04/19/2011 10:11PM

Beyers of the Week, Handicapping Talk, First Crop Stallions, Q/A


Let's get down to business.

Who gave the beat performance of the past week?  Please watch the videos at the below link and let me know:



Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (4/11/11 - 4/17/11)

1.  Havre de Grace - 108 - Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
2.  Duke of Mischief - 103 - Charles Town Classic (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Charles Town
2.  Smiling Tiger - 103 - Count Fleet Handicap (G3) - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
4.  Aikenite - 102 - Commonwealth Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
5.  Regally Ready - 101 - San Simeon Handicap (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
6.  Black Hills - 100 - Sunland Park Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Sunland
6.  Starboardlights - 100 - Alw 37738N1X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
8.  Archarcharch - 98 - Arkansas Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Oaklawn
8.  Get Stormy - 98 - Makers Mark Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Keeneland
8.  Immortal Eyes - 98 - Webb Snyder Stakes - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
8.  Rodman - 98 - Irish Tower Stakes - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
8.  Sweet Goodbye - 98 - Sugar Maple Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Charles Town
13. Italian Rules - 97 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
14. American Lady - 96 - Md Sp Wt 54k - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
14. Dryfly - 96 - Wcl c-(7.5-5)N1Y - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
14. Nicole H - 96 - Distaff Handicap (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Aqueduct
14. Tar Heel Mom - 96 - Harmony Lodge Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
14. Tidal Pool - 96 - Red Bud Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
19. Mayor Marv - 95 - Clm 25000(25-22.5) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
19. Never Retreat - 95 - Jenny Wiley Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
21. Bank the Eight - 94- OC 40k/N3X -N - 7 Furlongs - Parx
21. Malibu Pier - 94 - Santa Barbara Handicap (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
21. Shotgun Gulch - 94 - Madison Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
21. Stratford Hill - 94 - Shakertown Stakes (G3) - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Keeneland
25. Baryshnikov - 93 - Alw 63630C - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
25. Boisterous - 93 - Alw 56530N2X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
25. Brilliant Speed - 93 - Blue Grass Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
25. Cherokee Heaven - 93 - Clm c-(40-35) - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
25. Juniper Pass - 93 - San Juan Capistrano Handicap (G2) - 1 3/4 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
25. Sean Avery - 93 - OC 40k/N1X - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream

The past performances for Havre de Grace are available at the bottom of the blog post.


I am surprised that Joyful Victory had such a low Beyer for the Fantasy, and did not make your list.
What was her Beyer when she romped in the Honeybee?
Jim C

Joyful Victory earned a career-high 83 Beyer for her win in the Fantasy at Oaklawn on April 10.


Hey Dan,
Can you tell me anything on Master of Hounds. I want to know if they're thinking of running in the Derby
Akhiym James

Dan, .. or anyone else out there hear/read anything about the intentions of MASTER OF HOUNDS running in the KD or not. Big deal, along with Comma, for those on the bubble. ...

Please refer to the "Under the Radar" article I wrote about Master of Hounds at the below link:


Also, note that I made an error in the piece.  Archipenko is NOT a result of the Kingmambo - Sadler's Wells cross.

It looks like Coolmore is sending Master of Hounds, the runner-up in the UAE Derby at Meydan, to the Kentucky Derby.  His trainer, Aidan O'Brien, recently nominated a couple of his older runners to the Woodford Reserve on Derby afternoon so he may be preparing an all-out foreign assault. 


also i am curious what his # would be at 10f.

The Factor's Tomlinson Distance Rating for 1 1/4 miles is 349.


i was looking at Nehro for the kentucky derby and was wondering if you could post the pp's of his sire Mineshaft.

Mineshaft's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


BYW, has any horse run over a 100 BSF at two turns besides The Factor this year?

Three sophomores have run triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures around two turns.  They are:

1. Soldat (103 - Allowance - nine furlongs - Gulfstream)
1. The Factor (103 - Rebel - 1 1/16 miles - Oaklawn)
3. R Heat Lightning (filly, 100 - Gulfstream Park Oaks - nine furlongs - Gulfstream)


Hi Dan,
Could you please post the past performances for a horse who was trained by my great uncle. Perchance To Dream, it looks like she won the Hollywood Oaks in 1987.

