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Thursday, January 12, 2006

News and Notes - Jan 12

- The handicappers in the NY Post and the Daily News were not happy with the actions – or rather, the inaction – of the stewards in Wednesday’s 4th race at the Big A.

In the stretch, [Jodi’s Call] came out several paths under jockey Alan Garcia, clearly running into the path of favored Sister Laura, who was forced to go out even wider, losing momentum and more importantly the race, by just a length. The stewards said that it didn't affect the outcome as jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., aboard Sister Laura, never stopped riding. Arroyo differed saying, "I'm a jockey. I'm supposed to ride. The reason why I didn't stop riding was because there was no one outside of me. If there was I would have checked." Arroyo did everything right and wasn't rewarded with the win while Garcia was rewarded for failing to keep a straight path, setting what could be a dangerous precedent if the stewards are to remain consistent. If Arroyo did a little acting in the saddle and stopped riding, he probably would have been put up. Instead, he did what he was supposed to do and was wrongly deprived of a win. [NY Daily News]
- There’s a chance of rain in Southern California on Saturday – 90% according to weather.com, and that could affect Dan Hendricks’ plans for Brother Derek in the San Rafael on Saturday. "I don't want to run on an `off' track or a hard, sealed track…..I'm not pressed to run him. He doesn't need to run. I might look at the El Camino or I might just wait until February." [AP] The El Camino is at Bay Meadows on Jan 29, and I know of at least one reader who is hoping for rain on Saturday.

Bob Baffert is planning to start Wanna Runner in the San Rafael. Since finishing up the track in his first two races, he’s won two in a row since switching to two turns and – are you listening Highland Cat? – being gelded.

- Gaff (Maria’s Mon) earned a Beyer of 111 for his win in the Mr. Prospector on Saturday, the highest of the young year. He may follow the path of last year’s ill-fated Mr. Prospector winner, Saratoga County, and try the sprint at Dubai. [Houston Chronicle]

- Not only did Itsallboutthechase lose the Aventura by a nose, but he did so to a horse that his owners had sold – talk about rubbing it in! The colt’s owners have a business plan quite similar to the one of my pinhooking partnership, but have had a bit more success. They bought Aventura winner Doctor Decherd for $70,000 and sold him for $100,000; but have had bigger scores, particularly with Magna Graduate.
That $30,000 yearling was sold for $650,000 after finishing second in the 2004 Kentucky Cup Juvenile. [Trainer Garry] Simms also selected and resold Grade II winner Belle of Perintown and Grade III-placed Big Booster. [Louisville Courier-Journal]
- You don’t hear me mention track bias here much. It’s not that I don’t believe that there are situations in which there is a strong advantage to speed-types or closers; I don’t dispute that. But I think it is often vastly overrated, and one of my real track pet peeves is hearing people, and even certain track analysts, talk about a track being biased one way or another after less than half the card. Sometimes, you'll even hear stuff like - 'the track favored speed for races 1-4, and then favored closers later in the day.' I often don't buy stuff like that.

Take this passage from BRIS’ Santa Anita Notebook regarding turf races at Santa Anita last week and weekend:
Speed runners fared on turf on Thursday and Friday. Closers fared over the weekend.
First of all, I believe these sentences earn the [sic] designation for improper use of the English language. Secondly, there was only one turf race each day on Thursday and Friday, so how can you possibly draw any conclusions from that? Then on Saturday and Sunday, one of the races referred to was a downhill sprint with fractions of :21 1/5 and :43 2/5; and another was a mile and a quarter route with fractions of :21 4/5 and :45 3/5! Races run with more reasonable fractions produced winners that stalked closer to the pace.

There’s a lot of free information out there these days, and when it comes to, especially, notes such as this on supposed track bias, I prefer to look into matters far closer rather than just taking everything in print as gospel.

- Regular commenter Teaman has his own blog – Rockin’ and Racin’. Maybe now he’ll leave us alone! (He knows I’m kidding, right?) Check out his picks for this weekend’s NFL playoff action. I think the Giants are out, right? :-)

12 Comments:

Tote Board Brad said...

You're damn right I'm hoping for rain in SoCal Saturday. A.P. Warrior is also being pointed for the El Camino at Bay Meadows. I'd love to see Brother Derek and Eion Harty's horse throw down again in the RICHIST TWO TURN RACE FOR 2YOs UNTIL MARCH! [have i mentioned that before!?!?] I already have my turf club reservations.

In other affirmations, I agree the 'bias' card is played too often. Usually there's too small a sample to properly conclude there's a bias based on the charts, and most people who come to such conclusions don't have the horsemanship to study the animals as they are running the race to determine if they are laboring because of bias or because the just aren't up to the task.

Teaman said...

OK Alan...I can take a hint.. It looks like Teaman has been "Scratched at the gate". Seriously tho...Thank You kindly for putting that link in your post. The place for my incessant ramblings IS in my OWN space. On the off chance that someone might visit and make a comment, all are welcome.

On a horse racing note...Add 1 more horse to the (as you put it..) The Donato Juggernaut over at Turfway Park. In Weds. 1st race was the #4 Sneak Preview..1st time starter. For all I know he's still running. He didn't hit the top-4. That's all..I'll contain my ramblings on this subject to my spot. Thanks again for the link.

