2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 analysis

I am thoroughly excited about this final pool, tho I won’t have much of a window to do the deed. It will be, as with Pool 3, done on Sunday morning. A number of horses have won the different races, with little majority support to any one horse.   The pool field odds suggest there is no confidence in one or 2 horses…not even the #24 ‘field’ selection.
I used the same variables as with Pool 3, tho have now eliminated the Dosage category, this on the heels of the chef-de-race.com demise.  4 horses proved to be best of these, and I had to break a 3 way tie for 2nd.  The others I will list below, 12th to 4th.
For a summary, here’s how I wagered in the prior pools:

Pool 1:

Win bets on these:
Mo Town 12-1
McCraken 12-1
Lookin At Lee 37-1
Classic Empire 6-1
Hemsworth 80-1
Exactas between Mo Town/McCraken/Hemsworth, plus over/under field selection.
Sire Future Wager:
Bernardini 14-1
Into Mischief 24-1
Kitten’s Joy 47-1
Scat Daddy 42-1
Uncle Mo 9-1
Pool 2:
Wins on:
Guest Suite 31-1
El Areeb 32-1
Sonic Mule 9-1
Gunnevara 24-1
Mastery 9-1
El Areeb/Guest Suite/McCraken box   plus over/under field selections
Pool 3:
Mo Town 27-1
Irish War Cry 7-1
Gormley 18-1
Exactas bewteen Classic Empire/Mo Town/McCraken and over/under field selections
Here’s how I rank the best of the rest in Pool 4:
11th: J BOYS ECHO. 4th in the Delta Downs Jackpot, 3rd in the Withers, winner of the 8.5 furlong Grade 3 Gotham with strong 104 score. Could bounce in next race but maybe bounce back in Derby itself.   Raced at CD in his debut last October, 2nd in a 43k maiden race. Next race: 4/8, Blue Grass
10th : GUEST SUITE: Won 2nd maiden race with 85 at 8.5 furlongs. 3rd in the Street Sense at CD, 1st in the Grade 3 LeComte, 4th in the Risen Star. Steady progress in pace numbers his entire career of 6 races. Peaked at 93 for last 2. Won a 75k OC race at CD on 11/26, speed of 90. Amazed that’s 50-1 ML in this wager. Likely to double-dip with him, tho only if he’s worse than 36-1. Next race: 4/1 Louisiana Derby
9th: MALAGACY: 104 and 103 in his debuts, followed by 3rd win, the Grade 2 8.5 furlong Rebel, and a 95 score.  A sneaky price at 30-1, and should take more $, but not too much. Could well become one of my picks.  Next race: 4/15 Arkansas Derby
8th : TAPWRIT  Winner of the 75k Pulpit, 2nd in the Grade 3 SF Davis. Since Pool 3, won the 8.5 furlong Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby with new small top for age 3 at 101. Among the fastest current paces of the 23 horses. Not sure I’ll get all the way down to this selection but probably will take a good deal of $ anyway.  Next race: 4/8 Blue Grass
7th: McCraken, already part of a number of bets, as shown earlier. If he somehow is worse than 17-1, I will do another win bet.  Undefeated in 4 with wins in the Street Sense and the KY Jockey Club, both at CD, plus a win in the SF Davis. Also good AWD numbers (Ghostzapper/Ivory Empress, out of Seeking The Gold). Probably deserves the 6-1 ML number.  Best to use in exactas as I have done already. Next race: 4/8  Blue Grass
6th : PRACTICAL JOKE: Winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful and Champagne Stakes (1 mile), 3rd in the Breeders Cup Juvenile, 2nd in the Fountain Of  Youth. One of 3 Grade 1 winners in this grouping.  Pace lifetime ranges from 90 to 98. Haven’t wagered on him yet, and this might be my best chance to score something.  Next: Unsure
5th: BATTALION RUNNER: Maiden win in 2nd start with 100 score, on New Year’s Eve. Followed up with 8.5 furlong win at 75k OC level with 96 score, debut at 3 and route.  One of the better AWD scores (Unbridled’s Song/Tamboz, out of Tapit) Needs strong finish in next race to be serious contender. That race is 4/8 Santa Anita Derby
Now to the ties for 2nd through 4th.
4th, and loser of the tiebreak, is MO TOWN. Already included in win bets of 12-1 and 27-1, and a few exactas. Won the Grade 2, 9 furlong Remsen, then bounced to 5th last out in the Risen Star. Great AWD numbers (Uncle Mo/Grazie Mille, out of Bernardini)  If he’s worse than 32-1, definite for a win bet.  Next up: 4/8, Wood Memorial
3rd: GUNNEVARA.  Strong contender by ML standard, is expected to be low odds, which means it’s likely I won’t put up a 2nd win bet on him (got him at  24-1). Definite exacta play  based on my ranking.   After maiden win, won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, 5th in the Breeders Futurity, winner of the Delta Downs Jackpot, 2nd in the Holy Bull, winner of the FOY with lifetime best 102. I rate him the fastest 3YO of the field.
Next race: 4/1, Florida Derby

