Friday, October 24, 2008

Breeders' Cup Saturday

The selections for the nine races at the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Sautrday are as follows:

Marathon: WIN- Sixties Icon, PLACE- Cedar Mountain, SHOW- Delightful Kiss

Turf Sprint: WIN- Heros Reward, PLACE- Get Funky, SHOW- Rouse The Cat

Dirt Mile: WIN- Well Armed, PLACE- Albertus Maximus, SHOW- Surf Cat

Mile: WIN- Thorn Song, PLACE- Goldikova, SHOW- Whatsthescript

Juvenile: WIN- Street Hero, PLACE- Square Eddie, SHOW- Midshipman

Juvenile Turf: WIN- Bittel Road, PLACE- Westphalia, SHOW- Grand Adventure

Sprint: WIN- Cost Of Freedom, PLACE- Street Boss, SHOW- Black Seventeen

Turf: WIN- Red Rocks, PLACE- Conduit, SHOW- Out Of Control

Classic: WIN- Curlin, PLACE- Go Between, SHOW- Champs Elysses

Good luck to you all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Friday Breeders' Cup Thoughts

The 25th edition of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships takes place starting Friday at Santa Anita in Southern California. It will be the first Cup on synthetic racing surface, and the big wonder many have is how will that affect the racing? It certainly is something to consider when looking at the races. Here are the five Friday (Ladies' Day) races:

BC Filly and Mare Sprint:
WIN- Zaftig PLACE- Indian Blessing SHOW- Dearest Trickski

BC Juvenile Fillies Turf
WIN- Beyond Our Reach PLACE- C Karma SHOW- Laragh

BC Juvenile Fillies
WIN- Stardom Bound PLACE- Doremifasollatido SHOW- Palacio De Amor

BC Filly and Mare Turf
WIN- Forever Together PLACE- Wait A While SHOW- Folk Opera

BC Ladies' Classic
WIN- Zenyatta PLACE- Ginger Punch SHOW- Hystericalady

Good luck to you all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Luke Kruytbosch

Churchill Downs and Turf Paradise announcer Luke Kruytbosch passed away on Monday. Luke was my mentor as an announcer and, even more importantly, a dear friend of mine. I usually tried to contact him once a month or so and always made sure I stopped in to see him whenever I went home to Phoenix. This spring I had the honor of substituting for him at Turf for three weeks while he made his way to Churchill Downs to call his 10th Kentucky Derby. He was a masterful race caller and there is not one person in horse racing that could speak ill of Luke. His loss will be felt throughout the industry and since I pretty much owe him my entire announcing career, his loss has especially hit me hard. I will miss you, my friend.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The 69th Hollywood Gold Cup

Tiago seems to be a likely winner in this race, now that the best horse on the West Coast, Heatseeker, scratched out. Tiago has a win and a second in his last two graded efforts, the Oaklawn Handicap and the Californian Stakes over this Hollywood oval. Tiago has a win and second in two lifetime starts at Hollywood Park. I really like the chances of Big Booster to be a possible longshot to like here. He is 15-1 on the DRF morning line and has won his last two AND ran 3rd in this race last year behind Lava Man and A.P. Xcellent. Student Council won the Pimlico Special last time out after not liking the turf at my home track, Sam Houston Race Park, in the Grade 3 Connally Turf. Shaun Bridgmohan rode him at Pimlico and gets the call again here. To wrap the top four, I will go with another price pick in Mast Track, who adds blinkers and goes turf-to-dirt. By the way, he is also trained by Bobby Frankel. Even with Heatseeker out, this is a very interesting race, so here's wishing the best of luck to you all.

Hollywood Gold Cup Top 4 Selections- Tiago, Big Booster, Student Council, Mast Track

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The 140th Belmont Stakes

Well, Casino Drive has been scratched out of the Belmont Stakes and many feel that this has taken the most logical threat to the Triple Crown-trying Big Brown. Forget that, Big Brown was not going to get beat even if he spotted Casino Drive a sixteenth of a mile. We are going to be witnesses to history today as Big Brown will become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 and Affirmed. Who can be close to him? Possibly, Denis Of Cork, who ran 3rd in the Kentucky Derby and might like having an extra quarter-mile to get to the leader. Icabad Crane ran 3rd in the Preakness at Pimlico and might improve enough to be a part of the mix here. Finally, I expect Tale Of Ekati to be part of the pace battle here and hold on for a piece of the Superfecta in the Belmont Stakes today. Here's wishing the best of luck to you all.

