2018 Preakness Stakes analysis/selections

Now for the boys’ turn, as I give you a capsule, horse-by-horse look at the Preakness.

QUIP won his maiden debut in September, then also in a 67k allowance race. Finished 7th in the Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade 2). Broke through in pace with a 98 following a 14-week layoff, debuting at 3 in the Tampa Bay Derby. Last out, was 2nd in the Arkansas Derby, scoring a 95. 4/14 is the longest wait for any of this 8-horse field to stretch further to 9.5 furlongs. 2 fast works at Keeneland in prep. Was 2nd at nearly each call in his last 2, both running at a snail’s pace.
Prediction: Winner.
Odds prediction: 8-5. Overlay.

LONE SAILOR came out of the Kentucky Derby with something of a setback from his lifetime best of 100 to 92. Given that his 100 score in the Lousiana Derby was 7 weeks ago, that still allows him time to run to that effort. He’s the lone closer of the field, too. He should require a fast pace early that slows down to average. Thomas Amoss, his trainer, did not make any notable adjustments for this horse in prep.
Prediction: 5th.
Odds prediction: 10-1. Overlay.

SPORTING CHANCE has shown a mixed bag of results in his 7 lifetime races. His 2 wins came early in his career: Maiden score at Saratoga with a strong 89, followed by a 98 in the Grade 1 Hopeful. Took in a lot of money since those races, and notably was DQ’d to 4th in the Blue Grass. Last outing was in the Pat Day Mile on Derby Day, with a troubled trip and a drop to 79 while finishing 4th. I can never trust a horse labeled as a sprinter who doesn’t have some share of the lead at any point.
Prediction: 8th.

DIAMOND KING has had a rather interesting 6 races under most folks’ radars…unless your radar was watching Laurel and Parx. Worst race of the bunch was the Kentucky Jockey Club, as he lost his rider. Of the races he’s finished, his worst was in his debut, finishing with an 87. Since the debacle at CD, he’s scored with 91, 93 and 95. Wins include the Heft and the Federico Tesio. Thing is, this is a big jump in class for him, and the speed figures aren’t quite up to par with those who ran in the Derby.
Prediction: 6th.

GOOD MAGIC I really liked in the Derby, running close to Justify all throughout. A fine career in 6 starts: 2nd in his maiden debut, 2nd in the Champagne, winner of the Breeders Cup Juvenile (105 Brisnet, his best), 3rd in the Fountain Of Youth, wins the Blue Grass, and 2nd in the Run for all those Roses. Best pattern of speed figures of this field (last 3 numbers were 99, 98, 98). Only early closer in the field. Requires an average pace throughout to get his pace set up.
Prediction: 2nd. If rain, drop to 3rd.
Odds prediction: 9-2.

TENFOLD was a maiden debut winner with a 92 as he wired a field of 10 at 8.5 furlongs. Won an optional claimer race of 75k, same distance and track. 5th in the Arkansas Derby. Lifetime speed figures are 92, 93, 94. Best AWD numbers of the field…pedigree is Curlin/Temptress, out of Tapit. Had a stalking trip in the AR Derby, made a wide move at the turn as well. The 94 score was fastest of those with a troubled trip coming in.
Prediction: 4th.
Odds prediction: 7-1. Overlay.

JUSTIFY is still a justified freak to me. Or…is he truly one of the greats, the immortals? What else does he need to do to justify how excellent of a career he’s had, after all the naysaying and questioning? His 102 in the Derby suggests he will certainly get this distance easily enough. Also, with the slight promise of an off-track, that 104 from his 2nd lifetime race makes him a bigger threat. In fact, the 102 score is actually a bounce from his 114 in the Santa Anita Derby. No question he’s the true speed. Is it enough? It might be
Prediction: 3rd. If there’s rain, 2nd.
Odds prediction: About 5-1.

BRAVAZO has wins from his 2nd maiden race, then a 62k optional claimer, then the Grade 2 Risen Star (lifetime best 98 Brisnet). Bounced to a 76 in the Louisiana Derby, and then back to 96 while finishing 6th in the KY Derby. He’s subject to a bounce this time around.
Prediction: 7th.

