Horses to Watch – 9/26/16

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

The autumn racing season is next up to watch and wager, and this is what the racing world has been sweating out all summer.  This past weekend was a little reminder of what Mother Nature gave us the past three months. Her sweltering heat will be replaced by crisp autumn breezes and a foliage show that illuminates most of the country. – As you start digging out your hoodies and winter clothes, keep your eyes peeled for these runners the next time they hit the track. They have an excuse, and this could translate to a bumper payday next time to the races. – Best of luck from your friends at !



Race #3 – #4 – Mo Town – 1 mile on the dirt

Impressive son of Uncle Mo settled out and drew off to win by a powerful 7 lengths for the Tony Dutrow barn. – He is a playback and may offer a price moving up the ladder.

Race #6 – #7 – On Tap – 7f on the dirt

Linda Rice trainee was three-wide early and dug in gamely to present a solid challenge down the lane to get 2nd money.

Race #8 – #7 – Stormy Victoria – 1 mile on the turf

The G-3 Noble Damsel stakes was not kind as this gal never looked comfortable one step. Three wide, unsettled, and just off the bit during the race but somehow managed a solid effort in the final stages to be third.

Race #10 – #7 – Sneaky Fudge Face – 6f on the dirt

Awkward at the start as the gates opened and was forced to take up sharply. Scrap this race from your memory, and hopefully she’ll have the opportunity to come back and give a better effort.

Churchill Downs


Race #1 – #1 – Incensed – 5f on the turf

Bumped soundly at the break, and soldiered on as the beaten chalk to finish up a game second place finish.

Race #8 – #8 – Leofric – 1 1/16 on the dirt

He was forced into a traffic jam and had to split runners twice to get into position. Once free, he came under a strong ride to get the show money.




Friday Night Australian Racing, 9/23/2016

Race 4A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, September 23, 2016.  TAB REGINALD ALLEN QLTY ($100K) 12:00am EDT (11:00pm CDT, 9:00pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo F OPEN LR.  7 furlongs. Apprentices cannot claim.  Picks:  11-2

#11 Pecans (7/1) showed a lot of ability in his maiden breaker and gets a lot of weight from the favorites tonight.  He looks like a horse that will appreciate a quickly run 7 furlongs.  #2 Invincibella (7/2)  is a bit of a stab here in a wide-open race, but she has faced good competition  and James McDonald rides for Chris Waller – that’s usually a good thing.


Race 5A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, September 23, 2016 5A STAN FOX STAKES ($200K) 12:35am EDT (11:35pm CDT, 9:35pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo OPEN SW G2.  7.5 furlongs. Apprentices cannot claim.  Picks 2-3

#2 Divine Prophet (3/2) had a tough trip in a million dollar stakes (the “Golden Rose”) two weeks ago, and should be set to win in this much softer spot.  #3 Good Standing (5/1) should improve here coming out of the same Golden Rose stakes.

Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, 9/24/2016

It’s Songbird vs. Cathryn Sophia vs. Carina Mia in the Grade 1 Cotillion!

Parx R10 (post 4:55 Eastern), The Cotillion Stakes (Grade 1), 8.5 furlongs 

Class:  Songbird (undefeated and $2.5 million in earnings)

Expected Pace:  Carina Mia is coming out of a few sprints and drew the rail.  She will need to get position early by trying to make the lead from the inside.

Consistency:  Songbird (undefeated) Selections:

1st – #5 Songbird (1/2)   2nd – #2 Cathryn Sophia (5/2)   3rd – #1 Carina Mia (5/1)

I expect SONGBIRD to track Carina Mia and Cathryn Sophia while wide in the three path and taking over on the second turn.  Should be a soft win.  Cathryn Sophia is a very nice animal and Carina Mia has a ton of early speed.  In a “normal” year they would be very logical winners of this race.

The Top Three Finishers from the Kentucky Derby reunite in the Pennsylvania Derby!

Parx R11 (post 5:45 pm) The Pennsylvania Derby (Grade 2), 9 furlongs

Class (assumed fast track):  Nyquist (undefeated on a fast track 7-7-0-0).