Belmont Stakes Selections: Big Brown, Denis Of Cork, Icabad Crane, Tale Of Ekati

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The 134th Kentucky Derby

First off, I need to apologize to anyone who has been waiting for updates on this page, but I have been in Arizona calling the races at Turf Paradise for the last three weeks and have not had a chance to update the site. Now, on to the business at hand, the Run For The Roses. For me, there are two horses that stand head and shoulders above the rest after handicapping the race. Those two are Court Vision and Gayego. It should be easy enough to just bet an exacta with those two and be done with it, but we have to pick a winner, don't we? I will go with Court Vision for several reasons. First, Court Vision has post #4 and Gayego has post #19. No horse has ever won the Derby from post #19. Second, Court Vision is adding blinkers and I always like to see an equipment change that can help the horse's performance like that. Finally, Court Vision is trained by Bill Mott and he seems overdue to win the Derby, doesn't he? For third, I will put Cowboy Cal. I think he is the most versatile horse in the race, having shown an appreciation for turf, dirt, and synthetic so far. I think he can race on green cheese and make a go of it. To round out the Superfecta, I will go with Cool Coal Man. He threw in a clunker last out, but he held on gamely to win the Fountain Of Youth in a performance that seems to be forgotten already. Where you may ask are the favorites? Well, Big Brown is out in the parking lot and Colonel John might be a one-trick pony (pardon the pun) having only raced on synthetic. Pyro is the only one I can even think of using, but his two races in Louisiana came after massive trouble during both trips and the Blue Grass was a total disaster. So, put Pyro underneath and this way, you might have a reasonable favorite in your box wagers. Here's wishing the best of luck to you all.

134th Kentucky Derby Picks- Court Vision, Gayego, Cowboy Cal, Cool Coal Man, Pyro

Friday, February 08, 2008

The $50,000 Jersey Village Stakes

It is been John Locke in front this meeting at Sam Houston Race Park and he has a tough entry in the Saturday Stakes race with Festive Rain and Hollye Lynne. Festive Rain has won two of her last three on the grass and Hollye Lynne was a winner on the dirt on Texas Champions Day. The best turf Tomlinson figure in the field belongs to Wild Encounter. All seven of her wins have come on the turf. Boundus is coming back from a bit of a layoff tonight. She has been off since December 1 and has Mr. Prospector on the Sire side of the lineage. How about a longshot to like in Party Of One? She is 10-1 on the morning line, posted a bullet workout on February 2, and has 1992 BC Classic winner, A.P. Indy, on the Sire side. By the way, Pyro comes back to the Derby Trail on Saturday at the Fair Grounds and will be tough to top.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The MAXXAM Gold Cup

There are two big Stakes races on Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park. The $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup has a field of six (five betting interests) and my top pick in the feature is Tap Dancing Mauk. The Dale Romans trainee has been off since winning the Zia Park Distance Challenge at the MAXXAM distance of 1 1/8 Miles. The Sire is 1996 Preakness winner, Louis Quatorze. The Asmussen entry of Reporting For Duty and Red Rock Creek will be next. Reporting For Duty faced some of the top three-year-olds in the land last year and acquitted himself quite well. Red Rock Creek has a shot, but is 0 for 7 over the Houston main track. The most intriguing horse in the field is Honest Man, who has won three straight and posted a 99 Beyer figure in his last score at Fair Grounds.
The other Stakes race on the program is the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff. I will side with the entry of Miss Peachtree and Buy The Barrel. Miss Peachtree gets Martin Escobar aboard and Buy The Barrel is trained by Hard Spun's conditioner, Larry Jones. Dallas Keen will send Lemony Cricket to the post in the Distaff after she hit the board in her last five efforts. Bob McNair's Stonerside Stable is represented by Bold Angel, who has two lifetime wins, both coming at Sam Houston Race Park. Here's wishing the best of luck to you all.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday the 19th

Sam Houston tonight might present a couple of nice opportunites featuring former Stakes winners at the Houston track. Banquo is a former Asmussen trainee that scored a win last time out as part of the New Year's Eve card here. He runs in the 6th race. Later on the card in the 8th race is Snuck By. It is hard to believe (for me) that he has not won yet this meeting. I think tonight might be the night for it, though. Might be worth a look at the 7th to see if you can hook a Pick Three with these races tonight. I myself selected Chivas Royal in the 7th, but maybe you can ferret out a better price for that leg of the action. Also tonight, we have guest announcer James Witherite-Rieg calling two races (and three on Sunday) tonight. He does a fine job as the voice of Harrah's Chester Downs in Pennsylvania and handled a tough night last night with hard rain falling with aplomb. Check it out tonight at Sam Houston Race Park.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sam Houston Saturday Night

Tonight at SHRP features an interesting turf race for the eighth race on the menu. A winner from Texas Champions Day returns to action (Jenz Benz, winner of the San Jacinto) and she faces a tough bunch of runners in this spot. Quincy Hamilton rides Baby Doll Blues, who won over the Houston turf last time out. A longshot to like could be the Danny Pish trainee, Senora Tormenta, who is a nice 8-1 on the morning line. Exclusive Hopper comes to Houston from South Florida, where she was running at Calder Race Course. The pick here will be Jenz Benz, who is coupled in a betting entry with Wild Encounter, also a former Stakes winner at SHRP. Her turn of foot on TCD was an impressive one and if she duplicates that, she should score again.