Monday, June 29, 2009

The Nomination Is In: July 1, 2009: The Dominion Day Handicap Grade III at Woodbine

The Cindy Pierson Dulay photo to the left is Ice Bear with the lovely Chantal Sutherland up. Ice Bear is The Turk's chalk in Wednesday's Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine. To the uninformed, July 1st is a holiday in Canada, as they celebrate their independence from England (and announce their dependence on Tim Horton's coffee).

The installed morning line favorite is Vacation. The 4 YO Dynaformer colt is a good runner, coming off a Grade III win at 1 Mile at Arlington in late May and has been training very sharply at Belmont since. I don't think this colt will go to the starting post as the favorite, but we'll see.

Race 8 WO Post Time 4:29 ET: The Dominion Day Handicap Grade III; 1 1/4 on Fake Dirt for 3 YO and Up.

I'm leaning towards regular Woodbine runners in this race. Ice Bear is 6 of 11 in the money at Woodbine and is a Grade III winner. Trainer Benson's and Ms. Sutherland have combined to win 64% of their 11 races together.

I like Marchfield to Place. He's placed behind Ice Bear twice before and beat him once. He has a PP filled with deep closing and he's 9 of 10 races in the money at Woodbine and regular rider Husbands up.

For now I'm inserting Approval Rating in the Show position. Trainer Jordan wins 43% of his races on fake dirt and when combined with Jock Mcaleney they win 45% of the time, based on a staggering 93 races together and the 5 YO son of Lemon Drop Kid is 6 of 6 in the money at Woodbine.

Where does Vacation fit in? Short answer is I dunno yet. I'm not a fan of boxing unnecessarily, but Vacation could finish anywhere on the board. I don't like his 3 wins in 19 starts or the fact it's his first WO start, but I like J. Velazquez up, I like the string of 90+ BSF he is posting and I think he hasn't run his best race yet.

Equitable is making his second start off a long layoff. I like the A.P. Indy colt who put up a 5f in :59 2/5ths a week ago. He's most likely my 5th and last horse I'll insert into any of my Tri's. Super's are being taken for this race as well.

I don't generally handicap this far in advance so I will update as we get closer.

There is some great writing going on at the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance. Check out the new homepage and you'll find some of the best voices from the new and old media talking up the horse game from every different angle. The Foolish Pleasure should be a must read for all fans of the game.

Have fun. Turk out!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Post Race Analysis for Race Day June 27, 2009; The King Edward Grade II at WO

A good race for the race fan in me. Pre-Race, I lamented the difference between being a race fan and a bettor. It's as big a gulf as the difference between handicapper and bettor, perhaps with more passion.

I'm a fan of Rahy's Attorney. He thrilled me with his Woodbine Mile win last year. I backed him in the Connaught Cup and he came up a bit short. Even yesterday I wasn't sure his current form was better then his challengers, so I backed Sterwins. The calculating bettor in me went against him and I fought the race fan in me who wanted to back him. Duality and dichotomy have no real place in this game.

Before I get all misty eyed and weepy, remember The Turk isn't a an advocate of betting to feel good. I handicap many races I never bet. I love the mental challenge, but when I bet, I bet to win. Win means different things to different people. To the Turk it means betting small dollars (generally less then $15/race) and turning it into either the same amount or a slightly bigger amount. Positive cash flow. While being happy for Rahy's Attorney return with panache (a new course record at 1:44.73), I was positive cash as well.

Race 7 WO: The King Edward Grade II; 1 1/8 miles on Canadian Turf for 3 YO and Up.

Because of the small field and the amount of heavily bet favorites who I knew would be in the top three, I declined any boxed bets. Instead I fashioned Tri bets based on my base handicap with Sterwins/Rahy's Attorney and I had one ticket with Society's Chairman and one with Baletti. Those went bust.

Round two I flipped Rahy's/Sterwins and placed Society's Chairman and Balletti on separate tickets for Show. That was the winner, and my $8 wagered returned $39.90.

