04/02/2009 11:37PM

Early Timetable


No blinking allowed Saturday afternoon: There are five Grade 1 stakes at four different tracks in the same 52-minute window between 5:05 and 5:57 pm Eastern time:

I'll post some thoughts on the main events Friday evening and then live-blog the day from Aqueduct Saturday. In the meantime, a few odds and ends:

--The first grass races of the year in New York are scheduled for Friday at Aqueduct but it's supposed to start raining in the morning and continue most of the day. The 11th race Saturday, last leg of the Wood Memorial Day Pick-6, is also scheduled for the turf. Note that Saturday's pick-4, however, will start one race earlier than usual, an all-stakes $400k guaranteed sequence on the Bay Shore, Excelsior, Wood and Carter.

--When Tale of Ekati runs in the Carter Saturday, he will be trying to complete a sweep of what until this year were Aqueduct's only three Grade 1 races -- the Wood, Cigar Mile and Carter. This year, however, there's a fourth Grade 1 at Aqueduct, for which Tale of Ekati isn't eligible. Can you name it? (Answer below)

--Keeneland opens Friday with a 10-race card featuring the $150k G3 Transylvania Stakes for 3-year-olds on the grass. Stormalory and Florentino, 1-2 in a Feb. 5 Gulfstream N1x allowance, are the favorites in a field of eight, all of them seeking their first stakes victory.

--Answer to Aqueduct question: The Grade 1 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies, formerly run at Belmont in September, has been moved to the Cigar Mile card at Aqueduct the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend this year.

--The Beyer Speed Figure for Quality Road's Florida Derby has been raised from a preliminary 103 to a 111, as Beyer explains here. Another problem with gauging the race was that it was the only two-turn race on the card, and there are days when some (though not all) figuremakers treat the sprints and routes differently. The same thing happened with last year's Travers, the only route that day. Fortunately, Saturday's two G1 Derby preps are on cards with other two-turn races.

prozacjack More than 1 year ago
Dear Steve. I know I will sound STUPID but that's nothing new for me,or the rest of the Horse Player's out there. This "mis- managed sport NEVER has worked on the "image" problem.If you've got your NOSE buried in a FORM your some kind of "sicko" but if your on your way to Las Vegas, EVERYONE wishes you GOOD luck. I have done pretty well over the years at this game, but I have NEVER bought into the "Beyer" speed figures...I also pay NO attention to work outs, that's the trainer's job, let him get the horse ready.Can they win TODAY if they are REALLY PUSHING for the win, that's the way I play, and I don't really care who's riding the TOP ten at any track can WIN if they are on the right Horse.The Horse Player's of today have so much USELESS information it BOGGLES the mind. Lets see, the horses load into a gate, the gate opens and USUALLY the best horse wins, yes it is that simple....
Wayne80 More than 1 year ago
The Remsen should be a Grade 1 also.
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
How can anyone put any faith in speed figures that are adjusted because they don't "look" right? ...If this doesn't scare you off speed figures then I don't know what will.....
Robert Slifer More than 1 year ago
Fab Strike will win tomorrow after the horrible ride that was given by Edgar Prado in the General George last time I see him rolling early like he normally does and winning off by many. 2 weeks to a 1 million dollar race at Charlestown I'll be making the trip down from Pittsburgh to see it. The number 1 handicapp horse in the country is showing up Commentator.
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Full kudos to Andy Beyer and his people for doing what they felt had to be done with the Fla. Derby number. I am definitely not a number (Beyer or anyone else) slave, but I've grown to have a lot of respect for the effort that goes in to quantifying a horse's performance. There are times when I find Beyer #'s invaluable and other times when I put an index card over them as I go through a race. I try not to scoff at information that someone has worked hard to provide, and in the case of speed numbers my math skills couldn't come up with anything usable even if I had the time. :
gofor broke More than 1 year ago
...We all have to analyze the information ourselves, unless you just want to buy a sheet and bet someone else's picks. I like the Beyer numbers. I remember 1991 when I first saw the Racing Times. I bought that and the form, and the Beyer numbers were a good addition. So was sire's sire.
Brian More than 1 year ago
I agree with prozacjack on the Beyer numbers. Seems they are always mentioned when it's best to mention them. Some longshot wins, and someone says "he had the best Beyers for the last 3 starts."
TK Lawless More than 1 year ago
Revising the figures after the fact, huh? Sounds kinda like what everyone likes to say about Dosage, doesn't it? Only problem is Dosage was designed to help breeder's make better decisions, where as Beyer figures (like 'em or not) are supposed to reflect how fast a horse ran. Seems like every time I look up, a number is being revised.....it happened to 3 of our horses in the last couple of months....I pay $5 to find out what a horse ran, then by the time he/she starts again, the #'s are different. No big issue with it, just that there seems to be a little double standard at work as far as the complaints against Dosage & Dr. Roman. BTW, Dosage wasn't designed for handicapping, but it was noticed that no horse had won the Derby in a 40-50 year period with a Dosage above 4 on the scale, and off the media went. Recently very few horses show up in the Derby whose #'s don't fit, so I guess the breeder's or someone took it to heart!
ponyman More than 1 year ago
The weeds are back---Here comes ponyman to feed off grass---YES
rawlawltd More than 1 year ago
buffalo joe: Posted something yesterday that must have gotten lost in cyberspace, but wanted you to check the site below to see that, yes indeed, your $32 was well spent: http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/ As I mentioned, I have no affiliation w/ HANA except that I became a member to see if we could get a voice in this game. It would certainly beat griping in blogs about the screwing du jour you/me/us take every day. Walt: Is there a new bet at Aqueduct tomorrow, or do you work with the guy that Russell Crowe played in "A Beautiful Mind"? I haven't seen notations like that since I snuck out of calculus first year @ UConn! Good luck!!