10/19/2011 1:15PM

HG 255 - Belmont Slop

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Wednesday's HandiGambling 255 exercise is the eighth race at Belmont, a $35,000 "beaten" claimer at six furlongs.

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.

Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers instead of the names of the horses.

Past performances are available at 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.

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As of this writing, the track condition is SLOPPY.

Let's scratch #8 RUNNING TAP and #9 AWESOME ARCENO.

#1 EXPECTING CASH is one lb. overweight

#5 ORSONIAN removes one aluminum pad.

#6 BLACK N BEAUTY will be ridden by Joe Bravo

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#7 DAVID THE GREAT was a bit eager in his first start with blinkers while racing down on the rail in his initial appearance for trainer David Jacobson.  The gelding altered course three wide on the far turn, but failed to muster a late rally in that $50,000 starter allowance at Belmont on September 25.  The "good" main track at Belmont seemed to favor speed that afternoon, however, and David the Great chased the 1-2 finishers all the way around the track (Lubango, the winner, was a 15-1 rank outsider in the field of six).  Although that race has yet to produce a next-out winner, Lubango returned to finish second in an entry-level allowance race with an 85 Beyer while fifth-finisher Game Token came back to place third in a statebred 'n2x' optional claimer with an 88 Beyer. A two-time winner with proven wet track experience, David the Great projects for a good stalking trip while racing on the outside and in the clear. 

#5 ORSONIAN's career has been plagued by foot problems and he raced with aluminum pads in his last two races.  It's a good sign that the pad comes off this afternoon and that Orsonian wheels back on only 10 days rest.  He should also appreciate dropping out of the entry-level allowance ranks.  Orsonian has good tactical speed and may have a pair of nice pace targets to his inside.  He's run well on wet tracks in the past, but seems to have a small case of second-itis (7-1-4-0 lifetime record).  Also, I thought he ran on the best part of an outside-friendly track on October 9.

#2 WAR COLONY has been limited to only four career starts, but the son of Not For Love has potent early speed and could be the main pacemaker under Javier Castellano.  He may have been aided slightly by a speed-favoring track when a pace-pressing winner of a $20,000 maiden claimer at Saratoga two back and he failed to finish with David the Great in his initial start against winners.  Trainer Carl Domino has been sending out live horses at this meet, but War Colony shows lots of gaps in his work tab.  Know him early.

#6 BLACK N BEAUTY ran well to finish second in the six-furlong Woodstock Stakes over polytrack on April 16, but hasn't to run back to those efforts in subsequent outings, failing to gain ground from the stretch call to the wire in any of his last four races.  There are some angles as he drops to his lowest level for the third start of the form cycle, but he couldn't parlay a pace-pressing trip into a top-three placing over a speed-friendly surface on September 23.

#1 EXPECTING CASH would likely benefit from a fast pace up front as he drops in class for the third start following a layoff line.  He enjoyed a perfect inside trip in winning for $50,000 two back at Saratoga, but was compromised by a speed-favoring track when the beaten favorite at Belmont on September 23. The horse that finished directly in front of Expecting Cash on September 23, Truelee Scrappin, returned to finish third in an entry-level allowance on October 2 with an 87 Beyer.  Most recently, Truelee Scrappin passed that condition with a 105 Beyer.  Expecting Cash has won on wet going and should be charging hard in the stretch.

#3 ULTIMO PRINCIPE may be the one to keep War Colony honest on the early lead.  He took advantage of an inside, speed-favoring track when winning a $25,000 'beaten' claimer on July 29, but hasn't shown much stretch stamina since being claimed by Bruce Brown.  He finished ahead of next-out winner Indianski in his most recent start at Parx Racing (that one returned to take a $15,000 'n1y' claimer at Penn National with a 79 Beyer. 

#4 SENSATIONAL SLAM was a three-time stakes-winner when trained by Todd Pletcher, but he tired terribly in his first try for Charlton Baker on September 23.  That was his first race over a wet track and it's possible that he hated the going.  If that's the case, then he's in big trouble this afternoon.  The "good" Sensational Slam has run races that compete with these, however, and he may drift in the wagering based on that one bad race.

Here's how I'll HandiGamble.

$100 Win - David the Great (#7)

Best of luck to all.