Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

03 November 2011

Uncle Mo vs. 1 1/4 miles and fourteen other races

With six Breeders' Cup races on Friday and nine on Saturday, it is almost certain financial doom to play every race. With this being said, we here at Powercap introduce the almost infallible five star rating system to evaluate the races on hand.

The Friday Slate

The Distaff (Race 10)

Last year it was a rematch of Havre de Grace and Blind Luck, this year It's Tricky and Plum Pretty square off for the fourth time this year. Elsewhere in the field is Ask the Moon, her connections made an interesting decision of running at Santa Anita in her latest to no avail after two good efforts at the Spa. If she can rebound from her last race, she will be a tough customer here.

The Filly & Mare Turf (Race 9)

This is the race where the American based turf runners have the best chance of winning against the Europeans on their familiar surface. Stacelita is listed as the 2/1 favorite and has the edge of winning at 1 3/8 miles around the tight turns. Her last race was over a turf that was dead slow, my figures have it at -19 slow.

The Filly & Mare Sprint (Race 7)

Turbulent Descent looks to sew up a title here and she looks like a vulnerable favorite. The Puype filly has been off since early August and the early pace of that race was average at best before Descent blew by competition like Roman Treasure late.

An interesting horse in this spot is Great Hot who had two starts in October and a start against her elders in the Lady's Secret. Her sprint starts are decent from the looks of it going three for three in her attempts.

The Juvenile Sprint (Race 5)

Yet another juvenile cash grab has been added to the schedule. Trinniberg has come up short twice against stakes competition. Secret Circle ran big in his debut race. Toss Vexor's Hopeful performance and he doesn't miss the board in his short career. Seeker had a big race two back on Hopeful day. It should be a good first installment for this race.

The Juvenile Fillies (Race 8)

My Miss Aurelia looks to avoid the career trajectory that AZ Warrior took after her win in last year's Frizette.

The Juvenile Fillies Turf (Race 6)

On the course of any card there is a race or two that handicappers don't like playing and the combined phrase of juvenile fillies on the turf is my kryptonite.

The Saturday Slate

The Classic (Race 11)

The five million dollar question here is Uncle Mo's ability to stay the mile and a quarter. The last time a three year old favorite tried stretching out from one mile to a mile and a quarter was Fusaichi Pegasus. It didn't work in 2000, I have my doubts it will work now. Keep in mind that Fusaichi Pegasus was trying this after winning the Derby. The longest distance that Mo has won at was a mile and a sixteenth.

Ruler On Ice looks interesting here, he gets a ten pound weight shift from To Honor and Serve and has won at a mile and half. Stay Thirsty also gets another look here as the unheralded Repole entry here, he ran in every step of the Belmont and won the midsummer classic. To Honor and Serve comes in hot here and the only setback is he is picking up eight pounds off of his previous start.

The Sprint (Race 5)

I guess that Zito is one of the twelve readers of this blog.

The Mile (Race 10)

Apparently Goldikova is on the decline, if I owned a horse that was on this type downward spiral I would be overjoyed. Win or lose, this mare's spot as one of the all time Breeders' Cup performers is secure. It will be quite a while until another one like her comes around.

The Dirt Mile (Race 7)

In a rare occurrence the Preakness winner is in a race that is not the Classic. In his defeats since the Preakness the margin has been 7 3/4, a neck, 22 1/2, and 4 3/4. He is probably a good bet against here.

Tapizar came back with a victory after missing the Triple Crown series, he is probably a bit short for this spot. He does look like one to watch out for in the 2012 season though.

Trappe Shot is in this race after seemingly being aimed at the Sprint all season long, his running style better meant for the mile distance though. Not a lot was lost in transition to this race.

The Juvenile Turf (Race 4)

If it weren't for the Pilgrim returnees entered here this race would be a one star affair. Shkspeare Shaliyah and Fantastic Song ran a closing number over the dead boggy turf that was 14 and 17 lengths faster than average. Not bad for a turf runner and that is exceptional for juveniles.

The Juvenile (Race 9)

Union Rags could wrap up the Juvenile title and Derby favoritism with a win here. It seems like anytime there is a two year colt that wins two or three big races in NY they are immediately shot to the front of every public handicapper's Derby list. They usually fall short of the Derby expectations. It happened to Uncle Mo and To Honor and Serve last year, Nobiz Like Shobiz years ago, and Doneraile Court around a decade ago. The last time a hyped NY juvenile won a triple crown race was 2004 when Birdstone upset the Triple Crown bid of Smarty Jones.

The Turf (Race 8)

The European invaders will all be bet here and Steven Crist is a big fan of the American turf runners entered. Of course the overseas counterparts have a great edge, they carry weight in the big races and all of their marquee events are on the lawn.

The Marathon (Race 3)
The Turf Sprint (Race 6)

These two categories are also my handicapping kryptonite.