Walter said...

...just tried to post about the Sehawk game on T-Man's site, and apparently you have to be a Blogger just to leave a message?...that's weak...oh well, maybe i'll sign up for an account...i was think about doing my own blog anyway, i'm taking up too much space in here...as for the Seahawks, what i did was take them @ even-money to win the NFC...it's basically a two-game money-line parlay, since they need only win twice to win the conference...both games are at home (starting with the Skins this weekend), and of course they'll face the Bears/Panthers winner if they advance...the Seahawks are a 9.5 point favorite this weekend (-450 on the money-line), and i've gotta think they'd be a minimum 6 point favorite at home next weekend...call the second game -280 on the money-line, and a $100 parlay would net you $69...so i think there's some value at even-money...

Ruben Bailey said...

Wow, nice work Walter.

I think I like the farm on the Hawks -9...

I'll be there, so they BETTER cover!!

Walter said...

...big two-turn maiden race @ Santa Anita tomorrow...it goes as the 6th, and includes the highly-regarded Baffert entry from Opening Day, Point Determined and Royal Legacy...also entered is the promising Mandella colt Presidential Cause...that one had worked a mile head-up with the older Mandella stakes horse The Tin Man, who came out of that drill to win a high-caliber allowance race...Presidential Cause was entered the following day, but according to Brad Free in the Racing Form, was scratched due to a cough...according to his report from Jan 5 however, he appears to be doing alright now...that said, i think the horse to beat is Royal Legacy...have a look...

ROYAL LEGACY (Jan 8, 59.4)

Dispatched a barnmate with alacrity here, 2 up while breezing in 35.1, 59.4. Bounced well out of debut, lots of run here. Grade B+

...in keeping with the topic of track bias, you may remember that speed was holding EXCEEDINGLY well on Opening Day, and Royal Legacy had broken slowly and came from way out of it...i'm not a big track bias guy either, but i do think you might be able to upgrade Royal Legacy's effort a liitle bit, and he was likely just prepping for a route anyway...all systems appear go for this one...unfortuantely, with the coupling of Point Determined there's not gonna be any value, and i'm not anxious to go against Presidential Cause anyway...most likely i'll be sitting this one out, but it should be a good one to watch...

Teaman said...

Walter...I tried to change my settings at my spot so "anonymous" could post comments but was unable to do so. Their Help page was no help. But I'll dig a little deeper and see what I can come up with.

alan said...

Blogger support is about as helpful as a tip sheet after the races. That's what you get for free....Nothing!!

So I'll help you out. Go to the setup page. Click on Settings / Comments, and then select "Anyone."

alan said...

Select "Anyone" on "Who Can Comment?", that is.

Tote Board Brad said...

Oops...I meant RICHIST TWO TURN RACE FOR 3YOs UNTIL MARCH!

But you knew that.

Walter said...

...picked up almost 2 units on the Baffert entry/Presidential Cause exacta...i couldn't take 3/5 on the entry, and felt uncomfortable trying to beat Royal Legacy, so i started looking at the exacta...i also considered betting the entry to place, as i thought there was a decent chance they'd run 1-2, and there wasn't a lot of risk involved because one of them should almost certainly manage second...but if they were split up by Presidential Cause (or anyone else), then you're probably looking at a $2.60 place payoff, and who needs that...so anyway, the exacta was paying $4 the short way and $10 the long way, meaning if you laid 70% the short way and 30% the long way, you're getting 9/5 on your investment...i thought it was roughly even-money that the entry and Presidential Cause would share the top two spots, so there looked to be some value there...the only real threat appeared to be Big Jon, who had drawn the far outside post and seemed a cut below the top ones anyway...as for Royal Legacy, he showed improved speed on the stretchout, though he got hung wide on the first turn and looked to be pretty rank down the backside...looked pretty full of himself and was definitely a handful for the jock...he ran a nice race, but had to settle for second behind his entry-mate Point Determined, who also showed improved speed and appeared very professional today...he motored oput to the early lead, and wasn't fazed a bit when Royal Legacy took the lead from his outside...the jock simply let Royal Legacy go and patiently waited to make his move (perhaps knowing he was on the best horse?), then he readily asserted his superiority around the turn and into the lane...entering the turn, his jock kept looking around, and seemed to be more concerned with the horses beind him than with Royal Legacy, so he must've known he had that one measured...the final time was 1:44 flat, not overly fast, but i've definitely noticed since the rain passed last week that the track has been producing slow times, particularly through the lane...and Point Determined was definitely not being fully extended, either...looks like a very hot prospect for Baffert, along with Royal Legacy, who certainly will improve with more racing...i'm also keen to see what happens in the mornings now, as i'd have to think one of both of these colts will be working in company with Point of Imapct in the future...should provide a fine barometer for that one's talent level...

Walter said...

...oops, i almost forgot...bad news for Brad...i was speaking with the SoCal contingent in the Del Mar chatroom today, and they said the coming rains aren't expected until Saturday night...looks to be fast-and-firm in Arcadia tomorrow...of course, that's always subject to change...

Tote Board Brad said...

now i'm reading weather reports at latg. clearly I've been drinking.