12/16/2011 2:44PM

HandiGambling 262 (Gulfstream)


Thursday's HandiGambling 261 exercise is the ninth race at Gulfstream Park, a $62,500 optional claimer with a 'n2x' condition at one mile on the main track.

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 main track at Gulfstream is FAST.

Let's scratch #2 OUR DARK KNIGHT, #3 MAGOO, #8 THANK U PHILIPPE and #13 ZIMMER.

The favorites look strong.  #10 ADIOS CHARLIE, never out of the exacta in five lifetime races, won the Grade 2 Jerome around a similar one-turn mile at Aqueduct on April 23.  AFter a pair of runner-up finishes in graded competition, Adios Charlie went to the sidelines with an injury to his left hind leg.  It's quite possible that this race is merely a prep for the Sunshine Millions Classic, but Adios Charlie's good tactical speed should have him parked just off the leader.  I usually do not like to play horses returning from injury-induced layoffs, especially at short prices, but I do believe that Adios Charlie is the best horse.  He's the kind of runner that I would never bet to win, but I can't let him knock me out of multi-race wagers.  If he runs his 'A' race, he looms the most likely winner. 

#6 UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN makes the third start of the form cycle after going down to injury following the 2010 Belmont Stakes.  I thought he ran very well in his first race back, a seven-furlong optional claimer at Belmont on October 8.  He prompted the pace while three wide and in between horses, went after the leader on the turn and kept on well to be second-best behind the stakes-quality runner Tapizar (while finishing ahead of graded winner Boys At Toscanova).  In his most recent effort, around two turns at Parx, Uptowncharlybrown was hung wide every step of the way and still hung in gamely despite being a bit late to make his final lead change.  The winner of that Parx race, Indian Jones, returned to finish third in a $75,000 stakes race at Penn National with an 89 Beyer. Uptowncharlybrown has the recency edge on Adios Charlie, boasts a good amount of back class and seems like the horse that the favorite should fear most.

#1 MEGALITH is not without a chance stretching out from 6 1/2 furlongs.  It's possible that the son of Trippi may find this distance a bit far, but he's been racing in good form at Calder.  In his most recent start, he tackled Quick Whiz, who returned to win in allowance company at Tampa Bay Downs with an 87 Beyer Speed Figure.  Megalith was forced four wide on November 20, but he received a good pace setup for the most part.  He'll need to step it up, but is worth a price play if the favorites falter. 

#4 ANDERSONSTATE may be the one to benefit the most from the early scratch of speedy Magoo.  Both of Andersonstate's career victories came in gate-to-wire fashion and he may be allowed to control the pace as he makes his first start since October.  He might not necessarily class up with some of the main contenders, but he could prove dangerous if able to set a moderate to slow tempo up front.  At 20-1 on the morning line, the $1,000 yearling purchase looks interesting from an exotics perspective.

As for the others:

#9 CLEAN SHOT steps up in good form for trainer Dubis Chaparro, a trainer that is connecting with over 20% of his starters in 2011.  Although Clean Shot is very comfortable over this track and trip (he won a conditioned claimer here in 2010 for then-trainer Allen Jerkens), the class hike may be just a bit too steep.

#7 PRAETEREO received a 91 Beyer Speed Figure when beating entry-level allowance runners at Belmont on October 2, but that race came over muddy going and Praetereo received a wonderful setup stalking a quick pace.  He can be forgiven for his most recent defeat in which he took on the graded stakes winner Mucho Macho Man in that one's return to the races.  Praetereo seems ideally-spotted for underrated trainer Carl Domino and he has winning experience over this surface.  He's an intriguing longshot.

#11 POWER RULES may be a bit more effective in two-turn routes at Calder.  All five of his career victories have come around multiple bends and he is 0-11 around one turn.  Claimed for $16,000 back in August, he might be in a bit tough.

#12 GUNS AND RELIGION has some speed and he may attempt to grab the front under his seven-pound bug rider.  Unraced since July, Guns and Religion doesn't show a published workout in over three weeks.  He'll have to avoid a pace skirmish if he is to upset these foes off the bench.

#5 PRIMARY WITNESS has won three times at Gulfstream and exits a key race at Monmouth on October 9 (the winner returned to take another $65,000 optional claimer on October 30 with an 88 Beyer while runner-up Afleet Again returned to pull off a huge upset in the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Marathon).  He's only raced once since July, however, and catches a salty group for his return from a short layoff.

