1:14h) in team gate drill, easy early outside in :24.2 and :48.1, then was asked for late and had little to give under pressure, finishing four lengths back at the wire. Expected better from Wicked Strong juvenile colt, maiden claimer based on this drill.3-DoctrinaireSep. 14, 20194f, 50hgGrade: C-Louisiana-bred juvenile by Wicked Strong was in company from gate with Blue Jays (4f, :49.3h) and was under pressure to be noticeably second best in unimpressive gate drill. Needs to really step it up to be competitive on this circuit.FIFTH RACE1-Secret SquareSept. 16, 20195f, 1:02.3hGrade: CWorked outside older Combat Zone and was under heavy pressure (as was workmate) thru the lane to be second best, a bit slower than given on our watches, :25.1, :37.2 and 1:03 flat, not impressive. State-bred juvenile daughter of Square Eddie may need a class drop to find her winning level on this circuit.7-Win OftenSept. 1, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: C+Unraced juvenile filly by Vronsky came home in :24.3, some pressure in solo drill while showing a tendency to get out. Fair type at this stage for Pederson.SIXTH RACE2-You Must ChillOct. 10, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: C+A little late changing leads but wasn’t asked through the lane inside with Lagoon Macaroon (same time, asked, second best), final quarter in :25.3. Broke his maiden for $50,000 last winter but then disappeared. Looks just okay on the comeback trail.SEVENTH RACE2-Tiz WonderfullySept. 28, 20194f, :47.3hGrade: BNever asked, splits of :12.1, :24 flat and :47.4 on our watches. Doing well, might be dangerous with a class drop.2-Tiz WonderfullySept. 7, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: C+Mild pressure through the lane, fair drill for Cassidy. Didn’t show much in recent comeback race, needs soft claimers around these parts.EIGHTH RACE3-Sapphire KidSept. 12, 20194f, :50.2hGrade: B-Freshened since early Del Mar, was cruising in easy half mile breeze for Chew, final three furlongs in :37.2. Seems fine but daughter of Richard’s Kid probably needs a class drop.

Read Article
10.17.2019:

Accosted by Hooligans

Each year, at about this time, I’m accosted by a band of hooligans. Originally, it used to happen once a year, perpetrated by a mob of seven. Over time, perhaps embolden by impunity and encouraged by plunder, they now attack on back-to-back days—always Friday and Saturday around the first weekend in November. Also, their legion has grown to over a dozen--14 to be exact--and they arrive in 5 the first day and 9 on the second. These ruffians must ransack a great many because they’re always fat with cash even before they rob me. In fact, on rare occasions during these attacks, I’ve been able to secure handfuls of bills and stuff pockets, so that I actually emerged with more cash than I previously had! Those are extreme exceptions. Usually, when they’ve finished, I’m tired, penniless and drained of all adrenaline.    Each year authorities request descriptions of my molesters and each year I’m stumped for answers. It all happens so fast. Well, not this time. By way of preparation for this year’s impending annual onslaught, I’ve forced my brain to recall and to detail experiences I’d rather forget. This year, when they come, I’ll be ready. I’ve constructed meticulous profiles of my attackers, especially the ones that have returned year after year for over three and one-half decades. These aren’t exact matches, mind you, more like composite drawings by a police sketch artist, but they’ll help me to identify and, hopefully, conquer my foes.    I refuse to permit these hooligans to get away again! At least I hope I don’t.   Below are sketches for all 14 assailants based on information provided FREE of charge in Xpressbet’s Breeders’ Cup Wager Guide, available at Xpressbet.com beginning Friday, October 25.:     Friday Juvenile Turf Sprint – A very recent addition to the lineup, European invaders are the most likely culprits. However, last year, I detected a distinctly American accent. Juvenile Fillies Turf – A US-based filly member of the heralded Chad Brown-mob most likely is the villain in here, especially if she was last seen in Belmont’s Miss Grillo. Euros are 0-for-6 as favorites and no California-based filly ever has hit the exacta.   Juvenile Fillies – Look for someone you’d least expect. The last 3 perpetrators at Santa Anita left striking fingerprints--$66.60, $125.40 and $69.20--and 5 of the last 6 winners have returned double digits.   Juvenile Turf – Closely inspect European passports and, especially, recent Newmarket, UK visitors. Godfather Aidan O’ Brien likely holds the key—he’s been involved with 4 of the last 8 successful attacks and has been in the vicinity on 2 other occasions. Noted hitman Ryan Moore also has been intimately connected to 4 of these crimes in 9 years. Ignore any suspects from California. They never been in the vicinity of the crime.   Juvenile – One of the original 7 from way back in 1984, this group of perpetrators changes every year. It’s never the same face twice. In order to anticipate who might cause mayhem this year you’ve got to investigate beyond obvious suspects. While usually heavily involved in the incident, they often aren’t the actual ringleaders. Perps are most likely to emerge from ‘Anita’s American Pharoah or Belmont’s Champagne. Local California-based villains often are guilty, especially those aligned with the deadly west coast-based Bob Baffert family. Those first to arrive on the scene often aren’t around at the finish.     Saturday Filly & Mare Sprint – Prime suspects in here usually arrive late on the scene and are not the most obvious. Look for a deep closer at around an 8-1 price who’s older than 3 and was last seen in the Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland. Turf Sprint – Tough call. In the last 8 years, this perp has worn 8 different disguises. California-based runners have been best guarding home turf at Santa Anita, but that was while living in the old crib--the now shuttered downhill turf course. This year, over a different layout at five furlongs on turf there may be more of an east coast flavor. Then again, maybe not.   Dirt Mile – The most obvious choices haven’t done well, especially recently. Even though it’s a two-turn mile, previous winners are last seen in one-turn preps. Sophomores do well in here, especially in the Superfecta.   F&M Turf – Best to look for a mid-priced, foreign-bred who’s raced in the US, most recently in Belmont’s Flower Bowl or Keeneland’s First Lady. Forget those trained by the man behind the Foster Grants Aidan O’Brien and ignore anyone prepped in California. Combined such runners are 0 for 57 with 9 in the money finishes.   Sprint – Here’s an all-points bulletin to be on the lookout for a California-based runner at contender’s odds with enough speed to be on or near the early pace.  Santa Anita Sprint Championship (formerly Ancient Title) and Belmont’s Vosburgh have produced the most winners of this race, although the latter hasn’t cashed since 2005. Sophomores do well in here, and so do those 6 or older.   Mile – Americans, male or female, are solid in here, and Canada’s Woodbine Mile has provided a logical and effective tune-up. Amazingly, Euro’s top trainer Aidan O’Brien is zero for 23 in this turf race! He’s saddled the runner-up 4 times.   Distaff – Look for a short-priced filly or mare that races off the pace from a Kentucky-based trainer’s barn. Most winners exit Keeneland’s Spinster, Belmont’s Beldame, or Santa Anita’s Zenyatta. Sophomores have consistently done well in the exacta.   Turf – Eyes on Euros in here, especially ones exiting France’s Arc. Females do well, favorites do not. Members of the Aidan O’Brien clan have won 4 of the last 8 of these. Shy away from California-prepped runners and those age 5 or older.      Classic – Recently, short prices have ruled and graduates of Belmont’s Jockey Club Gold Cup and Santa Anita’s Awesome Again often are strong. Bob Baffert’s crew has produced the winner at Santa Anita twice in a row. 12 Euros have finished in the money and geldings are zero-for-forever.   Race On!

Read Article
10.17.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: October 18 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle with this week’s Stronach 5, which continues to be one of the best bets on the track. 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 45 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 (4:19 ET) – 3up N1X at 1-mile (turf)A deep field in the opening leg, though there are several who can’t win, which helps narrow things down a bit. Post position is also at a premium here, so tread lightly if you’re keying on someone who is drawn outside. I’m going to use a four-pack and hope to survive, as both #1 TOM HAGEN (5-1) and #2 HE’S ONE WILD DUDE (8-1) have proven local form and tactical speed, and drew best of all, while #9 ROHRBACHER (5-1) was a good 3rd against slightly lesser here last time and now goes off the Farrior claim (24%), and #7 HARDREDCANDY (8-1) is better than the Del Park run last time, behind a repeat winner, from a very wide draw.Pk5 A horses: 9,1,2,7 (listed in order of preference)If #11 FLOWMOTION (7-2) was drawn better he’d be a must-use A, but this is a terrible post, plus Cibelli is just 1-for-25 at the meet, and this one has lost six straight since she claimed him, so you get the picture. If you want more, then #8 My Brothersledge (10-1) would figure off his best form, but he was eased with no apparent excuse last time, so he’s tough to trust. A wildcard would be #12 Don Jupp (20-1), since I have a lot of respect for the job Franny Abbott does, but this Euro import literally didn’t run an inch in his US debut last time, which is a big worry.Pk5 B horses: 11Leg 2: Santa Anita R2 (4:30 ET) – 2yo 30k MCL at 1-mileWith only six entered, I’ll be a bit aggressive and use just #5 BEYOND PRECHER (6-1), who has only been competitive once, and that was at this trip, and he could trip out nicely, and #3 COLOR WAR (8-5), who stretches out and adds blinkers, and should be pressing the rail from the outside, and will get first run on the top pick.Pk5 A horses: 5,3I could easily use #1 GORKY PARK (2-1) as an A, but I fear that ‘War will be pressing him the entire way, which will really hurt his chances, and probably makes him tire in the lane.Pk5 B horses: 1Leg 3: Gulfstream Park West R8 (4:43 ET) – 3upfm 12.5k MCL at 7 1/2 furlongs (turf)When you have a race littered with lifetime maidens and a slew of lightly raced runners with plenty of upside, there’s really only one way to go, so I’ll use #2 PANAMOKA (3-1), #6 TRINNI CUTIE PIE (12-1), and #1 POWER ESCAPADE (6-1), as they all drew well, have only run five times combined, and all seemed poised to improve.Pk5 A horses: 2,6,1I could use others, most notably #5 Truly (8-1), but she hasn’t been out since February, drops stiffly, and changes barns, and was 64-1 when last seen, so the flags are up. Lifetime maidens #4 Allez Allez (6-1) and #10 Machita (4-1) both have races that could win this, but at 0-for-17 and -for-16 respectively, there’s no reason to think today is the day.Pk5 B horses: NONELeg 4: Golden Gate Fields R3 (4:50 ET) – 2yo 25k MCL at 6 furlongsTough sledding here, with no standouts, but it looks like #4 COLUMBIAN CRUISER (6-1) has a big chance on the MSW drop and barn change to France, who is 4-for-11 on the year, while #10 CAJUN BETTER (5-2) goes back to the main track and drops, and the only time he ran for a tag here he just missed in 2nd, with a figure that would easily win this.Pk5 A horses: 4,10You could use plenty here, but to keep the ticket size down I’ll go with just #1 CRACK A COLD ONE (7-2) since he does exit a very fast (for this group) debut 3rd, though it was for 12.5k and he drew poorly. The wildcard is #3 Brock On By (5-1) for a sharp Lucarelli barn, but those Emerald runs were on the main track, so he’s an unknown here, while Cal-bred MSW dropper #8 Street Jazz (9-2) would be no surprise, and run as a first-time gelding as well.Pk5 B horses: 1Leg 5: Laurel Park R9 (5:25 ET) – 2yof MSW at 1-mile (turf)I think there are two standouts in the finale—#2 LA CROIX VALER (6-1) and #10 OUR LITTLE JEWEL (3-1)—and about five others who could win if they falter, so we need to be a little creative to fit them all in. As for the top pair, the former was a closer 3rd on debut at Monmouth for Stidham, who is 28% with second-time maidens, while the latter has been facing tons better in NY and should relish the class drop, so they’ll stand alone on the top line.Pk5 A horses: 2,10The others—#4 PRINCESS CADEY (7-2), #5 LA BABIA (15-1), #7 ROMA DELIGHT (9-2), #3 YLIKEDIS (6-1), and #8 SUMMER KISS (8-1) all have their merits, but their warts too, so they are only going to be used in a supporting role. And, since using them in the proper B fashion would cost way too much, I need to be creative, which means I have to knock down the A’s in the first four legs. So, with that being said, I’ll use 9,1 with 5 with 2,6,1 with 4,10 leading into this race.Pk5 B horses: 4,5,7,3,8The tickets:Main Ticket: 9,1,2,7 with 5,3 with 2,6,1 with 4,10 with 2,10 = $96Leg 1 B Backup: 11 with 5,3 with 2,6,1 with 4,10 with 2,10 = $24Leg 2 B Backup: 9,1,2,7 with 1 with 2,6,1 with 4,10 with 2,10 = $48Leg 4 B Backup: 9,1,2,7 with 5,3 with 2,6,1 with 1 with 2,10 = $48Leg 5 B Backup: 9,1 with 5 with 2,6,1 with 4,10 with 4,5,7,3,8 = $60

Read Article
10.17.2019:

Five Horse I’m Betting on Maryland Million Day

It’s Maryland Million Saturday at Laurel Park and with more than $1 million in purses, this is a great afternoon to watch and bet the races.  Among the horses entered at this year’s Maryland Million are defending ‘Classic winner Saratoga Bob, Sprint standouts Call Paul, Laki and Lewisfield and ultra-reliable mares Anna’s Bandit and My Sistersledge.  And Laurel’s top-notch wager menu makes it easy to maximize your return when you bet them.  Here are some of the highlights: 12% Takeout Early Pick 5 (Races 1 – 5) Early Pick 4 (Races 2 – 5) Jackpot Rainbow Pick 6 (Races 7 – 12) 12% Takeout Late Pick 5 (Races 8 – 12) Late Pick 4 (Races 9 – 12) 10% Takeout Quinella (Race 12) Rolling 15% Super Hi-5 (All Races) Get $5 for Every $50 You BetOn the promo front, it’s literally going to pay to play Laurel this Saturday.  We’re giving all customers that register for this promotion a $5 Bonus for every $50 they bet on the card.  So if you bet $500 on the Maryland Million card, you get $50!  Show wagering is excluded from this promotion, but everything else is far game. Learn More About the 'Bet $50, Get $5' Promo And without further ado, here are the five horses I can’t wait to bet on Saturday.  Maryland Million MD-Bred Handicap - #9 Eye of the Wildcat (12/1)Race 1 (12:00PM ET) Let’s take a shot in the first race, a completely paceless (on paper) handicap where #9 EYE OF THE WILDCAT gets in light (he’s receiving a 10lb weight allowance from favored #10 SHIFRA MAGICIAN) and Julian Pimentel could have theft on his mind as he sets out to, in my eyes, take this field gate-to-wire.  If nothing else, that’s the trip I want for him.  He’s been decent in a pair of turf claiming races at Laurel in September and most of the favorites are deep closers that would have trouble catching this one if he shook loose.  It’s a bit of a stretch, but why not take a shot?  Maryland Million Starter Handicap - #3 Easy River (12/1)Race 5 (2:00PM ET) Scott Lake is one of the premier trainers in the Mid-Atlantic and when he claims a horse it’s generally safe to assume that horse is going to take a few strides forward.  He snatched up #3 EASY RIVER FOR $7,500 earlier this month at Parx and looks to get him back to the form that he was in earlier this year when in Lake’s care (he was claimed from Lake in early-September).  Maryland Million Ladies - #1 My Sistersledge (7/5)Race 6 (2:30PM ET) Betting favorites isn’t sexy but it can be rewarding if you do it right.  MY SISTERSLEDGE (7/5) is a two-time winner of this race, is 6-for-11 at Laurel and is a perfect 3-for-3 at the distance.  She beat #6 GHOUL’S NIGHT OUT (9/5) two back in the All Brandy Stakes here on August 17 and I expect a similar outcome this time around.  Other than those two there isn’t much to this field, so you should be able to play accordingly.  Maryland Million Turf - #1 Street Copper (5/1) Race 8 (3:30PM ET) This is one of the best value races on the card with 14 horses expected to run and a favorite - #12 TAXABLE GOODS (4/1) – stuck to the outside.  This edition isn’t like past runnings of the Turf, as Talk Show Man, Phlash Phelps, Roadhog and Pocket Patch were all reliable two-time winners since 2010.  I love the way STREET COPPER drew and I think he’s going to get a nice, ground-saving trip from just in behind the pacesetter(s).  #8 CANNON’S ROAR has developed into a nice turf sprinter but not sure he wants to run this far.   Maryland Million Classic - #11 Torch of Truth (6/1) Race 10 (4:30PM ET) With would-be favorites #12 CORDMAKER, #13 TOP LINE GROWTH and #14 BONUS POINTS stuck on the outside looking in (they’re Maryland-bred but not Maryland-sired, which impacts their eligibility) this race is wide open, especially if nobody in the heart of the field scratches.  If horses defect, a runner like CORDMAKER would be extremely dangerous.  My top pick is #11 TORCH OF TRUTH (6/1).  He drew miserably but (perhaps against better judgment) I’ll stick with him.  If Trevor McCarthy can work out a trip, he’s got the right tactical speed to get the job done.  Defending champ #1 SARATOGA FORM (9/2) is in OK form and his draw should help him out a lot.  #4 CLUBMAN (2/1) hasn’t traditionally performed at this distance but he is a talented animal.  

Read Article
10.15.2019:

Harness Highlights: Zacon Gio Romps In International Trot

Zacon Gio never raced outside of Italy before last Saturday. He introduced himself to the rest of the world in the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway. Zacon Gio demolished nine rivals in the 1-1/4-mile test, winning by 3-1/4 lengths in 2:24.1. But the large and boisterous Italian contingent had to hold its breath until an inquiry against Zacon Gio for possible interference came back clean. “He has been good over (half-mile) tracks, setting records,” said winning driver Roberto Vecchione. “He never gets tired, except at the end today.” Word traveled fast about the 4-year-old, who arrived with a 20-for-29 record and a perfect slate in eight starts this year. He was bet down from an 8-1 morning line to 6-5 favoritism. The trip around Yonkers’ tight turns worked out favorably, too. U.S. hopeful Atlanta (Yannick Gingras), the 2018 Hambletonian winner, took the early lead, followed by Denmark’s Slide So Easy (Ake Svanstedt) in the pocket and Switzerland’s Uza Josselyn (Erik Adielsson) pressing soft fractions of :59 for the opening half mile and 1:28 to the ¾ mark. Zacon Gio was content to follow Uza Josselyn in second-over position, ahead of America’s second entrant, Guardian Angel AS (Tim Tetrick). “I was happy when I saw Uza Josselyn didn’t make the lead, because I could race behind her,” Vecchione said through a translator. Zacon Gio tipped around Uza Josselyn on the final turn, forcing Guardian Angel AS to go wider and triggering the inquiry that took the judges several minutes to review. Atlanta wilted in the stretch and Zacon Gio surged past to win going away. He paid $4.30 to win. “I knew at the three-quarters, when I tapped her to go, I was in trouble,” Gingras said of Atlanta. Slide So Easy slid out of the pocket to finish second at 22-1 odds and complete a $68 exacta. Canada’s Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron), the 2016 Trotting Triple Crown winner, padded his $3.2 million bankroll with a third-place finish ahead of Guardian Angel AS. Last year’s upset winner, Cruzado Dela Noche (Brian Sears) ran fifth. Zacon Gio became Italy’s third winner in 41 runnings of the international, joining Delfo (1977 at Roosevelt Raceway) and Twister Bi, who set a stakes record in 2:22.1 two years ago at Yonkers. Holger Ehlert trains the multiple graded stakes winner for Franco Giuseppe.

