06/11/2014 5:24PM

Bayern Back on Track


TONALIST grabbed the headlines after taking the measure of CALIFORNIA CHROME in the Belmont, but BAYERN might have stolen the show with his wonderful pace-pressing victory in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on the undercard.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Bayern was cutting back to a sprint for the first time since his debut victory on January 4 at Santa Anita. That race, also at seven furlongs, was contested over an intensely inside, speed-favoring track, but Bayern was so visually impressive that he immediately went on many "Horses to Watch" lists.

Since then, the Offlee Wild colt has packed in a great deal in only six months. After his maiden race, Bayern took ill and missed some time before returning with a vengeance. He knocked out his first-level allowance by 15 lengths before being briefly sidelined with a bruised foot.

Bayern performed adequately in the Arkansas Derby, placing third as the favorite behind Danza, and was a game winner of the Derby Trial around a one-turn mile. Unfortunately, a tired Bayern was drifting badly in the stretch and was placed second by the Churchill Downs stewards. There was some trouble in the Preakness that may have cost him a placing or three although he was beaten 21 lengths by California Chrome at Old Hilltop.

Cutting back in distance and adding blinkers once again (he has finished first in all three races with the hood), Bayern never gave them a fighting chance in the Woody Stephens. He broke sweetly and went right up to battle with the speedy PURE SENSATION through splits of 21.96 and 44.20. Pure Sensation was done with three furlongs to run, but Bayern soon faced a stiff outside challenge from talented favorite SOCIAL INCLUSION. That foe's bid didn't last long, however, as Bayern flicked him away en route to a 7 1/2-length victory in 1:20.75. The final time was good enough for a 107 Beyer Speed Figure.

"That was a powerhouse performance," winning rider Gary Stevens told NYRA Publicity following the Woody Stephens. "He had a bad experience in the gate in the Preakness. Jimmy Barnes and Bob's crew did a great job getting him ready by schooling, schooling, schooling him. Then when I saw we drew the one hole, I thought 'Oh no, he's going to be standing in there a long time,' so I was worried. But he made a perfect break and when I asked him he turned in what was an awesome performance today. He really deserved that win."

Bayern is obviously a talented sprinter, but one gets the feeling that Baffert has bigger fish to fry in the near future. Considering Baffert's excellent record in Monmouth's nine-furlong Haskell Invitational, the Hall of Famer may attempt to stretch Bayern out for the $1,000,000 affair on July 27. There is also the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby at 1 1/8 miles on July 5 to consider.

Whether Bayern is best-suited to shorter-distance races like Saratoga's King's Bishop is another story. His sire defeated eventual Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero Funny Cide in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. A six-furlong maiden winner at two, Offlee Wild also vanquished Funny Cide in the Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap at four and in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap at five. At stud, Offlee Wild is the sire of champion 2-year-old filly She Be Wild, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies over the Pro-Ride at Santa Anita.

Bayern hails from a powerful family. The third dam is the great broodmare Courtly Dee, who produced Grade 1 winners Althea, Ali Oop and Ketoh. She also foaled Bayern’s dam, Aquilegia, a Grade 2 winner at 10 furlongs on grass. Bayern’s unraced dam is a half-sister to stakes-winners Alchemilla and Amelia, and to Group 3 winner Bertolini.

Although Bayern's pedigree indicates he can stretch out, one wonders if his sizzling early speed would work against him as the furlongs pile up. If he stays sound, he could just be the most exciting 3-year-old prospect to race this summer.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 6/2/14 - 6/8/14:

1. PALACE MALICE - 111 - Metropolitan Handicap (G1) - 1 Mile - Belmont
2. BAYERN - 107 - Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
3. UNCLE TODD - 104 - Alw 5000s - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Mountaineer
4. PALACE - 102 - True North Stakes (G2) - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
4. REAL SOLUTION - 102 - Manhattan Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
4. CLOSE HATCHES - 102 - Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - Belmont
7. UNDRAFTED - 101 - Jaipur Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - Belmont
7. TRAFFIC LIGHT - 101 - OC 60k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - Monmouth
7. NORUMBEGA - 101 - Brooklyn Stakes (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles - Belmont
10. TONALIST - 100 - Belmont Stakes (G1) - 1 1/2 Miles - Belmont
11. GROUND FORCE - 99 - OC 40k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
12. BIRD E HOUSE - 98 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
12. COFFEE CLIQUE - 98 - Just a Game Stakes (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Belmont
12. TOURIST - 98 - Alw 77000N1X - 1 Mile (Turf) - Belmont
15. JIMMY SIMMS - 97 - Brooks Fields Stakes - 1 Mile - Canterbury
15. KID CRUZ - 97 - Easy Goer Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Belmont
15. SARATOGA BOOT - 97 - Clm 7500 - 1 Mile - Canterbury
15. SEEKING THE SHERIF - 97 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
15. SPEAKING OF WHICH (IRE) - 97 - Monmouth Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Monmouth
20. MAGIC D'ORO - 96 - Free Press Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Assiniboia
21. CHARMING KITTEN - 94 - Belmont Gold Cup - 2 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
21. PAZOLINI - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
21. PLEA AGREEMENT - 94 - Alw 20000NC - 6 Furlongs - Ruidoso
21. ROCK FALL - 94 - Alw 77000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
25. ALDOUS SNOW - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Woodbine
25. BIG TOWN - 93 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill
25. KATHLEEN ROSE - 93 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
25. PENDER HARBOUR - 93 - Steady Growth Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
25. UNUSUAL HEATWAVE - 93 - Crystal Water Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita

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


Why can't IO access DRF+ since your system meltdown..I am amember..sick of leaving emails
gene cahalan

The man to e-mail is Lonnie Goldfeder, the head of our Customer Service department. He can be reached at cservice2@drf.com.


