PODCAST: Thistledown Announcer Matt Hook Returns

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Friday, June 25, 2021
Thistledown announcer Matt Hook makes his second appearance on The Player's Edge Podcast and notices all the technical advancements we've made in the last year. Unfortunately, we had some technical difficulties with Matt's audio - how Alanis Morissette can you get?

Hook and the crew, Terry, Tom, Shawn and Rich make their Saturday Thistledown selections. for:

Race 7 - Daniel Stearns Cleveland Gold Cup Stakes
Race 8 - Lady Jacqueline Stakes
Race 9 - Ohio Derby

Through the in and out audio, Matt shares some Thistledown insights that are sure to help you with your Ohio Derby and Saturday Thistledown selections.

Make sure you follow Matt Hook on Twitter at: Matt Hook (@MattHook6) / Twitter because 6 is better than 7. 




Terry "Hollywood" Hay's Handicap

Race 7

Race scenario:  #2 Brig and #4 Uptown will go to the front. #7 Historically will stay close to the pace and try and catch the leaders down the stretch. #3 Buckeye Magic will close from deep and win.

#3 – Buckeye Magic has the highest last race speed rating. During his career he has finished in the money 100% of time, winning 60% of those entries.

#2 – Brig can either lead all the way or come from behind. He has only finished out of themoney in his career two out of ten races. If he stays close to the pace and does not try to lead all the way he could win this race.

#4 – Uptown likes the track finishing 100% of the time in the money, winning 50% of those starts. He has a hot Trainer/Jockey combo in last 14 days (2 2-0-0).

#7 – Historically best dirt speed is the fastest of today's starters. He changes to jockey Luis Saez which may help.

Race 8

Race scenario:  #2 Crystal Ball and #6 Racinrosemary will go to the lead and try to go all the way. #1 Horologist and #9 Spice is Nice will be in mid pack and close and try to catch the leaders. #8 Getridofwhatailesu will close from deep and try to get the win and get into the exotics. I believe #9 Spice is Nice will be successful catching the leaders to win.

#9 – Spice is Nice has won two races in a row and is now going for a hat trick. She is one for one at today's distance and two for two this year.

#2 – Crystal Ball will be on top trying to lead all the way. She has demonstrated that she can hold her speed at today's distance. During her career she has finished in the money 83% of time, winning 50% of those entries.

#1 – Horologist has won Grade 3 and Grade 2 races. She has the highest speed rating of all the starters in this race plus a sharp workout of 48B at 4furlongs.

#8 – Getridofwhatailesu will be closing from deep to try and win the race. She has a good trainer/jockey combination (William Mott - Joe Bravo) and has the best speed among today's starters.

Race 9

Race scenario:  #1 Promise Keeper, #5 Ethical Judgement and #6 Hello Hot Rod will go for the lead. #11 Channel Fury will sit just behind the leaders and will close at the end and win the race. #2 Falcons Fury will close from deep to get into the exotics.

#11 – Channel Fury is going up in class but has finished 100% of the time in the money during his career, winning 50% of those races. He has a high percentage trainer (James Jackson) and jockey (Luis Rivera). I love to play horse climbing the class ladder.

#10 – Masqueparade has the best last race speed rating, and his best dirt speed is the best among today's starters. He won his last race at today's distance at Churchill Downs.

#1 – Promise Keeper has just won the Peter Pan, a Grade 3 race and breaks from the rail which is winning at a 18% clip. If he breaks on top, he could go all the way.

#2 – Falcons Fury has been having a good year finishing 100% in the money, winning 25% of those races. He will be closing with a rush from deep.

Swiss Army Shawn's Selections


Race Summary: The #2 Brig should get the lead after the gates open. The #4 Uptown and #5 Exprimir should be right behind the #2. The one that will do his best running late is #3 Buckeye Magic.

#3 Buckeye Magic- Has ran 5 career races and the only bad one was his first career start but even there he did close to finish 3rd. After that start he is neck away from winning 4 straight races. John Mckee has been aboard for all his races and will be again today. Has beaten some of these horses already in past races.

