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Pick Four Madness
Race 1: Can't argue with a two-turn maiden special weight even if it is linked in the Daily Double with a claimer. Despite a tough post position, Sette E Mezzo loomed the deserving favorite after a good third-place finish to kick off his career at Gulfstream. He had a tough outside post for this two-turn test so I also used Unique Tale from the inside. The main track played to speed on Friday, and Edgar Prado wasted no time putting Unique Tale on the front. Unique Tale and Tizzy basically ran one-two around the track. Sette E Mezzo tired after a wide trip. I was alive into doubles with the two horses that I used to kick off my Early Pick Four adventure.
2. I really liked Party Crasher off his game race off the bench on Opening Day, and the track was playing to his pacesetting style. He was the 'A' ticket with Above Board as a solid 'B'. Again, things went according to plan. Party Crasher broke like a shot, cleared to the inside, and kept on going. Conversely, Above Board broke terribly from the rail, and raced greenly as the favorite. I cashed the Double, but more importantly, was alive into the next leg of the Pick Four with a 7-2 winner.
Race 3: Despite my affinity for baby races, I've been shut out this meet. With confidence low, I went four deep. Miss Hen was turf-bred for Asmussen. One Hot Toddy was the first runner by the brilliant Congaree. Old Time Religion showed good works for Wesley Ward. Royal Card was bred both sides for speed, and was going out for Pletchazquez. Royal Card unseated Johnny V. soon after entering the track, and ran off for a good while. Surprisingly, the stewards took no action, and Royal Card joined his peers during the warm up. Evidently, the unexpected exercise did the colt some good. He pressed the early pace, and although under the whip on the turn, gamely wore down A Day for Dancing at 2-1.
Race 4: I felt good going two deep with Drop a Line and Awesome Ashley. The former looked to have a pace advantage, and I've been a fan of Awesome Ashley's since she debuted at Saratoga. Drop a Line actually rated under John Velazquez before ranging up to tackle Silence Dogood on the turn. Awesome Ashley took her time on the rail before swinging out at the quarter-pole. Both my picks hit the wire together for the heater with Awesome Ashley at 5-1, and Drop a Line at 6-5.
Race 5: This is where it all fell apart. I knew I should use logical favorite Jumpin Charlie, but he drew outside, and I wanted to be a wise guy. El Aleman seemed to be improving from the rail while Marl made a premature mid race move in his seasonal debut on Fair Grounds turf. Excitable Boy was a reach based on his recent turf race, but he had a little zip, and I wasn't too fond of the still-green Starboard Side. El Alaman and Excitable Boy finished up the track at big prices while Marl rallied mildly for third. Jumpin Charlie got up late to give Pletcher his third in a row, and my Pick Four tickets were gone, gone, gone.
In the meantime, I did a segment on :58 Flat where I unsurprisingly gave out a loser. Hey, this was a spread day for me, and I didn't want to give out questionable chalk so I landed on a 7-1 shot that did nothing.
Race 6: Didn't have much action in the Fort Harrod although I was intrigued that Gary Contessa brought Successful Affair down from New York. He didn't do much over the Polytrack, but Jade's Revenge relished the going. Prado broke the 13 furlong race open entering the final turn at 5-1.
Race 7: Late Pick Four time, and I was taking a shot by going deep. I don't really care for Morakami, felt like she was bad favorite, and went with Daddy Sez Smokum, Grand Breeze, and Ride Em Cowgirl as 'A' picks. Morakami was relegated to 'C' status. Again, things started out well as Ride Em Cowgirl pressed the pace of a 60-1 shot before drawing off to win at 7-1.
