03/08/2011 6:43PM

Big 'Cap Thoughts, Apriority, Top Beyers


when u get a chance plz weigh in on the "big cap flap" as formblog and other's dfr writer's r doing. l would like 2 hear your thought's on the steward's decision.

The final two furlongs of the Santa Anita Handicap resembled a demolition derby. 

Game on Dude and Setsuko, the 1-2 finishers of the historic Big 'Cap, made a Twirling Candy sandwich (hold the mustard) in upper stretch.  The heavy favorite, considered by some before the race as the best horse in the country, ping-ponged off both of his adversaries before faltering in the final furlong. 

From the live pan shot, it was obvious that Twirling Candy took a beating, first receiving a bump from Setsuko to his outside before banging off the flank of Game on Dude. 

After taking a look at the head-on replay, however, I couldn't find any fault with Setsuko, the widest of the three leaders turning for home.  He seemed to maintain his position, and it looked like he was bumped by Twirling Candy (who made contact with Game On Dude). 

Neither did I have a problem with Twirling Candy, who was obviously in very tight, but didn't seem to drift much out of his lane. Perhaps he came out a fraction as a result of being intimidated by Game On Dude. 

So, it had to be The Dude that was at fault, right? 

Hold your horses. 

Game On Dude didn't seem to veer out noticeably, either.  The bumping itself was volatile.  But what caused the bumping is still very much in doubt.  Setsuko didn't drift in.  Twirling Candy may have slightly come out.  Game On Dude may have slightly come out as well.  The stewards had a very difficult decision to make, but I believe they made the right one.  In my opinion, there wasn't enough concrete evidence to warrant a disqualification.

Here are the top 25 winning Beyers from last week's races (February 28 - March 6):

1.  APRIORITY - 113 - OC 80k/N3X-N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
2.  CALIBRACHOA - 107 - Tom Fool Handicap (Grade 3) - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
3.  MISREMEMBERED - 105 - Santana Mile - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
4.  FLUKE (BRZ) - 101 - Frank E. Kilroe Mile - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
5.  MARILYN'S GUY - 100 - OC c-50k/N2X - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
6.  GAME ON DUDE - 99 - Santa Anita Handicap (Grade 1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Santa Anita
7.  OFF THE WALL - 98 - Md Sp Wt 54k - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
7.  UNZIP ME - 98 - Clocker's Corner Handicap - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
9.  HOLYFIELD - 97 - Alw 43120C - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
10. BIG PUSH - 96 - Alw 5000s - 6 Furlongs - Parx
10. MAYBE YES - 96 - Alw 34576N1X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
12. GIANT RYAN - 94 - OC 25k/N2X-N - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
12. MEESE ROCKS - 94 - Broadway Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
12. NEVER RETREAT - 94 - Honey Fox Stakes (Grade 3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
12. SAFE TRIP - 94 - OC 62k/N2X-N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
12. SENSATIONAL SLAM - 94 - Fred Capossella Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
12. S. S. STONE - 94 - Alw 25000s - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
12. STORMY PUBLISHER (ARG) - 94 - Ladies Turf Sprint Stakes - 5 Furlongs - Gulfstream
19. BALETTI - 93 - OC c-62k/N2X - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
19. GATOR BAY - 93 - Alw 38828N2X- 6 Furlongs - Penn National
19. SHIP FROM ABROAD - 93 - Alw 28792N1X - Hawthorne - 6 Furlongs
19. WORSTCASESCENARIO - 93 - OC 62k/N2X-N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
23. COLIZEO - 93 - Challenger Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Tampa Bay
23. Z HUMOR - 92 - Maxxam Gold Cup Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Sam Houston
25. EQUESTRIO - 91 - OC 62k/N2X-N - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
25. MISS MACHO - 91 - Alw 47400N1X - 6 Furlongs - Parx
25. WILBURN - 91 - Md Sp Wt 54k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita

*APRIORITY is in raging form for trainer David Fawkes, who also conditions top sprinter Big Drama.  The Grand Slam colt has bloomed since being taken off synthetics and turf, compiling a 5-4-1-0 record on the main track for Fawkes.  He whistled six furlongs in 1:14 and change at Gulfstream for his third consecutive triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure.  His past performances are available at the bottom of today's blog.

*A couple of notable claims:

MARILYN'S GUY goes from Kiaran McLaughlin to Steve Asmussen.
BALETTI goes from Angel Penna Jr. to Michael Pino

*SENSATIONAL SLAM made it three wins from four starts after taking the Fred "Cappy" Capossella Stakes at Aqueduct.  Trainer by Todd Pletcher, the $80,000 yearling resold to owner Bobby Flay for $240,000 last March.  By Grand Slam out of multiple stakes-winning sprinter Roman Romance, 3-year-old Sensational Slam looks like an interesting short-distance prospect.

