Monday, March 13, 2017

WEG Handicapping and Betting, Notes and Comments: March 13, 2017

As I go forward, any race I make picks in will only be done if I think I am beating the favorite. Will I beat them all? Of course not, and I do not expect to. But, I know the percentages. Favorites win about 40% at WEG, and less than even money favorites win about 55%. That leaves a lot of room to beat them, and as well, I can't just beat 60% of favorites and 45% of less than even money shots. I have to do better than what others can with those to derive a profit over time. That is what I attempt to do, and I will list on each blog, starting with this one, where I am at on that. 
If I think the favorite has a very legit shot to win, then I pass the race. If I think I can beat that favorite, but can't reasonably come up with value plays below him or her within the number of picks in that race I deem the right formula, I still pass the race. By my count, that leaves me somewhere between 5 and 6 races a night to make plays from. Some nights that might be 9 races, other nights it could be 2 races.


 4 Passport to Art broke his maiden 3 back, but while he is trying hard, doesn't seem to have enough finish when he meets level or tougher competition. Luckily for him, this class is very soft right now. He comes back on 3 days rest, but if he is still lively and sound, and blasts out like last time, he has a reasonable shot with these. No cinch though.

6 Dream of Luck beat maidens off a sweet trip but those have not come back to race well at all and he looks like he is in for a long stay in this class as he has to develop now at this level. He will become something as the season progresses and make some kind of Sire Stake horse. For now, he is more likely to be a bit player.

3 New Talent  could not have gotten a sweeter trip last time. He floated out from the 2 hole, angled down the backside, picked up advancing and willing cover, followed him to early stretch, then tipped off his cover but could not pass him and let another by late. The leader was long gone, and doubled up Saturday night, but he showed a trend for him...a lack of grit and desire to get it done. The cheque he got that night forces him to move back up the ladder and he shows that they have been tough for him. He has 2 lifetime wins and only raced sparingly last year. He came out guns a blazing at 2, but has leveled off after that season. There isn't much to choose from underneath him but, I will go against him.

2 Blue Fox made a break and put in some ugly steps behind the gate on Thursday night, but he was back pacing on the gate when it pulled away. He went an okay mile, but was not good enough when it mattered. He doesn't strike me as one that does well off short rest, although that is a tactic Weller uses often and has had some success with.

8 Fancourt sat way out of it last time while the pretenders battled, then made a wide stretch move to pick them all off. He was more controllable with the martingale, and he did pick them off, but he was rocky most of the way, which is probably his way of traveling, but bearing in many times as he tried to gain momentum in the stretch. They came home in 30 seconds, so that gave him a reason to get away with it. Some of these are just a shade tougher and more seasoned. I will pass on him tonight, but he can go either way going forward.

1 Only Half Bad finally broke his maiden after many starts, in part due to a first up horse who was all over the track and dangerous, thus stalling the progress of the logical and live contender. He meets winners here, and coupled with the rail, I can't see him at first asking, and have a hard time thinking he can handle nw2 at this track if and when he gets a shot at them.

7 Windsun Gotham wisely double dipped on maidens, but looked sore, steppy and borderline lame last time. He was bearing in horrible in the last turn, but they staggered home and came back to him, so he was right there with the pack. He looks like one that will not take well to consistent winter pounding and racing. I will take a pass until he shows me otherwise.

5 Get Decked looked terrible pacing in the backfield all the way last time and didn't cut into the pack in the lane. I can't see how he goes with the better of this bunch.Early scratch.


3 Think Again had little chance for the win last Thursday when he drew the 10 hole, but he did float out and not work very hard to get away a closer up 6th. That left him enough to pick up 3rd money against the old seasoned, veteran open claiming types. He gets back in tonight with the not so sporty conditioned claimers, and that helps on some level. Post 3 doesn't hurt his chances either. This will be his 3rd start for Weller. I like that he went forward as the pace picked up late. That bodes well in with this bunch.

7 Sports Vision had every chance to win last time, as Ryan gave him the perfect setup, but he didn't go forward at all. These types sometimes just don't show up, but show up the next time. That is why they are able to reside in a class like this. He doesn't leave at all, so he is another who will need some hot fractions and hopefully he brings his A game this time, whatever that is to one like this.

4 East End tried the condition types and did okay, picking up a solid 2nd once, and now can maintain protection with the tag as they up it enough that getting claimed is not probable. Roy takes over from Zeron, and that has to be considered a plus based on the results lately from Mr. Roy. He will need them to battle a bit in front of him, as he is not a fast leaver.

