Friday, January 25, 2008

Weekend Picks and Analysis - Part 2

I had intended to follow up Part 1 and post my complete analysis of the rest of the Sunshine Millions card. However since the rest of the races are all set to be run at Santa Anita I've decided not to feature them here. There is a ton of uncertainty surrounding those races. There is a huge chance that they won't be run and even if they are it might be at a different track. That would change the complexion of the races dramatically so it's best to stay away from those races and just hope they figure out a safe solution. In the meantime there is still a decent race or two out there to handicap.

Appleton Handicap
This is a nice wide open contest, Host is really the only horse in the race with established class. The rest are still trying to make the breakthrough to better company. I personally don't like Host in here. I know I went against him last time and he won but the pace was ridiculous that day. There is far less speed in this race and it's hard to see this old closer getting the dream setup twice in a row. Jet Propulsion may get things his own way this time as Fearless Eagle looks like the only one with even tracking speed. That makes Jet Propulsion a real danger to steal this race. I am hoping someone gets a little rank and keeps him honest because even with his speed I think he's a pretty bad selection. Generally he folds against this type. I am interested by Elusive Fort. I backed him in his North American debut and he ran a decent race behind Einstien. Oddly enough that allowance was likely tougher than this Grade 3. Elusive Fort only seemed to get interested late but it was his first start for 7 months. Two things scare me about him. #1 he is coming back very quickly after a long layoff, I generally like to see most time between the first and second starts and #2 Marty Wolfson is ice cold at 0 for 14. If you can look beyond those two factors Elusive Fort is a decent play. I'm sure he has the talent to win and it's possible that he'll make a jump forward off that race. The horse I will likely key on though is Buffalo Man. At one time he was a Triple Crown candidate and he excited fans with his nice turn of foot. Injury ended that dream and he is still basically trying to work his way back up to the level he was at. He's a very consistent horse. Aside from two debacles in New York he's been quite solid. He ran on Turf for the first time in his last race and he seemed to take to it very well. For a moment it looked as if he'd win the race but he bolted under left handed urging. When Prado went back to the right hand he straightened out and just missed by half a length. Prado stays on this time and hopefully he can keep him in a line in the stretch. Buffalo Man has been working well and has always given the impression that he'd be a good miler. He's got the quickness for it and he handles the grass quite well. I like Buffalo Man with an outside shot to Elusive Fort.

Buffalo Man
Elusive Fort

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