08/17/2011 2:59PM

Euros Too Tough


Now, it's just getting silly. 

We've known for a long, long time that our turf horses are inferior to those from other countries, but the results from Arlington Park last weekend were staggering. 

TREASURE BEACH, the Irish Derby winner and easily the most accomplished runner to ever try the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes, emerged from a stretch-long duel with French Group 3 winner Ziyarid to defeat what looked like a rock-solid group of North American-based sophomore turf runners. 

STACELITA is simply better than the fillies and mares she beat in the Beverly D.  A perfect trip under Ramon Dominguez didn't hurt.  River Jetez, trained by international sensation Mike de Kock, followed the winner along the inside to place third behind the in-form Dubawi Heights.  Shipping in from Southern California, Dubawi Heights' rider, Joel Rosario, took advantage of a Beverly D. that lacked early speed.  He sent Dubai Heights to the front, backed down the pace and almost had enough to fend off Stacelita. 

In the big one, CAPE BLANCO's tactical speed proved too much for GIO PONTI to overcome.  Well-placed in fourth position under Jamie Spencer, Cape Blanco got the jump on Gio Ponti, much as he did in the recent Man o'War Stakes at Belmont.  Gio Ponti came with his run, but he wasn't good enough to catch Cape Blanco, who has now scored in four Group 1 races (seven Group races overall). 

Cape Blanco finished 14th in last year's Arc de Triomphe.  Imagine what the Euros have waiting for us come Breeders' Cup time. 


It was a big, big effort from Todd Pletcher's STOPSHOPPINGMARIA in a maiden special weight at Saratoga.  The juvenile filly popped a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in her second lifetime start, overshadowing MY MISS AURELIA's winning performance in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes later on the day. 
My Miss Aurelia defeated Stopshoppingmaria on Opening afternoon at the Spa, but the Pletcher-trainee stumbled badly at the break.  The two may square off again in the Grade 1 Spinaway later in the meet. 


WINCHESTER is such a likeable, underrated turf horse.  He's lived in the shadow of his stable mate, Gio Ponti, throughout his career, but his win on Saturday at Saratoga completed a Manhattan Handicap, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, Sword Dancer Grade 1 trifecta over the past 14 months. In between, he finished third in the 2010 United Nations, second in the 2010 Bowling Green and fourth in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf.  This was Winchester's second start following injury and he should be on the road to the Breeders' Cup once again.  Whether he's good enough to beat whichever Euro shows up is another story.


Speaking of fan-favorites, UNZIP ME made it 12 for 21 lifetime with a surprising come-from-behind win in the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar.  It was no shock that favored Unzip Me returned to the winner's circle, but the City Zip mare had done her best running on or near the lead.  This time, she let SEPARATE FOREST do the dirty work up front, proving you can teach an old mare new tricks. 


Speaking some more of fan favorites, STAR GUITAR made it 19-25 lifetime after scoring in the Evangeline Downs Mile.  The star Louisana-bred continues to dominate his division year-after-year.


Some big-fig winners from last week were claimed.  DAWLY went to Linda Rice for $75,000 while GALLETA MONSTRUO was taken by Mike Mitchell for $32,000.


On the work tab:

BOYS AT TOSCONOVA breezed three furlongs in 37.88 at Aqueduct on August 16.

TAKE CONTROL drilled a half-mile in 47.20 at Del Mar on August 15. 

CALIFORNIA FLAG went a half-mile in 47.80 at Del Mar on August 14.

THE FACTOR worked five furlongs out of the gate in 1:00.80 at Del Mar on August 14.

LADY SHAKESPEARE breezed five furlongs around the dogs in 1:00.40 over the Woodbine turf training track on August 14. 

ANTHONY'S CROSS breezed five furlongs in 1:02.20 at Churchill Downs on August 14.


Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (8/8 - 8/14):

1.  TREASURE BEACH (GB) - 105 - Secretariat Stakes (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Arlington
2.  CAPE BLANCO (IRE) - 102 - Arlington Million (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - Arlington
3.  STACELITA (Fr) - 101 - Beverly D. Stakes (G1) - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - Arlington
3.  STOPSHOPPINGMARIA - 101 - Md Sp Wt 54k - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
5.  JEBRICA - 100 - Emerald Derby - 1 1/8 Miles - Emerald
5.  SOUTHERN DANGER - 100 - Clm 22000(22-18) - 6 Furlongs - Monmouth
5.  WINCHESTER - 100 - Sword Dancer Stakes (G1) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
8.  DAZZLED SAINT - 97 - OC 62k/N3X - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Presque Isle
9.  UNZIP ME - 96 - Daisycutter Handicap - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Del Mar
10. CHEROKEE LORD - 95 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Arlington
10. DAWLY - 95 - Clm c-(100-75) - 7 Furlongs - Saratoga
10. HE'S SPEIGHTFUL - 95 - Alw 27100N3X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
13. SONG OF HUMOR - 94 - Hall of Fame Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Columbus
14. BIG PUSH - 93 - Alw 7500s - 6 Furlongs - Delaware
14. BULL DOZER - 93 - Alw 12500s - 6 Furlongs - Calder
14. COZI ROSIE - 93 - John C. Mabee Stakes (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Del Mar
14. QUALITY COUNCIL - 93 - Alw 53000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
14. SQUARE DEAL - 93 - OC 62k/N2X - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Del Mar
19. GROUPIE DOLL - 93 - Gardenia Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - Ellis
19. JOHANNESBURG SMILE - 92 - Alw 25000NC - 1 1/16 Miles - Finger Lakes
19. NACHO FRIEND - 92 - OC 65k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - Monmouth
19. SANDBAGIN' LOVER - 92 - Clm 25000(25-22.5) - 5 Furlongs - Penn National
19. STAR GUITAR - 92 - Evangeline Mile Handicap - 1 Mile - Evangeline
24. BAMBI BOUND - 91 - Alw 17200N4L - 6 Furlongs - Finger Lakes
24. CHILOQUIN - 91 - Real Good Deal Stakes - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
24. COLONIALISM - 91 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
24. GALLETA MONSTRUO - 91 - Clm c-(32-28) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
24. MY MISS AURELIA - 91 - Adirondack Stakes (G2) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga

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


Congrats to Swede for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  This week's race will be the Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar on Friday. 

