The Turk has a few axioms he lives by as a handicappper. Most of these handicapping rules I stole from other people, men like Brad Free and Andrew Beyer, but that's neither here nor there and luckily personal integrity isn't mandatory to bet the ponies.
The most important thing we do when picking horse races is identifying what horses have a chance to win and which ones don't. I love to state the obvious. Picking potential winners out of a field of twenty or less is where it all begins. The sexy handicapping thing is to talk about exotic plays with matrix charts and wheels. I'll save sexy for other people and I'll stick with simply trying to identify who I think will win, who I think has a chance to win, and who doesn't have a chance in a one horse match race.
In the races I handicapped yesterday, I identified three of the top four horses in each race. Of course I'd prefer four for four, and I strive for that type of perfection, but it is what it is. What we do with the information of who may win is where sexy comes into play. Turk won't be bringing sexy back anytime soon.
In Race 4 at GP, The Spectacular Bid, a 6f shindig on dirt for 3 YOs.
Notonthesamepage had been beaten soundly by some of the best 2 YO's in fall racing, taking on Vineyard Haven, Cribnote, Munnings, Square Eddie and Pioneer of the Nile. He drilled 4f and 5f works since early December and the reduction in distance powered him to an impressive win by 8 1/4 lengths. I missed with Jazzandthemagician, and I never saw Bee Cee Cee, nor did the bettors.
In Race 8 at Aqueduct, The Count Fleet, 1 mile and 70 Yards on NYS dirt, the result was not surprising to anyone. Haynesfield winning by 3 1/2 lengths over a slim 5 horse field propels himself squarely onto my Derby watch. I was disappointed with Pitched Perfectly and Aswaaq, and hopefully they will be on a track again within 4-5 weeks.
And at Santa Anita Park, The Great Race Place, Race 8, The Monrovia Handicap G3, About 6 1/2f on the downhill Turf Course, for Fillies and Mares 4 YO and up.
Jibboom was my only A plus horse, my chalk, going into the race. I liked his works of 4f and 5f going into the race. I was happy with the odds up on the board and cashed $5.40 on the win. I liked Society Hostess, but she never really fired. I never saw Christina's Heat and I had her lumped in as a B minus, top 8 horse. Good for her. Looking at her in hindsight, she's a steady girl, and she gave her usual steady effort yesterday. I'm going to watch her and see where she's entered next.
It was a fun first weekend of the new year.