2nd: THUNDER SNOW   Qualified by winning the 9.5 furlong UAE Derby, seemingly a lock for the Run for All Those Roses.  No pace parameters available, as he’s never raced in North America. Winner of a maiden stakes race at Leicester in GB and the Criterium International (Grade 1) in France. Best AWD numbers of the field, from Australian and Arabian stock. There will be enough people wagering on him for the wild card factor. I will also include in exactas.  Next race: Reportedly will enter the English 2000 Guineas but he has the most actual Derby trail points……so, who knows? If I eliminate Thunder Snow, it may open the competition open up for Mo Town, Gunnevara and McCraken, in that order.  Not sure how to play this one yet.

Top pick out of the wager is CLASSIC EMPIRE. Winner of the Bashford Manor, Breeders Futurity (Grade 1) and Breeders Cup Juvenile (108 speed figure, also Grade 1), 3rd in the Holy Bull last out. 2 wins at Churchill, with the 94 at Bashford Manor his better effort. One of the faster paced horses going.  Should be better than 12-1.   Next race: 4/15 Arkansas Derby

Enlightened Trails update 3/27/17

Bourbonette Oaks pick was Delphinia, China Grove, Miss O’Hara (overlay).Other overlay was Fun. Result was Purely A Dream, Awesome Boss, Darkwingsoverdubai, Gilded Lily. Swing a miss here. Purely A Dream was never a factor for me. Top 2 horses, plus Farrell, lead the Heartland division now.

Spiral Stakes: my top 3 here were Convict Pike, En Hanse, Parlor. Overlays were my top 2. I used Kitten’s Cat and Parlor over my overlays.
Result: Fast & Accurate won over Blueridge Traveler, Convict Pike, Kitten’s Cat. 3 longshots ahead of the favorite! Those top 2 lead the Heartland Division.

Sunland Derby: Picks were Shareholder Value, Hedge Fund and Irap. With the scratch of my chosen overlay Kimbear, I changed my picks to Shareholder Value, Irap and Total Tap. I used Bronze Age and Conquest Mo Money over Total Tap. I had win bets on Hedge Fund and Irap.
Result: Hense was the longshot winner. Conquest Mo Money finished 2nd, Hedge Fund 3rd.
On the Trail, South Division: Hence and Conquest Mo Money find their way temporarily into my mythical Derby field.

Sunland Park Oaks picks: Overlay McKenzie Honey, price horse What What What,and favorite Kell Paso.
Ghalia won this race, and now is undefeated in 3. Kell Paso 2nd, What What What 3rd. McKenzie Honey was next to last.
This is the last of the Minor division races. McKenzie Honey already had locked up a spot in my mythical Oaks field, leading this division coming in.

2017 Dubai World Cup racecard postmortem

Recapping the 9 races on the Meydan card for Dubai World Cup day:
I deliberately avoided the overlay angle, as I worked with half of the variables I usually use. The area I had to avoid was pace, which does not appear in the past performances of any publication for horses outside North America.
I did attempt a semblance of odds but didn’t publish them. I opted to work with my top 3 horses, using win bets on horses going off at worse than 9-1, and using exactas between my top 3, excluding pairs of favorites and longshots alike. I also used top 2 public favorites, where appropo, over my own top 3 in exactas, with the same exceptions for favorites/longshots.