Read Article
10.14.2019:

Monday, October 14: Woodbine Mohawk Park Late Pick 4 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park has an 11-race card set to roll featuring 2-year-old fillies battling in Leg 1 of the Harvest Series. My focus will be on the Late Pick 4 sequence which begins in Race 7.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 71-On The Ropes-Takes a good step-up in class but won in fine fashion in 3rd start here and there isn't an absolute standout in this race. So, will string along for another trip to the winner's circle.6-Superlative-Raced well in the back half after suffering a break in previous start. Will use at 8-1 in the ML and if the pace is quick enough this mare should be rolling late.7-Shes Got Pizazz-There isn't much gate speed inside so could leave to get the 2-hole behind #1 and stay in the mix down the lane.8-Blonde Magic-Interesting play at 12-1 in the ML, could win with the right cover and a decent pace. If Jamieson works a good trip, she could add some juice to the gimmicks at the least.Race 82-Kit-Best to respect chances even though she may need to find some cover. Jamieson has options and 5/2 ML chalk should be in the hunt and could win right back.3-Lady Natasha-Comes off two nice tries from the 9-hole and off those efforts should be bet with McClure. Is a use in a race without a standout but will be looking for first picture in eight starts.7-Coco Beach De Vie-Tried to come off cover after breaking stride in provious start. Looking for a more aggressive steer and appears to have the speed to pop at a square price.8-Shiraz Seelster-Comes off two flat efforts, but McNair takes a seat tonight. Three starts back, McNair from the 8-hole got her going down the lane to miss by a whisker at 85-1 in a quick mile.Race 91-Run Director-Filion should get a good seat without much trouble and look to make an early move to take control and not look back.2-Dream Together-Picked up first win of the year at this class last week and beat #1 from post eight. This mare has banked over $870k, so knows how to win, and is a good spot to score an encore.Race 103-Memo-Battled off a tough trip in first local start and just missed. This colt was mixing it up at the Red Mile with the likes of Greenshoe and other high caliber foes. Looks good here but is only 2-25 lifetime and now faces older.5-Odd Ball-Came off the bench with an even effort and was first time Lasix. Will respect the Drury-Aucielo combo and look for an improved effort after coming up short as a race time favorite.My Ticket Race 7) 1,6,7,8 Race 8) 2,3,7,8 Race 9) 1,2 Race 10) 3,5Total Ticket Cost) $12.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.14.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Wagering Strategies for 10/14/19

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 12:30 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Morning Cynn; 4-BellazanoForecast: Morning Cynn was beaten way off in a very hot, productive race at Los Alamitos, but against this much softer group the lightly-raced daughter of Paynter should be very competitive. A repeat of her race-before-last, a solid runner-up in a maiden special weight sprint at Golden Gate Fields, will beat this field based speed figures, and a recent bullet drill at San Luis Rey Downs for the high-percentage D. O’Neill barn gives strong indication that she’s set to fire her best shot. Bellazano switches to A. Cedillo and has back numbers that put her in the hunt. A distant runner-up in a similar affair at Los Alamitos last month charts well here so we’ll include her on the ticket as a back-up or a saver.**RACE 2: Post 12:59 PT. Grade: CUse: 1-Tappin Honor; 3-Champagne’s On IceForecast: The J. Wong shippers from Golden Gate Fields have underperformed since the beginning of summer, so while Champagne’s On Ice looks fairly strong on paper in this maiden claiming sprint for 2-year-olds he, along with runners from this normally high percentage barn, can’t be considered trustworthy. Though the son of Soldat finished a fairly promising third in his debut up north last month, his stable mate, who was second in that same race, came down here last week as the favorite and was soundly beaten. We’ll use the gelding in our rolling exotics but at 8/5 on the morning line with a three percent jockey taking the call, he’s no single. Tappin Honor hasn’t done anything particularly noteworthy in the morning, though a bullet three furlong gate drill late last month indicates he has at least some ability. A little will go a long way in this shallow affair, so we’ll toss in the fresh face and hope that he breaks with his field from the rail. Tread lightly here.**RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Restless Rambler; 5-Awesome HeightsForecast: This six runner $40,000 claiming turf sprint has two main players and both should be used in rolling exotic play. Restless Rambler has 17 career victories on his resume but always has been most effective on dirt. He’s clearly the quickest of the quick over a course that favors speed, so even though this isn’t his preferred surface the P. Miller-trained gelding should be hard to catch under bug boy J. Velez, who was aboard when this son of Ghostzapper daylighted a starter’s allowance field at Los Alamitos last month. Awesome Heights, a three-time grass winner at Santa Anita, should draft into a stalking position outside and have every chance to inherit the lead if ‘Rambler starts to fade. A bullet half mile recent workout over the training track since raced shows he’s holding his edge.**RACE 4: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: B+Single: 2-Mucho Macho WomanForecast: Mucho Macho Woman was given a bit of a run in her debut sprinting on grass at Del Mar last month and with that effort behind her the R. Ellis-trained filly should get serious today. Bred for dirt and likely to improve big time with the surface switch, the homebred filly was impressive in a recent workout to indicate she’s fit and ready to show her best stuff. J. Talamo stays aboard and, assuming ‘Woman leaves with her field this time, should have her within striking range throughout. At 4-1 on the morning line we’ll make her a straight play and rolling exotic single.**RACE 5: Post 2:38 PT. Grade: B+Use: 3-Zipper Mischief; 5-Three Ay EmForecast: Zipper Mischief is unproven around two turns but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to handle the trip. The lightly-raced son of Into Mischief has rising speed figures and a healthy recent work tab for a barn that has excellent stats in a limit sample with stretch-out plays. A sharp sprint winner two runs back in his comeback and then an unlucky runner-up in a hot dash at this level in his next outing, the B. Heap-trained colt seems likely to produce another forward move and resume his winning ways. Three Ay Em is worth including on a ticket or two as a backup. In the money in his last three, the son of New Year’s Day might get brave if permitted an easy early lead and has consistent speed figures that are par for this level.**RACE 6: Post 3:08 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Baby Gronk; 6-Truck SalesmanForecast: Truck Salesman is strictly the one to beat in this first-level state-bred allowance sprint. The D. O’Neill-trained gelding continues to impress in the a.m. and has numbers that make him more than capable of handling this task, especially at the projected pace flow. He’s probably a tad quicker than his main pace adversary Baby Gronk and may never look back if he can shake loose early. Baby Gronk has never been worse that second in four career outings over the Santa Anita main track and the W. Spawr-trained gelding seems well-spotted for another tough, consistent effort. His recent speed figures are strong, he switches to one of the barn’s go-to riders (T. Pereira) and he should be within striking range throughout. Preference on top goes to Truck Salesman but both should be included in rolling exotic play.**RACE 7: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Storming Lady; 2-StylishlyForecast: Stylishly has won her last pair in visually pleasing fashion, but if you believe her moderate speed figures she’ll be hard pressed to stretch her streak to three in this second-level allowance grass dash for fillies and mares. The daughter of Speighstown has an ideal stalking style for this course and if she’s better than her numbers indicate – and we believe she is – the S. Callaghan-trained can pull off a mild surprise at 6-1 on the morning line. Storming Lady is a versatile sort than can win on the lead or from well off the pace, so V. Espinoza can play it by ear depending upon how the A. Marquez-trained filly breaks from the rail. In the money in four of five career starts over the local lawn, the daughter of Flat Out earned a career top number when she was the fourth nose on the wire in a good Kentucky Downs grass affair last month. Due to price considerations, Stylishly gets the nod on top but both should be included in rolling exotic play.**RACE 8: Post 4:13 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Big Barrel; 4-Buck DuaneForecast: Big Barrel earned a career top speed figure when easily breaking his maiden over this main track during the summer meeting but failed to duplicate that effort in subsequent outings at Del Mar and Los Alamitos. The son of Surf Cat drops to his lowest level ever, retains good bug boy J. Velez, and may be capable of returning to his best form now that he’s back at Santa Anita. The extended sprint trip – which is likely to produce a soft, comfortable pace flow, should bring out his best, as well. Buck Duane, nosed out in his last pair, should fire a similar shot, though his record over the Santa Anita main track – zero for 11 – is a major cause for concern. On numbers he’s a fit but his lack of a winning punch is apparent. Preference on top goes to Big Barrel and he’ll get most of our play in the rolling exotics.

Read Article
10.14.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Workout Analysis - 10/14/19

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE*1-Thought I’dmissyouOct. 11, 20193f, :35.4Grade: B-View WorkoutNot asked for speed in short training track blowout, splits of :11.4 and :36 flat on our watches. Form is dreadful but this short spin wasn’t too bad for a cheap type.FOURTH RACE*1-Road RagerOct. 7, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: BView WorkoutWorked inside Tromador (same time) and was slightly best, no real pressure through the lane, splits of :24.4, :36.3, and 1:01.2. Quality Road maiden has some improvement in her.*1-Road RagerSept. 29, 20195f, :59.4hGrade: B-View WorkoutOfficial times reversed, actually was second best in company with Grinningeartoear (5f, 1:00.1h), breaking off a couple of lengths in front and then finishing head-and-head at the wire, some coaxing while workmate was going easier through the lane. Okay work, still a maiden but may be improving and should be competitive on either dirt or turf next time out.*1-Road RagerSept. 22, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: B-View WorkoutMaiden filly worked was ridden out through the lane, final three furlongs in a solid :36.3. Plenty fit and should return soon.*2-Mucho Macho WomanOct. 5, 20196f, 1:13.4hGrade: BView WorkoutBroke off a couple of lengths in front of First Star (6f, 1:13.2h) and managed to hold that one at bay in rather nice fashion, final 5/8ths in 1:01.3, not really asked late, a neck in front at the wire. Had a race at Del Mar and was no factor but seems likely to improve with experience.*2-Mucho Macho WomanSept. 21, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: B-View VideoFinal three furlongs in :36.3 without being asked much, okay move. Made little impression in turf sprint debut but probably has some improvement in her for Ellis.*3-Gold ArrowSept. 19, 20194f, :49.2h TTGrade: BView VideoComing back well for Drysdale (previously a Hollendorfer), went solo on training track without being asked, showing quick action while coming home in :25 flat. Been away since the winter (second in both starts), should be live vs. maidens turf or dirt.*3-Gold ArrowSept. 13, 20193f, :39.4h TTGrade: C+View WorkoutGot a bit warm in this solo training track breeze, hard held throughout. Showed ability last winter before being stopped on, needs more work. Now in Drysdale barn. SIXTH RACE*6-Truck SalesmanOct. 5, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: BView WorkoutLooked fine while breezing through the lane, final half mile in :23.4 and :48.4, plenty left late. In good shape, first or second in five of eight career starts.*6-Truck SalesmanSept. 27, 20194f, :48.3hGrade: B-View WorkoutBreezing throughout for O’Neill, splits of :12.4, :24.3 and :48.4 on our watches. In good form, should return vs. starter’s allowance foes soon.SEVENTH RACE*2-StylishlyOct. 7, 20194f, :49.3hGrade:View WorkoutJust cruising, final quarter in :25 flat, sharp and eager. Won her last pair in good style and maintains her edge.*4-SmoovieOct. 7, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: B+View WorkoutNever asked while finishing with some power, splits of :24.2 and :48.2, plenty left late. Seems to have found her niche as a turf sprinter.*4-SmoovieSept. 18, 20194f, :48.4hGrade: BView WorkoutWorked inside Pivo (3f, :36.1h) and was under a tight hold throughout while working from 3/8ths pole to the 7/8ths pole looking sharp. Maintains her edge.

Read Article
10.14.2019:

Build Confidence for Betting the Breeders' Cup

Confidence can be fleeting for a horseplayer. You handicap a card, think you’re madly in love and, by the third race, you’re ready to change your dating profile on Match. We’ve all been there. Confidence at its truest remains one of your best and most trusted assets playing the races. But false confidence can unravel everything. The Breeders’ Cup will bring us 14 tests of handicapping wit and varying confidence levels on Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita. Your job between now and then is to assess the runners as well as your confidence. Which races are a sit-out, a small-unit play or a big-unit play? I’ll share the handicapping elements that impact confidence for me the most. You can certainly have your own categories, but try and utilize the process to zero in on your best bets for the Breeders’ Cup and beyond. CircuitsThe circuits you follow are the ones you know best. It’s not rocket science, but too many players diminish that fact for the sake of feeling more in-tuned nationally than they really may be. This isn’t a test of national racing aptitude; it’s a series of horse races in which to gamble. Knowing your circuit best means you can identify those horses that are both top-quality and overrated, likely more effectively than those horseplayers who follow other circuits. Find the good ones, weed out the overmatched ones, and feel free to attack the vulnerable. It’s your backyard. Own it. PacePace makes the race from maiden claimers to Breeders’ Cup Classics. Map out the pace scenario for the 14 championship events to the best of your ability. Where things look obvious – either very fast or very slow – gain confidence in the cluster of horses who may be advantaged by their known running styles. Pace handicapping transfers anywhere; it’s like a good defense in football. ProgressionThese are the divisional championships in American racing. Horses coming off of poor, or less-than-improving, efforts by their standards should be quickly discounted. You don’t see rebounders win Breeders’ Cup titles very often. The apples to oranges exception here is the Arc de Triomphe, where many backward appearances have turned about-face in the Turf. Your level of confidence with an improving horse should swell, and diminish with a horse who is not moving forward (or is moving backward). If you're not sure a horse is doing great and improving, it's a good chance he or she is not. And remember, tossing horses is about a 70-80% good move nearly every time just by the mere percentages. Err on the side of tossing...you're bound to be right even if for another, unintended consequence. Lack of progression just expedites the decision and strengthens your confidence. ImportsIf your level of confidence with imports is low (like mine), then you need to be more focused on the divisions where the imports don’t play the major role. This doesn’t necessarily mean all grass races are off limits. The Americans have performed very well in many of the divisions on turf, particularly the Turf Sprint, Juvenile Fillies Turf, Filly & Mare Turf and Mile. If you feel that international racing is your bag, then it’s a clear advantage over many everyday US horseplayers and should be high on your confidence meter. Know your strengths and weaknesses here and you won't be sucked into hype or negative press, the two elements the vast majority of Breeders' Cup import handicappers almost blindly fall back on, whether they admit it or not. The TrendsI've made a career following and publishing the trends in major horse races, so maybe I'm biased here. I know our Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Wager Guide will include many of the most important handicapping storylines that history has presented. Trends are very important in races that have a fixed calendar like the Breeders' Cup. They're not able to be passed over for the next spot and they're not able to be cherry-picked to best fit a particular horse in the barn. The date and conditions are set, and you can't peek into the racing office to see who's going and wait for another spot next week. You'll see over 30-plus years in the Breeders' Cup what has worked and what hasn't in most every division. Rarely does this put you on the exact winner; it's not supposed to. But identifying important trends and angles can eliminate a 14-horse headache and make it a 3 or 4-choice affair. Then put your traditional elements in play to handicap those remaining runners and your confidence should grow. In conclusion: Once we know the horses, we can study the individuals and establish how confident we feel about each race. But until then, get a sense of what you know best … and least … and prepare to be honest with yourself when it comes time to disperse your bankroll over 14 races.

Read Article
10.13.2019:

Sunday, October 13: Rosecroft Raceway Pick 5 Analysis

Rosecroft Raceway has a 13-race card scheduled with the feature coming in Race 11, an Open Handicap Trot with a $10,000 purse. The 0.50 Pick 5 sequence starts in Race 7 and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 73-Toms Titan-Tried a different plan, got on the engine and almost lasted, that makes the 8-year-old a use here.4-Dancing On A Star-In a spot to get a stalking trip and if pace is quick could close fastest of all.7-By A Time-Drops and looking for better in 4th start off a long rest, but is trip dependent and may leave.Race 81-Spinout-Last 2 trips were not the best but has been trying hard and now draws back inside, best to respect.2-Tidewater Titan-Seems to do best work when on the engine or close to it, can get sucked around and trip out.6-Pansformative-Won on Wednesday in a determined effort, now comes right back and could take another picture.Race 91-Makin Money Fast-Last raced on 9/22, but barn has been going good, a player if all sytsems on go.7-Dance On The Beach-Captured 1st win at RcR on 9/29, and comes off a scratch but like #1, beware if ready.Race 101-Jack Quick-Just missed from the 9-hole, steps-up but fits again and post relief should help chances.7-Beammeupscottie-Raced near the lead with quick fractions and nipped #1, should be in the hunt again.Race 117-Home'n Dry-Hasn't raced since 9/22, but if ready will likely leave and get the top or 2-hole behind #8.8-Fashion Smile-5/2 chalk won last week at this class from 8-hole as odds-on choice on the engine. May follow same script.My Ticket Race 7) 3,4,7 Race 8) 1,2,6 Race 9) 1,7 Race 10) 1,7 Race 11)  7,8Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.13.2019:

Sunday, October 13: Santa Anita 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 12:30 PT. Grade: XSingle: 5-High VelocityForecast: High Velocity has trained like a quick colt and looks ready to win at first asking for the B. Baffert barn, which clicks at an amazing 42% with first-time starters. This $350,000 yearling purchase by Quality Road is listed at even money for a reason – he appears to be a standout in this maiden special weight dash for juveniles that attracted only six entrants. There’s no value to be found here, so your choice is to make ‘Velocity a short-price rolling exotic single or simply pass the race.RACE 2: Post 1:00 PT. Grade: B+Single: 4-ShandlingForecast: Shandling is listed at 8-1 on the morning line in this maiden special weight turf sprint for older horses. We doubt you’ll get it. The son of Distorted Humor finally makes it to the post after bringing $150,000 at the Fasig-Tipton March 2-year-old in training sale back in 2018, and his workouts, both at San Luis Rey Downs and at Santa Anita, show this gelding is fit and ready. Though he most certainly is blessed with early speed, the P. D’Amato-trained 3-year-old has been trained to rally around horses, so whatever race flow develops he should be able to cope with it. Let’s make him a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: B+Use: 3-Honor A. P; 5-Eel Point; 9-Eddy ForeverForecast: This is a fairly strong maiden main track mile affair for juveniles with several that own stakes potential. Eel Point closed a considerable amount of ground after breaking slowly in his sprint debut and since then has trained very well, much better in fact than he did prior to his first outing. The son of Into Mischief retains bug boy Diaz and should produce a significant forward move, one that makes him very dangerous at 12-1 morning line. We’ll use him in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play. Honor A. P. and Eddy Forever are both talented colts as well and probably should also be included on your ticket. The former closed with purpose to be a strong runner-up in his debut at Del Mar and has trained steadily since, while the latter switches to dirt for the first time and is bred to improve with the change in surface.RACE 4: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: XSingle: 7-Absolutely PerfectForecast: Absolutely Perfect turned in a solid third place performance in her sprint comeback at Del Mar in August, shows a healthy work tab since, and seems ready to regain her winning form while stretching out to a distance she’s proven she can handle. The daughter of Vronsky retains Prat for a barn that has strong stats with second-off-layoff runners, so we’re expecting the D. Blacker-trained 4-year-old to settle into a stalking position and then have every chance to exert her superiority from the quarter pole home. However, at 6/5 on the morning line, there’s not much we can do with her other than to single her in rolling exotic play.RACE 5: Post 2:37 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Love of Art; 5-Princess DorianForecast: We’ll try to get by using just two in this $10,000 claiming miler for fillies and mares. Love of Art is a three-time winner in good form for J. Metz and can score again if she can repeat her Los Alamitos performance from last month against this similar group. Bug boy Velez, who was aboard for her most recent win, should have her within range throughout. Princess Dorian, first off the claim for A. Lerner (26% with this angle), plummets from $20,000 to $10,000, not a healthy sign. But if the daughter of Idiot Proof has at least one good one left she can certainly win in this league, and in her first start over a distance of ground she could easily get loose on the lead and never look back.RACE 6: Post 3:12 PT. Grade: BUse: 6-Grinningeartoear; 10-Apache PassForecast: Apache Pass missed as the favorite in her debut sprinting on turf in August but we’re willing to give the daughter of Paddy O’Prado a second chance. She continues to impress in the morning for M. Glatt, adds blinkers, and switches to hot-riding A. Cedillo. We’re expecting to see here display a lot more early speed and draft into an ideal pace-stalking or pressing position outside. Grinningeartoear may be the quickest of the quick, having cut out good fractions in her debut at Los Alamitos last July before fading late and then being vanned off after she noticeably bled. She trains like she’s over that problem, so with R. Bejarano staying aboard, she’s highly-likely to stick around a whole lot longer. Both should be used in rolling exotic play; we’ll have a few extra tickets keying Apache Pass on top.RACE 7: Post 3:47 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Shedaresthedevil; 4-Leucothea; 6-EclairForecast: This year’s edition of the Anoakia Stakes for juvenile fillies came up quite contentious, so you probably should include as many as you can afford to in rolling exotic play. Shedaresthedevil couldn’t stay a mile when tried in the Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes at Del Mar last month but today she returns to the main track, shortens to her preferred trip, and adds blinkers. Assuming she leaves cleanly from the rail, F. Prat should have her within striking range throughout. Leucothea earned a speed figure at Del Mar when breaking her maiden for a high price tag that would win this. Whether or not she can reproduce that form after two subsequent disastrous outings is questionable, but we’ll have her somewhere on our ticket. Eclair is learning to rate and from her outside post should inherit a cozy stalking journey. On numbers she’s in very tough but based on recent workouts she’s certainly appears capable of improving. Toss her in as a saver, at least.RACE 8: Post 4:19 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-South West Bay; 3-Unbroken StarForecast: Unbroken Star tries turf for the first time after finishing a solid runner-up in a similar main track affair at Del Mar in mid-August. The lightly-raced son of Broken Vow sports a steady, healthy series of recent works, and seems likely to produce a good forward move with J. Talamo staying aboard for the M. Puype barn. South West Bay broke his maiden sprinting at Saratoga in late July and makes his first start since for new connections. He’s almost certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics and if he can shake loose early without undue pressure the English-bred gelding could take the field a very long way. We’ll prefer Unbroken Star on top but include both in our rolling exotics.

