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  • Banker's High Yield
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  • Wiseacre

Thursday, January 31, 2008

SELECTIONS- Thurs., Jan. 31, 2008

Race 5: #10-El Gran Tony returns out of the key race on Dec. 29th; out of the 10-hole, and despite winless-Juan Lopez in the saddle, he should romp.

Wager: $10win- 10

Race 7: #7-Vanquisher was last seen running here last spring, for Mott; Kinsman retread shows up in the Bennett barn with impressive worktab in tow. Against my better judgement, I'll use him on top, though he should be even better next time.

Wager: $1tri- 7/2,3,4,10/2,3,4,10

Recap for Tues. Jan. 29th-

2 for 4, including the pick 3...and still lost money. Doh! Closers dominated all day, a distinct bias that hasn't been seen in some time. It's been dry since Monday so the grass should be good to go.

Meet record: 25/104= 24% Bet: $996.00 Won: $1040.40 Profit: $44.40

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Leading Jockeys, by TURF wins, through Jan. 29th...

Leading Jockeys, by TURF wins, through Jan. 29th...

Name...............wins/ pct.//ITM pct.

Daniel Centeno 12/43- 28%//49%
Jose A. Velez, Jr. 10/40- 25%//55%
Carlos Montalvo 6/39- 15%//44%
Rosemary Homeister, Jr. 3/29- 10%//45%
Luis A. Gonzalez 2/24- 8%//42%
Tammi Piermarini 2/21- 10%//38%
Dean Butler 2/26- 8%//31%
Jose Ferrer 2/16- 13%//31%
Joseph Rocco, Jr. 2/16- 13%//25%
Pedro Cotto, Jr. 2/22- 9%//18%
Juan D. Lopez 1/15- 7%//33%

Leading Trainers, by wins, through Jan. 29th...

courtesy of

Leading Trainers at Tampa Bay Downs

Starting Date: 12/08/2007 Ending Date: 01/29/2008


(37%)Jamie Ness 52- 19-3-9- $238,521
(35%)Dale Bennett 48- 17-5-6- $220,568
(13%)Gerald S. Bennett 60- 8-5-5- $106,864
(22%)Javier Contreras 36- 8-5-5- $88,219
(13%)Barbara I. McBride 55- 7-7-5- $73,078
(20%)Thomas F. Proctor 35- 7-5-4- $79,601
(19%)Gregory A. Griffith 36- 7-4-4- $78,665
(18%)Ronald D. Allen, Sr. 38- 7-4-4- $75,670
(15%)Kathleen O'Connell 41- 6-7-3- $94,324
(16%)Rafael Ramos 37- 6-6-5- $116,963
(14%)Lynne M. Scace 43- 6-5-4- $100,050

Leading Jockeys, by wins, through Jan. 29th...

courtesy of

Leading Jockeys at Tampa Bay Downs

Starting Date: 12/08/2007 Ending Date: 01/29/2008


(27%)Daniel Centeno 171- 47-25-22- $619,658
(15%)Carlos Montalvo 183- 28-26-21- $450,248
(19%)Rosemary B. Homeister, Jr. 140- 27-22-11- $292,851
(18%)Jose A. Velez, Jr. 141- 26-20-14- $343,286
(12%)Luis Antonio Gonzalez 172- 21-27-26- $285,387
(16%)Pablo Morales 113- 18-19-19- $236,405
(14%)Juan D. Lopez 99- 14-14-9- $176,742
(11%)Andrew R. Ramgeet 122- 14-11-19- $165,928
(14%)Tammi Piermarini 92- 13-11-14- $177,313
(13%)Willie Martinez 72- 9-9-3- $114,434
(7%)Dean P. Butler 110- 8-18-17- $152,177
(7%)Pedro L. Cotto, Jr. 99- 7-10-18- $169,237

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SELECTIONS- Tues., Jan. 29, 2008

Race 6: #5-Laughing Matters has enough early speed and ran competitively at Calder until last out, when he missed the break and was a non-tryer; perhaps that will throw the dogs off the scent.

Wager: $5win/place- 5

Race 7: #4-Moment Of Song is a 7yo gelding with a career record of 66-16-23-12; at Tampa, he is 12-3-6-2. He can have my money any time.

