Thursday, August 17, 2017

Saratoga 2017 Graded Stakes Race Video by Turf and Dirt through August 13



Welcome friends to The Turk and The Little Turk.

In this blog posted is video on all graded stakes at  Saratoga Springs from the opening of the Meet through August 13.

I've played Saratoga lightly since the beginning of the meet.  This upcoming Saturday's Alabama Stakes and Lake Placid will be feature races of this blog and the P3's surrounding these races will be my primary play.


If you find this helpful, leave me a comment.

Turk Out!


Turf


Lake George Stakes G3 8.5F  3YO F  21 July





Diana Stakes G1 9f   3YO and Up  22 July




Bowling Green G2  11F 4 YO and Up 29 July





Coronation Cup Stakes 5.5 F  3 YO   31 July




National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame G2  1 1/16 Miles  3 YOs  4 Aug



The Waya G3  1 1/2 Miles F&M 3YO and Up  5 August



Fourstar Dave Handicap G1  1 Mile 3 YO




Dirt

Coaching Club American Oaks G1  9F 3 YO Fillies 23 July




Honorable Miss H. G2  6F  3 Yo and Up F/M  26 July



John Morrissey Stakes 6.5F  3 Yo and Up F/M



Curlin Stakes 9F  3 YO



Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes H. G1  6f 3 YO& Up  29 July



Amsterdam Stakes G2 6.5 F Dirt 3YO



Jim Dandy   G2 9F   3YO




Shuvee H. G3 9F 3Yo and Up F/M  30 July




Shine Again Stakes 7f  3Yo and Up F/M  2 August




The Test G1  7F  3YO Fillies 5 August 





The Whitney G1 1 1/8 Miles 3 YO and Up  5 August





The Adirondack G2 6 1/2 F 2 YO Fillies 12 August



Saratoga Special G2   6/1/2 F 2YOs   13 August 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Post Race Bet Review and Video: Arlington Million Day

Permian-Ire  with Buick Up

Welcome Friends to The Turk and the Little Turk.  Little Turk and I are back after a beautiful weekend in Chicago. 

What a difference a year makes:  Last year we broiled under the sun and this year, while not cool, was far from warm.  Either way, no rain, firm turf and a great time.  

I can never say enough about the Arlington International Racecourse.  They treat you good, the facility is well maintained, and the fan experience for me never fails.  

The only downer for me was the death of Permian and the injury to William Buick.  It literally happened the first hop after the finish line and Little Turk and I saw it happen in real time.  The horse appeared to me to have suffered a terrible break and I told the Little Turk I didn't think he was savable and he wasn't.  Bless his heart, he remembers the dead and he immediately thought of when we saw Turk favorite George Washington break down in the Breeders' Cup Classic on a sloppy track in Monmouth.  Buick's father is quoted as saying William is in good spirits and was set to fly home on the Sunday after the race (Fuller) .  With Scottish (Ire) scratching in the Arlington Million, his day was over.  Now lets just hope we see him up again soon.  

I felt bad for the connections, as they were visibly upset on the track, looking for a divot or anything that may have led to the break and the fall.  I commend the track for getting the temporary barriers up quickly.  I personally don't care for how quickly we move on as a sport when one of the runners breakdowns like that.  I understand the horse player attitude, I witnessed it in my Twitter feed the lack of "dwelling" on it, the desire to forget it quickly, the harassing of anyone that showed empathy.  It's just not me.  It bothered me on Saturday and it bothers me the number of deaths at Saratoga this year. Writers I know and respect constantly downplay it, write it off to coincidence, cite the varied ways the breakdowns happened.  Like I said, I hold onto these deaths longer and I don't have any answers, just an observation that the horse racing media doesn't like to talk about the breakdowns more often, doesn't aid the fan in the process of grief anywhere near as much as they could. 

It's hard to call a day where we risked $476 dollars and grossed $882 in returns unsuccessful, but I was a mess most of the day on my verticals while my horizontal P3's were very good.  Silly me not playing the P4's, which would have made me low four figures, but I left that money on the table.  I said I was a mess, mostly on the bet construction side of things.  In fairness, the handicapping wasn't bad.

Anyway, I've got the charts update with Post Race Info and the bet results are below that.  At least it wasn't that chalky.  

