11/03/2010 7:02PM

Espoir City, Together, Dual Pre-Entries, Ten Most Wanted, Early BC Opinions


Finally got a chance to catch my breath. Let's get to some questions


RE: Espoir City/Breeders cup classic imports
I know this is a bit premature but is there anyway you could post the PP's for Espoir City? Im curious to see where he stacks up against the other top contenders in this race. I know that imports have been coming over to race in the breeders cup classic since its inception but i was wondering if you could look up and post the data on how these types faired in the classic. Perhaps seeing the numbers without using the last two yrs on ProRide. I know Giant's Causeway did well and i know im forgetting most of em but i thought it would be interesting to see how horses such as Espoir City have fared when invading the u.s. for bcc.
Also Dan......just as an early point of discussion......would you consider using a horse like Espoir City (an import not accustomed to u.s dirt racing) in the classic? as a win contender?? or maybe underneath in exotics?? So difficult to handicap these types for so many different reasons and i wonder whether you are just better making them beat you....even for the 2 and 3 holes or do you have to consider one like this strongly. Any thoughts or opinions you have would be appreciated as well as the info if thats something you can do easily. Simple win and ITM finishes for them if possible. What about rest of you....any thougts on Espoir City or BCC imports as a whole?
eric t



Espoir City's past performances are available on the HandiGambling pp's located at the bottom of this blog post.

I don't like the horse. I think he's more of a miler than a true ten-furlong horse (although he did win the Japan Cup Dirt at 1 1/8 miles last year). At least he has dirt form. Many foreign invaders that race on dirt in the Breeders' Cup have none whatsoever. I usually try to beat those runners. Sure, Arcangues will happen once in a blue moon, but these races feature such classy runners that I really need to see some dirt form from a foreigner before I heavily rely on them in my wagering.

Here is a video of Espoir City's most recent win (Kashiwa Kinen - Funabashi, May 5, 2010):


I didn't like how he switched back to his wrong lead once he made the front.

Here's Espoir City finishing second in the Mile Championship at Moriuka on October 11:


Please click on the below link for a history of foreign runners on dirt in the Breeders' Cup (1986-2008):



I have two past performance requests. I loved both Tranquility Lake and Astra. Neither of them won Eclipse Awards so they aren't in "Champions".
Can you please post PP's for Tranquility Lake and Astra? I'd really appreciate it!



The past performances that you requested are available at the bottom of this blog posting.



Like you I threw out Trappe Shot in the mile and a quarterTravers because he was also entered in the 7 furlong Kings Bishop the same day leading me to the conclusion he wasn't really live for either race because the connections couldn't make up their minds which distance he was suited for. I was wondering how many horses have won Breeder's Cup races that have been pre-entered for two races?
Jim Tully


Jim, I'm not that smart. Despite worrying about the waffling connections, I still incorrectly picked Trappe Shot on top in the Travers.

Let's just go back to last year:

Zenyatta was pre-entered in both the Ladies' Classic and the Classic. We know how that turned out.

Dancing in Silks won the Sprint after being cross-entered in the Turf Sprint.

Vale of York upset the Juvenile after being cross-entered in the Juvenile Turf.

In 2008, Ventura won the Sprint after being cross-entered in the Mile.

That year, Goldikova was also pre-entered in the Filly and Mare Turf and Classic winner Raven's Pass was cross-entered in the Mile.

I don't believe that any cross-entered horses won a Breeders' Cup race in either 2006 or 2007.

I might lessen my opinion on a runner if said runner was competing in the "second preference" race. Other than that, I don't pay much attention to it.


Dan, I was spending an afternoon at Arlington back in the early 90s. I was watching a horse literally limping and staggering around the paddock ring. I couldn't believe he wasn't a vet scratch. I looked at my program. The horse's name was Jilsie's Gigolo. A bell went off in my head--there had been a big article in the DRF about this horse. He was receiving all kinds of unconventional treatments including acupuncture. I could not bring myself to place a bet based upon his physical appearance. Boy was I mad when he won like a good thing and paid over $18.00! Could you post Jilsie's Gigolo's PPs? Thanks

Jilsie's Gigolo's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog posting.


