06/05/2008 8:43PM

Friday opinions, Belmont workout trends, etc.


Trying to catch up from last week so here are some props to the Handicapper(s) of the Week:

*PGM picked Starry Pursuit, Tall Texan, Quick Commander, the Zenyatta - Santa Teresita exacta, Heatseeker
*Robert SD scored with My Friend Luis
*Ed picked the cold exacta with Radius and Sgt. Military Major at Arlington.
*Tony SunShyne hit with Squeeze Me Tight, Stomp Dance, and De Car Guy at Hollywood.
*Alan nailed Callwood Dancer in the Nassau at Woodbine, Zenyatta, Acoma, and Malusita.
*Kyri picked Starry Pursuit, and the Within Reason - Tall Texan exacta box, Zenyatta, and the Sleepin In - Scout About exacta box.
*johnnyz had Raw Silk in the Sands Point, Zenyatta, and the Triple box in the Ohio Derby.
*cayman01 had Raw Silk.
*vicstu picked Smooth Air and the Trifecta box in the Ohio Derby, Zenyatta, and the Heatseeker - Tiago exacta.
*Arazi had Smooth Air, Spring Elusion, and Lorccan
*chicago gerry had Curly and Ride Em Cowgirl at Arlington.
*Greg liked Hermosillo.
*van savant also mentioned some live horses in his picks.
*larryk had the Big Booster - Jade's Revenge exacta
*Grey Tan or White selected Real Lift and Muscle 'n Mane


...Speaking of Forefathers, I was wondering if you have any plans to try him back on the turf?
I don't have his PP's in front of me, but I believe that his first ever start was on the turf in UK, and he didn't run well, but I wonder whether you have contemplated trying him again given his amazing turf pedigree? (Gone West out of a Lord at War Mare for those reading who don't know). Perhaps he would like a firm US turf course?...
James Mc.

Here are his past performances:

Download Forefathers.pdf

Although the Gone West - Lord at War pedigree screams turf, a closer look at his female family reveals more dirt influences.  His dam was unraced on grass (stakes-winner on dirt), and is a half-brother to Powis Castle (turf debut winner, but made the bulk of his living sprinting on the dirt).  I'm a fan of Forefathers, and it couldn't hurt to try him on the turf, but I don't think his problem is surface.  He just hasn't shown the requisite will to win when the big money is on the line.


Does anyone know whatever happened to Numanny?? I know he was last in UAE Derby on World Cup day, Godolphin Site doesn't have any plan listed for him or any horse for that matter. I was SO impressed with him at AQU when he broke his maiden. It was so impressive I knew that moment that he would go to Dubai and wear the Blue. It actually makes me sad to think about him, Etched, Diabolical, etc, etc..

Here is the Stewards Report for the UAE Derby (Numaany's last start):

"A post race veterinary examination of NUMAANY (USA) revealed the colt to be lame in the right hind. Trainer Mr S bin Suroor was advised that a Veterinary Certificate would be required prior to NUMAANY (USA) being permitted to be entered to race again."

I'll add him to our Disabled List when I get a chance.


What beyer did Rising Moon earn for his win at Belmont on Friday?  He ran a nice race.

Rising Moon was handed over to Richard Dutrow Jr., and has now won four in a row.  He earned a 95 Beyer for his win on Friday.


Should I keep plugging along or should I take a few weeks off and regroup?

I think if you need to ask the question, then you already know the answer.  You obviously know what you're doing, but every horseplayer needs a break from time to time to clear the cobwebs.  Whenever I'm mentally exhausted (most of the time), and take a break from handicapping, I find I see things better when I return from the layoff. 


what do you think about the hopes of stevie wonderboy....  he is often forgotten but when u look at the list of new sires... he jumps out at me because of his size, and the potential he had before he was injured....
joe peterson

I have mixed feelings about Stevie Wonderboy.  He was a brilliant racehorse (and precocious as well), but suffered from his share of injuries.  One has to wonder if he'll pass those infirmities on to his offspring.  He has a nice pedigree as he's inbred 3 x 3 to Weekend Surprise (the dam of Summer Squall and A.P. Indy).  He also has some turf influences in his female family so perhaps he'll be an underrated turf sire.


A couple of bloggers have termed Heatseeker's on the lead route yesterday "running them off their feet". I have always thought the term meant a fast fractioned blitz from the start or at least the 2nd quarter by a dedicated frontrunner (like Monterey Jazz's San Fernando blowout) and not a race without a true pace where an habitual stalker (Heatseeker) finds himself abreast of the lead in 24.72  and 48.15. Just curious about the definition and, if you can find it, where and who the phrase originated from.

I don't know the origins of the phrase, but I agree with you concerning the definition.  Heatseeker may have run them off their feet in the last quarter-mile when the race started to heat up, but usually the term is used for a horse that dominates a field in gate-to-wire fashion (you mentioned Monterey Jazz's San Fernando, but his Texas Mile win also would suffice).  Take nothing away from Heatseeker.  His versatility is a wonderful asset.


