03/01/2010 8:05PM

Encaustic, Top Campaigns, PP's, Marketing the Game?


Presious Passion returned to his winning ways with a front-running gambit in Sunday's Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park, but fellow veteran Encaustic may have put up the race of the week the previous afternoon in an allowance event at Laurel Park.

A full brother to millionaire Include, the six-year-old Encaustic earned a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure in his forty-first lifetime start.  The son of Broad Brush began his career with trainer Richard Small, was switched to Steve Asmussen at the beginning of the 2008 season, and has been with his current mentor, Mark Shuman, since the middle of last year.  A multiple stakes-winner at Mountaineer Park last year, Encaustic pressed the pace of Russell Road from the two-path, took over the lead late on the backstretch, and kept on going despite weaving a bit in the stretch.  If things continue to go well for Encaustic, a tilt in the Iselin Handicap over the summer might be in the cards. 

Here are the lifetime past performances for the highest Beyer earner of the week:

Download Fifteen Love


After spending the last five days in Bradenton, FL (God's waiting room, Gummerville, etc..) getting in some fishing & some prodigious beer consumption with a couple of friends, one of them with the same  personality as Ralph Cramden, I was curious if anyone took notice of the  up & coming Odysseus & his race last Wednesday? Pedigree wise he should easily be able to get a route of ground & I guess we'll find out after the Tampa Derby if he's the real deal.

Take a look at my "Under the Radar" piece on Odysseus posted on February 19 on the "Derby" section of the homepage:



Easy Goer was already champion two year old the year before. He ran the fastest mile of all time by any three year old in 1:32 2/5, and the second fastest Belmont Stakes of all time behind only Secretariat. He is the ONLY horse in history to reel off that historic run of the Belmont, Whitney, Travers, Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup on top of that. And two terrible rides by Pat Day beat him by a nose and neck in the Preakness and Classic. His runnings of the Champagne,Gotham,Swale Stakes,Belmont,Whitney,Travers and Suburban were all right on the track records, with seven or eight 120+ or higher beyers in his career as well. And his three year old campaign came in the Breeders' Cup era when only one race(BC Classic) so called "mattered" after the Triple Crown series. Your thoughts Mr. Illman.

Easy Goer may have been more naturally talented than Sunday Silence.  He may have been "faster" on a more consistent basis than Sunday Silence. 
When push comes to shove, however, he wasn't as tactically-inclined as Sunday Silence, didn't run the turns as well as the straightaways due to nagging physical issues, and may not have "wanted" it as much as Sunday Silence when the big money was on the line. 
For years, I defended Easy Goer as the better horse.  I was wrong.  Sunday Silence was the total package of tactical speed, natural ability, and heart.  Blame Day all you want for Easy Goer's defeats.  Blame the sloppy track in the Derby.  In my opinion, though, Easy Goer was beaten by the better horse two out of three times.  The better horse was Sunday Silence. 


Could you post the pp's for these horses- Indian Skimmer, Kostroma, Triptych, Lochsong, and Estrapade.
Dan can you post Bosra Sham and Nearctic's pps? thanks

Here's Estrapade:

Download Estrapade

And the others minus Nearctic...he's too old for the system.

Download Oldtimers


Dan and Matt Carothers had some of the best ideas that I have heard to increase interest in handicapping. They suggested that the focus be directed toward the NHC events by publicizing and televising some high profile editions of these contests.
Would you like to re-visit some of the ideas that you presented?

As you know, horseplayers and handicappers have some of the more, um, unique personalities in all of sports.  Putting them on an edited half-hour program in a contest situation would be extremely entertaining, fast-paced, and informative for novice handicappers at home.  Add in the cash prize aspect and we have a similar situation with the World Poker Tour telecasts.  

