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Sorry I haven't been able to post over the last few days. They've been running me ragged with promotions from DRF and NYCOTB.
Today's HandiGambling exercise is the eighth race from Santa Anita, a $25,000 maiden claimer for older fillies and mares at 5 1/2 furlongs over the Pro-Ride surface. 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." Here are the past performances:
Let's scratch the also-eligible, Thinking of You (#14). A rider switch will be announced later for Ms Paint It Black (#13), and it should also be noted that Ms Paint It Black was a vet scratch on January 24.
The favorite, River Spey (#3) should be tough to beat. She gave a professional account of herself in her career debut on January 30, as she raced in behind the leaders into the straight, split horses in the lane, and galloped out nicely. She seems tactical enough to sit in behind the expected early speeds in Black Point (#2), Makor's Girl (#5), and Silent Smoke (#8). The price won't be appetizing at all so how do we attack the race. All to win on River Spey in the hope of grinding out a profit? Key River Spey on top of trifectas, and Super High 5 wagers? It's not an easy choice to make.
Since I like a pair of higher-priced horses directly underneath River Spey, I'm going to key the favorite on top of them in exactas in the desire to turn a potential 3-2 shot into something more substantial. First Contact (#7) fascinates me. She set the pace over a closer-friendly surface on February 4, and this low-profile barn is showing some intent by removing the blinkers. According to Formulator trainer stats, Lewis Cenicola is 3-7 (44%, $5.63 ROI) over the last five years when removing blinkers. That's not a bad number for a guy that went 1-47 in all of 2008. Here's hoping the removal of the "Rogue's Badge" allows this filly to relax and finish.
Love Song Mellody (#9) is kinda hard to love at first glance as she's already had ten tries, and didn't do much in her most recent start. But she's shown some life in her previous races, and her stalking/closing style should work to her advantage despite shortening up to 5 1/2 furlongs.
I'll take $50 Exactas with River Spey over First Contact, and River Spey over Love Song Mellody (3/7,9)
Back next time with lots of thoughts, responses to your questions and comments, and the overdue Beyer report from last week's stakes action.
Best of luck,
I'm not sure how WIN WILLY went off at 56-1. He was lightly raced, had good form, and excellent bloodlines. Even if he was bred for derby distance, he was a huge overlay here, and I clearly picked him as documented in my blog in the horse racing section of pickingtheponies.com. Can't understand how he was so overlooked. Not enough professional handicappers out that day I suppose.
It seems the pundits were just all waiting for old fashioned to slip up. As soon as he does, they start saying "pedigree. I'm very sure anyone watching the race was wondering what on earth was Dominguez doing. He had the horse on a loose rein through a quarter in 22+ and a half in 46+, chasing a horse he knew was going to fade. I don’t know if he was instructed to do so, but from where I sit Old fashioned could have been handled a lot better. He showed allot oh heart trying to battle in the stretch, but that Break neck( dear i say "suicide") pace did him in. I wonder if Dominguez fell asleep and lost hold of him. I still think he has what it takes to be the Derby champ. He just needs to be ridden like he should be.
Okay, A Quick post between a Day at the races(lovely day at the LVMS) and another day at the races. Alan...I love the Chalky pic with Mr Asmussen Bobble head.... I see she has gone back to her Chalky roots & given up the Diva persona ( ie: Back to her Glasses) PS to Annie...Chalky TRIED to get contact lenses in Las Vegas when she was visiting, but she didn't have the time...she was too busy Shopping. Uncle Steve OK, if you REALLY want to hear what I have to say on my handicapping abilities or nuances, I'll go ahead and post..Filter beware. Be careful of what you ask for..... Slew.. "What is 'form', really, but a reproduction of one's general state of being, influenced, undoubtedly, by one's general environment (and mood)." Posted by: slewofdamascus on January 27, 2009 at 03:58 PM Hey Man, your quote hit home, so I'm throwing it back to you. Even though we were talking about horses, why not apply it to us? I really remember this ..and how you feel now. We all feel like this at times. Especially ME right now.(And I am not even on par with any of you Handicappers / Handi Gambling sorts.) I have taken a step away because my eyes are getting totally Bugged everytime I look at a PP. So no need to apologize for taking a break since you have been at it for so long. Go do some mindless things like , ahhh, welll, hmmm? Watch the "Jockeys" series on Animal Planet. (disclimer..I really do like the series) and let your mind re-set. I have been learning alot over the last year, but one thing I know is all parts of the body need a break when one is working it out too much.. That includes your Handicapping Brain, too. So some unsolicited advice? Slew, take a break...enjoy the chatter on the Formblog...and laugh alot!!! Then come back and kick some Derby a$$..Yikes!!! he-he-he SR Vegas
