Friday, January 20, 2017

WEG Handicapping and Betting, Notes and Comments: January 20, 2017

Have to say I don't like this card, but, it is what it is. My best exotic reflects that. I will need 3 singles, all fairly marginal horses to take down a pick 4. Its possible, but a suspect ticket. I'd also need the longshot in race 8 to make it payoff. That might bring the favorite anyway. 

To summarize, I view these as the likely favorites, and I have separated them by play against or play, or, not play against but not plays either.


RACE 1  Ava N Ella
RACE 3 Awesomeness
RACE 4  Shes A Maniac
RACE 5  Request For Parole
RACE  9 Senior K
RACE 10 Hot Spot Hanover 
RACE 11 Barocky

RACE 7 A Plus
include but add others

In Secret, Adversity

RACE 5  Much Adoo
RACE 8   Rockin With Dewey

My best exotic play, based on the way the races look to me is this: 
pick 4 Race 8
8)    2,3,5,6,8,9  
9)    6  
10)  6
11)  2
  6 combos.  20c cost is $1.20


1 Queenofthejungle is 1 for 35 the last two years and rarely shows you more than one that will follow and luck into trips that get her slices. She has one fast quarter in her, and that isn't good enough to beat some of these if they show up. You'd have to think at least one does and she doesn't win this in that scenario.

2 Queenofhearts was soundly beaten by Northfield rats last time. Cant see how she plays with this bunch.

3 Ava N Ella went a big qualifier, her 3rd in a row off a big layoff and very sparse racing to this point in her career. Qualifiers aren't races and she will have to be seen. She is a very tough sell to take a short price off the variables she shows on the page. Being inbred as she is, she also screams of unsoundness, which her performance to date suggests is an issue for her.

4 Kays Shadow  finally turned it around on December 17, as she had showed signs and flashes of the ability she  first surfaced as a 2yo. She has serious soundness issues, which are obvious to anyone that has watched her, and most of her sires foals exhibit those, which is no secret to any horseman who trains them. On her best day, when she is in form, she is the best of this bunch. Another that will have to be seen, as she could easily revert back to her problems and be awful. She has missed an entire month, that is troublesome.

5 Tempus Seelster draws a better post and theoretically a softer bunch than the Niagara or her last with tough seasoned older mares. Her form is awful however, and she isn't the toughest competitor in the stretch. She is the ML choice, although I would have doubts she would go off as the post time fave. I have no trouble going against her. Zeron's barn is very cold lately and has been for a few months now. She adds up to a play against if she draws the shortest price. And even if she doesn't. I like others.

6 Dewar N Soda goes first time McNair, which is a potent angle at times. Others look a lot better than her on the page and she was fairly soundly trounced in the Niagara, while others were competitive. I will pass on her and McNair can step up and prove me wrong here.

7 P L Jasmine finished poorly in the Niagara final, but won the leg before that. She is an inconsistent mare at this stage, and that win was the only one she achieved last year. She has a shot in a spotty field with a trainer who fixes issues and gets them back in the right direction quickly.

8 Acefourtyfour Alex is a nice enough B track horse, but has not proved she can go with these, and her form is weak on top of that. I'd have to see more to back her. Pass for now.


1 Utopia had great form until the night he was claimed, when he walked home and has been horrid since. Tonight, he gets the rail and Massey. At this point, with all those strikes, I don't see the class drop is anywhere near enough to make him viable. Total pass.

2 Amityville Lindy needs so much babying to be viable that any class rise, like this one, even though its somewhat minor, is enough to think he cant beat them all. He is a bottom of the ticket consideration, but not a win threat in my eyes.

3 Kinetic King brings his weak win record in to this contest, and meets the same types he has met lately. His driver is habitually low percentage, and I will go to others. I would toss him.

4 Vics Royal Lady trotted a decent effort in fast time to nab 3rd last time. Her leave and sit strategy and ability plays well in the winter, at this track, and in this field. She has a minor shot in that scenario and I'd use her in the picks because of it. She will need a lot of things to go her way, but it happens.

