Final 2016-2017 Enlightened Oaks Trail results

With the conclusion of the Fantasy Stakes, the Enlightened Oaks Trail for 2016-2017 can finally be resolved.  Before I examined this race, I went ahead to strike through the names of other fillies that had fallen off the actual Trail.  A few surprises were in these names. I suppose that if my trail were in place, the connections of some horses would not have abandoned the trail so soon.
Here’s the updated list of fillies who are in the Oaks:
Minors: McKenzie Honey, Tap It All. This was resolved once the Sunland Park Oaks concluded last month.
Northeast: Miss Sky Warrior, Lockdown, Victory To Victory.
Fun, Libby’s Tail, Yellow Agate and Nonna Mela were confirmed off the trail.
Cali: Paradise Woods, Abel Tasman, Union Strike.
Off the trail: Valadorna, Champagne Room.
South: Farrell, Fifty Five,  Wicked Lick.
Off the trail: Darla’s Angel, Salty.
Heartland: Ever So Clever (top overall in points), Sailor’s Valentine, Daddy’s Lil Darling.
Off the trail: Purely A Dream, Awesome Boss.
Biggest snubs: Ghalia, Jenda’s Agenda, La Coronel, Tequilita, Chanel’s Legacy, all out with 500 points.
Worst of those who is in: Victory To Victory, 250 points.
The 4 horses who will make up the Oaks Future Wager ‘field’ selections: Ever So Clever, Sailor’s Valentine, Paradise Woods,  Tequilita, . I already have Daddys Lil Darling, Abel Tasman, and Farrell over and under these fillies in exactas.  Best remaining payout: Daddys Lil Darling over Abel Tasman: $1372.80 for a $2 exacta. I played it at $1.   Cheapest exacta: Farrell/field, $198 for $2 wagered.
Compared to the actual trail, I match up with these: Lockdown, Daddys Lil Darling, Abel Tasman, Salty, Paradise Woods, Sailor’s Valentine, Ever So Clever, Miss Sky Warrior, Farrell. That’s 9 of the 14. I disagreed with these: It Tiz Well, Chanel’s Legacy, Tequilita, Yorkiepoo Princess, Ghalia.
Here’s the updated EOT spreadsheet:

Enlightened Trails update (4/10/17)

With the results of the penultimate Enlightened Trails races already in, there is still the two left at Oaklawn Park this weekend that will put the cap on the bottle.
I resolved both sets of divisions. Here’s the Oaks side first:
Minors: McKenzie Honey was already a winner. Tap It All, winner of the California Oaks, would normally be in, had there not been a Japanese entry. For the lone Japanese entry, I gave the spot to Reine Minoru, who won the top filly race there, the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas). Also won the Kokura Nisai at age 2, and placed in 3 other stakes races at 2. Now 7-3-2-1 lifetime.

Northeast: Miss Sky Warrior and Lockdown, 1-2 in Saturday’s Gazelle, are in the show, plus the Frizette winner, Yellow Agate (just 250 points).

Cali: Paradise Woods and Abel Tasman finished 1-2 in the Santa Anita Oaks. They are in my mythical Oaks, along with Del Mar Debutante winner Union Strike (just 250 points). Union Strike wins tiebreak over It Tiz Well, who was 3rd in the Santa Anita Oaks.

South: With one race to go, Farrell is in for her win in the Fair Grounds Oaks. To this I add the winner of the Florida Oaks, Fifty Five.Also, Salty, winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks.

Heartland: Purely A Dream, winner of the Bourbonette, and Sailor’s Valentine, winner of the Ashland, are in my Oaks race. I added Daddys Lil Darling, who finished 2nd in both races.

No real drama in this one, except that the Fantasy Stakes remains for those who can potentially knock off those in the South with points. Looking at the nominations, none of my 3 with top points are listed. Next on the list with some points is Vexatious, 250 points for her 3rd spot in the FG Oaks. If she won out, she’d be in my mythical Oaks. How then to resolve between my other 3?
The first tie-breaker is Graded rating. Farrell and Salty both won at Grade 2, ahead of Fifty Five’s Grade 3 win. After that, the next tie-breaker is purse. Farrell’s race was 400k, while Salty’s was 250k. The Fantasy is Grade 3 at 400k, so a new shooter with 0 points that wins out can get into my mythical Oaks. Obviously, any horse with points will have advantage.

