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Watch Out For Sister Moon!
*SISTER MOON a $57,000 RNA at OBS April, earned a 92 Beyer Speed Figure winning first-out by almost ten lengths for trainer John Sadler. Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss of Zenyatta fame, Sister Moon is by Dixie Union out of a half-sister to Indiana Derby winner Cielo Gold. She was sent right to the front under Joel Rosario, rattled off splits of 22.03 and 44.96 before completing 5 1/2 panels over the Del Mar polytrack in 1:02.70.
*BRIDGETOWN earned last week's best Beyer Speed Figure in his first start since finishing a disappointing twelfth in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Bridgetown prompted the early pace of WILDCAT FRANKIE through splits of 22.26 and 45.40 before drawing away in the stretch despite flipping back to his wrong lead in the stretch. Bridgetown finished fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint as a 3-year-old and is likely to point to that race as his long-term goal. Although an open-lengths winner of the Troy, Bridgetown must do better if he is to prevail under the Twin Spires this fall.
*CEASE, a 4-year-old gelded son of War Chant, won his maiden at Saratoga by over 13 lengths on August 21. Trained by Al Stall Jr., Cease relished the muddy track, stalking the pace from the outside before taking over on the far turn. He faced no competition in the stretch, but he changed back to his left lead late and may find things more difficult against winners on dry footing.
*WHERE'S STERLING is an improved sort for trainer Nick Canani and he earned a hard-fought victory in the Grade 3 Iselin at Monmouth. The Iselin was weaker than it has been in recent years, however, and Where's Sterling may regress next time following this tough effort.
*Fans of speed were heartened to see a pair of aggressive rides pay off on the grass. After the late scratch of FIFTY PROOF, KARA'S ORIENTATION loomed the lone pacesetter in the Grade 2 Sky Classic at Woodbine. Ridden by Emile Ramsammy, Kara's Orientation opened up an 18-length lead down the backstretch through fractions of 25.78, 48.54 and 1:12.64 before having just enough to last the 10 furlongs.
At Del Mar, the talented SUMMER SOIREE moved to the fore at the half-mile pole of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks under Gabriel Saez, drew clear on the turn and held off late-runners STAR BILLING and NEREID.
*Really liked EVE GISELLE's victory in the six-furlong, Grade 3 Endine Stakes at Delaware. Trained by Tim Ritchey, the favorite prompted the pace from the outside, made the front turning for home and had enough to turn away longshot Sassy City. Eve Giselle has won six of nine starts, has never finished off the board and looks like a sleeper in the Filly and Mare Sprint division.
*UNION RAGS made it 2 for 2 after winning the Grade 2 Saratoga Special despite racing greenly in the lane. Word has it that trainer Michael Matz is very, very high on this son of Dixie Union.
Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (8/13 - 8/20):
1. BRIDGETOWN - 103 - Troy Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Saratoga
2. CEASE - 102 - Md Sp Wt 51k - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
3. WHERE'S STERLING - 100 - Phillip H. Iselin (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Monmouth
4. AWESOME GEM - 98 - Longacres Mile (G3) - 1 Mile - Emerald
4. KARA'S ORIENTATION - 98 - Sky Classic (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Woodbine
4. MY STAR RUNNER - 98 - Louisiana Cup Sprint - 6 Furlongs - Louisiana
4. RAVALO - 98 - Remington Park Sprint Cup - 6 Furlongs - Remington
8. ROYAL DELTA - 97 - Alabama Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Saratoga
8. SUMMER SOIREE - 97 - Del Mar Oaks (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Del Mar
10. CAIXA ELETRONICA - 96 - Hcp ---s - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
10. EVE GISELLE - 96 - Endine Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs - Delaware
12. JUST JEBICAH - 95 - H.P.B.A. Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Canterbury
12. RAETODANDTY - 95 - Green Flash Handicap - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Delaware
12. STARS TO SHINE - 95 - Belle Mahone Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
12. UNION RAGS - 95 - Saratoga Special (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga
16. DAPHNE ANGELA - 94 - Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint - 6 Furlongs - Louisiana
16. ELDAAFER - 94 - Alw 45420C - 1 1/16 Miles - Delaware
16. SHEDIAK (Fr) - 94 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Delaware
19. COMPLIANCE OFFICER - 93 - West Point Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
19. FARLEY STAR (GB) - 93 - Alw 40000s - 1 Mile (Turf) - Del Mar
19. LA REINE LIONNE - 93 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Saratoga
19. TANDA - 93 - Rancho Bernardo Handicap (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
23. DAVOS - 92 - Alw 30200NC - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Emerald
23. RYAN'S GIFT - 92 - Alw 25000NC - 6 Furlongs - Finger Lakes
23. SISTER MOON - 92 - Md Sp Wt 64k - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
Bridgetown's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog posting.
