Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Breeders Cup Epilogue

Lost for the two days, but not much. Had three or four blocked at the rail. The one that hurt the most was Gayego who was sure to win along the rail but couldn't get through. The horse that won paid over $50, and I had him in the exacta with Gayego on top for $10. Would have been $1000. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Did hit half a $628 triple on Saturday.

Zenyatta showed that she is something else. Just killed the rest of the group, but I still didn't like her to win. In the Pk3, we hit the first horse which paid $44 and had the favorite in the next race. So we had a C horse and an A horse. Zenyatta was a B horse so while we had all three, we didn't cash. Payoff was $360 - pretty good.

All in all beautiful weather and no one got hurt, so it was an enjoyable but busy two days.

Mr. X

Saturday, November 7, 2009

BC Pik 3, Races 7-9

I have posted and bet a $68 Pik 3 ticket for races 7-9.

You can access the Ticketmaster printout at Meet Mr. X, and click on the Doghouse Confidential button.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Friday, November 6, 2009

BC Classic, Saturday, November 7

Was all around the exactas with longshots in the money, but I never cashed on Friday.

In the Classic, I think that the pace will hurt Zenyatta with Giralamo, Quality Road and others. She hasn't been the distance and really doesn't have the right style for routes at Oak Tree. The likely favorite, Rip Van Winkle, did not look good at all this week according to the Daily Racing Form Clocker. So with those two horses questionable, the race looks wide open. Summer Bird is a dirt horse and didn't do well on synthetics before. Mine That Bird didn't look good all week and may just be too tired and too late for this pace.

I like 2 Colonel John who is inside in the catbird's seat. He is a horse for course and Gomez rides. With Mine That Bird on the rail, Gomez will get great position on the rail behind the speeds. I think he is the winner. Both 6 Richard's Kid and 5 Twice Over (GB) look like they are coming into the race in peak form. Both have a legitimate chance.

So here is what I will bet:

$5 Exacta box: 2-5-6

$2 Ex: 2-5-6 over 3-4-8

$1 Tribx: 2-5-6

Maybe a win bet on 2 if the odds remain high.

And likely more in the triple, hoping that there may be a scratch.

Good luck.

Mr. X

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friday 8th Race, BC Classic, Nov. 6

Two top horses in 1 Careless Jewel and 7 Music Note. I think that the setup of the race favors the inside speed of Careless Jewel so she is the tepid choice. 3 Mushka ran a great race at Keenland, and may be better on the carpet than on the lawn.

Here is my bet:

$1 Tribox: 1-3-7

$10 Tri: 1 with 3-7

Total $26

Good luck! Note the earlier selections below.

Mr. X

Friday,7th Race, BC Sprint, Nov. 6

Don't like the race as a betting race, and I don't like the favorite. Raced on turf the last time, and ran penultimate in April at Keenland. Ventura will be the betting favorite with Frankel only 1/9 but in the money 7/9. She is the defending champion and will be overbet.

So I'll try to defeat the favorite and have her run off the board. I like the 3 Game Face to finish in the money so here is what I will bet:

All $1 Tri:

3 with 2-7-8 with 2-7-8

2-7-8 with 3 with 2-7-8

2-7-8 with 2-7-8 with 3

Total $18

Worth a shot.

Mr. X

Friday, 5th Race, BC Juvenile Fillies, Nov. 6

Difficult to separate many contenders, but I landed on these three:

3 Blind Luck - inside is good, best final time, likes SA, should be close to the pace.

10 Negligee - good win at Keenland, best closing time, needs to stay close, post no bargain.

8 She Be Wild - got beat by 10 in last, but undefeated before that, another that needs to stay close, Gomez leaves, but Leparoux, could bounce back.

Many others wouldn't be a surprise, so just box all three in an exacta.

Will be posting when and if I have the time to handicap.

Good luck.

