12/23/2009 2:23PM

HG 165 (Turf Paradise)


This week's HandiGambling 165 exercise is the sixth race from Turf Paradise, an allowance race for non-winners of three races lifetime at six furlongs on the main track. 

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.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. 

Past performances are available on the previous blog entry.

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.

I landed on three top contenders that I would use in multi-race wagers.  For the HandiGambling, I don't think I'm going to get too clever.

I wonder if Such a Shame (#6) is simply better than these.  He was competitive in maiden races in Southern California, but has really come into his own at Turf Paradise with a pair of runaway victories.  Last time out, he came within two-fifths of the track record for 6 1/2 furlongs and two horses came out of that race to win. 
There may be a reason to tread lightly with Such a Shame, however.  He was listed as a vet scratch on December 5, and may face some pace pressure in this spot.

What does one do with Clean Hit (#4)?  After winning his first two starts as a juvenile, it looked like this Arizona-bred was on his way to bigger and better things.  No less than four of the rivals he beat in the Arizona Breeders' Futurity returned to win including runner-up Hidden Bounty, a stakes-winner in each of his next two races by a combined 13 3/4 lengths.  But Clean Hit hasn't raced since that start on November 29, 2008, and one has to assume that the gelding has suffered from physical problems.  Will he be ready to fire fresh?  What price does one take on this kind of horse?  Both fascinating questions.

Trip the General (#7) may benefit from a hot pace up front, and has successfully utilized the route to sprint move in the past.  Unfortunately, that win was his last - on April 27, 2008 - and he has been mired in a 15-race losing streak.  He earned a nice figure last time out, but he was under the whip 3 furlongs for home, was late to make his final lead change, and just didn't finish with enough oomph.  Given the right setup, he can win this race, but he may be best played on the bottom of exotics. 

As for the rest:

Vindgari (#1) just hasn't panned out.  A $725,000 RNA at the 2006 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the half-brother to Grade 1 winner Geri and Grade 2 winner A.P. Arrow, was exiled to Canada from Todd Pletcher's barn after only two races.  He ran well in the slop last time out and will make the third start of the form cycle this afternoon, but he may be a need-the-lead type, and there are other speeds in the race.

Marozi (#2), a $250,000 yearling purchase way back in 2005, hasn't raced in over two years, but adds Lasix for the first time, and it's very hard to discount anything from the Mike Chambers barn.  Over the last five years, Chambers-trained horses off at least a one-year layoff have won five of 13 starts (36%) with a $3.57 ROI.  Marozi was owned by Sheikh Mohammed while racing in Europe so this looks like a private purchase.  He's never raced on dirt, but did win his maiden over the Lingfield polytrack.  Like many European invaders, he may be slow leaving the gate.

Quintons Speedy (#3) is an intriguing longshot.  As a late-kicker, he may have the right running style for this race, and he'll now make the third start off a five-month layoff.  I'm expecting him to pick up some of the pieces with a good stretch run.

Destinys Roar (#5) exits a solid 'n1x' allowance race, and he may be a sneaky outsider to watch at 15-1 on the morning line.  The winner of that December 5 heat, Maltese Tiger, returned to Beyer 77 when a runner-up in a $20,000 'n2x' optional claimer while the runner-up, Media City, came back to win yesterday afternoon.  Destinys Roar has some tactical speed, and is not without a chance from off the pace.

Both of Hug This Chullo's (#8) victories have come in claiming races, and the gelding failed to stay a mile at this level last time out.  He may have to rate from off the pace in this spot, and both of his wins have come in gate-to-wire fashion.

Heavenly Wind (#9) is the proverbial "could be any kind" of horse. A perfect 2-2, Heavenly Wind has shown good tactical speed, and may work out a nice outside stalking trip.  He's a logical contender, and is certainly capable of the Beyer boost needed to win this heat.

Jack Flash (#10) had no excuse last time out at a mile as he was loose on the lead only to fall shore in the stretch.  His most recent win came in a conditoned $5,000 claimer at Fairplex around two turns, and his recent Beyers are light.

Uncanny Yodel (#11) adds blinkers, and his only two lifetime wins came with the blinks.  He has had trouble leaving the gate in his last two races, and the 2-41 record while competing primarily at Hastings Park is disconcerting.  He hasn't won since October 28, 2007, and is 0-29 on dry surfaces.

An interesting race.  I'll use my three top contenders in multi-race wagers, and will play the HandiGambling as follows:

$40 Win - Such a Shame (#6)
$10 Exacta Box - Clean Hit, Such a Shame, Trip the General (4,6,7)

Best of luck to all.

Next time, I'll get to poster comments, pp requests, and more. 

