Enlightened Trails updates (Belmont Park edition)

This week, the Enlightened Trails reach Beautiful Belmont Park for its place
in my series. Both races are part of the corresponding East Coast division.
 Top 4 within the Derby Trail and top 3 in the Oaks trail make the show, before factoring in wild cards.
Quick recap of last week:
Coolidge, Concord Fast, Cattle Company, Heber in the Manzano.  No overlays
presented in the race. Coolidge worth a play as a win bet but never factored
in Concord Fast to spoil the exacta bid.  Coolidge now with 150 points in
the minors. Heber up to 110.
HOF: Fall Salute, Bird Of Prey, Discreet Lover, Formal Submission are the
top 4. Fall Salute now up to 150. Get Jets was a scratch.  My 2nd and 3rd
choices finish 3-4.   No real value within the race as there was just 4
horses, the worst at 5-1.
In the Gottstein, it was Gold Rush Dancer, My Heart Goes SOn, Cape Grace,
Love the Lion. I was reallly pulling for Wando Cat but he never showed
interest, nor did Packy’s Out. Gold Rush Dancer was the big fave who did win
The Frizette is a Grade 1 event for top 2YO fillies, $400K, 1 mile on the
Belmont dirt track.
Width enters as a considerable favorite. Won his debut vs 83k maiden fillies
at Saratoga, 80 Brisnet.
She’s All Ready dominates undefeated after 2 races at Saratoga, speed
figures of 84 and 91, wiring both fields.  Slight bounce possibility here
considering the disparity of those numbers.  She is the absolute speed
threat,and early speed at that. Already prior winner while stretching out
along with class rise, and has 2 bullet works coming in.
Width won her debut vs 83k maidens with 80 Brisnet at Saratoga.  Best works
of the field, 4 here, last 3 very fast, all at 5 furlongs and breezing.
Turn time of 22.8 is not shabby either.
Desert Tune may be the best hope for value.  70 speed figure in her debut at
the Spa, following up in slightly lower class of 75k maidens here at
Belmont, good track, winning that one.   Best pedigree here (Street
Cry/Sahara Gold, by Seeking The Gold) Her 82 speed figure last time out is
best for distance and track of these.
Suggested odds: Desert Tune 5-1. She’s All Ready 1-1. Anna Rae 29-1.
Nemoralia and Width, 8-1.   No overlays here. With my top 2 projected as top
betting choices in the morning line, I’d likely pass up this race.
The Champagne Stakes is for top 2YO colts going 1 mile, 500k.
Tale Of S’Avall, another of the great crop by Tale Of Ekati.  Won his debut
at Saratoga with 90 Brisnet vs 93k maidens.  Only horse in the bunch with
good-looking works.  Debut Lasix makes him dangerous. 4 works at Belmont, 2
of them quite fast.
Greenpoint Crusader 2nd vs 83k maidens in debut, then won at same level with
92 speed figure.  The pair of figures alone makes him a threat.
Too close to call between the best of the rest to find a 3rd
Suggested odds: Ready Dancer 3-1  Portfolio Manager 29-1. Sunny Ridge
14-1.Possible overlay compared tomorrow’s morning-line of 20-1. Already a
winner at the distance, 9/6 at Monmouth in the Sapling. The mile here should
be no problem, nor the shipping win.

Idealistic Stats podcast 10/2/15

18th edition of the weekly Idealistic Stats podcast is now available.
Also accessible permanently at the Internet Archive
Main website: idealisticstats.wordpress.com
Listen to exclusive soundbites of my analysis at Clammr:
This week’s podcast includes the following:
Enlightened Trails update with analysis and selections of Belmont Park stakes races this weekend
Fantasy football thoughts re my team toward Week 4
Update to the MLB greatest games project (rather small but steady increase in games)
Analysis of the Martin/Postol lightweight title match
A quick primer on how I wager on horses
Music used in this program:
Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky CD http://www.anniewenz.com
DJ Flowerdove “Distant Project Gate (Remix)”
I’m currently seeking more music appropriate for this program. Contact me
directly to inquire. .
Thanks for listening!
Dan Herman
Twitter: @idealisticstats

Enlightened Derby/Oaks Trails update, plus bonus stakes analysis

Covering a lot of ground today, with 2 races on the Enlightened Oaks and Derby Trail combined, plus a race by Tale of Ekati’s top 2YO, and a look to today’s Claiborne Breeders Futurity, which is part of the Million Dollar Finish series.

