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 Post subject: The GR I Woodward Stakes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:03 pm 
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Here's Saturday's GR I Woodward at Saratoga. In this field of 8, Jimmy Jerkens trains 2 and Pletcher trains 4 of the horses in the race. Past Performances below. TJ

10th Race. (C10) Approx Post 5:47PM STAKES
THE WOODWARD
Grade I - $600,000
Purse $600,000 (Up to $52,000 NYSBFOA) One Mile And One Furlong
FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS AND UPWARD.
1 Wicked Strong(L) B.c.4 122 Saez, L Centennial Farms Jerkens, James
2 Liam's Map(L) Gr/ro.c.4 118 Castellano, J Teresa Viola Racing Stables Pletcher, Todd
3 Commanding Curve(L) B.r.4 118 Bridgmohan, S West Point Thoroughbreds Stewart, Dallas
4 Bay of Plenty(L) Dk B/ Br.c.4 120 Rosario, J Godolphin Stable McLaughlin, Kiaran
5 Mylute(L) Gr/ro.h.5 118 Ortiz, Jr., I Goldmark Farm Pletcher, Todd
6 Coach Inge(L) B.g.4 120 Velazquez, J Repole Stable Pletcher, Todd
7 Effinex(L) Dk B/ Br.c.4 120 Alvarado, J Tri-Bone Stables Jerkens, James
8 Protonico(L) Dk B/ Br.c.4 120 Ortiz, J Sumaya U.S. Stable Pletcher, Todd

Click on Bay of Plenty: http://www.kiaranmclaughlinracing.com/t ... risnet.cfm


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:31 pm 
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Liam's Map...comes back a little quick for Pletcher, but he was very impressive in the Whitney.
Wicked Strong...also comes out of the Whitney, but his post compromised his chances in last. Draws the rail and will improve.
Protonico...off the bench, has to overcome his post to get 3rd.
Effinex...could pick up the pieces with a hot pace expected?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:00 am 
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Other than in the race he bore out in and ran goofy, Effinex has been really impressive in his races this year. I don't know if he has the kick that Honor Code has *if* Liam's Map ran like he did last time. And Effinex seems to like a bit of a longer distance.
We all know Liam's Map ran a huge race last out to arguably the top older dirt horse currently running. His only downfall may be the quick turn around.
I keep expecting Wicked Strong to step it up, perhaps this is the race??? I think he is moving in the right direction and he proved last year he likes Saratoga.
A horse that I have been waiting and waiting on is Bay of Plenty. He seemed like he was a star on the rise last year but has had a few layoffs here and there. His last was a step in the right direction no doubt. Does he want to run with Liam's Map? Probably not...but I am sure a horse like Effinex would appreciate it.
Both Coach Inge and Protonico have had good years and it's pretty hard to place them here. I almost think Pletcher could have the top 3 finishers in this race!

That being said, here are my choices.

Wicked Strong
Liam's Map
Effinex


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:50 am 
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There's an awful lot of speed in this race.

Mylute
Liam's Map
Wicked Strong


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:06 am 
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I *think* I have settled on my picks for the Woodward finish order:

1 = Coach Inge
2 = Liam's Map
3 = Effinex
4 = Wicked Strong
....and the others after that with Commanding Curve in the last position.

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

I have wrestled back and forth with this race. To me - on paper and watching his past performances Liam's Map is obvious correctly made the MLF - I think he is the superior of this group: older males on dirt at 1 1/6 - 1 1/8 mile distance - at this time/at this track. But it is a closely matched group talent wise and the real contenders are going in race fit and racing at a distance that's pretty much in their respective 'wheel houses'. I think there is going to be (certainly should be) speed from the start and expect most to be able to sustain that effort to the stretch drive/finish wire. So first question I asked was Is he going to win or is he at all vulnerable? Agree with Cree that the quick turn around may have put a tiny chink in what he brings to bear and in this bunch he may get more pressure in the stretch than he is quite up to handling after racing what I expect to be a fast/pressured pace all the way around. So assuming he's vulnerable who can best him? I see Effinex and Coach Inge on the outside having the speed to rush up and they've been going head to head, trading winner for second place in hotly contested races all spring/summer so I gave the nod to Coach Inge this out and hope/guess/think? he might just edge out/persevere over a tiring, thoroughly tested Liam's Map at the wire. Effinex is in the perfect post to simply shadow Coach Inge and then power up and move beyond him in a stretch drive but there are some other good horses that will be challenging him on the inside so he may arrive at the top of the stretch a little more extended than his connections want. I don't expect Liam's Map to totally collapse/fade so have him hanging tough for second place. Expect Wicked Strong to improve as his last race disappointed me and he's on the rail which has a high percentage of winners at Saratoga this meet coming from there. He may benefit from a speedy ground favoring position riding just behind Liam's Map ready to pounce as they go round the final turn and head for home if any daylight opens on the rail. Truthfully these first four positions could sort out any number of ways but barring something happening that we haven't seen yet in any of the others I think it will be these four that fill out the paying positions.

