08/04/2010 8:45AM

Lookin At Lucky, Weekend Thoughts, HG PP's


It was a stellar performance from the country's top three-year-old, Lookin At Lucky, in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth.

The winner of the Preakness Stakes bobbled ever so slightly coming out of the gate before being expertly guided off the rail by his calm young rider, Martin Garcia. Lookin At Lucky tracked the pace while three paths wide going into the first turn and made a smooth run in tandem with Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver while three deep on the final bend. Garcia seemed like he still had a handful of horse at the quarter-pole, however, and Lookin At Lucky exploded away from the field to win as much, much the best.

These weren't ham-and-eggers he was drilling into the ground, either. While Super Saver may be a tad overrated, he still won the Derby. Ice Box, arguably best in the Derby, never picked up his feet. The ever-consistent First Dude was nowhere to be found. The lightly-raced and very talented Trappe Shot simply could not go with Lookin At Lucky come crunch time.

This was a bigtime performance. Whether we see Bob Baffert's charge in the Travers is still up in the air, but Lookin At Lucky has to be considered an intriguing new face on a handicap landscape that boasts the likes of Zenyatta, Quality Road, Blame, and Rachel Alexandra.


Violon Sacre is a talented turf runner from the Patrick Biancone barn. Unfortunately, Violon Sacre is insane. If you get an opportunity, take a gander at the replay of the Grade 3 Oceanport Handicap at Monmouth on Haskell afternoon. Violon Sacre is the one tossing his head for the first half-mile of the 8 1/2-furlong Oceanport. The horse simply refuses to settle for his rider. That he still had enough energy to get within breathing distance of even-money winner Get Serious shows Violon Sacre's ability. But can he be trusted in future races?


It was a bittersweet weekend for trainer Tony Dutrow. After nursing both A Little Warm and Winslow Homer through myriad physical problems that cost them opportunities in the Triple Crown series, Dutrow was rewarded with a pair of impressive wins in the Jim Dandy and Curlin Stakes, respectively, at Saratoga. A Little Warm looks headed for the Travers, but Winslow Homer suffered a serious injury after his facile win. It's a very tough game.


I don't know what you thought, but I felt that Get Stormy was exhausted at the end of the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga on Saturday. Now, I guess he had every reason to get tired as he did all the running on the front end and stopped the teletimer one-fifth off the track record for 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Throw another speed in there next time out at perhaps a longer distance, however, and he may go off an underlay.


It's always special to win a race at Del Mar so kudos to 10-pound bug rider Jesus Velazquez for booting home Ranger Heartley for an 8-1 upset in the fifth race on August 1. Ranger Heartley was claimed out of the race for $62,500 by Bob Hess Jr.


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



The past performances for the leading Beyer performer are available at the bottom of this blog entry. 


Congrats to terry for finishing first in last week's HG exercise.  He selects Thursday's Latham Stakes at Saratoga for this week's race. 

The past performances will be available at the bottom of this blog entry.


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. 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 tech support team is still working out the kinks on this new blog.  We have a timestamp on the comments and the 100-post limit has been lifted, but there is still a great deal more that needs to be done.  

I thank you for your patience.


Lookin At Lucky.pdf637.19 KB
HG.pdf166.73 KB