How to Bet and Win the Preakness - Anatomy of the Perfect Bet
Look first of all I'd like to be honest with you, I'm not going to claim I "stumbled" upon some "crazy secret system" that nobody knows. In fact, probably more than a few people know what I'm talking about in this article. The truth is that I've been playing the Preakness among many other horse races, for at least 15 years. The Preakness is the first throroughbred race I ever attended, back in the 1990's. I had played at harness tracks, having been introduced to that at a young age, but had never been to a throroughbred track until 1996. That year, my good friend and fellow horseplayer convinced me we should go to Pimlico for a big infield party and some big horse races would break out at some point. I didn't know or care much about anything except the infield party and thought it would be fun. We brought a 12 pack and settled in. Early in the afternoon on the way up, we tuned in to the Baltimore rock station and were hearing all kinds of live music from some of our favorite bands such as Pearl Jam. We were just about pissed off at the fact that we missed some of these bands live, only to show up and find it was just a DJ playing live cuts, and the few local bands on deck hadn't even started playing yet. I was young and after the party was over and horse races had broke out, I was wondering why Louis Quatorze had won the Preakness and we hadn't bet on him. After that I began some more analysis and started using some figures from Brisnet to help me analyze the races. A couple years later I liked Charismatic in the Kentucky Derby, among like 10 other horses, but failed to have the right trifecta boxes since I had little clue what I was doing. I liked him in the Preakness as well, still at good odds since people thought his Derby victory was a fluke, but again failed to have the right trifecta when Badge showed up. But at that point I realized that a pattern was emerging. Eventually I figured this stuff out, although hard-headed about it and unwilling to part from numerical analysis from numbers that I didn't even know how were calculated. I found out it didn't really take a any magic numbers or even much analysis for a basic wagering strategy. With few exceptions, the Preakness is one of the easiest races to bet. Take the top (4-5) horses from the Kentucky Derby that run at Pimlico two weeks later, and undoubtedly 2 of them will finish in the top 4, in fact, usually the top two horses from the Derby will finish 1-2 in the Preakness. It's really that simple. After that you do have to put in some analysis to figure out which "outsiders" will infiltrate the trifecta, or possibly even win the Preakness, along with the Kentucky Derby contingent. There are various tools to use to accomplish this but I normally use one I invented. Unsatisfied with numbers from various other people and organizations with their secret calculations that I did not understand, I decided to make algorithms to create my own numbers and put them into what I call the Grid. Last year, the Grid gave me Preakness winner Shackleford at 13-1 as the top Speed and Power horse. It was an obvious key horse for me and automatic win bet at those kind of odds. Plus, he was a top four Derby finisher. Apparently people forgot he finished 4th not 14th in the Derby, which was very respectable for a frontrunner. Combine him with Derby winner and obvious favorite Animal Kingdom at 2nd, and take Astrology as an improving horse with 4th best Early Pace according to the Grid in 3rd place, and you have a very easy trifecta payout. Add Dialed In, the best Late Pace horse coming off a disappointing but respectable 8th place Derby finish, and you have a very easy superfecta. This is what I call the anatomy of a perfect Preakness exotic bet. You take any of the top 4 Derby finishers that are running at Pimlico, and key them and 1 and 2, get the "outsider" that didn't run in the Derby at good odds, and add another strong contender, usually from the Derby, such as a good late runner for 4th. You would be surprised how many times the Preakness plays out this way. Often the same horse will win the Preakness that won the Derby, which has happened less in the last few years but they still often finish in the money. And in fact the top two in the Derby often run 1-2 at the Preakness. So using the top Derby horses is obvious but where will you find the "outsiders" that will undoubtedly take up a spot or two in the superfecta? Well that is tough to come up with by yourself. Normally you will need more of an advanced handicapping tool for that, which is why I use the Grid. I can tell you that the outsider is almost always at odds from 12-1 to 15-1 so that narrows it down. The year before last the Grid of course gave me the Preakness winner, but only at 2-1 and not much value there, obviously. But also it gave me 11 of 13 winners that day including some nice long shots that provided good exotic payouts. Of course, since I wrote this, it could just happen that the top Derby horses will finish 1-4 in the Preakness, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if that happens. Especially since of my top 6 Derby winning contenders, out of 20, 4 of them finished 1-4 in the Derby. So now you know the basic strategy now for betting the Preakness. You just need to find the right long shot or two to add to your obvious Derby contenders for some nice exotic payouts. If I were you, I'd use the Grid to get them, but that's just because it always comes through for me in these situations.
Amanda, an editor from Florida, has given up plagiarism and has hair;
Brian, a filmmaker from California, almost threw the Phillie Phanatic off the dugout, to which Alex said "good for you"; and
Daryn, a clinical representative from Nevada, whose baby waited until after his J! audition. Daryn is a one-day champ with winnings of $18,200.
Daryn took first place on DD3 and was able to hold the competition at bay, leading into FJ with $14,200 vs. $12,400 for Brian and $10,000 for Amanda. DD1, $800 - ENABLING COOKIES - The Nestle cookie named for a Massachusetts inn dates back to the 1930s (Amanda, despite shopping for the DD early on, chose to wager only $400 and was correct.) DD2, $1,200 - BEST PICTURE OSCAR WINNERS - Professor, author, critic & PBS host Henry Louis Gates Jr. served as a consultant on this 2013 film (Amanda still maintained a slight lead after losing $4,000 of her $11,200.) DD3, $1,200 - THE REIGN OF KING CHARLES II - These 2 "great" afflictions hit London in 1665 & 1666 (Daryn won $2,000 from his total of $9,400 vs. $10,000 for Brian.) FJ - THE POSTCOLONIALWORLD - This African nation left the British commonwealth in 2003 over sanctions on its undemocratic government; in 2018 it applied to rejoin Everyone missed FJ, and from a close third place, Amanda wagered everything but $2, costing her the game. Also, instead of betting just enough to cover double of Amanda's score, which would have given him the victory, Brian wagered $10,000 to drop to $2,400. Meanwhile, Daryn made the standard cover wager of $10,601 and took the win with $3,599 for a two-day total of $21,799. Triple Stumper of the day: No one knew the newspaper associated with Mary Baker Eddy that runs religious stories is the Christian Science Monitor. Pedantry corner: A clue stated that riderless racehorse Bodemeister "did finish" in this year's Preakness. While the three-year-old did complete the course without a jockey, in the official results, Bodemeister is listed as "did not finish". Correct Qs: DD1 - What is toll house? DD2 - What is "12 Years a Slave"? DD3 - What are fire and plague? FJ - What is Zimbabwe?
I'm USA TODAY sports columnist Dan Wolken and I covered the Kentucky Derby last weekend when Maximum Security, the horse who crossed the finish line first, was disqualified. AMA!
Hey folks. I’m Dan Wolken, a national columnist for USA TODAY Sports. I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia and have been with USA TODAY for nearly seven years. I cover college sports primarily, but I spent my formative years at Oaklawn Park racetrack in Hot Springs, Arkansas and have always stayed close to horse racing. As a result of that, Kentucky Derby is one of the events I cover so let’s talk about the controversy that happened last weekend with Maximum Security getting disqualified. Twitter: @danwolken Some of my columns from the Kentucky Derby:
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My Choices For Belmont Park, Saturday July 6(Belmont Oaks & Derby Day)
These are my choices at the moment for races this weekend. However, I plan to start watching the tote board again, a tactic I had a lot of success with years ago, before I installed my current plan of betting the horses. While tote board watching often gives you clues in which horse is most likely to win if you learn which one is receiving bets from "smart money" bettors, who usually are betting with some inside information that most of the public knows nothing and/or heard about. While most of my bets will stay the same, there will be a few occasions I decide to switch onto a more well regarded horse to try to hit exactas and trifectas more often. However, since this is usually just before post on most occasions, I will not be able to change my thoughts on any post in time, so I would encourage others to learn more about the real serious bettors. The only reason I do not like using this system is it tends to overlook horses that I think has a real shot at pulling an upset but that is mostly because they did not receive any inside information on these types. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I will take a pass on races 1 and 3. There does not seem to be enough value in these races to take a risk on. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 2 Maiden Claiming $40,000--- 3 YO & Up Restricted To NY Breds---Purse $41,000--- 1 1/16 Mile Turf: Another fairly weak field, it offers value that will pay decently if you can beat the morning line favorite, who is not a lock against anyone, and a sucker type horse, who has gotten close several times, but has yet to complete the job. So my choices will be: 1)Keep The Light On(20-1)--- He has made one start in his career on a good turf course at 6 furlongs and was last for most of the way before picking up a few tired and inexperienced horses in the stretch. But his bloodlines suggest he will be better at middle distances on grass and he gets that opportunity in here. His sire, Willcox Inn, was a multiple G1 Stakes placed runner who finished just behind Wise Dan twice in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile while 2nd one year and third the next year. This will be his only crop to race as he was fatally injured in a paddock injury while wrapping up his only season at stud. 11) Millies Party Boy(6-1) is my choice for second. He finished third in his first career start and then tolled in maiden special races for seven more starts, always offering a late run but left with too much to do. Then dropped into maiden claiming and after a couple of decent runs in this class, he looked ready to graduate late last year, finishing second by a neck and then third, beaten two lengths. Then he was entered in two dirt races to finish up the year and he responded with two of the worst races of his career. With one start this year in an open bred maiden special weight where he returned to his old style and made a solid run to get into contention before flattening out in the stretch in his first start in seven months. Again he signaled he is ready to graduate. But this time he is entered in the right class, restricted to state breds, and on the right surface. 10)Golconda(8-1) is my choice for third. He has made 11 starts with 2 seconds and a third as his best efforts. He beat my second choice in his only on the board finish on grass in five starts on a yielding turf but was beaten by that foe in their next start on a good turf when my second choice just missed graduating. Since those races, they look like they have gone in opposite directions. However, since he is dropping back down into the class he seems to fit best in and his last two works since his last start was his best in his recent past, he could be signaling he is ready to wake up and produce his best run. 5)No More Miracles(6-1) is my choice for fourth. After 5 starts on dirt and performing poorly in each, he was switched to grass sprints and came alive in his last two. But 1 1/16 miles is probably a little farther than what should be his best distance and therefore I will place him here. However, I think he will be closer if the race remains on grass but is less than firm, as I expect him to be near the lead throughout. Bets: WP 1, Ex Box 1-11, Tri Box 1-10-11, .10 Super Box 1-5-10-11, Super Key 1 with 5-10-11 with 5-10-11 with 5-10-11. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 4: Allowance ---- 3 YO & Up Fillies And Mares---- Purse $66,000 ---- 6 1/2 Furlongs: 8)Bangle Girl(4-1) is my choice to win. She is exiting her maiden win but has faced several highly regarded NY breds in her two worst races, including the one(Newly Minted) who ran by the heavy favorite in here with ease. Her sire, Emcee, is a G1 winning sprinter and her broodmare sire, Hold That Tiger, is a G1 winning middle distance runner but his best known son is Smiling Tiger, a multiple G1 winning sprinter in his own right. 4)Cathy Naz(8-1) is my choice for second. While she should get a pretty good trip behind two dueling front runners, my top choice will probably get to sit the better trip and be gone before she can catch up to that one. While it looks like this is a step up for her, she actually is the only horse in the race to finish in front of open bred multiple winners and older fillies. Actually, the filly that beat her in her last two ran 2nd to Highway Star( at 2-5) late last year in a big state bred stakes. She also looks like she is cycling back into her best form, judging by 4 good works since her last. 6)Mary's Girl(12-1) is my choice for third. She has been racing in multiple winners races, but they have been restricted to 3 YOs and NY breds and this is a step up in class for her. However, she, too, looks like she is peaking into her best form and she has not only the bloodlines but also has developed a late run that should help her. The main question with her is can she handled the rise in class? 1)OK Honey(20-1) is my choice for fourth. At first glance, it looks like she does not have much of a chance to make an impact. While both her sire, Haynesfield, and broodmare sire, Not For Love, both won distance races in their racing careers, both have more foals that are better at sprinting compared to distance racing. And she seems to be following that same route. Her five placing in twelve starts suggests 6 furlongs is a little short for her but a mile is a tad further that she wants, as she has made several moves to get the lead, only to get ran down near the finish. And like several other, she appears to be regaining her best form after four uninspiring tries after winning before an improved race in her last start after stepping into an open bred race. Now she returns to NY bred and gets a distance that should be more to her liking. Bets: WP 8, Ex Box 4-8, Tri Box 4-6-8, .10 Super Box 1-4-6-8, Super Key 8 with 1-4-6 with 1-4-6 with 1-4-6. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 5: Maiden Special Weight --- 2 Yos --- Purse $80,000 --- 6 Furlongs Turf: 1)Hard Sting(12-1) is my choice to win. He is making his first career start off a series of good works. His sire, Hard Spun, won 7 of 13 lifetime starts but also finished second in the Ky Derby and BC Classic, third in the Preakness and fourth in the Belmont S while banking over $2.6M. Hard Sting's dam, Smart Sting, won 4 of 13 lifetime starts including a couple of Canadian stakes races and banked over $400K while spending her career on the AWT and/or grass. Second dam, Perfect Sting, won 14 of 21 lifetime starts while banking $2.2M, almost all on grass. Another Stonach bred and a horse he kept to run. 6)Montauk Daddy(3-1) is my choice for second. He has made one start, an off the grass race ran on an sloppy track and he closed well to finish second in a good time. While his sire, Daddy Long Legs, is not one of the best foals of turf specialist Scat Daddy, he did win the UAE Derby. He did not hit the board in any of his last 11 starts, including a did not finish in the Ky Derby. Montauk Daddy's broodmare sire, Old Fashioned, won his first four starts before finishing second in both the G2 Rebel S And G2 Arkansas Derby before an injury forced his retirement. However, Montauk Daddy's dam line is stocked full of serious grass runners. 8)Now Is(20-1) is my choice for third, though I believe he has a good to solid shot at an upset. He has made two lifetime starts, the first on grass where he broke a little slow, then tracked the pace but was no match for the top two. Then he was tried in a stakes race on dirt and was simply overmatched at this point in his career. Now entered back on the surface he will eventually prefer most and another furlong to work with, I expect him to get out front and wing it. While there is other speed signed up, they better have their running shoes on from the get go, because a minor hesitation is all this one will need to wire this field. His sire, Sidney's Candy, was fast from the gate on dirt but appeared even faster on grass. 3)Silver Promise(6-1) is my choice for fourth. He is another well bred sort that is working good for his debut. He looks like the only one fast enough to go with my third and my top choice early and if he breaks a little slow, which is always possible with first time starters, the outcome may be a foregone conclusion. His sire Declaration Of War and his broodmare sire, Tapit, both had some speed but neither was lightning fast from the gate. Bets: WP 1, Ex Box 1-6, Ex Key 8 with 1-6, Ex Key 1-6 with 8, Tri Box 1-6-8, .10 Super Box 1-3-6-8, Super Key 1 with 3-6-8 with 3-6-8 with 3-6-8. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 6: Dwyer S(G3) --- 3 YOs --- Purse $250,000 --- 1 Mile: 4)Whiskey Echo(20-1) is my choice to win. He has made one start this year and won in a good time. He has since worked out four times, with three bullets followed by an maintenance breeze. His sire, Tiznow, is one everyone should know about but the dam line is probably a mystery to most. While Whiskey Echo's dam was unraced, his 2nd dam, Aishah, is a G2 winning full sister to Althea, Champion 2 YO Filly Of 1983 who shattered the Arkansas Derby stakes record in 1984 while equaling Oaklawn Park's track record for 1 1/8 mile. This horse was born to run and so far he has! 3)Code Of Honor(4-5) is my choice to finish second and will be heavily bet. While he has raced against the best competition thus far, he has beaten very little in both his wins and that makes him vulnerable in this spot. 6)Majid(6-1) is my choice for third. He will try to take this field from gate to wire as he has done in each of his last three starts, but better horses are signed up for this test that any of those races. While I believe he will crumble due to the early pressure, he should hang around for a piece in such a short field. 2)Rowayton(3-1) is my choice for fourth. He is one who will apply early pressure on my third choice but he has yet to prove he can put away other speed and keep going up to a mile. His broodmare sire, Indian Charlie, always gives me reservations about using any of his foals in exactas and trifectas when they are going longer than 7 furlongs with other front runners present as most of them are prong to stopping badly when faced with heavy pressure. Bets: WP 4, Ex Box 3-4, Tri Box 3-4-6, .10 Super Box 2-3-4-6, Super Key 4 with 2-3-6 with 2-3-6 with 2-3-6. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7th Race: Belmont Oaks(G1) --- 3 YO Fillies --- Purse $750,000 --- 1 1/4 Mile Turf: 6)Just Wonderful(6-1) is my choice to win. She has made three starts this year, all at 1 mile and she showed little in each. However, the filly who won the first 2 and finished second in the last one(Hermosa) is Europe's leading 3 YO filly miler at this point and she also beat Just Wonderful in her only G1 test in Europe last year. But Just Wonderful will do better as the distances gets longer. Her dam, Wading's 3/4 sister, Athena, shipped over here last year to win this race for her only G1 score to date. Just Wonderful's third dam, Urban Sea, is dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars, both champions and top sires in Europe. 1)Olendon(9-2) is my choice for second. She has made three starts this year and has improved in each, including her first G1 placing in her last. While that race is an important European test, it pales in comparison to the three my top choice competed in this year. She has a good blend of speed and distance in both the sire and dam lines and should make her presence known late. 9)Cambier Parc(4-1) is my choice for third. She has won three of her four starts this year but now gets the acid test. Her sire, Medaglia D'Oro and her broodmare sire, Point Given, are both multiple G1 winners on dirt but her dam,Sealy Hill, is multiple G1 placed on grass and won the Woodbine Oaks on the AWT. 3)Coral Beach(15-1) is my choice for fourth. She, too, has made three starts this year, the first two in the French and Ireland 1,000 Guineas, a race for top European 3 YO fillies milers and then the Sandringham S where she produce her best run this year against easier. But she probably still needed that start to reach her best shape and now should be ready to get it her best effort. While her sire, Zoffany, was a top sprintemiler during his racing career, her broodmare sire, Tiger Hill, completed against the best distance horses in Europe. She also has some more distance help in her dam line as third dam is a daughter of Surumu, a product of Germany's best distance sire line for more than 150 years. Bets: WP 6, Ex Box 1-6, Tri Box 1-6-9, .10 Super Box 1-3-6-9, Super Key 6 with 1-3-9 with 1-3-9 with 1-3-9. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8th Race: John A Nerud S(G2) --- 3 YO & Up --- Purse $300,000 --- 7 Furlongs: 9) Promises Fulfilled(2-1) is my choice to win. He has made 3 starts this year with one third his best effort. But in his last, chart says he stumbled at the start, but all I saw was he was a little sluggish to get in gear. However, the jockey tried to get him to rate after he saw he could not get the lead as the horse prefers and he flatten out in the stretch. But it was the type of race he needed to get him to his peak form. His 2-1 M/L odds is very generous, so I would not expect him to get off at those odds. 4)Nicodemus(6-1) is my choice for second. He has made 5 starts this year, missing the board in every other start while winning twice. It is only a matter of time before he starts putting back to back races together. While his sire, Candy Ride is known for foals with high speed, he probably gets his closing ability from his dam, Leah's Secret, who won several G2 stakes during her racing career, all from off the pace. However, her sire, Tiger Ridge is the only horse you will ever see that has both Secretariat's top two producing daughters as dam and grand dam. His sire is Storm Cat, a son of Terlingua, while his dam is Weekend Surprise. 2)New York Central(8-1) is my choice to finish third. Early in his career, he was a need the lead type that threw clunkers when someone outbroke him. But since he has been shorten back up to sprints, he has shown a willingness to rate, something he will need to hit the board in this spot. 1)Majestic Dunhill(15-1) is my choice for fourth. he has four starts this year and appears to be regaining his best form. While he normally comes for way back with a late rush in the stretch, you can expect him to be picking off horses late and could possibly get involved in the exacta, though I think winning is unlikely, mostly due to my top choice. Bets: No WP, Ex Box 4-9, Tri Box 2-4-9, Tri Key 9 with 1-2-4 with 1-2-4, Super Key 9 with 1-2-4 with 1-2-4 with 1-2-4. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 9: Belmont Derby(G1) --- 3 YOs --- Purse $1,000,000 --- 1 1/4 Mile Turf: 9)Cape Of Good Hope(10-1) is my choice to win. He has made 3 starts this year with 1 win in a non graded stakes, but it was a prep for the Epsom Derby. However, O'Brien is usually loaded with three years old colts and he decided to send this one to contest the G1 Prix Du Jockey Club and he just missed becoming a G1 placed in that effort. I'm throwing his last out as maybe he did not like the give in the turf course that day. He has two graded stakes winning full brothers, Highland Reel, who most probably heard of as he made three trips to the U.S, winning the G1 Secretariat, then returning the next year to win the G1 BC Turf and then the nest year to finish third in the BC Turf and Idaho, third in the Epsom Derby and 2nd in the Irish Derby, among several other top races. 5)Plus Que Parfait(20-1) is my choice for second. He has one win in four starts this year but now is switching to the surface he was originally bred for. While he made his first lifetime start on grass at a mile and finished third, he was then switched to dirt where he was inconsistent. Now a return to his best surface and a little more distance, he should be around at the end. 4)English Bee(30-1) is my choice for third. He won his last start which was his first stakes win and now gets the acid test to prove he belongs with the top grass runners. He has the perfect pattern for young horses who are poised to run their career best race. And while this race is stocked with horses who may like the 1 1/4 mile distance, none is even close to the bloodlines and proven distance loving abilities of both his sire, English Channel and his broodmare sire, Kitten's Joy. Both English Channel and Kitten's Joy was beaten by Better Talk Now in separate BC Turfs but English Channel returned in 2007 and turned the BC Turf in a laughter, beating Better Talk Now and Europe's best by 7 lengths. 3)Seismic Wave(5-1) is my choice for fourth. He has hit the board in 5 of 6 lifetime starts and he just missed hitting the board in his only non placing as he was forced to go wide and circled the field to miss winning by 1 1/2 lengths. Now the added distance will only help him. While the talk has always been about Northern Dancer as a sire, it is his dam line that made him the sire he turned out to be and she, Natalma, appears as the sixth dam of Seismic Wave, meaning he traces tail female back into Almahmoud and later into Fair Play's grandson and Mother Goose, a filly who has a race named in her honor. Bets: WP 9, Ex Box 5-9, Tri Box 4-5-9, .10 Super Box 3-4-5-9, Super Key 9 With 3-4-5 with 3-4-5 With 3-4-5. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Race 10: Suburban S(G2) --- 3 Yo & Up--- Purse $700,000 --- 1 1/4 Mile: 3) Rocketry(8-1) is my choice to win. He tried in vain to catch the only speed who set a snail pace in their last and just manage to hold off his late run. With more speed signed on, I look for him to blow by the front runners in here. 11) Pavel(8-1) is my choice for 2nd. He is following basically the same pattern as he followed last year. Last year, he started with a fourth in the San Pasqual, followed by a fourth in the Dubai World Cup and a fourth in the Gold Cup at SA before winning the G1 Stephen Foster H. This year, after a fourth in both the San Pasqual & Dubai World Cup, he finished sixth in the Metropolitan Mile. Now he enters the G2 Suburban S off two decent works and his fourth start this year. He also adds blinkers and that signals to me that his trainer wants to keep him just behind the early pace setters. 5) Lone Sailor(8-1) is my choice for third. He cycled back into his best form two starts back, then was sent to California to contest a G1 on a track that works against his style of running but he managed to finished a distant third. Now with two decent works since returning from that effort, I feel he is ready to fire again over several of these he is entered against. Now he adds blinkers which should help him stay a little closer to the pace. 10)Cordmaker(12-1)is my choice for fourth. It looks like his trainer has been taking his time with this one to let him mature and he has slowly improved step by step. Now it is time to see what they have developed. While he is taking a big step up in class, his bloodlines suggests he should handle it and if this was not his first attempt at this class, he would be in my top two picks. Bets: WP 3, Ex Box 3-11, Tri Box 3-5-11, .10 Super Box 3-5-10-11, Super Key 3 With 5-10-11 With 5-10-11 With 5-10-11. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 11: Maiden Special Weight --- 3 YO & Up ---Purse $80,000 ---- 1 Mile Turf: 9) Windward Sands(3-1) is my choice to win. A member of the last crop of Scat Daddy, she is working like she will win early in her career. Trainer Brown is sneaky good at having his horses ready at first asking, especially on grass. 1)Downstream(12-1) is my choice for second. She has made one start and after setting the pace for six furlongs on a yielding grass course, she did a steady retreat. But the horse pressing her throughout was Newspaperofrecord who drew away at ease and made her race look worse than it actually was. 2) Ledecka(7-2) is my choice for third. She has finished second in both of her starts, so that is the biggest reason to place her here. Also, experience counts in my book and she has ran credible both times while getting a little education in each. But this will be by far her biggest challenge as there looks like several newcomers with real ability to challenge her. 11)Foolish Living(6-1) is my choice for fourth. Another Brown trainee, she, too, is making her first start and has some sneaky good works, much like my top choice. While I think she has some good bloodlines, I prefer the other Brown's trainee bloodlines more. Bets: WP 9, Ex Box 1-9, Tri Box 1-2-9, .10 Super Box 1-2-9-11, Super Key 9 With 1-2-11 With 1-2-11 With 1-2-11. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With the Derby/Oaks this week, I figured that I would post an article I wrote for Horse Racing Discord. On big days we often have people hop in the channel looking for a single to use in a horizontals to cut cost out of their structure. This turns into a massive cluster as we're all trying to get our wagers in and help out newer players who have no idea about structuring wagers. Hopefully those people can learn a bit before the big days to make everyone's lives easier!!! The ABC’s of Horse Playing You’re an aspiring handicapper who is interested in playing more horizontal wagers (multi-race ones like the P3, P4, P5 or P6) but find that your bankroll can’t afford those plays or when you do hit a sequence it pays less than your investment? The answer to your problem may be a system called “ABC wagering” where you can spend less, take more risks and leverage your opinions to massive paydays by playing multiple tickets. For this document I will be using Screen Shots from DRF TicketMaker (https://ticketmaker.drf.com/) which many of us love; but you can also make up an Excel document which does exactly the same thing. First off, some vocabulary: Caveman – This is how many people start playing horizontal wagers, you use every horse equally on tickets, your 2/5 shot and 30-1 shot have equal coverage using a single ticket. For example, in a P4, I may like 6 horses in one race, 3 in the next, 5 horses in the 3rd and 6 in the finale. Assuming a dollar base bet this ticket would cost $540, WAY more than the average player wants to spend. A’s – In an ABC play, these are the horses you find either have the highest likelihood of winning the race without help or provide a massively compelling betting value. B’s – These are horses who could win if a favorite misfire’s or may need a little help in the form of pace or racing luck. C’s – These are your bomb’s who are normally massive prices but still have a chance if the chips fall perfectly. This can also be an interesting place to use a favorite that you hate but feel you still need a little coverage too. Game Theory – The idea of playing against the betting public as a way of creating outsized gains. ABC tickets work by leveraging your bets into the above listed categories and then playing multiple tickets, often with different wager values, to take advantages of those opinions. In an ABC sequence you would play all your A’s together with a larger bet size; if the sequence chalks out and favorites win everything you still get paid and have a larger bet size to take advantage of the chalk. You would also play every combo of your A’s with one or two B’s (P4 example BAAA, ABAA, AABA, AAAB, BBAA, BABA, BAAB, ABAB and AABB). Then you would play every combo of you A’s with a single C (P4 example again, CAAA, ACAA, AACA, AAAC). These types of wagering strategies are great on the average racing day; but become absolutely necessary on those days with large competitive fields (Kentucky Derby Day, Preakness, Belmont, Travers, Breeders Cup…etc.). This all sounds super complicated but look at the examples below and see how you could utilize it into your handicapping. First off let me show the Caveman play I talked about before in the “Caveman” vocab above: https://preview.redd.it/1ccz38y2a9v21.png?width=747&format=png&auto=webp&s=79217082fdda2c415d359c7a877f552cca069acd As you can see, I placed all my horses in a 6x3x5x6 arrangement, and the play is listed as a single ticket below. The total cost of the play is $540 for a $1 base bet (I have 540 possible combinations covered). Now this ticket could hit, but one or two favorites in this sequence would lead to less payout than I have invested. In reality; I realize that 35% of the time a favorite win’s a race, meaning that most likely I will have at least one and very often two winning favorites in a P4 sequence. Let’s also assume that in both the 1st and 4th races I really like the 1,2 and 3; but feel I also need to use the 4,5 and 6 defensively. Let’s also assume that in the 2nd race, I know that the 1 is a massive favorite that I really like, but I want to have a tiny hedge if they don’t win because it would lead to a massive payout. With an ABC structure, that turns into 5 tickets which look like this: https://preview.redd.it/fnq8tln3a9v21.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=e50fefa2f4339e1eed1729f20b52c4dc74a7e9a3 What I’ve done here is I’ve massively leveraged my opinions. Should this sequence chalk out and my A’s win, I have substantially shrunk the total cost of the sequence by 50% meaning I should at least break even. If one or even both of my B’s win, I should get a nice payday. And should my C’s come in, I would have an outsized payout considering how short the 1 is. With that stated, let’s say I want to sharpen my pencil a bit more and further fine tune my options. Let’s take the 3rd race, I know the one will be a favorite and I like him, but I feel the 2,3 are the most logical if he doesn’t fire but if he fires, he wins. I really feel that the 4,5 are prices that could win but would need a lot of help. In the 1st and 4th races, the 6’s are big prices that I think have a slim chance to win but if they did would produce a massive payout. I could do something like this: https://preview.redd.it/3g0fgbd4a9v21.png?width=805&format=png&auto=webp&s=e8d7a4452007e6b3c449fdd8b6ebbd45a70ad8fa Now this sequence is 11 tickets, but I’ve leveraged my opinions. If My All A or a Single B ticket wins, I have 2x the leverage ($2 vs $1 bet size). I still have a lot of coverage if a single or double B hit and if one of my longshots comes in, I still can capture that value. But the biggest thing I have done here is massively shrunk the total cost of the ticket, its now just slightly more than 25% the original cost. This means I can play this type of sequence 4x times for the cost of the original ticket, meaning I have more opportunities to find that hidden longshot. As you can see, there are a lot of ways to utilize these types of wagering structures to better leverage your opinions and take advantage of multiple tickets to create value.
