04/13/2012 3:45PM

HandiGambling 278 - Keeneland Turf


Friday's HandiGambling 278 exercise is the seventh race at Keeneland, an entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds and 1 1/16 miles on the 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 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 turf is FIRM and there are no changes.

Trainer Rusty Arnold normally points to the Keeneland meet and he may have #9 SOUTHERN PARKWAY ready to roll in his second start of the season.  The gelded son of Lemon Drop Kid made his 2012 debut in an optional claimer at Gulfstream and he ran pretty well.  After tracking the pace from in between rivals, Southern Parkway forged to the front while three wide in midstretch only to be outfinished by Saturday Launch, a runner that returned to finish fourth in last week's Illinois Derby on dirt.  A horse that finished in a dead-heat for fifth in that Gulfstream race, Summer Breezing, returned to win by over ten lengths (with an 89 Beyer) over the polytrack on April 7.  Southern Parkway has good tactical speed and may find a nice spot stalking #8 FILM SHOT down the backstretch. 

#7 COALPORT, the morning line favorite, looks like the horse to beat.  Second in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes over this course and distance last year, Coalport reportedly didn't handle the "good" Churchill Downs course in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.  In his final start at two, Coalport ran his final quarter-mile in 22.38 when fourth in the $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes.  Most recently, Coalport broke poorly and may have been compromised by a slow pace when matched up with Blue Grass Stakes-bound runners Howe Great and Dullahan in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes.  If Coalport gets some pace to attack, he should be charging hard in the lane.  He gave a "good even outing," according to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" for the April 4 workout.

#5 OLD TIME HOCKEY won his turf debut after receiving a picture-perfect trip under Mark Guidry.  The Smarty Jones gelding saved ground in behind the leader, eased to the two path at the head of the stretch and wore down the pacesetter to score by a half-length.  He may have to face a bit more adversity this time around and will be taking a solid step up in class.  Still, the lightly-raced chestnut looks to have some ability.

#10 HEIKO's lone victory came at Tampa Bay Downs, but he wasn't disgraced in his three recent starts against winners at Gulfstream.  He exits a pretty fast optional claimer that was won by the talented Our Entourage (returned to finish fifth in the Illinois Derby, but is better on grass) and the runner-up of that event came back to win at even-money with an 84 Beyer Speed Figure.  Heiko has a sneaky-good break from the starting gate, but must avoid getting hung out wide from the far outside post.

#3 UNREMITTING put up a career-best 80 Beyer in winning his maiden over "good" going at Fair Grounds on February 25.  He was flattered when three horses returned to win out of that race, including 85-Beyer graduate Sachem Spirit.  Unremitting doesn't have much early speed and may need some pace and race luck if he is to run these down in the final quarter-mile. 

#8 FILM SHOT boasts a beautiful pedigree and could try to shake loose in the early stages this afternoon.  He used that tactic in winning his maiden two starts back and he probably had to go too fast out of the gate in attempting to clear the field from his outside draw last time.  Film Shot was swallowed up by Our Entourage and company in the stretch, however, and needs to take a step forward to take these down.  Edgar Prado will attempt to ration out his speed for trainer Bill Mott.

#6 CLASS PRESIDENT returns to his preferred surface following a dull performance in a slow optional claimer over the Fair Grounds main track.  In his lone turf start, he rallied stoutly off slow fractions to prevail by a head.  That race didn't produce much, however, as only one of the eighth horses that Class President defeated returned to crack the exacta next-out.  Give this well-bred colt some pace and he may do some damage, but he still must prove that he fits at this level.

#2 TIGERDUDE makes his turf debut after being blown out in the WEBN Stakes over the Turfway polytrack.  He has a hint of speed and may attempt to track Film Shot in the early going.  His sire is 20-189 (10%) with first-time turf runners and the dam was stakes-placed sprinting on grass. Tigerdude is a half-brother to War Tigress, a stakes-winner on the grass that also was a first-turf winner.

#4 FANTASTIC SONG came with a big late kick to win his career debut going long at Saratoga, but he just hasn't taken a huge step forward since.  Beaten as the chalk in three of his last four starts, Fantastic Song needs a hot pace to adequately setup his late kick. 

#1 AL MUSADDAD makes his turf debut for Dan Peitz.  The sire is 17-171 (10%) with first-turf runners and the dam won at 11 furlongs on turf in England.  He is bred to appreciate this surface switch and could work out a good ground-saving trip under Jose Lezcano.

