05/29/2008 2:37PM

Catching up


Handicapper(s) of the Week:

Race 1
WORKING MAN BLUES has proven to be equally adept at running on turf or the main track. He seems to have his problems at the start, but runs for a team that is a moon shot 44% for the year.
Race 3
LEMONETTE is back home after her European tour through Britain and Germany. Certainly has the leg to get the distance and her first run in North America was a very nice second to Forest Melody in a $77K allowance.
Race 4

Kind of a strange race, imagine that an $8K claimer being weird… TRAFFIC UPDATE is coming back off of his year long layoff working like a crazy horse and is running for a new barn.
Race 3

Hey, our first stakes for the babies this year, and the first time they have been 5.5F. Always dicey to try and predict who can win off of 2F races. BACKBACKBACKGONE destroyed the field in his debut, winning by ten lengths in a 4.5F race! Can’t believe that 5.5 will be an issue, although I would have liked to see a work on the Hollywood surface.
Dr. Derango:  STAR NICHOLAS doesn’t look the part of a mad bomber, but this lightly raced five year old was voted “Most Likely to Improve”, or was that the “Best Buffet”, ack, too much time in casinos. If you smell a bridgejumper, then take a hard look at this one.
Dr. Derango:  CARMAN (8/1) needed seven tries to break his maiden, and then they moved him to turf where he is 2/2, one a sprint and one a route. Team is good for 35% with an ROI of $4.06. Also has the live work set, and may get lost in the shuffle odds wise.
Race 2

Los Alamitos is invading! WILBUR’S MR. ED changed barns and immediately changed course to the good. His last two races are very competitive at this level and distance. EXCESS TEMPTATIONS has been running well, but has run into Smart Hit and Common Trust (both Steve V. horses).
Race 4

MOSTACOLLI MORT is very dangerous at this level, and has run against some very good horses. He is a cut below the graded stakes world, but here he should be king.
Look out, here comes a pony from Mr. Headley who is absolutely scorching the track in his works. BLACK WOLF is a five year old maiden who ran once and then went on the shelf. But the works… CONCERTO’S THUNDER ran a killer race last out, finishing second to Usurp. If he runs like that again, it’s a done deal.
Race 6

TRIBAL JUSTICE looked very good in his last, finishing a solid second to Raingear. Sadler and Bejarano provide the back up. Has three fast works, which is unusual for Sadler.
Race 9
As much as I want to go with the old gelding, I think he will need a race. DAYTONA gets the lead and keeps the lead, hard to go against him. EVER A FRIEND has won two in a row against high level competition including a convincing Grade 1 win at this distance. HYPERBARIC has been the “wise guy” for a couple of races now, and almost caught the top one last out. His record at the distance is 3-2-1-0 against quality competition, and picks up Bejarano.
Race 10

The grand finale, the impossible maiden claimer… TURKISH VICTORY almost caught All Money No Love in his last; in fact his last three races were close up seconds. This is probably the ideal distance for him.
Steve T

As usual, Steve T. and Dr. Derango alerted us to some nice winners including Traffic Update, Carman ($22.60), Tribal Justice ($8.80), Turkish Victory ($8.00), Star Nicholas ($89.20!!!), several cold exactas, and the cold trifecta in the Shoemaker Mile.  Great stuff!!!

2-We know the 2 will be tough, but what else.  The 4 is an overlay on the ML at 12-1.
4-I really like the 1 here(and he was my contest selection)
8-I'm gonna go against the Dr. D here.  I like the 2 Lord at War damsire fillies:ANd that being the 5 n 6

Excellent selections!  Trevor's Clever paid $36.20 in the Alydar Stakes at Hollywood.  The 4-2 exacta with Madeo returned $37.20 for each dollar invested.  Traffic Update returned $15.20 in the fourth at Hollywood.  Queen of the Castle paid $8.00 in the eighth.

I also used those four in the late Pick 4.  The first leg just finished and I had to sweat out my single (Colonial Kid) who held on over bad trip Les Antiques.  I have the 2,4,5 in race 9, the 1A,2,3,4 in race 10 and the 6,7,8,10,11 in race 11.

Lenny successfully completed his Pick 4 to the tune of $826.

Horse Alert!!
Monastic Springs (Sadler's Wells out of Ipe Tombe) makes his debut in Race 7 at Belmont!

Monastic Springs paid $27.80 despite the sparkling pedigree.  Great find!

Arlington race 8
Meal Penalty

Meal Penalty rode a strong pace advantage to a gate-to-wire score.  He paid $16.60 to win.

met mile--divine park/all/1,2,5--trifetca
matt smith

Louisville: (1) Lattice

For today, look out for Tranduction Gold on the front end in The Louisville. He looks to be the only "real" speed and can lite it up at over 15/1 by post time.

