• Analyzing Arlington

    POSTED Aug 16, 2012
    With a great card on tap at Arlington Park on Saturday, including a trio of Grade I stakes topped by the Arlington Million, I figured my column this week should focus on handicapping.

    And focus it does.

    By clicking on the various links below you will receive Brisnet past performances that include my speed rations and computerized fair odds — absolutely free.

    But that’s not all. For a limited time only — and by “limited” I mean for as long as this column is posted, which could be years — you will also receive my Win Factor Report, some poignant analysis on the first leg of the Pick-6 (race 6) and pace pars guaranteed to make your handicapping more fun and add extra sizzle to your love life*.

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA or, well, anyone other than me… and, frankly, even I don’t believe ‘em.

    Anyway, without further doo-doo, here are the promised links:

    AP Past Performances w/speed rations and fair odds (race 6)

    Arlington Park Pace Profile Race of the Day

    The sixth event at Arlington Park on Saturday, Aug. 18, is an intriguing affair on many levels. Carded for Illinois-breds which “have never won $8,800 once other than maiden; claiming; or starter or have never won two races” (don’t you just love reading race conditions, where the sentences run longer than the horses?), this race provides a perfect illustration of the power of pace handicapping.

    My Win Factor Report grades it as follows:

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    Let’s take a look at each of the top contenders:

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    The first thing that strikes me about Wild Command is that he’s a frontrunner with a closer’s pace figures. The -9 early speed ration (ESR) that he recorded last time was the fastest of the 10 such figures showing in his past performances and it resulted in a 16 ¼-length drubbing against similar foes. I don’t expect Saturday’s pace scenario to be much easier… or Wild Command’s performance to be much better.

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    He’s run some good races in the past, including an above-par performance despite racing five-wide on the turn on July 27. True, his last race was a clunker, but the son of Powerscourt (winner of the Arlington Million in 2005 after being disqualified from the top spot in 2004) returns on just eight days rest, indicating that he may be ready to return to his best form.

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    Love this guy’s last race, although the surface switch from Belmont’s dirt to Arlington’s Polytrack greatly troubles me. Adding to my concern is the fact that Transplendent has run just one good race. Can he win on Saturday? Absolutely. Is he a good bet at 5-2? Absolutely not.

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    The pace figures tell the story: Not only does Jaguar Ridge have the best overall ESRs in the field, he has the best LSRs (late speed rations) too. What’s more, his last dirt route try was sensational (relatively speaking), featuring a -14 ESR and a -8 LSR.

    He’s 5-1 on the morning line; 5-1 on my Win Factor Report… I make him 5-2 and the favorite to win the opening leg of the Pick-6.

    Pace Pars for Arlington Park


    Sprints: -8 ESR, -11 LSR.
    Routes: -10 ESR, -7 LSR.


    Sprints: -4 ESR, -1 LSR.
    Routes: -2 ESR, -1 LSR.

    (Click on image to enlarge)
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