Godolphin Mile: I picked 3 horses that seemed like big prices in the ML scheme. At post time, they remained that way. I used the 2 favorites over them. Stormardal was closest to the leader of these, but never was a serious threat. In fact, Stormardal was pulled up in the stretch, and suffered a fatal injury. Second Summer was the victor. There were a series of equipment additions, 3 in all, that made something of the difference. I took full loss on this race, as 2 longshots I never really factored, finished 1-2. Such is Dubai, where longshots do factor quite often. Not too different in the Breeders Cup, with similar international fields. I did guess on 2 longshots, just not the right ones. Looking back, Second Summer was ranked 4th for me. I stuck to playing with my top 3.

Next were some purebred Arabians in the Kahilya Classic. RB Burn, Sniper de Monlau, AM Mathmoon my top 3. Also considered were Faucon Du Loup and RB Madymoiselle. AM Mathmoon was the sharp post time favorite, and I used him in exactas over my other top choices. Also did straight wins with RB Burn and Sniper. Faucon Du Loup I used also in exactas over my top 3. It seemed that RB Madymoiselle, RB Burn and Sniper were valid overlays…I would have used Sniper and AF Mathmoon over them.
AF Mathmoon had the lead for much of the race, yielded to RB Burn….and then he in turn yielded to the winner, Reda. Reda was nowhere in my research, and I took the loss here. Sniper did finish 3rd. I had it initially as 7-10-8, the finish being 4-7-10. If I played the popular (in Europe, anyway) swinger (“omni” wager), it would have paid off.

Dubai Gold Cup: I chose Vazirabad, Wall of Fire adn Kingfisher, pre-race favorite over 2 big prices. I had zero confidence in any other horses here. So, the wager was 3 over 4 and 8, wins on 4 and 8. Also used public 2nd choice, 12, over 4 and 8.
Of the 2 price plays, 4 made a late rush but much too late. 3-11-1-7 finish. Beautiful Romance finished 2nd, another longshot in my blind spot.

In the 16-horse strong UAE Dery, I chose 13-3-15, the favorite Thunder Snow over decent prices in Lancaster Bomber and Cosmo Charlie. The prices remained consistent to post time. 3 and 15 proved to be the overlays. I’d have used Epicharis, 2nd choice, over 3 and 15 also. Result was chalky….Thunder Snow over Epicharis in a photo.

Al Quoz Sprint: I chose longshot Baccarat over favored Ertijaal and longshot Long On Value. Also used public 2nd choice, Limato, over my own 1st/3rd choices. My eventual overlay picks would have been Baccarat and Finsbury Square. Result: 3 noses out 7…The Right Man, over Long On Value. Still striking out here.

Golden Shaheen: I chose Not Listenin’tome, favored Mind Your Biscuits, and Muarrab. I took Muarrab as the best of the rest, not really much of a pick. Not Listenin’tome seemed an overlay. St Joe Bay was used as 2nd public choice over overlay.
14-13-2-11 finish, great run by Biscuits to close and win. Comicas was never a horse I’d figure to run well in this one. }

Turf: I chose Heshem, Zarak, Deauville. No access to odds post-race, but I was confident I had middle to high affordable value between these. I had to wager this away from home and had no access to odds. I simply did win bet on my 1st and 3rd choices, and played exactas with Heshem over them. Not sure who might have been overlays.
Result was 9-3-1-2, as my 2nd choice finishes ahead of my 4th.

In the Sheema Classic, with a 7 horse field,I wemt 2-6-3, taking middle value over a small price, and more middle value. Not a race I would avoid a full exacta box. Not sure of pre-race odds. Postponed, 7 ,seemed to be a major favorite here.
Result was 2-6-7-5, as I nail the exacta as predicted beforehand. $38 payoff based on $1 wager.

In the DWC itself, I chose 9-14-5. No access to odds in this one either, but I knew 9, Arrogate, to be a pre-race favorite. The others certain to be win-worthy bets. It was a matter of playing exactas, no matter the value. Gun Runner looked great in this race, and nearly pulled off the upset. In the end, I did hit the 9-5 exacta, $5 payout. 14, Mubtaahiq, did end up 4th.

Next, a recap of the Enlightened races from the weekend and how the points look overall.

