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Today's HandiGambling 121 exercise is the seventh race from Gulfstream, a $40,000 starter allowance at a one-turn mile for three-year-olds that have never won two races.
Past performances are available on the previous blog. 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 put jockey Jose Lezcano on I'mtrulyinthemood (#5).
I really like Storm Slew (#1) in this spot. He earned a very competitive 77 Beyer Speed Figure three starts back, and that number was validated when four horses came out of that race to prevail in their very next start. The runner-up that day, Anythingyouwant, came back to win a $25,000 starter allowance at Gulfstream at 9-5 odds with an 82 Beyer. Third-finisher Decaf Again returned to upset an open $50,000 claimer on the grass at Gulfstream. Cinnamon Road, the beaten favorite and sixth-place finisher in that December 20 heat, came back to romp by 14 1/4 in an open $35,000 claimer at Gulfstream with a 95 Beyer. Man of Faith finished last that day, but he rebounded to post a popular victory in a $16,000 starter allowance at Calder before running a close second on the grass at Gulfstream in a $25,000 starter. Even the runners that didn't win their subsequent starts came back to perform well. Fifth-finisher Il Divo was slammed by Cinnamon Road, but then was placed second in an open $16,000 claimer at Gulfstream on February 4. Irish Sport, the gate-to-wire winner, returned to finish a well-beaten second behind Cinnamon Road.
Storm Slew wasn't disgraced in that race. He saved ground at the back of the pace, angled out in midstretch, and finished evenly while in between horses. He tried turf in his next two races, and it's quite possible he's more comfortable on the main track. The inside draw coming out of the mile chute isn't the ideal post, but he should get enough pace to setup his late kick with several stretchout sprinters attempting the route. I don't think I'll get the 10-1 I see on the morning line, but he's an interesting horse to fool around with.
Morning line favorite Texas Hedge (#9) hasn't run a bad one on the main track, and showed his affinity for this surface with a big-fig maiden win here last month. I thought the outside was the place to be on the main track that day, however, and Texas Hedge raced wide after breaking from post twelve. He now has to try winners for the first time, and may face a much-stronger pace than the 24.11, 47.21 he stalked last time. He can certainly get a piece with a similar trip, and I'll use him in some exotics, but don't completely trust him.
Chapel Run (#2) needed seven starts to break his maiden, but he did it with flair, running off by eight lengths in a $40,000 maiden claimer last month. He looms a solid pace factor stretching out, but he hasn't gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in his three races at seven furlongs or longer, and I just don't like to play recent maiden graduates at low odds. Another that could certainly win, but I'm not completely convinced.
Gulf Cat (#7) may end up on the lead after setting or pressing the pace in his two previous races - both at shorter distances. He's been away since mid-December, however, and doesn't show a published workout in the last 16 days. He sure put a hurting on $40,000 maiden claimers at Calder last time, but this is a new distance and barn.
Country Monarch (#3) has some angles in his favor as he goes turf-to-dirt while removing the shades, but I wasn't impressed with his win three back in the slop, and his two races against winners haven't been very inspiring.
He's Long Gone (#4) has the trainer angle in his corner as Michael Maker has been on fire at the meet. This is another runner going turf-to-dirt, and he looms a reasonable threat from just off the pace.
I'mtrulyinthemood (#5) makes the second start off the bench while returning to dirt. He ran some solid figures last year at two, and is another sneaky longshot in a tough race.
Dealing Lucky (#6) was the beaten favorite going short at Tampa Bay Downs, and these may be a touch tougher. His two prior route races were poor.
Hit a Homer (#8) earned a solid number over this track and trip when winning his maiden on January 23. He chased a moderate pace that day, though, and the splits should be faster in this spot.
Here's how I'm going to play this.
$25 WP - Storm Slew (#1)
$2 Triple Box - Storm Slew, Chapel Run, Gulf Cat, Texas Hedge (#1, #2, #7, #9)
$2 for a Diet Coke.
Best of luck to all.
I just realized there's no superfecta being the finale at SA. Doh! Please change the $1 superfecta to: $1 super high 5; 3,4,6,10/3,4,6,10/1,3,4,6,10/1,3,4,6,10/1,3,4,6,10 = $72 all other bets stay the same.
