06/29/2012 1:03PM

HandiGambling 287 (Belmont Park)


This week's HandiGambling 287 exercise is Friday's eighth race at Belmont Park, an entry-level optional claimer for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs. 



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.


The approximate post time for today's race is 6:36 PM ET.

As of this writing, the main track is FAST and there are no changes to report.


Eight of the nine entrants are returning from layoff lines and there appears to be a good amount of speed in the race. 

#6 FAMOUS ROSE gives weight to all, but the sharp 4-year-old filly, trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., is facing mostly younger rivals this afternoon.  While she may not have the potential of her sophomore opponents, she is a proven performer with five wins and 11 exacta placings from 18 lifetime starts.  In her most recent appearance, a $50,000 starter allowance on May 11, Famous Rose worked hard every step of the way.  Hustled from the gate by noted speed rider C C Lopez, Famous Rose tried to set the pace on the inside, but was outsprinted for the lead by 2-1 second choice Fiona Storm.  Undaunted, Famous Rose, rated back off that foe and commenced to chase from the outside.  She put her head in front turning for home and stayed on gamely to win by two while Fiona Storm faded to fourth in the field of six.  That wasn't the strongest field in the world, but she looked professional in winning.  Edgar Prado takes the mount today and Famous Rose may attempt to stalk a pace that is likely to be contested by EVASIVE CAT, SPARE CHANGE and KALEIDOSCOPE.  Famous Rose shouldn't be too far away when the real running begins and we'll see if she stacks up at this level.  Her morning line odds of 5-1 seem fair.

#1 EVASIVE CAT, away from the races since a maiden win over the Aqueduct inner track on January 11, shows several gaps in her recent work tab, and she may be forced to contest a quick pace after breaking from the intimidating inside post position.  Maiden graduates often have a tough time in their first try versus winners, not necessarily because of the class hike, but because the pace is often hotter than what they are accustomed to facing.  Evasive Cat earned a good Beyer Speed Figure in graduating, but I didn't like the way she drifted out during the stretch drive.  The layoff and potential for pace warfare are also concerning.  If she runs back to her winning figure, she can strongly contend, but 3-1 seems a bit of an underlay.  Please note that Kiaran McLaughlin has excellent numbers with maiden winners returning from 61-180 day layoffs (6-15, 40%, $2.84 ROI over the past five years, according to DRF Formulator).

#7 SPARE CHANGE is a beautifully-bred daughter of Bernardini and Grade 1 winner Finder's Fee.  She won her maiden by open lengths in the slop at Saratoga and you could probably forgive her most recent effort, a quickly-run edition of the Grade 1 Frizette.  In that race, Spare Change chased next-out Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine My Miss Aurelia from the get-go only to understandably tire in the stretch.  Spare Change draws a nice attack post and she earned solid Moss Pace Figures at two.  She should be close to the pace, but hasn't raced since the Frizette and will have to compete against older rivals off the long freshening.  She can certainly win, but I want more than the 5-2 morning line.

#9 BORN BULLISH has yet to run back to her career debut, a nine-length thrashing of juvenile filly maiden special weights over this surface.  She turns back in distance here and could work out a good stalking to midpack trip while following quick splits.  The Flashy Bull filly also may be a bit tighter as she makes her second start of the form cycle.  She must improve off her recent performances, but there are enough angles to recommend her for an exotics position at long odds.

#2 EXPRESSION, away since a winning performance on February 17, boasts a running style that may help her greatly in this speed-laden affair.  The daughter of Invasor likes to rally from off the pace and she should get quick fractions to attack.  She has been working swiftly for her return for red-hot trainer Charlton Baker, but will be making her first start against older opponents today.  Expression should be running late, but I wonder if she'll need a race off the bench.

#3 E Z PASSER is a 5-year-old that has never finished out of the exacta from five tries over "Big Sandy."  It's promising that the great Ramon Dominguez takes the call, but E Z Passer hasn't been out since January 7 and she was nibbling at minor awards before the freshening (0-7 at this level after winning a $50,000 starter allowance here last June).  Dominguez figures to have E Z Passer relaxing near the tail end of the field and a fast pace could work in their favor.  Still, she must improve off her recent numbers and doesn't show a published workout in nearly three weeks.

#4 NATALIE VICTORIA can be forgiven for the most recent race, a 33 3/4-length defeat on grass as she simply seems like a better runner on dirt.  In her only start on the main track for trainer David Jacobson, Natalie Victoria was hardly disgraced.  She passed some tired horses for third over a speed-favoring track.  She is another that could take advantage of a pace meltdown, but note that both of her wins have come in routes.  It's possible that 6 1/2 furlongs is a bit short for her. 

