05/13/2008 10:31PM

'Cappers, Workout Analysis, Unbridled Heart, etc.


Handicapper(s) of the Week:

Bold RlrH G-3, Going to play alitte value in this one. W/P, #1 Man of Danger 6/1ML.
MOD won his only other race over the Belmont surface. Levine is 28% off a lay off.
Will add Man of Danger with #3 Lucky Island, and #4 Forefathers in a Tri/Box. 

Nice triple box for johnnyz.  It returned $287.00 for each two dollars wagered.  Excellent play!

4-Best and best value 8-,
9-the 3
4-Best Value 5,
7-Best Value-2

larry k, wow!  Held Up certainly was the best value at $52.60.  Tremendous!  Street Boss won the ninth as well.  Dee Rain paid $42.40 in the fourth at Hollywood on Sunday.  Towzee paid $7.60 in the seventh.

Race 2
CROWN OF DIAMONDS was well on her way to becoming a very nice filly when she ended up on the bench. Her first run back was a very nice place to Silent Kitten in a very rough race. Second time off layoff should be good enough.
Dr. Derango:  Could be a good move, changing HELD UP to sprints, trainer stats support at 23%. Last couple of works have been outstanding, could be an easy winner at big odds.
Tough, tough race to handicap. STREET BOSS is definitely on his way up and is running in his first graded stakes. Last out 106 was on cruise control.
Another mediocre race with some potential bright spots. HINT OF LAVENDAR had a very nice first time start in a MOC 30 at Turf Paradise followed up by a disastrous break in his second start. Like Tyler Baze aboard, seems like he will be a good fit for this horse. With a decent break she should be right there.
Interesting MSW race with a good selection of first time starters. EL LEGADO has been erratic but always puts forth an effort. Gets Bejarano and has some good works.
TOWZEE has three straight 90+ runs in turf sprints, just missing each time (including two runs from the 1 post in downhills – the kiss of death). With his consistency and this field, it should be time for a break out.
Dr. Derango:  Lots of good fillies here, and I am going with the second time starter MILLION DOLLAR RUN (30/1) who was caught at the bitter end by Bella Roja. Rosario should provide a little more run for her and a significant improvement is certainly not out of the question.
Steve T

Los Angeles H - Street Boss will get a chance to take on stakes competition and has been even more impressive than the pp's show.  Time to show who's the boss of this street.

Steve T. and his alter ego, Dr. Derango had another very, very productive weekend.  Crown of Diamonds paid $6.20 in the second on Wedenesday, and Held Up returned a whopping $52.60.  Street Boss won the Los Angeles at $4.80.  El Legado paid $13.00, Towzee paid $7.60, and Million Dollar Run returned $31.40 on Sunday.  I think we should all take up an alter-ego as a way of handicapping the races.  Seriously.  Sometimes, we can get stuck in our ways when looking at a race or series of races.  Coming up with a "wacky" uncle, or whatever, can allow you to think outside of the box in the search for different angles, or ways to analyze a race.  As Steve T. and the good Dr. have consistently taught us over the last few weeks, it's a strategy that pays off. 

Bold Ruler - Lucky Island

The addition of Lasix has really moved Lucky Island forward.  He paid $9.20 while earning "Big Beyer" honors over the weekend.

Lone Star Derby:
El Gato Malo is in a perfect spot against a weak field. The rider change is huge as Flores had some problems with him the last two races. If he runs back to his San Rafael, he dances in this race.

Go East, young horse!  That's where the money has been for many of the synthetic Southern California runners when they ship out of town. 

vicstu also had El Gato Malo on top as well as Street Boss and some other nice selections.

Senorita: Sweeter Still

Sweeter Still is a very consistent filly on the grass, and she survived an objection to score at $5.00.


In addition to Sedonia's post, would also appreciate an update on the condition of the filly, Miss Cozy Cat, who broke down and fell in that 6th race at HP.
She wasn't famous like Eight Belles. Just a maiden with 5 starts, two seconds and a third, but she deserves to be acknowledged.

Miss Cozy Cat was euthanized on the track after breaking down during the sixth race. 


There have been some decent races run in Europe over the last 2 weeks. Check out Zarkava in the French 1000- she displayed a few different gears to get up for the win. Also, Pascal Bary's Natagora took the English 1000. Bary always seems to be dangerous with those filly milers. He sometimes shows up (and wins) in the Breeders Cup Mile with them. This one was super-game, but time will tell how she pans out this season. Henrythenavigator and New Approach had a pretty entertaining stretch duel in the 2000 as well.

