TVG Super 5 selections, 1/9/19

All races take place at Gulfstream Park. I need to hit 4 winners out of my top selections to share in a $5k prize.

Race 6: Non-winners of 2, $6250 tag, for fillies/mares 4YO bred in FL. They go 1 mile on the dirt. Top 3 here are She’s No Joke, Zarabanda and Jordy’s Ready.
Zarabanda is one of two overlays here at 30-1. 9 weeks removed from her lifetime best of 76, she’s yet to win at GP; 4 times in the money out of 11 here. Track bias suits her perfectly here. In 50 races at the mile distance here, sprinters have won 42%, and 20% on the rail. The only downside is that she hasn’t been anywhere near the lead in her last 3 races. I still like here to be in the top 3 and produce some value here among the chalk. The other overlay is Casual Caro. Slow but consistent pace pattern in her last 3 races, and also posted her lifetime best 4 races ago.
Race 7 is for 50k FL maidens, going a mile on the turf course. Top 3 are He’s No Lemon, Social Currency and Medina Ridge. I’m actually quite split between Medina Ridge and Clint Maroon, tho I’ll give the edge to the former due to his first-time-Lasix status. Clint Maroon rates well having been away for 3 months. He’s No Lemon actually serves as the relative favorite but at weak morning-line odds of 4-1; this suggests good prices are to be had, regardless of the result. He easily leads in terms of lifetime best scores for distance, track and surface, and had to overcome a slow start despite his 85 speed figure. He returns 2nd after layoff after cutting back in distance and scoring better at all call points. Medina Ridge, in addition to adding Lasix, has put in a bunch of works since his maiden debut on 9/8 at Belmont, with a bullet on 12/8 and 2 fast ones since.

Race 8 is for non-winners of 3, fillies/mares 4YO+, 1 mile on the man track, $6250 claimers. Top 3 are Draft, Special Counsel, Michelle’z Laugh. No overlays to be found here. Michelle’z Laugh might be the best value play. Only horse still under influence of he lifetime best mark, sent on 10/31 at nearby GPW, a 76 score. Earned 5 lb weight allowance, carrying just 116. Waiting 2 weeks to stretch out.
Risk of being overbet: Draft has a win first off layoff, and is an easy mark for her pace numbers and work tab.
Underbet: Michelle’z Laugh.
This may prove to be the other race that contains some decent value. Could be a nice rolling double with race 7.

Race 9 is a 5-furlong turf sprint for fillies/mares 4YO+, non-winners of 2, optional claimers at the $62500 level. 2 of the 7 here are up for a tag. Top 3 here are 2 logical favorites in Brandy’s Girl and Escapade, followed by Dominance. No overlays here.
Dominance should get a favorable look, having great pure sprinter speed, plus the best speed pattern of the field. He also owns 2 shipper victories.
Underbet play: Fairyland could be classifield as both a bounce and recovery play, based on her last 3 races. Hasn’t seen the lead in her last 3 races. 1 shipper victory. Could factor at a mid-range price.

Race 10: 3YO FL filly maidens take to the turf for the finale. 5 furlong sprint, 25k level. Top 3 are Alpilles, Matzo Bella and longshot Glory Roll. The latter is an overlay, as is Allez Allez and the also-eligible Sweepeno.
Glory Roll has blinkers removed in just her 2nd lifetime start. First was a distant 8th place finish here in September, 6 furlongs on the main track. With the 3 month layoff she’s put up some good works, including a bullet on 1/3. Allez Allez showed some promise in her last start vs 16k maidens at GPW 2 months ago, gaining decently on the leader early before faltering by the stretch. If first-time starter Sweepeno draws into the field, she might be one to consider, as she debuts at a $25k tag here.
Underbet: Despite 7/2 at morning-line, Matzo Bella might become a price play. She does have best speed figures for distance, surface and track, and a quick troubled trip last time out. She gets a 5-pound break here at 115. Also, 2nd after layoff, she improved at first call.

my TVG Super 8 picks and analysis

This week’s TVG Super 8 contest (5+ wins out of 8, and you cash) covers various races at Santa Anita and Gulfstream. Here’s how I see them:
Santa Anita race 2: 3YO maidens at the 54k level, 7 furlongs, dirt. Top 3 are all faves: Once On Whiskey, Paddock Pick and Facts Matter. Totally a passable race. No overlays to be found. Odds movement is proportional to the morning-line.

