Saturday, May 14, 2016
All Stakes Pick 4 at Belmont Park
Exclusively for http://www.123BET.com
RACE 7: Grade 2 RUFFIAN STAKES F & M 4 & UP 1 MILE
finished one-paced after saving ground in 4YO debut, the G3 Distaff four weeks ago. Benefits, is 2-for-3 at Belmont but draws unenviable pole slot and is 0-for-2 at distance. Very classy but with mixed signals.
2-Include Betty (5-1)
won the G1 Mother Goose over this ground at 3 and is 2-for-2 at the trip. Hard-tryer should benefit from season’s debut Mar. 5 but speed figures lacking here.
3-Spelling Again (12-1)
circling back to excellent Pricci Energy Rating under exact dynamics at CD three back. Cox 27% profitable going sprint to route after improving in Cox barn. Excellent value at early line odds.
4-Calamity Kate (8-1)
earned career best figure winning Delaware Oaks last year and broke maiden at this trip, on this course at 3. Won off similar layoff last year and picks up Johnny. Fair early line quote.
5-Welcome Aboard (30-1)
is 6-for-17 vs. weaker on turf and 2-for-9 on dirt. Reed 22% with his shippers but this is extremely ambitious.
owns fastest PER, handles any footing and is (7) 4-3-0 lifetime including (3) 2-1-0 slate at Belmont and is 2-for-2 at trip. Well posted and dynamics suited with regular partner, aggressive Jose Ortiz. Deserving favorite; strongest on Thoro-Graph scale
RACE 8: Grade 3 BEAUGAY STAKES F & M 4 & UP 1-1/16 MILES TURF
appeared badly in need of season’s debut chasing the pace in G1 Jenny Wiley won by the great turf mare Tepin. Benefits from effort, class relief, switch to Belmont (5) 2-0-2 and attracts Johnny. Improvement expected.
2-Ticking Katie (20-1)
has not taken a backward step on Pricci Energy scale in four North American starts; 1-for-1 over course and distance and might trip out from inside slip. Money prospects at double-digit odds.
was out-posted in 5YO debut vs. Tepin in G1 Jenny Wiley now makes mini-turnback with promise of possible cut in the ground. Won G2 Sands Point here at 3 and is 1-for-1 at the trip. Returns with proper spacing and class drop for white hot Chad shed with Javier on the re-ride.
impressive favorably winning 4YO debut at Aqueduct at two turns beneath Ortiz. Different dynamics and competition here but is 0-for-2 at Belmont. Puncher’s chance in superfecta.
5-Sistas Stroll (15-1)
might have been best when narrowly beaten in 4YO finale at KEE (see replay) by weaker but won at this level as 3YO. Working well for Proctor, 19% profitable with 90-days+ layups, attracts Lezcano but no easy spot this…
6-Strike Charmer (8-1)
finished well for place in season’s debut at Big A, cycling back to best figure for new trainer Hennig (1-dfor-1 at meet through Thursday) and reunites with winning rider Ortiz. Mixed signals given 0-for-4 slate at the trip.
7-Miss Atomic Bomb (30-1)
was third in that same race and Cornelio takes a return call but must improve big time to reach money position.
8- My Miss Sophia (3-1)
comes off series of excellent PERs in G1 and G2 competition. Owns versatile style, gets sic pounds from favorite and reunites with winning rider Rosario. Excellent upset chance.
RACE 9 Grade 2 PETER PAN STAKES 3YO 1-1/8 MILES
1-Supah Czech (30-1)
earned decent PER in maiden win at Laurel and bred for added ground but this is a completely different ballgame on several levels.
is the Trojan Nation of the Peter Pan—winless in four lifetime starts, but was a willing third going a flat mile behind subsequent Pat Day Mile winner, Sharp Azteca.
stakes placed in three consecutive graded events, including G1 Wood Memorial last out. Tries home ground for first time and gets Irad Ortiz after having been handled over-aggressively in recent starts. Talented 3YO has stakes wins in his future.
4-Decorated Soldier (6-1)
has won two straight including the listed Northern Spur at Oaklawn but is up in class and distance while stretching to a one-turn nine furlongs.
5-Governor Malibu (10-1)
earned top figure score to win the Tesio at this trip after adding blinkers last out. Promising NY-bred broke maiden at a flat mile on this track three back; undefeated in three starts since Lasix, finishing strongly with the eyewear last out.
