AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – May 10

Free Horses to Watch for AGOS visitors,  including runners from the 2019 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby cards.

KEENELAND

RAG TAG (Race 2 @KEE, 4/18/19) – first timer starter was well meant but lost all chance at the start of this 4 1/2 furlong dash when he broke slowly.  Striking son of Union Rags then made a solid, sustained run to finish a non-threatening 2nd to the Wesley Ward horse that stole the race on the front end.  Galloped out past the winner.

CHURCHILL DOWNS

CARTE BLANCE (Race 1 @CD, 5/3/19).  This 3yo son of Curlin encountered lots of trouble in this race but still continued on gamely in the stretch to just miss at the wire.  Not one of Mena’s best rides.  Fits snugly at the starter allowance level as trainer Wesley Hawley claimed him out of his maiden win last fall.

SOLID WAGER (Race 9 @CD, 5/3/19) – Peter Miller runner was in for the $62,500 tag in this optional claimer.  The hard knocker finished well for 2nd in the large field but had no chance behind the gate-to-wire winner over the biased main track.  Should be very tough back in at the same level next out.

LOOSE ON THE TOWN (Race 1 @CD, 5/4/19) – Another hard knocker that was in for the high price tag of the optional claimer, the opener on the Derby undercard.  Looked  like a winner in mid-stretch but came up a little short off the 7 month layoff.  Can move forward off this race for trainer Brian Lynch. Can sprint dirt or turf.

AWESOME TRACKER (Race 3 @CD, 5/4/19) – 2nd time starter never had a chance breaking along the rail in this 6 furlong and subsequently checked-in mid pack.  Has a pedigree that screams route so look for him around two turns.

HUNGRY KITTEN (Race 5 @CD, 5/4/19) – Trainer Shug McGaughey runner added blinkers and looked like a new horse in third lifetime start.  Daughter of Kitten’s Joy absolutely flew home in the final furlong to get up the wire in a visually impressive maiden win over a contentious field on the Derby undercard.

MITOLE (Race 8 @CD, 5/4/19) – One word – WOW!

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – 4/16/19

Complimentary horses to watch for AGOS visitors

Keeneland

SUENO – (4/31/19, Race 9 at KEE, Lexington Stakes) – continues to get less-than-ideal rides from Corey Lanerie. He had this colt in traffic on the backstretch and then went very wide turning for home in the Lexington Stakes. Finished willingly in a sneaky good 3rd place effort. Keith Desormeaux charge may benefit from a new rider.

Tampa Bay Downs

JOSIE’S RIDDLE (4/12/19, Race 7 at TAM) – 4yo Ontario-bred gelding was making first start off the claim for John Rigattieri and handled the rise in class without any trouble.  Honest runner is in razor sharp form for new outfit.  Handles dirt, turf or all-weather.

ZACAPA RUN (4/12/19, Race 8 at TAM) – This 3yo loves the grass and has picked up a major check in all four attempts.  Gray gelding finished well for second but had no chance behind the lone speed winner ridden by Antonio Gallardo.  Very tough at the 2-life claiming level on the grass.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – 3/28/19

2019 Pegasus World Cup

SEEKING THE SOUL (GP, 1/26/19, Pegasus Cup) – trainer Dallas Stewart is a master at getting horses to run their best in the biggest races in the world and he does so while somewhat under the radar.  He had another live longshot in Seeking The Soul, a horse I downgraded after the track came up a wet mess at Gulfstream for the 2019 Pegasus World Cup.  However, that didn’t stop the veteran runner from firing a big shot as so often the Stewart runners do.  Watch Seeking The Soul (saddle cloth #4) makes an inside move at the 5/8th pole before running into traffic, getting stopped briefly, and losing momentum.  He re-rallies quickly and then continues with a long sustained run to be a clear 2nd to City of Light.  Impressive effort with a sneaky troubled trip.

AGOS Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – November 9, 2018

Belmont Park horse racingYour complimentary Horses to Watch for AGOS visitors.

