Presque Isle Downs, Race 4, 6:25 PM ET

Race of the Day, May 28

Presque Isle Downs, Erie, PA

Race 4, 6:25 PM ET, 6 furlongs, Maiden Special Weight for PA-Breds, Purse: $35K

The small fields that plagued the early days at Presque Isle appear to be gone. Twelve horses are scheduled in today’s fourth, a maiden allowance for Pennsylvania-Breds.

The M/L favorite is Tinturn Abbey (#3, 7/2), who is coming off a 307-day layoff and starting for hot Matthew Kritz barn for the first time.  He certainly figures on speed, although he’s had plenty of chances. Tinturn Abbey was in career form prior to the layoff. He’d need to resume that work to win – something that seems questionable given the long layoff. Savings N Loan (#5, 4-1) ran a very productive race last time out and picks up top local rider Scott Spieth. He rates well on condition, but he’ll need to improve upon that last effort and find more stamina to reach the winner’s circle. Tampa Bay Blue (#11, 9/2) ran an nice even race last time out. He’s lightly raced and may have more than he’s shown. Deverdoeu (#6, 15-1) had a better debut than anticipated. He’d need to improve, but is still within range of the winner’s circle, and could be especially nice at a price. Delaware Devil (#8, 15-1) makes his debut on an artificial surface.  He has a nice workout over the track, but would need to significantly improve here.  O Wow (#1, 5/1) chased the pace and faltered last time out. He looks to be too slow on his best day to win here. Woke Up Runnin’ (#4, 6-1) is off form.

The remaining contenders are all first time starters.  Papamac (#2, 8-1)  and Rage and Ruin (#10, 8-1) start for Joseph Martin, but neither looks terribly impressive on paper.  No Marbles (#9, 8-1) is a tad more impressive, but starts for a trainer that rarely has them ready to win at first asking.

Questions

  1. Is Tinturn Abbey ready to run today?  If he is, then he’s your likely winner.
  2. Do Deverdoeu or Tampa Bay Blue improve?  These two are lightly-raced and showed positive signs in their last races.
  3. Are any of the first-time starters ready to run?  The toteboard may provide us some clues near race time.
  4. Does Delaware Devil take to the artificial surface?  Even if he does, he’d need to really improve

Analysis 

Tinturn Abbey and Saving N Loan have a bit too much risk to support at a low price. I expect Tinturn Abbey to need a race off the long layoff and for Saving N Loan to fade in the stretch.  Both Tampa Bay Blue and Deverdoeu are better bets and could offer a nice price come race time, even to bet them both.  This is the final leg of the early Pick 4, which begins in race 1, and the 1st leg of a Pick 3, and could very well yield a nice price.

Tune in tonight at 6:25 ET/3:25 PT @alldayracing on twitter!

Fort Erie, Race 7, Answers and Chart

Mountain’s Echo romped, looking like a 1/5 shot, instead of the generous 7/5 she paid.  Value is often found at the low end of the odds equation.

Questions Answered: (Questions from Race Preview)

  1. Can we throw out that last effort for Mountain Echo?  An authoritative yes.  She loved the track at Ft. Erie and showed it.
  2. Will Evangeline’s Hope love the switch to dirt?  She did and was a solid second, but still was well-beaten by Mountain Echo.
  3. Will Silver Shasa be sharp off the layoff?  She made a nice move on the turn, but stalled in the stretch and finished 3rd.

The public’s 2nd choice was Seeyouinthetown, who at 2-1, finished off the board.

Chart — provided by Equibase

Fort Erie Race Track, May 27 @ 6:55 PM ET

Race of the Day, May 27

Fort Erie Race Track, Fort Erie, Ontario, Race 7, 6:55 P.M. ET

6 ½ Furlongs, Optional Claiming First Level Allowance. Fillies & Mares, Purse:  $18.6K

Despite its uncertain long-term future, Fort Erie opens today for its 117th season of racing.  The meet – running on Sunday and Tuesday late afternoons—is highlighted by the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown on July 29.

Tonight’s featured race is an allowance for fillies and mares for the largest purse on the card.  At 6 1/2 furlongs, it is tied for the longest distance run this night, and has the classiest horses on the card.  Mountain Echo (#3, 3-2) loves Fort Erie, having gone at stellar 9 for 13, including an overnight stakes win here last August.   She’s 4 for 9 at the distance.  The main concern is the effort last out at Laurel back in February.  That race, however, was against much better horses and can be thrown out.

