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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Thunderstorms and lightning is very, very frighting on a lazy never hazy summer afternoon, a look at just who might make the grade on the penultimate weekend in August.


Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap


THE BET: Raging Bull to win, no price restrictions, key-boxing exactas with Halladay (4-1) and Without Parole (9-2).

EXOTICA: Super-exotics part wheel using all above first and adding Chewing Gum (20-1) to the mix, extra ticket keying Raging Bull on top.


G3 Green Flash Handicap:

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Mikes Tiznow (9-2)

THE BET: Mikes Tiznow to win, no price restrictions, key-boxing exactas with Chaos Theory (7-2) and Sparky Ville (5-2)

EXOTICS: Key Mikes Tiznow first and second with the two above, adding Baja Sur (5-1) to the super-exotics mix

G3 Torrey Pines Stakes

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Harvest Moon (2-1)

THE BET: SECRET KEEPER (7-2) to win at 5-2 or greater, exacta box with Harvest Moon

EXOTICA: Key both fillies first in super-exotics adding Aurelia Garland (4-1) and Provocation (9-2) beneath

G2 Del Mar Handicap


THE BET: Oscar Dominguez (6-1) to win at 4-1 or greater, exacta box with United

EXOTICA: Key United and Oscar Dominguez on top adding Red (8-1) and Ward ‘n Jerry (10-1) to the super-exotics mix, extra ticket with United

Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Laura’s Light (3-1)

THE BET: Miss Extra (9-2) to win at 7-2 or greater and three-horse exacta box including Guitty (8-1)

EXOTICA: Key all three first and second, using same three plus Warren’s Showtime (6-1), Aqua Seafoam Shame (12-1) and Neige Blanche (5-1) third and/or fourth.

Grade 1 Pacific Classic

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Maximum Security (1-1)

THE BET: Exacta box Maximum Security with Higher Power (3-1)

EXOTICA: Key Maximum Security first with Higher Power and Midcourt (7-2) second and third

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22 Responses

  1. A single at the spa. Race 9. An inside peek

    After looking at this race for a while you come to the conclusion that trips and class may take this. Many of these horses are equally as fast yet some have raced and won multiple Grade ones. Let’s go inside. Raging Bull. Deserved favorite for top notch connections with Brown taking aim at a trainer’s title. He’s fast and this is his third off a layoff. Got Stormy has not won this year and Casse at 0/29 at the Spa doesn’t ooze confidence. Uni ran a nice race off a 238 day layoff and last years Breeder’s cup Mile champion looks poised to move forward. Without Parole has not won a race since 2018 although coming close in his last for Chad Brown. 4-1 odds seem low. Halladay should show speed in a race that doesn’t seem to have much of it and could hold on for a piece. Casa Creed is interesting. A lightly raced 4 yr old coming off a six week layoff for Hall of Fame trainer and turf specialist Bill Mott. 6 Works every 7 days without missing any training. He gets 5 pounds from the favorite and goes from the 8 hole in his last race to the 2 hole for this. He should clear Raging Bull giving him a rail trip and cutting back in distance where he is 5/6 in the money at a mile. Although it’s just one race he is undefeated at the spa and 20-1 is jumping off the page at me. Can you say key ? Paired last 2 and a slight move forward could get him the money. Gets acid test. Use in doubles with the 1,5,9 in the 10th. Let’s go get the bad guys !

    1. Thanks for sharing, VO. I enjoyed your analysis.

      My own value play here is Emmaus who was not over-matched by Raging Bull last out, after finishing ahead of Casa Creed in the Wise Dan. Uni will take some beating.

      SPR: 1,3,6 // 1,3,6 // 1,3,6 // ALL

      1. I, None of the Chad’s picked up their feet. Todd never shows emotion but gave Luis a high five in the circle. The win tied him with Chad for the Spa title. Chad still the fave with more bullets to fire, but it’s been fun to watch, like the brothers act on horseback has been.

    2. Vincent,

      Just saw the Fourstardave. Your horse was on my Horses to Watch list also. I will bet him back in one-turn sprints.

  2. I thought VO’s analysis was delivered by a ‘real’ horseplayer, a rarity here at HRI. Nice to hear from Mr. Ed, who I imagine has talked with Emmaus. What I find unmanageable is that I landed on Emmaus in my first pass through the PP’s. But, I don’t wish to put to much weight on Mr. Ed’s pick and his attempt to ‘hit’ the super, so I am going with a win ticket on Halladay. Don’t usually wager on Saratoga races, but I’m bored, the ‘Thing’ is hiding somewhere in the house, and I’m tired of picking tomatoes off of the plants.

    1. wmc,
      The “Sheets Speak” in VO’s comment suggests he is indeed a serious player with insights to offer.

      Your getting off Emmaus just because I find him competitive reminds me of “A Bronx Tale.” LOL

    2. wmcorrow wins! Halladay’s daddy stands for 250k so you got yourself a real blue blood in today’s Fourstardave. Now he gets a free pass to Breeders’ Cup race in November. Congrats on your selection.