Wager: $20place- 4

Race 8: #3-Hurricane Nikki has a big late run, inside trip will either be a curse or a blessing.

Wager: $5win- 3 & $1pick3- 1,5/4,6,10/3,6,8,10 [Races 6-8]

Recap for Sun. Jan. 27th-

Should have avoided the 8th race altogether, with all the horses that were running for new connections; the slump has arrived, as I have no feel for picking 'em at all. Time to go to bankroll preservation mode.

Meet Record: 23/100= 23% Bet: $937.00 Won: $992.00 Profit: $55.00

Sunday, January 27, 2008

SELECTIONS- Sun., Jan. 27, 2008

Race 8: #7-Classy And Elusive changes barns and jockeys off the claim after the curious drop to straight 8s; still the speed of the race. Hoping #6-Taupo wakes up off the claim and offers the value here.

Wager: $2tri- 7/5,6,8/5,6,8

Recap for Sat. Jan. 26th-

Couple Whiles couldn't launch a strong bid while wide on what appeared to be very soft turf.

Meet Record: 23/99= 23% Bet: $925.00 Won: $992.00 Profit: $67.00

Saturday, January 26, 2008

SELECTIONS- Sat., Jan. 26, 2008

Race 8: #8-Couple Whiles is in top form, has the best finish of these; should be fun to watch as the Tampa Turf Test series stretches from today's mile to 8.5F, 9F & 11F over the next two months.

Wager: $2tri- 8/3,4,5,7/3,4,5,7

Recap for Fri. Jan. 25th-

Too Many Sins came through along the inside to take the lead at the top of the stretch but couldn't hold the winner safe.

Meet record: 23/98= 23% Bet: $913.00 Won: $992.00 Profit: $79.00

Friday, January 25, 2008

SELECTIONS- Fri., Jan. 25, 2008

Race 8: #2-Too Many Sins should be the favorite off a decent try in the Inaugural Stakes; attempts first alw condition for Dale Bennett/Velez, who have been quite the formidable tandem this meet.

Wager: $2tri- 2/3,5,6,7/3,5,6,7

Recap for Thurs. Jan. 24th-

Didn't get to see the replays, so no insight as to my two picks going down in flames.

Meet record: 23/97= 24% Bet: $901.00 Won: $992.00 Profit: $91.00

Thursday, January 24, 2008

SELECTIONS- Thurs., Jan. 24, 2008

Race 6: #4-Barney Smith is a stout closer in a field loaded with front runners, looking for third straight win since Jan. 3rd; one more time.

Wager: $10win- 4

Race 8: #9-Point Perfect showed improved early speed last out; expect a return to her off the pace style and a big late run at the wire under Velez.

Wager: $5win/place- 9

Recap for Wed. Jan. 23rd-

Selections went 0 for 3. All the winners were either stalkers or closers, a fundamental change from what we've seen the last two weeks. Don't know how to incorporate this into picking winners yet, but as they had no rain after 7am yesterday, and speed horses who figured to do better did not, I think it could have been the old drying out, cuppy track. I'll tread lightly today, but expect off the pace types to do well again.

Meet record: 23/95= 24% Bet: $881.00 Won: $992.00 Profit: $111.00

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

SELECTIONS- Wed., Jan. 23, 2008

Race 5: #2-Rock And Roll Roan is the new face in this bunch, takes a small drop and stretches out 2nd off the lay for Ferraro/Velez.

Wager: $5win-2

Race 6: #2-Rachele R's Queen takes a slight drop, has the speed to be prominent from the outset; Centeno/Ness at 36%.

Wager: $1tri- 2/3,5,8/3,5,8

Race 9: #8-Remember Shirley has good stalking speed, can run down #7-Awesome Illusion if that one gets company up front.

Wager: $5exa- 8/7,9

Recap for Tues. Jan. 22nd-

Had the 6-5 fave in the sixth.....wahoo. Caught off guard that they were back on the turf, but the area received another 2/3 of an inch of rain last night, so it's likely main track only today.

Meet record: 23/92= 25% Bet: $860.00 Won: $992.00 Profit: $132.00

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

SELECTIONS- Tues., Jan. 22, 2008

Race 3: #4-Beau Classic had a sprint prep, should be forwardly placed throughout; RoHo sticks, tries to get the third Bennett off the duck.

