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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Quick Picks

Karakorum Holiday (4-1)....and I hate picking Karakorum horses but here we go....dropped to this level after some OK tries against better in his last.  He caught a muddy track, and didn't show the early speed that he had in prior starts at the Md 35K level.  Instead, he tried to catch up 3-4 wide on the turn, and then he had to be a good 7-8 wide turning for home despite what the chart comment says.  Tired from his efforts, but that was understandable, and he earned a field- and career-high figure despite the trip.  Shortens up here, not sure what jockey Alvarado will do with speed inside, but I think the level fits, and the price could be fair if there aren't 1,000 Karakorum partners who were given a "free" share (before all the cash calls) in the crowd and wagering on a Saturday at Saratoga.    Seghesio (7-2) caught a fast track for the first time in his career in his last at Finger Lakes, and ran his best career race, and figure.  He held well after a race long pace duel and figures to run well here, though he may encounter an early challenge inside from Raffie's Factor.  Was waffling between the two and will probably box in exactas depending on the tote.

In the 5th, Sonnyandpolly (5-1) starts for the third time in his current form cycle for Zito.  First off the layoff was a sprint, last time his preferred distance as he showed last year.  Got caught wide from the 10 post into the first turn, wider still on the 2nd, and a good six wide turning for home.  Didn't make much progress, but understandable again.  Slightly better post here, a couple of OK works, should be close with a better trip.  Moneyinyourpocket (20-1) was wide both turns in his turf debut and represents more than fair value at that price.  Post Position (5-2) has had has his chances for the sharp Dominick Schettino but has fallen short.  You may notice the trouble line for his last race, and he did have nowhere to go late....but Ramon had given this horse every chance with a perfect ride until then, and I'm not convinced that Johnny V will do any better; oppose as favorite here.

The 7th may be the deepest betting race of the day.  Prince Silver (5-1) shipped up from Churchill for trainer Merrill Scherer, three winners, a very close second and a third from his last six starters, got the rail and a 'good' track which looked wetter than that for his Saratoga debut last month.  This son of Silver Deputy doesn't seem to like breaking from the inside post as you can see from his running lines, and this time he found himself uncharacteristically far back.  He moved wide around the turn though, swung six wide turning for home, and unleashed a monster move to miss by 3/4 to a sharp one in Our Edge.  His final two furlong splits were 11.91 and 12.06.  Moves outside here to a post he prefers and I expect him to be able to make his closing run from a more advantageous position.  Hello Lover (7-2) cuts back to seven furlongs for clever connections and has the best figs in the race.  Shrewd One (3-1) is a sharp one for Phil Serpe, who we'll put in the sneaky sharp trainer category, most recently with Harbor Mist, who ran a gritty third in the Summer Guest stakes yesterday.    And then there's Que Posse (5-2), who runs well off layoffs for McLaughlin.  Tough heat.

And, in the Alabama, just for fun (and that's what this game is about, right?), what exactly was Kent Desormeaux and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer up to with Via Villaggio (8-1) in the Delaware Oaks?  "Rated," it says in the chart comment.  Looked more like a workout in her first dirt race since her first two starts, as the jockey laid back in 5th and last, casually rode her into the stretch, picked up the pace enough to ensure the place spot and then eased her home.  Looked like nothing but a prep for this to me, and she shipped back to Del Mar for four workouts in the interim.  Daughter of the mile and a quarter Travers/JCGC winner Bernardini is out of an Irish-bred mare who won, placed, and showed in three mile and a quarter races overseas and in California; could surprise stretching out to that distance here. Best of luck and have a great day!


Figless said...

I landed on Sonnyandpally as well, using with Post Position, who should rebound, and Knock Quietly who moves back to inside post and is 50-50 historically to hit the board on Turf.

Figless said...

Agree the 7th is a tough heat, which frankly I can not make heads or tails of, except to warn not to ignore Our Dark Knight who appears too slow off recent races.

But he has back class, has placed three times in three starts over surface, and placed in only start at 7f in his last when he passed 7 horses to clunk up at 46-1 behind Dominus. Appears to be rounding into form and will be running in last furlong. Might try him accross the board since I cant settle on any of the favorites.

Figless said...

"what exactly was Kent Desormeaux and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer up to with Via Villaggio (8-1) in the Delaware Oaks?"

