10/14/2010 12:46PM

HandiGambling 206 (Keeneland)


Today's HandiGambling 206 exercise is the seventh race from Keeneland, a 'n2x' allowance for fillies and mares at seven furlongs on the 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

Let's scratch #6 - AT THE FINISH

I think the key to this race is whether #7 HAPPY WEEK appreciates racing on polytrack.  Her dirt races are certainly fast enough, and she enters this heat following a workmanlike score at this distance at Saratoga.  Despite cracking the board in 75% of her races, it's safe to say that the $600,000 daughter of Distorted Humor out of a half-sister to A.P. Indy has been an underachieving disappointment.  She didn't do much running in both of her stakes outings to date and seems to lack a certain explosiveness.  Also, none of the six fillies that Happy Week vanquished on August 15 returned to win (1 second, 2 thirds, best next-out Beyer of 75).  She's not a horse that you can play with a great deal of confidence, but I think she's going to work out a good trip tracking a moderate pace, and she should be in the thick of things turning for home.
Who knows?  Maybe she'll prove to be a new, better horse on synthetics.

#2 THE UNDERLING will also make her synthetic debut this afternoon and, like Happy Week, won her most recent start at Saratoga.  With only five starts to her name, The Underling has a good amount of upside potential, but the plethora of layoff lines on her page is disconcerting to say the least.  Of the four horses to run back from that Saratoga race, only one hit the board (runner-up Babai Baby finished third at Monmouth with a 68 Beyer).  The Underling is also tactical and shows some quick workouts at Churchill Downs.  Again, the surface is the major question.

#9 JOCATA may be the price play for the Borel boys, Cecil and Calvin.  A reported vet scratch on May 27, Jocata came back to finish third behind a pair of next-out winners at Churchill Downs eight days later, and then was claimed for $75,000 out of a third-place finish on June 25 (a race in which she finished ahead of two next-out winners, including 87 Beyer Mahindar).  She won the only previous time she raced on polytrack.  The barn is 2-7 (29%, $2.00 ROI) over the past three years with newly-claimed runners and both of those winners returned from layoffs of at least 31 days.  Jocata has never finished off the board, removes blinkers for the first time, and shouldn't be counted out at a solid mutuel.

Nor should #10 BELL'S SHOES, who beat Jocata in that race at Churchill and then followed that performance up with a rallying third-place effort over the Arlington polytrack (of the five horses she faced that afternoon in Chicago, four returned to hit the board with a 75 Beyer top).  Stakes-placed around two turns, Bell's Shoes may need some pace help in order to successfully utilize her late kick.  Also, I felt that she raced on the best part of the track (outside) when wearing down Jocata at Churchill.

#8 TANTAMOUNT could be the speed of the race for Corey Lanerie.  The four-year-old filly won over course and distance during the Keeneland Spring meeting and has been freshened up following a couple of disappointing efforts.  According to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" on the track's website, Tantamount "was traveling well at the wire," on October 10.  On September 26,  the report mentioned that she gave a "good even workout, continues to go well in the morning." Tantamount earned an 86 Beyer at Keeneland, but the polytrack that day seemed to favor front-runners, and Tantamount was on the pace throughout. 

#3 CAT ONTHE TOWN finished behind Tantamount on June 10, and has been rested by Bob Holthus.  Both of her wins have come around two turns and the late-runner could use some pace help up front. 

It's hard to toss anything that Al Stall Jr. puts on the track and #4 TOLL has some angles working in her favor.  She's a synthetic specialist, defeated three next-out winners in her most recent start at Arlington, and has won off the layoff in the past.  Toll should be rallying strongly in the lane. 

#1 CERVEZA faltered going long at Woodbine, but the daughter of Five Star Day was stretching her distance capabilities in that race, and she showed speed over a closer-friendly track.  Previously, she was a winner on dirt at Hawthorne and has successfully competed on polytrack in the past.  She may show some speed here, but will get a stern class test.

#5 USHUAIA won her career debut over synthetics at Woodbine last June, but she didn't do much running last time out at Hoosier Park.  The rider switch to Julien Leparoux is extremely interesting, but the filly shows a gap between her last two works, and must improve off her last race.

A good, fun race.  I'm taking more of a leap of faith with the morning line favorite than anything else.

