As I go forward, any race I make picks in will only be done if I think I am beating the favorite. Will I beat them all? Of course not, and I do not expect to. But, I know the percentages. Favorites win about 40% at WEG, and less than even money favorites win about 55%. That leaves a lot of room to beat them, and as well, I can't just beat 60% of favorites and 45% of less than even money shots. I have to do better than what others can with those to derive a profit over time. That is what I attempt to do, and I will list on each blog, starting with this one, where I am at on that.
I think the favorite has a very legit shot to win, then I pass the
race. If I think I can beat that favorite, but can't reasonably come up
with value plays below him or her within the number of picks in that
race I deem the right formula, I still pass the race. By my count, that
leaves me somewhere between 5 and 6 races a night to make plays from.
Some nights that might be 9 races, other nights it could be 2 races.
4 Passport to Art
broke his maiden 3 back, but while he is trying hard, doesn't seem to
have enough finish when he meets level or tougher competition. Luckily
for him, this class is very soft right now. He comes back on 3 days
rest, but if he is still lively and sound, and blasts out like last
time, he has a reasonable shot with these. No cinch though.
6 Dream of Luck
beat maidens off a sweet trip but those have not come back to race well
at all and he looks like he is in for a long stay in this class as he
has to develop now at this level. He will become something as the season
progresses and make some kind of Sire Stake horse. For now, he is more
likely to be a bit player.
3 New Talent
could not have gotten a sweeter trip last time. He floated out from the
2 hole, angled down the backside, picked up advancing and willing
cover, followed him to early stretch, then tipped off his cover but
could not pass him and let another by late. The leader was long gone,
and doubled up Saturday night, but he showed a trend for him...a lack of
grit and desire to get it done. The cheque he got that night forces him
to move back up the ladder and he shows that they have been tough for
him. He has 2 lifetime wins and only raced sparingly last year. He came
out guns a blazing at 2, but has leveled off after that season. There
isn't much to choose from underneath him but, I will go against him.
2 Blue Fox
made a break and put in some ugly steps behind the gate on Thursday
night, but he was back pacing on the gate when it pulled away. He went
an okay mile, but was not good enough when it mattered. He doesn't
strike me as one that does well off short rest, although that is a
tactic Weller uses often and has had some success with.
sat way out of it last time while the pretenders battled, then made a
wide stretch move to pick them all off. He was more controllable with
the martingale, and he did pick them off, but he was rocky most of the
way, which is probably his way of traveling, but bearing in many times
as he tried to gain momentum in the stretch. They came home in 30
seconds, so that gave him a reason to get away with it. Some of these
are just a shade tougher and more seasoned. I will pass on him tonight,
but he can go either way going forward.
1 Only Half Bad
finally broke his maiden after many starts, in part due to a first up
horse who was all over the track and dangerous, thus stalling the
progress of the logical and live contender. He meets winners here, and
coupled with the rail, I can't see him at first asking, and have a hard
time thinking he can handle nw2 at this track if and when he gets a shot
7 Windsun Gotham
wisely double dipped on maidens, but looked sore, steppy and borderline
lame last time. He was bearing in horrible in the last turn, but they
staggered home and came back to him, so he was right there with the
pack. He looks like one that will not take well to consistent winter
pounding and racing. I will take a pass until he shows me otherwise.
5 Get Decked
looked terrible pacing in the backfield all the way last time and
didn't cut into the pack in the lane. I can't see how he goes with the
better of this bunch.Early scratch.
3 Think Again
had little chance for the win last Thursday when he drew the 10 hole,
but he did float out and not work very hard to get away a closer up 6th.
That left him enough to pick up 3rd money against the old seasoned,
veteran open claiming types. He gets back in tonight with the not so
sporty conditioned claimers, and that helps on some level. Post 3
doesn't hurt his chances either. This will be his 3rd start for Weller. I
like that he went forward as the pace picked up late. That bodes well
in with this bunch.
7 Sports Vision
had every chance to win last time, as Ryan gave him the perfect setup,
but he didn't go forward at all. These types sometimes just don't show
up, but show up the next time. That is why they are able to reside in a
class like this. He doesn't leave at all, so he is another who will need
some hot fractions and hopefully he brings his A game this time,
whatever that is to one like this.
4 East End
tried the condition types and did okay, picking up a solid 2nd once,
and now can maintain protection with the tag as they up it enough that
getting claimed is not probable. Roy takes over from Zeron, and that has
to be considered a plus based on the results lately from Mr. Roy. He
will need them to battle a bit in front of him, as he is not a fast
1 Six Before Seven
was the victim of stretch interference two back, but last time took
back off the gate, moved early into the flow, was 2nd over on dead
cover, but that cover was at least keeping up with the leaders, and all
he had to do was tip off of it and pick off a suspect bunch. These
aren't much tougher, but a few are. I think the short price he brings
tonight poses bad value. If he has to work a bit harder, he is likely to
come up short.
