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Handicapper's Corner

Horse Racing Nation Handicapping Tools

Monday, December 26th was like any normal day after Christmas. I was coming out of my food induced coma, confined to my couch, watching races from coast to coast. As any racing diehard knows, December 26th is a very important day on the racing calendar, as it kicks off the winter action at Santa Anita Park.  When the gates opened for that day’s 3rd race (Maiden Special Weight for 2 year old males at 6 furlongs), I noticed #3 Unmarked Bills got jostled a bit and was dueling for last down the backstretch. Turning for home Unmarked Bills cut the corner well and was rolling up the rail, but got shut off due to a horse fading in front of him and was unable to move out since other runners occupied those lanes. 
 
Right away I thought Unmarked Bills would be a candidate for route races, so after the race I ventured over to calracing.com, another fantastic website where you can view replays of all races at any California track free of charge, to watch Unmarked Bills’ performance a few more times. After confirming what I thought I saw the first time, I went to Horse Racing Nation to do a little more research. I simply typed his name in the search box on the homepage, clicked on his name under the search results, and his profile page popped up. Once I took a look at his profile, two things struck a chord with me. First, Unmarked Bills’ trainer (Richard Mandella) is notorious for going slow with young horses and excelling with them as distances increase. Second, the dam of Unmarked Bills, Kelli’s Ransom, looked very familiar to me, so I proceeded to click on her name to retrieve her profile. There was not too much information to glean from her profile page, but by clicking on her siblings, you will see that all her full siblings have route racing experience. In fact, her brother, Minister Eric, ran 2nd in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park.
 
  
Next, it was on to progeny tab of Kelli’s Ransom’s profile, which showed why her name seemed so familiar to me. Kelli’s Ransom is the dam of both Devil May Care and Regal Ransom. Both were multiple graded stakes winners, but Devil May Care was a dual grade-1 winning filly who defeated standout Awesome Maria and was considered a major contender in the 2010 Kentucky Derby. 
 
 
 
 
 
After armed with this extra knowledge, it was time to add Unmarked Bills to my stable mail, so I could track his activity (workouts and entries). Over the past few weeks I received regular e-mails chronicling all his workouts and earlier this week got an e-mail notifying me that Unmarked Bills is entered to run in Santa Anita’s 6th, a 1-mile Maiden Special Weight race for 3 year olds on dirt on Saturday, 1/21/2012. When looking at Brisnet past performances, it is apparent that Richard Mandella is highly successful at moving horses from sprints to routes. Plus, the workouts since his last race are in a nice pattern (workout on 1/6 wait 7 days, 1/13 wait 5 days, 1/18 wait 3 days until the race on 1/21) and appear to be nice building blocks for route racing. I particularly like the breezing workout on 1/6, since this connotation is rarely used for workouts in Southern California. Also, Unmarked Bills has already shown he can work quickly (1:11 for 6 furlongs on 11/2/11), so the 1:17 4/5 work on 1/13 doesn’t worry me and seems like a stamina builder. 
 
  
Finally, it turns out that Kelli’s Ransom has actually had 6 offspring with 4 of them reaching the winner’s circle, though Horse Racing Nation only shows 3 offspring. The reason being is that Horse Racing Nation is built for and by the fans, so anyone can add breeding/progeny information, similar to Wikipedia. Therefore, I encourage everyone to spend a few minutes adding some of their favorite runners. This would strengthen the database for years and horse generations to come. 
 
As of now, no morning line odds or early scratches are available, but this is a very contentious race with many highly regarded, well bred horses, so Unmarked Bills should be 4-1 at the lowest. Hopefully by digging a little deeper and utilizing the free tools at Horse Racing Nation, we cash more tickets this Saturday and in the future. Please visit the Plays of the Day page for wagering recommendations on this race.    
 
Please be sure to follow me on Twitter-@Cappercorner and/or friend me on facebook.com to continue the horse racing conversation!
 
Past performances provided by Brisnet

 

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Older Comments about Nation Handicapping Tools...

Nice work Jasen.
Love this info! Thanks, Jasen and HRN!
This is really cool, Jasen! I wasn't aware that a 'capper could use HRN to go through such a thorough process like this. What a great tool! I might add that the horse's most recent running line looks absolutely perfect leading to a stretch-out attempt. I would expect him to be laying closer to the [ace and make his attempted strike on the far turn. Good Luck and keep up the great work!
Jasen, this is an awesome breakdown! A must for any new fans that want to understand a little more about the game!
Thanks for the kind words everyone. I just hope that everyone that visits Horse Racing Nation is able to take a little nugget of info when they leave & go play the races.
Ultimately, handicapping is all about how much you know. Thanks for the knowledge.
Great information, Jasen! I love how you break everything down, too.
Nice work Jasen! I need to take more lessons from you!
Great information here as usual, Jasen. It pays to do your homework, and Horse Racing Nation is a great place to do that homework. The more info the better ... keep it coming, folks!
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Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, NE.  From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10.  Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for handicapping the races has risen to a new level.  Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find “cap horses” in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

 

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charm’s 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race I’ve seen was Tiznow’s first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giant’s Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch.   My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping pick-4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

 

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do.  From week to week, I’ll explain angles I think are important to locate winners.  I encourage others to post picks they like too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions.  That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal.-Best of luck, Jasen Mangrum