03/29/2010 6:00PM

Bubbler, Cash Refund, Dubai


They didn't win $10M races and didn't advance on the Derby trail, but BUBBLER and CASH REFUND really caught the eye last weekend.

The former, a four-year-old homebred filly by Distorted Humor, absolutely toyed with her opposition in the $50,000 Sam Houston Distaff on Saturday evening.  Trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden by Eddie Martin Jr., Bubbler was prominent throughout the 1 1/16 miles of the Distaff.  She parked herself off pacesetter DIVA D'ORO's hip after the first three furlongs and went after that one in earnest with a half-mile to run.  The race was soon decided as Bubbler opened up on the far turn and strode out through the stretch for the decisive 12 1/4 length, 102 Beyer Speed Figure score. 

"This filly is really claustrophobic," said Jay Severs, Calhoun's assistant trainer.  "She's struggled a little more at the Fair Grounds.  She really likes racing here at Sam Houston because it's wide-open here.  We're proud of what she's done." 

Bubbler is a half-sister to stakes-winner Unbridled Femme.  Her second dam is Meadow Star, the champion juvenile filly of 1990.  Bubbler has now won 5 of 7 races at distances between six furlongs and 1 1/8 miles and seems capable of another stakes success in the Mid-South. 


Cash Refund is no stranger to this Blog as I christened him a "Sprinter to Watch in 2010" on the December 28, 2009 edition of FormBlog and gave him top-billing on the January 25 posting.  He again pulled the trigger in Saturday's $96,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at Fair Grounds.  Sent away as the 7-10 favorite in the field of five, Cash Refund battled for the lead while three wide and gamely fought off returning graded stakes winner KENSEI and the popular sprinter EUROEARS.  

Trained by Steve Margolis, Cash Refund has won 5 of 6 starts for jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., with the only defeat a three-quarter length defeat at the hooves of crack sprinter CAPT. CANDYMAN CAN in last May's Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs.  After the Matt Winn, he was sidelined with what Margolis reported as the "start of a condylar fracture," but he has been unstoppable since returning to the Fair Grounds this winter.  

"We've got the Churchill Downs and the Aristides [coming up]," said Margolis.  "Our ultimate goal would be the Breeders' Cup Sprint.  These horses that run this hard, you have to do the right thing and not run them so often.  You want them fresh so they can fire every time they run."

"He's just naturally a fast horse," said Hernandez.  "When he leaves there, he leaves there on his feet and you just stay out of his way and let a good horse do what he does."


The international racing community concentrated on Dubai World Cup night at the new Meydan facility and the star-studded card of racers put on quite a show.  In the Al Quoz Sprint, JOY AND FUN represented Hong Kong with an upset win over top American turf sprinter CALIFORNIA FLAG.  Brett Doyle, the rider of Joy and Fun, Ahmad Atjebi, the rider of runner-up FRAVASHI, and Joe Talamo, the rider of California Flag, were fined AED 1000 for "breaching ERA Instruction 8(ii)(c)(vii) for hitting his horse with the whip without giving it time to respond," according to the Stewards' Reports published on the Emirates Racing website. 

Atjebi, still an apprentice despite huge wins in the UAE and in North America over the last year, then pulled off the upset of heavily-favored DESERT PARTY with CALMING INFLUENCE in the Godolphin Mile.  No real excuses for Desert Party other than a wide trip.  CAT JUNIOR was expected to control the pace, but broke poorly under Jamie Spencer.

