#6 LA VERDAD
#4 MISS VALENTINE
#1 KELLI GOT FROSTY / #1A WHAT THE FROST
Well folks .. this race is named in honor of the New York Bred, Touch of Love, who has both the Triple Crown competitors, Alydar, and the great Damascus in her bloodline ... she has hit the board in graded stakes in her career, and won multiple stake races overall. She hit the board in 11 of her 15 career starts, banking nearly $186,000.00 for her owner, Georgia Hofmann, and was saddled by Allen Jerkens, and was ridden mainly by Jean-Luc Samyan. In this year's edition, #5 WILLET, is the overall speed leader in this stakes field racing at, or about today's distance of 7½ furlongs on the dirt, and has produced "POWER RUNS" in five straight, hitting the board in four, including back-to-back "POWER RUN WINS" in her 3rd and 4th races back. #6 LA VERDAD has won three of her four career starts to date, including back-to-back "POWER RUN WINS" in her last two starts.
RACING NEWS: Zia Parkreported an overall handle increase of 14.29% for the 56-day Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meet that concluded Dec. 3. The totals marked the third year in a row that Zia experienced a growth in wagering when compared to the previous year. The track was helped out by the inaugural "Land Of Enchantment Day" program Nov. 27, which included the initial runner of the $300,000 Zia Park Oaks. The card generated a single-day handle record at the Hobbs, N.M., track totaling $1.56 million. The previous mark of $1.02 million was established on New Mexico Cup Day in November 2009. Zia reported that its average daily handle for the 2013 stand was $435,229, a 10.22% increase over the previous year, when a 54-day meet was conducted. Overall field size increased marginally, from 7.98 horse per race in 2012 to 8.06 this year. "This season by far exceeded our expectations," said Fred Hutton, Zia Park director of racing operations. "Everything came together so well. The revamped racing surface put together by new track consultant Tony Martinez Sr. and his crew received excellent reviews from horsemen. Trainers from all over the country and even Canada got on board for our big races. We're doing some big things at Zia Park, and we will look to continue that improvement into 2014." Jockey Ry Eikleberry won his first Thoroughbred riding title at Zia Park with 58 wins. Justin Evans captured his second Zia Thoroughbred training title in a row with 60 victories. David Wilbanks was the leading Thoroughbred owner with 12 wins. Zia Park is currently scheduled to hold a 56-day meet in 2014 from Sept. 6 to Dec. 2.
RaceAnalyser Thoroughbred Handicapping Software
Disclaimer: Every attempt has been made to insure accuracy, however since this report is prepared and typed by hand, errors, including typographical and numerical, can be made. It is the responsibility of the end user to "cross check" these selections against the actual entries and program numbers.
BRAZILIAN "BRAHMA BEER LONGSHOTS" - FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013
a. Odds are at least, 4-1 or greater
b. The entry must be the TOP POWER RATED entry in the field
c. The entry must also have the BEST SPEED in this field for today's distance and surface!
Calder Race Course - Race #8 - 4:00PM - #8 ALL ABOUT YASOM 4/1
Charles Town - Race #5 - 9:04PM - #7 LADY RUSSO 8/1
Delta Downs - Race #5 - 7:36PM - #11 LONE STAR SIZZLER 5/1
NOTE: Listed Post Times are given in the local time zone of the track.
NOTES ON CLASS: The TrackMaster PLUS software uses a sophisticated mathematical formula to calculate the "class" of a particular race. It is important to note that this calculation is NOT based on purse structure, but on the competitive level of the entries in today's field. Therefore, it is possible (and not uncommon), that an entry may be racing for a higher purse today than in his or her last race, but in a "TrackMaster Sense" is dropping in class, because the overall abilities of the entries in today's race are not as competitive as the entries in his or her last race. The TrackMaster class scale is numeric, and basically ranges from 50 to 100, and is particularly helpful in judging entries that are "shipping" in from another track. In my analysis of a race, I often note that an entry is "dropping in class," or "stepping up in class." Following this statement, you will see a (number in parenthesis). The value of that particular number indicates the degree of the class change. EXAMPLE: "#4 SIN CITY takes a fairly significant class drop (-8) this evening." This indicates that this entry is dropping by 8 TrackMaster Class Levels from his or her last race. It does not necessarily mean that this entry is racing for a lower purse, only racing against a less competitive field.
NOTES: I frequently use the term, "POWER RUN" in this column. It is my terminology for a previous race run at a speed, which if duplicated today, should compete for the winner's circle at the class level in which the entry is competing today. Space requirements do not allow for a thorough discussion of this calculation, however, if you would like a short essay on how the "POWER RUN" is calculated, kindly send me some EMAIL at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a copy of my "POWER RUN" file.