1 Six Before Seven was the victim of stretch interference two back, but last time took back off the gate, moved early into the flow, was 2nd over on dead cover, but that cover was at least keeping up with the leaders, and all he had to do was tip off of it and pick off a suspect bunch. These aren't much tougher, but a few are. I think the short price he brings tonight poses bad value. If he has to work a bit harder, he is likely to come up short.

6 Just a Thought was sold by Hudon to Allard, and he got one start with him as he was claimed by Holland out of that event. He never looked like he wanted to try in that race, but Roy convinced him to keep pacing, something he appears to be a master at. It was enough to save 3rd, but these look a lot tougher than the ones he faced then. I suspect Randy knows him as he was a McIntosh hopeful in his younger days.

2 Keystone Keen draws the ML top choice based on his class drop. He also is a month away and a vet scratch lame, which was a late scratch as he was programmed to go just a few races prior on that card. That suggests he warmed up poorly. He was inside the pylons in that last race he participated in, and he is very chancy, even in a race where many don't look very dangerous. I'd be very leery to take any kind of short price on him.

5 Notetoself Hanover is a 4yo who has done enough racing but only has 2 lifetime wins, many times blowing golden opportunities to mow down a suspect leader but coming up short. He now resides in the Ken Oliver barn, but his results and finishing prowess have not changed. I can't see him with these as is.


3 Tour De Lindy was moving up last time with the 10 hole and that did him in. He did well to get 3rd and draws better here. Fillion seems to be out of the funk he was in, and when he is in the right mindset, he can dominate and win with these types. He looks like he wants to be a good horse, and will develop into a higher end type as he matures.

4 Alfa Mersadies gets in light tonight on the inflated lifetime earnings condition. She has 8 wins in 25 starts the last two years, and an experience edge on many of these. She could wire these, or sit on the back of one who attempts that and pop that pocket late. Her versatility is a big plus in this race. Shot.

7 South Win Bax was coming along with maidens at this track, but went to Flamboro before winning that class, then doubled up there, and now has to face winners here. I wouldn't toss her, as winning is winning, and she looked okay even with maidens when she had the right post to work with. Minor shot if the likely ones don't perform.

8 Vasco Bi picked up JJ last time, as Per was on vacation and he skipped before the start and was never dangerous. JJ did good with him 3 back, so that can't be the only reason he bombed, and it isn't. He floated out just fine, but appeared to strike himself up front and that set him off galloping. He was up against it after that, parked the mile, and behind a runner mid backstretch, then simply was tired. In any event, JJ is available but Per will steer him tonight. He is a 1 time winner facing many who have 4 or more wins, and a couple of others who have 2. He might be the best long term prospect of this group, but for tonights race, I wouldn't play him tonight, but I might next time if he shows me he is sorted out, which most of us count on Per to do with his trainees.

1 Igocrazy Without U can continue to pick up slices with this class, but a win would require a lot of horses to do things wrong, and the chances off all the contenders doing so in one race is slim. Bit player in my eyes.

2 You Cant Afford Me had ambitious connections at 2, who aimed her at the Gold a few times and even the Champlain. She picked up shares in some of those and the grassroots, hence her 39k return. She was sold off to her current owners and has not been let down this winter. She got her lone win in the Autumn, and now comes back here looking for bigger purses, and likely will be a fringe Grassroots type as the summer progresses. Being an Angus Hall and from a Cantab Hall dam, you would expect her to be erratic and make breaks, and she does that. I think she has an outside shot with these, but others look a lot more viable and consistent. 2 of her last 4 racelines resulted in breaks, and she had very easy fractions when she won. These are tougher.

5 Noon Hour is another who is a high percentage winner, but that was mostly at Northfield, where the fields are not deep at all relative to what you get at this track. The way she finished her last two races, even with a moderate class drop here, I cannot back her. She looks like a B track horse.

6 Summit City Turbo was good a few weeks ago, but was raced on short rest, and now has regressed for 2 consecutive starts. I am off the bandwagon.


Pass and watch these, as I suspect Beyombo is the one and he will bring short odds. Brief comments on what I see. Not listed in order but by post position.

1 Devils Peak looks like the type that will get a lot of 2nd and 3rds in this class. Keep watching to see if he confirms that.
2 Kazimoto first time starter, has to be seen for future tries. Watch closely.
3 Sedona Seelster should be overbet on the last race. He doesn't always show up and perform. Beware.
4 Southwind Savage still not impressed with him. I'd leave him off the ticket.
5 Chummy Park hanging rat who teases with short bursts of speed. Roy isn't likely to get this one over the top.
6 Beyombo unlucky trip last time, but gritty to pace right to the wire. Improving and looks like a good one.
7 Sporting Life decent pedigree, nice progression, looks like a prospect, outside shot tonight if faves bomb.
8 Nascar Seelster one to watch for future plays, expect usual Randy sit and brush late first time starter treatment.
9 Mystical Sun well bred, looks like a player on this circuit, post hurts tonight, watch for future plays. Longshot.
10 Casimir Patriot too many strikes against him tonight, but might be viable as he goes along if he is allowed in with maidens again. 


