Where Do We Go From Here?

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 8, 2008 in General Discussion, Handicapping | No Comments >>

The Triple Crown is in the books, and Big Brown is out to make little B.B’s for years to come. The summer has come and gone with the Travers, and the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita was every bit the excitement we thought it would be. But where do we focus now?

I have to say that I watch racing daily. I view races, and I take advice from an old friend who has long since left the game. “You need to create a scouting report. You know, a list of runners to watch.” This is advice that is always handy. The marquee races may be over, but there are still some great stakes to see, and you will want to start your handicapping of two-year-olds for next year. It is never too early.

I love to focus on a few circuits. The first is New York. Aqueduct still has some great value to be had, and when the racing turns to the inner track soon, you will see the outfits that will brave the winter. There are┬ásolid horsemen plying their trade. There is usually a bias that erupts, and this leads to you cashing big. But, you have to pay attention…..

The second is the Kentucky circuit. Churchill Downs has some of the best riders in the country, and this is a solid meet until the end. You will have turf racing until the end, and then action shifts to Turfway Park and the Poly Track. Churchill is playing fair, and you will want to focus on outfits that have done well for years: Dale Romans, Steve Assmussen, Frank Brothers, Neil Howard, and sprinkle in some Nick Zito, and Graham Motion for good measure. This year, feel free to hammer on Mike Maker teaming up with Julien Leparoux.

Turfway is always fast, and the Poly Track plays a little tighter. The closers do well until the spring when the weather warms. This is something that most will not write about until month two in the meet. Synthetic surfaces are suppose to show no bias. But just keep a keen eye on the closers.

Now, it is time to start watching Fairgrounds. You must wade through the L.A-breds, but the racing is solid. The long stretch, and as the meet unwinds, you will see the bigger outfits rolling into town. Remember three names: Albarado, Lanerie and Theriot. You can thank me later.

Gulfstream always makes me know that spring is just around the corner. The babies making their way, and the three-year-old running begins. This has turned out to be a nice rider meet. The weather is a treat, and the conditions are perfect for following new comers for the Triple Crown trail. Early on, watch the Calder shippers and later in the season, those who have vacationed at Palm Meadows.

Oh, I almost forgot California. Hollywood is a stop-over for the runners targeting that meet, and the good horses are on the shelf. But there is turf racing, and the synthetic plays very kind to front runners. Just wait, the racing gets better as the months wear on. But in the meantime, you can enjoy the races that offer blockbuster value.

Now, there you go. Plenty of action. You can sprinkle in small track meets to get your bet on, and the action never stops. I once heard a trainer tell me he knew what month it was, based on which track was running. Sounds crazy, but how true it can be. Just keep your notes, and before you know it, spring will be here offering a renewed opportunity.