MUSIR looked very good in winning the UAE Derby for trainer Mike de Kock, but the race wasn't without controversy.  As jockey Christophe Soumillon made his decisive move aboard Musir in the stretch, he looked to have impeded a weakening IZAAJ.  After the race, in front of the television cameras stationed in the jockey's quarters, Izaaj's rider, Willie Carson confronted Soumillon and had to be restrained.  The order of finish remained unchanged, but Soumillon was "found guilty of a charge of careless riding under ERA Rule 69(i) and was suspended from riding in races for 4 days (dates to be confirmed once the ERA race date schedule for 2010-11 has been finalised)". The race was marred by the breakdown of TIMELY JAZZ.  According to the Stewards' Report, Timely Jazz "suffered a fracture to the left fore. TIMELY JAZZ (IRE) was transported to the Dubai Equine Hospital for further examination."  Jockey Kevin Shea, aboard runner-up RAIHANA, was fined AED 1000 for "breaching ERA Instruction 8(ii)(c)(vii) for hitting his horse with the whip without giving it time to respond."  de Kock mentioned Australia as Musir's ultimate destination this season.

KINSALE KING is a tough, gritty runner that is a testament to the courage of the thoroughbred as well as the patience and skill of an excellent horseman.  Plagued by quarter crack issues throughout his career, Kinsale King was nursed back to best form by trainer Carl O'Callaghan and the duo got the money in the Golden Shaheen.  O'Callaghan mentioned after the race that Kinsale King may be bound for Royal Ascot.  Robert Fradd, the rider of runner-up ROCKET MAN, was fined AED 1000 for "breaching ERA Instruction 8(ii)(c)(vii) for hitting his horse with the whip without giving it time to respond."

AL SHEMABI pulled off the upset of the night with a longshot victory in the Dubai Duty Free.  Favored PRESVIS may not have won anyway, but he was completely shut off when commencing his run in upper stretch.  THE USUAL Q. T. represented the United States nicely with a fourth-place finish. 

DAR RE MI shrugged off a harsh British winter to win a deep and classy Sheema Classic field.  The stewards reported that her rider, William Buick, was fined AED 1000 for "breaching ERA Instruction 8(ii)(c)(vii) for hitting his horse with the whip without giving it time to respond."  They also noted that CAMPANOLOGIST "returned with a cut to its left fore."  QUIJANO reportedly lost a shoe during the running.  PRESIOUS PASSION stopped badly after setting the pace.

The Americans couldn't overcome the slow pace of the World Cup and GLORIA DE CAMPEAO, correctly selected by Matt Carothers on TVG's Blinkers Off, was the direct beneficiary.  GIO PONTI and RICHARD'S KID should do better when they return to the States with the former expected to have a turf campaign going forward.


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

Here are the lifetime past performances for last week's highest Beyer earner:

Download Researcher


Could you post pp's for Ciguapo (1999), Shekinlaunch (2000), and Southern Classic (1997)? These horses are at my barn now and I don't know their records. Thank you so much if you could help with this.

Here's what I have for the horses that you requested:

Download Horses


Dan, if you had to guess, when and where do you think Rachel and Zenyatta will race against each other.  Are the Fleur De Lis or Louisville Handicap at CD possible?
Captain Bodgit

Dan, will you post the pp's for Free House, Pulpit and Captain Bodgit please?
Also, can you tell me where to find Beyers for races/horses before DRF started publishing them please.  Our local paper stated that Unbridled got a 116 Beyer in the Derby and Sunday Silence got a 99.  Where did he find this info?
Captain Bodgit

Anything is possible, but I think a race at the Churchill Downs spring/summer meet is very unlikely.  It's quite possible that ZENYATTA will head back to California for a break after the Apple Blossom and she may prep for the Breeders' Cup out there.  RACHEL ALEXANDRA will avoid the synthetic surfaces to concentrate on dirt racing on the East Coast.  If they do meet, it may not be until the Breeders' Cup...and that's a long way from now.

Here are the pp's you requested. 

Download 1997 Derby horses

I'm not sure where you could find pre-drf Beyer Speed Figures.  Perhaps in some old copies of the Racing Times?


...Also can you get the pp's for a filly that ran in the late 1970's CRAFTY VOYAGE a low level claimer that became a multiple stakes producer.  

