02/26/2011 10:04AM

Fountain of Youth, Davona Dale, Canadian Turf, Valentine Dancer, Stymie, Hutcheson


Leading 3-year-olds To Honor and Serve and Soldat square off in the Fountain of Youth, a major Kentucky Derby prep.  But, if that race doesn't tickle your fancy, there are plenty of other stakes races to analyze. 

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH - Gulfstream - Race 10

Many handicappers will cast a skeptical eye on SOLDAT's recent Beyer Speed Figure.  After all, it was in the slop and who knows if Soldat can run on fast going?  I think he can.  Sure, the track was wet for his entry-level allowance win over this course and trip last month, but he was simply tremendous in winning by open lengths.  He was hustled up to set a pressured pace, and then faced a stiff challenge from the runner-up entering the far turn.  It was a prolonged bid, but Soldat didn't crack.  In fact, he shrugged off his main rival, and drew away to triumph as much the best.  Soldat has good tactical speed.  He can lead or rate and that's a healthy option for jockey Alan Garcia.  If he breaks cleanly, he might attempt to grab the early advantage.  If TO HONOR AND SERVE is intent on the lead, he can sit off that one.  Soldat showed ability on turf at two, and we've seen several instances in recent years (Big Brown, Eskendereya) of horses that started out on grass that successfully transferred their form to dirt. 
Selections: Soldat, To Honor and Serve, Gourmet Dinner


DAVONA DALE - Gulfstream - Race 8

Sophomore fillies get their chance in the spotlight in this one-turn mile event.  I think that DANCINGINHERDREAMS may have the most upside as she was super impressive in both starts last year and was running at the end of her 2011 debut.  She's extremely logical and for the multi-race wagers, but I may take a chance on OH CAROLE on the win end.  Thirteen days after being listed as a vet scratch, Oh Carole ran her last quarter in 12.10 to win her debut going seven furlongs over the Keeneland polytrack.  She may not have beaten much that day, but she again ran strongly late to capture an entry-level allowance race at Gulfstream on January 30, and was flattered when the runner-up returned to win yesterday by 10 3/4 lengths with a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.  Although she's yet to route, I'm guessing a one-turn mile is well within her scope.
Selections:  Oh Carole, Pomeroys Pistol, Dancinginherdreams


VALENTINE DANCER - Santa Anita - Race 7

The early scratch of UNZIP ME may drastically alter the running of the Valentine Dancer.  She projected as the main speed with CAMILLE C in closest attendance during the backstretch run.  With Unzip Me out, Camille C may have free rein on the engine.  I won't change my original selection, however, as ANTARES WORLD has enough speed to find a good spot near the leader.  Grade 1-placed on grass last year, Antares World looked good in defeating ULTRA BLEND at Golden Gate on September 23.  Two back, she chased a lone front-runner through glacial fractions, and never really had a chance.  Last time out, she did nothing on dirt, but I'm willing to throw that race out as dirt isn't her surface.  A two-time winner at this distance on synthetics, Antares World will look to stalk and pounce under new rider Martin Garcia.
EVENING JEWEL, a multiple Grade 1 winner, is the deserving favorite but, despite winning the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint last time out, I'm not sure if she's as sharp as she was last year.
Selections:  Antares World, Ultra Blend, Camille C (TURF ONLY)


STYMIE - Aqueduct - Race 9

The participation of ARSON SQUAD is in doubt because of lingering foot issues.  I wouldn't mind if he runs because I think I can beat him at a short price.  REMAND looms the lone speed, but I thought he rode the crest of an inside, speed-biased track to win last time out.  Perhaps the two favorites are somewhat vulnerable so I'll take a shot with MASALA, a gelding that was a very game winner two starts back in an 'n2x' optional claimer.  He had to work very hard after being passed at the quarter-pole, but he re-rallied along the inside to grab the brass ring, and the runner-up returned to score in similar company with a 101 Beyer.  Masala bombed as the 4-5 favorite last time out for a $75,000 tag, but perhaps he regressed off the hard-fought victory.  I'm guessing he'll be Remand's closest threat entering the turn, and he should be a nice price.
Selections:  Masala, Remand, Arson Squad


