LARC NEWS Posted: 12/8/2022 2:13:44 PM


              George Duarte, the nighttime Equibase trackman at Los Alamitos,  has a keen eye for watching race replays, analyzing trouble and writing concise trip notes. He is also among the top Quarter Horse handicappers in the nation and a top horse player with multiple National Handicapping Championship appearances and a win in the meet long Remington Park QH online handicapping contest. In this space, Duarte shares his opinion on some of the handicapping pros and cons for each of the horses in this year’s strong Champion of Champions field (listed in post-position order):                  

1. Bomb Cyclone (3-1M/L) 2022 4starts 3wins (1 Gr.1) Those for will say: Untouchable at Los Alamitos (slimmest margin of victory 1 ½), still improving, and has fastest 400-yard time of the meet (19.301); Those against will say:  First time versus older, faces toughest task to date, and will be overbet.             

2. Danjer (3-1M/L) 2022 5starts 4wins (3 Gr.1) Those for will say: Defending world champion, distance specialist, wins at 7 different tracks, has beaten Apollitical Pence and has beaten Instygator (who beat Empressum @Sunland), may be underbet. Those against will say: Has faced weaker overall competition than the group he’s facing here, and first time at Los Alamitos, tough post.

3.Cattail Cove (30-1M/L)2022 10 starts 2wins (1 Gr.3) Those for will say: Best performances are within range of the favorites, has most accomplished rider aboard. Those against will say:  Career best effort will be needed to win, has not made a huge leap up from 4yo form yet.                              

4.Jessapolliticalgirl (50-1M/L) 2022 10 starts 2wins (3rd in Gr.2) Those for will say: Second time Valentin Zamudio, last two are best efforts this year. Those against will say:  Has yet to win a graded stakes, and has not run fast enough to win against this field.                                                       

5. Powerful Favorite (15-1M/L) 2022 5starts 3wins (1 Gr.1) Those for will say: Has beaten Apollitical Pence, always runs his race, strong Z.Wayne trial win. Those against will say: Has not run as fast as the top contenders this year, only 1 win at the distance.                                               

6. Apollitical Pence (2-1M/L) 2022 5starts 5wins (2 Gr.1) Those for will say: Back-to-back winner of this race, undefeated this year, best gate speed of field. Those against will say:: Needed perfect race to beat Empressum, less (betting) upside than others, and will be overbet.                                            

7. Apollitical Candy V (15-1M/L) 11starts 7wins (2 Gr.1) Those for will say: Has beaten the best 3yos in country in Bomb Cyclone and K J Desperado, Ruidoso wins are fast enough to win. Those against will say: Slow away from the gates in last two, will be 12th start of the year, has yet to run as fast at Los Alamitos.                                     

8. Pattys Saint (30-1M/L) 6starts 4wins (1 Gr.1) Those for will say: One of the quickest out of the gate, and good spacing between races. Those against will say: Los Alamitos races have not been fast enough to threaten for top spot.                                                                     

9. Sweet Dasha Fire (50-1M/L) 9starts 2wins (1 Gr.2) Those for will say: Has steadily improved all year, good post. Those against will say: Has yet to hit the board in a grade 1, and has yet to run fast enough to threaten this superb field.                                      

10. Empressum (5/2M/L) 5starts 3wins (2 Gr.1) Those for will say: Great post for run style, best finisher in field (9.19 final ⅛), Champion of Champions been target all year, still has room to improve. Those against will say: Has been beaten by Apollitical Pence, lost to Instygator (Danjer has beaten both,) not as quick early as Danjer and Apollitical Pence.



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