Washed out yesterday ( of course, because what the hell else has it been doing since the start of the Saratoga meet ? ), and we wrap up a rough meet this afternoon. Amazing how fickle this game is, in that we handicapped the EXACT same way for Belmont as Saratoga, and while 40% winning favorites doesn't help our cause at all ( Saratoga was about 35% ), the results still weren't where we'd like them to be. ( Aside from our "Beatable Favorites" category, which once again beat the grain ).

Nonetheless, this sport is a marathon, not a sprint, and we forge on with opening day at Aqueduct on Friday, as well as Breeders'Cup action to boot !

Let's finish on a positive note, shall we ?


I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same!

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

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Belmont Park - 10/28 - Closing Day


Race  1

1.Pure Praise

2.Gypsie Janie

3.Orchid Party

#6 PURE PRAISE is the only claim that Roy Lerman has made in the last five years -- and the other came back a winner ! Three year old was a well beaten but well clear runner up versus slightly weaker last time out, and is also 1 for 3 off the shelf. Irad lured to ride for this barn for the first time. #5 GYPSIE JANIE is 1 for 2 here, 1 for 2 off the bench ( different starts ) and 3 for 7 at the trip. Logical on the dropdown for 'Miah. #1 ORCHID PARTY owns a 3:1-1-1 mark when toting 118 pounds or less ( 7:2-0-0 otherwise ) and has won both his starts going 3/4's.


Race  2

1.Libby's Innercircle

2.Ok Honey

3.Eighty Seven North

Writing this on a Thursday, as they forecast rain ( once again ) for Saturday into Sunday, so who the hell knows if these grass races are gonna stay on today. #8 LIBBY'S INNERCIRCLE had an awkward start at the onset of the October 5th overture, and trailed throughout at boxcar odds. There ain't no world beaters signed on, and not only did the sire finish a game second in the only turf attempt, but he was 1 for 3 on the poly as well. We feel this race is ripe for a bomb. #7 OK HONEY improved from a 19 to a 29 from the first turf try to the second, and we've always paid keen attention to fading dashers stretching out for the first time -- especially on the sod. #1 EIGHTY SEVEN NORTH showed zilch first out, but pedigree ( 344 Tomlinson for the green, 400 for the distance ) says that we should give this one another shot.  OFF TURF: 1-3-5-8-10


Race  3

1.Platinum Nugget


3.Theresa's Boy

#1A PLATINUM NUGGET is switched back to the sand today after besting just one in the most recent, and although this one doesn't have the sexiest of running lines, the adjusted Beyer speed figure from the lone dirt attempt ( 48.5 beneath today's pilot ) means that there could be some hidden value with this one. #7 RIDOLFO closed out the superfecta at big odds 17 days back, and drops 15K off that effort. #5 THERESA'S BOY is slowwwwwly approaching professional maiden territory, but the barn has been uncharacteristically on fire for about two months now, and Rosario stays aboard.  NOTE: AS OF 12:18, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #8 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  4 

1.Sweet Timing

2.Stormy D

3.On the Town

#3 SWEET TIMING got pinched a bit at the beginning of the debut om October the 8th, but only lost by 4, and the # earned from that day is comparable to others signed on. Franco ( who had a grand slam on Thursday, and is within three of Irad for the lead as of this writing ) climbs back on, and as this one is a Kitten's Joy over a Dynaformer mare, we'll swing away. #2 STORMY D improved in a big way from the first start to the next, so obviously he's developed a fondness for the green stuff. With Florida racing on the Calder "Dirf" right now, Servis saw fit to ship this one northward a couple'a weeks back -- perhaps with this race in mind? #4 ON THE TOWN showed some fine mettle in the career starter when beginning from the pine, and rallying from the back of the pack to secure place money behind a next out winner. $450,000 purchase is obviously well meant, and should be coming late in the game once again.  OFF TURF: 8-4-11-6-10(MTO)  NOTE: AS OF 12:19, DUE TO TWO LATE SCRATCHES, THE #'s 1 & 5 WILL BE OUR SECOND & 3RD CHOICES RESPECTIVELY.


Race  5

1.Papa Shot 


3.We Should Talk

#1 PAPA SHOT hasn't been entered this cheaply in more than two years, and there's some obvious back class here for a runner who owns a 5:2-1-1-1 ledger when starting from the wood. Mild choice in a wide open affair. #5 VINCENTO ( uncoupled entrymate with the above ) has done some pretty good work over his last quintet, and we like that it's occurred over three different circumstances ( sloppy, fast, turf ). Once again exclude Franco at your own peril this week. #7 WE SHOULD TALK has a win & a placing from three starts over this strip.  