Top 3 in summary: 1-5-7….. Quip, Good Magic, Justify. Overlays are Quip, Lone Sailor, Tenfold.

Even with 2 ML favorites in my top 3, it’s an even more inviting sort of race to wager in. I can see using 1, 6, and 2 for wins, and under 5 and 7 for exactas. Also exactas using 5-1 and 7-1.

In terms of odds movement, the only trend I’m seeing is the money that Tenfold will take. People may overlook his pedigree, his fast troubled trip plus his slight gain on the leaders last time out.


2018 Black-Eyed Susans analysis, prediction

Time to go horse-for-horse in the big event for fillies this week, the Black-Eyed Susans. this race is 9 furlongs in length, for a purse of $250k. 10 fillies are contesting this race.

Check out my latest IS podcast (soon to be published) as I give you the audio version of my analysis and more.

TELL YOUR MAMA has run since late last summer, still a maiden after 10 races. She’s run from levels 51k to 74, eased out of the Breeders Cup Fillies, and was 4th in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Best score was 83 in her 4th race, going from route to sprint for the first time. Michael and Ann Ewing claimed this filly from original trainer RB Hess Jr after the GP Oaks, saw it finish 2nd with an 80 Brisnet last time out. RB Hess Jr claimed her back upon that effort. I’m noting that a generally positive sign, despite the slight bounce risk moving up 7 points in speed rating.
Prediction: 9th.

MIDNIGHT DISGUISE owns 4 wins in 6 races, including the Busher and Busanda, both at her home track of Aqueduct. 4th last out in the Grade 2 Gazelle. Her trip was somewhat wide all through that 9 furlong race, yet still managed an 85, not far off her lifetime best of 91 at age 2. Slight gain at 2nd call in the race also. Gets a positive jockey switch to Irad Ortiz Jr, and adds blinkers for the first time.
Prediction: 4th.
Odds prediction: 9-1.

COACH ROCKS was a filly I seriously liked early on, even if it took her 7 tries to break maiden. Followed it up with a win in the GP Oaks, then was 7th in the KY Oaks. Best current pace pattern among fillies (last 3 speed figures were 87, 93, 90).
Prediction: 5th.
Odds prediction: 9-1.

RED RUBY won the Martha Washington, then was 4th in the Honeybee. Both races at Oaklawn. Lifetime best of 92 set in her maiden win in November.. Off since 3/10, she has a prior win 1st off layoff, and is waiting the longest of these to stretch. 3 works in prep, 1 work very fast. Nice gain at 2nd call last out in the Honeybee.
Prediction: Winner.
Odds: 9-5

MIHRAB comes out of an optional claim win for 50k, this following 3 stakes events with mixed results. She set a nice lifetime best of 87, a spike up from her 58 in the GP Oaks. I have to forecast for a bounce.
Prediction: 7th

CS INCHARGE won in her 5th maiden race, backing that up with a win in Suncoast at Tampa Bay, then was 6th last out in the Ashland. She’s yet to surpass that 92 score from her graduation from maiden status. Considering there is rain in the forecast, and that she put forth a superb score on a muddy Keeneland track for the Ashland, she has to be given some favorable looks. If anything, she did improve at the first 2 calls first race after layoff.
Prediction: 6th.

GOODONEHONEY has won both of her lifetime races, a 6 furlong race on 3/24, and the Weber City Miss at 8.5 furlongs on 4/21. She threatens as the true speed of this 10-horse field, having also posted 2nd-call scores of 102 and 92. I can make her a contender on this alone.
Prediction: 3rd.
Odds: 7-1.

