01/20/2012 4:39PM

HandiGambling 267 (Santa Anita Maiden Claimers)


Friday's HandiGambling 267 exercise is the eighth race at Santa Anita, a $32,000 maiden claimer for 3-year-olds at one mile.

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.


Let's scratch #9 I FEEL FREE, #11 FLYING MARINE, #12 TEANCUM, #13 CHEEZY BREEZY and #14 MR. PADRE.

The main track is FAST.


I'll take my chances by going two deep in multiple-race wagers, but I do realize there are several logical contenders in this heat.

#6 MIDNIGHT CON, a $65,000 buyback as a juvenile, has never raced on dirt and has never raced this cheaply.  He may have hung just a bit after chasing an odds-on pacesetting winner in a three-horse race contested over a speed-favoring cushion track surface on December 4.  That runner, stakes-placed Call Me Kelly, returned to finish third in an open $40,000 claimer with a 65 Beyer Speed Figure while last-place finisher Tale Be Told came back to place third at this level with a 55 Beyer.  This will be Midnight Con's third start as a gelding and he could work out a solid trip tracking from close range. I don't think the additional distance will post a problem as the dam scored four route victories in her career and trainer Jeff Mullins has been hot at this meet.

Trainer Doug O'Neill saw enough in #8 WAR POLITICS ($15,000 yearling, $37,000 juvenile) to claim the son of War Front for $30,000 two starts back at Hollywood.  In his first start for these connections, War Politics was confidently hiked up out of the selling ranks and he finished evenly in the slower division of maiden special weights going a mile on December 30.  The fourth-place finisher in that race returned to graduate on grass with an 80 Beyer Speed Figure.  War Politics drops back down, switches to top jockey Rafael Bejarano and adds blinkers for this start.  He hasn't shown much early speed in his career, but projects to be rallying in the late stages.  The distance should be fine as both of the dam's wins came routing and she is a half-sister to multiple stakes-winner Awesome Lady (310K). 

As for the others:

#4 JUAN'S TWIN is an intriguing longshot.  The Cal-bred made a premature midrace bid two starts back against fellow statebreds and did not have the easiest of trips when returned to the races on December 17.  He'll stretch out around two turns for the first time with a pair of stamina-building workouts on display and could be forwardly-placed going into the first turn.  Only two of the seven runners to come back from that December 17 heat returned to crack the trifecta, however (best Beyer of 59).  The dam is a half-sister to stakes-winner Super Avie, who placed in the Grade 1 Hollywood Oaks in 1988. 

#3 TAKE NO PRISONERS is an obvious contender dropping in class for Bob Baffert.  An $85,000 weanling that resold for $75,000 as a yearling, Take No Prisoners is dangled for $30,000 after showing brief speed against the promising Empire Way (only beaten 2 3/4 lengths in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity) in his career debut over the Hollywood cushion track.  By Giant's Causeway, he should appreciate today's added distance and he looms a threat to wire this field under Corey Nakatani.  The turf-winning dam is a full sister to stakes-winner Lucky Pulpit (209K) and is a three-quarter sister to multiple stakes-placed router Drewman.

#2 AT LAST A WILDCAT's best effort came as a first-time gelding on November 12, but one has to wonder if he is simply a better performer on synthetic surfaces.  In two dirt races (both as an intact colt), he didn't finish ahead of another horse.  He blew out a bullet three furlongs in preparation for his route debut and exits a key sprint at Hollywood (the winner returned to take a $40,000 claimer on grass with a 65 Beyer while the eighth-finisher graduated for $30,000 on dirt with a 66 Beyer).  The dam is a half-sister to multiple graded-winning router Truly a Judge.  I'm expecting slight improvement here, but he might be best played on the bottom of exotic wagers.

#10 STORMY BOB didn't do much in his career debut going long on December 30.  Over the past five years, however, trainer Mike Mitchell is 23-57 (40%, $2.58 ROI) with second-time maiden claimers.  The second dam was a stakes-winner, but Stormy Bob must avoid a wide trip from the far outside post position.

