10/29/2008 11:32AM

HandiGambling 107


Today's HandiGambling 107 exercise is the seventh race from Churchill Downs, a maiden special weight for juvenile fillies.  Let's start with the firsters. 
Bandora may attract some attention based on her pedigree, connections, and workouts.  Ronny Werner does well with debutr unners, Bandora sold for $150,000 in May after working a furlong in 10.60, and there's a bullet drill at Keeneland on October 17.  Peel away some of those layers, though, and it doesn't look all rosy.  First of all, Werner is only 3-37 with debut runners this year, a far cry from his usual high-percentage with first-time starters.  Second, Bandora originally was a $240,000 RNA as a yearling.  It kinda feels like the original connections "settled" for $150,000 eight months later.  Third, Werner also worked a juvenile filly named Yonakee the bullet five furlongs in 59 on October 17.  Yonakee made her debut eight days later, and finished tenth with a 35 Beyer.  I'm not sure I want to take a short-ish price on Bandora here. 
Both Kiss Mine and Terrell Cheney are by the long-winded Mineshaft (3-48 with juvenile debut runners, 2-44 with all debut runners in 2008) out of stamina-based dams.  Kiss Mine, a $105,000 yearling RNA, is the first runner from Kiss the Devil, who won the Grade 3 Mint Julep on grass at 1 1/16 miles.  Terrell Cheney's dam, Lady Melesi, was a multiple stakes-winning router by Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair.  She's foaled a pair of blacktype earners (Doc Cheney, Grade 2-placed router, juvenile debut winner + Roman Emperor, stakes-winning router).  Of the two, I prefer Terrell Cheney, but I'm banking that both will improve with more experience and distance. 
I will be using the other debut runner in my play.  Heart Ashley was purchased for $320,000 last year by Team Zayat, and the pedigree looks precocious enough.  First-crop sire Lion Heart is 8-55 (17%, $2.73 ROI) with his first-out runners, and the sprint-winning dam was third in the Grade 2 Railbird Stakes at this seven furlong distance.  Heart Ashley is a three-quarter sister to Railbird winner Ashley's Kitty (Grade 3 when she won it), and goes out for Steve Asmussen, a trainer that already boasts a whopping 49 debut winners in 2008 (19%, $1.70 ROI).  The workouts look solid as well.
Of the horses that have already raced, morning line favorite Tsunami Bertie, looks pretty good.  She bobbled a bit at the start of her recent run at Turfway, then dueled for the lead for most of the way before faltering late.  The time of that race (1:10.46) was not only faster than the other division of juvenile filly maiden special weights at Turfway that day, but it was also quicker than a pair of MSW's for the boys.  Plus, the winner of that race returned to finish second in an allowance race on turf at Keeneland. 
The questions surrounding Tsunami Bertie are her stamina and her attitude.  She has lost ground in the late stages of both career starts, and will have to stretch her speed to seven furlongs today.  Also, she was lathered up on both sides of her neck during her last run, and it will be interesting to see if she washes out in the paddock prior to today's race.  If she does, I may downgrade her chances.  As a half-sister to stakes-winning miler Ballad of Bertie out of Arlington-Washington Lassie (Grade 3, one-turn mile at two), I'll be willing to give her shot at this distance as the probable main speed.
It looks like Passion Du Coeur will break into the race from the also-eligible list, and I'd give her a good shot to run these down late.  A $300,000 yearling out of stakes-winning sprinter Arianna's Passion, she'll go out for Ken McPeek, a trainer that excels with second-time juvenile runners (25-96, 26%, $2.20 ROI over the past five years).  Passion Du Coeur draws wide, but should steer clear of trouble while racing off the expected solid pace.  That race was the slower division of maiden special weights at Keeneland on October 10, however.
Smoking Kitty comes out of the quicker division on October 10, and he passed tired horses after lagging behind the field.  She draws a tough inside post, but the pace scenario should be kind, and she can pick up some of these late.
Angles such as equipment/medication changes are potent angles in maiden races (remember that big bomb in a prior HandiGambling exercise in Southern California?).  Wayne Lukas adds Lasix to This Cat Can Dance, and the daughter of Grade 2 sprint winner Katz Me If You Can may provide company to Tsunami Bertie early. 
I'm going to key Tsunami Bertie in this race, but can't play her to win due to the expected short price.  Here are my plays:

