Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, December 3, 2005
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes

Things clicked in the gimmicks department for maybe the first time since before the Breeders' Cup. When things go right and we can find some value, we only need one or two to hit. But until this Saturday we were treading water for a few weeks where we were either plagued by low value or got zapped when an outsider split our picks for exactas or tri's. But things went right this week.

On the win-end we picked up three winners in eight races (Calder, $7.40, 4.60; Laurel, $2.80). That's a near-miss for a profit in that category.

But as we said, we broke through with the gimmicks -- notably in the Leggio in Louisiana where three of ours boxed for the juicy $624.20/$2 tri, and, although we don't typically included supers in our wagering menu, it's worth noting that our four selections combined for the huge $1794.80/$2 super. Our four picks made up the super in another race on our C2C card -- the Three Ring at Calder ($315.20/$2 super).

We also made some hay with the short-priced fave at Laurel. We did like 2-5 Cherokee's Boy on top -- and we took a stand with the exacta by putting 8-1 George's Gain underneath. Our wagering scheme put $20 into that race and we collected $66.00 to better than triple our money -- always a bonus when the heavy chalk runs first under the wire.

If there was a disappointment it would probably be Travelator at Aqueduct. It's never fun to see your wager go up in smoke before the running even begins -- and that's what happened there when our choice dumped the rider coming out of the gate. C'est la vie.

All in all however, it was a fun afternoon.

WAGERED: $321.00
COLLECTED: $579.60

Turf wagers are turf only


Our Head-to-Head feature pits Coast-to-Coast's Seth Merrow against DRF's Weekend Warrior, Mike Watchmaker. Whenever the two columns make selections in the same race we'll tally the results for each.


Both Coast-to-Coast and Weekend Warrior saw their common pick of Travelator go up in smoke when the rider was dumped out of the gate. In the remaining two match-ups Coast-to-coast's Seth Merrow added another win to the ledger when Silver Tree just got up in the shadow of the wire at a short price. Coast-to-coast now leads in all categories -- most wins, most in-the-money, and most money per win-wager -- but both competitors still need a nice score or two to move themselves into the black overall.

This week's matchup races Seth Merrow/Equidaily.com's Coast-to-coast Mike Watchmaker/DRF's Weekend Warrior
Aqueduct: Garland of Roses DNF at 9-1/Travelator DNF at 9-1/Travelator
Calder: Tropical Turf Hcp WON (4.60, 3.40, 2.60)/Silver Tree 7th at 5-2/Saint Stephen
FG @ La Downs: Leggio Memorial 4th at 5-2/Southern Surprise 3rd at 2-1 [xxx, xxx, 3.60]/Josh's Madelyn
This Week 3-1-0-0 3-0-0-1
YTD (from 9/10/05)/win mutuel 31-7-3-5, $49.80 31-5-2-4, $46.50
(Head-to-Head results above are only for those races which were common to both columns. Weekend Warrior might have tabbed other races not reflected in the results above.)

Best Bets

We've said it before -- we don't put "if...then's" on this page (ie, if horse X is below 6-5 then no bet...). It's more fun just to keep things simple and straightforward. However, two of Saturday's Best Bets dipped well below the "best bet" threshold and we would have been better off without them. Fly to the Wire was certainly a deserving favorite at Hollywood, but there were at least a couple others that looked capable and should have garnered some support -- including the eventual winner -- and so the 2-5 price we got was borderline absurd. Likewise 1-5 on Glitter Queen at the Fair Grounds really took her out of Best Bets territory. With an apprentice jock aboard she was passed coming into the stretch, had to re-rally to fight the lead away from her 35-1 challenger about mid-stretch, lost the lead again within the final furlong and needed yet another gritty re-rally to just survive in the shadow of the wire. So, even though we won with that one it was far, far too much aggravation for the price.

Ah well, we live to fight another day.

Calder, Race 6, Husker Nation... 7th at 6-1.
Calder, Race 10, Silver Tree... WON (4.60, 3.40, 2.60).
FG @ La Downs, Race 1, Glitter Queen... WON (2.60, 2.20, 2.10).
FG @ La Downs, Race 9, Southern Surprise... 4th at 5-2.
Hollywood, Race 2, Fly to the Wire... 2nd at 2-5 (xxx, 2.20, 2.10).

Aqueduct: Garland of Roses $75K

Lilah 9-1
Secret Forest 45-1
Bank Audit 1-1

Wager: $5 WP on Travelator.
DNF after losing rider at the start at 9-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-DNF.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-5-DNF.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-5-DNF.

Travelator...11-for-25 at this trip. Likes the track. Won this race last year at 8-1. Drops out of graded company and looks capable of competing for top prize here.
Bank Audit...Won a similar stake on the main track last time and looks like the one to beat.
Storm Minstrel...Was going well late spring - early summer than faltered last couple of late summer starts. On the bench a couple of months but trainer is OK in that area. Fits here if she rebounds to that prior good form.