2 Utopia left out for the pocket in a 5 horse field last time and looked to be sitting perfect when nobody pulled deep into the last turn. That turned into a trap and he never got out of jail, Roy never even asking him or driving him, just coasting along last but with no chance to go forward. He is possible if he can maintain that level of effort and get more racing luck this time. Roy sticks with Allard, so J Mac takes over, and he does well with Joe C anyway.

1 Finish Line is a former 8 claimer that Allard has turned into a trotter who is a win away from the Preferred. He is hard to go against here, but even with the rail start, he seems to be willing to work for it. Shot.

7 Marquis Volo is about as consistent a trotter you can find when he races. He has long gaps when he goes on the shelf, but when racing, he races, he tries and he wins his share. This is a deep group, so he isn't my top choice, but he is probably an add in the picks if you play that. I wouldn't want him to beat me.

3 Catch the Dream  tucked immediately last time and that is a strategy that works for him. He stays trotting and can finish if the trip works out in his favor, as it did that time. He moved up the inside when many went out, ran into a roadblock, but both in front of him bore out just in time to allow him to drive the plyons and get up for 2nd, to the sharpest trotter on the circuit who doubled up as well. He meets a few tougher ones here, but not terribly more so.

4 Major Athens was first up last time and 2nd best to Finish Line, whom he meets again and others who have a bit better form than him. I will go to them. Minor shot, but just not enough for me.

8 Fearless Man draws the outside, and he isn't carrying his speed like he did the last couple of years. I think he has lost a step and will pass on him. He looks to be entering the class mover, drop and pop type as he ages.

9 Burnin Money does okay, but is generally more viable when the classes are thinner, he is down a level and draws a better post. Pass for me tonight.

6 Charlie Is a Joker wired a much weaker bunch last time by getting the 2nd quarter breather and trotting away from there. That party is over. Back to reality.

5 Odds on Amethyst needs careful handling to get away clean and stay trotting, and he doesn't need many reasons to give these an advantage anyway, as they have more class and form to him as of late. Pass.


6 B N Bad might, and I say might emphatically, have been better last time. Fillion took several looks over to his left leaving, and when he saw a few gapping and taking back, he decided to sprint out of there. Late Night beat him out, then two others filled the gap and he had to take back to 4th. That resulted in following one who stopped to a walk and he lost all momentum, then ducked to the inside and went as much as he could. Post 6 is the best leaving post, and if he can blast again and somehow find a 2 hole and save his energy, he is a decent longshot play. He has 32 lifetime wins and a record of 49 and change. That is ancient history, but he still has enough speed left to go with the bottom rung like this.

4 Rockabella goes to Carmen. Good enough for me. I'd use him on the chance he finds the key to make this rat try.

1 Late Night was gassed out of there last time by Phil, but a longshot who backed up at the half carried him all the way to the quarter and he was down to the half in 54.2, and spent by the tote board. He looked good doing it the whole way, and simply was a victim of post and trip. If he brings a more reasonable price tonight, I could back him.

10 Burning Shore was blasted out of there by Randy last time, for reasons I don't get, then backed through them sharply. He has never been the soundest horse, but if that race didn't hurt him, he can turn the tables here with the double class drop. I'd use him in the picks. An off the pace approach could work here. I could see many of these wanting the front and battling to get it.

2 House of Terror was in a live cover flow last time, but they went better than him when it mattered. He has lived in this class all winter, and I don't see him moving on up to the better ones based on how he races. Bit player and opportunist. Wont work for it.

9 K D Overdrive comes back on 3 days rest, loses post advantage, and isn't winning anyway. Pass.

5 Crocadile Canyon was distanced last time and got on the vets list. He qualified back, but he has not come back off the long layoff good this time. Pass and watch, but I'd be willing to say its more likely he is an 8 claimer than 20 at this point, and he doesn't look good enough to win even this class.

7 Team Edward is not one I've ever seen before, and he appears to have spent his career at the B's, most recently at Rideau. I suppose he has a shot, but I will go to others who show they can race for higher purses.

8 Mach It Big is tough to back on form and post. He has seen better days, but the odd time he pops back into gear. If you think tonight is that night, this group is ripe for the taking. I don't and will go elsewhere.

3 Hail the Taxi I don't know how soft a field it takes at this track for him to win, but I haven't seen one yet, and neither has he. 


