09/15/2016 2:11PM

Catching up

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*As many of you have noticed, the "BLOG" tab on the home page has been removed. You can find this blog every week (usually published on Wednesday and Thursday) at drf.com/blogs or by going to the "NEWS" tab and clicking on the "Blogs" link. 
 
Let's get to a question as well as a few random thoughts. 
 
*Hi Dan,
Haven't been here in a while... have a question perfectly suited for you:  what is your opinion on RNA's at sales? On one hand, it can be viewed as a negative because none of the buyers bid high enough... but on the other hand, the current connections, who know the horse best, are not willing to take just any price on their prospect, even if they could make a sizable profit...
-C  
 
I won't let an RNA automatically dissuade me from betting a horse, but I have found underlays in maiden races when the RNA price is woefully short compared to the pedigree/sire's stud fee/previous auction price (or RNA). 
 
Paz the Wine made her debut as the 2 to 1 favorite in the third race at Saratoga on August 25. Trained by Graham Motion, the NY-bred was purchased for $24,000 as a weanling, but was a $14,000 RNA as a yearling. Earlier in 2016, Paz the Wine sold for $45,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale. While she did sell "up" at two, that RNA sandwiched between the two auctions seemed like a red flag. Why was she considered an untouchable commodity in 2015? Paz the Wine finished fourth.
 
High Jingo ran in the sixth race at Saratoga on August 10. The Shackleford filly sold for $65,000 as an August yearling, but was listed as a $37,000 RNA less than two months later, and was a $35,000 RNA the following April. For some reason, she couldn't find a new home. High Jingo ran well, but dropped a four-horse photo, completing the superfecta as the 3 to 1 third choice. 
 
I also don't like horses that were RNA's at weanling/yearling auctions, but suddenly sell for hot amounts at 2-year-old in training sales. More often than not, the purchase wasn't due to conformation and pedigree, but because of an ultra-fast public workout (of the one- and two-furlong variety). Many times, these horses turn out to be nothing more than one-hit workout wonders.
 
I do tend to be more forgiving for filly RNA's, especially if they are consigned by noted breeders, as the connections might inflate the price based on broodmare potential as well as racing value.
 
Take Control might have been the most famous RNA as a son of A.P. Indy - Azeri that was listed as a $7,700,000 RNA at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling auction. The following year, the connections accepted $1,500,000. Take Control won his first two starts, the second following a 30-month layoff, before finishing fourth in the San Diego Handicap and tenth in the Awesome Again Stakes. He was later euthanized after breaking down during a workout. 
 
*Irst (pronounced by Larry Collmus as eye-are-ess-tee) looks like a promising 2-year-old for Todd Pletcher. An $85,000 yearling that resold for $180,000 in March, Irst has plenty of class and stamina in his pedigree. 
 
A son of first-crop stallion Union Rags (winner of the Belmont Stakes), Irst is out of a half-sister to graded/group stakes-winning routers Acoma, Festival of Light and Arch, and is a direct descendant of the great broodmare Courtly Dee. 

http://www.drf.com/news/link-courtly-dee-provides-class

 
Considering his route-oriented bloodlines, it wasn't very surprising that he was dismissed at 11 to 1 in a six-furlong dash at Saratoga on September 4. Ridden by Javier Castellano, who seemingly had his pick in the race between Irst and fellow Pletcher-trained firster Commandeering (the 5 to 2 post time favorite), Irst took some time to find his footing and he trailed going into the far turn. Showcasing some professionalism, he rallied along the rail turning into the stretch, split horses and was moving well late for second behind the gate-to-wire winner. Irst galloped out best and seems primed for a one-turn route race at Belmont in the coming weeks.  
 
 
*I really enjoy Japanese racing, but I don't like the idea of a "series" of two relatively unimportant one-mile races determining an automatic berth into the Kentucky Derby.

http://www.drf.com/news/japanese-races-award-one-kentucky-derby-berth

It seems like a slap in the face to American breeders and owners that spend copious amounts of money in search of a Derby starter. 

