Oaklawn Report #14

Will Take Charge Wins the Oaklawn Handicap

Will Take Charge Wins the Oaklawn Handicap

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Will Take Charge (KY) – The home town horse didn’t disappoint his 63,000+ fans when he won the Oaklawn Handicap in typical heart stopping Will Take Charge fashion!  Up the back stretch there were some anxious moments as at one point he fell to last place, but at the top of the stretch he made his signature move and passed them all while holding off a late run from Revolutionary to win by a length.  He also survived a lengthy inquiry for interference in the stretch, which is a topic that is still being debated today.  Never the less the Oaklawn Handicap was the moment of the meet, as this horse will go down as one of the most popular horses to ever run at Oaklawn Park.

– 2nd Star: Danza (KY) – What a shocker!!  Danza went off at 41-1 in the Arkansas Derby, and romped to a four and a half-length victory.  Jockey Joe Bravo was able to give Danza a flawless rail skimming ride, and when asked the question he simply left the others in the dust.  It’s hard to say whether he can bring that kind of effort next time out in the Kentucky Derby, but if he does he could be a real threat.  Trainer Todd Pletcher doesn’t have the best of records in the Derby, but this colt could be peaking for him at the right time.

– 3rd Star: Close Hatches (KY) – This champion returned to Oaklawn after taking the Azeri last month, and basically ran the same exact type of race in the Apple Blossom, winning once again.  There is no questioning this is one of the star older female in the group, and should be able to compete successfully against heavy hitters Princes of Sylmar and Beholder as the season goes along.  Close Hatches will be pointed towards the bigger races in New York over the summer, perhaps starting off on Belmont Day.

Flop of the Week

Tapiture (KY) – Considering that almost everyone thought at the very least this horse would run respectable, it was quite the surprise when Taptiure ran a flat fourth in the Arkansas Derby.  He made a decent move on the turn, but was just unable to make any kind of late run down the stretch.  Perhaps the added distance hurt him which is something we’ve seen with Tapit colts in the past.  He’s still qualified for the Kentucky Derby, but this loss was troubling.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 157 35 32 18 $1,859,450 22% 85 54%
2 Federico Villafranco 82 25 18 8 $590,127 30% 51 62%
3 Chris Richard 89 23 11 12 $607,695 26% 46 52%
4 Brad H. Cox 70 18 11 13 $683,976 26% 42 60%
4 Cody Autrey 112 18 22 19 $564,877 16% 59 53%
6 Chris A. Hartman 91 17 18 11 $621,412 19% 46 51%
7 Joseph R. Martin 87 13 9 15 $278,958 15% 37 43%
8 Ron Moquett 109 12 10 8 $479,032 11% 30 28%
9 D. Wayne Lukas 91 11 9 10 $939,788 12% 30 33%
9 Randy L. Morse 86 11 10 10 $412,414 13% 31 36%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. 292 59 49 30 $2,561,193 20% 138 47%
2 David Mello 216 35 31 26 $896,278 16% 92 43%
3 Ramon A. Vazquez 181 32 24 22 $912,786 18% 78 43%
4 Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 235 31 33 35 $1,169,595 13% 99 42%
5 Jon Kenton Court 178 26 19 18 $999,460 15% 63 35%
5 Terry J. Thompson 202 26 22 24 $942,814 13% 72 36%
7 Luis S. Quinonez 173 22 19 17 $837,749 13% 58 34%
8 Ken S. Tohill 172 22 31 19 $819,373 13% 72 42%
9 M. Clifton Berry 149 21 13 18 $793,547 14% 52 35%
10 Jareth Loveberry 197 19 23 19 $559,735 10% 61 31%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 80 24 18 8 $579,267 30% 50 63%
2 Maggi Moss 53 15 8 8 $298,260 28% 31 58%
3 Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 55 13 9 4 $351,710 24% 26 47%
4 Steve Landers 68 11 12 12 $221,335 16% 35 51%
5 Steven M. Asmussen 39 9 10 5 $163,041 23% 24 62%
6 Ulwelling, Al and Bill 35 8 5 3 $185,314 23% 16 46%
7 Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 20 7 5 1 $623,626 35% 13 65%
7 Zayat Stables, LLC 34 7 4 3 $378,337 21% 14 41%
7 Martin Brothers, Inc. 35 7 4 2 $105,391 20% 13 37%
10 William Stiritz 47 6 3 1 $206,856 13% 10 21%

Arkansas Derby Race Replay

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Racing Dudes Handicapping Challenge: Halterman vs. Black vs. Rapko

DudesChallenge

Welcome to another week of the Racing Dudes Handicapping Challenge! Each weekend we select 8 to 10 races from around the country and offer up a little handicapping challenge to anyone interested. We’ve received a massive amount of interest to take on the Dudes! So much so that we’ve had to resort to drawing randomly to see who gets to take on our back-to-back defending champ Mr. Halterman (Dude #1). Everyone will get a shot! And now, we’re adding one more challenger each week!