Here's what I have for CRAFTY VOYAGE:

Download Crafty Voyage


I am curious if you folks at DRF receive any feedback from the tracks that you use for your Race of the Day, and by that I mean to ask does the handle on these races increase as a result?  I am also curious if the same holds true (or not) for the races selected for HandiGambling?
Van Savant

It's possible that we get some feedback from racetracks about "Race of the Day," but I'm on a need-to-know basis concerning that stuff, and the suits at DRF usually don't think I "need to know" anything.  We used to have advertising and sponsorship arrangements with tracks like Emerald Downs, Portland Meadows, and Monmouth, and they were a real pleasure to work with.  They enjoyed the segments produced for them and we enjoyed doing them.
Personally, I haven't heard anything and I doubt that there is a spike in handle because of the segments.  The exposure couldn't hurt, I guess, but I just wonder how many people are actually watching. 
Haven't heard anything from racetracks concerning HandiGambling and I'm guessing that we're not moving the handle there either.  I'm sort of surprised our marketing or advertising departments haven't done more with it, however.


Dan, if it's possible could you please post the pp's for Tale of the Cat...a horse I really enjoyed following in '97. 
Thank you.

Here they are:

Download Tale of the Cat


Dan and anyone else,
Proabably risking wrath of the Blue boxers but does anyone else see a correlation between Encaustics improved performances and the trainerster with Assmussen and best  performance with Shuman aka axe man(he was trainer who cut off leg of horse after it broke down)??

You could look at ENCAUSTIC's situation any number of ways.  When a horse shows major improvement like this, it's easy to point the finger at the trainer and say, "A-Ha!  Something's up here!"  Usually, these situations of dramatic improvement occur in the first or second start following the claim or trainer change. 

In Encaustic's case, however, he ran a 99 Beyer Speed Figure when fifth in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap for Asmussen, then regressed 17 points in his first start for Shuman.  It took him four tries for his new connections before he won a race and he only exceeded that 99 in his last two starts (at Laurel, a track that, in my opinion, sometimes boasts inflated Beyer Speed Figures). 

It's possible that Encaustic, a very well-bred runner, has simply figured out the game at the ripe old age of six.  His dam, Illeria, is a prolific producer with seven blacktype earners under her name.  The most famous, Include, earned over a million bucks and won the Pimlico Special.  Maybe Encaustic is finally living up to his pedigree. 


Great job by my fellow Formbloggers!!
Artax - 1999
May2 Carter Hp: 123
Oct16 Forest Hills Hp: 123
Nov6 BC Sprint: 124 (BTW, Kona Gold received a 123 Beyer finishing 2nd!)
Skip Away - 1997
May10 Pimlico Special: 125
May31 Mass Hp: 122
Nov8 BC Classic: 120
Ghostzapper - 2004
Jul4 Tom Fool Hp: 120
Aug21 Iselin BC Hp: 128
Oct31 BC Classic: 124
And...as answered by Funny Side ...
Formal Gold - 1997
I don't have the Beyers for him, but that year he won the
Woodward (beat Skip Away)
Donn (again beat Skip Away)
Iselin (once again...beat Skip Away)
Brooklyn Hp (no Skip Away this time)
Dan, can you please put the PPs for these four stars on the blog?

Here are the big Beyer runners:

Download Artax

Download Skip Away

Download Ghostzapper

Download FormalGold


Does anyone know if the old Jamaica had a chute for races up to 9F's? If so, GM's Derby run was his first two turn run, and if not, the Belmont was his third two turn effort. 

Jamaica Racecourse did not have a nine-furlong chute.  It was a one-mile track, and a weirdly-shaped (egg instead of a true oval) one at that. 


Hey Dan, can you put up the PP's for Mendip. Thanks.

Here they are:

Download Mendip


Dan, I'm not sure of the protocal on PP requests so if I'm to early or late disregard this. I named my daughter for a horse named April Marie Elaine or Aprilmarieelaine that ran in the mid to late 80's in California. If you can find her for me I'd like to have her PPs to frame. My april might be the only person ever named for a racehorse instead of the other way around. THANKS

Hope this is the right one:

Download April Marie Elaine


Want to thank everyone for their advice on "slumps."  Hopefully, my latest one will depart soon.  I'll take everyone's excellent nuggets of wisdom to heart.


