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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Aqueduct Notes

A bombshell for Pletcher in the featured Plankton Stakes on Friday; Awesome Ashley ($24.20) was the clear longest shot in the six horse field. She was 20 lengths behind favored Weathered in the last for both, so this one was pretty tough to make. Perhaps the board was a clue, as she could have been twice those odds or more and nobody would have thought twice.

In the 9th, the Toddster finished 4th with favored Footnote This, as Asmussen won another, with Dark Ops ($6.60), in another state-bred maiden 15K claimer. This barn has ten winners in 25 (40%) starters on the inner track. I mentioned yesterday that Parisella had won three in a row, and his first timer Bentbutnotbroken rallied for second at 6-1 after being pinched back to last after the start.

In Saturday's 1st, Parisella starts Ship's Piano (6-1), dropping him in class, as he did for each of those three winners mentioned above. His last was an even and wide fifth - the chart comment reads Overland, flattened He may prefer one turn, but I like that Ramon Dominguez picks up the mount. Hard Iron (6-1) ran well in his last for 20K; a wide third to two-time repeat winner Reptilian Smarts, who won the 1st for Richard Dutrow. Smooth Wind (7-5) won for 25K two back, then was up the track in the slop; and now appears for a 10K tag. No thanks, standing against.

Always On The Move, who finished 35 lengths behind Haynesfield in the Damon Runyan, took the third, a state-bred entry allowance, by 11 lengths; another winner for Contessa.

1 Comment:

steve in nc said...

If you're upset at redboarding, please don't read this. I'm only posting this because Alan, you wrote that the winner in Friday's AQ feature was "tough to make," and she made my day, so let me share info...

On Ragozin Sheets, the chalk Weathered looked ready for a bounce and Awesome Ashley, while a toss on Beyer #s, looked like a contender on Ragozin figures.

Weathered was coming off 3 pretty closely spaced races, each one an "effort" (within 2 two Ragozin points of her best). She had shown the same pattern near the beginning of last year, and followed the three efforts with a bad bounce. Her 3 recent efforts were 9, then 9, then 10-1/2 (another sign of tailing off -- on Rag, lower #s are better than higher ones).

Awesome Ashley on the other hand, also ran a 10-1/2 recently, in the race before she tired badly against Weathered. So while she's had plenty of trouble sustaining her form, and I'd have never keyed her at a low price, she totally qualified as an "odds vs. numbers" play. Awesome Ashley looked terrible using Beyer #s. While Ragozin gave W's last and AA's next to last the same figure, Beyer made Weathered 13 points faster comparing those same two races. AA did run 4-wide, which Beyer gives no credit for, but I suspect there was a difference in variants as well.

As a player, I love the inflated odds one gets when a horse has a bad last race showing (with no huge trouble comment to attract trip players). I look for inconsistency while it seems the bulk of the money is bet on consistency.

Sure horses that ran 2nd in their last race have the best statistical chance of winning today. But Mark Cramer did a study years back comparing ROI to last race finish and found that horses that ran 5th in their last did best, beating the track take. I'm not arguing to play horses that ran 5th as opposed to 4th or 6th. But when looking at bad races last out, I err on the side of ignoring them.

Sorry to post so belatedly about this. Saturday was a family day.

I'll root for the Rap Tale sib today, and for the filly herself in the upcoming stakes.