Friday, January 6, 2012

The Nomination Is In: The Grade 2 San Pasqual at Santa Anita

The Turk and the Little Turk are back in 2012 and we are proud to lead off the Handicappers Corner this year for the good people of The Thorofan.

The Turk loves the handicap division. It's pretty simple really too, I love numbers. I see elegance and beauty when I study a Past Performance. To people who know me the best, and who allow me to bore them the most, they know that I went years working a night shift where I handicapped whole cards, never once watching the physical race, just working the red gel pen only to repeat the process night in and out. It was my crossword puzzle, my Sudoku. It was the Internet that brought me back to racing after a lull in my interest, the Internet and horse racing on satellite television. This time of year, the older horses are either on the farm or they are just coming back to training and quality of the fields can be a bit so-so. This Grade 2 San Pasqual might not pass for an OC $40K N1X at another time in the year, but here we have it. I led off by saying I loved the handicap division because I like to deal with long racing histories and lots of running lines, but this group caught my eye in a bad way: 135 career starts, 4 fast dirt wins. Can you say ugh!

I do love Past Performances but I also love Race Charts. I have all eight days races in the current meet at Santa Anita printed and I'm starting my review of them this weekend. I'll break down the winning post positions, the basic race forms and pacing, and how the tote board rankings compared to the final outcome. I'm not so much interested in races like the San Pasqual as I am about gleaning knowledge about how the races might unfold in February and March and April, and I keep my own statistic. I prefer to gather my own stats because when you just look at the numbers you can sometimes miss the economy of word descriptions of how the race unfolded and the "story behind the story". It's too early to really hang too much on what I'm seeing but chalks are winning 38% of the time in my early review of the first six days of racing. I'm not interested in chalk today, let's see if we can beat em'.

Race 8 SA: The Grade 2 San Pasqual; 1 1/16 miles on Dirt

I'll assemble a reasonably priced $1 Superfecta built around my base handicap. I'll pay attention to the tote board as well as the scratches/changes and I'll either slip back to a Trifecta or pass altogether if there is a key (non-Toss Out) scratch.

I look forward to another great year meeting like minded horse racing fans. The Thorofan's Handicappers Corner has assembled a deep and eclectic collection of writers and handicappers, the best of the best in the blogosphere, providing keen analysis and insight from now until Breeders' Cup. Don't be bashful if you are new to the game, there isn't a blogger or writer who doesn't love to meet his readers, and you are in the right place, The Thorofan is all about the racing fan community.

Have fun, Turk Out!

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