Ahhhh, Goldikova. The 4 YO Filly proved with three Grade I wins in 2009 that her 2008 Breeders' Cup Mile victory was no fluke. She's my heavy chalk again in a field packed with some serious contenders. I should walk away but....
Race 6 at Santa Anita Post Time 4:28 ET; The Breeders' Cup Mile Grade I; 1 Mile on Fabulous Arcadian turf for 3 YOs and Up.
8-5 Morning Line favorite Goldikova (Ire) gives you little reason to doubt her but if you need something, go for possible current form. Last race was a clunker at 7F in October that followed up a spectacular Grade I win with a 131 Racing Post Rating at 1 Mile. With the field size, a few defensive win bets with her challengers who go to post at greater then 3-1 will be worth it.
The nest several horses in my handicap are separated by very little. I think Zacinto (GB), a 3 YO shows much promise but few results for a handicapper to hang his hat on. 2 lifetime wins in 5 starts but ran a very solid second to Rip Van Winkle in the GI QEII Stakes in September. Me thinks that's the only reason I have him this high and I will hedge down as far as 5th or 6th on many tickets. Points for Trainer and Connections to not pump the animal full of Lasix as opposed to many other hypocrites who site having to "level the playing field."
I like Gladiatorus and his 10 career turf wins to show up today. Huge in Dubai earlier this year but coming in off a prep in Italy, a Grade I 4 length romp.
Delegator (GB) I'm sure is a fine horse from Godolphin with Dettori up who's best known for almost beating some great horses. 5 of 6 in the money in 2009 with a Grade II and III win and a VERY solid 2nd by a neck to Mastercraftsman in the GI St. James Place Stakes in June and a 2nd by 1 1/2 lengths to See the Stars in May. Pretty even with Zacinto. Hedging up towards Place.
The next layer of talent starts with Ferneley (Ire) and includes Cowboy Cal and Court Vision. I think all three are good enough to take Show or 4th.
What's it all mean? I think in a four horse ticket Goldikova finishes 1st 80% of the time and 20% 2nd. With that opinion, I'm going to swap various horses into and out Zacinto (GB) and Delegator (GB) will be 1-4 80% of the time and I can't imagine a scenario when both of them are outside the top four. Of Cowboy Cal and Gladiatorus and Ferneley (Ire), I think there is a 25% chance one of them will be 3rd and 40% chance one of them will be 4th. In other words, a crapshoot. Build your own handicap and don't let hacks like The Turk influence you too much!
Have fun, Turk Out!