Race Day plays from Sunday:
Race # 8 at Aqueduct — Lemon Liqueur — Even – nothing to write home about
Race #7 at Del Mar — Perfectly Majestic — forwardly place – attending the pace , looked a winner at the top of the stretch, seem to pull up or tire badly a few jumps before the wire… save Show.
Race Day plays from Wednesday:
Race#3 at Aqueduct — Sweet Advance — off at odds of 9/1 ran to a Place finish paying $10.40 to place. To my eye, she would have won if allowed to run earlier, the jockey was a bit too cautious in my opinion…
Race #8 at Aqueduct — Smokey Brown got involved too late in off at very decent odds…finishing either 4th or 5th…
To V or not to V – that is the question:
Sometimes when handicapping – we all split hairs in making decisions. I find myself making fine distinctions that on review are simply overdone. And I certainly try to avoid that , especially with the JJPP, the numbers, the STARs and the P and the V’s should all be distinct.
In today’s JJPP we had 3 Top Rated horses of interest – two of which were actually rated with a V and the third, Smokey Brown, which was not. Ralph Siraco posed the question on the air on the why of it — I will try to clarify … The key is in this phrase “obvious or tangible handicapping angles” as compared to “hypothetical or imaginative handicapping angles”. In the “obvious” there is little judgment, in the “imaginative” it’s at least 50% “splitting hairs” or guessing!
In the case of Sweet Advance, this filly had nice lines, the obvious handicapping angle is two 1) a terrific trainer – in a race with a low population of terrific trainers the trainer angle was clear, 2) handicapping angle — a advantageous move from the 12 post in his last to a better post today… I made her a 4/1 fair value her ML was 12/1… To me this is clear value easy to give her a V.
The next is Barrel of Love in the 7th (All Over me was scratched) …Again, on Speed figures he rated out very well – earning a 73.5 rating which was co-top rated. “On obvious/tangible handicapping angles” for this horse was also moving from a 12 post to a much better post and there is a 2nd obvios handicapping angle — a return to a jockey that did well with the horse the single time he jumped on. The horse appeared to be fair value at 5/1 or 6/1 in this field and with a ML of 15/1… To me again, Clear Value and it was easy to assign the V.
Now we come to Smokey Brown, who is also a very good play – (I am writing just before post),,, also top rated and with a ML of 15/1. But my handicapping angles in this case are not quite as “obvious”, but rather a little more hypothetical. I think the wet track races of Oct 12 and Nov 2nd are hiding better form in this gelding, but I must admit it is hard to know for certain – exactly what it means — has he achieved his best, is he still going to go forward or backward at this point. But I still “imagine” there is an upside, it’s just that the handicapping angles are not so clear and obvious… I think the right price is 5/1 here as well..
In truth, I suppose any horse that is TOP RATED ,with odds of over 10/1 is in fact a V horse… But I simply have a qualifyier – “Obvious handicapping angle” before the V is assigned…