12/08/2011 4:27PM

HG 261 (Hollywood Claimers)


Thursday's HandiGambling 261 exercise is the eighth race at Hollywood Park, a $25,000 claimer for juvenile fillies 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.


The Cushion Track is fast.

Let's scratch #7 JIMINI CHRISTMAS.

Mike Smith rides #8 BACKWOODS BELLE.


Another very tough race for our HandiGambling exercise as several of the main contenders on the morning line have major question marks.

I'd have to go four deep in some fashion in the last leg of multi-race wagers.

#10 MUSICAL ARTS faced next-out Anoakia Stakes winner Ismene in the career debut at Del Mar and wasn't disgraced, finishing only 3 1/2-lengths behind that foe.  Making her first start off a short layoff, the Cal-bred dropped in for $50,000 and she didn't disappoint as the 9-10 favorite, winning comfortably under Joel Rosario.  She was claimed that afternoon by Ron Ellis (0-14 over the past three years with newly-acquired performers) and is now being jammed in for $25,000. 

That's a somewhat questionable drop. 

Musical Arts likes this surface and may work out a comfortable outside stalking trip.  If you aren't worried about the plunge in claiming price, then she looms a solid contender.  To me, however, the drop is somewhat of a red flag.  I couldn't play her to win at her 3-1 morning line.

#11 SILVER STREET boasts improving Beyer Speed Figures and her confidence should be at an all-time high after she smacked $30,000 maiden claimers on dirt at Santa Anita on October 23 (the runner-up from that race returned to finish third against maiden special weight runners with a 62 Beyer).  Still, she was able to grab an easy lead that afternoon and it's unlikely she'll make the front with #8 BACKWOODS BELLE drawn to her inside.  Silver Street must prove that she can rate and win in her first start out of the maiden ranks and she doesn't show a published workout in the last 15 days. 

#5 I SENSE YOUR LUCK, out of stakes-winner Racing Luck, scored first-out over the Del Mar polytrack and you can excuse her second-out loss at the hooves of Candrea (that one returned to finish second in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes with an 85 Beyer).  I Sense Your Luck raced evenly in her first start over the cushion track and is capable of some improvement in her second start following a short layoff line.  Her recent numbers are going the wrong way, but she seems like a solid fit at this level.

#3 NICOS MEMORY is one of only two multiple winners in today's lineup, but it's a bit concerning that she's dropping in claiming price following a victory against $32,000 platers on November 12.  Nicos Memory beat three of today's rivals in that race, however, and looms a strong stretch threat given a bit of pace to work with. 

As for the others, none of them would really surprise me.

#4 PURPLE STARDUSTER has two wins on her record and she was in a bit steep most recently in the Golden Gate Debutante (won by Lady of Fifty, who returned to take the Corte Madera Stakes in Northern California with a 70 Beyer).  Purple Starduster goes out for a high-percentage trainer in Peter Miller, but must avoid an early pace skirmish.  She can certainly win and her 6-1 morning line price may represent some value.

#1 WARREN'S JUDY, out of stakes-placed sprinter Our Judy, finished behind Nicos Memory in her last two races.  She graduated in her second lifetime start and can improve a bit here in her second start of the form cycle, but she draws a tough inside post and could be shuffled back along the rail if she isn't able to establish early position.

#9 ELEGANT EVE isn't the worst 20-1 stab in the world.  She looked good beating $32,000 maiden claimers at Fairplex (her race went faster than the juvenile colt division) and now drops back in for a tag after finishing off the board in her first two starts against winners.  That victory came when on the lead going a half-mile, however, and these are obviously tougher foes.  The horse that beat her last out returned to finish fourth in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes on grass with a 68 Beyer.  Elegant Eve is another that must prove that she can rate and finish, but is worth an opportunity at long odds.

#2 UNDER PROTEST won her debut for a $32,000 tag at Fairplex and may simply have been overmatched against starter allowance company in her subsequent two outings.  She finished behind Elegant Eve on November 6 and will make her first start over a synthetic surface this afternoon.  The drop should help matters and the barn wins lots of races.

#6 JOSEPH JOE goes third off the layoff, but was beaten fair and square by Nicos Memory on November 12 and by Purple Starduster on October 15.  She'll have to improve off her last five races (top Beyer of 44).

