02/12/2014 12:47PM

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