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Handicapper Blog

Posted by Darin Zoccali on Saturday, September 29, 2012 2:10 PM

Pigskin And Ponies - Week 4


Ponies- 

This weeks action will focus on the stakes races from Belmont.

***LATE UPDATE - THERE APPEARS TO BE A SIGNIFICANT RAIL BIAS ON THE DIRT AT BELMONT***

Belmont -


Race 6 - Kelso Handicap (Grade 2)


Rick Dutrow had entered 4 horses, but he scratched 2 of them.  The speed will likely come from Shackleford and Trickmeister.  Shackleford is one of the toughest horses in racing to predict, as you never know when he will show up with his best.  He cannot run on a wet track and there will be leftover moisture in the surface.  Coming off a clunker, I will take a shot against him.  To Honor And Serve is the horse to beat, but he was all out winning the Woodward and he usually doesn't fire two big races in a row.  I think he is more likely to win than Shackleford, but at a short price, I am looking elsewhere on top. Jersey Town is interesting to me as he made a big move on the turn in the Forego, only to get caught late. Now making his 3rd start off the bench he could be cycling forward to a big effort. Gallant Fields has bomb potential.  Dutrow is a master at bringing horse back on short rest in big spots, which is the case here.  He has never faced this level of competition before but at 20-1 or more that is a chance worth taking.

Play: Win Bet on Jersey Town and a Win Saver on Gallant Fields

Play: Exacta's with Jersey Town, Gallant Fields, To Honor And Serve


Race 7 - Vosburgh (Grade 1)


This could be the most wide open race of the day, with Justin Philip as a luke warm 3/1 morning line favorite. While he can certainly win the race, there are better options in terms of value. Fort Loudon looks like the play here. Making his third start for Zito, he raced very well in The King's Bishop.  He is a three year old facing older, which is something I don't mind at all at this time of year, especially sprinting. Caixa Electronica is enigmatic.  It's hard to know when he is going to show up, but when he does, he often returns a price and that will certainly be the case here. 

Play: Win Bet on Fort Loudon

Play: Exacta with Fort Loudon, Caixa Electronica, Justin Philip


Race 8 - Flower Bowl (Grade 1)


This is a good betting race, and is certainly more intriguing than it's male counterpart in race 9, which is un-bettable.  Dream Peace is the filly to beat as she chased the now retired Winter Memories last time. She draws inside and should get a good ground saving covered up trip from here. Hessonit becomes interesting as she loves ground with some give in it. She is 3 for 4 on yielding courses with 2 of those wins coming at Belmont. Hit It Rich should make the lead and is worth including in your gimmicks. I'm A Dreamer is logical after defeating Marketing Mix who will be the favorite in the Rodeo Drive at Santa Anita today. Zagora is dependent on pace and trip, but it always tough to toss out.  Nahrain was a superstar in Europe last year and is starting to round back into form.

Play: Win Bet on Nahrain and a Win Saver on Hessonite

Play: Exacta's with Hessonite boxed with Dream Peace, Zagora, I'm A Dreamer and Nahrain


Race 10 - Jockey Club Gold Cup (Grade 1)


Ron The Greek is a deserving favorite.  Still, there is not much speed and he will have a lot of horses to pass. If there is any more rain, pay attention to Hymn Book who moves up 3-4 lengths on any kind of an off track.  For Larned could be controlling speed and is too sharp to ignore. San Pablo is an intriguing play as he is getting good at the right time and should sit a dream trip just outside of Fort Larned.  Toss out the three year olds as we are down to the fourth string of that division.  I am also not a fan of the Belmont 1-2 finishers from a year ago in Stay Thirsty or Ruler On Ice.  Flat Out is starting to come back around since moving to the barn of Bill Mott.

Play: Win Bet pm San Pablo and a Win Saver on Hymn Book if the track comes up the least bit wet.

Play: Exacta's with San Pablo, Fort Larned and Hymn Book



 



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