Oh well all the reasoning and speculation in the world won't make it happen - so I wish everyone luck with their picks we'll soon see who the 'best' horse is on today's date/today's surface. May the horses and their jocks all come home safe and sound.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:53 pm 
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Here's the finish:
Liam's Map
Coach Inge
Wicked Strong
Effinex


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:57 pm 
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Hi Jellac,
Great job of handicapping....I hope you boxed those numbers in the Super. It just goes to show you how tough this silly contest we're in is:>) You come up with the top 4 finishers and get no cigar in the contest. I think it's the last time I do this:>) TJ


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:16 pm 
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Boy oh boy, can that horse ever run. He definitely redeemed himself from last race. That being said - I don't like him going into the Classic for various reasons - the distance, Pletcher's ability to get a BC Classic winner, and the style in which he runs. Definitely think if anyone goes with him the off-the-pace horses/closers will say "Thank You Very Much" at the finish. Liam's Map (if he stays sound) going into the Classic does 1 or 2 things: 1) scares Pharoah away, or 2) ruins Pharoah's chances.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:41 pm 
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I'm giving up on Wicked Strong: this makes ten straight races going off under 9-1, and he only has one win in that timeframe.

(That probably makes him a lock at 20-1 in the Classic!)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:58 pm 
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....
Quote:
You come up with the top 4 finishers and get no cigar...


TJ - You summed up my position very well: no cigar! Turns out I did not have a single correct position pick today: prime example of the value of 'boxing' your bets at the wagering window as a major risk reduction tool. I'd rather be 'right' for the wrong reason than wrong having reasoned right.

LOL > I'm laughing now (and still shaking my head) but it was hard for me to accept/comprehend that I was COMPLETELY off and yet so close in reading how the race would go. Kudos for Liam's Map, Coach Inge, Effinex and Wicked Strong - though I too am with Aug 27 - he continues to disappoint his odds/touts pre-race.


Sadly....'boxing' my hunches wasn't an option for me TJ as I live in Texas, and I wasn't at Sam Houston today....Now I'm going to get political/polemical:
In Texas if you're not physically at a racetrack facility approved to conduct horse or dog racing/pari-mutual wagering you can't place a wager = not even with the online/phone wagering apps that have proliferated and are constantly promoted on "national" televised racing. Go figure! At this moment the TRC (Texas Racing Commission) is locked in a serious power tussle with the Legislature over the Agency's decision to allow 'historic racing machines' to be installed at the existing licensed and operating tracks. Uber conservative so-called Texas Tea Party legislative leaders are against it saying it expands the footprint of pari-mutual gambling and that the machines look too much like slot machines. So while Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma tracks/"racinos" dance on the grave of Texas horse racing/the thoroughbred racing/breeding/training industry that was here with their slots supplemented purses we can't even use a page out of Oaklawn's successful use of the historic racing kiosks to help support/build purses that would offer horse racing and the Tracks a chance at survival.


Last edited by jellac on Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:23 pm 
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Cree wrote:
Boy oh boy, can that horse ever run. He definitely redeemed himself from last race. That being said - I don't like him going into the Classic for various reasons - the distance, Pletcher's ability to get a BC Classic winner, and the style in which he runs. Definitely think if anyone goes with him the off-the-pace horses/closers will say "Thank You Very Much" at the finish. Liam's Map (if he stays sound) going into the Classic does 1 or 2 things: 1) scares Pharoah away, or 2) ruins Pharoah's chances.

Hi Cree,
He certainly can run...he's just not been the soundest piece in the barn. It's seldom he strings 2 races together without needing time off. I can see Pletcher with one option and that is to run him back in the BC Classic without a prep. I do hope he stays sound and makes the Classic...it will assure a solid pace. I don't remember the bias there going a mile and a quarter over the new Keeneland dirt course, but it certainly will play a role in the Classic this season to many of the top contenders. TJ


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:14 am 
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TJ wrote:
Hi Jellac,
Great job of handicapping....I hope you boxed those numbers in the Super. It just goes to show you how tough this silly contest we're in is:>) You come up with the top 4 finishers and get no cigar in the contest. I think it's the last time I do this:>) TJ


Awww, come on TJ. See it out till the end. You might get lucky, and it's still fun.

I thought that there was more speed in the race that would challenge Liam's Map, so I tanked. I only had Wicked Strong in the right position - dropped a few hundred spots.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:33 am 
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geowarrior wrote:
TJ wrote:
Hi Jellac,
Great job of handicapping....I hope you boxed those numbers in the Super. It just goes to show you how tough this silly contest we're in is:>) You come up with the top 4 finishers and get no cigar in the contest. I think it's the last time I do this:>) TJ


Awww, come on TJ. See it out till the end. You might get lucky, and it's still fun.

I thought that there was more speed in the race that would challenge Liam's Map, so I tanked. I only had Wicked Strong in the right position - dropped a few hundred spots.

Hi Geo,
I'll stick it out to the end....but can you imagine how crazy it will be trying to pick the BC Classic in exact order:>) TJ


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