07/16/2008 10:38PM

Opening Day - Del Mar


Before I get started on the day's recap, I have to mention that History's three biggest flops may be the Edsel, The Green Monkey, and Windows Vista.  Of course, my laptop is Windows Vista.  Not exactly Formulator friendly.  My trip notes were warped in some kind of code and, thus, my handicapping was limited.  In turn, that limited my bankroll.
As for betting, if you're ever at Del Mar for an Opening Day, make sure you get a voucher, and bet through the automated machines.  While the lines for teller service snaked 15-20 deep, a horseplayer could walk up the machine with 2 minutes to post without a problem.

Race 1:
Became a chalk-eating weasel, and landed on Plan for Fun for Jeff Mullins and Tyler Baze.  Played him to win, and in doubles, and felt like I owned the blueprint to the track after the race.  Joe Talamo (Win to Win) and apprentice Michael Martinez (Coronado's Pride) must have watched The Man o'War one too many times.  They engaged in a torrid speed duel for the opening half-mile only to understandably fall apart in upper stretch.  Plan for Fun rallied from last in 1:37.82 to break the track record.  It will be interesting to see how the Doug O'Neill horses (Glimmering Pete, third in this race) fare coming out of the detention barn.

Race 2:
I guess they'll fare just fine.  Pocosin's Game Boy, an O'Neill-trained Cal-bred gelding, sat just off the early pace, and blew them away in the lane.  My Double hopefuls, Earnednotgiven (second, far back early, couldn't make up enough ground), and Put It in Writing (troubled, but probably wasn't going to threaten anyway) failed, and I gave back the blueprints.

Race 3:
Here come the Unusual Heats!  This one's name is Unusual Heather, and she scored first-out for Art Sherman at 14-1.  Isaias Enriquez had a bit of "Del Mar 2007 Polytrack on the Brain" as he rated potential lone speed Ima Offended on the front.  Instead of clearing off, Ima Offended got caught up battling with Kulinski Rose, and both faltered at go time.  Think this year's polytrack is faster than last season's?  Unusual Heather broke the track record with her final time of 1:10.37.  I declined to wager.

Race 4:
Sampled chalk again with Ron Bob and, boy, it doesn't taste good when you lose.  Simply put, Ron Bob wasn't very good.  He sat the garden trip saving ground behind the speeds, and although he steadied in between horses during the stretch drive, you had the feeling he wasn't going anywhere when he had the trouble.  I'm In the Mood was rated nicely on the lead by Tyler Baze (second win), and the Washington-bred gelding withstood an objection to dead-heat with Corona Time.   

Race 5:
Didn't do the requisite work in this 2-year-old race to make a large wager, but I did like the way Miguel's Mascot rallied in his debut.  He got my money and the run of the rails to win going away at 3-1.  Oh, and he broke the track record for his 5 1/2 furlong clocking in 1:04.48.  Tactful ran well first-out for Carla Gaines, and shouldn't be a maiden for long.

Race 6:
Der Bingle sang about the place where "The Turf Meets the Surf" so it's only appropriate that the Opening Day feature is twin divisions of the Oceanside.  It's Pick Four time, and I had to put in a token ticket despite my Vista issues.  Went four deep with Moral Compass, Ez Dreamer, California Blaze, and Coronel Moldes, but there was no Kilderry on my ticket, and the bet was blown up after about a  minute and a half.  California Blaze didn't make the front as expected, and was shuffled back a bit on the backstretch.  He had to wait for room on the far turn, but didn't have any kick.  Ez Dreamer just isn't very reliable, and Coronel Moldes got on track too late.  Moral Compass was, perhaps, an unlucky loser.  He was checked a bit on the hedge at the quarter pole, then had to squeeze through a narrow opening on the fence in the stretch.  He, and I, lost by only a nose.

Race 7:
Didn't have much of an opinion in here, and played a token win bet on Brides Folly at a big price.  She raced evenly without threatening the top finishers, but Perfect Cast was a logical winner for Rafael Bejarano (third on the day) and Jerry Hollendorfer.

Race 8:
Targeted Devils Afleet as the main speed, and put a few bucks on him at 7-1.  Amazingly, in both divisions of the Oceanside, my stretchout sprinter made the front, and then was shuffled back a bit into the pocket.  Devils Afleet can't pass a parked car so losing the lead doomed him right then and there.  Dixie Chatter was the beneficiary when Devils Afleet yielded the lead after 4 1/2 furlongs, and the Richard Mandella-trained colt kept right on with it.  He had his share of physical problems lat year after winning the Norfolk like at Derby candidate, but it seems like Dixie Chatter is back on the beam.

