07/30/2014 12:33PM

Big run in the Bing Crosby


Thanks to everyone that entered the FormBlog Breeders' Cup Fantasy Handicapping League.

We have 471 contestants. ghostofbarbaro is in the lead with $542.00.

If you haven't joined yet, there's still plenty of time to do so. 

Head on over to www.fantasycapping.com/illman

The league password in DRF123.

You can find league rules here:


This week's race is Saturday's Grade 1 Whitney from Saratoga.


Bob Baffert ruled the racing universe last weekend with big victories from BAYERN in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational and FED BIZ in the Grade 3 San Diego Handicap.

While both of his runners gave bang-up efforts, they also might have been aided by speed-favoring surfaces at Monmouth and Del Mar, respectively. Consequently, both could prove to be underlays in the near future.

I was very impressed with BIG MACHER's winning effort in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap at six furlongs over the Del Mar polytrack.

You have to admire a horse with a strong will to win and Big Macher has refused to lose his last two races, both fast graded sprints.

A 4-year-old California-bred son of Beau Genius, Big Macher was claimed out of his career debut last summer at Del Mar for a mere $20,000 by trainer Richard Baltas.

Since then, he's steadily risen up the ranks. First was a $40,000 maiden claiming win on dirt at Santa Anita. Then, he took an entry-level allowance race for statebreds over the cushion track at Betfair Hollywood Park. Next, he scored the $126,000 California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. After a half-length defeat at the hooves of Grade 1 winner Sahara Sky in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes, Big Macher battled hard to win the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes at "The Great Race Place" on April 12.

Big Macher reportedly suffered a quarter crack following the Potrero Grande, was given some time to recover, and showed no rust last weekend.

In the Bing Crosby, Big Macher was involved in a four-way scrum for the early lead while three wide and in between rivals. The fractions weren't scorching, but they were honest with splits of 22.46 and 44.96. Big Macher took over turning for home and had enough to beat back the stretch charge of multiple Grade 1 winner GOLDENCENTS. Although Goldencents had all of the late momentum, Big Macher wouldn't allow him to pass during the gallop-out.

Although the Bing Crosby is a "Win and You're In" event to the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, Big Macher, if he maintains his current form, seems headed for the Breeders' Cup Sprint on the main track at Santa Anita.

He is likely to race next in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at seven furlongs over the Del Mar polytrack, and should be a very salty customer in that heat.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 7/21/14 - 7/27/14

1. BAYERN - 109 - Haskell Invitational (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Monmouth
2. VALID - 108 - Monmouth Cup (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Monmouth
3. FED BIZ - 103 - San Diego Handicap (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Del Mar
3. RIVER ROCKS - 103 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
5. BIG CAZANOVA (ARG) - 101 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Polytrack) - Del Mar
6. BIG MACHER - 100 - Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
6. COUP DE GRACE - 100 - Amsterdam Stakes (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga
6. RAINBOW HEIR - 100 - Teddy Drone Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Monmouth
6. THE BIG BEAST - 100 - Alw 85000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
10. SWEET LUCA - 99 - Addison Cammack Handicap - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
11. ANTIPATHY - 98 - Shuvee Handicap (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
11. BOOGIE TOO - 98 - Alw 48000N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Parx
11. LUNAR ROVER - 98 - Md Sp Wt 83k - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
11. NOBLE CORNERSTONE - 98 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga
11. WICKED STRONG - 98 - Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
16. GUYS REWARD - 97 - Oceanport Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Monmouth
16. STARSTRUCK (IRE) - 97 - Matchmaker Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Monmouth
18. LA TIA - 96 - Ontario Matron Stakes (G3-C) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
19. ARTEMIS AGROTERA - 95 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
19. MARKET BLASTER - 95 - Alw 16000s - 1 Mile - Parx
19. MY SLEW - 95 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
19. SCATTER JOY - 95 - Alw 25000s - 6 Furlongs - Monmouth
23. ABRAHAM - 93 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
23. AIN'T GOT TIME - 93 - OC 12k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Delaware
23. CONSOLE - 93 - Alw 25000s - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Saratoga
23. GOING TO MARKET - 93 - OC 20k/N1X - 1 1/16 Miles - Monmouth

*The lifetime past performances for BAYERN are available at the bottom of this blog post.


