Sunday, January 11, 2015

Post Race Analysis for Race Day 10 January 2015; The G3 Sham Stakes at SA

A good handicap and a well crafted bet constructed gives me reason to celebrate with a meaty stick and two fingers of bourbon.  Unfortunately, I'm off the cigars and bourbon as I round myself into the best shape I have been in since the late 90's, but I appreciate the lovely Dita having a cigar to celebrate winning a trifecta based on the Turk's input.

Today was very similar to last week's blog posting, where a heavily favored but not yet fully proven chalk took on a field of mixed quality.  Last week it was El Kabeir in The Jerome, and this week it is Calculator in The Sham.  A sprinter going two turns and running away with it:  I question this field as much as I questioned The Jerome's.

Calculator made an impressive run up just before the top of the stretch and ran away with it.  Mile and quarter, I dunno but don't think so.  Two turns, mile to mile and eighth and boy did he move fluidly under Trujillo.

Take a look!

What did I do well:
  • Had Rock Shandy covered into Place.  The bettors had him 7th on the board.  I saw sharp work at SA.
  •  I had Pioneerof the West covered for Show.  The bettors had him 6th on the board.  Good SA pedigree and big Tomlinson at the distance.
  •  I tossed the 3rd horse on the tote board, Unblunted
  •  I tossed the 4th horse on the tote board, Hero Ten All.  

On the negative side of the ledger, I missed on St Joe Bay.  Looking back at the PPs I can make the pace scenario case that breaking along the rail he'd speed to the front and try to hold on.

Pre race I proposed the following:

$0.10 Supers and $1 Tri's are on the menu.

We could Single Calculator in something like this:  $1 Tri:  7- OVER 2-3-5-6 OVER 2-3-5-6-8= $16  This would have paid $110.40 or Net $94.40


$1 Tri:  2-3-5-6-7 OVER 2-3-5-6-7 OVER 2-3-5-6-8= $68  This would have paid $110.40 or Net $42.40


$0.10 Superfecta:  2-3-5-6-7 OVER 2-3-5-6-7 OVER 2-3-5-6-8 OVER 2-3-5-6-8=$16.80 BUST or ($16.80)

Betting the Turk cold would have cost you $100.80 but earned you $220.80 or $120 profit.  The ROI is pretty high and not worth calculating.  

Have fun friends, the Derby Trail is about to begin.  

Turk Out!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Nomination Is In: The Sham Stakes G3 at Santa Anita

Sham on the far outside  at the Start of the Belmont Stakes with the Great Secretariat at the far inside

Define greatness.

 Greatness is assigned by in our society to so many things.  In the caption above I assigned the adjective of Great to Secretariat.   Was Sham "great"?  His career highlight was a Grade 1 win in the Santa Anita Derby, a Place in the Wood Memorial, an approximate  2:00 Kentucky Derby Place and a Place in the Preakness.  He was a physically large horse and imposing. I'm calling him a damn fine horse, worthy of remembrance, but in my humble opinion not great. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being in the class and caliber of Sham.  He will be remembered long after Super Saver for example, no offense intended at all to the Winner of the 2010 Kentucky Derby, but neither great or particularly memorable.  

Today's Sham Stakes may or may not have a great amongst its field.  About the only way we'll know is to watch them today and over the next several months and see if any of them will pass the Turk Litmus test.

Let's get after it!

Calculator, the Florida bred Maiden trained by Peter Miller, has been training very sharply since mid November after missing the Breeders' Cup.  He ran second to American Pharaoh losing by a combined 8 lengths.  Miller is 6% off of a layoff this long, is 5% in Graded Stakes and he has Trujillo up, with the two of them 23% at SA. Tepid chalk, regardless of the fact I appear to have him singled in BLUE.

I have a three horse group ranked just behind Calculator:  Rockinatten, Papacoolpapacool and Rock Shandy fill out this group, with Pioneerof the West possibly deserving.

