Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Nomination Is In: The Grade 2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park

Mr. Speaker
I'm not sure about you friends, but to The Turk, the chase for the Triple Crown starts for me after the Holy Bull, today's handicap. I am so "dumb" right now on the 3 year olds, after paying absolutely no attention to the 2 YO fall racing, that I actually feel pretty good. I got too caught up in Uncle Mo, Union Rags, Shanghai Bobby hype over the past few years and it threw me off.

 The fan in me loves the idea of a monster arriving on the scene as a 2 YO and dominating his way to a Triple Crown, but c'mon, in this day and age, is that really possible? As the bar goes lower on American racing, yes there may be the next Count Fleet, but will there be the next Secretariat, and if there were, would the connections campaign him aggressively? I leave those deep thoughts to bloggers deeper than I.  

 As a simple internet handicapping hack (with a solidly black ROI but why quibble?) I'll stick to throwing darts at these baby racers and learn a bit about them, not for what I'll earn on races like this, but for me its all about the Super High Five on Kentucky Derby and Preakness Day. The Super High Five, my Holy Grail, I've won with low four figure results, but I want the big payout one day and that comes from knowing the runners inside and out and a bit of luck. 

Let's get after it!

I don't have much differentiation between the layers of quality I see in this race;  My top layer all seem capable of winning this race and at a minimum striking Top 4.  Mr. Speaker tries dirt for the first time, something McGaughey wins 14% of the time.  Nice efforts on turf.  Dam as had only 3 dirt route starters, 1 win and an 85 Beyer.

Coup de Grace (God I miss Havre de Grace by I digress) is a Fox Hill Farms product.  Going for 2 turns for the first time, a winner at 1 mile here at GP.  Brown/Johnny V getting together for first time here.  Brown is 32% off the layoff and 29% dirt winner, as well as a 17% Graded Stakes winner.  Dam had 5 dirt route winners and averaged an 86 Beyer, which this runner has already achieved.

Cairo Prince:  His sire, Pioneerof the Nile I watched win the Santa Anita Derby in one of the biggest disappointment racing trips I ever had- the Saturday morning scratch of The Pamplemousse, a speedy but fragile beast, which killed what looked like a major showdown just before the Kentucky Derby that year.  I digress again.  Cairo Prince, a grade 2 winner already and Place in the Nashua by a nose to Honor Code, looks to be a good runner for Trainer Kiran McLaughlin, a Turk favorite.  Training very well, McLaughlin is 27% off a break and $272,000 of earnings here already.  siblings have one 2 of 9 dirt routes for $65K and a 85 Beyer, so he's already above the cut for Dam Holy Bubbette.  Lots to like.

My next group seem capable of winning as well but I'm knocking them back just a little bit, rationally or not.  Intense Holiday, the obligatory Pletcher entry, goes from post 11.  Flat in the Remsen although last 1/16th was in :11 and change.  Dam produced no winners.

Wicked Strong also ran a quick last 1/16 in the Remsen for Show money. Dam produced no dirt route winners.  Honest horse who seems like it can rate already, at good price not an unreasonable win bet flyer.

Financial Mogul's dam Trav n' Kris has dropped some accomplished runners over dirt with a sibling best 106 Beyer and a 95 best Dirt Route. Nice rally at 13.7 to 1 for Place in the G2 Nashua.  Violette no wins in 7 stakes races past year and only 7% off a break that goes back to 3 November.  I'm thinking toss.

Almost Famous and Conquest Titan will be the two that screw me up;  Byrne/Borel race Almost Famous off a 75K OC at Churchill where he dominated after hopping out of gate.  No wins off layoff 61-180 days and no Won Last Starts.  At better than 8-1, real value in Exotic mix I reckon.  Conquest Titan goes for Trainer Mark Casse who I respect quite a bit. Dam Miner's Secret has no raced offspring. Son of Birdstone.  Working nice and comes in off 30 November $75K OC at CD at 8 panels.

I tossed three at my own peril.

I'll be honest, I don't like to bet on such lightly raced horses as I'm an information handicapper and there just isn't much here.  If forced to wager I'll go with something along these lines:

$1 Super:  1-6-7 OVER 1-6-7 OVER 1,4,6,7,8,11 OVER 1,4,8, 11 for $60  I stay true to base handicap for win/place, mix in Almost Famous, Intense Holiday and Wicked Strong into Show and Exotic and shade down Coup de Grace across all four spots and assume Mr. Speaker and Cairo Prince are top three.  10 cent version is $6 and you'll make Ok money if it wins.

Whatever you do, bet responsibly and make your own decisions. Don't let hype or some hack internet idiot who talks in the 3rd person influence your investment decisions.

Have fun friends, Turk Out!

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