02/16/2010 10:43PM

The Agony of Defeat


I like to believe I'm ahead of my time.  Others think I'm just a loser. 

Case in point:  I really liked Jeranimo two weeks ago in the Sunshine Millions Classic and watched in horror as Brice Blanc got him in all sorts of trouble.  Did I play him right back when Jeranimo returned for Saturday's Strub at Santa Anita?  Nope.  I got off, Jeranimo received a wonderful trip under new rider Martin Garcia, and the rest is history. 
"I didn't know a thing about this horse until this morning," said Garcia.  "I went by the barn and Mike (Pender, trainer) said he had a little trouble last time, but he's got a lot of heart and to just ride him with confidence.  I got him covered up early and he relaxed real well.  At the top of the stretch, a hole opened up and he kicked on really strong."
"We skipped this race last Saturday because it was coming back on seven days rest," said Pender.  "So we decided to take a shot today when it rained out.  He has been victimized countless times by poor racing luck.  Today, the seam opened, he just followed Misremembered right through the turn and cut to the inside of him.  The race just fell into his lap for a change on his biggest day."

Jeranimo takes the Strub
Photo:  Benoit and Associates


We won't mention that I picked Lomaki at 24-1 in the Marshuas River on January 16 only to watch her finish a tough-trip fourth, losing by a head.  Of course, she won the Grade 3 Endeavour at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday...without me on her back.  DOH!


Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from 2/8 to 2/14:

Here are the lifetime past performances for the highest winning Beyer earners of the week:

Download Jeranimo

Download Munnings


Is the DRF going to post PP's of the 23 horses in Pool One and if not would you? (I may be in the minority but I really think Tomlinsons at the distance are something that can be helpful smoking out a Derby winner this early)
Stephen Taylor

Here are the Tomlinson Ratings for the 23 horses in Pool One of the Derby Future Wager:

1.  Aikenite - 253*
2.  American Lion - 222
3.  Buddy's Saint - 259
4.  Concord Point - 224*
5.  Conveyance - 219
6.  Dave in Dixie - 291
7.  Drosselmeyer - 349
8.  Dryfly - 336*
9.  Dublin - 276
10. Eskendereya - 336
11. Jackson Bend - 231
12. Lookin At Lucky - 309
13. Make Music for Me - 280
14. Maximus Ruler - 283
15. Noble's Promise - 259*
16. Ron the Greek - 306*
17. Rule - 248
18. Stay Put - 330
19. Super Saver - 362
20. Tiz Chrome - 210
21. Uptowncharlybrown - 226
22. Vale of York - 270
23. William's Kitten - 195

For comparison's sake, the highest Tomlinson for 10 furlongs out of any of the Triple Crown nominees belongs to BEST ACTOR (Rock Hard Ten - Dance for Dixie, by Unaccounted For).  Trained by Wayne Catalano, he won his maiden by four lengths in his fourth lifetime start at Gulfstream on January 7 before finishing third to Drosselmeyer in that entry-level allowance race on January 31.  His rating is 393.


Hey Dan
Love your comments on your blog and on Race of the Day.  Want to know what criteria for selecting the Race of the Day. I just question the selection since Sante Anita has two races that were canceled and re-scheduled thru this week (Leroidesanimaux H. and Wishing Well H.). I play the race of the week and love the concept but I would have selected the other races than the ones that were selected. So who or what selects each race each days.  Thanks  
Joe Jaglowski

One of the editors at drf.com selects the Race of the Day a week or so in advance in conjunction with any articles that may accompany the past performances and video.  That way, we provide a little something for everyone (handicapping analysis, FormulatorWeb past performances, editorial). 
My original goal was to provide the best betting races of the day as the "Race of the Day," but it seems many fans have written to us proclaiming that they like the "all-inclusive" format for the Race of the Day.  Also, by making the schedule in advance, it gives our many handicappers in the field enough time to prepare their video analyses.


Dave in Dixie looks interesting.  Can we see PP's for Wavering Monarch, In Excess and Limehouse?

Here are their past performances:

Download Wavering Monarch, etc.


Would it be possible to pull up the lifetime PP's of a horse called Jefrod?
My friends started calling me that ever since there was a blurb about him on the front page of the Form back in '79 about how he drilled 1:11 2/5 for the upcoming Laurel Futurity.
I think he ended up running in $5,000 claimers at Penn National later in his career.

