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HandiGambling 222 (Gulfstream Turf)
Today's HandiGambling 222 exercise is the eighth race at Gulfstream, an entry-level allowance for fillies and mares at one mile on 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 is FIRM and the Rail is out at 84 feet.
There is a jockey change for #6 MINER'S TUNE. Make the jockey Edgar Prado.
There is a little of everything in this race, but I'm not sure if there is a ton of quality. When I handicapped it, one word kept coming to mind.
But, I'm game if you are so let's get 'cappin.
#2 COSSET looks like a money-burner, but I'm inclined to give the Juddmonte filly one final chance as she makes the third start of the form cycle. She won her maiden at Belmont when she rallied into quick fractions, and a similar scenario may present itself again this afternoon with CLASSICAL FASHION, KELLY'S PIC, MINER'S TUNE, and DAD'S CRAZY as possible frontrunners. I like her inside post and Kent Desormeaux may work out a good pace-tracking, ground-saving trip going into the first turn. Cosset doesn't seem like the gamest animal in the world so things are going to have to fall into place for her to win this. Then again, the same may be said for most of these.
#9 SUROOF is a fascinating case. A $325,000 yearling purchase by Shadwell Stable, she won her maiden in her most recent start, but was put through the auction ring in January as a "Racing or Broodmare Prospect," and only fetched $85,000. Suroof seems to have good tactical speed and Marty Wolfson is a high-percentage trainer, but this filly only shows a pair of workouts since the auction. Only one of the seven horses to run back from her maiden win were able to crack the trifecta next-out (sixth-finisher Trail Magic graduated on dirt at Laurel with a 72 Beyer). Suroof is one of the keys to this race because we're not sure what we're going to get with her. If she runs back to her maiden win, she has a big chance. If she's a short horse off the layoff, she may be an underlay. I love this game.
#3 KELLY'S PIC blew a clear lead last time out going slightly longer and may appreciate turning back to this mile distance. She won here last year and is one of only three multiple winners in the field. It would be nice if there weren't other speeds to keep her company, but Kelly's Pic is pretty fast. She could be tough if the others allow her to relax on the front end, but she hasn't gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in her last five races. Note that none of the seven horses to return from that January 20 race at Gulfstream came back to hit the board next-out.
#1 CLASSICAL FASHION, like Kelly's Pic, is a multiple winner with speed, but she was listed as a vet scratch at Tampa Bay Downs on February 8. A two-time winner over this course last year, she figures to be contesting the early pace, but has only run once since May, and her fitness level is somewhat of a concern. Only one of the six horses that she ran against on January 14 returned to hit the board (sixth-finisher No Acronyms won a $16,000 claimer on turf at Tampa Bay with a 74 Beyer). Classical Fashion blew a clear lead that day, and may have to go faster in the early stages this afternoon.
#7 STORM SHOWERS has pedigree and potential, but hasn't been out since a tough-trip fourth in her first start against winners at Saratoga (the runner-up in that race returned to place third in the $70,000 Riskaverse Stakes). By Storm Cat out of a Grade 3-winning half-sister to A.P. Indy and Summer Squall, Storm Showers should benefit from the expected hot pace. She's been working steadily since January 6 for Shug McGaughey, a trainer that is 5-26 (19%, $2.53 ROI) with horses returning from similar layoffs on turf. McGaughey runners tend to improve with maturity so this one wouldn't be a surprise.
#5 BA BA'S BUNCH has won two of her last three starts since returning from a long, long layoff. She got away with an easy lead en route to a conditioned claiming victory last time out, but is proven from off the pace, and will likely attempt rating tactics today. The eighth-place finisher on January 30 returned to win a $30,000 'N2L' claimer with a 72 Beyer. Ba Ba's Bunch is improving, but will get a class test here.
#10 OH SO NICE was away from July 8, 2009 to October 15, 2010, raced twice thereafter, and was listed as a vet scratch at Gulfstream on January 27. She doesn't show a published workout in the last 30 days, and is 0-3 on turf. She exits a key race in which she finished ahead of Ba Ba's Bunch, but there are some fitness worries she needs to address.
#8 GOLDEN GALLEON, a $250,000 daughter of Medaglia d'Oro, hasn't raced since March, and was listed as a vet scratch on January 27. Four days later, she worked on turf for Todd Pletcher in the same time as the barn's four-year-old colt Estimate, who returned to finish sixth in an entry-level allowance here on February 17 with a 75 Beyer. This will be her first start on turf and the dam was a Grade 3 winner on both dirt and grass. She faced good company here on dirt last year, but the long layoff is a concern.
