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Today's HandiGambling 134 exercise is the eighth race from Churchill Downs, a 'n2x' allowance for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
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 are available on 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.
Let's scratch #1A Morakami, #5 Hungry Tigress, and #11 A Wee Gift. There is an additional workout for #9 Sandstorm Cat. She worked on May 13 at Keeneland, and went five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 breezing.
At first glance of the past performances, I was licking my chops. Namaste's Wish (#2) has never been a big favorite of mine, and I thought I could try to beat her at a short price. After looking at the other contenders, however, I'm not so sure. Namaste's Wish hasn't won a race since the Miss Grillo of 2007, and has never really lived up to her advance billing, but she did run well in the Gaviola last year, and was in and among horses for most of the way over polytrack in her seasonal debut. It's possible that she needed the race, and she returns to her preferred surface this afternoon. She can be within range of the expected moderate splits as well. The price isn't appealing, but Namaste's Wish seems like the most likely winner. This may be her last chance, though.
How to play her? She isn't very appealing at something-to-five so I may have to key her on top in the exotics. Other interesting horses include:
Talkin Indian (#3) was beaten 26 lengths in her most recent start, but I'm guessing that the daughter of Indian Charlie wanted no part of 1 1/2 miles that day. She raced evenly in her previous starts against solid horses like Points of Grace and Tizaqueena, and she's run well off short layoffs in the past.
Leamington (#4) finished ahead of a couple of these in her stateside debut going longer, and she was flattered when the winner, Winter View, returned to take the Grade 3 Bewitch at Keeneland. Another winner emerging from that race, sixth-finisher Gloria Goodbody, took a 'n2x' allowance at Keeneland at 34-1 odds with a 93 Beyer. Leamington's tactical speed gives her an advantage, and she should acquit herself nicely in this spot.
Woodford Girl (#6) enters this race in good form, having won an entry-level allowance race at Keeneland in her second start of the form cycle. It's possible that the four-year-old filly has figured the game out, and she wouldn't be a surprise for red-hot connections.
I'm not as enamored with the rest of the field.
Silver Chest (#1) earned a career-best Beyer two back at Churchill, but she was the beneficiary of a decent in-out trip, and she changed back to her wrong lead in midstretch. She didn't pick up her feet in her most recent try, and the addition of blinkers seems like a bit of a desperation move.
Polo Lounge (#7) hasn't won since September 13, 2007, and is hard to recommend off a last-place finish at 83-1 odds against the aforementioned longshot winner, Gloria Goodbody.
Mein Fraulein (#8) chased the classy Laragh in her turf debut in the Edgewood, but will face older runners in this allowance spot. She's fairly lightly-raced, and can improve. She's not the worst stab in the world at good odds.
Sandstorm Cat (#9) should appreciate turning back in distance, and she looked good winning at Saratoga last year. These connections have to be respected, and Sandstorm Cat certainly isn't impossible.
Miss Doctor Ty (#10) may be the key to this race. She showed speed two starts back on the grass, but opted to come from off of it in her most recent start on polytrack. If she shows fresh speed, she may make things a bit more difficult for Leamington. If she rates, Leamington may be long gone on the lead. Miss Doctor Ty has never won on grass, and may be up against it here.
Here's how I'm going to play this for our exercise.
$33 Exacta: Namaste's Wish over Talkin Indian, Leamington, Woodford Girl (2 with 3,4,6)
$1 for the candy machine
Back with questions, comments, and weekend plays tomorrow.
oh yes, and a hardy, or is it hearty, round of applause for both Dan the Man and the newbie for the excellent handicapping - although our leader did leave a couple bucks on the table considering how well he had the raced scoped out...
Annie LOL! Me get behind?..copy & paste is a wonderful thing...I'll be back on the OLA train soon. ____________________________ Midwest Ed "Where is the Blue Thong love? ..Inez Karlsson wins 5 races at AP" Thank you for the note! What a GREAT day for Inez. You GO GIRL! __________________________ vicstu Yes, how bizarre and sad about City on Line. SR Vegas
Valesquez up on Dunkirk? I bet they see no real speed, and decide send this horse now. Gomez up on Chocolate Candy? I commented on Andy Serling's blog that Gomez might have his choice of calls: Dunkirk or Chocolate Candy, and noted that my money would be keyed on the horse he chooses. Maybe he didn't have first call on Dunkirk, maybe he did. Anyhow, now I can put my money with my conviction that Chocolate Candy will wear the carnations...and take that to the bank!