Happy Holidays!

mickey More than 1 year ago
I watched the eclypse awards last night, and as a former owner, found the industry to be in as bad a condition as ever. the few " blue blood" owners that were at these awards, last night, are a sham. the real racing owners do not make any money, and wind up selling the horses for almost nothing. many of which, still go to the slaughter house. the industry is riddled with dishonest trainors, and veterinarians. i raced in new york, and found the only ones that make money is tghe trainors, jockeys, and vets.these phony, blue bloods, are actually a blemish on the industry, not an asset. those awards are nothing more than patting themselves on the back. it's a shame that you reporters do not show the racing business for what it really is.
angman More than 1 year ago
Thanks Dan for the lengthy reply (Kettle River) I was there for the mud debut at the spa, I spoke with Eion beofre the race and it was his concern of the dirt in Kettles face,they were expecting a better break and was a need to break well for a victory..when he made the run he was clear of kickback and then flattened when he got behind horses again. I have tracked his every move since, after his 4 month vacation and a return to the races at hollywood,he was right back on the work tab, which was a great sign the race took little out of him,he worked great weekly and didnt miss a beat.Well after last weeks win after 4 eeks off, i was curious to see if he jumped right back to the solid works he shown leading up to this past race.Well my stable mail alerted me today he worked in 48.20 at santa anita..Im becoming a beleiver more and more, and since i owe him big time rather then him owe me, i think a nice future wager is in my very near future..he was listed at 225-1 and not sure what he is now.Thanks again, Angman
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Katieattherail I hope you are sitting down-everything you said about Leslie Mawing is true-except one, important trait-Leslie Mawing is ah-a Blue Boxer. In other words, male person. Jamaican, I'm pretty sure. But very sure about his masculinity.
Dick W More than 1 year ago
Katieattherail While I agree with you that Leslie Mawing is a good jockey, I believe that she is a he. I had also thought that he was female (I think because of the name) but I looked up an article about the injuries he sustained in April and they did indeed refer to him as he. Maybe someone who is more familiar with the jockey coloney at GG can confirm Leslie's gender. Dick W
billg More than 1 year ago
Blackstone, For future reference, I think I've written on this angle before, but it is usually very profitable at Colonial to bet the same horses in the VA Derby that ran in the Colonial turf Cup. I beleive Mott and Pletcher sent new shooters in the VA Derby that received alot of support leaving STRAIGHT STORY, BOH, AND TAKE THE PTS (the top 3 finishers in the ColTfCup) at respectable odds. Sometimes the turf course at colonial can be quirky and some horses may need a race over it. The tri this year with the top 3 finishers in the Colonial paid over $200 for a buck in the VA DERBY. If i had been brave and added LIME RICKEY in a super that would have been worth nearly $2k! So in a nutshell using the same horses who have had a first run on the Colonial turf track can be profitable 2nd time around. The same 4 horses ran 1-4 in both races this year and has been a postive angle in prior years.
blackstone More than 1 year ago
knm Haven't looked yet, but will later today,-did your angle hit? And yes, I will make the angle list available to all. I have most of it copied, but want to go back through all the threads from the 13th on to make sure I have them all. Then I'll organize them by type of angle (with each person's name attached), then find out from my eight year old grandson how to get it best on the computer for everyone to see and copy. The eight year olds know best, you know!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
12/28 MKB workouts Fairgrounds (dirt/fast) Wordly- 5F 1:02.60 Breezing - Kelley Belles Palm Meadows (dirt/fast) Interactif- 3F 0:37.20 Breezing - Kevin S Fly Down- 4F 0:49.60 - Ron Zuercher Gulfstream Park (dirt/fast) William's Kitten - 5F 1:01.60 Breezing - Dominic Riccio Katieattherail: I see your "Crush" horse Denis of Cork was also breezing at Farigrounds 5F 1:02.20 ...maybe coming back soon? SR Vegas
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
blackstone ..read your email..LOL! SR Vegas
Laura More than 1 year ago
Everyone, Welcome to the new 2010 Triple Crown page at Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds! Steve T. wrote a nice article on So. Cal. two year olds to watch. I've included a calendar of prep races and will be adding to it in January when more race schedules are available. Pedigree analysis of the contenders will be posted soon, so keep checking! Steve T.'s Santa Anita handicapping picks for today are available. Also, if you prefer to stay home (or are snowed in) on N.Y. Eve, join us in the chat room! We can review the first three year old races of the year (Count Fleet at Aqueduct, Preview at Turfway and Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream) and have the usual formblogger good time. Chat will start around 9:30 PM and end when we pull the last partygoer off the chandelier and send them home, sans the crystal tiara. Check it all out at: http://www.ironmaidensthoroughbreds.com/ Laura
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Captain Bodgit Nice hit on the San Gabriel. I had Proudinsky, both on top and back-doubled to the chalk in the 6th, but I just didn't believe enough in Loup. Good call. S R Vegas By your silence I gather you didn't hit on the Malibu outside speed angle on M One Rifle ? Need I remind you that last Tuesday you sent me a note proclaiming your conviction to that angle for the Malibu? Hmmm. Really, though, S R, most times, for me, the first instinct is the best of all. So, on Keith's List for 2010-stick to first instinct's? It's really hard to do, and I'm not sure it's completely correct-further, it's a hard thing to chart and keep track of. I don't know, I'm still fumbling around with the thought. Keith L Good idea for 2010-I have lots of things to improve on, but which ones first? I'll think about it some.