02/26/2014 2:21PM

3-year-old Spotlight and Quick Weekend Thoughts


This week's 3-year-old spotlight shines on a pair of Florida-bred colts. Although they sport identical dosage profiles, one looks like a strong router while the other could be more of a middle-distance performer.  Both will likely attempt stakes competition in the near future.

MEXIKOMA (Birdstone - Toccet Over, by Toccet)
*Foal Date, State: February 21, 2011, Florida
*Breeder: Hickstead Farm
*Owner: Team Valor International
*Trainer: Richard Mettee
*Auction history: $55,000 OBS Spring Juvenile
*Last Race:  3rd 'n1x' optional claimer, 1 1/16 Miles, GUlfstream, February 22, 88 Beyer
*DP = 4-5-5-0-0 (14) DI = 4.60   CD = 0.93

While horses like Cairo Prince, Candy Boy, Honor Code, Shared Belief and Top Billing divvy up the headlines, talented 3-year-olds such as Mexikoma have fallen under the radar.

Sixth in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile while racing without Lasix in his first start against winners, Mexikoma gave a good account of himself in his seasonal debut last weekend at Gulfstream Park.

A closer breaking from the far outside post at 1 1/16 miles over a speed-favoring surface, Mexikoma faced plenty of obstacles. He started alertly, but was forced to take back to avoid being hung out to dry on the first turn. Mexikoma was outrun on the backstretch and raced ten lengths back entering the final curve. He began his bid with three furlongs left, split horses on the bend, eased widest turning for home and finished well in the short stretch to place third behind the very promising colts Constitution and Tonalist. According to Trakus, Mexikoma completed his final half-mile in 48.14, the quickest final four furlongs of any horse in the race.

Mexikoma breezed two furlongs in 21.1 at OBS last April prior to selling for $55,000. Owned and trained by Michael Dilger for his first two starts of 2013, Mexikoma made his debut in a turf route at Saratoga. There is only a single two-turn race on dirt for juveniles during the Spa meeting and that may have been the reason why Dilger raced Mexikoma on grass. The colt needs distance and the only way he could have stretched his legs around a route of ground at Saratoga was on turf.

Mexikoma finished off the board that day after enduring some traffic trouble, but he put himself on the map in his next start, a one-mile maiden special weight on dirt at Delaware Park. Although he didn't face the strongest group that afternoon, he absolutely toyed with the opposition, drawing off to win by almost 15 lengths with a strong 88 Beyer.

That race attracted the attention of Team Valor International and they purchased Mexikoma privately with an eye to the Breeders' Cup. Mexikoma was outrun in the early portion of the Juvenile, but came with a decent run to finish sixth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by New Year's Day.

Mexikoma is by Birdstone, an extremely talented colt that won the Grade 1 Champagne traveling 1 1/16 miles at two, and also prevailed in both the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles and the Grade 1 Travers at 1 1/4 miles the following year. Birdstone has sired two classic winners from his first six crops as Mine That Bird and Summer Bird won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, respectively, in 2009.

Mexikoma's dam placed twice from three sprint starts. She is a half-sister to Doctor Dechard, a stakes-winner at one mile. Mexikoma's fourth dam is millionaire and twelve-time graded winner Sabin.

Distance shouldn't pose a problem for Mexikoma, but his one-run style puts him at the mercy of race and pace luck. Expect to see him soon in stakes action as he needs Kentucky Derby qualifying points.

SCHIVARELLI (Montbrook - Alotofappeal, by Trippi)
*Foal Date, State: May 24, 2011, Florida
*Breeder: Ocala Stud, Ebert Vans Inc. & Edward Wiest
*Owner: Pike Place Racing and Homewrecker Racing LLC
*Trainer: Eddie Kenneally
*Auction history: $100,000 OBS Spring Juvenile
*Last Race:  1st ‘n1x’ optional claimer, 1 Mile, Aqueduct inner track, February 21, 86 Beyer
*DP = 4-5-5-0-0 (14) DI = 4.60   CD = 0.93

It was hard to see exactly how good Schivarelli looked last Friday at Aqueduct – the fog was that dense – but he crossed the finish line 12 lengths in front at the conclusion of the two-turn, one mile event contested over a sealed, muddy inner track. He completed the distance in 1:40.25 and received a solid 86 Beyer Speed Figure.

Schivarelli showed good speed in his initial route outing, 39 days after winning his career debut from off the pace at six furlongs. That versatility should serve him well as he tackles even more demanding competition down the road.

Schivarelli was purchased for $100,000 at OBS last April after breezing two furlongs in 21.3 seconds.  His sire, Montbrook, was a crack sprinter. He won a pair of Grade 3 races including the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at six furlongs with a whopping 112 Beyer. Montbrook passed his speed to his descendants. His best son, Big Drama, was named champion sprinter in 2010.

The bottom half of the pedigree is also full of sprint influences. Schivarelli is a half-brother to stakes-winning sprinter B C’s Train. Their dam won a pair of sprints and is a half-sister to stakes-placed sprinter Miss Diane, multiple stakes-placed sprinter Secret Brook and multiple stakes-placed Favre. Another half-sibling, Special Report, took a pair of stakes races at 1 1/16 miles. The second dam, Argo’s Appeal (by World Appeal), was a stakes-winning sprinter and this is also the family of Grade 3 sprint winner Tee Kay.

From a pure pedigree standpoint, it appears that Schivarelli will be stretching his ability as the distances increase. A late foal, Schivarelli was unraced last year as a juvenile and the lack of racing experience, coupled with a middle-distance pedigree, puts him behind the eight ball as it pertains to the Kentucky Derby.  Still, he may turn out to be rather useful as a sprinter/miler.


