Friday, May 15, 2009

Figuring Out Girls

Sad Note: After I posted today's post, I heard the sad news that Joe Kennedy died suddenly in his sleep. He was just 25 years old.

Joe helped run "The Wave Report"- a good site devoted to Tulane athletics. I enjoyed his work- and Tulane will miss him.


Frank Helps You Think It All Out did not do so well doping out the Kentucky Derby- as the horse from Arabia staggered home fifteenth or something. Undeterred, I will try again at the Preakness.

Perusing the past performances, it looks like it is going to take a Beyer north of 105 to get it done here. So I am throwing out the repeat members of this cast of characters who can’t seem to run to that sort of number: Musket Man, General Quarters, Pioneer of the Nile, most of the longer shots too. Once a horse has tried three or four times at this graded stakes level to run a figure north of 100, it is hard to imagine a colt is just going to wake up and run that big figure- particularly if you are a colt bouncing back from a grueling ten furlongs two weeks ago.

Speaking of bouncing back from big efforts two weeks ago, I’m not exactly in love with the favorite or the Derby winner. Mine That Bird made an awesome move to win- but I’m doubtful he is a lock to run back to that effort: wet track, great rail, super trip. The gelding’s “normal effort” isn’t anywhere close to what will be needed to win the Preakness. On paper, the super filly Rachel Alexandra should cruise here by daylight- but you know, she is a girl. I don’t mean the pejoratively- but horses tend to run big races when they are able to get way loose on the lead. The boys won’t let her do that. Rachel Alexandra will be challenged up top and I doubt she’ll run her usual big number.

I’m back on Friesan Fire frankly. Until the filly showed up, he was the morning line favorite- a price I didn’t like. But the filly’s entrance- and her overwhelming status as the favorite, has driven his price into a more palatable range: four to one? Friesan Fire tore out a chunk of his hoof- so he had an excuse for finishing up the track- but breezed sharply this week so he seems okay. He is no lay-up, but he should run the necessary 105-ish Beyer number needed to score here.

There are also some wake-up contenders. Some of the horses I threw out above could be live for second place. And Big Drama is real quick.

Throwing out the favorite gives you a chance to cash big tickets on any exotic bet- so that is what I will try here: $4 exactas with Friesan Fire on top and Big Drama, Pioneer of the Nile, and General Quarters in the second spot. That is $12 total. Then let’s take $2 exactas with Pioneer of the Nile with the same three underneath.

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