Biggest snubs currently are the fillies with 500 points: Jenda’s Agenda, Ghalia, Tap It All, La Coronel, Wicked Lick, Tequilita, and Awesome Boss. I am thinking that the 2nd place finisher in the Fantasy Stakes might have to join this list. Between all these fillies, Lockdown has the tiebreak edge over Tequilita for qualifying.

Comparing to the actual Oaks trail, how are my Future Wager picks holding up?

Daddy’s Lil Darling: 28-1
Abel Tasman 23-1
Farrell 10-1.
These fillies are definitely in the show, currently ranked as 1st, 6th and 7th in actual Oaks points.

I used Daddy’s Lil Darling, Unique Bella and Abel Tasman in exactas to each other, and over/under the field. Since Unique Bella is out, it takes away some possibilities, but a Daddy’s/Abel exacta hit would be amazing, and rather realistic in scoring. Field horses from the future wager right now would be these: Sailors Valentine, Paradise Woods, Salty, Nomorerichblondes, Yorkiepoo Princess, Purely A Dream, Wicked Lick, Jordan’s Henny, Benner Island, Someday Soon, Vexatious, Tapped, Summer Luck, then all horses 10 points and under in the Oaks trail. Of those that are nominated in the Fantasy, these include Elate, Spooky Woods, Nonna Bella, Ever So Clever, Tapa Tapa Tapa, My Sweet Stella, Gris Gris, Torrent, and Princess Karen.
Now to the Derby side, where the divisions look this way:
Northeast: Irish War Cry, Wood Memorial winner, is in, with Practical Joke (Hopeful, Champagne), then Good Samaritan (Summer).
Cali: Gormley, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, is in, then Zakaroff (El Camino Real Derby), followed by Battle Of Midway (2nd in the SA Derby), and More Power To Him (2nd in the El Camino Real)
Heartland: Irap won the Blue Grass Stakes to win this division as well. Fast And Accurate is 2nd for his win in the Spiral. Then I have McCraken who won the KY Jockey Club, then Practical Joke for his 2nd place finish in the Blue Grass. Since I can’t have the same horse rep 2 divisions, I kept him in the Northeast, because to eliminate him from there would bring up a much worse horse than if I were to eliminate him from the Heartland.
Next in the Northeast pecking order would be Good Samaritan, at 250 points and a Grade 1 win. For the Heartland, the next horse would be Blueridge Traveler, 500 points, 2nd in the Spiral. I decided to go with the horse with more points.

South: With the AR Derby still left, here’s what I have: Tapwrit, Hence, Always Dreaming and Girvin, winners of the Tampa Bay Derby, Sunland Derby, Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby, all get in with equal 1000 point totals. Always Dreaming wins the tiebreak, if there were one, because his was a Grade 1 win. The AR Derby winner will be in a flat tie with Always Dreaming because of the same grade, purse and distance. Then it’s a matter of who has points after the big race and who to eliminate.

Minors: Reportedly, none of the Japan entrants for the Derby Trail will want to be part of the show. That’s rather sad, as they do have a good Trail set up there.It’s comparable to other countries, and especially to UAE, who have just the UAE Derby to represent. So I’d go back to having top 4 horses out of this division. The horses for me are Howdy Kingkowboy (Turf Paradise Derby winner), Taco (Texas Heritage Stakes), Twisted Tom (Private Terms Stakes), and O Dionysus (2nd in the Private Terms)

Snubs: Conquest Mo Money, Gunnevara, Patch, all in the highly competitive South division, all with 500.

Future Wager bets took a hit with Mo Town failing to score in the Wood Memorial. Here are the remaining bets still active:
Pool 1:
Wins on
McCraken 12-1
Lookin At Lee 37-1 (needs AR Derby points)
Classic Empire 6-1 (ditto)
Exactas of McCraken over/under field selections
Sire Future Wager:
Bernardini: Takaful nominated to AR Derby, has 2 points, so needs to win out.
Into Mischief, Practical Joke is in the show, a 24-1 opportunity.
Uncle Mo: Royal Mo 10 points, also nominiated, needs 1st or 2nd in the race)

Pool 2:
Win bet on Gunnevara, 24-1 play.
Exacta on McCraken and over/under field.

