08/08/2012 1:30PM

Fort Larned = Fast!


Let's finally give FORT LARNED his due.  One of the fastest horses in the country with three triple-digit (all 108s over different surfaces and distances) Beyers going into the historic Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap at Saratoga, Fort Larned was dismissed at 7-1 and made the cynics pay with a career-best 110 Beyer performance.  Being disrespected by the betting public is nothing new to Fort Larned.  He was 12-1 for his track record-breaking performance in the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes on Florida Derby afternoon at Gulfstream, went off at 5-1 when second to Successful Dan's track record-breaking effort in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs and was 7-2 in the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap on June 30.  In fact, Fort Larned has been favored only once out of sixteen career races. 

Ridden brilliantly by Brian Hernandez Jr., a young veteran making his first career appearance at Saratoga, Fort Larned broke sweetly from the far outside post and assumed an excellent position tracking pacesetters ENDORSMENT and RULE.  With a quick burst of speed, Fort Larned opened up on the field on the far turn and held off the late-kickers in the stretch.

If he stays sound, Fort Larned may return in the Grade 1 Woodward in early September.  He may actually go favored in that race.

As for the also-rans, RON THE GREEK, HYMN BOOK and FLAT OUT all gave their usual solid runs.  Flat Out may have a bit of upside as this was only his second start of the form cycle for trainer Bill Mott.

*Although INCLUDE ME OUT took the cake in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic, I was taken with the late move made by third-place finisher AMANI.  Bred in Chile, Amani won 10 of 11 races in her native country, including a 25-length score in the Group 1 Alberto Solari Magnasco Stakes. The Hirsch was Amani's first start of the year and she came flying to get a piece of the purse.  More distance will be better for her and she should appreciate getting back to dirt at Santa Anita for trainer Neil Drysdale. 

*Trainer Todd Pletcher's juvenile performers have dominated the racing at Saratoga.  Going into Wednesday's racing, Pletcher-trained babies are 10-26 (38%) with a $3.46 return on investment.  JOCOSITY, a Sharp Humor colt that sold for $210,000 in March, won third-out on August 3 with a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.  The runner-up?  Pletcher-trained Midnight Taboo, who likely won't be a maiden for long. 

*MACHO MACHO paralyed a perfect trip into a graded stakes victory in the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer.  Tracking a protracted pace battle between favored HANSEN and HERO OF ORDER, Macho Macho pounced at the right time and won a battle of attrition in the final furlong. 


Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from last week's races (7/30/12 - 8/5/12):

1.  FORT LARNED - 110 - Whitney Handicap (G1) - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
2.  POSEIDON'S WARRIOR - 104 - Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
3.  SAGINAW - 103 - John Morrissey Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga
4.  SAN PABLO - 102 - Birdstone Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles - Saratoga
5.  TAPIZAR - 101 - West Virginia Governor's Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Mountaineer
6.  GUAM TYPHOON - 100 - Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial Stakes - 6 Furlongs - Mountaineer
7.  INCLUDE ME OUT - 99 - Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Del Mar
7.  INDIANO - 99 - Giant Ryan Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Calder
7.  OBVIOUSLY (Ire) - 99 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - Del Mar
7.  R KING OF THE ROAD - 99 - OC 75k/N3X -N - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
11. ALPHA BETTOR - 98 - Seagram Cup (G3-C) - 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) - Woodbine
11. BISCOTTO - 98 - Alw 6400N2L - 6 Furlongs - River Downs
13. ACCESS LOVE - 97 - OC 16k/N1X - 6 Furlongs - Delaware
14. ALERT WARRIOR - 96 - Alw 40000N1X - 6 Furlongs - Penn National
14. SLUMBER (GB) - 96 - OC 50k/N2X -N - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
14. SPECTACULAR SKY - 96 - Barb's Dancer Stakes - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Calder
17. HARRODS CREEK - 95 - John's Call Stakes - 1 5/8 Miles (Turf) - Saratoga
17. JOCOSITY - 95 - Md Sp Wt 80k - 5 1/2 Furlongs - Saratoga
17. NOT A GIVEN - 95 - OC 32k/N2X -N - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Monmouth
17. RIVERSRUNRYLEE - 95 - OC 25k/N2X - 1 Mile 70 Yards - Calder
17. SHUDACUDAWUDYA - 95 - Jess Jackson Owners' Handicap - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - Santa Rosa2
22. BROTHER FRANCIS - 94 - Md Sp Wt 71k - 6 1/2 Furlongs (Polytrack) - Del Mar
22. CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE - 94 - My Frenchman Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - Monmouth
22. EMMA'S ENCORE - 94 - Prioress Stakes (G1) - 6 Furlongs - Saratoga
22. MACHO MACHO - 94 - West Virginia Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - Mountaineer

FORT LARNED's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post.


