Belmont Stakes Picks and Analysis–Triple Crown Edition

It is horse racing’s equivalent of Game 7—Belmont Stakes Day with a Triple Crown bid on the line. Since NYRA introduced the Super Card format a few years back, every Belmont year represents an incredible day of racing. But there is no equivalent to when the mini-Breeders’ Cup aligns with a Triple Crown chance.

After a 37 year drought, Justify seeks to become the second TC winner in just three years.  As fans, we will be rooting hard for Justify. As handicappers, however, given Justify’s profile–a limited foundation, three races in five weeks (including a very demanding last effort), and culminating with a mile and a half challenge–we will likely be playing against him. A huge pay day awaits if Justify’s limited foundation catches up with him.

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Kentucky Derby Thoughts and Analysis

Happy Kentucky Derby Day, everyone!  The Derby offers a great day of racing and also an annual opportunity for the sport to showcase itself to the general public.  Beyond the main event, Churchill has assembled an extremely competitive card.  Add to the fact that the track conditions are a bit of mystery due to the weather, and we have a formidable challenge in trying to navigate these races.  But that will not stop us from trying.  And the good news–with deep competitive fields we can rationalize playing plenty of horses over 20-1! Some quick thoughts and analysis on today’s stakes.  Good luck!

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Kentucky Oaks Pick 4 and Stakes Analysis

It’s our favorite day of the year—Happy Oaks Day everyone! The KY Oaks has held a special place in Thorobros lore for the past nine years. We have endured some of our worst beats and greatest scores on this day.  The 2018 edition is even more special as a Thorobro-in-law trains our top pick for the Oaks, My Miss Lilly.  Below are our thoughts on the stakes races and more detailed analysis on our personal favorite sequence, the late Pick 4 ending with the Oaks. Good luck everyone.

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Race 5: The Eight Belles kicks off stakes action. Not a very exciting race from a betting perspective. We will key the 7, Hold Her Tight, for value. Jones always does well with 3YO fillies, she should sit a nice stalking trip on the outside and has a 7f win. The favorites, however, 1, 3 and 6 all make sense with the 3, Mia Mischief, being our top choice of that group.

Race 6: The La Troienne boasts a very logical favorite in Abel Tasman. She is the most likely winner, although there is also some uncertainty with how fillies come back as four year olds. Her workouts certainly do not suggest that to be the case (although it is interesting they have all been “handled”), but at even money, we will try to beat her. We like the 8, Martini Glass best alone with the 2 and 4.

Race 7: Our in-house turf sprint expert is all over the 1, Delectation here. He is turning back, gets Lasix, and should have plenty of pace to run at. We also like the 3, 7, 10, and 11.

Race 8- The Alysheba

2017 Kentucky Derby hero Always Dreaming returns to Churchill and gets a favorable pace set up. Still, he will likely be overbet and has not won since the Derby.  Backyard Heaven is a must use. Huge step up in class but he could get first run at Always Dreaming. Hopportunity is a hard knocking veteran and should not be left off your tickets. We think Good Samaritan may want more ground, but second off the layoff for Mott is dangerous.

If it rains,  Hawaakom is a great value play.

A’s:   4, 1

B’s: 5, 7

9th Race – OC75k/N1X $71k (7 furlongs)

The two, Electric Forest, and the three, C P Quality, are both coming out of maiden breaking scores on the Bluegrass and Arkansas Derby undercards, respectively. C P Quality scored on a track with some moisture in it, which might come in handy today. Both rated effectively and then closed to win the races going away. Both have top flight jockeys, and should get a good set up.

Our B team is the five, Maho Bay, who could be controlling speed. Particularly if the track is playing to speed, this horse could be tough to pass. The ten, Sworn Silence, picks up JJ Castellano, and seems to be in good form, second off the layoff after running a career best race in his most recent. Note that his lifetime worst effort came on an off track, so downgrade if the track is less than fast.

A’s: 2,3

B’s: 5,10

Race 10—The Edgewood

Look, Rushing Fall is the real deal. She must be on all tickets and we will toy with the idea of singling her. However, this is not an ideal post for her and without a lot of speed in the race we could see her rushing to the lead and sitting right behind the 4. Does that extra ground and early rush leave her vulnerable late? We think so, in which case this becomes a race to spread deep.

Of the other runners, we like Toinette best. She is an improving horse who stepped up going long last out. Daddy Is a Legend is second off a layoff and had all sorts of trouble last out before closing strong against the favorite. Beyond Blame is another who should like the distance and could get first run on the lead group. Cox is very good at CD and this horse will be the longer odds of the uncoupled entry. For bombers, we would consider using Kabella and Beach Walz underneath.

A’s: 2, 6, 7, 11

B’s: 1, 8, 9

11th Race – Kentucky Oaks (G1) (1 1/8 milles)

Our A team is led by the eleven, My Miss Lilly.  The horse has continued to improve as the distances have lengthened, and projects to get some pace to run at.  She may get first run at the tiring leaders.  She has a win over a sloppy track in her career debut.  Midnight Bisou is a California invader who is two noses short of being undefeated.  The best race of her life is on a track with some moisture in it, and she figures to get a nice spot from which to launch her rally.  Eskimo Kisses, the thirteen, is a hard trying horse that has been compromised by some wide trips in her most recent starts.  She is drawn wide again, but with Churchill pro Corey Lanerie in the irons, she may be able to work out a ground saving trip and rally down the long CD stretch if they go fast up front – and there seems to be a lot of speed in this race.

