07/20/2011 11:55AM

Blind Luck, Top Winning Beyers, Creative Cause

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It's taken far too long, but BLIND LUCK is finally emerging from Zenyatta's giant shadow. 

Last year's champion 3-year-old filly won another thriller against her eternal rival, the classy HAVRE DE GRACE, in the 10-furlong Delaware Handicap (Grade 2) last Saturday at Delaware Park. 

Blind Luck boasts a gaudy list of accomplishments.  She's never been off the board in 21 races, winning 12 of those starts.  Of those 12 victories, seven of them have come by a margin of a half-length or less.  She's won at distances ranging from 4 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/4 miles.  She's won at Calder, Del Mar, Santa Anita, Hollywood, Oaklawn, Churchill Downs, Delaware and Saratoga.  She's won on dirt, in the slop, on polytrack, on cushion track and Pro-Ride. 
Like Zenyatta, she employs an exciting come-from-behind style that thrills her fans and gives her backers some anxious moments.  Besides her obvious talent, Blind Luck's class and courage are what separates her from the rest.  She, seemingly, refuses to yield when in a dogfight. 
In the Delaware 'Cap, Havre de Grace got the jump on Blind Luck turning for home.  Blind Luck attacked furiously in upper stretch, but Havre de Grace gamely fended her off.  For a fleeting moment, it appeared as if Havre de Grace would ward off her foe, but Blind Luck countered again and again, finally getting the best of Havre de Grace at the shadow of the wire.  It was a tremendous race by two excellent fillies.  Hopefully, they will face off again in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga and the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic at Churchill Downs. 
There is always talk that racing needs new stars.  We have two of them in Blind Luck, who has never ducked a challenge in her career, and Havre de Grace.

*CREATIVE CAUSE, a gray son of Giant's Causeway, won his career debut going five furlongs over the Hollywood cushion track on July 16.  Trained by Mike Harrington, Creative Cause was involved early before drawing away sharply to score by 4 3/4 lengths with a 98 Beyer Speed Figure.  A $135,000 yearling buy, 2-year-old Creative Cause is out of the classy mare Dream of Summer, a millionaire that won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap. 

*Over at Arlington Park, TWELVE HUNDRED, an Illinois-bred gelding trained by James DiVito, showed good speed in winning his juvenile debut with a 92 Beyer.  A $1,200 yearling, Twelve Hundred is by Cape Town out of the Devil's Bag mare Sippin' Devil, the runner-up in the Shakopee Stakes going 1 mile and 70 yards at Canterbury Park.

*That sonic boom you may have heard over the weekend came from A. U. MINER, who made it two in a row in the Greenwood Cup at Parx Racing.  Making his second start of the year, A. U. Miner trailed a solid pace for the majority of the 12-furlong Greenwood Cup before uncorking an eye-catching move to the front on the far turn.  A. U. Miner was troubled in that traffic-filled Breeders' Cup Marathon last year and looks like a prime contender for that race once again in 2011. 

*Remember the saga of LISA'S BOOBY TRAP?  If you don't, take a refresher course at the below link:

http://www.drf.com/news/tim-snyder-unchanged-sudden-fame

After losing her last two starts in 2010, Lisa's Booby Trap has won two of three this season, including a 95 Beyer performance at Finger Lakes on July 11.  Perhaps she'll find a spot at Saratoga again this year.

***

Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's stakes races (7/11 - 7/17):

1.  BLIND LUCK - 106 - Delaware Handicap (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles - Delaware
2.  AIR SUPPORT - 99 - Virginia Derby (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Colonial
2.  NATIVE RULER - 99 - Don Bernhardt Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Ellis
4.  CREATIVE CAUSE - 98 - Md Sp Wt 56k - 5 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
5.  A. U. MINER - 97 - Greenwood Cup - 1 1/2 Miles - Parx
6.  MR. RYDER - 96 - Sussex Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Delaware
7.  BROKEN DREAMS - 95 - Alw 77070NC - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - Hollywood
7.  IRISH GYPSY - 95 - A Gleam Handicap (G2) - 7 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
7.  LISA'S BOOBY TRAP - 95 - Alw 25000NC - 6 Furlongs - Finger Lakes
10. IMPONENTE PURSE (BRZ) - 94 - Sunset Handicap (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Hollywood
10. SEA GAZE - 94 - Clm 25000(25-20) - 1 Mile - Monmouth
12. CENTRALINTELLIGENCE - 93 - Md Sp Wt 56k - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
12. PENDER HARBOUR - 93 Prince Of Wales Stakes - 1 3/16 Miles - Fort Erie
12. RIGHT ONE (FR) - 93 Jaipur Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - Belmont
15. D'ORO DIABLO - 92 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - Woodbine
15. HAVELOCK - 92 - Arlington Sprint Handicap - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Arlington
15. SOCIALSAUL - 92 - New York Derby - 1 1/16 Miles - Finger Lakes
15. TWELVE HUNDRED - 92 - Md Sp Wt 29k - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
19. ABDEL'S GHOST - 91 - OC 16k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Calder
19. ACTION ANDY - 91 - Kittens Joy Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Colonial
19. CAMBINA - 91 (DH) - American Oaks (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Hollywood
19. COAX LIBERTY - 91 - Sometime Thing Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
19. LEGAL SEPARATION - 91 - Alw 71278N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
19. NEREID - 91 (DH) - American Oaks (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Hollywood
19. PRIMARY WITNESS - 91 - OC 40k/N2X - 1 Mile - Monmouth
19. STORMY LORD - 91 - Ontario Jockey Club - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - Woodbine
19. SUPER ROBUSTO - 91 - OC 65k/N3X - 6 Furlongs - Monmouth

