Friday, August 28, 2009

Travers All Stakes Pick Four

You want to try work...try picking a winning play everyday at Saratoga. I gave it the old college try at my handicapping website: for about three weeks and have recently given it a rest. 0-for-three weeks will do that to you. Luckily I've hit a few Pick Threes to keep my online account going.

Allow me to provide you with a quick and inexpensive All Stakes Pick Four. Remember you get what you pay for and this advice is free.

Race 9 Ballston Spa - 1 1/16 miles on turf...likely a very wet turf, if the forecast holds. I'm going three deep here:
  • #1 Rutherieene - all heart, all the time
  • #2 My Princess Jess - second off layoff and won Spa stakes last year at this distance on a soft turf
  • #3 Closeout - also likes a cut in the grass, third off long layoff and has right to improve
Race 10 Ballerina - 7 furlongs in which I will go with a single...
  • #2 Informed Decision - 5-for-5 at this distance and has won on wet, synthetic and fast tracks. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard knows how to get her ready off the bench, and she will be tough tracking a far less spectacular Indian Blessing.
Race 11 King's Bishop - 7 furlongs for very fast three-year-olds in which I spread far and wide...
  • #1 Vineyard Haven - back to Spa success off the bench, pushes Big Drama
  • #2 Munnings - very quick, cuts back to more reasonable distance after finishing behind Rachel Alexandra on Jersey shore
  • #3 Capt. Candyman Can - couldn't catch Quality Road in last, but is quick enough for these
  • #5 Despite the Odds - this is Saratoga, isn't it...check out 104 Beyer in Belmont slop, why not a repeat here?
  • #8 Big Drama - likes to win and this is probably his optimum distance
Race 12 Travers - 1 1/4 miles on likely sloppy and sealed track...
  • #2 Charitable Man - is best bred for the distance, which could be undoing of chalk and just about everyone else in here. Big wet number and gets better draw than Kensei this time
  • #4 Quality Road - most talented three-year-old colt, one the few who could possibly catch Ms. Rachel. Have to include talent despite distance concern for me
The play and the cost: $1 Pick Four: 1-2-3/2/1-2-3-5-8/2-4 for $30. For kicks and giggles I'll play a straight $2 Pick Four of 2/2/2/2... stranger things have happened. Good luck.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Play of the Day - 8.12.09

For today, I'm looking at beating a false favorite - a horse undeserving of favoritism.

In today's 7th race, it looks like My Golden Opinion will go off 3-1 or less based upon solid Beyer figures sprinting with much better company than this $20,000 claiming group. The problem is My Golden Opinion hasn't won in two years. I don't care how much class he may hold over the rest of the field - an 0-for-16 favorite is too hard for me to swallow.

So let's look elsewhere. This full field of sprinters really lacks speed. Of the horses that can meet the front - Figgy's Freud from the rail, Jaystone and Come Soon from further out - none really strike me as gate to wire winners. The one horse I believe can clear the field and take them all they way around is Wanda's Double. The horse gets the best part of the track, can easily clear horses to his inside and likely will have wilting speed to his inside.

Here's the bet: $1 Exacta Wheel 1A all for $10 and $10 win on 1A for a $20 bet.

Monday's action leaves me minus $26

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Play of the Day

In conjunction with my new website - Coast to Coast Handicapping - I'll be posting a Play of the Day for the remainder of the Saratoga meeting, right here!

For Monday, I'll look at Race 5, Signature Stallion overnight stakes at a 1 1/2 miles on the turf for fillies and mares. At first glance, it doesn't take much handicapping skill or experience to come up with the most logical winner - Communique. I'll get back to her in a minute or two.

First off, there are two distances I demand experience - 7 furlongs, due to its unique route/sprint distance and 1 1/2 miles simply because of its demands on stamina. Looking at this field there are only three horses to have raced at 1 1/2 miles: Jazz Jam, Zaskar and Communique. Beyond this much needed experience and/or success I look at the pace of the race. In this instance I will include one horse yet to run at the distance, Winsome Ways, simply because her jockey, Edgar Prado, might find himself alone on the the lead.

To the contenders:
  • Communique has all the back class in this group. She was a close second in last year's Beverly D. Stakes. Since then, she has finished third, sixth, tenth, second and fifth in four graded and one listed stakes race. Far from consistent, she should romp on past performance alone, still...
  • Jazz Jam made an inspiring 1 1/2 mile start in Keenland in October, her second in the States. She went coast to coast in that start, but has yet to duplicate that performance in two starts since.
  • Winsome Ways is 4-for-11 on the turf, but has yet to go beyond 10 furlongs. If Jazz Jam doesn't show up, she could get loose and make every pole a winning one. I like her chances due to the likelihood of inheriting an uncontested lead.
The Play - Winsome Ways to win for $20 and a $1 Exacta box 1-5-6 as back up.

Now that I'll be putting my plays into print, I will follow these bets from now until the end of Saratoga's meet to track how I do.