Dan's Double: Forecasting a Return to Form

Eclipse Sportswire

Dan’s Double of the week, featuring handicapping analysis from America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).

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When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the sharpest horseplayers around.

Each week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Good luck!

Saturday, Jan. 18

Laurel Park, Race 5, $75,000 Jennings Stakes, 2:18 p.m. ET

#9 Clubman: Conditions seem just right for this old pro to bounce back to his best form. Forecast has it raining Saturday morning in Laurel and the surface should be wet, if not muddy or sloppy. That’s just fine with Clubman who has posted peak efforts over off tracks, including an allowance win in October that saw him post a 93 Beyer Speed Figure (that number would likely win this race). Clubman returns to Laurel after a substandard effort at Charles Town last out. At Laurel, Clubman is stakes tested and proved to be a bit vulnerable at nine furlongs (a mile and an eighth) but he’s been a much better horse since cutting back in distance four races ago. A mile is well within his range. His biggest challenge will come from #3 Alwaysmining who in his most recent start took a major step toward reclaiming his stakes-winning form from earlier last year.

$10 Budget

$3 to win and place on #9 Clubman ($6)

$2 exacta box 3,9 ($4)

$25 Budget

$4 to win and place on #9 Clubman ($8)

$2 exacta box 3,9 ($4)

$1 trifecta 3,9 with 1,3,4,9 with 1,3,4,9 ($12)

$50 Budget

$8 to win, place and show on #9 Clubman ($24)

$5 exacta box 3,9 ($10)

$1 trifecta 3,9 with 1,3,4,9 with 1,3,4,9 ($12)

Laurel Park, Race 9, 4:20 p.m. ET

#5 Awesome Buzz: This is the kind of race where I’ll take a flyer on a horse who hasn’t done much in his last few starts. Most of the other runners in here have been tried repeatedly at this lower claiming level and haven’t been able to get the job done. Awesome Buzz is a little bit different in that he’s only raced once at Laurel — it was a lackluster fourth-place finish in his last start, though he raced wide. Prior to that though, he’d raced exclusively in Florida and showed flashes of ability when facing mid-level maidens. The other thing he flashed was speed, and that’s exactly what you want in a race like this where you don’t expect too many of these to be passing horses late. #9 Alphastest poses a bit of a threat — he has some speed too, he’s adding blinkers (which means they want him to break sharply) and he’s got the best local rider aboard. But if Weston Hamilton, aboard Awesome Buzz, takes the initiative inside Alphastest and guns it from the gate, it could very well be him who goes wire to wire.

$10 Budget

$2 win, place and show on #5 Awesome Buzz ($6)

$2 exacta box 5,9 ($4)

$25 Budget

$4 win, place and show on #5 Awesome Buzz ($12)

$1 trifecta key 5 with 1,3,4,9 ($12)

$50 Budget

$8 win, place and show on #5 Awesome Buzz ($24)

$.50 trifecta key box 5 with 1,3,4,9 ($18)

$4 exacta box 5,9 ($8)

Last Week’s Earnings: $80.70

2020 Earnings: $175.70

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