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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, September 15, 2022 —  With Kentucky Downs lamentably in the rear view, Belmont and Churchill get their Fall meets underway as Woodbine gets ready to host its impactful Breeders’ Cup prep program.

We’ve got lots of work to do, per usual, but today we’ll start with a brief overview of some of the action before completing our Tote Busters plays later this weekend, as the simulcast racing wheel spins round and round.

It appears the weather will cooperate in New York as NYRA’s downstate weekend gets underway with the G3 Jockey Club Oaks Invitational and G3 Jockey Club Derby Invitational which means only one thing: The Euros are coming; the Euros are coming!

North of the border, meanwhile, there are three significant events and today we’ll take a handicapping look-in at the Pattison G1 Summer Stakes for juvenile colts.

in Ozone Park, the six-filly Jockey Club Oaks boasts three sophomores holding winning cards: McKulick (4-5), Toskana Belle (7-2) and Beside Herself (4-1).

An endurance test at 11 furlongs, only the favorite has failed to compete at Saturday’s distance. The other two fillies have competed in marathons and both have succeeded.

The Jockey Club Derby also attracted only a half-dozen, and three of those are in with the best chance: Nations Pride (1-1), Classic Causeway (2-1) and Ardakan (4-1). We begin at our old stomping grounds.


JOCKEY CLUB OAKS                     Race 7

The Skinny:  1-McKulick is one of two Grade 1 winners in here, having won the Belmont Oaks, but here she’s asked to go one more furlong and is odds-on to do it. There was no video available for 4-Toskana Belle’s Group 1 effort in Dusseldorf but Andres Wohler in no stranger to New York’s winner’s circle, and neither is Frankie Dettori. 6-Beside Herself galloped them to death to win a Spa allowances at a mile and a half; forward looking



STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA:  Exacta Box 1-4-6. Toskana Belle to win at 3-1 or greater.

CAESARS JOCKEY CLUB DERBY              Race 10

The Skinny: 3-Nations Pride (1-1) and 1-Classic Causeway (2-1) know each other very well. The latter got away soft in the Belmont Derby and stole it but Nations Pride evened the score by winning the G1 Saratoga Derby. At 12 furlongs the edge goes to the European as Frankie will try to sweep both turf stakes. 6-Ardakan (4-1) was third in a German Group 1 last out but, again, no video to access. We’re unfamiliar with the connects, but the horse is bred both sides to run as far as races are written.



STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA:  Exacta and Trifecta Wheel 3-6 // 1-3-6. Cold Trifecta 3-6-1. Exacta Box: 3-6. Ardakan to win at 4-1 or greater.



The Skinny: Once again, it will be a local hero against a European ship-in. Kevin Attard’s 6-Philip My Dear (2-1) not only won both lifetime starts but did so rallying between horses each time–a great trait in a young horse—stretching from six furlong to six and a half in his second start.

1-Mysterious Night (6-5) won a Group 3 in France on soft ground last out but we were taken with his prior when third in a Group 2 at Goodwood on good ground. On that occasion, the Dark Angel colt was a little keen, William Buick let him go on with it but consequently was in a drive the entire length of the stretch, succumbing only in the last 50 years to two late ralliers.


EARLY LINE VALUE: 4-Chiseler (12-1)

STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA:  Exacta Box: 1-6 Exacta Wheel 1.6 // 1.4.6. Cold Exacta: 1-6. Trifecta Wheel 1 // 6 //** [the original ‘ALL’ for third remains an option]. Betting Mysterious Night to win, no price restrictions.

**edit made 091622, 9:54 am


The Skinny: The battle of the Woodbine-undefeated! Both 5-Souper Sensational (3-1) and 9-Lady Speightspeare (2-1) are a perfect 2-for-2 on the Woodbine Tapeta. Of the two, the favorite has a conditioning edge given the turnback. But this is more than a two-filly affair. 7-Hazelbrook (8-1) is a gaudy 5-for-7 over this ground and Barbara Minshall is 23% profitable with her turn-backs, as is the case with 8-Dreaming of Drew (5-1)

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Lady Speightspeare

EARLY LINE VALUE: Dreaming of Drew

STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 5-7-9. Exacta Box: 5-8-9. Trifecta Key-Box Lady Speightspeare first and second: 9 // 5-7-8. Superfecta Wheel: 9 // 5-7-8* // 5-6-7-8-10 // 5-6-7-8-10. Value Straight Play: Dreaming of Drew to win at 5-1 or greater.

