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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Selections

At this moment, I’m undergoing a crisis of confidence when it comes to picking winners, so forgive my feeble attempts for today’s big races (that is, unless I’m right—then you must worship me for the handicapping goddess I am). Seriously, with the snow finally melted here, temperatures in the 60s, the sun peeking out, and the next week off for Spring Break, I’m feeling playful (dare I say frisky) so take all I say with good humor and a heaping bucket of salt.

How bad is it for me? I’m failing to follow my gut. For example, in the fourth at Aqueduct today I was immediately drawn to Sassification, not only for the name (I always tell my dog to stop sassing me, because she does), but also for those three little words—“first time Lasix.” It was a weak field of maiden claimers, so there was no real excuse for me to pass on her, but I did. Sassification went off at 49-1, and won going away, paying $100.50. Urgh! That’s the kind of betting luck I’m having right now.

So, let’s throw it all out there with today’s picks, which come from the gut.

In the G3 Gotham, the architectural historian in me loves Naos for his name, but I also love his sire Lion Heart. He comes in off a big win at the PHA, but had absolutely no luck in the Jimmy Winkfield here, so there’s no reason to think he can win this—other than Todd Pletcher, the rail post and his late kick. But there’s a lot of early speed here, with Haynesfield and Mr. Fantasy, and I’m intrigued by I Want Revenge and Axel Foley who shipped in from California to try real dirt for the first time, as well as Imperial Council who will attempt to route (his breeding certainly suggests that shouldn’t be a problem). Longshot flyer: the “other” Pletcher horse, Masala. A Lion Heart exacta?

In the G3 Toboggan, it’s hard to ignore the red-hot Driven By Success, and I believe the Rodney Dangerfield of American horse racing, Einstein, can transition to Pro-Ride and win the G1 Santa Anita Handicap (especially with Colonel John now scratched). Ventura’s my girl in the G1 Kilroe Mile, and down at Gulfstream in the G3 Honey Fox, Wild Promises looks a sure-thing, but I’ll take my chances with Flibberjibit. Say that three times.


mike r said...

Hey Val

If misery loves company......On Friday I handicapped the whole card for Saturday and I also was drawn to Sassification. Like yourself, I saw the the speed shown in recent races. Planned to box him in exactas with the all button. But I got home real late Friday night. I live in Jersey and it's 2 1/2 hours one way to the Big A and wasn't up to the trip. Oh well, you know the rest. Also to make matters worse I loved Fregata in the 10th who would have been my key exacta horse. As Homer Simpson would say...D'OH!!!!

Valerie said...

Oh, Mike, how dare you mention Fregata! That was another that caught my eye, but I failed to play. I've just been burning money these past couple of days. Time to sit back, I think, and breath before actually spending another dime. 1/2 the battle in this game is undoubtedly mental confidence.

mike r said...

No doubt about the confidence factor Val, that's for sure. Also I must be 'sharp' out there and not 'tired'. That's why I didn't go Saturday.

But the good news is that those very same golden situations will appear again. Just be patient. Of course the trick is knowing which one's are legit, ha! And at 50-1 we don't have to hit too many so be decisive!! Good luck and we'll be chatting again.

mike r said...

One more thing Valerie, I still have a $5 win ticket that I bet on Foolish Pleasure from the Belmont Stakes back in 1975! I was right on the finish line (along with Bill Quirin, author of 'Winning at the Races')But Jacinto just couldn't catch Shoe on the winner. Pleasure was always one of my favorites. I was also there when Big Red won the Belmont. It was magical!