Blog Archive
  •  
    2013 (2)
  •  
    2012 (3)
  •  
    2011 (4)
  •  
    2010 (6)
  •  
    2009 (6)
 

Andy Serling has been playing the horses for almost his entire life, and is currently the co-host of NYRA Live. To follow Andy on Twitter, click here.

My Guarantee

Monday, June 01, 2009

I always enjoy during the NBA playoffs when players guarantee victory. Patrick Ewing, who was one of my all-time favorite players, used to do it fairly often. Sometimes he was right.....sometimes not. I feel like there were some recent guarantees from the Cleveland Cavaliers. I always wonder how exactly they would define guarantee. Does it mean " I hope we will win? " Maybe if players were told they had to pay for every season ticket holder's seats the following season if they were wrong they would reconsider their promises. Maybe not. I thought of all this when I read the following comment from Calvin Borel, concerning Mine That Bird, on this website.....“We're going to win it, no questions asked," Borel told reporters. While I appreciate his confidence, as I have been known to be extremely confident about my selections from time to time, and certainly Mr. Borel is riding the kind of horse racing high right now that most can only dream of, but I can't help but wonder if this is somehow akin to pronouncing your horse "home " at the eighth pole....something you invariably end up regretting. Sounds pretty tempting to the Horseracing Gods if you ask me.
 
Contrarian that I am, I now plan to bet against Mine That Bird with the utmost confidence, that I can guarantee. I, however, will attempt to stand on at least slightly firmer ground than simply hoping the supposed Horseracing Gods will be forced to intervene. Mine That Bird has been the recipient of two extremely good trips in a row, at a very opportune time may I add, and this is something that rarely happens to deep closers. In the Derby, he rode a very strong rail, while getting a shockingly clean trip, against a field that simply did not show up. In the Preakness, while failing to beat a very good horse in Rachel Alexandra, he was able to take advantage of a pace the essentially collapsed, and got a very clean trip, all things considered, in a large field that bunched as the field was turning for home. Now, don't mistake this for a lack of respect for Mine That Bird, as I think he is a very nice horse, and he may very well be the best horse in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, but I think there is a high likelihood that he will not get as favorable a trip this weekend as he has gotten in the prior Triple Crown races.
 
Consider the pace scenerio. There are simply no confirmed front runners. Charitable Man, whose chances I am also not particularly high on, may end up going to the lead, or perhaps Miner's Escape will try to duplicate the same tactics that got the same connections into the winner's circle last year, but neither of these horses figure to be going particularly fast early. Thus, in all likelihood, Mine That Bird will find himself closer to the pace than he has been while being effective in the Derby and Preakness. In the past, when he has raced close to the pace he has had no effective finishing kick, while racing against much weaker foes. In my opinion, the main reason for his recent improvement is his new running style, and there appears to be more than a reasonable chance that will be mitigated in this weekend's Belmont Stakes. At his expected short odds, these are enough reasons for me to bet against Mine That Bird.
 
The problem, of course, is who can you be confident will run a winning race Saturday. I will worry about this later, or more distinctly Wednesday night after the pps come out, as I have already convinced myself of perhaps the most important decision a horseplayer can come to......I'm tossing the favorite. I guarantee that Calvin Borel's comments actually had nothing to do with this.




Comments :

  • William | June 09 2009 11:35 AM

    I couldnt help but come back to pat myself on the back for a fairly good handicapping job on this race. The win price was worth the shot, the exacta paid handsomely, and Gioponti made a nice DD with a spectacular race. I was very pleased to see Andy was including Summer Bird and I know how much he likes Gioponti, so I'm willing to bet he had a decent day. Am I wrong.

    reported
  • Chris | June 06 2009 10:13 AM

    Cool

    report this comment
  • Mike AAA | June 06 2009 08:05 AM

    Anything Up With Dunkirk???? Why is both Gomez and Prado NOT coming back to ride Dunkirk? Instead they are now on Chocolate Candy and Mr. Hot Shot. Also, Dunkirk's last 2 works were NOT bullet workouts (unlike his previous 4 workouts which were all bullet works).

