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Handicapper's Corner

2013 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint: Nearctic Preview


Sunday’s 6-furlong Grade I $300,000 Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine marks the final of 4 “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, and draws an evenly matched group of 11. Though a handful of runners will make the trip regardless of the outcome Sunday, the guaranteed birth is a nice bonus for any connections that were on the fence about a trip to Santa Anita next month. Here’s a look lineup by post position order.

 

Langstaff is a 3-year-old Ontario-bred gelding making his first start against open and older company. Expect Langstaff to be one of the longest shots in the field given the extreme jump in class. This late runner would need an absolute pace meltdown to be victorious.

 

Bear Tough Tiger is the first of a trio of entrants from Bear Stables LTD and trainer Reade Baker. Off since August, Bear Tough Tiger runs well fresh and was a close 3rd in this spot last year. Though others look better, he should be respected at a price.

 

Fatal Bullet was a game 2nd in 2008 BC Sprint, but that was a long time ago. It appears that the 8-year-old gelding has lost a step and appears overmatched against this tough field.

 

Longhunter is regarded as one best turf sprinters east of the Mississippi River with 4 wins in his last 5 turf sprints. Fresh off his win in the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash, Longhunter retains the services of Alan Garcia for the same connections (Ramsey Farm/Mike Maker) when he guided Real Solution to victory in this year's Arlington Million.

 

Phil’s Dream is a Canadian-bred sprinter who was a winner in his only turf try. Though he appears slightly overmatched, he always sits a good trip just off the speed, so don’t be surprised see him get a piece.

 

Bear No Joke is also returning from an August break. He appears to need the lead for any chance to win, and there are others in here with more early speed. His chances for a win seem highly unlikely.

 

Strong Impact is a very consistent (10-3-4-0) turf sprinter invading from Belmont Park. Last out Strong Impact got the dreaded rail post when going 5 furlongs at Parx. He was off a step slow, but rallied to respectively split the field. Before that, Strong Impact defeated Longhunter in the Fiddler’s Patriot Stakes at Saratoga last July. Strong Impact should make just that on this field.

 

Mr. Online was a ho-hum turf router, but really woke up with a cut back to sprinting last out. He was worn down in the final strides by fan favorite Ben’s Cat at Laurel Park, and should move up off that effort with a trip back to his home track. A repeat of his last makes Mr. Online a major player on Sunday.

 

Excaper is a horse for course, but tends to have a bit of seconditis in him as evidenced by his (14-3-6-1) lifetime record. He appears to be the speed of the speed, and the cutback to 6 furlongs should only benefit him. Excaper has been training well for this and needs to be included in all exotic wagers.

 

Tripski is a recent claim for the red-hot Chad Brown barn. He returns from a August layoff, and the 6-year-old son of Trippi does his best running off the bench. Brown is known for his layoff runners firing fresh, so expect a top effort from this longshot.

 

Riding the River comes out of the toughest races, but this may be too short for him. He's a multiple graded stakes winner at 8 and 9 furlongs, but only has 1 win in 3 tries at 6 furlongs, and that winning effort was not quick enough to make him competitive against these.

 

Selections: Strong Impact- Excaper-Tripski-Mr. Online  

 

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Older Comments about 2013 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint: Nearctic Preview...

Thanks EP...any thoughts on today's WO feature Bullet Page? Seems wide open to me.
Good catch Jinlie!
Thanks Mary! Had a couple of winners this past weekend...hope it carries over to BC Races. Hope you did well!
Congrats, jinlie!
Congrats, jinlie!
Finally won some money at Woodbine..nice win and exacta payoff
What about Riding The River?
Going with Excaper on the cutback.
adding Langstaff at 20-1 odds
adding Langstaff at 20-1 odds
I like a Bear's exactor. Should be a Kennedy Road repeat.
Depending on ML Odds I like Mr. Online, Strong Impact and Phil's Dream
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Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, NE.  From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10.  Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for handicapping the races has risen to a new level.  Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find “cap horses” in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

 

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charm’s 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race I’ve seen was Tiznow’s first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giant’s Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch.   My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping pick-4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

 

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do.  From week to week, I’ll explain angles I think are important to locate winners.  I encourage others to post picks they like too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions.  That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal.-Best of luck, Jasen Mangrum