12/29/2011 1:30PM

HandiGambling 264 (Gulfstream turf)


Thursday's HandiGambling 264 exercise is the fifth race at Gulfstream Park, a starter allowance for fillies and mares at one mile 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 FIRM and the temporary rail is out 24 feet.



For multi-race purposes, I would go two deep with the most emphasis on #3 PEARLICIOUS, a consistent gray filly that has cracked the superfecta in her last 10 starts.  Most recently, Pearlicious set slow fractions in a turf route at Calder, but was just pipped on the wire by favored The West Rim, a filly that returned to finish third against $25,000 starter allowance company on grass at Gulfstream with a career-best 82 Beyer on December 16.  In a race featuring several questionable speed horses, Pearlicious has shown a valuable tendency to rate as she stalked and pounced to a nose victory against similar competition over yielding going on November 4.  I would love to see Juan Leyva put this filly in behind horses going into the first turn while saving ground.  Hopefully, the speeds won't stop in her face and she'll get a clear run when the real racing begins.  The one concern is whether Pearlicious appreciates the Gulfstream turf course.  In her three previous tries over this surface, she only finished ahead of one horse.  From a Beyer Speed Figure perspective, you know what you're going to get with Pearlicious as she consistently hits the 72-79 range.  A similar number can win this.

#8 MORE IS BETTER was reclaimed by Lisa Lewis at Belmont on October 27 and returns to the scene of a conditioned claiming victory over this course and distance on February 13.  She'll stretch back out following three sprints, but seems most comfortable at this distance with all three lifetime victories coming in route events.  She's a speed horse, however, and may face some pressure from several stretchout sprinters in this spot.  Still, she's been facing better competition and the Lewis barn is one of my favorites (a blind wager on all 335 of her starters over the past five years would have produced a flat-bet profit). 

As for the rest:

I'm probably playing with fire by not including #12 FLY ANGEL FLY in my multi-race wagers as the Velazquez-Walder combination is extremely potent and Fly Angel Fly should get a good pace setup.  A winner over this course last year, Fly Angel Fly returns from a 61-180 layoff with a month gap on the worktab.  Walder does excel with similar layoff runners, however, and Fly Angel Fly looms the filly to beat.  Of the seven other horses that returned from Fly Angel Fly's most recent grass start (September 3 at Monmouth), four of them were next-out runner-ups (78 Beyer top).  She fits this condition snugly and should be charging hard in the stretch.

#9 SHE'S GOT BLING stretches out three furlongs after a tough trip against $40,000 claimers at Calder on November 25.  That race snapped a three-start win streak for She's Got Bling, who got hot at Suffolk Downs over the summer and fall.  Given an alert break, She's Got Bling looms one of several possible pacesetters, but she has always had some distance questions attached to her name (she is 0-8 in route races). 

#7 LAKESIDE CHAPEL is an intriguing longshot as she legged up for this with a dirt sprint prep here 28 days ago and was running on at the end of that six-furlong affair.  She is much more comfortable going a route of ground as she won her maiden over this course and distance in 2010.  The possibility of a hot pace up front works to her favor, but she is still only a one-time winner.  Lakeside Chapel should be moving well in the lane and can improve in her second start of the form cycle.  She's certainly usable in exotics.

#14 JALAL seems to be rounding into form for Scooter Dickey as she makes the third start of the cycle.  She tried to rally into moderate fractions when second against similar competition earlier in the meet and the expected quicker splits this afternoon should really aid Jalal's stretch surge.  She must avoid a wide trip from an outside post, but can't be counted out at this level.

#15 LOTSA NOODLES outran her 90-1 odds when fifth here three weeks ago, but she still finished behind Jalal and has yet to crack the superfecta in three tries on grass.  A pace meltdown could work to her advantage, but I wonder if she's more of a late-running sprinter than a true route performer.

#10 GABY Q exits a sprint win over the main track here on December 3, but there are distance and surface questions that she'll have to address.  In three previous starts on turf, she's been beaten a total of 20 1/4 lengths

#16 SACRED DESIRE seems more like a dirt runner as her grass record currently stands at an uninspiring 17-0-1-0 and she's been blanked from seven trips over the local surface.  She didn't do much when finishing behind Jalal and Lotsa Noodles at 96-1 odds three weeks ago and must improve by leaps and bounds in order to upset these.

#11 BON BON may have moved prematurely before tiring to finish third behind Sacred Desire in an $8,000 claimer on dirt at Calder on November 25, but she hasn't won a race since June 11, 2010 and only shows one exacta finish from six previous tries over the Gulfstream sod.  She does show an improved workout in preparation for her third start of the form cycle, but must show a stronger stretch punch.

