07/30/2008 4:04PM

Cougar II, questions


Hi Dan,
Love the blog & taking questions.   Please help us all understand how stewards determine DQs, since it seems each track has its own set of rules.   What LAD's Race 2 from today (7/25/08) & tell me how they can DQ the 2 horse??   It's the worst I have ever seen.   If the 6 horse had gotten 3rd, then I understand, somehow/maybe, how they could have DQ'ed, but its sickening how just about everyday there is a controversial call.

Unfortunately, there is no uniformity when it comes to a steward's decision-making process.  This is completely subjective stuff.  I don't think each track/state has a different set of rules, but the stewards at different tracks probably have different interpretations of the rules.  One of the many problems that racing has is the credibility issue.  There are always going to be misinformed people that think a race was "fixed" when there is a questionable disqualification. 
Have you ever seen a steward come on the track feed immediately after a disqualification to give an in-depth explanation of the ruling?  Whether or not the fans would agree with said ruling is irrelevant.  At least we would get a reasonable explanation, and the stewards would transform from these faceless wraiths roaming the bowels of the racetrack to real people with real opinions. 
As for the rules themselves, I would think that any sort of bumping, impeding, or causing other horse to check and take up would be grounds for an inquiry, if not a disqualification. 


Dan, Have you heard of a horse called Sleepy Tee. I acquire a hand painting and would like to get some info on him, other than buying a life time past performance. Do you or anyone know where I can find something out about Sleepy Tee

Here are Sleepy Tee's lifetime past performances:

Download SleepyTee.pdf

Sleepy Tee is a son of Aly Tudor, a four-time winner from 44 starts.  His dam, Marge's Gem (by Ali's Gem), won four times from 40 races, and was a half-sister to multiple stakes-winner Fighting Hodge as well as stakes-placed performer Quasar. 


Gunbow, thanks for that! I totally agree with you - Southern Image was a beast, simple as that. I'm trying to remember who trained him...???? Unbelievable, anyway, he deserves more credit, and so, too, I think Peace Rules deserves more credit (I have a long opinion about that, but I'll save it for the proper time).

I agree that both didn't get their just due on the track.  Southern Image won six of eight starts including the Grade 1 Malibu at seven furlongs, the Big 'Cap at 1 1/4 miles, and the Pimlico Special at 1 3/16 miles.  Southern Image was trained by Michael Machowsky.  He stands in Kentucky, and his first crop will hit the track in 2009.

Here is Southern Image's stallion page from Taylor Made Farms:


Peace Rules won the Grade 3 Generous at two going a mile on the grass, then took the Grade 1 Haskell and Grade 1 Blue Grass going nine furlongs on dirt at three (not to mention his Louisiana Derby win over Funny Cide, his second in the Travers, and third in the Kentucky Derby).  He came back at four, and won the Suburban, Oaklawn Handicap, and New Orleans Handicap.  Peace Rules stands in Florida.  His first foals reached the track this year, and they are led by stakes-winner Trifecta King. 

Here is his stallion page from the Vinery website:


Here are their lifetime past performances:

Download PeaceImage.pdf


Dan. I know you have your hands full with Saratoga but can you see if they have retired Indy Wind @ Monmouth? He has put up two lackluster races in a row.

Trainer Amy Tarrant is on record that the horse would be retired at the end of this year.  The goal was to get Indy Wind a graded stakes win before he leaves the track.  I haven't heard any official word of a retirement, but will keep you posted.


Dan- I was out watching the works this morning and Mike would like to know if you'd give him the Beyer for Oro Gratia (He was second in the 7th race on Wed. 7/23) Mike had told me about the horse and it slipped my mind-paid $27 to show! Thanks in advance
Stephen Taylor

Oro Gatita received a 55 Beyer for the debut run at Arlington


Howdy Folks...can anybody tell me where Pedro Cotto is???..kinda like "where's waldo???"...he's been banging at monmouth park and "poof" he's gone???? anybody know what's up???

Cotto won today's second race at Monmouth with Smitty's Classic.


How much ground did Street Boss lose according to Trakus (sic?) and who do you feel was best between him and In Summation? I singled SB but after watching the replay a few times I have to give IS the nod.