Have drf.com provide free past performances for that week's contest races so casual fans could download them and follow along.  Build personalities and the viewers will emotionally invest themselves in the product.  Interview the players before the races and ask them their thought processes on a certain race.  Have the "host" or "analyst" assist the viewer at home by using the "past performance telestrater" to highlight what the players are talking about.  Show the races in staccato fashion (the magic of editing!) while watching not only the races themselves, but the reactions of the players. 

A fast-paced program with interesting personalities vying for big dollars could be a big hit while the entire time we're engaging new fans to join the fun.  Promote the intellectual aspect of the sport. 

The marketing pitch goes something like this: 

Are you smart enough to beat these guys and gals?  Then, you can do this too!  This isn't like a slot machine.  Luck is for losers!

Want to join in the fun?  The National Handicapping Tour is coming to your local track this week.  For amateur or novice handicappers, there will be a separate prize tournament with the winner getting the opportunity to qualify for the "expert" level. 

There are so many options here.  Who thought poker would achieve such popularity?  For the racing game, it's worth a shot as the "reality" TV craze shows no sign of slowing down.


Bob Black Jack got a 101 Beyer for 7fs in 121.05 and Sidneys Candy got a 94 beyer for the same 7fs in 120.91, that's a very big difference, just 5 days apart on the same track. I think Sidney's Candy is not getting the respect he deserves. Your thoughts?

I don't think it has anything to do with respect.  It is impossible to properly compare mere final times on tracks one day apart, five days apart, or five weeks apart without determining the speed of the track on both days. I'm assuming the track was lightning fast when Sidney's Candy went 120.91 hence the moderate Beyer Speed Figure.  On the day Sidney's Candy went 120.91, a six-furlong maiden special weight for older horses went in 108.61.  That's fast for that class of horses. 


Could you post the lifetime pp's for these Japan Cup winners: Mairzy Doates, Half Iced, Pay the Butler and Golden Pheasant?
Thank you in advance.

Here they are:

Download Japan Cup


Anthony Schimetta, Jr. is the listed trainer for Pletcher at Gulfstream while he serves his suspension, does anyone know who is the listed trainer for Pletcher in NY?

John Thomas is Pletchers assistant in NY. They will probably run under his name.


I was wondering if anyone knows what Beyer Speed Figure Trappe Shot received. He won  the 8th race at Gulfstream last Sunday and looked great in his first start (I think)
jordan weiss

Trappe Shot received an 88 BSF for that race.


Uh Oh Bango is a very interesting horse:  I just don't understand why he isn't running at Sunland Park, rather than setting his eyes on the Rebel-Arkansas Derby.  The $800,00 purse for the Sundland Park Derby isn't enough for this Turf Paradise wonder?
Keith L.

With his second-place finish to Rule in the Delta Jackpot last year, Uh Oh Bango already has plenty of graded earnings.  I think the connections want to find out if they truly have a Derby horse.  If he runs well in the tougher races in Arkansas, they'll move on.  If not, they'll back off, and look for easier spots.


I have two Apple Blossom questions for you and fellow Formbloggers:
1. What happens to the Apple Blossom's value (both from a racing PR and from Cella's financial standpoint) if Rachel Alexandra and/or Zenyatta lose their March 13th "preps" for the race?
2. Do any of the other potential starters, paricularly Bambera, have any realistic shot of an upset in the race?  Besides Bambera, these other Apple Blossom nominees include Black Magic Mamma, Just Jenda, Justwhistledixie (who just won Saturday), Love To Tell, My Baby Baby, Stardom Bound, Striking Dancer, Sweet Repent, and Unforgotten.

1.  I don't think it will lose much luster at all.  People want to see the two superhorses race against each other.  If one or both lose their prep, it will be spun by the media as nothing more than a "spring training" event with the "story" being..."Can {the losing horse} come back on a bigger stage?" 

2.  Against one of them, I'd give an outsider like Striking Dancer a shot.  Against both of them, it's hard to imagine them both not firing, and a longshot coming up with the race of her life.


