Category Archives: Spot Plays

Friday Night Australian Racing 1/29/2016

Race 1A (Flemington), BM78 (think N1x allowance), 5.5 furlongs (straight course), 8:25 pm EST.  Purse = AUD $50,000.

My picks 6 (chalk) and 9 (value)…#6 Supido (2/1 ML) won in July 2015 going down the straight leaving from post 1and won easily, keeps top Melbourne jock Craig Williams, but has not been seen since. If he is ready to go his 2015 speed figures indicate another blowout win could be possible.  It is USUALLY an advantage in these straight course sprints to draw a wide barrier (posts 9-10-11, etc), closer to the fan’s side of the course.  The outside draw lets a horse “work into a race” without having to use too much energy or having to avoid a lot of traffic.  #9 Chivari (ML 10/1) appears to be the main early speed drawn well in post 10.  This one can add a lot of value to your horizontal wagers.


Race 2A (Flemington), BM90 (think N3x allowance), 6.0 furlongs (straight course), 9:00 pm EST.  Purse = AUD $80,000.

My picks 7 (upsetter) and 4…Generally an unappealing race. #7 Not A Happy Camper (11/1 ML) can compete with this group of underachievers after drawing post 5, and #4 Zupacharged (5/2 ML) has run three fast races in a row.  Having said that, I would not be surprised if anyone won this race.


Race 1C (Doomben), Open Handicap.  5.25 furlongs (bend clockwise), 9:28 pm EST.  Purse = AUD $65,000

I am pretty excited about #2 Itz Alrite (5/1 ML).  This horse ran OK for 3rd in its first start, then gets a nice vacation and comes back with a 46.40 trial for 4.25 furlongs on Jan 19th, which is really moving.  Breeding is top notch (espcially for a Doomben-based two year old) and the apprentice that rode for the fast trial takes the mount.  Usually the Australian crowd is pretty savvy when it comes to juveniles, I expect this horse to be in the 2/1 range at post time.


Race 3B (Rosehill), Canonbury Stakes, 2yo Colts and Geldings, 5.5 furlongs 9:55 pm EST.  Purse AUD $150,000

Races 3B (colts and geldings) and 4B (fillies) are to help identify runners for the A.A.M.I. Golden Slipper, a AUD $3,500,000 Group 1 stakes at Rosehill in late March.  Australians take their two year old racing nearly as seriously as we take the Triple Crown, and the races are very competitive.

In Race 3B I feel confident in tossing #2, #3, #4.

My picks  8-1-5:  I am going to stake a shot with #8 Star of Monsoon (7/1 ML).  I love to see Danehill in an Aussie pedigree and his trial time was comparable to the other first time starters.  The fact he only got one trial tells me his connections are “quietly confident.”   #1 Tessara (4/1 ML) is fast but will have to go wire to wire from the rail and the speed figure from his one win was nice but not overpowering.  #5 Defcon won two of his three trials in good time.  I would have much preferred to see Blake Shinn ride for Team Snowden, but Brenton Avdulla is also a top rider.  #6 Guard of Honor (9/1 ML) is in good hands and #7 Pewter (9/1 ML) comes from a barn that has had success in the Golden Slipper series before.  Certainly can’t eliminate either #6 or #7.


Race 4B (Rosehill), Widden Stakes, 2yo Fillies, 5.5 furlongs 10:30 pm EST.  Purse AUD $150,000

A lot of good fillies are lined up in this race.

My picks 1-9-10:  #1 So Serene (7/2 ML) ran an insane early pace figure in a $504,000 restricted race, and lost the lead late.  Trainer Gai Waterhouse saw enough and switches to top stable Jock Tommy Berry.  Gai is “double handed” here and goes to her second jock Tim Clark on #9 Global Glamour (7/1 ML).  Usually Gai uses two trials to get her first time starters ready.  #10 Honesty Prevails (8/1 ML) is bred to be a very good horse and is training like a very good horse for the obscure Rick Worthington.  Can’t eliminate.

Friday Night Australian Racing – 1/22/2016

Some moderately interesting Australian races this weekend.  Here are my picks on some selected races.

Race 2A (Randwick) TAB WINNING PLATE OPEN (AUD $85,000 Purse) – 5 furlongs, for 2yo.  9:20 PM EST.

Tonight’s BEST BET – I am unsure how good #1 PRIZED ICON (9/1 ML) really is, but he was a decent third in a ten-horse field to superstar Aussie 2 year old Capitalist.  Switches to Sydney uber-jock Hugh Bowman, who agrees to get to 123 pounds to take the mount.  I am sure Hugh considers Prized Icon a potential Golden Slipper horse (a race for two year olds with a $3.5 million AUD purse).  Expect 4/1 or less at post time.


