2018 Oaks Future Wager analysis

The Oaks Future Wager was the one I scored close
to $500 on, thanks to some solid picks that stuck
with me as others fell out of the actual Trail. Can I
score another upset?

I chose the top 7 horses from each category, then
ranked those with the most top-7 placements,
breaking ties as necessary.
Here are the benchmarks that were set in the Oaks
Combined AWD: 14.4
Best class: Grade 3
Best Churchill Downs BRIS: 78
Best Binomial Pace: 553, translating to a 92.
Longest distance win: 8.5 furlongs
8 horses had sufficient pace progress from 2YO to

I ranked 10 of the 23, with 2 in a virtual tie. I had to
break that tie based on the quality of the category.
Horse A has better AWD (or, breeding) stats, and a
faster run at the track.
Horse B has better back-class and faster pace.
Which one do you choose?
I’ll side with horse B, as pace is a better indicator of
future performance that stats regarding more
historical or inherent quality.

Here’s how I rank the 10 fillies:
10: Midnight Bisou was 2nd in her maiden debut at
Santa Anita, tho scored a 91 BRIS. Next was 2nd in
the 100k Desi Arnaz at Del Mar. Then she won the
Grade 2 Santa Ynez, and also the Grade 3 Santa
Ysabel (latter 2 at Santa Anita, and both with a 93).
I like the class, the great finishes, and the
consistent, fast numbers. Never raced prior to
Labor Day, doesn’ t match well in breeding.

9: Sassy Sienna is one of 4 fillies racing Saturday in
the Honeybee Stakes. Won her maiden debut at
Indiana Downs. 3rd in the PG Johnson at Saratoga.
4th in the Grade 1 Alcibiad Stakes at Keeneland.
2nd in a 62k allowance race at Churchill, removed
from turf, peaking at 87 BRIS, a fast number for this
field. Next, a 5th place finish in the Trapeze Stakes
at Remington Park. Then won a 62.5k optional
claimer at Oaklawn Park, and then nearly wired the
field last time out in the Martha Washington also at
Oaklawn. Good AWD numbers (Midshipman/Tap
for Gold, out of Pleasant Tap). Pace progress was
definite since her 3rd race. Class still in question,
pace has yet to breach 90, and she hasn’t won past
a mile.

8: Red Ruby was Horse B in my example. Won her
2nd maiden race at 8.5 furlongs. Both races were at
Churchill, peaking at a strong 92. She then won the
aforementioned Martha Washington. Good AWD
numbers (Tiznow/Caroni, out of Rubiano. Caroni
herself is the dam of Beautician, who placed in
multiple stakes races. Rubiano himself was a
multiple stakes winner, many of them beyond age
3, tho never ran the Triple Crown races). Class is
good but she has yet to run in a Graded event. Pace
is a bit slow for the field of 23. Debuted in October. Will run in the Honeybee.

7: Caledonia Road is Horse A in the example above.
Won her debut at the 83k maiden level in Saratoga.
2nd in the Grade 1 Frizette, then won the Breeders
Cup Juvenile Fillies at 8.5 furlongs. Great pace
numbers of 98, 100, 89. AWD numbers a bit slow
for the field. No runs at Churchill. Debut came in

6: Paved took 3 tries to break maiden, and it was a
success with 100 BRIS at 9 furlongs. Then she
matched it with a 102, winning the 100k El Camino
Real Derby. Good AWD numbers: Quality
Road/Simione, out of Cozzene. No Graded stakes
entries, no runs at Churchill, debuted in October.

Next 5 horses scored in 4 of 6 categories.
5: Patrona Margarita won her maiden debut at
Churchill. 8th in the 100k Debutante. 3rd in the
Texas Thoroughbred Futurity. Won her Graded and
route race debut in the Pocahantas, back at
Churchill, with a lifetime best 88 and at 8.5
furlongs. It also represents great pace progress.
Watch that race here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDowwnwX–k

4th last out in the Rachel Alexandra, matching her
best effort. AWD and pace numbers still slow
compared to others.

4: Dream Tree is undefeated in 4 races. Won her maiden debut last October at Santa Anita. Won the 100k Desi Arnaz, the Grade 1 Starlet at 8.5 furlongs (94 BRIS), and the Grade 2 Las Virgiennes. Lifetime pace numbers range from 91 to 94. Great AWD numbers (Uncle Mo/Afleet Maggi, out of Afleet Alex). Might consider for wins if odds are
Watch her run of the Starlet Stakes here:

3: Coach Rocks has run 7 times as a maiden, finally breaking out with a 8.5 furlong win last time out and with a big jump in pace to 93. Best AWD numbers in the field (Oxbow/Mexican Moonlight, out of El Prado). Scored a borderline 78 BRIS at Churchill. Certainly her lack of class can be faulted as well as overall pace. But look at that maiden race winner:

2: Wonder Gadot won her maiden debut on Woodbine’s turf course last August. 3rd in the Grade 1 Natalma. 2nd in the Grade 3 Mazarine there also. 6th in the BC Juvenile Fillies on her dirt debut, with a small new top of 91. Won the Grade 2 Demoiselle at 9 furlongs, matching that speed figure. 2nd in the Silverbulletday, then 3rd in the Rachel Alexandra, with a 92. Good AWD numbers: Medaglia d’Oro/Loving Vindication, out of Vindication. Hasn’t run at CD yet, and pace numbers, tho consistent, are a bit low for this field.
See how she won the Demoiselle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bjiFY2ZUGk


1: Monomoy Girl is highly regarded in the wager, and I agree, tho 5-1 ML might be low. Winner of 4 of 5 lifetime, his only blemish the Grade 2 Golden Rod, nearly wiring that field. He still managed his best race there at Churchill with a 99 BRIS. Won his maiden debut on turf at Indiana Downs. Won a 75k optional claimer race. Won the 80k Rags To Riches. Won the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra. Debuted only in September, and AWD numbers low for this field. Still she will be involved in my exactas, probably not for wins though.

2018 Derby Future Wager Pool 3 thoughts and analysis

Huge weekend of racing approaches with racing at Tampa Bay
Downs, Santa Anita Race Track and Aqueduct hosting major
races as well as my Derby Trail races. But there is also the
Future Wager to consider, which I’ll focus on in this post.

First a summary of the wagers done so far:
Pool 1:
$2 wins on
Avery Island 29-1
Enticed 29-1
Free Drop Billy 33-1
Good Magic 11-1
Untamed Domain 29-1
$1 exacta box:
Bolt D’Oro (7-1), Enticed, Good Magic, field

Pool 2:
$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 chose the top 7 horses from each category, then ranked those
with the most top-7 placements, breaking ties as necessary.
Here are the benchmarks that were set in the Derby pool:
combined AWD: 14.6
best class win: Grade 2
Churchill Downs pace: any
Binomial pace: 594 (translates to 99)
longest distance win: 8.5 furlongs
10 of the 23 horses qualified with pace progress.

Here’s my ranking of 11 of the 23 horses:
11: Audible: Grade 2 Holy Bull winner last time out with 105 BRIS
at 8.5 furlongs…one of the faster horses in the 23. Next race is
3/31. Might be a play at 8-1 if I have to drop all the way down
10: Promises Fulfilled: Won the Fountain of Youth on 3/3
following a 3 month layoff with a sharp 104 BRIS score. Prior to
that, a run at Churchill, his only loss in 4 races but a 90 score at
that. Pace just a bit slower than others overall. Never ran before
Labor Day. 8-1 a decent price, but needs some luck for me to
play. Next race on 3/31.
9: Flameaway joins the future wager show here. 5 of 7 wins,
including the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland and the SF Davis
last time out at Tampa Bay. Has run and won at different tracks,
speeds and surfaces as well as classes. Was 6th in her lone run
at CD, in the Iroquois, 77 speed, boosting his pace progress.
Liking him at 30-1 and just might earn my interest should I not
choose my top ones. Next race is on 3/10, the Tampa Bay
8: Solomini another shot here. I have him at 19-1 from pool 2.
ML at 15-1 suggests he could be another good play but odds
have to be a bit worse. I wouldn’t try him again unless he goes
off at worse than 24-1. 3 Grade 1 races and 1 win can’t hurt.
Ranked him among the faster horses in the field. Bit of a late
bloomer though. Next race is on 3/17.
Next 4 scored in 4 of 6 categories.
7: Bravazo also new and currently leads the actual Derby Trail in
points. Won 2nd maiden race, was 2nd in the Breeders Futurity,
3rd in the Street Sense (CD speed 85), 10th in the KY Jockey Club
at CD, winner of an optional claimer race (96 speed) and also the
Grade 2 Risen Star last time small new top of 98. AWD numbers
a bit weak, pace numbers overall a bit slow. As a new shooter, I
do like him somewhat at 30-1, a realistic longshot play here.
Next race on 3/24.
6: Avery Island remains a longshot pick here. Picked him in Pool
1 at 29-1….starts off this time at 30-1. Might be a double dip
this time. No races since the previous pool, continues to rank in
all categories but pace…Progressive pace numbers through his
career from 64 to 94. Next race is on 3/24
5: Catholic Boy gets a very favorable look. New small top of 101
while finishing 2nd in the SF Davis on 2/10. Strong marks in all
categories, and nearly would have been a lock tho his pace
numbers are just outside of the top 7. Progressive pace through
his career 72 to 101 in 5 races. Another I’d strongly consider at
30-1. Races next on 3/31.
Top 4 are as close to locks as I see here:
4: Sporting Chance: Picked at 33-1 early, starts off at 30-1 here.
After 5 month layoff, ran 3rd in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at
Oaklawn Park, dropping to 89 BRIS. It was his first route race.
Won the Grade 1 Hopeful prior to this with career best 98. Debut
at CD at the maiden level with a 79. Hasn’t won a route yet
despite his progress. Pace overall still somewhat slow for this
field at this time. Not sure if he’ll drop much further but I’ll try
again if he does so. Next race on 3/17
3: Good Magic: Picked him in exactas in both pools, chosen at
11-1 in Pool 1. 3rd in the Fountain Of Youth last time out, 98
BRIS. Starts the pool at 15-1, which is rather low but interesting.
Good AWD numbers of this field (Curlin/Glinda The Good, out
of Hard Spun). Won the Breeders Cup Juvenile with lifetime best
105. There is reason to like him here but will he be ignored?
Next race is on 4/7.
2: Free Drop Billy still a big longshot play, but he starts Pool 3 at
15-1. Not going to get my interest since I have him at 33-1 in
Pool 1. Good AWD numbers (Union Rags/Trensa, out of Giant’s
Causeway). Won the G1 Breeders Futurity. Won his maiden debut
race at CD. Given that he had a clunker of a race 2 back in the
Breeders Cup Juvenile, his pace numbers are not very consistent
or fast overall. Races next on 3/10 in the Gotham at Aqueduct.
1: Bolt d’Oro still hasn’t raced since November, upon a 3rd place
finish in the BC Juvenile. Best AWD numbers (Medaglia
dOro/Globe Trot, out of AP Indy). Won the Grade 1 Front Runner and Del Mar Futurity. Fastest pace numbers of the field (lifetimes numbers are 99, 105, 94, 91). Starts at 6-1, tho I have him at 8-1 already. Likely to pass him up here. Next race is the San Felipe on 3/10.