Race 7-Chalk $1.50-1
Race 8- 8th on Tote  $27-1
Race 9- 5th on Tote $5.50-1
Race 10-5th on Tote $5.90 -1
Race 11-2nd on Tote $4.90-1
Race 12- 7th on Tote $12.20-1









Turk Out!







References

Fuller, Harriett (14 Aug 2017): Arlington Fall: Buick Recovering in Hospital following Fall From Permian.  The Sun. Web.  Recovered from https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/4231799/william-buick-on-his-way-to-hospital-after-fall-from-permian-in-the-secretariat-stakes-at-arlington/


Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Nominations Are In: Arlington Million Day Races 7-12


Welcome Friends to the Turk and the Little Turk.  Today's blogging is on location at Arlington Park as Little Turk and I take in the 35th Edition of The Arlington Million.  

Last year at Million Day 34, we sweated our asses off but enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.  The track is beautiful, the staff are friendly, the paddock and windows highly accessible. Now if only the State of Illinois wasn't so f**ked up as to not screw this treasure up in the name of slot revenues.  I promised myself that today will only be about today, I'm living in the moment of this Million and I'm hopeful for the future that this beautiful track that this wonderful sport find a way to survive with a business model that works. 

I've handicapped from Race 7, The Secretariat through Race 12 The Pucker Up.  The handicaps are quick and dirty as I'm building P3's and P4's today and my horizontals will be pure value plays on exacta and win.

Do you have a favorite race track and favorite day at that track.  Mine use to be Traver's/King Bishop Day but I felt priced out on that day at Saratoga.  I think The Million is my day.  I love Breeders's Cup Saturday, The Million and its a coin toss between the revamped Belmont Day and Kentucky Derby Day.  I love the spectacle of the big day.  Anyways, Little Turk, who's not so little anymore, and I get to hang out and relax and you can't put a price tag on that.

I work for a family owned business, very sharp people, and working around them makes me very sharp, always on, always thinking.  The track allows me to use that awareness and sharpness to my advantage.  My handicapping has been peaking over the past two months.  I'm just like a horse in some ways, I'm on my 2nd off a long layoff.  I'll try and stay sharp under Breeders' Cup before I get some farm time.  I've really enjoyed blogging and hopefully the readers will return from Twitter one day.

Enjoy friends!  Time to grab the car and drive out to the track.  First post 1:15 ET. Turk Out!






Thursday, August 10, 2017

Video Review: Arlington Million 2016-2004

Welcome Friends to The Turk and the Little Turk.

I took Little Turk to Arlington for the first time in 2008.  10 Years later and we are returning, this time for the Arlington Million. Little Turk and I went last year and had a great time at the track.  The staff is friendly, the track is wonderful, the paddock is easily reached and offers great views, and I can't say enough about how much I love this track. I'm concerned about the future of the track, and racing as a whole in Illinois, but that's a story for another time and place.  This weekend, I intend to enjoy this Million and not worry about anything else.

In prep of handicapping the race, I assembled video on the last 13 Arlington Million run.  Do you have a favorite?  In this time frame I loved Little Mike and The Pizza Man, but Debussy's last 1/16 of a mile was scintillating.

Most of the winners were 2-3 lengths back at the top of the stretch.  Only a few stayed on the lead at the 1/4 pole and kept it.  Late turns of foot.


Enjoy.  Turk Out!


2016 Arlington Million Mondialiste (Ire)



2015 Arlington Million The Pizza Man






2014 Arlington Million Hardest Core



2013 Arlington Million Real Solution



2012 Arlington Million Little Mike



2011 Arlington Million Cape Blanco (Ire)



2010 Arlington Million Debussy



2009 Arlington Million Gio Ponti



2008 Arlington Million Spirit One



2007 Arlington Million  Jambalaya



2006 Arlington Million The Tin Man



2005 Arlington Million Powerscourt



2004 Arlington Million Kicken Kris with Powerscourt DQ'd






Sunday, August 6, 2017

Post Race Review with Video of The Test and The Whitney G1's at Saratoga


Welcome Friends to The Turk and the Little Turk.

The fear of the unknown track, the bane of every public handicapper who is writing well in advance of post time in order to publish.  Yesterday's handicap's were all based on a wet track, sloppy and sealed, and it ended up being listed as Fast.  All in all the handicaps weren't too bad.