Expected Pace:  Summer Revolution is coming out of classy sprint races and should set the pace from the inside, especially with reliable “send” jockey Mike Smith aboard.

Consistency (assumed fast track):  Nyquist, Gun Runner and Awesome Slew all have great records on fast tracks. Selections:

1st – #9 Nyquist (5/2)  2nd – #7 Gun Runner (6/1)  

3rd – #1 Awesome Slew (10/1)   4th – #3 Summer Revolution (8/1)

NYQUIST finally (maybe?) will get a wide draw and a fast track, the conditions he took advantage of in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the 2016 Kentucky Derby.  I am willing to give him one last try with this mediocre bunch.  Gun Runner ran a top number chasing Arrogate, but when a horse runs like Arrogate on the front end at a high rate of speed the horses chasing will usually run a big number, even though they did not threaten the winner.  Awesome Slew and Summer Revolution have a lot of speed that could tell if they are left alone on the front end.  Exaggerator has been awful lately on fast tracks and I won’t be using him on Saturday.

Three Year Old Sprinters Lay it Down in the Gallant Bob at Parx!

Parx R9 (post 4:14 pm) The Gallant Bob (Grade 3), 6 furlongs

Class: Noholdingbackbear (5-3-2-0) at 6 furlongs for $183,000 in earnings.

Expected Pace:  Usually Eurico Da Silva is more aggressive early than Raphael Bejarano, so I think the “Bear” will be on the lead and Navy Hymn will track from a very handy second or third position outside of the “Bear.”

Consistency:  Navy Hymm has won its last 6 races at distances from 5.5 to 6.5 furlongs, including 3 wins in three starts at 6 furlongs. Selections:

1st – #4 Navy Hymn (5/1)   2nd – #7 Awesome Speed (12/1)  

3rd – #5 Noholdingbackbear (5/2)

NAVY HYMN is just too hot right now and usually Southern California sprinters do well shipping east.  Awesome Speed is undefeated at this distance (2-2-0) and has some class.  Hard to say how he will perform but there should be some value sticking with top trainer Alan Goldberg.  Noholdingbackbear will go for as far as he can last.


Two suggested 50 cent Pick 4 plays (starts in Saturday, 9/24 Parx R8):

All (seven) w 4,7 w 2,5 w 9 = $14 (largely chalk)

1,3,4,7 w 2,3,4,5,7,10 w 5 w 1,3,7,9 = $48 (aggressive ticket) Horses to Watch – 9/19/16

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch ? – Well, maybe it won’t get you a free kids meal, but if you keep a close eye on the following runners. You might find yourself getting a square price on a solid player. – I can’t say enough about watching races and taking notes, and we have did some homework hoping you’ll have a sweet day at the windows. – Best of luck from your friends at !

Belmont Park


Race #1 – #4 – Lucky Lotto – 1 mile on the main track

Eric Cancel’s mount was bumped soundly at the start by Midnight Hawk who jumped in the air at the start. Heavily backed at the windows and still managed a game 2nd place effort.

Race #4 – #7 – Lubash – 1 1/16 on the turf

Very nice New York-bred who was caught wide throughout and managed to overcome this extra ground to get the win. He needs a nice play back and you may get a much better price than you expect.

Race #6 – #4 – Wild Impulse – 6f on the turf

Broke inward at the start and never seemed to regain his composure. Beaten favorite this day, and this is a hard-core player’s angle to follow.



Race #2 – #7 – Molinaro Deputy – 6 1/2f on the AW

Pinballed at the start and was 4-5 wide into the final turn, Finished up with good interest and ran 2nd this day.

Race #3 – #6 – Vanish – 6f on the AW

Broke alertly and dropped back shortly after. He finished up with a strong second effort, and should only improve as a first time starter.

Race #6 – #6 – Conquest Too Smart – 6f on the AW

Broke nicely and was forced to check up sharply at the half. Finished up with a good late kick and should be respected as a heavily backed player this day.

