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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Wednesday Recap - Double Digits and Happy Tweets

Rudy Rodrigeuz has now sent 1,112 horses to the starting gate since February 2010, when he set out on the path from being a low-percentage jockey to a high-percentage trainer.  I think I can honestly say that I can't at all recall ever wagering any money on him as a trainer, at least to win.  (Which has made me right 78% of the time.)    I have nothing against the guy, unless maybe it's something subliminal from his jockey days.  Just seems as if he's usually starting horses that are moving significantly up in class, and starting at low odds.  His ROI is $1.82 and his median payoff is $6.00.  (By contrast, David Jacobson, a guy of a similar ilk as a claiming guy [who wins at a slightly lower percentage] is $1.72/$6.30 over the last three years.)

But, like anyone, Rodriguez gets his share of winners at double digit-odds - 14 out of his 248 winners. Don't know what the context that I always demand from others is in this case, and don't really feel like looking up other trainers.  (Oh OK...Jacobson has 11 from his last 247 winners...)

Actually, that was coming into Wednesday; Rodriguez now has 15 after Count Catamount ($27.60) took the opener.  Not a bad price for a horse who'd won his last start.  And yes, he was moving significantly up in class...but the last time he made the same exact class jump after winning for the same claiming tag - last Aug/Sept at Sar/Bel - he also won, and paid $30.40.  (And again, not red-boarding, didn't play the race; just trying to point out interesting tidbits that will maybe make us - or me, anyway - better horseplayers in the future.)  The winner held off Glacier Bay in a desperate finish; that horse was 19-1, but Ken Ramsey must have known something because he signed the ticket for Maker, who claimed him for 25k (he was coming off a win too).

I had the wrong Peter Walder horse, as Cypress Isle ($8.20) took the second.

I'd noticed in the morning that Gary Contessa was in a really cheery mood on Twitter.  "Saratoga is a mindset not just a race track," he wrote.  "The fans, the people and the ambiance can never be equaled. There is nothing quite like it."  So maybe he was feeling really good about his chances with Margaret Lilian ($9) in the third.  Keep that in mind next time you see him tweeting giddily in the A.M.  Three-year old filly has really seemed to find a niche sprinting on the turf even though she's a daughter of Suburban (at 10f) winner Political Force out of an Always a Classic mare who's a half to Estevan, a turf stakes winner at a mile and 70, and the dam of Newdad, who won the Pan American on grass at a mile and a half.

We mentioned Corail ($3.90) the other day; that's four straight 2yo first-out winners for Pletcher, and his 7th win at the meet overall, putting him one behind Chad Brown.  As we all know, you can't keep a good Toddster down.  He has another in the 11th (!) on Thursday, another one of these increasingly popular turf routes for juveniles.  The ridiculously named Notacatbutallama (5-2) is a $105,000 Repole purchase at Ocala in April; he's by Harlan's Holiday out of a Hansel half-sister to Lost Without You, a minor stakes winner in a turf sprint at Belmont. 

Unbridled Command won the 6th; the first of two winners for trainer Tom Bush which both paid an identical $15 even.  In the 8th race, the Fleet Indian Stakes, winner Beautiful But Blue was quite impressive in her first try against older fillies and mares (she was the only sophomore in the race), just burying the stick favorite Risky Rachel in the stretch.  She's by El Corredor out of a multiple state-bred stakes winner (including one at Saratoga) in Beautiful America; and she sure seems to like seven furlongs.

Saginaw took the Morrissey for the aforementioned Jacboson, and this one wasn't double digit odds ($7.30).  It's the first stakes win for Jacobson in at least five years at the Spa.  Well...the first flat racing stakes anyway.  As you might expect, he's only had one other stakes entrant over that time (from 114 starters).  Nice training job in this six-year old gelding's first start since getting crushed in the Met Mile, and it's the third state-bred stakes win for Saginaw since he was claimed for 30K from R. Dutrow.  Saginaw earned a Beyer of 103.  Two winners from 17 starters for the barn, and as previously mentioned, he won't win a high percentage here but he'll likely get his fair share; a bit better, I'm going to guess, than his 8% Spa win rate over the last five years.

Zito off the schneid in the 10th with Sinorice ($28), his first win in 17 tries at the meet and 35 on the NYRA circuit overall.

13,991 in attendance on a good weather day, which is down by 2,063 from the second Wednesday last year.

1 Comment:

jh said...

Good analysis as always kind sir.
Was standing at the finish line yesterday when Zito's horse nailed the favorite (?) at the wire. You could see the burden of the schneid lifted off of him. Some tricky handicapping to be sure. Good luck.