Race 8: I gave out Fanlight Fanny to the folks watching TVG, and she was an 'A' play along with razor-sharp Danceroftherealm, Taletobetold, and Just for Keeps. I'm really not a Jazzy fan, and pitched the Grade 2 winner completely. Again, I felt I caught a break as Jazzy didn't get the easiest of trips while Danceroftherealm overcame some late trouble to post her fourth straight win (5-2 odds)
Race 9: The Lexington was a tough, tough race on paper, but I knew that if I could get through it, I'd be in pretty good shape for the Pick Four. I went with the four horses I mentioned in yesterday's blog. Samba Rooster and St. Joe both had speed, and figured to be aided by the way the track was playing. Atoned projected for an inside trip, and Riley Tucker had good tactical speed as well. The prices on all four were extremely generous. Samba Rooster was 17-1, St. Joe was 20-1, Atoned was 9-2, and Riley Tucker was 10-1. Turning for home, I thought I was made in the shade. Samba Rooster had set fast fractions, but still held a two length lead at the quarter-pole with Riley Tucker breathing down his neck. At the eighth pole I still felt confident, but Pletcher's Behindatthebar ran both down late. Again, the Pick Four was gone, gone gone.
Race 10: What made it worse was that I had Biggerbadderbetter on my tickets, and he scored at 7-1 in the finale.
How do you go six for eight, and still go home a loser. When you bet as foolishly as I did.
Even though my wallet is lighter, I still had a great day thanks to the time I spent with members of the FormBlog team. I'll be back in front of the Jockeys Quarters near the walking ring tomorrow afternoon if anyone wants to stop by, and chat about the races.
Too bad about War Pass.
Best of luck to everyone. Dan
Dan, I find the prospect's of Curlin skipping the B.C. Classic to run in the Arc or Japan Dirt intersting to say the least. Do you think it has to do with running on a synthetic surface? I know Jess Jackson wants to showcase him to the rest of the world but I'm skepticle that the thought of him running poorly over S.A.'s rubbish are scary. What are your thoughts?
Dan: i just wanted to comment on these animal activist protest. First of all let me remind you that two good horses were destroyed at santa anita on the cushion track because of injuries. Cushion track will not stop what hapen saturday. People forget fillies have only won a few derbys in the 134 years which should tell them they don't belong with colts. Also the greed of owners trainers are to blame. Lets go back a few years and remember Foolish Pleasure and ruffian,was this right? i think the answer is obvious.I Really think people who know very little about these great horses don't understand that this is what they are bred to do,run as fast as they can early,middle or late it doesn't matter they will breakdown with just the slightest misstep.my opinion is this their is entirely too much false breeding, i will explain most horses now usually don't race more than eight or ten times before going to stud.doesn't prove they are freat sires at all, look at secrateriat,seattle slew, how many great horses came from them? that's just to name a few.Owners who are wealthy pay outrageous prices for race horses who really aren't worth it,many of these so called well bred horses turn out to be nothing but claimers. If they try to slow these horses down and away from speed the game dead.we have to many idiot people out here who really think this cushion stuff will save the horse. won't happen that's not the nature of this great animal.i have played horses for 48 years and have seen thousands of races with very few tragic endings considering how many races are run daily in the usa.not many horses are destroyed.Trainers are the worst you know and i know that several horses are sometime put in a race with bandages on the front legs when in the pp's they never show this in the past and they usually lose that race. So ca trainers are good for doing this and sometimes when you play a pick 3,4,6 and you don't have this change prior to the race you will probably lose that race if you have keyed on that horse as i have many times in the past. The CHRB tells me thay can't control trainers on this issue,i say bull, trainers know well before the entries are taken whether they will use these bandages or not and we should know without any tricks from trainers. it appears to me that this sport is going downhill because of idiots who understand nothing about race horses and what they are bred to do run as fast and hard as they can.anyone who thinks a filly really should run against colts in the derby is really stupid since only a few have won,by the way those that did win ran against poor fields of colts just go back and take a look at those few races won by fillies. Thanks for the chance to voice my opinion. Leave horse racing alone or you younger people will see a change you really don't want to see. SAL MODESTO,CA firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Sohol and Zayat Stables: Please seriously consider entering Massive Drama in the Preakness Stakes. His running style would suit the Pimlico strip very well. He would be very competitive in that spot, and a summer target that includes the Travers Stakes would set him up nicely for a run in the BC Classic...
