06/18/2014 4:51PM

Five Star Effort


ROD'S FIVE STAR will never be enshrined in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga, but the hard-hitting 6-year-old gelding looks like a fun horse to follow in the Mid-Atlantic region.

A winner in 10 of 17 starts, Rod's Five Star popped a career-best 102 Beyer Speed Figure when dangled in for a $40,000 tag at Parx on June 10. It was the third straight victory for the son of Five Star Day and his three Beyers this year stand at 98, 96, and 102.

Rod's Five Star, the 7-10 favorite in the five-horse field, was starting for the first time since February 17. He showed three bullet workouts on his page, however, and was very sharp in the five-furlong, off-the-turf optional claimer contested over a muddy, sealed track.

Rod's Five Star, a Main Track Only entrant, broke swiftly under Frankie Pennington, scooted right to the front, set fractions of 22.97 and 45.54 while pressured by second-choice Avarice, and drew away to prevail in 57.08. Avarice is no slouch as he won his last three races on dirt in Maryland and had returned to the winner's circle in five of his last seven appearances.

Still, he was no match for Rod's Five Star, a homebred foaled in Pennsylvania, and trained by Edward Lehman. Rod's Five Star's wet-track record now stands at 5-4-1-0 and he is extremely effective in shorter sprints at Parx. He has won races at distances ranging from 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 furlongs while incorporating a variety of running styles. Last week, he went gate-to-wire. Previously, he won from stalking range. Put him anywhere on the racetrack and he'll run for you.

Lehman's patience is a major factor in Rod's Five Star's success. He campaigns the veteran sporadically and gives him plenty of time to recover from assorted aches and pains. Rod's Five Star only raced once at two, five times at three, six times at four, and twice last year. He has won at just about every spot on the class ladder, from a $25,000 'n2L' statebred claimer to the $75,000 Valley Forge Stakes.

The next major dirt sprint for Penn-bred sprinters is the $75,000 Banjo Picker Sprint Stakes on September 6. Last year, Rod's Five Star was second in that race, beaten a head by the rock-solid Sloane Ranger. He's worth an add on the old Watch List.

*IOTAPA ran the fastest race of any female in 2014, a 109-Beyer romp in last Saturday's Grade 1 Vanity Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by John Sadler, Iotapa had previously shown flashes of ability. She won the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes on February 15 and placed second behind two-time Eclipse winner Beholder in the 2013 Santa Anita Oaks. Before we deem Iotapa ready for the Princess of Sylmars and Close Hatches of the world, however, we may want to treat the Vanity with a grain of salt. It took place over a speed-friendly track, and Iotapa and runner-up Grace Hall ran 1-2 all the way around.


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 6/9/14 - 6/15/14:

1. IOTAPA - 109 - Vanity Stakes (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Santa Anita
2. OBVIOUSLY (IRE) - 107 - Shoemaker Mile (G1) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
3. RES JUDICATA - 103 - Alw 36600N2X - 6 Furlongs - Parx
3. ROD'S FIVE STAR - 102 - OC 40k/N3X - 5 Furlongs - Parx
5. MOONSHINE MULLIN - 101 - Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Churchill
6. SHARP SENSATION - 100 - Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Presque Isle
7. ALBANO - 99 - Pegasus Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Monmouth
7. WAR ACADEMY - 99 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs - Santa Anita
9. GOT EVEN - 97 - Clm 65000(75-65) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
9. MOLLY MORGAN - 97 - Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Churchill
9. STRYKER PHD - 97 - Budweiser Handicap - 1 Mile - Emerald
12. ANGELICA ZAPATA - 96 - Nancy's Glitter Handicap - 1 Mile - Calder
13. CARVE - 95 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - Churchill
13. GHOST IS CLEAR - 95 - Dark Star Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Canterbury
15. BIG LEGACY - 94 - Alw 36800N1X - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Arlington
15. MIDNIGHT CELLO - 94 - Alw 38125C - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Delaware
15. MONTY HAUL - 94 - OC c-25k/N2X - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Parx
15. RIVER ROCKS - 94 - Alw 75460N1X - 6 Furlongs - Belmont
15. STREAMSIDE - 94 - OC 62k/N2X - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
15. UNBRIDLED OCEAN - 94 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
21. COMPLIANCE OFFICER - 93 - Alw 75000NC - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - Belmont
22. CAROLINE THOMAS - 92 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Belmont
22. CITY STEEL - 92 - Alw 16000s - 1 Mile - Parx
22. DUAL EXHAUZT - 92 - OC 25k/N2X - 5 Furlongs - Penn National
22. GAMAY NOIR - 92 - Obeah Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - Delaware
22. IMAGE OF JOPLIN - 92 - Clm c-(16-14) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
22. INTEREST FREE - 92 - OC 50k/C -N - 6 Furlongs - Indiana
22. LEXIE LOU - 92 - Woodbine Oaks - 1 1/8 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
22. MY SLEW - 92 - Clm 25000(25-22.5) - 6 Furlongs - Santa Anita
22. QUICK MONEY - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Belmont
22. TAPITURE - 92 - Matt Winn Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Churchill

