Melikov’s Horses to Watch, Dec 2011, cont.

by Greg Melikov

posted on December 26, 2011 in Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | No Comments >>

Horses worth watching, a list of runners compiled by handicapper/turf writer Greg Melikov, should do well next time out. These thoroughbreds won four times, finished second nine times and ran third three times since Nov. 5. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

AQUEDUCT

Law Enforcement: Broke seventh and last, trailed by more than 4 ½ lengths after a half-mile, closed fast from fourth in stretch to make up three lengths and gained second by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on the inner track Dec. 4.

Coaltown Legend: Raced eighth and last early, advanced to seventh more than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied to make up 6 ½ lengths in stretch and gained second by a neck at six furlongs on Nov. 20; ran final quarter in 22 4/5.

Gambling Geraldine: Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, guided four wide for clearance entering stretch and gained third, beaten a nose and a half-length at six furlongs on Nov. 9; ran final quarter in 24 2/5.

CALDER

Saratoga Matt: Shuffled back at break, raced 10th and last more than seven lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied outside from sixth in stretch and won going away by two lengths at a mile on a good turf course Nov. 5. (Broke 10th and last, trailed early, advanced to ninth more than 11 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, swung wide from fourth in stretch and rallied to finish second by a neck at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Nov. 26.)

Stage Deli: Raced more than 2 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, waited behind wall of rivals on far turn, angled out in stretch and closed to finish second, beaten a nose at a mile on Oct. 20; returned $6.10 for place. (Broke slowly, raced sixth and last more than 13 lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a nose at a mile on Nov. 10.)

DELTA DOWNS

Crème de Cacoa: Raced more than 7 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, rallied four wide on far turn, closed fast from fifth in stretch to make up more than three lengths and finished second, beaten a head at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 7.

Classic Robbery: Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in eighth after three-eighths of a mile, rallied from fourth five wide in the stretch to make up nearly 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at five furlongs on a sealed muddy surface Nov. 22.

Nacho Business: Stalked pace a length and a head behind in third after a half-mile, took command in stretch by three lengths and won in hand by 7 ¾ lengths at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 25 at Monmouth Park. (Stalked pace a length and two heads behind in fourth after a half-mile, slipped through inside to gain lead by a length in upper stretch and drew off to win by 7 ¾ lengths at seven furlongs on Nov. 19.)

FAIR GROUNDS

Dreams Cut Short: Reluctant to load, raced eighth early, dropped to ninth more than nine lengths behind after a half-mile, came three wide into stretch, jockey lost whip nearing eighth pole and battled gamely to finish second, beaten a head at about a mile on the turf Dec. 3.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS

Famous Dottie: Raced fifth early, dropped to sixth after three-eighths of a mile, rallied from fifth to make up more than 3 ¾ lengths in stretch and gained second by 1 ¾ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on Nov. 6.

Bits and Bobs: Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in fourth after three-eighths of a mile, closed steadily in stretch and finished second by 3 ¼ lengths at five furlongs on Oct. 23. (Raced two lengths behind in third after a half-mile, rallied a bit in stretch and gained second by a half-length at six furlongs on Nov. 12.)

GULFSTREAM PARK

Roman Bay: Raced more than 6 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, saved ground around turn, rallied in stretch to make up 2 ¾ lengths and gained second by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Dec. 8; ran final quarter in 23 4/5.

Minister Colin: Raced ninth early, dropped to 11th more than 9 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, swung out for stretch run and closed well from fifth to finish third, beaten a head and a neck at a mile on the turf Dec. 4.

HAWTHORNE

One More Tap: Steadied a bit nearing turn, raced fifth more than 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied between rivals in stretch to make up four lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Dec. 4.

Kind Regards: Pressed pace early, raced two lengths behind in second after a half-mile, lost position to third midway on turn, rallied in stretch to make up nearly two lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at six furlongs on Nov. 2. (Raced 5 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, shifted out in stretch losing ground to fifth and rallied to finish second by 3 ¾ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 9.)

Diva’s Diamond: Raced more than 7 ½ lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile and rallied a bit from fourth in stretch to finish third by six lengths at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 19. (Raced more than seven lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, carried out by pacesetter while rallying in stretch and dead-heated for second at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 3.)

Dixie Shoes: Raced 7 ½ lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, angled out near mid-stretch, rallied to make up 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a length at 1 1/16 miles on a good turf course Oct. 26. (Raced fourth early, dropped to sixth 11 lengths behind after half-mile and closed the gap a bit in stretch to finish third at 1 1/16 miles on a good turf course Nov. 17.)

