I decided late Friday night on entering 2 full handicapping contests, something
I hadn’t done in a while. What’s not to love about 2 free contests, 8 races each,
with similar rules and stakes?
I’ll post my top 3 selections for each of the 16 races across the Racing Biz and
TVG contests for Saturday (today), and capsule thoughts on each top selection.
Overlay picks I’ll save for the Twitter presence at @idealisticstats
The Racing Biz, as usual, does a monthly contest focusing on mid-Atlantic
state racing. Today, the focus is on 8 races at Laurel Park, races 2-9. There is
a cold snap going on with a slight chance of snow.
Race 2: 4-1-6. 2 logical favorites, one longshot. Lady Terp with 7 wins in 30
starts here. Best speed figures for distance and track, easily the speed threat
here and a good pattern of BRIS figures in the 80s.
Race 3. 5-3-6. No direct access to past performances. I usually side with the
combined win % by jockey and trainer in this circumstance. Love Doctor is
trained by Thomas Iannotti IV, who has a 33% strike rate at the meet so far (1
win in 3 starts)
Race 4: 6-5-8. 2 value horses sandwiching the big favorite. Adversary on
layoff since 1/18, 2 works here in prep, good pedigree via Tapit on dam side.
1st race on reclaim by Sanchez-Salamon, who has 1 win in 3 starts and 2 of 3
in the money in 2018 for these circumstances.
Race 5: 5-4-3..Logical mild favorite ahead of value and longshot. Off Road 1
fast workout since last race 1/14, a race that saw him gain 3 lengths between
calls and later close to win. With trainer chance and slight gain in class, I say
he’s best of these.
Race 6: 2-6-5. Slight value ahead of longshot. Shackle Me Good best pedigree
here (Shackleford/Lovegood, out of Albert The Great). Best speed for distance,
82, acheived last September; 2 of 2 at the distance. New small top of 85 last
time out here on 1/8. Lone sprinter of the field; sprinters are 40% for the 8.5 .
furlong distance thus far, and 19% from posts 1-3.
Race 7: chalky pick of 7-1-8. Demon Buster best in speed as evidenced from
most recent races, all in the 70s. Was 5th of 8 while running 4 wide, but still
posted a 77, running on a good track cutting back from 7 to 5.5 furlongs. Only
early closer in the field
Race 8 : 5-3-6 again, little value ahead of longshot. Joy Drive impressed first
after layoff, with increase of 5 points at 1st call, and closed to leader by 1
length between calls. I like this combo of variables in general.
Race 9: 3-10-8. Lone longshot pick here, ahead of favorite and some more
value. Rescue Cat only early closer in the field. 2 fast works since trainer
change to 18% winner Wayne Potts, plus drop in class.
Picks are scored by mythical payouts at win and place based on a mythical $2
wager. Highest total payout wins out. Just one prize handed out here.
At TVG, the Super 8 continues to be offered. Today, any players with 5 or more
wins will cash out.
Santa Anita race 2: 6-1-3 Chalk to begin the contest. Core Beliefs 2nd start,
1st with Lasix, waiting 3 weeks to stretch out.
Golden Gate race 2: 2-6-4. More chalk. Kung Pow Chick off 3rd straight small
new top of 72, definitely consistent in speed.
Santa Anita race 3, Palos Verdes Stakes: 1-4-2. Roy H big favorite over value.
Gelding, son of More Than Ready off of 4 out of 5 triple-digit races and 4 wins
including at the top Grade 1 level. Best speed for distance and Santa Anita,
truly the speed here. Owns prior shipping wins. Only early-pressing horse of
Gulfstream Park race 10, Forward Gal Stakes: 8-7-6 Good value to upset in
this race from My Miss Lilly. Won her debut vs 60k maidens on a sloppy
Aqueduct tarck at 6 furlongs. 104 2nd call. 4 works in prep, all very fast.
Santa Anita race 4: 1-8-4 Tizanillusion the chalk over value horses. 96 score in
2016 at Belmont on turf is best for the surface of these. Last 4 races all in the
80s. Several shipping wins. Off since 11/11, has a number of good works here
at SA since.
Gulfstream Park race 11: Dania Beach Stakes: 1-6-8. Speed Franco, winner of
last year’s Pulpit, is my value pick over a favorite and longshot, in a very tough
race to handicap. Best scores for distance, track and surface. Bounced from
102 in the Pulpit to an 89 in the Kitten’s Joy, 6th. The wide trip and mediocre
pace probably hurt his chances. Only early/pressing horse in the field.
Santa Anita race 5. Robert B Lewis Stakes: 5-2-1. Mild favorite over value.
Shivermetimbers 4th in the Sham last out. All 4 races in the 90s, with 3rd
consecutive small new top.
Golden Gate race 6: 4-1-6. Mild value and longshot ahead of favorite. Midvale
Magic 8-2-0-2 here. Good run 1st after layoff and 5YO debut, with an
improvement at each call and 1.5 length gain on leader
Changes to these picks will be updated during the day, upon announcement of
scratches and changes.