Melikov’s Horses to Watch, Jan 2012, cont.

by Greg Melikov

posted on January 24, 2012 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 nine times, finished second once and ran third five times since Dec. 3. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

ChecklistAQUEDUCT

Reserved Quality: Broke sixth and last, raced six lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile and rallied in stretch to gain second by 3 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on Jan. 16.

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 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. (Raced sixth early, dropped to seventh 5 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile and rallied from sixth in stretch to gain third by a half-length at six furlongs on Jan. 15.)

DELTA DOWNS

Storm Or Two: Dueled early for lead, gained a clear margin entering turn, led by two lengths after three-eighths of a mile, drew off in stretch and won easily by 6 ¼ lengths at five furlongs on Jan. 18.

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.)

FAIR GROUNDS

Little Pinkie: Raced fourth early, dropped to fifth 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, brushed with rival at quarter pole, rallied outside from fourth in stretch to make up more than 1 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a nose at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 18.

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

Double Episode: Difficult to load, raced eighth and last more than nine lengths behind after a half-mile, altered course inside for drive, rallied from sixth in stretch to make up 5 ½ lengths and gained second by a head at a mile on Jan. 16.

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. (Tracked pace two lengths behind in third after a half-mile, came three wide into stretch and rallied determinedly to win by three-quarters of a length at a mile on Jan. 16; returned $21.40 on front end.)

GULFSTREAM PARK

Clip the Coupons: Hit gate at break, raced 12 ½ lengths behind in 10th after three-eighths of a mile, angled wide at top of stretch, closed fast from seventh to make up 5 ½ lengths and finished second, full of run, beaten a length at five furlongs on the turf Jan. 16.

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.

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 at Tampa Bay Downs. (Raced 2 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied four wide to challenge inside eighth pole and finished third, beaten a head and a nose at 1 1/8 miles on the turf Jan. 22.)

Minister Colin: 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. (Raced more than eight lengths behind in eighth after a mile, came around rival in stretch, changed course to rail, rallied to make up more than two lengths and won by a nose at 1 ½ miles on the turf Jan. 21; returned $10.20 on front end.)

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

Cooper River: Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, checked behind a wall of horses in stretch, angled out four wide, closed gamely to make up more than two lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Jan. 19.

Muscadine: 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 at Penn National. (Raced nine lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied wide leave turn and finished third by 3 ½ lengths at six furlongs on a muddy surface Jan. 12.)

Mystical Terp: 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. (Broke a step slow, raced 6 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, slipped through in mid-stretch and finished third by 6 ¾ lengths at six furlongs on a good surface Jan. 12.)

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.)

OAKLAWN PARK

Byrd William: Pressed pace a length behind in second after a half-mile, shuffled back along rail on far turn, roused for the drive, rallied from fourth in stretch to make up more than 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 16.

PARX (PHILADELPHIA PARK)

Mi Preciosa: Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in seventh after three-eighths of a mile, split rivals on turn, eased out for drive, closed from third in stretch to make up four lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at 5 ½ furlongs on Jan. 16.

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.

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.)

SANTA ANITA PARK

Adam Suances: Raced 9 ½ lengths behind eighth and last after a half-mile, swung out four wide exiting turn, closed stoutly even wider in stretch to make up more than 3 ¾ lengths and gained second by a neck at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 16; ran final 1 ½ furlongs in 29 4/5.

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. (Raced fifth early, dropped to sixth 6 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, advanced to third in stretch, but couldn’t close gap and finished in that position by 7 ¼ lengths at a mile taken off the turf Jan. 21. )

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

Guam Typhoon: Stalked pace two lengths behind in third after a half-mile, took command in stretch and drew off ridden out to win by 3 ¾ lengths, covering the seven furlongs in 1:22 3/5 on Jan. 18.

Pack Attack: 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. (Raced fifth early, dropped to sixth more than seven lengths after a half-mile, split rivals on turn, rallied in stretch to run down pacesetter and won by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Jan. 13.)

TURF PARADISE

Shemya Reef: Raced 5 ½ lengths behind in seventh after three-eighths of a mile, went five wide leaving turn, closed well from fifth to make up more than 2 ½ lengths in stretch and finished second, beaten a length at 5 ½ furlongs on Jan. 18.

Complete Rule: 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. (Pressed pace a half-length behind in second after three-eighths of a mile, grabbed lead in stretch by a half-length and drew off to win by 8 ¼ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on Jan. 16.)

TURFWAY PARK

Time to Getit: Raced more than four lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, closed well four wide from fourth to make up five lengths in stretch and gained second by a head at six furlongs on Jan. 19.

Justifiably Salty: 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. (Raced third early, dropped to fourth more than two lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied four wide in stretch and won by a neck at six furlongs on Jan. 13.)

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