04/11/2014 4:05PM

Beatable Favorites?

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The Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby headline this weekend's graded stakes action. 

BAYERN (Arkansas Derby) and BOBBY'S KITTEN (Blue Grass) could very well be the horses to beat.

I wouldn't bet a dime to win on either of them at short prices.

Bayern is a Bob Baffert-trained horse running at Oaklawn, and that angle alone is extremely powerful. But the undefeated Bayern recently missed some time with a foot issue, has never raced past a mile, and will get the toughest class test of his young career.

Can he win?  Sure.  But he's a big gamble at low odds.

As is Bobby's Kitten.  I believe that Bobby's Kitten is the best 3-year-old turf horse in the country. Unfortunately, the Blue Grass is on synthetic, not turf, and Bobby's Kitten is another horse that must prove himself at the demanding nine-furlong distance. He's the 3-1 morning line favorite and I'd simply try to beat him at that price or lower as he attempts to overcome distance and surface questions.

How to attack these races?

The Arkansas Derby is the third leg of a 50-cent Pick 4. The second leg, the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap, features a potential single in last year's 3-year-old champion WILL TAKE CHARGE. By singling Will Take Charge, I can spread a little bit in the Arkansas Derby.

I'd use Bayern defensively in the multiple bets (but never to win) because I respect his potential, but I'll concentrate my play around TAPITURE and RIDE ON CURLIN. The latter may not want to go this far (although he's by Curlin, the bottom half of the family is comprised of sprinters), but the connections are intent on taking him off the pace this time around. Perhaps that will help him see out this journey at excellent odds.

I may regret doing so, but I'll probably take a stand against STRONG MANDATE. While he's definitely bred to go this far, I'm not sure he really wants nine furlongs. If I do play this race to win, it would merely be a small stab with Ride On Curlin at 10-1 odds or greater.

The Blue Grass is the third leg of the late 50-cent Pick 4 at Keeneland. The sequence kicks off with the Grade 1 Madison, and I'm comfortable pressing favored JUDY THE BEAUTY in order to spread in the later races. If I had to defensively use another runner in the Madison, it would be BETTER LUCKY turning back and switching from turf, but the vast majority of my Pick 4 play will be on Judy the Beauty.

I'm a little bit of a GALA AWARD fan, but he's mired in the far outside post position in the 14-horse Blue Grass. He's 5-1 on the morning line and that's just too short for me to get very interested. If he somehow drifts to 8-1, I'd throw a few dollars his way. But, to be completely honest, I'm going to use many different horses in the Blue Grass and pray.  I'll have Gala Award, MEDAL COUNT, DANCE WITH FATE, PABLO DEL MONTE, VINCEREMOS, and EXTRASEXYHIPPZSTER on my Pick 4 tickets and am willing to rip them all up if Bobby's Kitten, arguably the best horse, proves me wrong.

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

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Could you show PP's of Megan's Interco & Ojai, Thanks Dan!
AzHorsePlayer

Those past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

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Dan,
What is going to be Saturday's Race of the Day?
Annie

It's the Arkansas Derby.

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*Just want to thank everyone for sticking with me as I begin to blog more often. The links to the previous blogs (and blog comments) are listed below.

http://www.drf.com/blogs/baker-cooks-calder

http://www.drf.com/blogs/keeneland-baby

http://www.drf.com/blogs/derby-prep-thoughts

http://www.drf.com/blogs/fishing-opinions

http://www.drf.com/blogs/keeneland-its-spring-again

http://www.drf.com/blogs/sprinter-rise

***

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman

All of the weekend graded stakes preview videos should be up at the following link by the end of today:

http://www.drf.com/events/weekend-stakes-previews-picks-analysis-more

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Congrats to Biggar W for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Biggar W selected Saturday's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland for this week's HandiGambling event.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

HANDIGAMBLING:

-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!

Harpo
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A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).

Best of luck to all.

 

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MeganOjai.pdf692.05 KB
Copy of Formblog Wood Memorial 4-5-14.xls71.5 KB
HGBLUEGRASS.pdf191.45 KB