1.  Southern Parkway
2.  Coalport
3.  Old Time Hockey

Here's my HG play:

$100 Win - Southern Parkway (9)

Best of luck to all.

Rick Casselberry More than 1 year ago
#4 Principal Role - Mott will have her ready. Dangerous if takes to poly. #5 Pachattack will be tough to beat. These two should run 1 and 2. HG Plays $30.00 Trifectas 4-5-8 and 4-5-1 $40.00 Trifecta 5-4-8 Mr C
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Forgot to mention that VIRGIN QUEEN has a very good chance of getting in the Winner's Circle again today as her DRILL is the 4-5 favorite in the Northern Spur at OP and is the only MKB in the race. :) Good luck, VQ!!! Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will be mainly watching the two big races today, trying to prepare for the Derby in three weeks. But, I am going to try a Super in HANSEN'S race. I consider Hansen and Dullahan to be the two best in here so I'm going to key the two of them in 1st and 2nd. I'm putting Prospective, Howe Great, Holy Candy, Ever So Lucky and Politcally Correct in the 3rd and 4th spots. I'm not touching the Arkansas Derby. I have no clue. Good luck everyone with your bets today! Annie
Keith More than 1 year ago
Scared off by my two self pick MKBs, hmmm Annie? Case of can't bet on 'em, can't bet against 'em? Keith L.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guess who's coming back. It's P VAL! Will start back at HOL on April 26th. Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chicken Thumb is going hot and heavy. He is such a coward! Annie
Conrad More than 1 year ago
Heavy Breathing has the sexiest pedigree i have ever seen. Maybe he gets the dream trip behind the speed today at KEE and times his move. Could be there
Rick Marciniak More than 1 year ago
So, do we try and beat Drill. Post 7 and doing 2 turns. Not liking especially at 4-5. Also, weary about Bode. Post 11 and trying to go wire to wire. Taking look at the Najaar and optimizer and Clever to close off pace. Letting bafferts tabs beat me. Prob a losing strategy.
Keith More than 1 year ago
Bode: shipping for the first time, and a new jock to boot! False fav if I ever saw one! Keith L.
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
Just dont know a good horse when ya see one. hehehe
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Perusing the pp's for Sunday ata KEE. See the Beaumont Stakes Grade 2 drew field of 6. Only Sacristy and Gypsy Robin are even stakes placed with only Sacristy a graded winner. I certainly hope KEE is not seeing the ill effects of slots in NY and other places with these kinds of races becoming after thoughts. This race usually draws some quality and it can be contentious. Past winners include: Go for Wand, Fluttery Danseur, Roamin Rachel, Her Temper, Fanny Freud, and last year a then razor sharp Turbulent Descent. I am really trying to be a glass half full guy but this one may not be remembered as its best edition.
Keith More than 1 year ago
If you've been wondering just why the National TV Coverage of the Bluegrass Stakes and Arkansas Derby is on CNBC, the Business Channel, it's because since April 1st (no joke) there has been a CNBC contest which is pretty simple, be the person who calls the close of the Dow Jones Industrial (NOT) Average closest every day and be eligible to win a draw for the Prize of a $100,000 Ky Derby wager. I guess the Hedge Fund boys and girls are thinking they will cover these two races this year for they believe the best horses they will be possibly choolsing to be in the KY Derby will come out of here? With two of my MKBs running in the Ark, I'll buy that argument! Keith L.
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
I see Stat is running in the Baffert Invitational or more commony known as the ARK Derby today. Very interesting race. Only 4 horses have cracked above 90 on BSF scale. Only 3 have gone to the new modern 3 year old stratosphere of 95. Naturally Baffert has the two top BSF horses. Rarely do I see so much dispersion. Many of these mired in low 80's seem overmatched. Maybe they can find more. Lukas says "you have to be in it to win it". Catchy slogan that sounds real good on the face but that is coming from a guy who is 0-109 in last graded stakes efforts. Is that a modern record? Makes my 0-50 in HG look good. Back to Stat. That is Dr. Jerry B's horse. He thought a ton of him at Saratoga. Minor issue but gets to show his stuff today. Anything Pletcher sends out is worthy of note. Should have great trip in lead pack , we will see if Stat can stay 9F. Jerry is the old fashioned American success story. Worked hard, was a financial success, cash out, and do what you love.....owning horses. Nice story, it can still happen in America. Good luck to Stat and Jerry! Enjoy the moment and dream for a spot at CD on May 5.