Today's edition of The Turk is our 300th posting. The Turk is a modest little venture, with a demographic of folks with questionable reading pleasures and low expectations. Together with Mrs. Turk and my sidekick, The Little Turk, we do this for the love of horse racing and the equine stars who never break our hearts in free agency or sexual assaults or gun using thuggery.
The Turk took a well earned handicappers holiday last weekend. It's important when you aren't feeling it to step back and not sign into your Youbet account. That's a lesson that only age and the maturity and wisdom of older and sage horseplayers has taught me.
I'm enjoying handicapping today with my online HRTV account streaming coverage of Dubai World Cup Day. A Turk's favorite, Good Ba Ba will be running soon and then early this afternoon will be the Grade I 10.0 MM World
Cup and I'll be curious to see Gitano Hernando (GB) and this very even field. While World Cup Day for me as a fan is fun to watch, and I love the coverage and find it better then the Breeders' Cup, it's not something I'm willing to bet money on; New surface, a long ship in, left turns, eh. Stick with what you know when money is involved, but by all means, watch!
What I am thinking of betting today is the Fair Grounds ticket on Louisiana Derby Day. The weather should be great, the track should be fast, the turf should be firm, and a nice group of stakes races make up the Pick 3 and Pick 4 culminating in a Kentucky Derby prep. Watch the scratches, already since I put together my multi race bets a favorite in Race 7, Tensas Cat, bailed out. Let's get after it!
Fair Grounds Race 7-8-9-10
Race 7 is the Cresent City Derby for 3 YO LA breds. As mentioned previously, Tensas Cat, was scratched by Trainer Garber just a little bit ago. I'll be including the Asumussen runner Heavenville/4 and might be inclined to single him but I will include Redsugar/3 and Productive Energy/9.
Heavenville is switching from turf, something Asmussen wins 22% of the time and Bridgmohan is up, a combo that wins 24% of the time over a whopping 450 races in past year.
Race 8, The New Orleans Grade II, some of the Turk's favorite runners are entered, Giant Oak and General Quarters. While the horse fan in me has the luxury of having favorites, the horseplayer in me coldly stares at the hard copies of the past performances (..that the younger generation think I should stop printing and relying on- I'll be damned before I carry and iPad around the track)and sees Battle Plan gearing up to have a career that just hasn't happened to plan yet. The 5 YO son of horse racing royalty, son of Empire Maker and Flanders for a Dam, his fifth start in his fifth year for trainer Pletcher and Overbrook Farms. Castellano is up, a combo that clips away at 29% in 77 races the past year. 6% win rate in this meet from the 9th post at this distance.
Perhaps a stretch, I'm looking at Stonehouse, son of Chester House, to continue his fine FG running. 14 of 21 in the money on dirt and 5 wins in last 12 starts for Trainer Broussard.
This is a deep field and Awesome Gem from a good post and a FG star, Star Guitar will be in the mix. General Quarters is 8 OF 11 in the money on dirt and could easily tip the applecart over in this handicap. Good stuff this race is!
Race 9 is a another deep race, an approximate 1 1/8 turf affair, the Grade II Muniz Jr Handicap. The top four is an impressive and even grouping of Jet Propulsion, El Caballo, Baletti and Blues Street. I have Blues Street on top but Jet Propulsion, former claimer, looks very strong.
And in the top event, the Louisiana Derby, a thirteen horse field looks to punch their tickets to Kentucky.
Drosselmeyer breaks from post 13. No horse has tried or won from this post at this distance in this meet. While I think the Mott trainee is a good 3 YO who will be competitive this season, I don't think the son of Distorted Humor is that special. Prove me wrong big guy, Desormeaux up.
A Little Warm has just a little respect. I stubbornly add him to my Derby favorites lists as I think he's a solid, competitive runner for Owner Evans and Trainer A. Duttrow. Cohen up, a combo that wins 34% on 128 races.
Discreetly Mine will most likely be the post time favorite, and deservingly so. 4 of 5 in the money on dirt, a FG win, trainer Pletcher points him here after a G2 Risen Star win.
Fly Down has Trainer Zito poised to break some hearts. Training fast, a win at this distance, a nice post draw, I'll be accounting for him.
It's a nice good of runners in these races on what looks like a beautiful day in New Orleans. Have fun, Turk Out!