AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Feb. 1

track announcer with binocularsCheck out our AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for Agameofskill.com visitors

GULFSTREAM PARK

PARTNER’S HOPE (Race 2 at Gulfstream Park, Jan. 23, 2021) – This was a live longshot tabbed by my buddy Justin Dew over at LoneSpeed.com.  Unfortunately, the 11-1 shot was ridden by Corey Lanerie, who gives more bad rides than a 10lb bug boy.  The maiden runner began to make a huge move heading into the far turn when Lanerie rode him up on the heels of a horse, causing a hard steady and loss of 2-3 lengths in precious momentum.  He re-rallied on the inside down the lane was only beaten over  a length for all the money.  Look for this More Than Ready colt on the dirt or turf with – hopefully – a different rider up next time.

TWICE TOO MANY (Race 6 at Gulfstream Park, Jan. 28, 2021) – This well bred first time starter from the Bryan Lynch barn was bet down to 4/5 after the late scratch of the favorite.  The 3yo son of the speedy The Big Beast is bred to win early.  He’s a half a millionaire Patternrecognition, along with several other early winners.  In his debut here he broke in 4th and then moved up between horses on the far turn but the winner for Mark Casse ran away from the field.  He’ll move forward off this start and win soon for Lynch.

OAKLAWN PARK

HIDDEN SCROLL (Race 7 at Oaklawn Park, Jan. 24, 2021) – This ‘over hyped’ runner who has simply never lived up to the reputation that he garnered early in his career.  However, over the winter he moved into the barn of potent trainer Brad Cox, who as we say ‘has the Midas touch.”  He returned in a 6 furlong allowance race in the mud and had a less than ideal trip.  He was shuffled back early and then steadied briefly on the backstretch, all the time with the jock half standing up in the irons.  His feet were on the dashboard, indicating his mount was loaded for bear.  When asked, Hidden Scroll swept up 5 wide on the turn and then cruised  to an easy score.  Next up a return to stakes company.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

SUCCESSFUL LEGACY (Race 3 at Tampa Bay, Jan. 9, 2021) – 3yo filly making third lifetime start and only 2nd on the dirt looked like a winner in deep stretch but was run down by her stablemate.  Gerald Bennett runner can dirt or turf.

JOE MAN JOE ( (Race 6 at Tampa Bay, Jan. 9, 2021) – The son of Uncle Mo closed like a freight train in his maiden breaking win at Tampa early in the meet, and then came back here to run a very nice 2nd on the turf behind a well meant Michael Trombettea runner that shipped up from Gulfstream Park.    Figures tough at 1x level on dirt or turf next out.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – May 31

AGOS Free Horses to Watch & Trip Notes, compliments of Agameofskill.com.  Put these runners in your stable mail notification service.

GULFSTREAM  PARK

PLEASANT ORB (Race 10 stakes @Gulfstream, May 15, 2020) – Another bonehead ride from Jersey Joe Bravo.  He ran this 3yo daughter of Orb right up on the heels of horses on the far turn, causing her to steady and lose precious momentum.  She altered course, swinging out but her finish was too late.

Tampa Paddock

Up close and personal at Tampa Bay Downs paddock. Copyright AGOS

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

PALACES DIAMOND (Race 4 @TAM, May 20, 2020) – 2nd time starter finished well against the grain of the track that was kind to early speed.  It was also her first start in a couple of months, so she can move forward and into the winner’s circle next out.

CELESTIAL ORB (Race 8 @TAM, May 27, 2020) – This was the lone dirt sprint on the card, which is kind of unusual at Tampa or any track.  This 3yo filly got off to a rough start and raced wide but rallied well into the prevailing bias to get up for 2nd.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – May 21

AGOS Free Horses to Watch & Trip Notes, compliments of Agameofskill.com.  Put these runners in your stable mail service.

 

Golden gate turf breakGOLDEN GATE FIELDS

LIVE IT WELL (Race 7 @Golden Gate, May 14, 2020) – strange ride from one of the top local jockeys, Frankie Alvarado.  She was blocked inside and never really given the chance to run her best. Alvarado gave her a 10lb bug boy ride.   Vronsky filly loves the grass and can win back in a similar spot.

