01/31/2012 4:31PM

FormBlog's NHC Winners

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On Saturday afternoon, I received a call from one of my "colleagues."

"Dan, where is your weekend update?  We need content.  CONTENT."

I tried to explain that I wasn't being lazy, and that this weekend wasn't about me, my selections, or even the good races across the country.  This past weekend was about 480 of the best handicappers in the world and their quest for a million dollars. 

I also mentioned that some of the FormBloggers were involved in the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship and that I wanted one thread to cover our reactions. 

"In case something cool happens," I hoped out loud, "I don't want another one of my posts clogging up the works."

Something cool did happen out in Las Vegas. 

Very cool. 

Michael Beychok ("lil chok"), Alan Levitt ("Alan") and Milton Moon ("Lenny," "aparagonforu") all qualified for this year's final.  While that is an impressive accomplishment on its own, it's hardly surprising.  Any person that reads our forum understands that FormBloggers give quality handicapping analysis, keen betting insight, and have an unparalleled passion and love for our great sport. 

The fact that Michael won the whole kit and kaboodle, that Alan finished in the top ten and that NHC rookie Milton cracked the top 100 was simply amazing.

It's hard to believe that FormBlog has been on drf.com since 2006.  Since then, we've had our dust-ups, our personality clashes, our arguments, but at the end of the day, I'm proud to say that we root for each other, we want each other to do well, and we like each other.  I'm proud to boast that total strangers are now good friends and that they look forward to greeting each other, in person and away from the keyboard. 

Michael, Alan and Milton gave amazing performances over the weekend.  I had a chance to speak with both Michael and Alan over the telephone shortly before the "Official" sign went up and I thought to myself that I am extremely lucky to have had an opportunity to meet such wonderful people through this blog.  I was also relieved as I had e-mailed Uncle Steve T. during the day to say that my fingernails were gnawed down to nubs from nerves.  The heartfelt sentiments of joy and pure emotion from FormBloggers congratulating our contestants over the past few days simply dripped off the page. 

I guess what I'm poorly trying to say is that it's nice when good things happen to good people.  From my interactions, in person, over e-mail and through FormBlog posts, with our commenters, it's safe to say that the FormBloggers are the best.

***

Here are the top 25 Winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's racing action (1/23/11 - 1/29/11):

1.  IT'S ME MOM - 102 - Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream
2.  CAPITAL ACCOUNT - 101 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
3.  BROADWAY'S ALIBI - Forward Gal Stakes (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Gulfstream
3.  EL PADRINO - 100 - OC 75k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
3.  MUCHO MACHO MAN - 100 - Sunshine Millions Classic - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
6.  BOYS AT TOSCONOVA - 99 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
7.  ALGORITHMS - 98 - Holy Bull Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - Gulfstream
7.  HOLLADAY ROAD - Crystal Water Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
7.  NORMAN ASBJORNSON - 98 - OC 40k/N3X -N - 1 Mile - Parx
7.  SHUDACUDAWUDYA - 98 - Albany Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Tapeta) - Golden Gate
11. APPREHENDER - 97 - Md Sp Wt 40k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Oaklawn
11. DERIVE - 97 - Swift Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Turf Paradise
11. RILEY TUCKER - 97 - King Cotton Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
14. AWESOME FEATHER - 96 - Sunshine Millions Distaff - 1 1/8 Miles - Gulfstream
14. REDDING COLLIERY - 96 - Evening Attire - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
14. WELL POSITIONED - 96 - OC 50k/N2X - 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
14. COMISKY'S HUMOR - 96 - Md 10000 - 5 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
18. MATTO MONDO (Chi) - 95 - Clm c-(40-35) - 1 Mile (Turf) - Santa Anita
18. RIBALD - 95 - Alw 30000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Sunland
18. SAHARA SKY - 95 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
18. VIA VERDE - 95 - Clm c-(25-22.5) - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
22. ARTO - 94 - Alw 25000s - 7 Furlongs - Parx
22. GIBSON - 94 - Alw 24500NC - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Tampa Bay
22. LITTLE MIKE - 94 - Sunshine Millions Turf - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
22. SOARING STOCKS - 94 - Sunshine Millions Sprint - 6 Furlongs - Gulfstream

*IT'S ME MOM's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 

*MATTO MONDO, the winner of the Grade 3 Thunder Road Handicap in 2009, was claimed for $37,500 by trainer Steve Asmussen from Doug O'Neill.

*VIA VERDE was claimed for $25,000 by trainer Mark Glatt from Michael Pender.

