Friday, March 27, 2015

Florida and Weesiana

A Pair of Derbies
Dunkirk and Quality Road

Soooo ... I have to make some money this week. Rents due in a couple days. Lucky for me I have the Florida and Louisiana Derbies to play. I'm not gonna get too clever here, just work off some gut feelings and hedge a little. 

The light seems to just sort of flickering over possible elite talent in this one. It's a fun race, but War Story and Mr. Z both can't put a whole race together. Mr. Z is getting worse, War is getting better. International Star has been ridden brilliantly and will likely be the favorite, but it's possible War Story could go off as the choice as well. Talamo ships in for the ride on the bad breaking War Story. Let's hope the added distance makes a difference. Lots of talent simmering here; he won't be ready for Louisville but he might be ready for Louisiana. Stamford got romped in last by Materiality, my pick for the Florida Derby. It won't be easy for him, but I think he'll hold of almost all of them. 

$30 exacta War Story-International Star
$5 exacta War Story-Stamford (box)
$5 Trifecta International Star-War Story, Stamford-Stamford, War Story

Pletcher comes with both fists. And I think Upstart will follow.

$30 trifecta Materiality-Itsaknockout-Upstart
$10 trifecta Itsaknockout-Materiality-Upstart
$10 exacta Materiality-Itsaknockouts[[[

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Spiral

Maybe the best named stake on the trail. The Spiral is run over polytrack, so that means evil turf horses factor in, and those evil turf horse have this nagging penchant to perform very well in the Kentucky Derby. World Champ Animal Kingdom used the Spiral to get to the Derby. Paddy O'Prado also ran well in the Derby after a shark polytrack performance at Keeneland. The synthetic surface continues to outshine the other surfaces in safety. But nevermind all that. It's not dirt and this is AMERICA! (sigh.)

I'd rather watch a replay of people in a meeting about nametags at a popcorn factory than watch the Rebel again. That was a $750,000 race that no one really tried all that hard in. But let's put that in the rear view mirror. We have an interesting contest here at Turfway.

Not all contestants are TC nominated, but that's OK. I should start with the disclosure that I'm a huge Florent Geroux fan and that the bias has actually made me a ton of money. Yes, he's the one that won a Breeders Cup race aboard Work all Week over a heavily favored Baffert horse. Now that's cause for celebration. Florent gets on a hose from the Amoss barn that's moseying out of the Big Easy to dip the toe in with the big boys. Wireless Future won by much daylight over a suspect field that came off the turf. I like him in this. This son of Scat Daddy is not proven, hasn't run all that fast but I've still got my upset eyes trained on him.

Pletcher brings in Royal Son hoping for a repeat performance after the score in the Battaglia. He gets the rail and will be bet heavily. But it's Pletcher and as I learned next week, you can't discount him.

Metaboss comes in from California with a lot of hype. He draws wide, but that doesn't mean as much at 9 furlongs on the poly. He seems especially dangerous.

Finally Mott sneaks in Dubai Sky who will likely be a factor. Mott knows what he's doing, so you won't get a price but he's likely to sneak into the frame.

$3 Trifecta Wireless Future key over Meta Boss, Royal Son, Dubai Sky ($18)
$3 Trifecta Metaboss key over Wireless, Royal Son, Dubai Sky ($18)
$2 Trifecta Royal Son key over Meta, Wireless, Dubai Sky ($12)
$2 Trifecta Metaboss, Royal Son, Another Lemon Drop

Friday, March 13, 2015

Rebel: The Pharoah Returns

Not much of a betting race, but still a spectacle thanks to all the hype behind American Pharoah (sic). I've never seen this horse race or workout, so I have absolutely nothing to add. I do know that Baffert is probably the best judge of 3YO talent, and yes I say that begrudgingly. I like to trash Baffert, but he's really just delivering to his clients what they ask for. They want the Derby and they want speed. So he's been against banning things like steroids and lasix which make it harder for him to keep a horse on schedule for a specific race. See, there I go again. But he is an outstanding judge of talent, and if he says this horse is better than Dortmund, he's prolly right.