Louisville Handicap --
LATTICE is the way to go here. I've followed this horse closely since he broke his maiden. You know when you find a horse that has that competitive spirit? The kind that always fight back, and seem to thrive from a challenge? He is a great example. I made the biggest win bet of my life on him in the American Derby at AP last year (paid $9.60). After the winter off, A. Stall has been cautious in bringing him back. Two big fields, a small stake and an alw at KEE. He's outrun his three yr-old numbers, without getting a victory. That is what I want to see, plus his odds will be helped because of not winning.
He should get the distance (DI = 1.80   CD = 0.50 ), and this is a sub-par graded field.
Best Bet Today:

CD 9th
This turf sprint OC/Alw is chalk full of hard trying geldings and one horse. I personally saw one of these entrants last year at Del Mar. That would be INDIAN ASHTON. He swept into town from Florida for the Wesley Ward and simply put a stamp on himself as a force in this minor division. After losing by a nose to Ballistic Heat in a race he should've won, he went ahead and won two straight against older (including Monterrey Jazz) in the easiest of fashions.
Without a doubt Ward decided to hit the brakes on this well-bred gelding (Tribal Rule out of a Bertrando mare-105k 2yr purchase). Possibly the announcement of a new BC Turf Sprint race helped him decide to focus with all his skill on preparing this horse to peak late in '08. After starting the year in April at BM, and a tough loss to Bonfante, he shipped to CD for the Aegeon Turf Sprint. He tried to give a shot to a No. Cal. rider, but that have played a part in the terrible break in that race. After breaking desperately last, he shoul've had no shot. But, he battled gamely to challenge down the lane, and predictably ran out of gas. So, now he places him in an Alw, w/ an excellent turf jock (E. Trujillo) who has just happened to have won with 21 of 64 starters for Ward since the start of '07. Just like Lattice yesterday, this new 4 year-old has topped his 3 year-old numbers already without winning a race. A perfect sign of a top effort on the way, and possibly at playable odds.

Lattice handled the added distance without much fuss.  He paid $7.40 to win.  Transduction Gold ran a big, big race at big, big odds.  He paid $23.80 to place after setting the pace.  Calibob's best bet won on Sunday.  mattsmith's trifecta in the Metropolitan Handicap returned $115.50.

Selections-Saturday, May 24th
Arlington Park
Race 1
7 Thousandkissesdeep
2 Starlet Sky
Race 3
6 Rotary
Race 10
7 Budda pass
Race 9
Buddy's Humor
Race6 #1 Ballroom Queen
Race8 #5 Indescribable

chicago gerry

chicago gerry picked several live horses this weekend including Ballroom Queen ($16.60), Buddy's Humor ($8.80) at Monmouth, and the cold exacta ($22.40) in the opener at Arlington.

4th-4-VICTORIANA goes from an Allowance win at Keeneland to a 50K stake at Arlington, BUT THE ALLOWANCE HAD A BIGGER PURSE! One of 2 with "outstanding" polysire (other is 1-Featherbed) and at 6/1 may offer value (Throwing the Pletcher chalk out, boxing 1/4/6 in the exacta, and trying to catch a bit of a price in a 6 horse race)
Stephen Taylor

Victorianna paid $8.80 to win at Arlington, and the exacta with the #1 returned $35.80. 

Berkeley (Golden Gate)- hardknocking MCCANN'S MOJAVE gets the nod here. He likes GG's Tapeta track and should sit right behind the pace of
Our Partner and Desert Code.
Met Mile-When Commentaor gets challenged up front he gets beat. Today promises plenty of company up front. Kiss the Kid, First Defence and Divine Park all promise to keep big C company. I think all but DIVINE PARK will crumble under the pace.
Honor the Hero Turf Express (Canterbury)- A bit off the beaten path but my turf sprint "crush" runs here in LOOKINFORTHESECRET. Should win easily. Look for this horse in the BC Turf Sprint later in the year.

The MtropltH G-1, I really feel #4 Divine Park is the winner here. McLaughlin is just a favorite trainer of mine. Riley, don't take offense to that as your dad is very high on my trainer list as well.

Classy veteran McCann's Mojave took the Berkeley at $8.20.  Divine Park took advantage of the hot pace to win the Met at $6.50.  Lookinforthesecret scored as the chalk at Canterbury.

Met Mile (Monday 5/26/08, Belmont Park, Race 10) --> 1. Divine Park 2. Commentator

Divine Park ran down a game Commentator for PGM's cold exacta.

