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Beyers, thoughts, etc.
Chalkplayers had a tough go of it over the weekend. SQUARE EDDIE, fresh off a fractured cannon bone, took all the money in the "Last Chance Derby," the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday. Sent off at a ridiculous 7-5, Square Eddie made an eyecatching wide move on the far turn, but failed to sustain his rally in the stretch. The horse deserves a lot of credit for running so well considering the nature of his injury, but will he be ready for the 20-horse scramble that is the Kentucky Derby off only one prep?...The homecourt advantage is huge over the quirky Charles Town surface as the veteran COMMENTATOR found out on Saturday night. Trying a three-turn route, and racing under the lights were new experiences for the fleet New York-bred, and it's hard to take 13-10 on a horse trying something for the first time. RESEARCHER, on the other hoof, knows every nook and cranny of the Charles Town surface, and he pulled of the mild upset in the Charles Town Classic...Joe Talamo's ride on SANTA TERESITA wasn't his finest moment. Stuck down on the rail down the backstretch, Santa Teresita lost some momentum, and that may have cost her the head decision. Santa Teresita had not won on dirt in her career, and that made 9-10 odds unappealing...Other bad and beaten favorites over the weekend included TOQUE DE QUEDA (layoff, perfect trip in final start of 2008), GENUINE DEVOTION (dead on the board, coming off physical problems), and OCEAN COLORS (returning from injury-induced layoff, never raced on polytrack)...Last year, Mr. McGaughey's Carriage Trail improved by leaps and bounds on polytrack. Sunday, at Keeneland, PARADING named his margin in his polytrack debut for Shug. GRASSHOPPER and ADRIANO looked terribly off form...SEATTLE SMOOTH may not have beaten much in the Bed o'Roses at the Big A on Saturday, but she did it with panache, and can be an interesting player in the older filly and mare division on the East Coast this year.
Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's stakes races:
*Ben Ali (Kee): Parading (C. McGaughey III/K. Desormeaux) - 103
*Charles Town Classic (CT): Researcher (J. Runco/K. Carmouche) - 102
*San Juan Capistrano (SA): Midships (R. Frankel/V. Espinoza) - 101
*Santa Barbara (SA): Magical Fantasy (P. Gallagher/A. Solis) - 97
*Doubledogdare (Kee): Indescribable (W. Mott/K. Desormeaux) - 96
*Sugar Maple (CT): Spritely (T. Pletcher/J. Velazquez) - 96
*Sixty Sails (Haw): Swift Temper (D. Romans/C. Emigh0 - 96
*Whimsical (WO): Dancing Allstar (T. Jordan/J. McAleney) - 95
*Giant's Causeway (Kee): Diamondrella - GB (A. Penna Jr./R. Maragh) - 95
*San Simeon (SA): Mr Gruff (R. Ellis/J. Rosario) - 95
*Bed o' Roses (Aqu): Seattle Smooth (A. Dutrow/R. Dominguez) - 95
*Webb Snyder (CT): Trust Or Bust (P. McClelland/G. Almodovar) - 95
*Coolmore Lexington (Kee): Advice (T. Pletcher/G. Gomez) - 94
*Blue and Gold (CT): Russell Road (J. Casey/E. Camacho) - 90
*Sunland Park (Sun): Song of Navarone (H. Dominguez/A. Castanon) - 89
*Appalachian (Kee): Afternoon Stroll (T. Hamm/H. Theriot II) - 87
*Boynton Beach (GP): Miss Blakely (J. Orseno/J. Sanchez) - 86
*Golden Poppy (GG): Maid For Music - Ire (J. Cassidy/F. Alvarado) - 84
*Illiterate (Aqu): My Dinah (K. Feron/J. Espinoza) - 81
*Geisha (Pim): Princess Nyla (C. Grove/J. Pimentel) - 80
*Star Shoot (WO): Milwaukee Appeal (S. Fairlie/N. Somsanith) - 78
*JEH Stallion Station (LS): Annie Savoy (K. Craddock/C. Landeros) - 77
*Inaugural (SRP): Austin Lights (J. Arnett/C. Martinez) - 77
*Hookedonthefeelin (Pim): Blind Date (H. Smith/J. Rose) - 76
*Salerno (CT): Henry the Lover (J. Casey/E. Camacho) - 76
*Copper Top Futurity (Sun): Explosive Mine (J. Welch/A. Medellin) - 67
*Fonner Park Special (colts) (Fon): Reach One More (D. Anderson/M. Ziegler) - 60
*Fonner Park Special (fillies) (Fon): Apple Crumble (J. Wise/D. Leeds) - 55
Here are the lifetime past performances for the highest and lowest Beyer stakes performers of the week:
Dan... Huge request. I am dying to see the lifetime PP's for Scat Thief.
Here they are:
Basically, I wanted to poll everyone on the kinds of races you are at your WORST at in handicapping.
I have the most trouble with claiming races. Not only does one have to handicap the horse, but trainer intent is so important as well as physical condition. Do we trust the horse taking a significant drop in price? Why was this runner off for such a long time? Can we trust a cheap horse to put two good races back to back?
I prefer maidens, allowances, and stakes races. There are obviously question marks in those races, but I just feel more comfortable playing them.
I also try to avoid playing wet racetracks whenever I can. There are so many variables to decipher on fast footing. The mud just throws in another opportunity for chaos.
Dan, what happened to Affirmatif? He ran lights out in a maiden at Gulfstream for Pletcher. This much time off between starts is a bit alarming. no?
