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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


The Tampa Bay linemaker has it exactly right in today’s fourth race for older special-weight maidens. The field has drawn eight horses but only four appear major contenders:

Mungojerrie (5-2) with Daniel Centeno, showed improvement in blinkers to just miss, is nicely drawn, turns back appropriately for dirt debut. And not only is Arnaud Delacour on fire, (15) 4-3-5 this meet, but is 31% accurate going turf to dirt. The most probable winner, but this is no walkover.

How can Fifty Over (7-2) not be live? His return here, even if against weaker, was a strong placing at this trip off a 15-month absence and goes for a barn that bat 23% in a profitable 2019 and is 17% profitable first start off the claim. Originally a $225K yearling, he rates to improve in start two.

Like the favorite, Lion Charmer (4-1) and and Championship Alley (9-2) are also going turf to dirt. The former has never tested special-weight maidens in seven prior starts but has run on dirt once, last year here when he finished second in debut going 1 mile, 40 yards. Has laudable versatile style.

Championship Alley is one of those angle horses. Consider: One start at two and two more at three; this is his four-year-old debut.

He just missed in his first start in a year on turf at Delaware then returned to Belmont for his next start, his second since moving from Cement to Kelsey Danner and faded badly after chasing at 1-1/16 miles. But here’s where it gets intriguing.

Nine days after that clunker he came back to work 5 furlongs. In fact he’s had seven workouts since late fall for his Tampa debut, two here, the first a bullet half-mile then a lung-opening slow breeze. Now he goes turf to dirt, moves up in class, gets first Lasix and switches to Antonio Gallardo! Whaaa?

Mungojerrie is the most probable winner off his last race. Click the Tampa Bay link to their website Replay Center and check out that effort on DEC 14, RACE 8 to determine whether a projected very low price is worth it. Same for all of them. If 5-1+ is available on Championship Alley, I might gamble.

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5 Responses

  1. I won’t have to shower tomorrow morning, as I took a bath today wagering on a few races at the track in your backyard.

    I find the last sentence in your analysis above quite surprising, your being a longtime ‘capper. One of the golden rules of handicapping is to not let odds influence your decision; if there is no value in the horse you like, pass the race don’t jump to another. Being influenced by odds and switching to another entrant along with betting against yourself makes achieving profitability more difficult.

  2. I play this game once. Say your between two horses you can’t separate for the win; do you think that post time odds might be the tie-breaker? That’s not betting against yourself. You make a calculation; if you’re right, fine. If you’re wrong, turn the page. It’s that simple.

    1. JP, I went to Wikipedia and saw that in 2008 a horse I had seen on simulcast from Zia named Peppers Pride won the HRI “Overachiever of the year Award (Peppers Pride).” Do you still hand out this award? Peppers Pride sure caught my interest back then and I kinda followed her. She reeled off 19 straight wins before retiring to make babies. So that’s Mine that Bird and Peppers Pride that both came out of Vacationland (NM). Were you involved with HRI back then? Just wonderin’…

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