HUTCHESON - Gulfstream - Race 9

Both TRAVELIN MAN and FLASHPOINT were impressive, big-figure winners of their career debuts, but I'm often hesitant to play these kind of horses when they step up to face winners for the first time.  It's not because of a perceived lack of class, but I wonder if the stronger pace scenario usually found in these races are more difficult for the inexperienced runners to overcome.  I'm tossing the Hail Mary pass with ROYAL CURRIER, an experienced three-year-old that has never been out of the exacta in seven races.  He was no match for favored Fort Hughes in last month's Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct, but did finish ahead of next-out winner Rift (85 Beyer in entry-level allowance).  While Royal Currier does have speed, and this race is chock-full of speed, he draws way outside, and may opt to sit just off the expected skirmish up front.  He's going to be a big price, but I'm not sure he's that far off the top contenders in terms of numbers and class.
Selections:  Royal Currier, Travelin Man, Madman Diaries



YANKEE FOURTUNE is 5-5 on turf and showed a new dimension when rating from off-the-pace in his most recent start, the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf against three-year-olds.  He hasn't raced since, however, shows some gaps in the work tab, and I didn't really love how he finished up that race (hopping back to his wrong lead in the final 100 yards).  Instead, I'll play ZIFZAF, a fascinating story.  A Shadwell homebred, Zifzaf graduated on June 26, 2009, but didn't race after that until being sold at the Keeneland January sale for only $25,000.  Zifzaf won his first two starts for his new connections, finished third in the Grade 2 Fourstardave at Saratoga, and was a courageous fifth in the Woodbine Mile after prompting a quick pace throughout.  Zifzaf doesn't need the lead, however, and he may save valuable ground behind good fractions. 
Selections:  Zifzaf, Yankee Fourtune, Tannersville (TURF ONLY)

Quick-and-dirty pick:



For a thorough video analysis of these stakes races from yours truly and drf.com Handicapper Mike Beer, please visit the below link:



More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.