Here they are:

Download Jefrod


Dan, since Conveyance looks a little iffy getting a Derby distance despite that nice speed I would appreciate seeing the PP's for Indian Charlie and Holy Bull, his sire and maternal grandsire, to inspire some more confidence.

Here they are:

Download Indian Charlie

Download HolyBull


While we're on the topic of fast horses any chance at seeing the past performances of one of the most under appreciated horses of all time. Let's introduce some people to SENSITIVE PRINCE!!They don't make many like him anymore.

I'm pleased that you're contributing on the blog, but I do have one question.  Would you have called me a bum if Evening Jewel got her nose down at 18-1 in the Las Virgenes? 

Here's Sensitive Prince:

Download Sensitive Prince


Does racing need someone like Palin, a cult-of-personality sweetheart of the Repubs, to jump start national interest in racing. If not the matchup at Oaklawn, what about the Kentucky Derby?
Apparently, two very nice fillies in a matchup cannot get the attention of the national media or the nation; yet, Palin in a pushup and pumps is all the rage and is actually considered a legit political candidate.
Does racing need to stoop to this level, or do we simply stay a niche sport as C has reminded us that we are?

No, I don't think we need Sarah Palin to prop racing up to the general public.  I found C's comparison to Mixed Martial Arts a few posts back more appropriate. 

Several years ago, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was a struggling group.  With no television to promote their Pay-Per-View events (their main source of revenue), and with most states refusing to regulate the sport due to the violent content, the UFC was a company arguably on death's door. 

Their saving grace was getting  television exposure.  They didn't shoot for the moon like a prime-time NBC event or a weekly ESPN program.  Those stations wouldn't have wanted them anyway.  Instead, the UFC struck a deal with Spike TV, a fledgling network looking for flagship programming.  Spike heavily promoted "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series on their other shows and the UFC became a cult hit. The cooperation between network and product built to live prime-time "fight nights," and the UFC is now one of, if not the, top-grossing Pay-Per-View industries in the world. 

Obviously, the business model is different with racing.  We're going to have a tough time building stars as the horses can't "hype" match-ups, injuries and early retirements kill momentum, and no one is going to buy a Pay-Per-View Breeders' Cup.  But, doesn't racing at least deserve a one-hour weekly time-slot somewhere on a Saturday afternoon?  Yes, we get some ESPN telecasts, but how many times have we missed races because the WNBA game goes into double overtime?  When watching SportsCenter, do we ever see a commercial or a promo for a future racing telecast?  It's as if racing is the red-headed stepchild of the "all sports network."  And gambling?  That's a dirty word on an ESPN telecast.  The art and science of handicapping, perhaps the one ace in the hole to attract new fans, is relegated to a thirty-second, who-do-ya-like segment.

Baby steps, I say.  This won't happen because the industry is fragmented and greedy with warring racetracks willing to sacrifice money by having post times at the same time, but what would be the harm of trying a partnership with a network like the Versus channel?  I'm sure they would be pleased to have a weekly show on Saturday afternoon, and would promote the heck out of it the rest of the week.  Why can't it be an affordable program like a studio show with handicapping analysis and track feeds for the post parade and race?  Do we really have to have ten reporters on-site?  Do we really need ten camera angles that mostly irritate hardcore fans?  Can't there just be one reporter (possibly the track handicapper) live for the pre-race and post-race interview followed by studio analysis of what we've just seen?  Why can't we show 5-8 races in an hour along with features on handicapping contests, tourney winners, and handicapping angles?  Everyone knows that there are no better personalities to "sell" a sport than racetrackers and horseplayers.  Why can't we have a top ten ranking each week in each division, and a roundtable discussion on who's better and why? Why can't we treat this game like a sport?  A sport that involves intelligent investing.  The political landscape of the industry would not allow such a program, but a weekly time-slot couldn't hurt.  A few years ago, no one knew Georges St. Pierre or Anderson Silva.  Now, thanks to Spike TV shoving their names down our throats, they're sports celebrities.  Couldn't the same be done for Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta given creative marketing and programming?

Ah, a fan could dream, can't he?

What do you folks think? 


