Enlightened Trails update (Golden Gate, Turf Paradise)

The trails continue with racing at 2 tracks, Turf Paradise and Golden Gate Fields.
Turf Paradise Derby is an open 3YO race, 8.5 furlongs, 50k. Top 3 for me are Fortified Effort, Whatwaithinking, and Redesign. They are 2nd through 4th favorites per the morning-line. Not entirely a passable race. There is one overlay in Oh Brother Jack. The knock on him is that he has never been at the lead in the last 3 races despite his sprinter role. But sprinters have won 7 of 15 races at this distance during the meet so far. Also, post 8 and out are 16% winners. I’d use him for win and under my top 3.
The Arizona Oaks is for top 3YO fillies, 1 mile, 30k event. Top 3 are Foggia, Dontkissntell and I’m The Queen. Overlays are my top 2.
Foggia won her first 2 races, then was 2nd in the AZ Breeders Futurity, and 4th in the AZ Juvenile Filly. All 4 races here, peaking at 87 in the ATBA Sales at the 35k level, 87 BRIS. Waiting since 12/30 to stretch from 6.5 furlongs. 4 local works in the layoff, 1 bullet.
The El Camino Real Derby is for top 3YO, running 9 furlongs on the all-weather surface at Golden Gate, 100k purse. Top 3 are Calexman, Mugaritz and Choo Choo. My top 2 are the overlays here.
Calexman broke maiden status in 3rd try and last out with an 81, winning at Del Mar on 11/24 at the 52k level. It was his debut on turf. During the layoff he has had a bunch of works, most of them very fast. Only sprinter in the field.

2018 Derby Future Wager Pool 2 selections

Future Wager Pool 2 closed the way I had figured it. The only unknown I had to wait for was knowing the Brisnet score for Catholic Boy from Saturday’s Sam F Davis Stakes at Gulfstream. When Twinspires.com’s Twitter feed reported that the winner, Flameaway, scored 100 BRIS, just as Catholic Boy did for being a half-length behind, it was easier to figure how to rank my selections. I figured 98 would be enough to get him into the conversation. After weighing the best horses further, I decided on leaving him out. He would have needed a Grade 1 win, and/or a run at Churchill to be better qualified. There’s always next month’s Pool 3 to remedy the former. http://www.thepaulickreport.com reports that Catholic Boy will run in the Florida Derby or the Louisiana Derby next. Flameaway, believe you me, will be in Pool 3 and become a late Triple Crown nominee.

Here’s how I wagered Pool 2, owing to some budgetary concerns:
$2 win bets on
Bolt d’Oro 8-1
Solomini 19-1
Sporting Chance 33-1
Tiz Mischief 71-1
Untamed Domain 41-1

$1 exactas:
Bolt d’Oro over Free Drop Billy (36-1), and field (5-2)
Free Drop Billy over Bolt d’Oro and field
Good Magic (8-1) over Bolt d’Oro and field
$2 exacta box of Bolt d’Oro and Good Magic

I didn’t have much homework to do with the 23 horse field, but had precious little time to get everything worked out, owing to a solid weekend work schedule. If I had my druthers, and time, I’d have also examined others that had any runs on Saturday. I also would have included the field over my top 3 of Bolt d’Oro, Good Magic and Free Drop Billy.
I think I made my best possible picks. Bolt d’Oro I missed out on scoring 7-1 last time, so I’ll gladly take him at 8-1. Avery Island’s numbers barely moved. Same story with Free Drop Billy and Good Magic. Untamed Domain’s stock really fell but not out of the picture. I still like him enough to do a double-dip. I actually neglected do the same double-dip action for Enticed, as he was 29-1 last time, and he fell sharply down to 62-1.

Next up, coverage of the Enlightened Trails, with racing at Turf Paradise and Golden Gate Fields.

2018 Derby Future Wager Pool 2 revised thoughts

With the removal of Montauk from the Trail, I revised my outlook just a bit, and actually had to recalculate the tiebreakers.  The only benchmark that made a difference was the combined AWD of sire and grandsire. It brought in 2 horses, Principal Guiherme, and Enticed, as somewhat more likely to rank up.   I broke the tie by the larger individual AWD of either horse. Enticed’s sire is Megdalia d’Oro, son of El Prado, 7.7 AWD.