6 Just a Thought
was sold by Hudon to Allard, and he got one start with him as he was
claimed by Holland out of that event. He never looked like he wanted to
try in that race, but Roy convinced him to keep pacing, something he
appears to be a master at. It was enough to save 3rd, but these look a
lot tougher than the ones he faced then. I suspect Randy knows him as he
was a McIntosh hopeful in his younger days.
2 Keystone Keen
draws the ML top choice based on his class drop. He also is a month
away and a vet scratch lame, which was a late scratch as he was
programmed to go just a few races prior on that card. That suggests he
warmed up poorly. He was inside the pylons in that last race he
participated in, and he is very chancy, even in a race where many don't
look very dangerous. I'd be very leery to take any kind of short price
5 Notetoself Hanover is a 4yo who has done
enough racing but only has 2 lifetime wins, many times blowing golden
opportunities to mow down a suspect leader but coming up short. He now
resides in the Ken Oliver barn, but his results and finishing prowess
have not changed. I can't see him with these as is.
3 Tour De Lindy was
moving up last time with the 10 hole and that did him in. He did well
to get 3rd and draws better here. Fillion seems to be out of the funk he
was in, and when he is in the right mindset, he can dominate and win
with these types. He looks like he wants to be a good horse, and will
develop into a higher end type as he matures.
4 Alfa Mersadies
gets in light tonight on the inflated lifetime earnings condition. She
has 8 wins in 25 starts the last two years, and an experience edge on
many of these. She could wire these, or sit on the back of one who
attempts that and pop that pocket late. Her versatility is a big plus in
this race. Shot.
7 South Win Bax
was coming along with maidens at this track, but went to Flamboro
before winning that class, then doubled up there, and now has to face
winners here. I wouldn't toss her, as winning is winning, and she looked
okay even with maidens when she had the right post to work with. Minor
shot if the likely ones don't perform.
8 Vasco Bi picked
up JJ last time, as Per was on vacation and he skipped before the start
and was never dangerous. JJ did good with him 3 back, so that can't be
the only reason he bombed, and it isn't. He floated out just fine, but
appeared to strike himself up front and that set him off galloping. He
was up against it after that, parked the mile, and behind a runner mid
backstretch, then simply was tired. In any event, JJ is available but
Per will steer him tonight. He is a 1 time winner facing many who have 4
or more wins, and a couple of others who have 2. He might be the best
long term prospect of this group, but for tonights race, I wouldn't play
him tonight, but I might next time if he shows me he is sorted out,
which most of us count on Per to do with his trainees.
1 Igocrazy Without U can
continue to pick up slices with this class, but a win would require a
lot of horses to do things wrong, and the chances off all the contenders
doing so in one race is slim. Bit player in my eyes.
2 You Cant Afford Me
had ambitious connections at 2, who aimed her at the Gold a few times
and even the Champlain. She picked up shares in some of those and the
grassroots, hence her 39k return. She was sold off to her current owners
and has not been let down this winter. She got her lone win in the
Autumn, and now comes back here looking for bigger purses, and likely
will be a fringe Grassroots type as the summer progresses. Being an
Angus Hall and from a Cantab Hall dam, you would expect her to be
erratic and make breaks, and she does that. I think she has an outside
shot with these, but others look a lot more viable and consistent. 2 of
her last 4 racelines resulted in breaks, and she had very easy fractions
when she won. These are tougher.
5 Noon Hour is
another who is a high percentage winner, but that was mostly at
Northfield, where the fields are not deep at all relative to what you
get at this track. The way she finished her last two races, even with a
moderate class drop here, I cannot back her. She looks like a B track
6 Summit City Turbo was good a few weeks ago, but was raced on short rest, and now has regressed for 2 consecutive starts. I am off the bandwagon.
Pass and watch these, as I suspect Beyombo is the one and he will bring short odds. Brief comments on what I see. Not listed in order but by post position.
1 Devils Peak looks like the type that will get a lot of 2nd and 3rds in this class. Keep watching to see if he confirms that.
2 Kazimoto first time starter, has to be seen for future tries. Watch closely.
3 Sedona Seelster should be overbet on the last race. He doesn't always show up and perform. Beware.
4 Southwind Savage still not impressed with him. I'd leave him off the ticket.
5 Chummy Park hanging rat who teases with short bursts of speed. Roy isn't likely to get this one over the top.
6 Beyombo unlucky trip last time, but gritty to pace right to the wire. Improving and looks like a good one.
7 Sporting Life decent pedigree, nice progression, looks like a prospect, outside shot tonight if faves bomb.
8 Nascar Seelster one to watch for future plays, expect usual Randy sit and brush late first time starter treatment.
9 Mystical Sun well bred, looks like a player on this circuit, post hurts tonight, watch for future plays. Longshot.
Casimir Patriot too many strikes against him tonight, but might be
viable as he goes along if he is allowed in with maidens again.
left out for the pocket in a 5 horse field last time and looked to be
sitting perfect when nobody pulled deep into the last turn. That turned
into a trap and he never got out of jail, Roy never even asking him or
driving him, just coasting along last but with no chance to go forward.