$50 Exacta - Happy Week - The Underling (7-2)
$50 Exacta - Happy Week - Jocata (7-9)

Best of luck to all.


blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Eric T, if you learn that you can grind it out than the guerilla chances will be easier to spot. Also being able to grind it tends to elavate your confidence in your opinion. You can do it. You have to mix it up and take mostly smaller bites and some big ones too. Thank goodness for small morsels when thats what is there. Brass ring when it looks more likely than usual. As long as you keep striving you'll improve your knowledge. Putting all you learn into a winning package is the trick and different people do that different ways. There is more than one way . Your way is going to be the important one to you.
nancyb More than 1 year ago
See that someone asked for Full Moon Madness's PPs. Thought you might like to know that he is safely retired at Tranquility Farm. Here's a link: http://www.tranquilityfarmtbs.org/retired.htm
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
C, wesley was insinuating that the Vanity was not a prestigious race for a mare to win. in that context what I said was very relevant. The Mass Cap was never a Major race. Never. I attend quite a few sales. In a sales cat. the name and grade of the race is what is printed and in fact the name of the race does matter. Those horses you mentioned were nice that was a pretty short list for races that are that old and there is a lot of years between the prominent names you mentioned. The list of Vanity winners doesn't read that way. Its a who's who of household names year after year. RA has been beaten several times in ungraded stakes thats the point. the Martha Washington is a gr.III usually ungraded. thats the point. Zenyatta doesn't run in overnighters ,thats the point. By my logic winning any one of those races does not put her on par with the greatest horses of all-time and Secretariat doesn't make my list of greatest all-time . Gotta go. Fishing with my boy and a couple of his friends today at a private lake that I've wanted to fish since I was a kid. Thanks for throwing down the gauntlet C , I'll come back to you tommorrow or monday and we'll have some fun. You too Curt V and thats your 2 free ones. LOL Good luck to all the players today Mike A , thanks for the clarification and yes it would be interesting to meet someday . Have a good day. BSB
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Mikey, I'm becoming bored at the homestead. So, I'll be venturing to the parlor TOMORROW{not today}. I see there are 5 turf's scheduled @Belmont. & being that I need to get some ammo{?}, & the meet is closing, how 'bout you open that "Book" of yours. I'm not looking for sure fire winners. How 'bout some live horses to consider. Turfing aint my strong suit, if I may say so myself. I can do the rest. Another words, I need to fill in some blanks.... LOL...Leave it here, or you know how to get me...... In another front & off topic to Annie & her fellow Jesse Ventura-eans........ Did you see the article on "Road Rage" in the United States ? Besides the usual suspects in the big cities..Tailgating, fingering, blowing horns, etc. There was Minnesota topping the list on running red lights. In the survey, a whopping 34%, said they ran red lights on purpose, to the tune of, on a "DAILY basis".....OMG.......I guess they are all in a hurry to make the 1st race...
yklahC More than 1 year ago
If I go to the Wynn and continue the Zenyatta race parlay of my original $2.00 bet @ current Future odds 2/1 and she wins, will I collect: a. $899.09 b. $8,990.93 c. $89,909.34 d. $899,093.41 Is it any wonder we worship her? Don't check my math, cause I don';t care and it ain't the point. yklahC
blackstone More than 1 year ago
ROI Play For work reasons I will miss all of today's races, and likely tomorrow's as well. I thought I would have a small window of opportunity today, so I handicapped most of the races, but it turns out not to be. Two picks I focused on: Keeneland 5th-#2-Hanger Thirtyeight-DiVito has a very strong ROI on synthetics-116 starts, 25%, $3.15. That is a tremendous number of starts to maintain such a high ROI-he shipped the horse to win. M/L of 4-1, but I think he'll go off higher. Two workouts since raced, big jock switch-might win for fun. I would be all over him. Keeneland 9th-#7-Perfect Shirl-Attfield, of course, at 6-1. Moderate strength at the T/J combo, but she had some trouble last time, so she could bouce up to win this. I would ATB her, but also pound her in the 2nd spot underneath Evening Jewel. Jewel keeps getting better and better-too tough to go against completely. Mickey-thanks for putting the glasses on and discovering Woodbine in the DRF. None of us want you upset, especially when you can pick Acoma and Mr Enrico in the same weekend. I enjoyed handicapping the Woodbine trio, but have no real clue. Great chaotic (to me) races. I do kind of like Amico Fritz in the 8th-distance specialist with some really nice races to fall back on. Good luck, partner. Good luck to all of you today.
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
"Would like to meet you someday though.......should be interesting..." Me too !!..........Hey, BSB, what are you doing in 2 weekends from now ? Any chance of you coming East ? We'll show you what a Race Track looks like......LOL...Leave the mules home........ no captcha.......
Mike A More than 1 year ago