#4 Uptown- Likes Thistledown winning 2 of 4 and being in the trifecta in all 4 starts. Gets Jose Bracho up again who has been aboard for all his 9 races so far. Jose is hitting at 27 % so far this meet and 20% for the year. He should be right behind the #2 and be able to get first run once the #2 comes back to them.

#7 Historically- Has lost to some of these horses before repeatedly but now gets a big upgrade in jockey with Luis Saez. Likes Thistle winning 2 of 3 with a second.

$20 win #3
$1 exbox 3/ 4,7
$1 Tri 3/ 4,7,8/4,7,8
$1 Pick 3:  3,4,7/2,4,8,/1,7


Race Summary: Looks like 3 horses could want the front here #2 Crystal Ball, #4 Miss Bigly, #6 Racingrosemary. The #6 should be the first one to fade if he can even show speed here against tougher. The #1 Horologist will be your mid-pack horse while #8 Getridofwhatailesu will be the deep closer in here.

#4 Miss Bigly- This horse is getting better and better just needs to stay off the turf. He is 3 for 5 on a fast dirt track finishing in the trifecta in all 5 races. A sloppy track again has won 3 of 5 and finished in the trifecta in all of those races. He started out his career on turf a lot and was 0 for 10 with only 4 finishes in the money. Will be out on the lead or real close to the pace. Martin Garcia is a good speed horse jockey.

#8 Getridofwhatailesu- Closes from the back and always to be right there and get in the exotics. If the couple speed horses go too fast, she will be the one to take advantage. Dylan Davis was riding really good before his injury and now even seems better since coming back.

#2 Crystal Ball- Has won 2 in a row at 2 different tracks to start out 2021. Should be the other one close to the pace and again has a good jockey for that Luis Saez. Did go this distance once before and lost by a head.

$20 win #4
$1 exbox 2,4,8


Race Summary: This race has some pace to it as at least 4 horses will try for that early lead. The #5 Ethical Judgement, #6 Hello Hot Rod, #10 Masqueparade and #11 Channel Fury. With the rail and speed #1 Promise Keeper could go as well. The horses that could take advantage of the hot pace are the #7 The Reds and the #8 Keepmeinmind.

#1 Promise Keeper- Has won 2 in a row which were both at this distance. I like that horse can go to the lead or sit off. Jockey Luis Saez will be aboard again right like his other 5 starts. He has won at 3 different tracks and looking to make it 4.

#7 The Reds- This horse should be able to take advantage of what possibly could be a hot pace. Will be closer to the pace than the other closer #8 Keepmeinmind. Has done well at this distance winning 2 of 4 and being in the money in all the races.

#8 Keepmeinmind- Will be coming late but always seems to be too far back to win. Does get lasix in this race and also goes back to wearing blinkers. Maybe against an easier level here can be closer to the pace and get there.

$20 win
#1 $1 Exbox 1,7,8

22 to 1 Tom's Tips

Race 7

Brig will way out front again and run out of "gas"? We may a couple of horses who don't get out of the starting gate too. Most likely, Exprimir and Uptown (if he gets out of the starting gate) will be towards the front with everyone else but Buckeye Magic and Somekindafuhey seeing the back ends. Some movement will begin on the backside with Team Leyendecker, Henry Mac and Historically getting in gear. Top of the stretch, Brig is gone and the rest of the goes out. The winner will widest of all?

7 – Historically – didn't do anything in his last race. Awful. He wins are sprints but both distance races, well not much but the last race he ran in was scheduled for the turf. Why do I pick him? I think he needs a fast track. In both of his loses, he had a sloppy and muddy track. Last work was :46.2 breezing. That's good. Luis Saez picks up the mount, very good change. He has a record of 2 wins and 1 place at the Thistledown. The trainer Tim Hamm is on fire. 41 starters at the meet, 16 winners at a 39%. 9 starters have finished in the money. There is a chance of rain on Saturday.

6 – Team Leyendecker – just won his maiden race last out. Why do I like these last 2 races? They were at Thistledown. He was the favorite in both and finished second then first. A horse for course? The trainer Tina Ramgeet sends out fit horses. Two starters at this meet, 1 winner and 1 place. Her overall 2021 record is 51 races 18% winners and 52% in the money finishes. Next race after a maiden win, her numbers are: 6 races 17% wins and 50% in the money finishes. Big step up? Why not a in the money finish.

