Friday, December 24, 2010

ALIMA .... They're Coming For You BUENA!!

Need to defend the RAIL BRUCE. Fujisawa & Ando Getting it right this time? Hey remember me? I'm the defending CHAMPION pinheads!

It's certainly understandable with all the hoopla surrounding Buena Vista and the deserving accolades of this year 3-yr-olds, that # 12 DREAM JOURNEY would be flying under the radar. The 2009 returning Alima champion hasn't had the headline making season as the one leading up to last years race but nevertheless I'll wager come Sunday that many people will once again be reminded of his splendor. Hopeful but doubtful he'll get the same fast fractions as last years race but DREAM has proven to be a very versatile runner at any pace.**********************************************************************************

#13 OKEN BRUCE LEE got an early Christmas present gift wrapped in the name of Norihiro Yokoyama. Yokoyama has been a top jock for many reasons but the ability to "hug the rail" as he often does at Nakayama is the main reason he could very well notch his second Arima victory. Trainer Otonashi"s strategy has been written on the wall all week in training.BRUCE has been training with three horses while he runs on the INSIDE. A good position? Good fractions, not necessarily fast but at least moderate? a clear rail?..and we have a possible 18-1 winner.*****************************************************************************

I'm going to guesstimate that #14 PELUSA has a gate problem and not a starting one. That subtle difference makes me believe we could finally see this talented horse at his best. Four consecutive bad starts in Fuchu but now a new track and a new GATE. There is a quiet confidence in the Fujisawa camp and its probably because they believe they finally got it right!******************************************************************************

#7 BUENA VISTA is a GREAT horse and she will go down as one of the all-time best. HOWEVER,
as a gambler its difficult to find a place to put her as value and besides there are obstacles. People forget that she has a penchant for coming in second( last years Alima!) particularly on clockwise courses. Soumillion hasn't ridden since his suspension and navigating a new course on Vista could be hard doings. This is his third ride on Buena which should be a charm. I'm wagering it isn't.

#8 MEISHO BELUGA winning the Kyoto Daishoten on October 10th, ahead of Bruce Lee you would have thought that you were suffering from an acute case of double vision. They both have similar running styles. What's interesting to note is that the total races combined by these two is 47, BUT this is the first time at Nakayama for either of them. Looking at past video, they literally look much stronger and more confident running clockwise compared to counter-clockwise. Gonna wager the new venue will be kind to at least one of them if not both.******************************************************

#10 EISHIN FLASH had almost the same fractions in the Japan Cup as he did in the Derby which he won. He was up on the leaders earlier in the Cup as was not the case in previous races. Probably a conditioning reason considering his layoff. Gonna factor him here just in case that glory form returns.****************************************************************************

Hiroki Goto has had a successful riding season and he has recently become a giant Trifecta buster in the Alima. For this reason I'm going to keep him near my coat tails with #2 NEVER BOUCHON and hope a 45-1 shot can complete a very sweet trifecta.*******************************************************************************


Key #12 on top+ with (7,8,10,13,14 for 2nd)+ ( 2,6,,8,10,13,14 for 3rd)
Straight Trifecta ¥1000 26 tickets

Key #13 on top+with ( 7,8,10,12,14 for 2nd)+ ( 2,6,,8,10,12,14 for 3rd)
Straight Trifecta ¥500 26 tickets

Key #14 on top+with ( 7,8,10,12,13 for 2nd)+ ( 2,6,7,8,10,12,13 for 3rd)
Straight Trifecta ¥500 26 tickets

Key #12 with 2,,7,8,10,13,14,
Random Trifecta ¥1000 15 tickets

Key #13 with 2,7,8,10,14
Random Trifecta ¥1000 10 tickets

Key#14 with 2,,7,8,10
Random Trifecta¥1000 6 tickets

#12 with ,7,8,10,13,14
Each-Way Exacta ¥2000 10 tickets

#13 with ,7,8,10,14
Each-Way Exacta ¥1000 8 tickets

#14 with ,7,8,10
Each-Way Exacta ¥1000 6 tickets
Buena Vista Savers
7-12-13, 7-12,14, 7-13.14, 7-13-12, 7-14-12. 7-14-13 ( Straight Trifecta) ¥2000 6 tickets
7-8, 7-10,
Each-Way Exacta ¥3000 4 tickets

TOTAL WAGER: ¥170,000

A tidy sum for this blog but with a few recent wins we'll escape with another profitable year even( barely) with a loss. However the optimist, I would like to finish out with a bang. For those casual readers the many ticket plays look a nut shell I want

#1 DREAM JOURNEY to WIN !! or BRUCE LEE & PELUSA...if any of these horses fail to win then we are looking at a loss. If any of my top horses get caught by say, Victoria Pisa, Rulership, or any other of the remaining five horses its a big ZERO return, but hey its been fun. HAPPY HOLIDAYS


Sean said...

