Melikov’s Horses to Watch – Jan 2011

by Greg Melikov

posted on January 5, 2011 in Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping | No Comments >>

ChecklistHorses worth watching, a list of runners compiled by handicapper/turf writer Greg Melikov, should do well next time out. These thoroughbreds won three times, ran second once and finished third five times since Dec. 2. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

Aqueduct

This Hard Land: Broke slowly, hesitated a bit, raced ninth and last 6 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, ran greenly losing ground into the far turn, advanced between rivals just past the three-sixteenths pole, rallied in stretch to make up more than 3 ½ lengths and finished second by 1 ¾ lengths at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 1.

T Rae: Avoided bumping at start, raced sixth early, dropped to seventh, five lengths behind after a half-mile, advanced four wide into stretch, rallied from fourth to make up three lengths and finished second beaten a length at six furlongs on Dec. 29.

Upper Gulch: Raced more than 12 lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, advanced between rivals into stretch, rallied to make up more than 4 ¼ lengths and gained second by a nose at a mile on a good turf course Dec. 10.

Granted Tiger: Raced six lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, came wide into stretch, closed well to make up two lengths and gained second by a neck at six furlongs on Dec. 3; ran final quarter in 24 seconds.

My Honey Laurie: Stumbled breaking ninth and last, almost fell and nearly lost jockey, advanced to fifth, nine lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied relentlessly in stretch to make up 5 ½ lengths and won by a half-length at six furlongs on Nov. 19. (Raced more than four lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied four wide into stretch and won going away by 7 ¾ lengths at six furlongs on Dec. 8.)

Wind in My Sails: Bobbled at break, bumped hard with third-place finisher, swung four wide into stretch, rallied to make up 5 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at six furlongs on a good surface Nov. 6. (Bobbled at break, steadied on first turn, raced more than five lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile and rallied mildly in stretch to gain third by a head at a mile on Dec. 2.)

Calder

Took It From Him: Raced more than six lengths behind in eighth after three-eighths of a mile, swung out for stretch run, rallied to make up more than five lengths and finished second full of run beaten a half-length at five furlongs on the turf Dec. 9. (Raced three lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to second, weakened and finished third by 6 ¼ lengths at five furlongs taken off the turf Dec. 27.)

Mending Hearts: Raced 10 ½ lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, angled out through the turn, closed steadily to make up 7 ¾ lengths and gained second by a nose at five furlongs on Nov. 25. (Raced more than six lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, boxed in midway through far turn, angled five wide for stretch run and finished third beaten a neck and a length at a mile on the turf Dec. 17.)

Fair Grounds

Crystal Moment: Broke outward at start, went to front willingly along rail, led by 1 ½ lengths under tight restraint after a half-mile, increased margin to six lengths in stretch and won by 12 ¼ lengths, ridden out in 1:10 1/5 at six furlongs on Dec. 22.

Sweetsouthernmoon: Raced more than four lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, closed fast in stretch to make up more than 4 ¼ lengths and finished second, beaten a nose at six furlongs on Dec. 6; ran final quarter in 24 seconds.

Sherlock: Bumped on both sides at break, raced seventh early, dropped to eighth more than 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, came four wide into stretch, rallied to make up 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Nov. 25; ran final quarter in 24 4/5.

Hawthorne

So Busted: Broke slowly 10th and last, steadied off rival, raced more than 8 ½ lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, shifted out four wide leaving turn and rallied in stretch to finish third, beaten a head for second at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 18. (Threw head back at break, altered course early to avoid rival, raced 10th more than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, shifted out on far turn, split foes in upper stretch, rallied to gain command nearing furlong marker and turned back challenge to win by a neck at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 17; returned $29 on front end.)

Parx Racing

Western Mon: Pressed pace a length behind in third after a half-mile, dropped to fourth going wide into stretch, rider lost whip at sixteenth pole, closed gamely and finished second, beaten a neck at six furlongs on Dec.18; ran final quarter in 24 1/5.

I’m Broke: Raced 10th early, dropped to 11th more than 8 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, closed fast from seventh in stretch to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 6.

Shesmyspite: Broke on top, led by a length after a half-mile, continued to set pace into stretch, weakened and finished second by 2 ¼ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 5. (Pressed pace in second a head back after three-eighths of a mile and weakened late in stretch and held third by a neck at five furlongs on Dec. 31.)

Santa Anita

Stoneside: Raced seven lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, came out four wide into stretch, rallied to make up nearly 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at 6 ½ lengths on the turf Dec. 31; ran final 1 ½ furlongs in 28 seconds.

Three Pointer: Raced more than four lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, steadied in tight between rivals into turn, came wide off heels of foe in mid-stretch, rallied to make up 3 ½ lengths and finished third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 27.

Spud Spivens: Raced four lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, went four wide entering stretch, rallied to make up 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Nov. 20; ran final quarter in 24 1/5. (Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, swung five wide in stretch and finished third by 1 ½ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 1.)

Tampa Bay Downs

Monterey Street: Raced 2 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, lost ground going three wide on turn, rallied in stretch to make up 3 ¾ lengths and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length at a mile on the turf Dec. 23; ran final quarter in 24 1/5.

Satisfied Mind: Raced fourth early, dropped to sixth more than four lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied outside from fifth to make up 2 ½ lengths in stretch and finished third, beaten a neck for second at seven furlongs on Dec. 11. (Stalked pace less than three-quarters of a length behind in third after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to second, dueled with leader and edged clear to win by a length at a mile and 70 yards on Dec. 29.)

Turf Paradise

Warduty: Broke ninth and last, trailed by more than eight lengths after a half-mile, angled four wide into stretch, rallied from sixth to make up more than 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at a mile on Dec. 21; ran final quarter in 24 3/5.

Major Madagan: Broke slowly 10th and last, raced more than seven lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, awaited room entering stretch, closed with a rush from sixth when clear, made up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at a mile on Dec. 7. (Raced sixth more than eight lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied four wide in stretch and finished second, beaten a head at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 16.)

Ilikechocolatemilk: Broke ninth and last, raced seventh more than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, made a big middle move gaining more than 6 ½ lengths five wide into stretch, made up more than 2 ¼ lengths and finished third, beaten two noses at about a mile on the turf Oct. 10.

Turfway Park

Robin My Girl: Raced 6 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, launched rally in three path on turn, angled out for stretch run, made up 3 ¾ lengths and finished second by two lengths at six furlongs on Jan. 2.

Rational Reaction: Broke 11th and last, raced more than six lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, rallied seven wide with three furlongs to go, closed fast in stretch to make up 5 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 28.

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