12/01/2011 4:25PM

HG 260 - Fair Grounds turf


Thursday's HandiGambling 260 exercise is the eighth race at Fair Grounds, a $25,000 'n2L' claimer for three-year-olds and upward at About 1 1/16 Miles on 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.

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.


The turf course is listed as GOOD.

Let's scratch #11 MAJOR PRINCE. 

#3 IDEAL ZARB is one pound overweight.


I'll probably pass this race.  I think there are five "win" contenders that are somewhat usable in multi-race wagers.


#2 KELLS BLUES, a $100,000 yearling that didn't pan out in New York for Jimmy Jerkens, returns to turf after bombing in an off-the-grass race at Belmont on October 20.  That was his first start following a long layoff, however, and it's possible he was a short horse that afternoon.  Kells Blues won his maiden over the Fair Grounds main track back in March in his second start of the form cycle and can improve with that poor return run under his girth.  His last two turf races weren't bad as he made a premature wide move against better two back at Keeneland (the winner of that race returned to score again, this time with a 95 Beyer, while the runner-up came back to take three in a row on turf) and was a wide second four back (first start following seven-month freshening) over this turf course.  He draws a good inside post and shouldn't be too far off the expected moderate pace.

#1 CHARLIE'S PHANTASY's lone victory came at this distance three starts back and he was making up late ground in his last two efforts, both two-turn sprints at Remington.  A lightly-raced three-year-old with some upside potential, Charlie's Phantasy drops into a claimer for the first time and goes out for an underrated barn.  He shows a quick workout in preparation for this and faced a promising runner in his most recent outing (Smokin Armadillo is 2-2 on grass, including a 73 Beyer tally in a statebred, $25,000 'n3L' claimer at Remington on November 10).  Charlie's Phantasy did enjoy a good trip in that October 21 race, however, saving ground in the pocket before angling three wide turning for home.   Like Kells Blues, he should save ground early and can't be counted out.  He fits this spot beautifully.

#10 NOLANGRANT'SKITTEN, conversely, must deal with a tough outside post position.  In his last start, a similar event at Hawthorne over yielding ground, Nolangrant'skitten was buried down on the rail before being forced very wide turning for home.  He stayed on to finish a non-threatening fifth (two of the five horses to run back from that race returned to finish second, one with a 75 Beyer) and looks well-spotted here.  He'll have to work out a trip from out there, but certainly can win, perhaps at nice odds.

#6 GROVE PARK cost $700,000 as a yearling and that just didn't work out.  A Bob Baffert castaway, Grove Park won over a "good" Fair Grounds turf course (beating Kells Blues) last meeting, but has failed to crack the trifecta in five subsequent starts against winners.  He'll put blinkers on this afternoon (he owns an 8-1-1-1 record in blinkers) and has enough tactical speed to stay close to the moderate pace.  His appeal is based on price.  The last time he raced on grass with blinkers, he was caught up in a pace duel after breaking from an impossible post (the winner of that race returned to take an 'n2x' at Keeneland while the runner-up is now stakes-placed on the grass).  If he drifts up from his 3-1 morning line, he becomes usable.  If he dips, he may not be worth the gamble.

#4 QUIET TITLE has been beaten at 5-2 odds or less in his last five races, all of them against similar at Louisiana Downs.  In his last start, Quiet Title raced three to four wide on the turn, but couldn't get to the pacesetting winner in the stretch and he hopped back to his wrong lead when discouraged in the final furlong (note that only two of the six horses to return from that race were able to crack the trifecta next-out).  From a numbers perspective, he is a contender but it is somewhat disconcerting that he hasn't sealed the deal lately.


#5 PLEASANT WOODMAN doesn't have much early speed and that could work against him in a race lacking pace.  He picked up some pieces late in his most recent start at Kentucky Downs (finished ahead of next-out winner Gitto, who scored in a $15,000 'n2L' claimer at Churchill Downs), but his Beyers pale in comparision to those of the top contenders and he doesn't show a published workout in over two weeks. 

#7 SPIDERMAN RIDGE is only 1-29 in his career and he's only hit the board twice from 10 starts against winners.  Like Pleasant Woodman, he doesn't have speed and would need some pace and race luck in order to threaten the top spot.  He hasn't worked nor raced in over a month. 

#8 EMPTY PAGES may be rounding into his best form going fourth following a short layoff and he takes a good drop in class after tackling 'n2x' optional claimers at Retama on November 5.  He has yet to crack the trifecta from five prior grass starts, however, and it could be argued that he's slightly better on the main track. 


#3 IDEAL ZARB's lone career victory from 20 starts came over this turf course and the six-year-old had a hint of trouble against Louisiana-breds on September 10.  Still, he doesn't have a great amount of speed and could be left with too much to do when the real running begins. 

#9 HANG ON TIGHT is somewhat interesting in that he could be the controlling speed following five sprint races to start his career.  Shipping in from Charles Town, Hang On Tight wasn't disgraced in his lone turf start (over this course), but he'll have to stretch out a half-mile today.  That may simply be too tall an order.

