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Today's HandiGambling 117 race is the sixth from Gulfstream Park, a $25,000 maiden claimer for three-year-old fillies at six furlongs. 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." Past performances for the race are available in yesterday's blog entry.
I've guesstimated the Beyer par for this race to be in the low-60 range. Since the highest lifetime Beyer in the field is the 58 that Who Plays Brahms earned two starts back at Calder, it seems logical to look for a new face.
Mambo Jumbo, a half-sister to multiple stakes-winner Scrubs, was pounded to favoritism for her career debut on grass nineteen days ago. After a poor start, the $25,000 yearling ($22,000 RNA as a juvenile) was never involved in the running. She worked a best-of-70 drill over the Calder main track 11 days ago, and her more-famous half-sister earned a pair of triple-digit Beyers sprinting on the dirt. It wouldn't be surprising if she runs to her potential in this spot.
Gimmeamink, a $5,000 RNA as a yearling, didn't do much when finishing just ahead of Mambo Jumbo on the turf. Unlike that one, Gimmeamink was rather tepid on the toteboard. The barn shows solid numbers with turf-to-dirt, and second-time starters, but she'll likely have to show more to grab the brass ring here.
R B Happy Feet certainly has the pedigree and connections to score at this level. Her trainer, Bill White, excels with first-time starters, and the Thunder Gulch filly is out of multiple stakes-winner Big Miss (76-16-19-9, $357,834). The worktab, however, fails to excite. Both the December 19 and December 27 drills match up with White's Our Ace, a three-year-old filly that finished eleventh after a tough trip in her career debut at Gulfstream on Sunday. Our Ace was dismissed at 14-1, and earned a zero Beyer for the effort.
For the HandiGambling exercise, I landed on Strollin in Paris. While I'm usually leery of inexperienced runners breaking from the inside in one-turn races, Strollin in Paris offers some interesting angles. Her sire, Stroll, compiled a record of 12-4-3-0 with an ROI of $5.03 with his first-crop of debut runners in 2008. The dam, a four-time sprint winner, is a full sister to multiple stakes-placed performer Flying Monarch, and Grade 3 turf winner Dancing Rhythm, and is a half-sister to stakes-winner Skeet. The December 14 workout at Gulfstream matches up with trainer David Kassen's older claimer David K., a multiple winner with a 72 Beyer top on dirt. Although Kassen hasn't sent out a debut winner since 2006, he did have two firsters score that season, and Kassen had five winners overall at last year's Gulfstream meet. Strollin in Paris doesn't have to be All Along to win this, and she'll be a good price to boot.
Platina Rose missed the break as the chalk last time out, and should offer more value in this spot. Toss the turf race two back, and you're left with a solid fourth-place finish in a race that produced three next-out winners.
Spirit Seeker improved in his first start for this claiming price, gets away from the rail, and switches from a five-pound bug rider to Eibar Coa.
No Speed Limit looms the horse to beat based on the steep drop in class coupled with good early speed, and the removal of blinkers from hot trainer Wesley Ward. He's stopped badly in all three race, though.
Ariel Rose has a powerful angle in maiden races...the first-time maiden claimer.
I'm going with Strollin in Paris at a price.
$50 WP - 1
Some pictures from Santa Anita last weekend (scroll past the two of me in Yosemite): http://www.flickr.com/photos/24905376@N04/ Sunshine Millions Santa Anita all-stakes P-4: SM Turf: Soldier's Dancer, Lucky J.H. (8,10) There's a lot of speed in here for a turf route, and while I doubt there will be an actual speed duel, it should set up well for Soldier's Dancer, who is also classy and in good form. SM Oaks: Emmy Darling, Leigh McLovin, Beltene, Yodelady O (2,4,6,7). In a relatively weak field, Emmy is the class; Leigh is in great form, and the other two step up hugely, but I think have a chance at a price. SM Sprint: Yesbyjiminy, Georgie Boy, In Summation. (7,9,11). Jiminy is in fantastic form and owns the top figs; Georgie Boy comes out of perennial anti-key race Malibu but seems primed; In Summation obvious class . SM Distaff: Briecat, Unforgotten(2,7). I will try to beat Leah's Secret. Total: $96 Gulfstream: SM Dash: Backbackbackgone (liked the way he rated in his last), Echo West, You Luckie Mann. 2,6,11. This is the race I feel most unsure about. SM F&M Turf: Wild Promises. I just can't see her losing if she runs at all a representative race. She's the 2. SM F&M Sprint: Lovely Isle, High Resolve, Mistical Plan, Flashover (I know, but she can close). 1,2,6,9 SM Classic: Finallymadeit, Delightful Kiss, Dream Maestro, Dry Martini. 1,2,7,12. Love the inside speed of Finally, can't leave out Maestro since he did well for me last time, and the other two on general class and ability. Total: $96
Danny B., I am very sorry to hear about your bad news. It sounds as though you have a good attitude. Good luck and I hope you land something very quickly. Cayman01, I am also sorry to hear about your bad news as well. I hope you have the good fortune of opening up the right door soon. Things are very tough out there and very, very scary at the moment. Good luck to the both of you and to everyone else who is walking a financial tightrope.
