Tuesday, August 30, 2016
When it comes to summer racing at Saratoga, the best jockeys in the world converge on "The Graveyard of Favorites" to go head-to-head.
In horse-racing, the names Javier Castellano and John Velazquez are usually associated with the best horses, top trainers and meet championships.
Move over, J and J. The brothers Ortiz are gaining on ya.
Irad Ortiz, Jr and Jose Ortiz ride the New York circuit. Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga. They don't stray from it very often. NYRA provides all-year racing and three tracks with three distinct and different makeups.
A look at the jockey standings at Saratoga through Sunday show this:
Irad Ortiz, Jr. 43 wins
Jose Ortiz 41 wins
Javier Castellano 34 wins
John Velazquez 33 wins
The hierarchy is changing.
I did a test Sunday. I decided to bet $2 across the board ($12 a race) on the brothers Ortiz. They gathered five wins, three places and five shows between them. They returned a total of $122.90. Jose didn't ride in three of the races and Irad did not ride in one race. So, I bet $108. I got back a $14.90 profit.
No handicapping, no touts or thought. Just punched the number of the horse in the races they rode across the board.
As handicappers, we look for angles. One I will consider is including both of them in any exactas, trifectas, Pick 3 or Pick 4 wagers I bet.
I will follow the Ortiz's when they leave Saratoga and go back to Belmont. At Aqueduct, too. It would be interesting to see how the results turned out if you put the Ortiz's, Johnny V and Javier in each Pick 3 or 4 wagered.
My guess is you would turn a profit over the course of a meet.
Will we ever see the Ortiz brothers at Churchill other than Derby Week, Breeders Cup or Stephen Foster Day? My guess is probably not very often, if at all, and definitely not on any regualr basis. The jockey colony at CD is pretty strong...with Albarado, Leparoux, Lanerie, Borel, Court, Hernandez, Jr., Geroux and Santana (among others).
Why cross the road when the pasture is fine where you are, right? They have a solid base of New York trainers that they get plenty of mounts from and they do well with them.
A favorite quote of mine is:
"You're cruisin' for a bruisin' if you don't use Asmussen."
Here's a new one:
"For results that please, include the Ortiz."
Sunday, August 28, 2016
archie karel hot streak continues on travers day!
The handicappers took on the All-Stakes Pick 4 at Saratoga on Travers Day yesterday and had mixed results. THEY SUCCESSFULLY PREDICTED THE WINNERS in races 8,9 and 10...but we were all stumped in the 11th. when Bob Baffert lit up the tote board by going first and second with (oddly enough) the #1 and the #2.
ARCHIE KAREL needed a bucket of water (maybe from the Saratoga lake) dumped on him after yesterday because....he was on fire!
With a scratch of Marking in the 10th race...15 of his selections made it out of the starting gate. Out of those, 10 finished on the board. That's a smokin' 66.6%! He provided us with 3 winners, 4 second place runners and 3 show horses. In addition, his picks produced three exactas and two trifectas. One of the trifectas returned $271.00 on a $1 wager/box. If you had done a $1 exacta and $1 trifecta on his picks in the sequence...you would have spent $144 dollars. You would have received $372.35 back. That's not a bad day at all!
Give Mr. "Absolutely" a total of 32 points on the day. As they say in racing terminology...he was "much the best" yesterday. He poses with the real handicapper in the picture to the right....his lovely bride Tina. Bruno was unavailable for the photo...
SCOTT HARRIS...who was at Saratoga and firing away didn't quite have the same success. 15 of his made it around the turn but only five of them made it up on the official results toteboard. 33% for the travelling man.
Scott had three winners, a place and a show. He handed out an exacta and trifecta. He ended up with 17 points.
Scott (pictured left) is either at Woodstock or Saratoga. There is a rumor beverages might have been involved.
PAULIE gave you four horses he thought might win. Two of them did in Flintshire and A.P. Indian. The other two are still out there somewhere...probably at the snack bar or beer tent.
In the overall points race, Archie continues to close the gap. Scott has amassed at total of 305 points. Archie is now at 292. Scott may need to go to the whip because Archie is gaining on the outside.
YOU CAN HEAR YESTERDAY'S BROADCAST IN IT'S ENTIRETY AT THE LINK BELOW:
We don't know if Scott made a trip in the Travers canoe or not while he was in Saratoga Springs...but it's pretty clear that Archie sunk his boat yesterday...
Saturday, August 27, 2016
The boys are taking on Travers Day at Saratoga and are tossing some bombs out there! They'll try to take down the PICK 4 starting in race 8.
