Friday, May 25, 2018

Handicapper's Corner: Gamely Stakes (G1)

Uni Hard to Play Against in Gamely Stakes

By: Reinier Macatangay, Let's Waste Money

With trainer Chad Brown dominating the turf racing scene, it is hard to play against him in the Grade 1, $300,000 Gamely Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita. This time he brings in Uni, a 4-year-old filly who comes into Southern California with a 2 for 5 record in North America, along with a second and one third. She is tough.


This race is tough too, with a few runners who look like they can win on any given day, but fall short of excellence. Whose turn will it be this weekend? 

This write-up will go through each runner.

1) Madam Dancealot – It should be noted she finished ahead of Uni in the Queen Elizabeth Cup (G2) at Keeneland last October. In four races since then, she has performed steadily and did manage to take the Santa Ana Stakes (G2). There is nothing to get too excited about here, although she is a contender.

2) Midnight Crossing – The runner-up in the Santa Ana did pick up a win in the Frankel Stakes (G3) last December. She followed up with an eighth-place finish in the Suwanee River (G3) at Gulfstream, and also finished eighth in the Royal Heroine (G3) after the good Santa Ana try. Confusing read.

3) Mopotism – No turf races on record. Bernardini as the damsire is not the greatest sign when searching for grass in the pedigree. While bloodlines do not always pan out and she could love the grass, prefer to pass for now.

4) Sophie P – She tipped out for a clear run in the Royal Heroine but offered no run while finishing sixth. This is probably not a realistic contender.

5) Uni – As stated earlier, she owns two wins in North America. The latest one came this year at Aqueduct in an ungraded stakes race, where TimeformUS awarded her a lofty 125 Speed Figure. Her previous numbers never went above 121. Perhaps Uni is more mature and stronger than in her previous season. She had no pace to work with in the Queen Elizabeth Cup (G2). The main choice.

6) Beau Recall – Royal Heroine effort looks superb in replay, as she came late with a quick outside move and scored the win. Toss out the turf sprint race two starts ago. Before that, she finished behind Madame Dancealot twice when competing in the American Oaks (G1) and Queen Elizabeth Cup, with no pace to help her kick in the latter race. While she does not stand out, it will not be a surprise to see this one come late again and win either. Another solid contender.

7) Hawksmoor – Speedy mare would benefit from taking the lead early. TimeformUS Pace Projector puts her on the lead without a fast pace, but it does not always work out that way. She began the year by finishing second by a nose in an ungraded stakes at Laurel (not Yanny) Park. The 124 TimeformUS Speed Figure earned last November at Del Mar in the Matriarch (G1) is good enough to win this. Yet another contender in a competitive-looking race.

8) Madame Stripes – At least she owns some tactical speed. Plus, her speed figures fit with this group, although none of them stick out except the 123 earned last September in the John C. Mabee Stakes (G2). The connections seem content with racing this mare in mostly one-mile races though, which could hint at distance limitations. Then again, the Mabee effort came at 1 1/8 miles. Also, the TimeformUS trainer rating labels Neil Drysdale as hot. Contender.

Handigambling $100
$40 Win - Uni
$3 Trifecta ($60 in all) – 5 / 1,2,6,7,8 / 1,2,6,7,8

Pass if Uni becomes overbet.

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