11/17/2011 5:01PM

HandiGambling 258 - Delta Downs


Thursday's HandiGambling 258 exercise is the eighth race at Delta Downs, an entry-level allowance for Louisiana-breds at seven 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.


As of this writing, the track is FAST.

Let's scratch #11 COACH MARK and #12 TRIPLE HIT


A tough race for this week's HandiGambling and I probably won't play.  This race kicks off a 50-cent Pick 4 and I would have to go four deep on my tickets.

#10 LAYNE'S PAL steps up in class and distance after winning his maiden going five furlongs on October 19.  At first glance, the 76 Beyer he earned for that race really sticks out as it's the fastest dirt number that anyone in this field has ever produced.  It's so out of whack with anything that Layne's Pal had previously done, however, that one has to wonder if it is an anomaly and that he'll come crashing back to Earth tonight against this tougher competition.  Plus, he'll have to win this race from the far outside post going two turns.  Layne's Pal must avoid being hung out wide on the first turn and he could be close to a pretty fast pace.  I'd give him a chance to duplicate his last race if he starts at close to his 8-1 morning line.  If he drops precipitously from those odds, I'd probably look elsewhere for value.

#2 DAVY'S RUNNER goes second off the layoff after running his fastest Beyer to date.  That was a weird race, though, as Davy's Runner was outpaced badly on the final turn only to get in gear late despite racing on his left lead through the stretch.  He was 44-1 that time and will probably be a mere fraction of that price tonight.  He should work out a good ground-saving pace-tracking trip, but has never won on dirt.

#8 I'MABADBOY is usually right there, but his 1-20 lifetime record tempers the enthusiasm somewhat.  This will be his first race without blinkers and he moved way too prematurely when finishing behind Davy's Runner on October 27.  In that race, he uncorked a five-wide move on the backstretch, poked a nose in front turning for home and understandably tired when the top two finishers came at him late.  He's run some nice races since being claimed by this barn five starts back and should receive a good pace to attack tonight.  He can factor with a more patient ride.

#3 ROCKET KING may have needed the last race, his first following a short layoff, when only beaten two lengths on October 27.  He was on the lead that day and could be more comfortable racing from just off the fractions.  I liked his runner-up performance four back.  Although he was racing for a conditioned tag at Evangeline, he made a good four-wide move on the turn after breaking a half-length slow.  Lightly-raced, he has some upside and may offer some value here.

I wouldn't be surprised if any of the other entrants prevail.  That's what makes this race so tough!

I'm willing to draw a line through the most recent race from #1 PIRATE ISLAND.  That was his first start off a short break and he had the misfortune to face a 10 3/4-length runaway winner.  He could be sharper this time around and was able to put up some competitive Beyers earlier this year at Evangeline. 

#4 KEEP ON SMOKIN has only finished ahead of one other horse in his last four races dating back to October 30, 2010.  He finished about 10 lengths behind Pirate Island 22 days ago and must do better.

If you think that I'mabadboy moved too soon on October 27, that was nothing compared to the brush #5 VIKING WARRIOR made in that race.  He stormed to the front with a four-wide sweep early on the final turn before succumbing to the more patiently-handled runners.  Viking Warrior's previous dirt effort resulted in a 6 1/2-length maiden score and he worked a bullet five furlongs leading up to this race.  Discard at your own risk considering he may work out a nice trip from off the pace.

#6 SUN SHADOW projects as one of the speeds after going gate-to-wire at Retama on October 7.  He improved drastically with the addition of Lasix and blinkers and was striding away at the end of that six-furlong affair.  The third-finisher that day returned to graduate, in his eleventh lifetime start, on turf with a 65 Beyer.  This will be Sun Shadow's first race around two turns and he could face some pressure heading into the backstretch.

#7 TOUGH AS NAILS put things together with a pair of front-running wins at Evangeline Downs, but he has never run particularly well at Delta and was eased in his most recent start (the winner from the last race came back to take two more in a row with an average Beyer of 77).  He'll return from a three-month layoff tonight and may need a start before strutting his best stuff.  He could be the one to battle with Sun Shadow early.

With four tallies on his record, #9 MY BELL BOY is the most prolific winner in the field.  In his first start off the claim, he came with a strong late run to finish third in a $5,000 starter allowance on October 21. The fourth-place finisher of that heat, Brendyn Jo, returned to win for the eighth time in a $7,500 claimer (78 Beyer).  My Bell Boy fits well from a class and pace standpoint and can't be counted out.

I'm going to sit this one out.

Best of luck to all.

Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Fisherman, I saw you made the HG by a minute. I was gonna tell Keith L. that. Butts: I left it alone. I don't think he realised that Delta Dawns{sp on porpoise} had a long delay in their program, hence the late start for R8 & before. Either way you wasted a fishcake anyway had you won. Could of been different I know.. Good try, Butts:? Did you see the #6 was 1/2 length off the lead in deep stretch, when he decided to try & jump the rail & threw the Jock ? Didn't like the right handed whip. Speaking of Jocks? Your boy Pat V. is in big trouble. I don't believe his story one iota. That's a typical user response when a user has no other choice. Of course I could be wrong. However, highly doubtful I am.....I used to use them all...I know........Fiancee takes preference ? Yeah sure......You gettem' Mr. Boots.........LoL........I don't forget either buddy........& I rarely miss when it comes to BS either......Formblog included..... meathead01, How's the copy & paste coming along ? Where do you get the time the run down those horse comparisons ? It's a "Faded Rose", not a tainted rose... I see you saw Harold Melvin too............Heeheehee........
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
Curt V reti retirement is the answer you should try it buddy you would like it im sure.yes I caught the big one called melvin in a colored post. cant get nothing by me. MH01 btw who do tou like in the million today?
Laura Lawduck More than 1 year ago
Annie Thought you might be interested in these thoughts. I'm at work. I should be working but it's a Saturday. ... I'll try to give you the quick version. I was an English major as an undergrad but I rode on the equestrian team, which led me to my minor / associate's degree in equine science. My fun degree so to speak. Well, at least, according to my father. There was a breeding class that was taught in conjunction with the university's horse farm's QH breeding program. When I was there, the horses the university was breeding were mostly stock type QH that they would sell to ranchers every year through a horse sale. (Many were exported to Mexico where it was harder to find nice QHs.) From what I hear, the university is branching out into a different quality of horse these days but it's been a while. ... It's a trip from Pennsylvania. ... I don't think the university has ventured into racing yet but it should. The state's thoroughbred industry is on the rise. Anyhow, breeding class was a hoot. (Nothing like artificially inseminating mares at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning after Thursday college bar night.) However, my point, which I am getting to. ... There were two stallions CJS and TG. (I'm a lawyer. I thought twice about using their full names. I don't want the university accusing me of libeling a dead horse.) .... First, however, one smaller background point about the mares. There was about forty brood mares that literally lived in a herd and rotated through many pastures. These were the kind of mares that wore collars and weren't fooled with otherwise. I felt bad for them actually. (I always laugh when people talk about the mothering instinct, too, because you should have seen the younger mares. I took the breeding class after the breaking and training program. Some mares weren't sold at the sale would be put back in the breeding herd. I was familiar with some of the new mares in the herd from the breaking and training and sale program. They wouldn't think twice about leaving there foals to cozy up to the handlers. It was like they were saying, I promise to be a good horse for the rest of my life if you just take me out of here. Their foals that year tended to be independent but they liked people, too. I'm sure by now those mares have assimilated and become better "mothers" but it was pretty shocking the indifference they showed toward their first crop.) ... Now back to the stallions. CJS was a well conformed chestnut but not flashy. That horse was sound of mind, too. Easy to work with. Only a few of us students got to work with the TG but even the students who had never seen a horse prior to showing up at the university could work with CJS. TG on the other hand (Here comes the libel. :) ) was a horse that in my opinion got to keep his testicles simply because he was well conformed and a color, palomino, that was commercially popular. He was flighty, instinctual, and just not as intelligent as the other horse, period. That demeanor/ lack of intelligence seemed to pass with his offspring. Buckshot was a TG baby. Buckshot required patience. You could always tell whose foals you were working with (even despite the obvious color indications). Just as an example, take introducing the yearling to clippers. With a CJS baby that would take maybe a session. Sure it's a horse. Clippers buzz, are attached to cords, etc., etc. scary stuff. With the TG babies it would take maybe three for them to tolerate it and they never were as comfortable with them as the CJS babies. Some of the TG babies even had CJS as their broodmare sire, too. (This stuff used to be more important to my life so I used to know the details but a lot of chestnut CJS mares were bred to TG with the hope of capitalizing on the chance of getting a palomino foal, which if my memory serves me correct is 50/50 in that case.) That demeanor though seemed to come from the sire. I don't know maybe intelligence isn't a dominant trait. (I'm being facetious on that one.) However, I will say that the foals definitely learned ... how do I want to call it ... their personality/ sense pecking order from their dams. You could see it when they played in the pastures with their dams and when they were weaned and and essentially had there own herd of yearlings. Also, the farm wasn't closed to the public so people were always in and out in the spring, and the mares that liked people, i.e. the ones that would come over to the fence and let you pet them or look for carrots,etc., had foals that were the same. I don't know what to make of all of this but I thought you might find my observations interesting given your recent posts. My first inclination was to agree with you that horses glean their "personality," i.e. alpha/ omega pecking order sense, from the dam but then I kept remembering how universally difficult the TG babies were to work with as compared to the CJS babies (but perhaps that was something different). However, my memory of the foals mimicking their dam's place in the pecking order is strong, too. Well, enough of that trip down memory lane. Back to the "real" job.
