08/20/2010 1:29PM

HandiGambling 199 (Jockey Challenge), Top Beyers

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Today's HandiGambling 199 exercise is the fifth race from Arlington, a $5,000 starter allowance at About 1 Mile on the turf.  This is the Jockey Challenge event at Arlington featuring riders from the past and present.

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 turf is FIRM with the rail out at About 6 feet in Lane 2.

Let's scratch #5 LACER. 

For #7 SNAPPHOK, make the rider Otto Thorwarth. 

For #1A HEZA HARLEY MAN, make the rider Zoe Cadman.

I think that #4 SAINT LEON can take the field gate-to-wire under jockey Inez Karlsson.  A winner of five of his last six races (the lone defeat on turf), Saint Leon is stretching out following four sprint races and has enough early lick to establish himself on the front end. 

Can he get the distance? 

I believe he can as he won a $5,000 'N2L' claimer last year at 1 Mile and 70 Yards at Mountaineer. 

Can he turf? 

That's the rub.  There isn't a ton of grass on the bottom  half of this pedigree.  Still, the perceived pace advantage coupled with his current sharp form makes Saint Leon a dangerous contender in this spot. 

Like Saint Leon, #10 BOBBY SANDS is winless on grass.  He was just beaten a neck over this course and distance two starts back, however, and has enough tactical speed to be in close attendance to Saint Leon going into the first turn.  His hustling jockey, the aggressive Earlie Fires, figures to give Bobby Sands first crack at Saint Leon going into the final turn and Bobby Sands is fast enough to win this on his best day.

#8 MINING FOR SILVER, has won four times on grass, but the last time he prevailed in a turf race was on January 15, 2008 at Tampa Bay Downs.  He made up some ground last time out for high-percentage trainer Larry Rivelli and wheels back on short notice.  Mining for Silver has earned over a quarter of a million dollars in his career and the gray gelding has enough tactical speed to work out a midpack trip under James Graham.

#9 MOMENTARILY's best races have come on dirt and he will likely go off a big price here after a 33 3/4-length drubbing in a one-turn mile over polytrack.  He ran an even race two back over the synthetic surface and wasn't disgraced three back on good turf.  He's an interesting exotics play at a big price. 

#2 GIANT SHIFT seems to be in excellent form and wouldn't be a surprise at all for Jesus Castanon and Frank Kirby.  He just missed in his last two races on grass and will make the third start of the form cycle while drawing a ground-saving post position.  He seems like a one-run closer, however, and will need some pace and race luck in order to win this.  Still, he seems very logical.

#7 SNAPPHOK won the Chester House Stakes on turf at Arlington last year over soft going and may have been a sharp $5,000 claim on June 3 for trainer Janice Ely.  Snapphok ran well despite no pace help in his last two races.  With faster fractions up front, the Illinois-bred has a puncher's chance.

#3 SERENGETI TOUR has a tendency to be overeager in the early portion of his races and we can throw out the most recent performance over polytrack.  He just missed two back, finishing ahead of Giant Shift in the process.  His trainer, Doug Matthews, is having a wonderful year, but Serengeti Tour may need a Beyer boost to upend these. 

I'm not picking him, but I'm certainly rooting for FormBlogger Steve Taylor's #6 THAT I AM.  A solid winner going six furlongs over the polytrack last time out, That I Am is a multiple winner at route distances.  He may sit closer to the pace than usual on the stretchout in distance, but still must prove himself on the lawn (5-0-0-2 in turf races). 

#1 WAYOFF finished second in the Springfield Stakes going a one-turn mile over polytrack back in 2007 and he'll go out for the always-dangerous tandem of owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Nick Canani.  Wayoff makes the second start following the claim and has cracked the superfecta in his last six starts.  He is 0-12 on turf, however, and seems better suited to the main track.

#1A HEZA HARLEY MAN was a reported vet scratch on July 29.  He'll make his first start following the Calabrese claim, but has been beaten a combined 16 lengths in both career turf races.

I'll play it this way:

$50 Exacta - Saint Leon - Bobby Sands (4-10)
$50 Exacta - Saint Leon - Mining for Silver (4-8)

Best of luck to all.

