09/24/2009 3:22PM

Grays, Mules, PP's


He really is a Goodlookngray!


(Benoit photo)


The big news this week is the imminent return of the venerable Lava Man after one year on the sidelines.  Here are his lifetime past performances:

Download LavaMan


This is obviously going to create a bit of controversy.  The Lava Man that we saw at the end of 2008 was certainly showing signs of getting "long in the tooth," and another, more public, injury would be a PR disaster for a game that desperately needs an image makeover.  A more severe racing-related injury would also cause a great deal of heartbreak for his connections as well as his many, many supporters and well-wishers.
On the other hoof, Lava Man's intriguing stem-cell therapy could result in a scientific breakthrough in the way injured horses are treated.  While we're not expecting Lava Man to dominate the handicap ranks, a win here or there against solid performers may give connections of similarly-injured old-timers a second option.  Why retired them, especially if they are entire horses with questionable stud possibilities or battle-hardened geldings, when they could conceivably come back to the races with vim and vigor after considerable time off?  
On the Disabled List on the right hand side of the blog (I'm still trying to catch up), we see an example of a horse that has been treated with stem-cell therapy.  Hi Ho Cheerio, a four-year-old gelding by Alphabet Soup, went on the sidelines with a tendon injury after winning a 'n1x' optional claimer on turf at Louisiana Downs on August 14, 2008.  Here's Mary Rampellini's story on Hi Ho Cheerio:


Hi Ho Cheerio has been back on the worktab since August 11, and he drilled 5 furlongs out of the gate in 1:02.60 at Louisiana Downs. 

Cawaja Beach, a three-year-old filly, reportedly had stem cell surgery to repair a tendon lesion after running her record to 4-4 with a stakes victory over Woodbine's polytrack on October 1, 2008.  She returned to the races for trainer Scott Fairlie on July 22, 2009 in a stakes race on grass, and finished fourth at 8-5 odds.  Cawaja Beach reportedly then fractured a sesamoid, and was retired to the breeding shed. 

Lord of the Game, an 8-year-old gelding that won some graded races in his heyday, returned from an almost four-year-layoff due to a torn tendon in his left front leg that required stem cell surgery.  Away since October 29, 2005, he returned at Fair Grounds on New Year's Day 2009, and finished sixth as the 9-5 favorite in a 'n1y' optional claimer.  He lost his next four starts as well, and was just claimed for $5,000 at Mountaineer Park. 

Sing Baby Sing, a six-year-old that finished sixth in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint, underwent stem cell treatment in the winter.  He finished second in the Remington Sprint Cup in his first race back on August 22, 2009, and has been working right along at Remington.

It's going to be an uphill climb for Lava Man, but I commend the connections for the taking the road less travelled.  Is it a risk?  It surely is, but so was claiming Lava Man for $50,000 back in 2004.  If the old boy is acting like he wants to run, and is sound enough to to so, he deserves a shot.


Any news on Slew's Tiznow? He's not on the Binnacle List. Also his brother, Slew's Tizzy worked on 7/25 after being out and hasn't been seen since
Steve T

Both horses were reported as sidelined in June.  Slew's Tizzy worked once after suffering a stall injury earlier in the year, but is likely hurt once again.  I'm not sure whether it's bad luck, or an inherent train in this family, but these horses seem to get hurt a lot.  I'll keep Tizzy on the list, but I'll hold off Slew's Tiznow until I find out some more. 


Could you post the lifetime pps for 1991 Kentucky Derby winner Strike the Gold and 1990 Preakness Stakes winner Summer Squall?

Here's what I have:

Download Classic Winners


I was wondering if you mainly handicap using the hard copy DRF Newspaper or if you generally use downloaded information.
chicago gerry

I read the editorial every single day from the hard copy, but I use Formulator Past Performances in my handicapping.  If you see me at the track, I'll have printouts with my personalized pp's. 
I think it's only natural that business from the hard-copy paper will eventually move to online purchases.  I know that lots of handicappers love the feel of the hard copy, and it's something they've been weaned on.  Plus, the outrageous cost of printer ink makes the purchase price of the paper look like a bit of a bargain.  I don't think we'll see a major shift in the short-term, but the long-term viability of any newspaper may hinge on its online presence.


