04/26/2011 4:51PM

Derby Talk, Best Beyers, HG PP's


As always, we have a ton to cover.

Here are the top 25 winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (4/18/11 - 4/24/11):

1.  Amazombie - 106 - Tiznow Stakes - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
2.  Liberian Freighter - 103 - Inglewood Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Hollywood
2.  Thiskyhasnolimit - 103 - Texas Mile (G3) - 1 Mile - Lone Star
4.  Adios Charlie - 98 - Jerome Stakes (G2) - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
5.  Stormy's Majesty - 96 - Noble Nashua Stakes - 1 Mile - Aqueduct
6.  Denham - 95 - Milwaukee Avenue Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Hawthorne
6.  Exhi - 95 - Ben Ali Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
6.  Green Digger - 95 - OC 35k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Will Rogers Downs
9.  Noosa Beach - 94 - George Royal Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Hastings
9.  Romacaca - 94 - Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. Alyarf - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. Ask Joe - 93 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
11. Dot's in Style - 93 - OC 40k/N2X - 6 Furlongs - Indiana Downs
11. Earnednotgiven - 93 - OC c-62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - Hollywood
11. Embur's Song - 93 - Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
11. Pedaltothemedal - 93 - Alw 54136N1X - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
11. Varsity - 93 - Alw 46830N1X - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. Wildcat Marie - 93 - Whimsical Stakes (G3-C) - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
19. Awesome Indy - 92 - NTRA Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
20. American Story - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Hollywood
20. Derby Kitten - 91 - Lexington Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Keeneland
20. Ducduc - 91 - Alw 16000s - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
20. Nordic Truce - 91 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Gulfstream
20. Pulsion - 91 - OC 40k/N1X -N- 1 Mile - Gulfstream
20. Stay Red - 91 - Florida Thoroughbred Charities - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream

Amazombie's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of the blog post.


She ran the race of the weekend. Where do I vote again?

You can vote for the "Performance of the Week" on the Daily Racing Form page on Facebook.  Check out the videos for this week at the below link and then vote and comment.



Have you heard anything about UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN? I know he was sick last year. I hope he's alright.

Uptowncharlybrown was scheduled to contest the Haskell Stakes last summer, but scratched when he spiked a fever.  He then suffered a bone bruise that has kept him out of training.  It looks like he is slowly returning to the track and may get back to the races later this year.


I heard something about Euros coming for the Woodford does anyone know which ones are coming?

Aidan O'Brien nominated both Cape Blanco and Jan Vermeer to the Woodford Reserve.  Of the two, Jan Vermeer, a Group 1 winner at two that finished third in last year's Irish Derby, looks most likely to start.


*1) Has there been any word about Zenyatta and her re-mating?
2)I love finding a diamond in the rough (i.e. maidens especially on the turf) do you have access to stats on who are the top trainers on horses debuting at a mile or better and if you have it on dirt and on turf?

*Hi Dan.
When I look at your schedule and list of responsibilities it is obvious that it must be a labor of love for you. I hope it leaves you time for family and fun they are the most important things.
So lets make this a fun question, if you had the opportunity to breed your own foals, lets say 5 of them, which sires and broodmares would you cross and why? Would you look for some turf and some dirt, some sprint, milers or classic distance horses? Now here is the tough question who would be your trainer or trainers, and would you chose your jockey or leave it up to the trainers?
I hope this gives you a chance to daydream a while ( if your schedule allows that)
I look forward to your answer.

Haven't heard anything about Zenyatta since she was scheduled to be bred for the second time.  Hopefully, she will get in foal.  As for the trainer question, I couldn't tell you off the top of my head, but the Formulator statistics will have all of the answers.  Also, you can scan the "Debut Reports" on our homepage for trainer patterns with debut runners.

Per the breeding question, I assume that I am fabulously wealthy and have access to any bloodline. 

First, I'd go on a spending spree and buy some mares by Mr. Prospector, Seeking the Gold, Danehill, and Kingmambo.  Then, I'd put all of my eggs in one basket and breed them to Giant's Causeway, who I think is an absolutely fantastic sire.  I'd give the babies to a low-profile trainer that wins races and is capable of giving my horses the one-on-one attention they deserve (how about a Jay Robbins or a Lisa Lewis?).  Then, I would sit back and let them make all of the training decisions.


Quick question:
I'm handicapping KEE4 for Saturday and I see a filly trained by Michael Nevin (0-0-0-0 for the past 5 years). Is he the same guy who used to train in NY 10 years ago?

According to the DRF database, it is the very same one.  The starter on Saturday was Nevin's first runner since 2004 (he went 3-60 that year).  Nevin's best runner may have been Bon Fearless, who won a pair of New York-bred stakes races in 2000-2001.


Dumb question- Did I see a derby stat posted here that said all winners of past derby's had a beyer over 100 before the derby they won? Does that mean only 1 horse in this years derby would qualify under that historical guideline? Help a brother out here as I think Uncle Mo is only horse with a 100+ beyer so far?? Could it be that easy?? I dont really like Uncle Mo in the win spot but sometimes I find myself superstitiously using stats like that.
Somebody, please hep me!