I'm not really sure why the betting public liked Baletti so much. He ran a nice Allowance race recently with a 101 BSF, but betting him down that low against Grade II warriors like Sterwins and Rahy's Attorney wasn't reasonable.

The Bison City $250,000 is today at WO at 3:27 ET. It's 1 1/16 on fake dirt for Canadian foaled 3 YO fillies. We'll be back for that I reckon.

Turk Out!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Nomination Is In: June 27, 2009: The King Edward Handicap Grade II at WO

Deja Vu. Flash forward from May 24th and the top combatants are back at it again from the Connaught Cup Grade III at WO, run at 1 1/16 on Turf. Today's Grade II King Edward, run at 1 1/8 on Turf I reckon will have the same results. Before I go to far, in case you didn't see the news yet either, Terrain did pass away last night after he was injured in the Iowa Derby. He was my chalk in last night's affair and I never like to see that happen.

That fine looking colt pictured is Sterwins, winner of the before mentioned Connaught Cup.

Race 7 WO Post Time 4:01 ET: The King Edward Grade II; 1 1/8 on Turf for 3 YO and Up.

I'm semi-tempted to flip Sterwins and Rahy's Attorney but I can't make a strong enough argument that Turk favorite Rahy's Attorney is in better current form. It is his second race back after a long layoff, and I do believe he is a better horse. It's tough to be a horse fan AND a serious bettor, as conflicts do arise. It's a three horse race in my mind, but Baletiiis interesting and could upset the exotic cart.

Again, my sympathy to Terrain, trainer Stall and her owners.

Rest in Peace Terrain

Injured and euthanized after the Iowa Derby, Rest in Peace Terrain.

Post Race Analysis for June 26, 2009: The Iowa Derby

As the Turk likes to tell his readers, sometimes you just have to let certain races go. The Iowa Derby is one of those races. I'll add video when I can find it, but it appears from the chart that the speed went to the front. As I said pre race, Soul Warrior and Red Lead were the pace. The problem was the horses I predicted to come off the pace just never did. Terrain was vanned off and I hope to find some news on him soon. We will take the no news is good news approach. Just an ugly looking race chart. Shake the prairie dust from your sandals, as there are other race tracks to handicap today. the Turk will be back later to handicap The Grade II King Edward from Woodbine and possibly return to Prairie Meadows for the Cornhusker Handicap, an 11:17 ET affair. The Acorn and the Vanity don't really interest me as a handicapper, but I will be watching as a race fan.

Until Later, Turk Out!

Race 9 PM: The Iowa Derby: 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt for 3 YOs

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Nomination Is In: June 26, 2009: The Iowa Derby $250,000

That fine looking animal is none other then Tiz Now, winner of the 2008 Iowa Derby. I've never handicapped Prairie Meadows so this is fun and games for me, but I'm betting my base handicap and a bunch of 10 cent supers and we'll see if we can't start the weekend off on a good note. The picture was taken by Coady Photography.

There is a 30% chance of rain tonight at Prairie Meadows. If you're concerned about the surface go to Weather DOT Com for the local update and avoid the Prairie Meadows pathetic casino-track website which offers almost no useful information.

Race 9 Prairie Meadows Post Time 11:17 ET: The Iowa Derby $250,000; 1 1/16 miles on prairie soil for 3 YOs.

This is an interesting field. I would peg the median BSF of the horses in this race around 85 and there is quite a bit of parity up and down the starting gate. Name recognition will lead many bettors to Uno Mas, but I'm not sure what to make of the Asmussen trainee. I'm putting him just outside of the top four, but he's a wild card as he has the class to be much better then his 0 for 6 in 2009 record.

I've liked Proceed Bee several times over the past few months. I also like Terrain. Terrain is clearly the best horse in this race and with a drop in competition, should be able to win this race. Both will come off the pace, most likely set by Red Lead and Soul Warrior.