Santa Anita race 3: Optional-claim race 40k, non-winners of 2, fillies/mares 4YO+ running 6 furlongs on dirt. Top 3: Powder, Bad Ju Ju, Time For Ebby. No overlays here either. Odds, however suggest that Powder will be largely ignored and fall into overlay status. I think she’s an easy favorite, so I’d play her at 5-1 or worse. Stretch out to 6 furlongs is no problem here. She’s also been on layoff for about a month, and she’s won previously on layoff. Track bias is kind to pure sprinters, at a 43% over 80 races during the meet. Posts 4-7 are winning 16% too. Last out run was a small improvement at 1st call, seizing the lead for a while at 2nd call.

Gulfstream Park race 9 is a 5 furlong turf race for 4YOs+, optional claimers at 25k, non-winners of 2. Top 3 are Imprimis, Lost for Words and Our Independence. Overlays are Lost for Words and One Lucky Step. No real impact will be felt by any changes in odds.
Lost for Words is the only horse in the field with a recent small new top, even if he is a slight bounce risk. Was 86 speed last out vs 16k maidens here and at this level of claim, nearly wiring the field. Has blazing speed down the backstretch. 7-2-1-1 at GP lifetime. Gets 5-lb jockey allowance.
One Lucky Step also a bounce risk, moving from 75 to year’s best of 83. Very nice run last time out…3rd consecutive run directly off layoff, increasing at 2nd call point, and one place and 1 length on leader at that point.

Gulfstream Park race 10: Maiden race, 3YOs, 6 furlongs, 55k. Top 3 are Gran Togoshi, Elusive Hero, Breaking The Rules. Gran Togoshi the live overlay here. Stretches .5 furlong from his debut, a 71 last month here at similar class, tho a bit of a tough trip. He did improve a bit in pace and order by the 2nd call there. Breaking the Rules as a first time starter l like for the good pedigree (War Front/Protesting out of AP Indy). Very good work tab in prep…most works at GP, and a few bullets.

Gulfstream Park race 11: 8.5 furlongs on the turf course, for 4YOs+, 62.5k optional claimers. Top 3 are overlay Bronson, then favorites Conquest Sandman and Deeply Undervalued.
Bronson has superbly consistent numbers, running 84 to 88 in 8 straight. Blinkers off for this race, first time in 7 races. Prior shipping wins and similar cutback win early in career. 6 works here in prep, 4 of them rather fast.
Odds prediction: Look for Conquest Sandman to take favorite status here. Rocketry should drop from public favorite here. JR’s Holiday should take more $, considering he’s 2 removed from his lifetime best, and has a great work tab himself. The horse that will be largely ignored is Keep Quiet. I don’t believe he will drop far enough to be an overlay. I like the breeding (Elusive City/Luminosity, out of Sillery). Also he’s been off since November and is 2 races removed from a Grade 3 win.

Santa Anita race 6: 30k maiden fillies event, 3YOs, 21k purse, 6 furlongs. Top 3 here are favored Tengs Rhythm and Lucky Lula, then Stylist. Overlay is Quizlet.
Stylist impresses for me as a first time starter…a bunch of runs here, the majority of them were competitively fast.
Odds change: Little to no impact on the morning-line. I’d use Stylist with favorites here.

Gulfstream Park race 13: 7.5 furlongs on turf for maiden 3YOs, 20k level. Top 3 are all overlays: Particularly, Calypso Deep and Time For War.
Odds should not move much at all compared to morning-line.
Particularly 2 races back improved on his 1st race following layoff, suggesting he’s back in form now. Peaked at 74 first after claim at 5 furlongs, dropping to 66 last time tho increased in lengths vs leader by 2nd call for the first time. On a good uptick in pace. Adds blinkers for the first time.
Calypso Deep is waiting about a month to stretch from 6 furlongs. Gained 2 lengths on leader at 2nd call last time out.
Time For War is a first time starter with a few good fast works to prepare.

