• SimonSays Handicapping Challenge

    POSTED Mar 4, 2011
    Week 6

    Anthony Kelzenberg

    All selections from Oaklawn Park on 3/4/11:

    Race 7
    $1 PICK FOUR 1,5 with 7,6 with ALL with 5,7.

    Rationale: I really like all the legs except race 9, but that's why someone invented the "all" button. In general, the Oaklawn locals tend to play a LOT of chalk, so hitting a "chaos" race in the pick-4 or pick-6 can be a really good thing.

    Race 8
    $42 to WIN on 7-Sky's The Limit.
    $6 EXACTA BOX 6-7.

    Rationale: #7 has a pretty good record at a mile (6-2-1-0) and has run well every time since switching to Charles Dickey's barn in 2010. May have a slight Brisnet E2 Pace figure edge over these. 6-Doc's Friend is tough on the lead. This field, on paper, appears to have a lot of speed lined up, but "Doc" certainly can take this group wire to wire.

    José D. De León Alejandro

    Fair Grounds
    Race 8 * 7.5 Furlongs * Turf

    8-Cafe Elektric
    6-Great Mills

    COMMENTS: With 80% chance of precipitation/thunderstorm, this race will be probably run in a less than good turf (may be soft or yielding). Cafe Elektric is the pick: first-time Lasix, working well in the mornings, with a good jockey on the surface (very hot this week) and a very effective trainer. This colt likes to be close to the pace — a key stat in this race. This will be a value play, because local colts will be heavily bet with the main favorite being Wilcox Inn. Great Mills is also a very interesting play here with two relatively great performances on the FG Turf. He comes off of his best workout ever, evidencing a top form for a top trainer.

    BET(S): $20 WIN on 8 and $20 EXACTA BOX 5,6,8.

    Santa Anita Park
    Race 1 * 6.5 Furlongs * Dirt

    3-Seven Secrets
    2-High Standards

    COMMENTS: Jack Carava is a very effective trainer (28%) with the route-to-sprint angle, as well as running his horses on dirt (27%), in sprints (23%) and claiming races (21%). Pedroza is a very aggressive rider that has been effective with his mount for this race. Seven Secrets comes from a route race and the good combination of stamina and speed is key in this race.

    BET(S): $20 WIN on 3.

    Santa Anita Park
    Race 3 * 6.5 Furlongs * Dirt

    8-Honor Among Us
    1-Classy Lion

    COMMENTS: The jockey switch on Honor Among Us is very eye-catching and the 2010-11 jockey/trainer combo is clicking at a 31% rate. This colt has always worked very well in the mornings and his only two races featured uncomfortable starts, i.e. off a bit slow in his debut and a tight start in his last. However, he has always finished well (around 42 seconds for the last 700 meters).

    BET(S): $20 WIN on 8.

    Santa Anita Park
    Race 7 * 6 Furlongs * Turf

    11-Pack Your Bags

    COMMENTS: Pack Your Bags reunites with Bejarano, the only jockey capable of riding her to a victory (6 times). If he repeats his Jan. 2 performance, she is a contender. Leandros lost with my pick in his last outing; now, he comes back with a very dangerous jockey in the downhill turf, Nakatani. Exclamation comes out of a very good race in the same surface and "The Man" is riding again.

    BET(S): $10 WIN/PLACE on 11 and $2 EXACTA BOX 3,7,11.

    Santa Anita Park
    Race 8 * 6.5 Furlongs * Dirt

    5-Cat Talk
    3-Liberal Arts

    COMMENTS: Cat Talk had a very problematic debut, losing a lot of ground turning for home, but finishing consistently well behind some of the colts here. He could be a huge price. Liberal Arts is another one her with a problematic debut, but this one was even more unfortunate. Pat Valenzuela returns even with the long time off. This could be the speed of the field.

    BET(S): $10 WIN/PLACE on 3 and $10 WIN/PLACE on 5 and $2 EXACTA BOX 3,5,6,7.

    Santa Anita Park
    Race 10 * 1-1/4 Miles * Dirt

    8-First Dude
    11-Game on Dude
    5-Twirling Candy

    COMMENTS: Twirling Candy is an amazingly talented horse and he could be easily the best handicap horse in the nation, BUT take a look to the Performance Figures and best Beyers for the race and we can conclude that this race is more complicated than some handicappers may think. The best performance figures on dirt for this race are: First Dude (-73, Pennsylvania Derby), Game on Dude (-59, Lone Star Derby), Twirling Candy (-59, Strub S.) and Aggie Engineer (-55, San Pasqual S.). The best Beyers in a two-turn race belong to First Dude (103), Twirling Candy (101), Aggie Engineer (101), Game On Dude (101) and Soul Candy (101). First Dude is expected to improve (or at least return to his best performance) with the training of Baffert, who will exploit the main weapon of First Dude: SPEED, on a speed-favoring track. First Dude has demonstrated in the past that stamina is not a problem and perhaps Baffert can be the missing ingredient for this horse. He is training like a monster ready to attack. Twirling Candy is a very talented horse and he will probably become the best of the bests this year. However, sometimes he seems to be rank — not good for this distance (and his Tomlinson rating is not too good) against these horses. Game on Dude could be a sleeper and be aware that John Velazquez is traveling from the East just to pick the mount of this horse (his only mount of the day). Don't overlook him in this spot.