($30 Exacta)  Tsunami Bertie - Heart Ashley (10-11)
($30 Exacta)  Tsunami Bertie - Passion Du Coeur (10-14)
($20 Exacta)  Tsunami Bertie - Smoking Kitty (10-1)
($10 Exacta)  Heart Ashley - Tsunami Bertie (11-10)
($10 Exacta)  Passion Du Coeur - Tsunami Bertie (14-10)

Of course, we all know that it will now come in Smoking Kitty - Tsunami Bertie or some combination of Heart Ashley and Passion Du Coeur.  I won't play the former since Smoking Kitty seems more like an "underneath" horse, and I won't mind if the latter comes in since my key is Tsunami Bertie. If she doesn't finish at least second, I don't deserve to win.

Late arrivals can find the past performances in the previous blog entry.  Remember that you have a mythical $100 bankroll with which to play this race.  Good Luck!

We'll do the post-mortem tomorrow as well as talk about the goals of HandiGambling and the flying finish of a filly named Donnaguska.

Take care,


Sal Viola More than 1 year ago
Today november 19th i read Andy Beyers comments on synthetic racing especially on the breeders cup this year. I agree i will never understand why American owners and trainers want to follow europe, who cares what they race on we have the best right here on dirt the way it should be sloppy,muddy,etc.This stuff puts handicappers at the mercy of trainers who can reverse the horses style whenever he's ready to do it.
larryk More than 1 year ago
SteveT, Excellent work on the AllBoysCLub as I call those guys. Could please post entirely the article you wrote TBInk? I guess if Obama were to get in office we would be able to get a little share of pie, as he calls it, right? Hope not... KatieatThatRail(K. Karlson) Your hats are on there way.. Congrats, hope you like.
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Regarding the Hollywood fiasco (earlier known as the Churchill fiasco, or maybe you call it the Calder fiasco) I fully admit to being not the brightest bulb in the lamp, but what am I missing? For internet etc. wagering, 3 entities are involved: The horsemen, the track, and the betting site. As pointed out here, all 3 are needed-you need the horses, a place for them to run, and a place for people to bet on them. Since all seem to be equally important, why not split the money 3 ways? If the take out is 18%, each entitie gets 6%, etc. and it would varie by each track's takeout and the type of bet.And for wagers made on track, the split is 50/50-that gives the track and horsemen incentive to get people out to the track.Yes, I know the providers have rebates, points programs, etc. to pay for, but the owners have food, vet bills, jockey fees, trainer costs etc. so everyone make sure that they can pay what they need to pay out of their slice of the pie. Wait a minute, I'm sorry about the post, this idea will never work-IT ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE-NOBODY WILL GO FOR IT!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
stoneysooner ..say it ain't so! You can still enjoy the beauty of Horse racing...and limit your wagers. Believe me...I do it. Don't think that a few inconviences should distract you from this sport. Please re-think your posistion, but if you must...I wish you good luck. But stay in touch with Dan's Formblog. You know, we are a bit addicting & will draw you back in. he-he SR Vegas
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Buffalo Joe...I have always enjoyed your posts, stop by every now & then just to say hello. Safe travels. ............................... Slew, I would say the same to you, but I'll expect to see you in a few days...he-he-he.. ................................ Steve T I think I saw KISS MINE lollygagging on a beach in Santa Monica this evening...80' degrees, and a red sunset as a backdrop. She had kicked off her "Steve T picked me sign" and was in Horse Heaven! Who would want to run at Chuchill Downs,anyway? (55-60 degrees) yuck! YOU JUST GOTTA" LOVE THIS FORMBLOG !!! SR Vegas
tinky More than 1 year ago
