Race 7 Gulfstream Park Post Time 4:07 ET; The Mr. Prospector Grade III; 6F on Dirt for 4 YOs and Up and Race 8 at Santa Anita Post Time 7:07 ET; The San Pasqual Handicap Grade II; 1 1/16 miles on Fake Dirt for 4 YOs and Up.
Munnings starts his 4 YO campaign off a layoff since early October. The Pletcher trainee is capable of +110 BSF and is a serious Grade III and II threat, perhaps a Grade I but the jury is out. Velazquez is up. Strong runner on off surfaces.
Custom for Carlos is a 4 YO son of More then Ready. An impressive series of bullets (1/41, 1/20, 1/51, 1/43) and a new jock, J. Leparoux, signal a horse ready to make some noise for Trainer Kenneally. 7 of 8 in the money on fast dirt and lightly raced on less then ideal dirt.
I liked Prince Joshua in the top three but he scratched as I was typing away, as did Gentleman James, two runners in my middle pack of contenders for Show and 4th. I'm still thinking of what I'll do, but whatever it is I won't throw away the base handicap but instead I'll watch the weather and track conditions, looking for bias and runners who prefer the mud.
The Breeders' Cup Champion "Dirt"
Neko Bay is a dependable and steady 7 YO runner for Trainer Shirreffs, the Giant Causeway son has strung three straight 100/upper 90 BSF together on the track at SA. Only 13th career start and only 1 win on poly, good enough for Place, Show or 4th on class alone.
There are three runners I'd group together and I don't see much separating them. Bold Chieftain comes in with three straight wins, ine at SA, and a win against Lethal Heat, and 3 wins in 8 starts on poly. Cherokee Artist goes Turf to Synth for Trainer Motion, something he pulls off 18% of the time. Raced strongly at PID over the summer. Nownownow is the 5 YO son of Whywhywhy but has shown erratic form since winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Monmouth slop in 2007. A nice 1 1/16 Grade II 105 BSF at SA nearly 1 year ago. Idle since March 2009, Trainer Biancone runner is good but very rusty.
So what are we doing? At Gulfstream I plan on watching the first 4 races and see how the track is playing before I settle on my 5th and 7th race handicaps. At Santa Anita I plan on playing my base handicap pretty much the way it currently is. I haven't looked at all at morning lines at Santa Anita, so I'll look for value between my selections and the morning line and then try and find some value on the tote if its there. Theses fields I've picked today I reckon will unfold along bettor wisdom, as i don't see too many surprises waiting.
That's my view, it's just the view of an internet hack, so do your own base handicap, assign your own oddsline to the field, check the weather, the track condition, the scratches, and get it on!
Have fun, Turk Out!