02/12/2014 1:47PM

3-year-old Spotlight, Pace Makes the Race


This week’s 3-year-old spotlight falls on two colts scheduled to return from injury in upcoming weeks.

IN TROUBLE (Tiz Wonderful – Ballpark Butterfly, by Grand Slam)
*Foal Date, State: March 25, 2011, Kentucky
*Breeder: Joseph Duffel
*Owner: Team D
*Trainer: Anthony Dutrow
*Auction history: $14,000 RNA Keeneland November weanling, $15,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling, $120,000 OBS Spring 2yo
*Last Race:  1st Futurity Stakes (G2), Belmont, September 29, 94 Beyer
*DP = 2-2-5-0-1 (10) DI = 1.86   CD = 0.40

In Trouble reeled off a pair of impressive victories to kick off his career, but a left knee chip cut short his juvenile campaign. The Tiz Wonderful colt underwent surgery over the fall and shows five recent workouts (including a bullet five furlongs at Palm Meadows this morning) in preparation for his 3-year-old debut.

Following some sharp drills at Fair Hill, In Trouble raced in a loaded maiden special weight going 5 ½ furlongs at Saratoga on August 10. Sent away at 7-1 in the eight-horse field, In Trouble tracked fractions of 22.43 and 45.22 while three wide. He dropped back a bit on the turn, but re-rallied gamely to defeat favored Sound of Freedom. That horse, as well as the 3rd- and 4th-place finishers, returned to immediately graduate.

In Trouble became the fourth to win from that race when he took Belmont’s Grade 2 Futurity Stakes at six furlongs. The Futurity was only a five-horse affair, but it featured the Pletcher-trained duo of Sound of Freedom and the fleet Corfu. In Trouble broke sweetly from the rail, allowed Corfu to clear to the lead, eased outside entering the turn, and resolutely wore that foe down in the stretch. The fourth-finisher, Financial Mogul, came back to place in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes with an 85 Beyer.

In Trouble is by the promising Tiznow stallion Tiz Wonderful, who won all three of his starts at two by a combined 19 ¾ lengths. Among those wins were the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes and Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Tiz Wonderful was injury-prone, however, and he didn’t make his sophomore debut until the summer at Saratoga. He failed to win from two starts at three and was retired after suffering a ruptured suspensory to his right hind ankle. At stud, Tiz Wonderful has three graded stakes winners from his first two crops.

In Trouble’s dam captured one of three starts. By Grand Slam, she won her maiden in a 5 ½-furlong maiden claimer over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita. She is a half-sister to stakes-placed turf miler Caitie’s Secret. The second dam, Miss Lady Bug (by Rough Pearl), adds some stamina to the pedigree as she prevailed in the $65,000 Waya Handicap at 1 ½ miles over Hollywood turf.

Trainer Tony Dutrow has indicated that In Trouble is likely to make his next appearance in either the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 2, the seven-furlong, Grade 3 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream on February 28, or the nine-furlong, $100,000 Private Terms Stakes at Laurel on March 8. If the Derby distance proves too demanding, he may have a strong future as a sprinter/middle distance performer.

SCHOOLOFHARDROCKS (Rock Hard Ten – Miss Chapin, by Royal Academy)
*Foal Date, State: March 16, 2011, Kentucky
*Breeder: Mrs. Jerry Amerman
*Owner: Amerman Racing
*Trainer: David Hofmans
*Last Race:  1st maiden special weight, Del Mar polytrack, August 31, 77 Beyer
*DP = 10-5-12-3-0 (30) DI = 2.33   CD = 0.73

Following a nice debut win at one mile over the Del Mar polytrack on August 31, Schoolofhardrocks was penciled for a tilt in the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes at Santa Anita on September 29. Unfortunately, Schoolofhardrocks was scratched the morning of the Frontrunner after trainer David Hofmans found that the colt was off behind. He missed the remainder of the year, but resumed his morning workouts in late January.

It’s never easy for a 2-year-old first-time starter to win going long, but Schoolofhardrocks settled in midpack behind a solid pace before uncorking a four-wide bid on the final bend. He seemed a bit green in the last two furlongs, but willingly went by the leader to cross the finish line in hand. He ran his last quarter in a solid 24.49 in notching the faster division of maiden special weights (subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day annexed the slower heat).