Mr. X

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Epilogue

On the Doghouse, hit the 4th race quinella for $8.70 multiple times. Hit the $1 superfecta in the 7th for half of $524. Hit the triple in the 8th for half of $101.

In the Pk3 using the TicketMaker sheet, I was live in the 10th race Hopeful to five horses. But I was not at all confident that I would win, even with five of the twelve horses. That is how difficult that race was. My payoffs were half of $160 to around $800 for the five horses. Luckily or unluckily the favorite won and paid half of $172. I did not have the second or third horses, so I was very happy to hit it even though the payoff was small. I did make a small profit (less than $100) for the day.

On one of my days at the track, I had the privilege to watch a race from the roof in the chart caller booth. Then we went to the photo finish room and were given an overview of how the photo finish is finalized and posted on the web. Really interesting and high tech. Here is a picture from the roof:

It was a losing season, but the weather really was superb in the last couple of weeks. Win or lose, Saratoga is really something special!

Mr. X

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Doghouse Posted

I have posted the last Saratoga Doghouse. Go to Meet Mr. X and click on the red button or go to the Racing Calendar.

Hit a few yesterday but still lost!

Pk3 today could be big. Feature in 10th race is very tough.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Doghouse Posted for Sunday, September 6

I have posted the Doghouse for Sunday.

Congratulations to Rachel Alexandra. She really showed everybody that she is something special.

Not doing very well at all, so you have been warned. All week when I have picked some good horses, I can't seem to bet them right. Then I started to lose all of the photos. Yikes!

In any event, only two days lefst so have fun!

Mr. X

Doghouse to be posted for Sunday, September 6

I will post a Doghouse for Sunday, but I am warning you that I am snakebit. Not doing well, and losing all the photos.

Mr. X

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Doghouse Posted for Thursday, September 3

I have posted the Doghouse for Thursday. Too many turf races, but the weather will be great for the remainder of the meet.

On Sunday's Doghouse, out of six races, we had four winners on top and two second choices. Still managed to lose money.

As always, go to Meet Mr. X and click on the Doghouse Confidential red button or go to the Racing Calendar.

Good luck to all!

Mr. X

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Doghouse Posted for Sunday, August 30

I have posted a Doghouse for tomorrow, handicapping the dirt races only for wet conditions.

Tough day today with the weather. Took a beating on the races that I played.

Congratulations to Summer Bird. A Birdstone in the rain at Saratoga. What an original thought!

As usual, go to Meet Mr. X and click on the Doghouse Confidential red button or go to the Racing Calendar.

Good luck.

Mr. X

Travers Today

Terrible weather for a great card.

I like 7 Kensei to win. Looks to be improving, outside, and won here in a very good effort. My numbers say that he can get 10 furlongs, although everyone else can as well.

The horse to beat is 4 Quality Road, and Pletcher's route to this race is questionable at best. But who am I to question Pletcher? Both will like the mud.

So I'll place a win bet on 7 Kensei, and an exacta box (4-7) on Kensei/Quality Road.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Abbreviated Doghouse Posted for Friday, August 28

I have posted an abbreviated Doghouse for Friday for my friends and colleagues at the Division of Mineral Resources. Unfortunately, because of another commitment, I won't be able to attend Minerals Day at the Spa that is the genesis of the Doghouse Confidential.

As always, go to the Meet Mr. X page and click on the red Doghouse Confidential button. Alternatively, you can go to the date on the Racing Calendar.

Lost big yesterday, but hit a good triple today. Still down for the meet.

Remember, you are seeing what I will bet. Use the Doghouse for information, but make your own decisions.

Good luck to all!

Mr. X

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Doghouse Posted for Wednesday, August 26

Handicapped the entire card given that I think that the races will stay on the turf.

Hitting a few this week and making a comeback.

Please note that I have included two TicketMaker sheets for the early Pk4 and the Pk3 for races 7-9.

As always, go to the Meet Mr. X page and click on the Doghouse Confidential red button or go to the Racing Calendar.