Santa Anita race 8 is for 3YO maiden fillies, running 6 furlongs, 30k claiming level. Top 3 are longshot overlay Calimonco Action, Ride Lady Ride and Dee Way To Go. Heather’s Wish also an overlay here.
Calimonco Action I suppose is quite the risk at 30-1. I happen to like the fact that she carries 5 lbs at 117, and she’s waited a month to stretch out half a furlong. Gained a length on leader last time out also. Ride Lady Ride set new top of 70 last time out vs 54k maiden fillies in debut on turf. Adds blinkers here and is up for a tag for the first time. Heather’s Wish as a first time starter has a number of fast local works.
I would not expect the odds to change all that much compared to morning-line.

2/4/17 Gulfstream Park full card analysis

3 of the  Kentucky Derby prep races are taking place at Gulfstream Park today. I decided to handicap the entire card. Here I’ll point out, as with last week, my top 3, and leading overlay selections based on morning-line selections.
I will update this post upon the announcement of scratches and changes.
Race 1: America’s Kitten, Global Entry, Sir Hannoun.  Largely a race devoid of value. America’s Kitten hasn’t finished well since claim from Chad Brown last year. 2 races back on 12/16, he posted an 87 BRIS number, a small lifetime best. Followed up with an 82 on 12/29 slightlly wide in that race. This deep closer has the best tactical speed of the field.  35% of races on turf at 8.5 furlongs have been won with a deep closer, 16% from posts 1-3.
Overlay: Sir Hannoun bounced from 82 to 63 last time out 3 weeks ago here. Since then, he posted one bullet work. Pattern of figures suggest a return to running in the 80s.

Race 2: Antoaneta, Awesome Rekha, My Ekati Cat. Some value here, but not much.
2 places in 4 races for Antoneta, both in last 2, one right after claim. Score of 86 two races back represents best GP and distance speed plus best for turf. Undeniably the speed of the field. Bounced to 76 last time out, managing a wide trip.
Overlay: Raining Lemons has waited the longest to strech out of this field. From his debut race on 11/18 at the maiden filly 40k level, she finished 9th of 11. She posted an impressive turn time of 23.6, best of this field.

Update: Antoaneta, My Ekati Cat, Raining Lemons the new top 3 order.

Race 3: Makarios, Gasprom, Expedition .
After debuting at Saratoga at the 83k maiden level at 8.5 furlongs, Makarios was given a 5.5 month-long layoff, returned to finish 2nd in a 7.5 furlong race. Speed increased from 74 to 85; he persevered while getting bumped at the start, and reserved his energy for the finish.   Generally the speed here, along with best turn time. As with America’s Kitten, Makarios receives the same sort of track bias. Overlay: Gasprom makes his 16th try to break maiden status. The main reason I like him is because he comes out of a small lifetime best of 70.
Update: Hedge Fund replaces the now-scratched Expedition.

Race 4 (Kitten’s Joy Stakes): Sir Sebastian, Holiday Stone, Kitten’s Cat.  Top 2 definite overlays.
Sir Sebastian won his last 2, both at the 25k level. 83 for that race is a small new top, only such horse with exploding recent pace numbers. One of 2 horses who did better at 1st call than previous while running first race after layoff. Also gained a length on the leader by the 2nd call.

Holiday Stone scored 97 last time out after a 6 week layoff and increase in class out of maiden status. He was awarded the win after being pushed and checked, on the favorable end of an eventual DQ. Today he runs off a 7 week layoff. 97 is best of this field for the mile distance, the track and surface. Appears to have best tactical speed here (last 3 2nd-call numbers are all triple-digits.
Update: With the scratched Sir Sebastian, Sonic Boom is the new #1.

