05/06/2015 3:42PM

4-year-olds to follow

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With CALIFORNIA CHROME's departure for foreign shores, SHARED BELIEF's injury, the recent clunkers from BAYERN and WICKED STRONG and the uncertainty surrounding PALACE MALICE's physical condition, the handicap division has suddenly been thrown on its ear.

Here are two 4-year-olds to watch in upcoming graded stakes races:

NOBLE BIRD (Birdstone - Anyhow, by Tiznow)

Noble Bird took a big step forward when second to PROTONICO in last Friday's Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs. Trained by Mark Casse, the good-sized colt was a bit eager while tracking the leaders three wide entering the backstretch. He continued his outside journey on the turn, collared favored Protonico turning for home and was just outfinished by that one in the final sixteenth.

While it's true the pace held up nicely after slow fractions of 23.94, 48.56 and 1:12.88, and it's probably unfair to hold late-running HONOR CODE's disappointing finish too much against him, Noble Bird could be the one to take from the Alysheba. He showed some courage in the stretch and has the potential for significant improvement in his next few races.

A $105,000 yearling, Noble Bird made his first five starts on turf and synthetic. That isn't surprising considering some of the names in his pedigree. The unraced dam is a half-sister to the good turf runners Mythical Gem, Apple Charlotte and Multitudinous while the second dam is stakes-placed grass performer Charlotte Augusta. The third dam is the classy Noble Damsel.

While Noble Bird is bred for grass success, he's really picked up his game since being placed around two turns on dirt. A gate-to-wire winner over "good" going at Oaklawn on March 21, Noble Bird wheeled back in 18 days to defeat a solid 'n2x' group at Keeneland in his final prep for the Alysheba.

Noble Bird has won from on the lead or off the pace, has the pedigree and physique to appreciate longer distances, and his Beyer Speed Figures have improved this year from 66 to 88 to 93 to 103. He could take on Protonico again in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 13.

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EFFINEX (Mineshaft - What a Pear, by E Dubai)

Wicked Strong bombed in the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct on April 25, but trainer Jimmy Jerkens salvaged the day when the lesser-fancied half of his uncoupled entry, Effinex, rolled home to the tune of a 107 Beyer Speed Figure.

Ridden wonderfully by Angel Arroyo, Effinex raced in next-to-last while RED RIFLE and WICKED STRONG set measured fractions of 24.55 and 49.23. Those two picked up the pace to run six furlongs in 1:12.70 as Arroyo advanced into contention along the inside with Effinex.

Turning for home, Effinex eased outside the leaders, went right by Wicked Strong and wore down a game Red Rifle in the final furlong. Effinex ran his third quarter in 23.30, his fourth quarter in 23.85, and polished off the 1 1/4 miles of the Excelsior in 2:02.16.


Effinex is the first starter out of multiple stakes-winner What a Pear. This is the female family of Kentucky Oaks winner Blush With Pride, the granddam of Belmont Stakes winners Rags to Riches and Jazil.

Effinex has earned triple-digit Beyers in both starts this year. Like many Jerkens-trained runners, he has improved substantially since blinkers were added. While the Stephen Foster is a possible target, we might see Effinex in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational at Belmont Park on June 6.

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Here are the top WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 4/21 - 4/27:

1. EFFINEX - 107 - Excelsior Stakes (G3) - 1 1/4 Miles - 25Apr15-8AQU
2. COACH INGE - 104 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - 22Apr15-8AQU
3. AT LARGE - 102 - OC16k/SAL16k - 6 Furlongs - 24Apr15-1GP
4. LUV BANDIT - 100 - Milwaukee Avenue Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - 25Apr15-6HAW
5. CALGARY CAT - 99 - Jacques Cartier Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 26Apr15-8WO
6. EASTWOOD - 98 - OC 100k/N$Y -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 24Apr15-8KEE
7. INNOVATION ECONOMY - 97 - Alw 59799N2X - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 23Apr15-8KEE
7. K THIRTY EIGHT - 97 - OC 20k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - 25Apr15-7SA
7. RERUN - 97 - Miami Mile Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 25Apr15-9GP
10. STORMDRIVER - 96 - John Henry Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 25Apr15-9EVD
11. BIG LOOIE - 94 - OC 62k/C - 1 Mile - 26Apr15-3GP
11. SI SAGE (FR) - 94 - Last Tycoon Stakes (G3) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 25Apr15-8SA
13. BE BULLISH - 92 - Clm 25000 - 6 Furlongs - 23Apr15-6AQU
13. CITY OF WESTON - 92 - Blue Heron Handicap - 7 Furlongs - 23Apr15-7GP
15. BAFFLE ME - 91 - Powder Break Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 25Apr15-10GP
15. BLINGISMYTHING - 91 - Wilshire Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 26Apr15-7SA
15. ECLETO RED - 91 - OC15k/SAL7k - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 26Apr15-7PRM
15. WINTER GAMES - 91 - Alw 25000s - 1 Mile - 26Apr15-7PRX
19. CINCO CHARLIE - 90 - William Walker Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 25Apr15-7CD
19. DANCE CHAMPION - 90 - Alw 59190N1X - 7 Furlongs - 22Apr15-6KEE
19. EAGLE SCREAMS - 90 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 25Apr15-9GG
19. G. G. RYDER - 90 - San Francisco Mile Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 25Apr15-7GG
19. GLICKMAN - 90 - Clm c-12500 - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 22Apr15-2AQU
19. KITTEN'S POINT - 90 - Bewitch Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 24Apr15-9KEE
19. MAJESTIC HARBOR - 90 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 25Apr15-8CD
19. TRIBAL GAL - 90 - Ann Owens Distaff Handicap - 6 Furlongs - 25Apr15-5TUP