Wager: $5win/place- 4

Race 6: #9-Let It Rock finished third in the Dec. 11 key race; off-the-pace type should nonetheless be a timely winner here, but will save with Farish/Zwiesler FTS #11-Sea Current, $250k son of Seeking The Gold who could be any kind; probably wants two turns, grass but is working lights out.

Wager: $10win- 9 $5exabox- 9/11

Race 8: #4-Tytus coming off track record performance at 6.5F, has had 4 weeks to recover, still has the best early lick of these shortening to six panels; I'll try to leverage a small exacta with #1-Islandprospectrbob, a speedy sort, and #2-Captain Cameron, a finisher, underneath.

Wager: $5exa- 4/1,2

Race 10: trainer-angle play with #6-Farsante for Jorge Romero, who has a sterling record with Mdclm FTS; three Jan. works at Classic Mile say this one is live. Take a flyer.

Wager: $5win-6

Recap for Sun. Jan. 20th-

Picks went 2 for 5, with a scratch. Watchtower was an easy winner at a generous 4-1, and La Muette managed to cross over to the lead from the 12-hole and wire the field. Disappointing performance from Golden Orbit, who got to the lead but surrendered it without a fight in early stretch; maybe a bet back under favorable conditions next time.

Meet record: 22/87= 25% Bet: $815.00 Won: $970.00 Profit: $155.00

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SELECTIONS- Sun., Jan. 20, 2008

Race 1: #1-Golden Trend and #4-Next Wonder look to be forwardly placed, along with the #10 who is a "speed, tired" designee.

Race 2: #9-Fort Knox drops into a winning spot here, has the speed to lead or stalk.

Wager: $5double- 1,4/9

Race 3: #3-Watchtower has to watch the two sprinters breaking from the outside posts, but if they duel or just run too fast early, he can run his own race in behind them and draw off in the lane.

Wager: $5win- 3

Race 4: #6-Ruthless Rebecca, last out winner going 7 panels, shortens up to six today and has an interim bullet, best of forty, in the holster.

Wager: $5win/place- 6

Race 5: #12-La Muette (Spanish for "Illinois-bred"), sneaks over from Calder for Steve Dimauro. Not a big fan of extreme outside speed going short, but if he can clear under Lopez he could prove tough.

Wager: $5win/place- 12

Race 7: hmmm...#8-War Cry, $2.7 million dollar son of Unbridled, out of Words Of War ( Lord At War.) Half-brother to E Dubai. Hancock/Zito/Centeno. Oh, did I mention he was a 6yo making his 2nd career start? Showed little first out at CD in November. And I thought I had a shitty day yesterday. Feeling much better now. #4-Golden Orbit, $120K (bargain) son of Golden Missile, adds blinks, goes two-turns for Chuck Simon/Stella "The Boss" Thayer. Best-of-25 bullet on Jan. 5th. Go to the windows, bring wallet.

Wager: $10win- 4

Race 8: #5-Even Par has enough speed to stalk, can finish strong and get there in time if the #7 and #8 duke it out in front of him.

Wager: $5win/place- 5

Recap for Sat. Jan. 19th-

0 for 6. One of those days where you're watching your pick at the top of the stretch, and he's going backwards, and you're puzzled because you can't see the rope and anchor. I've had more fun at a two year old's birthday party, which, in fact, is where I spent the day yesterday. My niece Skyllar (Happy Birthday!) had a better chance of picking winners than I did yesterday, and she doesn't use the Form. Awesome Chic would not be run down in the Gasparilla Stakes, and Honey Honey Honey repeated his front running Inaugural score in the Pasco Stakes. Speed was key yesterday, as the off the pace types were doomed. Six-tenths of an inch of rain fell last evening, so we're off the turf again, and I expect speed to dominate again today.

Meet record: 20/82= 25% Bet: $770.00 Won: $916.00 Profit: $146.00

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Very interesting DRF article concerning track bias...

