TimeformUS Weekend Plays: Saratoga and Del Mar Graded Stakes Races

Sunday Saratoga, Race 9, 5:12 pm ET
The Grade 1 Vandebilt, 3-and-up, 6 fulongs, Dirt

Betting strategy:  Straight exacta: Delaunay over Justin Phillip

A field of five is assembled for the Vanderbilt. Delaunay and Gentlemen's Bet both exit the Iowa Sprint Handicap at Prairie Meadows, while Bahamian Squall and Justin Phillip exit the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder, and the indefatigable Caixa Eletronica exits a Starter/Optional Claimer at this racetrack as he prepares to make his 66th lifetime start--eight days after making his 65th lifetime start.

Vanderbilt Spotlight

Delaunay had his six-race win streak snapped in the Iowa Sprint Handicap, but he had gate trouble in the race and was a clear last after the first furlong. Jockey Rosie Napravnik angled him widest around the far turn, and he was ultimately repelled by Gentlemen's Bet, who had an ideal trip.

Delaunay had run stellar TimeformUS speed figures of 119, 132, and 123 in his three other starts this season. A repeat of those type of efforts would make him extremely tough today.


Justin Phillip (5/1 morning line) is the horse we prefer to round out the exacta. Second in last year's Vanderbilt, Justin Phillip ran a good 121 speed figure when he finished a well-clear second in the True North Handicap two starts back.

We are willing to forgive his flat performance last time in the Smile, where he finished fourth to a trio of South Florida-based horses. He opposes Smile winner Bahamian Squall again today, but this time his rival is the one who must travel. All of Bahamian Squall's races have come in the state of Florida, and he was a disappointing fifth at odds of 5/2 in a dirt sprint at Tampa Bay Downs the only other time he did any real shipping from Calder or Gulfstream.

Betting strategy:  Straight exacta: Delaunay over Justin Phillip

Free Vanderbilt Past Performances at TimeformUS.com 

Sunday, Del Mar, Race 8, 8:40 pm ET
The G2 Best Pal, 2-Year-Olds, 6 1/2 Furlongs, Synth

Seven two-year-olds are signed up for this race. One will be racing on Lasix for the first time. One will be racing in blinkers for the first time. Five will be racing on Polytrack for the first time. Four will be racing against winners for the first time. One will be racing in the United States for the first time. At least one, it is almost certain, will be coming from off the pace for the first time. One will be racing out of the Peter Miller barn for the first time. And all seven will be racing 6.5 furlongs for the first time. Two-year-old racing is nothing if not educational.

Entries Best Pal
Needless to say, the TFUS Pace Projector is being given a perilous assignment today. But given that it has pulled more than its share of rabbits out of its hat in comparable circumstances, let's have a look at what it shows:

Best Pal Pace

The aptly named Guns Loaded projects to be on a clear early lead at the opening quarter, with Alpine Luck, Alberts Hope, and Celtic Moon not far behind, and the others consigned to the role of closers.
At morning line odds of 9-2, Alberts Hope looks like the best value in this race. He will be making only his second start today, for a trainer, Mike Puype, who is not known for winding up his debuters. Puype gets an excellent TFUS trainer rating of 90 with his second-time starters. What is more, Alberts Hope was impressive in his debut, racing rather wide and quite professionally on his way to a field-best speed figure of 85. With the Pace Projector showing him staying in touch early, over a surface where that has often been a prerequisite for winning, Alberts Hope would seem to have a solid chance today, and at a hint of price.
A longshot who intrigues us is Celtic Moon, who was visually impressive last time despite not running all that fast in a turf sprint.
Ontology is a strong contender but seems likely to be overbet. Guns Loaded is a strong contender who may not be overbet. He is worth protecting with in exotics if his morning line odds hold.

Free Best Pal Past Performances at TimeformUS.com 

Saturday Saratoga, Race 10, 5:45 pm ET
The G1 Whitney, 3-and-up, 1 and 1/8 miles, Dirt

Betting Strategy: Ron the Greek to win.  Box him in an exacta with Alpha.

One of the cooler things about TimeformUS past performances is that you can scroll through the lifetime PPs of a horse and learn things like the following: Believe it or not, 7/5 morning line favorite Fort Larned has made the lead at the first call only three different times in his entire career.

He won in wire-to-wire fashion each time, and did so at odds of 7/2, 9/1, and 3/1. Moreover, the two highest TimeformUS speed figures Fort Larned has ever run, a 130 in the Breeders' Cup Classic and a 129 in the Stephen Foster, both came with front-running tactics. Want more evidence that Fort Larned loves to be on the early lead? Watch a replay of his seasonal debut in this year's Gulfstream Park Handicap. After losing jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. at the start, he blitzed his way to about a 20-length early lead and stayed on through the wire, in one of the most memorable riderless performances in many years.

Obviously, we would select Fort Larned at almost any price, against any field of horses, if we thought he would get an uncontested early lead. However, the TimeformUS Pace Projector indicates that he won't get one this time. The brilliant Pletcher-trained four-year-old Cross Traffic has too much natural speed.

It is fair to point out that Fort Larned won last year's Whitney Handicap with the same stalking tactics he will be forced to use this year, but since he is a short-priced favorite and handicap highweight today, it is best to oppose him.

Cross Traffic has exceptional speed figures of 130 and 125 in his two most recent starts and is getting a five-pound weight break from Fort Larned, but he is also making his first start around two turns and will have to survive the inevitable confrontation with Fort Larned, whether it comes early on (as we hope) or around the far turn.

Mucho Macho Man has great back form. However, he has barely shown signs of a pulse in his only two starts this season.

The two horses we are interested in are Ron The Greek and Alpha, and especially so if we get a wet racetrack. Ron The Greek's career-best speed figure of 130 came in the slop when he won this year's edition of the Sunshine Millions Classic by more than 11 lengths. Alpha's career-best speed figure of 117 came over a sloppy Saratoga track as a three-year-old while winning the Jim Dandy.

Scrolling through Ron The Greek's lifetime past performances makes it clear that he is a horse who loves a fast early pace. The last three times you see fractions posted in red in his PPs, indicating a race with a very fast early pace, you also see that Ron The Greek was the winner. He closed from 16 lengths back to win the Grade 3 Lecomte at 7/1 odds. He closed from 14 lengths back to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap by 3.5 lengths at 7/2 odds. And he closed from 9.5 lengths back to win the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at 9/1 odds.

Ron The Greek was second to Fort Larned in last year's Whitney Handicap, a race that had just a fair early pace, and he was beaten only about a length, and now he gets a seven-pound shift in weights. Sure, he was drubbed by a loose-lead Fort Larned in the Foster last time, but going from one extreme last time to (it is hoped) another this time, he has a chance to turn the tables at generous odds.