Watch the tote and as always look for value. I don't have a strong opinion on my handicap but if forced to choose I'd say it has a mid level chance of being accurate. To me that's not good enough to wager any significant dollars. I will bet several 10 cent supers, and then no more the 10 dollars on straight tri and exacta bets. Have fun.

Turk Out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Post Race Analysis for June 21, 2009: The Queens Plate at WO

Friends, family and readers of the Turk know that when he hits a good handicap he likes to celebrate with a cigar, and currently his smoke of choice is an Opus X. The Turk, as always, would like to thank the lovely Dita for joining him in the celebration, and thanks to Mrs. Turk for not slapping him senseless! I digress.

Sunday's Queen Plate at Woodbine was a good moment in my handicapping. I had spent about 1 hour on the morning of the race pouring over the PPs looking for hints of current form. I intentionally tried to avoid reading any pre race hype, a Turk ritual, as it will cloud my thinking and I'll often start shading up horses with better pre-race buzz then the data will support.

Whatever buzz Milwaukee Appeal had, she deserved and her Past Performance backed up the hype. With a better trip I think she may have won this race. The horse I backed and liked was Mr. Foricos Two U, whose odds shortened steadily as the day went on.

The Turk hammered home a boxed Superfecta for his efforts. I credit the win to sticking to my principles of handicapping based on the PPs, trip analysis, J/T stats, current form combination of race and works, as well as class. I made a handicap and I worked my handicap. It's what I call a workmanlike bet. Thanks to the Appleton Turk for funding a portion of the bets placed this weekend. She's finally progressed from scratch ticket mama to Sport of Kings maven. I digress, again.

Race 9 WO: The Queens Plate Stakes: 1 1/4 miles on fake dirt for 3 YOs foaled in Canada.

The Daily Race Form Race Chart is here.

I placed a series of Superfecta straight bets with Milwaukee Appeal on top of all, and they all went bust. I had several straight Trifectas that I missed on. My boxed Super paid $344.20 and I bet $40 dollars total.

Good Stuff. Enjoy the race video, it was a great race as expected.

Turk Out!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Nomination Is In: June 21, 2009; The Queens Plate Stakes at Woodbine

That fine looking animal winning the 2008 Queens Plate is a Turk favorite, Not Bourbon, nipping Ginger Brew at the wire. Ginger Brew was sired by Milwaukee Brew, the sire of The Turk's chalk in today's race, Milwaukee Appeal. If you haven't paid attention to racing in Canada, you should, as the quality of the top horses compares very well with their American cousins. Photo courtesy of Terence Dulay.

Race 9 WO, Post Time 5:36 ET: The Queens Plate Stakes; 1 1/4 miles on fake dirt for 3 YOs foaled in Canada.

On two week's rest I'm going to back Milwaukee Appeal to win or place. The filly is 8 of 8 in the money on synthetics, with all efforts being exerted at WO. Eye of the Leopard is a classy A.P. Indy runner that much is expected of. His last effort out in the Plate Trial was a solid, gutty affair.

Rounding out the Super Ticket I'm looking for another filly, Tasty Temptation with WO jock Patrick Husbands up and a bit of a stretch with a Mike Smith guided Mr. Foricos Two U there as well.

the only alternatives I'll slide into the top four is El Brujo and Rapid Release.

Another soccer game day, but we'll give up horse racing now and then in the name of family. Happy Father's Day to all my friends, family and readers.

Turk Out!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Nomination Is In: June 20, 2009; The Black Tie Affair Stakes $100,000 at Arlington Park

Back to it after The Springfield with The Black Tie Affair. that fine looking horse to the left is the son of El Prado (Ire), Fort Prado. Fort Prado, 8 YO, was the Place horse a year ago in this race, losing to today's 5 horse, Gentleman Chester.