Congrats to Alan for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise. This week's race will be Sunday's Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
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 horse's name) for easier scoring.
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
Again, I'd like to thank everyone for being so patient with me during the Saratoga meet. If I survive it, I'm going to take a week off to recharge the batteries and then I'll return to answer your questions and comments and field your PP requests.
HG $4 Tri: (1, 5, 9, 10) = $24*4 = $96
Handi picks before the hurricane force winds and rain hit us up here near Saratoga in Stillwater $.30 Superfecta: 9/5,6,10,11,1,2/1,2,5,10,11,12/1,2,5,10,11,12 = $36 $.30 Superfecta 10/1,2,5,9,11,12/1,2,5,9,11,12/1,2,5,9,11,12 = $36 $.30 Superfecta 5/9,10,11,12,2/2,9,10,11,12/2,9,10,11,12 = $18 $10 triple 9/10/5
Annie, "Well, my diabolical scheme worked out. :) It cost me $165.00 for the three tickets, but I won on two of them, so I got the $363.25 Pick 4 twice with no tax man involved. I took a lot of teasing in the chatroom about being a Pletcher lover, but facts are facts and logic is logic. Pletcher wins many of the big stakes races. Today we had four big stakes races in the Pick 4 and Pletcher had the M/L favorite in three of them. It was very logical to presume that he would win at least one of them. He darn near won all three. It was better for me that he only won two, because if MO had won, the Pick 4 would have paid even less. " I admit to being one of the flack-givers regarding Pletcher in stakes. The issue I have with Pletcher is mainly the depressed price you get because he is, well, Todd Pletcher. I don't see anything wrong with wagering on a Pletcher horse when the time is right (the price is honest, the horse is a honest favorite) That said, I know your diabolical plan did work on your Travers Day pick 4. And congrats for cashing and finishing on the good end of the balance sheet. By your numbers, you went $165 in and $726.50 out. However, a straight win wager HOT SUMMER, who got love from Mike A and Uncle Steve and I in the chat on Friday night, would have given you back $1188 if you put the same $165 in. And keep in mind that your $726.50 payoff, as you stated, would have been lower had Uncle Mo won the King's Bishop. This is the crux of the flack I am giving. Sure, Pletcher wins a lot of stakes and sure, he can get a horse ready. But I only saw one Pletcher horse that was worth his price (Stay Thirsty). By no means am I anti-Pletcher; I liked Pletcher to win the Illinois Derby. I see nothing wrong with trying to link together logical winners on a card. If I saw the Travers Day P4 was going to be the Pletcher show, I'd bet it that way but I'd also keep the combinations way down, so that if I did lose, I didn't lose a ton and if I did win, I made sure it was a satisfactory return. To me, there's a difference between chalk and logical chalk. Logical chalk is the Euros in the Million. Chalk is Pletcher. I only saw one logical chalk on Travers Day.
I didn't have the pp's (and still don't from the link on the blog) for the Pacific Classic. Decided this morning to go out and get the "paper".......I will not change my HG bet......I entered it and so it stays, but I've changed my mind about the race. I have to look at this race in reality. The running.... Speed.....Acclamation, Game On Dude, Twirling Candy, Don Cavallo.......I believe Acclamation will clear, but will have Game On Dude and Twirling Candy in close attendance.....Don Cavallo should be able to rate, you would hope anyway.....if not it only makes the early pace more demanding than I think it's going to be already. Of the rest......you know my main complaint about CA racing is once horses break their maidens and get to running a bit it's always the same horses running against each other. Sometimes a horse will win two in a row, more often not. When they do the excitement level hits overdrive.....anyone who will listen is told about the next "Swaps". Though as we've seen with Twirling Candy and just about anyone else who won more than one race a year, it isn't so. When Game On Dude won The SA handicap I felt a little bit of vindication having picked him out of a maiden race in Florida as a future good one, but even that vote of confidence doesn't make me think he's a great one. I liked him in the big cap, but more because of how little I thought of the rest and not that I thought he was invincible. He won even though Sutherland did everything she could to lose.....whacky, I know you love her, she is an attractive woman, but as far as riders go? she's not that good...I think it's a strength issue. She know's what to do, just doesn't have the strength to do it. Anyway......what's left? Jeranimo......they can't even spell his name right......Well at least the English translation....I suppose in Spanish it's Jeranimo....like Jesus. This horse nibbles.....claim to fame? a couple of good races last year. Nibblers do win their share in CA......it's inevitable I suppose, but I just don't see it. Setsuko.....will run one killer a year, he shot his load in the big Cap. Quindici Man? If there is anyone who best sums up just how ordinary horses are in the handicap division in CA it's this one. His furious run in the Cap almost won it. Exactly what did he beat before