Friday, April 28, 2006

A DRF-like Handicapper's Analysis of the Texas Mile

Tomorrow is the Texas Mile (gr. III); a lovely little one mile race around the Lone Star Park dirt. Ergo, that is why it would be aptly named "Texas Mile". There is a collection of excellent competition from coast to coast. Everyone who is everyone who is not at Churchill Downs will be there. Hottie Yes He's a Pistol with his hottie jockey Garrett Gomez are part of the crowd. Bob Baffert has Preachinatthebar here, along with Mr. Court who has a tendency to win a race every time he sits atop a horse at Lone Star Park. Let me refresh your memory of last year:

Court rode three winners at Lone Star Park on Memorial Day, including Supah Blitz in the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap. He also rode Mad Adam to victory in the $200,000 Pin Oak Stud USA Stakes and R Fast Lady in the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes.

Earlier in May at the Grand Prairie track, Court won the Lone Star Derby aboard Southern Africa [Houston Chronicle]

It is also Dollar Days, which also means that everybody who is everybody who is not at Churchill Downs and their mother, father, sisters, brothers, neighbors, second cousins twice removed, and cheapskate boyfriends will also be there. Get in the mutuel lines early! Get in the beer line earlier!

The morning line favorite is Doug O'Neill's Yes He's a Pistol. However, the race offers some good value plays. Last year I won some decent money with High Strike Zone (Smart Strike), a 6-year-old gelding that has enjoyed success here in the South. He won last year at 7-1, beating Supah Blitz by more than a length. His morning line is at 12-1, and although I'm skeptical that he can repeat, he could hit the board with good odds. He runs well at Lone Star (11-2-4-3) and he's suited for the mile. And because he's "local", if one can call Louisiana "local", he gets an extra Smiley-Face Sticker because he didn't travel far and was able to avoid having to remove his shoes, belt and pocket change when going through airport security.

Preachinatthebar, morning line 3-1, should not be disregarded for three (3) reasons:
1. Bob Baffert
2. Jon Court
3. Gray Horse

Okay, he's also good, winning the Tokyo City (gr. III) earlier this month. However, he may prefer a little bit more real estate.

My choice for the win is Stockholder. Once again, there is some strange kind of cosmic Steve Asmussen/second time with trainer/Lone Star Park mystique, very similar to the Premiere Stakes when Senor Amigo thumped the competition on opening day. Stockholder won his last race at Oaklawn by more than 4 1/2 lengths, with a Beyer Speed Figure of 99 for that effort. It's a step up for him, but if anyone can muscle into a Grade 3 race, Mr. Asmussen can. And there is always the possibility, that if Stockholder wins, I can score a follow-up interview with Steve.

So, now I must break open the kitchen piggy bank and pilfer all the dollar bills in anticipation of tomorrow's big race. And when I get to the track, I'll be sure to get in line early for the bathroom.

1 comment:

Appleby's Traveler said...

Thanks for the insight on the race. We can bet the "Dallas Morning-No-Horse-Racing News" won't be there, and mercifully will not feature yet another tiresome Cathy Harasta article strung together from wire reports.