Dan, I was wondering if you have anything on Torsion? I used to see him as a sire/grandsire many years ago, but have not seen anything recently? He used to throw some good sprinters.

Torsion died in 1992 so his name won't be seen close up in pedigrees much anymore. 


On another subject,
I was interested to see Holy Bull's lifetime p.p.'s - I was a fan of his when he was racing.  Although he never ran on the turf, I've had some good luck picking first time turfers with Holy Bull breeding.
Barbara Patton

Here they are:

Download HolyBull


As we were discussing the three year old colts of 1967 and how great that crop really was, I was wondering if we could get PPs for ALL six of the horses who faced each other in the famed 1967 Woodward Stakes, plus the chart of that race if possible.
Walt P

My system can give me pp's to the "Big Three," but not the other three, and I can't get access to the chart.


Going back a few years here, but any chance to get PPs for some of the great turf horses of my youth:  Johnny D, Majestic Light, Exceller, and Mac Diarmida?  Thank you.
Dan B

Download JohnnyD:

Download Mac Diarmida

Download MajLightExceller


The feature race at Santa Anita on Saturday is the Sham Stakes and the feature on Sunday is the Crystal Water.  Would you be able to post the pps for Sham and Crystal Water?

I have Crystal Water, but no Sham:

Download Crystal Water


I've seen 2 totally different definitions of "cuppy". One states that a cuppy track occurs when the track is very dry and the sand is loose. The result is that the surface breaks away from under the hooves, reducing traction. This occurs on tracks with a high sand, but low silt/clay, content. It's like running on a dry beach.
The second definition states that a track "cups out" on drying-out tracks with a high silt/clay content. The dirt balls up inside the hoof (also reducing traction), and large dirt-balls are flung back.
These definitions seem to totally contradict each other. Which is right?

I've always thought a "cuppy" track was merely a trainer-speak excuse for when a favored or hyped horse performed to less than expectations :)

My definition of a cuppy track would be the former:  A surface that easily breaks away from the hooves and reduces traction.  . 


Does anyone know if William's Kitten is still in the hunt for the Kentucky Derby?
Joe Brady

It looks like he's off the trail with an ankle injury.  You can follow his progress on our Disabled List located on the right hand side of the blog.


How about the PP's for Easy Goers Champion dam Relaxing...Anybody know other horses to win more than 2 divisional titles in a year other than the good doctor?

Does HG have to be a Thursday race? If not I'd like to go with the Gotham Stakes on March 6th from Aqueduct.  Where is the Candy Ride from Sadlers barn going next?

Here are Relaxing's past performances:

Download Relaxing

I may be missing a few, but here are the horses I found that won more than two divisional titles in a single season:

1944:  Twilight Tear (3-year-Old Filly, Handicap Mare, Horse of the Year)
1945:  Busher (3-Year-Old Filly, Handicap Mare, Horse of the Year)
1948:  Citation (3-Year-Old Male, Handicap Horse, Horse of the Year)
1953:  Tom Fool (Handicap Horse, Sprinter, Horse of the Year)
1958:  Round Table (Handicap Horse, Grass Horse, Horse of the Year)
1959:  Sword Dancer (3-Year-Old Male, Handicap Horse, Horse of the Year)
1966:  Buckpasser (3-Year-Old Male, Handicap Horse, Horse of the Year)
1967:  Damascus (3-Year-Old Male, Handicap Horse, Horse of the Year)
1968:  Dr. Fager (Handicap Horse, Grass Horse, Sprinter, Horse of the Year)
1969:  Arts and Letters (3-Year-Old Male, Handicap Horse, Horse of the Year)
1970:  Fort Match (Handicap Horse, Grass Horse, Horse of the Year)
1971:  Ack Ack (Older Male, Sprinter, Horse of the Year)
1973:  Secretariat (3-Year-Old Male, Turf Horse, Horse of the Year)
1974:  Forego (Older Male, Sprinter, Horse of the Year)
1981:  John Henry (Older Male, Male Turf Horse, Horse of the Year)

Dr. Fager was the only one I found that won four divisional honors in the same year.

