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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Canterbury Park Handicapper Helper for September 15

Unfortunately, this is the final Thursday card of the 2016 meet at Canterbury Park, and even more unfortunately, Mother Nature has not cooperated again, with heavy rain wiping out turf racing.  Despite that, it still looks like an intriguing card with large fields to wager on.  There are nine races on tonight's program, with two pick 4's (starting in races one and six) and the pick 5 beginning in race five.  The first five races on tonight's card will be covered by TVG2, and the final four races will then be on TVG.

Don't forget, we also have a free guide to Canterbury, courtesy of Equinometry, with historical stats, racing styles, and other thoughts that should help you if you don't have experience playing there.  We'd like to thank Lenny Moon for putting the guide together.

All of us at HANA would like to express our sincere appreciation to the entire staff at Canterbury Park for their help with these posts through the meet, and to our regular contributors as well.  They would not have been possible without you.

Craig Milkowski (Chief Figure Maker for TimeformUS)

Lamazone (#7)

-TimeformUS Pace Projector predicts a fast pace scenario---Lamazone has the top TimeformUS late speed rating in the field
-Trainer Dan McFarlane is rated a 95 third start off the layoff compared to a 69 overall
-Last race had little chance trying to rally into a very slow pace against much classier rivals, still ran speed figure good enough to contend here
6-1 on ML
 http://canterburypark.com/lowesttakeout/~LiveRacing/CanterburyParkLowestTakeoutinAmerica/tabid/556/Default.aspx

Brian Kohn (Canterbury Park Racing Operations Coordinator)

Race 1 Selections: 5/3/9 (before race was taken off the turf)
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Win, Place ($4 total) 5; $2 Double ($4 total) 3, 5/10

Race 2 Selections:  10/7/1 (before race was taken off the turf)
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Win Place ($4 total) 10; $2 Exacta ($4 total) 10/1, 7

Race 3 Selections: 7/1/2 (before race was taken off the turf)
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Win, Place ($4 total) 7; $2 Exacta ($4 total) 7/1, 2

Race 4 Selections:  3/6/8
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Win, Place ($4 total) 3; $1 Exacta Box ($6 total) 3, 6, 8

Race 5 Selections:  8/1/2
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Win, Place ($4 total) 8; $1 Exacta Box ($6 total) 1, 2, 8

Race 6 Selections:  12/2/1
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Win, Place ($4 total) 12; $1 Exacta Box ($6 total) 1, 2, 12

Race 7 Selections:  10/9/4
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Win, Place ($4 total) 10; 50-cent Pick 3 ($3 total) 4, 9, 10/6/6, 7

Race 8 Selections:  6/4/5
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Exacta ($4 total) 6/4, 5; $1 Trifecta ($6 total) 6/3, 4, 5/3, 4, 5

Race 9 Selections:  6/7/5
Suggested Wagers:  $2 Exacta Box ($4 total) 6, 7; $1 Trifecta ($6 total) 6, 7/6, 7/2, 3, 5 

Brian Arrigoni (Paddock analyst for Canterbury Park)

1:  7/8/2
2:  1/8/10
3:  7/5/3
4:  9/6/8
5:  2/12/10
6:  8/10/7
7:  1/6/10
8:  6/2/5
9:  3/7/4

Dave - The Track Phantom - cut his teeth as a handicapper at Canterbury and has been having an excellent meet thus far. Dave has agreed to provide this Thursday's sheet for free!

You can see it right here!

Thanks Dave. Please visit his site for more information, and to look at his other tracks.

Jeff Platt of Jcapper software also has agreed to post his core selections, directly from the software.

Here are his power ratings

1-3,7,12 (before races were taken off the turf)
2-10,7,4 (before races were taken off the turf)
3-7,5,2 (before races were taken off the turf)
4-8,7,4
5-10,12,2
6-2,10,12
7-2,6,10
8-6,7,3
9-7,4,6

Johnny Love's thoughts on the card from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune are available here.

Other Twitter handles to follow for Canterbury:

Press Box
Bruce Meyer
Doug McPherson
Wes Reynolds
Andrew Malecha
Zach

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

OptixEQ Handicapper Helper for Kentucky Downs (September 15) - Closing Day

OptixEQ's Emily Gullikson has been kind enough to provide one detailed race preview and picks for all of the other races for Thursday's card at Kentucky Downs, HANA's #1 rated track.  Thursday's card wraps up the live racing season at Kentucky Downs for 2016, but it was announced earlier this week that this meet has already produced new record handle before the final card even starts.

