Thursday, November 29, 2018

RECAP OF SELECTIONS FROM 11/17/18

RECAP OF SELECTIONS FROM 11/17/18


Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar
: Another two-year-old race, another winner for the Bob Baffert barn. It’s been absolutely mind-bending to watch this entire year, so when MUCHO GUSTO ($3.60) crossed the finish line first, he joined a seemingly endless supply of candidates from this barn (GAME WINNER, ROADSTER, COLISEIUM, etc.) to take a run at next year’s Kentucky Derby and follow in JUSTIFY’s footsteps!

Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct: Once this race was taken off the turf and moved to the main track (with a change in distance to a mile-and-a-eighth), all bets were off (literally) as all three of my top selections scratched.

South Ocean at Woodbine: On paper, it wasn’t that deep of a field for a $100,000 race, so when PREFERRED GUEST won, it didn’t really surprised me as he was a maiden going two turns for the first time while adding blinkers. However, what did surprise me was his win price ($5.70).

River City Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs: After scratches, only five runners made it to the starting gate, but when MR. MISUNDERSTOOD won ($3.40), making him a perfect four-for-four over the Churchill Downs turf course, it allowed me to cash the $6.40 exacta four times and $3.60 trifecta (yikes!) three times.

The post RECAP OF SELECTIONS FROM 11/17/18 appeared first on TVG BLOG.

$200k Claiming Crown Jewel

$200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel

Gulfstream Park

Race 11 (Saturday, December 1, 2018: 5:06 p.m./ET; 2:06 p.m./PT)

Mile and an eighth on the main track (three-year-olds and upward)

Opening Day of the four-month Winter meet at Gulfstream Park begins with the Claiming Crown series, a group of nine stakes races designated for horses that, depending on the designated stakes event, have started for a particular claiming price (or lower) since 2017. The feature race on the card is the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel, for three-year-olds and upward which have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less since January 1, 2017 and attracted a full field of 14 runners. Let’s get to business:  

#1 RICH DADDY is an old pro that makes his 57th lifetime start. Eddie Kenneally trainee most recently ran second in the slop in a sold allowance race at Churchill Downs. However, his last win came in 2017 when he defeated #7 FLOWERS FOR LISA by a head over this track, a surface in which he is 9-for-21 over. Siding with others.

#2 DIAMOND BACHELOR is a combined 0-for-20 in 2017 and 2018. Next.

#3 ST. LOUIE GUY makes his first start off a two-and-a-half month break after finishing third in two straight allowance races (one at Saratoga and the other at Delaware Park). Ricardo Santana Jr. hops aboard for the first time for high percentage trainer Robertino Diodoro and they win at a 42% clip together. One to consider.

#4 PRINCE TITO went off at 20/1 in his last start and finished 23 lengths behind the winner, #5 RACE ME HOME. A total form reversal is needed.

#5 RACE ME HOME (IRE) won a starter allowance race in his first start off the claim for Mike Maker and now bumps up in class. He likes this nine-panel distance, having won two of three at this distance, but this will be his first career start at Gulfstream Park.

#6 AZTEC SENSE looks for his eighth win in a row for trainer Jorge Navarro, one of three he entered in this spot. The one to beat.

#7 FLOWERS FOR LISA drops in class after a six-length loss in the Lukas Classic (G3) behind legit Grade I caliber talent MIND YOUR BISCUITS. Before that effort, this five-year-old was competitive against allowance company at Saratoga. He likes to be on the lead, so expect jockey Paco Lopez to gun him from the gate and try to take ‘em wire to wire. The second Navarro entrant.

#8 CHRIS AND DAVE ran over a sloppy track at Belmont Park on October 11 and won a second level allowance race by two lengths that day. He is three-for-five over a wet track, but is just 3-for-24 when competing on a fast track. If the track comes up wet, I’d like him more.

