12/03/2010 3:24PM

HandiGambling 213 (FG Turf)

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Today's HandiGambling 213 exercise is the eighth race from Fair Grounds, a $25,000 'n2L' claimer for three-year-olds and upward at one mile on the 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.

As of this writing, the turf course is labeled as GOOD.

Let's scratch #7 GUILTY PLEA.

#3 LEAD THE WAY will be ridden by Jesse Campbell. 
#10 NIBBLES AND BITS will be ridden by Marlon St. Julien.

It looks as if #8 MONARCHOS BOY has figured out the racing game for trainer Morris Nicks and he will take a drastic drop in class this afternoon.  A 17 3/4 length winner of an off-the-turf maiden claimer two starts back, Monarchos Boy last ran in a salty entry-level optional claimer on Super Derby afternoon at Louisiana Downs. 

That race produced three next-out winners.  Let's take a look at those horses.

Third-place finisher Gowden Mile won an open $15,000 claimer going a mile on dirt at Delta Downs on November 3 with a 78 Beyer Speed Figure.  He is now an eight-time winner.

Fifth-place finisher Waystogeaux won a state-bred, entry-level allowance race yesterday afternoon over this course and distance at Fair Grounds.  That was his eighth lifetime victory. 

Eighth-place finisher Kelly'spremonition took a $15,000 claimer over this course and distance on November 25 with an 83 Beyer.  It was his fourth career win.

Monarchos Boy now faces horses that have never won two races and seems to have enough tactical speed to work out a good stalking trip.  This trainer/jockey combination already has a dropdown winner at this meeting.

#9 WONKA has likely had his share of physical problems as the three-year-old colt only has three prior starts on his card.  He was listed as a vet scratch on July 23, but won his maiden the following month, and wasn't disgraced in his first start against winners at this level at Arlington on September 5 (note that only two of the seven horses to return from that race were able to crack the exacta next-out).  There should be enough speed to properly setup his late kick. 

#6 CATCH TWENTY TWO should appreciate dropping back in with conditioned claimers and moving to his preferred surface after a pair of dull performances on the main track.  Three starts back, on turf, he finished second to Motion Play, a gelding that came back to win a $7,500 claimer on polytrack at Keeneland with a 73 Beyer. 

I'm not really a big fan of #5 BRAVO PRADO, who had everything his own way when winning a maiden claimer on turf at Hawthorne on April 17.  That day, he sat a perfect pace-tracking, ground-saving trip, eased to the two path at the quarter-pole, and was all out to prevail while switching leads several times in the stretch.  He has tactical speed and may attend the pace from the outside, but hasn't shown a strong late surge in both tries against winners.

#3 LEAD THE WAY is a late-runner at the mercy of race and pace luck, but the lightly-raced gelding has some upside potential, and has been gaining ground during the tail end of his two starts against winners.  Note that only one of the six runners to return from that November 10 race at Hawthorne was able to hit the board next-out. 

#1 MOUNTAIN OF JOY scored at 12 furlongs over yielding ground two starts back and is another that should appreciate getting back on the grass.  He draws a good inside post position, goes out for excellent connections, and may work out a trip under Shane Sellers.  There's upside here, and Mountain of Joy can't be counted out.

#2 SOUTHERN SAINT may be the pacesetter for Miguel Mena.  He seemed a little green when a tiring fourth at Saratoga, and has never gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in his career.  We'll know him early, but the $240,000 yearling purchase has been a disappointment thus far. 

#11 QUAZAR hasn't reached the winner's circle since July 13, 2007, and has been stymied by a pair of long layoffs.  The five-year-old adds blinkers this afternoon, but draws poorly, and must avoid a wide trip.

#4 BIG TONY won his maiden in slow time at Retama Park and needs to improve while #10 NIBBLES AND BITS may be better on dirt.

Here's how I'll play HG this week:

$50 Exacta - Monarchos Bay - Wonka (8-9)
$50 Exacta - Monarchos Bay - Catch Twenty Two (8-6)

Best of luck to all.

