10/14/2009 8:04PM

HandiGambling 155 (Penn Nat)

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Today's HandiGambling 155 exercise is the ninth race from Penn National, a $5,000 maiden claimer for three-year-olds and upward going six 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."   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.

As of this writing, the track is fast, and there are no program changes.

This was a fun race to handicap, and I came up with three contenders.

#3 Marty Time drops in class, and adds blinkers after racing very greenly through the stretch here two weeks ago.  It's nice to see him return on such short notice, and jockey Thomas Clifton chose him over two other horses he was named to ride on the overnight.  Marty Time may show better speed and focus with the addition of the "Rogue's Badge," and he did run a 41 Beyer Speed Figure three back when attempting to rally from last over a speed-favoring, sloppy racetrack.

#1 Thegraygiginthesky is an enigma warpped in a riddle.  Either that, or he's just not very good.  He ran a competitive second as the favorite in his first start for this barn back in May, and was third over "good" going two back.  What happened last time?  He was beaten over forty lengths!.  Jockey David Cora chose this one over first-time starter Out Smiling, and the fairly-good Thegraygiginthesky can contend against these.

#6 High Favor wasn't disgraced in his only start at this level four back, and we can safely draw a line through his most recent start over the jumps, but he was listed as a vet scratch at Delaware on October 3, and Clifton jumped off to ride Marty Time.  Perhaps the new blinkers will turn him around.

As for the rest:

#2 Inmybackpocket hasn't raced in over a year, and changes barns from 25% Ryan Beattie to 5% Konstanti Harigeorgiou.  He may show some fresh speed, but is hard to trust given the inactivity.

#4 Shady General has earned a combined 20 Beyer in five lifetime starts, and that's well behind the 41 Beyer par needed to win this race.  Jockey David Perez bails for #11 Dubai Warrior.

#5 Nana's Token was forced to go too fast during the middle part of a two-turn mile race for $10,000 thirteen days ago, and could end up the main speed under seven-pound bug rider.  He chased some wicked fractions for $12,000 two back, and could prove tough to catch if able to establish a clear early lead. 

#7 If Not for Love is still searching for his first double-digit Beyer Speed Figure after four starts, and didn't do much at 78-1 odds against Pennsylvania-breds last time out.

#8 Out Smiling was a $3,000 RNA as a weanling, and shows a huge gap between the last two workouts.  The dam is kin to Abigailthewife, a Grade 2 winner going long on turf.  Cora leaps to the rail.

#9 Three Lovers is 0-19, and hasn't broken a 20 Beyer since April. 

#10 Razzle Dazzle figures to take money based on his early speed and solid back Beyers, but he didn't do anything for $7,500 in his local debut, and has only raced once since early March.

#11 Dubai Warrior attracts Perez off Shady General, and he wouldn't be the worst stab in the world as this will be his first start around one turn, and he hasn't been this cheap. 

#12 Getty Man drops below the level of the Rebecca Mazzaro claim, but loses Clifton to Marty Time.  Perhaps he'll do better on dry footing.

I'll play #3 Marty Time to Win ($100 Win #3)

Best of luck to all.