Howdy guys -
I'm focusing on tomorrow's soccer card and going to hold off today. . . I do have one race pick though. . . and it is a bit risky as I am going against the clear favorite.
Race 6 - Sam Houston Race Park - Houston, Texas. 6 furlongs, 7,500 claiming race . . . cheap race.
The 6 is the clear favorite . . . I have followed this horse for a while, and not simply because my ex decided to shag the trainer while we were together. . . anywho, 6 is a strong closer. 6 has been kicking ass and taking names. 6 has won his last two races . . . in his last two races, he turned in very respectable beyer speed figs of 75 and 71 . . . those races were run at the same conditions as the race tonight. . . . The first flag I see is that his last three races were run on off tracks . . . true, four races back, he hit a 72 beyer in a 7,500 claimer on a fast track at 5.5 furlongs . . . but still, I think that the off track races and those wins are skewing the odds a bit and should sucker in Joe Public ("hey, this horse has won two in a row") . . .
Don't get me wrong . . .the 6 is a great horse but I'm just a little bothered by the fact that the trainer/owner is risking this horse to be claimed . . . why would you risk losing your horse to a claim if it so head and shoulders better than the conditions at which it is racing??? I don't get it . . .
I am on the 5 horse - Dove Express. I know this horse and dated his former owner/trainer/jockey. I almost claimed him awhile back but was cautioned by my trainer about bone chips and the need for surgical repair (relevant as discussed below). . . anywho, Dove has had three recent disappointing races . . . his most recent races were at Sam Houston (which I consider to be a lower tier track due to weak purses - why race here if Louisiana and its slot-machine-enfused purses are so close??) and he didn't fare so well . . . logging at 61 in a 7500 claimer on Feb 19 and a 55 in a 5k allowance on Jan 2... Those races would seem to make you go "why the hell would anyone back this horse???" However, I think in large part those races can be chalked up to the horse getting his legs back under him after having chip surgery and his re-training . . . I CAN TELL YOU THIS, ... THE HORSE IS NOW FIT AND READY TO RUN... he's had his surgery... he's recuperated . . . he's been training daily. . . his former owner/trainer/jockey works him daily . . . she really is devoted to this horse and I think that it will show. . . furthermore, I think that to a great extent, the last few poor performances could be chalked up to the fact that the previous trainer was at odds with the owner and probably let a lot of training that should have been given to Dove slide. . . Dove has a new trainer - my trainer - and he has been steadily getting Dove back on track. Today could be the day.
If Dove is back to his pre-chip fitness/quality, he will win this race. . . prior to being injured, he was racing in 23K - 27K allowance races at Lone Star (much better than Sam and much more competitive due to larger purses). In those races, he logged beyers higher than those posted by the 6 horse. . . I put a lot of stock in these last observations. . .
In addition to the 5 and 6, the three is the critical horse to the race (if I want the 5 to win)... the 3 should be the leader through most of the race with the 5 tagging along over the 3's shoulder... last three races run by the 3 were on the grass . . this is a switch to dirt. The last time the trainer/owner ran three turf races with this horse and switched to grass, the horse crushed the field by 9.5 lengths. . ..
I see this race unwinding as follows: (1) the 3 and the 7 race each other with the 7 pushing the 3; (2) the 5 will be about 2 lengths back . . . and hopefully make his move early on the home stretch . . . (3) the 6 closes and "almost" beats the 5 . . .
This is a biased pick - like I said, I know the 5 horse . . . so take this with a grain of salt, especially in light of the kick-assedness that has been happening with respect to the 6...
I think I will go with 20 across on the 5 and a 50 exacta box on the 5/6.
Best of luck!!!
INTER MILAN -200 to win 100
ARSENAL vrs OLYMPIAKOS o2 -145 to win 100
OLYMPIAKOS -105 to win 100
STANDARD LIEGE EV to win 100
BOL to all!