11/15/2008 11:37AM

Saturday stakes opinions


Here are a couple of quick opinions on today's stakes races:

Audrey Skirball-Kenis:

I absolutely loved Solar Miss at Oak Tree, and she ran dead last.  I absolutely like her in the Skirball-Kenis later this afternoon.  She kicked like a mule two starts back at Del Mar under Garrett Gomez, and is reunited with Go-Go for this engagement.  Solar Miss should get some pace to attack, and trainer Kathy Walsh thought enough of her charge to supplement her to this race.  What happened last time?  I don't know.  Perhaps she had to be closer to the early pace due to the slow fractions, or perhaps she needed the race in her first start off a short layoff.  What I do know is what my eyes told me at Del Mar - that Solar Miss can run a little bit, and that she can beat these horses on her 'A' race. 
Miss Singhsix is winless on turf, but she has ability, and she finished just ahead of Solar Miss in the Ramser on grass.  She's very solid from a speed figure standpoint, and just seems like a nice fit in this race
has improved with the addition of blinkers, and she gave a nice account of herself last time out in her first start against winners.  She has some tactical speed, and may work out a nice trip from her inside post
Selection:  Solar Miss

Cardinal Handicap:

I'll try to beat Callwood Dancer.  While she owns the best Beyer Speed Figures, finished ahead of four next-out winners two back in the Canadian, and was stymied by the glacial fractions in the E.P. Taylor, I wonder if she's truly cranked up for this start.  She was scheduled to be sold at Keeneland earlier in the month, but Three Chimneys Farm bought a half-interest in her prior to the sale, and she was withdrawn.  I wonder if she missed a bit of training because of the pending sale, and she'll face some good horses in this spot.  She's a contender, but I'm not keen on playing her at a short price.
I've never been a big fan of Lady Digby, but I think she ran better than it looked in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga.  She broke from the far outside post, and Ramon Dominguez did all he could to save ground.  Unfortunately for Lady Digby and Dominguez, they were dead-last on the rail turning for home.  Lady Digby rallied through traffic late, but was no match for eventual Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare turf heroine Forever Together.  Lady Digby hasn't been out since Saratoga, but she's been working like clockwork every seven days for Graham Motion.  She looks solid here.
Selection:  Lady Digby


Can we really trust Solar Flare?  His fastest race came when second in the Suburban, but he looked like a sure winner at the quarter-pole that day only to hang badly against huge longshot Frost Giant.  He's battled injuries this year, and while he did win an optional claiming race at the Meadowlands last time out, I don't think he's worth a short price.   The Dry Martini of 2007 would be very tough to handle here as he was a multiple graded winner that season, and looked comfortable at this distance.  He missed a lot of time, but seems to be rounding back to his best form.  He goes turf-to-dirt, and should offer some value.  Ravel suffered a serious eye injury earlier in the year, raced wide to nowhere at Saratoga, then was completely overmatched against Curlin in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.  He'll appreciate the drop in class, and the addition of blinkers could very well help this once-hyped horse reach his true potential.
Selection:  Dry Martini

More importantly, who do you fancy this weekend?  I'd like to know.

Best of luck.