FRENCH TUDOR (Race 8 @Golden Gate, May 14, 2020) – this debut runner was looking to make it three firsters in a row for  trainer Sherrie Monroe and DP Racing.  She made a strong, steady run after breaking from the far outside 10 post and just missed getting up for third in a sneaky good performance.   This was a pretty competitive field won by a Ron Ellis firster.

Art Parker’s look at what horse racing can do during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

GULFSTREAM PARK

CHARMAINE’S MIA (Race 10 at GP, May 8, 2020) – The Factor filly ran a really strong 2nd to R Happy Ending, the logical winner of this race for Baxter.  Edgar Zayas, who rode her to her last win at 12-1, was aboard.  Fits at optional 2x, $50,000 claiming level sprinting.  Prefers 5f.

 

SANTA ANITA

OH MARVELOUS ME (Race 6 @Santa Anita, May 15, 2020) – Finished strong in first start for Mark Glatt barn to get up and defeat a competitive field of $25,000 claimers.  Emerald Downs stakes winner has some back class.

 

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

PREPARE FOR GLORY (Race 7 @Tampa, May 9, 2020).  This first time starter from a 0% debut barn drew the rail to boot, which is very tough on a debut runner in general.  The 3yo gelding closed sneaky well for third behind the top 2 betting choices that laid over this field.  Can move forward off this for sharp Jordan Blair outfit.

LIL B QUICK (Race 5 @Tampa, May 9, 2020) – 5yo mare figured to be tough in this $6,250 open claimer but she suffered a trip with multiple excuses.  Managed to get 4th in a sneaky good performance.  Watch back.

Handicapping Tip #52 – Prepare for the 2yos

The New Normal. It Could Work Everywhere

How could the tracks that have raced without spectators make it work so well when others ran into the corner with fear?

COVID-19 and horse racing

By ART PARKER

About a month ago I whined about so many tracks not following the lead set by Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream, and especially Oaklawn Park regarding the coronavirus. These tracks and a couple of smaller ones carried on racing without spectators. My complaint was simple. If we race without patrons very little will be different than the days when there is no racing at all. Open the doors, be diligent with all precautions regarding the coronavirus, let the patrons play online, and let’s run.

Part of my reasoning is that we already have 85%-90% of our handle from online wagering, or so I am told by several experts. There is no doubt in my mind that this percentage will only increase in the future. One thing for sure, right now, relying upon online wagering is the only option.

Tampa Bay Downs grandstand copyright AGameofSkill.com

copyright AGameofSkill.com

Just consider the following two excerpts I read the other day. First from America’s Best Racing: “Records shattered-On April 18, Oaklawn’s handle was $19 million, breaking the record set last year on Rebel Stakes day. Arkansas Derby day more than doubled that record, with $41,007,201 wagered.”

From The Blood Horse: “Fonner Park, while conducting spectator-less racing since that date in a state that does not permit ADW wagering, —all handle is coming from out-of-state—wagering has averaged $2.43 million. Those figures do not include the phenomenal $7.26 million bet Tuesday, April 5 when the track’s popular Dinsdale Pick 5 Jackpot wager featured a mandatory payout pool of $4.2 million. In short, wagering is about 10 times the previous norm.”

The bottom line is that most places missed the boat, and, generally speaking, it was because of terrible government decisions. I could only imagine how well Woodbine could have done with their normal mid-April opening since reasonably nearby markets New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago were closed (especially New York).

Oaklawn is not necessarily one of the real big boys but they are far from one of the little guys. I salute them for stepping up to the plate, and I imagine they feel good about it when reviewing their handle figures.

I’m happy for a little track like Fonner Park. The Nebraska bullring stepped up and provided a product to the overall market and knocked it out of the park with handle.

As I have said before, we missed a generation or so when the thoroughbred industry shied away from television. COVID-19 provided the industry an opportunity to go into every home and office (and cell phone) in North America and expand its share of the sports and entertainment market. I can hear it now, “There’s nothing to do since the concert has been canceled.” “Oh yeah? I’m staying home so I can play the Pick Four at Woodbine.”