Pool 3:
Irish Way Cry at 7-1
Gormley at 18-1
Exactas between Classic Empire (32 points, needs a top 3 finish), and McCraken, and both over/under field.

Pool 4:
Wins on
Girvin 17-1
Thunder Snow 23-1
Exactas between Classic Empire/Thunder, plus these over/under field.

Recap of stakes races and Enlightened Trails, 4/8/17

Catching up now to the big races of the weekend, this after watching my Twinspires account dwindle a bit more. The Grand National was won by #22, over one of my top 5 choices in #14. One of the field horses came in 3rd. I was close this year, but didn’t make it. Initially I thought it was a field selection (horses 24-40) but I reacted too swiftly to the news. I haven’t watched the replay yet; frankly I don’t feel like watching it just yet.

Onto the thoroughbreds! You’ve seen my picks and projected overlays. Now here’s how I would have played and invested in them. If I were home to wager on them, I’d have wagered on them.

BLUE GRASS: My top 3 remained as public favorites. So did my 2 overlay considerations. I used Irap and It’s Your Nickel for wins, and under top 3 for exactas. $10 wagered.
Results: Irap with the big 31-1 upset! I didn’t mention he had best tactical speed for nothin’. Payout: $64.60

ASHLAND: Total chalk for my picks here too, and no overlays to rescue me. Not truly a race I’d play. But if I had to… I’d go with 2-6, 6-3, 3-6 and 6-2 as exacta plays, basically keying #6, Daddys Lil Darling,my top choice, to be the necessary score
Result: 7-6-1-8. Totally ignored Saints Valentine in my handicapping. Sometimes you find longshots, sometimes….

SANTA ANITA OAKS: I felt this was the big race, with value totally planning to surprise the mutuels. I had 1,5,6 for wins, and to play under top 2 favorites 2 and 4
Paradise Woods, 3, shocked me and some folks at 8-1, winning by a dozen lengths. Did not give her any serious consideration.

The latter 3 races I had felt were somewhat logical, with a favorite, a middle price horse and a longshot in my top 3.
SANTA ANITA DERBY: This was the race I would have put $20 on…1,4,5,10 as overlays, with top 2 public choices 2 and 9 over these in exacta. I’d also have played 9 and 2 over #7 with 7 to win also.

Result: Fantastic race, as the result was 8-3-13-2. Gormley definitely factored somewhat, as he had a good turn time and was the only pure sprinter of the field. Swung and missed on this one.

WOOD MEMORIAL: I chose longshot 6 and overlay 5 for wins, and went with 3-6, 2-6, 3-5, 7-5 for exactas. $8 invested. I rooted in my heart for Mo Town, who factors big for me in the Future Wager pools.
Result: 8-3-7-5, a chalky finish. I never gave Irish War Cry much thought to win this one. A race I naturally should have avoided but I saw some value in general.

GAZELLE: I took 4,3 for wins, and played 5-4, 4-3, 5-3 and 8-3 as exactas, $8 invested.
Result: Nailed the exacta. It was close, as Lockdown was tiring in the stretch.
Payout: $15.10 for the $1 exacta

Result from the 6 races: $15 profit.
Later, I will provide thoughts on the Derby Trail, an update to my Enlightened Trails and how my Future Wager bets look in comparison.

Enlightened Trails update (Aqueduct, Keeneland, Santa Anita)

6 big races this Saturday, all with Enlightened Trail implications as 3 divisions close on both the EDT and EOT sides. They are also actual Derby and Oaks trail races, of course. I largely see chalk winning out, with one notable exception.

BLUE GRASS: Practical Joke, Tapwrit, McCraken. Favorites to sweep the mutuels. 2 overlays here, in It’s Your Nickel and Irap.
It’s Your Nickel with 2 small tops in both of his 3YO starts, peaking at 86 last time in the John Battaglia Memorial. Track bias in his favor: Measured based on last year’s stats, early/presser types like this horse won half of the 9 furlong races, along with posts 1-3 at 22%.
Irap has best AWD numbers (Tiznow/Silken Cat, out of Storm Cat). Fastest for the distance too: 93, acheived last time out, running 4th in the Sunland Derby. Best tactical speed, as measured by recent 2nd call numbers.