Courtesy of

Damp mornings lead to faster times at Tampa

OLDSMAR, Fla. - The main track at Tampa Bay Downs has, with only a few exceptions, been much faster and more speed-favoring than in the past.
One racing program earlier this meet featured three 6 1/2-furlong sprints. In two of those races, the leader covered the opening six furlongs in 1:10 and change, and in the other the leader raced six panels in a blistering 1:09.99. More recently, on Jan. 12, an $8,000 claimer named Forli's Con Man covered seven furlongs in 1:23.74 after smoking through the opening six furlongs in 1:10.84. And in the six-furlong Sandpiper Stakes that same afternoon, Lookingforthesecret sped through six furlongs in 1:09.30, setting a stakes record.

The Tampa Bay surface has long been known for its safe composition rather than its fast clockings. The folks who work to keep the track and the horses safe say that Mother Nature is responsible for the faster-than-usual times this meet.

"We've had a number of days since this meet's started where its been foggy and damp in the morning, and when that happens a lot more moisture stays in the racing strip between training hours and the racing in the afternoon," said track superintendent Tom McLaughlin. "We've had a lot fewer afternoons with high winds and a high sky, a sky with few clouds and bright sun. When we get a day like that, the top of the surface gets crusty and fluffy as it dries out, and the speed doesn't hold up as well.

"The weather this year has dictated we use less water from the water trucks than in previous years. We haven't done anything different to the surface."

Handicappers should check the flags and sky here each race day. A calm and cloudy day usually spells speed-favoring conditions, but if the wind is whipping, the chances of stalkers and closers may improve.

SELECTIONS- Sat., Jan. 19, 2008

Race 1: #2-Pearl Drift has good early speed, goes first off the claim for Cibelli/Montalvo. Dismissing the first time starters at my own peril, looks like the #1-Killarney Township and #4-One Step Ahead are the logical underneath plays with leading jockeys aloft.

Wager: $5exa- 2/1,4

Race 2: #5-Yes It's True Shery and #11-Summertime Babe have been duking it out last three, use for the second half of the double. #2-Caricaturist would love an off track, otherwise a pop and stopper.

Wager: $5double- 2/5,11

Race 3: #11-Skipingandadancing nearly got there last time when dropped to this level; off the pace type might just get it done even in this paceless, chaotic n2l.

Wager: $5win- 11

Race 7: #6- Silver Pegasus will try to wire them for Ness/Centeno; local drills are excellent, likes the track.


Race 8: Gasparilla Stakes $65K 3yo f- #3- Unfolding Wish puts perfect record on the line, will have to deal again with #6- Awesome Chic, a close third in the Sandpiper. #2- Formal Arrangement is the lone closer, and #8- Jules Concerto takes on the big girls for O'Connell/Centeno.

Wager: $1tri- 3/2,6,8/2,6,8

Race 9: Pasco Stakes $75K 3yo- #4- Service Corps returns off a fast closing 4th in the Inagural Stakes, stretches out to 7F for Scott/Velez. Should get a square price even with Zito's Cool Coal Man scratched.

Wager: $10win- 4

Recap for Fri. Jan. 18th-

0 for 2, and a scratch. In the featured alw.....s sprint, Mr. D'Or ran without effort and finished last. I missed that he had been claimed from Jamie Ness by Kathleen Demasi...whoops. Blue Pepsi Lodge could have won if he had stopped for some oats at the eighth pole.

Meet record: 20/76= 26% Bet: $719.00 Won: $916.00 Profit: $197.00

Friday, January 18, 2008

SELECTIONS for Fri., Jan. 18, 2008

Race 3: #5-Jammin In The Sand makes his third start off the layoff, has good early lick; Montalvo sticks, he should be right there at the line.

Wager: $5win/place- 5

Race 5: Looking for the #6-Timefordaddy to stalk likely pace setter #8-Deal Me Aces to the stretch, try to overtake late. Box 'em.

Wager: $5exabox- 6/8

Race 9: Clash of the titans as local hero #6-Mr. D'or (8-4-1-1) takes on speedy Calder shipper, and last out stakes winner, #8-Blue Pepsi Lodge. Throw in #4-Awesome Attitude, coming off two straight wins here, and you've got all the makings of a real barn burner in this starter allowance. Watch the teletimer.

Wager: $2tribox- 4/6/8

Thursday, January 17, 2008

NO SELECTIONS for Thurs., Jan. 17, 2008

Almost an inch of rain overnight, good for the drought and fire situation, bad for turf races. I'll take a pass and hope Fri. (doubtful) and especially Sat. (possible) are back on the lawn.