I’d play my top 3 for exactas to each other, and use over/under the field.
The horses I’m predicting will be in my top 3 for win bets are Bravazo, Catholic Boy and Flameaway. Obviously, with 6 of the 23 horses running Saturday, 3 categories will definitely change rank, as will Sunday’s odds.

Next post will focus on the lone Kentucky Oaks wager.

my PGA Tour player ranking through 3/7/18

Through the WGC/Mexico Championship, a good showing between the 7 players I felt had the best chance to compete and win
Alex Noren finished tied for 14th with -8
Jon Rahm
Justin Thomas lost in a playoff with Phil Mickelson, -16. Did you see the eagle he needed to force it?

He’s now 2nd on the Tour with 57.6 holes per eagle.

Dustin Johnson, defending champion finished tied for 7th with -12
Jordan Speith tied for 14th with -8
Kevin Chappell tied for 30th with -2
Paul Casey tied for 12th with -9

Let’s see if I can keep this going for the next tournament, the Valspar Championship, at the Innisbrook Resort Copperhead Course, Palm Harbor, FL
Here’s my preferred order this time around:

Justin Thomas (not playing)
Kevin Chappell (not playing)
Dustin Johnson (not playing)
Jordan Spieth: fairway proximity, scrambling 10-20, longest putts (leader), early scoring, round 2 and front 9 scoring, par 4 scoring, bounce back
Hideki Matsuyama (not playing)
Alex Noren (not playing)
Ryan Palmer: holes per eagle, total driving, approaches over 200 and also 225-250, scrambling from over 30 yards, putting from 3′ (leader), par 5 scoring

PGA Tour golfer rankings through 2/28/18

I’m finally getting back to ranking top golfers in preparation for major tourneys and the majors themselves. I’ve decided to update my list for each tourney through the PGA Championship.
In doing the rankings, I am now considering golfers’ total rank across 3 categories: Going For The Green, Scrambling, and Ball Striking.
7 golfers, all who are in the Mexico Championship coming up, all factored in 3…Here’s how I rank them, along with top 4 placings in various categories:
1: Paul Casey: Sand Save % (leader), distance from edge of fairway, total driving, approaches 50-75 and 75-100 yards, back 9 scoring average
2 Kevin Chappell: Approaches 220-225 yards (leader),
3 Jordan Speith: Approaches 125-150, scrambling 10-20, longest putt (leader), round 2 and 4 scoring average, final round and front 9 scoring average, par 4 scoring, bounce back (leader)
4 Dustin Johnson: holes per eagle (leader), birdie average (leader), scoring average (leader), club head speed, rough and right rough proximity, approaches from over 100 yards,
5 Justin Thomas: holes per eagle, scoring average, fairway proximity, approaches over 200 yards, scrambling 10-20, total eagles, round 1 and 4 scoring average, final round scoring average, back 9 scoring, early scoring, par 4, par 4 and 5 birdie or better, birdie or better overall, bounce back,
6 Jon Rahm: birdie average, approaches 175-200, putting from 3′, birdie or better conversion, par breakers, round 1 scoring and early scoring, par 4, birdie or better %.
7 Alex Noren: scoring average, approaches 75-100 (leader), putting from 6′, par 5 scoring average

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.