Melikov’s Horses to Watch, Mar 2012

by Greg Melikov

posted on March 6, 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 eight times, finished second four times and ran third four times since Jan. 29. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

AQUEDUCT

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.)

FAIR GROUNDS

Beckyboy: Raced more than 6 ½ lengths behind in 11th after a half-mile, came five wide into stretch, rallied from sixth to make up more than 3 ¼ lengths and finished third, beaten a neck for second at about a mile on a good turf course Feb. 25.

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.

GULFSTREAM PARK

Slow Pace: Raced third early, fell back to fourth 2 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, dropped to sixth after six furlongs, angled out in stretch, rallied from fifth to make up 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at 1 1/8 miles on the turf Feb. 26.

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.)

HAWTHORNE

Ikaros: Broke eighth and last, trailed by more than nine lengths after a half-mile, shifted outside for drive, rallied in stretch to make up more than 4 ¼ lengths and finished third, beaten a head and a neck at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 26.

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

T. T.’s Point: Raced three lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, dropped to fifth losing ground after six furlongs, rallied between rivals to make up more than three lengths in stretch and finished second, beaten a head at 1 1/16 miles on a sealed sloppy surface Feb. 29.

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. (Raced 3 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, swept to command in upper stretch and drew off to win by 6 ½ lengths at a mile on March 2.)

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.)

Muscadine: 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. (Broke ninth and last, trailed by more than six lengths after a half-mile, swung out seven wide for the drive and rallied from sixth in stretch to win by two lengths at seven furlongs on March 1; returned $22.20 on front end.)

OAKLAWN PARK

Kitty Kat Karly: Raced sixth early, dropped to eighth more than 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, brushed with third-place finisher in mid-stretch, rallied to make up more than 2 ¾ lengths and finished fourth, beaten two necks and a length at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 24.

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)

Shoe Shine Man: Off slowly, raced sixth more than four lengths behind after three-eighths of a half-mile, closed fast from fifth in stretch to make up more than 4 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a nose at 5 ½ furlongs on Feb. 28.

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.

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 surfaces Feb. 13.)

SANTA ANITA

Tiz a Bud Girl: Raced six lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, came out for room in mid-stretch, surged late to make up nearly 2 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a neck at a mile on the turf March 1; ran final quarter in 24 1/5.

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.

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

Hogan Search: Tracked leaders a length behind in third after a half-mile and drew off in stretch without urging to win by 10 lengths at seven furlongs on Feb. 29.

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. (Raced 4 ½ lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, angled outside for the drive and finished third, beaten two heads at a mile and 40 yards on March 3.)

Another Smokey: 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. (Raced 3 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, made a middle move and finished third by a neck at 1 1/8 on the turf Feb. 25.)

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

Cosmic Surfer: Bumped, steadied at start, raced more than seven lengths behind in ninth after a half-mile, moved outside on far turn, rallied in stretch to make up more than three lengths and finished third, beaten a head and three-quarters of a length at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf Feb. 28.

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. (Chased pace more than 2 ½ lengths behind in third, advanced to second in stretch, but couldn’t close gap and finished in that position by 2 ½ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on March 4.)

TURFWAY PARK

Doublefour: Raced sixth early, dropped to seventh and last 14 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied four wide from fifth in stretch to make up more than 3 ¾ lengths and gained second by a neck at a mile on Feb. 25.

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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