***

Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (August 9 - August 15) :



Here are the lifetime past performances for the week's highest Beyer earner:

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Curt V. More than 1 year ago
BSB or Sidney's Chunky Bar, Got to go see if I can make some $$..Mike A. didn't leave me any..& waiting for you, is like waiting for a fish.. Was that the day Seattle Slew almost died, or when SS destroyed Exceller in the previous race or was it the day Angel Cordero fell asleep{admitted in book}, while waiting for the Pig, Affirmed to make his move{his 2nd attempt}..while Affirmed got thumped by 15 lengths..U know the great west hope. ???????????? Which ones ? How 'bout all of the above....? LOL....... I'll be back at you>>I'll say one thing> You sure are animated & real easy to get engaged..in a dialogue w/ & about inferior equine racing......Seriously, do you think I was only trying to rile you up ? Man, you are fun......BUTTS: really easy....Bring on those next TC pretenders..I did have LAL though.......Unlike you, I can see the forrest thru the trees on a very rare occasion.....
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Mike A . I'm not disputing your handicapping prowess in any way. I believe your pretty good and have lots of knowledge to share. Afterall they don't really pay much for knowing historical racing facts, but I like to know them anyway. My heads got enough room in there for both.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
CURT V . you hold the triple crown series in high esteem. Most racing neophytes do. They don't call it Triple Crown Productions for nothing. Know what I mean ? Do you know how many BELMONT winners have won the BC Classic ? A.P. INDY thats it. Its been 20yrs since a Derby winner won the BC Classic. How do you like your TC runners now. Six BC Classic winners have won at least one TC race. Four of the six were based at Santa Anita. Yeah thats right. That guys name was Sancho Panza, lol. Pancho Villa was a western horse that went east and stole the lunch money a couple times. LOL.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
BTW MIKE A. As you know I don't give a rats tail about BSFs especially on turf and as you also know BSFs don't come back much bigger than 102 on turf. I have no squawk with any of that. I do however have a squawk with the often repeated notion of people that are clueless , that horses in California only run against the same few horses over and over. Its not true. As for biases there is definetly a western bias . Western horses keep beating up eastern ones repeatedly this year.LOL How come that NY champ Forever Together didn't try the Beverly D today? Maybe she's waiting for a crack at Perfect Shirl ? LOL As a rule california horses aren't as good as eastern ones ? Thats a laugh . California horses have always gone east and stole their lunch. Hey CURT V can you say Exceller. Spare us the Samuel B. Riddle imatations Mike. I'm not going to recite them all again I've done that. I suggest you buy the book Champions and bone up on some history Mike. It might jog that foggy memory of yours . BTW CURT V yeah flying Paster faced BID several times. When bid was out here horses would run against him. Unlike NY where he had to run around by himself because there wasn't a horse or trainer in the whole damn state with the guts to face him. Ever here of REY EL SANTA ANITA ? he thumped Domino by 10 lengths in the American Derby the richest race in the country in 1894. Ever hear of Emperor of Norfolk he made a habit of beating up east coast superstars? How about Rey del Caredas? He gave the 1895 Preakness /Belmont winner Belmar 34 lbs and a 10 length beating in the Brookwood hdcp in Brooklyn. THATS how long california horses have been going east to prove a point. I'm not even going to bother listing the endless list of eastern champs that couldn't get out of their own way in the west. Ofcoarse eastern horses don't use Bute. They use Cobra Venom and strictnyne and if they run for R.dutrow maybe a little Herion too if he can spare any from his stash. BTW looking at the previous winners of the Million I don't see a single one that was based in NY . hell canada has sent out more Million winners than NY. LOL. Not to good in the BC turf either. LOL
Blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Curt V, I think I've told you before that I WAS there the day your hero tried to come to California and GOT DIRT KICKED IN HIS FACE ALL THE WAY TO THE TURN WHEN HE QUIT LIKE A PIG TO BE BEATEN 16 LENGTHS OR MORE BY JUST WHATEVER WE HAD IN THE BARN AT HOLLYPARK. ok your disposed of, better get your argument fixed, big fella. Now Mike A . I'm surprised an inteligent man like you would stoop to parroting the tired mantra that there are only a few beat up old horses in california and they just keep running against each other over and over. There were grI stakes today for 3yr old fillies at Dmr and Saratoga lets check those fields. HMMMM, the Alabama (4 stake winners), 1 horse from DMR , the winner . 1 horse from Del , is that that little state thats not even as big as LA county? No matter she ran 2nd. 4 horses training in NY and facing each other repeatedly, UP THE TRACK. There is a reason Blind luck keeps going back there and eating the locals lunch , because she ain't no lock in her backyard. The DMR Oaks (9 stake winners) lets see 1 from Ireland ,1 from england, 1 from Canada , 1 from San Francisco ( everybodys always saying SF is like a whole other country but anyway its about 700-800 miles from dmr) 1 from hollywood ,2nd. 5 from DMR including the winner a gr1 winner on two surfaces . the Beverly D, 1 from eng., 1from kee. 2nd, 1 from CD, 1 from fai 3rd, 1 from DMR the winner, 1 from france, 1 from chicago 4th. 1 From Bel UP THE TRACK ,1 from Can. Thats a grade 1 stake for fillies and mares 3&up . Where were all those superior east coast runners ? Saving themselves for a GR III so a canadian N1x can take the money from them ? HMMM, Three gr.I 's for fillies and mares 3 winners ALL BASED AT DMR thats just f&M's. Yes , I remember Pioneer of the Nile, multiple GR 1 winner, the guy that beat all but 1 in the derby and won me $ 340 off a $100 show bet. I also remember Lookin at lucky, Line of David, Conveyance, The other Baffert that took the money in West Virginia etc,etc,etc,ad infinitum. So NY draws horses from calder, Gp, Tampa LOL, mountaineer LOL, Luarel/pimlico LOL , Philly, CT, Penn LOL, monmouth/ aquaduect LOL ROF PMP. Hey you probably draw some from Presque Ilse downs , Suffolk , and Fort Erie too LOL. How about Rockingham park and Colonial LOL. I guess you don't pull from GREAT LAKES DOWNS anymore that probably hurt the quality of those stellar NY fields LOL. We run a fair circuit out here so horses the calibur of the horses at those fine eastern tracks have someplace to run. Those fair tracks OUT HANDLE all those tracks in the above paragragh LOL. We've got MULES there that can outrun the horses at mountaineer and penn national .LOL You should ask Mark Casse how that worked out for him when he brought a string out here 2 yrs in a row and even brought his little girly jockey with him. Oh yeah, thats right they went home. Oh yeah they always looked like they had the best horse, they just didn't. Last but not least, The best euro invaders choose California as a base about 4 out of 5 . Not to mention a steady stream of South Americans like Gentleman,Candy Ride, Bayakoa , Paseana etc etc etc etc You might be able to dispute a couple things in this post . LIke the part about the Mules and maybe on a good day aquduect might be able to out handle Santa Rosa, barely, maybe. LOL. Do me a favor Mike list all the NY east coast based world beaters in each division in your opinion. EAST COAST BASED not mid- west based horses that come in to take the free lunch being handed out by all those superior NY trainers and owners. GOOD LUCK LOL
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
AP Saturday Race 1 Mescalero Agave Race 3 Lose None Race 4 Exchanging Kisses Race 5 Economic Bailout Race 6 Beleliu Rcae 7 Perfect Shower Race 8 Paddy O Prado Raee 9 Eclair de Lune Race 10 Taajaweed Race 12 Thunder Zip
Mike A More than 1 year ago
I wanted to mention, but of course got sidetracked, that while I believe, in print, horses from CA are scrutinized much more than their East coast counterparts, as far as a bias conspiracy? No I don't think so. It's a natural selection.....as I've mentioned many times, horses in CA for the most part run against other horses from CA. While it may be exciting for the fans out there it doesn't prove much. Can anyone say Pioneer Of The Nile. I will acknowledge there are some good ones out there and now with the industry situation we're getting to see them here on the right coast. It's not a bias, there is no conspiracy......it's just reality, as a rule the horses out west aren't as good as there eastern counterparts. Remember I said as a rule.....not all. So why did I mention that? Because someone mentioned the bias when commenting on Sydney's Candy measly 102 beyer for his last romp. First let me say, if there is a "bias" it's against tuirf runners in general. Nature of the beast, racing on dirt is "harder" than turf. At least to the Beyer boys. While I rarely use beyers in my turf handicapping, all the numbers are relative. Whether they are lower than they should be doesn't matter as long as all the races are graded then same. My biggest problem with beyers is they are given par figures......they're subsequent numbers are based on those numbers. The Beyers do not identify a superior performance relative to the class of race. To