For HandiGambling, I'll stab with $100 Win - #2 KELLS BLUES, but don't really have a strong opinion.

fishky More than 1 year ago
HG 260 \ assuming 3,8,10,11 are not going to win back-to-back, but not certain. I like 2-4 to be in the money. - $1 tri box all/2/4 = $54 $23 box exacta 2/4 = $46
Bernard Downes More than 1 year ago
Dear All, My mention of real names was a throwaway remark, it was not a further attempt at intrusion (don't forget, I have already recorded some of your personal profiles for British Intelligence). But Ned Daly nailed it EXACTLY. I am convinced that if you use your own name, and if you value your own integrity, you are much more likely to offer an honest, well thought out, not exaggerated opinion. Just a thought, but not an overly serious one. The reason I said it would be easier is because I don't know if you can understand how difficult it is for this Brit, who has never texted, who is barely IT literate, and who doesn't speak the American language, to follow the blog. Just scrolling through the current blog I stumbled at, BSF? fish cakes ? maypops ? ROFLMAO ? gizmomic ? X/B/C ? X/C/X, a C/B/X and B/A/X ? ROFLOL ? OTTB ? Hambone ? ShenaniganZing guy? Chupacobra ? Bass O Matic ? Tinky ? Anyway, still love the blog, read it virtually every day, but please spare a thought for your international readership. By the way, I was amazed to hear that some employers might not want to use gamblers. We have some cranky bosses over here, but I thought the US was the land of the free? meathead01, surely we invented "old fart". It certainly sounds like something from a 50s or 60s British comedy. Annie, I am probably out of Town on 18 Dec. I presume I will be able to get to know my MKB horse when I get back? Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Steve T More than 1 year ago
BSB, "Ron , since I didn't & don't know the true identity of Bassomatic I took a shot that he might be one of the many Witch Doctors on the blog. I'm very confident that Bassomatic posts here under another name." I am the "Witch Doctor" Super Bassomatic '76, and I was poking you with a stick like you have me on many, many occasions. My writing style and format are pretty unique and it wasn't like I was trying to hide. By the way I think I can probably beat 6.5%... You describe the exceptions as freaks, a pretty convenient way to try to discredit anyone who doesn't agree with you. Let's take a look at Real Quiet, he of the 5.33 dosage - he won the Kentucky Derby, he won the Preakness, he won the Hollywood Gold Cup, he won the Pimlico Special and missed in the Belmont by a nose. I am sorry but that is way too many "freaks" to hold water. I also bet Raven's Pass in the 2008 Breeders Cup (feel free to check the blog from like September of 2008 to verify) and I wasn't exactly shaking in my boots over his dosage. You similarly dismiss Bertrando as a "freak" - even though he won the Pacific Classic and was 2nd in the Hollywood Gold Cup and the Breeders Cup Classic. I have yet to find a dosage higher than 8.33 - even Smoke Frickin' Glacken is a 4.09. By the way his Daddy, Skywalker (he of the 5.40 DI) also won at 10F - some BC Classic race... When two generations win at 10F in major stakes races and carry a ridiculous DI, that is evidence that there is something inherently fubar about the calculations. I also would have nothing to do with Uncle Mo because Indian Charlie has not had any real winners at a distance, even though his "dosage" is 2.20. No way, no how would he make it 10F, yet the voodoo says he could get it easily. 1,276 Indian Charlies and one winner at 10F in a glacial 2:03.87. By the way, Indian Charlie has a dosage of 2.43 - he never made it 10F, his sire In Excess never made it 10F, of IC's foals (he has been at stud for 12 YEARS) only Fleet Indian ever made it. I don't think In Excess (one of the most prolific sires out there) ever had a winner past 9F. His sire Caro did - but that is 4 generations back and it has obviously not carried forward. That is why I label dosage as voodoo. "Afleet Again -- 3-3-6-0-0 3.00 DI 0.75 CD .No stamina wing puts him in the bottom 26 %. In the bottom 39 % on CD. In the bottom 32 % on DI . A worthy Favorite ? LOL." Yeah, it wasn't like he won the Breeders Cup Marathon or anything... If you would like to make the argument that the lowest dosage is the bet in a distance race, I would be happy to show you how wrong a statement that is. Your statement on physical handicapping is absolutely ludicrous - if you would like to make a little wager on whether I can pick more than 6.5% winners by physical handicapping, I would be happy to use your money to pay for Christmas. Don't believe I can do it? Feel free to ask the people I was with at Del Mar about whether or not I can. My statement stands, dosage is voodoo. Curt V, You have the dosage and CD numbers backwards on your example. I think you need to rethink your statement "Because In Excess isn't.....That's why." In Excess is probably one of the penultimate speed influences out there (he was pensioned this summer). If we were to look at the charts for all of Seattle Slew's and all of In Excess' foals and kept track of who got to the corner first, it would be the In Excess' by about 6 to 1. I have no argument as to whether Seattle Slew added stamina, but In Excess was the likely source of the speed. By the way, C is not the Dogman. I know who C is and have traded e-mail with him.
