Reunited for the ROTW (2479 Views)
Posted by: derby1592
Date: February 08, 2002 09:37PM
Lately I have not been very interested in the ROTW but this week it is a fun race to handicap. Certainly no standout but I think Pleasant Divorce might have a decent shot at a price.
He is fast (he ran a –1.5 as a 3yo), young and relatively lightly raced and he gets in light at 112. At first glance, it looks like he may still be feeling the effects of his big effort a few months ago; however, a closer look indicates that his last 2 races may not be better than they seem. The 4 he earned immediately after the top was at an odd, marathon distance over the somewhat peculiar Aqu inner track. It was the first time for him over the track and at the distance (he had never ran over 1, 1/8 before that) and he still finished ahead of all but one horse. The winner of that race was a specialist at the distance and the track (having won the same race the year before). It is not that much of a stretch to think that he may have been able to ring up a better number going 1, 1/8 miles at another track.
His next race was another marathon, this time on the turf at GP. He had only one local work before the race, which is not very much time to acclimate to the warmer climate. The race also had an incredibly slow pace, which probably hurt his chances relative to the horses running closer to the lead and thus probably affected the figure he earned. He also looks like he much prefers dirt over turf. Once again, it would not be much of a stretch to think that he could have rung up a better number if he had had time to acclimate and had been going 1,1/8 miles on the dirt.
If you are still tracking with me, let's assume that his last two races are indeed better than the seem. He would then look very tempting at 20-1. Particularly, given that the favorite, Red Bullet looks like a good bet against.
Additionally, note that Pleasant Divorce is reunited with Dominquez who ships down to ride and is a nifty 5 for 5 when on his back (I guess it was not only a pleasant but also just a temporary divorce). This race is absolutely stacked with speed. Most of the front-runners are going to be forced wide early and they are all likely to be setting or pressing a very hot pace. Pleasant Divorce should be able to save ground early and may be able to relax out of traffic for most of the race given the scarcity of come from behind runners. He will likely lose ground on the final turn but many of the others will also lose ground early on and will be getting the staggers when they turn for home. He may be able to start rolling over them from the 2 or 3 path and still have time to collar those that still have some gas in the tank after they straighten away for the stretch drive.
The BAR shoe is a concern (does anybody know if he will be wearing it tomorrow?) and I certainly don’t love his line but I can make a case for him at 20-1 as an interesting key in the race.
Graeme Hall looks like the best of the front-runners and Kiss A Native looks like the only other off-the-pace type with a shot. The rest are hard to separate but some of them may go off at long odds.
Certainly, a high-risk, high-reward race but looks like it might be worth a shot.
Good luck to all.
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