02/02/2012 2:38PM

HandiGambling 269 (Gulfstream Maiden Claiming)


Thursday's HandiGambling 269 exercise is the eighth race at Gulfstream Park, a $50,000 maiden claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs for 3-year-old fillies.

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 is FAST.



I don't really have a very strong handle on this race and won't be playing it with real money.  For HandiGambling, I narrowed it down to four main contenders.

#6 SO VOGUE is a first-time starter by Seeking the Best, a graded winner on dirt in Japan (more of a sprinter/miler type) that is 1-18 with debut runners.  The unraced dam has foaled one winner (on turf) from one prior starter and is a half-sister to Grade 2-placed sprinter Mike's Classic and Grade 1 sprint winner Dublin.  The second dam, Classy Mirage, won the prestigious Ballerina Stakes (G1) sprinting at Saratoga.  So Vogue's trainer, Kirk Ziadie, clicks at a high rate, but isn't known for his prowess with first-time starters (0-8 over the past two years; 10-52, 19%, $1.83 ROI over the past five years).  The thing that caught my eye with So Vogue was her gate workout on January 7 at Calder.  Also working five furlongs in 1:04 that morning was Ziadie's Truly Distinctive, a 4-year-old colt that won a $10,000 'n3L' claimer under jockey Maynor Lopez five days later with a career-best 77 Beyer Speed Figure.  So Vogue is certainly a stab play, but I'll give her shot in a race that I found very difficult to handicap.

#1 CASALINGA earned solid Moss Pace Figures (92 to first call) in her debut run on January 6, but she failed to put away 61-1 debutante Legalized and let that one come back to beat her by a half-length.  The only horse to return from that race to run next-out on dirt was Starship Made It, who graduated for $12,500 at Tampa Bay Downs with a 55 Beyer.  Casalinga has high speed, but will have to deal with #2 DONATE to her inside and is stepping up in class.  Also, her rider, Jose Lopez, has won with only one of his last 94 mounts in North America.  We'll know Casalinga early and she should be a strong factor if she runs back to her debut Beyer of 69.  Her dam, the multiple sprint winner Never Out, placed in the Grade 2 Alcibiades Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. 

#8 STARSHIP SABRINA, a $30,000 buyback as a yearling and a $47,000 buyback as a juvenile, may benefit most if Casalinga and Donate hook up in the early going.  In her first start for a tag, Starship Sabrina outfinished a tiring Donate when second on New Year's Day (that race produced next-out winner Wild Country Song, who scored for $25,000 at Gulfstream with a 65 Beyer).  She boasts competitive Beyers and should be charging in the stretch for trainer Steve Dwoskin.  Count her out at your own risk.

When #2 DONATE breaks well, she is very fast out of the gate as evidenced by the 100 Moss Pace Rating for the first call of her debut last year at Churchill Downs.  She also broke sharply two starts back, but couldn't fend off the late rally of Starship Sabrina.  We know Donate is quick, but she hasn't shown much stamina to date, losing ground from the stretch call to the wire in all of her starts.  She is a half-sister to stakes-winning sprinter One Star, a filly that won the OBS Sprint over safetrack footing.

As for the others:

#9 GREAT CHANCE, out of juvenile stakes-winning sprinter Marsheslew (won the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes going six furlongs at River Downs), adds blinkers after chasing the pace in her career debut.  A $28,000 summer yearling buyback that sold for $4,000 that October, She'll have to improve about five lengths on Starship Sabrina in order to win this for trainer Jose Pinchin.

#5 EMMA'S ENCORE is a half-sister to stakes-placed juvenile Bertha Jo (6-37, 112K, ran third in the $118,000 Barretts Debutante going 6 1/2 furlongs at Fairplex).  She'll make her first start for the legendary Allen Jerkens after missing the break against maiden special weights at Keeneland (a race that produced next-out turf winner Callmenancy; 69 Beyer).  Her only start on dirt was against recent stakes-winner Devious Intent so she should certainly appreciate the class relief presented to her today.

#10 WHY SHOULD I has some angles in her corner as she drops in for a claiming tag for the first time while also utilizing the turf-to-dirt move.  That maiden race on dirt didn't produce much, however, as all five of the horses that returned to race finished off the board in their next outings.  Why Should I must avoid being hung out wide with a short run to the turn.