Please check out the latest video production from Jessica Pacheco, Racing Analyst at Arlington Park.  It's Part 11 of the "Behind the Silks" video series following jockey Tim Thornton through his ups and downs at this year's Arlington meet.

"Go Go White Sox"

In episode 11, join Tim as he heads to a Chicago White Sox game to throw out the first pitch. Tim gets to talk athlete to athlete with a few players and finds out that the White Sox may have another surprise or two in store for him.


All episodes, 1-11, can be found here:



LSD can you post the pps for Wrightwood & Sharp Cat ?

Their lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of the blog post.


Congrats to DSully for winning last week's HandiGambling exercise. 

Let's go with Friday's seventh race at Del Mar for this week's event.

Penn National Rick's scoresheet is 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.


On a side note, let's cut out some of the bickering on the comments session.  It's Del Mar and Saratoga season.  Let's enjoy it!

FortLarned.pdf61 KB
Sharp Cat.pdf57.29 KB
Wrightwood.pdf56.3 KB
HGDAISY.pdf162.31 KB
Copy of Formblog Contest HonorableMiss 8-3-12.xls39.5 KB
Jerry More than 1 year ago
Good luck all Here is my attempt at the Pk 5 2,6,7/ 2,3,8,11/ 1/ 2,3,4,5,6/ 3,4 Good Luck everyone and have a great day
Laura More than 1 year ago
Prince Z was weaned today from mamma Z and so far, both are handling it well. Guess they'll see tonight when the evening routine changes. He's a beautiful colt and has mom's ears!
Gerty Golittle More than 1 year ago
Annie, It's plain to me that you must NOT leave out Great Warrior! You will be tempting fate! knm
Meathead More than 1 year ago
Del Mar Pick 5 8-15-12 R1 #1 Slammer Time back to turf with new rider in gomez takes a small drop in class for this and has faired better on the grass and will enjoy the surface today. gomez is 50% with trainer to date and jones is 29% first with trainer so good stats for sure. This gelding has been against better and may fire off the rest for gomez.I will use him here. #2 Why Not Be Perfect has a good solid record on the grass having all his wins therebut no wins at this distance which is of concern but has taken to DM and may take to the grass as well. Hasnt won in a year so this is a stretch for sure. #6 Muny who is the jockey? another with a solid turf record and ran steadily for his return to the races in last so think today he will be ready to fire his best with talamo up. has won half of his races at this distance so has a big chance to get the money today.J/T 30% R2 #8-11 R3 #1 Hoorayforhollywood just got caught at the wire in last looked like a winner seems to hang a little at the wire so with little speed in the race should be able to set a moderate pace and go on with it today. #5 First Strike was coming fast in the seven panels and think the extra distance will be to his liking today. delgadillo knows when to push the buttons will lay off the pace and make one move at the top of the lane . Is one for one at delmar from far back last year. R4 #2-3-6-14 R5 #2 My Gal Candy huge move in last race after being far back and with the added distance will be hard to keep from the win in this one. Is one for one at the mile winning at the gate in april. There is a reason jerry wanted gomez on this mare as he knows he is a hustler and goes all out to win. #3 Demure Halo new rider in nakatani who is hot currently this filly has been working well for her comeback and usually runs back very good as well. Is two for two at the mile and I look for her to be part of the pace and cory will save something for the lane Turf is just not for her. #7 Town Belle talamo is two for four with this filly and see no reason he wont be in contention all the race with this four year old who has been on the shelf since october is working steady since june so should be ready for best. $108 is the bet I think right annie? MH01 good luck to all whio play this $353 thousand carryover today
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stucknarizona cograts on your HG win my friend you have really been knocking on the door lately and finally got in way to go. MH01 PS it must be all the cool weather you are getting with all the storms coming at you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