HG 172
I think the 2 should be able to get the lead, and tire out the other speed then hold on for a short priced victory.  I like the 4 and 7 to close up passing some of the others late for the under spots.  So I'll play
$30 Ex 2/4,7 - $60
$20 Tri 2/4,7 - $40

Hey what do you know, finally hit one. 
Regarding the selection of this week’s race, as a recent transplant from Saratoga, NY to the SoCal area, I was leaning towards a race at SA to get a little more practice on synthetic.  But the track is dark Wed, so I will pick a race for Thursday at SA, as well as a race for Wed, and let the management decide which one to use.  It looks like clear weather out west so there should be a generally full field for each.  So my selection is the 8th race at Santa Anita on Thursday the 18th, and my backup is the 10th race at Sunland Park on Wed the 17th.  
Good Luck.

Congrats to Charlton for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Let's go with the eighth race at Santa Anita on Thursday for this week's race.  Here are the past performances:

Download HG173

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."   Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. 

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but 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.  I'm 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.

Best of luck to all.


ilovemesomeme More than 1 year ago
Love the HG!
vicstu More than 1 year ago
CM, Mike A, I fully expected that you guys would respond to my points before there was a truce! LOL...That would be an effective debating method, wouldn't it? In any event, the next time out should give us a better indication of these horses, anyhow. If, indeed, the bad break neccesitated UCB being back further in the backstretch, even though he was a stalker at sprints and used to faster fractions, we should see the adjustment next race should he break decently.
Randy More than 1 year ago
I'll look at the stretchout angle here, and play a $50 exacta box on #1 Press the Point and #8 Xina.
Annie More than 1 year ago
BigEasy BigChok, I remember that well. We were all astounded that anyone would have the gall to insult someone, and then in the same breath, ask for a favor. That rarely works in the real world, and it certainly wouldn't work here. Annie
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Alan ROFLMAO ..You are scaring me! I never knew Uncle Steve had such moves and daring. ..and you look pretty nice in spandex. Glad to see Chalky wearing her Blue Thong, umm.. blue skate outfit & her Diva tiara! Congratulations to Dan Illmans' Formblogians! SR Vegas
meadowlake59 More than 1 year ago
HG 173 Like the 1 in this spot. Big improvement 2nd out and would seem to be bred for at least a mile--top and bottom. The 7 and the 9 have consistent numbers but I am hoping the 1 offers the better price. $50 exactas 1/7,9 Good Luck and Good Racing!!!
Annie More than 1 year ago
Caseyjeaux, I think you're right. It would be an iffy proposition. LOL Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
Midwest Ed, I have seen that (a horse entered in two races on the same card) at several tracks. But, they only let them run in one of them. Giant Oak will scratch out of one or the other. Annie
Virgin Queen More than 1 year ago
steveT, i only listen 2 classic rock&roll.no rap,no hiphop,none of 2 days music.
C More than 1 year ago
CM, The rule I follow is that just because you liked a horse in one race doesn't mean they're a great bet in another race. I also try to avoid the equine love bug as much as possible. A few examples: After what I thought was a more-impressive-than-it-looked win in the Wood, I got high on Tale of Ekati's chances in the Derby. Considering my earlier comment to Keith, this may seem very ironic because he was out of Tale of the Cat. However, his female side was very stoutly bred, with Sunday Silence and Nijinsky as close-up influences. I thought there was a chance 1 1/4 was within his grasp and the odds figured to be overly generous. To his credit, he ran ok there, but was no threat to Big Brown. When he returned in the Belmont, I didn't bet him, mostly because of Big Brown. As it turned out, he won the Cigar Mile and didn't much else afterwards. Didn't matter to me... I don't think I ever bet him again after the Derby. Dreaming of Anna is another one I liked a lot after her BCJF triumph. With her, it didn't take me very long to figure out that she wasn't a legitimate Grade 1 filly. She was really a Grade 2-3 talent. For some reason, I always felt like I had her number and knew when to bet her (in lesser stakes) and when to avoid her (in good Grade 1s). Some may think that Rachel Alexandra is a "crush" horse for me, but they are actually wrong. I bet against her several times last year. On dirt between a mile and 1 1/8, it would take a lot for me to stand against her. However, at 1 1/4, particularly against a mare of Zenyatta's quality, I would stand against her because I don't think that distance would suit her nearly as well. caseyjeaux, The AWDs are better than Tomlinsons and dosage, but they have their problems too. I'm just not big on these numerical ratings. I prefer to research the pedigree myself the old-fashioned way. It's actually quite interesting and becomes less and less time-consuming the more you do it.