Friday, January 30, 2015

Sam Davis

That Quirky Track


Is it the announcer's Porky Pig on amphetamine vocals, the general middle finger pointed at Gulfstream or is it that quirky track that I like about Tampa Bay Downs? All of the above?

There's a scene from the Coen Brothers movie Fargo where the detective interviews some young prostitutes about what a murder suspect (Steve Buschemi) looks like. They say He's, you know, kinda funny lookin. Yah, yah, kinda funny lookin' ya know. The detective redirects Well sure, but how so? You know just funny lookin'. Kinda funny lookin'.

And that is as far as I get when I try to find out what it is about Tampa Bay Downs that makes it "quirky". What type of horse has an advantage? Handicappers will tell you -- well a horse that's you know won there before. Yah, yah, one that likes it there. 

So, the horses that have proven to like it are Catalina Red and My Johnny Be Good. They'll make it onto my tickets, on the underside. I don't really trust either one all that much. Ocean's Knight from the McLaughlin barn brings in the hype with his geared down 4 length maiden victory on Aqueduct's inner. He draws very wide, but I think he'll play a role in this, though not sure I'm willing to accept too much at 5-2, but again, a 12 horse field. I won't be too clever. Ami's Flatter comes from the shrewd Josie Carroll's barn. I think the figure in the Mucho Macho Man is a little inflated, but this horse doesn't quit and with a nice ride should be in contention at the end. Royal Son right now is the horse whose ML I like a lot. He got a DQ win in last and before that took second to El Kabir one of the sharpest colts on the trail right now. Good luck everyone.


$5 Exactas
Royal Son   OVER
Ocean's Knight, Ami's Flatter, Catalina Red
Ami's Flatter OVER
Oceans Knight, Royal Son, My Johnny Be Good
Ocean's Knight OVER
Ami's Flatter, Royal Son, Catlina Red, My Johnny Be Good

Monday, January 26, 2015

Holy Bull Recap: Upstart Runs a Nice One

It was the templated Gulfstream race. Horse with the first look at the turn takes the wire. Fractions weren't all that fast, so the race had very little dimension. Frosted had an inside post but the rail is not exactly where you want to be off a layoff. He never threatened and maybe the most worrisome part of his performance was the aversion to kickback. People who look at the figures will say he moved up, but the figure is bogus.

For Upstart it was a nice effort off the layoff and he got a very smart ride. If no one had challenged BlueGrass Singer he would have stolen the race off those soft figures.

So my $50 got a fairly paltry return at $77, but at least I cashed right?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Fifty Dollar Trail Starts with The Holy Bull

The Holy Bull 

Holy Bull with Mike Smith

Last year trainer Kiaran McLaughlin shipped a hyped roan, son of Pioneerof the Nile, named Cairo Prince who took the wire and the focus of Louisville-oggling rosebirds. This year he brings a roan sired by Tapit named Frosted, who doesn't bring quite as much hype, but gets the rail and will have a lot of backing. Upstart is the other headliner. He's coming off a third in the BC Juvenile. Also, there's Bluegrass Singer who's hitting triple digit speed figures, has a recent race and is on his home oval.

Of course my hometown bias runs against the track bias with an outside post and is the high weight, but maybe it's Hawthorne's year. Work all Week, an aptly named Chicago-trained horse, won an Eclipse last week. I'm talking about Don the Bomb who was tested at Keeneland against nice horses and failed, and many thought he wouldn't be able to route after tiring badly in that Allowance race, but he handled two turns very well at Hawthorne and was pulling away on the nation's second longest stretch (HAW). But, he's faced only plodders; this is a huge class test. I will play him even with the high impost and outside post. He is cross-entered in the Hucheson so he may not make it to the gate. First Down and Frammento will also figure into my wagering. More minor roles,

The Holy Bull has 10 runners which is pretty good for a 3YO stake. This means I don't need to be so clever with the wagering and can tap that chalk more than I usually would.

Bluegrass Singer   OVER
First Down, Frommento, Don the Bomb (SCRATCH), High Noon, Frosted

$4 Exacta 
Upstart-Frosted BOX

$5 Exactas
Bluegrass Singer-Frosted-Upstart BOX