I will pass on these. They are too evenly matched, with the favorites looking both probable and beatable at the same time. I will note I liked the way Cue Hall looked on the track last time and he is heading towards a big score, but post 10 tonight takes care of that chance. I will have my eye on him for a potential score down the road. 

Not a bunch I'd try to sort.

4 Top Dollar  drew poorly last time and was out the mile. He moves up in class again, but Roy seems to find a way to win with anything, and Allard's juice is still effective at this point. I could see him if the right trip materializes. Before he had the 9 hole, he had all 1's and 2's, and thus, hasn't had a preferable post in many races. That could indicate hidden form, and anyway, he won two of those and was 3rd in another. Medium level shot.

9 Mighty Nicky never performed for Alagna, but as we have seen many times, a barn change away from him and some of those turn right around. He has done that, winning 3 straight, and moves up again. J Mac takes him over the 2, one of his main clients. Post 9 isn't easy, but he is possible on continued improvement.

3 Lmc Mass Oak draws better here, but his slow starts from any post put him in a hole he rarely digs out of when he is up against this type of competition. However, he has blown up the tote board a few times, and I wouldn't toss him in a race where I am of the opinion the top 2 obvious ones are beatable tonight.

5 Honor Above All ships back with poor form, but he has competed okay at this level before. He doesn't always have the grit to win, a function probably of his dam sire, but he is okay enough if the top choices bomb.

1 Free Willy Hanover is a tough call tonight. On the one hand, he was compromised by having post 1 last week, which he gets again, and thus had to make a strong blast move to the top, and that cost him the win, while only being beat by a legit one. He beat the rest. On the other hand, he is in for that trip again, and also looked sore and bearing in many times in the mile, and that could be something that is accumulating now that he races on and meets level competition. He might have gotten away with it before, but others have more talent at this level and can make him pay for any flaw. I will go against him. Its a risk/reward play.

8 Sergeant Seelster is on a 4 race win streak, beat the one last time that beat the 1 last week, and adds Trevor in favor or Wray, who while he has done a fine job so far, is not Trevor Henry. Post 8 will also test him. He waits on horses and looked all out last time to just hold on. I am playing others in here and will roll the dice against him.

2 Keegan Ho loses J Mac to the 9 and gets Hensley don't think he can win, but he can hit the ticket if things go his way.

7 P L Jill beat a weak bunch 2 back, but now she has to face the next level up, and that looks like a tough chore for her until she develops more. She is a big strong mare, but she is meeting the upper echelon now of what this track brings. She can't boss around and outmuscle these. Pass.

6 Majestic Presence doesn't look to have the overall speed of many of these and when she gets headed, she stops. This is a competitive race. She is one I can toss and take my chances.

10 Major Muscle is not one I can see with a post like this in a field like this.

RACE 10 

 4 Barefoot Bluejeans is a 4yo homebred taking a tag for the first time off a long layoff. I could make a case he pops on this bunch. He shows 54 over Georgian, and that stacks up here if he paces back to that. Trevor can motivate him if that is needed.

2 Classic News has changed hands, and goes first time Etsell. His form and overall speed ability look as good as any of these, and I rate him a big shot.

6 Futomaki had every chance last time, but didn't seem to want to try. I'm looking for a pricey longshot for this race, and Carmen has been known to turn one like this week to week. I could use him on that chance.

7 Four Card Major is a logical play for the hot tandem of McNair and Marfisi, and he could even be the chalk over the 5. I am inclined to roll the dice against him, although I'm aware that is risky with his good form and the nature of the crappiness of this field as a whole.

3 Trigger gets a shot here tonight on the ride up with his more success stablemate. Why not? You are coming anyway. He moves up sharply and doesn't show me what I think you need to make the transition to this class. Wray has improved him since he took him from Weller, but not enough for me. Cheque getter in all likelihood.

9 Jump Jet will have to show me a lot more speed to think he overcomes the 9 hole and takes this bunch. He gets a pass for the 8 hole at Flamboro last time. He doesn't get a pass for the effort before that. They are trying to move him and I suppose this is a showcase to try and get that accomplished.

5 Flyin Orion is a horrible Northfield rat and I will be happy to go against him if he gets heavy play on the Roy/Allard angle. The horse that beat him last time caved in big time next out. He probably would have that night too if he had something to pass him. This one couldn't even get by him.

1 Lock N Reload has not been competitive twice in this class, and I see no reason he is here tonight. These are soft, but he is softer.

8 Dg Ramtough 5yo, 1 lifetime win and terrible form. I can't see him being the one.

10 Duneside Sport total pass. Ketros can start by trying to get him under control so he isn't so dangerous, if and when he draws better next time.

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