07/29/2015 1:01PM

Dude at Del Mar


Give WILD DUDE some pace and he'll make some good sprinters pay in the stretch. If there isn't any speed in the race, the 5-year-old could be in for a long afternoon.

In last Saturday's Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar, Wild Dude received ample speed to attack and he looked good in upsetting odd-on favorite MASOCHISTIC.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Wild Dude ($24.60) broke cleanly under hot-riding Flavien Prat and settled in an extremely comfortable spot by himself while racing well off the inside. Meanwhile, the fleet multiple Grade 3 winner DISTINCTIV PASSION hooked up with trainer Bob Baffert's CAMINETTO to set scorching splits of 22.01 and 44.73.

Masochistic, winner of the Grade 1 Triple Bend last month at Santa Anita, sat the perfect spot in third off the dueling leaders and advanced on the turn to take the lead entering the stretch. He was no match for Wild Dude, however, as Prat wheeled his mount to the four path early in the lane.

Wild Dude had plenty in the tank to pass Masochistic while holding off the belated flurry of the late-starting Grade 2 winner KOBE'S BACK. Wild Dude completed the six furlongs in 1:09.51 and received a career-best 106 Beyer Speed Figure.

Bred by Versatile Thoroughbreds, Wild Dude was foaled in Florida on March 20, 2010. His sire, the late Wildcat Heir, was a very fast sprinter for trainer Ben Perkins Jr. Wildcat Heir won half of his 12 starts with his big victory coming in the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial at Laurel. Wildcat Heir also earned a 116 Beyer Speed Figure when dominating seven others in the $100,000 Teddy Drone Stakes at Monmouth. Wildcat Heir has also sired Grade 1 sprint winner Heir Kitty.

Wild Dude's dam, Courtly Choice (by Doneraile Court), won two sprint races over Arlington's polytrack surface. She is a half-sister to multiple stakes-placed dirt sprinter Let's Get Crackin and stakes-placed dirt sprinter Hopewell Heart.

Wild Dude sold for $9,000 as a weanling and was purchased by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer for $42,000 as a 2-year-old in training. Winless from two starts at two (he finished a well-beaten second to eventual two-time Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents in the debut), Wild Dude then went on an extended vacation before winning his 3-year-old debut on August 24, 2013 at six panels over the Del Mar polytrack. He closed out the season with an entry-level allowance win over the cushion track at Betfair Hollywood Park. In that race, he defeated the solid runners BIG MACHER and AMBITIOUS BREW.

Wild Dude started his 4-year-old season strong. He won the Grade 2 Palos Verdes over Breeders’ Cup Sprint hero Secret Circle after being forced to alter course sharply in midstretch. Following a close fourth-place finisher to uncoupled stable mate SAHARA SKY in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes, Wild Dude missed by a dirty nose to Big Macher in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes.

Unfortunately, Hollendorfer had to stop on Wild Dude again and he didn't resurface until this winter. He received a good tightener when third in the Palos Verdes, and showed excellent tactical speed when winning the San Carlos over Kobe's Back. In that race, there was no pace and jockey Rafael Bejarano hustled Wild Dude into a pace-pressing position.

Hollendorfer shipped Wild Dude to New York and the horse was compromised by a wide trip and a lack of pace when a non-threatening sixth behind DAD'S CAPS. It was a similar situation in the next two races as he chased loose winner Distinctiv Passion in the Los Angeles before attempting to rally into moderate splits behind Masochistic in the Triple Bend.

Wild Dude is not nominated to the Breeders' Cup and would have to be supplemented for $100,000 in order to compete in this year's Sprint. In the meantime, he is worth following in Southern California sprint races with an abundance of early speed.


