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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just Zip To Roll Lucky Seven (I Hope)

- My friend Bob is a Thoro-graph guy, and he's all over Just Zip It today - that's in the sixth on opening day at Belmont. She has three straight 7's, and I'm told that she's poised to move forward. If Bob was Richard Dutrow, he'd probably bet like $150,000 on her. One key factor in her favor is that I can't go; she's shown an aversion to the winner's circle when I'm there and both her wins came in my absence. But I'll be watching at a downtown OTB (though not the one at 17 John Street), and that's always a lot of fun. And it was good luck when she graduated at 5-1.

Precious Too went from a 10 to a 6 on Thoro-graph, so I guess she's eligible to bounce; though considering how she's run since Levine claimed her, she could easily run off and I wouldn't be at all surprised. Hopefully they'll be a little pace, and Just Zip It will be able to track it and kick home. She always tries, and seems at least a good selection if you're in the SHOWdown contest which begins today [doesn't start until May 7, sorry].

The race kicks off the midday double, and the 7th is a toughie. After long deliberations, I narrowed it down to two, so I'll probably use both depending on the payoffs. Mine Or Who's raced in open company last year, and ran third in a Churchill stakes last fall. Her three-year old debut in March at Gulfstream seems disappointing at first glance - 8th by almost eight lengths. But that race has turned into quite the key race, producing four winners, two of whom finished behind Mine Or Who's, Calder Oaks winner Ginger Brew, Seemingly and Lookalike, who ran 1-2 in a Keeneland allowance, and Calder Oaks winner Ginger Brew. Now she drops into state-bred company where she appears to have a decided edge in class (if not in Beyers). John Velazquez gets on board; he is now at 30% with 33 rides for Mott.

Ambidaxtrous graduated in her grass debut, in which she was well-bet at 9-2 for Tom Bush. A half sister to two turf stakes winners, the daughter of Deputy Commander was steadied sharply first time by the stands. She moved three wide on the turn, and exploded past the maidens to a six length win, earning a field high Beyer of 80. 4th place finisher Sonic Sound was a close second at 10-1 last weekend; and I picked second place finisher Stormy Catch here on Saturday. Unfortunately, she got absolutely buried in stretch traffic on the inside, and closed late for a good 4th.

- New flat screen TVs in the backyard are among the improvements you can expect to see if you make it out to Belmont this spring. The rest of the renovations are listed on this page (scroll down).

- A statement released by the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative claims that NYRA is making "unprecedented monetary demands" for its simulcast signal. Here's the list of tracks which will not be receiving the Belmont signal starting today:

Atlantic City Race Course, Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands, and Monmouth Park in New Jersey; Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania; Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia; Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway in Delaware; Ocean Downs and Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland; Colonial Downs in Virginia; Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts; and Rockingham Park in New Hampshire. [Bloodhorse]


Anonymous said...

Alan -

I think they list May 7, next week, as the deadline for the SHOWdown contest to start so Just Zip It wouldn't count today.

That contest might seem easy at first glance. I know it's just ten bucks, but does anybody really think they can pick a horse to hit the board for 54 days in row? Good luck. Even if I got up at dawn and studied the form charts for hours, my Pick of the Day would have to survive all the reasons a horse could run a bad race - poor starts, bumps, cramps, interferences, bounce races, 'clunker' races, shoe tosses, suicide paces, racoons on the track, jockey hangovers, AND (do they allow alternate picks?) scratches. It would seem to me easier to witness DiMaggio's hitting streak broken.

Does anyone know how close anybody ever came in any of those Saratoga contests? Where does the money go if nobody wins?

Sunny Jim

Anonymous said...

The fact that NJ tracks are not getting the Belmont signal just shows how this sport is trying to lose all its fans. I know a lot of people at Monmouth are going to be furious.

Another point, did anyone else read Andy Beyer's chat last night on the Derby? He talks about all the horses he is throwing out such as Colonel John, Big Brown, Smooth Air, Court Vision, Cool Coal Man and Monba. Also states that he doesn't like Tale of Ekati. So it sounds like he is going for long shots. But he never mentioned who he likes? I thought the chat was useless. Hopefully Dan Illman's will be better tonight.

Alan Mann said...

>>Another point, did anyone else read Andy Beyer's chat last night on the Derby?

He basically said that he doesn't like anyone in particular, and to that I can certainly relate.

Anonymous said...

Alan, I see your point. This year it's real tough. I just felt that he didn't give much insight and left me feeling a little empty.

Alan Mann said...

>>I just felt that he didn't give much insight and left me feeling a little empty.

Well, he also wants to make sure that you have to buy Saturday's Form to see his selections!

steve in nc said...

Many people will want to see Beyer's pick, just to exclude him from the top spot on their ticket.

If Showdown still works the same way it used to, the prize goes to the last survivor -- you don't have to survive the whole meet, just longer than anyone else.

As for Just Zip It, I'm not so optimistic today based on her Ragozin Sheet:

She had looked great, always moving forward every race, until her win two races back. That was her second big move up in a row -- 2-3/4 points, and a total of 6-1/4 points since her first race this year.

And then in her last, despite a month off, she went back 2 points. This is the famous 0-2-X pattern, and although there are many cases where it isn't negative, I think this one is. I fear she may regress further, although the return to 6 furlongs may mitigate this.

The chalk's pattern is tough to read -- in her last, she ran far better than she ever had on dirt, but not quite up to her grass top -- could go either way.

With most of the field able to run in about the same range, I'm most interested in the Jerkens filly because of the trainer pattern -- first lasix off the layoff and barn & distance change.

We'll see which set of Sheets is a better predictor in this spot, but good luck regardless.

Anonymous said...

I'd agree -- Beyer didn't say all that much last night. The timing of the chat was part of the problem; his Post column where he picks the winner isn't until Saturday. But yes, the tone of the chat was of someone who hasn't picked his winner and may not like the race at all. In short, it is the exact opposite of how a Haskin chat would go, where he'd make the case for all 20 horses.

Anonymous said...

Today in belmont 5th, I kinda like a longshot, the 3. I will play a pick 3 starting in the 5th, 3, with your 3, with all. byanose

affirmedny said...

I posted this on another site today re the NJSEA and the Mid-Atlantic coop:

Now you guys can see what we're dealing with in NJ. These people know squat about gambling. Bunch of political appointees that don't know the game. Worse than this they're negotiating collectively on simulcast pricing with a bunch of rinky dink tracks in the Mid-Atlantic. More money is bet on horse racing at the Meadowlands than ANY other facility in the country. For them to be negotiating in a group where Delaware Park has the same amount of input as they do is INSANE. I went to the Borgata this weekend where they're happily taking the signal from Belmont. Hmmm, I wonder if Borgata officials have a little more insight on how to make money in the gambling business than these hacks?