06/14/2013 12:37PM

HandiGambling Hollywood Turf

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The HandiGambling exercise for Friday, June 14 is the eighth race at Betfair Hollywood Park, a $25,000 claimer for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PREVIOUS BLOG POST.

REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE NEXT WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE SEND YOUR RACE SELECTION NO LATER THAN TUESDAY EVENING.

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 GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
 
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.

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As of this writing, the turf course is FIRM. 

Let's scratch #3 MELANISTIC, #5 LOVE TALE and #10 MIA ISABEL.

Here's hoping that a drop in class is just what the doctor ordered for #4 CANDY TROPHY, a filly that has won both of her prior attempts in selling events.  Recently, she hasn't shown the tactical speed she displayed during a solid 2012 campaign, but there should be some pace for her to attack in this spot.  Trainer Ted West is only 1-34 over the past two years with turf performers so Candy Trophy will have to overcome that alarming trend.  Still, she has run past races that are good enough to win against today's competition, has shown an affinity for this turf course and will make the important third start of the form cycle.

There may be some distance concerns with #7 TRIBALICIOUS, a mare that is making her first start around two turns at the ripe old age of six, but she could have the best early speed as she stretches out 2 1/2 furlongs.  Unfortunately for the gray mare, #6 ROSSI RESERVE also has pace and they could go a good clip heading into the backstretch. Tribalicious' pedigree doesn't scream routing (she does have one half-sibling that scored at this trip) and she tired very badly going down the hill two back at Santa Anita. On the positive side, she did perform decently at this level three back, shows quick works and could be rounding into her best form in her fourth start following an elongated layoff.  She hasn't won a race since 2010, however.  If you believe she can make the front and back down the fractions, she isn't out of this.

#8 SMART STRIKING is extremely logical following a win against similar company over this course on May 12.  She also boasts a running style that would benefit if Tribalicious and Rossi Reserve throw it down coming out of the gate. Although she did beat a couple of these last time out, it's worth noting that she was 20-1 that day and was breaking a 14-race losing streak that dated back to July 29, 2010.  She'll take way more money this time around and it will be very interesting to see if she is good enough to go back-to-back. 

#1 ROMANTIC WISH has yet to run back to that 85 Beyer that she earned in her North American debut over a year ago and she needed a picture-perfect trip to earn her only stateside turf victory.  Trainer Eddie Truman doesn't claim many horses, but he has an acceptable record with newly-purchased runners (3-17 over the past five years, 1-2 in turf routes). Romantic Wish worked a bullet at Santa Anita eight days ago and figures to be rallying strongly under Joe Talamo.

#2 PRETTYPRICEGIRL hasn't improved since being claimed away from Julio Canani as she's been well-beaten in three starts for Gary Sherlock.  She does have some tactical speed and may work out a decent trip behind a moderate-to-fast pace.  Prettypriceygirl shouldn't have a problem with this distance, but must improve from her recent efforts.

#9 LILLY'S PERFECT can certainly win as she switches to Bejarano following the Kristin Mulhall claim.  She exits a good $20,000 claimer on the Hollywood cushion track, runs well fresh, and looks to have the right running style for this race.  A very consistent mare, Lilly's Perfect has been on the board in seven of her last eight races and wouldn't be a surprise returning to turf.

#6 ROSSI RESERVE steps up in class after being claimed for $8,000 by Javier Sierra on May 31.  A seven-time winner on dirt, Rossi Reserve is questionable on grass and is only 1-8 routing in her career.  She has speed, but the presence of Tribalicious makes it very tough for her to establish and easy early advantage. 

Here's how I'll HandiGamble:

$50 WIN - CANDY TROPHY (4)
$15 EXACTA BOX - CANDY TROPHY/SMART STRIKING (4/8)
$10 EXACTA - TRIBALICIOUS/CANDY TROPHY (7/4)
$10 EXACTA - ROMANTIC WISH/CANDY TROPHY (1/4)

Best of luck to all.

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The graded stakes video analysis should be up on the website by this evening.

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

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You can follow me on Twitter at DRF_DanIllman.