This is the 3rd Saturday I’ve decided on trying a relatively new system out, borne out of watching variables ebb and flow in strength during the same track during the week. I choose tracks based on the strength of the card. More Graded stakes events, or more quality listed stakes will get my attention.
Saturday’s races for our perusal fall upon Arlington Park, highlighted by the Arlington-Washington Lassie & Arlington-Washington Futurity I’m examining races 2 through 9 here in the blog. Mini analysis and mythical wagers, as usual will be posted on Twitter at @radiocblue. Choosing to go mythical, no $ changing hands for the time being. Should I find a day job in the next month or so, I’ll wager real $. I will, however, wager real $ on the Breeders Cup cards.
Having watched some of the action at Arlington, I really like the TV presentation, featuring good analysis from solid track announcer John Dooley and the lovely Jessica Pacheco. Frankly, I still think NYRA’s coverage is tops but Arlington’s is pretty good.
I focus my work on exacta positioning. I examine which form variables the top two finishers of each race during the week hit or miss on from my list. 15 variables in all are in focus. Here are the top 5 variables that made an impact in exactas in the races from September 1 through 6:
All weather: Top horse in a race that has the best speed figure in the field on prior all-weather races. 9 of 16 qualified horses ran 1st or 2nd this past week.
Pace: Top pace number in last 3 races according to run style. I use the Equibase numbers instead of DRF.
Track: essentially horse for course here; who has best winning speed on this track of those in the field?
Turf: Same as with all-weather and overall track numbers.
Workouts, as in the success rate of horses without works entering the race.
I’ll give you my top 4 selections of the 7 races, plus shortcut selections for those that did best in my top 5.
The wagers run like this:
$1 exactas between the top 3 of the 4 selections.
$2 win bets on any horse who appear to be 6-1 or worse nearing post time.
If my #4 selection is 10-1 or worse, I’d also play win on that horse, plus: use the top selections over this horse in exactas
and any horses running better than 4-1 with the over in exactas.
RACE 2: 18K 5f claiming race for statebred 3YO+
Early selections are 4-1-7-3. #4, HAPMAN, 7YO, scored a 95 winning track/turf speed years ago, best of the field. Dead closer who, if he gets his race, should prevail. That said, he’s won just a race at this level in June here, and a 25k at Hawthorne a year ago. No reported works in over a month. Trainer Charles Livesay has profitable ROI with horses moving from routes to sprints, 4% wins, 29% in the money, for +3.38. UNCLE JEEP comes out of a 46k allowance race here with a stalking pace, and briefly made strong challenge for the lead at the top of the stretch. Forged a lifetime best speed figure 3 races back here in July, still room to improve. Also no reported works since June. Best jockey/trainer win % (Francisco Torres/Tammy Domenonsky). Don’t be surprised if OUTLAW ZEN (#3) factors in top 2 as well; no works since last race.
RACE 3: 23k 6f claiming race for statebred 2YO, non-winners of two.
Selections are 1-5. Yup, just 2 horses are any serious factor here. #1, EMILE, won a 42k maiden race of 4.5f in first life start here, then contended strongly in the 65k Meadowlake, finishing 8th after leading in the stretch, running at 7f. Best speed figures on the track in this field, best on all-weather as well, this sprinter has fastest pure speed overall. He is helped further with top jockey/trainer win % combo of Jeffrey Sanchez and Wayne Catalano. EMILE is currently my LOCK of the day. #5 FLY BOY ROY was 7th in a 40k maiden race for first lifetime start, then won a 25k maiden claimer cutting back from 8 to 5f and change to current jockey ET Baird. Could bounce from his last speed figure of 85. No reported works since before last race on 8/26. Track bias seems to be helping all starters; no one standout.
1213pm: Fly Boy Roy a scratch. The remaining 4 horses all could be helped in some way by track bias, but no real standout. I am passing this race.
RACE 4: 5k 7f claiming race for fillies/mares 3YO +, no wins in 6 months or non winners of four.
Early selections are 4-6-5-1. #4 is RANDOM ZIP, running mainly 10k claimers here and at Hawthorne. Best track and all-weather speed figure (96) of the field, tho this mare hasn’t reached that number in over a year. Her early-pressing style is fastest of the field, tracking the rail in her last several starts; last race did not see her make a closing bid tho. Should be helped by track bias as will all horses in the middle post, according to Equibase’s meet stats for the week. Also in that category is JSP Pals Forever. Another early-pressing styled runner who made a nice gain in speed, 79 to 85 in last race, might bounce from this. Contended through much of her last race at 6.5f, losing the lead just before the stretch.
