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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.
eric t Thank you very much for the heads up on Sweet August Moon. I greatly appreciate it, as, among other things, I've been very shaky on that pick. I wish Champagne had better form on Syn., but maybe she is just so much better now that she can win on it. Tough but fun to handicap race. Tons of speed so it may set up for another Informed Decision/Dubai Majesty exacta. I think I'll switch to the Bubbly-#5-Champagne. Thanks again, and good luck to you today!
An annoying side note.....todays first race at belmont a 10,000 N2L had an entry that ran but wagering on this horse was not allowed. I am talking about the 5 horse IDOL IMAGE. Since he ran only a couple days ago his pp's in the form did not show this most recent race on wednesday and thus the "no wagering allowed" on this entry only. Since i usually get my pp's online i did have the pp line from wednesdays race but i guess the hard copies of the form did not have this race (people still buy the print version of the form??). I thought NY had done away with these "no wagering propositions" and since i havent seen one in some time i was quite surprised when i realized this was the case with IDOL IMAGE. Not too often you see a horse run on Wednesday and then come back on Friday to race again....not even the greyhounds do that. IDOL IMAGE tired badly in todays race and look much poorer than he did in Wednesdays 2nd place finish in which he just missed by a nose. Maybe a little evidence that comebacking in two days isnt such a smart idea. Ive seen Carlos Martin...the trainer...do some unorthodox things in the past with a modest amount of success but today his decision to run this one on 48 hrs rest didnt pay off and caused more than a little confusion for some ny bettors im sure. Next time Carlos please wait to run your charge back until the running line from his last race can be included in the form. eric t
I've been far too busy to look at anything this weekend, but I will say that nobody should be afraid of Gio Ponti in the Shadwell. If you have a better alternative, bet it with both fists. What's he doing entered at a mile anyway? Clement is wavering between the Classic and the Mile? Huh? Funny that America's best turf horse has not attempted the BC Turf. One mile on grass is for specialists. I don't see Gio Ponti being very effective in that spot. If he hits the board, it will be on sheer talent and because it's a short field. If he wins, I would be rather surprised. He's been a sucker in recent times anyway. Don't let his distant form scare you-- make him beat you. If he does, take your hat off to him, congratulate those collecting $3.20 and move on... but I don't think you have much to worry about. Duck him!!!
Mike A.- Interesting observation you make about Zito and his tendencies towards dirt. Ive got an example from a horse that broke his maiden recently at belmont. Zayat stables had a horse under Zito...his name is Humilarity. While under Zito this horse raced as a maiden 4 times on the dirt all at 6 or 6.5 furlongs. 2 msw and 2 times for a tag (50k and 35k). All 4 races this horse popped and stopped. Im talking weakened badly. Each of his 4 races he was on the lead and finished way back. Zayat transferred him to Rudy. Rudy decided to run him on the inner turf for a tag at belmont on 9/22 for 25k. Essentially the same level of his last race for zito on dirt (that one was for 35k but 35k and 25k at NYRA are often the same horses...not much of a drop there). Anyways this horse ends up going straight to the lead and romps on the front end. Pulls away and wins by 5 lengths. Im not a huge pedigree guy (humilarity is by Distorted Humor and out of a Meadow Lake mare) so im not sure if his pedigree says turf but if im Zayat id be thinking of pullin any horses i got with Zito and sending em to Rudy. Makes you wonder where Zitos head is on something like this. I can understand leaning towards dirt with top class horses. Certainly in the US thats where most of the prestige is but at the lower levels why not place the horse on turf ASAP if thats where he will compete at a higher level. Maybe something for me to consider next time i see a horse formerly under Zito make its debut on the lawn under a new trainer. BTW- U takin a shot on the Shadwell sat?? What do you think of Gio Ponti as a Miler? I thought the connections have said in the past he was best at 10 furlongs? U think they would go the Mile for the Breeders Cup? eric t.