Race 10 AP Post Time 6:30 ET: The Black Tie Affair $100,000; 1 1/16 miles on Turf for 3 YO and Up (Illinois registered, conceived, foaled, blah blah blah)

My newly converted betting sugar momma, we'll call the Appleton Turk, has stopped playing scratch tickets and instead funding the Turk's streaky and inconsistent horse playing. With 20 bucks of the nice woman's (read: mean spirited drinker with a heart of gold) money, we will go superfecta hunting here.

I feel pretty good about a grouping of four horses (Snapphok, Gentleman Chester, Fort Prado and Rey Del Sol) making the tickets. I think I differ from the tote board rankings, at least I think I will, as I like Snapphok coming off to fine AP turf racing efforts to continue his roll and I think I'll favor Rey Del Sol a bit higher then most too. I don't know what Fort Prado has left, but I don't count him out and the son of a very respected turf sire, Chester House, Gentleman Chester is the defending champ and has been working very fast. That Calvin Borel fella is up on Gentleman Chester, so if you like chalk, he'll most likely deliver for y'all.

A wild card runner is Free Fighter, who's results are wildly all over the place and I like My Sonny Boy on AP Turf.

Happy Fathers day in advance to all my friends, family, and the various readers who stop into the Turk. I received my Fathers Day gift early today when Little Turk buried his first goal in a long time for his travel soccer team. He's a great little player, a scoring monster in house league, but a smart hard working role player at the elite travel level. Thank You Little Turk for making every day Fathers Day!

Turk Out!

The Nomination Is In: June 20, 2009; The Springfield Stakes $100,000 at Arlington Park

Another weekend, another soccer tournament for the Turk clan. This week, we played in the pouring rain which put a real damper on my handicapping and cigar smoking activities. No matter, we have to races left today at Arlington Park that interest me and I'm going to try and nail both if possible. The Turk, Mrs. Turk and Little Turk as well will be shuffling off to Chicago during the July 11th weekend to enjoy a day at the races and we'll be joined by a Turk and Mrs. Turk ex-classmate and her family. If you're a denizen of Arlington Park, and a Turk reader, let me know which race to swing by the paddock and meet you! Enough rambling...

Race 9 AP Post Time 5:58 ET: The Springfield Stakes $100,000: 1 Mile on fake dirt for 3 YOs Illinois Registered, Conceived and/or Foaled.

Meeting the restrictive entry conditions in any state breeder centric race and having an interesting field is always a challenge. For a shot at $100,000, you like to see a tad more speed going at each other, but at 6f this should be a competitive race based on parity.

Gambler's Reward will most likely be the post time chalk. The Block Trainee will have Jock Graham up. Coming of a 1 1/16 mile Turf win in late May. This is the class of the race as well, a $125,000 son of Smart Strike. He'll have to overcome his start spot but I think he's too good to not be top 4, and I expect top 2.

Agnostic and Ocean Ace start from the other end of the gate, 1 and 2 respectively. Agnostic comes into the race in blinkers for the first time. Ocean's Ace is coming off a turf race and owns the field best career high BSF of 83.

Where the pace will come from, I dunno exactly. The Real Chas will likely press the pace early and Where's Winston will want to come flying in much later, possibly finding the super tickets in the process. Oh yeah, Mr. Calvin Bo-Rail himself is up.

Watch the tote. I'm building a few exotic tickets and two exactas as well. 10 Cent Supers are a good choice when just having a go of it.

Enjoy. The Turk is off to 'cap race 10 now, the $000,000 Black Tie Affair on Turf.

Don't forget to check out the insightful and diverse writers of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance at our homepage.

Turk Out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rest in Peace Sailor's Cap

Grade 3 Poker Stakes Winner Sailor's Cap passed away suddenly Wednesday morning in his Belmont Park stall. Sailor's Cap had a fever on Tuesday and collapsed in his stall at trainer Jimmy Toner's barn Wednesday morning around 4:30 a.m.

