09/08/2010 2:56PM

HandiGambling 201 (Del Mar Futurity)


Today's HandiGambling 201 exercise is the 63rd running of the Del Mar Futurity, a Grade 1 event for two-year-olds at seven furlongs over the Del Mar polytrack.

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 at 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.

#5 JUST IMAGINE will be ridden by Christian Santiago Reyes.  #9 COMMA AT THE TOP is three pounds overweight.

I have to admit that I don't have a very strong feel for the race and will use my top three selections in multi-race wagers.

#4 J P'S GUSTO has won three straight stakes races and went gate-to-wire over a polytrack that may have favored stalkers and late-runners on August 8 in the Best Pal.  While I didn't love the way he drifted out a bit in the stretch, he does have wonderful tactical speed and seems just as effective on the lead as he is from slightly off the pace.  P. Val should have him in the thick of things when the real running begins.

I really wanted to make a strong case for #7 WESTERN MOOD as he was compromised by the short field and moderate pace of the Best Pal.  That afternoon, Joel Rosario was forced to keep Western Mood, a half-brother to Grade 3 turf winner Fly by Phil from the family of Afternoon Deelites, closer to the early splits than usual and that may have sapped his stretch kick.  In the Del Mar Futurity, I believe that Rosario will take Western Mood back in the hope of making one good run.  Still, I hated the way he failed to change leads in the stretch of the Best Pal and I'm not sure he can catch J P's Gusto if he doesn't work out that little flaw. 

#6 MAJOR ART is the X-factor, a European invader adding Lasix for the first time.  He bombed as the favorite in a listed stakes race in France last time out, but the winner of that heat returned to run second in the Group 3 Prix La Rochette.  Major Art has yet to race on the main track (there are lots of grassy influences in his female family) and his lone career victory came when on the lead.  It is questionable whether he has the early speed of his American counterparts and may have to rally from off the pace in here. 

As for the others:

#1 JAYCITO, out of three-time stakes-placed router Night Edition, showed good speed in his career debut for Mike Mitchell before faltering in the final furlong.  He's stuck down on the inside and his rider, Martin Garcia, may have no choice but to gun for the front in the early going.  A prolonged pace battle would likely hurt his chances, however.

#2 RIVETING REASON blew a two-length lead with a furlong to race on August 14 and is still a maiden.  He finished ahead of a next-out winner (ninth-place finisher returned to graduate with a 69 Beyer Speed Figure), but is taking a big step up in class. 

#3 MCKENZIES WAY, an easy winner of a maiden race here on August 7, hasn't exactly been flattered by the other horses to come out of that heat (five horses returned from that race, but only one hit the board).  By the precocious Wildcat Heir, McKenzies Way worked a bullet for this, but may face more pace pressure this time.

#5 JUST IMAGINE has burned a ton of money in both lifetime starts and has yet to gain ground from the stretch call to the wire.  Still a maiden, Just Imagine has some tactical speed and may benefit from a fast pace up front.  He does have to do more if he's to pull off the upset.

#8 INDIAN WINTER is an interesting contender for Jerry Hollendorfer and Rafael Bejarano.  Bet down to even-money for his debut victory over Jaycito, Indian Winter professionally rallied past horses when it mattered in the stretch and could get a good pace setup today.  A half-brother to the fleet Grade 3 winner Sindy With an S, Indian Winter can't be counted out. 

#9 COMMA TO THE TOP won his maiden by almost nine lengths two starts back, but that was against $50,000 maiden claimers and he backed away tamely after pressing J P's Gusto in the early going of the Best Pal. 

#10 ROAD READY acted up before the start of his career debut, the $50,000 Lost in the Fog Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, but still had enough to get up in the final strides.  That was a legitimate heat with the runner-up returning to finish second in the Cavonnier Juvenile at Santa Rosa with a 62 Beyer while the fourth-finisher came back to run third to J P's Gusto in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship.  From the family of Wood Memorial winner Buddha, Road Ready goes out for a barn that does great work with young horses.

#11 GAHZNO BOB adds blinkers after pressing the pace over a closer-friendly course on July 31.  He has yet to crack the trifecta in his short career and looks in steep.

Here's how I'll play HandiGambling:

$50 Exacta:  J P's Gusto - Western Mood (4-7)
$50 Exacta:  J P's Gusto - Major Art (4-6)

Best of luck to all.


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

Quality Road's lifetime past performances are attached to the bottom of this blog post.

Due to the FormBlog convention this weekend at Arlington Park, I'll be on the run and won't be able to update comments in a timely fashion.  Please bear with me.


Quality Road.pdf616.38 KB
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Hi Everyone... A short & sweet Catch up Hello to those new here ..Jeffery, You will love this Blog...already like what I see : Those missing , Orphan Annie? ...you better bet her the next time she shows up, (HA!) ...you are never an orphan here. BSB..you know what bait to throw out, he-he-he _____________________________________________________________________________ What a weekend!! A quick sound bite: Formblog Convention "PRICELESS" Many Thanks to Dan the Black Hat Sherriff in town, Stephen Taylor ( the $$$ MAN) and our master of details PGM, who pulled off an incredible weekend of fun, frivolity , fabulous handicapping and continued friendship with the Formblog family. I can't even begin to say what a great time we all had ...The RAH enjoyed his day at the races and between the the winners, the other winners, and the Blue Thong sandwich* that Chicago Gerry got...Yes, we were ALL winners this weekend. A special Shout Out to Rose....you go girl!! and keep comming back to say Hello! We'll bring you to the horsey side, trust me :) ....your Dennis of Moline, won't know what hit him, LOL! Ok...off to play tourist in this beautiful town of Chicago...Oh, life is GOOD! VanSavant...I AM smiling today and hope you are too. gotta run! *...ask TurnbacktheAlarm for a definition ..he-he-he :) ..captcha rommod clay ...sounds ancient greek to me.
Mathieu More than 1 year ago
p ensign- Nakatani called. He's got something waiting for you at the Will Call window of the Oak Tree Jockey's room. A knuckle sandwich with lots of pepper. Available at your leisure. Joy Scott called too. She wants to know if your available Friday night. Or Saturday. Sunday will do as well. Oh hell, should I just give her your number?
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Ditto- Steve Taylor, TBTA, Dybert (Glen), and Bear regarding the Formblog Convention. Arlington Park really did a nice job and went out of their way for our group and were just outstanding in the way they treated us. Great fun and am looking forward to Formblog Convention II. Several of our fine lady Formbloggers were there including stars Cathy (TBTA), Sharon (SR Vegas), Rose (Rose of Moline), and Carol (a thoroughly pleasant surprise). They were all great and added beauty, fun, and civility to the occasion. Most of their spouses were there including our own Formblogger Dennis (Dennis of Moline) . Really nice people all. I got more hugs and kisses at the Convention than I have had for a long time - and those came from the guys, so you know the blue-thongs were great. I got to see the toenails of Carol and Cathy. Cathy originally had her shoes on. Not that I have a foot thing or anything. A couple of our Mikes were there, including the personable Mike Shutty handicapper and analyst of Horse Racing Nation. The Jim Tully was there and was a driving presence and not near the complainer I thought he would be. Ed (Mid-west ED) was there with his two handsome, well behaved kids. One son was named Tyler I think, and I forget the other sons name. Both his kids have blond hair. Ed has brown hair. Bear was there with a friend representing the great State of Nebraska. Bear is kind of a big guy. The kind of a guy you would call Bear just by looking at him. PGM - what an organizer. Most everything he set up went like clockwork. He took everything in stride as he saw all of his hard work unfold. Steve Taylor gave a rousing toast to our leader, Dan, at the post race dinner. I can honestly say we all hardily and in a heart felt manner raised our glasses to one of the nicest guys on the face of the planet- Dan Illman. Although the all imbibing may have had something to do with it, love for Dan was evident all around, and it did not hurt that he was the one picking up the tab- food and DRINKS! Scott McMannis and his wife joined our group at the dinner. Scott had some great tales about big winners insisting on taking their winnings in cash, and walking out with it. He also talked about what happened the day Arlington Park burned down. It was great seeing Dan pull out his wallet and pay the tab. I thought I noticed only a small look of pain on his face as he did so. I was thinking Dan does not often pay for much, because when he opened his