Blackstone (regarding Sweet August Moon)- Yesterday on TVG Christina Olivares was on site at Keeneland and she made note of Sweet August Moon. Apparently this mare was acting up and having trouble settling for her groom during a schooling session ystrdy near the Keeneland crowds. Christina said Sweet August Moon was acting up to the point that train Koriner had to come over and take control of her from the groom. Koriner said she has a tendency to have trouble settling with the large crowds. Perhaps not a big deal but something worth mentioning i thought....u may wanna try to see the post parade and see how this one is dealing with the large crowds today. I remember in the 06 classic a paddock reporter (i cant remember who she was, but i think NBC was still covering the bc then) noted that Invasor had washed out prior to the post parade and that he did not look sharp at all. Of course, Invasor went on to roll past the "mighty" Bernadini, who looked just about unbeatable up to that point. Ever since then i have taken what these "paddock reports" say with a grain of salt. Good luck today anyways. I also like Chamberlain Bridge in the Woodford but a longshot that im interested in watching is Fiddlers Patriot, trained by George Weaver. This one looked real impressive in his debut on the lawn at Saratoga in August, of course though, that was only in a 50k oc for NY breds so hes probably in a little deep here but im curious to see how he does. eric t
Dick W; I agree with your assessment of SUPREME SUMMIT (#1) in today's Ancient Title (Grade 1). He should get a nice pace setup, has been working gang-busters, and any improvement from his layoff effort puts him in the conversation. At 5/1, he is my choice as well. Good luck to you today, fine sir. CAPTCHA: chrispar backbone...un oh!
Mike A., It seems I've got my Autumn work caught up, & ahead of schedule. I looked up Belmonts' Calendar, & the last day is Oct 31st, Sunday. Uh oh, I said. Okay, I'll be e-mailing you today, so look for it........ In the meantime, I sure hope Musket Man or Duke of Mischief doesn't win @Monmouth ??????????
I don't think Sidney's Candy will be bothered by company up front in a mile long race because he has route stamina and can handle the pressure. And since Conveyance retired or was abducted or shipped to Dubai there is no California based runner in training that can force Sidney to run off the pace anyway, so I think he can establish a lead against even the fastest of today's competition with ease, so long as he breaks well. Sidney's Candy should open some more eyes today and establish himself as a major threat at this distance against anyone. I won't be betting this race today but I like Sidney's Candy in Louisville and fully expect to see him roll today. I think Courageous Cat is in need of a race but should be ready to finish in the money in the Shadwell. Gio Ponti should be able to run em all down in this one. This is another one where I can't bet the chalk but I like the horse for Breeders' Cup purposes so I'll be watching closely. Happy Chalktober. The other race I'm really watching for the Cup is the Ancient Title. I have to trust that a return to 6 furlongs will benefit the 3 year old Smiling Tiger. I just think 6f is his best distance, and it makes sense taking into account his free running style. Going 7 you have to try and conserve him some but at 6 I think you can just let him roll. I think for BC purposes it would be best to see him prove he can stalk a little and not necessarily need the lead, although that may not happen today. Cost of Freedom might be able to get the lead on him with a good break which should provide a good opportunity for Smiling Tiger to prove himself. No matter what his first dirt start will be at Churchill so even if he wins today I fully expect Smiling Tiger to bring 10-1 or more in Louisville, and if he loses he could be 20-1 or more in the sprint, so I would welcome a close 2nd today.
Interesting comments on old Rudy. I found an obit by Andrew Beyer on Oscar Barrera, there are definitely some striking similarities. I'm glad I got to score on Rudy early on in the streak or juiced induced streak. I don't think he's 100% clean but then again I don't think anyone is and I accept it as apart of the game of handicapping. http://articles.latimes.com/1991-04-11/sports/sp-221_1_oscar-barrera
I'm sure Dan will be coming out with a new thread with his weekend picks, but this might be my only chance to post some of my picks as I will be busy later. So here goes. What a terrific day of racing today (Saturday) !!! I Ancient Title R8 Oak Tree This is a tough field, but I really like #1 Supreme Summitt at 5 to 1 ML. He has been coming up a little short in many of his races, but I think he is sitting on a big one. He has not run at Hollywood, but is working up a storm there. And he retains the services of Bejarano. I think he will get the pace he needs and will run them all down in the stretch. The others I like here are #5 E Z's Gentleman and #7 Smiling Tiger. Keenland R5 #3 Gran Estreno, #9 Successful Dan R6 #9 Silver Timber, #4 California Flag, #6 Chamberlain Bridge...long shot specials #2 Ravalo, #3 Central City R7 #5 Champagne d'Oro, #8 Dubai Majesty, #6 Informed Decision, #3 Sweet August Moon R8 #8 Wasted Tears, #3 Gotta Have Her, #4 Dynaslew, #7 Proviso...long shot special #6 Kiss Mine R9 #10 Major Gain, #4 Wilcox Inn, #8 Maybesomaybenot, #9 Rough Sailing R10 #1 Stormy Atlantic, #3 Courageous Cat, #4 Gio Ponti Monmouth R10 #1 Musket Man, #2 Duke of Mischief, #5 Chirac, #6 Etched Belmont R7 Jamaica #6 Lethal Combination, #3 Beau Choix Belmont R8 Frizzette #1 R Heat Lightning, #5 A Z Warrior, #7 Tap for Luck Good luck to all !!! Dick W