The Test of the Handicapper

As we close in on the third jewel of the Triple Crown take stock. Just as we examine the horses who go to post, step back and take a look at yourself. Are you making the strides you wanted as we kicked off the year ? How is your overall handicapping ? Are you watching more and betting less ? How is your resolve to be a better handicapper overall ? – What got me thinking about the process was the incredible card at Belmont this weekend. As we plan on watching and wagering the Belmont Stakes, I ask if you’re wagering on the best race of the day ? – I began the past few weeks counting the days, but as we can count the hours to post time, there are plenty of better races to watch and wager for our bankrolls.

Race #4 – The G-1 Acorn Stakes – 1 mile

#3 – Abel Tasman = Mike Smith and Baffert come to New York. Baffert usually has better luck everywhere in the world, and now he brings the Oaks winner to the “Big Apple.” – She is a maturing gal who deserves respect. Churchill Downs had a sloppy / sealed track and she came from the clouds after a comprimsed beginning. She is much more than a deep closer and look for Smith to utilize her ability to keep her a bit closer. You’re going to have to dig deep to find value and there is plenty of ladies in here that will fit perfectly underneath in the gimmicks.

Race #5 – The G-1 Ogden Phipps – 1 1/16

This may be a free spot in multi-race wagers and a great race to watch.

#5 – Songbird = Mike Smith in the irons and this gal is a head short of being a perfect 12/12 with wins. Her works are sparkling and the trainer wins (26%) off a beaten favorite effort. The cutback in distance may be what the doctor ordered and the rider finds a way to get his picture taken frequently when the money is on the line.

Race #7 – The G-2 Woody Stephens – 7f

#7 – Wild Shot = Corey Lanerie in the saddle and exits a strong win in the Pat Day Mile at Churchill. He cuts back in distance and has some honest works coming into the race. – He has faced some of the big guns: Classic Empire, McCrackin, Tapwrit, Practical Joke and Lookin At Lee. – With a resume of doing battle with the big names all season long is enough to seal the deal. Add in he is (4-1) and you may have a solid price to build your wagers.

Race #8 – The G-1 Just A Game – 1 mile on the turf

#1 – Dickinson = Paco Lopez aboard for Kiaran McLaughlin and the rider is a good player on the turf winning (17%) and (46%) in the money. 1/1 at Belmont and owns some nice works at Greentree Training Center. – The rail is winning (28%) and exits a super effort in the G-1 Jenny Wiley beating Lady Eli. She has been away from the races for 56 days and looks to be one of the tough gals in the field.

Race #10 – The G-1 Manhattan – 1 1/4

#4 – Time Test = This is my best bet of the day – He shipped over from York for the Chad Brown barn and they ran a great race in the G-3 Fort Marcy over a yielding turf course. He closed stoutly and was beat in the shadow of the wire. – Now they go from a 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 and he is 4/4 ITM with three wins at the distance. He fits the perfect Chad Brown angle of 2nd off a layoff (22%), 2nd time lasix (17%) and the rider / trainer angle is white hot winning (40%) over the past few months.

Guaranteed Wagers (June 10) $500,000 Guaranteed Pick 5 on Race 1, $250,000 Guaranteed Pick 3 begins on Race 3, $1 Million Guaranteed Pick 6, $1.5 Million Guaranteed Pick 4 begins on Race 8 – This is enough to get any racing fan chomping at the bit !

As far as the Belmont Stakes. I could go a hundred different ways. – For my handicapping bankroll I’ll rely on the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms. This race can be a guessing game, and how many times will these runners go a 1 1/2 after a grueling year of knocking heads and battling to keep in tip top shape. I’ll defer to a handicapping tool that fits the bill and has proven to be effective in the long run. – Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies, and be sure to tune in to the Winning Ponies Internet Show as we’ll be talking all things Belmont with John Engelhardt.