*WILBURN, a three-year-old colt by Preakness winner Bernardini, won his career debut for trainer Steve Asmussen on March 5 going 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita.  A $75,000 yearling that resold for $625,000 to Stonestreet Stables last April, Wilburn is a half-brother to Beethoven, the winner of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at 1 1/16 miles.  The dam, Moonlight Sonata, won the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie at a flat mile. 



Has there been any update on Tiz Blessed?
Any idea what happened to Wine Police that he's not in training?
Chris G

Tiz Blessed's trainer, Chad Brown, remarked to DRF last month that Tiz Blessed "didn't look right behind," and he hasn't worked since mid-February.  It's doubtful that he'll make the Derby.
Wine Police reportedly came down with a temperature prior to last fall's Champagne, and had to be treated with antibiotics.  He showed a work in early February at Fair Grounds, but it seems as if he's on the shelf again. 


Hi Dan,
I was looking at the horse Shankopotamus in the 2nd race at Gulfstream on Friday. I remember his sire, Greatness, was pretty talented. Can you post his lifetime pp's?

Greatness is a three-quarter brother to multiple stakes-winner Holzmeister out of the stakes-winning mare Harbour Club.  His past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Since you are so good at digging up pp's on horses a ways back maybe you can help me. I used to own a horse that won me a few races here and there. He was always a hard knocker but the usual physical issues that arise in the horse game eventually led to his demise and we could not afford the luxury of keeping him. He started at Turf Paradise and came to Hollywood to break his maiden and I believe he made his way to Canada to run in some of the cheap claimers.
His name is Drew Drew. Believe his maiden breaker was in 1993 but I can't really remember. His trainer at the time was Lou Kiss and Brice Blanc rode him to his maiden win. Appreciate any assistance you can help me with in this matter.

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


dan, back in the early 60's at saratoga with my dad who taught me the love of the sport, a horse named Pan Dancer that i believe was argintine bred ran and won at great odds.where might i find any info as to pp and whether there are any decendents. thx
george komanecky

I don't have any past performances for Pan Dancer, a son of Native Dancer that was foaled in Virginia on April 16, 1959.  Bred by William DuPont Jr., Pan Dancer compiled a record of 43-11-5-4 with earnings of $66,117,  He prevailed in the Christopher Columbus Handicap as a four-year-old of 1963 and also equaled the track record at Suffolk Downs with a 1:40.40 clocking for 1 mile and 70 yards. 
Among his half-siblings are multiple stakes-winner Perfect Sky, multiple stakes-placed Lopar, stakes-placed Passyunk, and multiple stakes-winner Parlo (champion three-year-old filly of 1954, and champion older mare the following two seasons).
Pan Dancer stood stud in North America before being exported to France in 1974.  Among his leading progeny were Main Pan (thirteen-time stakes-winner with earnings of over $268,000), Step in Time (stakes-winner, won 35 races, earnings of almost $143,000), Arcoba (stakes-winner), Imokalee (stakes-winner), and Typical Dancer (multiple stakes-winner).  Pan Dancer sired 160 foals with 121 starters (76%), 90 winners (56%), and 5 blacktype winners (3%).


Dan ---Sunrise Smarty seems like the real deal - how is his breeding to go longer?

Four-year-old Sunrise Smarty is by Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones.  The dam, Sunrise Slew (by 1977 Triple Crown champion Seattle Slew), earned her only career victory at 7 1/2 furlongs on grass at Philadelphia Park. 
Sunrise Slew is a half-sister to Buying Rain, the winner of the Bob Harding Stakes at 1 mile on turf at Monmouth.  This is the female family of Irish Derby winner Law Society, and Breeders' Futurity hero Strike Your Colors.  Not only is there distance in this pedigree, but there are also several intriguing grass influences.  On pedigree alone, he should stretch out successfully.


...In the early 1980's, a cheap claimer named Fay's Carl ran at River Downs and other nearby venues. I recall a race which he won by many lengths at a price: over $60! This is especially remarkable because (as I recall) he was the DRF "Consensus" pick in that race, and his capabilities, on paper, seemed unassailable by the pathetic nags running against him that day. Well into the waning days of the 20th century, I was still receiving mail touting various "sure-fire" systems whose predictions included that momentous victory by Fay's Carl.
Can you provide the PPs for Fay's Carl and/or verify my recollection that he was picked by DRF handicappers in that astounding race? I genuinely appreciate your efforts.
Indiana Fats

Fays Carl won at 29-1 at River Downs on April 25, 1982, and then won at 20-1 on July 2, 1983.  His past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.  I don't know if the DRF Consensus made him a top selection, but you could contact the Keeneland Library (they have archives of all past DRF's).  Maybe they could help you out.


