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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Strike It Rich with Rich Strike

I'm often asked, "Why do you play superfectas? Can't you just bet an exacta for once?"

$321,500 - THAT'S WHY!! Somebody hit that. Today. They took a chance and they collected over a quarter of a million.

I will be honest and say that I truly thought this article would have been completely different tonight. If that horse didn't find that seam at the rail, I know for a fact that many of us were cashing that superfecta. I will post my ticket here and I know several others who also had it laid out correctly as well - but we got nipped moments before Epicenter was crossing that finish line.

21 - Rich Strike

3 - Epicenter

10 - Zandon

13 - Simplification

1 - Mo Donegal

An 80-1 longshot storms the rail and there goes 1 year's worth of handicapping down the drain. I even put the horse in 4th because our longtime Dirty Horse club fellow handicapper here, Mark Michelle, mentioned him a few times and was right on the money. Congrats Mark, excellent pick.

Yes. A losing ticket is a losing ticket but it is a hard pill to swallow when the horse that beats you is 80-1 and drew in after two scratches, Un Ojo and Ethereal Road, two of the easiest tosses on the field, within 1 day of the cut-off. Oh, it does hurt bad.

But what I see here is the fact that Baffert's speed clones fell by the wayside and this year, stamina made a real showing. Even Rich Strike, with his 3.36 index, was weighted much further to stamina in his beautiful configurations. He did it, whereas in other years, horses like Vino Rosso and Magnum Moon and so many others had no shot against those pumped up speedsters.

I always go over the order of finish every year after the Derby to see what was missed, but I don't need to do that this year.

Rich Strike

Chefs = DP = 5-8-11-0-0 (24) DI = 3.36 CD = 0.75

Mares = Mare Profile = 7-1-6-9-7 Speed = 8 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.72 Triads = 14-16-22

His numbers followed the proper set-up. 10.8f optimum. Speed on top through his chefs, weighted with real stamina in the triads with an 8 point spread in balance. Altered Speed horses, in prior years, going all the way back to 2015 trounced these set-ups. Apparently, the Baffert syndicate got the message loud and clear this year and we had a FAIR playing field. I'm shocked, but should have figured he couldn't be that stupid and arrogant to try to pull it again so soon. I should have foreseen that things may get back to historical order with him out but the whole Ex-assistant trainer kept my guard up. I can't apologize for it because this is what that man did in his quest to destroy this sport. Live and learn and don't get burned again.

The odd thing though, is the performance of Messier. Historically, his figures hit that board, although, looking back at that April Top 7 article, there was doubt in the mares configurations if they in fact wanted their say on a clean track:

Confidence Level for Board Hit: Clean Track = 82% Sloppy Track = 95%

Baffert still looms large here. Messier has an excellent set-up for board-hit material on a sloppy track, there is no doubt in my mind about that. However, if it wasn't for Baffert lurking around the corner and if this horse had zero attachment to him, I would give him more like a 75% confidence level on a clean track. Can't do it. This horse must be used top to bottom on your super ticket, rain or shine.

Distrust in that man affects many things but we do what we do to be on the safe side and we pay the compensation. We take out the insurance policies and pay a high premium. Did I ever tell you how much I detest that man? Maybe I did!

I make no apologies for Taiba. I knew he had nothing for the Derby. That is outright selfish greed on the part of his connections and luckily no one got hurt, but it costs us in the long run. I hated having to use that horse with everything in my being. Just ask our friend Bart. He knows. He was on the receiving end of a massive cursing tirade last night on emails and I think I had him rolling in laughter on the floor! I was so mad that I had to use that horse.

The two Tapit boys failed miserably - as is usual for Charge It's configurations but I just think he is a true talent but wasn't quite ready for such an undertaking. Watch for this guy in the near future. He will make a name for himself. He has that "Maxfield" thing about him, but he wasn't ready for that massive race.

But not for White Abarrio. He was configured properly and he had experience. I assume that the post really did get him in a major predicament, unable to secure his preferred post. We kinda knew it, but still took the shot anyway.

Mo Donegal's position helped him a great deal and he did the best he could to grab his 5th. He actually performed much better than I thought and still added him to the 4th spot to be on the safe side. But hey, it doesn't really matter at this point, does it?

Simplification is a magnificent horse who does not have the 10.8f as expected, but it does appear he hovered down to about 10.2f, which got him on that tote board like a champ. Great horse, suited for maybe the Met Mile, the Whitney, the PA Derby. I would love that. Brian, if Simplification shows up at Parx, your presence is mandatory this year.

Zandan is a much better horse than his numbers (mare's numbers) depict and I did listen to Brian and I used the horse much more heavily than I would have otherwise. He truly did a fantastic job and he is definitely not a momma's boy. Absolutely not.

Epicenter. Epicenter. A beast of a horse. Even in defeat, you can see the raw talent and his breeding shining through. With a longshot nipping him in the end, he still has been one of the best young colts that I have seen in a very long time. This guy is a champion and we have not seen anything yet. The more he matures and grows into himself, he will continue to shine on that track. I already know, he wont get nipped again at Keeneland in the Breeders Cup Classic. This guy is in it for the long haul.

And Rich Strike. A gorgeous looking horse who stepped up and used all of his configurations and got the job done. He is built like Vino Rosso, so remember him come Belmont time. Unfortunately, he will not be 80 to1.

The configurations, our dosage system, and the hard work is a major feather in our caps. Those numbers worked this year from the very beginning. It took a longshot less than 5 seconds to shatter it all. Close but no cigar. All I can say is, Cheers to 2023.

And with that, your host will be taking a bit of time away from handicapping for a short time. I have to start the Belmont.

The Club's Password will be taken down tonight, thankfully, and will resume for the Belmont Stakes.


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