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