To show our support for the across the board takeout reduction, we will be posting handicapper helpers, courtesy of Emily Gullikson and OptixEQ, for each card.
MEADOWLANDS THOROUGHBRED 9-28-16
Meadowlands opening day. Full disclosure, this is a circuit I am not all that familiar with, and one we just added to OptixEQ. Unlike Kentucky Downs with historical OptixPlot data, we are entering the meet without that information to start. I did study some charts, but honestly, and not because I am biased, comparing a race on OptixResults showing the “before and after” Plot and Graph is a much more efficient way to look at track profiles.
My approach for a this opening day, and perhaps entire meet, is a lot different than how I would attack Belmont, a track I follow extensively. This strategy is one John Doyle and I have used in the past and framework for another potential OptixEQ platform. As I go through the field, I assess each horse with a label such as VULNERABLE, LEGIT, WEAK, VALUE etc. This allows me to be more flexible when playing the race in real-time, instead of being married to a particular horse. Looking over those charts from last year, there were more than a few generous prices. To say the least, seeking out overlays will be the key.
RACE 3 CLAIMING 5000B 8.5 furlongs TURF
This has to be one of the more unreliable conditions, and “no tea, no shade,” but most of these mares are getting up there in age. Let’s take a look at the two lowest prices on the morning line and likely betting choices: #3 FIRST ACQUITAL (3-1) and #4 JANE PETERSON (5-2). It's a tale of two different scenarios with them.
#3 FIRST ACQUITAL has a couple of things to note; while she has run well at this track, her recent races exhibit PLODDY, and note her record at the distance - 0 for 18. She is one I could see sucking up and getting a minor award at best; on the win end you have to take her on.
#4 JANE PETERSON is one of those “win or run out” types. Her last race was uninspiring and she is winless on the year. Things she has in her favor that gives her “win” consideration is the second time at the low level, and more importantly the pace scenario. There is not much speed signed on, so she could make the lead and take them gate-to-wire. OptixRPM (run style) has her listed as the only “E” runner, but the speed rating is a 60, a higher speed rating that often yields to horses from off pace. She could see potential pressure from POOR ETIQUETTE stretching out. If she does take some pressure the chance of her running out becomes much greater and sets up for some potential big prices.
#9 HOPEFAITHJOY (8-1) presents some value; most people will look at that last running race, which can be excused after getting caught wide and behind a soft pace on speed-favoring track. Also, the jock wrapped up and never asked her for run in last half-mile, so that makes it an easy line-through race. You have to go back to those races on the firm turf at Gulfstream - any of those fit with this field. Even that last turf race at Monmouth, pulling on the soft pace, and the track might have had more water than the “good” listed in form. Even with the blinkers off, she's raced most of career without blinkers, and she is capable of sitting closer to pace and could be in perfect spot if/when Jane Peterson backs up.
#1 RMILLIONDOLLARBABY (4-1) her last three races at higher level were decent enough to think she can break through with a win here. Her last win came on this course, and watching her races she looks to be in good form. The morning line is not all that exciting for win bet; she will present value in multi-race wagers as third morning line choice, and of course in all gimmicks.
#10 GIANT FUPEG (30-1) truth is she is too slow to compete with some of the others in here. What she does have in her favor is youth, and a couple turf races that weren’t horrible. Last time she tried turf was as a 3-year old. That one race earned a 47 Beyer, came off the layoff, and was followed by another layoff, meaning she was likely not running that race at 100%. She is a wild card for me. If you are using all in those underneath spots you will pick her up by default.
SELECTIONS (adjust accordingly)
R1: 8-4-1- (5,10)
R4: 3-6- (8,7,1)