"Commissioner, the runner-up, is a one-placed plodder" ( written after the running of the Peter Pan )
Commissioner pp8...1/1...1/hd...1/1...1/1...1/1...2/hd...28/1
It's alright Dan. u know I still love u
Pletcher has been known to send them in big races with little or no speed. It's in the archives.
Hot 'N' Nasty

Being a one-paced plodder isn't necessarily a knock, especially in longer-distance races. Commissioner's Belmont splits, according to Formulator, were 24.06, 24.46, 24.32, 24.29, 25.30, 26.11. He rolled out "24's" at one pace for as far as he could go. It was a great decision by the connections to go to the lead.


Well fearless leader, and everybody else what are your thoughts on California Chrome's hoof injury?
I find it very interesting the difference of opinion on just how serious an injury a grabbed quarter is to a horse in a race.
I was watching Pursuit Of The Crown and just heard Richie Migliore comment on California Chrome's grabbed quarter, "His adrenaline was flowing. Horses are just so tough; I doubt he really even felt it."
Then this from Billy Gowan in the Orange County Register.
"Rival trainer Billy Gowan, whose Ride On Curlin did not finish the Belmont, compared the injury to a human ripping off a fingernail and said it is extremely painful for a horse.
Many horses, he said, will pull up and not finish the race.
'He’s a pretty courageous horse to finish fourth,' Gowan said."
I'm a fan and handicapper and don't have the experiences of Mr. Migliore or Mr Gowan. I was wondering what others know about the severity of this injury . I'm guessing is that we probably will never know.
~ Alfredo

I agree that we'll probably never know how the injury impacted his finish. It couldn't have helped, that's for sure. We've seen horses overcome grabbed quarters to win races and we've seen heavy favorites grab quarters en route to underperforming. It's a case-by-case situation. California Chrome ran a game race in the Belmont considering his workload this year, the injury, and the difficult distance. He really acquitted himself as a very good horse.


Nice call on Tonalist. Should have left him on my ticket, but I do OK avoiding bar shoes.
Does Steve Coburn think the Kentucky Derby is the quarterfinals of the Belmont Stakes? My wife would have put me in a headlock about two seconds into that embarrassing performance.
Ned Daly

Thanks. I appreciate the congrats. You're right about mostly avoiding horses with hoof issues, but Tonalist worked in the bar shoes in the weeks leading up to the Peter Pan, and it didn't hinder his performance that day. He doesn't race in them so I'm thinking they're more of a precaution in the morning.

*The links to the previous blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:

























You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to Carl C. for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

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

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Saturday's Vanity from Santa Anita will be this week's HandiGambling exercise


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.


-  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 "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card 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!




