02/10/2016 4:37PM

Donworth to Dubai


It's on to Dubai for several notable American-based runners, but one under-the-radar sort that might get lost in the CALIFORNIA CHROME, FROSTED, MSHAWISH, KEEN ICE and HOPPERTUNITY shuffle is the lightly-raced DONWORTH.

A physically-imposing 4-year-old son of two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow, DONWORTH made his first start in 231 days in last Saturday's Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita. Sent away the 4 to 1 third choice in the eight-horse field, Donworth broke from post position two and soon hooked up with rail-skimming Grade 2-placed pacesetter CAT BURGLAR.

The two went quickly through fractions of 23.18, 46.93 and 1:10.57 with Donworth finally wresting away the lead in upper stretch. The enervating pace took its toll, however, as the two race favorites, Grade 1 winner Hoppertunity and millionaire IMPERATIVE, drove past in the final furlong.

Cat Burglar held fourth over Grade 1 winner HARD ACES, CYRUS ALEXANDER, and Grade 2 winners EL KABEIR and BLINGO. Donworth was beaten a half-length and received a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure, not too shabby considering the long layoff, the hot pace and the fact that the San Antonio was his first race at 1 1/8 miles.

Bred by K. C. Garrett Farm LLC, Donworth was foaled in Kentucky on April 17, 2012. His dam, Temple Street (by Street Cry), placed second in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Stakes in 2009.

Donworth was sent to trainer Graham Motion and he wowed morning clockers with his pre-debut workouts. In analyzing Donworth's drills prior to his first start at Gulfstream on March 14, 2015, the "DRF Clocker Report" looked like this:

March 7 - Broke well with recent first-out winner Miss Ella in a nice 36 flat, up by two lengths in 47.20, was just urged a tad finishing four lengths to the good in a sharp 1:00 flat, and galloped out like a freight train in 1:13.20 for six furlongs. He never turned a hair through these very sharp splits and I think Motion is about to unload a beast on us. Rating: A-

Feb. 24 - Awesome gate move this morning breaking well with Infinite Sky quickly going up one length, drew off easily by ten lengths in an excellent five-eighths, and was bouncing around after the work like he just went out for an easy stroll. Think there is a lot of quality to this colt. Rating: A-

Feb. 16 - Worked with Complacent in 13 flat, 36.60 to the top of the lane, was just urged a tad and drew off by three lengths in 1:02 flat, and galloped out fantastically in 1:14.60, 1:29.40 for a full seven furlongs. Rating: B+

Feb. 10 - Worked with Complacent from the gate in 26.40, was asked some finishing a length to the good in 50.02, and galloped out in 1:03.60. He was bouncing around with great energy after the work. Rating: B

The word was officially out at Donworth was pounded to 8 to 5 favoritism in that 13-horse maiden special weight at seven furlongs. Despite being shuffled and bumped on the backstretch, Donworth gamely fought past the second-choice to post the victory over a pair of next-out winners (one of them, VICTORY IS SWEET, returned to graduate with a 100 Beyer).

The following month, Donworth stretched out around two turns in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. He broke a half-beat slow and ended up tracking the pace while outside. Although no match for DIVINING ROD, Donworth ran well enough to best two more next-out winners.

Following the Lexington, Joel Rosario told track publicity about the challenges of riding such a huge horse. "He didn't break (from the gate) that sharp. He's a big horse and he cannot get out of the gate very quick. He took me right away to follow the leader. He was going nice and easy, nice and comfortable. He ran good.”

One of those runners, FAME AND POWER, bested Donworth in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard. Over a speed-friendly Pimlico surface, a washed-out Donworth ended up eager and wide while Fame and Power controlled the proceedings from the start. Donworth tried hard, but couldn't overcome Fame and Power's tactical advantage. He finished a solid third.

Donworth then scratched from the Easy Goer Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard and instead was re-routed to the $100,000 Stanton Stakes at Delaware. The Stanton was taken off the turf and Donworth put on a show against hopelessly overmatched rivals.

The Stanton was Donworth's final start of 2015. He was consigned to the Keeneland November auction as part of the Regis Farm dispersal. He was purchased by Paul Reddam for $550,000 and sent to Doug O'Neill's barn in Southern California.