SpartanTom More than 1 year ago
10c, another zero congrats to all who hit. ST
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Blackseabass "Actually I wouldn't mind having a war for a couple days . Any takers? " ..maybe not a war, but how about a freindly cross town rivalry ? Trojans vs Bruins next weekend. Though I love a PGH, I won't be rooting for your mascot :) Too bad your boys can't play in the post season. Happy Thanksgiving. 'khim instect'
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
CurtV , yep he's probably gonna have to shave off all his body hair again. LOL. I saw him jump . He was done anyway I think. I was just owning up to my part of the pissing contest. Modesty isn't my strong suit. I'm about as modest as your goat. LOL. VQ, there is a lot to be said for honesty as a character traight. IMO. IMO there is a lot of character,er,I mean "Characters" on formblog. LOL. I'm not trying to start a war (yeah sure you ain't BSB) Actually I wouldn't mind having a war for a couple days . Any takers ? It doesn't have to be about anything in particular. I'm easily provoked ,everybody knows that. LOL. Can somebody tell me how starving a horse and making him go thirsty for a day before a race is better than a shot of lasix ? Starve the jocks ,starve the horses,everybody else hammer the dogs & beers ? I mentioned the rubber bands / copper wire tight on the tail. That article didn't want to mention all the concoctions that have been used that I mentioned in the past.( the ones they still use everywhere else in the world) It did mention Dr. Derby Alex Harthill & Northern Dancers illegal lasix . The article said if you don't run fast you won't bleed. Where have I heard that before ? If a horse does run fast he will bleed to some extent . Hmmm, I think I've heard that before too. Who the hell is Gina Garlic & what is her record ? Bernard Downes ? The article said that the foriegn study found that 79% of the tested horses bled. Great. 21% of the horses in foriegn races don't or aren't asked to exert themselves. Not the kind of races I want to bet.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Ned Daly walks around paying attention. I sit around paying attention. :-) I've never met Thomas Sowell ,buttZ... I've read enough of his columns in 30 years to feel I know him like the back of my hand. Unless someone is purposely spinning yarns and attempting to be deceptive than you can indeed get to know them from what they write. I've never met Van Savant ,buttZ... something tells me he's not a big fan of TV dinners. Older bloggers might remember that Patricia Krenwinkle & Leslie Van Houton were character witnesses for Charlie . LOL. I've been reading the blog for a few years and during that time I've only known one blogger that needed a defense lawyer on retainer to defend his character every few months. LOL. I'm not making fun of you Mike ,I'm making fun of your litagator, Laura L. Duck attourney at law. LOL. Just a little pregame ruffling of your feathers on gameday L. L. D. :-) Fight On ! For old SC ,fight on ,fight on, to victory. __________________________________________________________________________________ Place and out on the last two Mdn races. Dang, I coulda been Ruthian. Immortality was within my grasp and I blew it . Maybe 2 mar r r r r o , maybe someday. LOL. Good luck to everybody today. Except Laura Lawduck that is . LOL.
Melvin K More than 1 year ago
HG 258 $4 superfecta 9/ 3,5 / 2,3,5,8,10 / 2,3,5,8,10 = $96 $4 trifecta 9 / 3 / 5 = $4 #9 My Bell Boy wins this race with the 3 and 5 close behind
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
Melvin K the race was yesterday your posting in the red. MH01
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Oh dear, what's an Oak-aholic to do? http://www.paulickreport.com/news/thoroughbred-racing/training-collision-knocks-giant-oak-out-of-clark-handicap-with-injury/
Laura Lawduck More than 1 year ago
VIA an attempt to venture out of lurker status ... Anyone notice that The Roundhouse one a $7500 claimer at AQU yesterday and paid $22. Is this the same horse that was a half sibling to Circular Quay and was on the Derby trail two years ago? How quickly and how far some of those horses fall from public view once off the trail! Makes you wonder what becomes of some of them?
Laura Lawduck More than 1 year ago
VQ I'm not sure how you'll take this coming from me because of my relationship with Mike A and because I've predominantly taken up lurker status this past year. Whatever way you take it, I don't particular care. However, I can't let someone attack his character without saying something. I've said this before on the blog. A little over two years ago I wrote to Mike A because he wrote something that as you would say, made me say, "WTF!?!" Well, I'm sure glad I did. I won't go into all of the things that have transpired since then since they are private and the people that are privy to that knowledge are folks that Mike A and I would consider friends. However, suffice to say, I "know" Mike A. You don't. You may think you know Mike A from his blog posts but you don't. To suggest that we really "know" anyone based upon words written or a persona assumed in cyberspace is unfair. I'm sure there is much more to you than what I have gleaned from your blog posts. I'll give you that benefit of the doubt because let me just say that my character analysis of you based upon your posts wouldn't be glowing. I have a multitude of stories I could relate to show you why Mike A does not lack character. I won't bother because this is not the proper forum, I and and the other blog posters he considers friends simply know it. I am simply glad that I really "know" Mike A and that I made the effort to really get to "know" Mike A two years ago despite of my initial reaction to one of his posts. All posters deserve that benefit of the doubt, and it has worked out much better than I ever could have imagined for me. That's all I have to say to you on that one. Peace.