09/14/2011 1:57PM

HandiGambling 250: Belmont Turf Sprint


Today's HandiGambling 250 exercise is the eighth race from Belmont, a $20,000 'N2L' claimer for fillies and mares at six furlongs over the inner 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 corrected weight for #11 SOTIQUE is 121 LBS.

The turf condition is FIRM.

The portable rail on the inner course is out 27 FEET.


I weeded out five main contenders in this race, but really don't have a strong opinion on any particular horse.

#6 QUEENS OR BETTER has improved dramatically since being equipped with blinkers and she recently put the boots to a statebred maiden special weight group at Saratoga. She showed good tactical speed in that spot by tracking the pace on the outside before being fanned four wide turning for home.  The outcome was never in doubt during the stretch run and her last two Beyers point her out on the figs.  There is always a question, however, about maiden graduates when they face winners for the first time as the pace scenario is usually faster against the tougher competition.  Plus, if Queens Or Better is moving forward so much, why are her connections willing to lose her for $20,000 when they still have rich statebred conditions left?  She isn't an appealing play at short odds, but I coudn't find anyone else to topple her.  If she runs back to her last race, she can beat these.

#13 MS DILLER draws in from the also eligible list and she ran a solid second at this level over the course and distance three back (finishing ahead of next-out 70 Beyer winner Amirahy).  She has early speed, but is stuck in a wide spot and may be on the chase instead of in front heading into the turn.  A lightly-raced filly, Ms Diller was jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.'s first call (over Sotique) and seems well-spotted in this event. It's nice to see her wheel back in 10 days. 

#9 VALUABLE LADY rushed up form the outside, put away another pace challenger and gamely held third behind the aforementioned Amirahy in her most recent outing.  She has high early speed, but is on a 16-race losing streak and hasn't gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in any of her races since breaking her maiden.  She also doesn't show a published workout in 26 days as she makes her first start for trainer Gary Sciacca.  You'll know her early, and that makes her dangerous, but she must show greater stretch stamina.

#1 SIMSATIONAL showed a new dimension when winning her maiden over "good" turf at the Spa.  Generally a one-way speedball, Simsational sat off the early leader before taking charge for good turning for home.  Perhaps the lightly-raced 3-year-old filly has finally figured the game out and she should be prominent when the field swings into the stretch. 

I liked #12 RAKEHELLISH's race two back going short off the layoff at Saratoga.  She raced in and among horses on the turn, angled wide at the quarter pole and rallied well to defeat four of these rivals.  She wasn't any good last time, but was rank going two turns.  She's probably better sprinting and should get some pace to attack in the late going.  I wouldn't sell her short at good odds. 

As for the rest:

#3 UNTAMED GLORY has never sprinted in her career, but it may be the best thing for her as she tires badly in those route races.  While she's quick from the gate, she may not be sprint-quick and could benefit from being taken off the pace to make one late bid.  Trainer Lisa Lewis is one of the most underrated trainers in the business.

#10 I'M A PERSONAL JET finished a shocking second at this level over the Widener course at 41-1 on June 25, but hasn't come close to duplicating that effort in subsequent starts.  Her lone career victory came in gate-to-wire fashion over sloppy going at Finger Lakes and she may need slightly weaker competition before she finds the winner's circle again.

#7 AUSABLE CHASM may be a sneaky longshot.  This will be her second start following the layoff and she raced very wide in her turf debut at the Spa on August 19.  Shee won her second lifetime start and improved her Beyer 36 points the last time she raced second off the bench so this seems to be a pattern that works well for her.  The pace may be faster in here than it was last time, however, and Ausable Chasm may be outsprinted in the early going.

#5 MY MAN NELL earned a 70 Beyer three starts back in a route, but she worked out a very good pace-tracking, ground-saving trip that afternoon.  Since then, she finished behind a couple of these on Saratoga sod and threw her rider when trying the main track.  This barn must always be respected, but the Team Valor castoff My Man Nell may be a bit better in longer-distance events.

#11 SOTIQUE has never been this cheap and that's reason enough to give her a big chance in this spot.  Add in the fact that she's turning back to a better distance in her second start of the form cycle and she looks like a very intriguing runner.  I must admit that I've never been a big fan of Sotique, though, She can certainly win and may get a fluid pace setup, but her odds may be a bit shorter than I would prefer to take. 

