10/24/2012 2:06PM

Fabulous! Fantastic! Flawless! Freakish! Frankel!


FRANKEL concluded his remarkable career with another excellent performance, this time rendering multiple Group 1 winner CIRRUS DES AIGLES helpless in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes over testing ground at ten furlongs.

As I wrote for the "Performance of the Week" feature on DRF PLUS and National Simulcast Weekly, "it is Frankel's uncanny ability to make very good Thoroughbreds look rather ordinary that has endeared him to millions of racing fans throughout the world. Group 1 winners Excelebration, Immortal Verse, Canford Cliffs, Nathaniel, Treasure Beach, Roderic O'Connor, Helmet, Dick Turpin, Poet's Voice, Rio de la Plata, Zoffany, Dream Ahead, Wootton Basset, Grand Prix Boss, Pathfork, Casamento, Colour Vision, St Nicholas Abbey, Twice Over, and Planteur all chased Frankel in vain. The latest to be tamed was Cirrus des Aigles, a three-time Group 1 winner who had prevailed in the Champion Stakes in 2011. A 6-year-old with an affinity for soft turf, Cirrus des Aigles was expected to make Frankel work for his money, at the very least. While Cirrus de Aigles was game, he was no Frankel. There aren't many runners we've seen that are of that caliber."

Not only did Frankel toy with excellent horses, but he had the uncommon ability to sustain his powerful acceleration over a distance of ground. 

Amazingly, Frankel was never put into a dog-fight.  They couldn't find one good enough to look him in the eye and ask him the question.  Ever.  That's the sign of a top-class horse.  A horse that, many would say. is among the all-time greats. 

Watch Frankel in his career debut at Newmarket on August 13, 2010.  Note how Tom Queally never asks Frankel for his best while William Buick, aboard the very good Nathaniel, is all over his mount.


Take a peek at the breathtaking last-to-first bid by Frankel in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes.  It only takes a matter of strides for Frankel to settle matters here and, yes, that is future Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach floundering in third.


In the Qipco 2000 Guineas, Frankel shows a more-Americanized style of racing.  He takes the battle to his opponents from the very start, puts pressure on them every step of the mile journey and has them off the bridle a long way from home. 


Canford Cliffs had won five Group 1 miles in a row and hadn't lost in over a year prior to facing Frankel in the 2011 Qipco Sussex Stakes. 

In the stretch of the Sussex, Canford Cliffs' spirit is broken.  He drifts badly in the final furlong and never raced again.


Talk about class.  Frankel defeated Excelebration on five different occasions.  A three-time Group 1 winner, Excelebration just won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on October 20 in impressive fashion. 

Frankel won ten Group 1 events, never had a bad day on the racetrack, beat several very good horses and did it from dead-last and from on the lead.  He won at distances ranging from seven furlongs to 1 1/4 miles over any kind of going. 

He was dazzlingly perfect.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from (10/15/12 - 10/21/12):

1. BIG GRANDPA - 105 - OC c-35k/N3L - Belmont - 7 Furlongs
2. HYMN BOOK - 102 - Frank "Pancho" Martin Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Belmont
3. COMMA TO THE TOP - 100 - Big Bear Handicap - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
3. GANGSTERONTHERUN - 100 - Alw 5000s - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Penn National
3. GYPSY ROBIN - 100 - Raven Run Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
3. LUNAR VICTORY - 100 - Empire Classic - 1 1/8 Miles - Belmont
7. WILD TARGET - 99 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
7. WILLET - 99 - Iroquois Stakes - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
9. FANTASY OF FLIGHT - 97 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
9. HELLO LOVER - 97 - Alw 10000s - 7 Furlongs - Parx
9. MINE OVER MATTER - 97 - Hudson Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
12. I'LL SHOW THEM - 96 - OC 35k/N$Y - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
12. SIGNSEALNDELIVER - 96 - Lightning Jet Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
12. UNBRIDLED COMMAND - 96 - Mohawk Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
15. BROKEN DREAMS - 95 - Senator Ken Maddy Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Anita
16. COVER PRICE - 94 - Alw 6250s - 6 Furlongs - Calder
16. FLYING FORWARD - 94 - Clm 15000(15-10)B - 6 Furlongs - Delaware
16. LUCY'S BOB BOY - 94 - West Virginia Breeders' Classic Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Charles Town
16. MALICIOUS - 94 - Clm c-6250N2Y - 5 Furlongs - Delaware
20. JOES BLAZING AARON - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - Belmont
20. OFF THE JAK - 93 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Calder
20. WIN WILLY - 93 - DTHA Governors Day Stakes - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Delaware
23. ESCROW KID - 92 - New Castle Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Delaware
23. HESSONITE - 92 - Ticonderoga Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
23. IMMORTAL EYES - 92 - Jefferson County Commission Handicap - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
23. KINDERGARTEN KID - 92 - Sycamore Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
23. MIZ IDA - 92 - Valley View Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
23. PENDER HARBOUR - 92 - Bunty Lawless Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - Woodbine

*BIG GRANDPA's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. He was claimed for $35,000 by Gary Contessa from David Jacobson.  It will be very interesting to see if Contessa can move Big Grandpa forward.