*correcting typo 091722 12:00 pm


The Skinny: There’s truly one overwhelming stat to consider when handicapping Woodbine’s prestigious turf mile. Charles Appleby points for this race, especially since a Win-and-In event gives connections a virtual free ride into America’s World Championships. Appleby has won five Grade 1s at Woodbine and brings last year’s winner of the Breeders Cup Juvenile, 5-Modern Games (7-5). Yes, he’s meeting older and, in 2-Ivar’s (4-1) case, faster on the Thoro-Graph scale. But that’s what weight allowances are for, and with all the speed signed on, Modern Games rates to get the right setup.



STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Cold Exacta 5-2. Exacta Box 2-5. Trifecta Wheel: 2-5 // 2-5 // 2-3-4-5-6-7-10. Superfecta Key: 5 // 2-3-4-5-6-7-10. Value Straight Wager: Ivar to win at 7-2 or greater.



The Skinny: Try as I might, on paper, the first 2023 “Derby prep,” Saturday’s two-turn mile and a sixteenth, is a two horse race between Steve Asmussen’s sensationally fast Saratoga maiden winner, 9-Echo Again (2-1), and undefeated 3-Damon’s Mound (5-2) winner of the Spa’s G2 Saratoga Special in high style. Several others intrigue but would be hard pressed to defeat the favorites, they being impressive maiden winner, Brad Cox’s 6-Jace’s Road (7-2), and Tom Amoss’ more experienced 5-Curly Jack (5-1).



STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta Box 3-5-9. Exacta Box 3-6-9. Trifecta Wheel: 3.9 // 3-5-6-9 // Trifecta Key: 3 //5-6-9.. Straight Wager: Damon’s Mound to win at 2-1 or greater.


The Skinny: This race is more wide open than its male counterpart but if figures don’t lie it’s likely another matchup at the top between 3-Naughty Gal (5-1) and 11-Justa Warrior (4-1). Naughty Gal won Saratoga’s G3 Adirondack handily enough but subsequently was a no-show in the G1 Spinaway against a tougher set. The effort was too bad to be true. Wayne Lukas must agree because he enters her back 13 days later. It wouldn’t be the first time Lukas ambitiously placed one of his runners to get them ready for the next one. The daughter of Into Mischief is nicely drawn inside for her two-turn debut.

Justa Warrior is 2-for-2, winning on the class rise/stretch-out to 7 furlongs in a stakes at the Pea Patch. Among the dam’s three other winners is a stakes victress and she has all the pedigree needed for another rise in trip–by Justify from a Bernadini mare. Trainer John Ortiz is winning at a profitable 21% on the year and Reylu Gutierrez has fit her like a glove. The wide draw at least should ensure playable odds.



STRAIGHT WAGERS and EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 3-4 [price shot Shoplifter, 15-1]-11. Exacta Box 3-5 [Grand Love (Asmussen/Rosario), 9-2]-11. Exacta Box: 3-11. Trifecta Key: 11 // 3-4-5. Value Straight Wager: Taking Naughty Gal to win at 4-1 or greater.

All suggested exotic wagers are at available minimums. Straight wagers are $2 units, or multiples thereof.

