Melikov’s Horses to Watch – Apr 2011

by Greg Melikov

posted on April 4, 2011 in Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing | No Comments >>

BinocularsHorses worth watching, a list of runners compiled by handicapper/turf writer Greg Melikov, should do well next time out. These thoroughbreds won nine times, finished second three times and ran third four times since Jan. 23. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

Aqueduct

W. W.’s Lady’s Man: Raced more than five lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, fanned five wide for the drive, rallied in stretch to make up 2 ½ lengths and finished third beaten a half-length and a neck at six furlongs on a sealed sloppy surface March 23; ran final quarter in 24 4/5.

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 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 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. (Broke on top, established control early, led by a half-length after a half-mile, repulsed two challenges and won by three-quarters of a length under hand urging at a mile on March 18.)

T Rae: Avoided bumping at start, raced sixth early, dropped to seventh fifth 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. (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 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

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

For Terina: Raced more than 9 ½ lengths behind in 11th after a half-mile, rallied five wide into stretch, made up more than 4 ¼ lengths and finished second beaten three-quarters of a length at a mile on March 23.

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

Striver: Broke awkwardly, raced fifth more than four lengths behind after a half-mile, exchanged contact with winner and third-place finisher in stretch, made up 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a head at 1 1/16 miles on March 23.

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 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 my 5 ¾ lengths ridden out at five furlongs on March 4.)

Reign of Tears: 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. (Raced fifth more than 7 ½ lengths behind in fifth after three-eighths of a mile, rallied in deep stretch to make up 2 ½ lengths and finished second beaten a half-length at 5 ½ furlongs on March 18.)

Oaklawn Park

Mr. McClain: Broke outward, raced more than 7 ½ lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, came seven wide out of the turn losing ground, rallied to make up 7 ¼ lengths in stretch and gained second by 1 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on March 24; ran final quarter in 24 2/5.

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 a neck at six furlongs on March 10.

East Coast Swing: 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. (Raced more than 5 ½ lengths behind in seventh after three-eighths of a mile, rallied five wide out of the turn and drew clear late in stretch to win by 1 ½ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on March 27.)

Parx (Philadelphia Park)

Allrightsreserved: Broke alertly, led by a half-length after a half-mile, increased margin to six lengths in stretch and won handily by 6 ½ lengths at a mile on a good surface March 22.

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 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. (Tracked two heads and two lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, wore down pacesetter in final sixteenth and drew clear to win by 1 ¼ lengths at 1 1/16th miles on March 19.)

Santa Anita Park

Extra Fifty: Broke seventh and last, trailed by more than 4 ½ lengths after a half-mile, closed fast four wide from fifth in stretch to make up more than three lengths and finished third beaten a nose and a head at a mile on a good turf course March 24.

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 a half-length and a nose at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 29. (Raced fourth and last 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: 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. (Raced six lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, came out in stretch and finished third beaten a head for second at seven furlongs on March 19.)

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 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 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 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

Mopleasant: Raced 18 lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, fanned four wide for the drive, brushed with third-place finisher in stretch, closed fast to make up more than seven lengths and finished second beaten a nose at seven furlongs on March 23.

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 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

Absolutely Cool: Stalked pace early in third, dropped to fifth after a half-mile, lacked room on turn and through stretch, closed willingly to make up 1 ½ lengths despite being in traffic and gained second by a head at 6 ½ furlongs on March 26.

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 a neck at 6 ½ furlongs on March 11.

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 a neck and a head at a mile on March 12.

Woodbine

A Matterofspeaking: Raced more than four lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, came five wide out of the turn, rallied in stretch to make up 2 ¼ lengths and gained second by two lengths at five furlongs on April 3.

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