2018 Black-Eyed Susans analysis, prediction

Time to go horse-for-horse in the big event for fillies this week, the Black-Eyed Susans. this race is 9 furlongs in length, for a purse of $250k. 10 fillies are contesting this race.

Check out my latest IS podcast (soon to be published) as I give you the audio version of my analysis and more.

TELL YOUR MAMA has run since late last summer, still a maiden after 10 races. She’s run from levels 51k to 74, eased out of the Breeders Cup Fillies, and was 4th in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Best score was 83 in her 4th race, going from route to sprint for the first time. Michael and Ann Ewing claimed this filly from original trainer RB Hess Jr after the GP Oaks, saw it finish 2nd with an 80 Brisnet last time out. RB Hess Jr claimed her back upon that effort. I’m noting that a generally positive sign, despite the slight bounce risk moving up 7 points in speed rating.
Prediction: 9th.

MIDNIGHT DISGUISE owns 4 wins in 6 races, including the Busher and Busanda, both at her home track of Aqueduct. 4th last out in the Grade 2 Gazelle. Her trip was somewhat wide all through that 9 furlong race, yet still managed an 85, not far off her lifetime best of 91 at age 2. Slight gain at 2nd call in the race also. Gets a positive jockey switch to Irad Ortiz Jr, and adds blinkers for the first time.
Prediction: 4th.
Odds prediction: 9-1.

COACH ROCKS was a filly I seriously liked early on, even if it took her 7 tries to break maiden. Followed it up with a win in the GP Oaks, then was 7th in the KY Oaks. Best current pace pattern among fillies (last 3 speed figures were 87, 93, 90).
Prediction: 5th.
Odds prediction: 9-1.

RED RUBY won the Martha Washington, then was 4th in the Honeybee. Both races at Oaklawn. Lifetime best of 92 set in her maiden win in November.. Off since 3/10, she has a prior win 1st off layoff, and is waiting the longest of these to stretch. 3 works in prep, 1 work very fast. Nice gain at 2nd call last out in the Honeybee.
Prediction: Winner.
Odds: 9-5

MIHRAB comes out of an optional claim win for 50k, this following 3 stakes events with mixed results. She set a nice lifetime best of 87, a spike up from her 58 in the GP Oaks. I have to forecast for a bounce.
Prediction: 7th

CS INCHARGE won in her 5th maiden race, backing that up with a win in Suncoast at Tampa Bay, then was 6th last out in the Ashland. She’s yet to surpass that 92 score from her graduation from maiden status. Considering there is rain in the forecast, and that she put forth a superb score on a muddy Keeneland track for the Ashland, she has to be given some favorable looks. If anything, she did improve at the first 2 calls first race after layoff.
Prediction: 6th.

GOODONEHONEY has won both of her lifetime races, a 6 furlong race on 3/24, and the Weber City Miss at 8.5 furlongs on 4/21. She threatens as the true speed of this 10-horse field, having also posted 2nd-call scores of 102 and 92. I can make her a contender on this alone.
Prediction: 3rd.
Odds: 7-1.

INDY UNION was 8th in the Miss Grillo, then won her 4th maiden race with a 93. After that, she bounced to 6th in the Demoiselle with a 71. Then was 2nd in the Weber City Miss, moving up to an 84, improving at each call from prior race first after layoff. Best AWD numbers of the field (pedigree is Union Rags/Fapindy, out of AP Indy). Regular rider Jose Ortiz Jr returns.
Prediction: 8th.
Odds: 44-1

SARA STREET won her 2nd maiden race, then was 2nd in the Busher and in the Gazelle. 99 in the Gazelle marks the best speed for today’s distance, and her 3rd consecutive gain. Possibility of a bounce here, especially as she eclipses the track par figure of 96.
Prediction: 10th
Odds: 44-1

STAKES ON A PLANE was 7th in her route debut, the Grade 2 Demoiselles on 12/2. Won a 50k optional claimer on a muddy Laurel track as she began her 3YO career. She spiked up to an 83 with that win. 4th in the Beyond The Wire with an 81, then 4th in the Weber City Miss, matching that 83 score. I like the recent pattern of speed figures, all following a 10 week layoff. Receives Lasix for the first time, usually a good future indicator. Also, she’s the lone closer of the field. With an average pace throughout, she has a real possibility to score an upset or at least run near the shorter-priced horses.
Prediction: 2nd
Odds: 3-1. Lone overlay of the field.