#8 BACKWOODS BELLE figures to attract mutuel attention as she projects as the main speed following a class drop.  She certainly could be dangerous if able to establish a lonely lead, but she stopped badly in her most recent effort at 9-10 odds when facing off with Elegant Eve and Under Protest.  Her best effort (a 69 Beyer) would be good enough to win this race, but I have trouble backing horses like this at short prices off poor performances.

It's a race that I would only stab at with HandiGambling money.

$50 Exacta - Musical Arts - Silver Street (10-11)
$25 Exacta - Musical Arts - I Sense Your Luck (10-5)
$25 Exacta - Musical Arts - Nicos Memory (10-3)

Best of luck to all.

bobc More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas For free Brisnet PP try this site. http://trks2day.com/trks2day.html Bernard Downes: You have truly Mastered putting the "Art" in "Old Fart". LOL Keep those posts coming!!!
todd saunders More than 1 year ago
keith L: i saw your posting yesterday, and just wanted to add something: mr. la penta has another horse entered at gulfstream on thursday, in the last race, who was a 250k yearling, now in for a tag of 12,500. so he has 2 horses entered in 2 days, which he paid 1 million dollars for, and is letting them go for a total of $32,500! unreal. i am interested in both horses in multi race wagers, but i am also a bit afraid to pull the trigger. they both lay over their respective fields, but a very short price is definitely in the works. todd
Annie More than 1 year ago
Gracie, Well aren't you sweet. That would be fun to have an HG with our CHARLY in it. :) See, ours is Charly. That other one is Charlie. Hopefully our Charly will say Adios to the other one. LOL! Annie
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Todd Saunders: Interesting....at least La Penta can take encouragement from the fact that he is destined to gain a sizable capital loss deduction if his $1 mil worth of runners both get claimed. Just how short a price each runs for should determine if he is hedging his game with some serious window money. SR Vegas: Try going to www.Horse-Races.net through search, instead of through your bookmark, and see if that makes a difference. By the by, I guess you know I'm really down on the issue of Kurt Busch and Penske Dodge parting ways. But he certainly did deserve some of your special chaxtisement for makng a threatening gesture to a media rep trackside. Another Busch boy with a bruized backside? LOL! Calvin: Entries for the Cash Call due tomorrow. I'm kind of taking a fancy to the chances of Baffert's Liason, with the dam sire Victory Gallop bringing some needed stamina to the sire Indian Charlie's speed. Nice work pattern coming in also. Keith L.
Gracie More than 1 year ago
Dan, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to give you the HG selection or not. If so, I would like to honor Den Mother Annie by picking the race that her UTCB is attending. That would be the Race 9 @ Gulfstream on Friday. AOC 62,500 N2X on the dirt. That should be a nice full field of pretty good runners. Annie and knm I'm not sure if it's a good or bad omen that Adios Charlie is in this one too.
knm More than 1 year ago
Gracie, Hey, we need an exacta! Adios Charlie will do fine.
Steve T More than 1 year ago
BE REALISTIC Before we start the section on mental and emotional analysis, I think I need to add something about this whole process – 90% of the time there is nothing remarkable about a runner, and that is normal. Don’t go looking for a physical “sign” under every rock. Don’t panic when the whole field looks normal, because they usually are. Don’t build castles in the sky! Look for the horse that strikes you positively or negatively and figure out why. “The 4 really looks good!” Okay, why does he look good? “His coat glistens and is dappled, he has that spring in his step and he is alert without being anxious.” Works for me. PEDIGREE AND PHYSICAL HANDICAPPING Pedigree analysis is an integral part of physical handicapping. You need to know the physical and mental characteristics of the dam and sire to make an assessment of one of their foals. What is the normal conformation and physical characteristics of the parents? If I saw a 17 hand Tribal Rule, I would start digging because they just aren’t that big. Or a 13 hand Rock Hard Ten. You also need to know who the precocious (early win) sires are – some are dangerous from their debut and others are going to need some time. Who are the precocious sires out there today? Tribal Rule, In Excess, Unbridled’s Song, Congrats, Indian Charlie, Roman Ruler, City Zip, Closing Argument, Distorted Humor, Tapit, Lion Heart, Tale of the Cat, Wildcat Heir and the Storm Cats. One that is impressing me with his ability to get some serious early runners is Artie Schiller. Here is the list of who gets what in the world of freshman: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/thoroughbred-breeding/sire-lists/two-year-old The average development sires are Giant’s Causeway, Tiznow, Awesome Again, A.P. Indy, Medaglia d’Oro, Forestry, Freud, Pulpit, Malibu