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

*GLICKMAN was claimed for $12,500 by trainer David Jacobson from Michelle Nevin.

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Here are the top WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 4/28 - 5/4:

1. TONALIST - 111 - Westchester Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - 2May15-6BEL
2. AMERICAN PHAROAH - 105 - Kentucky Derby (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - 2May15-11CD
3. PROTONICO - 103 - Alysheba Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 1May15-8CD
3. STALLWALKIN' DUDE - 103 - OC 80k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - 1May15-5BEL
5. BIG BLUE KITTEN - 102 - Fort Marcy Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 2May15-10BEL
5. COMPETITIVE EDGE - 102 - Pat Day Mile Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - 2May15-5CD
6. CATCH A FLIGHT (ARG) - 101 - Precisionist Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 2May15-10SA
6. POWER ALERT (AUS) - 101 - Turf Sprint Stakes (G3) - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 1May15-9CD
8. PRIVATE ZONE - 100 - Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - 2May15-9CD
8. TEPIN - 100 - Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 2May15-8CD
10. FINNEGANS WAKE - Turf Classic Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 2May15-10CD
10. MOSLER - 99 - Elusive Quality Stakes - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - 29Apr15-8BEL
10. NOWALKING - 99 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 2May15-9SA
13. BAY OF PLENTY - 97 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - 29Apr15-4BEL
13. MEZZANO - 97 - Alw 54500NC - 7 Furlongs - 2May15-10PRX
15. GOOD BYE GREG - 96 - OC 35k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 3May15-4AP
15. PAGANOL - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 2May15-1CD
15. RUBLE - 96 - Clm 50000 - 7 Furlongs - 29Apr15-4CD
18. A FLEET ATTITUDE - 95 - Lyman Handicap - 7 Furlongs - 2May15-7PRX
18. EL DEAL - 95 - Gold Fever Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 1May15-3BEL
18. SPANISH QUEEN - 95 - Honeymoon Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 3May15-8SA
21. LOVELY MARIA - 94 - Kentucky Oaks (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 1May15-11CD
21. MOLLY MORGAN - 94 - La Troienne Stakes (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 1May15-7CD
21. TEXAS AIR - 94 - Texas Mile Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - 1May15-8LS
24. AGENT DI NOZZO - 93 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile - 2May15-4CD
24. BOBCAT JIM - 93 - OC 40k/N1Y -N - 6 Furlongs - 3May15-8PRM
24. DAME DOROTHY - 93 - Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - 2May15-7CD

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

***

Hi Dan, I am hoping you can post the PPs of a Horse called Ride'em Cowboy,he raced a few times at Aqueduct about 2 years ago he never broke his maiden, a friend of purchased him when he retired and he became a Show horse well sad to say he passed from Colic on April 22nd. I would like to give my fried the PPs and laminate them s she can put them by his grave .....
Thanks, Ron..

RIDE'EM COWBOY's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog.

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Dan,
I'm looking for the chart of the first race I played, and HIT a big exacta, back in the early 80's in NYC OTB when they used letters instead of numbers. The winner was Tara K and the place horse was something like Leecoo. I think the race was run on a Thursday and the exacta was "EF".
Thanks,
Edward Wright

I'm unable to access the chart, but the race in question was the seventh at Belmont on July 23, 1984. I've attached TARA K's lifetime past performances to the bottom of this blog post.

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You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to check out DRF LIVE's handicapping coverage. Matt Bernier and I are on Wednesday through Friday at 12:30 ET and on Saturday from 2pm through the final major stakes race of the afternoon.

***

Congrats to Carl C. for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling tournament.

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

Let's go with Saturday's Decathlon Stakes at Monmouth for this week's exercise.


PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.


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.

HANDIGAMBLING:

-  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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator 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!

Harpo
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A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)

AttachmentSize
EFFINEX.pdf721.47 KB
TONALIST.pdf652.44 KB
RIDE'EM COWBOY.pdf569.9 KB
TARA K.pdf565.07 KB
Copy of Formblog Kentucky Derby 5-2-15.xls75.5 KB
HGMTH.pdf203.28 KB