Belmont Park

HAIL – (race 7 @BEL 10/17/18) – 3yo Tapit filly who is a half to graded stakes winner Closed Hatches chased the wire to wire winner late after twaddling early fractions. Great comeback with Dylan Davis aboard. Eligible for 1x allowance company.

Churchill Downs

HELLO HOLIDAY (Race 6 @CD, 11/7/18) – Had run 10 of 12 career races on the turf, but was back on the dirt here for Lauer barn.  Got steadied hard on the far turn and nearly went down.  Recovered to race inside turning for home, altered course and then finished well for second.  Sneaky great effort for son of Harlan’s Holiday.

Five horses to watch in upcoming Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders' Cup horse racing #2 – Enable (Breeders Cup horses to watch)

The number two on our horses to watch might just be the best horse in the world running at this time, according to Rogers. The four-year-old filly won the Arc de Triumph, beating out males in the most prestigious race in Europe.
“She was only the eighth horse to win it in back-to-back years. That’s quite an accomplishment. I look for her to spring forward and tackle males again in the Breeders’ Cup turf and she’ll be very tough to beat,” said Rogers.

Five horses to watch in upcoming Breeders’ Cup

WDRB Full coverage: Five horses to watch in upcoming Breeders’ Cup

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – 10/18/18

track announcer with binocularsYour complimentary Horses to Watch and Trip Notes for AGOS visitors.

Belmont Park

HONEY I’M GOOD (Race 2 @BEL 10/5/18) – first time starter took money and ran a hole in the wind.  She showed good early speed and drew off down the lane.  Ears pricked late as she was geared down near the wire.

GULFSTREAM PARK

PEGGITY (Race 9 at GP, 9/28/18) – Terri Pompay turf runner was well spotted in this two-life $10,000 claimer.  She was making a nice run at the top of the stretch when she got completely cut off, losing all chance for the win.  Daughter of Bullet Train can rebound in similar spot.

CONISTON (Race 7 at GP, 9/28/18) – 3yo gelding has shown a lot of heart in his turf attempts and this was solid 2nd place finish at the conditioned $16,000 life level.   May have needed race off short break, as well.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Sept. 18, 2018

Kentucky Downs

PAPER CLIP – (Race 4 @KYD, 9/13/18) – 2nd time starter was the speed of the field and she broke on top. But then JR took back and had her in a bad spot racing on the inside over the up-and-down Kentucky Downs turf course. Appeared she might be done when she re-rallied and just missed getting 2nd. Ward filly will be tough with a better ride next time out.

 

Saratoga

KITTY’S LEGACY (Race 4 @SAR 8/16/18) – Freud juvenile filly broke 1 1/2 lengths slow but finished full of run to be a fast closing second behind the winning favorite.  She’s a half to 3 winners on the grass including a stakes winner.

TRUE GOLD (Race 7 @SAR 8/30/18) – this 2yo son of solid NY stallion Frost Giant closed well under Joel Rosario to claim the place spot behind a well meant winner.  Charlton Baker runner showed a lot of talent in debut and shouldn’t be a maiden much longer.

 

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – August 24, 2018

Free Horses to Watch for AGOS visitors.  Watch out for these horses next time out.

DEL MAR

YA GOTTA WANNA (Race 4 @DMR, 8/18/18) – Phil D’amato runner was loaded turning for home but Tiago Periera steadied him hard behind a tiring horse.  Recovered quickly but then swung out very wide in the lane, but by then, the winner Fashion Business was long gone.  Gelding finished with a huge rush and galloped out strong past the wire.

GULFSTREAM PAR

SWEET STORY (Race 9 @GP, 8/18/18) – live turf runner raced inside and was blocked turning for home. Jockey Jose Batista tried to find room up the rail at the top of the stretch but instead got bumped around pretty good.  Finally got clear late but had to settle for a close third in a better-than-it-looks performance.

