Friday, November 03, 2006

Scrapplelog Swamped

nothing from me this week. i've been working 18-20 hour days, which as it turns out was welcome because it kept me from thinking about how the eagles laid down like dogs.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breeders Cup Preview:

I’m not sure if anyone in Scrappleland enjoys thoroughbred horse racing as much as I do, but I’ll post this if for no other reason than the Mean Guy is overworked lately and needs us to help fill the spaces.

First a disclaimer: While I consider myself an expert handicapper of low-level claiming and allowance races at the local track, I am merely an adequate handicapper when it comes to graded stakes racing. The reason is simple. In cheaper racing, there are typically only a couple of horses that have legitimate chances to win. In high level stakes races, nearly all the contestants are of a very high caliber. Even though top horses tend to run “closer to form” than mediocre ones (and are therefore more predictable), and there is far less chance for “funny business” (cheating, etc) in serious racing, both factors are more than offset by the fact that superior and large fields yield astronomically greater potential outcomes. This is good and bad. The bad is that it harder (for me) to pick winners. The good is that the odds tend to be much more favorable for the fortunate handicapper.

For the uniformed, Breeders’ Cup Day is an event unlike any other in sports. Imagine the World Series, Superbowl, NBA Finals, etc. all played out in one afternoon. ESPN will broadcast 8 Championship races, each with a purse ranging from $2-5 million. It provides tremendous, day-long drama. I won’t bore anyone with lengthy race analysis, but feel free to ask if you want to know what I’m thinking on any of these predictions.

Juvenile Fillies ($2 million purse). For 2 year old Fillies (girls).

It is extremely difficult to predict the performance of adolescent horses. Most years I lay low on this race, especially because fillies in particular are underdeveloped (and shouldn’t be racing in my opinion). This year, however, is a unique betting opportunity. Only two horses in the field have shown the type of speed necessary to win this race. Consequentially, I’ll box them in an exacta (meaning my two will need to finish first and second, in either order). Dreaming of Anna and Cash Included appear to have a significant edge on a very weak group this year. Barring sudden development of another competitor, I think this is an easy bet to make.

Juvenile ($2 million). For 2 year old Colts (boys).

I looked at this race for about ten minutes and couldn’t make a pick, which is very unusual for me. I rate several horses relatively equally. If I were a gambler (I’m not), I’d pick the longest odds from among Stormello, Scat Daddy, King of Roxy, Principle Secret & Circular Quay. When I can narrow things down more than this, or at least pick one horse to “key” on, I skip the race, which I will.

Fillie & Mare Turf ($2 million). 3 years old & up (adults)

This is an awesome race with some really quick, proven winners. If you’re heading to the track on Breeders’ Cup day, also focus on European horses when evaluating likely turf course winners. Turf is the preferred running surface in Europe. Consequently, their best runners train and run on turf all the time. In America, the focus is on dirt track racing and it shows in the results year after year. I’ll take three horses and box them in an exacta – in other words, I need two of the three to run first and second (it doesn’t matter which of the three). The picks: Ouija Board, Wait a While, Satwa Queen.

Sprint ($2 million) ¾ mile.

This is a really fun race to watch because there isn’t as much race strategy as is used in some of the longer races. 14 lightning bolts will run with their eyeballs out. This race is usually won by a long shot since almost anyone in the field can win (a quick start or good racing luck can be enough to create an edge that can’t be overcome at such a short distance). That said, I’ll take the probable favorite anyway because I think the only horse potentially faster is due to “bounce” (have a lukewarm performance directly after a spectacular one – it happens a lot). Henny Hughes keyed on top of Bordonaro and War Front.

Turf Mile ($2 million)

Back to the grass, back to the Europeans: Araafa keyed over Echo of Light, Gorella and Aussie Rules (exacta). I don’t bother with trifectas typically.

Distaff 1 1/8 Miles ($2 million) (Fillies & Mares)

I really like Fleet Indian. I’ll key her on top of Spun Sugar and Balletto.

Turf 1 ½ Mile ($3 million)

Long race on the grass. Favorites usually fare well here because it takes special horses to excel over the deep ankle biting grass. A mile and a half is generally enough to separate the pretenders from the contenders. I’ll box three horses in an exacta: Go Deputy, Cacique and English Channel. I’m leaving out a really fine horse (Hurricane Run) because you can’t pick them all unless you like to bet a lot more money than I do.

Classic 1 ¼ Mile ($5 million)

This is the true Championship of the World. If you want to be considered the best, you really need to compete at this race at the classic distance (same as the Kentucky Derby). I’m betting that Bernardini will join a special list of horses tomorrow. If he wins (and I feel strongly that he will), I’ll add him to my own personal best of my adult lifetime list (Sunday Silence, Easy Goer, Smarty Jones). I’ll get crappy odds, but I won’t care because I’ll be rooting for the horse and as such can’t bet against him. If computers bet the race, he’d be 3-1 or 4-1 or something like that. Because people bet the race and consequentially establish the odds, he’ll go off 7-5 or worse (the morning line is 4-5, but I don’t think that will hold up). I’ll get a little creative in an effort to win money and box George Washington, Lava Man and Invasor underneath for both the exacta and trifecta.

Hope everyone checks out the action. If you’ve never watched before, I promise it’s a really fun day.

Ben

11:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, im hopin you didnt bet too much money on that.... you might have someone named bruno holding you from the 4th floor hotel balcony otherwise


~dan

11:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stipulated that betting on Breeders' Cup races was a dicey proposition. I picked a couple of winners and came close on an exacta or two. Because I'm a $1-2 dollar wagerer, the day cost me $50 even though I didn't cash a ticket. I enjoyed the races tremendously. I have a pretty good day job, so I don't really need to worry about Bruno:)

Ben

11:02 AM EST  

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