11/13/2009 4:38PM

HandiGambling 159 (Hollywood)

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This week's HandiGambling 159 exercise is the fifth race at Hollywood Park, a conditioned allowance race for fillies and mares going 1 mile 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 processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

Only a six-horse field, but the European runner, #1 Firey Red looks very, very interesting.  A multiple Group 3-placed filly out of the Gulch mare Step With Style (went 1-4 in Ireland for Dermot Weld before shipping stateside to win her first two starts in North America), Firey Red broke from the far outside post in her most recent start at Tipperary, and was used early to find a pace-tracking spot while three wide.  She had no punch in the stretch, but adds Lasix for her first start here, and it's promising that Garrett Gomez accepts the mount.  That listed race on September 10 hasn't produced anything of note, but Firey Red may work out a good ground-saving trip if able to break alertly (always a question with European runners). 

You can view Firey Red's last race at attheraces.com (free registration required). 

Clocker extraordinaire Bruno De Julio was very impressed with Firey Red's workout on November 10 over the Pro-Ride surface (you can find his analysis from Today's Racing Digest on our homepage).  Bruno noted that Firey Red "worked five furlongs here for Weld in 1:02.4.  In company with Ruffled Feathers from the Gallagher barn, a recent maiden winner.  Broke two back, caught workmate at 1/4 pole, and finished the last 1/4 in 23.4.  Good."

Of the rest:

I thought #2 Flashover gave a good account of herself going this distance at Del Mar on August 12.  She was caught between a rock and a hard place chasing lone pacesetter Zardana through fast fractions.  She had to expend a lot of energy to catch Zardana turning for home, and simply had nothing left when late-runner Hot n' Dusty came calling in the stretch.  She ran well against males last time out going down the hill, and may end up on or near the lead as she stretches out off three sprint races. 

#3 Carmel Coffee should also show speed after contesting the early issue in sprints on dirt, polytrack, and grass.  The five-year-old, like Flashover, has yet to win a route race, and may feel some early heat in this spot.  She faced a solid dirt filly in Victorina last time out in her first start following the layoff, and can move forward off that race (note that she won her second lifetime start, her second race off a layoff on November 26, 2008, and her second race off a layoff on JUne 26, 2009).

De Julio wrote for the most recent work that Carmel Coffee "looked ok...didn't look like the old her finishing up in 1:02.3 having to be slightly urged through the lane."

#4 Christmas Ship is tailor-made for the distance, but is only 1-10 on grass.  A stakes-winner on the main track, she would benefit from the expected solid pace, and should come running when the chips are down. 

#5 Made for Magic gets a pass for the most recent loss against Zenyatta, but her lone turf win came in a $20,000 claimer at Golden Gate.  She's improved since being claimed by A. C. Avila, and has the tactical speed to work out a nice stalking trip while just off the two speeds.  She can't be counted out.

#6 Theodora has only raced once since April, and is another that can be close to the pace.  She's run well fresh in the pace, but I'm leaning to others on the top spot.

I'll play the European over the two speeds, and hope to get something for the exacta.

$75 Exacta - Firey Red - Flashover (1-2)
$25 Exacta - Fire Red - Carmel Coffee (1-3)

Best of luck to all:

pippen0707 More than 1 year ago
RIP..... Bobby Frankel
p ensign More than 1 year ago
...Eddie Maple. Who thankfully got into the HOF this year. He was a real gentleman and a great rider. Mike A riding first call for Woody all those years didn't hurt his record!
Annie More than 1 year ago
Slew, Sorry, that's not how it works. The horses are put in a box (well, their names are put in a box) and they are randomly drawn as each person asks for a horse. I have no control over who gets who. The Genie will decide. You can, of course, root for other two year olds, but hopefully will give a little special attention to "your" horse. Annie
billg More than 1 year ago
RIP Bobby Frankel and sincere condolences to his family. I'm a near 30 year survivor of lymphoma. Every day is a blessing. God bless Mr. Frankel.
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
RIP Bobby Frankel.
kathe More than 1 year ago
Very sad to hear Bobby Frankel passed away. My sincere condolences go out to his family. He was a trainer who truly cared about the sport and especially about the horses he trained. RIP Bobby.
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
HG 159 Recap: Sorry folks, i completely forgot about it as I was wrapped up in other things for the whole weekend. Didn't see a single race after Flashover crushed my real money exacta play friday night.I played it straight 5/2. Anyway our winnner is a repeater in SPARTAN TOM who nailed a $5 Tri and $15 Super for a $1008 total. Well done! DALE hit a $25 Tri for a $607 total and DAVID H rounded out the tri with a $50 EX. Kind of surprised we had so few winners with only a five horse field.Too many trying to win the contest maybe? Look at your wagers people and then ask yourself if that's the way you'd REALLY play the race. If not, you're not helping yourselves in these exercises. Onward and upward!
Annie More than 1 year ago
Ohh, I felt so bad to hear that Bobby Frankel has died. He was one of my favorite trainers. My condolences to his family and friends. Annie
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Bobby Frankel My thoughts and prayers go out to Bobby Frankel's family and loved ones. He has left his mark on the sport and industry-truly one of a kind.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Slew, Yes, the horses names will be in the Magic Kleenex Box. And yes, Connemara's name will be in there so you do have a small chance of getting him. No, you can't stick your hand in there. Only I can do that. It's a very small opening. Good luck! Annie