Here are the WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 7/21/15 - 7/27/15

1. WILD DUDE - 106 - Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) - 6 Furlongs - 26Jul15-6DMR
2. MICKS MIRACLE - 104 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 25Jul15-9DMR
3. CATCH A FLIGHT (ARG) - 102 - San Diego Handicap (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - 25Jul15-8DMR
4. HARD NOT TO LIKE - 100 - Diana Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 25Jul15-10SAR
5. MIDNIGHT TRANSFER - 97 - Clm 40000(40-35) - 6 Furlongs - 23Jul15-6DMR
5. PURE TACTICS - 97 - Wickerr Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 22Jul15-7DMR
7. NEWFOUND GOLD - 96 - Clm c-(12.5-10.5) - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 26Jul15-4DMR
8. ECLETO RED - 95 - Prairie Meadows Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - 25Jul15-8PRM
8. SHORE RUNNER - 95 - Lucky Coin Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 27Jul15-7SAR
10. AGELESS - 94 - Royal North Stakes (G3-C) - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - 26Jul15-8WO
10. BIG JOHN B - 94 - Cougar II Handicap (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles - 24Jul15-6DMR
10. HEIR OF STORM - 94 - OC 80k/C - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 22Jul15-3DMR
10. PULLING G'S - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 24Jul15-8SAR
10. WELL'S GOLD - 94 - OC c-17k/N2X - 1 Mile (Turf) - 23Jul15-3LAD
15. UCHENNA - 93 - Ontario Matron Stakes (G3-C) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - 25Jul15-8WO
16. CURALINA - 92 - Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - 26Jul15-10SAR
16. MONSTER MASH - 92 - Clm 50000 - 7 Furlongs - 25Jul15-11SAR
16. PLAINVIEW - 92 - OC 62k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 25Jul15-8SAR
16. SPACE MINE - 92 - OC 20k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 24Jul15-8PRM
16. SUMMER BREEZING - 92 - OC 40k/N2X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 26Jul15-7SAR
16. WARREN'S REBEL - 92 - Alw 26130N2X - 1 Mile 70 Yards - 22Jul15-5LAD
16. WEEWINNIN - 92 - California Dreamin' Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 26Jul15-8DMR
23. FACE OF WINNER - 91 - Alw 85000N1X - 1 1/8 Miles - 26Jul15-8SAR
23. HIDDEN CANYON - 91 - Alw 30000NC - 7 Furlongs - 22Jul15-6CT
23. KINGSPORT - 91 - Deputy Minister Stakes - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 22Jul15-6WO
23. TERRYS TOM CAT - 91 - OC 40k/N1X - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 24Jul15-7DMR
23. TRIBAL TRIBUTE - 91 - Clm 40000(40-35) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 24Jul15-4DMR

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

*NEWFOUND GOLD was claimed for $12,500 by R B Hess Jr. from Peter Miller.

*WELL'S GOLD was claimed for $17,500 by trainer F Dewaine Loy from Ralph Irwin.


Are we going to see Steven Crist at all this year at the Spa....many of us love his daily stories, food write ups. Also, capping. I hope that his health is OK....or that your loyal bloggers will not be charged. ....
Be good all.

What happened to Steve Crist's Saratoga blog? I see only a few articles on drf+.Is he unwell? I hope not.
Thanks in advance

Mr. Crist is doing well. He is writing stakes analyses for this year's Saratoga meet, but I don't believe he will continue his daily Saratoga blog.


You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to check out DRF LIVE's VIDEO handicapping coverage at live.drf.com. Matt Bernier and I will be on at 4pm ET Wednesday through Saturday to take you through the final few races at Saratoga.


Congrats to MZ for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling tournament.

Rick M's scoresheet is available for perusal at the bottom of this blog post.

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE'D LIKE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT THIS WEEK. RICK M. HAS REQUESTED THIS WEEK'S CONTEST AS A "50-CENT MINIMUM SUPERFECTA CHALLENGE." Please utilize superfecta wagers ONLY for this week as well as your reasoning for handicapping and ticket construction.

Let's go with Saturday's West Virginia Derby for this week's exercise.


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

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

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 if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.


Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

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

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE 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 recognize you .