Race 5 (Swale Stakes): I only have confidence in two horses: Derek’s Smile and Three Rules.   Derek’s Smile is the overlay of the two. Winner of both lifetime races: 80 speed rating at 4.5 furlongs at Park, 6/11, then 83 rating at 5 furlongs on GP’s turf course, 75k optional claimers. One of 2 horses who are non-stakes winners, getting a 4-lb break. Waiting since 12/30 to stretch out. Best turn time of the field. Only sprinter in the field.  Sprinters going 7 furlongs have won 39% of the time. Posts 1-3 have won 14%.  Outside of these choices, I’m rooting in my heart for Sonic Mule, one of my 8 Future Wager selections to win the Derby.
Race 6 (Forward Gal Stakes): Tequilita, Summer Luck, Wildcat Kate. Great value here, no favorites in sight.
Tequilita is the lone overlay here. After 4 maiden races and her eventual breakthrough win with a 92 Brisnet speed rating, she won the Smart Halo at Laurel with an 84. On layoff since that race on 11/19. Only early closer in the field, Gained 3 lengths on the leader in the Smart Halo. 5 works since that race, 2 bullets.

Race 7: IC Lightning, Perfect Tay, Rock Eagle. IC Lightning the lone overlay has run mainly in the 25-35k class for the last 15 months with just a few podiums. Fastest overall speed figures (last 3 races: 82, 82, 88, a good pattern). Gained a length on leader first race after layoff on 1/13 here. Also improved on 1st and 2nd call speed since prior.

Race 8: Big Venezuelan, Rodeo Romance, Lil’ Charlie.  1st and 3rd horses in that list are overlays. Nice value here.
Big Venezuelan has no finishes in 5 races in the money. Gained strongly from 32 to 60 last time out, first race after 2 month layoff. Returns to 25k claim level for the first time since claim from Bruno Tessore 9/24.  2nd call speed rating of 69 much better than 60 in race prior to layoff.  Lil’ Charlie has 1 show in 5 races himself. Best rating on turf of the field, 76, was that show finish. He gained 2 lengths on the leader in that race. This closer has best tactical speed. Lone late closer in the field.

Race 9: Blame The Law, Quebec, Fear No Evil.  Another good race for value.  Top 2 are overlays.
Blame The Law ran 2nd in November at the 58k maiden level. He bounced from 78 down to 46 after layoff and his initial appearance at GP. That is the best score for the distance, in a race with very few runners with any experience. Pattern suggests she should run about 70 Brisnet this time. No time in the front of the field despite his early-speed reptutation. Trip in last race was somewhat eventful, ran rather rank.  Did better at 1st call than last, gained on the leader by half a length from 1st to 2nd call.
Quebec ran once in October at Belmont, 52 Brisnet. Blinkers go on for the first time. Best turn time of the field among the small sample.

Race 10: Summersault, Inside Out, Seeking Treasure. Summersault and Okana are the overlays.
Summersault returns from 6 week layoff. 4 works since then, all at GP. Won last out, gained half length on leader by 2nd call. 2 2nd place finishes prior. Owns a prior win straight off layoff.

Update: Okana replaces Seeking Treasure as 3rd choice.

Race 11 (Sweetest Chant Stakes): Bahama Halo, Rymska, Tamit.  Bahama Halo is the lone overlay.  Won twice at the 75k level, not well placed in all filly stakes efforts. Prior win while stretching out, waiting since 1/7 to do so. Gained 1.6 seconds in turn time, best gain of the field.

Race 12 (Holy Bull Stakes): Irish War Cry, Talk Logistics, Gunnevera. Top 2 are overlays.  I expect good value here.

Irish War Cry won his debut at maiden 40k level, then the Merrylander on New Year’s Eve. Speed figures were 99 then 100, definitely the speed horse here.  First time Lasix helps his chances. 23.4 turn time is best of field.  I’d root personally for Gunnevara, another Future Wager selection.

