Scat Daddybaby nice overlay, Polish Dollar figures to cash

Congratulations to those who correctly picked Scat Daddybaby (Scat) to win Easter Sunday’s featured 6f Allowance race for older horses at Emerald Downs (EmD).  On a card where the favorite won 6 of the 9 races, Scat Daddybaby was a huge overlay at odds of 8.70, leaving many seasoned handicappers wondering how they managed to overlook this horse.  Scat: 1) was the obvious pace of the race (none of the other horses could match the 21.4 first quarter speed Scat possesses), 2) had the second fastest last race Beyer figure in the 11 horse field, 3) its last three races were the fastest Beyer figures of its life, 4) its last four workouts had been superb (three bullet works and the other 3/32), 5) was running at a track, distance & surface it has been  successful at, 6) was running for trainer Robbie Baze who has been winning at a 36% clip with horses who have won their last start, & 7) was being ridden by Gayln Mitchell, who for years has been one of the best jockeys at EmD in breaking horses from the gate & rating horses with front end speed.

Polish Dollar looks like the horse to beat in tomorrow’s (4/26) feature race at EmD, a Clm 32000 (32-25) 6f sprint for older horses.  Its last 7 Beyer figures (81-90) tower over 5 of its 6 competitors, its last 5 works have been very good, & even though it hasn’t raced since last September, its trainer has had good success bringing horses back from long layoffs, winning with this horse in a similar 6f spot last year with an 87 Beyer, in a time (1:08) that figures to win here.  My chief concern is with the jockey, who has only 1 win in 15 tries this year.

The main competition appears to be Why Not Be Perfect who is running at a level lower than for which it was claimed (40-35) in 2012, 11 races ago.  Even though it hasn’t won a race in the 6 races it has run since April 2013, it has flashed Beyers in the mid-to upper 80’s & all six were stakes races.  All of the races were at longer distances, however, & it has shown a proclivity for missing the top prize, winning only 8 of 49 races (16.3%) lifetime.  Its last 2 Beyer figures were just 76 & 80 respectively.  Still, this is a significant class drop & the horse runs for trainer Jeff Metz, who has been red hot at this meet.

Good luck at the races!

– Ron Classen,

RedSoloCup Win Impressive at Emerald Downs

RedSoloCup, HRC’s Demon Warlock colt, won impressively in a 51/2f clm 25000(25-22.5)N2L opening day race for 3 year olds at Emerald Downs (Auburn, WA) April 12.  The final race time (1:03) was the fastest 51/2f time of the day, faster than that recorded by older horses in an Allowance Optional Claiming (OC 25k/N1X) at the same distance later in the card.  The race’s internal splits were also the fastest 4f (44.8) and 5f (56.8) times of the day.  Cudos to jockey Rocco Bowen for recognizing those hot early fractions.  He kept Red five or so lengths off that pace, enabling him to blow by the tiring front runners in mid-stretch and win by an easy 3 lengths, for a juicy $14 win price.

FYI – the Daily Racing Form EmD result chart Superfecta payoffs are for $2 bets, not the $1 bet as stated in the charts.  To get the correct $1 payoff divide the stated Superfecta payoff prices by 2.

Horses with a recent conditioning edge have a distinct advantage early in the season at EmD.  The opening day card featured 70 horses, 18 (25.7%) of which had a race within the past 60 days.  Half of those 18 horses hit the board, with five wins, three seconds & one third.

HRC trainer Jeff Metz is off to a scorching start.  Opening day 7 of the 8 horses he entered hit the board, including 5 wins (including RedSoloCup) & 2 places.  The next day all 3 of the horses he entered hit the board with 2 wins and a place.  His horses merit a long look this weekend.  Metz has two horses entered Saturday (4/19) and nine horses entered on Sunday’s (4/20) card.

Good luck at the races!

– Ron Classen (

Red Solo Cup goes at Emerald Downs on Opening Day (4/12)

HRC’s promising 3 year old colt, Red Solo Cup, will take part in a conditioned $25,000 claiming 5 1/2 furlong sprint on Saturday’s opening day racecard at Emerald Downs (EmD) at Auburn, WA.  Both Red’s papa (stakes winner Demon Warlock) & mama (Training at the Bar) ran well at EmD, so hope is high for this young speedster who broke his maiden in January at Turf Paradise going 6 furlongs in a $20,000 maiden claiming race. This year’s meet will run 75 race days April – September, with racing each Saturday & Sunday during April, then increasing to Friday, Saturday, & Sunday each week the rest of the season. Here are a few thoughts that may help with your EmD handicapping: 1) Traditionally, EmD is a speed favoring track; 2) In 2012, favorites won over 40% of the time & the 1st or 2nd favorite won about 75% of the time – so take a good look before you bet against them. 3) Instead of looking for value in the win pool for a particular race, follow the advice of pro handicapper Jerod Dinkin.  He suggests concentrating on the odds of the most likely winner and then construct horizontal/vertical exotics wagers based upon the longer odds horses.  That way you invest a relatively small amount of money to win a relatively large amount. Good luck!  Go Red!

-Ron Classen