Rockinatten is also 1st off a long layoff, and first with new Trainer, Doug O'Neill.  O'Neill is 10% with first timers, 2% off the break, and somehow 2% in Graded Stakes over past year.  First time racing at Great Race Place for the Florida bred son of High Cotton.

Papacoolpapacool is a lame name, just for the record.  The Temple City son tries dirt for first time, with Trainer Jeff Mullins 5% turf to dirt and no graded stakes wins in past year.  A nice :58  1 out of 100 hand ride bullet training session on 28 December.

Rock Shandy (Peter Miller has three horses today with Rock Shandy and a tosser, St Joe Bay) tries dirt for the first time as well and also  has been training nicely at SA.

Pioneerof The West, trained by Mark Casse, returns to dirt after a clunker on turf at the start of this meet in late December.  Casse is 16% turf to dirt and 13% in Graded Stakes over past year.

At my own peril I'm tossing from contention Unblunted and St Joe Bay and I may consider Hero Ten All in Superfecta bets.  Hero Ten All, also trained by Jeff Mullins has closed exceptionally well and I see him still coming at the end of the race, maybe nipping some of the higher rated horses for the Exotic fourth place and possibly Show.

So, what to do with this?

$0.10 Supers and $1 Tri's are on the menu.

We could Single Calculator in something like this:  $1 Tri:  7- OVER 2-3-5-6 OVER 2-3-5-6-8= $16


$1 Tri:  2-3-5-6-7 OVER 2-3-5-6-7 OVER 2-3-5-6-8= $68


$0.10 Superfecta:  2-3-5-6-7 OVER 2-3-5-6-7 OVER 2-3-5-6-8 OVER 2-3-5-6-8=$16.80

I'm not sure I like any of them but I'll reserve the right to watch the tote board and make a few tweaks based on any tweets from horse players I know and trust regarding the appearance of the animals in the paddock and post parade.

Have fun friends, Turk Out!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Post Race Analysis for The Jerome at Aqueduct

El Kabeir winning Jerome: Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglinese

Welcome friends to The Turk and the Little Turk.  Saturday's handicap was a good example of taking what a race offered, both in the handicap and with the bet construction.  OK, what do you mean by that dribble? I'm trying to say that this was a pretty easy race to decode and bet.  I think El Kabeir is a pretty nice horse, Cairo Prince I don't know, but a nice horse and the field had just a few competent runners and then a bunch of horses that had no business running in a graded stake. I gave out four possible exotic bets pre race and one Super and Tri would have won cash.  Let's recap from the pre race handicap....

a $0.1 Super:  7-9 OVER 4-7-8-9 OVER 1-2-4-6-7-8-9 OVER 1-2-4-6-7-8= $11.20.  The $2 Super paid $559.00 and the ten cent cashed $27.95.

7-9 OVER 4-7-8-8 OVER 1-4-7-8 OVER 1-2-4-6-7-8 =$6.00 BUST ($6.00)

Trifecta:  $0.50  4-7-8-9 OVER 4-7-8-9 OVER 1-4-7-8-9= $18  (Bust $18)

Trifecta $1.00 7-9 OVER 4-7-8-9 OVER 1-4-6-7-8=$22 or $11 for a $0.50 lottery ticket which paid $90.75.

Just betting the four bets dumb would have returned $118.70 with a net return of $72.50.

As I said pre race, I was more interested in watching the race than having ROI, but I don't invest to lose so a nice 156% ROI on one race is icing on the cake.

So what went well?

  • I didn't value Ostrolenka as high as the bettors did.  I'm not sure what Pletcher's Musket Man son will become, but I hated the Remsen and wasn't sold today.
  • I should have singled El Kabeir but a newly minted 3 YO doesn't deserve that sort of respect.  I looked for value but had him covered.
  • I had General Bellamy in the show spot discounting Royal Burgh.  Pletcher's Street Sense runner also had a poor Remsen and I discounted him at my own peril in my Tri's.  