I didn't catch the exact ground loss from Trakus, but Street Boss was forced to angle eight wide or so at the quarter-pole.  In Summation was boxed in for most of the turn, and into upper stretch, and while Street Boss may have had a momentum edge at the eighth pole, I don't think In Summation would have gunned him down.  I'll give a slight nod to Street Boss as to who the "best" horse was that day in a thrilling race.


How can Commentator get a Beyer of 120 for the Whitney with an ordinary time of 1:50.23 for nine furlongs when, just a few races ago, Acai ran 1:50.42 for nine furlongs in winning a N1X, less than a fifth of a second slower?  What Beyer did Acai get?
Michael B. Farber

Acai received a 93 Beyer.


So, the question is do you watch replays or listen to stretch calls if you can do so without knowing the results beforehand?  Do you think Steve Crist or other professional handicappers watch replays or listen to stretch calls?  Or do they just click on "results"...?

I don't know about anyone else, but if I can't be at the track live, and have to catch up on my bets after the fact, I always look for the replay.  Perhaps I just need my "fix" of the action, even if the action ended hours beforehand.
I also like to look for trips so video watching for me is necessary, but most of all, I want to "see" the race.


Time for something new, the all time overhyped horse list - you know the "next Secretariat", the Green Monkey's of horse racing, El Floppo Supremo. I will start the bidding with Houston - D. Wayne's "best horse I ever had", quite a claim for a glorified allowance runner.
Steve T

Although Houston was considered a disappointment considering all of the Lukas hype, he did win three graded races including the King's Bishop (then only a Grade 3).  My favorite Lukas hype horse was Dr. Caton, a $325,000 "bargain" yearling buy that was supposed to be the next big thing.  He won the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth, but otherwise had an uninspiring career. 
A lot of people were talking Kentucky Derby after Scipion won first-out at Saratoga a few years ago.  He won the Risen Star at three, but was mostly a disappointment.


Annie has access to the Vet scratches on her basic PDF PP's but I don't on the basic Formulator PP's. Is she special or do I have the navigational skills of Humphrey the Humpback?

Before you open the past performance file, on the top part of the page, there are several clickable links (Selection, Analysis, Jockey Stats, Closer Look, Graded Entries, Track Records, Trainer Stats, Standings, Winning Post, Post Positions by Distance, and Scratch Board) that can be retrieved.  Click on "Scratch Board," and you'll receive the prior vet (and other) scratches for that day's entrants.


Can you post the lifetime PP's for Norway House?
Steve T

Download norway_house.pdf


I don't have Stephen Got Even's AWD for his offspring handy. Anyone have that?

It's 7.3 furlongs.


Dan, Now that you are getting into the real start of the 2yo season, have you heard anything about Colors Flying (2yoc A.P Indy / Storm Flag Flying ) at Saratoga? I know Shug has been working him from the gate the last 2 works. He usually doesn't have them ready first time out, but SFF won her debut at SAR, not to meation 2yof of the Year. Thanks

From Fran LaBelle's "Saratoga Race Course Notes" from July 23:

"There are some two-year-olds who will be starting later in the meet that could be okay, plus we have a couple of three-year-old maidens I am looking forward to running." said McGaughey, referring to a son of Storm Cat out of Educated Risk named Bet the Limit and a Giant's Causeway colt who his a half-brother to Pine Island named Offshore. 

Among the two-year-olds who should be making their debut at Saratoga is the first foal out of Storm Flag Flying, the McGaughey-trained Eclipse Award winner as the nation's top two-year-old filly in 2002.  The colt, by A.P. Indy, is named Colors Flying. 

"Like I said, I don't think I have any superstars among the two-year-olds, but then again, I could have said the same thing about Storm Flag Flying before she ran," said the trainer.


Back Friday with some stakes opinions.

