Stakes selections for 4/2/16 (Gulfstream Park, Turfway Park)

Big doings in 2 of the Enlightened Trails this week; indeed we’re into the final 3 weeks of racing within the Trails, with top 3YOs, colts & fillies alike, hoping to earn enough points for the Big Race on 5/7, 4 weeks and a day away.    In this post, I have analysis of 4 races, and will follow up with thoughts on the 4th Future Wager pool.
We start at Turfway Park and the Bourbonette Oaks for fillies, 1 mile on their all-weather surface, for a purse of 100k, Grade 3 event. Top 4 earn 1000-500-250-125 in the Heartland division of my EOT.  Chance of showers tomorrow, but not enough of a chance to factor in off-track conditions.
Here’s my top 3: (EDITED)
American Doll the local horse, 3 wins and 1 2nd, overall 6-3-1-1. 83 speed figure, backed with 82 prior to this here is best TP speed in field. Only horse in the field to run with recent small top eclipsing last year’s best. Solid pace numbers much of her career.
Wonderment ships from NY, comes in as the true speed, pace numbers dwarfing the others.  First time adding Lasix in this race. One of two horses to improve at 2nd call first after layoff.
Egyptian Honey now my 3rd choice: Best AWD numbers of the field (Sire is Pioneer of the Nile, damsire Chief’s Crown) Pace bounceback in play after going 73, 80, 74 in last 3 races. One of just 4 horses to improve on leader between 1st and 2nd calls.
Suggested odds: Artesian 11-1, American Doll 4-1; Wonderment 9-5; Inconclusive 29-1, Egyptian Honey 8-1, Lookout Sister 11-1.  I’ll communicate overlays via Twitter.
Entering this race, 2 horses have EOT points; Dorodansa with 50, and Marquee Miss with 100.
Next there is the Spiral Stakes, 9 furlongs on the all-weather course, a Grade 3 event for top 3YOs.
Don’t Be So Salty has shipped frequently across the country, with 3 wins in 8 races lifetime. Winner of the Display Stakes at Woodbine, the Florida bred owns the best all-weather speed rating of the field with a 92. Fastest overall pace numbers, 89 to 90 in his last 3. Lone early speed in the field. 2-for-2 on the surface, both coming after turf races.
Kasseopia a wild card, with 3 races in GB, 2nd in the Grey Stakes at Woodbine, 3rd in the 9-furlong El Camino Real at Golden Gate.  No available pace stats via Brisnet for his overseas races.  I’m taking benefit of doubt he is running his best races now, with 86 and 88 scores for his US efforts. 4 works at Santa Anita, 3 of them very fast, 1 a bullet.
Surgical Strike won the John Battaglia Memorial last out on this track just 3 weeks ago, lifetime best 89 Brisnet, small new top ahead of last year’s best 87.
Suggested odds: Don’t Be So Salty 7-5; Kasseopia 7-2; Surgical Strike 8-1; Strike Up The Band, Airoforce 11-1; Oscar Nominated 14-1.  Overlays: Oscar Nominated, Surgical Strike, Don’t Be So Salty, Strike Up The Band.  Lots of value here, as I am removing favorite Airoforce from top 3.  I rank him maybe 4th or 5th in this bunch, waiting since February 20 to stretch out. Just not enough evidence for me to rank him higher.
Entering this race here are the horses with EDT points: Two Step Time 500, Kasseopia 250, Ralis 250, Airoforce 250
Now to Gulfstream Park and the GP Oaks, 8.5 furlong race for top 3YO fillies, Grade 2, $250k. Top 3:
Off The Tracks is a deserving favorite; 3 wins in 3 starts, winning the Schuylerville at Saratoga and the Margate at GP.  Best AWD numbers coming in (Curlin/Havre de Grace, by Boston Harbor). True speed of the field; lifetime pace numbers are 91, 100, 79. Only filly here to win while either gaining in class or stretching out. 4 works in prep, 2 of them very fast.
Hold On Momma the big longshot here but not to me.  Won her maiden debut at 40k, 4th a 50k optional claimer, then same in a 75k OC. First time with blinkers last time out, ran 3 wide for part of the race, finished with 82 speed figure 1st after layoff, including 91 2nd call score while returning to sprint.  Gets Lasix for first time today.
Paola Queen broke maiden last time out after 4 tries, winning with 91 Brisnet, a lifetime best, coming at the 50k level.  Only horse here improving in pace form. Early-pressers (horses doing their best run on the backstretch, or otherwise having strong tactical speed) have won 47%, 22, of 47 races at this distance here.  Furtrher, posts 1-3 are winning at a 19% clip, 9 wins total here.  Best turn time here coming in, 24.4 seconds.
Suggested odds: Off The Tracks 1-1; Hold On Momma 9-1; Gomo, Paolo Queen, 9-2; Go Maggie Go 29-1. Overlay: Hold On Momma.
No EOT points between these competitors.
Finally the Florida Derby, with 10 running for a $1 million purse. This race is 9 furlongs for leading 3YOs.  Greatly hyped is the undefeated matchup between Mohaymen and Nyquist.  My top choice is the best of the rest of these in Fellowship. Whether or not he is much value at all behind either in exactas and such remains to be seen.
Fellowship the GP/GPW specialist, winner of a 500k event in October, 3rd in the Fountain of Youth and Holy Bull in last 2, peaking with 95 Brisnet last time out. That race represents a small new lifetime top better than last year’s 91, achieved here on 10/3. Only deep closer in the field. Lots of early speed in here, so a fast pace will be ticket for him to achieve victory.  Was wide in his last trip in the Fountain of Youth, still put up his best numbers, so I expect at least a rather fast effort.
Nyquist undefeated in 6, winning the San Vincente, the Breeders Cup Juvenile, the Front Runner, the Del Mar Futurity and the Best Pal. 103 last time out is small new lifetime best, ahead of his 102 in the Best Pal in August.  Fastest of the field when measured by his 2nd call numbers. Owns the only shipping wins of the field. Stretching out from 7 furlongs, hasn’t run in 7 weeks. 4 decent works at Santa Anita.
Mohaymen 5-for-5, winning the Fountain of Youth, the Holy Bull, the Remsen and the Nashua.  102 Brisnet is best for GP of this field as well as for the distance. Fastest pace numbers overall. 3 works in prep, all 3 very fast, 1 a bullet.  Last 3 Brisnet ratings were 102, 97, 102.
Suggested odds: Majesto and Chovanes 44-1; Fellowship 9-2; Mohaymen 3-1; Nyquist 1-1. Overlay: Fellowship.
Not a wager-friendly race outside of maybe a win bet on Fellowship. Still a must-watch race considering the actual Trail point drama.  Entering this race here are those that have EOT points:  Nyquist 500, Fellowship 50.

