Melikov’s Horses to Watch – Mar 2011

by Greg Melikov

posted on March 22, 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 seven times, finished second four times and ran third eight times since Jan. 9. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

Aqueduct

We Need V L T’s: Raced 4 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied four wide from the three-eighths pole and made up three lengths in stretch to finish third, beaten by a neck for second at six furlongs on March 9.

Opus A: Broke alertly, pressed pace early a length behind in second, led by a half-length after a half-mile, increased margin to four lengths in stretch and cruised to victory by six lengths in 1:37 2/5 for a mile on a good surface Jan. 20. (Pressed pace a half-length behind in second a half-mile, weakened in stretch and finished third at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 20.)

Wachiwi: Raced fifth early, steadied at the seven-sixteenths pole, dropped to sixth more than 4 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, angled out for drive and rallied to gain third by a neck at six furlongs on Feb. 9. (Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in fifth after three-eighths of a mile and rallied in stretch to gain third by a half-length at 5 ½ furlongs on Feb.26.)

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 by a length at six furlongs on Dec. 29. (Raced four lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied in stretch from third to spilt rivals at eighth pole and drew clear to win by 1 ¾ lengths at six furlongs on Jan. 23.)

This Hard Land: Raced 2 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, advanced in stretch and finished third by 1 ¾ lengths at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 23. (Bumped leaving gate raced eighth and last eight lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied four wide in stretch to gain second by 3 ½ lengths on Feb. 27.)

Charles Town

Silver Pizzazz: Raced 5 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, angled five wide entering stretch and rallied from fifth to finish second, beaten by a neck at seven furlongs on Jan. 12. (Chased pace more than four lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, came six wide into stretch and rallied to gain third by a half-length at seven furlongs on Feb. 9.)

Fair Grounds

Minnirahy: Raced third early, dropped to fifth 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, lost some ground entering stretch, closed well to make up nearly four lengths and finished second by a head at six furlongs on Jan. 29. (Broke slowly seventh and last, trailed by more than 6 ½ lengths after a half-mile and rallied in stretch to gain second by a neck at a mile and 70 yards on Feb. 25.)

Ammaroo: Raced more than 10 lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, closed gap four wide entering stretch, rallied to make up 6 ½ lengths and gained second by a nose at 5 ½ furlongs on Jan. 20.

Gulfstream Park

Wildcat Kid: Broke on top, went to the front, led by a length after three-eighths of a mile, drew clear in stretch and won by 3 ¾ lengths, ridden out at 5 ½ furlongs on a sealed sloppy surface March 10.

Bad Debt: Chased pace 1 ½ lengths behind in second after a half-mile, took over lead by a head after six furlongs, increased margin to two lengths in stretch and finished second, edged by a head at a mile on Feb. 19. (Raced 7 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied three into stretch to gain lead by two lengths and won by 2 ¾ lengths a 1 1/16 miles on March 13.)

Hawthorne

A J’s Mountain: Raced fourth more than 2 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, altered course to four wide in stretch, made up more than 1 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten by a half-length at six furlongs on a good surface March 9; ran final quarter in 23 4/5.

Laurel Park

Joann’s Appeal: Went to the front, led by a half-length after a half-mile, increased margin to three lengths in stretch and won by a half-length under brisk urging at six furlongs on Feb. 16. (Broke on top, set early pace, dueled in second a half-length behind after three-eighths of a mile, kicked clear by 2 lengths in upper stretch and drew off to win by 5 ¾ lengths, ridden out at five furlongs on March 4.)

Reign of Tears: Raced sixth and last more than six lengths behind after a half-mile, angled four wide into stretch, rallied between rivals to make up 4 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten by a half-length at six furlongs on Jan. 17. (Raced more than 10 lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, swung six wide into stretch and rallied to gain third by a length at 5 ½ furlongs on Feb. 24.)

Urban Speed: Raced more than 7 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch and finished third by 2 ½ lengths at seven furlongs on a good surface Feb. 3. (Led by a half-length after a quarter-mile, taken back to second four lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied to take over by a half-length in stretch and won by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Feb. 19; returned $11.40 on the front end.)