The Horseplayer Monthly from HANA also has tips, hard-to-find stats, and analysis for the meet at Kentucky Downs.  You can read that issue for free here. 

KENTUCKY DOWNS 9-11-16
Closing day already! Thank you everyone that has been reading along, following, retweeting, playing, and picking up some tips along the way. I really appreciate the mission of HANA and all the volunteers involved that love horseplayers and are committed to the success of this sport. Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work. And of course OptixEQ for providing information that has been a separator.

RACE 4
MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT 6 FURLONGS TURF
The biggest advantage a horseplayer has with 2-year-old races like this one is watching the replays and taking trip notes. Not including the MTOs, this is a field of 12 horses with only three first-time starters. Most people will not take the time to watch the races, and that is often understandable because watching replays is very, very time consuming. A solo speed figure is often used to establish the favorite by the morning line and usually to determine the public favorite as well. 

The advantage to watching races is being able to see the ability of a horse, and if there is reasonable improvement. Taking trip notes for OptixNotes, we use a standard set of keyword projections to signal when a horse can improve. Improvement can come with experience, change in distance, change in surface, change in equipment, and/or change of rider. Making this visual assessment takes practice, and a time commitment, but this will, without a doubt, will give you an edge. OptixEQ users tend to instantly find value in the OptixNotes, and some of the top players like NHC champ Paul Matties are avid trip note takers.

http://www.optixeq.com

UNDERLAYS
Instead of labeling the two morning line top choices MONGO NATION (3-1) and VENTRY BAY (5-2) vulnerable or soft favorites, I'm going to label them as underlays. Both ran well in their debuts and a win from either would not shock me. Am I running to the windows to bet them? Not so much. Both of these horses are going to take the majority of the action, and that creates some opportunities on other horses that are not without a chance. I think both of these horses can be used in this spot.  Again, I have no real strong knocks to play against; value will be present with beating these horses in multi-race sequence and on top of vertical wagers. 

FIRST-TIME STARTERS
There are three first-time starters (FTS) in the main body of the field. For my personal handicapping process I will handicap the FTS after I have gone through replays of the horses that have run. If after going through the horses that have run and determining they are all below, I will look further into the first-time starters. Workout reports, the trainer's ability to get a horse ready to run a winning race, and then pedigree tend to be my order of preference based on level of confidence when evaluating a first-time starter. For this race I am going to pass on all three.

CONTENDERS/VALUE
1 SONIC BOOM (12-1) broke out and raced very green on debut. He was kept outside and looked to be avoiding kickback.  Despite racing greenly, this colt showed enough run on debut to expect IMPROVE? next out.

5 QUALITY EMPEROR (6-1) ran well on debut and made a WIDE MOVE to finish a competitive second on debut. He is capable to take another step forward for a trainer that has improved horses in their second start with Lasix, especially here at KD. There is a good amount of trainer intent today. 

12 BAR TRICK (10-1) very solid debut; he was allowed to drop back early, made a BURST around the turn, then had so much momentum he carried himself WIDE entering the stretch. He continued to make up ground in a race with the first- and third-place finishers on or near the lead throughout. He is also listed as a first-time gelding, which is likely incorrect.  I can’t imagine gelding was the first thing on the mind of the connections after running a good second first out. Anywhere near the morning line makes him a solid play for me.

Both BRUNERSTOWN (20-1) and UNMOORED (10-1) are worth a watch in this race, both look to have some ability just still might be a race away.  AJ’S POSSE and MAHALO JOHN needed to show more to endorse for top spot.

RACE SELECTIONS
R1: 11-1-3
R2: 13 (if draws in) - 2-6-8
R3: 10-4-9
R5: 11-2-12-1
R6: 7-3-10-5
R7: 10-5-11-1
R8: 8-5-11 (10-12 if bigger spread/likely better under)
R9: 10-8-4
R10: 3-9-7-8

More from OPTIXNOTES and OPTIXPLOT can be found at OptixEQ.com, and you can also check them out on Twitter @OptixEQ.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

OptixEQ Handicapper Helper for Kentucky Downs (September 11)

OptixEQ's Emily Gullikson has been kind enough to provide her picks for Sunday's card at Kentucky Downs, HANA's #1 rated track.