My 2019 Ky Derby Pedigree Analysis With The Ones I Am Considering Betting
Bloodlines is, IMO, one of the most important criteria to consider in every race. It can give you clues on which horse(s) will perform the best in sprints, middle distances, long distances, dirt, grass, all weather tracks. But using bloodlines alone will leave most to frustrating results, much like anything else you can think of using, including speed ratings, trainers stats, jockey stats, expert picks and everything else. However, when you take bloodlines, then try to figure out when a trainer has succeeded in getting his horse to peak in the race he has usually been pointing for months, and the jockeys who has followed most of the real contenders for most of their careers, then it will give you an advantage over most of the other handicappers in a game that is all about being prepared and willing to take educated chances. Most horses will not go much further than their pedigree will suggest time and time again. Neither will they perform their best when asked to go too short or even on a surface they not like as much as another surface. Trainers are creatures of habit and once they figure out the way they have had success in the past, they will revert back to that "system" over and over again. So while knowing which trainers has won a race such as the derby is important, it is more important to know if he has a horse entering that race that has follow his successful path before(including other prestigious races) and if he is peaking for that start, not the start or two before. All jockeys, like trainers and owners, wants to win the Ky Derby more than any other race. So they will spend months looking at or riding horses that they think has a possibility to give them their best shot at winning a race that is very elusive to most. So, again, while it is important to watch which top jockeys ends up landing on which horse, it simply implies he thinks, along with his agent, that this horse gives him the best shot of winning. So I will list every horse in this year's Ky Derby , with their pedigree, and my thoughts of their probability of succeeding at one and one quarter mile. While some of you will disagree with my assessment, that is what makes betting the derby so thrilling. But in the end, I do not and have never spread my money in order to say I cash a ticket. I am always trying and have been successful occasionally in narrowing down my choices to the bare minimum and pocketing life changing winnings. TACITUS-- Tapit- Close Hatches By First Defense. 3x4 To Unbridled, 4x4 To Seattle Slew, 4(C)x5(C) To Mr Prospector, 5x5 To Northern Dancer & Secretariat. Tapit has been a top sire for years. He ran in the 2004 Ky Derby and finished 9th to Smarty Jones in a muddy renewal of the derby. While Tapit has sired several Belmont S winners, he has never sired a winner of the Ky Derby. The Belmont S is usually a much slower paced race than the derby, so that is, IMO, the biggest factor to consider. Tacitus's dam, Close Hatches, won 9 of 14 lifetime starts, showed front running speed but her best distance was up to 1 1/16 mile. She won one G1 at 1 1/8 mile in four attempts(all three of her career off the board finishes was at this distance) when she was allowed to set a pace she was comfortable without any challenge and drew off. Tacitus's broodmare sire, First Defense, won the G1 Forego S at 7 furlongs for this biggest and only G1 win. In summation, I will take a stand against Tacitus, not only winning but also finishing in the top four. OMAHA BEACH--- War Front- Charming By Seeking The Gold. 3x4 To Rubiano, 5x3 To Mr Prospector, 5x5 To Native Dancer. War Front won 4 of 13 lifetime starts, all on dirt, though his pedigree suggested he would perform much better on grass. His biggest win came in the G2 Vosburgh H, and he was no factor in his only start at 1 1/8 mile. However, as his pedigree suggests, he is much better known as a sire of high class grass runners, especially up to a mile. Omaha Beach's dam, Charming, won 1 of 3 lifetime starts, and was pulled up and later retired in her only stakes try. His broodmare sire, Seeking The Gold, won 8 of 15 lifetime starts with his biggest win coming in the G1 Super Derby. However, he narrowly miss in the G1 Travers S on Saratoga's speed favoring track and his career finale saw him run second to heavy favorite Alysheba in the G1 BC Classic, though beaten soundly on an off track, a type of track he was superior to most. As a sire, he is best known was siting champion milers, both on dirt and grass. In summation, while I believe Omaha Beach would be no surprise for a minor award, I will not be using him at all. VEKOMA-- Candy Ride- Momma De Mona By Speightstown. 5x4 To Mr Prospector & Hoist The Flag. Candy Ride won all 6 of his lifetime start, including beating Medaglia D'Oro(who never won at 1 1/4 mile) in the G1 1 1/4 mile Pacific Classic in his career finale. As a sire, Candy Ride is known for siring high class front running speed but most are distance challenged at 1 1/4 mile until they turned 4 YO and/or he gets major help from the dam side. His best runner to run in the Ky Derby, Gun Runner, flatten out in the stretch while just holding on for third. Vekoma's dam, Mona De Momma, won the G1 7F Humana Distaff for her biggest stakes score but did so with a late kick. Vekoma's broodmare sire, Speightstown, won 10 of 16 lifetime races, all at 6 or 7 furlongs. However, he was injured twice in his four year career, required long layoffs of 1 1/2 year and nearly a year, so his connections probably did not want to risk trying him at middle distance. As a sire, while most of his runners perform best sprinting, he has sire a few to win at the 1 1/4 mile, including Golden Ticket, who dead heat for the win in the 2012 G1 Travers S with Alpha and Haynesfield, who beat Blame in the 2010 G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.In summation, while I will probably pass on using him, he could be one that hangs around and nabs a minor reward. PLUS QUE PARFAIT- Point Of Entry- Belvedera By Awesome Again. 4(C)x5(C) To His Majesty, 4x5 To Mr Prospector. Point Of Entry won 9 of 18 lifetime starts and is a perfect example of what I have suggested over and over about how a horse's pedigree can tip you to live longshots. He became his career on dirt and won 2 of his first 9 starts, showing flashes but never quite being able to put it all together. His trainer, Shug McGaughey, finally decided maybe he would do better on grass where he would go on to win his last 7 of 9 starts, most in G1 competion. His 2 losses were both in the G1 BC Turf, where he finished 2nd, beaten a 1/2 length and returned the next year to run 4th, beaten 1 3/4 length in his first start back after returning from an injury, suffered five months before hand. Plus Que Parfait's dam, Belvedera, finished last in her only lifetime start at Charles Town. However, his broodmare sire, Awesome Again, won 9 of 12 lifetime starts, including the G1 BC Classic in his career finale. His best known son is Ghostzapper, a 1/2 brother to City Zip and broodmare sire of 2018 TC Winner, Justify. In summary, while he is one of the better bred horse in this year's field, he has thus far under performed and/or seems a cut below the main contenders, so I will probably pass. ROADSTER-- Quality Road- Ghost Dancing By Silver Ghost. 4x3 To Mr Prospector, 5(C)x5(C)x4(F) To Raise A Native, 5(F)x5(F) To Hail To Reason. Quality Road won 8 of 13 lifetime starts, including the G1 Florida Derby and was the expected favorite for the 2009 Ky Derby before suffering an injury in a workout while preparing for that start and was declared(scratched) from the race. He has been an above average sire since starting his stallion career and here is his latest top runner. Roadster's Dam, Ghost Dancing, won 5 of 9 lifetime starts but was not tested against top runners. His broodmare sire, Silver Ghost, won 3 of 6 lifetime starts, none against top runners though he was fast in sprints. Silver Ghost sired some useful middle distance runners on dirt, but I have had the most success with him using his daughters in long distances grass runners pedigrees. In summary, Roadster has a pedigree that could conceivably win the derby and it will be a matter of if he has enough experience and class to pull it off. My guess is he does not and I will try using others but is the one I am most concerned about leaving out of my bets. BY MY STANDARDS-- Goldencents- A Jealous Woman By Muqtarib. 5x4 To Mr Prospector, 5(F)X5(F) To Secretariat & Northern Dancer. Goldencents won 7 of 18 lifetime starts, including the G1 Santa Anita Derby and was very fast but did a steady fade in that year's Ky Derby after not being able to get near the early lead. His best distance was a mile and he won 2 runnings of the BC Dirt Mile to put an exclamation point on that statement. By My Standards's dam, A Jealous Woman, won 8 of 25 lifetime starts, including 2 non graded stakes at SA at 1 mile on grass and a 2nd in the G2 Goldikova S, all in fast times for that surface. His broodmare sire, Muqtarib, won 3 of 15 lifetime starts, including the G2 Richmond S in England. In summary, By My Standards simply is not one I will waste any money on. MAXIMUM SECURITY-- New Year's Day- Lil Indy By Anasheed. 5(C)x4(F)x5(F) To Northern Dancer. New Year's Day won 2 of 3 lifetime starts, including the 2013 G1 BC Juvenile Dirt in his final start with a late run. This is his first crop to race but he has some pedigree that suggest distance will not be a problem. Maximum Security's dam, Lil Indy, won 2 of 19 lifetime starts. His broodmare sire, Anasheed, is a 3/4 brother to Mineshaft but won only 2 of 15 lifetime starts. In summary, there are two ways to look at his chances. First, I like horses that did not have to use all their energy winning or finishing their final prep. In the Fla Derby, he looked like he had something to run with him early but that horse turned out to be over-hyped. Second, he got to walk the dog, setting an extremely slow pace and then sprinting home the last 4 furlongs which I usually bet against next out. My choice will be to make this one beat me and if he does, it is time to move on to another race. GAME WINNER-- Candy Ride- Indyan Giving By A.P. Indy. 5x5 To Mr Prospector. Candy Ride(see Vekoma above). Indyan Giving was unraced but her dam, Fleet Indian, won 13 of 19 lifetime starts but spent most of her career beating up on mediocre competition. After winning 2 G1s, she was pulled up in her final career start and did not finish the race in the G1 BC Distaff as the favorite. Game Winner's broodmare sire, A.P. Indy, won the G1 Belmont S and that year's BC Classic after scratching from the Ky Derby the morning of the race with a minor injury. In summary, Game Winner spent most of the early part of this year on my watch list and was still there until his run in the SA Derby. I know he was wide throughout(4 wide is not a good enough excuse, at least for me)to see him shorten stride in deep stretch which was the only reason Roadster caught him. Now he needs to go another 1/8 mile. Not for me against these. CODE OF HONOR-- Noble Mission- Reunited By Dixie Union. 4(C)x5(C)x4(F) To Norther Dancer, 5x4 To Blushing Groom, 5x5 To Mr Prospector. Noble Mission is a full brother to Frankel and won 9 of 21 career starts. However, all his starts was on grass in Europe where he was his best at 1 1/8 mile but running style, distance and even class does not necessarily transform into success or failure on dirt. Code Of Honor's dam, Reunited, won 5 of 10 lifetime starts with the 6 furlongs G3 Thoroughbred Club Of America S being her only graded stakes win. His broodmare sire, Dixie Union, won 7 of 12 lifetime starts with the G1 Haskell S being his longest win at 1 1/8 mile. However, Dixie Union is sire of 2012 Belmont S winner, Union Rags. In summary, I believe his Florida Derby race is a throwout simply because the pace was slower than most high claimers would be expected to run, much less G1 competition. His run in last year's Champagne S when 2nd is as good as anyone in this field, IMO, and there is a reason John Velasquez chose him over Pletcher's horse. He simply thinks he has a better chance to win with this horse. That said, I am still undecided if I will use him, but he is on my short list to consider. HAIKAL-- Daaher- Sablah By Distorted Humor. 5(C)x4(F)x4(F) To Mr Prospector. 5x5 To Northern Dancer & Buckpasser. Daaher won 4 of 9 lifetime starts with his biggest win in the G1 Cigar Mile H. Daaher's sire was Awesome Again, who won the BC Classic at 1 1/4 miles and also sired a BC Classic winner in Ghostzapper. Haikal's dam, Sablah was unraced. His broodmare sire, Distorted Humor, won 8 of 23 lifetimes starts including a pair of G2s 7 furlongs sprints at CD And Keeneland. Distorted Humor also was sire of 2003 Ky Derby and Preakness winner, Funny Cide. One more piece of his pedigree worth mentioning is Haikal's 3rd dam, Shadayid, ran 3rd in the 1 1/2 mile Epsom Oaks and spent the rest of her career mostly taking on the boys and running well against them. In summary, Haikal will be one of my top two choices, depending on the post position draw. And I will give you the reason why I like him. I mentioned earlier that trainers were creatures of habit. They figure out what works for them and then try to set up their other horses to follow the same path. McLaughin is 0-9 in his attempts to win the Ky Derby with one second place finisher. That second place finish occurred in 2005 when he brought a confirmed sprinter bloodlines wise, turned him into an off the pace type, spaced his races out and on paper, he looked to have no chance. Closing Argument used what he was taught to perfection and when he caught Afleet Alex at the wire, he costed me by far the biggest payday I will ever have an opportunity to collect on. If you look up Closing Argument and Haikal, you will see a very similar pattern, including both ran 3rd in their final prep. I let a one million dollar payoff get away from me that I really liked, but I do not plan on letting another get away, especially when the same trainer could be involved. HAIKAL WILL BE WITHDRAWN FROM THE KY DERBY PER HIS TRAINER MCLAUGHLIN. IMPROBABLE-- City Zip- Rare Event By A.P. Indy. 4x5 To Blushing Groom. City Zip won 9 of 23 lifetime starts, all sprints. However, he is a 1/2 to Ghostzapper. Improbable's dam, Rare Event, won 4 of 14 lifetime starts, all condition races and was unplaced in 5 stakes tries, mostly on grass. Improbable's broodmare sire, A.P. Indy, simply loved to run and he got better as the distances stretched out. And since I learned that the dam is as important as the sire in determining how far any horse wants to go, this will make him eligible to win as she not only has A.P. Indy on top but her dam(2nd dam of Improbable) is a 1/2 sister to Hard Spun, second in the 2007 Ky Derby after setting the pace. Also, being inbred 4x5 to Blushing Groom gives you another factor to consider. Blushing Groom had a heart not seen in most thoroughbreds and would always find more when challenged. And he passed this heart on to most of his foals. His best siring dirt son, Rahy, is sire of Serena's Song and broodmare sire of Giant's Causeway. In summary, my biggest concern with him is his jockey may ask him to go too early and not save enough for the stretch run. But Irad is known for leaving something in the tank for the stretch drive. Plus, since Baffert started sending horses to Arkansas, the one he thinks has the best shot to win ends up there. IMO, with Justify last year, he chose the race he thought would be easier to win and he need the win points more than place or show points to be sure he qualified. Baffert usually does not make mistakes if he has the horse. You have to beat him. He knows as much as anyone that SA dirt track results is usually speed favoring & track aided. His best shot to tied the all time record for wins in the Ky Derby by one trainer with 6. WAR OF WILL-- War Front- Visions Of Clarity By Sadler's Wells. 