#6 A GIRL NAMED MARIA had trouble in a conditioned claimer at five furlongs on grass at Calder on November 26, but both of her lifetime wins came sprinting over the Aqueduct inner track and her career-best Beyer of 57 (earned in her career debut on dirt in 2008) won't get it done here.

In two races since being outfitted with blinkers, #1 JAKE'S MAGGIE MAY has failed to finish ahead of another horse.  She'll now stretch out three furlongs while trying turf for the first time.  The sire connects with 11% of his first-time turf runners and the unplaced dam failed to race on the surface, although she has foaled a couple of turf winners.  Jake's Maggie May could be part of the pace picture, but has many questions to answer.

Here's how I'll play HandiGambling:

$100 Win - #3 PEARLICIOUS

Best of luck to all.

Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Annie, Senor Hambone ? You are indeed correct about the 600LB. gorilla statistic. Butts:Remember why statistics are kept ? They are meant to be broken. This guy has some SERIOUS pedigree.. 4-9-19-0-0{32}>>>>>DI 2.37 CD 0.53..Check this small sample....... Hard Spun, Danzig, A.P. Indy, Northern Dancer, Majestic Prince, Buckpasser, Secretariat, Alydar & the KING>>Seattle Slew..............Brymph.........
Jonah More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Formblog, for your birthday wishes. One would think I would want to "disconnect" on this kind of vacation, but on the contrary, it's been a wonderful gift to reconnect with this community, even now as I am surrounded in sunshine, bamboo, and palm, and the scent of lemongrass.
Jonah More than 1 year ago
Keith L, As long as I'm not joking, I want to in seriousness say that it's been extremely refreshing to be somewhere where the widest spectrum of sexuality is completely accepted, or so it seems. In a world in which gender and sexuality remains the greatest form of prejudice and oppression, that's no small thing. Best, Jonah
Jonah More than 1 year ago
Bernard Downes: I seem to suffer from "foot-in-mouth" disease; you did misunderstand the meaning and intent of my post, but it is my fault, so excuse me, and thank you for mentioning it. I'll keep this, and future comments to you, more literal, and hope this clears things up. I was concerned about taking up space on the current blog entry with my own personal comments to Curt V. What I meant to you is that I didn't think there was anything that you said or did that warranted apology, which is what I meant that you'd have to "try harder" to have cause to be sorry, picking up on your defense of apologies from some time ago. I meant it in good spirits, and do appreciate your courtesy and humility. I wasn't trying to be clever in using the phrase "bedtime stories," and should have just said "stories"--maybe the phrase got in my head because it was my bedtime. It was not a challenge or taunt in any way: I am genuinely entertained by horseracing stories, and figure you might have some good ones. I would like to hear a favorite race or two, maybe, a unique experience, or anything you'd like to share. Here's one I have from my extremely short racing career: This year I went to the Belmont Stakes, a wonderful day during which I met several of the folks who comment here. On the way out, a very large and very drunk man was barreling through the crowd past us, yelling bloody murder about Garrett Gomez, whom many consider the best or among the best jockeys in this country. To my shock, he was headed straight toward Mr. Gomez, who was crossing the path we were on, and I began to panic as the man approached the great jockey, who was half his height. To my surprise, Gomez, seeing the man approaching, did not so much as flinch even as the man's chest was inches from his face, which evidenced no fear or machismo, but showed rather calm puzzlement, as if to say, "Do you really think we lost on purpose?" Within a few minutes the man was forcibly escorted away, and Gomez continued on his way. I wouldn't be surprised if he forgot about it the next day. Now, I'm the kind of guy who will do anything to avoid a physical fight, especially with a drunk angry person twice my size--in that situation I would have certainly retreated. If I had a cousin like yours you'd find me a ways behind him in a bar fight, or more likely, out the door. I understood in that moment that the courage, nerve, and composure that Mr. Gomez shows his his races, he carries off the track as well, and it gave me new admiration for him and for the sport. I will try to bring that non-confrontational spirit to my writing here in the future. Warmest regards, Jonah
