08/05/2010 1:48PM

HandiGambling The Latham


Today's HandiGambling 197 exercise is the ninth race from Saratoga, the $70,000 Latham Stakes for three-year-olds going 5 1/2 furlongs on the 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 to the blog. Past performances are available on the previous blog post. 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 FIRM.

Let's scratch #10 THAT'STHEQUESTION.

I'm going to go three deep in my multi-race wagers while trying to defeat the morning line favorites.

#1 DAZZLED SAINT certainly deserves a chance at the big time after going gate-to-wire in three fast sprints over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs. The sire, Saint Afleet, was a Grade 2 sprint winner on the main track, but was 0-2 on grass. He is 0-3 with first-turf runners. The dam won 11 times in her career, but she was 0-2 on the turf. This is her first foal to try the sod. I have to admit that I'm concerned about the lack of turf pedigree as well as the other early speeds in the race and one has to wonder what exactly he's been beating up on in Pennsylvania (the third-finisher last time returned to finish second in the Ontario County Stakes at Finger Lakes with a 92 Beyer).
While there are some negatives, you can't deny that the horse is in sharp form and should offer a good price. Garrett Gomez likely will send and hope for the best. I'll hope for the best as well.

#2 NEVER CONTENT pulled off a 20-1 shocker in his turf debut at Belmont on May 10, but he looked good that day, going right to the front and blitzing the field in 1:07 4/5 for six furlongs. He had some trouble last time out at Monmouth Park, shows a 58 bullet work over the turf in preparation for this, and may attempt to work out a pace-tracking, ground-saving trip under Javier Castellano.

#6 DON'T SAY NO could possibly be the "speed of the speed." He'll be tested for class shipping up from Calder for Steven Dimauro (high-percentage in turf sprints), but the third-place finisher of the last race returned to win on grass with an 84 Beyer in an entry-level optional claimer. Don't Say No should be prominent early. With only three races on his form, it's possible that we've yet to see his best.

As for the others.

#3 WESTOVER WILDCAT is a stakes-winner on dirt, but hasn't raced since January due to a reported injury to his right front foot. Perhaps the grass will be easier on his hooves and he has some turf bloodlines. The sire, unraced on grass, is 37-316 (12%) with first-turf runners. Both sire and dam were unraced on grass, but both possess class. Westover Wildcat has been working swiftly for this and his good tactical speed should serve him well in this spot. I'm just not sure he's a great bet coming off an injury-induced layoff while trying something for the first time.

#4 RED RALLY makes the third start of the form cycle after popping and stopping on dirt at Indiana Downs. He's won on grass in the past and may revert to the stalking style that's worked well for him in his career. He's run some fast races on dirt, but needs to improve on his 2010 form to run these down.

#5 BRIDGETOWN, a Grade 3 winner going a one-turn mile on turf at Woodbine last year, almost stole the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in 2009 before failing as the beaten favorite in the Grade 3 Generous at Hollywood Park. He was a course and distance winner of his maiden in 2009 and shows very fast workouts for his 2010 debut, but this is a long, long layoff he'll have to deal with.

#7 ESCROW KID was disqualified from first in the Anderson Fowler Stakes for three-year-olds two starts back and then had a tough trip against good older runners in the Grade 3 Jaipur last time out. He's an interesting runner that should be moving well at the end of the race. Beyer fans will note that he hasn't run a "fast" race yet, but the race dynamics work to his favor.

#8 FLAMIN' HOT should be heard from in the Latham. He is a perfect 4-4 on the grass and may have found six furlongs a bit too far when run down in the waning strides of the Tom Ridge Stakes over Tapeta two starts back. Like Escrow Kid, he should get a good pace to attack, but Im' not too keen on the 25-day gap between the last two published workouts.

#9 ENUMERATE may have found his niche as a turf sprinter as he ran down 'n2x' optional claimers in his grass debut at Monmouth on July 4. He'll likely have to run faster here, but you're going to get a good price on an in-form runner with excellent connections.

I'll play it this way for HG.

$100 Win - Dazzling Saint (1)

Best of luck to all.

