09/24/2011 10:32AM

Gallant Bloom, Kentucky Cup Sprint, Selene


Let's take a peek at some of this weekend's stakes races.

Gallant Bloom Handicap - Belmont - Race 9

We've had a ton of rain in the New York area over the past couple of days so expect "Big Sandy" to be "Big Muddy."  An interesting aspect of this race is that many of the top contenders have excellent records over wet tracks. 

TAR HEEL MOM - 10-6-1-1

I'm interested in a filly with no prior wet-track experience.  POMEROYS PISTOL is a 3-year-old facing elders for the first time, but she's run some solid races against Grade 1 company in her last two outings and draws a good attack post position in the Gallant Bloom.  Last time out, in the Test at Saratoga, Pomeroys Pistol was no match for top sophomore filly sprinter Turbulent Descent, but she tried hard all the way to the wire and galloped out past the winner.  Earlier in her career, Pomeroys Pistol was somewhat speed-crazy, but she's learned to rate.  She should be close by when the real running begins. 



Kentucky Cup Sprint - Turfway - Race 8

Usually, when handicapping polytrack races, I am unable to select a dirt horse trying synthetic for the first time.  But, I was so impressed with WILL'S WILDCAT's most recent start at Saratoga that I'm willing to take a leap of faith.  Racing in an 'n2x' optional claimer over a sloppy track on August 21, Will's Wildcat was engaged in a speed duel from the moment the gates opened.  First, he put away second-choice Just Hold On (finished last), but was immediately confronted by Understatement (seventh) and favored Bojan (sixth).  After dispatching of those two, Will's Wildcat built a commanding lead in the stretch, but was nosed on the wire by Slevin, an older New York bred with over 300K in the bank.  Will's Wildcat has enough speed to try and pop this field, but he's also won from just off the pace.  This race all boils down to price.  If Will's Wildcat gets hammered at the windows, I probably will back off due to his lack of experience racing on synthetic surfaces.  If he stays at his morning line, or thereabouts, I'll give him a shot.



Selene Stakes - Woodbine (Sunday) - Race 8

INGLORIOUS, the Queen's Plate winner, is most obviously the horse to beat in the Selene.  She is coming off a horrendous effort on dirt in the Grade 1 Alabama, however, and I just can't pick her as the odds-on favorite following such a sub-par race.  Certainly, she should appreciate getting back to Woodbine's polytrack surface (5-5 there) and it wouldn't be surprising if she wins by ten.  Still, that last race weighs heavily on my mind.  Instead, I'll take a shot with SMART STING, a beautifully-bred filly switching to the main track for the first time after some okay efforts on grass.  Smart Sting has an underrated break from the gate and may get the jump on Inglorious in a race lacking much pace.  Breaking from the far outside in the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen last time out, Smart Sting was taken back to avoid being caught wide for the backstretch run.  She split horses turning for home, altered course to the outside in midstretch and came home with a good late kick to finish second behind good-trip winner ANNE'S BEAUTY.  If Inglorious is ever vulnerable, it could be today so Smart Sting is the tepid choice at a price.



Quick-and-dirty selections:



For a more in-depth analysis, check out the handicapping videos that Mike Beer and I produced for the major stakes races.  Just head down to the second video player and click on the race name.






Much more importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.

Enjoy the weekend.


blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Whoa MikeA, Demarcation was my 2nd or 3rd pick ! He wasn't no stab in the dark .(Ronin Dax was my shot in the dark LOL ) D-marc had a couple things to suggest he would outrun his odds. He had a little tactical advantage on paper but maybe not on the actual track. LOL. He ran 3rd right ? He was a good contender for the tri or ex. Speaking of redboarding. When I first came here the topic of blogversation (hows that KNM ) was redboarding. I had been going to the track (a lot) for about 38 years and playing scrabble for about 42, but I had to ask what redboarding was. LOL. Once I knew what redboarding was I said whats the problem with somebody telling a tale of the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat ? ( hey what do I know ? I'm just a fisherman that likes fish tales right ?) Anyway the point is that it was like blaspheming around here back then to say that !! LOL. I do believe I can only recall Blackstone saying he didn't mind or even liked hearing track tales. Blackstone even invited formbloggers to tell the tales of their memorable scores . I told him a few of mine and had fun doing it . So in keeping with my humble demeanor I want to publicly take credit as the father of the Formblogianese Redboarders Liberation Movement and I'm also claiming credit for my fellow Black Brother Blackstone. He gets to be the Uncle of the FRLM . It appears that the FRLM has gained quite a few converts in the last couple years . I hope that trend continues. On the other hoof ,the Anti- Redboarding Association of America supporters have a right to voice their dissenting opinions. I didn't think P Ensign was calling Mike a liar . He was calling Mike a redboarder. More importantly he was demonstrating that people that claimed Mike never redboarded didn't have it exactly right . (stand up and be proud to be called a redboarder and we can win this fight brothers & sisters) Jonah , I posted those Mdn coin flips before they ran . Unfortunately those weren't redboards. I wish they were . I'd be proud to stand behind redboards like that. It wouldn't be ethical to take credit for redboards that I didn't earn though. ( see the way you can place the word redboard in order to elevate the status of redboarding.)
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
VQ and Tommytwotone , funny stuff. LOL. VQ ,actually you smoke the J after you do the pps then you take a nap and dream about it. I've employed that method with limited success. Lets just say I've killed a few goats that way but most of them got away.LOL. I can't take credit for the method. Chicago Gerry read about it in a book. GerryV , I'll tell you two simple ways to find winners later. BTW don't listen to anybody that says there aren't any formulas that win. What they mean to say is THEY don't know of any formulas that win. Okay its later, These aren't formulas because I'm never going to talk about how you guys can discover formulas again. Even though there are formulas. One simple way to get some good priced winners that will keep you in the game is to look for unbalanced closers. You get better prices on them than you do unbalanced speeders. They are near locks to place just like lone speeders only better prices. When you see a race with 3 speeders 3 pressers 3 trackers and 1 closer. That closer has a good chance to run at least second even if he looks a little to cheap. Way number 2. Only bet 2nd time starters that got bet 1st out and ran within 5 lengths as fast as whoever the fastest horse on paper is. Its wise to take a look to make sure there isn't a 1ster that works out faster than the rest of them can run. I'll gaurantee you'll make money if you only bet those kind.
joey a More than 1 year ago
Anyone know what happened to Shakespeare's Brew and Laetes? Both were impressive turf winners by Shakespeare at Woodbine but disappeared from the work tab after their races?
Bernard Downes More than 1 year ago
Sorry, I am not trying to take over this blog, but one last post if I may before I retire for the week. Mike A, Yes, I am still very much hoping to see your picks for Saturday (and anyone elses), especially if there are any Win bets. I fully intend to bet from my hospital bed, either by laptop or by phone. Quite apart from Belmont, there is a fantastic racing weekend at Longchamp. Be lucky. Best regards - Bernard Downes
Mike 3D More than 1 year ago
Molesap Went to a Verizon store tried all three demo tablets none would load formulator.
Joey A More than 1 year ago
I e-mailed formulator help twice last week asking if tablets could run formulator pp's and still haven't heard back. Very frustrating as these devices are extremely popular now.
Kelley_Belles More than 1 year ago
Shot On Stage............... 129 Starts, 12 Wins, 43 Places, 21 Shows Career Earnings: $184,274
Mike A More than 1 year ago
P Ensign............ I do understand how I sound at times......but reading between the lines with me is a mistake. If you read the whole post and took it as a whole you may have seen the point was that there are times in our zeal to beat the the obvious choices we fail to even notice that the payoff on those two are excellent. While for me 15-1 on an exacta may be low, it surely beats throwing your money away. The fact that you saw me telling people after the fact they were fools is understandable......but folks here who have gotten to know me know that would never be my intention....my intention is to get folks to think. I mean isn't it odd that someone who only looks for prices is telling folks their foolish trying to beat certain horses? I do it all the time......try that is. As far as saying I could have come on after, if THAS had lost and done the same thing, but in reverse, you're correct I could have.......but