With Monmouth reopened, I have been fondly remembering a few old favorites, Bodacious Tatas(How on earth did that get past the Jockey Club?), Smart Marge and Born to Shop.  My brother just reminded me of a huge tri we hit back in the 80's when Smart Marge came hauling down the stretch to complete it.  I also wanted the link to find out if any of the fillies produced some nice babies.
Turn Back The Alarm

Here are the produce records:

Bodacious Tatas:
1992:  Barren (bred to Risen Star)
1993:  Indicators On (filly, by Risen Star) - 9-1-1-1, $23,420
1994:  No report
1995:  Slewdacious (filly, by Seattle Slew) - Unraced
1996:  Arrested (colt, by Deputy Minister) - 11-3-3-1, $106,740
1997:  Holy Paree (filly, by Holy Bull) - Unraced
1998:  Barren (bred to Holy Bull)
1999:  Box of Biscuits (colt, by Holy Bull) - 3-0-1-0, $3,500
2000:  Patron Silver (filly, by Holy Bull) - 5-1-0-1, $12,620
2001:  Tequesta (colt, by Saint Ballado) - 10-2-0-2, $59,860
2002:  Barren (bred to Awesome Again)

Smart Marge:
1992:  Foal Died (by Lil Fappi)
1993:  Not Bred
1994:  No report
1995:  No report
1996:  No report
1997:  No report
1998:  Barren (bred to Castle Guard)

Here are the lifetime past performances of the three horses you requested:

Download Oldies.pdf


dan, i was just trying to figure out who was the last winner of the belmont stakes not to have had a race over "big sandy"??

Last year, Rags to Riches made her Belmont debut in the third leg of the Triple Crown.  Prior to that, it was Sarava in 2002.


In any event, Dan, from a purely handicapping point of view, if you become aware that a horse spiked a fever close to a race, do you throw him out, or at a minimum downgrade that animal's chances to win like this public handicapper did? Would age make a difference in this situation?
chicago gerry

As with most handicapping angles (both positive and negative), it boils down to value.  Is the horse in question going to be a huge favorite.  If so, I'm not sure I want to gamble with an injury or illness.  If the horse is a substantial overlay, I'd be willing to overlook it, but my confidence would be lessened.  I wouldn't throw out a horse I really liked because of a fever, but I would downgrade his chances, and then weigh them against he off-time odds.


BTW, does anyone know exactly WHY BB was breezing for 5 furlongs? Almost every breeze I have seen in the past, the final work before the Belmont, was 4 furlongs. Risen Star? 4 Furlongs. Seattle Slew? 4 furlongs. Even this year, several of the other horses, including Denis of Cork and Anak Nakal, breezed 4 furlongs.

Horses that worked five furlongs or longer for their final pre-Belmont workout have done very well in recent years:

2007:  Rags to Riches (5 furlongs - 1:03.84 - six days before Belmont)
2006:  Jazil (5 furlongs - 59.65 - fourteen days before Belmont)
2005:  Afleet Alex (5 furlongs - 1:01.60 - ten days before Belmont)
2004:  Birdstone (6 furlongs - 1:15.34 - seven days before Belmont)
2003:  Empire Maker (6 furlongs - 1:13.05 - seven days before Belmont)


Re Wild Desert - did he ever win a race after the QP?  I remember betting against him successfully a couple of times.

Wild Desert went 0-8 after the Queen's Plate win.


In the form, what is the time frame for the trainer stats?  1-year, 3-years??.. just wondering. Today I caught a huge discrepancy on someone's end. Today 04Jun2008, CD8 Officer Rocket won at 5-1 for tr. R. Holthus. DRF's stats:  Turf/Dirt (13 starts, .08, $1.74), BRIS Ultimate PPs stats: +Turf to dirt (13 starts, 46%-win, 69%-ITM, +3.72ROI)What gives, who's right??? Please clarify if possible.  Later.

The DRF Trainer Stats in the past performances go back to January 1, 2007.  Formulator 4.1 users have the option of filtering statistics anytime within the past five years.  I went back two years, and found these stats for Holthus (including Officer Rocket):

26 starts, 4 wins, 15% wins, $1.72 ROI


I want to thank everyone for the wonderful content over the last few days.  The handicapping Q/A was excellent.

Back tomorrow with some opinions on the big day.

