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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend Handicapping: A wide open Spinster at Keeneland today


Yesterday was one of those days in racing where everything fell into place.  Gio Ponti had a wonderful run in the Shadwell(G1) along with my pick Get Stormy (finishing second) and then later that evening hitting a small Pick 4 at Balmoral for $127 on a $24 ticket.  If you had played the Trifecta on the Shadwell with my top three and Gio Ponti it would have paid $192 on a $48 ticket.  A good day all around!  Today the stakes calendar is light and the only big race scheduled is the The Juddmonte Spinster Grade 1 for filles and mares, 3YO and upward going a 1 1/8 over the synthetic track at Keeneland. 

This will be the race that reminds us how humbling handicapping can be.  It is wide open, I mean throw a dart and you will have a great chance.  I will admit, I don’t like seeing a bunch of turf horses moving to a dirt/synthetic track for the first time.  There is no form, you don’t know how well they will do and generally brings chaos to the handicapping.  It also means tons of value, so if you want a price and can find an angle it’s a big payoff.

For this race I’m going to do it differently, three contenders and my Bombs Away pick. Honestly they are all dark horses here, I could argue a case for all but one or two to win it.  We have a packed field of 11 to choose from so good luck!

Contenders:

#7  Embur’s Song ML 5/1

I’m going with speed all the way.  She has the early foot and she is two for two at Keenleand.  Three Grade 3 wins to her credit and breeding says she can do nine furlongs. Pletcher dumps Husbands after that strange ride in the Seaway and puts Castanon on board.  Six of nine on the synthetic  and she looks like she is ready to get back to the winners circle.

#10 Theysken’s Theory ML 6/1

Had this 3YO filly in her debut in the Garden City where she finished second almost catching Winter Memories.  Her first outing on the turf at Keeneland was a disaster so want to give her a second chance.  She is the only turf horse in this field I will take the chance on synthetic for the first time. While McGaughey doesn’t have a good turf to synthetic record, just have a gut feeling she will bounce back and be there at the end.

#12 Pachattack ML 5/1

The only reason I have her here is because she has the highest Beyer’s on synthetic (103), has won at this distance and longer, can race forwardly.  Now here is what I don’t like, has never won in the USA when her weight goes over 120, today she carries 124.  I’m not sure the pace of this race suits her, but you have to respect her most recent effort in the Personal Ensign (G2). 

Bombs Away:

#4 Sugar Again ML 12/1

This lightly raced 4YO has won five of nine starts, she is two for four on synthetic (at Woodbine). While her last race was on turf in the Paris Opera ($80K) there is something about this filly that says she might be ready for that big race.  I like the fact that Solis is on board and Sheppard has a good record with surface switching. She posted a bullet workout at Keeneland over 5f.  If Solis takes her forward and rates her just off the pace, she could take it all.  She has a solid closing kick into the deep stretch.

Selections:

 7 – 10 – 12

I will be posting on my blog http://the-clocker.blogspot.com/  the selections for the Guaranteed $25,000 Pick 4 at Balmoral tonight. 

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