As I was handicapping for today's Gulfstream card I noticed a strange past performance pattern with one of the horses in the 5th race, 9 - Green Lite Special.
The fifth race is a N1X Allowance event featuring a full field of twelve four-year-olds. Green Lite Special is a four-year-old gelding trained by William Kaplan that sports a 20-3-5-3 lifetime record - nothing too exciting on that front. His turf record is a very respectable 3-2-0-1, which made me wonder, "why doesn't this horse run on the lawn more?" Well, it appears that his connections have tried to run him on the lawn but have run into what can only described as brutal luck. Check out Green Lite Special's last ten races (all run at Calder) and the surface that he's run over, from oldest to most recent:
5/30/10 - Turf
6/20/10 - Good Dirt (Off-the-turf)
7/5/10 - Sloppy/Sealed Dirt (Off-the-turf)
7/24/10 - Good Dirt (Off-the-turf)
8/8/10 - Sloppy/Sealed Dirt (Off-the-turf)
8/22/10 - Fast Dirt (Off-the-turf)
9/25/10 - Good Dirt (Off-the-turf)
10/28/10 - Sloppy/Sealed Dirt (Off-the-turf)
12/2/10 - Turf
12/20/10 - Fast Dirt (Off-the-turf)
Eight of his last ten races, including at one point seven in a row, were moved from the turf course to the main track. Eight of ten! I don't ever remember seeing a pattern like that.
Green Lite Special's last two races over turf have seen him finish 1st and 3rd, losing by a neck on December 2nd. He's 20/1 on the morning line, and while he's up again a tough group in this spot, his form has been deadened enough by the off-the-turf races that he might represent decent value on the board. Might be worth inclusion on some exacta or trifecta tickets.
Additional note: Something that makes this pattern even more odd is the fact that if you look at Green Lite Special's lifetime past performances: the race prior to that May 30th win over the turf was also a turf race that stayed on the lawn. That was his first race on grass and he won it.
So Green Lite Special spends the first half of his career running on dirt and, to be brutally honest, performs very poorly (his only win was a $12.5 Maiden Claimer with a 47 Beyer). The connections finally get him on grass where he wins his first two tries over the green stuff while running significantly better than at any other time since he started racing. The connections then enter him on grass for every race of his career since...and 80% of those races get moved to the main track. That's some bad luck.