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

TreasureBeach.pdf58.82 KB
HGSandyBlue.pdf174.3 KB
Jeff T. More than 1 year ago
Just catching up on my reading on FormBlog. I really enjoy the videos that Dan and Mike Beer put together. I was all over Stacelita and Treasure Beach in Pick 4's and had the best day I've had in a long, long time. The videos made the difference; especially when you consider Mike Beer's analysis on Stacelita's United Nations trip with Mr. J. Bravo. I also got some great intelligence from a comment one of them made on a horse in a later race (race #11, the #3 horse) when he moved too early in his previous race. Haven't played HG in a while and really haven't had the time to do so. I cannot compete against some of these bets that I doubt would be made with real money by real people. On the other hand, I noticed that Mr. Dale Tillotson really hammered this HG exercise w/a potent cold $50.00 trifecta and an equally icy $25.00 exacta. Congrats Dale... no one should come close to you even if the results appear chalky. There were apparently several scratches which made your thinking even more clear... crystal clear, in fact. Anyway, I miss the blog but I often read the Saratoga blog by Steve. Had some tough beats at Toga in my pick 4's on that Friday or Saturday (I can't remember which day it was; when the #9 [FTS] passed the #4 in the last leg, with the #'s 8 & 7 getting the last two positions). It was a Friday now that I think about it because of my recollection about having to pay bills and being too scared to go deeper. The #9 was my next inclusion so I lost over 3K because I wouldn't spend another 8-12 dollars. The previous week at Arlington more than made up for it and this weekend Arlington saved me again. Anyway, I''m rambling and would like to again thank Dan for the blog and the video analysis. Watching the replays (or, if I don't have the time to; I watch Dan and Mike) is really helping me to become a better player.
Sidetrack More than 1 year ago
Revised pick after the scratches: $10 tribox 578 $10 tri 78 with 578 with 578 The horse I added is 5 Great Hot. Good 2nd off layoff numbers.
lefthander32 More than 1 year ago
HG---- $30 tri--- 2/11/4,5,8 $5 tri--- 5,8/11/2 Lefty out...
Dick W More than 1 year ago
HG Sandy Blue With all the scratches I think most of the combinations with the 4 favorites have been taken ? It looks to me like the 2,7,8 and 11 all have a decent chance for the win. Of these, I will use the 8 on top, the 7 in second and the other 2 in third. So the wager will be: $50 trifecta 8 with 7 with 2,11 Good luck to all. !!! Dick W
Hank Uffmann More than 1 year ago
Posted by Outtopasture HG Sandy Blue #2 Mizdirection has the speed but feel this horse would rather go 7f. Dos Lunas may go after her adding a little pressure and setting up a close closer for the win. #5 Great Hot put together two good distance works and appears ready on the second after layoff. Should stay close behind front runners and put in a final flurry to get up. #11 Dynamo has late closing rush which may be too late for this race setup. Looking for bottom of triple here. $30 triple 5 /2 - 11 / 2 - 11 $40 win #5
lenny d More than 1 year ago
HG 100 EX. 11/5
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Jonah: If you are at Del Mar early on this weekend for Sunday works (and Baffert likes to send 'em out early, indeed) keep your eyes peeled for The Factor. If all is well, this one will be boarding a Tex Sutton flight for Saratoga on Monday morning to mix it up with the best of the east coast 3 yo sprinters on the fabulous Travers Day card. Also noted, Baffert's B team colt, Prayer for Relief is working at Toga along with Coil, and just may be going in the Travers instead of the latter colt, who is reported not to be handling the main track as well as could be expected. The Iowa and West Virginia Derbies winner could be a nice price horse going in that 10 furlong, and could be looking for his third straight graded stakes. Keith L.
Alan More than 1 year ago
A couple of DMR comments this morning: 1. I really like Dynamo in the HG race today. This HS to Champ Pegasus was very impressive breaking her maiden.  I just can't understand why Mandella doesn't stretch her out.  Her pedigree suggests success at longer distances.  If the race was 9f or longer, she'd be on top of my tickets.  But why 8f? 2. To add flames to the good old East coast v. West coast battle we seem to often have here on the blog, just compare the Spa card to DMR today.  Del Mar has a 7 race card.  A 7 race card?  When is the last time you saw that at a major track in their feature meeting?  SAR on the other hand has a 10 race card.  It didn't used to be like this. Uncle Steve, Not everyone forgot to play Thrice the Vice at 46/1...
Anderson More than 1 year ago
HGSandyBlue #8 Dos Lunas ran the best mile of any of these while almost spoiling the season debut of Winter Memories in a race which featured other good fillies including (the only one at longer odds that race) Santina Dond which won the $65k Hatoof S. at Arlington last weekend. #11 Dynamo has a closing style. #7 Bauble Queen sent out by top trainer. #2 Mizdirection showed mile speed on this course last time. #4 Elvies Lane able to press the pace. HG wager: $3 tri 8 with 2,4,7,11 with 2,4,7,11 $1 tri 11 with 2,4,7,8 with 2,4,7,8
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