Slew in quote "Hello All, sorry for the question, whenever, but what do you [all] know about Classic Mile? I noticed Porte Bonheur had a 3f breeze there, I've never heard of it, just wondering what kind of place it is?" ............................. If you have not Googled this, here's the link I found: http://www.classicmile.com/ SR Vegas
"One of the reasons there were so few winners yesterday was that Gomez was blanked...But in the P6, how many of those vulnerable underlays become "must-use" horses? " THE reason there were only two tickets yesterday is lack of favorites in the sequence - as in 0 favorites. It's not about "must use" horses - it's about SINGLES. True, GoGo was blanked, but he was blanked on three of the four shortest favorites in the sequence at 3/5, 1/1, and 6/5, then further lost on a 2nd and 3rd choice. Whether all those horses would have been those prices without him is hard to know, (although pretty sure Frankel would have been that price with Joy Scott)- kind of chicken and eggy - but tickets go down when singles go out, plain and simple, and those three horses and the 4/5 in the eighth (ridden by the equally blanked Rosario, who rode two of the other favorites) were obviously SINGLES not "must use" horses, that brought nearly every single ticket in the pool down with them when the last favorite bit the dust. (jmHo of course)
SANTA ANITA – Friday (02-27-2009) Race 1 SHEBANG has a first and a second from her two runs on ProRide, steps up in class and gets an additional 1/16 mile to work with here. Rosario and Hollendorfer provide support and works are good. QUITE A STORMKAT is a Top Works Club member who has yet to run over the surface, but running 1:12 works says that is not an issue. BRENDOLYN has five runs on synthetics, none on ProRide, with a record of 5-0-3-0. Another uber team in Gomez and Sadler, solid works and a trainer who hits 22% on the turf to synthetic angle. This is the lowest class she has been in, which is a big deal in that she just missed by a length on a $45K downhill run on the 5th. Shebang Quite a Stormkat Brendolyn Dr. Derango: JEN’S NEW CHAPTER returns to the main track after a pair of downhill runs; her record on synthetics is 7-2-4-0. Works are less than stellar but her record on the main track is. Race 2 Although she is stepping up, DANCES WITH TIGERS has three runs on ProRide and they are her three fastest races, with two wins and a fast closing second by a neck. Works are very good and the team is 50% at SA and 31% overall. RECESS came off the turf to the main track and promptly ran her fastest race, almost catching the top one in her last. Talk about a buy, she was claimed for $2K at Los Alamitos in July! MUD SWEAT ‘N TEARS picks us Rosario for this run, steps up in class, and has beaten the top pick twice. Dances With Tigers Recess Mud Sweat ‘n Tears Dr. Derango: OUR ROAD SCHOLAR has always been coming at the end and this is her first route try. Quinonez is a very capable route rider, with a TJR of 58 on main track routes. She could easily get lost in the shuffle and end up an overlay. Race 3 SOGNATORE has two 2nds from her two downhills and will seal the deal in one of these soon, today?? First time downhiller ITSNOTJUSTAGAME comes in off of some solid turf mile races and is in the Top Works list twice in her preps for a return after a year layoff. Team is 67% at SA, including Bob Black Jack’s Malibu win. MINOR MESA ran a solid debut on this course and has every right to improve, and with Tyler Baze aboard and Carla Gaines training could be something to write home about. Sognatore Itsnotjustagame Minor Mesa Dr. Derango: PORONUI is a very interesting runner, who has some serious siblings like Crafty Prospector, Designed for Luck and Absolute Harmony. Dam was no slouch, going 23-7-8-2 and earning $681K. Consolidated turf record for all progeny is 46-12-9-4 with multiple triple digit Beyers. Race 4 ENTABENI looks to be more than eligible to pull a quantum progression this run after a prototypical debut – a BSF of 57, and she finished in the middle after a bobbled start. FINE TIME TO LEAVE is another who comes into her second race with signs of a significant maiden progression. Team is 27%, trainer is a moon shot 44% in second starts, and 36% for maiden claimers. The other Mitchell runner, SINDYFROMSANTACRUZ is a firster (and Mitchell is 25% on MCL debuts) who has been running some very nice works (including a :58/4 five furlong) in prep for her first run. Entabeni Fine Time to Leave Sindyfromsantacruz Dr. Derango: STEVIE’S AFLEET ran a nice 3rd in her debut despite being blocked off most of the way and is stepping up to the $100K level for a 29% team. Race 5 UNCLE JEEP broke his maiden and then tried the CLM-50 ranks, finishing a weakening 4th. Now back at the 20K level with a run against winners under his belt, he should be able to ride the Mitchell/Gomez train (33%) to the winner’s circle. His two 80’s Beyers are 5-10 points higher than the others. FORM A