#9 ZULU faces easier company in this restricted stake for claimers after a solid second place finish in a second level allowance race at Churchill Downs for high percentage trainer Jorge Navarro. Well-bred son of BERNARDINI likes the Gulfstream Park dirt, with three wins and two seconds from seven lifetime starts over the surface. The last time he ran this mile-and-an-eighth distance, he ran second in the Skip Away Stakes (G3) here last year. Another contender for Navarro.

#10 BAD STUDENT makes his first start for trainer Mike Maker, who wins at 15% first off the claim. Top Gulfstream winter meet rider Luis Saez hops aboard. A possibility.

#11 JUAN AND BINA is 1-for-31 lifetime. Exotics candidate at best.

#12 THE SCOTSMAN broke his maiden by 14 lengths when sprinting on this track in August but has since failed to win against starter allowance and allowance optional claiming foes. Most recently, this gelding ran third behind #5 RACE ME HOME and #2 DIAMOND BACHELOR in a starter allowance race on November 4. He’ll need to make up a few lengths on those rivals while facing other toughies here. Improvement needed.

#13 CAPITAL LETTERS makes his first start for trainer Anthony Quartarolo, who wins at just 4% first off the claim. This six-year-old most recently ran fourth as the favorite in a $25K claimer at Churchill Downs. It’s awfully hard to improve off of Mike Maker, who previously conditioned this gelding, and others signed on here appear classier. Passing.

#14 UNBRIDLED HOLIDAY gets back to dirt after a second place finish in a starter allowance going a mile-and-a-half on turf. He draws a brutal poor position and his best speed figures and performances have come on the lawn. Going in another direction.

SELECTIONS

  1. #6 AZTEC SENSE – Win machine.
  2. #7 FLOWERS FOR LISA – Could prove tough to reel in on the lead.
  3. #9 ZULU – Navarro has a legit shot to complete the trifecta.

LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #5 RACE ME HOME – Improved off the claim last time.

WAGERING STRATEGY

I’ll box my top three picks in exactas, key my top pick over my other three selections in trifectas and make a straight win bet on my top pick.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 BUDGET)

$5 Exacta Box: #6 AZTEC SENSE and #7 FLOWERS FOR LISA and #9 ZULU ($30).

$5 Trifecta Box: #6 AZTEC SENSE over #7 FLOWERS FOR LISA and #9 ZULU ($10).

$10 Win: #6 AZTEC SENSE

The post $200k Claiming Crown Jewel appeared first on TVG BLOG.

$750k Cigar Mile Handicap (G1)

$750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (G1)

Aqueduct

Race 9 (Saturday, December 1, 2018: 3:45 p.m./ET; 12:45 p.m./PT)

One mile on the main track (three-year-olds and upward)

Eclipse Award winning jockey Javier Castellano has won this prestigious race the last two years (SHARP AZTECA and CONNECT). Will this year be the hat trick? Let’s review the field in post position order:  

#1 MENDELSSOHN cuts back a quarter mile after a respectable fifth place finish behind ACCELERATE in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last month. The Aidan O’Brien trainee also ran second in the Travers (G1) and third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) earlier in the year. A half-brother to champions BEHOLDER and INTO MISCHIEF, this colt should be respected and world-renowned jockey Ryan Moore flies in to ride, which only adds to the appeal.

#2 SUNNY RIDGE finished a length behind #8 PATTERNRECOGNITION in his most recent start to date, the Kelso (G2), going this one-mile distance. Son of HOLY BULL has never finished off the board in five career races going this distance. Top jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. rides for trainer Jason Servis and they win at a 34% clip when teaming up together. Consistent sort warrants a look in exotics.

#3 PAT ON THE BACK is a New York-bred facing open company in this spot. Four-year-old by CONGRATS comes off a win in the Empire Classic going a mile-and-an-eighth and cuts back in distance for his first try against open stakes company. This is a steep bump up in class; will be the acid test.

