01/15/2014 1:48PM

3-year-olds to follow


Midnight Hawk leapt onto the Kentucky Derby trail with a 95-Beyer victory in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, but there were several other noteworthy performances by up-and-coming sophomores. Let's take a look.

BARATTI (Medaglia d'Oro - Surf Song, by Storm Cat)
Breeder: Darley
Owner:  Darley Stable
Trainer:  Kiaran McLaughlin
Last Start:  1st maiden special weight, January 10, 1 1/16 miles, Aqueduct inner dirt, 92 Beyer
DP = 7-7-10-2-0 (26) DI = 2.71   CD = 0.73

Stretching out in distance and adding Lasix for his second start, Baratti gave an emphatic gate-to-wire effort. Ridden by Mike Luzzi, Baratti wrested the early advantage from favored Tourist and carved out fractions of 23.57 and 48.28 while hugging the rail. Baratti opened up turning for home and was never seriously threatened. He completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.97 and received a 92 Beyer for his six-length triumph.

Baratti is by three-time Grade 1 winner Medaglia d'Oro (Travers Stakes, Whitney Handicap, Donn Handicap). Medaglia d'Oro prevailed at distances ranging from 6-10 furlongs and also finished second in the Belmont Stakes, two editions of the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Belmont Stakes, and the Dubai World Cup. 

Medaglia d'Oro is the sire of North American Grade 1 dirt winners Rachel Alexandra (Preakness Stakes, Mother Goose Stakes, Haskell Invitational, Woodward Stakes), Plum Pretty (Kentucky Oaks, Apple Blossom Handicap), Champagne d'Oro (Acorn Stakes, Test Stakes), Warrior's Reward (Carter Handicap) and Gabby's Golden Gal (Acorn Stakes).

Baratti is out of Surf Song, an unraced half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Midshipman and Grade 2 winner Fast Cookie. Midshipman grabbed the Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs over polytrack and took the Breeders' Cup Juvenile over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita. As a 3-year-old, he won over dirt at Belmont and finished third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile over Pro-Ride. Fast Cookie's big win came in the Cotillion Handicap over 1 1/16 miles at Parx.

Baratti's second dam, Fleet Lady (by Avenue of Flags), won the Grade 2 El Encino Stakes via disqualification at 1 1/16 miles. She also scored the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes at 1 1/8 miles. Fleet Lady won 8 of 17 dirt starts and reached 110 on the Beyer scale.

Expect Baratti to remain in New York with Kentucky Derby prep races as the Withers on February 1 or the Gotham on March 1 as possible short-term targets.


KENDALL'S BOY (Sky Mesa - Golden Damsel, by Gold Token)
Breeder: Avalon Farms, Inc.
Owner:  Jerry Namy
Trainer:  Thomas Amoss
Auction:  $100,000 yearling (Keeneland September 2012)
Last Start:  1st optional claiming, January 11, 6 Furlongs, Fair Grounds, 84 Beyer
DP = 7-2-8-1-0 (18) DI = 2.60   CD = 0.83

Leading up to his debut at Saratoga on August 23, Kendall's Boy's morning workouts gave every indication that he could run. Mike Welsch, in his DRF Workout Report, noted on August 18 that Kendall's Boy was "snugged early, an opening three eighths in :37.23, finished an easy half mile in :49.51, galloped out in 1:02.17 from the gate in final of a nice series of works."

Unfortunately for his connections and backers, Kendall's Boy faced another precocious juvenile in that 5 1/2-furlong maiden. That was the race in which Todd Pletcher unveiled Havana, and Kendall's Boy chased that rival throughout. Although he earned a 94 Beyer, Kendall's Boy finished 2 3/4 lengths behind the favorite. Havana would flatter the heat by winning the Grade 1 Champagne before finishing a game second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Kendall's Boy returned to graduate at Churchill Downs on September 13, but he lost a bit of luster when the Beyer came back a slow 63. Rank and uncomfortable in the early stages of the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity over the Keeneland polytrack on October 5, Kendall's Boy was beaten over 30 lengths in his first start around two turns. 

Sent away the 6/5 favorite for his 3-year-old debut last week, Kendall's Boy redeemed himself with a professional front-running performance under Rosie Napravnik. After breaking from the far outside in the five-horse field, Kendall's Boy immediately captured the lead. He took race-long pressure from Be Well through splits of 22.58 and 46.09, but always held that one's number. Under a drive, Kendall's Boy extended his winning margin to two lengths. He raced six furlongs in 1:10.91 and earned an 84 Beyer.

Kendall's Boy is by Sky Mesa, an excellent juvenile that captured the Grade 1 Hopeful at seven furlongs with a 103 Beyer. Sky Mesa also won the Grade 2 Breeders' Futurity over the old dirt track at Keeneland. He won at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles and placed second in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at nine furlongs.

At stud, Sky Mesa is represented by Grade 1 dirt winner Sky Diva (Frizette Stakes) and Grade 1 synthetic and turf winner General Quarters (Blue Grass Stakes, Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes).

Kendall's Boy is a half-brother to Instant Style, a mare that was twice stakes-placed routing on turf. Their dam, Golden Damsel (by Gold Token), won the seven-furlong Bouwerie Stakes for New York-breds at Belmont and also successfully stretched out to 1 1/16 miles. This is the family of the fleet turf sprinter Morluc.

