07/15/2009 12:41PM

HandiGambling 142

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Today's HandiGambling 142 exercise is the third race at Belmont Park, a $25,000 maiden claimer for fillies and mares going six furlongs over the inner 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 processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

Let's scratch #11 Phone Jazz.

None of these horses will be immortalized in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, but their heat doesn't look like a bad betting race.  I rooted out three contenders that I'll focus my wagers around. 

RNB'S BLACKWATEROLL (#9) seems to be slowly improving for high-percentage trainer Scott Lake.  Although she finished behind SARAH'S SALLY (#5) in her most recent start, I'm predicting that Rnbs Blackwateroll has a bit more upside than her main rival.  Sarah's Sally, after all, is a $100,000 yearling that hasn't panned out, and is now mired in the bottom maiden claiming ranks.  I'd like to see a bit more early speed from Rnbs Blackwateroll as there doesn't appear to be much pace in this race, but she may have enough oomph to overcome moderate splits from midpack. 

Sarah's Sally has run consistent races, and the feeling is she'll eventually find a field that she can beat.  This bunch looks ripe for the picking, and Sarah's Sally shouldn't be discounted.  I didn't like that she was a bit late to change leads last time, but this is the third start of the form cycle, and her usual race puts her there.

PATTI TIFF (#3) may be the right longshot stab.  Although she's already lost 28 times in her career, she's run some decent numbers, and this field has to qualify as one of the weaker she's ever faced.  She doesn't have much speed, and will likely have to rally from far out of it, but a slice of the pie isn't out of the question.

SOUTHERN PRINCESS (#1) ran well in her career debut over yielding going, then tired badly over firm ground in her second start.  She's been on the shelf, but takes a big drop in class, and seems to have enough tactical speed to be in good position from the get-go.  She wouldn't be a surprise.

DRIVEN WOMAN (#2) has yet to earn a positive Beyer Speed Figure, and has not finished ahead of another horse.  'Nuff said.

PREVIOUS PLEASURE (#4) tries turf for the first time after failing in her debut on dirt.  A lightly-raced 4-year-old, Previous Pleasure doesn't have much turf in her pedigree, and may want a bit more ground.

OFFICER FLIRT (#1a) didn't have the easiest trip in her only prior appearance on the turf, and she has never been this cheap.  She shows a fast recent workout, and adds depth to the Contessa entry.

PERSKY'S LOVE (#6) is slowly coming around, but her lack of early speed may work to her disadvantage this afternoon. 

VERSE OF POETRY (#7) may control the pace under Javier Castellano, and that makes her an interesting win candidate alone.  She may have needed her last race - her first of the year - and should be tighter for this assignment.

DR PAULA MOYNAHAN *#8) shows a 15-day gap between her last two workouts, and the $57,000 yearling makes her belated debut for only $25,000.  You have to respect this barn with debut runners, but Johannesburg isn't a great first-out sire.

RAFFIE'S PRINCESS (#10) hasn't done much on dirt, and would need to improve dramatically to make her presence felt here.

I'll play it this way:

$34 Win - Rnbs Blackwateroll (#9)
$11 Exacta Box - Patti Tiff, Sarah's Sally, Rnbs Blackwateroll (#3, #5, #9)

Best of luck to all.