Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, December 31, 2005
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes

Our Best Bets section (see below) really bailed us out, but, yeesh, the main C2C plays this week saw us struggle mightily. We managed to pick up a little something at Laurel but everywhere else we threw duds. But it was one of those days where the picks weren't really that bad -- the luck was just against us.

We ran first and third in four races to miss exactas. That includes Tampa where we would have had the exacta box with a 5-1 on top -- if only our 14-1 top selection could have gotten second, instead of third. And in the Stage Door Betty at Calder two of ours ran second and third at 8-1 and 23-1. A little more racing luck changes the day around significantly. And so it goes...

But again, check out the Best Bets results below. That was quite a day!

WAGERED: $374.00

Turf wagers are turf only

What a way to end the year! Bang! Three winners in ten races -- but they were the right three (well, the right two anyway). A $2 win wager on all ten Best Bets would have cost $20 and would have returned $43.00! That's an outstanding ROI of 115%!

Saturday provided the perfect bookend to a spectacular year! We inaugurated the Best Bets feature on Jan 1 -- and opened up strong with a winning day. Likewise, this past Saturday we ended the year -- on Dec 31 -- with a winning day. In between we remained strong and capped off the entire season of Best Bets with an extraordinary ROI of 43%. Read all about the entire 2005 Best Bets season at the 2005 Best Bets Archive Page.

And it was the luxury of having come into this past weekend with such a solid ROI that let us dive in a little deeper than we normally do. We typically don't label as many as ten races "Best Bets" but we were hoping to leave 2005 with a flourish -- and that's exactly what happened!

Best Bets

Tampa, Race 5, Seek to Soar... WON (3.00, 2.40, 2.10).
Tampa, Race 10, Running Lass... 3rd at 14-1 (xxx, xxx, 7.20).
FG @ La Downs, Race 7, Danseur's Gold... 2nd at 3-2 (xxx, 2.80, 2.40).
FG @ La Downs, Race 9, Enduring Will... 5th at 3-5.
Calder, Race 4, Handsome Smile... 2nd at 9-5 (xxx, 3.40, 2.60).
Calder, Race 7, Yes He's the Man... WON (19.20, 7.60, 5.60).
Laurel, Race 6, Take a Check... 3rd at 3-2 (xxx, xxx, 2.10).
Laurel, Race 7, Cantora... 8th at 7-2.
Santa Anita, Race 2, Quiet Kim... 2nd at 9-5 (xxx, 2.60, 2.20).
Santa Anita, Race 5, Gone Cattin... WON (20.80, 8.40, 4.60).


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.


For the second week in a row the Warrior opted not to play any races. And so he ends 2005 on top. It was a spirited contest with Equidaily's Coast-to-coast leading the way as recently as Dec 3. But DRF's Weekend Warrior picked up three winners over the next two weeks and surged to the lead. Congrats to Warrior -- and we look forward to resuming the battle in 2006...

. Seth Merrow/Equidaily.com's Coast-to-coast Mike Watchmaker/DRF's Weekend Warrior
YTD (from 9/10/05)/win mutuel 37-7-5-7, $49.80 37-8-3-5, $71.10
(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.)

Aqueduct: Gallant Fox Hcp G3 $75K

Navesink River 4-5
India Halo 8-1
Chilly Rooster 8-1

Wager: $5 WP on We Can Seek.
Ran 6th at 5-2.
...$1 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-6.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3entry-5-6-8entry.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3entry-5-6-8entry.

We Can Seek...Looked live coming down the stretch last time in G3 Queens County. Should be set for good try in third US start.
Navesink River...Comes off of a minor stakes win at this unusual distance.
Potri Cacho...Behind Navesink River last time -- might be ready for top effort in third start for new barn.
Loving/Chilly Rooster.

Calder: FA Genter G3 $100K

Laurafina 8-1
Champagne Ending 9-1
More Than Promised 3-1

Brazilian scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on More Than Promised.
Ran 3rd.
...$1 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-9.
...$1 exacta box top four, sub next if scratch.
Ran 1-3-4-9.
...$1 tri box top four, sub next if scratch.
Ran 1-3-4-9.