Tony Giordano More than 1 year ago
Hello Bet the # 1a horse in the 2nd race today at Aqu.8-1 morning line this horse will romp
chaazz More than 1 year ago
Handigambling for Wednesday: $20.00 W/P/S on # 2 = $60.00 in 9th race. Also, $40 DD on #'s 2-1. Parlay anything hit in 9th to # 1 in 10th. It will be Albarado-Albarado!
dylbert More than 1 year ago
I can't open comments page to post for HandiGambling exercise for 11/19 @ CD 9 & 10. So here we go - $12 DD 1 // 10 $14 DD 7,11 // 10 $4 DD 1,7,11 // 4,8,12 $8 DD 1,7,11 // 1 Good Luck to All Today!
Lilly More than 1 year ago
O.K., so seriously, argue with me ( the jock ) when I tell you ( the steward ) my horse "stepped awkwardly", or "my horse was breathing irregularly, or "he was spinning his wheels on the surface and could not engage", or "he was favoring his front left, terribly." How do the stewards overcome that and why would any jockey say anything other than something that can't be argued, like the above? It is a waste of time and the horses can't speak and they are in charge. Also, every single race would be under review, because, rest assured, every horse has someone's money on it and every race has questionable strategies and so who gets to decide on bad rides? Stewards?, please. Can't wait, the card will be 10 hours long and an hour and a half between races, assuming their is no appeal system. Of course in that case, I will find out if I won my pik 4 next Friday. Pass.
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
Van Savant, I appreciated your 'tough love' approach - you were right. Discipline is my achilles heel, and thus the true focus of my sabbatical. Thanks.
PGM More than 1 year ago
Katieatherail, Oooo. A contest. What's the information on it?
Annie More than 1 year ago
One more thing, I can't count the number of times I have heard the following after a race, "Why did he go head to head with that other horse? He should have known they were going too fast. These jockeys don't have a clock in their head anymore. Did you see that, he just burnt him up, didn't save anything for the end?" I do think sometimes the jockey's situation is "damned if you do, damned if you don't". PGM, I don't like lower level claiming races because there is an additional factor that is extremely hard to fathom: Who feels good today? Horses are only put in those races for one of two reasons, they are slow or they have physical problems. If you are at the track, you can sometimes tell by their demeanor that they are feeling good, otherwise it's kind of a crapshoot. Tread carefully on those. I find it is better to stick with what you're best at. Of course, for multi race wagers you have to deal with whatever is thrown at you, but you're not limited to one horse (as in a win bet). For win/place and exactas, I stick to the higher quality races for the most part. Annie
jim tully More than 1 year ago
We have all been victims of bad rides. I have. I have wanted to reach through the TV monitor and strangle he responsible jockey. I have also benefitted from bad rides too. It's all part of the game. That is why I don't place much significance on which jockey is on my horse when I handicap. Nine times out of ten I look for the fastest horse and it doesn't matter to me which midget is riding. If I think I have the best horse, I bet it. I made a toungue-in-cheek coment once about how jockeys should be replaced by robots and was slammed. Yet some here seem to want all jockeys to perform robotically. Well, I was kidding. All tis talk of inquiries into bad rides has to stop. It's a symptom of an over litigious society where we want to sue MacDonalds because our coffee is too hot. You can't legislate against stupidity, people, and you can't protect yourself from it either. Just because a jockey makes a bad decsion during a race is no reason to bring him/her before a panel to face sanctions. I make mistakes in my work and I'm sure we all have. It's part of being human. If we start to charge jockey's will we have to also look into the following: Missed free throws. Driving to the basket instead of pulling up for the open jumper Quarterbacks who miss the open receiver. Fumbles. Not hitting the cutoff man. Not getting a bunt down. Human error is part of every sport. If you got screwed by a bad ride, get over it. I have been screwed by plenty but I chalk it up to part of the game. This is gambling. It's not investing. There are no sure things. It is risk/reward. Bad rides are part of the risk, plain and simple.
Katieattherail More than 1 year ago
Good morning, all.... Chi-Gerry, the switch to a late double tomorrow for HG 110 is nice, and reminds me of my late dad, who ALWAYS did well with the late doubles! Sometimes I can channel him for them too - talk to me, Daddy! Thanks for posting the PPs. Buffalo Joe, did you see how much snow the area south of your hometown got yesterday? Just give yourself a big hug and slather on more SPF 30! PGM, I may not be the smartest 'capper here (Shone, my pick from last week, is still running!) but in all aspects of life, writing, my own running, you name it, I always play to my strength...that means non--fiction, 10kms, and playing those races/tracks you know best! Unless this is your main source of income, why not use it as time to refocus and get a handle on the upcoming crop of horses for the AOCs, Gs,that you do excell in? Everybody needs a break sometimes, make it work for you. Now, nothing says you can't make "paper" bets on the claimers, see if there's anything that pops up (J/Ts?) but don't lose sleep or money over 'em. Like the donuts in the break room, just keep walking past those claiming races! Weight Watchers tells you:"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels"...adapt it to your best betting strategy. Just a few thoughts, and a reminder the TwinSpries qualifying contest opens today for Saturday. Good luck all! Katieattherail
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Some Hg 110 preliminary observations about Race 9 at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, 11/19/08 #2 A.U. MINER For the Daily Double, I need a winner. Lightly raced. The concern is that A.U. Miner (Mineshaft)is coming to the race after 139 days. I am not sure he can win this. Some things to like with jockey change and a win at CD, at 7 furlongs. Nice bullet breezing. $90,000. #3 HIGHWAY PATROL For the Daily Double, I need a winner. Lightly raced. Second race off the layoff and stopped last out, a concern. Poor showing 1st race off the B. Lots to like regarding pedigree (A.P. Indy)and connections. Change in surface, cutting back, and blinkers on; could be a positive. #4 HAPITANO For the Daily Double I need a winner. Some things to like. Appears to have legitimate speed and back in 14 days for his 3rd start off the layoff. Shows better Brisnet than DRF. Has had 15 starts. More by far than most of the other entries. May have 'shot his wad' (sorry Leo). #5 ISABULL Can win. Lots to like regarding back everything and last race out. Is moving to dirt and his only win came on the synthetic. Missed by a neck on the dirt at OP in the Smarty Jones and was 3rd in the Grade2 Rebel at OP. Win and place at the distance. Good works breezing. $190,000. #6 LORD AND T. Can win. Lots to like. Could improve off the synthetic and cutback in distance. Trainer has been around the block a time or two. Gets three pounds and a decent jockey. $500,000. #7 BLACKWATER LEGEND Need a winner for the Daily Double. Lightly raced. Maiden win, and n2L class last out, not real inspiring. Coming off the synthetic, 2nd race off the layoff, back to dirt were he has won at GP, and is 1-1 at the distance. Great connections. $230,000. #8 STUNGBYTHESTORM Can win. Lots to like. Good connections. Broke his maiden at 1 1/16 on the dirt at the Fairgrounds. Has shown speed in the past and in the Grade2 Super Derby. $115,000. #11 DUKE OF PEARL Need a winner for the Daily Double. Has a bit of speed. Nice run last at the place and at the distance but moves from the 3 hole to post 11. Is 2-2 at the distance. Was inside for the win last out. Don't know if he can duplicate that. Don't know what to think.