Stakes analysis, picks (Arlington Park, Albuquerque, Saratoga)

Today I cover 7 races for you, 5 consecutive at Arlington Park, 1 at Arapahoe Park, and 1 at Albuquerque for the Enlightened Trails.   Not much time before they race at AP, so I’ll post just my top 3 and detailed analysis of my top pick only, and any possible overlays based on morning-line.
At AP first, race 5 is the BRUCE D MEMORIAL, 75k for 3YOs going 1 mile on the all-weather track.  Top 3 are Yo Carm, Runningfromthefeds, and Michael J.   No favorites in the top 3 so I’d key it for playing against favorites.
Yo Carm is 9-2-2-0 lifetime, returning to his home track yet has never run on the AW track here. Winner of an optional claimer in January, he’s failed to place in Graded events. Best mile speed figure for the field, achieved in that OC race. Only horse to win fresh off layoff. Slight bounce risk as he gained 9 points in last race on 6/18. Best workouts of the field, with 5 at AP, 2 very fast.
Overlays: Yo Carm.

Next at AP is the 1-11/16 mile American St. Leger, which I supposed is patterned distance-wise against its comparable race in the UK. Indeed there’s quite the European presence here. This is run on the turf course, a G3 event for 300k, 3YO+. Top 3 are Da Big Hoss, Montclaire and Tobias.
Da Big Hoss is actually the big favorite here with no real competition. 10 wins in 19 lifetime including the KY Turf Cup, the JB Conley, the Elkhorn and the Belmont Gold Cup at the Graded level. Last time out he scored a mighty 106 in the latter race, best turf speed of the field. Unquestionably he is the speed horse. I also like his works, 7 in all, with 2 bullets. Only horse with prior win while moving up in class in the field.
Overlays: My 2nd choice, Montclair is best of the rest for value. After racing at the top level in France, he’s raced rather competitively in the US, with an optional claimer win at Gulfstream, and a 2nd place finish in an ungraded stakes event last summer at Delaware. He and Da Big Hoss have best turn times of the field, and I like his progression against the leader last time out, prior to reclaim.

The SECRETARIAT STAKES is a Grade 1 event for 3YOs going 10 furlongs on the AP turf course, for 400k.   Top 3 are longshot Cordon, Surgical Strike and Beach Patrol.
Cordon with a win and 2nd lifetime in 2 starts, winning at the 32k maiden level here at 9 furlongs on turf. He won that race after 4 months away, and improved by 10 points at the 2nd call, 9 overall. 2 works since here, 1 a bullet.   He is the lone overlay of the field, in a race where I can remove the favorites out of the top 2.

The BEVERLY D Stakes is for fillies and mares 3YO+ going 1-3/16 miles on the turf. This is a 700k race at the Grade 1 level. Top 3 are Al’s Gal, Fauflier and Coolmore.  Another race with no favorites, and absolutely ripe for value.
Al’s Gal is 23-6-7-3 lifetime, winning the Keertana at Churchill 2 races back in late May. Prior to that she scored matching triple-figure Brisnet speed figures, running 2nd in the Bewitch at Keeneland. This mare does her fastest running on the backstretch and seems to have the best speed figures if measured that way.  Bumped against the eventual winner last time out in the Modesty here in July while still running a 92 score.

Overlays: Al’s Gold plus these:
Lots o’Lex has 5 wins in 14 lifetime tho no stakes wins yet. She hasn’t raced since October at Hawthorne, and is stretching out from 8.5 furlongs. Best works of the field, with 3 bullets in the 10 month layoff.

Personal Diary has had mixed blessings in her runs. She ran very close to the lead last time out in the Ellis Park Turf on July 9 with a slight gain on leader midway through the race. I’m banking on the idea that she can improve further.

Zipessa, my 2nd choice overall has 4 wins in 7, including the Grade 3 Dr James Penny Memorial at Parx last time out.  That race was actually a downtick in her speed figure to 89. Best turn time gain of the field.

