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HandiGambling 281 (Betfair at Hollywood)
By Dan Illman
This week's HandiGambling 281 exercise is Friday's seventh race at Betfair at Hollywood Park, an entry-level allowance for California-bred or Sired 3-year-olds and upward at 1 1/16 miles on 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 THE PREVIOUS 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.
The three morning line favorites look especially salty in this week's HandiGambling exercise and I will use them all, in some form, in my multi-race wagers.
#1 HE'S VERY RARE has done his best running on dirt and he failed to parlay a good stalking trip into a top-five finish when last seen in the Grey Memo Stakes over the Hollywood cushion track. By Unusual Heat, He's Very Rare is bred to run well on turf, however, and his new rider, Rafael Bejarano, may attempt aggressive tactics leaving the gate. The gray colt could be in front heading into the backstretch and if Bejarano succeeds in backing down the pace, He's Very Rare could be tough to run down in the lane.
#5 HUSBAND'S FOLLY, a beaten favorite in three of his last four races, tries two turns for the first time this evening. His trainer, Mike Puype, reportedly has wanted to try a route of ground for quite a bit of time for this son of Decarchy and Husband's Folly may show continued improvement in his second start of the form cycle. Most recently, Husband's Folly was floated extremely wide turning for home in a downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita and finished furiously to nab the place (he galloped out well ahead of the field, but the winner of that race returned to only finish fifth with a 78 Beyer). Three, four and five starts back, Husband's Folly showed the bad habit of switching back to his left lead when in the midst of his stretch rally, but he seems to have cured that fault. Still lightly-raced with upside potential, Husband's Folly is a strong contender, but he doesn't have much early speed and is at the mercy of race and pace luck.
#6 A LITTLE HOT SAUCE has been in consistent form for trainer Blake Heap and has the tactical speed to work out a good trip while stalking the leaders from the second flight. In his most recent outing, a $40,000 starter allowance on March 10, A Little Hot Sauce defeated Relentless Heat, a gelding that returned to win going down the hill with an 84 Beyer before finishing second, ahead of He's Very Rare, in the Grey Memo. A Little Hot Sauce hasn't been out in over two months, but certainly has the qualifications to beat these horses.
As for the rest,
#2 KESSABTSI is only 1-22 lifetime and that win came at 80-1 on December 26. Let's draw a line through the most recent defeat as he probably doesn't want any part of 12 furlongs. Previously, he finished a close fourth against $40,000 starter allowance foes, but he seems to lack the necessary stretch punch to make a stronger impact (has not gained ground from the stretch drive to the wire in his last six races).
It took #3 THE UNUSUAL ONE 17 starts to score his maiden so what makes you think the 6-year-old gelding can take down winners in his first attempt? He returned from an extremely long layoff to set legitmate splits en route to his maiden win on April 15 and it wouldn't be surprising if Joe Talamo attempts to grab the front once again. Note that the third-place finisher from his most recent start, Dylan Donnelly, returned to finish third in the Snow Chief Stakes on dirt with a career-best 88 Beyer.
#4 A TOAST TO YOU won his career debut for trainer John Sadler last June over the cushion track before being sidelined with knee issues. He was overmatched in his return to the races on dirt, but came back to score a $50,000 claimer going six furlongs over this turf course on May 3. He wheels back on short notice for a hot barn and could be more forwardly-placed in his first route effort. A Toast to You must improve on the Beyer scale, but that's not out of the question considering the fact he only shows three races on his form.
#7 TIZPAT didn't break well in his first start on grass and only could pass tired horses in THE lane. He doesn't have any early speed and must depend on a quick pace to help his stretch kick. He gets in light with a capable apprentice named to ride, but must improve by leaps and bounds to beat these.
#8 WARRENS WILD THING seems to be rounding into his best form, but steps out of the conditioned claiming ranks and is only 1-29 in his career (that win came going seven furlongs over the Del Mar polytrack). He's another that will need some help up front.
1. He's Very Rare
2. Husband's Folly
3. A LIttle Hot Sauce
Here's my HG play:
$100 Win - He's Very Rare (#1)
Here are some quick-and-dirty picks for Saturday:
Marine Stakes: BRIDGE LOAN, ALL SQUARED AWAY, INCREDICAT
Lazaro Barrera Memorial: DRILL, GUN BOAT, AMERICAN ACT
Peter Pan: MASTER RICK, THE LUMBER GUY, MARK VALESKI
Best of luck to all.