Hey Dan, I saw the 9th at Aqueduct on Friday and the 9, Talk To Nick, broke through the gate just before the starter actually sprung the gate and ended up unseating the rider. He also wiped out the 8 coming out of the gate. How can these horses not be deemed non starters? He clearly broke through before the gates opened for the other horses. Seems like an incredible disservice to the betting public?
Nick Briglia
P.S. No, I didn't bet my namesake. I didn't wager on the race.

I didn't watch the race live, but it looked like Talk to Nick rushed the gate, knocked it open with his face, broke poorly, and unseated the rider.  I agree with you that he should have been declared a non-starter. 


On your Beyer list: after Be Bullish, you forgot to list the figure.
Jim C.

Thanks for the correction.  It's been fixed.


Will you be honoring us with your presence at Gulfstream on Saturday? If so, I'll drive down and meet up with you and hopefully, BobC and anyone else in the vicinity can join us.

I'll be at Gulfstream on Saturday and Sunday along with drf.com Handicapper Mike Beer.  We're still working out our schedule, but we'll conduct a seminar before the races on Saturday, and we'll be hanging out at the track on Sunday.  Please come on down.  We'd love to meet you as well as any other FormBloggers in the area.  I'll get back to you and BobC privately once we know our timetable.


HG 223
Since Beautiful American has been scratched. My choice for 2nd I will amend my wager to be
$80 Exacta 10 Hameildaeme -7 Rule the Storm my original 3rd place
$20 Tri 10-7-8
I moved Rollarskates up to 3rd because still 6 for 23 in the money is the best that's left in my opinion. We can still have pressure on Rule the Storm as I didn't feel the original pressure was coming from Beautiful American anyway but from Unknown Heat.
Good luck to all
Ron B

Congrats to Ron B. for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  He selects the fifth race at Santa Anita 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.

