2011 Preakness selections

Been a rather tough day at the track.  Hit 2 exactas and just not much else. Running a deficit as the Preakness itself approaches.  Here’s how I’m very likely to wager
My top 4: 13-4-8-10 (Concealed Identity-Flashpoint-Dance City-Dialed In)

win bets on 4, 8
13 across the board
10 4
10 8 
11 4 
11 8 
13 4
4 13
13 8 
8 13 

show bets on 4, 8, 10

I’m tempted to do something with horses 2, 3, 12, 14, but not sure how just yet.
Anyway, this will be one interesting race 

2011 Preakness Stakes analysis

It’s looking to be a most competitive field after a thrilling Kentucky Derby. With a full field of 14, I’ll go horse-by-horse to tell you each of their chances, and give you a window into how I might wager this. 

While I’m doing this  I should tell you that I’m in the middle of a self-guided 4 week period where I will be handicapping on paper and watching financial and placing trends. I have it broken down by who wins, who is in the exacta positions, who is in and out of the money. I also focus on several variables: who are the favorites, who are the form picks I made, who were my contenders, who were the horses I declared moving up or down in form, and the placings for all of these.    My ‘midterm’ will be Preakness Day at Old Hilltop, where I till use my stats to guide me into proper wagering and hopefully find the right angle to score great wins and exactas.   After the 4 weeks I will be wagering 5 days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, attempting to do 7-10 races a day, and aiming for a certain financial goal.
Through day 1 of week 2, the results are actually quite positive, having focused mainly on Belmont and scoring 2 exacta well in excess of $100.  Again, these are mythical bets     Preakness Day will be actual $$.

Now for the analysis:

ASTROLOGY is one of 2 horses with the ‘exploding’ speed-type form…his last race, the Jerome Handicap on 4/23 pushed him to a lifetime best speed figure, slightly ahead of his 2 year old best. On the flip side,I’m somewhat biased against his ability to forge a new career best at the Preakness…his last 2 races are a bit too high compared to his prior races. 

NORMAN ASBJORNSEN I had liked ever since the Derby Future Wager, tho he didn’t make the field due to low earnings. His form looks very good.  He has a ‘forging’ speed type currently. He had the explosive speed type off his 3 year old debut, then race nearly identical races in the 2 since then, each time slightly improving on his career best.  The pair of races he ran (Gotham, Wood Memorial)are a small improvement and somewhat smaller than Astrology’s pair, a good sign. 

KING CONGIE has had works of repeated distance (5 furlongs) at Belmont in prep for this. Also has the forging-speed form. Has made steady increases in speed figures in each 3-year-old race he’s been in.  In fact, he’s on a lifetime streak of 5 increases. Not likely to bounce yet. 

FLASHPOINT I really like here. Best work tab in the field, being concentrated on doing 5 furlongs at Keeneland.  Coming out of 2 races from Gulfstream Park in Keeneland and should take positively to the climate change. Coming off a layoff for the first time and should be a contenderconsidering he won his first maiden race. One of two horses with the best form overall to win the big race.

SHACKLEFORD has the forging-speed line…ran last 2 races very strong compared to prior, suggesting he might bounce this time..but the pair of races (KY Derby, FL Derby) were also a slight tick up from his career best…so I’m not certain whether he could finish first or last.  One of 3 horses with no reported works since last race; not a good sign.  Considering he won a real pace duel despite losing in the KY Derby, I can’t totally throw him out.  

SWAY AWAY  has repeated 6 furlong works at Churchill in prep. I’m not seeing anything strongly pro or con for his chances otherwise.

MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE benefits from the #7 post, having won 2 races from a middle post (maiden victory, and Santa Anita Derby).  Can’t make a case for or against. 

DANCE CITY  Has the best winning speed figure of those who have run on an off track (maiden victory at Gulfstream earlier this year). Has a pair of races which are small improvement on prior races (including 3rd in AK Derby last out). Repeated works of 5 furlongs at Churchill.  Has 2 wins from a middle post. Of the horses stretching out in distance, his AWD numbers are the best. Via his dam Ballet Colony, from multiple graded-stakes winner Pleasant Colony, his AWD margin is 8.4  Solid contender. 

MUCHO MACHO MAN was my pick to win the KY Derby, finished a respectable 3rd.  Sadly I think his effort too much out of him and I suspect he will bounce downward in speed in the Preakness. He has another middle post, where he’s won twice from.  Curiously the effort puts him in the exploding-speed form category, so he is not an absolute throw-out either. 

DIALED IN in my ratings, has the worst form in the field.  No workouts since the KY Derby.   Despite this, his running style trend (dead closer) is the fastest of this field…so will only be helped by the right pace.  