Just a quick note ... I do not handicap pre-season N.F.L. games ... my selections are based on the actual games on which I am wagering each week (which in the past 9 years, have ranged from 4 to 10 games per week (but you also will get my buddy SportsMaster Stan's weekly Money Line Favorite Reports (which at one point last year, provided 100% winners in 9 consecutive weeks!) ... so in summary, if ... "I win ... you win" ... If "I lose ... well .. we both do!"
Also, unlike other "Internet Football Handicappers ... my "season package" does not decrease in cost as the season progresses ... it does in fact, increase each week ... right through The Super Bowl!
When the "free analysis has expired" (it has) here on The Better Bettor ... kindly alert me to your desire to receive my weekly reports via email .. (includes full N.C.A.A. Bowl Game Analysis & N.F.L. Analysis through The Super Bowl) ... send your $150.00 check payable to ... Rick Needham
The Better Bettor
7621 Jonestown Road
Harrisburg, PA 17112
And yes ... my former students will be incredibly appreciative of your "support!"
2013-2014 ARCHIVED REPORTS:
The New York Giants came out of the gates this season in a bad way. They started 0-6 and if I remember the stat correctly, Eli Manning had thrown15 interceptions through the first six games. I may be a little off, but the stat was along those lines and my point is this...New York sucked. Since that time however, they are playing some good football. The Giants have won four of their last five games, and that loss was just this last weekend to the Dallas Cowboys in a game that went down to the very end. The Giants are improving and I can see why they are favored in this matchup over the Redskins. If you breakdown the Giants 0-6 start, they had probably the toughest schedule in the NFL. In those first six games, they had to face Carolina, Kansas City, Denver, Dallas, and Philadelphia. I don't know many teams that can run that gauntlet and come out looking like a good team. The 0-6 start was awful, and yes, the Giants could have played better football, but they aren't as bad as it looked. This team can play with pretty much anyone. Are they a Super Bowl or even a playoff contender? Probably not, but he Giants are a team that you shouldn't sleep on, because they can and have been dangerous at times.
The Redskins have been a disappointment this season. RG3 is obviously not 100% healthy, but not just that, he simply has not played well. His passes are inaccurate, and the read option is not working against NFL defenses like it did last year. Not only has RG3 looked bad, but the entire team looks in shambles. The coaching staff and players appear to be on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, the defense hasn't played nearly as well as it did last season, and just this week, San Francisco's Ahmad Brooks even said that Robert Griffin III, should not be playing due to his not being totally healthy. Washington is in a bad place, and Mike Shannahan has found himself right back on the hot seat, the only problem is, I don't know how much blame can really be put on him. This team just flat out stinks, and the QB situation is very messy. Can Washington beat New York? Yea, I think so, but it is going to take a total team effort to get this gone. One thing in the favor of the Skins is the fact that they get to play at home. New York has only won once on the road this season, and that was the ugly win over their division rival, the Eagles. Washington needs to jump out early and gain some confidence and momentum in order to get this victory on Sunday night.
Rick's Bottom Line What a game to pick. Division rivals, both teams having less than stellar seasons, it is just a tough one to call. Anytime I see a game with a point spread of one point, I just call it a straight pickem game. So who wins? Does Washington beat New York and get their fourth win or does New York continue to pull themselves together and win their fifth out of six games? Here is my take on it...who is playing better football? Well that is easy, it's New York. They have a better defense, better QB play, and are just in an all round better place right now. Yea, 70% of the action is on New York, but I don't care. New York will go into the nations capital and get a much needed win. New York wins a sloppy one .. I'll TAKE NEW YORK to win!
From The Sun Devils' Perspective: Both offenses can score. Arizona State, though, is home to the more opportunistic D. The Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in takeaways, and their front seven gets off the snap in a hurry. A young and aching UCLA offensive line will have its hands full trying to keep DT Will Sutton, Devil Carl Bradford and DE Davon Coleman out of the backfield. When the Bruins have struggled at the point of attack, such as the Stanford and Oregon games, the offense predictably sputters. ASUís overall team speed is going to present a problem for a UCLA squad that canít afford to have its best playmakers neutralized.
From The Bruins' Sideline View: The Bruins boast the premier offensive player in this game; the most influential defensive player as well. In QB Brett Hundley and LB Anthony Barr harbor the kinds of game-changers who can rise up and take a game over, especially at home. Hundley is tapping into his September self now that he has more support in the backfield from two-way player Myles Jack. On defense, Barr needs to be accounted for at all times. Heís a monster coming off the edge, with the potential to blow up the other guyís entire gameplan. This is the kind of game thatíll be dictated by the stars, and UCLA harbors two of the brightest in Hundley and Barr.
Keep Your Eye On Department: UCLA is shaky in pass protection. Statistically, Arizona State is worse, yielding 26 sacks. Beyond just Barr, itís incumbent upon Bruin linemen Keenan Graham and Cassius Marsh to get penetration so that the second level can force the action.
