Who’s Hot – Who’s Not

Often time horse racing has a lot to do with streaks, whether they are winning or losing.  It’s very common to see trainers or jockeys get on a roll and be very tough to beat, and it’s also common to see guys be down on their luck for long peroids of time.  Here are some jockey’s and trainers that are hot; and one’s that are not.

Who’s Hot:

J. Larry Jones – Even though Larry Jones started off somewhat slow to begin the Fair Grounds meet, there is no one hotter than him at the moment.  He recently won the Silverbulletday Stakes and the LeComte Stakes with Believe You Can and Mr. Bowling, and he also won an allowance race with 3-year-old Mark Valeski, who will run in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn in his next start.  Jones is no stranger to the Fair Grounds, but it was still a bold move to go there instead of Oaklawn, where he had been successful over the last few years.  It just shows you that he knows what he’s doing, and you should never doubt a good trainer.

Cody Autrey – He’s started off the Oaklawn meet winning at a 44% rate, which is fantastic.  He leads the trainer standings at Oaklawn by 2 wins, and looks to have horses that will fit in very well with Oaklawn’s program.  Sometimes the first two weeks of a meet can produce some strange results, but Autrey is a trainer that will be battling for the title until the end.

Chris Richard – Another Oaklawn trainer that is off to a great start.  Richard is winning at a 38% rate, and sits second behind Autrey in the standings.  He has more horses on the ground than usual, but it will be tough for him to keep up with Autrey as far as total wins go.  Chris Richard is a rising talent, and I look for his winning percentage to stay very high throughout the meet.

Bob Baffert – He’s dominating the standings at Santa Anita once again, and is winning at a 26% rate.  There is simply no stopping the Baffert train in California, although I’m skeptical about his upcoming 3-year-old colts.  Still, when betting Santa Anita, nobody carries as much weight as this guy.

Todd A. Pletcher – I had to laugh when this guy finished 3rd in the Trainer of the Year voting.  For my money, there is no better guy to bet on than Pletcher.  He is absolutely dominating at Gulfstream this season, with 25 winners, 14 more than the second place trainer!  He’s winning at a 34% rate, and his 3-year-old class is insanely talented.  The sky is the limit for him this season.  He’s got a chance to break a lot of records.

Who’s Not:

D. Wayne Lukas – It’s been a rough start for Lukas at Oaklawn as he’s just 2 for 22.  What’s even more depressing for him is the fact he doesn’t look to have a legit threat in the Triple Crown races unless Optimizer comes together.  I look for him to start winning a few more races, but it could be another long spring and summer for him.  His lack of quality three-year olds will not improve.

Calvin H. Borel – The slump continues for Calvin.  It was a down year for him last year, and this year hasn’t started off much better.  Calvin made the curious move of wintering at Gulfstream this season, and so far it hasn’t paid off.  He’s 2 for 47 at the meet, and we’ve yet to see him ride a legit derby contender.  One has to wonder if a mid-season move to Oaklawn might be in the cards.

Jon Kenton Court – Court came to the Oaklawn meet off of a pretty nice 2011, but the first two weeks of this year have been rough as he’s just 2 for 29.  I’m not sure that losing streak will continue, as Jon has always done well at Hot Springs.  He rides for his father-and-law, Jinks Fires, and his stable may not be quite as strong as last year.  That is part of the problem.

Gabriel Saez – Here is one I’m really worried about.  Saez is 1 for 31 to start the Oaklawn meet.  He road a lot for Larry Jones last year, and Jones is at Fair Grounds this season.  It is clear that Saez has been able to pick up some mounts, but those mounts haven’t provided the quality horses that Jones provided for him.


2 comments on “Who’s Hot – Who’s Not

  1. Dear Racing Dude,

    I found you to be very knowledgeable of horse racing and have been following your forum since I came across it. I found all the articles to be well thought out and showed a good grasp of horse racing until I came across this post. Why you may ask do I say this? It is because you believe Todd Pletcher to be a good trainer. I’m sorry I can no longer follow this forum. Any good horse player cares about the horses they are betting on and can not bet on a horse that is trained by Pletcher. He does not treat his horses well and always puts unqualified horses in races they are not good enough to be in, or even healthy enough. His irresponsibilty has cost this generation of horse players and fans of the sport greatly and should have been suspended for his past actions.

    Thanks for your time.
    Rocky Stenson

  2. First of all Rocky, I want to thank you for what you said and I am glad you have enjoyed this forum. My opinion on Todd Pletcher is what it is. I think he does his job, which is winning races for high profile owners. I’d like to address some of your issues one by one:

    – On him not treating horses well….I have no proof one way or the other as far as that statement goes, because I don’t personally know him or anyone in his barn. I have no idea how he runs things. I do follow his horses and his entries on a daily basis and I have never once thought he was running one back to quick or running one that was lame.

    – He always puts unqualified horses in races they can’t win….Totally disagree with that statement. Quality Road and Uncle Mo finished horribly in the BC Classic, and I myself said that neither could get the classic distance, but both deserved a shot at proving us wrong. Quality Road was one of the best older horses in the country in 2010. Uncle Mo was the morning line favorite, so it’s not like he sent a dog out there in that race. Plus you have to remember, high profile owners want to run in high profile races, so his decisions can be swayed by them.

    -His irresponsibility has cost this generation….The Life at Ten situation was bad, no question about that. He should have been suspended for that. If you want to say that he cost people money that day, I have no complaint. He made a huge mistake. But other than that situation, I don’t see any other examples of where he has been in the wrong.

    Again, I don’t know the man personally. All I can go by is what I see on a day to day basis, which is high profile clients, very talented horses, and lots of photo’s in the winners circle. At what price all that is coming at I don’t know, but this horse player will continue to bet him because A) he is profitable, and B) Other than the Life at Ten incident, I haven’t seen much else to cause a concern. Thank you for the comment and hopefully you’ll be back.

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