Let’s start with Keeneland, which doesn’t enter the picture for either of my Trails until near the very end, hosting the Blue Grass and Ashland Stakes in April.  For the Million Dollar Finish, I have to basically attempt to pick the order of finish for the top 10. I basically have to be psychic. If I pick a horse for 2nd and he/she wins, I get nothing for it. It’s not right.

Here’s how I see the top 3 in the Futurity:
6 BOLD CONQUEST was 2nd in the Iriquois (Grade 3) last time, after winning maiden race prior. I like him based on pace progression. Debut race was 76, then small new top of 80 to graduate, then surge to 89 in the Iroqouis, which was his debut at a route  and first close to home in KY.  The 89 is also best in this field for distance. Switching back to Rosie Napravnik for this.  1st or 2nd in 3 lifetime. ML: 9/2. Me: 7/2. Contender, favorite.
8 DEKABRIST won the Kodiak Island at Gulfstream this spring, just after his maiden debut win. Was not a factor in 3 stakes efforts since…no help with gain in class nor in distance or jockey. Trainer Gennadi Dorochenko managed a 2.33 ROI with Graded stakes entries this year, with 1 win and 6 placings. Did manage a gain in Brisnet from 52 to 65 in the Iroquois last out. ML odds: 50/1. Me: 6-1. May prove to be an overlay.
7 CONQUEST TSUNAMI is undefeated in 4, ships from Woodbine, switches from turf and actually makes dirt and route debut here. Always in the lead in the last 3 starts. Won the Colin and Victoria Stakes, 125k each, top class win of field. Won an allowance, presumably as prep, last time out.  Debuted at Keeneland with 81 winner. Only horse with prior race on this track. Faces a big field for the first time.  Will be in the mix.  ML: 9/2. Me: 7-1. Contender at a price.
Here’s the rest of the top 10:
4th: 10 Hashtag Bourbon
5th: 12 WV Jetsetter
6th: 1 Tough Customer
7th:2 Firespike
8th: 4 Mr. Z
9th: 11 Keen Ice
10th: 5 Carpe Diem
Tale Of Ekati in the spotlight now, ranked 19th in first-crop foals, 6 wins in 21 races, yet no stakes wins. That stat may change today, as his lone two-time winning progeny, Ekati’s Phaeton, is in the Our Dear Peggy Stakes at Gulfstream.  In fact she’s the ML favorite at 3/1.  Here’s how I rank the top 3:
10 FROLIC TO THE WIRE I like most for her pace progression; alternating fast/slow races, coming out of a small new top of 79, in an optional-claimer at the 75k level just 7 days ago.  In that race she was switching from route to sprint. She disappointed in the Pocahontas (Grade 2) at her one try at route, as well as her only race away from Gulfstream.  She’s back to a route here and top company and is aiming to post a consistent score here. I think she will. This will be her debut on grass as well. ML odds: 12/1. My odds: 9/2.  Overlay.
11 KITTEN’S TOP CAT has 2 races at GP, breaking maiden status against 43k fillies, and a convincing win in the mud in a mile effort. That race was scheduled for grass but was taken off turf.  Today’s weather suggests another off track condition which can help her chances. 4 works since last all here, last 1 around dogs was competitively fast at 5 furlongs. Considering her outside post, she may prove fastest of these.  ML odds: 20-1. My odds: 5-1. Overlay.
3 NAVAJO KITTEN is the other Kitten’s Joy offspring here. 2 races on GP’s turf, graduated last out with 83 Brisnet, best turf score of the field as well as for the track. That race was a dead-heat along with the #8 horse, Red Sashay. She has more of the historical/inherent ability to win. Best average winning distance from pedigree too (Kitten’s Joy/Indyan Lisa, by Lemon Drop Kid). ML odds: 5/1. My odds: 6-1.
As for Ekati’s Phaeton, I don’t have her factored at all. She does have the one win in the field beyond maiden and certainly did better in that race than her debut but  this is a big class jump, and her first time at a route. ML: 3/1. I say she is best avoided. I would not mind including her in exactas and such but I think we’ll see a real surprise in the top 3.
The Enlightened Trails are at Beautiful Belmont today,  the Frizette for fillies, the Champagne for the colts.   Track is downgraded to sloppy. .The Grade 1 Frizette has 7 fillies going 1 mile, 500k at stake.   Here’s my contenders:

