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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

After Christmas Sale

- Take a look at the David Jacobsen entry in the sixth on New Year's Eve at the Big A. Mr. Meso (5-2) was an $80,000 claim for the barn in June, 2007, at a time when the horse had won five in a row. Since then, he's run in only four races with only a third to show; three of those efforts were quite poor, and only one took place this year, for a 50K tag at Delaware. Here, he's marked down to 30K.

Also on sale is Trophy Road, who was a $75,000 claim for the barn last December. He then ran extremely well, with a win and a second in allowance company. That was in February though, and we haven't seen him since. We've seen that Jacobsen will run his horses where he thinks they can win, and doesn't hesitate to drop them in class. Still, I think a skeptical pose is warranted here with these two expensive purchases, especially if they both go and get overbet as we often see with coupled entries, and with the barn off to a sluggish 1 for 16 start on the IT.

Wish I could come with a stronger opinion as to who to bet instead, but it's a difficult heat on a really nice tough little weekday card; and with a pick six carryover to boot. Good luck with that. A tepid vote here for Wild Jam (8-1), for Ben Perkins, who had a nice second the other day with the well-meant first-timer Wildcat Brief. This seven-year old gelded son of Forest Wildcat sports a fine record on the inner track - including a third in the G3 Toboggan in 2007 - and comes off an even 5th at the Meadowlands in October. We've seen horses run well here coming off a race at that track. The winner of that Big M race came back to win by six with a nice fig for the hot Scott Volk barn; the third place finisher missed by a nose for that same trainer. Wild Jam had a couple of solid efforts against better at Monmouth prior to that, and has run well off his frequent layoffs, including a narrow loss in a stakes last year (meaning, still at this writing, 2007).

In the third, Wild Geese (7-2) is part of an entry for Contessa. This horse was a monster on the inner track last year; three for three, including a 106 Beyer. He's raced well elsewhere too, though not in his last race, off a brief freshening. But note that last year, he had the same pattern, running poorly off a short layoff before winning over this track (and being claimed by Contessa). Sir Winston (2-1) has won six in a row for the white-hot Asmussen barn (13-7-2-0); stands as the logical choice and most likely winner.

And in the first (as we work our way backwards, like Benjamin Button), Lights Off Annie (7-5) looks like an imposing favorite for Levine (just four for 32 on the IT), and I'm not going to go against. But with Myakka (7-2) a possibility to be overbet off some gaudy turf numbers, here's a couple horses of interest for minor shares: Baroness (8-1) ships in off the claim for Asmussen, enough said. And Aegean Breeze (15-1) changed tactics in her first effort for the hot Del Carroll (10-5-1-1) and hung around for an OK third with an improved number; her best figs, achieved on this track last winter, can put her in the money here. Best of luck and have a great day.