06/17/2008 6:07PM

Ascot recap, picks, 'cappers, hangers, etc.


Handicappers of the Week:

*johnnyz gave out the Proud Jefe - Fitzaslew exacta box ($82.20) at Churchill on Saturday as well as Hardasun in the Queen Anne.
*Grey Tan or White liked Hedge Fund ($27.40) at Belmont on Sunday.
*larryk gave out Bartok's Bling ($24.80) at Hollywood on Sunday.
*chicago gerry gave out Grace Happens
*Hope Mudhound Mojo had the $97.20 triple in the Foster as he mentioned both Einstein and Barcola as possible plays "underneath" Curlin.
*Arazi gave out Decorated Court at Belmont on Friday afternoon.
*Mike picked Tizdejavu at Churchill on Saturday.
*Steve V. liked Cedar Mountain in the Round Table Handicap.


*Congrats to Steve V. and crew for Bros Sis' win at Monmouth on Saturday.  Not only did she win the lion's share of the $19,000 purse, but the filly was claimed by Eddie Broome.


I don't know if I'm posting this question in the right spot, but...WHERE IS SLEW'S TIZNOW?

Slew's Tiznow hasn't raced since finishing second in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on October 6.  He's suffered from various ailments including a fever, a low red blood cell count, and colic surgery.  Now with trainer Greg Fox, Slew's Tiznow registered a three furlong workout on Saturday at Nelson Jones Farm.


Marina Market ran a nice second after setting REALLY fast fractions. 22, 45.  What beyer did the winner Three In The Bag receive?

Three in the Bag received a 98 Beyer.  Marina Market earned an 82 behind the runaway winner.


hey dan, anyway possible you could post the pp's of 2 old harbor view farm champions the immortal RAISE A NATIVE and the gritty ROMAN BROTHER thanks again dan

Sorry.  I tried to download the past performances, but I guess our system won't cooperate for horses from that timeframe.


Dan what is the status of La Traviata who ran out of the Biancone barn last year ?

La Traviata returned to the racetrack under the tutelage of Todd Pletcher, and worked three times before being shut down once again.  Her last work was January 14 at Hollywood, and she was pointing for the Sunshine Millions before the layoff.  I haven't heard anything about her recently.


Mr. Illman, Enjoy the blog and have since its inception.  Someone pointed this out and I am wondering if you know about this (under the possibility that I have just not been paying attention).  The comments (Sweep Graded Comments) on the selection pages in the Form have disappeared, at least for Hollywood Park.  Are they coming back, or are they gone for good?  And if gone, why?

I've noticed it too, and I believe that this is going to be a long-term change for all tracks.  The Sweep Graded Comments included the DRF Handicapper's morning line, and I believe that the tracks themselves will now provide the official line (when listed under ML) when available.  I'm not sure why the change was made as it was a fairly popular feature, but I'll try to find out more.


Looking at Curlin's PPs, I see only one race at 115+. Are his Beyers too light to belong in the superstar category?


It's an interesting question, but I don't think Beyer Speed Figures should be the determining factor in a horse's place in history.  Seabiscuit lost 66 times in his career.  Some would say that number alone makes him less of a superstar.  Seabiscuit was great not only for his immense talent, and tremendous accomplishments on the track, but the passion he stirred up among racing fans.   In this day and age, we think about Curlin with a smile on our faces.  We want him to do well.  He's as close to a fan favorite as we have in our sport.  Perhaps that adds to his mystique.  Add in all of the variables (lightly-raced yet ran so gallantly in the Triple Crown races, beat older in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders' Cup, travelled halfway across the globe to win twice in Dubai), and it's fair to call him a superstar.


Oh, and Dan, Atoned did hang. Why do some horses just refuse to go by? Is that the herd mentality of a horse?
Jim Tully

You probably hit the nail on the head concerning herd mentality, but some horses just lack the conviction to win tight photos.  That class, heart, or whatever you want to call it is what separates the very good horses from the ordinary.  Cosmonaut is another example of a good horse, but he has a tendency to stop if on the lead, and hang when chasing.  I wonder if this is a bad habit that a horse can lose as he matures.  I always thought Aldebaran was a hanger, and then BANG!  He put it all together to be champion sprinter as a five-year-old.  As for Atoned, he has the ability...I just want to see him put somebody away when looked in the eye.


What are the stats on Deputy Minister as a broodmare sire. Seems like mare's from him would be held in high regard considering the success of Better Than Honor and Sheriffs Deputy.

This year, Deputy Minister is the broodmare sire of 11 stakes winners including Curlin.  According to DRF Stats, his lifetime record as a broodmare sire looks like this:

1372 runners, 961 winners
20,921 starts, 3160 wins, 2773 seconds, 2617 thirds, 15% win percentage.

He's been the leading Broodmare Sire by money in 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, and he currently leads the standings this year.


Talk to you Thursday.