The Arlington Million is the featured event, 1 million dollars at stake for 3YO+, a 10 furlong distance on the AP turf course.  Top 3 are Dubai Sky, Pumpkin Rumble and The Pizza Man, last year’s winner of this event.
This race is another where there will likely be no real value in the top 3 and is one to shell out more dollars.
Dubai Sky is 6-4-1-1, with wins in the Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream last year and also the Spiral Stakes (Grade 3). The big difference for me is turn time, where he’s the only horse to gain out of the field and also doing so while lowering his speed figure (down from 103 to 93). William Mott is 10-3-1-2 for the meet and has done a good job with this horse. Gaining 4 lbs for this race, a move which gave Dubai Sky the Spiral win, plus a switch back to his jockey for that win, Jose Lezcano. Not to mention, but I will mention, his works are best of the field, with 5 at Churchill in prep, last 2 were breezing and very fast for 4 furlongs.
I also like these as overlays: Pumpkin Rumble is 19-4-3-4, whose last stakes win came last summer at Canterbury. Only horse in the field with improving pace form: Small new top to 96 running 3rd in the Stars and Stripes here on 7/9. He made a late wide move to stay in the money in that race, and I really think he fired too late. He’s also the only horse racing under reclaim (4th race under Gary Scherer).

As for The Pizza Man, since last year’s Million, this 16-time winner was 5th in the Breeders Cup Turf, won a Grade 2 event at Del Mar, then 5th in the Gulfstream Park Turf, 4th in the Wise Dan, then 4th in the Stars and Stripes. Best lifetime turf score of 111, plus best track speed of 103. He’s 10 of 14 at AP.
Shifting gears a bit as we go to Albuquerque Downs for the next race in my Enlightened Derby Trail series. The big race is the 50k Manzano for leading 2YOs, going 6 furlongs . Top 3 are General Council, Ranger Rod and Stem The Tide, removing the favorites from the top 2 here.
General Council won here at this distance last month against 15k maidens, taking the lead at the top of the stretch.  His 61 figure is best for the distance of the field, and is the only horse who does his best running on the backstretch. Turn time of 22.4 also leads here. He is the lone overlay of the field.
Last up for today is the Fourstardave Handicap, a Grade 1 event at Saratoga, 1 mile on the inner turf course, for 500k.  Top 3 are Tourist, Grand Arch and Blacktype.
Tourist is 15-4-3-3, with his last wins coming in the More Than Ready at Kentucky Downs last year, and the Sir Cat on this track. Best overall pace of the field, running with a high 90s pattern. 3-wide trip last time out running 2nd in the Shoemaker Mile, at Santa Anita in June.
Overlays: King Kreesa won the Forbidden Apple at Belmont last time with big gain in speed figure to 100. Owns the best figures for distance and the Spa along with turf. Could bounce from the 100 number. I project him to be fastest along the backstretch where he does his best running.

A fine day of wagering should be had at Arlington, especially with the Beverly D and the Million.

Later today I’ll give my thoughts on the Longacres Mile at Emerald.

Delaware Oaks/Stars & Stripes Stakes analysis

Briefly now, a look at 2 of the major stakes races taking place on July 11 2015
Delaware Oaks is for 3YO fillies, going 8.5 furlongs on the Delaware Park dirt track.  Being short on time, here’s my capsule look at my top 3 with greater focus on my projected winner:

MILAYA has 3 races here, more than her competitors. Broke maiden in her last effort winning by 5. 3 races back she started her 3YO campaign with a 93 Brisnet, big jump from her 2YO best. Followed up with 86 and 91 since. She seems to be taking to Delaware quite well. Best track figure for the field at 93. With that 93 score, she’s still in its influence to match that mark.   Lone early speed of the field.  Early runners for the distance during the meet are winning 35% of the races, with posts 1-3 at 17%. Owns fastest turn-time and turn time gain from last 2 races. Overlay compared to her 15-1 morning line price.

Also consider WHITE CLOVER (multiple positive trainer changes) and CALAMITY KATE (improving pace form at age 3 and an overlay)

Suggested odds: Bar Of Gold 14-1, Lovely Maria 7-2, Milaya 2-1, Calamity Kate 3-1, White Clover 5-1.