My overall ranking right now are these, from first on down, making 5 $2 win wagers:
Bolt D’Oro (avoid if better than 6-1)
Free Drop Billy (avoid unless worse than 37-1)
Good Magic (avoid unless worse than 15-1)
Avery Island (avoid unless worse than 33-1)
Next 4:
Sporting Chance
Tiz Mischief
Enticed (avoid unless worse than 60-1)
Untamed Domain (avoid unless worse than 33-1)
Next 4:
Catholic Boy
Firenze Fire
Copper Bullet

Based on Day 1 results, I’d do win wagers on Solomini, Sporting Chance, Tiz Mischief, Untamed Domain and Catholic Boy.
Exacta projection remains the same.

2018 Derby Future Wager Pool 2 thoughts

With the release of the past performances of the Triple Crown nominees and Future Wager Pool 2 entrants, I had a lot of work ahead of me. But it’s good, solid work, all leading up to those magic moments on the First Saturday in May. By the way, do get the DVD of that very title. Great drama about 6 different horses and their personnel on the road to the 2006 Derby. 50-1 is also an excellent movie, that being the story of Mine That Bird.

For the nominations, I examined my Sire Future Wager picks to determine what horses I have going for me, and compar6-1ed those to whom I , considered key horses when the Wager took place. I cannot find a reliable list at this time that outlines nominees by sires. Here are my 5 sires for 2018: Curlin 6-1, 11 horses; Into Mischief 16-1, 10 horses; Scat Daddy 26-1, 9 horses; Tapit 8-1, 22 horses; Union Rags 28-1, 7 horses.

The final Enlightened Trail lists are out. Updates are at the links at the home page.

On to Pool 2!

The same categories were used as with Pool 1: AWD, top class win, best BRIS speed at Churchill, fastest Binomial pace, longest distance won at, and pace progress qualifiers.
All but 1 horse qualified at one stat, 3 at 5, 5 more with 3, and 7 more with 2.
Here, to remind you, is who I already have win bets on:
Avery Island 29-1
Enticed 56-1
Free Drop Billy 33-1
Good Magic 11-1
Untamed Domain 29-1

This pool’s benchmarks: Combined 15.0 in AWD, any run at Churchill, Grade 1 win, binomial pace number of 579 (translates to projected BRIS of 96.5), 8.5 furlong win, any pace progress

The wager will be $2 wins, based on my top 5 in the ranking, providing they fall within these guidelines: Such a horse must not be better than 6-1; also if I have a wager on that horse in Pool 1, it must be at least better in payout by $10. Look to the left-side number of the odds; if that number becomes higher by 5, and it’s not based on 2 or 5 on the right side, then that is a win play. For example, Good Magic must be worse than 16-1, or Free Drop Billy worse then 38-1).

I’ve the feeling we might have to dig deep to get to a solid top 5, so I’ll go those in the tiebreak for 2 variables.

13th: Copper Bullet, winner of the Saratoga Special (Grade 2) and 2nd in the Bashford Manor at Churchill. Still slow compared to these, has not run a route yet, and never ran past Labor Day at 2.
12th: Mendelssohn was bred in KY, raced at the Curragh in Ireland, winning his 2nd maiden race, then was 2nd in his 2nd GB race, which was the G1 Darley Dewhurst. Won his US debut, the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf. Only 1 BRIS number to go on, so I went with the Racing Post’s RPR rating and took 86% of that number to convert back to BRIS, and followed accordingly. Pace progress seems fine, but, outside of class, lacks in all other areas.
11th: Firenze Fire won the G3 Sanford, the G1 Champagne, and the Jerome. The Champagne was her best score yet, a 96. Still lacking in all other categories.

10th: Enticed I will play if 61-1 or worse. Chances are he’d have to be totally forgotten about here for that to happen. Won the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill, 4th in the Holy Bull. Best speed was 93, in the KYJC. AWD numbers just a tad short of my benchmark. Never ran before Labor Day.

9th: Catholic Boy won his debut at 50k maiden, then the G3 With Anticipation, 4th in the BC Juvenile Turf, then won the Grade 2 Remsen in his dirt debut. Comes out of that 98 score, a sharp increase from his other races….still a bit slow overall. AWD numbers also a bit short. His 9 furlong win in the Remsen makes him one to be careful about. Positive pace progress also.

