08/12/2010 10:41AM

HandiGambling 198 (Saratoga)

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Today's HandiGambling 198 exercise is the fifth race from Saratoga, a $50,000 starter allowance at seven furlongs on the main track.

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. Please post your plays and analysis to the blog. Past performances are available on the previous blog post. In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please. I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries

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 main track is listed as FAST. 

Let's scratch #1 STORM FALCON, #3 ELTISH STAR, and #7 BRAZEN KAT.

An interesting race, and I'll try to advance in my multi-race wagers by going two deep.

#8 HARMONIZER rallied to finish second at this level in a one-turn mile at Belmont three starts back, and then wasn't disgraced against 'n1x' foes going two turns at Monmouth on July 3.  Returned on only two weeks rest, Harmonizer was involved in a weirdly-run race at Philly Park on July 17.  Harmonizer bobbled at the start but, because of the dearth of pace, ended up involved in a five-ply "skirmish" for the early lead while three wide and in between horses.  The "skirmish" certainly wasn't heated as the first quarter was completed in a dawdling 24 4/5 with the half in 47 1/5.  Perhaps Harmonizer couldn't keep up with the quicker internal fractions as he dropped off the pace on the turn.  Still, he re-rallied to finish a solid second behind the favored winner.  Deanoguska, five lengths behind Harmonizer at Philly, returned to finish second in a $12,500 starter with a 70 Beyer Speed Figure. 
Harmonizer should get some pace to attack in this spot and he reunited with Garrett Gomez for a barn that has gotten off to a nice start at this meet.

Trainer Dominic Galluscio defeated odds-on favorite #9 STAR OF NEW YORK with Emma's Posse in an open 'n1x' allowance at Aqueduct on April 25.  He must have liked what he saw as he claimed Star of New York for $50,000 on June 18 at Belmont.  Star of New York will now make the turf-to-dirt move that was successful when he won his maiden by eight lengths last fall. 
Over the past five years, Galluscio is 3-16 (19%, $2.20 ROI) with first-time claims at Saratoga.  Star of New York is consistent (15-18 in the money) and has good tactical speed.  He should be prominent when the field turns for home.

As for the others:

#2 NUMB LIPS earned a big Beyer Speed Figure two starts back around two turns at Monmouth, and then didn't have the best trip in the world when a well-beaten fifth on July 3.  A lightly-raced colt, he'll have to break from the inside post position this afternoon.  Expect him to lag behind in the early stages, but he's shown enough that a good late run isn't out of the questions.  An exotics factor at the very least.

#4 GOOD KARMA, like Star of New York, will attempt to repeat a turf-to-dirt pattern that has been successful for him in the past.  Two back, utilizing the surface switch, Good Karma defeated statebred entry-level allowance runners around a one-turn mile at Belmont.  He's only sprinted once in his career (debut on October 31, 2009, beaten 15+ lengths), and may need some pace help up front.

#5 HENCEFORTH figures to be up and on the lead along with STAR OF NEW YORK.  He whipped $50,000 maiden claimers by six lengths at Churchill Downs on May 31 going a one-turn mile before faltering to finish midpack in his first start against winners.  That was a productive entry-level allowance.  Of the six horses to come back from that race, one won an allowance at Hoosier Park with an 86 Beyer, three others placed in allowance races, and the winner returned to finish fourth in the Ohio Derby)
Henceforth has competitive speed figures and can be dangerous if able to relax on the lead.

Lightly-raced #6 GREEN BANANAS couldn't kick on in his first start with winners, but he's now paired up Beyer tops and may be ready for another forward move in the fourth start of the form cycle for Mike Hushion.  He was headed by Tar Beach on July 4 at Belmont and that one returned to take a $25,000 off-the-turf claimer this meet with a 78 Beyer. 

#10 HERITAGE HALL, an $800,000 yearling, didn't do anything in his career debut at 48-1 odds in 2009, then missed over a year of action before winning a $10,000 maiden claimer at Churchill on July 3.  The fourth-place finisher of that race returned to graduate for a $7,500 tag at Ellis Park with a 61 Beyer.

Here's how I'll play the HandiGambling exercise:

$100 Win - Harmonizer (8)

Best of luck to all.