ASHLAND: Daddy’s Lil Darling, Elate, Pretty City Dancer. Favorites sweep here too, and no overlays. A race I regard as totally passable.

SANTA ANITA OAKS: Here’s the race with value front to back. Mopotism, Majestic Quality, Bernina Star. No overlays here.
Mopotism top 3 in 5 of 6 lifetime, winning the Island Fashion, 2nd in the Las Virgiennes, 3rd in the Starlet. Best tactical speed of the field (2nd call numbers recently are 96, 108, 84). Unraced since 2/26, stretching from a mile. 4 good works at SA, 1 bullet.

SA DERBY: Iliad, Reach the World, Kimbear. Overlays: So Conflated, Kimbear, Milton Freewater.
Kimbear broke maiden last out in 6th try, with small new top of 95, better than 2YO best of 91. Unraced since 2/25, stretching out 2 furlongs. 4 works during layoff here, 1 a bullet.

WOOD MEMORIAL: Battalion Runner, Mo Town, then Stretch’s Stone, the lone overlay here.
Stretch’s Stone raced 3 times at AQU, with runs of 84, 96 and 95, finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd. Placed 1st last out in a state-bred 75k OC race upon resolution of DQ. 4 works since last, 3 of them very fast.

GAZELLE: Miss Sky Warrior, Lockdown, then overlay Rimanisempreforte.
Rimanisempreforte with 2 wins in 3 lifetime, 81 her best score last November in breaking maiden. Only filly in field with win first off layoff. Best turn time of the field. In a small sample of 9-furlong races, the majority have been won by her early-pressing style, along with posts 1-3.

Enlightened Trails update, 2017 Derby Pool 4 Future Wager selections

I can finally update you all re the Future Wager selections. With the late addition of Brisnet numbers, I was able to recalculate pace numbers and rerank my selections. Having to make my final picks about 5 hours before the close (I like to wait for the final 15 minutes), I decided to go with the following:
$2 Win bets on
Girvin 17-1
Mo Town 38-1 (3rd bet on this horse)
Thunder Snow 23-1

$1 exactas:
Box of Classic Empire/Thunder Snow/ Gunnevera, plus exactas over and under field (11-1)
Total investment: $18

How are my 5 Sire Future Wager picks doing?
Bernardini: Takaful has 2 points.
Kitten’s Joy: 0 points.
Into Mischief (24-1) : Practical Joke 34, One Liner 10
Scat Daddy: 0 points
Uncle Mo: Mo Town 10, Royal Mo 10.
Any horse who finishes in the top 3 of the actual Derby trails can virtually get into the actual Derby, but practically is a guarantee with a 1st or 2nd place finish. Remaining races with such impact are all on Saturday: Wood Memorial, the Blue Grass, and the Santa Anita Derby. Arkansas Derby will be a last gasp effort for a few extra points the week after.

My Enlightened Derby and Oaks Trails are updated at these links:
The South division was busy with last week’s races for both colts and fillies. It will wrap up on 4/15 with the Arkansas (Fantasy Stakes on 4/14 for fillies), while the other divisions conclude on 4/8

On the Derby side, Girvin and Always Dreaming move into my mythical field. For the Oaks side, American Cleopatra replaces the injured Valadorna, and Farrell now leads the South, just ahead of Fifty Five, with Wicked Lick 3rd. Because of Farrell’s dual point scores in the Heartland division, I had to take the best overall score remaining. I gave the tiebreaker to Tap It All.

Later, a look at who are nominated for the big stakes races this weekend, and a projection as to how the Trails should end up.

Enlightened Trails update (Fair Grounds, Gulfstream Park)

A lot to get to here with 6 races involving actual Derby preps, and my Enlightened Trails. Of course, with the 4th Future Wager pool, these races are huge for me.
Looking at the Future Wager after 15 hours since it opened, these horses are taking more $ than others: Battle Of Midway, Cloud Computing, Gormley, Gunnevera, Iliad, Irish War Cry, Mo Town, Reach The World, and Tapwrit. I’ll give an update as soon as I can early Sunday morning. I am having to make some uneducated guesses once I see the results re the Brisnet pace. There won’t be a way to know what the winning pace scores are even a day later.

