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

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

Friday, May 20, 2016

Preakness Views

With messy weather scheduled for Baltimore today and possibly Saturday, it could add a whole new dimension to the running of the Preakness States. That being, of course, EXAGGERATOR'S penchant for running well in the slop.

Even if it's dry, I still think Exaggerator has a good chance in the second leg of the Triple Crown. NYQUIST is still the one to beat, naturally...but don't count out the Desemoroux brothers. 

I'll take a chance on STRADIVARDI and AWESOME SPEED battling for third and look at a small superfecta with those two in third followed by "all"....putting Exaggerator and Nyquist in the first and second slots. In case it all breaks down, I will use these four in any Pick 3 or Pick 4 ventures. It could be costly, but sometimes you need to spend big money to make big money. 

The card on Preakness Day looks good at Pimlico and the Friday card isn't that bad either. The Black Eyed Susan is interesting with GO MAGGIE GO my top pick there. Dothraki Queen and Land Over Sea will also be in my pick 3, 4 and five.

Let's try this today. A PK 3 starting in race nine with the 1,4,5,6 in that race, the 1,4,5,6 again in the 10th. race and 2,3 5 in the Black Eyed Susan. We'll do it for a $1 and it'll cost us $48. 

I'll also place a BLACK EYED SUSAN/PREAKNESS DAILY DOUBLE with Go Maggie Go, Dothraki Queen and Land Over Sea over Nyquist, Exaggerator, Stradavardi and Awesome Speed.

Good luck and wager responsibly.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Preakness...What will we see?

With Nyquist showing that the favorites role in the Kentucky Derby was well deserved, he goes on to Maryland and Pimlico to pursue the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Who will he find there in the gate with him? The field will be set Wednesday...let's take a look at a few possible challengers.

EXAGGERATOR. Why not? He was closing on Nyquist down the stretch in the Derby and had to overcome some significant traffic problems on the turn. Nyquist got a clean trip. Even though he can't seem to beat him, he's getting closer and it makes sense to try him again in a shorter field.

GUN RUNNER. We won't know for sure until Wednesday whether Steve Asmussen will take the 'Runner' to the gate. More early speed would be needed and the ability to hang with Nyquist in the final eighth...the horse is certainly capable of both.

COLLECTED. He's out of Baffert's barn and won the Lexington at Keenland and in Sunland's Festival of Racing. A new challenge but one that seems within the realm of possibility. He'll hang close to the pace and then make a move with a couple of furlongs left. If Javier Castellano climbs on board again, don't rule him out. 

STRADIVARI. From the Todd Pletcher barn, this three year old made a huge impression winning in allowance company at Keeneland by 14 1/2 lengths. They may just have to come catch him if he gets in the gate at Pimlico. 

AWESOME SPEED. He's a big fan of the Pimlico track, having won the Federico Tesio a couple of weeks back and his name describes his running style. He also doesn't like to get the Federico stretch run indicates. He's a "wise guy" favorite and "horse for the course" consideration. 

These are five that have a shot at knocking off the Derby my opinion...but they'd need to run their career bests to do so. Nyquist is still undefeated and the general consensus is that the battle this Saturday will be for second place.

It's horseracing. We'll see...but if the field goes as planned....I think you can rank them in order like this.


LONGSHOT SPECIAL -- STRADIVARI. He's won his last two by a total of 26 lengths and just seems to glide effortlessly to the lead after following the pace for a mile or so. If Johnny Velasquez stays onboard, the fact that this one has only had three career starts won't matter...I'll figure him into all the exotics and could place a few dollars on him across the board as well. 


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kentucky Derby Selections

142nd running of the Kentucky Derby

To start with, we hope you followed out picks yesterday for the OAKS. We handicapped six stakes races and had the winner in all six! We hit exactas, trifectas, superfectas and four Pick Threes, two Pick Fours and the late Pick Five. We pretty much made it rain up in there. 

It was a phenomenal day. Whether we can duplicate that or not remains to be seen, but we'll try in the seven stakes races today. 

Race Six -- Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

(1) TEPIN is the pick here. May be the best pick of the day. (4) ISABELLA SINGS will try her best to pull the upset. (3) CASH CONTROL likes this mile distance and Churchill. (9) RAINHA DA BATERIA has lost to Tepin and Cash Control several times but switches riders today to Javier Castaellano. A longshot at best.


Race Seven -- The Churchill Downs

(8) SALUTOS AMIGOS has a closing style very well suited for Churchill and should be flying down the stretch. (3) CALCULATOR will be coming with him and might just get past him today...they finished 1-2 in New York in April (6) SPEIGHTSTER looks to be the early speed and wll try to steal it up front. (7) HOLY BOSS will contest the early pace also and Ricardo Santana gets back on board for Steve Asmussen.


Race Eight -- The Humana Distaff

(8) TARIS invades from the west coast and her off-the-pace running style and Flavian Prat back on the top might work today. (2) STONETASTIC will offer the early speed and they all may be chasing her and Paco Lopez from start to the wire. (9) BIRDATTHEWIRE and (10) WAVELL AVENUE come in from Keeneland out of very good Grade 1 Madison efforts. They both get jockey changes and neither would be a surprise in the winners circle.

