Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

10 May 2009

Peter Pan Report

Drove down to Belmont for the Peter Pan. It was a warm humid day and the track had significant moisture in the surface from the deluge of 9 days and nights of rain. There was a clear speed bias as almost all the winners either set the pace or were less than two lengths off the pace. The speed bias was strongest early in the card and slowly waned as the track dried out. My time at Belmont was split between the paddock and the third floor grandstand power perch with binoculars in tow. Here is what we gathered from the days races.

The winner of the 6th race Pocket Cowboys is a huge gelding. He set a fast pace and held gamely after being confronted, albeit with the bias. This is a horse that is built to run on the turf When he runs first time turf I will take a swing with him as he has the look for a horse that would relish that surface. If the race is on the inner turf it will be a bigger swing as a speedy horse that likes turf does very well on the inner turf at Belmont.

In race 7 a maiden special Ricoriatoa was fractious in the paddock and had to be walked back and forth to get the tack on as he would not stand still. This was my first look at Paulo Lobo and his crew since he moved his barn from SoCal to New York. The trainer and and his help seemed professional and well prepared as they did well with a fractious horse. Mr. Lobo will do well in New York. After Ricoriatoa's paddock act the bad behavior continued and the Mig dismounted before he was loaded due to more fractiousness. I used Ricoriatoa in my wagers but after his behavior I expected him to fade quite early in the race. After a slow break Ricoriatoa rushed up to press the pace, had a spirited duel with the winner and held well in the lane. All things considered he ran well to claim the place share of the purse. While he may have some class we could also chalk up his run to the bias. The speedy winner Cabaret Cowboy looked great in the paddock, was bet hard off an October layoff and had the bias in his favor.

They pulled out all the stops on Imperial Council after his Wood paddock hysterics. He was in Belmont's troublesome horse paddock away from the other horses instead of the regular paddock with the rest of the field. Instead of walking alone Imperial Council had a female pony with him the entire time he was in the paddock and the pony stayed with him around the walking ring as well. Imperial Council held together this time and the assistant did a great job with saddling him and keeping him composed. He was not washed out, he did not rear up or display any fractious behavior like the Wood Memorial. The biggest incident in the paddock was caused by Al Khali. When Al Khali got wind of Imperial Council's pony and he let out and loud whinny and suddenly became aroused as he paraded around the paddock. It was very embarrassing for all the ladies in the paddock area. After some time sequestered in his stall this impassioned competitor returned to his flaccid state and was calm in the parade.

The Peter Pan parade was uneventful. All horses looked composed and well. No real behavior excuses except for the rise in the paddock from Al Khali. The significant speed bias and the addition of blinkers on Hello Broadway may have gave Hello Broadway the green light to attempt a "Sinister Minister". After setting a blazing pace Hello Broadway was spent at the 1/4 pole. The insane pace theft attempt did not work very well. Charitable Man looked good on paper second off the layoff and had a great trip sitting right off the insane fractions. Hello Broadway's insane pace played right into Charitable Man's hand.

Imperial Council rated four lengths off Charitable Man and had dead aim on him at the top of the lane. That is when Imperial Council's distance limitations kicked in and he lost ground from the 1/8th pole to the wire. Imperial Council is a nice horse but he will excel at shorter distances. Look for a cutback is distance for Imperial Council next race, he will be live in the Woody Stephens if he runs there. Seven furlongs is this colts wheelhouse.

Scorewithcater took some action out of the key race Sunland Derby but he was not up to the task here. Mine That Bird was not flattered by this performance as Scorewithcater was outrun at every call. The speed bias would not let a deep closer like him make up ground late. This was the type of track where you had to be close. Despite swinging wide to make a run Scorewithcater made no impression. To the Sunland derby's credit Mythical Power powered into a Lone Star derby win out of the Sunland Derby.

Out of this race Brave Victory ran well. He was one of the few horses to made up ground late on the whole day and looked well in the paddock. He could be a horse that moves forward in the future or take advantage of a complete pace collapse.

Charitable Man confirmed his class. He had a dream trip but this colt has speed and is able to carry it a distance of ground. While the poly race at Keeneland might have been a complete throw out, he did benefit from the run fitness-wise. Charitable Man could give a generous run in the Belmont Stakes and the three year old races at Saratoga.


SaratogaSpa said...

Nice Recap (and witty)-I always enjoy a recap of how the horses look in the Paddock. If I am at the track, I use my PP information combined with how the horses look in the paddock to make a final betting decision.

G. C. said...

You got it right Spa. Many horses lose their race in paddock and the public continues to bet them even after a huge display of negative behavior. The paddock is the best place for free information outside of the library and is a big part of my racetrack excursions.

Keith-TripleDeadHeat said...

Seeing the horses live is one of the best reasons to watch AT the track...the off-track tv never gives you proper perspective or time to act on it.

Little things like the gallop out after the post parade can be telling.