09/24/2009 2:22PM

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.