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Old 11-25-2021, 02:07 PM   #1
zico20
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CLARK HANDICAP

Tomorrow is the Clark at Churchill. I am shocked that the morning line has Maxfield at 6-5 and Midnight Bourbon at 8-5. MB to me seems as close to a sure thing as you can get that isn't the favorite. He has the rail, lone speed, better jockey this time, working very well, all point to his first Grade 1 victory.

The throw outs are the for any part.

Maxfield looks like the next best, but he couldn't beat Art Collector who got crushed in the Classic by horses MB has been very competitive against.

Dr Post is the key to the exotics after the top two. Irad had his choice of him and Happy Saver and he landed here. Jockeys who have their choice usually that horse beats the other 90% of the time.

Happy Saver couldn't come that close to beating Max Player twice who also got his head handed to him in the Classic. His last race he didn't look good in the lane.

King Fury has tried Grade 1 four times and has been up the track each time, although one was on the turf. He does run well at CD but the slow pace will comprise him.

Looks to easy for the superfecta! with with with and then flip the for fourth with the for third.

Now you watch, MB will go off 3-5! and the exotics will pay way less than what I am thinking they will which is a 15 exacta, 40 trifecta, 125 super when it comes in
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Old 11-25-2021, 02:54 PM   #2
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Midnight Bourbon is probably going to be the betting favorite given there is no other real speed in the race of similar quality. If he shows up with his "A" race, the question is can anyone overcome his advantage.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:12 PM   #3
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rooting for Midnight Bourbon
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:39 PM   #4
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Drinking Bourbon 'til Midnight!
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Old 11-26-2021, 11:02 PM   #5
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Maxfield solid sendoff

credit to Maxfield & Godolphin/Walsh/Ortiz for the aggressive tactics and reliable performance.

Midnight Bourbon seemed reserved at the break. I don't think it would have made a lot of difference in the outcome, but at least would have took a swing and been in the race.

I don't know what to say about Maxfield.
High quality horse. Strong resume. Never ran a bad race.
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:19 AM   #6
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IMO Maxfield has been one of those horses that was simultaneously overrated and underrated by different subsets of horseplayers.

The Beyer figure came back a low 99, but visually I liked the effort. Staking a faster horse is not his game. That was a pretty savage battle in the middle before he put a away very good horse in Midnight Bourbon and then he was game to hold off Happy Saver.
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:37 AM   #7
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Just my opinion but Midnight Bourbon does not have that winning punch. Yes, he’s fast but when push comes to shove …. He doesn’t hold on. Plus, I always shop the odds….. even money was senseless comparing the two records and it didn’t take rocket science to figure out Happy Saver would be stalking . There were 3 horses with a chance in that race and it ran to form.
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Old 11-27-2021, 12:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
IMO Maxfield has been one of those horses that was simultaneously overrated and underrated by different subsets of horseplayers.
The only time Maxfield was ever underrated was as a 2yo based on his odds in his two starts.

Afterwards, he started higher than 2-1 odds only one time (2.10-1 to be exact) and he lost that race.

Soundness issues aside, he was suspect/exposed at 10 furlongs and in Grade 1 company at middle distances and the Clark did nothing to call that into question. Put away a 1-for-9 Grade 3 winner and an allowance-winning china doll that couldn't switch leads the entire length of the stretch despite enjoying a cush campaign of 4 starts with ~2 months in between each race.

He was probably a superior miler that would have made noise in the Met Mile and BC Dirt Mile if the industry could have been counted on to provide a balanced, full field of horses (...it could not).

Connections deserves credit for keeping him together for the entire year after making his 2nd comeback in late December. A wise move keeping him out of the BC, too, although, they did it for the wrong reasons.
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Old 11-27-2021, 12:30 PM   #9
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Agree w/ both of you Class & Burnsy

I thought Maxfield ran to form. I'm not sure what his Beyers were coming in, and this is an eye test from RF #grain_o_salt

The Idol race ('SA H'?) was the time for players to take a shot against with 3 of the rivals, and it happened to come out for decent payouts. - & I don't think Maxfield ran a bad race or was 'exposed', or whatever... I just think there was value on a few others due to him being a significant underlay that day.

Most of his other races he was either over-bet or a well-covered co-fav type of odds range.

Can't tell if Midnight Bourbon was a little hesitant at the break (yes, aware that he had an insignificant slight misstep a few steps out), or whether the tactics were just goofy and too reserved. His chance was to bounce out, force Maxfield to stalk and fire... That was off-the-table at the break and first strides. Just a matter of who would run their race. Midnight Bourbon has stamped himself as a guy who doesn't want to re-break. When you get a field that's slow early you HAVE to capitalize on that edge.
Would like to see MB have a 2022 campaign and figure out what he wants to do. If he isn't using tactics and is going to just be a solid board hitting type, I guess he's getting some paychecks IDK... class drop? use speed? suck up in a race that has pace?

Aqueduct today - The Sprint (r10?) potential betting race. You also got the double; Long Island-->Sprint today

Del Mar - R7 the Durante is a potential betting race.

Laurel races 6,7,8 potential stakes action
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:56 PM   #10
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The only time Maxfield was ever underrated was as a 2yo based on his odds in his two starts.

