11/10/2016 2:28PM

A Breeders' Cup for the ages!

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The Breeders' Cup lived up to the hype.
 
Arguably, Friday's Distaff was the most discussed event on the 13-race, two-day extravaganza. After all, it was a champion and first-ballot Hall of Famer (Beholder) versus the champion filly that vanquished Beholder in their last two meetings (Stellar Wind) versus an undefeated champion (Songbird). 
 
After all of the pre-race scrutiny regarding speed, pace and class, the Distaff came down a head-bob. It was Beholder by a nose over a gallant Songbird. 
 
One couldn't think of a more fitting end to an amazing career and one couldn't fathom a more heartbreaking way to lose an undefeated streak. 
 
 

Saturday's Classic lived up to its name. Superstar California Chrome sought to cap an undefeated season while locking up Horse of the Year honors. Bob Baffert's upstart Travers winner Arrogate hoped to bump Nyquist and Exaggerator aside for champion 3-year-old honors. 
 
The two threw it down in the stretch with Arrogate wearing down a stubborn California Chrome in the shadow of the wire. 
 
 

Whether horseplayers cashed healthy tickets or not, this Breeders' Cup was one for the ages. It had stunning upsets in the form of Champagne Room's $69.20 shocker in the Juvenile Fillies. Superstar horses like Tepin, Lady Eli and Flintshire gave top-shelf, albeit losing, performances in the Mile, Filly and Mare Turf, and Turf, respectively. There were brilliant displays of early speed such as Obviously's gate-to-wire gambit going doing the hill, and glimpses into the future with serious 2-year-olds like Classic Empire and Not This Time. 
 
Let's not forget the jockeys. Frankie Dettori still has it as evidenced by his positioning of Queen's Trust in the Filly and Mare Turf. Dettori realized that favored Lady Eli was the one to beat, and he followed that one all the way around the turn and into the stretch, essentially forcing the chalk to tow him into the race. From there, the brave Queen's Trust did the rest. She charged hard down the center of the turf course to deny Lady Eli in another rousing finish.
 
It doesn't get much better than Seamie Heffernan's ride aboard Highland Reel in the Turf. Heffernan picked the most opportune time - the backstretch - to utilize his mount's potent cruising speed. In the blink of an eye, Highland Reel's lead went from two to six lengths. The Aidan O'Brien-trainee then combined his good stamina with that wonderful tactical advantage to fend off Flintshire. 
 
Getting back to Arrogate for a moment. If you didn't believe he was a serious horse after his Travers tour de force, you have to be convinced now. California Chrome broke like a shot, took only token pressure from the returning Melatonin and had a clear lead over a speed-friendly track at the five-sixteenths pole. 
 
Yes, Victor Espinoza may have been a bit too confident aboard the older horse, but you can't take anything away from Arrogate. After Mike Smith made the intelligent move of angling inside a drifting Melatonin on the turn, Arrogate maneuvered to the outside, took a deep breath and simply ran down California Chrome. 
 
The final time was legit. Arrogate ran 10 furlongs in 2:00.11.

California Chrome earned a career-best Beyer of 119 in defeat. Arrogate reached the 120 plateau for the second consecutive race after popping a 122 in the Travers.

 
These are two fantastic horses. 
 
If we're lucky, Round 2 is at Gulfstream on January 28 in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational. 
 
***
 
For free video analysis of some of the weekend's major stakes races, take a look at http://video.drf.com/
 
Also, Mike Beer, Matt Bernier and I will be on for free and fun handicapping analysis at 3pm ET on Saturday for DRF Live!. This week, we'll discuss Aqueduct, Gulfstream West, Woodbine and Churchill Downs. You can find us at live.drf.com
 
You can check me out on Twitter at DRF_Dan Illman
 
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Dan, Do you have any idea how/why Corinthian's 2007 BC Dirt Mile Beyer went from 119 to 113 (listed as 113 in the last few DRF Breeders' Cup Advances)? Thanks
JacobBenDavid
 
I don't know about the Breeders' Cup Advances, but it's listed as a 119 in the 2016 American Racing Manual as well as in his lifetime past performances (which I've attached at the bottom of this blog post). 
 
***
 
Dan, 
I have questions that I am hoping you can answer. What has happened to Garrett Gomez; is he still having substance abuse issues? Is Edwin Maldanado injured or has he moved his tack?
Thomas
 
Garrett Gomez officially announced his retirement a couple of days after American Pharoah completed his Triple Crown sweep. Edwin Maldonado suffered six fractured ribs on September 4 after being unseated in a workout. He is targeting a return to the saddle in early 2017.
 
