Best Breeders’ Cup 2020 Betting Sites - Best Picks, Odds ...
Best Breeders’ Cup 2020 Betting Sites - Best Picks, Odds ...
Best Breeders’ Cup Betting Sites 2019 - Where to Bet on ...
Race Order, Wagering Options for 2019 Breeders' Cup ...
Wager Breeders' Cup
Breeders' Cup November 6 & 7, 2020
d100 tavern games and activities
I'm a new DM and I'm starting a campaign soon where they start in drumroll a tavern. Since my players are also new to the game itself, I want the tavern to be already fleshed out and lively to set the tone for the game, as well as get them used to making skill checks and whatnot. A general description of the games mechanics would be very much appreciated as well! I'd also like to use all the stats so the players can get a handle of what they're good at.
Spicy Hotdog Eating Competition. Five rounds of contested CON saves between competitors.
Dragon's Den (Card Game). Starting bet of 2 gp, roll 5d6, and add 5 sp to the pot for every reroll. Winner is determined by the second roll.
Drunkard's Roulette. Roll a d6. On a 1, you drink a tankard of something nasty. Make a CON save or become poisoned for 1d4 hours.
Ball and Cup Game. Contested Perception vs Sleight of Hand.
Trivia Night. Contested INT-based skill checks. Consider giving advantage if its about something the players have encountered before.
Arm-wrestling Contest. Contested STR checks.
Axe-throwing competition. DEX check. 3 tries/game. 1- 10 miss. 11 - 13 outer ring (1 point). 14 - 16 middle ring (2 points). 17 - 19 inner ring (3 points). 20 and above bullseye (5 points)
Boulder, Parchment, Shears. Each roll a d4. 1 beats 3, 3 beats 2, 2 beats 1, and 4 is a reroll.
Barrel Breaking Contest. Crush a barrel between your bare hands like a beer can. Five rounds and DC goes up each round. STR check.
The Riddle Master. An old man charges 1 sp per riddle, and offers 3 sp in return for a correct answer. He will only ask each person a single riddle and only pays out 2 sp if a person gets help in solving it. (idek_mannnn)
Good Old-fashioned Darts. Players roll 3d20 with DEX modifier (capped at a maximum roll of 20). and results are tallied. Highest score wins. In the event of a tie, each player is to throw a single dart blindfolded (d20 with no modifier). Highest wins. (idek_mannnn)
Busy Night. The tavern is bustling with patrons and the barkeep is visibly stressed. In a moment of desperation, they ask if anyone is able to assist in serving drinks, collecting tankards and flagons, and helping out in the kitchen. 1 gp for the night's work, but any player who accepts suffers a level of exhaustion. (idek_mannnn)
Mingling. CHA DC 15 or higher and someone will buy you a drink. WIS DC 15 or higher and you hear an interesting rumor. (idek_mannnn)
Open Stage Night. For a mere donation of 5 cp, anyone can perform an act on the tavern stage. The outcome of a Performance check can affect the reputation of the performer in the tavern, or even in the whole town on either end of the scale. (idek_mannnn)
Good Old-fashioned Tavern Brawl. No deadly damage allowed. Last man/party standing wins. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
A Sophisticated Session of Chess (or any tactical game). Contested INT or Knowledge checks.(Geschichtenerzaehler)
Stuff Stacking Challenge. Try to stack random objects on the head of a passed-out drunk. Sleight of Hand check starts at DC 5, increasing by 1 for each item. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Song Contest. Contested Performance checks, but the GM secretly writes down themes and modifiers to reflect the mood of the crowd ( ex: happy +2, sad -2, patriotic +1, naughty +5, epic +0). The participating players must announce what song they want to perform and the GM adds the modifier to the result. Smart players may want to make an Insight check to read the crowd before picking a song. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Halfling Toss. DC 12 STR check to lift the halfling, and every 1 above that is a foot of distance. Furthest distance wins. The area ahead is cushioned (as is the the halfling), but if they make a really high check, they may be able to get past the cushioned area. If anyone asks if this s inhumane, the answer should involve 'the event is sanctioned by the National Halfling Toss League'. (thirteeorphans)
Flirting. Characters can look for intimate company. First, the player describes what kind of person they're looking for. Next, the GM determines if someone with said profile is present, but also rolls if the PC has any chance with them at all. If not, all Persuasion checks will auto-fail. If they do have a chance with the NPC, the GM decides a difficulty and a number of secret modifiers regarding the worldview, mood, and preferences of the NPC. The player then tells the GM their flirting strategy and makes a persuasion check to which the GM adds all modifiers that apply. Multiple Persuasion checks may be needed to take things...further. Alternatively: if you all have fun with it, just wing and roleplay it. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Join the Regulars. A table is reserved for frequent patrons. They discuss certain topics or just have some things in common - sports teams, activism, crafts, etc. Examples: a)A group of elderly men and women, who all happen to be veterans. They share a common experience (a war a long time ago), but talk about all sorts of things. They may share some wisdom with strangers who buy them a round. b)The Rabbit Breeder table. These guys discuss everything about rabbits: best food, how to keep them away from foxes, upcoming contests, and etc. Characters may feign interest (CHA checks) and pick up some juicy gossip beyond rabbit-business. c)The Councilors. This table is usually reserved for the mayor, councilors, and guildmasters. News and politics are discussed here. A character with respectable appearance, manners, and a convincing reason to join them (Persuasion check w/ appropriate modifiers) may join. Being seated at this table may be useful to gather pertinent information or get to know important people. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Avoiding "Dangers". On a wild night, one may be in danger of slipping on a spilled drink (DC 8) or ducking under a thrown keg (DC 12). Acrobatics check. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Dance-off!. Participants must make a series of skill or ability checks (let them RP which ones make sense for their character, but make it a different one each round) with one or two participants eliminated each round. (ken_NT)
2-4-24 (Dice Game). Played with 6d6. A player rolls the dice and has to keep at least one die every roll. At the end, they must have a 2, a 4, and the remaining dice must add up to a max. of 24. Not having a 2 or a 4 disqualifies the player. More Info#Variant_game) (ken_NT)
Listen to a story. Occasionally a patron may feel like sharing an anecdote, a joke, a creepy legend etc. Example: An old sailor tells how he lost his leg in a fight against an undead pirate. An insight check may provide some information about the truthfulness of the story told. Besides this, an NPC telling a story at the bar allows the GM to set the mood for an adventure, to establish background info on the game world and adding flavor. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Checking the Bulletin board. The tavern may feature a bulletin board, which has job offers and requests, lost and found notes, public announcements, etc. Even (side-)quests are an option, if the GM wants to. Sidenote: An illiterate NPC may ask a PC to read them the job offers. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Trying the 'good stuff'. Characters with enough coin may want to taste the best or most interesting the house has to offer. Examples: a)A great local brew, that gives the one who consumes it, +1 temporary hitpoints. b)A greenish drink called the "Mad Alchemist". Sends the drinker on a trip where he perceives the world in exaggerated shapes and colors. c)The "Victory Bottle". This high quality whisky was bottled in the year of the glorious victory ... . A super pricey treat for special occasions. The GM may rule (depending on a CON save), that the PCs experience positive or negative side effects.
Eating a special meal. There may be something interesting (and pricey) beyond the usual on the menu tonight. Examples: a) A hunter has brought in something rare or unusual. b) The house has a secret recipe, that tastes extraordinarily well. c) An exotic dish made from insects. A real dare. The GM may rule (depending on a CON save), that the PCs experience positive or negative side effects. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Buy from a peddler. A poor looking man, woman or child walks from table to table with a vendor's tray, to sell small cheap goods to patrons. Examples: Flowers, pouches, dice, socks, caps, leather grease (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Take up a service offer. Similar to above, a poor looking man, woman or child walks from table to table, but in this case makes a service offer, like polishing shoes and boots, sharpening blades, making small repairs (via sewing) etc. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Inspect the trophies. The walls of the tavern may be decorated with hunting or sports or contest trophies. It tells the PCs something about what to expect in the wilderness or about the community. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Go outside. The PCs may decide to step outside for a moment. Here they might go to the loo, encounter drug dealers, couples making out, a fight, prostitutes or just people who want to take a little fresh air before heading back in. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Explore the Backroom. This area is usually off limits, but sneaking in there might be possible (Stealth vs. Perception of whoever watches the door). Secret societies, criminals meeting, illegal games and deals? Or just people who want some privacy? Maybe it's just a boring storage room? The GM is free to decide whatever interesting or not so interesting thing might happen there. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Debate. Some NPC may start a debate on basically any topic and the PCs are free to join in and share their opinion. This shouldn't end in something as dramatic as a brawl, but it can win over NPCs, hurt feelings, establish standpoints, relationships or rivalries. It's basically an attempt to incite roleplay and create future opportunities for the GM to pick up. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Explore the basement. Besides the classical "slay the rats down there"-quest, the tavern basement may have an interesting encounter or feature that ties in with the world's lore or a future plot. Examples: a) The winecellar is haunted. A ghost scares the bar maids and the PCs have to find out how to put it to rest. b) The basement is older than the tavern and features a clue to a long forgotten cult on a wall behind a barrel c) There is a secret passage to another building in the city. d) Some kind of vermin or aggressive animal or non-intelligent monster has gotten in. XP for brave adventurers. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Take in the scene. A careful observer might just learn something about the people and the place sitting back quietly and watching his or her surroundings. Examples: a) A table falls quiet as a patrol of the guard enters for a routine visit. b) A rich merchant who wears a wedding rings, shows more than just a little interest in a certain barmaid. c) Igrim, a young server is definitly distracted or worried by something. He's been making a lot of mistakes this evening. d) Two women acknowledged each others presence shortly, but avoided eye contact ever since. Perception or Insight checks, DC by GM's decision. (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Cooking Contest. Unhappy with the food? Think you can do better? Challenge the tavern's cook to a contest! Contesting skill checks ("profession cook" or whatever it is in your edition). (Geschichtenerzaehler)
Singing Wine Glasses. A tavernmaid was finishing up washing some wine glasses and was making them sing by sliding a wet finger along the rim and using different glasses filled at various levels to make different tunes. She is more than willing to say that her brother used to make songs with wine glasses, but he’s been adventuring for a while and she’d give anything just to recreate that familial feeling again. She describes different types of feelings that the songs elicited and asks the players what type of song they will try to play., where different moods will correspond to different skill checks : a)Sad - Deception, b)Happy - Performance, c)Love - Persuasion, and d)Creepy - Intimidation. DC 15 for a trinket that belonged to the brother who we learn is actually deceased. (Diamondwolf)
Tankard Pong. Played exactly like beer pong. Make DEX checks starting at DC 10 working up as tankards are removed from the playfield. PCs must also make CON saves with an increasing DC as they drink to not get drunk.
Tall Tales or Piss Taking. You have to give a very impossibly possible story where you did something to a collection of bullshitters. If someone calls you out, you must defend your plotline with another point whether factual or bullshit. (Th3R3493r)
Card Stab. A sacrificial set of cards and knife for each player are needed and all players must have blood in their hand. The point of the game is to stab into cards as they rest on a hand and take the most amount of cards without stabbing through all of them and drawing your own blood. The one with the most speared cards on the knife without blood on the tip wins. (Th3R3493r)
Coin Bounce. There are three forms of the game for each type of coin. The price of competing is coin you bounce. The coin must bounced into a mug of water and a straight shot will mean you forfeit the match. The first one to get the coin in wins unless the other side manages to double bounce the coin in on their next throw. Double bouncing the coin on the first try means the other side has already lost. (Th3R3493r)
Screaming Match. Just as it is advertised. The one who screams the loudest wins. The word or sound does not matter. So, far the loudest thing yelled was "QUIET!!!" by a elderly school teacher who came in for a pint and was heard in places over a country over who unknowingly won. (Th3R3493r)
Slap. Both sides just slap the other side once as hard as possible until they yield or pass out. Claw use and punching is outlawed and as long as they stand and can get up in a slow count of 5, they are still in. (Th3R3493r)
Skee-ball. 3 gp to play, 3 balls. DEX check. Up to you to decide DC, but outer ring gets you 5 sp, inner ring gets you 1 gp, center gets you 2 gp.
A Magician. An old wizard is using illusions to preform tricks to entertain the crowd. (Nerdypie12345)
Sack Toss. Same rules as sack toss, players toss a sack into a ramp with a hole some distance away. Players may choose to compete in pairs or alone. DC 10 STR check to lift the sack and throw it, but DEX check to aim for the hole. Allows for fun scenarios where a high STR check but a low DEX, like missing the hole completely and throwing a hole through the tavern wall, or hitting an important NPC as a way of meeting them.