- (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.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # 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 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




WILD DUDE.pdf721.6 KB
Copy of Formblog Sanford 7-25-15.xls208.15 KB
Ed Bechs More than 1 year ago
Rodney and Bernard, I agree with you about the Haskell. Why go for a 110 Beyer in an easy race and a good warmup? Maybe Victor gets it that the race was not his last. He cruised with CC. Maybe it was the plan? I'm just happy to have a TC winner still running and not in the stable counting his money. Still a long way off until the Classic, so let's enjoy races like the Whitney. That race will be a tough call where everyone will finish. Rodney, loved the play on words. It is our honor code to throw in the occasional pun. edb
Sinatra Jeter More than 1 year ago
CM Vongole There are not many horses that can win multiple races. The vast majority will win one race then continue down the class ladder until they are able to win another then the cycle returns of running poorly. There are a few and just a few every year that win more than three races and then there are some that click off a series of wins, five, six and even seven before dropping off. When there is a triple crown winner, a champion for his age and continues to win it is phenomenal and a rare event to see and witness, whether reading the form or actually being at the event. Seeking the weakness of this champion and believing that his next race will show his failure is something only a long shot bettor will pursue. At least let us who have witnessed such a rariety in horse racing enjoy the pleasure of believing what he may be able to accomplish and let us cheer without doubting and biting our fingernails when we bet our money that he will lose. TurfRuler
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rodney, Hmm, funny you should mention UPSTART. :) Annie
Rodney . More than 1 year ago
CM Vongole, Well interesting analysis, each to his own on how a race is run. My take...Victor could have done the interview at the furlong marker, whilst watching the big screen of him and his mount gear right down. I jest of course. But I wouldn't be to keen on any upstart of a horse getting past AP in the Travers.
CM Vongole More than 1 year ago
Harold, I'm not at all suggesting that he's unsound. He has never had a very strong gallop-out either. None of that bothers me. There was also no reason for him to finish under any urging. He is far superior to the other 3yos, who I think are very weak as a group. I will say that I'm not a big subscriber to the idea of shutting down the engine in the late stages of a race to conserve something for the future. Whether that was the plan or not, it was something that I did not see that horse do during the Spring. It doesn't have anything to do with Espinoza, who, I think, rode him the same way he always has. In the Spring, he galloped home (on his own) much better than he did on Sunday. I don't believe in blanket rules of thumb like "1st off a layoff" or "2nd off a layoff" and hints at an eventual regression can be very subtle for such a high-quality horse. I'm only saying that it's possible his Spring campaign may catch up to him in the 2nd half of the season. Most horses cannot retain their top form for a full racing season. The great ones can, and have... he may be in that category too. I'm just interested in watching the Travers, a race he should win with similar ease against overmatched 3yos. I want to see an effort more similar to his earlier Spring form. Put it this way: without it, American Pharoah is not a horse I would consider using as a semi-single key in the Breeders Cup P6... he might be more wisely used as one of a few 'covers' in the Classic, which, in turn, might be more wisely classified as a 'spread' race.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sharon, Thank you for the kind words. As always, you are inspiring with your support and enthusiasm and both Michael and I look forward to sering you and Dan in January. BEBC
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CM Vongole, Pardon my rudeness but every time I read your (new) name I am reminded of a very nice little restaurant in Milan that does (or did) the most amazing Spaghetti Vongole. Great grub. I found your recent post an interesting read but, and here is a second request for a pardon, I wonder if you have fallen prey to the danger you yourself identified, that of trying too hard to find signs of regression in American Pharoah. I don't do the fancy timing thing so I won't begin to attempt to rank the Haskell against other recent performances, but it looked good to me. I almost said faultless, but then I thought I might be too easily pleased. What I am certain I did see was a jockey trying to win a race whilst giving his horse the easiest possible race. Job done. As to the future, we all know that nothing is certain in racing, but for my part, if there is a current horse that can beat AP on dirt, I haven't seen it. Best Regards - Bernard Downes