#8 PERSKY'S HEART pulled off a 27-1 upset in her most recent start over this course and distance, but she raced on her left lead for most of the stretch run that day and hasn't done much in two subsequent starts against New York-breds.  She should appreciate dropping into this conditioned claimer, but likes to race close to the pace.  There may simply be too much other speed for her to overcome.

I'm not thrilled about the race, but here goes nothing:

$50 Exacta:  Queens Or Better - Ms. Diller (6-13)
$50 Exacta:  Queens Or Better - Valuable Lady (6-9)

Best of luck to all.

PGM More than 1 year ago
Arlington Park -- Saturday Sept. 17 The final stakes of the Arlington season headlines this something-for-everyone Saturday card. Race 6: Here's a late-season turf allowance that could draw just as good of a field if it were a $50K stakes honoring some bygone horse. An upper level turf allowance route on the Arlington turf is the sweet spot for ROMIN ROBIN. She drops back to Earth after facing the amazons in the Beverly D. and has run well despite only one win this year. But that win was in this N3X condition earlier in the meet (she qualifies under N2Y). ASKBUT I WONTTELL was second to decent G3 poly/turf horse Hooh Why in a restricted stakes the day before the Million Festival. A double G3 winner last year, she fits at this level. PATHWAY won at this condition last time when you could've taken her for $100K in the claim box. She's back again, up for sale again, and has minor awards in two statebred stakes earlier in the year. This field will be tougher than the one she beat last time, though. But with 8 top two finishes in 13 starts on the course, she should cash a check. ROMIN ROBIN (5/2) ASKBUT I WONTTELL (2/1) PATHWAY (8/1) Dr. Dangerously: BIZZEE MISSEE (10/1) won a two-other-than last time at Ellis and beat a next out winner. Trainer Mike Maker is 19% winners and he recruits E. T. Baird to ride. This one is the speed of the speed and Baird is one of the best front-end riders in the colony. Watch out if the course favors speed, or this one gets loose. Race 9 The last stakes of the year at Arlington, the G3 Pucker Up, is itself a feeder to next month's G1 QEII Cup at Keeneland. Woodbine grass form often holds up well on the Arlington grass, and MARKETING MIX won the third leg of the Canadian Filly Triple Crown last time. Now she goes south of the border and picks up the flammable Junior Alvarado to ride. Very solid post-race works. TRAC N JAM won a six-figure listed stakes two back, then had everything go wrong at Saratoga: in too deep, dead rail, boggy course. There's no Winter Memories or Hungry Island here, and she won an a-other-than on this course three back. SUMMER SAVORY had a meh effort last time at Woodbine in a G3. I think it's a toss, and here's a horse who gets back on her best surface. Liked the fact she cashed a check in a G3 at Colonial two back, and there will be enough pace to set up her kick. MARKETING MIX (7/2) TRAC N JAM (5/1) SUMMER SAVORY (3/1) Dr. Dangerously: The local feeder into this race is the Hatoof, run right before the Grade One triple on Arlington Million Day. And I thought that race was a slow stagger-fest. Tossing out the 1-2-4 finishers of that race leads me to the far outside and MAID OF HEAVEN (20/1). Has two wins in a second in three career turf starts. The Kentucky races may be as good as any other stepping up off allowance wins, the trainer has only started eight horses all year at Arlington but two have won and two have finished third, one of them ridden by E. T. Baird, who rides here,with a double digit ROI. The fact her post position is in Wisconsin means you'll likely get 20/1, and if the odds go up I think this horse can you some serious money for Keeneland (or Hawthorne or Santa Anita).
Laura More than 1 year ago
Van Savant & everyone else who got spammed by my email account, I'm sorry about that. I was repairing my son's severely infected computer (128 malware, trojans, adware, you name it) and I inadvertently went into one of my email accounts. I've changed my password so it won't happen again. Laura