    report this comment
  • justindew | June 05 2009 07:38 AM

    Andy, First-time commenter, long-time reader. Do you think Pioneerof The Nile would win this Belmont, or would he have to settle for 2nd. Great blog! Justin

    report this comment
  • Andy Serling | June 05 2009 07:13 AM

    Thanks Sue and I stand corrected that Rescue Party only raced on turf. For what it's worth, Shug seems to have an outstanding record racing his horses on synthetic tracks.

    report this comment
  • Seattle Sue | June 05 2009 12:59 AM

    Thank you Andy for the "Shug" lesson that's why this is Andy Serling's Blog. I agree with you on the synthetic and turf resemblance. I was just noting that the horse performed better on the main track at Keenland then he did the turf at Gulfstream :) Lots of Luck on Saturday ..Happy Handicapping.

    report this comment
  • Andy Serling | June 04 2009 08:42 PM

    Sue, the synthetic surface at Keeneland bears about as much resemblence to dirt as I do to Brad Pitt. It plays as a turf course. Shug's real name is Claude. Shug trains Rescue Party.

    report this comment
  • Seattle Sue | June 04 2009 07:58 PM

    Andy,Rescue Squad's only win was on the synthetic @ Keenland 1 1/8, his only impressive one in my opinion; take a look: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/race/USA/KEE/2009/4/19/4 He is actually trained by Claude, Shug's son. Anyhow, I apparently have way too much time on my hands :) Can't wait for Saturday, Mr. Hot Stuff wins the award for best looking of this bunch, too bad it's not a beauty contest.

    report this comment
  • lonnie lee | June 04 2009 07:27 PM

    DUNKIRK by 3 in belmont early in the year he was rank the best 3 year old and never won a graded race.IN florida derby he ran into a monster in the KDERBY he went to his knees so toss that race if runs back to 108 or better cant see anyone improving that much.MTB"s 105,106 two good beyers dont think he can maintain or improve not with 3 races in 5 weeks . My second choice is choc. candy.

    report this comment
  • andy serling | June 04 2009 10:30 AM

    Hank, maybe I am wrong, but I believe Rescue Party has run exclusively on the turf. In my opinion, if Shug McGaughey felt he could run well on the dirt he would not have raced him only on the grass. There are far more opportunities, for far more money, with far more ramifications as far as breeding value, on the dirt than on the turf, and when a trainer as capable as Shug makes a decision to race his horse only on turf, from day one, there is most likely a good reason for this.

    report this comment
  • rocketrobert | June 04 2009 06:27 AM

    Thousands of horses out there, so many well-bred.....but they can't all run like their fathers and their mothers. Still, if I have to pick a horse bred to go a distance, Mr. Hot Stuff is out of Tiznow, out of a Turkoman dam. Doesn't hurt that Edgar Prado is aboard, either. Would be remarkable if he defeated the son of Birdstone, since he was aboard that sire when Smarty Jones tanked.

    report this comment
  • Seattle Sue | June 03 2009 11:01 PM

    Hi Hank..I also took a gander at your Rescue Squad. Sired by Dynaformer whose offspring I noticed run well on turf/grass. Barbaro's maiden win comes to mind. He was an early nomination for the Triple Crown Trail;as were more than 400 two year olds. His three race replays I watched were honest. Maybe Mcgaughey didn't see what he needed inorder to put him on the dirt against tougher. He looks like one to add to your equibase stable to track. Here's a link to check pedigree's for free! http://www.pedigreequery.com/rescue+squad2 Oh..Today's priceless quote from Lukas: "They all can run a mile and a half," Lukas said. "Some just take longer than others."

    report this comment
  • Bill Floyd | June 03 2009 10:18 PM

    Give me 7-1 on every horse and I take MTB every time. Odds even, he's the horse to beat, no doubt. But I have to like some of the others at the posted odds. The best bet, in my humble opinion, at 12-1 is Summer Bird, a real quality horse that almost caught Papa Clem in the Arkansas Derby. He will be there at the end, all things equal. This race is a horse race. The last 2 were jockey's races.