*What do you make of COMISKY'S HUMOR's 96 Beyer effort in a $10,000 maiden claimer going five furlongs at Fair Grounds on January 29?  Trained by Ron Faucheux, 3-year-old Comisky's Humor was beaten 10 3/4 lengths, with a 27 Beyer, in his career debut for $15,000 on January 6.  Second-out, he romped by 14 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion.  Comisky's Humor, a $14,000 RNA as a short yearling, sold for only $1,200 as a Keeneland yearling.  By Sharp Humor out of the solid New York sprinter/router Lexiloush, Comisky's Humor's winning race was faster, on the Beyer scale, than the San Pedro Stakes (Midnight Transfer), Smarty Jones Stakes (Junebugred) and Gulfstream Park Derby (Reveron) earlier in the year.  His Beyer was seven points quicker than what Hansen earned (89) when the juvenile champion of 2011 made his sophomore debut last week in the Holy Bull. 

***

why not indicate "newly" gelded with an upper case "G." in the description part of the P.P.
anderson

Only some jurisdictions mandate that first-time gelding information be made available in the racing program (California is one of those states).  In some states, the reporting process takes forever.  At those tracks, by the time the racing office is made aware of the operation, it's possible that the horse in question had already raced several times.  Fines should be levied to trainers that do not report first-time geldings immediately to the racing office.  If that was the case universally, we wouldn't have delays in reporting and the information could be made available in the DRF.  For those horseplayers that play the California tracks, my advice is to download the day's program on each track's website.  At the bottom of each race, a designation is made for first-time geldings.

***

Dan,
I am handicapping Friday's GP card (for a disappointing Watch Horse of mine, Shadow Warrior) and came across Associate, the latest Dutrow "miracle"! I hope I am not restating something already discussed here, but just look at his turnaround since being claimed from the Linda Rice barn in late July. Can you please post Associate's PPs so the rest of Formblog can bear (or is it bare) witness to the miraculous improvement. Perhaps it's due to Dutrow's holy water?
Alan

Associate's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 

Horses like Associate remind me of a great story that Harvey Pack likes to tell about Oscar Barrera.  When Oscar was asked how he drastically improved newly-acquired horses in such a short amount of time, he responded, "When I claim him, he covered in confusion."

***

Hey Dan could you post the past performances for Pie N Burger please.
Bubsox35

Pie N Burger's past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.

***

Congrats to spafan1 for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  This week's race will be Thursday's eighth race at Gulfstream. 

PAST PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.
 
 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.

