October 25, 2020

Lynq Sports

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Road to the Kentucky Derby! Rebel Stakes Late Pick 5:

Quick Word on FBI Indictments:

I talked about the indictments that were handed down on Monday on the “Chicago Plus the Points Podcast (God Doesn’t Monday feel like 3 years ago…). But since Corona virus has taken up the news cycle this story has died down a bit. For those who have not heard, federal charges of doping horses were handed down Monday to 27 defendants. Most notably Grade I trainers Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro were on this list. I encourage all of you to go through and read through the FBI report, because it is gut-wrenching what these scumbags did. The good news is that these guys will be going to jail for a long time and will be out of the sport forever. The bad news is there are plenty more of these guys out there who have not been caught yet. I’m talking to you Mike Maker, Saffie Joseph, Richard Baltas, Peter Miller, Chad Brown, ect. That is just to name a few, but there are so many. Like baseball back in the 90’s we will soon find out just how rampant this problem is in horse racing.  I pray that every one of these doping trainers are eventually caught and kicked out of racing for good. Despite how gross these trainers are, the more troubling thing to me, was that it took an FBI investigation to catch these guys. Everyone in horse racing knew that Navarro and Servis were cheaters. And yet horse racing turned a blind eye to these guys. Greedy owners turned a blind eye. Worst of all, Veterinarians who take the hypocritic oath not only turned a blind eye but helped perpetrate the drugging of horses.

              This is a tough time for horse racing, but it is absolutely necessary for the long time health of the game. Baseball came out the other side after their doping scandal. Horse racing can do the same if they finally take doping seriously. Also, don’t believe any of these owners that claim they had no idea. They are almost certainly liars, and at best they are criminally negligent. 

Rebel Stakes Day:

Despite the corona virus threat, horse tracks have decided to keep racing, but without fans. Obviously, horse racing is one of the few sports that can function just fine without on-site fans. With every major sport sidelined, this might be a golden opportunity for horse racing since they will have a temporary monopoly for the betting dollar. On that note, I am going to analyze the late pick 5 Saturday at Oaklawn Park including the Kentucky Derby Prep Race…. The Rebel Stakes!           

Race 7: $62,500 Optional Claimer:

Distance/Surface: 6 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. Curate 7-2
  2. Kaui 15-1
  3. Tut’s Revenge 20-1
  4. Ruler of the Nile 8-1
  5. Battle Station 12-1
  6. Fast Breakin Cash 20-1
  7. Impact Player 6-1
  8. Nifty 4-1
  9. **Silver Ride 3-1
  10. K Choice 8-1
  11. Better Charge It

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • Kaui: This horse has some ability. In fact, he’s been the favorite in his last 3 races. He was racing on the Iowa circuit running in decent races including winning the Iowa bred derby. His humble breeding is why he’s 15-1 on the morning line. But he is placed well in a somewhat weak field. His trainer is 21% in the next race when his horse was beaten as a favorite. He has been off since last September, but I expect him to show improvement from his 3 year old season to his 4 year old season.
  • Impact Player: This is an interesting but odd horse. He has been trained by Todd Pletcher, Brad Cox, and now by Steve Asmussen. Even stranger is that Steve Asmussen owns the horse. This many claims shows that the horse is likely healthy. Since Asmussen claimed the horse, he’s run two stellar races. He has early speed that will help him in this one and Santana takes the mount. In with a big chance!
  • Silver Ride: I would love to throw out the favorite, but he has started out the year with 2 very strong races. Trainer Diodoro does not have the best reputation and has been rumored to drug his horses as well. I will say this. You rarely see trainers claim a 7 year old horse to then drastically improve it as an 8 year old. Its impossible to ignore and its hard to leave this horse off the ticket.

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Curate: All I can say is good luck claiming off the Peter Miller barn. Hopefully the feds will get maker some day, but unfortunately this juicer is still allowed to run horses. He gave Curate up who is now trained by Sadler. Sadler hits at 16%, but claiming off Miller is a different story. Toss.
  • Nifty: This horse had a nice 3 year old year, but he has yet to race since June! That 8 month layoff is concerning to me at such a short price. Trainer Larry Jones has a negative ROI on horse returning off a 90+ day layoff.