Alpha is 3-for-3 lifetime at Saratoga and dead-heated for the win in a weak edition of the Travers last year. However, his form has been so muddied that it is tempting to give him a look on the return to his favorite racetrack. Alpha obviously tailed off after the Travers last year, and most American dirt horses have performed so miserably in Dubai that it is fair to call his four-length defeat in the Godolphin Mile an encouraging performance. In his stateside debut as a four-year-old, Alpha broke through the gate before the start and was quickly reloaded. Horses who break through the gate before the start usually perform dismally, and so we think he will better his most recent performance by a great bit.

With a return to his favorite track, and his 115lbs impost, and a chance of him catching a wet racetrack after numerous races where he had an excuse, Alpha has a chance to jump up and be very competitive today.

Betting Strategy: Ron the Greek to win.  Box him in an exacta with Alpha.

Free Whitney Past Performances at TimeformUS.com

Saturday, Del Mar, Race 8, 8:40 pm ET
The G1 Clement Hirsch, Fillies and Mares, 3-and-Up, 1 and 1/16 Miles, Synth

The Hirsch has attracted a solid field of nine fillies and mares, including last year's winner, Include Me Out, and according to the TimeformUS Pace Projector, it figures to unfold at an honest pace, with neither frontrunners nor closers at any particular advantage. The longshot Sister Kate projects to have the early lead, with Great Hot and Include Me Out tracking and the others falling in behind them.
Include Me Out is certain to go off the favorite, and on our speed figures, this is as it should be. A splendidly consistent mare, she hasn't run a number that deserves to be called "bad" since her debut, in 2010, and even that effort came with legitimate excuses. More recently, she has run off number after number that would make her tough to beat if repeated today. She is proven at this distance and over this surface. She won her six-furlong prep race in fine style. She has reportedly been training very well. Beating her today figures to take some work--and maybe a little luck, too.

One piece of good luck for her opponents was that she drew the outside post, which should lead to some groundloss on the first turn and very likely the second as well. In addition, they are catching her second-off-the-layoff today, and her trainer, Ron Ellis, does not have great TimeformUS trainer ratings in that category. But if Include Me Out is at her best today, these factors are going to look like mere quibbles when this race is over.
We believe that if an upset is coming, More Chocolate has the best chance to pull it off. Although they don't match up to those of Include Me Out, she has some fine speed figures of her own, and she has been training splendidly at Del Mar as she prepares to make her second start over a synthetic surface. Her TimeformUS pedigree rating of 91 indicates that she should be well-suited to routing on synthetic surfaces, and she had better be if she plans on winning this race.

Free Clement Hirsch Past Performances at TimeformUS.com


Leave a Comment:

Rusty Weisner

Who's the author of this post?

02 Aug 2013 10:35 AM

Hi Rusty. The Whitney preview was written by TimeformUS Analyst Doug Salvatore. The Clement Hirsch preview was done by TimeformUS Analyst Justin Finch.

02 Aug 2013 10:44 AM
Rusty Weisner

I don't know who to pick in the Whitney and won't try but I'm a little bit interested in the WV Derby: Overanalyze is a horse I haven't liked and would like to try to beat him out of the 9 post at 7/5.  I was just wondering the other day whatever happened to Departing and saw his name pop up here.  The one I think I would bet is Betweenhereandcool and am a little disappointed to see 5/2 here -- Iowa Derby contenders have performed very well here the past few years and this one carried his speed well behind the dueling favorites to just get caught at the wire.

02 Aug 2013 11:02 AM


No mention of Fast Falcon. After being clapboard by Alpha in the Jim Dandy he was only beaten by a NK in the Travers closing from last.

There most recent meeting was in the Suburban where he finished ahead of Alpha. While I recognized that it was Alpha's 1st start since his return from Dubai he was reportedly working very well.

After the 2012 Travers Fast Falcon contested the JCGC and finished 5th, 2L behind Fort Larned who finished 3rd.

Cross Fire dusted him in an Optional Claim at a mile but that was too short for a dead closer on the GP Speedway.

His recent 3rd place finish to Flat Out represents his best effort a Belmont a track owned by Flat Out. He finished 21/2L off a final time of 1:46 4/5 and this suggest that he has caught the G1 pace.

He must be sitting on a big one and with an expect fast pace, this son of Awesome again out of Pleasant Tap mare could score his second victory in the Whitney.

02 Aug 2013 11:23 AM
Pedigree Ann

Alpha was assisted to his Saratoga victories last summers by a dearth of good 3yos racing at the time. I'll Have Another, in Japan. Bodemeister, resting. Dullahan, went to the Pacific Classic (versus elders, on Poly). Paynter, the Haskell winner, sick. Union Rags, the Belmont winner, hurt. Creative Cause, hurt.

Of the ones who showed up for the Travers: Liaison is an AW horse, beaten frequently on the Derby Trail dirt races; Street Life won minor stakes, beaten badly in the Wood and Belmont; G3 AW winner Nonios showed speed and faded in his first dirt start; Atigun had been beaten badly in Oaklawn preps - his Belmont third led to his move to marathon distances later; G3 winner Neck 'n Neck had been off the board in the Florida preps; the rest were eligible for n1x and n2x races. And one of the latter dead-heated with him for the win! Not a rousing endorsement for the class of the field.

02 Aug 2013 1:19 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

Yes, that was kind of a dull and dismal summer for 3-yos, though you're forgetting the one other good horse in that Travers, Goldenticket, who is very competitive lately.

02 Aug 2013 1:58 PM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

Oh, I see you mention him, but not by name.

02 Aug 2013 1:59 PM

The final time for Alpha’s Travers was 2:02.74. This time was better than those recorded by the previous four winners i.e., Stay Thirsty, Afleet Express, Summer Bird and Colonel John. It was slightly slower than Street Sense’s 2:02.69.

In the last 20 renewals of the Travers only three winners have gone below 2:02 (Bernardini, Point Given and Sea Hero). The times of 2:02 plus have been the average. Alpha is unbeaten at Saratoga and it appears he steps up several lengths at that location. I doubt that the other top 3YOs would have gone much faster.

02 Aug 2013 2:27 PM
Rusty Weisner

I like Betweenhereandcool and Departing

in an exacta and keyed tris:

Departing/Betweenhereandcool/Overanalyze,Ruler of Love,Say Ow

Betweenhereandcool/Departing/Overanalyze,Ruler of Love,Say Ow

02 Aug 2013 2:28 PM

Say Ow appears to be a very nice gelding. He is a chestnut sired by Langfuhr. What’s the significance of the coat?   Well, two chestnuts sired by Langfuhr were exceptional horses. One destroyed the track record for 9F at Saratoga (Lawyer Ron) and the other was the Canadian TC winner (Wando). Are his chestnuts his top performers? Well Storm Cat’s top performers were chestnuts. Interestingly, both Langfuhr and Storm Cat trace back to Northern Dancer whose son Nijinsky sired to chestnut monsters i.e., Ferdinand and Lammtarra.