My name is Mark and I am a compulsive gambler. My last bet was April 2nd 2019. Since being in recovery and working the steps one character defect I keep seeing raise its ugly head is my ego. I have decided to do a bit of research on egotism and trying to see how it fits together with my actions in addiction. I say research, I have been Googling it but what more do you expect folks! Per Cambridge dictionary the definition of egotism is “thinking only about yourself and considering yourself better and more important than other people.” Now there is a lot more to it than that but first I am going to concentrate on the two things mentioned in this definition and see how they link into me during my addiction and were they apparent in my behaviour before my addiction. Thinking only about yourself Quick background on me, I have a partner, two children aged seven and three, my Mum and my Dad, no siblings and other family members and friends. I now realise, in recovery, how much of a support network I do actually have and how many people care about me. Sadly, when I was gambling, I did not give a fuck about anyone and all I cared about was me and gambling. I loved my family and friends when I was gambling, deep down that love was there, but when I was gambling they did not enter my thoughts. When it came to the money I was gambling I never thought about what I could have bought my kids with that money or how I could have taken my partner out for a meal to show her how much I appreciate her staying at home with the kids while I go off to work. No. That money was MY money and no one was going to get their hands on it apart from a bookmaker. Simple things like making conversation did not enter my mind when I was gambling. I did not think to look up from my phone or laptop to ask how my partner was doing in the evenings, I pretty much sat and ignored her. If she tried to speak to me I would answer back with as few words as possible and if she kept talking I would get agitated. Generally I would end up causing an argument just to get her to be quiet. I barely spoke to my Mum and Dad when I was at their house or they were at mine, generally I was picking up my kids who they had taken for the day to help me out. They had given up their day for me and I couldn’t give up 15 minutes of my time to make conversation. I had little interest in going out and doing things with anyone as it would get in the way of what I wanted to do. Perfect example of this was the final weekend before I entered recovery. My partner and I were invited to my Aunt and Uncle’s anniversary dinner (I cannot even remember the year they were celebrating, that is how much I was paying attention) without our kids, a night out together where we could unwind and enjoy ourselves. I spent the whole night gambling away on my mobile phone on in-play tennis and barely spoke a word to anyone. I did not care and I did not want to be there as it was getting in the way of me trying to dig myself out of a hole that I had dug for myself. I was in such a bad way financially I didn’t even bring my wallet with me as I had no money in my accounts. I had to lie to my Dad about why I didn’t bring it and he ended up buying me and my partner drinks for the night. I was even gambling on the drive down (I was driving!) with one eye on my phone and one eye on the road. I was in a desperate situation and could feel the walls closing in but I was confident I could win my way out. When I think back to the number of times I told my kids to be quiet and play or shouted at them when they would ask me questions when I was focusing on gambling really does fill me with a great sense of sadness. I did not think about how they would feel when I acted that way, all I cared about was me. I can remember them pretty much climbing over me, wanting my attention while I just maneuvered around them so I could see what was happening on my phone or laptop. What makes it worse is that they think I am the greatest person that ever lived and love me so much, reflecting back on my behaviour during those days is tough but I feel it is necessary for me to do so as I do not want to go back there. I had a fantastic upbringing and I am so grateful for how my parents raised me and how they provided for me. Growing up I was an only child so everything to an extent has always been about me in my family. People think that only children are spoiled and I have no shame in admitting that I was extremely spoiled, not to a degree where it was damaging as my parents always made sure I appreciated the things I had and to always be thankful. I never had to learn to share with a brother or sister so when I was at home my toys were mine and I did not have to think about anyone else. Maybe that is where I planted the seed that I only need to think about myself and maybe that is why I enjoyed my own company so much because everything when I was on my own was about me and that is how I liked it. Considering yourself better and more important than other people This is a hard one for me to get a handle on simply because I do not feel that I came across this way when I was interacting with people, well at least I hope I did not. What I can be sure of is that in my own head I totally believed I was better and more important than other people. I felt like my opinion mattered more than other peoples opinion and if I was discussing something, lets use football as an example, I would totally shit all over a different opinion to mine, but I would do this in my own head, by talking to myself. I would laugh at how wrong people were when they gave their opinion, again, in my own head. One thing I would do during a discussion is to continue talking about my opinion until either the persons involved agreed or until I rationalised it in my own mind that they knew I was right. Without sounding like a lunatic I have an internal monologue going on in my head all the time, even in recovery. I talk to myself quite a lot and would almost have conversations with myself about everything and anything. My brain feels as if it is always active. When I was in active addiction my internal monologue was extremely negative and dark. I tried to keep it buried deep inside me as I was a horrible person who thought he was the best at everything and back then I knew if that person came out in public it would be make it hard for me to keep my addiction secret. I was aware that I needed to keep people onside so they could help fund what I was doing. I would rarely listen to advice from anyone because in my mind if I did not already know something then clearly it was not worth knowing. My Dad found out about me spread betting when I was still living at home and told me about the dangers of gambling and how easy it was to become addicted. I just brushed it off because I thought I knew better. I at least knew I didn’t have a problem. I did not want someone telling me I was wrong about something because how dare they correct me about anything! Everything I said was right and nothing would change my mind about it. I enjoyed reminding people when I was right about something as well, the smug look on my face, I took so much joy from that, it reinforced to me that I was better than everyone. I would constantly bring things up that I was right about and when someone tried to do the same I would pick holes in it and call them out for talking rubbish. If I was in a group or going out I felt the need to be in control of the situation, I wanted to be the leader because no one else could lead as well as I could, no one else was my equal and in my mind I wanted people to see how great I was, as a leader I was in the spotlight. Being in control of the situation also meant I could decide what we did and make sure it was something that I enjoyed doing. Emotionally, I was empty during my addiction; I did not care for how other people were feeling or what problems they had. If someone was telling me a problem I would listen but I would not care, in my head I was just asking myself why? Why are you telling me this? Why do you think I care what is going on in your life? Why do you think I give a shit? That’s simply the mentality of someone who think they are better than other people. In general I just believed I deserved to have the best things in life and I deserved to have them handed to me on a plate. Why should I work hard and save up for things like everyone else when I could just gamble and win them. I was so much smarter than everyone else, I could make this work and people would be asking me what my secret was. I was better than the bookmakers, I could beat them and their odds, I could figure out a system to win. Towards the end I actually abandoned any tipsters or systems because I felt I could just “feel” the right bet and I would be able to dig myself out of the hole. Back in November 2018 I spoke with my current sponsor for the first time ever and we had a chat over text message. I was explaining to him how I had managed to control my gambling on sports, I was proud of this fact by the way, which has not aged well, and I was trying to explain to him that this was something that compulsive gamblers could try. I felt like I was a pioneer, like I had solved life’s great puzzle, people would thank me for this revelation. Here are some of the deluded messages I sent him; “I just know personally, I went from having a bet on every minute of every day. £20+ each time. Betting on every horse race in work to now I can put £1 on the NFL game I’m watching or £5 on the Breeders Cup if I want and walk away. It didn’t happen overnight either. I stopped for a while.” Jeff was calm and polite and listened to my nonsense while of course explaining to me the benefits and options of recovery. Looking back I can see he made some excellent points, asked me had I tried every reasonable step out there to stop gambling to which I responded with; “I’ve done none of that. For one reason. I don’t want to stop some forms of gambling.” Now, what the hell does that have to do with thinking I am better and more important than other people? I honestly thought Jeff was full of shit, that he had no idea what I was saying and that he just did not get that I had figured it out. Reading back through that chat I can see I was trying to convince him that I was right and he was wrong. Everything he threw at me I had an answer for it and it was all bullshit, but I believed that I knew better and that my opinion was more important. Luckily Jeff doesn’t hold any grudges or didn’t let that first impression put him off me when I finally entered recovery, funny enough because my sports betting was completely out of control, and he welcomed me with open arms. It would be unfair to say I was like this all the time during my addiction but I believe I acted in these ways often enough for it to be considered an issue and something that I need to address in recovery. I believe that my ego was a problem all along and while I have no doubt the addiction amplified it, I have to be honest with myself in recovery and face up to the fact that I was, and still am to an extent, an egotistical person. Mark
With the Saratoga season quickly approaching, I’ve had my arm twisted enough by the Discord team to write a primer on the track. I live about 20-minutes east of Saratoga and it’s my home track; my first real memory of a horse race was betting on Forty Niner in the ’88 Travers……I was 6…… During the 40-day meet, I do most of my wagering for the year and consistently show a nice positive ROI. What is Saratoga: The Saratoga Racecourse is the oldest continually operating sporting venue in the United States. The town of Saratoga was founded around dozens of natural mineral springs which were turned into bath houses at the end of the 19th Century. Those fighting conditions like Polio sought out the healing properties of the springs; FDR was a regular visitor. The town is about a 3-hour drive north of NYC, so it’s a major summer retreat for those looking to escape. During most of the year, Saratoga is a sleepy town of 25k; on a major race weekend that number will be 5x that. Why is it Important: The 40-day long meet has 76 stakes with $20.8 million in purse, 40 of those being Graded. Most tracks best day of racing for the entire season is a regular Saratoga Thursday afternoon, the field size and quality here is just unmatched. The feature of the meet is the Travers stakes which will see 3yr old’s coming from the Triple Crown trail facing off against later blooming horses who are setting up for a late season run targeting the Breeders Cup. Saratoga also sees a huge number of very talented maiden races where you will often see next year’s Triple Crown contenders get their start. Owners and Trainers want to show off their very best and a win at Saratoga means massive bragging rights for most. Due to its northern latitude and numerous training tracks, Saratoga is a massive training track that sees horse shippers from around the country even if they have no intent on running there. For the month of July and August, Saratoga really is the focus of all horse racing east of the Mississippi. What you should know before going: · New this year, the meet runs from July 11th through Labor Day Weekend with Monday and Tuesday being dark days. First post is normally 1pm except for major Saturday’s like Alabama and Travers Day. · General/Grandstand admission is $7 with clubhouse being $10; on Travers day General/Grandstand is $15 with Clubhouse being $25. Clubhouse admission does not provide a seat, only entry to the Clubhouse areas. · Track has a 50k capacity and it WILL sell out for Travers day a solid month in advance. If you show up at the gate for Travers without a ticket, you will be turned away. · Reserved seating is available through Ticketmaster. If you’re someone who wants to just show up and watch the races, this is a nice easy option. Just remember that although these are covered, many of the lower seats are in the sun, so dress accordingly. · Most regulars will sit in the Picnic Areas behind the Grandstand. Bring a camp chair and watch the races on the copious big screens. A number of these areas (specifically right behind the Carousel) have a walking path that goes through them so you can watch the horses before they hit the paddock and tree cover keeps you out of the sun. · If you want to sit in the Picnic Area and have a Picnic Table, you have two options. The first is to reserve one of these through Ticketmaster, but the reserved area is behind the paddock and really sucks. The other is to be at the gates for 6am, wear running shoes (I’m serious) and sprint for a table. Place a tablecloth on the table and tape it down then come back for the races. Moving a tablecloth is a massive Toga foul and you will get tossed if you’re caught. · Outside food and drink are totally fine in the picnic area, the only real rule is no glass of any kind. · No formal dress code exists for most of the track, although pants are required for men in the paddock and “appropriate dress” is required in Clubhouse and Box Seating areas. You’ll see everything at the track from picnic area regulars in shorts and a t-shirt, those in 3-piece Armani suits, to some wearing vintage Linen or Seersucker. · If you’re looking to stay in Saratoga, its not cheap, with rooms often going from $300-600 a night with houses in walking distance to the track going for upwards of 10k a week. Best options are to stay in Clifton Park, Albany or Lake George which are all about a 30-minute commute. Some good AirBnB options exist about 15-minutes east of town along the Hudson river as well. · If you’re bringing people not into horse racing, tons of options exist for them. Six Flags has a theme park in Lake George with a full water park. A 30-minute drive north puts you in the Adirondack park which has amazing hiking, biking, canoeing and camping. Just east is the Battenkill river which has amazing trout fishing and is the home river of Orvis. For the history buff’s, both the Saratoga Battlefield and Grant Cottage are close by. SPAC in the Saratoga State Park is a summer location for the NYC Ballet, Philadelphia Orchestra and sees major national touring acts. The Spa Park also is a great running, biking or picnic spot that is super close to town. · Saratoga also has the highest number of bars per capita in the US, tons of options exist Caroline street during the Summer. Restaurant wise you have a lot of world class food along Broadway and around Saratoga Lake. Many people who vacation during the summer have no interest in horse racing, so people watching at the bars can be an amazingly fun evening adventure. · Although many people prefer paying to park (no idea why), NYRA does offer free parking off from Henning Road which is your first right after getting off the Northway with buses taking you from the parking lot to the track. Although not Glamorous, its a good way to save a few bucks and you get a nice scenic tour of the barns. · Breakfast with the horses is an absolute MUST if you're a first timer. Get there from 7-9:30am and sit in the Clubhouse Porch and eat the Buffet (I think its $15) while watching morning works. You can park right at the track and they refund your parking on the way out. They also normally have a caller so you'll get names of major horses who might be working, its really an amazing scene. Angles to Consider: · Having good friends is a massive benefit here. Fields are deep and competitive, so having a 2nd or 3rd set of eyes looking at PP’s is huge. A group of us Handicap a couple of days before each card, so hop on Discord and go through the races as a team, it will substantially boost your ROI. · Saratoga is the land of Maidens, so Workout Reports are key. All the major east coast trainers will bring the best of their best 2yr old’s to Saratoga as winning a race there is massive. The only true way to gauge these horses is with workout reports. Always remember that PP’s are rearward biased; you care about the horse today, not when it last ran a month ago. Due to the time of the Saratoga meet, it’s very common to have improving 2 or 3yr old’s take a massive step up here. · Best way to make money at Saratoga is to pay attention to track biases and to make out your own odds. Track tends to be very speed favoring one day and then it’s all closers the next; watch not just what horse is winning but how and adjust accordingly. Saratoga also sees a lot of "dead money", people with no clue who are betting names, colors, jockeys, trainers...etc. These people LOVE to chase favorites and they are very often overlay’s more here than any place else in the country. If you handicap with no ML and have a horse's fair value at 3-1 its often common to see it drift to 10-1 because a Pletcher firster is 1-9 when it should also be 3-1.... etc.... · Saratoga is also the land of crazy weather. It’s not abnormal to have half the card be 80 and Sunny then a pop-up Thunderstorm rolls through and you have mud with off-turf. The public has no ideas how to manage this and will still bet a turf horse who hates running on the dirt. This leads to some massive overlay’s if you’re prepared. · NYRA Bets always runs a bet $200 get $200 promo for new signups, it’s well worth your time if you don't already have it. They sometimes will run additional promos on top as well for new members on-track during the meet. This lets you use Mutel terminals if you like tickets without a voucher or you can do everything online which is WAY more efficient. · In any Saratoga Dirt/Mellon/Inner Turf race between 5 and 6.5f, always toss the 1 horse. Over the past 3 years the 1 post is something like 5 for 450 at those distances. This is partially due to those distances seeing younger horses, but also due to the shape of the inner rail entering the far turn. · Fade horses in the 8 path and beyond in 2-turn routes, they have terrible statistics even when accounting for field size. The most problematic races are 1 mile on the Mellon turf where early positional speed is huge. 9 & 10 furlong races on the main track also favor the inside as a shorter runup into the first turn can leave outside horses stranded. · Irad ran away with the 2018 Jockey title, but it’s always super competitive. Saratoga has one of the best jockey colonies in the country so it’s not a chase for a good jock but pay attention to what mounts they choose. If you saw that JJ was on three horses last out but choose one of those this time over the others, it’s likely that horse is very live…. etc. · Chad Brown also dominate the Trainer title in 2018, with it not even being a contest. His entire barn points for the meet so if it’s a CB horse, its live, just deal with it. · With all the CB love at Saratoga, certain trainers also have TERRIBLE statistics and should be faded or avoided. Those trainers who have solid numbers of starters and do well at other tracks but suck at SAR are: Amoss, Arnold, Keneally, McPeek, Moquette, Rivelli, Romans, Stall, Stewart and Wilkes. You’ll notice a KY trend there; yes, it is real…. · Pay attention to “well meant shippers” meaning oddball ships and weird drops. Look for horses coming out of smaller tracks like a Penn, FL, GP West, OP... etc... who are trained by small time trainers who have limited starts. Betting public tends to feel a lot more comfortable backing a Pletcher horse than a guy who sees 25 starts a year from a 5-horse stable. You'll often see a horse who ran in a couple MSW races at a Penn for 12k, took a two month break with little work pattern, then shows up at Saratoga in an MCL 45k and wins. Also, huge class drops are less of a concern at Saratoga as traineowner title are so important, hell just winning a race is huge so often people will be OK being claimed away to say, "My horse won at Saratoga". You also tend to see a lot of horses who have one or two not very impressive starts, go on the bench for a month or two and then appear at Saratoga and win from a no-name trainer and connections, things often don't pass the sniff test and are often live in doing so.
