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Horse Racing Handicapping For Thoroughbreds
We have hesitated putting up the supposed news from Santa Anita with all of the bizarre reports that have been circulating, and knowing that the "no race day Lasix" made no sense without being phased in. So, we are planning on starting back with daily reports on Fri Mar 29, which is the present announced day of racing resumption with Lasix allowed. We have been covering workouts every day the main/training tracks have been open, so there will be complete coverage when racing resumes with only the days from Mar 5 to Mar 10 missing, when SA closed both tracks to workouts.
We have been publishing Weekly workouts throughout the race stoppage for our Plan 1 customers, and today we posted the Weekly Fit and Ready report for Plans 1 and 2.
It is hard to figure out what the plans are to make up races/race days, if any. The latest Condition Book listing the races each day for trainers and owners shows 11 to 14 races per day, so there seems to be some hope of running extra races each day to make up the lost days. That plan, of course, is not good for HR since we don't get to sell extra daily reports for the extra races per day, and we have had to cover workouts every day with no extra revenue coming in from the sale of daily reports during the shutdown. More on that subject when we see how this whole fiasco shakes out. Steve McDonald
A super racing weekend for HR at SA beginning on Fri Feb 22. The fun began in the 1st race with EDDIE HASKELL upsetting the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint Champ paying $10.40 to win. He had recorded 2 Grade B workouts in his last 2 preceding the race and had made our Fit and Ready list with a B+ before his previous race. In the 3rd race we picked up the mutuel payoffs with MAD MIKE scoring @ $22.00. He had recorded a "much improved, good" Grade B work prior to the race. TREASURE HUNTER won the 8th race as a treasured combo good worker (Grade B "under a huge hold, good work) and a Horse to Watch lister, paying $18.00.
On Sat Feb 23, we again began the day with a great payoff as UNBRIDLED ETHOS paid $24.40 to win bringing along a super Grade B work, "good work for the once raced, comebacking Cal-bred, who seems an improved sort, look for a good effort off the bench". He also had 5 B- works prior to the B final work. In the 4th race Horse to Watch WHAT'SONTHEAGENDA wired the field down the hill as we called for on the HTW list paying $8.20. We finished off the nice prices with a win by Mandella first time starter GALLOPING MISCHIEF in the 6th race paying $24.00. He had scored 7 Grade B- works leading up to his debut.
We completed the very successful week with HR's Aaron Hesz' recent claim PALADAR stepping up to a straight maiden allowance and scoring a huge victory in the opening race paying $9.80 as a Fit and Ready lister having delivered 2 Grade B+ and 2 Grade B- works since raced and claimed. He had been outworking his barnmate who was the favorite in this race. We finished the day and the week with a win by our Horse to Watch COMBAT ZONE @ $8.40 after stumbling in his previous work, as pointed out in the HR trip notes. It appears that the rains may have helped the track surface that we have been complaining about since the start of the meet. Hopefully, the morning workout information will now continue to lead to nice prices in the afternoon.
On New Year's Day at SA, we were treated to several nice prices from the HR Daily Clocker Report including the 5th race where TIKKUN OLAM finished with a rush to pay $28.20. He finished off his recent workout activity with a nicely hidden Grade B 4f drill on the heavy track in 49.3, "finishing well under a big hold, able to go faster if the rider wanted to, nice work". The 2nd horse was MONTANA MOON, who had 2 recent Grade B- works with the exacta paying $226.10. In the 8th race, CARIBOU CLUB, with 2 recent Grade B works, closed late against some tough down hillers to pay $8.60. Finally, in the 10th race, IRISH HEATWAVE closed out a nice day and a super opening week for HR with a $16.40 triumph.
On Mon Dec 31 in the 4th, the exacta consisted of the winner, Fit and Ready lister ROUTE SIX SIX, returning from a 9 month absence paying $8.00 and Horse to Watch JUSTIN'S QUEST completing the $11.00 exacta.
Really good opening week at SA so far. On Sun Dec 30 in the 4th race, GIZA GODDESS with 2 recent Grade B works, in which our clockers recognized the quality despite the slow times (49.1) on this horrendously deep awful track, pulled off and won impressively paying $13.20. The latest comment included: "good work for the rapidly improving gray filly, who is slated for a turf stakes next and seems up to the task". I'll say. The 2nd horse was our other Grade B worker in the race COLONIAL CREED, again with a slow time (50.0). The exacta paid $33.70. Two of our Fit and Ready listers ran 1-2 in the 9th race, as AMUSE ran impressively to her works before her debut and her 2 B- drills since with DULCE RIDE stealing the photo for 2nd. The final race went to our Horse to Watch APACHE PRINCESS with 2 recent Grade B- works to back up our choice paying 6.40. The double paid a generous $20.60
On Sat Dec 29, our Horse to Watch TRUFFALINO won the 1st race paying $17.00 with another HTW OUT OF BALANCE finishing 2nd. The exacta paid $43.90.
