02/18/2010 3:52PM

HG 173, Derby Futures, Work Tab

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Today's HandiGambling 173 exercise is the eighth race from Santa Anita, a $32,000 maiden claimer for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the Pro-Ride racing surface.

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,

As of this writing, there are no scratches.

Not much form in this bottom-level maiden claimer and it's not a race I'm planning on playing very seriously.  In my multi-race wagers, I'm going to focus on three contenders.

PRESS THE POINT (#1) makes the two sprints to a route move in the third start of the form cycle and the addition of blinkers may get her into the race a bit quicker. By the long-winded dual classic winner Point Given, Press the Point is a half-sister to Appearance Fee, a multiple stakes-winner at 1 1/16 miles at Hastings Park.  This pedigree indicates that Press the Point will appreciate the added distance, and she may work out a nice trip saving valuable ground behind a solid pace.  The main negative is that trainer Paul Aguirre is 1-30 over the past year with synthetic starters.

LED ADVANTAGE (#9) is very logical off two close in-the-money finishes going a route of ground.  She has a bad habit of breaking poorly, and that always puts her behind the eight ball, but the presence of several stretch out sprinters should set the race up for a stalker or closer.  Led Advantage finished three lengths ahead of Moonskipper on December 18, and that one beat Press the Point by three and one-half lengths on January 31.  She looks like the horse to beat as of the seven runners to run after the December 18 race, one finished first (in a $20,000 maiden claimer) while four others hit the board.  Still, she's going to be bet (she's the morning line favorite) and will have to go long off a two-month freshening. 
Bruno De Julio, the workout maestro for Today's Racing Digest (available on drf.com) noted that Led Advantage "finished in hand here with company" on January 24. 

THIS TIME BABY (#4) stretches out for the first time and may work out a pace-pressing trip outside possible pacesetter NOTWITHSTANDING (#3).  This pedigree seems geared more to speed than true stamina, but This Time Baby should be legged up after starting the form cycle with three sprints. 

As for the others:

DIAMONDS WILD (#2) could certainly win this.  She has plenty of angles in her favor as she stretches out off two sprints while dropping into a maiden claimer for the first time.  She also switches to Garrett Gomez.  This is the biggest drop in the game so expect improvement from this daughter of Grade 3 route winner Keys to the Heart.

LISA LULU (#6) makes her ninth start in the maiden ranks, but she's run consistent Beyers in her last few races, chased a heavily-favored winner eight days ago, and wouldn't be the most shocking upsetter in the world.  She hasn't shown much of a stretch punch in her career and may be best played on the bottom of exotic wagers.

MIMI'S COMMAND (#10) shook loose going 1 1/16 miles against similar company last time out, but came up empty when the real running began.  With stretch out sprinters drawn to her inside, she may have to rate while wide.  This is the third start of the form cycle with a bullet workout and improving Beyers on display, but she has yet to gain ground from the stretch call to the wire.

POCATELLO WILD CAT (#7) has hit the board in three straight races so it's interesting that the barn decides to remove the blinkers for this assignment.  She finished ahead of two of the rivals she'll meet again this afternoon, and should be running late under Mike Smith. 

Notwithstanding may be the speed after pressing solid fractions in her three sprint starts to date.  The dam's only win came going long, but the feeling is that Notwithstanding will face some pressure down the backstretch that could compromise her finishing kick.

XINA (#8) is out of a dam that ran third in the nine-furlong San Gorgonio Handicap on the main track so there is some hope that this lightly-raced filly can get the additional distance.  She just hasn't shown much to date and needs to improve.

HARVEY'SHALLOFSHAME (#5) has been sent off at odds between 48-1 and 170-1 in all five starts to date and her Beyers pale in comparison to those of the top contenders.

I'll play it like this for the HG:

$100 Win - Press the Point (1)

Best of luck to all.

***

Rachel Alexandra worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 this morning at Fair Grounds under exercise rider Dominic Terry.  The defending Horse of the Year worked through fractions of 12, 23.80, 35.60, and 47.60, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.40.  It was the second-fastest of nineteen workouts at the five-furlong distance this morning.

