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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL — OK, it’s not like we’ve gotten to the Triple A Triple Crown preps but it does appear, especially thanks to Saturday’s G3 Sam F. Davis Memorial and Withers Stakes that at minimum the prep season is entering phase two.

Yes, we did witness two terrific two-turn performances last weekend at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita but in our view the Holy Bull and Robert B Lewis are more preps for the more significant preps to come.

Frankly, the Withers was more prestigious further back in the day when it wasn’t a winter prep but one with a history of ‘good horses’, cracks like Bernardini and Housebuster. In latter days, only Sunny Ridge became a prodigious winner–in the care of Jason Servis.

But ‘The Sammy’ can still produce an important three-year-old later on, at Todd Pletcher, with six winners, owner/breeder WinStar Farm with five, and Johnny Velazquez can attest. And of course Destin and McCracken went on to win important races.

On Saturday, Pletcher will have a pair at both Tampa Bay Downs and Aqueduct, Of his two in Oldsmar, Known Agenda is the higher regarded., third when last seen at a two-year-old in the G2 Remsen DEC 5. He’s had six well-spaced works at Palm Beach training center since.

Of his duo in New York, Overtook recently broke maiden after blinkers were removed last out and Donegal Bay, and impressive maiden winner at Gulfstream going a flat mile, also has had a half-dozen moves since DEC 12, including several bullets.

His natural rival Chad Brown also has an impressive maiden winner here, and Risk Taking has the benefit of a winning race over the surface but more significantly at nine furlongs, blinkers moving him forward big-time. He too has six solid, well-spaced moves.

Pletcher’s two Tampa runners will be facing a gate Candy full, including a pair from Bill Mott. His recent maiden winner has not been beyond six furlongs but Candy Rocket Man win off by 9-1/4 lengths in fast time after adding Lasix.

But Nova Rags is the proven commodity, having won the seven furlong Pasco Stakes over the track drawing off by nearly 3 lengths also with First Lasix. Samy Camacho takes a return call.

At Santa Anita, it will be a battle of brilliance: Bob Baffert’s Concert Tour vs Eric Krujack’s The Chosen Vron plus four others. But at seven furlongs, we’ll wait for the next one, a two-turner.

ICYMI: Courtesy of Marc Lawrence: Mattress Mack is hoping the Kansas City Chiefs don’t burn him and his wallet in two consecutive Super Bowls. The big-money bettor – Jim McIngvale, owner of the Gallery Furniture chain – flew from Texas to Colorado late Wednesday night to wager $3.5 million on the Buccaneers to cover +3.5 against the Chiefs. The bet is split two ways: one at $3,388,136.54 to win $6,064,764.41 another at $47,863.46 to win $85,675.59. If Tampa Bay covers, McIngale would win $6,150,440. t’s the biggest bet placed on the Super Bowl this year.

ED. NOTE: Could you, would you, say, that if the Bucs cover, MM will run happy all the way to the bank?


Grade 3 Withers — Race 8


VALUE PLAY: Royal Number (6-1) to win at 5-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box Superfecta Wheel 2.3.7 // 2.3.7 // //


G3 Tampa Bay Stakes — Race 8

DESERVING FAVORITE: Greyes Creek (4-1)

VALUE PLAY: Delaware (12-1) to win at 6-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box Trifecta Wheel // // and // //

Suncoast Stakes — Race 9


VALUE PLAY: Curlin’s Catch (6-1) to win at 9-2 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box 4.5.7 Trifecta Wheel: 4.5.7 // //

G3 Endeavour Stakes — Race 10

DESERVING FAVORITE: Counterparty Risk (5-2)

VALUE PLAY: Kelsey’s Cross (6-1) to win at 6-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Key-Box Counterparty Risk 5 with 6.7.8. // 6.7.8 with 5. Trifecta Box

G3 Sam F Davis — Race 11


VALUE PLAY: Known Agenda (6-1) to win at 3-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box 3.6.8 Exacta Box 3.8.9. Superfecta Wheel 3 // 6.8.9 // // Superfecta Wheel 6.8.9 // 3 // //

Suggested Wagers at minimums, the rest on you: Win $2. Exacta $1. Trifecta 50-Cent. Superfecta 10-Cent.