That's quite a wager. I hope you asked Santa for a pace.

Keith Hagstrom said...

LOL..that would be a great socking stuffer. Even if its slow which is probable considering there doesn't seem like much early speed anyways ( Buena could very well be up there)i think there will be a lot of tired legs nevertheless including Pisa. Definitely it will look like a pack of sardines coming around that 4th corner with only about 5 seconds separating the leaders from the lagers. Positioning will be more of a concern than the pace in this one I believe.

Keith Hagstrom said...


robert said...

If you think it is going to be a slow pace and positioning is going to important you might want to consider including Danon Chantilly somehow. I was impressed by how Berry navigated the Nakayama course last week riding the rail from start to finish. I think that you boys will agree this horse has a very good final kick so I guess the only question is the distance. From everything I have read, he has completely recovered from his injury.

Keith Hagstrom said...

Truth be told your right, he scares me! Its always better to be safe than sorry but adding another additional horse to my listed 7 would put me over for the budget I planned out for the blog. MAYBE in my own bankroll ill include him with my top 3 but that's it. Fuji Kiseki has shown no distance in his foals which would would be a big no-no for me. Particularly in the derby where I thought there would be a pace I eliminated him out right( but he was scratched) but as you reticulated this race is different because of the pace but moreover the positioning and then there is Perry to boot!

Keith Hagstrom said...

* and having Eishin Flash draw the same gate as the Japan Cup where he was one of my top picks is a numerical/superstitiously/ scare!! Maybe I should just play cards on Sunday instead of this! LOL

Sean said...

Robert, I've been agonizing (well, maybe that's too strong a word) about whether to include Danon and Red Desire in my picks. They were in once but now they're out. I might change my mind again but it's hard to make a strong case for them, especially Danon. He's definitely talented and versatile but he's really beaten nobody to date and as Keith says his sire doesn't usually do well at this distance. It's not an insane bet by any means but it's definitely a 'gamble.' But who knows. He's at least reliable unlike Pelusa.

robert said...

Here is my take on the horses I am probably going to be backing now. I was going to sit this race out, but Sean talked some sense into me. :)

Victoire Pisa- According to his assistant trainer, he is looking like he is in a lot better form than he was in when he placed 3rd in the Japan Cup (2400 metres). He is 2 for 2 (G1, G2)at Nakayama over 2000 metres. He can definitely handle the course so the only question is can he handle the extra distance.

Buena Vista- In my mind she has won her last 2 races with ease with Soumillon on the mount. She has not finished out of the top two in over a year. She is a deserving favorite and will finish in the top 2 again. In 7 of the last 10 years a 4 year old has won the Arima. This trend will continue this year, too.

Danon Chantilly- See my above post. :)

Dream Journey- According to his trainer, he is in the best form that he has been in all year. There is no way I can discount the defending champ.

Oken Bruce Lee- I decided that I would have to back this horse right when I found out that Yokoyama jumped on board.

Pelsa- Upon reading that he has been working hard on his start for the past 3 weeks and has been showing considerable improvement, I am very intrigued by this selection. After Buena, this horse just might be the strongest in the field over this distance.

Red Desire- As much as I would like to leave her out, I just can't. Remember that she is 4 years old as well and she has beaten Buena before.

Keith Hagstrom said...

Merry Christmas Sean & Robert. Not much action today. I'll bet the 9th in Nakayama #12 Shadow Cross. Will meet up with my daughter for ribs( not quite traditional fare but my favorite just the same) then some shopping and a few drinks over at a friends later on topped off by finishing up my handicapping for tomorrow. Have a good one guys!!

robert said...

Merry Christmas Keith and Sean! This is my first Christmas in Japan and it is different to say the least. My fiancee and I are going to a friend's now for a brunch and then to a different friend's this evening for a BBQ.
I hope that you have a wonderful day with your family and friends!
Let's hit it hard tomorrow!

Sean said...

Happy Christmas guys! Ribs, huh? Sounds good. Have a good day with your daughter. My sister-in-law is coming over with her kid for some sushi, sake and KFC. (How the hell did I end up like this? LOL)

I'm throwing 50,000 at the Arima tomorrow. Not sure yet how I'll stake it but here are my selections.

Buena Vista - She's never disappointed. Barring disaster she's at least top 3.

