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Today's HandiGambling 119 exercise is the fifth race from Santa Anita, a $10,000 claimer for older horses at six furlongs over the Pro-Ride racing surface. Past performances are available from the previous blog entry. 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."
First, let's scratch Kailee Rush (#1), and Greedy Way (#2).
There are several contenders in this interesting race. Flip the Penny (#7) looks tough based on his consistent record, and previous success over this racing strip. Last time out, he raced in and among horses for the first three furlongs before splitting rivals at the head of the stretch. Once this gray gelding makes the front, he's tough to deny (7-19 lifetime record), and he pulled away from a few of the same rivals he'll face this afternoon during the stretch drive of that January 10 heat. There seems to be ample speed in the race to set up the stalking style that Flip the Penny likes to utilize, and he should be moving strongly on the turn. He may not be worth a win wager at an expected short price, but my wagering strategy will be to key him on top of several other contenders in the hope of cashing a solid exacta.
Wineshine (#3) may be the horse to beat. He defeated Flip the Penny at this level three starts back, then just missed for a slightly higher claiming level in his final start of 2008. He didn't run very well over the dirt course at Turf Paradise last time out, but should appreciate getting back on the Pro-Ride, and is another that should appreciate the good pace up front. He does have a tendency to pull hard in the early stages of his races, and may need to relax a bit better coming out of the gate here lest he end up to close to the hot fractions.
Seth the Candeyman (#6) sports the look of an intriguing longshot. He was overmatched against statebred optional claimers last time out, but ran competitively against Wineshine two starts back, and fits much better at this level. He'll receive blinkers once again, but has a tendency to be awkward with his lead changes, and may be part of a quicker-than-par pace. Still, he's run some races good enough to grab a piece of this pie, and can't be counted out completely.
I tried hard to make a case for Sorcerers Spell (#8), but ultimately relegated him to the "underneath" role in my exotic wagers. Last year, Sorcerers Spell was able to run Beyers in the mid-80's despite having trouble with his lead changes. A late runner that will benefit from hot fractions up front, Sorcerers Spell has been freshened up for this race, and has won off the layoff in the past (11/25/07 - Hollywood - off a 10 month plus break). New trainer Melody Conlon is 3-14 (21%, $2.06 ROI) off the claim over the past two years (according to Formulator statistics).
Familiar Stranger (#9) has improved with the addition of blinkers, and could be the speed of the speed. He earned a solid figure beating weaker $8,000 types two starts back, then set the pace over a closer-friendly Pro-Ride surface on New Year's Eve. He's another that runs well following layoff lines, and the price should be right.
I think Flip the Penny is a solid choice, but will attempt to enhance his value by keying him on top in the exactas. Here are the plays:
$60 Exacta: Flip the Penny - Wineshine (7-3)
$20 Exacta: Flip the Penny - Seth the Candeyman (7-6)
$10 Exacta: Flip the Penny - Sorcerers Spell (7-8)
$10 Exacta: Flip the Penny - Familiar Stranger (7-9)
Best of luck to all.
Talk to you later.
1st time player,good luck to all. $2 tri box 3,4,6,10---$48.00 $7.00 ex box 3,6------$14.00 $4.00 tri box 3,5,8---$24.00 $14 to win on 6-------$14.00
crazy rob You're welcome! SR Vegas
SR Vegas, "Katiepassedaroundattherail". LOL!!! Annie
Alan ...just a guess, but I would say it makes no difference and that you are leading with a trick question....he-he-he SR Vegas
alan, It happened again in the Risen star and brother keith in the Lewis, Please. I'm going to guess that it won't start raining until after at least the fourth race, judging by the radar screens. If it starts to rain real hard, i may have to make a sprint to bet the speed in the last race at SA. I fimrly believe that speed holds better while its raining at SA AND it starts during the card. But that just me.
