07/09/2011 10:48AM

HandiGambling 241 (Caress Stakes)


Today's HandiGambling 241 exercise is the eighth race from Belmont, the $60,000 Caress Stakes for fillies and mares at 6 furlongs on the Widener Turf Course.
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.


The turf course is listed as GOOD. 


I really don't have a strong feeling on this race.  After searching for an alternative to the likely favorite, #3 ROSE CATHERINE, I just couldn't find anyone I really love to upset her. 

I found four main contenders that I would fool around with in multi-race wagers.

#3 ROSE CATHERINE had a big 3-year-old campaign, winning four stakes races sprinting on the grass.  This year has been a bit of a disappointment for her connections as she dropped her first three starts at short prices before scoring at odds-on in the Nonsuch Bay Stakes over the Belmont inner turf on June 8.  
In the Nonsuch Bay, she prompted the pace from the outside before taking charge turning for home.  She kept to her task, but they were getting to her in the lane.  She may have to deal with #7 QUALIA in the early portion of this race, but perhaps she's rounding back into form. 

#1a QUEBRADA SHINER was stakes-placed over yielding ground in the six-furlong Glowing Honor Stakes last fall on the inner, but has been recently plying her trade in route races.  Despite scoring in gate-to-wire fashion three back around two turns, she may be more comfortable going shorter.  I was disappointed in her most recent start as she saved ground in the pocket, but failed to capitalize and failed to crack the trifecta.  She has some tactical speed and may work out a decent stalking trip from the outside.

#10 DONNA GETYOURGUN is an interesting price chance.  She returned from a long, long layoff to win her turf debut at Churchill Downs on June 9.  That afternoon, she made a solid three-wide bid entering the turn before gamely beating back the resurgent Costly in the stretch.  Lightly-raced, it's possible we have yet to see this one's best and she should be rallying in the stretch.

#6 SEA ROAD has a good late kick, but I wonder if she is more effective at slightly longer distances.  All of her wins have come in routes and her recent sprint surges have fallen short.  Still, she is in good form for an excellent barn and should make her presence felt in the lane. 

As for the others:

#2 FASCINATIN' RHYTHM won her most recent turf start, the Jamella Stakes for Maryland-breds last August over yielding ground at Laurel.  She's won a pair of stakes races on dirt in the interim and we could throw out her most recent loss in the Grade 1 Madison over synthetic.  Fascinatin' Rhythm needs a Beyer boost to get this done and may need some pace help up front.

#4 MUCH REJOICING took the Glia Stakes at this distance two back over Sea Road, but she tired badly over "good" going in the Grade 1 Just a Game on Belmont Stakes day.  The nicely-bred filly should go well on the cutback in distance, but I wonder if she'll appreciate the cut in the ground.

#5 DOMINANT CURRENCY failed to change leads when beating a pair of next-out winners at Gulfstream on April 10.  She may have been stymied by a slow pace in her first start against winners here on May 30 and could get faster fractions to attack here.  It's hard to simply discount any Angel Penna-trained runner.

#7 QUALIA may be the key to this race as she makes her turf debut.  Grade 2-placed on the main track, Qualia has always hinted at ability, but a plethora of layoff lines have halted her progress.  She does have good early speed and could find herself on the lead.  Her sire, Saarland, is 2-57 (4%) with first-time turf runners while the dam finished second in her lone start on grass.  Only one of Qualia's siblings has started on grass (placed from four races). 

It's a fun race.  For HandiGambling purposes, I'll key Rose Catherine on top in Exactas:

$40 Exacta:  Rose Catherine - Quebrada Shiner (3-1a)
$40 Exacta:  Rose Catherine - Donna Getyourgun (3-10)
$20 Exacta:  Rose Catherine - Sea Road (3-6)


Here are quick and dirty selections for some of this weekend's races:


For in-depth video analyses of the weekend's big stakes races, please click on the following link, scroll down to the second video player, and click on the stakes name on the right hand side:



Have a great weekend.

Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
It's a wacker, I had a couple of reasons to believe the ground training was crucial. First, if the horses are easier to handle, less workers comp claims. Second, I wouldn't get hurt since it was more than likely I would have been doing quite a bit of hands on myself. Third, like you said, the horses stand a much better chance at a second career if they are easier to retrain. Also, horses that learn much of the Monty Roberts program, learn how to calm themselves which is essential when you think about how insane the crowds can get at big races. The dressage training was a pet theory of mine that unfortunately, I never got to prove with racehorses. First, most racehorses travel 60/40 to 55/45 on the forehand compared to the rear end. First, think about which legs the horses usually break in a fatal breakdown. It's usually a front leg. Second, where's the horse's engine? The rear. So, with dressage training, you are working the horse to shift the weight back onto the rear legs to at least a 50/50 ratio. With a stronger hind end, better push, with better push, you get a longer stride. Also, another major concern I always had was that the horses always breezed the same direction. That makes for uneven muscle development. I always thought it would be cool if the tracks would vary clockwise and counter clockwise training to help prevent that imbalance. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the post. I found some of my old papers and enjoyed reading my thoughts from more than a decade ago. I also had the opportunity to work for a major pinhooker around that time. However, I was the sole responsible parent for a seven year old and that job would have been about 50% travel.............the lottery isn't going to change that lost opportunity! :)
Tirnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Jonah, "Yeah, Hitler had a lot of nice costumes"- OMG, how did you not laugh right in her face? However, it was an extremely timely off topic comment........For more interesting Hitler ideas regarding dogs talking, saluting and various types of ways to deliver poison, please see today's NY Times. Maureen Dowd has an absolutely bizarre column on some of the newest research into some of Hitler's more extremely unusual ideas.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Blackseabass I'm glad you are lurking and taking some down time, and not going away. I' may start commenting on baby races, maiden races soon, and would love your thoughts.. I also think that Laura's chat room, when she reviews special weekends, is an excellent place to talk a bit more 'real time', and get to know someone a little bit better. I know I enjoyed chatting with you that one evening. Uncle Steve You are a voice of calm and reason, and I think you last post summed up this blog so very well. Now, will you go pick us some more horses, please ? ..ha-ha-ha-hah!
Bear More than 1 year ago
Hey Annie--Where are you? I hope everything is ok. I have a question--My wife and I and another couple are planning to come to the Minneapolis area to visit my brother. We were planning to go to races at Canterbury. Any insight on what is going on with the govt. shutdown and when the track might reopen? Thanks--Bear
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Speaking of the upcoming boutique seasons.............It looks like I'm going to get a new item OFF my bucket list. Del Mar is going to have a blue thong invasion............well at least two of them. :) All Formbloggers interested in meeting up where the surf meets the turf, check your calendars for the weekend of August 19-21. SR VEGAS and I personally guarantee to freely tout all our best picks, those beautiful PGH's and the horses with the best names. Unfortunately we can't promise you will make any money from them.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
MikeA, despite the disagreements we've occasionally had I must say you are not much of a grudge holder and I like that in a person. I'm sorry if I've gotten overly personal on occasion. Please accept that as sincere. It can be hard to teach old dogs like us new tricks sometimes. I do respect your knowledge and professional approach to the game . I ,like you,play for a reason other than just love of watching them run ,although I do like to watch them run as I'm sure you do to. For 15 years it was the only money I had that my ex-wife had no way to claim half of. LOL. I must have been unclear as to what I meant when I said I was going to do more lurking as several people did seem to think I was saying goodbye cruel world. That ain't me & I'm just as thick skinned as you thought I was as I'm sure you are as tough as I think you are. Heck if my ex couldn't take me to the mat there ain't no blog that can. She's meaner than a fire breathing dragon, twice as ruthless & she's got a black belt to boot. She's an Italian Ginger with an attitude and I'm sure you know how dangerous that can be. LOL. I was serious when I said I didn't want to see you go. Yes there is good racing coming up and I'm sure we are going to knock down some good ones at DMR & SAR although DMR has always been a tough spot for me. I do like the fairs though so I can find plenty of action there if I don't like what I see at DMR. Low class horses have always been good to a low class guy like me. LOL. Thanks Mike. I'm glad you'll be around when you can find the time. I am going to cut back my traffic, but I'll be around too. This is a tough game to stay at sans breaks without getting worn down. I'm a little worn down at the moment myself and I need some refreshment . I do want to see if I can learn something by keeping my mouth shut and mind open for a bit. Captcha >>> left thictic>>> Captcha, I told CurtV that there was nothing wrong with either of my thictics . Left or right. They are both doing just fine.