KNM The women on this blog are some of the sweetest I've ever spoken to. I was kidding you......if you never listened it would be fine. I like to see folks win, so I pass things along. I won't win them all, but I'm always competitive. Considering I rarely give out anything under 9-1 and up to 52-1 and still remain competitive is a good thing.......I must be zeroed in on that 7%. As to the International........I like Simmard without looking at the PP's, I watched him run at Belmont a month ago and liked what I saw. The Athena is the same thing.......I like Darjeeling off her last, I needed he second and she beat me by winning. Mary's Follies could be getting a race in for something at CD down the road......I had her there last year, All I needed was Miss Keller to run second, but I believe she ran last......you wonder why I don't think much of Miss Keller. I spoke to Mickey on the way home from Shelter Island and he brought up a good point for Eye Of Taurus, I can't say myself because as I said I haven't looked at a paper. Curt V....... I did buy tomorrows form, just to peruse it, but did find a couple of things for tomorrow at Belmont and Keeneland. I'll post either later or tomorrow morning. Eric T Discipline and confidence......learn how to play in a way that suits your personality. Most folks never take into consideration that they may be having problems ( hedging, forcing it, looking for the moon etc..) because whatever they're doing either continues a habit of bad behavior ( having to bet whether they're sure or not, talking themselves into bad plays for the action) or goes against their sensibilities (being able to send it home when you're sure, believing in yourself, in your abilities). BSB has a good point about "pie in the sky" etc. but that's the mindset of a mainstream handicapper. 30% this, 22% that, only 7% 25.00 horses. Never think of beating the odds, what I mean by that is think out of the box. Sometimes I'll look for days and not find a single horse I like, there's no law that says you need bet every day, every weekend, gotta have an opinion, gotta play. Play the game to win......not be average, not pick-em all. If you do that then you're a most others, you will win only X%.
knm More than 1 year ago
Mike A, Just for your information, Miss Keller did run second.
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Dan, Nice HG Exacta! Saw Secretariat-the movie- and enjoyed it. One source I read. said the movie was 1 hr and 59 min. Another source said 2 hrs, and 2 min. I think it would have been apropo if they could have had a running time of 2 hrs and 24 seconds. Great lead actress in this. Worthy of an Oscar nomination, IMO, if the script was a bit better. It was really a story of a woman asserting herself in the business world, at a time when it was not so common as it is today. Her husband was kind of a dits if you ask me. There was a scene where the trainer lit a fire in a bucket of sorts, inside the barn area, and around the horses. I don't know if lighting fires is permitted in the barn area or not, but it did not seem very safe, nor very bright. Loved seeing the clothes, appliances, phones, and cars of that era. Maybe one thing I would have done if I were the director, would have been to either recreate or show the actual footage of the wide-shot, from the grandstand side from the top of the stretch to the finish line for the Belmont Stakes. They tried to recreate something like that, but did not do it justice. The visual of the actual stretch run, with Secretariat increasing his lead to 31 lengths at Belmont Park was stunning, and indelibly ensconced in the memory of those who saw it. -//- Well, I have a foot doctor appointment tomorrow morning so I will post a few Hawthorne selections now. I know everyone is anxiously waiting on these. Am not going to complain like I have done the past two weeks. On the other hand if I can't get a enough winners to cover $18 straight betting winners on 9 races, and/or a few well paying second place finishers, then I am getting off selecting Hawthorne runners for 3 weeks or so, and will take up another track meantime. I can't do it, and I give up. Not that I wager every race anyway, but, with all the surface changing going on, I am just not seeing anything, or I am seeing angles which are not there right now. The public selectors are not doing much better, so there is some comfort in that I guess. Hawthorne - Race 1 Wildcat Misss Race 2 Costilla Range Race 3 (Turf) Sparse Race 4 Steps Silver Halo Race 5 Go Doug Go Race 6 (Turf) Royal Sneak (AE), Holly At Law Race 7 Ready to Romp Race 8 Shake N Quake Race 9 (Turf) Crown of Aragorn Dan, Good luck on your selections, and good luck to all the Formbloggers out there this weekend. Thanks,
Molesap More than 1 year ago
The Canadian International Jim Tully's post on Al Khali's was enough to cause me to take a look at the PP's. I also noticed that Mike A mentioned Simmard, who finished a half length back of Al Khali in his first race in nine months. I do agree that Al khali is perhaps the best horse from North America, but as usual, the Europeans seems to have a distinct advantage. Of those, I really like Joshua Tree. A lightly raced three-year old, has had only five starts with just two coming this year. I suspect that he still has plenty of upside and was fairly well regarded when he was two. He has had some setbacks this year and his two races were fairly good running third in a G3 and splitting the field in a G1. The on big negative is O'Brien's record in the US - not very good (but this race is in Canada). At anything above half his morning line odds (i.e. 4-1 or better), I think he is a decent bet. Chinchon really impressed me with his last to first move in the United Nations, but then returned to France to get trounced. He has been racking up the frequent flier miles and that may take a bit of a toll here, plus I'm not convinced he's any better than Joshua Tree anyways. I am not at all sold on Redwood, especially at the short price.