Handigambling contest: I would never bet this way with real $$ but here goes: $1 spr 3,4,6,10/3,4,6,10/1,3,4,6,10/1,3,4,6,10 = $72 (I think) $1 tri box 3,4,6,10 = $24 $2 ex box 4/6 = $4 Good luck to all
Santa Anita Park - SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2009 As promised here are my selections (from first down to fourth preference): (R1) Khun Dan - Rios J M 5-2 ML You Is What You Is - Bejarano R 2-1 ML Exotic Story - Gryder A T 7-2 ML Brinson - Espinoza V 8-1 ML (R2) Lady Lumberjack - Bejarano R 9-5 ML Desert Rose Drive - Husbands P 6-1 ML White Lamb - Gomez G K 5-2 ML Smart Tiffany - Valdivia J Jr 30-1 ML (R3) Tap Tap I Win - Gomez G K 2-1 ML He's Really Big - Gryder A T 6-1 ML Overtime Victory - Rosario J 6-1 ML Aquicksting - Bejarano R 3-1 ML (R4) Holladay Road - Gomez G K 7-2 ML Sangaree - Espinoza V 6-1 ML Scored - Solis A 6-1 ML Wharf Cat - Flores D R 9-2 ML (R5) Swiss Ski - Enriquez I D 8-1 ML Common Trust - Gomez G K 7-2 ML Sorcerers Spell - Baze M C 12-1 ML Rogue Scholar - Rosario J 6-1 ML (R6) Oil Man (IRE) - Gomez G K 7-2 ML Kelly Leak - Espinoza V 5-2 ML J P Jammer - Rosario J 6-1 ML Del Conte - Nakatani C S 9-2 ML (R7) Hudler - Nakatani C S 7-2 ML Yodelady O - Gomez G K 3-1 ML Spanish Ice - Quinonez A 6-1 ML Chalula One - Espinoza V 4-1 ML (R8) Zambezi Sun (GB) - Gomez G K 7-2 ML Artiste Royal (IRE) - Flores D R 5-1 ML Church Service - Bejarano R 6-1 ML Medici Code (GB) - Rosario J 5-1 ML (R9) Tripped Fuse - Nakatani C S 10-1 ML Kentucky Nectar - Gomez G K 2-1 ML Ashee - Rosario J 6-1 ML Captivating Lyrics - Talamo J 6-1 ML - robertSD
SR Vegas, There's an article about Well Positioned at the end of the article on Dunkirk on DRF Home Page. Trainer taking the blame for his last race. Since I have a horse left in the Magic Kleenex Box, I decided to make it interesting and add Dunkirk to the box. So, anyone who doesn't have a horse or who's horse is not nominated or has disappeared from the face of the earth, the first one to speak up will have a 50% chance of drawing Dunkirk. Disclaimer: No whining if you get the other horse. Lol Annie
LOL. 6/5 was a gift! He did it nicely. Looks good for the Godolphin Mile on 3/28.
Speaking of good handicappers, what happened to mathieu?
Two Step Salsa should crush @ Dubai today. Too classy, even if it is 6f. We'll see in a few.
Ray, I think they are in a very bad spot - the $$$ always came through Magna Development (which came from Magna International). With the economic crash, Magna International no longer has the surplus to cover MEC. They don't have cash, they only have the properties and truthfully they are probably worth a lot less than they were 6 months ago. The rules on ADW's are a little screwy and as far as I know, XPressBet is vulnerable as an ordinary division of MEC; which with the way the Hinsdale BK happened should make anyone with significant cash there more than a little antsy.
Here's the link to this week's Magna Pick 5: http://www.xpressbet.com/ed/downloads/m5pp0221.pdf
C, My Opinion on Dunkirk is he would have won if they started him in the grandstand. Having said that I ask you to think of your question in reverse. How many winners at a mile and an eigth at Gulfstream would have won anyway if they started from the outside post. My Opinion not many. In other words although not impossible it has been done three times. It still adds a large degree of difficulty to any horse starting from that outside post. Some horses, I have no doubt Dunkirk is one of them, can overcome such added hurdles; however in my oinion most can't. Just another voice in the wilderness. bobc