#4 STAN THE MAN has never finished off the board in seven career races at Aqueduct. The John Terranova entrant was last seen winning a seven-furlong allowance race over this track and, two starts back, romped in a starter allowance. But he’s playing a whole new ballgame here, going from allowance company to legit Grade I competition, and he’ll need to run the race of his life to win. Will be a longshot.

#5 COPPER TOWN makes his second start off a year layoff for trainer Todd Pletcher. In his first start off the break, this four-year-old blew the doors open against NW2X allowance company at Keeneland, winning the race by an impressive five lengths. He has tactical speed and can stalk the pace or go to the lead. Might be the real deal.

#6 TRUE TIMBER finished second, but beaten by almost 10 lengths, to runaway winner NO DOZING in the Bold Ruler (G3) going seven furlongs last time out. He may be best going distances shorter than a mile as his most recent win came going six furlongs two starts ago and as the races get longer, he doesn’t tend to improve. Looking elsewhere.

#7 TIMELINE sat off the pace and rallied for a third place finish behind stablemate #8 PATTERNRECOGNITION and #2 SUNNY RIDGE in the Kelso (G2). There is rain in the forecast and if it materializes, his connections will be happy as this one is two-for-two over wet ground, while earning a career high 101 Beyer Speed Figure in one of those races.

#8 PATTERNRECOGNITION is the second Chad Brown entrant in this race. This improving five-year-old has only finished worse than second once in his last 10 starts, with that lone off-the-board finish coming when making his first start off a seven-month layoff. In his most recent start, the son of ADIOS CHARLIE made his stakes debut in the Kelso (G2) and won the race in gate to wire fashion. He won’t have an easy lead this time with #1 MENDELSSOHN signed on, but he is ultra consistent and clearly has talent. One of the major players.

SELECTIONS

  1. #5 COPPER TOWN – Lightly raced, but ultra talented.
  2. #1 MENDELSSOHN – Royally bred colt looks like the one to beat.
  3. #8 PATTERNRECOGNITION – Unbeaten at track and at distance.

LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #7 TIMELINE – The ‘other’ Chad Brown.

WAGERING STRATEGY

I’ll make a straight win bet on my top choice. 

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)

$50 Win: #5 COPPER TOWN

The post $750k Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) appeared first on TVG BLOG.

$250k Remsen (G2)

$250,000 Remsen (G2)

Aqueduct

Race 8 (Saturday, December 1, 2018: 3:12 p.m./ET; 12:12 p.m./PT)

Mile and an eighth on the main track (two-year-olds)

The Remsen (G2) is the last race this year for New York based two-year-olds to shine. A field of seven is signed on, one of four stakes races on the Aqueduct Saturday card. One of these dudes will stamp themselves as a major player to watch heading into Kentucky Derby (G1) season this winter. Let’s take a closer look at the field:  

#1 JUNGLE WARRIOR makes his first start in the Jimmy Jerkens stable. This colt by ANIMAL KINGDOWM broke his maiden by a head at Woodbine going six furlongs on turf and came back to finish fifth behind well-regarded turf colt FOG OF WAR in the Summer Stakes (G1). He has the breeding to run on anything and Jose Ortiz rides, which only adds to the appeal. Wouldn’t be surprised if he ran well.

#2 CHINOMADO has failed to be competitive against much easier and has done his best work sprinting. His only previous two-turn race resulted in a 17 length loss. Next.

#3 BOURBON WAR won like a good thing in his career debut, stalking the pace before drawing off late to a maiden special weight contest by over two lengths. This $410,000 yearling purchase by TAPIT clearly has some ability and now makes his second lifetime start for trainer Mark Hennig. Irad Ortiz Jr. hops aboard for the first time. The wise guy horse.

#4 GLADIATOR KING has won two races in a row, both of them turf sprints at Gulfstream Park West. Not sure how far he wants to run. Will be a longshot.

#5 NETWORK EFFECT won a seven furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga before running second while earning a 93 Beyer Speed Figure in his next start, the Nashua (G3) going a mile over this track. He stretches out an additional furlong in his third lifetime start for trainer Chad Brown. Fits with this group; contender.