this is a live column to be updated throughout the weekend

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⚠ Before you comment

Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

11 Responses

  1. Keeping a limit at ~ $30 or so, Riders Up Time with the Preach:

    Sep 17 10:13:31 AM Accepted Churchill Downs 11 Trifecta $0.50 11/3-5/3-5 $3.00 – –
    Sep 17 10:12:04 AM Accepted Churchill Downs 9 Trifecta $0.50 3,9/3,5,6,9/3,5,6,9 $6.00 – –
    Sep 17 10:08:24 AM Accepted Woodbine T-bred 9 Exacta Box $1.00 2,5 $2.00 – –
    Sep 17 10:07:47 AM Accepted Woodbine T-bred 9 Exacta $1.00 5/2 $1.00 – –
    Sep 17 10:05:48 AM Accepted Woodbine T-bred 8 Superfecta $0.20 9/5,7,9/5-8,10/5-8,10 $4.80 – –
    Sep 17 10:02:45 AM Accepted Woodbine T-bred 7 Exacta $1.00 1,6/1,4,6 $4.00 – –
    Sep 17 10:01:26 AM Accepted Woodbine T-bred 7 Trifecta $0.20 1/6/1,4,6,7 $0.40 – –
    Sep 17 9:59:59 AM Accepted Woodbine T-bred 7 Exacta $1.00 1/6 $1.00 – –
    Sep 17 9:45:57 AM Accepted Belmont at the Big A 10 Trifecta $0.50 3/6/1 $0.50 – –
    Sep 17 9:45:17 AM Accepted Belmont at the Big A 10 Trifecta $0.50 3,6/3,6/1,3,6 $1.00 – –
    Sep 17 9:44:08 AM Accepted Belmont at the Big A 10 Exacta $1.00 6/3 $1.00 – –
    Sep 17 9:43:12 AM Accepted Belmont at the Big A 10 Exacta Box $1.00 3,6 $2.00 – –
    Sep 17 9:41:52 AM Accepted Belmont at the Big A 7 Exacta $1.00 4/1 $1.00 – –
    Sep 17 9:40:48 AM Accepted Belmont at the Big A 7 Trifecta Box $0.50 1,4,6 $3.00 – –

    Safe journey to all.

    1. What,no $.10 Superfectas ? I’d rather bet One exacta worth more than a few $$ than these peanut shots in the dark .It would not be worth my time betting so many races and then reading them over and over again…while waiting,begging for a reply . To each his/her own,yes,but it sure seems like wasting time which is more precious than,hopefully,some older folks must have learned about their lives. ” Heaven Can Wait ” ,until then Life should be Lived Not just survived as if in a comatose state . Half a Turkish lira x my thoughts.

  2. Speedy, lol. More like The Tortoise and The Hare John. A horseshoe toss shy of reaching age 74 on 9/24, and still trailing the Bishop Loughlin Editor in Chief by four or five years, well the Johnny Ruane speed out of the gate days are long past. I once advised on a job interview years back, “Well I can certainly tell you more about all of the cracks and potholes along the road.” Old timers might not be as speedy mind you, but we do have our life experiences to reflect back on. Riders Up John. Only thinking winners today. We win just by playing.

  3. “We win just by playing,” indeed. Thing is I do this in part because it keeps the gray matter moving; handicapping for sanity’s sake, fighting early onset anything.

    Now I know our speedy days are behind us, Mc D; the reference was meant for our four-legged friends.

  4. Well understood the equine speedy before posting John. I only wanted to point out the collective HRI Faithful age advantage of belonging to the senior audience. The PP’s, your verse, the shared comments exchanged here, the lyrics of Tabasco, and the alternate selections of Vino, et. al., all help in keeping our minds somewhat balanced.

  5. Indeed, we can afford to lose a few dollars; minds not so much. Some great performances today, and a couple of tough exotics photos. It happens…

  6. Being a ‘gimme putt’ from good ole’ eighty-five years old, I really had no further intentions of commenting here at HRI as the commentary and comments have really been far from what Thoroughbred racing is all about: gambling! Or, to make it quite clear making money.
    Would anyone really be interested in Thoroughbred racing if he/she could not bet on a horse race (I know I have made this comment numerous times already, and the attack dogs will get to their feet and start to growl)? But two FACTS cannot be ignored a) the attraction is the ability to gamble, and b) without casino dole most racetracks would be closed, as no racetrack can survive with so-called horse players making dime and fifty-cent wagers.

    So, why is there so much emphasis (ink Alice) on Grade 1, 2, and 3 Thoroughbred races by the media when All races look pretty much the same and winning payoffs are usually far better in lower level races? Does a real horse player really care what thoroughbred is going to be horse of the year. or win a Breeders’ Cup race, etc.

