06/09/2012 5:55AM

HandiGambling the Belmont

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This week's HandiGambling 285 exercise is Saturday's Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles for 3-year-olds.

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.

***

I'm posting this early so will not have access to scratches and track condition.  There was a healthy amount of rain in the New York area last night.

The real damper, of course, was the scratch and retirement of I'LL HAVE ANOTHER on the eve of his Triple Crown bid.  

PAYNTER has the only two triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in the race, boasts tactical speed and is a lightly-raced colt with some upside potential.  The main issue is his lack of experience and the daunting Belmont distance.  He has an interesting pedigree for longer-distance races (by Breeders' Cup Classic winner Awesome Again out of a full sister to two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow) and figures to be prominent when the real racing begins around the three-eighths pole.  I wouldn't be surprised if Paynter is in front turning for home and I'll hope he can see out this trip under Mike Smith.

DULLAHAN assumed the role of morning line favorite following the unfortunate scratch of I'll Have Another and he ran quite well to be third in the Derby.  A true late-kicker, Dullahan should get some pace to attack in this afternoon's Belmont and, as a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, he has an acceptable long-distance pedigree.  Still, he has yet to win or place in four tries on dirt and may be slightly better on synthetics or grass.  With I'll Have Another out, Dullahan looms the horse to beat and should be kicking in the stretch.  I'll use him in Pick 4's, but am hesitant to take him as a favorite in single-race wagers.

STREET LIFE took a move forward in his first start with blinkers and he has the benefit of a race over the track.  Third in the local prep, the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes, when aided by a contested pace up front, Street Life likes to lag near the rear of the field and would be aided by a strong pace up front.  He seems to be improving with every start, but needs another strong move forward in order to contend for win honors.  That being said, the race was diluted by the favorite's untimely scratch.  I will use Street Life defensively in multi-race wagers and wouldn't be surprised if he runs on strongly, along with Dullahan, in the lane. 

The prospect of a wet racing strip may aid ATIGUN, a recent 'n2x' winner at Churchill Downs over muddy going.  We'll find out how good he is (0-3 in prior graded events) and how far he wants to go, but Ken McPeek pulled off a Belmont stunner with Sarava a few years back and I won't doubt him with an in-form longshot.

I'm against UNION RAGS, but won't argue with anyone that does like him a great deal.  There are two ways to look at Union Rags.  One is that he hasn't moved forward from two to three.  The other is that he hasn't really had a chance to move forward from two to three.  The Fountain of Youth was a good starting point, but he then had trouble in both the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby and hasn't been able to strut his stuff.  I maintain that he's the most naturally talented horse in the race, but his price is sure to be depressed after the scratch. 

The others either look too slow or pace-compromised.  Then again, this is the Belmont Stakes.  Wacky things have happened in this race.

My main goal in the afternoon is to be alive going into the Belmont with PAYNTER, DULLAHAN and STREET LIFE on various tickets. 

In the mythical world of HandiGambling, I'll play it this way:

$100 WIN - PAYNTER (9)

Best of luck to all.

***THERE HAS BEEN AN ISSUE WITH POSTING COMMENTS OVER THE LAST 12 HOURS OR SO.  I SEE THAT THERE ARE COMMENTS IN THE PENDING QUEUE, BUT AM UNABLE TO ACCESS THEM.  I HAVE ASKED THE IT DEPARTMENT FOR A FIX AND WILL HOPE TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE SOON***

Bruce Blanton More than 1 year ago
cs
Bruce Blanton More than 1 year ago
testing mh01
Bruce Blanton More than 1 year ago
cs
Bruce Blanton More than 1 year ago
meathead01
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
For those who don't know, Omeprazole is the generic form of the most well known of the pills, called by brand name Prilosec...Oh Jesus...I should know..No I'm not a horse, Butts: I've taken enough of that pill....... Bernard D. Tower of Power..Their big hit was "What is Hip"..........."What's hip today, might become passe.....you're on a hip trip, maybe hipper than hip....." CVS.........
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
HG286, Just got notified by the powers that be...No, not the Isley Brothers........We know who... Friday Night Fights...Penn National..June 15th...R4..Lyphard Stakes for F&M's, 3+, State Bred, 75K Purse......TURF..1 1/16.....off at 7:24PM EST..There are 10 Entrants w/2 AE's..I just checked the Weather Forecast. Eagle-Eye Weather says absolutely ZZZero{0} chance of rain from Today 'til early next week.......Looks like Firm to me.. Curt V.
Thomas V.S More than 1 year ago
Alex, don't take this too personally, but several of us are old enough to be your grandfather. Spartan Tom
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Alex ..or some of us are old enough to be your Auntie :) ...enjoyed your thoughts. SR Vegas
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bsb Jaws, I was amused by your suggestion that I might be hip. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that "aggro" is a term associated with football fan violence throughout Europe and South America. Any football fan growing up in Britain in the 60s, 70s and 80s would have seen it every week of the football season. And even today it has not gone away entirely, witness the mini street battles this week in Warsaw between Russian and Polish supporters. Whatever problems we have in racing, on both sides of the Atlantic, at least violence is not one of them. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Alan Levitt More than 1 year ago
Look who's coming back this weekend in BEL7 on Saturday......B Shanny! Who's that? Much to Steve Crist's surprise, B Shanny - named for former NHLer Brendan Shanahan - won in his 2nd start last summer at the Spa, beating FTSer El Padrino! I would have won the "Most Thumbs Down Ever" award on Crist's blog that afternoon if we had the Thumbs Up/Down blogware for my snide-ish comments about B Shanny's too low-Beyer FTS race (BEL6 on Jul14, which if you remember, the figure-makers subsequently raised each horses Beyer by 4 points after my snide-ish comments...although still much too little) as well as noting that B Shanny was an RFer. Anyhow, after that Spa victory B Shanny was being targeted by Hushion for the Champagne stakes until he was sidelined with a chip (surgically removed) in his knee. Now he returns Saturday in this state-bred n1xer.
Keith More than 1 year ago
For Annie: We've already said "Goodby" Since you've got to go Oh you better go now Go now, go no, (go now) Before you see me cry I don't want you to tell me Just what you intend to do now 'Cause how many times do I have to tell you Darlin',darlin' I'm still in love with you now. We've already said "So long" I don't want to see you go Oh you had better go now Go now, go now, (go now) Don't even try telling me That you don't want me to end this way 'Cause darlin', darlin' Can't you see I want you to stay? Since you've go to go now Go now, go now, (go now) Before you see me cry. I don't want to see you go But darlin' You'd better go now. ........................Moody Blues from Keith L.
CalvinLCarter More than 1 year ago
How can we return the full measure of what the horse has given to us? http://on.fb.me/L8g5Pb