Thursday, March 30, 2006

WinStar and Welfare.....

Saturday April 01, 2006 - Race 7
Estimated Local Post Time: 3:45 PM
Purse: $600,000
Distance/Restrictions: 1 1/8 Miles, Dirt, 3 Year Olds, STAKES

PgmHorse and Jockey/TrainerOdds*
Wait in Line (FL )
Ken Tohill / Chris Hartman
Belligerence (FL )
Quyet Bui / Chris Hartman
Sky Diving (KY )
David Flores / Bob Baffert
Keagan (WA )
Scott Stevens / J. Kruljac
Doctor Decherd (KY )
Shaun Bridgmohan / Steven Asmussen
Wanna Runner (ON )
Victor Espinoza / Bob Baffert
Welfare Cadillac (FL )
Ricky Frazier / Aggie Ordonez
Blaze It (CA )
Felipe Martinez / Sal Gonzalez
Might Be Hooked (KY )
Miguel Perez / Johnnie Nall
The only horses in this one that I remotely know are Doctor Decherd and Sky Diving but I gotta say that the 6 gets my vote for the worst name I have seen in a while!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Florida Derby next prep on the radar

There is a lot of workout info posted over at the NTRA site and this article on Barbaro's trainer Michael Matz is fascinating. I did not know his colorful background included a silver medal in olympic equestrian show jumping or that he was a survivor and hero of that unbelievable plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa in 1989. I liked Barbaro before but I didn't realize the trainer he has in his corner...that should do nothing but boost his chances. Interestingly enough, Matz cites his past experiences in Show Jumping events to help him map out a derby strategy for Barbaro, which is one that emphasizes the importance of a well-rested horse. I think the Florida Derby should help determine if Barbaro has what it takes to be a winner the first Saturday in May.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Dubai and the TBA today

The TBA is sponsoring the World Cup chat room today! Also, the 2006 Dubai International web0lg is packed with information and photos and the updates are coming almost every minute! Ain't technology great!!! Hope everyone has a great day of racing, I will be on and off the blogs having to take my daughter to a soccer game in 30 degree weather and snow flurries here in KY this morning.....I did make my Turfway picks, somewhat based on this weather:

Rushaway S. Distance: 1 1/16 Miles Purse $100,000
#5 Mark Of Success-Win ticket

Lane's End S. (G2) Distance: 1 1/8 Miles Purse $500,000
#6 Sharp Attack-Win ticket
Crazy bet of the day: $1 Superfecta 3,12,8,11

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lanes End Stakes (G2) $500,000 at Turfway Saturday

The field, with post positions, riders, and odds:

1. Malameeze (John McKee) 20-1
2. With A City (Brice Blanc) 30-1
3. Superfly (Jeremy Rose) 7-2
4. Starspangled Gator (Charlie Woods Jr.) 30-1
5. Tahoe Warrior (Chris DeCarlo) 9-2
6. Sharp Attack (Julio Garcia) 15-1
7. Seaside Retreat (Patrick Husbands) 12-1
8. Hemingway’s Key (Edgar Prado) 4-1
9. Laity (Corey Lanerie) 4-1
10. More Than Regal (David Flores) 15-1
11. Pair of Kings (Richard Bracho) 20-1
12. Silent Times (IRE) (Robby Albarado) 5-1
A win ticket on 6 looks like it might be a value play here (out of Storm Cat, trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ready to rebound from poor outing in the Southwest). I don't know enough about the entries in Dubai (although I do know all the flags of the world thanks to John over at The Race is Not Always to the Swift.)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dubai calls you to take a (short) break from picking your Derby Horse

Looks like ABC has an hour and a half coverage slated ths Saturday (3p EST) for the UAE Derby and the Dubai World Cup. I have to agree with John over at Not to the Swift that the sentimental favorite (and quite possibly the odds on favorite) Brass Hat is worth a look. Also, after watching a great DVD featuring Trainer Richard Mandela (On the Muscle), I hope The Tin Man can win on the turf under the lights. But just as quckly as a dust devil on the desert dunes appears and fades, our Derby Trail attentions quickly return to Turfway Park and the Lane's End Stakes where Laity and Strong Contender make up a field of Derby hopefuls and which is scheduled to air on ESPN from 5p-6p. I mention the tv coverage with the hope that it is not preempted! Really, did anyone give a damn about Cuba beating the Dominican Republic in another in a million televised baseball games? Argggghhhh! I just seem to pick the sports that have to claw out some semblance of coverage (yup, I am a former hockey player and rabid now luke warm-thanks to the strike fan). How ironic is that in this age of cable news bloat so inane that with every pseudonews story, you get rampant speculation on every channel, yet ESPN can't seem to commit to the occassional Horse Racing coverage. What a slight to Horse Racing and Jerry Bailey--some broadcasting debut!!! Oh well, maybe this week-end they can get it right. (Okay, rant is over)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Very cool feature at Louisville Courier Journal site

The C-J Derby Data Track has a really cool feature in that you can compare over 500 horses head to head on many different factors that statistically produce KY Derby winners. Very nice free feature even if you are not into all the Derby "hype".