6-Wild About Deb (8-1)
showed marked improvement to break maiden impressively at SA when given added ground for 3YO debut, earning competitive PER. Sign of confidence shipping in for today’s G2—both D’Amato ships-in placed gamely on Derby undercard.
was most impressive winning both lifetime starts, including the G3 Bay Shore while stretching out in class and distance over sloppy Big A strip. Has worked four times since the Bay Shore and takes next step for Jimmy Jerkens, profitable in stakes and with runners attempting to repeat. Exciting prospect Belmont Stakes bound given top performance here.
8-Lost Iron (15-1)
comes off sharp maiden score at this trip after adding blinkers in Big A finale. Owns strong bottom-side route pedigree, has worked sharply since last and retains Alvarado. Super-exotics potential at huge price.
RACE 10: Grade 1 MAN o’ WAR STAKES 4 & UP 1-3/8 MILES INNER TURF
showed marked improvement in second U.S. start vs. weaker, earning competitive PER. Javier taking return call from white hot Chad/Schwartz team. Should benefit from marathon trip given bottom-side pedigree and likely pocket-sitting here.
2-Money Multiplier (15-1)
was second in Spa’ G3 Seneca last fall. Irad takes the return call for this huge jump in class.
was second at this trip two back but was DQ’d and did win at this distance here last year. Was a good second to Grand Tito at GP two back. Gelded 5YO has been going well vs. weaker.
4-Closing Bell (8-1)
won Dueling Grounds Derby last fall earning competitive PER and was third in G2 Muniz Memorial last out in March. Lezcano takes a return call and promise of softer ground can help here.
5-Go Around (10-1)
has won both his starts this year as late developing 4YO and has (3) 1-0-1 slate on this ground. Switches to Alvarado who’s been riding at profitable 24% rate for Mott last 90 days. Strong bullet work for this.
6-Up With the Birds (6-1)
was second in Canadian G1 last season for Motion whose horses have run well at young meet. Kin to two stakes winner from Motion-profitable in stakes= who taps Jose Ortiz. Could offer value at early line or higher.
is hard-hitting 6YO gelding that has six straight exacta finishes, including a Pan American score, in graded events. Gets along very well with Bravo and is well spotted in this soft Grade 1.
8-Biz The Nurse (20-1)
is well bred for marathon trip and Albertrani profitable with 90-days+ returnees. Switches back to Saez seeking first graded score.
9-Wake Forest (2-1)
just missed when second to Kaigun in quickly run Pan Am marathon in first start for Chad at GP this winter. Retains Johnny and returns with excellent spacing and very well placed to earn first G1 title with 'A' game for house connections.
Written by John Pricci
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
KENTUCKY DERBY 142: Post Positions Matter
LAS VEGAS, May 5, 2016—America’s Race is a little more than 48 hours away and the draw for post positions didn’t make picking the winner any easier.
But maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be, a real Louisville lollapalooza. Let them all run and let the horseplayers and public in, too, especially the public.
On Saturday, anything that will work goes: names, colors, hat pins, lucky numbers. Or, to the event, jockeys, trainers, handicappers and “squares,” the casual bettors that built this town.
In the end, it’s the horses that will decide it, they always do. Brown horses, black ones, grays, and some the color of Trump’s hair; the orange kind, not the softer blond hue.
As a horse race, the Derby has it all. This year, it mostly has horses that want to do their best running at the end. But the usual factors need consideration; race dynamics, form cycles, recent local workouts, etc., etc.
The Derby is for dreamers of every stripe; the connections, horse fans, sport’s fans and gamblers, making it the world’s greatest racing spectacle, an aw-shucks equal of the Melbourne Cup, the Arc de Triomphe.
It is the stuff of legend, and one of 20 horses will emerge the answer to a trivia question by Sunday morning. Which of those own the attributes to become one of the ones? A handicapping sketch, listed in post order with early line odds:
1) TROJAN NATION 50-1
a.k.a. “the maiden,” Victory is impossible to fathom, but this does not make him a bad horse. He ran third behind subsequent Rebel-winning Cupid in SoCal made things interesting for Outwork in the Wood while in tight on the fence. The fence doesn't get any tighter than in a 20-horse Derby lineup. In the last 50 years, only Ferdinand (1986) succeeded.
2) SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS 20-1
is arguably the strongest late runner in a field loaded with them. But he’s no plodder. In winning the 7-furlong Clever Trevor Stakes at 2 he was 4-1/2 lengths behind a half-mile of 44 3/5. He will race in the Derby with a shadow roll, a nose-band that acts similarly to blinkers by promoting better focus. Intriguing colt wasn't helped by inside draw, but may not be hurt too given his style.
3) CREATOR 10-1
has become a revelation since he arrived in Hot Springs. His sweep-to-lead maiden breaker was breathtaking, a harbinger of finishes to come, including a needle-threading strong finish to take Oaklawn's signature event. The Tapit colt is at tops right now and inside draw may produce similar Arkansas Derby tactics.
4) MO TOM 20-1
sadly for his connections, has become the stuff of trip-handicapping legend, such were the nightmares he encountered in the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby. Those losses were a combination of deep closer style and pilot error, mostly the latter. Despite it, Tom Amoss has retained recent perennial Churchill leader Corey Lanerie. Perhaps he gets clear sailing Saturday but the question remains whether he can get there fast enough. Post neutral.
5) GUN RUNNER 10-1
is certain to raise his game once again. He’s never taken a backward step on anyone’s performance figures. He will go forward but not likely far enough to snag the brass ring. He has all the tactical tools but his slower figures may be easier to reconcile than his greenness tendencies. Draw suits his tactical style extremely well.
6) MY MAN SAM 20-1
is in the conversation with Creator, Suddenbreakingnews and Mo Tom as the field’s best deep closer. The difference is that he is not as accomplished yet—the key word being yet. His pattern is straight forward, fairly competitive, but his inexperience is glaring. There likely is a Grade 1 title in his future but it is unlikely that will happen today. Post neither helps nor hinders.
7) OSCAR NOMINATED 50-1
is a late nominee owing to rapid, late development and super-stout pedigree. A multiple winner on turf and hero of the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes over Turfway Park’s synthetic surface, he has yet to race on conventional dirt. This is a salty spot for a horse’s first encounter with stinging kick-back.
8) LANI 30-1
is the 12th horse since 2000 to prep for the Kentucky Derby in Dubai. The best finish any of his predecessors could muster was a fifth-place finish. From Dubai to Derby Also-Ran.
9) DESTIN 15-1
is a powerful finisher. Our own Energy Ratings tell us this much. On the Thoro-Graph scale, his Tampa Bay Derby qualifies as co-fastest in the race along with Exaggerator. The Tampa score was so fast that Todd Pletcher would dare not give him a third prep, opting instead to give him ample recovery time. In the modern era horses have not won off a six-week layoff, much less eight. But, seriously, does Todd ever suffer a bad draw?
10) WHITMORE 20-1
is puzzling. He has immense ability and justifiable trip excuses for not getting up to win any of his three Hot Springs preps. The switch to Derby-hot Victor Espinoza just might prove the difference for a gelding that is sending mixed messages. Must prove that he can finish up with the same midstretch intensity. Position can prove very beneficial given his style and dynamics.
11) EXAGGERATOR 8-1
has done more than enough to prove he’s not just a mud-lark, even his best figures were earned on wet tracks. Has been handled old school style, using his San Felipe middle move to sharpen him for his change-of-pace Santa Anita Derby tour de force. Always brings his game; a serious player. Draw gives Kent plenty of options.
12) TOM’S READY 30-1
is the kind of slower, sneaky longshot that has made trainer Dallas Stewart’s a money-factor darling and the colt’s preparation has mirrored that of his Derby predecessors. When finishing second in two of three Fair Grounds preps, he was unable to out-finish either Gun Runner or Mo Tom. This will be a whole lot tougher. Post neutral.
13) NYQUIST 3-1
is far from the “fastest” favorite in Derby history but is among the winningest. Consequently, he cannot be eliminated with certitude by any measure. He has done what he needed to do and merits extreme respect. Being handled brilliantly, his style suits Derby 142’s pace hungry dynamics. He may not be “the bet” but remains "the horse to beat.” Given the speed drawn to his outside, a sharp break may prove critical.
