04/22/2009 1:50PM

HandiGambling 130


Today's HandiGambling 130 exercise is the eighth race from Gulfstream Park, a 'n2x' optional claimer with a $62.500 price tag for those so inclined.  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."   Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference.  Past performances can be accessed from yesterday's blog.

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.

Let's scratch #2 Desert Falcon, #5 Granizo, and #12 Brush On By

I landed on four contenders in here, but have little confidence in them, and they won't offer much value.  #3 Blues Street was rank going into the first turn on March 25, but he may have been merely reacting to his new blinkers while in a tight spot.  He just missed after a furious stretch drive, shows an improving Beyer pattern, and should get a quick pace to attack this afternoon.

#11 Just Playin Around defeated at least three next-out winners when going gate-to-wire in a five-furlong turf sprint on March 1.  He's won at this distance in the past, but seems most comfortable when able to relax on the lead.  With fellow stretchout sprinter Evenings End a pace possibility, Just Playin Around may have to duel all the way around, or cope with the prospect of passing another horse. 

#4 T Harry has stepped up his game since being moved to the Peter Walder barn earlier this winter.  He's won both of his starts for Walder, is very comfortable at this mile distance, and should get enough pace to adequately setup his late run.  He's taking a step up in class from open 35K claimers, but he's too sharp to ignore.

#9 Murch went through the 'n2x' condition way back on November 24, 2006, but the Grade 3-placed ridgeling is only 1 for 16 since that win.  Of course, the victory occurred in his most recent start, and Murch may finally be rounding back into form for Mark Hennig.  He's another that likes to race from off the pace, and would benefit from strong fractions up front. 

I've always been a fan of #1 Gold Pageantry, and he's put it all together since joining the Kirk Ziadie outfit.  The New York-bred may work out a wonderful trip from his inside post, and wouldn't be a surprise despite hiking up from the 25K ranks.

#6 Colonial Causeway makes the important third start of the form cycle while switching from a ten-pound bug rider to Jeffrey Sanchez.  His turf races haven't been impressive, however, and he may be at his best on a wet dirt track.

#7 Evenings End has never been a step past six furlongs, and both of his career victories came against fellow New Jersey-breds.  He has shown good speed in the past, and figures to be fresh making his first start since October.  I'm expecting him to be there early, but the closers may swallow him up when the real running begins.

#8 Alezzandro won the $500,000 Prince of Wales at Fort Erie as a three-year-old (one of the Canadian Triple Crown races), and his lone turf try to date can be excused (a tired sixth in the 12 furlong Breeders' Stakes).  Alezzandro likes to be close to the pace, and may get the jump on the closers from just behind the early leaders.  Still, the layoff coupled with his poor form at the end of 2008 makes him a fringe contender in my opinion.

#10 Carson Hall really improved after switching to turf last year, but he likes to race near the lead, and the fractions could be faster than he's been used to facing.  He has stalked and pounced in the past, and isn't the worst longshot in the world.

I would use my four contenders in multi-race wagers, but in HandiGambling, I'll go this way:

$8 Exacta - Blues Street - T. Harry (3-4)

$8 Exacta - Blues Street - Murch (3-9)

$8 Exacta - Blues Street - Just Playing Around (3-11)

$3 Trifecta Box - Blues Street, T. Harry, Murch, Just Playing Around (3,4,9,11)

$4 for the broke handicapper fund.

Best of luck to all.

Talk to you soon,


jon smith More than 1 year ago
live feed what is the story with the live feed? some tracks have it like Calf. Philly park, and Keeneland. Why not in N.Y. or Churchill downs. I do not get the races on regular TV. I like to see the races live when I bet them.
Mathieu More than 1 year ago
Attn: Those holding future book wagers or who have a strong conviction about the Derby. I will now be accepting offers not to wager on your horse next Saturday. Make your submission juicy as I have already sunk The Mousse and Q Road.
Dale More than 1 year ago
Laura, Is the Oaks card chat on Wednesday night or Thursday night??? Dale
Annie More than 1 year ago
Oops! I forgot yours. Tencentcielo's JOIN IN THE DANCE Annie
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
C, you're worse than my mother.
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
C, I guess I got confused reading YOUR post (smile) - umm, I thought the favorites were IWR and QR? Aren't they the obvious "favorites"?
Annie More than 1 year ago
Tencentcielo, Calvin Carter has SUMMER BIRD. It's MINE THAT BIRD that has no owner. Also ADVICE, if he goes. Here's the Derby list: Midwest Ed's DESERT PARTY Blue Horseshoe's DUNKIRK Crazy Rob's FLYING PRIVATE Danny B's FRIESAN FIRE and WIN WILLY (He's a sheik, you know) Katieattherail's GENERAL QUARTERS SR Vegas' HOLD ME BACK Teri's I WANT REVENGE Steve T's MR. HOT STUFF (sometimes shared with Tencent) Skydimeauntie's MUSKET MAN Nancy B's PAPA CLEM Justin's PIONEEROF THE NILE Vicstu's QUALITY ROAD Slew & Laura's REGAL RANSOM KT Albany's SQUARE EDDIE Calvin Carter's SUMMER BIRD Bill G's WEST SIDE BERNIE Annie's CHOCOLATE CANDY :) Annie
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
C, why don't you post the whole quote? I agree it wouldn't make sense in the context that you chose to give it by removing the very first sentence of that little paragraph. Here is the entire paragraph: "This race is deep, and wide-open. Why take the favorites? I can see using one, but both?" Is it really that hard to get my meaning from that quote? The last sentence is merely a bow to chalk-eating weasels who couldn't possibly exclude both, thus I could have added in parenthesis after the line, "I can see using one (if you're a chalk-eating weasel), but both?" Primo: very funny! If I believed in that sort of thing, I'd load up for sure.- smile C: I did catch your "chocolate" line - very funny, sir. ray: thanks!
Annie More than 1 year ago
Tencentcielo, You forgot about him!!! See, that's what happens when you have too many horses. So that's what happened to Join in the Dance in his last race. You were giving all your attention to Mr. Hot Stuff, so JITD just said, "Fine, I just won't run then". Horses do get jealous, you know. Better start paying some attention to him because he could very well get in now. :) Annie
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
RE: Synthetic Beyers Personally, I don't think they should change a thing... I'm for keeping subjective analysis (no projecting) and formula alterations out of equation and simply focusing on final time. The whole point is to determine how fast the race was run (relative to track speed), not to develop performance grades for the horses which becomes subjective and is for the handicappers... I'm curious about Alan's different formula model... When I gave this a lot of thought awhile back, I really couldn't up with a good solution as increasing the spread in the figure points differential (i.e. one length beat = 7 BSF points at 1 1/8 miles) opens up another can of worms... If nine horses of varying talent levels finish a race within 3 lengths of each other in a moderate time then the figures just aren't going to be very high... This is no different that assigning figures for a slow paced turf race that finished in a moderate time, before they started the abhorent practice of projecting... I think when Steve T started the assault on the Beyer figures (Steve, correct me if I'm wrong) it really had to do with the assumptions/interpretations of ability made by many that came with the lower relative figures of the various So Cal horses... And there is no question that many turf writers have quoted the lower Beyers in dismissing a horses chances and they've often been wrong, as they probably didn't realize/understand the issue on interchanging these figures between tracks/surfaces as it pertained to how performance would project... But, that's a different argument than saying the figures are wrong... The figures simply are what they are...