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Today's HandiGambling 127 exercise is the sixth race from Tampa Bay Downs, an $8,000 maiden claimer for older runners at 6 1/2 furlongs. 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 the previous 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.
There's a rider change on #5 Double Duke. Make the jockey David Amiss.
I like CATTLEMAN (#9). Three starts back, he was bumped at the start and was forced to rally over a speed-favoring track. The favored winner went gate-to-wire that day en route to a 12-length romp, but Cattleman passed some tired horses for the place, and finished ahead of three next-out winners in the process. In his most recent start, Cattleman was absolutely sandwiched coming out of the gate, raced far back for most of the running, and split horses on the far turn to get up for third. The winner of that heat, Gilded Key, came back to beat winners nine days later.
There are some obvious negatives. Cattleman is a six-year-old gelding with only five lifetime starts so he's probably had his share of physical problems along the way. Plus, his lack of early speed often puts him behind the eight-ball heading into the turn. There does look to be a decent amount of speed to setup his late run in here, and he gets my win money at 5-2 odds or greater.
Any of FOREST CRUISER's (#3) last two Beyer Speed Figures are better than the last race number of all of his opponents, and that will likely make him the favorite in this spot. He looks like the main speed nearest the rail, but has already had his share of chances (12 lifetime starts), failed as the 1-2 favorite at this level last time out, and has never gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in any of his dirt races. He is the horse to beat, but offers no value, and is absolutely not a cinch.
Perhaps FLAMING ARROWS (#10) is the horse to make the exotics. A Louisiana-bred based in Indiana, Flaming Arrows ran a competitive Beyer last October at Hoosier Park despite racing wide for most of the way, and steadying behind horses at the quarter pole. He hasn't run back to that figure in his four subsequent starts, but did make a midrace move going long on February 26, and could be slowly rounding back into form. This barn is clicking at 2% for the year, but it's worth noting that they show a flat-bet profit in route/sprint races as well as 31-60 day layoff runners (since January 1, 2008).
INDIGENOUS RULER (#1) raced wide from the far outside post last time, but completed the exacta when breaking from the rail at this level two starts back. He's been much improved in his last two starts, and isn't out of this.
NEW YORK BOB (#2) is hard to like based on his last-place effort at 41-1 in his career debut, but he is dropping from $25,000 to $8,000, and dropdowns are usually big wake-up candidates in these low-level maiden claimers.
SALTY (#4) has a hint of early speed, and makes the third start of the form cycle, but I didn't like the way he was bearing out in his most recent appearance.
DOUBLE DUKE (#5) has had his share of chances, and is coming off a 0 Beyer.
ST. PATRICK'S JET (#6) completed the exacta at this level two back, then was overmatched against $12.5K maidens last time out. His numbers are going the right way, and he doesn't look like the worst longshot in the world.
REASONABLE GUY (#7) can be expected to push the pace, but has faltered badly in all three starts.
BROTHER LAWRENCE (#8) has yet to crack the trifecta in 11 starts.
SAN BERNANDO (#11) is another with speed, and he has never been this cheap. This barn has sent out some live horses at Tampa Bay Downs, and San Bernando is usable off his last race.
STRAIGHT SWEEP (#12) is another that goes third off the layoff, and his two races at this meet have been okay. He's stuck way outside, but can pick up a piece with a late surge.
I'll play half of my bankroll to win on Cattleman, and will play an exacta box with my other two top contenders with the remainder.
$50 Win - Cattleman (#9)
$8 Exacta Box - Forest Cruiser, Cattleman, Flaming Arrows
$2 for a Pretzel
Best of luck to all.
Back next time with questions and comments.
Annie, probably the only thing you need to worry about is over-confidence. He's got a great shot to run the race of his life and that will certainly be good enough to get into the gate in Kentucky. Keep him happy this week! *** Congrats to the HG winner, nice score, dude! *** Richard Matlow could train a racehorse. Period. RIP *** The man behind Hobeau (ho-bo)Farm also died this past week. RIP (from a hobo) *** Steve T., if you happen to read this, can you give us your thoughts on Saturday's card (Please!)? *** A great weekend of racing awaits. If I come accross anything I feel strongly about, I will post it. *** Tencent, not sure what that is in response to? My memory has gone to pot. Literally. *** Smile
Annie Thank you for the opportunity to pick another MKB horse. Even though I love my WELL POSITIONED, and have been encouraging him & giving him peppermints.. WELL, he has his own agenda...And currently it's not POSITIONED to be the Derby. I'm at a loss to pick another ...But a recent poster from England remarked that if MAAFAZ came over, it would only be because the trainer REALLY thought he would have a chance. BUT Bill Mott had a very impressive winner in HOLD ME BACK in the Lane's End..with his ears perked after the finish.... ohhhhh, what's a girl to do??! So (coin toss) let me take HOLD ME BACK, Thank you very much! SR Vegas
Annie, "BTW, Jay Privman said that the trainer had sold the 8th place finisher in the Rebel for $1.5M and won with this guy. Do you know what horse that was?" Mr. Privman isn't entirely accurate with that story I don't believe. I know Mac trained the horse, but I am not sure that he owned it. The horse you are referring to is Hamazing Destiny. Mac Robertson had him when he broke his maiden by 10 and 1/2 lengths in February at Oaklawn. After the race, an ownership group who uses D. Wayne Lukas as their trainer/adviser made a seven-figure offer for the horse. Mr. Butzow, the owner, took the offer and Hamazing Destiny went from Mac to D. Wayne.