Best of luck,


SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Meathead01 I'll agree with James Mc that Rotsaluck ran in the 1990's. Here is a bit off of pedigree.com http://www.pedigreequery.com/rotsaluck in short: Winnings: 66 Starts: 19 - 3 - 1, $522,152 1st Hollywood Turf Express H.-G3, Phoenix Gold Cup H.-G3, Morvich H., Foothill S. 2nd Palos Verdes H.-G3, San Simeon H.-G3, Robert K. Kerlan Memorial H. 3rd El Conejo H. Pensioned at Tranquility Farm, July 2007.
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
SR Vegas thanks for the info on Rotsaruck also thanks for the webb site. Iremember this horse I have actually bet him but thought there was another one in the late 70s with similer name. thanks MH01
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Blackseabass Oh bless your heart, you do a wonderful Valley Girl imitation :)
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
BSB A few number's from Monday's racing to add to your figures: Fair Grounds: Race #3 7 Horse Field 7th Choice was the winner at $31.80 !!! Race #5 5 Horse Field 5th Choice was the winner at $26.20 !!! Race #7 8 Horse Field 7th Choice was the winner at $25.40 !!! Race #8 8 Horse Field 7th Choice was the winner at $34.80 !!! Beulah Park Race #4 7 Horse Field 7th Choice was the winner at $45.40 !!! Looked like some great ticket's on a quiet Monday if you played the short field's and played those longshot's, no?? Thing's to look for. I hope that somebody had a big day at the FG's with those ticket's!!!! Whackymacky out!!!
Yogi More than 1 year ago
Dan, After spending about an hour trying to find something suitable, I think that I want to use Thursday Race 5 at Santa Anita. The way the weather has been in "Sunny" CA, I may regret picking a grass race, but let's give it a shot. Thanks again for the prize. Yogi
blackstone More than 1 year ago
knm and Curt V Re the "newest/oldest" knm-The trick was authored by Curt V, not bsb. I think it is important to give the proper credit since that trick, along with a couple of things PGM posted when we were all struggling with the new format, are among the best tricks I've ever seen. To repeat, on Curt's behalf, (brilliant, Curt-truly): Go to the newest/oldest box and click on the drop down arrow. Wait five or ten seconds for the screen to flash. After the flash, wait another five or ten seconds and click on the drop down arrow once again-poof-you're off and running. It has completely eliminated any stress or angst, or any work for that matter, in the whole process. And it works every time. Curt V-I assume you have put your instructions in Word, and then just send it here when you need to. Although the demand for "what is PH" is much less, I put the explanation in Word and just paste it over when necessary. I have the attitude that my fingers have a shelf life which is somewhat less than the rest of my body. The fewer keystrokes now the better the old fingers will be fifteen or twenty years from now when I need them to button a shirt, tie a shoelace, or open a pill bottle or things like that. I know, I know, I could solve the real problem by not posting so much, but hey, what is the fun in being that cautious? Dick W Are you still playing PH and are you enjoying it? I hope so. I've scaled back some for a variety of reasons but will kick back in shortly, I think. I have no idea how you're doing, but if you have started slow don't worry about it. There is an ebb and flow to the whole thing, and patience is the best approach. A couple of years ago I started the six month one going 4 for 50-then went 17 for 35 and ended up in the black, where I stayed. I'm 0 for 8 at the moment, but as bsb has said it won't take much to get past that . The other thing is to be sure and navigate through the whole web site-there are some great links to a whole bunch of stuff that is well worth anyone's time.
knm More than 1 year ago
Blackstone, I realized afterward that it was Curt V., not bsb, who had given out that solution. In my defense, I did say 'I thought' LOL. So, Curt V., I apologize for not giving you credit where credit was due. However, on the day in question, it was NOT working. Today it did, and it nearly always does. So, a big thank you!
Yogi More than 1 year ago
Steve T. Here's one to add to your Blueblood list. Courtesy of the Oaklawn Park website. =============================================================== With news this week that the last two female Horses of the Year, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, had both made their first trips to the breeding shed, trainer Danny Peitz anxiously peers down his shedrow at one product of a high-powered female champion as Azeri’s foal Arienza is nearing a career debut this season. “I only hope that she’s half as good as her mom,” said Peitz of the 3-year-old filly by Giant’s Causeway out of the 2002 Horse of the Year and three-time winner of the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1). She is owned by Robert and Lawana Low – Peitz’s main clients.
John N. More than 1 year ago
The Triple Crown heightens public interest to some extent each year, and perhaps offers the best opportunity for people to be introduced to the sport. Remembering our discussion some time ago about recruiting new players, maybe we'll get a chance to do so over the next few months. When I get an opportunity to discuss thoroughbred racing with a newcomer, I usually try to make the following three points: Entertainment bang-for-the-buck: For two people to attend a sporting event, the price for tickets, parking, and inflated food costs can easily drive the total cost to $100, or perhaps much higher. Same for a rock concert or other entertainment. Contrast that to the low cost of admission, parking (often free), and reasonable food costs at most racetracks, and the same couple might have $70 or so left to bet with. Even a day without winners may well cost less than other entertainment, and if they win, so much the better. Challenge: It is a