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
Steve T lliked your post on dosage I have never put much stock in it when I choose a classic horse. congrats on having Kettle Corn last saturday and on a side note I miss your picks at hollywood I know you said you were not going to post them again but I thought you were referring to Fairplex am I wrong? MH01
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Ron Z., When I looked at my search bar, after C told U to do it, I couldn't find anything like that either. At that point I knew I had to take action. So, I went thru the motions to find the Google Advanced Search myself. I knew it was there somewhere, it's just his explanations are always too simplistic & of ChortZe, way toooo probable & logical......Lmao.....Glad I could help.......
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
C, BSB, Okie & SteveBassomatic, Look !! I knew Bassomatic & BSB were 2 different people..I was only making a funny...That's what you do when you want to stimulate. That's exactly what Bassomatic did to BSB. As far as C being the Dogman, that's a ditto too. Do you actually think I thought C was the lead singer, Alex Chilton of the Box Tops ? Bassomatic was far tooooo serious to be BSB..BSB couldn't do that if he tried...& of ChorZe C bit into the grand father Bullsheet even AFTER I told him it was a joke. C should be on C-erious{sp}radio....You know C, Sirius Radio > a joke too......Lmao....... & Steve, Here's the funniest part....., When I was skipping back & forth while writing that comment about the #'s, checking different sites at the same time, I actually tried to abort the comment & it went thru anyway..Look at the long space after my last words..I said WTF, where did it go....I think it went thru..Oh Sheet !!! You see after I looked over the #'s as I wrote it, I noticed I was in trouble...All the #'s favored In Excess for speed.....& I said to myself, "This aint good Curt......">>>>>At that particular point, all I was hoping is nobody would notice....You know C only reads what he wants..He doesn't answer 1/2 the questions..I knew HE wouldn't notice. Leave it to you to pick that up.. Did you notice that you were the only one who noticed the mistake ? I, 1st said, "In Excess isn't..", then I ran the #'s, then I wrote them in, then I said, this aint right, etc....This looks just the opposite of what I'm proclaiming... I'll remember that one Steve.....No need for me re-look. I always said they're are a lot of sharp people here..You are indeed one of them...Now, who you like in the 5th ?
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
Book Update, Blinkers Off, 2012 Derby Outlook http://bit.ly/uNI3Fe
tencentcielo More than 1 year ago
TheVanGogh, Gulfstream doesn't run on Wednesdays until later on in the meet.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie Thank you for an adopted MKB horse. I've got the changes made in my lists. ______________________________ Blackseabass ...hahaha - you tell a nice 'Fairy Tale' it made me chuckle. BTW , I like bad boys in black leather jackets & brass knuckles, and it sounds more like Marlon Brando ...and my RAH looks terrific in one :) __________________________________ Bernard Downes I think Ned has a point that we use a name or moniker for different reasons. Personaly, mine was because I never participated on a blog or on the internet before, and my RAH suggested to be discreet. I choose mine after seeing many along the same line here, initals and a city -or city and a name. After years, SR Vegas just stuck. Those who have met me /email know my given name and somtimes use that here or in Laura's chat room. I don't think anyone here is hiding 'behind' a name because over time you will see that what is said is sincere, full of thought and opinions, and of course the bit of leg pulling..but you just get to know the name to the personality. I do post at other blog sites occasionally, Crist, Barbara Livingstons, Calvins, Ned Dalys, Travers, and always refer to myself as the same SR Vegas. That is who I am in the Horse 'blog space' and I like to be consistient where ever I go. _______________________________ Ron Z I enjoy your posts and thoughts, you are one of the good guys.. I had no idea that Jorge Chavez was so badly hurt. I hope for a speedy recovery , but it looks like it could be a long haul. Sometimes I don't like this sport. 'member ghbrea'
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
I think I might have un-"earthed"{alien life form} the true identity of the "C"-Man....If I believe he was around in 1967 it could be found here at the following link:::::::::>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzJQ4288J7A&feature=related The lead singer is named Alex "C"hilton{Chilton} & please note in the video, this "C" guy is donning a Brown Leather Vest{how ironic is that ?}........Remember C talks about owning Leather ?...LoL.. & Here's the final kicker.......The song is titled>>"C"ry Like a Baby.......The BoC's[sp] Tops.... Too many C's not to be true ? This is a joke C, only a joke.........I had to put in that disclaimer....I just couldn't resist, as I had nothing better to do.......
Virgin Queen More than 1 year ago
BSB, very funny post about the fair valley maiden SR Vegas and the evil C formblog would b dullsville if people weren't stepping in 2 the ring from time 2 time 2 duke it out as all formbloggers should know, there will b a calm now b4 the next storm VQ