Race 3B (Moonee Valley) – BM90 (think N3x allowance).  (AUD $80,000 Purse) – 6 furlongs, for 3yo and up.  10:12 EST

#7 HERSTORY (8/1 ML) has tactical speed and the desired rail, and her trainer, the controversial Peter Moody, tends to wins these races at good prices.  Herstory classes up fairly well (14-3-3-3) and is second off the layoff, which is usually a sign of potential improvement.


Race 4A (Randwick) CELLARBRATIONS BM86 (think N2x allowance) (AUD $85,000 Purse) – 6 furlongs, for 3yo and up.  10:30 PM EST.

#9 VOILIER (9/2 ML) is very proven at this level and gets to have one of Sydney’s best jockeys, Kathy O’Hara, for the ride.  Voilier tends to get second place a lot (9-1-4-1) but I expect Kathy to be pretty aggressive with this one carrying only 124 pounds (top weight carries 132 pounds) and post 3.  Definitely a good horse to PLACE BET if you are into that sort of thing.

Friday Night Australian Racing, 1/15/2016

I am going to use the “shotgun” handicapping approach, hopefully we can find a few winners…

As I write this blog post on Wednesday night, Flemington is currently a “GOOD 4” (think US Firm)

Race 1A (Flemington) Open for 2yo.  Purse = AUD $80,000.  5.5 furlongs (straight course).  8:25 Eastern.

This race looks like a battle between the two uncoupled horses trained by Peter Moody, #2 Bringaroo (7/2 ML) and #4 Dot Painting (4/1 ML).  Judging by the early betting with Aussie bookies and watching both horses on video BRINGAROO appears to be the live contender.


Race 2A (Flemington) BM90 (think N3x allowance).  Purse = AUD $80,000.  7.0 furlongs (left-handed course). 9:00 pm Eastern

#4 Iteration (7/1 ML) has run well off the shelf at this course and distance.  She has some good breeding in its corner and wins this race with a slight improvement off of her 2015 form.  The training team of Hayes and Daberning are very dangerous with this kind of horse.  I also like Nicholas Hall getting up, he’s a pro’s pro.


Race 3A (Flemington) BM78 (think Optional Claiming $40,000 N1x allowance).  Purse = AUD $80,000.  7.0 furlongs (left-handed course).  9:37 PM Eastern

I think this #3 Twisting Typhoon (5/1 ML) is a beast.  She took the worst of it going 5 wide on the turn to miss on the very short Moonee Valley straight.  Dropping in class from a $150,000 purse to a $80,000 purse should put her in the winner’s circle.  #2 Tyrranize (9/1 ML) also has a good chance and is the kind of stretch-out speed sprinter that does well in Australia going 7 furlongs.  Put these two in your exotics.

Friday Night Australian Racing – 1/8/2016. Gold Coast!

There are some big purses for many races at the Cold Coast.  It is in an area of Australia that is usually very dry so assume a firm turf course.

Race 1A (Gold Coast):  Purse = $236,000 (Maiden Special Weight).  8:40 EST  6.0 Furlongs        #2 Wolf Cry (5/1 ML) has the best speed figures in the race and a very quick trial leading into the race.  Drew barrier three so I expect this one to go very well for the extremely dangerous Blake Shinn/Paul Snowden team..

Race 3A (Gold Coast):  Purse = $945,000 (Restricted Stake).  9:50 EST 6.5 furlongs.                       #1 Buffering (7/5 ML)  Is one of the top 5 or 6 grass sprinters in the world.  His best distance is probably 5.5 furlongs, but I am choosing to roll with the chalk here.

Race 4A (Gold Coast):  Purse = $945,000 (Restricted Stake).  10:25 EST 6.5 furlongs.               #1 Cradle Me (8/1 ML) is as hot as a pistol and I think the distance and hot early pace of this race will set up her late charge.

Race 6A (Gold Coast):  Purse = $945,000 (Restricted Stake).  11:35 EST 7.0 furlongs.                  #1 Lucky Hussler (7/1 ML) is an underrated miler that ran into a superstar in Turn Me Loose.  If he can repeat his best recent efforts he should win here.

Race 7A (Gold Coast):  Purse = $1,900,000 (3yo Restricted Stake).  12:15 EST 7.0 furlongs.   #1 Mahuta (4/1 ML) drew the dreaded 20 post but has a lot of quality and might be worth a bet.

Race 8A (Gold Coast):  Purse = $1,900,000 (2yo Restricted Stake).  12:55 EST 6.0 furlongs.   #1 Capitalist (8/5 ML) is undefeated, untested and very fast.  He has drawn comparisons to other top Australian 2yo runners and is already fast enough to win 2yo Group One races.