Rules:

Fake $2 Win/Place wagers ($2 to Win and $2 to Place) and (1) mandatory $4 Win/Place wager will be made on the horse a player selects in each race. Only one horse may be selected per race. If a player’s horse wins, the player score is credited on both the Win and Place payouts. If the horse finishes second, the player score is credited only on the Place payout. And just so we’re clear, all wagers and payouts from races are NOT REAL and will be used for scoring purposes only.

In the event of a late scratch or change of track conditions, players may change picks provided given race has not started. If picks have already closed, the scratched horse will be replaced with the post-time favorite for that race.

Past results:

Week 1: Aaron Halterman (Dude #1) defeats Kelby Von Hemel $43.60 – $21.00

Week 2: Paul Mazur defeats Dude #1 $25.00 – $17.80

Week 3: Aaron West defeats Dude #1 and Paul Mazur $31.30 – $28.80 – $8.00

Week 4: West defeats Dude #1 and Oaklawn Wizard $53.30 – $27.00 – $25.60

Week 5: West defeats Dude #1 and Chance Moquett $42.40 – $37.40 – $22.20

Week 6: Dude #1 defeats West and Zack Gillham $68.00 – $49.80 – $35.40

Week 7: Dude #1 defeats Nicolle Neulist and Brady Lukas $30.00 – $29.20 – $13.80

This week’s challengers:

Jared Black

imageJared is 23 years old and a Finance/Business Management major at Henderson State University (graduating in May) where he also played college golf for 4 years.

Jared started going to the races with his dad when he was 3 years old and now visits Oaklawn once a week. His family actually owns racehorses as well. His favorite track besides Oaklawn is Delta Downs because of the huge payouts. You can find him around the paddock area when Danny Caldwell has a horse running, as he is in the “Danny Caldwell Fan Club” along with Justin Lewis (@JustinLewisLR).

His favorite wager is the Win/Place bet. Show money is no good! His biggest win was a 60/1 winner at Delta Downs last year! You can follow him on Twitter at @JaredWBlack.

 Ryan Rapko

Ryan Rapko was born, raised, and still lives in Aliquippa, PA, just outside of Pittsburgh. Ryan started getting involved in handicapping in the Summer of 2008 after getting a job at his local OTB. He taught himself how to wager and how to read the form. For the past 6 years, he has continuously been improving his handicapping skills whether it would be wagering and learning from acquaintances at the OTB or from his long time good friend @Whattasurprise.

He bets a variety of wagers, but mostly likes to focus in on Win/Place, Pick 3’s, and Pick 4’s. His biggest day of wagering came at the 2012 Kentucky3utkoze65ytt9ucoudds Derby. He cashed 2 Pick 3’s totaling roughly $2,500 as well as the Exacta and Trifecta in the Derby for another $1,500.

If he is not wagering online, Ryan can either be found at either Mountaineer Park or the Meadows Casino reading the form, building tickets, and cashing winners. His favorite tracks he would like to visit someday are Del Mar, Saratoga, Keeneland, and Gulfstream.

Outside of racing, Ryan enjoys watching and wagering on sports. He is a fan of the Yankees, Big Blue Nation, and the Chargers. He is also a fan of the WWE.

Currently, Ryan is partaking in a mythical bankroll challenge for the Keeneland Spring Meet. He posts full card selections, Challenge Plays that affect the bankroll, and, after each racing day, updated stats. All of this, as well as other horse racing handicapping thoughts, can be found on his twitter page @Chuckles375.

Challenge races:

Saturday

1  Toyota Blue Grass S. (4:45 CT)

2  Arkansas Derby (6:07 CT)

Sunday

3  Keeneland Race 6 (2:40 CT)

4  Keeneland Race 7 (3:11 CT)

5  Keeneland Race 8 (3:42 CT)

6  Santa Anita Park Race 4 (4:00 CT)

7  Keeneland Race 9 (4:13 CT)

8  Santa Anita Park Race 5 (4:30 CT)

9  Santa Anita Park Race 6 (5:00 CT)

10  Santa Anita Park  Race 8 (6:00 CT)

Picks:

Race
Dude #1
Black
Rapko
KEE R11 #5 (Off) #4 (Off) #3 (3rd)
OP R11 #3 (Off) #4 (2nd 7.00) #8 (3rd)
KEE R6 #8 (2nd 4.80) #6 (1st 6.80 3.60) #6 (1st 6.80 3.60)
KEE R7 #1 (2nd 4.60) #1 (2nd 4.60) #7 (3rd)
KEE R8 #3* (1st 11.20 6.80) #2 (Off) #3* (1st 11.20 6.80)
SA R4 #7 (Off) #2 (2nd 4.60) #7 (Off)
KEE R9 #3 (2nd 4.00) #9 (Off) #6 (Off)
SA R5 #6 (2nd 3.00) #6 (2nd 3.00) #3 (1st 5.20 2.60)
SA R6 #1 (1st 11.40 6.60) #8* (Off) #8 (Off)
SA R8 #5 (1st 5.60 3.00) #5 (1st 5.60 3.00) #5 (1st 5.60 3.00)
Score $61.00 $38.20 $44.80

* Denotes player’s $4 Win/Place wager

You think you can hang with the big boys (or girls)? Want to take the winner? Shoot us an email by visiting our contact page and let us know you’re interested! We’ll even plug your website, blog, Twitter feed, handicapping skills, etc. And who knows… defend your title long enough and we may even throw in a prize!

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Weekend SimplePlays™, Free PPs and Dudes Challenge

Can Bayern win the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby?

Can Bayern win the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby?

The final HUGE weekend before the Kentucky Derby has arrived! Whether it’s the Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Handicap or Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, we’ve got you covered with FREE picks and SimplePlays™ at Oaklawn Park and Keeneland!

And if that’s not enough track coverage, here are even more weekend SimplePlays™ featuring Aqueduct, Pimlico and Gulfstream Park:

Saturday Cards

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for April 12, 2014 at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

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Sunday Cards

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for April 13, 2014 at Pimlico and Gulfstream Park.

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Weekend Cards (Combined) 20% off!

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for April 12, 2014 at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for April 13, 2014 at Pimlico and Gulfstream Park.

Buy Now

We also offer SimplePlays™ each and every race day at KeenelandOaklawn Park and Fonner Park.

About SimplePlays™

Using the information created by our custom, systematic approach, we give you a product that shows exactly how and what the Dudes bet at the track. With SimplePlays™ you not only receive your traditional Win, Place, and Exacta wagers, but also suggested multi-race (Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6), Trifecta and Superfecta wagers for every race on the card!

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Free Past Performances

Oaklawn Park

G1 Arkansas Derby

G2 Oaklawn H.

Northern Spur S.

Instant Racing S.

Keeneland

G1 Toyota Blue Grass S.

G1 Madison S.

G1 Jenny Wiley S.

G3 Shakertown S.

G3 Commonwealth S.

Santa Anita Park

G2 Potrero Grande S.

G3 Las Cienegas S.

Racing Dudes Handicapping Challenge

Each Sunday we host what’s called the #DudesChallenge. We select 8 to 10 races from around the country and offer up a little handicapping challenge to anyone interested in taking on the Dudes! Fake $2 Win/Place wagers ($2 to Win and $2 to Place) and (1) mandatory $4 Win/Place wager is made on the horse a player selects in each race.

This week we’ve decided to incorporate the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby into the mix! The challengers picks can be found below and make sure to tune in tomorrow to check out the remaining challenge!

Race
Dude #1
Black
Rapko
KEE R11 #5 (Off) #4 (Off) #3 (3rd)
OP R11 #3 (Off) #4 (2nd 7.00) #8 (3rd)

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Blinkers Off 068: Racing Festival of the South Podcast Released

Blinkers Off Logo2Blinkers Off has released a new episode!

Blinkers Off provides weekly insights into the world of horse racing including race selections and previews, handicapping methods and exclusive stories.

You can view all episodes of Blinkers Off by visiting our podcast page.

COMING SOON: Stayed tuned for our brand new website and logo update! It will be a major upgrade across the board and we hope you all will enjoy it!

Blinkers Off 068: Racing Festival of the South – April 11, 2014

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview the entire Racing Festival of the South at Oaklawn Park including the Grade I Arkansas Derby and Grade I Apple Blossom Handicap. The Dudes will also take a visit to Keeneland and preview all the stakes racing including the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes.

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Arkansas Derby (Grade 1) Preview

1. Danza

DanzaRace Record:(3) 1-0-2

Earnings:$66,428

Jockey: Joe Bravo

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:One of two Pletcher entries kicks us off as we move through this competitive field of nine!  Pletcher won this race last year with Overanalyze, but Danza comes in lightly race and needs to step up big time to compete.  He’s had just one race since August of last year.  In his lone start this year he was third in an allowance at Gulfstream, so it’s hard seeing him beating this talented group.