How could the tracks that have raced without spectators make it work so well when others ran into the corner with fear?

I just looked over my list of tracks that say they will open within thirty days. I’m glad to hear it. I hope they do open and others follow suit.

The time is now. We really missed a chance to get ahead and make up for lost ground in the last couple of months.

Now, as many areas begin to open up we have to try and survive, again.

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – March 16

Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for AGOS visitors. Agameofskill.com is an educational website for handicappers.  Thank you for visiting.

GULFSTREAM PARK

ROMAN EMPIRE (Race 5, GP 2/28/2020) – Empire Maker colt moved to the dirt for his second career start and looked like he may have a nice future for trainer Todd Pletcher.  Crushed a decent field and should handle class rise next out.

AS SEEN ON TV (Race 14, Fountain of Youth, GP 2/29/2020) – Lookin At Lucky colt didn’t have the best of trips here as he was stuck racing inside of horses for most of the running.  That’s a tough spot for a young colt but he never gave up and was just bobbed out of the place spot at the wire.   Kelly Breen runner has talent and can improve in the right spot.

Read what Graham Motion and Terry Finley had to say about the FBI  indictments of the slimey Navarro and Servis.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

POINT OF HONOR (Race 2 at TAM, 3/7/2020) – This was clearly a prep race for the Grade 1 placed runner from last year.  She ran well to be a non-threatening 2nd behind a quality stakes winner and should move forward off this public workout  (Weaver is only 11% with layoff runners).

GOGO SHOES (Race 6 at TAM, 3/7/2020) – This filly ran sneaky well in her debut when 4th and then came back here to improve further as many second time starters do.  She crushed a good looking maiden special weights field on the Derby undercard.

AGOS Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – Jan. 27

AGOS Horses to Watch and Trip Notes for agameofskill.com visitors

AQUEDUCT

ABOUNDING JOY (Race 8 at AQU, Jan 20, 2020) – Bill Mott trainee was coming off a long layoff.  Took the lead turning for home but was unable to hold off the strong late run of the favorite.  Filly ran a great race and should be tighter next time around.

Got Rebates?  Get what you deserve – click here

the Big A race horseWEGOTOLDYOUGOTSOLD (Race 6 at AQU, Jan 20, 2020) – Rudy R. runner was another coming off a layoff but ran into a major class dropper from Servis.  Ran well to be 2nd and will be very tough next time out.

THE IMPORTANT ONE (Race 5 at AQU, Jan 20, 2020) – Not many maiden claiming debut wins are this impressive.  Wesley Ward runner stumbled at the start and then was wide over the Big A oval.  Overcame that trouble to run down the two lukewarm favorites in the lane.  Should be able to step up in class.

SAM HOUSTON

SATURDAY’S HANGOVER (Race 3 at HOU, Jan 22, 2020) – This guy owns a potent late kick and he displayed it in full fashion, storming from off the pace in the slop to get up for the win.   Been a very honest runner of late.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

AWESOME ROMEO (Race 2 at TAM, Jan 8, 2020) – Ran the classic Z pattern under Kevin Mendez.  Was 9th by 4L at the half mile pole, then 6th by 7 1/2 before finishing 3rd, beaten 4 lengths as the lukewarm 5/2 favorite.

 

 

AGOS Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – Jan. 13

track announcer with binocularsAGOS Horses to Watch and Trip Notes for Agameofskill.com visitors

FAIR GROUNDS

HORSE DOCTOR (Race 2 @FG, 12/18/2019) – First time starter had been working lights out prior to debut in this 5.5f turf sprint.  Broke tardily, 1.5 lengths behind, but rallied very well late to be second best behind the logical, gate to wire winner.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

ZIGGY BARCELONA (Race 6 @TAM, 1/11/2020).  This first-time gelding was coming off a long layoff but was well prepared by trainer Robert Dobbs, Jr.   If he hadn’t been pressured by another huge longshot, this 4yo may have lit up the toteboard.  He held well for 4th in a sneaky good effort.