#6 MAXIMUS MISCHIEF makes his first start going a route of ground while also making his stakes debut. Son of INTO MISCHIEF broke his maiden at first asking at Parx by almost nine lengths and came back to win an allowance race by six lengths going seven furlongs. He’ll need to stretch that sprint speed another two furlongs. Expect him to go for as far as he can on the front end.

#7 TAX runs on Lasix for the first time and makes his first start after being claimed by Danny Gargan, when breaking his maiden for $50K at Keeneland in October. Gets tested for class in this spot.

SELECTIONS

  1. #3 BOURBON WAR – Well regarded colt.
  2. 2. #1 JUNGLE WARRIOR – Jimmy Jerkins & Jose Ortiz combo.
  3. #5 NETWORK EFFECT – Both career runs were solid.

LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #6 MAXIMUS MISCHIEF – Speed of the field.

WAGERING STRATEGY

I’ll make a straight win bet on my top choice and box my top three selections in exactas.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)

$20 Win: #3 BOURBON WAR

$5 Exacta Box: #1 JUNGLE WARRIOR and #3 BOURBON WAR and #5 NETWORK EFFECT ($30).

The post $250k Remsen (G2) appeared first on TVG BLOG.

$300k Hollywood Derby (G1)

 

$300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1)

Del Mar

Race 7 (Saturday, December 1, 2018: 6:30 p.m./ET; 3:30 p.m./PT)

Mile and an eighth on the turf (three-year-olds)

Closing weekend at Del Mar’s Fall Festival meet features a plethora of turf racing. The main event on Saturday, the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1), attracts a full field of 14 talented three-year-olds from all over the country. Let’s get to the analysis:

#1 HAVE AT IT was last seen finishing a half-length behind #4 RIVER BOYNE in the Twilight Derby (G2) at Santa Anita. Before that, this colt won the Hill Prince (G2) at Belmont. David Cohen flies in for the ride for the Clement barn. One to consider.

#2 KAZAN (IRE) finished second in September in the Del Mar Derby (G2), then returned two months later to run sixth behind #4 RIVER BOYNE, #1 HAVE AT IT and #8 DESERT STONE in the Twilight Derby (G2). It’s worth noting that in that last run, this gelding had to swing wide turning for home and the rider lost the whip at the sixteenth pole. Nonetheless, it appears improvement is needed.

#3 RISKY PROPOSITION surprised six other rivals (at 22/1!) in his most recent start three weeks ago in the Let It Ride Stakes. This time around, he faces the toughest field he’s ever gone up against and will need to prove that the last win was no fluke. Playing against.

#4 RIVER BOYNE (IRE) disappointed in the Del Mar Derby (G2), finishing third at even money behind winner RIDE A COMET and #2 KAZAN. He was able to rebound after that subpar effort with a half-length victory in his most recent start, the Twilight Derby (G2). This Jeff Mullins trainee has won five of seven races this year, with three of those victories coming at this nine-panel distance. Major player once again.

#5 FIGHT ON looks to snap a six race streak of not crossing the finish line first (he was DQ’d into a victory two starts back). Passing.

#6 RAGING BULL (FR) is one of two runners shipping across country for this race for trainer Chad Brown. This colt by DARK ANGEL finished off the board for the first time in his most recent start, circling up wide before flattening out late and finishing two-and-a-quarter lengths behind #1 HAVE IT ALL in the Hill Prince (G1). Sure, that last run is cause for concern, but his two and three back efforts, which resulted in sharp-looking wins in the Hall of Fame (G2) and Saranac (G3), were real beauties. Joel Rosario flies in to ride; must respect.

#7 INSTILLED REGARD makes his turf debut for the aforementioned Chad Brown barn. Returning from a four-and-a-half month layoff last time out, this $1,050,000 2-year-old purchase lost by 25 lengths to multiple graded stakes winner MCKINZIE in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1). Obviously, this one will need to improve significantly off that last run to make an impact here, but Florent Geroux sees fit to ride.

