1/26/19 Gulfstream Park racecard analysis

Quickly, here are my top 3 for races 1 through 10 at Gulfstream, all on the underside of the co-featured Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational and World Cup races.
Race 1: 7-5-14
Race 2: 4-9-1
Race 3: 4-1
Race 4: 13-12-7
Race 5: 4-9
Race 6: 3-7-14
Race 7: 1-8-6
Race 8: 6-9-7
Race 9: 6-9-8
Race 10: 4-8-2
With all the scratches and changes, haven’t considered any overlays in the races with such. I do see races 6 and 8 being the closest finishes, while races 4, 9 and 10 promising to have my top horse dominate these.

2019 Pegasus World Cup analysis

The big race itself, the $9 million
Pegasus World Cup pits the best
horses 3YO+, running 9 furlongs
at Gulfstream Park. Here’s my
analysis:

BRAVAZO last won nearly a year
ago in the Risen Star. Had a rather
stellar career up to that point, but
has shown mixed results. Lifetime
best of 105 running 3rd in the BC
Dirt Mile 2 races back. It’s paired
up with a 102 in the Clark
Handicap, finishing 2nd. 4 bullet
works in prep at Oaklawn. Did not
put him in my odds profile but I
do figure he’ll get 4th.

SOMETHING AWESOME won last
year’s General George and Charles
Town Classic. Lifetime best in the
latter a 101, 3 races and 9 months
ago. After a bounce to 78 in the
Pimlico Special, he took 6 months
off, then was 2nd in an allowance
race at Laurel. A prior winner first
off layoff. A busy work tab since
his last race, including a bullet
work at GP on 1/20. Projected
odds: 5-1. Overlay. Prediction:
Outside my top 5..dark horse.

CITY OF LIGHT is 5 of 10, with all
10 in the money. Winner of the BC
Dirt Mile last out with a 111. Also
won the Oaklawn Handicap, the
Triple Bend and Malibu. Her lone
9-furlong race, the Oaklawn, was
run at a swift 108 clip, fastest for
the distance of this field. Slight
possibility of a bounce, but there’s
no denying he’s the dominant
speed here. He’s waited since
11/3 also to stretch out. 2 bullet
works among a busy work
schedule. Projected odds: 5-2.
He’s considered the favorite and I
will play accordingly, figuring he
will win this race.

SEEKING THE SOUL won the Ack
Ack, a Grade 3 race, at Churchill
last year. Lifetime best of 108 was
set in the BC Dirt Mile 2 races
back. Attempting to defend his
2017 title in the Clark, he ran a 98
and was 3rd. Off since 11/23. He
sorely lacks in many categories
compared to this stellar field.
Pass.

ACCELERATE won 5 Grade 1 races
last year. The big one was the
Pacific Classic, a 114 score. He
matched City Of Light’s 108 from
the Oaklawn. Following the
Pacific, he scored 106 in both the
Awesome Again and the BC
Classic, winning both. Projected
odds: 7-1. I like him for 3rd here.

TOM’s d’ETAT won the Tenacious
at Fair Grounds last time out, just
before Christmas, with a 96. It
could be seen as a bounce, as he
did run in triple figures the prior 3
races. Best pedigree coming in:
Smart Strike/Julia Tuttle, out of
Giant’s Causeway. He’d be the one
eligible horse to bounce back
from a slower effort. It was a
quality start, tho. He had been off
for 7 weeks, and posted a slightly
higher 2nd call number, while
gaining 2 lengths to match strides
with the leading horse.
His connections haven’t competed
at GP yet. Projected odds: 5-1, a
certain overlay. Not in my top 5
but will likely use him with my top
choices.

TRUE TIMBER gains 8 lbs to carry
for this race. 12 of 17 in the
money and on a 7-race streak of
such. No Graded wins yet. Small
new top of 109 last time out in the
Cigar Mile, tho had a 6-wide trip
in the process. Not very
impressive but I have him at 9-1
odds, an overlay. Maybe he can
score close to triple digits again. I
like him for 5th overall.

GUNNEVARA has 6 wins in 19
lifetime, and 4 wins (plus 8 in the
money) out of 9 here at GP. He has
no place on my radar, despite an
increase to 105 running 2nd in the
BC Classic last time out. He
appears to be overclassed here.
Pass.