Laurel Park card, Gulfstream stakes picks for 1/28/17

Lots to get to in this post, with 9 races from Laurel, 6 stakes races from Gulfstream Park, including the $12 million Pegasus World Cup.  10 of the races are part of the monthly handicapping contest put on by The Racing Biz. I won one monthly contest, and am still aiming to duplicate the feat. The contest is essentially the best total payout according to mythical Win/Place $2 wagers, one horse per race, no cap on the winnings.  Contest races are Laurel Park 2-9 and Gulfstream’s WL McKnight and PWC.  For the sake of space and time, I’ll just post analysis of  my winners for each, top 3, and likely overlay horses.
All predictions subject to change in accordance to scratches and changes.

Laurel Park
Race 2:  Sound The Horns, Speightshill, Self Start (4-1-6)

Overlays: Self Start
Should be a chalk-chalk finish here. Sound The Horns scored 87 BRIS in debut here on 12/30, same distance of 6 furlongs. Best AWD, fastest for distance and track, and is the absolute speed despite being the lone deep closer.   Self Start I only like because of his strong work tab before his first start, including 2 bullet works here.
Race 3: Turbin, Whiskey Sour, Street Bullet (5-2-7), a race that should produce an upset over the lone ML favorite.
Overlays: JC’s Not Brown.
Turbin is fastest of those with some trouble in his last trip, 83 BRIS going a mile here 3 weeks ago. Being the lone early closer and in post 5, he fits perfectly with track bias: 33% of mile dirt races have been won by early closers, plus 15% have won from posts 4 through 7.   JC’s Not Brown races first under claim by Wayne Potts. Could bounce back in pace; bounced from 82 to 65 after drop in class and cutback in distance.  Only horse with any reasonable workout numbers.

Race 4: Cooking Up A Storm, then both halves of the Wayne Potts entry in It’s A Bang and My Charming Cycle, then Seve. (3-1a/1-6)  No overlays in this race. Decent value here overall, tho lone favorite should score.
Cooking Up A Storm scored 83 BRIS last time out, finishing 6th of 9 with a 7-wide trip around the last furlong. He did improve on the leader some at the 2nd call, and has a great work tab in prep for today.

Race 5: Honey Bun, Rosie McGuire, Important (8-3-5)
2 favorites around a longshot overlay of Rosie McGuire.. Since she’s the only real value, here’s my 2 cents: debuting 11/28 at Laurel, hardly making a dent against fellow maiden fillies in her debut.  Her 24.4 turn time from that debut is fastest of these. Trainer Mary Eppier has kept her from stretching out for 2 months, and gets her a 7 lb allowance.

Race 6: Midnight Skies, Star Touch, Trudys Lucky (5-7-2), as I totally go against the lone favorite. Star Touch is the lone overlays here and the big longshot per ML at 20-1.  Fastest speed for the distance at 66, 2 races back. Followed up with 56, 2nd consecutive race running 4-wide.  I expect her to run back to her lifetime best.

Race 7: Averils Dream, Paradise Bird, Mesmerize (5-4-2), with longshot over favorite and fellow longshot. Averils Dream is the lone overlay as well as top choice. Fastest consistent pace numbers of the field, she excels here also in turn time. Waiting the longest of these to strech out. Trainer Andrew Ali removes  blinkers for this race.

Race 8: I did not secure free past performances for this race. What I tend to do is get hold of the jockey/trainer stats per meet, and play along the lines of highest combined %, assuming at least a win for both parties during the meet.   Top 3 here are Jarvis Steel, Struth, and Service For Ten (6-7-5).

Race 9: I’m Mr. Blue, Beeks, Enough Is Enough (1-2-3), a weak lone-favorite, then longshot then mild value.  Overlays: Beeks, Hey Willie.
Beeks is a sprinter with the best tactical speed of the field. Last 3 1st call numbers: 92, 105, 104. 3 works since last race here at Laurel, 1 very fast.  Hey Willie just won 1st after layoff on 12/11. Comes out of sharp speed rating gain to 91. Best turn time of the field. Gets 7 lb weight allowance.  Only concern is a possible bounce.

