• SimonSays Handicapping Challenge

    POSTED Feb 11, 2011
    Week 3

    Anthony Kelzenberg

    Perhaps people following this contest have noticed I have yet to pick a challenge-winning wager in three weeks (the first week was a trial week). I can assure you I've noticed, as I bet most of my selections if I thought I was getting fair value. Some might opine I should start drinking to forget, but instead I'm going to try a whole new venue and play the Friday Night races at Sam Houston to see if I can find some success. The weather report is excellent, and the grass races should go.

    All selections at Sam Houston Race Park (2/11/11):

    Race 1
    20 units to WIN on 1-Where's Mimi.

    Rationale: I think Where's Mimi's last race was too poor to be believed, and at Oaklawn going one mile there is a large advantage to be drawn inside - note “Mimi” was in post 9 of 9. Connections are optimistic enough to raise her in claiming price and I expect underrated speed jock Larry Taylor to put her on the engine. All Aboard?

    Race 3
    10 units to WIN on 4-Winding Road.
    7 units EXACTA 4/2.
    3 units EXACTA 2/4.
    1 unit PICK THREE 4 with 3,8,10 with 4,6.
    1 unit PICK THREE: 2,4 with 3,8,10 with 6.

    Rationale: Winding Road has a big class edge here and might make the lead. The 4/1 ML seems quite fair. 2-Cook's Nook has value at 6/1 ML and is a decent sprinter.

    Race 4
    10 units to WIN on 3-Soft Shoe.
    1 unit EXACTA BOX 3,8,10.
    1 unit TRIFECTA BOX 3,8,10.
    1 unit PICK THREE 3,8,10 with 6 with 8.
    1 unit PICK THREE 3 with 4,6 with 8.

    Rationale: The 3, 8, and 10 appear to be the best in here, although these kind of horses usually do not turf sprint. Soft Shoe has a decent record, a solid win on the dirt last out, and is a gelding by Smart Strike out of a Danzig mare. That says "grass" to me. Also, Soft Shoe is 5-2-2-1 in dirt sprints since adding front wraps, so they must be helping out somehow.

    Race 5
    10 units WIN on 6-Neon Bullet.
    7 unit EXACTA 6/4.
    3 unit EXACTA 4/6.
    1 unit PICK THREE 6 with 3,8 with 1,3,5.

    Rationale: Neon Bullet's last race is stronger than most of these can handle, and he has some back class too, along with a "jockey upgrade" to Chris Landeros.

    Race 6
    1 unit PICK THREE on 3,8 with 3,5 with 9

    Race 8
    10 units to WIN on 9-Most Darling.

    Rationale: Most Darling had a good record in 2010 at Remington Park running against Oklahoma Breds, has a nice sprinter's pedigree and is training very well in the mornings for her comeback. 10/1 ML in this spot appears to be very generous.

    José D. De León Alejandro

    Gulfstream Park (2/12/11)
    Race 1 * 6F * Dirt

    5-Champ Dimare

    COMMENTS: She won her debut race easy, being heavily favored. She switches to high % trainer (33% with 1st timers) and jhigh % jockey at the current meeting (61% combo is a plus). Her trainer has 39% with the +46-90-days-away angle. She is training consistently well.

    BETS: $20 WIN on 5.

    Gulfstream Park (2/12/11)
    Race 4 * 1 Mile * Turf

    6-Bim Bam
    3-Thunder Brew
    7-Baltimore Bob
    8-Never on Sunday

    COMMENTS: Tough race, suggesting a big payoff. Bim Bam is coming from some key races in his last 3-4 starts. With a perfect trip, he figures forwardly throughout with this group. Thunder Brew is dropping out of better company and this is his best distance. He is in good form for this race. The class of the field is Never on Sunday (blinkers on), but his price might not be as attractive as top 2 picks.

    BETS: $5 across the board (WIN, PLACE and SHOW) on 3 & 6. Dime ($0.10) SUPERFECTA BOX on 1-3-4-6-7-8.

    Gulfstream Park (2/12/11)
    Race 6 * 1 Mile * Dirt


    COMMENTS: Groomedforvictory is the class of the field by far, but the value is on Equestrio; lightly raced colt in route to a peak performance that could be enough to win. His bullet workout and the Zito/Leparoux combo add to his attractiveness.

    BETS: $5 WIN on 9.

    Gulfstream Park (2/12/11)
    Race 9 * 1 Mile * Turf

    9-Cozy Lion
    3-Gaelic Storm
    2-Feels All Right

    COMMENTS: Cozy Lion is peaking right now, working well in the mornings, and coming from a monster race closing in 28 seconds last 500 meters after being steadied in 1st turn. He is very effective in GP. Gaelic Storm is another shoot from the hottest combo in the meeting. Trainer has an effectiveness aroung 40% bringing back horses from a 46-90 days off, 1st after claiming and Turf starts. Four victories and three seconds in his last 7 starts!

    BETS: $5 across the board on 3 and 9.

    Tampa Bay Downs (02/12/11)
    Race 10 * 1-1/16 mile * Dirt

    9-Ribo Bobo

    COMMENTS: This is a deep race and all eyes are on Super Saver's undefeated little brother, Brethren. He has all the right to step up and crush this field. He has shown some brilliance in his two starts, training very well, and his connections are very good.at every angle to look at in this race. However, I will shoot for some value and my pick will be the experienced Ribo Bobo. Pace in this race is expected to be honest but not crazily suicidal. The speed bias is 82% for the distance/surface and most of the favorites here do their best running late. Ribo Bobo has blinkers for this race, which is a favorable angle for his trainer (23%). His last workout was an amazing bullet (36 Hg), suggesting he will be placed directly in the front and nobody is going to pay attention to him. Tossing last 3 races (horrible trips), this horse fits in here with a second place in the Iroquois-G3 behind a nice prospect Astrology. He loves 2 turns and his speed figures are right there with the favorites. 20/1 ML just says BET ON ME!

    BETS: $5 across the board on 9.

    Jon Luman

    All selections at Gulfstream Park (2/12/11)

    Race 1
    $20 WIN on 10-Jamie's Ticket.
    Reasoning: Love the able longshot.

    Race 2
    Reasoning: Can't knock the favorite (likely winner, odds too low).

    Race 3
    Reasoning: Can't knock the favorite (likely winner, odds too low).

    Race 4
    $20 WIN on 5-Cherokee Artist.
    Reasoning: Good bet at the odds. The bet is that the stable has trained the horse to lay out speed well on the lawn.

    Race 5
    $20 WIN on 13-Hulako.
    Reasoning: If he goes, should be best finisher.

    Race 6
    $20 WIN on 6-Lucas Brady.
    Reasoning: Another bet that the stable will know to use speed wisely in a relatively equal field. Edge for #6 if it isn't wasted on showing off early.

    Race 7
    $20 WIN on 3-Ridge Kitten.
    Reasoning: My "Key" horse. Pick up the ES a little bit from the #3 post and it can be there just as easily as anything else.

    Race 8
    $20 WIN on 2-Mr. Valentine.
    Reasoning : That rating is a big repeater, gotta go with it at the odds. Check the board on #7.

    Race 9
    $20 WIN on 9-Cozy Lion.
    Reasoning: Low rating that makes sense, I'll just pretend like I don't know that the "simple" pick is Coach Gravy.

    Race 10
    $20 WIN on 2-Gaucho.
    Reasoning: I think the horse has got the speed and can sustain it.

    Race 11
    $20 WIN on 5-Green Bluff.
    Reasoning: I like the balance of early and late run, and the odds.
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