5 In Secret pounced last time and showed up at the right time to win the big prize. He moves up here, which is a concern, and he isn't always as good week to week as you like to see, but he is good enough when he is to negate the rise. Usable, but not reliable.

6 Musical Spell is 1 for 38 the last two years and in deep at this level. He is borderline at the bottom anyway. Pass for me.

7 Adversity is very cyclical and currently is on a decent cycle, but he is also very capable of going the other way without much notice. He is the classic on the fence type and you use him because you have to so he doesn't beat you. Not my top choice, but cant toss him either.

8 Burnin Money is another who picks up McNair, first time on the page. He does well with Carmen, but I have my doubts about this horse, as I always do. He finds ways to lose. I'm not sure he is in light enough at this stage of his career. He is possible, but I prefer others. He has taken back almost every time from this type of post, but once, when he gunned out and stopped to a walk in the lane. I can't see what approach works here.

9 Buzz trotted a huge mile at a big price last time to get 2nd money. 3 back he was used hard from the 9 hole a step lower and he wasn't so peppy in the lane. All things considered, the odds are against him here. I will toss him, with caution. If you like him, use him. I don't. Not in this spot on all the variables.


1 Hughgetthecredit has been pretty good for quite a while, and noticably much better for Cullen than he was for the previous connections. However, he draws the rail here, which is likely to compromise him, and if he aims to cut this again, is ripe to get picked up. I will go elsewhere for better value.

2 Silversmith is so far outclassed here, its hard to figure why he is entered. He cant handle maidens, but he meets legit nw3 or better types with good form. He is 100-1 and then some.

3 Brookletsjustified comes off a sharp win for Weller, and retains JJ. Everything looks like he is the one here.

4 Home James has trouble when he meets some of the better ones, and looks more like a claimer to me. I will pass. He has some talent, just not enough for some of these.

5 New Standard I dont see anything to suggest he is ticket material here. Nuff said.

6 Sure Fired Bet showed flashes in the Autumn that he can do with these on his best day, but has regressed. Harding's charges have a tendency to step up when you don't see them coming. If there is a hard to like longshot in this bunch that could upset them, he is it. I'm not entirely sold on the 2 or 3 horses who figure, so if you have room, use him.

7 Clouseau Hanover broke his maiden, then drew terrible in the next two starts at nw2. He looks like the type that will develop over time. I'm not sure he is quite ready to beat these, but he could progress throughout the series and I'd keep my eye on him.

8 Emptythetill has decent form and certainly a minor shot. But, the poor post, plus his racing level being a step below a better one in here, one that McNair took over him, suggests to make a call against him. Which I will do.

9 Awesomeness is clearly the class of the field here, with the hot driver, and he cant be dismissed. He does have a habit of finding troubled trips or heavy traffic, and there is more value in making the final than gunning in an early leg, which is what got him beat in the opening leg of the last series. McNair is a lot more aggressive than RW, so, I might expect him to roll out of there, and get picked off late. I will go against him for the win and roll the dice. Post can really hurt here.


1 E L Avenger has many strikes against her. Driver, trainer, win record, post and class. I think that's enough comment right there.

2 Total Knockout  showed up last time and picked up 2nd money. Sometimes she does, other times, she just doesn't try. I can't count on her and she is pace dependent on top of that. I will go elsewhere.

3 Mappos Moenhay dives into a claimer for cover for Joe C, who she has not performed for. She gets Massey, who doesn't get respect or holes either. I will go against her even with the class relief. She likely wakes up at some point. I will bet it isn't tonight.

4 Good Luck Kathy takes a drop here, slight as it may be. She has won in the winter at this track before, and she isn't impossible tonight with this suspect group, especially if she is sitting mid pack and the 10 gets parked and takes a few with her on the mission to clear. She is a viable longshot because of who she is and what she has done before. She is the classic opportunist, which plays well in the winter at WEG. Roy can wake one like this up as well. That is a factor.

