01/06/2012 3:46PM

HandiGambling 265 (Santa Anita Sprint)

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Friday's HandiGambling 265 exercise is the seventh race at Santa Anita, an entry-level allowance for four-year-olds and upward at six 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.

***

The track condition is FAST.

Let's scratch #1 OBSESS, #7 THE DIRECTOR and #12 ROCK THIS WAY. 

#3 THUNDER OF ZION is 1 lb. overweight.

***

There are a ton of question marks in today's feature at Santa Anita, and one of them is #11 RUNFLATOUT, who returns to the races as a ridgling after faltering to third at odds-on in a similar spot here on September 30.  Runflatout dazzled the Santa Anita crowd on January 29, 2011 with a 98-Beyer victory in his career debut, but he is on a six-race losing streak for trainer John Sadler.  Still, he probably found the route distance beyond his scope in the San Felipe, Affirmed and Swaps and was embroiled in a suicidal speed duel in the King's Bishop at Saratoga.  He draws a comfortable outside post position in a race loaded with speed and could work out a pace-tracking trip while clear of traffic.  Runflatout still must prove that he can pass horses and win, but he deserves one more chance despite the possibility of unappealing win odds.  Four of the five runners to come back from that September 30 allowance hit the board next-out including Centralinteligence (102 Beyer when second in an 'n2x' allowance) and Master Chef (89 Beyer winner of an 'n1x' optional claimer).  Runflatout is one of three horses that I'll use in multi-race wagers.

#4 THINKING OF GIRLS is an intriguing longshot for trainer Denise Breuer and jockey Kayla Stra, low-profile connections that will ensure long odds.  Headed at 49-1 odds over this surface in the first start off the claim on November 4 (the winner of that $40,000 claimer returned to win the Zia Park Derby with an 85 Beyer while the third-finisher came back to score for $32,000 with an 80), Thinking of Girls' most recent form is dirtied up by a poor turf performance.  Let's forgive that race as he doesn't seem to run as well on the grass and will add blinkers this afternoon (both of her career wins came with blinks).  Perhaps more importantly, Thinking of Girls is comfortable from stalking range and could get a very hot pace to attack when the real running begins.  I won't throw him out at a big number.

#2 RED ACE, one of two entrants trained by Bob Baffert, finished a game third in his most recent start on dirt, a two-turn route at Santa Anita on October 28.  In that race, he was involved in a hot pace battle through solid fractions.  After dispatching of his early rival, he was sufficiently weakened and was passed in the stretch.  Although he disappointed a bit in his most recent performance, that race was on the cushion track and Red Ace may simply prefer dirt.  He draws a tough inside post, but is comfortable rallying from off the pace and should be charging in the stretch. 

As for the others:

#9 HOPE AND BELIEVE is not without a good chance.  After facing The Factor in his career debut at two, Hope and Believe returned from a ten-month layoff as a gelding and promptly won his maiden over this surface despite being late to change leads in the stretch (the third-finisher from that race returned to graduate with an 84 Beyer).  Hope and Believe was caught up in pace warfare most recently over cushion track, but will likely be taken off the lead here by new rider Joel Rosario.  A return to dirt should help his cause and Hope and Believe is one to fear.

#5 D'PENDABLE, also trained by Baffert, makes his initial start on dirt following a March layoff.  He's been working steadily since early October and is a half to two main track winners.  This is the female family of the good turf runners Forbidden Apple, Wild Event and Paradise Creek, and D'pendable has shown nothing but one-way speed throughout his short career.  There are pace, distance and fitness concerns he must address this afternoon.

#3 THUNDER OF ZION finished ahead of Thinking of Girls on grass at Hollywood, but he prefers the main track as evidenced by his two wins over this surface in October (the runner-up from October 30 returned to win for $20,000 with a 74 Beyer).  Unlike Thinking of Girls, however, he looks like a one-dimensional speed ball and could get caught up in a difficult early duel.  Thunder of Zion is quick from the gate, but he's stepping up and the race flow may not fit his running style.

#6 EL POCHO is the "could be any kind" horse as he's only raced twice in Chile and was entered in some high-profile spots before landing in this logical allowance spot.  He adds Lasix for his first stateside appearance and wouldn't be a surprise in a very contentious affair.

