Friday, August 31, 2007

Weekend Picks and Analysis

Kent Breeders Cup Stakes
This looks like a great opportunity to take advantage of the public's propensity to bet the big name horses. Nobiz Like Showbiz attracts a lot of attention. He's been favoured in 7 of his 9 lifetime races. His debut and the Derby were the only races where he wasn't the top choice. But in this race he has no right to be. He was hard pressed to beat Marcavelly at 9f and Marcavelly is a miler. The class of this race is Strike A Deal and Summer Doldrums I'm salivating at the prospect of getting 5/1 and 12/1 respectively. These two are basically even at this distance. Strike A Deal is the better of the two I feel but he's lost two photo's in a row and I think the distance of 9f swings the pendulum back in favor of Summer Doldrums. Gomez is listed on Summer Doldrums but I don't see him actually taking the mount since he has engagements at Saratoga the same day. The distance was the undoing of Summer Doldrums in his last. With this nice inward post he'll be able to closely stalk the pace along with Strike A Deal and it should be a dogfight between those two to the line.

Summer Doldrums
Strike A Deal

Forego Stakes
The Forego for me comes down to three horses Chatain, High Finance and Midnight Lute. Chatain is reportedly going to scratch though because of a foot problem. Even if he is in the injury might cast a shadow of doubt. I'm almost hoping he does scratch because he is too good to leave out but I don't like the question marks. A horse I love is Midnight Lute, he's had breathing problems but he's fresh off of surgery to have that corrected. Although his record is somewhat sullied this year don't let it allow you to forget that this is a horse and a half. Baffert is sky high on him and 7f is his best game. He's coming in off some bullets including a blazing work at Del Mar where he went 7f in 1:22 from the gate. That is pretty well fast enough to win this race, he only needs to find a length or two off that work. I love Californians heading east in sprints and Baffert is very hot at that Spa. High Finance has to be respected because he loves the distance and the track and when he is on he is as good as anyone. But he's untrustworthy and I couldn't use him alone. Basically I see him as the only one good enough to beat Midnight Lute, but even then he has to be at his very best to do it. If you're looking for good plays underneath Midnight Lute there are plenty. Simon Pure is an excellent longshot candidate as is track specialist Awesome Twist. I don't know quite what to make of the McLaughlin Entry I like the look of both of them for underneath. With 10 horses (minus Chatain) and some uncertainty on the morning line this might be a nice place to go deep in an exacta. High Finance and Attila's Storm could both easily run out of the frame. That might create some real value.

Midnight Lute

Woodward Stakes
Oddly enough I see this race as very straightforward. Wanderin Boy will go to the front and unless Lawyer Ron or Corinthian decide to keep him honest he will win. Wanderin Boy has established clear leads in 8 two turn races and his record is 5-3-0. The only horses to run him down were Invasor, Bernardini and Lawyer Ron in that freak out performance last time. I don't see Lawyer Ron running him down this time. I think he'll give them the slip. Lawyer Ron is a tough horse but a good bet against in my opinion. It's hard to see him duplicating that big race. He also has a bit of a history as a vulnerable horse. I much prefer his stablemate Magna Graduate here, with Gomez on board he fits the "other" Pletcher angle perfectly. He has always been an inconsistent horse so a bad race last out doesn't dissuade me. He was trying to close in a race where no one was closing and he had a bit of trouble in the lane. Gomez rides him further off the pace and that is why I like him as the alternative to Wanderin Boy. The only way they get to him is if they press him and if they press him too much the pace might set up for a talented closer.

Wanderin Boy
Magna Graduate

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that info about Midnite Lute's surgery. Didn't know that and was concerned about the layoff though he got my top number by quite a bit. Many horses improve markedly after having breathing problems corrected so I'll be backing him with much more confidence now.