Copy of Formblog Belmont Stakes 6-7-14.xls73 KB
HGVANITY.pdf184.66 KB
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Confession #2 Back home and well-rested. 12 hours of sleep will do that. And I feel pretty good. Real good, actually. Don’t know how that happened. The event was fantastic. We did well (as usual). 15th out of 70. That’s about where we belong. We are the equivalent of an overnight Stakes or a Grade III team. That’s about what we are. Know thyself. Damn. I feel really good today. No, we won’t be heading out to the track. I don’t feel that good, plus my son reminded me of how crowded it is on Father’s Day. Next weekend maybe. And while the racing there is sub-par, it is enjoyable. My son loves the energy. The views are pretty nice too if you don’t mind looking off to 14,000 foot snow-capped mountains as your backdrop. And Ray, while I won’t argue your claim about handicapping Arapahoe, there are many races that are run there that I can handicap, and can actually handicap quite well. I have a lifetime positive ROI at the track, and I have played it live over 25 times. You have to pick your spots, just like everything else. Man, this coffee tastes so good right now. I’m gonna drop off. Later gators vs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HG: Love the way Grace Hall is coming to form with 3 very good works after the Ruffian, Rosario and Mott are hot. Love the pedigree of Scherzinger and I think she will handle the added distance. $100 Exacta 3-5 Michel de Botton
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bernard, I am so sorry to hear that! Hopefully, the person in question will remember how we deal with it here on Formblog when someone makes a faux pas that seriously offends another valued member of the blog. Annie
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Bernard, It was posted right at the end of a previous thread, whilst a new one was already underway. Hidden away ....almost. I never mentioned that particular horse in the first place, they did. Count me out too....
Bernard Downes More than 1 year ago
It has always seemed to me that there is a very thin dividing line between being the life and soul of a party (or Blog), and being a complete pain by virtue of endless repeats of the same line of argument. However, when that line of argument deviates from the amusing into a much darker side, and includes a pretty vulgar attack on a dead person no longer to defend themselves, someone who fought a long and painful battle against cancer, I think an important line has been crossed. And no amount of LOLs makes it better.. So please excuse me, I will sit it out until civility returns. Curtis V, Thanks for pointing out the merits of Commissioner. In actual fact I bet the horse WPS at 40/1 a couple of days before the Belmont. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
HG Vanity This is a tough race because there are so many horses that look like this their race to win. I've narrowed my search to four. Magic Union: Looks ready for a big effort after chasing the likes of On Fire Baby and Close Hatches. She has drawn the riding service of JJ Castellano who came west for the day's events. I fully expect her to be in the mix at the end. Herodds should offer value. Grace Hall: She also has some big names in her running lines and should be feared by others. She has earned $1.4 millionby scoring in races like this one. She lost JJ as a rider here but Rosario could boost her chances for a spot. Let Faith Arise: Cannot be dismissed off her current form. All her 2014 efforts have been big time and many of her wins have been against many in this field. Deserving favorite. Irish Presence: I look for this guy to bump up in third or fourth spot at boxcar odds. May or may not like the distance. Hardto win the HG with no longie. Unusual Way: A bit off the radar even though he has run some good, tough races. Seems his daddy has produced half the stock that runs in California. Can't dismiss. Wager: $2 super 3,4/3,4/2,57,8/2,57,8 $2 super 2,5,7,8/3,4/3,4/2,5,7,8 STUCKINARIZONA
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
Van S my friend, You can't handicap Arapahoe Park. Don't kill time on it. Just put a longshot or more in the top slots of your exotics. When I lived in Denver I did this with great success. About Beyers numbers, I too was a disciple of Beyer and his first book "Picking Winners" that described a rather intense and tedious method of determining a speed rating. Much emphasis was placed on the type of race and its implied class. Many modern-day followers do not realize the importance the figures rely on this. Another factor, harder to turn into a number, was the track bias.His second book related how he made big money using his new tools. The man still can write well but he has acquired a certain negativity that pops up every time he writes a column on racing. Regarding the dates of Triple Crown races. 2nd Saturday in May --KY Derby 2nd Saturday in June--Preakness 2nd Saturday in July --Belmont Last Saturday in August --Travers Ray
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
For a beautiful musing on why we racing fans keep coming back even when the injuries to our favorite horses make us so sad, plus an extended story on Intense Holiday's brush with death as a foal, read this wonderful article. http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/horse-racing-steve-haskin/archive/2014/06/12/haskin-one-death-too-many.aspx Al, I did know that it was a CD commercial that spooked that mare. I am not betting CDI at all except for Derby Day and Millions day. Not that they would miss my approximately $20 per race or so, but if a large number of people don't bet, they'll get the message. Hopefully the May numbers caught their attention.
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Pat Gavin, Great story. I can attest to the 99.99%. Nothing gets me more mad than being interupted when I am trying to get a point across. Ask my ex-husband or my son. :) Regarding praise and compliments: For four years, I commuted between Newark and O'Hare on American Airlines. If you are one of their elite fliers, you get these little praise coupons and can hand them out to any employee who is especially nice to you. I became great friends with the two gals who manned the front desk at the Admirals Club in Newark. You can imagine how many delays I sat through with two of the three worst airports to travel through. Anyway, one day I am leaving for Chicago when I look down and realize that I do not have my wedding and engagement rings on any more. Holy crap, I had left them in the ladies room on the shelf by the wash basin! I was just buzzing for a flight attendant when onto the plane comes one of the receptionists from the AC. Since I had shot the breeze with them so many times, she recognized my rings, attained my flight info and called the gate who held the plane and I got my rings back. I handed her about 8 of those little coupons and a reward. I told her to keep the coupons and turn them in when she was having a bad day or share them with a friend who was having a bad day. As you can imagine, we both came away from that interaction very happy. I still have all the names and information on the idiots from AP, but I am waiting for a friend who has a very high contact there to cough up the information so this incident will not go into the black hole of "customer service". The guy who fooled me by giving me nearly worthless OTB coupons really tee'd me off, even more so than what happened to make me mad in the first place. Talk about stupid, boneheaded and short sighted............
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TBTA – Wow, horrible service – just another example of bureaucratism run amok! And $12 apiece just for admission?! On CD, the DRF site was down when it happened, but anyone who didn’t see it should look up what happened to Never Tell Lynda, a 5 YO mare on her way to school in the paddock at CD. (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/horses/2014/05/22/trainer-cites-loud-churchill-speakers-horses-death/9444643/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=). Note that while some places said it was just a “loud noise” that made her spook, the LCJ article (unsanitized unlike the racing publication articles) specifies that it was an advertisement for CD, featuring a starting gate bell, played at blaring volume in an area where horses. Trainer Wirth’s comments say it all, poor guy. And then CD has the nerve to respond w/ a horsesh*t statement that “The health and safety of our human and equine athletes remains our highest priority.” Al