Sunday, May 19, 2013

Preakness Epilogue

I was very busy yesterday and didn't post. However, that doesn't mean I didn't bet.

The closest thing in my mind to a lock was Orb. I just couldn't see him losing to this bunch even though he had the rail. The weather again wasn't great.

The only way that I thought he would get beat is if one of the horses took off and led all the way around. But I looked at all the early horses and concluded that none could beat Orb in any event. I never would have bet Oxbow to be one of the early horses. To see if there was any track bias for the front end, I reviewed all of the earlier distance races which were won by horses closing from behind.

So in my mind, everything favored Orb to repeat, and I bet him with Mylute in a box (3 times more with Orb on top), then Orb on top with four others, but no Oxbow.

In the end, you should thank your lucky stars that I didn't post. Orb just didn't run his race.

Mr. X

Monday, May 6, 2013

Kentucky Derby Epilogue

Thought we were a winner when Normandy Invasion took control at the top of the stretch. Then thought we were going to have an Orb/Normandy Invasion exacta. But Normandy really faded late. Maybe he would have been second if Castellano waited longer. Then I thought that Golden Soul was Verrazano (14 instead of 4). So even though we were right about a lot of things and horses, we still didn't collect.

Hated the track but it did seem to be very solid underneath the sloppy surface. Even though I said that my system wouldn't work on a sealed or sloppy track, it did.

I didn't evaluate Golden Soul because he had finished behind a number of horses in the Louisiana Derby, and I didn't think he could win. And he didn't. But today I did his numbers, and he qualified as a green horse, not red.

So the top five finishers were all green: having a three furlong time less than 38 seconds and a median energy distribution of less than 68%. The system worked and pointed out the contenders. We were right about a number of horses who received support at the windows but finished up the track. We were also right about Vyjack and the 20 hole. Verrazano, however, was a big disappointment. Overall it looked like the race was cleanly run with a minimum of bumps and traffic problems.

Having the best horse doesn't guarantee you the winner because of the twenty horses in the race. But Orb really looked good. As I said, we had a lot of things right, but still didn't collect. Better luck in the Preakness!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kentucky Derby 2013 Doghouse Confidential

Having trouble with the website so I posted my Derby analysis here:

May 4, 2013




Black Onyx
Joe Bravo
Kelly Breen


Gary Stevens
D. Wayne Lukas

Calvin Borel
Todd Pletcher


Golden Soul
Robby Albarado
Dallas Stewart

Normandy Invasion
Javier Castellano
Chad Brown

Rosie Napravnik
Tom Amoss


Giant Finish
Jose Espinoza
Tony Dutrow

Kevin Krigger
Doug O'Neill

Rafael Bejarano
Todd Pletcher

Palace Malice
Mike Smith
Todd Pletcher


Lines of Battle
Ryan Moore
Aidan O'Brien

Elvis Trujillo
Eddie Plesa Jr.


Falling Sky
Luis Saez
John Terranova

John Velazquez
Todd Pletcher


Charming Kitten
Edgar Prado
Todd Pletcher

Joel Rosario
Shug McGaughey


Will Take Charge
Jon Court
D. Wayne Lukas


Frac Daddy
Victor Lebron
Kenny McPeek


Java's War
Julien Leparoux
Kenny McPeek

Garrett Gomez
Rudy Rodriguez


If you have been following my system of evaluating horses that can run 10 furlongs, you can follow the above colors: green are horses that appear to be able to go the distance, yellow are horses that have made the grade on synthetics or have one time or another appeared to be able to make it, and red are horses that I don’t think can go beyond 9 furlongs or are eliminated because they don’t look competitive.

The analysis is different once again this year because all of these horses have had to compete to get in on the points system, thereby showing their stripes this year. Furthermore, there are no cheap speed sprinters that typically upset the early pace. So the horses should have a legitimate pace and it should be theoretically easier to separate contenders from non contenders given that they have run against each other already?

But the big problem again is the weather. I know (think?) now that there will be significant moisture in the track, and it looks like it could be heavier than just intermittent showers.

My system works best on a dry track or a just moist track and doesn’t work at all on a sealed or extremely sloppy track. Having said that, I have not changed my selections, but I will bet less on the Derby given the weather conditions.

My numbers say that 5 Normandy Invasion will storm to the front and win. He is on the light side, but training very well for Chad Brown. Normandy Invasion was a fast closing second to Verranzo in the Wood Memorial. The horse has the best closing time of the bunch. Most importantly, however, is that Castellano chose Normandy Invasion over Revolutionary who is Pletcher’s horse and one of Pletcher’s main riders along with Johnny V.

14 Verrazano was cruising down in the Wood and has never been seriously threatened. He is Johnny V.’s choice for Pletcher although Johnny admitted that he chose Verrazano before Orb was available. Verrazano has good numbers but is still somewhat of an unknown. Could run away with the race at the end. My numbers say that the Wood Memorial was the second fastest race after the Santa Anita Derby which I question anyway. This race may be a repeat of the 2003 Derby when Funny Cide and Empire Maker ran one-two in the Wood, and two-one in the Derby.

16 Orb is a talented horse from Shug. He has come from behind to win at Gulfstream Park where speed is king. Johnny V. admitted that Orb was a very good horse and that he feared Orb more than any other horse. Johnny implied that he would have chosen Orb over Verrazano. Orb’s Gulfstream races were slower than the Wood, and his numbers are not as good as the top two. Will be the favorite.

All of the top three would appear to be comfortable in wet or dry conditions.

3 Revolutionary has done nothing wrong, but is inside with Calvin Borel. You need to decide whether Calvin can work out a trip inside in the mud. He has done it before. Remember Castellano chose Normandy over Revolutionary. Wouldn’t be a major surprise to win. 6 Mylute has a chance and meets the numbers but will be overbet with Rosie. Did give up to Revolutionary in the lane in last rather easily.

8 Goldencents will be the speed of speeds, likely 7 lengths in front to the mile or beyond but will fold. While he is the closest thing to the lone speed and dangerous, I just don’t see him going all the way. 20 Vyjack is marooned in the 20 hole and hasn’t been training well. Not a win contender. 9 Overanalyze could be a surprise at a price. Ran a 99 Beyer last year in the Remsen but hasn’t repeated that this year. 11 Line of Battle from Europe has never been on dirt, so difficult to land on him in any of the slots. However, a third or fourth would not be out of the question.

You can’t bet them all, and as I said, the weather will likely be bad so take it easy.
Here is my safe bet:
$5 Exacta box: 5-14-16 = $30
Here is what I will bet:

$60 Win 5 = $60
$20 Exacta box = 5-14-16 = $120
$10 Exacta 5 over 3-6-9 = $30

Total $210
Good luck!

Mr. X