02/20/2009 6:02PM

Derby 10, Stakes horses, Slumps?


Thursdays 8th at GP is an allowance race only but Dunkirk looked like a real runner to me in his maiden debut, I'm gonna say he ends up in you top 10 very soon.

Dunkirk certainly was impressive considering his inexperience.  Here's how the top ten list looks right now:

1.  Hello Broadway - Half-brother to Nobiz Like Shobiz gets two-turn test in Tampa Bay Derby.

2   Old Fashioned - Southwest was a good starting point for undefeated colt.

3.  Friesan Fire - Love the tactical speed he shows in his races

4.  Pioneerof the Nile - Showed huge kick in Lewis.  Another that must show up on dirt in Derby..

5.  Dunkirk -  Won nine-furlong allowance despite losing significant ground.

6.  The Pamplemousse - Training swiftly.  Can he run any on dirt?

7.  Desert Party - Sanford winner has thrived in Dubai..

8.  General Quarters - Won Sam F. Davis in fast time.  Fluke?

9.  Bear's Rocket - Showed good speed in first start on dirt.

10.  West Side Bernie - Outside post did him no favors in Holy Bull.

Honorable Mentions:

Break Water Edison
Take the Points
Pitched Perfectly
Flying Pegasus
Mr. Fantasy
Papa Clem
Valid Stripes
I Want Revenge
Chocolate Candy
Giant Oak
Uno Mas
Bittel Road
Parade Clown


Thanks to your protests as well as the quick work from our friends at Typepad, we've been able to increase the number of posts per page to 100.  It's not all the way there yet, but it's a start.


Secondly, I'd like to enlist another search party for some more horses that I am tracking.  Again, they're from the January Mixed Ages Keeneland Sale, and the sale prices are given after the age.

(4 y/o, $18K)
--Red Carpet Diva
(3 y/o, $14K)
--Buona Sera
(4 y/o, $42K)
--Cambridge Blue
(4 y/o, $57K)

I'm guessing they're all going to become broodmares although I'm not positive about Red Carpet Diva as she's only three.


Dan, could you please put the PP for FLAT OUT on the blog? Can this horse get 10f...Gotta think if he ships to Oaklawn or FG, this horse is live, BIG TIME. Maybe the Swale, but isn't that a 7f, or was it lengthened to a mile?

Here they are:

Download Flat Out

Flat Out is a son of Flatter, a nine-furlong allowance winner at three that finished third in the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap at 1 3/16 Miles.  Flatter is a full brother to Grade 2 winner Congrats from the family of Eastern Echo, Sea Hero, Hero's Honor, etc. 
The dam has already foaled the solid miler Our Best Man (328K in earnings).  The dam was a multiple stakes-winner at two.  
Can he go 10?  Can any of them?
The Swale is at seven furlongs on March 28.


On a completely separate note, whatever happened to Tomcito?

Tomcito has been working regularly at Palm Meadows.  You can follow his progress on our Disabled List located on the right hand side of the blog.


I'm in a slump, but one thing (and it just may be "one of those things" that I've noticed on a few occasions lately is identifying a "false favorite" (I'm not  talking about horses like Old Fashioned or Chocolate Candy who  deserved favoritism but didn't  offer value) Top Hedge (the 9) yesterday is a perfect example-was ML fav but his win was a Mdn30 and was an easy throw out for me-Giant Oak in the Risen Star was another, and there have been several others. Now if that "false favorite" wins  the race, I really don't have a problem with that because it wasn't in my opinion, a good risk/reward ratio, but what is happening  to me is that those horses are finishing off the board and I'm not capitalizing. It may just be "one of those things" (I went back and looked at the PPs and I still can't justify using the 5 after the race) but it also may be something others have encountered and there's something you changed to become profitable when you feel strongly that a favorite is a throw out.
Stephen Taylor

Slumps don't make sense from a math perspective, but they exist whether it be hitting a baseball or handicapping horses.  Why do they occur?  Mental fatigue, perhaps.  There are only so many races one can watch and handicap before they all become a giant blur on the brain.  I think you're doing the right thing in trying to identify false favorites.  When folks ask me what's the first thing I do when I open the pp's, I tell them it's to try and find if the favorite in a particular race is vulnerable.  If it is, then I think the race is something I want to get involved with.  There's always going to be a fine line between handicapping and gambling.  You're in a slump from a gambling perspective, but your handicapping seems sound.  Cut back on the exotics when you're in a slump.  Identify a phony favorite, and play a strong win bet on an overlaid contender that catches your eye.


