09/15/2010 1:33PM

HandiGambling 202 (Belmont Race 8)


Today's HandiGambling 202 exercise is the eighth race from Belmont Park, a $50,000 starter allowance for fillies and mares going six 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 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.

It's a beautiful afternoon in New York.  The track is fast.  Let's scratch #5 SORORITY SISTER.
I didn't like the late Pick 4 sequence so the HandiGambling exercise will likely be my main action of the day. 

#2 STANFORD DOLLY goes out for the red-hot Bruce Levine and these connections have historically done well with horses shipping in from Southern California.  Although the beaten favorite at Saratoga in her NYRA debut, Stanford Dolly chased a gate-to-wire winner over a track that was favoring front-runners.  A hard-knocking mare that has cracked the trifecta in her last 11 races, Stanford Dolly has won twice at this distance over turf, has never been off the board in four dirt starts, and may work out a nice trip tracking the speedy #1 STAR ORCHID and #6 VAUGHNDIDIT entering the turn. 

Star Orchid, like Stanford Dolly, is entering this race following a Beyer top.  She'll go second off the layoff for high-percentage trainer Steve Asmussen, switches to Ramon Dominguez, and should be on or near the lead from her inside post.  The third-place finisher from the August 15 race at Monmouth, the stakes-placed Dakota Doll, returned to run third in a Jersey-bred, $17,500/'n2x' optional claimer at Monmouth with a 74 Beyer.  There is a possibility of an early pace battle with Vaughndidit, however, and Star Orchid doesn't show a published workout in the last 18 days.

#4 PLEASANT SISTER looks like an intriguing price possibility.  She'll step up confidently in class following an even try in a $16,000 starter at Saratoga, and will attempt to repeat the second-off-the-layoff angle that resulted in a win at Aqueduct on April 16.  Trainer Bob Barbara also has Vaughndidit in this race and that one's early speed may help set things up nicely for Pleasant Sister, a filly showing upward Beyer mobility in recent races. 

#3 CRAFTY GEM missed Saratoga and has only raced twice since March 10.  When she's on her game, she's pretty good as evidenced by her off-the-pace win going two-turns three starts back and her gate-to-wire win at seven furlongs last time out.  I'm not sure she's as quick as either Star Orchid or Vaughndidit, however, and may have to rate a bit in this spot.  Also, she's been a little better at longer distances in her career.  Note that the fourth-place finisher from the July 18 race returned to win for $10,000 at Saratoga with a 62 Beyer. 

#7 FIVEFIFTEEN will make her first start for new connections and the barn is 3-9 (33%, $9.03 ROI) over the past year with first-time claims.  She may get a nice pace to rally into this afternoon, but her fastest races have come around two turns at Finger Lakes.  The runner-up from the August 20 race returned to finish third with a 70 Beyer in a $10,000/'n1x' optional claimer at Finger Lakes, but was the only runner out of five to come out of the race to crack the trifecta.

#8 A SMART JUDGE is in good form and returns to the track and trip of her maiden win in June.  She blew a big late lead at Saratoga before being put up via disqualification, however, and the early fractions figure to be faster in this race.  The turnback to six furlongs coupled with an outside post position can help, but A Smart Judge needs slight improvement to upend these.

#9 CONGA BELLA won her maiden by almost nine lengths in March for Richard Dutrow Jr., was a reported vet scratch on May 7, and has lost her subsequent four races.  Last time out, she raced wide over a speed-favoring track, but faltered badly on the turn to finish over 20 lengths behind Stanford Dolly.  I wouldn't be surprised if the race flow is similar to the May 13 heat at Belmont, a race in which Conga Bella rallied to finish second by a nose, but she needs to turn things around from her last few races.

Here's how I'll play HandiGambling:
$50 Exacta - Stanford Dolly - Star Orchid (2-1)
$50 Exacta - Stanford Dolly - Pleasant Sister (2-4)

Best of luck to all.