As I said pre-race, I was focused on the Pick 3, race 8-9-10.  The Pick 3 paid $273  on a $2 bet powered by a 14-1 Thundering Sky/1  taking the wire.  While I didn't bet, I most likely would not have covered the 1 horse so no harm/no foul.

Why didn't I play it?  Summer friends, summer happens, and when you live in snow country, everybody plans everything in a short 12 week period.  Yesterday was the Turk Family reunion and that picture is of my father, Papa Turk, as well as Little (not so Little anymore) Turk and me.  The family has some serious horse players in it.

This week for me is all about prepping for the Arlington Million Day, which Little Turk and I will be attending.  As much as I love Saratoga and the track experience, to me Arlington is my favorite course and it's just too bad it doesn't get an opportunity to host more big stakes action.  The track is operated first class and the amenities I care about (lots of windows, fast service, easy to reach and visit paddock, parking, and rest rooms) are really well done.


The Test Grade 1








The Whitney Grade 1








These weren't that complicated.  I would have easily had been alive into Race 10.  With the track listed as Fast I have no doubt I would have singled Gun Runner as I suggested pre-race.  That would have allowed me to cover about 4 horses in Race 10.  I liked Thundering Sky cutting back from 1 1/16 Miles as I had handicapped the Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx and noted he ran a strong opening 7F.  Would I have picked the 4 YO Sky Mesa? Who knows.

Have fun friends.  Bet responsibly.  Turk Out!













Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Nomination Is In: The Whitney Grade 1 at Saratoga

Gun Runner in the Razorback-Coady Photography

Welcome Friends to the Turk and the Little Turk.  

Today's Handicap's of Race 9 and 10 at Saratoga are in support of a vertical Pick 3 bet construction project, with Race 8, The Test as the opening leg.  You can find my full blown video analysis and thoughts on that race here

Race 9 is The Grade 1 Whitney contested at 1 1/8 Miles over dirt, a version of which I'm not sure yet.  Keep your eye on the track conditions and scratches and changes as the day goes on.  It looks like duck weather until mid afternoon.  

It's a challenging three race series this Pick 3.  I'm saying way up front, I'm not sure how much betting capital I'll be wagering, as there are easier spots to pick than this.  What I think I'm going to do is assemble some prices in Race 8 and Race 10 and consider singling Gun Runner in Race 9. Alternatively, I'll cover several prices to beat Gun Runner and add a few covers in race 8 and 10. Both strategies have their merits.  Do I like Gun Runner?  I love how he is campaigned. Churchill Downs, Dubai, Oaklawn, Churchill Downs, Santa Anita, Parx, Saratoga, Monmouth.  7 tracks in last 8 starts.  8 wins in 15 starts.  $4.6 MM in earnings.  The four year old Candy Ride from Quiet Giant (Giant's Causeway) is classy, trains well for Asmussen, and Asmusen/Geroux seem to have his pulse.  Lot's to like.  Lots to Like here?  3 Wet Starts, 1 Place. and last off track was a sloppy and sealed Haskell Invitational in 2016 a well beaten 6 lengths.  

Let's get it on!

The Haskell
2016- Gun Runner no excuses, good trip, hated the surface and the dirt in his face when things tightened up.






The Charlestown Classic G2  CT 1 1/8 Sloppy/Sealed- Closer Favoring- Game effort for War Story;  Cautious Giant 22 beaten lengths. 





Stephen Foster Handicap   CD 1 1/8 Fast dirt - Gun Runner by 8, Breaking Lucky well beaten Show.



Alysheba G2 CD  1 1/16 Miles Sloppy/Sealed- Breaking Lucky 0/2 Wet Track, 0/8 distance



Flat Out Stakes $98K 13/8 Miles  Fast Dirt BEL  Tu Brutus in a romp





Excelsior Stakes G3 Aqu.  1 1/4 Miles Fast Dirt- Tu Brutus (Chi) good first US effort



Suburban Handicap G2 BEL 1 1/4 Fast Dirt   Paceless for a mile.  Keen Ice by 3 over chalk Shaman Ghost



Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile 2016  SA- A Closer favoring pace form with Gun Runner gamely Place.





I'd love to woo you with some BS and sound like I know exactly how this is going to play out, but I'm sorry you'll have to buy a Pink or some other colored sheet to get that sort of "expert" analysis. The track conditions, the surface itself, the fields lack of sloppy and sealed success gives me no real insights.  That said, let's take stock of what we know.