Race  #8 – #2 – Dacita – 1 1/8 on the turf

Bumped around at the break and saved ground to finish up strongly down the lane. – Next time out should have him right in the winner’s circle.


Friday Night Australian Racing, 9/16/2016

Australian Racing features one of the top three horses in thew world tonight – the Australian-bred race mare WINX!  She races in Race 6B (Randwick).

Race 6B Australia (Randwick) Friday, September 16, 2016.  COLGATE OPTIC WHITE STAKES ($500K) 1:15am EDT (12:15am CDT, 10:15pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 4 (6B, 7B, 8B, 9B) 3yo+ OPEN G1, 1 mile.  Apprentices cannot claim.  Picks 8-1

#8 Winx is a superstar (and 1/9 favorite) and these other hosers are largely glorified handicappers.  She rates a big edge in here.  #1 Tosen Stardom (10/1) switches to ace jockey Craig Williams, and had some bad luck in transit at Moonee Valley last time.  If one watches a lot of races from “the Valley” luck in running is often a deciding factor (much more so than any other track in Australia), and I expect Tosen Stardom to move forward for his second start for top trainer Darren Weir.


Race 7B Australia (Randwick) Friday, September 16, 2016.  7B BOWERMANS FURNITURE SHORTS ($200K) 1:55am EDT (12:55am CDT, 10:55pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo+ OPEN G2 5 1/2 furlongs.  Apprentices cannot claim.  Picks  4-2-1-3-9.

#4 English (8/5) proved to be a very sharp sprinter last campaign and she is considered a strong favorite to keep the momentum going first off the layoff..  #2 Ball of Muscle (8/1) is coming off the layoff but he is a tough customer, having a great career record (19-8-6-3) for top Sydney-based sprint trainer Joe Pride.  #1 Japonisme (7/1) did not fire on a wet track first off the layoff at a distance that may have been too short for him anyway, but his back numbers compare to the top two picks.  #3 Takedown (11/1) has yet to win at Randwick but he can add value to the exotics.  #9 Kaepernick (12/1 ML) may not protest the National Anthem, but he can run fast like his namesake and has earned $394,000 printing – a good chunk of change.

Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, 9/17/2016

Note:  Woodbine is having a SPECIAL late pick 5 on races 8 (the Canadian) through 12 (the Woodbine Mile).  In Canada the base unit is 20 cents per ticket combination.  Here are my proposed special WO pick 5 plays:

(1) “The Tepin could lose” play:

2,6,7 with All (ten runners) with 6,8 with 6,7,9,10 with 2,8 = $96 for 20 cents

(2) Or a less expensive, lower potential reward play singling Tepin:

2,6,7 with All (ten runners) with 6,8 with 6,7,9,10 with 8 (single Tepin) = $48 for 20 cents

Good luck to all!

Tepin Return to the Races in the Woodbine Mile!

Woodbine R12 (post 6:39 Eastern):  The Woodbine Mile, Grade 1, 1 mile (turf), 3up

Class:  Tepin has won 10 of her 15 grass races for $3.2 million in earnings.

Expected Pace:  Passion for Action and Glenville Gardens are both coming out of the same 7 furlong sprint stakes and should show speed here.  Tepin will be close up early.

Consistency:  Tepin has won eight of her last 10 races and Mutakayyef has been in the money in his last 10 races, including his best BRIS class ratings in his last two races.  He also has a very strong career record at this 1 mile distance (3-2-1-0).  Glenville Gardens has won his last three races, and six of his last eight races. Selections:

1st – #8 Tepin (1/2)   2nd – #2 Mutakayyef (7/2)   3rd – #4 Glenville Gardens (20/1)

TEPIN is training very well for this race and deserves the call to get the win in this spot.  MUTAKAYYEF faced two of Europe’s best in Postponed and Highland Reel last out at 10 furlongs, earning a career best BRIS class rating of 125, which would be good enough to win this race.  GLENVILLE GARDENS appears to be a Woodbine “horse for the course,” having won three turf sprints and one turf mile out of five attempts on the local sod.