P6 OLA story Sat, Santa Anita....Starring TURNBACKTHEALARM: "...No, No, repeat after me" TurnbacktheAlarm coached. "Say THE PAMPLEMOUSSE. It's French for grapefruit and he is also my MKB horse. I'm his owner" Oh " BOOYAH" her Blue Boxer friends quipped. " Grapefruit, Fruit Salad, Pamplemousse, Smamplemousse- He only runs an that fake stuff." TurnbacktheAlarm was not in the least annoyed. She was afloat on a SEA OF PLEASURE since she was celebrating her Birthday at the track with her Formblog friends and enjoying the Illinois Derby that day. She was having fun with their lack of the French language. "OUI SAY OUI" was all she said to encourage them. Besides, at the end of the day , they all would be headed to the PARTYWITHLARRYZ. Add to the mix a couple of Blue Boxers and hearing that The Pamplemousse won, would be cause for a Major celebration! Hmmmm...sounds like TROUBLETIMESTHREE to me! ....to be continued Happy Birthday TurnbacktheAlarm SR Vegas
Cayman, I wanted to say thanks for keeping track of HG records. I think it's awesome of you. Do you think I will ever get off 666? At least I don't have the lowest winning amount anymore.
That leaves three more: Musket Man (Running Sat. in Ill. Derby) Mafaaz (Running in the Blue Grass on 4/11) Flying Private (Ran 2nd in the Lane's End - that's who he is) No idea where he's running next. Speak up if you want one! Annie
Annie, I feel like a heel, but can I have regal ransom?
SR Vegas, Friesan Fire is a fine horse, but he has many backers and support. His trainer is going to train him for seven weeks up to the Derby. My stable is large enough to support him and Win Willy. I sense an exacta box come May.... Thanks to everyone who commented on the Ashee/Richard Matlow story. It was just one of those stories that I thought should be shared. I would have thought DRF would have had a story about Mr. Matlow's passing, but I guess not surfing around the site. I guess I'll have to look more carefully in the future and add "Danny B. is reporting that...." to the start of my posts when I'm posting new information not already on DRF. I'm still unemployed. Dan, feel free to pass this on as an example of my work and let me know if Mr. Crist needs my resume too :-)
Midwest Ed, Taqarub will run in the Bay Shore at Aqueduct on Sat. But, he is going to stay sprinting, so I'll give you the first horse you mentioned. Your horse is DESERT PARTY. He is a bay colt by Street Cry out of Sage Cat by Tabasco Cat. You will get to celebrate his birthday because he was born on 4/25. Your trainer is Saeed bin Suroor. Desert Cat sold at the FTF Feb. 08 2 year old Sale for $2,100,000. Whoa! He has sinced earned back $688,467. He ran his first three races in the U.S. under the training of Eoin Harty: 6/22 Broke Md at AP at 4-1/2F 7/24 Won G2 Sanford at Sar at 6F 9/1 Ran 6th in G1 Hopeful at Sar at 7F He then went to Dubai: 1/22 Won allow at 7F beating Regal Ransom 2/12 Won G3 UAE 2000 Guineas at 1 mile beating Regal Ransom 3/28 Ran 2nd in G2 UAE Derby at 1-1/8 to (guess who) Regal Ransom Good luck with your horse, and also Taqarub on Sat.! Annie
Lenny, I just looked at your spreadsheet and while it's intersting I think you've limited it to too few races. No Breeder's Cup Juvie? No filly races? No mile+ 2yo stakes, even the Grade 1's? Too narrow for me. Alan, Help me out here, was it you or maybe Uncle Steve who came up with a surefire points system last year? Anybody got that spreadsheet hiding on their hard drive? It was beautiful. Lowest points for 2YO races. Higher points as you progressed thru 3YO races from Grade III to I. Filly races discounted sabout 30%. Dam, i wish I still had that...... Tinky,et al, Regarding the possible cheating in the Dubai races. NO WAY IN HELL did the King cheat and it has nothing to do with horseracing. The Arab men are very proud people and the worst thing that can happen to them is to be embarrassed. How do you think the King would feel if HE was caught cheating? He'd have to give up his crown!!!! No way that's going to happen. The wins were legit. Turnbackthealarm brings up a great point. this trainer just may have found a better way to train. I've always found it perplexing that trainers train horses for mile and an eighth races or longer with 4 and 5 furlong workouts. It would make much more sense to me to give a horse 2,3,4 mile gallops to build stamina, and apparently this is exactly what this trainer was doing. When a horse is used to running or jogging for four miles the mile and a half race becomes a piece of cake. I believe the trainer of Afleet Alex used this method during the latter's Tc season. p ensign, Glad you (and others) enjoyed the analysis.