02/22/2010 7:33PM

Blues Street in New Orleans, Top 3yo seasons, Etc.


Although Eskendereya, Conveyance, Discreetly Mine, and Connemara received all the headlines this past weekend, I was most impressed with a Todd Pletcher-trained turf runner at the Fair Grounds on Saturday. 

Blues Street will never be mistaken for Sea-Bird, but it looks like this 6-year-old gelding is coming to hand.  Entered for a $75,000 tag last fall at Belmont, Blues Street finished fourth that afternoon, but hasn't missed a beat since, winning three in a row since blinkers were removed.  The Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap on Saturday was Blues Street's latest prize as he sat off a moderate pace, made a solid move on the turn, and chewed up the frontrunners in the final quarter-mile.  The Beyer Speed Figures for his last five races read like this:  85, 91, 93, 96, 104

"I really like the way it developed," said winning rider, Javier Castellano, who also rode Discreetly Mine to a Risen Star win for Pletcher that afternoon at the Fair Grounds.  "I was very satisfied.  I'd never got on the horse before."

Blues Street flew back to South Florida Monday morning to prepare for his next engagement. 


Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's racing:

Here are the lifetime past performances for the highest Beyer earner:

Download Battle Plan



What is all the mystery over Bob Black Jack's injury?
Steve T

It was interesting that Mr. Kasparoff was so hush-hush over things earlier in the week, but Jay Hovdey got the story in Saturday's DRF:


Which leads us to:

Training Job of the Week:

James Kasparoff for not only getting Bob Black Jack back to the races safe and sound, but having him ready to rumble in Saturday's San Carlos Handicap at a demanding seven furlongs over the Santa Anita Pro-Ride.  Bob Black Jack showed no rust in assuming his usual spot at the front of the pack en route to a 101 Beyer score in 1:21.05.


Post-race Analysis of the Week goes to TVG's FRANK LYONS

After a game Naughty New Yorker beat back an prolonged inside challenge during the stretch run of Saturday's Tinchen's Prince Stakes at Aqueduct, the veteran looked on his way to victory only to be run down in the shadow of the wire from the outside by Almighty Silver.

Lyons immediately noted the full-cup blinker Naughty New Yorker wears over his right eye and theorized that he never saw Almighty Silver coming. 

I think he was right.  That's the sort of subtle trip analysis that handicappers want to hear instead of the usual "Wow, what a race!"


Dan, Tinky, Laura, Calvin, C, All You Pedigree Hounds
I have been doing a piece on evaluating sires for their ability to get runners at 10F or greater. The patterns seemed pretty predictable and most of their runners could be categorized and then I was stopped dead in my tracks by one sire in particular, Street Cry. Here is a sire who can get anything, he has G-1 sprinters like Street Boss and Street Hero, G-1 routers on dirt and synthetic (Street Sense and Zenyatta), and G-1 turf runners like Shocking (winner of the G-1 Melbourne Cup at 2M) and Whobegotyou. His progeny have won from 2F to 16F on every surface there is. The only others I can think of in this category are Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector.
As a race horse Street Cry was decent but certainly not great, he never missed the board, but only won twice in eight starts. He has a breeding I look for - a Native/Northern Dancer over a non-ND European distance type (like Unusual Heat, Nureyev over the Danish mare Rossard).
What makes him able to get all types? Is it magic or is there some identifiable pattern? It looks to me like he could be another Mr. P, still a little early, but what a versatile sire.

Speaking of mudders, I miss the old symbols for superior mudders. Why did DRF stop using them? Because of the Tomlinsons?
Steve T.

I hate to say it, but I think it's magic.  While I would love to point to a single distinguishing characteristic for Street Cry's success, I don't think that's possible, and that's why studying bloodlines is a fascinating, yet sometimes frustrating, exercise. 
The European influences (Machiavellian, Helen Street) in Street Cry's pedigree should provide stamina while Machiavellian's stallion, Mr. Prospector, provides speed.  Now, can we predict similar results from another Machiavellian stallion like Almutawakel (also a Dubai World Cup winner like Street Cry)?  Of course not. 
Then, there's race record to consider.  While Street Cry is best known for his Horse of the Year season (Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster) at four around two turns, he did win his maiden by seven lengths going 6 1/2 furlongs, and he did earn a 103 Beyer when headed in the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity at two.  So, he did have ample speed to go with his stamina. 
Pedigree, race record, quality of the mare, and conformation.  Toss them in a cauldron, mix 'em up, and see what comes out.  It obviously helps to have all four, but how many times have we seen a can't-miss stallion prospect, well, miss?

Don't know for sure about the mud marks, but I'm guessing that after we put in the lifetime "Wet" record in the past performances, along with the Tomlinsons, that the asterisks weren't necessary.