Now to Gulfstream Park and all those stakes races:

Race 3 is the Hurricane Bertie Stakes, Grade 3, 100k for fillies/mares 4YO+.  Top 3: Curlin’s Approval, You Bought Her, and Improv. 1st and 3rd favorites over a longshot.  No overlays in this one. As for Improv’s chances, he has a prior win off layoff as well as after cutback in distance. Racing at 117 lbs, one of 3 horses who get the maximum weight break. Gained in turn time last out despite nearly matching his prior race’s speed figure.

Race 5 is the 400k Poseidon Handicap, 4YO+ going 9 furlongs. Top 3: Cherry Wine, Imperative, Mylute, going totally away from the weak favorite.  Overlays: Ranger In Paradise, Cherry Wine, Papa Zulu.  Value-packed race!
Cherry Wine last reached top 3 in last year’s Preakness, and 3rd in the Blue Grass prior to that.  Owns a few shipping victories, and also won an optional claimer here this time last year. Waiting the longest to stretch out (11/19) Gained a bit on the leader last time out.
Race 7 is the 125k, Ladies Turf Sprint Stakes for 4YO+. Top 3 also has nice value upfront: Pretty Perfection, Spectacular Me, and Nite Delite. No real favorite per the morning line.
Overlays: Pretty Perfection, Artesian.  Pretty Perfection has the best pace progress of these. 2 races back, she achieved a small new top of 94 in the Lightning City, 12/17 at Tampa Bay. Bounced to 86 while winning an optional claimer on 1/4 here. Cuts back from a series of routes, and gets maximum 6 lb weight break.
Race 9 is the GP Turf Sprint, also 125k, for 4YO+.  Top 3 Power Alert, Super Spender, Divine Warrior, more great value here. Overlay: Pay Any Price, Divine Warrior and Doctor J Dub.
Power Alert is fine as cheap winner, but I’m here to present value.  Super Spender recovered in pace 2 races back, peaking at 95, then matched with 90 since then. Only late closer in the race. Divine Warrior gained a bit on the leader last time out. Only early closer in the field. You know what I’m thinking: The lone pace shapes of their type in the race will make for a nice exciting finish after the others tire out.
Race 10: The La Prevoyante is for F&M, 200k, 12 long furlongs on the turf.  Top 3 are longshots: Try Your Luck, Stay The Night, Quiet Kitten.
Try Your Luck won last year’s Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes. 4 wins and 3 3rds in last 7 races. Plateau of speed figures in last 3: 94, 96, 94. Prior winner stretching out in distance, today tries after 8.5 furlongs.  Positive jockey switch back to Florent Geroux (DG Oaks winner at Kentucky Downs back in September)

Race 11 is the WL McKnight Handicap, Grade 3 event, 12 furlongs on the turf, for 4YO+. Top 3: Danish Dynaformer, Sadler’s Joy, Montclair. Good value overall beyond a weak favorite per morning line. Overlay: Generous Kitten, whom I like mainly for her strong turn time.

In the next post, I’ll give you a capsule look at the horses competing in the initial Pegasus World Cup.

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.

Selections for The Racing Biz monthly handicapping contest

Please note I’m factoring in an ‘off’ track, and that these were made on Thursday.  This post was edited 815am PT reflecting scratches/changes. Also I’ve noted there is fast dirt conditions.    Overlays will be noted on my Twitter feed along with further changes.

