Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas.

We regret to announce that the wife of friend and 'Horseplayers' cast member, John Conte -- Arlene -- passed away Wednesday morning after an illness. She will be waked at Towers Funeral Home in Oceanside, L.I. on Friday from 9 A.M. - 2 P.M.  There will be no funeral, and she will be interred in Pinelawn cemetary. She truly was "A Saint".

As it's just days away, we will once again be encouraging safe driving on New Year's Eve by donating up to $200 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance ( ) for anyone who shows me a Taxi/Uber/Lyft receipt ( on Twitter or Facebook ) from 8PM-4AM on New Year's Eve!! The donation will be up to $10 in YOUR name, as we want you all around to read us on New Year's Day!  

With the NHC Championship less than 6 weeks away ( $3 million total prize money ), I am once again proud to announce that I will be donating 15% of any profits to 3 great charities --  Old Friends at Cabin Creek ( benefiting retired horses ), Mercy Ships ( hospital ships that provide free lifesaving surgeries for people where medical care is nearly non-existent )  & Pets for Vets   ( providing a second chance to shelter dogs by rescuing, training, and matching them with American veterans who need a companion pet ). Feel free to match in whole or part !

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): Race 4 - #6 Little Nanny

I want to thank those that read my column, and have recently opened up accounts as a result of their fondness for what they see here. If you have any questions at any time, you can reach me here on Disqus, or on Twitter @brooklyncowboy1. For those who dig the scene here, and would like to be part of it, registration on our home page is easy, and if you'd like, feel free to include my name in the referral box, and let me know, so I can try and get ya' some cool swag!


Aqueduct - 12/28


Race  1

1.Take Your Place

2.Contessa Entry

3.California Knight

#3 TAKE YOUR PLACE undergoes a barn change today, and from a limited sampling, Toscano is 2 for 5 with new horses in the shedrow on the sand at 6-1 or less ( $12 & $14 ). Colt has a win & a placing from as many starts off a "true" layoff, and rates a slight edge in a tough to decipher opener. #1 BON RAISON ( nice speed as well as some recent back class ) and #1A AMERICAN RULE ( a win over the strip as well as a crisp breeze five days back ) comprise an honest enough Contessa entry. #4 CALIFORNIA KNIGHT is 2 for 3 in Ozone Park, and that's reason enough to include.  NOTE: AS OF 11:21, DUE TO SCRATCHES AND A WET TRACK, OUR AMENDED SELECTIONS ARE 3-6-4.


Race  2

1.Shuffling Madness

2.Local Edition

3.Blue Skies Forever

#2 SHUFFLING MADNESS hails from the Bruce Brown, and the 10% conditioner has simply been out of his mind of late, as he comes in today riding am 8:2-3-1 streak ( was 10:0-0-1 prior to that ). While it may seem like a limited sampling, you should know that the winners paid $82 & $28, the place horses went of at 8-1, 32-1 & 27-1, and the show horse was 7-1. Do you see a favorite in there? Not only that, but BB owns a 2 for 5 mark with maiden claiming dirt stock going long for the first time at 12-1 or less ( < 37 days ). Lowest weight of this one's career as well. Hmmmmm..... #8 LOCAL EDITION has solid recent figs and makes sense with these. #5 BLUE SKIES FOREVER posted an adjusted 50.1 in the lone two turn dirt attempt, and that fits well with this allotment, no?


Race  3

1.Dance For Oro



#5 DANCE FOR ORO was a well beaten but well clear third in a strung out field first time outta the box for Rice, and the aforementioned conditioner is a crisp 4 for 7 with second timers right here who crashed the fiesta in last & are 5-1 or lower today ( $8, $8, $5 & $4 ). Stone takes over for Manny Man who goes to the bigger barn ( and rides a horse that we don't really like ), and we're expecting an improvement today. #6 ZEALOUS will take all the money today, but take a step back and look at the PP's --- does this not look like a money burner in the making? Using in the rollers, but leaving beneath for single race wagers. #2 RUCKSACK has hit the board in eight straight dirt starts, and who the hell are WE to rock that boat?


Race  4 


2.Princess Akris


#7 MERCURIAN hasn't ( from a speed fig perspective ) shown much in the last duet, but we always go back three races in order to "give a horse a shot", and the November 9th effort was honest enough. Ibrahim ( from an itty bitty sampling ) 2-6 with Aqueduct runners on the sand at this level who were 1-2-3 23 days ago or less ( at 24-1 or lower ). The winners paid $10 & $11, and we like that a hungry jock climbs on. #9 PRINCESS AKRIS won her only start here earlier in the year, and while she may not be the same runner since then, you should now that the mentioned tally came in a 2X to 1X attempt, and Worrie is a solid enough rider that you can make money on this winter. #4 CAOIMHE finished second in this race a fortnight back and deserves some respect once again.  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #6 LITTLE NANNY is SUCH a play against here, as she will be bet off her two turn form, but her one turn events are lousy, so we'll side against.  NOTE: AS OF 11:34, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, OUR AMENDED SELECTIONS WILL BE 9-1-4.


