Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, January 29, 2005
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes

We said it before in this space and Saturday just reinforced our thoughts that 'event days' are fun days to watch and play because of large fields and pools and the chance for huge payoffs -- but they can be tough for the logical handicapper. It's often the same at the Breeders' Cup, the stakes-laden Kentucky Derby day card, and a handful of other such special events. The unknowns start to outweigh the knowns.

In other words, on a typical Thursday afternoon card at your favorite track each horse you're handicapping has a set of knowns (he's been the distance, the jock has ridden him, the trainer has pertinent stats, etc) and unknowns (never been in this weather condition, never carried this weight, etc). Usually those knowns provide enough information to outweigh the unknowns and allow for an informed choice.

But on event days the unknowns start to add up. First time on the track. First time with the jock. Trainer doesn't typically run for $500K+. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Such was the case again Saturday with the Sunshine Millions. Thus we mostly struggled with those races while we had a decent day on the other -- 'regular' stakes.

Three winners in twelve races (Gulfstream, $3.40; Laurel, $3.60; Oaklawn, $4.30). The Fair Grounds stake fell off our plate when it was moved from the turf to the main track.

Of the 'regular' stakes: Our top three boxed for a modest tri at Aqueduct. And we had a cold exacta at Oaklawn with our fourth pick completing our keyed tri.

There was one bright spot among the Sunshine Millions races, we had a reverse exacta in the F/M Sprint with our third and fourth picks coming in next. That makes this the fourth week in January where our top four picks have completed the superfecta in at least one of the Coast-to-coast races.

Otherwise we struggled along with many handicappers during the Sunshine Millions extravaganza as a parade of longshots either won, or came in underneath to complete the gimmicks. The nice thing about that is if just one of these jumps out of the PPs at you you're set for the day. Saturday none jumped at us.

However, we were really not that far away from having an OK afternoon. We were more than alive turning for home with a handful of top picks (Changing World, Silver Tree, and Limehouse) and our top pick in the SM Oaks, She's a Jewel, missed by a nostril at 6-1. If we could eek a couple of those in -- or get a couple of the gimmicks that we were frustratingly close to, we would have been OK for the day.

Ah, but there's always next week...

WAGERED: $536.00
COLLECTED: $259.90

Turf wagers are turf only

Best Bets, 1/29/05
Laurel, Race 10, Silmaril... WON (3.60, 2.60, 2.20).
Fair Grounds, Race 9, Cape Hope... Scratched.
Santa Anita, Race 5, Silver Tree... 3rd at 5-2 (xxx, xxx, 2.80).
Santa Anita, Race 6, Yearly Report... 6th at 4-5.

Aqueduct: Paumonok $75K

Don Six 3-1
Gators N Bears 5-2
Mr Whitestone 2-1

Wager: $5 WP on Mr Whitestone.
Ran 3rd.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $17.00 on the ex box ($34.00/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $40.50 on the tri box ($81.00/$2).

Mr Whitestone...Has been going well in two starts since brief autumn break.
Gators N Bears...Always in the hunt but the concern is that perhaps he doesn't care for this surface. But we'll see if he can rebound with Elliott onboard today.
Don Six...Won G3 here last time. Just missed in this race last year to the very good Peeping Tom. The one to beat.
Uncle Camie.

Gulfstream: SM F/M Sprint $300K

Alix M 9-2
Bear Fan 2--5
Double Scoop 8-1

Cyber Slew completed the $219.40/$2 super.

Wager: $5 WP on Bear Fan.
Collected $5.50 on the WP (xxx, 2.20).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Collected $19.60 on the ex box ($19.60/$2).
...$2 tri key Bear Fan over next three. (Tri paid $60.20/$2)
Ran 2/1-3-4.

Bear Fan...Picking this one reluctantly off the long layoff but she just seems clearly better than these and the works look good.
Alix M...Has yet to miss the board in nine lifetime efforts.
Double Scoop...Third start off long layoff and showed return to good form with small stakes win last time.
Cyber Slew.

Gulfstream: SM Dash $250K

Lost in the Fog 3-5
Santana Strings 8-1
Lucky Frolic 77-1

Wager: $5 WP on Lost in the Fog.
Collected $16.00 on the WP (3.40, 3.00).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-8.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-4-5*-7*-8... * entry
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-4-5*-7*-8... * entry

Lost in the Fog...His first two say he could be special and workouts indicate he's maintaining his form.
Bushwacker...Nice winning debut on turf. Followed with a good second to Declan's Moon in Hollywood Prevue. Toss out effort in Futurity when the saddle slipped. Expect a good effort today.
Seize the Day/Run Thruthe Sun...Run Thruthe Sun slightly preferred. He looks to be on the improve. Seize the Day capable if able to recapture top form.
BB Best.

Gulfstream: SM F/M Turf $500K

Valentine Dancer 8-1
Marwood 19-1
Changing World 3-1

Wager: $5 WP on Changing World.
Ran 3rd.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-5.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 3-4-5-11.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 3-4-5-11.

Changing World...Was perhaps too aggressively ridden in latest. Switch to Prado should help. Expect to see the speed -- but hopefully meted out a little more strategically.
Moscow Burning...A pretty consistent graded performer. Just missed in this race last year and is sure to be in the mix again today.
Scorfa...We might get a little value on this guy -- but the addition of Johnny V onboard could make a big difference.
R Obsession.