3(C)x3(F)x5(F) To Norther Dancer, 4x5 To Forli, 5(F)x5(F) To Lalun. Last seen getting crushed as the heavy favorite in the La Derby. But he had a legit excuse as he not only lost action but easily could had hyper extended a tendon. So, IMO, that race is a toss and he deserves another try. Since then, he is working like a horse on a mission and his bloodlines is screaming "do not toss". Everyone knows about Northern Dancer, but few knows about the two others who repeats in his pedigree. First, the filly Lalun was dam of Sadler's Wells broodmare sire Bold Reason, who ran 3rd in the 1971 Ky Derby, 5th In the Preakness and third in the Belmont S. Lalun is also dam of Never Bend, who also never bend and he was a refused to quit front runner who ran 2nd in the 1961 Ky Derby(to a late runner) after battling with and putting away two unbeaten horses and 3rd in the Preakness(behind the Ky Derby favorite and the Derby winner). He also was a top sire in Europe's distances bloodlines before he was overtaken by none other than Sadler's Wells. Forli, who appears 4x5 in War Of Will bloodlines, won his first 8 races in Argentina and then purchased by Arthur Hancock Jr to stand in the U.S. His best known son, Forego, was unraced at 2 YO and entered the Ky Derby as an outsider without a stakes win but finished 4th to none other than Secretariat. He would go on to be named Champion Handicapper Horse for 4 straight years, carrying as much as 137 lbs and winning 34 times in 57 lifetime starts. Forli's daughter, Special, was the dam of Northern Dancer's son, Nureyev and 2nd dam of the aforementioned Sadler's Wells. Another Forli's daughter, Tuerta, was dam of 1984 Ky Derby and Belmont S winner, Swale. In summary, while is last leads a big question mark(in most handicappers eyes), do you want to bet against the real speed if he has recovered? Your choice, but he will be included , especially underneath, on my tickets. His trainer, Mark Casse, has shown you his intentions and that is go for the lead to get a good position, then maybe rate behind battling front runners until given the cue to go entering the stretch, which is what wins most Ky Derbies. The main reason no one has won from the one hole since Ferdinand in 1986 is most simply did not have enough speed to get a good early position. This one does and if he breaks on cue, he will be gone before the others knows what hit them. Bloodlines is there and so is the front running speed with a jockey that rides front runners well. LONG RANGE TODDY-- Take Charge Indy- Pleasant Song By Unbridled's Song. 4(C)x5(C)x5(F) To Secretariat, 5x4 To Fappiano, 5(F)x5(F) To Northern Dancer. His sire, Take Charge Indy won the G1 Florida Derby, but finished 19 of 20th in the Ky Derby, beaten 50 lengths and beating only a UAE Derby winner who was pulled up and did not finished. His, broodmare sire, Unbridled's Song, also won the 1996 Florida Derby and G1 Wood Memorial, then open a clear lead in the Ky Derby before hitting that invisible wall that so many has found at the 1/8 pole and fading to fifth. In summary, while Long Range Toddy has a little more help underneath than his sire and broodmare sire, I simply believe he has peaked and will be no factor in this year's derby. Pass for me! TAX-- Arch- Toll By Giant's Causeway. 3x5 To Roberto, 4(C)x4(F)x 5(F) To Northern Dancer, 5(F)x5(F) To Secretariat. Tax's sire, Arch, biggest win came in the G1 Super Derby, where he beat a lackluster field after that race had lost most of its prestige. He would finish 9 of 10 in the G1 BC Classic, beating only a horse that was pulled up and did not finish in his only other G1 effort. Arch, as a sire, is best known for siring horses that found 1 1/4 miles just beyond their reach, though he is broodmare sire of 2012 Ky Derby & Preakness winner, I'll Have Another, but he had major help underneath. Tax's broodmare sire, Giant's Causeway, won 9 of 13 lifetime races, but finished 2nd beaten a neck, by Tiznow, in his only race on dirt with no more than 1 1/2 lengths separated the top two throughout. A Classic! Tax's dam, Toll, traces through her dam line back to La Troienne, considered by most to be the most influential dam in U.S. history. In summary, Tax is certainly bred to get the distance and would be no surprise, especially underneath, but I prefer others more. His trainer, Danny Gargan, is looking for his first G1 win and he is picking a tough spot to accomplish that feat, though he wins at 22 % and has an in the money % of 53. Not bad stats. COUNTRY HOUSE--- Looking At Lucky- Quake Lake By War Chant. Country House's sire, Looking At Lucky, won 9 of 13 lifetime starts, with his only two off the board finishes was in the Ky Derby in the slop, where he broke from the dreaded 1 Post, was boxed in throughout and never got to make a serious run until it was too late and his career finale, in the BC Classic, when 4th behind Blame and Zenyatta, though he got sick one week before that start and only ran because Baffert & the owners had announced he was retiring after that race. Looking At Lucky's sire, Smart Strike, is also sire of Curlin. Country House's broodmare sire, War Chant, won 5 of 7 lifetime starts, including the BC Turf Mile in his career finale. His only off the board finish is his career came in the 2000 Ky Derby when he finished 9th after running 2nd in the Santa Anita Derby. Most of Country House's underneath help topped out at 1 1/8 miles. In summary, if the pace is extremely fast, he will have a chance to get a piece underneath, but I doubt if the pace will be as fast as he will need. I have seen bigger shockers to hit the board in the derby, but I will pass. CUTTING HUMOR-- First Samurai- Pun By Pulpit. 4(C)x5(C) To Northern Dancer, 5(C)x4(F)x5(F) To Mr Prospector, 5x5 To Secretariat. His sire, First Samurai, won 5 of 8 lifetime starts, including two G1s as a 2 YO(Hopeful S & Champagne S), then won the G2 Fountain Of Youth via DQ at 3 but was caught late in that race by Corinthian, but the unofficial winner impeded the 3rd place finisher, costing him the win. In his next start, First Samurai, finished fifth and was no factor in the Blue Grass S, his only unplacing of his career. First Samurai has bred a mixture of sprinters/ milers with his best son, Lea, finding 1 1/8 miles was his limit in top company. Cutting Humor's broodmare sire, Pulpit, won 4 of 6 lifetime starts, including 2 G2 wins in the Fountain Of Youth in a good time of 141 4/5 for a 1/16 miles and the Blue Grass S but also finished 2nd in the G1 Florida Derby. However, in the Ky Derby, he alternated the lead with Free House for the first mile before fading readily in the stretch to finish 4th, beaten 7 lengths by Silver Charm and was retired after that effort. While he spent most of his career siring milers/ middle distance type horse, he is most famous as sire of Tapit(who got a lot of help from his dam) and Lucky Pulpit, sire of 2014 Ky Derby & Preakness winner, California Chrome(also with major help from the dam line). Interesting though,Cutting Humor has some serious mud influences in his 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th dam sires. In summary, I will not use this horse in any of my bets, simply because he does not have enough top runners to help him negotiate 1 1/4 mile. While the derby always seems to have one real outsider to finish 3rd or 4th, I would rather consider one who will be trying to pick up the pieces in deep stretch. WIN WIN WIN-- Hat Trick- Miss Smarty Pants By Smarty Jones. 5(F)x5(F) To Mr Prospector. His sire, Hat Trick, was an all or nothing miler while spending his entire career in Japan. But his sire, Sunday Silence, won the 1989 Ky Derby in the mud, and came back to out duel Easy Goer in the Preakness in one of the best and thrilling duels ever, before running 2nd to that rival in the Belmont S by 8 lengths. However, in that years BC Classic, he again managed to beat Easy Goer to make it 3 wins in their 4 meetings. Also, as a sire, he was sold to Japan interests for $10 million and led the sire list by far in every year he was at stud. His son, Deep Impact, took over where he left off and has led the sire list almost every year since. Win Win Win's broodmare sire, Smarty Jones, won 8 of 9 lifetime starts, including a muddy renewal of the 2004 Ky Derby and suffered his only career defeat in that year's Belmont S, while finishing second. However, Win Win Win is the only horse in this year's field that has 5 different Ky Derby winners showing in his 5 generation pedigree(Sunday Silence and Smarty Jones(see above), Unbridled(winner of 1990 Ky Derby and 2nd in Preakness), Foolish Pleasure(winner of the 1975 Ky Derby and 2nd in both the Preakness & Belmont S) and Cannonade(winner of the 1974 Ky Derby and he sports the same sire(Bold Bidder) as 1979 Ky Derby & Preakness winner, Spectacular Bid. Win Win Win also has 4 Belmont winners showing that does not include any of the above(Damascus who finished 3rd in the 1967 Ky Derby and then won both the Preakness & Belmont S. His sire, Sword Dancer, was second in both the 1959 Ky Derby & Preakness, before winning the Belmont S on a muddy track). Arts And Letters was second in both the 1969 Ky Derby & Preakness before winning the Belmont S and denying Majestic Prince a TC sweep) and Caveat(who ean 3rd in the 1984 Ky Derby and then returned to win the Belmont S, beating the famous Slew O' Gold by 4 1/2 lengths going away. In summary, I have not seen this many Ky Derby, Preakness and Belmont winners in one's pedigree in my more than 40 years of studying bloodlines and he will be included in all my bets, especially since Haikal may be a late scratch. GRAY MAGICIAN-- Graydar- Burg Berg By Johannesberg. 5(C)x5(C)x4(F)x5(F) To Mr Prospector. His sire, Graydar, won 5 of 6 career starts, including the G1 Donn H and G2 New Orleans H, both at 1 1/8 mile, both in gate to wire fashion and beating Flat Out both times, by 8 and 4 lengths, respectively. He finished his career winning the G2 Kelso H, also in gate to wire fashion completing the mile in 134.08. Gray Magician's dam, Burg Berg, spent her career racing in Southern California, winning the non graded Swingtime S At 1 mile on grass but also finishing 2nd in the G2 Royal Heroine S, also at 1 mile on grass. However, Gray Magician is a full brother to last year's G3 Robert B Lewis winner, Lombo, who then came back and showed the way in the G2 San Felipe S for 6 furlongs before McKinzie put him away. Their broodmare sire, Johannesburg, won his first 7 career starts, including the BC Juvenile Dirt in 2001 and then came back in the 2002 Ky Derby, and finished an even 8th, but broke from the dreaded 1 post and trapped inside, off 1 one mile prep in Europe as a 3 YO on grass. However, he is most famous known as sire of Scat Daddy. In summary, his effort in the UAE Derby when 2nd could be a signal he is starting to figure out the game as he was with the pace throughout, lost a little ground when in traffic, but when cleared he finished with a rush. I will caution you before you toss him, that he is the first runner heading into the derby that has worked not once, but twice at San Luis Rey Training Center and both works indicates he is ready. The problem with most UAE runners is they return(or ship over) and trainers will usually use caution and not work them, but expect them to perform in the biggest race against the best horses America has to offer being ill prepared. Not Peter Miller and he has called on Drayden Van Dyke to see it through. My longshot special underneath. SPINOFF--- Hard Spun- Zaftig By Gone West. 5x4 To Raise A Native, 5x5 To Native Dancer. His sire, Hard Spun, ran 2nd in the 2007 Ky Derby to Street Sense, setting all the pace, 3rd in the Preakness to Curlin, and 4th in the Belmont S to Rags To Riches and Curlin. He also ran 2nd to Curlin, in that year's BC Classic, contested on one of the sloppiest track you will ever see. Spinoff's dam, Zaftig, won the G1 Acorn S at 1 mile but also ran third in the first running of the 7 furlongs Listed BC F&M Sprint, ran in 119.90, on the then SA all weather track. Spinoff's broodmare sire, Gone West, was a miler during his racing career and was a champion miler sire, especially on grass and in Europe. His best dirt son, Came Home, went into the 2002 Ky Derby highly regarded with 6 wins in 7 lifetime starts but found the 1 1/4 mile distance a little longer than he liked, though he would later win the G1 Pacific Classic at 1 1/4 miles on speed favoring Del Mar race track. In summary, I simply believe he will not get this distance and he managed to hang around in the La Derby because the best pace type horse did not produce his best run. So, I will pass, mostly because there is plenty of speed that I believe will make him work. MASTER FENCER--- Just A Way- Sexy Samurai By Deputy Minister. 5x5 To Nearctic. His Sire, Just A Way, is a grand son of Sunday Silence and while I know very little about Japan's racing, he did run second in the Japan Cup. However, his sire is Heart's Way, who also ran 2nd in the Japan Cup but is best known in the U.S. as sire of Yoshida. Master Fencer's broodmare sire, Deputy Minister found 1 1/16 mile to be his best distance but was considered an early favorite for the 1982 Ky Derby before he was taken off the trail after 2 sub par efforts to begin his 3 YO season. As a sire, though, he is known for the fillies he sired including Go For Wand, Open Mind, Better Than Honour and colts Awesome Again, Touch Gold and Dehere. In summary, while Master Fencer is well bred and has all U.S. breeding throughout, I watched both of his preps and he came from last with a solid late kick to finish 4th, then 2nd. However, when he finished 2nd, he looked rank throughout(to me) and that does not usually end well in their next start. Now facing better horses and with one very slow work since arriving, I will have to pass on him. BODEXPRESS--- Bodemeister- Pied A Terre By City Zip. 5x4 To Mr Prospector, 5(C)x5(C) To Northern Dancer, 5x5 To In Reality, 5(F)x5(F) To Raise A Native. His sire, Bodemeister, won the G1 Arkansas Derby before running 2nd in both the Ky Derby & Preakness, all while prominent throughout. However, his pedigree literally screams late runner and I feel his best foals will come when trainers decides to let them rate. It has already happen with several of his foals and they have responded with a late kick like Empire Maker, A.P Indy and Roberto, all showing in his lineage. Bodexpress broodmare sire, City Zip, was best at sprint distances and most of his foals also is better at sprints on dirt and up to a mile on grass. In summary, I will not use this horse on any of my tickets. This is my pedigree summary for the 2019 Ky Derby. I have not decided if I will bet this race, simply because I will wait until I get a better feel of what the track conditions will be. I know rain is expected, but the weather forecast is often wrong, especially because rain will stop often before reaching the area suggested because the system will often weaken and break up or change directions before arriving. Where I live we have been expecting heavy rain for two days and it arrived this morning, sprinkled less than .01 of 1 inch and was gone in 15 minutes, even though the radar showed a heavy band of rain less than 40 miles away. If I choose to bet this race, all my tickets will reflect who I like best from the ones I am considering and I do not change my mind. I have never made any real money by betting horses I do not really like and bet only because the track conditions changes.