HOLLYWOOD PARK

Blue Samurai: Raced 5 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, swung out for stretch run and rallied from fourth to gain second by 2 ¾ lengths at a mile on the turf Nov. 11 at Calder. (Led by a length after a half-mile, battled throughout the stretch and lost the bob at the wire finishing second, beaten a nose at six furlongs on the turf Dec. 9.)

Givine: Raced sixth and last 6 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied four wide in stretch to make up more than 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on the turf Sept. 30 at Santa Anita. (Prompted pace four wide a half-length and a head in third after a half-mile, grabbed lead in stretch by a length and fought gamely losing bob at wire by a nose to finish second at six furlongs on the turf Dec. 7.)

LAUREL PARK

Shookstown Road: Raced fourth early, dropped to fifth more than three lengths behind after a half-mile during troubled trip, checked and steadied from five-eighths pole to far turn, awaited room for drive, swung out five wide in upper stretch, closed gamely from fourth to make up more than two lengths and finished second, beaten a nose at seven furlongs on Nov. 19.

Mystical Terp: Raced 2 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, cruised up behind rivals near quarter pole and rallied in stretch from second to win by length at six furlongs on Nov. 9. (Raced six lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, drifted out in mid-stretch and finished third by a length at six furlongs on Dec. 3.)

Unbridled Pride: Rated close to pace in fourth after a half-mile, surged between rivals in upper stretch, took command and drew clear to win by 3 ½ lengths at six furlongs on a good surface Nov. 17. (Tracked pace three lengths behind in third after a half-mile, closed in stretch to pass pacesetter and win by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Dec. 10; returned $25 on front end.)

Muscadine: Bumped at break, raced ninth more than 18 lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied wide from fifth in stretch to make up seven lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Nov. 8; ran final quarter in 22 4/5. (Raced 10th and last more than 14 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile and rallied from fifth to finish third by 3 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on a sealed sloppy surface Dec. 7.)

PARX (PHILADELPHIA PARK)

Cantona: Raced seventh and last early, advanced to sixth more than five lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied very wide from fourth to make up more than 3 ½ lengths in stretch and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on a good surface Dec. 6; ran final quarter in 24 3/5.

Believe in West: Raced third early, dropped to fifth more than three lengths behind after a half-mile, eased out in stretch and closed fast to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at a mile on Nov. 7.

Padre Ed: Raced four lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, took lead in mid-stretch and drew off to win by 3 ½ lengths at a mile on Nov. 14. (Pressed pace a head and a half-length behind in third after a half-mile and rallied a bit in stretch to finish second, beaten a half-length at a mile and 70 yards on a good surface Dec. 6.)

Knocked Out: Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in fifth after three-eighths of a mile and closed well in stretch to gain second by a nose at 5 ½ furlongs on Oct. 11 at Delaware Park. (Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in sixth after three-eighths of a mile, rallied five wide in stretch and dead-heated for first at 5 ½ furlongs on Nov. 5 at Delaware Park.)

Reason to Drink: Pressed pace early, led by a head after a half-mile, increased margin to 1 ½ lengths while drifting out in mid-stretch and won by three-quarters of a length under steady urging at six furlongs on Oct. 15; returned $18.20 on front end. (Broke alertly from inside post, led by 1 ½ lengths off rail and won by a length at six furlongs on Nov. 26; returned $14.20 on front end.)

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

Pack Attack: Roughed up breaking 12th and last, advanced to seventh more than 5 ½ lengths behind after three-eighths of a mile, rallied from fifth in stretch to make up nearly three lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at 5 ½ furlongs on Dec. 7.

TURF PARADISE

Complete Rule: Steadied after start, advanced from fifth to third three lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up 2 ¾ lengths and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length at six furlongs Dec. 5.

Wolgan Valley: Raced 8 ½ lengths behind in fifth after three-eighths of a mile, rallied four wide in stretch to make up 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at about five furlongs on the turf Nov. 6.

TURFWAY PARK

Justifiably Salty: Raced sixth early, dropped to eighth more than 10 lengths behind after a half-mile, swung eight wide leaving turn, rallied in stretch to make up more than 6 ¼ lengths and finished third, beaten a neck and a half-length at six furlongs on Dec. 4.

WOODBINE

Kings Parade: Raced three lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile and rallied turning for home to gain second by a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 6. (Raced five lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile and rallied in stretch to finish second by a neck at seven furlongs on Dec. 2.)

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