Race  5

1.Sander's Empire

2.Easy Banker

3.Call It a Truce

#2 SANDER'S EMPIRE outran her odds when closing out the exacta at 15-1 in the most recent try, and is eligible to move forward off that effort in today's third off the L/O go round. You have to swallow hard when taking good guy Pringle at anything less than 10-1, but this miss appears live, despite the bandages going on in said outing. #8 EASY BANKER draws well and has a couple of okay moves for today's overture, while being a half to Nine Route ( 2 for 2 in dirt dashes, banking 67 large  ). #7 CALL IT A TRUCE finished 3rd in a similar spot about a month ago, but it's the debut over a fast track that really piques our interest here. Major threat if able to revert back to that effort. NOTE: AS OF 11:36, DUE TO TWO LATE SCRATCHES, THE #'s 3 & 1 WILL BE OUR SECOND & THIRD CHOICES RESPECTIVELY.


Race  6 


2.Blue Belt

3.Summer Bourbon

#7 READYHEARTANDSOUL managed to go eight wide in a ten horse deal last time out, but despite that, is confidently doubled up in price today, and why not, as the penultimate outing was just fine. Said start yielded a career best wet track numero, and by prorating that to his finest over a glib surface, then by golly this one figures at a big price, don't he? Oh yeah, for what it's worth, barn is a crisp 5:3-1-1 when hiking up their mid level dirt sprinters 50% or more off breaks of 25 days or less ( $10, $17 & $5 ). #1 BLUE BELT is an extremely consistent sort who finished 2nd @ this level on 12/8, and Toscano ( 12% on the norm ) is a lively 5-17 w/locally based mid level dirt stock going short ( >1.25-1 & < 3.75-1 ). The only bugaboo is the 0-6 mark when breaking from the 1-3 slots ( 5-15 from the 4 hole on out ). #2 SUMMER BOURBON rounds out the top three.  NOTE: AS OF 11:40, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, THE #4 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  7

1.Naples Princess

2.Shimmering Moon

3.Norma's Charm

#1 NAPLES PRINCESS ( one half of the uncoupled Mott entry, as the other was likely entered to make the race "go" ) has closed out the triple a whopping six consecutive times ( two of those in 2nd off the shelf tries, just like today ), but there's been a crisp move since the last, and there ain't no world beaters in here. Breaks the schneid today. #6 SHIMMERING MOON is 4:1-1-2 in 2nd starts off "legit" breaks, and totes a lifetime low in the weight dept. this afternoon. Should be able to grind out a placing. #2 NORMA'S CHARM is another chronic nibbler who we'll toss into the "unders".  NOTE: AS OF 11:42, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, OUR AMENDED SELECTIONS WILL BE 1-4-2.


Race  8 

1.Dazzle Me

2.Rockin Emmzy

3.Sister Emily

#8 DAZZLE ME had a troubled onset to the lone fast track sojourn two starts back, but still made a decent middle move ( 7 lengths ) before fading late in the game. Filly gets the outside slot now, and barn is a groovy 6 fer 17 with runners of this ilk off breaks of 17-33 days ( 6-1 to 18-1 ). The mutuels for that sampling were a fat $36, $15, $21, $23, $15 & $14, and he brings in the local pilot. Pletcher was "angling" for a win with the #3 ROCKIN EMMZY on my birthday ( jot it down ) last out ( shipped and added the hood ), and that's always a bad sign for a horse that went for 100K+ at auction, and the result was abysmal. Now this one undergoes three more changes ( layoff, new pilot, biggest drop in the game ) and while it's great to see The Toddster with a 24:14-5-1-3 mark when sliding his dirt sprinters down the laddah like this off breaks of 40-80 days ( < 2-1 ), be VERY careful before sending it in. #7 SISTER EMILY showed a touch of improved speed last month and may spice things up a touch.


Aqueduct       ( Current )   48-275   ( $460.30 )   Beatable Favorites     8-30  ( 27.3% )  Favorites Win %: 101-283 ( 35.7% )


Belmont            ( Final )    51-320  ( $381.00 )    Beatable Favorites:   8-22  ( 36.4% )  Favorites Win %:127-320  ( 40.0% )

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 ):  15-82   ( $122.40 )    Beatable Favorites: 4-7   ( 57.1% )     Favorites Win %: 36-82     ( 43.9% )

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 ): 60-365   ( $518.70 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-53 ( 34.0% ) Favorite's Win %: 125-369  ( 33.9% )  +/-: -28.9% 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):2005-9768 ($16,782.90) Beatable Favorites : 296-1052( 28.1% )Favorite's Win %: 3587-9863 ( 36.4% ) +/-: -14.1%  against a 16.7% takeout

Cumulative Stats   (All Final):2090-10334 ($17,602.10)Beatable Favorites : 311-1120( 27.8% )Favorite's Win %: 3750-10448( 35.9% )+/-:  -14.9%  against a 16.6% takeout