07/08/2015 7:09PM

Getting good again


BRADESTER, profiled briefly in the September 17, 2014 edition of this blog (http://www.drf.com/blogs/catching-3), is rounding back into form.

The good Bradester showed up last Sunday in the $150,000, Grade 3 Salvator Mile Stakes at Monmouth. Breaking from post position two in the seven-horse field, Bradester prompted the pace set by longshot FABULOUS KID through an opening quarter in a tepid 24.42. Outsider COUP DE GRACE advanced three wide on the backstretch to prompt the two leaders and the half was completed in 47.61.

From there, it was all Bradester. He shrugged off Fabulous Kid and Coup de Grace, made the lead and rail on the final turn, and kicked clear from the sharp RED VINE to prevail by two lengths in 1:35.32 (109 Beyer Speed Figure).

Chasing Bradester under the line were Red Vine (stakes-winner), VALID (Grade 2 winner), DON DULCE (stakes-winner), FABULOUS KID (multiple stakes-placed), favored RACE DAY (Grade 2 winner) and Coup de Grace (Grade 2 winner).  It was a good field that Bradester vanquished although he did have the benefit of staying close to the slow pace.

Trainer Eddie Kenneally removed blinkers for the Salvator Mile and the equipment change really seemed to help the 5-year-old son of Lion Heart.

"He went a little too quick early last time and that cost him," Kenneally told track publicity following the Salvator Mile. "I took the blinkers off this time because of how aggressive he was last race and it paid off. We will look to most likely run him back in the Monmouth Cup (Grade 2, August 2) next.”

Bradester finished second to Valid in last year's Monmouth Cup following a runner-up try in the Salvator Mile. He had a really good season in 2014, winning the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds as well as the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs.

The Ack Ack put Bradester on my radar screen, and I was extremely disappointed that he returned to bomb in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap on September 27. He was cold on the board in the Kelso, rushed up to prompt a multi-horse pace dispute and tired very badly.

Bradester was expected to run in the Delta Mile in November. Instead, he was freshened for the remainder of the year before emerging in the 2015 Godolphin Mile for his seasonal debut. That was a tough spot for a horse returning from a layoff and Bradester never fired.

As Kenneally mentioned in his quote, Bradester was very eager in his stateside return, an optional claimer on the Kentucky Derby undercard, and finished third behind longshot AGENT DI NOZZO.

From a sprint-oriented female family, Bradester is a legitimate Grade 2/Grade 3 type at distances up to 1 1/16 miles. It wouldn't surprise if he runs another good race in the Monmouth Cup.


Here are the WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 6/30/15 - 7/6/15:

1. BRADESTER - 109 - Salvator Mile (G3) - 1 Mile - 5Jul15-10MTH
2. EFFINEX - 107 - Suburban Handicap (G2) - 1 1/4 Miles - 4Jul15-9BEL
3. BIG BLUE KITTEN - 105 - United Nations Stakes (G1) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 5Jul15-11MTH
3. PRIVATE ZONE - 105 - Belmont Sprint Championship (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 4Jul15-11BEL
5. FAVORITE TALE - 104 - Smile Sprint Stakes (G2) - 6 Furlongs - 5Jul15-11GP
5. SPEIGHTSTER - 104 - Dwyer Stakes (G3) - 1 Mile - 4Jul15-7BEL
7. SMOOTH BERT - 102 - Clm 25000 - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 5Jul15-7BEL
8. GIMME DA LUTE - 101 - Los Alamitos Derby (G2) - 1 1/8 Miles - 4Jul15-8LRC
9. SUPER MAJESTY - 100 - OC 40k/N$Y -N - 6 Furlongs - 5Jul15-8LRC
10. MERRY MEADOW - 99 - Princess Rooney Stakes (G2) - 6 Furlongs - 5Jul15-10GP
10. RED RIFLE - 99 - Dominion Day Stakes (G3-C) - 1 1/4 Miles (Polytrack) - 1Jul15-8WO
12. GO BLUE OR GO HOME - 98 - Highlander Stakes (G2-C) - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - 5Jul15-10WO
12. GRAND BILI - 98 - Carry Back Stakes (G3) - 7 Furlongs - 5Jul15-9GP
12. KHARAFA - 98 - Elkwood Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 4Jul15-11MTH
12. LADY ELI - 98 - Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) - 1 1/4 Miles (Turf) - 4Jul15-10BEL
16. GRAND TITO - 97 - Miesque's Approval Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 5Jul15-8GP
16. MATROOH - 97 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 4Jul15-4BEL
18. HEITAI - 96 - Louisiana Legends Sprint Stakes - 5 1/2 Furlongs - 4Jul15-10EVD 5
18. READY FOR RYE - 96 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 7 Furlongs (Turf) - 4Jul15-5BEL
18. STORMDRIVER - 96 - Louisiana Legends Classic Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 4Jul15-11EVD
21. ALDOUS SNOW - 95 - Singspiel Stakes (G3) - 1 1/2 Miles (Turf) - 5Jul15-9WO
21. SHORE RUNNER - 95 - OC 80k/C -N - 6 Furlongs (Turf) - 3Jul15-7BEL
23. CALGARY CAT - 94 - Achievement Stakes - 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) - 4Jul15-8WO
23. COFFEE CLIQUE - 94 - Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap (G3) - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 4Jul15-8PRX
23. IRON POWER - 94 - OC 80k/C -N - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 2Jul15-8BEL
23. OUR CARAVAN - 94 - OC 25k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles - 1Jul15-7DEL
23. SEEKING THE SHERIF - 94 - Oak Tree Sprint Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 5Jul15-8OTP

