Monday, August 29, 2011

Four in a Row for Forego

This Saturday is the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. One of the greatest achievements in horse racing history is the four consecutive victories that Forego recorded in the Woodward back when it was run at Belmont Park. Read about the great Forego in my blog on

The first time you may have noticed the yellow cap with the three black rings was when Forego ran fourth behind Secretariat in the 1973 Kentucky Derby. Forego was part of the great 1970 thoroughbred crop that included: Secretariat, Sham, Mr. Prospector, Shecky Green, Ancient Title, Allez France, Dahlia, and Desert Vixen. Those horses achieved greatness in many different areas of racing, but Forego outlasted them all.

Despite chronic leg problems, throughout his career, which were caused by an enlarged sesamoid in his left front ankle, Forego managed to run for six years. One of his greatest achievements was winning the Woodward Stakes for four consecutive years beginning in 1974. Read the rest at

Saturday, August 27, 2011

To Todd Or Not To Todd

UPDATE - 6:00pm - We hit the Pick 4 with our AAAB ticket for $363.25 on the 50¢ play! Final score was Todd 2, Not Todd 2 (including Uncle Mo's nose defeat in the King's Bishop and a second in the Victory Ride).

It's Travers Day at Saratoga and racing has been cancelled at Monmouth, so we have to play the $1,000,000 guaranteed all stakes 50¢ Late Pick 4.

We would be remiss if we did not address the question: "To Todd or not to Todd?" Trainer Todd Pletcher has at least one horse in all four legs of the Late Pick 4. Is it that easy a play: Todd/Todd/Todd/Todd or if you prefer: Todd with Todd with Todd with Todd? In race 9 he has #1 Maple Forest at 12-1 morning line. In race 10 # 3 Hilda's Passion goes for Todd at 2-1. In the King's Bishop, # 7 Uncle Mo makes his long awaited return. Race 12 is the Travers and Todd has #9 Stay Thirsty at 5-2.

Regular rider John Velazquez is up on Maple Forest and Uncle Mo, while Javier Castellano will ride the other two. Of course Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty run for high profile owner Mike Repole.

That comes to a 50¢ Pick 4 play of: 1/3/7/9 or Todd/Todd/Todd/Todd. Is that the winning ticket? How often does a trainer have horses in all the legs of a major stakes pick 4?

Here is my Travers Day play. We have the all Top Choice ticket for $27 and the Top Choices with one back-up for a total of $90.Good luck and enjoy the great day of racing!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Racing has been cancelled Saturday and Sunday, August 27 and 28, due to Hurricane Irene. It is the first time that racing at Monmouth has been cancelled by a hurricane since Bertha in 1996. The racing days will be made up later in the meeting and the stakes races will be redrawn for next weekend.

It appears that racing will continue at Saratoga with the Travers Day card on Saturday. I am looking forward to the King's Bishop, who did race in the Haskell. Uncle Mo returns in the seven furlong grade one stake. I hope Uncle Mo wins. Racing needs his star power and I am a fan of Todd Pletcher.

I will probably post a 50¢ Pick 4 play for the $1,000,000 guaranteed late pick 4 (races 9-12) for Travers Day.

If you didn't get to read the excellent article about Pletcher in last Sunday's New York Times, search it out at It is worth reading.

Also, I reviewed Six Weeks in Saratoga, How Three-Year-Old Filly Rachel Alexandra Beat the Boys and Became Horse of the Year for my blog on I met the author, Brendan O'Meara at Monmouth Park on Haskell Day. I enjoyed the book as much as I enjoyed talking with him. Check out my review at and buy O'Meara's book!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 42 - Friday, August 19, 2011

UPDATE-We did not hit the $19,900 Pick 5 or the $790 Place Pick 6. Family vacation to Maine on tap now, so there will be no picks until next Friday. Good Luck betting and to us for better weather than last year.

Back at it at Monmouth Park, where it is a beautiful summer day with no rain in sight. The main track is fast and the turf course is good. I was a bit surprised that there is turf racing after all the rain we have had in the area. The 50¢ Pick 5 play is one all top choice ticket for $96.

