08/29/2012 11:55AM

Dullahan a Poly-Freak


A couple of quick comments from last week's racing action.

*Boy, does DULLAHAN love polytrack.  All three of his career victories have come on the surface (all Grade 1 races, by the way) and it will be interesting to see if the connections point for the Breeders' Cup Classic on dirt at Santa Anita.  The long-term plan is probably the Dubai World Cup, but that race would be contested on Tapeta and not polytrack. 

*I didn't think GAME ON DUDE lost anything in defeat in the Pacific Classic.  He may have made his decisive move a bit too soon and Chantal Sutherland had some trouble with one of her reins.  No real excuses, but he ran yet another bang-up race.  He definitely stays on track for the Classic as that one will be contested over a dirt surface that he adores.

*The Travers didn't have the big names (I'll Have Another, Union Rags, Bodemeister, Paynter), but little ALPHA and longshot GOLDEN TICKET put on quite a show in the Midsummer Derby.  Alpha really showed his grit by coming back at the outsider after being passed in upper stretch.  Whether they'll be able to successfully tackle their elders is anyone's guess. 

*Fans of the "bounce" theory may have predicted Royal Delta's defeat in the Personal Ensign Stakes after a gut-busting performance in the Delaware Handicap last month.  She just didn't seem very comfortable while racing wide throughout, but she dug in and made a late run at LOVE AND PRIDE in the final sixteenth.  I'll give her a mulligan for this one.  IT'S TRICKY basically lost all chance at the start, but she courageously made a menacing rail bid to get into the thick of things before understandably tiring. 

*Say what you will about Rick Dutrow, but he got WILLY BEAMIN to upset a weak renewal of the King's Bishop off very short rest.  It makes you wonder what would happen if trainers actually raced their horses more often instead of carefully plotting every step of the year in January. 


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (8/20/12 - 8/26/12):

1. DULLAHAN - 111 - Pacific Classic (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Polytrack) - Del Mar
2. OBVIOUSLY (Ire) - 104 - Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Del Mar
3. ZAGORA (Fr) - 102 - Ballston Spa Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
4. ALPHA - 100 - Travers Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Saratoga*
4. CAPITAL ACCOUNT - 100 - Pat O'Brien Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
4. GOLDEN TICKET - 100 - Travers Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles - Saratoga*
4. LOVE AND PRIDE - 100 - Personal Ensign Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
4. LUNAR VICTORY - 100 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
4. VALID NICK - 100 - Alw 22150N1X - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Louisiana
10. BIG BAND SOUND - 98 - Play the King Stakes (G2-C) - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - Woodbine
11. ORIENTATIOUS - 97 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Del Mar
11. WILLY BEAMIN - 97 - King's Bishop Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
13. TURBULENT DESCENT - 96 - Ballerina Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
14. EXCLUSIVE STRIKE - 94 - Hcp 16000s - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Monmouth
14. FIDDLERS AFLEET - 94 - Clever Electrician Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
14. LITTLE DRAMA - 94 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
17. CASINO HOST - 93 - Del Mar Handicap (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Del Mar
17. RAGING DAOUST - 93 - OC 32k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - Monmouth
19. ANY GIVEN ROYAL - 92 - Alw 79119NC - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
19. GRAND RAPPORT - 92 - Clm c-25000B - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
19. IT'S NEVER TO LATE - 92 - OC 50k/N1Y - 6 Furlongs - Delaware
19. RISKY RACHEL - 92 - Union Avenue Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
23. CONTESTED - 91 - Test Stakes (G1) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
23. HEROICALLY - 91 - OC c-25k/N1X - 1 Mile (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
23. LET'S GO CHEYENNE - 91 - CTT and Thoroughbred Owners of California Handicap - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Del Mar
23. REDHOTRUSH - 91 - OC7k/SAL4k - 6 Furlongs - Evangeline
23. RIGBY - 91 - Alw 82000N1X - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
23. STREAMSIDE - 91 - Alw 30536N1X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
23. WIN WILLY - 91 - OC 40k/N2Y -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Delaware


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

GRAND RAPPORT was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Diane Balsamo from trainer Gary Contessa.

HEROICALLY was claimed for $25,000 by trainer O J Jauregui from trainer Mike Chambers.


Please check out the latest video production from Jessica Pacheco, Racing Analyst at Arlington Park.  It's Part 14 of the "Behind the Silks" video series following jockey Tim Thornton through his ups and downs at this year's Arlington meet.

"Bumps and Bolts"

Some days are just eventful days. Sunday, August 19th 2012, looked promising for Tim as he went into the day's races with a chance to win on five horses. The day takes an interesting turn as a couple horses bolt and a couple more cause inquiries.


All episodes, 1-14, can be found here:



Could you please post the pp's for Madcap Escapade? Thanks in advance.
Curran Rougia

Her lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of the blog post.


Dan -- There was reference to a first time starter winning a graded stakes race.Was the Bashford Manor a graded stakes race when Blair's Cove won it as a first time starter. Not sure.

The Bashford Manor was first graded in 1991.  Blair's Cove won the race in 1987.


My comment to you & Dan Illman,
"Bernard, c/o Dan Illman,
I'll put the drug question to Dan. Bernard has me stumped here. What was the drug question pertaining to horses who ran in the 60's & 70's ? Especially Seattle Slew & the Great Dr., Dr. Fager."
Okay Bernie..What happened here ? The definitive question is, Bernard has me stumped here...........­.DRUG ?
Curtis V. Slewster

Since the first time people raced horses against each other, there have been allegations that some folks have taken an edge by using something other than hay, oats and water.  Before Lasix was legal, many observers believed that trainers were using Lasix.  Perhaps that's what you guys are wondering about.  Dr. Fager was before my time and I was just a little handicapper, still blissfully unaware of the dark underbelly of the sport, when Seattle Slew made his historic Triple Crown run.


Having got back last night from York races, tired but exhilarated, I was ever so slightly deflated by your 22nd August piece on Frankel.
Somehow I had hoped that you might have dispensed with your journalistic objectivity and jumped both feet into the Frankel Best in the World camp. YOU ARE RIGHT, of course, because no horse races against every other horse, but you are being too professional. What other horses do you suggest are in the frame for that title?
Best Regards - Bernard Downes

Bernard, I don't know how I could have been more effusive in my praise of Frankel.  I mentioned that he was "widely regarded as the best in the world" and I'll stand by that as I'm sure there are a few people that don't believe he is the top-ranked thoroughbred. In my personal opinion, he's, hands-down, the best I've seen this year.


Congrats to Dick W  for winning last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Let's go with Friday's Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga for this week's event.

Penn National Rick's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.


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.

Please separate the play from the analysis and label the play "HG" with the program numbers (instead of the horse's name) for easier scoring.

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.

DULLAHAN.pdf637.53 KB
madcapescapade.pdf574.28 KB
Copy of Formblog Contest Arlington Race 8 8-24-12.xls40.5 KB