"The racetrack was wet last week, and a little slow, and we were being careful," trainer Steve Asmussen told the Fair Grounds Publicity Department.  "I thought she was overly aggressive today, a little quick, so hopefully we'll level off.  I think with not letting her do too much last week made her very keen.  I think she wants to be in a rhythm.  Hopefully the weather will be as good as it was this morning and fairly consistent, and then I think we'll be exactly where we want to be." 

***

Here are the latest Kentucky Derby Future Odds from Lucky's Las Vegas:

Download Kentucky Derby Updated 0217

***

On the work tab:

*Alpha Kitten - 2/14/10 - HOL - 6F - 1:11.20
Last race a win in the Santa Ynez Stakes on January 17, 2009, she has missed time with a non-displaced condylar fracture in the cannon bone of the right foreleg (surgery to insert screws)

*Believe in Hope - 2/18/10 - HOL - 4F - 47.60H
Last race a third in the Norfolk Stakes on September 28, 2008.  He originally missed time with a virus.

*Bob Black Jack - 2/14/10 - HOL - 6F - 1:11.40H
Last race a win in the Malibu on December 26, 2008.  He was sidelined with a leg injury and is entered in Saturday's San Carlos at Santa Anita.

*Bold Hawk - 2/12/10 - PMM turf (dogs) - 3F - 40.00B
Last race a third in the Hollywood Derby on November 25, 2007.  He missed time after undergoing surgery on a suspensory ligament.

*Brass Hat - 2/16/10 - GP - 4F - 49.75B
Last race a second in the Stars N Stripes on September 7, 2009.  He's returning from a splint injury.

*Bulldogger - 2/15/10 - SA - 6F - 1:11.00HG
Last race a debut win in a maiden special weight on August 29, 2009.  He's recovered from sore shins.

*Bulls and Bears - 2/12/10 - PMM - 5F - 1:02.00B
Last race a fifth in the Sanford Stakes on July 30, 2009.  He got sick after that race.

*Comedero - 2/16/10 - FG - 4F - 47.80B
Last race an eleventh in the Springboard Mile on December 13, 2009.  He was injured in the starting gate earlier in the Fair Grounds meet. 

*Compari - 2/17/10 - SA turf (dogs) - 6F - 1:16.00H
Last race a win in the Sensational Star on January 1, 2010.  He's missed time with an upper respiratory infection.

*Dame Ellen - 2/15/10 - PMM - 4F - 49.90B
Last race a win in the Perfect Sting on June 26, 2009.  She's returning from a bruised left foot.

*Danger to Society - 2/14/10 - GP - 5F - 1:03.60B
Last race a ninth in the Arkansas Derby on April 11, 2009, he suffered bruised cannon bones, and finished fifth in an allowance race this afternoon at Gulfstream Park.

*Dublin - 2/17/10 - OP - 4F - 48.20B
Last race a seventh in the Iroquois on November 1, 2009, he had surgery to repair an entrapped epiglottis, and will return in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn on February 20.

*Fitz Just Right - 2/17/10 - PMM - 4F - 51.90B
Last race a second in the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway on March 21, 2009.  She had surgery to remove chips from her right front ankle.

*Galayo - 2/17/10 - HOL - 3F - 37.00H
Last race a third in a maiden special weight on December 14, 2008, he was sidelined due to what trainer John Shirreffs termed "a minor thing."

*Heartless Vixen - 2/18/10 - HOL - 5F - 1;01.20H
Last race a win in an entry-level allowance on March 5, 2009, she suffered from blood clotting in a bone.

*Hold Me Back - 2/14/10 - PAY - 7F - 1:29.80B
Last race a sixth in the Kentucky Cup Classic on September 26, 2009, he is returning from a lung infection.

*Hull - 2/14/10 - FG - 4F - 49.40B
Last race a fourth in the Woody Stephens on June 6, 2009, he is returning from bone bruising.

*Kelly Leak - 2/18/10 - SA - 5F - 1:00.60H
Last race a sixth in the Oklahoma Derby on October 11, 2009, he is coming back from a bleeding incident and an illness.

*Life at Ten - 2/12/10 - BEL training - 5F - 1:01.62B
Last race a win in the Snit on December 12, 2010, she is scheduled to return from a quarter crack issue in Saturday's Rare Treat at Aqueduct.

