09/28/2011 4:06PM

HandiGambling 252 - Remington Park turf


Wednesday's HandiGambling 252 exercise is the fourth race at Remington Park, an entry-level allowance race for 3-year-olds at 7 1/2 furlongs on 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.


As of this writing, the turf course is listed as FIRM.

Let's scratch #1A - POWERSCOUT


I found this race extremely difficult and came up with a ridiculous longshot in the faint hope of taking down the entire HG prize.

#10 JOE'S BULL is a maiden after 11 starts and will face winners after registering Beyers of 20, 24 and 21 against Oklahoma-bred maiden claimers on the dirt. 

For the vast majority of handicappers, Joe's Bull is an automatic toss but I'm going to give him a second look because of his pedigree and price.  His dam, Sheikh Fortysix, finished third in the Twin Lights Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Monmouth Park with an 86 Beyer Speed Figure and has foaled two turf winners from five grassy runners. The second dam is a half-sister to Buckhar, the winner of the Grade 1 DC International on turf. 

Joe's Bull is a high-risk, high-reward play and is more likely to finish last than first.  Still, his pedigree intrigues me in a race featuring question mark after question mark.

#2 RED COYOTE is a half-brother to multiple stakes-winner Gold Coyote (12-26, 454K, 1-1 on turf) and multiple stakes-winner Coyote Legend (10-19, 407K, 3-5 on turf) and looms the main speed in his second start following a February layoff.  His sire, Early Flyer, was unraced on grass and is 2-47 (4%) with first-time turf runners.  Red Coyote goes out for a powerful barn, should be tighter for this assignment and could be very dangerous if allowed to waltz on the lead.  The additional distance is a slight concern.

#3 RATTLESNAKE HOLLER is by a sire that is 2-31 (6%) with first-time turf runners.  The dam was a multiple stakes-winner (unraced on turf) and has foaled a turf runner that did not win on the surface.  Like Red Coyote, Rattlesnake Holler is eligible to improve in his second start of the form cycle.  The winner of the Rainbow Stakes for Arkansas-breds as a maiden, Rattlesnake Holler finished ahead of Red Coyote last time out on dirt.

#4 ALL READY sold for only $40,000 as a yearling despite being by More Than Ready out of Grade 3-placed runner Alchemist (the dam of multiple stakes-placed Burj Dubai and Grade 1-placed juvenile sprinter And Why Note).  Twice-claimed in his career, All Ready was the beaten favorite last time out in an 'n3L' claimer on dirt.  These are very strong connections (Moss/Asmussen) and All Ready may offer a bit of value.

#5 KENSETH didn't run badly in his lone turf try two back at this distance (rallying second with 67 Beyer Speed Figure) and the sixth-place finisher returned to win a $12,500 'n2L' claimer on grass at Evangeline with a 61 Beyer.  A full brother to stakes-winning sprinter Dos and Don'ts (4-9, 110K, unraced on turf), Kenseth may get some pace to attack and looms a contender for barn that is winning with 22% of their runners this year.

#6 EIGHTY MILLION finished ahead of several of today's runners when third at this level last time out.  In that race, the winner, Key Largo, stole out to an easy lead through solid fractions and proved impossible to catch.  Eighty Million tried to rally into that slow pace, but was late to change leads and couldn't get there.  He's a logical contender for high-percentage connections, but may not offer a great amount of value.

#7 ONE HELLUVA RIDE upset $12,500 maiden claimers at Lone Star on July 2, but that race was at five furlongs and he hasn't gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in his two subsequent races against winners.  He let Key Largo shake loose in the aforementioned September 10 race and it will be interesting to see if his rider is more aggressive this time around, even with Red Coyote in the field.  The turnback in distance should work to his favor, but he may need a bit weaker.

#8 TEXAS CITIZEN went gate-to-wire last time out against $12,500 'n2L' claimers at Evangeline Downs, but there are other speeds to his inside here and he may have to sit off the pace.  Note that both of his career victories came when on the front and he may not be at his best when he allows others to set the tempo.  The sixth-place finisher from the most recent run returned to take a $12,500 'n2L' race for Louisiana-breds at Evangeline with a 53 Beyer. 

#1 SHARP WAGER is in very good form right now with two wins and three seconds from his last five races.  All of those starts came on dirt, however, and he has a record of 3-0-1-0 on the grass.  Sharp Wager looked good last time out when defeating next-out winner Lee's South (won $10,000 'n3L' claimer on dirt with 66 Beyer), but he took advantage of a hot pace that day.  It's possible he's slightly better on the main track. 

#9 CHARLIE'S PHANTASY hasn't done anything wrong in his short career.  A rallying second in his debut on dirt at Lone Star in June, Charlie's Phantasy didn't disappoint as the betting favorite in his turf debut at Remington on September 8.  It's never easy for a maiden graduate to immediately take down winners, but Charlie's Phantasy seems to have some ability and upside potential.  He can't be counted out.

#11 LANDON PAUL, the uncoupled stablemate of Charlie's Phantasy, is a one-run closer at the mercy of race and pace luck.  Stakes-placed on turf at two, Landon Paul didn't break well in his Remington debut on September 10 and was one of the horses that were forced to rally into Key Largo's slow pace.  He was moving well at the end of that race and may get faster fractions to attack this time around.  It looks as if this horse is slowly rounding back into form and should factor late.

#12 KENTUCKY RATTLER parlayed a perfect ground-saving, pace-tracking trip into a win at Golden Gate in April and he earned a solid 74 Beyer on dirt last time out.  He wheels back in two weeks, but is saddled with a difficult outside post position.  I think Kentucky Riddler will appreciate getting back to grass and isn't the worst stab at a big price.

Bombs away:

$50 Win/Place - #10 JOE'S BULL

Best of luck to all.