Recap for Tues. Jan. 15th-

Had two winners and a 2nd, but used more chalk than Bart Simpson at after-school detention; that makes it tough to build the bankroll, but when picking well in advance of the post time, all you can do is pick your most likely winner and hope for a little bit of a price. Speed was dominant on the main track, but the turf looked fair.

Meet record: 20/74= 27% Bet: $697.00 Won: $916.00 Profit: $219.00

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

SELECTIONS- Tues., Jan. 15, 2008

Race 4: #8-Drinkwater had powerful win last out, has enough speed to be forwardly placed; taken to repeat in a tough heat that also features stakes-placed #3-Green Lemon, who drops severely for this first time tag.

Wager: $1tri- 8/2,3,4,7/2,3,4,7

Race 5: Hoping that #2-Awesome Illusion is the quickest from the gate here and can hold off the #8-Ashley And I, who will be waiting to pounce at the top of the stretch.

Wager: $5win/place- 2

Race 6: #11-El Gran Tony wins for fun if he draws in; if not, the #3-You The Man comes out of the same potential key race as the #11; son of Lear Fan adds blinkers, faces no obvious threats here. #7-Glory Cat could run a much better race 2nd time out, going to the lawn and adding the hood, Lasix for Cathy Rountree.

Wager: $5win/place- 11 or $5win/place- 3

Race 7: #2-Ohio's Way has the look of a horse with a future; there's enough contested pace here for him to stalk.

Wager: $5exa- 2/5,7

Race 8: #2-Irish Son is "working well"; $475k son of Buddha tries to jump start his career for Dale Bennett, Kinsman.

Wager: $5win- 2

Sunday, January 13, 2008

SELECTIONS- Sun., Jan. 13, 2008

Race 7: #2-Hot Foot Slew and #3-Three Cities have the speed and class to separate from the field here; numbers and style say yes.

Race 8: #4-Saucy's Got It will be the even-money, battle tested favorite; #5-Exchanging Kisses and #6-Stormy Ballad are well-bred, "working well" firsters for good trainer/sire combos.

Race 9: Wide open Clm50000n2l turf affair; #2-Privacy runs back for Lerman, picks up Centeno.#4-Toclosetothemusic is the speed with Montalvo, and#7-Wrong Answer drops back into the claiming ranks after a good second in a first-level allowance race.

Wager: $1pick3- 2,3/4,5,6/2,4,7

{edit: just realized there is no pick3 because this is a 10-race card; it was good practice, though: $1pick3 2/4/7 pays ?}

Recap for Sat. Jan. 12th-

Only the Joan Scott turf maiden got it done; the #2-Okey Dokey from that race, very well bred for grass, had a bad start and managed to get third. He won't be a maiden long. Lookinforthesecret just outran them all as the first three finishers ran that way all the way 'round in the Pelican Stakes, won in near track record time of 1:09.30. Speed is now working on the turf; deep closers may be at a disadvantage unless they clearly outclass their field, or get a great trip in a fast paced race. Until it rains again, anyways.

Meet record: 18/69= 26% Bet: $650.00 Won: $853.50 Profit: $203.50

Saturday, January 12, 2008

SELECTIONS- Sat., Jan. 12, 2008

Race 4: #2-Afleet Pardner seems to have responded to his new trainer Dale Bennett; local works are good, inside trip gets him home if he can avoid traffic.

Wager: $1tri- 2/3,7,9,10/3,7,9,10

Race 7: Pelican Stakes $65K 6F 4up- #3-Lookinforthesecret won the local prep for this, gets a good post and looks to be the speed; catch him to win it.

Wager: $1tri- 3/1,4,5,7/1,4,5,7

Race 8: #7-Flight Navigator; mama always said "Joan Scott/Daniel Centeno/excellent works." That's all I have to say about that.

Wager: $20win- 7

Race 10: #1-Scruples In looks to be the lone speed if the #4 scratches; I think #2-Later Gater can track him and still get up in time. Tough call, but...

Wager: $1tri- 2/1,4,6,8/1,4,6,8

Recap for Fri. Jan. 11, 2008-

Ran 2-3-4 in the 9th, beaten by a 25-1 shot who didn't figure to run his career best yesterday. Bombs lit up the tote board all day, hope somebody had 'em.