Dan, can you please post the PPs of The Vid?
jim tully

Here they are:

Download The Vid





Now here's a question that should be up for some good debate. In 1969 Arts and Letters was named 3 year old champ and horse of the year over kentucky derby and preakness winner Majestic Prince. In 69 Art's and Letters put together what I consider the finest 3 year old season of any horse. He won the Everglades Stakes, was then 2nd to the years previous 2 year old champ in the Flamingo and Florida Derby. In  his derby prep he won the Bluegrass by about 16 lengths.He then ran 2nd in both the derby and preakness to the undefeated Majestic Prince losing both races by less than a half length.After his preakness loss he began a devastating run that has yet to be matched by any 3 year old since. He won the Met Mile against older horses. Days later he returned in the Belmont and became the only horse ever to defeat Majestic Prince. Following a short rest he was brought back in the Jim Dandy which he won easily by over 10 lengths. He then followed that with a track record setting win in the Travers. Clearly the best among his generation he was sent again to face the top older horses in the country.He then demolished older horses in the Woodward. Then won the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont and at 2 miles by over 12 lengths. Find me a better season by a 3 year old. Don't think there is one but let's see what you guys drum up. Dan if you catch this one would like to hear your opinion.

 How about pp's for Conquistador Cielo.

 How about the PP's for Pretty Discreet,Private Account and Mineshaft.Why would people be worried about him getting a route of ground? You gave some pretty solid pointers regarding his last trip. Hoping some people pulled the trigger and picked up a few bucks.

There's no question that Arts and Letters had a monster year in 1969, winning eight stakes (Everglades, Blue Grass, Met Mile, Belmont, Jim Dandy, Travers, Woodward, Jockey Club Gold Cup) races by a combined margin of 58 1/2 lengths.  It is interesting to note that he only faced three rivals in the Travers, Jockey Club Gold Cup, and Woodward, only took on four competitors in the Travers, and five in the Belmont and Blue Grass. 

Twenty years later, Easy Goer won eight stakes races (Swale, Gotham, Wood Memorial, Belmont, Whitney, Travers, Woodward, Jockey Club Gold Cup) at three by a combined 46 1/4 lengths.  Several of those fields were short as well, but Easy Goer was the second-best three-year-old of 1989 when considering Sunday Silence's season. 

Both horses ran second in the Derby and Preakness before winning the Belmont and both beat older rivals on three separate occasions.  I'm not saying either had a better year, but they're certainly comparable.

Other top three-year-old seasons of note:

Affirmed - eight stakes wins, Triple Crown
Assault - eight stakes wins, Triple Crown, beat elders twice
Buckpasser - 11 stakes wins, beat elders three times
Citation - 16 stakes wins, Triple Crown, beat elders six times, one walk-over
Damascus - 11 stakes wins, beat elders three times
Dr. Fager - eight stakes wins, beat elders twice
Gallant Fox - nine stakes wins, Triple Crown, beat elders twice
Holy Bull - eight stakes wins, beat elders twice
Man o'War - 11 stakes wins, beat elders twice
Nashua - nine stakes wins, beat elders once
Native Dancer - nine stakes wins
Secretariat - nine stakes wins, Triple Crown, beat elders three times
Sir Barton - eight stakes wins, Triple Crown, beat elders twice
Spectacular Bid - nine stakes wins, beat elders twice
Whirlaway - 10 stakes wins, Triple Crown

Here's Conquistador Cielo:

Download Conquistador Cielo



Here's the Discreetly Mine family tree:

Download Discreetly Mine Family


A little info on the dam of the #6. Flyindownbaylaurel may have won the WORST race even run on the grass in Southern California history in terms of what was in the field. Her win was so shocking to to some people that the CHRB actually looked into it because they thought Mullins was cheating. (at this point in time, this is when he had just arrived in SoCal, so please stop scoffing) It was a joke because the field was SO bad, and she had a little grass in her pedigree, so she WAS the most equipped to win.
Dan, i was wondering if we could see the chart for the maiden win for FLYINDOWNBAYLAUREL please? Thank you in advance.

Here it is:

Download Flyindownbaylaurel


Aside: In looking at the PPs, I see a race listed as [F][R]Md 40000 (see the 4's last).  But when I look up the chart, the conditions look identical to a simple state-bred race.  Am I missing something or is this a typo?

I believe the Restricted tag (instead of state-bred) is appropriate in this case as the race in question was for California-bred OR California-Sired runners.  Thus, one would not have to be a Cal-bred to run.


In the meantime, I have a question. Do you know anything about the trainer change on Giant Oak, from Chris Bloch to Neil Pessin? Would appreciate anything you might know.
The Nick

I don't think it's a traditional trainer change.  Many of Block's horses run in Pessin's name at the Fair Grounds over the winter while Block remains in Illinois. 


I find only looking for longshots, is time consuming and tedious as I am choosing from 2 or 3 tracks. Also, it goes against my handicapping instincts.
I have been thinking about a few things.
What is the effect, good and bad, on my handicapping, of continually looking for longshots and ignoring the contenders? In the long run, is it making me a poorer handicapper?
chicago gerry

While I can't blame you for fishing for prices, it doesn't seem like a good idea to ignore logical horses while doing so.  If you're interested in finding value, you may want to begin by identifying the favorite and asking yourself if you feel he is vulnerable.  If that is the case, then go looking for logical/semi-logical horses that can beat the iffy chalk.


has there been any word on williams kitten's next race? i thought he was going to be entered in the risen star because they didnt want to stay at gulfstream...any help???

