10/01/2009 4:14PM

California Flag, some pp's, workout analysis


"He's by far the fastest horse I've ever ridden" - Joe Talamo after California Flag's speedy win in yesterday's Morvich Handicap at Oak Tree.

California Flag

(courtesy Benoit Photo)

Talamo may be right.  His gray gelding blitzed through fractions of 21.55, 43.04, and 1:05.31 en route to completing the About 6 1/2 furlongs of the downhill turf course in 1:11.40.  California Flag earned $60,000 and a 104 Beyer Speed Figure for his trouble, and has to be considered one of the leading contenders for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. 

Desert Code, the defending BC Turf Sprint champion, finished a non-threatening seventh, but jockey Richard Migliore wasn't too disappointed with the performance.  "He basically needed the race," said The Mig.  "He made a little run, then kind of leveled off.  No amount of work can do what a race can do."


With the death of Cryptoclearance, I was wondering if you could post his lifetime PPs. Thanks.

Here's what I have for Cryptoclearance:

Download Cryptoclearance


Hi Dan,
Could you post the pps of Easy Goer's nemesis Sunday Silence and these 80's champs: Gato del Sol, Aloma's Ruler, Coastal and General Assembly? thank you so much!
José Iglesias García

Here are Sunday Silence's past performances:

Download Sunday Silence

Here's what I have for the others you requested:

Download 80's


If you don't mind I'd love to see PP's for Is It True, Peintre Celebre, Montjeu, Hawk Wing, Hellisio, & Old Vic?
Thanks so much!
Pat Copelan

Here's what I have for them:

Download IsItTrueEuros


Being a jersey boy, I was hoping that you could download a few pps of some Haskell champs: Five Star Flight, Wise Times & Coastal.  Thanks in advance!

Here's what I have for them:

Download JerseyBoyz


What ever happened to Longacres? Is the track still there or did they tear it down and build something?

Boeing tore down the Longacres facility and built a training center on the site.  To learn more about the history of Longacres you can do a Google search on Longacres racetrack and then click on the link that says historylink.org.  They have both narrative and some pictures on this site.
Dick W

Here's the link:



With regard to today's HG at Belmont on yielding turf course, are there certain pedigrees that do better on less than firm turf courses (like mudders on dirt)?

I haven't really found the dominant "wet-turf" bloodlines that you see in "sloppy" main track races.  Jim Mazur and Mike Helm have done some research on the topic, and they list the better yielding sires and broodmare sires in their annual "Sire Ratings" publication (available for purchase below).



Do you really place a lot of stock in workouts, and even more curiously, gaps in workouts, when formulating how you will bet a race?...if workout patterns point one way or the other, would that mean that for this particular trainer, (Contessa), that a gap in workouts points to some sort of problem with fitness?
p ensign