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Happy Saturday to all... 12-31-2011 Annie Thanks for my MKB horse!! I think that I have a good one. Heart Butte is going today at Parx. Will be bet down to 4/5. Tough to bet off of the long layoff. Might need a race. I think that moving forward in the wagering, the pick 5 plays might be the way to go. Nothing but big payoffs all around!!! I figure if you can get 2 winner's and buy the other 3 races, it is worth the investment. Yes, you can get caught with a small payoff, but looking around the big pooled track's, I have seen some monster payoff's in the last 3 weeks. Something that I am looking at. I was very surprised to see 44K show up on opening day at Santa Anita. It was marketed to the hills, yes, but let's see what happens over the next few weeks. I hope that they can fill the cards... Winter racing at New York. What do we think of the increase of purse money!! I think that this is an interesting deal for the horsemen. Sit tight and run here instead of heading south. They might be onto something. What are the people in KY going to do?? They are going to die there. The purse $$ isn't there and they will be forced to do something... Good Luck to all in the New Year that is coming up upon us. I wish nothing but the best to everyone!! Have a safe and prosperous New Year. Good health to all and let's make some big money if we can!!! Let's drop all of the bashing and work together and give out some big winner's like ( Curt V, Keith L ) and others. Thanks for another great year Dan!!! Whackymacky Out!!!
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Is it a coincidence or an omen? Cory Lanerie is riding my MKB horse, King Kid tomorrow. He also rode the only "Stakes" (If you count the claiming crown as a stakes) horse I was ever involved with-Erdistion to a 2nd place finish at 20 or so to 1- Only threw $10 in the dime pick6 at Gulfstream but did take a couple of stabs-In the 8th-10 Nandino is Darley and my guess will be on the lead. 15/1 is a juicy price. In the Mr. Prospector, my personal pick to win is Capt. Candyman Can. but I used Hunk as well. After starting off his career 1 for 6 he's won 4 in a row, and I'm guessing now that he thinks he's supposed to win, he isn't smart enough to know these are better horses!
SpartanTom More than 1 year ago
Annie, Have a very Happy Birthday!! I am back from the north country and eagerly anticipating the 1st start of my MKB horse, Hierro. ST
Annie More than 1 year ago
Spartan Tom & Longwaytomay, Thank you for the birthday wishes! Glad you are liking your horses. 2012 should be a fun year! Annie
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Keith L., I'll go this far...I went to the same High School as both Chris Matthews & his younger Brother{my year}{& his younger Bro & me were close buds}{lived in the same neighborhood}...At last years 40th reunion ?---You should have heard the conversation about his Bro Chris....Let's put it this way>It was hilarious..Chris' bro & myself were pissin'.........His younger Bro & myself are far from the left...What was said, I can't divulge here..I heard some funny Sheeetto....I could write a book.......& it would be a Non-Fiction Best Seller......Translation:I know them all well... & I don't get the "Druid" thing myself in reference to BSB, so maybe, he doesn't either..... knm, To understand BSB & myself you've got to start watching Dennis Miller------A thinking man's comedian......or woman's>>>>>>LoL........We get it..That's what makes it hilarious... at least to us..& I've never met him other than on this blog & some others..........We both think we can figure out people, w/o ever meeting them....... Bernard, Have a Happy New Year & a safe one...my man...& your last comment.......Join the Club.....LoL......I hear you.. & I used to say New Years is for Amateurs.....I back in the day, never needed a reason to drink..I just drank....Whenever.........5 years off the stuff come April/'12..........Be careful.......
knm More than 1 year ago
Curt V, I think I understand BSB pretty well, ordinarily. As I have told him, he reminds me of one of my sons. It was just the last couple that lost me. I am not, however, on your wave length. (Yet, lol) I hesitate to say this but I've never heard of Dennis Miller. I will look him up and try to correct the situation. Perhaps the problem is that except for the races, and the occasional PBS rerun, I don't watch TV. Of course if something ghastly is happening, I will watch the news channels. However, I do understand your allusions to SS, and have actually cashed on the last two, thanks very much!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
ok, a bit of redboard physical handicapping. La Brea #8 at SA Turbulent Desent look bored. But the #9 Teddy's Promise was the only one really 'on her toes' in the paddock and looked really shiny. #7 Great Hot looked, well great. I saw the odds and thought ...no way! and of course a previous TBTA favorite "Sugarinthemorning" silly name got up 2nd. ...back to your regular programming.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Uncle Steve - or anyone who may have seen the paddock /post parade for the Eddie Logan #7 at SA. #8 4/5 fav Daddy Nose best was " kicking out his hind legs, ..bucking' in the paddock . As far as horse lanquage , I wasn't sure if he was happy, or maybe irratated. He seemed calm enough , and unfortunately the pan of him on the track was after the pony turned so couldn't see him moving on the track. All the others looked relaxed and calm, #1 Sheer Talenta looked a bit 'slender', #9 The Black was a bit nervous, reacting to something nearby in the paddock crowd. But, Daddy was the one who stood out based on his 'action'. He didn't fire today ... do you think his body language was a 'tell' ? Thanks!
knm More than 1 year ago
Curt V, Sorry, I misspelled something in my post to you - I just caught the red underline as I pressed the 'submit' button. But I'm sure you'll get my meaning, lol.