  3. Casa Creed was 20/1 when they were loading in. She ended up 10/1. Beyond frustrating that this keeps happening.

    1. Doc,

      I bet on Central exit who was 3-1 entering the gate in the 6th. Next time I saw the odds was after she crossed the finish line at 8-5! This is beyond disgusting!

      As a result of last minute syndicate batch betting, I cut my play in half. I’m cutting my play in half again. Next time, I just might concentrate on commentary. Let me start right now; this situation is appalling as the rank and file get raped economically.

      #FixedOddsNow !

  4. In the for what it’s worth department if your still up. 10th race at Del Mar
    The pacific Classic
    There are only 2 horses that have ran negative races in this field. One will be odds-on. He has run a mile and a quarter one time in last years Kentucky Derby. Meanwhile a horse who came out of the same last race(There are 3 of them) has run a mile and a quarter 3 times. All in grade ones. All were very fast races in fact, faster then anyone in the field has ever run at that distance. Higher Power is my pick to win the Pacific classic. Don’t fool around in a short field. let’s make a win bet and get the money. Btw, Highest power has been alternating good ones and bad ones, With tonight’s race he’s set up for his good one

  5. The Pacific Classic was a thriller, wasn’t it? Baffert again! The Fourstardave won by Pletcher’s blue blood (had to take a deep breath when I bet as I’m not a fan Pletcher). Have I mentioned monopoly before? Thousands of trainers coast-to-coast, yet along with Brown, the three win most of the so-called ‘best’ races. Pleased that none of Brown’s four entrants ‘hit the board’.

    Yea, the syndicated batch-bettors scored again. What geek, not on something, is going to knock down a 3-1 to 8-5 and drive up the odds of all the other entrants when the geek could bet one-third of his money and get the same result (ie: $6.00 vs $3.60). Seems to me that fixed odds would be ideal for batch-betting.

  6. Wrong Wendell. With fixed-odds, you get the odds you bet when you place your wager, whatever happens thereafter…

  7. 4 Star Dave’s life story was good enough for a good movie or even a documentary. Did anyone do him justice ? Grandson of Northern Dancer,winning big races as an older horse while barely winning allowances when younger . The Sultan,sorry Herman Ruth, of Saratoga,winning there for years as he got older,breaking a record at 1 1/16 among his attributes as an older wonder horse.Rip,warrior !

    1. I read how his mother was from obscure breeding but she was named NY Broodmare of the Year three times because she had so many good offspring, Fourstardave being the most successful. He was gelded because of his tough temperament and didn’t like being in his stall. They put a window in the stall so he could see his brother, Fourstar’s Allstar. They put their feed tubs next to each other so the two could eat side by side. Leo O’Brien was his trainer and said he always gave you his best. NY Bred like Tiz the Law.

  8. Mr. Pricci: Yes, you get the odds existing when you make your bet; so do the geeks. They can review all odds nearing post and look for overlays and send it in not disrupting the odds of your bet nor driving the odds of their selections down; thus I believe fixed odds would fit nicely with the geeks’ algorithms (ie; batch-betting).

    1. ” geeks”,ie smart math wizards.It happens in casinos,Wall Street.The odds do Not Always come down after the multiple heavy types of bets are made.I witnessed such situation a couple of days ago when a horse got bombed in DD,,,,and the odds went up circa two points anyway!Stop jumping ,or galloping,to conclusions. Each race,situation is on its own. Not everyone uses the same binoculars,logic,chart or wallet.Got the first race,$ 18.There is No Way you will ever know how I hit it while awaiting either the 3457 will deliver me,us,the early double. Unless you’re in it,winning strategies, you’ll always be talking about what you do not know. My ex mother in law was like that..Good Riddance !Ps: KP,wow, your picks for coming in third or fourth are ridiculous,especially in short fields when you Only have to beat one or two laggards. Pick a winner,if you can,,,it only takes one,whatever that means.( Ahahahahah !).Low expectations, easiest satisfaction,BF Skinner.

  9. WMC for President! Everybody loves a winner.

    Love this game…love to lose… to win… the challenge it provides… reading the opinion of others… Saratoga, Belmont, Aqueduct… a correctly folded Daily Racing Form……love the smell of cigar smoke……love these sexy animals…… the arrogant men that control them… people who strive to hold on to their bankroll but not afraid to send it in. It never ends; what else is there?

    1. Do you love mid-Atlantic tracks like Parx and Laurel? Heard how a train headed to Bowie in MD broke down in a blizzard just outside the track. It was winter but the horseplayers jumped off the train and made their way through snow drifts to get inside to play the double. That’s dedication! I was at an OTB in Suffolk once when Bowie was running. A guy played the triple J I M as in Jim Bowie. Sometimes that kind of thing works. I played a horse named Animal House at Big M the week Belushi died. The horse won easily. Enjoyed reading about your “loves.”

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