Thursday, April 1, 2010

Omar Moreno on the Radio and Who to Bet in the Woodbine Debut

They're at the post....and they're off!!

Track announcer Dan Loiselle will send the first race of the year off at 1PM on Friday. It's a holiday, the weatherman promises sunny skies and 25degrees celsius - - which means it will be a great day to bring your family and friends to the racetrack and enjoy what should be a thoroughly entertaining afternoon of horse racing.

The Woodbine jockeys will be welcoming fans back at the front door from 1130AM so get there early.

*Did you know that there are 50 jockeys registered to ride at Woodbine? Ten of them are female. The first reader to email me with five names of currently active female jockeys wins a free copy of Down The Stretch - Canada’s most entertaining and informative horse racing newspaper.

Woodbine will offer the first 2500 people through the door (FREE admission/FREE parking)a scratch card to win either $2 or $1000.

Woodbine officials have been working hard to promote opening day advertising throughout downtown Toronto; launching a spiffy new Woodbine website; and this morning Sandy Hawley, apprentice jockey Omar Moreno and Woodbine exec Glenn Crouter appeared on The Big Early on The Fan 590

Don Landry and Gord Stellick spoke to the Sovereign Award winning apprentice about his difficult journey from war-torn El Salvador to Edmonton and eventually Woodbine. It's an excellent story covered extensively by both Woodbine's Media Department and the National Post.

Sandy Hawley, Omar Moreno and Glenn Crouter on The Fan 590

Hawley is particularly impressed with the fact that Moreno has his head on his the expression goes. Moreno did a great job in the interview and even had a laugh racing through an excellent horse racing themed sportscast with announcer Peter Gross. It's well worth listening to this clip to hear Moreno's thoughts on how to discipline the declining Toronto Raptors!

Peter Gross and Omar Moreno do the sportscast

Gross, in addition to being a very funny guy, is also a Sovereign Award winning writer. I highly recommend readers check out his latest blogpost which deals with the the recent wagering scandal in Edmonton. Click here to read Gross on How Winners Got Cheated In Edmonton.

With Friday's feature being the aptly named Debut Stakes. I will attempt to make a winning debut of my own with my first handicapping attempt of the 2010 meet.

Here's the field:

Debut Stakes - For Four Year-Old and Upward. Ontario-sired travelling five furlongs on the Polytrack.

1 Don's Folly (ON) 5/H L E Wilson 118 I Black 10/1
2 Bold Nurse (ON) 7/G L S Callaghan 118 M J Doyle 15/1
3 Dancingall Theway (ON) 5/G L J McAleney 118 L Richards 8/1
4 Yummy With Butter (ON) 6/G L J C Jones 120 G de Gannes 12/1
5 Stray Cat Stride (ON) 5/G L R A Dos Ramos 118 D M O'Callaghan 15/1
6 Me the Sea and G T (ON) 4/G L T Pizarro 122 A R Katryan 20/1
7 Paso Doble (KY) 4/G L E Ramsammy 118 S C Attard 10/1
8 Drunken Love (ON) 5/G L G Olguin 122 N McKnight 3/1
9 Grazettes Landing (ON) 5/G L P Husbands 118 M E Casse 4/1
10 Stuck in Traffic (ON) 5/H L D Clark 122 N Gonzalez 6/1
11 Sand Cove (ON) 5/H L R C Landry 122 R L Attfield 8/1

1 Don's Folly

The son of Tethra was a force as a juvenile winning the Simcoe Stakes with Drunken Love in his rearview. After missing all of 2008, Don's Folly returned under the care of trainer Ian Black and put together a trio of good efforts winning twice and losing an allowance tilt by a nose. (In that nose loss on June 21st, Drunken Love was a length behind Don's Folly.)
His final two efforts of 2009 were not as impressive finishing fourth and fifth losing both races by 4 1/2 lengths though in very good company.

He spent the winter at Payson Park and has worked regularly toward this event. The 10-1 morning line is generous.

2 Bold Nurse (ON) 7/G L S Callaghan 118 M J Doyle 15/1

The 7yo went 0 for 8 in 2009 with a repeated series of early leads and late narrow losses while sprinting at the $40K claiming level. The move from 6F to 5F certainly helps but this group looks a bit tough for the Mike Doyle trainee.

3 Dancingall Theway (ON) 5/G L J McAleney 118 L Richards 8/1
A good angle early in the meet is to play horses that have already raced through the winter. Dancingal Theway won his last start on February 18 at Gulfstream sprinting 5F on the turf in an optional claiming allowance. The 5yo has plenty of success on the Woodbine poly and his fitness may alleviate this reach in class.

4 Yummy With Butter (ON) 6/G L J C Jones 120 G de Gannes 12/1

This 6yo gelding competed against many of his fellow entrants (Sand Cove, Stray Cat Stride, Stuck In Traffic, Drunken Love etc) in restricted Stakes events throughout 2009 winning the 7F Overskate by a nose and a closing second in the 6.5F Shepperton won by Drunken Love.
On Form it seems that 5F may be too short a distance, but a string of sharp regular workouts suggests Jono Jones may have a live horse if he can keep close to the pace. 12-1 is encouraging.

5 Stray Cat Stride (ON) 5/G L R A Dos Ramos 118 D M O'Callaghan 15/1

Plenty of bullets working over the Woodbine dirt training track for this 5yo gelding. He lost the Overskate by a nose to Yummy With Butter last September and then flattened out in his next and final start of 2009.

The 7F Overskate suggests he belong in this company and he performed well in his first start of 2009. Can he handle the quick early fractions? 15-1 is a generous offering.