On Fri Dec 28 our Fit and Ready lister SHUT IT UP won the 4th race paying $16.20.
A nice Santa Anita Opening Day for the HR Clocker Report. In the 5th race, first time starter BIG SCOTT DADDY, with 3 Grade B works including comments "nice work for the unraced colt who appears a very bright prospect", good work for the promising son of Scat Daddy, who appears to be a nice sort" and "can run a lot". He won going away paying $19.60. Finishing 2nd was our Horse to Watch KA'NAH @ 8-1 with the exacta paying $109.40 for $1. The 7th race went to the big favorite RIVER BOYNE (IRE) with recent Grade B works, but he just barely held on from the charging HR Fit and Ready lister AND Horse to Watch DESERT STONE (IRE) @ 10-1, who had been working lights out for awhile. The 8th race was won impressively by GIFT BOX with a recent Grade B+ that was an "excellent work in his final prep for the San Antonio" paying $15.00. Completing the exacta was BATTLE OF MIDWAY, who also had a Grade B+. The exacta paid $23.50.
The Winter Santa Anita meet begins, as always, the day after Christmas, which this year is Wed Dec 26. There will be a day off on Thu and races will resume on Fri Dec 28. The Subscriptions for the Winter meet are available now in your accounts. Just click on the tab called Subscriptions at the top of your Main Page after you log in. The Winter Santa Anita meet will run until Apr 7 this year. You will have the option of 3 equal payments for each of the 3 Plans.
On Thu Nov 22 the HR Daily Clocker Report pointed out 2 great prices on the card. In the 2nd race first time starter BASHFUL had recorded several nice works including a Grade B with the comment "continues to impress up to her impending debut...final 1/4 in 23.3, another good work for the Orb filly...definitely can run", and a Grade B+ that earned her Fit and Ready List status with the comment "very sharp work...appears to have a lot of run". She paid a huge $16.20 to win. In the 7th race, DANUSKA'S MY GIRL with a recent Grade B workout in which she outworked a couple of others from the gate, beat our Fit and Ready lister AMUSE paying $21.20 to win with the exacta paying $24.30.
On Sun Nov 11, the last race was won by GYPSY BLU with 2 nice recent workouts since changing trainers, a Grade B- "looks decent for her new trainer" and a Grade B "has changed barns recently and went for new trainer Koriner, nice work". She paid a sweet $63.60 to win. She worked with SPICED PERFECTION in that B- work, who also received a Grade B- and won the 8th race stakes paying $10.60. The double paid $373.60.
On the Friday Nov 2 card at SA, we gave out pushes on each of the Pick 6 races that could have produced a $54,328 payoff. The 5th race clocker report had 2 Grade B- works on QUINNIE with the comment on the last one "is not a good workhorse, but actually didn't look too bad". She paid $7.80. The 6th race had a Grade B- work on ALL TEA ALL SHADE who paid $29.00 as an alternative to DIOSA, who had the highest Performance Rating by far and a 5 length lead into the stretch before succumbing (the reason I lost the Pick 6). The 7th was won by KENCUMIN @ $12.00 who had some speed at the meet long speed favoring distance of a mile on turf and had a recent Grade B workout. The 8th was won by our standout high Performance Rating horse by 5 points GIVE ME A HINT. Her 95 was high by 5 points over the horse who finished 2nd MUCHO UNUSUAL. She paid $13.20 to win. The winner of the 9th race was DOWNSIDE UP who had the highest non Los Al rating dirt rating and paid $15.80. In the last race, the first time starter DROP THE MIC closed from dead last to nail the favorite on the line to pay $28.40 with a recent Grade B- workout with the comment "a vastly improved work for her new trainer." The type of work we all look for as a differentiator in our racing game.
If you don't think the $.20 pick 6 is the best bet in racing, you need to do look at it closer. If the $.20 Jackpot Pick 6 is not hit on Saturday at SA, where there is a guarantee of $2M to a single ticket, there will be a carryover Pick 6 on Sunday of probably something in excess of $10M that must be given out.