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Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 11/2/16 - 11/8/16:
 
1. ARROGATE - 120 - Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - 5Nov16-12SA
2. HIGHLAND REEL (IRE) - 112 - Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 5Nov16-9SA
3. TOURIST - 108 - Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 5Nov16-11SA 
4. TAMARKUZ - 107 - Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) - 1 Mile - 4Nov16-7SA 
5. OBVIOUSLY (IRE) - 106 - Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 5Nov16-7SA 
5. TEN BLESSINGS - 106 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 7 Furlongs - 4Nov16-1SA 
7. GLENVILLE GARDENS - 105 - Labeeb Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 6Nov16-6WO 
7. BEHOLDER - 105 - Breeders' Cup Distaff - 1 1/8 Miles - 4Nov16-9SA 
9. QUEEN'S TRUST (GB) - 104 - Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 5Nov16-5SA 
10. DREFONG - 103 - Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) - 6 Furlongs - 5Nov16-6SA 
10. IMPERATIVE - 103 - Big Bear Stakes - 1 Mile - 3Nov16-6SA 
12. CLASSIC EMPIRE - 102 - Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - 5Nov16-8SA 
13. HOGY - 100 - Alw 68438NC - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 4Nov16-8CD 
13. SCUBA - 100 - Marathon Stakes (G2) - 1 3/4 Miles - 4Nov16-3SA 
15. VOLUNTARIO - 99 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - 4Nov16-9AQU
16. ARE YOU KIDDING ME - 98 - Autumn Stakes (G2-C) - 1 1/16 Miles (Tapeta) - 6Nov16-8WO 
17. BREAKIN THE FEVER - 96 - Alw 20600NC - 6 Furlongs - 2Nov16-3FL 
17. CAPE WOLFE (GB) - 96 - Clm c-(25-22.5) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 3Nov16-1SA 
17. FINLEY'SLUCKYCHARM - 96 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - 5Nov16-4CD 
20. REALM - 95 - Alw 67000N1X - 1 Mile - 5Nov16-6AQU
21. FAIR POINT - 94 - Senator Ken Maddy Stakes (G3) - About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 5Nov16-3SA 
21. FINEST CITY - 94 - Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) - 7 Furlongs - 5Nov16-10SA 
21. FRANK CONVERSATION - 94 - Twilight Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 4Nov16-10SA 
21. SILENT BIRD - 94 - Damascus Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 4Nov16-4SA 
21. SUPER SPENDER - 94 - Alw 25000s - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 6Nov16-7GPW
21. ZINDAYA - 94 - Goldikova Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - 6Nov16-6SA 
 
Arrogate's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 
 
Cape Wolfe was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Gary Sherlock from Phil D'Amato.
 
***
 
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 10/26/16 - 11/1/16:
 
1. NOBLE BIRD - 106 - Fayette Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 29Oct16-9KEE
2. TROUBLE KID - 104 - Alw 65300NC - 6 Furlongs - 1Nov16-8PRX
3. ANGRY MOON - 102 - OC 100k/C - 6 Furlongs - 27Oct16-8BEL
4. STALLWALKIN' DUDE - 101 - Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 29Oct16-9BEL
5. A RED TIE DAY - 96 - Lure Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 30Oct16-8SA
5. AVANTI BELLO - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - 30Oct16-7SA 
7. GRANNY'S KITTEN - 95 - Alw 61342N3X - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 26Oct16-2KEE
7. VALE DORI (ARG) - 95 - OC 75k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 28Oct16-7SA 
9. BLUE ANCHOR - 94 - Clm 50000(50-45) - 6 Furlongs - 28Oct16-4SA 
9. EXULTING - 94 - Md Sp Wt 75k - 7 Furlongs - 28Oct16-4BEL
11. CLEAR THE MINE - 93 - Alw 64000N2X - 1 Mile - 27Oct16-8KEE
12. LEWIS BAY - 92 - Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 29Oct16-4BEL
12. NAME CHANGER - 92 - OC 32k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 28Oct16-10LRL
12. PERCY'S BLUFF - 92 - Alw 4000s - 5 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 29Oct16-4GG 
12. STILL KRZ - 92 - Clm 32000 - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 28Oct16-7BEL
12. TAKAFUL - 92 - Md Sp Wt 75k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 29Oct16-7BEL
12. THE GREAT WAR - 92 - OC 100k/N1Y -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 28Oct16-2KEE
12. TOUCH OF DISNEY - 92 - Overskate Stakes - 7 Furlongs (Tapeta) - 29Oct16-8WO 
19. CANDY RUBY - 91 - Alw 36300N2X - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 26Oct16-5RP 
19. GOLDEN BUT STORMY - 91 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 29Oct16-8RP 
19. MESA SKY - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 29Oct16-2SA 
19. PATRIOTICANDPROUD - 91 - Clm 40000(40-37.5) - 1 1/16 Miles (Tapeta) - 29Oct16-1WO 
19. TOP OF MIND - 91 - OC 40k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 29Oct16-10LRL
19. THE SON WIND - 91 - OC 16k/N1X -N - 7 Furlongs - 29Oct16-8GPW
25. BIG YUM - 90 - Clm 37500(40-37.5)N3L - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 28Oct16-4WO 
25. DUJAC - 90 - Alw 64000N2X - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 28Oct16-8KEE
25. TIZZARUNNER - 90 - Alw 55388N1X - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 27Oct16-9KEE
 
Noble Bird's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 
 
***
 
Congrats to Professor Molesap for winning the most recent HandiGambling challenge.
 
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post. 
 
Let's go with the Discovery Handicap from Aqueduct as this week's contest. 
 
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
 
 
SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
 
HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:
 
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 SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING.
 
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR 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 identify who you are.
4. (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.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
 
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 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
 
HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100
Thanks Dan!
Harpo
 
A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS  IS  ALWAYS  APPRECIATED !
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.
 
ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)

 

AttachmentSize
Corinthian.pdf646.81 KB
ARROGATE.pdf686.61 KB
NOBLE BIRD.pdf757.97 KB
HGDISCOVERY.pdf187.87 KB
Copy of HG 11 5 16 BC Classic.xls53.5 KB