INDY UNION was 8th in the Miss Grillo, then won her 4th maiden race with a 93. After that, she bounced to 6th in the Demoiselle with a 71. Then was 2nd in the Weber City Miss, moving up to an 84, improving at each call from prior race first after layoff. Best AWD numbers of the field (pedigree is Union Rags/Fapindy, out of AP Indy). Regular rider Jose Ortiz Jr returns.
Prediction: 8th.
Odds: 44-1

SARA STREET won her 2nd maiden race, then was 2nd in the Busher and in the Gazelle. 99 in the Gazelle marks the best speed for today’s distance, and her 3rd consecutive gain. Possibility of a bounce here, especially as she eclipses the track par figure of 96.
Prediction: 10th
Odds: 44-1

STAKES ON A PLANE was 7th in her route debut, the Grade 2 Demoiselles on 12/2. Won a 50k optional claimer on a muddy Laurel track as she began her 3YO career. She spiked up to an 83 with that win. 4th in the Beyond The Wire with an 81, then 4th in the Weber City Miss, matching that 83 score. I like the recent pattern of speed figures, all following a 10 week layoff. Receives Lasix for the first time, usually a good future indicator. Also, she’s the lone closer of the field. With an average pace throughout, she has a real possibility to score an upset or at least run near the shorter-priced horses.
Prediction: 2nd
Odds: 3-1. Lone overlay of the field.

Top 3 here, therefore, are Red Ruby, Stakes On A Plane, and Goodonehoney (4-10-7). Coach Rocks is the lone filly beginning with odds better than 4-1. This suggests we’ll have a value-filled race.
I can see using 4 and 7 with each other and over 10 in exactas, saving the 10 for a win wager (plus under the narrow ML choice of Coach Rocks).

As mentioned, with rain forecast for the weekend in Baltimore, an off track must be factored in. Generally, I don’t put much stock in using simply the lifetime figures for conditions, so I can only give CS Incharge so much rope to do better.

Odds movers: Coach Rocks and Sara Street are definitely ones to take on more money by the public. From the back, Tell Your Mama and Mihrab also should be looked at favorably. Getting ignored will be longshot Stakes On A Plane, and Red Ruby. Of course, I happen to like both horses very much.

2018 Kentucky Derby post-mortem

My first thought in watching the race was seeing how some horses broke from the gate awkwardly. I couldn’t quite tell who was who, but I was eyeing whoever was trailing this field, worrying that one was one of my money horses. I figured the speed might hold up somewhat on this sloppy, sealed surface.
It was dizzying to watch the Trakus info, a sloppy effort in its own right…figuring that Vino Rosso was up front with the leaders, as well as Promises Fulfilled, and then….Justify just seemed to be near the lead the whole way and wasn’t going away. Freak!
I had the usual jitters before the race, needing to pee just 6 minutes putting all my wagers in. All $23 of wins and exactas.
I see Mendelssohn getting bumped around at the start….and 3 over 7 leading the race…no surprise… Bolt was looking good at the turn. I quietly worried about the hores I put more $ on. Promises Fulfilled was running like I figured….and even Firenze Fire, the 17-1 hopeful from the future wager field in pool 4. The field turns for home…and Justify isn’t going away. At all. The long stretch should be taking its toll. I’m thinking…Audible….Audible…get up Audible. I figured Good Magic should be making some progress….but Justify manages to hang on.
Ugh. I sat frozen, wondering if maybe I had tossed a bunch of $ away again. I have never done very well on Derby Day itself. I did have Justify, along with the other top 2 in the wagering, 10 and 14….Mendelssohn and Good Magic, ahead of 3 overlays in Instilled Regard (whom I did figure correctly to finish 4th), Promises Fulfilled (flamed out halfway through I think) and Audible. I also had Audible, Good Magic, Promises Fulfilled and Instilled Regard to win.
None of these picks factored. I had secretly hoped Audible would find his way to 2nd, scoring a decent exacta. But, no chance of that happening. Not today, not on this surface or that pace.
I scrambled to read my notes, hoping to see if my future wagers would hit at all. Here’s the final tally:

