01/15/2013 3:49PM

Calistoga, Midnight Transfer, Yonaguska Storm, Csaba


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.


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.


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?
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).


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.

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


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


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


Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, 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.
Please post your plays and analysis to the blog.

Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.
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.

MidnightTransfer.pdf655.64 KB
Copy of Formblog Contest 5th Season 1-11-13.xls44.5 KB
HGGPTURF.pdf194.14 KB
Okiesharp More than 1 year ago
Ron Z Interesting angle on the AQ Beyers being too high. Thanks for sharing that thought. Okiesharp
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
MH01 : The play $1 tri key box 3/7910 = $60 $20 win #3= $20 $20 win #10= $20 total $100 good luck all MH01 ---------- I believe you want a $10 tri key box 3/7910 = $60 ...not a $1 , but I see your typo :) SR Vegas
mike mccormck More than 1 year ago
Hello All! HGTURF: $100 win #4. No time for analysis......like shippers
Keith More than 1 year ago
PNR Alert; HG revison due to the scratch of the #4 Karida: Substituting #7 for the loss of #4 in my wagers. Waquoits Dance has been the distance with some degrees of success, and should handle the track if its gone back to "good". Wagers now are: $20 W,$50P on #9 $10 Exacta Key on #9/#2,#7 $ 1.50 Trifecta Box on #2,#7,#9 $100 of Dan Dollars Good luck players. Keith L.
Alex More than 1 year ago
HG GP I just discovered that the Illinois legislature has allowed the statute permitting online wagering to lapse and, though Xpressbet was apparently still accepting bets up until recently, it no longer is. I'm sure this has already been addressed by fellow Illinoisians here, but, still bothersome. I'm wondering how this was allowed to lapse and rueing the day that is bound to come when I want to make a wager in a timely fashion and cannot… 1 WILL TO SHINE has a shot, but I'm looking for a regression off the last-out win. 2 LILY HANNAH broke her maiden here for $75k. She ran in some lower-level dirt and synthetic races in Kentucky last fall. She is proven at the distance and may like the return to GP. 3 CORINZIA is one of the 2 lightest-raced (6 starts) entries. Her form is all over the place, but has 2 wins at the distance and comes back off 9 says rest after not showing much last out. 5 PARASOL looks poised to take a lot of money; she took a lot of time and then won 2 of her last 4. Loses Rocco. Should be in the top-4, but I'm going to try to beat her. 6 STARSHIP FREEDOM has some back form, but won't get a clean lead. The recent form is just not good. I think she's the best long shot, but I just don't see it today. 7 WAQUOIT'S DANCE also has rather erratic form, but at higher levels. She won an MSW at this distance here. Her last 2 show improvement. At 8-1, I wouldn't mind putting a few dollars on her, but alas, the diligent Illinois legislature has prevented me from doing so and I can't make it to the OTB right now. 8 EZ PZ LEMON SQUEEZE was running at higher levels, then barely took a 16K claimer within 2 months of finishing 6th in a $75K Alw. Barn repeats at a good clip. Not a bad choice for a repeat at 12/1. 9 MEMORIES MADE also has some back class and has not been out of the exacta at GP. Her odds reflect it. Does she step forward off a second last out at GP? Toss the two belmont starts and she is clearly best, but even so looks like a deserving favorite. 10 MONEY MONEY has been in it in 6/8 career starts. $50 - Exacta - 7 / 8, 9 Alex
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
For those looking for KY derby "graded stakes earnings" , here's a link. ...this does not show derby points , or those $$ earned in those races as a side by side comparision, though. http://www.allhorseracing.ag/kentucky-derby/graded-earnings Laura , thanks for the link , it is a wealth of Derby related information :) SR Vegas
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Curt V "..SR Buddha Vegas, Darling SR .." Oh! the terms of endearment, my heart be still :) I believe that post was meant for pippen0707 She had a $100 straight ex 9-10 that you said was taken.. my wager was a $50 Ex box 9-10 Good Luck :) SR Vegas
Alfred Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
Where did all our heroes go? Lance? Manti? At least our four legged friends are honest and are never catfished. #3 Corinzia, like to see top jock keeping the faith with this outsider. Let's put him on top. #1 Will to Shine, speed always dangerous. #5 Parasol, trainer Luis Rameriz hot and keeps his horses in form. #9 Memories Made, likes to run second at GP HG GF 9th $40 exacta 3/ 5,9 $20 exacta 3/ 1 - Alfredo
Penguinymous More than 1 year ago
HG GP $50 win #10 $15 ex box 1-10 $10 ex box 9-10 Money Money raced mostly on the rail last race and if she can work out a similar trip today? The reclaim and layoff of 3 months and then came back running to win is interesting. Also , 3rd blinkers on. 1st was in the slop, but a 3rd, 2nd was the last out win and today might be used to them. Plus she is 6/8 in the money lifetime. RonZ
Suheil More than 1 year ago
HG After scratches I am amending my selections $2 tri 5/1,2,3,8,9 $40 $1 supers 5/1,2,3,8,9 $60