Read Article
10.13.2019:

Sunday, October 13: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE3-Malibu StarOct. 9, 20193f, :36.3hGrade: B-Slightly second best outside High Velocity (same time), both going easily while working from quarter pole out to 7/8 pole. Giant’s Causeway colt has bit of run, should be fit enough by now.3-Malibu StarSept. 19, 20195f, 1:01.1hgGrade: B-Gate drill with Baffert barn mate Crazy Speighty (same time) and appeared a tad best, asked hard leaving the gate and then taken in hand, was asked a bit again on the turn and then finished steadily, splits of :24.3, :48.3 and 1:01.2 before coasting to the wire in 1:17 flat. $450,000 yearling probably a distance type, certainly bred to be (Giant’s Causeway). Grass an option as well.5-High VelocityOct. 9, 20193f, :36.4Grade: BEasily inside Malibu Star (same time) while working from quarter pole out to the 7/8 pole, splits of :24.2 and :37 flat on our watches, able to go much faster if permitted. Definitely has some run, good mover for top barn.5-High VelocityOct. 3, 20194f, :46.3hGrade:View WorkoutWas let roll from the gate and flashed good speed, :34.4 and :46.3 on our watches, mostly in hand in the final stages. Quality Road juvenile colt brought $350,000 as a yearling, looks the part.SECOND RACE3-DeuceSept. 29, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: BCaught the final quarter mile in :24 flat while ridden through the lane, decent sort of finish for Hofmans. Might be dangerous with a class drop.ShandlingOct. 6, 20195f, 1:03.2h TTGrade: B+Maiden gelding trailed Jodie Faster and Lucky Ms. Jones (both 5f, 1:04.4h TT) to the top of the lane, then angled wide and swept on by as much best while under a strong hold, never permitted to show his best abilities. Was impressive in the 2018 March Sale preview session and brought $150,000 but never made it to the post until today. Looks to have more than enough talent to act with straight maidens.7-InquisiteurSept. 13, 20196f, 1:14hGrade: BWorked inside United (7f, 1:26.4h, out to 7/8 pole) and held his own, no real pressure thru the lane, up at the wire, a tad second best. Unraced 3yo Tiznow gelding is a route-type and should make the entries soon for Mandella.11-TromadorOct. 7, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: B-A tad second best but went well enough outside Road Rager (same time), splits of :24.4, :36.3 and 1:01.2, mild coaxing through the lane. Coming around and should make the entries soon.11-TromadorSept. 30, 20194f, :48.3Grade: BBroke off about four lengths in front of Beautiful Thunder (4f, :48.3h), showed some greeness when switching to outside lead before straightening for home and held that one safely in the final furlong, finishing a length clear at the wire under very light coaxing only while looking strong in the final stages. Exchange Rate unraced 2-year-old should be more than fit enough by now.11-TromadorSept. 25, 20196f, 1:15.2hGrade: C+In company with Go Daddy Go (6f, 1:15.4h) and was best by a couple of lengths at the wire, splits of :24 flat, :49 flat and 1:15.3 on our watches, ridden through the lane, fair response. $80,000 2018 OBS April sale colt by Exchange Rate colt still has yet to start in the fall of his sophomore season, nothing special at this stage of his training.THIRD RACE2-Palace PrinceSept. 29, 20196f, 1:13.4hGrade: C+Ridden through the lane, final half mile in :24 flat and :50 flat, blinkers on. Was a $200,000 OBS March sale purchase so we doubt he’ll be dropped into the maiden claiming ranks (where he belongs) anytime soon.2-Palace PrinceSept. 13, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: B-Broke off behind outclassed workmate Endearing Suances (5f, 1:03h) and disposed of that one while being ridden out to 7/8 pole, going off slowly (:25 flat) but picking it up nicely when asked. Son of Palace Malice probably can improve a bit but really hasn’t shown all that much so far in the afternoon.3-Honor A. P.Oct. 4, 20196f, 1:14.3hGrade: B-Broke off several lengths behind Lambeau (6f, 1:15.2h), was asked to close the gap in the lane while being urged in the final furlong and was up to out finish workmate while coming the final half mile in :24.3 and :49.4. Certainly displayed good promise in his debut but strikes us as a grinding, one-paced type. Honor Code juvenile may be seen next two-turning.3-Honor A. P.Sept. 20, 20196f, 1:15.1hGrade: BBroke off a length behind Express Town (6f, 1:15.2h) and stalked that one well in hand to the top of the lane, was asked for some run in the final furlong and closed the gap but couldn’t get by talented workmate, final half in :49.1, solid, stamina move. Flashed big promise in debut and can only improve with experience. Curious to see if he’ll wind being most effective as a late-running sprinter.5-Eel PointOct. 9, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: BGood move inside Garth (same time, hard held), splits of :23.4 and :48.2, strong to the wire with plenty left. Improving with experience, should go better as distances increase.9-Eddy ForeverOct. 7. 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: BWent nicely outside Eclair (same time), final three furlongs in :36 flat, light coaxing in the final furlong. Was given too much to do last time out, certainly can improve, would love to see him switched to the main track.FOURTH RACE5-Nothing But HeatSept. 29, 20194f, :50.4hGrade: C+Slightly second best with Lady Ember (4f, :50.3h), mild coaxing through the lane inside of breezing stable mate, final three furlongs in :37.3. Cal-bred filly broke her maiden in her ninth career start last time out; will need to produce a forward move to be a factor on the raise.7-Absolutely PerfectOct. 5, 20195f, 1:02.4hGrade: BWent off slowly in company outside Civil Suit (same time, ridden some through the lane), was under wraps throughout and was slightly best at the wire while able to go considerably faster if turned loose, 25.1, :37.2 and 1:02.4. Looks good, missed as the choice vs. first-level allowance state-bred foes last time out but is capable of making amends.SIXTH RACE6-GrinningeartoearOct 5, 20194f, :48hGrade: B-Worked outside Steph Being Steph (5f, 1:00.4h out to 7/8 pole) and was slightly best to the wire under some late coaxing, :23.4 and :47.4 on our watches, not bad. Smiling Tiger filly has room to improve with experience.6-GrinningeartoearSept. 29, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: BOfficial times reversed, broke off a couple of lengths behind and was under a nice hold through the lane while appearing a tad the best with Road Rager (5f, :59.4), final half mile in :23 flat and :47.4. California-bred daughter of Smiling Tiger has room to improve with experience.6-GrinningeartoearSept. 22, 20195f, 1:01.4hgGrade: C+Some coaxing working inside of Fun Coupons (same time), splits of :24.3 and :49 flat in team gate drill for Koriner. Had an outing at Los Alamitos, may improve but probably would fit best for a high price tag.10-Apache PassSept. 23, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: B+Blinkers on, broke off a length behind Enduring Suances (5f, 1:02.2h) and pulled her way to the lead after a few strides while under a tight hold, was going the easier of the two throughout and appeared much best in the final stages, splits of :24.2, :36.1 and 1:01.4 while able to go considerably faster if turned loose. Was a beaten choice in her debut but seems much better than the race shows. Deserves another look next time out.SEVENTH RACE1-ShedaresthedevilSept. 29, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: BLet run a bit through the lane and responded well, final three furlongs in :11.2 and :35.2. Dead fit and should make the entries soon, likely to return to sprinting.1-ShedaresthedevilSept. 13, 20194f, :50.3hGrade: B-Just galloping, final quarter in :25.4. Talented juvenile filly should stick to sprinting for now.6-EclairOct. 7, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: BWorked inside Eddy Forever (same time) and went strongly throughout under mild coaxing through the lane, final three furlongs in :36 flat. Graduated nicely at Los Alamitos last time out, pointing for the Anoakia Stakes.6-EclairSept. 30, 20194f, :47.4Grade: BStrong work for Baffert working inside Gingham (4f, :47.3h), breaking off a length in front and finishing stride-for-stride with that one while a tad best at the wire, splits of :23.3 and :47.3 before continuing out to 7/8 pole in 1:00.2 on our watches. Broke her maiden at Los Alamitos in good style and probably has further improvement in her.6-EclairSept. 23, 20194f, :48.4hGrade: BBreezing throughout, splits of :24.4 and :48.4 for Baffert, looking sharp as usual. Has all of her speed, needs to show improved stick to her zip.EIGHTH RACE3-Unbroken StarSept. 7, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: B+Breezing in company with M Town Gem (same time) final quarter in :25 flat. Eligible to starter’s allowance (nw-2) $50,000 and should be tough in that spot next time. Lightly-raced with plenty of improvement in him for Puype. Workmate had to be asked late to stay even, moderate move.Mongolian Hero4-Oct. 7, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: BCaught him from the half-mile pole to the wire in :12.1, :24.1 and :48.3, never really being asked, looking quite solid. Maiden claiming winner at Los Alamitos holds his form, seeking a moderate restricted (nw-2) seller over a distance of ground.4-Mongolian HeroSept. 7, 20195f, 1:01.4hgGrade: C+Fair gate drill while much best over 2yo Mongolian Kingdom (5f, 1:03.1hg), easy early in 37 flat and :49.1 before being asked out the final furlong. Needs modest maiden claimers. Workmate isn’t much.8-HootieSept. 28, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: B-Went off quickly, slowed up late, but was never really asked, final half in :23.1 and :49 flat on our watches. Should surface in another starter’s allowance affair soon.10-ReedleySept. 29, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: C+Slightly best inside of Hot Sean (same time) while being ridden through the lane, final half in :48.4. Okay move, nothing special, seeking another starter’s allowance race.

Read Article
10.12.2019:

Saturday, October 12: Santa Anita 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 12:30 PT. Grade: XSingle: 4-MarrazanoForecast: Marrazano makes a favorable trainer switch to D. O’Neill, removes blinkers for the first time, drops to a realistic level and switches to A. Cedillo. A distant runner-up in a much tougher starter’s allowance sprint at Los Alamitos last month, the daughter of Verrazano will handle this assignment if she acts over the much deeper Santa Anita main track, but not all Los Al shippers do. In a five-runner field with no viable alternative, we’ll put her on top but without a high degree of confidence, and at 2-1 on the morning line she probably won’t offer much value, anyway. Tread lightly here.RACE 2: Post 1:01 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Twirling Tiger; 3-Top of the Game; 7-Bitter Ring HomeForecast: Top of the Game, originally claimed in April of 2018 for $62,500, dropped all the way down to the $8,000 level for a nice win at Los Alamitos last month and moves up a notch today while seeking a repeat over a track he’s has plenty of past success (four wins). A voided claim two runs back but with solid recent numbers and a touch of back class, the son of Desert Party looks well-spotted to win right back. Good bug boy J. Velez stays aboard. Twirling Tiger is the one to fear most and can be included in rolling exotic play as well, though the pattern looks a bit suspicious. Fresh from a highly-rated sprint win at Del Mar, he’s now in the J. Wallace barn but isn’t being raised in class and will be making his first start in nearly two months. We’ll see if he can turn in two alike. You may also consider, at least as a saver, Bitter Ring Home, who drops to his lowest level and may have found his friends. The N. Drysdale-trained gelding won a restricted $16,000 affair at Del Mar three runs back while earning a number that charts well here. Both of his prior races over the Santa Anita main track were good, though not highly-rated.RACE 3: Post 1:32 PT. Grade: C+Use: 5-Go for a Ride; 9-MuskokaForecast: This maiden claiming turf miler has the look of a raffle. We’ll go two-deep but the best advice is to use as many as you can afford to. Go for a Ride removes blinkers (love that angle), shows up in a seller for the first time, returns to grass, and retains good bug boy J. Velez. He should be on or near the lead throughout and could get very brave if not pressured. Muskoga, away since January and training with much more enthusiasm this time around for K. Desormeaux, is re-equipped with blinkers and just might return better than he left. The lightly-raced son of Twirling Candy may be worth a gamble at 12-1 on the morning line in a race begging to be won by a price horse.RACE 4: Post 2:07 PT. Grade: XSingle: 3-ClaudelleForecast: Claudelle ran away and hid from outclassed maiden $40,000 claimers at Los Alamitos last month, a race that makes her eligible to this starter’s allowance event in which she figures to be a strong favorite (she’s 7/5 on the morning line). The J. Sadler-trained filly will beat this group if she repeats the big speed figure she earned in that race; however, this track has a much deeper surface and not every horse can transfer that Los Alamitos form to Santa Anita, though it should be noted that in three prior starts, she finished in the money in all three. In a race that probably is best left alone, you can use her as a no-value rolling exotic single or simply sit it out.RACE 5: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: B+Use: 4-Crazy Speighty; 10-Drama for MamaForecast: The known element doesn’t excite so let’s focus on a couple of promising first-time starters in this maiden special weight sprint for juvenile fillies. Drama for Mama has been very impressive in the morning for the R. Mandella barn and appears fit and ready. From the first crop of Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map (who’s off to a great start at stud), this $250,000 Saratoga yearling purchase can be expected to pop and go from her extreme outside go under bug boy J. Velez. She appears blessed with excellent speed, so if she leaves with her field, look out. Crazy Speighty has done some good work for B. Baffert (exceptional stats with debut runners) and looks plenty fit for a major effort as well. Though the workout times haven’t been especially fast, the daughter of Speightstown has done what has been asked, and promising bug boy J. Diaz, Jr. takes the mount for a stable that has used him on live runners in the past. At 6-1 on the morning line we have include her on our ticket as well.RACE 6: Post 3:15 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Gingham; 2-OverjoyedForecast: Overjoyed was asked a very difficult question in her debut in the Juveniles Fillies Turf at Del Mar last month and actually didn’t do badly at all when winding up fifth after a slow start and a wide trip. She tries maidens and the main track today and seems certain to improve for the Drysdale barn which boasts strong stat with second-time starters. With M. Smith staying aboard, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro looks well-spotted for a maiden-breaking effort at 3-1 on the morning line. Gingham couldn’t deliver the goods at 50 cents on the dollar at Los Alamitos last month, having every chance but getting worn down late in a race that earned a low speed figure. She continues to train well and could bounce back and verify the promise she showed when a good second in her debut at Del Mar, but at 9/5 on the morning line there’s not much value to be found. Toss her in if you like, but our main push goes to Overjoyed.RACE 7: Post 3:45 PT. Grade: XUse: 1-S Y Sky; 5-Don’t Sell; 6-Just Grazed MeForecast: Stable mates S Y Sky and Just Grazed Me give the N. Alexander/P. D’Amato team two bullets to fire in this state-bred turf sprint for fillies and mares, with ‘Sky having the slightly better form of the two and therefore the likely favorite and one to beat. Amazingly, she’s been first or second in 14 of 15 career starts, quite an accomplishment for the daughter of Grazen. Just Grazed Me has been first or second in seven of eight starts of her own and is thoroughly genuine and consistent as well. Either one can win, and a case could be more for Don’t Sell as well. The D. O’Neill-trained daughter of Square Eddie looked good beating a lesser field over this course and distance just two weeks ago while earning a speed figure that makes her dangerous despite the class hike. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics but otherwise sit it out and enjoy the show.RACE 8: Post 4:15 PT. Grade: XUse: 2-Shear Class; 6-Unicorn; 7-Cover VersionForecast: This is an unusually tough race for older maiden fillies and mares. We’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics but otherwise pass the race. Unicorn “couldn’t lose” when 40 cents on the dollar in a similar main track maiden miler at Del Mar in August unless she did something like tossing her rider. Well, that’s exactly what she did after stumbling badly at the start. After a two month respite, she returns for the R. Baltas barn (solid with comebackers) and has been training extremely well in the interim while giving indication that she’s plenty fit and ready. However, at 6/5 on the morning line she’s certain to be a short price once again. Shear Class was a closing third in her debut sprinting in a highly-rated affair at Del Mar and the J. Shirreffs-trained daughter of Curlin seems certain to improve a bunch with experience and distance. On pure numbers she’s actually faster than Unicorn, and is another that has done everything right in the a.m. since raced. Cover Version, third in the same race Shear Class exits, finished strongly but too late while being given a run and is another that could easily produce a significant forward move in just her second start since arriving from France.RACE 9: Post 4:45 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Wound Tight; 4-Via EgnatiaForecast: Wound Tight simply wasn’t good enough when third under these conditions at Del Mar last month but the race was a stronger version of what he’s competing in today and we suspect the lightly-raced gelding can regain his winning form. A winner over this course when breaking his maiden back in May of 2018, the son of Coil has rising speed figures, a good inside draw, and regains R. Bejarano, so we’re expecting the R. Hess, Jr. trained Cal-bred to take full advantage of a comfortable pace-stalking trip. Via Egnatia has effective early speed, and if he can clear without pressure the R. Baltas-trained son of Distorted Humor might forget to stop. A gate-to-wire winner over this course and distance two runs back, he’s quite dangerous based on speed figures and a healthy recent work pattern. Slight preference goes to Wound Tight but both should be included in rolling exotic play.

Read Article
10.12.2019:

Saturday, October 12: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.SECOND RACE7-Bitter Ring HomeSept. 12, 20194f, :49.3hGrade: C+View WorkoutSplits of :24.3 and :25 flat, wrong lead through the lane, no real pressure but looking just so-so. Needs soft claimers.THIRD RACEMuskokaOct. 5, 20196f, 1:14hgGrade: B-View WorkoutWent pretty well while much best over Doctrinaire (6f, 1:14.4hg) in team gate drill, splits of :24.1, :48.2 and 1:14 flat, coasting in the final furlong while able to go faster if asked. Twirling Candy maiden could be okay with a class drop.FIFTH RACE4-Crazy SpeightyOct. 4, 20195f, 1:01.1hgGrade: BView WorkoutJuvenile filly broke well but was taken in hand early and forced wide to avoid the just-breaking-off Mitole down the backstretch, got back into rhythm and went smoothly without any pressure, splits of :25 flat, :36.4, :48.4, and 1:01.2 while stride-for-stride with Much More Halo (same time, never really asked, either). Both have ability for Baffert and should make the entries soon.7-Map MakerOct. 9, 20194f, :48.4hGrade: B-View WorkoutFinal three furlongs in :11.3 and :36.2, in blinkers, not really asked. Plenty fit, beautifully-bred but just an okay type based on her drills so far.7-Map MakerSept. 27, 20196f, 1:14.2hgGrade: C+View WorkoutFair to moderate six furlong gate drill for Baffert while much best over Technicolor (5f, 1:01.3hg), splits of :24.1, :48 flat and 1:15 flat on our watches, slower than given, some late coaxing. This was a bit of improvement, but unraced half-sister to McKinzie really hasn’t shown all that much just yet.7-Map MakerSept. 21, 20195f, 1:02hgGrade: C+View VideoIn company with Heros Reward (5f, 100.4hg) and went easily early with splits of :24.3, :36.2 and :48.4 and then was basically up there, some late coaxing. Not one of this barn’s better ones at this stage.7-Map MakerSept. 15, 20194f, :49.3hGrade: C+View WorkoutSecond best with Gingham (4f, :49.2h), breaking off a bit in front and finishing a bit behind while working inside, some late coaxing. Liam’s Map juvenile filly doesn’t strike us as anything special right now.9-Roadrunner’s HonorSept. 11, 20194f, :48.4hGrade: C+View WorkoutNot really asked much at any stage but was third best in team drill with Buyer’s Remorse (5f, 1:00.4h) and Dipping In (5f, 1:01.4h) while outside of the team throughout. Brought $100,000 at the OBS March sale. Down the road type at this stage.10-Drama for MamaSept. 21, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: B+View VideoBroke off in front of Extra Hope (same time) and finished down the lane with that one without being asked, nice move, final half in :48.3 while able to go faster if turned loose. Gray daughter of Liam’s Map was a $250,000 yearling purchase at Saratoga last year and looks the part.SIXTH RACE1-GinghamOct. 6, 20194f, :49hGrade: BView WorkoutEven with Mo Hawk (same time), both coming home well under light coaxing only, final quarter mile in :24.3. Seeking a two-turn maiden affair.1-GinghamSept. 30, 20194f, :47.3hGrade: BView WorkoutBroke off a length behind �clair (4f, :47.4h) and was under mild coaxing through the lane while not quite able to catch workmate at wire, :23.3 and :47.3 on our watches, then continued out with workmate to 7/8 pole and may have been a tad the best at the end, up in 1:00.1. Failed at odds-on at Los Alamitos; certainly capable of improving for Baffert and should be a short price again next time.2-OverjoyedSept. 11, 20193f, :37hGrade: B-View WorkoutBreezing in solo training track move for Drysdale, well in hand and looking fine, final quarter mile in :24.2. Was overmatched in her debut vs. stakes foes at Del Mar but should move forward with that race behind her and a realistic drop into the maiden ranks. Nice prospect by Medaglia d’Oro should handle turf or dirt.3-Paige AnneSept. 21, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: B-View VideoOkay move, final half on our watches in :24.2 and :48.3. Juvenile filly showed some improvement when third at 17-1 two-turning vs. maidens in her second start and seems to be doing well enough.6-UnicornOct. 3, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: B+View WorkoutWorked inside Arch Anthem (5f, 1:02.3h) and was much the best, breezing throughout, final half mile on our watches in :23.4 and :49.3, coasting to the wire. Lost her rider at the start when 2/5 in a maiden router at Del Mar last time out, should be a short price again vs. similar soon.7-Rare FindSept. 14, 20196f, 1:15.4hGrade: CView WorkoutUnraced 2-year-old filly by Bernardini went in company with older Charlito (same time), leading that one by about four lengths midway but under some pressure through the lane to finish head-and-head with that one, final 5/8ths our watches in :38.1 and 1:03.3. Doesn’t look like anything special at this stage. Workmate was ridden through the lane to close the gap after being outrun early, not impressive, either.SEVENTH RACE1-S Y SkyOct. 6, 20195f, 1:02.3hGrade: C+View WorkoutA tad second best outside Violette Szabo (same time), not really asked but unable to get past breezing workmate. State-bred daughter of Grazen always fires and is effective on any surface, thought she’d go a little better here, though.3-Gypsy BluOct. 5, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: BView WorkoutWent well under very light coaxing only through the lane, splits of :23.3 and :48.1 on our watches. Veteran Cal-bred daughter of Papa Clem in good form for Glatt.6-Just Grazed MeOct. 5, 20195f, 1:01.4h TTGrade: BView WorkoutBroke off about three lengths behind Our Romance (5f, 1:02.2h TT) and closed the gap through the lane under mild coaxing to finish evenly at the wire, final three furlongs in :12 flat and :36.4 in training track drill. Won two of her last three and holds her edge.EIGHTH RACE2-Shear ClassSept. 25, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: C+View WorkoutSlightly second best working inside of Lambeau (same time), some coaxing through the lane, splits of :36.3 and 1:01.4 on our watches, fair move. Certainly not a speed type but did flash a bit of promise in debut at Del Mar (closed well) and may improve with distance and experience.6-UnicornOct. 3, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: B+View WorkoutWorked inside Arch Anthem (5f, 1:02.3h) and was much the best, breezing throughout, final half mile on our watches in :23.4 and :49.3, coasting to the wire. Lost her rider at the start when 2/5 in a maiden router at Del Mar last time out, should be a short price again vs. similar soon.NINTH RACE1-Nolo ContestoSept. 20, 20195f, 1:02.3h TTGrade: C+View WorkoutA couple of ticks slower than given on our watches, :25.2, :37.3 and 1:03 flat in solo training track drill while being ridden along through the lane. No real change for one-paced 3-year-old in Sadler’s barn.4-Via EgnatiaOct. 6, 20194f, :48.3h TTGrade: BView WorkoutBroke off in front of Pantsonfire (4f, :48.2h) and held that one off in very nice training track drill, something left late, no pressure, final three furlongs in :36.2. Trailed second-level allowance foes at Del Mar, certainly capable of improving in an easier spot.5-Dark HedgesOct. 5, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: C+View WorkoutWas asked through the lane and had just a moderate response, final three furlongs in :11.2 and :36.1 on our watches. Lone Star Park shipper will find this circuit a lot more competitive.5-Dark HedgesSept. 21, 20194f, :49.3h TTGrade: C+View VideoFinal quarter in :24.4 while being ridden through the lane. Lightly-raced son of Giant’s Causeway broke his maiden at Lone Star Park in June, hard to say how he’ll fit on this much tougher circuit.8-Moody JimSept. 21, 20195f, 1:03.4h TTGrade: CView VideoWrong lead through the lane while finishing under urging, final quarter in :26 flat. Probably needs grass, ran a bit below expectations in the Del Mar Derby; still has all of his conditions.10-M Town GemSept. 7, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: C+View WorkoutEven but second best with Unbroken Star (same time, easily), some urging late, final quarter in :25 and small change. Not particularly impressive in this drill but based on his form the Puype-trained Gemologist gelding might not be much of a worker.