POSSE has one route, a third behind Major Rock Star (the big winner yesterday). Keeps Solis in the saddle and works are solid. JACK FLASH looked to be a world beater early on, winning his debut with a 76. Hasn’t hit the board since and has never hit 70 again, but what he has run is probably good enough to clip the bottom of the board. Uncle Jeep Form a Posse Jack Flash Dr. Derango: No way Jose. Race 6 We are always looking for those that run better in their post-race works, especially second time starters – well we got one in ENRICHED, who ran a very nice debut finishing 4th with a BSF of 78. He followed that with a blistering :57/2 work. Now Rosario takes the ride and this one could go berserk for a trainer that is 25% with first turf. SPIRIT OF COCHISE has two runs, both earning an 80, but last was up for a late 2nd in his first under Gomez. Tribal Rule’s do well on the downhill, and Carava is 17% with first time turfers. KAPTAIN KORDOUGH has runs of 80-82-70-83-80-84 and still hadn’t broken his maiden, then they tried a turf route where he faded bad, but those that suck at a mile tend to do very well on the downhill. Enriched Spirit of Cochise Kaptain Kordough Dr. Derango: An Unusual Heat making his turf and downhill debut?? I think I can get behind that. UNUSUAL JUSTIN has been improving and could easily break out here at big odds. Race 7 MASTERFUL MISS is 13/20 ITM so far but with only her maiden win. Rosario is back aboard and this one should finally get win number two. UNUSUAL SPIRIT won her only sprint on this track, charging from the back to win at the wire. There should be more than enough speed in this small field to give her a perfect setup to do it again. SAYIT has been on the bench since August, but her works (including a pair of 7F) say she is rounding into form. Her lifetime record is 6-1-2-2, so she’s no twinkie. Masterful Miss Unusual Spirit Sayit Dr. Derango: How can you pick SLEEP TIGHT whose top BSF is a 69??? Well when they have two wins, and both are at Santa Anita on the main track… Race 8 The last race is an MSW???? OMG, real horses in the last race woohoo!!! WELL MONIED is trying turf for the first time, a 33% proposition for Zucker, Sutherland stays aboard and both of her speed figs are well above everyone else. MILLION SELLER is a homebred A.P. Indy out of a Sunday Silence mare running for Graham Motion and ridden by Bejarano – think that pretty much plugs any holes… SWITCH IT UP finished seventh in her debut (on turf at a mile) BUT was only beaten 2 ½ lengths. Adding Lasix for the first time and could progress right into the thick of battler. Well Monied Million Seller Switch It Up Dr. Derango: Like I am going to pass on a two for one on Unusual Heats in a turf race… You get UNKNOWN HEAT who is on his second start with Alex Solis aboard AND SPANISH BUNNY who strangely gets Garrett Gomez aboard – two UH’s ridden by Solis and Gomez??? Sign me up!
Well, anyway I made the right decision to stay home, because if the snow didn't get me the rocks would have. The only two I didn't have on my ticket were Major Rock Star and You Got Me Rocking (I singled Midships). Lol And I wasn't part of the 150 accidents that took place, so all is well. David W, I was just noticing that the white marking on Capt. Candyman's face looks kinda like a tornado! Annie
TenCent, Thanks for the heads up on the 3 in the last at SA today. I put in a decent win wager on that one and it made up for a pretty dismal day otherwise. Just wasn't on the right ones today because why would you elevate Mitchell horses on the turf when his 24% win percentage on it is sitting there in your face??? Dumb. Here are my Early Pick 4 Selections for Santa Anita on Friday. I try to limit myself to one or two horses per race, but I'll throw in an extra horse or two for those who play larger: Race 1: 6, 4 Larger Tickets add the 3 Race 2: 2,7 Larger Tickets add the 5 and 6 Race 3: 2,5 Larger Tickets add the 6 and 3 Race 4: 4,5 Larger Tickets add the 2 and 3 The biggest mystery of the sequence is Race 3 down the hill. Figeac is entered. Go back at watch a few of his replays. I could see him wiring this field with ease, I could see him jumping the fence, and I could see him taking every horse on the front end into the grandstand on the turn to have a few cocktails. Frankly, his ceiling is unlimited and it should be entertaining to watch. Good luck to everyone who is playing tomorrow.
StephenTaylor, Take some cheap swings at hitting it more than once too. Find a few fillers that you think might hit the board or have a good price and repeat with those... if you select 4 of them, for example, it'll cost you $3.60 extra per dime play, total: 2/1/(fillers)/(fillers) 2/(fillers)/1/(fillers) 2/(fillers)/(fillers)/1 Are you giving BeeCeeCee any chance of beating Jojo and winning the race himself? How much?
Danny B Figeac has been on my horse watch since the day he almost went into the Club House! (12/7/08)... And I agree, WHO KNOWS what he will do. I do like your scenario of taking all the horses out for cocktails at the Clubhose turn... Maybe this time he WILL surprise us, be a good boy and win one. Good luck! SR Vegas