Pool 1: I did select Good Magic along with Bolt d’Oro and Enticed with the field in a $1 exacta box. I scored $26.20 with that hit. I guess it’s like playing 0 or 00 in roulette…you know, somehow, they will hit eventually. Good Magic was a solid pick. Playing the field was a ‘junk bond’ sort of opportunity (Martin Asinari’s term), but it was effective.
Sire Future Wager: Here was the winning play…well, almost. If you had Scat Daddy in this wager, who had 9 offspring eligible, including Mendelssohn, Flameaway and others, plus Justify, you scored at 26-1.
If you were sporting enough to play a Scat Daddy/Curlin exacta from this wager, go to the head of the handicapping class and collect $505 for your $2 wager. I did like Curlin a bit in this wager, but my wager here would have been Megdalia d’Oro, Tapit, Curlin, field. I figured, 8-1 the worst odds of these…no real point in making a wager here. Well, not choosing Curlin, 5th in my rankings, was a bit of a mistake. I liked Scat Daddy for Combatant’s run at CD and for Mendelssohn’s Breeders Cup win. I just plain lucked out re Justify’s appearance late on the Trail.
Pool 2: I was working on a tight budget. I couldn’t really figure how to get Good Magic under a field selection in an exacta…yet that would have been the winning play. I missed that opportunity, however logical it would have been to try. Good Magic was definitely in my top 3, and the field normally would have been part of my wagers.
Pool 3 did reveal Justify to be a candidate for the Derby, so he was out of ‘field’ status. I continued to like Good Magic but not this freak of a Scat Daddy colt. He didn’t even rank in my top 11 out of these 23 individual selections.
Pool 4 comes and goes and Justify got as far as 5th in my rankings. I use only my top 3 to each other and the field. I could not second-guess my rankings, so I’m not going to cry over missing this opportunity.

Oaks Future Wager, as you know, is one to cry about. The exacta that I could not get to wager on was the actual result. Monomoy Girl/Wonder Gadot were my top 2 and they finished just that way. I missed out on a nice exacta for $1….would have earned me $48.40.
I did play Monomoy Girl at 6-1 for win in that wager. For the race itself, I used her only over 3 others in exactas, none named Wonder Gadot. I did cancel a win bet on here which would have hit.

Here’s the sum total of my wagers involving both races:

Pool 1: $10 in win bets, $12 in exactas. $22 total. Payout: $26.20
Sire future wager: $10 in win bets. Payout: $54.80
Pool 2: $10 in win wagers, $8 in exactas. $18 out. Payout: $0
Pool 3: $6 in win wagers, $12 in exactas. $18 total. Payout: $0
Pool 4: $6 in win wagers, $12 in exactas. $18 total. Payout: $0.
Oaks Pool: $6 in win wagers, $6 in exactas. $12 total. Payout: $14.40

I spent $87 in future wagers, with a barely profitable $95.40.

Oaks race itself, I wagered $4 in wins, $9 in exactas. $13 out. Payout: $0.
Derby was a $23 investment….$8 in wins, $15 in exactas. Payout: $0.

Do I change my strategy for the round of future wagers? Well, I never play daily doubles, but I would have lost if I tried to go against Justify at the time it was offered. Maybe a Sire future wager exacta? Sure, why not?

I’m very happy to have profited at all and to have made some intelligent predictions. I regret still that I could have made some profitable wagers, had I not waited too long.

Looking forward to the next Trails! After the Belmont Stakes, I’ll begin to work on the 2018-9 edition. I’m glad that more legit horses got to the gate and that one of them deservedly won.

2018 Kentucky Derby analysis

Here’s the horse-by-horse analysis for the 2018 Kentucky Derby:

1 FIRENZE FIRE Deep closer, needs average pace. No impact in my choice of contenders. He lacks in every single variable. I do have him in Future Wagers Pool 3 and 4 as a field selection, hooked up to Bolt d’Oro, Enticed, Good Magic and Free Drop Billy over and under.

2 FREE DROP BILLY is my big money horse. 3 runs in the 90s last 3 races, ahead of a 71 score in last year’s Breeders Cup Juvenile. I’m worried about a bounce. He does switch back to Robby Albarado, rider of his 2 lifetime wins. Late runner who needs a pace collapse. Not at all likely to score. I do have 2 straight win bets (33-1, 44-1) and multiple exactas via the Future Wager, plus one in the Sire futures.