6 Me the Sea and G T (ON) 4/G L T Pizarro 122 A R Katryan 20/1

The workouts are impressive. Particularly the 4F in 48 on March 20th, but I can't shake the fact that this is a turf horse. Last June he won the Bold Ruckus on the turf in a rapid 1:08.65 but his poly form is inconsistent. Granted, facing the likes of El Brujo and Hollywood Hit offered little opportunity for success but I'm passing on this one.

7 Paso Doble (KY) 4/G L E Ramsammy 118 S C Attard 10/1
Emile Ramsammy is generally a fast starter. The jock also has a rep for getting his horses to the lead first. That's an advantage in these short sprints to start the meet worth playing. Paso Doble, a 4yo gelding, is working consistently fast on the main track in the morning and could step up for new trainer Sid Attard.

8 Drunken Love (ON) 5/G L G Olguin 122 N McKnight 3/1

Morning line favourite has been working like a champ. He scored two stakes wins in 2009 in the Daryl Wells at Fort Erie and locally in the Shepperton over Stuck in Traffic and Yummy With Butter. He won first out last year in a 5 1/2 furlong event.

9 Grazettes Landing (ON) 5/G L P Husbands 118 M E Casse 4/1

Here's a combo worth looking for and highlighting in your program. Melnyk-Casse-Husbands. The lightly raced gelding won two of his three races in 2009. He tried the turf in Tampa this January and stopped. Freshened since that event, there's not much to read on his form - except that he's hit the board in 11 of 15 lifetime starts. Toss at your own peril.

10 Stuck in Traffic (ON) 5/H L D Clark 122 N Gonzalez 6/1

He won second time out in 2009 costing home easy in the New Providence. He failed to find the winners circle the rest of the meet. He was narrowly beaten after doing all the front end work in the Shepperton and Overskate and will take some catching in this 5F sprint.

11 Sand Cove (ON) 5/H L R C Landry 122 R L Attfield 8/1
Roger Attfield trainee in a stakes race. Check. A son of Bold Executive in an Ontario-sired sprint. Check. A healthy string of local works prepping. Uh oh. Well, he has been working at Payson all winter and has won at this distance previously. The 5yo spent the fall chasing Rahy's Attorney and Ventura in turf events. His lone win - a wire-to-wire route in the Elgin. Plenty of class but not sure about 5F for this fella.

Bold Nurse and Stuck in Traffic are going to give Drunken Love a run for his money in the first quarter. Grazette's Landing and Paso Doble will stalk comfortably while Dancingall Theway and Sand Cove wait patiently in the back of the pack.
Around the far turn Bold Nurse will falter and Drunken Love will work hard to put away Stuck in Traffic as the stalkers make their moves. By midstretch, Grazette's Landing is driving clear and only the two late closers can catch him. At the wire:

1. Grazette's Landing
2. Sand Cove
3. Drunken Love
4. Yummy With Butter

* * *

Those readers looking to make a big score on Friday would do well to check out the new Woodbine feature Seventh Race Sketch. The new website addition by Adam Hickman tracks a variety of stats as he purposefully picks through the seventh race of Friday's card. Click the link above to find out how Hickman came to this conclusion:

Based on the numbers, there are jockeys, like Emile Ramsammy and Jesus Castanon, who move several percentage points forward when the races are shorter. There are jockeys who fire at close to the same percentage at five furlongs (Wilson, Husbands, McAleney, Contreras).

The numbers never tell the full story, but they point in the right direction. Jockeys, like trainers and horses, have skill sets that make them more proficient in certain scenarios. The more races you watch the more you can pick out these skills and how they effect a jockey’s overall record at the track.

* * *

Finally, there are a few Queen's Plate contenders making their first starts this weekend. In Saturday's third race, Reade Baker's Fastin Bear and Mark Casse's Lagal Review go head to head in a 5F sprint.

Legal Review broke his maiden on August 9th defeating Foxley and Shades of Gold in a 5 1/2F MSW. Later in 2009, the Bold Executive colt would capture the Bull Page Stakes over Doctor Jack and Arepeatee.

Last summer, Fastin Bear just barely broke his maiden over a hard-charging Southern Pride on Jul 5 in a 5F sprint - D's Wando finished third in that event ran in :58.60.
Fastin Bear would go on to win the Simcoe Stakes in September. Fastin Bear has been working consistently in the morning

The pair are the only Ontario breds in the field of five. Click here to see the entries.

For more on the Plate, check out my Queen's Plate Contenders tab.

* * *

Check back over the weekend for photos, recaps and more from opening day at Woodbine.


Anonymous said...

Seventh race stretch is a waste of time if you ask me.. everyone knows husbands gets better mounts than bahen. thus his percentage will be higher because hes on a better horse on average. you could argue that adam hickman compares 5 furlong statistics to longer races. however the quality of competition gets tougher at longer races and the fields get larger. so ofcourse emile ramsammy and steve bahen have a higher winning percentage at 5 furlong races. they are running easier races.

Keith-TripleDeadHeat said...

Hey Anon - Let's give Hickman a chance. It's the first edition and the idea is a good one, especially considering the wealth of statistics he has at his fingertips to plow through.

That said, I understand your point regarding Husbands and the quality of his mounts. He's got his choice of horses.

I do believe there is value in playing Ramsammy horses early in the meet so I'm in agreement with Hickman on that point.

Let's keep an eye out for the next edition and we'll see how the piece involves.

Thanks for the comment. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

ramsammy is a great rider.. just a weak article for hickman. thats all im saying