02/05/2014 2:37PM

Candyman E, Winning Prize, 3-year-olds


*CANDYMAN E is a cool horse.  After winning the $150,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial at Laurel on October 22, 2011 (102 Beyer, overcame trouble, won key race), it appeared he was on his way to becoming a very interesting sprint candidate.  He then finished fourth in the Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes to kick off his 2012 campaign, emerged from the race with a condylar fracture to his left front leg, and missed a year of racing.  While he probably will never be a Breeders' Cup Candidate, Candman E returned as useful as ever. He won the $75,000 Bensalem Stakes last March, sold for $60,000 at public auction in July, and was claimed for $62,500 out of a win at Belmont on October 26. That afternoon, he was taken by David Jacobson and has now won two stakes in a row, including the Toboggan.  I'd expect continued competitiveness from him in future stakes races this winter in New York.

*WINNING PRIZE took a big step forward in taking the Grade 3 Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita. A one-way speed type in his native Argentina, Winning Prize was an impressive gate-to-wire winner in his North American debut last summer at Del Mar.  After two defeats (off the pace against Wise Dan on polytrack at Keeneland, run down late by Silentio and Summer Front over "good" going at Hollywood), Winning Prize showed a new dimension by sitting off a runaway speed in the Arcadia.  When it was time to go, Rafael Bejarano pushed the button and Winning Prize responded.

“The last time I rode him at Del Mar, we were on the lead the whole way," Bejarano told track publicity after the Arcadia. "This time, I wanted to try something different because I knew there was some speed in here. I just tried to get him relaxed and he did, the whole race. When it came to the stretch, I just let him go. You learn something new everyday! He always liked to be on the lead but you try something new, and it worked.”   

Expect to see Winning Prize in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 8.

*With a determined victory in last Saturday's Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, Samraat took his first important step on the Kentucky Derby trail.

While not as accomplished as Samraat, the following two sophomores might be horses to watch for later in the year, if not on the first Saturday in May. 

HOPPERTUNITY (Any Given Saturday - Refugee, by Unaccounted For)
Foal Date, State: May 7, 2011, Kentucky
Breeder: Betz, J. Betz, D. J. Stable, Robenalt
Owner: Karl Watson, Michael E. Pegram and Paul Weitman
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Auction: $300,000 Keeneland September Yearling
Last Race:  1st maiden special weight, Santa Anita, January 30, 92 Beyer Speed Figure
DP = 3-6-11-0-0 (20) DI = 2.64   CD = 0.60

Hoppertunity, one of three Bob Baffert-trained 3-year-olds in a one-mile maiden special weight at Santa Anita on January 30, may have punched his ticket to a major Kentucky Derby prep with a 92-Beyer performance. A rallying fifth in his debut at seven furlongs on January 4, Hoppertunity broke nicely in his two-turn bow and soon found the inside pocket position. He tracked favored pacesetter Day of Fury on the backstretch before spurting to the front along the rail turning for home. Hoppertunity changed leads professionally in the stretch and looked good striding out in the lane.

Hoppertunity is by Any Given Saturday, a Todd Pletcher-trained son of Distorted Humor that defeated two-time Horse of the Year Curlin when grabbing the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational with a career-best 113 Beyer. Any Given Saturday won races between 5 1/2 furlongs and 1 1/8 miles, defeated older horses as a 3-year-old in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap, and was also perfect from two starts on polytrack. He hasn’t made his mark at stud yet, however, with zero Grade 1 winners from his first four crops.

Hoppertunity is a half-brother to the recently-retired Executiveprivilege, a filly that won her first five starts for these connections including a pair of Grade 1 races. Second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Executiveprivilege prevailed on dirt and synthetic at distances from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Another half-sister, Profit, finished third in the $60,000 Jameela Stakes going six furlongs at Laurel.

Their dam, Refugee (by Unaccounted For), did best in long-distance races on turf. Conditioned by Bill Mott, Refugee ran a close third in the 12-furlong, Grade 3 Orchid Handicap on grass at Gulfstream Park. Hoppertunity's third dam is the great Davona Dale, winner of the Filly Triple Crown in 1979.

While Hoppertunity is bred to relish racing at longer distances, he has a ton of history to overcome in order to succeed in the Kentucky Derby. The last Derby winner without juvenile racing experience was Apollo in 1882, and Hoppertunity did not start at two.  Also, Hoppertunity received a very good ground-saving trip last week and will be greatly tested against tougher competition next time around.  He seems like one to watch for the longer term as compared to a true Derby prospect.


STREET STRATEGY (Street Sense - Spoken Softly, by Notebook)
Foal Date, State:  February 28, 2011, Kentucky
Breeder: Glencrest Farm LLC & Darley
Owner: Iron Horse LLC (Clark)
Trainer: Randy Morse
Auction: $30,000 Keeneland September Yearling, $425,000 OBS Spring Juvenile
Last Race:  1st maiden special weight, Oaklawn, January 30, 88 Beyer Speed Figure
DP = 2-1-6-0-1 (10) DI = 1.50   CD = 0.30

After working a furlong in 10.1 seconds during the under tack portion of last April's OBS Spring auction, Street Strategy was purchased by David Clark's Iron Horse LLC for $425,000 as the third highest-priced horse in the sale.