Woodbine Turf Marathoners Lay it on the Line in the 12 furlong Northern Dancer!!

WO R10 (post 5:34 Eastern):  The Northern Dancer, Grade 1, 12 Furlongs (turf), 3up

Class:  While disappointing in 2016, Big Blue Kitten has won $2.9 Million on the grass.

Expected Pace:  Morning line favorite World Approval will set or prompt a moderate pace.

Consistency:  World Approval has been in the money in seven of his last ten races.  Wake Forest has been in the money in three of his last 4 races before disappointing in the high class Arlington Million.

1st – #6 World Approval (2/1)   2nd – #8 Danish Dynaformer (6/1)

3rd – #4 Wake Forest (5/2)

WORLD APPROVAL raced on an Arlington Million course that I know was not “firm.”  The Arlington Heights received a lot of rain on the day before and the day of the race and I will give him and to a lesser degree Wake Forest a “pass” on the blemishes to their otherwise stellar records.   DANISH DYNAFORMER has managed to win twice at this tricky 12 furlong distance and Woodbine is his home track – a chance for mild upset.  WAKE FOREST is probably better than he showed in the Arlington MIllion, and his record i races in 11 furlongs and longer is good enough to win this weekend.

Woodbine Mares Lay it on the Line in the 9 furlong Canadian!!

WO R8 (post 4:30 Eastern):  The Canadian, Grade 2, 9 Furlongs (turf), 3up F&M

Class:  Dacita (barely) won a Grade 1 at Saratoga.   Several others in here are Grade 2 class.

Expected Pace:  Moderate for a grade 1.  Midnight Miley will take them as far as she can.

Consistency:  Dacita is 12 for 15 in the money (nine wins) on the turf, including a win at Saratoga over Tepin in 2015.  Strut the Course is 7 for 9 in the money on the grass, all at Woodbine. selections:

1st – #2 Dacita (2/1)   2nd – #1 Faufilier (8/1)   3rd – #6 Midnight Miley (12/1)

DACITA and Faufilier look like mares that will appreciate the long Woodbine stretch.  Midnight Miley has struggeled some on the turf but she tracks as the lone early speed and this is the kind of field to take a shot. Horses to Watch – 9/14/16

The turf racing at Kentucky Downs, the opening of Belmont, and the continuation of summer ovals. That was pretty much on the docket for horse players around the country. – Kentucky Downs has a special charm all to its own. How many European-style turf courses do you know of in the United States ? Me neither.  The undulating turf with sweeping turns with rises and dips make it a one-a-kind experience.  Florent Geroux has taken the stakes world by storm in south-central Kentucky, and with $130,000 maiden events there has never been a better time to enjoy the turf festival. If you haven’t caught any of the incredible action, it all wraps up on Thursday, September 15, 2016. – Be sure to make plans to watch and wager, and add it to your “bucket-list” of tracks to visit as you won’t be disappointed. – And now comes the time to grab your notebook or commit to memory  the following horses, as they deserve a good playback wager off a comprised trip or it just wasn’t their day.



Race #5 – #6 – Afleet Martini – 6 1/2 f on the dirt

Stumbled badly at the start and Manny Franco recovered nicely and was roused to make a solid bid for 2nd money.

Race #9 – #2 – Data Driven – 7f on the turf

Joel Rosario saved ground for most of the race and tipped off the rail at the top of the lane. Six wide into the lane producing a late lick down the lane  for the Chad Brown barn.


Race #2 – #6 – Adulation – 1 mile on the dirt

Tracked under the guidance of Manny Franco and loomed boldly around the far turn. He turned in a top effort for the Ian Wilkes barn his rally was enough to show promise for his next outing.

Race #4 – #2 – Jamyson N Ginger – 6f on the dirt

Stumbled badly at the start, and recovered to uncork a rally showing promise for the next effort.

Kentucky Downs


Race #3 – #6 – Dahlia’s Foxy Lady – 1 mile on the turf

Florent Geroux’s mount was a first time starter who was off slowly and put in a bid to come up short down the lane. She’ll only get better off of this race and good things are just around the corner.