KUKULKAN, running in Mexico, is
pretty much a mystery horse. All I
see is that he’s an absolute
champion at the Graded level
there, winning all 14 of his races.
Is he for real? I wonder. There’s no
measure of his pace figures
anywhere. Given the lack of
knowledge and info, I must pass.

AUDIBLE won last year’s FL Derby,
Holy Bull and Cherokee Run. 8 for
8 in the money lifetime,a nd 3-2
-1-0 at GP. 107 tops this field for
best track speed, achieved in the
FL Derby. Adding 8 lbs to carry
for this race, which was a move
that helped him in the
aforementioned race. My odds: 7
-1. I predict he will finish 2nd and
be the best of the bona fide value
horses.

IMPERATIVE hasn’t won since the
2017 CT Classic. The 44-race vet
at age 9 just doesn’t match up
with these at all. Pass.

PATTERNRECOGNITION is 11-5-
5-0 lifetime, winning his 3 last,
including the Grade 2 Kelso and
Grade 1 Cigar Mile. The one horse
that put up a small new top
surpassing that of his prior
campaign. 109 in the Cigar is
rather strong. With the track par at
106, I have to wonder if he will
bounce from that effort. Gonna
take a stand against him here.

Top 5: City Of Light, Audible,
Accelerate, Bravazo, True Timber.
With 2 morning line favorites in
my top 3, this race seems less of a
value race than the Turf.

2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational analysis

PEGASUS WORLD CUP TURF
INVITATIONAL pits 10 of the best
turf runners on the planet. This is
the prelude to the Pegasus World
itself, 9.5 furlongs for 3YO+,
racing for a $7 million purse.
Here’s my horse-by-horse
analysis:
Magic Wand is an Ireland-bred
horse with great pedigree
(Galileo/Prudenzia, out of Dansili).
Using Dr. Steve Roman’s
compatility chart for speed
figures, it seems that this horse
owns the fastest figures for the
distance out of these 10 horses.
This was in the Longines Prix de
l’Opera at Longchamp back in
October. Bounced a bit with her
US debut last time out, running
4th in the Breeders Cup Filly/Mare
Turf. Wayne Lordan and Aidan
O’Brien have no record at
Gulfstream just yet. Carries 8 lbs
less than prior race. Projected
odds: 14-1. One of the 2 absolute
dark horses.

Yoshida has won 5 of 12 lifetime,
including last year’s Hill Prince,
the Turf Classic and Woodward, all
G1 races. Won the Turf Classic
with a 7 month layoff. Last 2 races
were small new tops, both triple
digits. With his last 3 races,
including the Breeders Cup Classic
and the Fourstardave, this is the
speed horse. The 104 BRIS figure
last time might be a bit slow, as
he bobbled at the start, and was
very wide at the 2nd turn. My
projected odds: 2-1. One of my
top 2 horses.

Channel Maker comes in with 2
races at GP. Fastest turf speed of
the field, a 106 in the 2017
Hollywood Derby. Winner of the
Bowling Green and the Turf Classic
Invitational at Belmont. Bounced
considerably in the BC Turf last
time out. I love his 2nd call speed,
suggesting his path and pattern in
the backstretch is key; he could
take over and win if he gets the
right setup. He’d need a rather
slow pace up front which quickens
later. My odds: 14-1. Another
dark horse.

Aerolithe has raced only in Japan,
and has 4 wins in 13 races, 3 of
them Graded. 2 wins have come
first off layoff. Her connections
have yet to compete at GP. I’m
impressed by her recent pattern.
Converting from UK’s Racing Post
Ratings, she would have the
equivalent of 2 triple digit runs
plus one in the 90s in her last 3
races. Carries 9 lbs less than prior
race. One of 3 horses I’m
absolutely tossing from the field.

Next Shares won last year’s Old
Friends Stakes and the Shadwell
Turf Mile, the latter with a lifetime
best 104. Lacks in all categories in
this field but does bring back
Tyler Gaffalione aboard, hoping to
recapture the spark of chemistry
from the 104 score. Not sure it
will happen here. Pass.