wallet, a tiny cloud of dust came out, there a cobweb in there, and a moth flew out. Some of the winners: It was hard to notice all the winners but it seemed like at least one person from our group had a winner on every race. Steve Taylor was hitting on exotics including a nice Superfecta on Sunday. I know he was live late, a few the pick 4's and called ahead of time a nice ride by E.T. Baird with a $21.00 winner. Rose had that same $21.00 winner. PGM had at least a couple of nice winners on the feature races for both days. TBTA hit early I think, on Saturday. **Please note SR Vegas had a $47.00 winner on Sunday ($65.00 across the board), and she had a good handicapping reasoning behind the selection, apparently picking it at the round table discussion prior to the races beggining. As for me, I am not one to really give any indication as to whether or not I won anything. I mean I not the kind of horse-player who would jump up, raise his arms and point to himself. Nor would I pass around my tickets showing everyone I won won something. I am to dignified to do that and I think those who do are show offs. Well there were other winners I am sure, and I can't remember them all, but the point is, win or lose, a good time was had by all, brought together in a common endeavor by our great leader, Dan Illman.
Annie More than 1 year ago
KNM, Thanks!! I did what you said and I now have the picture. :) HA! And you say you're not computer-savy. LOL PGM, Thank you so much for providing the picture. It is just great. So nice to put a face to so many of the Formbloggers. I sure wish I could have been there to meet all of you in person. Annie
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Blackstone, How right you are to note the terrible injury. At the convention, Dan and I were discussing the risks of jockeys compared to NFL linemen. The conclusion was that an ambulance following the jockeys was a greater indicator of risk. Prayers to Mr. Martinez.
knm More than 1 year ago
PGM, Thanks for the picture, it's just great! How I wish I could have been there!
Laura More than 1 year ago
It sounds like a good time was had by all (as to be expected), and it was great to put faces with some of the names, thanks for posting the pic, PGM. Like Annie and others, I wish I could have been there. Hopefully, there will be another formblogger convention next year. Does anybody know what this week's handigambling race is? Laura CAPTCHA: be avictor - Yes, I'd like to be a victor, my handicaping has been slumping lately. Unless be a victor is closer to Victor/Victoria...
knm More than 1 year ago
Mike A, Maybe I should try dating the notes I make! I was pretty sure the horse had run since the Abilio race, but I hadn't noticed. Sorry about the $4.50! I will be happy to reciprocate if you come to WO, and will throw in a hot roast beef sandwich if you like. I have never played Suffolk Downs and know nothing about the track. I sometimes watch the races from there and Finger Lakes, but I have no opinion on how they play. I will file the tip on the Hertler horse (and date it, LOL). I do pay attention to him, he doesn't have high win %, but very often pays well. Usually on the grass, though. I have never had much success playing tracks other than my own, and the New York circuit. Although the last couple of years I've done OK at the Keeneland meets. I'm a very small bettor, so I really need those longshots!
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Michael Martinez Injuries Michael Martinez has suffered life-threatening injuries when his mount on Sunday threw him as it fell, and then rolled over him. His injuries include three thoracic vertebrae shattered into multiple fragments, a severe head injury, six broken ribs, torn blood vessels on both sides of his ribs, and bleeding in both lungs. He is a paraplegic. To make matters worse, if that's possible, his fiancee is due to deliver their first child any day now. This is yet another severe and extremely sobering reminder of the dangers in our sport, both for the jockeys and the horses. He is one of the best liked and respected jockeys in No Cal, and had a bright, if not brilliant, future. My thoughts and prayers are with Michael and his loved ones.
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
BSB, This Underdog cartoon is right up UR alley, w/the Take-Out Monsters.........No ? "When in this world the headlines read--of those whose hearts are filled w/greed--who rob & steal from those in need--to right this wrong w/blinding speed--goes Underdog, Underdog.." {You}. "When Polly's {Sweet Poly Purebred} in trouble, I am not slow, for it's hip-hip-hip & away I go.." Voice of Wally Cox & sung by the Butthole Surfers{aint making it up}...Riff Raff, etal.....{villains}.