Saturday July 27, 2019 Saratoga Race Course Race: 9 (5:44 PM EST Post) Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes Mitole really needs no introduction as he has been taking the sport by storm of late. The son of Eskendereya has rattled seven straight, clear cut wins including back to back Grade: 1’s in his last two. This bay colt has recorded splits and final times that are off the charts good and consistent. Note the last seven speed figures as well as they range from 103 to 108. No way I try to beat him until he start showing some kinks in his armor…………………….The speedy Strike Power is clearly at his best game (sprinting) in this spot. After this big chestnut toyed with mid level optionals two back, he blew out of the gate, set a hot early pace and only one of the best horses in training today (Catalina Cruiser) was able to gun him down late. The slight cut back in distance should only help him here. Don’t worry about his one try over this surface being a bad one, his rider that day was on some kind of kamikaze mission as he forced this horse to run a :21.1 opening quarter mile. Between this horse, and the top pick, there might an interesting battle for early supremacy…………………………… Those of you who know me know I like Imperial Hint. This now six year old “little guy” is a running fool while winning 12 of 21 career starts. The problem is, after three straight defeats, are his best days behind him? I mean, his form *is\* showing a noticeable downward trend………………………..Honorable Mentions: Diamond Oops might quietly be sitting on a big one at what will probably be some long odds too. This son of Lookin’ at Lucky has cycled back into top form and looked good coming from behind to take down a Grade: 3 at Gulfstream last time out. With a plethora of speed to his inside, stretch runners like him are always dangerous in these kinds situations………………….If Belmont surface lover Firenze Fire couldn’t handle Mitole at Belmont Park, how will he handle him at ‘Toga? I don’t know… but he has run well, including back to back “trips” speed figures in his last two, so he deserves a “mention”…………….Mr. Crow looks overmatched in this spot but I did notice he is 2 for 4 at ‘Toga and 2 for 10 everywhere else. Race: 10 (6:18 PM EST Post) Bowling Green Stakes These marathon turf races are getting tougher and tougher to figure as the same group appears in the entry box and they take turns beating each other, with the winner (like normal) being the one who gets the best trip. I don’t know about you, but I’m treading lightly in this WIDE open contest. That said, I’m taking Yo Primo, who is another in a looooong line of runners Chad Brown brings in from other parts of the world, for several reasons. First off, you get the “fresh face” angle. Now tack on first time Lasix angle, the fact he is 5 for 9 in his home country of Chile (including four Group: 1 wins), he’s been lighting up stop watches in the mornings since his arrival, and note the final times of his last two starts/wins. 10 furlongs in 1:56.3? 12 furlongs in 2:24 flat? Those are stone cold racehorse times and if he duplicates either of those races in this spot, he’ll be long gone in the stretch………………..Arklow just missed in the Grade: 1 Man O’ War and in the Grade: 2 Belmont Derby in his last two. This stretch runner from the Brad Cox barn should be coming late once again here………………….13 time and multiple Graded Stakes winner Bigger Picture is a threat in just about any turf race he runs in. Still another who should be coming late………………….Honorable Mentions (and there are several due to the depth of this field): Zulu Alpha has won five of his last 10 races and just missed in the Grade: 1 United Nations at Monmouth last time out. This six year old gelding made a brazen, three wide move on the turn but was gunned down in deep stretch by a long-shot winner. Could be tough with a better timed move by his (new) rider……………….I love Sadler’s Joy heroic, late running moves. He habitually comes from 8, 10, 12 sometimes 14 lengths out of it early but always makes it interesting late. Although he’ll be making his first start in almost nine months it must be noted he has run big off layoffs several times in the past…………………….Channel Maker won this race last year and likes this turf course but is a little too inconsistent for my liking……………………..Did Highland Sky’s late running, wide tripped, close up third in his last signal some kind of return to form?.........................Argonne has won three straight vs. lesser. Steps up and stretches out but, with so many late runners in this field, he could be a menace late if left alone on an uncontested early lead. Race: 11 (6:51 PM EST Post) Jim Dandy Stakes Global Campaign is three for four in his career and was nothing short of brilliant in winning the Peter Pan Stakes last time out. This son of Curlin stalked a strong early pace, took over at the quarter pole, opened up on the field at that point and held sway late, beating eventual Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston in the process. Note the internal and final fractions of that race as they included a :48.2 middle half mile and a :12.1 final furlong. Having not run in two months, he should be a fresh horse and trainer Stanley Hough, who is no babe in the woods, should have him ready to fire……………………..I’m not sure if it was the 12 furlongs or the fact that Preakness winner War Of Will, who has had a tough campaign thus far in 2019, is showing signs of fatigue, to explain his disappointing effort in the Belmont Stakes last time out. Either way, although it might prove futile, I’m going to try to beat him here. One last thing, he has physically looked like a million bucks training for about the last week or 10 days……………….Tacitus is a gorgeous and well bred son of Tapit who possesses a good late run, one that he has used to win the Wood Memorial, finish third in the Derby and second in the (nightmare tripped) Belmont Stakes. This gray colt sports a record of 6-3-1-1 in his career and is a must use in any exotics betting scenario…………………………..Honorable Mentions: After winning the inaugural Oaklawn Park Invitational while getting the last furlong in about :12 seconds flat, Laughing Fox quietly made of the most impressive mid race moves I’ve seen all year in the Preakness Stakes, totally outrunning his almost 22-1 odds in the process. This $375,000 son of Union Rags was near last and some 25 lengths off the early pace that day but methodically starting “picking off” horses one by one down the backside, swung wide on the turn for home and finished full of run to check in fifth. Note, at the end of the day, he was beaten less than four lengths. Making up some 21 lengths, especially in classic race, deserves attention…………………..Although running a very, very respectable fourth, Tax found the 12 furlongs of the Belmont Stakes a little too much to handle. Colt by Arch cuts back to a more reasonable distance here and could be a menace………………………..Mihos is not as bad as his last race or two would indicate. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Race: 8 (8:30 PM EST Post) Bing Crosby Stakes Cistron blew the doors off of his competition in his return to the dirt while wiring the field in the Kona Gold two starts back. I know that this five year old, by the ridiculously fast The Factor, blew a three length lead at the top of the stretch in his last but it must be noted he set a supersonic early pace that day and that race was also at seven furlongs. Logically, the cut back to six furlongs plays right into his lap. Big work last week should have him “revved up” for this………………..Recruiting Ready has taken on some crack sprinters back on the East Coast, including the super-fast World Of Trouble and (getting beat by a half a length to) Catalina Cruiser his last time out. He will meet no such rivals here and figures bang up here, especially if he can adapt to the vastly different West Coast race tracks…………………. Jalen Journey won three straight vs. lesser before being nailed on the wire by Diamond Oops in the Grade: 3 Smile Sprint at Gulfstream last time out. It’ll be interesting to see if he can hold his form with a trainer change and a move to the West Coast………………..Honorable Mentions: Chief Cicatriz is a win machine as his 10 for 15 career record would indicate. However, this six year old son of Munnings will be swimming in much deeper waters here………………………Air Strike pulled a 12-1 upset when running down my top pick last time out. This son of Street Sense was 0 for his last 5 heading into that race and, although he might run well in this spot, I doubt he does it again. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 45-128 = 35% 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces **** Trainer Shug McGaughey said Code of Honor who will bypass the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes, will train up to the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 24. Owned by William S. Farish, Code of Honor was a recent winner of the Grade 3 Dwyer, following his second-place result in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. “I haven't decided, still on the fence,” McGaughey said. “He's made great progress here in the last few days and I'm probably leaning more towards the Travers as opposed to running in both, just to give him more time in between races.” **** Omaha Beach recorded his first work at Del Mar after being sidelined due to an entrapped epiglottis. The handsome son of War Front went three furlongs in :36 3/5 Tuesday with Alex Solis aboard "Everything's healed up and he's back in good shape," trainer Richard Mandella said. "Had a very nice first work today, :36 and a little change, and he galloped out (four furlongs) in :49. We scoped him afterwards and the throat looked good, so we couldn't be happier." Del Mar's Aug. 25 Shared Belief Stakes, run at a mile for 3-year-olds, is a possible comeback spot for Omaha Beach.
With the Kentucky Derby now just three weeks away, our highlighted race of the week will be the last prep race for the Derby in the Grade: 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We will also be looking at the Oaklawn Handicap, a Grade: 2, $750,000 nine furlong contest also for four year olds and up. Elsewhere, we will take a look at three Graded Stakes races at Keeneland Race Course. The Ben Ali Stakes for four year olds and up, the Jenny Wiley Stakes, an 8 ½ furlong test for four year olds and up fillies and mares on the turf and the Lexington Stakes for three year olds who are desperately trying for some last minute Kentucky Derby points in hopes that a win or a good showing will catapult them into this year’s “Run for the Roses”. Lastly, on Sunday we will be examining the Grade: 1, $750,000 Apple Blossom back at Oaklawn Park, another 8 ½ furlong race for four year olds and up fillies and mares. Saturday, April 13, 2019 Keeneland Race Course Race: 7 (4:24 PM EST Post) Ben Ali Stakes If you look up “racehorse rounding back into top form” in the dictionary you might see a picture of Flameaway. The one time Kentucky Derby threat ran a very good third in the Grade: 3 Mineshaft off a nearly six month break two starts back. I really like the way this $400,000 son of Scat Daddy won his last, as he took pace pressure every step of the way while wiring the field. That last race, back to back excellent works since and this being his third start off the layoff, all point to another good effort upcoming. Lastly, I don’t see him having any problems in what is projected to be an off track on Saturday.…………………….Based off his last two races, a win and a fast closing third, both at Laurel Park, Bonus Points also seems to be in peak form right now. The Todd Pletcher trainee draws a good post for his running style and should be coming late in this spot……………………… I know Solomini is quite popular but I’m not a big fan of his. In fact, I believe he is one of the most overrated horses in quite some time…maybe since Keen Ice. Yes, he’s a Grade: 1 winner and yes, he’s hit the board in 9 of 11 career starts but two facts stand out about him to me. 1) He’s won one race since that Grade: 1 win (a span of 16 months) and that was against $40,000 optional claimers and 2) the fact still remains he is 2 for 11 lifetime. This son of Curlin will likely be over bet in this spot. ………….Honorable Mentions: Third Day is a $575,000 son of the corvette looking Bernardini who did well to finish third in the aforementioned Mineshaft Handicap in his last. This handsome colt was trapped behind a slow pace yet finished just a neck behind Flameaway in that race and his one and only race in the slop was an impressive win. Bottom line here is, he could better this rating especially if the track does come up wet…………………The cleverly named Nun the Less looks better suited for the synthetics but note he is 2 for 2 on off tracks. Merits a longshot look if the rains come…………….First Mondays, a $450,000 son of Curlin who missed the break in his last, and Just Whistle, who was a good third in the Peter Pan Stakes last year, both could run well here and neither would be a huge surprise. Race: 9 (5:34 PM EST Post) Stonestreet Lexington Anothertwistafate rattled off three super impressive, large margined wins over the synthetics this year but looked just as good, if not better, in his neck loss last time out in the Sunland Park Derby on the dirt. This $360,000 son of Scat Daddy sat just off screaming early fractions (:45.3, 1:09.3, 1:34.3) before “running on” to just miss the win. Note the :24 second flat internal fraction as it’s the sign of a quality runner. If this handsome, smooth strided colt, who ripped a sensational half mile work for this (:46.4) last week runs well enough here to make it into the Derby (he’s on the threshold on points), no one better go to sleep on him as he appears to have big time talent and would pose an enormous threat………………….Based off his close up, on the board finishes in the Sham, Southwest and Louisiana Derby, Sueno clearly looks next best………………….I really liked Zenden’s Tampa Bay Derby effort at 20-1 in his last. This son of Fed Biz normally assumes a stalking position early on in his races but in the Tampa Bay Derby, this horse blew the gate and ripped off super fast fractions (:22.3, 45.4 and 1:09.3). He understandably tired late but I thought he did extremely well to finish fourth and was only be beaten by four lengths to the likes of Tacitus and Win Win Win. Looks best of the rest here………………..Honorable Mentions: Call me stubborn, but I’m STILL not giving up on the late running Roiland, who has a habit of running well at double digit odds………………Anyone have any idea what to do with Harvey Wallbanger, who wins the Holy Bull at 30-1 then comes back and completely tanks in the Florida Derby? Because I sure don’t. He’s a tough horse to play with such inconsistencies…………If you are hunting a longshot in this race, take a good look at Shang, who is a neck shy of being unbeaten in five starts vs. lesser. Although he obviously will be taking a huge step up in class, it should be noted he ran the last 2 ½ furlongs of his last race in an excellent :30.1, his speed figures are climbing, he handles the wet track very well and the #1 post at this meet is winning at 18% thus far. Race: 10 (6:12 PM EST Post) Jenny Wiley Stakes Rushing Fall is a very special filly. This gorgeous, $320,000 daughter of More Than Ready is 6 for 7 in her career, has already captured two Grade: 1 wins and, had it not been for a questionable ride when losing her one race by a neck, she could be unbeaten. There is nothing not to like about her as she can handle the distance, is adaptable to any pace scenario, handles any “give” in the turf and is 3 for 3 at Keeneland. If you are looking to beat her, which might prove futile, you can use the angle that this will be her first start in exactly 6 months but that’s not enough for me……………………I like Rymska. She is a big, all black (very rare) five year old mare who is 7 for 13 in her career. This multiple Graded Stakes winner could not have looked any better in taking down the Hillsborough at Gulfstream in her last and you get the third start off the layoff angle. Easily looks next best here…………………Bellavais has been gradually improving since October. $485,000 mare by Tapit finished very well in her last and won her previous time out, both at Gulfstream Park. It appears she too can handle a soft turf course and has been on the board in 10 of 15 career races…………….Honorable Mentions: Onthemoonagain is a French invader who has fared very well in all four U.S. starts. Chad Brown trainee could better this rating with the right pace scenario……………Got Stormy came back running off a long layoff when whipping high level optionals. Steps up but that race could set her up for a good effort here……………….The longshot horse in this race is Princess Warrior, who looks overmatched on paper but note her two races on off turf courses were both very good. Oaklawn Park Race: 9 (6:22 PM EST Post) Oaklawn Handicap After back to back big efforts at “big balloons,” Rated R Superstar has methodically worked his way back into what appears to be top form. Although his rider is ice cold right now, he does like this track and seems to be ok if it rains as expected. …my best guess in an extremely wide open horse race…………………….Giant Expectations disappointed as the 8/5 favorite in the Essex in his last. This 6 year old by Giant Frost chased Battle of Midway and McKinzie two back and wasn’t embarrassed by any stretch, so you know he has ability. It’s the consistency I question as he hasn’t won a horse race of any kind in 16 months. That said he looks next best…………….Quip was up against it when he had to chase the absolutely streaking right now Prince Lucky in his first race back off a long layoff. This good looking son of Distorted Humor did well to finish third in that race and should be tighter for this…………………Honorable Mentions: Tenfold’s claim to fame is running Justify to three quarters of a length in the 2018 Preakness Stakes. This son of Curlin was a very close up fourth in his first race since, handles the slop just fine and should improve off his 2019 debut. Figures close………………Lone Sailor figures to do his normal “drop way back early but come with big run late only to fall short late” routine. Logically, the faster the pace, the better his chances are and the pace figures to be