Meet record: 17/65= 26% Bet: $600.00 Won: $817.50 Profit: $217.50

Friday, January 11, 2008

SELECTIONS- Fri., Jan.11, 2008

First card all meet that I can't find any races I like; but, in the spirit of "today's turf triple"...

Race 9: I want to try to beat #8-Lady Renaissance, but she's been facing much better and with a clear trip she probably sails home. I'll take the chalk on top and hope for a little bit of a price for second/third.

Wager: $1tri- 8/4,6,7,10/4,6,7,10

Recap for Thurs. Jan. 10th-

Caught the cheap exacta in the 4th, and the triple in the sixth. If Tri To Dance (2nd by 1 3/4) gets up in the 5th, I would've hit for the cycle: winner, exacta, triple, pick3. Speed continues to improve on the grass, dirt sprints are fair, and in dirt routes speed rules. Quick peek at Saturday's card looks promising, with a MSW, n1x, & n3x on the grass along with the sprint stake. Might even take a crack at a cheap pick6 ticket.

Meet record: 17/64= 27% Bet: $588.00 Won: $817.50 Profit: $229.50

Thursday, January 10, 2008

SELECTIONS- Thurs., Jan. 10, 2008

Race 4: This race appears top heavy with speed, so I'll look for the best finisher, #1-Barney Smith, to run past them all at the wire. He'll have to deal with #7-Coleridge again, who'll probably get the jump on him, and #6-Haventgotmywings, who turns back from CRC mile races and drops in class while never really showing the ability to rate; he's the question mark here.

Wager: $4exa 1/6,7 & 6,7/1

Race 5: Hoping that the Zito/Centeno rail horse takes all kinds of money; I'll take #2-Tri To Dance, who is working well locally and may try to wire them under Montalvo. m/l odds of 5-2 would be acceptable.

Wager: $10win- 2

Race 6: If the #11-Starlet Sky gets in from the AEs she's the one; if not, we'll try #6-Gold N' Velvet, who owns a good local record but not a great closing punch. Must be ridden carefully by Velez; rail-skimming trip behind #5-My Philly would be smart.

Wager: $1tri- 11/1,5,6,8/1,5,6,8 or $1tri- 6/1,5,8/1,5,8

Wager: $1pick3- 1,7/2/1,5,6,8,11 [RACES 4-6]

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Recap for Tues. Jan. 8th-

Satisfying win in the 5th with Premio Maxima at 7-1 off the troubled trip last time; the rest of the day ate up the profits. Misjudged all three turf races badly, and forced a bet on a pick3 where I had no real opinion on even one race, not a smart thing to do.

Meet record: 15/60= 25% Bet: $540.00 Won: $690.00 Profit: $150.00

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SELECTIONS- Tues., Jan. 8, 2008

Race 4: If #6-Silver Eagle is ready off the long layoff, he could upset this weak group at a nice price. 10-1 m/l.

Wager: $2win/place- 6

Race 5: #8-Premio Maxima was pinched back at the start, not perservered with last time; alert break could spell the difference, Morales knows the horse.

Wager: $5win/place- 8

Race 7: #7-Dubai Gold has a local prep (albeit on dirt) for this, couldn't have been more impressive closing from far back to get there in time. Taken to repeat over a gritty field of veteran stakes runners.

Wager: $1tri-7/1,5,6,8/1,5,6,8

Race 8-10: Good sequence for a pick3 stab.

Wager: $1pick3- 3,4,7/3,6,7/1,4,9

Monday, January 7, 2008

Recap for Sun. Jan. 6th-

Could only manage the chalky exacta in the 7th; turf triple in the eighth was easily had ($450+), should have crafted a better wager. Pick3 R6-8 ($133.20) was there for the taking as well. Speed is doing better on the grass, and will only get better 'til it rains again.

Meet record: 14/56= 25% Bet: $487.00 Won: $636.00 Profit: $149.00

Sunday, January 6, 2008

more SELECTIONS- Sun., Jan. 6, 2008

Race 7: #6-Awesome Attitude dueled and prevailed in an impressive performance last out; think they can send to the front, jumping over ahead of #1-Blind River Fox, and outlast the closers.

