The Turk didn't have any expectations with the Dubai races except to enjoy the races themselves as well as gain experience handicapping foreign horses with scant information on the PPs. The Florida Derby on the other hand, I had high expectations to not only handicap well, but to possibly find a betting situation that would result in a big payout. Well one out of two ain't bad.
Race 10 GulfStream Park: The Florida Derby Grade I; 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3 YOs.
With two scratches, the field got a bit too small, and the money a bit too big on what the betting public sensed were the only three horses worthy of betting. They were right, but as a bettor, you're not happy when everyone else has the same opinion as you. The Trifecta paid $6.00. I did some quick math a few minutes before post and thought the Trifecta would be no more the $10.00, and with a minimum payout expectation threshold of $30.00 that I shoot for, I passed. I had two bets ready to go, and one of them was the straight trifecta, but again, a bettor like me who likes to eeck out good returns on small risk just didn't see the point.
But I'm ahead of myself. The race itself was semi-dramatic for about a furlong. Quality Road hit the stretch and the only one ready to meet him was Dunkirk. The two fine colts, the best two colts in this race, traded the for several hops before Quality Road dug in gamely and won by a length and a quarter. A solid handicapper that I know suggested to me prerace that Theregoesjojo's trainer had the horse leave something in the tank during the running of the Fountain of Youth. While I do think the horse came out of that race fresh, I also think the reality is Theregoesjojo is a quality Grade III winner, an threat for Grade II wins, and not a true Grade I horse. I'll get hate mail, but that's the way I see it. The 401 Triple Crown nominees are down to about 10 real Grade I studs and a group of 30 or so Grade II's and then some serious parity competing for Allowance Races and Grade III's. No crime in being what you are, Class comes not from what was paid for the animal, but what level the horse can consistantly be competitive at.
A solid, solid win that propels Quality Road to the top of my Derby favorites and I only hope that Trainer Jerkens finds a way to keep him sharp, but I don't think I need to worry about the horse knowledge in that man's DNA.
I feel like I want the hours of my life back handicapping Dubai. I was pretty unsucessful with the races I blogged, and I did OK with some other races on the card, but blogger ethics prevent me from bragging about races I don't previously announce my intentions with. I've got the video, including a great Japanese race call of the Dubai Duty Free. The video on both race shows a rather non compelling result, not to take anything away from either winner. I was very impressed by Well Armed. I've always liked him, but perhaps never enough to pick him over his contempories like the late Go Between.
Nad Al Sheba: The Dubai Duty Free Grade I; 1 1/8 miles on Turf for 4 YO and Up.
Nad Al Sheba: The Dubai World Cup Grade I; 1 1/4 miles on dirt for 4 YO and Up.