Afterwards, he started higher than 2-1 odds only one time (2.10-1 to be exact) and he lost that race.
.
When I said he was underrated, I wasn’t talking about the general public. That’s who tended to overrate him a bit. I was taking about handicappers that were constantly trying to beat him since fairly early in his career as if he was some kind of overhyped dud. IMO he was a very good horse and that was pretty clear early on. There were spots to take a shot against him (and I did), but he wasn’t a horse I looked forward to betting against. My point was that he was somewhere between the hype and anti-hype. I didn’t bet on or against him yesterday. I thought he was better than MB, but at 6/5 I didn’t want either of them given MB had the clear tactical advantage. I thought he ran quite well yesterday.
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Old 11-27-2021, 02:11 PM   #11
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That’s who tended to overrate him a bit. I was taking about handicappers that were constantly trying to beat him since fairly early in his career as if he was some kind of overhyped dud.
Not sure who this subset was that tried to beat him in his listed stakes, Grade 3 starts, or races where Visitant was his main rival.

I'm sure there were some taking a stand against him in the Whitney and the Woodward and they were proved correct (thus not underrating him).

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My point was that he was somewhere between the hype and anti-hype.
Perhaps he was at a disadvantage style-wise in the 2 NY races (although that might be debatable) and you could write off his defeats there based on that rather than his relative talent/class, but as it stands he lost his 3 most important races this year and did nothing outside those losses to offset them.
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Old 11-27-2021, 02:15 PM   #12
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Just my opinion but Midnight Bourbon does not have that winning punch. Yes, he’s fast but when push comes to shove …. He doesn’t hold on. Plus, I always shop the odds….. even money was senseless comparing the two records and it didn’t take rocket science to figure out Happy Saver would be stalking . There were 3 horses with a chance in that race and it ran to form.
I thought he'd win yesterday, but I'm off that horse. He has now lost ground from the stretch call to the finish in every single race he's ever run other than his maiden win. That is not something you want to see from a top racehorse.
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:44 AM   #13
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Not sure who this subset was that tried to beat him in his listed stakes, Grade 3 starts, or races where Visitant was his main rival.

I'm sure there were some taking a stand against him in the Whitney and the Woodward and they were proved correct (thus not underrating him).


Perhaps he was at a disadvantage style-wise in the 2 NY races (although that might be debatable) and you could write off his defeats there based on that rather than his relative talent/class, but as it stands he lost his 3 most important races this year and did nothing outside those losses to offset them.
There were plenty of people on my Twitter timeline talking about trying to beat him after his 2yo season all the way through this last race.

To me, the only subpar race he ran was out in California. Knicks Go proved to be the best horse in the country and Art Collector controlled the pace on him (that’s the race I played against him).

You can only beat who they put in front of you, but you can look good doing it (or not) and you can consistently show up (or not). If you do both, IMO that’s saying things about reserves of quality that figures alone don’t. He has a nice turn of foot, always shows up, and as this last race proves, can be put in the race early if need be. I guess what I’m saying is he’s somewhere between “a great horse to play against” and a HOTY candidate and a little better than his numbers.
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:49 AM   #14
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If I was handling Midnight Bourbon I’d look for a soft spot to get a win and then head back into the deeper waters. He has been having a tough time getting into the winners circle, but he’s been competitive with the best 3yos in the country who themselves looked very deep and were just competitive in the Classic other than getting outrun by the HOTY. If that doesn’t work, they can try a mile.
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:38 AM   #15
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You can only beat who they put in front of you, but you can look good doing it (or not) and you can consistently show up (or not). If you do both, IMO that’s saying things about reserves of quality that figures alone don’t. He has a nice turn of foot, always shows up, and as this last race proves, can be put in the race early if need be. I guess what I’m saying is he’s somewhere between “a great horse to play against” and a HOTY candidate and a little better than his numbers.
I don't know if I buy that "he had more in reserve" theory in his wins when he conveniently didn't display any extra reserve when facing higher quality rivals.

Looking back at his overall record, where his true form may have been blunted was in his last 2 starts. What were they thinking putting blinkers on that horse? That was a terrible decision.

As you suggest, his best weapon was his turn of foot (and his apparent ability to overcome his rider's wasteful wide sweeps when uncorking it). Did they really think the absence of blinkers is what led to Maxfield getting his head ripped off by Knicks Go?

I'd say the presence of blinkers is what led to Maxfield getting his head ripped off by Art Collector in the Woodward. Now instead of having a horse that always broke sharp, settled nicely midpack, responded push-button, and accelerated on the turn while traveling wide, they got a horse that would not settle, a rider with his feet on the dashboard down the backstretch, getting shuffled back around the turn when the push-button response did not materialize, before toiling with a struggling 2nd tier colt (Dr. Post) down the lane to save the place. Great job connections. Just made Art Collector look like a contender in the BC Classic (where'd he finish?)

It was more of the same basically in the Clark save that instead of having to deal with 2nd tier horses, he only had to deal with 3rd tier ones. Maxfield was simply eager throughout rather than being taking out of his normal running style sans blinkers. He was a better horse without them. Probably lucky Dr. Post got wiped out at the start and Silver State and/or Express Train and/or By My Standards, etc. weren't in the race.
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