Feb 22 2015

Get A Leg Up↑ – Gulfstream Park, Feb. 20, 2015 (Race 11)

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UPDATE: Post-Race Recap Added.

The 11th race at Gulfstream Park on Friday, February 20th is an interesting race to feature in our new “Get A Leg Up↑” series.  A restricted Claiming Race that is made up predominantly of horses dropping into the claiming ranks after multiple tries against Allowance company.

If you’re unfamiliar with the meaning of “Claiming” or “Allowance” races, here are a couple of articles that will explain them.  Click on the links below to open the article in a new Tab.

If you missed our introductory articles on the “Get A Leg Up↑” series, click here to read the Introduction and Overview article.

Pace Projector and Handicapping Comments

The full Past Performances for this race are available on TimeformUS free of charge. Click on their Pace Projector to create an account or login to an existing account.
Pace Projector (2015-02-20 GP Race 11)

Click here to learn more about the terminology used in the Handicapping Comments that appear below.

Get A Leg Up (2015-02-20 GP Race 11)

Post-Race Recap

Click here to read the complete race chart on Equibase.

Neoclassic broke awkwardly, but moved up steadily, tucking in nicely before the first turn. On the backside, with a slow pace developing, Castellano moved him toward the lead, and he was in perfect position at the top of the stretch, from there he went on to win the race. The combination of good form, tactical speed, and a top rider made for a winning combination.

Mygalsal outran his 19-1 odds, finishing 2nd, and seemed to be the horse that benefitted the most from a drop in class from Allowance to Claiming company … and his second start after being reported as a gelding.

American Strong continued his good form, running a solid 3rd, beaten by only 1-length, and finished with “good late energy.” Steel N Pack was in good position at the top of stretch, but tired in the lane, finishing 4th. This was a big improvement from his Dec. 20 race, and might help in his next race.

Breakeven Analysis went off as the 9-5 favorite, but was never a threat in the race, finishing 6th. There were no obvious excuses from a trip standpoint, he just did not perform up to his recent efforts.

Social Affair was never in contention, and questions on his form continue. His trainer remains winless when dropping a horse into a claiming race for the first time.

With very few positive signs, the remaining five horses finished predictably toward the rear of the pack.

Lessons Learned

The only horse claimed out of this race was the favorite, Breakeven Analysis. It’s important to remember this was a claiming race, and every horse was for sale. Based on the results, you have to wonder if the intentions of the owner and trainer were mainly “to make a sale.”

Also, with the improved effort by Mygalsal, maybe a dull effort like the Jan. 17 race should be excused when you consider it was his first race after being gelded. Maybe 2nd time after being gelded is something to give more thought to in the future.

Video Race Replay


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By Neal Benoit

7 comments on “Get A Leg Up↑ – Gulfstream Park, Feb. 20, 2015 (Race 11)

  1. I have a question that I have never seen addressed that maybe you could help with.
    On average, how often does a horse race in a month? For instance, if a horse is racing today, when will he race again? I go to Gulfstream often and try to keep up with the schedule and this question has always interested me. Thanks.

    • How often a horse races is very much dependent on several factors, e.g. age, fitness, trainer, class, surface, etc. In general, a sound horse, in decent form … will race every 3-5 weeks. Horses at the Graded Stakes level will often race less frequently than that. For example, a Grade 1 Stakes horse might run only 5-8 times in an entire year.

  2. A question on above article. When stated dropping for a tag first time 10-012 (5 years) what does that mean? 10 wins out of 12? In the money 10 of 12? 12 percent? Good read though.


  3. Neal, My handicapping of your handicapping tells me to be sure to look at your “up arrow” horses as many of them are hitting the board. Nice work.

    I assume you had a front row seat to the Fountain of Youth. Do either of the top two look like 1 1/4 horses to you? Unless the track was really deep, they both looked pretty tired lugging in and out down the lane.

    • Brigadoon, I’m always on the lookout for the “improving” horse vs. the established horse. For example, a horse with rising Figs of 75, 80, 85 facing another with three straight races of 90, 90, 90. The latter is probably going to be around 2-1 and the former, anywhere from 5-1 to 10-1. A great example is the winner of the Davona Dale on Saturday at GP. Her TFUS Figs were 70, 80, 87 in her last 3 races. She won at 26-1 odds. Let’s just say I had an “up arrow” clearly marked on my PPs. 🙂

    • Regarding FOY, I was standing at the top of the stretch as they turned for home. Frosted looked strong, but Upstart kept coming, and as was mentioned in a Breeders’ Cup article we did featuring Upstart, I’m a sucker for a horse that gives his all even when the situation is rough. He was banged around in stretch, but never stopped battling, and at the wire looked to me to be the best horse. I believe he’s still a solid Derby contender.

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