12-1 Top Pick Ghost Hunter Upsets Arlington Handicap! – Super Screener
Super Screener

12-1 Top Pick Ghost Hunter Upsets Arlington Handicap!

Photo by: Heidi Carpenter/Horse Racing Nation

Arlington Handicap

Thanks to those that offered the thumbs up on the Super Screener top win pick of 12-1 winner Ghost Hunter in the G3 Arlington Handicap.  It was a small consolation on what was a dreadful day for the suggested wagers which I am sure prompted another finger being raised in our direction as a result!  There is no sugar coating it, we have been producing the weekly Super Screener for over a year now and there was only one other time in which the suggested wagers went completely zilcho.  It can happen to us horse players on occasion… let’s just hope it is another year before we run into this kind of result again.


It was a frustrating day indeed and I think Mike Watchmaker, who must have had an equally tough day, summed it up in this piece really well:




A key component of the Super Screener methodology is to be able to accurately project the pace and pressure level of a race.  When that projection is correct, everything falls into place but when it is not, disruption occurs.  We have plenty of tools to help us project that pace more accurately and more often than anyone else, but in the end, jockeys control the pace and yesterday was a good example of what happens when expected outcomes don’t materialize.


Onto the recap…

The Super Screener was really locked in on Ghost Hunter as the top upsetter and top win pick in this race.  Here’s what was said about Ghost Hunter prior to the race:

“#6 Ghost Hunter is the top long shot bomber pick in here on the basis of his ultra consistency and ability to handle any pace scenario.  Beyond #1 Taghleeb and #5 Kasaqui, this one rates highly against the rest of the field and is in top form right now with no questions around being able to handle this type of turf course.  This one is worth taking a shot at the win spot at 12-1 or higher.”

You could tell what kind of day it was when the 2nd longest shot on the board finishes 2nd, just a head over one of our top players, Kasaqui, to deny us once again of hitting nicely on suggested Exactas.

G1 Belmont Sprint

Mind Your Biscuits was not vulnerable in the least.  He came and he conquered and rather easily.  If our top value play, Tommy Macho could have gotten by Awesome Slew we are at least cashing.  What the heck happened to Unified?  We weren’t the only ones that had this horse squarely on top.  Talk about a big fizzle…showed nothing.

G1 Belmont Oaks

The Super Screener’s top 4 ranked horses accounted for the Trifecta so all good there and those top three finishers all came from Chad Brown’s barn which was a pretty incredible feat.  If our top long shot bomber pick, Grizzel, at odds of nearly 40-1 could have hung on for 4th, we are cashing the $.10 Superfecta.   Uni ran one heck of a race as did Sistercharlie. A higher finish by Uni only helps our cause.

G1 Belmont Derby

This is what the Super Screener had to say about the pace set up and the winner of this race Oscar Performance:


“An excellent wagering opportunity awaits the punter in this salty edition of the G1 Belmont Derby featuring a full field of 11 fillies in which you can make a win case for as many as 7 in here.  The confirmed pace leader is #4 Oscar Performance who got the dream trip last out cutting slow fractions while loose on a one-length lead throughout before holding off the late comers at the wire (but not past the wire).  He won’t get that set up here with more pace pressure coming from two of the Euro shippers including #5 Called To The Bar and stablemate to #3 Homesman, the sprinter, #10 Whitecliffsofdover.  In addition, #4 Oscar Performance will have to carry that speed another 1/8th of a mile here and if the turf is anything but firm, he will be tested late even more.  Of those that will sit closer to the pace, the Super Screener favors #5 Called To The Bar and #6 Arklow, a versatile colt that is comfortable being placed anywhere in the race.”


As you can see from the chart above, the fractions set were dawdling and Oscar Performance, once again got away with an easy pace.  No doubt this is a good horse, but when he is actually tested, you get a different outcome.


I have nothing but the utmost respect for West Coast jockey Flavien Prat and he’ll certainly be a leading jockey at Del Mar this year, but what was he doing running Big Score, our top long shot bomber pick, up in the front of the race?  He clearly wasn’t going to win the race given the pace set up but if he sat back as he usually does at least he could make that one big run and catch a piece…why take him out of his natural running style?  


The Euro shippers did well to finish 2nd and 3rd and support the newly emerging trend that these horses are being sent here and doing well in this race the past few years.  


The highly regarded Yoshida and the game late closer type out of the Chad Brown barn, Ticonderoga, both disappointed big time.  I have the feeling this race will not come back as either strong or reliable as we see the field move on to their next races.