05/24/2012 2:26PM

HandiGambling 283 (Prairie Meadows)

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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.