For anyone new to my blog, The Turk doesn't follow 2 YOs at all, so this is a wondrous time of discovery for me.  "A time of discovery" and "betting cash" isn't always a good mix and often this presents the investor a chance to turn $50 into $25, but racing is also about patterns and pattern identification.  The mixture of quality in this race set up for me a classic scenario with the best horse near the front in my bet construction, the best of the rest covered and the rest tossed.  It doesn't always unfold like that but when it doesn't in hindsight it seems so obvious.

Yes, Kentucky Derby points were awarded blah blah blah...There are MUCH better blogs to address that sort of thing.  Come to think of it, there are much better blogs period, but you must have not got that memo.  I'm glad you didn't and thanks for reading.

Enjoy Friends this Feast of the Epiphany.

Turk Out!

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Nomination Is In: The Jerome Grade 3 at Aqueduct

El Kabeir: Photo by Reed Palmer Churchill Downs
Happy New Years friends and readers of The Turk and Little Turk.  This is the eighth year of this blog, and while never a "must read", I like to think that it has been a consistent no bullshit, no ego, handicapping analysis forum.  I modeled the blog in the image of three of my handicapping heroes, Brad Free, The Happy Handicapper, Bob Summers, and Steve Crist. I'd be remiss in not adding an honorary fourth member to that list, as my Aunt Rosie was the one who introduced me to the horses way back on 19th Street on Saturday afternoons.  Aunt Rosie loved the grey horses and she'd like El Kabeir, pictured to the left winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Grade 2 at Churchill Downs in late November.  The running line reads "...lasted late, all out."  We like that sort of effort, and this Scat Daddy son may have a bright future.  In my eighth year I plan to continue to bring the heavy hitting handicapping that my demanding readers expect.

Let's get after this!

El Kabeir is a serious 3 year old right now.  4 of 5 in the money, a big price tag at sale, a Grade 2 winner, an accomplished and still peaking sire in Scat Daddy, this Florida bred still needs to learn to rate, still has much to do, and will be at the far outside on a funky track.  I like him but I'll be betting for him to get nipped at the wire.  So who then....

I'll be backing Ackeret, more of a sprinter but this is short enough for him I think and the barn goes 17% in sprint to routes.  Ortiz Up for Rodriguez and they clip along at 26% together at this track.  Feast or famine, not singling.

Nasa and Ostrolenka are in my next tier of runners.  Nasa has the races biggest Tomlinson number at 394 but has also been used as more of a sprinter. The PA bred is trained by John Servis who has no stakes wins in past 12 months and is 12% on sprint to routes.  Ostrolenka is a Musket Man son, a Turk favorite, and had a forgettable G2 Remsen last time out after having a good fall at Belmont.

Mini Cosmo, Royal Burgh and General Bellamy make up the rest of the contenders while I tossed Now We Are Free and Tencendur at my own peril.   I'm torn on what order, but I'm mostly favoring Mini Cosmo and General Bellamy and essentially have tossed Royal Burgh in Tri's.

So what to do with this?

My real interest here isn't ROI, it's Derby Trail reconnaissance.  That said, I think I see an opportunity to assemble a cheap investment that gives me a chance to check my handicapper and bettor boxes.

a $0.1 Super:  7-9 OVER 4-7-8-9 OVER 1-2-4-6-7-8-9 OVER 1-2-4-6-7-8= $11.20.  That's a bit too pricy for me for at ten center so.....

7-9 OVER 4-7-8-8 OVER 1-4-7-8 OVER 1-2-4-6-7-8 =$6.00

and a Trifecta:  $0.50  4-7-8-9 OVER 4-7-8-9 OVER 1-4-7-8-9= $18

a bit pricey so....

Trifecta $1.00 7-9 OVER 4-7-8-9 OVER 1-4-6-7-8=$22 or $11 for a $0.50 lottery ticket.

Have fun with it friends.

Turk Out!