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7/01  THE Breakthrough

8:02 p.m. And before I knew it, it's time for Tanabata-sho, the summer race that's notorious for going wild. The payout tends to be in big amount almost every year so I've been trying to win it as long as I could remember, but running into brick walls every time.

This year however, I've got a little clue. My notes from last year that says I could use the "sticking to the inner fence" method. The method itself is just a tiny clue, but together with a year worth of my experience it might help me geak that brick wall.

Let's just cross my fingers for THE breakthrough for the first time in decades.

The End

Caterpillar

7/02  Nothing ccan be Accomplished

8:18 p.m. Trying to analyze Tanabata-sho from the past 10 years' results, though it might end in vain. But then, nothing can be accomplished if you don't give it a try.

Fukushima turf 2000m course has a long straight right after the start. It's nearly 500 meters long and thre's a downhill at the beginning, so it's not hard to imagine that Tanabata-sho rarely runs at a slow pace.

In fact, there wasn't a time in the past ten years when the race was run at a sluggish pace, although there was a year or two when the furlong records were overall mundane, which I assume was caused by the competitors' low aptitude.

The End

Caterpillar

7/03  Horses Performing Well

8:10 p.m. As a grade race that almost usually goes wild, many horses performing well in the past 10 years have done well in either of their previous two races, not both. In order to perform highly in Tanabata-sho, it's necessary not to work themselves too hard in their previous races.

Some horses haven't finished above third place for more than three races before Tanabata-sho, but suddenly raised their performances. It seems weird but that's why the race doesn't end quietly in a modest payout.

If there are any trends these horses that have suddenly raised their performances, I'd say it's stimulation, such as drastical changes in distance or course. Apart from that, perhaps a longer break from races might help refresh the horses' minds, just like it does for us humans, too.

The End

Caterpillar

7/04  Untrustworthy Front-Runners

7:05 p.m. And the entry for Tanabata-sho has been closed today. Huh? There's one horse missing. I thought there were six-teen horses entered for this race, but there are only fif-teen. Wonder which horse scratched off? Never mind, though since the horse I'm thinking of keying seems to be running.

There's another thing I've realized while analyzing the results of the past ten years. It seems that there's at least one horse finishing in the top three almost every year, which turned the last corner in its previous race within fourth posotion from the leading horse. Sometimes these front-runners have dominated the top three in Tanabata-sho.

The only time in ten years when horses that went up front in its most recent race didn't perform well was year 2016. Tanabata-sho 2016 was run at a tight lap, but there were years when the lap was more tight and the race more tough. Well, perhaps I could refer to these horses that went up front in their previous races in 2016 as untrustworthy front-runners, which could be deleted from my list of candidates.

The End

Caterpillar

7/05  All That Matters

8:24 p.m. It has been a sweltering day, I hope everyone's doing okay. I couldn't sleep well last night because of the heat, ad even though I got up earlier than usual again, because of the heat, I couldn't do much while the sun was still out not to mention, because of the heat.

It was late in the afternoon when I finally started moving and then, everything was in a mad rush as you can easily imagine. The cleanig, going out to pick up the book I've ordered earlier, shopping, and a little bit of work. They all had to be done in a couple of hours to make ends meet and the barrier draw had already been announced without my knowing.

I wonder if Seiun Platina would push to take the lead? If so, the pace could get tight. I don't have much time left now, so I guess I'll think more about it tomorrow. My horse of interest has drawn a good post and that's all that matters to me now.

The End

Caterpillar

7/06  Tempting

8:32 p.m. I thought the horse of my interest was all set to go drawing an ideal post, but as I looked deeper into the horse, I came to have some doubts on its condition. The horse should be performing better if there was nothing wrong.

So I tried picking a different horse to key in a hurry and ended up with two, Red Radiance and King's Palace. I've been torn between the two I mean, it's Tanabata-sho and I want to win it. I'm tilting toward King's Palace now, but Red Radiance is also tempting.