Greatness.pdf574.66 KB
Drew Drew.pdf65.53 KB
Fays Carl.pdf55.66 KB
HG224.pdf166.64 KB
Apriority.pdf656.56 KB
DW More than 1 year ago
Even though its been awhile since the race and I had money on the #6, SETSUKO, this race was a travesty. I've seen thousands of horse races, but this was a race I will never forget. The stewards must have seen something I didn't see on the replay because DUDE should have been DQ'd and at the least, knocked back to 2nd. I've seen horses DQ'd for a lot less. The part that bothers me is why would Baffert be allowed to call and talk with the stewards? I know why Mandella was so upset. I couldn't believe what had happened and was even more stunned by the decision. I realize there are innumerable variables in horse racing, but this was blatantly wrong. I don't know how the stewards could justify their decision.
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Okay, to reiterrate, I didn't have a bet on on the Big Cap. I can't possiblly be more impartial. SETSUKO bore in under RIGHT hand whipping and brushed with twirly . Contact initiated. Twirly bumped with Dude who was drifting out severly under LEFT hand whipping. Twirly pinballed off Setsuko and then was rebumped by Dude who still under left hand whipping had his head turned to the right and was urged to do it again AT RAMMING SPEED by his rider like he was a Roman war ship. TWIRLY didn't do jack . He was not being whipped right or left handed !!! I already said if you won money you won't be required to give it back ,but lame excuses for the non-call are making some of you look like you can't see NO MATTER how many 1000s of races you've watched . Somebody FOULED somebody & it wasn't Twirling Candy !! All other excuses can be made with a wink and a nod EXCEPT Twirly caused it all !!! Thats pure 24 karat BS. Thats the issue here folks. The Stewards said TWIRLY caused the whole thing !! Thats a blatant lie regardless of anyone going down or moving up. The FACT that they needed to tell the lie to justify the decision is a red flag to the decision being wrong. The Major League Umpires & NCAA replay booths are hiring and from the blogs I've been reading there are quite a few qualified bloggers for those jobs.LOL SETSUKO drifted in the ENTIRE length of the stretch continuing to do so after Twirly had dropped back . Yes, Dude OUTGAMED the others but it doesn't take away the fouling. I don't think anybody here would argue that if Me ,Annie, SR Vegas and TBTA get in a bumping match that I can't OUTGAME them to wherever were going, be it the golf course the bar or the racebook. Just because I can outgame them doesn't mean I didn't invade their 3 foot circle to do it !! A CRIME punishable by LAW !!! Someone mentioned the double DQ in Chicago a couple of years ago. I had the original 1st place finisher. Oh well thats the way it goes. Somebody FOULED somebody so somebody has to be held accountable. Thats the JOB of the Stewards. Its like that old saying "Do something even if its wrong ! " SWALLOWING the whistle accomplishes LAWLESSNESS. Everybody knows something happened. That much, I think can be stipulated. If something happened. Somebody caused it to happen. If that somebody was any horse other than Twirling Candy somebody has to come down. ( so you say TC caused it ? ) The Stewards can't decide which of the two perpetrators struck the fatal blow so they call it a suicide !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The last time Twirly didn't get DQed when he should have, the Stewards said, it didn't change the order of finish. They had no way of knowing that . The horse Twirly took out of the race was the second choice on the board. Even if Twirly would have beat him anyway it didn't mean he wouldn't have chased around 2nd or 3rd. Twirly should have came down that day. I only defended TVG's right to be wrong about thinking Twirly should have stayed up. Twirly should have came down. By doing what the Stewards did (nothing after 12 minutes) it opens the door to team riding. If enough different horses foul the favorite its the favorites fault because we can't tell who is the most flagrant of the others.LOL In a football game when the announcers start saying it was a GOOD non-call ,its the same thing as saying it was a foul but" THEY "( Chitown Gerry "they" ) didn't call it. On ALL the plays when a foul doesn't occur during the course of the game announcers don't say " THAT WAS A GOOD or BAD NON-CALL " only when an obvious violation has been shown on film. The mere mention of a non-call is an indibtment of the Stewards , Refs, Umps, Judges whatever. It means THEY abdicated when called on to perform their duty. I think they might make you walk the plank in the Navy for that ? Steve T. probably knows ? My personal opinion was that it should have been a double DQ . Setsuko for starting it and Dude for his 2nd bump under right hand steering and LEANING and lefthanded whipping. I actually was laughing after the race telling Smarty that that little sucker just got pushed all over the track by a girl. I don't know about the 1st bump ,but that 2nd one Chantel definetly had the "EVIL EYE " going on !! LOL. She thought she was Pat ValenZuela, Red Pollard, Angel "or Devil" Cordero and Don Pierce all rolled into one. LOL. She seemed like she might have a tendency to throw pots & pans or lamps around the house !! Maybe thats why Mikey won't marry her !! LOL. I wouldn't want to scratch her car in the parking lot .LOL She probably drives a Hummer . LOL. Don't let that winning circle smiley face fool you . You'd be smiling too if you just got away with murder in a $750000 race !! Tencent, I only bet 1 horse this week and it was your horse . He looked good rolling. I made it back just in time to bet on him. His comebacker was a real good race that was hidden a little. He chased or pressed a hot pace and made a little move before resuming the chase all the way to the wire. A respectable comebacker. He's a good horse. I agree with Tackelsberry's trainer that he is the best or near best horse in the east if not in the country right now. I didn't even look at the entries for PH this week . If I would have I could have had an automatic. Unless his trainer starts to baby him he is one of my Wasted Tears .Big Drama ,Kip Deville type horses that you can keep going back to the well on time & again. Winning horses that don't get bet hard . There is a small pool of those every year. I'm reading a New old book 1951 called "Payday at the Races " Smarty got it at the thrift store. Its a very simplified how to book .Hardcover. The guy only looks at a handful of factors & says the rest you don't need. He only bets when a horse meets all of his factors. He only bets Colts & Geldings (male chauvinist pig).No turf, no marathons. He never bets at "minor " tracks or on horses coming from "minor " tracks .