    report this comment
  • Bill Floyd | June 03 2009 10:03 PM

    THIS IS FOR HANK RASMUSSEN This is on Rescue Squad's Pedigree -- Never heard of him until now but he has one hell of a pedigree!!! Third Generation Foundation Sire was Hail to Reason, a Nearco line colt (absolute best Foundation Line – or tail line to some). Nashua, Ribot and Olympia in the rest of the sire line. His dam is a Mr. Prospector foundation line gal with Deputy Minister, Hoist the Flag and Buckpasser in the other lines. I score him at ROUGHLY 76-79 on the "Floyd Breeding Index". Quality Road at 81 is king of the class of 2009 and Dunkirk is at 75 for comparison. A couple of these horses, in his line, I’m still working on.

    report this comment
  • Albert | June 03 2009 10:29 AM

    For the past i dunno 30 years or more,every horse dat has won the first two legs of the Triple Crown has flopped in the Belmont,so dat means if RA had not been in the Preakness MTB would have won 2 JEWLS of the TC,so i garanteed dat MTB will Flop just like the rest,right now i like Charitable Man,Dunkirk and if he stays closer to the pace Summer Bird,but i wont make a final decision till i hear wut my man Andy Serling has to say cuz he is the freaking man lol how bout dat Magical Fantasy race? 6-1? i couldnt believe it lol

    reported
  • Herb O | June 03 2009 06:56 AM

    I'm in the toss MTB camp. It's rare for a horse to close that strong three races in a row. Also, it appeared that horse was used pretty hard last time. Plus he is the focal point this time. Zito and others will be ready.

    report this comment
  • slyfoxx | June 02 2009 08:40 PM

    Been a MTB fan since Woodbine. All he needed was a jockey who would follow chips plan. Win or lose he's my pick. He might not get the pace set up for his late run. Maybe Calvin will try to steal it on the front? MTB will be winning races long after this class of three year olds heads to the farm.

    report this comment
  • slyfoxx | June 02 2009 05:19 PM

    Been a MTB fan since Woodbine. All he needed was a jockey who would follow chips plan. Win or lose he's my pick. He might not get the pace set up for his late run. Maybe Calvin will try to steal it on the front? MTB will be winning races long after this class of three year olds heads to the farm.

    report this comment
  • T-boy | June 02 2009 05:00 PM

    I don't like the guarantee either, Andy, but Mine That Bird was always better than the credit that's been given him, and he's now peaking at just the right time. He now has a lot more track and distance to work with than he did at the Preakness, and he's looking super strong in practice. I wish Borel would be running on Rachel Alexandra, and I think MTB would still win. Rachel was fading against the colts, even at the shorter Preakness.

    report this comment
  • Andy Serling | June 02 2009 03:23 PM

    Still drinking the caffinated coffee I see.

    report this comment
  • toni tyler | June 02 2009 02:06 PM

    Borel is looked upon with grave disdain, and this, through the lens of 'betters' that have thought themselves better than he. Truth be told, MTB just might have a real "Birdstone" race in him. May i suggest that Mr. Andy go watch the Sire's Belmont Race. Yes, go look at the trip Birdstone took over Belmont. (it's on Video, here on this site) The more i see MTB, the more i see Birdstone. Odds or not, the horse really could win The Belmont Stakes. [watch 1st then comment]- and he's not even the horse i picked (lol)

    report this comment
  • Andy Serling | June 02 2009 01:28 PM

    Summer Bird could be an interesting horse. Fortunately for me, I was encouraged to watch his KY Derby more carefully, and he did have an impossible trip. I suggest anyone who hasn't watched it to take a good look. I'm still not convinced he's good enough but he needs to be considered.