I do when I see a situation that puzzles me, as with Classical Fashion in the HG race at Belmont.  The horse looked very sharp on paper with two wins in her last three starts, and had never been off the board in five turf races.  The short 31-60 day layoff wouldn't have bothered me if the subsequent workouts were on a consistent basis.  She worked a half-mile on September 7, twelve days after her win at Saratoga, and seemed ready to return to the entries.  Then, nothing for the next 16 days.  Where was she?  Perhaps the answer is as simple as the clocker missed the work, but I can only go with the information I'm given.  I don't like to see horses with a gap greater than 14 days in the work tab when analyzing layoff runners or first-time starters unless the most recent workout is at five furlongs (in my opinion, the perfect distance to give the prospective runner a combination of speed and stamina before a race), or if the trainer has shown a previous affinity with the "less is more" training method (Wesley Ward comes to mind).  Classical Fashion returned off the 16-day break to work a leisurely half-mile at Aqueduct.  I just wondered if she would be as sharp as in her recent races (winning off a 19-day layoff, running second off a 27-day layoff, and winning off another 27-day layoff).  Clearly, Contessa was striking when the iron was hot.  Now, with a 35-day layoff, a tough recent race on display, and a 16-day gap in the worktab, one had to wonder if the iron was cooling off a bit. 
I agree with you that studying trainer patterns is extremely important in analyzing workouts and layoffs.  While I love seeing a recent five-furlong workout, some trainers do well with several shorter workouts bunched together (Christophe Clement and Kiaran McLaughlin come to mind).  Chad Hassenpflug is a trainer in Louisiana that does very well with first-time starters, and he doesn't give his runners many published workouts.  Of course, he's training them very hard at his nearby farm before shipping them in on top of the race.
As with first-time starters, I think workouts and trainer intent have superceded pedigree as the most important handicapping factors.  It's not necessarily the time of the workout that stands out to me, but whether it was accomplished the right way (perhaps in company with another, more established runner from the same barn).  Studying Contessa runners by using the Formulator program might give one added insight, but to me, the totality of the situation (layoff, tough race, gap) swayed me to viewing this runner in a negative light.
Workouts may only be the fourth, fifth, or sixth-most important handicapping tool (some excellent handicappers completely dismiss them), but I find them useful in analyzing the chances of layoff runners as well as debut horses.


Despite the layoff, I think that CHANGING SKIES is going to be able to get it done.  I think the yielding turf course will work in her favor. That's really the only opinion I have, so I'm going to go with a few underneath.
$60 Exacta 3-4
$30 Exacta 3-5
$10 Exacta 3-8


Congrats to baltimore_brian for finishing first in the HG153 exercise.  He gets to pick next week's race.


Anyone remember the timing of the surface switch at Woodbine?

Woodbine unveiled their polytrack on August 30, 2006.  By the way, if anyone happens to be at Woodbine on Sunday, I'll be there at 11am to look over the card and talk about trip handicapping with Jennifer Morrison.  Come on over and say "hi."


Back tomorrow with a big weekend of racing, and some CalCup pars.

