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Today's HandiGambling 125 exercise is the ninth race from Laurel Park, a $5,000 claiming race for older horses that have not won three times in 2008-2009. 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.
I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but let's remember why we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses, and why we're betting them the way we are. I'm not asking for a novel, but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles, and thought process about wagering, it would be appreciated.
First, let's scratch the #1 half of the coupled entry, Showmesnow.
The key to this race may be just how much pressure, if any, Unadulterated (#7) will face on the front end. He looks like the main speed, but Desperado Kid (#10) has shown some early foot on occasion, and may try to push Unadulterated from the outside down the backstretch.
If Unadulterated has to go faster than expected, it might set things up for Coyote Trust (#1A), a powerful recent winner around two turns at Philadelphia Park. That day, Coyote Trust tracked the pace from the two path, opened up on his foes on the final turn, and poured it on down the stretch. It was eerily reminiscent of Coyote Trust's previous Beyer top, a win at Delaware Park going 1 Mile and 70 Yards on October 7, 2007. That day, he pressed the pace from the rail, eased out to the two path late on the backstretch, and ran away from his opponents on the turn. He then came back to lose at 6-5 after breaking through the gate at the start.
As usual, there are concerns. Coyote Trust has never won a sprint race. He hasn't even competed in one since April 1, 2007, a non-threatening fifth-place finish going 7 1/2 furlongs in a $16,000 maiden claimer at Gulfstream Park. He's taking a step up in class as he faced 'n1Y' claimers last time out (non-winners since August 17, 2008), and will try 'n3Y' performers today. Twice previously, he earned 70 or greater Beyer Speed Figures, and came back to regress and lose.
Still, I like him to get the job done for his high-percentage connections. He has enough tactical speed to find a decent stalking position while in the clear, and may get first run going into the turn. A possible short price doesn't make him an appealing win candidate so I'll try to hook him up in exotics with a couple of other logical contenders.
Unadulterated makes the third start of the form cycle, and he has improved his Beyer Speed Figure the two previous times he made that move (including a win at Laurel going this seven furlong distnce on November 26).
Farleyshelonwheels (#8) is a previous track and distance winner, and he should apperciate turning back to a sprint. He really looked fatigued in his most recent race, however, and may need a faster-than-expected pace to properly setup his late kick.
Here's the play:
$50 Exacta - Coyote Trust - Unadulterated (#1A - #7)
$50 Exacta - Coyote Trust - Farleyshelonwheels (#1A - #8)
Best of luck to all.
I'm kinda swamped with Derby prep recaps for the website so will have to cut it short for now. Will be back tomorrow with a Past Champions Retrospective as well as catching up to your questions and comments.
Take it easy,
HG 126 Distintive Dixie (8) to bounce. Alina (9)doesn't win with Quinonez. Holistic (3) is too slow. Euphony (5) wins off layoffs. $8 Trifecta # 5 WT # 2,6,8 WT # 2,6,8 $10 Ex 5 over 8 $15 Ex box 2/5 $11 Ex 5 WT 6+8
Dan, Just a comment on Pioneerof The Nile. You can state your opinion about your horses positively or negatively, that's your opinion. But so i will just address facts. You said that POTN was washed out before the race. I am not sure which feed you were watching the race on but the horse was the furthest from being washed out. I was there my self with the horse while saddling, in the paddock and until the minute he left to the track and observed him like a hawk till he got in the gate. The horse was very professional, very calm, and did not turn a hair and he was defiantly not washed out. Maybe the glow from how shiny his coat was gave you that impression. As a matter of fact when Mr. Zayat was walking the colt back in the winners circle he was not blowing nor did he even break a sweat. Bobc thank you very much for your comments, wishes and hopes. I will try as much as possible to provide you our personal insight. One of which is also about a comment Dan made regarding Pioneer's pulling hard. The colt covers about twice as much ground with one stride than any other