Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

31 July 2011

Like fine wine

Race 8 on the Monday card is the Amsterdam Stakes. To Honor and Serve is making his comeback after a pair of dull efforts down in Florida before getting derailed from the Derby trail. If he performs decently he is on his way to the Travers, time has not run out on trying claim the three year old championship title. After said dull efforts down at Gulfstream, it hard to play him coming back at the demanding 6 1/2 furlong distance that this race is scheduled to go.

After two good efforts at Saratoga Wine Police was on the shelf from early September to late June. He made his return a winning one over entry level allowance foes at this distance. With only three starts to his name, he has every right to improve.

Wagering Strategy:
Win, Place 3

30 July 2011

Sue Me

Last week the Coaching Club American Oaks was the featured stakes race, a transplanted race from the Spring/Summer meet of Belmont. This week the featured transplant race is the Ruffian Invitational Handicap. The former spot for this prestigious race was part of the fall championship meet at Belmont and it replaced the Go For Wand, another race named after an ill fated filly. This race is the ninth race on the card and has a spread open field. It looks like a good spot for a price play.

Tiz Miz Sue ran against the extremely talented Havre De Grace last out down in Deleware only getting two pounds from the big filly. She ran admirably in defeat coming from last in a short field to fall only 2-1/4 lengths short, in the Ruffian she will be carrying only 115 pounds before the program changes. Getting a six pound relief from that last effort make the difference in this competitive field.

Wagering Strategy:
Win, Place 7

29 July 2011


Will's Wildcat was scratched out of the Curlin stakes for a chance at the $500,000 purse of the Jim Dandy, which will go off as race ten of an eleven race card that has two other stakes races carded. This card is loaded with ripe betting opportunities. The Jim Dandy has the second and third place finishers from the Belmont Stakes, the Dwyer winner, and the Peter Pan victor. On the surface this race looks like a tough spot for any outsider; but considering the disarray that the three year old colt division is in, it is a good idea to shop around for a price.

Will's Wildcat has run consistently well on dirt and his turf form only serves to darken that form. His final time on April 30th was 13 lengths faster than par for the distance and his latest performance was fast early and fast late. Scotus seems to be steadily improving and has every right to move forward here. Moonshine Mullin tries dirt for the first time and has posted five works since his June 12th win including a bullet on July 23rd.

Wagering Strategy:
Win, Place 5
Exacta Box 1,4,5

28 July 2011

Sunset Action

The Friday card is one of two sunset racing cards scheduled for the meet. There should be more scheduled throughout the year because of a consistent trend of higher attendance and handle, but that is neither here or there. The seventh race is the Curlin Stakes, for three year olds which have not won a graded sweepstakes over a mile. In recent years this restricted race has produced a Travers runner or two, so this race is worth following for that fact alone.

The name horse entered here is Prime Cut, who ran in the Belmont, Peter Pan, and Lexington Stakes. This horse is almost always there and with a record of six out of eight in the money finishes for his career and he has every right to win here. Racing against the speed bias on Belmont Stakes day worked against him as well.

With that being said, Will's Wildcat is worth a look here. He is coming off of two decent performances; he had a wide post, was on the pace, and stayed on until the finish. If he can continue this string of sharp performances he could make some noise here. Turbo Compressor is worth using in the exotics as well after finishing third against Pants On Fire in the Pegasus last out.

Wagering Strategy:
Win, Place 6
Exacta Box 6/2,4

27 July 2011

When in doubt, go for the shipper

Zero for four with one scratch so far in picking the feature from the spa, something has got to give here. For the second straight day the stakes race is not the penultimate race on the card, it is the seventh race and it kicks off the pick four. The first leg of the pick four usually is a maiden race, the stakes race kicking off a pick four is a rare occurrence.

Fudgesicle is the Delaware Park invader entered in the Quick Call stakes. In his last four races he has been in front at the first call, the trainer is 61% in the money when saddling a horse for a non graded stakes, and Fudgesicle has finished in the money in all five of his career starts. Considering the fact that the NY based runners entered here have not run all that great on the pace and speed figures, it is worth a shot to take look elsewhere.