blackstone More than 1 year ago
PH Races(ATB's on all of them) Calder 9th- Wide open event with many options. I settled on Askbut I Won'ttell. Still only 4 yrs old so she may still be improving. Her numbers are as good as any even if she doesn't improve. Wise guy picks are Paracaidas and You Go West Girl. I've won and lost on You Go so many times that I'm going away from her finally. Also, I've had a hard time with Tom Procter these last few months. Calder 11th -Another nice race-I'm taking a stab on Allie's Event-some back numbers that would make him competitive. The "Sheets" guys are all over him. Many of the other horses have a chance, but most are not consistent. I'm hoping the 12-1 holds up on Allie's. FG 7th- Don't like the race much-I'll go with Gran Estreno just based on a better post and his consistency. I'm playing the race lightly. though. Vanquisher has a big ROI going for him, but I'll ignore him at low odds. FG 9th- Battle Buster on the improve at 8-1. Has to move up some, but I think she might. Love her tactical speed-gets first run on the two chalks. Holly- One more stab on Romp. Was killed on the turn in the BC-M/L of 20-1 looks good. Steve T was a big fan before the BC-I'll play an ATB on him "just in case". I have no form for Holly-this is just a blind faith bet. Good luck to all of you today.
Rocinante More than 1 year ago
Patrick I did have the longshot win --place, also nailed the exacta. Not certain, but think I came in second overall. Couldn't beat the $20 straight ex.--- a very nice play indeed. Oh what a difference 1/2 length can make. A very ugly race. Hope all involved came out of the spill intact. BOL
Patrick More than 1 year ago
I can't believe i failed to hit the HG...... i saw some folks had the winner, but did anyone have the longshot in 2nd? Congrats to the HG winner and to those who were wise enough to make the same selection. I didn't use my 'who did they lose to' angle this time out, so maybe i was my own worse enemy........ i can't believe i failed to hit the HG............. lol.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
VQ , close to 50% of the time I personally can't see the predator. I call those kind the value removed races . Maybe they have long haul value in there but I can't find it.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
VQ nope thats not it . It has to do with the divisions in the board . Imagine the board is the Ocean . The ocean has multiple current breaks in it . Most of the time the fish are on the warm side of the well known breaks sometimes on the cool side of the well known break. Sometimes there on the more obscure breaks. The key is recogonizing conditions that make the likelyhood of the fish being on the obscure breaks, in the case of horses and not fish its the board. Most people probably think every board is different. like a finger print,but in respect to the current breaks I divide them into about 6 types. Depending on the type of board, different schools of fish / horses are more likely to be on the prod as opposed to what that school does with the other types in the aggregate. The fav wins about 1/3 of all the races ,but there are sub sets that win at a different rate. one type produces 53% winning favs. and 75 % 1st or 2nd choice winners,A monster almost never happens with that board long strings 300-400 races without a monster in those kind. That type comes up about 20 % of the time .if the favorite is 2-1 or higher I bet them both on that. you can cash 3/4you can make 20% about on those. Another type has 20% winning favorites or in other words 80% losing favorites. That type i play a certain way for 12-20% over any respective meet. somebody else could probably find another way to make profit on that one. another type increases the chance for a monster 500% more than the chances a monster comes under all the other types in aggregate. A monster places in 50%of that type. A monster wins about 15% of that type. that type happen about 5% of the races . Betting those to place actually produces better than win . A rare exception to the old deal about win paying off better than place. Win does pay off and you get to brag about big winners. Nobody gets impressed if you have $30 placers you know what I mean. It does work better to consider them placers money wise. So what I'm saying is there are patterns that can be counted on to produce a reasonably routine result in accordance to the type. The tote is the worlds largest racing digest . It has all the global information that anybody can get crunched by the most knowledgable people in the horse sphere, plus it has local info too . Info thats not so well known. unpublished info. Under certain conditions the invisible hand is like "predator" . If you got some Indian in you or you're looking through the right lense you can just barely see him. Here's another blatant hint, Sometimes you got to surround him cause he's slippery and can move this way or that way a little and send you flying past him after the gates are open. If you try to corner blitz him he can duck you. you got to stay in your lanes and gang tackle him. one of my plays involves using exactas Now you have to Identify the current breaks and then categorize the types of board . IT IS entirely possible that you may recognize different patterns that I don't use that could work for you. If I've got 3 pattern plays that are producers ,why should they be the only ones ? I would think there should be others in there. I have to rigidly bet my pattern plays .A diferent kind of wager in accordance with there type If I wanted to seperate my types into smaller sub-sets that are even more similar in appearence I could do that . I never did because when I found a few things that worked I concentrated on playing them.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