Gulfstream: SM Classic $1 mil

Musique Toujours 70-1
Zakocity 27-1
Classic Endeavor 7-1

Wager: $5 WP on Limehouse.
Ran 4th at 9-2.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 4-7.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 3-4-7-9.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 3-4-7-9.

Limehouse...Our value pick last year under Smarty Jones in the Ky Derby. Finished a good fourth that day at 41-1. Raced once after the Derby and then laid off until earlier this month. Comebacker was enough to allow me to put him on top today. Looks fit and ready.
Lava Man...Could be tough stretching out off of the two good sprints.
Midas Eyes...Distance is a little bit of a question. Also, coming off a brief layoff. But hard to leave a G1 winner from Frankel out of the mix.
Classic Endeavor.

Laurel: What A Summer $50K

Sensibly Chic 9-5
Wallop 4-1
Bronze Abe 7-2

Wager: $5 WP on Bronze Abe.
Ran 3rd.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-3.
...$1 exacta box top four, sub next if scratch.
Ran 1-3-4-7.
...$1 tri box top four, sub next if scratch.
Ran 1-3-4-7.

Bronze Abe...A dicey pick here. Would have been a solid top choice except for a turn to less than top form at the end of last year. We'll hopes she's perked back up with the brief rest.
Sensibly Chic...Only two poor efforts last year were in graded stakes. Fits well here.
Traci Girl...Has run well since moving into Levine barn.
Search for a Cure.

Laurel: Nellie Morse $75K

Silmaril 4-5
Richetta 8-1
Points West 11-1

Roar Emotion scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Silmaril.
Collected $15.50 on the WP (3.60, 2.60).
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $10.80 on the ex box ($21.60/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-4.

Silmaril...Likes the track and fits with this bunch.
Roar Emotion...Graded stakes winner might have found a soft spot to get first win since last February.
Pour It On...Looks to be rounding into good form.

Oaklawn: Dixie Belle $50K

More Moonlight 1-1
True Tails 5-1
Dimple Pinch 6-1

Wager: $5 WP on More Moonlight.
Collected $17.50 on the WP (4.20, 2.80).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Collected $17.80 on the ex box ($17.80/$2).
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $8.90 on the ex box.
...$2 tri key More Moonlight over next three.
Collected $69.80 on the tri box.

More Moonlight...Asmussen filly has improved with each start and is coming off of a nice stakes win.
True Tails...Just missed last time over a muddy track. Was going very well in prior two over fast tracks.
Angel Trumpet...Won a $50K stake at Turfway last time.
Dimple Pinch.

Fair Grounds: Black Gold H'cp $50K

Straw Hat 9-5
Medigating 5-2
Krises Bells 5-1

Race moved off-turf to main track.
Cape Hope scratched.

No wagers -- off turf.

Cape Hope...Has taken to the turf and looks like a legit fave in here.
Straw Hat...Looks like he's on the improve and is perhaps better on turf. Albarado sticks for Howard/Farish.
Medigating...Have a feeling he's better than US debut indicates.
I'm Bluffing.

Wager: $5 WP on Mr Whitestone.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$4 tri key Cape Hope over next three.

Santa Anita: SM Oaks $250K

Hot Storm 21-1
She's a Jewel 6-1
Memorette 3-1

Wager: $5 WP on She's a Jewel.
Collected $21.00 on the WP (xxx, 8.40).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-10.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-3-6-10.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-3-6-10.

She's a Jewel...Last couple seem to indicate she's maturing nicely.
Brooke's Halo...Banged out as a huge maiden win in Florida. Only question mark is fact that it was done over a sloppy track.
Coastal Strike...2-2 so far. Will need to bump up those Beyers but they often come back improved off a layoff at this age.

Santa Anita: SM Sprint $300K

Red Warrior 47-1
Full Moon Madness 11-1
Areyoutalkintome 2-1

Wager: $5 WP on Green Team.
Ran DNF at 9-2.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-DNF.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 3-5-6-DNF.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 3-5-6-DNF.

Green Team...Tough when at his best -- and last was very good. Second to Shake You Down in this race last year.
Areyoutalkintome...Hasn't missed an exacta finish in six tries over the track -- and that includes a G3 win last time.
Shake You Down...The defending champ needs to rebound off a very dull try in latest. Questionable.

Santa Anita: SM Turf $500K

Star Over the Bay 9-2
A to the Z 2-1
Silver Tree 5-2

Wager: $5 WP on Silver Tree.
Ran 3rd.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-11.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-3-6-11.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-3-6-11.

Silver Tree...Mott/Bailey turfer just missed in a G3 last time and was only three back in BC Mile in prior.
GP Fleet...Won an off-the-turf race last time and the G3 River City on turf before that.
A to the Z...Two solid tries this fall after moving into new barn.
Union Place.

Santa Anita: SM Distaff $500K

Sweet Lips 12-1
Fencelineneighbor 39-1
Dream of Summer 6-1

Wager: $5 WP on Yearly Report.
Ran 6th at 4-5.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-6.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-4-6.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-4-6.

Yearly Report...Cal-bred has been spotted nicely by Baffert, picking up checks in both state-bred and open stakes. Likes the track and the trip.
Dream of Summer...Beat top pick two back and then followed with some trouble in latest. Hard to fault the 10-7-1-1 record.
Sweet Lips...Overmatched in the G1 last time. Frankel/Douglas runner might fit better with these.
Alphabet Kisses.

Coast-to-coast Archives...Picks, plays and results from previous weeks


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