#7 ALREADY THERE is a Cal-bred making his third start as a gelding, his first start for a tag and his first race on dirt.  Over the past five years, trainer Peter Miller is 15-46 (33%, $2.04 ROI) with runners dropping from maiden special weight competition and Already There chased a runaway most recently over the Hollywood cushion track (Spirit Rules returned to finish third in an entry-level allowance race with a 64 Beyer).  A $7,500 short yearling that resold for $45,000 last April, Already There is by long-winded Quiet American out of stakes-placed sprinter Charming Gal.  He fits at this level.

#5 VICTORIASUGRDADDY, out of stakes-placed Shanade, finished a well-beaten third in his only previous run on dirt and he disappointed in his most recent outing at this level over the cushion track (none of the five performers to return from that race managed to crack the board next-out).  The rider switch to Rosario is interesting, but Victoriasugrdaddy doesn't seem to have much early speed and could need a pace meltdown in order to reel these in late.

#1 SKIP TONY removes blinkers after being pulled up over the cushion track on December 10.  This will be his second start as a gelding and the seven-pound bug rider may send and hope for the best from the inside post.  He must improve greatly off his first two appearances.

Here's how I'll play HG:

$50 Exacta - 8-6 (Midnight Con - War Politics)
$20 Exacta - 8-4 (Midnight Con - Juan's Twin)
$10 Exacta - 8-3 (Midnight Con - Take No Prisoners)
$10 Exacta - 8-2 (Midnight Con - At Last a Wildcat)
$10 Exacta - 8-10 (Midnight Con - Stormy Bob)