Affirmatif returned to the races on April 5 at Keeneland in an entry-level allowance on the grass. Sent off as the 3-10 favorite, he pushed the pace from the outside under John Velazquez, took over turning for home, and was run down late by European invader Golden Mexico. Affirmatif finished second and earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure.
What does it mean when a horse "ties up"? Is it like a calf cramp for an athlete?
These are muscle cramps and/or spasms that can be severe and quite painful at times.
Dan, speaking of Ronnie Franklin, I googled him to check out my facts before posting this and saw he was seeking to regain his jocks license in 2007, but did not see any follow up info. He was riding horses in the morning in Louisiana then. Do you have any info on this??
His request to have his license was denied in Maryland, and I haven't heard anything about reinstatement in Louisiana.
Haven't heard from Matt M. regarding a HandiGambling race. If he doesn't choose by tomorrow at 4pm, cayman, our esteemed scorekeeper, can select the race.
Talk to you soon,
handicapping 129 $100 on #4 to win
Anyone envision a half faster than 47 flat for the Derby if Join In The Dance is not entered? Think it would make it hard for those plodders to hit the board don't you think?
Craig, WHY? I don't see why the story has to be more complicated than this. They don't have to keep the public informed up to the second. Why would Gomez come out and say "I'm still deciding; I'll get back to you shortly. Please stand by"? Flip, It's a horrible bet. Why would anyone want to be forced to select 3 horses for 30% (of the $2) payout if they connect on any of the bets? This is designed for novices that don't know how to calculate their bet amounts... they probably won't notice that they're getting a fraction of the payout anyway. It's ridiculous. It's even more ridiculous for Chuchill to push this thing, but not allow dime supers. DickW, Square Eddie's Lexington was nothing like Street Sense's Blue Grass. Square Eddie has been sidelined all year with injury. Street Sense was out for exercise between the Tampa Bay Derby and Kentucky Derby.
Katie, Sorry, but the silks are always worn with white pants. And you know how slimming those are. :) Annie
Dan... thanks a million. I knew Scat Thief was going to pop and I blew it... thanks for remembering my request.
Craig, The mutual pool for the 2008 Kentucky Derby was $47,956,786 so I won't even be a rounding error.
I'm taking a poll: You have 4 horses to box in the Derby trifecta. Who are they?
Annie, No I don't feel "some kind of kinship" with MHS, I feel like the timing and events have led to a perfect storm (if Nakatani goes to Square Eddie and MHS picks up Solis or Rosario, it is fait accompli). This is business, and I think I have a very good chance at a very big longshot. These don't come around often. I may be crazy, but I am playing with big bucks here (WPS) and this is a calculated stab. As you can see, everybody is all over the place this year in their "top 5" and I am convinced that this is a year to seriously play a longshot. With only a couple of exceptions everyone in this field has a legitimate shot - although I think there will be two waves this year; the stalkers will fire too soon and it will be someone who can run a sustained drive that will win (think 2005). If I am right, I will be well paid. If I am wrong I just flushed a large amount of money. I can live if he loses, but if he wins... I have tracked Mr. Hot Stuff since he was on the farm, I know the proclivity of Tiznow's to be late bloomers and 10F seems to suit him quite well. Sorry if you were offended about my opinion on CC, it is what it is - you may very well have the same opinion of MHS... I think it is important that we all share our honest opinions on this year's Derby - doesn't mean we are going to agree, it just publishes what we think. I am sure there are plenty who are going bug nuts because I rated IWR so low - again my opinion, but I have a very strong feeling that he is not going to be there at the end. And the one thing I know is that if I go into this waffling like Mullins at a Board of Inquest I will be screwed (and there will be no kiss afterward either). C, If I had only four to pick? It would be POTN, FF, MM and MHS. Because this is such an over the top group to run exotics on, I will stick with my mundane WPS, but a really big WPS... Katie, I can only surface for air on occasion, and the Derby will be my last hurrah for a long while. Besides I am sick of writing about competencies in the enterprise.
Slew, "An H1 is a horse who ... goes to at least half of their morning line" "An H8 is a horse who opens up at twice his morning (or "public") line, then comes down late to the morning line or less." What exactly does "half" and "twice" the morning line mean? The relationship between 2-1 and even money is much different than 20-1 and 10-1. Steve, I'm taking a different stance on Quality Road: "If the trainer didn’t think he could run, he wouldn’t enter him." Knowing Jimmy Jerkens, if one of his other horses came out of a race with a quarter crack, he might not even have him on the track training yet and would probably rest him more than 5 weeks before going 1 1/4 on dirt. Just my guess.
As a warning to not take anything I say too seriously, I recall that last year although I picked Big Brown to win (who didn't ?), the horse I picked to out run his odds was Adriano, who beat exactly 1 horse at 28 to 1. So that being said, the horse I am liking right now at what should be a decent price is Papa Clem. For C's poll, if I had to box 4 horses right now they would be: Papa Clem Freisan Fire Quality Road Mr Hot Stuff But I sure cringe leaving off I Want Revenge. Another thought regarding Square Eddie is that his Lexington looks a lot like Street Sense's Blue Grass a couple of years ago and I would not be shocked to see him run a big race. And while I like Hold Me Back, I am concerned that he might be a synthetic specialist. I just can't get aboard the Dunkirk band wagon as he simply has not done enough to convince me. And sorry Annie, but I like CC but think he might be a cut below the best here.