*Lookin At Lucky - 2/14/10 - SA - 4F - 48.20H
Last race a win in the CashCall Futurity on December 19, 2009, he has suffered from a skin disease and a temperature, but will likely return in the San Felipe on March 13.

*Loup Breton - 2/15/10 - SA - 5F - 1:01.80H
Last race a win in the San Marcos on January 24, 2010, he came back stiff with cuts on his legs.

*Maximus Ruler - 2/14/10 - FG - 5F - 1:02.60B
Last race a second in the LeComte on January 23, he suffered a bruised right hind foot.

*Miss Charm City - 2/15/10 - LRL - 5F - 1:01.20H
Last race a win in the Maryland Million Lassie, she missed time with a suspensory injury to her right front foot.

*Monterey Jazz - 2/14/10 - HOL - 3F - 35.20B
Last race a seventh in the Oak Tree Mile on October 10, 2009, he is returning from an undisclosed injury.

*Mr. Fantasy - 2/18/10 - PMM - 5F - 1:02.80B
Last race a win in the Withers on April 25, 2009, he was originally diagnosed with a temperature.

*Nicanor - 2/15/10 - PMM - 5F - 1:01.20H
Last race an entry-level allowance win on June 17, 2009, he is returning from a hind end injury as well as bruised fetlocks.

*Our Dark Knight - 2/13/10 - PMM - 4F - 47.30H
Last race a second in a maiden special weight on August 29, 2009, he is returning from a hind end issue.

*Palanka City - 2/11/10 - OP - 5F - 59.80B
Last race a win in the Carousel on March 28, 2009, she is returning from a career-threatening cannon bone fracture, and is expected to compete in the Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn on February 20.

*Pulsion - 2/16/10 - GP - 5F - 59.75H
Last race an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on November 7, 2009, he missed time after being cut up in behind and suffering from mucus in his lungs.  He is expected to start in Saturday's Fountain of Youth.

*Roaring Lion - 2/18/10 - BEL training - 4F - 49.99B
Last race a third in the Valley Forge on December 8, 2009, he is recovering from a stone bruise.

*Rush With Thunder - 2/18/10 - SA - 3F - 37.60B
Last race a second in the Triple Bend on July 5, 2009, he missed time with an undisclosed injury.

*She'll Be Doggone - 2/13/10 - AQU inner - 5F - 1:03.21B
Last race a win in a maiden special weight on November 15, 2009, she is likely to return from a left foreleg injury tomorrow afternoon at Aqueduct.

*Silver City - 2/18/10 - FG - 5F - 58.80B
Last race a fifth in the Derby Trial on April 25, 2009, he is recovering from a suspensory injury.

*Smokey Lonesome - 2/16/10 - HOL - 4F - 48.00H
Last race a second in the La Puente on April 11, 2009, she suffered from a hind-end injury.

*Smooth Air - 2/14/10 - CRC - 4F - 50.00B
Last race a sixth in the Whitney on August 8, 2009, he suffered a bruised left front foot, and a hairline fracture to his pelvis.

*Soaring Empire - 2/14/10 - PMM - 5F - 1:01.80H
Last race a third in the Iroquois on November 1, 2009, he suffered from body soreness.

*The Usual Q. T. -  2/17/10 - SA turf (dogs) - 6F - 1:18.40H
Last race at ninth in the Sunshine Millions Classic on January 30, 2010, he bled in that race and will be re-routed to the Frank Kilroe Mile on March 6.

*Thomas Got Even - 2/13/10 - PMM - 5F - 1:01.00H
Last race a win in a maiden special weight on September 11, 2009, he is recovering from sore shins and a temperature.

*Utterly Cool - 2/15/10 - FG - 4F - 48.80B
Last race a win in the Cup and Saucer on October 26, 2008, he underwent surgery to insert two screws in an ankle.

*Well Monied - 2/16/10 - SA - 4F - 47.80H
Last race a third in the Del Mar Oaks on August 22, 2009, she has missed time with a lung infection.

*Witty - 2/14/10 - SA - 4F - 49.20H
Last race a first in the Railbird on May 10, 2009, she is expected to return this afternoon at Santa Anita following a sickness and surgery to remove bone chips from an ankle.

***

More next time.

Dan