recognize a superior performance they would have to give the winner a figure much higher than the rest, either that or elevate everyone in relation to the winner. Which would give false beyers on some of the entrants, so everyone is downgraded. When Chernobyl's Hero and Chasin Alex managed to come home in 10:2 in there respective races they should have gotten much higher beyers, but then what to do with the rest? So they recieved Beyers in the low 70's, it's an anomoly afterall......when scientist's are confronted with a phenomenom that makes their respective theories "dicey" they call it an anomoly and move on. Don't ask, don't tell as it were. So when it comes to beyers between the east and west, first remember when it comes to turf they're all downgraded, second I believe Mr. Beyer sees the forrest for the trees......the beyers out there reflect the fact that the same entrants are always running against one another. The Beyers are trying to give numbers that can be used when one of those horses venture east. Perhaps things will change a bit when they go back to dirt, but then again it will be relative to the speed of the new course. I wouldn't let myself get worked up in a lather over it.....it is a reflection of reality. I've learned to use beyers or ignore them as I see fit, they've never beaten me. Besides......Mr. Beyer needs a way to make money like all of us do. Mike A
Mike A More than 1 year ago
Good Morning everyone.......a mention. Laura's chat room. There's nothing better than listening to and talking horses with folks that love the sport and are very knowledgable. While I'm mentioning the chat room, Laura.....I apologize for jumping the gun a couple of times. I was doing a few things at once and got ahead of myself. My enthusiasm sometimes knows no bounds. Todays races......The only races I would consider betting are the Beverly D, the Del Mar Oaks and the Million. Last night in the chat room I went over the races quickly, today I'll be a little more scrutinizing. The rest of the races and thanks to Arlington there are many I just don't see any value. I'll go over a few and see where I'm at. Del Mar Oaks; While Evening Jewel has done nothing much wrong.......but a move here, a cut corner there and you could say that about a few in here. That's my problem with CA racing........how could it be that 4 or 5 different horses are within a length or two in ability. It's highly unlikely, racing luck plays a part, a big part. There are a few unknowns here, the Euros? well if it were NY I'd chuck em, they don't seem to run as well on the right coast, but the left coast? I'm chucking them anyway. What to make of Harmonious? Was the American Oaks a true Grade One? Not in my book, Harmonious beat the also rans from CA......which should at least put her with the winners....no? I'm of a mind to think not. I'm certainly not infallable, but for my money I have to go with It Tiz, running against Evening Jewel in her last, where she had an outside post .( I should note here that any post outside of 7 at DMR is murder for a stalker when there's speed inside) Her jockey D. Flores decided taking back was the better part of valor, well it was that or getting parked wide the whole trip. Not a bad choice and It Tiz showed her versatility by coming into the stretch 4-5w, and closing to lose by 1 3/4's while 6th. Sixth.....like I said these are very close in ability no? Anyway, with a good trip, which I believe she will get now, with both Evening Jewel and Antares inside of her, she has the gate speed to sit the trip 3rd or 4th. I'm not a fan of D. Flores, or Mr. Glatt, but I think It Tiz wins inspite of them. I like Evening Jewel and Perfect Shirl in the exacta's. The Secretariat......not worth the effort. A prohibitive favorite....a Euro unknown, and a front runner who likes the course with give. No money there, nice race to watch though.....I'm interested to see what Wigmore Hall does.......Paddy O Prado is a good gauge. The Beverly D Perhaps I should mention no one in the chat room liked It Tiz......didn't say as much, but they didn't have to. Now a few folks liked the horse I liked in this race, funny thing though....given some more time to look however I'm wavering. I'm concerned with the distance factor. The horse? Gypsy Warning.......I have to look somemore, but as of right now I'm leaning to Eclair de Lune- Hot Cha Cha and Ave. I wish the course were firm......I'd take Acoma, if I were David Carroll I'd suck it up and scratch, if the course is soft. The Islin?? Love Redding Colliery....next. Arlington Million. Gio Pont'si no slouch, don't know why he gets no respect...well actually I do and some of it's deserved. I'm Liking two euros here, last night it was Tazeez, today I added Summit Surge. Those two with Gio Ponti. The Alabama......The only interest I have here is to see what