Read Article
10.12.2019:

Saturday, October 12: Woodbine Mohawk Park Pick 5 Analysis

The stage is set at Woodbine Mohawk Park for top two and three-year olds to compete in the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Gold Finals. Four of the Finals take place in the 0.20 Pick 5 sequence, which will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 11-Haveoneforme-Was off 20 days, the journey was rough, now Dunn could work a nice trip at a square price.7-Bright Eyes M-Makes 6th start in a row from 7-hole and won last. Has gate speed to get top and not look back.9-Teddys Littleangel-Winner of >$208k in '19 has had some issues, but McNair can work a trip at 6-1 in the ML.Race 26-Alicorn-The 2/5 program chalk looks the part and seems to be a clean trip away from 7th picture in 11 starts.Race 31-Winter Olympics-Has only made 5 starts and JMac needs a smooth trip, may get sucked around and surprise.2-Wine Rack Hanover-Winner of 2 straight could get the top or 2-hole and chances for a hat trick go up.4-Jula Shes Magic-Has some breaking issues and not easy to figure, but a top effort puts her in the hunt.7-Warrawee Vicky-My thinking is McNair leaves and could get the top and look to grab one soft quarter.Race 43-Traceur Hanover-Form is good and could be ready to step-up and win versus Pfd company at a nice price.5-Brave World-Tripped out and beat 6 of these last week, could come right back from this post at 6-1 in the ML.8-Easy Lover Hanover-Has been razor sharp, does have the ability to win from the outside, best to respect.Race 52-YS Mathis-Back to Wbsb where colt has had top notch efforts versus Gold company, 2-1 ML chalk rates an edge.4-Beach Blanket Book-Comes off a sharp win at Lon and now McNair returns, a danger with the right trip.6-Denali Seelster-Winner of last 2 looks sharp enough to battle top Gold foes in search of 3rd straight picture.My Ticket Race 1) 1,7,9 Race 2) 6 Race 3) 1,2,4,7 Race 4) 3,5,8 Race 5) 2,4,6Total Ticket Cost) $21.60 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.12.2019:

Form Vs. Class Challenge In Key Race In Gulfstream West Pick 4

Gulfstream Park West’s eighth race on Saturday is good example of class vs. form with the top pair of contenders.The eighth is the third leg of the late Pick Four and is the most interesting of the sequence as Northern attempts to become a successful class riser Northern and Delta Bluesman attempts to run back to some of the races that made him a terrific campaigner for much of his career.Northern virtually doubles in claiming price after being haltered by the Aubrey Maragh stable last out, which marked his 3rd consecutive win. The Adios Charlie gelding dominated at the bottom level and put in some terrific times in winning four of his last five and five of his last seven. The step up in class clearly will be a challenge, but he’s been outstanding on the front end and will get a good chance at it again. The question he’ll have to answer is in regard to class. He has the credentials with 10 wins in 26 starts and will be facing a classy individual in who has seen better days but is back to his original barn and is expected to run well. Right next door to Northern is Delta Bluesman, who returned to the Jorge Navarro barn via the claim box when he was dropped to $6,250 last time. That was far below anything he’s seen. The 9-year-old Wagon Limit horse has won 14 of 65 for $765,178, and the best days he had were under Navarro’s tutelage. Navarro’s stable lost Delta Bluesman through the claim box last November at Gulfstream West and has not won since.Those two are used in the third slot on the Pick 4 ticket, which is a $60 suggested buy. The Northern-Delta Bluesman battle is actually the easiest as viewed on the ticket. It started the sixth race with five horses on the ticket, followed by three in the seventh and finishing with four horses in the ninth.Here’s the suggested play for the last Pick 4 Saturday at Gulfstream Park West: Race 6) #1 Silver Defense, #6 Dunk, #7 One Fine Ride, #9 Tell Me a Story, #10 Doc Kane. Race 7) #3 Nikki’s Cause, #5 Beautiful Ballad, #8 Amazing Audrey. Race 8) #8 Northern, #9 Delta Bluesman. Race 9) #3 Padilla, #5 Sturgeon, #7 Diamond Mint, #10 Sherpa. Total Ticket Cost) 1,6,7,9,10/3,5,8/8,9/3,5,7,10 = $60 for $0.50

Read Article
10.11.2019:

Friday, October 11: Hoosier Park Sires Stakes Analysis

There is a big card set to go tonight at Hoosier Park featuring eight Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals, each with a $270,000 purse.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 56-This Peach Rocks-Taking a swing at this 8-1 shot, thinking Leonard could leave or come off cover. Recent form is sharp and has upset potential.3-Rockin Nola-Recent form hasn't been as good as earlier in the summer. But best to respect, has been in the money 10 of 12 times at HoP this year.8-Glorious Virgin-10-1 shot is looking for second win of the year, but comes off a very nice try. Page steers again and might add some juice to the gimmicks.Race 64-Haylie Ivy-Came off the bench with a nice win from the 8-hole. Team Macomber trainee likes the winner's circle and may finally get some revenge over #3.3-Grand Swan-8/5 program chalk has been first or second in 9 of 10 starts. Could be the odds-on choice in here and might be a clean trip away from another picture.2-Measuredperfection-Gingras takes over on this Burke trainee. This is another nice filly, but recent form isn't as good as top two picks.Race 85-Priceless-Broke stride in two of last three so there is some risk. But with this post draw, can outduel #8 and #9 and notch sixth win in nine starts if minds manners.9-Foxy Rigger-Winner of 7 of 8 with only loss coming to #5 when she drew the 8-hole. Could get the pocket behind #5, has the gate speed to be put in play early and is a major player.8-Grace Rocks-Six race win streak was snapped in last but should be in the hunt if Widger works a good trip.Race 94-Emma Town Bud-Comes off a sharp effort and I'll look for for an upset. Oosting could get a pocket trip behind #8 and finally get some revenge.8-TJ'S Top Pick-Has been almost perfect winning of 7 of 8 on the season. Talented 2-year-old can take another picture with a smooth journey, but will be bet down hard.1-Swan In Motion-Best to use underneath in gimmicks, likes to hang around and pick-up checks.Race 101-Sawyer's Desire-Could be sitting on a big try and Gingras is back in the bike. Probably will be put in play early, could get the top and make every call a winning one.3-Odds On Osiris-ML chalk looks the part and has been very good this season, but may go off at even money or less.10-Clever Character-This 2-year-old is tough and can win from off the pace. But the post draw could be too much to overcome with main players drawing inside.Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.11.2019:

Friday, October 11: Santa Anita Wagering Strategies

Jeff Siegel’s Daily Analysis & Wagering StrategiesSanta AnitaFriday, October 11, 2019Specifically 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 1:00 PT. Grade: B+Single: 7-Mahi MahiForecast: Mahi Mahi missed in a photo in a much improved effort when facing maiden $25,000 foes at Golden Gate Fields last month and this maiden $50,000 field isn’t much tougher, if at all. The 2-year-old son of Minister’s Wild Cat should produce another forward for the high-percentage J. Wong barn, which employs “go-to rider A. Cedillo (29% with this trainer) and based on his form up north he projects to be on or near the lead throughout. At 2-1 on the morning line he’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.RACE 2: Post 1:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 1-Smiling to Excess; 2-Freedom RideForecast: This five-runner starter optional claimer for 2-year-old fillies should boil down two main players. Smiling to Excess graduated by a pole when facing maiden $50,000 foes at Los Alamitos last month while earning a speed figure that, if repeated today, will make her tough to deny right back. The daughter of Smiling Tiger seems likely to be the controlling speed if she leaves cleanly from the rail, however, in her recent win she stalked and pounced, so that option is available if necessary. Freedom Ride isn’t as fast as ‘Excess on pure numbers but she’s finished in the frame in each of her last three starts, exits a pair of fast, highly-rated races, and certainly is eligible to improve. The daughter of Clubhouse Ride should be prominent from the start and have every chance.RACE 3: Post 2:05 PT. Grade: C+Use: 1-Fravel; 2-Jetovator; 5-Cool Your JetsForecast: None of these older maidens are trustworthy but one of the three listed above is likely to win, so we’ll go three deep in our rolling exotics but otherwise the race. Fravel has been a disappointment so far but with just two career starts on his resume the son of Unusual Heat may have a bit more room to improve than the others. Hopefully, the addition of blinkers combined with the good inside draw will put the R. Mandella-trained colt in the proper frame of mind to fire his best shot. Cool Your Jets is a 10-race maiden but will go with blinkers for the first time, and on the chance that the equipment change will move him just a little bit the S. Ruis-trained gelding is a “must use” in this turf miler for Cal-bred older horses. In the money in his last four, the 4-year-old gelding can win with just slight improvement but at 2-1 on the morning line probably won’t be offering much value. Jetovator was third over this course and distance in April while earning a competitive speed figure. With F. Prat aboard, the son of Grazen shouldn’t have any excuses.RACE 4: Post 2:40 PT. Grade: BSingle: 3-RineshaftForecast: Rineshaft has yet to display any zip to his stick, but the lightly-raced son of Mineshaft exits a pair of much stronger races and this drop to the maiden $20,000 level combined with the addition of blinkers could easily make the winning difference. Based on a fractional projection the H. Palma-trained colt looks capable of establishing the pace and then getting brave at this abbreviated sprint trip of five and one-half furlongs. Let’s make him a straight play at or near his morning line of 5/2 and a rolling exotic single.RACE 5: Post 3:10 PT. Grade: BUse: 6-Top Brass; 8-Rocko’s WheelForecast: Top Brass has much in his favor and is strictly the one to beat at 2-1 on the morning line. The M. Glatt-trained gelding loves this track (he’s won three of five lifetime starts here), is in razor sharp form, having won three of his last five outings including a highly-rated race at Del Mar at this extended sprint distance in his most recent start, and is a strong fit on speed figures despite moving up in class. J. Talamo stays aboard and should have this son of Arch in mid-pack early and then rolling late. Rocko’s Wheel also qualifies on the horse-for-course angle (he’s a three time winner here) and from his comfortable outside post should be able to settle early and cut loose late. He’s not as fast as ‘Brass on pure numbers but has winning connections and can’t be counted out. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Top Brass.RACE 6: Post 3:40 PT. Grade: BUse: 3-Offshore; 5-Moonlight DriveForecast: Offshore returns to his winning level, is reunited with F. Prat, and is a strong fit on speed figurers in this $25,000 claiming turf miler for older horses. The R. Baltas-trained gelding likes to settle and produce a late kick, and there should be an ample amount of pace in here to compliment his style. Moonlight Drive has his issues but plenty of back class, and the Italian-bred stakes winner, second to Offshore when they squared off in early August at Del Mar, looms the one to fear most once again. A three-time winner over the Santa Anita turf course, the son of Red Rocks projects to enjoy an ideal second-flight trip and then have every chance when the pressure is turned on into the lane. We’ll have extra tickets keying Offshore on top but include both in our rolling exotics.RACE 7: Post 4:10 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Rick’s Dream; 5-Satanta; 6-Clem LabineForecast: This is a chaotic first-level allowance sprint for Cal-bred older horses and requires a spread. We’ll go three-deep and hope that’s enough. Satanta threw in an absolute clunker when favored at this level at Del Mar in August but he continues to look good in the a.m. for J. Mullins so we’ll give him a chance to make amends. His debut score the previous month at Del Mar was visually pleasing; hopefully he can regain that form today. Clem Labine has never finished off the board in five career starts, most recently winding up a solid runner-up vs. similar at Los Alamitos last month. He’s a fit on speed figures and should be doing his best work from the quarter pole home. Rick’s Dream was claimed for just $12,500 last time out by R. Santana, who raises the gelding into the allowance ranks. Based strictly on speed figures, the son of Coil should be highly-competitive and if he can avoid trouble from the rail he’ll be dangerous at 8-1 on the morning line.RACE 8: Post 4:40 PT. Grade: B+Single: 9-Heathers GreyForecast: Heathers Grey is improving with racing – her speed figures have risen with each of her five career starts – and with another forward move today the lightly-raced daughter of The Factor should be along in time. A recent sharp half mile main track workout indicates she’s doing quite well, and from her outside draw the M. McCarthy-trained 3-year-old filly should be able to settle in the second flight and then exert her superiority when it matters in the final furlong. At 5/2 on the morning line she’s a straight play and rolling exotic single.

Read Article
10.11.2019:

Friday, October 11: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily. SECOND RACE3-VeganSept. 30, 20194f, :49hGrade: B-Mild coaxing outside Strongconstitution (same time), slightly second best at the wire, final three furlongs in a solid :36 flat. Looks fine, was overmatched in Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar, connections should lower their sights.THIRD RACE1-FravelSept. 30, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: C+Solo half mile move for son of Unusual Heat, let run early and under some coaxing through the lane, splits of :24.2 and :49.2 on our watches. Been a disappointment so far, seeking another maiden route affair, is what he is. 7-Summer FunOct. 2, 20196f, 1:14.3hGrade: B-Went from 5/8ths pole out to the 7/8ths pole with splits of :24.4, :36.3 and 101.2 to the wire mostly in hand, then was ridden pretty good while traveling out and was up in 1:14.2 on our watches, not bad for a maiden. Trailed in debut when well-backed, probably can do better.SIXTH RACE3-OffshoreSept. 22, 20195f, 1:02.4h TTGrade: C+Had to be shoved on pretty good through the lane to stay even with breezing workmate Neptune’s Storm (same time), final quarter mile in :25 flat. Probably should return to the mid-level claiming ranks.SEVENTH RACE4-It’s FittingSept. 29, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: B-Some coaxing late but finished with interest, final half in :23.3 and :48.4 on our watches. Sprung an upset in his debut vs. maiden special Cal-breds at Del Mar; the next rung up the ladder should be considerably more challenging.5-SatantaOct. 6, 20193f, :36.4hGrade: BBreezing move, well in hand with smooth finish. Should return soon in a conditioned allowance sprint, looks good.5-SatantaSept. 9, 20195f, 1:02h TTGrade: BBreezing throughout, final quarter in :24.2 for Mullins-trained sprinter in solo training track move while staying on edge. Better than his last race indicates, seeking another first-level allowance state-bred sprint.EIGHTH RACE2-ColdwaterOct. 3, 20195f, 1:00.4hGrade: B-Final three furlongs under light coaxing in :11.4 and :36.3, looking okay for Gallagher. Broke her maiden for a high-priced tag and Del Mar and may have further improvement in her.5-Red Bunting-IRESept. 13, 20194f, :49.2hGrade: C+Final 3/8ths in :37.4 for Ellis, very light coaxing only, fair to moderate move for a filly who needs turf. Probably can improve last try.9-Heathers GreySept. 15, 20194f, :47.3hGrade: B+Progressive filly by The Factor was extra sharp in this solo half mile spin, splits of :12 flat, :23.2 and :47.3, never asked, then galloped out strongly to 7/8 pole, up in 1:00.3 for M. McCarthy. In good form and should continue her improving pattern.10-Tiz WonderfullySept. 28, 20194f, :47.3hGrade: BNever asked, splits of :12.1, :24 flat and :47.4 on our watches. Doing well, might be dangerous with a class drop.10-Tiz WonderfullySept. 21, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: BBreezing workout, splits of :12 flat, :23.4 and :48.2. Away since last winter, should return in a moderate claimer, might be the type to fire fresh.10-Tiz WonderfullySept. 7, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: C+Mild pressure through the lane, fair drill for Cassidy. Didn’t show much in recent comeback race, needs soft claimers around these parts.11-Lil Bit DangerousSept. 21, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: BLooked pretty good, splits of :25.2 and :24 flat, easy early, strong late, a little late changing leads but finishing eagerly without pressure and then galloping out well to 7/8 pole, up in 1:02 and small change. Could be dangerous with a class drop.11-Lil Bit DangerousSept. 7, 20194f, :48hGrade: B-A little late changing leads but went well enough without pressure, splits of :23.3 and 48 flat. California-bred filly has all of her conditions, may appreciate a turn back in trip.

Read Article
10.10.2019:

Jeff Siegel's Santa Anita Workout Analysis - 10/10/19

Jeff Siegel’s Santa Anita Workout Report(For Racing on Thursday, October 10, 2019)The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE9-AnconaOct. 2, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: CUnder urging outside Gotta Be Lucky (same time, not asked much) and was second best, splits of :24 flat, :35.4 and 1:02 flat. Uninspiring, needs a drop into a maiden claimer.FOURTH RACE1-HoneywhiskeynwineSept. 21, 20194f, :50.2hGrade: CLast of three in team gate drill with Doctinaire (4f, :49.2hg) and Opus Equus (4f, :49.4hg), some coaxing without showing a whole lot. Daughter of Noble Mission brought $75,000 at Keeneland as a yearling, if she’s going to be anything it’ll probably be over a distance of ground on grass per her pedigree.2-LighthouseSept. 8, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: BBroke off behind Old Trafford (5f, 1:02h) and was not asked through the lane while besting workmate with splits of :24.2 and :49.2 for the final half mile on our watches. This was her first five furlong drill. $375,000 OBS sale daughter of Mizzen Mast is getting fit and is a “must follow” in more serious drills.3-KadeshSept. 27, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: CNo lead change while finishing under some pressure in solo gate drill, splits of :24.2, :36.2 and :48.1. Juvenile colt by Karakontie was a $25,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling purchase, probably a maiden claimer on this circuit.5-Too LateOct. 5, 20195f, 1:01hgGrade: C+A tad the best outside in team gate drill for O’Neill with Zero Down (same time), splits of :24.1, :48.2 and 1:01 flat, mild pressure, fair to moderate. Square Eddie colt may improve but needs a drop into a maiden claimer.9-DrasarioSept. 28, 20194f, :49.2h TTGrade: CBlinkers on, ridden through the lane to be even but second best inside Super Patriot (same time, not asked much). Needs a class drop.10-Much More HaloOct. 4, 20195f, 1:01.1hgGrade: BIn company with Crazy Speighty (same time) and went smoothly from the gate without being asked, splits of :25 flat, :36.4, :48.4 and 1:01.1. Definitely has some run, could have gone considerably quicker if permitted. Both maidens have ability and should be fit enough by now.10-Much More HaloSept. 27, 20194f, :48.3hGrade: B-Went easily in team gate drill with Ra’Ad (same time) and was a tad the best throughout, breezing early, never asked late, splits of :25.1 and :49 flat, a tad slower than given. Has a bit of run, More Than Ready juvenile colt should make the entries soon.10-Much More HaloSept. 9, 20195f, 1:00.1hgGrade: B-Decent gate work in company with Heros Reward (5f, 1:00.2hg) and Eel Point (5f, 1:01.2hg), a little sluggish in the opening sixteenth from the gate but then going well while being ridden along between horses, getting the first half on our watches in :47.2. More than Ready juvenile colt brought $390,000 at the OBS March Sale and seems fit enough to debut by now. ‘Reward flashed good gate zip, was taken in hand outside an appeared no worse than equal with ‘Halo, though earning a slightly slower final time. ‘Point was sent hard inside to be even for a half mile, then faded readily in the final furlong.SIXTH RACE3-Flor de la MarSept. 27, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: BCame the final half in :24.1 and :48.3 under cruise control for Baffert. Stakes winner at Los Alamitos is here most recent outing, will tackle the big girls next time out.4-Querida Dubai-ARSept. 19, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: C+Broke off behind Andyoushallreceive (5f, 1:01.3h) and collared that one late to earn faster time while appearing a bit green and finishing under some pressure. Was late changing leads as well, trailed in U.S. debut and needs to establish her proper level on this circuit. Workmate was breezing throughout and could have gone faster.SEVENTH RACE2-Our RomanceOct. 5, 20195f, 1:02.2h TTGrade: BBroke off a few lengths in front of Just Grazed Me (5f, 1:01.4h, TT) and finished evenly with that one to wire, breezing through the lane, nice move. Showed some life in last start and should return soon in a similar state-bred event.7-Angel’s AdvocateSept. 20, 20195f, 1:03hGrade: BBroke off a length behind Civil Suit (5f, 1:03.1h) and was breezing every step of the way, just galloping outside workmate with splits of :13 flat, :25.2, :37.4 and 1:03 flat, tight hold late. Daughter of Vronsky in the Blacker barn was late getting to the party at age four but is a filly of some substance and should improve with distance and experience.