This is a serious gelding. I do not like the blinkers as he tends to be forwardly placed with a pulling motion. He also does not like to change leads. He might have inherited this trait from his grand dam sire Alydar.

Irrespective, I think he will acquit himself well against WV Derby field and should be in contention when it is being decided..

02 Aug 2013 3:20 PM
Rusty Weisner


You know a lot about this Say Ow.  Tell us about his likely dirt form.

I'm leaning towards this Betweenhereandcool over Departing, better odds as the third favorite, too.  I like Departing a little less off a layoff and likely running late on a track with a short stretch.

02 Aug 2013 4:18 PM

I'm sticking with Successful Dan to upstage rivals in a very knotty Whitney affair. Mucho Macho Man, Cross Traffic and Fort Larned are going to sizzle on the headlines with Successful Dan sitting in the catbird seat while saving ground against the rail ...then he'll take them down in the drive to the wire.

Overanalyze should prove much the best in the WV Derby.

02 Aug 2013 5:57 PM
Mary Zinke

I have the same long shot, Say Ow, in the West Virginia Derby, Cold Facts. I wasn't going by the coat color, though. Just that he's faster than most in this field, winning at 8.5 f over Hollywood Park's synthetic track, facing a decent pace, and although it was only two works, seems fine with Mountaineer dirt. Say Ow, Departing, Betweenhereandcool, Overanalyze. I figure Ledokol is in there to burn up somebody else, unless they don't take the bait. I saw Shaler included in picks. Although he's very slow, he could be one to benefit from a total pace meltdown--a huge meltdown.

Also think you're right about Alpha being able to step up at Saratoga. Of course throw out his last race since he broke through the gate. Throw out a few more of Alpha's races, too(may have to back a ways). I'd put him in a super, but there are three that I think can win this: Fort Larned, Cross Traffic, Ron The Greek. Why? Dominating early speed for Fort Larned, Cross Traffic is not fading at the end of fast miles; he's being caught right at the wire. Just the teensiest slower pace could have him gone with quite a lead in the stretch.  Ron The Greek could be the one to benefit from Fort Larned's and Cross Traffic's speed if those two duel. Fort Larned, Cross Traffic, Ron the Greek, Alpha.

02 Aug 2013 6:26 PM
Mary Zinke

Vanderbilt: Justin Phillip to catch Gentlemen's bet.

Even with all of The Big Guy's girls in the Clement Hirsch, Include Me Out to win.  She came back very strong. Might be her year to take the Ladies' Classic, unless . . . you know who runs in that.

Include Me Out, Lady Of Fifty, Byrama, More Chocolate.

02 Aug 2013 7:55 PM
Mary Zinke

Guess it would help if I read the blog first. Didn't mean to have such  plagiarized looking Alpha commentary.

02 Aug 2013 7:58 PM

TimeformUS highlights the races at Del Mar and Saratoga citing horses that have rating in past races of 130/129, having speed and class.  There are also great horses racing at Del Mar, Gulfstream, Louisiana Downs, Mountaineer, Saratoga and Woodbine.  Whatever happens the best approach is to go with what you like whether picking to win or playing an exotic wager.  The only truism happens when the race is over and not before it begins.  A wise man or racing will always tell you: “you don’t play a horse a’cause of its color.”  Longshots do win, no matter what the prognosticator claim.

02 Aug 2013 8:45 PM


In thoroughbred racing there are trends. The coat of thoroughbred has nothing to do with its performance. However, there are some stallions whose prodigies of a certain color seem to reflect the best racing records. There are no answers for same but speculations are a plenty.  

The majority of Storm Cat's best sons are chestnuts yet he is brown. His dam sire was the monster chestnut Secretariat.

The 1970 British TC winner Nijinsky was renowned for siring brilliant chestnuts. In 1986 he was the sire of the winners of the Kentucky and Epsom Derby i.e., Ferdinand and Shahrastani. Both were chestnut.

While certain trends are not useful for handicapping some are useful if one is in the market for youngsters. Let me be exceedingly clear there is no verifiable connection between color and performance. The points I have made are purely based on observation. That stated I tend to pay close attention to chestnuts that trace back to Northern Dancer.

03 Aug 2013 7:09 AM


No mention of Byrama in Clement Hirsch. She was very impressive in the Vanity. The A Gleam at 7F was much too short for her but despite this she ran on gamely.

She finished on the board in her last 4 starts on synthetic. She is powerful mare who appears very honest. I think the anticipated pace scenario will be favorable to her style of running style and she will be there when it’s being decided.

03 Aug 2013 7:35 AM


You are back with Overanalyze. If I recall correctly, in January you regarded him as the best 3YO. You reiterated this claim after his AK Derby victory.

Mr. Pletcher seems to be winning all the summer 3YO stakes consequently you must be confident going into the WV Derby.

I like a couple of horses to upset Overanalyze & Departing. One is Say Ow and the other Ruler Of Love. Rule of love ran a very good race in the Derby Trial. The fractions in that race were very fast (22, 45, 1:10). He was forwardly placed and battled on for 3rd. His next race was the 7F Coach Jimi Lee that appeared too short but he again closed for 3rd. There were 10 horses in the Coach Jimi Lee and he was the only with blinkers. If his trainer would only remove this bid of head gear he would be my firm choice. Mr. Lukas removed the blinkers from Will Take Charge and he finished a good second to Palace Malice. Some trainer need to remove their blinkers.

I like Ruler Of Love to upset the apple cart.

03 Aug 2013 8:12 AM
Plod Boy Phil

re: WVa Derby

Departing, a 'Neutral or Better Winner' for us following the Illinois Derby, was on the wrong side of a very Speed favoring Preakness.    

03 Aug 2013 9:55 AM

I had five D/D @$550 each closing on Departing in the Preakness. The ocean opened up for him on the rails and he foaled nad he was one pace to the line. It was a very disappointing performance. He will have to recapture my confidence.

I will take my chances with Ruler Of Love who has shown a lot more heart. His Tampa Bay runner finish bears testament to this.

03 Aug 2013 10:33 AM

West Virginia Derby: Exacta Box 1-4-5-9.

03 Aug 2013 5:04 PM

coldfacts did you regain your confidence on departing.

