06/22/2017 6:06PM

Another barn switch for Cerro

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CERRO's road has been full of twists and turns. 
 
Bred in Ireland, he won his career debut on turf in Italy before being sent to the United States. Initially campaigned here by Team Valor Stables in a partnership that included Olympic legend Michael Phelps, Cerro was briefly on the Triple Crown trail in 2013. He won the Canonero II Stakes going nine furlongs on dirt at Pimlico that spring and placed in a pair of stakes races around two turns (one on turf) at Delaware Park during the fall. 
 
Cerro didn't pan out at four until he dropped in class. Claimed for $25,000 by Dane Kobiskie out of a winning effort at Laurel, he then reeled off two more wins against optional claiming competition in Maryland before finishing a close third in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream. 
 
Cerro went in and out of form over the next few years for a variety of different trainers (Bruce Levine, Pat Reynolds, Danny Gargan, Jorge Navarro, Robert Barbara, Michael Maker). For Gargan, he won the $85,000 Caixa Eletronica Stakes last spring at Aqueduct.
 
He scored for a $40,000 tag over the Turfway Park polytrack surface four back, was claimed out of that race by Kim Hammond, and has since returned to top form. Atter a sixth-place finish in the Forego Stakes at Turfway, Cerro was given four-plus months to recuperate. He came back with a last-to-first win against optional claiming competition over muddy going at Indiana Grand and then popped a 96 Beyer last Saturday in a $50,000 seller at Churchill Downs.
 
Cerro received a good pace-tracking trip while in the clear, but he cruised up willingly on the turn to take over the lead from even-money favorite MESOMA. He stayed to his task willingly to complete the six furlongs in 1:08.95.
 
Cerro was claimed out of the race by owner Mike Repole, who previously campaigned Cerro in New York with Levine. If Cerro returns to the Empire State for the Saratoga meeting, he can factor in higher-class optional claiming races, especially over an off track. 
 
If stakes races are the goal, then summertime spots like the Don Bernhardt at Ellis Park and the Senator Robert Byrd at Mountaineer might do nicely. 
 
The versatile veteran deserves a slot on Horse to Watch lists.
 
*The Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes might not be the most appealing betting race of the weekend, but it could have a big impact on the second half of the racing season, especially as it pertains to the competitive 3-year-old division. BATTLE OF MIDWAY, third in the Kentucky Derby, stayed out of the remainder of the Triple Crown events and I believe that decision could pay dividends down the road for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
 
Battle of Midway was a late-bloomer. He didn't run at two and had four starts crammed in before the Derby. Instead of trying taxing races like the Preakness and Belmont, he was freshened up and now found a good spot for his return. If he takes the measure of the promising ARMS RUNNER on Saturday, a race like the Travers or Haskell would be strictly in play.
 
Best of luck this weekend!
 
I'll be taking a break next week.  Will see you in a couple!
 
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH OUR COMMENTS SECTION. IT MAY NOT BE FIXED UNTIL EARLY NEXT WEEK. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
 
***
 
For free video analysis of the weekend's major stakes races, take a look at http://video.drf.com/
 
Please watch "Out of the Gate," a handicapping program that previews the weekend's best races. This week, we cover the the Ohio Derby from Thistledown, the Wild Applause Stakes from Belmont, the Precisionist Stakes from Santa Anita and lots more.
 
"Out of the Gate" will premiere at 12:30 p.m. ET at live.drf.com and will also be available on demand at video.drf.com as well as Daily Racing Form's YouTube and Facebook pages. An audio podcast version can be found on iTunes and SoundCloud. 
 
I'll be on with Mike Beer and Matt Bernier, and will be joined by DRF Breeding's Nicole Russo, noted tournament player Jonathon Kinchen and Timeform US handicapper and figure-maker Craig Milkowski.
 
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For up-to-date video releases from DRF, follow DRFTV on Twitter @DRFvideo.
 
***
 
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 6/14/17 - 6/20/17
 
1. GUN RUNNER - 110 - (G1) Stephen Foster Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - 17Jun17-8CD 
2. BALLAGH ROCKS - 103 - (G3) Poker Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 18Jun17-8BEL
3. KASAQUI (ARG) - 102 - (G2) Wise Dan Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 17Jun17-6CD
4. TIMELINE - 99 - (G3) Pegasus Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 18Jun17-10MTH
5. BENDABLE - 97 - (G3) Desert Stormer Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 18Jun17-4SA 
5. CLASSY CLASS - 97 - (G3) Salvator Mile - 1 Mile - 17Jun17-10MTH
7. CERRO (IRE) - 96 - Clm c-50000 - 6 Furlongs - 17Jun17-3CD 
7. EL HUERFANO - 96 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 Mile - 18Jun17-3SA 
9. READY FOR RYE - 95 - OC 80k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 18Jun17-9BEL
9. STREET FASHION - 95 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 15Jun17-8BEL
11. OAK BROOK - 94 - Black Tie Affair Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 17Jun17-8AP 
11. SIR DUDLEY DIGGES - 94 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 15Jun17-3CD 
13. HAY DAKOTA - 93 - Mystic Lake Mile - 1 Mile (Turf) - 18Jun17-8CBY
13. GHOST HUNTER - 93 - OC 50k/C -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 15Jun17-6DEL
13. MCCRAKEN - 93 - (G3) Matt Winn Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 17Jun17-5CD 
13. MR. ROARY - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 16Jun17-9SA 
17. FAYPIEN - 92 - (G2) Summertime Oaks - 1 1/16 Miles - 17Jun17-9SA 
17. LOVELY LOYREE - 92 - Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 17Jun17-7AP 
17. NATURAL WONDER - 92 - Satin N Lace Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 18Jun17-6PID
17. SON OF A NUT - 92 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 17Jun17-5IND
21. CODE WEST - 91 - OC 40k/N$Y -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 16Jun17-7PRM
21. FRENCH GETAWAY - 91 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 18Jun17-5SA 
21. MYSTIC SKY - 91 - Soldier's Dancer Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 17Jun17-11GP 
21. SAN NICOLA THUNDER - 91 - OC 60k/C - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 18Jun17-7WO 
21. SUMMER READING - 91 - OC 50k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - 18Jun17-8MTH
 
*Gun Runner's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.
 
*Cerro was claimed for $50,000 by trainer Jamie Grubbs from Kim Hammond.
 
***
 
Congrats to George for winning the most recent HandiGambling challenge.
 
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post along with some other statistical goodies.
 
Let's go with Saturday's Turning for Home Stakes at Parx 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 update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
 
HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:
 
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 SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING.
 
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR 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 identify who you are.
4. (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.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
 
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 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
 
HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100
Thanks Dan!
Harpo
 
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 SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)
AttachmentSize
Gun Runner.pdf838.72 KB
HGTURNINGFORHOME.pdf200.16 KB
Copy of HG 6 17 17 GP Race #7 10K clm.xls52.5 KB
HG 6 17 17 GP #7 10K Clm.doc35.5 KB