|Public Sector: NYRA/Chelsea Durant|
- Shifting Sands/8
- Hudson Ridge/5
- Zoffarelli (Ire)/10
- Beyond Brilliant/2
- Cathkin Peak (Ire)/3
|Public Sector: NYRA/Chelsea Durant|
|Pixelate: photo by Coady Photography|
Welcome Friends to The Turk and Little Turk Blog, with a narrow focus on handicapping, primarily older turf runners, since 2008. In those years we have written over 680 blog posts and given bet suggestions on almost all of them. Our most recent handicap of the Pacific Classic gave a $2 Exacta Bet for $20 that returned $93.20. Past results are not an indication of future, but over a long period of time this blog has offered bet constructions and documented the success. While its terribly difficult to eek out positive ROI race after race, I have proven that focusing on a small group of races and really analyzing in depth can allow me to make good race track investments. My objectives: Relaxation, small profits and sharing my insights with my small but passionate reader base.
Kentucky Downs is one of my favorite tracks, and with the unsettled future of Arlington Race Track, is easily my favorite turf course in the United States. Tomorrow marks the first of six days of live racing of this boutique meet and I hope to play at least one race every day. Let's get after the Dueling Ground Derby $750K.
Saratoga Derby Invitational G1: 7 Aug 21; 1 3/16 Firm Turf: Yes This Time, Palazzi, Cellist, De Jour
|Express Train: Photo by Benoit|
It's the age old saying, is it better to be lucky or skilled? In my experience at the track, skill gets you break even and luck brings you an ROI with boasting about.
Welcome friends to The Turk and the Little Turk blog. We started 2020 with the intention of blogging every week and having a 52 Bets in 52 Weeks series of posts. We made it to the end of February before, in this order, my father in law died, the quarantine started and life came to halt, and my father died. When horse racing did return, and when I came out of the fog I was in personally, the world was seen differently by me.
The lack of fans at the track doesn't bother me, but the rhythm of the racing season is ajar. Coupled with a sense of my own mortality, I wasn't sure if this blog, started in a different time and different place, September 2008, was worth continuing.
The reality is that almost no one reads it anymore. My traffic was never great, and it's abysmal now. When people did read blogs, mine wasn't good enough, or my writing not crisp enough to garner regular readers. I soldiered on because I never started this blog for any reason other than to share my insights into the game of handicapping and betting with anyone interested. While the world is different, and my priorities for that matter also, I still like the challenge of betting the ponies and I continue to be good at it. I may not have much charisma as a turf writer, but I have always done a good job picking winners, be it superfectas in the old days, but over the last few years, the exacta near exclusively.
I handicapped the Fourstardave and was struck by how good the field was. For the first time in a very long time I almost didn't toss any runners, and only after some hand wringing did I toss the Show horse, Casa Creed, a Mott horse who at 4 YO I thought was too slow to be with this group. I didn't particularly love recent form, although training nicely at SAR, but last year over this course he put up a 1.33.72 in the Hall of Fame G2. This one was won in 1:33.32. I just thought there was too much in front of him, but I did notice he was 5th on the tote board, just a bit better than the returning last year winner, Got Stormy.
Anyways, in the blog post I was clear that I wasn't interested in betting short paying favorites and I said I'd be inclined to $2 Bet Halladay and Got Stormy OVER Raging Bull, Without Parole and Uni for $12.
My ultimate bet was Halladay/Got Stormy OVER Halladay, Got Stormy, Raging Bull, Without Parole and Uni, a $2 Bet for $16. You hope for the best, luck helps, and on this day that $16 became $125. You'll find the race chart from DRF here.
The lovely Dita (pictured above) honored me with a cigar for my effort.
The 52 in 52 is up to Race 6. I'm just going to keep this spreadsheet rolling forward until the sample size is over 100.
Welcome Friends to The Turk and the Little Turk Blog, sharing handicapping and bet construction advice since 2008.
I moved to Saratoga, Jumel Place, in April of 1986 and lived there until late November. I did all the requisite things that a Navy Petty Officer should do, including dating a Skiddy Kiddy, hanging out at The Metro and becoming a fixture at the race track. What I did not get the pleasure of doing was see Fourstardave (pictured above with photo credit: Adam Coglianese) run in person, as he burst onto the scene a year later in 1987. The Sultan of Saratoga is gone but not forgotten, but it's horses like this that catch the eyes and hearts of race fans that are needed if this sport is ever going to grow again. I'm not talking about handle, which is nice and needed, I'm talking about culturally relevancy.
I grew up when sports like Boxing and Horse Racing were still relevant. The generation that fought World War 2 was approaching retirement, enjoying the sports that they and their fathers grew up with, but funny things happen along the cultural road. Gambling on Football now dwarfs everything. Twitter and Social Media platforms offer quick takes which has replaced reading and deeper analysis. I'm not trying to be the old guy shouting from the window for a return to the past, but sometimes the old ways are best.
If you are reading this blog for the first time, try reading a book like Dick Mitchell's Common Sense Betting or Brad Free's Handicapping 101: A Horse Racing Primer. Join The Thorofan and find community. Immersing yourself in something that takes time and effort can be a rewarding experience. If anyone reading this ever wants help learning how to handicap, place a bet, or just feel comfortable at a race track, contact me. I'll do my best to help you and I promise I'm not a creeper!
It's such a lost year on many levels. I was so engaged at the beginning of the year with handicapping and this blog but the quarantine and life in general just took its toll. My only real objective now is to stay fresh, watch September and early October racing carefully, and prepare for Breeders' Cup Weekend. I'm all about turf racing and I prefer the cagey 5-7 year old's the best, and while I prefer a bit more of a route of grass, the inner turf, 1 mile, Grade 1 Fourstardave gives me the opportunity at a nine horse field and a lot of natural class. Lets get after this.