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Molesap Terrific job on the Debut Trainer work-must be a Bay Area thing, no? It will be fun to compare notes when I'm done. I do use specific criteria: 1.The trainer must have had a positive ROI ($2.00 or better) with debut horses in 2011 or 2010. 2The trainer must have a positive ROI (again, with debut horsesi)in at least 3 of the last five years. 3.Must have at least an average or above record (12-13% or above) in all starts, not just debuts. 4.Must have at least 10 debut starts per year-in the positive years. I do not want a trainer who "got lucky" with one or two big prices (see Ed Moger in 2010-had a $95 winner). bsb and I debated this point a year or so ago-I just don't want long run outs waiting and hoping for the big bomb. I am also looking for consistency, hence the win percentage requirement. I need to keep the final list at a manageable number-say ten to fifteen trainers (like your list), so I mayincrease or decrease the requirements as I go along. Good job, though. Now you've given me some targets.
blackstone More than 1 year ago
GGF 1st Race I know that the great majority of you could not care less about GGF, but I had great fun handicapping the 1st race at GGF today, so I will treat it as an HG Race and disect all six entrants. The Security Guard at a local hospital and I went over this race for a couple of hours Thursday Night (I spent a few hours in the waiting room in what, very fortunately, turned out to be a false alarm): you just never know when you're going to run into a fellow horse player, do you ? The race is a very competitive six pack of $12,500 open claimers-I can make a case for all six horses.What I am looking for is a horse who can break 1:11 at the distamce. #1-Chief Runaway-A Wm Morey, Jr. horse coming off a ten week layoff, a deadly angle-always. Remember Flying Gwen last Saturday at $33.40? This one is dropping in class, and is 2-3 at the distance, and 2-8 at GGF. This race, though, looks like a tune up for a stretch out to come in another week or two. Odds will be sweet so I will have a win saver on him, but I expect his big finish will come up short. #2-Jaylo Marino-Stepping up in class slightly, the horse just ran a 1:10:4, so he is one of the ones. 16-18 on synthetics ( all at GGF), including 8 wins. Can win on or off the lead. Ultimately, he is my tepid selection. M/L of 5-2 is probably too low as I think he may drift up to around 7-2. #3-Courtside Action-First off the claim by "Kid" Morey. Can someone show me a better first off claim trainer in America, including Mike Mitchell? 44% in 99 starts since 01/01/10-good grief. But this one, like his Dad's horse, looks like a router. I will go against him this time. #4-Defend Liberty-King Jerry and Baze means this is an automatic contender. Has run a number of races that would win this , but I don't like the lack of workouts since his last race (14 days ago). That is not typical of Hollendorfer, and as a result I will play against him, albeit nervously. #5-Primary Notice-Having a great 2011 and has been terrific off the claim. Although I have had him on 3 of his wins, I will play against him today. I don't like the drop off of a win, although maybe it is simply that there are no other spots to run him. 13-29 lifetime says a lot about the horse, though, so tread lightly here. #6-Maidens Justice- Could be the surprise, even more so than Chief Runaway. His last four races have been terrific, but the Jock needs some pace, which he should get, and he needs to time the ride perfectly. Of that, I am not confident. And for the record, the horse is named after a Robert B. Parker novel of the same name-a terrific Spenser book. The selections: Jaylo Marino ATB, and an exacta to and from Primary Notice, of different amounts. A win saver on Chief Runaway too. I'm not trying to be clever with this race-just picking the two most likely to break the 1:11 barrier. GGF 4th-#8-City Expenses-I always go with a Sherman second time starter, but this is a good group of $32,000 Maiden Claimers. Watch out for #2-I'm Tops. Another fun race. GGF 7th-#4-Weekend Party-Josephson is always under the radar, the horse is coming off a maiden win only, but it says here he's good enough to pull this off. Good luck today and thanks for listening.
Steve T More than 1 year ago
TBTA has finished 2009 crop analysis reports for Hard Spun and English Channel - just like the Street Sense one I did earlier. There are some serious babies in there: HARD SPUN - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Al3a-2Lsqg-udHpoc29Od210dTI3Q2dNTGtCMy1qV3c&hl=en_US ENGLISH CHANNEL - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Al3a-2Lsqg-udEh0UlRhR1dpdTJDS3BKbTNyQTZVSkE&hl=en_US
Steve T More than 1 year ago
