Monthly Archives: April 2009

Mountaineer Pool Party Picks

Yee Haw, it’s a pool party y’all! (Jacob…K)

Today’s third installment of the HANA Pool Party takes place in the 3rd at Mountaineer in the exacta pool. As usual there are free PPs and other items over HANA and this week local Mountaineer handicapper Mark Patterson offers his take.

I love the exacta, not only is it my favorite wager, it’s also my most successful wager (pretty sure I just jinxed myself!). I’ve been home with a nasty cold the past few days but I managed to look over the race yesterday.

The race is pretty evenly matched and while the favorite, Enter the Lion, did stand out a bit, most notably for winning on the cut back, I’m more than likely going to throw him out. Looking back over the charts for the last days uncovered that front runners and stalkers have done overwhelmingly better than off the pace types. The two races where Enter the Lion has won have been won from the off the pace and while he ran his last two on the pace (as if they were sprints) my guess is that he’ll be back off the pace when in sprinting company.

Currently I’m interested in 5, 6, 7 & 8 and am going to wait until I get to eyeball them in the parade to figure out how I’m going to play it. I may just box them all up if they all look decent and the price is right. Legacy Hunter (#5) has done well at the distance and is cutting back, an angle that’s been fairly successful for his trainer, who’s overall stats aren’t bad. The forecast is also calling for rain tonight and this one has won in the slop, if it comes that.

I’m not sure why Take Aim (#6) isn’t the favorite as he’s the only one coming off a win. Kris’s Honor (#7) has also won at the distance and racked up a string of 5 place & shows usually within a length or so of the winner at the end of last year and Hey Reemer is returning to the dirt and reunited with his winning jockey, one of my favorite angles! All of these horses are on the pace runners so they fit the apparent bias going on at Mountaineer.

I’m happy this week’s pool party takes place at night, so all of us working stiffs that can’t watch from work have a chance to watch/wager in real time (even though I’m home sick today and could have watched any race). As always, good luck & have fun!

Update: the one front runner I tossed, Ameliaslandmissle (#9), won at 14-1 and Kris’s Honor (#7) at 3-1 placed. The $2 exacta, or perfecta as they call it at Mountaineer, payed $136. At least my assessment of the front runner bias was right on… see you next week!

New Poll, Do You Have a Derby Horse Yet?

I Want Revenge’s seemingly disastrous start in the Wood (Sarah K. Andrew)

With just under 3 weeks left and most of the major preps out of the way, it seems like one should have their Derby horse picked out by now. However, I haven’t really seen a lot, if any, of people bangin’ the Derby drum for one horse or another.

I think this sentiment shared by Kevin of Colin’s Ghost over at the horse player teen party chat line (Twitter) sums it up:

Really looking forward to this years Derby. No clear favorite – should be a good one.

As for my Derby pick, I agree with o_crunk when he says the winner is likely to come from Friesan Fire, Quality Road or I Want Revenge. Three colts I like a lot, have rated 1-2-3 over at PDI and just like last week, I’m not willing to pick any of them as “the one” just yet.

After this weekend though I think Papa Clem looks he might have a shot too after showing off a new trick (sitting further off the pace) and definitely stepping up his game. While I loved General Quarters in the Blue Grass, I think he might do his best running over the fake stuff, although he’s no slouch on the dirt and if he looks anything like he did in the parade for the Bluegrass, look out!

And then there’s Dunkirk and PoTN… I’m with Kevin on this one too when he hopes they take a ton of money!

But who what do you think, do you have your Derby date picked out yet?

Oh Behave!

This week’s rendition of the HANA Pool Party was fun even though 30-1 shot Behave took me out in the first leg coming out of nowhere to win over one my picks, Celebration Dance, by a neck!

The next leg saw Dovita sit nicely off the pace to beat Barefoot Babe (who I threw out) while one of my picks Doctor Carina had a horrible trip (while being full of run, insult to injury) but still managed to get up for 3rd. Over at the horseplayers teen party chat line (twitter), Eddie D pointed out that Dovita was a “slam dunk” according to ThoroGraph (but that ThoroGraph would not have helped with Behave).

The last leg unfolded roughly like I imagined except that one of my picks, So Very Irish, was scratched. Williamsburg, sat a little further back than I imagined but See I A got softened up by This is my Game (who I overlooked) and Williamsburg made a move and poured on it on to win by 5 1/4 and paying $18, nice!

The $2 Pick 3 payed $14,671.40 and a few folks had it! I kept imagining a local player cashing an unexpectedly fat payout, which I think is kind of nice too. See you around the pool next week!

Target Tampa Pool Party Picks


Just a reminder that HANA’s second pool party, Target Tampa, is tomorrow. It’s a Pick 3 starting with the 6th race.

CanGamble offers a nice overview of various Pick 3 strategies if multi-race exotics aren’t your thing.

I didn’t spend a ton of time on this and I really like to see claimers in the parade, but here it goes:

$1 2,4,7,10 / 2,4,11 / 4,5 = total $24

I thought the first leg was the toughest and went with several of the chalky picks but threw in Zaam Time (#10 at 30-1) based solely on her ability to rate and win as the rest of field looks to be on the pace types.

I capped the next leg, a turf race, assuming it will be on the turf but liked one of the AEs who’s only win was on dirt with improving turf form (#11). Doctor Carina (#2) is dropping in class and coming in off a freshening with some endurance works. She’s a bit chalky so I’m also going to include Angel in our Jam (#4) as her last win was at the distance on the turf at Tampa + her trainer has a couple of nice stats, 11% first time with team & 50% 61-180 days. 50%! That fact that she’s 20-1 made her more attractive than #3 Barefoot Babe who does seem more reliable at the distance but is 3-1. I’m wondering if Barefoot Babe doesn’t prefer softer turf, her only win was on turf listed as Good and she just hasn’t been able to get up in her last few. Nick’s Girl (#11) looks to be knocking on the door to me. Last out was 6w and just missed by neck, a race that Barefoot Babe ran 5th in.