Take care,


monmouthisajoke More than 1 year ago
Belmont plays for Saturday: Race 7- Just A Game: Vacare loves the distance and Corey comes to ride. Lady of Venice makes the exacta. Race 8--Indian Blessing, BUT even the blind man knows this. Race 10-The Manhattan.Shakis can rebound here and Cougar Bay will be running late. Race 11--Belmont--Who cares!!..Anyone just beat the Dutrow dog and pony show...
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Oh No, Tinky / Laura Unless you two have come to an understanding to agree to disagree,with due respect, Please lets not take the gloves off over the pedigree of Big Brown.. Do I need to get Lauren Stitch in here? I thought she did an analysis, of Big Brown before" she was let go...(maybe pre Derby, or Preakness) But I can't find that link. It may have been for the paid subscribers. It's less than 72 hours to the Belmont...at this point I think most handicappers know who they like or don't. So, if any one ( Bloggers?) may have Lauren's link to share, with Laura and Tinky ,and the rest of us please???? I respect the both of you, really. SR Vegas
Calvin Carter More than 1 year ago
Tinky, I don’t “blithely assume that distant relatives are as important, or anywhere near as important as close relatives.” I know they are. I’ve done the research and I’ve got the statistics to prove it. Of course the sire and damsire are very important, but in my opinion, the sire line may be more important. From our last chat, it’s clear to me that you are not what you claim to be and that you have very little, or limited, knowledge about thoroughbreds and pedigrees. I doubt that you have 30 years of experience with horses and if you do I would not rely on you to be my pedigree advisor if I was interesting in purchasing a thoroughbred. The only reason I addressed you was because you questioned the integrity of Laura’s pedigree analysis. Laura knows pedigrees inside and out and she’s a valued contributor to the FormBlog. Unless you can make an intelligent post without flippant generalizations and opinions then we have nothing further to discuss. By the way, there’s another race this weekend called the Epsom Derby - which is raced in England. It’s a little bit longer than the Belmont Stakes. Since 1977, 16 thoroughbreds who are descendents of the great Northern Dancer have won the coveted Derby. That's a whopping 52% - hardly an anomoly. Northern Dancer is the same sire line that Big Brown is descended from.
Greg More than 1 year ago
Here's one for Friday in Monmouth-4...#6 Catmosphere (8-1)...filly n1x, this horse won her debut in the fall and then ran 4th in an ungraded 2yo filly turf stakes. This is her 3rd start. The 2nd place finisher from the last race won a G3 at Hollywood and the 3rd won another stakes last year. The trainer is Alan Goldberg who has a postive ROI and is 19% with his turf starters (he had the Sadler's Wells/Ipe Tombe debut winner last week). Goldberg also brought a horse back off a long layoff to win a turf stakes at 7-1 two weeks ago at Monmouth. 8-1 is appealing but probably unrealistic. Hopefully 5-1.
Geoff More than 1 year ago
Prussian looks slow on the Rags. Looks like Hatta Fort has them over a barrel...
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Well, gonna head to Arlington bright and early tommorrow morning (they have a breakfast program from 7:30 to 9:30, $7 for a pretty decent buffett, although you don't have to attend, and because of an early post, if you go for the morning program, you can stay for the races at no charge) Here's the AP picks (so you'll know who not to bet on-went ofer last week!) 1st-7-HOT IMPACT-15/1 off Steve's list and love going from open mnn 25 claiming to Il. MSW- despite what you read, with the state of racing in Illinois now, this is a CLASS DROP! even though no one will tell you that. 2nd-7-THONG OR PANTIES-brisnet prime and computrak top pick is 5/1 and broke mdn over this track 3rd-2-SEISMOGRAPHER-showed speed in needed race and held third, and the jump from conditioned 5 to conditioned 10 does't really worry me all that much-12/1 is very inviting 4th-9-COMIC KING-another off Steve's list, plus ran very well here last summer-seems like a different horse on poly 5th-1-LUGA-short price but almost as sure a thing as Big Brown! 6th-8-MEGAWATTIE-2nd to Salt Syn (local turf sprint monster last) and won't have that one to contend with today If race is off the grass, take 3-BLACK TWIGHLIGHT off Steve's list to try and catch a big price 7th-4-BEHOLD A LADY another off the outstanding sire list, and Asmussen is gonna win here soon. 12/1 is a very inviting price 8th-4-BURMA was bet down to 7/2 last and ran ok despite bleeding last. Doubt we'll get 30/1 ML but should be a fair price and adds lasix 9th-7-MY PAL RED-stand out on both grass and poly 10th-1-AGASTACHE appears to be another chalk who stands above the rest 11th-SILVERFOOT oozes class on the grass-if the race comes off, THRONG was a stake winner last on this poly (doubt I'll stick around for the 12th, but LAKEAWAY appears to be a standout here) Posted by: Stephen Taylor | June 06, 2008 at 12:32 PM
chicago gerry More than 1 year ago
Regarding what an Anak Nakal means, I think you have to reverese the words, put them together into one word, and then spell them backwards.
billg More than 1 year ago
Love the blog. Here are a couple of pix for today: Brooklyn: Nite Light, Sightseeing,Angliana Hill Prince: Prussian, Hatta Fort, Gio Ponti. For the Belmont tomorrow, I'll make a win bet on Tale of Ekati and have Big Brown over top of ToE in exactas and tris with Ichabod Crane. Takiing a bus trip from MD and will be on site for history in the making. good luck to all!
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
Hatta Fort looks pretty good to me. He may not have gone a mile yet but he should love the distance. Surprising that he hasn't done it already. And any give to the turf should be no problem either.
Dale More than 1 year ago
WELCOME back SLEW!!!!! I for one missed your posts and was hoping everything is well (which it appears to be. Probably not going to be able to get a bet in, but I like Angliana (seems to want more distance and has been within in length or 2 to the probable favorite in recent races) at a price in the 9th at Belmont today. In the 10th, I like Gio Ponti!!!