C , Alright you talked me back in . Most if not all of the 43 were going on bute. Some of them probably had bute hangovers maybe. The odds definetly matter regardless of surface. I'd conceed that some horses eventually prove themselves to not like synthetic or another surface for that matter. Some horses . Not all 43. Take Bull's Bay for example I'm going off memory so don't quote me on this. I think bull's Bay was about 9-2-3-3 before the BC mile on synthetic in ca.One of his missed boards was Rail Trips HGCup, Life Is Sweet ran third beaten 2+part lengths BB was about 6th far back I think. His wins and placings came in allowance levels before he went back east to win a gr. 1 .Bull'sBay doesn't hate synthetic he just isn't a gr. 1 horse in Ca. Whatever the reason he got thumped it wasn't that he hated synthetic. Same with Mine that Bird, hell he has about 5/6 wins on synthetic I think he only has one on dirt. He doesn't hate synthetic he hates running against BC calibur horses. Not to many people would have envisioned Regal Ransom getting left alone all the way while walking in the BC Classic. The only way he can win is walking on a long uncontested lead without encountering a challenge at anytime in the race. He was a line out in any mans language on any track. I can go through most of the 43 and cut them apart for other factors that make them pretenders as well as mention all the other universal common factors they had that others have made mention of. You remind me of the names of the 43, five at a time and I'll tell you the reasons why they lost besides they hated synthetic. That'll be a good game. I had Cocao Beach and Music Note as contenders so you can skip them. I think they hit the board. ex. I already told you why funnybone was a throwout so skip him. Based on come home times Summer Bird would need a 32 length lead with 5/8 ths to run to hold off Z that didn't seem likely to me. So I've given you good reasons( besides they hated synthetic) why Summer Bird , Regal Ransom , Bulls Bay, Mine that Bird, D'Funnybone, and Careless Jewel lost. Same for Sara Louise.I 've conceeded the board hitters Music note & cocao beach were board contenders and mild, very mild threats to win. That leaves 32 left give me 4 installments of 8 horses and I'LL tell you why. We'll see how many I can give another feasable reason against. If I can't come up with reasonable alternatives to( they hate synthetic) than they'll be considered in the I hate synthetic bin . When wrere done going through them we'll have reduced the potential I hate synthetic club to a more realistic number than 43. My prediction is the number is going to be less than ten that don't have other good reasons to put a line through them. So tell me some names.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
I may be amiss, and a bit late, but to: Alan, BigEasyBigChok, Lil Chok and all who celebrate this special time, Happy Hanukkah. ...that includes you too, Chalky . No captcha. Alan, you blessed me?
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Virgin Queen ...U just crack me up ! LOL! it's good 2 have U back :) No captchas :)
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Dan our Man.. I was wondering if Olivia Katherine Duckworth will be saying goodbye to her favorite mare 'Zenyatta' this weekend.. Will she be able to watch her on TVG..the goodbye parade at Hollywood Park on Sunday? ..or maybe her brief apperance at Keenland on Monday? I hope someone will be able to record her final goodbye, as Olivia certainly will never forget her. Besides, who needs another kick in the shins, eh? No captcha this time, Thanks Dan!
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
SRvegas , Good luck to you too kid. Both teams are going to need it. It's probably gonna be a barnburner . The greatest same city rivalry in major college sports.HMMM ,Maybe the only same city rivalry in Major college sports. I think LA is the only city with 2 D 1 A football teams. Ofcoarse in baseball and basketball we have heavyweights like Long Beach State , Cal state Fullerton, Pepperdine, Gonzaga,Loyoyla Marymount as well as USC & UCLA . Were blessed with incredible college athletes here especially in baseball. CurtV , LOL. I had Big Drama in that Preakness . he kind of got messed up before the start not going in and get spun around and around. Then when they jammed him in and opened 'em up he had his legs crossed. I think he probably would have got the lead and took them a lot farther if not for that . RA probably would have tired under that scenario and the saver exactas would have came along. I think he opened up fifteen in The West Virginia Derby and nearly hung on his next time out (mine that bird 3rd) I know he's won going 8.5f . Thats why I was saying he would win the BC. He's a real good horse. Not just a sprinter. Against plain sprinters he has a CLASS advantage. Just like Midnite Lute ,Gulch,Precisionist, etc. He doesn't even have to run fast even though he can. When I had him get dq'd against Phil. He was hammering phil. It looked like he would have bit him. Thats when I knew Big Drama was for sure a good horse. Most regular sprinters will give way to him even if they've ran faster than him on paper. He's fast enough to control the pace but he can sit right off it to. He's fast and classy enough to sit 2nd no matter what the pace. He don't pack it in if he does happen to get passed or not pass the leader. He hits the Exacta and places if he doesn't win. They should let him try to go longer again now. Its his good chance to win some of the 8.5 and 9f handicap races with his speed. Like precisionist or Black tie affair is he a sprinter that can go long or a router that can sprint . He can always go back to sprints if he doesn't get one. With the early look on returning older horses I think he might be able to dominate if they train him with that in mind. I think I'd say he could dominate Giant Oak . I like that song.