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

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Okay, boys and girls, riddle me this - Deluxe Bus in the first race tonight at Hollywood - What in the hell is this horse doing in a $25K claimer??? He is by Bluegrass Cat out of the Quiet American mare Byzantine, he has a progression of 31-64-78-92-90, he is going for his fourth straight win (last out in a $40K claimer) and they are dropping him in class and he still has a tag around his neck? All I can figure is he has a bowed tendon and they will keep running him until it gives. He has run every month since coming back from a layoff, but they have laid off the works (only one work since his last, but four works before the race on May 19th). He runs a 92 in his first after his maiden score, nobody claims him. Then he runs a 90 in a $40K claimer and nobody claims him...
How exactly can you even bet this race with one like this in the field? The next closest to him speed figure wise from their last race is Cat Forest with a 73 - a 73 earned when Deluxe Bus blew his doors off in the June 19th race. He cost $11K (1/2 the stud fee and another reason to think he has a physical issue) and he has already earned $55K. These kind just make me crazy-er.
Anyone have any clue as to why you would do this? Dan? Bueller? Anyone?
Steve T

Someone took the bait, Uncle Steve.  After Deluxe Bus scored at 1-2 odds, he was claimed for $25,000 by Gary Sherlock.  While it's possible that Deluxe Bus has had his share of physical problems, it's so difficult to dismiss anything that Mike Mitchell does with his claiming horses.  The guy just wins races.  After claiming Deluxe Bus for $30,000 in April, Mitchell probably figured that he didn't have a star so he was just going to try and win out with him before losing him via claim.  Deluxe Bus got an 83 Beyer for his score.

***

Dan,
Mike Welsch is reporting that Big Drama is about to breeze, and David Fawkes is now looking for a race to start the season. Reflecting on last season's extraordinary performances of this Champion and Breeders' Cup winner, did Big Drama wind up with the biggest BSF of last year? And didnt he put up twin 120s or something similarly awesome? PPs would be most appreciated, please!
(More so than Einstein, I suspect it will be Big Drama who will ultimately be responsible for passing down Buckpasser's bloodlines to a future generation.)
David H.

Big Drama's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.  He earned his 120 Beyer earlier this year and that's the highest speed figure in 2011. 

***

Dan,
Keep up the great work at DRF - your handicapping expertise in maiden races is top notch! Have you heard anything concerning the outcome of the recent surgery that Dialed In was having done to remove the bone chip in his right knee?
Jim

Jim, thanks for the kind words.  Dialed In looks to be out for the remainder of the 2011 season, but Nick Zito hopes to have him back for the handicap races next year.

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Dan you use to have a disabled list that told why the horse was on the dl, do you still post this somewhere or how can I get his info?
Tony P

One of my many regrets this year is that I've been unable to keep the Disabled List updated.  Steve T. posted a link that may prove helpful, but I'm afraid it will have to be considered an "unofficial" disabled list until I can get it updated.  If you're searching for a specific horse, let me know and I'll do my best to find some information.

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Dan/Anyone:
Although it is still too early to tell I would say that right now Blind Luck has to be near the top of the list regarding Horse of the Year. If she beats the boys once, which looks quite possible, she could do it.
If she wins HOY it would be three straight years with a female HOY. Has this ever happened before?
CM

It's never happened before.  Actually, the Rachel Alexandra/Zenyatta double was the first time that female horses have won consecutive Horse of the Year awards since Twilight Tear and Busher pulled off the track in 1944-1945. 

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Dan, how many Breeders Cup Dirt Miles have been won by horses cutting back in distance?
Captain Bodgit

All four winners were turning back from nine-furlong races.

***

Congrats to Whackymacky for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  He selects Friday's feature race at Saratoga, the Schuylerville Stakes, for the upcoming HG race. 

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

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.

Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.

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.

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Blind Luck.pdf61.52 KB
Big Drama.pdf54.51 KB
HG 243.pdf131.18 KB