DelMar 8-20-11 saturday R1 #5 Include Me Out went to the sidelines a year ago and has since been preparing for comeback was bet heavy in last and ellis brings her back at higher level which is a show of confidence filly working very good 1.11.2 hg and 47.1 H trainer 29% second start rosario goes to Righteous Renee picks up talamo which leads me to believe ellis will send to the front #1 Righteous Renee rosario stays after troubled trip last race is good indication that this filly is well ment in this race ran a second a year ago at this track so does have an advantage of knowing the track believe this one plays a early role in the outcome of this race #6 Little Miss Mambo dont have very good record with FTSs but will include this filly on ticket thru good works and smith aboard R2 #4 Nicos Memory very strong finish last race and think bejarano gets closer to the pace in this race with three speed types signed up will wait for stretch and blow by all for the win #3 Hot Ride will be on or near the lead in this with Respuesta Solida along also with PatV both turn in fast half miles so see possible speed duel which will set the race up for a closer #6 Nebikon goes to pedroza for this run like the change and he will have this one laying back behind the speed for one final run late stretch along with Stoney Fleece at his side R3 #4 Talktoomuch been in tough races lately and has ran ok for the most part even being overmatched now drops in for this softer event having won before against this level will be hard pressed to beat today #2 Miss Mittagong a very tough loss last just missing at the wire stretches out a little today which should help down the lane has a very fast turn of foot and will be charging to the wire #1 Berg Bahn (IRE) last two on the grass have been ok and returns to the mile and sixteenth today where she was a close third at hollywood park in june rosario will have her moving down the lane for a part of this ticket R4 BSB N2L #1 Exuma gets patrick for this mile run and has shown some early in some of his races and think will show it here also dropped to 16000 and was claimed and apprently trainer didnt like what he got so is putting him back for sale for 16000 and today is adding blinkers which is huge angle for these types has hit the board about a third of the time so tread lightly with this one trainer 33% with blinks #7 The Hunt Is On here is your place horse having been there 12 out of 28 races whats up with that can I say a hanger? has been on short vacation so maybe will be rested enough to get into this picture here today five for five at this distance ITM looks to be a safe bet to hit the board ya think? #5 Money Included takes the plunge today after two pretty good efforts here at delmar although did get a DQ for drifting out and bumping opponent wish trainer would change jockeys on him though after one for thirteen might warrent it will use in third hole only R5 #7 Miss Resplendere was closing fast in last race and gets longer today with blanc up last three have been good enough to win here an off the pace run expected #3 So Tempted that last was more like it caught very fast track and took advantage of being lone speed in race back in 16 days for this one look for her to take the front early on and may posibly wire these right back must catch her to cash #4 Santabarbrabendita broke late last race and was wide around stretch turn just missing the show in photo gets a longer bit of ground to show her finish and think she is a solid contender for all positions here a atb bet is warranted here rosario staying a big plus R6 refer to steve t picks I have no opinion on this race R7 #3 Valkyrie Missile has done no wrong in last seven of eight having been in the money in all with three wins in the mix gomez lost a heartbreaker last by a head will make amends today #4 Via Verde ran off and hid at the bottom level last race with joel up may be enough to be competitive with these classier horses the rest apparently made the diference for this gelding rosario has been aboard on last three wins for this one use in win place spots for sure why the jock change? #8 Master Chef rosario goes to this gelding over Via Verde so that might be the key to this race no bid in last race can joel turn this one around? that is the question here maybe the return to synth will do the trick trainer 22% with that angle think joel takes this one out near lead and takes his chances #11 Prince Intent shipping in for this would have liked to see a work over track to make an opinion but cant will watch a race before committing comment R8 DelMar Oaks-Gr1 five of these in the picture in their last race with 3/4s seperating them so this may be a stab in the dark will do my best #7 Cambina (IRE) back to the future with this filly gets gomez back who has had three wins on her will lay way back and make one late run at these and if fast enough will get the nod bonde 34% in gr. stakes has a 50% win percentage for what thats worth with these tough girls in here #5 Sarahs Secret beat cambina in the honeymoon cant explain last fiasco maybe to short for this filly but gets rosario to ride here he could have had several others to ride so think he will bring this filly home for a part will battle with NEREID for the lead will use in lower spots today #3 Summer Soiree this filly brought her jockey with her for this race but see no works over surface but trainer knows best this will be the sixth diferent track in as many starts here today with three wins in the mix a must use #2 Star Billingespinoza brought this filly to the winners circle in her first race back in march at SA he climbs back aboard today and has a lot of work to do to get her in the picture but last was encouraging having just missed