The San Antonio was an extremely promising start to his 2016 season. While the World Cup is a big ask for such a lightly-raced colt, it's possible that Donworth is beginning to grow into his massive frame. He has excellent tactical speed and should offer decent value in a stacked World Cup field.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 2/2/16 - 2/8/16:

1. MSHAWISH - 106 - Donn Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 6Feb16-13GP
2. HOPPERTUNITY - 104 - San Antonio Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 6Feb16-7SA
3. LADY SHIPMAN - 103 - Ladies Turf Sprint Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 6Feb16-4GP
3. LUKES ALLEY - 103 - Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 6Feb16-12GP
3. TOMMY MACHO - 103 - Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - 6Feb16-5GP
6. KOBE'S BACK - 100 - Palos Verdes Stakes (G2) - 6 Furlongs - 7Feb16-6SA
6. POWER ALERT (AUS) - 100 - Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 6Feb16-10GP
8. REGALLY READY - 97 - OC 75k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 4Feb16-8OP
9. FLAMBOYANT (FR) - 96 - San Marcos Stakes (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 6Feb16-8SA
9. MELATONIN - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 5Feb16-5SA
11. FAST FLYING RUMOR - 94 - OC50k/SAL25k - 6 Furlongs - 5Feb16-7TAM
11. TAMMY THE TORPEDO - 94 - Suwannee River Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 6Feb16-6GP
13. DANZING CANDY - 93 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 Mile - 4Feb16-7SA
13. KENJISSTORM - 93 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 6Feb16-6SA
15. MOR SPIRIT - 92 - Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - 6Feb16-4SA
15. SPEIGHTSONG - 92 - OC 50k/N4L -N - 6 Furlongs - 6Feb16-5OP
17. BROTHERSOFTHETIME - 91 - OC 62k/N2X - 7 Furlongs - 7Feb16-9GP
17. CHINA GIRL LOVER - 91 - Super Bowl Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 7Feb16-5SA
17. EAGLE SCREAMS - 91 - OC c-62k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles (Tapeta) - 7Feb16-6GG
17. MONTCLAIR (IRE) - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - 3Feb16-5GP
17. NEGRITO - 91 - Wcl 30000(25-20 - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 5Feb16-6LRL
22. INSPECTOR LYNLEY - 90 - Md Sp Wt 40k - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 6Feb16-8GP
23. AL'S GAL - 89 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - 3Feb16-10GP
23. BUCKING THUNDER - 89 - OC12k/SAL7k - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 8Feb16-1HOU
23. CHIP LEADER - 89 - OC 62k/N3X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 8Feb16-9FG
23. DOMAIN'S RAP - 89 - Clm 40000(50-40) - 1 Mile - 4Feb16-6OP
23. SAME AS - 89 - Alw 38000N1X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 6Feb16-7FG

*MSHAWISH's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*EAGLE SCREAMS was claimed for $62,500 by trainer Jonathan Wong from Gil Matos.


From Twitter:

Mr.Illman not sure if this is the proper forum  but if possible could u post Dangerous Midge's pp's in yr next blog thank you

They're available at the bottom of this blog post.


Ref: Changing Leads
Does it apply to turf horses as well? I've only heard about it always in regards to dirt horses.
Sir, any expert opinion please?

American horses, whether they are campaigned on turf and dirt, are trained to run on their left lead on the turns before switching over to their right lead on the straightaways.

When a horse doesn't change leads or changes back to the wrong lead at the wrong time, it could signal a physical issue, that the horse is very green, or the runner is extremely fatigued (all negatives).

Some horses don't change leads and still enjoy great success. A poster mentioned that Alydar, a superior performer, never changed leads during his races. One must wonder if Alydar would have bested Affirmed in at least one of the three Triple Crown races of 1978 if he did switch. Ruffian had poor lead changes and she might have been the greatest filly of all time. More recently, VALID, a tough handicap runner, is one that doesn't change leads well. He still has banked a good amount of money. For some runners, it doesn't seem to matter.

If a smooth lead-changer all of a sudden doesn't change, it could be a sign that the horse is tailing off form. Conversely, a horse with poor lead changes, especially a lightly-raced runner, that does begin to do it properly might be on the way to better results.


Video stakes analyses for many of the weekend's major stakes will be available later this week at http://www.drf.com/videos

You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

I'll be on with Matt Bernier and Mike Beer for free and fun live handicapping analysis for Gulfstream, Laurel, Tampa Bay, Oaklawn and Santa Anita beginning at 3pm ET on live.drf.com.


Here's a message from Laura regarding our 2016 FormBlog Convention at Gulfstream Park:

Last Chance for Hotel Reservations!! 
The Formblog/ThoroFan Convention is on February 19 - 21, less than a month away!  If you want to attend, please contact Laura at lross@imtbreds.com

As usual, our generous benefactor Mike Nyman is giving us a suite complete with temperamental betting machine.  There will be a race named for our group with photo ops in the paddock and winners circle.  Laura will pick up/drop off at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport if you don't want to rent a car.  So far, nobody has been killed or injured during the drive.  Can't decide if you want to attend?  Ask other formbloggers what a great time they had! Most are coming back for more!


Congrats to Dick W. for winning last week's HandiGambling challenge.

We'll go with Saturday's John B. Campbell Handicap at Laurel for this week's exercise.


Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.

SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:

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 SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING .

1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.

2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.

3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR 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 identify who you are.

4. (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.

5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # 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 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.

HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100

Thanks Dan!




MSHAWISH.pdf804.95 KB
Copy of Formblog Donn Handicap 2-6-16.xls43.5 KB