*The links to the five most recent blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:







You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to Ron B. 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.

Ron B. selected Friday's eighth race from Arlington as this week's 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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator 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!




BAYERN.pdf634.88 KB
HGAP.pdf151.36 KB
Copy of Formblog Cougar 7-25-14.xls74.5 KB
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
slewof damascus I singled Chain Lightning in the pick 6 today. Alas, I was out after the first leg. (And I had Myrna Lou in her maiden breaker,grrrrrrrrrrrrr!)
Bernard Downes More than 1 year ago
Hi Folks - I am glad to be back from a crazy week of intense handicapping of one of our major meetings; interspersed with battles with my Bank after some ratbag somehow got hold of my Debit Card details and spent the equivalent of $15,000 of my money in a 2 hour shopping spree ($2,700 on a pair of shoes???). I am assured by the Bank that I will eventually get my money back, but they are not being very proactive about the problem. Yuwipi - I hope you enjoyed Saratoga, and made some money. You missed some great racing and betting from Goodwood in England, made better still because I managed to catch a couple of nice prices. During the recent week I have really enjoyed reading some of the debates involving Ron Z and C, and JJ as well on the occasions I have managed to translate him correctly. Can I offer a few late comments, not to stir the pot, but because I have strong views here. First off I have to say that I agree entirely with C re the importance of VALUE. Indeed I would go as far as to say that it is absolutely critical to making any bet, in any sport. Assessing the correct value may be a subjective judgement, but it is no more subjective than interpreting the form of a horse. I also take on board Ron's views on Show betting. Its not my game, although I do bet some WPS, but he obviously does the detailed mathematics and is convinced it pays, so why not? There is more than one way to skin a cat. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
C - I'm glad you came back before I had to go away again . So you do "get it" , even though you don't get my exact way that matches the numbers I've already posted . I posted where the 2nd current break is about a week or two ago :) Gave away the first current break right in the same neighborhood . Ain't that so DickW ? Dick knew that post was an important clue :) He smelled blood in the water ... like a shark :) But Dick You got the baby wahoo the week before :) No baby wahoo this week. So according to you... [yes] plus the whole 5th paragraph that you wrote . Exactly C !! I told you that 5 years ago . I can't write the program or it really would be blindly :) I can't really do it all ... just most of it :) I'm no computer whiz . LOL . Of course if someone that could design a 4-dimensional heart wall goodie knew what to tell the computer to look for ? In that case it wouldn't be blindly . You would already know pretty close how much you were going to get back over time for the separate methods . I just do it by hand like a technologically illiterate hillbilly :) That way it's not blindly either :) * If your not getting fair odds you'll lose ... Exactly again ! But to get fair odds your probabilities have to be based on some rock hard facts not your opinion . ( bingo ! the multi-verses) When you're comparing a $4 win bet to a $4 place bet to a $2 WP bet then there is such a thing as a win-place bet :) * and when they do win they pay a heckuva lot more on top then they do to place or show . Well , in a way that's true , but if you cash 3 of 6 races at an avg. place mutual of $25 or 1 of 6 races at an avg. win mutual of $60 which way is better if you have to make 18 individual $2 bets to achieve those numbers. Which is better ? Trading $36 for $75 or trading $36 for $60 ? That's an easy one right ? Even I can figure that one out :) Did I forget to mention that if you are forced into cashing half the time you never hit a long losing streak ? Ron Z probably mentioned that . Of course you have to catch any bet to cash it but exotics raise the degree of difficulty . I can't mechanically bet the exacta in that multi-verse in any way and make more money than straight place long haul . That's what I'm saying . I understand that isn't the way Grampa & Gramma always said it was supposed to work . But Grampa doesn't know about multi-verses . He doesn't have the frame of reference to say what works . He's actually just parroting old dogma that proclaims wrongly that nothing can work . It's not entertainment :) It's boring :) You can use it with your handicapping if you want to, but if you do you'll probably start injecting your opinion into things sooner or later and trying to fight the forces of the multi-verse sometimes . You'll change the alternate reality then . Maybe for the better or maybe for the worse :) Something like the butterfly effect would come into play. You'd have to keep good track to know where it was going . If I want entertainment I can play in the near neutral multi-verse where all the horses get close to the share everybody that believes in the Flat Universe thinks they should get. The tote doesn't tell me much in there :) The wahoos do come in a tad more than usual in there... but I don't do that too much because I'm like RonZ .. I don't really like to gamble much anymore . If I want to gamble I'll play cards or get in the jackpot on a fishing boat. Or bet you that I can kill a fly on the wall throwing an ice cube from a sitting position on the couch from 15 ft. away . Scratch that last one because the fly is already dead and I stuck him there before you came over. If I get anywhere near him the ice cube shatters and knocks him off the wall Ice Cold Dead :) hehehe.... That's not gambling ... that's cheating ... the only question is what *fair* odds you're going to agree to give me :) I won't take less than 4-1 :) For less than that I'll just leave him there and wait for somebody else that will give me fair odds :) Have fun this week everybody JJ
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Friends; I am back. Fresno…what can I say? I know crappy places… I really do. Fresno is a crappy place, but I loved it. Charm? You had to look for it, and when you did, it was there. It is a very real and unassuming city, and real and unassuming is something I like. 108*? No, I don’t like that, but it was 75* most mornings, and the people, food, and landscapes were something to behold. Fresno is the sweetest crap-hole I have ever visited, and I hope to go back and discover even more of what is there, because I could tell there was more. The swim meet was incredible. It was exhilarating to watch and be around the best of the best, and for anyone out there that does not believe in the youth of this great land, go to a serious swim meet. Over a thousand teenagers… and I swear to you all that they were serious, sincere, hard-working, kind, dedicated, thoughtful, and basically good, decent young men and women. I am hopeful about the youth of America after that trip. My daughter acquitted herself well, and she is now touring SoCal with Mrs. VS and my son doing the college-tour-thing. She has met with four schools as of Tuesday, and has one more to go on Wednesday. Oh, and by-the-way, my son swam there also, but only as a member of three relay teams. But because he was entered as a member of the relays, he was allowed to swim in the Time Trials that were held between prelims and finals. He was so over-the-top spectacular in the Trials, but because my words would failed to accurately describe it, I won’t attempt it. Suffice it to say that he has some big decisions coming his way, and probably sooner than he thinks… High School Football starts on Monday… and he is once again committed, although I wouldn’t mind him having a change of heart. Unfortunately, football is in his blood… I just hate to see it spilt playing such a violent game. First world problems, as they say… I forgot to get my wager in over the weekend on FormBlog’s team… wouldn’t have mattered… I would have been wrong. I need to get back to this game… I am feeling rather disconnected. Thanks for letting me rant, good people… Later gators vs
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
For you DMR P-6 carryover players: Race 8, mcl20k, 3yoUP fillies/mares consider 20-1 m/l outsider Chain Lightning as a potential upsetter. Is she a stand-out? Nope. She's a hunch play on the return to synthetic. She's the only filly who has surpassed the beyer par for the level/track (performed in her only synthetic try at GGF). Her DMR "synthetic" works jump off the page. None of the other entrants have come within 5 points of the par. She was actually favored 3 races back. She's run her fastest dirt beyers in last 2 races. She has early speed (hardly a negative at DMR this summer) and an outside post to flash it. It's now or never time. And the price is right.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now SOCIAL INCLUSION has been sent to Rood and Riddle. Wow, passing up 8 million for that horse has to be the biggest horseracing mistake in recent times. At least from the perspective of an owner. All on the basis of one high Beyer. Annie
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