horse does. So if they are walking in front of him going 24 then they slowed down to 24.3 and when his shutting off speed is faster than that he had no choice but to take it to them which made them go the 3rd quarter in 23.3, then he got in the rhythm of his cruising speed to the mile in 24.1 and came home for the final 1/8 in 12.2 which is consistent with his rhythm. HIs comfortable cruising speed is 12 sec for the 1/8 and he can do that all day long. That's basically running a 1 1/4 in 2mins flat. but of course a lot of factors come in to play like the trip he get and the condition of the track not to mention the pace of the race. I wish the Pampelmousse did not scratch because we would have ran a faster pace and he would have probably won it in 1:48 Unfortunately not a lot of people appreciate a horse that over comes different circumstances to win and adapts to any pace scenario to get the job done but by low margins of lengths. So he gets knocked for not winning by the "AirPowered" margins that I Want Revenge or the others win by. But at the end of the day he has won 4 graded stakes in a row so far: 2 G1s and 2G2s, every one that he has beaten has become a graded stakes horse Lime Rickey, I Want Revenge, Chocolate Candy, Papa Clem etc. He will probably end up being the youngest or one of the youngest horses in the field of the derby. With horses like Dunkirks have 4 months of age over him, or even 2 months like quality road. Everyone knows that in this time of their 3 yo year an age difference of 2 to 4 months is huge in their development. I hope this provided some insight in how we view our colt. I will try to keep you updated as much as possible. Sobhy
Cayman 01, Very interesting Top 10 list. I like your viewpoints on alot of your runners but I respectfully disagree with your point on Mr. Hot Stuff. For starters, he's nothing like Giacomo talent wise at this stage of the game. In the Hollywood Futurity, Giacomo gave a run @ the 2 year old champ Declan's Moon and defeated Wilko, who was fresh off of his BC Win. Giacomo was never green or goofy. Just a tough luck horse. MHS still has 10 lengths to make up on the Mousse and who knows how many to the rest of the other top contenders. I think at this stage, he still has some developing to do. He's definitely one to keep an eye on, for races such as the Affirmed and Swaps stakes at Hol. The horse has to be somewhat professional at this stage of the game if he wants to make an impact on the Derby trail. His greatest accomplishment so far is being Colonel John's little bro. Sounds like another Nicanor story to me. At least to this point.
Tina, That's awesome that we're seeing eye to eye on things. Maybe if things hold true over the next 4 weeks, we can come up with a derby play! :_). About PON and Mousse... I actually disagree. The more they face each other the better quality of racing we'll have. IMO, the problem with racing right now is that alot of the top horses don't face each other until the Breeders Cup or TC races. There's money to be made everywhere these days at various tracks, as opposed to all of the top horses entering against each other every 3-4 weeks at a time in a prestigious race, which I loved to see. That's how I got into this game. With the best of the best facing off against each other at all costs to see who was tops. A good example of modern racing is what happened last year with Curlin & Big Brown. I mean they intentionally avoided each other until the BC. Then Brownie got hurt and the anticipation of their match up was ripped to pieces. Do I curse the owners for going after the "easy" money. Not at all. But the game never used to be that way. Now it's all commercial. A horse runs a 100 beyer first time out and he's sold while he/she is cooling out after the race. lol. I know i'm kinda going off topic here but Im glad that the owners of Win Willy haven't sold yet. I mean they could've cashed in and run, but now they want to see if they can get a horse to the derby. Even if it isn't a great shot, they don't want to waste it (for now). You've got to admire that. Anyway, I can't wait for the showdown in the ol' West! Now that I think about it, I forgot to mention Win Willy in my top 10! lol. Well he wouldn't have hit the top ten, but he would've been mentioned at least.
S. Taylor, It's more of a "Rough Guide" than anything, and I agree there are plenty of inconsistencies. But 1) It's not my chart, and 2) I can't think of/find anything better. Midwest Ed, Well said! See you Saturday.