Arlington Park hosts the Stars & Stripes, a Grade 3 event for 3YO+ going the classic 12 furlongs on the AP turf course.
My top pick is the favored THE PIZZA MAN, winner of several ungraded event, and owns a stellar 11-8-1-1 record at AP.  Peaked with a 111 Brisnet best for the surface and distance, in October at Woodbine, in the Canadian Intl. Since then, scored a 98 and 96.  Top AP numbers too, with a 103, achieved last year in the American St. Leger.  Best overall speed figures for the field.  Prior wins after upgrade in class, stretchout in distance, worktab (last one was bullet), shipping win, and also prior win on the track during the summer. 22.6 turn time last time out, a gain of 1-4/5 seconds from the previous, and still set a speed figure a bit lower than prior.  Easy favorite pick at 2-1.
Others to consider:
MISTER MARTI GRAS (103 Brisnet on turf 3 races back, great workout tab based at AP, 2nd race under reclaim by Chris Brock)

XTRA LUCK (winner of the Louisville at Churchill last time out,prior winner off layoff, recent pattern of Brisnets 95, 95, 103)

Suggested odds: Calvados  30-1. The Pizza Man 3-2. Roman Approval 9-1. Xtra Luck 9-1 (overlay), Mister Marti Gras 2-1(overlay), Three Hearts 30-1.

Arlington Park selections 9/8/12 (updated 1213pm ET)

This is the 3rd Saturday I’ve decided on trying a relatively new system out, borne out of watching variables ebb and flow in strength during the same track during the week. I choose tracks based on the strength of the card. More Graded stakes events, or more quality listed stakes will get my attention.
Saturday’s races for our perusal fall upon Arlington Park, highlighted by the Arlington-Washington Lassie & Arlington-Washington Futurity I’m examining races 2 through 9 here in the blog. Mini analysis and mythical wagers, as usual will be posted on Twitter at @radiocblue. Choosing to go mythical, no $ changing hands for the time being. Should I find a day job in the next month or so, I’ll wager real $. I will, however, wager real $ on the Breeders Cup cards.
Having watched some of the action at Arlington, I really like the TV presentation, featuring good analysis from solid track announcer John  Dooley and the lovely Jessica Pacheco. Frankly, I still think NYRA’s coverage is tops but Arlington’s is pretty good.
I focus my work on exacta positioning. I examine which form variables the top two finishers of each race during the week hit or miss on from my list. 15 variables in all are in focus. Here are the top 5 variables that made an impact in exactas in the races from September 1 through 6:
All weather: Top horse in a race that has the best speed figure in the field on prior all-weather races. 9 of 16 qualified horses ran 1st or 2nd this past week.
Pace: Top pace number in last 3 races according to run style. I use the Equibase numbers instead of DRF.
Track: essentially horse for course here; who has best winning speed on this track of those in the field?
Turf: Same as with all-weather and overall track numbers.
Workouts, as in the success rate of horses without works entering the race.

I’ll give you my top 4 selections of the 7 races, plus shortcut selections for those that did best in my top 5.

The wagers run like this:
$1 exactas between the top 3 of the 4 selections.
$2 win bets on any horse who appear to be 6-1 or worse nearing post time.
If my #4 selection is 10-1 or worse, I’d also play win on that horse, plus: use the top selections over this horse in exactas

and any horses running better than 4-1 with the over in exactas.