Schoolofhardrocks is by the long-winded Rock Hard Ten, who finished second in the Preakness in 2004. He won his last four starts including the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap at 1 ¼ miles. Rock Hard Ten’s lone Grade 1 winner is Nereid, who scored the American Oaks at 1 ¼ miles on turf.

Schoolfofhardrocks is a half-sister to Coffee Clique, winner of the Grade 3 Selene Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over polytrack. Their dam, Miss Chapin (by Royal Academy), grabbed her only start, a maiden special weight at 1 1/16 miles over turf at Del Mar. The second dam, Society Dream (by Akarad), was a stakes-winner on grass at Santa Anita.

Schoolofhardrocks now has four workouts this year and seems on the verge of returning to the races in Southern California. If he doesn’t become a Derby prospect, he could be one to follow on grass and synthetic later this season.

*Last Saturday's Grade 3 Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream was a perfect example of pace making the race. There was none to be found on paper and PARRANDA walked the dog on the lead in the nine-furlong turf test. She set glacial fractions of 25.12, 51.27 and 1:15.33 while being prompted ever so mildly by 50-1 longshot ABBEY STREET. Meanwhile, the logical closers, RIPOSTE, ABACO, and CAROLINE THOMAS bided their time for the stretch drive. Abaco and Caroline Thomas ran hard - their final three furlongs were completed in 34.00 and 34.12 seconds, respectively (according to Formulator) - but they couldn't overcome Parranda's tactical advantage. Riposte, a European invader making her first start since October, broke slowly, was held up in last along the rail, and flew home in 33.89 (final eighth in 10.89) for second. It's hard to take these results at face value (i.e. Parranda is truly the best of the group), and Abaco and Caroline Thomas can be forgiven for their third- and fifth-place efforts. Riposte's flurry was so eye-catching that she should be placed on watch lists for future graded races going long on grass for Bill Mott.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (2/3/14 - 2/9/14):

1. LEA - 114 - Donn Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
2. FALLING SKY - 104 - Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
3. FURY KAPCORI - 103 - Alw 60500C - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
4. COUNTERCYCLICAL - 100 - Md Sp Wt 40k - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
4. GROUPIE DOLL - 100 - Hurricane Bertie Stakes (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
6. BLINGO - 99 - San Antonio Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Santa Anita
6. VAGABOND SHOES (IRE) - 99 - San Marcos Stakes (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
8. LOCHTE - 98 - Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
9. BET SEATTLE - 97 - OC 62k/C -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
10. CANDY BOY - 96 - Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
10. GRACER - 96 - Dearly Precious Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
10. HACKLETON - 96 - OC 50k/N2X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
10. I'M STOKED - 96 - Alw 62000N1X - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
14. GOLDEN LAD - 95 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
15. MUNNINGS SISTER - 93 - Awesome Feather Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
16. BOB CONSULTATION - 92 - Clm 16000N3L - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
16. BURN THE MORTGAGE - 92 - Clm 50000(50-40) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
16. PARRANDA - 92 - Suwannee River Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
19. ADMISSION - 91 - Clm c-(20-18) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
19. JAYCITO - 91 - Curribot Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Sunland
19. KEG PARTY - 91 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Sam Houston
19. OMEGA STAR - 91 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
23. HE'S SO PROUD - 90 - OC10k/SAL6k - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
23. LITTLE ALEXIS - 90 - Md Sp Wt 40k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
23. PIMPERNEL - 90 - Md Sp Wt 56k - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
23. TARPY'S SUNRISE - 90 - OC 35k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
23. TOO DIM - 90 - OC 17k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
23. TRIUMPH AND SONG - 90 - Bucharest Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Sam Houston
23. WHITE SANGRIA - 90 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream

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

*ADMISSION was claimed for $20,000 by trainer Nestor Capitaine from Mike Puype.


Dan Illman
Is there a reason why we can't view all the comments on the RSS feed?

I'll have IT look at the issue. I have no idea how these things work.


We'll have our annual FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park the weekend of February 28.  Our gracious hostess, Laura, has an update for us...