( his list of major tracks looks quite different than a list of major tracks might look today ) He makes fairly outlandish claims based on 75 race samples etc. Red Flags go up . I will say that 4 of his handful of factors are things that I include as important to this day . They were always important and they always will be . He doesn't use Speed ratings ! To him Speed ratings were the track speed rating & variant (no BSFs etc.) A method that didn't use Speed Ratings if it still works a reasonable amount of the time might produce some healthy prices.Hmmmm. He only bets horses off gaining 2nds or drawing off wins.(those horses do win next time a lot) He doesn't bet them at less than 3-1. He doesn't bet them at less than 3-1. Okay so you have to pass some. Its nice to have horses like Tackelsberry that pay 11.00 even though they win nearly every time out . He only cares about the last 2 calls in their previous race & what they did between those points. He was OLD in 1951 !!! Supposedly he was a public handicapper for 25 years before he wrote this book,his name is Leslie Conklin or something like that. Sometimes you can catch things when they're going around, "what comes around goes around ". What I mean is Annie and me were talking about an old book and someone said the book was 40 yrs old so what relevance could it have in modern terms . I'm saying it could have quite a bit . I'm not saying this particular book is good or bad. I don't know without checking it to the letter of what the guy says to do. Nothing says it doesn't work like a charm though.
dylbert More than 1 year ago
Revised HG 224 With scratches & revisions by fellow FormBloggers, I offer revised wagers as well: $33 SF: 1 // 7,8 // 7,8 // 4,5,6 remaining $1 for friendly tellers everywhere!
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Ron Z I knew that was coming, and I probably should have guessed it would be you. Thank you for checking, though, -I mean that.
bobc More than 1 year ago
Dan I know you and Mike Beer are coming to S. Florida this weekend, but did you have to send down some New York weather to precede you? We are having a pretty strong thunderstorm and the temperature has dropped 15 degrees in the past ten minutes. Thanks !!!!!! Not to worry though. The forecast is for Sunny skies and temps in the mid to upper 70's on Saturday and Sunday. The nights might drop to the low 60's. Actually pretty ideal. Anybody that doesn't have plans for the weekend could do a lot worse than spend it with Dan and Mike in S. Florida. As they say on the Price Is Right: "COME ON DOWN".
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Good News and Bad News In looking at Saturday’s Card at GGF where Jonah and I were thinking about meeting up for the first time, we ran into one of those good news-bad news situations. Good news-they are running nine races. Bad news-there are only 66 entrants Good news-only four of the races are $8,000 Maiden Claimers Bad news-of the others, one is a NW2L, two are $40,000 starter NW2L, one is a $6,250 open claimer, and one is a $31,000 Allowance. Good news-it is nice to see an Allowance race Bad news-of the five starters in the Allowance race, four are winners of one race lifetime, and the other has won two races. Good news-the 66 entrants have actually won 50 races combined. Bad news-it has taken them 551 races to do so. Good news-there will be nine winners on Saturday, so they will push their cumulative win percentage well over the watershed 10% level. The really good news-Jonah and I have decided to push our meeting each other back one week to the 19th in the hopes that the races will be just a little bit better. Even more good news, I have free passes for both of us-Valet Parking, Turf Club (or Clubhouse), Forms, and Programs on the 19th. Such gifts befit, of course, a couple of FormBlogger Sharks. PGM-GGF is now officially a Grade D track, and the trend is down. Good luck to any of you tackling this Saturday’s card at GGF.
Ron Zuercher More than 1 year ago
blackstone More bad news for Saturday's GGF lineup. After Saturday's races there will be nine more winners for a total of 59 wins in the group. However, there will be 66 more races added to the 551. So, their cumulative win per cent goes up from .0907 to .0956. Not quite over the watershed of 10%.
bobc More than 1 year ago
HG 224 # 8 Dubai You XYZ Only a head away from being undefeated. Gets up in time. # 7 Bogie Runs big once again. Comes up just short. #4 Averoo Rosario tries to close with Bogie but can't get past him. #1 Universal Peace Closes best of all. Unfortunately falls to far off of early pace to catch top three. Wager: $100 Superfecta: 8/ 7/ 4/ 1 $100 (No Guts No Glory)
Molesap More than 1 year ago
HG 224 Had to think Bogie needed his last and will be primed to move forward off the effort. Seems the most likely winner to me. Afraid Aces may open up a bit early, but I will go with the best closer and the seconditis horse for place spot, Universal Peace. $100 EX 7/1
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
Sherpa, If Annie says Striding Ahead is free for the claiming, you and I can share in the claim. Striding Ahead has the pedigree to be a Classic Champion Thoroughbred but you never know if these young colts will live up to their breeding. I'll be writing about him in my blog post for the Tampa Bay Derby.
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
Mike A. thanks for the in depth answer on casualties on the turf surface. Btw did you collect on Hertler on wednesdays card at the big A . R4 Citifiesta win $42.40 J Hertler R5 Lights out Lisa win $10.00 R Persaud R6 Harlans Hello 2nd $14.40 for Shivmangel thanks again Mike good luck all MH01
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
HG 224 Tencent would like to change my bet due to the 3 horse staying in the race exacta cold 3-6 $60.00 exacta cold 3-7 $40.00 total $ 100 good luck all MH01
Kelley_Belles More than 1 year ago
HG I'm not sure who has what combinations, or which horses are scratching. $100 Exacta 4/1