RACE 2: 18K 5f claiming race for statebred 3YO+

Early selections are 4-1-7-3. #4, HAPMAN, 7YO, scored a 95 winning track/turf speed years ago, best of the field. Dead closer who, if he gets his race, should prevail. That said, he’s won just a race at this level in June here, and a 25k at Hawthorne a year ago. No reported works in over a month. Trainer Charles Livesay has profitable ROI with horses moving from routes to sprints, 4% wins, 29% in the money, for +3.38. UNCLE JEEP comes out of a 46k allowance race here with a stalking pace, and briefly made strong challenge for the lead at the top of the stretch. Forged a lifetime best speed figure 3 races back here in July, still room to improve. Also no reported works since June. Best jockey/trainer win % (Francisco Torres/Tammy Domenonsky). Don’t be surprised if OUTLAW ZEN (#3) factors in top 2 as well; no works since last race.
RACE 3: 23k 6f claiming race for statebred 2YO, non-winners of two.
Selections are 1-5. Yup, just 2 horses are any serious factor here. #1, EMILE, won a 42k maiden race of 4.5f in first life start here, then contended strongly in the 65k Meadowlake, finishing 8th after leading in the stretch, running at 7f. Best speed figures on the track in this field, best on all-weather as well, this sprinter has fastest pure speed overall. He is helped further with top jockey/trainer win % combo of Jeffrey Sanchez and Wayne Catalano. EMILE is currently my LOCK of the day. #5 FLY BOY ROY was 7th in a 40k maiden race for first lifetime start, then won a 25k maiden claimer cutting back from 8 to 5f and change to current jockey ET Baird. Could bounce from his last speed figure of 85. No reported works since before last race on 8/26. Track bias seems to be helping all starters; no one standout.
1213pm: Fly Boy Roy a scratch. The remaining 4 horses all could be helped in some way by track bias, but no real standout. I am passing this race.
RACE 4: 5k 7f claiming race for fillies/mares 3YO +, no wins in 6 months or non winners of four.
Early selections are 4-6-5-1. #4 is RANDOM ZIP, running mainly 10k claimers here and at Hawthorne. Best track and all-weather speed figure (96) of the field, tho this mare hasn’t reached that number in over a year. Her early-pressing style is fastest of the field, tracking the rail in her last several starts; last race did not see her make a closing bid tho. Should be helped by track bias as will all horses in the middle post, according to Equibase’s meet stats for the week. Also in that category is JSP Pals Forever. Another early-pressing styled runner who made a nice gain in speed, 79 to 85 in last race, might bounce from this. Contended through much of her last race at 6.5f, losing the lead just before the stretch.
RACE 5: 7.5k 9f claiming race for 3YO +, nonwinners of two. So far I see this as 3-7-1-2. #3, SOARING PEGASUS comes off lifetime best 81, running 2nd all throughout until deep stretch, first time going 9f. Could bounce from this effort. Fastest speed of this field, and fastest on the all-weather. #7, HIPPODROME could be had for a price. This dead closer has fastest pace numbers in the field. Tends to right in tight quarters and forced to run wider than normal. Typical for a closer, must get ‘his race’ to win…hasn’t won in nearly a year. Track bias can help horses 1 through 3
RACE 6:25k 5f claiming race for statebred 3YO +, non winners of 3. Predicting 5-3-1-7 finish. #5 PINK LEMONADE is racing well under new trainer Larry Rivelli, leading at some point over both her last 2 races here. Fastest horse to her style here, this early-pressing horse was competitive in her last race until deep stretch, then won previous to that. Also has best jockey/trainer win % combo in field, (ET Baird, and Larry Rivelli). #3 LORD OF THE ROSES has fastest track speed here. Could bounce from her last effort, forging lifetime best 83 above a prior effort of 76. Two wins and a 3rd in 3 lifetime races.
RACE 7 ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON FUTURITY Grade III race for 2YO, 8f. Predicted finish: 1-6-5-3 #1 MUPPET MAN won the aforementioned Meadowlake here on 8/4. 2 wins in 2 starts for this 2 year old, scoring speed figures of 97 and 90. Fastest on the all-weather of this field. Also has best jockey/trainer combo in Jeffrey Sanchez and James DiVito. #6 URBAN RENEWAL should be a nice surprise. Ran in a statebred stakes last time out, scoring an 84, running 2nd all the way. Might bounce from his effort. No reported works since that stakes race on 8/11.
RACE 8: ARLINGTON-WASHINGON STAKES Grade III race for 2YO, 8f. Big 14 horse field! 12-7-13-11. #12 FLYING RAPUNZEL in 2 lifetime starts ran maiden races of 40k,5f and 7f, breaking maiden last time with speed figure of 95. Fastest Arlington speed and fastest all-weather speed of this field, and has best jockey/trainer combo in field (Miguel Mena, Wayne Catalano). #7 DANCING ELLIEBELLE is my BEST BET of the day (morning line 20-1). Improved sharply between last 2 races, going from a 79 in a 75k races, to 88 in an optional claimer worth 50k, forging lifetime best. This year, trainer Frank Springer has a +6.20 ROI with horses making their first route start (win 22%, in money 33%)
1213pm: #11 a scratch which doesn’t change my top 2. My top 4 tho is now: 12-7-13-9
RACE 9: 42k 5f allowance race for statebred fillies/mares 3YO+, no wins over 8.8k other than maiden, claiming, starter or allowance, plus nonwinners of two. If all 13 go, this would be the most competitive of the races today. In fact I’m predicting huge value to finish ahead of the public in this one. 10-2-1-3 #10 HOIST THE COLORS returns to sprint after a long series of routes. 2 races back scored a 91 here, fastest on this track among those with wins here. One of several sprinters who will be helped by the track bias. Equibase says that, for the meet, in 24 races at 5 furlongs on the turf, 63% were won by sprinters (look to #7,#,3, and #12, the other sprinters also). Ran good inside pace in a 50k claimer last time out, only yielding near the stretch at one mile. Also has this ROI angle: jockey Alex Canchari has run 62 races on turf this year, winning at 13% and in the money at 32%. ROI: +2.31. #2 RESOUNDINGLY has the best turf speed of the field; goes from a 65 to an 89 in last 2 races, so a possible bounce. Also comes out of a pace setting race…she actually is more of a late running type who was leading all the way last time out, just missing win at the wire. She is in a recovery form having run a 79 first after layoff, then was claimed, then runs 65 and 89 in last two.
1213pm: 5 horses scratched from this race (2,7,11,12,13). Here’s the revised top 4:10-1-3-9. Hoist The Colors now with top turf speed of the field. The case for #1, Fire Tricks: 3 races at 6-6.5f. Dead closer coming well off pace to win first 2 life races, ran 5th at similar speed last time. Fastest of the 10 runners.