- This is the kind of game that could earn the Sun Devil backfield more of the attention that it richly deserves. QB Taylor Kelly and versatile RB Marion Grice arenít household names nationally, but the latter has accounted for 20 touchdowns while the former has thrown 24 scoring strikes.
- Hundleyís feet will be crucial to the outcome of this game. Heís more of a passer than a runner, but with the mismatches that the Sun Devil front can cause, Hundley will be forced to make things happen on the move and outside the pocket.
Rick's Bottom Line: All of the ingredients are in place for this weekís South Division showdown to be every bit as good as expected. UCLA and Arizona State are going to trade blows long into the night in a see-saw battle that doesnít get decided until late in the fourth quarter. Itís at that time when Hundley and Jack will step up their games, leading the Bruins into a tie atop the division, with one more critical clash left against rival USC. I'll take UCLA to win ... or to beat the spread!
From The Cowboys' Sideline: The inconsistent Longhorns have enough problems without worrying about the return game, but everyone could be broken open wide thanks to a big play on special teams. The Cowboys have been terrific in the return game averaging 25.5 yards per kickoff and a whopping 15.12 yards per punt return, while the coverage teams have been stingy. That hasnít been the case for Texas, whoís fine on punt returns but has been ripped up at times in punt coverage. Things have improve dramatically since Ole Miss and Kansas State went wild in September, but Oklahoma State has the returners to change things back around. The kickoff coverage team has been worse, allowing a whopping 25.8 yards per try.
From The Longhorns' Viewpoint: West Virginia was able to run for four scores against the Longhorns last week, but the Texas run defense has been night-and-day better over the last four games. The tackling has been better, the defensive front has been stronger, and everyone has been more disruptive. Oklahoma Stateís running game has been way, way too inconsistent, rolling at will on Iowa State and Texas Tech, but struggling to find anything that works against just about everyone else. The idea will be to take away the OSU ground attack first and take the chances with a Cowboy passing game thatís getting nice performances from Ö Keep Your Eye On Department: ... Clint Chelf. With 211 yards against Texas Tech and 265 more last week against Kansas, heís getting hot at the right time, but heís going to have to be shaper. The Jayhawk secondary wasnít going to provide too many problems, but Chelf threw four picks in the previous three games. Texas has come up with six interceptions in the last five games. - Texas is beaten, battered and bruised with several key parts of the puzzle hurt. Defensive tackle Chris Whaley is out for the year after injuring his leg against the Mountaineers, and the linebacking corps is in trouble with Demarco Cobbs and Deoundrei Davis each fighting through knee injuries. The real problem is at running back, with Johnathan Gray out for the year with a leg injury, meaning Malcolm Brown needs to do even more. He ran 20 times against Kansas and 28 against West Virginia, but he was held in check by the Mountaineers. - The Cowboys need Josh Stewart back. The ankle injury suffered against Kansas didnít matter, and now the teamís leading receiver should be back and part of the mix again. A bit of a disappointment, he only has 40 catches for 510 yards and two scores after roaring for 101 grabs and 1,210 yards last season, but his real worth has been as a return man averaging 18.2 yards per punt return with two scores. - This is just the 28th meeting all-time between the two teams. Oklahoma State has won two of the last three games, but Texas was able to right the ship last year. Before 2010, Texas had won 12 straight and 17 of the previous 18. The two first met in 1916, a 14-6 Texas win.
Rick's Bottom Line: Texas is hurting, but theyíre finding ways to get the job done. That wonít happen this week. The Oklahoma State defense will be just solid enough, and the offense just effective enough, to pull off the tough win. This time, Texas wonít be on the right side of the close battle. I'll TAKE OKLAHOMA STATE to win and cover!
Atlanta is hurting. They are without stud wide out, Julio Jones for the rest of the season, their other wide out, Roddy White has not been 100% all season, and they could quite possibly have the worst offensive line to ever play the game at the pro level. You may laugh at that last statement, but it is 100% true; the Falcons O line sucks. Atlanta has the worst running game in the NFL and Matt Ryan looks like a deer in headlights now that he knows his time to release the ball has been cut in half since last season. Not only that, but free agent acquisition, Steven Jackson, who was supposed to give this team the boost they needed to make a Super Bowl, has don't NOTHING...and I mean nothing this season. I don't know what to say, Atlanta is just bad. I do believe in the ownership and executives in place, but this season is a wash. Will the Falcons be right back in the mix next season to make a post season run? I think so, but the 2013 season is over. I really cannot give any reason to think Atlanta will win this game. I would like to give some crazy stat or something to say, "oh, here is why Atlanta wins..." Folks, its just not there.