#10 BLAKE, listed as a vet scratch on December 17 (listed on the state vet's list as "sick-other"), hasn't raced since April and is another speedball that could be compromised by other quick gate horses.  A $13,000 weanling purchase ($19,500 RNA as yearling, $8,000 RNA as juvenile), Blake goes out for an excellent layoff barn, but there are several questions here.

#8 SIR HAMILTON is another speed horse.  Trained by the red-hot Jeff Mullins, Sir Hamilton will make his dirt debut.  The dam was stakes-placed routing on dirt and has produced a winner on the main track.  A four-year-old with only two starts to his name, Sir Hamilton must avoid a protracted speed duel.

What a fun race!

Let's play it this way for HandiGambling:

$30 Exacta - RUNFLATOUT - THINKING OF GIRLS (11-4)
$30 Exacta - RUNFLATOUT - RED ACE (11-2)
$20 Exacta - RUNFLATOUT - HOPE AND BELIEVE (11-9)
$20 Exacta - RUNFLATOUT - D'PENDABLE (11-5)

Best of luck to all.

Dick W More than 1 year ago
TurfRuler Nice score on the HG race. Can't imagine anyone topping that ? BSB Nice hit for you also. See you at least got a fishcake in PH. That's more than I got. I knew Smarty was onto somethig with Old Bushmill, but I had already made him my 2nd selection. Rats ! It's getting tight with all the form bloggers who participate in PH. Dick W
C More than 1 year ago
Right, Curt... it's all a big joke only when someone disagrees with you. I should've known you were going to come back with that one. Work on your delivery because, apparently, I'm not the only one that didn't get it.
Steve T More than 1 year ago
"shows you calif racing is questionable when it comes to figuring them out.it appears at time online wagers are looked at by parimutual people and relayed to starters and jockeys(the incrowd).something definitely wrong with their racing." Wow, that is one serious conspiracy theory. The truth is that most of the money gained from this scheme is being used to pay off the family of the second shooter on the grassy knoll, the rest is being used to fund the Federal Reserve and the Rothschild's New World Order...
Virgin Queen More than 1 year ago
VS r u serious? what kind of roll did u have? extra..bit player or whatever they call it? sounds like u had a pretty interesting life when u were young they say u only go around once so u went 4 the gusto nothing wrong with that sooner or later though that stuff comes 2 an end now your all grown-up living a respectable life wife&kids, church, member of the raccoon club, triple (A) member,little league coach,volunteer street sweeper&school crossing guard the whole 9 yards thats what happens when u get older u could always write a kiss&tell book make the talk show circuit btw, i never saw the movie i read about it somewhere and it popped in 2 my head yesterday so i googled it sounds like my type of movie gl this weekend peace VQ
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Okiesharp, Werblin was an example that came up because LSD posted his PPs. Thanks for the mention. Turf Ruler , nice pop on the HG. Congrats to you. P. Ensign , I have a buddy that calls that a mythical speed duel. 21 on grass at holly means you've got some quick .
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
C ,my man. You never said it was smart ! LOL I know that you know that I know that you don't bet on the Barkers. That truly isn't smart !! LOL. Good to C you back. Remember you can't argue logic with someone that bets on Barkers. LOL. Why are people going after Ca racing ? Its NY where they run horses listed no lasix with lasix & vice versa. Its NY where they had detention barns to make it easier for criminals to tamper with the horses. Its NY where all the officials names end with vowels. LOL. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Keith L , very funny story. LOL. V.S. is right though, my Son and I don't drink . Still funny though. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Van Savant, I'm sure we would get along fine at the track. The 6th ?? It will happen some more before the meet ends. That has never changed. Enjoy the swim meet. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Bernard , which member of the Royals do you think whacked the young girl ? Charlie ? Something fishy going on there .
tencentcielo More than 1 year ago
I will get to scoring the HG later, as I have only a few minutes on the PC tonight. But I did want to touch on something. Keith L., Brown and Beige's race on Saturday is four year olds ONLY, not for four and up. It may be a step up based on the claiming price, but it is a step DOWN in class. That's probably why they re-entered. I will ask one of the owners though to make sure, since I know him. :-)
Annie More than 1 year ago
Ten Cent, Try to find out why BROWN IS BEIGE had a Vet scratch on 12/19. She did work 3 days later in a bullet 58:1, but still, Vet scratches always make me nervous. She's in the Pick 5, so it could be important. Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
What's all this grumbling about Cal racing? I thought the big to-do was about GP. Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