RonZ - I've been enjoying your recent posts a lot . I knew you would do some 'splainin' when I mentioned capital preservation was important :) I don't bet show much outside of an occasional ATB so I'm no expert on show , but I can see how you squeeze a nice profit from a high probability wager. I like to talk about how to make money when there is no wahoo coming. ( Like there isn't in most of the races :) You know something Ron . You were one of the few who appreciated that 5/2 on a coin flip was good odds :) 5/2 only half the time just doesn't sound very good I guess . You know something else .. I'm pretty sure that if a CF is down at about 7/5 you can make more money on him to place in the long run. CFs are about 80% to place . The change you lose from win to place you make up for with 30% more cashers on him and his ilk .... I understand your caution when there is a lot of 1sters . My brother is like that . I look at the 1sters and say if they don't work out as fast or faster than my boy ran they're no threat to him . Bam ! decision made right or wrong :)... I like a good mix of different number sters , but with babies you have a lot of 1sters... 1sters take the worsters on avg. so it's no worries IMO . I'm not going to look it up but I think even Secretariat lost his 1st one :) I'm not saying some people don't make money on 1sters . If you're as smart & work as hard as LSD or Steve T it can be done I'm sure .... I'm not that smart & I'm lazy to boot :) so I just take my crumbs & scraps the easy way :) And you know something about Scared Money the book . I liked it a lot because I was probably sitting in the same section. I remembered the horses mentioned and situations and so on . Fun book .... alternate point .... I'm probably one of the few here that have ever relied on the track as their income for any length of time (like say even one whole meet or two : ) It gives you an appreciation for not going crazy at the track :) You have to be careful if you don't want to go broke and you want to pay some bills at the same time :) JJ
nancyb More than 1 year ago
This is the point of the Saratoga meet that I normally put in a plug for the Saratoga Special -so here goes : It is one of the most charming eccentricities of the Saratoga experience. A (free) daily newspaper available on the backstretch and various watering holes around the track. It used to be available ontrack (right by the escalators) but I don't know if it is this year as NYRA opposed it, for reasons only they would be able to discern. (Perhaps they mistook it for Indian Charlie). It is available online, as are the columns by the proprietors (Clancy brothers) and Tom Law (ex of the the Thoroughbred Times) @ http://thisishorseracing.com/news. On today's cover is the $million + Tapit filly who has white eyelashes -- don't think I've ever seen that on a thoroughbred and inside on page 3 is a picture of Jess's Dream (Curlin-Rachel Alexandra) galloping on track. No way to see if he's got her distinctive blaze, but he sure looks to have her coloring and daddy's muscle. Also in their blogs a touching piece on Elizabeth Jerkens and a very funny version of what horse racing would be like if it adopted the trappings and customs of other sports. Prof Penguin -- really appreciate you're expanding on your whole process. I am wondering how you are checking the pool odds while ontrack. I tried to use the Xpressbet probables to see where the relative value of bets were and it was useful online for both Sar and DelMar. My thought is that value is odds divided by likelihood, so it's possible to find value in any pool. I am not sure if I understand the pool pricing you referred to nor how it differs from the rough calculation of dividing the show pool 3 ways after subtracting the takeout and distributing it amongst the 3 ITM horses. I see that Crown Queen had a routine turf breeze Sunday -- can't wait to see her again! Congrats to TurfRuler by the way for cashing on Moreno -- from what I can recall about his picks he always likes the speed horse and in the Whitney and the BC Fantasycapping contest it finally paid off big. nancyb
pat gavin More than 1 year ago
