05/05/2010 2:30PM

HG 184


Today's HandiGambling 184 exercise is the ninth race from Belmont Park, a $35,000 claiming event for fillies and mares at six furlongs over the inner turf course. 

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 entry.  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 rated as GOOD and there are no changes.

In my late Pick 4, I'm going to spread four deep with these contenders:

#7 DIAMOND DINA has some questions to answer as the favorite.  She hasn't raced since February, is dropping in claiming price following a victory, shows several gaps on her work tab, and is unproven in a turf sprint (finished last in only previous turf sprint on October 13, 2008). 
She beat a pair of next-out winners in that February 20 race at Gulfstream (third-finisher Granted Tiger came back to beat entry-level allowance runners with an 86 Beyer, then finished only two and change behind recent Grade 3 winner Dynaslew in a 'n2x,' and then finished third in a statebred stakes on grass at Gulfstream), and the expected hot pace should work to her favor.  With Richard Dutrow Jr. calling the shots, one has to be leery about letting this mare beat you in multi-race wagers. 

#3 MYAKKA is trained by the Queen of the Turf Sprints, Linda Rice.  She looked very good dusting off a pair of next-out winners going five panels at Gulfstream in February before faltering around two turns off a short layoff last time out.  She looms the speed of the speed, but there is a possibility that she will face pressure in the first quarter.  Expect her to be prominent when they swing into the stretch on the cutback in distance.

#9 SILVERCUP BABY has yet to place in three turf starts, but I've been following her since she finished a solid fourth going seven on the Widener on May 31, 2009.  That day, she broke beautifully, but was wrangled back to stalk the pace by Cornelio Velasquez.  Once clear in the stretch, she made up some late ground.  In her only subsequent turf outing, she caught yielding footing so there's somewhat of an excuse there as well.  A multiple stakes-winner on dirt, she classes up nicely here and can threaten from off the pace. 

#8 DESERT FLIGHT is one I'll use as a "longshot special" in my late Pick 4's.  She's only raced twice on turf, but wasn't disgraced in both of those runner-up efforts.  In her turf debut, she pressed a solid pace and finally passed the leader in late stretch only to be overcome by a late kicker.  At the Meadowlands on October 6, she made a strong move up the rail in upper stretch only to switch leads several times in the final eighth of a mile.  She can stalk and pounce from the outside here off the long layoff although one must wonder if she's prepping for the rich Monmouth meet. 

As for the others:

#1 MAGIC TUNE has won three times, but all of those races came at the expense of conditioned claimers, and she'll have to face some interesting open fillies this afternoon.  She's improved since Lasix was added to the equation by trainer Tim Ritvo and can work out a good pace-tracking, ground-saving trip from the inside post.

#2 STORM GAL scored to close out her three-year-old campaign over yielding going at Gulfstream Park, but she was late to make her final lead change that afternoon, and failed to threaten in two subsequent starts at Gulfstream.  There is a nineteen-day gap between the last two workouts and she may face some pressure if she attempts to contest the pace.

#4 DANA'S BELL tries turf for the first time.  If you believe that synthetic horses translate their good form to grass, you're looking at a mare that boasts an 18-7-5-0 record on the all-weather.  The sire is 0-22 with first-time turf runners while the dam compiled a 6-0-3-0 record on the sod.  If you look deep in the female family, you'll see that the third dam is a half-sister to Sir Ivor.

#5 ROCK HALL HONEY also will make her turf debut in this spot.  Cuvee is 2-38 (5%) with first-time turf runners and this is the first starter from a dam that never raced on grass.  The dam is a half-sister to Jokerman, the winner of the Grade 3 Generous Stakes on grass.  Rock Hall Honey drops in class, but seems like a one-dimensional speedtype that could conceivably get cooked on the front end.

#6 HIGHER INCENTIVE should get the proper pace setup as the late-running mare turns back in distance.  If you look at her turf sprint record in New York, however, one fails to be inspired.  She raced nine times in turf sprints on this circuit with one second-place finish.  Her lone turf sprint win came going down the hill at Santa Anita.  She can contend under Dominguez with a late burst, but I wonder if she wants more distance.

#10 GEORGIANA tried grass for the first time.  Her sire, Smarty Jones, does well with first-time turfers (8-39, 21%), and the dam finished second in her only start on grass (has dropped two turf runners that failed to win).  The dam is a full sister to Warleigh, a nine-time winner on grass that banked over 600K on the green stuff.

#11 SISTER IN THE CITY hasn't done much on grass and may need weaker competition.