#11 BLUE ANGEL, like Suroof, is one of the keys to this race. If she runs back to most of her starts in Europe, she'll probably win this, but she is 0-12 on grass, has lost 12 straight races, breaks from a tough outside post, and has never raced around a left-handed course. She sold for 70,000 Irish guineas on October 27, 2010, and you can toss her most recent start against Group 2 competition. Two starts back she finished second in a listed stake to Rainfall, who returned to run third in a Group 1. Trainer Christophe Clement is 14-57 (25%, $2.49 ROI) over the past five years with foreign shippers adding Lasix for the first time on turf. Blue Angel is the horse to beat. There are questions, however, and she may not offer a great amount of value.
#4 LADY JADANA got up to win by a nose against maidens here on January 14 for high-percentage trainer Wayne Catalano, and the nicely-bred filly has some upside potential. Only two horses have come back from that race and one of them, 10th-finisher Grammy's Queen, returned to graduate in an $8,000 maiden claimer on dirt at Tampa Bay with a 51 Beyer. Lady Jadana should get a nice pace setup. The question is whether she's this good right now.
#12 DAD'S CRAZY won the off-the-turf Miss Grillo Stakes a a maiden in 2009, then went on the shelf for a year. She has good early speed, but hasn't shown the same spark that she did when beating Tapitsfly as a juvenile filly. She breaks from the far outside, and could be forced wide going into the initial turn with other speeds entered to her inside.
#6 MINER'S TUNE could also be part of the pace picture as she stretches out following a five-furlong prep run on January 30. She won over this course and trip here last year, but hasn't made much of an impression since.
Here goes nothing:
$50 Win-Place - #2 - COSSET
By the way, did I happen to say "Yuck?"
Best of luck to all.
Annie I think some 'posts' may have been 'Lost in Space' somewhere. I noticed some I had read, are now missing ...
Small Fields Terrific post,blackseabass,on the small fields. Kind of funny that both you and Curt V. exclaimed your thoughts with a "period". I'm going to stop talking about it as all of you know my hands are tied by playing GGF-for me, it is what it is. I started playing outside GGF a few years ago due to the small fields-about 60% of my plays are not GGF. But, my ROI is much stronger at GGF than anywhere else,regardless of the field sizes, probably for obvious reasons. I'm not much of an exacta player, so $200-$300 prizes don't entice me. I'm a grinder, and it works for me at the home track. If any of you know or remember Steve Fierro you'll know what he thinks of small fields-he loves them and as a professionaLhorseplayer claims to have killed them with countless cashes. I don't know what is true or what is exaggerated, but I do know what works for me.
Saturday Quickies GP 9th-#2-Madman Diaries-One of my favorite kind of plays. Too many positive ROI's to list, but I'm salivating in the hopes that the 6-1 M/L holds up. Horse can win from on or off the lead, I'm in love once again. Will bet it large, although as an ATB play. SA 3rd and 4th-Sadler has debut horses in both races-Black Sox and Mattea. I've had a great start on my list of debut trainers this year(5 for 10 with two 2nds and one 3rd) so I will play both, and double them up as well. GP 8th and 10th-Terrific to handicap and watch, but not so much to bet-for me. I will be at the OTB for a good part of the day, and if things are going well I may make small ATB plays in both races. Oh Carole in the 8th to upset the hyped horses-she's improving and coming off a big win. Distance should suit. Gourmet Dinner in the 10th, with an exacta saver from the Beast to Gourmet. I'm nervous about Mott's comments, as many are, and am not willing to play Honor at low odds. But I am excited to see the race. GGF-A bunch of plays, but will post only two thoughts-no on Skippy Due (Redux) in the 1st-M/L of 2-1 kills that play. Instead, I'll go for Heavenly Wind (#2) to wire them. In the 5th-longshot play on #5-De Nada (15-1). Horse ran deceptively well first out, and the trainer/jock have brought home some prices lately. Good luck to all of you today.
