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HandiGambling 283 (Prairie Meadows)
This week's HandiGambling 283 exercise is Thursday's eighth race at Prairie Meadows, an entry-level allowance for Iowa-bred three-year-olds and upward at 1 Mile and 70 Yards.
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.
As of this writing, there are no changes and the track is listed as FAST.
I found three "win" contenders that I will use in my multiple-race wagers.
#3 GOLD CIELO improved by leaps and bounds to pull off a 22-1 upset in his first start of the year. That race was contested over "good" going at six furlongs so the gelding has some questions to answer over "fast" ground at this route distance. While his pedigree doesn't scream "distance," he draws a cozy inside post, should be a strong forward factor and his last race was the much-faster division of statebred maiden special weights at six furlongs on August 5. He's still lightly-raced with some upside and should be prominent when the field swings into the stretch.
#2 DIESEL'S PRIZE looms the horse to beat after a very good performance over muddy going in his first start following a long layoff. He almost got to the favored winner that time and now stretches back out to the distance of his maiden victory. He should be tighter with that sprint race under his belt and can work out a nice ground-saving, pace-tracking trip under Terry Thompson. I can't toss him in my multi-race wagers and/or exotic bets.
#5 BOGIE BOY stretches out in distance for the first time for trainer Randy Morse. His sire, Tenpins, won the Washington Park Handicap at 1 3/16 miles and Bogie Boy has the tactical speed to sit close to the pace for the run up the backstretch. Bogie Boy finished ahead of I'm Honour Grad in his most recent start, his first against winners, and that foe returned to place third in the $68,000 Grays Lake Stakes with a career-best 63 Beyer Speed Figure. It looks as if Bogie Boy is rounding back into his best form after being sidelined for almost a year. He looks like a tough customer in this spot.
As for the others:
#1. CHASING GLITTER can be excused for his most recent defeat, his first start off a long layoff. He was cutting back to a sprint distance that is simply too short for him and he missed the break to boot. He should be more comfortable stretching out and can save valuable ground entering the first turn. He's taking a substantial class hike, however, and his Beyer Speed Figures pale in comparison to those of the top contenders.
#4 CLYDE THE RIDE, another runner making his second start off the bench, may be better-suited to statebred claiming competition than this allowance level. He's hit the board in all three of his races for a tag since breaking his maiden, but lacked the stretch punch in both starts in this condition.
#6 C J RAMROD is a seven-year-old that hasn't won since July 31, 2010, a day in which he raced on a gold rail. When second at this level last May, he received a perfect trip tracking a three-ply speed duel and still couldn't kick the door down. He goes two sprints to a route in the third start of the form cycle and is the only multiple winner in the field, but he is 0-4 lifetime in route races and failed to gain ground from the stretch call to the wire in any of those attempts.
#7 WINTER CLIMAX was away for a very long time, but he improved greatly in his second start of the year. He earned a career-best speed figure in that race and was a winner at this distance back in 2010. Winter Climax has decent stalking skills and he would benefit if Gold Cielo, Bogie Boy and others battle hard in the early portion of the race. He's not out of this, but I would prefer him on the bottom of my exotic wagers.
#8 DONTRATTLEMYCAGE disappointed at odds-on at this class and trip on May 5. Earlier in his career, it looked like he had potential as he won second-out going a route of ground with a 57 Beyer. A very long layoff followed by three even performances leaves him a bit questionable although you will be rewarded if you keep the faith.
#9 CIELO FIVE is a consistent performer as he's hit the board in his last three races, but he's only reached the winner's circle once from 26 starts and that was in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden claimer way back in 2010. He is 0-6 in routes and he must step back up into allowance competition here.
#10 RAGING GOLD has underrated early speed and may attempt to press Gold Cielo and Bogie Boy leaving the gate. He won the much-slower division of statebred maiden special weights on April 28 and must prove his worth against faster rivals.
#11 SPIRIT PLUS won his career debut at Hawthorne, but bombed in his first start against winners here on May 6. He stretches out for the first time in his career and is stuck way on the outside.
I'll use my top three selections in the multis. For HandiGambling, I'll play:
$100 WIN - GOLD CIELO (#3)
Best of luck to all.
Keith, Re your storm front / arthrittis question, I will leave any expert response to TBTA and others,but my idiot question is simple. How do you tell which horses have a tendency to arthritis? Surely some horses are naturally better movers than iothers. The only safe answer would be to refrain from betting when a storm front threatens, and that sounds a little boring., Best Regards - Bernard Downes
gerald vinci (and Laura): Re: Laura's post on the contenders in the Belmont Stakes WITHOUT a Mr. Prospector in their sire line, I'd caution in the case of Alpha. His sire, Bernardini, had the Quiet American son of Fappiano, grandson of Mr. Prospector as his dam sire, so the Mr. Prospector shines through there still, while not strictly in the stallion sire line. One of the key areas of disagreement between the Slewster and myself is the issue of the Seattle Slew vs. the Mr. Prospector contribution to the routing capability. He likes his Slew progegeny straight up without the AP Indy, while I prefer the Mr. Prospector and the Slew with the Fappiano and the AP Indy, respectively. And when you COMBINE the two, why "YOU'VE GOT HORSE!" Alpha is a life candidate to upset I'll Have Another, and has to be given a play in the verticals, imo. Forgive his Churchill appearances as a 2 yr old and 3 yr old. He is a better horse in NY, and has to be respected. I'm considering a three Boxed exacta of Dullahan (top choice), Alpha myself in the race, but will also play those three under and over I'll Have Another in an Exacta Key as my primary vertical wagers. Awaiting anothet round of workouts, and post position draws before I settle, however. Keith L.
