06/15/2012 3:59PM

HandiGambling 286 (Lyphard Stakes)


This week's HandiGambling 286 exercise is Friday's fourth race at Penn National, the $75,000 Lyphard Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.



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.


As of this writing, the turf course is FIRM.

Let's scratch #2 SIXTH AND ARCH, #11 DRAMATICA and #12 GOLDEN EXPRESS.

#5 SKY WILLOW showed several gears in her recent 'n1x' optional claiming score at Delaware on May 30.  She saved ground in midpack before shooting the gap on the backstretch to find the pocket entering the far turn.  For a second or two, she was bottled up in behind horses, but regained her momentum to swing three wide in upper stretch.  Once she got going in the straight, she was too much for her opponents.  A lightly-raced daughter of Empire Maker trained by Hall of Famer Jonathan Sheppard, she was the recipient of a clean trip that day, but was flattered somewhat when the runner-up returned to Beyer 84 when second against males in a grassy $35,000 claimer at Delaware.  I'm expecting an improved effort for her second start of the form cycle.

#9 ASK ME ANYTHING showed no rust when returning from an eight-month layoff in an 'n3x' optional claimer at Parx on June 5.  Eager in the early portion of the race, the 5-year-old mare took over turning for home and prevailed over favored stakes-winner In the Slips despite failing to switch leads in the stretch.  That was a career-best performance for Ask Me Anything and one must wonder if she will be susceptible to a regression as she returns only 10 days after that effort. 

#8 ROSALITA'S WISH wheels back on only five days rest after putting up a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure in a $25,000 starter allowance at Parx on June 10.  She was able to control an easy tempo that afternoon and may find herself in control of the fractions once again in the Lyphard.  Rosalita's Wish owns a victory over this course and projects to be prominent when the real running begins.  If she can avoid a "bounce" on the quick turnback, she has a chance to steal this thing.

#7 LITTLE OFTEN ANNI has chased some solid runners in New York and Maryland in her three races this season and she has run some races that are certainly good enough to upend these.  A late-kicker, the 6-year-old will need some pace and race luck if she is to successfully charge from the back of the pack. 

#4 NEO'S GRAND FINALE has yet to win on turf, but she's been far from disgraced in her three races on this surface.  She finished behind Little Often Annie in her most recent start, but goes out for a barn that excels at Penn National.  Neo's Grand Finale has some tactical speed and may attempt to race close to the pace.  She's a solid campaigner and offers some value at 12-1 on the morning line.

Perhaps #3 LENAPE RIM, a stretchout sprinter making her turf debut, will force the pace.  Her sire won twice on the grass in England and is 1-11 (9%) with his first-time turf performers.  The dam went 0-1 on grass and has foaled 1 turf winner from 2 sod starters.  In Lenape Rim's lone route effort to date, she finished ahead of two next-out winners when running second in the Malvern Rose Stakes over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs.  Last time out, in her first start of 2012, Lenape Rim had the misfortune to chase Lady of Greatness, a Midwest Thoroughbred-owned, Jamie Ness-trained mare that has now won four of her last five races.  There are some angles here to consider.

#1 PARVENU makes the third start of the form cycle for the red-hot John Servis and draws a cozy inside post position for this two-turn test.  This will be her route debut, however, and she was no match for Ask Me Anything when they met at Parx 10 days ago.

#10 DIVA'S GOLD also goes third off the bench, but her two prior turf races are nothing to write home about and she's stuck on the far outside.  A multiple stakes-placed performer on dirt, Diva's Gold is eligible to show some speed in this spot, but her staying power on grass is suspect.

#6 WEEPER is 2-2 over the local strip and can be forgiven her recent loss - her first start following a layoff of over a year - in a tough spot at Pimlico.  She is eligible to show more speed in this spot, but she must prove that she's the same horse that she was pre-layoff.

For HandiGambling, I'll play:

$100 WIN - SKY WILLOW (#5)