honest in this race……………..Keep an eye on Chris and Dave here too if it rains. Although he seems overmatched, he is 4 for 6 on wet tracks…………..I got to spend several minutes up close and personal with Lookin’ at Lee last year at Saratoga before the Travers. He is a very nice looking, well made horse, but he just hasn’t run to those looks as his 3 for 21 career record would indicate. Race: 11 (7:43 PM EST Post) Arkansas Derby There are a lot of “moving parts” with the big, almost perfectly strided, Improbable, so this race should tell the tale of where we stand with him. His last race, The Rebel, didn’t answer any questions for me. In fact, it seems to have posed more. Let’s start with why he was run down in deep stretch by Long Range Toddy. Was it because he was “parking lot” wide, off a boneheaded ride by DVD, throughout the entire race and, with that being his first race in 10 weeks, maybe he understandably tired late? I don’t know, like I’ve said before, Baffert is the master at sending them out ready, regardless of the situation. Was it the City Zip breeding that is causing the dreaded distance limitation? I don’t know that yet either being he romped, not once but twice, at 8 ½ furlongs before. Whatever the answers are, I know this much….Baffert is not sitting on his hands with this gorgeous colt. I don’t blame him one bit for making a rider change (from DVD to Jose Ortiz) and he is adding blinkers in this spot as well. I absolutely LOVED his last work where, with blinkers on, he sat just off his work mate, passed him on the turn for home and was "reaching out" soooooooooo beautifully down the lane I mumbled “wow” while stopping the clock in either 1:13.3 or 1:14 flat depending on what racing publication you read. This might prove futile, but I am sticking with him until he proves otherwise. That said, this race is a “do or die” for him. He will need to step up right now, in this spot to remain a serious Derby threat………………………….Horse Racing is a lot like other sports in the sense that the best baseball/basketball/football team doesn’t always win, but more of who gets hot heading into the playoffs. In this case, it’s who is getting good at just the right time and, aside from Tacitus and perhaps Vekoma, is there another horse in the country who is getting good right now more that Omaha Beach? After losing a couple of heart breaking, maiden races earlier in his career, this very handsome, very well bred colt (by War Front out of a mare super sire from years ago Seeking the Gold) ran a hole in the wind in the slop to finally break his maiden two starts back. He won by 9 that day and stopped the clock in a blistering 1:21 flat for seven panels. His next and last start was in a division of the Rebel, where he assumed command early, fended off a few others early in the race and then dug in and fended off none other than Two Year Old Colt Champion Game Winner in a thrilling stretch run. The Rebel proved two things. 1) He can handle the route distance and 2) he has the guts of a tight rope walker. Back to back bullet works since the Rebel signal he is holding form and possibly getting better. Big Money Mike gets the leg up……………….The aforementioned Long Range Toddy is a stretch runner who is 7-4-1-1 in his career has never finished more than two lengths behind the winner in his three career defeats. That, readers, is consistency. He draws the extreme outside post which could actually help him in this spot and I love his work pattern since his Rebel upset (8-1) win……………….Honorable Mentions: Although Galilean was passed in the stretch of the Rebel by Long Range Toddy, I still like this very handsome, $600,000 son of Uncle Mo. After annihilating Cal-Breds in his two prior races, this colt, who has a very efficient and smooth stride, did very well to finish third, beaten by less than three lengths in his first try vs. open company and outside the state of California as well. Bottom line here is, he is no easy throw out……………………...Country House is another late runner who, on the surface, looks to be struggling a bit outside the friendly confines of Gulfstream Park but a closer look shows he had legitimate excuses both times. He broke slowly (again) and chased a streaking War of Will two back and, after you guessed it, breaking slowly again, he was ridiculously wide in the Louisiana Derby. That said, this son of Lookin’ at Lucky could be a menace with a clean break and what is projected to be a hot early pace………………….Gray Attempt has won 4 of 6 in his career and is 2 for 3 on this oval plus he recorded a monster work in the mud last week (5F- :58.3). The problem I’m seeing with him is a mile or a mile a sixteenth looks to be “all of it.” In other words, on paper he looks better suited to sprinting. Sunday, April 14, 2019 Oaklawn Park Race: 8 (4:42 PM EST Post) Apple Blossom This year’s renewal of the Apple Blossom features a rematch from the Azeri Stakes with two of the best older females in the land in Elate and Midnight Bisou and this race figures to be a doozy. Midnight Bisou, who I liked since early last year, got the better of it last time and I’m sticking to my guns that she has a world of talent, will continue to get better and have a tremendous year when it’s all said and done. Four year old by Midnight Lute is off to a good start (2 for 2) in winning the Houston Ladies Classic in January and the aforementioned Azeri in March. She “takes her racetrack with her” as she is 7 for 13 in her career while winning on four different ovals in all parts of the country. Lastly, I believe she still holds a fitness edge over main rival Elate as this will be her third start (off the layoff) while Elate will be making her second start in eight months…………………….Elate is clearly the main threat in this spot. Head hunters in New Guinea could see this two time Grade: 1 winner needed her last as it was her first start in eight months. Filly by Medaglia d’ Oro did very well to finish second in the Azeri when beaten by just one length as the even money favorite. When I was at Belmont Park (before heading over to Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial) last week, I heard several folks on the backstretch talk about how she may not be coming back the same as last year after, by trainer Bill Mott’s admittance, “a few minor injuries”. I’ll give her a mulligan for the Azeri but like Improbable this weekend, she needs to improve off the Azeri to prove that theory wrong………………….Wonder Gadot is another who probably needed her first race of 2019 when finishing second vs. optional $50,000 claimers on March 8 as it was her first start in over four months. Another daughter of “King of the (sales) Ring” Medaglia d’ Oro, this filly actually won two thirds of the Canadian Triple Crown (beating the boys) last year and still has that very long and flowing stride, which is especially good when on her right handed lead………………..Honorable Mention: Escape Clause is an absolute win machine while registering a mind boggling 20 wins in 30 career starts. Granted, she was beating up on far lesser competition at smaller tracks for most of it but still that’s quite a feat. That said, she did win a Grade: 2 at Santa Anita in January and could not have looked any better while blowing out her rivals at Sunland Park in her last. Mare by Going Commando (how did the Jockey Club miss that name by the way?), who stands for less than $1,000, won by 7+, getting a mile in a track record 1:34 flat. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 22-72 = 31% (My Plays: -$2,314.14) 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces ****Superstar Winx makes her final career start in the Group: 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick. If her win streak continues, this will be her 33rd straight win and 25th Group: 1. The scheduled post time is 11:05 p.m. ET on Friday, April 12th. **** Lady Pauline, a half-sister to Lady Aurelia, was an eye catching, first time out winner last week at Keeneland. Going off at an enormous 1-5 betting favorite, the Stonestreet homebred blew the gate and showed a very impressive speed to win by 9 3/4 lengths, stopping the clock in :51:3 for 4 ½ furlongs. We’ll need to keep an eye on her moving forward. ****In all my years of being involved in this sport, I’m not sure I’ve seen a stronger book of mares to be bred to one first year stallion ever. Justify, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Paris, KY., for $150,000, has the following list of mares booked: (although this is not all of them) A Raving Beauty Multiple G1 winner A Z Warrior G1 winner Afleet Maggi Dam of G1 winner Dream Tree African Jade Dam of G1 winner Lord Nelson Appealing Zophie G1 winner, dam of Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit Bar of Gold Won Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Bella Jolie Dam of champion sprinter Runhappy Birdatthewire G1 winner Blossomed Dam of G1 winner Sippican Harbor Brave Anna G1 winner Bubbler Dam of champion Arrogate Caledonia Road Champion 2-year-old filly Champagne Room Champion 2-year-old filly Charming Dam of champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi, Classic Strike Dam of G1 winner Union Strike Dazzling Song Dam of G1 winner Magnum Moon Diamondsandrubies G1 winner Diva Delite Dam of G1 winner Midnight Bisou Dream Dancing G1 winner D’Wildcat Speed Dam of filly Lady Aurelia Emma’s Encore G1 winner Found won Breeders’ Cup Turf Got Lucky G1 winner Grace Hall G1 winner Grazie Mille Dam of G1 winner Mo Town Groupie Doll Two-time champion female sprinter and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Havre de Grace 2011 Horse of the Year, sold for $10 million Ithinkisawapudycat Dam of G1 winner Sweet Loretta, Khancord Kid Dam of Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Bar of Gold Kosmo’s Buddy Dam of G1 winner Knicks Go Mining My Own Dam of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and G1 winner Dullahan Misty For Me G1 winner, dam of Cartier champion 2-year-old colt U S Navy Flag Moonshine Memories G1 winner Morena dam of Belmont Stakes winner Creator Noted and Quoted G1 winner Pretty ‘n’ Smart Dam of G1 winner Cupid Rare Event Dam of G1 winner Improbable Sambuca Classica Dam of champion 2-year-old male Classic Empire Silk and Scarlet Dam of G1 winner Master of Hounds Silky Serenade Dam of G1 winner Restless Rider, So Sharp of G1 winner Sharp Azteca Storm Dixie Dam of Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar Tapestry G1 winner Together Forever: G1 winner Turbulent Descent G1 winner Untouched Talent dam of G1 winner Bodemeister Vale Dori G1 winner Yellow Heat Dam of G1 winner R Heat Lightning Zipessa G1 winner
The Preakness should be a pretty good race to bet this year mostly because most have marks against them and the race looks wide open. This is the type of race I enjoy betting the most because there is always value if you can figure out who will move forward and who will regress or is simply outclassed. So my thoughts are below for those who likes an opinion of what might happen. Or maybe not, but I will at least take a small chance based on the way I see it.
War Of Will(4-1)---- I ended up betting him to WP in the Ky Derby when I saw the track was going to be sloppy. However, when he was going down the stretch the first time, it look to me like he was bothered by the kickback of the off track and took a while to get used to it. While he lost a couple of lengths when he got tangled up with MS and a couple of others, he was able to make most of it back up when MS swerved back towards the rail and bumped with COH turning for home. His jockey sensing he still was in the thick of it, used him pretty hard in the stretch and faded late. Since he has no works since that start that I can use as a measuring stick to how he came out of that start, I will try to beat him and will look at others to include in my exotics.
2) Bourbon War(12-1)---- Last seen running 4th in the Fla Derby where he had little chance of catching the pace setters through slow fraction for a G1 race. So that race is a toss for me. However, in the FOY, he was allowed to wait until the pace setters burned each other out and he was along in time to pick up the pieces. In the Preakness, he will be facing better horses than he faced that day, so I believe he will not benefit from tiring front runners in this race as much as he did in that race. And with the addition of blinkers, it helps some horses but is also a detriment to other horses by making them to keen to go to early. So while he definitely has a chance to win, I will be looking elsewhere. 3) Warrior's Charge(12-1)---- After opening his career with 3 thirds in three maiden special weights against several good sprinters, he has won his last two going away after being stretch out and being put on the lead, both in good times. Supplemented to this race for $150,000, he sports the same trainer as Monomoy Girl, who beat the best 3 YO fillies racing had to offer last year, using similar tactics. Warrior's Charge's sire Munnings, is a look alike replica of Secretariat, including the built, three white socks and the blazed face. However, he was bred with too much speed influence to resemble Secretariat on the track, though he is inbred to him. However, his broodmare sire, Broken Vow, is a son of Unbridled out of a daughter of Nijinsky II, so that should give him enough stamina to be a major factor, especially since starting with Warrior's Charge's 4th dam, you see, Roberto, Tom Fool, Princequillo, War Admiral and the best bloodlines racing had to offer in dams for generations on back. So, he will be included in my exotics. A definite in my trifecta and super boxes. 4) Improbable(5-2)----The morning line favorite for this race and off as the favorite in the Ky Derby, he really had no shot to win the derby as he was behind a wall of horses for most of that running with no room to get through until he was left with too much to do. With such a good jockey on him, you should have expected a much better ride than he actually got. Now Baffert goes to his main jockey over the last few years, gives his a horse a maintenance breeze, indicating he came out of the derby ready to get another shot at winning and he certainly would be no real surprise if he did just that. While I will definitely include him in my super box, at least, I will go for others in my exacta, trifecta and WP bets. 5) Owendale(10-1)---- Another trained by Brad Cox, his best race came in the G3 Lexington S and while it was decent, I believe he will need to step up his game to a level he has not shown yet to be a factor, so I will pass. 6) Market King(30-1)--- Another who will need by far a career best even to compete against these, so he is another pass for me. 7) Alwaysmining(8-1)---- I feel he is a wise guy type of horse and he has beaten very little except Win Win Win but that came on a good track and at a distance he should have like more than that horse. His trainer is trying for his first G1 win and he picked a tough spot to accomplished that. Even Signalman has beaten him and he simply looks like a horse for the course type and he has never won away from Laurel Park. Will make him beat me, especially at his projected odds. 8) Signalman(30-1)--- Here is one that would be a mistake to not at least consider. He has two starts this year, the first in the FOY when his trainer tried to get him ready by working him in a 46 3/5, followed by a slow work, then another good work, followed by another slow work, indicating he was not ready to fire. Then after two more good works to sharpen his speed, he ran him in the Blue Grass S on Keeneland's heavy speed favoring track, changed the horse's running style to keep him close to the pace and he flatten out late to just miss 2nd. He decided early to bypass the derby because he was on the outside needing a couple of scratches and pointed him towards this race instead. Four more solid works since the BG and he is sitting on ready. And for those of you who does not know who Ken McPeek is, he has trained a Ky Derby runner up in 1995(Tejano Run), A Belmont S winner(Sarava at 70-1 denying War Emblem a TC and beating Medaglia D'Oro in 2002), and a Travers DH winner(Golden Ticket at 30-1 finished in a DH with Alpha in 2012). He was also trainer of Take Charge Lady and more recently, Daddy's Lil Darling. I hope they let him off at 30-1 because I will slam them. On all my exotics bets. 9) Bodexpress(20-1)--- While still a maiden, he had a pretty good run going in the Ky Derby before he was taken up and lost all chance. However, he is bred to love the off going and it was probably the biggest reason he was still in that race that late. He probably will not get the conditions that will flatter his style in this start, so I will pass on using him. 10) Everfast(50-1)--- Will need by far a career best and I can not phantom where he will get that from. Pass. 11) Laughing Fox(20-1)--- His only race worth noting was the Ark Derby and someone had to run 4th in that race and the top two were much the best. So he will need a major improvement, just to get close to hitting the board, so I will have to pass. 12) Anothertwistafate(6-1)---- Another who I think will be overbet for what he has accomplished and both G3 defeats came against others who would look (or does) overmatched in here. Pass, not willing to accept low odds on this one. 13) Win Win Win(15-1) --- He was the horse I liked the most heading up to the Ky Derby, but I ended up changing my mind because of the sloppy conditions, his outside post on that track and his BG run gave me some doubt he could give it his best run after such a hard race to just become eligible. I usually find it hard to bet any horse in their next start(or I often regret doing so) after he checked and then had to closed that much ground in such a short stretch. And he ended up proving either that thought was right or that he was simply not good enough. I am going with the former thought because I know how difficult it is to close on sloppy racetracks without a blazing pace, something he did not get in the derby. He will be in all my exotics tomorrow. My Bets: $40 WP 8, $5 Ex Box 8-13, $2 Ex Box 3-8-13, $1 Tri Box 3-8-13, $3 Tri Key 8 With 3-13 with 3-13, $4 Tri Key 8-13 with 8-13 with 3, .10 Super Box 3-4-8-13, $2 Super Key 8 With 3-4-13 with 3-4-13 with 3-4-13. Total Cost $136.40. Good Luck To All!!