Perchance to Dream's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.  She defeated champion 3-year-old filly Sacahuista in the Hollywood Oaks.


Like many of you, I have a watch list in which I receive emails when one of "my" horses works or is entered to race. Of course, long periods go by where you hear nothing about a horse. Is there a good source of information to see if they are still in training...some sort of register or list? I hate to leave them on the list if they are no longer involved in racing.

I've been attempting, rather unsuccessfully, to update our "Disabled/Retired/Deceased" spreadsheet.  No matter how much ground I gain, another dozen or so horses pop up and I'd rather not publish an incomplete posting.  If you have questions on the status of any horse, you can post their name on the blog and I'll try to find out what I can.


Dan - Question:
I know you recently posted your "self-serving" reason for the HG, namely to improve your single race vertical returns as you are mainly a horizontal multi-race player.
Has your reluctance to go much further than win/exacta plays been a function of the races selected or is there something else at work?
p ensign

I think I'm still very uncomfortable going outside of my box as it pertains to single-race strategy.  I've probably fallen into the usual public handicapper trap of trying to correctly select the winner instead of properly ascertaining the correct bet for a given race.  As you can tell from my wagers, I'm most comfortable picking one horse to Win or keying the top horse in a couple of exotics.  It's not very creative, I'll be the first to admit that and it's a habit that I'm going to have to break if I'm going to find scores in single-race wagers.  My way is the grinding way, which may have been fine when there was only WPS or Exacta wagering available.  But, there are so many options out there that it's probably fool-hardy not to take a bigger swing.  Then again, there's the psychological aspect of a public handicapper not wanting to look like a fool by missing out on superfecta upon superfecta in his own contest. 
I've played it safe, which is probably the wrong way to go.  Can I change as it pertains to the HG contest?  Who knows?


I would like to see the PP's of Prenup. His dam was Homewrecker, and at the time (2 mins before post) I thought he might be related to champion sprinter Housebuster. He wasn't, but won anyway at 15-1. At three he won the Jamica at Belmont, $900 tri, although he was just 2-1. He ran in the early '90s. Thanks in advance!

Prenup's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Hey Dan,
Would you be so kind to provide the pp's for a horse named The Crooner?

The Crooner's past performances are available at the bottom of the blog post.


Hi Dan, I'm sure you commented on this in the past, and I think I know what your feelings is about all the derby "rules, tidbits and myths" that come out, but would you mind to answer a few of the top ones we hear every derby, such as the (97% accurate) won at a mile or more as a 2 yr. old, the (100% accurate) raced at a 1 1/8, the (97% accurate) 6 or more carrer starts, and the ones where a horse has to run the final 3/8 and the final 1/8 in a certain time or they just can't win , or any that you hear each year? I know these will be coming out more as we get closer to Derby.
Thanks , Johnny

I don't believe much in rules when handicapping a race like the Derby.  The myths have pretty much been exposed.  Last year, it was whether Super Saver had enough preparation off two preps.  Two years ago, it was the maiden claimer/gelding (Mine That Bird).  Big Brown won from post 20 in 2008. Wasn't that an impossible task?  Street Sense broke the Breeders' Cup Juvenile jinx.  Barbaro won the Derby off a five-week layoff.  In recent years, Funny Cide broke the "Clyde Van Dusen jinx" and Dosage advocates have been burned.
As for the "rules" you mentioned, Fusaichi Pegasus, in 2000, didn't win at a mile at two, and only had five lifetime starts leading up to the Derby.  Right there, that's 1 for the last 11 (9% isn't that bad).  Monarchos, in 2001, didn't win at two, let alone at a mile. 
We have to consider the total number of horses in each race that, for example, previously ran nine furlongs.  Most Derby starters will have at least one race at nine furlongs (the 100% stat is for starts, not wins as Funny Cide didn't own a victory at nine furlongs prior to his Derby triumph).  In the aforementioned Funny Cide race, every runner save for Scrimshaw and Eye of the Tiger had previous races at nine furlongs.
I think all of the rules will eventually be broken, including the Apollo "jinx" where a horse with no juvenile experience will eventually win the Derby.  Training regimens are less and less stressful as the years go by.