I just want to say before I get into what will surely be a long, weird rant, that this post is just about me. It is not my intent to make anyone else feel anything about themselves with this post. These are just some thoughts that I have had about myself, and I wanted to get them "out there" somewhere in an organized fashion and maybe get a little (kind) feedback. So, I've (31F) never wanted kids. Even when I was a kid, my toys were usually animals--not baby dolls or Barbies. My two favorite childhood toys were: this gangly, stuffed mouse with suction cups attached to her hands and feet and a beanie baby beaver. Yes, really. (And I still have that beaver, lol.) Further, I don't really like kids. I don't hate them, but I'm not falling all over myself to babysit or interact with children. I do have a few friends who have kids, and I don't mind going to events they're attending, too, on the grounds that those particular, individual children are usually very well-behaved and respectful of other people's space. I've been on various birth control methods since becoming sexually active at 15, but there's no birth control like a toddler melting down in a public space. (Or seeing the parent who is present breaking down, right along with their kid.) That said, after many years of requesting some kind of hysterectomy, it's finally a real option on the table for me. "I'm so lucky!" you say, because being a member of this sub, you know how difficult that can be. You've heard it all, too, I bet. "You're too young to know!" "What would your husband think?" Etc. Bingos to infinity. And while I don't disagree with you about my being lucky, I also can't agree entirely. There's a reason this is finally an option, and it's some virulent, pre-cancerous cells in/on my cervix and (possibly) tubes. I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating it has been to know since before I was sexually active that I do not want children for myself, but any attempts to get more permanent birth control are met with bingos. (But again, you're here. So you probably have felt similarly, yourself.) As if it has been better for me, from both a health and psychological perspective, to be on some kind of hormonal birth control for 15+ years when there's a perfectly acceptable, permanent substitute that I am 100% interested in. Rage. So much rage. And now, the solution I want is only available because obviously my reproductive health doesn't matter so much if my overall health is just riddled with the Big C. All that to say, you're right. I do feel lucky, but I wish the circumstances were better. I wish that I'd been able to have this partial hysterectomy (cervix, tubes, and uterus; the ovaries will remain) years ago. Just thinking about all of the exams and procedures I've had above and beyond regular, annual paps... A cold cone biopsy, a LEEP, several colposcopies... None of that would have been necessary if I could have gotten this done years ago. What a waste of my time, energy, and money--not to mention the colossal waste and drain it has been on the health care system and the people who have had to treat me. And while my doctor is recommending I have this done, she also goes on to say that if I did want to have a kid (has she not been listening?), we could not do the hysterectomy and just go for twice-annual paps. "We could just watch it really closely." Honey. Aren't you a doctor? Don't you know how quickly Cancer can spread? I do. My father received a kidney from my mother (unique circumstances, I know), and part of being an organ recipient is getting routine Cancer screenings about once a quarter. So he went in for his scan, and they saw a couple spots on his lungs but figured, hey, they're small... we'll just keep an eye on it. Well, guess who had full-blown, stage IV Cancer at his next scan? Yeah. Turns out, waiting to see if Cancerous cells decide to be cool and/or chill isn't a great plan of attack. Who knew? Oh, doctors... Doctors should know. Sigh. Anyway. I've always resented the idea that people who do not want to breed have something wrong with them. I think the implication is that mentally, child-free people have something "off" in their brains. What that something is depends on the flavor of asshole espousing the opinion... in my opinion. I've heard all kinds of things: no motherly instinct, wishing to remain a child themselves, hating children, etc. You've heard similar, I'm sure. It sucks to feel like your opinion for your own life is being invalidated because you just... don't want kids... for whatever reason! I think the world is large enough for people to have radically differing opinions on pretty much every topic--and that doesn't need to mean that there's anything wrong with anyone. I consider every person an individual, and they certainly have valid perspectives to support the opinions they have. This doesn't seem like a really "out there" opinion to me, but I've interacted with enough rabid breeders to know that it often seems that way to them. ... And that's OK, too. I just wish they would live and let live, you know? But I was thinking more about this, and now I'm kind of wondering. ... There actually is something wrong with me, physically. There's a lot we still don't understand about body- and brain-chemistry. Would it really be so hard to believe that my disinterest in breeding is a result of my body not being a hospitable place for a child? There's a lot we don't understand regarding why people get the diseases/ailments they do, but there seems to be evidence that genetics are a not an insignificant factor. So if I was genetically predisposed to having issues with my lady parts, maybe my body was sending signals/chemicals to my brain this whole time about it. Typing this out makes me feel sort of silly, but it's been weighing on my mind. As I said in the beginning, this post is not meant to reflect on anyone else but myself. But if you would like to add something, please do feel free.
Welcome back to Santa Anita! We had a pretty strong day last week, managing to go profitable once again. More impressively, we got the longshot of the day in race 3 #5 Odysseus home, paying $21.20 to win! Let’s try to keep the winners coming! 2020 Winter Santa Anita StatisticsLast Week:43%(3/7 win, 7/7 ITM),$4.66 ROI per $2 win bet($14 wagered, $32.60 returned)Santa Anita Winter 2020:46%(11/24 win, 22/24 ITM),$4.94 ROI per $2 win bet($48 wagered, $118.62 returned) Race 1: [F]Mdn 55k 1 Mile (T) Picks: 3,6 / 4 We begin the day with a pretty tough race to get a handle on. None of these horses have shown to be particularly fond of winning, none less so than #4 Unicorn. This filly has managed to run in the money in all four of her turf starts, but she always seems to find one better. Even Prat was unable to will this one home, and I start to wonder if perhaps a mile is just a little too far for her. Everyone knows I am a huge Rispoli fan on the turf, but Unicorn is a tough horse to love at a short price given her knack for finishing second and third. It isn’t like she has been losing to bad horses, however, as Apache Princess, Maxim Rate, Desert Oasis, Carressa, and Bodhicitta are all highly promising fillies. Regardless, I’m inclined to go another direction. #6 Saving Sophie is the top pick. She has been running over dirt lately, and she also deserves some criticism for settling for second rather than winning. However, she initially debuted on grass, which tells me that Ellis originally had her pegged as a grass horse. She didn’t do much running in that debut, and has never raced on grass since. Ellis has great numbers with dirt to turf, with a strong $4.53 ROI the last 3 years. I think she is a much better horse than she showed back in May 2019, and Drayden retains the mount. #3 Miss Tokyo is another interesting player here. This Baltas trainee ran a couple respectable turf sprints to start her career, and Baltas horses normally aren’t fully cranked up for their debut efforts. She was hounded on a tough rail draw last out in her first try around 2 turns, but horses often improve second time going long, and she definitely appears to be the pace of this race. If she gets a comfortable lead, she could get bold on the front. Race 2: [F][S]Mdn 55k 6 Furlongs Picks: 5 / 2,4 #5 On Mars exits a promising debut effort where she was off a bit slow, rushed up inside to make the lead, held for about 5 furlongs before ultimately yielding late. She has every right to take a step forward from that effort, Cedillo remains on board, and with a cleaner break I expect her to set the pace and never look back. #2 Yellow Shirt is the most promising of the first-time starters, debuting for the always dangerous connections of Reddam Racing and Doug O’Neill. Longtime first call pilot Gutierrez takes the mount, hitting at 20% for O’Neill the last 60 days. This one has a lot of precocious, pure sprint win-early pedigree, as Square Eddie gets 17% debut winners. Have to wonder if this one might ultimately find her best game sprinting on turf. #4 Lucky Long Legs makes her first start for new trainer Phil D’Amato after failing to threaten last out. While Clifford Sise is a respectable trainer, D’Amato is one of the top west coast turf trainers, and all morning workout reports suggest this one has been working better lately than ever before. She held her own against recent allowance winner Desmond Doss, and at a moderate price she is interesting. #6 Rickie Nine Toes is another horse who always finds one better. While the speed figures make him strong in this field, those came against much weaker maiden claiming fields, and he appears to have serious stamina concerns. He is one I will let beat me moving up in class. Race 3: [F]Alw25000s 6 Furlongs Picks: 5,2,6 // 4 Race 3 sets up as a very interesting affair from a pace perspective, as of the 6 horses entered, 3 of them are true need-the-lead type speedballs. Therefore, I’m going to prioritize horses who will be coming from off the pace. #5 Mongolian Humor is the classiest of this bunch, exiting a few graded stakes and high-level optional claiming races. This is a very crafty spot for Cerin to place this mare, as she is protected from claiming and is set up to score a decent purse against a field she has a massive class edge over. As long as the pace is as hot as it seems on paper and that none of the speed horses scratch, Mongolian Humor should get an excellent setup and blow by them all late. #2 Eternal Endeavour is the next closer I’ll be using. This horse clearly has had some soundness issues in the past, but she now makes her fourth start off the layoff, and Powell appears to finally have her healthy and fit. She nearly pulled off the upset against tougher last time out, and simply running a repeat of any of her last 3 races will make her awful tough in this spot. #6 Nomizar is not a true closer, but this filly could be the one who ultimately gets the best trip. Prat will have her behind the 3 dueling leaders, but she likely will be getting a few lengths head start on the other closers mentioned here due to her tactical speed. She gets an excellent outside draw, and she also brings some back class to the table, although mostly on turf. While I likely won’t go this deep on most tickets, the one speed horse I like best is actually the one at the longest price, #4 Square Peggy. I believe she is the quickest of the 3 speed horses, as it appears that the #1 Uno Trouble Maker has tailed off form lately and been unable to make the lead, albeit against tougher company. #3 Love a Honeybadger was able to set moderately slow fractions on an uncontested lead last out against a mediocre field, and now she leaves the Peter Miller barn to go to Koriner, who is only 4% first off the claim. Square Peggy is dynamite quick, and she makes her first start for savvy claiming trainer Knapp who hits at 21% first off the claim. Unlikely she takes them all the way, but she is an exotics player for sure. Race 4: [F]Clm32000 1 Mile (T) Picks: 2,4,6 / 5 Race 4 is a very tough race of evenly matched horses going one mile on the turf. The Santa Anita turf course has played differently lately, as it has been favoring speed for most of the meet. Last week, however, there were 0 wire to wire winners from 7 races, despite the rail being out, and most horses were winning from 2-4 lengths off the pace. I’m going to tentatively go with #2 Sugary as the top pick. She has had a lot of trouble staying on the race track, but her last 3 races have all been strong efforts. She was a good second place to Zuzanna two races back, and Zuzanna came back to win a graded stakes event over a promising field. She has the right run style that has been winning at SA lately, and it’s always good to see Drayden back on board. However, the one concern is she does seem to be a little better when second off the layoff. Her first races off the layoff aren’t exactly poor, but she seems to improve more in that second race. At 3/1 she is the pick, but if she floats down to the 9/5 range I’d look elsewhere. #4 Swing Thoughts gets some class relief here after finding mid-level allowance company too tough. Rispoli is riding an excellent 17% on turf this meet, and she is another who may sit the right trip. While she was beaten by a few of today’s foes 2-back, note that she ran that race for a new trainer on less than 1 week’s rest, so it’s fair to wonder if she was a bit fatigued that day. She should be fresher here, and as one of the few 4-year-old’s in the field she has a good chance to continue improving whereas others may have already reached their ceiling. #6 Seaside Dancer is one who you can’t let beat you, as she’s a remarkable 3 for 4 over the distance and 4 for 8 lifetime on turf. She loves Santa Anita, getting 2 wins from 3 starts here, and she makes her second start for red-hot Peter Miller. 9 furlongs seems to be a bit too far, so the cutback to a mile should hit her right between the eyes. The main question mark for her is how will she handle the likely early pace pressure from stretch-out runner #5 Swirling. If that one is unable to pressure Seaside Dancer early to keep her honest on the front, the others could all be competing for second. Race 5: MC 20000 6 Furlongs Picks: 10,3,9 / 12 / 11 Race 5 gives us a surprisingly large field for a group of maiden claimers, and this race feels absolutely ripe for a bomb. There are countless different ways to approach this race, and I find a number of price horses very appealing. I strongly recommend spreading deep in this race, as the favorites are drawn very wide and could lose a lot of ground into the turn. My top pick and longshot of the dayis #10 Rough Ride. In a field full of uninspiring horses, I always like to give the new shooter a chance, similar to last week’s longshot winner Odysseus. David Hoffmans has excellent numbers with debuting horses in maiden claiming events, winning 24% with a $4.03 ROI, as well as being an overall 28% maiden claiming trainer. He is off to a strong start this meet, with a record of 8-2-2-1, indicating he spots his limited horses very realistically. This son of Into Mischief only sold for $12k at auction and is debuting at 5-years-old, so there are some red flags there, but this isn’t exactly a stellar field. Into Mischief progeny win at over 15% at first asking, making this one a live play at the 8/1 morning line. #3 Peedie has been running against better for his entire career, but he finally gets dropped to a reasonable level today. While the layoff is cause for concern, it’s encouraging Gutierrez stays on. He’s been working reasonably well in the mornings, and if he’s fit off the break he might get it done on the class drop today. #9 King Parker is another long shot I want to use, and he was very nearly the longshot of the day selection. His last race was very impressive, as he broke poorly, coming out last by over 10 lengths, but he was flying late to get up for third and ultimately promoted to second. It’s incredibly challenging to make up that kind of ground when only traveling 5.5 furlongs, and this horse is not one who is usually so far off the pace. Velez and Lewis have been hot together lately, so don’t sleep on King Parker at a generous price. #11 Time N Money & #12 Cryin’ Chuck are the two favorites, but neither one particularly interests me. Time N Money is coming off of a year layoff, has a wide draw to deal with, and gets a jockey who is 0/19 at the meet so far. Perhaps the layoff and gelding will wake him up, but he’s not one I’m too keen on. Cryin’ Chuck is more usable to me in this race, as his dirt effort wasn’t bad at all in debut, and he clearly didn’t care for the turf last out. He returns to his preferred surface and distance going out for by