Church Downs returns to their normally schedule time this week after racing in the evening last week. While I was close in my analysis of most of these races last week, close is not good enough for me and I expect improvement from myself. Near misses does no more good than missing badly. Below is my analysis for this Saturday at Churchill Downs. Race 1: $40,000 Claiming--- 3 YOs---- Purse $38,000--- 7 Furlongs: 7) Voo Doo Doc(4-1)is my choice to win. He is making his first start beyond 5 furlongs which his bloodlines suggest he needs at least 5 1/2 furlongs, but 6 furlongs to a mile is even more preferable. His sire is a son of Galileo, but did not figure into my analysis because both were multiple G1 winners on grass, but bombed in their only attempts on dirt. Broodmare sire, Smoke Glacken, was very speedy and took his field as far as he could which was around a mile though most of his graded wins came at 6 and 7 furlongs. 4) The Sicarii(5-1) is my choice for 2nd. He looks like he is circling back into top form after just missing in his last in an allowance at Thistledown. However, he broke his maiden at Saratoga and his only other win has been at this track, for the same connections. Good work since his last signals he is feeling good, also. 1)Tobacco Road(2-1) is my choice for third. He looks like he is circling back in form, also, but it is more due to the class relief he got in his last than his current form. Now he takes another big drop and looks like the one to beat on paper. However, he has no works since his last, something his trainer is not known for. Usually even a slow work is his trademark and I would use caution before putting him in the top two spots. Looks more likely that he is trying to get a future headache with limited ability taken off his hands for as much as possible. No positive signals, at least for me. 5)Charlie'sarchangel(4-1) is my choice for fourth. After two failed chances at 1 1/16 mile, he is being shortening back up to a distance that should fit him better. He also has 3 decent works since his last and should may his presence known. Since he taking a step up in class(several by the way conditions is wrote but minor by the takers), I believe a battle for third is his best logical finish. Bets: WP 7, Ex Box 4-7, Tri Box 1-4-7, .10 Super Box 1-4-5-7, Super Key 7 with 1-4-5 with 1-4-5 with 1-4-5. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 2: Maiden Claiming $40-30,000--- 3 YO & Up--- Purse $34,000--- 1 1/16M: 10) Harper's First Ride(15-1) is my choice to win. He has a long series of works dating back to the beginning of Oaklawn's meeting but most were on the slow side. Then he was brought to CD and saw a small improvement before the trainer decided to change tactics and put him through several stamina works, which was very common in the 1980s to get horses to run big but not seen very often since. But his trainer was one of those that used this tactic on several occasions with success, mostly at Oaklawn and Churchill Downs. His last work signals that it helped. His sire, Paynter, began his career breaking slow and it took Baffert several starts and a stretch out in distance to get him to run the way Baffert prefers, near or on the lead. His broodmare sire, Tizwonderful, won his first 3 starts, including 2 graded stakes at CD before an injury forced him to the sidelines. When he returned 10 months later, he saw the competition had improved while he was idle and did little in 2 starts before retiring. 4) Jacks Fire Balls(15-1) is my choice for second. He, too, started working out early at Oaklawn's meet and worked better than my top choice but still a little on the slow side for the most part. But he improved immediately when brought to CD with a couple of nice works. Then he made his first start and broke last, virtually eliminating his chances of making an impact, which is fairly common for first time starters. But he is bred for speed, especially since his broodmare sire is Candy Ride, a very speedy runner and sire of high speed runners. I expect him to be near or on the lead with these. 9)Passion Play(3-1) is my choice for third. He ran three decent races to begin his career, including trying to take the field from gate to wire in the last of those, then tailed off with three lackluster performances. Since his works have been pretty fast before all those starts, he may be a need the lead type to perform his best. Expect him to be on the lead and if he gets away with slow fractions, like his near miss race, he may take them all the way because there does not look like another horse like Laughing Fox signed up for this test. 7)Georgia Deputy(20-1) is my choice for 4th. He is one of two first time gelding in here. After four tries of practically trailing the field, the first three against horses that would run away and hide from this field, He showed slight improvement in his fifth start, after a drop in class. He was raised back up a couple of classes in his last, and while not very good, still was an improvement over his first four starts. Then gelded and three more works, he may be ready for a wake up call. His trainer, Petalino, has a poor win percentage the last 5 or 6 years, but he still has a 14% lifetime win percentage and 39% in the money. Worth a shot, but anyone in the field can land in this spot. Bets: WP 10, Ex Box 4-10, Tri Box 4-9-10, .10 Super Box 4-7-9-10, Super Key 10 with 4-7-9 with 4-7-9 with 4-7-9. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 3: O/C $100,000--- 3 YO Fillies--- Purse $99,000--- 7 Furlongs: 2)Profound Legacy(12-1) is my choice to win. After winning her first two starts, she found it difficult to match early strides with Serengeti Empress in her next two starts, won by that rival by 13+ and 19+ lengths. She is making her first start this year, adds blinkers and though I would have liked a little better workout pattern, I don't think there is an SE in here. 6)Catherinethegreat(7-2) is my choice for 2nd. She has made two starts this year. In her first, on grass, that was just on out to get her fitter, Then when entered back on dirt, she lead until deep stretch before tiring, indicating that grass start helped immensely. Now, she should be ready to give her best effort and will win if others lets her get an easy lead. 3)Whoa Nellie(3-1) is my choice for third. While it looks like she is taking a small step down in class, she actually is taking a small step up from N/W 1 other than to N/W 3 lifetime. Good work since her last race indicates she is ready to take the next step in her conditions. 5) Into Trouble(5-1) is my choice for fourth. While the 4 horse in here has beaten her in their last two starts, I believe those races took more conditioning out of her than this choice. While most thinks a horse that wins their last will run that same race back, that is a misconception that will lead to big profits if you can identify when a poor race will result because of that/those recent efforts. I also include close 2nd and 3rd place finishes in that group because they usually are giving it their best effort. Into Trouble is also adding blinkers for this test, so that should keep her in more focus. Good back class also. Bets: WP 2, Ex Box 2-6, Tri Box 2-3-6, .10 Super Box 2-3-5-6, Super Key 2 with 3-5-6 with 3-5-6 with 3-5-6. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 4: Maiden Special Weights---- 3 YO & Up---- Purse $95,000--- 1 1/8 Mile Turf: 11)Cowboys Dream (20-1) is my choice to win. He has made 10 starts, with a second on grass and a third in an off the grass dirt try in his last. That race marked his fourth try on dirt, including three off the grass attempts, and they all proved he does not like the dirt at all. Of his 6 grass attempts, only his second was the only time he was tried on that surface at a distance over a mile and he just missed when he could not catch the front running speed on a turf course labeled firm, but was heavy by the track variant. His last race is signaling he is ready to graduate, all he needs is his preferred distance and surface. All he gets in this race. Dam won only on grass. but second dam, Chapel Of Dreams is a multiple G2 SW and G1 Placed and a 3/4 sister to Storm Cat. The only difference in their pedigree? Storm Cat was a son of Storm Bird, a son of Northern Dancer while his 3/4 sister was a daughter of Northern Dancer, one of the greatest grass sires in history. 12)Callmecash(20-1) is my choice for second but I hate to put him that far down, but do so because of his post position and I believe my top choice will get the jump on him. However his sire, dam and broodmare sire all were G1 SWs, with the sire and BM sire both winning at 1 1/4 mile while the dam scored her biggest win on the AWT at 1 1/16M in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Actually, her only off the board finish in 7 career starts was her only dirt attempt. Callmecash last 2 races signals he is starting to figure out the game, but probably needs a little more distance to be at his best. Like my top choice, he gets it this time but with improvement showing. 9) Big Beautiful Wall(5-1) is my choice for third. Like my top two, his last two signals he is figuring the game out as well. His trainer, McGee, sports terrible winning percentages in his recent stats, but he is 18% and 46% ITM lifetime and his only G1 win came on the grass. While he wins more on dirt, you should not discount him because of his recent stats. He looks like the only speed in here, as others seems to prefer to make a late run. And if they let him dictate a slow pace, he will pull away and win in the stretch. 4) Split The Wickets(15-1) is my choice for 4th. He is making his first career start on grass, after making his first five on dirt. However, his sire, Gio Ponti, won his first career start that came on grass and would later win back to back titles as U.S. Older Champion Turf Horse. He spent most on his career on grass, but did try the AWT twice. First time, he was a fast closing fifth in the Strub S and then was second in the BC Classic, where he looked like an easy winner until Zenyatta came cruising by. There are others in here that could win with their best effort, but I always draw the line at one for each position, then back them up by boxing the minimum in each exotic. Bets: WP 11, Ex Box 11-12, Tri Box 9-11-12, .10 Super Box 4-9-11-12. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5th Race: Claiming $20-17,500--- 3 YO & Up F&M--- Purse $34,000--- 1 1/16 Mile: 5) Absolute Love(8-1) is my choice to win. She won her third start back, then did not show anything when taking a significant rise in class. Then she chased the only speed in her last after being dropped a couple of classes below her winning level. Now on her third start since that win, I look for her to sit just off the early speed and move to the front as they tire, which is how she won her first two starts. In this class, a slightly off the pace move should be ideal. 9) Charming Dixie (5-1) is my choice for second. She is making her fourth start this year and also her fourth start since her last winning effort. So it is obvious that she began the year off form, but her last race suggests she is regaining that form. She would be my top choice against these, but I believe the 5) will get the jump on her and prove very difficult to chase down. 3) Turkmenistan (10-1) is my choice for third. She also is working on her 4th start since her last winning effort. While I don't believe is quite at her best yet, mostly because of her last and first try on grass, she should have gotten enough out of that effort to move another step closer to her best. She has made 8 lifetime starts and her best showings has been when she lags early near the back and comes with a rush late. In fact, the two times when she was asked to track the speed resulted in her worst two finishes. And since has two wins and two thirds in her career, I will place her third, simply because I believe my top two will proved difficult to run down. 2) Murika (9-2) looks the best of the rest and will be my choice to finish 4th. While she has three pretty hard efforts in four starts this year, something I am always on the lookout for form decline, her trainer has a high enough win % to include her and this is her second effort since being claimed and put in his care. One pretty good work in the mud since her last does little to indicate if she has retained her best form. But each trainer has his own methods to workouts and he could feel she does not need anymore to retain her form. Bets: WP 5, Ex Box 5-9, Tri Box 3-5-9, .10 Super Box 2-3-5-9, Super Key 5 with 2-3-9 with 2-3-9 with 2-3-9. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6th Race: Claiming $30-25,000--- 3 YO & Up---- Purse $36,000--- 6 1/2 Furlongs: 1)Singapore Trader(20-1) is my choice to win. He made one lifetime start and finished second to a runaway winner in a maiden claiming race, who return to face winners for the first time. Now you can say my top choice's trainer has no ideal of what he is doing, but I know he has spent most of his career spotting his horse in the correct spot, especially when they tend to be overlooked. While that is good enough for me as I have capitalized on his maneuvers many times, this horse's breeding makes the risk less likely to miss. Two good works since his last indicates he has some talent and should move forward off that learning experience. 6)His Giant (15-1) is my choice to finish 2nd. He broke his maiden in his first start and was asked to beat much tougher in his next two.Now entered below the claiming level of his maiden win, he should find this class more to his liking. Five works since his last start, including his last three, should set him up perfectly for this effort. His trainer, Gary Thomas, has been around since the 1970s and still has a 13% winning and 38% ITM lifetime, though that has fallen in recent years as he has curtail his trainees since 2004. 5)All Around (8-1) is my choice for third. He ran 2nd in his third start back in a class similar to this one but restricted to 3 YO. His next start, he made a slight move to get into contention against slightly better, then hung in the stretch. Then he was entered in a grass race that was taken off the grass and ran on the AWT and after setting the pace for a half, then faded and finished last(4th). But his pedigree does not really support grass or AWT in the least. Even his dam won all 6 of her starts on dirt against NY breds, including a couple of stakes restricted to NY breds. Now on a 15 day turn around between starts, he should produce a run like his maiden win or his third start back. 3)Our Stormin Norman(5-1) is my choice for 4th. he is making his first start this year after making 2 each in the last two years. He has 5 works in preparation of this start, including two that suggests that he will wing it and take the field as far as he can, though I don't believe he has enough conditioning to win this race. Bets: WP 1, Ex Box 1-6, Tri Box 1-5-6, .10 Super Box 1-3-5-6, Super Key 1 with 3-5-6 with 3-5-6 with 3-5-6. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 7: Allowance---- 3 YO & Up F&M---- Purse $97,000 --- 6 1/2 Furlongs: 3) Devilite(10-1) is my choice to win. However, first i want to mention that if you look at her 2nd start back, you will notice the conditions N/W$Y. This used to confuse me as I thought horses entered in these races were running against better competition, but actually, in this case; it is with the same conditions as her N/W1X races. Both conditions means they have not won one allowance or stakes race, but could have won a maiden and several claiming races and even several allowances or stakes restricted to state bred races. The reasons I like her is jockey/trainer connections and her bloodlines. This is her dam's first foal and they tend to be on the smallish side, though I have not seen her yet to confirm if that is rhe case with this one. However, her 2nd dam is a G1 SW and third dam is a multiple G3 winner. 