10/16/2013 12:32PM



Chad Brown was high on BAKKEN's potential leading into the 2012 Saratoga meeting. 

The juvenile colt breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.23 over the main track on July 10 and seemed primed for a race early in the session. 

The best laid plans...

Following a gate work on July 17, Bakken went to the sidelines for over a year.  He returned to the tab in mid-July and began a steady stream of breezes for his debut, a belated 3-year-old unveiling, at Belmont on October 13. 

It was worth the wait. 

The $450,000 yearling, a half-brother to Grade 2 stakes-winners Justwhistledixie and Chace City, zipped right to the front under Javier Castellano, carved out fractions of 22.31 and 44.94 over the speed-favoring track, and poured it on under a hand ride to win by 6 1/2 lengths in 1:08.46.  Bakken received a 96 Beyer Speed Figure and looks headed for sprint stakes races.

*Think the seventh race at Keeneland on October 12 may turn out to be a good one.  First-time starter KALA RYAN was working very well and showed good early speed under Rosie Napravnik.  She scooted clear in upper stretch and appeared on her way to victory only to be run down by a game, but green, AURELIA'S BELLE.  Ridden by Channing Hill, Aurelia's Belle showed no quit despite racing on her left lead and validated her favored status in her debut.  PLACE CARD came with a good late run for third.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (10/7/13 - 10/13/13)

1. THE PIZZA MAN - 100 - Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Hawthorne
1. WINILISCIOUS - 100 - Alw 8000s - 1 1/16 Miles - Laurel
1. ZA APPROVAL - 100 - Knickerbocker Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
4. VOODOO STORM - 99 - Alw 37100NC - 1 Mile - Mountaineer
5. GEEKY GORGEOUS - 98 - Cornucopia Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Parx
5. PIANIST - 98 - Athenia Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
7. SALTO (Ire) - 97 - Alw 39250NC - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
8. BAKKEN - 96 - Md Sp Wt 80k - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
8. CHAPMAN - 96 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Belmont
10. ATTRACTIVE RIDE - 95 - OC 32k/N3X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Laurel
10. KITTEN'S DUMPLINGS - 95 - Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
12. PHIL'S DREAM - 94 - Nearctic Stakes (G1-C) - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - Woodbine
12. PURPLE EGG - 94 - Barbaro STakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Delaware
12. WINCHILL - 94 - First Responder Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Parx
15. MOON PHILLY - 93 - Justakiss Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Delaware
15. WARREN'S VENEDA - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
17. BLACK KARMA - 92 - Alw 23800N2L - 6 Furlongs - Calder
17. CAT BURGLAR - 92 - Md Sp Wt 49k - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
17. CEASE - 92 - OC 62k/N2X - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
17. CONFRONTATION - 92 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Belmont
17. GUAM TYPHOON - 92 - OC 70k/N1Y -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Laurel
17. QIAONA - 92 - California Distaff Handicap - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
17. SILVER WINGS - 92 - Clm 12500(12.5-10.5) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
24. BLAMESHIFTER - 91 - OC 32k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
24. CALMER THAN YOU - 91 - OC 35k/N$Y -N - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
24. CHELSEA BROOK - 91 - OC12k/SAL10k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Calder
24. DOOR'S OPEN - 91 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
24. FAMILY ICON - 91 - Alw 30000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
24. HAVERHILL - 91 - OC16k/SAL16k - 6 Furlongs - Belmont

*The lifetime past performances for the three top Beyer earners are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Hi Dan, I'm not sure I should be asking this here, but I'm new to handicapping and I'm hoping that you might give me some advice on how to best go about it. I live in Ireland so my interest is in Turf handicapping, but I have no idea as to how one is supposed to go about handicapping a turf race. I hope you will kindly give me some pointers as my own efforts have proven dismal so far. All the best, Tony

Welcome and thanks for reading!  My advice is to practice, practice, practice and don't get discouraged if the short-term results aren't ideal.  Give our HandiGambling exercises a try and utilize the free DRF "Race of the Day" past performances on our homepage. 

