First look at Kentucky Oaks

Current top 5, based on my initial look at the advance PPs via Brisnet

1st: Abel Tasman, based mainly on his 2nd place finish in the SA Oaks. 97 Brisnet fastest of those who had trouble last time out. This deep closer either gets off to a slow start or runs wide in every race. Pattern of speed figures in last 3 also best of this field. Will win with a good quick start, easing a bit in the later stages, about what’s expected out of this field.
2nd: Ever So Clever is also a deep closer but she needs much more of a slow pace to win. Made small new top in the Honeybee with 91 to start her 3YO campaign, matched with 90 last out in her win in the Fantasy Stakes. Turn time of 23.4 and the tiny decrease in BRIS makes her a solid contender.
3rd: Lockdown bounced from 91 to 83, a long 2nd to Miss Sky Warrior in the Gazelle last time out. She did have much better numbers at 2nd call tho. Also, with a small sample of races, pure sprinters in 9 furlong races here have won. Not to mention, Lockdown is the lone sprinter here.
4th: It Tiz Well is a daughter of Arch (himself from the highly successful stallion Kris S.). Small new top of 98 in the Honeybee, followed by 94 in the SA Oaks. 8 weeks since the Honeybee, enough time to still be in influence of her best race.
5th: Miss Sky Warrior has the best 2nd-call numbers of the field….should control pace in the backstretch along with the speedy Lockdown. 2-for-2 at the distance,including 98 BRIS last out, winning the Gazelle.

Abel Tasman 4-1
Lockdown 13-1
Ever So Clever 14-1
Miss Sky Warrior and It Tiz Well 17-1
Salty, Daddys Lil Darling, Tequilita, Yorkiepoo Princess, Ghalia all 20-1
Paradise Woods 29-1
Farrell 44-1
Throwing out Sailor’s Valentine and Chanel’s Legacy.
I have Abel Tasman, Daddys Lil Darling and Farrell with win bets in the future pool. I also have Daddy’s Lil Darling and Abel Tasman in exactas to each other, and over/under the field selections

2016-2017 Enlightened Derby Trail final results

In watching a recap of the Arkansas Derby away from home, I caught a look at the final odds.  They proved to be rather consistent to the morning line odds. My plan was to use Untrapped over Lookin at Lee and Sonneteer in exactas, and those three horses plus Grandpa’s Dream and Rowdy The Warrior in win bets.  I used Classic Empire and Malagacy, the two clear favorites, over 4 of the 5 horses, except Untrapped.  9 horses seemed to have any shot at a win, totally throwing out Silver Dust, One Dreamy Dude, and Malagacy (tho, ,of course, him over overlays)
Result: Classic Empire redeemed himself with the win here. I did not seriously figure Conquest Mo Money, who did have the best speed for distance of the field, and a good run last out vs the leader.  Both ran ahead of my 2nd and 3rd picks, Lookin At Lee and Sonneteer.   A loss for me, but it may prove fruitful for me in the Future Wager.

Now to the results of the Enlightened Derby Trail:
Northeast: Practical Joke, Good Samaritan, Irish War Cry, Battalion Runner.
Cali: Zakaroff, Gormley, Battle Of Midway, More Power To Him
Heartland: Fast And Accurate and Irap lead here, then Blueridge Traveler and McCraken.  Practical Joke had enough points, but as explained in a prior post, eliminating him from this division would give a horse with less points more of an opportunity than in the Northeast.
Minor: Howdy Kingkowboy, Taco, Twisted Tom, O Dionysus.
As there will be no Japanese rep in the Derby, I decided to go back to giving 4 spots in this division instead of 3.
South: Easily the most contested of divisions.  The winners: Tapwrit, Classic Empire, Girvin, Always Dreaming, Hence.    First out, each with 1000 points, are State Of Honor and Conquest Mo Money. Both ran 2nd in their respective EDT races, never won one.

