SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Graded Stakes Analysis - 5/7 - Churchill Downs - Kentucky Derby & three other Grade One's


Just a reminder that for today's Belmont full card selections & analysis, merely go back one page.  

Breakeven day for us here yesterday, as we've now won 9 of our last 18, and are 55:15-7-7 on the stand, with a cumulative flat bet profit over our last four meets ( $1,526 Bet/$1,535.80 Returned )

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O. Furthermore, if we amend our selections for a wet track, and the track becomes fast, our original selections are in play.


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Graded Stakes - 5/7 - Kentucky Derby & three other Grade One's


Race  8

1.Bell's the One

2.Just One Time


#6 BELL'S THE ONE has the perfect sort of "declining" mark that we like to see, as it shows that she has a schnoz for the line, and as a matter of fact, this one is but a half length, and three parts of a length shy of shooting for seven in a row this afternoon. Gal is 4:2-0-1 in "true" second off the layoff ( sprint ) engagements, 8:4-3-0 beneath the Twin Spires, and from a DRF Formulator aspect, Pessin is three of four with dirt dashers not getting Lasix that were ITM < 51 days back ^ are 10-1 or less. Would be well served with any sort of pace meltdown. #2 JUST ONE TIME has won six of seven, & Cox is 4-9 with graded sand sprinters who won off of this kind of break ( no wonder drug ) @ 6-1 or undah ( $4 x 2, $9 & $3 ), w/a sub category of 1-1 when Prat's in the saddle. Leaving beneath because of the flop when in a 2nd off the L/O spot. #4 KIMARI will be led over by a barn who's won with half of their six runners of this ilk who were 1-2-3 < 51 days back & are 9-1 or beneath ( $6, $3 & $9 ). 


Race  10

1.Jackie's Warrior


3.Mind Control

#3 JACKIE'S WARRIOR is 9 of 11 in one turn jammies, 2:1-1-0 in legit second off the bench heats, two of two in Louisville, and as trainer stats go, The As-Man owns a 5:4-1-0 boxscore with graded dirt sprinters who won 1-43 days in the rear & are ridden by Joel @ 5-1 or under ( no juice ). The mutuels for that study were $4, $6, $5 & $2, and we like that he can handle a wet track, too. #6 PREVALENCE shoots for the hat trick here, and given the fact that the light bulb has come on in a big way over the last pair, we'd be silly to leave out. #7 MIND CONTROL is 7:4-0-2 in 2nd off the L/O spots, and what the hell's wrong with that?


Race  11

1.Public Sector ( GB )

2.Tribhuvan ( Fr )


#3 PUBLIC SECTOR (GB) hasn't been seen since Turkey Time, but was an honest runner up in his sole start off a sabbatical, and from an itty bitty sampling, Brown is two fer four with graded sod stayers off respites of more than 68 days who are MOT receiving the wonder drug ( $14 & $6 ). Mild choice in a race with no first draft eliminations. #4 TRIBUHVAN (FR) is an uncoupled entrymate with the above with the same stats, but being they're equals in the M.L dept., we'll slide this one beneath because of the jock difference. #10 SANTIN completes the "Fish & Chips/Escargot/Hot Dogs" triple, based on two placings when breaking from the outside, along with today's blinker addition.  OFF TURF" 1-2-4-3-5


Race  12 

1.Smile Happy



With a large amount of rain in the forecast on Friday -- along with more on Saturday -- we're going to handicap this race as if the track will be wet. Our guess is that they will seal it after the last race on Friday ( several times ), try to squeeze as much moisture out of it, and hope whatever comes afterwards runs off. That being said, even if they open it up on Saturday, and harrow the hell out of it, with the temperature being just 66 degrees, we're not seeing it being "officially" fast during the day. We emphasize "officially", because on big days like this, if it's borderline "Fast/Good", tracks will have a tendency to lean towards the former, as a way to increase handle ( as bettors are inclined to bet more when the track is glib ). 

Keep in mind that we reserve the right to amend our selections, so keep your pages refreshed. 


With many punters ( justifiably ) paying special attention to Zandon at 3-1 and Epicenter at 7-2, we're gonna focus on #5 SMILE HAPPY, and we'll give you several reasons as to why. Firstly, this one recently lost to Zandon by 2 1/2 lengths, but gets a favorable ELEVEN post swap with that one today. While not a given that it can make up the difference, it sure as hell can make the result a closer one -- especially in a bloated field such as this, with one of the riders having a proclivity for ground saving trips over this oval...and at 6.7X the odds to boot. Going back one race prior, this one actually beat Zandon, and while losing to Epicenter, gets a one post swing from that one, AND keep in mind that that was 'Happy's first start off the bench, while Epicenter has never been laid up. This one is the ONLY in the body of the race with a route win over the oval, has posted adjusted figaros of 90.2/97/98.1/101.2 in each start -- while increasing in distance AND class ( so who knows where his ceiling is in that regards ), & from a DRF Formulator aspect, McPeek is 8:3-1-1 with 3rd off the layoff dirt stayers who crashed the party < 47 days ago WITHOUT getting Lasix ( $19 & $3 x 2 ). That last part is of extreme relevance, as he's a woeful 1 for 30 with those of the same parameters who ARE getting the miracle drug. With two of the four directly inside of this one likely to be on the choo choo early, and the other two likely to come from off the pace, we wouldn't be surprised to see Corey utilize some of the early hoof shown in Lexington to try and maneuver this one to the rail, stalk the leaders, and look for a seam late in the game. Both the #19 ZOZOS & the #16 CYBERKNIFE ( good luck to good guy owner, Al Gold -- a fellow Jai Alai fan ! ) are backed by identical trainer stats, which has this clan at 3 for 8 w/ graded dirt stock right here, going long off L/O's of 20-50 days ( 34-50 days for the latter ), sans Lasix ( $5, $3 & $14 ). We're digging the Beyer progression with the former, so will show him preference, and BOTH have excellent wet track pedigrees, should that be relevant.


Belmont             ( Current ):15-56     ( $94.20 ) Beatable   Favorites    N/A  ( N/A )  Favorites   Win %:  17-56   ( 30.4% ) ( As of Saturday morning )

Graded Stakes   ( Current ): 2-17      ( $13 )     Beatable   Favorites:   N/A  ( N/A )   Favorites  Win %:  7-16     ( 43.8% )


Aqueduct Spring         ( Final ): 34-134   ( $317.10 ) Beatable   Favorites     2-8  ( 25% )    Favorites  Win %: 42-134  ( 31.3% ) 

Aqueduct Winter         ( Final ): 107-438 ( $926.20 ) Beatable  Favorites: 11-40 ( 27.5% )  Favorites Win %: 166-440 ( 37.7% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2021 Final ) 74-465  ( $703.70 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-57 ( 31.6% ) Favorite's Win %: 140-414 (33.8%)  +/-: -24.3% against a 16.8% takeout  

Polytracks   2013-16 (All Final): 85-568          ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68      ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587       ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-22 (All Final):3253-16594 ($28,115.40)  Beatable Favorites : 403-1475( 27.3% )Favorite's Win %: 6248-16604 ( 37.6% ) +/-: -15.3%  against a 16.7% takeout

Cumulative Stats    (All Final): 3348-17162 ($28,934.60)   Beatable Favorites : 418-1543( 27.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 6411-17265 ( 37.1% ) +/-: -15.7%  against a 16.6% takeout