Rocket Fuel
Please provide a valid email address.
Close

Blog - GAMBLING

Shared Belief headlined the weekend with his impressive Pacific Classic victory. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)

By Bill Cloutier

There's a new shooter in the 3-year-old picture.

Shared Belief not only won the Sunday's Pacific Classic at Del Mar but his dominant performance has set up a showdown with California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Shared Belief remained undefeated in six career starts blasting the strong field with an eye-popping stretch drive to capture Grade 1 event on the Polytrack at 1 1/4-miles.

The victor had to withstand an inquiry as he appeared to pinch runner-up Toast of New York in the middle of a three-horse battle around the final turn, which included the fading early leader Game On Dude. But the stewards had little reason to take down the winner, who may have hindered Toast of New York a bit, but proved to be much the best winning by 2 3/4 lengths.

Shared Belief, one of two 3-year-olds in the 10-horse field, paid $4.40 to win in a sizzling time of 2:00.28 under Mike Smith. Toast of New York finished second and Imperative was third. Game On Dude, who set blistering early fractions, lasted for fourth.

Shared Belief earned a Hot List grade of “A” for his performance. The gelding vaulted into second place, ahead of California Chrome, in the NTRA's weekly thoroughbred poll.

Irish Surf earned a Hot List grade of “D” after taking a late hit at the windows, dropping from odds of 25-1 to 15.30-to-1 in the final minutes, but finished fifth.

The top two finishers carried just 118 pounds, six pounds less than the rest of the field, but Shared Belief, who missed the Triple Crown circuit with foot problems, had to overcome a rough start from the extreme outside 11-post while running the distance for the first time. He is a true star.

Hot List horses: Shared Belief (A), Irish Surf (D)

Pacific Classic Late Wagering Report

 Horse No.

Name

Odds – 3 min. to post

Final Odds

1

Frac Daddy

scratched

 

2

Irish Surf

25

15

3

Imperative

36           

37

4

Ice Cream Truck

70

87

5

Game On Dude

2

5/2

6

You Know I Know

32

29

7

Majestic Harbor

7

6

8

Toast of New York

7

8

9

Clubhouse Ride

21

20

10

Mystery Train

24

25

11

Shared Belief

1

6/5

Hot List Graded Stakes Review: $1.25-million Grade 1 Travers Stakes                    

By Bob Ehalt

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens loved the Travers.

Chalk players didn’t.

While Jerkens saddled the top two finishers in the Mid-Summer Derby, it was his 19.50-to-1 shot V.E. Day that beat 2.65-to-1 Wicked Strong by a nose in the 145th edition of the historic Travers.

It was a stunning finish to a race in which the three horses that provided the pre-race buzz joined the long list of well-regarded horses that fell short at the Graveyard of Favorites.

It was a superb victory for V.E. Day, who rallied from seventh after the opening half mile and made up three lengths on his stablemate in the final eighth of a mile. But in terms of the Hot List, which searches for horses to play in their next start, the Travers may prove to be the highlight of his career. He clearly loves Saratoga and probably benefitted from the pressure that Bayern, Tonalist and Wicked Strong placed on each other. Unless he’s 19-1 again in his next start – which figures to be against older horses in the Jockey Club Gold Cup - there’s little interest in adding him to the Hot List.

Wicked Strong lost by only inches but he had no real excuse. Though he was wide on the first turn, overall he enjoyed a great trip while Tonalist played the part of sacrificial lamb by running early with Bayern. Given how his best efforts are at a mile and an eighth and there are mile and a quarter races at low odds in his future, we’ll pass on listing him as one to watch coming out of the Mid-Summer Derby.

As for Bayern, he showed the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile should be in his future, not the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

We will, however, give Tonalist a second chance. He was the Hot List choice to win the Travers but compromised his chances by chasing a speedball like Bayern. If he stalks instead of presses the pace in his next start, he should improve on his third-place finish in the Travers – and at better odds than his 5-2 price in the Mid-Summer Derby. Since that next start could be the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, we’ll hedge a bit and give him a “B” on the Hot List and hope it was the trip, not declining form, which cost him in the Travers.

