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Friday, October 28, 2005

Who Do You Like Today?

Juvenile Fillies:

Wild Fit - Will appreciate the one turn route
Original Spin - Unbeaten filly took the Lassie at the one turn mile at Arlington, gets Bailey, and drew raves for her final workout.

Head2Head – Ex Caelis over Diamond Omi


Juvenile:

Sorcerer’s Stone - Unbeaten colt impressed visually and otherwise in his Arlington-Washington Futurity win at a one turn mile, getting the final quarter in 24 seconds, and should love the route.
First Samurai - If you’re going against him, perhaps you shouldn’t take a peek at this most imposing two year old in the paddock beforehand. Has won his four starts, including two Grade 1’s, by a combined 18 1/2 lengths, but has to do more than just catch Henny Hughes this time.
Private Vow - Improved with every start, and was the easiest kind of winner in the Futurity, creating a tough decision for Jerry Bailey before he went with the favorite. Test for class today.
Stevie Wonderboy - His amazing rally in the Del Mar Futurity may have been the most visually impressive of all the Juvenile preps. Competitive on figs, and wowed the clockers Monday morning.

Head2Head – Sorcerer’s Stone over Stevie Wonderboy and Stream Cat


Filly & Mare Turf:

Karen’s Caper - Improved three year old held her own against her G1 elders in Europe, and unleashed a furious rally after being repeatedly steadied in the stretch at Keeneland. Taken to upset.
Wonder Again - Always fires, and loves the soft going.
Megahertz - Love her to death, but has to show she can win on soft going and outside of Southern Cal.
Ouija Board - Defending champ has to overcome bad post and sparse 2005 campaign.

Head2Head – Wonder Again over Film Maker and Ouija Board


Sprint:

Lost in the Fog - Has a couple of cheaper speedsters to contend with early, but once he disposes of them, the closers will be chasing in vain.
Wildcat Heir - Will be tracking right behind the action; first in line if the favorite falters.
Lion Tamer - No reason other than I loved what he looked like in his breeze on Monday.
Taste of Paradise - May have found a track that suits him. Be flying late.

Head2Head – Lion Tamer over Silver Train


Mile

Leroidesanimaux - Confession: I haven’t really handicapped this race in detail, I just love this horse. The experts from Europe concede that they don’t have a strong contingent, and that’s good enough for me. Lousy post and a truly soft course (as opposed to the one he ran a mile in 1:35 over at Woodbine) are both concerns, but he’s looked too impressive to go against.
Singletary - Defending champ rallied past the Oak Tree Mile field effortlessly and was being pulled up at the wire. Gets the money if the top one falters.

Head2Head – Singletary over Artie Schiller and Gorella,


Distaff

Stellar Jayne - The hardest race of the day, to me anyway. A tepid vote for this filly, who may get a jump on the other ones that possess early speed and take them all the way.
Pleasant Home - Improving Phipps filly could get a piece at a big price.
Happy Ticket - Always close, tough to knock.
Sweet Symphony - Three year old looks to bounce back from her first loss, but they’re all over her in the Form for getting outworked by a two year old in her final work. I liked her before I read that stuff; too much information?

Head2Head – So of course, Sweet Symphony has to be one of these. I just don’t know.


Turf

Fourty Niners Home - Big balloons, as Harvey Pack used to say. First try at the distance makes him a stab, but he always fires, closed in :22 4/5 in his last, and if he can get the distance, watch out.
Better Talk Now - Becomes the top choice if he’s higher than his 8-1 morning line. Defending champ is in excellent form and seems to be getting overlooked.
Bago - Ultra-consistent Frenchman has never been out of the money and looks to be able to handle soft going.
Shirocco - Less than a length behind Bago in the Arc in just his second start of the year. The optimal third race of the cycle comes over a soft turf that he’s reported to love.
Head2Head – Better Talk Now over Shakespeare and Bago



Classic

Saint Liam - Damn it! There goes my fantasy of getting 7-2 with Rock Hard Ten having been scratched.
Oratorio - This year’s European Classic surprise? Three year old has made nice Timeform improvement and his 4th place finish in his last at Newmarket wasn’t shabby at all.
Choctaw Nation - Late runner may be improving about as much as Borrego has. Was just 3/4’s behind that one in the Pacific Classic, and had no chance in paceless Goodwood. May encounter that same problem again here.
Borrego - If he’s really as good as his last would suggest, at least visually, than he may not need that hot of a pace.

Head2Head – Rock Hard Ten is scratched.

6 Comments:

Tote Board Brad said...

Excellent analysis, much of which I agree with, which is a rarity for horseplayers.

I'll single Knights Templar in the filly juvie for my early pick 4. For 2yo's I want value, and I've got an interest in seeing an Exploit filly get the job done.