P-5 First, I won't be playing the races today nor the P-5. There seems to be a lot of excitement about the carryover for today. I can remember only one other carryover. One reason to play the p-5 today is that you might win. You probably won't win much more than the normal payoff. This wager is way different than the P-6 in payouts. There will be no pigger and there will probably be over 200 winning tickets. And there are no consolations. One reason to not play today is that you will probably lose. 1. Assuming no scratches, there are 32,340 combinations for a buy it all ticket of $16,170. Some bridgejumper will probably do that but would have a better chance of making money by betting a 1 to 5 shot to show at Delaware. 2. I predict about $925,000 will be added to the pool today. Much more per centage wise per cost of wager than if this was a P6 carryover. A P6 carryover of $362,00 would generate about $1.2 to $1.5 million. The true whales will be in today's P6 pool. One reason is many less tickets will be sold on the winning P6 combination, thus a larger payoff. 3. The P5 payoffs for the previous 4 Wednesdays have been: $940, $676, $4,027 and $576. Certainly not enough data for a scientific comparison, but I bring this up because most race cards are very similar in the types of races written and the types of horses entered for certain days of the week and the same horseplayers are playing on Wednesday. The average payoff for all P5's this year at DMR is $4440 in 19 days. 9 of those days (48%) have paid less than $2,000. And the largest $17,205. 4. Ok, I just reached up into the air and pulled down the winning P5 payoff for today. It is $786.25. That just happens to be 1/1000 of the pool after takeout. Those 1000 winning tickets will also share in the $362,000 carryover adding another $362 to the $786.25 equaling $1,148.25 total payoff. If one was to wager $200 to win on a 5-1 horse and win, the payout would be $1200. 5. For each even money single you use, you reduce your chances of winning by 50%. If you bought two of the races and used 3 even money favorites you would only win 12.5 out of 100 P5 sequences. A 5-1 horse offers a 16.67 chance of winning. 6. If you are a regular P5 player, go for it. If you are throwing a few bucks at it, good luck. It is a lotto of a sorts. By using our handicapping skills we can lower these odds somewhat, but we are competing against other competent handicappers who can do the same thing. If we had patience and waited for the 5-1 horse we really like somewhere in the sequence, we have a better chance of coming out ahead for the day. 7. I really do wish all the plungers the best of luck and skill and hope to hear of more than one success from the blog. Believe it or not, I really am an optimist, not a pessimist, but a realist also. RonZ Today, August 15th, the 43rd anniversary of the beginning of Woodstock. I won't lie to you and tell you I was there, but two weeks later I was at the 1st International Dallas Pop Festival with many of the same groups. Three days of heat and humidity, car camping, great music and fun with friends. Water was $2.00 a cup. Who would have thought then you could ever sell water in a grocery store for that much and more?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ned Daly,, Actually $6-8 in the P4 can be fairly good coverage if you have a single. For $6, at 50 cts, you would have 1x 2 x 2 x3 and for $8 you could have 2 per race or $9 1x 2 x 3 x 3. If your single hits and a long shot comes with it you can easily get back a few hundred $'s. I am up what I am by hitting 3 $1000+ payouts so far this year, my actual win % is about 10-12%. By playing small amounts though I will have a profit for the year. Additionally I am not sure that playing $75-100 on a 50 cent bet can be profitable in the long run. How many P4's pay $300-400 which would be break even for the amount bet. Plus your losses could mount quickly on a short cold streak. mpm101
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Race 4 is particularly troublesome because only one horse in the body of the race (Shining Copper) and one AE (Mark's Cat) have had a race on turf and several have never raced on any surface. To complicate the issue, many of the firsters and surface switchers have excellent turf pedigrees. However, this is a one mile race, and not all horses can win at a route in their first start, so there is that to consider as well. It's looking like it will be a very logical outcome or one of those pedigree horses will turn out to be a real runner. HA! But, which one? Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whacky, P.S. At least with the expected huge pool, it will pay more than it should. :) Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whacky, I agree that it is not likely that the longshot fest from Sunday will continue. I'm expecting it to be fairly formful today, which is why I don't want to spend a fortune. Just because the pool will be bigger doesn't mean the likely outcomes will be different from the norm. And Sunday was not the norm. I'm expecting mostly As or Bs in the winner's circle today. If there is a C, I expect it will come in race 2 or 4, the maiden races. Annie