AttachmentSize
It'sMeMom.pdf57.11 KB
Associate.pdf60.03 KB
Pie N Burger.pdf59.49 KB
HG269.pdf150.37 KB
Steve Taylor More than 1 year ago
First, congrats to Chalk, Alan and everyone for a GREAT job in Vegas. Here are my picks for a "keep it simple" version of HG HG: $50 EXBox 5/10 Only 2 horses (other than firsters) who are first for a tag.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Steve Taylor, Um, I think he prefers to be called Chok, not Chalk. LOL Don't forget, your boy KING KID is running in the Withers on Sat. :) Good luck! Annie
Margo More than 1 year ago
$100 Exacta 6-5 So Vogue is trained by a high % trainer and the price is right. Emma's Encore goes 1st time for the Giant Killer. Both are well drawn
JimPeregoy More than 1 year ago
HG 269: Will avoid the entrants with low % connections and questionable Beyers as well as the firsters without a positive history from connections. Looks like 4 of these are the contenders. 2-Donate has the top Beyer and an excuse for his last star. Has hit the board in both dirt starts at GP 7-Union Boss looks, just adequate enough to overcome my aversion to wagering on Prado. 8 Starship Sabrina was consistently mediocre at Calder and showed similar ability in GP debut. 12 Ms. Tiznow has crafty connections and the Tiznow firsters can surprise. I'll use the 12 in an effort to win this week's HG event. HG 269 Wager: $30 Exacta # 12 WT # 2,7,8 = $90 $2 Trifecta # 12 WT # 2,7,8 WT # 2,7 =$8 $2 'Trifecta #12 WT #2 WT #8
Alan More than 1 year ago
blackseabass, I normally stay away from commenting on other Formblogger's opinions, but your response to Steve Davidowitz was totally wrong and unfair! Steve, Bruno and Lauren do this for a living. There is a big difference between us (Formblog) and them. Do you give away all of your work for free? Laura, I just read your outstanding article on Algorithms on ironmaidenthoroughbreds.com. Great job! Thank you for the wonderful work!
Alfredo More than 1 year ago
Can there be any doubt that this is the #1 blog/ forum /chat room on the web for thoroughbred horse racing fans. I try to drop by a couple times a week. Yes there can be some little feuds between some of the members but they are pretty mild compared to what one sees at other sites. Some places are full of trolls and there is absolutely no patience for helping novices along. There is such a great number of down right nice helpful people and knowledgeable handicappers. Knowledgeable handicappers.....WOW! Look at how Michael, Alan, and Lenny, all qualified then as a group dominated the NHC! I didn't see any blogs/ forums /chat rooms match that. Then we have a large group of sharp folks that post regularly, we all know who they are, here at the Formblog and are not really involved in the NHC. Congrats, of course, are a plenty for the big $$$ winners but just as importantly props to Dan Illman for keeping this site up and healthy. I would be negligent if I also didn't say kudos to everybody that posts and even you lurkers who still keep those "hits" coming! Speaking of big money. Both Thoro-Graph and Grade One Racing and even Twin Spires are trumpeting the fact that Michael used their products to win the NHC. Dan, how about DRF? Betcha there was some Formulator use as well. Grade One will cost you $300 for the year and Thoro-Graph sheets at least $25 daily per track. I do believe that TG provides sheets free of charge for those involved in the NHC though. There is no shortage of handicapping aids but neither do any of the outstanding services guarantee you'll be a winner because as we all know interpreting the data is really what will make or break you and then there is an immeasurable factor ...fate. That's why none of the NHC champions, in its history, is a two time winner. I recently became semi-retired and would love to get involved in the NHC but I know I still don't have all the time that it takes to really chase this rainbow. Maybe soon though! Again props to all the winners you guys are truly GREAT! We get another MDC to sharpen our handicapping acumen this week but this time on the east coast. One of the things I do best is jump to conclusions. Sometimes I'm right but most often I'm wrong but the goal to Handigambling is to score better than EVERYBODY! I think the best way to do this is by usually swinging for the fences and trying to hit one out of the park. I thought I slammed a good one a couple of weeks ago but NellyGCM hit a tape measure shot! The conclusion I'm jumping to though is this: There is a lot of speed near the rail and then you have all the pseudo speed breaking outside of them so I really think this race is going to fall apart and the winner and place horses are going to be unexpected. I just don't think we are going to see a big hit here so I'm choking up and just trying to hit them where they ain't. Not a bunt but a well placed hit. So that said I'm tossing out all horses that have shown any speed and going primarily with mystery horses; especially first time starters. Outside post seem to do better at this distance so I'm giving bonus points to #s 11 & 12 because they are less likely to run into as many obstacles during the race. Almost forgot.... spafan1 congrats on the HG win last week..remember you beat some of the best minds in the biZ! HG 269 $7 Exactas 11,12/ 6,8,7,11,12 6,7,8 / 11,12 $1 Exacta Box 7,8
grassland More than 1 year ago
HG269 $100 Exacta 5-6 Emma's Encore is 1st time Jerkens and lures Lezcano. So Vogue is trained by an under-rated, high % trainer.
James Russell More than 1 year ago
HG #269 Gulfstream Park $19.00 Triple 8 w 2 w 1.9.10 = $57.00 $7.00 Triple 8.9 w 8.9 w 1.2.10 = $42.00 Total $99.00 #8 Starship Sabrina - First time class drop last race, qualifying second; repeat. #2 Donate, previous co-runner of Starship Sabrina with faster last race. Sabrina passed her so gets this same faster figure. The 1-9 & 10 plays backup roles. This is a repeat blog. Had trouble sending first one. Wasn't sure if it was received. This is not a new entry.
Trackbias More than 1 year ago
$1.00 Trifecta 7 / 10 over ALL over ALL = $72.00 $1.00 Trifecta 5 / 7 / 10 over 1 / 5 / 7 / 10 over 1 / 5 / 7 / 10 = $18.00 $1.00 Trifecta 5 / 7 / 10 = $6.00
Alan More than 1 year ago
Tencent, Damn those vet scratches! Cobra venom? Sorry for the changes in my HandiGambling wagers... HG REDO GULFSTREAM MAIDEN CLAIMERS With the scratch of my initial KEY longshot (Dot Those Eyes), I will now KEY #8 Starship Sabrina and add #12 Ms Tiznow to my exacta selections. $20WP #8 = $40 $10EX #8/2,5,6,12 = $40 $5EX #2,5,6,12/8 = $20 $100 TOTAL Good luck!
Jryan More than 1 year ago
HG $1 Tri box 1,2,6,7,8 $20 WP 7 7 - Out of a SW mare earner of $447k, good J/T combo, highest auction price, a late foal so nothing wrong with not racing at 2, and decent works at a decent price. 1 - Best last out beyer, work signals a wake-up since 1st race, and out of SP earner of $144k. 2 - Experienced and excuse in last, 2 placings at this level 6 - Good work pattern, J/T combo won together only other race 8 - Top jock and most experienced.