Enlightened Trails update (Turf Paradise, Golden Gate Fields, Fair Grounds)

To Phoenix, Arizona we go, to some of the final races of the Enlightened Derby Trails’, Minor division.
The Turf Paradise Derby is within this division, carrying a 50k purse for leading 3YOs, going 8.5 furlongs.
My top 3 here are 1-8-4. Actually I can’t even split hairs between the latter 2, but I will go ang the morning-line favoritism here.
Senor Friday is my top pick here, followed by Parking Permit and Midnight Reverie. Senor Friday is considered one of the top 3 favorites. We’ll slip down to Parking Permit. Breaking his maiden status following 4 races and a 6 week layoff, he managed a small new top in BRIS of 72. Following this, he scored a 79 in the Startac Stakes on this track, winning by a neck. Those last 2 races were his lone turf events. He returns to dirt today. I like him on the recent strength of his pace.
Midnight Reverie is the other price consideration. Maiden no more after 9 races, and a mile victory here just 11 days ago. He has taken a very similar image, scoring well first after layoff, then slight diminished returns thereafter. Last 2 races were 71 (turf debut), then an 80 coming back to dirt, albeit in ‘good’ condition.
No overlays to be found in this race. I think it to be a modestly valuable race, with 2 mid-price horses in the mix with a favorite hard to play against.
Of note, I’m playing against Prince Pierce, who did score EDT points from the Portland Meadows Juvenile placing.

Earlier in the Turf Paradise card, there is the Arizona Oaks for leading 3YO fillies. This is a mile race, for 30k. Top 3 here are longshot/overlay Frances Anna, then 2 favorites in Free My Soul and Stormy Music.
Frances Anna is not 15-1 as per morning line. She’s more like even-money. Won first race after 6 tries, then was 6th in the JJ Coady Sr, in a big stretch to 7.5 furlongs and her turf debut. Stretches further today and returns to dirt, really taking to this track. I like that she comes out of a small new top of 72. It’s pretty even with the percentages, but posts 1-3 in mile races are winning 16%. One bullet work since her last race on 1/26.

Next is the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. This race came into my view only recently, as it became the more important race in my EDT list. It’s one of the more lucrative Minors races at 100k. 13 horses are to contest the 9 furlongs. My top 3 are 9-3-5..the favored Kingly, then longshot/overlays The Creep and Data Hawk. Rey Coliman also factors as a longshot/overlay.

My main criteria for liking Data Hawk is twofold and timely; he posted 5 works at Golden Gate since his last race on 1/4, two of them competitively fast. Also, this late-running type showed some movement vs the leader by the 2nd call, while posting a 75 BRIS, a few ticks slower than his prior effort. In that race, his first on the all-weather, he scored a 79 while breaking maiden and proving his stamina beyond a mile.
The Creep has fared decently after reclaim by Doug O’Neill. His prior effort here was his lifetime best 83, finishing 2nd in the Gold Rush. I think he’ll like the turf-to-AW move here.
Rey Coliman won and broke maiden vs statebreds in his first exposure to AW. He’s been somewhat competitive since, with 3 cashes in 4 races. He scored a 76 in September, succeeded by a 79 last time out on 1/4 here; he showed some early movement vs leader there himself.

Finally there is the Risen Star, with no EDT but definitely actual Derby Trail impact. This race is for leading 3YOs, going 8.5 furlongs, for a $400k purse. Top 3 here are Frolic More, Plus Que Parfait, and Mr. Money. Overlays: Frolic More, Mr. Money and Dunph.
This is definitely a race I expect value across the placings. I’m totally going against favored War Of Will. I do so reluctantly as I have him in my Future Wager wins and exactas, out of Pool 2.
Frolic More ran a 94 last time out in an optional-claim race, this following a 2 month layoff, his first time at Fair Grounds and at a route. With that much time off and an increase in speed, I like playing the continuation factor. That was a huge run compared to others, so I’d expect to see a bounce. But it might not happen. He had some trouble out of the gate, and ran a bit wide in the latter stages. He easily could have run better.
Plus Que Parfait was 5th in the LeComte last time out here, and 2nd in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes with a 94. Nice pedigree compared to these (Point of Entry/Belvedere, out of Awesome Again). I see the LeComte result, which was 87, as a bounce. 9 of 32 races of this distance here have been won by his early/pressing style. 6 races were won from posts 1-3 He has points in my EDT series from the Heartland division.
Mr. Money also has EDT points,coming from his 4th place finish in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. He scored a small new top of 92 in that race, ahead of a 90 that was his maiden-breaker. Both races were routes at CD. I rank him as having the best tactical speed. Last 3 races at 2nd call: 113, 92, 82. He benefits from track bias the same way Plus Que Parfait does. Gained 2.25 lengths vs leader at 2nd call last time in the BC Juvenile. Posted a bunch of works ever since, 3 of them bullets.
Dunph was an early KY Derby contender for me last year, after finishing 9th in the KY Jockey Club, and 3rd in the Springboard Mile. Only horse in the field to win first off layoff or debut race with layoff since in this field. He’s waited the longest, 2 months, to stretch out.