Mathieu, I wasn't trying to say that he would sit down for a heart-to-heart with his fellow riders or even talk directly to them. Of course not. But he does have eyes and ears and surely there's some chatter in the jock's room throughout the day. I pretty much agree with Dan's thoughts on the previous thread about the setup being a carbon copy of the Southwest. So I ask, what would you have liked to see him do differently in the Rebel, and how/why would an earlier mount on an older beat-up clunker in a 6f race change his strategy on Old Fashioned? What exactly is the benefit? It's not like he's never been on horseback before, or, well, won stakes at Oaklawn recently. Do you think he was he traveling on a bad portion of the track or something? I'm asking honestly. Doesn't Beyer and most of the speed figure makers tell us that the track changes throughout the day anyway? Seriously, what's the big benefit? I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
Because opinions are like a----les, we all have 'em. My take on the Derby Top 10. 1) I Want Revenge, he came out of California and laid waist to a very good field in the Gotham.He has shown improvement in each race he's run and his dirt acumen cannot be questioned.He doesn't have to be close to the early pace and that's a good thing for the derby. 2)Friesen Fire, Stalker type has done everything that's been asked of him and keeps winning. Unlike his stablemate,he gets better as the race goes on and as they get longer.Would like to see him race someplace other than FG (remember Pyro?), but I'm guessing Jones puts him away til the Derby ( might not be the best strategy, but I can understand it). 3)Pioneer of the Nile, keeps beating everybody in blue collar fashion. It's not pretty but he gets the job done. I don't like how he waits for horses. It could and will cost him in a big race at some point. 4)Theregoesjojo, probably the best horse in South Florida, but still learning.Loved his move in the FOY and am hoping he moves forward in the Fla. Derby. Another off the pace type his style fits well with the Derby.Needs a first or second to get in the Derby. 5)Musket Man, oh I can hear the howls now.But, before you start throwing things at me and the computer consider this. He came home two seconds faster than Win Willy did and almost as fast as Pioneer of the Nile and friesen Fire. And that's with getting shuffled back on the far turn. He does have some distance concerns, but his heart is HUGE. As vicstu says heart can outrun pedigree (sorry Tinky!). 6)Imperial Council, I think he's the best of the NY contingent, but next out will be the make or break for him. Out of Empire Maker distance will be no problem, graded earnings will.He needs to win the Wood to get in I think as he only has $50k of graded earnings. 7)Mr. Hot Stuff, my sleeper pick.Go ahead and laugh but I'm telling you if this horse gets in the Derby he could be this year's Giacomo. He's young, immature and goofy, BUT he's starting to get it, and if he does in time (like for the SA Derby) he will surprise everybody. Would love to see a rider change to Rosario who would get the horse in the race earlier. Nakatani is to nonchalant for me. The big problem for him is the pace setup. Somebody needs to run with the Grapefruit if he is to have any chance in the SA Derby and it's not looking like that's going to happen. 8)West Side Bernie,another off the pace type that the Derby will set up well for.Prado climbs aboard for Saturday's race which is a big plus and he'll have a nice rest between then and the Derby. 9)Quality Road, Crushed foes in FOY. The problem is that GP horses have not faired well elsewhere. He's only had three races and looks to need a little seasoning. hasn't gone around two turns either but there is talent there and you can see it. 10)Terrain, another possible sleeper horse. Already has enough earinings to get in so he's just prepping up to Derby, which will be his 3rd start off layoff.Likes to come from well off the pace.He even has a win over the CD track. As for those I left off: Old Fashioned and The Pamplemousse are speed horses that don't look to me like they will hold up the mile and a quarter. In fact i think they run each other into the ground. Desert Party and Vineyard Haven have the Dubai jinx against them. Chocolate Candy, Papa Clem and Beethoven seem a a cut below the above. Let's not start on my MKB horse Hello Broadway. Dunkirk has raced exactly twice and Warrior's Reward did not exactly flatter that last performance. And the rest pretty much have to win their next prep to even get in the Derby. So there you have it.My opinion, have some fun with it.
Midwest Ed-Thanks for "sticking up" for me, but in hindsight, I may have been wrong to post anything about a horse "not doing well". People are defensive about stuff like that, and if I offended anyone I apologize again. Don't think I'll be able to make it to the contest tomorrow (but will be in South Elgin the following week-10 minutes from my house!) and will also probably hit McHenry and possibly Rockford.
Two Buck Tommy, Thank you for posting. I certainly can appreciate anyone who tinkers with homemade figures, something that can't be regurgitated from the Form. Thoughts: First, conventional theory is that 5 lengths = 1 second. You use 6. How did you come up with that, and also, if a sprint is 6, wouldn’t a route be lower? Second, a final time using “all races run at that distance” doesn’t seem accurate to me, since it would be skewed by slower final 2yo and maiden claiming times, and there are many more of those slow ones than stakes or AlwN3X on the fast side. Third, you use Bittel Road’s turf race from 10/5, presumably because turf is akin to Polytrack, even though the pace could be distinctly different? Fourth, giving us Bernie and Bittel isn’t a novel concept, but if you are expecting a fast pace and looking for the powerful late move, are you discounting Proceed Bee because of the 81 final time in the Battaglia? I’m interested in your thoughts on the Hansel and Rushaway if you have handicapped these. Thanks.
Okay, this Blood-Horse article http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/49725/arcangues-bc-classic-winner--dead makes it sound like Arcangues died just recently, while DRF says he died in 2006!