03/08/2012 1:19PM

HandiGambling 273 (Gulfstream Allowance)


Thursday's HandiGambling 273 exercise is the ninth race at Gulfstream Park, an entry-level allowance for four-year-olds and upward at nine 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 horse's name) for easier scoring.

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.

Best of luck to all.


As of this writing, the track condition is GOOD. 

Let's scratch #3 BELIEVE IN A.P. and #10 DEVON ROCK.


There are a couple of logical contenders returning from long layoffs at this demanding distance and they're going to have to be cranked tight in order to handle this competitive bunch.  For HG purposes, I'm looking at a longshot with some recent races that should handle the distance.  As for the surface, well...we know he's going to be a big price...

#2 DREAM MAN has some dirt pedigree as he's by Unbridled's Song out of a mare that won three sprints on dirt.  That mare, Dream Time, is a full sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Finder's Fee, a Phipps homebred that won the Matron and Frizette on dirt.  This is the classy female family of Ballerina winner Furlough, and Breeders' Cup Sprint hero Dancing Spree.  It's interesting, and perhaps a bit discouraging, that trainer Bill Mott has yet to try Dream Man on the main track but the colt's style (no early speed, one run from the back) may play better to turf racing.  He will likely be outrun during the opening half-mile, but there may be some pace for him to attack this afternoon with #1 BIRDWAY and #6 EYE ON JACOB eyeballing the early lead. 
Dream Man has had some tricky trips recently on turf.  If, and that's a big if, he can translate his turf form to dirt, he has a puncher's chance at a nice number. 

#7 SELF CONTROL looks like the horse to beat for trainer Chad Brown.  Unraced since finishing in a dead-heat for second with #9 E. H. INDY in a one-turn mile on January 22, Self Control will make his first start around two turns on the main track this afternoon.  He possesses good tactical speed and should find good early position in the second flight or so.  Before we get too excited, however, we must mention that this Lemon Drop Kid homebred has lost five times at odds of 3-1 or less in his career (four times as the favorite).  Thus far, it's been more sizzle than steak for Self Control but there's no denying that his recent numbers are extremely competitive. 

#9 E. H. INDY finished on even terms with SELF CONTROL on January 22 and it could be argued that he had to overcome a more difficult pace scenario.  The leaders of that race waltzed through fractions of 25.20 and 48.39 and E H INDY trailed the field for a half-mile while Self Control was closer to those tepid splits.  The lightly-raced 5-year-old may get a better setup this time around and he is certainly bred to appreciate this added distance (by the great A.P. Indy out of Grade 1 turf winner Auntie Mame).  He missed over a year of racing earlier in his career due to a fractured hind leg, but seems to be back in good form for trainer Angel Penna.  E. H. Indy should be charging hard in the stretch and can't be dismissed. 

#6 EYE ON JACOB is another with a wonderful pedigree (by A.P. Indy out of Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Escena) that has been compromised by layoff lines.  He returns to dirt after some low-priced defeats in Southern California and it's possible that he just didn't do his best running over the synthetic out there.  I thought he ran well two back when setting the pace over a closer-friendly Del Mar oval, but he hasn't raced since August, returns at a tough distance and may face early pressure from the rail horse.  It's Pletcher and Velazquez so you know he'll take action at the windows and he faced some good company in his last start (Grade 1 winner Jaycito, triple-digit earner Centralinteligence, etc.).

#4 GALLANT DREAMS hasn't been out since the summer at Saratoga.  He's a well-bred Live Oak Plantation homebred that chased Uncle Mo, Justin Phillip and Adios Charlie in various starts at three.  I wouldn't be surprised if he improves against this competition, but it's not easy to win at nine furlongs off such a long layoff.  The winner of his most recent start returned to finish fifth in the Travers while the runner-up come back to run fourth in the Indiana Derby.

#5 UNBRIDLED KIMANCHI should benefit from his most recent outing, a similar spot at Gulfstream on February 12.  Although he only finished evenly in the stretch, it was his first start of the year and he seems like a long-winded type that would appreciate this added distance.  He must improve from a Beyer standpoint, but continues to train swiftly for Brian Lynch.