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15 Responses

  1. MM has already impressed with his charitable contributions so It’s not fair to say that the fortune he’s betting could be better used; especially since he might well turn around and donate the winnings he obviously doesn’t need to some worthy cause.

    But it’s not a wager that inspires emulation like that of the late Dan Borislow when he made a big bankroll bet to take down the Rainbow Six or — on the other end of the spectrum — Grant Stone’s winning the BC Ultra Pick Six with an $8 ticket if I remember correctly.

    I hope he wins so he can continue helping horse racing as well as the country. Would there have been a headline if MM had invested $4m in Tesla? Well, Game Stop, maybe. LOL

    and,hopefully, to avoid an uptick in problem gambling, and the ensuing awareness if not focuz.

    1. You’re right, I, Mack does much for the game, not to mention all the industry advertising. Who knows, maybe someday “Feature Race Analysis brought to you by Runhappy.” Seriously, though, Rusty Arnold has a Runhappy in the “Sammy” who has a chance, Runway Magic (8-1). We included him in our exotics mix, check it…

  2. Just watched an erratic,aggressive ride at Aquaduct’ s second race.After the race that same horse ,# 1,was placed third behind the bothered number 3. Mention this because it seems to have been between an aggressive sister bumping her riding brother. Wonder how much pop Robbie Davis was enjoying this sparring between his two kids ….

    1. Don’t know about how that turned out, JG; perhaps will check out the race if I get a minute…

      I do know this, though, met the entire family one night in Saratoga several years ago, great people, very warm, and the kids can ride a little bit. Dylan might have a chance to out-do dad one day, and I’m sure Robbie wouldn’t mind a bit.

  3. There is not very much going on this week so spent some time in the sunshine state of Florida. Specifically, Gulfstream Park. Here’s my 2-Cents.

    Race 4-Soglio (1) Play to win and box with the 3,11

    Race 6-Great Island (2) and box with the 3,4

    Race 11- The (2) A Bit of Both and the (5) Miss Auramet are hard to separate. Box both and add the (8) underneath in your gimmicks.

    Good luck to all and once again Let’s go get the bad guys.


  4. Thanks VINO, now we’ve got SoFla covered, too.

    But there are opportunities at Tampa Bay, you owe it to yourself to look it over.

    And NYRA has a X-C Pick 5 with two from NY, three from Tampa, four stakes in all. Who knows?

  5. NYRA has a 10% bonus on WIN bets at TAMPA today.

    10% Bonus TAM
    Earn a 10% Winner’s Bonus on all your Tampa Bay Downs win bets on NYRA today. Just thought I would share as John has 4 races in play. New name for The Editor by the way. Instead of Broadway John I’m going with “Stage Door Johnnie”. Riders Up. Time we take out a few Bad Guys Vincent.

    Bet a win bet on Tampa Bay Downs on the NYRA Bets App
    If your ticket hits, earn an additional 10% bonus
    Customer must bet a win bet on the NYRA Bets App to qualify. Wagers placed on the NYRA Bets desktop site or by phone with a live operator not valid for the promotion bonus. To qualify, the account holder would be required to be in good standing. Bonus will be credited within 48 hours of race day. Bonus capped at $10 per player per day.

    Promo Date: Feb 6

  6. One more added value for anyone waiting outside the stage doors Johnnie, TVG also has a promo of note: finish second or third money back on TAMPA races 8 & 11. 10% more added at NYRA or money back at TVG? Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, so I looked down them both as best I could and wagered on both. Damn if this game isn’t confusing enough without the promotions added. TG we have Johnnie taking care of all the really confusing issues. Vincent too.

    I don’t really need know everything, only know the smart guys who do. I I almost forgot to add Indulto to the aforesaid. The I-Man even talks with the horse sometimes, right?. Why else would some refer to the I-Man as Mr. Ed?

    Lol, all in good fun my friend. The game is easier for you I’m sure by the way. Living on the West Coast you have three more hours each day to read the Form.

