Bradley/Vargas boxing analysis

Timothy Bradley Jr takes on Jesse Vargas, for the interim WBO world welterweight title, Saturday, June 27, at Carson CA’s StubHub Center. The Center’s last big bout was Porter/Brook last year.
“Desert Storm” Bradley Jr. is at his home base of CA. This will be first fight since 1/11 against an undefeated opponent. Lifetime 31-1-1, 12 KOs, for a rate of 35%. ranks him #8 as welterweight. He aims to regain he first achieved in 2012 vs Manny Pacquiao, then lost to after successfully defending twice. Mixed results in last 3, win-loss-draw. Last KO win was v.Joel Casamayor in 2011. Record of 11-1-1 in 12-round fights, with 1 midfight KO.

Cycles in play: Awareness, mastery, wisdom levels very strong. Only real low i intuition. Overall, very strong while physical is still somewhat positive, represents the tail end of a good triple-high.Very hard to beat.

Vargas is the current WBA World Super Lightweight title holder, moving up to welterweight here.Lifetime is undefeated in 26, with 9 KOs, also a 35% rate. This will be just his 4th fight at 12 rounds. He won his first 3 by division. Last KO was vs. Walter Estrada 2 in 2011. He splits time between Vegas and his birth state of California
Difficult physical/emotional combo, both negative yet improving.Mental outlook very strong and nearing peak. Level of awareness is very low but intuition is actually better. Overall, a mixed bag.

Neither fighter will be able to outthink each other but it’s Bradley’s power and awareness in the ring that will make the difference.

Decision for Bradley.

Santa Anita stakes selections 6/27/15

On Saturday, there are 3 consecutive stakes races to focus on at Santa Anita:
The Triple Bend Stakes is a Grade 1 event for 3YO+, going 7 furlongs on the SA turf. My top 3 are decidedly low priced, probably unplayable:
1st: Sahara Sky has Pleasant Colony 2 generations back, giving his pedigree numbers the edge. Best Brisnet numbers for track and distance, pointing to his runs in the 2013 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct and Palos Verdes at SA. Has a prior win straight from layoff. Lone late closer in a rather speedy field. Good recent works as well in prep for stretch from 6.5 furlongs.
2nd: Masochistic also won straight off layoff previously, and owns the top speed ratings of the field (along with being the lone pure speed). Excellent work tab, including a bullet work last time.Shares in the best turn-time from last race.
3rd: Wild Dude should be among the first of the closers here. Also has great turn-time and actually had lower speed rating than prior,so maybe there’s something left in the tank here.
Suggested odds are presented in comparison to the actual odds to spot overlays. If I see a horse take at least $4 less than my prediction (say,10-1 compared to my 6-1), then that’s an overlay. Blue Tone: 14-1. San Onofre: 29-1. Appealing Tale: 29-1. Sahara Sky: 4-1. Masochistic: 1-1. Wild Dude: 7-1. Holy Lute: 29-1. Compared to morning line, no overlays in sight. Frankly,with my top 2 horses being better than 4-1, this not a bettable race at all.

We then go to the turf for the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes for fillies/mares 3YO+.
1st: Alexis Tangier has the best pace numbers of the field, and also received the most positive trainer adjustments. First race after layoff, in the Mizdirection here, she improved on her 2nd call time. Having a prior win in a route and moving from a sprint, plus having top jock Victor Espinoza aboard (20%), this is a pretty safe pick, possibly at value.
2nd: Fanticola is 15 of 16 in the money lifetime. Forged/exploded in pace form last time with a 96 in the Gamely here on 5/25. Must be considered.
3rd: Birdlover has best speed figures on turf, distance, and at SA of the field, represented by the 99 score in her winning Mizdirection effort. Mild spike from 93 to above the par speed for this track (97), so she might bounce. I like the mid-upper 90’s pattern. Also is the top horse measured by turn time and progression.
My odds: Generosidade: 29-1. Stormy Lucy: 29-1 Birdlover: 3-1 Fanticola: 9-1 Alexis Tangier: 2-1 and the lone overlay.

