02/20/2013 2:00PM

Gary Stevens - Comeback Kid


For the second straight week, a good horse received a great ride from a Hall of Fame jockey. 

The result?

Graded stakes glory.

The rider in question is none other than the "Comeback Kid," Gary Stevens.  On February 9, Stevens, riding 5-year-old SLIM SHADEY for the first time, placed his mount on an uncontested early lead in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes going 10 furlongs on grass.  Slim Shadey rattled of "24's" and had plenty left to deny favored Interaction in the stretch.

Last Saturday, Stevens rode GREAT HOT for the first time and he took advantage of a paceless race by putting the others to sleep on the front end.  Winless since October 2011, Great Hot walked the dog in the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes.  After setting fractions of 23.94 and 48.19, Great Hot gained a huge tactical advantage and she just held favored BOOK REVIEW safe in the final furlong. 

Lessons to be learned?

1. Speed is always dangerous.

2. Stevens can still ride with the best of them.

*A couple of promising 4-year-olds received big Beyers in South Florida over the past week.  Todd Pletcher's WINDSURFER, a $190,000 colt by Speightstown out of Surf Light (won the nine-furlong Maryland Million Ladies on grass), made his first start since May 5 and showed improved speed, coasting home by 7 3/4 lengths in an entry-level allowance over a sloppy 1 1/16 miles. 

Bill Mott has been on fire over the past 30 days (16-47, 34% winners, $2.42 ROI overall, 4-6, 67%, $2.83 ROI in graded stakes) and CIGAR STREET made it two in a row since returning from cannon bone surgery.  The son of Street Sense is out of a half-sister to the great Cigar and he put up a 101 Beyer when taking an 'n2x' optional claimer going nine furlongs in gate-to-wire fashion. 

Mott's 4-year-old colt, AMIRA'S PRINCE, was very visually impressive in winning the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes going 11 furlongs on grass at Gulfstream.  Now 3 for 3 in this country, Amira's Prince ran away from a good horse in TEAKS NORTH during the final furlong.

Mott also has a mare by the name of ROYAL DELTA, who romped by five lengths in the Grade 3 Sabin Stakes, her prep for the Dubai World Cup.

*The "wow" effort of the week belonged to first-time starter MIDNIGHT LUCKY, a 3-year-old filly trained by Bob Baffert.  A daughter of Midnight Lute out of a full sister to Grade 1 sprint winner Hookedonthefeelin, Midnight Lucky started as the universal "good thing" at 4-5 odds and galloped home to win by 7 1/4 lengths with a 100 Beyer. 

*DARWIN, the $1.3M juvenile purchase that was sidelined after finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes for Todd Pletcher on November 4, has reportedly been transferred to trainer Aidan O'Brien.

*GOVENOR CHARLIE, another running Midnight Lute colt trained by Baffert (second dam is Silverbulletday), graduated in his second career appearance (first time around two turns) with a 94 Beyer.  He's yet another 3-year-old to watch from that barn.  FOOTBRIDGE, a Darley homebred by Street Cry, finished a game second and shouldn't be long for the maiden ranks. 


You can find the latest "Under the Radar" column here:



Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures (2/11/13 - 2/17/13):