I love the last leg, particularly because my two picks have decent odds. Williamsburg (#4) looks like a sprinter and this is a 1 mile 40 but his last 2 works have been 5f and his trainer’s sprint/route is 21% (along assorted other nice percentages). They’re also jumping him up in class so I’m guessing his connections feel pretty confident, works for me at 5-1! So Very Irish on the other hand is proven at the distance and can either set the pace or rate. It looks like See I A will set the pace but maybe with a little pressure from Williamsburg he might flame out like his last race. That sets up well for both of my picks. Of course, it could set up REALLY well for African Skies, the 5-2 favorite who’s dropping in class and likes to close, but where’s the fun in that? It is a pool party after all!

Finding a Racing Movie, Accidentally!

As I settled in to forget the break up with my dreamy beloved, I popped in a DVD for Bigger Stronger Faster, a film I noticed last year and had been meaning to get around to (more on that in a subsequent post). I’m not entirely sure when it happened but now one has to sit through a bazillion trailers to get to the feature.

I was puttering around while the never ending stream of trailers just kept on playing. About 5 trailers in, one opens with a shot of Santa Anita. Then a voice over says “when was the last time you went to the track?” as the opening shots transitions to a shot of Matthew Broderick watching the race and then another of him wrapping the Form on the rail in disgust.

What? I’m kind of out of when it comes to current movies but not THAT out of it that I missed one with a racing sub-plot!

Apparently this was a direct to cable/DVD situation as I couldn’t uncover much about it. Here’s the synopsis from the official site:

From director Peter Tolan, creator of the hit television series Rescue Me, comes Finding Amanda, a hilarious and heartbreaking autobiographical comedy about the compulsions we can’t shake, and the unlikely lengths we’ll go to while trying.

Taylor Mendon (Matthew Broderick) is a television writer and producer working on a low-rated, little-respected half-hour sitcom. Once destined for bigger and better things, Taylor’s compulsive gambling, recreational drug use and drinking all conspired to throw his career off the rails. After kicking the alcohol and drugs, he only has one more hurdle…the horses.

His beautiful twenty – year old niece Amanda (Brittany Snow) has her own habit to kick. Living in Las Vegas, working as a “dancer,” her family has just discovered she is actually a prostitute, and they suspect hooking for drug money.

On their way home from an emergency family meeting, Taylor’s wife Lorraine (Maura Tierney) finds recent racing stubs in Taylor’s glove compartment. After years of standing by him, she leaves.

Taylor comes up with a plan: he’ll win back his wife by doing the right thing. He’ll go to Las Vegas, find Amanda, and deliver her to a rehabilitation center in Malibu. While he’s at it, he might even catch up with some old friends (like slimy casino host Steve Coogan). But besides that, it’s strictly the business at hand—while he’s there, he vows, he won’t gamble a single cent, but things don’t turn out quite as he’d planned.

I’m sure they don’t!

Most of the user reviews at IMDB were favorable, but had spoilers. Looks charming enough to me, in a Ferris Buehler gone astray kind of way. It’s now next in my Netflix queue… who knew?

I Was Mooned

Giant Moon winning the Excelsior, my day only got worse from here (Sarah K. Andrew)

My day started down hill rather quickly as Giant Moon took me out of the Pick 4. It got worse as my dreamy beloved threw a clunker in the Ashland. I only had $2 across the board on Boleyn at 62-1 but I was profoundly bummed to see Stardom Bound turn in such a lackluster performance. Why does Keeneland kill the things I love? (Think Pyro, my last year’s dreamy beloved… who’s reportedly galloping at Keeneland these days, go figure.)

Also a bummer that my pick of the day, Kodiak Kowboy, got hammered down to 8-5, so I took a wagering pass. This was just one several bad wagering decisions made in the flurry of back to back races on different channels with no chance to watch the parade, or in the case of Hawthorne, only showing Musket Man in the parade. Seriously, what’s the point of that? At least I got to see the races! Then again, perhaps not wagering on them would have been a good thing. Comparing this year’s Wood to last year’s, perhaps I’m more like my dreamy beloved than I want to let on!

On the bright side, the Derby is shaping up to have one fine field! I Want Revenge, who’s now on Twitter along with Joe Talamo, moves up to my “like like” list. Freisan Fire, Quality Road and I Want Revenge will be top 3 over at PDI but I’m not sure how I’ll rank them at this point as I’m not favoring one over the other. Swifty is sticking with Freisan Fire because of Larry Jones. I can make a case for each of them and find at least one knock for each of them. And it’s not like the Derby is tomorrow so things can change. At this point my top three won’t really imply that I like any of them more than the others.

Imperial Council, also on now on Twitter, and my dreamy beloved (I’ll still always love you!) will be moving on to the Broken Up With list. I’m bad at break-ups so I’m trying to stay upbeat and looking for Rachel Alexandra and Just Jenda to turn in nice performances today. I need to rebound with someone hot! And there’s always this week’s Pool Party / Buycott to cheer myself up with… who doesn’t love a Pick 3 Pool Party at Tampa Bay Downs?

Update: run, don’t walk over Ernie Munick’s to watch his stellar video recap of Wood Day at the Big A. It’s right up there with I Want Revenge’s fleet of foot.