#8 BOMBAGUIA's lone career win came on grass and he failed to make up a ton of late ground when finishing ahead of Unbridled Kimanchi on February 12.  He has some tactical speed, but I wonder if we've already seen his best.  With 11 starts already on his card, one must wonder if there is upside left.

#1 BIRDWAY makes his first start around two turns, but draws favorably and certainly has the pedigree to succeed at this route (by Street Cry from the female family of Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone).  He has some early speed, but must avoid a prolonged pace battle with Eye On Jacob.  He handled wet going nicely on February 9, his first start off a long layoff and may be coming to hand for Nick Zito and Julien Leparoux.  He takes a big step up in class and I'm worried about the pace scenario, but there is some talent here.

1. Dream Man
2. Self Control
3. E. H. Indy

For HandiGambling purposes, I'll play it like this:

$50 Win-Place - #2 DREAM MAN

Best of luck to all.


I've got a plane to catch for the FormBlog convention so I'll give you the following quick-and-dirty weekend picks.








More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annie Thanks for the LUCK recap. OMG..two more episodes, what could possibly happen ??? ...the little boy is abandoned and he is taken in by Escalante and grows up to be a winning jockey apprentice. ...Nathan wakes up, but forever has a dent in his forehead ...as a reminder of Mike's nastiness. ...Jo gets stomped on by the lame filly and sadly loses the baby. ...Ronnie Jenkins ( Gary Stevens) has a drug overdose and is written out of season two. ...Rosie gets GUM back ...Ace sees someone on his video camera putting a sponge up Pint of Plain's nose ...but their back is to the camera . Who did it ?? ...Virgin Queen has a cameo appearance with Jerry talking about the World Series of Poker. ...Jerry and Naomi go for a 'ride' and lose control, ummm...of the car. They go off some steep, dark winding road . Who will survive ?? Oh the possibilities ! LOL! SR Vegas PS .. I mean no offence to anyone with my character 'situations .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No problem, SR, thats called literary license. :) You may be right about Jo. The preview showed something happening to her and a scene with Escalante hugging her. Oh oh! Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gulfstream's 2nd Race tomorrow, a MSW for 3 yo fillies at 1 mile on the turf: Got to give some love to BRILLIANT KATIE by Gone West, out of good turfing mare Katherine Seymore (GB) (Green Desert), one of two from the Matz barn making her second start at 6-1 ML with his main man Laparoux up. First out was a 5th place finish after flashing early speed in quick fractions for 4f+ setting the pace (:22.6 & :45.6 after breaking slow in her debut at a turf route distance. Very good works for this in the past 30 days. Race 9 is an AOC $75K for 3 yr old fillies at 1 mile on the Turf: #8 QUESTING (GB) by Hard Spun out of a Seeking the Gold mare is favored at 5/2 as she makes her sophomore opener after running 5th in the BC Juvie for fillies (on DIRT) behind Miss Auriella and Grace Hall, had met traffic before the 3/8ths in that race. Has worked well for this for McLaughlin, with Laparoux up here too. #5 CHANNEL LADY by English Channel is 5-1 for the Pletcher barn here, with Fernando Jara up, coming in off AOC and MSW good runs. #2 SPRING ECLIPSE is an interesting filly by Unbridled's Song out of a Metfield mare who is from David Vance barn also making her sophomore season opener, drew Lezcano's interest and comes in with very good works for this, especially the last two. this month. She did some running last year, and is 12-1 ML. Looks like a three horse Exacta Box to me, with the W/P/S on this last Miss, who should drift up in the odds, imo. Race 3 has HOMEBOYKISS, 4 yo sprinter- miler who has beeh running well in $10K Claiming ranks, but was the Champagne Stakes winner as a 2 yr old. This guy was in Dick Dutrow's barn and I shamelessly lobbied with Laura (over TBTA's and SR Vegas's strenuous objections), to be included in the IMT RTTR Stable entry last year, using flattery to get my way...ha ha ha! Worth a sentimenatal wager I still persist in believing he could have figured in the Derby superfecta, even comming off a horresdously long layoff, but alas, he drew a far outside post, and proved to be no Sidney's Candy except for his colossal fade! LOL! Keith L.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tmonty, Good news, your LUCKY CHAPPY is going to the UAE Derby in Dubai to make tons of money so he can run in the Kentucky Derby! :) Good luck! Annie
tencenticielo H More than 1 year ago
