06/23/2010 5:14PM

HG 191 (Woodbine), Beyers


Tonight's HandiGambling 191 exercise is the third race from Woodbine, a $40,000 claimer for non-winners of two races at one mile 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 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 listed as 'Good.' 

Let's scratch #4 THIRDKIN, #10 HEY BATTER BATTER, and #16 NORTHOFFIFTY.  Please note the following rider changes:

#1 - SCOPIN ' U OUT (Emma-Jayne Wilson
#5 - HE'S ALL THAT (Slade Callaghan)
#12 - SOUL BLUES (Jono Jones, overweight by two pounds)
#14 - FEDERAL COURT (David Clark)

Hopefully, the expected rains will stay away and this juicy field will stay intact.

I'll go with three top contenders in multi-race wagers.

#9 WOOD DALE, a $37,000 RNA as a yearling, is out of a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly winner Caressing, and makes his first start off the Daryl Ezra claim (5-41, 12%, $1.19 ROI over the past five years first off the claim). 
He won his maiden the last time he set hoof on the grass, but that race was way back on April 17, 2008, and he subsequently missed over two years of racing.  He's had a pair of sprints over the polytrack to sharpen him up and he wheels back in only 12 days for the third start of the form cycle.  Wood Dale chased favored winner Exchange Note after racing three wide in the early portion of his most recent start and has the tactical speed to find a good stalking position in this one-turn mile. 

#13 CASUAL DUDE didn't run well in his lone turf outing, but forgiving handicappers will note that he was making his first start in over five months while facing allowance rivals that afternoon.  Like Wood Dale, he'll go third off the layoff while dropping into a conditioned claimer (he won his maiden for a tag three starts back).  The lightly-raced four-year-old may have some upside potential and may be a solid price based on his poor grass line.  Please note that the dam is kin to the Woodbine turf-loving gelding Le Cinquieme Essai. 

#11 COFFEE BAR drops into a claiming race for the first time and one must wonder if this big drop in class is suspicious.  Some handicappers will note that he hasn't won a race since October 24, 2008 and the connections simply need to find a winning spot for a gelding with no breeding value.  Others will ask why he missed so much time last year, will question the 17-day gap between the last two workouts, and will have to guess why a horse that was good enough to earn blacktype three back is now in for $40,000.  Out of a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 turf winner Fiji, Coffee Bar should improve in his second start back for Mark Casse (18-110, 16%, $1.24 ROI first-time tag).  I can't let him beat me in multi-race wagers, but I'm not sure I want him to win at what could be short odds.

As for the others:

#1 SCOPIN' U OUT is by Stormy Atlantic, a stallion that is 49-358 (14%) with first-time turf runner, and is the first foal from a dam that went 0-1 on the dirt.  There is some grass pedigree in the female family as the second dam, Brushing Gloom, went 6-12 for 348K (won first-turf) on the lawn. 
This gelding sold for $120,000 as a juvenile, but made his belated career debut last November for only $20,000 and was claimed for that price on November 29. 

#2 KINGS HIGHWAY may have moved prematurely in an off-the-turf, two-turn claimer for 'n3L' competition last time out.  The gray takes a slight drop in class and returns to turf, the surface over which he earned his only career victory.  The $6,000 yearling purchase is a half-brother to Scatter Buy, a stakes-winner going a mile over a wet dirt track. 

#3 RAGING STAR is by Five Star Day, a sire that is 10-85 (12%) with first-time turf runners.  The dam, by Lyphard, was multiple stakes-placed on grass in England, and is a half-sister to 17-time stakes-winner My Juliet.  Raging Star is kin to one turf winner (won first-time grass) as well as a pair of stakes-placed performers on dirt.  One must wonder why trainer Nicholas Nosowenko (0-14 over the past five years going first-turf) took this long to get his gelding on the grass.  Raging Star seems to be rounding into form and should show decent speed here.

#5 HE'S ALL THAT is by Mizzen Mast, a stallion that is 17-146 (12%) with first-time grass performers.  His full sister, Strike the Bell, is multiple stakes-placed on turf.  An $18,000 yearling ($20,000 RNA at two), He's All That needed 10 starts to break his maiden and will make his first start for a barn that is 0-4 with first-time turfers over the past five seasons..

#6 SEPTEMBER SQUARE is jockey Tyler Pizarro's first call.  He won his maiden on grass, but is currently on a 21-race losing streak dating back to June 21, 2008.  He comes back on short notice and should appreciate stretching out in distance. 

#7 MIGHTY MONARCH's sire, Powerscourt, is 0-16 with first-time turfers in North America, but he was an excellent grass performer, winning the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Arlington Million.  He's the first foal to try turf from the mare, an unraced  half-sister to stakes-winning sprinter Wild Tale and multiple stakes-placed router Strong City.  His trainer, Laurie Silvera is 5-38 (13%, $1.91 ROI) over the past five years with first-time turf runners.  Mighty Monarch just missed against open claimers last time out and was flattered when the winner of that heat, Sir Heart Throb, returned to take an open $40,000 claimer on polytrack with a 73 Beyer (Sir Heart Throb then just missed by a neck in an entry-level allowance and has four lifetime wins).  He may be the main speed under a five-pound apprentice and can't be counted out.

#8 GUISEPPE is 1-2 on grass and has been competing on dirt and polytrack over his last six races.  A $45,000 juvenile puchase out of Grade 2-placed sprinter Blushing Deed, Guiseppe hasn't gained ground from the stretch call to the wire in any of his starts this form cycle. 

#12 SOUL BLUES was claimed for $20,000 out of a winning debut on polytrack, and then finished behind the aforementioned Sir Heart Throb in an open $40,000 claimer on June 5.  He takes a drop in class for his turf debut and shows a solid half-mile breeze over the weeds for trainer Michael DePaulo (6-44, 14%, $2.33 ROI over the past five years with first-time turfers).  The sire, a Grade 1 winner at one mile on turf, is 3-47 (6%) with first-time grass performers.  Soul Blues is a half-brother to Blu Spur, a stakes-placed performer on grass.  There are some good grass runners in this female family.

#14 FEDERAL COURT goes two sprints to a route for the third start of the form cycle for trainer Sid Attard (7-70, 10%, $1.82 ROI over the past five years with first-time turf runners).  The sire is 10--149 (7%) with first-time grass runners.  Both of the dam's lifetime wins came on grass

#15 ROYAL CAPTIVE is a half-brother to Italian Derby and San Juan Capistrano winner Single Empire, Group 1 turf winner Court of Honor, and Group 1-placed turfer Rubhahunish.  This is a strong turf pedigree and Royal Captive is the rider's first call.  Trainer Ian Black is 6-37 (16%, $3.48 ROI) since January 1, 2005 with first-time grass runners.

A fascinating race.  I'll play the HandiGambling like this:

$100 Win - Wood Dale (#9)

Best of luck to all.


Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's racing action:

Here are the lifetime past performances for the week's highest Beyer performer:

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I'll be conducting a handicapping seminar at Arlington Park on Saturday.  If any FormBloggers are at the track that day, I'd love to meet you.