Five maiden races tomorrow, so take it easy again. Always check my numbers.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Monday, August 24, 2009

Doghouse to be posted for Wednesday, August 26

Getting some good hits and making some money. But I need more big hits.

I will post a Doghouse for Wednesday, either late tomorrow night or early Wednesday morning.

Sunday's Doghouse had four winners on top out of six races and one second choice.

Mr. X

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Interesting Day on Sunday - Longshot Winner

Had a number of winners and a triple from the Doghouse, so I made some money today. But that wasn't the entire story.

I told Mrs. X that I was not betting the second race as it was a mile and a sixteenth maiden special turf race that had now been moved to the main track at seven furlongs. We decided to eat lunch so while I was having my sandwich, I started to look at which horse would be the speed in the race now that it was a shorter race. The track was muddy but really not that bad.

As I perused the past performances, I came upon the 8 horse, a first time starter named Grand Rapport from Gary Contessa. He had two fast works and met my number of furlong works per day criteria. A horse from the main track only list was now running, and Alan Garcia was named to ride. He looked like a promising horse, but he didn't have enough works to tell me that he was ready to win first time out.

When I looked at my official track program, Richard Migliore who is hungry for mounts was named as first call to the main track only horse and second call to Grand Rapport. Yet Migliore was riding Grand Rapport instead of the main track only horse. Very interesting. Why would that be? Was he pushed aside in favor of Garcia or did he know that his second call, Grand Rapport, was live?

I decided to bet the race, so I bet $20 to win on Grand Rapport who was 14-1. When the gates opened, Grand Rapport seemed to break well, but retreated to the back. At the first quarter, he was 16 lengths behind the leader. I pictured my twenty dollar bill with wings flying away.

Grand Rapport started to make up some ground and was about 7 lengths back after the half, and circled six wide down the stretch moving past horses on the outside. He came in on a horse slightly, caught up to the leader at the sixteenth pole and continued on to win! He paid $31 so my take was $310!

I can't remember when a horse was that far back at the Spa ever winning at 7 furlongs, but it was a great thrill. It's what keeps you coming back!

Mr. X

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sunday, August 23 Doghouse Posted

Had a good sheet today (Saturday) and cashed many times, but still managed to lose for the day.

Weather was surprisingly great with no heavy rains during the day. We did get some storms tonite so I expect the track to have some moisture.

As always, go to Meet Mr. X and click on the Doghouse Confidential red button or to the Racing Calendar.

This is the week to start to hit some big ones.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Friday, August 21, 2009

Doghouse Posted for Saturday, August 22

I have posted the Doghouse Confidential for Saturday. I only handicapped the dirt races because of the weather.

As usual, go to the Meet Mr. X page and click on the red Doghouse Confidential button. Alternatively, go to the date in the Racing Calendar.

Because of the weather and the likelihood of a sealed racetrack, take it easy. Watch for the track maintenance and any changes in the condition of the track.

Still down but doing much better. I will likely post during the week, most likely for Wednesday.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saratoga Spot Plays for Monday, August 10

Been losing everything until today, so I was reluctant to post spot plays until I heated up. Still down for the meet.

Here are a couple of spot plays for Monday:

3rd Race

Looks like the two favorites. 1 Cool Coal Man has a major pace advantage and should go wire to wire. 2 Barrier Reef who is likely prepping for the Woodward or some other later race should close to complete the exacta. Very small payoff for the 1-2 exacta box. Add another straight exacta 1-2,

8th Race

8 Rereadthefootnotes will be the deserving favorite and should beat these easily with Garcia. 4 Wolfson is Castellano's choice and had an excuse in last. He has cleared his state conditions and is in for a tag. Had some trouble in last, then came at the end. 6 Mr. Bourbon Street had similar trouble and finished well. He gets Dominguez who is head and shoulders over everyone else. Bet a three horse exacta box 4-6-8, then bet straight exacta 8 with the 4-6.

Good luck.