Dan; the fifth race at Keeneland on April 12 resulted in a Horse A being disqualified from first for interference with Horse B but because Horse B was dead heated for second by Horse C, both B and C were put up over Horse A, even though Horse C wasn't interfered with, and Horse A beat Horse C by over 2 lengths; the ruling was that Horses B and C finished as a "unit"; what the hell kind of ruling was that? Any clues or expanation would be apprciated! Thanks, JW
Dosage Profile, DI, CI, Pts, and weight assigned by Experimental Free Handicap Bob Black Jack 5-0-3-0-0 4.33 1.25 8 103 lbs. Thanks/
Did anyone see the Vindication firster Light Sentence and Jeremy Rose breaking his maiden at Delaware Park on Sunday? He showed a professionalism in deep stretch when angled out and surged for the win. Anybody know anything about this horse?
Lenny, Thanks for posting your spreadsheet. I was wondering if this is your first year for it. If not, fully understanding that is a Kentucky Derby Selection System, how much of a predictor was it, in terms of the outcomes of the 2007 Derby? Also, and, you may have previously explained this, but what is you reasoning for disregarding two year old Stakes earnings? Thanks/
The BATB Lexington-Coolmore polytrack victory is further evidence of the under estimation by some people, inckuding myself, of the quality of the California 3 year olds. With the success of several California 3 yr ols on the dirt in prep races, I can't see how anyone can doubt, that, Colonel John, given his background and performances to date, won't be force to contend with on May 3rd. Fully realizing, that colts/fillies are different as individuals, with all the other evidence at hand, I don't think one has to fret or hand wring about the cushion to dirt transition at Churchill Downs. There is always going to be some doubt about a lot of things that are going to happen on the track. That has to be expected. I guess you look at how CJ trains up to Derby day, but I think one has to assume he will run well on the dirt, while, as was suggested on the formblog, you would not make the same assumption, if he were going onto polytrack. Those that have CJ in the futures, although it won't be at big enough odds to satisfy many, will be a far better off than those taking CJ's on track odds on May 3rd. I am really impressed with him right now. ------------------------------ Speaking of hand wringing, I think those individuals who throw out Pyro based solely on his BG performance are wrong. If you think he is just too slow, then fine, but after the challenges the Keeneland polytrack has posed to some fine 3 year olds and up, then I think you are making a mistake. I think there are a few on this blog who are giving Z Humor a little bit of a look right now, including my self, based on his win in the Fall, recent 3rd place finish, current training accomplishments, and his breeding. If you can do that, then certainly you ought to be able to look at what Pyro did in the Fall, what he accomplished in late February and early March, and be willing to throw out a disastrous performance on a Keeneland polytrack which has prosed a significant challenge to some really nice race horses. I would rather hear that you don't like him for many other reasons, but I disagee with those that take the position that a race horse ought to be able to run well on any surface. Thanks/
You have to love the fact that Baltimore Raven's dam is Cleveland Browni. Who is her dam? Art Modelly? Apparently I haven't kept up, what is Steve T.'s website?
Justin- That's good to hear. I thought from reading comments you and your family's racing manager made that you all were far too sporting to enter a horse just to thin out the field or keep a potential contender out of the race and then scratch him. (Not sure where Downey at the Downey profile came up with the scenario, but the guy does have lots of useful Derby info) Good Luck as well with Z Humour in the Derby. I gotta tell you that, while the past performances don't say it this year, he's my "gut feeling" horse to put lots of value into the gimmix this year! (And if he wins, I've got him well enough covered in the futures between an individual ticket in Pool 1 and the "all others" in Pool 3 that he would cover all of my wagers for the 2 days in Kentucky!)