06/10/2009 4:18PM

Belmont bias?


Dan, Mike Watchmaker says there was a bias at Belmont om Belmont Day, do you agree?

Many handicappers believe there was a strong inside bias that compromised the chances of wide ralliers on Belmont Stakes day.  While the inside two paths seemed like the places to be, I'm not completely convinced that the bias was as powerful as it is being made out to be.  Let's look at the results of the nine main track races:

Race 1:  Inger Management (2-1 odds)
Race 2:  Just Ben (5-2 odds)
Race 3:  Convocation (11-10 odds)
Race 6:  Fabulous Strike (9-10 odds)
Race 8:  Munnings (7-2 odds)
Race 9:  Gabby's Golden Gal (13-1 odds)
Race 11:  Summer Bird (11-1 odds)
Race 12:  Brave Soul (10-1 odds)
Race 13:  Wanda's Double (4-1 odds)

The first five results weren't shocking at all.  All were logical horses, and not the surprises that one would normally associate with a biased track.  Some analysts will point to Gabby's Golden Gal's rail-skimming, gate-to-wire upset in the Acorn as evidence of a bias, but I'm not so sure.  The Acorn featured a couple of fillies that had missed significant time leading up to the race.  Justwhistledixie had been compromised by a foot problem.  Livin Lovin was returning from surgery.  Funny Moon simply gave a perplexing performance, and the other runners either just aren't very good, or had been exposed at this level. 
While Summer Bird's win shocked some, most would say that he was the fourth of four logical contenders in the Belmont Stakes.  The way the race set up with pace and trip, Summer Bird was the horse to capitalize, and he did.  He also got off the supposed golden rail on the turn to commence a wide rally on the final turn.
Brave Soul's win at 10-1 in the race following the Belmont didn't exactly point to an inside bias.  While he did run in the two path for the first three and one-half furlongs, he angled to the three and four path turning for home, and still ran strongly to the wire.
So, was the track very fast at Belmont on Saturday?  Yes, it was.  Was the inside the place to be?  Yes, but I don't think the bias was as severe as many think.


Dan! I read on a blog at The Bloodhorse Summer Bird had added toe grabs for the Belmont. I thought that toe grabs were outlawed last year, any help?

Toe grabs are banned in California as well as the tracks operated by Churchill Downs, Incorporated.  NYRA banned toe grabs on front shoes last October.  Summer Bird wore toe grabs on his rear shoes.  Here's a link to a 2007 study on toe grabs from The Jockey Club.  Feel free to make your own conclusions:


Haven't heard from Tedmur for a HandiGambling race so our official scorekeeper, cayman, has chosen the eighth race at Belmont on Thursday. 

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."   Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. 

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but 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.  I'm not asking for a novel, but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles, and thought process about wagering, it would be appreciated.

Here are the past performances:

Download HandiGambling 137


Hello all, no posts for a while, had to put down my blackberry for a while or risk sleeping on the couch. A few thoughts about the weekend.  First off we should all be thankful that we made it through the crown without a Barbaro or Eight Belles situation, its great to make some new fans instead of lose them, I think we can all agree that we want this sport bigger and better and I thinks this years TC was a step in the right direction.

The racing industry breathed a sigh of relief when there weren't any fatal breakdowns during the Triple Crown series, but the trail left many, many casualties.  Both Godolphin entrants in the Kentucky Derby, Desert Party and Regal Ransom, are injured.  Friesan Fire suffered a stress fracture in his left front leg and and a non-displaced fracture to his right front fetlock.  General Quarters just had surgery on his right knee.  I Want Revenge has ligament damage. Midshipman, the 2008 2-year-old champion, has a soft tissue injury. Patena had ankle surgery.  Quality Road suffered from quarter cracks.  Saratoga Sinner, the winner of the Holy Bull at Gulfstream, had knee surgery.  Square Eddie's cannon bone kept flaring up.  Add The Pamplemousse, Theregoesjojo, Win Willy, and now Dunkirk as other three-year-olds on the disabled list, and we have a startling number of injuries to our better three-year-old males.  The fragility of the modern thoroughbred continues to be exposed due to lax medication policies as well as breeding for speed instead of stamina and soundness.


Hi Dan,
Can you post the lifetime pp's of the great Alydar!, I'm not sure, but I think he was 5 th in his debut to Affirmed.
Thank you so much!

Here they are:

Download Alydar


Back tomorrow with HG.