The Horseplayer Monthly from HANA also has tips, hard-to-find stats, and analysis for the meet at Kentucky Downs.  You can read that issue for free here.

http://www.optixeq.com


KENTUCKY DOWNS 9-11-16

SELECTION SUNDAY
R1: 4-8-9-1 (upgrade 13 if draws in)
R2: 3-10-5
R3: 2-9-10
R4: 11-6-4
R5: 6-9-3
R6: 6-1/1a-9-2
R7: 11-4-12
R8: 8-7-10
R9: 9-11
R10: 6-11-10

More from OPTIXNOTES and OPTIXPLOT can be found at OptixEQ.com, and you can also check them out on Twitter @OptixEQ.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

OptixEQ Handicapper Helper for Kentucky Downs (September 10) - Pick 5 Carryover

OptixEQ's Emily Gullikson has been kind enough to provide one detailed race preview and picks for all of the other races for Thursday's card at Kentucky Downs, HANA's #1 rated track.  We will be posting these for each race date.  Today's card features four stakes races, including the Grade III Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup, and a $52,090 Pick 5 carryover, which begins in race six (approximate post 4:04 p.m. eastern).

The Horseplayer Monthly from HANA also has tips, hard-to-find stats, and analysis for the meet at Kentucky Downs.  You can read that issue for free here. 

KENTUCKY DOWNS 9-10-16 RACE 10
KD LADIES SPRINT 6.5 TURF
Studying the ResultsGRAF, and using the OptixPLOT Result tab helped out dramatically in Thursday's results. One of the areas of improvement was paying more attention to the way the track was playing and putting an extra emphasis on pace handicapping. The card today looks a bit more “formful” in the sense that I think the favorites are good or legit, not many races have a big favorite that I am really excited to take on. I included a few in my selections because they are worthy to include, and worth using underneath more decent price horses in exotics.

http://www.optixeq.com


 VULNERABLE/SOFT FAVORITE
Race 10 looks like a good spot to take on couple short prices and play against for the top spot. 

#3 MISSISSIPPI DELTA (5-2):  Since this spring I’ve been waiting for this filly to break through, and it just has yet to happen. Her last race sold me on it. She was against the race flow and ran rather one-paced and even. There is actually another horse in this race that also comes out of that Woodbine Grade III that I am more interested in. In OptixGrades she’s a consistent B- and typically a B grade is considered a winning race. She has not done enough for me to get involved as a post time favorite.

#7 LATE SPRING (4-1) is a complete toss to me. Watching her races, it is obvious to why connections have kept her at 5-5.5 furlong sprints. She is very small and compact. I do not like her with this added distance.

#4 MISS DOUBLE D’ORO (3-1) has a better record since the cutback to sprinting. Of the three, I prefer her the most, and she's the most likely to hit the board. Her trip looks a bit suspect and wins have been with closing setups.

CONTENDERS
#2 RAPID RHYTHM (10-1) exits the same Grade III at Woodbine as Mississippi Delta and preference is given to Rapid Rhythm out of that common race. She did not get the best trip/ride and has more upside making her second start off the layoff.

# 10 MY YEAR IS A DAY (8-1) looks best as a sprinter.  Her last effort is forgivable after setting a quick pace and wrapping up late. Trip looks favorable.

#9 ANUSARA (15-1) raced back here early in her career, and I went back and watched the race.  It was not a bad effort, a decent third. There is not much pace as far as “need the lead” types. It's possible she is controlling speed or forwardly-placed to take advantage of a potential pace scenario.

#1 RUMBLE DOLL (6-1) had no chance in last two, wants longer, and has progressed with each race. She will need an expert trip, which makes her less than exciting at 6-1, but she's a contender nonetheless. 

R1: 5-9-11-12
R2: 4-3-5
R3: 5-11-8-1 (no real strong order of preference)
1 – solid debut SLOG, CLOSEd X_FLOW
5- purely a prep, looks meant for this start PREP?, CLOSE, X_BIAS, STRETCH?
8- similar work tab to another Cox debut this meet, ran a 64 Beyer, and similar debut matches with this field
11- visually impressive debut, lone “B” grade TRAFFIC, WIDE, MOVE, X_FLOW
R4: #8 KNIGHTS KEY (8-1 best bet) good prep in last, has TURF? keyword from debut
R5: 12-7-11-2
R6: 1-4; 7 (soft favorite, could get trip) and 9 (use underneath)
R7: 6-3-1
R8: 1 (second best bet) – 6 (class, may want longer?)– 5 (cross entered at DEL as 7-2ML fav)
*Play against #3 ANNULMENT (5-2)
R9: 3-7*-5 (7 DA BIG HOSS is legit, run style potentially vulnerable on track, and if playing against use forwardly placed runner)

More from OPTIXNOTES and OPTIXPLOT can be found at OptixEQ.com, and you can also check them out on Twitter @OptixEQ.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

OptixEQ Handicapper Helper for Kentucky Downs (September 8)

OptixEQ's Emily Gullikson has been kind enough to provide one detailed race preview and picks for all of the other races for Thursday's card at Kentucky Downs, HANA's #1 rated track.  We will be posting these for each race date.