Wagering Strategy:
Win, Place 10

26 July 2011

Pletcher parade marches on

Race eight is the featured Grade 2 Lake George scheduled for turf and Winter Memories is probably going off the short favorite. Unlike Overdriven on Sunday, this horse can be beat. Celestial Kitten was placed in the Sands Point against Winter Memories and came back to lose as a lukewarm favorite in a listed stakes at the beginning of July. The closing figure on Winter Memories last race came back a length slower than the average for the distance as well.

Pletcher has a live one in here (no surprise there), More Than Real defeated the aforementioned favorite back in November and the connections swung for the fences at the prestigious Ascot meet to no avail. The trainer tries a more conventional spot and she posted a win over the course last year. She may provide some value as a second choice if the chalk players go wild on Winter Memories here.

Wagering Strategy:
Win 6

24 July 2011

He's got them right where he wants them

Stormy's Majesty is one for three so far this year heading into the Evan Shipman Stakes, both of his losses coming in the deep end of the pool in the Met Mile and a listed turf stakes race. When this horse faces NY bred company he turns into a beast. Last year at Saratoga he won the Albany over Ibboyee after losing by a wide margin in the Jim Dandy, he bounces back from losses in good order. His main competition up front is Spa City Fever, who is coming off of a flashy performance in the Noble Nashua at Belmont. Get your popcorn ready, this should be a good one.

23 July 2011

History repeating itself?

The Sanford is the Sunday featured stakes race and Pletcher will probably sweep the juvenile stakes races this weekend. Overdriven ran a very fast race first out and the rest of the field has run decently, but nothing spectacular. With speed being the dominant force at Saratoga the place to search for a viable longshot for exotics and a possible upset is on the front end.

Back in the 2006 edition of the Sanford Pletcher had the big favorite Scat Daddy. Scat Daddy was put to the test by the maiden entrant Teuflesberg that day. The maiden entrant that looks interesting in this year's running is Moonrush. He has the possibility of getting out early and staying around for the latter part of the running.

Wagering strategy:
Exacta 6/2
Win, Place 2

Redeeming Value

The Coaching Club American Oaks is the feature for the Saturday program and despite not drawing a large field, it is a talented group. Each entrant has won a grade two or better and the longest shot on the morning line is 6-1. Royal Delta is the likely favorite here after a convincing victory in the Black Eyed Susan. In the Black Eyed Susan she had a favorable setup with the pace setter (Hot Summer) stretching out to two turns, the probable pace setter here seems to be a tougher opponent though.

Plum Pretty had two factors going against her last out, a six pound weight shift in favor of Zazu and she was under the weather in the days leading up to the race. Also, she has shown more of an affinity for the dirt surfaces than the Hollywood synthetic surface. When she is on her A game, she is a very fast filly that is hard to catch.

Joyful Victory ran on the same day Plum Pretty did last out and also burnt money that same day. The Jones trained filly had to switch from a ground saving rail trip to a wide move at Belmont in order to get racing room and by the time she was straightened out, the race was over. In the Kentucky Oaks she had a trouble line as well, Joyful Victory showed considerable talent at Oaklawn during the winter and was sent off a 2-1 favorite in The Oaks due to this. She has been in the money in five out of her seven starts, to leave her off any exotic wager with the possibility of her being the longest shot on the board is ludicrous.

Wagering Strategy:

Win 2
Exacta Box 2,3

21 July 2011

The heat is on

It’s going to be a scorcher for the Friday opening at Saratoga, that is if they don’t cancel the card. There are two stakes races scheduled, the James Marvin Stakes (Race 8) and the grade three Schuylerville Stakes (Race 9). The James Marvin is for three and up going seven furlongs, it is quite a nice field assembled for a listed stakes race. Jackson Bend, Aikenite (Churhill Downs S. G2 winner), Here Comes Ben (Forego S. G1 winner), D’Funnybone (multiple graded stakes winner), Caixa Electronica (Westchester S. G3 winner), and Jersey Town (Cigar Mile H. G1 winner) are entered for this race. In 2009 Pyro used this race as a stepping stone towards a win in the Forego, chances are good that a few horses entered here will run next out in the Forego.

