01/18/2013 4:46PM

HandiGambling (Gulfstream Turf)


This week's HandiGambling exercise is the ninth race at Gulfstream, a conditioned claimer for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles 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.


#6 STARSHIP FREEDOM will be ridden by Luis Saez.

This is a very tough race and I'll take a shot with #7 WAQUOIT'S DANCE, who didn't have an easy trip in her most recent start against similar on December 29.  The gray mare was shuffled late on the backstretch and was in behind runners on the final turn.  Once clear, she came with a strong run along the inside through minor traffic to finish fourth.  Her barn is having a wonderful meet at Gulfstream and trainer Marcus Vitali will make a rider switch from David Cohen to Orlando Bocachica (over the past five years, Vitali and Bocachica have gone 17-95, 18%, $2.43 ROI at Gulfstream).  Waquoit's Dance has obviously had her share of issues as she's a 6-year-old with only nine prior starts on her form, but she goes third off the long layoff with improving Beyers on display and may appreciate the extra sixteenth of a mile to work with in this spot.

#10 MONEY MONEY improved in her first start with blinkers after being reclaimed by the underrated Giuseppe Iadsernia, but it must be noted that she received a perfect trip that afternoon.  Jockey Irwin Rosendo saved every inch of ground with Money Money in that 'n2L' heat before easing to the outside on the final turn.  Once Money Money made the front, she hopped back to her left lead while drawing clear.  The form of that race has worked out well thus far as fifth-place finisher Demi Tasse returned to win a $20,000, 'N2L' claimer on dirt with a career-best 76 Beyer.  Money Money is lightly-raced with some upside, but she'll probably have to work a bit harder against this tougher competition.

#1 WILL TO SHINE has done well in both prior starts at the meet and she was a pumped-up winner against 'n2L' claimers here twelve days ago.  Headstrong in the early stages under Jermaine Bridgmohan, Will to Shine pulled her way to contest a slow pace before holding firm in the stretch.  There isn't a ton of speed in this spot and Will to Shine could work out a good pace-tracking, ground-saving trip from her inside post position.  She may need to relax a bit more if she's to rate in behind runners, but she is sharp and must be considered a strong contender despite the class hike.

#9 MEMORIES MADE finished ahead of Waquoit's Dance in that December 29 race and she showed her affinity for this course with a starter allowance win here in 2012.  Ralph Nicks-trained runners usually do well in their second start following a 45-plus day layoff (22-140, 16%, $2.00 ROI over the past five years, 3-6, 50%, $5.00 ROI with that move at Gulfstream) and the 4-year-old has run races that are certainly fast enough to win this.

#3 CORINZIA was a game winner of a $20,000 'beaten' claimer over yielding ground at Aqueduct on November 2 and finished evenly in her first start of the Gulfstream meeting at this level nine days ago.  A late-runner, Corinzia may be at the mercy of pace and race luck, but she has some upside potential and figures to be sharper for her second start off the short layoff.  If she goes off near her morning line of 10-1, she is certainly worth including.

#5 PARASOL goes out for high-percentage connections and she enters this race in sharp form.  Last month, she scored in her first appearance over the local sod and was flattered when the runner-up returned to take a $30,000, 'n2L' claimer with a 65 Beyer.  Parasol has enough tactical speed to stay within range of the early leaders and is extremely logical considering the trainer's gaudy numbers.

#2 LILY HANNAH won her maiden over this course and distance last year, but her recent good races have been on dirt at Churchill Downs.  You may want to forgive her recent grass form, however, as she ran against Stephanie's Kitten in the Edgewood Stakes and was probably overmatched against entry-level allowance horses in her subsequent two races.  She seems like an excellent fit from a class perspective, but only shows one workout since mid-December.

#8 EZPZ LEMON SQUEEZE rallied from off the pace to beat a weak group of $16,000 'beaten' claimers at Aqueduct (only one of the seven next-out runners from that race returned to crack the trifecta) and hasn't been out since mid-November.  She doesn't show a published workout in almost three weeks and may need one off the layoff.

#12 SHEZMYTEN was 75-1 in a similar spot last month and never got out of first gear.  She puts the blinkers back on, but will need a significant reversal of form in order to pull off the upset.

#13 FLORIDA STRAITS is only 2-44 lifetime and hasn't reached the winner's circle since December 8, 2008.  She has a decent amount of early speed so don't be surprised if she is among the frontrunners on the backstretch.  Still, it's very hard to envision her around at the wire.

#6 STARSHIP FREEDOM can be dangerous if allowed an easy early lead as she took a $25,000, 'n2L' claimer over this course and distance last year at 44-1 odds.  She will make her second start following a solid layoff and could end up the main speed under Luis Saez.  She must improve off some of her recent races, but I won't argue with anyone that wants to use her on the bottom of exotic wagers.

#11 MASS INVASION's best races have come on dirt and her Beyer Speed Figures pale in comparison to those of the top contenders.

