Sunday, February 22, 2009

Post Race Analysis for Raceday February 21, 2009

Aqueduct Race 3: The Rare Treat 65K, 1 1/8 on inner dirt, for F&M 3 YO and up.

It was hard not to like the chalk, Weathered, and she didn't disappoint, leading from first call on. She won by 7 1/4 lengths and earned a big 45 cents on the dollar.

After Successful Sarah raced the day before, I slid Bourbon Maid up, and while having a good race, was no match for Aristo. Point Me To It finished as predicted fourth.

The Turk each week talks about what his bag is; Grading and ordering the field of finish from Past Performance and Trip Handicapping. Bet strategy is always secondary.

I mentioned Aristo in my prerace writeup as the only speed beside Weathered. Looking at the handicap in hindsight, I really missed on Aristo: She was coming off a win, had worked sharply, and was a 50% winner on the inner track. The six year old Mare had better current form then I credited her with.

While I didn't have a bet down, I would have lost because Aristo would not have been in my top four, as Rap Tale was rated by me still ahead of Aristo.

Aristo was the 5th favorite betting choice in a six horse field. If you had Aristo finishing for Place, good job!

Race 7 at Turf Paradise, The Turf Paradise Derby 100k, 1 1/16 miles on dirt for 3 YOs.

Ye' old Turk had a pretty good read on this race as well, but this wasn't geniuses 'capping, just a field with a stratification gradient between classy Grade III and II potential and Allowance and Claimers.

The chalk, Mayor Marv, seemed completely unbeatable by this field to me, and he was. I credit Baffert for finding a dirt race for his Derby contender while at the same time collecting perhaps the easiest $100,000 this horse will ever earn. Hidden Bounty, who I expected to challenge for Show, was clearly the second best horse in this race. In my pre race line-up, I graded both Hidden Bounty and Pauper's Prince as A- horses, and when I grade even it's a toss up that leads me to a boxing bet situation. While I didn't bet on this race, I would have lost as I completely discounted Just Jebicah, who finished third.

Pre-race I said I thought Pauper's Prince, while a Triple Crown nominee, was vulnerable. All the horses here except Mayor Marv were stretching significantly in distance, and that creates chaos at the top of the stretch usually. At the 3/4 call, Pauper's Prince was in third, and in the stretch, the field reordered as expected.

I had three of the four for a boxed superfecta, but really it would have been more guessing the handicapping, so the conservative bettor in me passed.

Next week presents a much more exciting collection of Derby Prep's to preview. The Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park and The Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita will be very good races.

The Turk has already made his plans to attend Santa Anita on Santa Anita Derby day April 4th. I'd love to meet as many folks as I can that day, so drop me a line.

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