Seeyouinthetown (#4, 6/5) ships from Woodbine to make her Fort Erie debut while dropping in class.  She has the advantage of having run more recently than Mountain Echo, but that’s about it.  I’d be surprised if she was the favorite.  Silver Shasa (#7,6-1) figures on speed, but is coming off a long layoff.  The work tab is nice, and she figures to be the main threat to Mountain Echo.  Evangeline’s Hope (#6, 9/2) is 1 for 22 and eligible for non-winners of 2.  She’d have to love the switch to dirt to figure. Bears Lady (#5, 20/1), has some tactical speed, but is outclassed here.

Questions:

  1. Can we throw out that last effort for Mountain Echo?  Or is it a sign that this 8-year old mare is in decline?
  2. Will Evangeline’s Hope love the switch to dirt?  Her trainer does well at this move.
  3. Will Silver Shasa be sharp off the layoff?  If she runs like she’s been working, she’s a threat to win, and a good bet for second.

Analysis:

Mountain Echo has a speed advantage and simply loves this track.  I’m willing to throw out that last one at Laurel, especially now that she’s back at Fort Erie.  It’s her race to lose, with Silver Shasa rating a solid outside shot.

Belmont Card on Memorial Day, 2014

I hope everyone is enjoying the official kickoff to summer!  It’s going to be a stunning day at Belmont Park. Here’s my quick rundown on all 10 races on the Memorial Day Card.

When I’ll approach an entire card, I’ll try to view it as one continuous race.  When I play with my own money, I often try to view any particular race as meaningless, as just one iteration of a very long process.   I look for three types of horses, who are key to the day.

  1. Likely Losing Favorites:  Horses that are well-liked by the public (less than 2-1), but have some substantial flaws which increases their risk to a level much greater than return.
  2. Money Rangers: These are mid-level odds horses (3-1 to 8-1) that are profitable for me over time.  When they are paired with a losing favorite, they are especially dangerous.
  3. High Variance Long Shots:  These are generally horses over 10-1 that probably not going to win today.  But they have a better shot than their odds indicate, but it still requires a good deal of luck to get home.  These horses make money over time, but they can have very long run outs.  I go after these with small unit bets.

I’m also a big fan of passing a race, if I’m not getting  good value in my pick.  Because of track takeout (taking out around 20% of the pools before returning to players — this goes to run the track, pay salaries, etc.), there is absolutely no guarantee that value is going to present in any race.  I only suggest betting when the odds indicate a proper return for the risk.

Race Analysis

Race 1:   Seems a race between Broadway Music Gal and Platinum Bombshell, but I like the strong win by Physical Delivery last out.  It’s at an easier level, and there’s the question of the mud, but if you’re getting 7/2, it’s worth it.

Race 2:   Todd Pletcher has 3 of the 6 runners in here.  I’d take a chance on his Penn National Invader Red Velvet, as long as she’s above 3-1.

Race 3:  Another likely two horse race, but HarrytheNavigator may offer a little bit of value.  I’d play him above 3-1.

Race 4:  Good horses here.  Mr. Speaker is probably the best, but without that last race (on polytrack, not turf), he’s the same as these others.  I’ll take an unlikely flyer on Can’tHelpBelieving at 8-1 or greater catching everybody at the end.

Race 5: Wally Did It gets some class relief off the layoff.  I’d play him 3-1 or better.

Race 6:  It’s a competitive, but lackluster, race.  I’ll go with Geno and the Jets at 5-1 or more to look sharp off the layoff and beat these.

Race 7: Kara’s Match Point should be the best here, but the price will be low.  You could use her in a double, Pick 3, Pick 4, or Pick 6 as a single if you like her.

Race 8:  The race should set up nicely for Jack Milton, but pace is always a dangerous game.  If you can get 4-1 on him, I’d bet.

Race 9:  I really like Holabird to improve second off the layoff here.  Should get good odds, but I’d play him down to 3-1.

Race 10:   In the finale, I’ll take Glowing Ember, and hope for a price.   I think he’s fair down to 5-1. Dancteria is strong, but I think she’ll need a race. 

Good luck and trust your gut!

For additional thoughts, real-time analysis and possible new (or different) bets, please follow along on twitter @alldayracing.  Seeing the horses and, especially, the odds affects value and picks in important ways!