Calder: My Charmer Hcp G3 $100K

Snowdrops 9-2
La Reina 7-1
Ticker Tape 6-1

Spotlight scratched.

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

Sand Springs...Over-matched against the boys in the G1 BC Mile last time. Won G1 at Saratoga at this trip three back. Looks capable of leading these all the way.
Snowdrops...Second in this race last year. Layoff is a concern but Clement is potent with these types.
Spotlight...Uncoupled barnmate of Snowdrops is another that looks live in here from Clement.
Ticker Tape.

Calder: Three Ring $100K

Stolen Prayer 5-2
Capozzene 8-5
El Bank Robber 8-1

Mia's Reflection completed the $315.20/$2 super.

Wager: $5 WP on Stolen Prayer.
Collected $27.00 on the WP (7.40, 3.40).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $12.10 on the ex box ($24.20/$2).
...$1 tri key Stolen Prayer over next three.
Collected $59.10 on the tri box ($118.20/$2).

Stolen Prayer...Lone two-turn try was arguably her best yet. Could be tough if able to slip free early.
El Bank Robber...Debut win was impressive enough to consider her here.
Capozzene...Pletcher filly has been inconsistent but looks like the type who just might be learning the game and has plenty of upside.
Mia's Reflection.

Calder: What A Pleasure $100K

Saint Augustus 11-1
Big Lover 7-1
Rehoboth 18-1

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

Electrify...Impressed last time winning stakes debut and won going the trip two back. Looks like the real deal.
Changing Weather...Has had trouble last two. Adds blinkers and might find this group more to his liking.
Flanders Fields...Maiden-breaker was so impressive they sent him off the 3-2 fave in G2 Iroquois last time. Flopped there but outside post didn't help. Eligible to rebound.

Calder: Tropical Turf Hcp G3 $100K

Silver Tree 6-5
Demeteor 41-1
Settle Up 13-1

Wager: $5 WP on Silver Tree.
Collected $17.50 on the WP (4.60, 3.40).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-7.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-5-7-8.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-5-7-8.

Silver Tree...Behind Artie Schiller and Leroidesanimaux recently. Went well in a stake over this course last time and that should set him up for a top effort today.
Saint Stephen...Rounded into top form this spring -- but still not battle-tested at this level, plus he's been off since June.
Hotstufanthensome...Got good this summer and ran his best yet last time. Tough if able to hold that form.
Icy Atlantic.

Laurel: Jennings Hcp $75K

Cherokee's Boy 2-5
George's Gain 8-1
Water Cannon 9-2

Wager: $5 W on Cherokee's Boy.
Collected $7.00 on the W (2.80).
...$5 exacta Cherokee's Boy over George's Gain.
Collected $29.50 on the ex ($11.80/$2).
...$5 exacta box top two.
Collected $29.50 on the ex box.

Cherokee's Boy...Hard to see past him in this group.
George's Gain...Not a stakes-level performer -- but probably doesn't have to be to grab second-place in this field.
Gold Casing.
Water Cannon.

Fair Grounds @ La Downs: Leggio Memorial $75K

Silver Crown 11-1
Red Lifesaver 6-1
Josh's Madelyn 2-1

Southern Surprise completed the $1794.80/$2 super.

Wager: $5 WP on Southern Surprise.
Ran 4th at 5-2.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-4.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $85.70 on the ex box ($171.40/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $312.10 on the tri box ($624.20/$2).

Southern Surprise...Shaky call since there is enough speed that this one might face too much pressure early. But she's scored at the trip and likes the track so we'll name her the speed of the speed and hope she holds on today.
Red Lifesaver...Can sit just off the early pace and make first run if things collapse up front.
Josh's Madelyn...Will be closing late -- but maybe too late on this oval.
Silver Crown.

Hollywood: Underwood G3 $100K

Bordonaro 2-1
Turnbolt 7-1
Captain Squire 4-5

Indian Country scratched.

Wager: $5 W on Captain Squire.
Ran 3rd.
...$20 quinella top two.
Ran 1-3.

Captain Squire...Has been solid since returning to the races and trainer is red-hot at the meet.
Bordonaro...Hard to fault the lifetime record -- and impressed in winning sprint stakes againsr Cal-breds last time.
Lifestyle...Overmatched last time. Fits here.
Indian Country.

If we are interested in both halves of an entry -- in event of a scratch -- it is noted that way. If only one-half of the entry is named, then we prefer that half and will move to our next pick listed in event of a scratch.
Scratches listed in our results reflect only horses that were part of our selections, not necessarily all the horses that were scratched. Check official results for complete information.

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


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