Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Nomination Is In: The Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park and a Post Race Analysis of Graded Stakes Grab Bag

The Turk likes to take time to celebrate the little steps along the long road of life and The Turk and Little Turk have reached a milestone, 400 Blog Posts.

In the big picture those 400 Blog Posts didn't add anything to society but they did do wonderful things for me personally: I've met some truly interesting people and I have acquaintances and friends I can meet at all the major tracks around the country when I'm looking to enjoy a social moment and not just a hard core degenerate betting experience. Before the blog, before Facebook, Twitter, the web, I was alone in the horse racing experience, buying the form and placing my bets. The world spilled wide open and it was satori to realize that like minded people all over the country existed. The Turk and the Little Turk started as a simple outlet to post the 3H's: Horses, handicapping and our personal hijinks's. We've kept our simple approach and we have no intention of being anything other than what we currently are.

Thank you all for reading!

I enjoyed the smorgasbord of racing I handicapped yesterday, even if after I handicapped I felt that it was a pretty uninspiring collection of betting races, as the fields were a bit small and, quite honestly, I had no feel for a few of them. The best handicap and potentially the best bet I would have made was the Superfecta on the United Nations, powered by Teaks North finishing on top.

I'm in full blown 4th of July weekend relaxation mode; I always thought this would be the best weekend for the Millions preview at Arlington but the folks there think differently. As much as I love to handicap the grass at Arlington, I pretty much have had extremely mixed results handicapping the fake dirt there over the past two years. Today I take a swing at The Chicago Handicap, a seven furlong affair for Fillies and Mares, with my only real objective being to play the card and get a feel for the surface again.

Let's recap yesterday briefly and get to today's Chicago Handicap.

The Dwyer

The Suburban Handicap

The Shoemaker Mile

The Triple Bend Handicap

Everyone should have their own style of handicapping and betting; mine is to handicap, without morning lines or any pre race hype news articles, and then build a bet strategy after that. One downside is I often handicap races that have little to offer as betting opportunities to make cash at, but if you study the Past Performances, the Race Chart and the video, the effort is seldom wasted. Dominus was allowed to go through easy fractions in a yawner of a Dwyer. We wondered aloud where the pace would come from pre race and it never really came. With the scratch of Rocking Out the field dropped to six, the super option went away and this became a race to watch and keep the wallet in the pocket. We did have Adios Charlie finishing in Place. I keep stats for myself, which I don't bore you folks with, of my base handicaps that are contrarian to heavy chalk. Even without betting I take something away from this race and we move along.

In Race 10, The Suburban Handicap, I must admit that this field left me perplexed. In the history of my 400 blog postings I'm not sure I ever put up a handicap where I didn't toss someone, anyone. I had no intention of betting this race and I didn't and I'm glad as I would have never bet Flat Out. I was impressed by Hymn Book, who I discounted, but the bettors didn't, off the strong last race off the turf effort beating I Want Revenge (which use to mean something, but I am confused by what distance Rodman is best suited for because I dunno.

There is no bragging, ever, from the Turk. I keep to a strong code and bragging is prohibited. The closest I may ever come to bragging will be to describe what i do well as a handicapper. The United Nations is the text book superfecta win I assemble pretty regularly. A nice 10 horse field with a very clear line between who will be in the top 5 and who wouldn't be. Teaks North past performance had a bullet handride 4f :47 effort and a Grade 3 96 Beyer win effort at Monmouth on June 12th. I disliked the lack of wins at the distance but I made note of the 3 of 3 on Monmouth turf and 4 wins in nine tries on Turf. Nice win but I expected a top four finish, not exactly a win spot. The others just slotted in and the super paid $377. I call those workmanlike, not sexy.

The two Hollywood Park races I passed on as well and we'll just leave it to the video to tell those stories.

I handicap many more races than I could possibly blog. I'll handicap the whole Arlington card today and I'll start handicapping Arlington more over the next several weeks as I target Millions Preview Day and Millions Day. A fairly even collection of fillies and mares will contest today's Chicago Handicap. Florida Bred Hooh Why is is lifetime money winner as well as the high Beyer on fake dirt. The 5 Yo mare comes in off an N3X win at 7f on the AP fake stuff in mid June, but some 25 Beyer points lower than her lifetime best. Tidal Pool brings some name recognition and a 0-60 Graded Stakes streak in for D. Wayne Lukas. Dr. Zic competes almost exclusively in graded stakes action but doesn't win much; a nice Grade I at KEE in April 2010 seems along time ago now. Devil By Design is coming off a very long layoff, something Bill Mott wins 16% of the time. The 5 YO Medeglia d'Oro daughter hasn't done much in 11 months. La Rocca is with trainer Michael Stidham for the first time, a 22% win angle but he puts Martinez and his 10% win rate instead of Napravnik and her 21% win clip, whom he has up on his other entrant, Lookn Even Finer, who switches from turf/synth at a 24% clip and 23% winner off the fillies last race win. the former claimer is starting to grow on me.

Who did I miss? Illinois Bred Home's the Best ran a nice 93 Beyer at 1 1/8 miles over the fake AP dirt in late May and Hot Hot Mama doesn't have much but her name to excite me.

I handicapped and I'll watch to see how it all flops out. Have a good holiday weekend.

Turk Out!


Susan said...

Congrats on the 400! Keep up the insightful and entertaining posts, your blog is always a good read.

The Turk said...

Thanks Susan, I ALWAYS appreciate your kind words.

Nicholas said...

I have to disagree with this post. Your interesting, well written, and cogent posts do have added something to the world.

My education as a horseplayer, woefully inadequate as it may be at present, has come from the tireless and uncompensated work of great bloggers like you. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to buy you a drink and share a cigar at some track soon.

Keep up the good work.

For the record, your marketing concept is spot on.