Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

08 April 2011

Aqueduct Saturday Stakes Racing Preview

This weekend marks two milestones in the year that signify that spring is here, Keeneland runs its April meet loaded with stakes action and the return of grade one racing to New York. Keeneland has gone from a massive speed favoring dirt surface and closer friendly turf course to a racecourse with a pair of surfaces that tend to lean towards horses that have closer tendencies. That being said, it does make handicapping that meet easier, just avoid 90% of the card and play the featured race of the day.

Comely Stakes

This race was moved from a week past the Wood Memorial to the day of the Wood. Ruffian and a few other Hall of Fame fillies have won this race. It is now a grade three that annually features a variation of Florida shippers that have had minor stakes or allowance victories before shipping up and the grizzled runners that have wintered in New York.

Royal Sighting broke her maiden by twelve last out and is immediately stepped into a stakes race. This horse had an unusual path to the winners’ circle in her most recent start. Patrick Kelly’s horses usually drop back early and make a sustained bid in the later stages of the race, Evening Attire did this and so did Naughty New Yorker. Royal Sighting went immediately to the lead and never looked back, in previous starts she was fifth or further back in the early stages before trying to make a run.

Bay Shore Stakes

This race used to be a stepping stone towards the Wood Memorial. Secretariat won this race in his three year old debut and then went on to the Gotham and the Wood Memorial before Triple Crown immortality. Other notable winners of this event are Lost in the Fog, Gulch, Bold Forbes, and Damascus. That is quite a roll call for a race that is a purse downgrade from being a listed stakes race.

J J’s Lucky Train tried his luck at the two turn stakes races at Aqueduct in January and February with a pair of second place finishes. He won a seven furlong race at Laurel on February 26th where he dueled all the whole way with Bandbox, who went on to win the Miracle Wood Stakes in March at Laurel.

Steve Assmussen won this race with J Be K in 2008 after a poor showing at Fair Grounds. This year Justin Phillip is Assmussen’s entry and he had a weak showing in two stakes down in the bayou. Justin Phillip is going to have to be at his best to win from the rail with other speeds lined up outside of him though.

Carter Handicap

The first half of the Repole double is entered here with Calibrachoa, I set the over/under on that double at six dollars on a two dollar wager. Have You Ever is once again entered as a rabbit to ensure a quick pace for his stable-mate. Apriority probably will take a lot of action here as well, he had a monster race last out running three seconds faster than the average time for the distance. Morning Line has had some tough luck in recent starts with second place finishes in the Donn Handicap and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile after doing much of the grunt work on the front end. From the looks of it, this race will have a swift early pace.

Wood Memorial

Uncle Mo will probably go off 1/9 here. In terms of value when betting on favorites, there is next to none. With a horse like Uncle Mo, getting 3/5 would be a mixed blessing. Getting sixty cents on the dollar on a horse that usually goes off insanely short and has yet to taste defeat means that you are getting a slight edge on the pari-mutuel competition. On the negative side it also could be a foreboding sign of a negative outcome, so you see why betting favorites is a difficult proposition.


Amateurcapper said...


Nothing easy in this game, but UNCLE MO looks like the nuts in the Wood. Over/under winning margin: 10 lengths without taking a deep breath.

All the Carter entrants have run huge of late and it'll be about picking the one who is still at the peak. APRIORITY stumbled last out, I never like that coming back unless there's a break to heal from the insult.

KENSAI may be an interesting proposition at 8-1. That 2nd to MISREMEMBERED is probably the best competition any entrant has faced recently.


Mahim said...

In the horse racing world there is a ton of information and different systems available to improve handicapping. Throughout years of reading and research the only true way to become very successful at handicapping boils down to 3 key principles. With knowledge, the ability to adapt to different situations, and discipline to do the work spending time on your selections you will dominate any track you come across. There are so many factors that can affect any given race that some races you can look at a hundred different times and still be dumbfounded.