Horse Racing Handicapping Notes - Hollywood Park November 8
Author: Marc Weinberg
November 8 - The $1,500 Thursday Hollywood Park game on Derbywars.com is today's juicy objective. There are only 15 entrants (each putting up $115), so the field is small but will doubtless be competitive. There are 8 races to handicap and I imagine the winning score will be around $80 ($2 win/place bets on each race with a cap of $32 a win and $18 a place). Break even would be $32 and 2.5x returns should definitely be good enough to cash if not win this.
Here are my initial thoughts for the Betfair Hollywood Park card today - I might end up changing selections during the tournament if I need to protect a lead or play catch up, so with that in mind I have added a few longshot possibilities as well.
RACE 1: ATTACK THE JACK figures to be a short-priced favorite to open the meeting. She has excellent form from last season at this track and this is the same kind of spot where she reeled off three wins in a row before biting off more than she could chew in Allowance company last time. No need to reinvent the wheel and look for upsets here, so will start conservatively and bet the chalk here.
RACE 2: The morning line favorite here, Living Our Dream, inspires little confidence. My initial pick was Vee, who ran well last time out and drops in class. But I find myself drawn to a long shot play and might well use PLAZARITA instead. Those odds of 10/1 look too good to pass up. Note that the horse comes out of a key race against better last time and this race shapes up as an upset.
RACE 3: Typical nightmarish Cal race where the field is small (5 runners) and any of them have the form to win. So the betting will be 3/1 the top 4 and only Quindici Man out the betting. Not a bad play to take him if the first two races are missed, but for now my head tells me to stick with THIRTYFIRSTSTREET who has solid grass form.
RACE 4: KEVIN'S KOOL KAT has a jockey/trainer combo that is tough to ignore. Not the strongest field and will be interested to see if Diamond Flush finds support off an intriguing debut in a key race. The first timer, Spooky Lady, is also interesting in an open race where I have no strong feeling right now.
RACE 5: Joe Talamo finally gets some rides on this card, and one can do much much worse in West Coast handicapping contests than blindly taking him whenever possible. His ride here INCLUDE THE CAT makes plenty of appeal. Horse will roll late and this is a cornerstone play for my tournament today. Next.
RACE 6: Tough race with poor form for most of the runners and a couple of first-timers who don't stand out either. The Whole Deal has the class credentials to win but a bunch of heavy losses don't usually do horses any favors and he is overexposed for sure. Proud Bull can improve with Talamo, blinkers, and first time back after gelding. But if I need a massive long shot play I will go with REAL DEAL APPEAL, a first time runner from the Aguirre barn. That's only if the 20/1 price holds. Trainer hits with 12% first starters and might be the play at a price.
RACE 7: MASTER CHEF has the form to win this race. Brad Free is bullish and who am I to disagree? Talamo rides for Hollendorfer so the connections are there, and the horse loves the track.
RACE 8: The favored horses are hard to ignore here. Peppy Bolly is due to win and at 5/1 makes some appeal. COPPEROPOLIS has my early vote but might go off too short for me to use here. For now Talamo gets the vote to boot home a 3rd winner on the day.
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