far the strongest connections in this field. He’s easily usable, but it’s just a question of how short of a price do you want to take. Race 6: Clm 16000n3L 6 Furlongs Picks: 4,6 / 3,2 While he let me down last time I picked him on top, I’m giving #4 Toothless Wonder another shot here today. He didn’t show much last out, but he’s since switched to the McCarthy barn and picks up one of the top jockeys in Prat. The January 18th workout saw him work with a Baffert pair and actually look much the best over those two when coming home strong. Perhaps the change of scenery finally woke him up? He doesn’t have tons of early speed, but he should be quick enough to get good position and make a move into the turn. #3 Whatsittoya ran a race 2 back at Del Mar that would beat this field easily, but he absolutely flopped last out at Turf Paradise against a weak bunch. Perhaps he needed one off the layoff or he didn’t care for the surface, but that’s a really poor effort to overlook as the morning line favorite today. It does him no favors that #5 Royal Song will be to his outside, who is the quickest of this bunch out of the gate and actually has a few quarter horse victories to his name. I don’t think he has any chance to stay on for 6 furlongs, but he can do enough to make life difficult for the favorite up front. #6 Rinse and Repeat has not had any luck finding the winner’s circle, but he’s repeatedly been running in races that are likely too tough for him. He finally gets a class drop here and makes his third start off the layoff, a 24% angle for Knapp. If the #1 Polar, #3 Whatsittoya, and #5 Royal Song all hook up and the pace gets too hot, this is the closer I’d want the most. Race 7: Clm50000 1 Mile (T) Picks: 9,4 //2,6 I will be the first to acknowledge that #4 Murad Khan is the horse to beat in this race today. He’s a very deserving favorite, and a repeat of his last would likely win this race. He was far from disgraced when losing to strong allowance type The Hunted, and Sellwood came back to win a Grade 3 last weekend. By no means am I against this gelding, but this race has drawn a pretty large field and there is a lot of speed in here. Murad Khan prefers to race midpack off the pace, so I don’t think the pace will really compromise his chances, but at his morning line of 6/5 it’s tough for me to be too excited about him. If you can get around this horse in the horizontal wagers, you will definitely be rewarded, so I’m taking a shot with #9 Battle of Memphis. I tend to believe that east coast turf horses are facing slightly better competition than their west coast brethren most of the time, so I’ve always been interested in this horse moving to California. He’s been facing a number of horses who have come back strong, including Ronald R, Overdue, and Wound Tight, all winners at the n2x allowance level, and it’s easy to forgive his last race when going a distance much too sharp for him. He gets dropped in for a tag for the first time, and Miyadi gets 25% winners when making such a move. Turf wizard Rispoli takes the mount, and he has the perfect off the pace run style that this race appears to be setting up for. #2 Truth Seeker is a bit of a wildcard in here, having never tried turf before, but this was a Winstar Farms & China Horse Club Into Mischief homebred who debuted in a maiden claiming 30,000 race. Clearly something was off, but he’s had some time away and now has a change of scenery moving out west and trying a new surface. His figures on dirt would make him competitive here, and if he can transfer that form to turf he could be a player at a generous price. Race 8: MC 30000 6½ Furlongs Picks: 4, 1 / 1,9,12 The finale for the day gives us a full field of 12 maidens going 6.5 furlongs on the main track. These low-level races are often won by horses on the lead, and 35% of the 6.5-furlong sprints at Santa Anita have been won in gate to wire fashion, slightly above the average. I’m going to take a shot with #4 Champs Success. While he has never run a complete race fast enough to win today, he has run opening fractions that are competitive. Perhaps maiden claiming $50k company was a bit too tough, but he finds a soft spot today. Edwin “all go” Maldonado is on board, and I’m expecting his aggressive style to put this one on the lead in a race that lacks a true front runner. Not sure if he will be able to hold them all off late, but I’ll take my chances that the hot Bonde barn (33%) can get him home on the class drop. #1 Taco Waco is the other likely speed in the field, but I’m not sure he’s truly fast enough to go with Champs Success. He should have a conditioning edge from his route races, and while Rispoli has been hot, he’s done most of his damage on turf races so far. The rail draw helps, and if he has enough speed to avoid getting shuffled back early, he should be right there late turning for home. #9 Golden Victory exits the same race as Waco Taco, and they actually ran a very similar race. Waco Taco got the best of him that day, but that was Golden Victory’s first start in nearly 3 months, and he may have just needed that race off the bench. Perhaps he can turn the tables today, as he was closing decently last out despite chasing a slow pace. #11 Arc Nation adds Lasix for Gallagher, a profitable 16% angle with this barn. He missed the break and was off slowly in his debut, where he just ran evenly and passed a few horses late. He catches a slightly softer bunch here, and he has a right to improve off of that educational debut. Last, #12 Overkoter has run 3 races that are all as good as the best race any horse in here has run to date. However, the one terrible race on his resume was the one time he raced here at Santa Anita. The track surface was much different back in October when they were slowing it down and making it heavy in preparation for Breeder’s Cup safety, and a lot of horses just weren’t handling the track during that meet. With the surface playing a bit more standard this meet, it’s fair to assume that one race was an outlier, and if he replicates or improves on any of his other 3 efforts, he should be very competitive at a great price. Note that the possible post-time favorite #10 Blazing Home is a very possible win contender; I just personally avoid Baltas first-time starters as a rule of thumb as he typically doesn’t have them ready at first asking (6% FTS with -$1.24 ROI, 4% debut maiden claiming with -$1.42 ROI).
Welcome back to Santa Anita! Hopefully everyone enjoyed their holidays and are now ready to get back to making money at the Great Race Place! Despite opening day falling a little later than normal due to the weather, opening weekend was an excellent card full of great races and competitive fields. I’ll be covering the Friday cards at SA for The Daily Gallop throughout 2020, and as always, I will provide ROI statistics of my results for those keeping score at home. New for 2020, I will be breaking out picks into tiers rather than simply providing 4 selections per race. These tiers will show confidence levels in certain horses and also provide a basis for playing horizontal tickets if you are an ABC ticket player. Finally, I’ll also be highlighting one “best longshot” of the day. Let’s start off 2020 with a bang! Race 1:Clm 12500n2L 1 Mile Picks: 6, 1 / 3, 6 We kick off the day with a group of 6 going 8 furlongs on the main track. These cheap N2L races are always challenging handicapping puzzles due to the inconsistency of horses at this level. I’m not crazy about taking a short price on a horse who is 1/19 lifetime, but #6 Fast as Cass does appear to be a cut above most of this field. There is no clear-cut leader in this race, as most of these horses prefer to do their best running late, so I think Fast as Cass has a decent chance to be on or just off the pace early. He has beaten most of this field already, but seems to lack that finishing ability. The barn change from Knapp to Lorenzo Ruiz is a bit concerning, but Ruiz does have strong numbers in a limited sample size, firing at 29% in 2019 and 22% first off the claim. #1 Union Station ran a big race last out. If you watch the replay of the 12/14 race, there were 4 horses bunched together for the lead with a gap of about 10 lengths to the rest of the field. Despite dueling for the majority of the race, those 4 horses ran first, third, fourth, and fifth. Union Station was the only horse that day to make up any ground at all, and while never a threat to the winner he was steadily gaining ground through the lane. His main obstacle here could be the lack of any early pace, as he’s one who will be spotting the field a few lengths early. #3 Tiz A Slayer might be the longest shot on the board, but do not overlook this 4-year-old gelding. Unraced at 3, he is much more lightly raced than the majority of this field, suggesting that we likely have not seen the best of what he has to offer. His speed figures have improved in each of his last 3 starts, and he was trying to close over a strip that was playing kindly towards speed at Los Alamitos. I always prefer a lightly raced horse with upside over the 6-year-old horse who is 1/25 lifetime and likely past his prime. #5 Norski is a notorious horse for me as one who’s burned money countless times as the favorite before finally breaking his maiden last out. Sometimes with these bridesmaid horses, once they finally get that first win the light comes on and they back it up with another strong effort. He has never tried a route, but pedigree suggests he should handle 2 turns, and the strong apprentice rider Velez takes the mount. There are enough unknowns and changes here to suggest he could surprise today, especially if the rider is aggressive and gets him on the lead early. Race 2: Clm 16000n3L 6 Furlongs Picks: 2,3 / 4,5 #2 Toothless Wonder gets the nod as the top selection in this compact field of 5. While there are no superstars in this N3L bunch, Toothless Wonder has numerous speed figures recently that are better than what many of these other horses have run. He flopped as the chalk last out at Los Al, but he still managed to hang on for second despite running in a 2-turn mile which is likely farther than he wants to go. He cuts back to 6 furlongs here, and he owns a strong record at Santa Anita of 8-2-2-1. Ignoring the route race last out, all his other races were against much tougher than he faces today, and he seems poised to get the job done. #3 I Belong to Becky is the early favorite going out for the always dangerous Peter Miller barn. This one will likely be on the lead, and he also gets a bit of class relief here. His race 2 back at Del Mar likely wins this race today, but he did regress quite a bit in his most recent race. The wide draw did him no favor that day as he was hung 5 wide on the turn, so it’s probably best not to be too critical of that effort. Tough to love this one at a very short price though. #4 Black Storm has actually beaten I Belong to Becky in the past, but that was before that one changed barns to Peter Miller. Black Storm always runs an honest race, but he’s typically done his best work away from the speed favoring strip of Santa Anita over at Del Mar. He could upset if the pace gets hot up front, but would need everything to go just right. #5 Roaring Fork has never tried sprinting and makes his first start coming off of a 10-month layoff, but allegedly this one has been working strong in the mornings for McCarthy. He has ample early speed and could get bold if he manages to make the lead. Race 3: [F][S]OC20000n1x 11/8 Mile (T) Picks: 1,5,4 / 7 The third race of the day gives us what is essentially a rematch of the November 15th optional claiming race at Del Mar that 5 of 7 of today’s entrants competed in. That race was pretty much dominated on the front end, as the pace was on the slower side and the even money favorite barely managed to overtook the 2 leaders to get up to win. It’s tough to differentiate those horses in that race, as less than 2 lengths separated the winner from the 6th place finisher, so I’m going to go with a new face in #1 Quinnie. She disappeared for most of 2019 as she was laid up from February until October, but she managed to fire a good effort off the break and win a claiming race on the eve of Breeder’s Cup weekend. Carla Gaines appears to have this one heading back in the right direction, and this daughter of English Channel should relish the added ground today. I expect her to sit just off Brahms Command and Rose Dunn while saving all the ground with the rail draw and tip out wide at the top of the stretch where her stamina edge will get her home. #5 Sapphire Kid was arguably the most impressive horse to exit that November 15th race at Del Mar. She found herself next to last and a bit wide on both turns while chasing a slow pace, but she was closing fastest late and would have likely gotten up for third in one or two more jumps. She seems like one who won’t mind the added ground, but the barn change is concerning, as Steve Knapp is just 2/87 with turf starters over the last 3 years. #4 Lucky Ms Jones was another whom I thought was impressive in the November 15th race. She was off a bit slow last out and made a similar run as Sapphire Kid, and although she finished a nose in front it appeared Sapphire Kid was running better late. A strong work tab in the AM indicate she may have improved since that effort, and D’Amato is a strong turf trainer out west. #7 Rose Dunn is the likely favorite after just missing last out, but she’s one I will try to beat. She had a perfect trip last out, stalking a fading leader with a slow pace, and she still couldn’t hang on to get the win. Now she has to handle an extra furlong, and it’s tough to see her getting the lead as Maldonado is back on Brahms Command and will be gunning for the front once again. That last work was lightning fast, she perhaps she has improved, but there are certainly obstacles to overcome and at a short price I’d rather side with others. Race 4: [F]Clm 12500n2L 6½ Furlongs Picks: 5,3,1 Race 4 brings us an unattractive group of fillies and mares that lacks any true standout. While I acknowledge that Diosa is the likely runaway winner if she returns to her late 2018 form, her last 2 races were abysmal efforts and she then disappeared for 8 months and now returns for a new barn at a much lower level. She also has a lot of other speed to contend with here, and she has never proven that she has the ability to rate or to stay on beyond 5.5 furlongs. Reports from the morning workouts indicate she’s been unwilling to settle and finishing up a bit flat, so I’m going to fade her at a very short price. #5 Jabber Now is the reluctant top choice. This one may be a head-scratcher at first given the 1 for 16 record and 13-month layoff, but I just don’t like any of the competition in this race. Jabber Now has proven the ability to rate, and I imagine the pace up front will be very hot, with Diosa, Bellazano, Queen Carmelita, and At the Margin all gunning for the lead. The 1 for 16 record is certainly not encouraging, but it isn’t as bad as it seems if you discard the 6 turf races where she was clearly on the wrong surface and the 1 race over an off track she did not care for. She has apparently been working strong in the mornings in preparation for this return, but this is not a pick you can feel super confident in. I will be spreading deep here as I don’t want to be right about the 8/5 favorite losing but not having the right longshot on top. #3 Bellazano is likely my pick for the best of the speeds. I already covered that I do not trust Diosa, and Bellazano has speed figures at this distance and over this track that make her very competitive today. She appears to be in decent form and returns to a track she likes. It is likely we haven’t seen the best this now 4-year-old has to offer. #1 Laker Jet is one of two who has proven the ability to pass other horses and sustain a bid beyond 5.5 furlongs. Laker Jet should get a great stalk and pounce trip when the speed begins falling apart. There are certainly some class concerns at play, and a trainer not known for success at Santa Anita, but at least she should be fit on the cutback and coming strong late. Race 5: [F]Clm 25000n2L 1 Mile (T) Picks: 8,9 / 4 / 1 #8 Invincibella finally gets the class relief she has so desperately been needing as she drops in for a tag for the first time. Versatile miss has the ability to close or sit just off the pace, which should prove useful here as there are a number of speedsters signed on and the pace should be hot. She has been working strong in the mornings, and she appears to just tower over this field from a class and speed figure perspective. The pick. #9 Point Hope is another who may wake up