#5 KALEIDOSCOPE could be the proverbial "any kind" for trainer Mark Hennig.  After finishing ahead of Evasive Cat in her career debut, she worked hard to graduate at Gulfstream in her 3-year-old debut.  Facing winners for the first time in an entry-level optional claimer around a one-turn mile, Kaleidoscope was headstrong early while racing on a deep and tiring rail.  She also faced top-notch competition in that race.  The winner, Zo Impressive, won the Mother Goose last week at Belmont while the runner-up, In Lingerie, won the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway and the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico.  A $260,000 yearling, Kaleidoscope fits well at this level, but she may be compromised by other speeds and hasn't raced since late February.  I also believe that she'll be bet down from her 6-1 morning line considering the company she kept at Gulfstream.

#8 MIZZEN DONALD, claimed for $40,000 out of a downhill turf sprint at Santa Anita on March 30, tired badly when going a route of ground here on May 13.  Freshened after that race, she turns back to a more appropriate distance, but she's on a bit of a losing streak and both of her wins came on synthetic tracks.  Expect her to rate a bit more today, but she'll have to put up her best performance to take these down.

For HandiGambling purposes, I'll stab this way:

$100 Win - FAMOUS ROSE (6)

Best of luck to all.


For detailed video analysis of this weekend's graded stakes races, please check back later today/early tomorrow on the special event pages as well as the video page.

Enjoy the weekend. 


Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
Bernard, I just knew that BSB would respond right away, so I waited. I used to follow him around in blogosphere & argue vociferously. Then one day it dawned on me. This guy was trapping me. Sure, I caught him a few times w/some mistakes, butts:invariably he had his homework checked by a professor. So, it would behoove me to check all my facts beforehand. It took too much of my time. I spent more time looking up horses & tracks than I needed. When he says, "I aint sure about that though..." that's the disclaimer...That means he knows. He's just begging for a response. Do you see me getting into many w/him ? Anymore I just chalk it up. Did you see in his latest comment when he said about Seattle Slew ? {for whatever reason}? That's the trap. He knows I told him Seattle Slew was almost dead. He even told me he didn't know that. He said he was drubbed. Well, good thing he said, for whatever reason........LoL...........I'm not sure I answered your questions, butts:What's the difference anyway ? In one respect I'm the same as him. I don't give much of a flyin' hoot about betting chalks, listening to all the rubbish of the next greatest Euro horse of all -time. They come about every week or so. You guys take this horse stuff too, too seriously. However, I am impressed w/your 4 out of 7 winners & a couple of longies. Frankel ? I don't really care. He's just another Euro who can't run on Dirt. & I do enjoy your posts, butts:beware of the Fisherman, & Greeks bearing gifts ????????????????....LoL........... Curt V.
Bsb Jaws More than 1 year ago
Bernard Downes, Curt V and I have never met. He knows that I occasionally set traps in the blogosphere ,like a lawyer does in court. CVS was my very first blog so he *knows* me to a certain extent. He and I LOL quite a bit. We're fairly happy guys and we both enjoy sticking in a few needles here and there. In this instance that isn't the case. I do think that Dancing Brave was a very, very good horse. I only saw him once,as I only saw Seattle Slew once. They both got drubbed when they came to California. ( for whatever reason) They were both really good and classy horses as well as both being BSB 1s . :-) I do think the Arc & Ky. Derby are over emphasiZed by most and do consider them demolition derbies. I tend to bet US trained horses in the mile. I got better money from Courageous Cat's lone 2nd than people that bet goldi to win 3 times did. I got a better payout on Precious Passion to place once than people that bet Conduit twice. Americans can be just as dumb as anybody else and they fall for cliches that have no basis in fact quite often . Like the new sop that Euros are *automatically* better than American trained horses on grass. I don't trap myself that way. For betting purposes I like that people think that,buttZ... for discussion purposes I can prove them wrong every time. Though no matter the facts they will argue till they are blue in the face that I'm wrong. Da Hoss , Kip Deville, Courageous Cat , Silic, Val Royale so on and so forth say I'm right. I concern myself with getting paid. Of C-horse every race is an entity unto itself. If people want to pay me $20 or more to place on Budroyale, Hesabull,Grand Slam etc. I'll take it. I've had Shirocco , Ouija Board, Banks Hill, High Chap etc etc. . Every race is different and there is a right way to bet each one. Picking winners or contenders is the easy part. Betting right is the hard part. Everybody knows that Zenyatta is my all-time favorite. I bet agaist her in her 3rd start.(big dummy) I bet on her in her 14th start, half of that a Life is Sweet / Zenyatta double. 46-1 for a near lock thank you very much. If it was going to be a $8 double I'd have just watched. I saw her run a doZen times. Smarty has uncashed $2 win tickets on her 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, & 19th wins in her Z scrapbook. Why should I bet Z when I can wait two races and get Richards Kid at 10-1 vs a trumped up hyped up 3yr old at 2/5 like Twirling Candy ? You know what I mean ? It's not like I can't make a bet someplace else or it's a rule that I have to bet each race. Would I bet Dancing Brave at 1/2 ? Not a chance. I wouldn't bet Herself at 1/2. I catch literal coin flips at an avg of 5/2 ! Why would I want to bet a competitive race at 1/2 ? Did I have Manila ? Nope. I didn't want to bet against Dancing Brave & I didn't want to bet on him. In regards to my slump , I was making more of it than it is. I haven't been red hot on picking winners lately ,buttZ ... I'm not losing a fortune and my horses tend to run enough to pay me something. I play for the long haul and have for a long time. I bitched the other day because I'm not making as much as I want to at the moment ,buttZ... that can't last too long. I'm better than that and I know that from long experience. I often say after a winner *those stronachs took X number of dollars from me when my horse opened up on the turn * Smarty's standard retort is *bitch,bitch, bitch * LOL. Best Regards Plain ol' BSB (like plain Ben Jones) Facebook made me add the jaws as a last name ???? They wouldn't let my first name be Black and my last name be Seabass ??? Speaking of seabass . The White seabass are on the bite and me & my son The White Seabass King are set to go on the 19th , 20th. Hopefully he'll win the jackpot and pay for our trip. He often does. He is a natural and he has the knack.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Curtis V Slewster, I just got back from a daytime birthday party and I must be having a bad day at the office - my apologies - because I don't know what the hell you are going on about. I know the Little Miss Muffet thing, but the relevance escapes me. You obviously know Bsb Jaws, I don't, other than through this blog, and so I don't know which, if any, of his statements were a fishing trip, and which were real. It is not important, but I am interested. As I posted before, contrary to what he said, does he in reality think Dancing Brave was one one of the best horses he has ever seen? I do hope so, he is one of my favourites. I know that he really doesn't think that the Arc is a demolition derby, so does he agree with me that it is the most important grass race in the World? What about race times in Europe? He and I APPEAR to agree that Eurojogs are the norm over here, so when the BC comes around how does he play that info in the grass races? I am a very simple guy, definitely no fisherman, so please put me out of my misery and tell me what Bsb Jaws really thinks. Best Regards - Bernard Downes P.S. Of course, the alternative is that you are a little off-course yourself. What do the hip crowd call it, blowing smoke? P.P.S. I am not into that LOL rubbish, but I write this having won on 4 races ouut of 7, including a 12/1 and a 6/1, so my motives are reasonably friendly.
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