Take care,



p ensign More than 1 year ago
"Unfortunately, a 104 BSF makes a liar out of Talamo" I understand you are attempting to question the Beyer figure for the race, but the raw speed of going 6 furlongs in 105 and change is what I imagine Talamo was feeling, not some sort of relative energy exertion number calculated in the bowels of some a la-boratory. I don't know why the kid would lie about it, and why you would feel the need to phrase it that way. On top of all that it was the downhill turf course, not the synthetic, so you might want to do a little more copious fact checking before disparaging people and their veracity.
Mathieu More than 1 year ago
"You gotta love this game. Yesterday I decided to load up on a big odds pony ridden by my favorite underdog jockey Delgadillo. I figured he would go off big, but 70/1? I was licking my chops, man if this horse comes in... Flashmans Papers did nothing. Then the next race here comes Agapito again on ANOTHER 70/1 shot, Spartan Jet. Not this time, no sirey Bob, Uncle Steve is smarter than that. Uh huh, yep he did and it only paid $157.00" How about if you were on the Skipper's little buddy in the sixth today? Agapito had Gilligan, at 9/1, poised to run by blistered speed ON THE TURN when a Sadler broke down at the precise time to carry him 12 wide before hitting the stretch. AG stood up in the irons for close to a 1/16th yet he still managed third, less than 4 lengths from the winner. If anyone had Purse Luva I tip my hat to you but he was third best in the race, behind the show horse and Winter Camp, who ran monsterously considering his break, the white hot pace, and his first try beyond 4F's. Even PL's loss of three lengths at the gate was a boon to him when over 98% of the time it would be the kiss of death. Whatta game, indeed.
Mathieu More than 1 year ago
Slew, That's just about a perfect storm to endure in a race you distilled correctly, particularly when the horses involved are 5 and 9/1. That was a nice bit of handicapping though. Winter Camp was a great overlay @ 5/1 off his ML of 9/5. Most regard a FPLX maiden win at 4F's as a cheap novelty unworthy of consideration on the big circuit but the performance is always the bottom line. WC scalded a deep FPLX track in his first out and I love playing those types back at Oaktree. As for Gilligan, Mel Stute may not have the presence he once had but when he takes the blinkers off watch out. He responded by closing for the first time @ DMR to nab his maiden @ 7F and looked good for his first crack at the STR ALW condition. The track is on the deep side right now so Winter Camp's effort is even more impressive and is in my book as a force at a straight 6F next out at this level and may be a play at a CA NW1 if Sise likes what he sees back at the barn. The excruciating thing is now he's a proven commodity on the big circuit and the crowd will crush his value next out. * So, whose for supporting our boy Agapito by getting a box at Oaktree in a couple of weeks? Sounds like there is a groundswell developing. That should give us enough time to grow in the requisite crappy moustaches.
Mike A More than 1 year ago
Why shouldn't we stage the BC at night so the Asians can watch, China just about owns this country now with all the loans they backed. I said way back when it was only a matter of time and little by little we'd be under their collective thumbs. Not to sound overly political and since I have only a good 20 or so years left, though I do worry about my children, but as long as they don't go to hell in a handbasket they should be ok, as I told my friends who went to the polls cherrily voting for change, "Be careful what you wish for". Things have certainly changed alright. For you folks out there who are worried now, don't be, the Fed will just print more money. Mike A
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Anyone else other than James Mc looking forward to the Pressious Passion-Gio Ponti matchup Saturday? Looks like the track should be at least rated "good" if the rains hold off 'til evening. Can the speedster get out front and stay out front over the big kick closer?
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Sorry Chicago folks about the loss of the 2016 Olympics...maybe Arlington will be in line for the BC that year though? At least you all won't have to deal with the traffic issues trying to get to the track that year, hmmm?
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Uncle Steve Uh huh? I saw that race...will you live and learn again? or are you going to get a voodoo doll for your favorite underdog jockey Delgadillo...hmmmm? he-he-he SR Vegas
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
Slew said: "No wonder I can't get laid on a regular basis." Top Ten reasons Slew can't get laid: 10. Forgets to brush his other tooth. 9. Women don't drink and dial as much as they used to. 8. His wingman is Tencentcielo (where are you, dude?) 7. Thinks all women are named, "Babe". 6. He's a "Blazer man". 5. His biggest organ is his brain. 4. He's BORING BORING BORING (see #5) 3. Consistently confuses "oral cop" with the "thought police". 2. Has never properly conceptualized that a woman's network is bigger than the Internet (and they tell eachother EVERYTHING). 1. The number one reason Slew doesn't get laid: He's BUTT UGLY!
jim tully More than 1 year ago
Steve T., Nice hit. I had the exacta. I was up a few bucks on the day and decided to just blow my day's profit on the last race. The 1 and 6 were coming out of a race that had produced the highest last-race winning beyer, so I boxed them with each other and half the field (7,8,9,11,13). I made the bet with about 15 minutes to post when the 6 was about 35-1 and the 1 was about 23-1. I tuned back in just when they hit the gate. When the 1 and 6 were one-two at the far turn, I thought I had a shot for one of them to hold on and I started screaming at the TV, "ANYONE BUT THE 5!(the only real contender I didn't use). I didn't even notice at first that the 6 had gone up to 75-1. That is now the second biggest exacta I have ever hit.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Dan ...awwww, Thank you for the PGH picture of California Flag at the Head of your thread...Nice comeback for him. and Cayman01...nice hit on that $2 Exacta = $50...who would have thought, nice pick!! SR Vegas BTW, If anyone has a pick or two for tomorrow, at Hawthorne, Belmont, or Oak Tree at SA...let us know. Tony Kelso, his friend & I will be checking out the races tomorrow & on Saturday, Belmont and Santa Anita Cal Cup Day races. Thanks!!