06/24/2011 5:12PM

HandiGambling 239 (Evangeline maiden claimers)

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Tonight's HandiGambling 239 exercise is the fifth race from Evangeline Downs, a $5,000 maiden claimer for fillies and mares at six furlongs. 
 
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.

I'm posting this early and don't have access to track conditions and scratches.

This is a race lacking quality and it's very difficult to have a strong positive opinion on any of the entrants.

#2 SAY IT TWICE isn't a proven loser as she only displays two dirt races on her card.  She'll make the third start following a lengthy layoff and had the misfortune to chase favored runaway winner Louisiana Light for three times this tag on June 9. 
Say It Twice looms the speed nearest the rail and may appreciate turning back a furlong in distance.  The Beyer par for this class level is 40 and Say It Twice has run better than that in two of her three races (one on turf, the other almost two years ago). 
On the other hand, this barn is 0-72 over the past five years, according to Formulator, and Say It Twice hasn't gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in any of her races. 

#12 DIRTY T stumbled at the start of her career debut at Louisiana Downs on May 13, the faster of two divisions of statebred $5,000 maiden claimers on May 13.  She then rushed up to contest the pace from the outside before faltering in the final furlong.  The second- and third-place finishers from that race both returned to graduate (one with a 50 Beyer, the other for a statebred $12,500 tag). 
Most recently, Dirty T reportedly got very unsettled in the post parade and may have expended too much energy before the race.  She still finished a solid third and looms the one to beat with a good outside stalking trip.

#8 KALEIDOSCOPE EYES has 13 losses on her record, but her form may be dirtied up a bit by her recent failure as the favorite on June 8.  She never seemed to get a hold of the sloppy track in that spot, and she's never run particularly well over wet going (beaten a combined 72 1/2 lengths in four starts over wet dirt).
Previously, Kaleidoscope Eyes rallied mildly for third in a $10,000 maiden claimer and she finished directly ahead of next-out winner Shannon's Power.  Kaleidoscope Eyes probably fits well at this level given firm ground and may get some pace to attack here.

#14 LACEY'S GLITTER has a hint of early speed, but she may be forced to rate from her far outside post position.  Last time out, she tackled an open-length winner and this trainer/jockey combination shows excellent previous results.  Lacey's Glitter looms an interesting price horse in multi-race and exotic wagers. 

#5 JENINE'S PIC showed marked improvement when dropped to this level last time out as she pressed the pace throughout before dropping a tough neck decision to the favorite (that one returned to finish ninth at 22-1 odds in a $5,000, 'N2L' claimer on June 22).  Jenine's Pic has run some quick opening fractions and should be close to the pace from the get-go.  She should be prominent when they swing into the stretch and seems like she's figured the game out.

As for the others:

#1 SONNY'S LIL SIS ships in from Texas following three straight 0 Beyers.  She's run once before in Louisiana - a seventh-place finish in her debut - and doesn't show a published workout in the last 43 days.  The trainer is 1-65 over the past five years.

#3 WHISKEY BAY has four straight 0 Beyers and was over 100-1 odds in her last two races.  She is very hard to recommend.  The trainer is 1-88 over the past five years.

#4 VALID PEARL adds blinkers after finishing fourth in the slop on June 8.  She's raced with the shades on three previous occasions (beaten a combined 46 lengths in three starts) without success, but may show improved speed here.  The trainer is 1-85 over the past three years. 

#6 SAUCE CAT could benefit from a quick pace and she finished a half-length shy of the winner in her only previous try at this level.  She made up some late ground against $10,000 maiden claimers last time out and isn't out of this with her best effort.

It's probably too early to give up on #7 HOTTIE'S DEELITE after only one start and she halves in price following that race.  The runner-up that day returned to whip the top selection by over 14 lengths for a $15,000 tag on June 9.  Hottie's Deelite breezed five furlongs in preparation for this and needn't improve by leaps and bounds to factor.

The two highest Beyers of #9 LUCKOFTHEIRISH's career came over wet going so you can upgrade her chances slightly if the skies open up.  Still, she's 0-12 without a single exacta finish and has lost ground from the stretch call to the wire in her last four races. 

#10 MONIQUE'S PRINCESS has big early speed and she could make it tough on the other front-runners in this spot.  Stamina, or the lack of it, has been her main problem, however, as she's lost a ton of late ground in all three of her races.  She may show more in her second start of the year, but a prolonged pace battle may doom her to defeat.

#11 QUEEN OF CLASS raced evenly with her first start in blinkers and another forward move isn't out of the question given the proper race flow.  Queen of Class hit the board at this level three back over this surface and is another one of those fringe longshot players that have a chance.

#13 LITE UM UP AUSTIN, listed as a vet scratch on May 18, removes blinkers following a pair of dull races for $10,000.  She'll halve in price here, but has yet to finish ahead of another horse in her life and must do much more.

I think I'll take a Pasadena on this one.

Top picks:
1.  Say It Twice
2.  Dirty T
3.  Kaleidoscope Ides
4.  Lacey's Glitter

HandiGambling - No Play

Best of luck to all.