Shoemaker Mile
Daytona looks sharp for Hendricks, and should control things up front.
Prescious Kitten

Daytona pressed and pounced to victory in the Shoemaker.  Precious Kitten got the jump on the closers in the Gamely.

10th Race
7-Buddha Pass

Buddha Pass got it done in the tenth at Arlington on Saturday.

Also like Value Stream @ Bel R4.
Steve V

Value Stream scored at Belmont on Sunday.

Looking for Frankel to score today with Giant Gizmo.

Giant Gizmo continues to improve for Frankel, and he looked good at Lone Star.

Race 5: Military Major looks strong as the chalk for Levine/Bravo in this $16K claimer. Levine winning at a mere 50% so far this meet. Blackfeet looked horrible in last two, but has the back class to surprise these for Seewald. Whoopi Again has the speed to kick clear early. Throw in Cool Cat Interview for the hell of it.
James Mc.

Military Major scored for Levine and Bravo, and was claimed by John Rigattieri. 


Play Woodbine a bit and noticed a horse running in the 2nd out of Patrol. Owner is Ramon Dominguez trained by Sandra Dominguez. Didn't Ramon Dominguez used to ride Patrol occasionally. Don't remember ever seeing a jockey as an owner.

It's a different Ramon Dominguez than the rider.  Ramon Dominguez, the jockey, rode Patrol once - to a win in the Nick Shuk Memorial at Delaware on July 1, 2002 at Delaware.


Anyone have any information on Trainer, David Prine. He put over Halation in Belmont's 5th on Sat. Paid $146 for the win, did catch the show price. Can't ignore Samyn-on-the-green! Anyway, just wanted to know if he has come from a top barn or was the understudy to a top trainer. We need to be ready, he might put one over at the Spa.

Please read this excellent piece on David Prine from the NYRA website:



Hi Dan-
Could you tell me what Alonso Quinonez's ROI in CA is?  Seems like he wins with an unusually high number of bombs. 

You're right about Quinonez booting home price horses.  Here are his lifetime statistics in California:

Bay Meadows:  1 start, 0 wins, 0 seconds, 0 thirds, $0.00 ROI
Del Mar:  157 starts, 18 wins, 11 seconds, 18 thirds, $3.19 ROI
Fairplex - 61 starts, 10 wins, 8 seconds, 10 thirds, $1.68 ROI
Hollywood Spring 2008 - 52 starts, 9 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds, $5.37 ROI
Hollywood Fall 2007 - 105 starts, 14 wins, 10 seconds, 11 thirds, $2.60 ROI
Hollywood Spring 2007 - 12 starts, 1 win, 1 second, 1 third, $3.35 ROI
Santa Anita Winter 2007 - 244 starts, 23 wins, 23 seconds, 31 thirds, $2.00 ROI
Oak Tree 2007 - 95 starts, 8 wins, 8 seconds, 10 thirds, $1.97 ROI


Speaking of Storm Flag Flying's two year old- what ever happened to all of the good mares of '02-'04, Sightseek, Stellar Jayne, Bird Town, Ashado and Azeri?  Have they produced anyone to watch for this summer and fall?
It might be soon but I will also be looking out for foals out of Megahertz, Moscow Burning, Filmmaker, Happy Ticket and Fleet Indian.

2006:  Striking Example, illy by Empire Maker
2007:  colt by Giant's Causeway (died)
2008:  colt by A.P. Indy

Stellar Jayne was bred to Storm Cat this year.

Bird Town
2005:  colt by Empire Maker (died)
2006:  Elusive Bird, filly by Elusive Quality
2007:  colt by Ghostzapper
2008:  colt by Bernardini

2007:  colt by Storm Cat
2008:  bred to Storm Cat

2006:  barren (bred to Storm Cat)
2007:  colt by A.P. Indy
2008:  filly by Giant's Causeway

2007:  Causeithertz, colt by Giant's Causeway
2008:  filly by Bernardini

Film Maker:
2008:  colt by Storm Cat

Happy Ticket:
2008:  colt by Distorted Humor

Fleet Indian:
2008:  Storm 'n Indian, colt by Storm Cat

The Sightseek and Bird Town foals may run this year.


i am a big doug o'neill fan... and his 2 year old filly yesterday looked the real deal... could you get me the beyer for her on that race.. and alsohis other good looking 2 year old who broke his maiden in style "azul leon"?
Joe Peterson

Trifecta King received a 79 in the Cinderella Stakes.  Azul Leon earned a 69 Beyer for his debut win.


