Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Nomination is In: The Suburban Handicap, Grade 2 at Belmont

Fit to Fight, 1984 and last NY Handicap Triple Champ
Welcome friends to The Turk and the Little Turk, a horse racing blog focused exclusively on handicapping and bet construction.  I'd like to thank The Thorofan through their Handicapper's Corner for allowing me to share my thoughts, derivatives of handicapping methods I've learned over the years from the writings of Tom Ainsile (Richard Carter) and Brad Free primarily.

That handsome fella is Fit to Fight, the fourth and last winner of the New York Handicap Triple, a three race sequence that included the Metropolitan Handicap, the Brooklyn Handicap and the Suburban Handicap.  Obviously it would be hard to win now that the super geniuses moved the Met Mile onto the same card as the Brooklyn Handicap.

Would it be so hard to create a NY Series with a race on Wood Memorial Day, the Suburban and then the Woodward?  Racing in my opinion does little to excite the fans.  I've had a hard time watching  some of the major televised events over past six months because every telecast eventually leads to an American Pharoah exposition.  Even a Triple Crown was squandered by the people that market this sport.  This isn't the type of blog that gets into these sort of issues, but it doesn't mean The Turk isn't wildly frustrated by the lack of progress in making this sport less of a cultural backwater.

Let's get it on!

The weather might be wet.  Make sure you keep your eye on the  Scratches/Changes and Track Condition. I'm Ok saying I think my handicap is good regardless if the dirt is fast or wet, but my bet construction may change a bit.

I always like to get a visual look at the track and the  runners recent efforts.  Here we have Shaman Ghost looking very strong at 1 1/2 miles over Turco Bravo and Samraat (yawn).

Stephen Foster with Eagle just missing for Place and Effinex in a forgettable trip.

Noble Bird in the Met Mile.  I'm posting just to drool over Frosted again.

Sometimes the video/visual handicapping helps, other times it just provides a fun distraction from the task at hand: handicapping a classic distance handicap.  I'm going with Eagle as a very tepid chalk. I could make a case for Shaman Ghost or Effinex but I'm going with Eagle on a driving finish from more than three lengths off the lead. Negatives: First BEL start, no starts at the distance.  Positives include 13 of 15 in the money on fast dirt, a smokin' 436 Tomlin on off tracks and some consistent game efforts of late.  I fully expect him to be in the money but his drive could come up short.

Throw out the Effinex effort at the Stephen Foster.  Defending champion here, has tussled and won against some true Grade 1 horses, with 2 wins in 8 starts at BEL, 5 of 6 in the money at the distance, capable in the slop.  Trainer Jenkens, uncoupled with his Shaman Ghost entry, has Mike Smith up here.  Will he go on the lead or try to give him one big run is a wildcard for me.

Shaman Ghost ran a hell of a Brooklyn.  Cutting back a full 1/4 mile,  this Ontario bred represents a good price and a chance to make a nice win bet return.  5 of 6 in the money on fast dirt, a big wet track Tomlinson, 2 of 2 in the money at the distance, 2 of 2 in the money at BEL, 7 of 10 in the money lifetime and a :59 3/5ths bullet 6 days ago.  Light the fuse!

Noble Bird I don't think is a win candidate. Very inconsistent, with alternating good and bad efforts. His putrid Met Mile came off a career best 110 Beyer Pimlico Special.

I'm not that high on Mubtaahij: He made $2.0 MM in earnings for finishing well back of California Chrome in Dubai World Cup.

First time lasix, a 20% win angle for Trainer McLaughlin.  I'm not a big fan of the the first effort off the heavy travel to Dubai.

Seven year old Turco Bravo (Chi) is the wily old veteran of the group. 51 career starts, 4 straight 90+ Beyers, 7 of 8 in the money at the distance but slow.   Possible he hits the exotics.

I'm tossing Samraat just because you can't cover everyone (unless you're a hack).  Slow and his career Beyer was two years ago as Place to Wicked Strong in the Wood Memorial.  I'm not sure he's run a good race since early 2014.  I'm tossing Tapin Mojo who enters off a $12,500 claimer.  A sign o' the times.

I have no idea what I'm doing from a bet perspective yet but all things equal my bet will match my handicap.

Have fun with it friends, Turk Out!

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