03/04/2009 2:32PM

HandiGambling 123


Today's HandiGambling exercise is the sixth race from Santa Anita, a $62,500 claimer for four-year-olds going six and a half furlongs at Santa Anita.  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 are available from yesterday's blog entry.

First, let's start off with some business.  The race has been taken OFF the turf, and will be contested over the Pro-Ride surface.  Doneitagain (#10) was a vet scratch on February 8.

There seems to be a decent amount of speed with Kbello (#5), Recoil (#7), Noblety (#8), and Topper Shopper (#9) all having shown good gate zip in the past.  The pace should be solid, and I'm hoping that Garrett Gomez will have Storm Brave (#2) in a good tracking position going into the turn.  Storm Brave finished fourth in his first start of the year on February 8, and he raced in between horses for most of the way under low-profile rider Pedro Arambula.  Although he lacked a strong finishing kick, Storm Brave has won in his second start off the bench in the past (maiden on 10/8/07), and can improve off the comebacker.  The rider switch speaks for itself, and Storm Brave has proven himself on the main track in the past. 

Doneitagain's physical condition has to come into question as he's been away since June, and shows a 22-day gap between his last two works (with the aforementioned vet scratch smack dab in the middle).  When healthy, he's shown some ability.  I really liked his career debut at Calder, and he hasn't run a bad one in his career (tough trip second out, first or second in each subsequent start).  He can stalk the pace under Tyler Baze, and should be a solid price.

Topper Shopper is a stakes-winner on both dirt (Fairplex) and synthetic (Del Mar), and he should be a forward factor from the opening bell.  He got away with easy fractions when wiring $50,000 claimers to close out his 2008 campaign, however, and I didn't like how he was drifting out in deep stretch.  He shows five straight five-furlong workouts for this, and trainer Bill Spawr has been sending out plenty of live horses at this meet.

Nene (#6) has a closing kick that seems tailor-made for this surface, and is another that can improve in the second start of the form cycle.  This one doesn't have much early speed, but he does have a hint of back class (won the Barretts Juvenile in 2007), and seems to be rounding into his best form.  He should come running late.

Tommys Luck (#4) steps up off the Ruben Cardenas claim, and the connections made a similar move with Frankelstein (21-1 odds) on February 21.  Tommys Luck has burned his share of money in his career, but is fairly honest, and his usual race puts him in the hunt. 

This looks like a good, competitive race for our HandiGambling exercise.  I like Storm Brave to win at 2-1 or better, and will play him in exotics with some other, higher-priced contenders.

$50 Win - Storm Brave (#2)
$8 Exacta Box - Storm Brave, Topper Shopper, Doneitagain (#2, #9, #10)

$2 for a soda pop.

Best of luck to all.


Jim Peregoy More than 1 year ago
HG 126 Two bounce candidates in here (2 + 8). Distance eliminates 5 horse. Low % connections take care of several. Two remain by process of elimination. The 10 on the big class drop for good connections and the 7 (3rd try in new barn for high % winner. $50 Win #10 $30 Win #7 + 10 ex box 7-10
johnnyz More than 1 year ago
Vicstu, Read a few post tonight. Haven't been keeping up since typepad went haywire. Anyway, I assume there is some health issues with your wife. Want to know I will keep you and her in my thoughts and prayers. Wish you the best! Quick thought on the Pamplemousse. The more I look at his win in the Sham the better it looks. Besides the fact that he has an improving BSF in all his races, the toughness demonstrated in his last merit attention. I haven't read this anywhere but, is key to me. The Pamplemousse's mile fraction time was 1:35, which was the same time he won the 1m Rafael Stakes in. the fact that he finished strong on top of those fractions in the Sham deserves attention, IMO. Priveman, Watchmaker, and/or maybe others reported that he was breathing hard after the race. Well, BIG DEAL! When you run :23, 46.2, 1:10.1, 1:35, & 1:47 on synthetic unless you are the second coming of Secretariat you should be puffing somewhat. I actually like the fact that he was somewhat labored with that race, as it tells me he got something out of it. As much as I like Pioneerof The Nile and, for that matter Stardom Bound and Papa Clem; they better have their best track shoes on if they are going to catch the Pamplemousse in The Santa Anita Derby!
Annie More than 1 year ago
Steve T, Is it raining out there? Do you think they will take the 6th race off the turf tomorrow? I'm taking a look at the Magna 5, and it looks like none of the horses in the 6th would be unhappy if they take it off the turf. Looking at Magna 5 as an alternate to the pick 4 or pick 6 at SA because the SA Handicap look awful tough. Too many horses and too many good horses for my liking. (As far as multi-race wagers). Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
Tencentcielo, Discreet Street is 15-1 in that maiden race tomorrow. What was it you liked about him again? Annie
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie LOL, I guess once an OLA always an OLA! Tencentcielo ...feeling better? SR Vegas
Causeways37 More than 1 year ago
Alan, Hmmm, this was a tough one but I'll take Mr. Fantasy in the Gotham Thanks, Causeways37
Annie More than 1 year ago
The odds for the Gotham: P Ensign's IMPERIAL COUNCIL 5-2 Fav. Teri's I WANT REVENGE 3-1 Causeway37's MR. FANTASY 7-2 Dominic Riccio's MASALA 5-1 Dennis of Moline's HAYNESFIELD 5-1 That should be quite the race. Good luck all! Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, I knew you couldn't resist getting back into it. Lol Good luck with your horse tomorrow! Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
Caseyjeaux, Yes, I did survive, but barely. I took the 6-5 Kind Lady and she managed to hang on for third. I know, I know, great handicapping. But hey, anything to survive. :) Oh, so that's what happened to your horse. Lol Better luck next time! Annie
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Forgot to mention in my earlier post, even though Arlington is sponsoring the contest, for some reason you're only allowed to play Hawthorne races. (Really don't understand why) Gonna get in on the NYRA 4 and the Magna as well NYRA- 3,9 w 3 w 1,7,8 w 2,6,8,10 w 2,7 (Quick comments: 3-Call of a Lion tossed jock and is my "price shot" although could have probably singled the 9-in the second leg I know I'm taking a chance singling Foxy, but that's why they call it gambling-3rd leg I know I'm taking a chance leaving BB out, but I gotta think that Dream Maestro is gonna run well here and Vincuro, according to the form was bumped and checked hard and probably needed the race. 4th leg-the GG races are always tough so I went 4 deep and will hope for the best 5th leg-I'm actually pretty comfortable going only 2 deep. NYRA-1,2,10 w 1,2,4,5,9 w 5,6 w 1,7 7th-besides the 2 logical choices, 10 is 30/1, 2nd timer, 1st on lasix. 8th-1,2,4,5,9-The Tobaggon is TOUGH! No telling what Joey P or Ahh Day will do off the layoff but could add some value to the ticket. gotham-I firmly believe it comes down to Haynesfield vs. Mr. Fantasy-10th both halves of the Jacobson entry look tough and they have different riders named so may both go (but I'll take either)-looks like Dreamin of Victory has overcome whatever physical problems he had and could well just spank this bunch!)