HG 178
mostly a horizontal player so love this idea ... Unfortunately I get a T with a circle around it -- first time track.
Looks weasely, keeping it simple
$12 pick four starting with R7
6 5
5 7
10 9
$4 pick four stone cold special:
good luck

Let's go with the 8th and final at Santa Anita on Wednesday, March 31st for HG 179.  Hi Five wagering and 10 cent (cielo) superfecta wagering for those inclined in an usually contentious last race on the card.

Congrats to Afi for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Here are the past performances for this week's race:

Download HG179

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the races, 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.  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.


Over the last few days, several posts have been lost due to an ongoing problem with TypePad.  I've been told that they will have a solution later this afternoon.  Hopefully, this issue will be resolved soon.





Jim Peregoy More than 1 year ago
HG 180 1-Lauren’s Turn is eliminated from consideration due to low % connections and weak form 2-Yankee Doodle Girl has several Beyers over 70. Good for this group. 3-Mikalah Faith is a toss due to dismal trainer stats and slow Beyers. 4-Mis Pardner Rules woke up in last at 26-1 for crafty trainer. Change to Gryder is not a turn-on and may need the lead. Won’t get it. 5-Rita’s Gold big step up from last for marginal trainer and cold rider. 6-Green Glory is dropping in class, but beaten by some of these. 7-Labeled looks like the one to beat. 8-Raposa earned 93 Beyer last May, but is 1/15 lifetime. His 6 runner up finishes leaves him in the exacta for “under only” consideration. 9-Lady Durlyn appears poorly spotted for marginal connections who are both under 10%. 10-Bootless is working well for Lukas and appears to be the speed. Lukas, at 19% this year, has turned the corner and may be a threat with any of his contenders. Winning HG 180 will require a big effort from the 2 and/or 6 for me. $10 exacta box 2 + 6 = $20 $12.00 Exacta # 2,6 WITH # 7,8,10 = $72 $8 cold exacta #6 WITH 8
Zan the Man More than 1 year ago
Curt - You're right, I was too vague on the definition of "flopped". I guess I was thinking finish off the board AND losing by 10+ lengths. I was looking for Carry Back but you have to get credit for Unbridled - 4th by 13 in the Belmont. Steve T.: You were killing me until you clarified that you were looking for 2 different horses. A filly carrying 142 lbs? My head was hurting. I was thinking Sky Beauty, but I was despairing. John S.: (Very) partial credit for The Bid. Sure, it's a famous failure but I don't think finishing 3rd by 3 and 1/2 in the Belmont Stakes constitutes a "flop". blackseabass: Same mini-credit to you for The Bid and full credit for LDK. For those who've never read the short story or seen the movie, Bob Hope played a shady race track tout called "The Lemon Drop Kid". Good little movie. Have to take a break from the trivia business. It's fun and easy to bark out the questions but then you sort of feel honor bound to read ALL the comments and check on the various answers. It's hard work, people ! Cayman, I feel (a little bit of) your pain. Enuff for awhile. HG 179 Stabarino: $ 25 exacta: 6 with 1,3,5,8
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
With Turf Melody opting for the Illinois Derby instead of facing the top four at Aqueduct on Saturday, it's beginning to look like the Wood will come up a poor betting proposition race. Basically, we have a four horse race, with a Maiden winner from Laurel and a true Maiden filly from Sunland Park expected to take up room at the back of the pack mid way thru the race. Other than the break, it looks like the race will be won by the best horse though, as traffic problems won't be a factor here. For the Illinois Derby, that long stretch points to better chances for the deep closers, but this prep has been one by quite a few front and near the front runners now, so don't be too quick to dismiss speed here. Backtalk may prove to have left his race back at the Fair Grounds with that unbelievably fast last work, or he could be the real deal, ready to "backslap" any who dare to try to run with him early or late. I'm not that happy with Mena in the saddle, but I'll put this one over a couple of closers from the Left Coast for my exactas.
Laura More than 1 year ago
Tina, Welcome to the blog. We can always use another Blue Thong around here.
