06/04/2011 12:25PM

HandiGambling 236 (Woodbine off turf)

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Today's HandiGambling 236 exercise is the fifth race at Woodbine, a maiden special weight for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the polytrack.  This race has been washed off 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.

Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers instead of the names of the horses.  

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.

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Again, we are OFF THE TURF.   

Let's scratch #1 HOLY ACADEMY, #3 SENSE OF PRIDE, #4 UNBRIDLED OVERTURE, #6 ELEGANT AFFAIR and #10 ASTRO RULER

#1A POWERFUL SARAH will be ridden by Tyler Pizarro.

#9 ELUSIVE LAND is 2 lbs. overweight. 
 

#7 BIANCO TARTUFO, a $400,000 yearling purchase, was favored over the quality filly Biofuel in her career debut at two, but went on the shelf for almost a year following her runner-up finish. Bianco Tartufo is a half-sister to Into My Soul, a multiple stakes-placed grass runner (11-2-2-2, $101,057, 2-9 on turf), but her dam, Stop Traffic, excelled on the main track, winning a pair of Grade 1 races.  Bianco Tartufo will go third off the bench with improving Beyers on display, but has never gained late ground in her career and now must stretch out.  She projects for a good pace-tracking trip just outside of the speed and shows some quick recent workouts.  She may not be a star, but doesn't have to be to graduate here.

#1A POWERFUL SARAH looks interesting.  Powerful Sarah hasn't been out since last August, but re-introduces the blinkers and may be one of those late-developing fillies.  She's a half-sister to the stakes-placed turf performer Gladiator Queen (17-2-2-2, $128,618) and her two grass races last year are better than they look on paper.  In her career debut at Fort Erie, she showed no speed, but made up late ground after spinning widest into the stretch.  Two back, in a maiden claimer at Woodbine, she was checked from in between horses in midstretch.  It doesn't look like she has much speed so she could be at the mercy of the pace.

#5 LA BELLE BEAR has been well-bet in all of her races and now makes her third start of the year for trainer Reade Baker.  La Belle Bear is a half-sister to Blue Storm (16-7-2-1, $72,280, stakes-placed sprinting on dirt) and Howsitgoinghotshot (33-6-6-4, $152,496, stakes-winner sprinting on dirt) and the dam was a stakes-winner on the main track.  La Belle Bear has some speed and just missed to next-out winner Northern Coast on May 11 (that one returned to win a $40,000, N2L claimer with a 77 Beyer).  She could control things up front and looms a contender.

As for the others:

#2 FIELD OF CLOVER, a $32,000 claim last season goes third off the layoff, but finished behind La Belle Bear last time out.  She should appreciate the added distance as a half-sister to Pool Play, a long-winded Grade 3 winner over the polytrack.

#11 MIRIMICHI BABE raced three wide for most of the way two back, but still received a respectable figure on the grass at Gulfstream.  She drew a tough outside post, but has kept solid company and ran well on polytrack earlier in her career at Keeneland. 

#8 NUEVO DINERO is a first-time starter by Stephen Got Even (38-356, 11% with debut runners).  The dam won on grass and is kin to the good turf runner Marlang, but this barn doesn't show promising numbers with debut runners and the workouts fail to entice.  She may need one.

#9 ELUSIVE LAND is a firster by Holy Bull (54-672, 8% with debut runners) out of Forever Land, the winner of the Grade 3 Astoria sprinting on the dirt at two.  Elusive Land goes out for top connections and is kin to multiple stakes-winner Touch Dial (9-3-5-0, $366,328) and Grade 3-placed router Forever Rush (57-14-13-6, $364,244).  This one was offered at auction twice ($55,000 RNA as a yearling, $25,000 RNA last year).  If the early money starts chirping, I may listen.

Here's how I'll play a very confusing and competitive HandiGambling event.

$50 Exacta:  7-1A
$50 Exacta:  7-5

Best of luck to all.

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For detailed video stakes previews, please click on the below link, scroll down to the "Weekend Warrior" section and click on the stakes name.

http://www.drf.com/news/weekend-stakes-preview-videos

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More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.

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Next week's HandiGambling will be the Belmont Stakes