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Location: Stockton, California, United States

Some call me OlRailbird.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Longshots to cool off?

The forecast is 12 degrees cooler for Thursday's card at Santa Anita.

At 87 degrees, maybe the artificial surface will seem less like greasy ball bearings and more like real dirt. Not that anyone has described how the Pro Ride feels to a horse, I'm just trying to imagine.

Ball bearings seems a bit hard. Maybe more like teeny little mushy balls of spongy plastic that slide out from under your hooves as you try to negotiate the far turn at 45 miles per hour.

Whatever it feels like, I suspect it feels worse the hotter the weather gets. Not to mention the heat itself and the way the dark surface absorbs it. If it was 99 in the stands, it must have been 125 or more on the track itself...

My prediction of a good chance for a carryover came true. No carryover, but one ticket took home the whole prize of $521K. No doubt the winner singled Simply Run on the turf in the 5th. Not only did she look good, but damn, it was a solid favorite on the turf, not the dirt!

Anyway, the dirt card was full of prices but I must admit most of them figured toward the top of my list and were not all that surprising. Not that I expected them to win, there were other horses with better shots if the footing were equal.

Let's just say the day wasn't formful, but wasn't so weird that I could point to the track and scream,"This surface is a piece of crap that should be shoveled onto a slow moving barge and used as monkey feed for any politician in favor of a Wall Street bailout during his or her excruciating journey through the plastic wasteland of the Pacific Gyre back to Australia where the whole mess can be composted into nutrients and airlifted to help save the endangered Tasmanian Devil."

I didn't say that, but it would solve three problems at once and probably make some entrepreneur a lot of money.

As for the immediate problem of trying to make any money at Oak Tree tomorrow, there will be more than full fields in 5 of 6 Pick Six races so think carryover again. I've got lukewarm favorites to win 3 of 6 with middling longshots for the other three.

In the third, I rather like CAPE HATCHET at 12-1 ML in a starter allowance for horses who have done no more than break their maiden. He's coming off a long layoff for Doug O'Neil, but both of his races are at Santa Anita (just not Pro Ride SA.) The favorite will likely be ACE HIGH HAND, but he's no shoo-in. Pro Ride will be a new experience for all, maybe the top pick will at least find the track view familiar.

Good luck and don't forget the free picks at http://www.horsecalc.com/.


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