03 Aug 2013 6:09 PM

Delmar: Race #8, Clement L. Hirsch S. Tri box 1-3-6-8-9.

03 Aug 2013 7:09 PM
Pedigree Ann

Hey Rusty -

Remember who won the Travers in the summer when Secretariat sat out to get better after his Whitney defeat?

Think hard.

The immortal Annihilate 'Em, winner of Breeders' Futurity (one-turn 7f+ then) at 2 and Liberty Bell's 8.f feature for 3yo males, the Minuteman H (G2). I've even seen him as a sire in the pedigree of a horse I was investigating once! (Probably a maiden claimer.)

03 Aug 2013 10:07 PM


What can I post? I expected him to run that way in the Preakness and he laid an egg. I had the exacta & Tri so he made up for my Preakness losses.

I still believe the runner up does not need blinkers. I horse with tactical speed does not need blinkers as its tends to become aggressive.

04 Aug 2013 7:20 AM


Successful Dan ran a monster race and might just have caught the winner if not for the incident in the stretch.

You by now should be convinced that you have to get off the Overanalyze bandwagon. How many chances are you prepare to give him. He appears average.

04 Aug 2013 7:24 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Coldfacts -

The point you are missing is that there was a very reasonable explanation for Departing's Preakness 'egg'.  His race was much better than it appeared on paper.

04 Aug 2013 8:28 AM
Pedigree Ann

Relieved that Alpha vindicated my judgment of him and where he fits in the pecking order. (Going out on a limb and being wrong scares the heck out of me. Perfectionism carries its risks and even though I call myself a 'recovering perfectionist', it is hard to break emotional habits.)

Really surprised Fort Larned surrendered so easily. Yes, he was conceding weight all around, but still..., Reinforces the feeling that this is an 'any given Saturday' group without a clearly superior member. Same as last year, and mostly the same cast.

04 Aug 2013 10:42 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Sunday Saratoga

R7) 9 Centrina (10-1):  recorded a 'Neutral or Better Win' for us in her last at 4-1 following a modest upgrade three back and a strong upgrade two back.  Pace scenario appears a bit dubious for her style,  but sharp form and ML odds are more to offset any desire to 'overanalyze'.

04 Aug 2013 11:02 AM
Plod Boy Phil

"...are more than enough to offset..."

04 Aug 2013 11:17 AM
Rusty Weisner

The toteboard really told the tale in the WV Derby.  I got cute and just took the 9/2 horse on top.  Note to self:  don't get greedy -- it's good enough picking a co-favorite or slight favorite you like much better (Departing) than the one he's splitting the money with (Overanalyze), especially when you think you have an easy trifecta.

Glad I didn't bet the Whitney. It's hard to predict pace sceanrios.  Fort Larned had a 115 Beyer last month.  It reinforces the stand I'll be taking against V in the Travers.

04 Aug 2013 11:21 AM

Coming off the shelf to play Saratoga today.  

Best bet of the day is #5 (Eleven Bravo) in the 11th.  

Other picks:

1) 7 Defiant

2) 3 Acquant

6) 3 Itsagoodtendollars

7) 7 Hurricane Jackie

8) 9 Spookey Kitten(toughest race of the day)

10) 8 (Tahoe Lake)

04 Aug 2013 12:11 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Congrats ahead of time Kevin on tabbing the lone Racing Flow upgrade in the finale. We took a very tough beat in yesterday's 6th on the winner of his last, Hidden Vow (3rd by a neck and a nose at 38-1), who was a solid 'vs Plod Winner' in the July 6th event.  All I can say about the others you have is none are downgrades.

Good luck.

04 Aug 2013 12:28 PM


It was not Successful Dan's day at all yesterday ...he flipped in the paddock which must have affected him somewhat and then hindered in the stretch ...he's a top calibre horse that I've thought very highly of even before his younger half-sibbling Wise Dan became famous.  If he stays sound, the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeder's Cup Classic are well within his capabilities ...at the same time making a repeat HOTY title easier for little brother Wise Dan (a rampant Verrazano looming as their main threat)

Rusty, Fort Larned is an inconsistent sort ...not so Verrazano (lousy comparison you made)

04 Aug 2013 1:28 PM

I found very disturbing that some

self proclaim as an expert in horse racing, yet all he talks is

Wise Dan a lock for horse of the year, what a nonsense.

There a horse name Game on Dude

and what he has done so far is

won all the races he ran and earn

over 2 mil so far in 2013, and yet

they did not even mention his name.


04 Aug 2013 7:51 PM

I like to challenge the backer of

so call super horse Verrazano,

I will take Game on Dude, heads on

in the Breeders'cup Classic.

Name your wager,

04 Aug 2013 8:06 PM

Unlocking winners should be called

unlocking losers.

04 Aug 2013 9:00 PM
Pedigree Ann

Hey, the person who did the Best Pal analysis had the Exacta. He/she, at least, was not a loser.

05 Aug 2013 10:11 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Selecting horses that do not win does not make one a loser.  Never posting an opinion, then criticizing behind the veil of anonymity does.

05 Aug 2013 10:20 AM

Plod Boy Phil,

 "Selecting horses that do not win does not make one a loser". REALLY

 What does it make them if they don't win, and thats what you played them to do.

 Just keep posting Phil, as you seem to be the #1 poster here.

05 Aug 2013 11:17 AM


Game on Dude is a good horse but he' also a "California one-trick pony". We saw Dullahan nail him in the Pacific Classic last year while on top of his game, and then when faced with tough competition on his home ground at Santa Anita he chucked the gallop when Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man man-handled him on the front end. He has no shot at the HOTY title ... I repeat, no shot!!!  We all know his game by now but there is still an aura of mystery and invincibility surrounding Wise Dan. Also, the 3YO colt Verrazano has a similar winning mystique, his only loss coming on the sloppy Churchill Downs track ...reminding a lot of folks of the great post Derby campaign of Holy Bull. Do you get it now Signal?

05 Aug 2013 11:40 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Woodshade -

Clearly you've not been following this Blog all year. The numbers speak for themselves.