Street Strategy missed by a dirty nose in his debut, a six-furlong maiden special weight over a "good" Oaklawn strip on January 11. Finishing sixth that day was fellow first-time starter Discipline, who returned to graduate sprinting last week with a 90 Beyer.

Stretched out around a mile on January 30 and ridden again by Calvin Borel, Street Strategy showed improved early speed. He grabbed the advantage while racing slightly off the rail on the first turn, but soon ceded the lead and the inside to Late Night Lu. Street Strategy was content to prompt that one from the outside before surging to the front early on the final bend. He soon pulled away from a three-wide Long Station and drew away to win by 6 1/2 lengths with an 88 Beyer.

Street Strategy is by the terrific Street Sense, a big-race animal if there ever was one. Street Sense won such prestigious trophies as the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Kentucky Derby and Travers Stakes.  A champion at two, Street Sense also finished second in the Preakness. From three crops to race, Street Sense is the sire of Grade 1 sprint winners Sweet Reason and Aubby K.

Street Strategy is out of Spoken Softly, a Notebook mare that won an off-the-turf race going 1 1/16 miles at Calder from six lifetime starts. She is a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 turf sprint winner Unbridled's Note, and is a full sibling to multiple Grade 1 dirt route heroine Spoken Fur.

Street Strategy's pedigree is certainly acceptable for longer-distance events but, like Hoppertunity, he lacks juvenile racing experience and still seems a bit green.  The talent is there and it looks as if he'll run next in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 15. Like Hoppertunity, it's possible that he's a long-term prospect at this juncture instead of a true Derby contender.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (1/27/14 - 2/2/14):

1. CANDYMAN E - 104 - Toboggan Stakes (G3) - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
1. HEITAI - 104 - Louisiana Bred Premier Night Sprint Stakes - 5 Furlongs - Delta
1. WINNING PRIZE (ARG) - 104 - Arcadia Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
1. WILD DUDE - 104 - Palos Verdes Stakes (G2) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
5. APPEALING TALE - 103 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
6. EXPLAIN - 99 - Clm 28000(32-28) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
6. GOODTOLOOK - 99 - Clm 25000N2L - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
6. MARRIEDTOTHEMUSIC - 99 - OC 30k/N2X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
9. MR PALMER - 97 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
9. WARM BREEZE - 97 - Happy Ticket Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
11. CRAFTY CONCORDE - 96 - Alw 8000s - 7 Furlongs - Parx
11. INTEREST FREE - 96 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Fair Grounds
11. NIGHT MANEUVER - 96 - Clm c-50000 - 6 Furlongs (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
11. WILDCAT RED - 96 - Hutcheson Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
15. ARLO - 95 - Alw 66500N$Y - 7 Furlongs - Parx
15. CENTRIQUE - 95 - Alw 50000NC - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
15. DO SOMETHIN - 95 - OC 32k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Laurel
15. JOE TESS - 95 - OC 16k/N1X -N - 6 Furlongs - Tampa Bay
19. GREAT RISING STAR - 94 - Clm 30000(30-25)N2L - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
19. GUYS REWARD - 94 - Tampa Bay Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Tampa Bay
19. SAMRAAT - 94 - Withers Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
19. SONGA - 94 - Alw 21550N1X - 7 Furlongs - Calder
23. KINGS OVER - 93 - Clm 30000(30-25)B - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
23. OUR DOMAIN - 93 - Alw 57000N2X - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
23. WICKED TUNE - 93 - Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream

*The lifetime past performances for CANDYMAN E, HEITAI, WINNING PRIZE and WILD DUDE are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*NIGHT MANEUVER was claimed for $50,000 by trainer David Jacobson from Gary Contessa.


We'll have our annual FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park the weekend of February 28.  Our gracious hostess, Laura, has an update for us...

UPDATE on the DRF Formblog Convention!

The Convention is Feb. 28 - March 3 at GP Park. (Fri - Sun). We get a discount on rooms at Hampton Inn, across from the track. The price is $172/night (plus the dreaded $18 tax). To receive the correct rate, call the hotel directly (954-874-3006) and ask for the Gulfstream Park rate. If there's any difficulty, please email me at:

As usual, we'll be given a suite overlooking the track with our own private balcony and betting terminals, trips to the paddock, a race named for our group and photo in the winner's circle. We'll also have plenty of swag from the BC and other fun stuff.

This is always a fantastic weekend so don't miss out! Come handicap with our Fearless Leader, Sheriff Dan Who! I can supply rides to/from the airport (about 10 minutes away), if needed. Check out this page for more info:



The weekend handicapping previews should be available on the site soon.

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to Michel de Botton for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.

Rick M's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

This week's HandiGambling exercise will be Friday's eighth race from Oaklawn.


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

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 if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.


-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE 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 recognize you .

- (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.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-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 "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




Best of luck to all.

104 Beyer club.pdf820.71 KB
Copy of Formblog SA Downhill 1-31-14.xls69 KB
HGOP.pdf172.83 KB