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.