5 Fire Watch does her best racing when the horses are cheaper than these, as they were last time at Flamboro, where she won at 1-9, off a perfect trip. No thanks. I've seen enough of what she does at this track. She is the bit player type.

6 Donna Party  can certainly turn the tables on the 10 with the post advantage here. She needs some luck, but she is likeable if you can get 3-1 or 7-2, which seems reasonable. I expect Fillion to blast and either cut it or get a pocket trip with the option to pull early if that one isn't going enough.

7 Smile Style does not show the kind of speed you would need to be competitive with the top rung here. Moase is tricky at times, but I have to pass on this one.

8 James and Morgan looks to be one of those tweeners you see in the winter. Pretty good at the level below this at the B's, but not good enough to be ticket material when she meets those and some of these at this track. I can't back her from the 8 hole and I'd have trouble justifying that from a better post too.

9 Watt a Funny Face drew badly, which really hurts her. She moves back up to try these, but would be a decent play if she drew 7 hole or inside of that. She needs a good start and not to get gassed to get there. That doesn't look likely here. She is probably going to effect the outcome, but not get paid for it.

10 Shes a Maniac drew the claim last time, doubled up, and now takes the higher tag and gets the 10 hole for her trouble. I would go elsewhere. She is the type that doesn't hold form too long if you give her a reason not to. There are reasons here to think she is in for a long trip.


1 Kiss Me or Not at this stage, she appears a class mover that needs the bottom and the right other horses in the race to get there first. Add Billy D into the mix, and I will pass and wait for the big drop for the possible pop. That comes if she gets no money tonight.

2 Cant Stop is a really nice B track horse to own, and when there, she is almost always bringing home some money, even the top prize on occasion. Back at this track, she struggles. She is another who will have to go lower to get my interest.

3 Marquise De Sarah has been off many months and shows back up in Weller's barn, which is a signal she needs whatever he can offer her. She has never been very sound or one that drives well, especially on the turns. Those types dont wear well as they age. She has had many comebacks off long layoffs, and eventually she just wont perform. I will have to see her go. Her qualifier was poor and she cant be played off of that. Watch her and see where she is at.

4 Voodoo Charm  paced a back half in 54.2 from the 10 hole last time. That cant be overlooked. She still looks ugly doing it, and is another who doesn't look viable unless she hits bottom. Even then, her issues lead you to think she could blow up that night too. Pass.

5 Miss Coco Luck is not one I prefer, but the inside horses look cheap, and the outside ones have trip issues. So, if you are inclined, add her on the chance she actually has a good night. When she does, with her potential tactical gate speed, she could fall into a winning trip. She is unlikely to do it on her own. Her win record reflects that. She isn't impossible either.

6 Greystone Ladylike started poorly from the 8 hole last time and had no shot to make up the difference, in spite of pacing a back half in 54.3. Her form is relatively good, she is classified with ones she can handle when she is in decent form and draws well. The variables favor her here with the main foes outside of her. Lukewarm top call. No cinch for sure.

7 Icthelight Hanover swims in the deep end now that she cant race against young mares with limited ability. These look too tough for her until she develops or shows she is better than she has been in the past. She drops the win off her 5th line tonight. Watch her to see if she looks viable if the drop materializes for next time.

8 Much Adoo has rounded into form and should be blasting here with McNair. Can she take them all the way? She could, but she is likely to get run at. I will call her to get picked up, but she would have to be used in the picks.

9 Lights Go Out is hard to like on her current form and the post she draws. She raced 44 times last year. That is a lot of starts for a mare that needed a lot of layoffs in the past to stay viable. She will come around. I'd wait for a better spot than this.

10 Request for Parole can take a lot of air at times, and she will need to do that tonight. I will play against her and the chance the post will do her in. The winner likely sits on her back on decent cover or inside of her when she gives it up and gets out close enough to the pace to wear down the leader, who has to fend her off.


