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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Maker has a pair of live longshots in the Spiral

In a race full of question marks, why not look for a little betting value? That’s exactly what I will be doing in today’s Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, and it just so happens that both of my value horses are sent out by the same very successful local trainer. Michael Maker has arguably been the top trainer at the Northern Kentucky oval for the past several years, and he knows how to win the Spiral. He did it with With a City in 2006, and Derby Kitten in 2010, and now with the pair of Tizanexpense and Mr. Prankster, I believe he has a big shot to win a third. While his big horse, Hansen waits for the Blue Grass, look for Maker to add another horse to his 2012 Kentucky Derby entries with a Spiral win today.
Tizanexpense is 15-1 on the morning line, but I see a lot to like. The bay son of Tiznow was getting better with every start, including two consecutive two-turn wins at Fair Grounds in December and January, before a disappointing effort last out in the Risen Star Stakes. Further investigation leads me to excuse that 7th place performance. Tizanexpense was hampered by a rough trip in which he was forced well wide. It seems that he never had a fair shot in a race that was likely tougher than what he will see today. Today’s trip of nine furlongs, a distance longer than anyone in the field has yet seen, should be right up his alley, and he signaled his readiness with a big five furlong work last Saturday. 
You also need to be able to see past the last race to like the chances of Maker’s other entry, Mr. Prankster. 12-1 on the morning line, the son of It’s No Joke was a big 4-5 favorite in the prep for the Spiral last time but checked in a well beaten 4th. Much closer to the pace in the Battaglia Memorial than usual, Mr. Prankster should see an early pace much more to his liking today. A strong early pace will likely allow him to be farther back in the first part, and set up his preferred style of running. His late run carried him to a romping win in the WEBN Stakes over this strip two starts back. The jockey switch to Rosie Napravnik doesn’t hurt one bit either.
The Spiral Stakes looks wide open, but with a trainer that does very well here packing two live longshots, picking a winner in the Spiral may not be so hard after all. Good luck to all!


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Older Comments about Maker has a pair of live longshots in the Spiral...

If you watch the replay I get the feeling this horse may do well with more ground. He has a very long stride which should serve him well through the TC season. He appears to have some tactical speed so it may well come down to his ability to navigate through the cluster that tends to build at the top of the Derby stretch. Definitely one I'll be watching.
Thanks, icy. I'll read that over again to get everything out of it that I can. Do you think the winner has a chance to do as AK did last year? I don't think Went The Day Well was quite as impressive, but I'll read all of the reviews I can find.
That was a very hard race to handicap because one couldn't be sure which of ALL of those horses might have a breakout race because of all the horses in there only the #12 raced against significant competition the other 11 horses had to be selected by one or more of the following, breeding, speed ratings, trainers, jockeys, trips, etc. The problem being there wasn't enough information available because of the inexperience of all the horses entered. To give you an example of my selections and how I got them I'll start with the #3 who I chose by breeding and possible upside because of his last 2 races, #11 they bought him at auction for 320k so they saw something and in his last race coming out of the chute he almost fell down, #4 Jockey, #1 breeding and trainer, #7 speed and consistency. The race played out almost like I thought except the #3 got caught in the speed duel with the #7 instead of laying off as the #4 did. The bottom line is profit not number of races won or lost.
icy, I probably will never be able to pick a winner at that track. I can't judge it at all. The surface seems very difficult to run on. What do you think? What to make of the slow time?
Outside of the #3 WIN at 5/2 flat It's wide open- like 3/11 ex box also
3/11 ex box--- 3/11wt3/11wt1/4/7/12/ tri and super
icy, Do you have Spiral picks? I came up with 1,8,4,10. Good luck.
  • icyhotboo · Mary I didn't even look at it. I'll look now and see if were close. If I feel good about my picks I'll post it · 2038 days ago

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 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. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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