Alex, Liked your story about the discarded winning ticket. Not to tease too much, can I ask whether there is a financial winning figure that demands a search of the "recycling bin"? Do you search for a $100 profit, or does it have to be more? I am a bit of a social wimp in some respects, and we have very large recycling bins in the UK, but I am not sure I would have the bravado to search too deeply for a sm\all profit. Keep om picking those winners. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Whacky, I don't remember exactly how tall Satchem Spirit was, but do remember him as leggy and not super filled out. Just for your personal knowledge, there are 4 inches in a hand for a horse. Each numeral after the decimal represents an inch, not a portion of a foot. Therefore, 17.5 is really 18.1. If you are asking if he was 17 hands plus halfway to being 18 hands, the notation is 17.2 hands high. Or to further confuse you, but to give you the exact height measurement in a more common mathematical way, if Satchem Spirit is 17.2 HH, here is how you would calculate the measurement. 17 x 4= 68 inches, plus 2 for a total of 70 inches high at the withers. Another example is English Channel, although they claim he was not a pony, 14.2 HH, he sure looked it. He is given credit for being 15HH. That means he is 60 inches tall from the ground to the top of his withers. The ten inches between him and Satchem Spirit would look even more substantial when you stand next to them. Yes, the #3 got wiped out big too! But I didn't bet him, so I was focused on the #2. :)
TBTA: Question for you. As this latest round of spring storm cells gathered and came in yesterday evening in New England, I was reminded of the fact that all day I had been noticing a few more twinges of discomfort from the old mountain hiking abused knees than usual. And, of course, this norning,I'm not about that as the weather has cleared and the baramoter is back up to normal. I seem to be noticing this more and more as each year adds on, of course! LOL! It did get me wondering however on how impending storm fronts and dropping pressures affect race horses! Do they have a bit more discomfort with their arthritic joints or stressed joints than usual too? And how does that affect their performance on the track? Would they be a better bet on the day or two after a storm cell has passed through than they would if they were entered to run in a race the day of an approaching front? Of course one would also have to factor in the track condiditons giving the fact that those storm cells often bring in some serious rain (or snow). And I wonder if that also might be the reason of the occasional scratch of a horse from a claiming race by a savy trainer, just to see the horse entered within days in a similar race to the one it was scratched out of? Keith L.
Early in the book Kerry and I ask the questions: How can we as caretakers of the horse embrace the magic within the spirit of this noble creature and provide for his physical and emotional well-being? How can we return the full measure of what the horse has given to us? That’s what Kerry and I set out to explore in our book and its been a fantastic journey. For my friends in the Kentuckiana area, if you have the time, please come to my presentation at the New Albany-Floyd County library this Thursday. http://bit.ly/JKYMDF
Anyone wanting probable Belmont Stakes PP's. Look no further...here is your link courtesy of NYRA and DRF. http://www.nyra.com/Belmont/BelmontContenders052812.pdf PNR
Johnny V stated that he knew to take Shack off the rail and towards the center of the track so he could see and feel Caleb's Posse coming and give Shack a chance to dig in and fight back (which he did). Execellent decision by the jockey who has obviously been doing some talking to Angel Cordero, Jr. My pet peeve as a handicapper and a lover of this game is watching a speed horse forced home on the rail only to be nailed by a horse coming midtrack or outside that he does not have time to quicken or fight off because he is down along the rail where you see nothing coming from behind you. Johnny made the right move and the horse rewarded him. -vicstu
I see Andy Beyer is now onboard with the obvious. Finally, someone brings up the fact that the last 4 winners of the T/C went wire to wire in the Belmont Stakes, and stresses that this is no coincedence: "Horses frequently seize command of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness with one bold move - usually on the final turn. But when a horse tries to unleash a similar burst at Belmont Park, he still has a seemingly endless stretch in front of him, and rarely can sustain momentum to the finish line. Many horses have won the Derby or the Preakness with eye-catching acceleration on the turn: Spectacular Bid (1979), Pleasant Colony (1981), Alysheba (1987), Sunday Silence (1989), Real Quiet (1998), Charismatic (1999). All of them lost their Triple Crown bid in the Belmont, and almost all of them were fading in the last quarter-mile. Plodders sometimes win the Belmont and speed horses often do - but in either case they are likely to be even-paced runners, not ones whose forte is sharp acceleration. When Affirmed led all the way in 1978, he meted out his speed, running the first quarter-mile in 25 seconds flat and the final quarter in 25.20. Such controllable speed is the most formidable asset a horse can have in the Belmont. It is no coincidence that the past four Triple Crown winners won the race by leading all the way. As I’ll Have Another bids to become the 12th Triple Crown winner, he has certain obvious strengths and weaknesses. He has not yet proved himself to be in the class of greats such as Secretariat and Affirmed. He will be competing for the third time in five weeks against challengers who have been given a breather before the Belmont. But he appears to have a respectable pedigree, and he possesses a blend of speed and stretch-running ability that could add up to an effective running style at 1 1/2 miles. Now he has a chance to add his name to a list that includes some of the greatest Thoroughbreds who ever lived." Now, lets hope they just let the horse use his speed and run...because the lack of a breeze is slightly troubling. No horse has won the T/C without a strong 5 or 6f breeze between the Preakness and the Belmont (Secretariat had two 6 furlongs breezes and galloped 2.5 miles a day in preperation, for instance). IHA appears to be doing well and by all accounts looks great and is galloping strongly (Blue Horseshoe). We shall see...
Also - Does anyone know why the Dan brothers are gelded? I know they're not from the Highest-regarded bloodlines (Wiseman's Ferry and Successful Appeal out of a 1-7 lifetime Illinois-bred dam), but I can't find the information and am curious, as these two are, IMO, the first and third best older males (@+8f) in the country. Just wondering if it was health- or attitude-related, or otherwise. The wise one seems to have a bit of an edge to him...