04/20/2012 1:40PM

HandiGambling 279, I Doubledogdare Ya!


Friday's HandiGambling 279 exercise is the ninth race at Keeneland, the Grade 3 Hillard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the polytrack racing surface.


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.


Let's scratch #4 - PRINCIPAL ROLE

I usually take a skeptical view of solid dirt horses trying synthetic for the first time, but I'll attempt to make an exception to that "rule" with #8 JOYFUL VICTORY, a gray daughter of Tapit that was the beaten favorite in last year's Kentucky Oaks.  Trained by Larry Jones, Joyful Victory underwent knee surgery following a last-place finish in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks and may just be rounding back into her best form.  She's made three starts this year and paired up Beyer tops in her last two races on dirt.  Sometimes, turf form successfully translates to polytrack, but it's hard to determine if Joyful Victory is a good grass horse based on her lone turf start.  That afternoon at Fair Grounds, Joyful Victory made her first start following the injury-induced layoff and was compromised by a very slow pace up front.  She still rallied to be second, however, and she has made a good impression in her recent morning trials on polytrack.  For the April 8 workout, the "Keeneland Clocker Report" on www.keeneland.com noted that she "went nicely on her own."  Furthermore, Joyful Victory may be forwardly-placed in a race lacking much in the way of early speed.  She should be prominent when the real racing begins.

While there is uncertainty about Joyful Victory's ability to handle the surface, there are no such worries with the classy #5 PACHATTACK, third behind Royal Delta and It's Tricky when last seen in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.  She set a track record at Woodbine in 2010 with a gate-to-wire tally in the $186,000 Maple Leaf Stakes and she blew away her foes in last year's Grade 3 Arlington Matron at Arlington.  Since the Breeders' Cup, Pachattack sold for $1,200,000 at the Fasig-Tipton November auction and this will be her first start for trainer Graham Motion.  Like Joyful Victory, Pachattack can be forwardly-placed, but the layoff is a slight concern and she'll be a short price.

#7 SEA LEVEL DRIVE looks like an intriguing longshot for Rusty Arnold.  The Malibu Moon filly has won three of four races on synthetic and will return to her favorite surface following a career-best Beyer effort behind the classy Zagora in the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes on grass at Tampa Bay.  This will be Sea Level Drive's third start of the form cycle and she won an entry-level optional claimer by 12 3/4 lengths at Arlington last year when going third off the bench.  She seems to be going the right way and may sit in a stalking spot for the backstretch run.

#2 KATHMANBLU hasn't been to the winner's circle since conluding a three-race win streak in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds on February 19, 2011.  She wasn't disgraced in her lone polytrack effort and her good turf form indicates that she may handle this surface just fine.  Her last two races weren't promising, but she went to the sidelines in October with liver inflammation.  According to the "Keeneland Clocker Report" for April 14, she was slightly outworked by Bizzy Caroline, a Grade 3 turf winner.  If the good Kathmanblu shows up, she can factor, but I'm taking a wait-and-see approach off the bench.

#1 EL GRAN BAILADORA adores synthetic surface, but the one-run closer may not get enough pace to adequately setup her late flurry.  Beaten last time out at odds-on in the $50,000 Likely Exchange Stakes at Turfway, she'll face tougher opposition this time around.  Mike Maker is having an excellent year, but La Gran Bailadora's numbers are going the wrong way and the pace scenario may not work to her advantage.

#3 LUNAR MIST probably was in need of her recent race, the $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes going six furlongs at Turfway as it was her first start since the summer.  A two-time sprint winner over the Arlington polytrack, Lunar Mist is eligible to show speed as she stretches out 2 1/2 furlongs.  A stakes-winner on turf at Mountaineer, she finds a tough spot for her graded stakes debut.

#6 MY PAL CHRISY was listed as a vet scratch on February 25 and then never made an impression when chasing the top-class Awesome Maria in the Grade 3 Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream on Florida Derby afternoon.  She is completely unproven on synthetics and prefers to utilize a late-running style, one that may not be flattered by today's pace. 


