Sunday, August 7, 2011

Post Race Analysis for Raceday 6 August 2011: The Grade 1 Test and Whitney as part of the Saratoga Late Pick 3

Suck or blow? When you work around large machines like I have my whole working career, this is the sort of discussion that starts theoretical: It takes less energy to draw a a material in the gaseous state through equipment with a slightly negative vacuum then it does to push the same gaseous solution through by blowing it under a slight positive pressure. After the discussion on mechanical and electro-hydraulic systems concludes the subject often turns crudely sexual, but that's a topic for a different blog. In horse racing, if you "blow" or "suck" I reckon it doesn't really matter as your tickets will be worthless regardless.

And speaking of losing tickets, what do you do with yours? When I just feel like people watching, I'll hang out at the track and after the results go final I take great pleasure in watching people celebrate as well as go into fits of despair. The poor tickets are either venerated to holy status or they are ripped, shredded, thrown, burned, etc etc etc. Me personally, I can't have negative vibe tickets on my person, they are thrown away immediately, which brings me to the story of the young Asian male at Churchill Downs sitting on the floor during Breeders' Cup Friday digging through a garbage can frantically looking at tickets amongst the filth, but that too is another story for another day.

The Turk is a big boy: I love talking about my wins, and I feel good enough about my decent skills as a handicapper to talk about the train wrecks. The Test was not a horrible handicap for me, I missed on Roman Treasure and it's hard to anticipate American Lady getting pulled up.

I plain sucked and/or blow'd with the Whitney Handicap. I knew it was a challenging field, but ugh, I didn't intentionally try to pick the finish in reverse order.

Anyhow, the carnage via spreadsheet is ugly:

Saratoga Race 9-10-11

So first of all, wow, Turbulant Descent. I may live in the Eastern United States, but I pay close attention to California racing and I knew this filly was special, bust she made a mockery of this field. Perhaps if Savvy Supreme, who was scratched, puts some pressure on Roman Treasure and Ramon and the pace was a bit hotter but....let's cut that loser talk off at the knees right now: The Test field was no match for Turbulent Descent.

My handicap was based on value and the hope that Turbulent Descent would not like the going. I knew no matter what she'd be top three and I backed a pretty fine filly, Pomeroys Pistol and I liked American Lady as well. I'm not as bullish on Her Smile, but her Prioress was honest.

Where do I start with the Whitney? Tizway was 1 of 8 with only 3 in the money finishes at the distance. He does have a tendency to run three race sequences and his first race back is generally a three digit Beyer. He was also training sharply at Saratoga since late June. The six year old now has 7 wins in 20 starts and is 13 of 20 in the money. Where will he point next? The Kelso like last year to prep for the Breeders' Cup Mile or is he main event? I'm thinking main event baby.

Flat Out was 1 of 3 at the distance before yesterday but had 4 wins of 9 starts over fast dirt. I disliked the post draw but I liked the bullets he's been churning out at Monmouth and the Suburban at 1 1/8 miles to pay $13.60 was artistic. The lightly raced five year old son of Flatter is now 6 of 10 lifetime in the money.

I've been a Giant Oak fan a long time but I thought he was no better than an exotic with this field; 2 wins in now 16 fast dirt starts and 2 wins in 10 tries at this distance and only 1 win, The Grade 1 Donn in last 11 tries. He's been training sharp and as expected he closed like a freight train.

Friend or Foe was a colt I was conflicted on pre race: A NY bred 4 YO who was winless in two tries at SAR, but 5 of 8 on fast dirt and he's beaten Rail Trip, Convocation, Ichabad Crane and Ibboyee to name some. He ran respectable in last year's Jim Dandy and Travers and he's had three straight 100+ Beyer's. Respect earned.

Headache I was high on. A morning line 20-1, I thought he had a very good chance to be top four. The 5 YO gelding ran well in the tight Prairie Medows turns and I thought he'd sneak up a bit higher. Trainer Maker has every reason to be proud of him and he didn't disappoint yesterday.

The text on the race charts is often terse but effective. Mission Impazzible " rally". I've never been that high on Mission Impazzible and I had him higher yesterday than the fan in me liked, but I'm a handicapper,not a fanboy, and that's why I'm in a foul mood over him. Pletcher's charge is just good enough to tease you.

Rail Trip "...lacked the necessary response". Yup. Trainer Dutrow doesn't seem to be doing too well with the six year old gelding whom I've been a big fan of since Santa Anita Derby Day 2009 and the Santana Mile.

Rodman and Prado fought quite a bit and it just wasn't his day. Apart is no Blame.

Duke of Mischief , ugh. "....but was through after completing three quarters". I took a chance he'd roll from the outside, it didn't happen.

Morning Line? The son of Tiznow was right there and then nothing.

Horse racing, love it!

Have fun friends, Turk Out!

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