Fahan Mura won last year’s
Osunitas, Swingtime and RJ
Frankel Stakes. Bounced to an 88
in the Matriarc, then scored high
again with a 96 winner in the
Frankel. As with sprinters, there is
a fair chance she bounces again.
Pass.

Bricks and Mortar 5 wins and 2
3rds in 7 lifetime. Wins include
the Manila and the Hall of Fame.
Won both of his GP races. 1st after
layoff he improved considerably at
2nd call while gaining on the
leader. I like this particular angle a
lot. Projected odds: 8-1. I see
him finishing 5th.

Delta Prince has a lot going for
him. 10 of 11 in the money. Won
last year’s King Edward Stakes.
Gains an extra 5 lbs to carry here,
which was no barrier earlier in his
career. 2 wins in 3 GP races.
Blinkers come off. Stretches back
out to a route, and waiting since
early November to do so. I like the
move back from dirt to his more
familiar turf style. Projected odds:
7-2. I like him as one of the 2
overlays here and as a narrow
winner.

Catapult won last year’s Eddie
Read and the Del Mar Mile. Like
Delta Prince, he has waited since
the Breeders Cup meet to race and
stretch out. Worked 8 times since
the BC Mile, all at Santa Anita. 6 of
those have been rather fast. I
project him at 8-1. Should be in
the mix but I like him only for 4th
here.

Dubby Dubbie comes out of a 96
score, a win which was his lifetime
best. It was a good quality effort,
surging halfway through the race.
There’s a good chance he could
bounce here. Meanwhile, with 2
months off, he worked 4 times,
twice at GP. He is projected at 8
-1 odds, and certainly an overlay.
I like him narrowly for 3rd.

Top 5: Delta Prince, Yoshida,
Dubby Dubbie, Catapult, Bricks
and Mortar.

Back a bit later for the Pegasus
World Cup capsule analysis.

#2 MLB game of 2018: Twins/Indians 4/18/18

Twins 2, Indians 1, in 16 innings. All runs took place after the 13th. The game was held at Estadio Hiram Bithorn in San Juan, PR and went 5 hours 13 minutes, longest game in terms of time there. Fittingly 2 PR natives contribute strongly to the fireworks.

23 Indians got into the game, compared to the Twins total of 18.
A fine 7 inning duel took place between Carlos Carrasco and Jose Berrios. Carrasco surrendered 3 hits and a walk, striking out 7. Berrios allowed 3 hits and K’d 5. He also set down 16 in a row during the game.

Cody Allen had the high pressure with 3.71 aLI, most by either team’s pitchers. Zach Duke’s total was 3.52.

Just 4 of the 25 hits in this game were of the extra base variety.

For the winning Twins, Joe Mauer, Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar had 2-hit days, and Ryan LaMarre, subbing for Max Kepler, went 3-for-4. LaMarre managed no activity in CF during his time on field. Logan Morrison went 0-for-7, striking out twice. Robbie Grossman had the high aLI of 2.62.
10 Indians managed at least one hit. Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion had 2 each, batting 4th and 5th in the lineup. Leadoff hitter Francisco Lindor had the grand sombrero, 4 Ks in 6 ABs. PH Brandon Guyer had a 3.43 aLI, and Lindor managed a 2.34.

Indians threatened straight away in the top of the 1st, with Jason KIpnis and Michael Brantley getting singles, but Encarnacion grounding out to end the threat.
Bottom 1st: Brian Dozier leadoff single is a decent start, as well as a steal of 2nd, but Eddie Rosario fails to score him.

Bottom 5th: Kepler singles, Grossman walks, then Carrasco Ks Castro and Dozier.

Top 8th: Zimmer singles with 2 out and then steals 2nd. Lindor strikes out.

Top 9th: Brantley gets a 2 out single, as done Encarnacion. Yonder Alonso fouls out on the 3rd base side.

Top 10th: Roberto Perez singles to lead off vs Zach Duke, advances to 2nd on an E-4. Greg Allen Ks. Guyer grounds PR Rajai Davis over to 3rd. Lindor gets an IW; the ploy works as Kipnis flies out.

Bottom 11th: Joe Mauer gets a 2-out double, but Miguel Sano grounds out.

Top 12th: Yonder Alonso singles to lead off vs Ryan Pressly. Erik Gonzalez PRs and takes 2nd on a WP. Rajai Davis flies out deep. Pressly induces 2 consecutive ground outs.

