02/20/2013 1:00PM

Gary Stevens - Comeback Kid

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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:

http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-under-radar-speak-logistics

***

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. 

PENN NATIONAL RICK'S WEEKLY SCORESHEET IS AVAILABLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST.

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

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 GIVE YOUR NAME OR BLOG MONIKER AT THE END OF THE HG PLAY AND/OR ANALYSIS.
 
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.

***FROM SCOREKEEPER PENN NATIONAL RICK***

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!
Rick

REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HANDIGAMBLING EXERCISE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM WITH YOUR DRF LOGIN AND PASSWORD IN ORDER TO ACCESS YOUR PRIZE PACKAGE.

ALSO, IF THE WINNER WOULD LIKE TO SELECT THE FOLLOWING WEEK'S RACE, PLEASE CONTACT FORMBLOG@DRF.COM NO LATE THAN THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY MORNING (A FRIDAY RACE IS MOST IDEAL).

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.

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Windsurfer.pdf655.23 KB
Copy of Formblog Gulfstream 2-15-13.xls19.78 KB
HGRISENSTAR.pdf313.91 KB