05/02/2013 10:27AM

Flat Out


Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth in Florida. 

Apparently, at least as it pertains to FLAT OUT, old Ponce was way off and the real Fountain of Youth is at Belmont Park. 

The multiple Grade 1 winner ran subpar races at Gulfstream and Fair Grounds to kick off his 7-year-old campaign, but the return to "Big Sandy" worked wonders.  In the Grade 1 Westchester Stakes going a one-turn mile on April 27, Flat Out rallied resolutely to nip the up-and-coming CROSS TRAFFIC in the shadow of the wire.  Flat Out raced the distance in 1:32.99 and received a career-best 115 Beyer Speed Figure.  Flat Out has banked over $2.6M to go along with his seven career victories, but it is at Belmont that he thrives.  Consider his races over the surface:

July 2, 2011 - Suburban Handicap (G2)

Flat Out improved his Beyer by 16 points to a 113 with a 6 1/2-length drubbing of HYMN BOOK.

October 1, 2011 - Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1)

Second in his previous two starts at Saratoga, Flat Out got back to the winner's circle with a 2 1/4-length win over next-out Breeders' Cup Classic hero Drosselmeyer. 

September 29, 2012 - Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1)

Flat Out snapped a six-race losing streak with a game head decision over Stay Thirsty (next-out Cigar Mile winner) and FORT LARNED (next-out Breeders' Cup Classic victor).

April 27, 2012 - Westchester Stakes (G3)

"He does have an affinity for this racetrack, and he showed it today," assistant trainer Leana Willaford told track publicity after the Westchester. "He had won going a mile before. Sometimes when you shorten them up, they finish a little stronger. [Junior Alvarado] did a great job. He was aware [Cross Traffic] was the lone speed and didn’t let him get too far away.”

Not surprisingly, Flat Out will likely stay at Belmont for his next engagement, the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on May 27.

*MASTER RICK has always hinted at being a useful miler and he gave a big effort, albeit with the aid of a good trip, in taking the Grade 3 Texas Mile for trainer Steve Asmussen.  Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. kept Master Rick in touch of the leaders while tucked along the rail and Master Rick eased out three wide turning for home.  He came with a good late kick to deny the comebacking Prayer for Relief, a horse that should improve from this start.

*On the worktab:

May 1:
MUCHO MACHO MAN - 5F - 1:03.40b - Fair Hill (missed time with virus)

April 29:
PAYNTER - 4F - 48.40h - Betfair Hollywood (life-threatening illness)

April 28:
MY HAPPY FACE - 4F - 50.42b - Aqueduct (virus)
DAYATTHESPA - 5F - 1:00.02b(d) - Belmont inner turf (cut on tendon)

April 27:
ENDORSEMENT - 5F - 1:02.00b - Keeneland (re-aggravated old injury)
NOOSA BEACH - 4F - 49.60b - Emerald (general soreness)
MAC THE MAN - 4F - 51.60b - Turfway (heat in right front foot)

April 26:
CALIDOSCOPIO - 4F - 48.80h - Santa Anita (sore foot)

April 25:
CHAMP PEGASUS - 7F - 1:26.80h - Santa Anita (cracked cannon bone)
SOUTH FLOYD - 5F - 1:01.60hg - Santa Anita (lame left foreleg)


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (4/22/13 - 4/28/13):

1. FLAT OUT - 115 - Westchester Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - Belmont
2. MASTER RICK - 105 - Texas Mile (G3) - 1 Mile - Lone Star
3. ESSENCE HIT MAN - 103 - Jacques Cartier Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Woodbine
4. SUMMER BREEZING - 96 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
4. TIGAH (GB) - 96 - San Francisco Mile (G3) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Golden Gate
6. DARK COVE - 95 - Elkhorn Stakes (G2) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
6. LUV BANDIT - 95 - Milwaukee Avenue Handicap - 1 1/16 Miles - Hawthorne
8. ALGONQUIN POSSE - 94 - Third Chance Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
8. HUMBLE SMARTY - 94 - Clem McSpadden Memorial Route 66 Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Will Rogers
8. SIGNSEALNDELIVER - 94 - Robert S. Molaro Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
8. STRATHNAVER (GB) - 94 - Bewitch Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - Keeneland
12. B SHANNY - 93 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 7 Furlongs - Belmont
12. ISUTALKINTOME - 93 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Calder
12. MEGA HEAT - 93 - Clm 50000(50-45) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Betfair Hollywood
12. SHRUG - 93 - George Royal Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Hastings
12. SMACK RIDGE - 93 - Clm c-(25-20) - 1 Mile - Lone Star
17. DOINGHARDTIMEAGAIN - 92 - Melair Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
17. FORTY TALES - 92 - Derby Trial (G3) - 1 Mile - Churchill
17. TROUBLE IN DODGE - 92 - Alw 50068N1X - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Parx
17. WINE PRINCESS - 92 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - Churchill
21. BAROCCI (Jpn) - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Betfair Hollywood
21. KATE'S EVENT - 91 - Tiznow Stakes - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
21. PARIS VEGAS - 91 - Alw 55000NC - 1 Mile (Turf) - Pimlico
24. HAIL MARY - 90 - Warren's Thoroughbreds - 7 FUrlongs (Cushion Track) - Betfair Hollywood
24. JUDY THE BEAUTY - 90 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Keeneland
24. PACO SMART - 90 - Alw 27000N3X - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
24. SADIE'S SOLDIER - 90 - John Henry Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Evangeline
24. SUMMER EXCLUSIVE - 90 - Harry Henson Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - Betfair Hollywood
24. THIBODAUX - 90 - Alw 17600C - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Sun Ray Park