Take care,


Mike S More than 1 year ago
My final word on this thread is as follows: COUGAR II ROCKED, and he was a GREAT HORSE.
KYL Syndicate More than 1 year ago
Fourstardave or better yet, the connections a cheat?? let's see, based on the pp that Dan kindly provided, Fourstardave made 21 starts at the Spa and won 9 of them and produced a roi of 3.60 for every 2 dollars wagered... if someone really does believe the connections fixed him up to win at the Spa, I would also imagine with that knowledge you would have bet out on him to win each of those races since a risk of 200 on each of his races at the spa would end up with you winning 350 dollars thru his lifetime. But as one seems to have inside information the connection cheated, I assume you must have made a killing since why else would one gamble on anyone else when one knows as each year goes by, the connection fixes Fourstardave up. Don't destroy memories of beloved horses with ridiculous accusations that has never been proven. As far as I know I've never heard of Leo O'Brien be charge with doing anything wrong, and you would think with each spa season when Fourstardave was adding to his legacy, if there was something fishy, an investigation would happen. I imagine Woody Stephens who won five straight Belmont Stakes must have fixed his horses as well to win on that big day.. And of course Fourstarallstar who won the Irish Derby, must have as you stated cheated...hmm hard to imagine Ireland wanting to see a foreign horse win without making sure there was no cheating involved or that we had some magical drugs that they can't detect in Europe since we have such an abundance of american runners going to run in Europe big races.. drugs or no drugs, fix or no fix, this is gambling and who among us don't think there isn't something corrupt in the game. But to lay blame without evidence is ludicrous.
C More than 1 year ago
Mathieu, Very funny... one of my top 3 favorite movies. Hillbilly, I'll probably sit out the Haskell, but I wouldn't be afraid to bet against Big Brown on the premise that he just simply might not be the same horse now compared to earlier in the year. There's a possibility that some other 3YOs have caught up a bit too. If you don't like him, don't be afraid of him at short odds. I wouldn't be afraid of trying to beat Indian Blessing either. She rated behind horses last time, but will she do it again? It's a strategy that hasn't always suited her very well. vicstu, I think you're missing an important point. BSFs are NOT simply a straight reflection of the final times. They are rather a reflection of the final times adjusted by the track's variant. In that way, they do indeed attempt to measure performance. Greg is correct: if BSFs just reflected the time of the race, they would serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever because they wouldn't provide any independent information. Why not just use the raw time? The calculation of the ever-changing track variant is where your argument actually lies. It sounds like you want the variant to coincide with the official track condition. I disagree, even though I find no merit in the figures to begin with. Maybe things work differently at the dog track, but "fast/firm" does not always mean the same thing in this game. Would a rain have made the track even faster? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on whether the rain was light enough to just pack the dirt down a little, or whether the track became more muddy. I wasn't at the track to take a sample or run on it myself, so I can't say, but a ton of rain fell in a very short span, so the latter is certainly possible. Beyer obviously feels it became slower, but that doesn't mean he's right. ------------------------------ Sometimes we get into discussions about statistics, meaningful samples, and so on. At a typical track, how many races are run on any surface in a given day? Maybe 6 main to 4 turf or 7:3, something like that. If a trainer or jockey is 0-8 at the beginning of a meet, nobody really considers that to be statistically significant because the sample size is too small. Heck, Bill Mott is 0-14 so far. It doesn't mean a thing. I don't understand why players put their faith in, or even bother calculating, track variants. How does 4-9 samples make a figure meaningful? Why aren't BSFs called into question more? It amazes me that some players-- and turf writers!-- scoffed at the idea that post 12 at GP was doomed (I agreed) because "11" isn't a very large sample, yet accept BSFs and other measures of track variant with almost no skepticism about their calculation. The argument that a "90-100" horse usually beats a "70-80" horse doesn't hold up. Anyone can take times and fractions and convert them in some way to roughly separate fast and not-so-fast contenders most of the time. Raw times with lengths-beaten probably already does a fairly decent job of that over a large sample. It still doesn't give you much of a picture to go on.
johnnyz More than 1 year ago
