Since early January, Gene Grieshaber has been challenging all comers to take him on with the Friday card at Oaklawn. Today, it’s my turn to step to the plate. Looking at the card for 8 February 2019….
TLDR notes: longshot #13 in the 4th, best bet #8 in the 2nd, boring lock #4 in the 7th
First race: #1A Big Guy Ian (ML 6/1), who’s coming off a win and dropping in class (when >= 50% drop in claiming tag coming off a win = 20% wins). David Cohen is a bit better than average when piloting horses with an Early running style in dirt sprints (16% win/35% ITM), except when trained by Robertino Diodoro (they combine for 23% win 44% ITM on EDS).
Cohen is listed as the jockey for the entry. #1 Neil’s Diamond is an Early Presser, on which Cohen is even less impressive (5% win/36% ITM on EPDS), except when McKnight’s the trainer. They’ve been a great tandem at Oaklawn so far (2nd place in their lone EPDS, 2 for 2 with EDS), so it’s a mixed bag if Neil’s Diamond is the runner. So, a scratch would put us on #3 Tashreeh.
Second race: #8 Sky Freak (ML 6/1), as layoffs hurt the favored horses (#2 Tickle Bunny and #5 Cipherin’ Sue) with older fillies on 45+ layoffs only winning 11%/35% ITM. If Bridgmohan can find the kick for her, she’s a winner (he’s 24% wins/57% ITM on Sustained in Dirt Routes). The bullet works seem to indicate she has the speed, if the stamina holds (overcame slow break in her first).
Third race: #1 Bow and Arrow (ML 9/5) is a chalky choice, but Cohen masters Sustained running style horses in dirt sprints (22% wins/60% ITM). If he ends up on #1A Sutton Impact, the race gets wide open. Cohen does well on Sutton Impact, but not most Early running style horses in dirt sprints. They probably wouldn’t be the favorite then, so the improved price would guide my bet here anyway.
Fourth race: #13 Sweet Apple Pie (ML 15/1) projects to be on the early lead and has late speed in comparison to this field. It’s a wide-open race and I was sorely tempted by #2 Point Streak, but that long layoff by a 5-year-old filly with mediocre works held me back.
Fifth race: #12 Headland (ML 8/1) comes from the outside, but looks to close it out late, negating the concerns about the starting stall. Valdivia does very well on Pressers in Dirt Sprints (26% wins/58% ITM).
Sixth race: #4 Valiant Lady (ML 4/1) has ascending speed figs over her last 5 races, winning 3 and placing another (out of the money was the one 5 back). It certainly helps that Bridgmohan brings home 18% of his Early running style horses in dirt sprints. (42% ITM) Much of the field is coming off long layoffs here.
Seventh race: #4 Captain Von Trapp (ML 5/2) may be a chalk selection, but Ramon Vazquez is going to bring him from the back to the lead to secure this win.
Eighth race: #12 Pop Life (ML 5/1) showed increasing speed figs over the last three starts, all in the money, and now races the first time as a gelding. Again, the Sustained running style shouldn’t be hurt by the outside post. We get a nice bonus in that Vazquez wins 24%/59% ITM on Sustained in Dirt Sprints.
Ninth race: #8 Gold Zephyr (ML 5/1) in hopes that a speed duel will develop and allow Cabrera to guide her to the winner’s circle. She was sired by GoldenCents, who was on the hot list for sires of 2-year-olds last year. His progeny were at their best in dirt sprints (17% wins/43% ITM in DS, 14/49 DR, 6/38 TR, 17/35 TS).
Conclusion: Gene better be on his game tomorrow! Otherwise, I’ve already got some baseball catcher’s gear picked out to put that $25 toward!
This worked out well. The mythical $2 WPS bet results were:
- 1st race: With the scratch, got #3 Tashreeh, placed $8.20, Gene had #1, which won for $15 — Gene $15, Dave $8.20
- 2nd race: #8 Sky Freak placed $15.80, Gene #2 $0 — Dave $24, Gene $15
- 3rd race: #1 Bow and Arrow placed $4.50, Gene #2 won $16 — Gene $31, Dave $28.50
- 4th race: No change — Gene $31, Dave $28.50
- 5th race: #12 Headland wins $31.80, Gene #7 $0 — Dave $60.30, Gene $31
- 6th race: #4 Valiant Lady places $10.40, Gene #1 $0 — Dave $70.70, Gene $31
- 7th race: #4 Captain Von Trapp wins $11.60, Gene #5 $0 — Dave $82.30, Gene $31
- 8th race: no change — Dave $82.30, Gene $31
- 9th race: no change — Dave $82.30, Gene $31