Returning readers of the Turk don't come here for cutting edge commentary or breaking news. There are several wonderful aggregate news sources such as the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance Home Page where you can find that sort of writing. What you do get here is a middle aged man, referring to himself in the third person, who occasionally rants that the World is turning upside down. The idea of the horse racing world losing a beloved track, an institution like Hollywood Park in the name of some retail development turns my stomach and is a signal to this lone Turk crying out in the wilderness that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalyspe are about to ride. I intend to visit several times this meet for no other reason then to savor the place as it was and hope that what's planned to come never happens. I feel like how my distant Roman turk cousin must have felt in early September, 476 AD when the City was about to fall for the last time. Ok, I digress, but I hope it doesn't take a major track falling in Southern California to wake up the forces who oppose more mindless California development to stop this now. These idiots are giddy that they can rip down venerable Hollywood Park to put up more big box crap. Have you been to California in the last two years? Yeah, they need this! Same idiots that tell me I can't smoke my cigar in the city park.
The Turk took a mid week vacation day and had some time to handicap Opening Day at Hollywood Park. Let's get it on!
Race 7 Hollywood Park-Post Time 7:05 ET; The Harry Henson Stakes 60K; 6 furlongs on Turf for 3 YOs.
Always gather your information, like weather and track conditons and scratches/changes.
At first blush we have a collection of ten runners who collectively have 13 Turf starts and 2 wins and 1 show.
Handicapping without morning lines, I have Face and an Ace on top to win, owner of the only 2 turf wins in the field, and a last race win on turf at SA in late March. Trainer P. Gonzalez has some real WOW stats: 26% turf wins on 31 starts, 29% sprint wins, and his combination with Jock R. Bejarano is productive with 38% wins on a slim 8 starts.
The world's most interesting man, Trainer Julio Canani saddles Big Man has a Sign . Dropping back in distance from 1 1/16 on poly in March and training sharply. Canani has some very impressive stats as well; 30% sprint wins, 25% 1st Turf, 22% Turf. Teamed with M. Pedroza they win 33% of the timw on 48 starts.
Smiling Tiger seemed like a tiger when he was running Show to Make Music for Me and Looking at Lucky in Grade 1 and Grade II events late last summer. Training strongly since early March, I think he'll need a race or two to get his hoofs under him.
It's way too early to have a bet strategy. I'll be sitting around an airport in Boston by the time this goes to Post so if I have time on my hands I'll string a Superfecta together using a matrix of my base handicap. Watch the tote and look for some value if it presents itself.
Have Fun, Save Hollywood Park, Go Sabres, Turk Out!