Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Nomination Is In: The Wilshire Handicap Grade 3 at Hollywood Park

Flames in 1949 were unable to destroy it, but sixty odd years later apathy and indifference places the future of Inglewood's Hollywood Race Track in jeopardy. With this in mind, The Turk fits in trips to Hollywood when his schedule allows, and tomorrow, it allows.

The Turk is off on business all week, but his nights in the hotel will be dominated by Kentucky Derby and Oaks handicapping maddness. With that marathon starring me in the face, a relaxing trip to the track, handicapping and enjoying impromtu conversations with fellow punters is just what the Doctor ordered.

This is hypocrite Turk talking now: I'm Ok with the fake stuff at Hollywood. There, I said it. It plays fair and I have had a very good ROI with the current surface here, essentially handicapping it like turf. As far as the turf course, it's always been one of my favorites, a top three turf course for me. My long trip from Buffalo to LAX gets me into Hollywood just in time for the gates going open tomorrow, and the focus of my pre handicapping is the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap, one mile on the turf, for Fillies and Mares. Let's get after it! An eight field horse going one mile on the turf course.
Nereid carries the heaviest weight at 121 while Imperialist Diva (Ire) carries only 112. the Turk's tepid chalk is Go For North, at 118: 3 wins in 7 starts at the distance, 6 of 7 in the money at the distance, 11 of 16 in the money on turf and 4 of 5 in the money at Hollywood, the 5 YO Mare daughter seldom runs a bad race; Trainer Avila is 29% winner on the 2nd off 180 day layoff but Espinoza (14% winner) and Avila (17% winner) are winless at Hollywood in six tries over past year and only 9% winners overall in 11 tries.

Nereid is the expected tote board chalk, as trainer Shirreffs, with Mike Smith up, clip along at 18% overall but only one win in 13 at HOL over past year. Cutting back one full panel, the 4 YO Rock Ten Hard girl can rate or set the pace and is a Grade 1 winner on Hollywood turf.

Quiet Oasis (Ire) is a Reddam Racing runner trained by Ben Cecil, who places Blanc up. Training sharply but only one win on turf and none at distance or at HOL. She may represent good value as a win bet and I may even cover her in the superfecta win spot.

Wild Mia cuts back in distance as well. Trainer Jerry Fanning winless on turf and graded stakes but this Wildcat Heir Mare represents a chance to get off the schenid. Up in Time (GB) and a Turk favorite, Briecat round out the serious contenders, making this a fairly even field and a fun race to both handicap and watch.

Starting Monday, we'll be all Derby and Oaks every single day here at the Turk. I'm going to enjoy a quite day at Hollywood tomorrow and get ready for the storm.

Have fun friends, Turk Out!

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