Top 3 here, therefore, are Red Ruby, Stakes On A Plane, and Goodonehoney (4-10-7). Coach Rocks is the lone filly beginning with odds better than 4-1. This suggests we’ll have a value-filled race.
I can see using 4 and 7 with each other and over 10 in exactas, saving the 10 for a win wager (plus under the narrow ML choice of Coach Rocks).

As mentioned, with rain forecast for the weekend in Baltimore, an off track must be factored in. Generally, I don’t put much stock in using simply the lifetime figures for conditions, so I can only give CS Incharge so much rope to do better.

Odds movers: Coach Rocks and Sara Street are definitely ones to take on more money by the public. From the back, Tell Your Mama and Mihrab also should be looked at favorably. Getting ignored will be longshot Stakes On A Plane, and Red Ruby. Of course, I happen to like both horses very much.

Stakes selections at Pimlico 5/20/16

It really didn’t matter to me that I hit the winner of the Kentucky Derby way back at its peak in November. The big favorite won, and so did the 2nd and 3rd favorites, in order. Pure, utter, chalk, the bane of value handicappers. Frankly, the 2nd favorite and 2nd finisher Exaggerator was also in my top 5 of horses to play straight win bets on then.  I could have played exactas to all 5 of them and hope to score the exacta, worth nearly $200 for a $2 wager.  I had never seriously considered exactas that early on.  Maybe come November, it will be time to do so.

Moving on: I am now an employee at Emerald Downs, the status of which renders me ineligible to be in the 123 Racing contest there.   I still am eligible to be part of The Racing Biz’s 2 day contest, 5 stakes races both Saturday and Sunday at Pimlico.   Here I present info on the Friday races.

PIMLICO SPECIAL: 1-3/16 miles, Grade 3, 300k, 3YO+
My top 3 are Savoy Stomp, Page McKenney, Golden Glint
Savoy Stomp has the best Average Winning Distance numbers from pedigree (Megdalia d’Oro, Crystal Current by AP Indy). One of two horses in optimal pace form. Small new top of 95 achieved in March, and only horse in field to win 1st off layoff.  Best works: 4 since the Skip Away on 4/2 at Gulfstream, 1 very fast. Switching back to maiden-breaking win by John Velazquez. Somewhat wide bid for much of the Skip Away. This closer just didn’t have what it took to win then. But the fast 89 Brisnet suggests there is more in the tank.
Potential overlays: Savoy Stomp, Heisinfront

JIM MCKAY TURF SPRINT: 5 furlongs, turf, 100k, 3YO+.
My top 3 are Big Guy Ian, Ben’s Cat, Jack’s In The Deck.
Big Guy Ian is in bounceback pace position after lifetime best triple digit speed figures, then bounce to 75 last out in the Elusive Quality. One of three horses to improve on first call 1st after layoff. Best turn time and gain of the field.
Potential overlays: Big Guy Ian, Jack’s In The Deck.

Allaire Dupont DISTAFF Stakes, 9 furlongs, Grade 3, 150k, fillies/mares 3YO+.
My top 3 are Camille Claudel, Engaginglee, Savings Account.  Camille Claudel may be the longshot here, but I like her as the big winner. One of two horses to win straight off layoff. Best works, 5 in all, 4 of which are very fast. Switches back to regular rider Forest Boyce, who piloted two of the mare’s 3 lifetime wins.  Also appears to be the lone overlay.

HILLTOP Stakes: 8.5 furlongs, turf, for 3YO fillies, 100k. Top 3 depends on entries. If one of the horses scratches, the also-eligible Lookout Sister is my top pick, with Thundering Sky 2nd and Look Who’s Talking 3rd.  If no scratches, the latter two are my chosen top 2, with Cowgirl Tough  rounding out my trifecta.   Lookout Sister won both lifetime races at Del Mar, including the Small Wonder in September. Having won her maiden debut, do not expect her to experience rust today. 4 works since last, most recent one a bullet. Switches back to original jockey Trevor McCarthy. Waiting since April 2nd to stretch.  Thundering Sky’s lone start at the distance on April produced best figure of the field, a 91. Measured as having best figures overall.
Overlays: Melody Croon, Thundering Sky, Look Who’s Talking. Lookout Sister (if in the race), Cowgirl Tough (if Lookout Sister not in)

Finally the BLACK EYED SUSAN, race for leading 3YOs going 9 furlongs, Grade 2 event, 250k.
My top 3 are Dothraki Queen, Ma Can Do It and Midnight On Oconee.
Dothraki Queen is the classic ‘now’ horse.Winner of her maiden debut and the subsequent Pocahontas, with diminishing returns since.  4 works, 3 at Churchill, last 2 very fast, one a bullet. 1 shipping win. Only time she switched from turf to dirt, she won. She does likewise today, shipping from the Keeneland turf and an 8th place finish in the Appalachian, 4/14.
Overlays are each of my top 3 here.