Sailor's Cap, a son of Distant View, won four races from 10 starts and earned $616,970. As a 3 YO, he won the Colonial Turf Cup Grade III and was second in the American Turf Grade III at Churchill Downs.

Your humans will see you at the Rainbow Bridge. Rest in Peace

Monday, June 15, 2009

Post Race Analysis for Race Day June 13, 2009: The Stephen Foster Handicap Grade I at Churchill Downs

The Little Turk was campaigning for glory on the soccer field this past weekend. The chance to watch him run free up the wing gave the Big Turk a chance to decompress after handi-blogging nearly 100 races this calendar year. I had several races set aside this week to handicap, but after spending an hour or so on the Stephen Foster field, I could not find the focus to think of any other hoofbeats.

Resetting the pre-race buzz, I looked at this race as a chance for Einstein to once again prove to the racing world that he is the best older horse racing right now in North America. The Pitts trainee doesn't care about the surface at all, he just runs and wins. I also expected a big coming out party for Researcher and Finallymadeit.

The Turk often talks about the best bets being the ones you don't make. I couldn't settle on a bet strategy that I liked so I passed on betting at all. That proved to be a good move, as two horses I considered candidates for Show and the 4th spot on the Superfecta, Macho Again and Asiatic Boy, went right to the wire for the top two spots, while Einstein had a horrible trip and only his class allowed him to find Show.

Race 10 CD: The Stephen Foster Handicap Grade I: 1 1/8 miles on my ol' Kentucky home dirt for 3 YO and Up.

Watch the trips and tip your hat to the winner.

The race I wanted to handicap this weekend was The Californian at Hollywood Park. Congrats to the former claimer Informed, a horse I would not have picked. The best bets are sometimes the ones we can't make because jr. is playing soccer. Go Fire!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Nomination Is In: June 13, 2009: The Stephen Foster Handicap Grade I Churchill Downs

That very nice Vanessa Ng photo to the left is none other then mighty Curlin, the best dirt runner in the past ten years, winning the 2008 Stephen Foster Handicap. Today's edition of the race features arguably the greatest horse running in North America right now, Einstein. The parallel between these two champions is interesting, as Curlin never found a comfort level on turf or synthetic, and Einstein seems to care less what surface he skims across.

Today's edition features at least 7 horses you could make the argument for winning this race, an impressive field indeed. My initial base handicap looks like this:

Race 10 CD: The Stephen Foster Handicap Grade I: 1 1/8 miles on beautiful Kentucky dirt for 3 YOs and Up.

With Einstein racing recently and putting up a 106 BSF, I don't question his current overall form. He hasn't won on dirt since taking to this track the day after Thanksgiving last year in the Grade II Clark. he is the superior horse and he has the CD experienced J.R. Leparoux up. He will be in the top three and almost all my tickets will have him Win or Place.

I think that Researcher and Finallymadeit are very similar horses and the same arguments for and against them are relevant. Either is capable of winning, but more likely I think both will reside somewhere in the top four.

The next cluster of horses, Arson Squad (long layoff, not a winning just a ticket dweller, Macho Again (likes the off tracks lately and not much of a place and show horse), Bullsbay (6 wins in last 14 starts, 3 of 3 CD, training well, and Asiatic Boy(McLaughlin/Garcia duet coming off long layoff, with lasix coursing through body for first time, something Kiran wins 25% of the time with) could all find their way on the ticket. I like Bullsbay's current resume the best, and Asiatic Boy is a bit of an unknown but I just don't like the long layoff.

My only toss out was Alphabet Magic..

That leaves me with a dilemma. I have been analyzing my betting practices over the past few months and I did notice a bad habit increasing: I'm working too many combinations of horses and not following my betting rules. I got a little loose with my rules around Kentucky Derby time and it's time to refocus. I'll wager between $12-14 and work my base handicap with exacta and trifectas. I'm keying to Einstein winning with the trifecatas.