3 PROMISES FULFILLED is the one big sprinter in the field. Can he run like he did 2 races back, wiring the field in the Fountain of Youth? He already bounced in the Florida Derby, so why not play the bounceback? Prior win while gaining significantly in weight. My odds: 7-1. He deserves a look as an overlay. Should set an average pace here, slowing down some in the later stages. Likely to be ignored by the betting public. One of several predicted overlays for me.
Prediction: 2nd.
Future Wager impact: Field selection from Pools 1 and 2.

4: FLAMEAWAY with 3 runs from 97 to 101, ahead of a 90 4 races back. Another that could bounce on Saturday. Relies on an average pace, with best runs on the backstretch. One to avoid. Another big money horse, as I have him as a field selection from pools 1 and 2…and 42-1 win bet in Pool 4, not to mention a Sire future.

5 AUDIBLE looks very much the Derby contender, what with 4 wins and a 3rd in 5 lifetime. Set lifetime best of 105 in the Holy Bull, matched with a 107 in the Florida Derby. Todd Pletcher has done the best with him than any other horse here. Jockey switch back to Javier Castellano, who scored 2 of Audible’s 4 wins. Gained 6 lbs carried to 122 in winning the Florida Derby, another 4 gained today. Florida Derby win came first after layoff, improving 6.5 lengths at 2nd call and a gain of 10 Brisnet speed from prior race to that point. He’s an overlay for me, as my odds for him are 5-2, much better than ML of 8-1. Relies on fast pace early that becomes average later.
Prediction: Winner.
Future wager impact: 7-1 out of Pool 4, field selection from pool 1. Sire future wager too.

6 GOOD MAGIC also has done stellar work in his 5 lifetime races. This late runner will need the pace to go from fast to average. Best pace pattern in the field…lifetime numbers are 92, 96, 105, and a pair of 98s. I like him as 9-1. ML suggests 12-1. Could he be headed for overlay status?
Prediction: 4th.
Future wager impact: Multiple exactas from all 4 pools (Bolt, Enticed, Free Drop Billy, and field in all of them), plus straight win of 11-1 in Pool 1, and 6-1 from the Sire future. Another money horse.

7 JUSTIFY has perhaps the biggest target of all the horses. I know he’ll get bet down from his ML status as fave. And he’s for certain the true speed. Is it enough tho? There’s not much evidence to suggest he’ll be in the top 4. But i won’t throw him out entirely. I can’t anyway: He’s a Sire future pick via Scat Daddy, and appears as a field horse out of pools 1 and 2, He needs a fast pace that slows to average. I’ll likely use him over my overlays.
Prediction: 6th.

8: LONE SAILOR has only barely improved on his maiden win, only doing better last time out, spiking to a 100 score in the Louisiana Derby. Deep closer needing fast pace early, average later. Waiting since 3/24 to stretch out. Foreseeing a bounce here.
Future wager impact: Field selection in pools 2 and 3.

9 HOFBURG gained sharply in Brisnet speed in his last 2 races,
and that always suggests a likely bounce. He is a closer relying on a pace collapse. With 20-1 ML odds, he actually should be taking some notice by the public. He won’t rank here for me.
Future wager impact: Field selection in pools 1, 2,3, plus Sire future

10 MY BOY JACK with 10 races lifetime, winning 2 Graded Stakes along the way. Nice recent run of 90s Brisnet races. Forged 3 small new tops in 3 of last 4 races. Still, I can’t find room in here to rank him with my contenders, nor even grant him odds. Late closer that needs very fast pace early, down to just fast later.
Future wager impact: Field selection in pools 1 and 2.

11 BOLT d’ORO seemed to be the ideal Derby horse despite his very fast figures. Hasn’t won since the Front Runner on 9/30. He did surpass his 2YO best last time out with a 110 in the Santa Anita Derby. I am concerned about him bouncing from that number. Despite this, he has the best AWD numbers in the field (Medaglia d’Oro/Globe Trot, via AP Indy). One of a handful of horses who have also recently made a small new top at 3. Relies on an average pace. Probably a big underlay here as I have him at 29-1, not at all near his ML status of 8-1.
Prediction: 8th.
Future Wager impact: Multiple exactas with Enticed, Free Drop Billy, Good Magic, plus all field selections across the 4 pools. Straight up win at 8-1 also.