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, TBTA, Previously unranked, Red Duke's sterling win in the Superlative Stakes at the Newmarket July Festival vaulted him onto the Timeform Top Ten list with a 110 Timeform rating. Red Duke is in a four-way tie with Power, Lilbourne Lad and Requinto for fourth. http://www.timeform.com/display_articles.asp?page=Timeform_Top_10s.asp
SamG More than 1 year ago
HG 242 I choose race 6 at Penn National on Friday 7/15.It's not a great race but I wanted something with plenty of entries.Thanks and good luck to all.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Folks , I guess I gave the impression that I was dropping off the face of the earth and if so that wasn't my intention. I was just saying that I was going to slow my roll and do my best to keep it as light as my personality will allow me to when I have something to say. I really am not looking for people to ask me to stay around as I'm not going anywhere and my style if I was would be to hurl some insults out and be done with it. LOL. I really don't want to be made to feel that I'm responsible for the departure of anyone that others like to read or keeping newcomers away. I also don't want to hold my tongue to the point that I feel I'm not being true to myself or with others. That wouldn't be Cobra, sssssssssssssss.LOL. It would be phoney. The ones that have gotten to know me through my writing know that I'm not above being nice ,complimentary or funny, but that isn't the entire BSB. I can be critical as well. That is the whole BSB. Frequent visitors to formblog have figured out a long time ago that I have a big mouth and I'm not very diplomatic. Sorry, thats who I am. The reason I said I would lurk more and post less is to try to allow room for all the people that I'm told are terrified to post here because EVIL BSB is waiting to swoop down and pick the flesh from their bones.LOL. I don't want to be the ruination of Formblog . I like Formblog ,if I didn't I would've disappeared with the mare that I rode in on. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Its a wacker , sounds like you had a nice outing. Good to hear about it. I always like to hear fish tales .Nice Cat !! Sounds like you may have been at Nacimiento or San Antonio ? I do like surf music. Weds. on TCM they are showing Ride the Wild Surf . Thats the 1st movie I ever saw in a theatre so I'll be sure to tune it in. Shelley Fabret & Barbara Eden in bikinis.Owe-ooooooooooo. LOL. If you've never seen it you may well enjoy it.>>> It takes a lot of skill and courage unknown to catch the last wave and ride it in alone... Ride ride ride the wild surf... Speaking of Halibut the White Sea Bass King got 28 and 22 pounders from our skiff in April on my late fathers birthday. TBTA, SRVegas,VQ, CurtV , Meathead01,WhackyMacky, thanks for your comments . I enjoy reading your posts as well . If I could always be as nice as you guys are I would, but thats not me. As Van Savant says , "know thyself". CurtV, my onions are intact. They aren't wilted yet. LOL. Whacky , you always have to rub my nose in my lack of a Bluefish notch in my rodbutt don't you ? LOL. Someday I'll get up there & have you show me & The WSB King how thats done. Don't be surprised if The WSB King makes us both look like amatuers before its over though . He's got the knack and he relentlessly keeps his line wet. Ron Z, I thought you were being funny and I hope Tencent will reconsider.I understood you to be poking fun at the multiple posters that do that on a weekly basis. LOL. Tencent can be pretty funny when he wants to as well. One of the few times I found myself in Laura's chat room he was cracking me up all night and I was the butt of most of his sly/dry jokes. Right Tencent ? LOL. Jonah, you're a decent writer. Grammatically. You're not much of a reader/listener though . I want to e-mail you or recieve e-mail from you or anyone else for that matter, like I want a hole in my head ! Does that make it more clear than me saying my own kids don't have my e-mail address because I don't want e-mail ! BTW, if you thought commenting on my big brain was going to embarrass me in any way you were mistaken. I'm very comfortable with the fact I have a lot of brain power. The Spooks didn't cut me from the herd in the 60's to make an MK Ultra lab specimen out of me because I was normal or slightly above normal. Not LOL about that as you might be able to imagine if you are even a tiny bit familiar with what I'm alluding to . If your friend Franco is a former Prop Maker then I know him. If he looks something like Zappa then its the same guy and that sounds something like what the Franco I knew would say. LOL. CurtV did have your intention pegged to a tee IMO ,buttZ... in order to hurt someones feelings that person has to have one. LOL. I don't. Finally , we are not and never could be friends, so don't kid yourself that we are. That doesn't mean we have to be enemies . It just means that you are not my kind of guy and I'm not your kind of guy. No big deal. I'll be reading always and posting every so often. I want to see if tons of formerly intimidated posters come out of the woodwork with their ideas on how to be successful at this game. I'm always ready to learn something new or something old that I've never heard of that I can incorporate into my game. This game has been something of a lifes work & journey for me so you can understand why I would like to improve upon my meager success. You won't have to repeat your ideas more than once for them to sink through my thick skull . I promise you that. Captcha>>> muses possibly >>>> Well possibly, but don't count on it with BSB. He usually doesn't meditate quietly. Kicking and screaming is more his style. LOL. Good luck everyone & peace.
gerry v. More than 1 year ago
"2 for 10" for a great example check out last Sat.'s(7/9/11) 2nd race at Hollywood Park...wow