SARATOGA

INTRODUCED (Race 4 @SAR 8/20/18) – Colts Neck Stable runner by sire El Padrino was purchased for $310,00 at Ocala and was well meant in debut.  Just went a little too fast early and that caught up with her in the final 50-100 yards of this 5 1/2 furlong turf race.   Should be able to dirt or turf.

FIERCE SCARLETT (Race 5 @SAR 8/10/18) – $320,000 Ocala purchase broke slowly in this 5 1/2 furlong turf race but still managed to finish sneaky well, finishing fifth beaten 1 1/4 for all the money.  Can win next out for Chad Brown.

PRECIEUSE ( (Race 5 @SAR 8/3/18) – This filly had not run since June of 2017 but she ran a big race off the layoff for trainer Chad Brown. The Irish bred 4yo filly should move forward off this performance in the De La Rose Stakes.

HERSH  (Race 6 @SAR 8/3/18) – second time starter for owner/trainer Dermot Magner made a huge move to blow by the field and draw off for an impressive score.  In the process she defeated a nice lightly-raced runner from Chad Brown’s barn.  Hersh had trouble in his debut and still ran 2nd, so this effort showed what he could do with a clean trip.

MUCHO  (Race 7 @SAR 8/3/18) – Big, strapping son of Blame looked like a monster in crushing a field of maidens at Saratoga that looked like a good and competitive field on paper.  Trainer Bill Mott may have himself a young runner with huge potential.

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WOW CAT (CHI) (Race 9 @SAR 7/29/18) – Leading trainer Chad Brown had stated prior to the G1 Shuvee that he thought the Chiliean champ would be a tad short going this distance on the dirt, but despite that, she was bet hard and heavy.  She did come up a little short to the eventual gate to wire winner and can move forward off this strong effort.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Aug. 9, 2018

Horses to watch for AGOS visitors.  Put these runners in your Stable Alert service.

ELLIS PARK

BORDINI (Race 7 @ELP, 8/5/18) – live runner from the Amoss barn raced inside of traffic and then got shuffled back to last behind not one but two walls of horses.  Swept to the far outside, which is not where you want to be at Ellis, and unleash a good late run for a sneaky good effort.

SARATOGA

OUR GIRL ABBY (Race 5 @SAR, 7/21/18) – made a wide move turning for home to engage the gate-to-wire winner in deep stretch. Exchanged bumps with that filly and lost the bob in a solid performance.  This was her first start since March and her first for her new barn, who raised her confidently in class.

PUTTHEGLASSDOWN (Race 5 @SAR, 7/21/18) – broke from the rail in her debut at the Spa for Englehart.   Settled in 8th before making a nice run to get up for the place spot behind the winning Asmussen favorite.  The PA-bred daughter of Violence is out of a stakes winning mare.

PICTURE DAY (Race 3 @SAR, 7/26/18) – Linda Rice runner loves to win and she was one of the few that closed against the bias in the slop on this Thursday afternoon.  A stakes winner, this Include mare is tough in the optional claiming sprints.

TRINNI NINJA (Race 10 @SAR, 7/27/18) – Daughter of Trinniberg was one of the few to close against the bias on this day.  She is in good form and might be able to break through for low percentage connections next time out at the state-bred maiden $25,000 (or lower) level.  Demand some value.

CATORIA (Race 5 @SAR 8/1/18) – Wildcat Heir filly outran other speed in this race and took this field gate to wire, beating the heavy favorite at 23-1 for Mike Dini.  She is out of a Meadowlake mare and will be dangerous at 6 1/2 or under.

BROCKMONINOFF (Race 3 @SAR 8/1/18) – George Weaver runner was bet down on the drop in class despite his first race since last October.  Suffered some trouble in this race and came up a little short.  Barn is only 12% off  layoffs and this NY bred should move forward next time out.  Can dirt or turf.

LIGHT THE POSSE (Race 2 @SAR 8/2/18) – Betting favorite was making his second career start off a good 2nd in debut and adding Lasix.  The son of Posse ended up hurt badly by a modest pace set by the eventual gate to wire winner.  Can score at this level next time out.

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