Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Sunday, October 22, 2017
A great day of racing action at Belmont Park is on tap this afternoon. The feature is the English Channel Stakes, which will go as the 7th race.
As usual, Steven Schwartz (@albundypolkhigh) will be providing FREE picks & analysis of all the racing action every Sunday. Be sure to give Steven a follow on twitter for updated thoughts throughout the program.
Good luck to everyone following along!
This week got off to a sad start with the passing of Effinex. He was responsible for my 2nd biggest hit in this fine game that we play. I had a very good 2015 Breeders Cup but my plan all along was to make sure that I hit the Classic really good due to a strong opinion. That day the dirt course played like a conveyor belt which assured that American Pharoah (like he needed any more advantages) would win the classic. I also loved one of the longest prices in the race to just follow him around the track. Effinex was the horse I keyed for 2nd with 2 horses for 3rd. The triple only paid $160 but I am pretty sure I hit the trifecta more times than anyone else that day.
He was a great horse that will surely be missed. It will be interesting to see how the legend of his name lives on. Most people think that the horse name (which was actually rejected across the pond) is a tribute to all of those on their 2nd marriage. In truth, the owners named the horse to show the world what they think about drugs, particularly Lasix in the game that we love. RIP Effinex.
We had another great week last week. Let’s finish out this Belmont meet in strong fashion. There are plenty of live prices today so let’s take some chances. Let’s cash some tickets. Let’s get ‘em. Make sure to follow me on twitter @albundypolkhigh. I often make changes to picks based on surface and the betting board.
Conservative Pick 5 Ticket – 3,4 /4 / 1,2,3,5 / 1,2 / 5,6,7 = $24
Aggressive Pick 5 Ticket- 1,3,4,6 / 4,7,8 / 1,2,3,5 / 1,2 / 5,6,7 = $144
Race 1- 4-3-6
#4- Going Strong- The opening leg of the Pick 5 is a bit of a puzzle and I will be spreading early. I will make this cutback my tepid pick as a closing sprinter who should have some speed to run into. His race 2 back at this level/distance is good enough to beat these.
#3- Holding Aces- He was my single last time out at 7/5 and will now try to get through this condition despite failing 2 back as the favorite. He might be up against it if Paco Lopez sends with the #6 horse. Arroyo is actually a decent jockey when he has a horse on the lead but might have to fight for it today. If they let him have the lead, he can easily win. If he is eating dirt around the first turn, he will be close enough to the leader but I would not like his chances as much.
#6- Curtis- He won impressively first off the claim for Gary Gullo last time out in wire to wire fashion. I expect him to attempt to run the same way with Paco Lopez on for the ride. A repeat of his last race would make him tough but that was against a much weaker field on a day where you wanted to be on the lead.
Race #2- 4-8-7
#4- News Anchor- He looks the much the best in this field but the same could have been said in his last race. Luck has not really gone his way the first two attempts. Last time out he got shuffled at the gate and was forced to go about 8 wide to close nicely for third. Prior to that, just missed winning first time out despite his jockey dropping the whip. It is only a matter of time before he gets to take that picture. Today will probably be the day at an underwhelming price………but far from a single.
#8- Magnetron- He exits the same race as my top pick and was able to do a bit of running in the middle of the race. Horses often improve 2nd time out on the turf and Michael Lerman is known to pop a big price every now and then. Jose Lezcano is as good as they come routing on the turf when given an outside post.
#7- Perfectexpectation- Finished ahead of my top pick at 41-1 but did so with the better trip. He will have a slight advantage of getting first jump on all the big closers. That alone makes him dangerous in a race with little to no early speed on paper.
Race 3- 2-5-1
#2- Clever Royal- This will be the first of many big price plays today. I bet him 10 days ago when going off the jail move so it only make sense that I pick him in the exact same spot. I like that Diodoro is cutting this horse back and racing him back quickly. The horse must want to run and if I liked him 10 days ago, I will stick with him in this spot at a huge price. Diodoro has big numbers going 2nd off the claim and cutting horses back. Maybe I was 10 days too early to cash on this pick.
#5- Life in Shambles- I am not sure what the connections were doing last time by putting him on the turf but he going back on dirt and 3rd off the cycle is where this horse should move up. He loves the track and should be close enough to the leader to make a winning move around the turn if he still has something left.
#1- Hey Jabber Jaw- Should be alone on the lead………with Luzzi steering.
Race 4- 2-1-5
#2- Shahroze- This is a bit of a shot in the dark but Graham Motion does a great job bringing horses across the pond (hitting at 29% and a $3.40 ROI). The breeding is good with Shamreen in the bloodlines and his races in Ireland were very competitive.
#1- Jahaafel- Will be a single on most tickets after two really good efforts on the grass. Can’t blame those for backing at what will be very short odds.