For entertainment purposes only, I'll play:

$50 Exacta:  Adios Charlie - Uptowncharlybrown (10-6)
$30 Exacta:  Adios Charlie - Megaltith (10-1)
$20 Exacta:  Adios Charlie - Andersonstate (10-4)

Best of luck to all.

SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Keith L My dear, I thought it was part of the 'sales' terms which you presented to Annie. I didn't know I had to claim Handsome Mike ' officially' here on Formblog, when you knew I would take him.. you posted in part December 19, 2011 05:39 PM "SR Vegas has offered to take Handsome Mike under her wing (as he is a West Coaster, and did put in a nifty 7 furlongs in the Cash Call leading the parade), and as she has other castoffs in the past." Ahhh, the mis-comunication of horseownership , I am sure the IMS will not be pleased to lose him. But then of course, if Annie would like to join the IMS ...well, then will will have him back. Annie? But of course, I will accept whatever the final decision.
Jeff T. More than 1 year ago
Annie... I have been away from the blog for the past week or so... but I can see that you're typing like "Madman Diaries" and don't wish to disrupt you. I don't remember which number I drew (I think you drew me in the 30's or 50's) but I am now getting excited while reading about everyone's MKB selections. Thanks for doing this... this is going to be fun and help get us thru a long and hard winter.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Ron Zuercher, I looked at the video of FLY LEXIS FLY in his last race. He looks like he does have some talent, won by about 10L in a long race - 2400 meters, whatever that is, of course we don't know how good the others in the race were. But distance sure is no problem for him. The race call was absolutely hilarious, but every once in a while I could make out Fly Lexis Fly. I had no idea which one he was until he started pulling away from the field. LOL The article I read said he was heading to GP with Angel Penna, Jr., but I do remember reading something on DRF about Drysdale and California, so I guess we'll have to wait for an update. Good luck! Annie
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Keith L ...you have WAAAYYY too much time on your hands, my dear :) lol!
Katieattherail More than 1 year ago
Good morning, all.... Annie, thanks for the info about the first MKB slap down of the year at GP. And I thought I was only thing racing on January 1st (a fave 5km "Hangover Run" in NJ). Go Souper Speedy! I'll make sure he gets in some good workouts between now and the end of the year, want him on his hooves, ready to rock and roll! BTW, thanks for his info, and did anyone else notice his birthday 5/05 coincides with next year's Derby date? "The stars might lie, but the numbers never will" Mary Jane Carpenter's "I feel lucky"....me too! Best holiday wishes to all, Katieattherail (and on the track!)
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Uncle Steve Really good stuff on Horse coloration. What more do you have in that 'closet' White- Grey- Roan- Blue Roan- Red Roan- Strawberry Roan- Corn Roan- Rabicano ... Can we just call them all a PGH ...lol!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
knm LOL! I believe the Chalky Diva would approve, especially when she is in party mode. She can hold her own with the best of them, maybe even with Virgin Queen & Bernard Downes :) ...let's Castaway ! Capt Ron Happy Birthday! Annie Thanks! Chalky is no longer pouting ...she now wants to get Bob Baffert on the phone to tell him to get her Castaway into a race, pronto!
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
Annie Thanks for Discreet Dancer. I have been a dancer, but never discreet about anything. I will try to take better care than I did of Blue Laser. BL fell off the trail, but is still showing workouts, so I still have hope. Blinding debut speed and TAP are not exactly what I was looking for, but I will take what I get. Good luck to all.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
MKB workouts 12/21/11 Golden Gate - all weather/fast Longview Drive - 4F 0:50.00 Handily - Billy Santa Anita - dirt/fast Fed Biz - 4F 0:46.80 Handily - David W Hollywood Park - all weather/fast Holy Candy - 5F 1:00.0 Handily - Hairy MKB Entry: Midnight Transfer - Dennis of Moline 6F 56K 2yo Mdn spl wt at Santa Anita 12/26 http://www.drf.com/race-entries/SA/USA/2011-12-26/D/3 Happy Holidays and Good Luck!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie I would be happy to copy and past the MKB list and owners onto any new thread. ..Now about that Handsome Mike , hmmm? :)
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie I thought Keith L's 'sale' condition was that I would take his lovely Handsome Mike, for his A Single Man ...Handsome Mike is an IMS Syndicate horse and we do want him here :) Keith L ?...what say you?