Keith Longey OH MY GAWD, once again I'm ROFLMAO this morning! You certainly have a way with words and creative license. I just hope our Blue Thong Princess Rachel Alexander is not traumatized by the sight of, ahem, Donna Summers...he-he-he SR Vegas
C, I did some research about the running style of past Belmont winners. Using the data in the Belmont section here at drf.com I compiled data on the last 16 runnings (that's as far back as the pp's of the winners go). Here are the results: At the 6f call the average beaten lengths of the winner is 2.3 and the median is 1.8. At the 6f call the average and median running position is 4th. At the 6f call 63% of the winners were in top half of the field. At the 6f call no winners were in last or second to last and only two of the sixteen were third to last. At the 6f call only 3/16 winners were more then 2 1/2 lengths behind the pace setter and of those the furthest back was 5 1/4 lengths. Mine That Bird was 14 lengths behind the pacesetter at the 6f call in the Derby and 13 lengths behind the pacesetter at the 6f call in the Preakness. If he runs similarly in the Belmont he has virtually no chance. He has won when closer to the pace but is clearly better when he comes from well off it. Lenny
Annie: Make that "syndication". I guess all that OLA-Blue Thong Chatter-Horesetalking had me showing a little freudian slip witht the sindication speling? LOL Back in the Louisville, the Princess was settling in to a fresh spring evening: the handsome dark attentent she had met just a fortnight ago and cleared her dinner leavings, had freshened her bedding, and after giving her the 100 strokes with the brush, caressed her neck with a knowing hand, and left her to her dreams. A soft, westerly breeze passed her window, and the Princess could just barely hear, a softly sighing whisper...Zenyatta, Zenyatta...and Life is Sweet! With the crowds long gone, and the horseman's haunts now dark and empty, a lone figure was seen to enter the room where the small, strong men, those with the glossy leather boots and whips and silk, had laughed, and grinned, and prepared to mount their charges. Now a stranger to this world, Steve Asmussen, in the light of the rising moon, disrobed, and donned the two foreign articles: a blue thong, and a properly padded evening gown. Slipping into a pair of 7 inch heel shoes, and donning a flowing, long black wig, with rouge, and lip gloss, and eye shadow applied, Steve stood in the light of the rising moon, and saw in the mirror....Donna Summers! Yes, a radiant, smiling, Donna Summers! And then, he began to sing: "She works hard for the money...so hard for the money. She works hard for the money...so you better treat her right!"
Friday Late pick 4 at Monmouth races 6-9 Race 6: #6 Pletcher second timer with blinks on at short odds. backup ticket use #7 firster with win early pedigree and fast works Race 7: #3 Smokey Fella - in form, exits key race and should go start to finish. Race 8: #2 Power Game. 3 for 3 at MP legged up on artifical at Keeneland. BB Best #1 on backup tickets Race 9: #3 Fagedaboudit Pal. best bet - good works & meets suspect field. Aggresively placed by new trainer and should handle this group. Pick 4 bets: Main ticket 6/3/2/3 backip: 6-7/3/1-2/3 Pick 4 usually pays well at MP so go for the gusto. Strong win bet race 7 on Smokey Fella and Race 9 on Fagedaboutitpal. Let's start the weekend off with some winners! Good luck!
Van Savant – In the UK, synthetic surfaces are considered useful for racing, as far as they go. By which I mean that the racing on such surfaces began as an outlet for winter racing, and it is generally inferior in terms of quality to their turf racing. Such surfaces are generally used by trainers to win a race or two with lesser horses, or to race in the winter. Bettors are less inclined to bet on synthetic racing as well, but not because of the surfaces themselves, but rather because of the (generally) inferior quality of the racing. One of the reasons why there have been so many problems with synthetics in the U.S. is that we blithely adopted them, assuming that our experiences would mirror the British (in terms of maintenance, etc.). Predictably, however, they are apples and oranges, as the U.K. surfaces face nothing like the extremes of weather that our tracks do, and, most importantly, they are not used for training purposes. So their tracks have held up far better than ours (thus far), and have been much easier to maintain. With regards to training, every trainer in the U.K. welcomes synthetics as an adjunct to grass surfaces, especially when there has been a lot of rain. In Newmarket, for example, there are plenty of synthetic 'gallops' over which horses are trained. By they are not used exclusively, which is really ideal.
Annie: Thanks for Brave Victory. I missed the Page 2, I guess. Also, thanks for the warning on the OLA factor...still, I may venture forth. Who might be the owner of Flying Private again, Annie. Now that I have a horse in my stable, I might be interested in arranging a trade, or at least a half interest sindication if allowed?
tinky; What are your thoughts on the uses of synthetic surfaces (Polytrack and Fibresand) in England as both training surfaces, and racing surfaces? Also, how does the betting public feel about these surfaces, in general? I thank you in advance.