The Big Horse Handicapper provides a weekly handicapping column to the USTA covering races on Friday and Saturday. The USTA has given the Big Horse Handicapper a $100 mythical bankroll each week for wagering
Happy New Year racing fans!!
Last weekend started out rough for us as we made several exotic plays at Northfield Park last Friday night and was very close to cashing tickets, but we lost photos on a couple of our plays and it was starting to look like a close but no cigar weekend. Fortunately, we turned it around on Saturday night at Balmoral with our win and place wager when we caught a longshot (Gimmeazzzmooch) who paid $21 for the win and $8.60 to place.
Handicapping and money management are two key factors when playing horses. It is always more fun to catch the “Big Ticket” with Trifectas and Superfectas, but remember it is also important to stay in the game. Never let a longshot or a horse that shows good value at the windows slip by using it in the exotics and not playing the horse to win and place. In the long run, playing gimmicks can get expensive, especially if you have a streak of losing races and usually you will have more action taking horses 3-1 or higher to win and place. Your money will last longer and you will find yourself cashing more tickets.
With that said, we will start our weekend off at the Meadows on Friday afternoon, and then we will focus on the Meadowlands on Friday and Saturday night.
Last weekend we cashed $144 from our $100 mythical bankroll leaving us with a small profit for the weekend. Heading into weekend #62 we have wagered $6,052 and have cashed for $4,721.
Good luck everyone!
Big Horse Selections for Friday, January 3 and Saturday, January 4
Friday, January 3
The Meadows Race #10
#1 Tug River Claude (9-2) is a solid $20,000 claimer that fits well in this class. He raced big last time off a pocket trip to outkick the favorite at the finish. He draws inside and if able to stay close to the front once again he should have a big shot at a repeat victory here.
The Play: $10 to win and place #1 Cost: $20
The Meadowlands Race #2
#9 Lindy McDreamy (6-1) is certainly no cinch, but is in a new barn and wasn’t bad last time out parked first-over at Yonkers in a slow rated mile. He draws outside here but will pick up David Miller who does exceptionally well with trotters. We should get a decent price, so we will take a small shot with him here.
The Play: $5 to win and place #9 Cost: $10
The Meadowlands Race #5
#5 Mattie Terror Girl (5-2) is in very sharp form right now. She has won back to back races and fired home in :27 last time out. She was a 3-time $72,000 winner last year and should be very tough in here. #4 Jinglejanglejingle (3-1) is one that just missed in each of her last two races. She was perfectly positioned each race and just fell short a nose at the finish. Her form is outstanding right now, but her only knock is the fact that she won just once in 26 starts last year.
The Play: $10 Exacta 5-4 Cost: $10
The Meadowlands Race #6
#5 Il Mago (5-1) is moving up in class off a wire to wire victory last time out when adding lasix. He draws in the middle of the gate in this race which should be a perfect spot to show his early speed. He doesn’t necessarily need the lead to win this race, but he does race best when he races close to the front.
The Play: $10 to win and place #5 Cost: $20
Saturday, January 4
The Meadowlands Race #6
#8 Dynamic Youth (4-1) has been ultra-sharp at Dover Downs the last two races and missed by a nose in his latest. He has paced with top stakes competition all summer long and looks to fit well with this group. Corey Callahan has the call. #4 Hypnotic Blue Chip (5-2) is the one to beat after two impressive scores in a class lower. This horse has made over $1.7 million lifetime and has paced back to back 1:49 miles.
The Play: $2 Trifecta 8/4/13567 and $1 Trifecta 8/13567/4 Cost: $15
The Meadowlands Race #9
#1 Ima Giggity Fool (8-1) raced very well at the Meadowlands in the past and even took his lifetime mark here (1:50). He comes off two strong qualifiers showing good late speed in his latest and will get the services of Ron Pierce in this race. We will only make a small play with him since he is making just his first start since October, but if he is ready he could be a longshot sleeper here.
The Play: $5 to win and place #1 Cost: $10
The Meadowlands Race #11
#2 Bakin on the Beach (15-1) is a longshot in this race, but raced well last time closing from more than 14 lengths back to miss by only 3-1/2 at the finish. He draws inside here and retains Scott Zeron. He made over $109,000 last year.
The Play: $5 to win, place and show #2 Cost: $15