Race #6 – #2 – High Noon Rider – 1 mile on the turf

Joe Rocco’s mount came away from the gate in an awkward fashion and made a striking move at the 5/16th’s pole to finish a solid 4th place effort.

Race #8 – #1 – Fleet Bernie – 1 mile and 70 yards on the turf

Brian Hernandez in the irons and he settled his mount to track nicely. Upon giving his cue for more run he was blocked badly and had to settle for 3rd money.



Friday Night Australian Racing, 9/9/2016

Race 2C Australia (Flemington) Friday, September 9, 2016.  CAP D’ANTIBES STAKES (Purse AUD $120K) 11:00pm EDT (10:00pm CDT, 8:00pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo F OPEN Listed Race.  Picks 4-7-1-14

#4 My Country (9/1 ML) looks like a classic Aussie “win type” (4-3-1-0) and has drawn very well wide in Post 14.  Has the tactical speed to stay in touch with the leaders.  #7 Kentucky Miss (6/1 ML) is horse that run competitive races but it could be argued she wants the ground softer than tonight’s Soft 5 rating.  She’s 4-2-0-1 on soft and heavy tracks.  #1 Missrock (6/1 ML) has the highest race rating off that large purse she won in April, 2016.  #14 Conscious (14/1 ML) had a mental meltdown in her comeback and her connections changed the jockey and made three new equipment changes (five total pieces of gear) to settle her down.  Note her first try at this 5.5f Flemington layout she was really good.


Race 3C Australia (Flemington) Friday, September 9, 2016 3C STARLIGHT EXPRESS ROOM STAKES (Purse AUD $120K) 11:35pm EDT 10:35pm CDT 8:35pm PDT W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 3 (3C, 4C, 5C) 3yo OPEN Listed Race.  Picks 2-12-7-13

#2 Seaburge’s (9/2 ML) best race of his career was at this track and trip in March 2016.  Second off the layoff tonight he still can improve for the win.  #12 Zunbaqa (10/1 ML) is a very dangerous foe, having already won at the Flemington 7 furlong distance in strong time.  He is also getting 9 pounds from the top pick.  #7 Yu Long Sheng Hui (18/1 ML) and #13 Inspired Estelle (13/1 ML), both trained by top Melbourne sprint trainer Mick Price, have slower speed figures coming in but have the successful running lines to say they can compete on the class rise.

Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, 9/10/2016

After the great racing at Saratoga and Del Mar, most of the “big name” horses are taking the week off.  There were only three graded stakes this week, all Grade 3s.  Of those races, only the $400,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs and the $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs have national (and potentially Australian) implications down the road.

In addition to the stakes race analysis, I will suggest a horizontal wager involving the Super Derby and the Kentucky Turf Cup:

Three Year Olds Battle for the Super Derby Prize!

Louisiana Downs Race 11 (post 5:55 Eastern): The SUPER DERBY.  9 furlongs.  3yo.

Class:  Mo Tom has a very enviable dirt record (8-4-0-2, $573,000 in earnings), and that doesn’t even count when he had traffic trouble in some of the Kentucky Derby preps.  Dalmore faced California Chrome, Beholder and Dortmund all in the same race, the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.  Any of those horses would be odds on in here.

Expected Pace:  Texas Chrome and Whateverybodywants will probably set a slow pace for a race of this level.  This may hurt the chances of Mo Tom, who really wants to track a fast pace.

Consistency:  Texas Chrome has only missed the board once, shipping all around the Southwest, earning check after check. Selections:

1st – #6 Dalmore (2/1)  2nd – #2 Mo Tom (7/5)   3rd – #5 Texas Chrome (7/2)

DALMORE gets a huge drop in class and his win in the Grade 3 Affirmed at Santa Anita says he can win at this level.  He should get an ideal stalking trip.  MO TOM is a warrior but I do not see him getting his preferred pace set up.  I will use Dalmore and Mo Tom in my proposed pick 4 (see below).  TEXAS CHROME is more of a grinder than exceptional but he will get his pace without threatening the top two.