Wager: $2exa- 6/1,5,7

Race 8: nice Oclm40n3x/4l for f/m on the lawn. #2-Jeux De Danse has enough speed to stay close in this somewhat paceless affair; Velez has been riding confidently on the grass here.

Wager: $1tri- 2/1,3,4,7/1,3,4,7

Race 9: #7-Sister Nan closed for 2nd behind repeating runaway winner Classy And Elusive last out; wheels right back and should have a hot pace to close into.

Wager: $5win/place- 7

SELECTIONS- Sun., Jan. 6, 2008

Race 6: #10-Conchita ships in from CD for Patrick Byrne and Stonerside; troubled trip in debut against better and should report home in time here. #4-Come From Away is the logical threat from Roy Lerman should the top choice falter.

Wager: $1tri- 10/4,7,9,11/4,7,9,11

more to come...

Recap for Sat. Jan. 5th

The pick3 [R4-6] paid a generous $137.80 for a buck, glad I choose to go deep in the final leg. It also helped that the 3-5 favorite was uncontrollably rank and exhausted himself fighting the jockey for the first 4 furlongs. Winner was coming back on seven days' rest and switching to Luis Gonzalez in the irons. His previous race on Dec. 29th, won by the Clement-trained Flying Dismount, may well turn out to be a key race; 2nd & 3rd place finishers Twinbucktu and El Gran Tony should be given extra consideration in their next starts, as they were well clear of the others.

Also caught the modest exacta twice in the fifth. The winner, #1-Ashley and I, not only got jockey Joe Rocco, Jr. off an 0-41 schneid to start the meet, she earned trainer Barbara McBride her 1,000th career victory- and they had to withstand an inquiry, to boot.

In the ninth race, Anglers Reef turned in a dull effort; I'll probably give him another shot if he's turned back to 7F, but he's certainly not the same horse as last season. He's only just turned 5, so I don't think he's on the downside yet; at the same time, he's had front wraps added recently which make you wonder how ouchy he might be.

Meet record: 13/52= 25% Bet: $447.00 Won: $620.00 Profit: $173.00

Saturday, January 5, 2008

SELECTIONS- Sat., Jan. 5, 2008

Race 4: #6-Inca Is Calling drops into a winning spot here, but her career record and late running style make her tough to single, or use on top of vertical bets. Use the #8-Way Out Verdict and the #10-Go Go Diablo as backups.

Race 5: #1-Ashley And I is in great form, loves the track and distance; can she get Joey Rocco off the duck?

Wager: $4exa- 1/4,8 & 4,8/1

Race 6: Wide open MSW on the lawn. #7-Mr. Mischief is the best of those with experience; use the #2-Emperor's Crown (Dale Bennett has been working this one long and steady), the #4-Willsboro Point (Roy Lerman doesn't pop FTSs very often, but this one looks live to me), and the #6-True Blue Fingers (major jock upgrade and back on seven days' rest).

Wager: $1pick3- 6,8,10/1,4,8/2,4,6,7 [RACES 4-6]

Race 9: #2-Anglers Reef had his sprint prep, should be ready to roll here.

Wager: $1tri- 2/3,6,9/3,6,9

Recap for Fri. Jan. 4th

Caught the pick3 in races 3-5; winners pay $4.00, $6.20 & $5.60, full pick pays $109.20 for two faves and a second choice. Amazing, but that is a great example of why I like to play this track.

Meet record: 11/49= 22% Bet: $393.00 Won: $441.80 Profit: $48.80

Friday, January 4, 2008

SELECTIONS- Fri., Jan. 4, 2008

A very inscrutable, uninspiring card, but I'll reluctantly make a couple of low-confidence pick-3 plays.

Race 3-5: In the third, #6-Repent's Gem looks to be the right one off his debut effort, unless a FTS fires. next two legs are crapshoots.

Wager: $1pick3- 6/1,4/6,7

Race 6-8: First and third legs are turf; why not? Let's play the good turf riders here.

Wager: $1pick3- 6,7,11[AE]/3,5/2,6

Recap for Thurs. Jan. 3rd-

Had the turf winner but missed underneath; Full Exertion failed to live up to it's name, running evenly much closer to the pace than normal. Apparently a training race first off the claim. Tab this one back on the stretchout to 7F.