 
With the UAE Derby winner perhaps rewarding a Japanese/Dubai-based/European entrant, and this series awarding a berth to a Japanese starter, there is a possibility that there will be only 18 spots for American-based horses...for America's biggest race. As Mr. Hegarty's article notes, Churchill Downs Inc. is looking to get a foothold in a potentially lucrative gambling market. Their bottom line shouldn't come at the expense of stateside horsemen, however.
 
Of course, some horseplayers will now scour the Japanese 2-year-olds in search of a possible Derby Future wager. This one landed on Epicharis, a nine-furlong debut winner at Niigata on August 14? A half-brother to a multiple group-winning turf runner, Epicharis is by dirt-loving Gold Allure. In his debut, he went right to the front, rated kindly on the lead, and was never in any danger late. 
 
 
*Mike Beer and I will be on for free and fun live handicapping analysis at 4:00 ET on Saturday. You can find us at live.drf.com. This week, we'll cover Belmont, Woodbine, Churchill, Los Alamitos and more.
 
*You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.
 
*Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 8/31/16 - 9/6/16
 
1. SHAMAN GHOST - 106 - Woodward Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 3Sep16-10SAR
2. RING WEEKEND - 103 - Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 5Sep16-9SAR
3. WONDER GAL - 100 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 2Sep16-7SAR
4. POWER JAM - 99 - Pirate's Bounty Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 5Sep16-3DMR
5. FREE ROSE - 98 - Del Mar Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 4Sep16-8DMR
6. DISTINCTIVE B - 97 - Clm 40000(40-35) - 6 Furlongs - 1Sep16-2DMR
6. HOT SEAT - 97 - Md Sp Wt 51k - 6 Furlongs - 6Sep16-3PRX
6. LADY SHIPMAN - 97 - Turf Amazon Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 5Sep16-6PRX
6. ROYAL POSSE - 97 - Evan Shipman Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - 2Sep16-9SAR
6. SUFFUSED (GB) - 97 - Glens Falls Stakes (G3) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 3Sep16-11SAR
11. ANGRY MOON - 96 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 4Sep16-9SAR
12. A FLEET ATTITUDE - 95 - Banjo Picker Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 3Sep16-5PRX
12. AWESOME SLEW - 95 - Smarty Jones Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 5Sep16-9PRX
12. CATHRYN SOPHIA - 95 - Princess of Sylmar Stakes - 1 Mile - 3Sep16-8PRX
12. HOLY LUTE - 95 - OC 75k/C -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 31Aug16-6DMR
12. KOBEL - 95 - Roanoke Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 3Sep16-9PRX
12. LUCY N ETHEL - 95 - Prioress Stakes (G2) - 6 Furlongs - 4Sep16-11SAR
12. MELMICH - 95 - Elgin Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - 31Aug16-3WO 
12. SCUBA - 95 - Greenwood Cup (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles - 5Sep16-7PRX
12. SILVER RIDE - 95 - Alw 85000N1X - 7 Furlongs - 3Sep16-8SAR
12. SUCCESSFUL NATIVE - 95 - Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 3Sep16-9KD 
22. AVENGE - 94 - John C. Mabee Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 4Sep16-6DMR
22. INSPECTOR LYNLEY - 94 - Saranac Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 3Sep16-5SAR
22. IVAN FALLUNOVALOT - 94 - Alw 40000NC - 6 Furlongs - 1Sep16-8RP 
22. JACKS ESCARPMENT - 94 - Kenora Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 31Aug16-4WO 
22. KLIMT - 94 - Del Mar Futurity (G1) - 7 Furlongs - 5Sep16-5DMR
22. LONG HOT SUMMER - 94 - OC 100k/C -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 2Sep16-7DMR
22. NONNA'S BOY - 94 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 3Sep16-6SAR
22. SEA COAST (IRE) - 94 - Steve Pini Memorial Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 3Sep16-10SUF
22. SECRET SOMEONE - 94 - Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 3Sep16-7KD 
22. STREET FASHION - 94 - OC 62k/C -N - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 4Sep16-3SAR
 