SELECTIONS: 8-2-9-10 

Race Nine -- The American Turf

(1) AIROFORCE returns to the turf, where he excels, and get Julian Leparoux to pilot. (8) SHAKHIMAT will be the speed here and looked good in the Transylvania at Keeneland (6) JR'S HOLIDAY ran behind Shakhimat there and his best will get him a shot again today. (11) DRESSED IN HERMES is a late closer and veteran Mike Smith has won twice on this gelding. 


Race 10 -- The Pat Day Mile

(6) SHARP AZTECA might get us a good price today. Last two races were impressive and he's been working great at Churchill. (9) FELLOWSHIP has been chasing Derby runners Nyquist and Mohaymen since January in Derby perp races and could fire today without those two around in this one. (10) COCKED AND LOADED will be the speed and did win the Iroquois at Churchill last fall. (3) TORRONTES closes well and might benefit from early speed. 


Race 11 -- Woodford Reserve Turf Classic

(3) BOLO ran in the Derby here last year (not so well) but had made great improvement since. He'll try to stay close warly and pass tiring leaders. (2) CHOCOLATE RIDE will try to go wire-to-wire and gets Castellano on biard today. (12) BIG BLUE KITTEN has been off since finishing third in the Breeders Cup Turf last fall but has been working well and has won on the Churchill turf. (10) TOURIST gets Florent Geroux on and is a another that will get up front and try to steal it. (Note) I also like (6) SLUMBER but worry about the shorter distance than he's used to. 

Selections: 3-2-12-10-6

Race 12 -- The Kentucky Derby

I've discussed my final five here at the site and the final picks are: 

(11) EXAGGERATOR - Still love the the closing style
(3) CREATOR - Also closes well
(13) NYQUIST - Will probably be leading in the stretch
(5) GUN RUNNER - Will contend the pace. Late? 
(19) BRODY'S CAUSE - Closed well at Keeneland.

Selections 11-3-13-5-19

Good luck and HAPPY DERBY! (These picks are for entertainment purposes only and make no guaranteed financial success claims. -- WE DID KICK BUTT YESTERDAY, THOUGH -- Wager responsibly.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Kentucky OAKS selections...FRIDAY

We had an OK day with Thurby in our selections after a rough start. Hitting the final Pk 4 made it a profitable one...and Silvertoni...a horse we recommended that needed watching came through in fine fashion to finish first in the 10th race. We had to go some scrambling after a few scratches...but ended the day ahead. 

Onto the OAKS! 

With six stakes races today...there's a great chance to make some nice money and we'll try to get you there. Sonja and I have put our heads together and (after recovering from the severe head bump) come up with some suggestions. 


RACE 6 -- The La Troienne Grade I

These fillies try a 1 1/16th and (2) Sheer Drama figures to beat the one to beat. She loves Churchill and Joe Bravo certainly knows how to ride her. (1) Curalina is a personal favorite of mine and this Todd Pletcher filly gets Johnny V. back on board. (4) Brooklynsway should be available at a nice price and if the rider change to Robby Albarado continues to be successful...she has a chance. She looked excellent at Keeneland in April. (5) Penwith has won two out of her last three and Kieran McLaughlin certainly knows how to get them ready.

Selections: 2-1-4-5

RACE 7 -- The Eight Belles Grade 2

(5) Carina Mia will get a lot of play and be a short price. She's won at Churchill and got nailed late at Keeneland by two horses that I Iike a lot in the Kentucky Oaks. I think the Asmussen runners (7) Stageplay and (8) Nickname have a great chance at upsetting her and (6) Blip n' Th Bye looks like she finally "gets" it and could surprise at a very nice price for Al Stall and Francis Geroux.

Selections: 8-5-7-6

RACE 8 -- The Twin Spires Turf Sprint. Grade 3

(12) Guns Loaded has won four out of her last five and Doug O'Neill goes with Mario Gutierrez today instead of Raphael Bejarano. I'm baffled but still like her to win.(7) Hootenanny won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies race back in October and hasn't done anything to make me think she can't win again today...tough to pick between the two. (1) Power Alert grabs the rail and likes to play "come catch me". With Julian Leparoux on board...they may have a hard time doing that. (4) Rocket Heat will contest that early pace and may be good enough to get a minor prize. If it falls apart in the stretch...none of these four winning would surprise me. 

Selections: 12-7-1-4

Race 9 -- Alysheba Grade 2

(4) Eagle and (5) Noble Bird will battle this one down to the wire and it's hard to choose which one to put on top. I'll go with Leparoux and Noble Bird. If it falls apart up top, (9) Majestic Bird gets the local connection of Corey Lanerie and Paul McGee. A horse worth considering. Another majestic sort...(6) Majestic Affair could make it interesting up front and will be hard to catch. 