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St Patricks Day

Always a great day, especially for me as it is my birthday and being of Irish ancestry, well it's pretty cool! Anyway, even though Jessica at Railbird has done a great job on this already, I wanted to include a note about the Irish Steeplechase Racing
My only frame of reference came last Spring at the Keeneland meet where I was at the rail for the Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings (Gr. 1)
which is the first steeplechase event I have ever seen. Anyway, it was very exciting with the horses going around the turf and jumps so many times it makes you dizzy! These horses run for almost 5 minutes! It is insanely exciting. This race was a come from behind win by 1 length over arch rival McDynamo. Hirapour (Irish bred) and 9 yrs old at the time was my lucky pick and the winner. The athleticism of these steeplechasers and the excitment of the race caught me by surprise. Your heart stays in your throat praying there are no stumbles or collisions and that everyone stays up. At the end of this race, one horse (and I can't recall his name) collapsed coming off the track and was ultimately revived with a ton of cold water. It is really an unbelievable test of endurance, race strategy and sheer guts on the part of the horse and rider. I did come away promising myself to go to this race each year! So, may the luck of the Irish be with you and may we all find that superfecta ticket at the end of the rainbow!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Does a triple crown contender emerge this week-end?

Maybe, with no less than 4 stakes races this Saturday, all at 1 1/16 mile and on ESPN with Jerry Bailey, we might be seeing a future Triple Crown winner(also Patrick over at Pulling Hair and Betting Horses makes this bold prediction!) Well time to make some picks and spend a few dollars feeding our fine equine friends we all love to follow (or maybe cashing some tickets):

Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct (G3) (11 horse field): Keyed Entry, $5 win but the price may not be good enough to even make this bet.
*Triple Crown Note: Secretariat won this on his step to immortality!

Tampa Bay Derby (G2): Little Cliff, Bluegrass Cat $2 win and $2 Exacta

Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn (G3): Lawyer Ron, Private Vow (no bet)

San Felipe (G2):
Sky Diving, Point Determined, $5 Win and $2 Exacta

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cause to Believe--cheap and gray!

California Derby winner Cause to Believe, ridden by Russel Baze, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, looks to be an addition to the Derby. He is being pointed to the April 8th Illinois Derby. I like this fella for two reasons, neither of which are very scientific. He was purchased as a 2 yr old in training for $30,000 (gotta love the rags to riches story line possibilities) and he is a gray! Might be worth keeping an eye on this newcomer.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

TBA newest member! Blinkers Off

Very cool news! An email to Pulling Hair & Betting Horses inquiring about posting his Standings (see sidebar) has led to an unlikely invitation for a newbie like yours truly. Hopefully I can add something to the community as I really enjoy reading their posts. So the hope is that once in a while I might accidently write something interesting. Anyway, I appreciate the invitation and accept and appreciate being part of the TBA!

$16 Million "Green Monkey"

World-record priced juvenile named The Green Monkey--When I first saw this I thought it said "Green Money"!

John Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor have named their world-record priced Forestry colt The Green Monkey after a golf course the trio owns in Barbados (must be tough).
Todd Pletcher will train The Green Monkey.
The Green Monkey golf course opened in 2004, the same year The Green Monkey was born. The year is also known as the Chinese year of the Green Monkey.
Many have criticized this price but aren't a lot of things overpriced and doesn't it depend on perspective? I know a lot of Nurses (my wife is one) who think professional athletes of the human species are ridiculously compensated versus a nurses salary and pro players don't save lives on a daily basis. Also, to many in the world, any American salary is ridiculous considering what their annual per capita income may be. It is all relative to the demand and the value the industry and society places on it. The value of a Grade I winner, standing at stud for 10 years could easily double this $16 million. As with any investment, there is a gamble and as the price rises so do the stakes. Well, any way you look at it, a lot of people will be watching this 2 yr old this Fall and looking forward to his 3 yr old season. I must say, he is a beautiful looking horse!

Horsehats, an unlikely resource in handicapping

Interestingly enough, I found this site about a year ago, and actually purchased a great hat honourng a tour of Three Chimneys Farm and one of their stallions, Yes Its True. Anyway, they have an email you can sign up for that has the occassional handicapping pick. Anyway, I cashed a Win ticket this week-end based almost entirely on that pick so that was surprising and very cool. I did very little handicapping work and cashed a $26 win ticket. The most interesting part of this story is about who the handicapper is. I have attached the link to the image so click and check it out for an entertaining story of how this site and this handicapper got hooked up. In the meantime, what an easy way to make $26!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Brother Derek looking tough

Brother Derek looked good with Alex Solis holding him back and is primed for his next start April 8th in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (g1). This may be the horse to beat. The real test will be to bring him east. I realize the $$ and date probably fit his training better to stay at Santa Anita but for selfish reasons I would like to see him run at Keeneland in April!

Brother Derek and jockey Alex Solis
win the Santa Catalina, Saturday at Santa Anita.

Photo: Benoit

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Derby Preps really heat up this week-end

March 4 - Fountain of Youth, Gulfstream, G2, 1 1-8M: First Samurai, Great Point

March 4 - Swale, Gulfstream, G2, 7 furlongs: Superfly

March 4 - John Battaglia Memorial, Turfway, 1 1-16M: Laity

March 4 - Santa Catalina, Santa Anita, G2, 1 1-16M: Brother Derek, Latent Heat