Hey Dan.  Love the blog.  Any chance for a BSF for Theregoesjojo who debuted for Ken Mcpeek in Monday's 7th at Churchill.  I thought it was a very impressive debut for this 2 year old.  Thanks.

Theregoesjojo received a 75 Beyer Speed Figure.


Do you have Wasserman's Buyer in the FSN Handicap at Emd on Sunday?

Wasserman received a 98 Beyer.


Since Divine Park got a 109, can you give us the Beyer for Manteca's win in the third?
James Mc.

Manteca received a career-high 88.


I've noticed a 3 year old colt named Propensity has worked twice with Hostess at Saratoga.  5/8 they worked 5f in 1:05.68 , and 5/16 they worked 4f in 50.47.  Propensity has not shown much in 4 starts on the turf so far.  Would you consider this a horse who is about to improve dramatically next out?  Or could it be a case of they just wanted a slow horse to have a slow breeze with Hostess.

Propensity, a colt by Victory Gallop, is 0-3 on the dirt, but has run against some good horses (Samba Rooster, Wesley, etc.), and has been the victim of poor starts in all three of his races.  His dam is a half-sister to the good turf horses I Rejoice and Curtain Raiser.  I'm intrigued that Bond is working him in company with Hostess, and it may show his intent to run Propensity on the grass in the near future.  Give him a long look at what should be a big price.

For whatever reason, I would agree that FD was not up on Commentator through the early part of that race, and was not "pushing" Commentator or engaged in an early speed duel, regardless of how many times the turf press mischaracterises it as so. Was he unable to match stride with that one, or simply rating 1-3 lengths behind? I do not know, perhaps Commentator was the faster horse Monday. However, FD has run faster fractions prior to that race, and whether he could not or would not press early is kind of beside the point I was making. Namely, if he would not or could not press early, FD should have waited like any other horse stalking the pace and move with 2 furlongs remaining if the leader was not coming back...Instead the horse is asked for his run and moved to the outside a full 3 furlongs before the finish. Makes no sense to challenge the leader this early in the race. He was still close enough that Commentator was not going anywhere, but far enough off the lead that once FD was asked for his run he would expend much energy to simply catch up to Commentator. Why not wait until the quarter pole and see if the horse is not tiring and coming back to your horse?The energy wasted to mount a charge before the stretch was wasted energy. Bad decision. And this all played into the hands of the very capable Divine Park, who simply inherited the lead with under a furlong to go as Commentator fought gamely but simply had nothing left for the final half furlong.

FD stuck his nose in front of Commentator well before the quarter mile pole. How on earth could either FD, or Commentator, look like the winner at that point-with more than a quarter of a mile left and the entire stretch? Over 2 furlongs is a long time in a mile race.

Couldn't disagree with you more about the Met Mile.  Castellano knows how to read the form.  He wasn't going to outsprint Commentator for the early lead, and the goal was to sit second and pounce on the turn.  If he guns from the gate, he's going to be cooked (Commentator isn't rating for anybody), and loses all chance.  So Castellano breaks beautifully from the gate, extricates himself from a tight spot on the rail to press outside, and never lets Commentator out of his sights while not getting caught up in a duel.  He's never more than a length off the lead, and the horse cruises up on his own power to confront Commentator.  What's Castellano to do?  He has only one true closer to outfinish (Divine Park), and a speed horse in front of him that usually spits it when challenged.  The goal is to put away the speed, and open up on the closer (i.e. utilize the tactical advantage his mount's speed affords him).  Why wait for the closer to catch up, and thus turn the race into a two furlong sprint on even terms?  Why wait and allow Commentator a breather along with a chance to get brave?  What happened to "let the horse run?"  The bottom line is that First Defence was terrible on Monday.  Not only did he go from 60 to 0 (First Defence is under a hand ride turning for home, and looks like he's going to blow by Commentator) when looked in the eye by Commentator, but he couldn't outfinish the 80-1 Council Member for fourth!  The stretch collapse was so drastic that you have to wonder if the horse bled or injured himself.  Or, he hung like a chandelier.


dan- Could you post Thor's Daughters beyer from the Ohio Valley Handicap on Tuesday at Mountaineer. Thanks.

Thor's Daughter earned an 81 Beyer.


Does anyone have current par times at Hollywood Park or where I can get them without researching all the races?

Handicappers looking for Beyer pars can subscribe to "Simulcast Daily" on the drf.com site.


PS Dan while I'm on a roll perhaps you can post the pps of an old time 1/9 east coast disaster - Lakeway...i remember her loss at Saratoga and made a habit out of tossing the west coasters back in the day :)

Download Lakeway.pdf


Back tomorrow with some stakes opinions, first-crop sire analysis, and more.

Take care,