1 CAVORTING won the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga, that after her maiden debut win at Belmont.  First shot at a route, and was on the bench 8 weeks. Had 3 works here, 1 very fast.  Jockey Irad Oritz Jr. has 9 wins and 16 placings in the last 60 days with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, for an ROI of 4.82.  Brisnet gained from 86 to 99 here.   Stalking-type horses running a mile on the dirt are winning 43% during the meet thus far.  ML odds: 5/2. My odds fully agree.
2 WONDER GAL was 3rd in the Adirondack, and won her debut in the Lynbrook by 14 lengths. Also first time route distance. The 91 Brisnet is the best score on Belmont of this field.  8 weeks off should not be an issue.  Best work tab coming in….5 works, last was 1st of 3, running 5 to 7 furlongs in last 4.  Probably fastest of the field respective of post (Adirondack speed was 93 from a rail start). ML odds: 6/1. My odds: 9/2. Contender.

3 RING KNOCKER has 2 2nd place finishes in sprints at the 83k maiden level at Saratoga, retains jockey Jose Lezcano for this race 7 weeks later. This is a tough jump up in class. If anything, she gained from 84 to 90 between both races. One of the 3 stalking-types benefited by track bias. Gets Lasix for first time. ML odds: 15/1. My odds are about the same, 17-1.  Dark horse.
4 FEATHERED  also comes out of a pair of 83k maiden sprints at Saratoga graduating last time by 9 lengths, and increase in Brisnet from 83 to 97. Best average winning distance from pedigree (Indian Charlie/Receipt, by Dynaformer). Top jockey/trainer combo here.. Javier Castellano 18% wins, Todd Pletcher a sharp 26%). 3rd of the 3 stalkers in the field.  ML odds: 7/2. My odds: 6/1. Contender at price.
5 CAYMAN CROC won lifetime debut at the 30k level, a mile scheduled for turf, changed to dirt, at Delaware, taking place 53 days ago. Brisnet of 81 is strong for this field at the mile distance.   Should have no rust here.  Best trip of field coming in….sprinting at or near the lead for the entire mile, winning by 1.5 lengths.  ML odds: 12/1. My odds: 17-1. Dark horse.
6 CONDO COMMANDO has 250 EOT points for winning the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga, and can share or gain the lead in the EOT with a placing here. Debut race was very similar result, sprinting and leading much of the race, winning by double digits.Given that the Spinaway was in the mud, as we’re sloppy today, she may well have the off-track advantage. Based on her early speed, she seems to be the speed of this field.  ML odds: 2/1.  My odds: 3/1. Contender.
7 BY THE MOON picked up the pieces from CONDO COMMANDO in the Spinaway, earning 100 points. Won debut race also at the Spa, winning an 83k maiden race. Michelle Nevin has trained 3 horses going  sprint to sprint to route, with 1 win and 3 placings for return of 2.53.  ML odds: 8/1. My odds: Worse than 20-1.  Stay away.
Top 4
1 Cavorting
6 Condo Commando
2 Wonder Gal
4 Feathered
Overlays: None.
Not expecting much in the way of value in this race.
The Champagne Stakes is also at Grade 1, 500k for 2YOs going a mile.1 EL KABEIR graduated from maiden status in style, a 100 Brisnet over 7 furlongs and a 10 length margin of victory. First time with Lasix certainly helped. Best AWD numbers here (Scat Daddy/Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song). Best works of the field. 3 works at Belmont, 2 of them bullets, and the 3rd nearly so. Stalking-type horse that can succeed here as per the abovementioned track bias.  ML odds: 5/2. My odds: 5/1. Contender.
3 I SPENT IT has earned 100 EDT points for being 2nd in the Hopeful at Saratoga. That race was actually a bounce, as he had won his prior race, the Grade 2 Saratoga Special with a 99 Brisnet. His stalking style makes him the speed of the field. Also should progress further and bounce back in this race. His 77 from a middle post is actually best among those making a start from a general set of posts (that is, comparing those with prior inner, middle or outer posts).  Another stalker type that can succeed here.  ML odds: 6/1.  My odds: 7/5.  Favorite, contender and overlay.

