Friday, May 27, 2011

The Grade 2 $150,000 American Handicap

The Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park on Saturday is basically an exercise in trying to beat Sidney's Candy, who will likely go off as a prohibitive favorite. He certainly deserves such backing, even though he ran second last time out to Crown Of Thorns in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy on the Cushion track at Hollywood on May 7. Here is the analysis:

I think the biggest think working against the favorite in this spot is the presence of plenty of pace to run with him on the front end. I expect Ryehill Dreamer and Liberian Freighter to be winging along the front end with Sidney's Candy to create quite a fast pace scenario here. I am, therefore, going to go with what I think is the most interesting horse in the race, #6 Goldwaki. He is making his 2011 debut here for new trainer Ron McAnally. If you look at the distances this horse ran in 2010, you will see that the shortest race he tried was at 1 3/8 miles. He has not been as short as one mile since October 2009, before he broke his maiden. He lost his last three races in 2010, but finished behind some fine runners, like Bekhabad, who went on to run in the Breeders' Cup. It's a long layoff, but I think his workouts have shown he can go fast when he needs to. For second, I will go another I expect to lay off the pace a bit in #4 The Usual Q.T., who will have Victor Espinoza aboard here. He finished third behind the two pacesetters I expect to run with Sidney's Candy in the Grade 3 Inglewood on April 24. In fact, he has hit the board in his last five efforts, but has not been a winner since the Grade 1 Eddie Read at Del Mar in July 2010. He has won five of seven tries at one mile on the turf in his career. I will put #7 Sidney's Candy in the third spot. He is clearly the best overall horse in the field, but I think the circumstances will conspire against him in this spot. Plus, his price will be so short, he is worth a bet against. I will use one of the other pacesetters to round out the top four with #1 Ryehill Dreamer. He could very well hang on for a minor piece of this one after posting back-to-back Beyers in the low 100s. His last workout on May 20 was a five-furlong bullet, covering the distance in a scorching 58 3/5 seconds. Here is the play for the Grade 2 American Handicap:

$5 WP #6
$1 EX 4-6-7 with ALL
$1 TRI 4-6 with 4-6-7 with ALL
TOTAL- $55

The blog is now MINUS $506 for the year. I think we might be in the midst of a resuscitation, though, as we try to make our way back to even for the year. Remember, They Are Off does not accepts any responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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