09/23/2009 4:28PM

HandiGambling Fairplex


Today's HandiGambling 151 exercise is the eleventh race from Fairplex, the $50,000 Governor's Cup Handicap for three-year-olds and upward at 6 1/2 furlongs around two turns. 

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.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference.  Past performances are available on the previous blog entry.

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.

Let's scratch #1 Screen to Screen and #4 Fire Break

A contentious race with several evenly-matched contenders.  Paul's Hope (#7) and jockey Martin Pedroza teamed up for a win over this course and distance at the 2007 Fairplex meet in a $25,000 'n2L' claimer, and Paul's Hope has certainly blossomed since that race.  He placed in a pair of graded stakes races earlier this year, and may have been ridden too aggressively last time out by Joel Rosario.  Paul's Hope likes to rally from midpack, and Rosario had Paul's Hope pressing Usurp (#5) from the get-go.  Taken out of his element, Paul's Hope understandably lacked the same stretch punch that propelled him to victory two back.  He is reunited with Pedroza, handles the quirky course, shows a bullet workout on September 13, and should get pace to attack late.  He gets the tepid call in a wide-open event.

Usurp (#5) is 0-3 after trainer Ron Ellis told the DRF that he was "kind of funky coming out of a work," but he ran a good race last time out over a closer-friendly track.  He made the lead rather easily, ran a very fast second-quarter while dueling with two other rivals, put both of them away, and was just headed on the line by Big Bad Leroybrown (#1).  He's won at this distance, but you have to demand a good price as he has no form on dirt.

Dance With Gable (#8) loves dirt, and that makes him a danger in this spot.  He pressed a sub 43 half-mile last time out at Sacramento while in a tight spot on the rail entering the turn, but he looked a winner every step of the way against a pretty good field.  The runner-up of that race, Bamaha Breeze, is a stakes-winner on turf at Hollywood while fourth-place finisher Tribesman was coming off a four-race win streak.  I am a bit concerned about the slight stretchout in distance, however, and I'm also curious how he'll handle this two-turn sprint.  He should be a forward factor, and must be respected.

Lit'sgoodlookngray (#3) looks like a fascinating longshot.  He won his maiden over this track and trip in 2006, placed in the Foothill Stakes here in 2007, and finished a good third behind Talkin to Mom Roo at Fairplex last year.  His last race was solid when you consider it was his first start since February, and he was in it until inside the eighth pole.  He'll make his first start off the Hess claim, shows a bullet workout five days ago, and can certainly move forward in his second race back while returning to a track he likes. 

A Lil Dumaani (#6) has some speed, and that should help him out here, but he has no form on dirt.  I wasn't too impressed with his defeat as the favorite at this distance over Hollywood's cushion track on May 16.  It will be interesting to see how Martin Garcia rides this gelding.  Does he gun for early position, and risk an early duel with Dance With Gable, or does he sit back just a bit?

Big Bad Leroybrown (#2) took advantage of some closer-friendly racing days at Del Mar before being put in a no-win situation against Zensational in the Triple Bend last time out.  He placed in the Pomona Derby here in 2007 in his only start on dirt, and he should save valuable ground under David Flores.  A fast pace would work to his benefit, but I'm not sure he's as good as his form makes him look.

Here's the play:

$50 Exacta - Paul's Hope - Usurp (7-5)
$30 Exacta - Paul's Hope - Dance With Gable (7-8)
$20 Exacta - Paul's Hope - Lit'sgoodlookngray (7-3)

Best of luck!

Be back to answer questions and comments next time.