A huge day of horses for me as I look at racing at Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park and Golden Gate Fields, plus keep an eye on the Enlightened Trails, and some future wagering.
We’ll start with The Racing Biz, and their monthly handicapping contest, usually taking place the 2nd Saturday of every month.   I have been playing most months in the last years, winning the sole prize in March 2015.  The prizes included swag from the Maryland Jockey Club (pullover sweater, autographed Jim McKay “Maryland Million” hat).  I’m aiming for the top prize once again.   For this contest, there are 10 races in which I score based on win and place payout, capped at 20-1 per.  I have direct free access to all but the 5th at Laurel; 8 races there plus 2 at Gulfstream are hooked up in this contest.     I’ll post my top 3 horses, and just list analysis of my best horse for each, plus possible overlays when comparing my betting line to the morning-line
Laurel Park race 1: 25k race, 1 mile, 3YOs
5-4-1: D’Humerus, Bissinger, Hey Willie.   Top 2 here I have actually ranked very close together
D’Humerus makes 5th start, 1st under claim, first at route, 20k tag. 1 win, 2 thirds. Exploded/forged pace last time out with small new top of 77. Measured as having fastest speed figures overall. Was part of a 3-horse battle last time out and remained competitive to the final furlong out of 6. One of 2 horses here who won after stretching out. Gets 7-pound allowance. I like his mid 70’s pattern of figures.
Overlays: My top 2 here both fit the bill. The case for Bissinger: Lifetime best 80 for track and distance; 3rd start under reclaim; marginally best works of the field; returning to route after singular sprint effort.  Love him at 20-1.
Laurel Park race 2: Optional claimer fillies/mares, 4YO+, conditional, 16k, 6 furlongs
3-2-4: Oh What A Delite, Chica Fabulosa, House Red
Oh What A Delite 2 wins and 2 2nds in 7 total at Laurel. Lifetime best 84 achieved here twice last fall. 2nd such score represented positive pace progress following a year long layoff. Fastest speed figs in the field.  Best turn-time speed and gain of the field as well.
Overlays here are my 2nd and 3rd choices.  Chica Fabulosa has best AWD numbers; 2 races removed from lifetime best 82 score; best works of the field; nice pattern of speed figures in last 3.  House Red posted lifetime best in early November; prior win with stretchout, owns a shipping win; gets 7 lb. allowance
Laurel Park race 3: 10k claimers going a mile, 4YO+, non winners of 3.
3-4-2: Farmer Jones, Consistency, Kowboy King.
Farmer Jones 13-2-2-1 at the distance, best score a 93.  Scored 79 in last 3 races. Ranked as having best turn time and gain of the field.
Overlays: Andy’s Love I have at 6-1, below his morning-line of 10-1. 2 races back he set lifetime best of 80, paired with 76 after before being claimed.  Returns to route after those 2 sprints.
LATE CHANGE: 2-3-1: Kowboy King, Farmer Jones, Reach For Yield
Laurel Park race 4: Optional-claimers, 32k, fillies/mares 4YO+, nonwinners of 2, 5.5 furlongs.
3-5-4(or 8)
Dallas Cowgirl comes out of two small lifetime tops, an 86 in May at Charles Town, and an 87 in December here. Fastest horse as measured by run style. 2 very nice works in prep, one a bullet.
Overlays: None. Not much value to work with in this one.
LATE CHANGE: 5-4-8: Loveable Lady, Avie, Pret Say Aye
Laurel race 5 change: 3-9-10: Excellent Royale, Andy Picked Me, Gator Gold, as I choose based on jockey/trainer win %. This is the race I’ve not had access to PPs.
Laurel race 6: Maryland Racing Media Stakes: 8.5 furlongs, 75k purse for fillies/mares 4YO+.
2-3-5 Gypsy Judy, Mei Ling, Agawa.
Taking longshot over what should be a heavy favorite.  Gypsy Judy 2 races removed from exploding pace of 94 in the Commonwealth Oaksand subsequent bounce to 72 in a 100k stakes event here in November.   3 works since, last one at 5 furlongs 2nd best of 14. Horacio Karamanos returns to ride (prior winner with her); blinkers go on her too for this. With 3 months away, she  must be raring to go.
Overlays: along with Gypsy Judy, Agawa might get less attention.  A NY track staple, she has a lifetime best 96 on off-track conditions (there is snow forecast for Saturday);  Should bounce back from 80 after reaching 88 to 91 in 3 prior races and layoff. Her 80 first after layoff, and improvement to 90 2nd call above 74 suggests she’s already gaining in form.
Laurel race 7: John B Campbell Stakes is 9 furlongs for 4YO+, 75k.
8-3-5 in a pricey race: Classic Giacnroll, Kobel, Pappa Portmore
Classic Giacnroll hits the board the majority of the time. This 5YO gelding intrigues for one reason only; his improvement on turn time between his last two races dominates everyone here.  Returns to route after a 2nd place sprint finish here 2 weeks ago.
Overlays: Besides my top pick, Pappa Portmore should get a piece. 4th race under 2nd reclaim by Sam Davis. Also returns to route after 3 sprints with mixed results.
LATE CHANGE: 7-8-3, picking Souper Lucky over my original 1st and 2nd choices.
Laurel race 8: Barbara Fritchie Handicap, 300k, 7 furlongs for fillies/mares 4YO+
5-1-4: Lady Sabella, Sweet On Smokey, Princess Violet.
Lady Sabella one deserving favorite, 2015 defending champ and winner of a number of ungraded stakes races 12-7-2-2 record at her home Laurel track. 3 wins of 4 on off-track conditions including 102 speed figure.  Prior winner first off layoff.  True speed of the field.  Waiting since December to stretch from 6 furlongs.
Overlays: Sweet On Smokey reliable runner in the past year. Comes out of small new top of 95, 2 nice works since then.
Gulfstream Park race 4: Grade 2 Royal Delta Stakes, 8.5 furlongs for fillies/mares 4YO+, 200k.
6-1-5: Best Behavior, Call Pat, Sandiva in a likely chalk finish.
Best Behavior a consistent placer, 24 of 28 lifetime with Grade 3 placings in her last 2. 16-6-5-3 with 103 best mark here at GP, achieved last out on 12/26.   Fastest of these here. Great works, 2 of 3 are bullets at 4 furlongs.  Edgard Zayas returns to ride her.  Also returning to route after that singular sprint.   Concerned that she may bounce from that 103 mark.
Overlays: none.
LATE CHANGE:  6-4-5: as I replace the scratched Call Pat with Penwith
Gulfstream Park race 5: 7.5 furlongs on the turf course, 25k optional claimers, non winners of 2, fillies/mares 4YO+
4-3-6 Wild About Jass, Tasunke, Share The Music
Wild About Jass for the longshot upset.  Deep closers such as her have won 21 of 54 races for surface/distance.  On uptick of pace pattern covering last handful of races.  Only horse in field to improve from 1st to 2nd call last out.
Overlays: Besides my top pick, Share The Music intrigues.  Prior winner first off layoff, busy works during 4 months off. Goes dirt to turf, won last time she made that switch