Race  6 



3.Felix in Fabula

#4 JOOPSTER has nice speed and finished 2nd in the lone "third off the L/O" foray ( at this level ) Good send rider in Jersey Joe takes over today. #1 REGALIAN is halved in price after disappointing in most recent, but barn is oh-fer-20 at the stand, so we'll leave beneath. #5 FELIX IN FABULA is a popular item at the claim box these days, as he's been snagged in three straight, and why not - as 3YO is 8:3-3-0 thus far in his working life. Grey chap digs it here, and pre-claim pilot returns, which we're always fond of. 


Race  7

1.Squans King


3.Silly Sister 

#6 SQUAN'S KING split the field when outrunning her odds in a restricted event down at Laurel, and although a few of the lines prior to that leave bit to be desired, don't let it escape you r train of thought that this one did in fact win three in a row earlier in the year. #3 TEQUILITA is 3:1-1-0 in 2nd off the shelf tries, as well as having run a troubled 4th in the lone 2X to 1X attempt; Last two scores came under Saez. #1 SILLY SISTER is 2 for 2 at BEL but 0-4 when beginning from the inside, as well as 0-1 in second off the layoff outings. Mixed signals. 


Race  8 

1.Giovanna Blues

2.Queen of Connaught ( GB )

3.Viloet Blue

#4 GIOVANNA BLUES is a well traveled sort who closed out the exacta in her only start here, and it's good to see Pino sacrifice a full card in Md. to ride here today. Draw a line through the last & you have a decent enough body of work. #7 QUEEN OF CONNAUGHT (GB) was nowhere to be found in the American bow, but may have needed the race, and it's good to see Stone getting the nod on this front end type. #8 VIOLET BLUE was kind of flat down in Kentucky, but has worked well since and is reunited with Rosario this afternoon, who was astride for one of the two tallies.  OFF TURF: 1(MTO)-2(MTO)-9-5-8  NOTE: AS OF 12:21, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #9 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  9 

1.Bold Gem


3.Broadway Bandit

#8 BOLD GEM is a $15,000 bred runner who went for more than eight times that at Ocala last year, and this one not only draws well in a fairly ( for a finale ) compact field, but brings in tow a nice 360 Tommy as well. #2 SMIDGE was coming along decently enough last year, but something apparently went amiss sometime after the 11/4/17 move, as he wasn't seen for quite some time. I remember Bill Younghans a bit from my time on the backside, and wouldn't be surprised if he had this one sound -- but maybe a bit short. Leaving beneath. #3 BROADWAY BANDIT closes out our race, day, week and meet. We want to thank you all for being such loyal followers not just during the meet, but the entire year as well. Want to remind y'all that we'll have double duty coverage this Friday for opening day at The Big A, as well as full card Breeders' Cup coverage. See you then !  NOTE: AS OF 12:24, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #4 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Belmont        ( Current )    51-311  ( $381.00 )    Beatable Favorites:   8-22  ( 36.4% )  Favorites Win %:123-311  ( 39.4% )


Saratoga           ( Final )   80-404   ( $865.30 )    Beatable Favorites:   7-40  ( 17.5% )  Favorites Win %: 142-404 ( 35.2% ) 

Belmont             ( Final )  88-499   ( $829.00 )    Beatable Favorites   12-39  ( 30.7% ) Favorites Win %: 170-499 ( 34.1% )

Indiana Grand     ( Final ):  3-8       ( $12.40 )      Beatable Favorites:   N/A                  Favorites Win %: 4-8        ( 40.0% )

Aqueduct Spring ( Final ): 15-138   ( $167.50 )    Beatable Favorites: 6-15  ( 40.0% )    Favorites Win % :61-138   ( 44.2% )

Aqueduct Winter ( Final ): 67-317   ( $493.40 )    Beatable Favorites: 4-17  ( 23.5% )    Favorites Win %: 121-328 ( 36.9% )

Graded Stakes     ( Final ):  9-51     ( $78.40 )     Beatable Favorites: 2-3    ( 66.7% )    Favorites Win %: 22-51    ( 43.1% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2014-2018 Final ): 54-339   ( $473.70 ) Beatable Favorites: 16-49 ( 32.7% ) Favorite's Win %: 112-339  ( 33.0% )  +/-: -29.2% against a 17.1% takeout  

Poly Tracks 2014-6 (All Final): 85-568      ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68     ( 22.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 163-587    ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2014-8 (All Final):1948-9419 ($16,357.90) Beatable Favorites : 286-1026( 27.9% )Favorite's Win %: 3447-9513 ( 36.2% ) +/-: -13.1%  against a 16.7% takeout

Cumulative Stats   (All Final): 2031-9987 ($17,177.10) Beatable Favorites : 301-1094( 27.5% )Favorite's Win %: 3609-10097( 35.7% )+/-: -13.9% against a 16.6% takeout