Back in a bit with the Preakness capsule focus.

Preakness Day stakes analysis

Now for a look at the Preakness Day races. In this post I’m targeting all the stakes races outside of the run for the Black-Eyed Susans. Preakness Stakes analysis will follow in a separate post.
All selections are made before early and late scratches occur. I will update these posts when changes occur that affect my selections.
Also: I plan to use exactas in all directions in my top 3 selections per race. For the Preakness I’ll use the top 4. I’ll also play win bets on any horse that may go off at worse than 5-1. Here we go!
Race 3: Gallorette Handicap
Morning-line favorite Zagora has run consistenty in Graded races, winning the G1 Diana last year. This dead closer has won 3 of her last 5 races. Idle Talk has won her last 4 and is horse-for-course: 4 runs over the Pimlico track, last start was a win in the Dahlia, with a Brisnet of 80. Best lifetime score here is an 86.Baltimore Belle has the best jockey/trainer combo (Pimentel/Trombetta).   
Track bias helps nearly all the horses in some way, tho the two that may get the most help are Idle Talk and Laughing, who are late runners and break from posts 4 and 7.
Selections: Zagora, Idle Talk, Baltimore Belle.

Race 6: Chick Lang Stakes.
Lemon Juice had the most valuable win in the field, a 100k race last autumn. He also comes out of a 40k race on this track, and an 87 Brisnet number. He’s the only horse with Pimlico experience of the 8 running! He’s also one of three horses who have won beyond the scheduled 6 furlong distance (He Can Run, and Mandorla are the others). Further, he has the best jockey/trainer combo in the field (Franklin, Kobiskie). Scaramanga is the fastest horse of the field. He has depended on 3-wide runs to be competitive and win in all 3 lifetime starts, all in Florida. Laurie’s Rocket is in best form of the field. He ran a 96 in the Bachelor Stakes at Oaklawn Park last time out (4/7); prior to that an 87 Brisnet in the G3 Southwest at the same track. Likely to bounce from that effort but his 96 actually pushes him just past his 2YO best of 94. He may well break through in this race.
Also consider the aforementioned He Can Run adn Mandorla re distance, and Il Villano, who also has good form (strong jockey/trainer ROI, comes out of a pace duel).
Selections: Lemon Juice, Scaramanga, Laurie’s Rocket.
RACEDAY UPDATE: Lemon Juice is an early scratch.  No horse with Pimlico experience in the race. Innocent Man moves into the picture as having the best class profile in the race.
Updated selections: Laurie’s Rocket, Scaramanga, Innocent Man.
Race 7: OK, so I’m sneaking in a 43k allowance race to handicap…
Fastest horse for her pace-type in the field is the sprinter Hidden Joy. Comes out of a pair of 4th place finishes on this track. Lucky Holly is one of three horses who have top valued wins (25k level). She and Favored Lady own the top Brisnet number at this track, an 81. Lucky Holly is just off that effort, while Favored Lady scored this number a year ago.
Track bias is heavily divided for turf routes at the meet. The track seems to favor closing-type horses (Magical Merry, Lucky Holly, Distorted Disciple), and split re post positions 4 on down.
Form is pointing mainly to two horses: Distorted Disciple. After a layoff, and posting a 65, she then went down to 54, then up to 71. This ‘recovery’ pattern is a good signal for future success. She did win her next race and break maiden in the process with a 71. Jockey Alvarado and trainer Hamilton Smith hope to catch lightining in a bottle, having combined on one race together in the last 60 days, winning it in the process. Best jockey/trainer combo in the race is Pimentel/Trombetta,handling Dixie Shoes.
Selections: Hidden Joy, Distorted Disciple, Lucky Holly, as I think value will be very strong here.
RACEDAY UPDATE: Dixie Shoes is an early scratch. This gives Favored Lady’s connections the better jockey/trainer combo remaining (Boyce/Tullock).
New selections: Hidden Joy, Distorted Disciple, Favored Lady.
Race 9: James W. Murphy Stakes.
Done Talking, winner of the Illinois Derby, was one of my top 5 picks in the Run For the Roses; he would finish 14th in heavy traffic. He and Easy Crossing have won at 9 furlongs, better than the other horses. Fastest in the field tho is Skyring, with great triple digit 2nd-call numbers, and comes out of a 75k optional claim win at Churchill, ran on Derby Day. Before that were disappointing efforts in 2 Grade 3 races.
Track bias for mile races on turf across the meet have favored late-pace horses (Gold Megillah only qualifier here) and the rail horse (Easy Crossing).
Form: Done Talking is strong here, slightly ahead of Two Months Rent. Done Talking had set a lifetime best Brisnet of 92 at the Illinois Derby, just past her 2YO best of 90 last autumn. Then he had his off race in the Derby with the predicted bounce. With no works since the Derby, I think Done Talking is in great shape to win here. Two Months Rent does have some edge having the jockey/trainer combo of Pimentel and Toner.
Selections: Done Talking, Skyring, and Two Months Rent, as more value is being sought here.
Race 10: DuPont Distaff
Longshot horse Strike The Moon won the Charles Town Oaks last fall, a 400k ungraded race. No horse in the field has a Graded stakes win. Strike The Moon has the only win over this track, a 94 Brisnet. Daring Reality, dead closer, has the fastest overall pace here..solid triple digit Brisnet numbers in the stretch while racing in Graded compay, yet no better than 3rd. Her last win was a year ago. Love And Pride has the only win at 9 furlongs of this field, while most of the others have won at the scheduled 8.5 furlongs today.
Track bias is scattered between 7 horses, no real edge.
Form: Catch A Thief is another example of a ‘recovery horse’. After layoff, ran a 93 in a Graded race, then put up numbers of 90, then 87, thena 98 in the Plugged Nickel Stakes last time out, before a layoff of 45 days. Her 98 score is below her lifetime best but still a great number. A good ROI angle here too: Jockey Leparoux has worked 5 races with trainer Hills in the last 60 days. 2 wins, 3 in the money, for a positive ROI of +4.60.
Fastest in this field is Strike The Moon.
Best jockey/trainer combo of the race is Strike The Moon, once again the combo of Pimentel (winning at a 19% clip) and Trombetta.
Selections: Catch A Thief, Strike The Moon, Daring Reality.