2. Knock Em Flat

Oaklawn 2011Race Record: (5) 1-2-0

Earnings:$63,800

Jockey:Luis Quinonez

Trainer:Donnie K Von Hemel

Graded Stakes Victories: 0

The Verdict:Tough to see how this one can match up class wise with most of these.  I think the light bulb finally came on last time out in his crushing maiden win, but this will be asking too much.  He is cross entered in a smaller stakes earlier on the card, and that should probably be where he ends up

3. Tapiture

tapRace Record: (6) 2-2-2

Earnings:$440,838

Jockey:Joel Rosario

Trainer:Steve Asmussen

Graded Stakes Victories:2

The Verdict:He was the clear-cut winner of the Southwest Stakes, and with a clean trip he probably would have won the Rebel Stakes as well.  He currently sits at number two on our Kentucky Derby rankings list, and deserves favoritism in this race.  The son of Tapit has gotten a mile and one-sixteenth without any problems at all, and I think he’ll stretch out to this distance fine.  Likely winner with the right trip.

4. Ride On Curlin

ROCRace Record:(8) 2-1-4

Earnings: $214,687

Jockey:Jon Court

Trainer:William Gowan

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:We saw a major progression from him last time out in the Rebel Stakes, as he battled with Strong Mandate all the way around the track before finishing a close third.  The workouts since that race have been huge, and many locals are picking this horse to pull off the upset.  We know the breeding is there, and we’ve seen flashes of brilliance talent wise, but can this “wise guy” horse get it done on the big stage?

5. Thundergram

Oaklawn 2011Race Record:(6) 1-3-1

Earnings:$65,600

Jockey: Norberto Arroyo Jr.

Trainer:Mark Casse

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:Curious spot for him to land…especially since trainer Mark Casse has a much more worthy competitor in Conquest Titan.  You can’t see much in the past performances that gives Thundergram any kind of a chance against this tough bunch of runners.

6. Commissioner

Commissioner_Top-Billing_Coglianese-684x533Race Record: (5) 2-1-1

Earnings:$189,100

Jockey:Mike Smith

Trainer:Todd Pletcher

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:I’m not ready to give up on him just yet!  Commissioner will finally get off of a track that favors speed when he runs in this one, and should benefit greatly from it.  He’ll need a little pace to run at, which he should get, and I love the mile and one-eighth distance for him.  Many people think the horse is too slow, but I believe the tracks he’s been running on made him look that way.  He’s my long shot pick!

7. Conquest Titan

ConquestTitanSwynfordStakes2013MB298Race Record:(7) 2-1-0

Earnings:$208,995

Jockey:Calvin Borel

Trainer:Mark Casse

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:While most have jumped off he Commissioner bandwagon, I’ve jumped off the Conquest Titan bandwagon.  Actually I was never on it to begin with.  I’ve never seen why this one had all the hype that he’s had, and I’ll make him beat me before I believe.  It is a little scary that so many still believe in him though…if you are one of those people maybe you can comment on this preview and explain why.

8. Bayern

bayern1Race Record:(2) 2-0-0

Earnings:$68,400

Jockey:Gary Stevens

Trainer:Bob Baffert

Graded Stakes Victories:0

The Verdict:File this one under the “wouldn’t be surprise with anything” category.  He’s a wild card in every sense of the word.  Lightly raced, been off for a while, but he’s showed a tremendous amount of talent.  I’ve heard lots of comparisons to Bodemeister this week, but Bode came to Hot Springs off a second place effort against a tough stakes field.  Bayern comes in off an easy allowance victory.  That lack of seasoning might keep him from winning.

9. Strong Mandate

Strong MandateRace Record:(7) 2-1-1

Earnings:$522,900

Jockey:Luis Saez

Trainer:D Wayne Lukas

Graded Stakes Victories:1

The Verdict:It’s put up or shut up time for Strong Mandate.  There is no question he had legit excuses when finishing third in the Breeders Cup Juvenile and second in the Southwest Stakes, but his fourth place effort in the Rebel with a perfect trip was concerning.  His breeding suggests he can run all day, but his races suggests one turn races are best of him.  He truly is a question mark.

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The Apple Blossom Handicap (Grade 1) Preview

1. Close Hatches

Close Hatches

Race Record: (9) 6-2-0

Earnings: $1,487,300

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Bill Mott

Graded Stakes Victories: 4

The Verdict: Have to love the way Mott came to Oaklawn Park last time for the Azeri to test the waters before committing to this race.  He was rewared for the decision as Close Hatches was a decisive winner of the Azeri, and now you have to love her chances in this one.  The field has come up a bit short, and there is absolutely no doubting who the class of this race is.  If she shows up with here “A” game…they are all running for second.

2. Rose to Gold

Rose to GoldRace Record: (12) 6-1-0

Earnings: $963,509

Jockey: Calvin Borel

Trainer: Sal Santoro

Graded Stakes Victories: 3

The Verdict: Against ungraded or Grade 3 company Rose to Gold has been very impressive, but she is yet to tackle tougher competition with much luck.  Her race two back in the Houston Ladies Classic had me thinking she had taken a big leap forward, but she went backwards next time out finishing seventh in the Sabin Stakes at Gulfstream.  She does hold two victories at Oaklawn Park, but I don’t look for her to make it three.