Dan and company,
Some have stated the Grand National is the most important horse race in the world based on the history behind it. Regardless if this is true or not as it is a matter of opinion, did you have a chance to watch the race and what did you think of it?
The race is available on
Personally when I started to watch the video, I was stunned by how beautiful the track looked and amazed to see 40 horses running. During the first couple of jumps, I was intrigued and wondered whether the jumps were much higher than what we normally see in Saratoga.
But I must say I actually found the race a bit disturbing to watch as quite a few horses went down, with two fatalities (rest in peace) and I thought of the chariot race in Ben Hur, but this was real and quite a few horses fell badly. When they approached the 20th fence, they were advised to skip the jump and go around it and you see as one of the fatalities laying down on the track. Shortly thereafter, they were once again advised to go around and you see the dreaded shield covering the second fatality
KYL Syndicate

Participation in the Grand National takes an amazing amount of stamina and agility on the part of the thoroughbred, as well as unflappable courage from the jockey.  It's an extremely historic event, but I usually don't watch it. 
Some have compared it to a a NASCAR-type version of racing (with the fog of danger looming ever close), but I think that's a bit gauche as it undermines the history of the race.
Let's just say I'm very uncomfortable watching thirty or so horses leap over towering fences, especially considering the dangers that horses and riders face without the hurdles.  It's just not my cup of tea.


Hey Dan,
I have a quick question for you today, when you decide to supplement your income with your own hard earned money I assume you have a "checklist" and I was wondering what criteria you use if you care to share it.

Don, I'm most comfortable playing maiden races so I scan the entries for some big fields and start from there.  I'll try to form a strong opinion on one horse in those races and then attempt to combine them with several other contenders in the surrounding multiples (Pick 3's, Pick 4's).  I'll use conventional handicapping methods in most races (speed figures as well as my homemade pace numbers), but will supplement them with my trip notes.  Did the horse run fast because he had an advantageous scenario?  If I feel that was the case, I would downgrade the "fig" horse and vice versa.
I try to approach each race with the same question:  Is the favorite vulnerable?  I'll start there.  If I can poke a hole or two in the chalk, I'll really hunker down and attempt to find a multi-race key (or an 'A' if I'm using several horses).  Many times, I'll pitch the favorite that I perceive as vulnerable altogether. 
Although I prefer multi-race gambling as compared to betting exactas and trifectas, I will hone in on a singular race if I feel I can beat the favorite and my "key" is going off at what I believe to be overlaid odds.  Although it's old-fashioned, I see nothing wrong in pounding a win bet on a horse that I perceive is being ignored at the windows.  It's saved my bacon a few times when I was unable to connect on the multiple race wager surrounding the "key."


Discreet Cat's first babe is running today in SA1. I think he has a good chance to be an excellent early juvie sire (speed, speed, speed). Which 2011 freshman sires are your anticipated favs?

As much as I'd like to say Sun King, I won't.  I agree with you about Discreet Cat and he probably heads my list.  He won his only start at two with a 106 Beyer, was versatile enough to win at distances from 6 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, and has a strong pedigree (Storm Cat out of Grade 1 winner Pretty Discreet makes him a half to Discreetly Mine).  Although he disappointed in his last three starts, his win in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile (116 Beyer) was breathtaking. 

While they may not be as precocious, I'm going to be interested in the progeny of After Market, the winner of the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap at nine furlongs and the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham at 1 1/4 miles.  After Market won the first four races of his career, but never sprinted and never raced on dirt. He's by Storm Cat out of multiple Grade 1 turf winner Tranquility Lake and is a full brother to Grade 2 turf winner Courageous Cat.  I'm looking forward to seeing his foals when they stretch out on grass. 

Belmont Stakes hero Jazil may not be commercially popular, but he has a beautiful pedigree and was a solid runner.  By Seeking the Gold out of Grade 2 winner Better Than Honour, Jazil is a half-brother to Belmont winner Rags to Riches, Breeders' Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron, and Peter Pan winner Casino Drive.  It's hard to envision the Jazils as precocious, win-early types, but they may have some quality and could do well next season at three.