Postscript: Belmont 4

Peaceful Talk dominated the field, loving the turf, and pulling away in the stretch impressively!

On paper, signs suggested Peaceful Talk wouldn’t like the turf. Both his trainer and his sire struggle the first time on turf.  It appeared to be a sharpener for a dirt try later on (and very well may have been intended that way.)  He did get some support at the windows and was bet down from the morning line of 15-1 down to 9-1.

Sometimes weird, unanticipated things happen, like Peaceful Talk loving the turf. That’s horse racing!

Corinthian Summer ran well, but got left in the stretch as Peaceful Talk kicked away and eventually finished third. I’ll be interested to see how the speed comes back from this race and whether he improved or not. Ahead of the Curve had a bad start, but wasn’t good enough today anyway.  Romans Paradise threatened on the turn, but wasn’t a factor at the end. In Speight Ofitall didn’t figure.

 

Belmont Park, Race 4, May 23 @ 2:40 ET

Race of the Day, May 23

Belmont Park, Turf, Maiden Claiming $65K, 1 1/16 miles, Purse: $50K

FOUR QUESTIONS

Four questions for the 4th at Belmont:

1. Will In Speight Ofital  like the turf?  He has some nice back performances on the turf, including two second place finishers.  It was a long time ago, but the prowess could very well be there and puts him in the mix.

2. Will Romans Paradise improve again?  He’s coming off the best race of her career, and on paper, looks poised to improve again with a class drop.  If he does, she may be very hard to beat.

3. Will Ahead of the Curve appreciate the class relief and will it be enough? His trainer excels with this top of drop.  If he’s sharp at this level, he still might be slower than either Corinthian Summer or Romans Paradise.  So, he’ll need to perform well and also have the other not perform well.

4. Does Corinthian Summer have an excuse for that last race?  He had trouble and was steadied in the stretch, but only lost by 1 length. Still, it was a slow race overall, and he’ll likely need to find a new turf top to win.

Tune in on twitter at 2:40 ET (11:40 PT) @alldayracing.  See you then!

 

Postscript: Charles Town, Race 9, May 22

Second Batallion closed well to win the 9th at Charles Town.  Let’s see how the race played out by revisiting the questions from the race preview.

Q: How is the track playing tonight — are horses able to close?  If they are, then Second Battalion looms large.

A: Horses were able to close on the track (if good enough) all night.  Hiraldo had Second Battalion a bit closer at the start, which helped. It was a good ride on a fair track.

 

Q: Can Dunkelberger make a difference on Huggy Boy?

A: Not really. Huggy Boy did make up some ground in the middle of the race, but wasn’t involved and was well-beaten.

 

Q: Will Readysetketch show more stamina in his 4th start since the layoff?

A: Not so much. He was sharp and winging it on the lead.  Perhaps a bit more rating would have left more for the stretch, but he didn’t have enough to hit the board.

Here’s the chart (provided by Equibase).

Chart

Charles Town, May 22, 10:20 P.M. ET

Race of the Day, May 22 10:20 P.M. ET

Charles Town, Race 9, Claiming 5K, non-winners of 2 lifetime (excluding state-bred), 7 furlongs, Purse: $11K

We take out first late-night trip to Charles Town Races (and slots!) tonight.  I’ve spent a decent amount of time at this track which is located just about 45 minutes outside of DC (where I lived for 7 years).  It’s right near Harper’s Ferry, so it’s a great trip for the history and horse racing buff.  Charles Town races in the evening, except on Sundays during the summer and Fall. They replace Sunday with Tuesday night during the winter.

The track is relatively speed/presser favoring, like most smaller, tighter tracks.  Races are often competitive with horses generally more variable in performance than at a major track. Smaller track pools means that smaller budget players can sometimes scoop an entire Pick 3 or Pick 4 pool — something that would be unheard of at a major tracks (granted the payoffs are significantly less).

