Top Performance of the Day: Groupe Doll. Wow, wow, wow, WOW! A brilliant, powerhouse performance. The guys at Equibase don't use comments like "3w, took over at will" very often. "Took over at will" in a G1 is not easy. Now I bring this up not to act like a Monday morning quarterback. I played conservatively all day and bet this horse but I should have bet more on her. She justified a 2 unit play. She stacked up very well on Speed and Pace. But on top of that she stacked up extremely well on Stamina. Note in her form two strong runs at GP going a one turn mile (98 and 100 Beyers). On top of that she just scored a 100 Beyer win in a G1 at Keeneland so Recency was there. at 7/8ths it all set up for her. She was sitting on the tote at 9/2ish I should have bet more. That type of combo on Speed/Pace/Stamina and with that Recency is lethal. Lesson learned.
Biggest Buzz Kill: Race 10. What a dud for the G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. I was way off on this one. I had a few beating the hell out of each other up front with a cavalry charge in the final furlong by a few others. That's one reason why I thought Data Link at 9/1 was too juicy to ignore. Instead a little G3 caliber miler jogged around at ridiculously slow fractions and stole the race. Not sure if I could have made a better decision or if it was just one of those fluky races. I recommend taking this into account if you look to play one of those guys next out because that race will not look like a good race in their form.
Bode: He's legit. Not sure if he will get the Classic distance of ten furlongs but he is a legit horse. For those of you that think speed figs are bogus then why did he almost wire a field of twenty horses coming in as the horse with clearly the best overall figs? if the figs are trash how do you explain that?
Pattern: In the Derby I really like to analyze who I think is improving and projecting forward to run the best race of their life on the first Saturday in May. One way of doing this is to see who has clearly run better figs in their 3YO season than they did as a 2YO. I had IHA, Gem, Alpha, Dullahan, and Went the Day Well in this category. Gem and Alpha were awful. The other horses I mentioned all ran well. I'll continue to do this although it is not iron clad and full proof obviously. Conversely, I felt CC, Hansen, UR, and some others had possibly already shown us their best stuff under the hood. Creative Cause surprised me. he ran very well. I felt he had peaked.
Hansen: Maybe he proves me wrong and wins the Preakness but I am still suspicious of this guy. I don't think a sixteenth of a mile shorter will do the trick. I have him as a red flag on Distance and Class. He does not have success when pressured by other horses. I'm sure people will be tempted to swing for the fences on him in the Preakness at 8/1ish. I will not be doing that.
Cutesie I Can Outsmart Everyone and Find an Angle Nobody Else Will See: Horses like Daddy Long Legs and Done Talking got some play because there was some "sneaky" reason why they could win. Done Talking is too slow. period. Case closed. DLL tried to show zip and it was obvious that he does not have the physical skills to win this race. I am not very good at finding big bombs. Splids is the best at that. I do know though that the best bombs to play are ones that at least have the physical ability needed to win the race.
Closers at 9F: I mentioned previously I almost had Daddy Knows Best as my top play. I become more skeptical after looking deeper. Some times those horses that make big late moves at 9F can make the same move at 10F. Some times that late move at 9F is the end of the rope for them. I got lucky here I suppose and faded DKB. He was not able to run well at this distance. Scat Daddy is off to a fast start as a Sire but no evidence yet that he will produce horses that can go ten furlongs.
Lots of other stuff in my head but that's a start.