On Friday Oct 26, we had a nice warm up for the weekend with 2 great prices from our Daily Clockers Report. In the 3rd race TAKE A LEAP had 5 Grade B nice works since her last race at Del Mar and stuck it to straight maidens with Tyler Baze, who had been working her, pulling away to an easy victory paying $16.80. In the 6th race, ACCLIMATE had a recent Grade B team drill in which he was "quite nice...appears improved". He pulled out and around horses entering the stretch and hung on for the win at a juicy $33.80 mutuel payoff. These two winners helped key a $14,036 $.20 pick 6. Hope you had it!
On Sun Oct 14, the HR reports combined to produce some nice results. In the 1st race, the winner DON'T STALK ME had a very nice recent half-mile Grade B workout in which he "finished great...final furlong in a really good 11.3, never asked...appears set for a top effort". He paid $6.00 to win, and combined with the 2nd race HR winner CYCLOMETRIC for a sweet double. CYCLO' had a much improved recent Grade B work in which he "went much better than we have seen previously, never asked...good work for the homebred, who may be coming around". He did indeed improve to win @ $26.60 with the double paying $81.00.
In the 9th race, the winner AFLEET ASCENT had a super recent Grade B+ team work with Battle of Midway in which they were "extra sharp, neither asked a drop while full of run late...excellent work, primed for top efforts". 'ASCENT won a very tough nose bob to pay $6.00. Losing the bob at 17-1 was our Horse to Watch LITTLE JUANITO, who also had worked very well recently with 2 Grade B efforts. He paid $13.60 to place with the exacta coming back $43.70. Obviously a much better result had the exacta been reversed.
We pushed a monster Horses to Watch winner on Friday Aug 31 to kick off the final weekend at Del Mar. SUENO in the 3rd Race was listed because of a much troubled trip on Aug 15. The trip notes read: "Was shuffled back at the break, recovered to race at the back of the pack along the inside, bulled his way through down the backstretch, scraped paint into the stretch, angled out, laid in, green as grass; still a promising debut". I guess so, as he still was pretty green circling the field into the stretch and switching his leads, winning off by over 4 lengths to pay $50.40.
Opening week at Del Mar was filled with 10 winners from our Horses to Watch and Fit and Ready lists. There were 5 horses from each list getting their pictures taken from Opening Day through the first Sunday, including the double lister CATAPULT who flew late to capture the featured Eddie Read Stakes on Sunday paying a monstrous $44.00.
Although he was the super price, there were others during the week. On Saturday in Race 7, TAMMY'S WINDOW with a Grade B workout at DM won and paid $23.80.
On Opening Day in Race 3 EIGHTY THREE with a Grade B work won and paid $10.60 and we almost had 2 other monsters on the day as HOTITUDE in Race 3 with a Grade B drill had the lead and got run down to finish 2nd @ 23-1 and DEL MAR MAY in the 7th with 2 Grade B works also turned for home with the lead and got run down by the Hollendorfer future star BRILL @ 25-1. The exactas on both horses paid well, but oh what they could have been. It was a great first week at DM with several other winners along the way. It sure is great to be back at Old Del Mar.
The HR Daily Clocker Report for Closing Day at Santa Anita featured 8 Grade B or B- pushes on the winners of races 3 through 10, including STORM THE HILL in the 9th @ $21.00 and DESERT LAW in the 10th paying $9.60. All you needed was UNAPOLOGETIC in the 11th, who had only maintenance type works recently but one of the 3 top last race Performance Ratings from HR, to cash the Pick 6 paying over $20,000.
Late News: Nice lead in to the final weekend of Santa Anita for our Daily Clocker Report. In the 4th race today Friday Jun 22, the 2 yo first time starter CAROTARI with a Grade B work from HR "a nice work for the unraced two-year-old son of Artie Schiller, who appears to have ability", blew away his field paying $19.60.
Del Mar Subscriptions for the Summer Meet starting on Wed July 18 are now available in your User Accounts under the Subscriptions tab. We will have our regular array of Daily and Weekly Reports available, with the Clocker Reports featuring modified content that emphasizes quality over quantity by eliminating many of the irrelevant workouts that do not give the handicapper information that is useful for selecting a horse to bet on or to bet against. Our intent is to present significant information that may indicate changes about a horse's future performance rather than piles of data to be sorted through to find the nuggets for the handicapping process.
As usual we will not be covering the Los Alamitos meeting.
