Race 8 at Saratoga- Post Time 5:09 PM Eastern Before three straight stakes races there’s the interesting six furlong allowance sprint, which kicks off the Grand Slam. If you’ve never played it, it’s a fun bet where you win by having a horse hit the top three in the first three legs and pick the winner in the last leg. The basic strategy is to try to beat favorites in the first three legs and go shallow then pick a few win contenders in the last leg. Unfortunately, the last leg is the Jim Dandy Stakes which, unless we’re lucky is likely to be won by a favorite. In this race the contenders are Fortune’s Fool, Morning Breez, Dark N Cloudy and Overdeliver. Before I get into why they may have a shot to win or be in the exacta, the most important thing to note is only Morning Breez…
There is more information available today for the horseplayer than ever before. We have multiple past performance choices, speed and pace figure choices, selections services, pace projectors, analysis, and just about everything else you can think of and might need to speculate on the outcome of a horse race. We can even see who ran more feet and inches than another. True, most if not all of these tools are subjective and open to interpretation which is where skill and experience come in, but if so many people are looking at the same data it stands to reason many will fall on the same horse. It is a lot more difficult to find an edge or a hidden gem in this environment. I have always said race watching, including replays, is a learned art — a vital one in today’s game. One of the reasons I love wagering on European races…
Molly Pitcher Stakes - Race 8 at Monmouth Park - Post Time 3:27 PM Eastern There’s really no analysis here. Midnight Bisou is likely to have a paid workout as she prepares for bigger races and she’s a “Free Square” for the pick 3 starting in this race. She won the Phipps last month about as easily as a horse can win and she’s likely banging down the stall doors with energy so Asmussen figures it’s better to race her than to give her a morning workout. Pick 3 Race 8 Midnight Bisou Race 9 Fig Jelly, Justaholic, Mai Ty One On Race 10 Lemonade Thursday, Coal Front, Monongahela Wolf Hill Stakes - Race 9 at Monmouth Park - Post Time 3:56 PM Eastern Justaholic returned to the races last month following a year off and ran a big race in his very first turf sprint, easily winning in a…
We are a little more than halfway through the racing year. The three year old male division is still pretty much up in the air. It is ripe for someone to step up and take all the honors. We had a different winner in all the Triple Crown races, including a rare disqualification in the Kentucky Derby. We lost the winner who was put up, Country House. The horse who was disqualified, Maximum Security lost a prep race for the Haskell. Omaha Beach, the early Derby favorite scratched and is just now returning to training. Nobody has really stepped up and asserted any dominance of yet. That can change fast however. Maximum Security runs in the Haskell on Saturday. I won’t be betting the Haskell, but I will be watching closely to see how things may look going forward. I expect a rebound good race from Maximum Security and without…
Hockessin Stakes - Race 6 at Delaware Park - Post Time 4:13 PM Eastern For the purposes of the pick 3 ending in the Delaware Handicap, race 8, we should use all five particularly as there are horses in each of the next two races at decent odds, so if one of the favorites wins here the bet should still be worth the risk. All five of these sprinters can win, even Arthur’s Hope, who opens at the highest odds of the quintet at 8 to 1. He earned a 112 Equibase Figure winning a classified allowance last month over stakes winner Life in Shambles, for his 11th career win in 22 starts. That 112 figure is the second best last race figure in the field, with only Always Sunshine’s 117 figure better. Altissimo, who opens as the second highest price in the field at 9 to 2, has nearly…
When I refer to “sheets” I am referring to the Ragozins or Thoro-Graph. While both are speed figures there is something that separates them from the rest. They are not “raw” speed figure numbers. They encompass trip, things like ground loss, wide, inside, and more. Buyers, and most of the others are raw numbers that purport to tell us how fast a horse ran. I can look at the charts and see that. There was a time, not all that long ago when you’d see a horse on the sheets that was flat out faster than the rest. Many times this horse would not be the favorite, and often would not have the best or fastest raw figures or Beyers. Many won at nice prices. You can peruse past performances for hours today and you could be hard pressed to find such a horse. If you do find a sheet…
Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes - Race 7 at Belmont - Post Time 4:30 PM Eastern Olendon appears to have the goods here, even over very good distaff turf stakes winners like Newspaperofrecord, Concrete Rose and Cambier Parc, the latter two having posted upset wins over Newspaperofrecord in May and June. Olendon ships in off a bang-up second of 11 finish in the Group 1 Prix Saint Alary on May 26, at the 10 furlong trip of the Belmont Oaks. Only one other filly in the race (Jodie, shipping in from Japan) has run the distance, and Olendon did it against some of the best fillies in Europe, if not the world. With world-renowned trainer Pascal Bary still listed as her trainer, with John Velazquez set to ride, with the ground saving rail and with by far the highest last race Equibase figure in the field (116), Olendon should be tough to…
King Edward Stakes - Race 6 at Woodbine - Post Time 2:53 PM Eastern There are five horses that have some chance to win this year’s King Edward, but the best value comes in the form of Savage Battle, who opens at 20/1. I may admit to being a bit less objective than I should be, having picked him to run well in the Connaught Cup on June 1, but from that race he made my horses-to-watch list with the comment “Loaded at 14/1 and NOWHERE TO RUN FINAL 8th.” When I got email earlier this week he was entered in this race, I went back to watch the replay to insure I saw the same thing I saw weeks ago, and I did. The head-on is excruciating to watch, as he was bottled up with a wall of horses in front of him. I think the jockey hoped one…
It is going to be an interesting summer in our game. I remember a time not too long ago when the Saratoga meet was anticipated with as much excitement as any sport could bring to its fans. While I am sure it is still that way for many, for others it just is not the same. I’ll be the first to admit that if you were not around and in the game back when Saratoga was the August place to be as opposed to the summer place to be then you have no real frame of reference, and it is still an anticipated and exciting meet. If you were however, then you likely recognize that an aftermarket spoiler has been put on a red vintage Ferrari. You just don’t do that. It’s a rare case of when an addition intended as an enhancement devalues something. I attended every Saratoga meet in its…
  Last week we got to see the first time in the short career of Maximum Security that he did not cross the wire first. To many, it was an unexpected shocker, but should it have been? We'll look at that in the recent content of angles we've been discussing to help identify scores and bet against races alike. We have recently talked about bank roll management, two year olds progressing past their earlier figures, and today, we will talk about a widely used but often confused term, "the bounce." While the stumble at the start didn't help Maximum Security, he was ripe to regress. Knowing when a horse is ready to regress or bounce is a strong advantage or edge, especially if the horse is a favorite. Maximum Security ran a very hard race while still inexperienced and lightly raced in the Kentucky Derby. He ran harder and further…