Thank you to the ThoroFan for
allowing me the opportunity to handicap with my fellow race fans.
Foster Handicap is the traditional kickoff to the second
half of the horse racing season. From this point forward, especially
in the handicap division, all eyes are pointing forward to the
Breeders' Cup Classic and races like this are great
springboards for that. What's not traditional is that it's under the
lights, and while not traditional, very cool and I'm excited
for prime time racing to watch tomorrow night. My only
disappointment is with the field size of six. While you could make a
strong case for five of the six horses to win, at the end of the day it's a six-horse field and I'm an exotic handicapper. So what to do?
Well, the field size doesn't have to preclude
exotic options, but you have to be smart. The Turk has been playing
horses for a long time and the mistakes stick in my brain as much as the
successes. I hate to admit this, but many an exotic bet over the
years I've won only to lose money. Sad but true. You can't
over cover, and you can't invest more than you think the bet will pay.
If the bettor's top three choices come in 1-2-3, don't expect more than a two-digit Tri and Super payout.
But I'm ahead of myself: The handicap
always comes first. I'd like to report to you that I see a horse in
this field that will go to the gate greater than 8-1 and win but I'm not sure
that I do.
Successful Dan comes
in off a fake dirt win at Keeneland in the Grade 3 Ben Ali
Successful Dan went
:50 flat in the half, about :49 1/5 through the mile and rolled home for the
last 1/8 of a mile at :11 2/5ths. A criminal pace. I don't
think he'll be allowed to loop along like that today on dirt. That
said, you don't win 8 of 12 on a fluke pace or go 11 of 12 in the money by
luck. A very serious three wins in four starts at CD, with the one blemish
the infamous DQ in the 2010 Grade 1 Clark Handicap.
Ron the Greek, the
now 6-year-old Bill Mott trainee comes in off a game Show effort against
Game on Dude in Grade 2 Charles Town
Ron the Greek will be
coming off the pace, most likely from several lengths back.
Take Charge Indy, the
4-year-old A.P. Indy colt comes in off a romping draw off win in the
Grade 2 Alysheba.
10 of 12 in the money, Take Charge
Indy has won only once since the Grade 1 Florida Derby
early in his 3-year-old campaign.
Golden Ticket is an
up and down kind of runner. Joel Rosario is up for Trainer McPeek.
Rosario is a 35% winner at CD with 14 wins in 40 starts. 4 works at
Churchill since winning at 1 mile on May 2.
Fort Larned, a 5-year-old son of
El Dubai, had two miserable starts in 2013
tossing Brian Hernandez off at GP in March and not firing in the Grade 2 Oaklawn
Handicap. 6 works at CD since the last effort,
he'll either totally surprise me or he'll be out of the money, feast or famine.
Pool Play, the one
horse I don't feel can win; You have to go back to the Hawthorne Gold
Cup in October for his last win and comes in off two dull efforts.
The 8-year-old Silver Deputy horse should be the longest
odds on the board.
I'll be honest: I'm not sure if I like
my bets or not. I like my handicap. I like
Take Charge Indy on top and I think
Fort Larned has a chance to not fire again
continuing the trend. I plan on an Exacta as well as with
Take Charge Indy over Ron the
Greek and Successful Dan for $4 and
I'll most likely play the Super only.
Determine your own level of risk/reward and try
not to emulate the Turk who has at times learned to take big piles of money and
"win" smaller piles of money by overplaying horses in my exotics.
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