Best of luck to all

donnyess More than 1 year ago
you might consider putting up the 2007 Southwest Stks pps where Teuflesberg got out early at a big price.
ALLEN POE More than 1 year ago
I was just thinking that when you get the 35 to 40 shots in, it is not so much handicapping, but just luck. Have a lucky day all.
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
Allen Poe are you kidding me and those here on the best horse racing blog on the internet. have you been reading the many posts that put out price horses. the reason for price horses is simply this: HANDICAPPING period. luck does not rear its ugly head on this blog for sure my friend. dont you read the many posts of all the experts on this blog or do you just make idiotic remarks that insults the intelligence of all here that are serious handicappers. Horse racing is luck to a point and that is the luck of the race to run as you think it will run. many things in the race determine the outcome for sure but usually the best are in the picture at the wire. granted once in a while a horse may get lucky during the race and luck in to win but that doesnt happen very much. A longshot is only a longshot in the odds of the public and not to the player who picks him to win. stick around and watch the best at what they are doing and learn from the comments here as to why a certain horse will win. Its all about value my friend and nobody alive can pay the mortgage at 9-5. stay tuned. MH01
David M More than 1 year ago
HGSA Congrats to all who had Skipping Tony. Predictably I had that one listed as a CAN'T WIN. Note to Form Bloggers when I break a race into three categories, Can't Win, Pretenders, and Contenders pay special attention to the Can't Win category. They usually air and pay a fortune. After Alan posted his win wager and reasoning since I respect his thoughts I went back to review this horse again. Per my caluclations he was a not projecting a clear lead and the rail draw was a negative. However, Tony did have enough speed, weight off, hood change and some gameness to boot while winning it. It was a perfect call by Alan and a few others. Again, great work! I humbly bow. A few horses I played previously that may offer prices are cycling back today. Take cover, here they come along with some others worth noting: GP Race 6 Turf only - XMas Sky #1 is bred top and bottom for major turf improvement. The first race was the classic public workout on dirt. The next start a first turf outing was a disaster. Horse was unruly and hit gate, then a steady and it was game/set/match. So I now have two line outs and major overlaid odds for today. Borel on the rail, pedigree, and a barn that can win although sporadically at this venue. I still don't know if this horse can break into a swift gallop but trainer Bradley keeps at MSW level. That tells me there is some talent. 40-1 today so give me one more piece. Will know the story at about 2:54:49 EST. Will use XMas Sky top/bottom with Roman's heavy trouble horse (LIVE!!) and 8-10-11. Late Pick 4 - GP Race 8 1-3-9 Race 9 - 1-2-3-8 Race 10 - 7 Race 11 - 4-5-8-11-12 In race 9 you have some nice babies. My favorite debut sire Wildcat Heir has one. Connections assure price. Should be in front early but not sure for whole 6F. One of my favorite old Larry Jones over- achievers, Hello Liberty, gives us her first foal. HL could run a hole in the wind up to a mile but her career was cut short due to injuries. Hopefully she throws some runners. Have to use 1-2 also. McLaughlin can win anytime-anywhere so the rail and debut is a non-factor at 6-1. In race 10 I will take a shot against one of the day's biggest favorites Lucky Chappy. Now Lucky and I have history. I bet him at KEE,then felt the need to triple up in the BC at 14-1. Now at low odds and no speed figure edge I can pass comfortably. Potential second choice Cozzetti has shipped across country couple times and is not that faster than the field either. I will try to beat their apparent class edge with Empire Builder #7. Simply a new animal on turf, he reeled off two straight at CRC. The last start was a very tough race. The top three are all graded types. Now on the outside maybe Empire Builder can run them down. His BSF are upward trending and 80-83 BSF probably is good enough. At 8-1 I will single. $30 to make $1,000 maks sense if right. If Chappy does win it, the Pick 4 probably does not pay with my other horses anyway. FG It is raining so not sure if turf is a go. In race 3 I loved first turf #8 Ho Ho Got U out of Cactus Ridge. This sire has 16% turf strike rate but is simply not backed appropriately at windows. I have made a mint on him especially short sprints. Unfortunately, he is a vet scratch. Watch for his next start on turf only. In Race 10 I may go to Mullins Beach if this stays on grass. Enough back class and will be better odds than Wild About Marie. The latter is on two race turf win streak. I was lucky to key her at my annual KEE trip. She did her part at 12-1 although that trip end with the infamous En Fuego debacle on Sunday. May be my FG turf exacta. Good luck to all.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Bernard Downes, The old bitty doesn't need to bet. She has a license to steal !! (4% of the federal reserve profit) Read The Bankers. You can bet your tailess ape butt that she was working credit default swap scams !!! LOL. Religious fundamentalist ? Not in the way you imply.(non-denominational) I'm not afraid to let the satanists have their say. I enjoy hearing them stutter & stammer when confronted. The exact opposite can be said of them however. Creationist ? By all means. Believer ? Without a doubt . Worshiping that severly inbred old bitty LiZZy really cracks me up though. LOL. Punching "festering" holes through stumble bums like Darwin or Christopher Hitchins isn't very hard. (did hitchens have festering boils ? LOL) All those years at sea and you never found time to educate yourself ? Too much grog I guess ? You've never even read Utopia ! LOL. It was written by one of your beloved countrymen Bernard ! WTF were you doing lollygagging around in your bunk all those years on the US taxpayer subsidiZed dime ? Put down the bottle and pick up a book sometime Bernard. I don't suppose you've read much Darwin because even a monkey brain would be able to recogniZe it as pure bull sheet and "outrageous guesswork". Ancient & Royal Academy endorsment or not !! LOL. Do you still believe in Piltdown Man Bernard ? LOL. Do you believe in the Chinese Chicken Dinosaur ? Do you know anything about sharks Bernard ? When was the last time you saw a Sea Gull evolve into an Eagle ? What about that missing link fossil fish that went extinct 3 million years ago when it crawled on land and evolved into ??? Oops somebody netted one a few years back in the Indian ocean and it was still exactly the same. Do you know anything about the aboriginal campfire sites with the cooked dinosaur eggs in them Bernard ? Formblog probably isn't the place for this discussion ,buttZ... Annie accidently opened it up . LOL. No worries on my end Annie :-) Don't jump in halfway and start blaming me Jonah. LOL. The day I let someone with Bernards admitted limited scope of knowledge challenge me on something I'm well versed in without teaching them a lesson is never. No thats not a joke Bernard. If you want to teach me some lessons on nautical knots I'm all ears , buttZ... on this subject I'm all aligator mouth. LOL. regards BSB aka The Chupacobra. Capthca --- tetsro branches--- Are those the kind of branches that Bernards ancestors were swinging from captcha ? I think captcha is just joking around with you Bernard. He drinks like Carlton the doorman.
okiesharp More than 1 year ago
Capt. Ron With that misspent youth, it's a wonder I turned out the way I did!! Capt. Ron, I'm pretty sure that guys like you & me have been watched over by a higher power our whole lives. I told my brother that the whole town raised me and those people at your bowling alley probably fall into that group as well. I remember the $100 windows at Aksarben had a wall in front of them. You couldn't see who was betting at those windows until they came out the other side. I would get so ticked off with some guy in front of me at the $10 window who told the teller to just keep punching the tickets until he told them to stop. I don't know how many times i got shut out because some stronach wouldn't go to the $50 or $100 window instead. I remember one of my mentors at Aksarben (Harry W) told me about one of his favorite angles one day. He said Sharpie, do you know why I love this horse today? I said no because the horse was beaten 5 lengths in it's last race. Harry said that's true, but if you look closely you will see that he trailed the winner all the way around. Know what else? Harry then says that the horse that beat him last time ain't in this race today! Exactas were $3 back then and Vale of Tears was the big horse at Aksarben. Kathyrns Doll and Bold Accent were two of the best sprinters on the grounds. It was the same Kathyrns Doll of Turf Paradise fame. Alas, the good ole days are today and yesterday. Yesterday, seems so far away....
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Curt V My Bad! Bad Math ...I was calculating a $2 Ex payout , not $1 = $4820 !! Well done. Hope you had it for real :)
greg More than 1 year ago
I posted on Facebook 1 hour before the last race and I played a $1 super hi 5 box, 1-3-6-8-10, cost me $120, finished 1-6-8-3-10 $17,238 so that was my play
Alan More than 1 year ago
blackseabass and Ronald H, Thank you! You know what they say about those blind squirrels finding those nuts! Before I get sent to the Isolation Barn prepping for tomorrow's Ravens game, I wanted to link to a couple of Dabirsim's stakes wins. Just listen to one of the worst race calls ever! They forget to call Dabirsim's name, but watch his come from behind victory in the G-1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1crlha5rCo And check out his G-1 victory in the Prix Morny! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5_-Nrj_mUg Dabirsim is being targeted for the French 2000 guineas and hopefully later this year we will see him in the...Breeders Cup Mile!
Annie More than 1 year ago
Alan, Good job on picking that horse in the HG! Keep picking them like that next week. Good luck!!!!! Chalky wants you to take some time to watch her horse, CASTAWAY, at SA today. :) And, of course, a reminder to BRING LOTS OF MONEY! Annie
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
Alan, I'm interested to see how well Howe Great runs too. Good luck!
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Alan, Nice job & good luck in the tournament. When I said it wasn't close, it was because it was a 2 horse race as I watched it live. I had it boxed, so it didn't matter. Actually you took my bet 1st, as I was going to play the same $50 WP. So, you forced my hand to play the exacta. I couldn't believe somebody stole my thunder w/Skip Tony. It was like WOW..How the hell did he see the same thing that I saw ? I knew after coming up to the far turn he wasn't giving it up w/o a fight. Speed kills & when they get the right post, they are downright dangerous......My problem was deciding to bet $100 to Win or not...If he ran 2nd under that scenario & w/your bet, I would have 2nd guessed myself all week. So, I opted for some cover..That's horse racing....
Annie More than 1 year ago
Swede, Apparently, your EXFACTOR will run in the LeComte afterall. I guess the leg injury from kicking the wall of his stall was very minor. He's 5-1. Good luck! Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
MKB today: SWEDE'S Exfactor 5-1 in the LeComte at FG. CALVIN CARTER'S Cozzetti 6-1 in the Kitten's Joy at GP. MDSP at SA: HAIRY'S Holy Candy 3-1 CHALKY'S Castaway 9-2 Good luck all! Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
KNM, Don't forget. SKY is running in the Louisiana HDCP today. He's 6-1. :) Annie