Monday, May 07, 2007

Weekend Review

Weekend Overview: So the Derby finally came and in the end the result seemed pretty obvious. All three horses who hit the frame we're under 10/1. The main and classy speed stayed on and was the one to catch and the favorite ran him down. Perhaps Street Sense will go on and become what the fans really crave, a Triple Crown winner. Even if you didn't know the Derby was going on you would have to be impressed with the other racing that went on. Even away from Churchill Downs there was the impressive Dream Rush blasting the Nassau field and Fabulous Strike (who was touted here as a major contender in the Sprint division this year) earning a monster 118 Beyer at Mountaineer.

Performance of the Week: For me the most impressive races of the weekend were Rags to Riches Oaks demolition, Sky Conqueror's recovery in the Woodford Reserve, Finsceal Beo's romp in the 1000 Guineas and Molengao's tour de force in the Mervyn LeRoy. I think I have to shade slightly for Rags to Riches only because of the relative quality she was facing. The Oaks was a championship matchup for her division and at the end of the race it you were left either in awe of Rags to Riches or totally disenchanted with the quality of everyone she faced. Rags is the best 3yo filly I've seen since Silverbulletday and I only hope she stays healthy all year long. I think she is already the best filly of any age in North America.

Race of the Week: The Derby is the race we all watched but was it really the best race of the weekend to watch? I personally thought the Distaff Turf Mile and the Woodford Reserve were much more exciting. I'll give the honour to both of those races to share. Heart pounding stretch runs with oddly similar results. In both races the second place finisher stalked the pace near the front and kicked clear in the lane only to be passed in the last stride by a horse coming to their outside. You have to feel for Quite a Bride and Brilliant who both did enough to win on another day, but Take The Ribbon and especially Sky Conqueror would not be denied.

Flop of the Weekend: Take your pick, Any Given Saturday, Dominican, Scat Daddy and a whole host of others who simply did not run a step in the Derby. I think I've settled on Todd Pletcher. Yeah I know he won the Oaks and had the second place finisher but aside from his Oaks success the weekend was a bit of a bust for him. All his Derby horses ran poorly, Ready's Image lost the juvenile stakes race and Indian Vale looked terrible in the Louisville BC. Hard Spun even lost his first career race. Not a great weekend for the best trainer in the nation.

TCR Mover’s and Shakers: The two classic winners Street Sense and Rags to Riches made big jumps to be ranked 2nd and 3rd overall behind Invasor. Both horses of course are division leaders right now and do not look likely to lose that title. Street Sense's point advantage could easily be eclipsed if he runs out of the money in the Preakness but what are the odds of that happening? Molengao was the other big mover. He makes it into the top 10 for the first time and surpasses Lava Man for third spot in the older horse division. Pussycat Doll also regained top spot in the Filly and Mare Sprint Division.

Tip O’the Cap: Carl Nafzger, Calvin Borel, Jim Tafel and of course Street Sense. They had a goal and a plan and it all worked out for them. You can't help but feel good for these nice guys even if you didn't cash a ticket. There is so much more to racing than having a winner on top. Street Sense overcame a lot of odds to stamp his authority on this crop. The juvenile jinx never existed but it is a tough feat for a top 2yo to come back and be the top 3yo.

KC Handicapping: Wouldn't you know it, I posted my picks for the complete card at Churchill for Oaks and Derby day on Dan Illman's blog and at the Thoroughbred Champions message board. And from the 33 races I had 8 winners and turned a healthy flat bet profit of 47%. However every race I analysed in depth aside from the Aegon Turf Sprint failed to work out so my performance in this space was a badly negative one. My overall return dips into negative territory for the first time. The toughest loss was Brilliants loss. I loved his chances and he was my real longshot of the day. He looked home free and got nailed at the line. The Derby did not work out well at all for me. It was the two horses I dropped but feared the most who made up the exacta.

