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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Happy Long Shot’s Day

Who knows, after a pair of bombs come in this afternoon in graded stakes at Laurel and Oaklawn, today’s holiday may forever be known as Long Shot’s Day. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking with it. Yes, I like two of them today, and the good news is I don’t expect either Broad Rule or Officer Alex to be wagered too much below their 20-1 morning line. Here's why I think each long shot has a big chance today.
 
In Laurel Park’s Grade 3 General George Handicap, there are three horses who have earned the right to be pegged as the three favorites. In Brigand, Il Villano, and Associate, you have three classy horses coming in to the race in good form. Luckily for value bettors, all three are also confirmed speed horses. With the top three setting a strong early pace and keeping close tabs on one another, look for the race to be open for someone to make a strong rally. This has always been a favorite betting angle of mine … looking for a strong finisher in an elongated sprint of seven furlongs or a mile, with plenty of early pace. With scratches, this race is down to six horses, but despite this, I expect the outside horse, Broad Rule to be largely ignored. Not as classy as the top three, the five-year-old Dick Small trainee is rounding into career form, likes Laurel, and should enjoy a great race set-up. Look for him to be rolling late at great odds.

**************

In Oaklawn Park’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes, Officer Alex has plenty of quality competition to worry about, including the highly regarded Super Ninety Nine from the Bob Baffert barn, but I believe he has a markedly better chance than his 20-1 morning line odds would suggest. After running a huge race at Parx last December to beat a pair of good horses in Res Judicata and Siete de Oros in the Pennsylvania Nursery, it was a case of everything that could go wrong, did go wrong in his first race at Oaklawn Park. If breaking bad and throwing a shoe weren’t enough, getting parked out wide in the Smarty Jones was distasteful icing on the cake. Draw a line through that one, in which he made a move but faded down the lane, and with good speed from the rail, look for Officer Alex to run a much improved race today. Throw in the good possibility of a wet track, which offspring of Officer typically love, and Officer Alex has already won on, and you have all the makings of a Southwest Stakes surprise.
 
Happy Long Shot’s Day, everyone! 

 

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Older Comments about Happy Long Shot’s Day...

On President's Day, it would be nice to win a handful of Grant's ($50) and Jackson's ($20). Too bad Ben Franklin ($100) never made it to the White House. And that's your history lesson of the day.
Happy Long Shots Day sounds more appealing then President's Day. You can't cash a ticket on Lincoln or Washington.
Sounds like we're both on board with the longshots in the Southwest. Good luck!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.