Dan's Double: Longshot Picks for Fair Grounds Stakes

Eclipse Sportswire

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Dan Tordjman, America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent, is one of the brightest young minds in the game.

Each Week, Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup. Dan was able to manage a positive ROI for his plays in 2016. Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Saturday, Feb. 25

Fair Grounds, Race 10, $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap, 5:33 p.m. ET

#4 One Mean Man (12-1): You’ve got to toss the last race for this horse. He had some issues in the gate, broke poorly and was much farther back than he generally prefers being in the early-to-mid stages of the races. He was wrapped up late and didn’t really get to asked to run in the closing stages.

Not only do I think he might have more in the tank than his two returning rivals (#5 Granny’s Kitten and #8 Western Reserve), he’s also done some of his best running at the distance, and at the Fair Grounds. One Mean Man won the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington going this 1 1/8-mile distance and he also won another stakes race at the distance at Churchill in the fall after it was washed off the turf. Assuming he doesn’t have the early issues he had last out, I would expect an improved effort on Saturday.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$2 Win, place and show on #4 One Mean Man ($6)

$1 exacta 4,8 over 4,8,9 ($4)

Strategy on $25 Budget

$1 trifecta 4,8 over 4,8,9 over 1,2,4,5,6,8,9 ($20)

$2 exacta 9 over 4,8 ($4)

Strategy on $50 Budget  

$1 trifecta 4,8 over 4,8,9 over 1,2,4,5,6,8,9 ($20)

$1 exacta box 4,8,9 ($6)

$8 win, place and show on #4 One Mean Man ($24)

Fair Grounds, Race 11, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes, 6 p.m. ET

#4 Arklow (15-1): In this massive, and wide-open, 14-horse stakes race, I’m going to go ahead and take a little shot with a price. If you look at his Equibase Speed Figures, he’s demonstrated dramatic improvement in his two races coming into this one. The improvement has coincided with the shift to the Fair Grounds in December.

Watch his second-place finish behind returning challenger #10 Takeoff two races back. Takeoff inherited a pretty easy lead and wired after setting soft splits. Arklow was the only one running at him late and finished just a length behind; they were more than six lengths clear of the third-place finisher. In the Lecomte Stakes last out, Arklow sat off a much more favorable pace but had a little traffic in the lane late. He was outfinished by a few horses who’d gotten the jump on him, as well as Takeoff again.

I’m also intrigued by two other horses that I’ll be using in combinations. #1 Girvin has run two very strong races and looks poised to benefit from a sharp pace that’ll only be fueled by his barnmate #8 Cool Arrow. I’ve also thought for some time that #9 Mo Town was the goods. He hasn’t been flattered by the runners-up to him in the Remsen — both No Dozing and Takaful have disappointed in early season preps.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$2 win, place and show on #4 Arklow ($6)

$1 exacta 1,4 over 1,4,9 ($4) 

Strategy on $25 Budget

$4 win, place and show on #4 Arklow ($12)

$1 exacta box 1,4,6,9 ($12)

Strategy on $50 Budget  

$6 win, $10 place and show on #4 Arklow ($26)

$1 exacta box 1,4,6,9 ($12)

$.50 trifecta 1,4 over 1,4,6,9 over 1,3,4,6,9,10 ($12)

YTD Top Picks: 2/14

ROI for All Bets: -$185.35

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