She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Results from Churchill 9th on June 29th

Centella broke slow and unhurried from the gate and settled into last place of eight  runners after a furlong in the six furlong race. Way back as they reached the turn, she was angled to the rail by jockey Corey Lanerie and made some progress in passing tiring horses but finished sixth...14 1/2 lengths back of the winner.

Allowance company can be tough when facing it the first time. Centella went off at odds of 5-1 but was no match for the top four finishers.

It will be interesting to see the next move Angel Montano, Sr. makes with the horse. Ellis Park? A rest until Churchill's September meet? Arlington or either of the Indiana tracks?

One thing for sure...there was nothing there today.

It was a good spring Churchill meet for Paulie, though. Did some tracking through, my wagering venue of choice when I am not at Churchill.

Showed a profit of $812.00 on races bet at Churchill.

That's not counting the money won at the track. I estimate another $1800 there in profit.

Summer brings Saratoga and the best racing in the states. I got beat up pretty good in handicapping there in 2013.

Hope springs eternal, though and I'm anxious to implement the recent handicapping/wagering strategy I've been using on the upstate New York track. It did pretty well at Belmont and I also showed a profit at Keeneland this spring when I first started using it.

They're at the post!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Centella runs on Sunday

CARDINAL COUPLE associate Jenny O'Bryan's horse Centella is entered in the 9th race at Churchill Downs on Sunday.

She was much the best against claiming company over seven furlongs back on June 19th. How good? Click the link below and see:


The "grey" shortens up Sunday...going six furlongs...but moves up to allowance company. This is a good thing because no one can "claim" or buy the horse away from the ownership group.

But...the competition is tougher in the allowance ranks.

Former owner and trainer Keith Beisler advises:

"When you move one up the ladder after an impressive win, the betting public tends to go a little nuts on your horse in wagering. People looking for an angle. The horse is certainly in capable hands with Lanerie in the saddle and Angel Montano training. After reviewing Centella's latest...the fractions weren't hurried and if she can get the same trip as last out...I really like her chances to return to the winners circle. I'll also watch the toteboard and see what the best way is to make a nice profit on her. Exotics could come into play here....sometimes I'll take a horse like her, single her in a PK3 or PK 4 and go heavy in the other legs. It's a high risk/high reward scenario...but if she wins and you catch some nice prices in the other could be a sweet payday."

Her fractional times last time out were leisurely. 23.68 for the quarter, 47.47 after the half, six furlongs in 1:12.68 and a finish of 1:25

We'll be watching Sunday and hoping Centella can get her picture taken again in the winners' circle. From $30,000 claiming to $52,000 allowance company is a bold leap forward....but Sunday's card is traditionally weak and it could be a great spot for her.

Good luck, Centella...Jenny (and Paulie)...who hopes to make another big score on her like he did on the 19th.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Steve Coburn --- Good or bad for horse racing?

When people look back on the running of the 2014 Belmont Stakes, it may be the owner of a horse that lost they remember instead of the winner.

Steve Coburn has had his 15 minutes of fame...and then some...and got it in a bizarre fashion.

His three-year old CALIFORNIA CHROME won the Kentucky Derby. Pretty easily. Dumb Ass Partners (quite an appropriate name for the ownership group) took the horse to Maryland to compete in the Preakness...the second leg of horse racing's triple crown. While there, Steve used the bully pulpit to slam Churchill Downs' supposed lack of coddling for him and his entourage.

Wah, wah, wah.

They won the Preakness and off to the Big Apple and Elmont, New York for the Belmont Stakes. What would the cranky old man do next?

Ol' Chrome didn't shine too brightly in the Belmont Stakes...finishing in a tie for fourth place. The media descended upon Steve and he used the venue to once again become the bitter, old whiner. The gospel according to Coburn:

-The owners of Tonalist...winner of the Belmont were cheaters for not running in all three legs of racing's triple crown.

-The system is broke and it needs fixing. Sweeping changes are needed in the Triple Crown format.

-His horse having to compete against fresher horses was like a wheelchair victim playing basketball against a 6'2" athlete.

...Shut up, grandpa...

You lost the triple crown. That does not make you unique. Ironically, your whiny, finger-pointing rant did bring a lot of attention to the Triple Crown, the race and horse racing in general.

But, you...sir...are an ass.

Apologies 48 hours after the rant don't cut it. Sack up and take it like a man. You competed, you lost. Show a little class.

The future of California Chrome? Early indications are that the horse will remain out on the left coast and race out there. That means a possible Breeders Cup entry this fall. Sure, the horse clipped heels coming out of the gate and got a cut on his leg. That's equivalent to Shoni Schimmel getting a scratch in a game from an opposing player. You put a band-aid on it and play on.

The future of Steve Coburn? Chasing kids off of his lawn. Criticizing kids for spilling milk. Arguing with servers at the early bird, senior citizen discount at Ryan's Steak House. Gout, incontinence and flatulence. AARP discounts and references to his resemblance to Wilford Brimley.

The owners, trainer and jockey of Tonalist deserved that spotlight. Joel Rosario is one of the best riders in the world. He was virtually ignored. The grumpy old man stumbled in front of it and refused to leave.

Steve Coburn is bad for horse racing. A poor sport who has no idea what the terms 'gracious in defeat' and 'congratulory' mean. It wouldn't bother me at all if he slunk into the shadows and kept his mouth shut. In fact, I encourage it.