Our Bs are led by the likely favorite, Monomoy Girl.  There is not much to criticize about Monomoy Girl, although she has a difficult post and with her running style, risks getting hung wide while contesting a fast pace.  She is also an unknown quantity on a wet track.  Those two factors led to her demotion to the Bs.  Coach Rocks shows up for Dale Romans, who is always dangerous on this weekend.  She should sit right off the pace up front, and hopefully will have some gas left in the tank to finish.  Chocolate Martini is the winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks, and she has overcome two less than ideal trips to win her last two starts.  She gets an upgrade to JJ Castellano, and has beaten some other members of this field recently.  Wonder Gadot is a hard trying horse that has been in the trifecta in 8 of her 9 lifetime starts.  We expect the same today.

One final note – we are interested to watch Rayya, as her performance might shed some light on just how Mendelssohn might perform tomorrow in the Derby.

A’s: 10, 11, 13

B’s: 2, 4, 5, 14

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Horse Player Sues Trainer and Owner for Lost Pick 5 Winnings

An Illinois horse players has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in New Jersey seeking over $30,000 in lost winnings he would have collected but for an alleged conspiracy to “rig” harness races conducted at Meadowlands race track in New Jersey (Tretter v. Breshnahan, et al., District of New Jersey, 18-cv-03245).  Continue reading Horse Player Sues Trainer and Owner for Lost Pick 5 Winnings

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Owner of Injured Curlin Colt Files Suit Against Delaware Park

The owner of a Curlin colt, purchased for $185,000, has filed a lawsuit against Delaware Park and the horse’s trainers–Jake Secor and Alejandro Reyes– claiming the defendants’ negligence caused his horse to suffer a career ending injury during training in August 2015.  According to the complaint, filed in Superior Court in Delaware, Bismark Trullio stepped into an “unguarded corrugated metal drain pipe” located next to the dirt ramp leading to the entrance to the stable building.  The complaint alleges that the drain pipe was “concealed under grass and hay” posing a risk to “horses and trainers using the Track and its facilities.” Yet the complaint further alleges that the trainers failed to exercise due care while training Bismark Trullio.   Plaintiff claims property damage and lost earnings in excess of $525,000.   A copy of the complaint can be found here— FullText

Delaware

 

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Horse Racing’s Advent Calendar–December 3

The countdown to Christmas is underway, and what better way to track the anticipation of the season than with an Advent Calendar. But as exciting as a ’1 x ’1 inch square chocolate snowflake may be, we at Thorobros wanted to put a racing spin on what’s behind the daily doors.   So welcome to our (very) unofficial Advent Racing Calendar! Over the next 24 days we will feature a replay from a horse with a connection (often very remote) to the Holidays . We hope you enjoy and wish everyone a happy holiday season!

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Horse Racing Advent Calendar–December 2

The countdown to Christmas is underway, and what better way to track the anticipation of the season than with an Advent Calendar. But as exciting as a ’1 x ’1 inch square chocolate snowflake may be, we at Thorobros wanted to put a racing spin on what’s behind the daily doors.   So welcome to our (very) unofficial Advent Racing Calendar! Over the next 24 days we will feature a replay from a horse with a connection (often very remote) to the Holidays . We hope you enjoy and wish everyone a happy holiday season!

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Horse Racing’s Advent Calendar–December 1

The countdown to Christmas is underway, and what better way to track the anticipation of the season than with an Advent Calendar. But as exciting as a ’1 x ’1 inch square chocolate snowflake may be, we at Thorobros wanted to put a racing spin on what’s behind the daily doors.   So welcome to our (very) unofficial Advent Racing Calendar! Over the next 24 days we will feature a replay from a horse with a connection (often very remote) to the Holidays . We hope you enjoy and wish everyone a happy holiday season!

Continue reading Horse Racing’s Advent Calendar–December 1

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Travers Day Pick 4 and Top Plays

Happy Travers Day, everyone! For us, having grown up spending our summers in Saratoga, this is our Super Bowl.   20 years ago, this Thorobro finally convinced my parents to let me brave the crowds and commotion of Travers Day to witness Deputy Commander and Chris McCarron storm home. I still have a pair of McCarron’s goggles from that race on display in my basement.

Fast forward to the present and the 2017 Travers is a spectacular betting race.  We could make an argument for all twelve starters and would not be shocked if any of the entrants win.  But the Travers does not stand alone. It anchors a fantastic Pick 4 sequence with a guaranteed pool (that we are certain will be far exceeded).   Our thoughts on races 8 through 11are below along with a few other key plays throughout the day.  Good luck!

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How to Grow Our Sport–Multi Track Wager

We are excited to have the opportunity to moderate the panel on Race Track Marketing at Equestricon. The panel http://equestricon.com/schedule/racing-marketing , scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Monday, August 14, 2017, will feature marketing executives from top race tracks across the country– Christa Marilla (Keeneland), Alyssa Ali (Arlington), C.J. Johnsen (Kentucky Downs), Kelly O’Hara (Remington) and Darran Miner (NYRA). Everyone agrees there is a need to grow our sport, but the “how” is subject to much debate.  In advance of Equestricon, we will discuss a few of the ideas and concepts that will be raised during our panel discussion.  Following the Panel, we hope to analyze some of the key concepts and takeaways discussed.

All horseplayers have that story. It is the story of their first near miss on a big hit during his or her early days of navigating pari-mutuel options.  It is the wager that converted them from a causal fan to a true handicapper.  It’s that taste of dreaming big, the belief that a huge score is possible, which keeps many coming back.

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Critical analysis of the business, marketing, legal, and leadership aspects of the Sport of Kings