on the class drop. She has done her best work on the synthetic surfaces so far, but she’s bred to handle turf routing just fine. Pace should be honest, so I imagine she will be another coming strong late. It is a bit alarming to note the steady regression in her speed figures over her last handful of starts, but she does have a right to improve here second off the bench. #4 Tinnie had to drop all the way to maiden claiming 20k last out to break her maiden, but she did so like a 3/5 horse should when blasting an overmatched field. Prat is familiar with the mount and gets back aboard, and she should get first run on some of the other deeper closers. Note that Mandella is an absurd 58% (10 for 19) in claiming races over the last 3 years. Never easy facing winners for the first time, but she appears to be heading the right direction. Don’t completely ignore #1 Greater Glory. Many will dismiss this 5-year-old mare based on the unknown connections and 1/23 lifetime record, but I believe this one has a chance to surprise. By Into Mischief and out of a Mr Greeley dam, this one should really enjoy the grass, and she has hit the board twice out of her four turf starts. She was freshened up briefly before returning at Los Alamitos, and now returns to grass and has a history of mild improvement second off the layoff. She is a dead closer, but she should get a hot pace in front of her and she draws well with the inside post, especially advantageous with the rails being out. It might be asking a lot for her to end up in the winner’s circle, but she’s one to consider using underneath as she will be coming strong late as the dueling leaders begin to tire. Race 6: [F]OC40000n1x 1 Mile Picks: 5 / 1 / 3 #5 Savvy Gal is the top pick in a competitive field of up-and-coming 3-year-old fillies. She possesses loads of natural speed, but she has also proven that she does not need the lead to be effective when stalking the pace in her debut. She’s trying dirt for the first time, but out of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense she should handle the surface just fine. Rosario is in the irons, who is a red-hot 38% so far this meet since returning to California. He should have plenty of options from the outside draw, and she appears the one to beat. #1 Gingham took a while to finally break her maiden, an unusual pattern for Baffert-trained horses, and she was thrown to the wolves a bit when up against 2 of the division’s leading juvenile fillies in Bast and Donna Veloce in the Grade 1 Starlet last out. It’s unclear just how talented this filly might be, but she’s run fast enough to contend in this spot and has very strong connections. Lack of that finishing ability could prove troublesome, and her last workout was uncharacteristically slow for a Baffert horse, but I’m likely willing to give her another chance. I probably won’t be going much deeper than the top 2 selections in this race, most likely singling Savvy Gal, but #3 Shanghai Keely is one who could fly under the radar a bit. I think you get better value than the 3-1 ML indicates, as these connections typically don’t get bet much at Santa Anita. Ari Herbertson was firing at 32% in 2019, and is an astounding 40% when 3rd off the layoff over the last 3 years. Her effort in the G2 Sorrento in defeat actually makes her competitive here on speed figures alone, and the winner of that race Amalfi Sunrise was incredibly highly regarded until being forced into early retirement. She improved second off the layoff last out, and with further improvement and a return to dirt she could pull off the surprise. Race 7 [S]Mdn 55k 5½ Furlongs (T) Picks: 9,1 // 3 Race 7 provides our first turf dash of the day, with a field of 9 freshly turned 3-year-olds. #9 Rookie Mistake is the top selection. Far too many times have I seen Doug O’Neill with a Reddam Racing Square Eddie homebred switch to turf and romp to not use this horse. The initial turf debut was strong, as he came up just a bit short when bet down to 6/5 favoritism and making the lead. He was clearly in over his head in the stakes race that followed, but a return to maiden company nearly got him home last time out on the dirt. He has ample early speed and now returns to the surface I think he prefers. He needs to prove he can sustain that early speed for the final 1/16th, but back on turf against state-bred company, I think he gets the job done today. #1 Coalinga Road is the very close second choice. This gelding flashed strong early foot in his debut before tiring badly late in the stretch while dueling between horses the entire race. Carla Gaines horses very rarely win first out, as she typically races them into shape, so I expect a better effort from him here today. Note that Gaines is 24% over the last 3 years with horses making their first start on grass with a +$2.23 ROI. Beyond the top 2 selections, the pickings get a little more complicated. #3 Big Billy is the first time starter I’m most interested in. While the trainer Dunham has not had much success in 2019, especially with turf starters, there are enough positives here for me to take a shot at 15-1. Strong rider Abel Cedillo takes the mount, which is something I typically note when leading riders get up for small barn or low percentage trainers. There is also tons of turf pedigree, as both Mr Big (Dynaformer) and Street Boss get 15% winners with horses trying turf for the first time. He exits a strong 47.4 workout last out, and the pattern suggests he may be fit enough. Race 8: [F]MC 20000 6½ Furlongs Picks: 7,4,5 / 3,9 Race 8 appears to be a pretty open affair depending on how you feel about the morning line favorite. My top pick here is the longshot of the day #7 Suezaana. In a field full of relatively cheap maiden claimers who haven’t flashed much real ability, I almost always prefer a horse with the ability to be on or near the lead. Suezaana has some early speed but has also shown the ability to pass horses when needed. Her speed figures have improved in each of her last 3 starts, and she has hit the board twice in her 2 tries at Santa Anita. She has strong early pace and respectable turn times for this field, so she’s one I’m using prominently in a field of somewhat uninspiring maidens. #4 Manresa is one who likely did not get enough respect by the 4-1 ML after coming home strongly late to just miss by a nose in her debut. The show horse from that race came back to win next out, and with any improvement she is a huge threat here. Still, the cutback to a sprint seems puzzling given her strong debut at a route, and Tom Bell doesn’t have the best record with horses coming back off of medium (46-90 day) layoffs, as he’s 0/32 the last 3 years. #5 Buyback is the last logical threat, as she also has early speed and an aggressive rider in Maldonado. Her race 2 back was very strong, as the winner and show horse both came back to win, but she did not appear to have the same spark off the layoff last out. Another contender in an open race. #9 Katsaros is the obvious pick here, as she gets huge class relief and switches surface to dirt. While her speed figures on turf make her competitive here, she has never run on dirt, and note that the Sadler – Hronis normal jockeys Rosario and Prat do not take this mount, and NorCal rider Cerapio Figueroa ends up on board instead. I can’t help but feel like the barn just doesn’t know what to do with this one, as she has tried turf sprinting, turf routing, maiden special weight, maiden claimers, back to maiden special weight, and this drop to maiden claiming and switch to dirt feels more desperate than strategic. She likely needs to be used on horizontal tickets, but I would try to beat her in anything vertical or for win bets. #3 Chirp is another with early speed who figures to contend for the lead. While she has hit the board a few times, she wasn’t within 10 lengths of the winner in those efforts so it’s tough to feel great about her chances here. Race 9: [F]Alw50000s 1 Mile (T) Picks: 9,3,2 / 5,6 We have another price play slated on top for the nightcap, with the #9 Flying to the Line getting top honors. The outside draw with the rails up could prove tricky, and it is always incredibly dangerous to claim off of Peter Miller, but this filly has tons of speed in a race where I think it’s likely the winner will be near the lead. This surely isn’t a lone speed scenario, but I feel she is likely the classiest of all the speeds and has already run competitive races at this level. Her turf form is respectable and she’s a proven miler already, so I’ll take a shot with a price I can’t pass up. #3 Untouched Elegance is the other speed who will threaten for the lead, and she has drawn more favorably. If Flying to the Line doesn’t respond on the barn change or fails to break, Untouched Elegance could inherit a fairly easy lead and prove tough to run down on the front. Baltas has been absolutely owning the turf at Santa Anita so far this meet, and despite losing to weaker last out she has already proven she can compete at this level. Expect her to improve second off the layoff. #2 Querelle is the morning line favorite, and it is always risky to fade a Peter Miller horse on grass in California. Miller hits at 29% first off the claim, and gets the services of dominantly leading rider Rosario on board. The connections are outstanding, and the class relief will help, but you have to question how short of a price do you want on a horse who is a dead closer and only 1 for 7 on the board since coming to the US a year ago.
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.
Here are my picks for Belmont this Friday. I am only listing my picks because this is who I will be betting. It should not and does not imply I know any more about horse racing than the next person. However, I have hit my share of races through the years and there is no better feeling than collecting after one of your bombs wins and blows up the exacta, trifecta and supers. But I also know I overlook a lot of important information and if I can, so can anyone else. Therefore, no one should bet any of my picks because I think they could or will win, but rather, each person has the option of going back and reviewing my picks or dismissing them as I have no clue what I am talking about. It will not hurt my feelings either way. I am only concerned about the way I bet and the opportunity I give myself to make serious money. And that should be your priority, too. 1st Race: Maiden-- 3 YOs & Up--- Purse $90,000--- 7 Furlongs: 5) Ahead Of Plan(1-1) looks like the one to beat as he makes his first start this year. He led throughout until caught near the wire in his first lifetime start last year. Works are good and the experience he gain in that start should get him home first. His sire, Big Drama, was extremely tough to beat in sprints 6) Four Ten(6-1) should be the main threat to the favorite. Making his first lifetime start, his sire is Curlin, who everyone should be familiar with, but his dam, Any Limit, is a multiple G2 & G3 SW of $659,768, mostly in sprints. 3)Double Orb(8-1) will be my choice for third. There looks like there is an abundant of speed in here and he has good enough works where he should be able to at least pick up tiring horses. 7)Sneakness(6-1) is the only horse entered that has raced this year and he now adds blinkers, so he could possibly get a piece. Bets: Ex Box 5-6, Tri Box 3-5-6, .10 Super box 3-5-6-7. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2nd Race: Maiden---Restricted To NY Breds--- 3 YO & Up Fillies--- Purse $72,000--- 6 Furlongs Inner Turf: 6) Funderella(20-1) will be my choice to WP. Her sire, D'Funnybone, is a multiple G2 SW of $686,700 on dirt but the reason for taking a chance on her is her broodmare sire, City Zip. I know very little about her trainer, other than he trains mostly NY breds and runs mostly at Aqueduct & Finger Lakes. However, he seems to do better on grass or when he ships to run on Presque Isle AWT, which is similar to grass. His stats are 13% winning and 40% in the money lifetime, not bad for training cheap stock. 9) Andretta(9-2) will be my choice for second. She has ran 2nd 4 times in 7 lifetime starts but was beaten by the favorite in here in her only start this year. But I will take her over the favorite because she has proven she can rate and she will not have to pressure the pace like she had to in her 1st start this year. 7) J J Jen (6-1) will be my choice for third. She made her first career start in the Andretta race last out, broke slowly and was making up ground lat. Her sire, Teuflesburg, sports the same sire as Scat Daddy and J J Jen's dam family has sprinter speed sprinkled throughout her pedigree. With a slightly break break, which is expected, she could easily blow by this field, though I like my top two choices better. 4) Prisoner's Dilemma(5-2) is the morning line favorite and is the one to catch, but looks like their are several first time starters who should ensure a lively pace. Bets: WP 6, Ex Box 6-9, Tri Box 6-7-9, .10 Super Box 4-6-7-9, Super Key 6 with 4-6-9 with 4-6-9 with 4-6-9. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Race 3: Allowance O/C $80,000--- 3 YOs---- Purse $92,000--- 1 Mile Turf: 2) Shootin The Breeze(7-2) will be my choice to win. He is the class of this field thus far and should be ready to move on to the next set of conditions. 11) Kulik Bear(6-1) ran a nice race while graduating in his last and is facing winners for the first time. However, looks like his trainer picked a fairly soft spot and he should be a factor late. Owne Breeder of this horse purchased Curlin as a young 3 YO, along with several other nice horses. 9) Valid Point(2-1) is the morning line 2nd favorite and hails from Chad Brown's barn. On grass anywhere and especially in New York, I have to include most runners racing on grass from this barn and this one is no exception. Bets: Ex Box 2-11, Tri Box 2-9-11. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 4: Allowance O/C $40,000--- 3 YOs & Up--- Restricted To New York Breds--- Purse $80,000--- 6 1/2 Furlongs: 1)H-Man(2-1) crushed a NY bred field in his last in the same conditions and looks to repeat, which he should against these. 6) Bluegrass Express(10-1) is dropping from condition open bred allowances and returning to the class of his last win. His last two starts has shown he looks like he is returning to top form and could upset if top pick falters. 4) Empire Line(7-2) is returning to the races after a 15 month break and dropping out of state bred stakes races. He will also be racing as a first time gelding and has some good steady works. However, he will probably find this type of field a bigger challenge to overcome than the couple of stakes he ran in, especially being off so long. 3) The Caretaker(6-1) is also dropping from open bred condition allowance races and also returning to the class of his last win. While it looks like he is still off form, it may be because of the competition he has been facing. In with a good shot to upset. Bets: Ex Box 1-6, Tri Box 1-4-6, .10 Super Box 1-3-4-6, Super Key 1 with 3-4-6 with 3-4-6 with 3-4-6. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 5: Bed O' Roses Inv S(G3)----- 3 YO & Up Fillies---- Purse $250,000---- 7 Furlongs: 3) Chalon(2-1) is the only real speed in this race and should control the pace up front. She has battled early in several of her races with the top female sprinters in the country but has yet to take the top prize in a graded stakes home. Should be her race for the taking. 7) Separationofpowers(5-2) tired in her first start of the year after pressing the pace. Now she has to carry an additional 4 lbs under the conditions of the race. So, she will probably have too sit a couple of lengths behind the top choice and try to chase her down with no real help. 1)Saguaro Row(15-1) is very sharp right now and looks to be the only threat to the top two. She has won her only 2 starts since being switched to Stidham's barn and her two works since her last indicates she is ready. While she could get the jump on the second pick and finish 2nd, she will have to run a race she has not proven she can to beat the top choice. Bets: Ex Box 3-7, Ex Key 3 with 1-7, Tri Box 1-3-7, Tri Key 3-7 with 3-7 with 1. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 6: Allowance O/C $100,000--- 3 YO & Up--- Purse $92,000---- 1 Mile Turf: 1)Awesome Saturday(12-1) is my choice to spring the upset. He has started 4 times on grass in his career, his first two starts in each of the last two years. While both his sire and broodmare sire ran in top races on dirt, both shows Danzig in their pedigrees, a top sprint/miler sire on grass in the world. He has shown he is not quite fast enough to beat good sprinters but does not have enough stamina good horses at distances at over a mile on dirt. 6)Gidu(8-1) is my 2nd choice, though he has been crossed entered into a much tougher spot on Saturday at Belmont. He has a much better chance of winning this race though. If he goes in here, he should set the pace and be tough to run down. 8) V.I.P. Code(30-1) will be my choice for 3rd. He has started once this year and that start was his 2nd lifetime on grass, but it was on a yielding grass course, so that start is a toss for me. He ran 2nd in his first start on grass in his career(odds 71-1), to the same horse that beat him in his last. His new trainer, Colletti, Jr has pulled off bigger surprises. I simply do not know if he has this one ready, though. 9)Have At It(10-1) is another I will use underneath in a super key. This distance seems to fit him better than the others who are dropping out of graded stakes into this race. His owner and his trainer both play this game at the top end also. Bets: WP 1, Ex Box 1-6, Tri Box 1-6-8, Tri Box 1-6-9, .10 Super Box 1-6-8-9, Super Key 1 with 6-8-9 with 6-8-9 with 6-8-9. Race 7: The Tremont---- 2 YOs --- Purse $150,000--- 5 1/2 Furlongs: 8) Rookie Salsa(4-1) has won his first two starts and is my choice to win his third straight. Both sire & broodmare sire banked over $1M each and both won just more than half their lifetime starts. 3)Now Is(20-1) is a maiden that finished third in his only lifetime start and that start came on grass. However, his sire, Sidney's Candy was very speedy on both dirt and grass and while his broodmare sire, Distorted Humor, is better known as a grass sire or off track sire, he ran against the best of his generation on dirt and usually was heard from in the stretch. His trainer, Gleaves, has been training since at least the mid 1980's. 7) Memorable(8-1) is my choice for 3rd. He broke his maiden in his first start and finished in a good time on a sloppy track. The race looks like it sets up for a horse who can rate and he looks most likely that can sit close and go when asked. 1)Theitalianamerican(10-1) looks like a cold stone closer as he came from far back at the top of the stretch to finish 2nd, beaten a head in a good time. However, it was more due to the fact the two front runners simply stopped but he did make up 4 lengths on the winner. With that start under his belt, he should break a little better but there are others in here that will get a huge jump if he lags too far back. Sire, Girolamo, hails from the same female family as Blue Grass Cat & Supersaver, among many other stakes winners. Bets: WP 8, Ex Box 3-8, Tri Box 3-7-8, .10 Super Box 1-3-7-8, Super Key 8 with 1-3-7 with 1-3-7 with 1-3-7. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 8) The True North(G2)--- 3 YO & Up--- Purse $250,000---- 6 1/2 Furlongs: 5) Strike Power(8-1) is my choice to WP. After two wins in his first two career starts, he faced off with Promises Fulfilled in his next four starts, a horse he proved he could not battle and keep going because of the blistering pace. He was switched to grass against more experienced grass horses for his last start last year and he showed about as much as could be expected. His first start this year saw him cruise around GP track in 1:15 flat, which is 3/5 of a second of the track record that has stood since 2005(drf says 1/5 off). However, no one else in here can say they had to set 21 and change and 43 and change to have a chance to win any race, but he can but he could not. Doubtful if anyone else here can either. 4) Nicodemus(8-1) will be my choice for 2nd. His last saw him chase down a loose on the lead horse who returns in this race with no help in the slop. He should have help early in here and could win if a blistering pace develops. His sire is Candy Ride, who everyone should know but his broodmare sire is Tiger Ridge, a full brother to Summer Squall & a 1/2 brother to A.P. Indy. Look for him to improve as he gains more experience. 8) Do Share(5-1) will be my choice for third. While I could have gone with Whitmore in this spot, I decided Do Share is probably the one who is fitter at the moment, since he ran by Whitmore in their last. 7) Whitmore(7-2) will be my choice to complete the super. Bets: WP 5, Ex Box 4-5, Tri Box 4-5-8, .10 Super Box 4-5-7-8, Super Key 5 with 4-7-8 with 4-7-8 with 4-7-8. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Race 9: The New York(G2)---- 3 YO & UP Fillies And Mares---- Purse $600,000 ---- 1 1/4 Mile Inner Turf. 8)Homerique(6-5) towers over this field and should be one of the easiest winners of the day, if she run anywhere close to her past form. She ran in the two biggest races restricted to 3 YO fillies last year and finished 3rd both times while narrowly beaten. 3)Giant Zinger(15-1) is my choice to finish 2nd. Her last two starts. she was sent from the start because the going was soft and good. On the good turf, she set a slow enough pace to be close at the end and she was. On the soft grass, it really did not matter how slow she went, because most will tire badly anyways and she did, considering it was a 5 horse field. Now she shortens up a furlong and she should rate behind the early speed which is what she does in her best races. 4) Lady Montdore(10-1) will be my choice for third. She will try to sneak off to an easy early lead and if allowed to succeed will prove to be tough to run down, though the top choice should find it in her. Her sire is Medaglia D'Oro but her dam is Hystericalady, a multiple G1 winner of more than 2.3M on dirt, including a 2nd in the G1 BC Distaff in the slop. One mile on grass is too short for Lady Montdore but 1 3/8 miles has proven to be a little further than she looks like she wants to go. Now she gets her 2nd shot at 1 1/4 mile on grass but now has to beat Fourstar Crook's replacement. 1)Holy Helena(9-2) seems to always be around but usually finds the U.S. horses a little tougher to beat than her Canadian competition. Same should hold true against these. Bets: Ex Box 3-8, Tri Box 3-4-8, .10 Super Box 1-3-4-8, Super Key 8 with 1-3-4 with 1-3-4 with 1-3-4. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 10th Race: Belmont Gold Cup Inv(G2)--- 3 YO & Up--- Purse $400,000---- 2 Miles Turf. 6) Arklow(5-2) is my choice to win. This looks like one of easier spots he has found in a while and should prove tough to deny. 7)Hunter O'Riley(10-1) will be my choice to finish 2nd. He is making his 4th start this year after making one start all of last year. He was some back class, including a 5th in this race in 2017 in a field that came up fairly strong. Trainer is also better known for his grass runners than his dirt runners. 5)Highland Sky(15-1) will be my third choice. While he has not been a real impact in a distance turf for a while, he is working better than he has in a while, indicating he may be returning to his best form. While I really do not expect it, if he returns to his 3 YO form, he will upset this field. There is no Beach Patrol in here. 9)Canessar(9-2) is my fourth choice and the only one close to having a recent race good enough to beat my top choice. While I do not really like his two most recent races, he will be making his fourth start since he took a six month break, so maybe he is ready to return to form. Bets: WP 7, Ex Box 6-7, Tri Box 5-6-7, .10 Super Box 5-6-7-9, Super Key 6 with 5-7-9 with 5-7-9 with 5-7-9. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11th race: Starter Allowance $40,000---- 3 YO & Up Fillies & Mares--- Purse $55,000--- 6 Furlongs Inner Turf: 4) Ragtime Suzy(12-1) is my choice to win. First, Irad Ortiz has accept the mount and he seems to love to win the last race most days, especially in New York. Ragtime Suzy's dam, Category Seven, was a tough as nails competitor throughout her racing career and she performed better on grass than dirt. Her trainer, Bush, is also slightly better with his grass runners compared to his dirt runners. 1)Smokem Deb(3-1) will be my choice to finish 2nd. She has speed and will have to use it early because the rail is not the best place to be on the inner turf when it is firm. However, her trainer, Thomas, probably knows this as well as anyone and he should have her prepared. 5) Derby Day Jewel(10-1) will be my choice for third. Her trainer also trains my top pick and she is bred as good the top choice. In fact, Derby Day Jewel's sire, Get Stormy, is one of two G1 grass winner this trainer has trained in his career. Derby Day Jewel's dam, Jasmine Jewel, beat winners only once in her career but it was at 5 furlongs on grass where she came from last to first. 11) Ailish(8-1) will be my choice for 4th. She breaks from the far outside and the outside posts on the inner grass is as bad as breaking from the rail. So she will need to break alertly to get a good position before the turn to have a real shot at winning. Not impossible but very rare. Bets: WP 4, Ex Box 1-4, Tri Box 1-4-5, .10 Super Box 1-4-5-11, Super Key 4 with 1-5-11 with 1-5-11 with 1-5-11.
Saturday Nov 2, 2019 Santa Anita Park Race: 4 (2:55PM EST Post) BC Filly and Mare Sprint Covfefe is lightning bolt fast and is 4 for 5 this year including shattering a track record earlier in May. She looks “revved up” for this off an 8 length win last time out and back to back excellent works……………Come Dancing is also 4 for 5 this year and could not have looked any better in her last. She heads west for the first time with a monster six furlong drill in tow and for the last time as well as (from what I gather) she has a “date” with Uncle Mo next spring………..I hate to put the gorgeous, $800,000 daughter of Quality Road, Bellafina this far down, I really do. She clearly does not “take her race track with her” as she is 4 for 4 on this oval, yet 2 for 7 everywhere else, including taking three straight drubbings out of town. Returns back “home” here………………….Honorable Mentions: Would the real Serengeti Empress please stand up?...................Secret Spice keeps finding ways to lose, but she is multiple Grade: 1 Stakes placed this year and likes this track……………..Spiced Perfection appears to be coming into this race in good form and is a two time Grade: 1 winner in her career. If she gets a good trip, she could be rolling down the lane…..Couple of long shots to consider include Dawn the Destroyer, who although is just 1 for 7 this year, just missed behind Spiced Perfection last time, and Heavenhasmynikki, who is blossoming of late and very sharp right now after three straight coast to coast wins. Race: 5 (3:33 PM EST Post) BC Turf Sprint Shekky Shebaz looks like the “speed of the speed” here. His internal fractions and lastest speed figures are superior as well. Could make every pole a winning one……………..Belvior Bay is a 6 year old mare taking on the ‘boys but is 6 for 9 at Santa Anita and comes into this after chasing (and only being beaten by 3 lengths) by that missile they called World of Trouble………………Eddie Haskell is having a very strong year as his 8-4-3-1 record would indicate. He’s never been off the board in 14 tries at this distance, including 9 wins…………..Honorable Mentions: Both Pure Sensation and Stormy Liberal have probably seen better days but either could jump up and run big here still …………….Stubbins and Totally Boss both appear to be coming into this in career form. Race: 6 (4:10 PM EST Post) BC (Dirt) Mile I loved the way the super star talent leveled Omaha Beach dug in and ran down the very speedy Shancelot in his first start back in almost 6 months last time out. This gorgeous, well put together son of War Front has trained brilliantly since. Bottom line here is he is one of, if not THE, best bet of both BC days……………………….It’s no secret I like the hulking Improbable, from the Bob Baffert barn, quite a bit. That said, by and large he’s disappointed this year and if you want proof, look no further than his 1 for 6 record. He’ll be cutting back in distance off his last and, judging by his most recent works, it appears Baffert has him “revved up” for this…………………Coal Front is 8 for 12 in his career and seems to have shaken off the effects of his Dubai trip in the spring. This distance hits him squarely between the eyes as well………….Honorable Mentions: Mr. Money has a four race win streak snapped last time out….nice colt…………..Diamond Oops has chased Imperial Hint and Bowie’s Hero in his last two and held his own……………………..Blue Chipper is 7 for 8 lifetime in Korea. Past that, I have no clue what to make of him. He appears in way over his head, then again so did Arcangues. Race: 7 (4:54 PM EST Post) BC Filly and Mare Turf Sistercharlie has now come from behind to win six straight Grade: 1s. Unless one of the Euros are Enable incognito, this 5 year old mare is another one of the best bets of the weekend…………………..Vasilika is 18 for 35 lifetime and an astounding 11 for 12 on this oval. Electrifying stretch running mare should be charging hard late………….The cleverly named Mrs. Sippy just missed behind Sistercharlie last time out. Between that race and her U.S debut/win two back, she must be considered ………….Honorable Mentions: All four Europeans….Castle Lady has won 3 of 5 and was making up ground late in a Grade: 1 at Keeneland last time out, her U.S debut……………Billesdon Brook has won 3 of her last 4 including a Group:1 last time out……..Fanny Logan has won four straight overseas…………….Fleeting was making up ground late against Sistercharlie in a race last year. The extra distance here should help her chances. Race: 8 (5:36 PM EST Post)BC Sprint Aside from a little hiccup (bounce) on July 27, Mitole has been the most dominant sprinter in the country in 2019. The only draw back I see is he heads west for the first time and there have been countless East Coast based horses who have fizzled when going west for the first time. Past that, this is his race to lose…………………..Catalina Cruiser might be the biggest (size wise) horse to run all weekend long. Big, super fast and he draws the rail on a track he is 2 for 2 over. This winner of 7 of 8 career starts must be considered……………..Conversely, Imperial Hint is a “pip squeak” in size but is nothing short of a running fool. Kudos to trainer Luis Carvajal for doing a masterful job in getting this speedster here. After setting a track record at Saratoga in the Alfred Vanderbilt, Carvajal gave this horse two months off to rest up after such a colossal effort. He brings him back in the Forego (a race where he was dead game in winning) then textbook trained him up to this. Bottom line here is he too must be considered……………..Honorable Mentions: Shancelot absolutely ran a hole in the wind in Amsterdam two starts back (121 BSF) but showed a little kink in the armor in his last two. Of course, there is no shame in losing by a head to Omaha Beach. That said, this colt figures to be among the vanguard in what looks to be a nuclear early pace, which might leave him vulnerable in deep stretch……………A couple of long-shots to consider include Hog Street Hustle, Engage and even what appears to be an out of top form Whitmore, as all three of these stretch runners could take advantage of what promises to be a wickedly fast early pace. Race: 9 (6:20 PM EST Post) BC Turf Mile Uni is a big, stretch running chestnut mare who takes on the ‘boys in this spot but has won 6 of her last 7 (all at this distance) including two Grade: 1’s………………Maximus Circus is a two time Group:1 winner overseas. Good looking colt by the great Galileo adds blinkers, is trained by one of the best in the world and is the recipient of one of my favorite angles (first time Lasix)…..figures bang up……………Got Stormy is another taking on the ‘boys but has been holding top notch form since May, including a Grade: 1 win and four straight “trips” speed figures…………Honorable Mentions: What’s up with the long odds on Suedios (20-1), who after being a ridiculous 8 wide on the turn for home, came screaming down the lane to miss by three quarters of a length in his U.S. debut, Lucullan (12-1), who is 3 for 4 after a long break, including coming home the last furlong in a strong :11.3 seconds last time out, and True Valor, who appears to be peaking right now after winning a Grade: 2 over this very turf course while getting a mile in an excellent 1:32.4? Upon paddock and pre-race warms ups inspections, I might use some or all in my exotics plays. Race: 10 (7pm EST Post) BC Distaff Midnight Bisou is now 7 for 7 this year, over 5 different surfaces and has recorded 3 Grade: 1 wins. She just “breaths different air” than the rest of this division. If she wins here, and I suspect she will, you have to toss her into the Horse of the Year debate……………Dunbar Road is gorgeous three year old filly taking on her elders here but, aside from her last race where she just