AGOS Horses to Watch – April 6, 2016

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Horses to Watch for AGameofSkill visitors

You’ll want to commit these runners to memory as they may offer up a bit of value next time they enter the starting gate.

Aqueduct

Japhir (AQU Race #2 – 3/26/16 – #5 – 1 mile 70 yards dirt) – Manny Franco in the saddle for Bill Mott, and they were settled in stalking behind a dawdling pace. When they turned 1:16.3 for 3/4, he looked to have his work cut out. – The slow fractions usually play against the closers, and he finished up gamely splitting runners trying to wheel in the chalk leader from the Pletcher barn. – Give him an honest pace, and he’ll stalk the leader and inhale them down the lane.

Gulfstream Park

Ousby (GP Race #5 – 3/26/16 – #6 – 1 mile on the turf) –  Nik Juarez up for trainer Marcus Vitali, and they have been the talk for awhile for the solid team they have become. This son of Shakespeare got himself a little tight at the 1/4 pole and had to shift over to the rail and await room. He finished with a solid effort, but a little cleaner lane would have been very welcome by the punters.

 Our Azure (GP Race #5 – 3/25/16 – #1 – 1 1/16 on the dirt ( Originally scheduled for the turf)) – Jockey Eddie Nunez struggled with his filly down the backstretch, and appeared to have trouble getting her to settle down. Once she got comfortable, she put in a very nice effort going past the chalk only to be bested late in the lane. She may be better suited with a solid gate break, and hopefully we’ll see a little better price.

What Power (GP Race #2 – 4/2/16- #8 – 1 mile on the turf)  Paco Lopez had the call, and he ran into trouble in the first turn and had to check up. Lopez saved ground and looked for a hole to make his charge and was all dressed up and no place to go with his mount. – Once he shook loose, he made a solid bid for minor awards. A clean trip may be just what the doctor ordered.

Songoficeandfire (Race #11 – 4/2/16 – #7 – 1 1/8 on the turf) –  Junior Alvarado had the call, and his mare settled out nicely and  saved ground along the rail. He looked to have his charge in a good spot when he waited for a seem to open at the top of the lane. Well, it never appeared in a timely fashion, and bottled her up until she finally saw daylight and exploded for a strong bridesmaid effort. – I’ll bet dollars to donuts she’ll tip off the rail nearing the 1/4 pole and give them fits down the stretch.

Wagering on Keeneland?  Get the edge you need to beat your pari-mutuel competition. 

 

Fair Grounds

Susie Bee (FG Race#6 – 3/26/16 – #10 – 1 1/6 on the turf) – top rider Javier Castellano in the saddle for Mike Maker. She was kept in under a hammer lock of a hold waiting for room down the backstretch. Once she shifted off the rail looking for a lane, she brushed against Christie’s Ready and never found full stride but managed to still show very good interest to finish up with good energy.

Eagle (Race #7 – 3/26/16 – #10 – 1 1/8 on the dirt) –  Javier Castellano settled near the back of the pack and brushed repeatedly with Storm Driver into the first turn. – He relaxed a bit and was forced wide to find running room, and Castellano gave a “pop of the crop” to give a strong hand ride to the wire not using all the gas in the tank. – Next up gets has him soaring down the lane.

 

Oaklawn Park

Scout Leader (OP Race #3 – 3/31/16 – #2 – 1 1/16 on the main track) –  Joe Rocco did an excellent job making up a heap of ground, and dove to the inside rail as the eventual winner started drifting out inside the 16th pole. He ran a very game effort, and 2nd money on this day was a good indication of efforts to come. – He’ll be the major danger next up.

Roxy Rocket (Race #4 – 3/31/16 – #9 – 1 1/16 on the dirt) –  Julio Felix in the irons, and he closed stoutly down the outside under soft fractions. She circled up wide and once she leveled out Felix gave a strong effort to the wire. I filed this one under “running out of real estate.”

Turfway Park

Hughhoofner (TP Race #1 – 4/2/16 – #8 -6f on the poly track) –  John McKee in the saddle for this speedster, and he broke out before the start and expended some well needed energy. McKee sent the Bill Connelly charge in the four wide path about the 3/8th’s pole. – I watched him warm-up, and he looked better than a shiny penny. – Speed balls need all of their energy, and he left most of his on the track with the premature gate break.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 12-time qualifier to the National Handicapping Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He recently won a $24,000 package into the 2016 Kentucky Derby Betting Championship. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is also a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program. He is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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