07/16/2014 11:07AM

From claimer to Grade 1 winner


*Please join the FormBlog Breeders' Cup Fantasy Handicapping league!

Head on over to www.fantasycapping.com/illman to create your account. The password for our league is DRF123.

Looking forward to playing with and against you all. Remember, the first race is this Sunday's Eddie Read at Del Mar.

Here are the rules:



PRINCESS OF SYLMAR bombed at 1 to 5 in last Saturday's Grade 1 Delaware Handicap, but what got lost in the story is that the winner, BELLE GALLANTEY, actually ran a pretty nice race.

Yes, she received 8 lbs. from the favorite and was able to establish a pretty easy lead through moderate fractions. But when Princess of Sylmar and Grade 3 winner FLASHY AMERICAN turned up the pressure on the final turn, Belle Gallantey spurted away. She ran her third quarter in 24.12 and followed it up with subsequent two-furlong clockings of 23.81 and 23.71.

Pace certainly made the race in the Delaware Handicap, and it was somewhat surprising to see Princess of Sylmar so far out of it early, but Belle Gallantey made them pay for their disrespect.

She's in career form for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who claimed the mare for $35,000 on December 19 from Mitch Friedman. Since then, the 5-year-old daughter of After Market has taken 4 of 5 starts.

Not bad for a $10,000 yearling that resold for $30,000 as a yearling.

Not bad for a filly that began her career at Hastings Park, was claimed for $30,000 at Santa Anita in 2011, was taken for $20,000 at Del Mar the following summer, was haltered for $20,000 at Belmont on October 6, 2012, and was claimed by Friedman for $25,000 on March 3, 2013.

Let's consider the improvement since being claimed by Rodriguez. In 37 starts for trainers Troy Taylor, Doug O'Neill, Bob Hess Jr., Karl Grusmark and Friedman, Belle Gallantey's best Beyer was an 81.

In the five races for Rodriguez, her Beyers are 85, 95, 89, 99 and 100.

I don't think anyone's saying that Belle Gallantey is a Breeders' Cup type. But, if they leave her alone on the lead, there are other races she can win at good odds. Especially with Rudy at the helm.


Just finished reading your book Betting Maidens & 2-year-olds ...... very good job, Dan!
Was hoping you would provide an updated list of sires to be on watch for going into Saratoga this year.

Thanks so much for reading the book. It is somewhat out of date.

Here are some sires to consider, not only at Saratoga, but for all of the tracks:

Tiz Wonderful (9-33, 27%, $2.66 ROI, 4 juvenile debut winners; 17-65, 26%, $4.92 ROI in 2013, 11 juvenile FTS winners)

Bring the Heat (4-13, 31%, $3.98 ROI, 2 juvenile FTS winners; 7-21, 33%, $2.47 ROI in 2013, 4 juvenile FTS winners)

Any Given Saturday (6-24, 25%, $5.85 ROI this year with debut runners, 3 juvenile FTS winners)

Congrats (6-23, 26%, $2.50 ROI, 3 juvenile FTS winners)

Intimidator (5-20, 25%, $2.49 ROI, 4 juvenile FTS winners)

Lookin At Lucky (5-12, 42%, $2.10 ROI, all juvenile FTS winners)

Silver City (3-10, 30%, $2.74 ROI, all juvenile FTS winners)

Warriors Reward (5-6, 83%, $5.57 ROI, all juvenile FTS winners)

Stormy Atlantic (8-32, 25%, $3.45 ROI, 2 juvenile FTS winners)

Langfuhr (5-21, 24%, $3.18 ROI, 2 juvenile FTS winners)

City Zip (8-41, 20%, $3.71 ROI, 3 juvenile FTS winners)


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 7/7/14 - 7/13/14

1. ATREIDES - 105 - Md Sp Wt 31k - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
2. CARD - 104 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
3. BELLE GALLANTEY - 100 - Delaware Handicap (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Delaware
4. BEN'S CAT - 98 - Parx Dash Handicap (G3) - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Parx
4. LOOKING COOL - 98 - OC 40k/N$Y - 1 Mile - Ellis
4. LUBASH - 98 - Alw 75000NC - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
4. THE PIZZA MAN - 98 - Stars and Stripes Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Arlington
8. AZ RIDGE - 96 - Mystic Lake Mile Stakes - 1 Mile - Canterbury
8. HANGOVER KID - 96 - Bowling Green Handicap (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
10. LASTING BUBBLES - 95 - Valor Farm Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Lone Star
10. PLAINVIEW - 95 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Belmont
10. SCARLY CHARLY - 95 - Alw 77000N1X - 1 Mile - Belmont
10. TEXAS BLING - 95 - Assault Stakes - 1 Mile - Lone Star
14. MYOSITIS DAN - 94 - Alw 38800NC - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
14. NAJRAN BREEZE - 94 - OC c-25k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Canterbury
14. POLKA JOKE - 94 - OC 25k/N1Y -N - 1 Mile - Lone Star
17. ASSATEAGUE - 93 - Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Parx
17. NICONELLIE - 93 - Md Sp Wt 48k - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Maiden Special Weight
17. NO DISTINCTION - 93 - OC 50k/C -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Indiana
17. STRING KING - 93 - Alw 25640C - 1 Mile (Turf) - Louisiana
17. VOODOO TALES - 93 - Alw 77000N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Belmont
22. A. P.'S GLORY - 92 - Md Sp Wt 38k - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
22. ASSOCIATE - 92 - Clm 40000 - 1 Mile - Belmont
22. CARIBBEAN STORM - 92 - Alw 28500N1X - 1 Mile - Canterbury
22. FINNEGANS WAKE - 92 - Arlington Handicap (G3) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Arlington
22. IDE BE COOL - 92 - Alw 28500C - 6 Furlongs - Louisiana
22. JADE MASTER - 92 - OC15k/SAL7k - 6 Furlongs - Finger Lakes
22. RICHIES SWEETHEART - 92 - OC50k/SAL30k - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Arlington
22. WEEKEND HIDEAWAY - 92 - Alw 73500NC - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Belmont