  • Gun Runner is the best horse on the track
  • Keen Ice is the tiniest of notches below.  I also love how Donegal and Calumet are campaigning Curlin's five year old.  
  • War Story's past performances implies he does better in speed duels than closers, except on wet surfaces.  His lifetime high 106 Beyer was on a good surface and I liked his sloppy and sealed Charles Town Classic
  • Tu Brutus (Chi) has never run on an off track.  I'm thinking he will set the pace and be gobbled up. 
  • Breaking Lucky is winless in 8 starts at the distance, winless on off track, 3 wins in 20 career starts but is an Ontario bred millionaire.  I don't like the way he looked in the Alysheba on a sloppy and sealed.  
  • Cautious Giant and Discreet Lover will be the longest prices on the board.  Neither is much of a threat, a combined 56 starts and 8 wins. That said, if swinging for the fences, Cautious Giant is interesting on the right track .  
You could just press the easy button at pick Gun Runner, possibly single him.  I wouldn't criticize you for that.  I think it's as likely he fades to 4th as it is he wins and the wildcard is the track.  


I don't see much reason to overthink this one.  I'm going to watch the races before Race 8, get a feel for the surface, and cover 2 or 3 horses.  

Have fun friends, Turk Out!


Friday, August 4, 2017

The Nomination Is In: The Test Grade 1 at Saratoga and 1st leg of Race 8-10 Pick 3

American Gal- Benoit

Welcome Friends to the Turk and the Little Turk.

As I sat down to start studying the Saratoga Late Pick 3 that includes The Test G1, The Whitney G1 and De La Rose 100K, I became enthralled with the Test field And decided this race was deserving of its own blog post.

Why am I enthralled? It's a deep, experienced field:  64 career starts/32 Career wins for the field of 10. There appears to be opportunity to get a very good horse, like for example, Vertical Oak, at a nice price of $9-$12-1.



The field also has a mixture of horses that have run in slop and sealed surfaces, which I'm afraid tomorrow's Spa may turn into.  I like the handicapping challenge and the betting opportunity presented here In this Grade 1 Three Year Old Fillies race.  This isn't what I would say "my wheelhouse", but let's dive into it as I don't want to cover any more than I need to for my planned betting activity itself, the Race 8-10 Pick Three.  Watch the track conditions and Scratches and Changes.  The weather is bad headed towards Saratoga.

Before I go to far, I'd like to thank the good people at Feedspot for naming The Turk and the Little Turk one of the Top 60 Horse Racing Blogs, checking us in at 59.  It was an honor, deserved or not, and nice recognition in an era where few comment or even read full blogs anymore.







The Victory Ride G3: BEL 6.5f Fast Dirt 9 July



A romp by 4+ lengths for American Gal.  Vertical Oak is running nice in the last 1/16th to get up for Place.



Summertime Oaks G2 SA  1 1/16 Miles Fast Dirt  17 June



Faypien had a nice trip, but the re rally she makes to hold for Win was really solid.



Jersey Girl 150K  BEL 6f Fast Dirt 11 June Chalon cruising.



The chalk Vertical Oak pulled up with bad start.  Chalon had a soft quarter pace :23.62, and :23.78 soft half, Chalon just dropped the hammer to 1 min 10 sec 6/10ths.


Miss Preakness G3  PIM 6F Fast Dirt  19 May



Vertical Oak in peak form.



Gold Finch PrM  $67K 6F Sloppy/Sealed Dirt  29 April



Vertical Oak in a sloppy/sealed Prairie Meadows setting career high Beyer of 94

Race 3 Maiden $75K  GP 6F Fast Dirt  11 Jan



Divine Miss Grey breaking her Maiden at Gulfstream.  5 wins in 7 starts in 2017

I could make a case for four horses winning this race.  It's not often I have four horses in my possible win spot so when I feel good about four I can either cover all four in my Pick 3 or I can take the best two or three prices and take my chances.

Faybien ships in from Santa Anita for Baffert.  I suspect she will be the chalk, the Ghostzapper oozes class.  Never raced a wet surface although Tomlinson is at my Mendoza line of 400.  2 wins in 2 starts at the distance. Training exceptionally well including a :59 1/5th  5F bullet.  Baffert's numbers are absolutely gaudy: 25% Route/Sprint (cutting back from 1 1/16), 32% 31-60 day layoff, 41% won last start, 30% dirt wins, 34% graded stakes  in 135 starts and 32% winner with Bejarano Up.