3 – Buckeye Magic – he will be the favorite at a short price. He comes late. There is plenty of speed for him to run at. Won the last a restricted Ohio bred race moved from the turf. Some of the same horses are in this race. Bad start last race, didn't matter.

Race 8

We have some speed in this race. Crystal Ball, Spice is Nice (if they run her in this race?), Miss Bigly and Horologist will want the lead. Racinrosemary will be up there too. Jilted Bride, Quickpay and Getridofwhatailsesu will look for position and I have no idea what Gran Baby will do. Move along, we see Jilted Bride move closer to the leaders with some now giving way. Top of the stretch is now 5 horses with a chance to win.

8 – Getridofwhatailesu – won her first start of the year in January at Oaklawn and then was tossed against some of the best mares in the country. Shedaresthedevil, Latruska, Swiss Skydiver, Spice is Nice (in the race, maybe?), Monomoy Girl plus others. She did ok overall. She had an eventful start in her last race and was stuck on the rail which was not the place to be. She still managed to finish third to Spice is Nice who dueled hard to win. First time Dylan Davis rides this horse for Brad Cox. Looks to me to be a ship in to win.

2 – Crystal Ball – since getting this horse from a trainer who's in a bit of trouble right now, he has worked her 5 times and they are useful see what he has works. She raced at Saratoga last year to lost to Paris Lights. This year, they started her off in 2 lower-level races, after racing in 2 grade 1's. She won both and has look very good in both. The last race, the comment was "ears picketed 2 path" on the lead. She's on the frontend and if she gets her way, she could win.

1 – Horologist – didn't run her race last out at Pimlico again some of these horses in this race today. She was awkward from the starting gate and tracked and dueled on the frontend and they had nothing left for the finish. She wants to be near the lead, and she gets out of the starting gate to do that. Since a walk off race (some was wrong) at Santa Anita, she run some very good races winning 3 of them. The only really very poor performance was the Breeder's Cup Fillies & Mares race.

Race 9

You think race 7 and race 8 had front runners, well this is crazy filled race of front runners. Masqueparde wants the lead, so does Channel Fury from the outside post. So does Ethical Judgement, Promise Keeper, Hello Hot Rod, Proxy, Hozier and Falcons Fury. Who waits and get position, will win? This could be King Fury, The Reds(scratched) with Keepmeinmind running an even race, again. Who wins?

4 – King Fury – won the Lexington nicely and then was scratched from the KY Derby because was sick. He's run 2 bad races in my looking both to Essential Quality (so has a few other horses). With a winning effort in his 3-year-old debut, he looked good. Time off won't hurt him. Works of :58.2, 47.3 and 1:00.2 are good and showing fitness. His bred for distance and all his past races have been at 1 1/16. He gets Lasix for the first time and looks primed for a big effort off the disappointment of the owners not to run in the KY Derby. He will be midpack early in the race.

5 – Ethical Judgement – he has finished first or second in all his races. He was off 140 days and won at Keeneland first back. He may want the lead, or he may sit midpack. Either way, he has a good chance here. Works into this race are within the normal work pattern we have seen before. Win? In the money finish, yes.

1 – Promise Keeper – the big favorite in this race off the win in the Peter Pan at Belmont. Was kept on the race when challenged. But he's run some crap races too. He was a distance 4th to a minor stakes and the Tampa Bay Derby was trying and failed badly race. Post position may have played a role in this race. He draws inside and will be pushed out to the lead with others. There is a bunch of speed in this race and that may do him in. Could he have traffic problems? Yes. But I think he's good enough to finish in the money. If he doesn't, then we are going have very nice payoffs.

Rich's Ranks

Race 7

3 – Buckeye Magic
2 - Brig
8 – Henry Mac
4 - Uptown

Race 8

9 - Spice Is Nice – probably going to scratch
2 - Crystal Ball
1 - Horologist
4 - Miss Bigly
8 – Getridofwhatailesu – replacement if Spice is Nice runs at Churchill

Race 9

9 - Proxy
1 – Promise Keeper
8 - Keepmeinmind
11 - Channel Fury


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