09/26/2014 5:24PM

A few to consider

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Let's take a look at a few horses to consider in the weekend's major stakes races.

Kelso Handicap - Belmont - Race 4:
BRADESTER (3-1 ML)

ITSMYLUCKYDAY is the deserving heavy favorite as he drops in class and distance, but I didn't like the way he galloped out after the Woodward, and I wonder if those two tough races at the Spa took some of the starch out of him.

If he falters, then BRADESTER has a good chance. I spotlighted Bradester in a recent blog http://www.drf.com/blogs/catching-3 so I won't go too in-depth in this space, but he looked good winning the Ack Ack around a one-turn mile in his most recent start. He's now earned three consecutive triple-digit Beyers and only finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Itsmyluckyday at Monmouth. I believe he's trending upward and the chalk might be headed the other way. He has the tactical speed to stalk RIVER ROCKS early.

Beldame Stakes - Belmont - Race 5:
FIFTYSHADESOFHAY (9-2 ML)

STOPCHARGINGMARIA took two prestigious races at Saratoga, but the most recent win was in slow time, and I just didn't like the way she finished it off. She'll be a short price against older horses in the Beldame, and could prove an underlay.

FIFTYSHADESOFHAY isn't a superstar, but she's a solid mare that enters the Beldame in good form. She was second-best to a really good filly, Close Hatches, over a wet track at Saratoga, and proved her worth around one turn at Belmont earlier in the year. There doesn't appear to be much speed in the Beldame, and Fiftyshadesofhay shouldn't be too far off BELLE GALLANTEY's early pace.

Jockey Club Gold Cup - Belmont - Race 10:
TONALIST (4-1 ML)


I think TONALIST was a short horse in the Jim Dandy, his first start since the grueling Belmont Stakes victory. Considering that he was probably using that race as purely a Travers prep, he ran quite well against WICKED STRONG.

Although beaten by V. E. DAY and Wicked Strong in the Midsummer Derby, Tonalist was very headstrong for the first two furlongs or so. He did a good amount of work pressing the speedy Bayern through solid fractions, and still fought hard in the stretch while Bayern backed up badly.

I'm hoping he'll relax better without blinkers in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and he'll have a couple of targets this time around in MORENO and BIG CAZANOVA.
 

Rodeo Drive Stakes - Santa Anita - Race 7:
MOULIN DE MOUGIN (5-1 ML)

The turf distaffers seem to beat each other, and I don't want anyone coming out of the Yellow Ribbon, a race that featured a bunched-up finish behind MISS SERENDIPITY.

Instead, I'll hope that Saturday is MOULIN DE MOUGIN's turn. She looked good winning her most recent start at Del Mar as she was shuffled back to last turning for home, and still got up after splitting rivals in the stretch. There should be a good amount of speed to adequately setup Moulin de Mougin's late flurry, and she figures a square price in an excellent betting race.

Pilgrim Stakes - Belmont - Race 9 - Sunday
IMPERIA (6-1 ML)


STARTUP NATION is definitely the horse to beat in the Pilgrim as he showcased a powerful turn of foot in winning both starts for Chad Brown at Saratoga. He got some pace in front of him when taking his most recent effort, however, and could be overbet on Sunday.

IMPERIA is still a maiden, but the well-bred colt, a son of multiple Grade 1 winner Cocoa Beach, did some excellent things in his debut at the Spa. Although beaten by FACE THE MUSIC, that horse tripped the light fantastic on the front end through easy fractions of 23.86, 49.96 and 1:15.94. Meanwhile, Imperia was last on the inside until the far turn. At that juncture, he altered course to split rivals from the five path and came with a powerful late burst to fall a neck shy. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin adds Lasix for this start and Imperia has been promoted from Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stables to his Godolphin string.

For more in-depth analysis and selections, check out the video previews (15 in all) that Matt Bernier and I produced at the below link. All of the videos should be uploaded by Friday evening.

http://www.drf.com/videos#stakes-previews


You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

I'll be appearing on HRRN live from Belmont between 5:00-6:15 pm on Saturday afternoon. Tune in if you get a chance.

Who do you like this weekend? I want to know.

***

Congrats to MZ 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.

Let's go with Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup from Belmont as this week's exercise.

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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator 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
---------------------------------

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)

BRADESTER (3-1 ML)
 

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Copy of Formblog PA Derby 9-20-14.xls75.5 KB
HGJCGC.pdf205.63 KB