*MALICIOUS was claimed for $6,250 by trainer Heather Hollahan from trainer Dale Capuano.


dan back in the 60s when my dad took me to the Spa and hooked me on the ponies, I remember a argentime bred by the name Pan Dancer, an offspring of Native Dancer.had her 2bucks wps and won thought i did ral well handicapping the race(paid like 37 to win)then my dad put me in my place by showing me a $20 win tic with the comment that Native Dancer loved the spa.do u have the pps for both thank you ,
george komanecky
ps i was in my teens at the time

Pan Dancer is a little too old for my system, I'm afraid.  I do have some information on him that you may find interesting.  A brown colt by Native Dancer, Pan Dancer earned blacktype by winning the Christopher Columbus Handicap as a 4-year-old of 1963.  Pan Dancer ended his career with a record of 43-11-5-4 and career earnings of $66,117.  He was a half-brother to three-time champion Parlo, a filly that won seven stakes (including the Beldame, Delaware Oaks, Alabama and Delaware Handicap), the stakes-placed Passyunk, the multiple stakes-placed Lopar and multiple stakes-winner Perfect Sky.  Considering his pedigree, Pan Dancer went to stud with some high hopes, but he never really panned out. 

Native Dancer's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Hi Dan, could you please post the pp's of Proud Cardenal? A remarkable horse that won at Santa Anita at 11 years of age in 2011. He also had a 3 year hiatus in his career I think. One of a kind!
Thanks Greg

Proud Cardenal's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Hi Dan, could you please post the pps for these hard knocking new york claimers. "Rogue Agent", "Drizzly" trained by anthony or rick dutrow, "Cool Days" trained by tony dutrow,,"Chief export" trained by scott lake, and finally 'Delta Sea" trained by jimmy ferraro. It would mean a lot because these were the horses i grew up watching at belmont and aqueduct and saratoga.
Thank you Dan, Justin Nicklas :)

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


Interesting post on the QE2...As someone who didn't think Dayatthespa would get the distance, I obviously mis-judged the race...but once again...I keep thinking that the other jocks would never let Day get away with those splits, distance or not. Do you have any insight into what jocks are thinking in a more general sense? If you are on Centre Court or Steph's Kitten...even they usually aren't on the engine...they usually are close to the pace...if you let Day dawdle up front and you stay too far back...you have no chance...stay a bit closer and maybe you can make a run w/out traffic probs...They don't have to speed duel with Day but don't just let her walk the dog...or am I way off base?

I think you make a good point and it's very frustrating for handicappers to watch, time and again, a lone speed horse dawdle up front while quality closers are held up without pace to attack.  If I had to guess, I'd say that jockeys don't want to take their mounts out of their best style.  Javier Castellano tried to do that with Air Support in the Canadian International.  There was no speed in the race and Castellano put Air Support, usually a midpack runner, right on Joshua Tree's flank.  It didn't work.  Air Support faded to fifth while Joshua Tree went gate-to-wire.  I thought Castellano gave his mount an excellent opportunity to win the race, but one must wonder if the connections were pleased that Air Support wasn't allowed to "save" his finish for the final quarter-mile.  In this situation, the jocks can't win, unless they actually do win.  If they keep the mount reserved, they are at the mercy of the slow pace.  If they gun, they could get involved in a duel or they could be taking the horse out of a comfort zone.


As i've become an even bigger fan of Tim T. after the videos, I wondered what's the news after what looked like a pretty hard fall yesterday? He didn't ride later in the day, and I haven't heard anything horrible, but wondered if you had an update?

Tim is going to be out of action for a bit.  He suffered a broken collarbone and a number of facial fractures when his mount clipped heels during the fourth race at Hawthorne on October 21.


Congrats to Oblivion Suckers for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.

Penn National Rick's scoresheet is available at the bottom of this blog post.


Let's go with Friday's sixth race at Belmont for this week's HandiGambling exercise.


 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.


Be back Friday with the HG analysis and some thoughts on the weekend stakes races.

Big Grandpa.pdf62.77 KB
Native Dancer.pdf64.74 KB
Proud Cardenal.pdf63.48 KB
Copy of Formblog Contest Valley View 10-19-12.xls47 KB
HGBELTURF.pdf204.83 KB