Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Nomination Is In: The Woodward Day Late Pick 3

Paynter last year (insert sad emoticon)
 Welcome friends the the Labor Day Weekend edition of The Turk and the Little Turk.  Traditionally I like to be at the Spa on Woodward Day but it just didn't work out this year.  My family and I did get to spend a very lovely and low key day at the track on Thursday where Little Turk took home the Turk Clan handicapping challenge, parlaying consistent win and show bets into positive ROI.  It makes this big, bald idiot handicapper proud to know I have raised the next generation of horse players, that I've done my part to keep horse racing alive and well. 

Little Turk is growing up in an era where racing is just out of sight of most kids who aren't growing up in a racing town or the bluegrass. 

When I was his age, pre internet, I looked forward to my Sports Illustrated Magazine subscription every week, and during the Triple Crown season and during the summer there was a horse racing article every week. 

Paynter Now!

The children of this generation are barely exposed to the beauty of the race track.  Race tracks to me are like safe harbors, calm water where you get out of the daily rat race, forget the cell phone, forget the worries, and just relax.  I've exposed Little Turk enough to the sport where he's developed a love for it, and while it rates below Soccer, Football and Hockey, at least its above bowling and curling in the landscape of entertainment options for him.

Ahh Paynter.  I worried so about this proud and beautiful Haskell winner, son of Awesome Again  with Tizamazing as a Dam, as he recovered from serious medical problems, and I watched in awe at how he decimated an Allowance Field at Hollywood Park early this year in his comeback.  I love stories like this and its what makes me stay a horseplayer, the horsefan in me.  Thanks by the way for Casey Phillips for the use of that lovely photo of Paynter.  The one of Paynter being cared for I believe was Justin Zayat, but whoever took it, thanks as well.

I am a horseplayer first and foremost when it comes to my money.  I have no problem whatsoever with how anybody bets, and we all know people who bet sentimental favorites.  The Turk doesn't pretend to be anything other than I handicapper who brings a consistent approach to his handicaps and bets, winning more than losing, but I am not the type of handicapper, the type I avoid and don't particularly enjoy spending time around, who believe they alone understand the Rosetta stone of racing. If you want to bet Paynter because you are inspired by him, go right ahead!  The horse racing fan is thrilled to see him at the Spa today, I give Baffert credit for shipping him here when there were races at Del Mar that he could have done well with too. He will draw betting action no doubt, which will leave me my Pick Three single, Successful Dan, at a better price.  horseplayer and horsefan can coexist-  I'm assembling a pretty low risk Pick 3 and if Paynter wins, I'll be happy too. 

Let's get after this!

I like the field in the Bernard Baruch quite a bit: Turallure, down lately, Tetradrachm, Za Approval and Silver Max are all fine quality, and So Long George, a shipper from Woodbine, must be respected too. 

I like those five in some combination for a Superfecta;  The base handicap has Silver Max on top and I like the :58 3/5ths bullet he dropped at SAR on the 18th of August and I think he'll be OK even if the turf isn't firm.

It's a good time to bring that up.  Track Conditions are hard to say for later.  Keep your eye on those and the scratches and changes.

Going in his second off a layoff is Tetradrachm, a horse quite frankly I had never heard of before (and i can't say that too often in the Stakes Races).  The 4 YO gelding won at 1 1/16 on firm SAR turf this meet and Bill Mott and Johnny V are clipping away at 27% together.

I'm a Clement fan and Za Approval is a classic late turn of foot turf runner.  6 wins in 12 turf tries, 9 of 12 in the money on turf, 2 wins in 3 starts at the distance and a SAR victory in his resume. 

Turallure has gone a VERY long time between wins but lost by a head over turf listed as good at SAR this meet and can't discount him for Show or Exotic.   I may have So Long George too low but I typically don't back Woodbine shippers into SAR to win so I won't cover in the P3 to my peril.  His Nijinsky Grade 2 win was really well done and can't be discounted from hitting the board as high as Place. 

The Grade 1 Forego at first blush seems a Zayat Stable slam dunk, and are they plotting a Forego-Woodward sweep?  D. Wayne Lukas revival continues to go well as Fast Bullet comes to his barn, along with all the promise that 4 wins in 5 starts brings for a lightly raced 5 YO.  His game for this 7 furlong affair seems pretty simple: go fast and hold on.  He's won on an off track and he may get loose on the lead and fly across sealed dirt.  Fast Bullet is Coupled with Justin Phillip, no slouch either and the winner of 4 starts on off tracks. 

I like either Lea or Sage Valley to throw the upset.  Lea is going on dirt for only the second time but does have a win on slop. Al Stall picks his marks well and B. Hernandez is up and the two win 26% of the time together. There is no Wise Dan in this race to thwart the 4 YO First Samuri runner.  Sage Valley has been training very well for Rudy Rodriguez and this winner of the James Marvin looks very capable.  I like this as a betting race very much and we'll be playing supers with the base handicap.  Is Jackson Bend really six?  I'm feeling old!  Not a bad $3,000 Hear No Evil son. 

In the main event the scratch of Fort Larned takes some of the sizzle out of the betting but we'll manage with what's left.   Put your hand up in the air if you've bet Flat Out away from BEL and got your teeth kicked in?  2 wins on off tracks and two sizzling works for Bill Mott's runner and recent Suburban G2 winner but zero of three wins at SAR.  Ron the Greek, another Mott I've consistently screwed up since the Lecompte (is Ron the Greek really six years old?  Now I do feel old!) doesn't seem to be at his best right now.  I'll most likely flip flop him and Paynter depending on the track conditions, as I know Ron the Greek doesn't mind slop but I don't know about mighty Paynter.

Successful Dan does seem to be in good form but he'd be going on the off track for the first time in his career.  Paynter would be for the second time since the slop of the Derby Trials at CD last year.

I've only got one betting option right now, an $18 dollar 3 by 3 by 1, with my single being Sucessful Dan.  I doubt this wins quite frankly and sometimes the process of typing out my handicap sways me.  I'm more likely to single Silver Max, go three deep with the coupled entry in the Forego, and maybe 4 deep in the Woodward, pushing the bet out to $24. 

I'll be watching the weather and track conditions before I have to make my P3 bet at around 4:30 ET.  have fun with it friends, we shift towards Belmont and Santa Anita next as we start to gear up for my favorite betting weekend of the year, Breeders' Cup. 

Turk Out!

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