Larryk, I saw that Launch The Bull drew the rail. I am not to concerned as Peter Miller will have him ready. While I feel LTB will be better around 2 turns, and longer distances--- with him having Relaunch as a damsire nothing would surprise me. Relaunch's sire, ( In Reality) was 4x4 to Man O'War, his damsire, The Axe) descends from the immortal La Troienne. Plenty of blue blood in his veins, I guess Saturday we will find out if some of those precious gene's were passed on. Speaking of two yr. olds here are a couple I have added to my watch list in the past week. Sports Star, (Chapel Royal), and a filly Elusive Heat, (Elusive Quality). Her dam is the speedball Xtra Heat, who won 26 times in 35 starts. I think K. Mclaughlin has her, so when she does start she will be ready to fire! Read today that A. Obrien is now pointing Henrythenavigator toward the B.C. Classic. If Big Brown comes back to form this weekend, that will be a race to see. Obrien has stated more than once the HTN is more talented than Giant's Causeway, and Rock of Gilbraltor. Speaking of Obrien, his seven yr. old Yeats, who won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot last month @ 16F, for the third time--- did it again today. Yeats easily won the 16F Royal Bank of Scotland S. @ Goodwood. What a different mindset in the UK than here. Zito, Commentator's trainer said yesterday, there was no way he would run in the BC or a classic distance as he is old. Well Yeats is seven yrs. old also, and he looked better today than he did 5 weeks ago @ Ascot going 2 miles. Back to U.S. racing, my day at the Spa started out good. Hit two exactas, a W/P, and then the late P/4 eluded me again. Had a show, place, and 2 winners. The Mclaughlin trained #4 Encinas winning off a lay off wasn't much of a shock, but where in the heck did #8 Borrowing Base come from in thes 8th? Did any of you see this one? Oh well, will try again tomorrow. Looking forward to the Virginia Derby card @ Mountaineer Saturday. Is a great betting card IMO.
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Leo; Sir, your picks at Del Mar today where quite remarkable. You correctly selected a couple of nice Daily Doubles, an opening Pick Three, a smattering of decent Exacta's, and two pretty good Trifecta's...one of them COLD! I would say that you had quite a day, and I hope that you profited. Nevertheless, promise to keep posting, and I promise to start paying more attention. Van Savant
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Ivan; Nice Trifecta call in the 4th at Del Mar today. I hope you profited! Van Savant
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
BigEasyBigChok ...Nice to see you back.... Lot's of fun happening around here! SR Vegas
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Ok.. Cayman01, Annie.. We missed the pick six at Del Mar this week... But here's how the story could have been.... CARSON'S COPPER mine was the ONEONLY piece of property that an EXCESSIVE DREAMER like STEPPIN OUT ROSE wanted...A woman of her past, nothing would stop her. SO, she played a game of CZECHERS for the claim..and found her creedo of I'M BULLETPROOF" did not ring true.... she lost....who won? may be continued..... SR Vegas
BigEasyBig Chok More than 1 year ago
SR VEGAS, Thank you for noticing, and will be in your neck of the woods next week. If you get out and about let me know. BigEasyBigChok
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
RE: Beyer figure comments I've posted ad nauseum in the past on the very issues that everyone is raising so I won't get into it again but I do have a couple of comments: 1) Beyers are now often adjusted for more than simply a logical opinion that the track speed changed, they've become more like performance projections based upon prior established ability. Within this, might be anything (pace, ground loss, troubled trip) that leads to a "slower" time than expected for the class level. This development completely annoys me and I agree with Alan that there should be a notation when a figure is adjusted off of what was once a final time based figure (adjusted for nothing more than the speed of the track). As a result of this, any serious handicapper that relies on Beyer speed figures to assess final time performance MUST subscribe to and use DRF's Simulcast Daily and the Winner's Book. It is there where you can see and assess the various adjustments and this can be a powerful advantage relative to the general public. 2) The relative speed of the Saratoga track can change dramatically with the weather and how the maintenance crew is adjusting to the weather and even expected rain. I don't for a second believe that it's as simple as just 2 variants for last Saturday. The fact of the matter is that figure making for the 2nd half of the card is pure guesswork, the track was not the same track for any of those races. I don't have a problem with what Beyer did but I also don't disagree with some of the opinions expressed here. I don't know this but I think it's possible that mid-way through the day, with rain coming earlier than expected, that the NYRA maintenance crew stopped putting water on the track (they were watering between earlier races). This track reacts much differently than Belmont (clay based versus sand based) to the effects of rain and moisture. The guesswork/projected figures in this case will yield a much truer representation of performance and in this case can at least be logically tied back to the effects of a changing track surface... Isn't handicapping fun???