Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Nomination Is In: The Preakness Stakes Grade I at Pimlico Racetrack
The Turk enjoys his work. For two weeks now I've been studying the past performances and video on today's contenders. It's a ritual I perform on almost all graded stakes races. The Turk likes to get a bit preachy about consistancy as a handicapper and I'm not wavering from that position. I saw lots of pictures after the Derby of people with the eight horse on win tickets. Great, enjoy your money, I wish I had one, but I didn't. Over the long haul, handicapping horses based on what the past performances reveal, what the morning work reveals, and what your eyes tell you when looking at past trips will bring you results. You have to have thick skin as a handicapper who publishes his picks as you don't get the luxury of recanting after the last hoof crosses the line. These Triple Crown races are hard races to predict, as the quality of the horses is top shelf and for the most part only intangibles seperate the best from the rest. If they weren't so darn complelling I'd only watch, but I'm OK with screwing up the winning results for days like today!
I do like my work. I can't tell you right now where the 3 YO Class of 2009 ranks compared to previous years. If I had to say now, I'd say mediocre. It's not a critism of the horses, more a reaction to so many good horses who fell off the Derby trail and the parity that was left behind. But then again, Mine That Bird pumped real interest into the proceedings and Rachel Alexandra has a chance today to blow the roof off of public interest. These are good things for horse racing, and horse racing can use some new fans.
Race 12 Pimlico: The Preakness Stakes Grade I; 1 3/16 miles on Maryland dirt for 3 YOs.
I'm working up my bet strategy right now, but I have a pool of horses, 8 out of the 13 starters, that I think could be in the top four. I'll narrow it down a bit and then start to fashion some logical exacta and trifecta bets. I like Musket Man and placed him in my top spot, but the reality is I might have put four different horses in the Win spot over the past two days. I'm going to listen to the handicapping rules I've learned the old fashioned way and work my handicap.
The Little Turk is feelin' General Quarters and Mrs. Turk digs Rachel Alexandra. This handicapper doesn't mind spending long hours only to lose to people who pick a number or name, I'm just glad to get to spend time around the animals I love.