Take care,


slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
I meant the Big Brown year, in case there's any confusion. I know I was confused.
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
Wow. Sometimes life will hit you in the gut. Olredlgetcha raced back in June, not August, and I just learned that the son of Limehouse was euthenized 12 days after his victory from a staph infection that grew from a small compact injury to his foot during the race. Needless to say, I'm stunned and saddened. This was the best looking 2yo I saw this year. In any case, sorry about that. If you want to read about what happened follow this link, there is also an imbedded link to video of his only race, the stakes win. http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/racing-news/2009/June/25/Debut-stakes-winner-Olredlgetcha-euthanized.aspx *** Personally, I don't think the 2yo class I've seen so far is very talented or deep (overall). Could be '07 all over again. Jmo, of course.
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Stephen Taylor, PGM, MidWest Ed: Maybe I missed it in the past couple of months, but has there ever been a resolution to the issue of the casino millions awarded to pari-mutual racing in Illinois? Or is that still being adjudicated?
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
10c: Whether there are six horses or twelve horses running, it still helps to be on the right horse, no? Actually, as an exercise, these short fields are exactly what most horse players face everyday...especially in the higher grade sprints. So, they may be worthwhile as an exercise afterall, are they not? I do have to wonder about the worthiness of having superfecta wagering on short fields....some tracks even will cancel trifecta wagers if the fields come up at 6 or less. As the takeouts are usually higher for trifectas and superfectas than exactas and quinellas and Win/Place/Show wagers, it seems a probable losing ROI on the short payoffs for short fields dooms the player that lives by these bets. I wonder if that has been the experience found here by many others? I have never been disciplined enough to keep the records, but I have a strong belief that my usual style of betting, which is Win/Place and Quinellas and Exacta Key Wagers, with a few cheap trifectas thrown in and an occasional WPS across the board on a long shot(10-1 or higher), wagers played mostly on 7Furlong and up races on dirt gives me the best blend of manageable risk and consistentant reward. That said, I can certainly appreciate the desire to see a 12 horse field if one is looking to pull down jumbo superfecta payoffs though, and I have played a few in my time.
Annie More than 1 year ago
I agree with Mike A. No handicapping exercise is a waste of time. There is always something to be learned by looking back after the race and seeing what you missed. It's fun and interesting to do this as a group. No one is being forced to do this. And other discussions can and do go on at the same time. I, too, would love to hear some wagering opinions from C. Annie
teuguess More than 1 year ago
Let's serve tencentcielo some cheese to go with his WHINE. Whoever chose The Governor's Cup Handicap at Fairplex probably shared the opinion expressed here by many: that it was a challenging, competitive race with a number of handicapping angles to select from, and therefore, a good race for the HG exercise. Was he supposed to foresee that two horses would be scratched? And I'm sure many appreciated that the race was run late enough that one didn't have to set an alarm to do their 'capping! I have only participated a couple of times before, but if the perception of weak or uninteresting races is widely shared by frequent users, couldn't Dan exercise a veto and ask the previous week's winner to select another race? Does that notion offend anyone's sensibilities?
Ray Manley More than 1 year ago
Slew, Very sad story about Oldredlgetcha. C, What difference does it make why handigambling continues? Many on here enjoy it. And while I personally have stopped adding a bet into the fray I usually review the PP's. Hey we use the terms medical practice and legal practice why not handicapping practice? And I also read the opinions of many HG posters about the selected race and pick up something I missed when I read the PP's. You are one of the most logical thinking posters on here and I enjoy your opinions greatly so I am sure I don't need to tell you to just skip the HG postings.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Keith L ..LOL! It WAS a one-two PGH finish, and if the #6 wasn't nosed out for the show it would have been a one-two-three PGH Trifecta, too! Annie Thanks for the Kudos...took me long enough, eh? SR Vegas
turfruler More than 1 year ago
At some point, the lesson, whatever it is to each individual, has to be learned and a conclusion has to be reached. Otherwise, this has just become a midweek space-filler with no point. Guys, it has already been a year. If HG is going to continue, I have to ask "what is the point of it and why is more time needed?" Posted by: C on September 23, 2009 at 11:38 PM For newcomers to our HandiGambling excercise, what are we trying to accomplish: 1. Analyze races that we usually wouldn't play, and try to find meaningful handicapping patterns that will lead to intelligent investments. 2. Formulate logical wagers within the parameters of the mythical bankroll in order to maximize the total return on investment. 3. Stimulate the mind...pick winners...have fun 4. 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." 5. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified. In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Past performances are available on the previous blog entry. 6. 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 process about wagering, it would be appreciated. 1. We've created the HandiGambling races to: a) Have Fun! b) Learn handicapping and, more importantly, wagering strategies and insights from our FormBlog community through their comments and bet construction. c) Have Fun! With the exception of you my question is…..Why become a killjoy when so many are have so much fun?
Molesap More than 1 year ago
Knowing this list, this has likely already been posted and discussed, but perhaps somewhow it has gone under the radar. For this still interested, Mr. Hot Stuff goes today (Thursday) in the GG 7th while making his truf debut at 1 1/16.