Tonight’s race is for horses that haven’t won a race other than their maidens with one major exception:  state-bred races do not count.  This gives an opportunity for horses to tackle these levels after winning against state-bred company. Second Battalion (#2, 5-2) is relatively lightly raced, having made only 9 lifetimes starts.  He drops in for the 5K tag after some decent efforts at the 12,500 and 7,500 levels.  He likes to close from off the pace, which means that he’ll have to have a few things go his way to win here.  Readysetketch (#6, 3-1) has twice run competitive races at this level and certainly ranks as a factor. Ice Fighter (#1, 9-2) continues to try this level after winning 3 races against West Virginia-breds. His last race was way too long for him — if you throw that out, he’s certainly a contender.  Oakeshott (#3, 9/2) is the lightest race horse in the field, having just broken his maiden in his fourth start.  It is extremely difficult to pass this class level immediately after breaking your maiden at Charles Town, and even for talented horses, usually takes more than one start. Huggy Boy (#5, 6-1) , with local legend Travis Dunkelberger aboard, is 1 for 27, with 7 seconds.  He’s a bit off form and seems unlikely. Warren’s Bugler (#7, 8-1) a well-traveled horse that has switched barns often, is another that figures on speed, but already has several failures at this level.

Questions:

  1. How is the track playing tonight — are horses able to close?  If they are, then Second Battalion looms larges.
  2. Can Dunkelberger make a difference on Huggy Boy?
  3. Will Readysetketch show more stamina in his 4th start since the layoff?

Analysis: 

In many ways, this is a prototypical Charles Town race.  There are several contenders, each with flaws, but who are generally even on speed.  Second Battallion certainly should benefit from the class relief, but Readysetketch should ideally improve today.  Ice Fighter certainly may be the best price, given his terrible last out performance.  I wouldn’t feel terribly comfortable without all three if I was playing the Pick 4, and I would even consider going wider, if your budget allows.

We’ll be live on Twitter @alldayracing at 10:20 ET. Good luck!

Belmont #3 — Postscript

Let’s take a look back at the last race to see the answers to the questions that I posed earlier. The questions were:

Will Purling maintain the main track Aqueduct form that has served her well?  

She seemed to slip a little bit and we’ll have to wait for the speed figure to be sure. She ran well for second, so she didn’t hate it, but was no match for the winner.

Who will get the lead?

Bridgetta got the lead and had plenty for the stretch.

How does Bridgetta break off the layoff?

Bridgetta looked relatively sharp in the paddock and broke well.  That was pretty much all she needed today.

It was Bridgetta’s race from the outset. Purling wasn’t as sharp, and Retalfa had some trouble, but still probably wasn’t good enough.  These three clearly were the best of the race.

 

Belmont Park, Race 3, May 21 @ 2:05 p.m.

Purse: $32K, Claiming for Fillies and Mares 3 and up.  Non-winners of 3 Lifetime, 6F

We returning to Belmont for a late lunch for those in the east.  If you’re in the west, perhaps it’s a good day for an early lunch. Race 3 from Belmont is for $20K claimers who have not won 3 races in their racing careers. $20K is still a good chunk of change for a horse, so while these horses are not close to among the best on the grounds, there still is speed and reliability at this class level.

Purling (#5, 2-1) is the morning line favorite.  She’s won 2 of his 13 races, although has been a much better horse since leaving the inner dirt at Aqueduct.   She’s moving up slightly in level from $16K and probably should find this just a bit harder today. The second choice is Rettalfa (#6, 5-2) who makes a double move in class from restricted 12.5K claimers. Both are reasonable horses, but both have taken some good time to reach their current levels. Of the two, Purling seems a bit stronger.  Bridgetta (#7, 7-2) returns after a long layoff.  She has a win and 4 seconds over the track, and if she’s sharp, she’s likely the one. Why Not Her (#3, 15-1) deserves a deep look. She drops from the open 12.5K level, where she was soundly beaten. If that race helped her condition, however, she could put a competitive effort out today. Imagine Tomorrow (#1, 5-1) drops back into claiming after two poor state-bred allowance tries.  She’s never liked Belmont. New York Conspiracy (#4, 10-1) is another long shot with some upside.  The return to sprinting might bode well, but she seems a bit too slow.

Questions:

  1. Will Purling maintain the main track Aqueduct form that has served here well?  If so, then she’s a very strong contender.
  2. Who will get the lead?  This is very hard to predict here, but Purling and Retalfa have tactical speed, which is an advantage in these circumstances.
  3. How does Bridgetta break off the layoff?  If she’s sharp, she’ll give Purling a target, and if she gets a good trip, she might just fin.

Analysis:

Purling is likely the best bet, and while there is some added risk, her style and speed put her likely on top.  Why Not Her keeps catching the eye (on paper).  She’s probably too slow, but if you are an player of exactas, trifectas, and superfectas, she might be a good play.  Bridgetta with a good start could steal the race.

Tune in to twitter @alldayracing at 2:05 ET for coverage.