Read Article
10.10.2019:

Omaha Beach: The Total Package

The distance from the last turn to the finish on the main track at Santa Anita measures 990 feet. It’s the standard length of the stretch run in terms of a typical one-mile oval.It turned out that Omaha Beach and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith needed every bit of that 990 feet of Santa Anita real estate to win last Saturday’s Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship. The colt was making his first start in just a bit less than six months.Prior to competing at six furlongs last Saturday, Omaha Beach had not raced since winning Oaklawn Park’s Grade I Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 13. But after the Arkansas Derby, his 2019 campaign would hit snag after snag after snag, much to the frustration of trainer Richard Mandella and owner Rick Porter (Fox Hill Farms).Snag No. 1: Omaha Beach was withdrawn from the Grade I Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4 because of an entrapped epiglottis. Mike Battaglia had pegged the Kentucky-bred son of War Front as the 4-1 morning-line favorite. The throat problem required surgery.I was crushed when Omaha Beach was not able to start in the Run for the Roses. Before it was announced that Omaha Beach would have to miss that race, this was what I wrote for my weekly Xpressbet.com column/article/blog:“I’m not going to beat around the bush. I like Omaha Beach to win this Saturday’s 145th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby. In fact, I like him a lot. As I see it, he is the total package. He has the speed, class, tractability, gameness, breeding, Hall of Fame jockey (Mike Smith), Hall of Fame trainer (Richard Mandella) and wet-track prowess (if needed) to get the job done.”Would Omaha Beach have won the Kentucky Derby? We will never know. But it’s not as if Maximum Security set the bar high. Maximum Security finished first, then was disqualified and placed 17th for causing interference. Maximum Security posted a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the Kentucky Derby. Omaha Beach likewise recorded a 101 Beyer when he won the Arkansas Derby. Those Beyers suggest that Omaha Beach might have won the roses if he’d had the chance.Snag No. 2: When the post-surgery swelling in his throat lingered longer than hoped for, Omaha Beach’s return to training was delayed. This effectively took Saratoga’s Grade I Travers Stakes on Aug. 24 off the table.After Omaha Beach finally resumed training, he had his first recorded workout at Del Mar on July 23. He worked three furlongs that morning in a bullet :36.60. Mandella explored several options for a possible comeback race for Omaha Beach before circling Del Mar’s Shared Belief Stakes at one mile on Aug. 25.Snag No. 3: Omaha Beach was one of a number of horses at Mandella’s Del Mar barn in August that had their training and plans disrupted by a virus. It was not a major setback for Omaha Beach, but he was forced to miss the Shared Belief. Mandella then decided to target Churchill’s Grade III Ack Ack Stakes at one mile on Sept. 28 for Omaha Beach’s return.When Omaha Beach worked seven furlongs in a splendid 1:25.00 at Santa Anita on Sept. 13, it was all systems go for the Ack Ack. Indeed, arrangements were made for him to be flown to Kentucky from California on Sept. 24, four days before that race.Snag No. 4: On Sept. 20, Omaha Beach was scheduled to work seven furlongs again at Santa Anita. However, when this workout “got messed up,” as Mandella puts it, the colt’s trip to Kentucky was called off.On the radio program Thoroughbred Los Angeles, Mandella explained to Mike Willman and Kurt Hoover on Sept. 22 what had happened concerning that Sept. 20 workout.“Well, it just got messed up about as bad you could do,” Mandella said. “He had warmed up his normal warm up and broke off with his workmate at the six-furlong pole. And about an eighth of a mile into it, a rider fell off ahead of him on the racetrack.”Omaha Beach and his workmate had to be pulled up. They had to wait for the loose horse to get caught and for the rider to get up and walk away.According to Mandella, Omaha Beach and the workmate then had to gallop all the way back around the track to again commence the workout. But by then Omaha Beach “was pretty upset and just too strained,” Mandella said. “It was just something he had never done before. He worked a good six furlongs, but a no-good seven.”Omaha Beach’s time for seven furlongs was 1:27.20, considerably slower than his 1:25.00 drill a week earlier.“With that, I just didn’t think it was good enough for me to be taking him out of town to run a mile with a long layoff,” Mandella added during his Sept. 22 radio appearance. “So, I decided to just scrap that idea. The Sprint Championship is shorter than I would like to run him. But when I went back to a sprint last February and got his maiden broke, he went seven-eighths pretty well. I think he will run really well [in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship]. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win. But it’s at least a place where I can get him started back.”On Sept. 27, Omaha Beach had an awesome four-furlong workout in :46.60. What he did that morning to step four furlongs in :46 and change and do it as easily as he did was a huge clue that he might run a big race in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship despite the long layoff. Of the hundreds of workout videos that I’ve watched on XBTV this year, I have not seen any works better than that one by Omaha Beach.But even though it looked like Omaha Beach was primed to run a biggie last Saturday, it still was going to be a tough task for him to beat fellow 3-year-old Shancelot, a quality sprinter from the East Coast trained by Jorge Navarro.Navarro has gone on the record as saying Shancelot is the best horse he has ever trained. Navarro made that known even before the Kentucky-bred son of Shanghai Bobby made his third lifetime start in Saratoga’s Grade II Amsterdam Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 24.And what did Shancelot do in the Amsterdam? In a scintillating display of sheer speed, he won by 12 1/2 lengths as the 6-5 favorite in a field of 12.“As Shancelot streaked home, it was sort of like watching a high-speed racecar leaving a bunch of jalopies far, far behind,” I wrote.Shancelot set sizzling fractions of :21.79, :43.94 and 1:07.63. The six-furlong clocking of 1:07.63 was faster than 6-year-old Imperial Hint’s final time of 1:07.92 a day earlier when he won Saratoga’s Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at six furlongs.Imperial Hint broke Saratoga’s track record for six furlongs in the Vanderbilt. Shancelot’s final time of 1:14.01 in the Amsterdam was outstanding, but he did not break the 6 1/2-furlong track record. Saratoga’s track mark of 1:13.74 for 6 1/2 furlongs was established by Quality Road in the 2009 Amsterdam when he was credited with a 109 Beyer Speed Figure.Shancelot was credited with a gigantic 121 Beyer Speed Figure for his Amsterdam victory.Dick Jerardi, in a story he wrote for the Daily Racing Form, shed some additional light on the historical significance’s of Shancelot’s 121 Beyer Speed Figure.“The 121 was the best by any 3-year-old sprinter in the 27-year history of the Beyer Speed Figures being published in Daily Racing Form,” Jerardi wrote. “It was the third-fastest by any 3-year-old doing anything in that period. Only Holy Bull’s 122 in the 1994 Met Mile and Arrogate’s 122 in the 2016 Travers have been better.According to Jerardi, just three 3-year-olds “have hit the magic 120 mark” in a race shorter than one mile since 1993 -- Kelly Kip in 1997, Xtra Heat in 2001 and Cajun Beat in 2003.Shancelot’s “121 was the best Beyer sprinting by horses of any age since Midnight Lute got a 124 in 2007,” Jerardi wrote. “And, to think Shancelot got his 121 in just his third career start.”These are the Beyer Speed Figures of 120 or higher by a 3-year-old since 1993:Beyer Horse (Year Race, Distance, Track)122 Holy Bull (1994 Met Mile, 1 mile, Belmont Park)122 Arrogate (2016 Travers, 1 1/4 miles, Saratoga)121 Rock and Roll (1998 allowance, 1 1/16 miles, Belmont Park)121 Concerned Minister (2000 Tenacious. 1 1/16 miles, Fair Grounds)121 Shancelot (2019 Amsterdam, 6 1/2 furlongs, Saratoga)120 Kelly Kip (1997 allowance, 6 1/2 furlongs, Saratoga)120 Xtra Heat (2001 Sweet n Sassy, 6 furlongs, Delaware Park)120 Medaglia d’Oro (2002 Jim Dandy, 1 1/8 miles, Saratoga)120 Cajun Beat (2003 BC Sprint, 6 furlongs, Santa Anita)120 Bellamy Road (2005 Wood Memorial, 1 1/8 miles, Aqueduct)120 American Pharoah (2015 BC Classic, 1 1/4 miles, Keeneland)120 Arrogate (2016 BC Classic, 1 1/4 miles, Santa Anita)Following the Amsterdam, Shancelot was sent away as a 3-10 favorite in Saratoga’s H. Allen Jerkens Stakes at seven furlongs on Aug. 24. When he sported a 2 1/2-length lead with a furlong to go in that Grade I affair, it appeared he was on his way to another victory. But Mind Control came on and won by a nose. Hog Creek Hustle rallied from far back to nose out Shancelot for second.After Shancelot’s narrow defeat when third in the Jerkens, Navarro elected to send him to California for the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. A primary reason for doing that was for the sophomore speedster to get a race over the track before the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint at six furlongs on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.A MONEY-BURNING MAIDEN EARLY ONAfter Omaha Beach’s first four races, it looked like he was not particularly keen on winning. He lost all four times as the betting favorite. All four races were at either one mile or 1 1/16 miles, three on turf and one on dirt.Since losing his first four races, however, Omaha Beach now has won four in a row.When Omaha Beach made the first start of his career, he ran third as a 2-year-old in early September at the 2018 Del Mar summer meet. He finished second in his next three starts.As noted earlier, Mandella told Willman that Omaha Beach ran “pretty well” when the trainer shortened Omaha Beach to seven furlongs at Santa Anita last Feb. 2. But, in reality, to say that Omaha Beach ran “pretty well” is a huge understatement. Omaha Beach was nothing less than dazzling the day he left the maiden ranks.Competing on a sloppy track, Omaha Beach bounded away from his rivals on the far turn and had built up a commanding 10-length lead at the eighth pole. He went on to win by nine. I was so impressed that I immediately put him on my Kentucky Derby Top 10.At that time, a very good friend of mine thought that I was off my rocker to put Omaha Beach on my Kentucky Derby Top 10 off a just a maiden win in his fifth career start. But my friend did not say a word to me about this at the time. Later on, after Omaha Beach had become a graded stakes winner and was ranked high on just about everybody’s Kentucky Derby list, my friend confessed that he had thought I was cuckoo when I put Omaha Beach on my Top 10 immediately after his maiden win.Following Omaha Beach’s maiden triumph, I wrote this in my Xpressbet.com column/article/blog: “New on my Top 10 this week is Omaha Beach, who found a cure for second-itis in a big way at Santa Anita last Saturday. The War Front colt, trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, registered a resounding nine-length win in a seven-furlong maiden special weight race contested on a sloppy track. Omaha Beach’s final time was an excellent 1:21.02 after he carved out fractions of :21.75, :43.74 and 1:08.24. He posted a 90 Beyer to equal the figure earned by Mucho Gusto later in the card when he won the [Grade III Robert B.] Lewis.”After his maiden victory, Omaha Beach took a quantum jump in class to run in the second division of Oaklawn’s Grade II Rebel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.In stark contrast to the Omaha Beach who lost his first four career starts, he could not have been any gamer to win his division of the Rebel at 4-1 when nosing out a champion. Finishing second was the 1-2 favorite, Game Winner, who had been voted a 2018 Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male.Omaha Beach also did not back down from a fight in the subsequent Grade I Arkansas Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 13. He won by one length as the 8-5 favorite when holding off 9-5 Improbable throughout the entire final three furlongs of that race.Thus, in back-to-back races at Oaklawn, Omaha Beach defeated a pair of talented 3-year-olds from the powerful Bob Baffert barn in Game Winner and Improbable.MUCH FOR OMAHA BEACH TO OVERCOME IN COMEBACKA lot certainly was being asked of Omaha Beach in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship. In addition to coming off a long layoff, it would be the shortest race of his career to date. And he not only was facing a formidable foe in fellow 3-year-old Shancelot, it would be Omaha Beach’s first start against older horses.As expected, Shancelot set the pace. The fractions of :21.87, :44.38 and :56.18 were especially fast on a Santa Anita strip that is playing much slower these days. After Omaha Beach bobbled slightly at the start, he stalked in third early, like a cat waiting to pounce on a mouse. It was to Omaha Beach’s credit that he has the necessary zip to lurk so close to such a rapid early tempo.Shancelot led by 1 1/2 lengths at the quarter pole. Turning into the stretch, it was clear that there still was much gas left in his tank. But it also was evident that Omaha Beach, at odds of 5-2, was poised to give 3-10 favorite Shancelot a serious run for his money.“Down at the rail, Omaha Beach is very close. Omaha Beach is firing a big shot in his comeback!” track announcer Frank Mirahmadi said during his call of the race as Omaha Beach set his sights on Shancelot at the top of the lane.At the head of the stretch, Smith had a decision to make. He could angle out a bit to go on the attack in the lane while racing to the outside of Shancelot, or Smith could choose the inside path during the stretch run. The inside path had been left open by Shancelot’s rider, Emisael Jaramillo. Smith opted for the inside path.With a furlong left to run, Shancelot still had a 1 1/2-length advantage and was running strongly. But after passing the eighth pole, Omaha Beach was resolutely bearing down on the favorite.“Shancelot fully extended, trying to fend off the classy Omaha Beach,” said Mirahmadi. “Shancelot digging in! Omaha Beat at the rail is coming to him!”For Omaha Beach, thank goodness the distance of the Santa Anita Sprint Championship was six furlongs and not anything shorter. He put his head in front right at the finish.“What a training job by Richard Mandella!” Mirahmadi exclaimed.Indeed.And what a superlative performance it was by Omaha Beach to prevail by a head despite having so much to overcome.By the way, Mandella pulled off something similar back in 1995. Afternoon Deelites, owned by Burt Bacharach, won his first five career starts before finishing a close second in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby. After Afternoon Delights ran eighth in the Kentucky Derby at 1 1/4 miles on May 6, he went on the shelf. He did not race again until he won Santa Anita’s Grade I Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs on Dec. 26.WINNER’S FINAL TIME DESERVES PRAISEOmaha Beach completed six furlongs last Saturday in 1:08.79. That was terrific on a surface that produced winning times ranging from 1:10.08 to 1:13.39 in the nine six-furlong races run during the first seven days of the Santa Anita autumn meet.Earlier on the card Saturday at Santa Anita, Lady Ninja won the Grade III L.A. Woman Stakes with a final time of 1:16.79 for 6 1/2 furlongs. The six-furlong fraction in that race was 1:09.84, roughly five lengths slower than Omaha Beach’s 1:08.79.“Anybody that doesn’t realize what 1:08 and change means here at Santa Anita these days isn’t watching the races here because they’re not very fast,” Mandella said Monday morning to Steve Byk on his SiriusXM radio program At the Races. “Saying that, the injuries are way down from the problems we had earlier in the year. So, it’s probably a good thing.”REMARKABLE BEYER SPEED FIGURE PATTERNPerhaps it has been done before, but I sure do not recall seeing this before. Ever since Omaha Beach’s first race, he has improved his Beyer Speed Figure in seven straight starts.Below are Omaha Beach’s figures:Beyer (Finish) Race and Date103 (1st) Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5, 2019101 (1st) Grade I Arkansas Derby on April 13, 2019*96 (1st) Grade II Rebel Stakes on March 16, 201990 (1st) maiden special weight race at Santa Anita on Feb. 2, 2019*83 (2nd) maiden special weight race at Santa Anita on Jan. 4, 201980 (2nd) maiden special weight race at Del Mar on Nov. 18, 2018+78 (2nd) maiden special weight race at Santa Anita on Sept. 29, 2018+62 (3rd) maiden special weight race at Santa Anita on Sept. 2, 2018+*Run on a sloppy track+Run on turfWHAT’S NEXT FOR OMAHA BEACH?According to Mandella, three Breeders’ Cup races are under consideration for Omaha Beach: the Sprint, the Dirt Mile and the Classic.On Byk’s show Monday, Mandella said that if he “had to choose today, I’d say that the Sprint is very interesting to just go back and try that.”Mandella indicated he just is not sure if there is enough time for Omaha Beach to run in the 1 1/4-mile BC Classic from the six-furlong race he ran in last Saturday.“We’re just going to have to wait and see about that,” Mandella said. “Right now, I’d say nothing’s out of the question. But more than likely it would be the Sprint.”It probably won’t happen, but I would love to see Omaha Beach in the BC Classic. One reason I would love to see that is how the prospective field for this year’s BC Classic is shaping up. It appears to me that this year’s BC Classic is going to be far from one of the strongest we have ever seen.One thing Omaha Beach does seem to have going for him regarding the BC Classic is he already has a pretty good foundation at this point. Don’t forget, he had been deemed ready to run in a mile race on Sept. 28.If Omaha Beach were mine, I would not be inclined to run him in the BC Sprint because of his probable opponents in that race. This year’s BC Sprint is expected to attract the likes of Mitole, Imperial Hint and Shancelot. Personally, I’d much rather run in the BC Classic than against Mitole, Imperial Hint and Shancelot in the BC Sprint.I guess if the BC Classic turns out to be too far too soon, then the BC Dirt Mile would seem to make the most sense. Granted, the BC Dirt Mile is expected to have a strong cast headed by Catalina Cruiser. But I would rather run against Catalina Cruiser and company than Mitole and company.Perhaps the main reason I would love to see Omaha Beach in the BC Classic is his trainer. Because if there was ever a trainer capable of somehow having Omaha Beach sufficiently prepared to start in and possibly win the BC Classic, it is Richard Mandella.THIS WEEK’S NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLLFollowing Omaha Beach’s win in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, he moved into the Top 10 this week in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll. He is the lone newcomer in this week’s Top 10.Elate dropped out of the Top 10 this week after she finished second to Blue Prize in the Grade I Spinster Stakes at Keeneland last Sunday.Here is the Top 10 in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll for this week:Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)1. 387 Bricks and Mortar (27)2. 342 Midnight Bisou (11)3. 294 Sistercharlie (1)4. 267 Mitole (1)5. 198 McKinzie6. 176 Code of Honor7. 148 Imperial Hint8. 95 Catalina Cruiser9. 82 Vino Rosso10. 77 Omaha Beach

Read Article
10.10.2019:

The Curious Case of Omaha Beach

Saturday at Santa Anita, 3-year-old Omaha Beach won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship in thrilling fashion, closing along the inside under Hall-of-Fame jockey Mike Smith to nail speedy and heavily-favored Shancelot on the money in 1:08 3/5. The victory was made even more exciting because Omaha Beach had been the Kentucky Derby morning line favorite before a throat issue forced him to be scratched May 1. Before Saturday, the colt had been away from afternoon action since April 13, when he won the Arkansas Derby by one length over Improbable and was nearly six lengths clear of Country House. That’s notable because Country House returned in his next start to win the Kentucky Derby, sort of, when Maximum Security was disqualified for interference. Omaha Beach’s throat condition required surgery and post-operative complications extended his absence from what was supposed to be ‘day-to-day’ into months on ‘injured reserve.’ Back in training, Hall-of-Fame conditioner Richard Mandella originally pointed the colt toward a route race as a prep for a start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic November 2. However, a work didn’t go as planned and Mandella shifted sights toward the Santa Anita Sprint Championship instead. As the scratched morning-line Kentucky Derby favorite, Omaha Beach’s long road to recovery attracted intense interest. Because this year’s sophomore crop still lacks a true superstar, fans anxiously anticipated Omaha Beach’s return and hoped that the colt would fill the void atop racing’s glamour-boy division. When he hit the finish first on Saturday in such a game performance, pent-up fan frustration that had been building since spring was released in the form of plaudits and superlatives. Not unaffected was Santa Anita race caller Frank Mirahmadi who, at the thrilling conclusion, called Omaha Beach the winner and then exclaimed, “What a training job by Richard Mandella as he wins the Santa Anita Sprint Championship!” Mirahmadi’s enthusiasm was understandable, but it’s rare for a track announcer to mention a trainer’s name in a race call, unless the event is a notable achievement like a milestone victory. But Mirahmadi’s enthusiasm, in a way, was representative of what racing fans everywhere felt. Gone six months and forced to overcome an assortment of setbacks, all credit to the colt and to Mandella that the horse could return and immediately defeat such a swift, formidable foe as Shancelot—winner of three of four starts—in very fast time over a deep and tiring racetrack. After the race, the requisite ‘What’s next?’ question didn’t have a simple answer. And not only because winning connections first wanted to sip champagne and ‘just enjoy this one.’ No, this time there’s a real dilemma about where to run Omaha Beach next. Clearly, that will be in a Breeders’ Cup race. The tricky part is in which race? Omaha Beach has just won a Grade 1 six-furlong sprint in 1:08 3/5—at the exact distance and over the identical surface as the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Why not wheel him right back in that race? Duh! Makes sense, no? Does to Mandella. It’s the race he mentioned Monday on Sirius’ At the Races with Steve Byk broadcast as the most likely target. But Mandella also left the door open to other options. After all, Omaha Beach is a 3-year-old and, hopefully, will race next year. With better luck and health, he then can properly be pointed toward the Breeders’ Cup Classic. No need to immediately rush him into such a demanding race right now. Makes sense. But what about the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile? I kid you not. That’s this year’s sponsored handle for the race we’ve previously known as the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Trust me, Big Ass Fans is an actual company that makes large fans and not a snide reference to the size of racegoer rear-ends. So, what about the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile as a potential next start for Omaha Beach? Anticipated competition seems a bit less fierce in the Dirt Mile than it does in the Sprint. Mitole and Catalina Cruiser appear most dangerous foes. The former is a very fast sprinter trying two turns for the first time and the latter is a winner of 7 of 8 lifetime starts—his only loss came in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. One negative to running in the Dirt Mile is that the purse is ‘only’ $1 million as compared to $2 million for the Sprint and $6 million for the Classic. I know money isn’t everything, but when you’re talking millions it’s at least something. The other thing that’s ‘something’ is which color Eclipse Award statue might await Omaha Beach in Hallandale Beach in January. Horse of the Year trophies are gold, the rest are not. Sophomore honors really hinge on what Code of Honor does in the Classic. That’s an Eclipse Award ‘Win and You’re In’ race for him, no matter what Omaha Beach does in either the Sprint or Mile. However, if Code of Honor misfires in the Classic and Omaha Beach wins a BC event, then the son of War Front could snatch the 3-year-old crown. Connections of Maximum Security, divisional leader in the clubhouse with a tenuous one-stroke lead, can merely watch as their colt’s two closest pursuers line up makeable eagle putts.      Or, how about this scenario? Distaff probable favorite Midnight Bisou and Mile/Turf star Bricks and Mortar, both unbeaten in 2019 and candidates for Horse of the Year honors, each lose respective BC races while Omaha Beach wins the BC Classic. Is there a chance then that the Fox Hill Farms’ colt could take home gold? One thing is certain: Mandella will make a studied and wise decision. He’s a conservative guy who does what’s best for his horse without exception and he’s an expert at pointing horses toward specific races; in the mold of fellow California training legend Charlie Whittingham. Mandella is the only conditioner ever to win four Breeders’ Cup races in a single day! For a moment, let that sink in—a BC four-bagger! Halfbridled in the Juvenile Fillies, Action This Day in the Juvenile, Johar in a Turf dead-heat and Pleasantly Perfect in the Classic. Oh, and by the way, races that day were at Santa Anita.    From a sharp horseplayer’s point of view, all of this Omaha Beach hubbub has to stir contrarian emotions. Because of the hype, Omaha Beach will be over-bet no matter where he appears on the BC card. That will tempt serious players to look elsewhere for value and to ask if there’s a legitimate gambling case to be made against racing’s newest, hottest celebrity? For example, if Omaha Beach is so great, why did it take him 5 races to break his maiden? Top horses usually win first or second time out. Was his huge Santa Anita Sprint Championship effort off a 6-month layoff too strong to be repeated? Was Shancelot still feeling the effects of his watch-busting, track-record shattering, July Saratoga performance? And how will Omaha Beach perform against several talented older runners instead of just one sharp fellow 3-year-old in Shancelot? Yes, this is the curious case of Omaha Beach. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out. There were other races with BC implications over the weekend. Here’s one man’s view of them. Keeneland Friday, Oct. 4 Grade 2 Stoll Ogden Phoenix -3-Year-Olds and Up - Six Furlongs Engage parlayed victory in the $100k Bensalem at Parx into a Grade 2 Keeneland score. It was the 4-year-old colt’s second win in as many starts this year since changing barns from Chad Brown to Steve Asmussen. Perhaps he’s back on track at 4, after showing promise at 2 when he won the Grade 3 Futurity at Belmont in his third start. Whitmore broke last in the field and closed well on the outside but too late.  Promises Fulfilled was a disappointment. Lexitonian, sophomore winner of Pimlico’s Chick Lang held third. It seemed like this race, overall, was a bit of a disappointment. There are better sprinters headed to Santa Anita. Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades – 2-Year-Old Fillies - One Mile and One-Sixteenth    British Idiom made it 2-for-2 in career wins when she stretched out from a six-furlong Saratoga maiden score to convincingly take the Alcibiades. The daughter of Flashback raced with Lasix for the first time and approaches Santa Anita in fine shape. She’s got a fabulous stride that goes from here to there. She was a bit rank early, but she’s inexperienced and, hopefully, will learn. Trainer Brad Cox has had a strong season, so it could be his time. Saturday, Oct. 5 Grade 2 Woodford Stakes – 3-Year-Olds and Up - Five and One-Half Furlongs Turf Stubbins, a 3-year-old Doug O’Neill-trained California invader who has now won 4 of 8 starts this year including 2 over the now shuttered Santa Anita hillside turf course, and jockey Joel Rosario had to shove their way clear in the stretch to win the Woodford. And they had a good trip! Extravagant Kid, a 6-year-old pro with 11 wins in 37 starts had nowhere to go for a long time in the stretch and his race can be thrown out. Imprimis, a 5-year-old winner of 7 of 12 starts, also had nowhere to run through the lane. Leinster, a 4-year-old 3 for 3 at the distance and 1-1 over Keeneland turf before the race, finished a solid second. Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America –Fillies & Mares - Six Furlongs Spiced Perfection, a 4-year-old California-bred filly, broke very awkwardly and last in the field of 9, rode the rail under patient handling by jockey Javier Castellano, gamely split horses in the stretch and won this race convincingly. Dawn the Destroyer finished late outside for second, but none of the others in the race fired best shots. Grade 1 First Lady – Fillies & Mares - One Mile Turf Uni is a 5-year-old mare is named either after a sushi dish (sea urchin) or what they call college in the UK (University). Trevor Denman labelled her ‘You-Knee’ at Del Mar, but she’s also been introduced as ‘Ooo-knee’ elsewhere. By either name, she’s in great form right now! She absolutely exploded in the stretch to win the First Lady and probably is headed toward meeting males in the BC Mile. She got a decent pace to chase, but she looked fabulous drawing away from runner-up Juliet Foxtrot. Chad Brown’s other entrant Rushing Fall didn’t fire. Males will be a bigger challenge for Uni, but she’s got some positives: females have done well in the Mile, she’s trained by Chad Brown, she’s sharp, has won 9 of 17 and will be a decent price. Stay tuned. Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity – 2-Year-Olds - One Mile and One-Sixteenth Maxfield, an unbeaten 2-year-old son of Street Sense who won a one-turn mile first out at Churchill Downs in September, now has a two-turn mile and one-sixteenth score to his credit. He made a huge move from last to reach contention and then drew away in the stretch. His run was almost too impressive, though. Comparisons to exhilarating BC Juvenile winner Azeri have been made but that’s a bit of a reach. There just may not have been a lot of talent behind Maxfield Saturday. Dennis’ Moment and Eight Rings loom as the ones to beat in the BC Juvenile and if this guy can repeat this effort, he’ll join them. Situation demands further review. Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile – 3-Year-Olds and Up - One Mile Turf Bowies Hero, another California turf invader, claimed top prize in the Shadwell at a decent price. One win out of four starts this year--in the Grade 2, Eddie Read at mile and one-eighth at Del Mar--left this guy cool on the board. The red-hot combination of trainer Phil D’Amato and jockey Flavien Prat warmed things up. In the past, Bowies Hero has had his moments—he won the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe at Santa Anita last season and was third in the Grade 1 Shoemaker there, too. Would be surprised, but not shocked if this guy fired well in the BC Mile. At least we know he likes the layout. Sunday, October 6 Indian Summer – 2-Year-Olds – Five and One-Half Furlongs Turf Wesley Ward-trained Kimari rallied from far back to win this $200k stakes race. Plenty of speed was signed on and they moved along up front to set up the winner’s closing charge. Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon – 2-Year-Olds - One Mile and One Sixteenth Turf Peace Achieved continued to dominate turf foes in here, following a 6 ¾ maiden triumph at Ellis and a 2 ½-length $500k stakes scamper at Kentucky Downs. Both wins were accomplished following the addition of blinkers by trainer Mark Casse. Vitalogy finished second in a good try after a very wide trip the entire way from post 13.  Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster – Fillies & Mares – One Mile and One-Eighth Elate and Dunbar Road took all of the wagering money in here, but Blue Prize got the lion’s share of the purse money at a great 7-1 price. She was the defending Spinster champ but yielded popularity to Bill Mott’s 5-year-old Elate—two necks from being two-time winner of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign—and 3-year-old Dunbar Road—winner of four of five for trainer Chad Brown. Perhaps the low-profile combo of trainer Ignacio Correas and jockey Joe Bravo inflated the price. Blue Prize inexplicably ducked out a bit near the finish of the race, less severely than she did last year. Don’t know if ‘Prize can beat Midnight Bisou in the Distaff but she’s a sharp pro with a puncher’s chance. Belmont Saturday, Oct. 5 Grade 3 Matron – Fillies 2-Years-Old – Six Furlongs Turf Alms from off the pace was much the best of this group. She’s now unbeaten in two starts for trainer Michael Stidham. Time Limit, making her first start on turf, ran well and had a clear lead in the lane until Alms ran her down. Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic – 3-Year-Olds & Upward – One Mile and One-Half Turf US-based distance turf horses on both coasts have taken turns beating each other this year. Saturday was Arklow’s chance at the plate and he didn’t disappoint. He’s actually been knocking on the door all season, with three seconds (two by a neck) from five starts, but he put it all together on the Belmont lawn to take the Hirsch. Channel Maker, who prefers a bit of give in the ground ran too well to lose. Expect a few of these to return in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, but that race often has gone to Europeans and this year should be more of the same. Grade 1 Champagne – 2-Year-Olds – One Mile While the Champagne is a one-turn mile and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile usually is a two-turn mile and one-sixteenth event, this race has been a reasonably good producer of Juvy winners with 9 overall. According to winning connections, this year’s Champagne winner won’t be heading west for Breeders’ Cup. Good thing, too. This is a strong year for 2-year-old colts and he’d likely get hot and dirty. Sunday, Oct. 6 Grade 3 Futurity – 2-year-olds – Six Furlongs Turf Favored Four Wheel Drive broke well, settled behind speedster Jack and Noah, took over when asked, drifted out through the stretch while clear. He was the best of this rather light bunch of just six runners. The 2-year-old son of American Pharoah won the $100k RosiesB Stakes in his initial start at Colonial Downs at five and one-half furlongs. Grade 1 Flower Bowl – Fillies & Mares – One Mile and One Quarter Peter Brant’s Sistercharlie continued her winning ways by notching her sixth consecutive Grade 1 Stakes victory and her seventh winning tally out of nine US starts. She’s an absolute pro with a closing style that was aided by the presence of stablemate and rabbit Thais, who set a solid early pace. Thais assumed her rabbit role in last year’s BC F&M Turf and Sistercharlie emerged victorious. It will be interesting to see who comes from Europe to face the defending champ who enters the ‘Cup 3-for-3 this year.  Grade 1 Frizette – 2-Year-Old Fillies – One Mile Whicked Whisper, trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Joel Rosario, took the lead out of the gate in this one-turn mile, breezed along while carving out roughly 24-second quarters and came home clear. The 2-year-old filly brigade is not as strong as the males are this year, so Whisper might have a say come November 1. On the other hand, it’s doubtful she’ll be permitted to ‘walk the dog’ up front at Santa Anita. It should be noted that the Frizette has been the most productive Breeders’ Cup prep race with 12 graduates earning success on the big stage, including the past 2 winners. Santa Anita Saturday, Oct. 5 Grade 2 City of Hope Mile – 3-Year-Olds and Up – One Mile Turf True Valour rated kindly in fifth early beneath jockey Drayden Van Dyke, enjoyed a rail-skimming trip into the lane, angled out, found his feet and surged to get up in time as part of a blanket finish. The 5-year-old horse hadn’t started since Feb 9, for trainer Simon Callaghan. That was a winning effort also at a mile at Santa Anita. This was True Valour’s fifth US race and he was a Group 3 winner in his native Ireland as well as Group 2 placed there. There wasn’t much depth to this race, so it would be surprising to see a BC Mile winner emerge from this lot. Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship – 3-Year-Olds and Up – Six Furlongs See Omaha Beach Above Sunday, Oct. 6   Zuma Beach – 2-Year-Olds – One Mile Turf Hit the Road surprised most at $16.60 in his second turf start. He’s now unbeaten on the green. Don’t expect this event to have much of an effect on the BC Juvenile Turf because the Euros pretty much own that event. Encoder, previously unbeaten in two turf starts, finished fourth. Speakeasy – 2-Year-Olds – Five Furlongs Turf El Tigre Terrible had an absolute dream trip from behind, saved all the ground, got through inside and rallied between horses gamely late to just get up and win this race. This truly was a textbook ride by Rueben Fuentes. It was El Tigre Terrible’s first turf start and the son of Smiling Tiger couldn’t have been better for trainer Peter Miller. It’s difficult to imagine that this colt could get as perfect a trip in the BC Juvy Turf Sprint, but he likes the course. Surfer Girl – 2-Year-Olds Fillies – One Mile Turf Cal-Bred Warren’s Showtime pulled off a stunning $72 upset in the Surfer Girl and could be headed to the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf next. She’ll have her hooves full in that event, but she has a win over the course and that’s got to count for something. Race On!

Read Article
10.9.2019:

Weekly Bankroll Builder: October 11 Stronach 5 Play

Back to battle with this week’s Stronach 5, which continues to be one of the best bets on the track. 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 45 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 (4:33 ET) – 2yof MSW at 1-mile A fun race to kick off the sequence, and one you probably want to remember the names from, as there appears some talent here and it looks like a potential key-race in the making. Being a Godolphin 2yo these days is a very good thing, and it looks like #4 EMBOSSED (8-1) has been working well for her debut for Stidham, who is 16% with firsters, and this miss is kin to some nice ones, stakes winner Lucullan being tops. The Delacour stats (20% with second-out maidens) say #8 BARBARA GORDON (7-2) is going to improve off her debut, and if that’s the case the rest are in trouble, as she was a solid 2nd sprinting at Laurel, and, as a daughter of Commissioner, should relish the added ground she gets today. I’ll also use #10 WINDFALL PROFIT (9-2), as she was facing eons better on the grass in two NY starts, is bred for the main track, and Shug has used this move down 95-South with plenty of success in the past. Lastly, I’ll toss in #7 ETANA (6-1), who had no chance after breaking very slow and last from the rail on debut at Parx, but note she was 8-5 that day and Breen is a strong 22% with second-out maidens, so off the experience builder, from a much better post, she may wake up and surprise. Pk5 A horses: 4,8,10,7 (listed in order of preference) I’m going to use the top-4 and call it a day, with the caveat that #2 Omni Diva isn’t too live for Butch Reid, who is 19% with firsters and 26% when Correa rides. There are others, like #3 Wonder City (5-1), #1 Orbette (15-1), and #5 Looking Dynamic (6-1), but they all to appear to be looking up at the quartet above, who have more upside than they do as well. Pk5 B horses: NONE Leg 2: Gulfstream Park West R8 (4:43 ET) –2f 35k MCL at 6 furlongs (turf) The two best proven runners—#1 ITSENOUGH (5-2) and #4 NA NA DUDE (3-1)—seem like must-use types, as there’s not much here and their two dirt races lay over the field; however, I’ll also use #9 DANCE DUNE (8-1), who was a distant 9th on debut in a fast turf MSW and is bred for this, though she also figures in the 7-2 range. Pk5 A horses: 4,1,9 Even though #6 NOT ANOTHER (4-1) was a slow 4th on debut against Florida breds, she did pass a few late and can improve, so I’ll use her as a backup. Pk5 B horses: 6 Leg 3: Santa Anita R3 (5:05 ET) –3up Cal-bred MSW at 1-mile (turf) I’m not a big fan of singling lifetime maidens, though it looks like #5 COOL YOUR JETS (2-1) has finally found a field he can beat, as any of his last several are simply better than anything this field has done, and he’s supposed to improve second-off a January layoff. However, he’s also 0-for-10 for a reason, and the fact that #2 JETOVATOR (5-2) gets back to the turf and look like a Lone F means the streak could continue, as he looks like a better horse than the one that ran well on turf twice to start his career and may forget to stop. Pk5 A horses: 2, 5 If nothing else #1 FRAVEL (5-2) has some upside off just two modest runs to start his career, and he adds blinkers to and he drew perfectly, so I’ll include him underneath. Pk5 B horses: 1 Leg 4: Laurel Park R8 (5:15 ET) – 3upfm 40k 5 1/2 furlongs (turf) I’m going to be bold here and single #3 CRAZED (3-1), as this looks like the type of race where you can use five or six and still not win, and when that’s the case, I’m a fan of taking a shot on a horse I like best and hoping I’m right. And, with this one, there are some angles at play, most notably Gorham doesn’t claim many, but is 5-for-23 when he does, so you’re allowed to think this one moves up off that big win last time at Del Park, plus, he’s either the controlling speed or will be involved in what looks like a relatively soft pace, so I’ll play for the double up and hold my breath. Pk5 A horses: 3 As I hinted at above, there are plenty of others you can use here, and I’m not hard-headed enough to not have any backups, but the problem is, if I used them in the conventional sense, and with my other A’s, then I’d have a ticket that would be exponentially bigger than my main ones. So, with that being said, I’m going to use #5 UNEQUIVOCAL (6-1), #4 RIP RAP RILEY (7-2), #10 MAKING THE RULES (6-1), and #11 MEO DESPERADO (8-1), but will have to really condense around them—so I’ll be using 4,8—4,1,9—2,5—and 1. Pk5 B horses: 5,4,10,11 Leg 5: Santa Anita R4 (5:40 ET) – 3up 20k MCL at 5 1/2 furlongs I’d like to think we can use #1 TRUST REWARD (7-2), #3 RINESHAFT (5-2), and #5 HARLISS (2-1) and get through, and that’s the order I prefer them as well, since the former makes his first start for O’Neill (25%) off a useful LRC debut, while ‘Rine has run well in both starts and may be ready to make a big move forward, and the latter has already had eight chances and is tough to trust, though he does run as a first-time gelding. Pk5 A horses: 1,3,5 I’ll go it alone on the top line, though #4 Fortnite Dance (6-1) could move forward with blinkers and has a few races showing that could threaten here, and #6 U S Hero (8-1) woke up a bit in his last and wouldn’t be impossible with another forward move. Pk5 B horses: NONE The tickets: Main Ticket: 4,8,10,7 with 4,1,9 with 2,5 with 3 with 1,3,5 = $76 Leg 2 B Backup: 4,8,10,7 with 6 with 2,5 with 3 with 1,3,5 = $24 Leg 3 B Backup: 4,8,10,7 with 4,1,9 with 1 with 3 with 1,3,5 = $36 Leg 4 B Backup: 4,8 with 4,1,9 with 2,5 with 5,4,10,11 with 1 = $48

Read Article
10.8.2019:

Harness Highlights: ‘Cruzado’ Tries To Recapture International Magic

Cruzado dela Noche, representing Sweden, sprung a 30-1 shocker in the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway last year and he’s back to defend the title this Saturday, Oct. 12, in a field that features two Hambletonian winners and multiple stakes winners from nine countries. Cruzado dela Noche sat a good second-over trip for Hall of Fame driver Brian Sears and got up in the closing yards to edge Lionel (Norway), who was parked first-over a long way in the 1-1/4-mile test and forged to the lead in mid-stretch. Lionel is back for revenge and his versatility could come in handy in the crowded, speed-laden lineup. Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner, and Guardian Angel AS, fresh off a victory in the $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine-Mohawk Park, carry the U.S. hopes. Atlanta prepped at half-mile oval earlier this month and “she did everything I wanted, especially around the turns,” according to driver Yannick Gingras. “I made sure to buzz her around the turns.” Guardian Angel AS benefits from a home-course advantage and Hall of Famer Tim Tetrick in the bike. Marion Marauder (Canada) won the 2016 Trotting Triple Crown for driver Scott Zeron, ran second to record-setter Twister Bi in the 2017 International and set the pace until early stretch last year before tiring. Slide So Easy (Denmark) is a 39-race winner at age 10 and was the first of the international contingent to arrive in the U.S. Usa Josselyn (Switzerland) and Bahia Quesnot (France) finished 1-2 in the recent European championship for mares at Solvalia racetrack. Bahia Quesnot also boasts a recent runner-up finish to superstar Propulsion. Zacon Gio (Italy) was visually impressive in his most recent stakes victory that improved his record to 20-28. He arrives with an 11-race winning streak. Norton Commander (Germany) is a lightly-raced 5-year-old but has won half of his 24 starts. The 41st running of the International will be the feature on the card this Saturday, Oct. 12. Post time is 1 p.m. and the International is scheduled to be in motion at 3 p.m. The special matinee program also features two, $250,000 Invitationals, the Dan Rooney Pace and Harry Harvey Trot.

Read Article
10.7.2019:

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Bursting With Talent

The headline event on Breeders’ Cup Friday has become the Juvenile, which gets to sit at the head of the kid’s table on the day of 2-year-old showcases. We won’t waste a second of the gallop-out before looking ahead to the Kentucky Derby prospects, of course, but this year’s field could be as interesting as it’s ever been heading into the race.That’s because we have highly impressive prep winners coming from literally all corners of the country. Most years, there will be one or maybe two Juvenile players ahead of the class coming into the Breeders’ Cup. As of today, there are four, possibly five, who really intrigue this eye. Let’s take a look at them by region.CaliforniaThe only horse capable of beating Eight Rings this year in California has been, well, Eight Rings. His 6-length blowout win in the Grade 1 American Pharoah at Santa Anita stamped him clearly back on the beam after ducking and losing his rider at the start of the Del Mar Futurity. The American Pharoah runner-up American Theorem appears a high-quality individual, so there was ‘something’ behind Eight Rings in the local prep. His trainer Bob Baffert has won the Juvenile 4 times, including a win (Game Winner) and runner-up (Solomini) in the past 2 editions.KentuckyDennis’ Moment, like Eight Rings, has been his only foe in Kentucky. He clipped heels and fell in his debut at Churchill Downs in his June 23 debut. Since then, he smoked an Ellis Park maiden field over 7 furlongs by 19-1/2 lengths and returned to Churchill to win the Grade 3 Iroquois around 2 turns while wrapped up late. The son of 2-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow purposely was kept clear of an October prep to be fresh for the Juvenile by trainer Dale Romans’ design. His veteran sire has proven he can have a 2-year-old ready for Breeders’ Cup glory, witnessed by 2005 Juvenile Fillies winner Folklore.With Dennis’ Moment in his stall on Saturday, Maxfield announced emphatically that Kentucky has more than one rising player in the Juvenile ranks. He dusted what appeared a solid field in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland with a sweeping move off the turn and drew off by 5-1/2 widening lengths. Trainer Brendan Walsh earned his first Grade 1 victory in the process, though owner Godolphin is no stranger to Breeders’ Cup success. Maxfield is a son of 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Street Sense, who, of course, went on to win the ’07 Kentucky Derby. Maxfield is now 2-for-2 with a pair of wins at a mile or more. His closing kick provides a unique feature for a horse at his stage of development.New YorkAfter seeing his debut win at Saratoga, I Tweeted something to the effect that we just might have seen the second coming of Funny Cide. Tiz the Law not only validated that speculation in Saturday’s Grade 1 Champagne Stakes reappearance at Belmont Park, but he underscored it in bold print. Sackatoga Stables and veteran trainer Barclay Tagg have a dandy on their hands again. Tiz the Law left the confines of New York-bred company and cruised to a 4-length victory over the 1-turn mile while easily defeating the previously unbeaten Saratoga Special winner Green Light Go. He cleared the open company question far faster than his stable predecessor Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Tiz the Law is by red-hot, first-crop sire Constitution and his damsire is two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow. But the connections indicate the Juvenile is unlikely with the goal to return to Louisville on the first Saturday in May.FloridaChance It cruised by 7-1/2 lengths in winning Gulfstream Park’s finale to the Florida Stallion Series, the In Reality. He showed that first-over, tactical speed that wins big races. Better yet, he maintained a tempo that didn’t slow considerably late like most 2-year-old route races. Trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. has been lighting up Gulfstream Park at a high percentage over the past year and 2019 has been his coming out party nationally with Math Wizard winning the Pennsylvania Derby. This son of Currency Swap is notably a product of damsire Pleasantly Perfect, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita and twice the Goodwood over that track.