No one likes a party-pooper... 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Belmont Stakes Day

The quest for Triple Crown supremacy lies in front of California Chrome in the form of a long. grueling Belmont home stretch. 

I think he'll get the job done.

But I'm throwing in some longshot possibilities just in case he doesn't. Favorites and Belmont Stakes are two things that don't mesh well. 

Here's the two plays I'll make today for Bemont Stakes wagering:


I'm going with a trifecta wheel (50 cent variety).


Cost:  $40

1 is Medal Count 2 is California Chrome. 4 is Commanding Curve. 5 is Ride On Curlin. 8 is Commissioner. 9 is Wicked Strong. 11 is Tonalist.


Three plays here:

2 with all wheel  $1 variety. 
Cost: $10

All with 2 wheel  $1 variety
Cost: $10

Exacta box 2,4,5,8  $1 variety
Cost $12

I'll also try a late Pick 4 that will conclude with the Belmont. Those
numbers are. ( 50 cent variety)

Leg 1:  6, 9,10
Leg 2:  1, 4, 9, 13
Leg 3:  1, 5, 6, 9
Leg 4:  2, 4, 5, 8

Cost $96

If you feel real good about California Chrome's chances...then Leg 4 could be reduced to #2. That would only cost $24.

I'll spend the extra to see if I can get a huge price on a upset. 

Good luck, wager responsibly and have fun! 



11 - Tonalist  10.20   4.80   3.50
8   - Commisioner     11.60  6.60
1   - Medal Count                6.60

$1 exacta  11/8   174.00
.50 trifecta 11/8/1  1695.00
.50 pick 4  5/1,6/8/11   425.25

(Oh well, took a bath on these. A $168 loser. Just didn't give Tonalist enough respect. I will point out, though...that on track...I was part of a 5 person /.50 trifecta wheel where we spent $20 each and got back $339 each on the Belmont Stakes. That did help me come out way ahead for the day.)



Thursday, June 5, 2014

California Chrome gets good post position for Belmont

It looks like the Belmont Stakes is setting up nicely for California Chrome. A decent post position draw from the #2 gate, a less than impressive field of 10 competitors and favorable weather predicted for the Saturday final leg of the Triple Crown. 

The Belmont can be a cruel mistress, though. The long stretch to finish the race is a demanding test to win the 1 1/2 mile contest. Someone loves him, though...he has opening odds of 3/5. Bet a Lincoln on him, get it and three Washington's back if he wins. $50 will get you $80.

If he stays there. I've heard tell of a 1/5 potential when they leave the gate at 6:30 p.m.

We'll look at a few of the horses entered that will try to ruin CC's bid to be the first triple crown winner in 35 years.

Tonalist (8-1) It's his first Triple Crown event but he won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in convincing fashion and is bred to go every step of the 1 1/2 mile race. Four career starts could be a hindrance...the track will not...he loves Belmont.

Wicked Strong (6-1) He did win the Wood Memorial in New York earlier this spring and ran fourth in the Derby...six lengths back of CC. He's been rested since, thrilled the clockers with his workouts so far at Belmont and is a closer.
In a perfect race, he'll lay back, move on the final turn and try to catch the front runners in the stretch. 

Commanding Curve (15-1) Runner up to CC in the Derby and was closing late. He skipped the Preakness also, so he has five weeks of rest under his saddle and will be another that will let the pacesetters tire and fire late. He was 1-3/4 lengths back of CC in the Derby. One to watch...with the added distance and rest factor involved.

Ride on Curlin (12-1) Finished second to CC in the Preakness. His trainer seems to think the Belmont distance is ideal for this late runner and he was making up ground at the end of the Preakness. He tried the Derby whether fatigue will be a factor remains to be seen. 

These four and CC will figure into my betting strategy for the Belmont. We'll try to make a profit by placing them strategically in a few exacta and trifecta boxes. How deep I'll use all five in any Pick 3 or 4 wagers will depend on what the other races in the sequence look like.  

Do I have a longshot? Whaddya think the other 10 running against CC are? I will say that I was a big fan of Commissioner early in his career and he has disappointed. Redemption time? Possible...but not very likely. He does get Javier Castellano aboard, of my five favorite jockeys currently. 

Who are the other four? Brian Hernandez. Jr., Rosie Napravnik, Corey Lanerie and Joe Talamo. Only Rosie...out of the four listed riding in the Belmont. Her horse is General A Rod. Love Rosie, I do...but don't think her horse has a chance at all. 

I'll try to update some betting strategies Saturday morning.

The rest of the field is listed below.  

The Belmont Draw

1Medal CountRobbie AlbaradoDale Romans20-1
2California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman3-5
3MatterhornJoe BravoTodd Pletcher30-1
4Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart15-1
5Ride On CurlinJohn VelazquezBilly Gowan12-1
6MatuszakMike SmithBill Mott30-1
7SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette20-1
8CommissionerJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher20-1
9Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJimmy Jerkens6-1
10General a RodRosie NapravnikMike Maker20-1
11TonalistJoel RosarioChristophe Clement8-1

Purse $1.5 million
Medal Count
California Chrome
Commanding Curve
Ride On Curlin
Wicked Strong
General a Rod