05 Aug 2013 11:43 AM
Mary Zinke

Ranagulzion, Maybe some of that is "guy talk" (assuming you're a guy) but it appears to be an underestimation of The Dude, in general, a slight mis- or different interpretation of the '12 Pacific Classic, maybe he moved too soon on the other speed, an opponent that wasn't going to win anyway? Then there's the love of the undefeated. It's not like he finished up the tack at Del Mar; he made an improvement from his previous year's effort, and to me, he's even better this year. Also, in the Classic, not saying he was a 100% assured winner, but you must know that the race would have played out differently for Game On Dude had he had a better start. I suppose "one trick pony" isn't all that bad, since only a very few older horses can beat Game On Dude, at any track, and he only has the one loss at Santa Anita, if by one trick you meant puts them away easily. Aura of mystery and invincibility surrounding Wise Dan? Check out that competition in general(I'm still so pissed that Data Link, now indefinitely sidelined, didn't take Wise Dan when he could have ,but instead "hung".) *Have to asterisk the bog CD race against Jeranimo. I admit, my Cali horses aren't going to swim in anything like that-- if anyone is disappointed in the Dude's competition so far this year. Another thing is, it's like some other horses, particularly in the turf male category, were forgotten about last year. My suggestion is to sequester, individually, the Eclipse voters, because winning in three categories is all-time greats level.  Is he?

05 Aug 2013 12:16 PM
Mary Zinke

Woodshade, go to the woodshed, but someone else can give you your spanking. I gave out a boxed ex and tri, if you used them properly, for the Clement Hirsch, not to mention my second choice, which I should have had as the winner, Lady. Plus the Vanderbilt winner,Justin Phillip, so that ought to cover my sucky long shot pick in the WV Derby. Another thing is, I did give out Cross Traffic as one I thought could win the Whitney. Now about my "pal" ;) Phil, he kept this blog going for many weeks, so he's extremely cool with me. Who are you?  Give us a non-chalk winner already.

05 Aug 2013 12:38 PM
Plod Boy Phil


Second that emotion.

05 Aug 2013 1:08 PM

Mary Zinke,

If Game on Dude would show up at Saratoga for the Woodward or at Belmont or the Jockey Club Gold Cup and win either of those Grad 1 outside of California, I might change my opinion of his chances at the HOTY title.

Wise Dans connection can afford the luxury of staying in their comfort zone with him while none of the older rivals on dirt dominate ...however they could be promted to change plans anytime if necessity demands ...Wise Dan is that good on any surface and we all know but many want to be reminded again. The horse is a consistent winner that doesn't disappoint ...a worthy HOTY IMO ...let the challengers try to topple him if they are good enough but if he stays undefeated on the grass he's got to be in the reckoning again.

05 Aug 2013 2:08 PM
Mary Zinke

Guess you're right, Ranagulzion, The Dude hasn't taken any historical back East stakes, just sitting there in Ca winning 10f grade 1 big purse routes, except for venturing to take the Charles Town Classic. Not enough margin of victory over possibly a bull ring liker if not lover, Clubhouse Ride? He left Ca--that should have some still speechless. Too bad there aren't more challengers to him travelling to Ca before the BC. P.S., I won't say that the Clark of 2011 wasn't good, but it was post BC, so you had some in there that may have had the long campaign excuse, however, the stagger-fest '12 Foster, including the winner with those staggering very noticeably to the right, is nothing to brag about, as far as dirt form, not that it couldn't have improved by now, but I think trainer intention says a lot. HOTY is for best overall record in top graded stakes--agreed. IMO, top turf male is for a turf router. also, another opinion, so I don't expect agreement, top older male usually goes to a main track top graded stakes winner unless none in that division can compare to the top turf router.

05 Aug 2013 2:38 PM
Rusty Weisner


Acquaint yourself with the site and the records of people on it before you go insulting them.  For example, take a look the "Belmont 145" thread, which spanned June and July, to get a picture of how your target has done this summer.

Or, better: make a pick or two.

05 Aug 2013 2:52 PM

Hey Ranag,

since Game on Dude is a no shot

to beat any of your hype horse,

would you like to do a little wagering, I take Game on Dude

over either Wise Dan or Verazano

in the Breeders'cup classic, one on one, heads on.

Let me know if you are interested.

05 Aug 2013 4:22 PM


I'm a straight shooter ...not interested in taking your money ...besides, I reckon that your rush to risk your cash against the prognostication of a connoisseur of the game such as yours truly is not a good sign/signal (pardon the pun) of your gambling prudence ...beware of addiction pal.

Chances are, Wise Dan will not run in the BCC because he being pointed to the BC Mile on turf, but will Game on Dude be able to handle Successful Dan after being softened up by pacey sorts like Cross Traffic, Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man? Think long and hard about that my friend and you'll be grateful that I turned down your wagering offer.

You think that Verrazano is all hype? Go check with Game on Dude's trainer,Bob Baffert for an opinion or better, read up on his post Haskel comments after witnessing Verrazano's romp against his vastly improved 3YO colt Power Broker. Peace.

05 Aug 2013 10:48 PM

Plod Boy Phil,

I recognize that horses face different challenges with different dirt surfaces.

However, the really good ones find ways to win whether a track is fast, Slow, sloppy, muddy, dead, deep etc. The winner of the Preakness found a way to win. The palace and show horses were at least competitive.  

Departing was travelling powerfully on the back stretch. There is no acceptable excuse for a supposedly classy horse to   struggle home like drunken sailor in the last 2F. He did the same thing in the LA Derby on a track that he previously won by day light.

He is not as good when facing the top brass. I guess I have evaluate when that is.

06 Aug 2013 8:12 AM


FL was very flat in the JCGC and subsequently ran a monster in the BCC.

Saratoga is known as the graveyard of champions. It's just a case of another one biting the dust.

He will rebound. Never under estimate a champion from the Mr. Prospector sire line. The Line has dominated the BCC over the last 6 years. It must be noted that the winner is from that line as well.

06 Aug 2013 8:17 AM


I have taken the liberty of capitalizing the first letter in you posting ID. I hope this does not offend.

Plod Boy Phil can defend himself in more  ways than I can. However, in defense of the valuable contributor, I must agree with his response to your claim.

Your post would have been more meaningful if you were advocating for the  title of the Blog to be ' Unlocking Potential Winners' instead of 'Unlocking Winners'

When  a selected horse looses it does not necessarily mean that the contributor making the selection looses as well.

Example:Plod Boy Phil upgraded Departing and specified that he was the likely winner. I specified that I would be taking my chances wit Ruler Of Love. Both horse completed the exacta.

My horse lost. Did I loose money? No! In a previous post I specified that I would have been using two colts to upset the favorites with my preference being Rule Of Love.

I wagered the Win/Place, Exacta and

Tri.  The money lost on the win bet was recovered from the other three wagers with a  resulting surplus. Am I a looser because my preferred horse lost?

All pre-race selections are likely winners. In a sport of glorious uncertainties there are more ways to loose than to win.

Where as one can try to unlock a potential winner, there is no way of unlocking a winner before a race. A winner is a winner when the official sign is posted.

NB: Remember a first place finish  does not always make a horse a winner if the stewards rule there had been a violation.

One Love!