*IOTAPA's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

*MONTY HAUL was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Patricia Farro from Michael Moore.

*IMAGE OF JOPLIN was claimed for $16,000 by trainer Matthew Chew from Steven Miyadi.


...Hopefully Dan will post this year’s Injured Reserve list so we can see the fallout of the grind....
David M.

I don't know all of the horses that were knocked off the Triple Crown trail due to injury. Off the top of my head, I can think of BOND HOLDER, HARTFORD, INDIANAPOLIS, TOP BILLING, HONOR CODE, SHARED BELIEF, INTENSE HOLIDAY, HOPPERTUNITY, CONSTITUTION, CAIRO PRINCE, and ANCHOR DOWN. I'm sure I'm missing several more.


*The links to the previous blogs (and blog comments) are listed below:



























You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman


Congrats to hunter4fun for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling race.

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

On tab 2 you will see each HG Race we've held and they are color coded to denote if the race was run on Turf, Dirt or Poly.

Saturday's Evangeline Turf Sprint will be this week's HandiGambling exercise


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

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. We are 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.


-  Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




IOTAPA.pdf655.06 KB
Copy of Formblog Vanity Stakes 6-14-14.xls73.5 KB
HGEVD.pdf183.64 KB
MICHEL More than 1 year ago
HG Looks like the 5 will demolish the front runners and the 6 will get a perfect trip behind all the speed $100 Exacta 6-5 Michel de Botton
Dale Tillotson More than 1 year ago
HG Evangeline. 1= Overseas not my angle to like. 2=4 yr. old off best Beyer. 3=15-48 but 2-15 lately. 86 top beyer not on page. 5=fading beyers. 6=10-24 3-8 lowest recent beyer last out. 7=Asmussen. 8=? long in tooth. 9=seems a reach. 10=not sold turf is the game. The bets with Dans money. $76.00 win # 7. $2.00 trifecta box 7-6-10. $2.00 exacta box 7-6-10. Good luck to all. I am Dale Tillotson and I support this posting of HG bets with Dans money.
Ed Kay More than 1 year ago
HG Evangeline The sweetest words I ever heard from a racing official were uttered some years ago by the then racing secretary at Del Mar. I don’t remember his exact words, but it went something like this: turf sprints don’t belong in thoroughbred racing and he wouldn’t card any. I thank him for the years that Del Mar was not marred by these silly little caricatures of thoroughbred horse races. May he forever enjoy his honored place near the celestial throne. Berlino Di Tiger was 11th of 12 in a turf sprint at Meydan. But that meant he was only 3¼ LB in a G1 this year. That may good enough to beat these, none of whom shows a graded stakes turf sprint win in the visible HG past performances, while Berlino does sport one. HG Wager: $16 exacta 1/7 $33 exacta 1/10 $50 exacta 1/5 $1 show 1 Thanks, Ed Kay
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
JJ oops, the sheriffs reply should have been directed to okiesharp, my bad...Thanks! ...my head is still swimming in the currents with all the sharks, tunas, and wahoos ...lol Van Savant Wow! That is quite the achievement in the BBQ realm! ...and I always look forward to the 'what's for dinner? ' segment from Chef Savant :) SR Vegas
Adele Custode-Coppola More than 1 year ago
HG $50 ex box 1-5 =$100 Heitai speed of the speed, trainer/jockey 38% win; Berlino Di Tiger good works, class advantage. Carl C.
VanSavant More than 1 year ago
Sharon; Thanks for the words, but trust me here… I will not be cooking competitively again this year. What is left of my team will do two more, but I have swim meets with my daughter and other more important business. But it was good to be back. I have never watched the pit-masters or the pit-wars because I eschew cable tv, but I know many of the old school from those programs. It’s faux reality tv, and it probably is entertaining, but not to someone like me. I know many of those folks involved. It’s not real. The ones who are “the bad guys” are actually really nice people. I am no longer chasing that dragon. But eight years ago, earning invites to The Jack Daniels World Championships in back-to-back years was one of the highlights of my life. Took my wife and young kids the second time. One of the greatest experiences of my life. And securing 15th in the World in pulled-pork was pretty hot too. But that stuff is too hard. Staying awake, running a pit, and trying to catch lightening in a bottle every week against the best of the best is too tough of a game. Plus, you tend to get fat, and I hate to be fat. Handicapping for fun and a few bucks is the way now, although I only get to do that between swim meets and football games. I’ll be back later to describe what I have on tap for Saturday… I am cooking for my neighbors 30th wedding anniversary… I also may have a few plays for Santa Anita… Later gator vs
