Handicapping Tip of the Day #44 – Millions of Ways to Lose a Horse Race

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

by Rich Nilsen

It’s sobering, but true.  There are so many ways to lose a horse race, but, it seems, only a few ways to win.  Saturday, June 9 was on the radar for the entire horse racing community, and many outside it, for the prospect of Justify becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner.  There is little doubt that 53 year old Mike Smith had been thinking about it for the three weeks since Justify had captured the Preakness Stakes. In fact, it was reported on NBC that Smith had turned down all types of engagements leading up to the Belmont Stakes, spending a lot of time in the gym and staying strictly focused on preparing for the most important mount of his life.

Unfortunately for me, and several of my friends, Mike Smith also had the mount on my best bet of the day, a horse that would go off at 30-1.  This was a runner that was in the race right before the Belmont Stakes, the G1 Manhattan Handicap going 10 furlongs on the grass.  What follows in my write-up on the top choice at 15/1 on the morning line in my Belmont Stakes card analysis:

Pace Analysis: One Go All Go and Beach Patrol will ensure a quick pace in this 10 furlong turf route. 

Spot Play Selection: # 11 MANITOULIN (20/1) had a difficult trip off the bench last time out and can move forward in a big way on the stretch out to 10 furlongs.  He was a 16-1 value play winner for us last year on this sheet, and we’re going back to the well with this son of Grade 1 winner Soaring Softly.  Look for Mike Smith to sit this longshot in a good tactical position in mid pack and make a run for the lead turning for home.

While Manitoulin was taking the scenic route right from the beginning by staying to the outside 6 wide on the first turn, Edgar Prado was tucking his mount (#13) into the two path.  Manitoulin continued on the far outside the entire backstretch while Prado’s mount was riding the hedge.  Smith made a run for the lead at the top of the stretch but by then his mount has expended an incredible amount of wasted energy.  Despite that he battles gamely and loses by less than a length as Spring Quality comes storming on the outside to get up for the win.

It was a crushing blow 60 minutes before the Triple Crown attempt by Justify, and this loss cost me multiple big scores on the day.

We’ve all been the beneficiaries of bad trips by horses that should have won, but how often do we take notice of that? Let’s say you loved Spring Quality.  Do you really think you would be saying after the race, “boy, I got lucky. If Manitoulin had any type of reasonable trip, he would have won.”  Of course not.  You would patting yourself on the back for coming up with a really nice longshot winner.  It’s human nature to overlook the fortunate ways we benefited from a win, but instead dwell on the terrible losses and how unlucky we were.  It’s important to keep things in perspective.

I’ll put Manitoulin in my horses to watch list and hope to be more fortunate next time around.

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AGOS Horses to Watch

 

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – June 8, 2018

Belmont Park horse racingBELMONT PARK

MANGO M (Race 1 @BEL, 6/7/18) – returned off a layoff and was well meant in his turf debut for trainer Shug McGaughey.  He was making a winning move on the far turn when he got boxed in and shuffled around by Whiskey Run.  Ducked to the inside and tried to win the race up the rail, but meanwhile the winner got a clear run on the outside to easily grab the victory.  Son of Tale Of The Cat wins back at this level next time out.

GULFSTREAM PARK

MASCARPONE (Race 4 @GP, 6/7/18) – jockey Jilver Chamafi was asleep at the wheel aboard this turf horse who had a lot of ‘run.’  Made his move way too late, and in the process, got the runner into some trouble turning for home that cost him all chance for the victory.  Finished a sneaky good 2nd behind the 6/5 favorite in a race he could have won.

PIMLICO

FLASH ATTACK (Race 1 @PIM, 5/19/18) – this gelded son of Harlan’s Holiday has been very consistent since moving into the barn of trainer Michael Stidham.  In the opener on Preakness Day he closed well for third against an impossible early speed bias.  Can win back on a fair track, going short or long.