On to the big race, the historic Hollywood Gold Cup, now known as the Gold Cup at Santa Anita. 10 furlongs for horses 3YO+.
1st: Moreno won the Charles Town Classic two races back. Owns 110 best Brisnet for the distance, and 103 for SA (2nd last out in the Californian) Top speed figures overall in this field, twice improved on initial race from layoff earlier in the year. Good pattern of Brisnet numbers around 100. Only negative might be the poor combined record of jockey and trainer here for the meet (Cornelio Velazquez/Eric Guillot).
2nd: Lideris has no defined pace type.4 races unplaced in the US after starting career in Peru. Exploding/forging pace form with a 95 last out in the Californian). Endured a good amount of stretch trouble, did not make a bid but still finished with a quick 95 Brisnet. See how he ran here:  I like the fast losing effort, and I think he’ll show up at a price.
3rd: Hard Aces presents good work tab, and he improved a bit last time at 2nd call. Shows the best turn-time gain between last 2 races of those in today’s field.
My odds: Hard Aces, Poshky, and Majestic City all 8-1, and all look like overlays. Moreno: 3-2. Lideris: 3-1, another overlay.
Very interesting race for value!

Idealistic Stats, June 18, 2015 show

3rd edition of the Idealistic Stats podcast is now available.
Also accessible permanently at the Internet Archive:
In this edition  I recap a bit of the prior show and talk US Open golk, Broner/Porter boxing and thoughts on 2 stakes races at Santa Anita this weekend. Also gave a short preview of the 2015-6 Enlightened Derby/Oaks Trails.
Main website:
Music used in this program:
Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky
David Uoskinnen’s In The Pocket “Open My Eyes” – Essential Songs Of Philadelphia CD
Dan Sheehan Conspiracy “See Kay”  s/t CD
DJ Flowerdove “Shimmer”
Thanks for listening!
Dan Herman
Twitter: @idealisticstats

Santa Anita stakes analysis 6/20/15

On Saturday, the top stakes action is at Santa Anita, both for 3YOs.
The SINGLETARY STAKES is one mile on the turf, for 75k.
My top 3 are Soul Driver, Zinvor and Harmonic. Soul Driver has the inherent quality down pat. He leads in top Brisnet scores for distance, track and surface of the field. This stems from a 97 Brisnet 2nd place finish in last year’s Eddie Logan Stakes.  Nice pattern of scores in the last 3 races since (87 to 89). Best workout tab too: 7 works here at Santa Anita, last 2 were bullets.  Of those with some trouble coming in, he’s succeeded the most, managing a 3rd place finish after some traffic trouble an wide turn in the Pasadena Stakes. Watch his move just past the half-mile mark Turn time gain of 3.6 secconds from prior race is biggest of the field.   9/2 morning line is ridiculously high for this one.
Zinvor should bounce back after a 5th place finish and 83 Brisnet in the Snow Chief Stakes here last month. He posted lifetime bests of 88 and 91 prior to that.  The Snow Chief (watch here ) was his first after a 6 week layoff, and this early-pressing horse was much quicker in the middle stages of the race than prior.
 With Royal Albert Hall backing into the race as also-eligible I have changed my 3rd pick. Spin Forty just might be the one price.  Has pattern of 80-85 Brisnet in last 3 races, enough to consider on its own merit re form, but also could bounce from that.  Edwin Maldonado, who rode the colt’s maiden winner, is back in the saddle.
Not liking how this will finish price-wise, but the odds may remain attractive overall.
Here are the odds I prefer:  Soul Driver deserves to be the favorite.Royal Albert Hall, 8-1. Zinvor, 9-1. Madiba and Spin Forty,14-1
The Grade 2 SUMMERTIME OAKS is for 3YO fillies, going 8.5 furlongs on the dirt. Several scratches radically changes the outlook here.

Stellar Wind is my top pick here. The morning-line favorite has 3 wins and a 3rd in 5 lifetime races. Won the Santa Anita Oaks with a lifetime best 98 score, then was 4th in the KY Oaks with a 96. I love the tripled-up scores but I am concerned about a bounce.  Still,this early closer is absolutely the speed of the field.  5 great works since the KY Oaks too.  Also had a relevant amount of trouble to overcome since the big race.

