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