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

by Greg Melikov

posted on February 22, 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 11 times, finished second four times and ran third twice since Jan. 16. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

ChecklistAQUEDUCT

Greeley’s Law: Chased pace four lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, lost ground going three wide in stretch, rallied to make up more than 5 ¼ lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at six furlongs on Feb. 15; ran final quarter in 24 4/5.

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 at Laurel Park. (Broke sharply, tracked pace a half-length behind in second after a half-mile, grabbed lead by a head in stretch and won by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Jan. 29.)

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. (Loped along more than four lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, angled out four wide for stretch run and rallied from fifth to win by 1 ¼ lengths at six furlongs on Feb. 21.)

Coaltown Legend: 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. (Raced more than five lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, rallied five wide in stretch and won by a half-length at six furlongs on Feb. 8.)

DELTA DOWNS

Kenzie’s a Deelite: Broke sharply from outside, led by two lengths after a half-mile, increased margin to four lengths in stretch and won by 6 ¼ lengths under hand urging at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 28.

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.

FAIR GROUNDS

Surreptitiously: Broke alertly, bumped, contested pace inside a head behind in second after a half-mile, dueled in stretch with leader, rider lost whip outside sixteenth pole and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Feb. 17.

Tito: Bumped hard on both sides at break, shuffled back to eighth and last, trailed by more than eight lengths after a half-mile, rallied from fifth in stretch to make up more than 2 ¼ lengths and gained second by 1 ¾ lengths at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 27.

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. (Tracked pace a head and a length behind in fourth after a half-mile and rallied in stretch to finish second, beaten a nose at 6 ½ furlongs on Feb. 4.)

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

Light Up the Sky: Broke in stride, dueled early, led by 1 ½ lengths after a half-mile, increased margin to 3 ½ lengths in stretch and won by eight lengths, ridden out at a mile on Feb. 17.

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

Gunman: Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, split rivals in deep stretch and finished third, beaten three-quarters of a length and a nose at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Feb. 15.

Easy Ashley: Raced fourth early, steadied on turn, dropped to fifth, angled out for stretch run, rallied to make up more than 1 ½ lengths and gained second by a neck at five furlongs on the turf Jan. 27.

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.

M’Dearest: 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. (Raced five lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, swung out for drive and rallied in stretch to win by 1 ¾ lengths at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 21.)

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

Thief: Shuffled back at break to 12th and last in tight quarters, advanced to ninth more than 12 lengths behind after three-eighths of a mile, rallied five wide from seventh in stretch to make up more than 2 ¾ lengths and finished second by 2 ½ lengths at five furlongs on Feb. 17.

LAUREL PARK

Phil’s Posse: Raced seventh and last early, advanced to fourth seven lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied five wide in stretch to make up 5 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at six furlongs on Feb. 15; ran final quarter in 24 2/5.

Mystical Terp: 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. (Raced more than 5 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile and rallied five wide in stretch to finish second by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Feb. 11.)

Unbridled Pride: 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. (Broke a step slow eighth and last, raced more than six lengths behind in sixth after three-eighths of a mile, moved up four wide entering stretch and rallied from fifth to win by 1 ½ lengths at 5 ½ furlongs on Feb. 1.)

OAKLAWN PARK

Tap Down: Got off to a slow awkward start, raced 5 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, advanced in traffic splitting horses in upper stretch, made up more than 1 ½ lengths late and finished fourth, beaten three necks at a mile on Feb. 17.

PARX (PHILADELPHIA PARK)

Grabthesilverngo: Raced more than five lengths behind in fifth after three-eighths of a mile, rallied in stretch to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at 5 ½ furlongs on Feb. 18.

Rock Ptarmigan: Raced more than 11 ½ lengths behind 10th and last after a half-mile, closed fast to second, carried out in stretch by winner and was beaten by three-quarters of a length at a mile and 70 yards on a good surface Jan. 28; his jockey’s claim of foul not allowed.

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. (Raced seven lengths behind seventh and last after a half-mile, rallied in stretch and finished third, beaten a nose for second at a mile and 70 yards on Feb. 4.)

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.

PENN NATIONAL

Muscadine: Raced nine lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied wide leaving turn and finished third by 3 ½ lengths at six furlongs on a muddy surface Jan. 12 at Laurel Park. (Raced fifth and last more than 6 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, closed nicely angling toward rail in stretch and drew off to win by 2 ½ lengths at seven furlongs on a muddy surface Jan. 27 at Laurel Park.)

SAM HOUSTON

Bianamazed: Stalked pace a length and a head behind in third after a half-mile, rallied on far turn to gain lead by a head, extended margin to three-quarters of a length in stretch, weakened and held second by 2 ¾ lengths at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 29. (Stalked pace a length behind in second after a half-mile, rallied between rivals coming off far turn and drew clear to win by 1 ¾ lengths at 1 1/16 miles on a sealed muddy surface Feb. 13.)

SANTA ANITA

Line One: Chased pace 2 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, came out wide in stretch, rallied to make up nearly 1 ½ lengths and finished in that position, beaten a neck and a head at 6 ½ furlongs on Feb. 16.

Secret Cove: Raced 5 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, lost ground to fifth in stretch, fought back to make up more than 2 ½ lengths and gained third by a nose, beaten a neck for second at a mile on the turf Jan. 28.

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. (Raced more than seven lengths behind in seventh after a half-mile, came out leaving turn and finished third by a length at six furlongs on Feb. 21.)

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

Sparkles Gold Band: Raced three lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, shuffled back in traffic to sixth after six furlongs, rallied from third in stretch to make up two lengths and finished second, beaten a length at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 15.

Another Smokey: Raced eighth and last more than nine lengths behind after a half-mile, closed fast from sixth five wide in stretch to make up more than three lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf Jan. 28. (Raced more than six lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, rallied in stretch and finished third by 1 ¾ lengths at 1 1/16 miles on a good turf course Feb. 11.)

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. (Tracked pace 1 ½ lengths and a head behind in third after a half-mile, led by 1 ½ lengths in stretch and won by 2 ½ lengths, ridden out at 6 ½ furlongs on a wet fast surface Feb. 17.)

TURF PARADISE

De Sica: Broke a bit slowly, raced seventh more than seven lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied seven wide in stretch to make up more than four lengths and finished second, beaten a nose at six furlongs on Feb. 17.

Pisa Playboy: Raced more than 9 ½ lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, closed well from fifth in stretch to make up more than 6 ¾ lengths and finished second, beaten a nose at a mile on Jan. 28.

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

Thomas Jefferson: Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up three lengths and gained second by three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on Feb. 18.

Time to Getit: Raced two lengths behind in third after a half-mile and finished in that position at 5 ½ furlongs on Feb. 3. (Chased pace 1 ½ lengths behind in second after a half-mile, but couldn’t close gap and finished second by five lengths at six furlongs on Feb. 17.)

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