Dubai World Cup 2017 selections

For this year’s Dubai World Cup racecard, I used about half of the variables I normally use, with the large exception being pace-related material. This info is available for North American horses, but nowhere else. Neither is the workout information at all consistent. This goes for DRF, Equibase and Brisnet PPs. I truly hope they can provide more info. I had to resort to Trakus to get a handle on how horses at Dubai have run.
I will be wagering live on the first 6 races. The last 3 I will not have much of an advantage in seeing the odds, as I’ll be at work and very little chance to score Wi-Fi for the opportunity to wager.
Also, given the lack of variables, I will not be ranking horses as overlays. I’ll make wagers based on my top 3 horses, and compare them to the top 2 favorites to add some extra juice.
The variables I use, in very brief detail:
AWD, wins off layoff, jockey/trainer combos without a win during the meet, most trainer angles, horse with troubled trip last out, horses who gained on leader last out, horses first off layoff who improved in pace.

GODOLPHIN MILE: Stormardal, Kafuji Take, Farrier. This is the race where I see 3 longshots sweep the mutuels.
KAHILYA CLASSIC: RB Burn, Sniper De Monlau, AF Mathmoon.
GOLD CUP: Vazirabad, Wall Of Fire, Kingfisher
UAE DERBY: Thunder Snow, Lancaster Bomber, Cosmo Charlie
AL QUOZ SPRINT: Baccarat, Long On Value, Ertijaal
GOLDEN SHAHEEN: Notlistenin’tome, Mind Your Biscuits
TURF: Heshem, Zarak, Deauville
SHEEMA CLASSIC: Jack Hobbs, Seventh Heaven, Highland Reel
DUBAI WORLD CUP: Arrogate, Mubtaahiij, Gun Runner. This race promises to be the least value of the other races.
I am also doing the Dubai Win Bet Back promotion through TwinSpires, where my first Win wager on the World Cup race can be totally refunded up to $20. The bet must be on any horse not named Arrogate.

Enlightened Trails race picks (Sunland Park, Turfway Park)

Enlightened Trails this week on double duty as there are 2 races each in both the EDT and EOT. This is all just a warmup for my Super Saturday, 4/8, when nearly all divisions get decided on the same day.
While I type this, I am preparing a post re the Dubai World Cup card. I continue to work around the lack of pace/fractional time numbers, and construct my own rankings. It’s a painstaking effort to be sure, using Trakus results for those who have ran there last, statistics page to find out who are non-winners between jockey and trainer, and the like. I wish Equibase, Brisnet and DRF would be consistent with this information.

Meanwhile…here are the ET races, presented in order of post time.
I will not be wagering these races as they conflict with my work schedule.
Bourbonette Oaks is a Grade 3 mile event for top fillies, with a 100k purse. It’s the 2nd of just 3 races in the Heartland Division. Top 3 in that division move into my Enlightened Oaks field. My top 3 include the top 2 ML choices in Delphinia, China Grove, and longshot/overlay Miss O’Hara.
Miss O’Hara broke maiden in her 3rd start, and her first on turf, while breaking through in pace to 82 then switched back to all-weather and finished the OBS Championship on 1/24, bouncing to a 72. Only filly here eligible to bounce back in pace. Gained in turn time last out despite the bounce. Prior win came with similar cutback in distance, also that maiden win was a shipping win.
Suggested odds: Delphinia 3-1; Fun 9-1; China Grove 4-1; Miss O’Hara 4-1.
Oaks points coming in: Fun, 25. Top 3 finishers here should become the leading candidates in the division,

Next is the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, a Grade 3, 9 furlong race for top 3YOs, $500k at stake. Top 3: Convict Pike, En Hanse, and Parlor.
These first 2 are overlays. Top ML choice is Kitten’s Cat at 4-1, suggesting there is no definitive favorite, and I don’t like this horse anyway, so there is serious value at play.