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 on the site soon.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Due to weather, HandiGambling was cancelled last week.

This week's HandiGambling exercise will be Friday's ninth race from Gulfstream.


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.

LEA.pdf655.44 KB
HGGPTURF.pdf189.06 KB
Dan More than 1 year ago
HG--- $100 tri--- 1/8/12 Thinking the commish is going to rule in favor here with Johnny V and the Slewster breeding. Borel riding 2nd time and I think if you can duel you can rate so he should inherit the lead from the sprinters...Rosario comes late to just miss 2nd... Lefty out
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Okiesharp - that's a good question . I think my answer would be that being human , every so often I feel like having a pizza :) Even if I do know the 4 food groups is better for me :) The other answer would be that even though one type play might be my most profitable if I have other less profitable yet profitable plays that come up in between I might as well play them . Mike A - Exactly . That's why I don't try to apply what can be done on the main with just 3 "little ducks" to the grass . You have to have all three ducks . If you only have two it's not the same as three. Making money while sleeping :) There are guys that buy the signal qualifying themselves as an ADW and have compubots making calculations and bets for them while they sleep :) I hear they skim the pools for about 3% a day. I also heard Oaklawn & Tampa Bay won't let the compubots play, but I can't say I investigated if that was true . Danny B . - Like I said you're probably right about your horse. I wouldn't know. My point was that the San Vincente wasn't all that minor . As far as the San Vincente / Rebel double I think The Factor pulled that off a couple of years ago. Creative Cause won the SV and he ran decently in the TC. Shakin' it Up is not a bad horse. Like I said he's your horse . Maybe he should retire now so he doesn't get injured ? I don't know. JJ
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
TBTA - he's had them on and off the front for at least 10 months . I saw a patch on his right rear a couple of months ago. He hasn't worked normally since the Pacific Classic . His right front glue on definitely slipped part of the way off the inside at CD vs WTC . I saw it in a still photo . Personally I have a higher opinion of Dude than most of the internet does :) I've checked him against so-called all-timers . He runs fast (2:00) 10 f races more often than most all-timers ever did and he's got a pocketful of GR. I wins & 2nds . He's also a decent weight carrier . I don't really want to argue if Ron The Greek is any good so I'll just say he's beaten MMM by more than ... 100... lengths in Fla. !!! He made a mockery out of the JCGC in NY and he's beaten Wise Dan in Ky. as well..... That's a preemptive strike against anybody that might want to say Dude has never beaten a good horse :) Damascus won todays equivalent of about one open company GR.I race (or 3 if you want to count the Brooklyn & Woodward which I'll give him ) Five of his Gr. I equivalent wins came against his own age. So Damascus has about 6-8 Gr. I and at most 3 vs. open company . He cracked 2:00 once . Dude has about 7 and I'm pretty sure they're all vs. open company. He's a good horse . Good enough that he runs good enough even on bad feet sometimes. And there isn't any question about the Big Cap ,the HGC or the Pacific Classic being Gr. I . They were running the Big Cap for over 100,000 when the JCGC and Brooklyn were for about 10,000 :) ..... Horses are going to come for bigger money this time :) Everybody is going to want to run in the Big Cap :) The last few years most of them were afraid to try for more money at this time of year . For good reason . Because the trainers know that if Dude is feeling good it'll take a once or twice in a lifetime effort even for an all-timer to run him down... that's why . He's proven to be fast on more than one day in more than one year. Right now the vultures are circling over him :) Baffert might have something in his other pocket ????? He has at least 2 4yr old one thingamajiggers that have never been that far but have no good reason for why they couldn't on a good day . Maybe Baffert is going to pull something out of his barn... shock the world and the vultures... and win with his longer doggie ??? :) :) Stranger things have happened :) JJ
Okiesharp More than 1 year ago
JJ I've always wanted to figure out a way to make money while I was sleeping. As a Master Gardener I can grow a few plants and have some fun doing it, but the only thing it really does is keep me out of the pool hall.... :) I could move to Colorado and grow some of those plants they make the funny cigarettes out of but that might prove to be too dangerous? Then again, maybe not. As they say 'the greater the risk, the greater the reward'. Horse racing has that same risk versus reward scenario and to succeed in the game I have to know what the best 'plant' is to take the risk on. There are many 'plants' out there but only a few can consistently produce a profit. Sometimes it takes awhile for a person to figure out what the best profit maker is...... :) If and when you figure it out, why would you grow anything else unless you were just trying to stay out of the pool hall? Okiesharp
