The Racing Biz and TVG Super 8 contest picks 2/3/18

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
the field.
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.


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.

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

My monthly handicapping contest picks for The Racing Biz, 1/3/15

Just completed work on 10 races at Laurel Park and Parx Racing, including 4 stakes races at Laurel. I had direct access to past performances in 8 of the races. I took a quick look at jockey/trainer stats to determine the selections for the other 2.
For this contest, only the top horse counts, and only for win/place, for a mythical $2 wager.

Here’s who I selected
Laurel Park
Race 2: Sniper (10-1 morning line)
Race 3: Peaceadaaction (5/2)
Race 4: Stardust Lill (9/2)
Race 5: Lady Sabelia (1/1)
Race 6: Cutty Shark (4/1)
Race 7: Miss Mischief (3/1)
Race 8: Cerro (5/1)
Race 9: Ore Pass (6/1)

Race 7: Blue Cherokee (3/1)
Race 8: Joint Decision (5/2)
I’ll explain Sniper with the little time I have before post time: One of 2 horses to win off a gain in class in his career. Several good works since last race, all at Laurel, including a bullet. Already has a win upon shipping. Only horse stretching out in this field, and it’s been 8 weeks since.

Follow me at @idealisticstats for more coverage on these picks plus the previously cited Ekati’s Phaeton.