Meet record: 10/47= 21% Bet: $385.00 Won: $387.20 Profit: $2.20

Thursday, January 3, 2008

SELECTIONS- Thurs., Jan. 3, 2008

Race 6: #8-Ten Bolts vans over from Palm Meadows for Rice/Centeno; needs to be ridden with care, not too close to the front. 3-1 m/l is a pipe dream.

Wager: $1tri- 8/1,2,5,6/1,2,5,6

Race 8: #7-Full Exertion turns back in distance off the claim; will be charging down the lane.

Wager: $5win/place- 7

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Interesting South Florida barn notes...

courtesy of Daily Racing Form:

The current leading contender for the 134th Kentucky Derby, War Pass, is among dozens of Derby hopefuls stabled in south Florida, although trainer Nick Zito has said the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner will not necessarily race at Gulfstream while based at the Palm Meadows training center.

Nick Zito, trainer of War Pass, said his star has settled in comfortably and, given ideal circumstances, will have three prep races toward the Derby. Working backward, the Wood Memorial in April would be his final prep, preceded by the March 15 Tampa Bay Derby, preceded by a race either at Tampa or Gulfstream in February. War Pass is scheduled to have his first breeze since his Oct. 27 BC Juvenile victory in the next few days, said Zito.

Among the numerous other 3-year-olds eligible to come to the fore quickly is Tale of Ekati, the Belmont Futurity winner whose trainer, Barclay Tagg, won the Derby with Funny Cide.
Tale of Ekati is training at Palm Meadows because he didn't seem to like the Gulfstream track, Tagg said. For that reason, Tagg is thinking of running Tale of Ekati in Derby preps at Fair Grounds or Tampa Bay Downs.

"Everything is tentative depending on how he does," he said.

Tagg, who brought the New York-bred Funny Cide out of south Florida to upset the 2003 Derby, will have another of his top 3-year-olds in action this weekend when he sends out another New York-bred, Big Truck, as one of the leading candidates in Saturday's seven-furlong Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes.

Like Funny Cide five years earlier, Big Truck began his career beating up on statebreds at 2. He won his maiden by 6 1/2 lengths and the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes by two lengths. After dropping a neck decision as the 1-5 favorite in the one- mile Sleepy Hollow Stakes, Big Truck ventured into open company to conclude his 2-year-old season, finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Remsen following an extremely eventful trip.

"The Remsen is a throw-out," said Tagg. "He had a bad trip every step of the way. The Hutcheson is really coming back a little too soon for him, but there really isn't any other place to run him.

"I wish they had left the Holy Bull where it used to be during the opening month of the meet instead of moving it back near the end. That would have been perfect. The only reason I'm turning him back to seven furlongs is because there's nowhere else to go right now."

Veteran trainer Cam Gambolati managed the unusual feat of losing two closes finishes in stakes four minutes apart last weekend.

Gambolati was at Tampa Bay Downs last Saturday to saddle Run Sully Run for the Inaugural Stakes. With Daniel Centeno up, Run Sully Run was bothered badly at the start of the six-furlong race, then came flying to just miss by a nose.

The Tampa horses had not even returned to be unsaddled when the field was dispatched at Calder for the Pete Axthelm Stakes. Gambolati watched via simulcast as Buffalo Man, with Edgar Prado up, rallied strongly from far back, only to finish a half-length back in second.
"Sully got annihilated coming out of the gate and should have won," said Gambolati, who began his training career in 1978, won the 1985 Kentucky Derby with Spend a Buck, and currently is stabled at the Palm Meadows training center. "Buffalo Man had no excuse other than he just ran out of ground."

For Buffalo Man, the Pete Axthelm defeat comes with a particularly shiny silver lining. He earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in his career turf debut and, considering he was sired by El Prado, would seem to have a terrific future on the grass.

"It really was a great race for him, very encouraging," said Gambolati. "You hate to lose the way we did, but both horses came out of their races great."

Gambolati said both horses likely will run next in Gulfstream stakes, with Buffalo Man headed to the Jan. 27 Appleton and Run Sully Run going in the Feb. 2 Swale.

In the winner's circle...

In the winner's circle...
@ Belmont Park

Student Of The Horse

Student Of The Horse