didn’t fire, this $350,000 daughter of Quality Road had won 4 of her first 5 races including the prestigious Alabama Stakes at Saratoga…………………Blue Prize is a consistent, multiple Grade: 1 Stakes winner who appears to be coming into this in career best form…………………Honorable Mentions: Do not….do not….do not….. dismiss Street Band so quickly. Another 3 YO taking on elders, this filly knocked off Dunbar Road two races back and won the Grade: 1 Cotillion Stakes in her last. She is clearly getting good at the right time and will absolutely be on some of my tickets………………Wow Cat has hit the board in 14 of 15 career starts, including 9 wins and wasn’t THAT far behind Midnight Bisou last time out………………If Paradise Woods is “right”, she could make an impact on this race. However, she's a little too inconsistent for me. Race: 11 (7:40 PM EST Post) BC Turf Speaking of Horse of the Year contenders, Bricks and Mortar might be perched atop that discussion. Five year old, by the late, super sire Giant’s Causeway, is 5 for 5 this year with 4 Grade:1 wins. He possesses a strong and determined late run, handles any distance and is a solid favorite here…………………….Anthony Van Dyke ran third behind Magical in the prestigious QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and chased Horse of the “World” Enable two starts back. That said, I’m going to try to beat this 3-1 morning line favorite……………Old Persian came from well back to win his North American debut in the Grade: 1 Northern Dancer in his last. Handsome colt gets scored a 100 BSF in that race and gets Lasix again here…..should be coming late……………..Honorable Mention: After “nibbling” in his prior races this year, the stretch running Arklow finally broke through and scored a Grade: 1 win last time out…..light bulb angle?..................Alounak just missed in his North American debut in the Grade: 1 Canadian International last time out. I was really impressed how he came home the last quarter in :23.2 over a course labeled “good”…that’s doing some running…………….Your super long-shot horse here is United, who is in good form right now and seems to be getting better as the distances get longer. Race: 12 Breeders Cup Classic Code of Honor is a three year old taking on elders but he appears to be getting better by the day. His last two races at 10 furlongs were a fast closing third in none other than the Kentucky Derby, and beaten by nose (by was put up to first) in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The facts he is improving and he likes this distance are enough for him to get my timid vote here………………….Like Improbable, it’s no secret I like McKinzie quite a bit, he’s fast, gorgeous and his back story is great. I’ve backed him in just about every race in his career and he has rewarded me more times that not. This bay colt sports a 7-3-4-0 record on this oval as well. Having said that, the fact still remains he is 0 for 2 at 10 furlongs, which I wouldn’t really make too much out of, but more importantly, his stride changed both times in deep stretch of those races. As I’ve said before, this son of Street Sense’s “wheelhouse” is between 7 and 8 ½ furlongs….this is well outside that realm. Listen if he beats me, I’ll tip my cap to him, but due to the distance alone, he’s a play against for me.......................I’m not a big fan of Vino Rosso but truth be told, he is in great form right now. He ran an enormous race in his one and only time over the Santa Anita surface, came back with a “parking lot” wide trip at Saratoga and essentially wired the field in the aforementioned Jockey Club Gold Cup only to be taken down for repeated bumping down the lane. A horse who likes the track and is in good form must always be respected…could conceivably outrun this rating……………..Honorable Mentions: Elate might be the best 10 furlong horse in the country male or female. This Amazonian mare is 3 for 3 at this distance this year, won them all 3 by wide margins and, most importantly, she was striding out beautifully in deep stretch….could better this rating……………..Yoshida is a 0 for 5 this year but he has run very well in his last two in NY and, after watching him train this week, Mott might have him peaking at just the right time…………………Mongolian Groom comes into to this razor sharp off four straight improved races ( last 4 BSF: 98, 99,100 and 110). Of all the horses I watched train this week over this track, he was one of the stand outs for sure. My only question is, where does he go from that 110 BSF? Surely it doesn’t go up, I doubt it stays the same, so that only leaves one option. Bottom line here is he just might have a “bounce” race coming up…………………Speaking of bouncing, it looks as though that exactly what Higher Power did in his last, if you can call a 99 BSF a bounce. The son of Medaglia d’Oro could spring back into form in this spot……………………..Owendale is a talented, good looking, three year old multiple Graded Stakes winner who appears overmatched. Make no mistake though, he seems to be getting better and better.
Previews of the Cotillion; Pennsylvania Derby and more
Saturday September 21, 2019 Parx Park Race: 9 (4:34 PM EST Post) Gallant Bob Stakes King Jack won his first two starts sprinting before taking on probable Penn Derby favorite Improbable in his last. This son of Jimmy Creed race exceptionally well while finishing less than three lengths behind that beast. Albeit, he’ll be facing some crack sprinters in this spot, I’m not seeing any horses of Improbable’s caliber here. Narrow margin in an extremely well matched field………………..It’s very clear that the good looking Trophy Chaser is a stone cold sprinter. This son of Twirling Candy was super impressive ripping through hot early fractions in wiring an Allowance field at Gulfstream, stopping the clock in 1:22.4 for seven furlongs last time out. Also note the one and only time he ran at this distance, he won by 15 lengths. 6-1 on the morning line looks generous ………………..Bethlehem Road at 10-1 on the morning line is another who offers some value. Yes, he was beaten by a grand total of 69 lengths in his last three races but you must also note all of those races were at the wrong (route) distances and all vs. much tougher competition. This gelding by Quality Road is at his best at between 5 ½ furlongs and seven furlongs, so this distance should hit him squarely between the eyes. The 3 for 4 record on this oval is also an attention getter…………………..Honorable Mentions: At 7/2 on the morning line, I think quite the contrary about Landeskog as he seems like an underlay to me at that number. Yes, this gelding by Munnings has good speed, and yes, he was impressive beating $40,000 optionals in his last at Del Mar. However, he now ships across the country, stretches out in distance and steps way up in class. I won’t throw him out completely here but on paper he looks like a fringe player……………………..Strong Will is still another who screams “sprinter.” This $775,000 son of Strong Mandate is 3 for 3 in sprint races (with ascending speed figures off each subsequent race) but was buried twice going long. Another who will be taking a sizable step up in class however…………….Get Hammered ran an Allowance field off their feet in his dirt debut at Canterbury last time out. Colt by Stay Thirsty won by 7+ and stopped the clock in a strong 1:15.3 for 6 ½ furlongs. Still another who steps up here though. Race: 10 (5:14 PM EST Post) Cotillion Stakes Guarana is unbeaten in three career starts, over three vastly different surfaces, including winning Grade: 1s in her just second and third career starts. Although she did show some vulnerability in her last (looked tired and veered out in the stretch), she “held sway” late for the win. Trainer Chad Brown then gave this daughter of the wickedly fast Ghostzapper at two month break, but she has recorded an eye popping seven works during that time, highlighted by zipping 5F in 1:00 flat last week. The cut back in distance off her last race should help here as well. Bottom line here is I expect her to win and cement herself as the best three year old in the nation……………………….Serengeti Empress is the 2019 Kentucky Oaks winner who has good speed and draws the rail (for the third time in a row). Obviously she is super talented but she has a habit of running huge or getting beat by a country mile with not much in between. Note she was beaten fair and square (six lengths) by Guarana the only time they met……………………Jaywalk was the dominant 2018 Champion Two Year old Filly but clearly hasn’t come back the same in 2019 as her 1 for 5 record would indicate. It appears she hasn’t physically grown all that much since last year and the other have “caught up” to her so to speak. This roan filly’s last two races were very good so she may be coming back to form, however she’ll have to do a lot better than those two races in this spot to be contender ……………….Honorable Mentions: Horologist is razor sharp right now after rattling off four straight wins including outgunning Jaywalk down the stretch in her last. Versatile filly by Gemologist could better this rating……………….As much as I like Bellafina, a drop dead gorgeous, $800,000 daughter of Quality Road, the fact remains she is 6 for 7 in the state of California but 0 for 3 outside of it. Evidently, she doesn’t “take her racetrack with her” as all three of those defeats were ugly. In this situation, she is hard to play but also hard to go against……………….Jeltrin absolutely whistled in her last, which was also her Parx debut. If you are hunting a long-shot, this $7,000 filly might be for you…………………..Street Band ran very well in her last two, including finishing less than three lengths behind the mega talented Dunbar Road in the prestigious Alabama Stakes last time out. Still another who could outrun this rating. Race: 11 (5:48 PM EST Post) PennsylvaniaDerby With the announcement that Maximum Security will not run in this race (colic), the strapping Improbable, who looked like his old self winning the Shared Belief, getting final three furlongs in :36.4 in his last, takes over as the horse to beat. This chestnut, who physically resembles Justify, has recorded three very strong works since the Shared Belief and should be “tighter” in this spot……looks best…………..Mr. Money has been nothing short of sensational while recording four straight, lopsided wins on three different racetracks in his last four. Good looking son of Goldencents continues to run a hole in the wind in the morning, topped off by ripping 5Fs in lighting :58.1 last week. Steps up in class here but is obviously still a big threat …………………Spun to Run is 3 for 5 at Parx and 0 for 3 everywhere else so it’s safe to say this is his favorite surface. This son of the gorgeous Hard Spun ran off the charts in his last (110 Brisnet speed figure) and finished a respectable third to Maximum Security in the Haskell two back. However, off such a colossal effort last time, you must beware the “bounce” here……….As I said before the Jim Dandy, where he showed speed and tired to finish a non-threatening fifth, War of Will appears to be “over the top”. Having run 10 races in the last 12 months, including all three Triple Crown races, with very little time off in between, it appears to me he’s a touch spent and could use 60-90 days on a farm somewhere. From what I’ve seen from his last two races I will not be playing him and if he beats me, I’ll tip my cap to him. Belmont Park Race: 10 (5:57 PM EST Post) Kelso Handicap I thought Plainsman ran extremely well in his 2019 debut as he was making up ground late vs. the speedy Uncontested in a quickly run $80,000 optional. This $530,000 son of Flatter had won three straight at the end of last year, including the Grade: 3 Discovery, before being shut down, so you know he has some ability. That race, along with the typical Shug McGaughey training method, should have him tighter in this spot and with several early burners in this race, he should get a good pace to run into also. The stretch out in distance should only help as well. Springs a mild upset here……………..Pat On the Back loves this oval as his 10-5-3-2 record would indicate. Although he will be coming into this off several races against New York State Breds, note he ran huge vs. open company (Grade:1 Cigar Mile) in the past. Bottom line here is in taking Plainsman, this guy scares the daylights out of me…………………When Prince Lucky is right, like he was last time out and twice at the beginning of the year in Florida, he has the ability to blow the door off of this field. I’m just kind of wondering which Prince Lucky we will see on Saturday………………….Honorable Mentions: Monongahela, who had run well in seven straight races, had several things going against him when he performed poorly last time out. Off of such a titanic effort in his race/win two back, he may have bounced slightly, while being overmatched in the Grade: 1 Whitney and taking on pro-tem leading older male division leader McKinzie in the process. I expect a bounce back effort from this son of K One King, who has hit the board in 19 of 25 career tries……………….Tale of Silence has won a grand total of one race in the past 26 months but it is worth “mentioning” he is 3 for 6 at Belmont and 0 for 13 everywhere else. …………..Golden Brown is 4 for 5 this year and his BSFs say he could make a little noise in this race. Still another who will be taking a major step up in class here. Charles Town Race: 11 (10:15PM EST Post) Charles Town Oaks If you draw a line through Newly Minted’s failed turf experiment two races back, you’ll find a filly who is 4 for 4 n her career and won those starts by a combined 25 lengths. The Linda Rice trainee has won at multiple distances and over multiple surfaces. Solid choice and perhaps the best bet of the entire day………………..After being off for 8 ½ months, the well named South of France had the quintessential comeback race on August 11. Filly by Quality Road was ridiculously wide throughout that race but was making up ground in deep stretch. Note how she won three straight to end 2018 including the Tepin Stakes at Aqueduct and how her speed figures have climbed steadily since last summer………..looks marginally next best over “homer” Parisian Diva, who absolutely owns this racetrack as her 10-7-2-1 record would indicate. This speedster in 3 for 4 at this distance as well. I’m seeing two drawbacks however. One, it took her :13.3 seconds to get the final furlong last time out (that won’t cut it against these) and she is taking an enormous step up in class as she won’t be facing your typical Charles Town runners here. ……………..Honorable Mentions: La Chancia is a $775,000 daughter of Uncle Mo who appears to have a bright future. She broke her maiden and beat first level Allowance foes in NY in her last two. This appears to be a very good spot for her and the back to back bullet works coming into this signal she is ready. The question is can she handle the step up? Having said that, she’ll be in a few of my exotic plays……………Fashion Faus Pas showed zilch last time out but chased two year old champion filly Jaywalk two starts back and won by a colossal margin three back. Another who, upon paddock and pre-race warm ups inspection, could be on a few of my tickets…………………Taylor’s Spirit looks a little overmatched here but is batting .500 in her career. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 63-176 = 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 **** Elite sire Into Mischief will stand for $175,000 with a full book in 2020, Spendthrift Farm announced last Sunday. That’s an increase of $25,000 from the $150,000 he stood for in 2019. “I don’t know if we’ve seen anything quite like Into Mischief, it’s truly remarkable the things he’s doing,” said Ned Toffey, general manager at Spendthrift. “Aside from amounting results on the track and in the sales ring, he’s the consummate professional and loves his job. This year, over 96% of his mares checked in foal. We think Into Mischief is making a positive impact on the breed that will be felt for years to come, particularly with the heart and durability that are signatures of his offspring.” **** Catholic Boy, a Grade: 1 winner on the turf and the dirt, has a slight rear suspensory injury that will prevent him from running in the $300,000 Kelso Handicap at Belmont. Majority owner Robert LaPenta said he is hopeful the colt, who won the 2018 Travers Stakes, can run once more before the Breeders' Cup race. "He should be back in training in a week or two. He's just not 100%, and with the great career he's had, there's no sense in sending him out there," LaPenta said. "We'll look for something soft for him on turf or dirt, and we're hoping we can run him in the Breeders' Cup, but we want to get him back to where he was.
