03/22/2013 2:54PM

HandiGambling the Gold Coast Stakes


The HandiGambling exercise for Friday, March 22 is the eighth race at Delta Downs, the $70,000 Gold Coast Stakes at one mile for fillies and mares that have started at Delta Downs since October 18, 2012. 




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 DIRECTLY 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.


Let's scratch #3 SNUGGS AND KISSES.

There are two big guns in this race, AMAZING SAINT and LITTLE MS PROTOCOL, but I will take a stab with #6 MINESAVE, a lightly-raced filly that was thrown to the wolves in her last two at Oaklawn Park.  She faced quality runners such as Don't Tell Sophia and Tiz Miz Sue in those outings and simply isn't in their league.  She gets some class relief this evening and has the tactical speed to be close to what could be a moderate early pace. Minesave goes out for the high-percentage Bret Calhoun barn and is proven around two turns at this distance.  She ran well in her lone outing over the course and gets weight from the two main rivals (nine lbs. from Little Ms Protocol).

#7 LITTLE MS PROTOCOL has won five of six at Delta Downs and would have run over the top of the leaders late on the backstretch of her most recent start if given the opportunity.  Instead, she waited before angling four wide entering the stretch and lost valuable momentum.  She showed her class by running down the leader and any of her last three Beyer Speed Figures are faster than the last race number put up by all of her opponents.  She's very dangerous, but will pick up nine pounds off her recent start and will give significant weight at 125 lbs.

#1 KAMINARI isn't the worst longshot in the world.  She looked good winning over the track two back (her lone start around two turns) and a couple of horses returned from that race to win (the fourth-finisher put up an 81 Beyer in an 'n1x' at Oaklawn while the sixth-finisher earned a 66 when dropping into a $5,000, 'n4L' claimer for statebreds).  In her most recent start, sprinting at Fair Grounds, she was overmatched against some solid 'n2x' runners (the winner of that heat, Same Cross, is perfect from three starts on dirt).  Kaminari can be close to the pace, drew an advantageous inside post position and can improve in her second start following the short freshening.

#9 ESTHER CARL doesn't win very often, but she owns a potent late kick and was getting to Little Ms Protocol in the waning stages of the Premier Distaff on February 2.  She's been beaten by several of these already, however, and there may not be enough pace to properly setup her stretch run.  She should offer value in this spot and can certainly spruce up the exotics at a nice price. 

#5 AMAZING SAINT could be the horse to beat.  She's unbeaten from eight tries at Delta Downs, has good positional speed and was recently claimed by Karl Broberg (7-25, 28%, $2.77 ROI over the past five years with newly-claimed horses going sprint to route on dirt).  She's 11 for 15 lifetime on dirt, shows a recent bullet drill and gets a good weight spread from Little Ms Protocol.  It's possible that will make all the difference here. 

#8 LIVE EVERY DAY won twice sprinting around two turns to close out her 3-year-old campaign, but was no match for Amazing Saint on February 20 and will attempt a route of ground for the first time tonight.  She has every right to improve in her second start back, and is a solid enough filly, but has never run back to that 84 Beyer she earned in her career debut at Calder in 2011.

#4 A RUNNING POP, a consistent Louisiana-bred with a good stretch kick, makes her first start of the year and might be at the mercy of race and pace luck in this spot.  She generally runs Beyers in the low 70's and likely have to go faster to win this event.  On paper, she's somewhat similar to Esther Carl as a solid late-runner, but may be a better price than that one.

#10 FORGOTTEN PEOPLE is stuck way outside for this two-turn test, but she's always shown an affinity for this track and got a nice prep in a tough turf race at Sam Houston on March 2.  She fits very well at this class level, won second off the bench here on December 1 and shouldn't be discounted at good odds.  I am concerned about the possibility of a wide trip.

#2 PRETTY NOT picked up some late pieces to finish fourth in a fast renewal of the Treasure Chest Stakes here on November 12 and she occasionally pops at big prices (note the 21-1 upset in the Louisiana Cup Distaff on grass last year).  A one-run closer, she has been chasing Little Ms Protocol to no avail in her last three races.

Here's how I'll HandiGamble:

$60 WIN - (6) MINESAVE

Best of luck to all.


The video analyses for Satuday's graded stakes races are at the below link.  Check back on the homepage for Sunday's analysis of the big 3-year-old races at Sunland as well as the Santa Ana from Santa Anita.