More Than Promised...Get a little hinky playing Asmussen on the "A"-circuits, his forte seems to be the midwest. But this gal is just in such good form -- a four-race win streak, including three stakes -- that we can't ignore her.
Tiger Belle...Turned the corner this summer and has won four of last five. Will be rolling late.
Brazilian...Big win off of long layoff shows Pletcher might have the real deal. Will have to get in off of AE list.
Pommes Frites.

Calder: Chaposa Springs Hcp G3 $100K

Malibu Mint 12-1
Tigi 20-1
Lilah 3-1

Wager: $5 WP on Kuanyan.
Ran 4th at 5-2.
...$1 exacta box top two.
Ran 4-6.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 3-4entry-5entry-6-7.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 3-4entry-5entry-6-7.

Kuanyan...On the improve since returning to Calder. Last was best yet and she'll be tough if able to continue improving.
Injustice...The one to beat off of 102-Beyer stakes win at Churchill last time -- but she seems particular about her surfaces. This is her first try at Calder. And a bounce is a possibility off of lifetime best Beyer. So some question marks surround her.
Midtown Miss...Seldom misses a check.

Calder: Pete Axthelm $100K

Drum Major 5-1
Dream On Dream On 7-1
Therecomesatiger 8-5

Wager: $5 WP on Therecomesatiger.
Ran 3rd.
...$1 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-9.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-6-9.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-6-9.

Therecomesatiger...Four solid wins in five lifetime starts -- including a rich stake at Churchill last time. Buller work -- best of 42 -- ten days ago.
Lamor...Usually want to see one from these S American imports but we'll give this one a shot being in the barn of Bill Mott.
Ramazutti...Has improved since moving to turf. Pletcher red-hot at the meet.
Drum Major.

Calder: Stage Door Betty Hcp $100K

Mocita 9-2
Special Report 8-1
Pitanga 23-1

Wager: $5 WP on Sweet Lips.
Ran 6th at 4-5.
...$1 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-6.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-3-6-9.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-3-6-9.

Sweet Lips...The layoff is a concern but Frankel is the guy who has made coming back from long layoffs look easy -- so we'll hope she's ready to recapture her best form today.
Special Report...Might be ready for a good try in fourth start off of a long layoff.
American Miss...Inconsistent this fall -- but fits here on best.

Laurel: Md Juv Championship $75K

Vegas Play 7-1
Creve Coeur 3-1
Travelin Leroy 3-5

Wager: $5 WP on Travelin Leroy.
Ran 3rd.
...$1 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $24.00 on the ex box ($48.00/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $62.30 on the tri box ($124.60/$2).

Travelin Leroy...Jumps off the page as much the best Beyer-wise.
Creve Coeur...Battle-tested, and that counts in these 2YO stakes.
Vegas Play...Over-matched in Laurel Futurity. Expect a rebound against this bunch.
Take Command.

Tampa: Sandpiper $60K

Misty Rosette 5-1
Runaway in Love 41-1
Running Lass 14-1

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

Running Lass...One of the leaders in the division through early September. Last two were real duds but she might wake-up with drop into softer company.
Rgirldoesn'tbluff...Showed nice improvement making second career start and first try over this strip. Could be a good one.
Misty Rosette...Solid debut win.
No Hear Say.

Santa Anita: Monrovia Hcp G3 $100K

Awesome Lady 5-1
Beneficial Bartok 4-1
Beneficial Bartok 5-1

Moved off turf to main track.
Elusive Diva, Chasethegold scratched.

Elusive Diva...A real specialist at sprinting over this downhill turf course. Looks best here.
Chasethegold...Has been behind top pick recently -- but she'll be rolling late and should contend for a piece.
Beneficial Bartok...Another that has run well over this course.

Wager: $5 WP on Elusive Diva.
...$1 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Santa Anita: La Brea G1 $250K

Pussycat Doll 6-1
Leave Me Alone 7-2
Thrilling Victory 22-1

Three Dregrees scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on My Miss Storm Cat.
Ran 9th at 5-1.
...$1 exacta box top two.
Ran 5entry-9-11entry.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-5e-9-11e.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-5e-9-11e.

My Miss Storm Cat...Has shown flashes of brilliance. Question is fitness. But works look good.
Great Intentions/MysticChant...Great Intentions preferred. Three straight impressive wins since return -- including a G2 at this trip last time.
Leave Me Alone...Tough if able to repeat winning effort from G1 Test but outside post is no bonus.
Three Degrees.

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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