Decide what you're looking for in a contender. 

Do you put stock in speed figures? 
Some handicappers use Beyer Speed Figures as a guide to isolate the contenders (the faster horses) from the pretenders (the slower ones).

Pace analysis? 
Who will be on the lead?  Will the pace be quick enough to give the late-runners a fair chance? 

Trainer statistics? 
Do certain barns win in certain situations? 

Is the horse bred for the surface/distance? 

Race replays?
Did the horse have hidden trouble that the chartcaller missed?

Make notes after the race is over.  What were the "positives" that the winner had in his corner?  Do similar positive traits jump out race after race after race. 

Please read the comments from our posters and ask questions.  We're truly blessed to have some exceptional handicappers on the blog and they will give you plenty of ideas to consider. 
Hope this helps a bit.


Last week I read about the "Past Posting" here on the DRF. I'm not so naive to think that cheating doesn't happen. However, have you heard anything further about this fiasco ? Between the lip service given to lowering the Take-out & now this excuse of past posting, is this gonna get swept under the rug too ? Did they catch the Banditos ? What track{s} was the culptrit{s} ? Or, is everybody going to plead the 5th ? Does anybody know which hand is their left ? Anything you can add would be appreciated.
Curt V.

I haven't heard anything new on the past posting incident that occurred at a thoroughbred track about a month ago.  On the face of it, one of the sites in the simulcast network didn't recognize the "stop wagering" command that's supposed to cut off bets.  If I find out more, I'll let you know.


When you get the chance, you're definitely going to want to check out "RACEHORSE," the latest production from Jessica Pacheco, racing analyst at Arlington Park.

"It's the end of the summer, and Crown and Thistle Stables hope for a firm turf course for Sugar Kate's last race of the 2013 Arlington meet. Then catch up with all the owners in the season finale of RACEHORSE! Get an update on the whereabouts of Magna Fortuna "Taxi", party with the Rabbits, and get some ownership advice from the RACEHORSE cast."


The entire series, Episodes 1-9, can be found here:



Congrats to Ed Kay for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling contest.

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

Ed selects Friday's 9th race at Belmont for this week's event.


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.
Please post your plays and analysis to the blog.

Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.
In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please.
I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.
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.


I read some entries on here and there are some people who put their heart out on their picks(such as DavidM9999) and give you great analysis on who they like and why and then there are others who elect not to give any reasoning behind their entries. The rule I will implement EFFECTIVE 3/1/13 will be... any entry without ANY analysis will be ignored. We are not asking you to put out a novel, but again a sentence or two. Also, I will put communication out when Dan puts out new blogs.
My intent is not to be jerk on this, but what's fair is fair. I'm not taking away from this week or past winners regarding all of this, but we do need to make the change.
If you have any questions/concerns...please send an email to FORMBLOG@DRF.COM and it will get forwarded to me.
Thank You!



Best of luck to all.

