Melikov’s Horses to Watch, Jan 2012

by Greg Melikov

posted on January 10, 2012 in Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Horse Racing, WinningPonies.com | 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 seven times, finished second five times and ran third twice since Nov. 19. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

AQUEDUCT

Make Note: Raced seventh early, dropped to eighth 7 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, swung five wide for drive, rallied in stretch to make up more than 7 ¼ lengths and finished third, beaten a head and a neck at a mile and 70 yards on the good inner track Dec. 28.

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. (Raced 8 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile and rallied a bit in stretch to finish third by 5 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on Dec. 30.)

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.

DELTA DOWNS

Bianamazed: Raced 10th and last more than 9 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied three wide from fourth in stretch, made up three lengths and finished third by three lengths at a mile on a sealed muddied surface Dec. 22.

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. (Raced five lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, inches up to take command in backstretch, drew off by seven lengths in stretch and won ridden out by 9 ½ lengths at 7 ½ furlongs on a sealed muddy surface Jan. 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

Vigilante Law: Raced third early, dropped to fourth more than 6 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, closed well to make up more than 2 ¼ lengths in stretch and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 8.

GOLDEN GATE FIELDS

Curly Boy: Raced 6 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, checked nearing quarter pole, dropped to fifth after six furlongs, rallied from fourth in stretch to make up five lengths and finished second, beaten a head at a mile on a good turf course Dec. 26.

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.

GULFSTREAM PARK

Mr. Haywood: Broke a bit slowly from the outside 12th post, raced more than seven lengths behind in 10th after a half-mile, closed fast from ninth in stretch, made up more than four lengths and gained third by a head at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 26.

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. (Broke 10th and last, advanced to sixth more than three lengths behind after six furlongs and rallied from third to win by 3 ¾ lengths at a mile on the turf Jan. 2.)

HAWTHORNE

Better Make Money: Hopped at break, raced more than 9 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, rallied from fifth in stretch to make up four lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 23.

Kind Regards: 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. (Dueled with leader a half-length behind after a half-mile, edged forward in stretch and won by a length at six furlongs on a sloppy surface Dec. 30.)

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.)

LAUREL PARK

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: Tracked pace three lengths behind in third after a half-mile, closed in stretch to pass pacesetter and won by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Dec. 10; returned $25 on front end. (Raced more than three lengths behind in fourth after three-eighths of a mile, gained lead in stretch and won by 1 ¼ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on Jan. 6)

PARX (PHILADELPHIA PARK)

Chief Thundercloud: Tracked pace more than a length behind in sixth after a half-mile, checked in traffic on turn and rallied gamely in stretch to gain third by a neck, beaten a head for place at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 7.

Padre Ed: 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. (Pressed pace a head and a half-length behind in third, battled down the stretch and finished second, beaten a neck at a mile on a wet fast surface Dec. 28.)

Reason to Drink: 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. (Pressed pace a head behind in second after a half-mile, edged clear by two lengths in mid-stretch and won by a half-length under steady handling at six furlongs on Dec. 18; returned $24.60 on front end.)

PENN NATIONAL

Muscadine: 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 at Laurel. (Broke eighth and last, advanced to seventh 8 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, swung out for drive, rallied from sixth to make up more than four lengths in stretch and finished second, beaten a nose at six furlongs on Dec. 22; returned $10 for place.)

SANTA ANITA PARK

Starspangled Heat: Raced ninth more than eight lengths behind after a half-mile, came four wide into stretch, rallied from sixth making up more than 4 ½ lengths and finished third, beaten a half-length and a nose at 6 ½ furlongs on the turf Dec. 29.

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

M’Dearest: Raced more than 7 ½ lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, closed fast from seventh in stretch to make up more than 4 ½ lengths and finished third, beaten a head and three-quarters of a length at about a mile on the turf Dec. 28.

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. (Raced third early, dropped to fourth three lengths behind after a half-mile and rallied in stretch to gain second by a head at six furlongs on Dec. 16.)

TURF PARADISE

Peacock Alliance: Raced more than 2 ½ lengths behind in sixth after three-eighths of a mile, dropped to seventh in stretch, found best stride late, made up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a nose at 5 ½ furlongs on Dec. 28.

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. (Went right to the front, led by two lengths after a half-mile, drew off in stretch and won by 10 ¾ lengths ridden out at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 23.)

TURFWAY PARK

St. Louis City: Tracked pace 1 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, exchanged bumps splitting rivals in stretch and gained second by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Dec. 26.

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. (Pressed pace early in second, shuffled back to sixth more than 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, swung to outside in stretch and rallied to finish second, beaten a head at 6 ½ furlongs on Dec. 17.

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