Pace makes race. Speed and fade. Jockey-Trainer combo. Not with me? Many who read this blog have a solid understanding of Horse Racing, but the Daily Racing Form is not something seen in all that many hands come live racing season. All of the winners are in it, and using the information contained within to find them is the challenge known as handicapping. At Canterbury College, that information (hopefully) becomes a little clearer with the help of a few of us at the track.
College begins each spring after the Superbowl, and it’s been my pleasure to be a part of the event for the past couple of years. Every other Sunday, a group ranging from 100-150 takes part in “class” from noon to three, learning different aspects of handicapping and playing the races free of charge. Materials are provided each week, ranging from racing forms to worksheets explaining symbols, class, etc. Each week the material covered gets a bit more in depth leading up to the live season and a final session of summarizing playing at Canterbury. While Jeff and I are the two consistent leaders of the pack, guests join us often to contribute their thoughts including Paul Allen, Kevin Gorg, Andrew Offerman and occasional others. This is not a course that requires any level of previous knowledge but a commitment is important. Attending all five sessions is the goal and information is not thoroughly reviewed from the end of one class to the beginning of the next, but can often be required to move on to another portion of the class.
Not all material can be covered in fifteen hours, of course, but for any and all interested in taking their handicapping endeavors to the next level or familiarizing with the form are encouraged to give it a try. Registration is free and classes begin soon! Get all the details Here.
One last nod to the Eclipse Awards…
The finalists have been announced. I will not cover the human side of the equation, as their numbers speak for themselves and many of the winners are a formality. I am not familiar enough with the Steeplechase world to comment on said category either. Many of the pictures are becoming pretty clear, but since I’ve spent the past couple of weeks milling over the topic online and on this blog, thought I’d throw in my two cents:
Male Sprinter: Points Offthebench, Sahara Sky, Secret Circle – It’s the campaign that matters. I never got into this debate but it looks fairly clear. Secret Circle caught a dose of Midnight Lute this year and should get the same award; a Breeders’ Cup trophy but no Eclipse. It pains me to say (if unaware of my affection for ML before, now you know) but fair’s fair.
Female Sprinter: Dance to Bristol, Groupie Doll, Mizdirection – ‘Miz is awfully fun to watch for us West Coast players, but she is a specialist and those don’t often garner the award. Groupie Doll won the big dance for most of the others in this category.
Male Turf Horse: Magician (IRE), Point of Entry, Wise Dan – Duh.
Female Turf Horse: Dank (GB), Laughing (IRE), Mizdirection – She won two of, if not the two, best races for grass mares in the country. She too, won the big dance and that should seal it right up for her.
Two-Year-Old Filly: Chriselliam (IRE), Ria Antonia, She’s a Tiger – One can debate all day about who the better horse was on BC day but my opinion was stated before.
Two-Year-Old Male: Havana, New Year’s Day, Shared Belief – Same here. I’m not thrilled with any of these but we must play the cards dealt.
Three-Year-Old Filly: Beholder, Close Hatches, Princess of Sylmar – I realize that I stand behind another prospect in these three, but the Breeders’ Cup carries so much weight that I can’t kid myself. A lot of good teams would hold an edge if the championship was always a home game too.
Three-Year-Old Male: Orb, Palace Malice, Will Take Charge – Raise your hoof if you’ve beaten a horse born before 2010? That settles that.
Older Female: Joyful Victory, Royal Delta, Tiz Miz Sue – She’s not what she used to be, but she’s still best of this trio.
Older Male: Game On Dude, Mucho Macho Man, Wise Dan – If turf horses get their own distinction, let the unwritten rule of “dirt/poly” older male get the award. We’ll get to see MMM this year, but we didn’t see quite enough of him to overrule The Dude.
Horse of the Year: Mucho Macho Man, Will Take Charge, Wise Dan – He’s earned it….again.
This blog was written by Canterbury Paddock Analyst Angela Hermann.