Nice start for the week of racing at Santa Anita on Thu May 17 . Our Daily Clocker Report had the first time starter SIX PACK GAL in the 3rd with a decent Grade B- work from the gate. She won easily paying $6.00. The prices began in the 5th when the late Pick 4 kicked off with a strong win from MOVE OVER (GB), who had 2 Grade B- works prior to his last race. He broke through the gate before the start and ran an 1/8 of a mile before being pulled up and re-gated, yet finished with a flourish to just get up by a nose and pay $7.20. The 6th race was one by an HR Grade B worker MOJGAN who had a recent Grade B work with the comment: "went extremely easy in this good half-mile move, final 1/4 in 24.3, absolutely breezing to the wire, nice work." She paid a generous $29.00. The 7th race produced another great price as TIME AND CHANCE, with a recent Grade B work with a final 1/4 in 23.2, gutted out the win paying $15.60. The double paid $122.00 and set up the 8th race for our Horse to Watch NAVAJO DREAMER (IRE) to win @ $9.40 and key the last Pick 3 paying $620.40 and the late Pick 4 to pay $900.70.
The HR Horses to Watch list is coming off a monster day at SA on Sun Apr 1. There were Horses to Watch running in 3 races on that day, all of which won at great prices. In the 1st race ANATOLIAN HEAT came out of a very wide trip in his last race to take advantage of a speed duel, getting up close to home to pay $13.80. In the late double, the recent claim IKE WALKER, who had just missed in his last race after bobbling badly at the break, had an extremely wide trip in the 8th race, but persevered at the wire to win his 11th career race and pay an overlaid $9.00. To complete the HR double in the 9th, HTW POINT GUARD came from the 11 post to rally between horses and hold off the others at the wire to pay $23.80 with the late double paying $157.80 for $2.
Nice start to the week at Santa Anita on Thu Feb 15 for the HR Daily Clocker Report. Arguably the best HR workers in each race from the 4th through the 8th won with the late Pick 5 paying $2,687.25. The Pick 4 paid $696.70, and if you used the favorite in the 3rd race in your Pick 6 with the HR horses in the remainder, you cashed for $128,292.
The HR winners for the day actually began in the 2nd with DEL MAR DIVA, who had 2 recent good Grade B- works. She paid $6 with the price affected by one of the favorites being declared a non-starter. The true fun began in the 4th with the winner BEDEVILED, who had 2 recent Grade B- works, edging out the competition paying $9.00. In the 5th SILVERSPUN PICKUP utilized her recent 2 Grade B- works to promote her to victory at $7.60. In the 6th race comebacker DALMORE with 2 recent Grade B works, one with a final 1/4 in 23.2 buried his opponents, drawing off by 8 lengths to pay $11.80. The favorite COLONIST with 2 recent Grade B workouts won the 7th as expected paying $6.00. The star of the HR show was first time starter SURFING STAR who had been working forever, but quite well for Bruce Headley, with a Grade B and 2 Grade B- works going into the debut. He ran like a professional, sitting just off the speed and accelerating into the stretch to draw off and pay $28.00.
The opening week of the Santa Anita Meet produced a number of nice winners for the HR reports. On opening day we had 2 Horses to Watch winners and 3 Fit and Ready winners, with SPANISH HOMBRE a dual winner from both lists @ $7.00. RED LIGHTNING from the F&R list won the 5th race in wire to wire fashion with ease paying $17.00. UNIQUE BELLA snapped back from her poor race on the biased DM Breeders Cup track with a nice win as a F&R lister @ $4.60 in the 7th, followed in the 8th race by CITY OF LIGHT, a Grade B+ working Horses to Watch lister, who broke a bit slowly, rushed up to grab the lead and hold on for a nice $17.00 win. Other good working winners included GIANT EXPECTATIONS with 2 Grade B drills wiring the field in the 3rd race paying $29.00 and CALIFORNIAGOLDRUSH in the 4th with a nice Grade B work breaking her maiden in the 4th with a nice rally paying $56.80. Great start to the meet for HR.
On the next racing day, Fri Dec 29, we continued the parade of Horses to Watch winners with MESUT in the 3rd race. He also had 2 Grade B- works in which he "finished up well". In the race, he powered home to win paying $17.40. This was our 3rd $17.00 horse of the meet from our lists. On Sat Dec 30 we kicked the card off with 2 Horses to Watch in the first two races. PROUD HEROINE in the 1st @ $7.20 was followed by PEACE in the 2nd @ $3.40 for an opening double of $13.80. Not too exciting, so we looked for a longer shot in the graded stakes race in the 4th and came up with MIDNIGHT CROSSING (IRE) with 2 recent Grade B works including a sharp final furlong in 11.4 in one of the drills and a final 1/4 in 23.3 in the other one. She paid $47.60 to win. In the 8th we pushed SILENT BIRD with 2 recent Grade B works. She won and paid $8.20. On Sun Dec 31 we closed out the year with a Horses to Watch exacta in the 1st race. FLY TO MARS got to the front and held off SECRETO PRIMERO to provide the HR HTW exacta of $18.10.
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