TOP 3 Beyers.pdf80.05 KB
Copy of Formblog SA Downhill Turf 10-11-13.xls67.5 KB
HGBELTURF.pdf198.11 KB
Gerty Golittle More than 1 year ago
Bernard, I see Joshua Tree is back for another crack at the International at WO. Given his most recent race, I'm not taking him seriously (even tho he is obviously a HFC). Should I? The other horses arriving Now We Can, Fitful Skies, and Moment in Time. The latter two are for the EP Taylor. Have you any comments (advice)? knm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That's right, the paper edition won't be available until tomorrow. Looks like online ones are available now? Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bernard, P.S. It wouldn't let me print the "printer friendly" version of the pre-entry lists, so I had to just print it as is. The print is smaller, but there is a big margin in which I can write your comments on the foreign horses. So, you'd better get busy. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bernard, Thanks for the update on Toronado! Hmm, I wonder if they will ship and run Olympic Glory after only two weeks. All the auctions I've ever heard were fast like that. I thought that was just the way they are. I'm still waiting to hear what the company lines look like in BC paper edition. I don't know whether I should go get some more black in and paper and print them at home. Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Updating previous Breeders Cup thoughts to Annie, our TV boys just announced that Toronado will not contest the BC Mile this year. From the pictures it looks like his connections weren't impressed with a racecourse gallop today. No mention of his stablemate, Olympic Glory. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Dick W More than 1 year ago
TBTA Yes indeed Claiborne was awesome ! Thanks again for recommending that I schedule that tour. I don't recall the guy's name who conducted the tour, but he did an excellent job. And yes, War Front was acting like someone had just informed him that his stud fee had been increased to $150,000 :-) Dick W
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just sitting here waiting to watch the 3.40 race from Newmarket. Bet already made, 5 minutes to kill and I take a quick look at the live video coverage of the Fasig Tipton sales. Any "sales" people out there. Can I ask why the Auctioneer calls out the bids so quickly? Does he think its clever? Is it a Fasig Tipton tradition? Is he trying to confuse bidders into making extra bids? Or is he simply crazy? Best Regards - Bernard Downes
pat gavin More than 1 year ago
DavidM9999, Trip notes recap from a Dr. Phil instigated fight from late 2008: Ex- "I was watching Dr. Phil today and there was a man on there just like you" Me- (rolling eyes) "What was it a dog molester and part time arsonist?" Ex_ "No the guy gambled away all of his lottery money(3 mil) in Vegas, that would be you if you ever won the lottery, plus he had the same hair color". Me- I never knew I was such a bad guy until you started watching Dr. Phil" Ex with the line of the decade... "Neither did I". Getting back to reality (which by the way is more important than the "get real" BS that he espouses) I am looking at a HUGE UPSET in the Classic. I think that Game on Dude's pistol is out of bullets, and I am going out and predicting a "CAT THIEF" result(which still boggles the mind), like a Moreno or Last Gunfighter.
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Friends; Before the question is asked, I shall (as usual) provide the answer... Here is the Breeder's Cup Wagering Menu and Race Order... http://www.breederscup.com/article/breeders-cup-race-order-post-time-and-wagering-menu-announced-spectacular-two-days-wagering Enjoy. vs
DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Stuckinarizona I do bet a lot of races mostly on weekends when I have maximum time. I focus primarily on MSW and MSW turf. Often these races have few running lines. I am looking for certain profiles (dirt to turf), certain sires (turf mover uppers) and barns. These races often have very few running lines. I like those races, actually the fewer the better. The professionals with their betting programs don’t wade into these as much as they have too many unknowns for pro’s who don’t like bruised egos. My ego looks like Chuck Wepner’s face after the March 24, 1975 fight with Ali. I do try to review every turf and maiden race in America. I will bet a large number of them if I find something that affords odds. Generally in these kinds of races you can find a lot of over bet unproven false favorites. Look at Woodbine this weekend, sure there were a number of favorites but there were a couple of surprises with well-bred horses, second out, big time barns too. Claiming races where there is a full field of 12 with ten running lines each can take forever. I spend a half hour then find out I like the 8-5 shot who is a black print pick in the DRF. That is a deflating feeling. I just find more opportunity in turf and maidens. Calculating first half speed and closing kicks is automatic to me. I can do that stuff in my head but can’t remember a single item on my wife’s grocery list. TBTA – Pat G My dear wife Tivo’s Dr. Phil every single day. It is a difficult cross to carry watching this daily but again I did say the words “for better or worse”. I just pop open the DRF then look up at the screen occasionally nodding approval of Dr. Phil’s diagnosis. That seems to work fine. The second cross I have to carry is at 8 pm EST every single night I get to see Nancy Grace too. She does not seem to like men much but I agree we tend to do some dumb things. I would love to see her and Bill O’Reilly together. Wynn’s posted the odds on the prop bet which one of these hosts would cut their guests off the most. O’Reilly is 3-5 but this prop is taking heavy action both ways. These two shows give me about two hours of cover every night.