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.


tony More than 1 year ago
contest 132 im likeing the 10 for the outside and think has the speed to go the distance so im going with $20 exactas 10/456 and $13 exactas 456/10 good luck
johnnyz More than 1 year ago
FWIW department, and this is a small sample so may mean nothing. I just wanted to share as I find it interesting. Won't try and quantify my thoughts, will let you use your own imagination. In the last six years of Derby preps, six horses have posted a triple digit speed figure in their 2nd race at 7F or longer. They were: Barbaro, Big Brown, Funny Cide, and Smarty Jones... All Derby winners. There were two others, Lyin Heart, (2nd in 2004), and Showing Up (6th in 2006). How is this class doing? Dunkirk's 2nd race was at 9F and he posted a 107 (Bris). The only one I could find with a triple digit spd. fig. at 7F or greater. In the almost category: Friesan Fire, 7F (92 bris spd) Quality Road, 7F (97 bris spd) Summer Bird, 8.5F (92 bris spd) West Side Bernie, 8.5F (93 Bris spd). May be much ado about nothing. Just thought I would throw this out there as so many historical Derby trends mean nothing. Maybe, just maybe this is a new one that does hold some merit?
Hillbilly More than 1 year ago
The Hillbilly's Final Derby Top 5! 1)I Want Revenge- I do wonder about 10 furlongs, but he's earned top spot. 2)Dunirk- I think he's the classic derby horse, but may just be to green. 3)Quality Road- Like him alot but doesn't look like a horse who'll like C.D. 4)Chocolate Candy- I know alot of people are calling him the wise guy horse. So here's to the wise guys, He's gotta big shot. 5) Square Eddie- Throw out the Lexington, and the synthetic, this looks like a dirt horse to me and he was fatter than bear on Sat. I love the quick turn around and he may just pull it off. His turn of foot is as good or better than any horse in this field. Other Derby predictions: 1)Pioneer of the Nile: Most overbet! doesnt finish in the top ten, (Synthetic, Turf Horse) 2)Todd Pletcher: Blames everything and everyone if Dunkirk doesn't fire!
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Dan, I saw that one of your 'Beat the Chalk' horses came in-Researcher- so good going. I hope you play that game again sometime. Dan, I think the tah-do about Gomez's choice of mounts is is good for the sport as it promotes talk about the Derby-the participants- people and horses. Now that we have speculated about the who and why; we will be able to engage in arm-chair quaterbacking after the results of ther Derby are in. Arm-chair quaterbacking is a lot of fun and I want to see the expressions on connections faces. If both horses finish out of first place hardly anyone will think the decision was a bad one, save for purse money I suppose. A DH for first would be interesting. robertSD, I gather you hit the P4 but am not sure of the amount. Anyway, good going on that.
C More than 1 year ago
Gerry, Not sure yet, but I'm definitely not using more than 2 of those low-odds stalkers on any ticket. Not sure what you mean about using with other angles.
Craig More than 1 year ago
Cayman, Outstanding! You are welcome my friend. Keep thinking about and getting creative on the tickets, it will payoff.
Craig More than 1 year ago
Johnny Z, Are we sure about Dunkirk's 107 Beyer or might there still be some ahemmm, adjustments to be made by Beyer? Maybe that depends on Beyers opinion of Dunkirk.
Ray Manley More than 1 year ago
C, Cayman, I received a Twin Spires mailer from Churchill Downs last week and they are saying that they will not have dime supers on Oaks Day and Derby Day at the track. I don't know if this will carry over to the Twinspires.com betting site. I am guessing that due to the expected heavy on line traffic on both days that dime supers will not be available. Dime supers will be available at the track on all other days of the CD Spring Meet. This is truly a shame. I rarely bet supers and when I do they are only of the dime variety. Because of the possible bonanza on the Derby itself, I will probably box a four horse super for $24. The track should figure out a way to do this. But they are using literally hundreds of new clerks and clerks that work only two days a year at the mutuel windows. I have stood in line many Oaks and Derby Days when I have heard the player walk the clerk through a wager. Many are great at WPS but when you throw box, key, wheel, part wheel, etc. at the clerks they just freeze up and hit you with the line of "what was that".
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
Tom, busy today, but will give you the basics of Secret Play when Dan opens up a new series of blogging. In the meantime, check with DRF Press. They may have book. Author: Albert Illich Name : How to Pick winners Publisher: Prentice-Hall Year: 1971
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
Cayman, no problem. I posted how much I liked the horse yesterday, was contemplating a large bet to win, and promptly talked myself out of it with bad reasoning, not the first time I've done that on a winning horse. I learned something about myself from this. So, I would say your analysis is correct. smile