In just the past 6 years we have had three Derby winners with best pre-Derby Beyers <100:
2010 Super Saver - 98 (Ark Dby)
2009 Mine That Bird - 81 (Brdrlnd Dby)
2005 Giacomo - 98 (Sham)
Prior to that, you have to go back to when DRF started using Beyers in their PPs:
1992 Sea Hero - 99 (Champagne)
So 4 Derby winners out of 20 years did not meet the 100 Beyer criteria.
It's not that easy..."Big Easy".... :-)


Quick question re: KD grades stakes winnings. Do overseas stakes count more than North American? Why is Master of Hounds shown with $441K when lifetime pp's reflect $169K?
johnny d

Graded/Group stakes races from worldwide races are considered equally. 
The past performance is wrong.  Master of Hounds earned $400,000 from the UAE Derby and $41,884 for his third-place finish in the Racing Post Trophy.


I don't have past Derby PP's with workouts, but can anyone cite horses that have been in the money who never worked or raced at Churchill (not necessarily shipped in same day, but may have gotten there a few days early, yet didn't work over the track)?
Tejano Run

Giacomo won the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 2005.  His final workout before the race was at Hollywood on May 1 (6 furlongs in 1:11.80H).


Dan: Can you repost the PPs for the potential Derby contenders. Stay Thirsty was left out of the PPs posted last week.
Meanwhile, perhaps you should include R Heat Lightning. Interesting point made in this WSJ article about the filly running a faster time and Beyer number than the boys in a two-turn prep race
Pete Starr

If you go to the drf.com Kentucky Derby webpage, you can get a summary of each contender, including charts and videos of each stakes race they entered, a profile by one of the DRF writers and a Pedigree Analysis Analysis by our own Dan Illman.
This is the DRF Top 20 Derby List - you can click on any horse's name on the list to pull up their Contender Page:
For example, this is the Contender Page for Stay Thirsty:
While on the Contender Page, you can also click on a link to that particular horse's PPs. Here are Stay Thirsty's PPs:
You can find R Hear Lightning's PPs on the Watchmaker Watch 3yo fillies Top 4 List:


John Henry, the original, original, rags to riches story. From the claiming ranks to winner of over six million dollars, and that was in the early eighties. Six million in 1980 equates to over sixteen million today. Okay I brought this up because its hard to actually find what his accomplishments were. Would you please post the past performances for him on the next blog. Thanks.
It would be nice if there were some database or something that overviewed all of the games greats. From Citation to Buckpasser to Secretariat and on. It would just be a unique tool to look back at the past of horse racing.

John Henry's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.  If you're interested in past performances of past legends, check out the CHAMPIONS book at the below link:



Whatever happened to a horse named Successful Dan?
allan zegiel

Is it possible for you to find out what happened to Dublin, Wayne Lukas's Derby contender last year? I haven't seen any works or heard a thing about him since the Preakness. Also, what is the status of Successful Dan who looked like he would be a good handicap horse this year and now I don't hear anything about

Successful Dan suffered a strained suspensory that forced him to miss six weeks of training over the winter.  Trainer Charles Lopresti is still hopeful of getting him back in time for the Stephen Foster Handicap on June 18 at Churchill Downs 

Dublin underwent surgery to remove an ankle chip and returned to the work tab for Wayne Lukas at Oaklawn.  He suffered from colitis in February and hasn't shown a published move in almost three months.


anyone know the last Maiden only winner to win the Derby?...

Giacamo had a record of 7-1-2-2 going into the 2005 Kentucky Derby.


Hey Dan,
Would you be able to find me pp's for two NOR CAL horses that I used to love see running when I was younger. Lykatil Hill & Lazer.
Thanks in advance Dan. Keep up the good work.

Their past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


I was looking at the Derby PP's you posted. Can you tell me why, horse's running at SA, do not have a DRF speed number ? Thanks

The DRF speed numbers are calculated by the three-year best times at a certain track.  The Santa Anita dirt course was recently switched from synthetic so we will need more data before computing speed numbers and variants


Dan, I would love to know the status of Take Control, the AP Indy-Azeri colt who was the biggest buyback in utero. He won his first start and only start in December 2009, and worked as late as early last fall I believe.

He's been sidelined on more than one occasion with shin problems.


One of my favorite horses from the late 90's was Behrens - trained by Jim Bond. Would you be able, and kind enough, to provide his PP's. And could you give me/us an update on where the good old boy is currently located and how his progeny have done?
Also, when you have the time *no rush!!* could you provide the chart for the BC Classic in 08' (Curlin's last race)? I'm interested to see what the payouts were for W-P-S the Euros.
Many, many thanks for all of your hard work on behalf of your fans,
Michael Marchin

The past performances of Behrens are available at the bottom of this blog post.  He currently stands stud at Victory Rose Thoroughbreds in California for a $3,500 fee.  Here are his stallion pages from the Victory Roses website:



The 2008 BC Classic chart is also available at the bottom of this blog post. 