Scipion may make a nice regional stallion.  He stands in Maryland and is a three-quarter brother to undefeated champion juvenile Vindication out of graded winner Strawberry Reason.  By A.P. Indy, Scipion won the only sprint he competed in, a seven-furlong debut at Saratoga.  He won the Risen Star at three and his foals may do better as they mature and stretch out in distance. 

On the other side of the pond, Sir Percy's first foals hit the track this year.  A son of Mark of Esteem, Sir Percy went 4-4 at two including a win in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at seven furlongs.  He won the Epsom Derby at three en route to championship honors, succeeded at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/2 miles, and is out of Group 3 winner Percy's Lass. 

Back in the Big Apple, I'm looking for Japanese-bred Utopia to do some good things at stud.  Utopia won his first four dirt starts by a combined 24 lengths, scored at distances ranging from seven furlongs to 1 1/4 miles, and was a Group winner in Japan, Dubai, and the United States.  He's by Forty Niner and is a half-brother to Aloha Dream, a multiple Group 3 winner in Japan.


Could you please provide Kentucky Derby track conditions for the last 20 years? Also, in the years track conditions were less than ideal, what were the post time odds of the winning horses? I believe Derbys are run in the mud fairly often, and thus it pays to have a good mud horse as one of your selections, such as Super Saver last year. Thanks!

2010:  Super Saver (8-1, track condition sloppy)
2009:  Mine That Bird (50.60-1, sloppy)
2004:  Smarty Jones (4.10-1, sloppy)
1994:  Go for Gin (9.10-1, sloppy)
1990:  Unbridled (10.80-1, good)

The track was fast for the other years since 1990.


excuse me Dan but how do i request a PP for for a horse called suumer mood that raced at woodbine, specifically the chart for one of its races at woodbine , i believe in 1988 or so when she won and paid $18.60. it would be for a friend to relive a happy memory on her birthday
guy regair

Summer Mood's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Shouldn't Gourmet Dinner be on the earnings list? Anyone know something?

Gourmet Dinner was taken out of training following his runner-up finish in the Fountain of Youth.


Could you post the lifetime PPs of Purple Passion? I looked him up and see he was 8 for 10 as a 3yo although at the time it felt like 10 for 10.

Purple Passion's past performances (say that five times fast) are available at the bottom of the blog post.


Does anyone know of a listing, or website keeping track, showing all upcoming 2YO races? With Keeneland and Santa Anita starting, would like to watch and keep track in earnest, but other than searching each day's cards from around the country, is there an easier way to keep track? Thanks to all!
Patrick S

You could try downloading the condition books from a track's website (usually under HORSEMEN).  They will list when a juvenile race is carded.  Whether the racing office gets enough entries to run the race is another story.  Sometimes, the track will write extra races after the condition book comes out.  If you're not following the daily overnights where the upcoming extra races are found, you may miss a couple of baby races.


Dan, any chance you can post potential Derby runner PP's soon? Thanks

Hi, now that Master of Hounds is on his way to the Derby, can you please post his pps.

Hey Dan,
Can you post past performances of horses who are likely to start in the Kentucky Derby. I want to get a head start on handicapping the race.
Akhiym James

The field is obviously in flux, but I've posted some past performances of probable runners at the bottom of this blog post.


HG 229:
Wager: $50W $50 PL on #7 Joshua Reynolds
Logic (Illogic?): Should be a price, is in good form of late, went quite wide in last two races and still pulled off the wins. Also like the breeding. Seems like a late-developing type of horse who may now be coming into his own.

Congrats to Lindsay for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  This week's race will be the Appalachian Stakes (Race 8) at Keeneland on Thursday.


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. 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.

Best of luck to all


I have some more of your questions that I'll get to next week.


Early Derby pps.pdf605.71 KB
Havre de Grace.pdf616.04 KB
Mineshaft.pdf65.42 KB
Perchance to Dream.pdf42.61 KB
Prenup.pdf57.47 KB
Purple Passion.pdf58.77 KB
Summer Mood.pdf44.81 KB
The Crooner.pdf58.99 KB
HG230.pdf165.21 KB