Oaklawn Park

Deputy Forest: Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, roused for the drive, rallied to make up nearly two lengths in stretch and finished second, beaten by a neck at six furlongs on March 10.

East Coast Swing: Raced more than four lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, floated seven wide into stretch and rallied to gain second by 2 ½ lengths at six furlongs on Feb. 13. (Raced five lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile and rallied in stretch to gain third by a neck at a mile on Feb. 26.)

Parx Racing

Surprise Storm: Raced three lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied around rivals in stretch and gained second by 1 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on March 9.

Thornwell: Tracked pace more than a length behind in fifth after a half-mile, lost ground moving to third after six furlongs, rallied wide in stretch to make up more than 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten by a neck at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 25. (Tracked pace a head and a length behind in third after a half-mile, dropped to fourth in stretch and rallied to gain second by a head at a mile on March 9.)

Santa Anita

Celestic Night: Raced 6 ½ lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, cut corner into stretch, split rivals, came out in deep stretch, rallied to make up 2 ¾ lengths and gained second by 1 ½ lengths at about 6 ½ furlongs on downhill turf course March 10; ran final 1 ½ furlongs in 28 seconds.

Ultra Blend: Raced more than five lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, lost ground dropping to ninth and last after six furlongs, closed gamely in stretch to make up more than three lengths and finished third, beaten by a half-length and a nose at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 29. (Raced fourth and last by a head and 1 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied three wide to gain lead in stretch by 1 ½ lengths and won by 1 ¼ lengths at a mile on Feb. 26.)

Suitable Attire: Raced more than three lengths behind in seventh after a half mile, split rivals three wide into the turn, rallied in stretch and gained second by three-quarters of a length at seven furlongs on Feb. 11. (Lunged at break, off a bit slowly, tracked pace two lengths behind in third after a half-mile, came out in stretch but couldn’t muster rally and finished third at a mile on Feb. 25.)

Crisis of Spirit: Stalked pace more than 1 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, lost ground awaiting room leaving turn, blocked behind rivals to mid-stretch, came out to split foes a sixteenth out, made up more than 1 ¾ lengths and finished third, beaten by three-quarters of a length and a head at six furlongs on Jan. 20. (Raced more than two lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied four wide into stretch and finished third, beaten by three-quarters of a length for place at seven furlongs on Feb. 18.)

Stoneside: Raced fourth early, dropped to fifth more than 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied turn for home, gained advantage in mid-stretch, but couldn’t hold off winner and finished second, beaten by a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on the turf Jan. 29. (Raced 1 ½ lengths behind in third after a half mile and rallied in deep stretch to win by a nose at a mile on the turf March 11.)

Tampa Bay Downs

Keertana: Broke ninth and last, trailed by more than 9 ½ lengths after a half-mile, angled out in stretch and rallied to gain third by a half-length at 1 1/8 miles on the turf March 12; ran final eighth in 11 3/5.

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 by three-quarters of a length at a mile on the turf Dec. 23; ran final quarter in 24 1/5.  (Raced 4 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, angled out four wide for the drive and rallied in stretch to gain second by a neck at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Jan. 15.)

Satisfied Mind: 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. (Raced fourth early, grabbed lead by a head after a half-mile, shook clear by 1 ½ lengths in stretch and pulled away late to win by 7 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on Jan. 9.)

Turf Paradise

Chaplain: Broke eighth and last, moved to seventh more than eight lengths behind after a half-mile, closed willingly eight wide in stretch to make up four lengths and finished second, beaten by a neck at 6 ½ furlongs on March 11; ran final 1 ½ furlongs in 29 4/5.

Turfway Park

I’ve Heard It All: Raced more than 1 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, lost ground going outside for the drive, rallied to make up more than 2 ¼ lengths in stretch and finished third, beaten by a neck and a head at a mile on March 12.

Robin My Girl: Tracked pace in third two lengths behind after a half-mile and rallied outside to finish second, beaten by three-quarters of a length at 6 ½ furlongs on Feb. 12. (Chased pace two heads and 1 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile and rallied in stretch to finish third by two lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on March 6.)

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