SCOTT HARRIS: Lighting the fuse and trying to sink the canoe
RACE 8 -- Kings Bishop G1 7 furlongs
(13) DREFONG gets the nod here. Has won three in a row. Mike Smith and Bob Baffert. (2) FISH TRAPPE ROAD beat a few of these in the Dwyer at Belmont. Must respect. (12) TOM'S READY. This veteran closer will be flying. Will he run out of track? (3) SUMMER REVOLUTION. Two for two lifetime. Today is the test. Castellano on board for the first time
RACE 9 -- The Forego G1 7 Furlongs
(11) A.P. INDIAN looks the best. Has won last three. (1) CATALINA RED chased A.P. Indian home last time. Will probably do the same today. (3) LIMOUSINE LIBERAL has had "seconditis" last two times out. (12) MARKING was only a head behind A.P. Indian in the Belmont Sprint. Can he turn the tables today?
RACE 10 -- SWORD DANCER G1 1 1/2 MILES (TURF)
(6) FLINTSHIRE might be the best bet of the day. No price likely, though. (1) GRAND TITO has chased Flintshire home in the last two. Will probably so the same today. (2) MONEY MULTIPLIER another Chad Brown entry that has been first or second last four times out. (4) TWILIGHT ECLIPSE rounds out a field all chasing the top pick.
RACE 11 -- THE TRAVERS G1 1-1/4 MILES
(8) DESTIN keeps getting close. Castellano stays on board for Pletcher. (12) CREATOR has run against a few of these. Needs to return to Belmont Stakes form. (7) EXAGGERATOR took the Haskell. Can he capture the Canoe today? (4) GOVERNOR MALIBU closed well here in the Jim Dandy. Should like the extra distance.
ARCHIE KAREL mixing up the medicine in the basement. Look out above!
(3) SUMMER REVOLUTION
(1) ECONOMIC MODEL
(9) JAZZY TIMES
(11) A.P. INDIAN
(1) CATALINA RED
(8) STALLWALKIN' DUDE
(2) MONEY MULTIPLIER
(4) TWILIGHT ECLIPSE
(9) GIFT BOX
(2) AMERICAN FREEDOM
(14) GUN RUNNER
PAULIE GIVES YOU HIS (4) WINNERS:
RACE 8 -- (6) MOHAYMEN
RACE 9 -- A.P. INDIAN
RACE 10 -- (6) FLINTSHIRE
RACE 11 -- (9) GIFT BOX
There you have it. Listen to the broadcast today at noon on Crescent Hill Radio! WCHQ 100.9 FM or at the Internet link below!
Sunday, August 21, 2016
The Handicappers took on the Saratoga/Del Mar All-Stakes Pick 4 and had some great success.
ARCHIE KAREL gave us sixteen horses to consider. Of those, nine hit the board. 56% success. He had (4) winners, (3) second places and (2) shows. In addition, he penciled in three exactas, two trifectas and hit the All Stakes Pick 4.
We give him 32 points on the day. A profitable day for the breadmeister!
SCOTT HARRIS provided 16 horses as well. He also had nine get paid for that 56% success rate. Scott also gave out two exactas, two trifectas and narrow missed the All Stakes Pick 4.
He ends with 28 points for Saturday's wagering.
PAULIE picked out a horse each race he thought might win. He went 2 for 4. He did combine with Scott and then again Archie to hit the late Pick 4 at Saratoga twice. He is fully convinced that California Chrome proved yesterday that he's the best of the best.
In the overall points standings...Scott remains in the lead, although The Arch has been closing the gap. Scott - 288. Archie 260.
To hear the rebroadcast, go to the link below:
Saturday, August 20, 2016
The Handicappers take on the Del Mar/Saratoga All-Stakes Pick Four today! The first race should get underway around 5:40 this afternoon and features three Grade 1 races and one Grade 2.
SCOTT HARRIS SELECTIONS
RACE 9 -- SARATOGA -- THE FOURSTARDAVE G1 1 MILE TURF $500,000
Scott sees (6) RING WEEKEND has the one to beat here. He ships in from Pimlico where he just lost by a nose to TAKEOVER TARGET last time out...who also runs here. (4) FORCE THE PASS has never finished out of the money in 11 lifetime starts and has four career wins...all on the turf. (2) GRAND ARCH has a new trainer in Brian Lynch but won this race last year. Luis Saez stays on board. (7) A LOT has a dangerous closing style that could work well at Saratoga.