Mr. X

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Diana and Jim Dandy, Saturday, August 1

Spent the day getting a replacement card for my NYRA Account. I was so frazzled that I bet the wrong horses in a $10 exacta box. Paid $84. I'm not proud. Lost $200 on a really crazy day.

Today in the 9th race Diana, I don't see anyone beating the champ, 10 Forever Together. Turf is good and only one race off today. She has beaten most of these, and looks to repeat her win last year. 3 Rutherienne and 7 My Princess Jess look like the logical horses that have a chance, but more likely underneath the 10. Bet exacta box with all three, then straight exactas 10 with 3-7. I will also bet a $20 double: 10-5 Charitable Man.

In the Jim Dandy (10th), 5 Charitable Man looks like he is in the right spot. A difficult race as usual, but horses running 9f at the Spa need to be inside, have speed, and stay close to the pace. Charitable Man ran an unbelievable Peter Pan then faded in the Belmont Stakes as we thought he would. 7 Convocation looks to be an improving horse and is likely more suited to the 9f distance. 3 Kensei ran a tremendous Dwyer at 8.5f with a huge 105 B, beating Convocation and Warrior's Reward. He could win, but I think that he is more suited to that distance rather than the 9f. Bet exacta box: 3-5-7, then bet exacta 5-3, and the big bet exacta 5-7.

Good luck! Mr. X

Friday, July 31, 2009

Abbreviated Doghouse Posted, Friday, July 31

Unbelievable weather! All races off the turf except for the feature.

I have posted an abbreviated Doghouse for races 5-8, handicapped for wet and soft on the turf.

As always, go to Meet Mr. X and click on the Doghouse Confidential button. Alternatively, go to the Racing Calendar and look for today's date.

Watch for all the scratches and take it easy!

Mr. X

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saratoga Opening Day Doghouse Posted for Wednesday, July 29

I have posted the Opening Day Doghouse Confidential for Saratoga, the Holy Land. As always, go to Meet Mr. X and click on the red Doghouse Confidential button. Alternatively, you can go to the Racing Calendar and look for the Doghouse for the respective day.

This season, I will be incorporating bias and race flow data compliments of www.racingflow.com. I will also make use of TicketMaker, a very interesting and valuable addition to the Daily Racing Form's Formulator. You will see a Pk3 ticket as part of the Doghouse.

Now that I have spent many hours on nine of ten races, I hear that we will get significant rain between 2 and 4 pm. So it goes.

The NYRA card is really a very competitive one. Very, very difficult, so take it easy.

Have fun with the Doghouse. Hope the weather cooperates.

I will likely post another Doghouse for Friday. Always keep an eye on the blog for spot plays.

Good luck for the season. We need to make some money!

Mr. X

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Belmont Stakes Revisited

Well, we were right about Charitable Man not being able to handle the distance. And we were right about Dunkirk holding off Mine That Bird as he did in the stretch. Thought we were going to cash big in the middle of the stretch.

Then Summer Bird came on the outside and ran down our three selections. We did include Summer Bird in our triples for second and third, but I had no confidence that he could win. Remember that this horse's only win was his maiden in early March. Quite a bit of progress in a few months.

So the bottom line is that we were mostly right, but that doesn't mean we cashed, unfortunately. The good news is that we have a diverse group of three year olds, and we are likely to see some of these at Saratoga.

Speaking of the Holy Land, Saratoga is only a day and a week away. Mr. X is studying diligently to be ready for Opening Day. I will post a Doghouse for Wednesday, July 29 and likely on Friday, July 31.

Let's have a great Spa season. No place better on earth!

Mr. X

Friday, June 5, 2009

Belmont Stakes Doghouse Posted for Saturday, June 6

We are looking for another win after our win in the Preakness.

I like Dunkirk to upset Mine That Bird, but you need to read the entire analysis to see how and why.

As always, go to Meet Mr. X and click on the Doghouse Confidential red button or to the date on the Racing Calendar at the bottom of the Meet Mr. X page.

