Friday, September 1, 2017

Handicapper's Corner: Woodward Stakes (G1)

Gunning for Victory in the Woodward Stakes

By: The Turk

Rally Cry (far left in Pompa White Silks)- Photo Erica Miller
Welcome Friends to The Turk and the Little Turk, now approaching our ninth year of providing handicapping and analysis to people who never asked for it!  Today's blog post is written for The Thorofan's Handicapper's Corner.

Thorofan is an organization that I'm happy to be a member of as they represent the fans, a group as ignored as another group, the bettors.  The Turk is trying to stay positive in this era of negativity and I will end this thought by thanking the Thorofan for allowing me this opportunity to share my thoughts as well as celebrate and thank everyone involved with putting on the Saratoga meet.  We enjoyed mostly good, dry weather, stars, and big attendance and handle.    With the Woodward today, Saratoga approaches the end of the season and the horse racing calendar looks forward to one or two more big weekends prior to Breeders' Cup.
         The Turk really enjoys fall racing as the past performances are mostly filled now with a 2017 record of performance expectations.  As an "information" handicapper primarily, any time I have my current information, the better my handicapping is.  With these high level stakes races the handicapper has a real advantage as you can almost always find video of the most recent efforts to combine with the past performances.  Perhaps that good or maybe its not:  Favorites are winning in 2017 at a 38% clip, returning around $4.90, so when everyone has better information, you have to work harder to find the overlays. It's hard to find them in Grade 1 racing, especially five horse fields like we have today (Milkowski).
Let's get after it!

The weather seems like it will be dry.  Keep an eye as always on scratches, changes and track conditions. I wouldn't call this a great betting race as a gambler but I do think it offers quite a bit of interest as a fan.  Gun Runner is 4 of 4 in the money in 2017 with 3 wins and a place in the Dubai World Cup. The four year old Candy Ride (Arg) from Quiet Giant  has $5.2 MM in earnings, 5 of 6 in the money at the distance and set a career high Beyer over this Saratoga surface last time out.  He'll be going to the gate 1-2 or 3-5 and not much reason to doubt him.

1 1/8 Mile Whitney G1-Fast Dirt.  Gun Runner by 5+ lengths.

If you are looking for value, and I'm not sure how much value they represent, look at Rally Cry, Neolithic or War Story.

Alydar 98K 6 Aug 2017:  Rally Cry by 8+ lengths  

Rally Cry with J. Velazquez up here for Pletcher instead of stable mate Neolithic, comes in off a sizzling effort in the Alydar.  The Uncle Mo 4 YO bounced back nicely after being dusted in the Grade 1 Met Mile.  He should go to gate between 5-2 and 7-2.  

Neolithic amazingly has $2.1 MM in earnings on 8 of 10 in the money lifetime and some big dollar Show finishes.  Last win at 2 turns?  An N1X $37,000 at Gulfstream in December 2016.  Somewhere between 6-1 and 8-1 offers some value.  

War Story has one win in seven starts at this distance and 3 wins in 18 fast dirt starts.  8-1 or 10-1 into the gate seems reasonable.  

Discreet Lover is winless in seven starts at this distance.  30-1 lottery ticket.

I'm not sure what I do with this.  I'll be looking at Race 9-10-11 Pick Three and seeing if I can find any value in singling Gun Runner and finding overlays in the first two stake races.  The Race 9 Saranac G3 has a 9 horse field and the 7f sprint Spinaway G1 is also a 5 horse affair.

If you like long shots, consider a $2 box exacta with 4-3-1 for $12 or Gun Runner over War Story and Discreet Lover 2 OVER 1-5 for $4.

Have fun friends,

Turk Out!

References Milkowski, Craig @timeformusfigs  (2017, 31 August) "Favorites are winning...."[Tweet] retrieved from

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