#7 UNION BOSS is by Dixie Union (48-432, 11% with debut runners) out of the multiple stakes-winning sprinter Capitol View (12-41, 447K), a mare that has foaled three winners from as many starters.  There is an 18-day gap in the work tab and the barn is 0-21 with debut runners over the past four years.  Union Boss sold for $160,000 as a yearling, was bought back for $145,000 in March of 2011 and was purchased for $50,000 last May. 

#11 COSMIC ENERGY, a $22,000 yearling, is by Grade 2 route winner Unbridled Energy (3-68, 4% with debut runners) out of sprint winner Cosmic Secrets (3-52, 55K).  The dam has foaled three winners from four runners and is a half-sister to Grade 3 route winner Wildly Special.  Trainer Tim Hills is 0-23 over the past year with debut runners.

#12 MS. TIZNOW is by Tiznow (38-446, 9% with debut runners) out of sprint winner St Ballado's Image (1-10, 31K), a mare that has foaled no winners from two runners, but is a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 winner Halo's Image.  The workouts fail to jump off the page and she'll have to overcome the far outside post.

Here's my HandiGambling stab:

$50 Win-Place - #6 SO VOGUE

Best of luck to all.

Molesap More than 1 year ago
Curt V., Time has limited my participation in the blog, but you're like a damned broken record - it seems everytime I log in you have won the HG. Fantastic job.
Dick W More than 1 year ago
Grisham Very nice hit in the HG with your $5 tri !!! Dick W
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, meathead01, I heard from the editor yesterday that EQUUS Magazine, the most popular general horse magazine in the US, is now slated to run an excerpt from HORSE PROFILING in their April issue.
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
Santa Anita 2-4-12 saturday R2 #6 Me Salty got a new rider in rosario today and that may push this one over the edge to get a picture taken today. goes a half furlong longer and joel will have him closing down the lane. #2 His Boy Elroy cutting back today and gets yet another jockey for oneill this lightly raced gelding has had lots of problems and may have got them behind now. J/T is 27%. #1 Breakmark krigger got this one to run last race and draws down to the rail which should keep him from swinging out wide.he does have a good record of hitting the board and think he is in the exotics today. R3 #1 Deweys Special been off since april 2010 so he may any thing at this time of his racing life but have to think he may run some today since trainer brought him back in a graded race so confidence abounds. is usually ready to fire big shot after rest.trainer 33% with first timers. #2 Pathfork a gr1 winner from ireland already returns to the races for sadler with good strong works in tow is a front runner so gets talamo to ride should show the way in this race. #6 Willyconker (IRE) this guy loves this distance being four for eight with three board finishes goes back to bejarano who seems to get the most from him lately. another speed type that likes it out front. they all have to beat #8 Mr. Commons and with all this speed signed they may set it up nicely. R6 #6 Rousing Sermon always gets a part of the money and today will be no different and does run strong after layoff so am thinking talamo will have him in position to win this today. hollendorfer with layoff horses 22%. #5 Sky Kingdom last was very nice win for this guy and garcia seems to get him in the picture when he rides two for two.this colt will lay just off and make his run down the lane. #4 Ill Have Another returns for oniell with two bullet works and if can get an easy lead will be hard to catch today. trainer is 33% on the stretchout the jockey is unknown to me so will take that into consideration today. good luck all MH01
Annie More than 1 year ago
Um, that last was supposed to be for Bernard. Annie
Steve T More than 1 year ago
knm, The Public Handicapper past performance deal is indeed a deal. The cheapest the classic PP's get is $1.80 each for the 240 card pack on a "normal" deal. So $1.30 per for 100 cards is a very nice discount. Here are all of the PP plans and prices: http://www.drf.com/store/past-performances
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