Handicapped for good to fast track.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Preakness Doghouse A Winner!

Once in awhile, we get things right along with some luck.

We hit our safe bet paying $39 exacta for a $24 bet (nobody will get rich); but a winner is a winner.

I had the exacta a few times and the triple which paid $216. Made $150 on the race.

Our analysis of the pace of the race was right on, and we expected a good effort from Mine That Bird which we received. Musket Man ran very well and could have been second but for traffic trouble. Rachel Alexandra showed how good she is, running a tough pace race and holding on to win.

Now we need to follow up with another payday in the Belmont.

Mr. X

Friday, May 15, 2009

Preakness Doghouse Posted for Saturday, May 16

I have posted the Doghouse at Meet Mr. X or on the Racing Calendar. Doesn't look like a good betting race. I have handicapped the race for a good to fast track.

In the Derby, I had no chance after seeing the condition of the track. On the other hand, there is no way I would have picked Mine That Bird under any conditions. Great ride and a good little horse. Let's see what he does tomorrow on a fast track. I'm betting that he will run very well again.

Should be a good race tomorrow with Rachel Alexandra facing the boys.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Direct Link to Derby Doghouse

Here is a direct link for those of you having trouble accessing the Doghouse:

Kentucky Derby 2009 Doghouse Confidential

Good luck!

Mr. X

Derby Doghouse Updated 11 am, Saturday

I have updated the Doghouse because of the scratch of I Want Revenge, our choice in the Derby.

I have moved Dunkirk to the most likely to win. The betting strategy has changed as well.

According to the track superintendent, we can expect a good to fast track by the Derby.

Good luck to all!

Mr. X

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kentucky Derby 2009 Doghouse Posted

You can access the Doghouse at Meet Mr. X and click on the Doghouse Confidential button, or you can go to the calendar and look under the May 2 date.

Weather is a big problem, so check it out before you bet.

Have a great day and hopefully a prosperous one as well.

I Want Revenge is the pick.

Mr. X

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Doghouse to be Posted for the Kentucky Derby

Just to let you know that I am alive and well. I will be posting a Doghouse late Friday or early Saturday for the Derby.

I did do my energy distribution analysis and last three furlong times for all of the horses. For the first time ever, all of the horses met the criteria. Usually, more than half are eliminated, and there are several questionable.

What this means is that the trainers are reading the Doghouse and concluded that the only way to win is to have a closing punch, so they are training the horses this way. It is difficult at present to see what the pace will be and who will lead the crowd around the first turn.

I await the post draw today to see how the horses will stack up, will check final workouts, and the weather. Check back.

Mr. X

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fountain of Youth, Gulfstream - February 28, 2009

Hardly a prep race for the Derby. Shortened from 9f to a mile. Milers generally don't run in the Derby so we have a number of speed horses who will stretch their speed from 6f to a mile, but won't have anything to do with the Derby.

3 Notonthesamepage looks like the speed of speeds from the inside. I think he will wire the field. Has a good projected closing time to go with his early speed. Best finish time. Major B in last at 114. One to beat.

12 This Ones for Phil from the outside post also has a good projected closing time and second best final time. Freaked at 116 B in last. Dutrow will be looking to cash.

10 Taqarub ships from Aqueduct for McLaughlin/Garcia (choice), unbeaten, Garcia says doesn't need lead.

8 Break Water Edison gets shades, needs to bounce back to last year's form. Loses Garcia, but has a chance to be in the money.

A number of other horses could easily win this race and would be no surprise. I don't understand why Beethoven is shortening in this race. Capt. Candyman looks slower than these, but really can't judge all of the speeds. Quality Road could bounce back. Theregoesjojo beat Quality Road and could be improving as well.

In any event, it looks like the speed will win likely from one of the stretch out horses.

Here is my bet:

$20 Win 3

$5 Exbx: 3-12

$2 Exbx: 3 /8-10

$1 Tri: 3-12/3-8-10-12/3-8-10-12

Total $50

Good luck!