We can do the Gotham for this week's HandiGambling unless americashorse changes his mind.  I'll post past performances on Thursday.  Sidney's Candy will skip the Gotham and point for one of the prep races on March 13.


Sam More than 1 year ago
Dan, can you please post the pps' to two of my favorite horses.. Silver Goblin & Speakerphone
ThoroGreats More than 1 year ago
Well, I think that Easy Goer's worst race of his life in the Derby is pretty crystal clear(and I do not necessarily think that SS ran his best in the Derby either). Now was the Belmont SS worst race of his life? Quite probably it was , maybe losing the G2 to Prized? Although, Whittingham stated after the race it was a "super super performance by Easy Goer that beat him. EG was so far in front of SS, that SS thought he won the race." I do think EG was far superior to SS at any distance over 1 1/4m, although Whittingham also stated many times "I don't think the 12F distance was the problem,SS has all that Mahmoud blood in him, it was Easy Goer's super performance that beat him." These were two Hall of Fame greats no matter what way you look at them. I just agree with Crist and others about how awful two of Day's rides were. Day still says his Preakness ride cost EG the race. We can all agree to disagree.
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Dan, In addition to my earlier request, would you mind providing the Winner's Book data from Oaklawn Park on April 5, 2008? Thanks!
Johnny Z More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading other’s thoughts regarding Rachel’s workout video. After watching at least a dozen times here are few thoughts of mine. To me the tactical part of the work and the times are not as important as the professional presence Rachel displayed. In other words she knew it was just a work and not a race. Her reluctance to change leads when she evened with Depaul means nothing to me. Rachel even as a two year old changed leads so smoothly one had to look hard to see it happen. I feel there is little doubt that Rachel has matured as a four yr. old and in the right way. Now, whether she has matured as a faster race horse remains to be seen. Albeit coming home in that work with the last ¼ in 22 and change, while just goofing off it would appear that she certainly hasn’t slowed down. Can she beat Zenyatta? I don’t know and really don’t care. I for one just feel privileged that I will have the honor in my life to see two this great on the track at the same time. Their completely different running styles makes it all that more interesting IMO. Here is a workout of Zenyatta before the BC. While several months ago there are many similar traits that both display: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi6Pz-Pdtb8&NR=1&feature=fvwp One other thought that is strictly conjecture on my part, but read a couple post about Zenyatta being on the downhill side at six. Well I disagree with those thoughts. Zenyatta is really lightly raced. Her four yr. old campaign was somewhat of a workout but, with just five races last year and her build, stamina and durability it will not surprise me in the least that she not only moves forward but, maybe has her best year in 2010 and caps it off with another BC win. Right now I am just praying that both come out of their preps on 3/13 in good shape, then major media does their job and promotes this possible historical race in the lime light it so richly deserves.
C More than 1 year ago
ThoroGreat, About the margins of victory... 1 1/4 was the very edge of Sunday Silence's staying power and EG, on the other hand, was able to sustain his run at that point and beyond without tiring. So as SS was slowing down, EG was sustaining his bid, thus the diminishing margins.
wilson More than 1 year ago
Americashorse, I think tying horse racing in with slot machines and video poker is much more of an affront to the history of the sport than a synthetic surface on the race track. Two straight Breeders' Cups with no Pine Island, no George Washington...at least the sport was saved from a death blow in the past 2 Breeders' Cups. Synthetic tracks gave the sport a chance to tell the outside world that problems related to on track horse injuries were being addressed, even if these synthetic tracks didn't solve the problem. Installing these surfaces kept pressure off the sport and bought time for tensions to simmer down over the public reaction to Eight Belles, Barbaro, George Washington, Pine Island, etc. Now enough time has passed and no one is looking, so lets get back to dirt tracks, I agree. I just don't lose sleep over this issue. I don't really play the main track at Keeneland or Del Mar or Turfway, but I do play Santa Anita and Hollywood, and the synthetics at the latter two don't bother me as a handicapper or a fan. The Polytrack brand synthetic track, however, has turned racing into an equine roulette wheel, in my opinion.
