10/07/2010 1:34PM

HandiGambling 205 (Glowing Honor)


Today's HandiGambling 205 exercise is the eighth race from Belmont Park, The Glowing Honor Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs on the inner 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. 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.

The turf course is rated as YIELDING.  The inner turf rails are at 0 feet.

Let's scratch the MTO runners, #12 SIMPLY SPITEFUL and #13 KISSA MELISSA.

I found this race very difficult so I'm going to fish for a lonshot attempting to repeat a positive angle. 

#1 SANDI'S READY is 20-1 on the morning line, has not raced since July, and has not cracked the trifecta since a two-turn outing at Gulfstream in April. 
But, she has done her best when making her first start following a layoff of at least 45 days (as in that third-place finish at Gulfstream).  Her most recent victory, on December 27, 2009, came in a turf sprint after a 55-day break.  The win before that was way back on April 17, 2009, notable because it was her first start of the form cycle.  Her maiden score came on January 17, 2009, her first race since October 22, 2008. 
Sandi's Ready has run races that are fast enough to win this.  Although she was beaten last time out by QUEBRADA SHINER, Sandi's Ready was wide every step of the way.  She shows a pair of bullet workouts leading up to her return.  For me, she has as good a shot as any.   Be cautioned, though, that she has a tendency to get out during her races.  It will be interesting to see how she handles being down inside after breaking from the rail.

#4 GO FOR JAN is certainly playable, and I'd use her in multi-race wagers.  She's won two of her three starts on grass with the only defeat coming at the hooves of Rose Catherine, who went on to win her next two starts in stakes company with Beyers of 93 and 96, respectively.  The fifth-place finisher from the last race returned to win on dirt at Calder with a 78 Beyer.  Go for Jan is lightly-raced with a good amount of upside potential and the additional distance should work to her advantage.

I'm really not enamored with anyone else. 

For a turf sprint, there doesn't seem to be a ton of speed in the race and that should aid #2 GLITTER CITY, a gray filly that does her best running when on or near the lead.  She faced some quality rivals in her last two races, but has only been out three times this year (only once since February), and there is a 20-day gap on the work tab.  She would benefit if she gets an easy lead up front, but hasn't gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in her last seven races.

#3 GRANTED TIGER won her maiden over this course and distance (yielding ground as well) way back on May 11, 2008.  Trained by the great Allen Jerkens, Granted Tiger scored two back going a mile, but was able to grab an easy lead that afternoon against only two rivals, and I didn't like the way she was weaving in the stretch.  She didn't make an impression when put in for $50,000 last time out, but was facing a sharp winner in Queen of the Creek (returned to Beyer 95 when taking the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga.  She runs well fresh, but will probably have to do it from off the pace here. 

#5 SOLO PIANO goes second off the bench for Juddmonte Farms and Bill Mott.  She took on C. S. Silk last time out at Saratoga, and that one is headed for Grade 1 action at Keeneland this weekend.  Prior to that start, she was in against Funny Moon in the Grade 2 Shuvee on dirt.  She's won sprinting on the main track, but her best turf races to date have come going long. 

#6 GEMSWICK PARK is a Grade 3 winner on the main track, but she's only been out once this year and that was all the way back on January 2 at Tampa Bay Downs.  This barn has been going great guns at the meet, but Gemswick Park is really going to have to be on her toes to win off such a long layoff, and she is a "maiden" on turf.

#7 STORMY PUBLISHER finds an interesting spot for her North American debut.  A listed winner going five furlongs on dirt in her native Argentina, Stormy Publisher is 0-4 on grass, and hasn't raced since March.  Some of the workouts look good and it wouldn't be surprising if this filly shows speed as she adds Lasix for the first time.

#8 LOOKY HERE ran second in the Mrs. Penny Stakes at Parx Racing on September 11, and the winner of that statebred event returned to take a 'n2x' allowance in a race moved from the turf to the main track (82 Beyer).   Looky Here has never won on turf, but she's also never finished worse than third on the lawn, and she could be close to the pace heading into the turn.

#9 LOOKALIKE exits a key race at Saratoga won by Rose Catherine, but she never did any running that day.  She earned a good number two back at Arlington Park, but I didn't like the way she finished up that afternoon, and these may be a bit too tough for her.

#10 WORSTCASESCENARIO won her first two career starts including the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga, but myriad physical ailments have kept her from reaching her true potential.  She'll make her third start back for Richard Violette after attempting to rally over a speed-favoring Saratoga main track in the Grade 3 Victory Ride.

#11 QUEBRADA SHINER was claimed for $35,000 two back by Bob Barbara, and then came with a strong late run to finish fourth behind Rose Catherine in the Lena Spencer.  The fractions were so strong in that race, however, and they had to help Quebrada Shiner's kick.  Will she be able to get there if the pace is slower, as is expected to be the case today?  We'll find out.

Again, just a stab.

$50 Win-Place - Sandi's Ready (#1)

Best of luck to all.