STILL HAVING FUN (Race 8 @PIM, 5/19/18) – this was another one that was up against trying to rally from off the pace but he did so en route to a solid 2nd place finish behind the heavy favorite. Son of Old Fashioned is really good at 1 mile or less.

TENFOLD (Race 13 @PIM, 5/19/18) – in only his fourth career start this guy ran a very good race in the G1 Preakness Stakes.  He rebounded off a poor showing last time out at Oaklawn Park to be beaten less than one length to Justify.  Son of Curlin has a bright future for barn that is masterful at managing careers.  He could play a major factor in the Belmont Stakes.

 

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – April 4, 2018

track announcer with binocularsGULFSTREAM PARK

MISS DEPLORABLE (Race 1 at GP, 3/21/18)  second off the layoff and first time of the turf runner was badly blocked from inside trip while turning for home in this 5 furlong turf sprint. When she finally got clear, she absolutely flew home to just miss.  Galloped out past the fortunate winner.

HOFBURG (Race 14 at GP, 3/31/18) – the Bill Mott trainee got the pace he needed and made a menacingly late move to finish a clear second to Audible in the G1 Florida Derby.  The winner came out on him slightly in mid-stretch, causing him to alter course.  Either way, he wasn’t going to get to Audible. This was only his third career start and the three year old Kentucky Derby hopeful is bred to run all day.  He’ll relish the long stretch in Louisville, Kentucky.

PARX

MR. BRIX (Race 9 at Parx, 3/19/18) – figured to get a perfect set up closing from off the pace in a race loaded with early speed. That is exactly what was happening until one of the horses in a three-way duel fell and caused all sorts of trouble for the runners behind him.  One of those was Mr. Brix who was taken way wide turning for home.  Remarkably, he finished very strong for the place spot.  Can win back in the right spot and with better luck.

Update: Sadly this was the race that was marred by the tragic spill involving veteran jockey Jose Luis Flores.  Please pray for his family and friends.

SUNLAND PARK

LAVISHLEIGH WILD (Race 7 at SUN, 3/27/18) – tough trip for this 2-1 shot in New Mexico in a state-bred for non winners of two races lifetime.  Was stuck racing inside, shuffled way back on the far turn.  He then came flying home up the inside like a real pro and just missed on the wire.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch – 3/13/2018

track announcer with binocularsWe’re back with a few horses to watch for the AGOS visitors.  Put these runners in your Stable Alert or Stable Mail service.

 

PARX

DO A LEGGER (Parx, race 6, 3/12/18) – this longshot was loaded for bear on the far turn but had no where to run.  It didn’t get any better when they turned for home as he was stuck behind a wall of horses.  It was about 3/8ths of a mile before he got in the clear and when that happened he finished willingly for show.  Absolutely horrible trip.

 

Tampa Bay Downs

DYNASHE (Tampa Bay Downs, race 6, 2/14/18) – Likely winner raced off the pace, made winning move at the top of the stretch but was blocked inside. Lost momentum while winner came clear on the outside. Finished well up the rail for clear 2nd. It was her first start over the Tampa dirt and she should be tough next time out.

 

BOSTON BREEZE (Tampa Bay Downs, race 2, 3/10/18) – maiden ran into a buzzsaw with a $1M Pletcher first time starter and future stakes horse named Ruler Of The Nile.  This lightly raced runner finished strong for trainer Chad Stewart and can move forward in his next outing.

 

QUIP (Tampa Bay Downs, race 11, 3/10/18) – great ride from Flo Geroux and an impressive early turn of foot from this rising star on the Kentucky Derby trail.  The son of Distorted Humor overcame a tough outside post with a short run into the first turn.  Quickly cleared six of the horses to his inside to get into a stalking position behind one of the co-favorites.  Showed a lot of grit to out-game that rival in the lane. He is trained by Rodolphe Brisset, only a 10% trainer, but he is a former assistant to Hall of Famer Bill Mott.