5 THE TRUTH OR ELSE took 4 tries to graduate from maiden winning with his first appearance on dirt last time out, going a mile in his fastest lifetime appearance, an 87 Brisnet score.  That score is fastest at the distance of the field.  Certainly a risk to bounce here, as his prior races were in the 70s, tho that may be overlooked because those were grass races. ML odds: 10/1. My odds: 9/2. Contender, overlay.
6 DAREDEVIL won his lifetime debut, a 75k maiden race, by 6.25 lengths, and a 92 Brisnet.  That score is fastest of this field at Belmont, as well as best on an off track. Top jockey/trainer combo (Castellano/Pletcher again).  ML odds: 2/1.  My odds: 3/1. Contender.
Top 4:
3 I Spent It
6 Daredevil
5 The Truth Or Else
1 El Kabeir
Good race for value, with overlays 3 and 5 factoring in my top 3.

Belmont Park 10/6/12 selections/analysis

Before this week’s, a look back at the past 5 racecards in stats at Belmont:
Saturday’s top variables were these: Best track speed of field, and best turf speed. Sunday was rife with obvious winners in these categories: Turf speed, track bias (run style and/or post), horses out of a speed duel in last race, best jockey/trainer combo. Wednesday, the track bias continued to predict exactas, as did dueling horses. Thursday, off track specialists were best, along with horses moving from sprints to routes. Friday was rather quiet, with dueling horses providing the only positive variable above a 50% hit rate. Hit rate meaning those that finish in 1st or 2nd position. Top 3 variables for the week were: Horses out of a speed duel were 15-for 30 in exacta position, an even 50%. Turf specialists were 5-for-7, 71%. Horses who were stretching from sprints to routes were 15-for-32 for the week, 46%. Worst performers: Horses recovering in form (speed drop then gain after layoff within 90 days of peak) were just 1-for-9, 11%. Similarly, horses with exploding form (new lifetime speed figure past last year’s best by small margin) were 1-for 7, 14%. Horses under reclaim of prior trainer also went 1-for-7. Overall hit rate for long-term indicators were 29.5%, short term 37%. Track and distance bias combined, a reflection of both short term horse form and the horse-for-course angle, have been the most successful angles to work in the last 5 racecards.

I’ll cover all 10 races for you today. Next week I keep the focus on Belmont as well. I’m not telling you how to wager but here’s what I would do, as I’m not actually betting today:
Exacta bets between top 3 selections. Win bets on any horses worse than 5-1. If 4th selection is worse than 9-1, place win bet, AND use top 3 selections over that selection, PLUS any horses better than 4-1, over that 4th selection.

Race 1: 5-6. Yup, just two maidens out of 7 useful. FIERCE FACE has late running speed, is fastest of those with a noted run style. REACHING OUT has the superjock Ramon Dominguez winning at 25% along with trainer Richard Dutrow at 19%.

Race 2: 10-5-6-8 WHO IS LADY has the fastest track speed of winners here in this field, a 92 scored in 2011. Also has fastest turf speed of the field. Last 3 2nd-call numbers are mid 80s to mid 90’s, fastest of this bunch. Moves from 79 to 85 in last race, maybe a bounce here. Has the recovery angle here: 2 month layoff, scoring an 82, then down to 79, then 85 in last race on 9/14. Recovering horses not doing well this week. Also was reclaimed by Michael Miceli earlier in the year; last race was first winner since with alternating good speed figures. ALYKELA has the best run on an ‘off’ track of these, a winning 84 Equibase speed figure prior to 2011 (today’s turf races are on a ‘good’ track).

Race 3: 2b-6-7-1/1a. TRANSPARENT is the lone beneficiary of track bias here; Sprinters running 6f on dirt during the meet are winning at the rate of 40%, and 42% this meet. he is also fastest pace horse of this field, with 9 first-time starters going to post. Comes out of a duel where he led much of the way, gave way to 4th in stretch in a 6f effort at Saratoga. CASINO DAY has best speed figures on an off track; his only start was a sloppy Saratoga race, with a 77 score there.

Race 4: 7-3-9-6- WINTER NOW has best winning track score here, an 88 from the spring meet, breaking maiden. Shares top winning turf speed here with 3nd choice Knock Rock. . 2nd call pace numbers for WINTER NOW are late 80’s to 90’s, fastest of these. Comes out of 8.5 furlong race leading much of the way, 2nd in stretch, faded to 10th very late. Both WINTER NOW and KNOCK ROCK excel in the top ranked variables I’ve studied this week. WINTER NOW could be a nice value horse.