1 Ferriswheel Junkie  is a one speed type who is 7 now but has only made 60k lifetime. He does drop back, but he is the kind that finishes 3rd at higher levels, and moves down and doesn't step up. I will consider him that way until he proves otherwise. If Randy shows up, you can expect a buried trip from the rail. He doesn't show the grit to make that work into a win.

2 Scary Good  I can't see any scenario where this one makes the ticket. None.

3 Presquille  drew poorly last time and closed up to pick up 4th money. He has a history of making breaks and being crappy, but he also has a history of stepping up and blowing up the tote board. He could make your pick 4 ticket, and I'd add him in even though he looks like dead money. Not like there is supreme confidence in any of these to toss him on his own poor merit.

4 Maker a Yankee sometimes when you buy a horse at a sale, they come home and just dont work out. This mare looks to be one of those. She doesn't travel well and is a half trier at times. Not to say she cant have a good night, like her stablemate did last night. I just dont see any evidence she is turning. Her poor starts are also a red flag. Pass for now.

5 Severus Hanover picks up JJ and he has driven him before. He is well aware this one is more comfortable going his own mile and letting the chips fall. He generally doesn't follow well unless the leader is a runaway. He is what he is. Can he last this time? He could. I will say he wont and toss him. He isn't reliable enough and I'd rather have another horse in his spot. Risk/reward. If he takes them all the way, so be it.

6 Eldorado of Gold S rarely wins but this is his best post in a while. I'd expect McNair to gas him out of there and try to see how far Severus can take him. It could be the right trip. Usable.

7 Stuarts Dynasty has not won or made the ticket in a long time. I don't see that changing here. He has to do a lot more than he does. Mario has tried various trips for him, he has failed to get it done off of all of them.

8 Deweykeepumnwhy kept it together last time. He is a known quantity. Keep trotting, and win races. Any issue, and he blows up on his own. You have to use him, but you wont know what you will get until they turn down the backside the first time.

9 Air Dynamic switches to Dagfin, loses lasix, gets the 9 hole and comes in from the B tracks with an unknown type driver. I will pass on him tonight and watch. He would have to completely reverse every variable to take this bunch down, as weak as they are. On paper, he looks like a marginal bottom claimer at best.

10 Muscles All Over has zero shot on multiple variables. Toss.


1 Black Widow Baby was a very low percentage winner at this track as a young filly, then went to Yonkers and was a bearcat for a while. She fell off a cliff after that and has been horrendous upon return. I dont see anything yet to suggest she is coming around. Her slow starts, really slow starts, are a hole she doesn't seem able to dig out of.

2 Ninette B has always been a non trier type who needs to be beaten on, and she is better at the B tracks when she is motivated enough. Even at this bottom level, she is hard to back. I will pass on her.

3 J High is rarely good, and when she is, she usually tips her form a start ahead of time. I don't see that yet. Another I will toss until I see something more positive than what is on the page.

4 Show Some Leg simply will not do at the level above this, so she went to Flamboro to drop her bottom line last time. Mission accomplished. She is one of a few who could get the right trip here and make that work. She did that on her bottom line and the competition is similar here. Minor realistic shot on a decent trip and slight class relief.

5 Jordies Hope comes in off a layoff and appeared to need it. Another who lost the edge of facing younger foes and now has to grind it out with the class movers. Her win record, or...lack of wins record, speaks volumes as to where she fits on the scale. She will have to show she can adapt. One start anyway. Pass and toss.

6 A Plus  picks up McNair on her return, with a slight class drop and a solid post that suits her style. As long as she doesn't get trapped in the pocket or run at on the engine, she is likely the one, albeit probably at 8-5 or less.

7 Ainsleynoelle likes to lead, but has trouble lasting. If the 6 is on her back, she is likely to take her in the lane. She does have an overall speed edge currently on these, but that doesn't always hold up in this class.