Considering Desormeaux does not retain the mount, I think you should leave Hollendorfer out of the question. Kent may have just been having one of his bad days.

VV does appear logical to handle the distance, albeit more turf meant, as does the logical Grace Hall. But the latter has come up flat a few times around two turns and could be vulnerable despite the pedigree.

Since the other logical contenders appear short on 10f pedigree will include Sea Island on my ticket. Phipps homebred certainly bred to handle the distance and appears to have been aimed at this spot.

1-3-5 box TRI and EX, just for fun of course.

Johnny said...

That 3rd race is bad enough on a weekday, but is an absolute disgrace on a Saturday.

steve in nc said...

In the 3rd, I agree with Johnny, and you're even getting two Karakorums for the price of one, which brings to mind WC Fields' old joke about 2nd prize being two weeks in Philadelphia.

I see your point, but given the barn's win rate, I'd want a price. Speaking of low % trainers, CF Martin's horse Five Card Draw must have bet his balls and lost, so the race now has the first-gelding angle.

Bond does well with horses dropping to M Clm and Galluscio does well with sprinting cheap firsters. To me this is a race to watch the horses physically and to watch the board.

In the 5th, if I'd prefer to avoid, at least in the top spot, the horses that have already lost multiple times in this class in a turf route. I don't see excuses for your Zito horse. Maybe clunks up for place or show? Potus, Jake's Shake & Moneyinyourpocket are prices and not proven failures at this level.

I need to get sheets before having any opinions on the races for winners. Good luck all.

steve in nc said...

Hope y'all bet the Zito to place. I haven't bothered with the early races but I'm playing a P3 races 8-10:

Race 8 - Try a single with Clip the Coupons, who, like another Brown runner recently, has a right to be much faster off the long layoff. Looks like a suicide duel could develop between the rail horse and Napravnik's, setting it up for a late run colt.

Race 9 - On Sheets, Brilliant Speed and Al Khali have some fast races with patterns that are hard to judge. I'll use them along with Point of Entry, coming in off a race where he came back to his top; if he goes forward again, he could be gone. Of course, since I'm playing against Turbo Compressor, I hvae to hope someone pressures him and I'm nominating Newsdad.

Race 10 - I don't like Questing after bearing out and now getting more distance. Have to single the chalk, Grace Hall. She's coming up to the race perfectly with a small move forward off the layoff and now over a month rest. I'm not sure what you see wrong with her PPs, Figless, except getting caught short after the layoff in the Davona Dale long ago.

Figless said...

Does anyone believe Questings fractions and final time. She seemed to be cruising early, could not believe the fractions when they were posted. Great performance nonetheless but I find the final time difficult to believe.

Something amiss with Grace Hall, I thought she was vulnerable stretching out but something must have gone wrong for her to run that bad.

Figless said...

PS- nope, no place bet, which has cost me twice this week now.

Back to the drawing board, 2+ weeks remain for me to go from being in the black to red, but so far keep cashing enough small chalky doubles (8-9 yesterday) to stay afloat.

steve in nc said...

Are you doubting that Questing really ran that fast in terms of final time, or doubting that she slowed down that much?

Seemed like a typical extra long race where the only question is who's more exhausted at the end. The final time looked legit to me, coming home in 26:1, especially since she didn't exactly run a straight line. The others crawled home.

I can't tell you what it was about Grace Hall in the post parade, but she didn't look sharp to me. Of course, my pick 3 was already evaporated and I had no plans on playing her to win at even money anyway.

Helluva performance by Questing. If anyone ever gets outside of her in the lane, though, she's going to get DQed.

I don't have any brilliant ideas for today (not that I had any yesterday, either, but in tomorrow's 9th, I see a very flawed field of older horses with one 3yo, Banner Bill, fresh off the bench for a trainer that hits over 25% with this kind of situation and a winning ROI.

Banner Bill's female family is all dirt sprint, so going from poly to dirt might only help him. I'm hoping Little Drama bounces but I might cover with him on top of an exacta just in case.

Keep hitting those chalky doubles, just not in tomorrow's 9th.

Figless said...

Steve, I am doubting the first quarter split of 22.3, as fast as very solid older colts ran in a sprint in race 7, and consequently final time as well.

Rarely run distance so I think the timer may have been off, resulting in a final time faster than most Travers.