He is possible if he can maintain that level of effort and get more
racing luck this time. Roy sticks with Allard, so J Mac takes over, and
he does well with Joe C anyway.
1 Finish Line
is a former 8 claimer that Allard has turned into a trotter who is a
win away from the Preferred. He is hard to go against here, but even
with the rail start, he seems to be willing to work for it. Shot.
7 Marquis Volo
is about as consistent a trotter you can find when he races. He has
long gaps when he goes on the shelf, but when racing, he races, he tries
and he wins his share. This is a deep group, so he isn't my top choice,
but he is probably an add in the picks if you play that. I wouldn't
want him to beat me.
3 Catch the Dream
tucked immediately last time and that is a strategy that works for him.
He stays trotting and can finish if the trip works out in his favor, as
it did that time. He moved up the inside when many went out, ran into a
roadblock, but both in front of him bore out just in time to allow him
to drive the plyons and get up for 2nd, to the sharpest trotter on the
circuit who doubled up as well. He meets a few tougher ones here, but
not terribly more so.
4 Major Athens was first up
last time and 2nd best to Finish Line, whom he meets again and others
who have a bit better form than him. I will go to them. Minor shot, but
just not enough for me.
8 Fearless Man draws
the outside, and he isn't carrying his speed like he did the last
couple of years. I think he has lost a step and will pass on him. He
looks to be entering the class mover, drop and pop type as he ages.
9 Burnin Money
does okay, but is generally more viable when the classes are thinner,
he is down a level and draws a better post. Pass for me tonight.
6 Charlie Is a Joker wired
a much weaker bunch last time by getting the 2nd quarter breather and
trotting away from there. That party is over. Back to reality.
5 Odds on Amethyst needs
careful handling to get away clean and stay trotting, and he doesn't
need many reasons to give these an advantage anyway, as they have more
class and form to him as of late. Pass.
6 B N Bad
might, and I say might emphatically, have been better last time.
Fillion took several looks over to his left leaving, and when he saw a
few gapping and taking back, he decided to sprint out of there. Late
Night beat him out, then two others filled the gap and he had to take
back to 4th. That resulted in following one who stopped to a walk and he
lost all momentum, then ducked to the inside and went as much as he
could. Post 6 is the best leaving post, and if he can blast again and
somehow find a 2 hole and save his energy, he is a decent longshot play.
He has 32 lifetime wins and a record of 49 and change. That is ancient
history, but he still has enough speed left to go with the bottom rung
4 Rockabella goes to Carmen. Good enough for me. I'd use him on the chance he finds the key to make this rat try.
1 Late Night
was gassed out of there last time by Phil, but a longshot who backed up
at the half carried him all the way to the quarter and he was down to
the half in 54.2, and spent by the tote board. He looked good doing it
the whole way, and simply was a victim of post and trip. If he brings a
more reasonable price tonight, I could back him.
10 Burning Shore
was blasted out of there by Randy last time, for reasons I don't get,
then backed through them sharply. He has never been the soundest horse,
but if that race didn't hurt him, he can turn the tables here with the
double class drop. I'd use him in the picks. An off the pace approach
could work here. I could see many of these wanting the front and
battling to get it.
2 House of Terror
was in a live cover flow last time, but they went better than him when
it mattered. He has lived in this class all winter, and I don't see him
moving on up to the better ones based on how he races. Bit player and
opportunist. Wont work for it.
9 K D Overdrive comes back on 3 days rest, loses post advantage, and isn't winning anyway. Pass.
5 Crocadile Canyon
was distanced last time and got on the vets list. He qualified back,
but he has not come back off the long layoff good this time. Pass and
watch, but I'd be willing to say its more likely he is an 8 claimer than
20 at this point, and he doesn't look good enough to win even this
7 Team Edward is not one I've ever seen
before, and he appears to have spent his career at the B's, most
recently at Rideau. I suppose he has a shot, but I will go to others who
show they can race for higher purses.
8 Mach It Big is
tough to back on form and post. He has seen better days, but the odd
time he pops back into gear. If you think tonight is that night, this
group is ripe for the taking. I don't and will go elsewhere.