8 Three Dreams has a post disadvantage to her two main rivals. For a mare that has trouble winning off any trip that isn't very soft and favorable, I will toss her in this spot. If there were a couple of scratches inside of her, that would change things. If not, she is in for a tough trip.

9 Call It Courage I cannot see and will toss. Post 9 is the nail in the coffin here.

10 Kayla Grace looks like a tough sell on her spotty form and the post that relegates her to the back of the bus, and thus, a lot of bad road traffic to go around, assuming she isn't the roadblock they appear to be as well.

This is the race you go very deep and hope for the bomb. That also means avoiding a short priced horse who can take you down and adding a longer one in its place. That is risky, but a good overall play over time. I toss the rail horse, but use almost all the rest. First leg of the late pick 4. You get to see them parade. That would be the final cut decider for me. Many of these are highly variable and have to be seen.

1 Odds on Amethyst cant be backed off his last line. When he goes off form, he really does. If he turns it around, so be it. Post 1 also is an issue for one who doesn't need many reasons to blow up. That played out last time that way. If he does get around ok, off two bad posts for him, I'd look him over for next time. He has more X's than a tic tac toe board on his resume.

2 Exemplar moves up off a decent win, but he has taken down far better when he is good. He also doesn't hold that form well, but he is possible in a race where many are.

3 Totally Ripped rarely wins, but is capable enough and gets a new driver. Maybe he can wake him up and shake him up. I'd use him on the chance he does and many suspect ones dont show up. Its that type of race.

4 Maximuscle has always been prone to gate breaks, and when not doing that, he will also give up the lead pretty easily. He is one I will leave off and take my chances. He moved up without winning and that gets him beat even if he behaves and gets the trip and or fractions. He has competition for the front if he wants it this time. Its enough to roll the dice against him.

5 Rockin With Dewey is back in where she can do some damage with the right post. She is no cinch, but you have to have her on the ticket. Hopefully something longer takes her down, but they might not. She doesn't appear to fit the race conditions, but she is in to go. She trotted away from these types easily last time.

6 P L Hercules jumped it off early last time, but qualified right back even though he didn't need to. He can handle these if he behaves and gets to ride the 5's back all the way. I'd use him in a race where its hard to discount many.

7 Our Mojo came out sharp off a layoff but then went off form just as fast. As he has aged, his once steady gait has left him more often. I will leave him off this time. He shows troubling signs of aging.

8 Hubby Number One is as variable as most of these. I don't like his form or his post being outside a few who want the front and wont give out favors, but if one or two of those run and this guy doesn't, he is sitting in the catbird seat.

9 April Rose goes 2nd off the claim for Henseley, and gets a break from the race office who upped the condition to let her in without taking the tag, allowing her to drop. She has a shot, like many do here.


1 Ohio Larry started out okay in the tough Ohio Sire Stakes last year, but didn't wear well, as can happen with foals of his sire if you push them early. He changed hands in the fall and shows up in Moreau's barn. I will pass on him this time. Moreau has not done well with these as of late. He had trouble keeping up with Chalky. Nuff said.

2 Talbot Romeo is a nice prospect, and might progress as the series continues, but he is a maiden with very few starts facing proven winners. This is a tough spot to break your maiden.

3 Many Facets won twice at 2, and then was shut down. Robinson is well known to bring race ready 3yo's here in the winter and then sell off some good lines. I don't like this one in this spot, but he will have to be seen. He is up against many who show better current form and are a year older. Those are factors.

4 Six Flags has come along okay for Tyrell, and isn't without a punchers chance here if others fail. He could be headed to better form and I'd think of using him here on that angle alone. He has to do more, a lot more, obviously.

5 Swellendam is a maiden facing a few who are nw3 or higher types. I cant see how he competes as is currently.

6 Big Yellow drew poorly and switched to this track last time, but paced a huge back half to be 2nd best. A repeat of that, with a better post this time and a slightly closer up trip gives him a big shot. Wallace is well known to peak horses and have them ready to roll when series appear.

