By Tony Bada Bing
Sometimes daily life kind of gets in the way of your handicapping – you know taking out the trash, clearing the dinner dishes, the need for sleep and during this time of year, holiday parties. Well, I had mine last night – a little tenpin bowling among many cocktails, pizza and cake. So, I’m little tired this morning as I scan the past performances for today’s $1,000 game on Derby Wars. Thus, I cannot be held responsible for any picks completed in record time required for publication just 14 shopping days until Christmas.
Gulfstream Race 7, 2-year-old Maidens, 1 1/16 miles on the turf
As I wrote last week, to find a maiden winner on the grass look no further than a horse’s trainer. Usually using this method will reduce such big fields as this one, down to four or five. The problem with this races is just about all these trainers are capable are winning with maidens going long on the turf. So look for a price: Kanati Kid is a firster, out of prominent turf sire Lemon Drop Kid, Shaun Washington goes second off the bench for James Jerkens and finally, my top choice – Godard, who will get an early pace to run into in his third lifetime start.
Tampa Bay Race 8, 2-year-old Maidens, 1 mile on the turf
Same advice as above, find the turf trainers or…an equipment change. Both Delovely and Commander Sue get blinkers on for the first time. After last year’s Kentucky Derby, we all know Graham Motion and his Delovely will be close to the chalk. On the flip side, Commander Sue’s conditioner, William Phipps, is not known quite as well known and his horse will be the bigger price. Toss a coin – get a winner.
Gulfstream Race 8, Optional Claimer, 6 furlongs
Tempted to take a short-price on a once Kentucky Derby contender, Endorsement, why? Close to two years on the bench through a trainer change and medical issues, I can think of at least one other place to put my $2 win-place bet: Tell Tale Friend is the best speed on the outside, which will give his jock the opportunity to either press a fast pace or lay off it a bit and make a late run. One thing is sure, I would not take Endorsement here.
Pomeroys Pistol absolutely freaked in winning the Forward Gal Stakes here last January. She’s recently come back to that early 2011 form and deserve early morning favoritism. Pomeroys Pistol will have plenty of company from the rail out in making or pressing the pace, so…trainer Martin Wolfson brings Indulgence off the turf and onto the dirt with a late running style that looks to be a good match on paper for this spring. By the way Wolfson wins at a 38% rate going from turf to dirt.
A look back…
Except for Grip Hands mostly duds from me last week…
Those who played better than most of us – the winners!
You just never know who’ll be playing along side you at Derby Wars. How about Rich, aka Cashdaddy, the 2008 NHC winner of $505,000? Last week Rich’s key horse in winning the $750 contest was Italian Rose, a double-digit winner, based upon his wife’s recommendation. Talk about all in the family.
Saturday’s big winner and TV producer, Marike E., got advice from her husband in taking Sandyinthesun for her biggest winner on the day, which provided just enough of a cushion to ultimately win the tournament by 60-cents. Why Sandyinthesun? Blinkers on for the first time – something new. This pick fits nicely with Marike’s style of staying away from the obvious. Away from the track, Markie’s Little Dog Productions is working on a reality series about Woodbine’s backstretch.
In last Friday’s $400 contest, Carl T., aka baroncuda, wiffed on his first three selections. So what’s a player to do, swing for the fences! Luck and long shots were on his side in hitting 2, $40 plus winners to take home the top prize. Moral of the story, if you miss on your first couple of races don’t give up or give in!
Winners’ briefs complied by Josh Chicorelli