C More than 1 year ago
"if Easy Goer and SS run their best races, Easy Goer wins. Easy Goer ran his best in the Belmont- a romp. Obviously, the Derby was EG's worst race of his life." And, just as obviously, the Belmont was the worst race of Sunday Silence's career, as it was well beyond his best distance. So why assume that Sunday Silence was running at HIS best in that spot? I'm not downgrading EG's Belmont, but you must acknowledge that the distance, not talent, was the single biggest factor, followed by the kinder turns. I can dismiss SS's Belmont easier than you can dismiss EG's Derby, so where does that leave us? The first sentence is pure opinion, but you can't say history supports it because it simply doesn't. americashorse, I fully agree with your 11:48 post. I've beat that drum enough though.
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Morning all... BEBC I like Rachel today and every day. I know that Steve T. and the West Coast Gang will be ready, but IMO, I feel that she will be on the lead and will not be caught. Plain and simple. The race is still weeks out, so we will all need to wait, so it really doesn't matter. Tejano Run Nice pick yesterday with #9 You Lift Me Up. Paid $17 dollars to win. I hope that you listened to Steve T. and nailed that Late DD. Mike A I know that you have been tied up with the family and digging out from snow. Hope all is going well. I am a big fan of Ron The Greek. I don't know if he can win the Derby, but if he makes it in, he will be in the top 5 finishers. Who do you like in the Gotham?? Midwest Ed I do play Hawthorne from time to time. Big fields with big pools. Cheap animals but you can find some value. I did see that you did very well the other day with your selection's. I did see your #2 in the last race break through and run a 1/4 mile. I was surprised when they ran him all of the way back to load him in. The people made a mad dash to cancel on him and he floated up in odds. Tough break. Mattyg In the 3rd Race at Aqueduct yesterday, the #7 opened up at 1/2. This always catches my eye. Normally I expect to see this in a 5 horse field. Then I check the show pool. The #7 stayed around even money up until 6 minutes to post. The show pool was up to 6K. When the pools update, like when you hit your refresh button on your computer, the money comes in from all over the country and the offshore accounts. I noticed with 4 minutes to post that the show pool went from 7K to 21K. This told me that a big bet came in from somewhere. My quess is somewhere in the US. Some offshore accounts have limits. The final total was over $25K. The #7 went off at 3/5 to win and ran dead last. The same thing happened in the following race with the #1. That horse won. I would think that these people would look for the track that would pay $2.20 to show. This way they would get back 10% of the investment instead of 5%. Why wager $500 to show on a horse in a 7 horse field to make $25??? Stringmail To answer your question about W/P vs W vs back wheel exacta. I feel that getting that value horse at 5-1 through 12-1 is where I want to be. I do not like to wager on the favorites unless I feel that they are, IMO, the best bet. In that case, I will bet $400 Win/Place. To wager Win only on that 12-1 shot and run second and pay $10.60 to place hurts me. I will take the $1,060 less the $400 wagered for a +$660 ROI on the race. Big difference from -$200 to +$660 ROI. I understand that if I wheeled Sweet Chantal yesterday in a $20 exacta back wheel, yes fireworks galore. When do we see a $1,008 exacta? Maybe once every 400 races?? I look at my horse's to watch list and when they come up I play them. I stick to this plan. I also play some $10 Pick 3 plays at NY tracks, Fla tracks, and the dreaded Cal tracks.