Scat Means Go may be a good price here.  Forged and exploded in pace form, scoring an 85 in the Sunland Park Oaks (new lifetime best ahead of an 83), then a 96 in the Eight Belles.  The challenge is whether she can maintain the strong numbers.   Henry Dominguez has no current record at Santa Anita.  I was impressed by Scat Means Go’s 7 wide move in the Eight Belles, running rather late to get the show position. Moving back to route from the sprint should not be an issue, as she’s got a win at a mile and a good jock aboard in Gary Stevens.
For 3rd I’ll take Conquest Curgirl. 1st and 2nd in 2 lifetime, up from maiden class. My only interest in her lies in the fact that she comes in with very good works and won off a sprint to route effort.
Odds wise here’s what I prefer: Sheer Pleasure 11-1; Conquest Curgirl 11-1; Scat Means Go 7-1. Stellar Wind is the deserving favorite.

Major boxing fight stat analysis (Broner/Porter, Lemieux/Hassan)

Two fights are coming up this Saturday, and I’ve got some of the trends for you to follow:
MGM Grand in Las Vegas is the site of a major welterweight battle, Adrien “The Problem” Broner v. Shawn “Showtime” Porter.Both have catchweight of 144 lbs. They will duel for up to 12 rounds in this non-title event.
Both fighters have one common opponent: Paul Malignaggi.  Porter dispatched Malignaggi in 4 rounds to win the IBF World welterweight title, highlights of which are here.  Broner won a split decision in 12 over Paul 10 months prior
Broner (7/28/89) is 30-1-0 with 22 wins by KO. has him as #10 for the division, and #6 in the US.    It will be his 5th appearance at this venue.  At 12 rounds, his record is 8-1, with 5 KOs (3 early, 2 middle).Had a streak  of 6 KO results, his last 5 since going to decision.
He will be hitting as hard as he can be,but he’ll miss as often as he hits, and his emotions will cloud his judgement.He has to be rather one-dimensional to succeed, if he can.
Porter (10/27/87) is 26-1-1, 16 wins by KO. Currently residing in Vegas, he makes just his 2nd appearance here (prior was a win over Julio Diaz).  Third straight bout vs opponent with 0 or 1 loss lifetime. Only his 4th fight scheduled for 12, with 1 TKO win, and one win and loss each by decision.
Cycles suggest a real confident surge in punching power, and certainly the strength for a KO punch.  He’s experiencing a mental critical day, so he’ll connect and swing wildly.  He’s also very unsure of himself emotionally in the ring this day, not feeling very attuned to the situation. His purely athletic ability is certainly in favor, tho.

Considering the critical day Broner is facing, I’m giving the win to Porter by split decision.

The other important bout tonight is the vacant  IBF World middleweight title, contested at the Bell Centre in Montreal.  Hassan N’Dam N’Jikm battles David Lemieux for that belt, which was previously owned by Jermain Taylor. It’s the first time the belt’s been contested north of the 48.

Hassan (2/18/84), representing France, is top ranked there in the division and #10 in the world, as per  The orthodox boxer’s record is 31-1-0, 18 wins by KO.  It’s just his 7th fight at 12 rounds, where he is 6-1, with 1 KO win. 7 of his last 8 fights went to decision.
Terrible cycles for Hassan, as bad as it could be.

Lemieux (12/22/88), born and raised in Montreal, makes his 15th appearance at the Bell Centre. He’s the top ranked middleweight in Canada and 9th worldwide. Lifetime record of 33-2-0,with 31 wins and 1 loss by KO.

Referee Marlon Wright was present for the first of 2 losses by Lemieux. Judge Benoit Roussel has been present for 12 prior Lemieux fights, all in his favor.
These cycles are somewhat better than Hassan’s, concerning his decision making in the ring, but the passion just isn’t there.
I fear we’ll have a rather boring fight on our hands, tho I’m wont to give Lemieux the huge home ring advantage, especially seeing that Hassan’s got a triple-low going on.
Decision for Lemieux.