Dan, are the pp's for last years Breeders Cup winners too much to ask?  I think it would really help ALL OF US handicapping this years BC if we could see the winners from last years BC pp's.
Captain Bodgit

Of course, it's not too much to ask.  Here they are:

Download 2008BCWinners


Forget Rachel and Zenyatta.  Here's a lady that deserves her due:

Bar JF Hot Ticket

Check out her past performances, and you'll see what I mean:

Download HotTicket


I love some of the short comments.


Hi Dan. Could you post the Lifetime Past Performances of those really top horses from 1997?- Formal Gold, Gentlemen and Will's Way! And also Will's Way's Great Daddy Easy Goer as well. Thanks so much Dan!

Here's what I have:

Download EasyGoer

Download FormalGold

Download Gentlemen

Download Will's Way


Know you're busy and i'm not saying today, but if you could shed some light on exactly what happened at PID with Fateh Field being put on the Vets List after he had run second in a race.
Mike A

From David Grening's article on drf.com posted on September 20:


I'm guessing there was a mix-up, and neither Godolphin nor NYRA were informed there was a problem with the horse.


Is the person who makes the comments at the end of the past performance running line, ie (3 wd into str,no rally) the same person who makes the comment in the full chart? 
Ron Zuercher



Great stuff, Dan! sounds like a fantastic trip. One question: who is the colt in the picture?

All I know about the little scamp is that he's a son of Jeremy, and he's a pretty bad cribber.


Still have some more comments and pp requests to handle, but I'll get to them next time.




