02/01/2013 4:58PM

HandiGambling GP Turf Sprint


This week's HandiGambling exercise is the ninth race at Gulfstream, an entry-level optional claimer for older runners at five furlongs on turf.




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.


As of this writing, the turf course is listed as FIRM.


#11 GIBSON will be ridden by Jesus Castanon

#14 DOGWOODS LANCE will be ridden by Joe Rocco Jr.

The temporary rail is set at 96 feet.

Can #12 ARI'S PRIDE make the lead this afternoon?  If not, can he win from off the pace?  Those are two questions I've been debating since this race was drawn.  All three of Ari's Pride's lifetime victories have come in gate-to-wire fashion and there seems to be a plethora of speed runners in this heat.  But in his most recent start, a similar event at Gulfstream on January 10, Ari's Pride made some late noise after being forced to rally widest turning for home.  He was claimed out of that race by Rudy Rodriguez, who haltered Tahoe Warrior for 20K in 2010 and immediately won the $100,000 Turf Sprint Handicap at Calder.  For this owner, Rodriguez is 9-30 (30%, $2.01 ROI) over the past five years with newly-claimed runners.

#11 GIBSON is a stakes-winner on dirt that has run some quick turf sprints in his day.  He figures to be forwardly-placed, but I didn't love his most recent effort, a straight $25,000 claimer in which he was the beaten favorite.  He prompted the early leader from the two path and just couldn't get by that one, hopping back to his left lead when tired in the late stretch.  Trainer Angel Quiroz is 4-18 (22%, $2.53 ROI) over the past five years with newly-claimed runners for this owner.  We'll see if Quiroz can improve him from Michael Maker.

#13 STARSHIP WILDCAT has all the upside potential and he took to turf like a duck to water when graduting here on January 16.  He displayed high early speed in that maiden spot, but he didn't seem to beat much in that race (the third-finisher and beaten favorite is now 0-9 with seven runner-up performances) and could be hung out to dry while contesting the early pace.

#7 STRIKE THE TIGER won the first three starts of his career at two, including the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he's settled in at the $25,000 claiming level.  He failed to parlay a ground-saving trip into a top three finish in his most recent start, but should appreciate turning back in distance and getting some pace to attack.  He's hard to dismiss at what could be underlaid odds.

#4 DON'T SAY NO ran down some of these horses in his most recent effort and was claimed out of the race by the Ramseys and Michael Maker (owner/trainer combination is 68-232, 29%, $1.90 ROI off the claim over the past five years).  I usually prefer to see a Maker-trained runner with a recent five-furlong workout instead of the shorter breezes that Don't Say No displays, but he's an in-form gelding that likes to win and should get enough zip to adequately set up his rally.

#8 FOREST STATION won his turf debut at astronomical odds and will take a substantial class hike this afternoon (the last race was for 'n2L' claimers). A lightly-raced 5-year-old, it appears that he has found his proper surface, but seems like another pace factor in a race jammed with speed.  I want to see him do it again before I jump on the bandwagon.

#9 STARSHIP SULU gave a gritty performance when second at 19-1 odds here on December 28.  He was pressured every step of the way by Gibson, refused to let that one by and was only run down in the very late stages by Don't Say No.  He seems to be improving for trainer Jose Pinchin, but has been beaten by Ari's Pride on a couple of occasions and may be best utilized on the bottom of exotic wagers. 

#6 THE CHILL ZONE finished ahead of three of these rivals at 38-1 odds on January 10, but he got away with moderate fractions on the front end.  He may have to go faster in the early portion of this race.

#5 SOUTHPAW SLAMMER hasn't raced since August and his odds figure to be depressed considering his excellent connections.  He shaded 1:08 for six furlongs in his turf debut last summer and wasn't disgraced in his lone start against winners as Saratoga.  Trainer Chad Brown is one of the best in the country, but Southpaw Slammer is another speed horse and he'll have to overcome a layoff as well.

Both of #3 INDIRECTLY A.P.'s lifetime wins came on wet dirt and he could be buried down inside in the early portion of this race.  This spot could be a bit too tough.

#14 DOGWOODS LANCE goes out for extremely dangerous connections, but hasn't been out this year and is mired way outside.  All three of his victories have come when on the lead.

Here's how I'll HandiGamble:

$70 WIN - ARI'S PRIDE (12)

Best of luck to all.


The handicapping videos for this weekend's major stakes races should be up on the site late this afternoon. 

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


You can follow me on Twitter at DRF_DanIllman.

VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Uncle Mike; I (and many others) are listening. I especially enjoy the emails. As you know, I archive them. You know me. Always listening. Feel free to substitute my name for Keith so he doesn't take it personally. My ego can take it. Sure, I like to be right, but I like making money better. Like you, friend. Thanks for posting. It is appreciated. vs
Jeanne More than 1 year ago
Keith L, Watch it with that Pletcher will screw up a horses chances of winning the KYD stuff, Buddy!!! That's my boy's trainer you're trashing there!!! LOL Jeanne
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BSB, I don't get it. The betting angle is totally irrelevant. Why on earth would you want to race horses that carry throat infections or lung infections? Such horses should not be "sacrificed", They should be found lives that do not require significant exertion. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
michael aiello More than 1 year ago
Keith, Also as far as Da Tara Goes.....I've been around horses enough that I knew Big Brown had a good chance of tanking in the Belmont being taken off Winstrol. I merely looked at the field and thought the odds on Da Tara made him worth a wager.....20 across....no great shakes, I didn't bet him because I thought he was the next coming....only that without Big Brown the field was junk...and he looked about as good as anyone else......Probability had more to do with it than handicapping......I took a shot....I have no trouble admitting it...because there are many others times when the bets are very calculated......I do my homework, I put in alot of time and effort, as does Steve......we logged quite a few hours last year....if it didn't pay off I'd have to rethink my approach......If it didn't work I'd certainly not share it with people here...after all, nothing anyone says matters without the wins to back it up....otherwise it's just a lot of hot air.....I'm not asking you to do what I do, just to listen a bit......Mike A
michael aiello More than 1 year ago
Keith, As is usually the case you didn't read what I wrote word for word....you read what you wanted, saw what you wanted to see and answered accordingly. Sort of like how you handicap. You didn't read what I said about War Academy.....I said I probably wouldn't bet him first dirt....but he showed me enough in that one start in Nov. that I will watch him.....I've seen enough of Dynamic Sky....I don't need to see more, Even if you and Casse think different. Now I do take exception to being deemed a breeding guy, I've said many times that I use breeding in certain situations while handicapping. Mentioning my name in that vain would put me in a class with Steve, laura, Calvin and Dan......and that isn't fair to them. I make money with pedigree.....I don't tell folks who has a shot in the derby come Feb. Second......when did I ever say I had Mine That Bird in the Derby? I didn't play that Derby, now maybe since your an older fella you mistook that for Summer Bird in the Belmont and Travers......That I did do and on this very blog. You know....I do know alot about racing, but I'm constantly learning more.....it's how you survive this game.....I'm glad you don't need any tidbits.....but I remember the three years I was here and don't remember you setting the world afire with your picks.....or premonitions...and some of your breeding stuff is just that. So there is no wisdom I can pass along....you know we do bet differently......when I lose I learn then I win, when you lose you just lose.....Mike A
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
Annie My MKB 2012 Discreet Dancer had a win today. Makes me look forward to the second draw for 2013.
Keith More than 1 year ago
Bernard the Dowes and BSB: As long as the question is Triple Crown related, I would be pleased to give input. Aiden Obrien as two TC early nominees; Alfonso de Sousa, Henrythenavigator colt. Lines of Battle, War Front colt And Dermot Weld has two also I believe; Make the News (IRE), Montjeu (Ire) colt Response Resolute, Dansili (GB) colt None of the across the pond early nominees to the Triple Crown appear on the Pool 1 Ky Derby Futures. Mike A: War Academy? Giants Causeway out of an AP Indy mare? First time winner sprinting on Synthetic Track? Seems to come in a similar mold as Creative Cause, last year's Giant Causeway colt who impressed in his MSW debut breaker at 5 furlongs at Hollywood. This one had no AP Indy as the dam sire, but Skywalker, his dam sire, was a son of Bodnesian, I believe. Is that Slewster enough for you Curtis V.? As to my speculative list of who might show up as top interests in half of the Pool 1 Futures, as I explained in my post, Mike, it wasnot ranked by Ky Derby points, but by non-restricted stakes earnings accrued to date (still a useful down and dirty guage of quality of company kept). As I expressed, its too early to get into the points issues, but as Pool 2 and Pool 3 come along if its going to be anything like former years when the graded stakes earnings were the criteria on what horses made the latter Futures Pools individual betting interests will determined solely by points accrued this year, instead of early hype.. This was not my list of my top choices; it was a list showing the non restricted stakes earnings ranking to date. And if you has been reading any of my postings which seemed to get me in some degree of hot water with the Slewster here, I really do not need to be disillusioned about Shanghai Bobby, Goldencents, or Bern Identity, who show up as the top three in earnings factors there, and their most probable inability to get the 10f distance in winning fashion. If I had to pick my top pick from that list, it would most certainly be Violence, though I have this nagging feeling that Pletcher will find a way to screw that ones chances up. Hee hee hee! As to the Futures Pool 1 individual selections, I just might throw a $10 bill or so at a couple that opened here at 30-1, and play a couple of cheap 3 horse Exacta boxes again leaning toward some of the higher odds possible colts. I know you have been around, and are a different kind of player than I am, Mike, but I've been at this game since the early 70s, and have learned a thing or two along the way. Such as I don't mind when a horse I am on runs second, as I've bet him that way with the majority of my wager, as a 2&1/2x or 3x amount of my Win wager. And I will have a three horse boxed exacta or an over and under Exacta Key using a couple others from time to time. That is the majority of my wagering. There really is very little you can teach me about pedigree handicapping, Mike, or harkening to any of the angles or key factors in handicapping, but if you find it useful to post in that vein "so you can see what you think when you see what you say", have at it; be my guest, Hee hee hee! Keith L.
Black More than 1 year ago
9 of the 23 individual betting interests in the future pool are BSB 1s. You can get odds comparable to the future line on derby day and know your horse is going to run.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
nancyb Thanks for the note on the Bloodhorse triple Crown nominations, and that you can sort them. I now have a list of the 34 names of those PGH , LOL ! If the RTTR has the option to create multiple stables like last year (3 or 4 ?) then I'm sure we can ceate our own PGH one together . Stay tuned for IM SYN - Laura's IMT - and the PGH stable for the IMT members :) SR Vegas
Black More than 1 year ago
Animal Kingdom ran that 2yr old 9f about 5 lengths faster than his opponents ran 9f as 3 yr.olds. Knm , Uncaptured is 3,4,10 * 2 * 8,14 . I'd keep him in Canada . He might be a good grass horse with those 3s. Half of the British TC winners were BSB 3s . Paddy O Prado & Hansen were 3s. Summer Bird was a 3 . I have about 100 or so sketched out. I'm getting the others as they come along. Some of the 2yr olds forced to run without Lasix in the BC were traumatiZed. They'll never be any good anymore. Throat infections ,lung infections, bad memories, etc . Sacrificing poor baby horses on the alter of public relations for the sake of appeasing an uninformed crowd of Zealots that rarely, if ever, make a bet. ;-(