Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Nomination Is In: November 26, 2009; The Falls City Handicap Grade II at Churchill Downs
Making the 25th and final start of her career on Thanksgiving Day is Unbridled Belle, The Turk's chalk in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 6 YO mare daughter of Broken Vow by Unbridled leads a six horse field that is rather undistinguished at Churchill; 16 Career Churchill Downs starts collectively and no wins amongst this group. The field also has 24 career starts at this distance with 5 wins collectively and 4 of them belong to Unbridled Belle.
Thanks to Cindy Pierson Dulay for the photograph. Lets Go!
Race 11 Churchill Downs Post Time 4:24 ET; The Falls City Handicap Grade II; 1 1/8 miles on good ol' Kentucky Dirt for F&M 3 YO and Up.
The weather in Louisville is a mixed bag tomorrow and its hard to tell right now what the track condition will be. It will be cold, no doubt.
The Turk really dislikes six horse fields. About the only thing I like less is less then six horse fields. If there are any scratches then I will watch only and sit on the gambling sidelines.
I look at the field and I have a hard time taking a stand against Unbridled Belle. She comes in with the best last race BSF and owns the best career BSF at 105 on a wet track (where she's only 1 of 5 in the money) and 104 on fast dirt (where she's 14 of 18 in the money with 7 wins. I'll be watching the tote board and the track conditions closely because if the track is listed as anything but fast I will place a few win bets on some better value horses.
Swift Temper is a horse in the same class with Unbridled Belle. A 5 YO mare daughter of the great Giant's Causeway making her 32nd career start and looking for their 7th win. A. Garcia will be up for Trainer Romans, and Garcia has been a part of the mare's greatest moments with a Grade II and Grade I win in 2009. Current form has been spotty with two down races in mid 70 BSF's since running a career best 104 in September. 0 for 8 at Churchill Downs. Could go either way but placed this high perhaps only on ability and not ability and current form. A good play may be to drop lower and drag more value up into exacta.
The next tier down are two Grade II/III quality dirt horses and a poly tracker. Morena (Pre) has 10 wins on 15 fast dirt starts but none since coming to the United States. This is the 5 YOs fourth start in the States with a Place in a Grade III at 1 1/8, 4th in a Grade II at 1 1/4 and Show in a Grade I at 1 1/4 miles, and this could be the best horse that represents good Win Bet risk/reward opportunity with an attractive morning line of 6-1.
Copper State is a 5 YO mare from Jump Start by A.P. Indy. 1 win in last 12 starts, but some interesting numbers 5 of 5 on off tracks in the money and 14 of 19 in the money on dirt. Fairly consistent low 90 BSF may be good enough to strike the 3rd or 4th spot on the ticket (that won't get a parade thrown for you).
Serenading ships in from Woodbine where she is a solid runner. Only 1 career start on dirt and never on a off track. Does come in off a strong 1 1/4 mile win where she struck the front early and stayed in front. Who knows what to expect but Trainer Carroll clips along at 30% wins on dirt and 25% Graded Stakes and 27% of his 'Won Last Starts'. Good enough in a weakish field to hit the top four but I don't think she's good enough for better then Show.
My only toss is Best Less, a 3 YO going from Turf to Dirt, something Trainer McPeek does well at 28%. McPeek has good stats except a paltry 7% in Graded Stakes and the McPeek/Desormeaux combo only clipping along at 18% at CD. Last dirt race in September, a win on fast dirt in Iowa.
So what's it all mean? I dunno yet. I'm going to watch the tote board and see where the field slots in because I don't like what I'm seeing in the morning lines. If Unbridled Belle moves closer to even money
and the odds grow bigger then the 5-2 on Swift Temper or the 7-2 on Copper State I think I'll be excited because I'm leaning towards a simple WPS on Morena (Per) or just some small straight exacta bets with a combination of my base handicap and a few with Morena on top.
I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my horse racing friends and family and readers. The Turk writes this little blog with modest goals and is rewarded handsomely with kind words and camaraderie regularly. I've been blessed to have a job in this tough economy, my health and the love and encouragement of Mrs. Turk and my sidekick, The Little Turk. Happy Thanksgiving!
Have Fun, Turk(ey) Out!