We’ll also forgive Mr Speaker for the failed dirt experiment. He’s much more at home on turf or a synthetic surface, so we’ll put him on our “B” List and tag along for his return to the sod, which may come against fellow 3-year-olds in the Hill Prince at Belmont Park.

In terms of the late wagering, Wicked Strong dipped from 3-1 to 5-2 but that small move failed to meet the Hot List criteria that could have placed him on the “C” or “D” List.

Hot List horses: Tonalist (B), Mr Speaker (B)

Travers Stakes Late Wagering Report

Horse No.

Name

Odds – 3 min. to post

Final Odds

1

Commanding Curve

18           

20                             

2

Bayern

2

2

3              

Charge Now

29

32

4

V. E. Day

19

19

5              

Viva Majorica

26

30

6              

Tonalist

5/2

5/2

7

Wicked Strong

3

5/2         

8              

Kid Cruz

12

12           

9

Ulanbator

78

86           

10           

Mr Speaker

7

7              

 

Hot List Graded Stakes Review: The $500,000 Grade 1 Personal Ensign                                  

August 22, 2014 at Saratoga Race Course

By Shawn Rychling

After her front-running romp in the mud last Friday, it’s safe to say that Close Hatches has safely secured the top spot in the older female division.

The 4-year-old Bill Mott-trainee went right to the front in the Personal Ensign, led by 2 ½ lengths after a quarter mile, and never allowed a challenger even a hint of chance as she opened up in the stretch to lead by 6 ½ at one point and was geared down to eventually win by five lengths.

Close Hatches has won all four of her 2014 starts and has been more impressive each time as she overcame a slow start in her last race to blow by the field at the half-mile point. She has won 6 of her last 7 and is now 9 of 12 in her stellar career.  She earns an ‘A’ for the Personal Ensign effort and should be tough to beat in major stakes later this year.

Princess of Sylmar was 1-for-1 in the mud coming in so that was not an excuse, but she was forced three-wide on the first turn as she tried to get over from the far outside post.  She stayed in the clear and tried to make a run on the far turn, but was repelled by the winner and retreated to a dull fifth.  It was reported over the weekend that the Princess has a minor health issue and her racing future is in doubt.

Antipathy took some late money, dropping from 4-1 to 3.10-to-1 in the final three minutes of wagering. Bettors must have liked her last two starts, which were excellent, including a career best in winning the Shuvee over a muddy Saratoga track in late July.  Antipathy stalked Close Hatches through six furlongs before fading to a distant fourth.  The late money she took does earn her a ‘D’ under our Hot List system.

Hot List horses: Close Hatches (A), Antipathy (D)

Personal Ensign Late Wagering Report

Horse No

Name

Odds – 3 min. to post

Final Odds

1

Antipathy

4

2

Stanwyck

8

8

3              

Majestic River

18

22

4              

Fiftyshadesofhay

10

15

5              

Belle Gallantey

11

10

6              

Close Hatches

2

9-5

7              

Princess of Sylmar

8-5

2

The Hot List, founded by turf writer/handicapper Bob Ehalt in 2011, blends a detailed analysis of a race with late wagering trends to pick out the horses with the best chance of running a winning race in their next start. Hot List horses are rated in four lettered categories:

A : A preferred horse to watch off his effort in the race                   
B : A secondary horse to watch off his effort in the race                                   
*C: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 1st through 3rd
*D: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

For questions on the Hot List, email: nyhotlist@gmail.com

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sponsors & Partners

  • FoxSports1
  • NBC Sports
  • Logo 6
  • Saratoga
  • Santa Anita
  • CBS Sports
  • Monmouth
  • Keeneland
  • Gulfstream Park
  • Del Mar
  • Belmont Park
  • Arlington Park
  • OwnerView