14) MOHAYMEN 10-1
in modern Arabic means dominance; in old Arabic closer to apologetic, submissive. So will we see the dominant Holy Bull/Fountain of Youth winner or submissive Florida Derby fourth? His only loss was contested on a greasy, wet track and he gave an uncharacteristically dull pre-race appearance. His attitude has improved big time in the bluegrass. Well drawn providing Junior Alvarado doesn't ride to beat one horse; he must beat them all.
15) OUTWORK 15-1
is ridiculed because his Wood triumph was accomplished in very slow time, including a godawful final furlong. When will all handicappers acknowledge he chased the fastest pace of all major preps, faster even than Danzing Candy’s Santa Anita Derby? It’s his relative inexperience, not talent, that’s the issue. Perfect draw as first horse in auxillary gate; Johnny has two favorites immediately to his left while drawing a bead on speedy Danzing Candy outside. Given dynamics, another excellent draw for Mr. Pletcher.
16) SHAGAF 20-1
has pleased the eye when he won his first three races. Deserves a pass for the Wood Memorial run on a wet surface he didn’t handle well, never showing his tactical ability and the long-striding colt had his momentum stopped on the far turn. He has trained over the Churchill surface like he owns it but performance figures are lacking. With tactical speed and a lengthy stride, outside draw is favorable.
17) MOR SPIRIT 12-1
has been brought along with an eerily similar profile to Silver Charm’s, the first of Bob Baffert’s four Derby wins. He enters this race off consecutive place finishes which were designed strictly as preps as was ridden that way. He’s has run fast enough to win this and is a likely trip-sitter, given preferred fast footing. Another tactical runner, Gary Stevens can watch the race develop before his eyes.
18) MAJESTO 30-1
has been unfairly maligned as a by-default second to Nyquist in the no-account Florida Derby. While both those aspects may prove to have merit, it doesn’t take into account this grand-looking individual has tremendous scope and legendary Venezuelan connections in trainer Gustavo Delgado and jockey Emisael Jaramillo, a legitimately elite rider. Superfecta price shot?
19) BRODY’S CAUSE 12-1
ran remarkably well to win the Blue Grass considering how remarkably bad he ran in Tampa. But once he returned to Keeneland he responded with a first rate Grade 1 score. Working very strongly at Churchill, where he broke maiden at 2 and goes third off the layup for Dale Romans, a profitable scenario. But his wide draw made his talk a whole lot tougher.
20) DANZING CANDY 15-1
has demonstrated his best game is on the engine speed and he seems incapable of doing it any other way. The Santa Anita Derby slop was deep and heavy. No horse could have withstood a 45 1/5 second half-mile and survived in that going. If he is to be a serious factor, all will know in a matter of strides away from the gate. Extreme outside may prove beneficial; his start potentially crucial to the dynamics of all.
21) LAOBAN—Also Eligible
22) CHERRY WINE—Also Eligible
See Friday's Feature Race Analysis for All Staff and Contributor selections
Written by John Pricci
Friday, April 29, 2016
Handicapping Sketches of All Belmont Late P4 Starters
By John Pricci
Exclusively for http://www.123BET.COM
Judging from the returns, last Saturday’s Pick 4 analysis at Keeneland proved popular with bettors and readers. And so that will be the theme until you say differently.
Today’s handicapping thumbnail sketches of every entrant in the late Pick 4 from Belmont will be listed in post-position order with early line odds.
Meant as an objective guide to your own handicapping, we effort to include key pluses and minuses that should prove the difference between success and failure.
As always, we seek true value relative to the handicapping merits—not just odds-based alone—and will express the occasional betting “lean” or advisory when warranted.
RACE 6 MAIDEN CLAIMING $50,000 3YO & UP 6 FURLONGS
is the first of many suspicious dropdowns in this event. Earned good Pricci Energy Rating in 2015 debut. $240K purchase is offered for sale. Todd wins more than his share of these but potential claimers beware… Given the scenario, switch to Johnny and bullet works the good news and the bad news.
Porch Pounder (5-1)
comes off New Pace Top in second start off the layup and earned highly competitive performance figure. Properly spotted coming back with leading rider Jose Ortiz on a return call. Fair value on early line.
Gloves Off (12-1)
turns back from route going turf to dirt and went well when third in only dirt start sprinting. Anthony Dutrow profitable with maiden claimers and is 26% effective going turf-to-dirt. First-time Javier offers value at early odds.
