11/26/2010 12:58PM

Matriarch, Clark, HandiGambling PP's


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Now, let's gamble!

The Clark Handicap is a deep and contentious race featuring several horses with the potential to become important runners in the handicap division of 2011.  As of 11:30 a.m, the Churchill Downs main track is listed as GOOD and there are no changes.  One horse I will try to beat is REGAL RANSOM.  The winner of the 2009 Super Derby (over Blame), Regal Ransom showed up with front bandages for his most recent start, and promptly bombed as the even-money favorite.  There are other speeds for him to contend with in the Clark and he will likely have to work pretty hard if he is to get the lead from an outside post.  
The three contenders I'll use in my multi-race wagers are SUCCESSFUL DAN, REDDING COLLIERY, and APART.  Successful Dan's two recent wins were on polytrack, but he is a perfect 2-2 on dirt (both races at Churchill Downs), and his good tactical speed should have him in a prime early position.  Redding Colliery has excellent early speed and is turning back after a gate-to-wire score in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup.  He's run some big races in 2010 and may offer value if he goes off at anything near his 10-1 morning line.  Apart is drawing comparisions to former stablemate Blame after winning his last three starts.  
Now, for the negatives.  While Successful Dan won the Fayette last time out at nine furlongs, I'm not sure that 1 1/8 miles is really his best game.  Redding Colliery was able to shake loose in the Hawthorne Gold Cup, and may not have the luxury of an easy lead this afternoon.  Apart may have been aided by an outside, closer-friendly track at Churchill Downs last time out.  
The Clark is an excellent race.  I'll play small multi-race wagers with my top three selections:
1. Successful Dan  2.  Redding Colliery  3. Apart

The race I really like this afternoon is the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Park.  SPECIAL DUTY looms the favorite based on her three Group 1 wins in Europe, but remember that she was placed first via disqualification in two of those races.  While we may give her a mulligan for losing to all-world equine athlete Goldikova last time out, she was beaten over 20 lengths two starts back in the Group 1 Falmouth at Newmarket.  If she's too short a price, I'll try to beat her on the win end.  
WASTED TEARS will be dangerous if allowed to shake loose on the front end, but the presence of CAMILLE C may force her to go pretty fast for the first three furlongs or so.  It's possible that a duel will soften her up for a late-kicker, and I'm hoping I found the right one in GYPSY'S WARNING.  The beaten favorite in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon last time out, Gypsy's Warning found herself on the lead that afternoon, and I don't think that's her preferred style of running.  Cutting back to a mile in the Matriarch, Gypsy's Warning may work out a great ground-saving, pace-tracking trip under Joel Rosario. 
Selections:  1. Gypsy's Warning  2.  Special Duty  3.  Wasted Tears

Congrats to gordon p for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling.  He selected Saturday's Cigar Mile for this week's exercise. 


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.

Best of luck to all

Back tomorrow morning with my HG picks and some other weekend plays.





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