I’m not recommending any exactas in a wide open race but if you consider the wager, in addition to those above also consider #11 Justinian and #13 Coil Me Home, at least for the second position on those exacta tickets.
Parsimony opens at hard to ignore 10/1 odds, mostly because he just broke his maiden, BUT this is a first level allowance and not only does he fit perfectly, he faced and ran well to much tougher foes than he faces today. So highly regarded earlier this year as a maiden, Parsimony ran in the Cinema Stakes and finished second, ran in the Los Alamitos Derby and finished second to Game Winner and ran in a couple of other stakes on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Finally put where belongs last out, in a maiden dirt sprint, he won easily at 5 to 2 and so 10/1 here could prove to be very profitable if he just repeats that last effort which earned a solid 105 Equibase Figure.
Candy Cornell has just one win in 12 career starts and four runner-up finishes but his last race, under nearly identical conditions, was his best yet as he missed by a half-length for the win and was a head behind runner-up Rogallo for second.
Rogallo was making his fifth career start that day BUT ONLY his second in a dirt sprint, having won a dirt sprint in his debut, and Candy Cornell broke his maiden in a dirt sprint, so both have good shots to be competitive right back, opening at 8/1 and 6/1, respectively.
Threefiveindia has four career wins including one at this level but is in for the optional claiming price today first off the Miller claim at the same level. That was his first start after eight months off and his first after being gelded, so we can and should expect improvement second off the layoff, second off the gelding and first off the claim by a top barn.
Top Brass can be considered a contender if he gets in from the also-eligible list as he loves to win, with a 7 for 13 record on dirt. He too was claimed out of his last race, a fine runner-up effort when beaten a half-length, over the track, and from an outside post he can stalk the speed and close nicely just as he did for all three of his previous wins in six starts on the Santa Anita dirt.
Full Card Breeders' Cup Analysis for ALL races Friday & Saturday is now available by clickinghere to go to Equibaseand most online wagering sites Follow Me on Twitter @Ubercapper Other racing content Weekend Stakes Blog at keenelandselect.com/blogs/ksbloggerWeekend Key Races & Bets Blog and Podcast at amwager.com/handicapping/ellis-starr-blogAnalysis of major stakes races every Friday at equibase.com/free Free Selection for one free race daily at:Keeneland - keeneland.com/racing/wagering/expert-picks/Ellis StarrSanta Anita - santaanita.com/authoellisstarrWoodbine - woodbine.com/handicapping/ellis-star
Preview of the Alabama Stakes; Pacific Classic and more
Saturday August 17, 2019 Saratoga Race Course Race: 9 (5:26 PM EST Post) Lake Placid Regal Glory boasts impressive stats, including a 6-4-2-0 career record and back to back Stakes wins in her last two. With rain in the forecast, I’m not worried about her as she can handle any surface condition and this distance hits her squarely between the eyes…..my choice in a very well matched field………………………Blowout also sports impressive credentials in her short career as she is 5-2-3-0. Good looking filly by Dansili ran the best race of her life (92 BSF) on a turf course labeled “good”. Once again, with rain in the forecast, an off turf course could be right up her alley. I hate to sound like a broken record, but yes, trainer Chad Brown could conceivably run 1-2 here…………………………Varenka is a daughter of the wickedly fast Ghostzapper who has clearly improved from 2018 to 2019. She should be ok on an off turf course and clearly has the ability to win this horse race. However, her (come from well behind) running style and drawing the rail doesn’t sit too well with me……………………….Honorable Mentions: Vow to Recover has been on the board in 6 of 8 turf starts and is another who ran the best race of her career on a “good” turf course….could be a menace, especially if the rains come…………………..Feel Glorious is quite the contrary to some others in here in the sense that she appears to need a firm turf course to do her best running…...still another who is capable ……………………….Your long-shot horse in this race is clearly Wildlife, who was visually impressive beating a MSW field, then coming back and wiping the floor with an Allowance field. Filly by Animal Kingdom steps up here and her BSFs are a little short, but based what I’ve visually seen, she could surprise a few people in this race. Race: 10 (5:59 PM EST Post) Alabama Stakes Point of Honor has improved through each of her first five races as her BSFs would indicate (76, 83, 87, 90 and 91) and it doesn’t appear she has hit her ceiling just yet. Filly by Curlin was impressive rallying wide on the far turn to win the Black Eyed Susans and then chased, and finished second beaten by only one length, to that juggernaut they call Guarana (who could be any kind) in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Note how she came home the last furlong in a solid :12.1 that day as well. Only draw backs I see is (if the rains come) she’s never touched a wet track and what’s up with the slow work (5F- 1:05.3) at Oklahoma last week?..............................In taking Point of Honor, the drop dead gorgeous Dunbar Road scares the daylights out of me. This $350,000 by Quality Road is a half length shy of being unbeaten in her career and could NOT have looked any better overcoming a slow early pace to win the Mother Goose last time out. Bay filly has been training very well of late and decimated an Allowance field in her one and only wet track try…….looms a major threat……………………….Champagne Anyone actually beat both Point of Honor and Dunbar Road at GP in March but her form seems to have taken a slight step backwards since……………….Honorable Mentions: Ulele has good speed, is consistent (7 for 7 on the board in her career) and finished just a half length behind Point of Honor two starts back…………………….Lady Apple has improved leaps and bounds from 2018 to 2019. Another filly by Curlin, she was 0 for 4 last year but is 4 for 5 this year and her BSFs have been climbing, highlighted by an 88 in winning the Iowa Oaks last time out. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Race: 9 (9PM EST Post) Del Mar Oaks Cambier Parc is a $1,250,000 daughter of “King of the (sales) Ring” Medaglia d’Oro who had won three of her first five races with legitimate excuses in her two defeats (muddy track debut and off turf course). Good looking filly then finished a close third in the Grade: 1 Belmont Oaks while chasing probably the best three year old turf filly in the country (Concrete Rose) and ran the last quarter mile of that race is an attention getting :22.1……………..narrow margin over the very versatile Mucho Unusual, who is unbeaten since being put on the grass three starts back. She was visually impressive coming from well back, with a brazen five wide move on the turn, to get up by a neck in the Grade: 2 San Clemente in her last. Filly by “M3” shows two monster works this month, signaling to me she is sitting on another big race in this spot………………………Play “Pin the tail on the Donkey” with the rest of the field as they are difficult to separate. That said, I’ll take Lady Prancealot, who is about a half a length away from being 4 for 4 this year, for the show dough. She draws well for her running style and should be coming late again in this spot…………………Honorable Mentions: Apache Princess hasn’t won since February but note how she just missed behind Mucho Unusual in her last after a ridiculously wide trip all the way around….could better this rating……………..Hard Legacy is 3 for 5 in her career and looked good winning the Grade: 3 Regret at Churchill in her last. Note how this filly, by the gorgeous Hard Spun, motored home the last furlong in :11.4 in that race…………………………..Hidden Message gets the proverbial “dark horse” tag in this race. Filly by Scat Daddy ran well in four of her first five races overseas and goes “first time Lasix” here…………………Raymundos Secret won both of her starts vs. lesser by wide margins with speed figures that put her on par with several of her rivals in this spot. No telling how good she may be at this point….find out more on Saturday. Race: 10 (9:30 PM EST Post) Pacific Classic Campaign is 5 for 10 in his career and 3 for 5 this year. This $675,000 colt by Curlin is sharp right now as he took down a Grade: 3 at Santa Anita, just missed in the Grade: 2 Brooklyn at Belmont and probably ran the best race of his life while winning the Cougar II in his last, which was also his Del Mar debut, his last three times out. 6-1 on the morning line against this watered down field? I’ll take it………………..Pavel continues to run admirably against some of the best horses in the world today. Albeit, he is just 3 for 17 in his career, it must be noted he’s faced the late Battle of Midway, the third richest horse in the history of the sport, Thunder Snow, Mitole/McKinzie, and Preservationist/Catholic Boy in his last four races and will meet no such rivals here. So, although this is a Grade: 1, one million dollar race, this is a “hidden” class drop for him……………………… Quip has come back running as a 4YO as, after needing his first start of the year, he won the Oaklawn Handicap and just missed behind Seeking the Soul in the Stephen Foster last time out. I won’t be surprised if he runs big in this spot ………………….Honorable Mentions: I’m not much of a Seeking the Soul fan. Never have been actually. Having said that, he appears to be in good form right now highlighted by winning the Stephen Foster at Churchill last time out. CD is by far his most favorite surface, so I’m thinking that might have “moved him up” a bit and he comes back down to reality in this spot. I’m going to try to beat this 3-1 morning line favorite for sure…………………………….I wonder which Tenfold, who ran huge in winning the Pimlico Special two back but got buried in the Stephen Foster last time out, we will see this time? ………..Ditto for War Story, will we see the horse who got beaten by a no exaggeration 50 lengths two starts back or the one who dug in gamely down the lane to win the Monmouth Cup in his last?......................In such a weakly draw field, don’t be so quick to throw out 20-1 shots Mongolian Groom, who just missed behind the mega-talented Catalina Cruiser last time out, or Draft Pick, who has hit the board in 9 of 11 career tries and was right behind Mongolian Groom and Catalina Cruiser in his last. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 52-149 = 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 **** Omaha Beach, the early Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched with a throat issue, is nearing his return to racing. The handsome colt by War Front breezed six furlongs at Del Mar on Monday in 1:13.3, keeping him on track for the Aug. 25 Shared Belief Stakes. “Right now, I'd say yes, it's a go,” said trainer Richard Mandella, when asked about making the Shared Belief. “This was good, but we didn't want to do too much with him.” **** The hulking and speedy Catalina Cruiser will not run in Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Saturday. The 5-year-old son of Union Rags, who is unbeaten in two starts this year, (the True North and the San Diego Handicap), has opted to for shorter distances through the remainder of 2019. “It's the distance, and this is a heavy track this year,” trainer John Sadler said. “We want to keep him where we're more comfortable.” Next options for Catalina Cruiser include the seven-furlong Pat O'Brien or Forego, with a return start in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile a potential target for the end of the year. **** Hall of Famer and the immensely popular Zenyatta is expecting once again, according to www.zenyatta.com. The three-time, Amazonian champion is in foal with a daughter to Candy Ride and is “doing well” at Lane's End Farm. “Over the years we've seen how happy she is with a foal by her side, and we can't wait to share this journey with you,” the website says. The filly will be the fourth foal out of the 2010 Horse of the Year, joining Cozmic One (2012), Ziconic (2013), and an unraced 2017 filly by Medaglia d'Oro named Zellda.
We offer betting on 150+ tracks across the world, including Australia, England, Hong Kong and Dubai. You can bet on the Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup and more with our new and improved interface. We offer fixed odds, exotic wagers, and specialty bets: exactas, superfectas, and trifectas. We also provide betting options for greyhound and harness ... Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets T&Cs apply. New customers only – £10 deposit using promo code "RACING" - First bet must be placed on any market - Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. With just over one month remaining until the 12th annual Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC), the Breeders’ Cup announced today that all contests on Horseplayers.com in October will be exclusive to the BCBC with up to five qualifying contests offered each weekend. Read more. Not only do the best 2019 Breeders’ Cup betting sites have all of that in order, but they can also you provide you with a mobile betting option. If you want to bet on a specific Breeders’ Cup race and aren’t in front of your computer to do it, you’ll be at a loss without a betting app. Mobile betting is an absolute must-have for a ... The upcoming week of racing is a crucial one for owners of horses seeking an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a little more than four weeks from now, as the final six Challenge Series "Win and You're In" preps will be held, each race granting the winner an automatic, fees-paid berth to the 37th World Championships at Keeneland Race Course on Nov. 6-7.
The Friday Show Presented By NYRA Bets: Breeders' Cup Methods And Madness
Breeders' Cup Betting 101: Wagering - Duration: 4:58. Breeders' Cup World Championships 1,185 views. 4:58. How to Handicap, Bet and Win a Pick 6 Using the Horse Race Grid - Duration: 8:37. Breeders' Cup Betting 101: Pick 6 - Duration: 4:58. Breeders' Cup World Championships 1,273 views. 4:58. When to spread in your multi race wagers - Duration: 5:40. Los Angeles Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs 11/3/19 Free NBA Pick and Prediction NBA Betting Tips - Duration: 1:52. Free Picks PickDawgz 1,189 views. ... 2019 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Preview ... David Portnoy is back betting the ponies, this time at the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Will he win big after a $10,000 buy-in? Learn more at... The week left to go before the 35th running of the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs will surely go by fast. The question on this edition ...