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Blog - GAMBLING

Lea held off champion Will Take Charge, left, in the Donn Handicap on Feb. 9 but it is the runner-up who rates as the better bet for his next race. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)

The $500,000 Grade 1 Donn Handicap, Feb. 9, Gulfstream Park

Lea was unquestionably a highly impressive winner of the Donn Handicap, taking the Grade 1 stakes in the track-record time of 1:46.86 for 1 1/8 miles. Yet in terms of their next start, the horse who figures to benefit most from the race is the runner-up, Will Take Charge.

Equibase Virtual Stable

Lea had a perfect set-up, chasing a 27-to-1 longshot on the front end, and he mostly likely will be unable to duplicate such a superb, but taxing, career-best effort.

Will Take Charge, meanwhile, had not raced in more than two months and fears of rust and his late kick working against him at Gulfstream were reflected in his odds rising from 6-to-5 to 3-to-2 in the final three minutes.

Though still the post-time favorite, he seemed to have little chance of catching Lea at the top of the stretch. Yet the determination he showed in closing for second, cutting the margin to 1 ½ lengths at the finish line, bodes well for his chances of being sharper and even more competitive in his next start and earned him a spot on the A List.

The Hot List, founded by turf writer/handicapper Bob Ehalt in 2011, blends a detailed analysis of a race with late wagering trends to pick out the horses with the best chance of running a winning race in their next start. Hot List horses are rated in four lettered categories:

A : A preferred horse to watch off his effort in the race                   
B : A secondary horse to watch off his effort in the race                                   
*C: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 1st through 3rd
*D: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

For questions on the Hot List, email: nyhotlist@gmail.com

The only other starter placed on the Hot List was third-place finisher Viramundo. He was 50-to-1 with three minutes left and went off at 44-to-1, meeting the Hot List criteria of a horse at his odds dropping four points or more in the final minutes.

It was highly unusual to see a 50-to-1 shot drop in the late wagering, and in Viramundo’s case that confidence was merited as he finished a respectable third. While he was no threat to the winner, finishing 10 ¾ lengths behind Lea, his effort was noteworthy considering it was his first try in a U.S. graded stakes. With a more realistic placement, such as a Grade 3 stakes, Viramundo should be a top contender in his next start.

No one else showed much. Foremost among the also-rans was 7-to-2 second choice and seventh-place finisher Revolutionary, who took a backward step after a promising return from a seven-month layoff in which he beat Falling Sky (who came back to win a Grade 3 stakes the day before the Donn) and Viramundo.

Hot List horses: Will Take Charge (A), Viramundo (C)

Donn Handicapping Late Wagering Report

No.

Horse

Odds 3 Minutes
to Post

Final Odds

1.

Uncaptured

30

27

2.

Will Take Charge

6/5

3/2

3.

Revolutionary

3

7/2

4.

Neck ‘n Neck

30

34

5.

River Seven

6

5

6.

Romansh

7

7

7.

Viramundo

50

44

8.

Lea

6

5

9.

Bourbon Courage

15

13

10.

Macho Bull

99

180

11.

Joshua’s Comprise

99

199

 

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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