AGOS Horses to Watch – Dec. 19, 2017

Horses to Watch

Aqueduct

12/2/17

Race #1 – #5 – Black Sea – Javier Castellano / Chad Brown

Black Sea = Sent off the odds-on chalk and upon leaving the gate he broke sharply toward the inside. Once he settled out there was a solid bid made down the stretch for third place.

Race #4 – #4 – Forty Winds / Joe Bravo / George Weaver

Forty Winds = Odds-on favorite when they broke from the gate. This was a very impressive mdn winner drawing off by 4 impressive lengths. Follow this gal right back to the windows.

Race #7 – #5 – Silverado Mist / Jose Ortiz / Bill Mott

Silverado Mist = Stumbled badly at the break and once Ortiz got his mount corrected he saved ground and swung out 3 wide on the turn giving a good account of himself.

Turfway Park

12/2/17

Race #3 – #7 – Derby Dreamer / Mike Maker

Derby Dreamer = Hit gate and was away slow. Heavily bet at the windows and just jogged home not giving any effort after a compromised beginning. He’ll have plenty in the tank next out as Maker should be loaded for bear this meet.

Race #6 – #3 – Memorial Blue / John McKee

Memorial Blue = Here was another impressive winner on the night that needs to be played right back. He won by 4 and is even more impressive after breaking awkwardly and gathering his steam to draw off with authority.

AGOS Horses to Watch – Dec. 16, 2017

Horses to Watch to put in your Stable Mail or Stable Alert service.

Aqueduct

12/11/17

Race #3 – Clm $32,000 – 1 mile

Old Up Start – Trainer Steve Asmussen with his go-to-guy Ricardo Santana. He was 6 wide down the backstretch, 5w on the turn, and 4 wide turning for home. He beat right at the wire and you can play him right back.

Race #5 – Claiming $16,000 – 6f

Archival = Joe Bravo in the irons for top trainer David Jacobson. He did a perfect job stalking the pace and got beat at the wire for all the money. This was a very good effort to build and was claimed by Robert Diodoro.

Race #9 = $50,000 Stakes – 6f

Beautiful Buzz – First-time starter by stallion Tuefflesburg. Trained by the Gary Gullo barn and ridden by Angel Arroyo. They teamed up for a very effort solid that will have you chomping at the bit to play him right back.

Gulfstream Park

12/9/17

Race #6 – Pulpit Stks – 1-mile turf

Pony Up = Javier Castello for Todd Pletcher. Taken back at the start and started to move going 5-6 wide on the final turn. He finished up a game second and will be one to keep on your big money radar screen.

AGOS Horses to Watch – Dec. 3, 2017

AGOS Horses to Watch

The winter ovals are opening the doors and we’re ready to follow the horses as they make their next stop. But as we ready for the next oval, we need to keep our eyes open for problem runners who have an excuse. They may not have had a good break, stumbled or blocked down the lane. As handicappers, we are always looking to build our bankroll and there is no better time than now.  Keep your eyes peeled and have these runners on your radar.

Churchill Downs

11/18/17

Race #4 – #9 – Sky Promise – 1 1/16 on the turf

#9 – Sky Promise = Son of Sky Mesa for the Ken McPeek barn. He was adding first-time blinkers and had the services of Robby Albarado. The track was listed as yielding and he seems to enjoy a surface with a little “cut” to it. This day he was tracking from the back and made a strong 4 wide bid to get the show dough.

Race #7 – #2 – Like a Haint – 6f on the main

#2 – Like a Haint = Filly by Archarcharch is fresh off two straight claims and was a beaten favorite the last two. She loves CD going 5/6 ITM. She had the services of apprentice Edgar Morales and was rallying strongly on the outside. The leader and eventual winner floated out a little bit near the wire and won by a head. Some would call it race riding and others would dismiss it as a bad streak of luck. – You’ll need to follow her back as she’ll probably head to Turfway Park.

