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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Morning Notes - Dec 14

- I got to the Big A after the second on Saturday, and already I heard some murmuring about the track favoring speed. By the end of the 4th, after two pure wire jobs, it had grown into a frenzy. Andy Serling and whoever the other guy was were talking about it, and that stuff can become a fait accompli pretty quickly on a cold day with an intimate crowd of 3,125 huddled inside like old friends in their familiar and very much weathered surroundings.

However, I was having none of this, ever the skeptic on the matter of track bias that I am. You just can't, except in the most extreme circumstances, make conclusions about a bias based on such a small sample - two races each at six furlongs and two turns to that point, in my opinion. There was nothing I saw in either the third or 4th race to indicate anything other than the fact that the winners, both favorites, were the best horses in a couple of very weak races, particularly the 4th.

Sure enough, the rest of the winners came from off the pace. You might read some analysis that says that the track favored speed early and closers late; I'd say don't believe the hype. Each of those races had its own circumstance - a contested pace, lack of quality speed horse, a nice-looking improving horse in Researcher - just as the earlier ones did.

So, big deal, I was right about that - didn't help me make any money. In fact, my best shot of the day blew up when 65-1 Golden Caesar came from out of the clouds to win the 7th. I had the exacta with second and third place finishers 5-1 Raffie's Dear over 6-1 Borrowing Limit darn near cold. Always nice to see those West Point horses like Drowning Bear run on Saturdays when they get bet off the board; 6-5 on that one, oh my.

Raffie's Dear is another live one from the Asmussen barn (though Sir Whimsey disappointed in the Queens County). Chief Export got the job done for Lake in the 5th, and didn't get claimed either; but the trainer claimed Bubba Gum back for 14 after losing him for 10K last time. Run With The Lark ($40.60) was the second winner in two days for trainer Richard Schosberg.

If it sounds like I'm in a rush, it's because I gotta get ready to go to the Jets game. But DiscreetCat has a pick for the Big A. Best of luck and have a great day.

Aqueduct - Race 7

#7 Access Fee (3/1 ml)

Just happened to catch the filly's Laurel debut by accident way back in February, and was EXTREMELY impressed with her. I began following her after that, with the hope that she would ship to New York for a stakes, and we could get a price on her. Unfortunately that didn't happen, as she resurfaced in an allowance @ Laurel where she scored another impressive win at miserly odds. Disappeared for a bit after that before turning up in a turf sprint @ Philly where she lost @ 4/5, then disappeared again, presumably injured. By the time she returned @ Laurel last month, i had put her on the back burner because i thought perhaps she was damaged goods, and i assumed (quite wrongly) that she would be odds-on again. To my dismay, she went off @ 3/1 and blitzed the field, looking very much like her former self. This filly is just a bundle of talent when right, and seeing that they've NOW chosen to send her to New York for a stakes, it's safe to assume she's in fine fettle. Also note that Ramon Dominguez (who has some ties to Laurel) is climbing aboard, and he's previously ridden a winner for this trainer. Like this one a lot.

4 Comments:

Andy Serling said...

Alan,

First of all, let me say how glad I am that you are listening to our show, even if considering your overall comments I'm not quite sure " listening " is the operative word. However, better to be misinterpreted than not interpreted at all.

Since the bias talk seems to be all the rage when we race on the inner, Jason Blewitt ( the other guy...but we'll get to that later ) and I feel it is our job to keep our listeners ( like you ) abreast of any trends we may see. If you have been listening since the inner opened you will know that we have been very strong that no real biases have existed, and like you, we too believe that people are too quick to jump to conclusions and often imagine biases on the inner that simply do not exist. However, yesterday was a day where the rail did seem particularly strong and felt it was worth discussing. We made it very clear that a rail bias will be far more pronounced in two turn races and even explained why we believe that is the case ( which you, or anyone, should feel free to disagree with ). As examples, in the 3rd Pitched Perfectly set an excruciatingly fast pace, and despite appearing hopelessly beaten, still managed to draw off late for the victory. 3:2 or not, this seemed worth discussing in the face of a wire to wire winner of the first and an 18:1 shot holding second in the 2nd race. In the 5th, a sprint, Kamboo Man survived an very strong pace duel to hold second while securing the inside, and in the 6th, Take the Bluff got into a suicidal duel only to hold well for second, and lose to a horse that hugged the fence until the stretch. And, finally, in the feature, Brilliant Son, a distance challenged horse, held very well for a close second at 1 3/16 miles after appearing dead at the top of the stretch.

I think there is ample evidence in that information to at least entertain the possibility that the rail was at least an advantage. We do not make our assumptions haphazardly.

You know I appreciate a good argument about racing, and am happy to argue with anyone willing to do it from strength, but I have to say I feel your flippant reference to Jason as " whoever the other guy was " only demeans your argument as it makes your comments appear flip and thus somewhat biased against your opponent....as opposed to what he may be saying. In the interest of fairness I find it hard to believe this is what you want to project.

Here's hoping I can figure out how to post this correctly....and that you have a great holiday. I know I can use a few days off. Enjoy your blog.....whether I agree or disagree.

onecalicocat said...

Alan:
Rap Tale must have gotten the easiest lead possible to last for fourth. I would say that $4,000 is found money for her in a 1 1/4 mile race.
(Was she walking at the finish?)

Anonymous said...

Access Fee has been battling foot problems, easy to spot since she has run with Bar Shoes and/or Pads in her last two starts.

DC said...

I knew about the bar shoe thing. I didn't think they'd ship her though is she wasn't ready to run. Looks like they've been patient with her. And goodness knows she ran well. Likely would've won if she hadn't blown the start.