How does this compare to the actual trail, as things stand on 4/15?
I ultimately agree with 14 of the 20.  As for the 6 (actually 7) I disagree on:
Gunnevara won the Delta Downs Jackpot at 2 but did not place in the top 4 at age 3 in my races.
J Boys Echo was 4th in the Jackpot, 4th in the Blue Grass.
Conquest Mo Money was 2nd in 2 races, but just not enough points or wins to earn a spot.
Malagacy was never in my top 4 of any EDT race. This is the reason I do the Trail. I circumvent the idea that a horse must race the biggest races at the biggest tracks only, in order to get into the big show.
Patch was 2nd in the Louisiana Derby, but no other scores.
Cloud Computing’s only score was 3rd in the Wood Memorial.
State Of Honor, like Conquest Mo Money had 2 strong 2nd place finishes but no wins on my trail.
Final Enlightened Derby Trail results here:
Now for the Future Wager impact:
From Pool 1:
Win: McCraken 12-1
Lookin at Lee 37-1.  He’s on the bubble, definitely at least an ‘also-eligible’ and could well back into the Derby with some defections.
Classic Empire 6-1. Got the points he needed from the ARK Derby to keep this going.
Exacta: McCraken over/under field (Girvin, Thunder Snow, Always Dreaming, J Boys Echo, State Of Honor, Tapwrit, Malagacy, Hence, Fast & Accurate, Battle Of Midway, Patch, Battalion Runner, Cloud Computing, plus a number of horses outside the top 20)
Sire Future Wager: Scat Daddy and Kitten’s Joy drew blanks.
Bernardini: Takaful had just 2 points.
Uncle Mo: Royal Mo is 24th with 30, another who may well be an AE horse if not outright into the field of 20.
Into Mischief:  Practical Joke is in the field, and can score for me at 24-1.
Pool 2:
Win bet on Gunnevara, 24-1
Exactas on McCraken and over/under field: Girvin, Irap, Thunder Snow, Always Dreaming, Tapwrit, J Boys Echo, Malagacy, Hence, Fast and Accurate, Battle Of Midway, Patch, Cloud Computing.
Pool 3:
win bets on Irish War Cry 7-1, and Gormley at 18-1.
Exactas between Classic Empire and McCraken, and both over/under field: Girvin, Irap, Thunder Snow, J Boys Echo, Hence, Fast and Accurate, Battle Of Midway, Patch, Cloud Computing.
Pool 4:
Win bets on Girvin 17-1 and Thunder Snow 23-1.
Exactas between Classic Empire, Gunnevara and Thunder Snow, plus these over/under field: Irap, Hence, Fast & Accurate, Patch,

2017 Arkansas Derby selections

The Grade 1, 1000k Arkansas Derby will close the 2016-2017 Enlightened Trails, upon which we’ll know the 20 that have punched their tickets to Louisville, plus the 4 also-eligibles. Of course, my version will differ from the proper one.
In this race, 9 of the 12 horses have some ability to win. 5 in particular have a stronger chance than others.
My top 3 are these: Untrapped, Lookin At Lee, and Sonneteer. The latter 2 I regard as overlays, along with Grandpa’s Dream and Rowdy The Warrior.
Untrapped owns best AWD numbers, thanks to the damsire line of Giant’s Causeway.  Small new tops in each race except last out, slight downturn from 96 to 93. In that race, the Grade 2 Rebel, he gained on the leader a bit, and had a rather wide trip. One of three horses with good workouts coming in.
Lookin At Lee a sentimental pick apart from intellectual; he’d be my best individual horse for a win bet in the Derby should he get in. 37-1 from the first Future Wager pool. Also made progress in backstretch in the Rebel, also has good works.
LIkewise, Sonneteer showed good pace and progress in the Rebel albeit a tough start, and continues to recover from downturn in pace 2nd off layoff, which was in February. The Rebel  represented a small new top, better than his 3YO best, at 93.
Grandpa’s Dream a maiden no longer after 4 races; Improved strongly to a 90 in that race, a bit of a bounce risk.
Rowdy The Warrior improved 2 lengths on his rivals last time out.  I am playing the 2nd call angle more lately and I am banking a bit on this one for sure.

I most likely won’t be wagering this race as my work schedule conflicts with seeing this race live.

I’ll be sure to provide a final EDT point update and results of my mythical Derby list.