Mr. X

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sam Davis at Tampa - Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another good betting race for three year olds on the Derby Trail. The Tampa track is sandy and tricky, so it is expected that shippers may have a problem on this surface.

Having said that, I like 6 Cliffy's Future, a shipper from Aqueduct, listed at 10-1 in the morning line. Looks to have the best closing time, good post, and good energy distribution. He has to stay closer to the pace, but looks best to me.

7 Free Country is trained by Ken McPeek along with jock Kent D., so you know they are trying. Stepping back from 9f and had three works. Second choice but no surprise.

5 Atomic Rain is another shipper from Gulfstream beaten by Free Country in last. Kelly Breen trained, with John Vel up. Gets shades and three works.

9 Musket Man won here at 7 f in small stake, stretching, good works, + Lezcano.

It would really be no surprise if any of these horses won. Very good betting race.

The bet:

$20 Win: 6

$5 Exbx: 6 / 5-7-9

Total bet: $50

Good luck!

Mr. X

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Recap: Whirlaway and Risen Star

In the Whirlawy, Haynesfield just overpowered the field. I still don't think he is a viable Derby candidate, but we'll see in the next race. We got a bad ride on our horse, but it really didn't matter. What was noteworthy was that both of my other horses did not finish second or third. Not good.

In the Risen Star, our second choice won. Our first choice went off the favorite after a layoff. While he didn't have to win, I thought that he would finish at least second. He did run into a lot of trouble during the race. None of my other horses finished second, third or fourth. Think about it. Out of thirteen horses, I had five - the winner, but none of the other horses. Bet all the closers, but the way the race was run, nobody really closed into a soft pace. The good news is that I was all wrong, so if I reverse my thinking, we'll hit it. Have to be optimistic.

We'll get them next time.

Mr. X

Friday, February 6, 2009

Whirlaway at Aqueduct - Saturday, February 7, 2009

8th Race

In an upset, I like 3 Peace Town to defeat the big favorite, Haynesfield. Peace Town is a Laurel shipper from Trombetta. Looks to like the distance with the best final time, closing time and good energy distribution. Will need to stay close.

1 Haynesfield is another Asmussen trainee and has done nothing wrong. However, he looks to be past his optimum distance which is the mile and 70 yards, given his energy distribution which is too high. He had to fight in the stretch in last to beat a not so hot field. Very vulnerable at a short price. No thanks.

5 Zooger from Philadelphia could come from the clouds to be 2nd if Haynesfield stops. Good closing time and energy distribution but likely 10 lengths behind after 6 furlongs.

My bet:

$20 Ex: 3-1

$10 Ex: 1-3

$10 Ex: 3-5

Total $40

Good luck!

Mr. X

Risen Star at Fair Grounds - Saturday, February 7, 2009

Race 9

Another Derby Trail race for 3 year olds going 8.5 furlongs, and a very good betting race.

7 Giant Oak looks best off a layoff, gets Prado, and working very well. One to beat. Good closing and final time. Beat Captain Candyman Can who won a stake in the last week or two.

IF SCRATCHED 6 Friesan Fire beat me in the Lecomte at a mile, comes back, Larry Jones trained, and inside which is good. Doesn't close as well so will be with the pace likely throughout. FAIR GROUNDS SHOWED SCRATCH EARLIER, NOW NOT SURE.

2 Indygo Mountain was the near favorite in the Lecomte, hit the gate and bobbled. Another chance, inside, and likely with the leaders. Looks to fade.

8 Dumar is an Asmussen/Bridgmohan, stepping up, tied for best closing time, good chance to be in the money.

10 Soul Warrior another Asumssen but gets P. Val. Other best closing time, stepping up from a maiden win.

New bet after scratch:

$5 Exbox: 7 with 2-8-10

$1 Tri: 7 / 2-8-10-11 / 2-8-10-11 and

$1 Tri: 2-8-10-11 / 7 /2-8-10-11

Total $54

My bet:

$2 Exbox: 7 with 2-6-8-10

$1 Tri: 6-7 / 2-6-7-8-10 / 2-6-7-8-10

Total $40

Good luck!

