06/25/2010 10:34PM

Touched Down in Chi-Town, Weekend Stakes Stabs


After a circuitous trip from O'Hare to the hotel due to driver error (MY error), I'm hunkered down hoping to complete this post before my antiquated laptop blows out.

I'm very much looking forward to the Saturday card at Arlington and will be taking my shots during the middle stages of the card.  I'll give you the autopsy report early next week. 

Also, if anyone in the Chicago area will be at Arlington tomorrow, I'd love to meet you.

As for the weekend stakes races, I'm looking for a few longshot stabs sprinkled in with logical contenders.

Beverly Hills - Hollywood - Race 8:
I've been watching GENERAL CONSENSUS since she blasted home to defeat optional claimers at one mile on January 8.  She's performed admirably in her subsequent three starts, but simply wasn't up to the challenge of beating Tuscan Evening, one of the best runners in the country.
There isn't a great amount of speed in this Grade 3 turf event and one has to wonder if that will work against General Consensus, a late-runner that has broken awkwardly in her last two races.  Also, General Consensus has done her best running at Santa Anita and not over this Hollywood turf course.  
Still, her best race seems to put her in the driver's seat and she should be rallying strongly in the lane.  Any of her last four Beyer Speed Figures are faster than the last-race number earned by all of her opponents. 
Selections:  General Consensus, Princess Haya, Pretty Katherine

Mother Goose - Belmont- Race 9:
Todd Pletcher should be called Father Goose as he has three of the five entrants in the historic Grade 1 event.  DEVIL MAY CARE, the triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure winner of the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss around two turns at Gulfstream, figures to take the lion's share of the betting action.  She made a strong midrace bid in the Kentucky Derby before flattening out in her first start against males, drops in against members of her own sex here, and returns to the one-turn route (she won the Grade 1 Frizette here last year at a mile).  Still, I didn't love the way she finished greenly in the Bonnie Miss and that number is so far out of whack from her other races that I wonder if that's the exception for her rather than the rule. 
Instead, I'll take a flier with KATY NOW, a Pletcher-trained daughter of Tiznow that looked good beating 'n2x' optional claimers at six furlongs last time out.  That was Katy Now's first start since being privately-purchased, and she enough breeding up top to see out this 1 1/16 mile trip (she won her entry-level allowance going a one-tue-turn mile at Churchill two back).  A lightly-raced filly, we may not have seen Katy Now's best as of yet and she may work out a good trip tracking CONNIE AND MICHAEL and AILALEA.
Selections:  Katy Now, Connie and Michael, Ailalea

Boiling Springs - Monmouth - Race 9:
BAY TO BAY broke my heart last time out in the American 1000 Guineas at Arlington.  I backed Go Ask Alex that afternoon and the lone speed looked home free turning for home.  But Bay to Bay showed off her powerful stretch kick to run right by Go Ask Alex in the final eighth of a mile.  Bay to Bay draws a terrible post position for the Boiling Springs but she may simply be the most talented horse in the race.  I'm expecting another good performance but it's up to Alan Garcia to work out the trip.
Selections:  Bay to Bay, Strike It Rich, Triple Cream

Cornhusker Handicap - Prairie Meadows- Race 8:
I'm taking a stand against the two morning line favorites.  MYTHICAL POWER runs well on occasion, but he's just as likely to throw in a stinker as he did last time out in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap.  BRASS HAT is a wonderful nine-year-old gelding but he hasn't won a dirt race since the 2007 Massachusetts Handicap and turf may be kinder to his feet at this point in his career. 
My pick, KING DAN, goes tur...stop it!  I didn't pick him because of the name!  Anyway, my pick, King Dan, may be somewhat distance challenged, but he has some back class, shows some quick workouts at Lone Star, and could work out a good trip tracking probable pacesetters SHADOWBDANCING and RACING BRAN.
Selections:  King Dan, Slew's Tizzy, Racing Bran

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

Best of luck to all.


SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Spartan Tom I did an opps.... In my analysis "#3" is a typo. S/B #5 The West Rim. So the wager is correct. Thanks for noticing, though :) SR Vegas
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Brushed rail 3/16, hit bird 3/16 (yep hit bird at SA & Hol) came in sharply at 1/8, veered out sharply 1/8, brushed and bumped repeatedly deep stretch, DQed for no good reason.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
I feel like having a little fun so I'm going to try and think of some other things that can happen when you've got a strong opinion. Stumbled after start,pinched at the break, broke in a tangle,dwelt,caught 5 wide 1st turn,bumped and jostled 7/8,in tight, checked 5/8, shuffled back 3/8, 6wide 2nd turn, and we haven't even made it to the stretch yet!
SpartanTom More than 1 year ago
HG wager: $50 exacta 7/1,3 I am hoping the 2, & 5 run each other into submission and that the 7 and late running sprinters will pick up the pieces.
SpartanTom More than 1 year ago
SR: A question about your HG wager. Your analysis focused on the #3 & the #7, yet your wagers were for the #5 and the $7, is this a typo?
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
# 1 Olive Eye is a speed horse thats not fast enough to get the lead in a sprint,with this bunch making the lead should be no problem and Olive might get brave. Switching to jj is a plus. 3 of 4 siblings are winners 2 multiple winners. Distance should not be a problem from the pedigree standpoint. One Hot Kitty will probably try the same tactics. Olives ability to break well in sprints should be enough to secure the lead early. The West Rim is a tryer that will chase all the way, possible inheriter if Olive tires. Chantilly is not to much of a win threat but is very liable to get a piece. Charmed and Curlina would not be impossible for a piece. Won hot Kitty and Glory Story probably will need another drop. Smartie Bobbi looks like a horse that doesn't feel good right now to me.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Keith L Thanks for the shout out on HOLD ME BACK...I too, have been watching his works. I see he is entered at Woodbine / Dominion Day S http://www.drf.com/static/entries/01/eWO01.html#8 at M/L 8-1 ...some early Fireworks for the weekend, hmmmm? SR Vegas
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
A long long time ago when I worked and had a paycheck of 2-3 grand a week I didn't need to think about protecting my bankroll either. I thought about it anyway, because I don't like to be associated with losing. Now that I haven't had a real job in 10 yrs I'm glad I did because it is essential for someone that can't replace their losses with their weekly pay. I have nothing against the player that plans to throw away $X per visit, I'm glad they aren't playing lotto. I like to be entertained by the races too but if it was costing me $100 a week to do it I'd go fishing or golfing. Rather than conceding $X for the entertainment I'd rather the other players bought me 2 packs of cigs, a tank of gas, lunch, dinner and some Medicinal Maryjane each day. Then treat me to a fishing/golfing outing on monday or tuesday. Thanks
SpartanTom More than 1 year ago
Chicago Gerry I believe it is your opinion on a particular race that should determine the amount wagered. If you have a very strong opinion, make your wager accordingly and do not place limits based upon your bankroll. Too often you will be saving money to wager on races where you will not have a strong opinion. I believe Mike A has touched upon this in the past. This game is very difficult and it is nearly impossible to have a positive ROI if you let opportunities pass by because of limiting your wagers. You will not always be right, but the times you are right will more than balance the scales. This may cause you to limit the number of races that you play, but I believe that is a postive factor in succeeding at handicapping. I agree with C that less than 1% of horseplayers actually make a living playing the horses. Many horseplayers have the ability to remember all the really good days (and also really bad beats) while discounting or forgetting their losing days. This is the wonderful aspect of this blog; we have many diverse opinions about factors that are important in succeeding at handicapping and there is much to be learned by reading the blog. For my two cents, I believe that one of the most important factors, if not the most important factor, is learning the discipline to make your wagers on the races where your analytical skills have demonstrated that you have a reasonable chance of success.
Mickey More than 1 year ago
Whacky: I agree with C here.....God knows how many off spring of Crytoclearance has FAILED at 12-1 or higher in 6 horse fields...compared to actually winning. If your going to "take a shot at these"..then your bank roll will be dry pretty soon. IMO..this is even a worse angle then playing Sutherland all the time..because in the end...betting the "same" pattern over and over does not work...it is just a statistical fact.