Fair Grounds

11/18/17

Race #2 – #9 – Much Trouble – 1 and 70 yards on the main

#9 -Much Trouble = Miguel Mena in the saddle for Thom Amoss. Shipping in from Indiana Grand and was a beaten favorite last out. He owned a bullet work over the course and looked to fit. He was carried out at the 3/4 and forced to check up sharply at the 1/8th pole. After all this, he still managed a strong place finish.

Aqueduct

11/11/17

Race #2 – Claiming – 1 mile on the turf – #2 – Ode to the Hunt

#2 – Ode to the Hunt = Jose Ortiz in the saddle and making a drop in class. This son of Artie Schiller has been off for two months and had two solid efforts making a big closing move. He was pinched back at the break and was fanned out 6-7 wide on the turf trying to make up for lost time. He was widest of all down the lane and grabbed the show dough.

Race #6 – Mdn Sp Wt – 7f – #8 – Home Run Maker

#8 – Home Run Maker = Luis Saez in the irons for Jeremiah Englehart and this two-yr-old colt was making his second lifetime start rolling in off a sharp work. Once the gate broke he stumbled badly at the start and rushed up to grab the lead. His rider was forced to alter course around the far turn and all the commotion looked to take a toll on the colt. He still managed an honest 3rd place effort and should be dangerous next out.

Del Mar

11/11/17

Race #2 – Claiming – 5 1/2f on the dirt – #1 – Pattin for a Dance

#1 – Pattin for a Dance = Iggy Puglisi in the saddle and she was making her third start off the layoff move cutting back from a mile to 5 1/2f. – She was 2/3 ITM sprinting and owned a work over the track. She broke tardy and made up tons of ground at a very good price around the turn. Sprinting looks to be a part of her game and should be a factor coming off a 3rd place effort.

Race #4 – Starter $50,000 – 1 mile on the turf – #3 – Red King

#3 – Red King = Son of English Channel was coming off a two-month break and had the services of Flavien Prat. Beaten favorite last out, and the Vlad Cerin barn comes back to win 19% on this move. He did an excellent job tracking and made a horse splitting move at the tip of the lane making good headway. He had a powerful late kick and just ran out of real estate.

Race #8 – OC $40,000 – 5f on the turf – #3 – Painting Corners

#3 – Painting Corners = Filly from the red-hot barn of Peter Miller (36%) cutting back in distance from 6 1/2f to 5f on the green. Beaten favorite last out and the barn comes back to win 25% getting payback. – Flavien Prat in the saddle and was sent off the odds-on favorite. She was tracking just off the pace and when she tried to make a move at Prat’s urging she lacked room and forced to steady off heels. Once a hole appeared she made a good late surge showing promise for next out.

Del Mar

11/19/17

Race #7 – #10- Pants on Fire – 1 mile on the turf

#10 – Pants on Fire = Corey Nakatani in the irons for Richard Baltas. 3-yr-old filly by Sir Percy (GB) is regally bred for the green. She came flying and would have taken flight if she had wings. The way she maneuvered through runners and weaved in and out closing like gangbusters. – Follow her right back.

Race #8 – #2 – Solid Wager – $100k Cary Grant – 7f on the main

#2 – Solid Wager = Peter Miller is the conditioner and he has been red-hot winning 33%. He was a beaten favorite last out and was left at the post this day. – Victor Espinoza saved ground and swung out gamely making a strong 5 wide move. Everything seemed to fit and he’ll give them fits next time out.

 

 

AGOS Horses to Watch – October 12, 2017

Horses to Watch for AGameofSkill.com (AGOS) Visitors

The last big weekend is in the books and the countdown to the Breeders’ Cup has officially started. At the time of this post, there are 24 days, 4 hours and 2 minutes. You’ll want to keep tabs on final workouts, shipping schedules and the overall health reports you’ll find in many Thoroughbred publications. The summer is over and the races are in the books. Now is the time to keep on top of your reading and combing over race replays.  Best of luck!

