Friday, November 27, 2015
Thank you to The Thorofan for allowing this idiot, hack handicapper an opportunity to talk ponies with you all.
Poor Meriweather Lewis Clark. He did so much for our sport yet died by his own hand at age 53. The Clark Handicap is a part of my Thanksgiving tradition, tun across a route of dirt located on property donated and named for Meriweather's mother's family, the Churchill's.
I remember Mr. Clark every year as the race named in his honor shouts THANKSGIVING to me as much as turkey, stuffing, gravy.
Anyway, we have a nice post holiday smorgasbord of runners in this event with 7 legitimate Grade 1 horses going head to head. I don't know about you, but that alone get's my blood going. Let's get it on!
When I look at the past performances, and I look at who likes to race within 2 lengths of the lead and who doesn't I have a mixed bag. Who likes the lead: Mr. Z (have you seen him race?) for sure, Race Day, Effinex, and Protonico most of the time, and Hopportunity, Keen Ice and Frivolous, not so much. Of my two tosses, only Shotgun Kowboy appears to be willing to add to the pace.
So what am I expecting? While some bad weather is headed there, it looks like the rains may not start until around post time. I expect Hopportunity to fire off the pace and retain his Clark Handicap title. Alternatives? The pace could go awry and then I think Race Day or Effinex have the best win potential of the remaining group. Filling out Place and Show and if you want to go into the exotic Superfecta you most likely will need some luck or alot of covers which I never advocate. Remember, winning your wager at any cost, is not a good strategy for race track capital management. While we might be gambling, their are river boat gamblers and there are shrewd gamblers. Be shrewd!
Hopportunity, Protonico and Race Day last met in the Hagyard Fayette, G2 at KEE
I've never been big on betting Breeders' Cup contestants in their next race back. Keen Ice comes in on 2nd off a long layoff and first off was Breeders' Cup Classic. The 3 YO son of
already has $1.8 MM in winnings. By the way Trainer Roman's is 13% off the break and he places Lanerie up from the jock pool, and together they win 26% of time at CD. Locals!
Mr. Z. comes in off the Breeders' Cup Mile where he was rank early and faded late. The 3 YO Malibu Moon will be a major pace player but expect him to crack around 8 panels.
Frivolous, the lone lady, comes in off the Distaff (let it be known the Turk never referred to it as a "ladies classic.") 5 of 7 in the money at CD, 5 of 8 in the money at the distance, but I think she's just not fast enough here.
Effinex was first loser, aka Place, against American Pharoah in the Breeders' Cup Classic, so so in Gold Cup and the Woodward and running at CD for the first time. Plenty fast with tactical speed.
Race Day's best efforts have been on/near the lead. I think the 4 YO will be sent out fast from the far end of gate and could wire the race.
Whatever you do,, have fun with it and keep your betting based in the realities of your bank account.