In the P6 I'll single Borrego, now that RHT is out. His form says he's the horse to beat. He was my wise guy play in the 04 Derby, so I'd also like to see him redeem himself here. I don't believe in Saint Liam one bit, so I'm pleased he'll be the fav.

I live in SF, so I'm solidly on the LITF band wagon, as well.

Good luck.

-tbb

Walter said...

...Rock Hard Ten is scratched???...ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!...i had a future bet on him @ 20/1...reminds me of my Derby future on Buddha (50/1) a few years ago, when he scratched out the day before the race...oh well, whatcha gonna do...

Juvenile Fillies

...Original Spin...sure, shen ran 4 lengths slower than Sorcerer's Stone on the same card @ Arlington, but that was only the final time...note the the fractions in the filly race were MUCH faster early, so of course she wasn't going to finish as well...and from what i understand, Original Spin didn't have the best of trips that day...this one looks solid to me...btw Alan, on Wild Fit...she looked great in her debut (and i had very good workout reports on her going into that race), but she's just not finishing very well as the distances have increased...i thought she was vulnerable in the Oak Leaf (though i thought it would be Indy Miss that got her), and the fact that she couldn't get past Diamond Omi in a slowly-run race tells me all i need to know...horse looks like a sprinter to me...also be wary of backing any Mullins-trained horse in a race where there's going to be heavy security in the barns...i think he's been able to pull a few fast ones in the past (Castledale in the SA Derby, for one), so just keep that in mind...the one-turn should help Wild Fit, but i don't think she makes a huge imapct here...we'll see...

Juvenile Colts

...Stevie Wonderboy...here's a horse who i think will like the one-turn, and as you mentioned, he seems to have taken to the surface...race appears to set up much like the Del Mar Futurity, lotsa speed up front...should be motoring late, and will be tough to stop i think...i do like Sorcerer's Stone as well, though he did enjoy some pretty soft fractions @ Arlington, leading to his powerful finish...they'll be going much faster here, me thinks...may be good enough, but i give Stevie Wonderboy a slight edge...

F&M Turf

...Ouija Board...i haven't heard any worry or corncern coming out of this camp since before her comeback race with Detorri aboard...i mean, not even a hiccup...Detorri had ridden her previously, and said after her comeback effort that he "didn't notice any difference"...further, i read a quote from Dunlop yesterday saying he's "never seen her moving any better than she is now"...who knows if that means just walking around (it may be a reference to the leg), or actually running, but in any case it sounds very positive...and keep in mind, she was a world-beater last year as a THREE YEAR OLD...she could very well be a bigger, stronger, faster version this time around...and if nothing else, all the "i think she's beatable this year" talk will at least double her price, and likely triple it...i'm still not convinced she enjoys soft ground, but she showed last year that she doesnt need firm turf to run well...there's value here @ around 5/2, i think she may be the most impressive winner of the day...

Sprint

...Lifestyle...i know, i know, now you think i'm crazy...but hear me out...this horse is EXTREMELY talented, always has been...the problem is that he's had some serious physical issues...when he's healthy (see his first two races, including a 13-length sprint win @ Belmont), he's known to be freaky-good...now, when i saw this horse was pre-entered last week, i nearly fell off my chair...i could only surmise that he must be doing extremely well right now, so Ward (who's pretty sharp, and not delusional as far as i know) decided to take a shot...i still didn't give him much thought, other than being a signifigant pace factor...but i just read a few days ago that Lifestyle has had surgery to correct a breathing problem since his last race, and reportedly is breathing fire now...Solis (who had riden him several times before) was put on board for his work on 10/16, to see if he noticed a change...apparntly he gave a big thumbs-up...also keep in mind, shipping a horse cross-country ain't cheap, and this is Ward's ONLY starter...it's not as if he's just tagging along with a barnmate who's already coming...would Ward make such an effort with a 30/1 shot, who seemingly has no chance to win?...i don't think so, this horse isn't here by accident...in the article i read, Ward said "he can win the race, or it might not work out, and he could run 6th"...6th???...if that's the low end of what Ward thinks he'll do, then that speaks volumes...i'm hoping to get a workout report on this horse tonight, but with his 10/16 work coming at Hollywood, and my clocker currently stationed @ Santa Anita for the Oak Tree meet, i'm not sure i will...it's possible, but i wouldn't call it likely...anyway, from a pure handicapping perspective, he's drawn beautifully, outside LITF and the other speed...depending how the race unfolds, Lifestyle can either set the pace himself, or lay right off leaders, waiting to pounce...now, don't get me wrong, i don't expect Lifestyle to win...all i'm saying is that i think he CAN win, and he could appraoch 50/1 on the toteboard...hoenstly, i give him about a 10/1 chance...5/1 that he's 100% healthy now and ready to go, and 5/1 that he can outrun LITF (and the others) even if he is...ceratinly no lock, not even close, but he's a very solid risk/reward play...and isn't that what gambling is all about?...