***

Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's racing action:

 

Check the bottom of this blog posting for the past performances of the week's highest Beyer performer:

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Blackseabass More than 1 year ago
VAN SAVANT, There never classy enough until they are classy enough if that makes any sense. Grassy certainly ran well last time and he looks dangerous to me ( that should get you off the ledge no? ) I didn't have the guts to play him straight on PH but I will be using him in exotics with real $$ combined with the Drysdale pair. The kid wasn't ready to get up so I've been checking a little just to keep my hand in. Curt V. Those sanctions are bogus. The NCAA did that just to give the others a chance to have their day. What happens on the field will be another story. BTW I wasn't talking just football as USC has won lots of Championships in other sports as well. If you add the Bruins in there it makes the rest of the country look pretty WEAK, Hehn ? DAN, you look pretty tired on your Video analysis. Phone it in for a couple days and get some rest. You've been to good to us all here on Formblog. I'm sorry to be a part of the grief you've been given lately Champ. Hey , no captcha , right arm. I take back that earlier gesture . OOPS captcha was playing hide and seek. I take back that I take that back.LOL UWE EQUALAM
PGM More than 1 year ago
Dennis, Sometimes reentries signify that the trainer is plum picking winning spots for a particular horse. If you follow a meet diligently you can sometimes snag one at a price. Typically, they'll be listed as a trainer's scratch in the final results/chart when they scratch out before being reentered. In the case of this horse, I'd with S. Taylor as he has more information than me. As with you, looking forward to the Convention!
PGM More than 1 year ago
Robert SD, As Alan said, it's a thankless job for Dan who is forced to balance FormBlog's upheaval up against the demands of "Spa Babies". There are steady improvements. I still think you should stay, though I cannot make the final decision. Chicago Gerry, Eddie Razo has been riding at Prairie Meadows in Iowa this year instead of Arlington. With PM's meet in the final stages, it makes sense to head back for the last two months of Arlington. Ned Daly, I know others have complained about it, but even I've found the cookie clearing solution at times not helpful. I guess we have another cause to take.
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Dennis Of Moline, Regarding Gavilan, they may have determined that he may be more competitive on the Turf today rather than the AWT yesterday. I actually think today comes up tougher but he is from Rock Port Harbor so he could do well. I was looking at Face Card a bit. Big purchase. A Henny Huges at 5 F. I'll consider that. Lauren L. says Hennessy is an underrated Turf Sires. At any rate, a contentious race now. Dennis, I have a brother by that name. Would really like to meet you at the Convention.. I have been to Moline many times. PGM, Did not know that about Razo. Interesting. Still in all, I was looking at the number of his AP starts, close to 15 now, and number of wins. That was what I was basing my thought about his getting a win this weekend. At a minimum he is a 10% rider. He has been successful at AP in the past, and appears to have a good agent. There are no guarantees but, he is due, was my thinking. Who knows. All of Razo's mounts are intriguing today. Am always looking for a price. I am going to be using him top and bottom today on the exacta. Other jockeys with a couple of intriguing runners maybe at a price, Thorton-Itailian Revolution, Mining For Silver Riggs, Timeless Facts, Da Grizz, Comelateleavearly, Stand And Applaud Graham- Don Misil, Petite Riviere, Four To Go Graham
blackstone More than 1 year ago
PH Picks Saratoga 10th-#6-Bearpath-Have said many times that one of my major weaknesses is getting off a horse too soon. Not this time. Bad racing luck last time, and maybe a poor ride. Major jock upgrade (IMO), loves the distance, only 4 yrs old, and sweet workout comments on the Gradeoneracing web site. I think he's a potential steal at 10-1, or higher. Monmouth 10th-#3-Rustler Hustler-babies on the turf-I don't have a clue. So I'll go with the strong ROI's-Syn/Turf and Sprint/Route-$7.75 (must be one bomb) and $3.37 respectively. Horse is currently 25-1 on PH. Del Mar 9th-#5-Kid Edward-Maybe the wise guy horse, and I'm stunned by the low M/L of 9-2. But, the horse has won on this course, Cassidy is good in Stakes Races, and the horse has much upside. Just IMO, but I think Sidney's is a sucker play-I'm not biting. We'll see. Playing on house money as I got extremely lucky in the Del Mar Feature last night with Bonifacio. Have won many times historically with prices on Kid Dollase-happened again. Mike A-thank you for your thoughts on the 9th at Saratoga-I'll stay with your old Typhoon friend, but have small win savers on Dubai and Abroad, and put all three in doubles to Bearpath and Expansion. For those who care, I think Michael Martinez wins for fun in the Santa Rosa Feature-#2, King Cola. The Trainer is also his Agent, and only puts him on live horses. He'll get bet down from 5-1 for sure, though. Maybe even going off as the chalk. All ok with me. Good luck to all of you today.
blackstone More than 1 year ago