In the 50¢ Place Pick 6 it will be the standard $36 play: 3,7 with 1,2,6 with 3,8 with 7,8,9 with 12 with 3,5.

Thanks to reader James M. for catching my mistake on the pick 5 on Sunday. I appreciate it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Is There Life After The Haskell? I say, YES!

Is There Life After The Haskell? I Say, YES!

Early in the summer I remember several of the Monmouth Park writers having a discussion about the quality of racing after The Haskell. Which hearkens the question: Is there life after The Haskell?

There is still a lot of very good horse racing this summer in some of the historic Jersey Shore stakes.

Will Blind Luck run in the Molly Pitcher Stakes?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 41 - Sunday, August 14, 2011

Update Day 41 - 5:40pm - We had both the 50¢ Pick 5 and the 50¢ Place Pick 6. In the last leg of the Place Pick 6 we hit an exacta, so we have the $58.75 twice for $117.50. The Pick 5 (on a BAAAA ticket or one backup and 4 top choices) has winners of $9.20, $10.80, $4.60, $5.80, and $4.80 pays what seems to be a very large $455.95. I guess we should get a higher Tomlinson Rating for wet track ability. Hope you all
were betting today.

I am back in NJ after a week in Saratoga. There is not much more you can say about that. It has been pouring rain here since late last night and it is supposed to rain all day.

All races are off the turf and the main track is sloppy and I am sure will stay that way all day. The 50¢ Pick 5 play is two tiered with an all top choice ticket for $18 and top choices with one backup for $108.

Remember at Monmouth a sloppy track usually favors front runners.
In the 50¢ Place Pick 6 let's try our standard $36 play: 3,10,13 with 4,6,8 with 1,7 with 5,10, with 9, with 4,5.

I hope everyone enjoyed the photos I tweeted from Saratoga @AndyScoggin.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 39 - Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm back with a Place Pick 6 play at Monmouth today, although I am still in Saratoga. For just $24 let's try: 3,9 with 5,7 with 5 with 1,8 with 2,8 with 3,6,8.

There Is Nothing Like Saratoga

I began coming to Saratoga in the 80’s with two of my best racetrack buddies. Every year we spent three days at the Spa soaking up the atmosphere of the greatest racetrack in the country. That was back in the day when Saratoga was really the “August Place To Be”.

The magic of Saratoga is the traditions: the traditions of the racetrack itself and the traditions that we all develop when we come here. For our trio it always began with a visit to the Big Red Spring. Upon entering the track for breakfast Ted required that we rinse our hands, splash some of the mineral waters on our faces, and take a drink. I still follow that tradition to honor the memory of my friend.

I spent this morning in the stable area of Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track, which was the original racetrack from 1863 to 1909. There you can see horses working out on the dirt and turf courses. The countries greatest trainers can be spotted watching their runners and chatting with their neatly dressed owners. Each barn reflects the personality of the trainer: some are neat and tidy, some are detailed with flowers, and some are just about the horses. Stabled there are top three year olds and older horses and very expensive well-bred two year olds. (Above left pictured is Uncle Mo in his stall at the Todd Pletcher barn.)

Trainers Bob Baffert (center) and Christophe Clement (right) were chatting with owners and Bill Mott was up on his stable pony while his horses worked.

This week was the Fasig Tipton yearling sale. There were million dollar yearlings. Sheikh Mohammed was present and spent over $8,000,000. The rich and famous were everywhere to be seen. The yard behind the sale pavillion was an enormous party. The bar was mobbed, old friends were meeting up, and yearlings were getting ready to be sold. (Photo left: Mike Repole chats with Bo Derek. Photo right: A Street Cry colt sold for $625,000 to the Sheihk)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 37 - Saturday, August 6, 2011

There will just be a Place Pick 6 ticket today. We are getting ready to head North tomorrow and to Saratoga on Monday. There will NOT be any picks up for Sunday, but if you are interested I might put up the Saratoga 50¢ Pick 4's on Monday and Wednesday.

Here is the Place Pick 6: 1,4,6 with 3,4,5 with 4,8 with 1A,8 with 1,3 with 9 for a cost of $36. If the #1A scratches out of leg 4, I do not like the #1 and I will put in a substitute.