Tosen Jordan - Jockey Miura recently announced his engagement to F cup 'talent' Aki Hoshino - this could be his year. Moreover, Jordan is an honest horse who looked impressive over 2500m at Tokyo. From the 4th gate he could have the run of the race.

Victoire Pisa - He reminds me a little of Matsuri de Gogh. Could be untouchable at Nakayama.

Eishin Flash - With Rose Kingdom out, gotta go with the Derby horse. If Uchida can give him a good trip he should every chance.

Dream Journey - Of the big three coming off the pace (Pelusa, Bruce and Journey) I like DJ. Too many things can go wrong for Pelusa (not just the start) and it takes Bruce too long to get into top gear. If DJ is even close to last year's form he could factor.

I'll add Pelusa and maybe Red Desire in some insurance tickets.

I'm quietly confident (although the odds with Buena really do suck...). Good luck to all.

Keith Hagstrom said...

Hey guys, I hope you are having a good day..back home and handicapping after 2 full size platter of baby back ribs, 8-piece spicy shrimp & nacho plate appetizers..numerous adult beverages so Im not sure if analyzing races is a good thing,lol...just to let you know the weigh -ins which were quite some big differences. Dream Journey is +26 which was a shocker..Bruce Lee +10, ok i guess...Chantilly +18 which can be expected since his layoff. Tosen +16 which puts him near 500!?!..amd thn there is Perusa +0...same weight even after some concreate training for 4 weeks. Definitly a buy sign that he is ready! Its only up to him

Sean said...

I've had a few adult bevvies myself but the odds on Dream Journey and Pelusa are a little too tempting. You've been on fire of late Keith so I'm gonna put some money on those two. I wouldn't worry too much about DJ's weight - his training has been solid and he'll probably shed 10kg by race time. Glad tidings and hope we all get healthy tomorrow.

Keith Hagstrom said...

I had to much food and wine last night and didn't wake until after the Arima so I lucky I didn't place my bet. NOT!! just joking guys. Actually I thought I won it after the first 50 meters. Journey got a bad start but that happened last year and she prevailed. No worries there!..Pelusa BROKE CLEAN.!!, a big yes was echoed through-out my neighborhood. Bruce made me nervous being out in front but I quickly opinionized Yokohama knew he wasnt going to get a pace so he wanted to make sure and position him on the rail and let him go...fine so far, its all coming into place. By this time all was focusing on Buena hoping she would get a late start and hopefully finish third just to enhance my already won trfecta with Pelusa,Bruce, and of course Journey would be making his excellent dash anytime now!..Unfortunately you know how the story ends. Sumii did it again..didn't think he would have recovered from the Cup and duplicate a performance. Vista 2nd..not a surprise especially on this course. Did u guys sleep in too? sorry bad joke..I think both of you liked Pisa, Robert, I think you especially keen on him. Did you at least pick up the Exacta?...Have to punch the numbers this week and give an annual summary. Very bleak blog profit margin here this season. Later guys

Sean said...

Like probably everybody else I was focused on Pelusa's start (which he nailed)and it took me a while to comprehend that Bruce was up there too. Wow! You must've been dancing at that point, Keith...But I guess Bruce isn't a good frontrunner and I've always kinda suspected that Pelusa is a little overrated...I won the race but still managed to lose quite a bit of money. (LOL) But get this - I actually bought mistake. I meant to buy 7-10-12. I wish I could've made the same balls up on my 1-7-12 ticket but this really wasn't my year I'm afraid. Well in terms of the ponies anyways...I did get a beautiful boy out of it. But it's always a kick and look forward to talking horse with you guys next year. Happy New Year!

Keith Hagstrom said...

Happy New Year back at you. I sure wish I would of done my " gaijin" box again this week lol...already thinking about next years its going to be in the punters minds and most likely over-bet foreign jocks on marginal horses. All top jockeys for sure but Buena..Pisa..I think every jock would like to have so good. However To the victory was impressive.

robert said...

I went to Hanshin to watch the race with my fiancee's fam and ended up being quite lucky. I lost a bit on the Arima (a 1-7 exacta saved me a bit), but I actually hit exactas in the 9th, 11th and 12th races at Hanshin and in the Happy Ending Race at Nakayama. Two of the payouts from those exactas were so low that I basically broke even, but the 9th and 12th races at Hanshin padded my pockets a bit.:)

I'm definitely looking forward to another racing year and discussing the horses with you guys. I am still learning, but this year has been a lot of fun. Thanks for all of the help and great tips!

I hope that you have a very happy New Year.
Let's hit the books hard in 2011!