Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fountain of Youth

The name says it all; it is a big day for young horses looking to prove themselves on the 3 year old trail. Derby fever kicks in today.

There is a barn down the road, a very long barn, and today I couldn’t hit it broadside. Below is the summary for 3 events: The NHC Fountain of Youth, Xpressbet’s Beat the Host, and Twinspires Streak to the Derby.

FOY: These picks have to be entered 5 minutes prior to post, so odds can get whipsawed in this competition.

Race 1: The heavy favorite jumps in the air at the start and is left at the gate, so a good price will hit in the first race. Storm on the Track trots around in a consistent 5th. Sweetlandofliberty runs well and closes from 6th to win easily at 11-1.

Race 2: First timer Station Hill by A.P. Indy is sent off at 6-1 but doesn’t show much lugging home in 5th. Streaker at 5-1 wins easily by two lengths.

Race 3: Diamond Dina is a 4-1, but goes off at 7/2 and catches the 6/5 favorite 34 strides before the wire. It’s not a big score, but I’m on the board now.

Race 4: At even money, I have to move off Star Player. Instead I’ll take a shot on a class dropper, shipper, 48 days off runner, so lots could go wrong, but 8-1 looks better than 1-1. Thisonesforruthie breaks well and vies for the lead but a 22 opening quarter is too too much and he fades to 5th. Star player can’t get up in time and loses to another 10-1 shot hitting the board.

Race 5: Dreaming Blue – nice name for a KY bred – is never a factor as 20-1 Westshore wins by a nose over the 2-1 favorite. This race sets the bar, so in 5 races a 10-1, 11-1, and 20-1 have won making it very tough to catch anyone having two of these winners.

Race 6: Roman Racecar is another non-factor. Unbridled Fury opens at 4-1 of a 10-1 morning line, goes off at 9/2 and wins handily.

Race 7: Needing a price, I look for a pick to beat 1-1 D’funnybone. Ibboyee runs well and places, but D’funnybone is not going to be beat in the Hutchison.

Race 8: Star plus continues the day’s theme which is – non-factor – and finishes well back of the winner and favorite 4-5 Courageous Cat.

Race 9: Aikenite runs a game 3rd, ½ length behind Jackson’s Bend in 2nd, but nobody had an answer for Eskendereya today as he romps home by 8 lengths.

Race 10: Romacaca stalked and faded to 4th as Wasted Tears goes wire to wire at 9-1.

Beat the Host:
Three winners, but not enough to win the contest. One week left until the finals.

Streak to the Derby:
There are 3 races today in this contest: Gulfstream’s Fountain of Youth, Fairground’s Risen Star, and Golden Gate’s El Camino Real. Since this only requires having a $10 bet on the winner, multiple picks are allowed, so until I can see how many streaks may be live, I’ll start out fairly conservative.

Fountain of Youth: Aikenite, Jackson Bend
Risen Star: Discreetly Mine, Worldly
El Camino: Thomas Baines, Fog Alert, Ranger Heartley, Connemara

Wins in the Risen Star (Discreetly Mine) and El Camino (Connemara) gives a streak of 2 going into next week.

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” ~ Sophia Loren

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