Next we get to those with 3 matching variables which extend into my top 5…these horses are more likely to earn my wagers:

8th: Tiz Mischief: Won 3rd maiden race. 2nd maiden was 93 BRIS at CD. 2nd in the KYJC, matching that number. 3rd last out in the Holy Bull. No win at the Graded level is some concern, as is the low AWD number. Speed is also a bit slow overall. I like the 8.5 furlongs win for his maiden breaker, which also qualified him for better pace progress.

7th: Untamed Domain must be 34-1 or worse for me to play. Since Pool 1, he was on layoff, and returned to be 3rd in the G3 Dania Beach at Gulstream Park last week. Best score is just 89, 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf. Son of Animal Kingdom, dam is black-type producer Ciao, out of European Graded stakes winner Lear Fan. Won the With Anticipation, 8.5 furlongs, proved pace progress with his win in the Summer Stakes. Slow pace numbers, no runs at CD yet.

6th: Sporting Chance is a sprinter who has never been worse than 2nd at any call in 3 sprints. 2nd in his debut at CD, then won vs 83k maidens, then won the Grade 1 Hopeful with a big 98 score. AWD numbers are rather low as are his overall pace numbers.

Now for my top 5:
5th: SOLOMINI: Won his maiden debut vs 60k maidens, 2nd in the G1 Front Runner, 2nd in the BC Juvenile, winner of the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity. 3 small new tops in his last 3, peaking at 101. Never raced before Labor Day. AWD numbers just below threshold. One of the faster horses in the field of 23.

4th: AVERY ISLAND. Will play if 34-1 or worse. Somehow I don’t see that happening. Since Pool 1, he was 2nd in the Remsen, then won the Grade 3 Withers last week at 9 furlongs. Prior pace numbers a bit slow to rank him better. Sired by Street Sense, dam-sire is the world-class AP Indy. Positive pace progress, including 4 new tops (3 small).

3rd: GOOD MAGIC I will play if 16-1 or worse. Another I feel could be hugely played, and therefore one I could pass on. Status quo reigns, as he has not run since winning the BC Juvenile 11/4, earning a 105 BRIS. Sire is Curlin, dam-sire is Hard Spun. One of the faster horses in the group. Lot to like about him, tho he hasn’t run at CD yet.

2nd: FREE DROP BILLY I will wager on if he’s 38-1 or worse. Another who should be better than that anyway, so likely to pass him up. Since Pool 1, ran 2nd in the Holy Bull. Sired by Union Rags, damsire is Giant’s Causeway. One run at CD, a 77, winning his maiden debut at the 47k level last June. Somewhat uneven in pace, but did strike a 99 last time out in the Holy Bull.

1st: BOLT D’ORO: Only negative for him is that he’s stuck to racing in Cali and hasn’t seen CD yet. Otherwise, he’s fully qualified to be picked and to win. I avoided him last time because I felt he would be rather favored. Here it’s likely he’ll be better than 6-1 and probably one to pass. No races since Pool 1. Sire is Medaglia d’Oro, damsire AP Indy. 2 G1 wins, peak score of 105 in the Front RUnner, match with a 99 last out in the BC Juvenile.

The exacta wager will involve my top 3 to each other, plus the ‘all others” in spot #24.
Bolt d’Oro/Free Drop Billy/Good Magic are my top 3 here.
In Pool 1 I went this way:
Bolt D’Oro (7-1), Enticed (56-1), Good Magic (11-1), field

The Racing Biz and TVG Super 8 contest picks 2/3/18

I decided late Friday night on entering 2 full handicapping contests, something
I hadn’t done in a while. What’s not to love about 2 free contests, 8 races each,
with similar rules and stakes?
I’ll post my top 3 selections for each of the 16 races across the Racing Biz and
TVG contests for Saturday (today), and capsule thoughts on each top selection.
Overlay picks I’ll save for the Twitter presence at @idealisticstats