    At the Paulick Report website, Tinky, yet another commentator who hides behind a nom de plume, who comments infrequently hear at HRI, wrote a letter-to-the-editor comparing the accomplishments of Flightline and Spectacular Bid; the article was well written, informative in presenting comparisons, and established Tinky as a very knowledgeable person on thoroughbreds. But, after reading the long letter, I arrived at the question ‘how does this data improve my handicapping skills?’

    And, above McD lists his wagers for the day in great detail. For what? He didn’t purchase the past performances, and handicap the races. The acquired skill of handicapping via a study of the past performances, once the challenge taken up by real horse players, has been cast aside with the prolific increase of exotic wagering which has removed the crux, the attraction once heralded by real horse players.

    As to the stake races gathering all the ink from turf writers, how do y’all feel when the favorite is odds-on and pays $4.00 or less, and you receive peanuts for a payoff while the owner of the winner receives a six figure payoff; or when the blue blood you bet folds in the stretch and fails to ‘hit the board’ yet the owner still gets a check for thousands of dollars.

    Breeders and owners are laughing all the way to the bank, and numerous owners are being handsomely paid for their blue bloods failing to perform in a race while you are trying to win a fifty-cent trifecta after enduring a takeout.

    When someone can convince me that ALL races are not basically the same for wagering purposes, then I will try to show some interest in what blue blood is gonna win “Horse of the year”.

  7. Speaking of Woodbine………

    The King’s Plate Stakes.


    CBC Sept. 8:

    “Woodbine Entertainment says it won’t yet decide on renaming the Queen’s Plate following the death of Queen Elizabeth II out of respect for the grieving Royal Family.”

    “The Toronto-based track operator is the host of the Queen’s Plate, Canada’s largest and oldest horse race. First run in 1860, the name of the Queen’s Plate traditionally reflects the gender of Canada’s reigning monarch, and was therefore called the King’s Plate between 1901 and 1952.”

    “Jamie Dykstra, a spokesman for Woodbine Entertainment, said on Thursday a decision will be made in the coming days on whether the trophy’s name will be restored to the King’s Plate in honour of King Charles III.”

  8. Sorry WMC, There Are No Gimme Putts. Not even from a foot, as the comeback putts missed can become three feet. No Gimme’s WMC, putt the ball already. And Mulligan’s can only be taken off the first tee, and only if agreed to by all in the group before you hit off. No freebies at 75 or 85. Seen a lot of curmudgeon sharpie old timer guys win out at age ’85 playing off the gold tees. Chip and Putt Masters most all. They wouldn’t be out there, if they couldn’t still play.

    So here’s the real action Wendel. No dimes to worry about either. Riders up most every morning. Pre-market reading starts at 7:45. No time for PP’s M-F. Trading runs 9:30 to 4:00. Wall Street.

    I only look at the free PP lines at Twinspires and The Dirty Horse Club for the Stakes Races on Saturdays WMC. Little time M-F weekdays. Often for the fun of it, I will employ John Pricci or David Aragona, on a wager or two, as I view both as master class type players. I also still go with Adelphi Prof. Dr. Wm Quirrin…two shorts, going long stuff, yada, yada. He and Paul Cornman I would also follow with a blindfold on.

    Anyhoot, they’re only horses WMC, which is why I like to cap my bets at $30. As for stocks and bond ETF’s, mostly I wager at 0.25 basis points, but I can go up to 1.00%. Never trade based on the dollar amount or number of shares based. Only the percentages. We all have our disciplines. And my buy and sells are a heck of a lot more than $30 my friend. I would much prefer to wager on the flow of money itself over the races each day. I follow the rate of change in the flow of money in the markets. Stay within the money flows limits, high and low, and in and out each day.

    At the end of a daily round, Pastrami and beer goes down quite well there as well.

    P.S. I’ll always carry a few dimes in my pockets for an Indulto SF mind you. Just for fun is all.

    Todays card:

    I bought more of SUB, TAN, XLU, and AMLP today.

    ETF allocation positions now at:

    AMLP 3.1%
    DXJ 1.27%
    GLD 1.99%
    SUB 3.68%
    TAN 3.65%
    URA 1.2%
    UUP 7.54%
    XLE 2.29%
    XLU 4.97%

    Cash ~ 70% patiently waiting on the turn in Apr, May, or Jun ’23. The Fed owns the board at present. Smart to be patient is all.

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