*The lifetime past performances for ATREIDES are available at the bottom of this blog post

*NAJRAN BREEZE was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Mike Chambers from Robertino Diodoro.


I purchased a 3 month Formulator subscription which includes DRF Plus. I have sent two emails to cservice as I am unable to access any DRF Plus articles; was DRF hacked? Any assistance would be appreciated.

The best bet is to contact Lonnie Goldfeder at cservice2@drf.com. He's the best and should be able to help you out without incident.


*The links to the five most recent blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:







You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to RKcasselberry 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 Friday's 10th race at Saratoga for this week's exercise.


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 "60-Card Quarterly Formulator 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!




ATREIDES.pdf633.16 KB
Copy of Formblog Parx Dash 7-12-14.xls74.5 KB
HGSPA.pdf167.9 KB
Bernard Downes More than 1 year ago
Thanks to everyone for the responses. Now I have some horses to consider. And I like the potential prices from Steven, because its Chicago and New York for me in early September, and those New York hotels are even more expensive than London. I thought the Lake George might be between DARING DANCER and SPEED SEEKER. I was shocked by Turnbackthealarrm mentioning the potential death of the Blog, but I don't necessarily disagree with the analysis. It would be a crying shame. Can't some of the old regulars be persuaded to return. Its a long time until the Breeders Cup peaks our interest. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Steven More than 1 year ago
Bernard, Can't have you going on holiday with your pockets empty. Here are a couple to try out today: Saratoga Race 7 - #5 Silverama (20/1) and #3 It's Macaroni (30/1) Del Mar Race 2 - #5 Stylish in Black (12/1) Del Mar Race 4 - #8 Spring Breeze (12/1) Del Mar Race 7 - #6 Horse Laugh (30/1) Del Mar Race 8 #2 Dry Summer (20/1) Maybe these can get you on your way; let's hope its to France and not Manchester. As far as Speed Seeker the Joan Scott entry in the Lake George - this horse is live and her debut was no joke. I am using her with Little Journey and Daring Kathy. God Save the Queen
Penguin ymous More than 1 year ago
I'm with Bernard on this one. I don't have a form, so I don't know what Joan Scott's overall training record is, but that is one place that long shots come from. Plus, we don;t know if she thinks that is the best horse she has ever trained, has just outworked a G1 winner, etc. etc. Besides, Todd Pletcheer is now 1/40 in the Kentucky Derby. We both know that 1/40 and 1/31 samples are way too small for solid conclusions. VS I noticed the same thing with Bernier's Pick 3. Just toss in that last $6, 17% more than the $30 bet. Crist's method works better for high dollar wagers. I was going to post, but Bernier's articles are the only ones I have seen where you can't say anything. I'm guessing they are protecting the young guy from the vitriol and hatred from losers following his picks. I would like to see his wwagering record. I'm guessing he is in $500 to $1000 with the only winner being a $48 P3. My apologies Matt for not knowing. I also noticed that in the Fantasy Capping, only our own Dan Illman posted a winner. RonZ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bernard in this case a form blogger knows what's best for Speed Skier. of course if Todd Pletcher ( one of the beautiful people in horse racing ) was training the horse that's a different story as was pointed out, but since Joan Scott ( working class ) is training Speed Skier, well, something need's to be done. remember the quote " Who Is Looking Out For This Filly" in this case the *Elitist* on formblog Hot 'N' Nasty
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
Bernard, Slew is fine, or whatever you prefer. It's not about a low grade trainer getting a decent horse or a "longshot" winning a graded race. As you say, it happens all the time. It's about putting a 2nd-time starter against grizzled graded stakes foes when the individual who is doing it has a propensity for not only putting them in graded stakes with no shot, but tends to lose the form of their best charges very quickly. It's about a track record of failure. I love this filly. Her first race was amazing. But now she's being pitted against other graded-stakes "confirmed" speedsters, as well as "confirmed" closers who can take advantage of a speed duel. If she wins today it will be because of her innate ability and that alone. There is another stake today at Illinois Grand for 3yo fillies at a mile on the turf at Illinois Grand for the same 200k, where she might have romped. Money is money. And while I certainly appreciate the value of a graded stakes resume for a potential broodmare, certainly there is plenty of time to accumulate that on her resume while she builds her confidence against lesser for the very same purse? It's just my opinion, of course. I could be wrong. Speaking of Illinois Grand, I do like a fiilly in their "Girls Inc of Shelbyville" 100k stake, an old watch horse of mine who has come into form after blinkers were added, she's 6-1 on the morning line (would want most of that) by the name of Stoptalkingmaria, ran superbly last time at 19-1 on the synthetic, return to turf, can rate, gets her win jock back, lightly raced 5yo mare can take home the lion's share in the best form of her life.