Here are my HG plays:

$40 Exacta - Diamond Dina - Myakka (7-3)
$40 Exacta - Diamond Dina - Silvercup Baby (7-9)
$20 Exacta - Diamond Dina - Desert Flight (7-8)


Dan, will you please post this years Derby and Oaks runners sold at Keeneland in September?  It blows all other sales out of the water with ease.
Dan, care to give an educated guess on how much farther ICE BOX ran than SUPER SAVER in the Derby?
Captain Bodgit


Here are the Derby and Oaks runners that were entered in the 2008 Keeneland September Yearling sale:


Lookin At Lucky - $35,000 RNA
Ice Box - $125,000
Line of David - Withdrawn
Stately Victor - $110,000 RNA
American Lion - Withdrawn
Paddy O'Prado - $105,000
Devil May Care - $110,000
Conveyance - $240,000
Mission Impazible - $200,000
Awesome Act - $240,000
Dublin - $525,000
Backtalk - $250,000
Homeboykris - $50,000


Jody Slew - $9,500
Quiet Temper - $90,000
Age of Humor - $180,000
Beautician - $110,000
Crisp - $160,000
Tidal Pool - $120,000
Champagne d'Oro - $210,000
Evening Jewel - $8,000
Ailalea - $340,000
Amen Hallelujah - $40,000

As for Ice Box, I'd say a lot.


Nearing the wire in the derby it looked to me that Kent D. stopped riding Paddy O'Prado to get nipped at the wire for second. It even looked like he looked back just when ice box passed him. Your thoughts?

Tony, when I first saw the overhead replay on the NBC telecast, I thought the same thing.  After watching the race a couple of times, however, I don't think Kent stopped riding in the final 200 yards or so.  He did look back to see if anyone was coming, but I think it was because he realized his mount was getting leg-weary, and he was praying for the wire.  No, Kent didn't go to the stick during this period of time, but I think he was nursing a tired mount home (you'll notice Paddy O'Prado hop back to his wrong lead right before the finish). 


How can " Performance of the Week" ever be anything but the Kentucky Derby on derby day. It's the hardest race in this country to win.

As my good friend, a Mr. Austin, may say..."Cuz Stone Cold said so."


Now, I remember watching the Withers on Racing From Aqueduct with the late, great Frank Wright & his protege Charlsie Cantey in 1979 BC (before children) when Junction won easily in the slop. I believe Junction was injured & retired not long after that, would his pp's still be available? Thanks for any assistance
Tom Pendergast

Here's what I have for Junction.  Enjoy!

Download Junction


Dan -
Super Saver may have won a slow Derby, but he still ran faster than H-O-T-Y Rachel Alexandra.
What was Blind Luck's Beyer for the Oaks?
Dan Baedeker

Yes, he did run faster than Rachel...by one Beyer point.  Just for comparison's sake, his Derby was also nine points faster than Zenyatta's Apple Blossom and two points better than Zenyatta's Santa Margarita. 

Blind Luck received a 94 for her nose win in the Kentucky Oaks. 


Does anyone know what must happen in the Ky. Derby to result in a horse's disqualification?...Do you know, is there any way to correspond with racing stewards and get answers to questions such as these? Thanks.
The Nick

I believe in the consistency of stewards' rulings, but there would likely have to be an highly egregious foul in order for the Derby winner to come down. 

Try this link to contact anyone at Churchill Downs.  To be fair, though, I wouldn't expect an answer. 




Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Laura, Thank you for digging up and interpreting those statistics. They were very interesting. I see Mr. Zito prevailed with the owner and ICE BOX will be running in the Belmont and not the Preakness. Do we have any Formbloggers who intend to attend the Belmont?
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
To all... I am still stinging from the Derby results. I will post my thought's later. On the subject of the "bridgejumpers". It continues to happen daily, and weekly. Once again, these wallstreet hedge fund boys play this game and get burt all of the time!!! Redboard Alert!!! Yes this did happen Mickey. No time to Post. Did play the race yesterday with Ramon at 2/5. The rule of thumb is 6 horse's and under. Played $40 to show on the other 5 horse's. Results: 1. $10.20 Show 2. $7.70 Show 3. $14.60 Show Win = $71,534 Place = $23,843 Show = $46,771 / $61,656 A 1/5 shot came up in the following race with big show money, but the field had a total of 10 in the starting gate. No bet. And, if they think that they are going to pull a fast one on me, they are wrong. I was watching my Boston sports teams on Monday night in my office and I had my Twin Spires Account open. I just happen to look at Mountaineer Casino Race #9. Just happened to see a 2/5 shot on the board with 4 minutes to post. I took a look at all of the pools and low and behold, big money on the show pool. Post time for the race was 10:22 EST. Well, I just wagered $20 to show on the other 5 horses. A total of 6 horses were entered so it fit the profile. The #6 went off at 2/5 and broke well and then faded to 5th. Show prices: 1. = $30.20 2. = $19.40 3. = $17.40 Look it up. Like I said, it is only one way to try and make money. It does happen 2 - 3 times a week. I have said this for months now. To all of the Form bloggers that have worked tirelessly leading up to the Derby, I would just like to thank you. With the MKB horses, the workouts, the chat room on Friday Night's, the sparring back and forth. It is truely the best blog around!!! Last but not least. I would like to thank Dan. He has really devoted his time and energy to this forum. He has answered all question's and has done it all with the one word that my Dad said was the most important word in the english language. CLASS. Whackymacky Out!!!
vicstu More than 1 year ago
Steve T, Thanks for assembling the data on Derby post winning percentage. Interesting... I almost hate to say this, but Smarty Jones won from post 15, not 13. That is a typo in the official chart. Look in the winner's circle picture, or better yet, watch the video replay on Youtube, SJ and Elliot broke from the aux. gate in the 15 gate in the slop... Winning tri that year was 15-3-10 (and the 1 Limehouse finished 4th). I do not know what difference that would make, but the fact that the chart call and Kentuckyderby.com have not corrected this typo shows you how lazy they are about the entire matter. You'd think the Derby historian would want to get it straight, huh? Dan, use some of that pull and inform the Derby folks of the typo in their official charts, and that SJ won from post 15, not 13. There are handicappers doing serious breakdowns, here, after all! Here is a chart with the typo with a photo of SJ in the 15 blanket with Elliot with the 15 band, with the correct exotic numbers below. PV was the 13, I believe: http://d3b4lt1s53xf6k.cloudfront.net/sites/kentuckyderby.com/files/charts/2004.pdf
Alan More than 1 year ago
Nick, With so many posts and comments on the blog, it is difficult to keep up with every question asked. Look at my 3:35pm comment - I buried a question in there and will be lucky to get one or two responses. Don't take offense to any non-response. It isn't personal. To answer your question, short of a jockey hitting another horse, it is next to impossible to DQ anybody in the 20 horse Derby cavalry charge after the start of the race. Especially any offense toward a horses (LaL) who has had a history of being involved in prior traffic/trip problems. You didn't see Gomez running to the Steward's Box complaining after the race. As a horseplyaer, I often cry foul when I have a lot of money at stake on a horse with a bad/terrible trip. It's hard for me to be objective in those situations.
p ensign More than 1 year ago
nothing more depressing than waking up and finding your only solid single (#7 r.6 CD) in a p-6 scratched... Every day they're killing me a little more with this thing
C More than 1 year ago
Steve, Your field size numbers can't be right because I know there have been some 21+ horse fields over the last 40 years. MikeA, I cannot go to the track the day before the Derby. In fact, I just can't play 2 days in a row anymore. I don't have the time to handicap that many races.
Dan Baedeker More than 1 year ago
Thanks for all the Beyer figure info, Dan. Is there any source for getting the Beyer figures for all the Derby finishers? It is of interest to know which of the contenders ran there best ever Beyer, which equaled it, and which fell below it. - Dan Baedeker
Curt A Vassallo More than 1 year ago
Vicstu, That '04 Derby is a little confusing @the starting gate. UR right & UR wrong. I know the 1 & 2 holes are empty because of scratches. However, Smart Joness saddle cloth is the #15. He did indeed start from the 15th hole slot. For all intents & purposes, it was the 15. But, they called it the 13, because, they started the #1 out of the 3 hole. So, the chart is correct, but he started out of where the 15 horse is supposed to start. I think...LOL......
Dale More than 1 year ago
Dan, I spent close to 30 years working in the restaurant industry (so I was also dealing with the public at large), and if I did not have friends to 'vent' to once in a while, I would likely be in a room with white padded walls. Please feel free to 'vent' whenever you need to (as I believe you are among friends here). Alan (and others): for what it is worth (no time for explanation), my 2 cents worth on CD pic6 races: 5th: A: 3,6 B: 9 C: 2,4 6th: A: 2 B: 8 C: 5,11 7th: A: 6 B: 3,7,9 C: 4,5,8 8th: A: 3,8 B: 9 C: 2,4,7 9th: A: 5,7 B: 1,3 C: 2,4 10th: A: 1,10 B: 12,14 C: 4,7,8 all A's, up to 2 B's, and only one C would be 21 tickets at a cost of $1128 (if my preliminary math is correct). Still not sure if I am playing it as probably can't get to track today and would need my buddy to get it into his online acct (I can't get one in the great state of Missouri), but good luck to all who do! Dale
Alan More than 1 year ago
vicstu, Smarty Jones was #15 but post position 13 in the race. Wimbledon (#5) and St Averil (#9) scratched, so there were only 18 horses in the race Here were the original PPs: http://www.drf.com/tc/kentuckyderby/2004/pps/04kentuckyderby.pdf Here was the final field: http://www.drf.com/tc/kentuckyderby/2004/field.html Dan, I have a quick solution to your headaches. Can DRF block any comment that has the word "versus" or "vs." as part of the comment? It will eliminate all of the long standing, never-ending, troll-attracting contentious debates on Formblog! For example, Bias: east-coast VERSUS west-coast HOTY: Rachel Alexandra VERSUS Zenyatta Better horse: Sunday Silence VERSUS Easy Goer Sexiest Man Alive: Uncle Steve VERSUS Sheriff Dan VERSUS Hugh Jackman