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.

rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas and sharpOkie Reason #2,100,000 for a male horse losing a race. Reverse ED stuckinarizona
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DavidM9999 and SR Vegas, This "studdish" thing is interesting but, in truth, I am only a partial witness to events. As I posted before, I saw Animal Kingdom in the pre-parade ring (about 40 minutes before the race). He seemed fine to me, although his young handler, presumably under instruction, seemed reluctant to walk the horse the full circumference of the pre parade ring. Instead she kept taking a short cut across the width of the ring, much to the annoyance of myself and those around me. When she did eventually bring him to our end so to speak, he was still calm and impressive in his appearance and demeanour. By this time the race was getting closer and I decided that I didn't have time to see the horses in the main parade ring. By the time I had made my bets and found a suitable viewing spot, the horses were on their way to the post, with Animal Kingdom the sole horse being ponied down. It was at this time that I thought I saw signs of edginess with Animal Kingdom breaking away slightly from his pony. But I saw nothing of a sexual nature, and nothing that gave me any concerns in general. That said, I have no reason to doubt Mr Irwin. He is presumably experienced in such matters. However, I think he is looking for unnecessary excuses. The Owner deserves great praise for trying something audacious but, at the end of the day, he was almost certainly running in the wrong race. A Belmont winner???, instead of trying the Prince of Wales over 10 furlongs, tries a Mile, and to make it just a little more unusual, he breaks new ground by choosing a straight mile??? Brave but......please fill in your own words. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Note to DRF: I hate the new consensus page format. On the screen, the three picks alternate on white and gray background to provide separation. But, when printed, they all run together. ICK Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stuckinarizona, Yes, Bernard has been teaching us to speak British for quite some time now. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, Aha! Animal Kingdom surely had heard all the talk about Australia and fillies and just wanted to get on with it. :) Annie
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Tosh, means, ridiculous, stupid, etc, etc.......aload of Tosh... David, SR, read that too, I will quote the line, "got the whiff of female hormones" in the paddock.... Now I have the perfect reason I lost the mile in my final year at high school in England, if only the starter was male, instead of that bewitching apparition with the starting pistol.. thats my excuse anyhow...........
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
Bernard, Today's learning something new award to you. I had never seen the word TOSH. It will join my short list of favorites. STUCKINARIZONA
Penguin ymous More than 1 year ago
Turfruler Thanks, I'll be checking that site out today. RonZ
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Hi Bernard Glad you enjoyed your Day at Ascot. Regarding Animal Kingdom , Barry Irwin commented on why he thought AK didn't run his race. He became anxious just before being turned into the saddling stall. Apparently his mind was elsewhere and he became a bit 'agitated , and showed off his...ummm, self. See the attached link. His comments are on page 14 http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/restricted/pdf/tdn/tdn130619_1.pdf?CFID=82193948&CFTOKEN=53626441 This wasn't on the list of 'excuses' that okiesharp (?) had given us previously :) and I didn't see any mention of this in any other articles. Hmmmm ? SR Vegas
Rodney More than 1 year ago
big reputation equals big bust !! think I'll have that beer and whisky chaser right now....back to the drawing board. Animals not machines. Btw...the going has changed to fast from good, they do water overnight in England, before you make any picks, make sure, if it really dries, specialist horses come into play, as aquaplaners do here in the States. We shall see, the Irish are having a great R/A James Doyle had never had a winner at R/A before, rode three today, thats racing. Onward and upward......