Here is Zarkava's French 1000 Guineas score:


Natagora's English 1000 Guineas win:


Henrythenavigator prevails in the 2000 Guineas:



Dan -- Have you ever given thought to posting the lifetime PPs for the stakes winner with the lowest Beyer each week? I think it would be a nod to some of the hard-knocking types who earned a big win. Hey, a trip to the winner's circle is a trip to the winner's circle.

Why not?  We'll give it a try next week.


On the DRF Preakness website, they have an Pedigree Profile on Big Brown, but there aren't any other Pedigree Profiles for the other Preakness contenders (...and they used Lauren Stich's Derby profile for Big Brown!)  Has DRF decided not to do Pedigree Profiles on the other horses??

I haven't heard anything about it.  If they aren't put up soon, I could do a little write-up on the blog (although certainly without Lauren's style and panache) for the other contenders.  Heck, some of our posters give excellent pedigree analyses in their own right.  I'd love to hear what Laura, johnnyz, and others have to say about the Preakness bloodlines.


I've won my fair share of dough by ignoring speed figures and sheet numbers. I thought Big Brown beat nothing in the derby. A horse is measured by when their looked in the eye, ask Bernardini, and this horse has yet to be. Don't get me wrong he is a beautiful mover but Ky. Bear, Harlem Rocker and Casino Drive have impressed me as much as BB at one point or another. Tell me honestly what you think of BB, don't be afraid to trash what everyone seems to think is another Secretariat. Thanks!

Big Brown may have beat nothing in the Derby, but that's not his fault.  Dutrow puts him on the track, and he beats everything he sees.  It was the way he did it that got tongues wagging.  You're not supposed to be four wide all the way around the track, and still blow the race open at the quarter pole.  I'm not going to put him in Secretariat's category right now.  That's ridiculous.  Big Brown has only had a handful of races, and has yet to be truly challenged.  That being said, he's won his races like a very good horse.  I don't want to saddle him with words like "great."  For now, he's a very good horse with the potential for higher accolades down the road.


Just want to be the latest to congratulate owenized on the purchase of his juvenile filly, Storm Princess.


Let's talk about some of Steve T.'s interesting handicapping angles in tomorrow's blog as well as discussing record holders for wins, a mare named Freakin Streakin', lightly-raced horses in the Belmont, how to handicap multiple cards at once, and a look back at a past champion.

