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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

News and Notes - Sept 27

- Just Zip It picked up the pace in her second timed workout, a three furlong breeze in 37.42 (5/10) at Belmont on Tuesday. Prior to the work, our trainer Bill Turner remarked that she's like a whole different horse since she breezed in company last week with two other fillies...and that he likes JZI and says she has a nice way of moving. Seems like a little taste of competition has done what a reporter on a right wing propaganda machine masquerading as a legitimate news outlet was able to do to a certain former president - get those competitive juices flowing. But given Turner's history, they'll certainly be a few more workouts before he considers sending her to the starting gate. I'd guess some time in November if all goes well.

- One thing I'd like to see more of in the racing press is discussion of the art of handicapping by the experts in the field. Bloodhorse and Thoroughbred Times are news outlets, and have none to speak of. The Daily Racing Form has its handicapping section, but much of that is useful but race- or site-specific columns on particular races or tracks, Dick Jerardi boring us with his latest betting exploits, or Steve Klein writing that 97.8% of horses who have the lead in six furlong races on Thursdays go on to win. Even Andy Beyer rarely writes about handicapping anymore; personally, I wouldn't miss a series of columns by Beyer if he were to recap, reiterate, and update handicapping principles, both basic and advanced, from his landmark books. I believe that you can never have enough of good advice, and it often pays to go back for another look.

So that's why I'm excited about Steve Davidowitz' return to writing a regular handicapping column in the Racing Bible, especially when he imparts solid advice as in his latest column in their subscriber-only DRF Plus section. I'd love to just reprint the whole thing here, it's that good, but cannot do so out of respect for the paper's paid content. So let's see if I can briefly excerpt his piece to highlight his main points without pissing anyone off (and perhaps encouraging people to subscribe) (in which case, I should get a commission, right?):

On Lawyer Ron's defeat in the Super Derby:

Whenever a horse is heavily restrained during the early stages of any race, his performance could have been better than it appears in the past performance lines. This is one of the best reasons to watch video replays of as many races as possible, be they in preparation for the Breeders' Cup or your home track.
Very often a true measurement of a horse's capability to handle longer races can be seen in how rank or how relaxed the horse is at shorter distances. In my experience, this fact is even more reliable than how fast a horse closes in shorter races.
On Magical Ride's poor performance as the 6-5 favorite in the Matron:
Earning a big figure in a five-furlong race, followed by a precocious, but losing display of early speed in a subsequent race is a gilt-edged invitation to toss the horse from contention in today's race at a longer distance.
On King of the Roxy's win in the Futurity:
Having tactical (not precocious) speed and an outside post position in a closely matched contest is a major advantage in a one-turn race, especially a one-turn race at an elongated sprint distance such as seven furlongs to one mile or longer at Belmont and seven furlongs to one mile at Aqueduct, Arlington, and Churchill Downs.
And finally, on Karen's Caper's race prior to her win in the Noble Damsel:
..her second-place finish in the Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup on Aug. 28 featured a sustained rally from less than three lengths behind the slow pace set by a relaxed My Typhoon. This type of performance and/or a display of more tactical speed by a confirmed stretch runner invariably hints at a vastly improved performance ahead, especially in a race with more pace.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Any pics/video? I persist w/JZI questions because I'd love to offer my blog readers regular updates on her carreer...

Wanted to do that with an unraced horse for some while -- and the gal caught my eye.

I don't have a huge # who read but those who do frequent my crappy blog are nothing if not Suckers for a Good Time. If we convince even one to bet on the filly's first race...

...the entire Race Game wins.

Cheers to it.

Best to the Chef.