Dan -
I love your blog. You weave together handicapping, racing history and current events in nearly every entry. I'm just catching up on some of your posts I missed over the summer and found that your DRF webmaster has broken the links to some of the past performances you had shared with your readers. The July 2 posting had the great TaWee and some other great filly and mare sprinters. Other blog posts from dates earlier than August also have broken links. I thought I also ran across a Dr Fager PP link that was also broken when reading a few weeks back. Could you ask the web guys to restore the links to the PPs for the great champions you've posted? I was going to ask this a few weeks ago when I first noticed the broken links but finally did after a visit by John Nerud to the HOF here last weekend. It renewed my interest in reading about TaWee and her brother.(not Highbinder). Thanks so much and keep up the great work.
Jim D. in Saratoga

Hi Jim D.,

Thanks for the kind words. Once we changed blog providers, we were able to keep old posts, but lost access to uploaded files within those old posts. If you have any requests from an old post, let me know, and I can re-post them for you.


you please post th Hoppse beayer figure of Mr Hopps ,he ran in the 6th at Belmont 10 / 24 / 10

Thank you

Mr. Hopps received a 61 Beyer Speed Figure.


I always felt Ten Most Wanted was super horse who would make a formidable stud. Has he turned out any runners and can you show his stud stats so far
Richie B

He's been a disappointment at stud. I believe he has one stakes-winner from three crops to race. This season, his progeny numbered 69 starters, 438 starts, 24 winners, 1 stakes-winner.

In 2009, his progeny included 67 starters, 570 starts, 36 winners, 0 stakes-winners

In 2008, his progeny made 42 starters, 154 starts, 2 winners, 0 stakes-winners

You can access his stallion page from Magali Farms in California:



Got thru first 2 bc races today. As much as I respect Chris Block, if Giant Oak is issue best marathon horse, I'll take a European! In 2yo turf fillie, Together looks like the most talented but, Dan and fellow bloggers, is she over the top and warn out from a tough 2yo season?
steve taylor

Steve, I thought that the Juvenile Fillies was an intriguing race. In my opinion, Together is one of 11 that can win. I didn't like her last race, however. She got to drifting so badly in the stretch that it is fair to wonder if the seven-race campaign has taken its toll.

She's playable in multi-race wagers and exotics, but I'm not sure I'd back her to win at too short of a price.


I was wondering if you can find the past performances of a late 1970's allowance runner that ran in New York named KNIGHT OF HONOR... he won a feature race at Aqueduct (maybe 1977) the first time I ever went to the races.

Knight of Honor's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog posting.


Here's a list of horses that I'll be tracking throughout the Breeders' Cup (full analysis tomorrow when I touch down in Louisville):

Marathon - A.U. Miner (4-1 ML)

FM Sprint - Moontune Missy (30-1 ML)

Juvenile Fillies - Awesome Feather (6-1 ML)

FM Turf - Miss Keller (8-1 ML)

Juvenile Turf - Master of Hounds (9-2 ML)

Sprint - Big Drama (7-2 ML)

Turf Sprint - Bridgetown (12-1 ML)

Juvenile - Boys At Tosconova (5-2 ML)

Classic - Haynesfield (12-1 ML)


Congrats to Dale for finishing first in last week's Charles Town HandiGambling. This week's race will be the Breeders' Cup Classic.


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. 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.