Anonymous Ron Z More than 1 year ago
Been playing around with this chami.com. At my age it is always inspirational to learn something new, but as my Aunt used to tell me, "Don't fix it if it ain't broke." knm, I am in the process of moving and was discarding some old DRF's from BC 1991 and the page fell open to the distaff and I had circled a lot of comments, Jim Day, the trainer of Dance Smartly and I believe the winner that year, made the comment that he much prefers training older fillies and mares to older full horses, because the mares are more honest. Try harder, more consistent. The horses have learned to loaf and do not always put out their best. My memory of the article tells me he was training for Sam Son Farms at the time. van savant? I watched the replay of DMR's first race. I agree. The #3 who was fouled was being passed by both the #2 and #5. This was a case where I believe it did not change the outcome of the race, but the rider could be fined or given days. The problem is the public's perception if the stewards do nothing. Haven't looked at Saturday's form yet, but the entries and my DRF watch list says it could be a good day! Good luck to all. "ACCORDING" to "SHERBETS" it is a for shure bet I will be wagering tomorrow!
Anonymous Ron Z More than 1 year ago
Untitled Chami.com seems to be over my head New paragraph new paragraph We'll see "Oglesby" lived from "1756-1819". I wish sometimes things were still that simple.
Anonymous/Curt A.V. More than 1 year ago
Nancyb,>>>>Re: new comments ? Yeah ! This has been brought up several times by Moi.......>> It seems lately the new site is coming up defaulted w/"Oldest First". It should come up w/what was last utilized. However it doesn't. It changes w/ the wind. It has an evil mind of its own. I believe if you check that out, & change that setting to "Newest First">> BEFORE, I REPEAT, BEFORE you embark on your endeavor, to navigate this kockamamie joint, you should be OKAY.......Go SLEWSTERS..They're all over the place..today & every day>>>>>>>>>>>Hey Fisherman ?>> Have you figured out my logic problem humor from the last post, or do I need to get you a "Humor Translator" ? Hehn ?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>reCaptcha 4 today is : "80 fourscore" ? Just like this site....formatted by Abe Lincoln ?????????
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
Whoops, took a couple days off and missed HG! I thought we were cancelling this week or doing a weekend race!?!? My bad, i shoudl have paid better attention. Anyway it seems that some of the kinks are getting worked out with the blog and maybe we can get back to some semblance of normal soon. Paragraph breaks would be REALLY nice especially for HG entries! Hint, Hint..... Also, if when we switch to the next set of comments the page opens right at the comments section instead of having to scroll thru Dan's article again............and again..................and again................
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Dan, I'm surprised that I wasn't able to copy & paste a link on to your Blog ( I was able to do this in the past on the other formatt) ..just a check, but if anyone is able to access the race results from THAT I AM, or the YouTube video of The Zenyatta song (by clicking on the link) that I posted.. please let me know. I'll appreciate it. ...This IT tech stuff is new to me, and I'm learning with baby steps....
not verified More than 1 year ago
After reading Annie's last post I have decieded to say what I have heard many who are smarter than me say before me. Enough of this baloney, I am out of here!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- But before I go I would like to tell Steve Taylor Good Luck with your That I Am today, he looks like he has a good shot , I hope there is someone in here to put a little presure on # 7 Campo. Your horse has the best closing all-weather # of any in the race. I also think #3 Ship's Cabin can be a decent price in here............................................. So I will be playing TIA to win and and exacta 13/137, Good luck and don't worry my $20.00 will not tilt the pools.
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Del Mar, Race #7 – 8/6/10 (The Sorrento Stakes, Grade III) I handicapped this race last night and really was looking hard at trying to find a way to beat A Z WARRIOR (#3), and about the only thing I could come up with was hoping for a speed duel between FINAL MESA (#6) and him to set this race up for a fast-closing ISHELEGAL (#4). But after seeing the morning line for this race, I have to wonder if I could get 2/1 on A Z WARRIOR (#3), because I might take that. The more I look at this race, the more certain I am that he will simply run the field off their feet and win this handily. Is there more speed in here than I am seeing? What am I missing? Thoughts anyone? Uncle Steve? Buehler? Buehler? CAPTCHA word are "chirrups" and "sharing" Again...how does it know :)
Head Honcho More than 1 year ago
NOTICE TO FORMBLOGGERS: Stop playing with the Captcha words! They are not meant to be funny.
Mickey More than 1 year ago
Until this site is working better..isn't there another site we can borrow/use? Laura...does the chat room have anything available?
Anonymous/Uh Oh ! More than 1 year ago
Hey Fisherman, >>>>>Been listening to some of this ?>>>If QR aint as good as Summer Bird, then by DEFAULT, I guess it's Rachel by 10 in the Classic.....& Z, 2nd, 4 behind Rachel..? Something like that....LOL.........>>>>>>>>>>>Which then leads me to my Spanish re Captcha::::or is it an acronym ? HOY Rachel.............>>>or my Italian reCaptcha::::::::::;;;;;::::::Likea da'Slewsterini...........Hey Fisherman, Did you ever get caught sneaking bread inside the pot for a little taste, when UR grandma was making the Gravy ? Atsa gooda...........Say Goodnight Gracie.........Goodnight..............Guess who this is........1st 17 guesses don't count........maybe 18 ?.............>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>having fun BSB...& I don't partake in the art of Imbibing either........Hey Mike A ? I know you got caught quite a few times sneaking a taste w/the Tallie Bread..........? No ?.............