    report this comment
  • Getz | June 02 2009 11:57 AM

    Calven Borel has never really come across as all that bright but he has a great ability to relax a horse early and find the seams late. What he's probably saying is that MTB is doing fantastic and moving over the track so well right now. Plus, he may just be hitting his peak rather then coming off of it, considering his age (May foal). He's obviously bred for the distance and Borel is not exactly going to go into the first turn wide. All of those things may lead him to to believe that he's a "sure thing", which of course is the problem because there is no such thing, especially in horse racing. I'm pretty sure he was talking that way going into the Preakness a couple years ago on SS when he got nipped at the wire by Curlin too. I love the horse in this race and I think Borel will give him what he needs to get there. When you see the way he works, he just glides over the track so effortlessly and he's so calm. Those sound like winning traits for the Belmont to me.

    report this comment
  • hank rasmussen | June 02 2009 11:40 AM

    shug mcgaughey trains a horse named rescue squad. first i should say i have been handicapping for 62 yrs. done fairly well with the triple crown races. rescue squad has been my no.1 horse since feb. and in my very experienced opinion would win the belmont going away. my question is why has he not run on the dirt on the trail? please check his pedigree and past performances and let me know what you think. thank you hank

    report this comment
  • Peter | June 02 2009 11:16 AM

    Andy, Nice try in Albany on Sunday. Now that you got your maiden seminar in Albany out of the way, maybe we'll cash next time out. thanks

    report this comment
  • William | June 02 2009 08:40 AM

    While I am not married to my selection and retain the right to change my mind after further deliberation, I think Summer Bird will be this years winner. Im not crazy about KD piloting, but I like the works and I like his last race before the Derby. Can win at a good price. Nice blood lines too!

    report this comment
  • Rich Schrage | June 02 2009 08:31 AM

    I'm still learning (after several "fanhood" years - as a Sr. Citizen), so I combine handicapping with hunches, etc. - and here's my views: even though "speed is speed" & Mine That Bird has best last race speed and 2nd best career, I'm putting this Bird in my 3rd or 4th choice in multi-horse exotics. I like the other "bird" - Summer Bird, son of my favorite horse Birdstone from years ago & to this day (saw his 1st race win just entering "fanhood" & his win over Smarty Jones in the Belmont). I know Mine That Bird is also a Birdstone son, but I agree with Andy's comments - and isn't Borel's comments "out of character" with his normal discourse. The PPs have been out from DRF (including June 1 "works") - so what's left? (understand final PPs coming Wed.) My top 6 for exotics are leaving out Brave Victory, Flying Private, Luv Gov and Miner's Escape - hope I'm not wrong; but I may create a small $$ "wacky" exacta or triple including these "throw outs" - I know I'm trying to cover too many bases, so I'll also focus on having a good time with my reserved seats near the finish line. All you bloggers - enjoy. Rich Schrage

    reported
  • lonnie lee | June 01 2009 10:52 PM

    There are no sure thing or guarantee"s in horse racing.Caviln all but garanteed a victory in preakness and just made it to the wire first. For his sake I hope he not wrong but I dont like his chances maybe all the van rides and two big races that seemed to have come out of the blue he might bounce cant trust mtb wining. I"ll be looking at choc.candy,dunkirk or summer bird not sure which one yet but I want depend on MTB.

    report this comment
  • Bill Floyd | June 01 2009 07:44 PM

    Hmmm... The race is 12 furlongs. If the pace is slow or fast, it's still 12 furlongs. If there is no fast pace-setter. I sus[ect Borel is sharp enough to figure this out and stay closer to the pace. His having "kick" has nothing to do with how the others run. It's simply him and the track, esp in a race like the Belmont. Controlling his fractions is what will win this race, regardless of where he is in the field. That said, I won't be betting on him either, unless he goes off at 5-1 or higher. Summer Bird is the best bet in this race, if he goes off nearly as high as I expect. We'll know Wednesday.

    reported
Returning posters, enter your username and password.


Your Comments



Your email address is required to confirm your comments. Email addresses are never displayed to other users and they are not used for any other purposes other than blog comments.

Once you enter your email address, name, and comment, you will be emailed a link to confirm your comment. Additionally, you will be sent a password. In the future, if you wish to leave other comments, use the password that is provided in the email.