FAIRPLEX – Saturday (09-17-2011) Hit the Pick 5 yesterday for $873, not bad considering it was mostly chalk. Race 1 – Solo Contesa, Blue Marrow, La Colombina DD: New Vogue Race 2 – Smokin’ Cat, Foreboding, Tiz Golden DD: Sidepocket Kid Race 3 – Just Charmed, Warren’s Heartthrob, Naturaliste DD: Tamale Pie Race 4 – You Little Devil, Brother Ernie, Own It DD: Unstopper Topper Race 5 – Moonshine Alice, Skims Chime, Too Pink DD: Kahlua Mist Race 6 – Brassy’s Secret, Forever Ismay, Make Mine Remy DD: Kandi K.T. Race 7 – Majestic Vintage, Purse Luva, Danceuponthestars DD: Bonk Race 8 – Mo Cheese, Three Cuties, Mavisca DD: Grand Seeker Race 9 – Cost of Freedom, Dance With Gable, Liberal Arts DD: Frumious Race 10 – Heleonor Rugby, Cha Cha Latte, Willa B Awesome DD: Ask Me Later Race 11 – Jimbo’s Bimbo, Pivotal Queen, Gorgeous Goomah DD: Jenny’s First Gear
fort marcy More than 1 year ago
Hi Dan, One quick question, is it a misprint or are the level of purses @ Parx ( Keystone-Philly Park) accurate? Will NYRA have 150K allowance races and 100K Maidens when the casino cash starts coming in? Thanks, Good Luck to all!
Laura More than 1 year ago
Stablegirl, Trinniberg (Teuflesberg - Bella Dorato, by Goldminers Gold) has a sprinter/miler pedigree light on stamina. He flashed that speed in his debut, wiring the field by over five lengths, geared down at the wire to get 5 furlongs in :59 ¼ over the Keeneland Poly. His sire Teuflesberg (25-5-3-2 $621,981) was a hardy, hard trying runner who fell a neck short of winning the Sanford Stakes (G2) while still a maiden. Overall, he was a G-2/G-3 type who won over dirt, off tracks, Poly, and placed over the turf. Teuflesberg stands in FL for $3,500. He has 30 foals of racing age, 11 starters, three winners and two of them are stakes placed. He'll get precocious sprinters who could be versatile over all surfaces, depending on their distaff lines. Trinniberg's dam Bella Dorato (14-1-7-3 $103,420) placed in the Finger Lakes Juvenile Fillies as a maiden and needed nine tries to win her maiden, going 6F on Aqueduct's inner track. She's a half sister to Dream of Kaylee, a G2 placed runner. Overall, there's little blacktype (stakes wins or placings) in this distaff line. Damsire Goldminer's Gold (by Crafty Prospector) was a decent sprinter with a 11-5-4-0 $205,109 record. He was an allowence/optional claimer type who placed in some listed sprints. He did win a stakes at Woodbine, but his only out of the money finish was 4th in the Fall Highweight Handicap (G2) at Aqueduct. As a sire, he produced only two blacktype runners. Trinniberg will likely become a low to mid level sprinter. Juvenile stakes races can be deceptive, since all of the babies are lightly raced and those who are more precocious or more advanced in development can win beat quality counterparts who aren't who are still getting their act together or who may need more distance. Maybe Trinniberg point to the BC Juvie Sprint. Lauira CAPTCHA: Kanghwasong sdicie (overheard in a martial arts flick)
Mike A More than 1 year ago
Last year I picked a horse out of a so so initial outing at Gulf on the turf. I wrote even though he'd run poorly, he would, in the end, be a decent sort.......His name was Bergerac. Bergerac has turned out to be a decent sort, beating 2nd level ALW horses at Saratoga in his last, not bad for a horse that broke his maiden for 30,000. He ran Great Attack to a desperate neck in their only meeting at a sprint distance, at big odds.........he's a runner.......has gotten better as a 4 year old and very well may be the favorite in the Franklin Simpson stakes, a one mile stake at Kentucky Downs tomorrow. I won't bet him...sentimental reasons, well that and his price. I hope he wins.......I love when faith in a horse, something you see that isn't tangible, that others don't see , comes to fruition. The eye never lies.............Good Luck Bergerac............Mike A
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Handicapping Tip: I've noticed in the NY State Bred Races, there's a Sire who seems to be lighting up the toteboard. I'm not into doing stats, so here it is. I've collected quite a few times & I invariably see his name more often than not, as I check frequently. His name is Freud. If his %'s aren't up there, I stand corrected. If he's in there make sure you give him a looksee.... Dan, If nobody responds, can you maybe give me some feedback ? Curt
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Curt V. The NY stallion Freud is not only NY's 2nd leading sire (in progeny's earnings) but this year is ranked 67th nationally (53rd last year). For another young sire of NY breds and getting national attention look also to Hook and Laddar, especially has some precocious youngsters in those MSWs firing regularly first outs. Big earners are Friend or Foe and Fanny Freud! Perhaps a request to Laura will net you a pedigree write up with predicition of progeny's expected success on dirt or turf, sprint or routes. Keith L.