RACE 10 -- SARATOGA -- THE ALABAMA G1 MILE AND A QUARTER $600,000
They'll all be chasing (6) SONGBIRD today...who has never been defeated in nine lifetime starts. she'll be singing pretty with Mike Smith on board. (5) FAMILY TREE would be the pick in this race if Songbird would scratch..she won both the Indiana and Iowa Oaks in her last two outings. (1) DARK NILE will present a huge price and is a live longshot...four wins in five career starts. (3) GOING FOR BROKE has been a closer in the past but has never gone this far.
RACE 8 -- DEL MAR -- THE DEL MAR HANDICAP G2 1 3/8 MILES TURF $250,000
(7) FLAMBOYANT Is a deep clsoer that should really like today's distance and Flavian Prat returns (6) EXPRESS HIMSELF debuts on American turf after success in England and Victor Espinoza rides for John Sadler. (8) ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR actually finished ahead of Falmboyant in the G2 EdRead and can't be counted out. (2) QUICK CASABLANCA is another that will close well in the stretch.
RACE 9 -- DEL MAR -- THE PACIFIC CLASSIC G1 1 1/4 MILES $1,000,000
(1) CALIFORNIA CHROME looks to be running better than ever and should get the favorite's nod in this tough, tough race. (7) BEHOLDER had won nine in a row before falling just short last time out in the CL Hirsch and promises to make it difficult for "Chromie". (5) WIN THIS SPACE could present some value today. He chased "Chromie" and Dortmund home last time. (8) DORTMUNDwas a half-length behind "Chromie" in the San Diego Handicap after lead most of the way. Bob Baffert switches to Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.
ARCHIE KAREL SELECTIONS
RACE 9 -- SARATOGA
(2) GRAND ARCH
(6) RING WEEKEND
(7) A LOT
RACE 10 -- SARATOGA
(2) WEEP NO MORE
(4) GO MAGGIE GO
(5) FAMILY TREE
( Archie also recommends you put (7) FLORA DORA in exotics and multiple race wagers.)
RACE 8 -- DEL MAR
(2) QUICK CASABLANCA
RACE 9 -- DEL MAR
(1) CALIFORNIA CHROME
(5) WIN THE SPACE
PAULIE'S four winners for the day
SARATOGA 9 -- (8) TOURIST
SARATOGA 10 -- (6) SONGBIRD
DEL MAR 8 -- (6) EXPRESS HIMSELF
DEL MAR 9 -- (8) DORTMUND
( BE SURE TO LISTEN TO THE REPLAY OF TODAY'S SHOW! LINK BELOW
HANDICAPPING HEROES 8/20/16 REPLAY
Friday, August 19, 2016
THE RAILMASTER IS BACK
When Calvin Borel retired from racing back in March, one wondered who would replace him as the "king of the rail" at Churchill Downs for the Spring Meet.
Several riders did have success taking the "shortest route". Brian Hernandez, Jr. got quite good at it. Corey Lanerie won his share of races by flirting with the fence. Sneaky Robby Albarado was a guard rail rider at times.
But none of them compared with the original. Calvin Bo-Rail.
Borel has come out of retirement, is back in Kentucky and will debut at Ellis Park on Saturday, Aug 27th...riding a promising two-year old for trainer Buff Bradley. It was Bradley who helped encourage Calvin to go to the starting gate again.
One thing that is amazing about jockeys is the amount of bones thaat get broken during their careers. Borel has had 47. Imagine an NFL linebacker or power forward in the NBA with that total. You'd see the word "retired" next to their name. Borel, though, still has the desire, the drive and the taste for putting on the silks and hitting the paddock.
He'll tell you:
"Instead of messing around, if I'm going to do it...I need to do it now. The two year olds are coming. The First Saturday in May is getting closer. You need to do what you're going to do, to make up your mind. If you're going to ride, you might as well ride and be happy."
It worked for Gary Stevens. David Flores came back to the game. Be very sure of one thing. No one knows the oval that is Churchill Downs better than Calvin except possibly for the retired and legendary Pat Day.
The average length of a horse is about eight feet. If the shortest distance around a track is on the rail and races are often won by mere inches, noses and necks...why not give those eight feet the shortest route? It's true...sometimes rail conditions on a track might not be as good as the "three path" or on the outside. A jockey knows before the race, but it's a fact...if a horse has to "swing wide" in the stretch...they can often lose a length or two off their momentum. That's 16 feet. If you give two track and field sprinters of similar skills a distance of 40 yards to run and "spot" one of them almost five yards...who do you think will win?