Race 5: 3-4-6-9 FAIR TRADE with fastest track speed of these, an 84 from the spring meet. Lone benefactor of track bias as lone speed (see race 3). Comes out of 3rd place finish who made move to lead by head in stretch at 5.5 furlongs, lost by just 3 lengths. Had forged speed figure of 90 3 races back on 8/12, so still room to circle back to that number. No reported works since last race here on 9/21. KEYALY as pure closer has best pace numbers; stretch call numbers are averaging triple digits. Moved from 75 to 82 in last race, so maybe a bounce. Has recovery angle: was on 10 week layoff, then ran 3 times at Saratoga, with pace numbers of 82, 75, 82, forging new lifetime best. ROI angle: jockey Edgar Prado teamed up with trainer Glenn DiSanto 9 times in last 60 days, with 1 win, 3 placings in the money, for return of +10.22.
Race 6: Very competitive race between about 5 horses. I have it as 4-8-5-1. NELSON AVENUE has fastest winning turf speed, a 94 over this track on 9/8 just 2 races ago. He actually led much of this race, losing by a length in 2nd. That 94 forged a new lifetime best figure. No works since last race just 7 days ago here. ANAPHYLAXIS has distance bias at work…has to stretch from 7 furlongs to 8.5 here. No works since last race 9/23 here. ROI angle: trainer Pablo Hizo has 7 races this year on turf, with 1 win and 2 placings in the money, for return of +2.54.

Race 7: Frizette Stakes. 2-5-3-7 Two of the 3 KY bred 2YO fillies here are best. MY HAPPY FACE is one of two pure sprinters in the race, benefiting from track bias: Sprinters running a mile on dirt are winning 52% for the meet, and 40% this week. Also running a route race for first time, having gone 5f and 5.5 in only 2 starts, and my stats say this is only good news. With those 2 starts, only one first call number, a 94, is best of this field. Has the fortune of being ridden by Ramon Dominguez, plus trained by Rudy Rodriguez (26% wins) SWEET SHIRLEY MAE has fastest winning Belmont speed, a 99 winner at 5f in debut maiden race for 70k. Moves from 83 to 91 from last 2 races, so could bounce.

Race 8: Foxwood Champagne Stakes. 5-1-2 and 4 or 7 for 4th, whoever has worse odds near post time. FORTIFY is one of 5 runners who has to go from sprint to route here; he is moving from both 6.5 and 7f to run a mile here. Has Ramon Dominguez aboard, plus trainer Kieran McLaughlin (16% wins). GOLDENCENTS is lone speed here, and will benefit from track bias (see race 7). ROI angle: Jockey Kevin Krigger has combined with trainer Doug O’Neill for 9 races in last 60 days, winning 2, placing in money in 3 for return of +4.20.

Race 9: Jamaica Stakes. 6-5-7-8. SHKSPEARE SHALIYAH has best off-track numbers, with a 90 score 2 races back, the Hall Of Fame (grade 2) Stakes at Saratoga. One of 2 horses who are dead closers benefing from track bias: In 4 races this meet at 9 furlongs on the inner turf, 2 were won by closers. He has fastest pace numbers of the field, with last-call numbers from 99 to 112. SUMMER FRONT shares top winning Belmont speed with 4th choice KING KREESA, scoring a 95 3 races back, in the Hill Prince during the spring meet. Was competitive in the Secretariat Stakes in last race 8/12 at Arlington Park, made 3 wide bid 2 furlongs out, led in stretch by 1.5 lengths, would lose by 2.5 and finish 3rd. He cuts back 1 furlong for this race. Forged lifetime best 96 in last race. Has Ramon Dominguez up, plus trainer Christoper Clement (13% wins)

Race 10: 8-11-7-6 ESS SHAPE has best pace numbers of these; this closer has last-call numbers all in the 90s. Moves from 6.5 furlongs to 1 mile.Forged lifetime best Equibase number of 81 2 races back at Saratoga, then with new trainer ran 79 at Saratoga, might bounce back. ROI angles: Trainer Patrick Reynolds has 2012 record of 8 races, 1 win, 1 placing in the money, for return of +5.25. Also saddled 9 horses going sprint-to-route, with 2 wins, for return of +3.04. ACADIAN BLUES had some late run in his last race here on 9/15 at 1 mile, going from 5th to 3rd in stretch, good inside move, but finished 5th, 5.5 lengths behind winner. No works since last race.

See you on twitter for more analysis and updates via @radiocblue