Caixa Electronica ran an incredibly fast race early and late en route to a victory two back in the Westchester. Other than that big effort, he has run lights out against allowance fields and average against stakes company. With the Pletcher-Repole Stable connections he is sure to take his fair share of action, it probably is worthwhile to shop around for a price here. Jersey Town has not been seen since his 34-1 upset in the Cigar Mile and is capable of putting up some good early speed that could separate himself from the rest of the field early. He has shown steady works since June 7th, posting six workouts since that point including a six furlong breeze five days ago and a 59 2/5 bullet for five furlongs on July 2nd. The wide post should not be a problem with the early speed he displayed late last year and he has shown that he can run well despite a wide trip.

Jackson Bend may be 0-12 in the last two years, but he has a way of sneaking into the exactas and should be used here. Aikenite has three of his five wins at 7/8 of a mile and will be around at the end. D’ Funnybone ran well two back and has had some extra time off from his last effort, which looks like a throwaway performance.

Wagering strategy:

Win, Place 11
Exacta Box 11/3,7
Exacta 3,7,9,11/2

19 July 2011

Next Stop: Saratoga

Six weeks of racing at Saratoga Springs starts this Friday after what felt like an eternity of a meet at Belmont following the Independence Day weekend blowout cards. Having a winning Saratoga meet is akin to winning a batting title in baseball or a major in golf; it is tough, it has been done before, and doing so deserves some kind of commemoration or plaque of some type. As it is every year, the juvenile races and stakes races are the feature attractions of the meet.

Juvenile Junction

The two-year-old maiden and stakes races are an integral part of the summer meet. Classy debut starters and Pletcher entries are seemingly in each event. One of Pletcher’s main charges for the meet is Overdriven, each call in his debut was faster than the last and he was 16 ½ lengths in front of the show runner Big Creek in his debut. J C’s Pride was second in that race and was in front of the Pletcher stable star for the first half mile of that race and his turn time was five lengths faster than the normal for the five furlong distance.

Over at Churchill there was a maiden race on July 2nd that was faster than average for the 4-½ furlong distance. She Digs Me and Next Right Thing battled down to the finish with She Digs Me getting the better of her inexperienced rival, they were eight lengths in front of the third place finisher. She Digs Me will likely start in one of the stakes races for the colts and Next Right Thing will likely start in a maiden race up at the Spa.

Born Bullish ran off the page in her first start, winning by nine lengths. The comments read,”…moved up willingly towards the front runners unasked for speed, drew along side MISS POSSE midway on the turn, bided her time before moving past that rival to take over under her own courage…”. The danger with betting a two-year-old filly coming off of a big win is the possible bounce that takes place from that last effort though.

The Futurity and Matron were moved from their traditional spots on the fall championship meet to early July, setting up these two races as preps for the according Saratoga stakes races. That being said, the Futurity winner Jack’s On Deck and Matron winner Millionreasonswhy may be in tougher in their next starts at Saratoga, their pace and speed figures were no better than average for the six furlong distance. Churchill juvenile stakes winners Exfactor (Bashford Manor, colts) and Flashy Lassie (Debutante, fillies) was no better on the same measures.

Tizway we go

On May 30 Tizway was the winner of the Met Mile with the scintillating final time of 1:32.9 for one mile. On further review, that race was too good to be true. The variant for that race was one; the average variant for the one turn mile at Belmont is a 21. In other words, the surface was extremely fast that day. Rodman did very little in his next start in the Suburban Handicap as the even money favorite. Tizway is supposed to make his next start in the Whitney, buyers beware.

Street Game wired the field in the Hill Prince back on June 18, defeating Virginia Derby winner Air Support by open lengths. Street Game ran an impressive closing fraction that was one of the better efforts put forth at a mile race on the outer turf course. The speed figure was eight lengths faster than average as well. Over that speed favoring turf course upstate, he could easily wire a field or two if left to his own devices.

The Dwyer Stakes will likely produce a few starters for the Jim Dandy and Haskell, the race was not all that fast though. It was six lengths slow at the half, ten lengths slow at the three-quarters mark, and eight lengths slow at the finish. The winner and runner-up will more than likely be overbet in their next start.