*BRADESTER's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of the blog post.


Dan, a question.
Belmont Derby, 8th race Saturday.
Why were Takeover Target and Startup Nation coupled in their previous start, the Penine Ridge and were not coupled in the Derby?
Looks like the same owners and trainer to me.
If it is because the Penine Ridge was a Stakes and this was a Grade one, then it looks like another silly rule.
If that is the case, any idea what the rationale is?

Entries were only decoupled in races worth $1 million or more (like the Belmont Derby). A rule change in New York will go into effect on July 14. Entries will then be decoupled in stakes races worth $50,000 or more and superfecta wagering will be added to the betting menu of races with coupled entires.


You can follow me on Twitter @DRF_DanIllman.

Remember to check out DRF LIVE's VIDEO handicapping coverage at live.drf.com. Matt Bernier and I will be on at 12:30 ET on Thursday and Friday. We'll be back on Saturday at 4:00 ET to handicap some of Saturday's major stakes races.


Congrats to Ed Bechs for finishing first in the most recent HandiGambling tournament.

Let's go with the Great Lady M. Stakes from Los Alamitos for this week's exercise.


SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to streamline all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...

With so many new people attending Dan's Formblog we thought it would be a good time to update the Handigambling Guidelines and Rules as we go forward in 2014.

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. We are 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.


Please start your post with  HG or HANDIGAMBLING to better recognize and find your entry.

-  You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose and that is available for that HG race.
Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.

- Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF THE POST.  Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST sign yourself at the end (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to recognize you .

- (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes.  Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.

- Separate your analysis from the wager and use the horses # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.

-In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.

- The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"

As an example :

HG 2014
The speed in this race goes to  horses # 1, 4 ,6 ..Ennie , Meenie, and Mo
Since it's a sprint I don't see any closers catching them.. like # 9 Miney.
I think trainer Groucho with the #6 Mo has the best stats in this condition, route to sprint.. just a gut feeling at large odds ML 20-1

HG wager
50$ Ex box 1-6
total $100

Thanks Dan!