Race 11: Dixie Stakes:
Good competitive field for this one. Air Support, along with Forte Dei Marmi have both won at 12 furlongs, beyond this race’s 10 furlong test. Air Support, winner of the Virginia Derby last year, is one of 4 horses with Grade 2 victories. He is also the fastest horse to his style, being a dead closer. After his win in the VA Derby, he was on a 9 month layoff, then failed to fire a stretch run in a 67k allowance race. Hudson Steele has the fastest win of this field at Pimlico, a 97 in his last start, the Henry Clark.

Track bias: For the meet, turf route races have favored late-closers (Casino Host, Hudson Steele, Boxeur Des Rues) and the rail (Vanquisher).
Form: No one impresses me here with pace/form angles. Avenida Paseo, tho, has a great jockey/trainer combo in Castellano Jr. and Corrales
Selections: Air Support, Hudson Steele, Avenida Paseo
Preakness Stakes analysis in the next post!

Pimlico 5/18 stakes race analysis

This post focuses on the stakes races at Pimlico on Black-Eyed Susans Day. I have decided on wagering these races.

Race 6: Skipat Stakes.
Bold Affair has a excellent edge on this field of 7, tho the ML odds are already down to 2-1. She is prevalent in all variables. She’s already won beyond this race’s distance; best win was a 200k race last autumn. Comes out of a 107 Brisnet score on this track, best of this field. That race gives this jockey-trainer combo of Castellano and Wolfendale, an ROI at the very basic profit margin of +2.00. Of course that’s just one race out of the last 60 days. The only other horse who can threaten is Valiant Passion, an early-mid race runner who has sharp numbers in that stage of her races. Ran just once at 3, making 2nd start at 4, off of a 6-f race where she led until the stretch on this track. Also consider: Romantic Cuvee and Red’s Round Table, who each have won beyond 6 furlongs; the latter comes out of a G2 race.
Selections: Bold Affair, Valiant Passion, Red’s Round Table