12 ENTICED has alternating wins across his 6 races, and he was 2nd last out in the Wood Memorial…so, is that a good sign? He’s got the best Churchill Downs speed of this field, a 93, from his win in the KY Jockey Club Grade 2 event. Closer who needs a fast pace. He should be taking more $, bet down from his 30-1. I think that’s about the right price tho, at 29-1.
Prediction: 7th
Future wager impact: 29-1 from pool 1, and exactas with Bolt and Good Magic (along with field selections in pools 1 and 4 over and under), a field selection in pool 3.

13 BRAVAZO appeared as a legit candidate after scoring in the Risen Star, but bounced last time out in the LA Derby. I’m hoping for the bounceback angle, especially in that he’s waiting since 3/24 to stretch. Backstretch runner that needs fast pace early, average later in the race. Best works in the field, with 4 at CD, 3 of them very fast.
Future wager impact: Field selection in pools 1 and 2, plus 40-1 pick in pool 3.

14 MENDELSSOHN might be the big scary horse for me. I might use him over overlays but that’s about it. Having to resort to the Racing Post’s RPR ratings, I figure that he recently set a new small top. And that UAE Derby win was something special. Based on his one win here in the States, I can assume this late runner needs a fast pace throughout. You know he’ll take a lot of money on Saturday. I don’t like him in this race ultimately.
Future wager impact: Sire future wager of 26-1. Thank goodness for the late great Scat Daddy.

15 INSTILLED REGARD improved to 102 last time out in the Santa Anita Derby, just past his 100 best at 2. He ran a distant 4th to Justify but still has the figure to hang his hat onto. Considering his 3 wide move in that race, his trip could be given a big asterisk, with the promise of a better race to come. Improved by 4 points on his previous 2nd call score, first after layoff. Also gained 3 lengths on the leader at the 2nd call point. The 102 score does match track par, and it came after a 95 score. I might consider a bounce here. I like him at 3-1, much better than the estimated 50-1 for ML. Big time overlay that I will surely use in my wagers.
Prediction: 3rd
Future wager impact: Field selection in pool 1.

16 MAGNUM MOON is undefeated in 4 races, with runs from 90 to 100. Won the Arkansas Derby with a gain of 7 lbs, and carries 4 more on Saturday. Early/presser that needs a slow pace throughout. I don’t know if he is legit at 6-1, as I don’t see much evidence across all the variables for him to do well. He will get bet down considerably, just not by me.
Future wager impact: Field selection in pools 1 and 2.

17 SOLOMINI has 2 wins, one being the Cash Call Futurity at Los Alamitos. He scored a 101 in that race, and put up 95 and 96 since. In the money all 7 lifetime starts. Can’t really take a big stand for or against him here. Early closer needing an average pace.
Future wager impact: 25-1 from pool 4, 19-1 in Pool 2, 6-1 via Sire future.

18 VINO ROSSO won the Wood Memorial with a 102, just beyond his 3YO debut at 100. In between those he ran 4th in the Tampa Bay Derby. Perhaps the 100 score was a correction in his pace form as he was just off layoff in the SF Davis. Is he primed to score bigger here? Deep closer needing slow pace.
Future wager impact: Field selections in Pool 1, 3, 4

19 NOBLE INDY has great lifetime stats from his 4 races..3 wins, with scores between 95 and 100. Gotta wonder how he’s 30-1 ML. Plus he’s waiting since 3/24 to race again.
Prediction: 5th
Future wager impact: Field selection in pools 1 and 2.

20 COMBATANT hasn’t won since his maiden victory. He did place in the Springboard Mile, the Smarty Jones, the Southwest and the Rebel, all while acheiving speed figures in the 90s. Posted lifetime best of 96 2 races back.
Has no redeeming trainer angles. Early closer who depends on a hot early pace, decelerating to decent fast late.
Future wager impact: Pool 1 field selection.

21 BLENDED CITIZEN is the also-eligible horse, tho I had thought that horses 21-24 are also AE. Only thing in his favor is the opportunity to bounce back, this following a 93 in the Blue Grass, and a pair of 100s before that. Deep closer that needs a consistent fast pace.
Future wager impact: Field selection in all 4 pools.

