04/17/2009 11:40AM

Beat the Chalk, etc.


I'm going to play a little game this weekend called "Beat the Chalk."

Santa Barbara Handicap (Santa Anita - Race 9)

Chalk:  Toque de Queda
Why beatable?:  Received perfect pocket trip in E P Taylor, but came up empty in the long Woodbine stretch.  Now must deal with a six month layoff.
Value Play?  Foxysox won this race last year, looked good taking the Tuzla at a mile two back, and was compromised by pedestrian fractions over Pro-Ride in her most recent start.  She has tactical speed, and may get first run on probable pacesetter Tizfiz

Sixty Sails Handicap (Hawthorne - Race 7)

Chalk:  Santa Teresita
Why beatable?: 
Best races have come on synthetic surfaces.  In fact, her only previous dirt race resulted in a 26 1/4 length drubbing.  Granted, that race was against much tougher fillies, but who knows if she really likes dirt?  I don't want to find out if she's a short price.
Value Play?:  Quick Notice gave a remarkable performance in her first race for Wayne Catalano.  Previously, she could only succeed in claiming races, but in her initial start of the Cat-Man, she destroyed entry-level allowance runners at Hawthorne.  She brushed to the lead entering the turn from the middle of the course, and won by the length of the stretch without ever feeling the whip.

Coolmore Lexington (Keeneland - Race 10)

Chalk:  Square Eddie
Why beatable?:  Is extremely talented, but his physical condition comes into question.  He was sidelined earlier in the year with a stress fracture to his left front cannon bone, and it looks like he's really rushing to make the Derby.
Value Play?:  Masala bombed in the Gotham, but nobody was doing much running behind I Want Revenge that afternoon.  Perhaps the addition of blinkers will move him forward.  I'd use him with Pitched Perfectly (private purchase following entry-level optional claiming win at Aqueduct), Brave Victory (galloped out well after Swale Stakes), and Parade Clown (proven synthetic performer moved too soon in the Lane's End).

Charles Town Classic (Race 10):

Chalk:  Commentator
Why beatable?:
  Looms the deserving favorite, but the speedy veteran will have to deal with the quirky Charles Town surface (three-turns for nine furlong races plus racing under the lights), and he's not getting any younger.
Value Play?:  Researcher owns the home field advantage with six wins over the track, and he broke the track record prepping for this race on March 28.  I'd use him with No Advantage (stretchout sprinter that is perfect at Charles Town), Ah Day (gutsy veteran owns a win over the course, and has won at nine furlongs in the past), and Magnum (best two Beyers on dirt, but missed some time with a quarter crack)

More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.


I've posted comments on your blog and I submit a play for the handigambling every week but I've yet to see any of my postings appear What am I doing wrong ?
Ben Roina

You're not doing anything wrong.  I've received all of your comments, but many of them were posted on the entry prior to the HandiGambling analysis blogs.  They are still being posted, but not on the current blog.


Oh yeah, I wanted to ask everyone how they feel about Square Eddie's chances in the Lexington.  I feel fairly sure I'll be betting against him, but it's an interesting development.

He's the most accomplished and talented horse in the race, but I think you have to play against him at something-to-five.  He's trying to return from a serious injury, and it seems like a complete and total rush job to make it to the Derby.  He already has the earnings so he doesn't have to win this race so you could consider it the classic prep even if he didn't have all of his physical issues.  There's plenty of value elsewhere


Where is the Handy Gambling spread sheet of all the winners and results?
Tony P

Here is cayman01's diligent spreadsheet:


I thank him for all of his hard work.


I thought it was Eddington, but I didn't have time to check it out. Didn't Eddington go on to win a graded stake on the following years preakness weekend?
buffalo joe

Eddington won the Calder Derby on turf to finish off his three-year-old season, then went on to win the Gulfstream Park Handicap and Pimlico Special as a four-year-old.


Best of luck this weekend.