Jilsie's Gigolo.PDF80.59 KB
Tranquility LakeAstra.PDF66.5 KB
Knight of Honor.PDF43.09 KB
BC Classic.pdf182.5 KB
Vermonster More than 1 year ago
HG BC Classic While Zenyatta will be prominent on all of my multi race tickets, I just can't bring myself to bet her on top in this race as the short priced favorite against three outstanding male dirt horses in Blame, Lookin at Lucky and Quality Road. In the end, I landed on Blame and Lucky as my choices. Blame wants the two turns, loves Churchill and can be excused the misstep in the JCGC as in my view, from early on he seemed to be struggling with the track a little and couldn't catch a Belmont-loving, loose on the lead freak. Lucky is the best 3YO male out there and that makes him very dangerous this time of year. His pre-Derby works over the track and the way he has looked since he arrived make me think he's sitting on a big race over the track. $50 Ex Box (5-12) Good luck to all!
blackseabass More than 1 year ago
Blackstone, I heard there was a ranch on the bay in SF thats got a herd of pitchers bearded and otherwise that are a breed apart.
SteveC More than 1 year ago
HG It sounds like Quality Road will zip out to a big lead and hope to hang on down the stretch! I think that he has a really good chance of wiring the field and only Big Z and Lookin at Lucky has a chance to mow him down. So, we'll keep it simple: $4 Win 1 $16 Exacta Box 1/8/12
Fijiking More than 1 year ago
HG, Breeders' Cup Classic: Zenyatta is allowed to roll through the long CD stretch. And a hard tryer can hang on for second. My entry: $100 Exacta, Zenyatta with Musket Man. Best of luck. What a great two days of racing for us all. Fijiking
Fijiking More than 1 year ago
Handigambling on the Breeders' Cup Classic 2010: This is going to be something special. Zenyatta will be allowed to roll the enrire length of the stretch. A longshot will run second. So, let's make it $100 Exacta, Zenyatta over Musket Man. Good luck....what a race this will be! Fijiking
theo More than 1 year ago
HG BC Classic-There seems to be enough speed to set it up for the stalkers and closers- so I'll try to beat Zenyatta for the win $6 Super 5/6,8,/1,6,8/1,2,6,7,8,12----$96 $1 Super 6/5/12/1,2,7,8---$4 I really think she's the best of these but everyone will have her on top.
Steve T More than 1 year ago
BREEDERS CUP – Filly and Mare Turf #2 ÉCLAIR DE LUNE (15/1) – I can tell you that in both of her SoCal runs she looked very uncomfortable with a hard turf course. All three of her wins have come on soft turf. The positive is the disctance, with her longer is better. If by chance the turf course gets rain or extra water to appease the Euros, she becomes live. If the course stays hard, I think she is a toss. #6 HARMONIOUS (6/1) – is a certified up and comer who handily beat a very good field and already owns two Grade 1 victories. She has only missed twice – once against Evening Jewel when she ran out of track and in her debut. She made 10F easily in the American Oaks and the only question is whether she can handle these older fillies and mares – specifically Midday. Looking past any late 3 year old filly for Shirreffs is foolish. Does she make the jump? I think realistically she finishes behind the favorite, but she is firing hard every time out and Rosario seems to be a perfect fit. At 6/1 I would back her. #9 HIBAAYEB (8/1) – She did win the Yellow Ribbon in her first start in the U.S. and her first run with Lasix. Although it was a solid effort I was pretty ambivalent about the race. The interesting thing with her are her works – her last two were a 1:00/2 and then her last was a 1:11/2. Bin Suroor is usually not one to work a horse that fast. She has the breeding and she has won both a Grade 1 and a Group 1 (Fillies Mile at Ascot). I can’t discount a turfer who turns around, they generally will keep it up and the post-race works are enticing. The higher the odds the more I like her. BREEDERS CUP – Distaff (ain’t no way I will use that weenie-ass new race name) #10 BLIND LUCK (9/5) – well she has never missed the board in 14 races, has won against all the other sophomore chicks and it took a ten pound advantage for Havre de Grace to finally be able to nose her out. Tough, great late kick, she knows where the wire is, and has won at this distance on this track back in May in the Oaks. She is what she is, the deserving favorite.
Mike A More than 1 year ago
First......raining hard here on Long Island.....off day, decided to stop at a friends 7-11 for coffee and the paper. I walked in, made my coffee, then walked into the back room to say hello to my friend who was in his office. We talked horses for awhile, then I grabbed the advanced BC copy of the DRF and Fridays edition. Figured I may as well look over some of the races. Here are some quick thoughts.......First, thanks Steve T analysing the Cali contingent, I'm with you concerning Harmonious and Eclair De Lune. You also know what I think of Kinsale King....as long as his feet are fine. Second......the Classic, I won't bet the race because I won't jinx the big mare. But I do have one quick thought.......For you folks that have upgraded Haynesfield and downgraded Blame........The track was playing to Haynesfield that day, Haynesfield is what 6-7 at Belmont? With Etched, First Dude and Quality Road in the field, especially with Quality Road on the rail, Haynesfield will not enjoy a loose lead. Haynesfield is a decent horse, but you're really stretching it if you believe he's that good off his last. Upset beat Man O War......Onion Beat Secretariat.....Da'Tara beat Big Brown......keep in mind that it was the last time they did, may have been the last time they won a race also. Blame is twice the horse Haynesfield is, loves CD, where he's run his biggest figures. Don't ever jump on the Live Long shot bandwagon.....it's a sure way to lose. Just my best guess. Dan......I looked over your picks for Friday........I like you, you're a man of your