Although talented, Kendall's Boy may have some distance limitations as it pertains to the Kentucky Derby. He has a strong turf pedigree and may do well on that surface down the road.


CONSTITUTION (Tapit - Baffled, by Distorted Humor)
Breeder: Grapestock LLC & Fox Hill Farms
Owner:  WinStar Farm LLC and Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC
Trainer:  Todd Pletcher
Auction:  $400,000 yearling (Fasig-Tipton August 2012)
Last Start:  1st maiden special weight, January 11, 7 furlongs, Gulfstream, 84 Beyer
DP = 5-6-8-1-0 (20) DI = 3.00   CD = 0.75

Constitution made a stylish debut for trainer Todd Pletcher in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park on January 11. The 11-10 favorite in a nine-horse field, Constitution broke two lengths slow under Javier Castellano. Almost immediately, he pulled his way forward along the inside to prompt the pacesetters through an opening quarter of 22.63. Constitution pressed Juba from the rail to a 44.86 half-mile clocking and slowly eased away from that stubborn foe inside the furlong pole. Constitution galloped out nicely after finishing the distance in 1:23.36. He received an 84 Beyer. 

Constitution is by Tapit, winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at nine furlongs. A star stallion, Tapit has sired North American Grade 1 dirt winners Hansen (Breeders' Cup Juvenile), Joyful Victory (Santa Margarita Stakes), Careless Jewel (Alabama Stakes), Tapizar (Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile), Zazu (Lady's Secret Stakes, Las Virgenes Stakes) and Dance Card (Gazelle Stakes). 

Constitution's dam, Baffled, won a six-furlong maiden over the all-weather surface at Lingfield and captured an allowance race over 1 Mile and 70 Yards at Delaware Park. She is a half-sister to Grade 1 sprint winner Emcee and synthetic stakes-winning miler Spring Party. This is the family of Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes winner Awesome Humor.

While an intriguing prospect, Constitution will have to defy convention is he is to win this year's Kentucky Derby. The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby without the benefit of at least one start as a juvenile was Apollo in 1882.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (1/6/13 - 1/12/13):

1. HEITAI - 101 - Costa Rising Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
1. LEA - 101 - Hal's Hope Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
3. DROGUE - 100 - Fifth Season Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
3. GENTLEMAN'S KITTEN - 100 - OC 62k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Fair Grounds
5. SUMMER FRONT - 99 - Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
6. APROPOS - 98 - OC 62k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
6. VALID - 98 - Alw 30640C - 1 1/16 Miles - Calder
8. JIMMY SIMMS - 97 - OC 40k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
8. MAJESTIC EXPRESS - 97 - OC 100k/N3X - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
8. ROD'S FIVE STAR - 97 - Alw 38000N2X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Parx
11. SILVER CLOUD - 96 - OC 62k/N3X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Tampa Bay
12. BLUESKIESNRAINBOWS - 95 - San Pasqual Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
12. MIDNIGHT HAWK - 95 - Sham Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
12. READY FOR MORE - 94 - OC c-62k/N2X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
12. WAR AND THUNDER - 94 - Alw 5000s - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Laurel
16. REVOLUTIONARY - 93 - OC 100k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
17. BARATTI - 92 - Md Sp Wt 65k - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
18. SITTIN AT THE BAR - 91 - OC 20k/N2X -N - 5 Furlongs - Delta
19. A. P. CORSAIR - 90 - Wcl 7500 - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
19. CHARMING KITTEN - 90 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
19. HE'S SO PROUD - 90 - OC10k/SAL8k - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Calder
19. PLANET SUNSHINE - 90 - Clm c-(50-45) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
19. RANULF - 90 - Clm 40000(40-35) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
19. TOO DIM - 90 - Alw 43000N2X - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
19. WILDCAT COUNTRY - 90 - Alw 7500s - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn

*The lifetime past performances for HEITAI and LEA are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*READY FOR MORE was claimed for $62,500 by trainer Mike Mitchell from Mike Puype.

*PLANET SUNSHINE was claimed for $50,000 by trainer Ted West from Art Sherman.


If U might Dan, anyway of finding any other horses who have made the rarified air status of the 1:45 Club @ Belmont? That would be 9F on DIRT at Belmont. Not interested in any other tracks nor surfaces. Not interested in near misses or excuses either. BiG Red 1:45.2 & the Slewster 1:45.4. That's what I call fast. Just the facts Danno. Book 'em Danno, pleaZe.
Curtis V Slewster

It's possible I'm missing a few pre-1991, but here are the sub-1:46 winners on dirt at Belmont.

SECRETARIAT - 1:45.40  (1973 Marlboro Cup)
DISPERSAL - 1:45.80 (1990 Woodward)
FOREGO - 1:45.80 (1976 Woodward)
GO FOR WAND - 1:45.80 (120 Beyer, 1990 Beldame)
SEATTLE SLEW - 1:45.80 (1978 Marlboro Cup)



It looks as if we'll have our annual FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park early next year.  For more details, head on over to Laura's excellent website


It's always a blast so come on out if you can.


The weekend handicapping previews should be available on the site soon.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to Curtis V. Slewster for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.

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

This week's HandiGambling exercise will be Friday's 10th 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.

HeitaiLea.pdf727.89 KB
Copy of Formblog Tampa Turf 1-10-14.xls64 KB
HGGP.pdf148.83 KB