that? The ponies from the South West? I liked him in the cap...again, because how weak I thought the "picks" were and he always seemed to show up. I could go on, but you get my drift.....the point is I don't think these horses are so good that a "newcomer" doesn't have a shot. Don Cavallo should get good position from the one hole......could keep Acclimation to his outside, or if the jock is clever, keep him out there just long enough, say.....till the backstretch run before letting him have the lead, soften him up...save ground and then see what you have left at the head of the lane. But of the newcomers he does have a tougher race. He's come along way since I liked him on turf at Gulf. So who is left...... Tres Borraches............seems weird mentioning this horse as a closer......do I believe the change in tactics has made him a different horse at this stage of his career? Well it makes him closer if anything. Though this close? I'll let him show me. ,br. Great Warrior......an unknown to me......no one seems to mention him, that's scary......... Stately Victor.......I'm of a mind that this horse can win.....He's shown his affinity for poly...has shown the ability to run a big one his last he had no chance.....Don Cavallo having things his own way...he showed a good race in spite of it. He's had a few hard luck races, but I've liked this horse ever since his Blue Grass win last year. At 20-1 he's worth a shot I reckon.....Distance? I don't see a problem......the way I see it is this race sets up well for him......if he runs his race and he doesn't have any major troubles this should be a race where he can show what he's got. If not? Well I've been wrong before, like with Bowman's Causeway......perhaps turf? Bowman's Causeway showed promise....Horses who show promise sometimes have to find their Niche. I think Stately Victor's niche is poly......I reckon I'll find out. But as I said before, no one in this race race shown that they wish to step up, well of course except for Acclimation......but it's his first try on the surface. It's a good betting race and one where scenarios abound.......Is it because I think Stately Victor is that good? well yes and no.....I think he can step up, but I also believe there's no one that's too tough to beat.....Mike A
James Mc; FYI, it appears you have made a similar mistake to one I made a couple of weeks ago( and took a lot of well-deserved flak for). You talk about revising your bet due to the scratch of Bourbon Bay, and then included the 8 (Bourbon Bay) in your tri box wager. 10c is a wizard and I am sure that he understands your intent, but you have time to change it. BTW, I liked Bourbon Bay also. ST
HG and Quick Picks From Workville HG $50 exactas-#9 to 1 and 4 (Dude to Cavallo and Borrachos) Comments Game On Dude is just that-very game. Runs best from off the pace, and Acclamation will do the dirty work today. Always cuts it close, but I'm hoping he'll get it done today. Cavallo has reached a new level, an angle I love. Marty Jones has taught Borrachos a new trick-to rate. In real life I will play Dude ATB, with exactas, of varying amounts, back and forth to Cavallo and Borrachos. I will also box Cavallo and Borrachos, just in case. Del Mar 5th-Looking for value in a five horse field, so will WP on Camp Victory (an old favorite of mine, even whe Carla had him), with an exacta saver from Tiger to Camp. Leaving The Factor out (sorry Jonah)-maybe a gulp. Ellis Park 9th-#10-Ready To Unleash. A debut horse for Carroll, one of "my guys". Don't like 7-2, but if one believes, and I do, then it's worth an ATB even at the low odds. Good luck to all of you today.
HG PC: Congrats to Alan( and Chalky) for their win last week, and this is a very interesting race.Several questions surround the contenders. Will TC be able to rate and will he finish the 10f? How will Don Cavallo ship? Did the HGC take something out of Game on Dude? Will Tres Borrachos new running style make him a factor? Will Acclamation transfer his turf form to the DMR Poly? Will Stately Victor a horse who likes all-weather surfaces wake up and improve on his latest WO effort.Will Setsuko finally win his second race? Certainly, a horse who has failed to live up to his numerous "wise guy" hype. Is Jeranimo, with Congaree on top, a 10f horse? Will AC Avila finally pull his big upset( and it would be a huge upset) with Great Warrior who clearly seems overmatched. Finally, what to do with Qunidici Man who ran his career best buyer at the 10f distance in the Big Cap but has drawn the extreme outside post. I am always looking for a price and I believe QM will provide it, therefore my HG play will be as follows: $50 Win #11; $10 Ex Key 11/1,3,59,10. Best of luck to everyone.
With the scratch of BB I'll recalibrate my HG to: HG: $16 Tri 5,10 with 5,6,9,10 with 3 $4 Tri 5-8-3 Curt V and TVG, you're entitled to your opinions, I'm just gonna move on and redact that B number column from my formulator from now on, probably better for everyone that way. We'll see how those horses run back next time. Will watch some DMR today, probably no bets. Looking forward to Fairplex and Belmont. Good luck all.
HG selection for the Pacific Classic Quick, before the power goes out. $100 to WIN #9 Fast, early, 5 of 5 ITM, won a G1 and a G3, 1 for 2 at the distance. Good luck to all. Stay dry.
$100 trifecta Twirling Candy - Game On Dude - Setsuko