RonZ. About the ear..what normally is happening is that water is trapped behind some lovely "wax build up". Hydrogen Peroxide(which is what is in the ear drops) will destroy the ear wax and you can drain it with an ear plunger. Both are cheap, but be careful. Hydrate your ears often(head on the side that you use warm water on) drain them, repeat. It can drive you crazy. Good recap and I get your "method'. Will pays for show? You are quick with the math...I haven't been to a track that shows that. Maybe you can get a consulting job with the Bridge Jumpers of America. My first big bet occurred when I was 18 years old. Freestate Raceway(long gone). I took my first real girlfriend(I was shy). A red headed bombshell. Very flashy, bosomy, sassy. My father pulled me aside after he met her. "I like her son...but do you think you can handle it?"(I couldn't, she ran around on me when I left for college in the fall). I was hot as a fire cracker at FreeState as one favorite after another was victorious. I won 7 races in a row and was up about 40 dollars on $2 WPS bets on even money(or less) favorites. In the feature an undefeated filly by the name of "Miss Nesbit" who was in against horses that she should have destroyed. Her running lines were all 1's....she had never been behind horses and was running sub 2 minute miles(rare at at 5/8th's harness track in 1979). She was logically bet down to 2-5. Naive newbie goes to the $10 window(No ABC machines in those days, you had to go around back to cash). My hands shook as I bet 10 across the board. She led every step...until the last 100 yards and finished 4th. I didn't take the loss well and it caused my first ever fight with a woman over gambling. Fast forward 30 years and I see the girl. She ended up marrying a "band geek" from my class. At my 30 reunion she shows up.....looks great and reminds of a promise that she made when she dumped me. "We can have an affair when we are 60".......so I got that going for me......which is nice. A huge bet later in my "career" was on AP INDY. There was no way that he was losing the Breeders Cup Classic. I saved and saved and borrowed and didn't play for a month. 1,600 to win was my monster bet of a lifetime. I couldn't go.......I owned a catering company(small potatoes) and had a job that day. No TV, No Cell Phones, NO info. I sent my brother and was crowing all month that AP Indy was going to "win by 5"......finally I get to a pay phone and my smart a** brother say's "he didn't win.............. by 5..........he only won by 3". Easiest bet of my life......and I probably couldn't have PLACED the bet myself....I might have brought 1,600 to the track but may have not had that much by Classic post time. I was able to buy a bunch more restaurant equipment with the money(and a trip to New Orleans). And one more thing Ron......when I was a young guy and full of "jock" machismo......being called a penguin was a total insult. The reason? "Penguins only mate once a year".......total beat down on a man's prowess with females.
C More than 1 year ago
JJ, I don't even know what you're talking about re: multiverses. I don't make things that complex. Regardless of the wager, if you're not getting fair odds, you will lose. It's really pretty simple. PS: you have to catch ANY bet to cash in. That doesn't just apply to exotics. Also, there is no such thing as a "win-place" bet. Those are 2 distinct wagers. "bombers place a heckuva lot more than they win" ...and when they do win, they pay a heckuva lot more on top than they do to place or show. "In other words if you know how to handicap the players you don't need to handicap the horses" So according to you, the tote board is all you need. Is that right? In other words, there's no reason to even handicap any race because the public has already done that and their collective opinion is reflected on the tote board. If that were the case, then you should write a program to blindly bet every horse that meets certain tote-related criteria... do that at every track, every race, every day and tell me how much profit you're making with your mechanical system. I'm very anxious to see those results. Ron, You do realize that you just confirmed (anecdotally anyway) my thoughts about show wagering versus putting a bomb on top, don't you? You twice asked "Do I mind not betting this horse to win?"... and twice you said "no" because you love cashing tickets often. But maybe you should reconsider this stance: let's throw out your losing selections and only look at your winning show bets... if we parlay all of those winners together, you would've ended up with about $67 based on a $2 play. Pretty good if you can actually string all of those together (much harder than it sounds, even for show). Meanwhile, if you just played $2 to win on each of those horses, you would've collected $43.40 minus losers... but that's without a parlay. That's just betting race-to-race. Big difference. Your show prices combined didn't even come close to this. PS: how exactly are you calculating show prices without knowing who else is going to hit the board? "Just a bad handicapping pick. Correct wager." Ah, so you DO see the value in a losing ticket. You are, by the way, utilizing the concept of value, whether you care to admit it or not. You are correct that a 75% proposition paying $6 (I'm just making up some numbers) is a good bet. I wholeheartedly agree. We just disagree on the choice of wager(s).