ANIMAL KINGDOM   Your KY Derby winner has a slight chance to duplicate in the Preakness but barely.  Also has no workouts since the big race. Nevertheless, carries the best speed figure of those who have gone at least the prescribed 1-3/16 distance. The effort in the Derby gave him a new career best off a prior best in the Spiral.    ROI angle: His jockey/trainer combo (JR Rodriguez, H Graham Motion) have won 2 of 5 races (2 of 5 in money) in the last 60 days, with return of $10.72 on average $2.00.

ISN’T HE PERFECT has a recovering-speed form, forging new small career bests since a layoff while also matching his 2-yaer-old best. Last 2 improvements in speed (Jerome, Wood Memorial) were small, so he’s not a bounce candidate.  
 Good form, not great.  Otherwise not much of a chance. 

CONCEALED IDENTITY I really like here.  Has the best matching chef-de-race against horses who have raced at Pimlico. In fact he is 2-for-2 lifetime at Old Hilltop, a true horse-for-course (optional claimer, and the Federico Tesio).  Is one of 2 horses whose jockey/trainer connection has any record at Pimlico this year (Sheldon Russell, Edmond Gaudet). Re pedigree: He is a colt out of Smarty Jones, multiple-graded stakes winner, and Richeta, who won various non-graded events. 
Small improvement in speed from last 2 races (both Pimlico efforts).   Only decent form at all for winning but his numbers, both inherent and current reveal that he is the best of these. 

MR. COMMONS seems to be in good form. Has repeated works of 7 furlongs at Hollywood Park.  He also sports this ROI angle: Jockey Victor Espinoza and trainer John Shirreffs have gone 1-for-2 in 2 races this year, with an ROI of $12.60 per $2. Last 2 races represent small pairup from prior races, good sign. 

 Assuming a dry track, the order of finish should be 
13-4-8-10  (Concealed Itentity, Flashpoint, Dance City, Dialed In)
If there is a wet track, I’d change this to 13-8-4-10

Hard to figure out without seeing how the odds move beforehand, but my approach will be this:
I will bet any horses that are moving up in form to win, and underneath any favorites (any horses going off better than  4-1) 
I will also likely do these exactas:
The 2 top horses in form, 4, and 8 will likely be used for win bets and under any faves. I will handle the bouncing horses, 1, 5, 9 with care. Not sure I will bet them underneath anyone but possibly for show. Given that I have 3 morning-line longshots to finish in the money, show wagering may prove to be useful.  I’d even bet #13 across the board.
Tough call tho overall; 10 of the 14 horses are moving up in form so all depends on how the public bets. 
I am likely to take part in the advance wagering that occurs Friday, doing some of the above bets. 

I also plan to wager actual $ on the entire Pimlico card on Saturday and will post individual race analysis during the action. 

Hollywood Park race 8 (TVG)

Decent picking in race 7 as I did have 3 of my top 4 in reverse order in finish.  Didn’t sense #13 winning tho.

final race of the challenge also at Hollywood, race 8:
I am really liking Price, #8, who is one of the 3 outsiders besides 2 favorites.   I think there’s a chance he will bounce, seeing that he ran a very fast pair of races in last 2.  I still like him, crazy as my logic is.  So… I’ll bet 1 to win and underneath in exactas with the other 4 horses.  

Hollywood Park race 7 (TVG)

Back into the top 20% after a win with the mid-priced Chokecherymary but missing the huge longshot in race 5 probably cost me a chance to win outright. 
Race 9 of the challenge.. I’m really keying 2,7, 8, 10 in exactas.  10 has explosive form and is free from bounce tendencies compared to other hopefuls. Avoiding #11, total throwout.  Win bets on 2 and 8 also
selections: 2-8-7-13
TVG pick: 2


Hollywood Park race 6 (TVG)

My statement about exploding form in the last post proved sage, as #5 and 6 both were in the top 3…with #5 making a small profit or yours truly.  Except that he was not in my exactas, just a win bet.  Didn’t hit for TVG either. 
Not liking race 6 a bit, as my picks are all favorites. 
Selections are 3-7-8-1
will play 3-8  7-8  1-8,  8 to win
TVG pick: 8 just for value


Hollywood Park race 5 (TVG)

Doesn’t appear to be my day at all day, 6 of 10 races done. Did hit one exacta plus 2 outright wins but not profiting. Bear in mind I’m not wagering actual $ today .Also seeing my wagering strategy fail somewhat. 
TVG pick is 9
selections are 9-7-3-6
exactas: 6-1  8-1  9-3  3-9  9-7  7-9  6-3  6-9  7-3  3-6  9-6  3-7 
win bets on 1, 3, 9, 5
6,9, 5 of these seem ready to explode in form