Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Nomination is In: April 25, 2009; The Withers GIII and The Derby Trial GIII

With most race fans getting Derby fever, Keeneland closing, Churchill Downs opening, there is quite a bit to get excited about. The Turk prefers to get excited by honing his handicapping mind on some horses this week that at one time were considered Triple Crown Nominees, some of which could emerge in the shorter Preakness, but will most definitely not be racing for the roses. The first race is a 4:50 ET post at Aqueduct, The Withers Grade III. For the sharp eyed amongst you, that handsome grey is Ontario bred, hero of Fort Erie and the 2008 Prince of Wales Stakes and Withers Champion Harlem Rocker, with Coa Up.

Race 9 AQU: The Withers GIII; 1 Mile on Dirt for 3 YOs

This Ones for Phil will go to the post a huge favorite, with odds pushed to 3-2 or worse. With a 7 horse field as of right now, if this race is worth betting it will take the heavy chalk finishing no better then 2nd. I'm going to key my hopes on Mr. Fantasy and then look for value adders like Everyday Heroes, most likely going to post >12-1, and Gone Astray, most likely a >7-1 starter, to fill in some spots on my tickets. That's my strategy after one cup of coffee and I'm sticking to it. As always, watch the tote and work your handicap.

The next race I'm noodling with is at Churchill Downs, The Derby Trials Grade III. This race which goes to post at 5:17 ET, features Turk Favorite Silver City. Another handsome gr/ro. is last year's winner Macho Again, with Leparoux up, today's Silver City rider.

Race 10 CD: The Derby Trials Grade III; 7 1/2 furlongs on KY Dirt(!) for 3 YOs.

I like Silver City, especially after being freshened up and given more realistic expectations. This is an opposite situation then the Withers where I will be betting against the chalk. Here I will look to supplement an expected chalk with others in some low cost, OK reward prospects. Instead of hunting for 20 dollar exactas today I may try to swing for the fences with some straight Tri's and Super's and have some fun. I like Hull's work and Santana Six is interesting to me as well. The rest of the field is sorta ho-hum. Ho-Hum can be a bettors best friend as it creates unexpected results.

Enjoy. It's 70 degrees in Buffalo, Turk is Out!

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