Bottom 12th: Rosario leads off with a single vs Cody Allen. Logan Morrison flies out deep. Escobar singles Rosario over to 3nrd. Escobar advances to 2nd with no throw. LaMarre Ks and Grossman lines out.

Top 14th: Encarnacion homers off Trevor Hildenberger.

Bottom 14th: Miguel Sano leads off with a solo homer of his own, off Matt Belisle. Rosario pops out, Morrison grounds out. Escobar and LaMarre manage singles. Grossman fails in the clutch, grounding out.

Top 15th: Yan Gomes starts the inning with a double. Alan Busenitz in to pitch. Guyer earns an HBP. Lindor Ks, and Kipnis GDPs.

Bottom 15th: Joe Mauer singles with 2 out, advances to 3B following a WP. Sano flies out to end the threat.

Top 16th: Jose Ramirez gets a leadoff BB. Brantley fouls out to the catcher, Encarnacion Ks. Gonzalez singles Ramirez to 2nd. Davis Ks.

Bottom 16th. Josh Tomlin pitching. Rosario leads off with a single. Morrison gets aboard via a grounder to 2nd, as 2B Kipnis attempts a forceout and commits an error. Escobar gets an IW. LaMarre singles up the middle to win the game for the Twins.

Box score:

Condensed game:

TVG Super 5 selections, 1/9/19

All races take place at Gulfstream Park. I need to hit 4 winners out of my top selections to share in a $5k prize.

Race 6: Non-winners of 2, $6250 tag, for fillies/mares 4YO bred in FL. They go 1 mile on the dirt. Top 3 here are She’s No Joke, Zarabanda and Jordy’s Ready.
Zarabanda is one of two overlays here at 30-1. 9 weeks removed from her lifetime best of 76, she’s yet to win at GP; 4 times in the money out of 11 here. Track bias suits her perfectly here. In 50 races at the mile distance here, sprinters have won 42%, and 20% on the rail. The only downside is that she hasn’t been anywhere near the lead in her last 3 races. I still like here to be in the top 3 and produce some value here among the chalk. The other overlay is Casual Caro. Slow but consistent pace pattern in her last 3 races, and also posted her lifetime best 4 races ago.
Race 7 is for 50k FL maidens, going a mile on the turf course. Top 3 are He’s No Lemon, Social Currency and Medina Ridge. I’m actually quite split between Medina Ridge and Clint Maroon, tho I’ll give the edge to the former due to his first-time-Lasix status. Clint Maroon rates well having been away for 3 months. He’s No Lemon actually serves as the relative favorite but at weak morning-line odds of 4-1; this suggests good prices are to be had, regardless of the result. He easily leads in terms of lifetime best scores for distance, track and surface, and had to overcome a slow start despite his 85 speed figure. He returns 2nd after layoff after cutting back in distance and scoring better at all call points. Medina Ridge, in addition to adding Lasix, has put in a bunch of works since his maiden debut on 9/8 at Belmont, with a bullet on 12/8 and 2 fast ones since.

Race 8 is for non-winners of 3, fillies/mares 4YO+, 1 mile on the man track, $6250 claimers. Top 3 are Draft, Special Counsel, Michelle’z Laugh. No overlays to be found here. Michelle’z Laugh might be the best value play. Only horse still under influence of he lifetime best mark, sent on 10/31 at nearby GPW, a 76 score. Earned 5 lb weight allowance, carrying just 116. Waiting 2 weeks to stretch out.
Risk of being overbet: Draft has a win first off layoff, and is an easy mark for her pace numbers and work tab.
Underbet: Michelle’z Laugh.
This may prove to be the other race that contains some decent value. Could be a nice rolling double with race 7.

Race 9 is a 5-furlong turf sprint for fillies/mares 4YO+, non-winners of 2, optional claimers at the $62500 level. 2 of the 7 here are up for a tag. Top 3 here are 2 logical favorites in Brandy’s Girl and Escapade, followed by Dominance. No overlays here.
Dominance should get a favorable look, having great pure sprinter speed, plus the best speed pattern of the field. He also owns 2 shipper victories.
Underbet play: Fairyland could be classifield as both a bounce and recovery play, based on her last 3 races. Hasn’t seen the lead in her last 3 races. 1 shipper victory. Could factor at a mid-range price.