Friday Night Australian Racing 12/25/2015

Race 1A (Caulfield), BM70 (think N1x allowance), 7 furlongs, 8:30 EST  Picks:  2-3-6

#2 Validate (2/1 on my line) has a 4 length advantage on speed figures over the field and her recent form is consistent.  She is the kind of horse that rallies from mid-pack and needs some pace from up front but looks like a solid bet.

#3 Drawn To You (5/1 on my line) made sharp improvement to score at a fat 12/1 in a maiden race, her second career effort, and steps up again.  She appears to be the best of the others.

#6 Single Note (6/1 on my line) has tactical speed and drew well in barrier 5.  Moves up from the provincial tracks but seems like an honest type.


Race 7B (Randwick), AUD $100,000 Listed Race, 6 fur., 12:25 AM EST Sat.  Picks:  12-10-4-13

#12 Sebring Sun (5/1 on my line) has run 3 times on soft turf, winning once, while getting thrashed twice in stakes company.  One of those soft turf defeats was “down the straight” at Flemington in a highly contested Group 1.  Many sprinters detest going down the straight, especially deep closers, and this horse is a very strong late closer.  His best two races (22 Aug and 12 Sept) would win this race.  The pace of this race should suit, and the inside draw might work in his favor.  IF the inside part of the track appears to be slow due to rain consider other options.

#10 Echo Gal (7/1 on my line) runs for Gai Waterhouse, who is very strong with second-up after a vacation statistics with a significant flat bet profit.

#4 Boss Lane (8/1 on my line) actually beat Echo Gal by a half length last time, they appear equal in ability and both are fast enough to win.  Definitely a win candidate

#13 Rule The River (12/1 on my line) has yet to run a speed figure in the 90’s but is 5-4-1-0 over his last five races and is in razor-sharp form.  Often these horses outrun their odds in Australia and can win Listed and Group 3 races.

BETPTC.COM SPOT PLAYS – Saturday, December 19, 2015

Please double check all program numbers prior to wagering

PARX  Race 4,  7 furlongs  Claiming $10,000 3L  (1:46 ET)
Best Value Play: #5 Fiery Gizzard (8/1)
Most Likely Winner: #7 Solar Lady (5/2)
Other Contenders: #3 Great Illusion (12/1), #9 Miss Thursday (3/1)

Analysis: Solar Lady proved she belonged at this level with her previous victories. Although she is rising in conditions she is well rested and may have the speed to go coast to coast. Great Illusion has some back class to consider even if she has been stuck in this condition a while. A positive change in riders and a change of living quarters may do the trick. Miss Thursday was nabbed by a very good barn from her last, gets an excellent jock in the irons and takes the blinkers off. Fiery Gizzard cuts back from a route and sports a terrific resume. Claimed from last by a good barn and daughter of a Derby winner.

PARX  Race 5,  6 1/2 furlongs  Claiming $25,000 3L  (2:13 ET)
Best Value Play: #6 Hectors Pride (6/1)
Most Likely Winner: #8 Que Facil (5/1)
Other Contenders: #4 Change of Seasons (4/1) #9 Prodigious (5/2)

Analysis: Que Facil went up to allowance conditions after being claimed. Now he comes back to the same level. His best race wins this one. Change of Seasons was claimed by a good trainer and returns to the same level. Navarro gets in the saddle and that is a positive sign. Prodigious posted a killer number for this level in last and was claimed by one of the better claiming barns on the east coast. Hectors Pride runs for Arroyo, who is deadly with fresh horses. He drops in class and puts the blinkers on and this one always take money at the windows.

Friday Night Australian Racing 12/18/15

Please Note:  Because of extreme HEAT (it is summer now in Australia) all of the races from Flemington (the “A” track) have been cancelled.  Air temps are in the 105 Degree range.


Race of the day: Race 1B (Rosehill) – Open AUD $85,000 2yo handicap, 5 1/2 furlongs

Picks 6-5-7-9-3

Not 100% sure who leads here, but #6 Mooshakissa (3/1 on my line) appears to be on the improve and apprentice Winona Costin is a fantastic rider on the front end.  This one figures to show speed from post 2.  #5 Faraway Town is versatile, having won on a heavy track, will save ground while sitting midpack, and gets a jock upgrade to the extremely talented Jason Collet.  First time starters #7 Aurora Rose and #9 Tale Of Choice have worked fast enough to be competitive for the win, but neither filly comes from a very productive female family.  #3 Peacock has not worked quickly, but is extremely well bred and comes from the top-shelf Godolphin operation.