6) Meadow Dance(2-1) is my choice for second. While she is the most probable winner in this race; I will try to beat her. However, her trainer, Brad Cox, has done wonders, especially his fillies trainees, taking horses who tolls most of their careers in condition allowances or high claiming races into stakes winners, many of them into graded stakes winners. His latest project? Beau Recall.In five races after being sent to him after tolling in top company in Southern California, he has double that horse's career earnings made in her first 17 starts, winning a G2 and finishing second in a G1 to Rushing Falls. So what is he doing that is so right? He takes horses and finds an easy spot to rebuild their confidence and let them decide when it is time to rise in class, not the other way around like most trainers. You treat a horse right and they will do their very best to please you! Meadow Dance is making her first start this year but he has given her a series of six works, all not too fast but fast enough that she will be a factor against these. Also, since she is making her first start as a 3 YO, I look for her to rate and come storming home. 8) Urban Insight(5-1) is my choice for third. She has made 2 starts this year, first breaking her maiden and next running a close second in this condition and class in her next start. While I normally do not like betting a horse back and such a hard effort in her first try against winners. However, since her sire is Street Sense, who most know or herd about, her broodmare sire, Wolf Power, is one most do not know. A grandson of Round Table, he won 18 of 31 starts in his native South Africa and was Champion 2 YO, Champion 4 YO and S.A. Horse Of The year, displaying high speed. And he passed it on to many of his foals born in the U.S., though most can rate if needed. 9)Sworn Silence(6-1) is my choice for fourth. After her 2 claiming win, she tailed off was was off form for four full races nut on her fifth showed signs on returning to top form. There goes my theory of four races to return to top form, right? Well, not quite. She was claimed out of her second off form race and was given an almost 6 months break, probably to give the trainer time to figure out what he got. When she return she ran two more dull races and then came to life in her third after dropping in class. She responded in her four start of this year by winning in a slight rise back up in class. One work since that effort signals she is ready to try to run though her conditions, though she picked a tough spot for her first condition. Bets: WP No Bet, Ex Box 3-6, Tri Box 3-6-8, .10 Super Box 3-6-8-9. Super Key 6 with 3-8-9 with 3-8-9 with 3-8-9. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 8: O/C $80,000--- 3 Yo & Up F&M--- Purse $101,000--- 1 Mile. 8) Cosmic Burst (8-1) is my choice to win. When you first look at her form, she looks off form. But after a series of serious works to help her return to top form, she ran an even race in her first start this year. Out of that race, she had one dull work, signaling she had not return to form yet. So the trainer decide to send her in her next start and she faded. Now, a better work since that start prompts her trainer to rise her in class, though she still looks off form. However, that is something good trainers rarely do and that signals to me that Von Hemel thinks she is approaching top form. Also, she has face off with graded stakes winner She's A Julie, a third to Elate in last week's G1, three times with the latter winning twice and Cosmic Burst returning the favor in the ungraded Zia Park Oaks, though it offer more purse money than the two G3s she got beat in by that rival. And there is nothing in here that even resembles She's A Julie, much less has her class. 3) Divine Queen (7-2) is my choice for second. Since her win in the listed Dogwood S at 7 furlongs at 51-1, she has gotten trampled in every other stakes try. However, she is working on her third start since her last big effort, a close second in a class level slightly lower than this race. However, she was overmatched in G1 competition in her next start, then improved significantly when dropped down to a G3. This actually my third race back angle, a hard race, followed by a dull race, then improvement in her next and she could be sitting on a major effort. My biggest question mark is her trainer, who is known for bringing big surprises in, but often flops when his horse is expected to run big. Your call! 2)Clever Serve (5-1) is my choice for third. While she beat my top choice for her only stakes score, it came just after she beat Asmussen's better horse in the race before, which probably left my top choice drained and heading off form as the track(Zia Park) she raced on does little to help maintain fitness. It took this one 13 starts before she finally broke her maiden and three races later, was claimed by her current trainer. Since the claim, she has posted a 4-5-5 in 15 starts, but with the exception of her only stakes win, all have came against lesser class. She has 2 good works since her last on a track known for fast times, so I would still proceed with caution. 7) In The Mood (6-1) is my choice for fourth. She had four dull starts since her last winning effort before coming alive again in her last start, signaling a return to her best form. Her trainer is fairly new to the game experience wise and that could possibly be the reason for this one needing the extra start before returning to form. Whatever the reason, after her dull grass try, he worked her out twice in fast time followed by an much slower but nice work and she responded with her best effort in six months, something he did not do before that grass effort. Now two more nice works since that effort and she could surprise with her top effort. Bets: WP 8, Ex Bos 3-8, Tri Box 2-3-8, .10 Super Box 2-3-7-8, Super Key 8 with 2-3-7 with 2-3-7 with 2-3-7. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Race 9: O/C $62,500--- 3 YO & Up ----- Purse $99,000 ---- 1 1/16 Mile Turf: I know there are a few who will not like this choice, but I like the 7) Funny Duck(15-1) to winner. He upset the Pat Day Mile on derby day last year but it was more due to he was bred to love the mud than his ability on fast dirt. However, he spent the rest of the year trying to impact top dirt runners and was overmatched in each with the exception o his last start at 6 1/2 furlong on grass, a distance too short for his bloodlines. Distorted Humor spent his career chasing the best sprinters/ milers around and was never tried on grass. As a sire, he is known for siring grass runners and off track specialists. His sire, Forty Niner is a son of mud loving sire Mr Prospector and his broodmare sire, Danzig, is known for siring off track lovers along with top sprintemilers grass runner. However, my main reason for liking Funny Duck in this spot is his dam, Slow Down, who started her career in France and later was sent to the U.S. where she won 2 with 2 seconds and 1 third in 8 tries, all in the money efforts at 1 1/16 miles on grass. Her only unplacings in the states was at 6 1/2 furlongs, 1 mile & 1 1/4 mile, all on grass. Funny Duck's first start this year came on fast dirt and now he not only returns to the surface he was bred for, he goes back to the distance he should enjoy the most. He has three solid works since his first start and he is ready to surprise. 11) Another (5-1) is my choice for second. While I am usually worry that the distance may be a little long for a War Front line foal( grand sire of Another), in this case I am not as his sire scored both his major grass wins at 1 1/16 mile. Then Another's dam, Gloria S, is an unraced 1/2 sister to I'll Have Another, winner of the 2012 Ky Derby & Preakness S. While his work pattern is off slightly from the way I like best, his trainer is known for making the right call much better than me. 1)Neepawa (10-1) is my choice for third. At first glance, it looks like he may want more distance than this race offers because he won last year's final leg of Canadian's Triple Crown at 1 1/2 miles. However, while his bloodlines hints that distance is possible, this distance seems like a better fit. The win showing on his past performance was restricted to Canada Bred 3 Yo, but his only other win in his career came at 1 1/16 mile on grass in a maiden race. But he also has several big effort in Canada's biggest race at 1 1/16 mile, both on AWT and grass, a couple while he was still a maiden. He has three starts this year after an exactly 6 month break, and his last is a toss because it was on a sloppy dirt track and his first start on that surface and he obviously did not want any part of it. Nice easy breeze since that effort and he looks ready to me. 9)Convict Pike (15-1) is my choice for 4th. He is making his first start of the year off 4 average works. But he has won at 7 1/2 furlongs on grass in his maiden race and a mile is his other win at Ky Downs. But he has gone further on the AWT while sitting closer to the pace than his last few efforts shows he can. Only reason I can see might be he dislikes the softer ground, which some grass horses do. Bets: WP 7, Ex Box 7-11, Tri Box 1-7-11, .10 Super Box 1-7-9-11, Super Key 7 with 1-9-11 with 1-9-11 with 1-9-11. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10th Race: Roxlana Overnight S--- 3 YO & Up Fillies--- Purse $120,000--- 6 Furlongs: 10) Mia Mischief (8-5) is my choice to win. While she won her last, beating a tougher field than most of these have ever seen while attaining her career high speed figure by a few points, it simply signals that she had to run her best to beat them and those who backed her got rewarded about as well as could be expected, for a proven top class filly. Now the question is does she regress slightly or does she bounce(performance drops off significantly). She has 5 works since that effort and follows the pattern that suggests she will retain her fitness for this test. Also, the fact her races have been spaced out for most of her career signals her trainer knows when she is ready for another tussle. 5) Astrointhepark (12-1) is my choice for second. She has made one start this year, a race where she hung in deep stretch and had to settle for second. She entered that start off a series of fast works followed by two slightly easier works to signal her readiness and basically confirms that a top trainer is following the pattern I have picked up on through years of research. This trainer, by the way, is trainer of 2 Ky Oaks winners and one Ky Derby second, so he knows much more about physical shape than I could ever hope to learn. Astrointhepark has one easy work since that start, signaling the trainer is pleased with her conditioning and expects an improved effort in this test. 1)Awestruck (12-1) is my choice for third. She won her second race back in the slop, then got in tight in the turn and had to steadied again turning into the stretch, resulting in what looks like a less than inspiring performance. While that effort should be dismiss as not her best effort, the jockey did an excellent job of reserving her energy after he realized he had little to no chance of winning that race. Slightly disappointed the trainer decided to use another jockey in this race and that is the reason she will be my third choice and not my second. One excellent work since that effort and she looks ready to rebound. 2)Covfefe (8-5) is my reluctant choice for fourth. While she shattered her old top rating in her last, she is the prime candidate for a bounce. Every one of the good fillies that set a new career high rating as a 3 Yo in the last few years, including my top choice, bounced big in their next out. But most only improved 4-6 points from their previous high, while she jump over 20 points from hers. So she either improved that much over night or she will bounce against these and while it could be either, I believe it will be the latter but if she runs near her previous high, it will be good enough to obtain a piece but not good enough to win this race. Her trainer has put three nice easy works in her since that effort. Bets: No WP, Ex Bos 5-10, Tri Box 1-5-10, .10 Super Box 1-2-5-10, Super Key 10 with 1-2-5 with 1-2-5 with 1-2-5. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 11: Maiden Special Weight--- 3 YO & Up F&M---- Purse $95,000--- 6 1/2 Furlongs: 6) Proudly Pacific (15-1) is my choice to win. First, she is a full sister to 2008 Ky Oaks and Alabama S winner, Proud Spell, and this trainer's first of two Ky Oaks winners. After a failed try of adding blinkers before her 2nd start, the trainer has decide to remove them for this race and her first start without them was her best effort yet. But her full sister, Proud Spell, never even experimented with blinkers and came from a full lengths behind the pace setters and kicked clear in most of her 7 wins in 13 lifetime starts while on the board in all her starts. One easy work and change of tactics by letting her rate could be all she needs to graduate. 9) New Hope Road (12-1) is my choice for second. She has a series of 12 mostly average works with her last two signaling she is nearing her best shape for her first effort. While her sire, Quality Road, will draw some bets on her mainly because he is a good sire and throwing solid runners, most will miss New Hope Road's dam family. Third dam is Weekend Surprise, the dam of A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, and Honor Grades among her sons bur several good producing daughters also. All she needs is a good break, which is a concern with first time starters, and she could be long gone if she runs to her pedigree, which the better ones have. 11) Risky Mandate (5-1) is my choice for third. She has shown some possible talent in all of her five works in preparation of her first career start. However she also showed some talent last year in six works, but trainer apparently decided to give her more time to develop. A minor concern is none of her works listed came from a gate but trainer's trainees normally performs well when they show a little talent in their works. 2) Girlfriend Rocket (9-2) is my choice for fourth. While she has three starts, none since January, she really only has two efforts because she fell just after the break and managed to walk off in her first career start. She has five recent works since that effort, all average, a trademark employed by her trainer when he thinks he has their talent level figured out. An $800,000 2 YO in training purchase means several people liked her looks and her training sessions, though that usually means they are simply taking a big risk and paying way too much for a chance at glory. It works sometimes, but most of the time they end up being flops.
When is the Preakness Stakes? Saturday, May 15th, 2021 -- it is ALWAYS THE SECOND SATURDAY IN MAY after the Derby . The Gates Open at 8AM EST and the First Race Post Time is 10:30AM. The Preakness Stakes Post Time is 6:05PM EST . Brief History of Preakness Betting and the Preakness Stakes The Preakness Stakes betting odds are finally determined by the pari-mutuel system at the track which means your potential payout depends on how much money is in the pot overall, divided by how many bets are placed. The odds will fluctuate in the build-up to the race and never more so than in the final few moments before post time. Preakness Stakes prop betting. As well as those popular bets listed above, you’ll also find a series of prop bets based on the Preakness Stakes.. Many of these will involve the winner of the Kentucky Derby, which will be the horse making the headlines in the lead up to the race.. With some betting sites, you might be able to place a bet on head-to-heads, which include the Kentucky Derby Preakness Stakes Horse Betting. As the traditional second leg of the US Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing, the Preakness Stakes is usually run each year exactly two weeks to the day after the Kentucky Derby.Three weeks after the Preakness, the Belmont Stakes usually culminates the Triple Crown as the final leg.. That is what makes the Preakness so important each and every year. The Preakness Stakes takes place this Saturday on May 18. Check out our 2019 Preakness Stakes betting odds and trifecta, superfecta, and exacta picks. 2019 Preakness Stakes Trifecta, Superfecta, and Exacta Picks 2019 Preakness Stakes Event Info When: Saturday, May 18 Where: Pimlico Racecourse, Baltimore, MD TV: NBC Live Stream: Pilmico.com 2019 Preakness Stakes Betting Odds War of Will +280
Andy Serling offers his analysis on the full field of 13 runners in the #Preakness, including a cast of new shooters and some returnees from the Kentucky Derby aiming to win the middle jewel of ... In Horse Racing the Preakness Stakes 2019 is here. We give our betting predictions, and analysis on the Preakness. We gives out our favorite to win the race with the Preakness States along with ... Eddie Olczyk joins The Daily Line to give his picks for the Preakness Stakes and outlines the entire field with Michael Jenkins and Tim Murray. » Subscribe to NBC Sports: https://www.youtube.com ... **Bonus is valid 7 days post sign up in account** $20 Free Bet **New Accounts Only** Horse Racing expert of the highest order Matt Bernier joins Jimmy The Bag is this very special breakdown of the ... #Preakness #PreaknessStakes2019 #PreaknessStakes #horseracing #bettingonhorses #handicapping #horseracingtips #horseracingbetting Join Weekend Handicapper as he provides his analysis, picks and ...