07/31/2010 11:35AM

Diana, Fourstardave, Haskell, Jim Dandy


Over the last few days, I've had the same conversation with at least six dozen racing fans.

THEM:  "Hey Dan, how was your work week?"

ME:  "Extremely embarrassing and frustrating."

THEM:  "Care to elaborate?"

ME:  Not really.

I'm terribly sorry that this new blog has caused so many problems to so many people. 

I would be lying if I told you that it's easier for me to post content and comments in this format. 

I've sent some of your concerns on how to make things better and easier, as well as some of my own, to our tech department.  I'm hoping to hear back in a few days. 

As for now, I suggest we all take it slow for the next few days and see how it all pans out. 

Let's skip HandiGambling this week so cayman01 and I can figure out who won last week's contest and give that person their deserved prize. 

I will be uploading comments on both sites for as long as they allow me to, but I believe that would cause two separate FormBlog universes for discussion purposes. 

As I said, it's terribly frustrating.

For now, I would love to hear your opinions on what should be a huge week of racing. 

Here are some of my own:

*Jim Dandy: - Saratoga - Race 10 (Saturday):

FLY DOWN is the most accomplished horse in the race with a six-length win in the Grade 2 Dwyer followed by a rallying runner-up performance in the 1 1/2 mile Belmont Stakes.  He shows some quick moves in preparation for the start of his second-half season and he likely will make his presence felt in a deep renewal of the Jim Dandy. I wasn't exactly blown away by the Dwyer (one of the few, I know), however, and I feel compelled to bet against Fly Down if he goes off at a drastically underlaid price. 

AFLEET EXPRESS is a scary contender as he tracked and pounced his way to a score in the Grade 3 Pegasus at Monmouth last time out.  That was his first race around two turns and he can work out a nice inside-out trip this afternoon under the hot-riding Javier Castellano. 

Still, I'm a loyal guy and I'm going to stick with A LITTLE WARM, a colt that I selected to win the Louisiana Derby in his first try around two turns back in March.  Sent off at 6-1 that day, A Little Warm controlled the pace and hung in gamely only to lose by three-parts of a length.  Now, this 1 1/8 distance may be stretching his capabilities, but A Little Warm looked good in his most recent start around two turns at Delaware (his first since missing the Preakness due to a temperature and a bleeding incident).  That afternoon, he tracked lone pacesetter Miner's Reserve through fast internal fractions and put that one away in upper stretch en route to a big Beyer score.  Perhaps A Little Warm can work out a similar trip with Miner's Reserve in the lineup and he can get the jump on the closers turning for home.

Selection:  A Little Warm

*Diana - Saratoga - Race 9 (Saturday):

A contenious renewal of the Diana features two-time defending champion FOREVER TOGETHER, Just a Game winner PROVISO and multiple graded winner PHOLA as the top three morning line choices.  Add in SHARED ACCOUNT (two-time graded winner), MARAM (Grade 3 winner), My PRINCESS JESS (three-time graded winner) and DYNASLEW (Grade 3 winner) and you have a whale of a race.

There doesn't seem to be much early speed in the Diana and that may give the tactical Proviso an advantage, much as it did in the Just a Game on June 5.  That afternoon, she prompted moderate fractions and just was able to hold off the late surge of PHOLA.

Still, I'm a loyal guy and I'm going to stick with Phola this time around.  Off a beat slowly in the Just a Game, she was far, far behind for the first five furlongs before finishing her last quarter in 22 1/5 to get within breathing distance of Proviso.  The pace scenario is a huge concern, but Phola kicks like a mule when she's right and she may be approaching peak form for Todd Pletcher and Ramon Dominguez.

I've been married to My Princess Jess forever without going on a honeymoon with her, but she can be up close to the pace.  On her best day, she can threaten for a piece.

Selections:  Phola, My Princess Jess

*Haskell - Monmouth - Race 12 (Sunday):

An exceptional race with the one-two finishers in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (SUPER SAVER, ICE BOX, LOOKIN AT LUCKY, FIRST DUDE) hooking up with some intriguing new shooters. 

Count me as one of the folks that was impressed with TRAPPE SHOT's win in the Long Branch, the local prep for the Haskell on July 10.  Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Trappe Shot bobbled slightly at the start, then was sent up to prompt a three-ply pace situation while down on the rail.  All four of the Long Branch runners were right there after a half-mile, but Trappe Shot professionally moved through along the fence to take the lead with three furlongs to run.  After that, he turned on the jets to win nicely with a 105 Beyer Speed Figure.  Trappe Shot draws a tough outside post position and there's a chance that he will be floated wide going into the first turn of the Haskell, but his tactical speed should have him right off the leaders.  We'll see how good he is on Sunday. 

Selections:  Trappe Shot

*Fourstardave - Saratoga - Race 7 (Sunday):

GET STORMY had a five-race winning streak snapped last time out at Woodbine, but I'm going to draw a line right through that race.  First of all, I'm not sure that the configuration of the Woodbine turf course (one-turn mile, long stretch) played to Get Stormy's speedy strengths.  Second, Get Stormy was rated coming out of the gate and he felt pressure from both sides for the first half-mile. 

In the Fourstardave, Get Stormy draws inside and Javier Castellano figures to get him right out to the early lead.  When he dictates terms, he is tough to run down.

Selection:  Get Stormy

Best of luck to all. 



SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Okay..Maybe absence Makes the heart grow fonder, I'm glad to be back. First post on the new site, and maybe being away for a bit I missed all the intial 'bugs' so to speak. Dan, it is easier than i thought to navigate. I like to be able to pick, oldest /to newest option...like that time stamps are available, and I will get use to the smaller envelope style of box. BUT, it's reallly nice to see everyone here. I tried the old site, and no longer available...so 'unward and upward' :). Quick note about Saratoga, The Thongs had a great time..but the real pearls out there were the chance to meet Ned Daly, Mike A, Lawduck07, Scianc22, Ray Manley, Travers and their family, Happy B-Day to Traver's mom :) I'm home and have family visiting...so off to entertain them. Will be back with a couple of Thongatoga stories that I hope will entertain you Formbloggers..BTW, Chantal does look lovely in Blue...HA!
Anonymous (p ensign) More than 1 year ago
the best part is every 10 post having to scroll back down the page to the comments section>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> or is the captcha thingy>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> or is it knowing that the paragraphs that I'm trying to create by hitting the return button will blend into each other>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> sure hope they're selling a lot more online racing forms, (although the "get pps" buttons are just big nasty warts on the otherwise not quite pretty toad for me)... but hey, I'm sure they did all kinds of research, asked the most frequent users how they'd like the site revamped, and just catered every change to their customers needs.......................................bwahaha
Annie More than 1 year ago
Virgin Queen, You were wondering why they don't seem to be complaining on Crist's blog. I checked it out, and it looks pretty much like it always was. The posters there have always posted mostly one sentence or one paragraph comments, so it doesn't seem any different to them. Unlike our beloved Formblog. And, of course, there's never been as many posts, so the 100 limit doesn't affect them.>>>>I'm tempted to write up a Horse Talk and see how that looks, but I'm pretty sure what it would look like. :(>>>>Maybe the powers that be only want us posting that way. :{ Annie
TheVanGogh More than 1 year ago
Wow... this new website sure is a trip. I've only glossed over some of your opinions, but it appears I'm in the minority for liking the new interface. Aside from FormBlog's grusome disfigurement, I think the website is actually pretty neat (minus the periodic glitches one encounters). The toolbar at the top is a concise way to include all my DRF provisions, and therefore an improvement upon our beloved old site. I remember when Facebook radically altered their interface. It was a turbulent time, wrought with pure, unrefined internet rage. But after a few weeks everyone adjusted to the new format and all was well in the land of social networking and internet stalking.
Ned Daly More than 1 year ago
SRVegas,TBTA,Katieattherail,Laura,Ray Manley,Travers Great to meet you all yesterday at the Spa. Hope you had as much fun as I did. Thanks for the sandwich and Pepsi!
Mike A More than 1 year ago
As to Silver Reunion.......I reckon she went wrong during the running of the Valley View. That horses run in the Rickaverse last year was an eye popper. Fragile animal though................Not a ton of speed signed on, if she's ready who knows. I expect the usual good race from Keertana......keying her may be the way to go. Won't bet the race......but will watch with much interest. Mike A
Mike A More than 1 year ago
More on the first from the Spa........Looked at the PP's.......A monkey wrench in my plan, J. Hertlers entry, Barrel Of Love. While the horse has distance tattooed all over him, and we can argue about the competition being better, one thing bothers me. Why the 4 sprints, why not, after the loss by a neck the first time on turf, especially with this horses breeding, didn't he stretch him out. Why run three more times at 6f, before he finally won, in arguably he" worst" race. J. Hertlers no fool, this horse reminds me of Jet To Classics, another J. Hertler trainee. ......................................................................I believe I will Key on Thunder Chief 1/2 with Gamblin Fever, Barrel Of Love and Joey's Chance. I'll let Tom's Kitten beat me for those who are wondering why I'm not including him. I've beaten him before, I'll try it again. Mike A
Annie More than 1 year ago
Sheesh! Those Unbridled Song's are so fragile. Now another one, WINSLOW HOMER, out with a condylar fracture after only his 2nd start back after a fractured shin.>>>>See, I'm trying. Annie
Michael_M More than 1 year ago
Annie; I couldn't agree with you more! I've had a strong opinion on the frgility of Unbridled Song's for the past ten years. And in spite of the big-names UBS's that have come up injured, they remain wildly overpriced at auction. Great post! I'm glad to read that I'm not alone in this. MM
knm More than 1 year ago
Is anyone else having this problem, or is it just me? I check what I think are the latest posts, and then, just to be on the safe side, I check 'earlier' posts, and I find some that I haven't read! AND, they have times that I think should be on the 'recent' posts! Am I seeing things?
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
Mike A....................I agree with your assessment of this group of horses. Lookin at Lucky looked good in the Haskell and if he wins the Travers he's on track for the the 3YO old honors.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Blackseabass, I like your comparison to Chinatown at night. LOL>>>>I agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense to alienate the devout horseplayers in the hopes of attracting a few new ones. I don't recall any of us making these suggestions except the new to old sequence which some have wanted. Now we have both options which is good. When catching up after a couple of days, the old to new is best because you want to read them in chronological order. If you check often, new to old works good since you only have to scroll down a couple to where you left off and then scroll up, still being able to read them in chronological order, but hate the groups of 10. And 100 will not cut it for this blog, or at least as it was.>>>>It is also very time consuming if you want to respond to more than one person on different subjects.>>>>>And, you know what I think of the run-on format. Yech!>>>>As for the rest, I have been able to buy PPs, find entries and results and read the news pretty much as always, so if our beloved blog could be fixed or we could have our old site back (BTW, I couldn't get there this morning, so it might be gone), I could live with the rest. Annie