2019 Sam F Davis Stakes analysis

The Enlightened Trails return on 2/16 at Turf Paradise. I’ll post about the TP Derby and Arizona Oaks when time draws near. Meanwhile, I have the opportunity to get into the free Super 8 contest via TVG. 8 races involving 4 tracks. 5 wins, and I cash.
The big focus is the finale in the contest, the Sam F Davis at Tampa Bay, which is a race on the actual Trails (and not mine, as I feel the Tampa Bay Derby is a much more logical choice for this track). Here’s how I see this important Kentucky Derby prep:
Top 3 are 7-1-4…Five Star General, Counter Offer (lone overlay), Cave Run. The morning-line favorite, Knicks Go, I’m totally playing against, tho I do like him for 4th. I’m secretly hoping he has a mediocre effort like last time out in the KYJC at CD. If he does decently, his odds might still be high for the 2nd of the Derby future pools. I already have him at 44-1 out of Pool 1.

Five Star General is waiting since 11/22 to stretch a half-furlong. Winner of the ungraded Central Park at Aqueduct with an 84, slightly under his maiden-breaking win prior to that, scoring an 88. In 30 races at the distance, pure sprinters have won 12. 15% of all runners from posts 4 to 7 have won as well. A bunch of local works during the layoff, including 3 straight bullets.
Counter Offer has put up 3 straight scores in the 80s. 2nd last time out here vs 75k-level optional claimers. It was an 87, a new top, better than his 2YO best of 81. He ran a somewhat wide, but game trip last out. This early closer ran to form, making nice strides vs the leader, and held the lead briefly in the stretch. Much better than his ML odds of 12-1.
Cave Run shone brightly in his maiden debut with a huge 98 on a sloppy TB track, going 6 furlongs. Came back down to earth a bit with an 87, finishing 3rd in the Pasco. It was a somewhat trip, but still fast. 98 is the best speed figure on this track of this field.

Later, and during the day on @idealisticstats, I’ll post my top-3 picks for the other Super 8 races.

2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 analysis

Before getting to the details of my findings of Pool 2, here’s a recap of how I wagered Pool 1:
Win bets on Cairo Cat (59-1) Game Winner (5-1, going against my usual wisdom), Improbable (17-1), Knicks Go (44-1), Vekoma (36-1)
Win bets in the Sire Future Wager:
Cairo Prince 30-1
Candy Ride 7-1
Giant’s Causeway 47-1
Into Mischief 7-1
Uncle Mo 23-1
For this pool, I use the same variables as Pool 1, and the same approach, taking my top 5 for win bets, tho I will ignore those who are taking the same or less money by closing.
Here’s how I rank ’em:
8th: LIMONITE I’d go out on a limb with. 3rd in the Kentucky Jockey Club, a Grade 2 event at CD on 9/24. That race produced a small new top at 92. Last 3 speed ratings: 92, 85, 87. He should be in the Risen Star on 2/16.

7th: MAXIMUS MISCHIEF: Winner of the Remsen, 3rd in the Holy Bull for his only loss in 4. Peaked with a 106 in the Remsen, which is a 9 furlong race. Pace from last 3 races are competitive to the 23 here. Should be in the Fountain Of Youth on 3/2.

6th: SIGNALMAN: 3rd in the Breeders Cup Juvenile at CD, tho scored a 99 there. Won the 8.5 furlong Grade 2 KY Jockey Club at CD last out in November with a 95. Pace progress is rather positive tho a bit slower than others. Also being pointed toward the Fountain Of Youth.

5th: KNICKS GO, of course, I already have at a high price, so chances are good he won’t be in the mix for wins. 100 in the BC Juvenile, 2nd to Game Winner. That is the fastest CD speed of the 23 horses here. Did win the G1 Breeders Futurity prior to this, with a 92, at 8.5 furlongs. He was helped by the 6 week layoff enroute to better, faster races. He’s in this Saturday’s Sam F. Davis.

4th: TAX debuted at CD last September with an 83. Since then, won at Keeneland in a 50k maiden race. After claim by Danny Gargan, he finished 3rd in the Remsen, then won the Withers last week at Aqueduct, a Grade 3, 9 furlong race. His recent pace numbers of 102, 103 and 84 put him on the map, as well as his breeding (Arch/Toll, by Giant’s Causeway). Should be in the Jeff Ruby Steaks on 3/16.

3rd: WAR OF WILL started in Woodbine and on turf, but hasn’t won until his 2nd race at CD and his first race on dirt, a 76k maiden race at 8.5 furlongs. That race earned him a 94 speed figure. He matched his lifetime best with another 94 last time out, winning the Grade 3 LeComte. One of a few with good pace progress at age 2. Would be in my mythical exactas. He will also be in the Risen Star

2nd: IMPROBABLE won all 3 lifetime starts, including the 100k Street Sense at CD (99 BRIS) and the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity, garnering a 100 in this 8.5 furlong race. Good pedigree here (City Zip/Rare Event, by AP Indy). Lifetime speed figures of 100, 99, 92. Threatens to take on a lot more money, so might have to pass on him as well. He should be in the Rebel Stakes on 3/16.