FiguresMan More than 1 year ago
Dan, WAAAAAYYYYY OT, but what's up with the new speed figures on QH PP's? What type of speed figure are these and where did they come from? I'm not a huge QH player, but I like to play Los Al pick 4's on occasion and just noticed this new addition. Any more info on what these figures are? Thanks!
blackstone More than 1 year ago
P.S. On The Commitment to the Martinez Fund To be honest about things, most of my ideas in this life turn out poorly-they are not well thought out and/or grounded in logic. So to be clear about my commitment to the Martinez Fund, I have a minimum contribution level in my mind which I will make whether or not JJ Hernandez ever wins a race such as I described in my earlier post. I sure hope I'm right about "Martinez off-Hernandez on" concept, but if not, the Fund will still get back some of my prior winnings.
Annie More than 1 year ago
HA! I just realized that MACKEREL SNAPPER is a filly. BSB & Mike A, There's your answer. You know teenage girls. They're prone to sulking. Probably she was sulking because she doesn't think her name accurately reflects her cuteness. You can see how that could happen. And she decided she wasn't going to run in that first race. :) And here I had her winning the 2011 Kentucky Derby. LOL Well, my Captcha explains why I had such a lapse. I had "lobulated berrings". :) Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
KNM, No, you're okay. The blog designation at the top of the page was, indeed, gone for awhile. Had to go down toward the bottom of the page where SOME of the bloggers are featured with pictures, then click on More blogs, and then scroll down to find Dan's blog and click on that. I'm thinking, "Oh great, now they're going to make it twice as hard to get to Formblog." Thankfully, it reverted to normal later. :) Annie
knm More than 1 year ago
Annie, Thanks for the reassurance. At my age, I'm always conscious of the 'I've finally lost it' possibility, LOL!
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Blackstone I mailed out a check this morning to the Martinez Fund. I hope that thing's get better for the young man. My thought's and prayer's go out to Michael Martinez and his family. He need's to think of life as a one day at a time journey. He will get better with time. May God Bless Him. Whackymacky Out!!!
Jeffrey More than 1 year ago
Greetings, Blackstone, thanks for posting the information re: the Michael Martinez fund. That's a kind gesture on your part--and I wish you success on your Hernandez wagers. Blackseabass, thanks for welcoming me and helping me acclimate to Formblog culture and protocol. I'm not exactly a seasoned handicapper like many on this board (yourself included) so I appreciate having all this wisdom concentrated in one convenient spot. I do have a couple of questions based on acronymns and terms you used (I tried Google first). First question: What is a BILLS-PHILS wager? Also, I think you insinuated that 'LSD' was the forum moderator or some sort of authority on this board. I scrolled back through some posts and couldn't find anybody with that name. What does 'LSD' stand for? General question for everybody: Does anybody here hail from the Twin Cities area (MN). My home track is Canterbury Park (where I used to work). I thought about making the trek to Arlington for the Formblogger convention but thought it was too far to drive but too close to take a flight. If you hold these in the future, it might be interesting to attend w/ people from MN. Lastly, I'm really enjoying the dialogue on this board, which is helping me adapt to the modern game. Back in the mid 90's when I first started playing the horses, I thought I had an edge because I used PC Dosage and studied breeding. I tried to specialize on maiden races and horses attempting new things (e.g. surface change, new distance, muddy track, etc.). Now this information is so readily available that it's time to find other strategies. I spent years learning how to beat online poker and once I became a consistent winner I wanted a new challenge. So here I am: trying to take on an extremely nuanced game w/an oppressive take-out. Fortunately, I consider this recreation and whether I win or lose is fine (of course my goal is to win). I extract incredible enjoyment just watching the races and trying out new strategies, even if I make petty wagers or participate in free handicapping competitions. Thank you, Jeffrey
PGM More than 1 year ago