06 Aug 2013 8:43 AM

I know you have reservation about Unbridleds Song prodigies getting 10F. This is despite Eight Bells' runner up finish in the Derby and Dunkirk's similar finish in the Belmont.

Can the winner of the Whitney who was sired by Unbridleds Song win the 10F Breeder Cup Classic on the speed favoring Santa Anita Speed Way?

06 Aug 2013 8:51 AM

That is what I thought about you,

RANAG which is  " all talk '.

DO NOT worry about my financial,

I sure can afford some.

You know you and another couple of the nonsenses that chase some good

blogger like Footprint, and few others away, and they knows about horse racing thousand times more than you do.

STOP try to impress anybody in here

NO ONE pay to much attention to you

I am sorry for myself to even get draws in to this conversation,

From now on I just let Mary Z.

deal with you. I am done talking.

The breeders'cup classic still 3 mo

away, but if you still think either

Wise Dan or Verazano can even be enter against Game on Dude,

my offer still be good then.

06 Aug 2013 9:13 AM


Below are few media statements that were published after the 2007 Haskell:

Todd Pletcher already has the top 3-year-old filly in Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches. Now the trainer has one of the leading 3-year-old colts in his barn with Any Given Saturday

WinStar Farm and Padua Stables' ANY GIVEN SATURDAY wasn't able to make an impact in the Run for the Roses, but the Todd Pletcher trainee dismissed Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Hard Spun and Preakness S. (G1) winner Curlin) in Sunday's $1M Haskell Invitational.


"Using Curlin and Hard Spun, the Preakness winner and the Derby second, as how you judge the three-year-olds, he beat them convincingly today," Pletcher said. "Obviously, he's as good as any three-year-old in this crop."

"The way he ran today, the Breeders' Cup Classic is our goal,"

Well, Verrazano and Any Given Saturday appear to have some similarities. Both contested Tampa Bay Derby, Wood, Derby and Haskell.

Any Given Saturday was beaten a NS in a NTR (1:43.11) in the Tama Bay Derby. He finished 3rd in the Wood in a time of 1:49.56 and 8th in the Derby run in 2:02.17. He then destroyed the Haskell field in a time of 1:48.35. He won his next race contested at 9F in 1:48.31. He was an also ran in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Verrazano won the Tama Bay Derby (1:43.96). He won the Wood in a time of 1:50.27 and finished 14th in the Derby run in 2:02.89. He then destroyed the Haskell field in a time of 1:50.68. BCC finish pending.

AGS recoded two 1:48 for 9F. He finished a NS second in a track record in the Tampa Bay Derby. He was much faster than Verrazano and was an also ran in the BCC.

Different track conditions and different year. Well, same high octane trainer. Be very careful!

06 Aug 2013 12:35 PM


Unless you've just come to these blogs as a newby you should know the my talk is not whimsical or flipant ...I post well thought out opinions on here my friend.  It is imbicilic to think that offering a wager on your pronouncement gives weight to what you say.  Much of my comments over the years about HOTY candidates and Eclipse are on record as being mostly accurate ...no one ever gets it all right all the time. As recent as last year, my early forcast of Wise Dan as HOTY happened exactly as I posted. After seeing him explode on boggy turf in the Fourstardave last year, I predicted that he would keep winning for the rest of the year and cop the HOTY title ...so said, so done.

By the way, you're wrong about me chasing away Footlick (you didn't even get her moniker right - calling her Footprint). Footlick and I had very cordial exchanges and I have a lot of respect for Footlick's opinion on turf racing, especially on the European front, so check your facts buddy.  Also, I'm quite fond of Mary Zinke's posts and have never had a problem. We don't always have to agree to respect a different viewpoint.  I don't mind exchanging views with you but I reject your notion that my "talk" is light simply because I refuse to accept your wager.

Sorry my friend, Game on Dude hasn't got a prayer in the 2013 HOTY contest ... don't mean to offend, just my well considered opinion. Peace.

06 Aug 2013 2:07 PM


I understand your attempt to berate Verrazano's talent by comparing him with Any Given Saturday but I think that his campaign is looking more like Holy Bull's. The latter was undefeated in his first four races similar to Verrazano (except that the 'Bull' ran as a 2YO) then finished a lacklustre 12th in the Kentucky Derby on a sloppy track, not unlike Verrazano's Derby performance. Holy Bull sat out both the Preakness and Belmont to returned refreshed for a breathtaking six-race post-derby winning streak in which he copped both the Haskel and Travers, defeated the cream of the older horses and was crowned HOTY. I'd say that after his two impressive post Derby races, Verrazano has that "Holy Bullesque" aura. Think again buddy.  

06 Aug 2013 3:37 PM

Having fun in the tropics.

I thought someone else would ask - what are the "prodigies" of certain stallions?

Just goes to show how little attention is paid to some entries.

06 Aug 2013 4:25 PM
Mary Zinke

Isn't Footlick a guy? Also, is Footlick footy who used to type in all lowercase, no punctuation, at ntra.com?

And, no I can't just be sic'd on people, lol.  Differing opinion is one thing. I'm not all that into taking sides. I just like to be right, ha,ha.

KY, you know I'm going to forgive you for the recent wild goose chase misdirection so no need to be afraid to appear. Missing the daily ten.

06 Aug 2013 7:48 PM
Mary Zinke

And where's Jay Jay?  Probably won a few more high-fives by now.

06 Aug 2013 7:51 PM

no mizdirection.....the races didnt go......yet......sat. maybe or sun........both i think....can you bein the winners circle at sr  this weekend?

06 Aug 2013 9:48 PM

Footlick , Jay Jay

Please come back, I really enjoy

read you guy comments and opinions

even I do not blog at all but i've

been read these conversation since

That's handicap show with Tom and Jason, Please come back.

Slew please write more comments

and opinions, I enjoy you too.

06 Aug 2013 9:53 PM


You must love reading my posts as they provide you with an opportunity to identify spelling errors and wrong words.

The word should have actually been "Progenies"

Many thanks for highlighting the error. I know I can always count on you to point out what should have been captured with a little editing.

NB: You should not forget that I am a dish washer and not a legal scholar.

06 Aug 2013 10:38 PM


"I understand your attempt to berate Verrazano's talent by comparing him with Any Given Saturday"

My knowledgeable colleague the above conclusion baffles the mind.

I compared Verrazano with a colt that was defeated by a NS in a track record; recorded 1:48 and a bit for 9F twice; defeated the Derby runner up and Preakness winner in convincing fashion and you regard the comparison as berating.  

The Haskell won by Holy Bull had a grand total of 4 starters. None of his three opponents were either 2nd in the Derby or 1st in the Preakness.

In terms of times, It appears Holy Bull was much faster than Verrazano pre and post Derby.

