Friday, January 1, 2010

The Nomination Is In: January 2, 2010; The Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct

The fantastic Sarah K. Andrew picture to the left is Haynesfield, the winner of the 2009 Count Fleet Stakes. Sarah has an incredible eye and has an ability to capture the competitive soul of the horse very well. Please visit her website and support her artistry the right way. Alrighty, let's kick off 2010 Turk Style.

Race 8 Aqueduct, post time 3:44: The Count Fleet Stakes; 1 Mile 70 Yards on the inner dirt for 3 YOs.

The weather looks like typical mixed bag precipitation and cold. The track conditions should be fast and check on the changes before finalizing your handicap.

Ibboyee is the morning line favorite and I would add a heavy chalk going into this race. A winner already at this distance on this inner dirt track, 3 of past four races producing "drew off" wins and upper 80 BSF's. Trainer Pletcher comes in after winning 235 races in 2009 and the Pletcher/R. Dominguez combo won 29% of their races at the Big A over past year. A New York bred son of Medallist, races in the Black and White Diamond silks of Anstu Stables. 8-5 on the morning line, could easily go 4-5 or lower. I will back the heavy chalk and try to build reasonable exotics off this key.

Turbo Speed is a Houghton trained and home bred from the families Sylmar Farms. The word "driving" was in his running line in all three of his races, of which he is 3 for 3. A big step up in distance and class but appears very capable. Not a lock for Place, but top four is a realistic goal.

Laus Deo is a Fox Hill Farm, Anthony Dutrow conditioned horse, a son of Medaglia d'Oro and Dam Shebane (Alysheba). Very classy but needs to show a bit more today after breaking his maiden the last time out at 7f . A. Dutrow won at an astounding 28% clip in 2009 and Dutrow/Cohen combo clipped away at 36% with over 130 races together. A. Dutrow's Stakes win percentage is a gaudy 31% on 55 races and his won last start is 39%. Wow!

Peppi Knows is a Steven Got Even gelding with 3 wins already and the only appearance in a graded stakes, a beaten second in late November. Best effort so far was on PID fake dirt. A LATE UPDATE Peppi Knows has scratched.

It's a bit early to have a fully fleshed out bet strategy, but exactas with Ibboyee and a few straight Tri and Super bets will be my focus. I've already added some color to my base handicap and I don't see my thoughts changing much between now and tomorrow, but as always, watch the tote and consider the risk/reward of every bet you place.

After reviewing the 2009 New Year's Resolutions for The Turk, I've decided that I did pretty darn good by stating some goals publicly and we'll see if we can't some mileage out of that ploy again. My early season resolution is to attend the Arkansas Derby on April 10th at Oaklawn Park. With the poly tracks severely limiting the Kentucky Derby hopefuls coming out of California, Oaklawn will see more horses like past winners Curlin, Laywer Ron and Smarty Jones pass through the winners circle, as well as horses like last year's winner Papa Clem who know they must leave California before May and try the dirt.

My mid summer goals are to make another trip with my family back to Arlington for Stakes racing as well as another all Turk adventure to Saratoga. It was my pleasure this year to have three generations of Turk horseplayers picking Careless Jewel in the Alabama. The races I attend mid summer are always dependant on Little Turk's soccer schedule, as I do have my priorities where they should be.

My late season goal will be to attend the Jockeys Gold Cup at Belmont.

My 2009 goal of turning at least two people into horse players went well. I have been purchasing copies of Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies and giving them to folks I think I can influence, albeit slightly. I was proud to see a few of them place their own bets at the OTB, on their own nonetheless. Baby steps is still progress.

Have fun, Turk Out!

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