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Handicapper's Corner

Stars Come Out Saturday Night at Prairie Meadows

Hopefully Friday night treated everyone well as you cheered home your selections and cashed many tickets. Here’s a preview of Saturday night’s stakes action wrapping up the Iowa Festival of Racing.



 (photo by Molly Jo Rosen & Bruno De Julio)


Race 7 Grade 3 $200,000 Iowa Oaks, 1 1/16 miles, 3yo fillies

The presence of #3 Tapajo and #5 Livi Makenzie ensures there will be a lively pace in the compact group of 6. Tapajo does have the benefit of getting 2 races over the track, but the pace scenario makes it look difficult for her to duplicate those winning efforts. There is little that separates #1 Ice Cream Silence and #2 Uptown Bertie. Though Uptown Bertie has ran slightly higher BRIS speed figures, Ice Cream Silence has only run around 2 turns once and has every right to improve off that 5-length victory last out, though only in a 3-horse field. #4 Emona is making her first start on a conventional dirt track and appears overmatched. #6 Ize In Trouble has never gained ground in the stretch in all 3 route tries and doesn’t look to make the lead here, a bad combination.

Selections 2-1-3-5

Race 8 Grade 3 $250,000 Iowa Derby, 1 1/16 miles, 3yo

This race starts and ends with 2-year-old champion #1 Hansen. His slowest race is faster than his opponents’ best efforts. Even though Hansen should wire this field, if a speed dual develops he has shown the ability to run slightly off the pace when winning Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes last March. Hansen should win in a romp at odds of 1/5 or lower. #5 Truetap chased home #2 Alsvid in the local Iowa Derby prep (Prairie Mile Stakes).  In the Prairie Mile, Alsvid set a slow early pace in victory, which will not be the case tonight with the presence of Hansen and Louisiana Derby winner, #3 Hero Of Order. Since his victory in Louisiana, Hero Of Order’s form has fallen off, though all of his starts have been on synthetic or turf. Nevertheless, Here Of Order would need an unlikely uncontested early lead to win this. #4 Macho Bull is overmatched and anything better than 4th would be surprising. Finally, it should be noted that the minimum show payoff in Iowa is $2.20, not $2.10. Therefore, bridge jumper will be out in full force to put massive sums of money on Hansen to show. It may be wise to buy show wagers on the other runners. In the microscopic chance Hansen does not hit the board, the size of show payoffs may prove legendary.

Selections 1-5-2-3

Race 9 Grade 3 $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap, 1 1/8 miles, 3 & up


A very nice group of 6 gather for Prairie Meadow’s signature race, the Cornhusker Handicap, but #3 Successful Dan stands out above the rest. Successful Dan rallied farthest off the pace of any horse during Kentucky Oaks/Derby weekend, when capturing the Alysheba Stakes in track record time. Though nagging injuries kept the 6-year-old Successful Appeal gelding on the bench in 2011, he has returned to the races with a vengeance. He has been working steadily for this spot, and a victory tonight would make him a contender for leader in the handicap division. #4 Fort Larned was 2nd to Successful Dan in the previously mention Alysheba Stakes, and had a horrible trip last out in the Stephen F. Foster at Churchill Downs. Look for Fort Larned to sit just off expected pacesetter, #2 Shadowbdancing, and be the only serious threat to Successful Dan. #1 Taptowne has really excelled when moved to the dirt. Two starts back he soundly defeated Shadowbdancing in the Cryptoclearance Stakes at Hawthorne Race Course. Though overmatched look for Taptowne to pick up the pieces late. #5 Awesome Gem is a hard-knocking 9-year-old gelding that gives 100% every time out. It just looks like his “A” game won’t get done against this group this evening. Last year’s Cornhusker winner, #6 Headache, has not been seen since running 6th in the Clark Handicap last November. He is working every 7 days in preparation for this, but I think he’ll need this race to get back to peak condition.

Selections 3-4-1-6

Pick-4 Plays & Good luck

Race 6 (middle pick-4)
$5.00 P4 1,2/1,2/1/3=$20
$1.00 P4 3,4,6/1,2/1/3=$6
$1.00 P4 1,2/3/1/3=$2
$1.00 P4 1,2/1,2/1/4=$2
$0.50 P4 3,4,6/3/1/3=$1.50
$0.50 P4 3,4,6/1,2/1/4=$3
$0.50 P4 1,2/3/1/4=$1
$0.50 P4 5,7/1,2/1/3=$2
$0.50 P4 1,2/5/1/3=$1

Total Bets=$40.50

Race 7 (last pick-4)
$5.00 P4 1,2/1/3/1,8=$20
$1.00 P4 3/1/3/1,8=$2
$1.00 P4 1,2/1/4/1,8=$4
$1.00 P4 1,2/1/3/6=$2
$0.50 P4 3/1/4/1,8=$1
$0.50 P4 3/1/3/6=$0.50
$0.50 P4 1,2/1/4/6=$1
$0.50 P4 5/1/3/1,8=$1
$0.50 P4 1,2/1/3/2,5,7,9=$4

Total Bets=$35.50


Please be sure to follow me on Twitter-@Cappercorner and/or friend me on facebook.com to continue the horse racing conversation!


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Older Comments about Stars Come Out Saturday Night at Prairie Meadows...

All of the horses were beautiful, but it is so special to see one of your favorites
Daniel how true. Long trip but it is worth it. Hansens owner helped racing out a great deal by gaining new fans by racing his horse in Iowa.
you said it buckpasser. i drove 10 total hours to see Hansen run. drove there, watched him and came back home that night. nothing can beat any of those moments for me at a racetrack.
Not obsessed. That little horse is cute. You might want to try eBay. Many of those things come up there. Also I hope you enjoyed seeing your favorite horse. Nothing beats going to the track and watching your favorite horse live.
I didn't get one of those cute little horses...I saw a little girl with one and she had a death grip on it...

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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

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