Here's my HandiGambling play:

$50 Exacta - Joyful Victory/Pachattack (8-5)
$50 Exacta - Joyful Victory/Sea Level Drive (8-7)

Best of luck to all.

nancyb More than 1 year ago
Sorry to see Trinniberg has upped for Derby -- I don't give him much chance in a Derby that won't be wanting for speed. AND he could be crowding my El Padrino out of the gate. Maybe they could award nice seats and privileges to owners who qualify for the Derby, but pass due to common sense. Another sturdy son of Artie Schiller to watch-- this one's a longshot -- in Lexington @K'land, Hammer's Terror. Another I like in this race, now that I've actually looked at the whole field is Gold Megillah - son of the sadly deceased Purim. Safe trips and good luck everyone
Meathead More than 1 year ago
10 cent a bog O for me again in the HG MH01
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TRINNIBERG is going to the Derby, so of the top 20 in graded earnings, only Hero of Order will be out. This puts EL PADRINO as #20, and with Reveron out, it makes ISN'T HE CLEVER the bubble horse at #21. However CASTAWAY is running today and he could put El Padrino out. Annie
Rick Marciniak More than 1 year ago
Interesting... I have a future wager on Mark Valeski. I'm going to say that the shoe issue bothered him and still ran a game effort. Penn National Rick
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good luck, Rick! You never know. As long as they are in the gate, they have a chance. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You Feel Lucky, You must not feel too lucky. Your REVERON has an ankle chip and will not be going to the Derby. Sorry! :( Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ooh, sorry PIPPEN, Big Blue Nation was a Vet scratch from AQU today. :( Annie
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
DavidM9999 Thanks for your DDD recap. I have been reading your analyses and find them valuable. This recap was also a help. Glad to have you here and best of luck always.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let's have some more MKB winners today! Allowance at AQU: PIPPEN'S Big Blue Nation 5-2 GR2 Jerome at AQU: ALYDARANDEASY'S Adirondack King 12-1 DAVID H'S Dan and Sheila 12-1 TMONTY'S Right to Vote unfortunately stepped on himself and will not run. GR3 Lexington at KEE: CHALKY'S Castaway 3-1 FAVORITE JIMI'S News Pending 5-1 DICK W'S Morgan's Guerrilla 6-1 Good luck all! Annie
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
Annie, I see you are a wiZard on horse flesh. You said you're gonna have UR in your supers? I think you can move him up a bit too..1-2-3 if that helps..Hey besides Dullahan's suspect legs & CC's forever Blinkers on/off, I aint sure, Bafferts switcharooski, there's 2 you can toss..Just make sure you use the Slewsters.......LoL........ Curtis V SLEWSTER..........
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
What's this I'm reading about Dullahan ? Somebody says he's got some kind of problem w/ his front legs ? Uh Oh Keith L. .............. Curtis V Slewster......
Keith More than 1 year ago
Last two serious graded money races today in the Lexington and Jerome. The former race on Keenelands poly has Castaway as the ML fav, but his last didn't exactly cheer his supporters, and he doesn't seem to have the zip of a front running pace horse showing in his works coming out of that race, and coming in here. False fav! (Sorry, Chalky!). Pletchers Holiday Promise, runner up to Went The day Well in the Spiral on TP's All Weather surface looks formidable, in form and excellant works, as does Golden Ticket, runnerup in the Tampa Bay Derby to Prospective. Both are well drawn and there does appear to be sufficient speed in the race for these two to unload on. That's my exacta, but I'll have my W/P wager on McPeeks Golden Ticket here. In the Jerome there will be a pace battle between rail drawn Hushion's NY Bred The Lumber Guy and Baffert's Brigand. Could set up the strong closing runs of Stirredup (ML fav) for Baffert, and Adirondock King. However, I'l take a sjot with a W/P on The Lumber Guy cutting back from the 9f Wood Memorial here, and box jim for the Exacta with Violette's Term Loan, who is another home track runner with a string of finishes in the exacta. Good luck Keith L.
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
The folks at Gradeoneracing did not rate Castaway's last couple works that highly. He worked with Secret Circle and comment was Circle was much the best. I sense they agree with you Keith. Trying to beat Baffert can give me a headache but he is ONLY 26% on synthetics. Much higher on dirt and especially at OP. I am thinking of trying to beat this one today but will have the Excedrin nearby. Your choices seem live. I saw Seanachi's (race 5 KEE) last out. He won with ease on turf. Now it was rated slow so that must be considered. May be in for slice at 10-1. Pletcher, for Bobby Flay, has one that looks strong on paper in same race. In finale I am thinking both Atlantic Tap and Cheery may be live. The first was speed then fade, the latter was heavily backed, up early, then back then came again. Both make start 2 today and I tend to give those types close attention. Good luck.