    BET(S): $20 WIN on 8 and $100 EXACTA BOX 5,8,11 and $10 TRIFECTA BOX 5-8-11

    NOTE: Bets on turf races are only valid if run on the turf.

    Jon Luman

    All selections at Tampa Bay Downs (3/4/11):

    Race 2
    $10 WIN on 7-Just A Dream.

    Reasoning: My "Key" has been doing well at TAM and this one is the only one right at my par. I'm hoping odds will rise.

    Race 4
    $20 WIN 10-Dynaquake.

    Reasoning: I got a thing for Oriana Rossi, but besides that, I will always bet my 6f par rating at good odds.

    Race 6
    $20 WIN on 4-Top Spot.

    Reasoning: I've got nothing for Yamil Rosario (see above), but when I see a Par rating that matches the favorite’s rating — at 20-1 — I bet it.

    Race 7
    $10 WIN on 8-Only Win.

    Reasoning: All of these selections, so far, are within five points of my Par composite for the distance, same here.

    Race 8
    $10 WIN on 7-Stariana.

    Reasoning: This horse’s name pretty much rhymes with Oriana. Besides that, it is 2 points off of my Par for 7f and matches the favorite — at double the price. The horse is also my "Key" and that is big medicine in Oldsmar.

    Race 9
    $20 to win 7-It's Eddie's Call.

    Reasoning: The "Simple" pick, my Par 6f rating at 8-1 on the morning line, against a favorite and crew having to come up with more early giddy-up, and step out the 6 perfectly too. I think 7 gets them with a little more umph everywhere it counts.

    Race 10
    $20 WIN on 2-Rejected.

    Reasoning: I think this horse has a chip on its shoulder; if it comes out with a look of determination, I'm going.

    My "Simple" pick, great balance in the run, #4 scares me, but Rejected is 8-1. This is a very competitive race, so I'm taking the odds and hoping for attitude.

    Race 11
    $20 WIN on 7-Lovely Princess

    Reasoning: No, it isn't just because the name gets me thinking about Sandra Carmona… I don't need a reason for that.

    Par rating, "Key" horse, 8-1… I just can't say no.

    Garnet Barnsdale

    Plays for Woodbine Harness (3/4/11):

    Race 4
    $1 PICK FOUR 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 with 2,7,8,9 with 1,2,3,8,9,10 with 2.

    Comments: In race 7, 2-Phenomenal Grace's last race was deceptively good. She gets a much better post and tonight's the night; adds value to the pick-4 at 6-1 on the morning line.

    Race 7
    $1 TRIFECTA 2 with ALL with ALL.

    Plays for Fraser Downs (3/4/11):

    Race 6
    $1 PICK FOUR 1,2,3,4,5 with 1,7 with 1,9 with 1,7,9.

    Plays for Woodbine Harness (3/5/11):

    Race 4
    $0.40 PICK FOUR 1,4,5,6,7,9 with ALL with 5,7 with 2,8,9.

    Comments: In the 6th race, 5-Meirs Hanover looks much the best shipping in from the Exit 16W series at the Big M, but missed a week and may be a bit short and not concerned with winning this week (just qualifying for the final). 7-Aled Hanover figures to get some cover and a better trip than he has been getting recently.

    Race 6
    $25 EXACTA BOX 5-7.

    Race 10
    $120 WIN on 2 and $20 EXACTA 2 with 3,4,5 and $5 TRIFECTA 2 with 3,4,5 with 3,4,5 and $5 TRIFECTA 3,4,5 with 2 with 3,4,5.

    Comments: 2-Grin For Money (7/2 on the morning line) steps up off a monstrous win following a 42-day layoff with no qualifier. I gotta figure he is a new horse somehow. The class raise may add a little value.

    Chris Hernandez

    All selections for Santa Anita Park (3/5/11):

    Race 1
    $0.50 PICK FOUR 3,5 with 2 with 1,5,7,8 with 1,4.

    COMMENTS: The single in leg 2 is CHICO D'ORO, who finished 2nd in a fast maiden race to the highly talented Albergatti. In the final leg, I'll be playing against the three Grade 1 winners in the race, as the 1-MAY DAY ROSE appears to be the speed, and 4-KILOGRAEME will get first jump on the the rest of the field if “May Day” falters.

    Race 7
    8-FANDINO can take advantage of his outside post and his positional speed to either to take control of the race and go gate-to-wire or sit behind any other speed and rally from just off the pace.

    BET(S): $20 WIN on 8.
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