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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

2012 Travers: Draw a Line Through It

One of the most commonly used phrases in racing today is: draw a line through it.  In racing many people use that catch phrase to narrow down their handicapping choices and trainers frequently talk about their horse’s chances based on those words.  Even one of Saratoga’s most successful trainers talks about how frequently the phrase is issue used these days.
 
After the Vanderbilt at Saratoga Jerry Bossert of the New York Daily News wrote about Shackleford’s loss. “ ‘Draw a line through it.’ That’s how trainer Dale Romans explained the last place finish of 6-5 favorite Shackleford in Sunday’s Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap.”
 
In the most recent NTRA teleconference, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin spoke about his Travers entrant Alpha. “He doesn't obviously like Churchill Downs.  So the Churchill thing was disappointing, draw a line through it, but he could not be doing any better today.”
 
If we were to draw a line through Alpha’s two races at Churchill Downs his worst finish in six starts would be second place. He finished second to Union Rags in the Champagne and then he lost by a neck to the then undefeated Gemologist. So lets draw a line through it and Alpha is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Midsummer Derby.
 
On August 21st, the Daily Racing Form had an article about Street Life’s progress since the Wood Memorial.  “Entering the first turn, he was in another race back there,” Chad Brown said. “To actually make up as much ground as he did surprised me. I thought the horse was going to trail the whole way. I literally drew a line through the race. That term gets thrown around a lot, but that was a text-book situation where you draw a line through it.”
 
Let’s draw a line through that Wood Memorial and Street Life has two stakes wins, a third place in the Peter Pan (G2), and fourth in the Belmont.
 
Looking at the rest of the Travers field, the connections of Stealcase have been outspoken about how their horse has brought a lot of trouble upon himself. In the Haskell Stealcase got really worked up when he hit the track and heard all the crowd noise during the post parade.  Then during the start he hit the gate and broke awkwardly, and still finished a very competitive third. In March Stealcase had two more bad gate experiences but they had to draw a line through those races, after which he recorded a 100 BSF in the Derby Trial.
 
On the heels of a fine allowance race and a strong third place run in the Belmont for Atigun, the view on his 6th place finish on the sloppy track in the Jim Dandy had to be to draw a line through it. With that done many view Kenny McPeek’s horse as a contender in the Travers.
 
Nick Zito is doing the same thing with Fast Falcon. Just forget about the seventh place in the Jim Dandy, draw a line through it. Go back to the nice second place finishes in the Easy Goer and the Dwyer and throw in the fine five furlong workout and we have a long shot with a solid chance.
 
PICKS: It does concern me that Alpha has never run a BSF in the 100’s, but Kiaran McLaughlin’s horses have been running big at Saratoga and I expect a great performance from this Godolphin horse. Nonios has never run a bad race and his second place in the Haskell behind Paynter was as good as any horse in the field has run. Neck ‘n Neck has had three really good races since May and figures to be in the mix.
 
WAGERING: I like Currency Swap to take the King’s Bishop and I will bet $20 Daily Doubles (or the Pick 2 as I like to call it) with Alpha, Nonios, and Neck ‘n Neck. $20 DD: 3 with 6, 8, 10. 

 

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Older Comments about 2012 Travers: Draw a Line Through It...

When it comes to the end of the year, this is going to be one of the races we "draw a line through." In all seriousness, I'm having a heard time betting against Alpha.
I'm liking Alpha...
Actually on review, Neck and Neck will be too far back to get there...Underneath maybe
IF neck and Neck gets a faster pace up front, that one may come home at a price.
LOL, for me it was sophomore Genetics.
Can I draw a line through freshman calculus?
I've had to "Draw A Line" through several of my bets in the past. I like your plays tomorrow. I'm very high on Nonios. Nice Piece!

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

 

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