Maiden claiming $20,000, 4-yo’s and up, 7 furlongs
Median winning Beyer Speed Figure: 71
Possible overlays Morning line
#4 G Ten 7/2
#8 Nonrefundable 5/2
I think I have located a couple of strong angles and plan to consider only two horses in today’s 9th.
John Shirreffs, who trains #4 G Ten, hardly ever tries to win with a first time starter on dirt. In fact, in the records I keep, he has only won two out of 35 races with first-time starters at odds of less than 20/1. Furthermore, just four of those runners have been in the top three at the first call. So what Shirreffs must do is ask the jockeys to break his horses slowly in their initial races. Sometimes Shirreffs’ horses rally slightly, but many times they do not.
This training methodology stands in stark contrast to when Shirreffs trained for 505 Farms and was winning with some 40 percent of his debuters. How times have changed.
Anyway, in this race, G Ten is making his second lifetime start and it doesn’t bother me at all that he broke slowly in his Dec. 15 debut and lost by 13 lengths. He adds blinkers for todays race and for all I know he trained in them before he made it to the races, then didn’t use them the first time he ran.
If that’s the case, we may see a dramatic improvement.
The morning-line favorite is #8 Nonrefundable. This 5-year-old gelding is making his sixth start, but three of them were at a significantly higher class including two maiden special weight runs. As a 4-year-old in Spring 2011, Nonrefundable earned back-to-back Beyer figures of more than 70. After finishing poorly in a route race, Nonrefunable was laid off for four months then came back on Nov. 26. In that race, the jockey didn’t seem to be asking Nonrefundable for much run. However, in the following race on Dec. 14, Nonrefundable pushed the pace in a 6-furlong event before finishing second in a three-way blanket finish.
Based on his past career best, Nonrefundable looks like he has an excellent shot.
My Betting Strategy: If #8 Nonrefundable goes off at 5/2 or more, then I will put $500 to win on him. If Nonrefundable is 2/1, then I will reduce my wager to $300. If he’s less than 2/1, then I will bet $200 on #4 G Ten at 2/1 to 9/2 and $100 at 5/1 or higher. If Nonrefundable’s odds are 2/1 or greater, then I will bet just $100 on G Ten at 2/1 to 9/2 and $50 at 5/1 or higher.