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


You can follow me on Twitter at DRF_DanIllman.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keith L, LOL! I guess SR Vegas was right. I'm afraid that wasn't an invitation, just a statement of fact. :) Looks like HHE's race goes at 9:25 Central, so that's not too bad. I can have my coffee while watching that race. Then cocktail hour at 5:00 for the NBC Sports telecast. Of course this means I won't be betting HHE, but he can go ahead and win anyway. :) Should be able to get a bet in on my other horse, IMLD. I see he's the 2-1 favorite. The race could be a repeat of the Holy Bull. Of course ORB might get in there too. I'm thinking this race will be chalky and the other one a bit more lucrative, although I haven't decided what I will do there. Good luck with your bets on Sat.! I'm hoping the La Derby will be the race of the day. Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bernard, Well you take care of yourself now and do what your doctor says. You know we're all wishing you a good recovery. Annie
CalvinLCarter More than 1 year ago
Bernard Downes, Wishing you continued progress on improving health. Thank you for the input in regard to Lingfield and Infinite Magic. Yes, his breeding indicates that 12-furlongs should not be a problem. Team Valor will probably run him in the Blue Grass Stakes in an attempt to get him into the Kentucky Derby starting gate, and then we’ll get to see how he performs in a full field of horses. Infinite Magic is an interesting colt by More Than Ready out of a Danehill Dancer mare and he’s a sire-line descendant of Royal Charger. As a 2-year-old, Infinite Magic compiled a 1-2-0 record in four starts – all on all-weather tracks. In his debut as a 3-year-old, I like it that Infinite Magic won running 10-furlongs on the all-weather track at Lingfield, boosting his record to 2-2-0 in five starts. He has room to improve in his second start of the season which could be in the Blue Grass. The Blue Grass is an eighth of a mile shorter than his last race. So, we’ll see if Infinite Magic has the turn of foot to be competitive at the shorter distance. Here’s a look at his Lingfield victory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RviwkKAcLrg Ron Zuercher, Here’s an interesting note in regard to the tail-female line. Infinite Magic has a double dose of family number one in his pedigree and since 1980, that tail-female line has dominated the Kentucky Derby with 10 winners: Animal Kingdom (1-h), Super Saver (1-x), Smarty Jones (1-x), Grindstone (1-c), Go For Gin (1-x), Sea Hero (1-x), Unbridled (1-r), Spend A Buck (1-s), Swale (1-n) and Genuine Risk (1-n). More Than Ready, the sire of Infinite Magic, is a tail-female descendant of La Troienne (Family 1-x) and her line has produced four Kentucky Derby winners since 1980. Truly Enchanting, the dam of Infinite Magic, is a tail-female descendant of Web (Family 1-s) and that line produced the Kentucky Derby winner Spend A Buck. Crystal Palace, the 6th dam of Infinite Magic, was the dam of 1967 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby winner Royal Palace. Crystal Palace was also the second dam of 1980 St. Leger winner Light Cavalry.
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Ness: Jamie Ness was fined $2,000 and his horses subjected to 24 hour security for next month at Tampa. Apparently he had a horse test over for carbon dioxide. Just add it to the already long list for this trainer. I tend to bypass betting races at Tampa when he is in the field. At least Mr. Ness did not use the famous Dennis O'Neill defense of " we actually had to google milk shaking to find out what it meant".
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Nancy B: Thanks for the link. Sorry you missed with Silver Cloud. I went three deep in that grass sprint using Silver Cloud too. I was fortunate to hang on with the one horse.Laura mentioned to me that the course down at GP is playing very quick favoring speed. Played that way Sunday. One race going two turns (Optional Claimer I believe) went 1:08 and change for first 6F. That split shows how quick the grass course is there. Dubai: Starting to get excited to see the big races from the desert on Saturday. I really enjoy the high quality turf races. I hope Bernard can come with some picks on Friday or Saturday. I generally play Euros and Japanesse stock (if long) in the grass events but hope Little Mike runs his race.I stay with Americans in the main track sprints. Not sure how Dullahan stacks up versus best but he is a top tier U.S. animal on synthetic. Will likely be over bet in American pools.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas and All, Having been genuinely touched by previous medical best wishes, but a little embarrassed by your generosity of spirit, I am loath to post any further medical bulletins. But, just in case I post any rubbish on here (I mean more rubbish than usual), you may need to know that I could be a little distracted in the coming months. My hospital visit on Monday did not go well. It appears that my treatment in February was only a temporary success. My heart has slipped back into an unsatisfactory rhythm. The doctor was quite calm about it, he described the need for a whole new approach to treatment as SEMI urgent, but he did ask me to cut back on the partying while they identify that new approach. Thankfully, it WAS cut back, not stop. Looking on the bright side, with less time spent drinking I will have more time for the horses, and so I hope to pick a bucket load of winners in the coming months. Whatever, if I do post something that is hopelessly wrong, please take a generous view of it. Calvin, Re Infinite Magic, you are probably already aware that Lingfield is generally a relatively low level of all-weather racing. There are some races that are exceptions to that general rule, but to my eyes Infinite Magic's victory was a pretty standard affair. He beat only 4 opponents, albeit from very good stables. I won't attempt to comment on his breeding, but his style of racing, running on late over 10 furlongs to lead on the post, gives me the impression that 12 furlongs may prove to be his best distance. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Ray; I hardly think it could be "futile" for you to explain this. In fact, I find this implausible. Perhaps you should clue your lovely wife into who you are? late vs
Alfred Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Thanks Anne, for being so diligent in posting news about our MKB horses! The HD NBC Sports Network broadcast of racing are so welcome. The family will be gathered at my parents for the Easter celebration. Even though my father and I will sneak in to watch the races. Nobody can complain when you are only away for about five minutes for each race. Silver Charm's World Cup: I remember catching the audio version on the net. I called my father and put the phone to the computer speaker so he could hear it as well. I really should question my sanity even consulting the Euro style PP's of those races. Honestly does anybody have a better way to come up with a reasonable play? I guess if it was easy then the challenge would be not adequate enough to give me the necessary investment of effort to feel like I really into the race. -Alfredo
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Rachel Alexander ..good news that she was released back to Stonestreet Farms under careful guidance and daily vet examinations. I good step in the right direction towards her recovery, but still baby steps to her complete recovery. Best wishes to her owners and continued progress with her health. http://www.drf.com/news/rachel-alexandra-returns-home-stonestreet SR Vegas
CalvinLCarter More than 1 year ago
Dick W, Thanks for the shout out about Govenor Charlie. I'm looking forward to see where Team Valor and Graham Motion will debut European import Infinite Magic. I suspect it would be in the Blue Grass but I haven't read any stories about it. If he does go in the Blue Grass, runs a good race and wins, then he has to be given a good look for the Derby. He won his last race running 10-furlongs on the all weather at Lingfield.