vinny More than 1 year ago
$10 tri box 1,3,5 $20 ex box 1,5
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
blackstone; Your list of good luck charms is classic. I am not superstitious at all in life, and have no lucky charms or what-not in my world...except when it comes to watching a race. Then I am psychotic in my ways. Let’s see: 1.) – Straw in mouth…check; 2.) – Pen in left hand ready to click repeatedly during race…check; and 3.) – Quiet as a mouse…utter no words…just watch…check. Any deviations from the above will most assuredly cause my horse to fail. I’m not sure why though. Surely the horse can’t see what I am doing. I mean, TV’s and computer screens are only one-way, no? Even a mere $2 Win ticket will cause me to behave as described above. Crazy I tell ya'.
Dick W More than 1 year ago
I had a bit of a problem posting recently, so I need to catch up with a couple of belated blog entries: Cayman I just want to add my (belated) sincere condolences for your loss. And also to thank you again for your contribution to the blog and your tireless efforts to keep track of the HG results. Steve T Happy (belated) Birthday !!! And also a thank you for your excellent contribution and willingness to share your vast knowledge of handicapping in general and S. Cal racing specifically. Dick W
Buffalo Joe More than 1 year ago
Annie, So sorry, but me thinks, favorite baseball cap trumps MKB!! BUT if somehow the stars were not properly aligned and I got the numbers mixed I hope you win if I don't. Seriously anyone who who wins this one should be considered for Handicapper of the Year honors. Had I been at the track and turned the page on my racing form and this race came up, I would have the go to the refreshment stand and hope there was a very, very long line, and I would wait in it for a cup of coffee, and if I am really, really lucky the race would have gone off by the time I got my cup of coffee.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Tina, I echo Laura's welcome! Thanks, I had almost stopped thinking about Never on Saturday. :( Seriously, as I always do after a loss, I went back and studied the PPs of the horse that beat me to see what I missed. Certainly Bearpath's having already won at the exact distance was a plus, and I seem to recall there were a couple of other positive signs, but certainly nothing to mark him as a single. And, I desperately needed a single for my Magna. I would probably always choose Never On Sunday's class over Bearpath in the same situation. Someone, I think it was Tinky, felt the jockey did no favors for Sunday in the race and I am prone to agree. Annie
Tina More than 1 year ago
Thanks Annie! I think someone here started the "blue thong" thing as a historical reference to the "blue stockings" in England. Here's some info from Google: Bluestockings Last half of the 18th century The Bluestockings, a pejorative name for an informal woman's literary "club" that flourished in the second half of eighteenth century London, was named after Benjamin Stillingfleet's blue worsted stockings: he was too poor to afford the customary black silk stocking suitable for evening wear. Run by educated, intellectual, conservative women who tried to raise the moral, intellectual, and cultural standards of their time, this group of friends took turns hosting evening's entertainment where the literary figures of London took the spotlight. Women were often the majority of the guests, and the subject of the evening was often a learned women from the past or the present. Eventually similar ladies' groups who patterned themselves after the Bluestockings sprung up all over London then all over England. These upper-middle class women scorned female "accomplishments," card playing, and frivolous behavior, preferring instead a life of moral and intellectual rigor and philanthropic activities. These women did not pen great tracts railing about the failings of men. They did claim the right to act in the semi-public sphere and they urged women to become involved in philanthropic activities which benefited other women. Following their own advice, they created a number of philanthropic institutions whose aim was to help women, often poor widowed women with children, become economically self-sufficient. " I assume it's an ironic reference, because this blue thong certainly prefers to laud "female "accomplishments," card playing (and horse playing!), and frivolous behavior" - not scorn them! :-)