Harve de Grace does.......As I mentioned last night in the chat room, while the leaders of the division are entered, I don't believe these are true distance horses, they happen to be by default. Someone has to win......I'll know more by how fast they come home. Well that leads to the only race I looked at so far at Saratoga, the 7th. I agree with the Syndicate.....the Plot Thickens should run better today. I don't know what Chavez has been thinking lately. I've mentioned this to lawduck and also on the blog, but he's been running and gunning almost every horse he's been on lately. Whether by design to give the horses a "leg up" as per the trainers instructions or a strategy he concocted I don't know. I've been following horses he's been on, to see how they perform next out, with or without him and there have been a few winners. I like Lenclud, but with that said I like Woodrunner. While on paper he seems to be going up in class, IMo he's actually running with lesser horses in this contest. At 10-1 I believe he's an overlay. I'm combining him with Dr. Alex and The Plot Thickens. Of course Dr. Alex needs to be a bit closer early, or at the very least be in contention on the turn. Garrett rides back.....smart guy, I think he'll do what he can. Good Luck to everyone today. As a final note......Now that the first few weeks of Saratoga are gone so are the betting opps I saw early in the meet, as it is with any meet. I probably won't be betting much here on out. There just isn't as many chances. What I will do however is note all horses that were comprimised by the race course (the inner) be it that they don't "like" Saratoga, or were closers who didn't close, but like the bigger turns at Belmont. I also will note horses who did win because of the track and will be bet accordingly back at Belmont. I always say the first two weeks of any meet are the most lucrative.......there will be longshots when they come back to Belmont and you will have them if you do your homework. Mike A
Steve Taylor More than 1 year ago
We decided to draw a line thru That I Am's race yesterday. 2 weeks is too s oon to come back, especially for his first route in a long time. Since AP is my home track here are today's horses to avoid (AKA my picks!) 1st-9-Carson Diablo had 4 thirds as a 2yo barn 17% with this type of layoffs. 10/1 ML would be a nice way to start million day 2nd-6-Behr Fact off a big poly race 3rd-6-Say Jas could take to grass at a HUGE price! 4th-7-Exchanging Kisses is FIRST TIME MILLER! (remember he had a horse run 2nd last week that I published as a pick on the blog at 40/1 and an 8/1 winner both making their first starts for his barn.) 5th-8-Turnpike Tommy could get loose on the lead at 15/1. 6th-5-Hart of a Cowboy is 15/1 ML but Joe K got this one wrong-My guess is 5/1. Is Catalano who's 32% 2nd off layoff and the horse should like grass . (Don't forget 1-Baby Carlos in gimmix-just won as a firster at 25/1 and should like grass as well) 7th-6-Armstrong Mill has sharp connections and seldom runs a bad race. (False Favorite Alert: I'm not sold on Free Fighter at all) 8th-Actually a chance to talk with Jerry Bailey about this race and he likes Paddy-did say he hadn't looked closely but I'll take the European 4-Wigmore Hall. Beat older for a quarter million dollars 2 back. 9th-I played a small pick 6 and I singled 10-Ave in what is a wide open race. Top brisnet and top computrak. (For those who hadn't heard, Rainbow View is scratched) 10th-with all the buzz about Gio Ponti I actually LOVE 9-Tazeez. I think if he runs back to the june 16th race at this distance he wins this. And 7-Rahystrada is live as well but that may be my admiration on Inez talking. 11th-7-Elusive Champagne-bred for 2 turns and grass and who better to stretch him out than Leparaux. 12th-6-Thunder Zip has a HUGE turf tomlinson and will be overlooked because he only beat Maiden Claimers at Ellis. There's some money to be made at Arlington today. Hope I get a little bit of it.
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Fisherman, I guess your goona have to deal w/me too. You're goona have to bring a whole lot more ammo to the table than you have presented here. How 'bout Flying Paster to go along w/Pioneer & a whole lot more of the pretenders. Your shock full of them out there & a whole lot of years of practice...This aint the Pancho Villa gang from the last article..LOL...I was w/U there, butts: not here Paisano'...I'm w/Mikey on this one......This East Coast bias bull-bleep is nothing but a GIGANTIC excuse of the West Coast short-givings..What do you have like 1 TC winner in about 100 years....Don't even attempt to try & tell me when & who won a TC race. I'm well aware & I was making an exaggeration, in order to bolster the point you are well aware. Go back to fishing.. Oh Yeah! reCaptcha is: "Sidney's Candy -57L"