Mac930My More than 1 year ago
My Race of the weekend: The Shuvee. Easy! Stopcharging Maria and Untapable hooked up early and basically ran side by side for the entire race until the last 50 yards until the well rested Maria inched away and won by a length. I would say that does it for me. Anybody else find a better race?? WM OUT!
Harold Crenshaw More than 1 year ago
C. I love a story way more than most people. Good strong case on what you saw....and I will accept your premise....but the way I saw it was that it was total jockey decision and not a failing of the horse. Very similar to how jockeys pull up after the wire....yet we saw it at the 1/8th pole while the cameras and the timer were ticking. Just a dominant easy win. In the Derby my thought was that Baffert had a pretty good idea that this was the one for TRIPLE CROWN glory......and his effort there was Baffert trying to win without a fully cranked horse. He played it differently this time.....and "talented" this one to the Winners Circle in the Derby.....and the rest fell into place. That the horse was kept in a pretty much "program" training schedule.....THAT speaks volumes about HEALTH.
CM Vongole More than 1 year ago
When a high-profile horse like American Pharoah keeps winning, it's only natural to try to find any signs of regression in the hopes of beating them in the future. Sometimes, you can try too hard though, and I don't want to make that mistake... but I saw a few things in the Haskell that tell me this was not American Pharoah's best performance, although he was still dominant. It should be noted that I didn't expect a peak performance by any means. The first is pretty minor and understandable. His lead change was just slightly on the late side. This was his first race in almost 2 months and his Spring campaign and subsequent training could've been a little more taxing than most handicappers believe it was. Could it be a sign of tailing form in the Travers? Perhaps, but I'm not ready to make that leap just yet. He is clearly far superior to the rest of this 3yo class and still took the Haskell under a hand ride, even if he didn't run his strongest race. There's always the BC Classic against elders though. The second observation has me a little more concerned. This year, we've seen American Pharoah take control, open up, and cruise home in good time... demolishing his competition in the process. He did it in every race this year, with the exception of the Derby, which was more of a driving finish under pressure. In two of those races, he glided home in the slop, which can often be misleading. Still, the Haskell represents the first time I've seen him gear down in the stretch and other horses gain ground on him. Everyone will say he was wasn't being urged and was being geared down because the race was in hand... I'm not always such a big believer in that theory. Sometimes, horses run their best times when galloping freely under hand rides. Espinoza has been a statue in most of these races, yet I wouldn't say American Pharoah just walked across the finish line under minimal power... he motored home in those races, pouring it on vanquished foes who just couldn't keep up. Keen Ice is not a terrible horse, but he's a deep closer who is only going to pick up a check by passing spent horses. He did just that. His second-place clunk-up performance wasn't surprising... but I was a little surprised that he closed as much ground as he did on American Pharoah. He was under a full drive and American Pharoah wasn't, I understand that. But I believe this was more a result of American Pharoah slowing down in a way we've never seen before, rather than Keen Ice accelerating. The reason is Upstart's race. Upstart chased the early pace, getting a nice pocket trip. Eventually, he just couldn't hang in there and faded out of the race... almost. Upstart was a fading horse... already put away by 5 lengths or so. Keen Ice ran right by him and put a few lengths between them. None of that was surprising. What was surprising is that this fading horse didn't lose another inch of ground to American Pharoah from the eighth pole on. On the surface, this was another dominant race from a superstar horse. But we have seen him run much faster in the late stages, even under similar hand rides. To believe American ran his usual race, you would have to believe that Keen Ice is a beast of a closer and that Upstart found a second wind. Again, I'm fine with the fact that American Pharoah wasn't cranked up to run the race of his life here... I wouldn't expect that anyway. But something outside the established pattern did occur here which may be a hint at deteriorating form. I'm not suggesting he will lose the Travers. It's too early for that. A major regression may not happen in the Travers... it may be later down the road. It may not happen at all this year, who knows... horses don't speak. I am only suggesting that there's enough reason to take a cautious approach here... especially since we know American Pharoah will never again be much of a value on the tote board.