3 Hail the Taxi I don't know how soft a field it takes at this track for him to win, but I haven't seen one yet, and neither has he.
pass on these. They are too evenly matched, with the favorites looking
both probable and beatable at the same time. I will note I liked the way
Cue Hall looked on the track last time and he is heading towards a big
score, but post 10 tonight takes care of that chance. I will have my eye
on him for a potential score down the road.
Not a bunch I'd try to sort.
4 Top Dollar
drew poorly last time and was out the mile. He moves up in class again,
but Roy seems to find a way to win with anything, and Allard's juice is
still effective at this point. I could see him if the right trip
materializes. Before he had the 9 hole, he had all 1's and 2's, and
thus, hasn't had a preferable post in many races. That could indicate
hidden form, and anyway, he won two of those and was 3rd in another.
Medium level shot.
9 Mighty Nicky
never performed for Alagna, but as we have seen many times, a barn
change away from him and some of those turn right around. He has done
that, winning 3 straight, and moves up again. J Mac takes him over the
2, one of his main clients. Post 9 isn't easy, but he is possible on
3 Lmc Mass Oak
draws better here, but his slow starts from any post put him in a hole
he rarely digs out of when he is up against this type of competition.
However, he has blown up the tote board a few times, and I wouldn't toss
him in a race where I am of the opinion the top 2 obvious ones are
5 Honor Above All ships
back with poor form, but he has competed okay at this level before. He
doesn't always have the grit to win, a function probably of his dam
sire, but he is okay enough if the top choices bomb.
1 Free Willy Hanover is
a tough call tonight. On the one hand, he was compromised by having
post 1 last week, which he gets again, and thus had to make a strong
blast move to the top, and that cost him the win, while only being beat
by a legit one. He beat the rest. On the other hand, he is in for that
trip again, and also looked sore and bearing in many times in the mile,
and that could be something that is accumulating now that he races on
and meets level competition. He might have gotten away with it before,
but others have more talent at this level and can make him pay for any
flaw. I will go against him. Its a risk/reward play.
8 Sergeant Seelster
is on a 4 race win streak, beat the one last time that beat the 1 last
week, and adds Trevor in favor or Wray, who while he has done a fine job
so far, is not Trevor Henry. Post 8 will also test him. He waits on
horses and looked all out last time to just hold on. I am playing others
in here and will roll the dice against him.
2 Keegan Ho loses J Mac to the 9 and gets Hensley don't think he can win, but he can hit the ticket if things go his way.
7 P L Jill beat
a weak bunch 2 back, but now she has to face the next level up, and
that looks like a tough chore for her until she develops more. She is a
big strong mare, but she is meeting the upper echelon now of what this
track brings. She can't boss around and outmuscle these. Pass.
6 Majestic Presence
doesn't look to have the overall speed of many of these and when she
gets headed, she stops. This is a competitive race. She is one I can
toss and take my chances.
10 Major Muscle is not one I can see with a post like this in a field like this.
4 Barefoot Bluejeans is
a 4yo homebred taking a tag for the first time off a long layoff. I
could make a case he pops on this bunch. He shows 54 over Georgian, and
that stacks up here if he paces back to that. Trevor can motivate him if
that is needed.
2 Classic News
has changed hands, and goes first time Etsell. His form and overall
speed ability look as good as any of these, and I rate him a big shot.
had every chance last time, but didn't seem to want to try. I'm looking
for a pricey longshot for this race, and Carmen has been known to turn
one like this week to week. I could use him on that chance.
7 Four Card Major is
a logical play for the hot tandem of McNair and Marfisi, and he could
even be the chalk over the 5. I am inclined to roll the dice against
him, although I'm aware that is risky with his good form and the nature
of the crappiness of this field as a whole.
gets a shot here tonight on the ride up with his more success
stablemate. Why not? You are coming anyway. He moves up sharply and
doesn't show me what I think you need to make the transition to this
class. Wray has improved him since he took him from Weller, but not
enough for me. Cheque getter in all likelihood.
9 Jump Jet
will have to show me a lot more speed to think he overcomes the 9 hole
and takes this bunch. He gets a pass for the 8 hole at Flamboro last
time. He doesn't get a pass for the effort before that. They are trying
to move him and I suppose this is a showcase to try and get that
5 Flyin Orion is a
horrible Northfield rat and I will be happy to go against him if he gets
heavy play on the Roy/Allard angle. The horse that beat him last time
caved in big time next out. He probably would have that night too if he
had something to pass him. This one couldn't even get by him.
1 Lock N Reload has not been competitive twice in this class, and I see no reason he is here tonight. These are soft, but he is softer.
8 Dg Ramtough 5yo, 1 lifetime win and terrible form. I can't see him being the one.
10 Duneside Sport
total pass. Ketros can start by trying to get him under control so he
isn't so dangerous, if and when he draws better next time.