Jeffrey, Welcome to FormBlog. I think Annie is another from your home state, but I am not 100% certain. One thing that might be useful to you (and others) for Future Conventions at AP is to a use a long-distance bus service like Megabus. Most of the major midwest cities have service, including the Twin Cities and Chicago. According to the site, http://us.megabus.com/Default.aspx, it's an 8 hour trip one-way at $34/person one-way for MPLS-CHI service. IN CHI, the dropoff point is about four blocks from a train station that provides service from the city to Arlington Park. Most of the out-of-towners used a car/carpooled since AP is about 30 min away from O Hare by car, and for getting to/from hotels. Also, LSD = Long Shot Dan = Sheriff Dan = This board's fearless leader.
Jeffrey More than 1 year ago
Greetings PGM, Thanks for welcoming me to Formblog. You mentioned a person by the name of 'Annie.' It's quite possible that I recognize this individual, although I've never actually had a discussion with her. I'm only 70% or 80% certain. If it's the person I'm thinking of she's middle-aged, shorter brown hair, glasses, and usually attends with a group of three other horseplayers. Also, I remember this person talking about smacking a big $2.40 superfecta. But i'm sort of takikng a stab in the dark. The last time I was at Canterbury was two months ago--well, I actually went there ten days ago to pick up a paper copy of DRF as I don't have an operating printer. I used to have a lot of friends out there (many have passed away due to old age) when I was a regular horseplayer in the late 90's. Thanks for the information and link to Megabus. This seems like a viable and inexpensive option. Alternatively, I could possibly take Amtrack. I had a college roomate from the Chicago burbs who used to take Amtrack round-trip to visit his family. The upside is that I like trains. I'm willing to take the bus though. I've survived Greyhound from Las Vegas to Minneapolis, so I think I can survive a bus ride from Minneapolis to Chicago. Also, I love driving. The only problem is that driving anywhere between Madison and Chicago is pure hell unless you love traffic, maniacal drivers, and tolls. Lastly, thanks for telling me what the acronym 'LSD' means. Thanks again, Jeffrey
Jeffrey More than 1 year ago
PGM: Thanks for welcoming me to Formblog. I'm overwhelmed by the positive response and willingness to accomodate me as an inquisitive newcomer. I appreciate the info and link to the Megabus website. And thanks for spelling out what LSD stands for (and here I thought it meant Limited Slip Differential or an illegal drug). Please excuse me if I responded twice to the same comment. I inadvertently hit the wrong sequence of keys on my laptop and may have deleted my original response while trying to hit 'submit.' TurnBackTheAlarm: Thanks for the additional information re: Megabus. It sounds like a price-conscious and convenient option. And thanks for the advance warning about price disparities, which hinge on time of day and date of departure. I'm going to do some further research and see what options make the most sense. If worse comes to worse, I could always drive . I used to live in Ann Arbor, MI and frequently passed through Chicago. It's not that long of a drive depending on when you leave. By the way, I wish you a safe, successful and comfortable surgery. Also, you shouldn't spoil your son with such lavish transportation options; make him "Go Greyhound"! Just kidding. Thanks again. Jeffrey
PGM More than 1 year ago
Jeffrey, Once upon a time we were all newcomers. So don't be worried. As for computer issues, there was a major Blog upheaval at the start of the SAR meet. Again, no need to panic. (OFF TOPIC: If you used Amtrak into CHI, the terminus is inside Union Station. If you used Megabus, the stop is outside Union Station. Both put you within walking distance of another station, Ogilive (nee Northwestern), which has direct CHI-to-Arlington Park service. As for the stereotype of Illinois you presented: it's still somewhat valid. The CHI suburbs can be seen as a giant congested toll zone (with rotating work zones), and I usually scoff at any survey saying IL drivers are good drivers. Sorry, fellow IL residents.)
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Sheriff Dan, I saw your pix w/ the Black Cowboy Hat. Seeing you had a perplexing time getting to the track on time, are you giving new meaning to the term, "Taking the Red Eye Special"? Fisherman, -Glad to see you getting acquainted w/the "Smelt Water" oasis dilemna...... -I have no clue about the Aqua Caliente thing, or the horse who ran 4th..& since you're on a trivia encroachment, here's an easy one::& it aint the Slewster himself.. Which horse holds the NA record as Sire of the Year, 7 consecutive years running & then again 4 years later, bringing his total to 8...& he only lived 17 years.......& I firmly believe this record still stands as we speak........
