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Cash In with Strike a Deal in The Bowling Green

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 9/10/2010 7:00:19 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Grand Couturier, Al Khali, Winchester, Strike a Deal
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Bowling Green Handicap
  • Where: Belmont Park
  • When: Saturday, September 11th

The New York racing scene shifts from Saratoga to Belmont Park on Saturday, and The Bowling Green Handicap will be the opening day headliner. The 11-horse lineup for the Bowling Green presents an interesting handicapping challenge, and I’ll be taking a stand against the morning line favorite, Winchester (2-1).

Winchester enters The Bowling Green with the best recent form, having garnered a win and a third in his last pair, both Grade 1 events. There are several knocks against him, however. The first is his price, which is likely to be less than the morning line. Second, you’ll note that he has won just 4 of 17 starts…not exactly a win machine. In his two Grade 1 wins, he went off at 7.50-1 and 21.40-1. He has burned a lot of money at low odds, however, losing seven of his last dozen starts at odds of 3-1 or less. I’ll look for value elsewhere.

Defending champ Grand Couturier is a classy old campaigner, but it looks like his better days are behind him. You’ll also note that his last two wins came over yielding turf, while this course should be pretty firm. Al Khali is a consistent sort, with Beyers between 92 and 96 in 8-of-10 starts on the lawn. He’s a bit light on the class scale, however, with a single Grade 3 win to his credit. Dry Martini has had way more success on dirt. Interpetation shocked Gio Ponti last October over a Belmont course labeled “soft”, but has been off the board in his 11 other starts since early May of last year.

That brings us to Strike a Deal. The Alan Goldberg trainee appears to have tailed off since his front-running score in The Dixie at Pimlico. Beware, however, because Ramon Dominguez will be back aboard for the first time since that victory at Old Hilltop. He’s won 6-of-10 starts for Goldberg in 2009-10, for a whopping ROI of $6.66. Strike a Deal is a millionaire on the sod, finishing first or second in 12-of-22 starts on that surface. I like seeing that 7-furlong breeze on September 3rd as well. While not a household name, Goldberg is nevertheless a top-notch trainer, and his stakes runners are always well-meant. I’ll bet on #4-Strike a Deal to win and place. I’ll also key him in exactas over a fresh #1-Simmard, #2-Grand Couturier, #3-Al Khali, #5-Winchester and #9-Interpatation. Reluctantly, I’ll also bet a 5-4 saver exacta, just in case Winchester gets the job done.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for the weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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