MY COTTON CANDY (Race 6 @TAM, 12/18/2019) – This filly got a new rider and responded with a powerful late finish to just miss catching the favorite at the wire.  She galloped out lengths in front in a good performance.  Loves Tampa and 7 furlongs.

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.

Handicapping Tip of the Day #46 – When 4/5 is Value

Handicapping Tip of the Day

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

by Rich Nilsen

Day two of the Tampa Bay Downs winter meeting (Nov. 28, 2018) was pretty chalky with lots of favorites winning.  In the 3rd race on Wednesday a second time starter named Russian Roulette was 3/2 on the morning line.  According to the Ultimate PPs, her trainer Monte Thomas was a dismal 4% with second time starters, but he had plenty of ‘live’ runners among them with one-third finishing in the money.   He is also known for being very good with two year olds, in general, another fact offsetting that low win rate. There is a lot of debate over profits and win-rate in horse race betting. Horse racing fans can use the twi-promo-code.com to wager on the horse they prefer regardless of win rate or profits earned.

Russian Roulette looked like a stand-out in this field for several reasons.  First, she was coming off a nose lose in her debut at the same claiming level of maiden $16,000 but that effort came at Gulfstream Park West, a tougher circuit and one that produces a lot of winners at Tampa.  Secondly, she had earned a 70 BRIS Speed Rating in that performance, which was equal to the BRIS Par for the race. BRIS handicapping information can be found here.

Par represents the average speed rating for the winners at this level of competition for the track in question. When handicapping maiden races, it can be a wise decision to compare the Speed Rating Par to the ratings earned by the entries in their recent races.  In doing so, you can sometimes find opportunities like the one presented at Tampa Bay Downs.

Here was Tuesday’s field for race 3 at Tampa:

#1 My Heart Dominus – best figure of 38 in three starts.

#2 Valley Girl – best figure of 62 in three starts.

#3 Russian Roulette – ran a 70 when second in debut.

#4 Quickandwildcoco  – ran a career best 48 five starts back.

#5 Fooli – firster for 3% trainer with debut runners.

#6 Phyliss Driller – 0 for 6 maiden who ran a 71 on the synthetic track at Presque Isle Downs.  Her best sprint figure was a 60 in four attempts.

#7 My Little Rosie – improved to a 26 in her second career start.

Needless to say, this was an awful field.  The only two horses that looked like they had any type of chance against Russian Roulette were #2 Valley Girl and # 6 Phyliss Driller.  The problem with the #6 was two fold – she was a Presser which is the wrong running style in Tampa Bay Downs’ sprints, and her only good race was around two turns.  The #2 had three opportunities to run at or near Par, and she had not been close.  Eight points off Par is significant.

To make matters worse for her competition, Russian Roulette also figured to be the controlling speed in this field, as none had shown any type of early foot to challenge her.

So here you had a horse that was faster than everyone in the field, and the field consisted mostly of proven, bad horses.  She was the controlling speed over a speed favoring oval.  Despite her low maiden claiming class level, this daughter of Soldat deserved to be no higher than 2/5, and 1/5 would not have been unreasonable given her credentials against this field.

To make a profit in this game you have take the opportunities that are presented to you.  4/5 was a gift on Russian Roulette, and she rewarded her supporters with a 16-length drubbing of her six rivals.

copyright 2018 Equibase.com all rights reserved

 

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Tampa Bay Downs 2018-2019 stakes program

Many of the top Thoroughbreds in training are expected to participate in the Tampa Bay Downs 2018-2019 stakes program, which includes 28 stakes races worth a record $3.74-million in purse money.

The stakes schedule includes six graded races and a $1-million Festival Day program on March 9, highlighted by the Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby for 3-year-olds. The announcement was made today by Tampa Bay Downs Vice President-General Manager Peter Berube.

Purse money for each of the track’s six Florida Cup Day races on March 31 has been raised 15 percent to $115,000, accounting for the $90,000 total increase from last season’s total stakes purse level. The additional money is in the form of win bonuses from the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association (FTBOA) through its Florida Sire Stakes program.

