Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday at Gulfstream

It’s an interesting day in Hallandale, with the return of Hansen the 2011 two year old champ in the Grade 3, 1 mile Holy Bull Stakes.

The white flash has had his own way in his short, yet illustrious career. He is a dual surface winner on both poly and dirt and is making his first start as a three year old in this Derby prep.

And it won’t be easy. I am in the Consortium consortium. This Bernadini colt looks to be progressing nicely, will be getting first time Lasix. He is getting 6 lbs from Hansen too. I think he still has some move forward and I think he and Algorithms (with both having a wins over the track) will give the champ all he can handle.

In the Forward Gal, I like Say A Novena. She is adding blinkers, has a recent bullet (with blinks on?) has a good outside draw, and I love the breeding. Kind of close to home, I follow all the quick Songandaprayers as my dad found his dam, Alizia. ( Premiership) Speed over the stamina Dynaformer line, is always dangerous. She should turn the tables on Sacristy. And it is SUNDAY. Maybe another holy exacta.

Back it up to the 8th race, a maiden event for fillies on turf. While the Graham Motion filly (Coup) will take all the dough, and she should, I look for an improvement with Spinning Wildcat. The half to War Chant out of the Champion mare, Hollywood Wildcat looks to have some talent. Though J Lep opted for Coup, Spinning Wildcat gets leading rider Castellano.

Maybe Moonstock in the 4th? Off the layoff, maybe Mott has this horse figured out. None of the others seem to want to win.
Hope it’s a Lucky day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sunshine Millions Turf

This year, the Sunshine Millions is an all-Florida Affair. In years past, the day was split between Santa Anita and Gulfstream, where races were restricted to Cal-breds and Florida- breds. This year the West Coast will participate only in the Sunshine Millions “Luck” Pick 6 wager, celebrating the Monday night premier of the HBO series. But the $ 1.3 million dollars in purses will be distributed in six races at Gulfstream only.

The race I will focus on for ThoroFan's Handicapper's Corner is the $150,000 Turf at a 1 & 1/8 for 3 years old and up. It is Leg C of the “Luck” Pick Six. There are 11 entered, and there is a 40% chance of rain.

Slew’s Answer is a very well-bred (½ to Dynaslew) lightly raced 5 year old with top notch connections. He is coming off a 10 week freshening. He is working well for his return. Likes the distance, has a win and a second over the course and could fit very well with these.

Livingston Street, though a nice horse, seems a cut below these. Biggest knock is 14 starts on the Gulfstream lawn, with no wins. Can’t recommend.

Bad Debt – anytime you have a horse that has 10 wins from 26 starts you have to take a second look. Yes, he is stepping up and maybe he can’t win, this horse never, ever throws in a clunker.

Bell by the Ridge – yes I know, Castellano & Maker and he does have a nice late kick, but I don’t think he’s good enough.

Little Mike- the only thing I am sure of is that Joe Bravo will send Little Mike to the lead. He is fast and that’s the way he runs. But what will he fold the last part of it? Only one start at the distance and he faltered. Should we overlook it because it was a Grade 1?

Beckham Bend is another 7 year old with not many starts. If you throw out the mile and a half Pan American, he has a pretty nice form. And he had a tightener a month ago.

Allie’s Event is another check getter, and interestingly enough has never run with statebreds. But he has never won at the distance.

Stay Red is eligible for non winners of 3, and can’t see anything to like.

Blazen is a question mark. He has shown some talent on occasion and has had a number of troubled trips. With the right trip, might get a piece.And he has an extra 1/8 of a mile to get out of any trouble he finds himself in.

Teaks North is the only Grade 1 stakes winner in the field. And he has John Velazquez in the irons. A million plus earner, he has faced much better. He had a tightener just 14 days ago, his first race back after the Breeder’s Cup Turf. If he runs back to his winning style of last year, he should run down the speed. But are his glory days behind him?

Roman Tiger also eligible for NW3x, looks overmatched to me.

There is no doubt that Little Mike could take this field wire to wire .He will be playing come and catch me. If he falters late, Slew’s Answer, Teaks North and Bad Debt will be coming late.

Blazen is a wild card, and could light up the tote board.

Watch the weather for any change in the turf course, check out the post parade for how the horses are acting and moving, and as always, I hope some “Luck” comes your way.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bring on the Beignets!

Having the first major snow event of the season here in the northeast and the Big A has cancelled, but the racing at the ’Stream and Fair Grounds will be more than enough to keep all handicappers in pursuit of moneymaking opportunities.

The card in New Orleans is the most interesting to me, with the LeComte for newly turned three year olds and thus a prep for the Louisiana Derby.
So grab a beignet or a doughboy or a doughdaddy donut, and let’s take a look at the Grade 3 Lacomte.

First, the Dorochenko entry is not at all interesting to me. I would be shocked if either one hits the board.

Let’s move on.