Lucky Chappy is going for a money grab, but I doubt he'll be in the Kentucky Derby. I have not found a horse who in the same year ran in the U.S., ran in Dubai, and came back to run faster than 8 weeks. No chance Motion comes back in 5 weeks time.
Keith More than 1 year ago
Aqueduct tomorrow, and the track should be fast, and the weather fabulous. 2nd Race, a MSW at 9f for 3 yr olds, and Romans is here with Dominguiz up on the Empire Maker colt SUNS OUT GUNS OUT who had been facing tough company in Gulfstream. Ortiz (without the bug) was on him for the Gotham, and after taking a hard bump on the break, rushed him up 4 wide wide where in the first quarter he was within 3 lengths of a rating off the pace Hansen, and within 2 lengths of the rail rater My Adonis, Subsequently, he began a fade by the 6f mark. He's even money here, and a win puts him in the Wood Memorial hunt, perhaps. 8th Race Feature is a 1 mile on the Main for 3 yr old fillies Stakes. HARD MYSTERY, by Hard Spun out of a good Allowance and Stakes runing mare by Summer Squall is 5-1 ML third choice behind Pletcher and Tony Dutrow fillies, but Weaver should be happy with her midpack post, and she's quick! 9th Race, 6 f $15K Claimer for 4&up fillies and mares at 6f. Name play race if Clean CLEAN JEANNE gets in for Chaterpaul /Studart at 15-1ML, with JOLLIENE at 10-1 ML, and SOCITTIMEBABY(NJ bred) for Bruce Levine at 4-1 ML looks like a boxed trifecta to me, and also a boxed Exacta. The former is cutting back from a 1 mile $7.5K win but she's on a winning streak, but she's only one of the entry here, and may not go for Chaterpaul, with Studart having the call on both. .
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
An interesting race developing @the Gulf on Friday, R3, 80K Allowance on Dirt, 1 mile for 3yr. olds. 2 Slewsters. Currency Swap{Double Slew, w & w/o the Indy} & Gemologist{w/o the Indy & has TIZNOW}. CS{16th} has 150K graded earnings & Gem. has 104K {25th}. Both undefeated. CS has subsequently been flattered because he beat next out winners Trinniberg & I'll Have Another. I'm not sure what to make of why they're racing here, except maybe just to see what in the heck they got moving forward. Not a betting race for sure, BUTTS: I'm definitely keeping an eye out for how they run. One or both may be players on the TC trail....... Curtis V. Slewster.........
Dick W More than 1 year ago
C. S. Is running here because he has been off for about 6 months due to surgery to remove an ankle flake or chip. The goal, as I understand it, is to get him to the Florida Derby, so this is a good spot to get him a prep for that race. Also he has never gone 2 turns and they need to find how he will handle the extra distance. Oh and by the way, he is my MKB horse and I have been not so patiently waiting for his return to the track. As you mentioned, he beat a couple of pretty good ones in the Hopeful. But that was at 7 furlongs over a sloppy track. This will be a good test for him and I am hoping for a big effort. Dick W
Keith More than 1 year ago
Curt V. If I'll Have Another indeed ships in for this race, it would be for sizing up the track incase O'Neil recommends sending in the looking increasingly crowded Florida Derby, lookng for a softer spot than facing Creative Cause and Bafferts Bodemeister next, perhaps. Keith L.
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
I'll Have Another is not listed for the race @the Gulf w/CS & Gem.
tencenticielo H More than 1 year ago
Curt, what are you talking about with I'll Have Another? He's not going to Gulfstream. Why bother when you can easily run 3rd in a 7 horse field (the others out here are nowhere close to being good enough to catch him) and still make the Ky Derby field? Did you mix your posts up?
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
I never said I'll Have Another is racing Friday at the Gulf. Keith is the confusing one. All I said is Currency Swap defeated I'll Have Another & Trinniberg{last year}. Dick W understood what I said. Dismiss what Keith said, & I'm sure you'll see what I said. Keith is the odd man out.....Lmao..........Currency Swap & Gemologist are racing Friday. What I'll Have Another is doing ? I haven't got a clue..... Curt V.
Keith More than 1 year ago
Curt: Your 2nd post structure had the "I'm not sure what to make of why THEY'RE racing here", which could have applied to I'll Have Another and Trinneberg just as well (if not better) as Currency Swap and Gemeologist in the previous sentence, obviously. And as it is clear as the ingrained farm dirt on the back of your grimey hand, Gemologist and Currency Swap both are needing the race before they go into their graded preps, so the puzzled nature of your inquiring mind completed with your usual bifurbication of your thought process and tortured syntax lent itself to the natural outcome: confusion to two of the sharpest minds on this blog in the personage of tencentcielo and myself, Thank you, sir, for clarifying your errant ways! LOL! Keith L.