3. Stanwyck

Stanwyck_NYRARace Record: (13) 3-2-5

Earnings: $304,250

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Trainer: John Shirreffs

Graded Stakes Victories: 1

The Verdict:Trainer John Shirreffs thrilled the masses at Oaklawn twice by bringing the great Zenyatta to the Apple Blossom, but make no mistake…this is not Zenyatta.  Stanwyck has just one graded stakes win to her credit, however she has run decent in her last couple of races against graded company; finishing third in both the Santa Maria and Santa Margarita Stakes.  Maybe she is a late developing horse, but she won’t be good enough here.

4. On Fire Baby

On Fire Baby Oaklawn 2012Race Record: (13) 5-1-1

Earnings: $761,974

Jockey: Joe Johnson

Trainer: Gary “Red Dog” Hartlage

Graded Stakes Victories: 4

The Verdict:The defending Apple Blossom champion is back again this year, and should be ready to fire a big race!  Last time out Close Hatches soundly defeated On Fire Baby in the Azeri Stakes, but it was clear On Fire Baby needed that race.  Now she should be fit and ready to roll, and with the home track on her side I give her a small chance to pull off the upset.  She’s clearly the logical alternative if you don’t want to play Close Hatches at low odds

5. Let Faith Arise

LetFaithAriseSantaMargarita2014BEN298Race Record: (10) 5-2-1

Earnings: $380,284

Jockey: Corey Nakatani

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Graded Stakes Victories: 1

The Verdict:She’s coming into this race off a Grade 1 victory, but you have to question the toughness of the field she faced last time out.  This one has always ran solid races, but not until recently has she moved up to Graded Stakes company at bigger tracks.  Perhaps another that is a late bloomer, but I just can’t see her matching up well with a horse like Close Hatches.

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Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #9

Ky

COMING SOON: In the coming weeks stayed tuned for our brand new website and logo update!!  It should be a major upgrade across the board, and we hope you all will enjoy it!
New to the Top 20: Wicked Strong
Dropped Out: Ride On Curlin

1. California Chrome – We didn’t believe for the longest time…but now we do!  He’s now the favorite to win this one with the only question being how well he’ll run over the Churchill Downs surface.  From now on I’ll refer to him as “The Freak.”

2. Tapiture – It’s finally Arkansas Derby week, and Tapiture will have a tough task in front of him.  He’ll have the services of Joel Rosario, and with a clean trip I don’t think he can be beat this week.

3. Wicked Strong – Will the real Wicked Strong please stand up?  If the Kentucky Derby was ran at Aqueduct he’d be looking really good right now.  This proves how terrible a fit the Gulfstream track was for him, and now he’s stamped himself as a legit player.  One thing that is so important to note: He’s the only horse that has won one of these preps from off the pace.

4. Hoppertunity – California Chrome may have crushed him, but I really like what I saw out of Hoppertunity in the Santa Anita Derby.  He’ll have no problem with the Kentucky Derby distance, and if he can just continue to progress he’ll have a big shot.  Ran to my expectations, just not good enough to beat the freak.

5. Constitution – Huge victory in the Florida Derby!  I liked his willingness to go through a small hole along the rail, and you had to admire how gamely he fought off the pesky Wildcat Red.  Of course zero starts at two is scary, and he also still doesn’t seem to good about sitting behind horses.  He might have the most raw talent, but his lack of experience could be his downfall.

6. Samraat – My respect for him grows with each and every race.  He may have been defeated for the first time, but it took a giant effort to do it.  His game finish to out-nose Social Inclusion at the wire was respectable, and shows me he will fight all the way to the wire.  Win or lose in Kentucky…this horse is so likable.

7. Intense Holiday – It was a wild stretch run for Intense Holiday in the Louisiana Derby as he banged into the rail and had trouble switching leads.  Still, he managed to finish second and still is one that will have a shot in Kentucky.

8. Candy Boy  – Much like Cairo Prince, Candy Boy did not run his best race after a long layoff in the Santa Anita Derby.  He still is sitting in a good spot as far as making the field, and hopefully for his sake he’ll rebound with a better effort if he makes it into the race.

9. Cairo Prince – Talk about your all time back fire…Cairo Prince now sits on the bubble of even making it to the Kentucky Derby.  It was obvious that the Florida Derby was not his best effort, but I do think he’ll bounce back and run better next time out.  Not completely writing him off…

10. Strong Mandate – Still believe this one has a big race left in him somewhere…maybe we’ll see it in the Arkansas Derby.  If not, he may not even make the race.

11. Bobby’s Kitten – It’s now or never in the Blue Grass Stakes this weekend.  He’ll most likely be the post time favorite, but can he live up to the expectations?