Mr. X

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Recap: Holy Bull and Donn Handicap

In the Holy Bull prep for the Derby, Danger to Society never looked comfortable between the speeds and really showed almost nothing. Our other two horses finished third and fourth, not unexpected given their post positions, behind two longshot speed horses. I knew we were in trouble with Danger to Society when everyone seemed to pick him, including his trainer, Ken McPeek, who ridiculed the morning line and said that the horse would win. In the Pick3, I singled Danger to Society, with All in the Barbaro brother race won by a $63 horse, along with the winner in the Donn. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

In the Donn, we picked the winner, Albertus Maximus ($8.20), and we had the right idea with a longshot speed horse (30-1) for second. Unfortunately, our speed horse (33-1) was a little slow out of the gate and didn't get to the front. We did not like the favorite, Arson Squad, who finished fourth. But we did have the winner and the third horse, Einstein, completing the Unexacta. Close but no cigar. Maybe next time.

Look for analysis of the next Derby prep here on the Blog.

Mr. X

Friday, January 30, 2009

Donn Handicap at Gulfstream, Saturday, January 31, 2009

9th Race

Some of the old plodders in a Grade I race. I like the dangerous speed of 6 On Board Again to get into the exacta at a price. Frankel trained, horse is rested, and there is not much real speed in the race. On Board Again looks to get the lead and hold it until the middle of the stretch. Hopefully, he won't be pressed and can last into the exacta photo. I'll take my chances at 20-1.

2 Albertus Maximus is a rug specialist so we don't know how well he will adapt. He is inside and looks to get a good trip. He is a great closer with the best closing time. Likely winner.

10 Einstein is some horse and really looks too good to be true. Wins on all surfaces, but he is parked outside, and his trainer says that he doesn't like the Gulfstream surface. Great closing time as well. No surprise if he wins.

My bet:

$5 Exacta box: 2-6-10

$5 Exacta box: 2-6

$1 Tri box: 2-6-10

Total $46

Good luck!

Mr. X

Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park on the Derby Trail, Saturday, January 31, 2009

Race 7
These races are hard to handicap and harder to bet. The best horse may be the one going on to the Triple Crown so the trainer doesn't have him cranked up, and he doesn't have to win. Many other horses don't look like they fit, or the trainer doesn't know what he has, so he is trying the big boys.

I think 11 Beethoven is the best horse in the race with the best closing time and good energy distribution. But Ward doesn't care about winning this race for his Derby horse. Coupled with an impossible post (except for Big Brown who won from the outside), I will bet against Beethoven to win. Borel will head for the rail right after the break.

The horse that looks to be in the right spot is 2 Danger to Society. He is inside, has Albarado, and has good numbers. He has not lost in his first two races and won easily in his last. McPeek is also a hot trainer with three wins, one second, and two thirds in his last seven races. I doubt that Danger will be a Derby contender unless he improves his closing time significantly.

10 West Side Bernie is another one on the outside who will have trouble getting near the front. In his case, the 9f looks like a stretch so you know he will be trying. He is not a Derby horse. He is working well and may try to steal the lead from the outside.

My bet:

$20 Win: 2

$10 Exacta box: 2-11

$5 Exacta box: 2-10

Total $50

By the way, Barbaro's little brother, Nicanor, is running for the first time in the 8th race. Everyone has high hopes for the horse. Don't bet him, though. Likely to be wildly overbet.

Good luck!

Mr. X

Derby Trail: Holy Bull

This year we are going to follow the prep races more closely and handicap them when possible. We'll concurrently keep our contenders list as we have in the past,

I will post my bets late tonight or tomorrow for the 9f Holy Bull at Gulfstream. Maybe the Donn as well.

Mr. X