US Open (golf) analysis

This time around, no practice green, nor dress rehearsal.  Instead of factoring the US Open for last week, I’m properly including my foursome for this week.   As with the prior post, I’m calculating and ranking golfers the same way (ball striking/scrambling)  Before we get to my top 4, some humor: Local realtor has two placards for southern-bound traffic “Welcome US Open Golfers” “But I’ll be at Lake Spanaway GC“. Who could blame the owner when Lake Spanaway has $20/round specials before 7am and after 3pm, $40 midday?
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA qualified being in top 60 in leaderboard for official world golf ranking. He stands as #14 on the PGA Tour.  15 of 16 cuts this year with 13 top 10s.  Lifetime 43 of 50 cuts made, 14 top 10s, 1 win.   3rd US Open appearance; best finish, 10th.
Top 10s:  GIR%, strokes gained tee to green, eagles per hole, all-around, approaches from 100-125 yards, 175-200; front 9, par 4, final round.
Very auspicious week for Hideki, as all cycles are pointed up and rising. Might make some mental blunders on day one but he will be quick to improve on them.
JASON DAY is world #10. 9 of 11 cuts made, 4 top 10s, 1 win. Lifetime: 125 of 162, 40 top 10s, 3 wins.    Top 10s: driving distance, birdie average (leader), all-around,going for the green, approaches 50-125 yards, putting average (automatic from within 3’, and very strong above 20’), birdie or better conversion,  par breakers (leader), early scoring, round 4 and final round, par 3 and par 4, bounce back.  Made all 4 cuts at the US Open prior with ranks from 2nd (twice) to 59th..
Rather mixed chart here…Starts out with a pair of critical days, so he’ll feel rather off-kilter despite being at his peak physically. Generally a case of ‘grip it and rip it’.  Hoping he can survive the cut but I have my doubts.
WEBB SIMPSON is world #41 and won the 2012 US Open. 11 of 13 cuts this year, 4 top 10s.  Lifetime: 130 of 179, 43 top 10s, 4 wins.  He also finished 14th, 32nd and 45th in his only other appearances at this major. Top 10s: strokes gained tee to green, all-around, going for the green, approaches 75-100 and 150-175, round 1 scoring (leader), early scoring, par 3 and par 5s,
Might be a tough 4 days.  Physically approaching peak, yet also is facing double critical day, and will be rather off the mark a lot.  Not sure he will survive unless he relies on his success on par 5s.
JORDAN SPIETH, world #2 made 14 of 16 cuts, 9 top 10s, 2 wins in 2015. Lifetime: 61 of 74, 26 top 10s, 3 wins. Top 10s: Strokes gained tee to green, birdie and scoring average (leader), rough proximity (leader), approaches over 100 (leader), 150-175, 50-125 (leader), 100-125 (leader), 75-100; putting average and putts per round (leads in both, especially in round 2),3-putt avoidance, putts per round-round 1 and 2, putting 20-25’; birdie or better conversion, par breakers, round 2 scoring, front 9 (leader) as well as back 9, late scoring (leader), all par 4s (leader). Makes 4th appearance in this major after being low amateur and 21st in 2012, cut in 2013, and 17th last year.
Mostly negative outlook here. He might make the right decisions, but he’ll find his power and emo outlook rather lacking.Don’t expect see him competing on Sunday.

Churchill Downs stakes analysis for 6/13/15

As reported in this week’s Idealistic Stats podcast, here are my top picks for the top run of races on Saturday.
The FLEUR DE LIS Stakes is for the ladies, 200k at stake, going 9 furlongs.
Top 3 are America, Frivolous, and Glory’s Last Chance.  America comes out of her only Churchill appearance, a field-leading 90 Brisnet score in the La Troienne, also best of those on turf and distance. Fastest turn time last out of the field as well.  Frivolous is the speed of the field and is in a good pattern of Brisnet figures. Glory’s Last Chance has received the most changes from her trainer and owns the best work tab.

In the 9-furlong STEPHEN FOSTER Handicap, for 3YO+, my top 3 are Lea, Commissioner and Hoppertunity.  Lea is a runaway victor here, in a race that should reveal itself as unwagerable.  He was out of the money just twice in 15 lifetime, and has a top 3 finish 5 races running. This includes his last race, a competitive 3rd in the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup.  Best speed figure for the distance and at Churchill (105,108 respectively). The pattern of triple-digit Brisnet scores make him impossible to ignore. Not only that, his fast turn time and progress from his prior race also cinches a strong performance.

Finally in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at 8.5 furlongs for 3YO, my troika here are Island Town, Fame & Power, and Bold Conquest.    Island Town comes out of his lifetime best 96 Brisnet score, also best on Churchill of this field.Further it’s a small new top above his 2YO best, a good indicator. Has advantage as lone late speed and recipient of most trainer changes coming in.