12. Wildcat Red – My hat goes off to this horse, he’s not supposed to be running this far but he just keeps on fighting.  I thought for sure General A Rod and Constitution would leave him in the dust in the Florida Derby, but this guy has a big heart.  He’s earned his shot in the Derby.

13. Vicar’s In Trouble – Ran a terrific race when winning the Louisiana Derby, but still can’t see him getting the mile and one-quarter distance.  Nice story to have a Louisiana bred making the race though.

14. Toast of New York – Dubai winner has a ton of things going against him, but also has an abundance of talent.  Might be classier than all of these, but can he run on dirt and will he handle the trip well?

15. General A Rod – His third place effort in the Florida Derby was a tad disappointing considering it looked like he had every chance to go by for most of the stretch run.  He’ll have a small chance in Kentucky, but might not be good enough.

16. Uncle Sigh – Picked the wrong time to run a bad race, but I still think he’ll end up running in the Kentucky Derby.  Nice horse, but the distance will likely wear him down.

17. Ring Weekend – Second place efforts in the Calder Derby usually don’t lead to wins in the Kentucky Derby.  I’ll leave him on the list based on the number of points he’s earned.

18. We Miss Artie – We’ve already seen him falter on dirt.  Nice synthetic horse, will be tough for him to win the Derby though.

19. Chitu –Not liking his chances at all at a mile and one-quarter.

20. Social Inclusion – I’ll keep him on the list for now because he might still get into the field with a lot of luck.  I actually thought his third place performance in the Wood was impressive, especially since his ride was curious to say the least.  The jock basically thought they were going to cruise home to an easy win, then the water got real deep real fast and he panicked.  Don’t forget about this one…

Free Brisnet past performances from Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available here.

More information on the KDFW is available at www.KentuckyDerby.com.

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Oaklawn Report #13

Sugar Shock Wins the Fantasy Stakes over Kiss Moon

Sugar Shock Wins the Fantasy Stakes over Kiss Moon

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: Sugar Shock (KY) – This time she decided to run straight, and it worked out quite well!!  After crossing the finish line first in the Honeybee Stakes you could see the talent this horse had, but unfortunately she veered out terribly in the stretch run and was DQ’d to second.  However, this time in the Fantasy Stakes she was able to set fast fractions and still run straight through the entire stretch to get the victory over Kiss Moon.  The win obviously propels Sugar Shock to the Kentucky Oaks, where she’ll face what looks to be two super star fillies in Untapable and My Miss Sophia.  Whether or not she can compete with those types remains to be seen.

– 2nd Star: Speedinthruthecity (KY) – She was consider the lesser of the two Asmussen entries by the morning line odds maker in the Carousel Stakes, but the betting public made her the even money favorite and she didn’t disappoint as she won by three lengths.  This horse has progressed nicely, and could now be ready to give it a go against graded company next time out.  With continued improvements like these she might be a rising star in the female sprint division.

– 3rd Star: Kiss Moon (KY) – It looked as though Kiss Moon was going to wear down Sugar Shock the entire length of the stretch in the Fantasy, but she just couldn’t get the job done.  Still, her clear-cut second place victory was a big run, and also showed the addition of blinkers was a great move.  She earned enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Oaks if she wants to go, but she may be a cut below the very best in this division.

Flop of the Week

Please Explain (KY) – Another big stakes at Oaklawn, another disappointment.  Please Explain was a tough luck third in the Honeybee two starts back, but this time in the Fantasy she was just a total no-show.  After showing speed for most of her career, Please Explain was last again up the back side in the Fantasy, but unlike the Honeybee she made no move whatsoever and finished second to last as the post time favorite.

Trainer Standings

Rank Trainer Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Steven M. Asmussen 132 27 29 14 $1,392,961 20% 70 53%
2 Federico Villafranco 76 25 17 8 $582,691 33% 50 66%
3 Chris Richard 86 23 11 10 $575,792 27% 44 51%
4 Cody Autrey 104 18 20 16 $545,107 17% 54 52%
5 Chris A. Hartman 80 17 15 11 $542,086 21% 43 54%
6 Brad H. Cox 62 15 11 10 $537,936 24% 36 58%
7 Joseph R. Martin 82 13 8 14 $263,361 16% 35 43%
8 Ron Moquett 101 12 10 6 $455,726 12% 28 28%
9 Randy L. Morse 77 10 9 8 $362,964 13% 27 35%
9 Roger A. Brueggemann 44 10 7 5 $293,097 23% 22 50%