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Whacky, I play at the ring. Ofcoarse at the ring you need to thank goodness for a lot of small morsels. Chip Chip Chip away taking what they give you. Much like the rest of the fairs only with better horses on avg. My biggest placer ever was at suffolk $108 to place. It was over 300-1 in the win pool. Strictly a Tote Profile play. MMM, deep fried _____ on a stick , delicious , tastes like chicken doughnuts !!!! BSB out !!!!!
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Jeffrey, PGM has taken care of the LSD ? Now for the Bills-Phils ? Not on Google? It probably will be by tomorrow. LOL. I tossed that bait out several days ago without a sniff so I apreciate the bite. Even Curt V's nephew said nobody's biting ! A little background ." Black Butte Bill" is my much older brother. Phil is the legendary George Smith aka" Pittsburgh Phil ". Phil played in the days before pari-mutual betting and he was able to "set up" arbotrage situations for himself by making conspicuos bets on a horse he considered a line out. The buzz would create a "hot" horse and the bookies would begin to lower the odds offered on that horse. The odds were fixed so Phil would have the "hot" horse at the best odds offered. The Bookies would need to attract action on the other horses so they would offer more enticing odds on them. He would then have his "secret agents " place bets on the other competitors at what were now inflated odds and would be in a "must win " position no matter the result. We can't do that. What we can do though is find a favorite in a field of 6 or 7 that we feel confident will MISS the board. We need to be confident, as the favorite hits the board near 70%. If a favorite like that can be isolated then thats all we need to know. We can box the other 5 or 6 in the tri and expect an avg. return of a bit over $300 . We don't need to know who the winner is only that the favorite will run out. It doesn't need to be a prohibitive favorite. If any favorite misses the tri the price increases tremendously. I had a sweeper once at Great lakes downs or maybe it was Canterbury when the tri came 7th choice, 6th choice, 5th choice. The whole pool was less than $3000. In California or NY it wouldn't likely sweep it but it would still probably pay more than $3000. Picking favorites that MISS the board is not as easy as it sounds so be careful. Practice on paper until you know if your good enough at it to make it part of your wagering arsenal. Thanks again for asking.
Jeffrey More than 1 year ago
Greetings Blackseabass, I totally appreciate your detailed explanation of the Bills-Phils wager and its historical origins. As handicappers, we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to identify probable winners. It's a useful exercise to approach handicapping from the opposite point of view: identifying the losers. More specifically, identifying false favorites (especially ones we believe have no chance of hitting the board). This wager makes good intuitive sense, but sounds like it can be pretty expensive. I would speculate that a person who is good at physicality handicapping (i.e. observing horse behavior and looking for changes that could signal a poor performance) could really exploit this angle. What would you say is the most important factor in executing a successful Bills-Phils Wager? Thank you, Jeffrey PS: how did Annie hit 6 out of 7 exactas in one day (directed at anybody willing to answer)
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
So, you want to play Suffolk Downs: The only place in town on Tuesday where the Wall Street Boys play with your money to take a shot at 10% return on their investments. Race 1 2/5 Shot #6 Just a Dream $9K to SHOW Ran 2nd. Race 2 1/5 Shot #5 All Verses $51,233 to SHOW Ran 2nd Race 3 2/5 Shot #7 Don't Ask the Doc $9K to SHOW Ran 1st Race 4 1/9 Shot #6 Florida Girl $90,260 to SHOW Ran 1st Race 5 1/5 Shot #6 Cashy Secrets $9K to SHOW Ran 4th Show Payoffs $10.40 / $31.60 / $18.00 Race 9 1/2 Shot #1 Bedford Arch $7K to Show Ran 1st On track handle is between $54k and $60K during the week. With the help of the signal going out of town, the total handle is $1.2 million --- $1.4 million. On Monday, they didn't have a winner that paid over $10. Good Luck!! Only Mike A had the big ticket of the day yesterday. Nice job Mike. Big ballons!!!! Is anyone playing the bullring!!!!!! The King is winning around 50% of his mount's. I am not even looking at the place. I get sick when I hear what they are eating at the place. Yuk!!! Whackymacky Out!!!!!