More on small fields. This is what I took from the last weeks worth of charts at SA, GG, GP, Aqu. There was a total of 202 races at those tracks. All 17 of the 12 horse races were from GP. All but 1 of the 10 - 11 horsers were from GP. 9 of the 12 - 10 horsers were from GP. 16 of the 27 - 9 horsers were from GP. 14 of the 28 - 8 horsers were from SA . 13 of the 36 - 7 horsers were from Aqu. 18 of the 43 - 6 horsers were from GG only 3 from GP. 5 horsers GG -8 Aqu -7 GP -3 SA - 3. 4 horsers 4- GG 3-Aqu 1-SA. Bigger fields don't necessarily pay more than smaller fields . Period. Check out those dollars per horse numbers. Then ask yourself if its easier to find a winner in a 6 horse race or a 12 horse race ? Rank in ( ) 8 > 4 HF Avg Mut. 7.18 (8) Avg . $ per beaten horse 2. 39 (1) Largest 19.00 (8) 21 > 5 HF Avg mut. 5.88 (9) Avg. $ per beaten horse 1.47 (5) largest 16.00 (9) 43 > 6 HF Avg mut. 8.70 (6) Avg. $ per beaten horse 1.74 (2) largest 48.20 (4) 36 > 7 HF Avg. mut. 8.54 (7) Avg. $ per beaten horse 1.42 (6) largest 50.40 (3) 28 > 8 HF Avg.mut. 11.25 ( 4) Avg. $ per beaten horse 1.60 (4) largest 54.00 (2) 27 > 9 HF Avg. mut. 9.04 (5) Avg. $ per beaten horse 1.13 (9) largest 28.80 (7) 12 > 10 HF Avg. mut. 15.62 (1) Avg. $ per beaten horse 1.73 (3) largest 39.60 (5) 10 > 11 HF Avg. mut. 11.65 (3) Avg. $ per beaten horse 1.16 (8) largest 33.40 (6) 17 > 12 HF Avg. mut. 14.75 (2) Avg. $ per beaten horse 1.34 (7) largest 60.00 (1) There were 11 horses that paid 28.00 or more from the 202. Long Shots so to speak. 5.4 % of the 202 races 4 HF 0 /8 although the longest shot on the board won 2 of the 8 races. 5 HF 0 /21 6 HF 4 /43 48.20 36.80 28.60 28.00 This alone proves value can come in all siZes ! 7 HF 1 /36 50.40 8 HF 1 /28 54.00 9 HF 1 / 27 28.80 10 HF 1 /12 39.60 11 HF 1 / 10 33.40 12 HF 2 /17 60.00 33.60 If you were hunting for longshots at these tracks last week the best place to find them was in small 6 horse fields. The only thing this really proves is that its not foolish or wrong to bet a short field. In fact the $ per beaten horse numbers suggest that short fields are the ones to play. I don't need to do a 11000 race study on this . Iv'e done enough of them to know that longshots come in all siZe fields . I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that shorter field runners pay more than longer fields PER HORSE BEATEN in an 11000 race study if I chose to do it & I won't. I only did this because sometimes you have to cut through the banter with some numbers to back what you say . The prosecution rests. Any defense lawyers out there that can show that betting short fields is undisciplined.
(First time in front of computer since Monday) Dan, I can take over the HG scoring once again, as I have worked out a semi-formal agreement with my aunt about getting on-line on a regular schedule. Took some finagling, but its worth it. :-) Caseyjeaux, That was a fine prep for PrePeg. Alonso asked him to keep going, but didn't abuse him with the whip to do so. He ran like a short horse, and the barn can't wait to go two turns. Anybody, If you are ever at Santa Anita on any day, I'll probably be there, rain or shine, so keep an eye out for me. I tend to hang around the paddock, usually taking pictures of the schoolers for my blog. (I use the pics of the stakes horses schooling for my blog post about that weekend's stakes.) Look for the young husky hispanic with glasses and a black messenger-style bag.. The only exception is this weekend, where i'll be either entertaining an out-of-town friend in the warmth of the clubhouse (saturday) or just not there (Sunday). To see if I'm there at the track or not, check my twitter feed ( http://twitter.com/tencentcielo )
Chicago Gerry, What races are you looking at? I'm starting to tune in and might visit the OTB tomorrow because I want to see how the Bernardini colt will run. Where did Mott say TH&S wasn't cranked? I saw Welsch likes Soldat ... LemonSoupKid
Chicago Gerry , I'm not sure which post is making you laugh so hard . The one to Annie or the one regarding the beautiful and talented Ms. Friday. In any case I wasn't punkin' you. When I hear the word intern I automatically get a mental picture of Friday in her green Plastic Fantastic get up and a tight wiggle dress. LOL.
Taz, Some tracks (I know Fairgrounds is one; I believe Tampa is another) have a replay section on their website. There's no signup or anything like that; just follow the link. You can find the track websites (if you don't know it) by going to Entries->Track Information at the top of this page. Each track page will display the website, if it exists.
Bob C, Thanks for the warn..uhh....announcement that Sherriff Dan will be in town on March 12. I'll plan to be there. It would be an honor to drag..errr..take Dan to lunch or get him souss...uhh...buy him a drink at the local dive...uhmm...Tiki Bar. I'll hunt for you und...errrr....around the Tiki Bar tomorrow afternoon. Laura
Just a reminder - the 2nd Showvivor Contest starts on Saturday and you have to post your pick before first post: http://showvivor.santaanita.com/