Belmont Park

10/7/17

Race #5 – Starter Allowance – 1 1/16 on turf – #2 – King of Spades

King of Spades = Son of Street Cry who is 3/5 ITM at Belmont and cutting back from 1 1/4 to 1 1/16. He was dropping in class and had the services of Joel Rosario in the saddle. He was bumped soundly at the start and was pinched back. He got back on task and managed to finish 5th this day. – A cleaner trip has him right in the mix.

Race #8 – The G1 Champagne – 1 mile on the dirt – #4 – Enticed

Enticed = Son of Medaglia d’ Oro coming in off a strong maiden win. Kiaran McLaughlin trainee who ran green but still got the win at first asking. He owned a bullet work coming into the race and a solid work tab keeping all systems ready. He did an excellent job of tracking the pace but was shuffled into the 6 path at the top of the lane. It doesn’t take much to get a two-year-old off task and he put together a solid run finishing 3rd this day.

Race #9 – The G3 Hill Prince – 1 1/8 miles turf – #6 – Bricks and Mortar

Bricks and Mortar = Chad Brown trainee and a son of Giant’s Causeway. He was 2/2 at Belmont with wins and was a beaten favorite in the G3 Saranac at Saratoga. His late punch has been his calling card and Joel Rosario was in the saddle. – He was in tight after the break and forced to take up and steady. He made a good late run for the show dough and will be heard from next out with a little cleaner start.

Race #11 – Allowance – 1 1/16 turf – #4 – Minsky Moment

Minsky Moment = Chad Brown runner with Irad Ortiz in the saddle. This son of Flatter has been heavily bet the last 5 of 6 starts and has yet to run on the turf. His breeding suggests he should relish the sod and Ortiz win 18% on the greensward. He was bottled up around the far turn and was forced to tap on the brakes a few times. He tipped off the rail and made a strong late kick weaving in and out of traffic.

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Keeneland

10/7/17

Race #5 – The G2 Woodford – 5 1/2f on the turf – #1 – Conquest Panthera

Conquest Panthera = Robby Albarado in the saddle for Mark Casse. They were dropping in class and cutting back from 1 mile to 5 1/2f. This son of Kitten’s Joy has faced some tough runners and the sprint this day was coming off his 3rd off the layoff – 17%. He broke slowly from the gate and saved ground the entire trip. Albarado tipped off the rail and made a strong late challenge finishing a very game 4th place.

Race #7 – The G1 First Lady – 1 mile on the turf – #3 – Dona Bruja

Dona Bruja = Declan Cannon in the irons for Ignacio Correas. She exited the 1 3/16 G1 Beverly D and was a beaten favorite that day. Ever since coming in from Argentina she has looked better with every effort. She is 11/11 ITM on the turf and was turning back to a flat mile. – She kicked going 6 wide and made a strong late run. Maybe a little more ground would be to her liking and if she gets the right distance she will come rolling late in the lane.

AGOS Horses to Watch – October 5, 2017

Horses to Watch

Kentucky Downs

9/9/17

Race #2 – Mdn Sp Wt – 6 1/2f  turf – #4 – Shirl’s Ready

Shirl’s Ready = This son of More Than Ready was off four months coming in from CD. Ricardo Santana aboard and he looked to be heading for a big effort. – He sported a nice work at Ellis Park and shifted out and dug in gamely showing a very solid turn of late kick. He will most probably be heading back to CD and we’ll be looking there and possibly Keeneland for a trip over the greensward.

Race #4 – Mdn Sp Wt -6 1/2f turf – #7 – Jolly Good

Jolly Good = Daughter of Paddy O’ Prado making her first start in just a shade over 4 months coming in from Keeneland. She is bred to relish the turf and was coming off a 6 1/2f effort on the dirt and getting her day on the undulating turf. – She was slow to begin and forced to steady. Her late kick was evident and she can easily stretch out in distance. Keep your eyes peeled for this gal.