The Little Turk is playing in a travel soccer tournament today. I'll have plenty of time between games to finish my bet strategy. Pay attention to the track conditions and the tote board.

Turk Out!

Post Race Analysis for Race Day June 12, 2009: The Kashatreya $65,000 at BEL

The Turk and his sidekick, the Appleton Turk, tried to make something out of this race, and we did about the only thing we could: We went trifecta. Two bets were placed, with the only difference being the swap between Joe Corrigan and Naughty New Yorker. This is exactly how I laid it out in the pre race analysis and I just stuck to the game plan.

Now mind you, I'm not bragging about nailing a trifecta on a five horse field with one obvious toss out and a chalk who had no chance of losing. My point is as handicappers we can sometimes over complicate the obvious. $2 returned $10, and that pick was a walk in the park. You won't be the king of the OTB, but you might as well nail the easy score when it's starring at you.

To the race fans and not the bettors, it was great to see mighty Commentator out there having a workmanlike effort and prepping for Saratoga. Yes, this Turk is getting excited about the Spa's return.

Turk Out!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Nomination Is In: June 12, 2009; The Kashatreya $65,000 at BEL

Kind of a ho-hum 1 mile race that generally the Turk would pass on, but remember I am a race horse fan first and I get excited when the stars come out. Which brings me to this race, a $65,000 3rd race at Belmont that features horses bred and foaled in NY State. Currently none is grander or mightier then Commentator, who makes his first return to NYS dirt since the Whitney last July. He's a 1-5 morning line selection, and I don't think I'll make much of a case against him not winning, but it's a five horse field, lets see what we can do with this!

Race 3 BEL: Post Time 4 PM ET: The Kashatreya $65,000; 1 Mile on Dirt for 3 YO and Up foaled in NYS.

I'm not sure what we can do with this really. The chalk, the overwhelming chalk Commentator I believe will win this race. With that belief I will fashion just a few straight TRI bets following my base handicap. I will jostle with Joe Corrigan and Naughty New Yorker for Show and I have tossed Commissioner Chris completely. No more then 6 bucks with maybe one straight that puts Stud Muffin on top and Commentator in the two spot. Not worth boxing this one. I don't think track condition will make a big difference, but the below link will get you to updated information from Belmont.


Weather: Showers
Track: Sloppy
Turf: OFF
Races off the Turf: 2,7,8,9
For the most up to date Track conditions please view the Scratches/Changes page on

Last Updated at 6/12/2009 7:27:27 AM

Turk Out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Nomination Is In: June 10, 2009: Woodbine: The Bold Ruckus $125,000 on Turf

The Turf loves Turf racing, and quite frankly, in the middle of the week I'm having, I could use a good handicap to buoy my spirits.

This race, The Bold Ruckus, is an interesting affair. A 6f Turf Sprint with a field of 7, none of whom have raced on Turf before. My rules of betting would preclude me from spending a dime, but I will wager between two and six bucks and see if we can't make something out of it.

WO Race 4: The Bold Ruckus $125,000; 6F on Turf for 3YO with blah , blah limitations on sires and Ontario...blah blah blah.

When weighing the merits of these runners, I looked at current form first, and I settled on current work and last race. Paso Doble has had two exception 5f works in the past several weeks as well as 93 BSF at 6f on WO synthetic. He's the third favorite choice on the Morning Line and I'm feeling contrarian.

I was torn deeply on the second through fourth place finishers. I settled on Daniel Be Good for Place. I like the J/T stats and the Trainer Gonzalez's stats in particular. He worked from the gate this week and I think he'll improve on his last out 77 BSF.

And Bare With Me has worked sharply as well and is going blinkers off today. Just a hunch and if you want to hedge, consider lightly raced The Boy's Ring in the top three.

Woodbine races at night on Wednesday's. I'm hoping to take my passport and go to the races in the next few weeks. Until then, my little video feed will have to do.