Summary & Top Pick:

  • Impact player is my top pick for this race. He’s moving up in class, but I don’t think this is the strongest race to come back in. If Asmussen claimed a horse he now owns, that has to mean he thinks this horse has a future. At a good price, take a chance on impact player. I will use the 2 longshots on my pick 5 ticket.

Race 8: Essex Handicap:

Distance/Surface: 8.5 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. Guest Suite 30-1
  2. Night Ops 4-1
  3. Laughing fox 9-2
  4. **Bankit 5-2
  5. Bravazo 8-1
  6. Snapper Sinclair 7-2
  7. Pioneer Sprit 3-1

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • Pioneer Spirit: I really wanted to throw this horse off my tickets, but I just couldn’t. Diodoro claims this horse at 6 years old, and somehow the horse improves significantly as a 7 year old. I’m sure Diodoro is only feeding this guy oats and hay….. But regardless of how slimy the trainer might be, the placement is good, and he drops in class today. David Cohen takes the mount which is a great sign as well.
  • Snapper Sinclair: Asmussen is finally placing this horse well. Snapper Sinclair had no business racing in grade 1s, but he fits just fine among this weak group. He has room to improve 3rd off the layoff.
  • Bankit: I liked this horse, but I’m disappointed he’s the ML favorite. I think he will float up though, since he has not won a race since last July. I like that this horse has the most room for improvement since he’s only 4 years old. He just missed by a head in his previous 2 races. With a little more racing luck, Bankit will cross the finish line first today.

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Laughing Fox: This horse actually lost as the favorite in an Optional claimer last out in his 4 year old debut. Now, he likely needed the race, but his speed figures dropped significantly from his 3 year old season. Most horses show improvement from 3 to 4, and this guy is going in the wrong direction. Santana jr. jumps off this horse in favor of Bankit. You have to think Laughing Fox might be the rabbit for Bankit to chase. Toss.
  • Night Ops: This is an optional claimer horse, not a stakes horse. His speed figures have been poor compared to today’s competitors and I don’t see him improving much today. Toss.

Summary & Top Pick:

This is a tough race to play, since all these horses are in a similar class. My top pick is Bankit. He’s shown improvement from his 3 year old season. Taking horses in their 3rd race as a 4 year old is one of my favorite angles. Bankit is clearly maturing and he lines up against a weak stakes field. I’d play him down to 2-1.

Race 1: Azeri Stakes G-2

Distance/Surface: 8.5 Furlongs dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:)

  1. Street Band 3-1
  2. Mylady Curlin 4-1
  3. Saracosa 20-1
  4. Lady Apple 5-2
  5. **Serengeti Empress 9-5
  6. Rahway 20-1
  7. Awe Emma 12-1

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • My Lady Curlin: It is no secret that Curlin horses age like fine wines. This horse has been no different, improving her speed figures significantly as she’s gotten older. She lost to Lady Apple by only a length back in January. If she improves off that effort, she’ll be awfully dangerous in this one. She’s only 4-1 but she’s the 4th highest odds in the race. This will give us significant value in the pick 5 if we beat 3 favorites. I also love her workout pattern. She fired a bullet workout on February 29th followed by a slow workout on March 7th. That tells me that they needed nothing else from her. She’s ready to fire!
  • Lady Apple: She actually beat several in this field last out. She’s another daughter Curlin that will continue to improve with age. Asmussen is a 20% shipper, 19% off the layoff, and 16% in graded stakes.

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Serengeti Empress: I know its tough to throw this horse out. She is easily the classiest horse in the field. But she will be overbet in this spot, and I don’t think she is significantly better than her competitors. She lost to Lady Apple in January and has not raced since. Joe Talamo picks up the mount here. While he’s not a bad jockey, he’s certainly a downgrade from Flavien Prat and Irad Ortiz. I also hope that Amoss eventually tries to make this horse a sprinter. Think about this. She lost a 7 furlong sprint to sprinting champion Covfefe by only half a length! Although she’s won grade 1 races at this distance, I think she clearly will enjoy the shorter sprints later in her career. At a short price, I am trying to beat.
  • Street Band: She is a good horse don’t get me wrong. I just like my 2 horses better than this one. No offense to Doyle Sophie, but the other jockeys here are far superior. Street band has also been defeated by several other runners in this race. I’m trying to beat at a short price.