Mike A More than 1 year ago
Steve T, Also remember, just because someone has a different view, that doesn't make it emotionally charged or Hyperbole. We could go tit for tat, statistic for statistic and in the end who will be right? Each of us will becuase it is what we believe. I do not believe we will ever see synthetics at Churchill or NY, or many of the east coast tracks. Fatalities in horse racing are a fact of life, preventing them a excersize in futility. To believe we can create an artificial surface to end those fatalities is rather pompus on our part. As if to say we can do better than God. The trainers at last count were 80 to 20 percent against the surface. The jockeys aren't all that thrilled with it either. And the mentality of "If it just saves one horse it's worth it" , is rather fatalistic. I watched Ruffian break down in her match race, I don't like to admit it but I cried. What I didn't do was run down to old "Big sandy" grab two hand fulls of dirt and scream to the heavens "Why God oh why, did you creat the dirt they run on". Then run out and try to do what God could not. Mike A
Mike A More than 1 year ago
Steve T, You say potato and I sat Potatoe. Yes PON was second and papa clem 4th and cc 5th beaten by how much? and where were they in the subsequent Preakness and Balmont, the ones who could actually run again? As far as IWR, he's an abheration, and as long as I've been watching horses no horse improves that much without a needle in his flank, being trained by Jeff Mullins, well enougyh said. Astro turf was superior to grass also. If it rained we could squeege it off. Great stuff, till you played on it for any time and found your ankles and knees hurting. The death and injury rate has dropped, to be replaced by other injuries. But then again if CA had done it's due diligence and maintained what they had perhaops their injury rate wouldn't have soared, they did lead the country afterall. Frank Stronach had the base dug up at Gulfstream, replaced it with a highly concentrated limestone to a depth of 4'-0", Gulfstreams injury rate was reduced, to a par with the synthetics. All you can point to is catastrophic injury, which could also have been accomplished with dirt tracks at half the cost. You never did address the little men who ride the horses, perhaps you should poll them to see what they think now after hitting the lint a few times. AS I said, I for one think it was an awfully expensive bandaid for lack of understanding. I'm not saying your wrong for liking the lint, I don't like it. As to the throng of horses who won at Saratoga off the lint, most had dirt form already. These are just my views, not an editorial, Everyone has their opinion, as I said youi say potato and I say Potatoe. Mike A
Causeways37 More than 1 year ago
Fairplex Race 1: ICE COLD TRIFECTA: BAR JF HOT TICKET BAR JF RED TICKET GENIE JONES/RED ROOSTER Slight slight reverse on the 2nd n 3rd hole.
Keith L. More than 1 year ago
Midwest Ed: Thanks for the update on the casino millions. Too bad: at a time when tracks, owners and connections are all feeling the pinch, I'm sure the money (if most went to purses) would have been seen as a welcome relief. Maybe next year?
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
David, you are correct, of course, I mistakenly thought of the turf sprint winner, who was 35-1. Maybe Jungle Wave will run in the turf sprint, an option I hadn't thought of, because I have not yet fully digested the bigger BC menu. I'm used to 7 races. smile
cayman01 More than 1 year ago
HG 152 Recap: We had a tie at the top with Patrick and Mike V both hitting a $40 Ex for a $884 total. I'm not sure who posted first so I'll leave it to Dan to declare the winner. Three others had $100 W on the PGH and cashed at $780. Lots of winning tickets this week. Maybe 6 horse fields are the way to go. _OWWWW 10 cent that hurt...... C, I think HG is a nice diversion in the middle of the week. I don't like that people are shooting more for the prize than actually posting what they'd bet, but I do like to see everybody's opinions. And to all the synth haters, Synthetics ar no different than dirt. Some horses like certain synthetics just like other horses like certain dirt. Dirt tracks are different from one another just the same as poly is different from cushion and Pro-Ride. You cannot say that Saratoga's track is the same as Belmont or Gulfstream or Tampa. they're all different! The trick is finding the horse that prefers the surface. HG 152 was a perfect example. Many put Paul's Hope at the top of their ticket disregarding the fact that he had the poorest dirt BSF's of anybody in the field. Many others correctly picked out Lit'sgoodlookingray based on his top BSF dirt figure.
C More than 1 year ago
Annie, That's the spirit and sounds like a good bet if the price is right. I'm not getting involved this weekend, but will be the following week on JCGC day.
Van Savant More than 1 year ago
Hey Mike A; I agree with what you wrote, and I too have tried to always make an effort to at least post my picks for a Saturday or Sunday card, but even then, I find that task daunting. Those that do, are god-like (Uncle Steve). For me to post my thought process and wagers for a card just might send me over the edge. I want to, but would rather do other things (like drink bourbon and troll Laura's blog on a Friday night...snort!). Also, I may post my selections for the day's card, but most of the time, I will bet them with the understanding that the real races may be unknowable to me at the time of my posting (scratches, huge overlays, etc.). Almost always, though, when I post a four-horse selection on a weekend, I will have it backed with real money. I cannot imagine giving out a five-figure Superfecta, and being no part of it. The HandiGambling thing for me is a wonderful mid-week diversion that allows me to think about a race in a manner that I don't always think. $100 for one race? To me, that's a full card most of the time, but for one race...we can always dream, brother. That amount of mythical money has helped me view races in a manner that I never did before. It has afforded me freedoms beyond the constraints of my account. It is somewhat liberating, but also a bit debilitating in that I am forced to consider my overall ROI in a public forum. I find that to be challenging, and obviously by extension, educational. But then again, that is just me.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Slew, Great post! I agree completely. And, I think it is really nice of trainer, Doug O'Neill, to donate his 10% trainer's share of any earnings that Lava Man makes to help other horses be able to have a good retirement. It's kind of neat to think that Lava Man unknowingly can help other horses. Annie
Laura More than 1 year ago
Selections for the Foolish Pleasure and Brave Raj from Calder are available at Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds. http://www.ironmaidensthoroughbreds.com Captin Bodgit, I have last year's BC race PP's too. I've posted them at my website at the bottom of "Race Archives" I'll leave them up over the weekend for everyone to download and save. Good luck with your method. It will be interesting to see if it pans out. How do you account for the variables, such as the horse's form last year vs. this year? This year I'll be creating another "E-book" for the Juvie races, focusing on which horses have pedigrees for synthetics. I wish I had a way to focus on Pro-Ride stats (looking at Uncle Steve). Dan, Does DRF have a break-down of stats for each type of synthetic surface or is everything lumped together under "synthetic"? There's gotta be a way....