Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

31 July 2010

Class Test~Play Of The Day

Saratoga Race 10 Jim Dandy Stakes

The skies the limit for #3 Stormy's Majesty. Undefeated but he faces a huge class test today. This colt appears to be stakes quality. He has a fluid motion, size, gameness and speed. If I am right there could be a huge reward with his 15-1 ML.

Win#3 Stormy's Majesty

22 7-2-3
strike rate 32%
cumulative return $77.90
$2 ROI $3.54
average winner $11.13

22 July 2010

Five things to look forward to this year at Saratoga

The 2010 Saratoga meet starts tomorrow and as always is the case with this meet, there is a lot to look forward to. These are five things in particular to look forward to.

5. Hope Springs Eternal

Two year olds and Saratoga are synonymous, this is the place that owners want to debut their fashionably bred juvenile. Last year showcased wins by Dublin, Hot Dixie Chick, Aikenite, D'Funnybone, Discreetly Mine, Devil May Care, Interactif, and Stately Victor. Much like the old Mets advertisement would say, "Catch A Rising Star", if you follow the Saratoga meet you are bound to see some good prospects perform.

4. Location Location Location

Saratoga is one of the few places remaining where horse racing is the lead topic in the press. Compared to Belmont or Aqueduct where the coverage is minimal and the stories coming out of the press room are mostly about scandal is a nice change up. The two daily newspapers dedicate a whole back page to the Saratoga racing instead of just the entries and selections. You also see young people attend the Saratoga meet as well, it gives hope that there could be a new generation of racing fans out there.

3. Parimutuel Competition

Instead of dealing with the downstate tracks that have betting pools mostly infested with sharks and whales, the Saratoga crowd attracts the casual bettor and the vacationers which levels out the playing field and offers great betting value to the informed handicapper.

2. Travers Stakes Day

This day is the turning point in the racing season, this is the last three year old stakes race of any importance before they are forced to take on the older horses in the fall championship races. Unfortunately the Belmont winner bowed out early with injury, but that leaves the winners of the other two classics, First Dude, Ice Box, and Fly Down. A win by Ice Box, Lookin At Lucky, or Super Saver in this race could wrap up the three year old title.

Travers day is the highlight of the forty day meet, last year had the King's Bishop, Ballerina, Victory Ride, and Ballston Spa as the supporting stakes races. The 2009 Travers under card also featured the maiden win of multiple stakes winning filly Devil May Care, who is racing on opening weekend in the CCA Oaks.

1. Closing Weekend

A strange way to close out the list (which by the way is the crutch of a bad journalist), but for the last few years the closing weekend has featured some really good horses debuting or sealing up their championship campaigns. In 2007 Big Brown demolished a field of maidens on turf, Midnight Lute ran like a monster in the Forego en route to sprint championship honors, and Lawyer Ron clinched older male championship honors with a win in the Woodward. In 2008 Curlin won the Woodward and went on to Horse of the Year honors. Last year on the same day Stately Victor broke his maiden, Rachel Alexandra fought off all challengers to win the Woodward, and the Forego had an incredible stretch run by Pyro to defeat sprint champion Kodiak Kowboy.

15 July 2010

No More Detention Barn At Saratoga and Beyond

Great news for New York racing with NYRA scraping the dentition barn. This barn did little to protect the public and surprisingly hurt racing integrity. Who knows if the horse you just bet on - a known creature of habit- just pitched a fit in the detention barn? The public was in the dark here as many races were lost in the strange confines of a foreign place. Now NYRA will be a much more appealing destination for shippers. Just like any other track in the country the horses can run out of their own barn. Ever take a pet to a strange place like an airplane? They go nuts and so did many horses in the detention barn.

The big argument for the detention barn was that it shut down suspected "juicer" barns and leveled the playing field. This argument was not supported by the numbers as the "mega-barns" like Pletcher or Dutrow won at the same percentage pre-dentition barn. The additional costs associated with the detention barn chased away small stables and small owners leaving the racing only to the mega-barns. If the barn had no affect on the results what is the point of discouraging shippers, inconveniencing owners with the additional costs-hundreds of dollars a per race and scrambling the form of the horses by forcing them into a strange place?

If anything the detention barn discouraged competition and dropped the class of racing. After five years the detention barn did nothing but take a full field of suspected "juicers" and changed them into a short field of tomato cans. In the end the full field is better as testing is more can weed out the juicers but their is no anecdote for tomato cans. The real threat to racing integrity lies with the recently approved uncoupled entries, which has the potential to lead to more shenanigans but the detention barn did not change a thing.

Richie Rules(I Hope)~Play Of The Day

Belmont Race 4

Looks like Richie Rules can ship in to Belmont and slip out with some big purse money. This horse has been racing at higher class meets like Gulfstream and Monmouth and now shows up at the backwater Belmont meet. The even money favorite here has one win and five places and is vulnarable yet again. Richie Rules can take this field wire to wire for the old master DiMauro. The 12-1 morning line is appealing.

21 6-2-3
strike rate 29%
cumulative return $73.60
$2 ROI $3.50
average winner $12.27

13 July 2010

The other half of Belmont Park (third floor)

The five picture limit split what I meant for a single post into two posts. The first post in this two parter is directly below this one.

The annex sign, the power cap flag would look good draped over that.

The only place where the windows clean you out.

Big empty.

Pull up a chair.

The other half of Belmont Park (second floor)

A few months back I took pictures of the closed section of Aqueduct racetrack, Belmont also has a closed section that is only opened to the public on major race days. The big difference from Belmont to Aqueduct is they keep Belmont in good shape, note how clean the closed off area is compared to the third world conditions of Aqueduct. They gave the closed section a name too, the reserved seats annex. I think it is high time that this blog claim some territory, so I officially claim the reserved seats annex in the name of the power cap and its associates. All I need is a flag to stake this territory.

