0-9. Yeesh, we've probably shot more oh-fer's this season than we have in the past four or five -- or six years put together! We only take solace in the fact that much of the rest of the public handicapping community is in the same boat overall. We'll have the final handicappers scorecard posted after the meet -- and kudos will go to the handful that seem set to reach to 100-win mark. But many of the rest of us have treaded water all meet in the winners-on-top category. We've said it before however, the handicapping is fairly solid -- just not with those winners-on-top.
Wednesday was a good example. We shot the oh-fer -- and many other public handicappers had only one or two winners -- but it was a day that easily could have produced four or five winners-on-top. We went for the Sheppard entry in the 1st race and bypassed the favorite and eventual winner Dark Equation. A logical play, but we zigged while others zagged. In the 2nd race we ended up kicking ourselves as the Baffert/Zayat firsters got away at a generous -- very generous -- 7-2. Typically we ignore the morning line and handicap straight-up -- we give the horse we think will win, if he's 3-5 or 20-1. But in some of these baby races things are wide-open enough that it often makes sense to search for some value. Therefore, expecting a short price on J Be K we looked elsewhere. Our mistake. Every meet there are two or three horses we'd like to have back -- and J Be K will top the list this season.
Can't say that even with 20-20 hindsight we would have moved up Hot Property, the winner of the 3rd. But the handicapping was solid there -- in a six-horse field with our third-ranked selection going off at 10-1 it certainly made sense to play our a little and with the results being our third selection over our top two picks, both the exacta [$103.50/$2] and tri [$204.00] were well within reach. In the 4th we went for a trainer angle -- Pletcher having been solid with turf firsters here over the past couple of seasons -- in the meantime our second, third, and fourth selections came in 1-2-3 in order. After scratches in the 5th our move-up top choice was nosed by our move-up third selection to complete at $56.20 exacta. Our top two picks flip-flopped in the 6th for a $30.40 exacta with our third choice rounding out the $95.50 tri.
...And so it goes. The day was frustrating on the winners-on-top scorecard -- but there was plenty of action regardless.
On-track 13,797 showed up and enjoyed still one more very nice afternoon. Temps were warm. The sun was shining. Humidity was a touch high.
Skip Dattt...Just missed in a similar event here on 8/4. Switches to meet's riding leader.
Delta Park...Third start off of a layoff and should be primed to run well.
Mt Orient...Should be in the hunt stretching from sprints.
Any Minute Now.
On dirt: Bright Illusion, Bronxdale, Pouf Positive, Mt Orient.
DJ Lightning...Purchased in April for $60K after working in 10.2. Steady string of works prepping for debut.
Nightime Appeal...Precociously-bred and trainer can have them ready first-time out of the box.
Elle Society...Another that is bred to win-early.
Hesanoldsalt...A little bit of a disappointment in last two after running well against the best earlier this year. Should handle these however even if at less than 100%.
Crossword...Nice win here off of a short layoff indicates he's in good form now.
Nkosi Reigns...Could be very dangerous if able to sneak away early in a short field.
Freakenstein...Zayat has unleashed 2YO monsters Maimonides and -- yesterday -- J Be K. Those were both from Baffert, this one from Mott. But this gal cost $700K at SoCal 2YO sale and worked a blazing 9.4 before the auction.
Psycho DJ...Brought $170K at a 2YO sale after working in 22.1. Solid string of works with a couple of bullets showing. Dangerous.
A Little Humor...Sire gets precocious runners. Working well.
Snare...Backed this one at 7-1 in debut and we've been waiting for the return. Precociously-bred and from win-early connections. Didn't offer up a whole lot in that first try and it's a little bit of a concern that she's only showing two works since -- but we'll go with her on the drop in for a tag and the trainer's second-out stats.
Farri H...Another that is eligible to improve on the drop and with the experience under her belt.
Ashiki...Second against open company in Texas. Could prove interesting vs state-breds.
Indian Blessing...This one should be well-conditioned with a string of good works over the Del Mar Poly.
Life Is Sweet...Look out! This one is a full-sib to Sweet Catomine. That nice filly ran second in her career debut then broke her maiden in the G1 Del Mar Debutante in 2004. Clearly would be no surprise here.
Constance...Wouldn't be surprised to see the Pletcher trainee improve.
La Neige...If he runs his race he just looks to be better than these. However, why in for the tag? Hmm...
I Ain't No Saint...Looks to be searching for the right spot and this $60K level looks pretty good. Three nice 4F works leading into this.
Quick Comeback...Should be the one to catch -- but it looks like he'll have some company early.
On dirt: Makeithapencaptain, Brazenly Bold, Veritserum, Touchdown Peyton, Stopbluffing, Proudly Pyrite, Quick Comeback.
EIGHTH RACE - NY Turf Writers Hcp G1
Divine Fortune...With the same jock being named on both Sheppard entrants only one will go. We prefer this one as an up-and-comer that was a convincing winner at the trip here two weeks ago.
Best Attack...Solid over the jumps and hopefully got some nice prep work on the flat last time.
Mixed Up...Other half of Sheppard entry is a game competitor that won this race last year. Looked good winning the G2 Smithwick her on 8/9. But wow, toting 162 pounds for 19F is asking a lot of the 8YO.
Bar City...Rice has been very solid in these turf sprints here the last couple of seasons. This one is bred to be fast and is working well.
Last Boat Home...AE lister is very interesting making her second start for a trainer with a big number in that category.
Mesa Girl...Celebrity chef Bobby Flay tries to cook up another win at the meet. Some decent breeding. OK works. And a trainer that can have them ready.
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