Suggested Louisiana Downs all-stakes pick 4 ($100,000 Guaranteed Pool, starts in Race 8):

6,9 w 1,4,7,9,10 w 4,7,8,12 w 2,6 = $40 (w = “with)


Will DA BIG HOSS win the Kentucky Turf Cup?

Kentucky Downs Race 9 (post 6:39 Eastern) The Kentucky Turf Cup (Grade 3, 12 furlongs, turf), 3up

Class:  Da Big Hoss has won nearly $1.2 Million on the turf over the last two years.

Expected Pace:  Slow.  Nobody wants the lead at all.  Da Big Hoss has the ability to stay close enough.

Consistency:  Da Big Hoss has won four of his last five starts, three by open margins.  His uncoupled entry mate Greengrassofyoming has won two of his last three starts and a earned close fourth placing in the high class Arlington Million. Selections:

1st – #7 Da Big Hoss (7/5)   2nd – #9 Greengrassofyoming (7/2)   3rd – #3 Seve’s Road (6/1)

Since I have DA BIG HOSS on top of all three categories I have to consider him a very viable single for my proposed Kentucky Downs Pick 5 wager.  There is some talk Da Big Hoss will enter the Melbourne Cup in Australia if he wins this race well.  GREENGRASSOFYOMING looks to be the main danger but I think Da Big Hoss has him covered.  California shipper SEVE’S ROAD has won two of his last three starts and is trained by the extremely sharp Philip D’Amato with top California jock Flavien Prat in tow.  Outside chance for the top spot.

Kentucky Downs Pick 5 (starts in Race 6):

3,9,11 w 3,5,6,7 w 2,3,5,6,7 w 7 w 3,4,7,10 = $120 (w = “with”) Horses to Watch – 9/6/16

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

I feel the cool autumn winds stirring, as it won’t be long until Breeders’ Cup conversations take the place of heat and humidity. – As the last race at Saratoga turned for home, the words of Larry Collmus summed up the  summer race meet; ” The last 40 days reach the final two furlongs of the race meet.” – This was the official end of summer. We can look forward to Belmont, Keeneland, Santa Anita, and the Breeder’s’ Cup. What a ride it has surely been, and the best news begins as we start the countdown to next year. – But not to worry, has some runners who are in need of a playback as they have an excuse, a troubled trip, or could offer up some solid value next time out.


9/4/16 – Race #4 – #8 – 6f on the dirt

#8 – Irst – First time starter for Todd Pletcher and Irad Ortiz in the irons. Bumped soundly and tangled up at the start and finished a solid second. He should love the long stretch at Belmont.

9/4/16 – Race #8 – #3 – 7f on the main track

#3 – Bid List – Jose Ortiz had the call, and was pinched back and stumbled leaving the starting gate. This first time starter for the Asmussen barn should benefit greatly from this troubled effort. She finished up to be 5th, and that gives me plenty to look forward to next up.

9/4/16 – Race #9 – #4 – 6 1/2f on the dirt

#4 – J.S. Bach – Johnny V in the irons as his mount hit the side of the starting gate when leaving and smashed into others trying to get back on track. – His last race was at Belmont and Todd Pletcher will have all of the bugs worked out before going back to “Big Sandy.”

9/4/16 – Race #11 – #7  – 6f on the main track

#7 – Off the Tracks – Jose Ortiz had the call and was in the two path all the way around and went four wide at the top of the lane to finish a promising 4th as the beaten favorite.

NHC contest tournament cash is king

9/5/16 – Race #2 – #1 – 7f on the dirt

#1 – Frosty Gal – Manny Franco did pretty well this meet and he’s on the riders to use list for sure. – In this race his mount was green and fought the rider down the backstretch. She didn’t settle in and fought the bit at various times during the race. Overall, she put together a promising effort for players next out finishing a game 4th this day.

9/5/16 – Race #4 – #5 – 6f on the main track

#5 – Woodville – Manny Franco in the irons and won this race easily as the heavy favorite. She;’ll move right up the ladder and deserves a playback off this impressive win.