Convict Pike broke maiden in 5th start, then finished 2nd in the OBS Championship with a strong 89, setting a lifetime best, at risk of a bounce. 5 works in prep since then, 3 very fast, 1 a bullet.
En Hanse after his maiden win, also won a 50k OC race, finished 7th in the Space City, won the WEBN here at Turfway on 2/11 (setting lifetime best of 91), bounced to 78 while finishing 2nd in the John Battaglia Memorial here on 3/4. The score of 91 is the best AW performance of the field. He has interchanged low/high scores in his last 4 races, with an 88 in that OC race, then a 72 in the Space City. Can definitely bounce back here.
3rd of 4 races in the Derby Heartland division; top 2 should have enough impact on getting into my mythical Derby field.
Suggested odds: Bronson 29-1, En Hanse 4-1, Convict Pike 2-1, and these at 18-1: Fast and Accurate, Giant Payday, Kitten’s Cat, Parlor, King and His Court.
Derby points entering this race: Parlor, 50.

Now to Sunland Park and their Oaks, a 200k race for top 3YOs, going 8.5 furlongs. Top 3: McKenzie Honey (mildest of overlays), What What What, and Kell Paso. No overlays in this field.
McKenzie Honey already has clinched one of the 2 Minor division spots in my mythical Enlightened Oaks field. Racing since last April, she won the ATBA Sales Stakes at Turf Paradise (both restricted and for open fillies), plus convincing wins last out in the Arizona Oaks and the Scottsdale Handicap, also at TP. AZ Oaks was a new small top, best at age 3. Only horse racing under reclaim. Best turn time stats of the field.
Suggested odds: Ghalia 9-1, Noted and Quoted 7-1, Kell Paso 5-1, McKenzie Honey 4-1, What What What 6-1.

Finally the Grade 3 Sunland Derby, for top 3YOs going 9 furlongs and for an 800k purse. Top 3: Shareholder Value, Hedge Fund, Irap. Kimbear the lone overlay.
Shareholder Value was 6th in the Kentucky Jockey Club, then winner of a 50k optional-claimer, then finished 5th in the LeComte, then 6th last out in the Risen Star. Only early closer in the field.
Kimbear won maiden in 6th try, at the 54k level, setting a strong 95 speed figure. This score is a new small top at 3, besting his score at 2. Also could bounce from this, but overall his pattern of numbers suggest he’s the speed horse.
Suggested odds: Shareholder Value and Irap at 4-1; Kimbear at 7-1, then these at 44-1: Hedge Fund, Balandeen, COnquest Mo Money.
Enlightened Derby points coming in: Wine N Divine 10.

NCAA tourney bracket recap through 2 rounds s

Here’s a small recap of my 4 brackets, with number of wins and how many more I can possibly attain.

1st round: 26 of 32 correct.
2nd round: 14 correct picks.
Total: 40 of 48.
Possible remaining: 11. 3 possible remain in my Final 4.
Best upset pick: #11 Xavier


1st round: 27 picks.
2nd round: 10.
Total: 37.
Possible remaining: 12
Best upset: None

3 of 4 remain in Final 4

1st round: 26 picks correct.
2nd round: 8 picks.
Total: 34.
Possible remaining: 9
Best upset: None
3 of 4 left in my Final 4.


1st round: 26 correct.
2nd: 9.
Total: 35.
Possible remaining: 10
3 of 4 remain in FInal 4.
Best upset: None

Enlightened Trails update (Laurel Park) plus 2017 Rebel Stakes thoughts.

Three Derby prep races are on tap for Saturday, 2 of which are part of my Enlightened Trails series. Those races, both at Laurel Park, are the Caesar’s Wish and the Private Terms. The other race, the Rebel Stakes, is a rather fascinating one, with a number of contenders.
The races at Laurel wrap up the Minor division of the EDT. To remind you, the top 4 horses in points within each division for the EDT (top 3 in the Minors), and the leading filly in the minors in the EOT, get invited to the mythical Enlightened Derby/Oaks.
We’ll start on the colt side, and the Private Terms Stakes. This race carries a 100k purse, 8.5 furlongs. It’s among the higher valued races not part of the actual Trail, and is a fitting finish for the Minor division.
My top 3 are Twisted Tom, High Roller, and O Dionysus. This race does not appear to have an overlay in place, and I like the 2 morning-line favorites to show up in the top 3. The one horse I can profile for value is my 2nd choice in High Roller. Might factor more if we have an off-track. Snow showers are a possibility. This 3YO ran an 86 in the mud here on 12/26, good for 2nd place in a 5.5 furlong 50k optional claimer. Very consistent pace numbers; all lifetime stats are in the upper 80s. Fastest of non-winners last out with troubled trip.
Suggested odds: Hashtag Alex 14-1; High Roller 2-1; O Dionysus 7-1; Twisted Tom 1-1.
The way things work out, the winner of this race will definitely be in my Enlightened Derby Trail, with 500 points, going in Howdy Kingkowboy and Taco.

