Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Nomination Is In: The Colonial Turf Cup Pick 3 (Race 6-7-8)

Edward P. Evans loved his horses.  Rich beyond the comprehension of most horse players, Edward P. Evans was an everyman around his horses, enthusiastic and deeply involved.  His Quality Road was my last thoroughbred obsession, and with his death on New Years Eve 2010, there is a void left in the owner/breeder/sportsman ranks that has yet to be filled.  Barbara Livingston assembled a photo essay as a memorial to the late Mr. Evans for the Daily Race Form that is worth taking a look at on this special day in Virginia horse racing, a state that honored Mr. Evans 9 times as Breeder of the Year.

As a horse fan and a horse gambler, I was pretty disappointed today.  I planned to play Belmont's late Pick 4 but I was very turned off by a 5 horse Mother Goose Stakes.  I flipped over to Hollywood only to find a 5 horse Hollywood Oaks and a bunch of 2 YO races.  I don't want to sound like a crabby ol' Turk but I can't do anything much with a 5 horse field, it doesn't play to my strengths and it isn't even that compelling.  Colonial Downs wasn't my last choice, it was my first choice for turf today, but only seven horses in the Grade 3 All Around and 8 horses in the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup still bugs me, but its adequate enough to handicap and assemble some small bets.

I'm still in a bit of shock over last week's Stephen Foster Handicap;  I didn't see the break out/return to form of Breeders' Cup Classic Champ Fort Larned.  Shame on me, but I don't think I would have predicted those results ever.  As handicappers we have to have short memories and put the missteps aside: The horses don't read my blog, they don't get the memo, get over it Ye' Ole crabby Turk.

Let's get after this!

The two key races of this Pick 3, the graded stakes, have smallish fields for turf races, but a core of quality horses in each.  Race 6 at 7:10 Eastern Time is the Edward P. Evans All Along.  The turf should be firm come race time.  Channel Lady, a 4 YO English Channel daughter trained by Pletcher with Castellano up, should be a money magnet and will go off at even or less than even odds.  6 of 8 in the money on turf, 6 of 9 lifetime in the money with 4 wins, loser at 1 mile on good turf last time out.  On paper she has the class and the connections.  Fairly dull morning work.  I can't help but tip my hat to her as the best horse in the field but I'm going to bet against her. 

So who then? Appealing Cat, an Augustin Stable runner for Trainer Motion, with Prado up, is the sort of sucker horse I've lost plenty of races with.  The 4 YO Successful Appeal runner bred by Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame member George Strawbridge seems to be going well right now with an N3X win and a warm up effort Grade 3 at Pimlico last month on Preakness Day.  I also like Adjacent, a 7 YO Boundary Mare for trainer McGaughey and Lezcano up.  Cutting back in distance off her last effort at Belmont, 8 of 10 in the money lifetime. 

Embarr and Welcome Dance round out my possibles.  Welcome Dance is intriguing: Sharp work in prep of first race since October She may push the pace.  My thought is that Channel Lady and Adjacent will chase the pace and Appealing Cat will fire late off of that pace.  Do they read the blog?

The Colonial Turf Cup field is also well balanced, with only Roadhog and London Lane being tossed.  I like Atigun to win.  The 4 YO Istan runner,  cutting back in distance, is 4 of 5 in the money in 2013 with a clunker in Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and decent efforts all round. 

Air Support will get alot of play but only one win in last nine starts, but a few big efforts to Place, including last year's edition of this race, losing to Turbo Compressor by 1 1/4 lengths.

Hyper is interesting;  Trainer Chad Brown is winning 29% of turf races, 21% of Graded Stakes and 33% off this sort of layoff.  4 of 4 in the money in 2013, the 6 YO Victory Gallup runner for the Ramsey's may still have a new level to achieve in his career and today could do that.

General Logan should come late off the pace.  Swift Warrior has a good chance to upset the applecart too.  That's as deep as I'm going.

I'm going to build some reasonable Trifectas and Superfectas for both Race 6 and 7;  Both bets for both races will be the same with the superfecta 3 over 5 over 5 over 4 for a $6 dollar ten cent bet and the Trifectas  3 over 5 over 5 for an $18 50 cent bet. 

The Pick 3 I'm toying with either 3 horses over 3 horses over 3 horses for a $27 dollar 1 buck bet OR a 2 horse over 2 horse over 7 horse $14 dollar 50 cent bet. 

The Turk's Rolex fund is growing with my winnings but today seems like a pretty chalky affair so I'm more interested in having fun than losing big.  Always bet responsibly and get help if you need it.

Turk Out!

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