Cumulative record of selected horses: 20(7)-2-2-4 (-$25.40 -63.50% ROI)
Overall record: 206(80)-39-31-33 (-$15.40 -3.73% ROI)


Anonymous said...

Flop of the weekend the 20/20 system which actually turned a slight negative correlation.

Anonymous said...

well i had a great derby/ i have my puffy shirt on and 'it ain't braggin if you can do it'; along with a little luck// my betting proposal based on the 20/20 system got me the full trifecta payoff// why it worked i have no idea and perhaps it won't work in the next 20 years/ lest anyone one think this was an after the fact betting scheme please note i developed this from KC's posting of his '20/20' derby system and suggested the betting scheme several days before the derby// i think one reason why it worked is that the '20/20 system has been entirely consistent about getting horses in the money for the derby when grouped as i suggested// i threw away 3 trifecta tickets as i had scat daddy on the top of two tickets and i put street sense on top of the other two/ i also had a two $100.00 win tickets on street sense/ pure and simple with no savers// street sense got to the inside and it was a good day for me all the way around/ my sense of it is that the '20/20' system consistently gets derby contenders in the money from its top 8// further in my opinion and really more than an opinion is that all of the pro-filers had a rough time of it this year to my r/ my sense of it is, that in general the crop of 3 year olds did not produce much like they have in the past, trainers brought there colts to the derby to the detriment of pro-filers, and a few of the contenders were compromised by post positions// more to follow shortly, chicago gerry

Anonymous said...

i don't think my further comments went through// i think most of pletcher's colts were compromised by their post position, especially AGS// circular quay may just have been short in terms of foundation//in my view, because i have seen a colt like unbridled win from post 14, i don't think no biz and scat daddy had an excuse other than they are not fast enough yet// i think as long as trainers are going to train away from traditional training methods in the run up to the derby, pro-filers are going to have a hard time// eventually the pro-filers will catch up when the trainers with the best talent are doing the same thing// trainers might be encouraged to digress from traditional methods after seeing the successes of barbaro last year; street sense and curlin this year// also, i think it is a great temptation by owners and trainers to run there colts in the derby merely because they qualify by money standards// the thought being, well, if i am in, anything can happen ala giacomo/ on the other hand trainers may come to think some of the colts might have done much better had they come to the derby in a more traditional way// it will be interesting to see if the trend towards more lightly raced colts continues// in the mean time, pro-filers are going to have to de-emphasize some things in the short run and come up with others factors that pin point the foundation level a colt has attained when comparing one to another as derby contenders // in regard to foundation, i totally agree with andrew beyer's recent writing on the subject, he knowing more about handicapping than i will ever know// however, beyer stated curlin would not be in the top ten// i on the other hand, stated in comments to Kennedys Corridor, prior to the derby, that culin had a good chance of being in the money// the problem with beyer is that he thought to much about history and didn't listen to qualified persons (other than the trainer who always think he has the best thing since sliced bread)// he also didn't take into consideration the "it" factor defined by me earlier as a colt having great acceleration, kick, guts, confidence and leadership// now if curlin remains healthy he may or may not develop into a super horse (probably not) but based on his two previous stakes victories and in the money finish in the derby, he will probably turn out pretty darned good// it was interesting to me that beyer was negatively all over byron king's thoughts on "history", yet byron king selections ended up as the exact order of finish for the derby, while andrew beyer was out in left field// chicago gerry

Hawken said...

You mentioned Dominican in your "big disappointments," but he really didn't run too badly and it looked like he was wearing a Great Hunter blanket the entire race. I don't think he was going to get in the money, but it is also worth noting that he was squeezed badly by Great Hunter and Any Given Saturday just as he was building up to make his final run. I heard he didn't appreciate the mud in his face either. I don't want to pretend he was ready to compete with Street Sense or Curlin, but he's a good horse and will probably have my support next time out. (It would probably be nice if the next time out was on turf)