The Breeders' Cup is over for another 51 weeks or so. Long Live the Breeders' Cup! Just like many of my handicapping friends, it was total immersion for me for three weeks as I plotted, charted, built matrices, watched replays, blah blah blah. At the end of the day, I did just OK. I had a great Friday Night capped by a big exotic win powered by Life is Sweet and then I had a very mixed bag on Saturday. I'm slowly but surely still breaking down each of the 8 Breeders' Cup races I handicapped and I'll do a post mortem by the end of the weekend, but let's go for some hair of the dog and get right back to handicapping. While the names aren't as impressive, and you'd be lucky to find a Grade III winner yet alone multiple Grade I runners, today's card at Calder should be fun. I urge folks to stop by Plantation Cigars in Lake Worth on the way to the races. Tell Steve the Turk sent you. I digress, let's get it on!
I've got my eye on a few races on the card, but I'd be remiss not looking hard at the showpiece, the Classic. As always, start with framing the situation: Course, Surface, Weather. The weather should be very good. The track should be listed as FAST. Of course check for scratches and equipment changes. These should be a ritual: Weather, Course Condition, Scratches, and a near post time check of the Tote Board.
Race 11 Calder Race Course Post Time 4:43 Eastern; The Carl G. Rose Classic Handicap $200,000; 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3 YOs and Up registered FLA breds.
It's a Bird likes hard and fast dirt. The 6 YO Birdonawire son will have Leparoux up for trainer Wolfson. The trainer/jock combo are the class of the race with all due respect to Jock Saez. A big 2009 with three 107 BSFs before May and then a taper off. Freshened and raced only once since I saw him at the Woodward at Saratoga, I see no reason why this heavy duty chalk won't salsa dance into the winners circle for the tuna magnate, Owner Ed Gann.
Below It's a Bird is a hodge podge. So what do we do? 10 Cent Supers are in fashion, betting to win or even exacta and tri with an ultra heavy chalk is not always a wise investment from a risk/reward perspective. We are going to need the 3rd, 4th or 5th bettors favorite to Place to make this a value play. What I do know is you have to build a handicap and then decide if you wish to bet or not.
I have three horses in the next tier below It's a Bird. Too Many Toyz comes in off three straight wins at CRC in optional claimers for $16,000. His last race on a sloppy dirt surface earned him a 98 BSF, the best last race BSF entered. The 6 YO has won 33% of the the fast dirt races he's been entered in. I like him somewhere on the super ticket.
Teamo's Dream is 3 of 12 in 2009 and for this group a healthy 71,000 in earnings. 7 of 13 in the money at CRC and 2 of 12 on fast dirt. Won a 1 1/16 75K race in late September and faded in a Grade III last time out. Most likely bettors 2nd choice.
Dream Maestro has had a real falling off after starting 2009 with 7 straight 90+ BSFs. He's 3 of his last 22, 1 of 16 on fast dirt and 1 of 12 at CRC. UGH. We want him to get name recognition and bettors money but not much more.
Pound Foolish, the 3 YO Exchange Rate gelding, is 9 of 12 in the money on fast dirt and 9 of 13 at CRC. Coming back to dirt after a decent Grade III 1 1/8 turf effort. Trainer Tortora and Jock Saez winning at 31% clip and Trainer's stake race win percentage 25%, 6 wins in 24 tries.
Triple Crown followers will remember Imawildandcrazyguy but for little reason other then the name and a 4th place finish at the Kentucky Derby. Not much to say, he's capable of a solid upper 80's low 90's BSF but he's 2 of his last 21, 4 of 30 on fast dirt but 15 of 30 in the money.
Have fun with this low stress weekend card. Don't call 1-800-Hammer for any reason!
On a different note, the Turk was pleasantly surprised to open up his December issue of American Turf Monthly and find a very good article on the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance own Gina Rarick of Gallop France. She's a wonderful trainer who walks the walk and talks the talk in the fight against race day medications and the Turk was happy to see her recognized for the work she is doing. Entraîneur Rarick de félicitations.