To the EOT side we go and the Caesar’s Wish Stakes. This is the next last race for fillies within the Minor division, as the Sunland Park Oaks on 3/26 will be the final opportunity for points. The Caesar’s Wish is 100k, 8 furlongs. Top 3 here are Crabcakes, Star Super, and big favorite Jenda’s Agenda. One overlay here, the big longshot Sine Wave. Ultimately I have the top 3 as measured by the track handicapper, but finishing in reverse order.
Crabcakes won her first 3 races, alternating 6- and 7- furlong contests. These included her maiden debut at 29k, then a 100k MD-filly event with a peak pace of 90, then a 50k optional claimer. Last out she finished 2nd in the Wide Country. The tight start she had at the beginning of the race might have kept her from winning out eventually. Still posted an 85 in that race. Track bias likes early closers at the mile distance here, with 33% winners. Also, 14% from posts 4-7. Fastest turn time last out, at 24.6 seconds.
Star Super is 5-7 in the money, winning her 2nd maiden race last summer here, and the 75k Marshua last out on 1/21. Ran her best 2 races back in the 100k Gin Talking on New Year’s Eve, a 96 speed figure. Just one race at the distance, a 73 in last year’s Frizette at Belmont, but it manages to tie one horse for best speed for the distance of these. With the 96 score, and the subsequent bounce to 85 last out, I am expecting much more today. 5 works at Laurel since, 3 of them competitively fast. Also benefits from track bias as Crabcakes does.
Sine Wave cannot be thrown out. 77 in her debut here vs 40k maidens. Following a 7 week layoff, she returned with a 87 stretching out one furlong, this in a 50k OC race where she earned a shipping win. That win was key as she improved on her 2nd call numbers, and gained well on the leader, moving from 7th to take the lead.
Suggested odds: Aspen Hilltop 14-1; Shackleford’s Lady 7-1; Crabcakes 5-2; Jenda’s Agenda 9-1; Sine Wave 5-1; Star Super 5-1.
The Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn promises to be a great matchup between top contenders in a still very undecided Derby picture. This race is 8.5 furlongs at the Grade 2 level, worth 900k. Top 3: Untrapped, Malagacy, and Silver Bullion. Overlays aplenty: Untrapped, Silver Dust, Silver Bullion, Appalachian Gem, Lookin At Lee.

Untrapped won his 2nd maiden start, then finished 2nd in the LeComte and the Risen Star (pair of Graded routes at Fair Grounds). Set new pace peaks in 3 of 3 possible races, with high of 96 last out, tho had to survive a rather wide trip.
Malagacy won both lifetime starts, 2 sprints this year at Gulfstream, with scores of 103 and 104. Is he for real? If we have an off-track condition in place, he could match those numbers. Debut came on a muddy track.
Silver Dust, after 2 maiden races and a win, finished 4th in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes. Gain in pace from maiden win from 77 to 84, paired that with 87 last out in his 3YO debut. Only horse who gained in 2nd call numbers first after layoff.
Silver Bullion has run in the early 80s, all 3 races at age 3, and at Oaklawn. Won 2nd maiden race, then was 2nd in a 75k OC race. 32% of fellow early-presser horses running 8.5 furlongs during the meet are winners. This stat is twinned with the 14% success rate in early posts. Silver Bullion is the only horse here fitting both categories.
Appalachian Gem and Lookin At Lee have legit outside chances, following good turn times and gain on the leader last out.
Suggested odds: American Anthem 12-1 (I foresee big time bounce by this ML fave); Petrov 29-1; Untrapped 3-1; Royal Mo 11-1; Silver Dust 9-1; Malagacy 6-1; Silver Bullion 9-1; Uncontested 20-1; Appalachian Gem and Lookin At Lee each 9-1.