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