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Back to horseracing: Who has something to say about the Haskell this weekend? Unfortunately I will be in Lubbock Texas helping to clean out my parents home, but this is a race that tugs at my heart strings every year. I didn't miss a race from 1986 to 2010. I HATE not being in NJ for the best day of racing in the state for the year. I've had the pleasure of seeing Curlin, Hard Spun, Serena's Song, Lookin' at Lucky, Rachel Alexandra, Point Given, War Emblem, Alysheba, Lost Code, Hansel, just to name a few, and would love to see Untapable this year. So, who are the Formbloggers rooting for?
Turnbackthealarm More than 1 year ago
Bernard, Sadly, I think the new DRF cash grab has started to kill this blog. DRF used to be my "one stop shopping" site for horse racing. I would come on the site, read about all the upcoming races or "interest" articles, check entries or results and then head to Formblog for conversation. Now, I changed my book mark from DRF.com to DRF.com/blogs/DanIllman. Unfortunately the site has now foiled me by making a DRF bets pop up ad that WILL NOT close. So then I have to go back to the homepage and come back in to avoid the non closing pop up. As a result, I find myself at horseracingnation.com or bloodhorse.com or paulickreport.com for news, etc. and then don't quite make it back here, which is very very sad. This has been the greatest blog on the web for fun, friendship and civil intelligent conversation. But, the suits have ruined the site. I checked out the bios of the top officers of the money fund that now owns the site. It is filled with the usual suspects, MBA's from Ivies, marketing experience outside of racing, bean counters. Except for one fella, who ironically went to Northern Illinois University, none are racing execs, enthusiasts or even casual fans. I don't expect it to get better. Look at CDI, they are now a gambling company that incidentally owns the racetrack that runs the KY Derby. I find the whole thing really depressing. Curt V, The news I saw said that the flags were not "switched out" they were bleached and the empty bottles of bleach were found nearby. I find this incident equally as shocking as the guys that rapelled down the Freedom Tower. To say the least, it seems that these prime targets are not as safe as people would like to think.
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
Bernard, I live for talking ponies. "Few" might be more apt that "no one". :)
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
Sorry for the typos and mistakes in my last post. It is Speed Seeker not speed skier, all I can say is I grew up skiing so it's never too far away from my thoughts. Worth noting that e-ponies, a pony-picking app, has Speed Seeker on top of today's Lake George. It is one of the best pony-pickers out there if you're into that sort of thing. Still, I am dubious about her chances. But her maiden breaker was truly a thing of beauty. Her trainer has a habit of losing the form of her best runners rather quickly and as I have stated her record in graded stakes is not admirable. I would love to see this filly in the hands of a graham motion or a carla gaines. I'm going to be rooting for her today, but I can't back a trainer with such a poor history when moving their charges into graded company no matter how much I love the athlete. That said, there are times when the athlete overcomes every road block in their path. It's part of the beauty of this sport, no doubt. Whatever happens, it's a terrific race set-up and should be a real treat to watch. That's the way it should be at old Saratoga.
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Bernard; True enough, as I have noticed the same thing. For me, it’s a couple of things… I have downloaded and handicapped most of the races from these venues so far during these meets, but there really haven’t been many compelling races for me. Both cards for today are uninspiring to me. You will also note that it appears that DRF has done away with the free pp’s for the race of the day. That tamps down interest as well, as many folks aren’t going to download an entire card to look at one race. And there are other things going on during the week for many on FormBlog. But DRF appears to be doing there very best to keep interest down… they must be… look at the website these days, and the constant bombardment of DRF Bets pop-ups, “deals”, and what-not. But hey… it could be worse… at least you can pay for DRF Plus and read what Bernier thinks about the 2 year-olds from Del Mar… and you can also see how he fashions a bet using the A, B, C Method using TicketMaker… those marketing folks over there sure are clever… using the human pop-up ad to shill for a “system” that has been around forever, but they seem to think they invented… And if you look at the way that Pick 3 bet is fashioned… well… I just hope that $6 “savings” doesn’t come back and bite him, but hey, $6 is no joke… Pretty compelling stuff… Later gator vs