Jockey Standings

Rank Jockey Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. 259 49 44 24 $2,096,351 19% 117 45%
2 David Mello 215 35 31 25 $866,178 16% 91 42%
3 Norberto Arroyo, Jr. 227 31 33 32 $1,118,785 14% 96 42%
4 Ramon A. Vazquez 157 28 21 20 $771,173 18% 69 44%
5 Terry J. Thompson 183 23 17 22 $834,883 13% 62 34%
6 Ken S. Tohill 150 22 28 18 $734,338 15% 68 45%
6 Jon Kenton Court 162 22 16 18 $682,310 14% 56 35%
8 Luis S. Quinonez 158 19 17 17 $750,372 12% 53 34%
8 M. Clifton Berry 130 19 10 15 $697,830 15% 44 34%
8 Jareth Loveberry 170 19 20 15 $510,347 11% 54 32%

Owner Standings

Rank Owner Name Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Total $ Win% Top3 Top3%
1 Danny R. Caldwell 74 24 17 8 $571,831 32% 49 66%
2 Maggi Moss 51 15 8 7 $296,357 29% 30 59%
3 Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 55 13 9 4 $351,710 24% 26 47%
4 Steve Landers 64 11 11 10 $212,265 17% 32 50%
5 Ulwelling, Al and Bill 34 8 5 3 $183,714 24% 16 47%
6 Steven M. Asmussen 33 7 9 4 $134,970 21% 20 61%
6 Martin Brothers, Inc. 33 7 3 2 $101,629 21% 12 36%
8 Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 16 6 5 1 $530,766 38% 12 75%
8 Zayat Stables, LLC 29 6 2 3 $261,337 21% 11 38%
8 William Stiritz 47 6 3 1 $206,856 13% 10 21%

Preview to Next Week

– Thursday: The Count Fleet Stakes (Grade 3) – 4 Year Olds and Upward – 6 furlongs – Purse: $300,000

– Friday: Bachelor Stakes – 3 Year Olds – 6 furlongs – Purse: $100,000

– Friday: The Apple Blossom Handicap (Grade 1) – 4 Year Old and Upward Fillies and Mares – 1 1/16th Miles – Purse: $600,000

– Saturday: Instant Racing Stakes – 3 Year Olds – Six Furlongs – Purse: $100,000

– Saturday: Northern Spur Stakes – 3 Year Olds – One Mile – Purse: $100,000

– Saturday: The Oaklawn Handicap (Grade 2) – 4 Year Old Males and Upward – 1 1/8th Miles – Purse: $600,000

– Saturday: The Arkansas Derby (Grade 1) – 3 Year Olds – 1 1/8th Miles – Purse: $1,000,000

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Racing Dudes Handicapping Challenge: Halterman vs. Lukas vs. Neulist

DudesChallenge

Welcome to another week of the Racing Dudes Handicapping Challenge! Each weekend we select 8 to 10 races from around the country and offer up a little handicapping challenge to anyone interested. We’ve received a massive amount of interest to take on the Dudes! So much so that we’ve had to resort to drawing randomly to see who gets to take on our defending champ Mr. Halterman (Dude #1). Everyone will get a shot! And now, we’re adding one more challenger each week!

Rules:

Fake $2 Win/Place wagers ($2 to Win and $2 to Place) and (1) mandatory $4 Win/Place wager will be made on the horse a player selects in each race. Only one horse may be selected per race. If a player’s horse wins, the player score is credited on both the Win and Place payouts. If the horse finishes second, the player score is credited only on the Place payout. And just so we’re clear, all wagers and payouts from races are NOT REAL and will be used for scoring purposes only.

In the event of a late scratch or change of track conditions, players may change picks provided given race has not started. If picks have already closed, the scratched horse will be replaced with the post-time favorite for that race.

Past results:

Week 1: Aaron Halterman (Dude #1) defeats Kelby Von Hemel $43.60 – $21.00

Week 2: Paul Mazur defeats Dude #1 $25.00 – $17.80

Week 3: Aaron West defeats Dude #1 and Paul Mazur $31.30 – $28.80 – $8.00

Week 4: West defeats Dude #1 and Oaklawn Wizard $53.30 – $27.00 – $25.60

Week 5: West defeats Dude #1 and Chance Moquett $42.40 – $37.40 – $22.20

Week 6: Dude #1 defeats West and Zack Gillham $68.00 – $49.80 – $35.40

This week’s challengers:

Brady Lukas

nFwZw45xBrady Lukas, grandson of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, was born in Arcadia, California. He grew up on the backside of Santa Anita
making wagers ever since he was tall enough to reach the betting window. He resided in California until he received a football scholarship to the Air Force Academy. He currently resides at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Ms, and is moving to Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan in June.

Brady doesn’t believe in picking the second or third best horse, so he lives and dies by the win wager. The longest shot he ever hit was in the 2005 Kentucky Derby placing a straight win wager on 50-1 Giacomo. He currently owes 4 more years to the Air Force, but plans to get into the horse racing industry management side of the house. You can follow him on Twitter at @bwaynelukas.

