04/24/2014 5:04PM

A "Tricky" Elkhorn

Email

The Grade 3 Elkhorn Stakes on closing afternoon at Keeneland is a fantastic betting affair. It's a full field of well-matched horses and that's just about everything a horseplayer can ask for in a race.

There doesn't appear to be a ton of pace in this 12-furlong turf heat and the lack of speed could hinder the true late-running types. TATTENHAM (#8, 12-1 ML) may end up the main speed under Joel Rosario. He beat a decent sort in Draw Two (4th in 2013 Virginia Derby, returned to win an 'n2x' at Keeneland with a 93 Beyer on 4/17) last time when on the pace, and it's possible that trainer Bill Mott has figured out his colt's preferred running style. Still, I'm not sure if he's good enough to take these down.

AMEN KITTEN (#11, 8-1 ML) is a vastly-improved 4-year-old for trainer Wesley Ward. Third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in his 2013 finale, Amen Kitten rallied decently to finish second to the good 11-12 furlong horse Twilight Eclipse in the Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream on February 15. He made a 3-4 wide bid on the final turn and, overall, it was a solid performance. He is a one-run closer, however. If there is no pace for him to attack, he is really at the mercy of racing luck.

Old SUNTRACER (#6, 12-1 ML) hasn't won a race since 2012 and I was very disappointed in his non-effort in the Grade 2 Pan American on March 29. It's possible this 30-start veteran doesn't have much juice left in the tank, but he likes this turf course and has the back class to contend.

I landed on TRICKY HAT (#10, 8-1 ML), a consistent gelding that hasn't been off the board in his last six races. Tricky Hat, like many Shug McGaughey-trained horses, has improved with maturity, turf, and extra distance. In his most recent start, a salty allowance on April 5, Tricky Hat ended up on the lead by default, and I'm not sure that's his preferred style. He made the slow pace up front and battled hard all the way to the wire, only to fall short to millionaire Boisterous. It was a good try for his first start since mid-October and he could chase a target in Tattenham this time around.

I'd love to get 8-1 on Tricky Hat, but that might be a pipedream. I would grudgingly accept 5-1 odds and play him to win. In exotics, I'd box him with Amen Kitten and Suntracer, and pray. I will probably not play multiple-race wagers through the Elkhorn as I truly believe they all can win, and I'm not a fan of the ALL button.

More importantly, who do you like in Friday's Elkhorn?  I want to know.

***

Let's take a look at some interesting Formulator Facts for Keeneland's Friday card:

Race 1:

#6 BANKSY (7-2 ML), #8 LAMONTAGNE (3-1 ML)
Trainer:  Wesley Ward
Past 5 Years, Synthetic Sprint, 2yo FTS, Maiden Special Weight, Keeneland:  9-19 (47%, $3.11 ROI, ROI doesn't count $8.60 winner from two starters on Thursday)

Race 2:

#1 SQUIDALEM, #1A NAPA VALLEY (9-2 ML)
Trainer:  Kenneth McPeek
Past 5 Years, Synthetic Routes, 3yo and up, Maiden Claiming, Keeneland:  10-31 (32%$, $2.55 ROI)

Race 3:

#4 CORPORATE CULTURE (4-1 ML)
Trainer:  Chad Brown
Past 2 Years, Turf-Synthetic sprints:  4-6 (67%, $5.23 ROI)

Race 4:

#6 EXPLORING (5-1 ML)
Trainer:  Mark Casse
Past 1 Year, Synthetic, Route-Sprint, Claiming:   6-13 (62%, $2.91 ROI)

#8 GENTLEMANS CODE (3-1 ML)
Trainer:  Wesley Ward
Past 5 Years, Turf-Synthetic Sprints, Claiming:   14-38 (37%, $2.81 ROI)

Race 5:

#6 TELL ALL YOU KNOW (7-2 ML)
Exits key race (5th-, 8th-finishers returned to win optional-claiming turf sprints with 91 Beyers)

Race 6:

#9 SLEWS GOLDEN RULE (5-1 ML)
Trainer:  Tevis McCauley
Past 5 Years, Turf-Synthetic Sprints:   4-17 (24%, $4.51 ROI)

#10 BOOM BOOM VROOM (7-2 ML)
Trainer:  Wesley Ward
Past 3 Years, 3yo, Synthetic Sprint, Keeneland, 2nd After Layoff:   3-11 (27%, $2.65 ROI)

Race 7:

#1 MIZ LEE (7-2 ML)
Exits key race (4th-, 8th-finishers returned to win MSW's with 70, 72 Beyers)

#12 TAYLOR LANE (6-1 ML)
Exits key race (6th-, 8th-finishers returned to win MSW and MCL with 77 and 66 Beyers)

Race 9:

#10 TRICKY HAT (8-1 ML)
Trainer:  Claude McGaughey III
Past 2 Years, Turf Route, 2nd After Layoff, Graded Stakes:  6-19 (32%, $2.69 ROI)

Race 10:

#6 SHAKESPERIAN DREAM (3-1 ML)
Trainer;  Michael Tomlinson
Past 5 Years, Synthetic Routes, Maiden Claiming:   4-12 (33%, $3.78 ROI)


***

Dan
Just read the above column "Hail Mary Claim".
I have been around SoCal racing since the 70's. There is no way that the track record at Del Mar is 1:11.06 for 6 furlongs, dirt nor poly. That might be the slowest any winner has run 6 furlongs! A bit fast for 6-1/2 too, even in So Cal.
Euro Ears has the track record for 6F at 1:08.17
In Summation was one fast racehorse as you say.
RonZ

If you recall, the six-furlong times for the initial polytrack meeting in 2007 were extremely slow. In Summation broke the track record with his 1:11.06 clocking, lowering Barbecue Eddie's 1:11.56 mark set eight days prior. That number lasted all throughout the 2007 meeting and was broken on Opening Day 2008 by Unusual Heather (1:10.37).

***

*Just want to thank everyone for sticking with me as I begin to blog more often. The links to the previous blogs (and blog comments) are listed below.

http://www.drf.com/blogs/hail-mary-claim

http://www.drf.com/blogs/grounding-hawk

http://www.drf.com/blogs/cat-burglar-creeping-upward

http://www.drf.com/blogs/3-year-old-filly-sprinter-watch

http://www.drf.com/blogs/tale-two-wins

***

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman

All of the weekend stakes videos should be available at the following link by Friday afternoon.

http://www.drf.com/events/weekend-stakes-previews-picks-analysis-more

***

Congrats to Joe L for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Joe L. picked Saturday's first race at Churchill Downs for this week's HandiGambling event.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

HANDIGAMBLING:

-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!

Harpo
---------------------------------

A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).

 

AttachmentSize
Copy of Formblog Lexington 4-19-14.xls72 KB
HGCD1.pdf155.64 KB