OK, since I'm going to tackle my first Pick 5 in awhile, I thought I'd better take a look at yesterday's results at SA. Keep in mind that these ABCs are M/L odds, no matter what they actually paid. A/A/B/B/B = 4K+ Now the winner of the 4th leg was M/L 8-1 So Belle. Now, since there was only one 6-1, and no 10-1 and 12-1, and the M/L favorite was a lukewarm 5-2, I would have placed the two 8-1s as B horses along with the 6-1. If the M/L favorite had been 9-5 or something like that, then the 8-1s would have been considered C horses. Anyway, in looking at today's Pick 5, since I play only one ticket, the first thing I have to determine is whether 4-5 SECRET CIRCLE can safely be singled. Singles are pretty scarce in this bigger than usual fields of horses. Maybe the first leg, but that looks risky. Secret Circle is the fastest horse, it's Baffert, and there really is no reason he can't stretch to a mile. Probably the safest single in the sequence. Leg 1 looks like one of the two As should do it. Possible double there. The other three legs are full of logical As and Bs. I will probably have to pick and choose among them and do a little spreading. And, of course, take a look at those pesky C's just in case. The dreaded D horses, at first glance, don't look like much, but of course the Pick 5 always pays big when one of them comes in, so they have to be looked at. Well, I've got some work to do, and the late scratches don't show up until about 12:30 central time (sometimes that helps), so I'll be back later. Good luck to anyone tackling it today! Annie
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
Gulfstream Park saturday 1-7-12 R3 #10 Amazing Alexa first turf trainer is 50% and this filly is coming off a nice win to break her maiden gets calvin to ride #8 Musical Rhythms tightened up in her last race for servis and gets lezcano back for this sprint. she will be part of the pace and think will run back to her maiden win. #9 Untamed Glory won by five last race going longer and solis stays put I like her style of running always trying to get the lead. R5 #3 Medolina won impressively last race for castellano and returns going longer for pletcher who is 22% and 30% won last I think she is the best here. #6 Ezpz Lemon Squeeze two claiming races resulting in two exacta finishes and a win shows a strong come from behind talent that should play well in this event. #9 Ten K Cat was closing in on sandy key in last one and today gets more ground and think sandy may lose much ground in the lane today against these. R8 Leadwithyourchin moving up the ladder for this one and think the extra distance will be to his liking lopez has ridden him very well in the past and is back today. #5 Almarado (IRE) on the sidelines a couple months works show readyness to run and leyva climbs aboard for this has won at the distance and knows GP well. #11 Big Jerome ran evenly on the return today muragh will try his luck again with this gelding you have to go down a few races to see his best though R10 #13 Persuading back to the turf for this mare where she has been in the exacta 4 of 8 times and castanon knows her best having six in the money finishes of eight tries and she led in the last marshas River a year ago to get the place. #3 Daveron (GER) coming back after after a long layoff for motion and thrives on rest for sure has won three of four this year and all from the sidelines. new jockey in muragh and a new day. R11 #6 Turkish throw out that last one didnt like the off going at the spa for sure has been working turf for his return so is well meant for this event #10 Age of Exploration back after good try at lrl gaining five lengths down the lane to get the show shows a fondness for the turf for sure. bravo takes the reins for campitelli where J/T is 50%. #4 My Uncle Cardie canani hits for 22% first turf and 33% turf and paco jumps aboard for this after colt has been working since aug for his debut.J/T 34% good luck all MH01
Capt. Ron More than 1 year ago
Put me down for zip, zilch, nada, zero and u-gatz in the HG and thanks for the work that you do tabulating the HG. Capt. Ron PS. As a newbie, am I correct in notifying you when I don't have a contender or is the default to tell you when I have a contender?
tencentcielo More than 1 year ago
Brown is Beige was re-entered because of the class drop AND the rail. Annie, She was a vet scratch while on the track because Pedroza didn't like something, but he worked her back and he said it wasn't there.
C More than 1 year ago
"I've been involved in this game too long on all sides,good and bad,to know that there was no doubt a criminal act involved,it stole alot of money from anyone who legit had the pic-3." ... perpetrated by whom? Who are these "criminals"? "People don't bet like that on a midweek card." Oh really? Think again. "You would be betting against yourself.Iit's like putting $200 win on a dog race when there's $400 in the win pool." I never said it was smart. In the case of the GP P3, the payout actually makes perfect sense, considering the pool size and the fact that there was a $110 winning combo.