Are there any stats on your picks versus mikes picks

All I know is that I'm currently ahead of the little weasel in the drfbets tournament league contest.  That, of course, could change following tomorrow's "Race of the Day." (scroll down the homepage for the video preview)


Dan or anyone else,
Has there been any word on Wyomia for the Oaks? She was not listed as a possible in the DRF article on the possible starters, and being 1 for 1 on dirt, and a good second outfinishing Kathmanblu in their last at Keeneland, I would think she would be a solid contender. Is she Canada- bound ?
mr velvet

I would currently list her as "questionable" for the Kentucky Oaks with another alternative being the Black-Eyed Susan at Keeneland on May 20.


Hi Dan -
Thank you for posting the fields for the Derby's 2000-2009. I was hoping you could post the remaining Derby fields since the inception of the Beyer Speed Figures. I have created a historical formula for the Derby over the past few years, and would like to see how it would have stacked up against the Derby fields of the 90's. Thanks for all of the great work that you do for horse racing

The fields from 1993-1999 are posted at the bottom of this blog.  Please share your findings.


How do you play unknown jocks on favorites or horses you like?

If it's a horse I like, I'm very happy to see an unknown jock because the price will probably be better.  I'm much more interested in betting the horse than the rider. 


Dan or anyone else out there, hoping to get an answer to this question. So many angles and "rules" for the Derby winners, but I'm wondering if a simple one applies: How many horses have finished out of the top 3 in their last race and won the Derby? Finished 2nd?

Since 1990, six horses finished out of the trifecta in their final prep before returning to crack the exacta in Louisville.  They are:

Mine That Bird finished fourth in the Sunland Derby prior to winning the Kentucky Derby in 2009. 
Bluegrass Cat finished fourth in the Blue Grass before running second in the 2006 Derby.
Giacomo ran fourth in the 2005 Santa Anita Derby before winning the Derby. 
Invisible Ink ran fourth in the 2001 Blue Grass, then finished second in the Derby.
Thunder Gulch finished fourth in the 1995 Blue Grass before winning the Derby. 
Sea Hero finished fourth in the 1993 Blue Grass before winning the Derby.


Out of the 80+ horses nominated I was wondering if you knew the horses seriously considering running in the Woodford Reserve on Derby day?

Caracortado, Battle of Hastings, Fluke, Get Stormy, Paddy O'Prado and Jan Vermeer are seriously considering the race. 


I made a sponsorship donation to rerun in memory of a racing fan. The horse I sponsored was Salmon Run. I would greatly appreciate if you could post his past performances as well as any other information that you have so I could show the family about this horse.
Thank you

Salmon Run's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.
He sold for $20,000 as a yearling and his half-brother, Upturn, won three stakes races in New Jersey. 
He hails from the female family of Grade 1 winner Miss Toshiba.

From the ReRun website:

“Sammy” is one of those hard-knocking racehorses who is visibly thankful for his chance at a new career. He raced his entire 30-race career at New Jersey tracks, winning once in4 years of racing. While not illustrious, he did earn nearly $100,000 and is now redirecting his energy to learning new skills. At first, Sammy wasn’t sure what was expected of him in farm life. But now that he’s getting the idea, he has become an eager, enthusiastic student. He’s approaching his new tasks with gusto! He is highly reward motivated and quickly became the teacher’s pet. He goes out of his way to elicit praise and looks for ways to make his teacher proud. Although he’s working his way through a few carry-over vices from the track (mild weaver and cribber), he improves on a daily basis. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time and he won’t remember either of these two habits. He is a joy to handle and work around."


HG 230
$50 Exacta Box 2-4
Dos Lunas: I throw out the last start and focus on the works and the natural progression that an individual can undergo from 2 year old to 3 year old and then look at how the connections have always pointed this one in against top competition and then the experience gained in several graded stakes and it appears this one has been meant to be a good one from the start and may be worth the risk at 30-1.
Winter Memories: looks like Paddy O' Prado's little sister indeed and should be able to handle most, if not all of this field on talent alone, and the one fast work is enough to give me confidence that she will wind up in the exacta at least

Congrats of wilson for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  This week's race is the third at Keeneland on Thursday. 

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan." Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified. Please post your plays and analysis to the blog. In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please. I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but 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. I'm 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.

Best of luck to all


Now, on to "Keeneland Babies" for tomorrow.

John Henry.pdf112.83 KB
Lykatilazor.pdf74.89 KB
Behrens.pdf61.82 KB
2008 BC Classic Chart.pdf374.96 KB
Salmon Run.pdf59.04 KB
HG231.pdf146.46 KB
Derby1993.pdf115.01 KB
Derby1994.pdf94.17 KB
Derby1995.pdf122.29 KB
Derby1996.pdf115.47 KB
Derby1997.pdf103.5 KB
Derby1998.pdf426.18 KB
Derby1999.pdf511.13 KB
Amazombie.pdf59.91 KB