1. WINDSURFER - 103 - OC 25k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
2. CIGAR STREET - 101 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles - Fair Grounds
3. AMIRA'S PRINCE - 100 - Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
3. DON'T TELL SOPHIA - 100 - Bayakoa Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
3. MIDNIGHT LUCKY - 100 - Md Sp Wt 56k - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Santa Anita
6. ROYAL DELTA - 99 - Sabin Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream
7. GREAT HOT (Brz) - 98 - Santa Maria Stakes (G2) - 1 1/16 Miles - Santa Anita
7. JOAN'S CHOICE - 98 - Moro Stakes - 1 1/8 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
9. CONCEALED IDENTITY - 97 - John B. Campbell Handicap - 1 1/8 Miles - Laurel
9. WHATTHECATDRUGIN - 97 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Polytrack) - Turfway
11. AWESOME VISION - 96 - OC 35k/N1X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Inner Dirt) - Aqueduct
11. DOUBLE BERG - 96 - Clm 30000(30-25)N2L - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Gulfstream
11. GLIB - 96 - Clm 12000(15-12)B - 6 Furlongs - Laurel
14. LAURIE'S ROCKET - 95 - OC 65k/N$Y -N - 6 Furlongs - Oaklawn
15. GEORGIE MY BOY - 94 - Md Sp Wt 26k - 6 Furlongs - Hawthorne
15. GOVENOR CHARLIE - 94 - Md Sp Wt 57k - 1 Mile - Santa Anita
15. IMMORTAL EYES - 94 - Valentine's Day Handicap - 4 1/2 Furlongs - Charles Town
15. M DICATION - 94 - Md Sp Wt 39k - 6 Furlongs - Fair Grounds
15. STARSHIP TRUFFLES - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 1/2 Furlongs - Gulfstream
15. SWIFT WARRIOR - 94 - Tampa Bay Stakes (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - Tampa Bay
15. WICKERSHEIM - 94 - Md Sp Wt 42k - 7 FUrlongs - Gulfstream
22. CYBER SECRET - 93 - OC 75k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - Oaklawn
22. FUNNYS APPROVAL - 93 - Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2) - 7 Furlongs - Laurel
22. L. A. WEEKEND - 93 - Phoenix Gold Cup Handicap - 6 Furlongs - Turf Paradise
22. PANTS ON FIRE - 93 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile - Gulfstream

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


Congrats to ALEJANDRO ANZA for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise. 


Alejandro selected Saturday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds for this week's race.


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.


I read some entries on here and there are some people who put their heart out on their picks(such as DavidM9999) and give you great analysis on who they like and why and then there are others who elect not to give any reasoning behind their entries. The rule I will implement EFFECTIVE 3/1/13 will be... any entry without ANY analysis will be ignored. We are not asking you to put out a novel, but again a sentence or two. Also, I will put communication out when Dan puts out new blogs.
My intent is not to be jerk on this, but what's fair is fair. I'm not taking away from this week or past winners regarding all of this, but we do need to make the change.
If you have any questions/conce­rns...please send an email to FORMBLOG@DRF.CO­M and it will get forwarded to me.
Thank You!



Best of luck to all.


Will be back Saturday with the HG analysis and some weekend thoughts.  You can follow me on Twitter at DRF_DanIllman.