Race #8 – KyD Ladies Sprint – 6 1/2f turf – #2 – Fair Point

Fair Point = 3rd start off the layoff for the daughter of Smart Strike. She was exiting some nice stake races in New York and getting added distance. Her efforts put her in the mix looking for a hole and was forced to steady at the 1/4 pole and some back later down the lane settling for 4th with plenty left.

Del Mar

9/3/17

Race #8 – G2 Del Mar Derby – 1 1/8 on the turf – #3 – Bowies Hero

Bowies Hero = A son of Artie Schiller who was 2/2 at Del Mar. He comes from the high percentage Phil D’ Amato barn and came in off a win in the $100,000 Oceanside. He did a perfect job stalking and tipped off the rail going wide and lost his whip in the final 1/8th of the race. All in all, he still managed a very good third place effort.

 

Belmont Park

9/16/17

Race #2 – Mdn Claiming – 1 1/16 turf – #10 – Culture Carrier

Culture Carrier = Son of Kitten’s Joy for the Chad Brown barn. He is bred to relish the turf and had the services of Javier Castellano in the saddle. He tracked at the back of the pack and tipped off going two wide making a very strong bid. He finished 4th this day and his 2nd effort out should show a much-improved runner ready to seal the deal.

Race #5 – Mdn Sp Wt – 1 mile on the turf – #9 – City Day

City Day = Daughter of City Zip for Christophe Clement. She was getting first time Lasix (24%) and making her second start moving from the dirt to the turf. Her dam has 6 winners from 9 starters on the weeds and she had a couple works on the deep Oklahoma training track at Saratoga. – She tracked near the back and swung out 4 wide making a solid bid to be 3rd. This is a great building block race for efforts to come.

Race #7 – A.O.C – 1 mile on the turf – #10 – Black Tide

Black Tide = He is a blistering speed type under the handling of Jose Lezcano. He is 6/9 ITM over the Belmont turf and exits the $150k West Point stakes. Trainer David Cannizzo has him cranked up and he shows his early foot every time. He led all the way and floated out 7 wide in the turn and when Lezcano got him back on task he did some bumping down the lane. He got the show-dough this effort and can wire them easily. Just keep your eyes peeled for race lacking a torrid pace.

Race #9 – The G2 Sands Point – 1 1/8 on the turf – #10 – Inflexibility

Inflexibility = Daughter of Scat Daddy shipping in from Woodbine. She broke her maiden on the Belmont turf and is 3/3 ITM on the sod. She has a good late kick and was making a step up the class ladder against this field. Chad Brown trainee with Javier Castellano in the irons. – She was wide early on and was forced to steady off of heels early and gave her best effort to be 4th. I think she is sitting on a big effort but you just can’t strut your stuff against better when you have any kind of traffic problems.

Race #10 – Claiming – 1 mile on the turf – #12 – Performance Bonus

Performance Bonus = Chad Brown runner breaking from the far post this day. He is a solid 3/3 ITM over the Belmont green and was dropping down in condition claiming levels. He was a beaten chalk the last race and Brown comes back to win (30%) on this move. He was hung even wider after the break and saw about an 1/8th of a mile if not further than the rest. Javier Castellano managed to rally for 3rd and this was a respectable effort all things considered.

Belmont Park

9/9/17

Race #2 – Mdn Sp Wt – 6f on the turf – #5 – Solid

Solid = Manny Franco in the irons for the Kiaran McLaughlin barn. He is a son of Smart Strike and has the breeding to suggest he will relish the turf. – He was off slow from the start spotting the field extra ground. He made an excellent drive to get back in the game and made striking move splitting runners down the lane to be 3rd this day.