Good Luck!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 36 - Friday, August 5, 2011

I am very excited because on Sunday my wife and I will be dropping my son at his school's (Eden Institute in Princeton) sleep away camp, which he loves, and then we will be heading north to scenic Shushan, NY. Shushan is 45 minutes due east from, yes, you guessed it, Saratoga! I will be going to the track on at least Monday and Wednesday. There is nothing like the magic of Saratoga.

Here is the Pick 5 ticket with the analysis below.

UPDATE - 4:01pm- I was at Favorites OTB in Woodbridge, NJ, and did not get to update until now. With the #1 entry scratching I substituted the 5, making the leg 3 horses 3,5,8. See the analysis below that has the #5 in race 8.

In the Place Pick 6: 8,9,10 with 5,7 with 3,4 with 3,6,9 with 3,8 with 4. That will cost $36.

UPDATE - 6:15pm - I have lost the Pick 5 in many many ways, but let's add this one to the mix. We were alive to the last leg with 3 horses and one of those horses, the #9 Charmingmegan led into the stretch. End result none of our three horses even finished in the money. Arrggghh!

More pain in the Place Pick 6 we ended with 5 out of 6 with two exactas in the mix. A third place in leg 1 knocked us out. Arrggghh (squared)!

For Monmouth on Friday here is some detailed look at some of the horses in the Pick 5.

Race 6: #3 Benny or Local-trivia first, owned by Jersey Shore Racing Stable, Benny is a derogatory name for tourists used by the Locals at the Jersey Shore. Off since Feb 11 he is working well as most Perkins horses. He has had one decent race in open company at this distance. #4 Taylors Tough- a must use in the Place Pick 6 with Bravo staying on board. #6 In Free-One bad race back this year, bullet work, adding blinkers, must improve. #7 Bombardo-last was OK after a troubled start.

Race 7: #3 Professor Plum-Speedy front running Mdn claimer win at Del. Trainer 2 for 5 shipping in. #5 Oh Oh Bama-In one day after Pres. Obama's birthday. Nice mdn claiming win with good BSF. #6 Courage to Be-must use in Place Pick 6. Last 3 have been good, lacks winning punch? #8 Certain Appeal-his mdn claimer win is as good as the others'. But it shows how tough it is to repeat from that mdn win! #9 Wingo Star appears to be dropping in class from last 3 starts which have been good, before that another mdn claimer winner.

Race 8: #3 Promising Ed-Nice 3rd place behind a very fast time in first MSW start. #5 Rhythm on Heir-Cutting back from route to sprint where trainer is 25% with a hefty $5.37 ROI. His first race at this distance was excellent after a terrible start. #1A So Bold-Turf to dirt for Orseno 21%. Bad start in both of his races.

Race 9: #2 Wildcat Glory-for new MP owner Morris Bailey, his two starts sprinting on turf have been very good, his last was a win at Mth. #4 Christiesborntorun-Stakes placed at Mth last out in June in first turf start.

Race 10: #2 Silent Empress- consistent performer with 1 win in last 2 years. #5 Trini Dubai-some strong trainer angles for Broome who is having a good meeting. #7 Raiders Fan-has not run against Jersey-breds is a long time. She is a definite winner who is in good form and training well at Prx. #8 Miss Tallahassee-1st start off claim for a no record trainer. Horse always gets a check. #9 Charmingmegan-last year she would have been a contender in here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Revisit the 1973 Whitney Handicap

This Saturday is the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga. Revisit the 1973 Whitney Handicap when Secretariat faced Onion and the results have become legendary.

It was 1973 and Secretariat was on his way to racing immortality, having just captured the first Triple Crown since Citation in 1948. The Meadow Stable star would go on to win three Eclipse awards that year: his second Horse of the Year title, best three year old colt, and top grass runner. Secretariat’s loss in the 1973 Whitney Handicap added to the legend of Saratoga as the “Graveyard of Champions” and catapulted trainer H. Allen Jerkens’s reputation as “The Giant Killer”. Read more of The_Legendary_1973_Whitney_Handicap.

Watch the 1973 Whitney Handicap