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!

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