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Penguinymous - thanks for the response. How do you decide which couple are on the improve ? I'm guessing the target horse ends up one of the ones on the improve a fair amount of the time. Do you have an idea of if the target wins at an unusually high clip when he gets one of the possible improve marks ? Is it better to take the other possible improve horse / horses in that situation ? JJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Danny B, You may be correct, but as you and all former MKB owners know or any owner for that matter, having your horse win a Grade 2 is a major accomplishment. Some can only wish their horse was that good. :) Annie
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Okiesharp - This time I really don't know :) I've never figured out a cut & dried way to make what Quinn said pay. I tried looking at horses that ran within 8 points of the top last beyer . Or 8 points of the par time . I've never been able to make it into something that I could say - Okay JJ just keep doing that over and over and you'll come out ahead. I know a lot of people don't think you can keep doing something over & over & come out ahead. I'm not one of those people. I've spent a fair amount of energy searching for (and finding a few) things that you can do over & over with an expectation of coming out ahead. Things that produce even if you aren't the worlds greatest handicapper. Being the worlds greatest handicapper is the hard way to make a profit and most of us are bunched tightly in the adequate handicapper range. That's all most of us are ever going to be. A tad bit better or worse than the average handicapper.... Soooo if most of us aren't going to beat the game by being vastly superior handicappers then we better find other ways to do it. Chicken bones on the porch generally signify raccoons in the trash cans last night in my experience :) JJ
Dan Bredahl More than 1 year ago
Jackson, My term, minor, probably wasn't accurate. It was a Grade II after all. I'm more of a fan of them going at least a mile (preferably two turns, but one suffices) to get some bottom into them since they only have one more prep and then it is Derby time. But a fair point and I should have probably clarified it more as to why I chose that term. To me, this was a let's get his confidence back race. He's not going a route. He's not going two turns. And he's not getting Derby points. And the competition was fairly weak. I'm not sure what that accomplished from an experience standpoint that will help him in May outside of being the first across the finish line. And now he's going to have to hustle for points. I saw Sadler talked about the Rebel. Kobe's Back is going to need to run two more preps and then the Derby if he gets enough points to qualify. Most likely a mile and a sixteenth, a mile and an eighth, and then the 10F Derby. All within 50 days assuming he runs the Rebel (March 15th). That's a lot to ask of a horse with a pedigree that is suspect at longer distances. Sadler is behind with Kobe's Back and you can't push to catch up. We've seen this so many times with the MKB contest. To wit on Pedigree: The Flatter colt (Kobe's Back) is out of the winning Well Decorated mare Well, making him a half-brother to Grade 3-winning sprinter Well Spelled. This female line is also responsible for Grade 2 hero Notation and Grade 3 victor My Creed, and further back, Group 2-winning sprinter Indian King. Maybe Kobe's Back overcomes the pedigree on the dam side and is more like Flat Out from the Sire Side. But I wouldn't bet on it. Flatter hasn't exactly lit up the sire rankings to the point that Steve T. and Mike have started a project on him. As in anything when it comes to horse racing, I could be wrong here and I guess we will see in the final Derby Preps.
Okiesharp More than 1 year ago
JJ After consulting with that little voice in my head and measuring the stellar velocities looking for the missing dormant, I have concluded that dosage is not voodoo and that one possibility might be: Some, but not all, layoff 2 and 3 years olds coupled in an exacta or daily double with the top three highest Beyer speed figures. I did run into something inherently fubar while doing the calculations however, so some may dismiss my suggestion as pablummly. I did eat a lot of spinach when I was young but my parents weren’t very tall….. :) Okiesharp
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Ron Z, The power of the silly name bet, Ponchartrain is a horse I watch too, in honor of the Beychok boys. Senator Dave was a nice second at OP the other day too. Annie, It's a balmy 45 in Chicago today, so I am busting out the shorts in preparation for the Formblog convention, which is only 8 days away.