06 Aug 2013 10:55 PM
Mary Zinke

Sure, KY, if you send for me, and have dinner sent here for my family. I cook between the feature and the finale or else there's a mutiny. Let me know.

07 Aug 2013 1:24 AM
Pedigree Ann

Holy Bull came from an era when horses ran more often and stayed sounder. By this time of the year, he had won the Hutcheson (G2), Florida Derby (G1), Blue Grass (G2), the Met Mile (over his elders) (G1), Dwyer (G2), and a Haskell (G1).

Verrazano's accomplishments do not compare; the only things they have in common are the Haskell win and Derby loss.  

07 Aug 2013 9:22 AM

Hey Signal,

Jay jay is my blog buddy too - the only fight we've ever really had was over the pedigree and stamina of multiple Grade 1 winner Union Rags. He called Union Rags a miler and I took a lot of care in explainng that Union Rags' pedigree was loaded with stamina through the pervasive presence of the great stallion Hyperion in both sire and dam side. I predicted that Union Rags would win the Belmont stakes and he did, with my good friend jay jay still in denial about his stamina.

Let me make it clear that I hold no grudge but I'll expose folly if the issue interests me enough.

The only horse that can stay within his comfort zone and win the HOTY title is the defending HOTY, Wise Dan. Just think again.

07 Aug 2013 9:35 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Wednesday Saratoga

R6) Two horses exit a common race from July 24 - a day we deemed to be Severely Closer Biased.  The 2 Blue Ballerina (7/2) gets the 'Quick to Zip' upgrade while the 7 My Cousin Vinny (12-1) gets the 'vs Zip' upgrade.  Win bet on the 7 and an exacta box with the serial runner-up.

07 Aug 2013 12:36 PM

Pedigree Ann,

You posted "Verrazano's accomplishments do not compare; the only things they have in common are the Haskell win and Derby loss."  

I say you're wrong. You ignored my observation that both were undefeated in their first four races, also that both display that extra touch of class characteristic of special ones. The derby loss comparison has more than just the loss similarity ...both apparently did not relish the slop ...in the case of Verrazano, the Travers will prove contrary to what many observers think that it was the 10 Furlongs that got him ...I say no more so than it did Belmont winner Palace Malice ...it was the combination of sloppy going and crazy pace up front moreso than stamina limitation.

Holy Bull had 2YO foundation whereas Verrazano has been playing catch up as a 3YO ...take that into consideration. We'll see.

07 Aug 2013 1:29 PM


Do you seriously believe that Wise Dan will be voted HOY if Orb wins the Breeder Cup Classic?

The Derby and BCC are the two biggest races in the US.

Zenyatta did not leave her comfort zone in 2008 and contested the Ladies Classic which she expectedly won. This was not sufficient to land her the HOY title.

Curlin left his comfort zone (Dirt) and finished a beaten 4th on synthetic. He won the HOY title.

There will be several candidates for HOY after the Breeder Cup. WD is expected to be one of them but not the favorite.

07 Aug 2013 1:53 PM

mary.....both run sat.....fun day i hope...

07 Aug 2013 3:30 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Wednesday Saratoga

R8) 5 Terminus exits useful prep behind the forwardly placed winner of a Speed favoring race.  Turn back,  the return to dirt, and a touch of Flow can have this one finishing fast.

07 Aug 2013 4:33 PM

I was very focused on the recently concluded Saratoga Select Yearling Sale. I was hoping to see even one yearling sired by Invasor. Sadly I waited in vain.

Invasor won the 2005 TC in Uruguay.  He also won the 2006 Breeders' Cup Classic and the 2007 Dubai World Cup. His racing record reflects one defeat in 12 starts with career earnings of $7.8M. He was voted American Horse of the Year and rated as one of the top horses in the world in 2006.

He was undefeated in six G1 starts in the US. He contested four 10F races and won all. The Dubai WC and Pimlico Special he won were contested at 9.5F, the distance of the Preakness. He won the Gran Premio Nacional-Uruguayan Derby contested at to 12.5F. A distance that exceeds the Belmont. His record of distances won spans the US Triple Crown.

The recently concluded TC saw many of the participants in each leg stumbling home like drunken sailors grasping for air. None were sired by Invasor.

In 2011 Invasor bred only 38 mares in 2011. If ever there was a horse that deserves a chance at stud it has to be Invasor. There are not many stallions standing in the US that has either his record or heart. Is there any reason why breeders are not supporting this stallion?

07 Aug 2013 4:33 PM
Little Bill

The 9th at Sara may offer some value with Ravalo and Quality Council.

07 Aug 2013 5:18 PM
Little Bill

Wrong again. I'll get one right before the end of the meet. Lower expectations.

07 Aug 2013 5:25 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Fugue -

What's a shooter to do ?

I got everything I hoped for with Terminus - Flow and stupid big odds. Unfortunate racing luck slapped me down this time.

07 Aug 2013 5:45 PM
Mary Zinke

Gotta cheer for Stop Smiling in the Sorrento, r7 at Del Mar today. 5,4,2,3.

XX, nice name.  

07 Aug 2013 7:11 PM


Lets take a break from discussing Verrazano because the more we do, folks attribute our focus to yours truly hyping the colt, while all I'm doing is defending my estimation of the horse's talent against your attempts to minaturize him.

Mary Zinke,

Footlick is a lady ...I too wish for her to revisit us on here an tell us if Dawn Approach and Moonlight Cloud are coming for the Breeder's Cup mile to face off with the reigning HOTY Wise Dan.

07 Aug 2013 7:42 PM

do i give the winningest jockey in history instructions?

07 Aug 2013 9:13 PM

3/5 and 3/5........

07 Aug 2013 9:15 PM
Mary Zinke

I wouldn't.

07 Aug 2013 10:20 PM
Mary Zinke

Okay, so the footy I've been missing, though not desperately or anything, was an extremely amusing, although hard for most to understand because HE(could not have been a female)typed in all lowercase, run-on sentences, no punctuation, comments sprinkled quite liberally with profanity, but always in, I know hard to believe, but a kind way, and he was on either very late night or early morning depending on your time zone. Worked at someone's barn. Gave his opinions in a non-politically correct way. Seemed bemused by the antics of some horsemen or bloggers, or sometimes, such as with trainers' drug violations, alternately ticked off, when need be.

07 Aug 2013 10:46 PM


What is required is keeping it real.

08 Aug 2013 7:50 AM


Before you post a correction kindly substitute the grasping with gasping in my post regarding Invasor.

08 Aug 2013 8:19 AM

Kindly substitute the verb grasping with gasping in my post regarding Invasor.