Tampa Bay Downs, which officially began its 93rd anniversary season on July 1, resumes in earnest with its Opening Day racing card on Saturday, Nov. 24. The 91-day meeting runs through Sunday, May 5, plus an additional day on June 30, which is the first day of the two-day Summer Festival of Racing.

Stall applications for the upcoming meeting are due Friday. An online application is available at www.tampabaydowns.com

New Tampa Bay Meet Begins Nov. 24

The barn area opens on Thursday, Nov. 1 and the track opens for training on Nov. 5.

“We’re excited to offer a stakes program of such outstanding quality to our horsemen and fans, featuring tremendous races for horses of both sexes and all ages on both our main dirt track and turf course,” Berube said.

“Trainers and jockeys have praised the consistency and safety of both surfaces, and as a result, we’ve been able to attract such superstars as Kentucky Derby winners Street Sense, Super Saver and Always Dreaming, plus champions like Zagora, Stephanie’s Kitten, Tepin and World Approval,” Berube said. “We are eager to help unveil new standouts this season.”

The 2018-2019 stakes schedule begins Saturday, Dec. 1 with a pair of sprint races on the immaculate Oldsmar turf course: the $100,000 Turf Dash for horses 3-years-old-and-upward and the $100,000 Lightning City Stakes for fillies and mares 3-and-up. Both will be contested at a distance of 5 furlongs.

The added-money bonanza picks up steam on Dec. 15 with four stakes. That day’s high-energy card includes a pair of $125,000, second-year stakes for 3-year-olds funded by the FTBOA: the FTBOA Marion County Florida Sire Stakes for colts and geldings and the FTBOA City of Ocala Florida Sire Stakes for fillies. Both are at a distance of 7 furlongs on the main track.

Also on the Dec. 15 program are the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes for 2-year-olds and the $100,000 Sandpiper Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, both at a distance of 6 furlongs on the main track.

Tampa paddock inspectionThe most lucrative card of the season is Festival Day on March 9, with the 39th Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby, for Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve prospects, certain to attract national attention. The track’s showcase event is for 3-year-olds at a distance of a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the main track.

The Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby is a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Championship Series qualifying race, with 50, 20, 10 and 5 points awarded to the first four finishers toward qualifying for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Other graded stakes on the Festival Day card are the Grade II, $225,000 Hillsborough Stakes for fillies and mares 4-and-up at a mile-and-an-eighth on the turf and the Grade III, $200,000 Florida Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf.

Rounding out the million-dollar-plus afternoon are the $100,000 Challenger Stakes on the main track and the $75,000 Columbia Stakes on the turf.

Setting the stage for all that March 9 excitement is the track’s annual Festival Preview Day Presented by Lambholm South card on Feb. 9. Three graded stakes are on tap, highlighted by the Grade III, $250,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes, a mile-and-a-sixteenth test for 3-year-olds on the main track and the major local prep for the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby.

The Sam F. Davis is a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Prep Season qualifying event, awarding points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the top four finishers.

The Feb. 9 program includes the Grade III, $175,000 Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes, for fillies and mares 4-and-up on the turf; the Grade III, $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes for horses 4-and-up, also on the turf; and the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile-and-40-yards on the main track.

The Suncoast is a “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” qualifying race, awarding 10-4-2-1 points to the first four finishers toward qualifying for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

The 17th edition of the aforementioned Florida Cup Day on Sunday, March 31 features six stakes races for Florida-bred horses worth $115,000 apiece, with three races on the main track and three on the turf and offerings for both males and females.

Tampa Bay Downs 2018-2019 season visitors should be impressed by a number of facility upgrades and renovations.

Members of the track’s Maintenance Department and outside contractors are in the process of installing a NuCore waterproof, vinyl plank floor throughout the Grandstand. Workers are also redesigning the main Grandstand entrance to enhance the ease of access and egress for patrons.

Tampa Bay Downs installed new AmTote International wagering terminals throughout the facility during the summer.

Source: Press Release