12/28/2010 2:46PM

Fast Times a Factor at Santa Anita


Let's get to some of your questions and comments.

I'll be curious to see how the Beyers reflect the SA track's warp-speed.

It's an understatement to say they went fast at Santa Anita on Opening Day.

How fast?

Race 1 - $10,000 claimer - 3yos and up - 1 1/16 miles - 1:43.94 - 74 Beyer (Track Condition - Good)
Race 2 - $30,000 maiden claimer - 2yos - 6 furlongs - 1:09.67 - 63 Beyer (Track Condition - Fast)
Race 3 - $50,000 starter allowance - 3yos and up - 1 mile (Off the Turf) - 1:36.25 - 77 Beyer (Track Condition - Fast)
Race 4 - Maiden Special Weight - 2yos - 6 Furlongs - 1:06.98 (New Track Record) - 102 Beyer (Track Condition - Fast)
Race 5 - California Breeders' Champion - 2yos (Cal-breds) - 7 furlongs - 1:22.20 - 77 Beyer (Track Condition - Fast)
Race 6 - La Brea (Grade 1) - 3yo fillies - 7 furlongs - 1:20.33 - 100 Beyer (Track Condition - Fast)
Race 7 - Sir Beaufort (Grade 3) - 3yos - 1 mile (Off the Turf) - 1:33.70 - 104 Beyer (Track Condition - Fast)
Race 8 - Malibu Stakes (Grade 1) - 3yos - 7 Furlongs - 1:19.70 (New Track Record) - 108 Beyer (Track Condition - Fast)
Race 9 - $20,000 maiden claimer - 3yos and up - 6 Furlongs - 1:09.73 - 63 Beyer (Track Condition - Fast)

The Factor's 102 speed figure from the fourth race equals Uncle Mo's debut win at Saratoga for the fastest six-furlong Beyer Speed Figure for juveniles in 2010.

The Factor sold three times at auction prior to making his career debut.  He went for $50,000 as a weanling at the 2008 Keeneland November auction.  Last July, he sold for $40,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Summer Yearling Sale.  On May 10, 2010, The Factor was the sales-topper ($250,000) at the Barretts May auction.  The gray colt blazed a furlong in 10 seconds flat in blinkers prior to the most recent sale.   

The Factor is by War Front, an Allen Jerkens-trained runner that won the Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at six furlongs with a 103 Beyer.  War Front also won the Princelet Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Belmont (by eight lengths, 92 Beyer), but he never raced around two turns in his career.  War Front was a hard-luck runner-up in several high-profile races.  He was second (by a neck) in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap, second (by a length) in the Grade 3 Deputy Minister Handicap, second (by a neck) in the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap, and finished second in both the Grade 1 Forego and Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes. 

The Factor's dam, Greyciousness, won two races.  She broke her maiden going 6 furlongs on dirt at Hollywood in a $40,000 maiden claimer.  Sixteen days later, she took a $62,500 claimer at 1 1/16 miles on grass.  Greyciousness is a half-sister to Chief Seattle, the runner-up in both the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile in 1999.

It's easy to start thinking Kentucky Derby whenever a juvenile, especially one trained by Bob Baffert, runs a big number in a maiden race, but it's way too early to join the hype machine for The Factor. He still must prove that he can run long.  While we never know until they try, his pedigree may be geared more to races up to 1 1/16 miles (1 1/8 miles, perhaps, at the most). Nonetheless, he should be a fun one to follow in Southern California.


Speaking of quick juveniles, War Pass, the champion 2-year-old of 2007, died late last week.  War Pass entered stud in 2009 and stood for a $30,000 fee at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky.  His lifetime past performances are attached to the bottom of this blog posting.


When you post your next column, please give SHAMROCK BEND the PPs for Volponi. He's been asking for them since Dec. 10th and what with your break and the holidays, you haven't had the chance to do it. :)

Do you know anything about what has happened to UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN?
DAN, what about you? Heard anything?

Volponi, the upset winner of the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic, stands stud in Korea.  His past performances are available at the bottom of this blog posting.

Uptowncharlybrown reportedly spiked a temperature the morning of the Haskell, and had to be scratched from the race.  I haven't heard anything since.


Anyone out there hear anything about my MKB horse Smash? For Baffert to list some of the horses he liked and no mention of him does not inspire confidence. Does Dan still do his Disabled list?
Mike O

From Steve Andersen's column posted on 9/3/10.

The stable had four 2-year-old winners at Hollywood Park in July, including an impressive maiden race win by Smash, but that colt has not worked since late July and is being pointed to an autumn return.
“We’ve had some setbacks,” Baffert said. “Some of them got down here and had setbacks. I didn’t want to push them.”
Baffert had better luck with the 2-year-old filly A Z Warrior, who finished second in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes last month and was entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Darley Debutante.
Baffert said some of his juveniles did not perform well training on Del Mar’s Polytrack synthetic surface. Others just needed more time to be ready for racing. He said they will be sent this fall to Hollywood Park, which has a Cushion Track surface. Baffert is typically based at Santa Anita, but that track will not be open this fall while a conventional dirt track is installed.
Smash could be based at Hollywood Park or part of a small group that will be sent to Belmont Park this fall, Baffert said. He said Friday he was unsure which horses would be sent to Belmont Park.

Expect Smash to start working next month.  He may return to the races in February or March.

I've been slogging away on the Disabled List as I fell behind during Saratoga/Del Mar.  When I'm completely caught up, I'll repost it to the blog.  Until then, if anyone is wondering about a potentially injured runner, you can post their names, and I'll try to find out what I can.


I am curious to see what kind of beyer he got from the San Gabriel.
Dick W

Jeranimo received a 102 Beyer for his win in the Grade 2 San Gabriel at Santa Anita on December 27.


I think one of the favorites (10 & 4?) will likely win - I 'll take the 4, Ordinary Time, with Rosie Napravnik/ Tim Richey. The 2, Gut Check has been showing lots of speed in his workouts, has a good Tomlinson for the distance, good jockey, and high % trnr for sprint/route, also shows a race over the track. The 5, Mattgetsnorespect, has had only the one troubled race, may do better for hot trnr/jock combo ( but I generally would rather play a horse dropping from MSW into MnClmg, than the other way around). The 2 may be the main speed of the race and may be able to hold on for the win. The 10, No Lip, figures and should be in the money. I think the 4 will be higher odds than the 10. It's interesting the 4 and 10 both ran on the turf, their first time out.
$20 exacta 4/2,5,10
$10 exacta 2/4
$5 tri 4/2,5,10/2,5,10
Good luck and happy holidays to all,

Congrats to Barbara P. for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  She selects Thursday's seventh race at the Fair Grounds.


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.


War Pass.pdf614.03 KB
Volponi.pdf52.38 KB
HG216.pdf169.64 KB