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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Handicapping: The British are coming .. The British are coming @Woodbine for the Mile(G1)

Yesterday we saw Winter Memories bounce back and run a very nice race.  The 3YO that impressed me was Theyskens' Theory , finishing second.   Gomez did a fine job with this import after getting bumped in near the start. I expect good things in the future from him.  All this leads me to today’s race at Woodbine.  We are going to look at the Woodbine Mile(G1) on turf for 3YO+ for a purse of a $1,000,000.  What makes this so race dynamic is the three first time imports and one other with a handful of USA races under his belt.
Why the big deal?  Several weeks ago on my blog I shared some tips l learned from Night School at Horseplayer Now on how to handicap imports.  The key is that we can’t ignore first time imports any longer.  They are winning consistently on our turf courses at first asking and usually at nice prices.   That makes this race problematic and more contentious then usual. 

Contenders:

#4  Courageous Cat ML 3/1

What can you say?  This is the top turf miler in the country right now.  Has won at all Grade levels, the most recent at Hollywood Park, the Shoemaker (G1).  His Beyer’s hold consistently over 100, and has the ability to go wire to wire today.  There will be some other speed to push him, but he should win his third in a row.

#5 Right Now(FR)  ML 8/1

This will be the fifth race in the USA for this French 5YO and is ready to move up to the G1 level.  Had a solid third to Courageous Cat in the Poker(G3) and looks poised to break through.  I like Gomez here too, especially after bringing Theysken’s Theory in for a second yesterday.  He will rate off and close in a hurry, good position if the speedster burn up.

#8 Turallure ML 5/1

This is one of those horses is either very good or very bad.  He is having a solid 4YO campaign winning two of five races, including the Baruch(G2) posting a 103 Beyer.  He has won at this distance and is versatile racing back or up front.  Thinking he will lay back and wait it out. Has Leparoux again, where he brought him to the finish line in first in two of the last three races.   Lastly, his trainer, Lopresti, while not having a ton of entries this year (62), his results are near the top.

Dark Horses:

#4 Side Glance(GB)  ML 4/1

Many will have this British invader in the top three and rightly so.  Recent win at the G3 level at Salisbury makes this 4YO gelding a dangerous one.   He will have his jockey of choice and gets a nice weight break for this one.  He likes to rate and should be in good position to close up on the front runners.  If the price swings out past 4/1 I’d be real interested in playing him to upset.

#2 Forte Dei Marmi (GB) ML 15/1       
      
Another British first timer and could also consider him a “Bombs Away” threat, but actually like him to upset.  Roger Attfield has taken over his USA training and has JohnnyV in the irons, and that alone makes him an interesting play.  Like Side Glance,  a big weight drop, and while winless so far as a 5YO, coming to the USA could be the tonic for him. Add the First time on Lasix, and you have a bunch of hunch angles with this one.  Definite play in your Tri’s and could pick up some of this huge purse.

“Bombs Away:”

#10 Kara’s Orientation ML 15/1

Hard to believe to see a recent G2 winner with high Beyer’s sitting in the long shot chair.  But here he sits, two straight wins, excellent speed patterns (88-89-98) and loves to go wire to wire.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ramsammy do what he did in the Sky Classic(G2,) and just let him go and see how he holds off the ‘Cat.  At the very worst, we will find out if this 4YO is the real deal.

Selections:

4 – 5 – 8

As a reminder will be blogging at http://the-clocker.blogspot.com/  this evening Pick 4 selections for the $25,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 at Balmoral Park.    

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