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

*IVANHO, second in Mega Heat's victory with 93 Beyer, was claimed for $45,000 by trainer Mark Glatt from Mike Mitchell.

*SMACK RIDGE was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Justin Evans from Karl Broberg.


Happy Derby to you. I was hoping to get your opinion of Frac Daddy and his stride. I was looking at his galloping video and he seemed to have a real high knee action. Is this normal for him or does he just goof off when exercising? I was liking his progression and thought of him as a useful underneath horse but that knee action gave me concern. What do you think? I may be just fishing for longshots but I am starting to look at Black Onyx more and Frac Daddy less. This trifecta should allow for some kind of longshot to get in there I'm just havinga hard time finding a good oneto settle on. All I'm asking is for you to give me a longshot certain to hit the board. No problem right?
wilson prince

Considering my lifetime record in the Derby, giving you anyone certain to hit the board is a very dicey proposition.  I'm not worried about Frac Daddy's stride.  I'm fairly certain that's just the way he runs and it served him well in the Arkansas Derby.  Some observers have compared his action to that of Skip Away. If you like him at a huge price, I wouldn't toss him just because of that.  You guys know me.  If I'm going to use a longshot in my Derby exotics, it usually is the foreigner.  LINES OF BATTLE will get the distance and has a dirt pedigree.  Whether he's good enough is another story completely, but he'll be big odds. And, no, I'm not picking him on top.  PALACE MALICE, adding blinkers, also deserves some consideration at a price for Pletcher.


Dan, can you please post the past performances of Golden Works and Boston Lady? They are the dams of Goldencents and Normandy Invasion.

They are available at the bottom of this blog post.

By the way, Goldencents' second dam, a multiple stakes-winner, won 18 races at distances ranging from a half-mile to nine furlongs while the third dam was multiple stakes-placed and won at distances between 4 1/2 furlongs and 1 mile and 70 yards.

Normandy Invasion's dam is a half-sister to Cordoba, a colt that finished third in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at six furlongs on turf in England. In North America, Cordoba prevailed at seven furlongs on dirt.


Hi Dan could you please post the pps of the following horses: Shackleford, Dixie Emperor, California Memory, El de Chine (VEN), Chao (VEN) and Comediante (VEN), thanks a lot!!

They are available at the bottom of this blog post, except for California Memory (not in the system). 

The graded stakes analyses that Mike Beer and I produced for Oaks day at Churchill is available at the following link. 



You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman 


Congrats to Tommy2Tone for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise. 


The Kentucky Derby is this week's 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.


I read some entries on here and there are some people who put their heart out on their picks(such as DavidM9999) and give you great analysis on who they like and why and then there are others who elect not to give any reasoning behind their entries. The rule I will implement EFFECTIVE 3/1/13 will be... any entry without ANY analysis will be ignored. We are not asking you to put out a novel, but again a sentence or two. Also, I will put communication out when Dan puts out new blogs.
My intent is not to be jerk on this, but what's fair is fair. I'm not taking away from this week or past winners regarding all of this, but we do need to make the change.
If you have any questions/concerns...please send an email to FORMBLOG@DRF.COM and it will get forwarded to me.
Thank You!



Best of luck to all.