PGM – There isn’t a racing market in the world that doesn’t face serious challenges, and as you touch on, the Japanese industry has also benefitted from a relative lack of (gambling) competition until quite recently. But my central point remains: diluting the quality of competition degrades any sport, and the extent to which this has been done in the U.S. is simply staggering. Major sports with thoughtful and powerful centralized bodies (e.g. the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc.) always limit expansion carefully, and for very good reason. With the exception of a few weeks at a couple or tracks around the country, the odds of going to the track in the U.S. and seeing a good horse run are ridiculously small. Furthermore, the U.S. racing industry is completely disjointed, and every entity fights selfishly for the biggest piece of the pie they can get. This is an obvious recipe for disaster, which is another reason why the industry is in such dire straights. There is also another, deeply insidious problem with the current U.S. racing, a problem which I’ve heard little about, and read virtually nothing on. That is the trend towards the emphasis of the “lottery” type gimmicks. I consider this to be a reflection of a profound misunderstanding of the sport by the very people running the very companies which are both dependent on (horse) gambling revenues, and largely responsible for the overall health of the industry. In terms of gambling, the biggest single advantage which Thoroughbred racing has over every other sport is that it rewards intelligence and effort. Anyone who has become more than a casual gambler on Thoroughbreds understands that the more time, effort and thought put into the process, the greater the chances for a good return. And given the intrinsic complexity of the game, there is tremendous upside available to those who apply themselves seriously. So what has the U.S. industry done in recent years? Emphasize gimmicks (e.g. pick-6’s, superfectas, etc.), bets which favor the few with big bankrolls, and bankrupt the vast majority of players. How absurd! Let’s de-emphasize racing’s biggest (and unique) advantage (i.e. skill), and emphasize luck so that we can compete with other skill-less games like the lottery and slot machines! Really, the collective stupidity of these people is breathtaking. Through all of the gloom, though, I do see at least one small ray of hope. Unfortunately there are some serious (mainly political, but also technical) hurdles to clear, but there is one straightforward step that could be taken which would enhance racing in this country tremendously. Not only would it boost handle to a significant degree, but it would also help to reverse the dumming down trend that I referenced above. I’m speaking of creating a Betfair type market.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
A HANDIGAMBLING 107 $$ RESULTS REVISED: My revised total $$ calculations: 247.50$ Leo/20$Win,10$Ex,&1$tri. 207$ Kyri/ 20$ win, 2$ tri 204$ Ray Manley 60$ Win 192$ Katieattherail / 20$WP, 20$P, 5$ Ex. 170$ Annie, Chilly Willie, Molesap, all had 50$ wins 120$ Van Savant/ 20$ Win,2$ Ex, .10 super 120$ SR Vegas/ 10$ WP 1$ Tri 112.50$ Byanose 10$ EX 29.50$ Van Savant .10 Super 6.80 Laura / 2$ S/P if you all would review and correct any mistakes...I'd appreciate it, especially if I missed someone. ..of course Dan makes the final call!! SR Vegas Posted by: SR Vegas on October 29, 2008 at 05:01 PM
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
Uncle steve, Kiss Mine underwent a rare name change in the industry. He used to known as ...... drum roll please.......... Outer Space. If Magna goes to bankruptcy, let's buy Santa Anita and Gulfstream and turn it into what horse racing should be. Annie, What are you doing rubbing salt into Steve's wounds? Star of david is off everybody'd betting list I believe.
Steve T. More than 1 year ago
PGM, The sky really is falling - I expect Magna to declare bankruptcy within the next couple of weeks, maybe as early as today. When they do, they can break contracts, sell properties, do all sorts of things, and they will.
Gary More than 1 year ago
In case you haven't read this, Plonk pretty much says what I have been thinking. Before the weekend, someone (Uncle Steve maybe) had made the point about Sadler's ponies being ripe for the "Roid Bounce. I know that made me eliminate all of the Sadler entries on the first pass through the PPs. Granted, he certainly wasn't the only one, just the most blatant. Here is the link to the ESPN article. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/breederscup08/columns/story?columnist=plonk_jeremy&id=3669650 Let's hope that this is just the first step on the long road to total drug reform here at home. It's going to be a long and arduous trip. Without drugs to conceal the shortcomings of many of the bloodlines that have been propagated, I'm afraid that the breeders are going to have to practically go back to square one and breed for natural durability. If so, this will undoubtedly be a years long development. In that case will our wonderful sport be able to survive the rebuilding period?