BSB "one of the qualifiers at NHC saying that it cost him $3000 to qualify ..." If I may, ( I am sure Alan will also comment ) I too, saw that comment at the MW Blog and thought...hmmm. At previous NHC's when talking to contestants, they have shared how they got here. Some spend even more than that. Alot of their monies go to covering travel expenses, or airfare to different tracks/locations that have the qualifiers. Some may hit 6-8 different citys , entrie fees, etc before they get qualified. And that can add up quick. Not all like the chances of playing online with so many entrys. They judge their own 'risk and reward' depending on how well they think they will eventually do when they get here. Hope that helps... --------------------------- Annie yeah! FESTIVE SPIRIT has put me in a festive mood this weekend. NOW, we just have to get your FORWARD MARCH going forward :)
Annie More than 1 year ago
Jeff T, Wheee! Looks like your BATTLE HARDENED is going to run in the Sam Davis. He scratched out of the maiden race. Seems to be a lot of confidence in him by the connections. Good luck! Annie
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
blackseabass, I think that Chips All In could be competitive in the Robert B. Lewis but I don't know about the win: http://classicchampionthoroughbreds.blogspot.com/2012/02/robert-b-lewis-stakes-racing-roundup.html
David M More than 1 year ago
Annie: You are right so much information, so little time!. For me it boils to weighting the information properly, I don't do that well. The HG GP workouts were there for me and they were quick a few works back. You correctly noted that. The baggage I carry is coming from KY and Ellis Park in particular I never put much stock in morning times. They were typically not recorded properly or just flat misleading in the past. Plus all the little training centers, etc. I struggled with the integrity angle. Major circuits like SoCAl seem to do a better job of tracking it and getting them right. I do look at SoCal as being accurate. I suppose GP should fit in that category. I usually dismiss first timers too quickly especially when the field was as untalented as that $50k MDN was. A new face made sense. Curt V nailed it. Not just yanking chains here but this Form Blog crew is so talented. Definitely lots of grade one caliber handicappers. It is fun to just hang with the crowd. One of these days I may graduate to $10K MDN claimer level and move into ALW company. Other - I mentioned a few weeks back that Incarnate Memories was reported to be a runner. Heard about her direct from the source 2 years back and then again pre BC leadup at KEE. She finally surfaced and the Western KY boys hammered her to 3-5 despite Larry Jones 1-35 record in that category. Thankfully 3-5 is not something I do plus I swore off barn steam for their first start in my resolutions. She ran flat but I will be shocked if she does not have some major 'run" to her. Like I said the first hand information she can run is probably accurate whether she wins first out was not part of the information. Marcus Hersch chose to highlight her in his FG recap. I suspect 5-2 next time and maybe the turf although at FG a heavy dew is all is takes for a week of wash offs. Few interesting turfers to watch -(can't play today so they probably run well) Bold Front at FG - bad trip last, think he shows more today. Attendant in same race has pedigree to move way up first turf maybe for unders.... More than Ready with Kingmambo mare. Two A sources of turf to me and sounds like a formula for a grass win soon assuming key equipment is intact. Vasten at FG race 5 also shows turf move up pedigree IMO. Top/bottom grass and obligatory educational dirt run out of way. Amoss trainee so today we see if this one is anything. Muscialdefinition at GP should turf (Bernstein/Theatrical mix). Mile in debut and rail means I watch hoping for slow break and sub par effort today with potential for payday next out at 40-1.
jimi More than 1 year ago
Dan A belated thanks for your 1st time gelded info. Star Navigator in the 2nd and Setsuko in the last @ SA are todays recipients of the biggest drop in racing. MKB Clearly a Cowboy continues his rehab and we stopped by Mandella's barn to see what can happen even if you finish 2nd in both the SA Derby and Handicap and bring home almost 1/2 million dollars before age 5. Maybe a bit harsh on the youngster as he's in the back of his stall now muttering "just win, baby".
Annie More than 1 year ago
Jimi, I see you're continuing your motivation techniques. LOL Annie
jim tully More than 1 year ago
Look! Mr. Hot Stuff goes in the 10th at SA today No, wait. That's Setsuko. Nevermind.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
meathead01 ..looks to me that you have handicapped some nice picks and nicer longshots today . Well done & I hope you had $$ on them , Ca-ching! Me Salty 10.00 win - I'll Have Another 88.60 / 35.80 / 12.00 - Tippity Tap Tap 22.00 win - Ultimate Eagle 17.00 win ...