07/15/2011 4:36PM

HandiGambling 242 (Penn National)

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Tonight's HandiGambling 242 exercise is the sixth race from Penn National, a $5,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares that have never won three races. 
 
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 track condition is FAST.

The Beyer par for this race is 56.

This race kicks off a Pick 4, but I'm not sure I'll play as I'd have to go five deep, in some form or another, in this race alone.

#5 PARADE SONG, the beaten favorite in her last three races, is not the most reliable mare in the world.  With only nine starts on her form, however, she isn't a proven loser just yet and may have just a touch of upside potential. 
She reached par for this level three back, a race in which she attempted to rally over a speed-favoring track.  That heat was the faster division of a pair of $5,000, N3L claimers at Penn National that day. 
Last time out, she raced three wide and in between rivals for most of the way before rallying belatedly for the place. 
She's a one-paced plodding type, but appears to be in good form and could work out a decent stalking trip off the expected moderate pace.  While it may not be now-or-never time for Parade Song, it's getting close as she finished ahead of four of tonight's rivals in the most recent start. 

It may not be a bad idea to take a shipper in a race like this (note that Parade Song was outfinished by Colonial invader Nesfield on June 28) and #7 MY LILY LANE will make her Penn National debut after competing against better at Parx and Monmouth. 
Winless since being claimed by trainer John Rodriguez on October 17, 2010 (13 straight losses), My Lily Lane surpassed par for this level three back at Parx and she finished an even fourth behind nine-time winner Strawberry Blush on June 11 (that one returned to run second in a $7,500 N1Y claimer at Parx on July 10). 
My Lily Lane may show a bit more early zip as she stretches in distance and looms a logical alternative to the morning line favorite.

#4 DREAMIN' OF JEANNE bombed as the even-money favorite when dropped to this level on March 5 and immediately went to the bench.   Of the nine horses to return from that race, only one of them cracked the trifecta next-out. 
Still, Dreamin' of Jeanne is one of the few runners in this race to have reached the Beyer par (earned 56 Beyer three back) and the slightly-longer distance should work to her favor. 

#1 PROMISE TO SHARON finished behind Parade Song last time out, but she "clipped heels leaving the starting gate," according to the DRF chart.  The three-year-old filly has held her own against her elders of late and she has the early speed to grab a forward position going into the first turn. 
Expect Promise to Sharon to be prominent when the real racing begins and she can't be counted out.

#8 BIG TIME RUMBLE will make her ninth attempt at this condition, but she occasionally runs a good one and shouldn't be dismissed for exotics consideration.  She finished a fast-closing third at 51-1 two back before being stymied by a slow pace in her most recent start.  The daughter of Thunder Rumble may get slightly faster fractions to attack this evening and isn't the worst longshot stab in the world.

#3 DIAMONDSFORJEAN earned solid pace figures when battling for the lead at one mile against better five starts back and she may end up on or near the lead stretching out in distance.  She won at this distance earlier in the year when allowed to relax on the front and a similar setup could work to her advantage at long odds tonight. 
On the other hand, she hasn't gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in her six races since being claimed away from Norman Pointer and finished behind Parade Song two starts back.

As for the others:

#2 ROCK'N WITH MARY is 2-50 lifetime, 1-33 on dirt and 0-13 at Penn National.  She cracked the trifecta two back after riding glacial fractions but couldn't string two solid races together, finishing last on June 10 at 58-1. 
The mare has some tactical speed, but doesn't possess much of a stretch punch and she has never come close to the Beyer par on the dirt. 

#6 SOLAR BLESSING has won twice on polytrack, but hasn't done much in her four lifetime races on dirt.  A late runner that has been away since May 23, Solar Blessing will need pace and race luck in this bulky field. 
One angle in her favor is that she has never been in this cheap and she halves in price for low-profile connections. 

#9 WEDDING FEVER steps up in class following a facile win at 12-1 against 'n2L' competition.  She'll make the important third start of the form cycle here, but will need Beyer improvement against these tougher foes. 

#11 CRAVING CHOCOLATE ships in from Monmouth, but she's already tried this level at Penn National, finishing a well-beaten sixth on February 18.  She may have moved too soon under her seven-pound bug rider that time, however, and can do better in this spot.  She draws a wide berth and must avoid losing too much ground going into the first turn and she hasn't gained late ground in her last five starts.  Expect Craving Chocolate to be up close early, but she may be at her best when she's loose on the lead, and I'm not sure that will happen here. 

#12 OCEAN HARMONY ran well at this level three back, but she has since raced poorly with front bandages and is now stuck in the far outside gate.  She has a hint of back ability (once Beyered 80 in a Calder optional claimer and 76 in a Gulfstream allowance), but seems a bit off form.

For HandiGambling, I'll fool around this way although I'm not sure if it will "For Entertainment Purposes Only."

$50 Exacta:  PARADE SONG - MY LILY LANE (5-7)
$20 Exacta:  PARADE SONG - DREAMIN' OF JEANNE (5-4)
$10 Exacta:  PARADE SONG - PROMISE TO SHARON (5-1)
$10 Exacta:  PARADE SONG - BIG TIME RUMBLE (5-8)
$10 Exacta;  PARADE SONG - DIAMONDSFORJEAN (5-3)

Back tomorrow morning with some weekend stakes analysis.

Best of luck to all.