Caymon01, You can count me in for the Sunshine Million P/4's. I was going to play them for real, so with yours and others input maybe I can hit them. Calvin, Dunkirk is entered at GP on the Million's card. E. Prado is riding him in a 40K mdn. sp. weight going 7F, is the 5th race. Should be a good betting race. Full field of 12 and 4 on the AE list. Danny B. sorry about your misfortune. I own two business and so far have only had to cut a few hours for a couple employees and that really bothered me but, I had no choice. Maybe we are near the bottom of this as my restaurant has actually picked up about 15% the last two weeks. Hang in there and, good luck to you.
Make that HG 117A redux.
Dan! Belated congrats on your score with Nownownow. ( I had him in the BC two years ago and have been using him since, to no avail...so of course, I get off him Saturday, since he hasn't run that well and it wasn't on the turf...then he explodes...Nownownow-whywhywhy now??? Today 1/22 at the Stream...2nd 40k MSW 1 1/2 on turf...I really like the 7 Propensity (Leparoux/Bond) He has run well in all three of his previous starts on the grass at 9 furlongs...out of Victory Gallop..so I think he might like the distance. Also hoping Mad Flatter runs a good one in the 8th today at the FG. He's due. Good luck to all-get ready for the Sunshine!
caymon01, You’re doing an excellent job keeping track of all of the handigambling bets and we appreciate it. In addition to my place winnings on #1 Strollin in Paris can you please give me credit for my exacta box?
Blue Horseshoe, "Ditto on your 8:20 post." I don't know what it is but, Coa makes me some bucks at Belmont, so I have some respect built in for his riding. With that said at any other track you have at least a 50% chance to get an effort from him like we saw today on Why Because. Congrats to Dan on a nice hit with Strollin in Paris. HG117, again for me a box bet would have been a winner. I felt the 1,2,6,8 were the most likely winners, with the 3,9 having a "B" chance with early speed. I have never been one to play a box bet other than an exacta with a strong overlay and a ML fav that I felt had at least a 50% chance to win. While I haven't went back and looked up what my ROI would have been through the HG excercise, I can tell you if I would have played tri boxes and in some instances super boxes I would be WAY ahead. Point being in these ultra-competetive HG exercises there is a place for the box bet. Lauren Stich has touted the box bet on a regular basis every since I have got to know her. Tina, nice input on the SA downhill. I also really like the course. I have done very well betting the downhill races, and for the most part it has just been luck and the fact I have confidence in betting those races. While not keeping detailed records as you have, I do have a mental note that early speed is not holding its own in the last month. Thanks for the input. You are just one of many parts that makes Dan's blog the best hangout in racing! Lets all say our prayers, do vodoo dances or whatever to help Alan bring home the title in Vegas this weekend. There is no doubt in my mind that he is talented enough to get the job done. Good luck my friend, now go KICK SOME BUTT!
cayman01; You, fine sir, are a man amoung men. Thank you for the work that you do on tracking this stuff! Dan; Thanks again for your FormBlog. This is the best place on the world-wide-web! You people here are the best!
Saturday SA late Sunshine Millions Pick 4: race 6: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/baffert_136746.pdf race 7: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/baffert_136747.pdf race 8: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/dougoneill_136732.pdf race 9: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/toddpletcher_136761.pdf race 10: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/darley_136752.pdf race 11: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/darley_136742.pdf Gulfstream Park: race 9: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/darley_136892.pdf race 10: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/dogwoodstable_136879.pdf race 8: http://www.brisnet.com/bris_link/pdfs/markhennig_136919.pdf I listed six races for SA because i don't know if they are going with an all stakes Pick4 or the last four races. If they do BOTH we will play only the all Stakes. I'm still looking for GP 7th. Somebody help me out if you have it.
In the GP 4th, there are two stretchers that have caught my eye. Eddie's Ink looks like he has come into himself physically, hence the much faster race last time. Invisible Ink does much better with routers, and this one may finally be ready to stretch. Trainer 18% sprint to route. Jockey wins with 20% of his route starters, and he is 25% with this trainer (3 for 12) over the last year. The horses who have started at a route in this race, in some cases against better, are uninspiring. Right to Eddie's Ink outside in the 9 hole is It's A Ladies Life making his first start at the distance. His dam has 4 winners from 13 route starters (Lake Kerr who won at first asking by 8 lengths in a 25k starter at Calder with a 80 equibase speed number in 4th career start). The sire gets 21% route winners (19% first time route). Vivian, the trainer, is 23% sprint to route. This may be an anomoly, but with 3yos going sprint to route, returning between 8-30 days since the last race, and with this jockey, Cruz, they are 3 for 3 together. However, that was at Calder, one a year in '06, '07', and '08. Very limited number of starters, spread out. Probably an anomoly. The trainer is in a bit of a drought (1 for 13) going sprint to route over this track, specifically. A little cold water.