Selections: 5-4-9-6

Race 10 -- The Edgewood Grade 3

They are all going to have to best (10) Catch a Glimpse who has won her last five. she's the pick here. (3) Nodiac, (9)Believe in Bertie and (11)Sky My Sky would be my choices to fill out the exotics....but there are probably three more in this race who could finish in the money...(7) Ava's Kitten is another I'll toss in as one that wouldn't surprise me if she gets her photo taken. Harmonize and Heavenly View will challenge. Your call after "the Catch".

Selections: 10-3-9-11-7

Race 11 - The Kentucky Oaks

I've looked at this race considerably since the post draw and I'm still staying with my original five to watch in (3) Lewis Bay (11) Rachel's Valentine (12) Cathryn Sophia (4) Go Maggie Go and (13) Land Over Sea. 

WHO WILL WIN? I'm going with my girl Go Maggie Go, who narrowly edges out Rachel's Valentine. Give me Cathryn Sophia in third...followed by Lewis Bay and Land Over Sea
I expect a nice price...and won't be surprised if any of the five prance into the winner's circle. 

Selections: 4-11-12-3-13

Have a great Oaks! 

paulie and sonja


HAPPY THURBY to you on this Thursday 5/5/2016. It's Louisville's Day at the Races and it'll be packed at Churchill. 

We've looked at today's 10 race card and have four plays we're looking at today. 

Race 4 -- We think PRETTY CITY DANCER has been training beautifully for this maiden claiming race and will benefit from having Julian Leparoux on board for trainer Mark Casse

Race 7 -- A lower level claiming affair here and we're high on three runners here in MAGNUM FORCE, MAGICAL MOMENT and JACK'S THE ONE. We'll try and exacta and trifecta combo on these three and hope it ends the Pk 4 we'll investigate successfully.

Race 8 -- RELOAD is my top choice of the day and should win convincingly at the mile distance...a distance he loves. Javier Castellano climbs on board for Shug McGaughey and those two are usually a deadly combo. The payoff may not be much...but it's better than a loss, right? 

Race 10 -- HEY MIKE and LADY AUREILA are the two that stand out here and we'll try to hit the board with a bang by using them to close the PK 3 and in some deep exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagering boxes and wheels. Keep an eye on SILVERTONI as well. 

Have a great day and good luck! 


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

KY OAKS -- A First look

With the post positions out for the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, it's time to take a first look at the field and the contenders. I've reviewed the sheets and have a list of five horses to watch.

Be sure to come back Friday for the finalized list of who we're looking at here and the other stakes races on Friday!


LEWIS BAY -- She's 3 for 5 lifetime and the two losses had her in second place. Irad Ortiz Jr. is on board for Chad Brown and the last time out they successfully took the grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct on a muddy track...defeating a couple of these. I like the speed rating (99) and the way this horse lays slightly off the pace and closes. At 8-1 there is some value there also.

CATHRYN SOPHIA -- This filly is 4 for 5 lifetime...losing last time out at Keeneland to Weep No More and Rachel's Valentina. She was the favorite that day and some say she didn't care for the Keeneland surface. With Javier Castellano on board, I go back to the Davona Dale race back in February as a better indication on her power...she won easily that day and by seven lengths. She seems to like the Churchill surface in her her!

GO MAGGIE GO -- Lightly races but impressive with a 2 for 2 lifetime record...she likes to go to the lead and play "come catch me". Local trainer Dale Romans has employed Luis Saez to ride and she looked very impressive in winning the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Value at 12-1

--  Cagey trainer Doug O'Neill sends this one to the post with a lifetime record of two wins in nine starts and four seconds. She won the Fairground Oaks last out...with John Velazquez aboard but O'Neill is going back to regular rider Mario Gutierrez for Friday. She was impressive in coming off the pace to win in New Orleans and...the exercise rider trains her in the mornings wearing UofL gear! At 5-1...she could definitely get a part of the mutuals. 

RACHEL'S VALENTINA -- 2 for 4 lifetime, she barely lost in the Ashland Stakes to Weep No More...a horse I'm still debating. This is Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez teaming up. They ran well in the Breeders Cup last fall...second to Songbird...who will not run in the Oaks...and will be another that will vye for the early lead and try to pull away in the stretch. 7/2 odds may climb higher by Friday.

We'll be back for a final look Friday...

Sunday, May 1, 2016


As we get ready for Derby Week, who is hot and who is not? I've adjusted my top 5 a bit. Here's how it stands on Sunday 5/1/16:

1) EXAGGERATOR. I'm still in love with the way he won last time out. He also seems to like Churchill a lot. Rain or shine he's still my #1.

2) CREATOR. He moves up for me over Nyquist. I do think the Derby Race will be won by a closer and he's a darn good one.

3) GUN RUNNER. The big guy looks like he's having the time of his life on the Churchill oval and he's such an impressive horse to see. 

4) NYQUIST. A mediocre work at Keeneland and average work at Churchill. He may hit the top of the stretch in the lead but whether he'll finish that way is the questioning here. 

5) BRODY'S CAUSE. The more I look at the way he won at Keeneland, he more I like him. He'll relish the long Churchill stretch and should be gaining in the final furlong.

We'll wait for the post position draw next (on Wednesday) and see if this will affect the way I'm thinking.

Enjoy Derby Week!