Race 10: 3YO FL filly maidens take to the turf for the finale. 5 furlong sprint, 25k level. Top 3 are Alpilles, Matzo Bella and longshot Glory Roll. The latter is an overlay, as is Allez Allez and the also-eligible Sweepeno.
Glory Roll has blinkers removed in just her 2nd lifetime start. First was a distant 8th place finish here in September, 6 furlongs on the main track. With the 3 month layoff she’s put up some good works, including a bullet on 1/3. Allez Allez showed some promise in her last start vs 16k maidens at GPW 2 months ago, gaining decently on the leader early before faltering by the stretch. If first-time starter Sweepeno draws into the field, she might be one to consider, as she debuts at a $25k tag here.
Underbet: Despite 7/2 at morning-line, Matzo Bella might become a price play. She does have best speed figures for distance, surface and track, and a quick troubled trip last time out. She gets a 5-pound break here at 115. Also, 2nd after layoff, she improved at first call.

#3 MLB game of 2018: 9/9/18, LAA/CHW

9/9/18
Angels 1, White Sox 0, 9 innings. Game time: 3:17. Attendance: 24,020. Strong wind in from RF.

This game had 10 hits, 1 run, and just one extra base hit, a double by Shohei Ohtani.
A fantastic pitcher’s duel: Andrew Heaney got the win for LAA, going 7 innings, allowing 3 singles, striking out 12. Ty Buttery and Blake Parker earned holds. Jose Alvarez got the one-batter save, inheriting 2 runners. Heaney’s role was .469, best of all pitchers, while Alvarez faced a huge 7.21 aLI situation.
Reynaldo Lopez went 6, allowing 2 hits and 3 walks, striking out 10. Ian Hamilton was credited with the loss…0.2 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 K, facing 4 batters. The remaining 4 pitchers went 2.1 IP, 11 batters in all, 2 hits, 3 walks, 3 Ks.
Justin Upton for the Angles earned the grand sombrero, 4 Ks in 4 PAs. Mike Trout had 2 singles. David Fletcher made contact all 5 PAs. Kole Calhoun had the high aLI of 1.37. He also went the whole game in LF without a play in the field. Lowest was for Trout at .84.
White Sox: Moncada went 2 for 3. Tim Anderson made contact all 4 PAs, with 1 single. 10 batters recorded at least 1 strikeout. Nicky Delmonico as PH faced 7.21 aLI. Carlos Sanchez, also a PH, was at 4.07. Another PH, Daniel Palka, was 3.51. Best of the starters was Wellington Castillo, at 3.07.

The game was around 50% probability of winning until the 7th. Both sides each went 14 outs without a hit during the 9 innings. Neither team put a runner on 2nd until the bottom of the 5th. Davidson struck out but advanced on a WP. Moncada, 3 batters later, singled him to 2nd. Engel K’d.
Top 7th: Ian Hamilton entered for Lopez. He allowed a leadoff single to Jose Fernandez. Ward grounded him over to 2nd. Cowart walked, Briceno K’d. Frare entered for Hamilton and promptly surrendered a single to Calhoun, scoring Fernandez
Bottom 7th: Avisail Garcia singles to leadoff. Davidson on base via FC. Castillo flew out, LaMarre K’d.
Top 8: Following the 1 out Ohtani double, Upton fell victim to a K/DP, as Ohtani was caught stealing 3rd. Rick Renteria for CHW challenged the original SB call and was successful.
Bottom 8th: Moncada faces Buttrey and singles to lead off. Engel bunts him over. Palka PHs and K’s, Anderson lines out.
Top 9: Santiago replaces Minaya on the mound. Ward walks, Cowart strikes out. Santiago allows 2 consecutive walks. Ruiz on the mound now, gets Fletcher to fly out.
Bottom 9: Parker in to save for Buttrey. Sanchez, PH, singles to lead off. Garcia pops out. Davidson gets an HBP following a WP. Castillo lines out to CF, deep enough for Sanchez to reach 3rd. Alvarez gets the big save facing Delmonico, K looking.

Box score:

Condensed game: