04/25/2014 5:15PM

Can Hudson Landing Still Go?

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I'm hoping for a square price on HUDSON LANDING (#1, 8-1 ML) in Saturday's Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate Fields.

He's 7-years-old and hasn't won a race since November 23, 2012, but for those of you that think the 2012 San Francisco Mile winner is too long in the tooth, make sure you watch his most recent start, a $62,500 optional claimer at one mile over the Tapeta surface on March 30.

That race, Hudson Landing's first start in over four months, was run at an absolute glacial pace. PEPNIC (#4, 8-1 ML) was allowed to waltz through mind-boggling fractions of 26.65, 52.62 and 1:17.06 while Hudson Landing was on hold in the pocket. Turning for home, Hudson Landing was forced to wait for running room and he eventually shot up the inside to fall short by three-quarters of a length to the fresh Pepnic.

It was a solid prep race for Hudson Landing, who should get plenty of pace to attack in the San Francisco Mile. Pepnic and PEPPER CROWN (#2, 15-1 ML) both have speed, but the main pace should come from the two morning line favorites, SUMMER HIT (#6, 8-5 ML) and HORIZONTALYSPEAKING (#7, 2-1 ML). If there is some heavy banging in the early portion of the race, Hudson Landing figures to be moving strongly in the lane. I'd play him to win at 5-1 odds or greater and would use him in exotics with the sharp Horizontalyspeaking and LONGVIEW DRIVE (#3, 15-1 ML), a late-kicker trained by Jerry Hollendorfer that may be a bit better on dirt than turf, but should get the right pace scenario.

*I don't have a strong opinion in the HandiGambling race. I guess STEEL CUT should run pretty well at this level, but he won't offer a ton of value at 3-1 on the morning line. Perhaps the key is to try and get the firster, INDYGO STAR, into the number at good odds. Trainer Tim Glyshaw does not do very well with debut runners, but this filly shows some okay workouts and doesn't catch any killers on Saturday evening. My top three picks would be 2-1-6, but really don't have an affinity for anyone.

*As for the Derby Trial, BAYERN is going to be real tough if Baffert decides to run him. If he scratches, then MYOSITIS DAN becomes the pick. Unfortunately, neither likely offers much value in the win pool.  The same goes for TAPTOWNE in the Texas Mile, who looms very tough with BOURBON COURAGE.

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

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Dan.....have you given up on War Dancer?...
Jay Van Horn

He's a sneaky horse because we know he has quality (Virginia Derby winner) and his last two races completely dirty up his form (tough trip two back, doesn't want dirt the excuse for last time). He's a complete unknown at 12 furlongs, however, and that makes me a bit worried. He's very talented with some upside and can't be counted out. It will be interesting to see how they bet the race.

***

*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/tricky-elkhorn

http://www.drf.com/blogs/hail-mary-claim

http://www.drf.com/blogs/grounding-hawk

http://www.drf.com/blogs/cat-burglar-creeping-upward

http://www.drf.com/blogs/3-year-old-filly-sprinter-watch

http://www.drf.com/blogs/tale-two-wins

http://www.drf.com/blogs/beatable-favorites

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 stakes videos should be available at the following link by Friday afternoon.

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

***

Congrats to Joe L 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.

Joe L. picked Saturday's first race at Churchill Downs 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).

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Copy of Formblog Lexington 4-19-14.xls72 KB
HGCD1.pdf155.64 KB