The Racing Biz, as usual, does a monthly contest focusing on mid-Atlantic
state racing. Today, the focus is on 8 races at Laurel Park, races 2-9. There is
a cold snap going on with a slight chance of snow.
Race 2: 4-1-6. 2 logical favorites, one longshot. Lady Terp with 7 wins in 30
starts here. Best speed figures for distance and track, easily the speed threat
here and a good pattern of BRIS figures in the 80s.
Race 3. 5-3-6. No direct access to past performances. I usually side with the
combined win % by jockey and trainer in this circumstance. Love Doctor is
trained by Thomas Iannotti IV, who has a 33% strike rate at the meet so far (1
win in 3 starts)
Race 4: 6-5-8. 2 value horses sandwiching the big favorite. Adversary on
layoff since 1/18, 2 works here in prep, good pedigree via Tapit on dam side.
1st race on reclaim by Sanchez-Salamon, who has 1 win in 3 starts and 2 of 3
in the money in 2018 for these circumstances.
Race 5: 5-4-3..Logical mild favorite ahead of value and longshot. Off Road 1
fast workout since last race 1/14, a race that saw him gain 3 lengths between
calls and later close to win. With trainer chance and slight gain in class, I say
he’s best of these.
Race 6: 2-6-5. Slight value ahead of longshot. Shackle Me Good best pedigree
here (Shackleford/Lovegood, out of Albert The Great). Best speed for distance,
82, acheived last September; 2 of 2 at the distance. New small top of 85 last
time out here on 1/8. Lone sprinter of the field; sprinters are 40% for the 8.5 .
furlong distance thus far, and 19% from posts 1-3.
Race 7: chalky pick of 7-1-8. Demon Buster best in speed as evidenced from
most recent races, all in the 70s. Was 5th of 8 while running 4 wide, but still
posted a 77, running on a good track cutting back from 7 to 5.5 furlongs. Only
early closer in the field
Race 8 : 5-3-6 again, little value ahead of longshot. Joy Drive impressed first
after layoff, with increase of 5 points at 1st call, and closed to leader by 1
length between calls. I like this combo of variables in general.
Race 9: 3-10-8. Lone longshot pick here, ahead of favorite and some more
value. Rescue Cat only early closer in the field. 2 fast works since trainer
change to 18% winner Wayne Potts, plus drop in class.
Picks are scored by mythical payouts at win and place based on a mythical $2
wager. Highest total payout wins out. Just one prize handed out here.

At TVG, the Super 8 continues to be offered. Today, any players with 5 or more
wins will cash out.
Santa Anita race 2: 6-1-3 Chalk to begin the contest. Core Beliefs 2nd start,
1st with Lasix, waiting 3 weeks to stretch out.
Golden Gate race 2: 2-6-4. More chalk. Kung Pow Chick off 3rd straight small
new top of 72, definitely consistent in speed.
Santa Anita race 3, Palos Verdes Stakes: 1-4-2. Roy H big favorite over value.
Gelding, son of More Than Ready off of 4 out of 5 triple-digit races and 4 wins
including at the top Grade 1 level. Best speed for distance and Santa Anita,
truly the speed here. Owns prior shipping wins. Only early-pressing horse of
the field.
Gulfstream Park race 10, Forward Gal Stakes: 8-7-6 Good value to upset in
this race from My Miss Lilly. Won her debut vs 60k maidens on a sloppy
Aqueduct tarck at 6 furlongs. 104 2nd call. 4 works in prep, all very fast.
Santa Anita race 4: 1-8-4 Tizanillusion the chalk over value horses. 96 score in
2016 at Belmont on turf is best for the surface of these. Last 4 races all in the
80s. Several shipping wins. Off since 11/11, has a number of good works here
at SA since.
Gulfstream Park race 11: Dania Beach Stakes: 1-6-8. Speed Franco, winner of
last year’s Pulpit, is my value pick over a favorite and longshot, in a very tough
race to handicap. Best scores for distance, track and surface. Bounced from
102 in the Pulpit to an 89 in the Kitten’s Joy, 6th. The wide trip and mediocre
pace probably hurt his chances. Only early/pressing horse in the field.
Santa Anita race 5. Robert B Lewis Stakes: 5-2-1. Mild favorite over value.
Shivermetimbers 4th in the Sham last out. All 4 races in the 90s, with 3rd
consecutive small new top.
Golden Gate race 6: 4-1-6. Mild value and longshot ahead of favorite. Midvale
Magic 8-2-0-2 here. Good run 1st after layoff and 5YO debut, with an
improvement at each call and 1.5 length gain on leader

Changes to these picks will be updated during the day, upon announcement of
scratches and changes.