 Nicolle Neulist

Nicolle Neulist lives in Chicago, Illinois. They were exposed to Triple Crown races on television as a child, but never made it out to the races until a company outing to Arlington Park back in 2007. Over the last year or so, after many late nights of reading about racehorse pedigrees, horse racingpurple has morphed from an occasional entertainment into a fiery passion. It’s just the perfect sport for someone who loves both trivia and numbers! Nowadays, Nicolle gets out to Hawthorne Race Course at least once a week, and the paddock there almost feels like a second home. They’re still relatively new to handicapping: even though the timid two-dollar show bets have given way to mostly exacta betting, cracking the nut of the multi-race wager is becoming more and more tempting by the day.

Away from the track, nicolle does computer security consulting, sings in a few choirs around Chicago, and plays a lot of pub quiz. They rant about horse racing (and a few other things, but mainly horse racing 140 characters at a time on Twitter at @rogueclown.  They also write in longer form about race picks, fantasy horse racing, and the on-track exploits of Curlin’s progeny at http://blinkersoffblog.wordpress.com.

Challenge races:

1  Keeneland Race 5 (2:09 CT)

2  Pimlico Race 7 (2:58 CT)

3  Oaklawn Park Race 5 (3:19 CT)

4  Keeneland Race 8 (3:42 CT)

5  Oaklawn Park  Race 6 (3:46 CT)

6  Keeneland Race 9 (4:13 CT)

7  Oaklawn Park Race 8 (4:42 CT)

8  Santa Anita Park Race 6 (5:00 CT)

9  Santa Anita Park  Race 7 (5:30 CT)

10  Santa Anita Park  Race 8 (6:00 CT)

Picks:

Race
Dude #1
Lukas
Neulist
KEE R5 #11 (Off) #11 (Off) #2 (Off)
PIM R7 #2 (1st 5.80 3.20) #2 (1st 5.80 3.20) #11 (2nd 4.40)
OP R5 #3 (Off) #3 (Off) #8 (2nd 4.80)
KEE R8 #10 (3rd) #6 (Off) #10* (3rd)
OP R6 #4 (Off) #7 (Off) #1 (1st 5.20 3.20)
KEE R9 #1 (3rd) #5 (Off) #8 (Off)
OP R8 #3* (1st 8.00 5.20) #6 (Off) #7 (3rd)
SA R6 #6 (2nd 3.00) #9 (3rd) #4 (Off)
SA R7 #2 (Off) #1* (3rd) #2 (Off)
SA R8 #8 (2nd 4.80) #8 (2nd 4.80) #6 (1st 8.00 3.60)
Score $30.00 $13.80 $29.20

* Denotes player’s $4 Win/Place wager

You think you can hang with the big boys (or girls)? Want to take the winner? Shoot us an email by visiting our contact page and let us know you’re interested! We’ll even plug your website, blog, Twitter feed, handicapping skills, etc. And who knows… defend your title long enough and we may even throw in a prize!

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Weekend SimplePlays™, Free PPs and Pick 4 Selections Now Available

California Chrome (top) and Candy Boy (bottom) lead a group of 8 in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on Saturday.

California Chrome (top) and Candy Boy (bottom) lead a group of 8 in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on Saturday.

Another big weekend has arrived! Whether it’s the Wood Memorial or Santa Anita Derby, we’ve got you covered with FREE picks at Aqueduct and Santa Anita Park!

And if you’re looking for even more coverage, here are your weekend SimplePlays™ featuring Aqueduct and Santa Anita Park:

Saturday Cards

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for April 5, 2014 at Aqueduct and Santa Anita Park.

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Sunday Cards

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for April 6, 2014 at Aqueduct and Santa Anita Park.

Buy Now

Weekend Cards (Combined) 20% off!

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for April 5-6, 2014 at Aqueduct and Santa Anita Park.

Buy Now

We also offer SimplePlays™ each and every race day at KeenelandOaklawn Park and Fonner Park.

About SimplePlays™

Using the information created by our custom, systematic approach, we give you a product that shows exactly how and what the Dudes bet at the track. With SimplePlays™ you not only receive your traditional Win, Place, and Exacta wagers, but also suggested multi-race (Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6), Trifecta and Superfecta wagers for every race on the card!

view sample

Free Past Performances

Aqueduct

G2 Bay Shore S.

G2 Gazelle S.

G1 Wood Memorial S.

G1 Carter H.

Santa Anita Park

Echo Eddie S.

Evening Jewel S.

G3 Providencia S.

G1 Santa Anita Derby

G1 Santa Anita Oaks

Aqueduct $500K Guaranteed Pick 4 Ticket

Dude #1 (who creates SimplePlays™) and Dude #2 team up this weekend to take down the Pick 4!

Race 8: 2,4,7,8

Race 9: 4,2

Race 10: 8,11,4,10

Race 11: 1,6,3,5

Ticket Cost: $64.00 (.50 cent)

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