That DRF would leave some space between the horses on the online PP's to allow room for notes. The old newspaper version has a place for this, but only the last horse has any room for notes on online PP's.

The Formulator program gives you plenty of room underneath a horse's past performance lines to insert notes. The best part is that you can save those notes and personalize your past performances whenever a horse is running.


Let's take a look at some interesting horses scheduled to compete in this week's stakes races:

Mac Diarmida (Gulfstream Race 9, Saturday):

There should be a good amount of pace in this 11 furlong marathon with Finallymadeit and Presious Passion in the lineup.  I'm going to go with Baltimore Bob, a recent 'n4x' winner at Gulfstream in his first start for the underrated Helen Pitts.  Baltimore Bob has enough tactical speed to find a decent spot behind the expected duel, and may get the jump on the stone closers from midpack.  He had a pretty good trip when he won last month, but I like the slow, stamina-building workouts he's received over the last few weeks.  Obviously, the additional distance is a concern, but the price should be square.  He's worth a stab.

Valentine Dancer (Santa Anita - Race 9, Saturday)

This might be make or break time for Bel Air Sizzle.  The daughter of Unusual Heat usually has trouble coming out of the starting gate, but when she feels like running, she has a strong late kick.  There is enough pace to setup that kick in the Valentine Dancer, and I'm comfortable throwing out her recent bad races.  Two back, she absolutely abhorred the soft going at Arlington, and last time out, she may have been short off the bench.  Go-Go is compelled to take the mount.

The Very One (Gulfstream - Race 9, Sunday)

Have nothing but respect for both Backseat Rhythm and Criticism, but they're trying 11 furlongs off the layoff, and that ain't easy.  I'll give Sea Chanter a shot for Pletcher and Velazquez.  Last time out, she raced four wide on the far turn while the winner, Waquoit's Love, saved all the ground.  She was forced out a bit in the stretch by tiring favorite Ginger Brew, but only missed all the marbles by a neck.  She's bred to go long on the bottom of her pedigree, and I"m hoping her form goes on to mirror that of J'ray (decent filly that improved with age and distance for Pletcher).  Again, the price will be okay here.

Tampa Bay Stakes (Tampa - Race 8, Saturday)

You have to salivate when Atoned's name shows up in the entries as he's the classic money-burner that will take too much cash based on his overrated reputation.  Now, he's trying turf for the first time.  I say, let him beat you.  Furthest Land has won three in a row since being claimed by Mike Maker, and he has the tactical speed to park himself off the expected solid pace set by Riversrunrylee and Fagedaboudit Sal

Bayou (Fair Grounds - Race 9, Saturday)

Shytoe Lafeet will be relieved when she walks into the paddock, and doesn't see Stormy West, the filly that vanquished her in her last two races.  The Larry Jones-trained Shytoe Lafeet has been very consistent this meet, and seems to have finally found her spot.  Not a lot of value here, but she looks tough.

San Luis Obispo (Santa Anita - Race 8, Sunday)

Medici Code failed to contain Artiste Royal's late surge in the San Marcos, but he seems to be rounding into his best form for Darrell Vienna, and will probably get the jump on his rival once again on Sunday.  I've never really been a Church Service fan as he usually concedes many, many lengths going into the first turn.  Spring House seems off form.  I'm not sure I trust Zambezi Sun off the bench.  Kris Silver and Bonjour should set an honest pace, and Medici Code may be the one to get first run at solid odds.

More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.