11/09/2012 5:22PM

HandiGambling Betfair Hollywood (turf claimer)

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This week's HandiGambling exercise is the eighth race at Betfair Hollywood Park, a $50,000 claimer for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

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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.
 
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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.

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The turf course is currently listed as "FIRM."

The portable rail is out 15 feet.

I'm looking forward to this race as I don't particularly care for the morning line favorites and am interested in a good-priced performer. 

#10 TWITCH did not have a good trip in her most recent start, her first effort for trainer Jim Cassidy.  Racing in a $40,000 starter allowance on the grass at Santa Anita, Twitch saved ground under David Flores and was hopelessly blocked for the majority of the stretch.  Flores was never able to ride Twitch and I believe that she would have been much closer with a clear journey.  This is a tougher spot against multiple winners and Twitch is marooned on the far outside, but there should be a good amount of pace to adequately setup her late kick.  She's been an underachiever ($150,000 yearling's third dam is Lassie Dear, granddam of A.P. Indy) but her form is dirtied up by that last trip and she should offer good odds (15-1 on the morning line). 

I don't like playing short-priced horses coming off good trips and #1 CANDY TROPHY received a wonderful pace-tracking, ground-saving journey under Martin Garcia at Del Mar on August 25.  She beat Twitch that day and is capable of another good trip after breaking from the inside post, but she hasn't raced in over two months, must navigate another sixteenth of a mile and doesn't have such a decided edge over this field that I'd be afraid to take shots against her.

#6 MIA ISABEL saved every inch of ground when fourth to Candy Trophy on August 25 and she only beat three rivals in an off-the-turf test at Santa Anita.  While she's consistent from a speed figure standpoint, she has burned her share of money on grass.  She does have winning experience on this course, however, and should get some pace to attack under Garrett Gomez.

#7 RISKY ART was only beaten a half-length at this level two starts back at Del Mar and she was simply overmatched against tougher older 'n2x' optional claimers going down the hill on October 5.  She stretches back out, adds blinkers for trainer Rafael Becerra and I'm expecting her to show early speed.  Risky Art can get a bit headstrong in the first quarter-mile and it will be interesting to see if she gets really keyed up with the blinkers. 

#4 CONJURE THE SPIRIT makes the third start following a short layoff and returns to her best surface.  She likes to make one run from the back of the pack and may be at the mercy of racing luck.  I'm expecting her to take a move forward in this spot, but she'll need a good deal of improvement to upset the apple cart.

#5 SPICED LATTE didn't do much over this circuit last year, but blossomed in Northern California, winning half of her six starts while never finishing off the board.  She likes to race on or near the lead and could be compromised if some of the others also show speed.  Away for two months, she steps up in class.

#8 LADY'S PLAN put up a 73 Beyer when nosed by the sharp Cal Bayers at Golden Gate on September 8, but she walked on an easy pace that afternoon and drifted out very badly while failing to switch leads in the stretch.  She's a fairly consistent performer but, like Spiced Latte, didn't do much running when last seen in Southern California.  She has some tactical speed, but don't be surprised if she's up close going into the first turn.

#3 LOVE TALE won three weak handicaps in England and was overmatched when entered in the $76,000 Unzip Me Stakes going down the hill on September 29.  She should appreciate the class relief for her second start in North America, but is questionable at this distance and will take money with Rafael Bejarano slated to ride.

#2 CHOCOLATE DELIGHT felt pretty in blinkers as she took a three-turn claimer on dirt at Fairplex on September 19.  She broke poorly in both of her previous turf races so it may be a bit unfair to hold those bad-looking running lines against her.  Still, she's been away for almost two months and there is a sixteen-day gap in the worktab.

#9 GRAND CORREDORA makes her turf debut for Ron McAnally after running down $20,000 maiden claimers on the dirt at Santa Anita.  There is some grass on the bottom of this pedigree, but Grand Corredora is taking a big class hike.

Here's how I'll play my HandiGambling ticket:

$40 WIN - TWITCH (10)

$10 EXACTA BOX - CANDY TROPHY - TWITCH (1-10)

$10 EXACTA BOX - MIA ISABEL - TWITCH (6-10)

$10 EXACTA BOX - RISKY ART - TWITCH (7-10)

Best of luck to all.

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The handicapping videos for this weekend's major stakes races should be up on the site late this afternoon.  Here's a very quick preview:

...HIT IT RICH looks to defend her title in Saturday's Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct, but KISSABLE ran a bang-up fourth last time out in the E.P. Taylor and should appreciate the longer distance...Bob Baffert will attempt to get back on the beam with Bode Miller's juvenile CARVING, but GLENCO KID could benefit from a solid pace up front in the Real Quiet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park...SCARLET STRIKE looms a logical selection in Sunday's Sharp Cat Stakes while P J'S SUPERGO looked good winning a maiden at Parx in preparation for the New York Stallion Series at Aqueduct...

More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.