04/17/2014 9:54AM

Cat Burglar Creeping Upward

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It's onward and upward for CAT BURGLAR after the 4-year-old polished off a stakes-caliber group of milers at Santa Anita last Sunday.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Cat Burglar was sent away the 8-5 favorite in the seven-horse, 'n2x' optional claimer and he settled in behind the leaders while saving ground under Martin Garcia. Cat Burglar continued to cruise in the pocket until early on the final turn. At that juncture, Garcia eased Cat Burglar out to split rivals three wide. Cat Burglar altered course back inside, shot through an inviting opening along the rail and drew clear in the stretch to prevail by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:36.17.

Cat Burglar received a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort. In his wake were Grade 3 winner Govenor Charlie, Grade 3-placed Oilisblackgold, Big Kick, stakes-winner Omega Star, Empty Headed, and seven-time stakes-winner All Saint.

Bred by Gulf Coast Farms, Cat Burglar was foaled in Kentucky on February 28, 2010. His sire, Unbridled’s Song, is best known for winning two Grade 1 routes (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at two, Florida Derby at three). He also sprinted successfully with a debut win going six furlongs at Saratoga and a 118-Beyer score in the seven-furlong Olympic Handicap at Gulfstream.

Cat Burglar is out of the unraced Be My Prospect (by Forest Wildcat), a half-sister to stakes-winning sprinter Away (the dam of Grade 2 winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up Eight Belles) and stakes-winning turf performer Rich Find. Another of Be My Prospect's half-brothers, Fiddler's Find, was stakes-placed sprinting at two.

The unraced second dam (by Mr. Prospector) is a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 sprint winner Belong to Me.  The fourth dam, Straight Deal (by Hail to Reason), won 13 stakes races, and was named champion older mare in 1967.

Cat Burglar was purchased by Coolmore as a $410,000 weanling and made his first four starts for that juggernaut. After finishing fifth behind eventual Grade 2 winner Wild Dude in his belated career debut over the Del Mar polytrack on August 24, 2013, Cat Burglar graduated second-out in a maiden special weight contested at 1 1/16 miles on dirt at Santa Anita. 

That race produced two next-out winners and Cat Burglar then finished second in another key race (Wild Dude returned to grab three in a row including the Palos Verdes) when turned back to seven furlongs on November 1. Many handicappers believed that the Santa Anita strip was intensely speed-favoring that afternoon and Cat Burglar had to rally from seventh behind longshot gate-to-wire winner Heir of Storm.

In his 4-year-old debut, an entry-level optional claimer at one mile, Cat Burglar chased razor-sharp Appealing Tale around the track over an intensely speed-biased Santa Anita surface. Appealing Tale returned to nab an 'n2x' with a 103 Beyer before finishing second (106 Beyer) in the $78,000 Santana Mile Stakes.

Cat Burglar was transferred to new owner Michael Lund Petersen for his next start, a 90-Beyer score in an 'n1x' optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles on February 2. That was his most recent outing before last Sunday's big win.

Cat Burglar owns excellent tactical speed and seems like a solid middle-distance sort. Baffert has handled him with kid gloves until now as he's kept him out of stakes company, but it appears as if Cat Burglar is heading in that direction in the near future and is one to watch.

*Conversely, MICO MARGARITA might be one to bet against next time if he catches a salty stakes group. Sure, the 4-year-old was good enough to win the Grade 3 Carry Back Stakes last year at Calder prior to finishing second in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga, but he couldn't have received a better setup than the one handed to him last Saturday at Evangeline. Dropping in class following three losses at Oaklawn this winter, Mico Margarita was the 3-5 betting choice in the $60,000 Oak Hall Stakes.

Three horses were sent hard to the lead and battled through an opening quarter of 21.56. Meanwhile, Mico Margarita bided his time under Diego Saenz and waited for the pace to fall apart.  It did after a half-mile in 44.23 and Mico Margarita glided home to win by 8 3/4 lengths in track record time of 1:08.37. He received a 104 Beyer, a number that is sure to attract plenty of money next time.

I'm not sure Mico Margarita is really that kind of horse.

***

Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (4/7/14 - 4/13/14):

1. MOONSHINE MULLIN - 108 - OC 50k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
2. MICO MARGARITA - 104 - Oak Hall Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Evangeline
3. CAT BURGLAR - 103 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
3. WILL TAKE CHARGE - 103 - Oaklawn Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Oaklawn
5. DANZA - 102 - Arkansas Derby (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Oaklawn
5. ISN'T HE CLEVER - 102 - Sunland Park Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Sunland
7. BIG MACHER - 101 - Potrero Grande Stakes (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
8. CLOSE HATCHES - 100 - Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
8. WISE DAN - 100 - Maker's 46 Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Keeneland
10. GUAM TYPHOON - 99 - OC 32k/N2X - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Tampa Bay
10. LEMON DROP DREAM - 99 - Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
12. EXCAPER - 98 - Alw 65585C - 1 Mile (Turf) - Keeneland
13. BROADWAY EMPIRE - 97 - OC 30k/C -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Turf Paradise
13. DANCE WITH FATE - 97 - Blue Grass Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
13. FULL DANCER - 97 -  OC17k/SAL6k - 1 Mile - Oaklawn
13. MARCHMAN - 97 - Shakertown Stakes (G3) - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Keeneland
13. NORTHERN HAMMER - 97 - Alw 25000s - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
13. OCCASIONAL VIEW - 97 - Commonwealth Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
19. CARRIED INTEREST - 96 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Aqueduct
19. IVAN FALLUNOVALOT - 96 - OC 50k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
19. JUDY THE BEAUTY - 96 - Madison Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
19. SWEET SWAP - 96 - San Simeon Stakes (G3) - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
23. FRANCOIS - 95 - OC 75k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Hawthorne
23. HARD NOT TO LIKE - 95 - Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
25. SIR APPLESOLUTELY - 94 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland

Moonshine Mullin's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

*Just want to thank everyone for sticking with me as I begin to blog more often. The links to the previous blogs (and blog comments) are listed below.

http://www.drf.com/blogs/3-year-old-filly-sprinter-watch

http://www.drf.com/blogs/tale-two-wins

http://www.drf.com/blogs/beatable-favorites

http://www.drf.com/blogs/baker-cooks-calder

http://www.drf.com/blogs/keeneland-baby

http://www.drf.com/blogs/derby-prep-thoughts

http://www.drf.com/blogs/fishing-opinions

http://www.drf.com/blogs/keeneland-its-spring-again

http://www.drf.com/blogs/sprinter-rise

***

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman

***

Congrats to Jack_Straw21 for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

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

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Let's go with Saturday's Lexington Stakes at Keeneland for this week's HandiGambling event.

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

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.

HANDIGAMBLING:

-  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!

Harpo
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A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED !
 
REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE; PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).

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MoonshineMullin.pdf727.91 KB
Copy of Formblog Blue Grass 4-12-14.xls72 KB
HGLEXINGTON.pdf166.61 KB