Ever since the Beyer interview, I've been checking out Steve Byk's show here and there on the radio. Today, he was talking about Churchill renaming the La Troienne Stakes to the Eight Belles Stakes. I have to agree with Byk that this is just ridiculous and completely takes away from the history of the game. Equally ludicrous is Pimlico's renaming of the Sir Barton to the Barbaro a few years ago. There's already another Barbaro Stakes at Delaware, if it's still in existence. However, I disagree with Byk that the solution is to create NEW stakes. More stakes races are the last thing we need. How about just stop naming these races after every mildly significant horse that comes around. Do they all need races named after them? Isn't there another way to honor them? I'm surprised they haven't already renamed the Risen Star after Pyro. After all, who can forget his amazing turn of foot last year, closing 4 whole lengths in the stretch, propelling him to a 3yo season of utter mediocrity? Fairgrounds will eventually have a Pyro Stakes, mark my words on that. The question is, whose race will bite the dust as a result? This is one of those things that absolutely boil my blood about this sport. While you guys get the legal wheels in motion against the cheaters, I'm starting a horseracing historical preservation society. Membership fee: 10 tons of any artificial surface.
SANTA ANITA – Thursday (02-05-2009) Race 1 – Pat the Cool Cat, Heathersdadysbaby, That’s Hot (DD: Unusual Jane) Race 2 – Lovely Olivia, Alex’s Wish, Mark Set Go (DD: None) Race 3 – Quick Commander, Birdie Birdie, Sanibel (DD: Inspired Storm) Race 4 – Elegant Miss, Closing Speed, Executive Sweet (DD: Silent Demand) Race 5 – Tuaca Parfait, Sky Marni, She’s All Rev’d Up (DD: Victoriously) Race 6 – Waddup G, Jaylo’s Mark, Melody Makin (DD: Rev Her Up) Race 7 – Fire Wood, Isipingo, Forasteiro (DD: Kizzy’s Chaos) Race 8 – Tan Tan, A Taco Short, Woman Gone Wild (DD: Not So Plain Jane)
Forasteiro, a longshot in the 7th at SA tomorrow has captured my imagination. A winner of 3 in a row, beginning at the bottom of the barrel at GGF (mcl8k), this son of Foresty ($40k) found himself that day and it happened around the far turn when he was rounding up the leaders. Another competitor came wider and tried to circle him, and in fact he did circle him, leaving him between horses in a now or never situation. The jockey hit him on the shoulder to let him know that he had to go after that one, and right then you could almost see the light go off; in spite of getting out-jumped, he put on a real nice display thereafter, and the gallop out was HUGE. After beating winners at 6,250, he double-jumped in class to 12,500, but so did his performance double-jump, showing again a real determination to get after the leader once straightening for home. Dead game, this horse gets it. He had to run demonstrably faster to win at 12-five, and he did. After another nice little break between races, he may have another move upward in him. Stepping up to NW1 allowance at SA is light years from 12-five at GGF, but he has a couple things in his favor on top of his desire. His gallop out in the mdn breaker and subsequently has demonstrated to me a real willingness to go further. I think he has an attractive way of moving, undoubtedly connected to his $40k sire. Secondly, this field has a lot of one-time only winners, who actually haven't won for awhile, and the ones who have beaten winners aren't exactly headed for stakes races after this event. I wouldn't call any of the horses he's facing tomorrow "win-types", in any case. So, between the distance, the company, the crafty trainer, I think he's got a shot to hit the board, anyway, at what should be a monster price. 50-1?
Okay I just had a crash and burn.Sorry if this is a double post. C and Jeff Finger are right and I'm wrong. I guess I saw one more horse than was there in my recapping. Jeff's HG account will be credited with 260.50.My apologies. I'll be going to the Van savant Institute for FREE this month.
Chiago Jerry, A belated but well deserved Congratulations on your stellar showing in this weeks race. I must addmit after totally wiffing on the race I basically turned off the computer and went to the card room at Pompano, to relax a bit. I got a call from a good friend and neighbor, asking if I'd like to go there this afternoon to play greyhound simulcast, I plan on going later this afternoon and let him pick the dogs while I play some more poker. I'm going to rest my brain from horses for a few days and maybe return for this weekend Derby dreaming races. I think your winning may have something to do with your having use your hometown in your blog name, could be will be seeing someone like Big Easy (norleans)Big Chok, Carson City Fan, KT Albany, Dennis of Moline or perhaps SR Vegas top the standing in weeks to come. I had hoped to be the first to double up, but my handicapping has gone south lately. Good Luck to all see you in a few days.