FLAT OUT.pdf62.71 KB
GoldenBoston.pdf56.83 KB
ShacklefordETC..pdf84.24 KB
HGDERBY.pdf471.4 KB
Copy of Formblog Derby Trial 4-27-13.xls66.5 KB
Scott Fletcher More than 1 year ago
HGDERBY $10 EX 16/2-3-9-12 $5 EX 2/3-9-12-16 $2 EX Box 2-3-9-11-16 16) Orb- Will be the fave- has run multiple races that fit. 11/4in the mud should work in his favor, Now, let's shoot for the bombs! 2) Oxbow- best bred for the distance/mud- How huge is the story if Stevens/Lukas gets a third Derby win together?! (25th anniversary of Winning Colors...). 3)Revolutionary-Best race was two turns on a "good" track. Needs a fast pace for his run to be effective. 9)Overanalyze- Pretty darn good at 2... moves forward today after two races. That last work was tasty. 12)Itsmyluckyday- Got his"regression" race out of the way- I think he could go big on a wet track.
Scott More than 1 year ago
HGDERBY $10 EX 16/2-3-9-12 $5 EX 2/3-9-12-16 $2 EX Box 2-3-9-12-16 16) Orb- Will be the fave- has run multiple races that fit. 11/4in the mud should work in his favor, Now, let's shoot for the bombs! 2) Oxbow- best bred for the distance/mud- How huge is the story if Stevens/Lukas gets a third Derby win together?! (25th anniversary of Winning Colors...). 3)Revolutionary-Best race was two turns on a "good" track. Needs a fast pace for his run to be effective. 9)Overanalyze- Pretty darn good at 2... moves forward today after two races. That last work was tasty. 12)Itsmyluckyday- Got his"regression" race out of the way- I think he could go big on a wet track.
mike mccormck More than 1 year ago
Hello all! I've gone over the PPs about 100 times and I can't get past Normandy Invasion. He has the perfect runnng style for this and I see him sweeping to the lead inside the eighth pole with Orb and Goldencents taking the minor honors. Now for the issues with this. I can see Revolutionary or Verrazano right thee as well. I LOVE the Derby but it certainly is diffiult to handicap. I'm going with my first instinct. $100 Dan Dollars to win on #5, Normandy Invasion. Good luck all! Mike M.
Laura More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas, LMAO, LOVE the commentary from the stable area! Poor Black Onyx may be spending a bit more time in the bluegrass region, since he's out of the race with an ankle chip. After viewing all of the works, here are the horses that looked the best: Orb - just glides over the track. Effortless work. He checks EVERY box (I have about 7 for criteria). If he gets beat, it will be because of traffic problems. Revolutionary - totally outworked Charming Kitten and looked good doing it. He has the best mud pedigree in the field. Golden Soul - average, workmanlike. Got over the track ok and has a nice stride. Mylute - good looking colt, decent enough work, but head spinning like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, looking at everything. Goldencents - puts a lot of energy into everything. He doesn't have the pedigree to get 10F and if he doesn't relax, he'll hit a wall at 9F Palace Malice is a tough horse. Didn't let Overanalyze by in their works. At even terms always kept his nose in front and galloped out with more energy. Itsmyluckyday - nice looking colt galloped well over the surface. Verrazano - easily out worked his partner, nice moving colt over the track. Frac Daddy - nice looking colt outworked Java's War, but had to be pushed. Java's War looked like crap, can't handle the track. Vyjack looked like a Japanese tourist at Disney World, all he was missing was a camera. Falling Sky was ehhh..worked with a couple of other horses and one put him away. Overanalyze - didn't look that good on the track, appeared intimidated a bit by Palace Malice. Normandy Invasion was another who needs to relax. Very aggressive in his breeze. Oxbow has breathing problems. A veterinarian friend of mine was near the finish line, said he's a roarer - not a flipped palate, but it can still interfere with his wind. Black Onyx looked like a draft horse. Laura
Laura More than 1 year ago
Don't forget!! CHAT tonight in the IMT chat room 8:30 PM EST. 'till we're done. Only 6 races to review, as we'll spend most of our time on the Derby. Also, chat room will be open tomorrow from 1:00 PM on for the annual Derby party. It's like sitting around in your living room watching/betting the races without the mess to clean up afterwards! For those who can't attend the chat, the transcript will be available around noon tomorrow. http://www.ironmaidensthoroughbreds.com/ Laura
tommy tutone More than 1 year ago
HG Going with the much maligned Mr. Pletcher here. He of the 1 for 31 yada, yada, yada. Hey, with 25% of the starters, maybe the law of averages or something like that kicks in? They all can run, and with the likely off going, who knows?..... Boxing all 5. $1.00 Tri. Box.................3-9-10-14-15 = $60.00 $2.00 Ex. Box.................3-9-10-14-15 = $40.00 Have fun.... Tommy2Tone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, that's a bummer! CHALKY'S Fear the Kitten would have been able to run if BLACK ONYX had been scratched just two hours earlier when scratches were supposed to be made. Breen better have a good excuse. So, SR Vegas, I guess Chalky and Fear the Kitten will just have to stay in the barn and play with the cats. :( Annie
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
Well, it's noon central time and they are unloading the brinks trucks betting on DOJ in the Oaks, right now she is even money. The winner is sitting at 7-1 right now. So, better get ready to make my way over to the casino to enjoy Oaks day. Oh..............the winner of the Oaks......Unlimited Budget, your all on your own to fill out 2nd and 3rd. You Feel Lucky
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MKB UPDATE: Good luck today to WHACKYMACKY'S Noble Tune and MEATHEAD'S Positively in the American Turf Stakes at CD!!!! Annie
Kelley More than 1 year ago
YFL, I wasn't offering an opinion, just data. But since you asked, If 70% of the last 13 Derby winners had Raise a Native in their sire's blood line and that lets you eliminate 80% of the field you might have a pretty powerful angle. And TBTA has a whole book of angles. You may have issues with the angle, the figures are facts. I don't think you were asking about the Storm Cat bloodline, but if you were, Dan himself verified that Storm Cat did not appear in ANY Derby winner's bloodline. Any more questions? Kelley_Belles