Final 2016-2017 Enlightened Oaks Trail results

With the conclusion of the Fantasy Stakes, the Enlightened Oaks Trail for 2016-2017 can finally be resolved.  Before I examined this race, I went ahead to strike through the names of other fillies that had fallen off the actual Trail.  A few surprises were in these names. I suppose that if my trail were in place, the connections of some horses would not have abandoned the trail so soon.
Here’s the updated list of fillies who are in the Oaks:
Minors: McKenzie Honey, Tap It All. This was resolved once the Sunland Park Oaks concluded last month.
Northeast: Miss Sky Warrior, Lockdown, Victory To Victory.
Fun, Libby’s Tail, Yellow Agate and Nonna Mela were confirmed off the trail.
Cali: Paradise Woods, Abel Tasman, Union Strike.
Off the trail: Valadorna, Champagne Room.
South: Farrell, Fifty Five,  Wicked Lick.
Off the trail: Darla’s Angel, Salty.
Heartland: Ever So Clever (top overall in points), Sailor’s Valentine, Daddy’s Lil Darling.
Off the trail: Purely A Dream, Awesome Boss.
Biggest snubs: Ghalia, Jenda’s Agenda, La Coronel, Tequilita, Chanel’s Legacy, all out with 500 points.
Worst of those who is in: Victory To Victory, 250 points.
The 4 horses who will make up the Oaks Future Wager ‘field’ selections: Ever So Clever, Sailor’s Valentine, Paradise Woods,  Tequilita, . I already have Daddys Lil Darling, Abel Tasman, and Farrell over and under these fillies in exactas.  Best remaining payout: Daddys Lil Darling over Abel Tasman: $1372.80 for a $2 exacta. I played it at $1.   Cheapest exacta: Farrell/field, $198 for $2 wagered.
Compared to the actual trail, I match up with these: Lockdown, Daddys Lil Darling, Abel Tasman, Salty, Paradise Woods, Sailor’s Valentine, Ever So Clever, Miss Sky Warrior, Farrell. That’s 9 of the 14. I disagreed with these: It Tiz Well, Chanel’s Legacy, Tequilita, Yorkiepoo Princess, Ghalia.
Here’s the updated EOT spreadsheet:

Fantasy Stakes selection

Today, the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park will largely determine the final results of the Enlightened Oak Trail along with the actual Trail. This race is 400k, 8.5 furlongs. My top 3 here are favored Benner Island, longshot/overlay Torrent, and modest win valued Chanel’s Legacy.
Torrent is just once out of the money in 7 lifetime, comes in with 2 Oaks Trail points,and will need a top 3 finish. No EOT points, which means she will require a top 2 finish to get into my mythical Oaks. Waiting since 2/11 to stretch out from one mile. Gained 2 lengths last time vs leader by 2nd call. Best workouts of the field, 4 in all, 3 very fast, 1 a bullet.
Chanel’s Legacy has 11 actual points, and just needs a top 4 placing to be in the actual Oaks. 4 wins out of 9, running in quality company all throughout, she has 2 prior stretchout wins. Also gained on leader at 2nd call last time out. In 122 8.5 furlong races, 30% have been won by early-presser types, and 14$ are winners from the first 3 posts.

Enlightened Trails update (4/10/17)

With the results of the penultimate Enlightened Trails races already in, there is still the two left at Oaklawn Park this weekend that will put the cap on the bottle.
I resolved both sets of divisions. Here’s the Oaks side first:
Minors: McKenzie Honey was already a winner. Tap It All, winner of the California Oaks, would normally be in, had there not been a Japanese entry. For the lone Japanese entry, I gave the spot to Reine Minoru, who won the top filly race there, the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas). Also won the Kokura Nisai at age 2, and placed in 3 other stakes races at 2. Now 7-3-2-1 lifetime.

Northeast: Miss Sky Warrior and Lockdown, 1-2 in Saturday’s Gazelle, are in the show, plus the Frizette winner, Yellow Agate (just 250 points).

Cali: Paradise Woods and Abel Tasman finished 1-2 in the Santa Anita Oaks. They are in my mythical Oaks, along with Del Mar Debutante winner Union Strike (just 250 points). Union Strike wins tiebreak over It Tiz Well, who was 3rd in the Santa Anita Oaks.

South: With one race to go, Farrell is in for her win in the Fair Grounds Oaks. To this I add the winner of the Florida Oaks, Fifty Five.Also, Salty, winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks.