RACE 5: 7.5k 9f claiming race for 3YO +, nonwinners of two. So far I see this as 3-7-1-2. #3, SOARING PEGASUS comes off lifetime best 81, running 2nd all throughout until deep stretch, first time going 9f. Could bounce from this effort. Fastest speed of this field, and fastest on the all-weather. #7, HIPPODROME could be had for a price. This dead closer has fastest pace numbers in the field. Tends to right in tight quarters and forced to run wider than normal. Typical for a closer, must get ‘his race’ to win…hasn’t won in nearly a year. Track bias can help horses 1 through 3
RACE 6:25k 5f claiming race for statebred 3YO +, non winners of 3. Predicting 5-3-1-7 finish. #5 PINK LEMONADE is racing well under new trainer Larry Rivelli, leading at some point over both her last 2 races here. Fastest horse to her style here, this early-pressing horse was competitive in her last race until deep stretch, then won previous to that. Also has best jockey/trainer win % combo in field, (ET Baird, and Larry Rivelli). #3 LORD OF THE ROSES has fastest track speed here. Could bounce from her last effort, forging lifetime best 83 above a prior effort of 76. Two wins and a 3rd in 3 lifetime races.
RACE 7 ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON FUTURITY Grade III race for 2YO, 8f. Predicted finish: 1-6-5-3 #1 MUPPET MAN won the aforementioned Meadowlake here on 8/4. 2 wins in 2 starts for this 2 year old, scoring speed figures of 97 and 90. Fastest on the all-weather of this field. Also has best jockey/trainer combo in Jeffrey Sanchez and James DiVito. #6 URBAN RENEWAL should be a nice surprise. Ran in a statebred stakes last time out, scoring an 84, running 2nd all the way. Might bounce from his effort. No reported works since that stakes race on 8/11.
RACE 8: ARLINGTON-WASHINGON STAKES Grade III race for 2YO, 8f. Big 14 horse field! 12-7-13-11. #12 FLYING RAPUNZEL in 2 lifetime starts ran maiden races of 40k,5f and 7f, breaking maiden last time with speed figure of 95. Fastest Arlington speed and fastest all-weather speed of this field, and has best jockey/trainer combo in field (Miguel Mena, Wayne Catalano). #7 DANCING ELLIEBELLE is my BEST BET of the day (morning line 20-1). Improved sharply between last 2 races, going from a 79 in a 75k races, to 88 in an optional claimer worth 50k, forging lifetime best. This year, trainer Frank Springer has a +6.20 ROI with horses making their first route start (win 22%, in money 33%)
1213pm: #11 a scratch which doesn’t change my top 2. My top 4 tho is now: 12-7-13-9
RACE 9: 42k 5f allowance race for statebred fillies/mares 3YO+, no wins over 8.8k other than maiden, claiming, starter or allowance, plus nonwinners of two. If all 13 go, this would be the most competitive of the races today. In fact I’m predicting huge value to finish ahead of the public in this one. 10-2-1-3 #10 HOIST THE COLORS returns to sprint after a long series of routes. 2 races back scored a 91 here, fastest on this track among those with wins here. One of several sprinters who will be helped by the track bias. Equibase says that, for the meet, in 24 races at 5 furlongs on the turf, 63% were won by sprinters (look to #7,#,3, and #12, the other sprinters also). Ran good inside pace in a 50k claimer last time out, only yielding near the stretch at one mile. Also has this ROI angle: jockey Alex Canchari has run 62 races on turf this year, winning at 13% and in the money at 32%. ROI: +2.31. #2 RESOUNDINGLY has the best turf speed of the field; goes from a 65 to an 89 in last 2 races, so a possible bounce. Also comes out of a pace setting race…she actually is more of a late running type who was leading all the way last time out, just missing win at the wire. She is in a recovery form having run a 79 first after layoff, then was claimed, then runs 65 and 89 in last two.
1213pm: 5 horses scratched from this race (2,7,11,12,13). Here’s the revised top 4:10-1-3-9. Hoist The Colors now with top turf speed of the field. The case for #1, Fire Tricks: 3 races at 6-6.5f. Dead closer coming well off pace to win first 2 life races, ran 5th at similar speed last time. Fastest of the 10 runners.
More updates as more changes occur
Follow me at @radiocblue on that twitter thing for updated analysis and the wagers I plan to make.