Moon, and Smart Strike. The late developers are Pleasantly Perfect, Rock Hard Ten (any of the Kris S’ line), Ghostzapper, Dynaformer, Invasor, Quiet American, English Channel, and my old pal Unusual Heat. Don’t give up on these when they fall on their sword as two and early three year olds because they can come back with a vengeance as a four year old! Laura has an article she wrote back in April about precocity: http://www.ironmaidensthoroughbreds.com/files/Download/4-7-11MaidenHandicapping.pdf As you spend time doing physical analysis of runners you will start to see the striking similarities of bloodlines, and you will see the same things over and over until you get to the point where you can identify an Unusual Heat in the walking ring from 100 yards away without your glasses – just look for the one who is throwing their head side to side, that’d be him. Has a head that looks like a shoe box? That would be an Unbridled’s Song. Short head with heavy features? A Smart Strike. Small, well conformed and cool as a cucumber? A Smarty Jones. Large, heavy boned, with heavy features? One of the Kris S’s. Tall, long legged and silent? A Giant’s Causeway. Short, stocky with a major league attitude? A Storm Cat. We know that family lines can tell us a ton about their performance ability, why would we think that physical and mental makeup don’t follow suit? We should, because they do. Just a quick note on physical handicapping…. Uhh, yeah. I should finish the mental and emotional component today. Kat, I am a horseplayer and not a rider so the whole canter/trot thing is a little fuzzy for me. I just know it is more than walking and less than galloping. As for the MHS video – yeah I know it was slow-mo and wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but there are no videos out there of the pre-race paddock, walking ring and warm-ups – all you get on replays are them loading them into the gate. The MHS work was the closest thing I could find.
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Proper English ? The Mary Celeste, a supposed "Ghost Ship"..My thinking it was an insurance scam from the get-go. Butts:for those who knock our proper English here. Not so sure how educated one need be to be a Captain of a ship, circa 1885. Butts: I submit the following from his own hand:::: But it wasn't so easy for the defense to explain a letter in the captain's hand, dated two months after the wreck, which the first mate also produced: E. Boston, March 5, '85 Here's his Classic attempt at English...Mr. Parker is the Captain... "I wood advise you not to know to much a bout cargo fer the shipers have put in their bill of Invoice to the adgestors and the protest and Log Book as that stand is all that I want. You will be cald over to the Insurance look out you do not get in the Roung track by knoing to much..........." G.C. Parker" That was a tough read. I don't know about you.........LoL.....At least we have @Formblog here; some of us actually do it on purpose. Not so sure about this literary genius.........I count at least a dozen mistakes......Lmao......in 3 lines no less.......
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
bobc and Keith L Thank you for the addditional site and tips to get those free pp's. Much Appreciated ! __________________________________________ Bernard Downes ..There were so many 'physical handicapping ' notes and tidbits, but I did see yours and kept it. For those whio missed it : December 08, 2011 02:27 PM Posted by Bernard Downes Thanks for all the language advice - I will get there eventually. Can I offer some totally layman's thoughts on "Physical Handicapping". TV pundits in Europe often suggest being wary of unusually tall 2 yr olds, on the basis that such horses "need time to grow into their frames". In contrast, I personally like tall, powerfully built mature horses racing 5 or 6 furlongs, and I nearly always bet them if they have a particularly large backside (their engine?). One pundit here hates horses jig-jogging in the parade ring, as they are using up energy. A nice shiny coat definitely. Avoid like the plague fillies going "woolly" in the Autumn. Sweating is a worry, especially between the back legs and down the neck. I look forward to reading some more professional answers as I like to visit the parade ring to see the horses up close. Best Regards - Bernard Downes Bernard, I thought these were good points, so keep your thoughts and posts comming !! ____________________________________________ Keith L Kyle Busch was a Bad, Bad Boy. I don't see Kurt in the same league.. so maybe just a 'lil bit of a spanking to keep him 'focused', hehehe. I didn't think Kurt should be let go & I haven't followed Nascar news lately, does he have a ride for next season? We will see what happens when they get re-started next year. ______________________________________________ General note ...a horses brain and it's capability , or let's use dogs, cats and other animals with human interaction. I truly believe animals respond in a positive manner to repeated positive influence from us humans ( handlers, trainers, owners, or the average homeowner with smaller pets) this could be as simple as when food is brought in , to a good scratch behind that ear or back side where they can't reach. And animals are an intelligent , interactive sort. Smart enough to retain training and instruction , or make up their own mind to do something to get 'your' attention, so to speak . Look at frisbee catching dogs, do you think they are having fun.. oh yes. It is in their body language. And the reverse is just as noticible. When they are mistreated or abused . It shows in the physical way they interact, and their body lanquage. So as far as brains, is there a point where 'literally' they know what we are meaning in our applause, one horse vs another? No, I don't think so. or are they responding to the same reinforced attention that is always applied ? Yes. I thought the example of Zenyatta ( can't remember who posted) that she has always been around an adoring crowd, or her intimate team who showered her with positive re-enforcement. all the time. Add in that John Sherriff and the Moss' were pretty generous to let persons over to the barns... so more attention, fans with treats, and more positive re enforcement. I would think that those ten's of thousands at the race track were clapping for and just adoring me, too :) ok, back to your regular programming. 'impeccable touraees'
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
C., Look !! I actually had to use you as an example in order to explain the gist of my story. It's more to the tune that going back in the pedigree more that 1 or 2 generations is where we seem to disagree.{remember when I said grandpa?}. I firmly believe that many traits by certain sires, the better ones, especially the Slew, are definitively carried on thru their children down the line. I consider you a very large mountain of worthwhile information. Sometimes when it's somebody like yourself, who I read thoroughly, I need to make my priorities my own. So, it really wasn't your fault, it was all mine. It's just a matter of taking certain stuff & digesting it & then incorporating it. Most of your stuff is quite cogent, so sorry for the inconvenience, so to speak. Look at the bright side. While I was betting at the parlor w/my money, picking my horses, making my bets, w/my time, I was there thinking & asking, what would C think ? How's that for Kudo's ? Instead of betting other races just to bet, I went & found me a Slewster in a particular individual race & bet him alone w/o the haphazard usual method. & it got me to as close as a Fishcake as I needed. I figured at that point, almost getting even, C would probably say, tomorrow is another day..Say goodnight....... I did.......So, in that scenario..> I thank you........
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Bernard Downes, Yeah , cricket is a pretty cool game. I was telling Psycho that its a good game for old 50 & over baseball players to play when they're no longer capable of playing the real deal. The guys that I saw were hands across the water, promote cricket in The Valley & all that. They were playing gentlemanly. I think South Africa might have won the tourney in the end. The Valley had a team of ex-pats from all the other countries. Cricket is something more like a combo of what kids over here call "over-the-line" & "Pickle" than it is like baseball. Its an Okay game,better than soccer. Better than Curling LOL.(sorry KNM)
David M More than 1 year ago
Steve: Thanks for the post on physical handicapping. I have clipped all comments on this issue and will be reviewing again closely. I plan on purchasing a few tapes also.
Bernard Downes More than 1 year ago
p ensign (and Annie), I was not offended in the slightest, merely upset that you had (seemingly) seriously misinterpreted a couple of my posts (don't bother with the physical handicapping effort, it wasn't very profound). However, having read your latest post (and Annies), it seems there is a massive, fundamental gulf between us. The point of my original post to blackseabass on this subject was not that horses don't "react to sound". Of course they do. They react to the voice of their jockey, the groom, the trainer (I have told the story before of one of our greatest ever steeplechasers responding positively to the voice of his former jockey delivered over a crackly, long distance TV transmission). I even accepted that horses recognise the warmth of the crowd's shouts and applause. But the important question is, what interpretation do they place on that sound? I have already said "warmth", and anger must also be recognised, but after that??? Do they try harder knowing that thousands of dollars depend on their efforts - no way. Again going back to my original thoughts, if you believe that when horse B hears horse A getting louder applause he thinks to himself 'I've got no chance today, I am second at best", then we will never see eye to eye on this, even if we both liive to be 100. Of course, perhaps you breed a more intelligent racehorse in US than we do in Europe. Best Regards - Bernard Downes