04/13/2012 3:45PM

HandiGambling 278 - Keeneland Turf

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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, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
 
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 GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
 
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.

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

Here's my HG play:

$100 Win - Southern Parkway (9)

Best of luck to all.