The Horseplayer Monthly from HANA also has tips, hard-to-find stats, and analysis for the meet at Kentucky Downs.  You can read that issue for free here. 

KENTUCKY DOWNS 9-08-16 RACE 4

CLAIMING $20,000 6.5 TURF
Given my choice of races, typically I would not land on a lower level claiming race; however, in this case the morning line favorite, and likely post time favorite, is very weak and makes this race very playable. One of the things I took note of on opening day was how the track was playing. In the route races, horses need to have some type of positional speed. Mid-pack/closer types were at a disadvantage and can be upgraded off efforts as necessary. In sprints, the course played a bit fairer, mid-pack types were not as compromised as they were in routes. The OptixPlot RESULTS tab is very helpful for visual running lines to see where the winners were on the OptixPlot prior to the race, and then comparing that to the RESULTSGraf. This is a very tricky track to handicap with the course configuration and horses shipping from all over. These are great tools to help with the handicapping process.

http://www.optixeq.com

VULNERABLE/SOFT FAVORITE
#8 BISSECTRISA (2-1):  This is a mare I am familiar with taking OptixNotes on the NYRA circuit, and really she is not much. She had a couple perfect trips and was frankly average. Last time out she was over-matched, washy and rank. Sure you could toss that effort, but were her races at the similar $25,000 level all the great? Not really. She even struggled at a lower level at the Fair Grounds. One could argue this is the distance she needed all along. I am not so certain. She tends to run the same race every time and is no monster in here.  It would not take a huge effort from someone else to step up and win.

CONTENDERS
#4 LIKE A QUEEN (8-1):  I think this is an interesting spot for her. Looking back at her career she began sprinting in Florida, and actually broke her maiden at 5f, coming from way off-the-pace in a race that was melting down. She has tried sprinting three other times, and they were not bad efforts, just falling short each time. Turf sprinting in Florida is limited to those shorter dash sprints; her connections really did not have many options other than to run her long. I think this distance will be to her liking, and she is coming into this race with some recent form. A couple notes about that last race at IND:  One, that race turned out to be productive, and two, in that race she looked a bit tired and not fully recovered from the previous two starts. That August 9th race was her third race in roughly 30 days following the layoff. I like to see that she is now given 30+ days, a little fresher and if the front wraps are removed, even better.

#11 ELAINE KOWALESKI (20-1):  I am not expecting the 20-1, but on her current form she looks every bit deserving. The connections here are very strong with this move and her needed improvement is not out of the capacity of Maker. Her four starts on turf were all at routes, and she finished in the money in both starts at the claiming level. There are a few others that look similar to her on speed figures, but none of them are receiving the changes like this mare is to expect reasonable improvement.

#3 INDY BREEZE (8-1) and #12 BLACK BUTTERFLY (30-1) are not without hope in the win category, but likely best used underneath.

INDY BREEZE had trouble in last and has a good record at this distance. She is also lightly-raced on turf, and those starts were around two turns. Her speed figures in those races were comparable to what she was running on dirt and synthetic. Visually, she looks versatile enough the handle any surface. Her running style looks right for this track and distance.

BLACK BUTTERFLY is a bit of a reach; based on what she has shown she is slower than the other contenders. The positives are that she is a lightly-raced 4-year old, with good positional speed, she has nice outside post, and her best races have come at this extended sprint distance. 

OTHER SELECTIONS:
R1: 8-4-6-5 (normally I don’t like to give out four+ horses per race - some of these races are spread-worthy, and often times with these big full fields, overlays are present and deeper “choice” is worth a mention and upgrade)
R2: 7-10-2
R3: 4-9-1-2
R5: 4-2-7-9-10
R6: 6-1-12
R7: 4-12-1-6
R8: 5-1-11-12
R9: 1-6-12
R10: 6-3-11-4

More from OPTIXNOTES and OPTIXPLOT can be found at OptixEQ.com, and you can also check them out on Twitter @OptixEQ.