Idealistic Stats podcast week of 3/27/16

35th edition of the weekly Idealistic Stats podcast is now available.
Download/stream/share at the Internet Archive:
Main website:
Listen to exclusive soundbites of my analysis at Clammr:
This week’s podcast includes the following:
Enlightened Trails update
Picks for ET races at Gulfstream Park and Turfway Park
Current top PGA foursome
Thoughts on Future Wager Pool 4
Music used in this program:
Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky CD
DJ Flowerdove “Shimmer”
Eljuri “Empuja” – Fuerte CD
Thanks for listening!
Dan Herman
twitter: @idealisticstats

First look: Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park Oaks

Some initial insights re the Florida Derby here, one of 4 Enlightened Trails races for Saturday. Using the Equibase past performances involving all nominated colts, here’s what I’m seeing:
Mohaymen’s got the easy numbers. 105, then 106 then 115 in his last 3. The 115 from the Fountain of Youth is best at GP in this field. His 105 in the  Remsen is best for the distance.  Should there be an off track, consider JR’s Holiday, with 3 wins in 4 races under such conditions.
Takeittotheedge won his maiden debut here on 3/5 with a 1.23.58 time for 7 furlongs, an amazing 108 Equibase score, and easily the best pace number coming in.
Top trainers are Jeffrey Radosevich for Weavers Ice Cold, and Christophe Clement for Governor Malibu.  Governor Malibu has a shipping win plus prior win while increasing in class.  Weavers Ice Cold doesn’t have the shipping win but he’s waited longest to stretch out, since October 10.
As for the Gulfstream Park Oaks there are 17 fillies nominated.  Rachel’s Valentina has the best Equibase score here for the 8.5 furlong distance, a 103, scored in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies. Cathryn Sophia owns a 104 at Gulfstream, best of this field on this track; she earned that score in the Forward Gal on 1/30
Carina Mia’s 101 last out in the Golden Rod is best of this field on a sloppy track. I’ve measured her 3 last races as fastest of this field. Further, she’s got the best work tab going.
Missalaney’s current pace form suggests strong races to come. 3rd race after layoff she closely surpassed her score from the first race after.
It will be another busy week: 4 ET races on Saturday, plus the final Future Wager of the season. Podcast and blog update coming Friday.

