Travers Stakes 2010 handicapping

Time to look at this year’s MIdsummer Derby, with my full analysis on each horse’s chance of winning.
Chef-de-race figures matching the typical Saratoga winner suggest whose breeding matches the best horse for course.  Top 3 horses for Saratoga are Trappe Shot, Super Saver, and Afleet Again.
Only 3 horses in the field of 11 (as of this typing, 11am Friday) have gone at least requisite 9 furlongs prior: First Dude…a game 2nd place in the Preakness; Ice Box, who ran 2nd in the KY Derby; and Super Saver, who won the KY Derby.
Class: 6 of the 11 horses have last won a Graded stakes race. The 2 coming off G1 wins are Ice Box and Super Saver. 
Saratoga: All but 2 have run at Saratoga prior.  2 horses have won there already: Admiral Alex as first time starter on 7/31, and A Little Warm, winner of the Jim Dandy (G2) on the same card.
I’m experimenting a bit on pace, taking in separately the manner of the horses’ Equibase ratngs according to pace style and speed at each call, extrapolating based on the last 3 starts. The horse that proves to be the early speed halfway through the race that should have the edge here is #1, Miner’s Reserve. He was at and near the lead in each of his last 3 races. Also in the mix are A Little Warm, who dueled with Miner’s Reserve in an allowance race back in June and won, Trappe Shot, who is billed as having early and sustained speed during the middle portion of a race, yet is running positively against type, provng to have stamina; and Afleet Express, 3rd in the Jim Dandy, who is also running against type, also with late speed and stamina.

Position of post relative to the number of horses in a field is another factor I champion…I’ve equaled it to pace but I am starting to think it’s even more important, basically assisting in determining who can win today.  7 horses have won races relative to position. 3 have won multiple times. Afleet Express and Fly Down (the latter being the one stalker of the field) each have won twice in a middle post. the one horse with 3 such victories, also from a middle post, is A Little Warm.
No one really impressed in terms of workouts…nearly all ran just twice since most have already ran once during the Spa meet.  The 3 outstanding horses with great works are Ice Box, Friend or Foe, and Fly Down.
Jockey/trainer combined win % is my most important factor in determining a winner. Top 3 horses with this combo in the race are A Little Warm, Fly Down and Super Saver.

Let’s go horse by horse:
*Miner’s Reserve’s best chance comes from his early speed…he will be the early and midrace pacesetter, and likely to tail off some in the latter stages but the pace will be too much for the rest. Likes Saratoga…was 2nd in the Jim Dandy here.  Has raced at this distance but too show. Seems to be outclassed here. Won an allowance race from an inside post. Terrible jockey/trainer combo. Is worth a shot to bet on.
*Trappe Shot threatens to establish the latter pace taking over for Miner’s Reserve. This horse generally runs best on backstretch but is proving to be a great finisher. Has the perfect breeding for a Saratoga winner. Won a 175k race and 2nd in a G1. Slowest of those who ran at Saratoga prior. First time running with an inside post.
*Admiral Alex shows promise with Saratoga first time starter win. One of 2 horses to have won here but has the slower of the 2 speed figures. First time with a middle post. Showed improvement on pace throughout maiden race but apparently is labeled an early/mid pace horse. Could prove dangerous in stretch but overall is too slow.
*First Dude is bred well for running at Saratoga. Has best speed figure of the non-winners at or above the 9 furlong distance (its 2nd place finish at the Preakness); one of 2 horses who have not run here prior.  His lone win came in on middle post. An early pace horse who should improve only slightly throughout the race.
*A Little Warm will contend throughout, especially on backstretch. A grade 2 winner, as mentioned, and fastest on the Saratoga dirt of these.  3 of its 4 wins came in a middle post. Has the best jockey/trainer win combo with JR Velazquez and Anthony Dutrow.
*Ice Box’s best run at 9 furlongs was his 2nd place finish at the KY Derby. Among best in class here, whose last win was the FL Derby.  Slowest of those who have run at Saratoga prior.  2 very strong workouts at Saratoga since last race.  Overall his speed figures are just too slow to compete.
*Afleet Express will threaten as the speed in the far turn and stretch. Does not appear to be bred well to win at Saratoga, tho did post a fast speed in the Jim Dandy placing 3rd. Multiple winner at middle post. Good jockey/trainer in JJ Castellano and James Jerkens.
*Fly Down is considered the big stalker and can threaten but I doubt will fire with enough speed to be best overall. Not sure it’s the right type of horse to win here. Has won multiple times at middle post. Terrible jockey/trainer combo.  Has 2 very good Saratoga workouts.
*Friend Or Foe is probably too slow to win here.  Has decent class, a good speed on Saratoga but not a winner there…one win in an outside post. 2 strong Saratoga workouts. Jockey/trainer combo is subpar.
*Afleet Again runs best late but too slow here today. A grade 3 winner, never appeared at Saratoga before, no outside post victories, not much of a threat here.
*Super Saver, the KY Derby winner can contend early and possibly can be among the top 3 at the end in terms of overall pace. Bred very well to win here.  Fastest of these competing at or above 9 furlongs (crediting the KY Derby win here). Grade 1 winner of course. decent Saratoga speed so far.  No wins in outside post. One of the better jockey/trainer combos with Borel and Pletcher.

Putting it all together:
Super Saver has the best inherent collection of factors to win, while A Little Warm dazzles in the recent past performances, and is the best when measured by the most important race-day factors.

5-11-6-1  A Little Warm, Super Saver, Ice Box, Miner’s Reserve (best of the longshots thus far). Beyond these, choose Afleet Express and Trappe Shot

monmouth park 8/8/10 superfecta picks

Adhering to the prior post and wagering system here are what I’m going with, assuming the odds reflect accordingly:
1st: 6-12-2-5  Freedom Express, Financial Gain, Cosmic Rae, Royal Tea Time
4th: 5-2-4-9  Rasher, One Heat Cat, Goodness Greycious, Mumbo
6th: 10-7-12-2 White Rhino, Bert B Don, Trueamericanpride, Printing Press
7th: 13-5-3-7 Takendown, Justifier, Tigresco, Caffe D’Oro

Will have Del Mar picks a bit later.