Heartland: Purely A Dream, winner of the Bourbonette, and Sailor’s Valentine, winner of the Ashland, are in my Oaks race. I added Daddys Lil Darling, who finished 2nd in both races.

No real drama in this one, except that the Fantasy Stakes remains for those who can potentially knock off those in the South with points. Looking at the nominations, none of my 3 with top points are listed. Next on the list with some points is Vexatious, 250 points for her 3rd spot in the FG Oaks. If she won out, she’d be in my mythical Oaks. How then to resolve between my other 3?
The first tie-breaker is Graded rating. Farrell and Salty both won at Grade 2, ahead of Fifty Five’s Grade 3 win. After that, the next tie-breaker is purse. Farrell’s race was 400k, while Salty’s was 250k. The Fantasy is Grade 3 at 400k, so a new shooter with 0 points that wins out can get into my mythical Oaks. Obviously, any horse with points will have advantage.

Biggest snubs currently are the fillies with 500 points: Jenda’s Agenda, Ghalia, Tap It All, La Coronel, Wicked Lick, Tequilita, and Awesome Boss. I am thinking that the 2nd place finisher in the Fantasy Stakes might have to join this list. Between all these fillies, Lockdown has the tiebreak edge over Tequilita for qualifying.

Comparing to the actual Oaks trail, how are my Future Wager picks holding up?

Daddy’s Lil Darling: 28-1
Abel Tasman 23-1
Farrell 10-1.
These fillies are definitely in the show, currently ranked as 1st, 6th and 7th in actual Oaks points.

I used Daddy’s Lil Darling, Unique Bella and Abel Tasman in exactas to each other, and over/under the field. Since Unique Bella is out, it takes away some possibilities, but a Daddy’s/Abel exacta hit would be amazing, and rather realistic in scoring. Field horses from the future wager right now would be these: Sailors Valentine, Paradise Woods, Salty, Nomorerichblondes, Yorkiepoo Princess, Purely A Dream, Wicked Lick, Jordan’s Henny, Benner Island, Someday Soon, Vexatious, Tapped, Summer Luck, then all horses 10 points and under in the Oaks trail. Of those that are nominated in the Fantasy, these include Elate, Spooky Woods, Nonna Bella, Ever So Clever, Tapa Tapa Tapa, My Sweet Stella, Gris Gris, Torrent, and Princess Karen.
Now to the Derby side, where the divisions look this way:
Northeast: Irish War Cry, Wood Memorial winner, is in, with Practical Joke (Hopeful, Champagne), then Good Samaritan (Summer).
Cali: Gormley, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, is in, then Zakaroff (El Camino Real Derby), followed by Battle Of Midway (2nd in the SA Derby), and More Power To Him (2nd in the El Camino Real)
Heartland: Irap won the Blue Grass Stakes to win this division as well. Fast And Accurate is 2nd for his win in the Spiral. Then I have McCraken who won the KY Jockey Club, then Practical Joke for his 2nd place finish in the Blue Grass. Since I can’t have the same horse rep 2 divisions, I kept him in the Northeast, because to eliminate him from there would bring up a much worse horse than if I were to eliminate him from the Heartland.
Next in the Northeast pecking order would be Good Samaritan, at 250 points and a Grade 1 win. For the Heartland, the next horse would be Blueridge Traveler, 500 points, 2nd in the Spiral. I decided to go with the horse with more points.

South: With the AR Derby still left, here’s what I have: Tapwrit, Hence, Always Dreaming and Girvin, winners of the Tampa Bay Derby, Sunland Derby, Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby, all get in with equal 1000 point totals. Always Dreaming wins the tiebreak, if there were one, because his was a Grade 1 win. The AR Derby winner will be in a flat tie with Always Dreaming because of the same grade, purse and distance. Then it’s a matter of who has points after the big race and who to eliminate.

Minors: Reportedly, none of the Japan entrants for the Derby Trail will want to be part of the show. That’s rather sad, as they do have a good Trail set up there.It’s comparable to other countries, and especially to UAE, who have just the UAE Derby to represent. So I’d go back to having top 4 horses out of this division. The horses for me are Howdy Kingkowboy (Turf Paradise Derby winner), Taco (Texas Heritage Stakes), Twisted Tom (Private Terms Stakes), and O Dionysus (2nd in the Private Terms)

Snubs: Conquest Mo Money, Gunnevara, Patch, all in the highly competitive South division, all with 500.