Enlightened Trails update: Stakes action at Gulfstream, Fair Grounds

Lots to cover today, so let’s jump into action first with the lower of the stakes races.
HONEY FOX Stakes at Gulfstream is a Grade 2 event for fillies/mares 4YO+, going a mile on the GP turf.  300k at stake.
Top 3: #6 Baffle Me, #7 Istanford, #8 Coffee Cliqure.
Baffle Me had finished off her 4YO campaign well with 3 straight wins in sprints. Has placed only once, her most recent race, a 2nd in the South Beach here on December 13.  6-2-2-1 record at GP in fact. Has proven to win off layoff. Best work tab of the field: 5 works at GP, 3 very fast, all at 4 furlongs. Has won before with middle post. Increased Brisnet speed rating from 81 to 89 last time.  Proven to win with increase in class, and is freshest of those stretching out here.  Looks like big value to succeed here.The ORCHID Stakes is also for filles/mares 4YO+, 150k for this Grade 3 race. 12 furlongs on the turf.
Top 3: #7 Riposte. #4 Kitten’s Point. #2 White Rose.
RIPOSTE is the morning-line fave. 12-4-4-1 record, with the first half of his career racing across Europe. Grade 2 wins include the Ribblesdale at Ascot, the Sheepshead Bay and New York Stakes at Belmont last year.  Runaway favorite for this stalking type. Best AWD numbers (Dansili/Rainbow Lake by Rainbow Quest). Best connections: Javier Castellano 25% wins, William Mott 16%. Went through a triple increase in pace before a bounce last time out in The Very One stakes here last month.  May want to hope for some value using my other picks underneath..
We’ll go from here to the 2 pairs of races in the South division as part of my Enlightened Trail series.   After today, one race will remain in this division, to determine which horses get to the Run for all those Roses.
As the Oaks Trail stands, 250 points is enough for the division, with 500 for any wild-card entrants.
The Fair Grounds Oaks is a Grade 2 event for the fillies, 8.5 furlongs. Each horse has failed to register to score in this division.  Point scheme: 1000-500-250-125.
Top 3: #3 Jugni. #4 Audrey’s Double, #7 Shook Up.  Value to shake things up in this event.
Jugni has raced all but one of her 6 lifetime at 6 furlongs, scoring a 50k maiden claiming win and a similar win last out.   2 races ago she was all but eased in her lone 5.5 furlong race, on a yielding turf course. It’s such an anomaly that I will throw out that effort.  James Graham aboard with 20% wins, and Bernard Flint with 22% training wins.  Nice progression in pace, just peaking past her 2YO best of 82 with an 87 last time out.  Best works too: 4 at Fair Grounds, all very fast, one a bullet. Did I mention she’s the lone sprinter of the field?  Having a win moving up in class and in distance, plus not running since 2/14, she’s my top fave, despite 20/1 M-L odds.
GULFSTREAM PARK OAKS is an 8.5 furlong race for 3YO fillies on the Trail.
Top 3:
#3 Ekati’s Phaeton. #8Birdatthewire, #5 Cristina’s Jouney.
Ekati’s Phaeton, best of the first crop  from one of my favorite stallions, Tale of Ekati.  Phaeton won the mile-long Davona Dale gate to wire with a sparkling 104 last time here, also won the Grade 3 Old Hat in January.  4 of 5 lifetime at GP in fact. This sprinter appears to be the speed of the field.
I love this horse, but the odds are not attractive with the top 3 factored in.


Onto the Enlightened Derby Trail now. 500 points is required at this time to advance to my mythical Derby field, while 250 may be enough to hang on.  Top 3 in either major stakes event for the boys will put those horses in the conversation.
LOUISIANA DERBY is a Grade 2 event, 9 furlongs, 750k at stake.
Top 3:
#5 A Day in Paradise
#6 War Story
#9 International Star
A Day In Paradise is in my Enlightened Derby field. Winner of the Texas Heritage Stakes, 5-2-1-1 lifetime, this sprinter has only run routes.  Best connections coming in: Kerwin Clark riding 14% winners, Larry Jones saddling 25%. New tops of 83 and 85 in last 2, the 85 his debut at 3. Prior winner moving up in class and stretchout, as well as winning as shipper.
FLORIDA DERBY is a major 9 furlong race, Grade 1, $1 million:
Top 3:
#9 Upstart, #8 Dekabrist, #6 My Point Exactly
Upstart is another of my overall favorites in action.  Winner of the Grade 2 Fountain Of Youth and the Holy Bull at GP to begin his 3YO campaign. In the money all of his 6 starts. 2nd call pace numbers outrank the competiton. May have advantage with outside draw. 95 win in the FOY was down from 105 in the Holy Bull….sky is the limit.