Summary & Top Pick:

My Lady Curlin is my top pick for the race. She has every right to improve off her last start. Trainer Brad Cox is so good in these situations too. He’s a 26% shipper, a 26% off the layoff, and 20% in graded stakes.

Race 10: Rebel Stakes G-2:

Distance/Surface: 8.5 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. **Nadal
  2. Excssion 30-1
  3. Basin 3-1
  4. Silver Prospector 7-2
  5. No Parole 8-1
  6. Three Technique 7-2
  7. Coach Bahe 30-1
  8. American Theorem 8-1

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

Nadal: This horse is a fucking beast! I will single this horse with pleasure. His 5-2 ML is atrocious. If he goes off higher than 2-1, I’ll back up the brinks truck to make a bet. Unfortunately he will be going off at even money or lower. This is not a weak field, Nadal is just that special of a horse. His only question mark is will he be able to handle the distance. His sire is Blame who for some reason has had a hard time breeding route runners. I think that streak will stop with Nadal. He only won his last start by ¾ of a length, but look at his splits. He ran a blazing 21.81 first quarter followed by a 44.09 ½ mile. Those are insane fractions and yet he still held on despite engaging in 2 separate speed duels. Since that race, Nadal has fired 3 bullet workouts! Keep in mind this horse is still lightly raced. This will be the 3rd start of his career and has every right to improve. Baffert is spoiled with so many derby prospects and this one might be his best. Interestingly Baffert takes the blinkers off in this race. That tells me he is going to try to get Nadal to relax and not gun it out of the gate. Single!!!

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Everyone else: This is not a weak field. Basin, Silver Prospector, No Parole, Three Technique, and American Theorem are all very respectable horses. They are running up against a monster in Nadal. I think most people will try to spread in this race and beat Nadal. I on the other hand will take a stand and let these other horses beat me.

Summary & Top Pick:

Clearly Nadal is the top pick.

Race 11: MSW $87,000:

Distance/Surface: 6 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (*Favorite:):

  1. Classy Beast 20-1
  2. Silverbella 15-1
  3. Lucky Betty 6-1
  4. Zanadu 12-1
  5. **Cynical Girl 5-2
  6. Sacred Union 8-1
  7. Leggs Galore 12-1
  8. Gurl You Fine 15-1
  9. Never Say Can’t 10-1
  10. Weekend Fun 6-1
  11. French Café 12-1
  12. Tipsy Gal 6-1

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • Silverbella: I really like this horse at a price. This is a first time starter out of Tapizar and Candy Ride Mare. This mare’s has had only 1 offspring make the track, but that horse won 28.6% of their starts with a $4.15 ROI. Stewart Elliot picks up the mount. He is 23% in his last 14 days and is 14% in his career. There is enough to like here to take a shot at 15-1.
  • Lucky Betty: She closed strong in her debut only losing by half a length. Trainer William VanMeter only wins at 12% but still has a positive ROI at the window. Meaning that he is good at getting prices home.
  • Zanadu: Trainer C.R. Trout wins 28% with his first time starters. Hard to ignore at a great price!
  • Sacred Union: She closed strong in her debut start in February. She got 4th but she only lost by 2 ½ lengths. Hollendorfer wins at 19% in 2nd career races. Sacred Union also just fired a bullet workout on March 9th. Big Contender at 8-1.
  • Leggs Galore: She’s a son of Bayern, who has been doing very will in his early stud career. Also this dam has 2 winners from 2 starters. Trainer D’Amato hits 20% on the dirt. Love this one at 12-1.
  • Never Say Can’t: 16% Sire wins with 1st time starters and trainer Larry jones wins 22% of his sprints. At 10-1 this 1st time starter has a big shot.

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Cynical Girl: This is a poor poor favorite. She debut last year in a $23,000 MSW at Hawthorne racetrack. No offense to Hawthorne, but horses that debut there should not be favorites in a competitive MSW at Oaklawn. At a short price, I am going to try to beat with one of the first time starters.

Summary & Top Pick:

Leggs Galore will be my top pick, but this is a wide open race. My main opinion of the race is that Cynical Girl is a bad favorite that I will throw off the ticket. I am spreading wide to try to beat her.

Final Ticket: $0.50; 2,7,9/ 4,6,7/2,4/1/2-4,6,7,9 ; $54