BRADESTER.pdf803.23 KB
Rodney . More than 1 year ago
Mooch.. On Dan's previous blogs.. click...Masochistic submits to foes in Triple Bend one. Bottom of his analysis....click blue link...Formblog of Mother Goose pdf... Hope that helps....
Mooch ... More than 1 year ago
Ed: Turning the page as soon as a new page comes up (contest page). As far as the rules I understand the duplicate thing, in fact I changed my bet when I saw I put a duplicate in, I changed again after a scratch, none of which were close. But when I'm that far off I will make lite of myself because if we can't laugh at ourselves, well i laugh often...... I will share on here what I tell my wife after a losing day, "I have good news and bad news, the bad news is I lost my butt today, the good news is I'm going back tomorrow and getting it all back". With the exception of on here I plan as usual to play Del Mar only with maybe a few bets on the later races at Saratoga when it starts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chris Lowe, Now now, don't you go leaving. It's just a little misunderstanding. Dan will handle it when he puts up his next thread. Annie
Rodney . More than 1 year ago
Penguin, I've always liked the saying " if it ain't broke, don't fix it" You say it "might"make the game more interesting, and "just maybe" draw in more participants.... So really you aren't even sure it will. It warms my heart though, to know you are a caring sharing person.
Mac930My More than 1 year ago
Never seen 12 entries on an HG contest?? Thought the rules were spelled out pretty clearly. IDK...I just opened the form for today... Looking to make some real $$...home in the man cave...a/c is on....paid some bills...accounts are full...ready to go... Mike A Where are you? Come back please...you are the man at the Spa...need some winners! !! Your mind has 40 years of experience. Plus I enjoy your Uncle stories... Miss my Dad...he has been gone for over 11 years now. Think of him everyday. We went to Saratoga when I was 21. We would drive up in shorts and then pull over in the back of one of those old spa's. He would fill up 10 gallons of that "magic water". To me it was like rotten eggs. He would always say it had healing powers. We would change. He had this light blue summer suit with a tie and hat. I wore light green pants, a white jacket and a tie....we were headed for the clubhouse. First class at the Spa!!! We got a table on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. He would tip the matrade. He would make all of his bets before the first race. I was his runner. I just fell in love with the game and the place!!! Miss you Dad WM OUT!
tbtapgh More than 1 year ago
PE, Thanks for the good thoughts. Yes, it is a blessing to be able to help, even though I live a thousand miles away, so it is a few weeks of intensity and then a few weeks off. I should also mention that in addition to my mom's broken hip, my dad has Alzheimer's, so it is a double dose of caregiving/babysitting. My dad is really sweet in the twilight and is occasionally still really funny, like he was with all his wits. Funny story from the other morning with a little background for context: My mom, although one of the great loves of my life, really is a "rhymes with witch". Demanding, a perfectionist and tough to please. My dad is a go along and get along guy who used to mumble his hilarious musings under his breath. He has also been going more and more deaf for the last decade and refuses a hearing aid. Me, well, since I sing A LOT and went back to teaching, my voice has apparently gotten even louder and more distinct. So, yesterday I was trying to get dad fed and dressed to go visit mom. I remarked that he since he fell ( yes, that happened too, but at least he didn't break anything) he seemed to be hearing me better, although he still can't hear mom very well. He looks and me and smiles saying "Perfected that art for the last 62 years" My brother and I died laughing. Also please don't make us earn a profit from Handigambling. I don't want my lone win from the Kentucky Derby to be voided! For those who may not remember, I earned $50 on my Show bet on my favorite horse in the field, Musket Man. Until recently, I think I held the record for lowest earning amount to win a Handigambling. My record is pretty pitiful. :)
Ed Bechs More than 1 year ago
Mooch, My HG selection went down the drain and yours got us off the rails. With great power comes great responsibility. Now we are battling the rules. There has been alot of animosity of late and enough is enough. If two different wagers have the winning amount, it would be a tie. End of story. We use the trust system to place our bets aware that there is a time delay in posting. It is not perfect, but it works. A new and improved system usually is just new in this world. Congrats to nancyb on her win and nice try to Paul G. Paul, if you are interested, I'd be more than happy to give you 20 pps to ease your pain in a photo loss. I'm not sure what the best way to contact you.would be. Meanwhile back at the ranch, watching the betting patterns of last week's race proved interesting. The 5 and the 7 were the two favorites for me, but the 6 was always hovering as second choice in the betting. Sometimes board watching can be fruitful. Mooch, time to turn the page and say "next". It's mythical money and your bets looked good to me. And Rodney, you are overdue. All I wanted to do was a "Curtis" and win two in a row. You got to have dreams. edb
Harold Crenshaw More than 1 year ago
Back in my drinking days we(my ex-wife and I) used to hang with another couple who were as crazy as us. They owned a HUGE house in Rehobeth Beach Delaware and we were charging down there every weekend in the summer...this was a time before kids and we had numerous adventures in that town. When the girls were out shopping at the outlets my buddy and I would go out eating, drinking, walking around and wandering aimlessly. On the boardwalk in Rehobeth there was a HORSE RACE game that involved rolling balls into holes that represented LENGTHS that the horse would move....obviously the more difficult 3 length move was what you wanted. WE would play this game for HOURS in a row......and would give away the stuffed animals to kids. They couldn't beat us and we would win game after game. Once, when a busy body lady told us to "give others a chance" my buddy said...'we have hundreds of dollars, we aren't leaving......and we don't want the prizes..JUST THE WIN." We were obnoxious...but there were lots of kids with UPGRADED prizes(6 foot Tweety Birds) through our A Hole Ness. My point? The prize is NICE but the WIN is most important. Rodney was the most succinct,his post is 100% correct. Winning is the best feeling in the world and it is what drives me in business, horse race wagering, cross word puzzles, free throw shooting contests, horseshoes, corn hole tournaments, golf, fishing, call in radio contests, grocery shopping, antiquing, yard sales......losing is part of winning...because in CONTESTS and SPORTS....the other guys are trying as well. Well done to all winning wagers in the latest HG contest...and continued success.
Curt Vassallo More than 1 year ago
nancyb, Congratulations on your HG score. Curt V.
Sinatra Jeter More than 1 year ago
RonZ The last line of your post to gave me a good laugh this morning. Thanks. TurfRuler