Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blinkers On!

So far a week into the year, I am already failing at one of my racing resolutions - posting and blogging more often.  Time to put the 'blinkers on' and get focused.  While scouring Brisnet for my Thursday track to handicap, I noticed a 'Race of the Day Contest'.  What the heck, maybe I should use the Brisnet race of the day as a reason to try to win a trip to see the Derby and it would give me a good reason to post more often...  so here it goes.

Beulah - Race 6 - 6f - Statebred AlwN1X for 3yo& up

Naturally, this is a track I generally pass over since I have found the pace tough to assess with the large variance on second call times (versus my pars) for comparison, but here is what I came up with:

1 Perfect Groom (5-2) - weaker part of the entry; broke maiden almost a year ago and while you can excuse a poor effort at two turns over a muddy track last out, this one was slow to leave the gate two back and shows no encouraging works... pass if this is the part of entry to run.

1A Phil's Boy (5-2) - stronger part of the entry boasting a 1 of 19 lifetime mark, 0-fer-ever at this level and from the looks of it will contest the pace early before fading and likely finishing in the money... worth a look if #5 scratches

2 J Z Rib (20-1) - 1 of 18 lifetime, has comments on last three starts of 'Never a factor' and 'never close'... toss last two at two turns and you are still left with no real sense of form and trouble with one turn - PASS!

3 Threequarter Star (20-1) lifetime 1 of 27... has been a total of 6 horses in last 10 starts - not much to like here and will not likely even factor on the pace - PASS!

4 Classic Reward (2-1) - reasonable favorite here, however has been on the bench for about 6 weeks with no published workout; drops back to a statebred condition here, but has struggled beyond the statebred claiming ranks.  Big effort two back is atypical compared to this 6 year old's general form, however that effort is likely to burn some money at the window.  He will need a weak early pace to have a shot here.

5 Bajheera (6-1) - limited sprint experience, but has shown early speed in both, failing in open company, just missing against similar to today's field.  Even in failing route efforts, he shows early speed to the stretch before failing.  His last sprint at Thistledown had a hot second call of 44.4 (well beyond what he can handle) and the pace will be softer here.  Look for him to get loose early and very likely take this race wire to wire.

6 Door Athe Light (3-1) - been up close at this level recently, but seems to lack the final kick.  Pedigree does not suggest that he likes this level, but is the lone 4yo in the group so there is a chance for some improvement here, if the pace fails look for him to be making a late move.

7 Rambo Rib (5-1) - turns back off of a maiden win in the mud against open MSW horses.  At 7 years old, I don't expect to see much improvement here.

In conclusion, look for #5 Bajheera to try to go wire to wire on the lead, his chances improve if #1A Phil's Boy scratches.  As a back-up should #5 get challenged and fail, look for #6 Door Athe Light to make a late move.

Likely plays (pre-scratches and without seeing the tote board at 2 MTP): 
- WP5
- Ex 5,6 - 1/1A,4,5,6

Confidence Level:  2 of 5 - tough track to gauge speed (and I don't play it very often) - no real standouts, but there could be some decent value here.

Look for another post soon about establishing a good 'handicapping routine' so you don't miss the obvious (like I tend to do when I get in a rush!)

Good luck all!

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