More updates as more changes occur
Follow me at @radiocblue on that twitter thing for updated analysis and the wagers I plan to make.

Arlington Park selections 8/18

I couldn’t stay way long enough. Having had a generally losing year in wagering on horses, I tore up my systems, citing fatigue and debt and decided to just wait for the Breeders Cup races to dare tempt fate again.
Upon hearing I may return to work shortly I started again in earnest to go after another windmill and get in the game again. Right now, it seems there is a delay on the announcement re returning to work, so…here’s my plan:
I’m offering top 4 selections on races 1 through 11 at Arlington Park, which feature 3 Graded stakes events at the end. I use weighted averages of variables based on last week’s races at this track. I ranked the variables based on who were likely to finish in exacta position most.
Next week I’ll do likewise with the Saratoga card on Travers Day.
No actual $ changing hands here. It’s all on paper for today’s action. Ready?
Here’s how they look to me:

RACE 1:5-1a-4-6
RACE 2: 4-2-6-5

RACE 3 3-9-5-10
RACE 4: 11-9-3-1
RACE 5: 6-3-8-2
RACE 6: 8-1-2-5
RACE 7: American St. Leger Stakes: 11-2-9-4
RACE 8 4-8-1-7
RACE 9: Hatoof Stakes  8-2-9-1
RACE 10:Secretariat Stakes   3-8-7-4.    Real toss-up between 3 and 8.
RACE 11: Arlington Million 1-6-10-11  The 8YO Rahystrada is fastest in the field, comes out of a win earlier in the meet on this track, the Arlington Handicap, scoring a lifetime best 106 Equibase #. Might bounce a bit from this number but not by much. Also just passed his 7YO best of 102.    Treasure Island mainly racing in Europe, has the best track speed figure of the field, a 108, from last year’s edition of the Secretariat Stakes. He will be helped by the track bias, which favors a middle post. Yes, I like the longshots after these, both who forged new tops in recent form. Cherokee Lord could bounce a bit from his effort in the Arlington Hcp, tho also pushed past his best speed figure from last year in the process.  Vertiformer has the best jockey/trainer win % combo in Jeffrey Sanchez and Wayne Catalano.