SHAMAN GHOST's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 
 
*Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 9/7/16 - 9/13/16
 
1. COMFORT - 103 - Seattle Slew Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 10Sep16-3BEL
1. WATCHYOUROWNBOBBER - 103 - More Than Ready Stakes - 1 Mile - 10Sep16-7KD 
3. STACKED DECK - 100 - Ontario Jockey Club Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 11Sep16-6WO 
4. AIN'T GOT TIME - 98 - DTHA Governor's Day Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 10Sep16-11DEL
4. SOI PHET - 98 - E. B. Johnston Satkes - 1 Mile - 10Sep16-8LRC
6. ALLIED AIR RAID - 97 - Unbridled Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 10Sep16-10LAD
6. DA BIG HOSS - 97 - Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 10Sep16-9KD 
6. FLATLINED - 97 - Old Friends Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards (Turf) - 8Sep16-9KD 
6. ONUS - 97 - Lady Baltimore Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 10Sep16-7LRL
6. TOEWS ON ICE - 97 - OC 62k/N$Y - 6 Furlongs - 11Sep16-7LRC
11. CONQUEST ENFORCER - 96 - Allied Forces Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - 11Sep16-5BEL
11. DOYOUKNOWSOMETHING - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 11Sep16-7BEL
11. STAR STUDENT - 96 - Alw 36366NC - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Alw 36366NC
11. TEXAS CHROME - 96 - Super Derby (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - 10Sep16-11LAD
15. I LOVE YOU HONEY - 95 - Alw 25000s - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 13Sep16-8PRX
15. PROTONICO - 95 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 Mile - 9Sep16-3BEL
15. TAMMY THE TORPEDO - 95 - Violet Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 10Sep16-9MTH
15. WAR DANCER - 95 - PTHA President's Cup Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 10Sep16-10PRX
19. TENANGO - 94 - OC 25k/N1X - 7 Furlongs - 9Sep16-8GP 
20. BREAKING THE FEVER - 93 - Hcp ---s - 6 Furlongs - 12Sep16-8FL 
20. MISSISSIPPI DELTA - 93 - Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 10Sep16-10KD 
20. ONE GO ALL GO - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 10Sep16-6KD 
20. OSCAR NOMINATED - 93 - Dueling Grounds Derby - 1 5/16 Miles (Turf) - 11Sep16-9KD 
24. CLEARER VIEW - 92 - OC 62k/C -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 10Sep16-9WO 
24. DREAM TEAM - 92 - OC 62k/N$Y -N - 1 Mile - 9Sep16-7LRC
24. LIGHT THE NIGHT - 92 - Alw 77000N1X - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - 9Sep16-5BEL
24. OLD HARBOR - 92 - George Rosenberger Memorial Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 10Sep16-10DEL
24. TRY YOUR LUCK - 92 - Dueling Grounds Oaks - 1 5/16 Miles (Turf) - 11Sep16-8KD 
 
The lifetime past performances for COMFORT and WATCHYOUROWNBOBBER are available at the bottom of this blog post.
 
*Congrats to Samuel Proud for winning the most recent HandiGambling challenge.
 
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post. 
 
Let's go with Saturday's Woodbine Mile for this week's exercise
 
PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
 
SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
 
HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:
 
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 SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING.
 
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR 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 identify who you are.
4. (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.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
 
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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"
 
As an example :
 
HG 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
 
HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100
Thanks Dan!
Harpo
 
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 SATURDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL)
AttachmentSize
SHAMAN GHOST.pdf688.38 KB
COMFORT.pdf687.58 KB
WATCHYOUROWNBOBBER.pdf838.63 KB
Copy of HG 9 3 16 SAR OPC.xls52.5 KB
HGWOODBINEMILE.pdf180.46 KB