01/15/2013 3:49PM

Calistoga, Midnight Transfer, Yonaguska Storm, Csaba

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CALISTOGA gave a very smart performance in her career debut at Gulfstream Park on January 12. 

Trained by Bill Mott, the 3-year-old daughter of Speightstown shot out to the early lead and threw down fractions of 22.47 and 45.44 in the six-furlong maiden special weight.  Calistoga opened up on the field on the final turn and wasn't threatened in the stretch.  She won by eight lengths in 1:09.77 and received a 98 Beyer Speed Figure.  What was scary about her race is that Mott doesn't usually have his first-time starters fully cranked.  Calistoga, a $180,000 yearling purchase, has a strong pedigree.  She is out of a sprint-winning full sister to Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo (the dam is also a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Tiago and Grade 2-placed Sea Jewel).  The second dam won four stakes races sprinting.

Remember MIDNIGHT TRANSFER?  The Hard Spun colt finished third in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes last March before running seventh behind subsequent Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7.  After that start, the Carla Gaines-trainee went on the shelf with a non-displaced condylar fracture of a cannon bone.  Midnight Transfer showed no signs of rust last week as he returned with a sweeping win in his first try against older horses at Santa Anita.  Watch for him in the San Carlos Stakes on February 23.

YONAGUSKA STORM may not have the ceiling of a Midnight Transfer, but the Louisiana-bred looked very good in taking an optional claimer for statebreds at Fair Grounds on January 11. He went right to the lead over the sealed, muddy track and put away a pair of pace challengers before drawing away in upper stretch.  He has won four of six starts and has excuses for both losses (one around two turns after he freaked out in the pre-race warmups and the other when second behind the very promising Kentucky-bred Bind).  A 4-year-old half-brother to four-time Grade 2 turf winner City to City, it will be interesting to see where he shows up next.

*CSABA is one of the more underrated horses in the country.  He handled a one-turn mile with no problem in last week's Hal's Hope Stakes at Gulfstream and showed some courage in wearing down the leaders along the rail.  Csaba's last four Beyer Speed Figures are 99, 109, 101, 106 and that's nothing to sneeze at.  He's capable from on the lead, or from off the pace on fast and wet tracks at distances betweeen five and nine furlongs.  Note that the waters will continue to get deeper in the near future.

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Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (1/7/13 - 1/13/13):

1. MIDNIGHT TRANSFER - 103 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
2. YONAGUSKA STORM - 101 - OC 35k/N4L -N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
3. CSABA - 99 - Hal's Hope Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
3. FED BIZ - 99 - San Fernando Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
5. CALISTOGA - 98 - Md Sp Wt 42k - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
6. TIBAN - 97 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
7. JERANIMO - 96 - San Gabriel Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Santa Anita
8. HEAD HEART HOOF - 95 - True and Blue Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Inner Track) - Aqueduct
8. STARSHIP TRUFFLES - 95 - OC15k/SAL15k - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
10. SINAI - 94 - OC 35k/N3L -N - 6 Furlongs (Inner Track) - Aqueduct
11. AKKADIAN - 93 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
11. CALVADOS - 93 - Clm 12500(12.5-10.5) - 6 Furlongs - Parx
11. CAT TALK - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
11. FORWARD MARCH - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. JAGUAR PAW - 93 - OC 35k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Inner Track) - Aqueduct
11. MUCHO MAS MACHO - 93 - Fort Lauderdale Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. SNOW FALL - 93 - Paseana Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
11. TRELAWNY - 93 - OC30k/SAL15k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
19. ALL FOR THEE - 92 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
19. CLUSTER OF STARS - 92 - OC 14k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs (Inner Track) - Aqueduct
19. REGAL REVENGE - 92 - Clm 18000(18-16) - 6 Furlongs - Laurel
19. TRUMPET MAN - 92 - Clm c-12500B - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Inner Track) - Aqueduct
23. PROUD STRIKE - 91 - Md Sp Wt 39k - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
24. MAKE A FORTUNE - 90 - Alw 41180N1X - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
24. MATTY'S TRAIL - 90 - Clm 40000 - 1 Mile - Gulfstream

*MIDNIGHT TRANSFER's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*TRUMPET MAN was claimed for $12,500 by trainer Robert Barbara from trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero.

*GLADDING, the runner-up behind Midnight Transfer in that optional claimer on January 12, was taken for $62,500 by trainer Mike Mitchell from trainer John Sadler.

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hey dan. was wondering if you could explain to me how Tiz Yankee got a 96 beyer for his win on Sunday at gulfstream, but Tuvia's Force is not on the list and he wnet half a second faster for the same distance on the same day?
thanks
Todd Saunders

TIZ YANKEE ran the faster final time.  He completed a mile in 1:35.67 (96 Beyer) while TUVIA'S FORCE ran 1:36.59 (87 Beyer).

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Dan,
Curious why Aqueduct has races at both 1 Mile and 1 Mile 70 yards on the inner track. it does not seem to be a great difference in the lengths to need the varying lengths.
mpm101

Both of those distances are run over two turns on the inner track.  Not really sure why they race both distances.

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Congrats to Ron Z. for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise. 

PENN NATIONAL RICK'S WEEKLY SCORESHEET IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

Ron Z. selected Friday's ninth race at Gulfstream for this week's contest.

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

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