03/22/2008 10:52AM

The Lineup 3/22/08

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There's a quartet of Grade 2 stakes from coast to coast today, ranging from a six-furlong sprint on the Aqueduct inner track to a 12-furlong grass route at Santa Anita:

4:50 pm ET, Aqu race 9, G2 $150k Distaff H., 4+f, 6f
Ah, to be able to bet into morning lines: Control System would be a gift at her ML of 9-5 and might even be an overlay at her likelier odds of around even money. She disappointed finishing a distant second at 11-10 to Golden Dawn in the Barbara Fritchie last time out, but meets no one of that caliber today. She should be running late off the turnback, but Control System, switching to Dominguez, should get first run from just behind a duel among Your Flame in Me, Beau Dare and Quality Affair.

5:13 pm ET, GP race 9, G2 $200k Shirley Jones H., 4+f, 7f
Sugar Swirl goes for her third straight sprint-stakes victory at the Gulfstream meet after winning the First Lady at 11-10 and the Hurricane Bertie at 7-10 but meets two rivals whose best races make them dangerous: Shaggy Mane, who could wire the field if she perks up in her first start for Rick Dutrow after three bad races (two Poly and one slop), and Baroness Thatcher, who has had three straight rough trips. The horse I don't get at all is second-choice Dixie Dream at 4-1, coming off a slow N2x allowance victory and sporting a career-best Beyer of 89 in a field where the three mentioned above can all fire 100's.

6:47 pm ET, TP race 12, G2 $500k Lane's End S., 3yo, 1 1/8m (Poly)
I discussed this race at length in the Saturday column (Download 032208column.doc), which doesn't mean I have a strong opinion or a play in mind. Halo Najib, the tepid 7-2 ML choice, makes sense because his two best races are on Polytrack and his last two starts may have been too close together, and Chitoz may have some upside while shedding blinkers and coming off the grass. It's hard to see a serious classic contender emerging from this $500,000 Derby prep.

7:38 pm ET, SA race 9, G2 $200k San Luis Rey, 4+, 1 1/2m (Turf)
On the Acorn finished third in the San Luis Obispo, last month's version of this race, and is a legit favorite making his second start off a nine-month layoff in the absence of the first two finishers from that race. The main competition should come from Obrigado, who doesn't win very often but has been facing consitently better fields than this one.

tom mcdonough More than 1 year ago
In the same Form, Scott Blasi says Curlin's post position is better than OK and Jerry Bailey says it is a problem. Who should we believe?
Steve Breen More than 1 year ago
Flipster What's the obsession with what Watchmaker thinks about your horse? To me, if you love the horse you can only hope the national media stays off him. All the more for you and yours.
ml/nj More than 1 year ago
Regarding Gulfstream cancellations ... I've been following this stuff for a long time. I know it sometimes rains hard in Florida. But I cannot recall cancellations at Gulfstream or Hialeah before this. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about this.
Marty Ingels More than 1 year ago
Re: Shirley Jones Hey, I thought I was married to Shirley. I'm I dead or dreaming? Marty
Lane More than 1 year ago
The reason I played the early pools was for fun, the reason I play the races every day that I get too. Unfortunately,I don't get to do this for a living and it is the best way to take my mind off of a 50 hour a week job. Yeah, it has been fun to pay the mortgage for a month on multiple P4 tix (thank-you Mr.Crist), and a few other "big" hits in my small betting limit, but I do it for fun. I have several horses covered in Pool 1 and Pool 2. Not to try and pay the bills with, but to have an "interest" in them daily. I have a large calendar next to the computer where I chart every workout. I know I was supposed to answer C's question to myself, but I wanted to point out there are still those of us out here that do this just for fun. When a horse or two or three, etc., that you follow on a somewhat daily basis wins (rather it be a claimer I follow out here in Ca. or as big a stage as the derby) it is rewarding and not from a financial standpoint. Do emotions come in with betting for me? Yes, I bet Preachinatthebar every time I could just because I love that damn horse win or lose. Emotion keeps this game alive. I'll hold my hadful of Pool tickets on Derby day and hope I'm right with big odds and my trifecta wheel without shame because I love the sport.
q3v1n More than 1 year ago
Steve gotta hankerin' to try calc-stimating p3 and trif3 payouts as presented in your excellent EXOTIC BETTING. Problem is; I cant find any win-pool specific data archives, only total mutual (WPS) amounts. Are there any sources of win pool (only) totals. If yes, what are they? TKS. QEV
q3v1n More than 1 year ago
Adriano wins horse of the year. I'm sure that this has been discussed at some point in the past, but in light of the fact that both the '08 and '09 BCs are now scheduled to be run on the (funny stuff) at OSA, I have questions. What happens at Eclipse Awards time when say, best older male, or best 3yo is awarded to a horse that has done its best running--as well as the majority of its running during the year--on synthetic surfaces? what if that same animal's few performances on turf were just OK but its few tries on dirt were dismal. Now the horse goes on to (cinch) one or more of these awards with another scintillating performance in the Classic---again, on the funny stuff. Can this animal still be considered the best horse in training in any non turf category? Should new categories be created for the (synthetic circuit)--for our new (artificial) champ. Or, is he simply our new almost-turf champ, since synthetic surfaces were originally created in an attempt to mimic grass flat racing during Britain's winter months? or,maybe we should simply include an asterisk by our new homeru...err..champ's name.
C More than 1 year ago
Why would anyone want Watchmaker praising, or "respecting", "THEIR Derby horse" and act insulted if he doesn't? Why even marry a single "Derby horse" before, say, May 1 anyway? The answer is ego. Most players want to be able to say "I've been telling you guys all along", etc. That is the REAL reason future wagers are so popular. People want everyone within earshot to know how brilliant they must have been to recognize talent in advance. It massages their ego. Everyone, take a moment and be brutally honest with yourself. If you played the future pools, ask yourself why. The standard answer is "I knew so-and-so was going to be great and I wanted to play him at 20-1 instead of the 2-1 I'll likely get on Derby day". Yeah, great... now be honest: How many future wagers have you cashed before? What's your future-ROI over the years? How many horses did you bet in this year's future pool? If more than 3, why so many? Do you normally place WIN bets in the Kentucky Derby, or focus more on the exotics? If they offered future exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagering, would you play them? Why/why not? How would you feel if you win your future wager, but it pays less than the Derby-day price? Regardless of the payout, will you just cash the ticket without a word (like any other winning ticket), or will you first show the ticket to whoever is sitting near you? This is a personal reality-check, so just answer to yourself instead of posting replies to every question. It's never easy to be honest. Nobody wants to conclude that their emotions and feelings factor into their betting, but you have to admit it before overcoming it.
AlHattab More than 1 year ago
Oh come off it Flip. Keep up with the trash talking like that and Watchmaker and Crist will put a lit cigarette in each ear.
jrzingg More than 1 year ago
Steve do you really think New York needs to run every Sunday? If they ran 3 days a week we would maybe get full fields and good races, Do you like 4,5,6 horse fields, with half of the field trained by the same trainer.