again I wouldn't. If I pick a horse and it loses I'm the first one to say I was wrong and analysis why. It's there for all to see. You see my problem, as I'm told, is I know I'm above board, I speak that way....but if your inclined to believe conspiracy theories you'll think otherwise. I can't help that......but ask yourself this 'If Jonah, a soft spoken real nice guy, was being abused.....i.e. Telling him his picks are say stupid, while I'm trying to help him, do you think he listen? Do you think he would speak about me the way he does? You've never given yourself a chance to see me in any other light than a rather dim one....I can't help that, I'm sorry I sound the way I do at times. But if you read what I write in the spirit I write it, as a lesson for new folks, you'd see that I'm not an ogre. The only way I know how to speak is directly....I don't candy coat much....I mean who on this blog would have said to Dan " How could you possibly leave Winter Memories out of the top 4 BC day"? I apologized for that at Penn national when we spoke...well sort of. You see I've been at this a long time and whether you chose to believe it or not, I am good at it. I speak to anyone on the subject as an equal.....my opinions solidified over many years of handicapping and watching horses. No one has to listen, no one has to try and understand what I'm saying and certainly anyone can take what I say as an affront, an attack on them personally.....but with me you shouldn't, no matter how it sounds. I'm speaking to folks who don't know, are learning......I said many times "there is nothing I can teach folks who have been at this awhile, because their mind is set, their theories in place and their collective ego's won't allow it". It's why I say "There's nothing you can teach me at times". Handicappers are the most opinionated folks next to politicians. What I say is my opinion.......taken from experience. You can listen or not, but the next time a lock leaves your pick in the dust, I hope you remember..........Mike A
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
knm Thanks for asking , yes Mom is comming along very well now. The Papillons are hers. Brandy - Alexander ( just like the cocktail! ) a brother and sister who are 3 yo's. They are cute, but quite a handful. LOL! Bernard Good luck with your procedure. Wifi in the hospital? ...maybe you can sneak into Laura's 'Chat' Room Friday night :) Laura 2012 Formblog Gulfstream, sounds like fun! Feb-March are busy months for us, but we will see what shakes out when you get the dates. Thanks for getting the ball rolling and organizing this event. Meathead01 ..I agree that Uncle Sam didn't like Fairplex at all. Hopefully Santa Anita will be more his taste :) Jonah Thanks for the post on your contest experiance. I enjoyed the recap. Since you have only been doing this 1 year, I think it's terrific just stepping into the waters like that. Great experiance, and I look forward to the next time when you are ready.
Bernard Downes More than 1 year ago
Many thanks for the kind thoughts, and now I feel a proper fraud, but I should have said I am going in for very very minor surgery. Hope to back reading these great blogs very soon after next weekend. Have read with interest the recent references to "To Honour And Serve". The British Bookies are only offering a best price of 12/1 for the BC Classic. Great price on the day (?), but not weeks in advance. For interest, So You Think and Stay Thirsty are currently favoured over here - around 6/1 and 7/1. The recent friction on here makes interesting reading but, and apologies for poking my nose in other peoples business, there is a difference between friction and hostility. One final point, what would make the aforementioned "great" read even better is if I knew something about you bloggers - it would really add to the enjoyment. I have mentioned my background in a previous post, but here it is again. - I am a born and bred Londoner (thats the UK version). - I am not married (I spent far too much of my life drinking rather than dating). - I am 62, now retired after 40 years working for the British Government. - I have been a mad fan of top class racing for more than 35 years. - I bet most days of the week, usually small Win bets on outsiders. - I have visited most of the top US tracks, starting with Belmont in 1981, watching John Henry win the Jockey Club Gold Cup when, if my ancient memory serves me right, he should probably have been disqualified. Thats me. Anyone else brave enough (?), vain enough (?) or daft enough (?). Regards - Bernard Downes
tommie twotone More than 1 year ago
gerry v Does anyone know of a reliable source on how to handicap races successfully that does not require a really big brain or a lot of time? (a) One of the three post time favorites will finish 1st or 2nd 90% of the time. (b) Sticking a hatpin (blindfolded) into one of the program #'s will get a winner about 33% of the time. (c) Betting an overheard selection from an idiot-savant at a New York OTB will get you pick-pocketed on your way to the window appox. 50% of the time. (d) Believing there IS a reliable source does not require a really big brain.
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
tommie twotone welcome back havent seen you post lately on your question about handicapping in the least amount of time Ive often read that taking the horse with the best two last beyers will get you a lot of winners albiet low return on your money thats for ATB bets .I once had a tip going into the gate at delmar one monday in the past this fellow sitting near the gate said to me that the #4 in the third could not lose he had holes in his shoes and did not have the price of admission and he was touting horses to me did I bet this horse? I dont think so MH01