“The Redboard” takes looks back at past race results and analyzes my picks for the Steam tip sheet–the good, the bad, and the ugly. While I may make some excuses, I won’t gloat on past scores after the fact, as the definition “red board” implies. This column is more of a handicapping exercise–to determine track biases, horses that had bad trips, overlays that ran deceptively well, and underlays that had no excuses for running poorly–with the goal of picking profitable winners in the future. So here it goes . . . the Redboard, issue six:
Churchill Downs, Sunday, October 28, 2018
The results for Steam‘s top-pick selections were as follows: one win, five seconds, and two thirds on the 11-race program for a strike rate of 9 percent and in-the-money ratio of 72 percent. Return on investment (ROI*) was -75%, or -$1.51 cents for each two dollars wagered on its top picks on the card.
RACE 1: $76,000 maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies. 6.5 furlongs on a FAST track. Weather CLOUDY, 68 degrees.
Top choice Shacklette (3-1) broke running, was allowed to settle off the pace by jockey Channing Hill stalking a loose-on-the-lead Lunar Orbit (9-5), who carved out splits of :22 2/5, :45 2/5, 1:10 2/5, and 1:17 2/5 en route to a comfortable four and one quarter length win. Shacklette ran well overcoming an awkward start to re-rally at the three-sixteenths pole to be second. First-time starter Kiss More (8-1) was third. I’mabarnkat (19-1) came out at the start, J D’s Girl (7-2) was bumped at the start, and Arbitress (28-1) ducked out on the backstretch and unseated jockey C. J. McMahon, who escaped the incident without injury.
RACE 2: $50,000 starter allowance for two-year-olds. 6 furlongs on a FAST track.
The Sicarii (7-2) parlayed a great trip stalking freewheeling longshot Lady’s Weekend (19-1), who set quick early splits of :21 3/5 and :45 2/5 before tiring to finish fourth, into a three and one half length win. Top pick Thousand Percent, who was pounded at the windows going off at 2-5, broke well, settled off the pace under jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., made steady progress in the stretch under right-handed urging, and came up second best. Intonation (15-1), making his first start off the claim for trainer John Wainwright, was another three-parts of a length back in third.
RACE 3: $76,000 maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies. 6.5 furlongs on a FAST track.
The winner, Beautiful Tale (5-2), stalked a quick early half-mile set by Khairiya (3-1) in :22 2/5 and :46 1/5 and reeled in that rival in the stretch drive to prevail by a half-length on the wire. First-time starter New Roo (by Dominus) ran very well to be second, as she professionally split rivals in the stretch while greenly lugging in, however she finished with good energy. Top selection Cairo Cutie (9-5) broke flat-footed, never jumped on the bridle, and beat one horse, a 54-1 longshot.
RACE 4: $76,000 maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies. 8.5 furlongs on a GOOD turf course.
The meet’s first turf race was won in relative gate-to-wire fashion by Julia’s Ready (5-1), who set a criminally slow pace (:24 4/5, :51 1/5, and 1:16 4/5) under jockey Chris Landeros, who did an excellent job backing the fractions down, relinquished the lead at the eighth-pole, and came back gamely to beat the stalking first-time starter Flying the Colors (5-2) by a head on the wire. Top choice Girl at War (Ire), who went off at 3-1, had to steady on the clubhouse turn, was fanned out seven-wide at the quarter-pole, and finished fourth of 10, beaten five and three-quarter lengths for the win. Flying the Colors, a first-time starter by War Front out of a Galileo (Ire) mare, ran huge to make the lead a furlong from home only to be stymied in the shadow of the wire for trainer Al Stall, Jr., as this was her career debut at a mile and sixteenth trip over “good” going.
RACE 5: $76,000 maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies. 8.5 furlongs on a FAST track.
Liora (5-2)–a half-sister to the Grade 2 stakes winner Family Tree–stalked pacesetting She’s Got It All (7-1), collared that rival at the quarter-pole, and drew off to a commanding nine length win under jockey Channing Hill, covering the eight and one half-furlong trip in 1:16 flat. Top selection Bossy Bride (7-2) stalked a slow early pace (:24 1/5, :48 2/5, and 1:13 1/5), found her best stride late in the game, and rallied to be second, a half-length to the good of In Charge Annie (9-1).
RACE 6: $76,000 maiden special weight for two-year-olds. 7 furlongs on a FAST track.
Blue Steel (4-1), a son of Will Take Charge out of the stakes-placed Candy Ride (Arg) mare Co Cola, set a swift pace (:22 2/5, :45 2/5, 1:10 1/5, and 1:23 4/5) and drew off in the stretch under jockey Robby Albarado to win by five lengths. Top pick Frolic More (4-1) stalked the pace in the second flight after breaking from the 10-hole, was fanned out into the five-path in the stretch drive, and finished a non-threatening third, beaten six and a quarter lengths for all the money. Mr Midtown (50-1) was in tight quarters at the start.