08 Aug 2013 8:23 AM
Pedigree Ann

Coldfacts -

The cold facts of the matter is that US commercial breeders are scared to go against the grain in stallion selection. They would rather send their best mares to the more familiarly-bred decent horse than to a truly brilliant 'foreigner' with an unfamiliar pedigree.

It takes a major farm putting it resources behind the horse, as Claiborne was behind Forli, for him to have half a chance to get the better mares. Make no mistake - only the very rare stallion can make an impact without good mares.

08 Aug 2013 9:16 AM
Rusty Weisner

Open question:  Will there ever be a good occasion to bet against Wise Dan?  I tried once on the soggy turf on Derby Day and won't do it again.

I'm avoiding him this Saturday and will play the P3 that ends with the race preceding his.

Longshot: R7 Do I Amuse You

08 Aug 2013 12:53 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -

What do you like about that one ?  

08 Aug 2013 2:48 PM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

Besides being used up on a very fast pace (22.00,45.31 -- compares with the shorter Prioress) he was 50-1 and will maybe get better odds than the 12-1 ML. I think he gets even better odds because three of the horses that closed from far back and finished in front of him are coming back against him here.  That one I bet last time, Soul House, will be the heavy favorite (7/5 ML), especially as he finished second with the excuse of "dropping back off heels", but still, the race set up for him and he couldn't win it; same for the other two.  

I'm going to guess you'd upgrade him as well of the winner of that race, Crackerjack Jones, who was classier than this group.

08 Aug 2013 3:45 PM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -

* The July 20th race came back 'neutral' for us.  A modestly speed favoring Flow was offset by a track the was playing kind to off the pace types. The net result is essentially a wash.  

* The 6.5f distance at Saratoga in general yields slightly faster 1st and 2nd quarter splits than does the 6f distance.  The 6f marker at the longer 6.5f distance is reached ~.7 seconds faster than the wire is reached going 6f.

* That said,  nothing to gain by over analyzing a 12-1 ML horse that you like that has that many small numbers (speed points if you will) in it's last three races in an event that appears wanting for early pace.

Good luck.

08 Aug 2013 4:43 PM

Delmar: Race #3 W/p #3,#6

08 Aug 2013 5:57 PM

Delmar: Late pick 4

Race 5 #'s 1,5,6,7

Race 6 #'s 2,3,4

Race 7 #'s 3,4,5,6

Race 8 #'s 1,5,11

08 Aug 2013 7:08 PM
Rusty Weisner

Plod Boy Phil,

Thanks, particularly with that note about timings.  As we've seen a few times lately, it's always worth being skeptical about a time that looks too fast (or too slow).

Hey, be fair, though:  I wouldn't have "overanalyzed" it if you hadn't asked me.  To me the initial appeal was an angle I quickly spotted, one you would endorse:  a lot of horses coming out of the same race and running back at the same class -- when I see that I'm looking for a legitimate reason to back the one the others beat because the odds will often soar out of whack.

That all said, the horse is likely to do what he always does: get the lead and quit.

09 Aug 2013 9:16 AM
Plod Boy Phil

Rusty -

Poor choice of words on my part with 'over analyze'.  That comment was directed at me, not you.  I asked to inspire a bit of handicapping dialogue - well done.

Yes,  the 'tandem' rule is a simple angle that will produce robust overlays often enough to take notice.

09 Aug 2013 9:38 AM
Rusty Weisner

Unrelated open question:

Anybody play rolling P3s?  I like the P4 but have noticed the P3 makes a pretty good hedge.  Even chalky P3's pay well -- for example, there were three of them at Saratoga Saturday that paid an average of about $40-1, while one with two second-favorites and a 23-1 paid $700-1.  If you'd have played only the top two favorites in $8 P3s all that day you would have doubled your money.

I am thinking of trying some rolling P3 strategy when I play the Breeder's Cup.  The average payout on a $1 P3 ticket in 2010-2012 has been, respectively: $842, $4960, $614.  I remember "hitting" P3s in 2010, having a mouth full of chalk holding a bunch of worthless tickets and wanting to cry, then being surprised by Big Uncle Mo/Goldikova P3s that actually paid $62-1 and Big Drama/Uncle Mo tickets that paid $140-1.

I just know there's a foolproof betting strategy on this, doggone it.  

09 Aug 2013 10:01 AM
Rusty Weisner

I mention it because I played a P3 Saturday at Saratoga on a lark while waiting for the WV Derby, made a bad, cowardly bet and still came out a few dollars ahead.  I liked the winner of R6 a lot, Gimme Credit, who was the 7/2 second-favorite despite proven class, and was willing to go with the even-money favorite in the 2-yo race, Dunkin Bend, while I took ALL seven in the last leg.  Those winners and the 2-1 favorite in the last leg paid $40-1.  Like I said, instead of betting the $7 on the ones I liked I ended up taking the top two favorites in the first two legs and bet $28:  the sign of a losing streak, spreading wide to catch a ticket and, worse, taking chalk I didn't even like.  The second favorite in the second leg was a particularly bad bet: a Pletcher 2-yo who didn't go off at better than even money (he was 2-1 after starting 3-1 on the board).

09 Aug 2013 10:12 AM
Pedigree Ann

Rusty -

My stupidest P3 bet was the opposite sort. It was the BC in Texas, in which I singled Islington in the FM Turf (who did not?) In the Mile I had 3, including Singletary, whom I had followed since I won $60+ on his debut win. Then in the Juvie, I went NEARLY all - I figured those foreign-raced horses weren't going to beat this lot on dirt, so I omitted those 2. WRONG. Wilco beat Alex and I had zilch instead of a truly lovely payout.

Moral - always go ALL if you are including over 2/3 of the field on the ticket. If it is that wide open...,

09 Aug 2013 11:33 AM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

I've gotten over the shame of pressing ALL.  I learned that from Dakota Phone in what would have been a nice P4 where I liked both Dangerous Midge and Blame (still very narrowly won that day because of the aforementioned chalk, but the chalk upset me because I had singled $144 on Big Drama and got lucky with him and didn't wind up with much).

By the way, it was Wilko, though I wasn't playing the BC those years.

09 Aug 2013 11:56 AM
Rusty Weisner

Pedigree Ann,

What a funny coincidence.  Islington was actually at SA in 2003.  Islington was the biggest bet I've ever made in my life, $500 -- singled her in a huge P4 ticket and got knocked out when I didn't hit "ALL" in the Juvenile, won by Action This Day.  It put me off racing for a little while and I didn't play the Breeder's Cup for a long time after that.

09 Aug 2013 12:10 PM
Rusty Weisner

I'd forgotten the name of that horse.  I thought it was Banks Hill I'd bet.

09 Aug 2013 12:12 PM

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