Take care,


Arazi More than 1 year ago
Now that Mr. Big B. is burried right in the middle for the Preakness, how do we feel about his chances? He has to clear the field...right? Or take the risk of tasting dirt or facing traffic problems for the first time in his carrier? I had hoped that it would happen in the Belmont but now I have the strong urge to go against him once again and make him work to eat my money. Although not exactly the type of field that could offer a serious challenge under ideal circumstances but this is not an ideal situation for Big B. So here we go again....digging for some longshot. Gamble time folks!
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Well, Steve T.-Arlington has a carryover in their early pick 4 today, so with the help of thePolysire list, here's what I came up with: 2nd-Rainbow's Secret is by Sea of Secrets, and as an added bonus, will be the controlling speed, with 1-Kanskat (prime power top and gets Douglass plus a huge class drop) Note that to keep my ticket under $50 I didn't use Memories of Nellie who is by Evansville Slew but seems to be going downhill formwise 3rd-no horses from outstanding sires, so I used 1A-Joust who is by Sandpit and who seemed to enjoy Arlington last season, and 4-Bad Bet-prime power horse who is taking a HUGE class drop. 4th-1 Miss Manipulator who is by Cat Thief and won 2 of 3 at Arlington last year, along with 5-Boudoir, by Muttkadim, 2 wins and a 2nd in 4 starts at Arlington last season. The 5th is where it gets "tricky". 2-Officer Philly is by Officer, and at 8/1 ML could offer a little value. 4-Wrong Soup did nothing impressive at Hawthorne but is by Alphabet Soup, 5-Alpha Tammy was last seen at Oaklawn facing better, and gets Douglass, and 8-Hot Impact, a Ronny Werner firster by Richter Scale. ticket: 1,2 w 1,4 w 1,5,6 w 2,4,5,8
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
C, Very nice post! I completely agree! Additionally, how long will it take people that buy breeding stock (stallions and mares) and then the progeny of such breeding stock to take a close look as to the legitimacy of racing accomplishments when considering the trainers involved? Hopefully it's only a matter of time before the buyers get savvy to this issue and we see a market correction away from horses whose resumes have been inflated by steroids, EPO, growth hormones, etc.... Outside of Federal involvement with stiff medication enforcement, a more educated buyer of bloodstock might put the necessary market forces into play that finally move the tail (breeders) that wags racing...
owenized More than 1 year ago
I just want to say thanks again to all the formbloggers who congratulated me on the Derby Dreaming win. The ribs from Johnnyz just arrived along with his secret sauces. Can you say bbq?!?! Thanks JZ! You guys are the best. Dan,Laura,and everyone else: Thanks for your kind words about Storm Princess. She is now confirmed to breeze for the first time this Friday on Calder's main oval. She has acted very professional during her gate schooling, and is doing everything the right way. She also looks to be a real athlete. I will report back on her progress. I never tout horses, but suggest you put her on your watch lists because I expect her to be "live" first-time out. We will likely ship her north for her MSW, because of the Calder purse problems. Alan, I have not checked yet with the Breeze Figs boys on SP, but I will do soon and report back. Thanks again to everyone. Owenized (SteveO)
Calvin Carter More than 1 year ago
Steve T., I agree that horse racing needs to get its act together and put someone in charge to regulate the industry or, eventually, Uncle Sam will get involved. P.S. - When you go back in time in your time machine to the era of War Admiral, Count Fleet and Citation, will you take me with you? I'm sure that you've seen these statistics, but for the benefit of some of the other FormBloggers here's a glimpse of horse racing in its golden era: The great Triple Crown winner Citation was 14-2-0 in 16 starts going into the 1948 Kentucky Derby. Citation broke his maiden on April 27, 1947 to win a 4 ½ furlong maiden special weight by ½ length. Citation was brought back 5 days later (the same day of the 1947 Kentucky Derby) to score the second win of his career by 3 ½ lengths in a $3,500 allowance race at Pimlico race track on May 3rd 1947. Citation raced the 3rd race of his career on May 21st. Citation was given the month of June off but he raced twice in July on the 24th and 30th. Citation raced once in August, September, October, and November. Citation was given December and January off but raced 4 times in Febuary on the 2nd, 11th, 18th, and 28th. Citation was given the month of March off but came back to race 3 times in April on the 12th, 17th and finally on the 27th - just five days before the May 1st Kentucky Derby - which Citation won by 3 ½ lengths in the slop. Those were the days when horses were battle tested and the trainers knew they had a fit horse going into the toughest race of their career – the Kentucky Derby. And unless some drastic changes occur to the current trend of trainers bringing lightly raced horses into the Kentucky, we’ll never see another: 1. Man o’ War 2. Secretariat 3. Citation 4. Kelso 5. Count Fleet 6. Dr. Fager 7. Native Dancer 8. Forego 9. Seattle Slew 10. Spectacular Bid The previous listed horses are the top ten horses of the 20th Century selected by staff of the Blood-Horse magazine and they are also listed in The American Racing Manual, published by the Daily Racing Form.
Steve V. More than 1 year ago
Early selections for Bel (5-14-08) R1- 5 Reyana's Jet(looks like she should get a setup similar to 2 back) R2- 4 Cool Tales over 1,2, and 6. R3- 2 Ready's Image, 1 True Quality (ex. box all day long) R4- 9, 10/ 11. (Dee Mo, Exonerated- A's/ Patti Tiff-B) R5- 1/6,8/2. (Hot Like Sand-A/ Salty Karakoroum, Trippi Dance-B/ Precisely Greg-C)
Alan More than 1 year ago
Before I head out, I had forgotten to mention an FYI to the Blog. PIM's P3&P4 takeout is only 14% which is a great deal! In comparison, SoCal P3/P4 takeout is 20+% and NYRA is 25%. The Fri/Sat PIM racecards may be good opportunities to try to take advantage of these lower takeout wagers.