7 Red John loses JJ to Big Yellow, and generally, he doesn't look ready to tackle tougher winners. He will probably develop, but this isnt a great spot for him to improve enough. He beat Southwind Savage by a nose. I don't like that reference at all. Pass.

8 Lyons Sands bombed out in the Valedictory final and has missed almost a month. He is a one trick pony whose tricks aren't going to keep playing at this level and with a tough post. I like others.

9 Sharky Shark is likely to be compromised by the tough post and he is about a second short on overall speed. Not that he cant make that up, but its unlikely he does it here. JJ went to the 6, so Billy Davis is in control. Pass but I'd like him next time if the factors improve for him.

10 Senior K would be very tough to go against if he had drawn better. He didn't. He is in the mix for sure, but maybe he is raced easier and aimed at a win next time for the final. I will go against him and roll the dice. He has been very hard raced at times. That is also likely to take its toll at some point.


1 Hot Spot Hanover was 2nd last time but catches a much deeper field than those, although the purse and conditions are similar. She will have to up it a notch or two to handle some of these.

2 Bet Ya  doesn't appear good enough for this level anymore. She seems to be a lot peppier when she hits bottom or close to it these days. Pass until then. She does win when she drops, and its a good gig for her.

3 Pop Goes Theweasel had great form for a while in late fall, but she has tailed off. She drops a line here and will get a big class relief bone next time. I will wait for that.

4 Lovethewayoulook  dropped and popped last time for Weller. She has not shown she can go with these though. I will pass.

5 Wanda Bayama moved up sharply last time and finished okay, but she is one of many at this level, not dominant like she was last year. She has a shot if things go her way. I'd use her if I have spots left to use. If not, I can go against her with others who look slightly better.

6 Kiwi Focus N  is a tough mare with deceptive good form. 10 hole did her in last time, but she draws the favored 6 hole here. I will call her in the minor upset.

7 Regally Ready  moves up without winning and has spotty form to boot. I like others. She will find the sweet spot again. Not here.

8 Dazzling Rockette mowed them down last time,but faces much tougher here. Its unlikely she can pass these with that move. Pass for me.


1 Barockey takes the drop, and looks for the pop. I will go against her, She has failed many times over the years in this exact scenario.

2 Maplelea had a very subpar year last year, but picks up Zeron, who was very good with her as a younger stakes filly. Maybe he knows what makes her tick and can wake her up. She is now 5, and a lot of them that race as hard as she did at 3 bomb at 4. She can turn that around at any time. Tonight could be that night.

3 Timmylynn drops down to where she won in her first start at this track. But, she gets Massey instead of J Mac, and that is a factor in what could be a drivers race. I will go to others. She is capable enough if the trip works out.

4 Naughty Lady B moves up without winning. and is not preferable to several others for me. She just doesn't do enough to win races most nights. Those types rarely win on a move up when they are marginal below.

5 Sing Like an Angel fits the level below, but doesn't race there tonight. That is curious, but nevertheless, she can get a piece here and still race there next week. I will pass on her. She is viable if you like her overall. I don't as a rule as it is.

6 Case Dismissed moves up off a decent win but loses McNair. I will pass on her. I think that was the level she needed to be competitive.

7 Drivingthedragon N gets lasix, which can certainly help her type, and she did show the type of speed you need for these when she first crossed the oceans. She is viable and you can make a case for her. Ryan is good with these and he can bring in  bombs. He uses Roy, who also seems to be able to get them off the wings fast, which is what she likes. She has competition for the front though, and that can do her in. I will go to others.

8 True Reflection is well known as a mare who doesn't win races she should. She has a poor post and is above where she wasn't winning anyway. Too many strikes for me.

9 Katies Beach takes a big class drop, but needs to. She isn't winning races and her form has declined. Post 9 is the clincher. Pass.

10 Miss Babe Delight is hard to like off a back of the bus type of start. Another day maybe. She would need a huge speed battle with several hung to set it up for her. That is hard to count on.

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