PH Picks Saratoga 10th-#6-Bearpath-Have said many times that one of my major weaknesses is getting off a horse too soon. Not this time. Bad racing luck last time, and maybe a poor ride. Major jock upgrade (IMO), loves the distance, only 4 yrs old, and sweet workout comments on the Gradeoneracing web site. I think he's a potential steal at 10-1, or higher. Monmouth 10th-#3-Rustler Hustler-babies on the turf-I don't have a clue. So I'll go with the strong ROI's-Syn/Turf and Sprint/Route-$7.75 (must be one bomb) and $3.37 respectively. Horse is currently 25-1 on PH. Del Mar 9th-#5-Kid Edward-Maybe the wise guy horse, and I'm stunned by the low M/L of 9-2. But, the horse has won on this course, Cassidy is good in Stakes Races, and the horse has much upside. Just IMO, but I think Sidney's is a sucker play-I'm not biting. We'll see. Playing on house money as I got extremely lucky in the Del Mar Feature last night with Bonifacio. Have won many times historically with prices on Kid Dollase-happened again. Mike A-thank you for your thoughts on the 9th at Saratoga-I'll stay with your old Typhoon friend, but have small win savers on Dubai and Abroad, and put all three in doubles to Bearpath and Expansion. For those who care, I think Michael Martinez wins for fun in the Santa Rosa Feature-#2, King Cola. The Trainer is also his Agent, and only puts him on live horses. He'll get bet down from 5-1 for sure, though. Maybe even going off as the chalk. All ok with me. Good luck to all of you today.
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Mike A., U've been duly sworn in. Got UR 5 picks in the 9th & UR pick in 1st & 7th. Can't wait for you to narrow down the 5 in the 9th. Had to make it difficult, hehn ? BSB, Along w/all the sanctions from the NCAA, hehn ? Reggie Bush-league ? No ? Mike A. {again} Can't wait. Got a giddy up, in order to make it by noon. "A Slewster we will go, hi-ho a dairy O, a Slewster we will go............"..Accept my apologies...I'll be forced to Red-Board later..Me Bad.. Gone Slewster Hunting myself...Fisherman.........
KYL Syndicate More than 1 year ago
KYL Syndicate "Wagers of the Day" been a while since I posted my wagers, but as I have the afternoon off to gamble today, here are my key plays... Saturday August 14 Saratoga Race 5 #3 Capitalism At Risk Chased the favorite last out and although she started to drift in the stretch, when she was straightened out, she ran in a straight line and kicked clear late. Paco Lopez was actually looking behind as she ranged up on the turn, a sign of confidence and in this 7f race, there is little sprint speed thus granting CAPITALISM AT RISK a easy lead and the look of a easy winner. Press exacta with No Rhyme Or Reason, most consistent filly in the race. Morning line odds of 9/2 but imagine he'll be closer to 3-1 and expect a easy wire to wire win with the outcome pretty much determined after a easy half. Wagers: 3/1-7-8-9 ; pressing 3/1 Saratoga Race 9 #1 Writingonthewall Was caught up in a vicious speed duel and not surprisingly tired late in a race where a longshot closer won at 38-1. In addition, after running two big figures, not surprise to regress when hounded on the lead and today WRITINGONTHEWALL faces no such threat. Morning line odds of 5/2 but expect him to be the heavy favorite in the vicinity of even money, wire to wire as much the best. Wagers: 1/10-3-6-9 ; pressing 1/10 Saratoga Race 10 #1 Marlang Loved his win last out as he sprung right out from the gate to the lead and loped along while setting strong fractions for the 1 1/2 mile distance and when challenged, he had more than enough for the win. Is 1 for 1 at Saratoga but most important of all, MARLANG is the lone speed. I don't see anyone running with him early allowing Velazquez to nurse him along on the front end with probably a 2 or 3 length till the far turn when the other runners will start asking for run but at that point, the easy lead upfront, look for Velazquez to ask for some run and blow the race open. Morning line odds of 6-1 and will likely stay at these odds as this is a competitive field, but nevertheless great price on lone speed. Wagers: 1/7-4-5-6 ; pressing 1/7
TejanoRun More than 1 year ago
Two weeks ago, I gave an angle on trainer Jake Morreale at Louisiana but unfortunately his horse, Lightuptheshadow, scratched that day. The angle is to watch for his non-maidens to show a workout and then look for him to find a spot to run within two weeks of the workout. This doesn't happen often, but he has had some real bombs in the past eight or so years that I have tracked him. Morreale has three horses entered Saturday. Two of the horses show a recent workout, the third does not. In the 1st at LaD, #1 CASTNET KENT looks like a strong Win Place play for me. His PP’s look dreadful, just the kind of “Jake the Rake” horse that pops. The one work should be a tip-off that Morreale will have him ready to run today. Treading a bit lighter on the other angle horse, the aforementioned #1 LIGHTUP THE SHADOW in race 6. I am concerned as to why he scratched two weeks ago, I thought that was the spot, but he worked again on Aug 8. MTO entrymate #1A Euphrates River does not show a work in the past fourteen days, so I’ll take a pass on him if he draws in.
longwaytomay More than 1 year ago
Mike A, In the 7th at Saratoga today there is a horse by the name of Cinnamon Beach. I have this horse in my watch list but made no notes. (not very smart) Could you have dropped a hint that this was a horse to watch next time out?