Read Article
10.7.2019:

Monday, October 7: Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

Woodbine Mohawk Park has an Early Pick 4 with a $50,000 guaranteed pool set to begin as usual in Race 4. It's a competitive sequence and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 47-Family Sports (12-1)-Lasix hasn't worked yet, was claimed from Auciello and now Roy ends up between the pipes. All that said, this isn't a race full of all-stars and this guy had the speed to beat $20K claimers at the end of July. Last was better and this field isn't much different so will use at 12-1 in the ML.9-Outlaw Gunpowder (5/2)-The post is a concern but comes off a win and form has been too good to overlook.10-Flaherty (4-1)-Strong effort from the 8-hole after missing a start and now comes right back. Does have some gate speed so Filion can work a trip.Race 51-Odds On Amethyst (8-1)-The 1-hole isn't much of an advantage and needs to find a smooth journey. But last was better and could take an overdue picture with another big effort.2-On The Sly (8-1)-Makes first start back in the Moreau barn and he had success with this 7-year-old before. Comes off a nice win and could handle the step-up in class at a square price.4-Bautista (7/2)-This is a soft spot and Filion knows well, should be tough to beat with a top effort and can capture an overdue win.6-Meadowbranch Meadow (10-1)-Steps-up but fits with this crew. Jamieson in the bike and that is a ++ driver change. Makes third start off the bench and could be sitting on a big try.Race 64-Head Turning Jag (5/2)-Steps-up after and easy score. Henry and this barn have clicked at 23%, best to respect chances for an encore.6-She's Got Pizazz (6-1)-Has been facing a tough duo and fits better versus this crew. Might leave and get the top or the 2-hole, then chances go up at a square price.9-Undercover Strike (3-1)-11-year-old is on a nice roll, comes off a win and makes first start in the Shepherd barn. JMac should be coming late, and pace could be quick enough, so he rolls by.Race 77-Angers Bayama (3-1)-Has crushed foes in last two by at least 7 lengths and was pouring it on in the back half. Last win was in 50.4 and if repeats that performance it's probably picture time again.8-Machpaperscissors (10-1)-Since coming off the bench last 3 have been sharp efforts. Jamieson could look to leave and try to duck behind #7 and make one big brush down the stretch.My Ticket Race 4) 7,9,10 Race 5) 1,2,4,6 Race 6) 4,6,9 Race 7) 7,8Total Ticket Cost) $14.40 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.6.2019:

Sunday, October 06: Santa Anita 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 12:30 PT. Grade: C+Use: 3-Takeo; 4-MutineerForecast: Takeo tries dirt for the first time and if he handles the surface he may be capable of taking this field gate to wire. The son of First Samurai has shown good speed on occasion, and in a five-runner maiden claimer comprised of himself and four plodders, the J. Shirreffs-trained gelding would be wise to take the initiative under bug boy Diaz and wire the field. Mutineer returns to his claim level for D. O’Neill after finishing a distant third in a fairly strong straight maiden miler at Los Alamitos last time out. Off his best race the son of Into Mischief is a solid fit on speed figures and should have every chance to produce the last run form a stalking position. Both should be included in rolling exotic play.RACE 2: Post 1:05 PT. Grade: C+Use: 3-Orquidias Biz; 9-I’m the HeroForecast: This maiden turf sprint for juvenile fillies didn’t come up particularly strong. There’s always a chance that one or more of the first-timers outrun their workout times but in the absence of a hidden gem we’ll stick with two best experienced entrants. Orquidias Biz has an improving pattern for J. Mullins, and if she duplicate her dirt form on turf and produces another forward move the daughter of Fed Biz looks as good as any. I’m the Hero has a similar pattern, though slower on speed figures than ‘Biz, and is worth including as well. That :21 3/5 opening quarter at Del Mar in a much tougher straight maiden sprint that saw the winner (Quality Response) return to capture a Los Alamitos stakes race makes this daughter of Bayern a major contender, assuming she handles the surface switch. We’ll try to survive and advance using just these two, but if you feel the need to spread in rolling exotic play, go right ahead.RACE 3: Post 1:40 PT. Grade: B+Use: 3-Carressa; 5-Der LuForecast: Carressa didn’t show anything in a pair if sprints last winter before being stopped on but the daughter of Uncle Mo appears to have come back much improved based on her facile victory at Del Mar and sharp recent workouts since that four length maiden score. Today’s one level class jump will require further improvement but we suspect the J. Shirreffs-trained filly has it in her. Der Lu has looked especially sharp of late in the a.m., and after failing to fire in her comeback on turf at Del Mar the B. Baffert-trained filly should be ready for a significant forward move. She’s reunited with “win rider” D. Van Dyke and projects to display more early speed and be in the fray every step of the way. Both should be included in rolling exotic play with preference on top to Carressa.RACE 4: Post 2:15 PT. Grade: XUse: 2-Encoder; 4-Billy BettsForecast: The Zuma Beach Stakes is essentially a rematch between the first two finishers of the Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes, a similar mile grass affair in which Encoder wore down Billy Betts right on the money. This race shapes up the same, with Encoder rallying from off the pace and ‘Betts trying to hang on. Both have a right to improve, so rather than split hairs we’ll use both in our rolling exotics while otherwise passing the race.RACE 5: Post 2:50 PT. Grade: XUse: 2-Lily Con; 6-DarpaForecast: This bottom-rung maiden claiming sprint for fillies and mares offers little in the way of wagering value, with Darpa, beaten a head while eight lengths clear of the rest in a similar event at Del Mar last time out, listed as the 4/5 morning line favorite. Lily Con drops to a realistic level in her first outing since February and might be a better type off the layoff. She hails from a winning barn (R. Baltas) and did flash speed in a pair of route races before being stopped on. You can toss her in on a ticket or two while recognizing that Darpa is a likely short-price winner.RACE 6: Post 3:25 PT. Grade: B-Use: 7-Raging Whiskey; 8-Square DealForecast: Here’s a grass grab bag for juvenile sprinters, and a case can be made for many if not most of the 11 entrants. We’ll recommend two in rolling exotic but best advice is to include as many as your budget allows. Raging Whiskey is unproven on turf – he failed in a two-turn grass race that we won’t hold against him – but on pure form he’s good enough to beat this field if handles the surface switch. Square Deal isn’t as fast on figures as ‘Whiskey but he’s a son of Square Eddie and therefore eligible to move up a ton on turf. Prat stays aboard and should have him within striking range outside every step of the way.RACE 7: Post 3:55 PT. Grade: B-Use: 3-Anuket; 5-Miss Ava’s Union; 6-Rather NosyForecast: Anuket has been away since stumbling and losing her rider at the start in a first-level allowance race at 50 cents on the dollar last winter, but the works indicate she’s fit and ready and her debut maiden win in her previous outing, if repeated, is good enough to beat this field. She gets a break in the weights with the presence of good bug boy J. Diaz in the saddle, so we’ll put her on top while also including Miss Ava’s Union and Rather Nosy in rolling exotic play. ‘Union graduated with a sharp speed figure at Del Mar while on the pace throughout and with another forward move could be tough to beat right back. You can also toss on a ticket or two as a back-up ‘Nosy, a two-time winner over the Santa Anita main track and back with “win rider” Prat. Her numbers are solid and consistent and should put her in the thick of things throughout.RACE 8: Post 4:25 PT. Grade: BUse: 4-Yesterdayoncemore; 5-Mind Out; 7-CroughavoukeForecast: Mind Out walked out of the gate, lagged, commenced her rally very wide into the lane and gobbled up the leaders late to graduate over five furlongs on turf in very impressive fashion in her racing debut. She galloped out strong to indicate more distance will be well within her capabilities, so despite the raise into stakes competition the daughter of Tapit could easily be this good. Recent works have been quite impressive as well, further evidence that’s she’s capable of stepping forward. Yesterdayoncemore and Croughavouke finished one-three in their U.S. debuts in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Stakes, both making highly favorable impressions, and if they don’t “Euro-bounce” they will be major players right back. We’ll go three-deep in our rolling exotics and then press keying Mind Out on top.

Read Article
10.6.2019:

Sunday, October 06: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.FIRST RACE1-Peytons PathOct. 2, 20195f, 1:03.3hGrade: C-View WorkoutIn blinkers, high-headed and very late changing leads while finishing under some pressure, splits of :25.1, :37.2 and 1:03.4 flat on our watches. Didn’t show a whole lot in his debut but is hard to endorse at this stage.3-TakeoSept. 13, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: C+View WorkoutMaiden claimer was under a tight hold inside of Express Train (5f, 1:01.3h) into the lane, was late changing leads and then gradually weakened without undue pressure, final 3/8ths in :37.2. Nothing to get excited about, workmate is a very good young prospect.THIRD RACE3-CarressaOct. 2, 20194f, :48.2hGrade: B+View WorkoutUnder wraps while finishing full of run and proving best over Mobou (same time), final quarter mile in :24.1. Really like the way this filly is developing for Shirreffs.3-CarressaSept. 25, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: BView WorkoutBroke off slightly behind Duchamp (5f, 1:01.4h) and was considerably best late, breezing to the wire, splits of :37 flat and 1:01.2 on our watches. Looks good, returned off a layoff to beat maidens from last to first, may have further improvement in her.3-CarressaSept. 11, 20194f, :49.4hGrade: B-View WorkoutUncle Mo filly worked inside 2yo Thunder Code (same time) and looked fine breezing with splits of :24.4 and :49 flat before galloping out well. Left her previous form behind with a nice maiden win over a mile at Del Mar and should be able to build on that with added experience.5-Der LuSept. 29, 20194f, :46.4hGrade: A-View WorkoutBroke off a length in front of Thousand Words (same time) and was breezing through the lane (workmate asked), plenty left late, splits of :11.1 and :35.2 for the final three furlongs, a length in front at the wire. Best we’ve seen her since last year, probably was a bit rusty in her Del Mar comeback and certainly should have a significant forward move in her.10-Beautiful ThunderSept. 30, 20194f, :48hGrade: C+View WorkoutIn blinkers, Broke off about four lengths behind Tromador (4f, :48.3h). moved to engage at the head of the lane but could never get by under some coaxing, a length back at the wire and appearing second best despite faster final time. Flashed some speed in debut in tough race; $140,000 yearling purchase by Broken Vow needs to improve.FOURTH RACE2-EncoderSept. 13, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: BView WorkoutUnbeaten stakes-winning juvenile by English Channel worked on dirt and went nicely without urging, splits of :24.3 and :49.1. Moves well enough on the main track but almost certainly will be reserved for grass.7-Cool RunningsSept. 28, 20195f, 1:01.4hGrade: BView WorkoutWell in hand early breaking off a few lengths in front of Opus Equus (same time) while several paths off the rail, was joined by workmate at the top of the lane but then drew off rapidly under some late coaxing, final half in :24.1 and :49.2 on our watches. Has room for further development; seeking a maiden 2-year-old two-turn affair, should handle either surface.7-Cool RunningsSept. 21, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: B-View VideoMuch best over Zimba Warrior (5f, 1:02.3h), working inside of that one and opening up under urging through the lane, final three furlongs :37 flat. Okay work, maiden juvenile by American Pharoah seeking another maiden affair, may have a bit of improvement in him.SEVENTH RACE3-AnuketOct. 2, 20194f, :49hGrade: B+View WorkoutBreezing with splits of :12.1, :24.2 and :49.1 on our watches, plenty left late. Should return to action soon, can fire fresh.3-AnuketSept. 25, 20195f, 1:00.3hGrade: B+View WorkoutBroke off a bit more than a length in front of Roadster (5f, 1:00.2h) and finished evenly with that one through the lane, both breezing and able to go faster if asked. Should resume her promising career soon, seems fit and has retained all of here speed. 3-AnuketSept. 1, 20195f, 1:00.2hgGrade: B+View WorkoutNice gate drill for the $575,000 come-backing daughter of Pioneerof the Nile in the Baffert barn, breezing inside Appolina (5f, 1:00.3h, urged doing her best) and went well throughout, final three furlongs in a solid :36.4 while mostly on her own. Won her debut like a top prospect but then stumbled at the start and lost her rider as the heavy favorite in her next outing in early February. Appears to be coming back very well, has all of her conditions.5-Miss Ava’s UnionSept. 29, 20194f, :49.4hGrade: B-View WorkoutA bit rank and erratic leaving the pole while hard held, showed a tendency to get out on the turn, then finished under a tight hold, splits of :24.3 and :49.3 on our watches. Needs to settle down. Broke her maiden at Del Mar last time out and will have further improvement in her if she can get her act together.

Read Article
10.6.2019:

Sunday, October 6: The Red Mile Pick 4 Analysis

Three-year-old pacers and trotters will be the headliners in four stake races this afternoon which are included in the Pick 4. That sequence has a $10,000 guaranteed pool and will be my focus.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 52-Can't Beach That (6-1)-Got on the engine and faded last week, but speed wasn't holding all that well. Will excuse that effort, has the speed to dance with this crew and will look for a big response.3-Southwind Ozzi (3/5)-Jug winner and odds-on favorite is looking for 5th straight. He is good enough to score again but hasn't won on a larger oval all year. Will use this big chalk, but will shoot against and will be doing similar in the rest of the sequence.5-Dancin Lou (9/2)-Broke two back and came 3rd last week. Thinking this is going to be an aggressive try and has the speed to be a major threat if minds manners.Race 63-Millies Possesion (2-1)-This race seems like a 2-horse affair between the chalks. Best to consider chances to turn the table on #4, keep in mind was off 22 days before last race.4-When Dovescry (9/5)-Got the top and never looked back last week. May try same script and it wouldn't be a surprise if this ended with the same result.Race 72-American Mercury (9/2)-Cruised home in last with a 1.49.3 mile. This is a much tougher test but if fires best shot should be in the hunt at a square price.5-Captain Crunch (2-1)-2-1 in the ML and at that price seems like a value. Second time Lasix today, could be sitting on a big try and has done well at Lex.6-Bettor's Wish (6/5)-Winner of last two and many will single this awesome colt. May not matter and hasn't tailed off yet, but has raced four more times this season than #5. Could keep going but will shoot against two others.Race 84-Greenshoe (4/5)-Has won last four races by an average of 4 1/2 lengths. Many will single here, and it is logical, but, at some point the streak ends.6-Gimpanzee (6-1)-If #4 stumbles my chips will be on one of his stablemates. Has been stuck further outside than this on larger ovals all year except once, and he won that time.$1.00 Pick 4 Race 5) 2,3,5 Race 6) 3,4 Race 7) 2,5,6 Race 8) 4,6Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $1.00Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article
10.5.2019:

My Sunday $725K Empire 6 Mandatory Payout Ticket

When you’re a horseplayer, few words jump off the page more than ‘mandatory payout.’  A big lump sum of money sitting in the pool that can’t beat you, but is up for grabs?  Sign me up almost every time.That’s the case this Sunday at Belmont, as ‘everything must go’ in their Empire 6 and the carryover, which has reached $725,823 is the pot of gold waiting for you at the end of the rainbow.  I took a look at the sequence and I think it’s challenging but not impossible, assuming Sistercharlie holds true to form in the Flower Bowl.The sequence gets underway with Belmont’s Race 5, at 2:59PM ET.  Here’s my ticket:  Race 5 – Maiden Claiming – 6 1/2 Furlongs – 2YO FilliesThe kickoff leg of the Pick 6 is loaded with mediocre NY-bred maiden claimers and, as they say, you can’t win the Empire 6 here but you sure can lose it.  There is good news, though.  Since this is the opening leg, you’ll be able to see the odds and adjust your bet accordingly.  If a horse on your ticket isn’t taking much money, you may be able to drop her.  If a filly that you didn’t have looks live, it’s probably worth adjusting your ticket to add her in.  Most of the fillies in this group that have run have done very little on the track, so I’m going to use a trio of first time starters - #4 BROADWAY ANGEL (7/2; Pletcher/Lezcano), #5 BIG RED GIRL (8/1; Baker/Alvarado) and #12 MICRO MARGARITA (6/1; Rodriguez/Franco).  I’ll also use just two that have started, #6 WELSH GOLD (6/1; Sacco/Cancel) and #9 BE MAGIC (4/1; Rodriguez/Ortiz Jr.).  They at least showed promise.Race 6 – Maiden Special Weight – 6 Furlongs – 2YO FilliesThis race is pretty similar to the opener, except these gals aren’t in for a tag.  That means they’re a little better and potentially more trustworthy.  Again, like the opener, you can get a sneak peek at the odds in here in the form of Daily Double Probables prior to Race 5.  So if someone is taking money, it probably makes sense to include that horse on your ticket.  I’m looking to go four deep to (hopefully) pass this leg.  I’ll use first time starters #9 MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (4/1; Pletcher/Velazquez), #11 YELLOW BRICK ROAD (5/1; Kimmel/Rosario) and #6 AMAZING RIDE (6/1; Dutrow/Carmouche).  #4 GOOD SHABBOS (10/1; Englehart/Luzzi) has run second in three career starts and you have to think she’ll win someday, right?  #7 LAKE AVENUE (8/1; Mott/Alvarado) and #8 STRIKE MAGIC (10/1; Hennig/Maragh) are two of the horses I’m very eagle to watch in the Daily Double Probables.  Race 7 – Futurity Stakes (G3) – 6 Furlongs Turf – 2YOThe stakes get even bigger in the third leg as a Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint berth is on the line in the G3 Futurity Stakes.  And with that reward waiting, this field came up strong.  I’m hoping to get through this leg using just three horses.  My top pick is #5 ANOTHER MIRACLE (5/2; Contessa/Franco).  This horse has been well-backed throughout his career – a little uncommon for a Gary Contessa horse – and he looked great in his turf debut in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga.  The rail-drawn #1 FREEWHEELER (5/1; Pletcher/Velazquez) looks live off a 5 1/4-length maiden win at Saratoga and he’s going to be running well late if he can relax early.  #4 FOUR WHEEL DRIVE (9/5; Ward/Ortiz Jr.) broke his maiden in a stakes race at Colonial Downs and even though this race is tougher, Wesley Ward excels with turf sprinters and juveniles.  Race 8 – Flower Bowl Invitational (G1) – 1 1/4 Miles Turf – 3YO+ Fillies & MaresThe first legs are tough and the last two aren’t easy but this one looks as simple as singling #2 SISTERCHARLIE (1/5; Brown/Velazquez).  She’s 9-for-13 and has won five straight G1 races.  I guess if there’s one knock on her, she is 0-for-2 at Belmont, but both of those defeats were by a neck or less.  Race 9 – Frizette Stakes (G1) – 1 Mile Dirt – 2YO FilliesA Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies berth is on the line here and the importance of this race is evidenced by the presence of Bob Baffert, Steve Asmussen and Bill Mott in the entries.  You know they mean business.  Interesting to see #1 QUALITY RESPONSE (7/2; Baffert/Talamo) ship in from California a perfect 2-for-2 and I like her running style for this.  She’s the type that can sit in the second flight, stalk and pounce.  She’s 2-for-2 in her career and this is a good spot for her, despite a big step up in class.  #7 FRANK’S ROCKETTE (5/2; Mott/Velazquez) has run second in a pair of stakes races – the G1 Spinaway and the G2 Adirondack – but I can’t trust her enough to not go deep.  #3 WICKED WHSIPER (2/1; Asmussen/Rosario) ran a gigantic race in her debut, winning by 6 1/4-lengths at Del Mar, but she simply overpowered the field that day and she’s going to need to be a little patient as this race is a quarter-mile longer than that one.  Finally, #2 DAPHNE MOON (9/2; Englehart; Ortiz Jr.) closed well in her debut race and would benefit from a fast early pace.Race 10 – Maiden Claiming – 7 Furlongs Turf – 3YO+This nightcap is going to be a test because, like the first two races, the horses in here just aren’t very good.  And there’s nothing worse than needing an inconsistent horse to be consistent for the sake of a big payout.  The likely favorite is #11 ZECHARIAH (7/2; Thomas/Velazquez).  He puts blinkers on in his first start for Jonathan Thomas and this is his first claiming race after going 0-for-5 in maiden special weight events.  John Velazquez taking the mount is a nice feather in his cap.  #4 SNOW LION (12/1; Danner/Franco) is bred for turf racing and this is his first career start.  Sometimes it’s nice to include a horse that you don’t know much about.  #13 DARING DISGUISE (5/2; Rice/Ortiz Jr.) will be on my ticket, but he needs a scratch in order to draw into the field.  My TicketRace 5: 4, 5, 6, 9, 12Race 6: 4, 6, 9, 11Race 7: 1, 4, 5Race 8: 2Race 9: 1, 2, 3, 7Race 10: 4, 11, 13Ticket Cost: $144 for 20-cents

Read Article
10.5.2019:

Saturday, October 05: Santa Anita 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 12:30 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-Stretford End; 5-SilencedForecast: Stretford End was beaten a neck by Improbable in his debut in a maiden race nearly a year ago. He’s still a maiden, though the son of Will Take Charge hasn’t been out since February and has finished second in three of his four career starts. It’s not too late for the S. Callaghan-trained sophomore to develop into a good colt, but first thing’s first and that’s earning his diploma in this six furlong sprint. The work tab isn’t flashy but should have him fit enough. Silenced also has upside and looms the one to fear most. Second in a similar affair at Los Alamitos last month while earning a better than par speed figure for this level, the son of Arch has a right to produce a forward move for a barn that has solid stats with second-off-layoff runners. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with preference on top to Stretford End.RACE 2: Post 1:05 PT. Grade: B+Use: 3-K P Indy; 7-Smooth Like Strait; 10-Moon MischiefForecast: Here’s a chance for a tote-busting payoff. Smooth Like Strait finished ninth, beaten 20 lengths, in his debut at Del Mar in mid-August but the son of Midnight Lute seems much better than that race shows and deserves a chance to produce a significant form reversal in this maiden turf sprint for juveniles. The M. McCarthy-trained colt was victimized by an anti-inside track bias at Del Mar after flashing good speed for a half, and since then has trained quite well for a trainer that excels with second-time starters. The blinkers off angle always catches our eye, so at a massive 20-1 on the morning line he’s definitely worth strong consideration both in the straight pool and in rolling exotic play. K P Indy ran quite well sprinting on turf in his debut at Del Mar in August but then was disappointing as the favorite when sent over a distance of ground in his next appearance. Shortening up while retaining M. Smith, the J. Mullins-trained colt may be most comfortable as a late-running sprinter. You should also include at least on a ticket or two Moon Mischief. The son of Into Mischief was a solid runner-up at Los Alamitos in his debut, adds blinkers, switches to grass, and is another eligible to step forward with that bit of experience behind him.RACE 3: Post 1:40 PT. Grade: C+Use: 2-Portal Creek; 6-Nomizar; 7-Shes All WomanForecast: Portal Creek, a $32,000 claim in mid-August, returns at that same level today in her first start for J. Sadler and should fire her best shot over a main track she absolutely loves (four wins in seven starts). Her recent workouts indicate fitness and E. Jaramillo, in town to ride Shancelot later in the day, picks up a live mount. Nomizar and Shes All Woman have credentials to run well in this league and also should be included in rolling exotic play. The former was overmatched in the Beverly Lewis S. at Los Alamitos last month but isn’t today and has won over this track in the past. The latter, a two-time winner over the local main track, moves up a notch following a $25,000 Hess, Jr. claim, lands the cozy outside post, and switches to hot-riding A. Cedillo.RACE 4: Post 2:15 PT. Grade: BUse: 5-Lil Milo; 11-Wildman JackForecast: Lil Milo didn’t get the best of runs when an unlucky runner-up in a similar turf sprint for first-level allowance types at Del Mar in his comeback but with clear sailing today should be hard to deny. A versatile sort who can be dangerous on the front end or from off the pace, the son of Rocky Bar loves the Santa Anita turf course and sports a strong, healthy work tab that indicates a major effort is forthcoming. Wildman Jack, a close third in the same race Lil Milo exits, has plenty of room to improve with just two career starts under his belt. The Goldencents gelding has been training sharply in the interim at San Luis Rey Downs for the D. O’Neill barn and returns R. Bejarano. Both should be included in rolling exotic play; we’ll give a slight edge on top to Lil Milo.RACE 5: Post 2:50 PT. Grade: B-Use: 4-Anonymity; 6-SelcourtForecast: Selcourt has a history of firing fresh, loves the Santa Anita main track (four wins, three seconds, in nine career starts) and is especially effective when she draws outside. The stars are aligned for a return to top form by the multiple graded stakes winning mare in the J. Sadler barn, and her recent workouts should have her fit enough. Anonymity is never one to count on – she’s failed as an odds-on favorite no less than four times in a nine race career – but when she wants to be the R. Mandella-trained daughter of Tapit can be very good. Never worse than second in three prior outings at Santa Anita, she will be tough if the 8/5 morning line favorite fails for whatever reason to bring her best stuff. Both should be included in rolling exotic play, with preference on top to Selcourt.RACE 6: Post 3:25 PT. Grade: B-Use: 1-Acker; 3-The Hunted; 4-ForayForecast: This evenly matched group of second-level allowance optional claimers requires a spread in rolling exotic play. Foray is intriguing on the raise for J. Sadler and seems likely to be the controlling speed. He’s unproven at this level and at this nine furlong distance, but the lightly-raced and progressing son of Eskendereya should have every chance to lead this field gate-to-wire if not respected early on. Acker is a four time winner over the Santa Anita turf course and should draft into a lovely pace-stalking trip and then have every chance to seal the deal from the quarter pole home. The Hunted is another with a solid chance off his best effort over a course he’s been known to like (two career wins). The Unusual Heat gelding looks the most dangerous of the closers.RACE 7: Post 3:55 PT. Grade: B+Use: 5-If Id Told You; 10-Lightning FastForecast: Here’s another chance for a major surprise by a two-year-old that could easily be much better than his debut shows. If Id Told You had a rough go in his only outing, breaking a tad slowly and then gradually moving into contention while being forced to race along the deep inside throughout. Under the circumstances, his fifth place finish in a similar state-bred juvenile sprint at Del Mar wasn’t bad at all, and since then the G. Mandella-trained colt has trained quite well while giving every indication that he’s set for a much improved effort. At a whopping 15-1 on the morning line he’s a “must use” in the straight pool as well as the rolling exotics. We’ll also toss in Lightning Fast, third in the same race If Id Told You exits and also with a high probability for stepping forward off his debut run. The son of Violence adds blinkers and switches to Talamo, and if he leaves with his field today there’s a strong likelihood that he’ll be a pace presence from start to finish.RACE 8: Post 4:25 PT. Grade: B-Use: 2-Synchrony; 6-Catapult; 9-Prince EarlForecast: Synchrony is a deep-closing type that always is susceptible to traffic trouble and slow paced races but if things break his way the the veteran son of Tapit should be capable of producing the last run. Blocked and losing his best chance when a close fifth in the Woodbine Mile-G1 in his most recent outing, the M. Stidham-trained 6-year-old encounters what should be a less difficult assignment today, but again will need a decent pace and good racing luck to get up in time. Catapult has been winless since capturing the Del Mar Mile H.-G2 more than a year ago, but he continues to train sharply and has enough tactical speed to secure a very favorable second-flight trip. On his best day, he can act with these and he could wake up big time with the switch to R. Bejarano. Prince Earl got a dream run when winning this year’s edition of the Del Mar Mile H.-G2 in his first start since last December. A similar effort today could be good enough; however, this time he’ll have to break from the number nine post position and may be forced to lose ground somewhere along the way. Preference on top goes to Synchrony but all three should be used in rolling exotics play.RACE 9: Post 4:55 PT. Grade: XSingle: 3-ShancelotForecast: Shancelot is 4/5 on the morning line and based on form should be. Not only is he by far the fastest sprinter in the race strictly on numbers, he’s catching a field with nothing in it that can remotely challenge him early. In what will serve as an ideal prep for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint over this track and distance next month, the son of Shanghai Bobby seems like no-value short-price rolling exotic single.RACE 10: Post 5:25 PT. Grade: BUse: 2-La Sardane; 3-Tooreen Dancer; 4-ToinetteForecast: This highly contentious edition of the Swingtime Stakes has several contenders, though Toinette, at 9/5 on the morning line, is a deserving favorite after equally her career top speed figure when a strong third in the John C. Mabee Stakes over nine furlongs on turf at Del Mar last month. This drop into an overnight stakes combined with the shortening to a distance she’s perfect at (two-for-two) makes her the logical top pick. However, her stable mate, La Sardane, and the lightly-raced and improving Tooreen Dancer both should be included somewhere on your ticket as well. La Sardane, away since late March but training like she’s fit and ready, can be a threat if she regains her outstanding form from last year, while Tooreen Dancer, freshened since a clever allowance win at Keeneland in the spring, will need a career top best performance to act at this level but could easily have it in her for the red-hot P. D’Amato barn.

Read Article
10.5.2019:

Saturday, October 05: Santa Anita Workout Analysis

The following workouts have been extracted from Jeff Siegel’s West Coast Daily Workout Analysis, which appears in this blog and is updated daily.SECOND RACE2-ConvexSept. 28, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: C+Even but second best under some late coaxing inside Smooth Like Strait (same time), final half mile in :24.2 and :49.2. Fair to moderate move, was fifth of six in a tough maiden special weight 2-year-old sprint at Del Mar in his debut and probably needs a bit softer assignment.7-Smooth like StraitSept. 28, 20195f, 1:02.1hGrade: B-In company outside Convex (same time) and was best, pulling a bit early and then finishing without pressure, splits of :24.2 and :49 flat, not too bad. Was far back in a maiden special weight juvenile sprint in his debut at Del Mar, certainly can improve if realistically spotted.9-EkklesiaSept. 15, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: B-$180,000 OBS June 2-year-old sale purchase worked with Silenced (same time) in team gate drill and was slightly second best, ridden along most of the way with splits of :23.4, :35.1, :47 flat and 1:00.2. Seems fairly fit, okay sort at best right now, should be seen soon. Eurton barn.10-Moon MischiefSept. 18, ,20194f, :48.1hGrade: B-Went off slowly (:25.1) to the top of the lane, then was asked out and responded willingly, up in :48.2 on our watches. Was a game second in his debut at Los Alamitos earlier this month and has a right to improve with experience.13-I Will NotSept. 27, 20195f, 1:02.3hgGrade: C+Wasn’t really asked much in solo gate work but didn’t show a whole lot of spark, splits of :24.3, :37.1, :49.2 and 1:02.3. Square Eddie juvenile colt is getting fit, probably needs soft foes.THIRD RACE2-Portal CreekSept. 22, 20195f, 1:02.3hGrade: C+Now in Sadler barn via claim, hard held early, asked for run late, final half in :50.1 while maybe a tad the best over Cali Dude (same time). Looks okay, seeking a mid-grade claimer.FOURTH RACE1-Oil Can KnightSept. 14, 20194f, 49hGrade: B-Worked with Dichotomy (same time) and went okay without pressure, hitting the wire stride-for-stride with workmate in :49 flat before continuing out to 7/8 pole in 1:01.3. Won last pair at Del Mar but probably will need another forward move to be effective if raised in class.FIFTH RACE1-Flor de la MarSept. 27, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: BCame the final half in :24.1 and :48.3 under cruise control for Baffert. Stakes winner at Los Alamitos in here most recent outing, will tackle the big girls next time out. 4-Anonymity4f, :49hGrade: B-Not the prettiest of movers in the a.m.; caught her from the 3/8ths pole to the wire in :36.4, just galloping while carrying her head a bit high. Pointing for the L. A. Woman Stakes and maintains her form.6-SelcourtSept. 28, 20195f, 1:01hGrade: BWent off slowly, was never asked and looked fine for Sadler, splits of :12.3, :24.4, :36.2 and 1:01.1 on our watches. Pointing for the L. A. Woman Stakes.6-SelcourtSept. 14, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: BNever asked in breezing five furlong solo move for Sadler, splits of :12.2, :24.2, :36.1 and 1:00.3 on our watches, not flashy but good enough. Seems to be coming back well, probably not quite cranked up yet.SelcourtSept. 7, 20195f, :59.3hGrade: B+Splits of 23.2, 35 flat and 59.3, breezing early, very light coaxing late, quite sharp and looking like her old self. Been away since late March (fading fourth in the Beholder Mile-G1) but vacation appears to have done her some good. Should return soon, sprints only.SIXTH RACE 4-ForaySept. 27, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: BMostly galloping in easy move, final half on our watches in :24 flat and :49.1. In good form and should be competitive on the raise.4-ForaySept. 20, 20195f, 1:01.1hGrade: BA bit keen early but was never asked and went well throughout, final half on our watches in :12 flat, :24 flat and :49.1. Holds his edge for Sadler.6-OverdueSept. 8, 20195f, 1:03.4h TTGrade: BSmooth and easy in solo training track breeze for D’Amato, finishing with plenty left without being asked. Comes off nice win at Del Mar and maintains that form.SEVENTH RACE3-Whispering FlameSept. 28, 20194f, :49.1hGrade: C+Mild coaxing thru the lane, splits of :12 flat, :24 flat and :49.1. Needs to show more vs. state-bred juveniles but has a bit of room to improve. Bred for (and probably prefers) turf.5-If Id Told YouSept. 28, 20195f, 1:00.3hGrade: BBroke off with Klondike Creek (5f, 1:02.2h) and left that one far behind in solid move under some very late coaxing, final half in :48.4. Fair fifth in his debut at Del Mar, probably can improve with experience.5-If Id Told YouSept. 20, 20196f, 1:14.3hGrade: C+Broke off about five lengths in front of United (7f, 1:25.3h, out to 7/8 pole) and was no match for that one through the lane while under some coaxing, fair move while being used as a target for classier barn mate. Ca-lbred maiden 2-year-old was simply out of his element here, probably shouldn’t be too critical.6-Cali DudeSept. 28, 20195f, 1:01.2hGrade: C+Second best with Murad Khan (same time) while under some pressure through the lane (workmate breezing), final three furlongs on our watches in :11.4 and :36.4. Clubhouse Ride gelding brought $95,000 at the Santa Anita June 2-year-old-in-training sale but looks fair-to-moderate at this stage.6-Cali DudeSept. 22, 20195f, 1:02.3hGrade: C+Not the worst while in company with Sadler barn mate Portal Creek (same time), some hand urging though the lane, final half in :50.1. Juvenile by Clubhouse Ride probably a maiden claiming type right now.9-Cleveland CatSept. 11, 20195f, 1:02.4hGrade: B-Worked inside Pacific Crossing (5f, 1:03.1h) and was best throughout, finishing about two lengths clear at the wire, final three furlongs in :37.1. Could have gone a bit faster if asked, in good enough shape, seeking another maiden special weight state-bred affair for 2-year-olds for Chew.EIGHTH RACE4-RestrainedvengeanceSept. 21, 20195f, 1:00.1hGrade: B-Ridden hard through the lane to the wire and then out to the 7/8 pole in 1:13.1 on our watches for a full six furlongs, easy early, responding well enough late. Won the Rolling Green Stakes up north in his most recent start, holds his form.5-Big ScoreSept. 15, 20195f, 1:01.3hGrade: B-Steady without being asked, splits of :24.1, :35.3 and 1:01.4 on our watches for Yakteen. In good shape and should make the entries early in the fall meeting.6-CatapultSept. 29, 20196f, 1:13.2hGrade: B+Strong six furlong solo move, mostly on his own throughout, splits of :24.4, :36.4, :48.3 and 1:13.2. Been more than a year since his last win, but after a 10-week vacation the veteran son of Kitchen’s appears to be perking up.6-CatapultSept. 15, 20195f, 1:00.2hGrade: B+Breezing through the lane, ears up, splits of :24.1, :35.4 and 1:00.2, happy move while appearing fit and ready. Freshened and coming back with eagerness.6-CatapultSept. 8, 20194f, :48.1hGrade: B+Breezing with ears up, even splits of :24.1. Below his best in last pair but seems perked up for Sadler and should fire his best shot after a couple of months of freshening.7-River Boyne-IRSept. 8, 20195f, 1:03.1h TTGrade: B-Went off slowly and then was asked a bit through the lane and responded well enough, final quarter in :24.3 in solo training track drill. Freshened since May (was second in the below standard Shoemaker Mile-G1) and seems to be coming back well enough.8-KinglySept. 12, 20194f, :49.3h TTGrade: BBreezing throughout in solo training track half mile drill, final three furlongs in 37 flat. Set the pace, then weakened in 9 furlong Del Mar Derby; multiple middle-distance stakes winner might prefer a shorter trip.9-Prince EarlSept. 9, 20194f, :49.3h TTGrade: BUnder a nice hold throughout working outside of Bowies Hero (same time) in easy training track spin, both finishing with plenty left while maintaining their top form. Got the best of ‘Hero when scoring a 9-1 surprise in the Del Mar Mile H.-G2 last time out and will get a chance to verify the strength of that performance during the fall Santa Anita season.10-Andesh-IRSept. 9, 20194f, :49.1h TTGrade: BNice pull in easy training track move for D’Amato, finishing with plenty left, final quarter in :25 flat. Holds his form, capable of further improvement, fresh from nice win vs. first-level allowance turf foes.11-BoloSept. 11, 20195f, 1:02hGrade: CLast of three to the wire after being joined by Baffert pair of Eddy Forever (4f, :48.3h) and Hydrogen (4f, :48.3h), leading early inside to the top of the lane but then weakening under some pressure to the wire (workmates up there) before continuing out under urging to 7/8 pole. Needs turf for sure but not terribly inspiring here.NINTH RACE*2-Omaha BeachSept. 27, 20194f, :46.3hGrade: A-Left outclassed workmate Magic Rate (4f, :48.3h) far behind in sharp half mile work, best he’s looked since last spring, splits of :22.3 and :46.3 while full of run without being asked. Sprinted only once in his career and won for fun. Food for thought.Omaha BeachSept. 20, 20197f, 1:27.1hGrade: BBroke off a length behind Charlito (6f, 1:14.1h) at the six furlong pole and went :35.3, :47.4 and 1:13.2 to the wire to be almost three lengths clear, then continued out to 7/8 under mild coaxing and was up in 1:27.2 before pulling up a mile in 1:44.2. Seems fit, but always was brilliant in the morning and now has become workmanlike. Hard to gauge where he’s at following his operation to correct an entrapped epiglottis last spring. Used take our breath away. Workmate is a modest maiden.Omaha BeachSept. 13, 20197f, 1:25hGrade: B+Broke off with Flying Arrow (6f, 1:14h) but quickly fell back to trail workmate by several lengths down the backstretch, closed the gap on the turn, took command in the upper stretch and was under some coaxing through the lane and then out to 7/8ths pole, splits of :11.4, :23.3, :35.2, :47.2, 1:12.1 and 1:25 flat, pulling up a mile in 1:42.2. Better than last week and probably will work even better next time. Getting his conditioning back, will return at Churchill Downs later this month. ‘Arrow went off very fast while being used as a rabbit and had little left in the final furlong. 3-ShancelotSept. 29, 20194f, :47.1hGrade: B+Splits of :23.2 and :47.1 to the wire without being asked, then galloped out strongly to 7/8 pole, up in 1:00.1 on our watches. Arrives in California with all of his speed, certainly the one to catch in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.TENTH RACE1-YuvetsiSept. 22, 20195f, 1:00.3hGrade: BFinal half on our watches in :49.2, breezing through the lane while much best over younger Perfect Rush (5f, 1:01.1h). Been faced with some stiff tasks this year; looks good but probably should try easier foes.2-La Sardane-FRSept. 12, 20194f, :49.2h TTGrade: BLooked sharp for Drysdale, well in hand early and finishing with plenty left, final quarter in :24.3. Freshened since March (was pulled up when involved in spill last start) and is coming back healthy and sound. Decent sort of mare when right.4-ToinetteSept. 18, 20194f, :50.2h TTGrade: B-Okay solo training track work for Drysdale, a tad late changing leads while finishing under mild encouragement, final quarter in :25.2. Was solid third in John C. Mabee S.-G2 at Del Mar last time out, just a cut below the real good ones around here.8-Super PatriotSept. 28, 20194f, :49.2h TTGrade: B-Never asked in company outside Drasario (same time, ridden thru the lane), final quarter in :25 flat on training track for Baltas. Prefers turf, vastly improved of late and will get tested for class next time out.

Read Article
10.5.2019:

Saturday, October 5: Mohawk Park Early Pick 4 Analysis

Two and three year-olds are the headliners competing in Sires Stakes-Grass Roots Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. James MacDonald led the pilots on Friday night with four wins and no trainer had more than one trip to the winner's circle. My focus will be on the 0.20 Early Pick 4 with a $50,000 guaranteed pool.Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.Race 44-American Virgin-This looks like a race with not much gate speed, so that sometimes works the opposite way and everyone leaves. If the pace is hot chances for success go up, has a favorable starting spot and should be a square price.8-Midway Island-Drops and is one with some gate speed, was stung in last to a 26.1 quarter. Could be out and winging and should have a better chance at getting the top versus this crew. ML chalk is a threat in an interesting race.9-Classic Pro-Steps-up after a nice try in first start off the bench and will use at 8-1 in the ML. Could show improvement in 2nd start on Lasix if Henry finds some cover and pace is hot.Race 52-Day Delight-Has been facing tough competition, stays in the hunt, got an overdue win in last and fits here. Likes to race near the lead and is in a great spot to do so, could be taking another picture.5-Delightful Terror-With this post draw JMac has some choices, has been used hard early in last two and it hasn't worked out. Could be looking at a different playbook tonight and can roll late with a good cover flow.8-My Land-Honest horse is six for seven in the money at Wbsb and is versatile. Post will makes the price and best to respect connections.Race 64-Royale Elite-Using instead of #6 the ML chalk, looking for more competition early for the lead. This colt could be sitting near the top in position to strike late at a square price.7-Southwind Frost-Looking for more in the Final from this beaten odds-on favorite. Consistent player who has been first or second in six of last eight. A big threat with a snappy pace and live cover.Race 74-Pedro Hanover-The McClure-Giles combo often comes ready to play and this looks like a value play. There is gate speed to the outside and if avoids being a long way back early could surprise at a big price.6-Yacht Seelster-Like #4 it's best to respect the connections and if trying to find a good price play this is where to look. Finished 4th last time at this class but had missed a start, looking for better tonight.8-Nirvana Seelster-Makes third start on Lasix for a barn that has a good batting average the last 30 days. Should be out and winging again, rolled to the 3/4 in 1.21.4 and faded. Could be tough if Henry finds one soft quarter.My Ticket Race 4) 4,8,9 Race 5) 2,5,8 Race 6) 4,7 Race 7) 4,6,8Total Ticket Cost) $10.80 for $0.20Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia

Read Article