Ron Z (and others) Now I do not have any inside knowledge of the workings of DRF or any other journal, but I just thought you might be interested in a blog entry about outsourcing written by my brother. http://journalismprofessor.com/2012/07/01/forgive-us-our-press-passes/ Might not shine any light on this situation, but good reading nonetheless. I join the chorus of praise for the New York caller. It is like he/she is another business altogether. Good luck this week.
Danny Bredahl More than 1 year ago
DavidM9999, I'll post my thoughts now since my wife is returning from Europe today after being gone for three weeks. Have a feeling not a lot of handicapping will be getting done this afternoon...... Race 7: I'll admit turf sprints are without question my weakest area. I struggle mightily with them and most times wish I could just hit ALL button all the time. Looking over this one, it sure seems like there is a lot of speed signed on so I'm looking for a closer and preferable one turning back in distance. I'll take a flyer with HERECOMESBERT who gets top jock Butler and faces easier after knocking heads at Oaklawn Park and Prairie Meadows. On the ticket, I'll also be including LOST CAMPER for 77% (10 for 13 this meet) trainer Clay Brinson and SILVER MAGNUS for perennial leading trainer Mac Robertson (six titles in a row here at Canterbury). Both horses have been up against better recently. Race 8 Another tough one as none of these have really shown an affinity to close strongly on a turf course that is kind to that style. I like BLAST'EM to mow them down late. Won at this level last time out and should improve a touch with second trip over the course. Hit the board 7 of 9 times at this distance with three wins. Silva/Franco's 28% connection percentage adds to the appeal. I'll again add two more to the ticket, BEAU NAMED SUE and HIGH SPIRIT. Race 9 I think this comes down to two horses, TUBBY TIME and JAIVAL. Throw out the last for Tubby, merely a prep. Leading trainer Robertson following similar pattern to last year that led to HOY honors for this guy. He'll get first jump and will have to hold off the late charge of Jaival. This horse ran his last quarter in 23.4 last time out at Turf Paradise while no other horse in this field has broken the 24 second mark yet. He'll be mowing them down, but his 0/6 turf record gives pause on any win bets. Race 10 The father/son-in-law team of Rhone and Butler should get up to win this one aboard PARIS BY NIGHT. This mare can motor late and has several sub 24 efforts on the past performances. Runner-up in last race returned to win. RARE SUNSET should have good early position and get first run. If she can clear and open up in the lane, you never know. I'll also be including KEEP ON SINGING who has been facing better, can close, and boasts Robertson/Riggs who are clicking at 60%. Wild card is MAID OF HEAVEN who's been racing at Churchill and Keeneland. If she shows up, you have to include her, but she's also entered at IND today so not sure. I'll like break this out to an A/B ticket even further, but that will also be determined by the tote before race 7 as I find that invaluable in turf sprints. I have to hit 4 A's or 3 A's and 1 B in order to connect.. But as a caveman, we're at 3x3x2x4 which is $36 for a 50 cent ticket. Everybody have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday. I know I don't post here as much as I used to, but I still follow along almost every day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To Dan Tell me it ain't so! A blogger mentioned recently she thought the description of the race on the official DRF Charts might be outsourced now with a handful of phrases to use in that description. The chart would still be called at the track , but the description would be outsourced. If so, I need to know. I am sure they have not watched as many races as I have. Today, Tuesday, I was up with the birds to beat the heat and downloaded the Race of the Day from PID, the Windward. Some of the lines had the racing flow information for them. I'm guessing those PP's were downloaded from someone at DRF who uses that service. Maybe Dave Litfin, as he has written about them previously? Then, I checked a few hours later and my Formulator notes appeared and no more Racing Flow. No complaints here, just a question of what you may think about racing flow in general. According to Huey Mahl, Brohamer and others: Pace makes the race. I still have a hard time with the concept of pace, having a basic belief that good horses overcome pace disadvantages if there is such a thing. I tend to handicap and bet on higher quality animals and look for the best horse expecting them to do their thing. Thanks Ron Zuercher
Keith More than 1 year ago
Exactly, Ron. If pace always made the race there never would have been a Black Caviar, Zenyatta, or Cigar, Secretariat or Seattle Slew just to name a few standout, "quality animals". Keith L.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yuwipi, Spurs not a favourite of yours? I hate them in a friendly rivalry sort of way. That mystery drink? It was almost certainly scrumpy - a very rough sort of cider from the South West of England. It is often produced by individual farmers, rather than a brewing company. It can be strong, some might say lethal. I have never seen it in the US, but f you ever come across it, treat it with care. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
Bernard, Okay.. Then, how about the analogy of Little Miss Muffet & the BSB Spider ? LoL...... Keith L., Empire Maker has been retired to stud since 2004..Okay, Norm Crosby ? Lmao.. CVS.........
Keith More than 1 year ago
Right, corrected. At least I know you read my posts before you automaticially give them the THUMBS DOWN, Slewster. Keith L.
Keith More than 1 year ago
DRF? No news at all from you on Parx's (Philly) Dr. Penny Memorial Handicap for older fillies and mares going 1&1/16th on the Turf today, a $250K Purse up for grabs? That is really odd! #1 Julie's Love, #4 Gitchie Goomie, and #8 Pinch Pie head this cast, althouth Hessonite from the outise #9 post also looks like she will be tough here, and she has gone head to head with Gitchie Goomie a few times, always a good battle. But I'm going with Tony Dutrow's #8 Pinch Pie (by Victory Gallop) with J. Leacano up, off her pulling out of the $100K Stakes at Monmouth Saturday to wait for this purse effort, and her four straight bullet works at 4f, since May 14th. Clement's #3 Naples Bay is a 12-1 ML value, as this miss can do some running and will be on my tickets in the verticals. Keith L.
Keith More than 1 year ago
Geeze Louise! That's the 2nd horse I touted in 4 days that went out stalking the pace and folded to last! Uncharacteristic for Pinch Pie, hope she's OK cdming out of that race! Keith L.
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Keith: I agree Santos was good on the turf. Very good for me personally. Cannot recall, fuzzy brain syndrome, but seems he rode a lot of Clement's turfers. Danny: I am going to take a shot at that Cantebury card. If I like anything strong I will post but looking at a day from HE** today in office. I better check the weather first though, thanks for the alert. I like playing mid tier tracks.