Devin P. More than 1 year ago
HandiGambling $50EX 5w/1,6 My reasoning for this is that with the soft ground I like to take the horse that has proven form over it (even though there are alot of horses who haven't tried it yet). I took the 1 and 6 in behind because I feel like the 1's style will allow him to lumber along and pick up some pieces while the 6 will hopefully improve first time on the grass. Good luck to all
Ray Gordon More than 1 year ago
Ray's Handigambling 137: Including a dirt wager since it is uncertain this will remain on turf due to rain in New York: IF ON TURF: $10 Trifecta 4/2-3 ($20) $5 Trifecta Box 2-3-4 ($30) $5 Trifecta Part Wheel 4/2-3/1-2-3-5-6-8 ($50) IF ON DIRT: $50 Trifecta Key 12/6-11 ($100)
Randy More than 1 year ago
I'm a big believer in Christophe Clement aka THE SOD GOD. $50 Win on #3 Mr. Smarty Jack. $30 Exacta #3 Mr.Smarty Jack on top of #8 Strike Again. $1 Trifecta Key #3 Mr. Smarty Jack over #2/#4/#5/#6/#8.
Walt More than 1 year ago
Walt's Handigambling 137: Since it did rain earlier this (Thursday) morning in New York and more rain could hit, I'm going to post wagers for both surfaces since while as of when this was written the race is still on turf, it could still be switched later: IF THIS RACE REMAINS ON TURF: $40 Exacta 4/2-3 ($80) $10 Exacta 2-3/4 ($20) --------------------------- $100 Total If this race does manage to stay on the turf, it is according to my method in its purest form about as clear-cut as you can get. SYDNEY ROAD (#4) is 2-1 on the Value Line and 5-1 on the Morning Line. He is the lone horse whose morning line is more than twice his value line, and if he runs back to his debut he will be very tough to beat. BIG JEROME (#2, 10-1 VL/12-1 ML) and DR. SMARTY JACK (#3, 5-1 VL/8-1 ML) are the only other horses who have value according to the method. If the pure version of this method holds up, they should be battling for second, but the odds are long enough on both ML that I'm focusing on the exacta for contest purposes since at the time this was written, there was NO Superfecta wagering on this race due to there being a coupled entry originally (#1a is scratched, they have left the 11 and 12 in for now as this race could still be switched). IF THIS RACE WINDS UP ON DIRT: $35 Exacta 12/6-11 ($70) $5 Trifecta Box 6-11-12 ($30) ------------------------------- $100 Total If this race does get moved to the main track, Dutrow seems to have the edge with Austin Lover Boy (#12). He drew clear at this distance last out and looks like he'll finally nail this condition. Golden Weekend (#6) and Honest Wildcat (#11) had strong debut and regressed in his second start. He could actually be the main threat if this gets switched.
e_s More than 1 year ago
HG 137 I like Big Jerome--#2, to recapture his 2008 form in his third start of 2009. Will get a pace pressuring trip from Coa, likes the track, and the distance. $75 win #2 15 ex $2/7 $10 ex 8/2
Steve T. More than 1 year ago
Handigambling 137 $8 Trifecta Wheel ($96) #6 Golden Weekend/#2 Big Jerome, #3 Dr. Smarty Jack, #8 Strike Again, #10 Indymine $4 Exacta 6-10
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
HandiGambling 137; GOLDEN WEEKEND (#6) appears to be the speed in this race, and he may not be pushed along very much. Sure, there are other speed-types in here, but he should be able get into gear, lay down the pace, and have enough left late to WIN this. STRIKE AGAIN (#8) will be one of those pushing him along, and should figure in this. MARQ OF LOVE (#1) should be passing tiring horses, and so should DR. SMARTY JACK (#3). SYDNEY ROAD (#4) may appreciate the turn back in distance, and figure for the SHOW. My play is as follows: $76 to Win on the #6 $4 Trifecta – 6,8w/6,8w/1,3,4 Good luck everyone, and have a great day!☺
Ian Lozada More than 1 year ago
I'm going to see if I can catch a price when the HG race gets rained off the turf... $100 win on the 10, Indymine. Cycling up to a big effort, last two wet efforts weren't bad, 2 bullets since last race.
dhitz More than 1 year ago
HG 137 #3 DR Smarty Jack has been nibbling, now has won a race. I like the lightly raced 3yo to repeat. #1a - Great Emperor seemed to like the turf but since claimed has only raced on dirt. I will use in Exotics, his entrymate can be thrown out, but will reduce the value in Great Emperor. #6 Golden Weekend A big win but I am counting on a bounce. #5 Right of Way. I will throw him into the exotics just because he is the only Br Cup eligible horse in the race, and has won 2 of his last 3. #2 Big Jerome - 3 for 5 on Belmont Turf. Horse for Course? The Bet: $40 to win on #8 Dr. Smarty Jack ($40.00) $3 Ex Box 1-2-3-5 ($36.00) $1 Tri Box 1-2-3-5 ($24.00)
aparagon4u More than 1 year ago
HG 137 With the turf soft and most of the horses having no running lines under such circumstances I'll go with the two horses for course. Big Jerome (#2) is 3/5 at Belmont and 2/2 at the 7f distance. His form looks bad but he returns to his favorite track and is 12/1 on the morning line. Golden Weekend (#6) is 2/3 at Belmont and appears to be the controlling speed. I'll box those two in an exacta. $50 Ex Box 2+6 = $100 Lenny