Future Wager bets took a hit with Mo Town failing to score in the Wood Memorial. Here are the remaining bets still active:
Pool 1:
Wins on
McCraken 12-1
Lookin At Lee 37-1 (needs AR Derby points)
Classic Empire 6-1 (ditto)
Exactas of McCraken over/under field selections
Sire Future Wager:
Bernardini: Takaful nominated to AR Derby, has 2 points, so needs to win out.
Into Mischief, Practical Joke is in the show, a 24-1 opportunity.
Uncle Mo: Royal Mo 10 points, also nominiated, needs 1st or 2nd in the race)

Pool 2:
Win bet on Gunnevara, 24-1 play.
Exacta on McCraken and over/under field.

Pool 3:
Irish Way Cry at 7-1
Gormley at 18-1
Exactas between Classic Empire (32 points, needs a top 3 finish), and McCraken, and both over/under field.

Pool 4:
Wins on
Girvin 17-1
Thunder Snow 23-1
Exactas between Classic Empire/Thunder, plus these over/under field.

Recap of stakes races and Enlightened Trails, 4/8/17

Catching up now to the big races of the weekend, this after watching my Twinspires account dwindle a bit more. The Grand National was won by #22, over one of my top 5 choices in #14. One of the field horses came in 3rd. I was close this year, but didn’t make it. Initially I thought it was a field selection (horses 24-40) but I reacted too swiftly to the news. I haven’t watched the replay yet; frankly I don’t feel like watching it just yet.

Onto the thoroughbreds! You’ve seen my picks and projected overlays. Now here’s how I would have played and invested in them. If I were home to wager on them, I’d have wagered on them.

BLUE GRASS: My top 3 remained as public favorites. So did my 2 overlay considerations. I used Irap and It’s Your Nickel for wins, and under top 3 for exactas. $10 wagered.
Results: Irap with the big 31-1 upset! I didn’t mention he had best tactical speed for nothin’. Payout: $64.60

ASHLAND: Total chalk for my picks here too, and no overlays to rescue me. Not truly a race I’d play. But if I had to… I’d go with 2-6, 6-3, 3-6 and 6-2 as exacta plays, basically keying #6, Daddys Lil Darling,my top choice, to be the necessary score
Result: 7-6-1-8. Totally ignored Saints Valentine in my handicapping. Sometimes you find longshots, sometimes….

SANTA ANITA OAKS: I felt this was the big race, with value totally planning to surprise the mutuels. I had 1,5,6 for wins, and to play under top 2 favorites 2 and 4
Paradise Woods, 3, shocked me and some folks at 8-1, winning by a dozen lengths. Did not give her any serious consideration.

The latter 3 races I had felt were somewhat logical, with a favorite, a middle price horse and a longshot in my top 3.
SANTA ANITA DERBY: This was the race I would have put $20 on…1,4,5,10 as overlays, with top 2 public choices 2 and 9 over these in exacta. I’d also have played 9 and 2 over #7 with 7 to win also.

Result: Fantastic race, as the result was 8-3-13-2. Gormley definitely factored somewhat, as he had a good turn time and was the only pure sprinter of the field. Swung and missed on this one.

WOOD MEMORIAL: I chose longshot 6 and overlay 5 for wins, and went with 3-6, 2-6, 3-5, 7-5 for exactas. $8 invested. I rooted in my heart for Mo Town, who factors big for me in the Future Wager pools.
Result: 8-3-7-5, a chalky finish. I never gave Irish War Cry much thought to win this one. A race I naturally should have avoided but I saw some value in general.

GAZELLE: I took 4,3 for wins, and played 5-4, 4-3, 5-3 and 8-3 as exactas, $8 invested.
Result: Nailed the exacta. It was close, as Lockdown was tiring in the stretch.
Payout: $15.10 for the $1 exacta

Result from the 6 races: $15 profit.
Later, I will provide thoughts on the Derby Trail, an update to my Enlightened Trails and how my Future Wager bets look in comparison.