RACEDAY update: Red’s Round Table is scratched, making this a two-horse race between my selections. I’ll toss in the public favorite at post time with Bold Affair and Valiant Passion for exacta bets.
Race 9: Jim McKay Turf Sprint
Real challenging to handicap this one. I have 3 contenders amidst the 12 runners: FIDDLERS PATRIOT I chose mainly because the 6YO has the fastest Brisnet numbers for his race style (early-pressing) in the field. Cactus Son has the longest win of the field (winning at 7.5 furlongs). He also has major edge in form; he broke through his 3YO best number on 2/25 in a 75k stakes race. He’s still under influence of that run, his 2nd last run to the present. He’s also running for 2nd time under reclaim from trainer Kenny Smith. His last race was on Derby Day at Churchill, a G3 sprint. Good inside runs in his last several races, with Brisnet numbers in the 90s. Trainer did not work him out since the race on 5/5.
I also like Ben’s Cat who won this race last year with a 110, best Brisnet at Pimlico of this field. He also is the one horse with a Graded stakes victory of the 12 horses.
Four other horses also worth looking at: Birdie Beats Par has the track bias to his advantage. So far in the meet, for 5 furlongs on turf, winners have mainly come from dead sprinters on the rail, and this horse is exactly that type and in that position.   Disco Dandy, Steady Warrior and Ju Jitsu Jax are the other 3 pure sprinters in the field. Ju Jitsu Jax also has the trainer/jockey connection of Carmouche and Wolfendale.
Selections are Fiddlers Patriot, Cactus Son, Ben’s Cat.
RACEDAY update: Birdie Beats Par and Steady Warrior, two of 4 horses I valued best re track bias, are scratched. This does not currently change my 3 selections.

Race 10: The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes
Mamma Kimbo is the fastest filly of the bunch, based on 2 lifetime races and winning the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes. She also benefits from the track bias. Runners in route races on dirt have favored sprinters all through the meet, and especially within posts 4 through 7 (In Lingerie, in post 7, also fits in both categories). She also managed the fastest pace numbers of this field. Plum has the fastest Brisnet number at the track in the field. That was a 91, scored in her most recent race. Plum has the best jockey/trainer combo in A. Castellano and R. Jenkins. (Plum also has a middle post in this race. Best in form is Wildcat’s Smile. Her current pace suggests she could move forward from her 91 score, a win in a 25k race. She just pushed forward from her 2YO best, an 89. She might bounce tho, as her prior race was an 84. ROI angle is interesting too: Rosie Napravnik and trainer Galluscio have worked together on 3 races, with 1 win, twice in the money for an ROI of +13.60. Also to consider: Oaks Lily and In Lingerie, who benefit from the track bias, and Disposablepleasure, who has already won at 9 furlongs, and owns a Grade 2 victory.
Selections are Mamma Kimbo, Plum, Wildcat’s Smile.

Race 11: The Very One Stakes.

Well Deserved is a horse befitting her name here. Fastest horse to her type in the field of 11. A clean sweep in the form category too. Based on pace numbers, she forged a lifetime best of 98 in her last start, slightly ahead of her 94 as a 4YO. There’s positive risk of her bouncing in speed from the race too, but mares don’t often bounce as often as fillies. Sensible Lady has the fastest winning Brisnet number here, a 100, 2 races back in a 25k allowance. Inspired has run a series of ungraded stakes races, putting together a 3 win race streak, then a 4th last time out. Weeper has good jockey/trainer combo (Chaves/Stites best combined win %).

Track bias is in favor of sprinters; of these, Inspired, Bounding Bi, Halo Hollie and High Quality all fit. The rail may also be the place to win from. Sensible Lady has the railin this race.
Selections: Well Deserved, Sensible Lady, Inspired.
Race 12: Pimlico Special:
Cherokee Artist has the best pace numbers of the field…triple digit Brisnet numbers in the last 3 races for this early-midpace 7YO. Last race, a 50k race at Pimlico he won with a 107, best number in the field. Eighttofasttocatch has the best jockey/trainer combo in the field (Russell/Keefe). Toby’s Corner (Wood Memorial) and Hymn Book (Donn) are the two horses with Grade 1 victories.
Track bias: Dirt route races at Pimlico currently favor posts 4 through 7, so a slight edge to Cherokee Artist, Nehro, Mission Impazible and Yawanna Twist.
Selections: Cherokee Artist, Eighttofasttocatch, Hymn Book, Toby’s Corner.

Race 13: Hilltop Stakes
Anakindalika has made just one start in the US, and 2 in GB. This sprinter won that debut maiden race with a strong first call number of 99 and overall 80. Seanchai has the Carmouche-Delacour jockey/trainer combo which is the best of this field in terms of win percentage. She also is one of two horses to win beyond a mile in this field. Theatricality’s 83 Brisnet 2 races back while breaking her maiden is the fastest on this track of the field.
Track bias for 8.5 furlongs on turf is favoring late runners. Fillies in this race include Coup, Appealing Cat, Seanchai and Ainsley.
Selections: Anakindalika, Theatricality, Seanchai.
RACEDAY update: Anakindalika is scratched. In her place I am inserting Anna Sophia as top selection.

With my top 3 selections I prefer to use them in all exacta combos with each other, and win bets on any of them who may run at worse than 5-1.
I will update this post once tomorrow’s early scratches are finalized.