Race 9:
Needed something to save me from a losing day, but there's a reason that Bigum is 0-18, and I can't take 9-10 on him despite the 5yo maiden's apparent edge on figs.  I pass, Bigum hangs like a chandelier, and Khun Dan goes gate-to-wire for Martinez.  I know, I know, I should have played the "Dan" horse, right?  No, I couldn't.  I'd have to look myself in the mirror in the morning.

Will be back tomorrow on the grandstand side of the paddock (right where the horses leave the paddock to head onto the path to the track).

Take care,


Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Mr. Calvin Carter; Once again you have demonstrated your brilliance and class. Thanks for your contributions here. That was yet another example of your keen sense of knowledge and expertise. Thanks again. Van Savant
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Calvin, Tinky, Good stuff gentlemen! Pedigree analysis fascinates me because of the infinite (??) number of genetic combination possibilities that will make up the individual. I think there is a big difference between analyzing a pedigree on it’s face (looking at hypothetical mating, for example) and then looking into the pedigree to understand the individual who is the product of the pedigree. Naturally, when analyzing a pedigree on paper, you must consider influence probabilities in projecting what you might get. I think Tinky’s case is completely sound in this regard. A simple form of this weighted odds outcome draw would be the process that the NBA currently uses to determine the draft lottery. You can project a likely winner but then there could be a surprise (kind of like Portland getting the #1 pick in 2007, my boy Greg Oden). After an individual has been born, raised and developed into a racehorse, and begins to display his/her individual traits and characteristics then the pedigree analysis can help to understand the individual. It’s certainly possible that distant (low probability) ancestor traits became dominant in the genetic configuration of the individual. This may appear as an anomaly for the sire or dam. I think this happens all the time, it happens in humans… You know, the young girl who looks and acts just like her great grandmother and nothing like her siblings or parents… Because of all of this, once an individual has established an identity, I’m reticent to use pedigree in my handicapping except perhaps when dealing with the unknown (first time doing something)… Think about how very different two full siblings can be from each other… I guess I’m somewhere between the two of you in that I can fully appreciate Tinky’s structural, mathematical, logical soundness in assessing a pedigree but I’m less absolute. I can appreciate Calvin’s observing of possibilities but it has to be connected back to the context of probabilities. Just my opinions…
Hillbilly More than 1 year ago
Steve T: Azeri is an all time great in my mind and she one 13 Grade 1's if I'm not mistaken.
larryk More than 1 year ago
CalvinCarter: I'd like to second that point that VanSavant. ANd thanks for that link again.
tony kelso More than 1 year ago
Virginia Derby.... I think if Gio Ponti runs at Colonial Downs, everyone else is running for second. Horses of different eras.... Easy Goer and Sunday Silence both had comparable or better Beyer speed figures than Curlin, thumped older horses (especially Easy Goer) and as three year olds they ran their usual top efforts like clockwork. Plus they had to face EACH OTHER. They weren't burnishing their reputations in glorified walkovers.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Dan, Thanks so much for the great DMR opening day post and recap! Boy, you sure do have luck with the ladies. lol Annie
Orientate More than 1 year ago
Thanks for checking on the banking issue, Dan. One thing i did notice today is that the polytrack seemed a lot darker than last year's version. More normal-looking, as opposed to the white-looking surface of last year. Incidentally, here's something i read in Gaming Today (a weekly Las Vegas publication). The article is by Ed Golden, who's done the Stable Notes for many years. "In addition to water, they say they've added another material and they're very happy with it." - quote from trainer David Hofmans
Paul Revere More than 1 year ago
Contest Picks: San Diego: You Got Me Rocking Greenwood: Evening Attire Thank you Alan
Maggie More than 1 year ago
Wow! GunBow, excellent analysis! Another great effort. I'm not that knowledgable of the speed figures (except knowing that Secretariat received a 136 of 137 Beyer in the Belmont Stakes from the father of speed figures himself, Andrew Beyer), but I do know the general rule of thumb 1/5 of a second equals a length when it comes down to raw times. That is a huge effort and indepth insight of research! You have huge respect from me, especially with all that you provided.
tony kelso More than 1 year ago
Hi Dan: I hope you are surviving at Del Mar. I am not convinced a jock wants to AGGRESSIVELY SEND a horse to the lead. Even with the faster surface, I didn't see any wire to wire winners on the "dreaded Polytrack." I liked Mandella's horse to win the 2nd division of the Oceanside; that horse seemed to class up very well. I have noticed that Dixie Union is quietly having a good year. Maybe he is becoming the solid sire some people (like me) expected.