Merry Christmas to my friends, family and readers of the Turk and the Little Turk.
To me, the day after Christmas and the opening of the Santa Anita winter meet always signals the start of the new season. I hope everyone had a relaxing few days. I've enjoyed a handicappers holiday, decompressing and getting ready to hit the ground running hard with Derby fever that will set in soon.
We've had an addition to the crack staff of handicappers at the Turk, so please, meet the newest Turk to the team, we'll call him HandHeld Turk. He's a derivative of a model developed by Mattel. I'm just now doing some research on Handheld Turk but I have found some interesting threads on the internet and I have anecdotally from my Aunt, whose father, a genuine old school horseplayer, swore by this machine. I'd like to think he's looking down from heaven and glad that its found its way into the Turk clan. When I get a bit more comfortable with inputting information into Handheld Turk I'll give him a forum for making his selections. Yes, Handheld Turk is greater than 21 years old and is eligible for the fringe benefits offered here at Turk Central, namely unlimited bourbon and cigars. OK, let's get after it!
Santa Anita Race 6-7-8 Pick Three; Post Time 5:30 ET
There's been much written about the switch back to dirt at Santa Anita. I had begun to accept that the fake stuff was here to stay and I'm still a bit shocked at how suddenly the surface was replaced, especially after two successful Breeders' Cup events. I reckon the lost days when it rained is what ultimately did it in, but the switch back to dirt was welcomed by me and it sure does make the winter meet seem relevant again as a place to prep for the Triple Crown races. Today though, we are faced with a new surface and days of bad weather that have taken a toll. It makes sense as a handicapper to watch the races, study the race charts, but limit the amount you are willing to invest with unknown and unpredictable variables at work.
I've built a Pick Three bet around two Grade I sprints and a Grade II turf route. I'm hopeful that the surface will be race worthy, but we'll see. There are some really nice horses lined up for Boxing Day racing and that is ultimately what I always care about the most.
I'll let the handicap speak for itself right now. I'm going with a chalky group of runners in the $24 variety of my prospective bets. I will watch for scratches and changes right up to post time of Race 6 and then roll the dice. I'll be watching the races on my new set-up: My Mac Mini is now connected to the TV via an HDMI cable and I'm streaming HRTV. I'm pretty excited that horse racing friends are coming over today and we'll be able to enjoy the races and good food, courtesy of Mrs. Turk, in comfort.
Enjoy friends, have fun, Turk out!