Now, let's spend that $50 and take the Pharoah as a free square. The Truth or Else woke up big time last race (lasix added) and made a huge move. A lot of riders were afraid to travel west of Mr. Z but Borel saw that as his opportunity. This horse has one long good run and he needs to be clear. We have a small field and it's likely he can work out a trip unless he just gets disheartened by the Pharoah's speed. Bold Conquest was ridden poorly last race and should improve. There's also the Pletcher horse MadefromLucky who's won at 9F at Gulfstream. I'll use him a little, but will try to make a little edge opposing him. Velazquez flies in for the ride, but this guy seems like a plodder to me, especially and 8.5F. I could be wrong. This will be his test.

$20 Tri
American Pharoah-Bold Conquest,The Truth or Else-Bold Conquest,The Truth or Else
$10 Tri
American Pharaoh-Madefromlucky-The Truth or Else

Monday, March 9, 2015

When you go chalky over chalky for an exacta you're not allowed to be angry about losing the bob. But I just lost another fucking head bob in the Gotham. It wasn't Junior's fault, still I hope he was forced to muck the stall that night, maybe it would improve his horse-sense. I kid, he's like my fave rider!!! c'mon!!!

The Tampa Bay Derby was on my phone desperately lashing onto the last piece of bandwidth available at the Lincoln Park Zoo where my young boys were running around and screaming primally near the lynxes who eyed my boys with intent. Other zoogoers took note. Meanwhile I was trying to watch a race but the satellites denied me and I had to catch the recap. I did see Carpe Diem making life hard on the gate crew.

The San Felipe exposed an excellent horse in Dortmund who won for fun never really digging in as he had in his last two. Wow! And that's the other Baffert horse. Again a bob made a big difference in the money I collected here, but luckily I did cash a $70 exacta and somehow got locked in at the zoo. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

It's Starting to Get Serious: San Felipe, Tampa Bay Derby and the Gotham

The Gotham takes the award for best name, but that's about all it gets this year besides a trio of Repole maiden winners. I thought the promise of casino-enhanced purses would up the quality at the frozen oval and that would be borne out in races like the Gotham. Well, not so much this year anyhow.

But no fear, the Tampa Bay Derby San Felipe are bursting with equine talent. Let's start with the Felipe.

I like Dortmund. He has his share of haters. Does it seem like tall horses are hated on more? Maybe not. I'm just thinking of Giant Oak and while Zenyatta had way more loves than haters, she also had more haters than most horses. Maybe you're supposed to subtract the difference or something. Not sure how that horse-hating algebra works. Whatever the case, Dortmund right now is a favorite for me. The way he dug in and won his last over Firing Line was very impressive. And according to Big Bob, who every now and then tells the truth, the light bulb has switched on for this scopy son of Big Brown.

Other questions: Will Bolo like dirt? Can Lord Nelson route? Is Prospect Park ready to step up? And then there's Ocho (3) who won a race that I really hate: The Delta Jackpot. The tight corners are good for short sprinters. He gets Smith in the irons but I wouldn't be surprised if this colt took a step backwards.

Fifty Bucks

San Felipe
$10 Exactas
Dortmund key over Ocho, Prospect Park, Bolo, Lord Nelson

$2 Trifecta ($6)
Ocho-Dortmund-PP,Bolo, Lord Nelson

$1 Trifecta
Prospect Park-Dortmund-Bolo, Lord Nelson, Ocho ($3)

Tampa Bay Derby
For whatever reason Stonestreet has decided to pit their two stars against each other in Tampa. I'm gonna use them in a pretty boring exacta. Divining Rod gets lasix and hopefully a lot of cash thrown at him. I will oppose him.

$25 Exacta Box
Ocean Knight-Carpe Diem

The Gotham
I think Classy Class may have suffered from bad posts. I like the upgrade in jock too. Let's pair him up for an exacta with El Kabeir

$40 El Kabeir-Classy Class
$10 Classy Class-El Kabeir