    Sweet surprise this morning when I ventured over to check the AWD promo offers. In addition to the win back offer at TVG I noticed a plus $10 and a plus $27 on my AWD account. So busy taking care of business yesterday that I didn’t even notice that I had cashed tickets on John’s FRA call yesterday at TAMPA Bay. Sweet! Thanks John Boy. Playing with a few added house chips today is all.

    I am out. Need to go place some wagers. Safe journey to all. (First covid shot yesterday, another in four weeks. Keep pressing and get yours. I was scheduled for a shot at Aqueduct late yesterday, but a local Walgreen’s opened up. Keep your eyes open. Be Safe!

    1. McD,
      wmc started calling me Mr. Ed after I suggested it would require fewer keystrokes than “the talking horse.” LOL

      Whaddaya mean “more time to read the form on the West Coast?” The first race at the Big A is off by the time my Big A is out of bed much less ready to key in a bet!

    1. How come you didn’t ask me, McD, I’m highly insulted. I’m also out of the X-C 5 after first leg, just got nailed. Of course had the rest. No easy game this, bad guys win again!

  7. I ‘ m back,,,,,watching the board after a couple of months keeping Tabs on the ” $ 10 Wins ” that I used to make fun.Not anymore! I knew that those simple numbers HAD to give something of a clue..It did but not in every race ( but who is stupid enough to bet every race? ). After eliminating most under $ 30 K claiming races while following just two,or less,major tracks,I have firmly found an Oyster,no,make that a Little Neck Clam which when hit it usually pays well enough to cover the lost bets plus a profit which is the root of every bet.Today,after a three race skid hit a 4-6 cold exacta box plus WP. bets with both of them.Oh,yeah,No Favs ! Once in a while I might put the chosen clams boxed with the odds on..just in case.The last at Aquaduct,after showing the probable Pick Six $ it was easy to notice that one horse was the fav for that gimmick….opening at 6- 1 ! First bet,4 over 23 plus 2356 x the triple. After another uneven back and forth the 4 comes closing in from the outside followed by the 6 and then 2…. Cold exacta and almost an unexpected triple and gimmick (superfecta) ! 4 paid some $ 14 to win…plus the rest. Welcome back NYRA crew BUT,what’s going on here ? Trying to copy TVG? many tracks.. With continual Audio problems with Hiccups throughout the telecast,from opinions to interviews !! Why can’ t they stick to what they seemed to to best ? Even the color was less vibrant than the competition (TVG). Is this the way to go from now on ? Unprofessional offering even with the presence of Gary Stevens,Rich Migliore giving us nice nuggets: they,and us all,do not deserve this half donkey showing while no one,as far as I noticed,mentioned the continual technical problems as if they never existed.Yeah,right! Said my grandpa Giacomo ” Don’t believe what they’re saying or not,Believe your senses,eyes,ears.” It I were not a New yorker I woulda stuck with the other guys,but I like Stevens and Migliore’s inputs,besides Ms Maggie horse forms, shapes’ insights. Just stick to what was working well before. Doing too much,with too many tracks…too much gets lost.Get rid of hiccups.Drink some good vino and hire better techs. Super Bowl,a horse race between some veteran horse that’s been there in the past against the Now horse with a better trainer,coach and Figs. KC…by 6 lengths🐴🦄🐴🦄

    1. 9 th at Big A : 4 paid $ 17, and $ 9,70..Exacta $ 118,while at Oldsmar 6th race exacta,4-6, paid $ 160,winner $ 16,7 place horse $ 10. The fact that in both races the same,4-6,numbers were played is just a coincidence. Hey, it happens ! Don’t ask me about who the riders were nor the horses names. ” Horses With No Names “.” Til next time.🐴👁️🍕

  8. Quick recap of the 3-yo races, when Mott does something unexpected like he did yesterday with Candy Man Rocket in Sam Davis you better take notice. Awesome effort by this one. Keep an eye out for him.

    Risk Taking was just as impressive winning Withers, going nine furlongs. Has the look of a stayer at Derby distance.

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