#8 DESERT STONE (IRE) ran a huge race in the Twilight Derby (G2), sitting off the pace before coming with a run to only lose by a half-length to #4 RIVER BOYNE and #1 HAVE AT IT at 37/1. Problem is, this guy will have to face those two rivals again while also having to deal with some other new customers signed on to compete in this spot. Would best be used underneath in exotics, if anywhere.

#9 PLATINUM WARRIOR (IRE) makes his third start in North America after beginning his career in Ireland, where he won a Group 3 going a mile-and-a-quarter. Now in the John Sadler barn (who is winless at the meet), he may want a little more distance.

#10 WAY EARLY is a New York-bred that comes off a fourth place finish (against older) in a New York-bred turf race at Aqueduct over good ground on November 9. He failed to win an allowance race two starts back at Belmont, losing by a nose to allowance caliber runner WINTER UNION. Off his recent form, he’ll need to pick up his feet to win this race.

#11 CARRICK won the Secretariat (G1) at huge odds (38/1), defeating #9 PLATINUM WARRIOR in the process. Most recently, the Thomas Morley trainee lost by 27 lengths to older horses CHANNEL MAKER, ROBERT BRUCE and SADLER’S JOY in the Turf Classic (G1). In the aforementioned poor effort, he ran over soft ground while also facing some of the best older turf horses the U.S. has to offer. He’ll be happy to get back to facing three-year-olds in this spot. A rebound would be far from a surprise.

#12 PUBILIUS SYRUS finished last in the Twilight Derby (G2) behind a number of runners that compete in this spot. The same can be said for his effort two back, in which he was a no-show in the Del Mar Derby (G2). Kent Desormeaux has ridden this horse in his previous seven starts and opts to ride #11 CARRICK. Pass.

#13 PRINCE EARL went off at 4/5 odds in the Let It Ride Stakes and finished fourth, beaten a length behind #3 RISKY PROPOSITION. He has the least amount of experience of anyone in the field, with three career starts to his name. He also removes blinkers for trainer Phil D’Amato, who wins at a 20% clip with that equipment change. Needs to run a career best to win.

#14 CALIFORNIAGOLDRUSH is a filly facing boys and draws the undesirable 14-post position. Neil Drysdale trainee most recently won the Sands Point (G2) going this distance over yielding turf at Belmont Park while continuing her improving Beyer Speed Figure pattern. Flavien Prat has ridden this gal in her last three starts and opts to ride #4 RIVER BOYNE, so read into that as you will. Nonetheless, she possesses class and comes from a trainer that knows how to win big turf stakes. Interesting item.

SELECTIONS

  1. #4 RIVER BOYNE – Looks to cap off an excellent 2018.
  2. #6 RAGING BULL – Two words; Chad Brown.
  3. #1 HAVE AT IT – East Coaster ain’t no slouch.

LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY-#11 CARRICK – Grade 1 winner.

WAGERING STRATEGY

I’ll make a straight win bet on my top choice and box my top three selections in exactas.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)

$20 Win: #4 RIVER BOYNE

$5 Exacta Box: #4 RIVER BOYNE and #6 RAGING BULL and #1 HAVE AT IT ($30).

The post $300k Hollywood Derby (G1) appeared first on TVG BLOG.

5 Reasons to Play with TVG

PLAY WITH TVG

1. CIGAR AFICIONADO
The Cigar Mile this Saturday at Aqueduct is the last Grade 1 race of the year in New York, so of course, you’ll be able to watch and wager on that race with TVG, America’s #1 horseracing network. But that’s not the only marquee race we’ll be showcasing as we’ve also got full on-site coverage of Opening Day at Gulfstream Park featuring the Claiming Crown as well as Closing Weekend at Del Mar (which means mandatory payouts for all the exotic pools on Sunday)! For exclusive TVG E-News analysis and selections for the $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) from Aqueduct, click here. For exclusive TVG E-News analysis and selections for the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1) from Del Mar, click here. For exclusive TVG E-News analysis and selections for the $250,000 Remsen (G2) from Aqueduct, click here. For exclusive TVG E-News analysis and selections for the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel from Gulfstream Park, click here.