Tricky Citizen (15-1)
makes 3YO debut dropping in with claimers for first time for Nevin, a worthy 40% with her last 28 such entrants and is returning as new gelding. Working purposefully and properly spotted; Cornelio sticks.
Policy Portfolio (6-1)
has nature and nurture. Sire is 19% with debut runners and Violette a profitable first-out horsemen with same 19% strike rate. Steady, albeit not flashy, workline but is $200 purchase offered up for 50K first out. Mixed signals.
Do Share (12-1),
Goldberg having great 2016, profitable while winning at 23% with all runners. Both sibs to start are winners and trainer an ace with debut types. Gets Irad.
Pure Excitement (15-1)
was beaten off in well-meant MSW debut and now $350K purchase returns at drastically reduced level. Switches to apprentice and connections giving up quickly on this one.
Tea and Cricket (20-1)
is working his way down the ladder after being offered for $75K as first-claimer last out. Has conditioning on the turnback while making dirt debut as first-gelding. Intriguing price shot.
hails from Ryerson shed, profitable in all relevant categories; two of 3 sibs are win-early victors. Training steadily since early March, albeit not very quickly.
Our Karma (10-1)
earned excellent Pricci Energy Rating when good second to weaker in debut despite roughed start. Imperio barn having quietly effective 2016, Luzzi sticks and is taking confident class hike. Excellent value at anything near early line.
has had seven chances at long odds and never has seriously threatened. First-time claimers, reunites with Saez, but still quite a reach.
RACE 7 NW1 ALLOWANCES 3 & UP 1-1/16 MILES
like most, has improved off the Gargan claim. Two lifetime wins on this surface and 2-for-4 at the trip--1-for-16 doing anything else. Not as fast as early line favorite and loses Carmouche to same rival. Close to early odds a bargain.
Bellamy Way (9-5)
owns excellent PERs and was a game second at odds-on after venturing into open company in Big A flat-mile finale. Cannizzo is 26% profitable with his beaten favorites, has surface win, and Carmouche sticks.
Saratoga Wildcat (6-1)
jumped up in Big A winter track finale when second to N3 lifers in second start off Rudy’s claim. Good steady works, spotted confidently, and Irad takes a return call.
Rally Cry (7-2)
on balance has disappointing profile but is getting big time class relief dropping out of G3. Nicely freshened and Todd reaches out for first-time Johnny. Very well placed vs. this group.
Mister Monolo (10-1)
made good midrace move last out then tired perceptibly. Both lifetime wins at trip but form has been spotty overall. Uncoupled mate of Sea Raven and Alvarado takes the re-ride. Mixed signals.
Sea Raven (6-1)
was less than 2 lengths behind the favorite in Big A finale, owns surface win, Gyarmati profitable in LAY-3 scenarios but this one is winless in five starts on this ground and gives away a few pounds here.
Waymond Boyd (5-1)
moved forward in both starts at 4, showing late development, is bred for additional ground, Morley profitable with third-off-layup runners and with his allowance types; Jose Ortiz re-rides.
Rich ‘n’ Tuck (20-1)
is coming off a soft sprint win but owns just enough pedigree for longer trip; Toscano profitable with attempted repeaters and when stretching to route off two sprints. Cornelio sticks; generous early odds.
RACE 8 ELUSIVE QUALITY STAKES 4 & UP 7 FURLONGS WIDENER TURF
earned lifetime best PER at this trip, on this course, in this race last year. Three sibs all winners, two in stakes, and Mott is 22% effective in non-graded stakes. Worked bullets at deeper Payson since February. Spotted to win off the break.
King Kreesa (4-1)
vaunted New York-bred owns life slate of (28) 9-6-4 including open graded stakes, is 1-for-2 at the trip and a worthy 7-for-15 on this course. Classy and fresh speedster likely to shake loose, especially beneath regular partner, Jose Ortiz.
A Lot (12-1)
was extremely and quizzically dull off a short break in February at Tampa now returns at optimal distance and likes this course (5) 2-1-1. Makes first start for Chad, has tactical speed and gets patient Irad for potential one-run effort. Live price shot.