BETPTC.COM SPOT PLAYS – Friday, December 18, 2015

Please double check all program numbers prior to wagering

Turfway  Race 2,  6 furlongs  Claiming $15,000 3L  (6:44 ET)
Best Value Play: #1 Scuppernong (12/1)
Most Likely Winner: #3 Lucy B (7/2)
Other Contenders: #5 Thunder Wit (3/1), #9 El of a Cat (4/1)

Analysis: Lucy B has speed and runs for a good barn. It is her first trip out of the Hoosier State but it looks like she has faced tough company all year. Thunder Wit fits at this level and should have a better record but some she has been affected by unfortunate trips. Versatile running style is a big plus. El of a Cat is a one dimensional runner and if the pace is hot up front she will come flying late. Scuppernong has a good trainer and she has delivered a couple of good races. It looks like she has the ability to run close or come from behind, and probably better than most think she will.

Turfway  Race 4,  5 1/2 furlongs  Claiming $5,000  (7:42 ET)
Best Value Play: #1 Souladar (20/1)
Most Likely Winner: #5 Thestarvingartist (7/2)
Other Contenders: #6 Validated Blarney (5/1) #7 Runaway Dan (6/1)

Analysis: Thestarvingartist has a great resume, loves polytrack and has the numbers to warrant favoritism. Validated Blarney is always in the mix and earns a lot of paychecks. He will come from off the pace and likes polytrack also. Runaway Dan can be dangerous if he delivers his best race. Hot recent work suggests he is ready after a rest. Souladar looks for win number thirteen and has speed. Some of his past races have come in tougher starter company and he is usually well bet.

BETPTC.COM SPOT PLAYS – Sunday, December 13, 2015

Please double check all program numbers prior to wagering

Fair Gounds   Race 7   6 furlongs   Claiming $5,000   (5:23 ET)
Best Value Play: #3 Jenny Vignette (10/1)
Most Likely Winner: #8 Sassy Badger (6/1)
Other Contenders: #7 Gimme Yo Number (5/1), #10 Aunt Lois (3/1)

Analysis: Sassy Badger runs for one of the slickest trainers in history. If he doesn’t get you with a first layoff runner he will get you with a second layoff runner. A drop in class to her lowest level ever doesn’t hurt either. Gimme Yo Number almost always finishes in the better half of the field and she is always bet. Looks good in this field. Aunt Lois seems to like New Orleans and has been knocking on the door in her last five outings. Jenny Vignette was claimed by one of the old pros in Louisville last time and got a rest with the change of barns. A drop to the bottom here after a career of facing much tougher is a real attention getter.

Fair Grounds   Race 10   8 furlongs   Claiming $5,000   (6:50 ET)
Best Value Play: #9 Truckstop (8/1)
Most Likely Winner: #7 First Bull Run (9/2)
Other Contenders: #6 Thunderstruckagain (6/1) #11 Dealer’s Etbauer (5/1)

Analysis: First Bull Run takes a nosedive in class after a couple of dismal efforts. Eramia stays in the saddle for a very good trainer. Can’t help but think he will get a better start and perform much better. Thunderstruckagain runs for a trainer that does well with back class drops. There’s no doubt that he is better that this level of competition. Dealer’s Etbauer has shown some promise when running outside of state company. His tactical speed and the outside post look to be an advantage in this one. Truckstop is interesting because he showed what a competitor he is in his maiden voyage. His last was at this level and he had a bad start but still ran close to the winner.

BETPTC.COM SPOT PLAYS – Saturday December 12, 2015

Please double check all program numbers prior to wagering

PARX   Race 4,   5 1/2 furlongs Claiming $7,500 2L   (1:46 ET)
Best Value Play: #10 Special Flyer (5/1)
Most Likely Winner: #9 Saratoga Woods (4/1)
Other Contenders: #7 Final Ritual (6/1), #8 Credo (8/1)

Analysis: Saratoga Woods takes another drop and has some decent figures compared to most of these. Final Ritual ran big one at this level last out and runs for one of the best barns at PARX. Credo came alive with a big effort in his last at this level and looks to be ready. Special Flyer has finished in the money twice at a level higher than today. His last two races posted some good numbers.

PARX   Race 7,   5 1/2 furlongs   Claiming $15,000 4L   (3:07 ET)
Best Value Play: #8 Condo Closing (15/1)
Most Likely Winner: #4 Papa Upa (2/1)
Other Contenders: #2 Blue Y Gold (4/1) #6 Pop Joe (9/2)

Analysis: Papa Upa looks to be the one that will control the pace and coming off a graded stake he may be hard to catch. Blue Y Gold has posted some good numbers and won his last. Runs for a trainer that does well with repeat winners. Pop Joe has seen much tougher in his life. Back to good form in the last couple of races and he may be ready to move upward again. Condo Closing faced rugged foes at Delaware and Oaklawn. Once this one rebounds he will be tough and today could be the day.