Monthly Archives: November 2007

Go for Gin has good day at Aqueduct

Go for Gin & Jerry Bailey returning the winner’s circle (Jason Moran)

Gelded sons of Go for Gin won the 1st and 9th races today at Aqueduct.

Banrock ($8.40) took the first race sitting off the pace, coming 3 wide to win by 2 3/4 lengths in a 1 3/8 mile $56K AlwN1X on the dirt.

Premier Perfection ($6.50), one of the few favorites to win today, took the $50K AlwN1X on the turf by a neck after setting a moderate pace and digging in to hold off a game Trickanometry. It was also Premier Perfection’s turf premier after coming off a 6 month lay-off… both premier and perfection for sure!

Johnny V was aboard Premier Perfection and had 3 wins on the card. Full wrap-up later (after left overs).

Back, Back in the New York Groove

Today is my first full day of playing since the BC, I’ve played a few hunches here and there but no concerted handicapping efforts. I’m going to play the 4th through the 9th at Aqueduct and the De Francis Dash. I’m also going to watch the baby races at Churchill and if I get a chance to really look them over I’ll play them as well.

Unlike the Cigar Mile, The De Francis Dash is a pretty well matched competitive field. While I think Talent Search will do better in this company than he has his last few starts, I think the pace scenario will favor closers. Benny the Bull is the natural pick here, I liked him at Saratoga and thought he did ok in the BC but I’m also really interested in Miraculous Miss. I thought she had one of the more impressive non-winning runs of the BC. This pace could be hot enough for her and if Benny the Bull isn’t on his game or doesn’t get a good trip I think she can do it. I’ll using both Benny the Bull & Miraculous Miss in a box and Miraculous Miss to win.

While I singled Midnight Lute in the Pick 6, I think Daaher has a reasonable chance. However, my fun wise guy play is Sir Greeley! He’s got a good record at the distance, loves to place, a decent last work and solid times at the distance. Do I think he can win? Not really, but anything is possible. Do I think he can place? Most definitely. I’ll be fooling around with combinations of those 3.

Good luck everyone!

Training Offspring of Sires

A.P. Indy catching up to Pine Bluff in the 1992 Belmont. (Jason Moran)

In the 11/17 print issue of Bloodhorse is the first of an excellent new series entitled (you guessed it) Training Offspring of Sires.

In the first installment 10 trainers are asked how they work with progeny of a prominent stallion, in this case A.P. Indy.

As someone who’s hasn’t been around the handicapping block just yet (i.e., didn’t actually watch the racing career of any of the current crop of stallions), I found this to be fantastic. I’m just now starting to make a concerted effort to learn what traits can be ascribed to certain sires. While more seasoned handicappers probably wouldn’t find any surprises I would imagine trainer insights are always helpful.

The general take aways were: Be patient/they get better with age and while not sprinters, they’re very versatile but do their best at longer distances.

There were also plenty of interesting one offs:

I’ve had all different types but one thing they all have in common is they all seem to benefit from a race; they’ve all improved with a race under their belt, which I found interesting.

Even Bernardini, who trained really well and looked like a horse who would win his first start, he went out there and didn’t run as well as I thought he would first out. But he came back after that one and the rest is history.

– Tom Albertrani

Thorn Song Baby!

Thorn Song paid $16.80 in the G3 River City Handicap at Churchill today in an exciting down to the wire finish beating Cosmonaut by a neck.

Close readers of this blog might remember Thorn Song as a horse that taught me a valuable lesson this summer.

Time got away from me this afternoon between the leftovers and errand running. I fired up my Brisbet account literally right as the race started so I didn’t get a chance to throw any money on him but I’m happy to see he’s really improving!

It was also Kent Desormeaux’s 3rd win of the day.

Poor Thing

The Monkey just finished 4th in his turf debut. 99-1 shot Brother Albert opened up about 9 lengths on the field with the Monkey & Bearing Point both coming on going into the first turn. At that point the Monkey showed real speed without being asked and he looked good doing it. He still looked good into the stretch but he just didn’t accelerate, again.

At least Gomez seemed to give him a better ride… I would love to know Gomez’s take on what happened. Very odd considering how good he looked coming into the stretch.

Third Time’s a Charm?

The Green Monkey, monkeying around at Belmont. (Sarah K. Andrew)

As Michael noted, the Monkey is entered in Turf MSW this Wed at Hollywood Park. They’re also trying Gomez this time out + stretching out. I’m happy to see their trying someone else, Johnny V’s rides seemed too panicky… hopefully GG will be a better fit.

When I saw his work out last week at Hollywood Park, I thought maybe they would try him on the Cushion track. Actually, looking back on that post, the Monkey was listed as having the bullet along with 2 other horses, now it says that he and the other 2 are 3rd… odd.

There’s also some discussion of the Monkey’s latest effort over at the Formblog.

Best of luck to the Monkey! (even though it is edifying to see such greed rewarded appropriately).

Go Here, Read This

Start with Teresa’s Dickensian post on Aqueduct. It’s really fantastic.

In that post, she links to a story in the NY Times about Karakorum Racing, a partnership group in New York. It’s a great “feel good” story that highlights why partnerships are cool… it makes something previously only accessible to the few available to the many. I’m always happy to see a bazillion people crammed into the winner’s circle as opposed to 2-3 guys. It’s also nice to see a feel good story in the main stream media for a change.

[NYTimes – Requires Log-in]

Get Well Soon

Raul Rojas preparing to get weighed at Belmont (lensjockey)

Raul Rojas took a nasty spill in the 6th at Aqueduct today aboard Bully for Us.

Both horse and rider went down but surprisingly Bully for Us got up and galloped away. Best of luck to Raul for a speedy recovery.


Grand Slam Lives up to Name, Finally

Today’s Grand Slam at Aqueduct payed $4933!!

Looking back on the past week at the Grand Slam payouts, it’s easy to see why this payout is so astonishing:

Friday: $34.40

Wed: $16.80

Sun: $31.40

Saturday: $136

Since I’m the opposite of a fan of baseball (to put it mildly) I always thought the concept of the Grand Slam was unnecessarily complex for the typical payout (as noted above). On the other hand, I also understand the need and desire for innovative products that are either fun or lower the bar. I do like the dime super, for instance.

If you really wanna lower the bar and potentially raise the handle, why not have a “quick pick” like option for the Pick 4 and Pick 6? My pal Joan does this for her BC pool to get non-horseplayers engaged. This year’s winner was someone who chose the “quick pick” option. Think of all the “dumb money” this could put in the pools!

At any rate, this shut-in is going to be extremely sad if the potential NYC OTB closings also mean no more OTB TV on channel 71. Today was a special treat as it was their special Thanksgiving Day. Jan Rushton was dressed as a Native American while this year’s Gobble Contest winner, Russell Warick, not only did a great gobble, but a full on turkey impersonation running around and fluttering his jacket like wings. Rushton asked him “Are you a professional gobbler?”. This sooo much better than anything else on cable on Saturday afternoon!

Update: The all long shot Pick 4 payed a whopping $45,103!! There’s also a second day Pick 6 carryover of $112,671. No one had even 5 of 6 today so 4 of 6 payed $1,161. Yowza!