jimi More than 1 year ago
tencentcielo Congratulations on your being in select company!
Dick W More than 1 year ago
Keith and ten cent Curt said NOTHING about I'll Have Another running at Gulfstream ! Read his post again. All he said was that Currency Swap beat I'll have Another (and Trinniberg) in the Hopeful last September. Dick W
nancyb More than 1 year ago
BobC-- that was a wonderful recap of the Formblog convention, Florida Edition. I'm glad it was so fun and thanks TBTA for the pics. I did admire Ms Chalky's chapeau. If she deigns to enter, I believe she'd have a shot at Del Mar's opening day hat contest. My Consulado just keeps shooting bullet works. I'm a little disappointed at the cutback to 7f, although the 2-turn drubbing at the hands of the now-sidelined Fed Biz could not have been good for his self-confidence. I see that there is another duo from the loaded Baffert bench ready to make a race of it, but I'm feeling good about our chances. Maybe we will be a sprinter-miler after all and of course there's the turf angle to explore. Derby fever takes a while to run its course, but I'm getting the feeling that we are not so directly on the Derby Trail (even the SA Derby) any more; not through one of the injuries or infirmities that suddenly start to decimate the ranks, but realistic common sense. Like my initial Derby crush, Blingo, Consulado is a gelding, so there's no breeding bonanza to be had at the end of the Triple Crown rainbow. I am guessing that both of them will now start concentrating on doing the things that they excel at and learning to be the best. I will be happy to have a healthy competitive animal doing what he excels at while many who showed glimmers of promise are burnt up in pursuit of the Derby fantasy. For Consulado, I'm circling the King's Bishop as the goal and I'd say the Swaps might be a more immediate objective. Hope the other (real) owners come to a similar conclusion. Blingo is just not as explosive on Santa Anita's dirt as he was on turf. It will be interesting to see if he runs well on Cushion Track, since he trains on it. Keeneland, maybe? It's unusual, but I think that this year the horses that ran 1-2-3 in the BC Juvie still look like the best this close to the Derby. Oh and seacsi? Um ... past-posted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, I didn't forget about you. :) LUCK - Episode 7: Things are getting nasty on LUCK. Poor Nathan Israel had a meeting with Mike and his cronies. Mike doesn't really trust him. Nathan tries to convince Mike that Ace is really wanting the same thing as Mike. Nathan makes the mistake of using one of Ace's signature comebacks, "Answer a question with a question". This convinces Mike that Nathan is really tight with Ace, and he smashes Nathan in the head with a crystal ashtray. He hits him again for good measure. Mike's cronies are aghast, as Nathan lays in a pool of blood. Oh oh! Rosie wants to know if she still has the mount on GUM. She asks agent Joey if he could talk to Walter for her. Joey takes the opportunity to become her agent. Walter says he will let him know. But, Ronnie Jenkins comes to Walter and tells him that he is fit and sober and wants the mount back on GUM. After alot of angst, Walter decides to take the more experienced jockey. But, while working out, Ronnie cannot resist the temptation of a bottle of pills. He crushes some of the pills and snorts the powder. I'm afraid our dear Gary Stevens, er Ronnie, has become a junkie. Claire takes Ace to the prison farm and shows him the retired racehorses that they rehabilitate from their injuries and retrain, with the prisoners caring for them. Ace is enthralled by this and feeds some of them carrots and even goes in the training ring to see how a horse has been trained to follow the lead of the person in the ring with them. Walk right behind them or jog if the person does. Explained as making it a pack of two. Interesting. A Hispanic boy and his uncle are on the backside, not exactly sure why. The uncle is a jerk. The boy was wondering if he could get a pair of jockey goggles. Jo is drawn to him and offers to take him to the track with her and maybe get him a pair of goggles, but she has to pay the uncle $10. Escalante is looking on and disaproves of course. Lonnie has decided he would like to claim this filly racing that day. He asks Escalante