Doors are locked that lead to the open section.

SAM machines are open for business.

Plenty of seats!

Old MTP sign, I'm pretty sure it wasn't in use before they closed off this section.

Don't bother jumping the turnstiles, the gates are locked.

11 July 2010

July 10 recap

I could think of no better way to spend a Saturday than at the racetrack. Cheap admission, check; plenty of shade, check; frosty beverages on tap, check; gambling action, check. It beats going out to a Mets game by one.

Two races that I found interesting on the Belmont slate was an allowance race and the Man o' War stakes. The stakes action taking place on the eastern seaboard during the course of the day was of interest as well.

Race four at Belmont was an allowance race tha was the return race for Tahitian Warrior from his June 5 effort against Trappe Shot. His effort yesterday was impressive to me, he had to move from post seven out of eight in his last start to the rail yesterday. He rewarded his backers with an easy victory after sitting a patient rail trip and moving to the lead with ease at the top of the stretch. I'm not sure of where the connections are planning to run him next time out, but the King's Bishop seems like a spot where he could do some damage.

The results of the Man o' War could be interpreted a few ways, Gio Ponti ran a big race against an extremely slow pace and closed like a freight train. Gio Ponti could be a horse on the decline, last year in this race he would have demolished this field by open lengths. The second place finisher Mission Approved ran a monumental race in defeat running against superior competition. I am siding with Gio Ponti being 0n the decline and Mission Approved ran a monster race. Last year the Clement runner would have inhaled this competition to win by open lengths this year it took longer for him to get into gear, it happens to the best of them Cigar and Skip Away functioned on intestinal fortitude by the end of their career more than anything else. As for Mission Approved, I would be shocked if this horse does not win a stakes race before the year is out. The John's Call at Saratoga which has the condition of non-winners of a stakes race written up for it would be right up his alley, as a matter of fact the gelding ran in this race last year.The out of state stakes action was of interest too, the Summit of Speed was contested yesterday and the most impressive of the winners of the big four (the Azalea, Carry Back, Smile, and Princess Rooney) was the winner of the Azalea, Pica Slew. Pica Slew faced grade one winner Franny Freud last year and ran faster than older fillies and three year old colts on final time in her previous start. In this start she was stuck with the unenviable task of chasing a loose runner spouting off fractions of 21 and 44. The horse chasing the fast pace usually is the first victim of the fast pace, Pica Slew reeled the leader in and won easily.

D'Funnybone lost as the odds on favorite as well after setting the pace, he gave up the lead inside the 1/8 pole. Either this horse is starting show signs of fatigue after running hard in five races this year or he doesn't like running at Calder, he lost a stakes race there last year before two dominating wins at Saratoga and Belmont.

Trappe Shot won the Long Branch at Monmouth Park, the field had two scratch which reduced it to a four horse field, he ran on June 5 against the earlier mentioned Tahitian Warrior. Trappe Shot won without putting a lot of effort into the Long Branch. Southern Ridge was taken out of his normal (for his the only two races on his resume) running style by going to the lead and he did not look comfortable at all. Nacho Friend turned in his usual decent effort by finishing strong for second, but the race was over with an 1/8 of a mile left. The most likely next start out for Trappe Shot would be the Haskell seeing how the Long Branch is the traditional prep for this race. The Long Branch did not answer a lot of questions about Trappe Shot's ability to go two turns seeing how this race was an easy spot to run in.

05 July 2010

Custom Class~Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 5

Looks like the racing secretary amended the condition of Belmont's race five just so #7 Ricoriatoa could compete. This is usually a 50K starter allowance, a race that Ricoriatoa would not be eligible for. Today the condition has been revised to 60K starter just so Ricoriatoa could join the field. This gives Ricoriatoa a huge class edge. The juicy part is that Ricoriatoa is a lone speed type on a parched turf course that has been favoring speed. He figures to be loose on the lead with little to no pressure. With these dual edges Ricoriatoa (4-1) is a power play type horse.

Win #7 Ricoriatoa

20 6-2-23
strike rate 30%
cumulative return $73.60
$2 ROI $3.68
average winner $12.27

03 July 2010

Mr. Vegas~Play Of The Day

Belmont Park Race 8

Mr. Vegas has distinct edges in today's eighth race at Belmont. He has some speed to stalk on the hard baked inner turf and emerges out of two tough races that have darkened his form. There are other speeds but Mr. Vegas is not a need the lead type. Today he faces a much easier field-no NY bred monsters like Mor Chances or Strait Story- and should be a square price. In addition he has the beat open N1X credential that no other horse in the field has. 10-1 would be a dream price if the morning line is to be believed.

Win #4 Mr. Vegas

19 6-2-23
strike rate 32%
cumulative return $73.60
$2 ROI $3.87
average winner $12.27

01 July 2010

Ice Cold ~Play Of The Day

Belmont Race 2

Natural Ice, dry Ice or Bud Ice? No this one goes to Tim Ice and My Valentina. As a welcoming present to top dog Domingo they put him up on a winner first time riding for the barn. Barn already had a 2YO FTS win named Commonwealth Rush and it looks like this one worked out with that one. My Valentina is the pick here.

Win #8 My Valentina

18 6-2-2
strike rate 33%
cumulative return $73.60
$2 ROI $4.09
average winner $12.27

Bonus Play: Maybe an Ice Cold Race 1 daily double 6/8. Also a few bucks on the 7/8 DD.