Top choice here is GAME WINNER. I did my Pool 1 bets in haste, so I normally would not have laid $2 on a 5-1 horse. 6-1, yes. I have to think he’ll take more $ as well and therefore must pass. Can’t find a hole here. 103 figure last out at CD, winning the Grade 1 BC Juvenile at 8.5 furlongs. Positive pace progress between his debut and his other races. Pedigree: Candy Ride/Indyan Giving, out of AP Indy. Last 3 races: 103, 97, 97. You’ll see him next on 3/9 in the San Felipe

Posting this as the first hour of wagering is up, here’s how I’d wager:
$2 win bets on War Of Will, Tax, Knicks Go (shocking to see him at 60-1 thus far), Signalman, Maximus Mischief.
$1 exactas between ‘field, Game Winner, Improbable, and War Of Will.
Total investment: $22

Super Bowl LIII score momentum analysis

COMMON OPPONENTS:
NWE at DET L 10-26
KC W 43-40
at CHI W 38-31 *
at KC W 37-31
GB W 31-17 *
MIN W 24-10 *
LAC W 41-28
RAMS
LAC W 35-23
MIN W 38-31
GB W 29-27
KC W 54-51
at DET W 30-16 *
at CHI L 6-15
I’m not that much seasoned in handicapping football teams or players as I am horses but I have some experience to fall back upon. When I used to study college bowl games, I would use a predictor with 6 characteristics:
COACH: Belicheck remains supreme with 5 titles
TEAM: NE with 6 SB titles to the Rams 1

Yards/pass attempt: Goff: 8.4. Brady: 7.6
TRAVEL: Atlanta is truly neutral for either team.
BINOMIAL difference, used to determine momentum: I devised this system, borrowing from sabermetrician Bill James’ Favorite Toy method. Favorite Toy was created to determine the likelihood of a record being broken, using the last several seasons and one’s age. My approach is different, here: I take the boxscores of the 2 teams, and assign a numerical value as the multiplier. Game 1 in the season is x1, Game 2 is x2.all the way to the conference championship, which for both was Game 18. I divide the sum of the multipliers, which comes to 171 (1 through 18). I used the PF and PF scores per quarter, and multiplied that by the game number. I added those numbers to get a raw score. I’d divide that by 171 to get the projected number of points a team should score (PF) and allow (PA). For comparison, I’d also use the simple sum, adding the PF and PA scores per quarter and dividing by 18 to get a mean average. I compare the sets of numbers, and look for this detail:
If the FT method reveals a larger score than the mean for PF, this means the team has the trend of scoring more in their games. If lower, then it’s less. Same for PA: A lower score here means an improved scoring defense, whereas a higher score signifys the defense is allowing more. I break this down to quarters for PF and PA and see where the momentum for the team is, up or down, offense and defense, per quarter. This is ultimately twinned with the opposing teams breakdown. What I look for is one team’s offense trending up in a quarter vs opponent’s defense trending down in the corresponding quarter. I do likewise watching for defense vs offense. Anytime one side has the edge, I circle that, as the game can change and be ultimately determined from what happens there.

Here’s what I found for the NWE-LAR matchup:

NWE:
Raw score:
Offense:
Q1 6.83 Q2 10.50 Q3: 4.22 Q4: 6.72 Total: 28.27
Defense:
Q2: 4.05 Q2: 4.27 Q3: 5.44 Q4: 6.94 Total: 20.7

Binomial:
Offense:
Q1: 7.16 Q2: 10.23 Q3: 4.25 Q4: 7.40 Total 29.04
Defense:
Q1: 4.37 Q2: 3.94 Q3: 4.82 Q4: 7.05 Total 20.18

So far we see a true upward trend by the Pats on offense 1Q, 3Q and 4Q, while Q2 is down. Defense is trending up in Q2 and Q3, down in Q1 and Q4.

Now for the Rams:
Raw score:
Offense:
Q1 6.00 Q2: 11.16 Q3 7.83 Q4: 7.22 = 32.21
Defense:
Q1: 5.77 Q2: 5.88 Q3: 6.72 Q4: 5.16 = 23.53

Binomial:
Offense:
Q1: 5.83 Q2: 11.04 Q3: 6.80 Q4: 7.37 = 31.04
Defense:
Q1: 6.03 Q1: 5.71 Q3: 7.32 Q4: 6.01 = 25.07

Downward trend for the Rams up unto 4Q while with the ball.
On defense, only 2Q has positive momentum.

When pairing these sets of trends, here’s what happens:
1st quarter: Patriots own momentum on offense
2nd quarter: Both sides have momentum on defense.
3rd quarter: It’s all Patriots, as they have momentum on both sides of the ball.
4th quarter: Fireworks show…both sides are strong on offense.