to train for him. Escalante agrees. She is looking looking like a winner, but she takes a bad step and leaves the race lame. Lonnie has won her. Later at the hotel, the guys tell him he didn't do it right by not giving Escalante a chance to check her out before putting in a claim. But console him that now he has a broodmare. LOL Jerry plays in a World Series Poker satellite and Naomi, the dealer, plays too, but she is out early. During dinner break, Jerry is apparently teaching her how to drive his fancy car as she sits on his lap behind the wheel. I think more was going on than a driving lesson. :) Later, after Jerry qualifies, he takes Naomi back to the motel and introduces her to the guys and shows them his qualifying ticket. They go next door to his room, and the guys discuss Naomi. Renzo says she looks nice. And then, " she wears quite alot of makeup". LOL Jo had to go with Lonnie's claimed horse after her injury, so she asks Escalante to take the boy back for his uncle to pick up. The uncle doesn't come back for him, so Escalante drives him to where he says he lives. For some reason, Escalante is taken by the boy and gives him his card and tells him to call him if he needs something. Back at Escalante's place, Jo tells him that she is pregnant. He doesn't say anything at first, and then asks her if she knows what it is. She says it's too soon. And he said, "A boy wouldn't be bad." She is surprised by his reaction. He tells her to go rest, and they pan on a small framed picture of a little boy. Hmmm. One more thing, Ace had a video camera installed across from Pint Of Plain's stall so he could see him from his hotel room whenever he wants. OK, that's about it. There will be two more episodes for the season. Annie
Keith More than 1 year ago
A hot casino dealer wears too much makeup? NOOOO! Keith L.
jimi More than 1 year ago
--------------------------------------Blackseabass------------------------------------ Were you there the day of or day after the Big Cap for the Pedroza affair? He shoulda been set down for the meet, no?? He was laying in wait for Rosario from the get go, drifted a bit to wide turning for home inviting him through and... I read nothing on sonar. over. All---Pedroza affair: DRF homepage--News--Santa Anita Park--March 10
Keith More than 1 year ago
Perhaps overlooked was the forewarning given by the luke warm Show finish by Dixie Strike in the Harecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstrean Sunday, This filly has the same sire blood line as does Union Rags, and they also share in their pedigrees the common factor of having dam sires who are sons of Mr. Prospector. Even their past running styles are very similar. But, for all her success in 8.5f races, Dixie Strike was found wanting against sharp competition when trying the 9f distance, even on the grass (which should have been forgiving of the Dixie Union distance influence shortcomings). Makes sense that Pletcher and McLaughlin are seriously considering entering their top colts El Padrino and Alpha, respectively, in the Florida Derby to run against Union Rags for Grade 1 win honors. Keith L.
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
Are you kidding.....you post alot.... but have alot about the horse to learn. Why not mate the sire and dam of Zen. over and over and over..........
Cloud More than 1 year ago
Wow. I hope everyone shares this viewpoint cause I'll be making a fortune on her when she runs over a fairer turf course. They ran the last three furlongs in 34 and 3. She sat last most of the way on a course tilted towards speed, came 4-5 wide entering the stretch, and still closed some ground late. How fast do you want her to run? And I can't even comment on the egregious misperception that her race has anything to do with Union Rags...
jimi More than 1 year ago
You just did comment, Cloud. :)
bobc More than 1 year ago
Bernard Downes I certainly do hope you decide to come to Gulfstream sometime in the future. I know you would be in for an amazing time, especially with the assistance of Mike Nyman. Don't fret about your earlier post, no offense meant and none taken. Mike Nyman is a regular guy who you would very much enjoy talking to over a glass or two of your favorite beverage. As others have already pointed out, as did I earlier, but my post must have gotten lost in cyberspace, Gulfstream is truly unique. It must be seen to be believed. And in the unlikely event that it dosen't meet your standards. Don't worry, there is an Irish Pub on the premises, after a short stay in the Pub I'm quite sure you will see everything in a different light. I look forward to the possibility of introducing you to Gulfstream. bobc