Friday, October 9, 2009

The Nomination Is In: October 10, 2009; The Turf Mile Grade I at Keeneland

That good looking winner in the Vanessa Ng photo is Justenuffhumor, decked out today in Godolphin royal blue silks.

Justenuffhumor gets the nod today as the Turk's chalk in the Keeneland Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile. If the 4 YO son of Distorted Humor wins he'll be defeating a stacked field that includes 3 Yo turf whiz Battle of Hastings, Woodbine warrior Sterwins,and the capable Court Vision , Mr. Sidney and Karelian.

The weather looks to be good but races scratched on Friday off the turf so pay attention to how the turf is listed, as well as other changes, before finalizing your handicap.

Race 9 KEE, Post Time 5:45 ET: The Turf Mile Grade I; 1 Mile on Kentucky Bluegrass for 3 YOs and Up

Again, the status of the turf is critical so pay close attention as for example Mr. Sidney has posted two straight 100+ BSF's on yielding turf and duller efforts of late on firm turf.

I think the logical choice for chalk is Justenuffhumor. 6 for 6 in 2009 and a race best 106 BSF on turf for this Grade II winner. A. Garcia is up and Trainer McLaughlin's stats need no introductions. Only run at 1 Mile was an 86 BSF effort in a 35K Maiden Special Weight win, he'll be dropping back 1 furlong from last effort. A phenomenal turn of foot, the colt has been breaking slowly from the gate and will need a good exit with the competition he will face.

Battle of Hastings (GB) is a "just win baby" 3 YO, 6 of 6 in the money in 2009 and 8 of 12 lifetime on turf. Multiple Grade II wins for the Mullin's trainee. The 3 YO gelding is very solid and facing older horses for the first time. This may be a stretch for him and I'll have a downward hedge on him.

Sterwins is the hard knockin', hard charging 6 yo gray gelding son of Runaway Groom. 6 of 7 In the money in 2009 and 11 of 13 lifetime in the money on Turf. Not the most talented, often overlooked, he just seems to find himself on tickets. I'm counting him into the top four on many tickets.

It's a real pick em' for the fourth spot in my super tickets. My base handicap gives the nod to Mr. Sidney, a 1 Mile turf grade I winner at Keeneland in 2009 already. Off since a so-so Arlington Mile, 5 wins in 8 career lifetime turf starts and 4 for 4 at the Mile Distance as well as a race best 101 BSF on KEE turf. He's hedging up more then down, especially if the turf listed as anything other then firm.

A couple of runners that must be considered are Court Vision, recently having surgury in an area that would make all men cringe, and Karelian, unraced since November 2008. Court Vision, conditioned by R. Dutrow and racing in IEAH silks, has been training sharp and puts blinkers on today, something Dutrow wins 20% of the time doing. 2 wins in last 13 starts, dangerous a year ago, a question mark right now. Hedging him upward. Karelian again this time a year ago was a horse to be feared, but current form must be questioned. These two horses create a real wild card issue.

So what's it all mean? This is not an easy mark and if I follow my own rules I walk away right now. With 10 Cent Super's in fashion I'm going to play multiple combinations of my base handicap, boxed, and keep the risk low.

Have fun, Turk Out!

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