in longer race will be a factor here today near the front R9 #6 Thors Bullet been on shelf for a couple years and had his tightner in last race although had some trouble at the gate that may have had a determining factor to his performance am way out on a limb to pick this one today but has run fresh and think you can throw out his last race quinonez stays which is encouraging some ATB is called for here for this price horse #10 Ribald picked this one last race and feel more confident today with patrick taking the reins he may try the steel with this one so you are fore warned so use as you see fit I like him for top two spots #1 Sky Thrill a speed type that will try the front again today with baze last cant explain but those before were very good runs three for eight at this distance a pretty good bet to hit the board here if he can avoid a speed duel R10 see steve T picks have no opinion here good luck all and SRVegas and TBTA MH01
Jerry More than 1 year ago
Alan, Del mar dropped the 8th race on Fridays because of darkness issues, they wanted to keep the 4pm start time. They added a 10 race to Sunday's card. Good luck to all this weekend.
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
alan dynamo is also on the a/e list for the delmar oaks on saturday going mile and an eighth she may be scratched today mh01
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Alan; You sure are a bit “cheeky” this morning, no? Nevertheless…I’ll bite… Yes, Del Mar is conducting seven races today as opposed to the regular eight. I know you know why, but for those that don’t, this comes from the Del Mar website: “As planned, Del Mar will run seven-race cards for the remaining three Fridays of its meeting. First post will stay at 4 p.m. on each of those days. In a pre-meet adjustment to the declining horse population in the state, the track cut back one race from each of its final three Friday cards (August 19, 26 and September 2) to allow its racing office a bit of leeway in attempting to schedule its weekend programs with its largest fields. The concept was presented as part of the track’s license application and given CHRB approval at its June meeting. The shift from eight races to seven for those final three dates served the additional purpose of allowing the track’s "4 O'Clock Friday" first post brand to hold true throughout the session. Previously, in an adjustment to an earlier sunset as the summer progressed, Del Mar moved its first post to 3:30 p.m. to allow for all eight races to be run in daylight. With the shift to seven races, the 4 p.m. post is kept in place”. To my way of thinking, today’s Del Mar card is okay. Not bad, but not great. Saratoga, on the other hand, has a much less appealing card to me, but I don’t play this track much anyhow, I play Del Mar at this time of year. Of the 10 races at the Spa, three are for State-breds and two others have six horse fields…and I haven’t even checked the scratch board for the twenty or so entrants that will invariably be scratched…that will make it even less interesting to me. And don’t forget the buckets of rain…I haven’t looked at the forecast but I am sure that is in the offing. Congrats. You hooked me…perhaps I couldn’t help myself here either. Good luck today, my good man.
Patrick S More than 1 year ago
I have a question regarding the 4th race today at Saratoga, a CLM15Kn2L. Can anyone give me insight as to why the #6-Overseas Market is in here (ML-8/5)? Looks to go off at much less than that, which would create value for the others. What I don't get is that she broke her maiden in a MDN50K (the others...maiden claimers), was competitive on dirt in ALW's and Overnight Stakes, didn't take to the turf last out in a CLM35Kn2L, but now they drop her like a rock into this level. Injury/soundness concerns perhaps? Just seems too much of a gift here, surely something else is amiss?
mpm101 More than 1 year ago
Patrick Yes it is a big drop but be careful anyway. This horse has still never crossed the finish line first in a race, is running further than it has ever gone and will likely be overbet.. It is the logical favorite on the drop but also a favorite to try and beat. mpm101
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Patrick S: On the Toga 4th Race 7 furlong claimer for fillies: Perhaps Violette figures with that same reasoning on #6 Overseas Market (unsound concerrns), and her turf 10th place finish in most recent, he can get away without a claim and cash at the window and with the purse? I wouldn't bet against her on that factor. However, I kind of like #8 Moshe Diane here, Valesquez up for David Donk. This one ran evenly in her 1st start for a price going shorter, and I like what the Pollard's Visions are capable of sprinting, and the 7-2 odds look good for a 4 yo filly. I'd take her for a Win/Place wager, but back her with a Quinella wager with the fav #2 Overses Market.
SpartanTom More than 1 year ago
HG Sandy Blue I will try not to be redundant. I like the 7 who has been consistent and seems to have room for improvement; the same could be said for the 11. Avila always seems to pop with a long shot at DMR and the 5 may be his horse. The 2 seems logical, but I believe will receive pace pressure from the 4,5,& 8, and will only use him underneath. I am not sure what to do with the 10, but with the scratches, I will never throw only 1 horse out. My wager will be as follows: $5 Tri PW 7,11/7,11/2,4,5,8,10; ($50) $5 Tri PW 7,11/2,5,8/7,11; ($30) $2 Sup PW 7,11/7,11/5/2,4,8,10; ($16) $1 Sup PW 7,11/2,5/7,11/2,5. ($4) Good Luck to everyone. ST