08/21/2010 11:59AM

Alabama, Arlington Million Weekend!


Let's take a look at some of today's major stakes races.

Iselin - Monmouth - Race 11:

I really liked REDDING COLLIERY'S performance in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap on May 31, and am very interested to see if he can put together back-to-back big races.  Not only was the 111 Beyer for the Lone Star race impressive, but he did it the right way, prompting a quick pace under a confident Rosie Napravnik before taking over for good at the quarter-pole.  The runner-up that day, the hard-knocking Awesome Gem, returned to win the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup. 
The race flow may work in Redding Colliery's favor this afternoon as he can track the likely pacesetter, Our Edge, before getting first crack on the far turn. 
Selections:  Redding Colliery, Duke of Mischief, Our Edge

Alabama - Saratoga - Race 10:

Most are conceding the Alabama as a two-horse affair between BLIND LUCK and DEVIL MAY CARE, the best three-year-old fillies in the country.  I think that HAVRE DE GRACE isn't that far behind them in terms of ability, however, and I'm going to pick her to upset the apple cart this afternoon. 
Last time out, in the Delaware Oaks, Havre de Grace didn't seem to care for the wet footing.  She was under a drive with 2 1/2 furlongs to go and looked to be spinning her wheels turning for home.  She still collared the pacesetter in upper stretch, however, and then gave Blind Luck all she could handle going down to the line, losing by a dirty nose.
A lightly-raced filly, Havre de Grace may still have some upside and her good tactical speed should allow her to get the jump on Blind Luck once again turning for home.
Let's not forget about CONNIE AND MICHAEL as an upset possibility.  I don't think that 10 furlongs is her best game, but she may attempt to shake loose on the front end.
Selections:  Havre de Grace, Devil May Care, Connie and Michael

Beverly D. - Arlington - Race 9:

The defection of RAINBOW VIEW due to injury compromises the prices of some of the other strong contenders, but this year's renewal of the Beverly D. looks like a fun, wide-open affair. 
AVE has yet to win since shipping from Europe, but she's run pretty well in all three of her stateside starts.  In the Gallorette at Pimlico on May 15, her first start of the year, Ave broke poorly and was last on the rail turning for home.  She still gave a strong rally to just miss by a half-length.  Two back, in the New York, there wasn't much pace signed on and Ave altered her running style to prompt the pacesetter.  I think she's more comfortable making one run so I'll forgive her lack of finish that day.  Last time out, at Woodbine, Ave made that strong late run, losing a head-bob to Mekong Melody. 
Ave worked in 58 and change on the grass leading up to the Beverly D., switches to Ramon Dominguez, and should be kicking hard once again in the stretch. 
Selections:  Ave, Pachattack, Eclair de Lune

Secretariat - Arlington - Race 8:

It's hard to believe that PADDY O'PRADO was still a maiden in March.  Since then, he's done a great amount of racing in a short amount of time and that's truly a credit to the connections and to the horse.  He's emerged as the best three-year-old turf horse in the country after big victories in the Colonial Turf Cup and Virginia Derby and should be tough as nails in the Secretariat. 
In the Virginia Derby, Paddy O'Prado raced far behind a moderate pace before uncorking an eye-catching move on the far turn.  He scooted through an opening along the inside in upper stretch and there was no doubt who was best. 
The scratch of TWO NOTCH ROAD may slow down the pace, but there should be enough to properly setup Paddy O'Prado's late move.
Selections:  Paddy O'Prado, Wigmore Hall, Workin for Hops

I must admit that I don't have a very strong feeling about the Million.  I'm slightly interested in TAZEEZ, a European import with a hint of early speed, but I won't be investing heavily in the race.

More importantly, who do you like this afternoon?  I want to know.

Enjoy a great weekend of racing.


Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Happy Tuesday to all... Hope that everyone survived the weekend. Here is a quiz for all. What do the following numbers represent? 29.80/15.40/28.40/44.40/38.80/52.80/16.20/12.80/34.60/13.20/13.40/10.40/26.00/23.80/34.20 Sunday at Del Mar: Race #4 was the $150K Stakes Race for 3 year old fillies and mares and up. They had 1 scratched horse. The field was reduced to 4!!! No big 1/2 shot to worry a bout. Is this all that you have to offer the betting public!!!! What an absolute JOKE!!!! Another Stakes was on the card, but at a longer distance. Where are all of the horses??? Steve T. Can you shed some light on this for us. I thought that Del Mar was the place to be. You know, Bing Crosby and all. Where the Turf meets the Surf. How are the advertising out there??? I saw that the Boss at TVG was begging for business the other day. He said that over 80% of their customer base is over 50 years of age. They were asking the public for ideas on what can be done to bring out the younger generation. I say, poker tables at all track's. Maybe they will go to the window's during a break. LOL We are in trouble folk's!!! Whackymacky Out!!!
Rob Anderson More than 1 year ago
Dan, Can you clarify whether trainer "Wright Michael" is same as trainer "Wright Michael W" as seen in Fort Erie entries this year? Just curious. Whackymacky, Link up "big" races to contests where winners get Prizes rather than betting, then kids could watch n' win (and learn about racing).
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
I also like the 6th Race at Del Mar on Wednesday. 6.5 furlongs (poly), Clm 12500 N2L It is a full field of 12 with 2 AE's. Has anyone else lokked over this card? Alan? Uncle Steve? Buehler?...Buehler?...
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
A great honor and privilege for me has been to co-author a book with Kerry M. Thomas, founder of the Thomas Herding Technique. http://classicchampionthoroughbreds.blogspot.com/2010/08/view-from-hoof.html
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Curt V, Baffert has made that threat before, it lasted about 2 weeks. I don't really care if they run them on dirt, synthetic or broken glass. I do care if they raise the takeout to "give the trainers and owners a raise" Arnold "the PIg" Zetcher wants to give himself a raise to make his acres greener. Jerome Moss and his buddies don't need a stronaching raise they've got more money than a mule can stronach. The last thing racing needs is to give Abdullah maktoum abdulah bin rashid abdulah maktoum abdullah a stronaching raise. Stronach the bettor, stick it up his Zetcher with a meathook. IF this stupid stronaching proposal passes the assmbly college football here comes my money. I suggest any formbloggers that bet in Ca. should send an e-mail to Ca. assembly speaker Perez and let him know you'll no longer be wagering in Ca. if he pushes this through. These shmucks don't get it they keep stronaching on the player and think were Zetcher enough to take it. I'm not, all my racing dollars will be bet in KY. Where the take out is lowest. The reason the FAIR out handles Woodbine and Arlington is because the take is less. When that changes so will the handle. This is Typical thinking of stronaching multi-millionare zetchers that never have enough money. BETFAIR is a suckers bet and opens the door for the Zetchers of this world to offer enticing odds on horses that they plan to stiff. It is the worst stronaching idea ever concieved and anybody that plays that way is dumb. If you think R. Dutrow won't be Double stronaching you, you better think again. Don't believe me ? Ask Whacky what happens when Dutrow has a 1/5 shot in a short field. With BETFAIR he'll be offering 3-1 on D'funnybone in a 4 horse race. He'll be giving 6-1 on Big Brown in the Belmont. This plan will make the losers lose more and faster . It will turn winners into losers or make them such small winners that they might as well put the money in T-bills and go fishing. I'm pretty sure there's not to many players out there that enjoy racing and have put as much thought and effort into it as me but I'm not up for taking from the poor to give to the rich. Laura, very funny you fashion diva you. I'm picturing you on a bearskin rug wearing nothing but front wraps and a set of gate dancer ears. lol.
Laura More than 1 year ago
Dan, Nice work on the handicapping picks this week. Looks like you're back in the swing of things! I'm amazed at some of the emails I get. I just had to share this one and my response. Normally I just hit delete, but I just coudn't help myself "Hi there blogger! Just visited your "Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds" blog and I was super impressed by its design and content. We started our site Lookville.com not too long ago. It's a place for people to have discussions, share tips, and ask questions about fashion. It's been going great so far and I would love to have you on it! check it out if you're interested. And we would love to hear your feedbacks. Ciao! - Miranda B. I had to reply to this. Obviously, she's never seen my blog. Miranda, You must have me confused with someone else. I write about horse racing. While we horseplayers can be a fashionable bunch on occasion, we are mostly interested in whose going to win the next race. The only fashion accessories that get our attention are blinkers and front wraps. Although, some of us with good fashion sense wince when the jockey's silks clash with the coats of pretty gray horses. In our world, horses with big butts are a good thing. Hold my beer and watch this, (that's Southern American for goodbye), Laura