Selections for Laurel/Gulfstream Park 2/14/15

I’m entering the latest individual leg of The Racing Biz‘s monthly handicapping series. Rules are $2 mythical wager, win-place, one horse per race, pick and pray. With overcast skies in Baltimore and 50% chance of snow, I’m already concerned about an off track condition.    Here are those selections which I locked in,10 minutes to deadline…
Laurel Park race 2: 2 Chance Encounter  (I had no access to Brisnet past charts, so I used best jockey/trainer win % combo)
race 3: 1 Aji
race 4: 2  Barracuda Wayne. First longshot play today forged lifetime best Brisnet 96 score 2 races back, promptly bounced after. Kaylia Albright returns in saddle, a factor that will help him.
race 5: 4 Gallivanting
race 6: 2  Northern Label
race 7 (John B Campbell): 10 Sailor’s Revenge
race 8: (Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie): 7   Before You Know It. Other longshot  play today.  Off lifetime Brisnet best 98, besting her 4YO best score of 95.  This deep closer comes in with best trip last out of the field.
race 9: (Maryland Racing Media Stakes): 1 Luna Time is 2 for 2 at 9 furlongs.  Small paired up gains of 83 and 86 Brisnet last 2 races. Very good closing trip last time here in December before layoff.
Gulfstream Park race 10 (Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie Stakes): 1 More Than A Party
Race 11: (Cooper City Handicap) 8  Kitty Wine

Back soon with my Enlightened Derby Trail selection for the El Camino Real Derby