*It's hard to take what happened at Gulfstream last Saturday too seriously. WILDCAT RED and GENERAL A ROD put on quite a show from start to finish in the Fountain of Youth, but the main track was very kind to speed. TOP BILLING made up some ground to finish third after breaking from a very tough post position and is probably the one to take out of the race. Still, that's the viewpoint most are taking and Top Billing will likely be overbet next time.

*NORMANDY INVASION made his seasonal debut a winning one on the same card as the Fountain of Youth and was the only horse to win from off the pace on the dirt. Of course, he was 1-5 and fully expected to win, bias or not. Please note that the original time of 1:34.71 for the one-turn mile was later changed to a track record 1:33.13.

*RELOAD is now perfect from two starts since being switched to turf for Shug McGaughey. Before we proclaim him the next Lure, it must be noted that he walked on the lead in his grass debut and enjoyed a perfect pace-tracking, ground-saving trip in last Saturday's Fort Lauderdale.

*SAN ONOFRE, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Karen Headley, has won his last four starts sprinting in Southern California by a combined 17 lengths with Beyers of 98, 99, 99 and 97, respectively. It's time for the Cal-bred to venture into stakes company and he has a good amount of potential.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (2/17/14 - 2/23/14):

1. HAPPY MY WAY - 102 - OC 100k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
2. BANDBOX - 101 - General George Handicap (G3) - 7 Furlongs - Laurel
2. LASSO - 101 - Clm 16000N3L - 1 Mile (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
2. WILDCAT RED - 101 - Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfsteam
5. NORMANDY INVASION - 100 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
5. UNTAPABLE - 100 - Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
7. BRADESTER - 98 - Mineshaft Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
7. CONSTITUTION - 98 - OC 75k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
7. OUR DOUBLE PLAY - 98 - Super Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Tampa Bay
7. RELOAD - 98 - Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
7. START JUMPING - 98 - Alw 67000N1X - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
7. TAPITURE - 98 - Southwest Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
13. GROUND FORCE - 97 - Alw 16000s - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
13. INTENSE HOLIDAY - 97 - Risen Star Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
13. PONTCHATRAIN - 97 - Buena Vista Handicap (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
13. SAN ONOFRE - 97 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
17. FOREST MOUSE - 96 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Sunland
17. SWEET SWAP - 96 - Joe Hernandez Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
19. AMBITIOUS BREW - 95 - Sensational Star Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
19. BELLE GALLANTEY - 95 - Alw 12500s - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
19. DECEPTIVE VISION - 95 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Fair Grounds
19. MY WANDY'S GIRL - 95 - Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Laurel
19. TRIUMPH AND SONG - 95 - Sam Houston Sprint Cup - 6 Furlongs - Sam Houston
24. CLASS INCLUDED - 94 - Bayou Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Fair Grounds
24. FLATTER THIS - 94 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Calder
24. IRSAAL - 94 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
24. ROD'S FIVE STAR - 94 - Alw 66000N$Y - 6 Furlongs - Parx

*HAPPY MY WAY's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


I get mail!

Hi Dan:
You posted the PPs of the last 20 Ky Derby winners last year, but I can't locate that file. Any chance you could post that or send it along?
Jeff Morer
DRF patron x 41 years!!

The list now numbers 21 thanks to Orb.  You can find it at the bottom of this blog post. Let me know if you spot some interesting patterns.


Can you publish the PP's for Flowing Mane? That's the 'Horseplayers"
long shot the Rotondo teams son didn't play.

You can find Flowing Mane's past performances below.


Was wondering if you could post PP's of a horse called Hello who raced against Free House...I loved this horse:)

Hello competed in the 1997 Kentucky Derby. His past performances are below.


I'm really looking forward to our annual FormBlog Convention this weekend at Gulfstream Park.

Here's the info from Laura, who has been so kind to organize the event.  If you happen to be at the track, stop on by and join the fun.

UPDATE on the DRF Formblog Convention!

The Convention is Feb. 28 - March 3 at GP Park. (Fri - Sun). We get a discount on rooms at Hampton Inn, across from the track. The price is $172/night (plus the dreaded $18 tax). To receive the correct rate, call the hotel directly (954-874-3006) and ask for the Gulfstream Park rate. If there's any difficulty, please email me at:

As usual, we'll be given a suite overlooking the track with our own private balcony and betting terminals, trips to the paddock, a race named for our group and photo in the winner's circle. We'll also have plenty of swag from the BC and other fun stuff.

This is always a fantastic weekend so don't miss out! Come handicap with our Fearless Leader, Sheriff Dan Who! I can supply rides to/from the airport (about 10 minutes away), if needed. Check out this page for more info:




The weekend handicapping previews should be available later this week in the video player on the homepage.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to Tommy2Tone for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

Tommy2Tone selected Saturday's Gotham Stakes for this week's exercise.


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.


-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




Best of luck to all.

There are other situations in which we may not be able to calculate a normal figure with a normal variant; the most common of these will involve grass races. On the many days when a racetrack will card a single turf race, we won't have enough evidence about the speed of the course to make a variant. In such circumstances we'll project a figure - and pray.
When we assign these occasional arbitrary numbers, our computer system allows us to second-guess our own decisions. We can summon a report on any race which shows what figure each horse earned in his next start after that race. After reviewing a troublesome race, we may conclude that subsequent events have contradicted our original judgment. When that happens, we'll go back and change the number. Sometimes the only way to produce a trustworth figure is through hindsight.

HAPPY MY WAY.pdf723.59 KB
Last 21 Derby winners.pdf858.38 KB
HELLO.pdf723.08 KB
Copy of Formblog Fountain Of Youth 2-22-14.xls70 KB
HGGOTHAM.pdf178.9 KB