American Gal left Baffert's barn and is trained by Simon Callaghan.  I like Callaghan and Baffert. 
 Callaghan, who had Abel Tasman, lost the talented Quality Road filly and had no qualms calling out a deep pocketed syndicate,  "...China Horse Club purchased a 50 percent interest in Abel Tasman from breeder and co-owner Clearsky Farms after her victory in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Starlet in December. It was intended that she carry China Horse Club colors in the Santa Ysabel. Prior to race day, Callaghan said he confirmed with the silks room that the colors were available.
However, Callaghan said, when Talamo came to the walking ring, he was wearing the Clearsky colors. Talamo was asked to return to the room and change into the China Horse Club silks, but the silks could not be located. Talamo wore the Clearsky silks.
“They moved her purely because of the silks,” Callaghan said. “It’s a pretty heartless thing to do. China Horse Club brings a lot of money into the game, but they bring no class.”
A phone call Thursday to China Horse Club representative Mick Flanagan seeking comment was disconnected during conversation. Flanagan did not return a phone message seeking comment.
The move was a major blow to Callaghan, who developed Abel Tasman from an unraced 2-year-old into one of the leading members of her division. The filly, by Quality Road, has won three of five starts and is considered a leading prospect for the Kentucky Oaks.
Baffert, who trains American Anthem for an ownership group that includes China Horse Club, said he got the call Wednesday.
“I was surprised,” Baffert said. “They said they were going to move her no matter what, and they asked me"  (Free 2017).  
Drama.
Your Love is a lightly raced Chad Brown Flatter filly.  2 starts/2 wins, stepping up from N1X territory today.  
I really like Vertical Oak.  She's had a really interesting 2017 with early success, some misfortune in the Jersey Girl, a well beaten but still running Victory Ride.  It's depressing her price and I dig that.  She's 4 wins in 10 starts and don't sleep on that speed.  
I'll take my chances not covering Chalon, but you can't cover them all.  She showed exceptional speed in the Jersey Girl so depending on her price I may include her.  Sorry to be less than definitive, I'm just not sure if I'm even building a horizontal bet on the race. 
I'm not sure what to make of Cursor. She's looked good in sprints and her price will be big.  Speed, and a lack of,  is the issue. 
I like the Divine Park filly Divine Miss Grey.  5 wins in 9 career starts.  Speed, and a lack of,  is the issue part deux. 
I think I'll cover the four and maybe assemble some prices into exacta and win bets as well.  
Have fun with it friends.  I'll be back to handicap the Whitney, the De La Rose and complete my Pick 3. 
Turk Out!

References
Free, Brad. (9 March 2017) Able Tasman in Callaghan to Baffert Trainer Switch.  Web. Daily Race Form.   Retrieved From http://www.drf.com/news/abel-tasman-callaghan-baffert-trainer-switch


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Aggregate Video of all 2017 Saratoga Stakes Races Dirt and Turf

Welcome friends to The Turk and The Little Turk.

Today I pulled together all the video on every stake race run at the Saratoga Springs from the opening of the Meet through August 2.

I've never had a very good ROI at Saratoga, especially on the dirt track.  The surface doesn't seem to be playing as in years past.  I've heard it referred to as playing like Churchill Downs. I don't know about that.  When you watch the races back to back like this you will see the rail and the next path over seem to have a bias.  I'm sticking to the Turf and just handicapping the main track for kicks.

I'll update this as the weeks go on.

Turk Out!


Turf


Lake George Stakes G3 8.5F  3YO F  21 July





Diana Stakes G1 9f   3YO and Up  22 July




Bowling Green G2  11F 4 YO and Up 29 July





Coronation Cup Stakes 5.5 F  3 YO   31 July




Dirt

Coaching Club American Oaks G1  9F 3 YO Fillies 23 July




Honorable Miss H. G2  6F  3 Yo and Up F/M  26 July



John Morrissey Stakes 6.5F  3 Yo and Up F/M



Curlin Stakes 9F  3 YO



Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes H. G1  6f 3 YO& Up  29 July



Amsterdam Stakes G2 6.5 F Dirt 3YO



Jim Dandy   G2 9F   3YO




Shuvee H. G3 9F 3Yo and Up F/M  30 July



Shine Again Stakes 7f  3Yo and Up F/M  2 August