2014 Florida/Louisiana Derby analysis

Looks like no scratches or changes for the big races here’s my look at the top 3 for the Louisiana Derby first:

To win: RISE UP: Racing since June 2013, winner of the Delta Downs Jackpot (Grade 3), has the best jockey/trainer combo of the field (Melancon 9% with Amoss 28%), 3 works at Fair Grouds since her 7th place finish in the G2 Risen Star, all very fast and breezing, one a bullet. Fastest runs have come from an outside post, where he is today in post 9. I am predicting a bounce back to form as suggested by the works despite the addition of a half-furlong.

2nd: IN TROUBLE won maiden debut, won the Futurity at Belmont, 3rd in the Gothem, scoring at each NY track. This is one of two horses to win at Grade 2. Paired 98 and 99 in the stake races above the maiden debut, and there’s every reason he can equal this mark. I’ve measured this stalker as the fastest of the field. Very good trip in the Gotham too which boosts his chances.

3rd: INTENSE HOLIDAY won the Risen Star that Rise Up couldn’t, preceded by competitive runs in 4 other Graded events, only in the money in the Holy Bull. Only horse in field to run at 9 furlongs prior. The 99 Brisnet last out is just past his 2YO best, and a sharp gain, so it could be a bounce here or a matching quick run.

8-9-1 my predicted order of finish.

Now for the Florida Derby:

to win: WILDCAT RED: Undefeated save a loss by a head in the Gulfstream Park Derby in January. Won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, a true horse for course at Gulfstream, working and racing exclusively there. In 10 races over the last 2 years, trainer Jose Garoffalo has ROI of +12.80 in Graded races, winning and placing at 30%. Ideal pace progression with his 100 Brisnet in the FOY just ahead of his maiden debut, a sterling 99. Fastest of the field for certain and on the rail. Liked the dueling effort last out as well and seems very strong with the rail post.

2nd: CAIRO PRINCE has the best performance at 9 furlongs of these, 2nd in the Remsen (Grade 2). In the Holy Bull he registered a 98, just ahead of his 95 while winning the Nashua. 3 wins and a 2nd lifetime. Possibly best with the middle post.
3rd: GENERAL a ROD 1st or 2nd in 4 lifetime, winning the GP Derby (ungraded). Like the pedigree a lot, dam being Dynamite Eyes, out of Dynaforfmer. Grandsire is Fusaichi Pegasus. Here’s the other horse to match success at Gulfstream, with a 100 Brisnet figure, and 2nd place finish in the FOY. 3 works at GP, last 2 quite fast. Also should benefit from middle post
1-3-6 the predicted order of finish.


PS: Scored in the Dubai World Cup with the win bet on African Story!  Did not cash in the UAE Derby tho.

Gulfstream Park/Fair Grounds handicapping contest selections

Busy day already, not a profiting one tho as I’m wagering the Dubai World Cup racecard. Just did score a win in the Dubai Golden Shaheen with Sajjhaa. Again, I wish I had proper pace numbers to make it easier.  I feel that my selections all ran early in most races, not so much later. 

There is a free handicapping contest by Equibase up now, closing at 144pm ET. They’re having me select one horse per.  Here are my selections from 10 races:
Rampart Stakes: Ciao Bella
Gulfstream Oaks: Live Lively
Orchid Stakes: Starformer
Skip Away Stakes: Cigar Street
Appleton Stakes: Omayad (Chile), longshot
Florida Derby: Itsmyluckyday

Fair Grounds:
Fair Grounds Oaks: Unlimited Budget (one of my KY Derby future wager picks)
New Orleans Handicap: Cool Street
Louisiana Derby: Very close between Code West, Titletown Five, and Proud Strike. Going with Titletown Five, a bit of a price.
Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap: Amira’s Prince (Ireland)

Note that I’m not wagering on these races. That would be a bit much. Many of my overall selections are morning-line faves