Bernard - I think the difference between British racing and here is that there is a better chance that you could recoup the costs by racing for better purse money and since there is literally year-round racing opportunity, a healthy horse could make more starts here. Breeders who race their own horses also are eligible for breeder's awards from various state commissions, so that is another income stream. Re a cabdriver/owner one has only to remember Aussie Takeover Target! In addition there are owners who cede a percentage of the horse to the trainer in exchange for fees and of course there are plenty of partnership schemes. Not as many in the U.S. as in Australia where the lone owner seems quite the anomaly, unless of course you're Sheik Mohammed.
Hey everyone, Don't forget Friday night is PREAKNESS CHAT NITE in the IMT chat room. We'll cover all of the stakes races at Pimlico. Room opens at 8:00 PM EST and we'll start shortly thereafter. PP's will be sent out to the usual suspects, so if you want to join and don't have PP's by tomorrow afternoon, just email me. Also pedigree profiles for the Preakness (try saying that 3 times fast!) are available at the main IMT website: http://ironmaidensthoroughbreds.blogspot.com/ It will be interesting to see if Bode can pull a Rachel and go wire-to-wire. First Dude tried it, but finished second, but at the time, that was his normal routine. Laura
Gerty Golittle and Calvin, Tomorrow's Dante Stakes at York has a modest field of 7 runners. I said I would offer a pick, but having looked at the race I have absolutely no firm opinions that would justify a pick as such. Bonfire has the biggest reputatuion, Ernest Hemmingway and Mandaean have great breeding, but all 3 horses offer unattractive prices., Instead I will have a tiny WPS bet on Ektihaam and hope to get some value at around 7/1. He has had a single, winning run this year, won very impressively, and races for a trainer I like. I hope its a good race. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
nancyb, Many thanks for the info on US training costs. So its about $31,000 for one horse, around mid point of the UK figures. I have to say that I had thought it might be lower. I base that thought, perhaps unwisely, on a conversation with a cab driver who picked me up from a small racetrack just outside New Orleans. He said he was mixing businness with pleasure, having just watched his horse run at the track, but now looking for a fare back into town. I have no idea whether he was telling the truth, or simply spinning a yarn, but there is absolutely no way I could see a cab driver in Britain being able to afford sole ownership of a racehorse. Keith L, I take your point about defraying costs through betting. That theory, of course, depends on those bets being winning ones. Best regards - Bernard Downes
Annie, 20/1 for Tiger Walk? Not certain he can win, but my type of price. Thanks. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
More spot plays: Arlington Park: Race #5 #8 Thecushmaker Race #6 #4 Shes Down With Jim Race #7 #9 No Retreat Race #8 #10 Chica Bonita Race #9 #8 Marq's Try All $200 W/P Play a late Pick 4 :: $.50 cent Race #5 1,2,8,10 // 1,4 // 9 // 1,2,9,10 // 4,7,8,12 = $64 x 4 tickets Need some action today..... Good Luck!!! Whackymacky out!!!
Calvin... I have not had a chance to check you Blog (very busy)... What do you think of Bode's chances in the Preakness now that Hansen is not running, will anyone pressure him, and what do you think of the chart over at Crist's blog showing the last Derby runner up to finish 1st in the Preakness happened in 1993?! The closest any Derby runner up has come was 3rd in 2007...another speed horse, I forget his name (LOL!).
Spot Plays: Wet Belmont Park Race #4 #5 Indigene Charm Rosie Up Speed, Class $200 W/P Race #5 #2 Skiddles N'Bob Rosie Up Back Class, Will get them at the wire. $200 W/P $50 DD 5-2 Rosie / Rosie $10 Pick 3 5-2-All Rosie / Rosie / all $90. Race #7 #9 Mutiny Made $$ on this one before Rosie Up $400 W/P Good Luck!!! More From Arlington..... Whackymacky Out!!!
Gracie, Well, it looks like our boy, HANSEN, won't be tackling the rest of the TC races. Looks like he's pointing to the 7F Woody Stephens on the Belmont undercard on June 9th. That's OK, he'll be a beautiful white sprinter/miler for us. :) Annie
Keith, I have finally joined the "old farts club". Instead of partying on the infield with the kids, I'll be on the infield with the grown-ups in the Corporate Tents. Off topic, but I'll be spending at least my early Friday afternoon at our annual lunch meeting with our financial advisor. It sucks! I forgot to check the racing calendar and the Black Eyed Susan stakes card is great - we should have met instead in the Terrace Dining Room at Pimlico. After all, as I keep explaining to my wife, our real financial advisor is Dan Illman and Formblog! Oh well...
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