Let’s start off with the big one, the Florida Derby, an EDT race, Grade 1, 1000k purse, 9 furlongs at Gulfstream Park. My top 3 are rather logical and chalky: Battalion Runner, Gunnevara and State Of Honor. Lone overlay is Charlie The Greek.
State Of Honor might be the best value play here. 2nd in the Tampa Bay Derby with a 4-wide tripe, matched lifetime best with a 96. Charlie The Greek has run a bunch of optional-claimers and claiming races. This is first Graded effort. Bounceback in pace is possible; bounced from plateau of 80-81 scores to 73 last out. With a small sample at the distance this meet, horses of his run style have won 3 of the 8 contested. Combine that with 2 wins out of 8 from posts 1 through 3.

Next is the Gulfstream Park Oaks, an EOT race, Grade 2, 250k for top fillies, going 8.5 furlongs. Top 3 are longshot Shezaprado, Tequilita,and favored Salty. Shezaprado is one of two overlays here at 20-1 ML. Winner of a 60k stakes event here last out on 2/20 with wide trip, finalizing a trio of close pace numbers, around 75. Best AWD numbers (Paddy O’Prado/Jeopardy Lady, out of Rock Hard Ten). Best turn time of the field, and is the lone deep closer.
The other overlay is next door, Modacious. 3 lifetime races in the 83-87 range. 4th in the Grade 2 Davona Dale last time out. Best tactical speed of the field, with triple digit 2nd call numbers in last 2.

Next we go to Fair Grounds for the other 4 races.
First is the Crescent City Derby, a 75k stakes event for LA-bred 3YOs, going 8.5 furlongs. Top 3 are favored Underpressure, longshot Ida’s Warrior, and TC-nominated Tip Tap Tapizar. Overlay: Ida’s Warrior. 3rd race was maiden win, then last out finished 4th in a 30k optional claimer first time vs non-winners of 2. Pace of 73 last out was small new top improving on best at 2. Also, that race was improvement on 2nd call number first race after layoff, and gained .75 length on the leader.
Tip Tap Tapizar was 3rd in the Bashford Manor, 3rd in the Saratoga Special, winner of the Sapling, 2nd in the Jean Lafit, out of the top 4 in the last 3 3 events, all beyond a mile. Enters with best work tab of the field: 4 works at FG, 2 of them very fast.

Next is the Crescent City Oaks, 75k purse, 1 mile 70 yards, for LA-bred 3YOs.
Top 3 here are favored Mr Al’s Gal, then longshots/overlays Naughty Little Nun and Madame Begue.
Naughty Little Nun won 3rd maiden race with sharp 80 pace, but has yet to surpass then since becoming mainly a router. Finished 2nd in the LA Jewel, unplaced in 3 other stakes events. The 80 score is the best for the distance of the field. Switched jockeys to prior winner James Graham. 4 works at FG since last race, most recent one was fastest.
Madame Begue won 2nd maiden race, unplaced in 4 of next 5. 72 pace last time out after starting slow. Switches back to prior winner Kerwin Clark.

Fair Grounds Oaks is for open 3YO fillies going 8.5 furlongs in this 400k race, worth EOT points. Top 3: longshot/overlay Wicked Lick, favorite Farrell, and Majestic Quality. Another overlay here is Queen Bernardina.
Wicked Lick was 2nd in the Silverbulletday, followed up with 4th place in the Rachel Alexandra,both at FG, matching and surpassing her 2YO best pace number with an 86.
Queen Bernardina first under claim, unplaced 3 races into post-maiden career. Hasn’t found the lead either in last 3. Waiting the longest of these to stretch out; 5 works at FG, last 2 very fast.

Finally the Louisiana Derby, $1 million stakes event for open 3YOs, Grade 2 race, 9 furlongs. Top 3: longshot Monaco, longshot/overlay Hollywood Handsome, and favorite Girvin.
Monaco adds blinkers for the first time after 3 maiden races, all with runs in the 80s. Best AWD numbers of the field (Uncle Mo/Setareh, out of Sky Classic). Waiting longest to stretch out of these.
Hollywood Handsome broke maiden after 5 races, then finished 3rd in a 50k OC race, 3rd race at 1 mile 70 yards. Still hasn’t matched her debut with 94. Gained 1.5 lengths on leader at 2nd call last out. 4 works since last race at FG, 2 bullets.