C More than 1 year ago
Mike A, "His come home times should reflect if there is any difference." I would not expect that to be very telling, actually. His come-home times will probably be somewhat similar, but they might not necessarily capture the fact that he's been getting outgamed just before the wire. That doesn't seem like a very good way to determine his recent lack of determination. "Usually when a horse comes home he doesn't particularly pick which eigth he runs faster in the last quarter." Turf closers are typically going to run fastest in the final eighth, so, again, I don't think that's going to be very revealing. This is a case where visual assessment trumps the numbers. "He never had a 'killer' instinct, he just beat horses who couldn't run as fast. It was his ability that made him win, not his 'will' to win." (a) one could certainly argue he was facing, and beating, better turfers in early/mid-2009 than the ones he's been getting nipped by today. (b) you can argue he's never had a killer instinct, but he also never showed a tendency to wait on horses when he was dominating the turf division last year. Something changed and I am not at all convinced that he's suddenly running against significantly better competition. I would lean slightly towards the opposite, honestly. (c) bottom line: is he a good bet in the near future if this trend continues? I've been avoiding him for months now... and it's not because he's untalented. The talent is still there... the will to win is not, imo.
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
I did my first pass through Wednesday's Del Mar card, and I kind of like what I see for that day. But there is something about the 4th race (1 1/16, Polytrack, 10K Claiming) that really has my attention. It's a field of 10, and right now it appears to have a nice combination of speed, stalker/pressers and closers. I haven't finished up my work for this race by any means, but it does figure to have my attention. Let's hope there are no scratches. That's all for now...
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
mikeA , some people like a guy that speaks his mind. That way you don't have to guess what someones really thinking.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Mike A , When I was about 13 my older brother 28 wrote a handicapping booklet of about 50 pages . He paid me and some of my buddies $20 to put flyers on the cars in the Santa Anita parking lot . The SA security nabbed us all and took us under the track, paged my brother to come retrieve us and gave him a stern warning not to try anything like that again. Duke ,Bob, Baedekers,etc have a franchise and they don't like interlopers. Funny thing though,he did get about 50 checks in the mail for the booklet. Good luck if you find anything on your day off.
Mike A More than 1 year ago
I decided Delaware is where I'll look for opportunities today. I believe there is only two turf races, but as long as the course is firm....or at the very least good, I'll give it a shot. KNM.......woman, I will tell you what I tell lawduck.....the idea of a watch list is to bet the horses when they run, I know it says "WATCH" but do not take it literally. WE will hook up with a winner someday, of that I'm sure. Perhaps today. SR Vegas.......thanks "C" I was being a wee bit sarcastic......The point was I didn't think much of GP last year, so I don't see the difference this year, no matter what Mr. Clement says. I'm going to go over GP's races from this year to last. His come home times should reflect if there is any difference. Usually when a horse comes home he doesn't particularly pick which eigth he runs faster in the last quarter. It usually depends on how good he is.....should be interesting. He's consistant.....sometimes the others will jump up with the race of a lifetime, in those situations he's vunerable. He never had a "killer" instinct, he just beat horses who couldn't run as fast. It was his ability that made him win, not his "will" to win. Mike A
knm More than 1 year ago
Mike A, Are you casting aspersions on my intelligence, or are you just trying to insult me? (Just joking!) Truth is, with my betting account, I can't always bet the tracks I want. Yesterday for example, Ellis Park wasn't available to me. The major tracks, of course, are always on offer. The smaller tracks only show up on certain days, rarely on a weekend.
Steve Taylor More than 1 year ago
Gerry- The best part of the jockey's room is the food! (Fantastic breakfast and it's cheap!) Regarding Gio Ponti even though he had some losses since last year's Million, his form really went south since the trip to Dubai. My unsolicited suggestion would be some time completly off if they want the "old" Gio Ponti back. DAN-You haven't answered yet-are you playing in the Contest at the Convention? The professor says you're eligible!