RACE 7: $76,000 maiden special weight for two-year-olds. 8 furlongs on a GOOD turf course.
Top selection and favored Skychief (1-1) spurted to a clear early lead, dictated terms on the front-end while setting splits of :24 3/5, :49 flat, 1:14 1/5, 1:26 4/5, and 1:40 3/5 and got way late in the shadow of the wire to be caught by a rallying Counter Offer (19-1), who got up under jockey Chris Landeros for a neck victory. The Korean-bred Social Currency (Kor) was another two lengths back in third.
RACE 8: $100,000 Rags to Riches Stakes for two-year-old fillies. 8 furlongs (one-turn) on a FAST track. VIDEO
The Sheet finally got off the schneid after having four of its top picks finish second in the first seven races on the program when favored Mother Mother (9-5) claimed the 2018 edition of the the $100,000 Rags to Riches Stakes by a length and three-quarters. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile covered the one-turn mile trip in 1:36 3/5 under jockey Florent Geroux after setting a swift early pace (:22 2/5, :45 flat, 1:09 4/5, and 1:22 4/5). Molto Bella (26-1) rallied for second in the seven-horse field; High Regard (13-1) was another two and one half lengths back in third. Chocolate Kisses (5-1) hopped at the start and lost jockey Julien Leparoux, who came away from the fall unscathed.
RACE 9: $75,500 optional claiming, “a other than” allowance for two-year-olds. 8.5 furlongs on a FAST track.
Longshot Roiland (28-1) overcame a pronounced speed bias, rallied from mid-pack in the 12-horse field, found his best stride at the sixteenth-pole, and just got up for the win by a neck over Limonite (2-1) in the shadow of the wire under jockey Florent Geroux. It was another length back to Everfast (7-2) in third. Top pick Moon Colony (7-2) had zero excuses, as he was the recipient of a great trip stalking the pace while saving ground. The Uncle Mo colt then swung five-wide at the quarter-pole but had no late punch, finishing fifth, beaten nearly five lengths for all the marbles. It’s worth noting that he was throwing his head with his mouth open down the backside, fighting jockey Julien Leparoux.
RACE 10: $300,000 Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes restricted to two-year-olds sired by any Spendthrift Farm-owned stallion. 7 furlongs on a FAST track. VIDEO
Dunph (4-1), who broke his maiden at Penn National back on September 15, sat off the flank of B. B. Dude (9-1), who carved out a quick early pace of :22 3/5 and :45 4/5, engaged that rival at the five-sixteenths-pole, then shifted into the three-path at the quarter-pole, and drew off impressively to win by seven and three-quarter lengths. The maiden Naughty Joker (7-2) was second, a head to the good of top selection Into the South (8-1), who closed from off the pace while seven-wide in the stretch against a front-end bias in the nine-horse field. Achilles Warrior (6-1) and Distorted Jimmy (5-1) were bumped at the start and Gentle Warrior (11-1) came in at the start.
RACE 11: $76,000 maiden special weight for two-year-olds. 8.5 furlongs on a FAST track.
It was an all Kenny McPeek exacta in the nightcap at Churchill Downs on Sunday, October 28, as the less fancied half of the uncoupled entry–King Ford (9-1)–got a great trip stalking 16-1 longshot Bird Dog in the vanguard and kept his stablemate and Steam‘s top-pick–Harvey Wallbanger (2-5)–at bay in the final eighth of a mile to win by a length and a half on the wire. It was another half-length back to Johny’s Bobby (8-1) in third. The $2.6 million colt Gun It (5-1)–a son of Tapit out of a half-sister to Horse of the Year Saint Liam from the family of Horse of the Year Gun Runner–was fourth. It’s worth noting that while this was Steam‘s fifth top-pick second-place finish on the day, its top four selections boxed in this race yielded a $44.80 exacta ($2), a $70.20 trifecta (50 cents), and a $53.95 superfecta (10-cents). Stock Chain (16-1) broke out at the start, Bird Dog bobbled at the start, and Grandarian (94-1) came in and was bumped at the start.
The main track was kind to speed in both sprint and route races and the turf course played fair . . . The average $2 win mutuel on the program was a healthy $17.09 . . . Jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. had three winners on the card–Lunar Orbit ($5.60), Beautiful Tale ($6.60), and King Ford ($20.60)–the first two for trainer Dallas Stewart . . . There is a $27,659 carryover in the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot (races 5-10) on the Wednesday, October 31 program.
*Return on investment (ROI) is calculated by dividing the net profit by the total amount invested.