Now to the home underdog, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Actually, the "line" on this game has shifted to to pick 'em - when I began ... Atlanta was a 1.0 point favorite) Tampa is at home, coming off a win, and is still a home underdog to a 2-7 team. If that doesn't sum up the Tampa Bay season, I don't know what does. This team is just as much of a mess as Atlanta is. Actually, Tampa may be worst because the entire city, and from the sounds of it, the entire locker room as turned on their head coach. At least Atlanta has been professional and there is no finger pointing through all the losing. Tampa lost their 1st eight games, let their starting QB go, and just this past Friday, found out that starting running back, Doug Martin was done for the season. I have as many positive things to say about Tampa as I did Atlanta. This game is going to be nasty. If Tampa wants to get their 2nd win in a row, here is how you do it: Pressure Matt Ryan. The Falcons have no running game, so you don't have to worry about that. If you can pressure Matt Ryan into making bad throws, then you can make the Falcons looks really bad. This game is going to end with someone winning by a single score, but the team with the better defense will be the one who walks away victorious.
Rick' Bottom Line: What a game to pick. There is no logical reason that any human being would place a wager on either of these teams, but hey, that's what we do...right? Ok, so here we go. Take the home team. Its simple as that. Tampa is home, they are coming off a win, Atlanta is horrid and playing on the road. They're secondary has been burned by almost all of their opponents, many of which have had meager offenses. I think Tampa comes out and wins an ugly, low scoring affair. The Bucs will "upset" the Falcons 23-13. I'll TAKE THE BUCS to both win and cover!
From Buffalo's Viewpoint: Buffalo comes into the game as a home underdog, which is understandable when the team coming in is sitting with a perfect record at the halfway point of the regular season. With the exception of running the ball really well (ranked 7th in the NFL), there isn't a lot that the Bills do well. They rank in the bottom third of the league in most defensive categories, and rookie quarterback, EJ Manuel and youngin' Thad Lewis have them ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards. In defense of the Bills though, they have played a pretty tough schedule. They have already faced New England, Baltimore, New Orleans, and as crazy as it sounds, Carolina. The Bills have been tested and for the most part, even though they have lost most game, they have been fairly competitive. In order to upset the undefeated Chiefs, the Bills will need to score. Kansas City may be unbeaten, but they are certainly not invincible. If anyone can get them into a shootout, I don't think their offense will have the fire power to hang. This is not a shot at Alex Smith or the Chiefs offense, but they are designed to play good defense, and grind the ball and win close, low scoring games....that's just what they do. Buffalo has one goal this game: SCORE. The Bills need to find a way to be explosive and put up points, and lots of them. They have a great run game, but they need to use the run threat in order to open up the pass game. If Buffalo can score between 24-30, I think they might can pull this off.
From The Chiefs Sideline: Kansas City, undefeated through the midway point. Wow....who would have ever thought that? With new head coach, Andy Reid, a
#6 SHE'S STONES SIS
#3 WHAT THE FROST
#4 ROYAL SUSPICION
#2 BIT BUSTIN
#6 SHE'S STONES SIS is the pace profile leader in this O.C. field today, and has hit the board in each of her last five starts, including a win in her 2nd race back. #3 WHAT THE FROST also has a nice pace profile, and has turned in a trio of "POWER RUNS" in her last four starts, including "POWER RUN WINS" in her 2nd and 4th races back, which is indicative of a "Bounce Pattern" folks, and the BoUnCe will be UP/POSITIVE this afternoon if this pattern continues.
RACING NEWS: As it engages ongoing competitive challenges that include gaming-enhanced purses at other racetracks and continued growth of casino competition in its home region, Churchill Downs has announced a reduction in purses that will affect four races scheduled during the eight days remaining in the 25-day fall meet that continues through Saturday, Nov. 30. The adjustments included a purse reduction of $25,000 each for a pair of stakes races scheduled for Nov. 30. The Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and the Golden Rod (gr. II)-the co-featured events on the second of the fall meet's popular "Stars of Tomorrow" programs devoted to racing among 2-year-olds-now carry a purse of $150,000-added, respectively. Rather than reduce purses for all overnight races offered during the remaining days of the meet, Churchill Downs officials have opted to eliminate one race each on two of the remaining racing days. The races will be dropped from the programs scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 24, and Wednesday, Nov. 27. Each of those racing cards will now consist of nine races. Churchill has worked to counter expanded competition in its market since late 1998, when an Indiana casino launched its operations only minutes from the track. As regional casino competition has grown and matured, Churchill Downs' competitive challenges expanded to include racetracks in its border states and throughout North America that benefit from race purses bolstered by gaming revenues. The gaming-fed supplements to purses at competing tracks have placed added pressure on Churchill Downs' daily racing product. Those tracks and their enhanced purses have lured horses and stables from Churchill Downs and Kentucky racing, resulting in declines in the track's purses and average horses-per-race.