TIP #4: FINDING WINNERS
Looking at a Slew race listing, one sometimes can be confident that one of the
top horses is set to run a winning race or at least finish strongly and be part
of an exacta or trifecta. One example of a recent winner points to a key
component in using Slew's Fast Horses to find winners in this way.
On Feb. 11, 2012, Slew's top horses won three out of the first four races
listed for the day at Gulfstream Park - races 2,4 and 5. I'm going to show you the 5th race as the
first example of this subject. Here is the way it was listed that day:
These two horses were standouts in this race, a
1 1/16 mile open affair at the MSW level on the turf. Bridge Loan was making his
third start with the previous one being his debut on the turf. You might keep your eye on this son of Empire Maker
out of a Giants Causeway mare to win on the turf very soon. Late stamina seems
to be an early problem but in time Mr. Pletcher should have that kink worked
out. However, on this day he was facing Golden Ticket for the second time in a
row, having finished behind him in their last start. Those two finishes are
listed in Slew's listing shown above. With Golden Ticket making his 2nd start on
turf and 2nd start in the current form cycle, and having finished very well in
his turf debut on Jan 01, 2012, he was set to beat a field that appeared to lack
any real competition with the exception of Bridge Loan, whom he had already
beaten. The key here is that there was only 3/4 of a length between them on Jan.
1, but one was moving forward and the other backward.
They ran as expected on Feb. 11 with the top horse besting the second listing
yet again. But this type of look to a Slew race isn't what this article is about.
It does however, serve as a contrast to Slew's listing of the race that held the horse to find that day,
a horse which keyed a
$460 pick 3 using 2 strong singles and the four Slew's Fast Horses listed in the
middle leg. Here was the first leg of that wager:
OK. So this is a bit of a different story, and I'll take you through my
process with this listing. I needed a single here because I wanted to play into
race 11. I thought Get Stormy would avenge her Breeders Cup loss in her first
start back, and didn't want to miss the opportunity if she did. But I had four
horses in the middle leg (all listed by the way) and needed a single in this
race. I was also working and didn't have time to
handicap the races to any great degree. But I wanted to be there if Get
Stormy avenged her Breeders Cup loss as I suspected she would.
Didn't have to (handicap) as it turned out. Here is what I saw:
Heavenly landing had won her last start listed here (the + after the
rating). Speak Easy Gal had won at Tampa on Jan 8th, then ran a tough one on
Sunshine Millions day and got beat after leading the entire way. That was Jan.
28, just two weeks before this race. Not good. Hit It Rich had won her last race
(shown here) but in fact had run after
that AND WON that
race too. That race was not fast enough to make the list. That leaves Thundering
Emila, and while she makes the list, she was obvious filler, and with the 6th place
finish showing in a very fast race she couldn't be considered a serious
contender here...and her PP's bear that out. So: we have two horses that won their
last start and one who almost did. Do you know how hard it is for a horse to
repeat as a winner? Unless you are Citation, Cigar or Zenyatta your chances of
repeat wins in graded stakes company are very small. Enter Snow Top Mountain.
With a graded stakes resume and 4 losses in her last four races that
amount to less than a length, she was ready.
The point here is that just because Slew lists horses in a certain order
doesn't make them "picks". Form cycles play a huge part in a horses career with
losses following wins as the normal course of events. I was thrilled when I saw
this listing the morning of the race because it filled me with confidence. I had
been very familiar with Snow Top Mountain from previous races as she has shown
herself on Slew's lists several times. On this day, with the four horses that
precede her on this list, she was an even more confident single in this grade 3
turf event, and keyed a wonderful pick 3!
So don't be afraid to dig a little deep when races show the kind of listing you
see here. More often then not, the high quality horse that ran well but
didn't win in his or her last race, if it was a good affair, is likely to outrun
horses that have come off of wins. Not unlike a weight trainer who has a great
training session on Monday, then can't lift a bag of groceries on Tuesday. If
the horses on top are coming off of strong wins, and facing tough competition
today...don't be afraid to throw them out.
And as always...good luck and good 'capping!