Melikov’s Horses to Watch, Apr 2012

by Greg Melikov

posted on April 3, 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 eight times, finished second three times and ran third five times since Feb. 21. They’re worth considering when developing your wagering strategy for online betting or at your favorite track.

AQUEDUCT

Recharged: Brushed with rival at break, raced eight lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, rallied in stretch late to make up more than 2 ¾ lengths and finished third, beaten a head and three-quarters of a length at 1 1/16 miles on the turf March 28.

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.)

GOLDEN GATE

Premium Quality: Broke fifth and last, moved to fourth more than 1 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, trapped behind leaders at three-sixteenths pole, raced in check until eighth pole, shifted out, made up nearly 1 ½ lengths and finished third, beaten two necks at six furlongs on March 25.

Denim and Diamonds: Raced 9 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, came three wide into stretch, rallied from fourth to make up more than three lengths and finished second by a half-length at a mile on March 11. (Broke slowly, raced 9 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, gained command in stretch by three lengths and drew off to win by six lengths at a mile on March 25.)

Light Up the Sky: Raced fourth and last five lengths behind after a half-mile, collared leader in mid-stretch and won by a half-length at a mile on March 8. (Went to the front, led by a length after a half-mile, weakened in stretch and finished second by three-quarters of a length at a mile on March 29.)

GULFSTREAM PARK

Call in Rich: Raced fifth early, dropped to sixth seven lengths behind in sixth after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up 3 ½ lengths and gained third by 2 ¾ lengths at six furlongs on March 16.

Lady of Greatness: Broke alertly, led by a length after three-eighths of a mile and drew off to win by 11 ½ lengths setting the track record of 1:02 3/5 for 5 ½ furlongs on March 14 at Tampa Bay Downs. (Broke on top, led by a length after a half-mile, increased margin to two lengths in stretch and won by 1 ¼ lengths at 6 ½ furlongs on March 29.)

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

Telma: Broke seventh and last, trailed by 11 ½ lengths after a half-mile, angled six wide in upper stretch, rallied to make up more than 4 ¾ lengths and gained second by 2 ¾ lengths at six furlongs on March 24.

Rare Action: Raced more than six lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, angled four wide for drive, rallied in stretch to make up more than 3 ¾ lengths and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on March 11. (Chased pace more than seven lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied very wide to make up 3 ¼ lengths in stretch and finished third by 4 ½ lengths at six furlongs on April 1.) ,

LAUREL PARK

Phil’s Posse: 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. (Broke on top, led by a length after a half-mile and drew off to win by eight lengths at about 1 1/16 miles on March 21.)

OAKLAWN PARK

Tale of Utopia: Raced a head and 1 ½ lengths behind in third after a half-mile, dropped to fourth four wide in stretch, rallied to make up almost 3 ½ lengths and finished third, beaten a neck and a nose at six furlongs on March 25.

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. (Pressed pace a head and a half-length behind in third after a half-mile, took lead on far turn, increased margin to 2 ½ lengths in stretch and won under steady handling by 4 ½ lengths at a mile on March 18.)

PARX (PHILADELPHIA PARK)

Island Bound: Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, rallied wide from third to make up 3 ½ lengths in stretch and finished second, beaten a half-length at 6 ½ furlongs on March 27.

Empire Diva: Raced 10 lengths behind in sixth after three-eighths of a mile, rallied in stretch to make up eight lengths and gained second by three-quarters of a length at 5 ½ furlongs on March 12.

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. (Raced more than 3 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied a bit in stretch and finished third by 3 ¼ lengths at a mile and 70 yards on April 2.)

Mi Preciosa: 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. (Pressed pace two heads behind in third after a half-mile, rallied outside in stretch to gain lead by a half-length, but was outgamed and finished second, beaten a neck at six furlongs on March 5.)

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.

PIMLICO

No Easy Answer: Raced more than seven lengths behind in fifth after a half-mile, swung wide for the drive, closed fast from fourth in stretch to make up more than 5 ¼ lengths and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length at six furlongs on March 30; ran final quarter in 24 4/5.

SAM HOUSTON

Bianamazed: 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. (Raced more than 4 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, rallied four wide on turn, grabbed lead by a head in stretch, weakened, but held second by a length at a mile on a sealed sloppy surface March 9.)

SANTA ANITA

Warren’s Lover: Raced seventh and last 3 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied from sixth splitting rivals in stretch and gained second by a nose at a mile on March 29; ran final quarter in 24 seconds.

Valley Cat: Steadied at start, raced 15 ½ lengths behind in eighth after a half-mile, came out in stretch, rallied from sixth to make up 4 ¼ lengths and gained second by 1 ¼ lengths at a mile on the turf March 15.

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.

Adam Suances: 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. (Raced seventh and last more than 9 ½ lengths behind after a half-mile, split rivals in mid-stretch and finished third by a half-length at a mile on March 18.)

TAMPA BAY DOWNS

Kingofthehighcees: Raced fifth early, dropped to sixth more than three lengths behind after a half-mile, rallied in stretch to make up 2 ¼ lengths and gained third by a head at about a mile on the turf March 28.

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 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. (Raced more than five lengths behind after a half-mile, angled outside for the drive and rallied in stretch to win by a length at 1 3/8 miles on the turf March 24.)

Guam Typhoon: 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. (Pressed pace early, led by a head after tree-eighths of a mile and won by 1 ¾ lengths at five furlongs on the turf March 17.)

TURF PARADISE

Perfectionism: Raced fifth more than four lengths behind after a half-mile, eased out for drive, closed late in stretch to make up more than 3 ¼ lengths and gained second by a nose at a mile on March 27.

Rodeo Cat: Raced sixth more than 4 ½ lengths behind after a quarter-mile, steadied six wide on turn, close well late to make up 3 ½ lengths and finished second, beaten a half-length at 4 ½ furlongs on March 13.

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: 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. (Raced 8 ½ lengths behind sixth after a half-mile, moved to fourth in stretch and finished third by 1 ¾ lengths at six furlongs on March 27.)

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. (Raced 4 ½ lengths behind in fourth after a half-mile, angled out for drive and finished third by a half-length at six furlongs on March 24.)

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