Goodnight and Turk Out!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Post Race Analysis for Race Day June 7, 2009: The Woodbine Oaks Plus Epsom Derby and Vodka's latest Japanese Victory Video

Race 9 WO: The Woodbine Oaks $500,000; 1 1/8 Miles on Fake Dirt for 3 YO Fillies Foaled in Canada

My handicap went south when Double Malt failed to fire. (I guess the Turk is justified in his appreciation of Single Malt beverages.) A good handicap all in all and the day was saved with a good defensive Win bet on Milwaukee Appeal. Never hesitate to bet the 3rd and 4th bettors choices to hedge your exotics, it's a ploy the Turk uses quite a bit and it helps to keep the ROI neutral.

2009 Epsom Derby

How many of these runners might we see at the Great Race Place in October? Be ready.

59th Yasuda Kinen

Vodka continues to thrill!

Turk Out!

The Nomination Is In: The Woodbine Oaks $500,000; June 7, 2009

The Turk took his sweet time getting around to this handicap, sort of a Triple Crown hangover breaker for me. Without much fanfare, I plan on hunting for exactas and a trifecta using my base handicap. More after the race, post time is 5:10 ET

Race 9 WO: The Woodbine Oaks $500,000; 1 1/8 miles on synthetic for 3 YO Fillies foaled in Canada.

Turk out!

Post Race Analysis for Race Day June 6, 2009: Belmont Stakes Day

Race 6 BEL: The True North Handicap Grade II; 6f on NYS Dirt for 3 YO and Up.

It's always good to start your betting day off strong. Prerace, I wasn't thrilled with the six horse field, and I didn't see anyway that Benny the Bull and Fabulous Strike would not finish one-two. I picked Benny the Bull because I wanted a better payoff, but I thought that was an easy Exacta bet, and it was , returning $12.40 on a boxed bet.

Where I think this old Turk did well and what got me excited was I was much higher on Silver Edition then the betting public was. I had him third in my pre race analysis while the bettors had him last. Silver Edition did indeed take third and i was rewarded with $177.00 in Trifecta, for a race take of $189 bucks on $12 investment.

Race 9 BEL: The Acorn Grade I: 1 Mile on NYS Dirt for 3YO Fillies.

As a handicapper, you really can't beat yourself up after you just miss one. I like to make the analogy of a cornerback who just gave up a deep ball and has to go back out there the next play. One needs a short memory as there will be time for analysis later.

I wouldn't have picked Gabby's Golden Girl if I had 10 more chances. I just didn't see it coming. I accurately had the chalk, Justwhistledixie in the Place spot but not much else went right.

Race 10 BEL: The Manhattan Handicap Grade I: 1 1/4 miles on Turf for 3 YO and Up.

Another race, same results. I tied my handicap to Cowboy Cal who took the lead at the top of the stretch and then faded. So we moved along to the main event.

Race 11 BEL: The Belmont Stakes Grade I; 1 1/2 miles on NYS Dirt for 3 YO.

The Turk tried to make a good bet for the Appleton Turk, two $10 win bets on Dunkirk and Charitable Man. I should have added her money to the Superfecta bet that I made and we would have made some serious hay!

All in all it was a good day of handicapping for the Turk. I hope my fellow bloggers who were there had a great time.

Turk Out!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Nomination Is In: The Belmont Stakes Grade I; June 6, 2009

As I got myself excited for the Belmont Stakes, I watched the video of 2007 Belmont Stakes Winner Rags to Riches several times and skipped the 2008 video of Big Brown's belly flop. Let's hope for an exciting and safe trip for all the horses today.

After handicapping several Belmont Stakes Day races, I finally turned my attention to the main event and I realized I didn't need to do much study. Right or wrong, for better or worse, these horses are a know quantity. What thier current form is, sometimes that's the hard thing to nail down, but what the are capable of I think is crystal clear. They do run on sandy NYS dirt instead of paper, so the horse that brings guts and heart, along with ability and current form, should win this test of champions.

Race 11 BEL: The Belmont Stakes Grade I: 1 1/2 miles on dirt for 3 YOs.

At this stage, I think you have to let your base handicap ride. I'm playing with 20 bucks of the newest member of the Turk clan, a lady we'll refer to as The Appleton Turk, so we're just going to run the traps.

I like The Trifecta of Mine That Bird, Dunkirk and Charitable Man, and I like them in any order. I will go Super Hunting as well and I'll build a few 10 cent boxed tickets together with Flying Private, Summer Bird, Miner's Escape, Chocolate Candy and Mr. Hot Stuff in the four hole.

It's been a great time blogging the Triple Crown prep races and then the races themselves. Enjoy. Turk out!

The Nomination Is In: Belmont Stakes Day; The Manhattan Handicap Grade I

To this Turk, there is nothing more exciting then two or more horses fully extended at the finish line. The picture to the left is Dancing Forever, the 2008 Manhattan Handicap winner.

A big field contests the Manhattan Handicap, a race that contains at least five real quality horses . Champs Elysees (GB) would have made that six, but is scratched.

Race 10 BEL: The Manhattan Handicap Grade I; 1 1/4 Miles on the Inner Turf for 3 YO and UP.

I plan on placing Cowboy Cal in all my tickets in the top 3 and from there I'm just going to work the handicap I have laid out.

The Nomination Is In: Belmont Stakes Day Race 9: The Acorn Grade I

No waxing poetic today on the races I've handicapped so far. The Acorn to me seems very wide open. Justwhistledixie will be the chalk at post time, of that I am very sure. 5 Straight wins, 5 of 6 on dirt and 7 of 7 lifetime in the money gives you that sort of respect, but the devil is in the details. No races since late March and some fine females around her going off at odds that are lower then they should be. It creates a beat the chalk angle that alone is worth chasing. Let's give it a twirl. By the way, that horse above is Zaftig with J. Velazquez up, winner of the 2008 Acorn in a picture taken by Cindy Pierson Dulay.

Race 9 BEL: The Acorn Grade I; 1 Mile on Dirt for 3 YO Fillies.

I don't have a bet strategy yet, but I know I'm going hunting for exacta and trifecta glory and I'll be boxing my selections. 10 cent superfectas are always in fashion as well.

I think Justwhistledixie is just to good to not be top 3, so she'll be there on every ticket. I'll work my basic handicap after that and I'm going to play Funny Moon in the top spot on several tickets and hope for the best. The tough part will be the middle of this handicap: I don't see much seperating the quality of Casanova Marie, Dream Play, Four Gifts and Doremifasollatido, and the morning line refelcts that, making all four 6-1. I think I like them in the order I have them in my basic handicap.

The Nomination Is In: June 6th, 2009; Belmont Stakes Day Race 6; The True North Handicap Grade II

An interesting six furlong affair only semi interested me once the handicap was finished. The race marks the return of Benny the Bull who will have his hands full with Fabulous Strike, the 2-1 Morning Line favorite.

The picture to the left is of Benny the Bull in the winners circle after taking this race a year ago. He'll have Prado up again as he tries to repeat.

Race 6 BEL: The True North Handicap Grade II: 6F on dirt for 3 YO and UP.

With only six starters and two super heavy weights, the risk-reward factor for placing money on this race starts to make this handicapper question the reasoning. Then again, a few small wagers that take either Benny the Bull and Fabluous Strike and tie them to a horse that will go off better then 5-1, someone like Silver Edition or Desert Key, will make a nice Exacta Payout.

I'm a huge proponent of current form, and to this Turk that generally means a race in the past two months. Quality horses can always contrdict the rules, especially at shorter distances. That said, Fabluous Strike should win this race and deserved the chalk, but Benny the Bull is better and we'll see if he can prove it today.

Ripped from NYRA Belmont Park Website


Weather: Sunny

Track: Good

Turf: Soft

Races off the Turf: 12,13