Predicted order of finish for my top 8:


Kentucky Oaks 2018 analysis

It’s time to go horse by horse for this year’s Kentucky Oaks!

1 SASSY SIENNA won the Fantasy Stakes last time out. Never broke into the 90s for her Brisnet speed ratings. She relies on a fast pace all through the race to win, doing her best run on the backstretch. Probably finishes middle of the pack. Not a contender.

2 COACH ROCKS won the Gulfsream Park Oaks last time out. Best AWD numbers of the field Oxbow/Mexican Moonlight, out of the Irish bred El Prado). Set 2 new tops last 2 races with 90 and 93. Could bounce from those numbers. Won last time out first after layoff with a 4 point increase in 2nd call numbers, and 1 length gained on the leader. I feel her odds are 9-5, not her 12-1 at morning-line. A true overlay. She’s one of several that will still take less money than others. Requires an average pace, running best on the backstretch.
Prediction: Winner.
Future Wager impact: Win, and exactas with field selections over and under (in this case, My Miss Lilly, Chocolate Martini, and Kelly’s Humor)

3 CLASSY ACT was 2nd in the Rachel Alexandra, 4th in the Fair Grounds Oaks. This pure sprinter has the best tactical speed of the field; her 1st call numbers in her last 3 races are 111, 104, 99. Trainer Bret Calhoun has done the best with her compared to others. Positive jockey switch back to Brian Hernandez Jr, with whom this filly has won both lifetime races. Blinkers off for the first time in 5 races. She’s also the only sprinter of the field, needing a very fast pace all through the race to win. Probably gets ignored somewhat in the wagering. I think she’s worth 2-1. ML is 15-1, a true overlay here. Best workout tab of the field: 4 runs at CD, all very fast, plus a bullet work on 4/21 going 5 furlongs, breezing in 59 seconds.
Prediction: 2nd.

4: CHOCOLATE MARTINI won the Fair Grounds Oaks last time out. Last 2 races saw her score 90 and 91, well above prior bests, so she is a bounce risk. My odds are 17-1, worse than ML of 12-1. LIkely to take on more $ than some others. Needs a fast consistent pace for this race, running best on the backstretch.
Prediction: 5th.
Future Wager impact: Field selection, using over/under my chosen 3 of Coach Rocks, Wonder Gadot, Monomoy Girl.

5th: WONDER GADOT won the Demoiselle and the Mazarine. Gained 1.5 lengths on leader in the Fantasy Stakes last time out by 2nd call. Seems to lack enough evidence for a win. This late running filly needs a slow pace that slows even further for her to win out. Not a contender, despite positive jockey switch back to John Velazquez.
Future Wager impact: Win, plus exactas over/under field selections.

6 KELLY’S HUMOR won the Ellis Park Debutante last summer. 2nd in the Pocahontas, 2nd in the Beaumont. Improved 2nd call numbers first after layoff last time out. This backstretch runner needs a very fast pace all through the race. Not a contender.
Future wager impact: Field selection hooked up with my chosen 3 over/under.

7 RAYYA is the question mark, with races at Dubai before making her US debut this week. 2nd by 18 lengths last time out in the UAE Derby to Mendelssohn. Based on her Racing Post Ratings, she bounced in pace last time. I am aiming for a bounce back here somehow. Gained a bit on Mendelssohn by the 2nd call before picking up the pieces last time. 1st time Lasix recipient here. Probably worth 17-1, worse than ML of 12-1. Unsure of her true pace parameters. She’ll take less $ than others.
Prediction: 6th.

8 HEAVENHASMYNIKKI was 4th in the Forward Gal, 3rd in the Davona Dale. Only filly in the field to win 1st off layoff. Assumed the lead by 2nd call last time out. Not liking her much at all…maybe 60-1, or worse if we have rain….close to her 50-1 ML odds. She’ll get ignored a bit by the public as well. This backstretch runner needs a slow pace throughout.
Prediction: 8th.