Best of luck to all.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nancyb, I would like to answer your post on the previous thread. Apologies in advance for the length. In the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday I expect to bet Carlton House each way (your WPS). He didn't stay the Derby distance last year, but the 10 furlongs on softish ground should give him a sporting chance of beating the 2 shorter priced horses you mentioned. You asked about ratings. Very much as I explained previously to DavidM9999. The horses are assessed relative to each other, preferably using horses that ran to their expected merits as the point of comparison. I was not just referring to Timeform ratings. There are 3 main sets of ratings to consider. Firstly there is the Official Handicap ratings (see later); then the Racing Post ratings. Both of these ratings are published in the newspaper and online. Finally there are the ratings compiled by commercial organisations such as Timeform, which you have to purchase separately. The 3 ratings are similar, but not the same. So yes, you are correct, they are the result of subjective judgements. And those ratings will change throughout the season as the horses produce good or bad performances. Finally, you asked about assigned weights. Most of our races are handicaps, so the weight carried is determined by the Official Handicap ratings mentioned earlier. Each handicap will have a published top weight and the highest rated horse will carry that top weight. So for example if the top weight is 133 lbs and that horse is rated 85, then a horse rated 80 will be assigned 5 lbs less. Finally, if any horse wins after the assigned weights are published, then they have to carry a penalty weight in addition to their assigned weight. Apart from the handicap races we also have a selection of weight for age races, including Group races, where weights are determined by a historically based system. Colts are asked to carry a slightly higher weight than any fillies in the race, regardless of ability. Similarly, 4 yr old horses are expected to carry more weight than 3 yr olds. I hope at least some of this makes sense. Best Regards - Bernard Downes P.S. Were the example conditions you posted real or a spoof? We do have at least one all-greys race (presumably as a visual treat), but I have never heard of greys being excluded from a race. Strange.
Laura More than 1 year ago
First steps towards the 2013 Derby Trail!! The first stake races for the 2 YO are being contested for this weekend. I did a race analysis/selections for the CA races...here: http://ironmaidensthoroughbreds.blogspot.com/ The Kiddie List will resume next week. I have spreadsheets tracking the offspring of some of the Freshman Sires. Email me if you're interested. Chat will take a break and be back for the Travers. Mark your calendar. Laura
Keith More than 1 year ago
What? No Haskel/Jim Dandy weekend chat scheduled? Oh Laura! Keith L.
heylaserbeam More than 1 year ago
A nice card tomorrow at Arlington. Some picks and ponderings to get you in the mood. http://www.chicagonow.com/picks-ponderings-chicago-horse-racing/2012/06/prairie-state-festival-preview/ ---PGM
David More than 1 year ago
The DRF Race of The Day for tomorrow is the 6-horse Vanity from HOL and not the Stephen Foster from CD? REALLY ??? What's the logic behind that?
Keith More than 1 year ago
West Coast Bias? LOL! Keith L.
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
Well the SF has 1 more horse........and the dam race wont be ran until about 10 pm eastern.................are you even going to be up to watch the race?
David More than 1 year ago
Race has a post time of 8:39 Central time...is that past your bedtime? Even on a Saturday night? Barring late scratches there are 9 horses in the Stephen Foster. Since when is that one more than six? Who am I dealing with here?
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
Actually, your'e both wrong. There is/are only eight{8} horses & Succesfull Dan is/was part of an entry anyway. He was an expected scratch. So, before & now there is/were only 8 betting interests. And, w/the scratch there is/are only 8 horses. CVS................
David More than 1 year ago
That's why i said "barring late scratches" there are 9 horses in the SF....nowhere did I mention betting interests. Before Wise Dan scratched there were 9 horses entered in the race, which is what i wrote, isn't it? So where am i wrong?
Keith More than 1 year ago
PNR: I'll take a "0" as customary on this HG effort this week, my good man! A reminder of why I don't play this track! Keith L.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
HG PNR... I'll Have Another -ZERO- please. ...Darn , I landed on the wrong PGH ! LOL! SR Vegas
RickMarciniak More than 1 year ago
Well...the Lyphard is in the books and so is another week of HG at Penn National. Lenape Rim lasted just enough to hold off a Little Often Anni to complete a nice $103 exacta. MJTetzlaff broke from the gate and never looked back totally destroying a field that could not match his stride. MJ runs away with a $50 Exacta Box returning a whopping $2590.00. Clearly this weeks winners. When MJ returned to the paddock the rest of the race was still going and finishing 2nd was Paul Garcia with his $100 place on the 7 returning $340 and DavidM9999 finish a length back for 3rd with his $20 WP #3 returning 226.00. You feel Lucky salvaged the super with his 4th place finish with his $50 place #7 bringing home $170.00. Dale Tillotson shoe repair costed him... changing the #3 $50 win to $50 win on #5. That may have costed him the 2nd place spot, but expect a better finish next out. There were only 5 winners in this event and congrats to MJ for a nice play. Congrats to all who played this week. Keep it going!! Penn National Rick
MJTetzlaff More than 1 year ago
Thanks Penn National Rick! This is a great weekly contest.
Dick W More than 1 year ago
Congrats M J. Nice job ! Dick W
Meathead More than 1 year ago
congratulations on the big win MJTetzlaff MH01
Paul Garcia More than 1 year ago
Thanks Penn National Rick! As a hardworking ordinary American, this little corner of handicapping fun brings some happiness to my week. I look forward to the results and also the commentary in this column. I keep hoping I'll will one day score the big one though. Ah, but its the game...its all about the game.
RickMarciniak More than 1 year ago
So much for that 6/1 price Dan that you and i appeared to like. It appears we settle with 5/2
RickMarciniak More than 1 year ago
Quick Note: Change on the #8 to jockey Kyle Frey and #10 Angel Suarez is now riding. I guess they can change their mind on who they want to ride..i suppose.
RickMarciniak More than 1 year ago
Sad to hear the passing of Yawanna Twist. I hate hearing stories like this.