Steve T More than 1 year ago
Dan, My use of the good Doctor came about because I found that when I was posting my picks I was avoiding long shots that I liked. I generally spend about four hours handicapping a card - in my mind if I am going to post it, it had better be the best I can do. So I had to have a way to give out longshots where everyone knows what they were getting in to. If you play a Dr. Derango pick you know it is going to be high odds and is a crap shoot. Do I handicap differently as Dr. Derango? Absolutely. I pay less attention to the cut and dried stats and look for something obscure that gives me a clue to identify the unexpected - sometimes a change in race distance and jockey (Held Up), sometimes first time starters by certain sires (Decarchy's), sometimes surface changes (Unusual Heats), a maiden or N1X with fast works or a deceptively strong first run (Million Dollar Run). The point is that my alter ego picks without the fear of being wrong! The combination of the two styles yields some pretty nice results - even if they don't win. I think my best pick on Sunday was Beulah Land, who at first glance had absolutely nothing to offer, but when you dug deeper... Beulah Land finished third at 61/1 and if there had been a difference in the way the jock ran the race, could easily have won. Budha was another - coming off a long layoff but with some very nice works. He finished third by a length at 27/1. If you look at the first race on Sunday Uncle Steve had picked Almacita, Applaud Dubai and Cupid Kitty, the Doctor took Beulah Land. Almacita won, Applaud Dubai was second, Cupid Kitty was fourth and the deranged pick finished third. By using this set I won the super ($432, not great but better than losing). My usual betting practice is a superfecta structured as 4/4/5/6 where the Uncle Steve picks and Dr. Derango picks are used in every slot, and then I add a runner in the third slot and then another runner in the fourth slot (so $108 for a dollar or $10.80 for a dime). Then I run a back up WPS bet (usually on the Dr's pick). The one thing I have learned in the last year is to stop second guessing myself - if they lose, they lose, don't wring your hands over the woulda, coulda, shoulda's. You just move on. The other change is that if I really like a big odds pick I play them hard, I mean if you're gonna get paid, then GET PAID. If you look at the overall picture, a couple of 25/1 shots per week will make you pink! Uncle Steve picks at about 20% per selection (or 60% for all three) - that is the winner is one of the three horses listed 60% of the time. Dr. Derango is at about 10%, but a $52 winner makes up for the lower percentage. I find that I am less streaky handicapping the card with the two different outlooks. Anyone who has followed the blog for any time knows that I was notorious for either being white hot or ice cold. This seems to have made me much more consistent. I am also much more suspicious of the favorite, and have become better at identifying "false favorites" - like the maiden with the 1:09/4 work, where I did include her, but knew there was no value there and hoped another would win (which happened). I also spend more time listening to others rather than trying to convince them that I am right - which accounted for two winners this weekend where I used Alan's and Larryk's picks at the bottom of my supers. Poaching? who cares, that's why we post our picks. If I see something from one of the bloggers where they are excited about a pick I threw out I go back and reassess them. Alan and I have such distinctly different styles that we tend to be complementary, which is why when we both pick the same longshot our stats are pretty good. When I see that we both arrived at the same conclusion via two different styles I will generally ratchet up my bets significantly.
johnnyz More than 1 year ago
I read Jay Hovdey's "High Time" article on DRF Plus tonight. The insidious job that HBO did really sucks! All at HBO should be made geldings with no anesthetics. I didn't see the show, nor could you pay me enought to watch it. Never the less, was one more dagger in horse racings heart! One thing good from Jay's article, was the Eight Belles Memorial Fund being established. I will fire a check tomorrow A.M. Here is a link where you can donate if you wish: http://www.thoroughbredcharities.org/ Dan, thanks for the You Tube Video of HenryTheNavigatior. I had watched that race, but your link was a much better view of the race. Hillbilly, Dan answered your question very well. Although I have to add my curiosity killed the cat response. First of all I have been one of the last to get on Big Brown's, train! I didn't use him on any tickets in the Fla. Derby, (dummy me), I only used BB on a handfull of exoctic tickets in the Derby, (even a dumber me)! Forget the Spd. Figs. on this horse. Just focus on what he has accomplished. 1, won from the #12 hole in the Fla. Derby. Won the Derby from the #20 hole, 4/5 wide the whole way, and have to add the 150k+ crowd and, all the hoop la didn't ruffle a feather. Big Brown has also handled an off track, was lights out on the grass, won on a sometimes funny GP surface, and won on the Indy 500 surface @ CD, Derby day. While all those allocades are deserved, what I see is a horse that we have no where near witnessed his best. He missed several training days earlier this year with his now famous quarter cracks, (which seem to be a thing of the past?). Everyone is all over Casino Drive after his win last weekend. Well BB has to get past this weekend to set up that epic battle first. Have to add that I'm with Steve T. that the three year olds are not that bad this year. No, they are not on par with the 07 group, but how many have been. Throw in the attic insulation tracks, and I really don't know how to rate this years three olds. Last thought, Casino Drive ran very well in the Peter Pan! Was a basket case in the paddock, and the gate. Doesn't bode well for him being in best form Belmont day, if in fact BB does win this weekend. Which BTW, I think he will easily if he gets a smooth trip, the Belmont will be a blast to watch. Best To All
C More than 1 year ago
Alan, Calvin, Thanks for those links earlier.