The question is...will there be mounts for him? The argument for that is...if you're a trainer that is looking for a jock that knows the surface, knows the in's and out's of race riding and has absolutely no fear...you give him a leg up. Especially at Churchill this fall.
And if he gets to the rail...look out.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
The Handicappers focus their skills on the late pick 4 at Arlington Race Course today. It's a huge card...with a Grade 3 and three Grade 1 races from races 6 through 9.
Race 6 -- The American St. Leger -- 1-11/16 miles. TURF $300,000 G3
Scott likes (5) Da Big Hoss as his top pick here. Winner of two in a row for Michael Maker. (10) Billabong has been all over Europe and the Middle East and picks up Flavian Prat for his America debut. (9) Messi should have no problem with the odd distance. The class is there but can he close in time? (11) O'Prado Ole has a good second on the Arlington turf last out and Corey Lanerie rides for Dale Romans.
Race 7 -- The Secretariat -- 1-1/4 miles. TURF $450,000 G1
(8) Long Island Sound comes off the Belmont Derby...where his sixth place finish wasn't that bad. He was flying at the end. (2) American Patriot has won his last two but the rider change from J. Ortiz to William Buick raises a question. (6) Oscar Nominated ran in the Kentucky Derby and has improved since then. (9) Beach Patrol actually beat Long Island Sound in the Belmont Dery and shouldn't be ignored.
Race 8 -- Beverly D -- 1-3/16 miles. TURF $700,000 G1
(13) Sea Calisi will be the betting favorite here and has a first and second in two American starts. Chad Brown has this one ready to roll. (12) Faufiler won the G3 Modesty last out at Arlington at this same distance and Jose Valdivia returns to ride. Watch out. (2) Al's Gal will draw no respect from the bettors but could score at huge odds. (1) Ballydoyle was a champion in Europe and looks to improve in his second American start.
Race 9 -- The Arlington Million -- 1-1/4 miles. TURF $1,000,000 G1
(13) Deauville gets Scott's nod in a highly competitive affair. He won the Belmont derby last time out and Aidan O'Brien knows how to get them ready for the big ones. (7) Take The Stand ships in from New Orleans where he won the Muniz Memorial Handicap. Edgar Prado stay on board for Bill Mott. (11) World Approval has never looked better according to trainer Mark Casse and Florent Geroux won on board last time out at Belmont with him. (5) The Pizza Man is the class of these but may be on a downward cycle. He still must be respected though...especially with Mike Smith on board.
Race 6 -- (5) Da Big Hoss (8) Clondaw Warrior (11) O'Prado Ole (1) Generous Kitten
Race 7 -- (2) American Patriot (9) Beach Patrol (7) Surgical Strike (1) Cherry Wine (8) Long Island Sound
Race 8 -- (12) Faufiler (13) Sea Calisi (6) Coolmore (2) Al's Gal (9) Zipessa
Race 9 -- (11) World Approval (12) Tryster (7) Take The Stand (13) Deauville
I can't argue with the handicappers picks for the most part. I do like (10) Wake Forest in the ninth (2) Al's Gal in the eighth, (1) Cherry Wine in the seventh and (1) Generous Kitten in the sixth
Be sure to catch Handicapping Heroes today at noon on Crescent Hill Radio! Link below
Friday, August 12, 2016
WE told you yesterday about LOUISVILLE FIRST running in the ninth at Saratoga. That she did but fell just short, coming in second by a neck.
It was a different running style for the George Weaver horse yesterday. she went directly to the lead and looked like she had a legitimate shot to win with a furlong to go. Unfortunately, an 8-1 shot named Free N Clear rolled up on the outside and caught her a couple of jumps from the wire.
We ended up getting 5/2 odds on LOUISVILLE FIRST. I backed up my win wager on her with an equal amount of place and show wagers. She paid $4.10 to place and 3.00 to show...so the $2 across the board returned $7.10....a profit of $1.10 on each $6 spent.
A little more profitable was the exacta box/wheel...where I put her on top with all the seven other horses below her and wheeled it back with her in second and all the others on top. That cost $14 for the $1 dollar gimmick and returned $35.25.
Close but no cigar. Maybe the mile was a bit too far? Why the front running style yesterday? We'll be watching her next time out...
Thursday, August 11, 2016
PITINO OWNED HORSE FACES SIX IN NEW YORK STALLION SERIES
Rarely do my two websites cross...but LOUISVILLE FIRST...a Rick Pitino owned, George Weaver trained horse and also the name of the radio show Paulie is on the air with on Tuesdays to promote women's sports and CARDINAL COUPLE runs today at Saratoga in the 9th. race.