2. I GOT IT!
That’s exactly what Don B. screamed two weeks ago, when he won $100,000 in our FREE ‘Super 8’ handicapping contest and you’ll have a similar opportunity this Saturday to win that same amount of cold hard cash! To play, simply pick the winners (one choice per race) in all eight designated races and you’ll win! It’s that easy (just ask Don B.), and even if you don’t correctly select all eight winners, consolation pools exist for those players who get five or more correct. Visit TVG.com or 4NJBets.com for more information.

3. GO FOR THE WIN
When you play the horses, it’s usually winner takes all, but with our Money Back Special, you won’t lose if the horse you bet to win finishes second or third! Here’s how it works: Opt-in first at TVG.com or 4NJBets.com, then make a win bet on designated races and automatically receive a refund on your first win wager (up to $10) if your horse finishes second (if the race has six or more betting interests) or third (if the race has at least eight betting interests). But hurry as the Money Back Special promotion ends this Sunday (December 2nd).

4. SEASON OF GIVING
The month of December always reminds us that it’s better to give than receive, which is why we’re offering our 10% Trifecta Bonus Bucks on select tracks through December 31st (for example, Gulfstream Park is the designated track on Fridays)! So opt-in now at TVG.com or 4NJBets.com in order to be eligible to earn our exclusive 10% Trifecta Bonus Bucks (up to a maximum of $100 per day and $3,100 for the month).

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The post 5 Reasons to Play with TVG appeared first on TVG BLOG.

FAIR PRICES IN UK STEEPLECHASE RACES

By Dean Arnold

When playing 24-horse fields in the UK, win betting definitely becomes exotic!

The winter of 2018-19 will showcase more steeplechase races than has ever been broadcast before to an American television audience, courtesy of TVG. The hurdle events there are in complete contrast to North America, where a small dance troupe-like group of trainers, jockeys and horses run only a handful of races where wagering is offered.

But in Europe, the fields for the typical steeplechase event range from 14 to 24 runners. In America, if 24 horses entered a race, it would be split into two or three divisions. Not so in the UK. Jumps or not, picking the winner of a 24-horse field is a tall order.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when playing large steeplechase fields in the UK:

– Adjust your fair price value line to recognize that a heavy favorite is 4/1 or less, while strong contenders are 10/1 or less.

– Use that value line effectively in your betting. If you think a horse is a lock, don’t go overboard in your betting just because it’s 3/1, instead of the 3/5 you might see stateside.

– Also adjust your idea of overlays. As many as 20 of the 24 runners will typically offer double-digit odds. Don’t be suckered into betting an outside contender that you like just because it’s 15/1. If it’s truly an outside contender, look for above 20/1.

– There are lots of ‘non-contenders’ in these big fields. Watch just a few of these jump events and you’ll notice that the horse running fifth is often 20 or more lengths back at the finish. The horses that finish the course are spread out all over the stretch by the time the winner crosses the finish line. With large fields, a wide variety of ability will be displayed. There’s no reason to make a case for every runner in the field when the fact is that most of them will finish far back.

– Exotics are super exotic. In a 24-horse field, there are 552 possible exactas and 12,144 trifectas. If you’re playing exotics in races you really like, include more horses to increase your chance of hitting. It costs more to play this way, but you’ll connect with high payoffs in these large fields. This is racing’s version of big game hunting!

Be sure to check out Dean Arnold’s handicapping book, A Bettor Way, on sale now through Amazon.

The post FAIR PRICES IN UK STEEPLECHASE RACES appeared first on TVG BLOG.