9: TAKE CHARGE PAULA becomes a bit of a threat if we have rain. Her lone off-track race was her lifetime best of 97, in the House Party Stakes at Gulfstream. Also won the Forward Gal and the Smart Halo. Besides these efforts, she does add blinkers. Needs a solid average pace. Is not even close to being worth 15-1 ML.
Prediction: 9th

10: MIDNIGHT BISOU has 3 wins and 2 seconds lifetime. Wins in the Santa Anita Oaks, the Santa Ysabel and the Santa Ynez. All speed figures in the 90s. Lifetime best of 96, small new top last time out. Gained 3.25 lengths at 2nd call last race. I respect the efforts but seems outclassed here. Probably worth 17-1, not truly running like 5-2 ML odds. Needs slow pace throughout, running best in the backstretch.
Prediction: 7th.

11: MY MISS LILLY won the Gazelle, was 3rd in the Busher and in the Forward Gal. Gazelle win was a 99 for 9 furlongs, best score for today’s distance. I like the score, but she is a bounce risk, moving from an 86 number prior. Should be taking a lot more money than most. 10-1 ML odds are fair; I think she’s actually about 13-1. Late runner needing an average pace. I’m assuming the bounce will occur today, as her scores eclipse the track par by too much.
Future wager impact: Field.

12: PATRONA MARGARITA won the Pocahontas here last September. Small gain on the leader last time out in the Ashland Stakes, tho didn’t improve in 2nd call speed. Not at all a contender for me. Late runner who needs a pure pace collapse.

13 ESKIMO KISSES was 2nd in the Fair Grounds Oaks and in the Ashland. 3 runs in the 90s..a slight bounce risk today. Fastest non-winner trouble trip of this field with the 91 score in the Ashland, circling 4 wide and running with heart. If this deep closer can run like that today, she’s a legit contender. In fact, she’s the lone deep closer here. True overlay, as I like her for 9-1, better than ML of 15-1. Needs fast pace early that slows somewhat later. This longshot threatens to be seriously ignored by the public.
Prediction: 4th.

14 MONOMOY GIRL is the ML fave at 2/1. I think she’s more like 5-1 but still definitely a serious contender. 5 wins in 6 races. Best CD speed of the field; 97 in the Rags to Riches, 99 in the Golden Rod. I measure her to having the best pure speed of the field, with runs in the high 90s, plus the fastest pace pattern. She relies on an average pace to win from the backstretch. Deserves to be the favorite as determined by the public.
Prediction: 3rd.
Future Wager impact: Wins and exactas.

My running order:
Overlays: Coach Rocks, Classy Act, Eskimo Kisses.
Horses taking most $: My Miss Lilly, Chocolate Martini, Monomoy Girl
Horses taking less: A list headed by Eskimo Kisses, followed by Coach Rocks, Classy Act, Rayya, Heavenhasmynikki.
Future Wager summary:
$2 win bets on Monomoy Girl at 6-1, Wonder Gadot at 21-1, Coach Rocks at 60-1.
$1 Exactas: Monomoy Girl, Wonder Gadot, Coach Rocks over and under the field at 5-1 (My Miss Lilly, Chocolate Martini, Kelly’s Humor)
$12 total investment.

Predicted wagers:
Wins on overlays, plus Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou over them in exactas, $12 invested overall. All subject to change based on actual odds movement.

Later I will have thoughts on the Kentucky Derby.
Hear my latest IS podcasts that includes analysis on both races! https://archive.org/details/IdealisticStats050118 and on anchor.fm   https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/e1dupd


Idealistic Stats podcast 4/1/18

This podcast was recorded on 5/1/18. I introduce my Enlightened Trails series (my version of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Trails), plus a horse-by-horse analysis of the 2018 Derby and Oaks.

I have since made a few different decisions of some horses. Please check my blog posts for the very lastest.

This program is available at the Internet Archive  https://archive.org/details/IdealisticStats050118

and primarily via Anchor.fm https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/e1dupd

This program created and hosted by Dan Herman

Co-produced with the assistance of DJ Flowerdove  http://www.soundcloud.com/flowerdove2168
Twitter: @flowerdove2168