Bye Bye Bernie (8-1)
has excellent Energy figs in shorter turf sprints and was graded stakes winner in Canada. Finished well too late from 12th in KEE season’s debut after altering course [see replay]. Picks up Saez for live Walsh barn. Hunch player’s special?
Green Mask (2-1)
owns serious class edge dropping out of two Grade 1s. Was tough trip, game finish third when narrowly beaten in BC Turf Sprint. Favorably weighted, gets along well with Rosario and Ward, 23% with 90-day+ layups, suddenly has come alive.
Ready for Rye (6-5)
Main Track Only
Sandy’z Slew (15-1)
is capable of hounding King Kreesa and earned his best Energy Rating on this course last year. Game second to hard-hitter Plainview at distance over course but remains winless at Belmont and finds tough spot for winning return.
is a legendary New York bred gelding that has compiled a lifetime slate of (32) 11-9-4. Seven of 11 have come here and he’s won and placed in only two starts at the trip. A tough return spot even reuniting with Javier. Worthy price shot at early odds or greater.
serious underlay at this price.
Big Guy Ian (20-1)
is another that could challenge ‘Kreesa’ if quarter-horsed out of the gate but 5YO has no turf experience. Talented but badly overmatched on grass.
Stallwalkin’ Dude (5-2)
Main Track Only
Artic Brave (5-1)
has found a tough spot shipping in for Sharp, especially given wide draw. Talented turfer (14) 5-4-2 has no experience over course and distance--big negatives here. Underlay at early line odds.
RACE 9 MAIDEN ALLOWANCES 3 & UP 6 FURLONGS INNER TURF
is gelded 3YO making debut for Chad, profitable with turf debut types. Steady PMM works dating back to March 1, sharp half-mile moves presumably spaced around long gallops. Some Candy Ride’s take to turf, some not, and this is dam’s first foal. Javier takes the call.
Gee Pee Ess (7-2)
has moved forward in all turf starts, a series of quickly run 5F GP turf sprints. Bred for this turf and sprints and attracts premier speed rider Jose Ortiz, regular stable rider for Nevin.
Conquest See Ya (9-2)
finished well for third in debut over WO Tapeta April 9 as part of heavily bet Casse entry. Owns sharp subsequent blowout with switch to Lezcano, who did a lot of winning riding for this outfit at GP.
Mystery Solved (20-1)
is turf meant on both sides and Servis has won with two of his last nine turf-debut runners with three in-the-money finishes. Been in training at Belmont since January; won’t be conditioning that gets him beaten.
Jess I Am (15-1)
has run competitively in recent dirt sprints and had rough trip in only grass start going long; reunites with Carmouche but dam’s two foals are both winless thus far.
These Blues (30-1)
hails from top turf barn of David Donk and returns quickly off dull dirt debut in which he was extremely wide entering stretch for outfit 17% effective with second-time starters. Could improve quickly with Arroyo on the re-ride.
Drop Shot (4-1)
earned very good Pricci Energy figures in three lifetime dirt starts in which he went favorite in all. Has had four sharp works since latest now turns back for turf debut for Jimmy Jerkens, 22% effective with shippers. Attracts Cancel.
Henrik Rules (12-1)
was dull in second start this winter over Aqueduct Inner, tiring badly after pace battle. Not particularly well bred for grass but gets first-time Irad. Mixed signals.
is well bred both sides for turf, dam producing four turf winners from five starters, including stakes winner. Steady local works since January for McLaughlin, profitable on turf and with turf-debut types. Reaches for Saez.
Kettles On (30-1)
earned decent figure when beaten off by top prospect in lone dirt start at Tampa. Morley barn profitable with second-time starters, as with first-turfers, winning with 24% efficiency. Mare had turf winner from two victors. Price shot for minors.
Mr. Neetie (8-1)
exits useful turf sprint going 5F at GP, earning highly competitive Energy figure. Switches to Johnny getting first-Lasix. Barn 2 for its last 5 in Lasix scenario, 27% efficient with shippers and profitable with second-time starters. Potential value.
Silent Mission (8-1)
showed much improved early speed turning back into short turf sprint at FG vs. winners. Back with maidens switching to Rosario with three recent sharp works for Ward since last.
See Saturday's Feature Race Analysis for On the Record Selections via promotional arrangement with 123GAMING.com
Written by John Pricci