Listed at 7/2 morning line odds, LOUISVILLE FIRST comes into the race after winning a $100,000 stakes race at Belmont on June 26th. The horse has won two of her seven of her lifetime starts and the three yr. old filly gets up and coming jockey Eric Cancel in the saddle.
She'll have her work cut out for her. Highway Star ( a great Deep Purple song) and Frosty Margarita ( a good drink this time of year) have early speed and Louisville First uses a closing style in most of her races...so she'll have to catch these two. The turf is firm at Saratoga today and Louisville First has been third and first in her last two...after switching from the dirt to grass.
I'll take 7/2 if I can get it. The stretch from 7 furlongs to a mile for her should only help her chances.
GO CARDS! Come in first, Louisville First.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
The Handicappers had some successes in their prognostications for Saturday's last four at Saratoga yesterday. Although none of us saw a 55-1 shot in Paola Queen winning the 8th race...the guys gave us a combined two winners and a couple of exactas.
ARCHIE KAREL led the way this week. Out of his sixteen selections, seven made money...which is a solid 44%. He had two winners, three second place finishes and two show selections...plus two exactas for a total of 18 points. Two across the board on his picks would have cost $96 and returned $57.80.
SCOTT HARRIS had a bit of an "off" week. He had a scratch in his picks, so only 15 of his broke from the gate. Unfortunately only five made money. 33% for him. Two winners, a place and two shows. Add in an exacta and he finished with 12 points. His $90 would have paid back $38.80.
PAULIE composed a fictitious 50 cent pk 4 ticket that he didn't bother to bet. The All/3,6/4,6/All... would have cost $144. It paid $2250 on the 50 cent. Kicking myself around the living room...
In the overall points standing, Archie closed the gap a little on Scott...238 - 196.
LINK for the rebroadcast: HANDICAPPING HEROES AUG 6th
Saturday, August 6, 2016
The Handicappers have studied the last four races at SARATOGA for today's selections and have come up with some very interesting picks!
RACE 8 -- 7 FURLONGS -- THE TEST (G3) $500,000
(3) Kareena gets the nod in this highly competitive bunch. Javier Castellano teaming up with trainer Chad Brown is always a combination to keep an eye on. (7) Off The Tracks will draw a lot of betting interest and has wins over several of these. (5) Lighthouse could pick up the pieces if these top two fail and (6) Lewis Bay, destroyed by Off The Tracks last time out, can run better...the question is will she today?
RACE 9 -- 1 1/2 MILES -- THE WAYA (G3) $200,000
(4) Real Smart gets Johnny V. in the saddle. He could wire these at a nice price. (6) Guapaza should end up the betting favorite and is probably the horse to beat based on her last. (8) Al's Gal can compete with these and might reward you quite handsomely if she scores. (9) Trophee could round out the trifecta if she's "on" today.
RACE 10 -- 1 1/8 MILES -- THE WHITNEY (G1) $1,250,000
In what looks to be a two-horse race, Scott gives us (6) Effinex over (4) Frosted. Both are certainly capable of winning big...Frosted looked other-worldly in the Suburban but Effinex can run like a superstar when he's right. Picking up the minor awards per Scott will be (5) Noble Bird and (2) Comfort. Six very talented horses go here...but Effinex and Frosted appear to be a notch above the rest.
RACE 11 -- 1 MILE -- DE LA ROSA STAKES $100,000 (TURF)
They head to the grass for the final at Saratoga and Scott selected a definite longshot in (8)
Akatea. this Ireland-bred lady dead heated for first in an optional claiming race last time out and Joel Rosario returns to ride for Christopher Clement. (1) Roca Rojo is another Irish bred who looked good in an optional claiming affair at Belmont with Johnny V. in the saddle and returns to ride for Chad Brown. (10) Zindaya will likely be the favorite and Javier Castellano returns for Chad Brown's other entry in this race. (9) Robillard is another optional claiming winner from Belmont and could challenge for a minor reward.
ARCHIE KAREL SELECTIONS
RACE 8 -- (6) Lewis Bay (5) Lightstream (3) Kareena (8) Kinsley Kisses
RACE 9 -- (3) Suffused (6) Guapaza (1) Photo Call (4) Real Smart
RACE 10 -- (4) Frosted (6) Effinex (2) Comfort (5) Noble Bird
RACE 11 -- (1) Roca Rojo (3) Stormy Victoria (9) Robillard (10) Zindaya
Catch today's broadcast at noon on WCHQ 100.9 FM and live on the Internet at www.crescenthillradio.com