Mile

...Leroidesanimaux...he's simply the best horse, and Dubawi/Starcraft are out...surface seems the only question...btw, i do know Whipper loves soft ground...if the favorite doesn't fire, perhaps that one gets it done...

Distaff

...i honestly have no clue...

Turf

...Shirocco...20/1 on the morning line???...are you kidding me???...sometimes i wonder how these people get their jobs...make no mistake, this horse has a big chance...no secret over in Europe, where last i checked he was 5/1 with Coral (the favorite was Bago @ 3/1)...finished less than a length behind Bago in the Arc, of all places, in only his second start of the year...known to prefer soft ground...gotta give Bago a slight edge here, due to his obvious credentials, but there's not much seperating these two...i do give Shirocco the edge over Azamour and Shakespeare...20/1???...umm, yes please...

Classic

...damn...i honestly hadn't seen RHT was scratched until i checked this site...i just got up about an hour ago...well, i DID like Rock Hard Ten, very much...now i just don't know...i know Mandella said that Borrego is "very much the horse to beat", so i guess i'll defer to his judgement...Saint Liam would be an easy pick on Belmont's one-turn mile-and-an-eighth, but here i'm not so sure...as for the Europeans, Oratorio is a 3yo who's been keeping some very nice company, but the pace in those European turf routes is much slower than he'll be looking at here...and of course dirt is a big question...could make an impact i guess, as O'Brien is razor sharp and i have to assume he knows what he's doing, but i just donn't see it...i might mention that although O'Brien nearly won it with Giant's Causeway a few years ago, he also tried the Classic with Hawk Wing, who failed miserably...as for Starcraft, i respect him very much...he's certinly very tough, but he also appears to be out of his element here...dirt's not the only question, but also the stretchout from a mile...i know he's won at distances up to 1 1/2 miles, but the competition there didn't approach what he was facing in those European turf miles...great jock in P-Val (best in the world for my money, horses really run for him), but he seems up against it here...i'd give him a much better shot in the Mile, even with Leroidesanimaux in there...

...anyway, good luck to all you guys tomorrow...i'm gonna go tear up my Rock Hard Ten ticket now...ugghhhh...

Anonymous said...

For the P6, I'm going to single LITF, Leroi, and Borrego. Simply because I feel these horses are "less vulnerable" than some of the other favourites in the other races. Can go deeper in the Turf/FM Turf/Distaff as a result :)

It's all about risk/reward, eh? :)

I love the fact that us canadians get to bet directly into the NYRA pool.

throwaway said...

Recognizing you for the wordsmith that you are -- see, eg., "Shakespeare Not To Be" -- I can only imagine that your query re. who we like "Today" is a reminder that all we think we know today may very well change by tomorrow, as we continue to stare at the damn PP's. With that in mind, I respectfully submit:

Juvy Males: You've got me sold on Sorcerer's Stone, and he should have a good pace battle to close into. But I also can readily forsee the headlines about Bailey choosing the wrong horse, so I'll include Private Vow as well.

Juvy Females: I thought I was the only one who liked Knights Templar, til I saw Tote Board Brad's post. I like the experience at the distance, and the time in her last seems competitive.

Distaff: Happy Ticket sits off the pace battle, and pounces for the win, with slight improvement 2nd time at the distance.

Sprint: Wildcat Heir prevails in stalking trip -- not b/c LITF will fall apart, but b/c WH is pretty darn fast.

Classic: Sorry to see the Rock is out -- b/c even with him in there, it was going to be "Hard to Be(at) a Saint in the City."

11

alan said...

Walter -

They were talking about Lifestyle on TVG the other night. He looked like the proverbial Fastest Horse in the World his first two starts, and then had some physical problems. They discussed the throat surgery and one other procedure he had as well, and that Ward is really hepped up on him. So I don't think you're crazy at all. About that anyway! :-)

Re: Wild Fit - The key here I think is the cutback to one turn. I don't disagree with you at all that she may be basically a sprinter, but to me, these races at Belmont are nothing but a long one-turn sprint, and I think she has a shot to come along late. But we'll see. I rate her and Original Spin close, and could change my mind depending on the odds, but I'll have both in any Pick Whatever's I use.

Sorry about RHT....I wanted him to run too, though not for the same reasons as you! Tough way to go down in a futures bet, since you had come so far.

Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting and good luck!

thecalicocat said...

my two cents -- top two each race
-- original spin, sensation
-- sorcerers stone, first samurai
-- megahertz, karens caper
--lost, gygistar
-- artie, valixir
-- happy ticket, ashado
--shakespeare, english channel
-- oratorio, perfect drift

Afleet Alex would have blown away this classic field. he will be a monster next year. best bet today is happy ticket.
alan, thanks for all the work you do.