Windsurfer.pdf655.23 KB
Copy of Formblog Gulfstream 2-15-13.xls19.78 KB
Cornwall Boy More than 1 year ago
HG Risen Star Fair Gounds 2/23/13 This Risen Star version is an extremely complicated one. Oxbow's (#10) eleven length win is deceptive. Normandy Invasion (#9), with his impressive Remsen placing, has been away for three months. Mylute (#5), though seasoned, has also been away for two months. The usable recent runners, (#'s 1,2,3 & 6) are all going up in class. I'll therefore take a chance by including one of each of the aforementioned components. $.20 Superfecta 9 w w w = $20.00 $.20 Superfecta 10 w w w = $20.00 $.20 Superfecta 5 w 2.9.10 w w = $13.40 $.20 Superfecta 7 w 2.9.10 w w = $13.40 $.10 Superfecta 4 w w w = $10.00 $.20 Superfecta 5.7 w 5.7 w w = $8.00 $.50 Triple 7 w 9.10 w = $3.00 $1.00 Triple 4.5.10 w 9 w = $12.00 Total $99.80 Cornwallboy
Yuwipi More than 1 year ago
HGRisenStar: $2 triple part wheel: 2,6,9/4/1,2,5,6,8,9,10,13 = $42 $1 triple part wheel: 1,5/4/1,2,5,6,8,9,10,13 = $14 $1 triple part wheel: 8,10,13/4/1,2,5,6,8,9,10,13= $21 $5 triple part wheel: 4/2,9/2,6,9 = $20 $3 win : 4 = $ 3 Yuwipi Nice sized field with the three big name trainers coming in to take the Derby points. Probably will be that easy but none of them are dangling out there at a price and it will surprise me if the morning lines hold. Definitely do not like Oxbow in the least so fishing for a local to hold of the invaders requires tossing the Le Comte all together even though absolutely no running was going on behind the winner, who was still in a horse race at the 1/4 pole. Landed on Dallas Stewart's Golden Soul. He'll have to pick it up but I'm hoping he still has some upside and that the price is worth the reach. Luck to all.
violet johnson More than 1 year ago
KeithL still working on the GP card but i got a *Cherry Pick Play* in the 6th State Bred MSW@7f, #1,Double Reverse cutting back from 8f last out 6/1 ML coming out of 1 hole@7f can be hazardous to your Financial Health if i get decent price will play him look for both Chad Brown/Clement firsters to take a lot of money gl Virgin Queen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good luck today to all the MKB owners!!!! TOM W - You're up first with your boy, TESSERON, at GP. Good luck! Annie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rodney, Now now, you started it by telling Curtis he belongs in a fruitcake. I assume you were referring to nuts. Of course, he's already admitted that. Now you are apparently saying a half-baked fruitcake. :) Annie
Joe Labunski More than 1 year ago
Handi picks for FG $1.00 Superfecta 9,10/9,10/all/all Joe L.
Rosemary Blanton More than 1 year ago
HGRISENSTAR scratch 12-14-15- #1 Proud Strike gets the hot stevens here after a blow out in last asmussen put five works in him for this race looks to be a stalker and he has the right jock for that but stevens is known for controlling the pace from the front and wouldnt be surprised to see this guy going out early on . #2 Code West a BB shipper from the west couldnt get by Super Ninety Nine in last today gets more ground to work with so may be one to watch in this one. He is certainly in softer IMO and is a solid contender for the win and you know baffert right. #4 Golden Soul well beaten by Oxbow who is in this one today as well think he may be over his head with these. pass #5 Mylute in a soft event blew out the field in his last and sent to fair grounds for this race seemed empty in DED in the jackpot so will tread lightly with this one. #6 Palace Malice guess whos up on this one, why its rosie whackeys crush and if the track is sly and sealed she may bring this one in the top three today for todd. she is batting 35% for pletcher which catches my eye. #9 Normandy Invasion almost up in the remson but where has he been since took a couple monthe off and returned in january and is working very fast lately so it appears he is tight and ready to fire a big one from off the pace a must use in this affair. #10 Oxbow can you say a walk in the park in that last one I can maybe the compitition or maybe the jockey change or maybe he is coming into his best stride these questions will all be answered today for this well bred colt. Im of the opinion that the jockey change to court 67% with likas is the answer. cant leave this one off today. these are the contenders in this event that I can see so the play will be; $25 exacta 10 with 1-2-6=$75 #25 tri key #9 with 1-6-10=$25 total $100 good luck to all of us today MH01
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
HG Risen star My main selection, He's Had Enough has been shuttled on to GP so here is my alternate. Proud Strike could be dangerous with his ability close. His last race 91BSF is a huge leap forward. How high can he go? Code West has the west coast abuzz but this N'arlins folks. He registered a big 94 BSF in his last but was soundly beaten by Super 99. in a giant effort. Baffert knows how to train. The other contenders are Mylute,also with a 94 BSF, Palace Malice with Pletcher and Rosie, but only an 89 BSF.,Normandy Invasion who is knocking on 100 BSF and Oxbow who figures to improve. My bet: $4 Tri box 1-5-9-10 for $96 $4 Win on 1 for even out $100. STUCKINARIZONA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HG Risen Star: Of course I would love for the 4 MKBs to take the Superfecta, but I don't like the post for Oxbow, so as I still think the three others have the most potential, I'll just substitute Baffert's horse for him in a Super box. #9 - NORMANDY INVASION - Already a Grade 2 winner, with the highest Beyer in the field, earned as a two-year-old. With the new point system making 50 points early an important asset, I expect him to be ready to roll in three-year-old debut. #6 - PALACE MALICE - Son of Curlin, so no reason he can't stretch out to 1-1/16. Connections have high hopes for this one. Gets Rosie, only losing Castellano to heavily favored Violence over at GP. Eight clear of third place horse in comeback race after being wide on the turn, but galloped out well. #5 - MYLUTE - Experience at FG, winning by 10-3/4 in last race, while earning a 94 Beyer. Loses Rosie to Palace, but Bridgmohan is riding well at FG and for trainer Amoss. #2 - CODE WEST - Can't dismiss a Baffert shipper. Earned a 94 last out running 2nd to stablemate, Super Ninety Nine. Blinkers come off (Baffert 36% with that ploy). Has good ppost and Garcia comes to ride. $4 Super Box: 2,5,6,9 = $96 $4 Win #6 Good luck everyone! Annie
Ronald Bauer More than 1 year ago
HG Typo error My wager s/b $50 TRI 9/1,2/1,2 Ron B