On the wheel would be, Red Lammert, Curren Leciel Bleu, Arata, and Nocking Point. Maybe I could buy two types of wheels from both horses after all. I'll sleep on it for a night and decide tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

7/07  Why Trios?

8:25 p.m. Yesss! It's my first Tanabata-sho win in my life! I only bought trios, though.

Babbitt has taken the lead as I expected, but then the pace he set turned out to be tight, which was something I didn't expect. And the tight lap resulted in the gap of two lengths between Red Radiance and King's Palace.

Eventually, it didn't matter which horse I keyed, Red Radiance or King's Palace, as they both finished above third place. Also, the horse of my interest was Nocking Point, so it didn't matter if I'd keyed Nocking Point either. And why am I buying trios, not trifectas?

The End

Caterpillar

7/08  Features of Hakodate Turf

8:33 p.m. In good mood, let me move on to the next race Hakodate Kinen, another race I haven't won in my life. Currently, a huge group of twenty horses are entered in this famous summer race. Wow, since when did Hakodate Kinen become so popular?

Before anything, I'd like to review the features of Hakodate turf course, since I've thought that it's not so different from Sapporo turf, sometimes even mixing them up. The two race courses are basically similar in the sense that they are both clockwise, covered with equine turf and Italian ryegrass, and have shorter stretches compared to the major JRA courses like Tokyo or Kyoto.

The biggest difference, though is that Hakodate has ups and downs with tight corners, whereas Sapporo is almost flat and the corners are gentle. Resultingly, Hakodate requires horses of more power, speed, and high skill in cornering while keeping the speed in order to perform well.

The End

Caterpillar

7/09  Assessment

8:20 p.m. I've learned assessment is important last week, so let's get the ball rolling. The course layout of Hakodate turf 2000 meters basically, doesn't change much from Fukushima turf 2000 meters, where Tanabata-sho was run. The two big difference is that one, there are ups and downs in Hakodate and two, that the turf of Hakodate is power-consuming.

Since the course layout is similar, the race features also seem to sync a bit. The result of the past 10 years show that there's been only one year when Hakodate Kinen has been run at a slow lap. Additionally, I think the "sticking to the inner fence method" could be used here again. I'll check out my notes later.

But the weekly forecast is announcing another unreliable forecast for Hakodate Racecourse on Sunday, cloudy with a possibility of raisnshowers later in the day. Not sure what to make of that. I guess it would advantage horses with European backgrounds like Saddler's Wells, Mr. Prospector, or Roberto depending on how soft the turf condition turns out to be.

The End

Caterpillar

7/10  Good Job, Me!

8:13 p.m. I've checked my notes of Hakodata Kinen from last year and yes, it said I could use "sticking to the inner fence method". There were also a couple more notes I made that might help.

Horses running in a leisurely schedule having more than a 5-week interval before running Hakodate Kinen performs better. If the interval is shorter than two weeks, the horse would need a longer break before its previous race, in order to perform well in Hakodate Kinen.

Another thing I wrote was to choose a looker with instantaneous speed if choosing any. Because the corners are tight and it slopes down from the last corner to the homestretch, instantaneous speed will be necessary to take over the front runners. Why, good job, me!

The End

Caterpillar

7/11  Won't Be Tricked

7:20 p.m. Okay, so the entry has been closed for the weekend and Hakodate Kinen will be run with 16 horses this year. Hmm, a big-field race as usual. That's good, considering the possibility of a big payout.

According to the forecast, Hakodate seems to be blessed with fine weather throughout the weekend. However, Hakodate races are coming closer to the end with the track damage showing on the inner side of the turf course, although a temporary fence has been put up to cover the ruined parts and the course has changed from curse A to B.

I've compared the finishing records of Hakodate turf to believe that surely, the turf condition is changing to a more power-consuming state. The situation seems to be luring me into buying horses that could sweep up the outside. I won't be be tricked, not this time. Horses running the outside have to bear the distance loss, and it would be quite difficult to take over all the other horses, even if the race was run at a tight lap.

The End

Caterpillar