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Handicapper Blog

Posted by Darin Zoccali on Friday, October 05, 2012 10:58 PM

Pigskin and Ponies (Ponies Edition) 


 

I was prepared to attack the Keeneland card, focusing on the stakes action, but I have to be honest, with the exception of The Breeders Futurity (which we will go over here), there is not much betting value due to short fields and logical short-priced favorites.  So, let's turn our attention to Belmont.


 

Belmont - Saturday October 6th
Race 2:
 
This is the first good betting race of the day, and there is value to be found.  There does not appear to be a ton of pace in here, so clearly, the likely favorite, THE WEST RIM is going to be one to beat.  Chad Brown is 30% first time off the claim, and this horse is off an impressive win.  He is a must include, but not a lock. BELLE GALLANTEY may escape at a good price.  She has speed and should lay very close to a likely perdestrian pace.  She was just 7/2 against a stronger group at the Spa and her effort from 7/25 at Del Mar puts her right in the mix.  CASA TUA has shown speed when needed as well, and if you toss out her last race, which was washed off the turf, any of the previous three, which were all against better company make her a logical player in here.
Play: 
Win Bet on #4 Belle Gallantey at 8/1 or higher.
Win Bet on #2 Casa Tua at 7/2 or higher.
Exacta wheel using #4 with #2 and #8
Trifecta wheel using #4 with #2,8  with #3,6,7

Race 4:

The colt variety of the earlier turf event comes up as one of the best value races of the day.  Clearly, SUPERESTRELLA is a logical choice.  I don't particularly care for horses sporting a 1 for 13 record, but quite often we see horses break their maiden after several tries and then come right back to win again.  That being said, let's look for a price.  WINTER NOW fits the profile of a horse that could have a good tun in him.  The connections that claimed him on 9/1 saw fit to bump him up in claiming price.  Now he drops down to the level of the claim, a race that saw him sent off at 6/5.  He was a heavy favorite in that event for a reason, and with the price much better now, this is the time to take a shot.  KNOCK ROCK can win, but is vulnerable.  I actually don't believe he will go off favored, and I really don't want any part of a horse that is 1 for 18 with any kind of a short price.
Play: 
Win Bet on #7 WINTER NOW at 5/1 or higher.
Exacta Box on #3 and #7
Trifecta Wheel using #3 and #7 with #1,8

Race 6:

NELSON AVENUE is not only a block near my home, but an interesting player in this event.  Another turf event that although contains some early speed, also contains many plodders that do their best running in the stretch.  This gelding can take advantage of that, and earn a close to the pace, ground saving journey.  While his last race was terrible, he is not a dirt horse by any stretch.  His previous effort at this level was a good one.  I expect a bounce back here.  POLIZIOTTO is not likely to offer the 5/1 from the morning line.  Chad Brown with lightly raced fresh horses on the grass is a popular play.  Let the tote board be your guide.  If this horse is taking some play, I would be inclined to use him.
Play: 
Win Bet on #4 NELSON AVENUE
Exacta Box on #4 and #7
Trifecta Wheel using #4 and 7 with #6,11,5

Keeneland

Race 8:

TIZRACER is likely to be favored, but there are some things to note.  Despite a monster speed figure, Velazquez rides another Pletcher 2YO in the Champagne.  Second, Pletcher already has 2 in the Champagne and was practically forced to run this juvenile here.  One has to wonder if this is his 3rd stringer.  Of course the other question, will he handle synthetic.  There are a couple of horses worth a look at a price.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME is a Woodbine shipper, which is often a positive angle at the Keeneland fall meet.  He is clearly improving as the races get longer and this will be his first chance to go around two turns.  He has synthetic experience, is Grade 2 place and will offer a price.  BALANCE THE BOOKS has an exceptional turn of foot and is likely prepping for the Juvenile Turf.  That being said, he has a big chance here, if the pace setup is kind.
Play:
Win Bet on #2 ARE YOU KIDDING ME at 6/1 or higher
Win Bet on #11 BALANCE THE BOOKS at 9/2 or higher
Exacta Box on #2 and #11
Trifecta Wheel using #2 and #11 with #1,9,12


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