Over at the Louisville Courier-Journal, Jennie Rees is reporting that William's Kitten is off the Derby trail with an ankle injury.


I wonder how many Derby prospects this year share that RAN-Mr. Prospector over Northern Dancer bloodline. Is there a way to get this info without individually breaking down each pedigree?

From Saturday's Derby Watch section:

Lookin At Lucky (Smart Strike over Belong to Me)
Jackson Bend (Hear No Evil over Tabasco Cat)
Dublin (Afleet Alex over Storm Bird)
Sidney's Candy (Candy Ride over Storm Cat)
Drosselmeyer (Distorted Humor over Moscow Ballet


Can you explain, as I'm sure you've done before, how Beyer Speed Figuers are calculated, exactly?

Dan, can you post the PP's for Discreet Cat? Thanks

From Andy Beyer's The Winning Horseplayer:

"The premise of speed handicapping is simple:  The ability of horses is best measured by how fast they run.  The techniques of speed handicapping exist to measure how fast they actually do run.  There would be no difficulties if all races were contested at the same distance on a uniform artificial surface.  Then a horse who ran six furlongs in 1:10 would obviously be two fifths of a second (or approximately two lengths) faster than a rival who ran in 1:10 2/5.  But races are, of course, run at many different distances, and a handicapper must know how to compare a horse who ran six furlongs in 1:10 with one who raced seven furlongs in 1:23.  This is done by means of a chart that translates every time at every distance into a number, called a speed rating, for purposes of easy comparison.  Six furlongs in 1:10 might have a rating of 106 and seven furlongs in 1:23 a rating of 103, thus suggesting that the horse who ran six furlongs in 1:10 is superior. (These numbers are arbitrary; another speed chart based on the same method might have assigened ratings of 906 and 903 respectively). 
Besides comparing times at different distances, the other great difficulty in speed handicapping is comparing times run on different days.  Because of the weather or the way the racing surface is maintained, the inherent speed of a track can change from day to day.  A horse who runs six furlongs in 1:10 may run in 1:11 the next.  A horse who ran in 1:10 may actually be slower than a rival who ran in 1:10 2/5 over a deeper track.
A speed handicapper attempts to measure the inherent speed of a track analytically and precisely.  He may conclude that a track one day is three fifths of a second slower than normal.  Because he is working with figures, not actual times, he might express this by saying the track is seven points slower than normal.  This is the daily track variant, an adjustment that is made to the time of every horse who ran that day to take into account the speed of the racing surface.  When the daily track variant is added to a horse's speed rating, the result is his speed figure."

Here are Discreet Cat's lifetime past performances:

Download Discreet Cat


I wish DRF would put out PP's for Harness racing!! Any chance of that happening in the next few years??  I recall you did pick the winner of the grass race last summer at The Big M!! Thank you for helping me get that exacta of that race!!!

Our sister publication, Sports Eye (newspaper version only), has past performances for harness racing, but it doesn't look like we'll be able to publish harness pp's on the web as TrackMaster is the company with the harness contract.


Any word on the 4 y/o filly Red Carpet Diva (Mr Greeley x Wooing)? 

She hasn't dropped any foals yet so one could assume that she is still in training.  I'd keep her on the list for a few more months until this breeding season is complete.  Note that she was consigned as a broodmare prospect at the auction and may be bred soon.


Can you post the lifetime PP's of Golden Hare?

Here they are:

Download Golden Hare


Hey Dan,
I play Sam Houston every once in a while online and saw an impressive 3yo. win a stake on Saturday named Coyote Legend.  Can you tell me more about the horse?  Thanks

Coyote Legend is a Texas-bred gelding that has won three stakes races in a row on the Mid-South circuit.  On Saturday, he dominated a restricted stakes race going one mile at Sam Houston with a 91 Beyer Speed Figure. 
He is a full brother to Gold Coyote, a multiple stakes-winning sprinter for these connections.  While he has certainly shown improvement in his last three starts, one has to wonder how far Coyote Legend wants to go.  With this pedigree, the 10 furlongs of the Kentucky Derby may be a bit long for him. 
Note that the winless dam cost $600,000 as a yearling and the second dam was a multiple Grade 1 winner going long with over 900K in earnings.

Here are his past performances:

Download Coyote Legend


Dan, could you post the pps of some sprint stars- Chinook Pass ,Groovy, Decathlon, Hallowed Dreams, What a Summer, and Chou Croute.

Here they are:

Download Chinook Pass

Download Groovy

Download Decathlon

Download Hallowed Dreams

Download What a Summer

Download Chou Croute


Congrats to Meadowlake for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling.  We're awaiting his selection for this week's race.