(Sorry Steve T.) In that race, the total in the WPS pool was $262,136. My $200 Win / Place bet does nothing to move the odds. ilovemesomeme My new buddy!!! Sorry that you missed that Late pick 4 at SA. I do want all formbloggers to Win and Win big. Ok, where to start. People know that I have been tracking Chantal Sutherland because she can ride a horse. Just look what she did in the Fall Meet at Woodbine. I know that she has been cold as of late because I look at the same figures as you do. She has won for me at SA and with big prices. Biggest day was on Feb 12th with a win on #7 Porto Marmay(IRE) paying $24.20 to Win and $11.60 to Place. She then came back in the final race to score on #7 Naughty Mariana by 8 1/2 lenths to pay $22.00 to Win and $10.60 to Place. I also bet a $50 Daily Double 7+7. It scored and paid $216.20. Total wager on the Race was $200 Win / Place on both with the $50 Double. Payoff was $12,245. ROI was +11,395. OK, this is why my wife Annie and I had some "BUBBLY". It was a time to celebrate!!!! We were drinking CHAMPAGNE!!!! Plus it was near Valentine's Day. What would you do if this happened to you in the span of 90 minutes??? I do like the Food Network Show!!! If you want a throwdown with me, that's just fine. I am game!!! I would pick the Gotham, the feature from Gulfstream, and you pick one from Santa Anita on Saturday. If you want to pick a card from SA on Saturday or Sunday that's fine with me. We can do win place or some rolling pick 3's. No stealing from the Master Steve T... I hope that everyone is done with picking on me... Time to make some money. I have 6 plays today. Good Luck to all!!! Whackymacky out!!!
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
3/4/10 – Gulfstream Park, Race 8 - (F)Alw 51000N2X – 8.5 Furlongs, Turf Ordinarily, I would view SPEAK EASY GAL (#2) as a serious contender for this race as she appears to be in-form, is working nicely, and has very strong jockey and trainer connections, but I believe that her running style is going to be compromised by the need-to-lead longshot FIRE WATER (#7). This filly has a habit of running straight to the lead, and taking a field as far as she can, but in this race, I see the pace as being a few ticks too quick for those on the front end. While it may appear that HOLIDAY GIRL (#5) will be part of this projected speed-dual, I see jockey Rose taking her back five lengths or so off this pace, and then exploding down the lane as they make their way through the stretch drive. She shows a nice workout from last week, is running her third race into this form cycle, and ran nicely last time out for her turf debut. I hope she is at least 12/1. PROVIDANZA (#4) is another interesting filly that may be at a price (12/1). If she reverts to her Euro-form for trainer Clement, then she will make this race look easy. I also like her strings of works at Payson Park during the last four weeks. CADES BAY (#8) is an interesting sort, and has yet to finish out of the money since trying the turf. SALVE GERMANIA (#3) is the lone Graded Stakes winner in this field, and has shown the requisite “punch” in the stretch drive. Not sure how to bet this race as of yet, but I will be playing the 5 and the 4 to Win for sure. I will probably use the last two underneath in varying degrees of Exacta, Trifecta, and Superfecta wagers. Unless of course they all SCRATCH!!! Yikes!
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Caseyjeaux-Kelley_Belles- & The Dog I look forward to what happens next. You all are tooo funny...LOL! Keith L Thanks for the heads up on 'Hold Me Back'...I saw his chart, and was happy to see he finished 2nd, that's my boy! Nancyb Nice to see you back again Blue Thong! I'll try to get in for the TVG challenge. _____________________________ 3/03/10 MKB Workouts .Santa Anita (all weather/fast) Tiz Chrome - 7F 1:25.40. Handily - English Channel Concord Point - 6F 1:13.00 Handily - AFI Marcello - 3F 0:36.80 Handily - Alan & Chalky of interest: Bob Black Jack - 4F 0:47.80 Handily at Hollywood Park ______________________________ Annie Thanks for the listings & entries on all the MKB horses this week !! I'm currently covered in Wall & ceiling paint at the moment & trying to catch up here. He-he-he..Back later.!! ..in general BTW, I hope I NEVER EVER get STRONACHED! no matter what form or option is out there... SR Vegas