Here's how I'll HandiGamble:


Best of luck to all.


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:

...The LeComte looks like a very nice race.  AVIE'S QUALITY will make his dirt debut, but a couple of his siblings have run well on the main track at Fair Grounds in the past and Avie's Quality was extremely professional over the polytrack in Canada...The Sunshine Millions Classic may not offer much value as the 1-2 finishers from last year's race, MUCHO MACHO MAN and RON THE GREEK are back for more...DRILL is making his second start following an injury-induced layoff and was making up some ground despite a wide trip in the Malibu last time out.  He'll get pace to attack in Saturday's Palos Verdes with COMMA TO THE TOP and PRIVATE ZONE entered...CHARMING KITTEN isn't the next coming of John Henry, but he had to go four wide at a crucial juncture of his last race while the eventual winner slipped through along the rail.  Demand some semblance of value on him in Sunday's Kitten's Joy at Gulfstream...LADY OF FIFTY and BOOK REVIEW are the horses to beat in the La Canada at Santa Anita on Sunday, but OPEN WATER is in decent form and should offer solid odds...

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

CalvinLCarter More than 1 year ago
Thanks Yogi Doggy.
Yogi Doggy More than 1 year ago
Calvin, I wouldn't want to swear to it, but it looks like McLaughlin is Darley's only trainer in South Florida this winter. At least it looks like he has all of their starters at GP so far. I would think that would point to him as Encode's trainer. Yogi
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
MKB Workouts 1/22/13 - None! SR Vegas
Jeffrey Cobb More than 1 year ago
I second Laura's report from GP and the Thorofan brunch. Donna Brothers was one of the speakers there. I knew she was a former jockey but had no idea she had ridden at the Birmingham Turf Club where I got bitten by the handicapping bug. The only thing I remember about those days is Lost Code, Up the Appalachee, General Lee (they had to have one, it is Birmingham, after all), Gene St. Leon, and the 3 hour drive out I-20 from Atlanta. Laura scored quite a coup with the maiden. Can't wait for the Formbloggers convention! Jeff aka Chalk Eating Weasel
CalvinLCarter More than 1 year ago
Laura, Curtis V Slewster, Thanks for the information about Encode. He's been working good at Palm Meadows and just fired a bullet. Palm Meadows Training Center 1/22/2013 Dirt 3F 36.64 Breezing 1/7 Palm Meadows Training Center 1/15/2013 Dirt 3F 37.77 Breezing 3/9 Palm Meadows Training Center 12/24/2012 Dirt 3F 39.41 Breezing 25/30
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Penguinymous, Thanks for indulging me with another intelligent posting re "value". Can I sign off on the matter by tying up a couple of loose ends. 1. In a normal Summer, devoid of drought or monsoon, we would certainly expect bigger fields than in the US. And yes, we have short meets (usually one or two days only; never more than 5 days). 2. You are absolutely correct about the advantages of British and Irish betting. At home in the morning and later at the track, you can take an early price that will often beat the Starting Price, sometimes massively so. For example, this morning a first time starter was offered at 25/1 on the Betfair exchange. His breeding suggested he could be decent, certainly better than 25/1. The horse was bet all day, started at only 8/1 and won by 7 lengths. Thank you very much for a nice win. Finally, I obviously didn't express myself very well about losing streaks, because I meant exactly what I said. As long as you bet a similar sum every time (and I usually do), if I bet 12 losers in a row and the 13th horse wins at 16/1, I am in front. I have no expectation of making a million, just a small regular profit. Ron - thank you again for your interest. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
Calvin, Encode..5/8/2010....Keen. 2011......... 625K.......Owner is Darley Stable......Breeder is Oakbrook Farm, Ky.>>>>>>>>>Can't find the trainer's name/......... CVS..........
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Laura Sounds like it was a successful day at Gulfstream Park, enteraining and wagering wise ! ---------- Talking about entertaining, It's NHC weekend ! If any formblog friend is in Las Vegas this week/weekend, raise your hand! I have a meet and greet set up Thursday , and a Brunch on Sunday put together. Congratulations again to MPM101 , Alan , BigeasyBigchok for qualifing this year, and LilChok ( Michael) returning to defend his title. it will be nice to see you all. TBTA and hubby, Denise and Rose of Moline, and Chalky.. I'll see you all soon, too ! SR Vegas
Curtis V Slewster More than 1 year ago
Keith L., Quite a loonnngg diatribe on Majestic Warrior..Afterall, I could "Name That Tune" in One note..........SLEWSTER.......... Annie, I do seem to have a small dilemma in the Holy Bull.........Besides Dewey & IMLD, I like all the other ones too............I'll have to peruse that race a little better, & besides what some think, I need to find Value. I'm w/you on this one Bernie........ CVS...................................... .۩...........
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Baltimore_Brian 49er's ? Ravens? West Coast ? East Coast ? I get the best of both as I was rooting for them both. Good Luck! SR Vegas