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
SRV - that was Okiesharp's question - re: John Sherriffs . Thanks anyway .
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
okiesharp ..in part, a reply to JJ : "It's a tough game to beat.....but really fun to play.....:-) " That just about sums it up for me, well said ! Good luck to all of us :) SR Vegas
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
JJ re: John Shirreffs "So, did he wear out his welcome in California using that ploy or what?" I read last year ( but don't quote me) that it had more to do with the uncertainty about Hollywood Park and it's closing ( which was his home base) and the other facilities that would be available. That and a lack of direction in CA racing. So I dug up some old articles from March/April 2013. This from the Paulick report : http://www.paulickreport.com/news/the-biz/after-30-years-shirreffs-leaving-southern-california/ and this la times : http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/john-shirreffs DavidM9999 I noticed that John Shirreffs runners run from off the pace, or from way back. Just a general observation. The mental note to myself was, they all can't be a Zenyatta. ----------------- Annie I'm back ! ... I totally get "still watching" those MKB's even after our MKB season is over. I can't help but follow them this summer . If MKB history repeats, we will see many of them mature , grow up, and win some nice races down the road . I'm raising my hand to be put on the list for next MKB season ! -------------- in general / fun stuff ...it's nice to see that some things never change here in Formblog. Some excellent discussions on handicapping and other sport activities . I LOVE the stories. Keep them coming. Van Savant ...The RAH and I are fans of BBQ Pit Masters, and BBQ pit wars ( amongst other Food network shows ...lol) Good luck with your crew as you get back in the swing of things :) SR Vegas
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Okiesharp - I'm sure both you and Penguin were on to the general concept and I'm pretty sure you know where the inside current break is . ( I flat out named it in my PH analysis for you one day ) . I pointed you guys to specific charts to try to help you nail down the water depth where the outer break is but I've never been sure if you guys got your boat right over top of it. There are probably multi-verses that I've never visited and current breaks that I'm not aware of . I don't know it all (just most of it :):) In the multi-verses that I'm familiar with I know the true long run winning or placing probabilities of the fish / schools of fish . That enables me to trap, surround and capture the elusive and constantly moving valuefish. It tells me if I should be fishing with a single hook for Jaws or casting a net for wahoo or tuna :) Or smoking a J and eating a sandwhich ! :) Since the size range of the individuals as well as the schools is the key it enables you to KNOW within pennies what you can expect to get in return in the separate multi-verses long run . There isn't a wildly fluctuating AWM in the separate multi-verses . The value lays where it lays and it is what it is. If you want the predictable rate you have to arbitrage that multi-verse the proper way. "Value is elusive" and if you fight City Hall you'll most likely lose . Shapeshifters - These are the volatile fish that ride the razors edge of the current breaks . Sometimes they are crossing over either side of the break . They come in fuzzy on the fishfinder. Maybe they're a shark ? No, maybe they're a tuna ?? Sometimes that doesn't matter because shark or tuna it doesn't upset the ecosystem of that multi-verse. Sometimes the shapeshifter can cause you to get sucked through a baby black hole into another multi-verse and that changes all the probabilities ! It's tough at tracks with a small handle nowadays. I used to make money at Suffolk , Great lakes ,Thistledown, Laurel and so on . The Wharton school boys with their "after bell" action have made it a little more difficult but not useless just yet. You have to be aware of the possible shapeshifters and if or how much they can hurt you . Shirreffs - No I don't think that was the reason . I just used him because I've seen it before . His best customers trust him . He's a good trainer. He trained at Hollypark and I don't think he really wanted to train at SANDY Anita . It cracks the horses feet. He just wanted to check out the east. Sandy Anita ain't beach sand ... it's desert sand ! JJ