The 2 & 2a is the Zayat entry, with Pletcher training the second time starter Dan and Sheila and Asmussen training, the other half, Z Dager. Both horses are stepping up from their maiden scores. Castellano stays in Florida, Johnny V picks up the mount on Dan and Sheila who has had 3 nice works, including a bullet since his score from the 10 hole in December. Z Dager loses Lanerie (to the undefeated Capetown Devil) and picks up Sellers, who is having a good meet. Both horses are conditioned by trainers who know where to spot their horses.

Ted’s Folly…read his story, written by Eclipse Award winning Jennie Rees in the Louisville Courier...
Looking for his 7th win in a row, this little horse knows how to find the winner’s circle. He has broken from inside, outside, but always has a great turn of foot from the top of the stretch to the wire. The long FG stretch will be good for him, and though he is stepping up….in a sense, so are all the others in here. He’s taking his jock with him, and how can you not bank on the fact that this horse will come running in the end?

Mr. Bowling, the Gov’s homebred, is coming off a layoff. He showed promise last year and is working very well for his return. He has definite grow up potential.

After some “slight stall injury” this week, Exfactor is scheduled to run. Not sure if he kicked the wall, got cast, but I guess he’s good to go. Definitely a talented horse, he has current form as he is coming off a win in December.

Seven Lively Sins is trained by the newly elected Fair Grounds Hall of Famer, Al Stall. His only win came on synthetic. A speedy sort, he has Rosie Napravnik in the saddle.

Can’t say much about Alexander Thegreat. Another one that would shock me if he wins.

Hammers Terror is an interesting sort. He is a nose shy of 3 for 3, and is a dual surface winner. Drew off smartly in his allowance win at Fair grounds, and has worked 4 times since then, including a bullet. Has been “rushed” has been “wide” and has “stalked”. I like a horse that has still managed to run big, no matter what is thrown at him. And at 6-1, I like him a lot.

The Coach has a horse in here, who finally got his diploma 7 days ago at Oaklawn Park after an overly ambitious 2 year old campaign. Nicely bred horse, but can’t back in here, on such a short turn around.

Very similar form to Hammer’s Terror, is Capetown Devil. Undefeated, 3 for 3, dual surface winner and a recent win over the track. I’m not worried that he broke his maiden for 30. He is a homebred and I think they just took a chance at an easy score. Had trouble in his last, which caused him to be farther back than usual, and he still managed to get up for the win. And the jock stays. Another to like a lot.

No doubt that Shared Property should be the favorite, just judging by the company he kept last year. He and Exfactor are the only graded stakes winners in the race. Lots of grow up potential if he’s ready off the layoff.

Lots to like in here and any selections should be made after a look at the paddock and post parade. There is a 30% chance of rain, so watch the weather as well.

Good luck if you are wagering today.

Work of the Week…..Shackleford…yesterday…58:63 /1:11.22 / galloped out 7/8ths in 1:25
Can’t wait for his return!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Ft. Lauderdale

While it would be nice to actually be on a beach somewhere near Ft. Lauderdale, I am wondering just how cold it’s going to get in the next few days here in New England .For some of us, it’s a 3 day weekend. And as a horseplayer, well yes, I too, have a dream. (Well a number of them really). But who doesn’t dream of hitting a big one???

Not totally prepared on going into 3 days of wagering, but I am working on it.

I’ve taken a look at the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale, the 10th race on the Saturday card. It is a 1&1/16 turf event and here are my thoughts.

Mutual Trust is a newly turned 4 year old Juddmonte homebred. He is a group 1 winner in France and he is coming off a 5 month layoff. He is getting first time Lasix, and has been prepping well over the deep Payson Park surface. It’s a new distance for him, but I doubt that will be an issue. Will he like the hard and fast Gulfstream strip?

Flat Out is a Grade 1 winner and an earner of a million plus. He has run with the best of them in 2011, including a 3 length loss in the Breeder’s Cup Classic. He has never raced on grass, though he has worked on it twice. This is not a bad spot for him to try it out and should he take to it he could be tough.

Silver Medallion is in great form, and it doesn’t hurt when the Pletcher barn is hitting on all cylinders (36%). Guys Reward is an old friend and is as consistent as they come. He was given a freshener and had a good race back. With that as a tightener, he is a horse that you cannot leave out of any exotics. He always fires.

And what to do with Hoofit? At first glance, he doesn’t look like he measures up, but the connections did think enough of him to run in the BC Grass Sprint, where he had a rough trip.

My “light up the tote board bomb” in here is Kindergarden Kid. I think this horse has improved a lot since being gelded. Maybe the best bred horse in the race, the Dynaformers can improve as they get older. He is versatile enough in his running style, but also has some tactical speed. I cannot ignore those bullets in the am .Will the 12 hole hurt? Will J. Lep help?

I will be looking to the post parade for any late clues in another puzzle of a turf race at Gulfstream. Hope you have a dream come true kind of gambling day!