Race #4 – Mdn Sp Wt – 1 mile – #5 – Coal Truth

Coal Truth = A son of Mineshaft was making his 2nd career start for the Chad Brown barn (27%). He was a beaten favorite his first time out and going from a sprint to a route where Brown scores at a (32%) clip. – He made contact with some runners this day and the two-yr-old was squeezed back at multiple times. He ran third but was put up to 2nd as the result of a DQ. – Keep this race on your “key races” to watch runners who exit.

Race #9 – AOC – 1 1/16 on the turf – #2 – Vision Colors

Vision Colors = Speedster shipping back from Parx. This son of Pollard’s Vision loves Belmont going 10/11 ITM at “Big Sandy.” – Manny Franco in the irons and stumbled at the start and still managed to get to the lead and show the way. He led all the way and called it a day at the top of the lane. Maybe the distance was too much or it was the compromised beginning that caused him to use up his early speed.

AGOS Horses to Watch – Aug. 27, 2017

Horses to Watch for AGOS (AGameofSkill.com) visitors

Belterra Park

8/18/17

Race #1 – Claiming – 5f on the main – #8 – Scotch is My Candy

#8 – Scotch is My Candy = Carson Sullivan in the irons for John Alexander Ortiz (22%). This daughter of Sidney’s candy was shipping in from Indiana Grand. She was taking a huge plunge in class and the barn is 9/9 ITM at the meet. She was off slow at the start and was forced to rush up quickly making a strong bid this day. The barn is solid and she’ll get it together next out.

Race #6 – O.C. $25,000 – 1 mile on the turf – #9 – In the Shoes

#9 – In the Shoes = Very solid gal coming off a win at BtP, and trainer Donna Taylor is winning (30%) at the meet. This daughter of Congrats ran into a little trouble during the race and was forced to check twice into the far turn and fanned six wide. After all the activity, rider Dick Cardenas got her rolling late and made a powerful late bid to be a bridesmaid this day. A little bit of racing luck and she’ll be getting a trip to the winner’s circle.

 

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Saratoga

8/19/17

Race #5 – Mdn Sp Wt – 6f – #6 – Variant Perception

#6 – Variant Perception = This was a 1st-time starter by Curlin for the Chad Brown barn. His dam Mystery Trip has 5 winners from 5 starters and came in off some good works. – He broke in the air prior to the start and brushed leaving the starting gate.  Brown will have him ready for the races next up and wins at a solid clip 2nd trip out.

Race #6 – Alw $85,000 – 1 1/8 on the main – #5 – Hookup

#5 – Hookup = Manny Franco in the saddle and this son of Union Rags has been away from the races for 8 months. – He was knocked around the start and was taken out of stride. After being forced into another, Franco picked up the action and made a solid bid finishing up to be third this day.

Race #9 – G1 Alabama Stakes – 1 1/4 on the main – #1 – New Money Honey

#1 – New Money Honey = This was her first time on the dirt and has been a turf monster. She was looking three-in-a-row and her 3rd off the shelf. – Javier Castellano in the irons and Chad Brown the conditioner (33%). She was in tracking mode and forced to steady and tap on the breaks at the 1/4 pole weakening down the lane.

Saratoga

8/20/17

Race #5 – Mdn Sp Wt – 1 1/16 on the turf – #5 – Lemoona

#5 – Lemoona = Two-yr-old filly by Lemon Drop Kid, and she has the breeding that suggests she’ll relish the turf. – She was sandwiched and slammed leaving the starting gate. Junior Alvarado did a great job-saving ground and was forced to sweep 5 wide at the 1/4 pole making a late bid for 2nd money.

Race  #9 – $100,000 Summer Colony – 1 1/8 on the main – #4 – Romantic Vision

#4 – Romantic Vision = Javier Castellano in the saddle for Rusty Arnold. She’s been away from the races for 60 days since Churchill Downs and had a couple of works over the deep Oklahoma training track. This was not her day at all as she stumbled badly at the start, took up and bumped. After all this action she never regained her momentum and called it a day. Look for her to return at this level of the upper stratosphere of the allowance ranks.