convictions. While I have none of your horses, at least not yet, I have to admit you're "ballsy". Not having Winter Memories 1-4 is pretty ballsy, considering her maiden win would have "killed" anyone else in the race. Well of course we can't know that about the Euro's...... at least not yet. Sans the Euro's no one in that field has come within 3 lengths of her last, which being on a yielding and tiring course says something. I won't include her maiden win......they haven't come close to that. Big field, anything can happen.......but with a horse who can run wide and still fan out 6w and win going away I don't reckon it will matter much. As to the rest..... There are others that intrigue me more than Kathmanblu, my "ballsy" long shot for the "money" could be Forest Legend. Love her breeding.....after a maiden turf win back in August, a race that wasn't the fastest out there, but over a tiring track she was given a couple of months off.....Brought back in the Alcibiades of all places, thrown to the wolves against much more accomplished fillies, on a surface she never raced on, she managed to actually close some while wide showing interest. Now she's come back with three works......4f in 49:3b.....5f in 59:4b and her last 4f in 47:4B......for a "slow" closer quite impressive. I'm also looking at the Canadian contingent, especially New Normal and I'm of a mind that on a firm course Fancy Point may be better than Arch Support. Of course Kathmanblu is no dog.....but Winter Memories is the only horse in the field to run a sub 29 for 5/16ths, that in a maiden win. One more thing about Forest Legend, if you look back to her maiden win at EIP.....it's actually better than Kathmanblu's maiden win at the same distance a month earlier at the same track. Well anyway you can see by how I'm writing I'm "thinking out loud" helps me get it straight in my head......thanks for listening and good luck........Oh before I forget, Miss Keller huh? I just can't get that image out of my head of her backing up like she was shot in the Miss Revere last year at CD, though the outside post probably helped in that poor performance. She cost me a considerable amount of Money that day as I had Mary's Follies and just needed her for second. Once bitten twice shy I always say. I have to looked past Midday to find someone "special" you know if the distance was a bit shorter I would put Shared Account in there......Her only bad race this year, while running with the good ones was on a yielding course, a tiring course where she went out and lead briefly before tiring. She's a better come from behind horse as evidenced by her running Proviso to her limits and just losing by a head. Hmmm, maybe she can get the distance......just a thought. Anyway once again thanks for listening.......Mike A
Steve T More than 1 year ago
BREEDERS CUP – Juvenile Filly #1 INDIAN GRACEY (15/1) – this one really makes me scratch my head, she has been in the money in all four of her runs, but has never really looked like anything but a low level allowance flash and fade. So why is one of the most conservative trainers, Jerry Hollendorfer, shipping her to Kentucky for the Breeders Cup? Then you look at her last two works, 1:12/2 followed by 1:11/2. So what is going on here – does Hollendorfer know she will excel on dirt (he is 32 frickin percent on dirt) or did he get the “2 fer” discount from Tex Sutton? This guy has always been very good with young fillies – Blind Luck is exhibit “A”. Maybe I am just building castles in the sky, but something is REALLY fishy here. #7 IZSHELEGAL (30/1) – Is she legal?? Why I … never mind. I may be delusional about Indian Gracey, but this true maiden has no business in this race. She has regressed for four straight races, her lifetime speed fig is 72 and her only route was her worst finish. Works are average team is 20%, she has never run on dirt and is getting first time shades. Not much to hold on to, pass. #8 A Z WARRIOR (7/2) – did the SoCal Jump in her first on dirt winning the GR-1 Frizette with a lifetime speed fig. The only horse that has been ridden to wins by both Martin and Alan Garcia. Love that Baffert shipped her right back to Hollywood to continue her works (including a :58 flat). The lowest stat on any of the jockey and trainer stats is 22%, but 30% with juveniles, 33% as a team and 31% on dirt. Lots to like but there is not much value here. Is she a lock? I don’t think so and she was being caught late at a mile. Does the extra 1/16th hurt? I think it could with that long stretch. Have to look at her, but I think there is a real opening for a shocker. #12 TELL A KELLY (9/2) – I really don’t know what to expect from this filly, she is a real enigma. She has a ton of talent, is an easy ride and has already won a Grade 1 race in the Darley Debutante. She did have some trouble last out, but Rigoletta went right by here in the stretch. The Tapit fillies do well on dirt and I think Borel is the right jock for her (the team is 2/2 at Churchill with an $8.70 ROI). I think she could be an all or none proposition.
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Friday's Races Adding a tiny bit of fuel to Steve T's comments on a couple of horses: Romp also has a strong ROI going: Dirt-34 starts, 24%, $3.56. Those are winning numbers. If I can somehow get to the OTB on Friday I'll have something on him. Evening Jewel-Tencentcielo sold me on her months ago. I also think she is a standout-the problem is 15-1 is a dream. No possible way. 6 or 7-1 is much more likely, I think. Still love her at any price. Switch in the two hole, with a small win saver on her. Ladies Classic-I could be, maybe probably, dead wrong, but I'm not playing the three year olds. I like Life At Ten with Acoma (terrific on CD dirt) in the second slot. Acoma runs well on anything, and I'm hoping Mickey still like her (remember he nalied her last time at $49+). I'll have a small win saver on her, too. Good luck to all of you.