#5- Culture Currier- If you are looking for a sneaky horse to throw into your multi-race bets then this is your horse. I love when trainers take a horse at the MCL level and bring them back up to the MSW level. He exits a very live race where he finished 4th behind two next out winners and the addition of blinkers should help. The big question is, do we believe that this is a huge vote of confidence from trainer Chad Brown that he is protecting this horse? Or do we feel that he isn’t that good because he offered him for 40k first time out? We will see.
Race 5- 6-5-7
#6- LIghtining Buzz- I see this as a 4 horse race so I will take the one with the longer odds. Gullo will send this horse out 2nd off the claim and with a positive jockey change. Last time out he made a decent closing move despite racing wide on a speed biased track. Prior to that he just lost in a race where the third place finisher came back to win next time out. If Shamrock does not go for the lead, Juarez might try to steal it. If not, he should be in great stalking position.
#5- Bar None- He should appreciate the cutback in distance and likes this track. He might be a bit “picture shy” but is a major contender/
#7- Guick- Comes into the race on his 2nd consecutive drop in class. The speed figures fit but is also coming into the race off a vet scratch which is not a good sign for a horse who has only raced twice in six months.
Conservative Pick 4 Play – 1,5,10 / 3,6, / 3,4,9 / 3,4,8,9,11 = $45
Aggressive Pick 4 Play – 1,4,5,10,11 / 2,3,4,6,10,11 / 2,3,4,7,9 / 9 = $75
Race 6- 5-10-4
#5- Laura’s Patriot- I am looking for a bit BOOM in this race. I know 1 for 32 is not promising but this horse is going to win one soon and I want to be there to cash big when she does. She is 10 for 24 iTM on turf and batting .500 ITM on this track. There is enough speed signed on in this race to set up her closing kick and just a slight improvement off her last race, where she finished 2nd at 32-1 despite getting taken out at the start makes her a contender at a huge price. Hopefully today is the day. Definitely a horse to use as a “Jason Perry Superfecta” bet.
#10- High Jingo- She looks like a completely different horse on the turf and is probably the horse to beat. She almost went wire to wire last time out despite breaking from post 11 and I expect a similar attempt today.
#4- Head Shrinker- This might be the reach of the year for me to hit the board. Humor me for a second with a horse that will be at least 50-1 come post time. The horse was originally sent out on the turf and actually went off at 4-1 during her first attempt. Someone must have liked what they saw. That day, she looked awfully green and got taken out right from the gate. 2nd time out she again did not get out of the gate and had a brutal trip. Those were her two efforts on the grass. Who knows what she can be on the turf. However I do know this:
- We are going to get 50-1 on this horse today
- She was originally meant for the turf
- Is a daughter of Freud who does very well on turf
- Dylan Davis is one of the most underrated jockeys
- How many 50-1 shots do you see you can make an excuse for?
Race 7- 3-6-11
#3- Let’s Get Loud- This horse really liked the 1 mile Saratoga turf course as evident by 2 very impressive wins. He looks much the best in this field as long as No Dozing doesn’t take to the green.
#6- No Dozing- Trainer Arnaud Delacour has insane numbers taking horse from the dirt and bringing them on to the lawn. That alone has to garner respect to this first time turf runner. If his dirt form can transfer over to the lawn, he will be hard to beat.
#11- Fact Finding- She will be on the lead and it is very possible it wont be contested. But he will have to win the race on only her 2nd time on the turf while stretching out. She can win and a must include in multi-race wagers but hard to place a win bet on her.
Race 8- 4-9-3
#4- Cliffs of Dover – The kids at my school would probably say that I went “Cray Cray” with this pick but in a race where I do not love anyone I like to shoot for the moon. His speed figures do not need to improve by much to be considered a contender and they give this horse a shot to sprint which I think he will like. He has been racing against very good NY breds and gets major class relief despite racing in the same condition. He will be another that will be in the 40-1 range and I rather take a shot on him than a horse that I don’t like at a fraction of the odds.
#9- Yummy Bear- I have no excuse for his last race where he looked like he had nothing. He is another cutting back in distance but I am not sure that is what he wants to do. Still the speed figures are there and if his last race was an anomaly, he is the one to beat.
#3- Sandy’s Slew- He is the class of the field but you have to wonder if this 7YO vet has a good race in him. He has not had a ITM finish in 6 attempts and I see him as a horse who can win by 5 length or be completely off the board.
Race 9- 9-3-11
#9- Special Trip – The appropriate named top pick after an absolutely horrific ride first time out and gets a huge jockey upgrade to Luis Saez. I will make this horse my “Champagne Room Dilo Single”. There were whispers that this horse could be decent and he did a lot of good running late in his first race where I think he was actually the best horse in the race. The stretchout should help and I will be playing this horse anywhere and everywhere. Win and underneath in Triples and Supers. Let’s Get Em.
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