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Handicapper's Corner

Unfinished Business

Frankie Dettori Saratoga 615 X 400
Photo: NYRA / Coglianese Photos


Jockey Frankie Dettori rose to greatness during the height of his 18-year relationship with racing juggernaut, Goldolphin. In 2012, the two went their separate ways following a positive substance test by Dettori. Since the split, the 43-year-old journeyman has struggled to gain the favor of many main players in most of the world’s biggest races. This could come to a screeching halt on Saturday at Arlington Park.


This weekend will mark the 10th anniversary of Dettori’s only Grade 1 win on American soil outside of the Breeders’ Cup. In 2004, he piloted Crimson Palace to victory in the Beverly D Stakes for Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Saturday, he will attempt to capture the same race with Stephanie’s Kitten for leading American owners, Ken and Sarah Ramsey.


The Ramseys and their super-sod-sire, Kitten’s Joy have a starter in seemingly every important American turf race. Last year, they won the Arlington Million, Secretariat Stakes and Sword Dancer Invitational on the same day with runners sired by Kitten’s Joy.



Dettori is teaming up with Stephanie’s Kitten for the second time, after falling a neck short to Somali Lemonade in the Diana Stakes (G1) on July 19th. “We have Frankie (Dettori) coming in from England to ride her and we are looking forward to seeing his flying dismount. She is back!” said Ken Ramsey.


Dettori also has the mount on, Highball in the Secretariat Stakes (G1) for trainer Wayne Catalano. The son of Lemon Drop Kid was a late running 3rd in the local prep (American Derby) and will be a big price, but it is Catalano who would seem the biggest long shot to make it to the winner’s circle. Catalano was recently released from the hospital after fighting a serious bout of pneumonia. Ironically, Catalano and the Ramseys parted ways late last year, which included moving Stephanie’s Kitten to trainer Chad Brown. Stephanie’s Kitten has lost three straight since the transfer.


A trip to the winner’s circle by Dettori or Catalano would be received with widespread approval, but their participation alone, at the game’s highest level, like will be seen Saturday afternoon at Arlington, demonstrates that two of the sport’s biggest personalities are not going away anytime soon.


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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

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