good idea to state up front that our sport is complex, but that it is worth learning about. Once one gains some understanding of what makes the wheels go around in thoroughbred racing, they are treated to sets of mental challenges unlike those of any other sport. These challenges encompass realms such as physical handicapping, figures, trainer ability/intent, jockeys, breeding, etc. They can be handled in completely different ways by different individuals, and there are often multiple successful ways to solve them. Contrast this to the types of man-made or computer-generated challenges available in video gaming. Would you rather solve the interesting problems necessary to determine which majestic thoroughbred will be piloted home in front, or chase a little dragon-slaying figure through a castle on a video screen? Humor and edification: No setting on earth provides greater or more frequent opportunities for the combination of genuine humor and the continued learning processes associated with multiple interesting events in one afternoon. The diversity of opinions and methods used by handicappers, the pre-race pageantry, and the physical action provided by the horses and riders at speed form a natural background for humorous and educational exchanges that are not easily forgotten. Sometimes a story or two will be convincing here. Finally, I either offer to take the newcomer with me to the track, or at least spend a half an hour or so at the track discussing a few of the interesting races of the day. That can be all it takes if the individual is inclined toward our sport. Often, though, it is an uphill battle given the attention span and immediate-decision attitude of many young people today, but that is my approach. Best regards, John N.
Curt V. More than 1 year ago
Knm & Blackstone, Ah Shucks !! Thanx for the shout, but none needed..Why it didn't work for you, knm, on that occasion is a stifler..Me thinkem' you mistakem..didem' wrongem..I "figured"{BSB ?} I'd let the fishman get some Kudo's in the mistaken thought he would give me some fish-line slack..LOL..But, you know the fishman ? He wouldn't give up the big catch to a toddler...I saw what Steve T. said about the annoyance at times.."I resemble that remark"{Curly-3 Stooges}.. My wife said to let the big mare out of the stall today.."& please watch yourself", she blurted...." She's not been out of the stall since early December....all the ice....Man, OMG......Horse dirt was flyin everywhere....Talkin' about feeling the oats........I didn't listen......I thought I was getting hit w/a machine gun blast... & semi-finally, Blackstone..a fellow blogger asked me when I was finally going to let on to some here, that I was in the context of exactas in the short fields, as I mentioned to you in prior posts & others way back when..I mean, what does this mean ? "When I key 1-2 & use others........" ? Got to be exactas or maybe tri's, No ? I've been having a blast w/all those people posting winners at the different tracks at long odds..I never mentioned WPS...One guy{not BSB} is going around all over the country w/them..& I keep laughing.......I'm talking exactas....& honestly, I don't give a flyin'.........obviously, posting totally out of CONTEXT....& didn't read from the beginning..Do you think I'm going to waste my time looking up the payouts, when I blind man on horseback, knows I'm right w/o even looking..It's all numbers.......I know you knew what I was talking about, & you being the "Integrity" sort of guy, would listen..& with taht, I thank you......Seriously.... Again, No ReCaptcha.......don't even ask.....& here's a tidbit I read today....In the 1978 Marlboro Cup, when the Slewster decimated Affirmed, while repelling Affirmed's ill-fated 4 different attempts to catch Seattle Slew, the Slewster brought home the last 5F's of the 1 1/8 race in a mindblowing.................................... 58.4.OMG..while carryiong 128lbs. It was as of then, the 2nd fastest time EVER in the world on Dirt,..only a small tick or 2 off of The Big Red.....
knm More than 1 year ago
Curt V, No, I did not do it incorrectly. (Forgive me if I clean up your sentence construction, LOL!) I did it at least 3 times, as per your instructions, and it did NOT work on that particular day! And I was obviously not alone in having trouble. I will say that your directions, for straightening out the blog and avoiding captchas, work 98% of the time, and I am truly grateful.
ole bob bowers More than 1 year ago
All, C'mon folks, admit it, HG is a lot of fun, and the Enhanced PP's are a great handicapping tool and a really nice prize. I do think the rules could be tightened up a bit, like DQing any entry without an explanation of the bet, or burying the bet in the text. I don't agree that its become just an exercise in stabbing blindly. It ain't all that easy to win the thing. For the most part it does take handicapping skills and some creative wagering......Oh, and did I mention that its FREE to play? Lighten up.....have some fun.
TheVanGogh More than 1 year ago
I don't see what the big deal is with the current HG format. The goal is to win the contest while sharing valuable information with other bloggers. In order to win the contest, you have to wager in a way that will win you the most amount of money. That's the objective in the real world, too; maximize profits. The problem isn't so much that people are trying win some free PP's, they're just neglecting to explain HOW they will do that. By my estimation, there's too much focus on the handicapping aspect of HG, while wagering strategy is rarely mentioned. Most of the bloggers here are terrific handicappers and almost everyone is proficient at reading PP's, so incorporating blurbs on each horse rarely yields any useful information. Besides, we spend the other 6 days a week talking about handicapping. Going forward, I think it would be nice if less emphasis was placed on horse analysis, and more weight given to RACE analysis and wagering strategy.